Links 9/24/22

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.


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.

* * *

The Mysterious, Vexing, and Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels Hakai

The inflation fight: are central banks going too far, too fast? FT

Bond Market Meltdown Captures Inflation Fears, Recession Forecasts, Capitulation Risk The Street


Why the Rush to Mine Lithium Could Dry Up the High Andes E360


In America, Clean Water Is Becoming a Luxury Mother Jones


Long-term neurologic outcomes of COVID-19 Nature. From the Discussion:

In this study [drawn from VA data] involving 154,068 people who had COVID-19, 5,638,795 contemporary controls and 5,859,621 historical controls, which altogether correspond to 14,064,985 person-years of follow up, we show that beyond the first 30 days of infection, people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of an array of neurologic disorders spanning several disease categories including stroke (both ischemic and hemorrhagic), cognition and memory disorders, peripheral nervous system disorders, episodic disorders, extrapyramidal and movement disorders, mental health disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, sensory disorders and other disorders including Guillain–Barré syndrome, and encephalitis or encephalopathy. The risks and burdens were evident in subgroups based on age, race, sex, obesity, smoking, ADI, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension or immune dysfunction. The risks were evident even in people who did not need hospitalization during the acute phase of the infection and increased according to the care setting of the acute phase of the disease from nonhospitalized to hospitalized to admitted to intensive care. The findings were consistent in comparisons involving the contemporary control group and the historical control group. The results were robust to challenge in sensitivity analyses; the application of negative-exposure and negative-outcome controls yielded results consistent with prior expectations. Altogether, our results show that the risks and burdens of neurologic disorders in the COVID-19 group at 12 months are substantial.

NOTE * Good thing, then, that the CDC’s “community levels” metric is weighted so that mitigation guidance is issued only after the hospitalization load (a lagging indicator) increases. Rochelle, Ashish, Jha, good job.

SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Attack Rates in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Household Contacts during Replacement of Delta with Omicron Variant, Spain Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC. 466 household contacts from 227 index cases . From the Abtstract: “Our data suggest vaccine evasion might be a cause of rapid spread of the Omicron variant. We recommend a focus on developing vaccines with long-lasting protection against severe disease, rather than only against infectivity.”

* * *

CDC says some nursing homes and hospitals no longer need to require universal masking CBS. Andy Cuomo? Is that you?

These parents are making DIY air purifiers for Philly schools. They want one in every city classroom. Philadelphia Inquirer (MR).

* * *

Is the Covid-19 pandemic over? The answer is more art than science Stat

Biden Says the Pandemic Is Over. Is It? BU Today. “From a fundamental scientific perspective, a pandemic cannot be declared over by a single country, since pandemics involve all countries.”


As US IPO Market Languishes, Listings Head East to Booming China Yahoo Finance (ctlieee).

The typical Chinese adult is now richer than the typical European adult, a new wealth report finds Insider

China shifts US bond holdings offshore, potentially beyond the reach of any future currency sanctions, report says Insider

Why are some shopping malls in Shanghai so few? Reporter’s visit: I can’t blame the epidemic, I have a hard injury What China Reads. In Shanghai, malls have recovered unevenly.

Australia considering buying first few nuclear submarines from the US instead of building them onshore Sydney Morning Herald

Solomon Islands’ prime minister, saying it had been maligned for China pact, denounces US South China Morning Post


Myanmar’s Multiple Crises: A Recipe for Disaster Reporting ASEAN

Leaders of S. Korea, Japan agree to strive to improve ties AP


INS Vikrant: Why India’s aircraft carrier is no match for China Al Jazeera


Iran protests flare anew hours after pro-government rallies Hurriyet Daily News

Ukraine expels the ambassador of Iran — because of the drones used by Russia in the war Babel

European Disunion

Italy’s election campaign ends, tensions between EU and right flares Reuters. Commentary:

Silvio Berlusconi: Ex-PM defends Russian war on eve of Italian election BBC

Old Blighty

Pound tumbles below $1.09 after Kwarteng’s £45bn tax cut package FT

A budget that harms everyone except the very rich Mainly Macro. Commentary:

The best hope is that the Tories will boot Truss out. Otherwise, disaster looms. Tax Research UK

I remember this also:

New Not-So-Cold War

Azov Delegation Visits the US Ukes, Kooks & Spooks (guurst). Lining up real estate opportunities and cable gigs, no doubt.

* * *

U.S. prepared to impose more costs on Russia over Ukraine referendums Reuters. Incomprehensibly, Ukraine shelling Donetsk didn’t tip the referenda in their favor.

Occupied Ukraine holds Kremlin-staged vote on joining Russia AP. The most neutral headline I can find; the Twitter is utterly polluted.

* * *

Russia Can’t Protect Its Allies Anymore Foreign Policy

Ukraine War Shows the US Military Isn’t Ready for War With China Bloomberg

Millennials, assembled: At UN, younger leaders rise AP

Biden Administration

There’s No Reason Puerto Rico Had to Go Through This Again Slate

Fact Check: Rep. Rashida Tlaib Said Progressives Must Oppose Israeli Apartheid The Intercept

Cherokee Nation launches campaign to seat Tribe’s delegate in US House Muskogee Phoenix

Brazil’s China-Heavy Election The Diplomat


What you need to know about the complex legal challenges to Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights The Hill

All the Governor’s Men Bolts Magazine. More DeSantis.

Democrats en Deshabillé

L.A. County sheriff’s unit accused of targeting political enemies, vocal critics LA Times

Republican Funhouse

Where GOP governors are transporting migrants Axios

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

A Danish City Built Google Into Its Schools—Then Banned It Wired


Intelligence Community

CIA launches a podcast, hoping to ‘demystify’ the agency and boost recruitment Miami Herald. Happy anniversary:

The Bezzle

The $8.6 Billion Startup That Helps Governments Trace Crypto Bloomberg

Sports Desk

ESPN Milwaukee Sidelines Brett Favre Amid Welfare Scandal Front Office Sports

Realignment and Legitimacy

Georgia secretary of state to replace election equipment accessed by Trump allies The Hill. Revise the headline to see the problem: “Georgia secretary of state to replace election equipment pens and paper accessed by Trump allies.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Navy Accused Him of Arson. Its Own Investigation Showed Widespread Safety Failures ProPublica


Class Warfare

‘Bro, How Do I Fix This?’: Home Depot Workers Form Independent Union Labor Notes

The One Where a Finance Bro Paid Me to Run His Tinder Account for (and While Pretending to Be) Him Nandini Balial, Zora

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote (ctlieee):

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.


  1. semper loquitur

    ‘An Army of Zombies Is Leading Us to Hell’

    An interview with a Moscow professional who just quit Russia to escape Vladimir Putin’s military draft

    By Anna Nemtsova

    After President Vladimir Putin announced this week that Russia was conscripting some 300,000 reservists and military veterans to reinforce its war effort in Ukraine, international flights out of Russian cities quickly sold out. This latest wave of Russia’s exodus included Anton Shalaev, a 38-year-old senior manager at an IT company, and 15 colleagues.

    On less than a day’s notice, these men of military age all left their relatively comfortable lives in downtown Moscow to fly to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Because of Putin’s war, Shalaev tossed a book, an iPad, and a laptop in a backpack and got out of Dodge.

    Shalaev and his co-workers are true tech geeks, producers of high-value computer games. They represent their country’s brightest and best, members of a tech elite that was the economic foundation of Russia’s new middle class. In a last selfie from Moscow, Shalaev brandished a coffee mug that bore the slogan not today, satan.

      1. OIFVet

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary video games’ sales depend upon his not understanding it.”

        That entire interview virtue signaling exercise reveals a deeply shallow man. By his own admission, neither Shalaev nor his colleagues are on the draft lists. He avoided the draft in his youth by entering a top-notch state school, earns a handsome living as result of the quality free education he received in that school, and his idea of objective sources of analysis is Ukrainian refugees. He “fought” the state by posting messages online and he is now running to Armenia to avoid a draft he is not subject to, but the “zombies” he so despises certainly are.

        Sounds like a US liberul sneering at the “despicables”, doesn’t he? Transnational liberuls, dude, they are all the same. It doesn’t matter whether a liberul’s passport is American, Russian, German, or Chilean. They all hit the same talking points, affect the same sneering posture, and exude the same sense of self-unaware douchebaggery.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that it was Alex Christoforou who said in a recent video that not only were Russian men volunteering to serve in the Ukraine, but that you even had plenty of volunteers too in the former Soviet Republics as well. To me, that is making this a civilization fight and is remarkable in itslef.

          As for that Shalaev guy, I think that he is going to be in for a shock. When he hits the west he is going to find that people there now hate Russians, even ones that go against the Russian government. He may have difficulty in opening up a bank account or even booking a hotel room going by stories that I have seen.

          1. KD

            I’m sure he has a future role in educating the world regarding the truth about Russian society and a nice NED grant.

        2. digi_owl

          I’m tempted to blame social media, though his age place him outside of the typical age group for that. But being a game developer, he may be more exposed than most to online “culture”.

          That said, the mentality on display makes me think of the grand tour for some reason. Perhaps because their education and profession allows them to work from anywhere that accept their credit cards and provide an internet connection.

        3. tegnost

          The despicables are the people who think that those who oppose them are deplorable.
          I’ am in the basket, so I admit to suffering some umbrage at the skewing of my narrative identity…
          ich bien ein deplorable!

          1. OIFVet

            D’oh! You are right to take umbrage at my smearing of the deplorables by confusing them with the despicables. My sincere apologies!

            1. ambrit

              Hmmm… I wonder how much overlap there would be if we displayed that as a “Zinn Diagram?” [A ‘Zen Diagram’ would not work because everyone knows that that figure is “One Big Empty Circle.”]

      2. CarlosBarleycorn

        As a long time NC reader I would like to offer a word of caution on overreacting to the competing narratives about Ukraine.

        Let’s not forget that just over 6 months ago we were, much like Matt Taibii and others who seem to know what they’re talking about, completely convinced that Biden and the intelligence community were laughably out of touch when they told the world that the invasion of Ukraine was imminent.

        I’m a teacher at a school with several colleagues from Russia/former Soviet countries. Anecdata though it may be, they are telling me that men (up to 50) in Russia are in fact panicking about the new orders and fearing that they will be conscripted or jailed at any time now. One of my colleagues, a former lawyer and previously a proud supporter of Russia, owns an apartment in Moscow that is now occupied by several of her friends’ sons who are trying to evade the draft orders. Average people are scared and many already convinced that nuclear war is coming.

        This is not to say that Ukraine forces have not been guilty of their own atrocities, or that Biden and the west did not instigate this war with the goal of weakening Russia. It’s clear that we are not getting the full narrative from mainstream media in the west. But could it also be possible that Putin is in fact in a quagmire of sorts, and that the Russian people are being pushed to the brink? I think we have to be more open-minded and consider that both sides are pulling their own shenanigans and that we can’t root for anybody with good conscience.

        I hope we can see past our distaste for the neocon-neoliberal bullshit alliance running our own failing states in the West and look at the situation in Ukraine with some more nuance, given how delicate the situation is.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I actually appreciate what you say and there is a lot of sense in what you said. The only thing is that when nukes are brought into the equation, that all goes out the window. The US wants nukes on Russia’s borders for a first-strike capability and they have already taken first steps with this in Poland I think it is. And before the war, when Zelensky was walking around at the Munich Conference saying that the Ukraine must get their own nukes, did you notice that nobody came down on him at all or told him to shut the hell up? Easiest way to put it is like this. Would you feel comfortable if Russia was trying to install tactical nukes in Quebec province?

          1. CarlosBarleycorn

            This is such an interesting question…in the long run maybe we will judge Putin’s actions as completely justified. War might have been an inevitability, and he might be praised for taking decisive action before the nukes were actually present. And of course NATO membership would have tied his hands even more…

            I still question what his goal actually is, because ostensibly he has sent his message loudly and clearly. He’s not joking about Ukraine and other bordering countries becoming militarized. But how much further must he go to send that message? Will he stop at recognizing/annexing a few regions? What about Kiev, and Zelensky? Essentially, is there a clear exit strategy?

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Russia and the “sovereign” Ukraine had a pretty reasonable deal set about a month into this and NATO nixed it. You’d be better off asking Vicky Nuland your very reasonable questions as her gang seems to be calling the shots, quite literally.

        2. digi_owl

          Because at the time it seemed like crazy talk, because we didn’t think Biden et al would be dumb enough to keep provoking the bear. But here we are…

        3. Sibiryak

          I’m a teacher at a school with several colleagues from Russia/former Soviet countries. Anecdata though it may be, they are telling me that men (up to 50) in Russia are in fact panicking about the new orders and fearing that they will be conscripted or jailed at any time now…

          Anecdata though it may be, I live in Russia and I can tell you that your portrayal of widespread panic and fear does not match at all what I’m seeing.

          1. CarlosBarleycorn

            Yes tell us more. I for one feel bewildered given that all we seem to have are fragments and anecdotes…I would love to hear more about the situation on the ground from anyone experiencing it firsthand

            1. Vandemonian

              The Telegram channels I follow have quite a few photos and videos of crowds and queues at recruiting offices. Are some Russian men trying to reduce their risk of getting called up? Sure. Are they a majority? Probably not.

              Remember Vietnam?

        4. Lexx

          You’ve just nicely framed my entire attitude toward this war, and really all of them since Vietnam. I don’t trust the media to tell the American public what is happening abroad… not because of ‘the fog of war’ (that too), but because there are so many competing agendas, chiefly profit and the competition for the public reader’s attention. There are no heroes in these stories, just villains. I’m tired of villains and their antipathy for the lives of others.

          Is there a word for ‘villain fatigue’? Maximum evil saturation? If there isn’t we should create one.

        5. David Ackerley

          We certainly need to be critical about what we read/hear. I listened to the Russia with Attitude guys, and they say that most people in Russia generally ‘aren’t political’ and are not paying a lot of attention to Ukraine. You relay something about Russians wanting to ‘evade draft orders,’ but Putin’s call-up is a far cry from a draft, isn’t it? As far as Russians being ‘pushed to the brink,’ this seems to be more the MSM framing than anything else… the sanctions don’t seem to have impacted the lives of ordinary people there, from what I’ve read, and the ruble is strong. But maybe I’m reading the wrong stuff. In terms of Russia being abjected with sanctions, I fear we live in an age when a nation with bounteous crude oil is not going to have too much trouble finding buyers.

          1. Keith Newman

            @David Ackerley, 10:54am
            I suspect many of the people expressing worry are Russian pro-Westerners using the situation to get into the West without the usual complicated immigration procedures. If you believe the West is as it was 30 years ago I can see the attraction.
            As you say (more or less) most people aren’t “political”. In my experience for them when good things happen it was God’s will and when bad things happen it was someone else’s fault, not their own for not caring when it mattered.

        6. Skip Intro

          I remember the dismay I felt when US reservists who thought they’d left the military behind were called up and sent to actual combat. It’s a horrible disruption, even though they did sign the contract. The Russian mobilization only includes combat veterans with specialties.

        7. drumlin woodchuckles

          In the end, we won’t know which competing set of narratives came closer to being actual analysis until a final outcome on the ground between Ukraine and Russia has finally been achieved. Then we can see which set of narratives was actually more reality-based and analytical. Till then, all we can do is read the various narratives and do our best thinking.

          For example, the two main commenters at Turcopolier Blog, Colonel Lang and TTG, are very pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia in their narratives. TTG is of Lithuanian descent and his narrative is vert ethno-emotionally anti-Russia. Colonel Lang appeared to be more agnostic about outcomes until he saw Zelensky and Ukraine perform better than he expected and saw the Russian forces performing worse than he expected. His attituded has hardened into one of contempt for Russian military profficiency and hence expectation of Russian defeat.

          TTG and Colonel Lang certainly do make predictions and they certainly will be proven right or wrong. Just as we should remember who proved right and wrong in the end about the Iraq War, we should remember who proves right and wrong in the end about this war. Here is Colonel Lang’s latest post on the subject . . . ” Political decisions on the battlefield are a certain path to defeat.” Here is the link.

          This post is not in itself an outright prediction but it certainly leads to some expected predictions, which will be proven right or wrong by events.

        8. jrkrideau

          Matt Taibii and others who seem to know what they’re talking about, completely convinced that Biden and the intelligence community were laughably out of touch when they told the world that the invasion of Ukraine was imminent.

          Almost everyone was, including non-US analysts with 30 or 40 years of experience studying and even having lived in the USSR/RF.

          They were not so much out of touch as unable to credit that even Zalinsky and the Ukrainian Gov’t were as stupid as they were.

          Ukrainian forces had stepped up shelling of the Donbass Republics around Feb 18 AND Zalensky about Jan 22 or 23 stated that he planned to acquire nuclear weapons President Zelensky Suggests Ukraine May Pursue Nuclear Weapons To Counter Russia, Putin Responds it appear he had overstepped any boundaries Russia found acceptable.

          Russia had been ready to invade Ukraine for months but seemed to hope for some rationality on Ukraine’s part. This last statement seems to have been the final threat and Putin and his cabinet agreed to attack immediately. All the comments I have seen suggests that even the General Staff were surprised.

          As Putin pointed out (at, a bit bizarrely, a luncheon with female pilots and air crew of various Russian airlines on Woman’s Day) it was likely that Ukraine had the technical capacity to build at least a dirty bomb and the missile technology capacity to build a delivery rocket.

          This seemed to be the tipping point.

          I have been watching Putin a bit for the last 3 or 4 years and I get the impression that he is a bit literal-minded. If someone issues a threat, as that idiot Truss did, even if it was a throw-away remark, he raised nuclear readiness because the, then, UK Foreign Minister might have meant it. Of course on the other hand, when he says something he means it. He does not “hint” or “signal” or whatever, he means exactly what he says. If he needs obfuscation he has Lavrov and to a lesser extent,Demitri Peskov or Maria Zakharova to do this.

          Western leaders do not seem to realize this. They seem to think he is advancing bargaining points. No. If he promises to do something and it is within his constitutional powers or he can get cabinet or Duma approval he will do it. He does not bluff.

        9. TimmyB

          Ukraine has little agency. Its major decisions are made by the US. As far as Russia invading Ukraine goes, Ukraine started the war by greatly increasing the shelling of the Donbas and threatening to acquire nuclear weapons after Russia gave it an ultimatum. Those of us who are somewhat rational didn’t think Russia would invade because Ukraine could have easily avoided the war by following the Minsk Accords as it had previously agreed. Instead, Ukraine, with the backing of the US, goaded Russia into increasing the shelling of the Donbas and preparing to invade.

          It’s as if we were watching two belligerents in a bad. The 250 pound weight lifter was telling the 75 pound weakling to stop being an asshole. In that situation, I wouldn’t expect a fight to break out. But here, the 75 pound weakling starts acting irrationally, pushing the 250 pound weightlifter instead of backing off. You can’t fault anyone for thinking there wouldn’t be a fight in either circumstance.

        10. anon in so cal

          “completely convinced that Biden and the intelligence community were laughably out of touch when they told the world that the invasion of Ukraine was imminent”

          Key reason why US intel and Biden got this right is because they surely knew Ukraine forces were amassing on the border of Donbass about to launch another massacre.

          “This is not to say that Ukraine forces have not been guilty of their own atrocities”

          What other atrocities were there?

          “we can’t root for anybody with good conscience”

          Having followed the situation since before 2014, I personally can, in good conscience, root for Russia.

        11. Yves Smith

          First, the reason many people ignored the US warnings was that the US had cried wolf on multiple times about an invasion, most recently even venturing specific dates (they had predicted invasion on Feb 16 and again on Feb 20). And Zelensky was making clear he didn’t buy it, when he’s have more incentive than anyone to be hair trigger.

          Second, why did your friends leave? I know some who left the old USSR, and some who left in the Putin era. Some are very anti-Russia, so you have to filter for bias.

        1. Watt4Bob

          Incredible video.

          So sad to think of the reception that would receive if I were to share it on my facebook page.

          I’m not admitting to cowardice, I’m admitting that there is no hope of overcoming the American propaganda machine’s influence on the ‘liberal’ hive mind.

          1. Screwball

            I’m admitting that there is no hope of overcoming the American propaganda machine’s influence on the ‘liberal’ hive mind.

            This is spot on. I have given up all hope to have any credible conversation with any of these people. They are not going to be moved from their mindset. They are right, you are wrong, there is no in between – and worse – if you don’t agree with them, you are the problem. Period.

            They hate everyone that is not “them.” They have bloodlust for everyone who is not “them.” They hate Putin, they want this war, nukes are OK, and the endgame is to remove Putin, period, whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes. No matter how many dead.

            Trump and his red hats must be punished for doing what they did to them – no matter the cost or laws that are broke (Putin is Hitler is Trump to them). They want revenge at all costs, and they want it now. They are scared out of their shoes that Trump will get back in, and if that happens democracy is gone and the fascists will have taken over. The next step will be for the fascists to kill them all – that’s what the fascists wants and will do – this is the plan.

            Yes, I have been told that in no uncertain terms. This is the most important election of their lifetime as their very existence and quality of life – or death – depends on it.

            Even Hills compared the Trump rally goers in Ohio the other day to Nazi’s – and these people are totally in agreement. My neighbor who I’ve known for 45 years has a bumper sticker that says “Trumpers – stay 500 foot away.” I don’t dare talk politics to him.

            I’m by no stretch a Trump fan, never was, and never will be (obligatory disclaimer), but I’m from Ohio, and I’m getting tired of being called everything but a human just because I don’t fall in line with the people who think this way.

            Come November I will vote on every race, and not one will be for a democrat. Let them live in their own steaming pile of stinky poo, and maybe (but I doubt it) they will leave me the family blog alone if we drive them from office.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Don’t worry, Comrades, I’ve shared it to my Faceborg page 🙂

              Just call me… Becnel The BRAVE 😆

              1. ChrisRUEcon

                That’s amazing. ***b**k didn’t let me share Ian Welsh’s article about ZeroCOVID, and also deleted a post (with a warning) when I simply suggested on a friend’s post that everyone’s least favourite bald, forcing-employees-to-pee-in-bottles CEO should be given a one way ticket to the center of our solar system.


          2. cosmiccretin

            Sad indeed.

            But – not that this will, nor should it be, a source of any comfort to you as an American – the propaganda machine’s influence is not restricted to America but like a poisonous miasma pervades the entirety of our western so-called culture. It’s not one bit less virulent or despicable in Europe than in North America.

            Is there really any hope for our species, I ask myself – and am tempted to answer “none”. But then, how about Masha? She and others like her provide some hope to cling to, even in these dark days.

            In a sane world – or at least one in which a glimmer of sanity is able to be glimpsed – ALL Western politicians would be physically forced to watch this video. Perhaps some (a few) of them might actually learn some wisdom, probably for the first time in their lives.

            Some hopes!

        2. C.O.

          Thank you for posting this link, it is an incredible video in so many ways. It really brings home the utter cruelty of propaganda, and not just from Masha describing her experience.

    1. GramSci

      I’m sure they all already had jobs lined up here: look how quickly they got an interview with The Atlantic!

      1. semper loquitur

        I was just going to say something similar to OIFVet above. It looks like a nice quid pro quo to me: one PMC to another. They all speak the same language. There’s the despised “zombie” caste, the “best and brightest” and “professional” language as an acknowledgement of their intellectual superiority, and the willingness to sell out everything they know at the drop of a hat. I think this quote from the interviewee says it all:

        “All I saw was Russian loser husbands beating their wives, while the entire rotting house of the state system has turned my people into an army of the dead.

        They are my enemies.”

        Deplorable misogynists attacking women while the withering state wields it’s necromantic powers to turn the masses into zombies. How crisp. Having neatly categorized 147M people with a few words, he makes good his escape from the Trump presidency.

        1. OIFVet

          I had tried really hard not to despise the international liberal class but at the end I gave up. They are despicable and deserve to be despised because they do a much better job of driving the “despicables” to the far right then the far right could ever do of actively attracting the average Joe, Hans, Ivan, Jose or Pierre to their cause. The end result is increasing intrasocietal polarization everywhere in the so-called “civilized West” as well as in any nation that happens to be of interest to the US and its EU poodles due to the misfortune of having geostrategically important location or natural resources.

      2. digi_owl

        They are game developers. As long as their file servers are located outside Russia, they can likely maintain development and release from wherever.

        1. lambert strether

          > They are game developers

          We’re sure this isn’t a sick parody? Not typical of David Frum, I grant.

      3. Brunches with Cats

        Don’t forget the Vogue photo shoot — or maybe GQ — leading to an explosion of Camo prints in designer menswear collections.

    2. KD

      You have to wonder. Russia calls up 300K of military reservists with combat experience, so why would a bunch of tech geeks flee the country to avoid the “draft”? When the US called up reservists and national guard to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, I don’t remember the tech geeks fleeing the US? This story, even if true, it completely implausible. Sure, the tech geeks might flee the country, but because they are involved in something dodgy (either criminal or espionage) and are afraid to get caught, but not to evade the draft.

      If I were writing propaganda for Western Intelligence Agencies, I would at least try to come up with a plausible scenario–say taxi cab driver with PTSD from prior combat experience and three little children and wife. Granted, this wouldn’t feed the decline narrative of brain drain as a result of SMO, but it might be superficially plausible. Then you could make up another fake article on brain drain.

      1. YankeeFrank

        Yep, I’d guess these guys are sort of fifth columnist pro-western Russians, some with loose ties to western intelligence, fleeing before they get arrested for treason.

      2. anon in so cal

        As a propaganda piece, it’s pitched to the PMC, so that’s why they chose a tech geek. A ” taxi cab driver with PTSD from prior combat experience and three little children and wife” would not resonate with the targeted audience.

    3. Steve H.

      But any nation, and even more so the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like an insect in their mouth, spit them onto the pavement. I am convinced that a natural and necessary self-detoxification of society like this would strengthen our country, our solidarity and cohesion and our readiness to respond to any challenge.

      1. Aumua

        I don’t know, man. I pretty much distrust anyone who casually tosses the word ‘traitor’ around, or who calls themselves a true patriot for that matter.

          1. jrkrideau

            Ah yes. It seems to have been aimed at any number of western-oriented “”Russian Liberals” —not to be confused with Western-style liberals (it’s complicated and I don’t know much ) and I think Putin was a bit PO’d at their behaviour.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember that as being something President Putin said a while ago. If so, perhaps he is creating this opportunity and opening for war skeptics and critics to deport themselves from Russia.

        ( And I don’t see how game developers are somehow crucial to the existence or improvement of a political economy).

    4. Mikel

      “Shalaev and his co-workers are true tech geeks, producers of high-value computer games. They represent their country’s brightest and best, members of a tech elite that was the economic foundation of Russia’s new middle class…”

      Makes me think that the USA was just early with its sanctions, belligerance, and any plans to dominate Russia.
      Just a bit more patience and Russia was on its way to exalting the type of paper thin economy that would have been easier to blow apart.

  2. thoughtfulperson

    Quick Covid report: colleague in Germany reports at 2 of the company’s 3 facilities there is 25 and 35% of employees absent due to Covid… (or long Covid?). This is in food processing (not meat packing)

  3. .human

    Cherokee Nation launches campaign to seat Tribe’s delegate in US House

    It’s taken only some 230 years for First Nations peoples to get this far in their right to direct representation in the Federal process.

    By my calculations, Congress should be at least ten times it’s size in order to more effectively represent the current population.

    1. hunkerdown

      Smaller districts don’t fix the problematic: the trustee form of representation facilitates ruling class formation. Effective representation means abolishing trusteeship and recognizing only the delegate form of representation, in which any act against their constituents’ instructions is simply void, along with everything downstream of that faithless vote AND the faithless delegate’s commission.

  4. semper loquitur

    DNA nets capture COVID-19 virus in low-cost rapid-testing platform

    Tiny nets woven from DNA strands can ensnare the spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19, lighting up the virus for a fast-yet-sensitive diagnostic test—and also impeding the virus from infecting cells, opening a new possible route to antiviral treatment, according to a new study.

  5. semper loquitur

    A New Jersey Soil Bacteria Is First to Break Down Toxic ‘Forever Chemical’

    Scientists have found a bacteria capable of breaking down toxic “forever chemicals” in New Jersey soil.

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, called PFAS, are commonly found in in products like water-repellant fabrics and paints, disposable restaurant bowls, and even dental floss. They’re also toxic pollutants that are incredibly difficult to break down in the environment, ending up in our water and traveling up the food chain. Scientists are naturally looking for ways to break down these so-called forever chemicals.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Italy’s election campaign ends, tensions between EU and right flares”

    EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already said that if the right-wing wins the election, that ‘If things go in a ‘difficult direction’ – I have spoken about Hungary and Poland – we have tools.’

    (bangs head on keyboard) Italy is not Poland nor is it Hungary. It’s Italy. If the EU punishes Italy by withholding funds, how will Italian banks fare? You know. The ones that they say that if they blow up, that they will take the entire EU with them? This woman is a menace.

    1. Bugs

      She’s a joke and menace to the EU and should have been shut down by the actual rotating EU Presidency long ago but something, and I don’t know what it is, is holding back the criticism. Maybe someone wants her to self-immolate to destroy the legitimacy of Brussels.

    2. OIFVet

      Frau[d] bin Lyin is what she is. I don’t want to see the far right continue to rise in Europe but the fact is that it rises precisely because of people like her. In its own way the EU establishment exemplified by Frau[d] bin Lyin is just as extremist as the far right, and certainly more dangerous at the moment given the path it’s put us on and the consequences we are yet to face as the confrontation with Russia escalates and the far right becomes ever more powerful.

      1. bwilli123

        Alexander Mercouris believes that there has been an orchestrated campaign by the West to make the possibility of Russia resorting to nukes a major issue. This by media commentators, European officials and, according to the Washington Post, by the Biden administration via diplomats over several months.

        He also believes that Russia views this campaign as an underhanded threat rather than a helpful warning.
        Mercouris believes the campaign reinforces his opinion that the Biden administration is the most dangerously belligerent since WWII.

        Full commentary/background on nuclear issue from 15:36
        Summary comments from 29:00

    3. Dave in Austin

      Note that Poland, which is on-board the “Russia is Evil” train, has been dropped from news reports funding cuts and “undemocratic norms”, while Hungary, which refused to board the train, has been penalized. There of course is no connection beween the two issues.

      As for Ursula Van Der (formerly Von Der) Leyen, she is giving us a gender-neutral version of Teddy Roosevelt’s position: “We will teach them to elect good men”. We know how well that worked out.

  7. semper loquitur

    Tesla plans ‘thousands of Humanoid Robots within factories’

    “Tesla is on a path to build humanoid bi-pedal robots at scale to automate repetitive and boring tasks. Core to the Tesla Bot, the motion planning stack presents a unique opportunity to work on state-of-the-art algorithms for motion planning and navigation culminating in their deployment to real world production applications. Our motion planning software engineers develop and own this stack from inception to deployment. Most importantly, you will see your work repeatedly shipped to and utilized by thousands of Humanoid Robots within our factories.”

      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks for that link. Mustn’t let “progress” be derailed by a death or two or more, I guess. Especially that of an ex-con.

        I keep thinking of that horrible movie “I, Robot” with that !diot Will Smith as the lead. What is to stop some hackers from accessing the communications network of the “thousands” of robots? I’m no tech guy but it seems to me that a network so big would have some leaks that could be exploited. God knows even the databases of state powers get cracked:

        Now I couldn’t care less if the robots went amok and smashed up a Tesla factory or two. But imagine if they are commanded to misalign the brakes of every car. Or to make it so that the accelerator gets floored randomly. Or to make the autopilot ignore children.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          1) I, Robot is a good Action, Sci Fi film
          2) Will Smith is great in I, Robot – idiot or not

      2. Louis Fyne

        not holding by breath, Tesla is known for vaporware—-see Elon’s robotaxi and Cybertruck promises.

        and honestly “Humanoid Robots” is a waste for factory use. It makes no sense to use robo-humanoids when specialized robots (spot welders, painters, etc). do the job for better and cheaper.

        And for jobs that are too intricate for those robots, humans can still do things cheaper and easier than a 2025 version of C3-P0.

        1. digi_owl

          The one scenario i can see playing out is that these will at first be remotely operated by humans using VR gear. And during that the actions will be recorded. And later cleaned up so that they can be repeated by the robots without human input.

          1. jax

            Digi_owl, you’ve just outlined the premise of a film titled “Sleep Dealer”. This is intelligent science fiction in which workers provide labor via remote operation of robotic welders, et al. The factories where they work are in the so-called emerging economies, providing the rich west with the labor they seek, but without the noisome bother of actual laborers. The factories are the “Sleep Dealers” because they work people on insane schedules and to the point of physical exhaustion. See it if you can.

            1. digi_owl

              Yep, been aware of the movie but i’m not much for watching such these days. That said, the concept is not a new one in the type of scifi i frequently enjoy.

              Also, there was some recent news about a fast food chain using “call centers” in South America to operate cash registers…

          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


            I did a VR test video for changing out the test wafers on backend Tel tools at Intel used in the etching process/laying copper atoms.

            Surreal testing this stuff out knowing that it would replace my current position. Very much unwelcome.

        2. Reader

          Netflix has a 2018 series made for Russian state TV called Better Than Us. It’s set in the very near future where humanoid robots have advanced to the point of being a regular part of PMC households. The early episodes are entertaining and depict a breakthrough “empathetic” robot which becomes part of a family, bonds with their young daughter, and endeavors to understand human behavior.

          Subplots about a government plot to replace all workers with promises of early retirement and an underground group fighting to eliminate bots from society are less successful as entertainment IMO.

      3. Mr. Mike

        Any driver less vehicle that comes down my street gets a brick through the windshield, unless it carries a live human who might get hurt. They may not have windshields of course, but they will have cameras and sensors that can be crippled by something as simple as a paper spit wad, or spray paint.

        We need to stop this shit NOW while we still can.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Maybe Tesla is just running some public relations to stoke interest in a revival of Čapek’s R.U.R.

  8. Eureka Springs

    So we have a Democrat lead congress and national police state apparatus who tells us all domestic terrorism is the most dangerous terrorism we now face. Now they actively turn patriot act law further inward upon we the people. All the while, they fund and arm Ukrainian Azov Nazi terrorists and bring them here as heroes.

    Allan Dullus, Prescot Bush, J. Edgar must all be down in hell with Hitler giving each other high five pitchforks while saying mission accomplished..

    1. griffen

      I think you left out the Two Minute speech part, where each day we receive instructions on who is our enemy and why they are so horrible. Oh, and the economy is so very good and inflation is not a big problem. The poors of America have never had it this good.

      Earlier in the year I had thrown out the idea of using the descriptive acronym, FUBAR. I still think it works.

      1. BeliTsari

        Two minute HATE, replaces 15 minutes of FAME. Is there an app, yet; where you swipe right or LEFT & Uber dispatches a tattooed Hero of Azovstal to the target’s current location, helmet-cam & X-95?

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Azov Delegation Visits the US”

    Chaos broke out today when the Azov delegation were shot to death in a hail of bullets causing crowds to flee. When police arrived at the scene, they quickly found the perpetrators – who turned out to be a dozen men in their late 90s. It was seen that they were armed with WW2 M1 Garands and were wearing faded US Army uniforms from the 1940s with Big Red One patches on their sleeves. When asked why they killed the Azov delegation, one of them spat on the ground and said that that they saw that they had “unfinished business.” Another said that when you are 97 years old, that a life-time prison sentence means nothing anymore.

    1. Patrick Donnelly

      3 hots and a cot are no threat. In fact, they may elevate the guest in the concrete hotel, given the medicare and dental available. Japan has been an example for nearly a decade.

      Crapification can only proceed so far.

    2. Craig H.

      That is some fine reporting but also could we pretty please have a better source than a medium blog by some dude we have never heard of and that is the one and only post on it? Surely there is one more reputable character in the universe who is willing to sign authorship on this report!

    3. Watt4Bob

      Among the old men was an old lady with numbers tattooed numbers on her arm.

      When asked why she was there, she replied;

      “Are you kidding? Don’t you know who these people are?”

    4. Bart Hansen

      I’ll bet those azov visitors were not wearing any short sleeved shirts nor did they fail to button up their uniforms right to the top button – so as not to show their tats. Of course that did not matter with their visits to congress critters.

      Thanks, Rev, for the magpie follow up yesterday.

  10. griffen

    The article on Brett Favre, the overall story is quite reprehensible. The wasteful spending of federal funds on a volleyball complex, for example. Where was that complex located? Southern Miss, that also happens to be the quarterback and (mostly) Green Bay legend’s alma mater. Go figure how that happens.

    Sport legends, at least the ones I am most familiar with in US professional and amateur sports, we may place you on a pedestal but that doesn’t mean we won’t knock you off.

    1. Craig H.

      Well his top google search result from before was for sex harassing his masseuses when he was a New York Jet so he probably likes this one a little more.

      100.0% of the misdirected money did not go into the volleyball complex. Facilitator fees &c. went into the personal accounts of Favre and friends. There is a good chance people are going to get prosecuted and imprisoned for this. There is not a good chance that one of them will be Favre, Mississippi Hall of Fame quarterback. But. There is a chance!

      1. griffen

        Ha I had forgotten about the texting and all that controversy. Seem to recall it involved a sideline reporter as well, or perhaps that was in addition to the others. Obviously took those funds and spread it around like Santa Claus, but only for a friends and family circle.

        Spreading it around, except for those the funds were intended to help.

      1. griffen

        Here is a guy who just loved him some Brett Favre. Although in this recap, Favre was not playing in the actual game they discussed.

        Frank caliendo, for the less than casual fan, does a great impression of the late, great John Madden. Boom!

    2. ambrit

      I live in the half-horse town that Southern Miss dominates. Town and Gown is a real ‘thing’ around here. You would not believe the extent and high quality of the sports facilities in the campus. The baseball team has a ball field with bleachers and press box, with dugouts and team facilities that would be more than adequate for a good baseball farm team.
      I have met Brett Favre. The man is a classic Alpha male. He resides on an estate/farm to the west of town. Said farm is very big, almost a latifundium in itself. Favre has numerous business deals ongoing, especially growing soybeans on leased farmland throughout the region. To say that he lives in a ‘bubble’ would be an understatement.
      That this ‘demonization’ of Favre is gaining traction now suggests that he has pissed off some powerful people in the Neo-Southern Financio-Plantocracy. There are other cases of similar corruptions that do not see the light of day.
      The best theory as to why Favre is now the ‘Villain of the Month’ I can come up with is that the man is “self made” and thus considered ‘Nouveaux Riche’ by the older moneyed families that constitute the Society of the South. They would consider it in their best interests to “put him in his place.”
      In the wonderful Brian De Palma film “Scarface,” our Cuban anti-hero is asked for his name by an Immigrations officer. He hears a football game playing on a radio in the background and hears the announcer speak about a quarterback by name; Joe Montana. “Yeah” our anti-hero says, “Montana. Tony Montana.” Substitute Brett Favre’s name for Tony Montana in that scene and it would work just as well. Not knowing much about the real Tony Montana, perhaps better.
      [Note: I cannot find a video clip of that scene. Perhaps it does not exist. Either way, the point still stands.]
      Art copies life copies art……

      1. griffen

        Thanks for the comment and weighing in with a better informed opinion. And no need for the clip, I recall that scene pretty well. Someone asks Mr. Montana where he received the scar on his face, his response was pretty funny I thought.

        1. ambrit

          Yes. There is a lot of humour in De Palma’s “Scarface.’ I always considered Pacino’s ‘Tony Montana’ to be a bookend character to his earlier rendition of Sonny Wortzik in “Dog Day Afternoon.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Millennials, assembled: At UN, younger leaders rise”

    Well there are Millennials – and then there are Millennials. In past comments I have defended Millennials as they get a bad rap but I suspect that the sort of Millennials being chosen for leadership roles here will be the worse examples of them. People like this- (1:31 mins) – Language alert.

    1. digi_owl

      There seems to be something going on within the higher educations that imprint some set of universal ideals. And only those that fully embrace those ideals are then allowed to progress into the ranks of international politics.

  12. OIFVet

    “Shalaev: I constantly follow the war news in Ukraine—and I seek out the best, most objective analysts. My main sources on the atrocities are Ukrainian refugees from cities bombed by Russian forces.”

    Well, certainly no bias, and plenty of objective analysis there.

    Edit: meant as a reply to The Atlantic article by Anna Nemtsova

      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed about Brian Berletic who tells it like it is based on his own military experiences. For example, in his last video, he says that those reservists will only really need a month of retraining before they are good to go so the three months that they are receiving will be generous. Here is a link to his videos-

        1. Bart Hansen

          Brian needs to get a little softer on the air. One way is to have his pets make periodic cameos in the background like Mercouris.

          I believe it was yesterday he had to splice the video to delete the part where he let one of the dogs out of the room.

  13. Carla

    Re: “CDC says some nursing homes and hospitals no longer need to require universal masking” — the “world-class” Cleveland Clinic–the hospital I’m stuck with–dropped their mask requirement a couple of weeks ago. One more reason to stay away from there at all costs.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry to hear about that, Carla. At this point, people who tell/order others not to wear masks or get aggressive about others who do wear masks I am beginning to think of as enemies. But then I reflect that sooner or later, the odds will tell against them and they will fall sick – sooner or later. It is just a matter of time. And as Sun Tzu once said-

      ‘If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.’

      It’s like people who refuse to wear a seat-belt in a car or refuse to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. You can’t help somebody who is not prepared to help themselves. But this is what you get when you give up on a public health response, tell people that the pandemic is over, and then let it be know that you are on your own as far as fending this virus off is concerned.

    2. jackiebass63

      I decides long ago to ignore CDC recommendations and continue to be cautious in my behavior. I know it isn’t a guarantee but it increases my chance of staying healthy.

    3. Brunches with Cats

      Sorry to hear that, Carla. If for some reason you absolutely need medical attention, would it reduce your anxiety to take precautions often mentioned on NC — gargling, nasal sprays, etc.? Plus, you could have a prepared response to deflect mask-shaming. Wasn’t there something in yesterday’s links, a variation of past stories to the effect that the mask wearer can’t risk bringing anything home to an immunocompromised elderly relative battling cancer or whatever. If the critic isn’t fleeing in embarrassment at that point, perhaps you could add a public service announcement to the effect that “anything” could include the flu, as the season is upon us, expected to be very bad this year, all the more deadly because no one’s wearing a mask …

      Anyway, hoping you stay healthy enough not to need to go there at all. Sleep is good.

      1. semper loquitur

        My “Shields up!” to any possible mask-shaming is that I was injured by the vaccine and I cannot take any boosters. You see, after I got the second jab my doctor told me my white blood cell count dropped and it has stayed low. I cannot risk infection from COVID or anything else as a result.

        This is a bivalent response. For the blue team, it stops them in their tracks as they try to wrestle with the notion of the Science! having a negative effect. Also, working in the word “doctor” massages their PMC predilection for professional class authority. For the red team, it affirms their suspicions about the vaccines and makes me an ally of their cause, as it were. Then they can get back to making each other sick.

      2. Skip Intro

        You can always cough and say “I tested positive yesterday, but I’m starting to feel, cough, better. I can take it off if you want, cough cough cough”

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Didn’t another reader do something like that? If memory serves, it went something like, “So glad you don’t mind, I’m having a hard time breathing in this thing (takes off mask) tested positive yesterday, need a few things for a project and wanted to shop while I’m still feeling OK (cough).” Assailant ran away so fast that the mask was off for only a minute or so, not a huge risk as it was Lowe’s or Home Depot or some such, not a tight space, good air circulation, etc. Obviously not recommended for a medical clinic waiting room.

  14. Lex

    I’ve watched a lot of video of the referendum procedure at this point. It looks really well organized and as fair as an election can probably be. I quite like the idea of an election running for almost a week if the idea is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote. I also like the mini and mobile polling stations.

    The process is that voters show their ID, they’re checked against their listed address and they sign the voting roll / chain of custody. They get their ballot, fill it out and deposit it in a clear, sealed box. Mostly they seem forced to complete it out of sight of the election workers, though not so much in the apartment entry landings. Obviously the ballot boxes could be stuffed, but it’s always been and always will be possible to stuff an election.

    There doesn’t seem to be any military oversight of the process except guards outside polling stations. The mobile groups are clearly just local community members who go out in teams of two to three (the door knockers have three since someone carries the ballot box). Honestly, I have election envy.

    1. Louis Fyne

      it’s the “will of the people” if an elite like the results of your election.

      It’s a “sham” or dangerous populism if an elite doesn’t

      1. jrkrideau

        You just have to hope the Ukrainians never get their hands on the registered voter list.

        You are from the USA? I do not think such a thing as a “registered voter list” in the US sense exists anywhere but in the USA.

    2. flora

      The military “oversight” is really the extra RU forces sent to guard/hold the borders between Ukr and the break away areas voting whether or not to join RU, imo. What’s the saying? RU play chess and the US plays poker?

    3. Sibiryak

      So-called referendums are under way in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russian troops, with residents told to vote on proposals for the four Ukrainian regions to declare independence and then join Russia. The polls in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia provinces are due to run until Tuesday and appear to be an attempt to provide cover for illegal annexation of the regions by Moscow.

      Some nice phrasing there by the Guardian.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Oh yes, the Guardian. Fair. Impartial. Trusted News.
        And then there’s this:

        Vs this

    4. Jen

      Both candidates for the upcoming senate election in my state were selected by the DNC. How is that not a sham election?

    5. Sibiryak

      Lavrov at the UN:

      The people [where the referendums are being held] are essentially only reacting to what President Zelensky recommended for them to do in one of his interviews in August 2021.

      Back then, he advised everyone who feels Russian to ‘go to Russia’ for the benefit of their children and grandchildren.

      That’s what the residents of said regions are doing now, taking their lands, on which their ancestors lived for centuries, with them.

      1. Sibiryak

        For the record, here is what Zelensky reportedly said:

        If one thinks that “we are Russians”, it’s a big mistake to stay in the Donbas – Volodymyr Zelenskyy

        Published: 05 Aug / 2021 by UATV [A Ukrainian state-sponsored Russian-language television news channel with focus on events in the occupied territories of Ukraine–Wikipedia]

        In order to resolve the situation in Donbas, it is important that residents of the its occupied areas identify themselves and answer the question – “Who are you? Are you with Russia or with Ukraine?” This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an exclusive interview to the TV channel “DOM”.

        “There is a saying: “A man is in a twine”. He doesn’t know what to do, he’s choosing for a long time and can’t choose, and he doesn’t know who he is.

        The most important thing in this story is to conclude: are you Russian, are you in Russia (And I’m not talking about nationality, but about one’s internal choice) or are you Ukrainian, and is this your land?

        Is this your homeland, or are you a guest?” – the president said.

        He stressed that Donbass will never be a Russian territory.

        “Never. No matter how long it will be occupied, you know. It’s like a wall that once was in Germany. In any case, people, history will seize the moment – and the wall will fall. If they don’t agree, people will still use the moment. This is impossible” – Volodymyr Zelenskyi stressed.

        In this regard, it is important for residents of the occupied territories to determine today.

        “I believe that if you live in the temporarily occupied territory of Donbas today and you think that “we do the right thing”, “we are for Russia”, “we are Russians” – that would be a big mistake to remain in Donbass…

        Because without Ukraine civilization will leave this territory. Ukraine will develop, everything will be built. And the occupied, the cut off part of Donbas will not grow anyway. That is why happiness will not come there, to these people” – the head of state added.

        At the same time, the president noted that “no one will expel anyone”. It should be an independent personal decision.

        “Therefore, I believe that for the sake of future of your children and grandchildren – if you love Russia, if you lived in Ukraine for all your life and felt that it is Russia, then you must understand that in the name of your children and grandchildren you need to go and look for a place in Russia. That would be right” – Volodymyr Zelensky said.

        But if you feel that you are Ukrainian and Donbas is Ukrainian, if you respect this flag, if you respect the Ukrainian language (if you were not taught it in school – read books yourself, everything will come, speak as you want), but if you feel that you are Ukrainian, stay there.

        Be here, hold on, and this land would be de-occupied anyway. This is history. Therefore, we are not talking about the notions of normal-abnormal. The matter is: who are you? Give an answer for yourself” – the president summed up.

      2. Irrational

        And according to the various Telegram channels I am following, turnover is just amazing ranging from 30 to 45% in the first two days. Despite the Ukrainian government shelling the 4 oblasts, what a way to say we’d like you to stay!
        There appear to be international election observers from all over the world, who are so far reporting no irregularities. . so let’s hope they are allowed to make an unbiased report (!).

  15. flora

    an aside about climate: How much Co2 was/is released in all the wars fought in the 20th C and this C? How much Co2 release from exploding ordinances, burned to the ground cities and villages, oilwells set on fire and still burning, the cost of rebuilding cities, and still going on today? Why are the world’s richest voices telling me I should feel guilty about driving a gas powered old car while they jet on private jets and plan new conquests? Gas powered cars are bad but bombs and war are good? Nope. I don’t buy it. Meh… (Bet I could drive my old car for 10 years and still emit less Co2 as Bezo’s mega-yacht emits in one summer.)

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The only problem with whataboutism when it comes to the climate is that it results in Business As Usual, lots of warming meaning lots of storms, fires, droughts and the end of civilization for our children and grandchlldren. If we all stand around waiting for somebody else to go first, then we’re screwing ourselves.

      1. flora

        I understand what you’re saying, and agree with the ‘better angels’ part. If only better angels guided the oil and fossil fuel companies actions. This isn’t my first rodeo with gas/oil companies jumping on rising prices to encourage everyone to conserve/turn down the thermostats in winter, and then requesting price hikes to make up lost profit in the spring. This was back in the 1970s. What’s happened now? Cut off RU energy to EU, EU buying gas from other middlemen selling RU gas at hugely higher prices, transmitting the gas on ship (burning more oil) and driving up prices of gas and oil everywhere because “global market”. The big oil companies are selling the less or same amount and making enormous profits. Yep. I’ve seen it before. Meanwhile, some old EU coal fired power plants are being brought up for use again as an emergency measure.

          1. hunkerdown

            On suspicion of violent content, AIUI, omgwtflol, but it is back up and running now. Currently hosting a small shrine to Vladimir Vladimirovich, the duckie, and a thermometer reading 47.9C. When Europe can’t even afford Yule log videos, this is what’s left…

      2. Mikel

        It should be obvious that under an “emergency”, the biggest emitters should go first.
        The prescriptions to the problem being presented all seem to point to the biggest culprits continuing with business as usual.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Australia considering buying first few nuclear submarines from the US instead of building them onshore”

    ‘Australia would buy nuclear submarines from the United States by the middle of the next decade to give it more time to be able to build the boats onshore under a plan being considered by the Albanese government.’

    The whole story is a scam. The US Navy is having serious problems trying to build boats for themselves so when exactly will they have time to build those boats for the Royal Australian Navy? Not next decade, that is for sure. The US Navy is even having serious problems just getting spare parts for their own boats. But by saying that thiose subs will be built in the US will mean that ALL future boats will be built in the US as there will not be the shipyard skills to do it here anymore-

    1. Karl

      if the Aussies had stayed with the French deal, they’d probably have workers welding metal by now.

      Ship building jobs in Australia was a big part of the “buy subs” scheme. Now “middle of the next decade” seems like they are getting cold feet, maybe a sign they’ll punt on subs altogether. It escapes me why the Australians think they need subs, or naval vessels beyond a coast guard. I mean, who’s going to attack Australia? Can’t they use the money on something more useful? E.g. start phasing out coal-fired power plants with investments in wind and solar?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      It was always inevitable that they would be bought in, if ever delivered. Thanks to all the delays Australian has lost its domestic ability to build submarines. It would take a vast investment and many years to build ones in Oz yards. And as you say, the US is also struggling with capacity (although the UK may be able to build some more).

      That deal was possibly the stupidest defence deal ever made. It was obvious from day one that the best Australia could hope for with it was some hand me down re-flagged subs from the US or UK and probably at vast expense. While they lost out big time, I’m pretty sure the French are finding this all hilarious. And in the longer term the French may well benefit as it broke the principle of not selling nuke subs to third parties, so it opens up more markets for them.

  17. Revenant

    Here is an interesting article from the Guardian, now that is all spooks and warmongers, with the catchy title “Yes, Putin might use nuclear weapons…”.

    However, beyond the title it gets interesting. “Western capitals should at least point out to Ukrainian leaders that their prospects of retaking all their territory may not be as bright as they hope. There is a very long way to go – their operation in Kharkiv was dramatic, but only bought them back a fraction of their territory. Whether it can be replicated for the remainder is uncertain. At a minimum, now is not the time to offer the Ukrainians advanced new weapons systems.
    “Putin has presented the world with impossible choices. Russia must emerge from this crisis chastened for its recklessness. But in the next few weeks, leaders need to find offramps to prevent the worst. This will take maximum flexibility and creativity from all sides.”

    Is this a trial balloon for peace, now that Russia is adopting a defensive posture with a clear retaliatory redline?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think so. They need to pitch a win. Kiev failed to encircle Russian forces. They’ve bled for the empty territory.

      I doubt Putin cares about David Brooks columns, so he won’t flinch if the propaganda is nonsensical. Biden is officially unnecessary. In real terms, Zelensky signing a treaty with Moscow is huge even if the OMG Russia crowd doesn’t see it.

    2. Ignacio

      “impossible choices”: little margin of manoeuvre in the West (West = World according to the Guardian). Maximum flexibility and creativity… looks like a trial balloon but flexibility hasn’t been shown in excess in western leaderships and creativity is restricted to sanctions and arm twisting. Problem as I see it nobody willing to take the balloon and the clock is running against the West.

      But yes it interesting. How long would require to recover from the shock if they can?
      I still believe the leadership is buying the idea that Russia is about to collapse and time is in West’s side. As long as the west overestimates its power and underestimates the rest of the world we are going to see much of the same while Ukraine shrinks.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Back in June, I thought there was a sense of western mouthpieces greasing the skids for a ‘tactical withdrawal’, but the mood changed very quickly. I get the impression that many analysts genuinely now believe that Russia is in trouble, and thats bad news as it may mean a doubling down over the winter. I get the impression that Germany thinks that if it grits its teeth and gets organised it can survive the next 6-12 months. There is a lot of very radical things going on in terms of how it is structuring its energy supply infrastructure and markets.

      I do think that there might be a wild card at play though – there is a real potential for an early economic crisis in the UK – that might concentrate minds in the west. It looks to me that the Tories new budget is based very much on a hope that gas prices will go down over the winter, otherwise the Treasury will have to find tens of billions to shore things up.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. prepared to impose more costs on Russia over Ukraine referendums’

    ‘President Joe Biden said in a statement that Russia’s referendums are a “a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter…The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine,” Biden said.’

    I don’t think that Russia will care. And perhaps that is the biggest geopolitical result of this war. They really don’t care anymore. The EU has been cutting off all ties to Russia even before the war but now Russia is turning their back on Europe and looking east now – as are a lot of countries. Same with the US. Are they seriously expected to respect the opinions of people like Biden or Blinken or whatever other clown is thrown up by Washington? They have just experienced a coordinated attack by the west that was intended to eventually break up Russia into warring State-lets and how do you forgive that? If a number of countries tried to break up America into its fifty States that would lead to constant internecine warfare between themselves but failed, would American respect or even care about what those countries had to say in future? And that is the thing about crossing the Rubicon. Once you do it, you can’t take it back.

      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks for the link. Here’s Jimmy Dore relaying how “Slo-Mo” Joe recently stated that he would commit US troops to defending Taiwan against Chinese aggression….again. His handlers in the White House literally walked it back in the middle of his interview but the dogs are baying:

        Why tangle with just one nuclear superpower when you can go big with both of them? Good thing I live at ground zero, no cannibalism for me…

        1. rowlf

          …and The Babylon Bee is here to help:

          Jean-Pierre Clarifies That Official White House Policy Is The Opposite Of Whatever Biden Says In Interviews

          This official policy comes on the tail of the White House clarifying and contradicting nearly every statement Biden has made regarding the pandemic, Taiwan, illegal immigrants, Russia, inflation, and unborn babies. Curiously, there has been no correction from the White House after Biden called half of U.S. citizens an existential threat to democracy.

    1. semper loquitur

      Great points. It’s as if the West doesn’t think that the non-West, and for that matter large portions of the West, are watching what’s going on. Here is Chris Hedges, from over a year ago, on the state of the American empire:

      It seems the war in Ukraine is catalyzing the threats to American hegemony he lists.

    2. Lex

      Yeah, except Putin has been methodical about making sure he has an excellent case under international law that will never be heard. He’s got it buttoned up right down to using precedent set by the US. Of course Biden doesn’t care and couldn’t articulate article 51 if he was reading it out loud. Biden’s voters don’t care either. They’re all incapable of looking back even to 2008 when Kosovo was “recognized” much less 2003 when the US made a mockery of the UN.

  19. Dave in Austin

    Re: The typical Chinese adult is now richer than the typical European adult, a new wealth report finds Insider

    There is no real Chinese retirement system so the Chinese save for retirement. In Europe there is a Social Security-style system people depend on, so the taxes paid into that system should be counted as savings, which they are not.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      These “pensions” aren’t exactly rock solid, so considering them to be personal “savings” is a bit of a stretch. In the United States the Supreme Court has previously decided that FICA contributions are merely taxes, and so the government can reduce (and even eliminate) Social Security payments if it so desires. Europe is similar in this regard. The public pensions are in no way guaranteed.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its a very odd article – I couldn’t find any source that backed up those figures. So much depends on how you calculate individual assets. Not least is the problem that so much Chinese household wealth is tied up in housing property in a grossly overvalued market.

  20. Lexx

    The crapification of tea towels… we bought a 5th wheel and I’ve been outfitting it. Mostly at Walmarts, Ace Hardwares, and City Markets along southern Colorado. Finding anything on my list was challenging enough back home in a larger market, where there was also bupkis but hope. In Alamosa there is bupkis without the attitudinal adjustment.

    At the top of the list are kitchen towels. Some form of weaving has taken over the market that I don’t care for at all. They have loops of cotton in the back. They catch on things, break, hold lint from the dryer, leave it behind when drying glasses, wine glasses in particular. I like large 100% cotton towels, closed weave, and if I’m lucky, waffle-patterned for discerning hausfraus. Not to be found anywhere now and no, the internet won’t do; I have to fondle them before purchasing. And when I do finally find a towel I can use, they seem to start falling apart within a year; the stitching goes first. I can remember towels that lasted for years, but no more.

    Also a grease splatter screen so I don’t have to repeatedly clean the stove. I found a cheap twofer at City Market. It’s days are already numbered. The best I’ve found (and still have at home) was from William-Sonoma, heavy gauge metal with tight screening and a good handle.

    We’ve always been a careful couple, who used tools properly, took care and maintained our possessions. It’s never seemed more important than now when replacing them may not be possible in the future. That old adage about how ‘they do’t make ‘‘em like they used to’.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      Pro tip from a life long thrifter. Nobody wants Gramma’s good china (requires hand washing) or the linens from her Thanksgiving table (requires ironing). Hit the local volunteer run charity shops for a dozen good sized Irish linen napkins – somewhere in the range of a dollar a piece – and you’ll have great glass towels as well as dish towels. I use mine till they’re ragged and then move them to dust rags. No ironing needed and better quality then anything new.

      1. Lexx

        Good tip, thank you! Bid on three items at an online estate sale before we left. Got outbid for the flatware and and stag candleholder, but there was little competition for Grandma’s vintage wine glasses. Paid $16 for five lovely glasses. Paid twice that again for a proper storage box and loaded them in the RV. Sorry, someone’s Grandma.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Grandam would probably be happy to see that her glasses were being treasured rather than thrown on a trash heap.

    2. C.O.

      Yes, I have noticed this too. Now I am kicking myself for not buying more of the ones I picked up at one of those pop up shops that are set up in the middle of mall hallways, at least here in Canada. All cotton, well sewn, made in India, still in one piece and doing their job. Have never seen their like since, just the kinds you describe. Seems to go with the complete vanishing of simple cotton gym socks of any length.

    3. AndrewJ

      Do they have a Trader Joe’s in southern CO? They source some Turkish or Moroccan cotton kitchen towels. There’s a name for the cloth but I’ve forgotten it. Mine have held up well for years now.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Fouta. Apparently discontinued at TJs, but eBay has some. Current low price, $10 for 3-pack, free shipping.

    4. Lex

      My gramma took up spinning and weaving in her later years (spinning first and then she bought a loom at like 85 because she was spinning anyhow) so I got quite lucky in having grandma’s tea towels that she made.

    5. katiebird

      I got great dish towels from IKEA about 8 years ago. They actually dry dishes and hands — they don’t just smear the moisture around. I don’t see any sign of wear yet…. But who knows. I do put them though the dryer so they’re probably losing something each wash.

  21. Mikel

    “CIA launches a podcast, hoping to ‘demystify’ the agency and boost recruitment” Miami Herald.

    “Today marks the 75th anniversary since the CIA was formed. Since 1947 it has been destabilising the world all to protect American interests here is a thread documenting just some of its crimes.”

    It’s easy to “demystify” the agency once the phrase “protect American interests” is demystified.
    They are the servants and thugs for international corporations and elitist families. Those are the “interests.”

    1. JBird4049

      Sigh… maybe it’s because I grew up with old school liberals and leftists, but to me this is like saying that water is wet. But since the actors agents from Miniluv are on all the shows sponsored by Minitrue being given softball questions with their every word slavishly listen to and their every lie unchallenged by the “interviewers” maybe I am being the deluded one.

  22. Mikel
    “…Pichai was asked, in a question that was highly rated by staffers on Google’s internal Dory system, why the company is “nickel-and-diming employees” by slashing travel and swag budgets at a time when “Google has record profits and huge cash reserves,” as it did coming out of the Covid pandemic.

    “How do I say it?” Pichai began his measured response. “Look, I hope all of you are reading the news, externally. The fact that you know, we are being a bit more responsible through one of the toughest macroeconomic conditions underway in the past decade, I think it’s important that as a company, we pull together to get through moments like this….”

    Did any of the employees notice all the stock price based compensation?

  23. Mikel
    “Corporate employees at Amazon got emails about promotions and raises. Then they got emails saying the raises weren’t quite what they thought.

    A one-time bonus that was part of their compensation package had been miscalculated due to a software error and would be lower than what they had been told, according to an email sent on Thursday and viewed by Insider.

    The bonuses had initially been calculated using older, higher stock prices, according to Insider, and about 40% of promoted employees this quarter were affected by the error…”

  24. Milton

    Came across this almost 40 years ago Ansel Adams interview. The interview is all encompassing and discusses his craft (as well as other photographers’), the setups for some of his most iconic shots, and a sprinkling of what he imagines an ideal public policy as far as public spaces go. The interview was conducted about a year prior to his passing.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    About the article ” Brazil’s China-Heavy Election” . . . Bolsonaro is quoted as saying: ” “The elections this year will determine whom you serve. Bolsonaro is the only one capable of saving us from the Chinese communist domination agreed with Lula and the corrupt Workers’ Party.” ”

    Really? That’s funny. Bolsonaro is the one who wants to burn down every last tree in the Amazon to plantationize it all into more soybeans for China. I wonder if the Lula campaign will raise that point in an overt manner.

    Separately, I note that the article refers to “populist rhetoric” about China, which is really code for “criticism of Free Trade and its enablement of Chinese Mercantilist Economic Aggression.” The author clearly supports the Free Trade World Order.

    Brazil is big enough to be a viable semi-autarky if it were to run itself that way.

  26. DJG, Reality Czar


    Giorgia Meloni and the Lord of the Rings. Yikes, lazy thinking is on display.

    In response to the War Nerd’s foaming at the mouth at the Prancing Pony, one of the responses clarifies:

    Atticus Phlegm


    Sep 23
    Replying to
    We really need to retire the political categorical language of the 1930s. She’s a right-liberal, and to call her a fascist because of obscure partisan genealogies just deforms the term.

    Yes, Elrond:

    Indeed, Phlegm gets it right. Currently, Meloni, who is CPAC adjacent, and alum of one of their conferences, has trusty lieutenants in the US of A making nice with the colonial masters of our satrapy here on the Mediterreanean.

    {And Draghi has been accused of being her protector. He also is a right-liberal. Coinkydink? You think he told Kissinger that the ragazza is a-okay?}

    Culturally, the underlying article in the NYTimes is a crock of shinola. In Italian culture, fantasy doesn’t belong to the right. Some of the biggest fans of Tolkien are Wu Ming, who were involved in bringing out the newest translation:

    Wu Ming are very left. They also are creators of the New Italian Epic, which often has much fantasy. They wrote Q and Altai, two epic novels of religious strife and bloody plotting.

    Wu Ming 1 (Roberto Bui) wrote the very left epic, La Macchina dei Venti, which portrays the antifascists imprisoned on the island of Ventotene—visited by the gods. It is not available in English but worth the effort to find in Italian. Among the real people are Altiero Spinelli, Sandro Pertini, Eugenio Colorni (and, off island, the amazing Ursula Hirschmann). And then there’s Hermes.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>We really need to retire the political categorical language of the 1930s. She’s a right-liberal, and to call her a fascist because of obscure partisan genealogies just deforms the term.

      There is also the problem of the deliberate sliming and misuse of political and economic terms to make discussion, change, and reform almost impossible. To me the most obvious is the use of the terms communism, socialism, leftist, liberalism, center, moderate, and conservative.

      I think that while the political language from ninety years ago is probably obsolete, and certainly poorly explains today’s politics, whatever language is developed will be deliberately used incorrectly by some; getting and maintaining power is often helped by controlling or destroying the narrative of others. Creating a kind of Tower of Babel.

      If you cannot communicate what you mean accurately to others, how can you cooperate with them and effect change? You would find it almost impossible.

  27. ChrisRUEcon


    Is the pandemic over?

    Well, given that the CEO of Pfizer just got COVID for the second time in two months (via Twitter, and is that too much time for the Paxlovid rebound?!), that’s gonna be a “NO” from me, dawg.

      1. skippy

        Old poster here on NC Pilkington is having a good time on Twitter, painted Krugman for future reference because his rear view mirror said naw wrt to the U.K., bonds/stocks are simultaneously getting the treatment and the currency is very wobbly, not to mention retail traders have gone all to one side of the ship on put options.

        The only thing near that absurd is Noah Opinion is saying the Ukraine economy is solid and ready to launch – contra almost 2 decades of just the opposite and then is white washing history with missives like this …

        Then to my surprise Lars is pro Ukraine … what a whack world …

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          LOL … Thanks! I found Pilkington’s tweet! Amazing that Krugman won “Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel” (what a mouthful!) for a paper on … *drumroll* …


        2. ChrisRUEcon

          I think Twitter’s algo’ started trying to more like eff-b**k … Even though I follow Lars, my lack on interaction with him seems to have downrated his appearance in my feed. But yes, others too in my heterodox and #MMT circles have bought into the whole #sLaVAuKrAIni nosh.

          1. skippy

            Yeah I demand to see his FX trades over a decade and his currant position, oh and I have had travesty over conversations about him stepping outside his wheelhouse on – past – trade dynamics … but Liberal Saint Krugman – !!!!!

            Whom knew Slim Pickens on the bomb was an orthodox theological economist ready to ***End Time*** and not history so they could not be refuted ….

        3. ChrisRUEcon

          As for Noah, he blocked me a long time ago, as he did anyone who was “non-academic MMT” and argued with him online. I’ve finished my Econ masters, since … :) … but have no further desire to interact with that fool.

        4. PlutoniumKun

          Pilkington is great, wish he was back here writing, although he seems to have moved on in his career. I was scratching my head reading those Krugman posts trying to work out his logic.

          I’m not a market watcher, but this week could be very interesting in an ‘we live in interesting times’ way. The UK could be very close to a major currency crisis if investors decide to bail out before things get really sticky over the winter. The mini-budget is just bizarre, even if you believed in bizarro-world Randian economics. It has to rank as the single highest risk budget in the UK’s history, its betting the entire countries economy on a one-off fiscal stimulation and a drop in natural gas prices plus a hell of a lot of other things going right.

  28. Jason Boxman

    But employees who were responsible for collecting money from patients said the aggressive tactics went beyond the scripts provided by McKinsey. In some Providence collection departments, wall-mounted charts shaped like oversize thermometers tracked employees’ progress toward hitting their monthly collection goals, the current and former Providence employees said.

    On Halloween at one of Providence’s hospitals, an employee dressed up as a wrestler named Rev-Up Ricky, according to the Washington lawsuit. Another costume featured a giant cardboard dollar sign with “How” printed on top of it, referring to the way the staff was supposed to ask patients how, not whether, they would pay. Ms. Tizon said such costumes were “not the culture we strive for.”

    Under Washington’s law, Providence was supposed to screen patients at the hospital to assess whether they qualified for free or discounted care. But Providence often checked patients’ income only after months of hounding them had failed, according to depositions included in the Washington lawsuit and internal memos that a former Providence executive shared with The Times.

    At that point, Providence ran accounts through a screening tool provided by Experian, a credit reporting company, to determine whether accounts were eligible for free care.

    (bold mine)

    More evils from the American deathcare system. This behavior has been called out before, for example in ProPublica, but as far as I can, no executives ever go to jail. This is all just a misunderstanding, you see. There was really no intent here at all. And because this is America, it’s all legal anyway. (Abusing nonprofit status ought to be some kind of federal crime, no?)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      What is most shocking about the Alzheimers research problem is the number of scientists who are doubling down on what are now largely discredited theories. It does really back up the old saying about science moving forward funeral by funeral. Unfortunately, the dead weight of money can make this even worse. The big pharm companies will do everything they can to rescue their existing cash cows.

  29. The Rev Kev

    “In America, Clean Water Is Becoming a Luxury”

    Not hard to work out why. A former Nestle CEO said that water was not a human right but an exploitable resource and commodity that should be leveraged for money. He actually called the idea that water is a human right “extreme.” This being the case, clean water becoming a luxury is just a logical consequence of this idea.

    1. ambrit

      And the American “Left” makes no comment either.
      Lavrov’s speech to the UN General Assembly is about as frank and direct as diplomatically possible. When a consummate diplomat like Lavrov begins to speak in short, direct statements, you know something is up.
      There is no comparison between the Russian political “team” and that of America.

        1. ambrit

          I know. Overton’s Porthole has gone almost off of the right side of the hull recently. Or perhaps the Ship of State has capsized and Left is now Right and Right Left. [That’s why the scare quotes around ‘left.’ But you knew that.]

          1. skippy

            Wellie I wish I could share[tm] with you and yours my Sunday BBQ. Carne asada flank steaks marinated overnight in adobo sauce from scratch, Mexican street corn with sauce from scratch, Mexican salad, and Gallo Pinto from scratch. Going to make a few quesadilla’s on the side from the asada and grill on the BBQ for that real deal foodie thingy …

            But yeah look at my response to ChrisRUEcon above and delve deeper if you wish … basically I’m with Plikington and even YS of late has noted that economics is dead because it became a theocracy of twisted moral imperatives of which no fundamental observations could refute, because the path dependency built in by individual greed supersedes all other considerations.

            1. ambrit

              You have made me hungry at Midnight here. Sounds like great grub. Is the Gallo Pinto near to New Orleans’ ‘Beans and Rice’ in it’s recipe? I looked it up and it seems closer to Cuban Black Beans and rice. So many tastes and flavours to savour.
              The precious metal lining of that dark cloud of economic determinism is that inerrant ideologies sooner or later run aground on the reefs of the phenomenal world. (To continue the nautical analogy.)
              It is enlightening that greed has become a “moral imperative” in today’s world. A Prosperity Gospel for the Church of Mammon, Savings and Loan?
              I’ve just seen a video about the Bank of Japan perhaps beginning to sell off some of their long term US Treasury bonds to defend the Yen. How do you say ‘Black Swan Event’ in Japanese?
              As always, enjoy and be safe.

              1. skippy

                Yeah Gallo Pinto is a classic case of the poor using leftovers from the day before for breakfast/with some eggs before hitting the masters fields and became a cultural dish of identity, basically means spotted rooster.. But don’t get me going on their ceviche’s or home cooked pork rolls with plantain bananas and spices topped with manic homemade salsa in a jar filled with peppers, garlic, spices and banana vinegar/oil.

                Then again I have a penchant for santa maria de dota costa coffee or its ilk … in a brikka pot …

                1. ambrit

                  Oh my. Fried plantains. We love that whenever we can find plantains here in the North American Deep South. I used to get plantain chips in Miami. Regional cuisines. Somehow I don’t see a globalist cuisine gaining traction.
                  I’m a coffee barbarian according to Phyl. She used to make her own coffee from plain old commercial beans and make cafe au lait. It’s not like the cafe con leche I got used to in Miami. Something as ‘simple’ as coffee comes in so many versions. That’s one of the big joys of living in a multi-polar world, the variety.

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