Links 9/20/2022

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Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.

–Yves

P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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Lambert here: Patient readers, I apologize for the slightly late publication of a complete Links, and subsequent formatting issues. I experienced a VPN debacle just as I was about to press the submit button.

Tardigrades survive being dried out thanks to proteins found in no other animals on Earth Live Science. On tardigrades, see NC here.

Hungry bears are getting desperate in Montana High Country News

François Villeroy de Galhau: Armed peace and risk proportionality – how to strike the right balance Bank of International Settlements. Pungent with Clausewitz metaphors.

Nearly One Third Of Homes In US Purchased By Investors, New Study Reveals NWPB. From July, still germane.

Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Power Utility Heads Toward Litigation After Debt Talks End Bloomberg

Fiona’s outages rekindle anger over Puerto Rico’s privatized electric grid Politico

Climate

Making Earth the Shareholder Inequality. Except… The Earth is not the shareholder. Nor could be be, not being a legal person.

Fears of ‘subprime’ carbon assets stall crypto rainforest mission Reuters

Are There Too Many Farms in the World? New research on agricultural productivity in developing countries Yale Economic Growth Center

Electric Vehicles Took Off. Car Makers Weren’t Ready WSJ

Scientists discover bacteria that can use light to ‘breathe’ electricity Interesting Engineering

Water

Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought LA Times

Rhine Water Levels in Germany Approaching Normal Depths Maritime Logistics Professional

#COVID19

Hilarity ensues:

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Bioelectronic face mask can detect COVID-19 in real time, scientists say ABC Australia (Rev Kev). Original.

Advances in treating the sickest Covid patients have stalled. Why? STAT

On Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” (podcast) Literary Studies. From the New Books network, whose content makes me hopeful there’s a lot of thinking and writing going on out there.

Do You Speak Virus? Phages Caught Sending Chemical Messages Scientific American

China?

Chinese cities Qingdao, Suzhou reinstate homebuying curbs a day after scrapping them, leaving market in limbo South China Morning Post. Commentary:

Chinese buyers snap up luxury homes as ‘hard currency’ in soft property market Reuters

Myanmar

Fear, defiance as fighting rages in Myanmar’s north Channel News Asia

The Pendulum of Non-Alignment: Charting Myanmar’s Great Power Diplomacy (2011–2021)* Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs

India

Great stuff:

Put your crown on your head Africa is a Country. Jean-Michel Basquiat:

Uganda condems EU resolution slamming oil pipeline Maravi Post

Old Blighty

How Long Was the Queue? An Estimated 250,000 People Bloomberg. From the coverage, I would have thought a million. Commentary via alert reader DM, who writes: “Thisbee demonstrating his objection to the ridiculous coverage of the royals!”:

I’m with Thisbee on this one

Queen Elizabeth II’s Final Hearse Is a Jaguar She Designed The Drive. Lucas electrical components?

All hail our postliberal prince The Critic. Commentary:

European Disunion

EU Unveils Anti-Crisis Plans to Force Firms to Supply Key Goods Bloomberg

Investors Watch for Italy’s Finance Chief: Here Are Some Options Bloomberg

Beware Italy’s ‘Mafia Entrepreneurs’ Bloomberg

The UK isn’t the only poodle around:

New Not-So-Cold War

Putting Ukrainian battle successes into cold, hard perspective Responsible Statecraft

‘We’re Working 24/7’: Ukraine Keeps Its War Machine Humming Foreign Policy

Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy Covert Action. Let it never be said the spooks can’t take the long view.

Ecuador reaches deal with China to restructure debt Reuters

Biden Administration

Is a Bidenomics Manufacturing Policy in Progress? Industry Week

Biden administration releases digital asset regulation framework Banking Dive

Biden hits the Covid trifecta Politico

SEC Claims All of Ethereum Falls Under US Jurisdiction Decrypt (Rev Kev).

What Happened to America’s Civil Libertarians? Matt Taibbi, TK News. “The implicit argument of Trump’s pursuers has always been that any rule-bending is worth it because, like Saddam Hussein, Trump was and is a unique danger, an ‘exceptional’ or ‘existential threat.'” “Sovereign is he who declares the exception.” —Carl Schmitt, Nazi legal theorist.

Intelligence Community

Pentagon orders audit of clandestine information warfare: report The Hill

Shortages

A Natural Gas Shortage Is Looming For The U.S. OilPrice.com

Adderall Shortages in US Spread to Two More Drug Suppliers Bloomberg

Our Famously Free Press

Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Social Media Law LawFare. NetChoice v. Paxton (PDF). The opening salvo:

Never thought I’d say “God bless the Attorney General of Texas” (Paxton), but here we are.

How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends (Or Family, Customers or Communities) Electronic Frontier Foundation

Sports Desk

Checkmate JoeBlogs

Ban on saliva to shine cricket balls made permanent by ICC ENCA. Droplet dogma infests cricket authorities.

Viking Textiles Show Women Had Tremendous Power Scientific American

Class Warfare

Dominant Employers May Add To Unemployment In Rural US As Fed Raises Rates International Monetary Fund (!).

AI Art Is Here and the World Is Already Different New York Magazine. Awesome. Now no image anywhere is trustworthy, Silicon Valley, good job.

Beware the rise of the black box algorithm FT. “The factors underpinning the Compas system, used in the US to measure the likelihood of reoffending, are not publicly available because they are treated as company property.” Oh.

Antidote du jour. From Cathy, who writes:

Aloha Yves and NC gang,

$50 check is “in the mail.”
I would be ignorant of just about everything going on in the world today if it weren’t for Yves, Lambert, the other posters and contributors (current & past), moderators, members of the various brain trusts and the commentariat (current & past) of Naked Capitalism. Even worse, if I were dependent on the MSM, I might think of myself as an informed person, when, in fact I would only have been mis- and dis-informed. That said, even my infrequent (and decreasing) ventures into “news” coverage reveal that is has become crazily incomprehensible, if not irrelevant, on almost any subject. (And this is an election year. Ain’t that just great?)

NC has provided enough sunlight (even if it sometimes hurts the eyes) that I can attempt to make sense of things and resist the urge to just hide where no one can see me (see attached*).

$50 does not come close to the value of NC to me. So, I hope that I am taking advantage of someone else’s generosity to increase the value of my small contribution. But, really, it would be far better still if the full train has departed without me and faster donors sucked up all that generosity.

*This is our neighbors’ cat, Cyrus. And, yes, that is our carport storage closet, not that of Cyrus’ own family.

Mahalo for ALL you do, even the work that I can’t see,
Cathy

Bonus Antidote: A baby hummingbird sipping from a raspberry (via):

Double Bonus Antidote: I have to include this:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

172 comments

  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Boola boola bullshit: farming at Yale–

    I guess Bill Gates now owns Yale as well as Harvard. Really brilliant pushing to destroy small farms so that India is even more dependent on fossil fuels and Big Ag technology to grow food.

    It’s a beautiful vision, isn’t it? Hundreds of thousands of acres nearly devoid of life that has evolved on this planet. Nothing but Frankenplants, robot tractors and robot bees. Everything else killed dead by copious amounts of “pest”-icides. And the “food” grown thusly? It just makes my mouth water to think about it.

    All the human ex-farmers will either conveniently commit suicide or be moved into high rise boxes where they can eat Soylent Green when Gates’s farming adventure turns out to be a bust.

    Makes one contemplate who the real pests are.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      “Are there too many PMCs in the world? New research on ruling class productivity in post-developed countries” is the paper we need.

      Reply
        1. semper loquitur

          I’m with you. I recall listening to some show years ago wherein it was reported that a California grocery chain association was pressuring some city to shut down it’s farmer’s market because it was competing with their stores. I don’t trust any national database of small gardens anymore than I trust Meta with my messages.

          Reply
          1. barefoot charley

            Our small-town, independent health food store used its market power to force its main supplier to shut down our area’s food co-ops, where say a dozen families bulk-order large deliveries of healthy staples that we break down ourselves (sometimes on the side of the road where the crates are dumped.) Yes that’s right, organic hippies drove us to Costco!

            Reply
      1. Eclair

        I searched for other sources of news and found a couple of articles that talked about listeria in the farm’s raw milk and links it to a death.

        ‘Organic’ does not result in the elimination of harmful bacteria in meat and dairy products.

        BTW, we buy all the veggies we don’t raise from an Amish farmer, plus our butter and eggs. Our meat comes through a small local, federally inspected slaughter house that buys steer and hogs from local farmers. I am not a raw milk drinker, although I know people who are total fanatics about it. Mostly because I know my husband’s cousin’s small dairy farm. Cows are totally unconcerned about when and where they poop!

        I would eat aged cheese and fermented milk products made from unpasteurized milk, but not raw milk itself. My hypothesis: aged cheese, yoghurt, kefir, etc., gave an evolutionary boost to those communities that developed them. The raw milk drinkers died early, before they were able to reproduce.

        Reply
        1. Roxan

          I drank raw milk my whole life and, so far, made it to 72. You should know the source or be sure it was tested–that goes for soft cheeses, yogurt, etc made from raw milk. Only heat kills germs. If I can, I’ll take a look at how they handle their milk. This is true of meat, too–many terrible diseases can be carried.

          Reply
        2. lyman alpha blob

          Grew up drinking raw milk. First time I remember drinking pasteurized milk was in college, and even the whole milk seemed like water it was so thin compared to the raw stuff.

          One argument is that raw milk conveys good bacteria to human drinkers. I’ve seen studies years ago too showing that people who grew up on farms were on average much healthier than the overall population due to being exposed to beneficial bacteria. Not sure it was the milk, but I never missed a day of class for the last nine years until I graduated high school. Would have been twelve straight if not for a bout of chickenpox.

          You’re not wrong about the poop though. I was at my family’s farm over the weekend and one cow let out a projectile barrage that you’d think was shot from a firehose. Despite moving quickly I still suffered some backsplash, however the cow’s udder was connected to the milking machine which was connected to a pipe which ran directly into the refrigerated bulk tank in the milk house away from the cows. The milk never touches the open air.

          While it’s not impossible to have some contamination, chances are very slight if farmers are following proper handling procedures.

          Reply
      2. Roxan

        Re the Amish farmer–was his ‘crime’ refusing to take his cattle to a state approved butcher? If so, that battle has gone on for years. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms first became known for a battle over the same thing. I lived in that area of VA, at the time, and followed the fight. Local authorities were outrageous on a number of issues–they even tried to force people to put meters on their wells so the township could charge them. They complained about selling raw milk or homemade cheese and finally banned them. So…next time I went to a farmers market they were giving away their dairy products, but donations were welcome. I asked how that was working, and was told “we’re making more than we did! Folks seem to think we didn’t charge enough.” People need to be supportive and stick together. PA is fairly liberal on most things. I buy raw milk, cheese and all sorts of home made goods from the Amish both in stores and farm markets.

        Reply
    2. SocalJimObjects

      Isn’t Bill like the biggest private owner of farmland in the United States? He’s just getting rid of competition. Pretty soon the H1B program will either be expanded, or a new visa program will be introduced so that Indian farmers can go to the US to work for Bill.

      Reply
  2. Stephen

    The most important event the world will ever see…

    I always thought that Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of The House of Commons in the UK was quite a sensible Labour politician. Now I do not think so.

    The level of mainstream media, political and corporate derangement here has been in overdrive. Corporate business activity yesterday was similar to Christmas Day, although in our square a removal van still came and some bathroom fitters were working. People who do not have the luxury of being part of the salaried classes cannot just give up a days pay, of course.

    Maybe our government can now get back to thinking about addressing the issues we face. Not sure if that will be helpful though. Perhaps it is better if they stay in a state of derangement and spend the next year planning and hyping the Coronation. They can then tell the world how important an event that is, whilst non defence related factories close as recession and inflation kick in. Negotiating peace is just so unconscionable.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m told that the Funeral will be nominated for Best Production Values as well as Best Costumes in the next Emmy Awards.

      Reply
    2. LY

      Charlie Stross’ reaction to Sir Hoyle is fitting, as he channels his modern day Lovecraftian satire novels.

      “Day 9 of the Necroqueen’s progression to the Duat and the operation to tag the sacrifices is proceeding satisfactorily. Volunteers have joined an orderly line, although there are a handful of disruptive elements. Their souls will be consumed last. ”

      All hail the Necroqueen!

      Reply
    3. David

      Well, French TV (which covered the whole thing from beginning to end) said that around 4 Billion people watched at least part of the coverage, and I’ve seen the same figure elsewhere this morning. Now just think about that. It wasn’t exciting, fun, glamorous, full of drama or spectacle. For much of the audience it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to follow parts of it. It was serious, solemn and downbeat. Most of all it was a ritual. When was the last time you saw something like that? Anything like that?

      In other words, some kind of very basic need was being fulfilled here. I think (and I’ve seen this echoed elsewhere) the real issue was the end of an age in which ideas like service and duty actually meant something, and where people were brought together for a purpose that had nothing at all financial about it.. (Probably the next Royal funeral will have sponsored advertising on the coffin).

      Media pundits might do well to ponder why so many people wanted to watch the funeral, and why, rather than competing to see who can make the cleverest comments. I’m sure there were some priceless witticisms exchanged at Versailles on the night of 14 July 1789.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yup, it never ceases to surprise me how interested many people are around the world in the UK Royal Family, so I don’t find it surprising that many watched the funeral. I don’t think its too much to say that people feel a sense of loss – not for Elizabeth herself, but a perhaps hard to define feeling that the death of a longstanding royal very often is a turning point in history, even if its nature can only be seen many decades afterwards. I recall one historian (I can’t recall who), arguing that the real turning point of a ‘century’ in European history has usually occurred in the second decade – WWI, Waterloo, etc. So maybe this one is just a few years late.

        There is also of course the soap opera aspect. Years ago I got roped into driving a few female friends of a friend to a wedding – a mix of New York, Shanghai and Taiwan. For the entire 2 hour journey I genuinely thought they spent most of the time discussing the problems of a mutual friend of theirs, ‘Megan’ (by a coincidence, the brides name was Megan, so I thought initially they were gossiping about her). It was only much later that the penny dropped that it was ‘that’ Megan they’d been earnestly talking about.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Here they were saying that it was the end of the Elizabethan Age though to be pedantic, it would actually be the end of the Second Elizabethan Age. Had the TV on while on the computer so saw most of it. At one point they were at Marble Arch and was very much surprised to see in an aerial shot that nearly everybody in sight there were military personnel. It was more a military funeral than anything else. So I went to see if she had an honourary position as head of the British military but gave up as she had so many honours-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_titles_and_honours_of_Elizabeth_II

          Reply
          1. Revenant

            Probably the Wellington Monument (Hyde Park Corner) or possibly the Victoria Monument (just outside Buckingham Palace) but probably not Marble Arch unless it was a crowd scene! The Wellington Monument has a large triumphal arch. It is normally marooned on a busy roundabout but with the traffic stopped it looked rather more monumental than usual!

            The cortege route was from the Abbey up Whitehall then across Horseguard’s Parade along the Mall and past the Palace to Hyde Park Corner, where the coffin was put in the hearse and then driven west through Hyde Park and then onto the A4, A30 and then into Windsor Great Park where it was again mounted on a carriage and pulled on the Long Ride into the castle and to St George’s Chapel.

            Hyde Park Corner was the codeword for the death of the Queen’s father (presumably the location was involved in the plans, unless they just thought it was going to a traffic nightmare and made the allusion). Apparently episode 2 of the Crown bears this title….

            Reply
            1. Tim W

              Sorry but the funeral I watched had the hearse all the way up to the chapel steps. Moving at walking speed I grant you but a hearse nonetheless.
              The assembled multitude walked -or slow marched- the couple of miles through Old Windsor to the Chapel.

              Reply
          2. jrkrideau

            So I went to see if she had an honourary position as head of the British military

            Honourary? No. I believe as monarch she *was* the titular head of the armed forces. Assubing the UK is the same as Canada the oath on joining up is to the monarch.

            Reply
      2. Laughingsong

        I dunno, I personally find it hard to believe that 4 billion people even have television service these days- even adding the ability to stream.

        But I agree that it would be more due to that “end of an era” feeling than actually saying goodbye to the queen. Saying goodbye to any kind of sensible Britain maybe….

        And thank you David for the ironic giggle I got, imagining the royal coffins of the future so gussied up with ads that they look like Formula One cars!

        Reply
        1. Michael Ismoe

          It may be that they had no choice. It was on at least 7 of the 100 channels my cable provider provides (and every local news show had at least 5 minutes of it in there somewhere). I am part of the 3 billion who watched none of it. I’ll wait for Kim Kardashian’s funeral instead.

          Reply
    4. Eclair

      Perhaps much of the American fascination with the British Royal family derives from wish fulfillment fantasies. People can simply imagine themselves living in an opulent palace with 100 bedrooms (and no central heating!) and being waited on hand and foot by subservient footmen, ladies-in-waiting, and Private Secretaries.

      Or swanning around Scotland wearing plaid skirts (does the Royal Family change at the border, or do they wait until they’re actually on site?) and shooting on one’s own private moor with a dozen beaters and gillies rousting out the game so you don’t go back to the castle empty-handed. All without lifting a finger, without being particularly bright or even likable. Just the right accident of birth. Or catching the roving eye of an eligible prince. Or even a duke! (Georgette Heyer Regency novels are still best sellers! Talk about delicious propaganda cementing the class structure.)

      Reply
  3. JohnA

    Re cricket and saliva, I, and probably 99% of cricket fans/players learned something new in the cup final played in England last Saturday. The wicketkeeper, similar to a baseball catcher, ran after the ball to field/retrieve it. He discarded his glove to be better able to throw the ball, and another player put on the glove and caught the ball thrown. That, according to the rules of cricket is illegal, and cost the team 5 penalty runs (points). Even the commentators were bemused about that rule. Cricket is so wonderfully eccentric.
    Apropos saliva, a few years ago, the England team players allegedly sucked mints to give their saliva extra umph, before shining the ball in matches vs Australia. But then again, these so-called Ashes series are never short of one controversy or another.

    Reply
    1. Korual

      Another rule is it’s OK to deliver the ball aimed at the head at 90mph by way of legitimate intimidation. But fomites? Too dangerous.

      Reply
  4. Ignacio

    RE: EU Unveils Anti-Crisis Plans to Force Firms to Supply Key Goods Bloomberg

    What the EU Commission has unveiled is that there is a Plan. Of course, this Plan will give the EU Commission new powers in ’emergency situation’. Given the context I raise my eyebrows thinking that the EU is just rising to the occasion to grab more and more power from EU states probably with very poor explanations, and very poor legal basis. I put the odds on failure.

    Reply
      1. Randall Flagg

        That quote could also apply to Ukraine, it’s Western backers and their plans regarding their “boxing match” against their Mike Tyson, AKA Russia.

        Reply
      2. ambrit

        The cynic in me wonders at what the long term “plan” is in pursuit of.
        Global population culling? We are ruled by Harkonnen eugenicists.
        Or, as the L-5 crowd likes to say: “Think outside of the globe.”

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Well they have long bellyached about the unsustainable nature of the population pyramid, after making it damned expensive to become parents.

          Reply
    1. NN Cassandra

      It would be interesting to know how they want to “force” anyone to supply things when given factory can’t run without gas and/or electricity, and there is none to get?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        There is always a ‘supply’ of something needed. The trick is to manage the supply. So, in the case of natural gas, the “authorities” will steer available supplies of said natural gas away from domestic uses, such as heating, etc. and toward “necessary” uses such as preferred industrial purposes.
        It’s all in the priorities.

        Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Are There Too Many Farms in the World? New research on agricultural productivity in developing countries’

    Coming right out and saying it, aren’t they? So farms in western countries that do nothing but grow flowers to be used once and thrown away are OK but small farms that actually feed people in places like are just not up to standard? So lets look at what happens under this plan which I will refer to as Operation Latifundia. Bigger farms will have to buy machinery and thus get themselves into debt. And likely they will be ‘encouraged’ to buy fertilizers and pesticides from western firms. And here they are talking about eliminating 82% of all the farms in India. Of course a lot of farmers and labourers will have no work nor money to buy food so they will have to migrate to a city to sell their labour at below par wages. It’s an old idea. And of course the first season that those bigger farms run into trouble, the banks can move in, take them over and then sell them to a multinational agricultural corporation for cheap. That corporation will then grow food for export only so that India will be forced to import their food and thus be extremely vulnerable to outside pressure while those corporations make out like bandits.

    Reply
    1. flora

      So they the WEF crowd want to control the food supply and the energy supplies, and reduce both. Does anybody see where this is going?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Yes. Time to “prepare.”
        [NC needs a side bar item for “euphemisms.”] (I know, I know, it’s an assignment. Someone has to say it. I’ll take one for the ‘team.’) {I really hope the NC “Doghouse” is not heated by natural gas.}

        Reply
      2. Mike Mc

        Climate change is here and this is the Elites response?

        Only hope I’ve found lately is The Ministry for The Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. Short of the radical solutions (in the face of catastrophes) described in the book, we’re doomed.

        Some obscure energy NC links have offered glimmers of hope but…

        Reply
    2. Adam1

      I had to read parts of the article twice. It’s highly misleading if you don’t catch the nuance. They repeatedly discuss farm productivity which I would suspect most people to understand as agricultural (food) output, but what they really mean is net farm owner/family income (profitability).

      What they also don’t specifically say, they just talk around, is that to do this you need to convert a bunch of small farmers into farm workers which means a loss of independence and wealth as they sell their land. And that’s assuming you’re still working as 16% will not be in agriculture anymore but it’s just assumed they’ve got some other kind of employment.

      Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy – Covert Action

    Indeed, the 75-year history of U.S. efforts to destroy the sovereignty of the Soviet and Russian states is an unending provocation.

    So are the 100 Dem Senators who voted for endless billions ignorant of the long history of the USA meddling in Ukraine? Do they get their information from the MSM and actually believe it? If I know the nefarious role of the CIA in Ukraine – much better now after having read the article – is it possible they don’t know it? No, I think the Senators know the history better than I do and unanimously voted the way they did in order to support their true constituents and allowing the MSM to propagandize the population into conformity, which most know is their true function.

    After the mandatory forcing of vaccines on pain of losing my job and the unanimous support for keeping the killing machine operating in Ukraine instead of negotiating a peace, the DNC has forever lost my support.

    Reply
    1. YankeeFrank

      Don’t be so sure our legislators know anything about the history of Ukraine or much of anything else for that matter. They know how the party (donors) tells them to vote and they do it. Our national purpose and government directed and coordinated policy is long gone. Didn’t you notice how we lurch from one catastrophe to the next without ever fixing the underlying problems? The profit motive is not a sustainable basis for national endeavor and the people up top are the most uninformed and delusional of all.

      Reply
    2. Lex

      Some are ignorant because we’ve reached a stage in national “development” where yes, the ruling class believes the propaganda produced for the masses to manufacture consent. Others don’t care. And at least a few are fully on board. Let’s not forget that “titans of the senate” went to Kiev to speak to the Maidan protests standing next to known neo-Nazis with almost certain connections to US intelligence or that the current POTUS had the Ukraine brief as VP and trusted friends at State (who also hung around with known neo-Nazis) made sure that the coup government was primarily composed of US intelligence assets and friendlies. Everyone knew their political ideology and it’s now impossible to conclude that it was just a marriage of convenience. It was ideologically acceptable to US leadership.

      Reply
    3. pjay

      – ‘Putting Ukrainian battle successes into cold, hard perspective’ – Responsible Statecraft

      – ‘Ukraine: The CIA’s 75-year-old Proxy’ – Covert Action

      It was interesting to read these two pieces back-to-back. The first represents the furthest reaches of allowable mainstream reflection from the “realist” end of that spectrum. The latter covers the rest of the very large iceberg underneath the water that is never acknowledged.

      Reply
    4. Henry Moon Pie

      “is it possible they don’t know it?”

      This was a question I was pondering after hearing Jim Cramer preaching that Powell had to keep up the interest rate pressure until people were forced to go back to work. A myth seems to have taken hold of the billionaire class, fostered in part by dear old Larry Summers, that the Trump money and the Biden money (direct payments) have spoiled those worthless eaters, and now we must get tough and make things so hard that they’ll have to go back to work.

      No mention of the estimated 4 million out with Covid aftereffects. No discussion of how many are missing because of vax mandates. No consideration given to what the lack of government-provided daycare might have on labor availability.

      Is Cramer that blinded by his fanatic love for capitalism? Is this just the assigned pitch from the billionaires, using the morality angle to justify policies that will harm most of the public while specially benefiting them? At this point, it’s hard to know, but when I see idiot PMCs at the top level repeatedly gather to spread Covid among themselves, I lean on the side of deluded.

      Reply
    5. GramSci

      Late to the party, but I recently found a copy of Sayers and Kahn’s Great Conspiracy (1946, Little, Brown).

      No surprise if you follow the great arc of history, but Ukraine has been on the capitalist hit-list since WWI (never mind Attila the Hun).

      Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon orders audit of clandestine information warfare: report”

    And here is an example of where all this money goes with this one from the 4th PSYOP Group-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA4e0NqyYMw (3:35 mins)

    The comments below it are worth scanning through. And if you don’t believe that this is not also done at home in the US, well, I can get you a good price on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    Reply
  8. Wukchumni

    Hungry bears are getting desperate in Montana High Country News
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Same story here, our extreme drought put the whammy on berry production in the higher climes leading to missed meals and bruins are making their way down to the foothills where the acorns are ripening…

    I walked all over the many splendored acres of the all cats & no cattle ranch yesterday and saw around a dozen piles of bear scat-some of it of recent vintage.

    With the exception of one pile which had plastic embedded in it-no doubt the result of dumpster dining, said scat was full of natural food such as unmasticated acorns.

    Its gonna be interesting as more acorns ripen in the next month, and might we have another bear invasion such as 2015 when there were 100-150 in tiny town…

    Reply
  9. Tom Stone

    The pandemic IS over for about 500 Americans every day.
    I’m sure that number can be significantly increased without too much effort…

    Reply
  10. .Tom

    What does Pettis mean here?

    > property … becomes the main locus of distributional conflicts.

    Distribution of what over what? Conducts between whom?

    Reply
    1. russell1200

      Distribution of wealth. As noted in his previous sentence.

      He is, almost certainly correctly, of the opinion that Chinese monetary policies have put a crimp on the wealth of the Chinese citizenry, and particularly put a damper on consumer income. The money flows into property at the expense of more balanced consumer spending.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “‘We’re Working 24/7’: Ukraine Keeps Its War Machine Humming”

    From what I heard, most of the Ukraine’s military gear is being repaired and serviced in places like Poland rather than in the Ukraine. But it is a neat trick if their war machine is still humming, especially as the Russians are knocking off more and more power production plants. Dima at the Military Summary channel was talking about this in a recent video and used night-time satellite images to demonstrate his point-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faHEzfAUPpQ&t=1098s

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      Now that explains why Rada approved the 100 hour workweek recently. Now they can keep the few sods still available to hum the machine working three sifts in a row.

      Reply
  12. lyman alpha blob

    In six days, NASA is running a Planetary Defense test mission where they will attempt to redirect an asteroid. I believe you’ll be able to watch it live. Details here – DART Mission.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      They will attempt to redirect an asteroid? Is this the part where we say ‘Omygod. Omygod. We’re all going to die!’

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      It’s a shame that Bruce Willis is now sunk into dementia (aphasia.) He would have made a perfect “front man” for this mission. Imagine his dulcet tones coming across as the voice of Mission Control.

      Reply
  13. Polar Socialist

    Re: Viking Textiles Show Women Had Tremendous Power

    All respect to Dr. Smith and her valuable work, but this was a hot topic already 40 years ago, when I was really, really into archeology and even studied for an entry exam.

    Here’s [jpg via wikimedia] a reconstruction they made in late 70s from findings in a grave from around 1020 CE. It shows that women did not only create wealth, but some of them also had wealth and a high status in their society.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, it seems its impossible to write something like that these days without insisting that somehow the male dominated establishment has gotten it all wrong. There were extensive viking excavations in the 1970’s in Ireland which I followed avidly even before I (briefly) studied archaeology, and there was a huge focus on the domestic – not specifically ‘womens’ archaeology, but on cooking and textiles and so on and so forth (there are some amazingly well preserved textiles preserved in the National Museum in Dublin). Even back then it was made clear to me that while studying weapons and warriors was fun, ‘real’ archaeologists focused on the mundane and domestic in order to get a true insight into the society. Textile studies is of necessity a small subset of archaeology for the obvious reason that very little survives and what does survive is rarely likely to have been representative.

      Reply
      1. KD

        It might make sense to go further: militarism is generally good for the status of females. If you kill off a significant amount of young men, the sex skew of the society favors women. When women are scarce, you tend to see norms intended to prevent women from leaving powerful men, whereas when plentiful, those norms are weaker. Obviously, polygamy exacerbates this tendency as well, creating an artificial scarcity (careful or private equity will find a new business model). Also, with less young men around, women provide necessary labor. Probably monogamy and militarism are best for the status of women, polygamy and pacifism the worst. Status of women was pretty high in Sparta relative to other cities.

        Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            The Anglo-American ideology is totalitarian. It refuses to recognize or value any action it didn’t cause, and regularly usurps credit for actions that happened outside or even despite it. Beware of monists.

            Reply
          2. KD

            Polyandry is different–that would artificially increase the supply of men–and create an effective female heavy mate skew.

            Reply
        1. russell1200

          This seems logical. But oddly, the opposite seems to be the case.

          There is a noted correlation between the status of women and the attitude toward female children. Places where female children are not viewed in a particularly negative context, and thus not prone to female infanticide, tend to have more women, but oddly enough also have women with relatively greater autonomy/power: Sparta would be an example. Places where female children are viewed negatively, tend to have less females, and the females less freedom. There are lots of examples here, but Athens (with its cloistered women) is a stark example.

          The Vikings were somewhat polygamous. They were particularly eager to capture female slave. Though they would often sell them to the wealthy and even more polygamous Arabs, it has recently been noted that the early Icelandic settlers were Nordic men and Irish women. So how much power a woman had probably was highly situational.

          Reply
        2. hunkerdown

          Nah, “Team Gender” is childish reactionary stuff, and you project the Calvinist socioeconomic model onto peoples to whom it is not applicable. I suggest you read more David Graeber, less Jordan Peterson.

          Reply
          1. KD

            I haven’t read Peterson. I try to avoid exposure to Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro if possible. Graeber’s work on debt I found to be brilliant, but his other stuff seems like the search for the Historical Utopia. In my book, Genesis may not be literally true, but the part about God kicking humans out of Eden, putting those curses on them and setting an angel with a flaming sword in front to guard it is pretty close to the truth, if childish reactionary stuff. And its “Team Sex”. . . its all hormones, upper body strength and how thick your skull is to avoid blunt trauma death, not whether you wear dresses or use some new pronoun.

            Reply
    2. Cat Burglar

      But which women had power?

      During the raiding period, Viking society was a slave-owning, slave-trading society. There is no mention of this in the article. How many of the powerful women did the work? This documentary helped me think about the social conditions the enslaved might have lived under.

      The presentation of this textile research suffers from a blind spot about class.

      Reply
  14. .human

    I feel so sorry for Puerto Rican’s plight, but blaming it on lack of federal representation is mis-direction at best. Look at how PG&E has gotten away with murder, literally.

    Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Nearly One Third Of Homes In US Purchased By Investors, New Study Reveals NWPB.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    AirBnB et al have been quite good at providing excellent returns on investors money and no doubt quite the driver in many of the purchases.

    You can only get around half of the income from a yearly lease on a rental, versus a short term vacation rental, so that’s where the moolah is. Should we go into a recession an awful lot of these rental homes will struggle to find customers, as travel is typically the first thing that gets hit hard.

    6% interest rates are making these garage mahals not so profitable to buy in the current market, and in what is certainly a first, housing bubbles all over the world are retreating as if in lockstep.

    Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      While the gross income from short term rentals is quite a bit higher than long term rentals, so are the maintenance costs.
      And the initial capital investment is also higher because vacation rentals need to be nicely furnished.
      The net increase in income is about 25-30%.

      Reply
  16. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Viking Textiles Show Women Had Tremendous Power

    Does everything have to be “woke’ to get a click these days? I could barely take the first sentence –

    “Archaeology has a representation problem. For most of the time that scholars have been probing the human past, they have focused mainly on the activities of men to the exclusion of women.”

    My guess is the woman who wrote this dreck has never been anywhere near an archaeological dig. The single most ubiquitous artifact is pottery. Go into the warehouse for a dig, and you will find bags and bags and bags of broken pottery. The pot shards are analyzed to determine the contents of the container, which determines diets, cooking methods, etc. This is all extremely common. Both women and men were involved in the various processes surrounding the construction and use of pottery.

    Maybe this woman is thinking of the 19th century treasure hunters like Schliemann, however archaeology hasn’t been done like that for a long time. This idea that were just discovering how much women contributed to society is absolute bunk. Anyone who wanted to know the contributions women made to keeping things running could have just asked my grandmother, who worked the farm for years and did all the cooking and raising kids besides. Men and women shared responsibilities because they had to. It’s been that way for a long time and it seems like it’s only the modern PMC types who don’t realize it.

    Scientific American has gone down the woke road before in recent years and they should be ashamed of how far their publication has fallen.

    Reply
    1. MarqueJaune

      Somehow I do not regret having cancelled my SciAm subscrition after 27 years… Went back to where I started with the french science magazines, like Science et Vie and Sciences et Avenir…
      These days they’re just so much more readable…

      Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Uganda condems EU resolution slamming oil pipeline”

    The European Union’s Parliament urged the international community ‘to exert maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders’ to stop oil activities around Lake Albert? As that pipeline is heading east through Tanzania and you have the China National Offshore Oil Corporation involved, I am going to take a wild guess and say that that oil would be heading to China and not the EU. Being Captain Obvious here, would the EU say boo if that oil was heading to them instead? Are we going to hear from the Popular People’s Front of Uganda? Or maybe the Tanzanian People’s Front? Will Greenpeace send a fleet to stop any oil being shipped because they love the environment so much. Have the protestors recruited form the kids of the local PMCs turned out into the streets yet? Are there any brand new NGOs with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy and the Soros organization setting up shop right now? Ladies and gentlemen – place your bets.

    Reply
  18. Pat

    I look at it a little differently.
    The UK has real problems. As does the US. Unlike most here my one regret about Elizabeth’s extended funeral is that our Congress wasn’t invited and that they along with the Biden’s weren’t there for the week.
    While we were probably saved from Biden doing something destructive for most of the last 48 hours, Congress was still working. I envy the Brits knowing that Liz Truss and crew were too wrapped in ceremony to be putting their no doubt make matters worse plans into action. If only Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Blinken, Manchin etc had been distracted.

    Reply
  19. rivegauche

    Son #1 moved to Missoula about 2 yrs ago. Full-time student living in University housing for non-traditional students. Does a lot of hiking, running, biking in the hills and forests. Says he never leaves home without bear spray. Thanks for this link. Sent to him just now.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      In remote parts of Japan, children go to school with bells on their schoolbags to warn off any wandering bears, they are surprisingly common in some parts. But I’ve never heard of bear spray being used by anyone there. When I was bikepacking in west central Montana the locals up the hills would usually dryly tell me that the local grizzlies loved the smell of bear spray, only a gun could dissuade them.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The black bears here are really more akin to goofy big dogs than a threat, but people tend to terrified of them, and the most annoying ones are hikers with bear bells on their boots, for it sounds like a sleigh ride from about 100 yards away.

        Nobody has been killed by a bear in Cali since 1875, and it was a grizzly that did the deed.

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            The rifle used to dispatch the last Grizzly in Cali in 1926 is on display in our museum in a glass cabinet. It’s an 1892 model and i’ve held it before and it feels a little weird knowing that.

            Reply
            1. AndrewJ

              The last grizzly in Colorado was dispatched by an arrow. No bow was involved, however. It was hand to hand, or hand to paw as it were.
              (Some say that there are bear footprints still found in northwest Colorado that are far too large for the local black bears. Colorado’s fish and game authorities, however, are adamant: There are No Grizzlies in Colorado. Still others whisper that that’s because those authorities do not want a new Federal millstone of regulations to administer.)

              Reply
          2. MT_Wild

            Occupied grizzly habitat in Montana is currently expanding, not contracting.

            There are more grizzly bears over a wider range in Montana currently than there has been for at least 50 years.

            Generally speaking most people forget that the grizzly bear is a plains animal and in the face of human persecution the species retreated to the forests and mountains. They are now expanding back into the plains and taking advantage of agricultural crops as a way to fatten up for the Winter.

            Reply
        1. Lee

          While black bears generally prefer flight to fight when encountering a human, a black bear facing starvation or with cubs may behave otherwise. I got treed in Yosemite when as a callow youth I was overwhelmed by cuteness, and got too close to a pair of black bear cubs. Fortunately, it happened to be an apple tree, so I dissuaded mama from coming up after me by tossing her apples.

          Grizzlies, OTOH, whether hungry or not, are prone to attack humans on general principles. According to one expert I read, they evolved on the open plains with little cover in which to hide and therefore aggression was the best course of action when threatened.

          I have spent many enjoyable hours observing grizzlies and have on occasion observed them hunting and taking prey such as elk calves and on one occasion a bison. I admire them greatly, but always from afar through a scope.

          Reply
          1. Eureka Springs

            I know that apple orchard and family of black bear. A bunch of us first met them back in about ’87 while walking through the orchard at night. We were much too close for comfort when we saw them, maybe 25 feet, made up for it by instantly turning into Olympic sprinters. One friend ran so fast I forgot all about the bear and just fell out laughing. I really do think it was a record breaking sprint. Fortunately it was Fall, the trees were over loaded with apples. The bear couldn’t have cared less about us while feasting. That was the beginning of many years ritual with what would be life long friends, the bear and a night camping behind half dome which we timed for the infamous full moon over dome, just before they take down the cable for winter.

            The most aggressive black bear in terms of trying to get campers food in Yosemite were atop El Capitan.

            Reply
        2. cfraenkel

          How do you identify bear scat? Look for the bear bells.

          Around here (Vancouver hills), the black bears that are a problem get that way because of the local idiots who think it’s cute to feed them. Then they start with tearing apart the ‘bear-poof’ garbage cans, then they graduate to raiding refrigerators, then they get shot. Makes you wish the bozzos at the start of the chain were forced to be witnesses. See what you did? Nothing else seems to be working.

          Reply
    2. Roland

      Here in central British Columbia, I make a lot of noise when on mountain trails. There’s little I can do to change a bear’s mind, but I can help them make an informed choice.

      Bear attacks are unusual, but they occur often enough in this region that one should take precautions while in the bush. I know a friend-of-a-friend who was attacked by a grizzly (he fought it off with an axe until he reached the rifle in his truck, then killed it). One of my mother’s acquaintances was mauled by a grizzly.

      When I was a treeplanter back in the ’80’s, I saw other planters chased by bears. On one big contract we had to fly-in. Our usual chopper pilot was very by-the-book, but on a few memorable occasions we were flown by another guy, who was a stereotypical “crazy ‘Nam vet.” He once played around, flying a few feet above the stumps, herding a yearling grizzly towards another crew of planters, just for kicks. That’s not a made-up story–I was the front passenger on that ride. The glass floor of the Jet Ranger offered a great view of the comedy as it unfolded below. It was bad, it was wrong, it was fun.

      In 1990 we ended up killing one black bear who kept coming into our camp. There was a Frenchman on the crew who was a crack shot, and borrowed the foreman’s gun to make the kill. I remember, though, that the poor bear ran nearly 100 metres before it fell. It was a shame, because we had idiots in the camp who left food in their tents, and who might well have been to blame for the whole thing. Remonstrations were futile. Luckily they quit not long afterwards, partly because they couldn’t handle the gruelling work, but partly also because they were freaked out by the half-wild skulkers we encountered out there–people were never more than perhaps grid-adjacent. That’s a whole other story :-)

      I guess I’m an old rambler now. Lost my own point. Oh yeah, bears in central BC. A rare, but present, hazard. Make noise, carry spray, watch for sign, cache your food away from camp, and control your dogs.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        When I first started going to Yellowstone, I read Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance by Stephen Herrero. People doing the wrong things figures large, particularly as regards food. Yellowstone park banned people from feeding bears and stopped bears from feeding at the garbage dumps in 1970. According to Herrero and others, much as with humans, highly processed human foods, because they are often so easily and quickly digestible, provide a drug-like rush and are quite addictive.

        Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        I’m always in anticipation of seeing a bear* but take no precautions against the quadradudepeds as they are pretty mellow.

        * Maybe i’m up to 950 sightings almost all in the Sierra Nevada so far.

        Reply
  20. PlutoniumKun

    All hail our postliberal prince The Critic. Commentary:

    Establishment projecting it’s own attitude onto everyone else.

    I’m now getting a good idea why they had to take down corbyn.

    Corbyn is a lot closer to the new King than people think, I suspect they’d get on well if they met. They both come from a very specific communitarian strand of thought in English life going back to the 19th century radicals which is shared by quite a few old style socialists and an increasingly rare brand of conservative. In the 1990’s I spent some time in anti-road camps and it was surprising how much common ground the odd aristo of the old school who would occasionally join up had with the anarchists and Class War types. I recall being quite surprised to find that while nobody seemed to like him personally, a surprising number of green oriented leftists had a lot of respect for Charle’s opinions. His views on architecture and urban design were widely mocked at the time, but in at least some respect he’s been proven correct.

    Reply
    1. dbk

      Glad to see someone else read this piece; I think from what I knew previously of Charles that it’s quite a good representation of his social – political – economic philosophy. Oddly enough, I was somewhat reminded of Nathan Robinson (Current Affairs) and his views on re-humanizing cities by making them more beautiful and encouraging human interactions as opposed to alienation.

      The first thing I thought of (honest) when I heard of Elizabeth’s passing was “Oh Charles and Liz Truss, I’d like to be a fly on the wall during their weekly meetings. ” He’s a lot better educated, more reflective, of a more practical inclination and – obviously – a lot older than Truss. He’s had 50 years to prepare for such encounters; she had a few weeks. I’m having trouble imagining what sort of relationship they’ll have.

      Reply
      1. BobW

        I had the misfortune to have to walk in downtown Phoenix in the eighties. Completely inhuman, entirely built for motor vehicles, and the sun reflecting from asphalt and concrete was an absolute health hazard.

        Reply
    2. Stephen

      I have been to Poundbury referred to in the article quite a few times. It’s a well set up development and I could enjoy living there too. The original idea I think though was that people would live and work there, with various craft or community businesses providing employment. Consistent with Charles’ communitarian strand to create a self sustaining community.

      But given that the cost of some of the houses / apartments is as high as £1million (not all of them of course) in a part of England where local salaries are not at London levels, it is not clear how well that aspiration worked out. Certainly, you do see lots of cars driving in and out in the mornings. There do not seem either to be so many communitarian businesses beyond a few independent retailers and coffee shops either. It sums up his “politics” a little: lots of high minded aspiration but the practicality of applying these ideas en masse is not so obvious.

      For the monarchy to survive, Charles needs to take the same line as the queen and not play a part in politics, however well meaning he may think he is. There will always be somebody who disagrees. Bagehot as long ago as 1867 described monarchy as the “dignified” part of the constitution versus the “efficient”. That’s how it needs to stay. For its own sake.

      I sympathize very much with many of his views (although not all) by the way!

      Reply
    3. digi_owl

      Yeah, they may be rich etc, but i can’t shake the idea that royalty are different from a similarly rich business person.

      If you look around you had that almost trite sounding noblesse oblige. And in Japan you find giri, that i am tempted to claim encompass something similar.

      Reply
  21. Lex

    Yale’s advice for farming in India is potentially disturbing. It all makes “sense” in the western idea of how to improve efficiency, but other western efficiency improvements in Indian agriculture have only produced crushing debt and suicide epidemics. And while the productivity improvements are probably real, we can see the end result of this process in US farms where even the biggest farms are saddled in debt, generally being profitable only through government subsidies of some sort.

    I don’t have the details, but apparently one of the ways Russia built its agricultural sector over the last decade or so is a blended method that gives smaller farms the economies of scale usually reserved for larger farms. As I understand it, a semi-state enterprise buys and maintains the large, modern farm machinery and leases it out (likely including the operators) to farms. This solves the “first you need a $500,000 piece of equipment” problem. That’s not going to work for the very small farms of India but would likely work for a moderate enlargement of Indian farm size without running into the commodity agriculture trap of always having to get bigger to maintain revenue capable of supporting ever bigger operations and the equipment necessary to manage ever bigger agricultural operations.

    Reply
    1. Adam1

      I had to reread parts of the article myself, but it’s misleading. They aren’t talking about food productivity but profitability. So in the end they are really suggesting 16% of current farmers find some other work and sell their land (real wealth) while another large group sell their land too and become farm workers instead of farm owners.

      Reply
          1. Mel

            :) You don’t have to change capitalism, you just have to replace it. Lex’s comment implies that Russia went from food importer to food exporter in a couple of decades by doing capital investment on behalf of the farmers who were already there.

            Reply
            1. spud farmer

              Has Russia really replaced capitalism? Its tinkered with it a bit and given the state more control over certain aspects but no country on earth, not even China, has yet replaced capitalism.

              Reply
              1. Mel

                In this instance, yes. The Western Way, per Michael Hudson’s Killing the Host, is for banks to get each farmer in debt for $500,000 per tractor, and take a slice off the top of the farm’s profits for a long time afterwards. Financing the equipment collectively de-empowers the banks and potentially re-empowers the farmers.

                Reply
          2. spud farmer

            Ha, yes exactly. What the people freaking out over the WEF and its “great reset” don’t seem to get is that the WEF is just a talking shop and reputation laundering service for very powerful capitalists and their government enablers who are doing what powerful capitalists and their enablers have always done. The “you’ll own nothing” thing was a cringy ad campaign designed to put a positive, technophilic spin on rentier capitalism where everything people need they have to perpetually lease from the friendly global capitalist.

            The WEF is pretty terrible at messaging and giving a Bond villainesque creep like Klaus Schwab free rein to publicly indulge in his dystopian fantasies hasn’t done wonders for its public image. Sometimes I wonder if that’s the point – drawing all the fire while in the background their sponsors quietly go about dividing up the globe and its resources amongst themselves.

            I’ve had more than a few people tell me the WEF is a front for global socialism and communism and in a way that perspective, while demonstrably incorrect, actually helps the “globalists” by erasing capitalism from the picture and focusing ire on the right’s favourite red herring.

            Reply
            1. flora

              My 2 cents: capitalism is a good servant but a bad master.
              Shorter: well regulated, democratically regulated capitalism is a good servant. See the US New Deal’s anti-monopoly and banking regulations.
              Unregulated capitalism is a bad master. See China or the WEF and the globalists.

              Reply
                1. flora

                  Depends on the comparison you’re making. China has been absolutely authoritian since before Mao. Mao just took up the ancient empires’ authoritarianism for his own ends. So there’s that.

                  Reply
              1. Henry Moon Pie

                Regulating capitalism is like putting a serial murderer under house arrest. Just how long did your New Deal reforms last? A little over 40 years? And all that time, the capitalists were constructing the means to remove those reforms. It took them about 20 years.

                Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    Buckeye trees learned long ago to go dormant around the middle of the summer.

    Its a common thing for people that aren’t aware of this to think the trees are dying as all the leaves shrivel up and go tan-but not really, they’re just putting all their effort into producing buckeyes* which are typically about the size of a 6 year old’s fist.

    But not this year, the buckeyes are about 1/2 the size of normal across the board.

    This correlates with Giant Sequoia cones some 5,000 feet higher in altitude which are also diminutive this year and about 1/3rd to 1/2 their normal size.

    This to me is a great indicator of mucho stress as this is the progeny of both varieties of trees were talking about here. The baums have chosen to not really put out, and survive…for now.

    * Buckeyes are poisonous and Native Americans utilized them to kill fish in the river, and if the acorn harvest failed, they were pressed into service as a survival food, and it took a lot of preparation to rid them of their toxicity and they didn’t taste that good, and only had about 30% protein & carbohydrates compared to double that amount in acorns.

    Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought LA ”

    Fortunately your Rev is on the job. Using a South Park episode as inspiration, I have the perfect solution. People are rightly upset about fresh water being used to create waves in the middle of a desert, right? But I am willing to bet that they would not be upset if it was second-hand water being used to run that water park. Yes, that’s right. Use pee water for those waves and that way everybody will be happy. All part of a streaming service. Only thing is that you have to take care that you do not have too much pee water going into that Park or else that could be disastrous as show in the video below. So people in La Quinta may have to limit their peeing to certain set hours of the day and just hold onto it if it is not their time slot-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1Fe_usip-g (1:36 mins)

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      If only we had an ocean coast extending about 840 miles, then we could use the water intended for the surf park in the desert for something useful like drinking.

      Reply
    2. juno mas

      Well, I have relatives who live in La Quinta and the issues extend beyond water use. While there are many world class golf courses in the area (using treated water for irrigation), these courses do not create the traffic congestion or light pollution that this surf park is expected to generate.

      Reply
  24. Lex

    Uh oh, Bloomberg types have started to discover the patterns of developed state collapse. The primary one being the economy and then government becoming essentially arms of organized crime.

    “The risk Italy faces now is a proliferation of what the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime calls “the mafia entrepreneur.” Italy was the first country where this role was identified more than a decade ago. Specifically, “the mafia entrepreneur” typically involves an adherent to an organized crime group — with identities concealed by a shell company — taking a minority stake and effective control of a legitimate business.”

    Seriously? The UN didn’t bother to identify this role in post-Soviet Russia or Ukraine? Apparently it’s only a problem worth identifying in some countries. Every one of the “dissident” oligarchs holed up in London was a mafia entrepreneur in Russia and Ukraine has been directly governed by mafia entrepreneurs until the brief coup government of 2014 and the election of Zelensky in 2019 when Ukraine became indirect rule by mafia entrepreneur. (granted, this has been supplanted by becoming a puppet state of US intelligence and they’re trying to clean up the tracks, Kolomoisky’s place in Ukraine was raided last week and he’s fully sanctioned)

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      Specifically, “the mafia entrepreneur” typically involves an adherent to an organized crime group — with identities concealed by a shell company — taking a minority stake and effective control of a legitimate business.”

      Sounds like a “bank” to me.

      Reply
  25. Carla

    I check the daily news rundown on Medpage Today to stay on top of the horrors of the collapsing U.S. empire. This morning’s selections strike me as a remarkably apt snapshot of our, uhm, so-called “society,” beginning with one highlighted in the headline: “Don’t Cook Chicken in NyQuil.”

    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/100814?xid=nl_mpt_morningbreak2022-09-20&eun=g2126056d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningBreak_092022&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_Daily_News_Update_active

    Reply
  26. Jose

    How Long Was the Queue?

    I was in Madrid in 1975 when Franco died. The line to view his body was at least half a mile long by family width on a sunny fall day. The joke was half wanted to pay their respects and the other half really wanted to make sure he was dead.

    Reply
  27. The Rev Kev

    Just logging off here for the night but before I do. Lambert put a link in Water Cooler a coupla months ago of a fast food place that had been sealed up behind some boards for a coupla decades and so was lost in time. Well, not long ago this guy found the same for a computer store in a strip mall in a small Oklahoma city that had been sealed up since 2002. New copies of Windows XP anyone?

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxe3k9/this-abandoned-computer-store-is-a-time-capsule-of-early-2000s-tech

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      On that note, while COVID was going full bore there was a computer repair place in Texas that was shut down when the owner died. Apparently he has a habit of buying up bankruptcy lots, and so the attached warehouse was packed to the rafters with old, and sometimes very rare, systems.

      The local collectors luckily managed to convince the family to not scrap it all. And instead implemented visitor days where people could come in and dig around for interesting object to take home, for a fee.

      Sadly the last news i read indicated that it had been broken into, and some rare systems set aside for a museum had been stolen.

      Reply
  28. Questa Nota

    Lucas electrical components

    Jaguar, or Jag-u-ar for those over the pond, was notorious for those dodgy components, among other maladies.
    The saying was that you had a Jag and a spare car for when the former was in the shop.
    Reliability improved over the years and ownership changes and there is still a hint of that styling that enthralled many people, young and olde, over the years.
    Convertible XKE V-12, a joy to behold.

    Reply
    1. MRLost

      For those of us who rode British motorcycles – Triumph, BSA, Norton – with Lucas electrical systems it was always, “Lucas, Prince of Darkness”. And one of the best bumperstickers I ever saw was on a MG and read, “The Parts Falling Off this Automobile are of the Finest British Manufacture”.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Saw a sharp looking mid 1970’s Triumph TR6 in Visalia the other day on the road, and it was a nice car and had never been restored, but owing to Lucas perhaps, it was perhaps the first TR6 i’d seen somebody driving in decades.

        Reply
  29. Lee

    Beware the rise of the black box algorithm FT. “The factors underpinning the Compas system, used in the US to measure the likelihood of reoffending, are not publicly available because they are treated as company property.” Oh.

    This would seem to be open to a challenge based on defendants’ right to confront their accuser. Interrogate the machine, as has been done with facial recognition technology.

    Reply
  30. chris

    Just signed up for the dumb bivalent booster that probably won’t do anything. I’m annoyed that the people I work with and my family think this is a good thing to do. It won’t prevent infection, it won’t prevent transmission, there’s little evidence that it improves upon the protection offered by the prior shots, the latest omicron variants seem to be escaping these even faster than we thought they would. But my family has lots of immunocompromised people in it, so I’ll bend the knee to Pfizer and get stuck again.

    So tired of how everything in this country is broken.

    Reply
    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Your logic escapes me. Regardless of the number of immunocompromised people in your social circle why take a shot that you claim won’t prevent infection, won’t prevent transmission, and may even harm you? What good will come from getting the shot? I’m not intending to pick on you. I’ve read many comments here on NC from those who decry the various COVID shots but go ahead and get them anyway. All I can conclude from this is many of those who think the shots are largely useless still retain a tiny hope that they actually will work as advertised. Some kind of blind faith I suppose.

      Reply
  31. Eclair

    Feeling much like Amfortas, we had a long conversation yesterday with the owner of the feed store a couple of towns over. We were on a hunt for seed for cover crops: hairy vetch or forage radish. (We had already planted buckwheat in the plots vacated by the onions and the peas. It germinates quickly and after a month, had become a ‘bee pasture,’ with white blossoms attracting swarms of pollinators.)

    We bought our usual supply of winter rye, and some purple top turnip seed to experiment with, at our local feed store, but they had none of the other seeds we were seeking. So, it being a rainy morning, we drove to another feed store over the border in Pennsylvania, Trump country. Turns out they had no seed either; we will have to order early next season. But, the owner and my husband, being both local history enthusiasts, got into a long discussion on history, old photographs, old books, etc. We talked about crop covers, deer problems, the prevalence of indian hemp (or dog bane) in local hayfields, and our collection of old Gravely mowers, both push and riding, and her son’s membership in his local antique tractor society. We were bonding.

    I had noticed the pamphlets for Dr Oz and Doug Mastriano, Republican candidates for the US Senate and Pennsylvania Governorship, so when she mentioned concern over politics, I tried to change the subject, but she soldiered on. About how she is an optimist and that things will be better, but first they will get a lot lot worse. We had discussed an early 1900’s KKK handbook she had for sale and how they were big in Pennsylvania and had religious roots (they hated Jews and Catholics?) Was this code? I was feeling anxious, not wanting to spoil our happy talk. But then she talked about how the military-industrial complex and their greed for more profits was taking this country down a ruinous path. And how the plan to kill off a large portion of the population was to begin with sending thousands of young men to die in foreign wars. OMG! I was agreeing with her!

    Gotta stop this. No more talking to ‘those people.’ The deplorables. I am soooooo confused and conflicted.

    Reply
  32. pjay

    Re: ‘What Happened to America’s Civil Libertarians?’ – Matt Taibbi, TK News

    Taibbi’s subhead asks the question: “It can’t all be because of Trump, can it?” Well, no. It’s about constructing the right ad campaign to persuade “liberals” and “progressives” to go along with the long-term expansion of the National Security State and its imperialist strategy that has been ongoing through both Republican and Democratic administrations without interruption for decades. Trump as leader of a “semi-fascist insurrection” is part of the sheep-herding strategy for the “left.” But so, too, is “humanitarian intervention,” “cosmopolitan (neo) liberal globalization,” “democracy promotion,” etc. A somewhat different campaign is required to target Republicans and right-wingers, but it’s all PR manipulation to sell a single product.

    I don’t know if Taibbi follows this line, since I was only able to read the opening. But his consistent support for civil liberties is very welcome given the bipartisan threat to their existence that continues to fester.

    Reply
  33. Mikel

    “AI Art Is Here and the World Is Already Different” New York Magazine.

    Despite the corporate take-over of art, music, and literature, these fields still produce to many rebellious thinkers for the establishment. So they turned lose dull-witted automatons to squeeze the life and joy out of them

    Reply
  34. Frank Little

    Re: Beware the rise of the black box algorithm

    Nice to see a mention of the COMPAS system, as it is indeed a great example of a black box algorithm, but this article only hints at its sinister role. I’ve been involved in prison advocacy/reform work for a few years now and we hear from people all the time about how these scores affect them and their loved ones. The scores are cited as grounds for denying someone parole despite it being essentially impossible to understand let alone dispute the score produced by this system. Conversely (and perversely), if COMPAS comes back with a score that suggests a low likelihood of re-offense, prison officials simply ignore the score in favor of other fuzzy criteria to justify continued incarceration.

    Lawyers trying to identify potential bias in both these scores and human evaluators have faced huge challenges trying to pry out basic data about how these scores are calculated and applied from prison administrators. I filed an open records request months ago to get more info on the contract between Equivant and the DOC and am still waiting. I suspect I will be for some time.

    While there has been lots of justified attention on the role of the war on drugs and corruption among police/prosecutors in fueling mass incarceration, another important factor is the length of sentences and the challenges incarcerated people face when trying to win release via parole and similar early release programs. This dynamic existed before the advent of tools like COMPAS, but in my experience they exist to provide another seemingly objective tool that only further entrenches the perverse incentives already rampant in US prisons.

    Reply
    1. lambert strether

      > open records request

      Please keep us posted.

      Also, alert reader ambrit has a similar request going. Any more NC readers doing this?

      Reply
    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Just looking for a link to it and found Sky News on YT. They’re already calling the Ukraine republic votes “sham referenda”.

      LOL

      Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      Looks as if Putin declined to take Macron’s call. When the DPR,LPR Kherson and Zaporozyhe approve referenda to join Russia, looks as if this means an attack on them is an attack on Russia itself. Wonder if this is prelude to mobilization.

      Reply
      1. Old Sovietologist

        Putin refused Macron a phone call for a reason. It was Macron who promised Putin that he would push through the peace agreements with Zelensky, but as it turned out, all it served to do was to distract Putin.

        Its a good old fashioned diplomatic “slap in the face” not just to Macron but all the EU leaders. Putin gave them an opportunity to change tack, but they chose the opposite course and decided to up the stakes.

        Reply
      1. Sibiryak

        Putin’s speech came at 9:00am Moscow time.

        Keep in mind Russia’s many time zones. Mine is four hours later than Moscow time. The farthest eastern zone is nine hours later!

        That’s at least one reason why the speech had to be postponed.

        Reply
        1. Old Sovietologist

          The decree on partial mobilization has been signed. The war with Ukraine/NATO is about to enter a new phase.

          Interesting that Putin also said that territorial integrity of Russia would be protected by all means. I suspect includes the use of tactical nuclear weapons. The die has been cast.

          Reply
          1. Old Sovietologist

            Shoigu announced 61,207 dead and 49,368 wounded Ukrainians. That figure is for regular army and doesn’t include mercenaries and Nazi battalions.

            Russia’s losses in the course of the conflict total 5,937 dead which looks about right and doesn’t include DPR and LPR Militias’s or Wagner I would suspect

            Some 90% of Russian wounded have returned to service.

            Reply
    3. Polar Socialist

      RIA is reporting that the date for referendums has been set as September 23-27.

      RBK was saying that Putin may comment the issue before the end of the day, but so far nothing. There’s still some time left, though.

      Several politicians from Duma and Federation Council have commented that Russia is not planning a mobilization for now.

      Reply
  35. MarkT

    The Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at the Queen’s funeral was interesting. He had strong words for the world’s politicians seated in front of him, and the media has been mostly quiet about it. To me he appeared agitated as he delivered them, and glared at the congregation. My editing:

    “Few leaders receive the outpouring of love we have seen….

    Her Late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed…..

    People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer. But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are forgotten.”

    Full text here:

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/in-full-archbishop-of-canterbury-e2-80-99s-sermon-at-queen-e2-80-99s-funeral/ar-AA11YZWf

    Reply
    1. Doug K

      Thanks for sharing the link. I’ll look at it soon. Frankly my initial reaction was that the sermon was kind of ho-hum. But I do remember that part and need to read it again. My sense is that the Brits are so reserved, including the clergy, that their meaning is often lost. (Imagine that sermon being given by US Episcopal Bishop Curry, who preached at Harry and Megan’s wedding.) One exception I remember was the eulogy for Diana given by her brother Charles Spencer (present surprisingly to me at the commital service at Windsor). Everyone knew what he was saying. And it says something that i still remember it.

      Reply
      1. MarkT

        Thinking about it, if you are person who adheres to certain moral principles, what better place to stick it to every political leader in the world than from the pulpit of Westminster Abbey?

        Apparently all of them got bussed there. With the exception of Biden, who arrived just after the rest and was made to wait while his lessers went in before him. He sat well back from leaders of the Commonwealth and Europe. On a par with China, apparently. Whose representative was the only person wearing a mask.

        Reply
  36. LawnDart

    Medvedev, Telegram, today 20.09.2022:

    Referendums in Donbass are of great importance not only for the systematic protection of residents of the ONR, the DPR and other liberated territories, but also for the restoration of historical justice.

    They completely change the vector of Russia’s development for decades. And not only our country. Because after they are held and the new territories are accepted into Russia, the geopolitical transformation in the world will become irreversible.

    Encroachment on the territory of Russia is a crime, the commission of which allows you to use all the forces of self–defense. But it is equally important that after the amendments to the Constitution of our state, no future leader of Russia, no official will be able to reverse these decisions.

    That is why these referendums are so feared in Kiev and in the West. That is why they need to be carried out.

    Translation should be fairly accurate, but someone should look for any nuance we otherwise not pick-up.

    Reaction (mine) is accurate: “S#!t. Putin and Shoigu’s speach might be a little too interesting…”

    Reply
    1. Lex

      I share your reaction. But I don’t think this is going to necessarily be open and total war. I do think it will be designed to free Russia’s hand from the significant constraints Putin put on the SMO and that will primarily be in the form of using as much of the actual Russian military as is necessary to achieve whatever their goals are. I expect that it will be upgraded to a Counter Terrorism Operation (CTO) whether the Ukrainian military or government get designated as terrorists may be immaterial. I also expect that Russia will not be satisfied with just the referenda oblasts but also a significant buffer zone, especially given the response rhetoric from Kiev about referenda negating any chance of negotiation. That all suggests the left bank of the Dnieper will be the line and Odessa will again be a Russian city.

      The west is already having a meltdown and with the high level activity at the UN this week it may become a very public meltdown. I don’t understand western behavior on this, everything they’ve done shows they want escalation but I don’t think that they actually do want escalation; perhaps they just assumed that they could escalate indefinitely without substantial response from Russia?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Winter is a coming crisis. I figure everything is coming to a head. The rumors are Kiev is running everyone up. 1000 dead soldiers a day isn’t sustainable.

        This might be why there was talk of nukes. If Kiev can’t win before the cold and Euro economies become crippled, it’s over. The hawks in the West need to back Biden into support beyond what we can part with.

        Reply
  37. Mickey Hickey

    From what I can deduce on Russian sources the expectation is a border from Myropillya to Sumy to Moldovan border running through the vicinity of Mohyliv-Podilskyi. It is perceived that a high price has been paid by Russia for the intrusion of USA-UK into Ukraine and the attempt to escalate what had been a low level of hostility between the true blue western Ukrainians and the Russo-Ukrns. A long term solution is required and Odessa which is very much seen in Russia as a jewel in the crown cannot be left to the mercy of western barbarians who will continue to foment civil war. This means the remaining part of Ukraine will not have access to the sea and will not have much arable land. This was not the goal the USA-UK set for itself which was the break up of Russia. Russian public opinion is supportive of a strong Russia with a strong leader who strenghtens Russia by incorporating the productive part Ukraine into Russia.

    Reply
  38. The Rev Kev

    ‘Really cool footage of a capybara running underwater’

    Man they can move fast. That must explain their unusual shape.

    Reply
  39. Wukchumni

    Blue plate special: Black Swan-prepared in a pyroclastic projection

    Wellington: New Zealand scientists have increased the alert level for the volcano below the country’s biggest lake, which caused the largest eruption on earth in the past 5000 years when it last exploded about 1800 years ago.

    In a statement, geological agency GeoNet said it had detected almost 700 small earthquakes below Lake Taupo, the caldera created by the giant volcano, and had raised the volcanic alert level to 1 from 0.

    The volcanic alert system is based on six escalating levels of unrest, but GeoNet notes that eruptions may occur at any level and levels may not move in sequence as activity can change rapidly.

    The Taupo volcano spewed more than 100 cubic kilometres of material into the atmosphere when it last erupted about 200 BC, devastating a large area of New Zealand’s central North Island in a period before human habitation. GeoNet says the eruption was the largest on the planet in the past 5000 years.

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/alert-level-raised-for-new-zealand-volcano-that-caused-largest-eruption-in-5000-years-20220920-p5bjln.html

    Reply

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