Links 9/4/2022

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.

* * *

A Prole’s Guide to Drinking: What Beer to Quaff on Labor Day Slate

Telescope searching for space treasure unearths giant planet The Times

A New Study Confirms That Gravity has Remained Constant for the Entire age of the Universe Universe Today Universe Today (Furzy)

Leak ruins NASA moon rocket launch bid; next try weeks away AP. Resilc: “F-35 quality control comes to NASA”

The Epidemic Facing Ash Trees McGill (Resilc)


Help from kelp: how Maine lobstermen are holding back the tide of warming oceans The National

Zimbabwe moves 2,500 wild animals because of climate change NBC News

Radioactive Waste ‘Everywhere’ at Ohio Oilfield Facility, Says Former Worker DeSmog (Furzy)


Urgent aid appeal launched as satellite images show a third of Pakistan underwater The Guardian

Rising heat and drought fuel unequal access to safe drinking water LA Times


The benefits of an Omicron specific COVID-19 booster, explained by an epidemiologist CBC

Cutting COVID isolation and mask mandates will mean more damage to business and health in the long run The Conversation

The growing evidence that Covid-19 is leaving people sicker FT (Anthony L)

Information Note – Cases of pneumonia due to unknown cause under investigation in Tucuman, Argentina Pan American Health Organization


WHO: Declining monkeypox cases prove outbreak can be stopped or even eliminated The Hill

Map of Monkeypox Cases by US State Data Herald. Based on CDC data.


US approves $1.1bn Taiwan arms sale, angering China BBC

China Banks See Bad Property Loans Piling Up  Nikkei


‘Friendly ties’: Myanmar’s top general to visit Russia Al Jazeera

Blinken Denounces New 3-Year Prison Term for Myanmar’s Suu Kyi VOA


To Be a Vulture in India Is Still To Be Constantly Threatened The Wire Science (Jerri-Lynn)


Karish gas field: Are Lebanon and Israel preparing for war? Middle East Eye

To Renew or Not to Renew the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement, That is the Question Counterpunch

Iran equips its cities with civil defense systems amid Israel, US tensions Jerusalem Post

Cost-of-living crisis in Middle East likely to mean further ‘repression’ Middle East Eye

Old Blighty

Fresh round of strikes in the UK affects freight RailFreight

New Not-So-Cold War

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant loses main powerline again, UN nuclear watchdog says ABC Australia

ACURA Viewpoint: David C. Speedie: Book Review: ‘How the West Brought War to Ukraine’ American Committee for US-Russia Accord (Resilc)

Death of Russian oil exec highlights suspicious ends met by those who crossed the Kremlin NBC News (Furzy)

* * *

Dead of Winter Doomberg

European Commission Calls For Price Cap On Russian Natural Gas

Russia says it will stop selling oil to countries that set price caps Reuters

Europe’s Energy Crisis Deepens After Russia Keeps Pipeline Shut Bloomberg

New Fertilizer Production Cuts Heighten Concerns for Global Food Supplies GRO Intelligence

United States and Europe Shoot Themselves In the Head and Blame Russia Larry Johnson

* * *

On top of the $44.5 billion already sent this year and billions more since the 2014 US-backed coup

Biden Administration

Biden’s goal to end hunger by 2030 and his new food conference, explained NPR. $2.5 million. To host a conference.

Biden speech denouncing Trump, ‘MAGA ideology’ sparks threats, calls for violence Yahoo News

GOP Clown Car

Republicans Have Only Themselves to Blame for Their Alaskan Defeat Atlantic (Furzy)

Democrats en déshabillé

John Podesta to Oversee $370 Billion in U.S. Climate Spending New York Times.

Obama Legacy

Why Obama-Era Economists Are So Mad About Student Debt Relief The American Prospect

Groves of Academe

Guillotine Watch

Everyone pays the cost as the rich keep spending FT

Class Warfare

Ohio School Hiring Ex-Military for “Strike Security” – 6,000 Seattle Teachers Move to Strike – Univ of Minnesota Strike Could be Next Payday Report

Labor Day is May 1 Jacobin

The US has a ruling class – and Americans must stand up to it Bernie Sanders. The Guardian (Furzy)

Zeitgeist Watch

Hun Sen challenged by ‘doomsday cult’ Bangkok Post. Furzy: “Too weird!”

‘Honor Her Memory… by Fighting Like Hell’: Barbara Ehrenreich Dies at 81 Common Dreams

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (for our beloved friend, Barbara Ehrenreich)


    When Americans live in our cars
    We thrive on chips and candy bars
    We bathe with tiny towellettes
    Have no address and no assets
    We park and sleep when the sun goes down

    We change our own oil cut our own hair
    Dream of renting someplace somewhere
    Work full time jobs until we drop
    Retail, warehouse, broom n’ mop
    Tough to have to do this in your own hometown

    Between parking tickets and payday loans
    It’s hard to keep some meat on your bones
    You cannot cook so you eat from sacks
    Parked on the streets where you can’t relax
    Drugs for sale when it’s all too much

    We once were humans now we’re scum
    Not welcome anywhere in our rolling slum
    People slash your tires pop your trunk
    Break your glass steal your junk
    No wonder we like a pharmaceutical crutch

    Sixty million of us have no net worth
    Being down on your luck brings you down to earth
    When it is what it is when you have no food
    Without a friend in the multitude
    Anything to survive is what you’ll do

    All the billions we spend to visit Mars
    And on endless hybrid proxy wars
    Or getting pictures of distant stars
    What about Americans living in our cars?
    Does this seem a little top heavy to you?

    People living in cars need help to progress
    Some safety some plumbing a home an address
    If you had none of these you’d look for them, right?
    If you had to sleep in your car every night?
    If this happened to you while you did your best?

    It happens to more of us every day
    American poverty won’t go away
    While the Pentagon empties our national purse
    Making colonies of countries that we can coerce
    High time to come home and fix our own nest

    1. Carla

      This is more than a fitting tribute to an irreplaceable activist and writer. As an anthem to the people Barbara Ehrenreich worked and lived among while researching her iconic book “Nickel and Dimed,” it stands alone. Thank you, Antifa.

      P.S. Maybe among the NC commentariat there is someone who knows her family and will send it on to them. Hope so!

      1. Mikel

        Let’s not forget her timely observations in: “Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America”

        Book description:
        “Americans are a “positive” people — cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: This is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive is the key to getting success and prosperity. Or so we are told.

        In this utterly original debunking, Barbara Ehrenreich confronts the false promises of positive thinking and shows its reach into every corner of American life, from Evangelical megachurches to the medical establishment, and, worst of all, to the business community, where the refusal to consider negative outcomes–like mortgage defaults–contributed directly to the current economic disaster. With the myth-busting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of positive thinking: personal self-blame and national denial. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best–poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage….”

        1. semper loquitur

          I saw a sign on a telephone pole today announcing “Better times ahead!” that I’ve seen up for months now. I wonder how bad it would have to get before someone tears it down in disgust. Cannibalism?

          1. JBird4049

            Nickel and Dimed is good but $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by writers Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer is possibly even better at showing the brutality of our country.

    2. Stillfeelinthebern

      Thank you Antifa. As my partner says almost daily. We are a sh*tty country. Barbara opened our eyes, may we never forget her.

  2. timbers

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Another European official who – like the German Foreign Minister – tells his countryman that his job and that of elected and other government officials is to ignore the interests of their citizens and instead serve the interests of Ukrainians:

    Protesters denounce Czech government’s sanctions on Russia

    “PRAGUE — Tens of thousands of protesters from the far right and far left joined forces Saturday to rally in the capital against the country’s pro-Western Czech government. Police estimated the crowd at Prague’s central Wenceslas Square was around 70,000. They condemned the government for its support of the sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine and accused it of not being able to tackle soaring energy prices.”

    “Prime Minister Petr Fiala…(said) those protesting are expressing pro-Russia views “that are not in the interest of the Czech Republic and our citizens.” The Czech Republic firmly supports Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion and has donated arms, including heavy weapons, to the Ukrainian armed forces.

    There are various links to the article and they seem to make a point to describe this as a radical fringe protest for example Rueters: Organisers of the demonstration from a number of far-right and fringe political groups including the Communist party…”

    1. NN Cassandra

      You can get even better quotes of some minister flatly rejecting the idea that the job of government should be to maintain/increase general welfare of citizens, that there are higher aims like Western values, etc. Granted it was at the beginning of this war, now as it no longer looks like an easy win the lecturing is a bit more convoluted, but it’s clear the ruling classes see themselves as moral beacons fighting the final battle with darkness and the ungrateful cannon-fodder is just getting in their way.

      Also these organizing it technically are fringe groups, because the establishment enforcers were/are pretty successful at stamping out any fundamental critique of current course.

    2. Lex

      But the Europeans made it nearly illegal to even hear the Russian point of view via traditional media, so how can all these tens of thousands fall prey to Putin’s evil propaganda? What sort of insidious power over humanity does does Vlad the gas denier have and how does he manage to accrue it? Maybe most importantly, how did the European people become so weak-minded to fall prey to the evil that arises from the asiatic horde at its doorstep?

  3. Stephen

    Pictures on various alternative media sources state that possibly 70,000 people protested in Prague yesterday over energy prices and the proxy war with Russia.

    The Czech Republic only has 10 million or so inhabitants.

    Legacy corporate media in the UK seem either to ignore it or claim that far right and far left “fringe” groups organized it. They do not explain why so many people protested if it is fringe groups, nor why the far left and far right are such good friends.

    The Czech flag looks very like the Russian one, by the way. They are not waving Russian flags but I see zero Ukrainian flags.

    Did not see a comment on it yesterday so apologies if I missed it.

    We are still in summer. This is going to get ugly if European governments do not convert to being sane, rational and humane. Soon..

      1. Polar Socialist

        As the say goes: If everyone else is a hysterical fringe extremists, maybe you are the hysterical fringe extremists…

          1. Skip Intro

            I thought that would make a excellent caption for the Biden qua Mouth of Sauron pictures from his ‘enabling act’ speech.

          1. chuck roast

            Nice photo. Clearly taken by an American “journalist.” When a hundred thousand show up against some genius massive stupido plan to attack some desert sheikdom, we will always see a headline story in the WaPo/NYT accompanied by a photo of a single geezer demonstrator accompanied by his little grandson. Isn’t that special! And so wonderfully personal.

            Formerly, Euro “journalists” would include wide range photo of a similar demonstration with the intent to show it’s actual magnitude. This must be the Nuveo Colombia School of Journalism.

  4. ArkansasAngie

    “Biden speech denouncing Trump, ‘MAGA ideology’ sparks threats, calls for violence”. And the rest of the story is that Biden’s speech has sparked violence against conservatives. Biden has moved the the bar from cancel culture to dehumanizing. This side of propaganda is bad. Divider in chief. Shall we have a few lessons in empathy if you can’t quite see past your own bias. Name calling leads to sticks and stones.

    1. voteforno6

      Yeah, conservatives have always been so polite to everyone else. Democrats should follow their example.

      1. reprobate

        This is not a winning line of argument. Look at all of the demonstrations in the last decade, particularly ones that resulted in property destruction or violence, the pet obsession of both conservatives and the PMC.

      2. hunkerdown

        Your domestic violent extremist religious group (aka political party) is of no value. Why do you bother flattering it as if it were?

        1. voteforno6

          I don’t belong to any political party. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy in people whining about the Democrats saying mean things about their opponents, when the Republicans have been saying things just as bad (or worse), for years. But, that’s the way that the MSM has been acting as well, so I shouldn’t be surprised that people on this site have also internalized these Republican / MSM attitudes.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            The difference is that Joe ran as the healer to replace the divider. Remember that?

            We’ve gone from “basket of deplorables” to “enemies of the state” in only six years. No offense, but Brandon is talking about members of my own family. I can disagree with them without wanting them on the next bus to the re-education camps.

            1. Lex

              Joe also have that speech as the POTUS rather than a candidate. It could be construed as the official policy of the USG that “MAGA republicans” are enemies of the people/state. Is the GOP, particularly the trump GOP, any better on this slide into open fascist rhetoric? No. But if one side wants to present itself as better, then this is not the way to do it.

              1. Skip Intro

                One imagines in the fullness of time, discovering that the speech coincided with certain executive orders and findings.

                1. JBird4049

                  Somewhere I am hearing the chant: Duce! Duce! Duce!

                  Let us honestly hope that it ends better for President Biden; Il Duce the President does not deserve that. If not a proper trial in The Hague, I will settle for excoriation in the history books.

          2. anon in so cal

            It’s not just Democrats “saying mean things” [italics added].

            Biden’s divisive rhetoric follows his use of the Department of Homeland Security and the Intel Community to effectively, at minimum, tarnish those who challenge the prevailing orthodoxy.

            Glenn Greenwald:

            “Read for yourself how broadly the Biden Administration and his Department of Homeland Security are defining who counts as a “violent domestic extremist.” When you hear them vowing to wage a new war on terror, it’s not just your enemies who will be targeted. Read what they write:

            “The U.S. security state apparatus regards the agenda of “domestic violent extremists” as “derived from anti-government or anti-authority sentiment.” In sum, to DHS, an “extremist” is anyone on left or right who opposes the prevailing ruling class & system for distributing power.”

            This accompanies increased censorship, including right before election 2020:

            “The brute censorship by Twitter/FB of authentic reporting on Biden, 2 weeks before the 2020 election, based on the CIA “Russian disinformation” lie, was grotesque: extremist election manipulation for Biden.

            So of course liberal journalists revere the Twitter lawyer who did it.”

          3. CitizenSissy

            All the false equivalency makes my head explode. BTW Republicans have made zero effort to improve the situation, and Biden calling out the fascist tendencies of the MAGAs is long overdue.

            1. Yves Smith

              Bullshit. Biden engaged in articulating a purely partisan position, not in a campaign event, but in his capacity as President with marines behind him. That is an abuse of his office. And using fascist iconography means he’s legitimating what he’s pretending to oppose.

              1. CitizenSissy

                Sorry, Yves, I fail to see bullshit in calling out a segment of the Republican Party who by any standard advocates near theocratic control of education, reproductive choices, and labor standards.

                How did you feel about the portions of the 2020 Republican convention held at the White House?

                And a Happy Labor Day to all.

        1. griffen

          Perhaps, but only after the polling results were in. If it worked as a strategy for one side, what would stop them.

      3. Alvin

        When’s the last time you heard about Republicans screaming at and attacking Democrats in Restaurants?

        1. lambert strether

          Dude, come on. When was the last time you heard about Democrats whacking medical doctors out of religious conviction?

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Has it occurred to anyone that Biden is treating the people of the US the way the US treats other countries? You are with us or against us. It’s the domestic version of the Ukraine War. The problem is the other side is starting to draw a larger crowd. Hit harder is their only response. They are stupid and they have no Plan B

    2. JAC

      That speech, well, I can tell you now that if I decided to vote, it will be for a 3rd party (if the D’s and R’s let them sneak on to my ballot) or for any Republican.

    3. Mikel

      When they made the push to choose Biden as their nominee, it was said subtly and not so subtly by the Democratic establishment that his appeal was that he could out Trump Trump.
      Shouldn’t be surprised by a display like that before elections.

    4. ArvidMartensen

      First you dehumanise. Then you round up. Then you exterminate.
      I believe this is a well worn path.
      IBM census machines once made this process so…. Clean? Efficient? Civilised? Some countries are known for their efficiency after all.
      What will take the place of IBM? Meta?
      And you can cure a lot of hunger by dispatching the hungry. Double entendre maybe? A bit like the meme “to serve mankind”
      As mentioned by yesterday,
      “All I know is that the moment of greatest danger in all our lives is now bearing down upon us. At some point – likely sooner than later – those who wield the power and control the levers of empire will make a move to preserve its dominion.
      I am personally convinced they will fail – and abysmally so – but almost certainly not without leaving oceans of blood and mountains of ashes in their wake.”

    5. CitizenSissy

      Huh? And what was January 6? Were you okay MAGA followers, often armed, intimidating school board members and election officials outside their homes? Not seeing a lot of empathy from this iteration of the Republican party; and good for Biden for calling it out. Not having the false equivalency,

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Your use of the term “armed” is a tell.

        The only people armed that day were the Capitol police, and they were the only ones who used their arms to kill someone.

        Rioting mobs are scary, and some of the January 6th rioters were scary – though many/most were ludicrous – but your claiming they were “armed” puts you in the category of propagandist.

        I’m a native New Yorker old enough to have been grossed out by Trump for decades, and I have no sympathy for violent MAGA-heads or militia types, but the #McResistance’s years-long, sanctimonious hyperventilating about Trump, simultaneously hysterical and triumphalist, while remaining silent about re-authroizing the Patriot Act, rescinding the Iran nuclear deal, walking away from the INS treaty with Russia under Orange Man, etc. – undermines any moral claims of the #McResistance and exposes this tawdry factional struggle amid steep imperial decline for what it is.

  5. ArkansasAngie

    “The US has a ruling class – and Americans must stand up to it “. You know all we need to do is publish Epstein’s list to see who these people are.

    1. Eureka Springs


      Dehumanizing may be the single best word in polite company to describe Biden, the person and his entire career. “We do everything but hang people for jaywalking” should be the quote on his tombstone.

      Epstein’s list is probably stored in the same basement as the D.C. madam book and Hillary’s yoga server.

      1. JP

        The link for Obama era economists angry about student dept relief is a real shout out to Biden. It would be an understatement to say Biden isn’t very popular with the NC commentariat but I can give him credit for (finally) responding to the student loan crime and he did stand up to the military to get us out of Afghanistan. He also seems to be nudging out the Kissinger legacy on Taiwan. Something that is also not very popular here. But the Taiwanese are not mainland Chinese and not a breakaway province. They should have the right of self determination.

    2. hunkerdown

      The system is working exactly as its design proposes. “If we destroy the scapegoats, the mythical lies we were taught about the system can come true” is the lie behind every political/religious (they’re the same) movement. I suggest comparing notes with other ideologies to find the typical partisan bullshit and renounce it. Break the wheel.

      1. flora

        That old political satirist and critic H. L. Mencken agrees. / ;

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
        H. L. Mencken

        1. Mikel

          Along with minimizing the real threats (hobgoblins).

          It’s the things they don’t want to talk about that should be paid attention to.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If we refer to imaginary threats as hobgoblins, perhaps we should refer to real threats as gobhoblins, to indicate that we are referring to under-referred-to real threats.


    3. Sin Fronteras

      Great article by Bernie! He nails the domestic side of the US ruling class / oligarchy domination of the US.

      HOWEVER: the US is the (declining) hegemonic imperial world power. Our wars devastate country after country in the global south. And now we are trying it out on Russia. Surely a paragraph in his article could have dealt with the Military Industrial Complex and US wars!

      Social democrats (Bernie and The Squad) have an unfortunate habit of not saying much about their country’s imperial wars.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps they are afraid of getting assassinated like Martin Luther King got. After he spoke out against his country’s imperial war of the day.

        1. JBird4049

          I am sure that some people have a plan and that many will fight back, but what concerns me is another Jakarta.

    4. JAC

      Bernie has done nothing for no one. He talks a lot but has a weak spine. He let Corporate Joe walk all over him.

      1. kson onair

        I don’t know how strong my spine would be after being at down by state goons and told to choose which of my grandchildren to keep and which to feed feet first into a wood chipper.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        I completely agree. Why anyone pays any attention to Sanders is beyond me. He is weaker than milquetoast.

      3. petal

        The last time Sanders came to my little burg, he was hardcore pushing Idpol and had chucked away his economic message, so forgive me if I no longer pay him heed.

  6. doug

    I read article at a major online investment site. about how decimated the Russian troops are, anonymously sourced. I made a comment about that is how classic propaganda works, and a few more truthy sentences. When I hit enter, A GIANT red button came up, telling me I might offend the other commenters, and was I sure I wanted to do that?

    That was instructive.

      1. doug

        And I just checked my email to find it was rejected:

        Your comment on Russian military now facing ‘severe manpower shortages,’ according to U.S. intelligence violates the community guidelines and has been rejected

        Here is the rejected statement:

        This article based on ‘anonymous’ sources should be considered propaganda. That is how it is done, text book style. I encourage folks to not invest based on such.

        1. kramshaw

          I’m imagining they didn’t take a proper gander at your comment, and might have just used a filter word list?

          1. jefemt

            ‘They’ might be programmed AI.
            Garbage in, Garbage out.
            Less payroll- every penny not spent on payroll inures directly to the bottom line.

          2. Objective Ace

            I’m not sure what the difference is?.. Snowden had an excellent observation: he set up an AI to go into the massive shared directories of the security state and download everything. Whenever any managers of those directories flagged the downloads and reached out to him all said was, “oh.. sorry, my AI downloaded that”.. as if that somehow made any difference as to what was going on.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          An investment website is not going to take kindly words to the effect “don’t invest”. Of course they will block it.

        3. ChrisRUEcon

          LOL … “propaganda” is a one way street, doug! It only runs from non-USian places that the US doesn’t like, or from domestic deplorables. Our famously free press is always to be trusted! And don’t you forget it!


        4. Ed Miller

          Doug: A few other investor types here might be interested in knowing which investment site to ignore. Personally, I would like to know so that I will know better than to believe anything another posts from that website. Partial name would be OK, to avoid others picking up the info.

      2. Old Sovietologist

        The American-Jewish Internet newspaper Forward, or rather its historical section “Forverts”, published in Yiddish, tells us a striking thing.

        Initially, from 1897 until the 1980s, the newspaper published such famous writers and activists as Emma Goldman, Leon Trotsky, Nobel Laureates Isaac Bashevis-Singer and Elie Wiesel. Forverts has always welcomed pluralism…until recently.

        On August 15, 2022, Forverts published an article by Yoel Matveev devoted to the research of the Israeli academic Alina Polonskaya, who explores the work of Yitzchok-Leybush Peretz (1852-1915), one of the leading scholars of Jewish literature in Yiddish, There was not a single word about the Ukrainians and the current conflict in the article.

        For some reason the editors marked the article with the note “Editor’s note: we have updated the article to remove some comments that may be considered offensive to Ukrainians.” Yet Ukrainians or the war in Ukraine were not mentioned in the article at all.

        Polonskaya has however, criticised the Western and Ukrainian narrative on social media and called for peaceful negotiations to end the conflict.

        We now live in societies where a skeptical attitude towards Western and Ukrainian media is already a crime, and writing about such a person is also a crime.

        What a time to be alive for writers and academics in the West.

    1. Lexx

      It’s so obvious it sounds like a publicity stunt… what happened when you clicked the red button? Assuming, of course.

  7. Lexx

    ‘The Epidemic Facing Ash Trees’

    Lost our ash last year to sun scald, not beetles, even though the local paper announced their arrival in our county two years ago. This is now a tree no longer sold by the nurseries here. We replaced it with a ‘Rocky Mtn. Glo’, a native maple.

    That tree too started to die soon after it was planted because we followed the nursery’s instructions on watering. They haven’t updated their instruction sheet to reflect the changing weather pattern of hotter days starting earlier in the spring (that’s how we lost the ash). The situation was saved by my husband looking for alternate (slower) ways of watering and finding the ‘Tree Gator’. That did the trick for this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised come next spring to see it hadn’t made it through the winter. We’ll be wrapping this tree in the fall and watering periodically through winter, then we’ll see. The nursery was paid to planted the tree professionally, so the tree is warrantied for a year.

    The foundation of documented communication with the tree manager has already been laid down… just in case the tree dies and they want to wiggle out of replacing it.

    Last week we went down to one of the southern ‘burbs of Denver to look at a used 5th-wheel. The owners were in Highland Park, in a kinda upperclass neighborhood. They’ve had water restrictions there this summer, allowing enough to lawns perhaps, but little extra for their large mature trees, much less the newly planted. We saw Tree Gators everywhere, some doubled up on a single tree. There were restrictions on using the sprinkler systems, not on ‘other means’. Also saw a lot of iron chlorosis. Because of the soil pH, iron spikes just won’t do the trick. Iron has to be injected directly into the trunk. Mature silver barked maples become patients in need of iron IV’s every 2-3 years.

    1. flora

      Tree gators are good watering devices for surface watering. Before going into winter, however, I’d also do a deep soil watering of young trees or shrubs (no fertilizer used) around the drip line of the trees. Something like these devices – deep watering rods – are good for deeper watering. Attach the garden hose and run the water at a very slow rate for a half-hour or hour, move the rod to next spot around the drip line. Depending on the circumference of the drip line, it might take only 1 point or watering or as many as 4 points. My 2 cents.

      or this

      1. Lexx

        Thanks, Flora. Would have been helpful in preventing the tree from being stressed in the first place, instead of the five-gallon bucket method they recommended. Looks like a similar device used by Davey’s Tree service when they come to feed our trees every spring. Those folks always look like they’re in a hurry though; scheduled so tightly it looks like a race to the finish. And its expensive, so with that device we may decide to just do it ourselves at a more leisurely pace.

        You’ve saved us money… air smooch! We bought the 5th-wheel and spent two days recovering from the self-inflicted gut punch of Denial.

        1. Lex

          Nursery trees are often abused before the purchaser gets them too. If the nursery sells it as a root ball tree it’s usually not so bad. But if the tree is in a nursery pot, it usually arrived bare root and then it is a matter of conscience by the nursery and staff. Many will want to skimp on pot size for labor and cost reasons, trimming roots (especially the tap root) to fit into a smaller pot. Pruned tap roots usually don’t regenerate properly and the tree will struggle forever. The best way is to collect your young tree when the bare root stock arrives and plant it immediately with no root pruning. (How bare root stock is stored at the nursery before planting can be another issue.)

          1. Lexx

            I’ve never seen a tree not immediately take off (we’ve planted two others, both large and healthy), so my suspicions ran along the sense of ‘root bound’. I didn’t go outside when those two men arrived and planted the tree (my husband did) and I didn’t see it taken out of the pot, but it was as though it was struggling to take up water if it was watered too fast. It had to be a slow infusion and eventually the tree leafed out. Still looks touch and go.

            Neighbors have stopped to inquire… ‘What happened to your tree?!!!’ Bless their hearts.

            It’s been such a hot summer here there’s still a chance it will expire over the winter from the stresses of extreme weather. I’ve placed an order with Amazon for the root feeder and will use it to keep the roots hydrated and cross my fingers. If we have to replace it, we’ll go bareroot.

        2. flora

          You’re very welcome. There are good comments, imo, in the Reviews Q&A section of the HomeDepot link under the question “how long do I water for?”.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “European Commission Calls For Price Cap On Russian Natural Gas”

    The EU already had a price cap on Russian natural gas. It was called long-term, fixed-priced contracts and they were the standard that the Russians wanted. Through them you had price stability and economic planning was easier. But then about a decade ago the EU had the bright idea to do away with these contracts and instead to depend on spot prices. Contracts were all fine and good but how were all those traders going to make bank in such a set up? So the EU – mostly – got their way and the present crisis is a direct result as prices went to the moon – and are still rising. But on the bright side, all those traders on the gas spot market are making out like bandits right now so there is that.

    1. NN Cassandra

      Well, the good thing about this scheme would be that while with the leaking turbines it’s a bit muddled who you can blame for what and who is responsible for gas not flowing, with price cap the answer to question who the broke contract will be much simplified.

      1. Polar Socialist

        If one counts all the six gas pipelines from Russian fields to Europe,
        – one was closed by Germany
        – one by Poland
        – one by Ukraine
        – one by “leaky compressors”
        – two are still operational
        It’s about as clear as mud that Russia is using the energy as a weapon.

        1. Yves Smith

          And Russia kept offering NS2 in place of NS1.

          But Alexander Mercouris said yesterday Yamal Europe is all reverse flow, so no gas from Russia on it. But is that your “Poland” one?

          1. Polar Socialist

            Yes. I believe Poland stopped transferring gas trough from Russia already last year. Not absolutely sure, though.

            1. Yves Smith

              Poland refused gas for roubles to get out of its spot pricing deal. So Germany sold gas to Poland on a markup to its fixed price contract. All so clever until Russia cut the flows to reflect Poland not paying and then the other reductions occurred too.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Looks like I was confused by Poland reversing the flow already at the start of the year, but then again pumping gas from East from February through April when they stopped paying Russia for gas.

        2. NN Cassandra

          I was of course referring to NS1 pipe and the current drama around it. If EU/Germany says nyet, we don’t want your gas at these prices, then the question of broken pumps becomes moot, no more droning about how Russia is inventing nonexistent excuses to stop the flow and our hands are tied, the argument goes back to flatly telling people there is no Russian gas just because. And I would imagine it will be harder to sell that in Germany than for example in Poland.

        3. Skip Intro

          That is the brilliant deviousness of the Russian mind, it may be due to large amounts of chess and beets. They cleverly tricked the west into denying themselves Russian resources, thereby cranking up the prices they receive, so they can sell less volume and make it up on price. It is likely to be an inside job though, has anyone else noticed a certain resemblance between BoJo and that other Boris? Was he named after his secret father Boris Yeltsin, and raised as a sleeper agent?

            1. LifelongLib

              I recall feeling sorry for him when he finally did something spectacular and for a brief time was allowed to call Fearless Leader “F L”. Then of course he screwed up again:

              “Sorry about that, F L”.
              “That’s ‘Fearless Leader’ to you, Badenov”.

          1. Alex Cox

            Peter Sellars played a British communist called Kite in the very funny film I’m All Right Jack (it’s an excellent picture, whose visual style Kubrick emulates in Dr. Strangelove). At one point in the film, Kite is asked if he would like to go to Russia. “Cornfields, and ballet in the evening?” he replies. “Why not?”

            Maybe it’s the combo of chess, beets and ballet in the evening that makes the difference.

    2. Ignacio

      Come on Reverend! Are you against business opportunities? The spice of life they are! Spot prices, costs passed to those without bargaining power… The main objective of any decent government compromised with the donors.

  9. Arizona Slim

    I don’t know how things are in other parts of the States, but here in Tucson, our homeless population also seems to have major drug addictions and mental health issues.

    Although the notion of getting them off the streets and into housing is an excellent idea and one I agree with, our local homeless need a lot more than just a roof over their heads. They need treatment for their issues.

    What comes next after treatment? Well, as anyone in recovery will tell you, the rest of your life comes at you, and it doesn’t stop. What are you going to do with it? That’s a question that needs answers, all day and every day.

    So, I would like to share this story from the Arizona Slim file:

    About 15 years ago, I was part of a volunteer crew that was installing water harvesting features at a local cohousing community. And here’s the thing about workshops like this one: There’s usually one participant who is full of ideas on how to solve our city’s problems, and, well, the rest of the workshoppers just have to listen.

    On this particular workshop crew was a guy who was so rich he owned an airplane and lived in one of those fly-in communities with a private airport. He was a real estate developer.

    One of his local projects was the renovation of an abandoned motel that had become a homeless camp. Instead of kicking the homeless out, he interviewed them, found that some had skills that would be useful in the renovation project, and he hired them.

    Now, what happened to the formerly homeless work crew? I have no idea, but I’m just putting this story out there in hopes that others will be inspired by it.

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      The poor depending on the kindness of strangers is likely not a scalable societal arrangement.

    2. Mildred Montana

      The “homeless” problem. I put the word “homeless” in quotes because the homeless are not a homogeneous group as in “The Homeless”. I believe I know what I’m talking about because seven years ago I was homeless for six months due to an addiction and to this day I still eat a couple of times a week at our local soup kitchen to stay in touch with some of the people I met.

      The way I see it from my experience, the homeless can be divided into roughly four different categories and each is different:

      1. Those who are homeless strictly because of economic circumstances. In other words, their only problem is no money, they are down on their luck. In my observation, these people are a distinct minority but the most amenable to help.
      2. Those who have behavioral problems, including the downright criminal.
      3. Those with mental illnesses.
      4. Those with uncontrollable addictions (that would have been me).

      Once the homeless population is broken down in this way, sensible and manageable solutions emerge:

      1. Financial help, low-cost housing, and employment opportunities (as you mention) for this group.
      2. Jail—yes, jail—for those in group 2 who are a threat to people and property. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but any housing given them is in danger of being destroyed and their neighbors are at risk as well.
      3. And, finally, for those in groups 3 and 4, institutionalization, with strict rules but medications and counselling provided.

      Before anyone bridles at “institutionalization” of the homeless, let me say that I kicked my addiction by going into a transition home with enforced regulations, counselling and meetings, mandatory chores, and random drug-testing. No violations whatsoever allowed. I was there for a year and it worked for me. I’m sure it would work for many others.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I fully agree, Mildred.

        And here’s the thing: I’ve been homeless. Didn’t last but a few days, but it was a truly frightening experience. BTW, I fell into Category #1.

        I also grew up near a Gaudenzia House. While I was a teenager, my mother took me over to the Gaudenzia open house for the community. I don’t know what point she was trying to make because my drug abusing period was still a few years into the future.

        The thing that bopped me over the head was the level of accountability that Guadenzia residents were subjected to. They came in, and they were given a job. At the very beginning, it was cleaning toilets. In order to graduate from toilet cleaning, you had to earn the privilege.

        What happened to this Guadenzia House? Well, it’s still in the same place it always was, and it’s a very respected part of the community.

        As for me and drug abuse, you wanna know what made me stop? Well, I was at a party in 1984, I was on prescription drugs and I also smoked some pot.

        Bad move. I passed out on a couch. From somewhere off in the distance, I heard my friends calling my name. They were trying to wake me up.

        They were successful.

        A short time later, I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Place was filled to the brim with nonstop cigarette smokers. I could barely breathe.

        But in that smoky place, a realization came to me. I told myself that I didn’t want to end up in a place like this. So, give up the pot and the occasional forays into hashish and opium.

        I gave up the pot. Haven’t smoked a joint since. I know that a lot of people say that marijuana isn’t a gateway drug, but for me, it was. That’s why I still avoid it, almost 40 years later.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        I deal with half a dozen homeless everyday.
        Some the same people, some new.

        You are ABSOLUTELY correct in your assessment.

        That the governing bodies…local, state and Federal don’t deal with this is a goddamn heart deep sin stain on our society.

    3. Mikel

      And how many are developing mental illness AFTER becoming homeless.
      There can’t be the assumption at this point that it’s mentally ill people being put on the streets.
      I don’t have twitter but #housingishealthcare

    1. Tom Stone

      Would that be “Black Lives Matter Global Initiative Inc.” by any chance?
      Funded in part by the Ford Foundation and other left wing organizations…

      1. Louis Fyne

        Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.

        Likely a subsidiary or parent of the entity you stated.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Tom Stone,

        You should revisit your idea about the Ford Foundation as Leftist, even aside from its history as a CIA cut-out overseas (see Chile, 1973). As the news shows us every day, liberal and Left are not to be confused.

        Sure, they’re big NGO funders, and are up-to-date on Woke terminology and HR imperatives, but that money serves to deflect and divert from real Left activism, which is/ should be obsessively focused on labor education, organizing and mobilizing. While you’ll find much attention paid to personal pronoun preferences and the like, you’ll find precious little attention or money devoted to working class issues, which is far from accidental.

        Even the Ford Foundation’s support of BLM is indicative of their deflection, since they saw early on that BLM is about hashtags, marketing, career advancement and embezzlement. Along with its sibling, Defund The Police, it has been a political disaster, alienating people with idiotic slogans and politcal dead ends.

        1. digi_owl

          Sadly the left-right sorting hat has been broken since Clinton held office.

          These days, at least when it comes to US politics, it is far right and further right.

          1. tegnost

            centrist republicans vs right wing republicans.
            The left in the US is completely neutered.
            It’s part of the whole state department policy of strategic ambiguity.
            What we call capitalists are actually socialists, while the workers are capitalists, but the PTB call them socialists. Up is down, right is left… and so it goes…

          2. Michael Fiorillo

            Yes (mostly) and no…

            While it’s inarguable the country’s center of gravity has moved ever-rightward in recent decades, the recent expansion of union struggles is a good thing, and objectively Left. As self-financing working class institutions, unions are highly unlikely to be part of any so-called Left-Right convergence, since ultimately the Right cannot abide worker self-organization.

        2. HotFlash

          Having read Tom Stone’s comments before, I’m pretty sure it was snark. But it’s so hard to be sure… I miss the “snark” tag.

        3. JBird4049

          Then there is the fact that Henry Ford and his Foundation also heavily supported eugenics back in the day.

            1. JBird4049

              One can also point to several foundations, philanthropist organizations, or their direct antecedents that currently support PBS and NPR programming as also being big funders of all things eugenics; it only really stopped when the European death camps were exposed, but although advocating exterminist ideas became verboten, “meritocracy,” Biden’s carceral state, and other life destroying ideals keep being supported especially when they are separated from their historical classist and racist basis.

      3. Harry Haller

        Ford Foundation is a left wing organization? What’s next, “left wing” corporations or “left wing” capitalists/oligarchs?

  10. Ignacio

    RE: The benefits of an Omicron specific COVID-19 booster, explained by an epidemiologist CBC

    OK, that was an interesting interview that raises interesting questions though I believe that it was too short and focused in only a few questions. The problem is that we really don’t know anything at all since the new vaccines are not being tested in humans before approval and we look poised to a fresh large scale experiment. Running for it without clinical trials breaks former requisites and make RNA vaccines exceptional from the regulatory point of view. The reason/excuse is that such essays are expensive and time consuming. We are in a hurry apparently because authorities want mass vaccine deployment before next high season, but does such massive effort merit a try when you know nothing about the responses? It might be the case that such a campaign would be expensive, time consuming and basically useless. A few months ago Covid was over and now we want a mass vaccination campaign with too many unknowns? Are we running again as beheaded chickens?

    1. GramSci

      Alas, Ignacio, it’s difficult formulating long-range plans. The US government has had to balance campaign donations from Pfizer against the need to keep workers on the job through the November elections. Then Congress and Europe can begin work on another two-year plan.

      1. Ignacio

        Looks kind of a Soviet Republic of America in which CEOs of large corps dominate the Nomenklatura not to mention the Free Press advancing and applauding the policies.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that link. It ties everything that I have been reading about over the years into one neat package. I even remember that video of that little girl with the knife. A thought did occur to me. How many of those kids that received Nazi training are now in the west where their mothers evacuated them? Will it change those kids I wonder. or will they be eager to go back to take part in the fighting?

        1. Socal Rhino

          Just saw an ad for a new Ken Burns PBS documentary about opposition in the US to Jewish immigration in the early WW2 era. Setting the stage for an influx from Ukraine?

            1. GF

              In other news on the immigration front:

              Democracy Now! had a segment on the Afghan immigration process and status of the Afghans who worked for the Americans.

              “While the U.S. and allied nations helped evacuate some 122,000 people out of Afghanistan, the U.S. has failed to process requests for “humanitarian parole” — a program granting U.S. entry that costs each Afghan applicant $575 and is what Reveal reporter Najib Aminy says is “one of the last possibilities [for Afghans] to leave the country.” According to documents obtained by Reveal, out of the 66,000 applications filed for humanitarian parole, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has processed less than 8,000 of them and approved just 123. Meanwhile, the agency has already approved more than 68,000 applications from Ukrainians since launching a separate program called Uniting for Ukraine in April after the Russian invasion and has charged these applicants no fee.”



        2. Cristobal

          Here is a link to a recent Scott Ritter post that – towards the end – discusses similar camps in upstate New York that are and have been operating for years. A little nervousmaking.

          1. Buzz Meeks

            Could you please post the link? Not showing,
            Wondering if these are some of the Israeli camps Hillary had funded in the Catskills when she was senator from NY?

      2. Cristobal

        That is a really creepy story. Residents of upstate New York may be interested in this post by Scott Ritter regarding the Ukraine´ government´s list of ¨unfriendly¨ persons, It gets even creepier (it can´t hapen here).

    2. Tom Stone

      Basically useless?
      Have you looked at big Pharma’s bottom line?
      And Social Security will soon be in sound financial condition!

      1. Ignacio

        I am not saying it is useless, but it could be the case. To ascertain that, and having previous vaccines, a superiority assay (at least) would be the normal approach. Even if you find it time consuming to analyse field results on protection the minimum you could obtain would be a comparative of humoral responses. That would be more than nothing wouldn’t it?

    3. CanCyn

      I ask this seriously and unsure of the difference and also to be clear, I am not happy about treating COVID as seasonal ….but we do not have human trials every year for the new flu vaccines that are deployed. What is different about the new OMICRON vax that means we should have human trials? Adding not that we had enough testing to begin with. Is that overall lack of testing the problem or is there enough different in the new shots to warrant testing?

      1. flora

        I dunno. Maybe the difference between the first flu vaccines being fulling FDA tested and approved, and the C19 vaccine still not fully approved and only released under emergency use authorization? So a booster test on mice only – mice – of a not yet fully FDA approved med is an EUA of an EUA product? That might make a difference, might warrant more testing than mice. (I’m not a medico.)

        1. CanCyn

          Thanks for the links Flora & Dean at noon. I am not sure that I’ll go for this new shot. I was hesitant about the 3rd booster, didn’t get the 4th. I am happy to continue limiting my exposure to strangers/crowds and mask. See how things go into the fall before I make a final decision.

      2. Objective Ace

        Flora made some good points, related, it’s also just the number of iterations we’ve been through.

        Flue vaccines have been given out for decades. The fact that we’re switching them up in it’s 50th or 60th iteration brings much less risk then switching them up for the 1st time. I honestly have no idea if flue vaccines had human data vs mice data the 1st time they were switched up – but that is the relevant comparison.. not now after we’ve had 50 yrs of experience with them. It’s a slight of hand comparison

    4. marku52

      It seems they are approving this booster after testing it on 8 (yes, that’s right ,8) mice. And it includes the original Wuhan strain, so you get the additional benefit of Original Antigenic Sin along with your untested-in -humans injection. And after boosting, when tested with Ba.5, all the mice got Covid.

      Safe? We have no effing idea, haven’t even looked.
      Effective? Nope.


  11. upstater

    re The Epidemic Facing Ash Trees McGill (Resilc)

    Our valley, much of it abandoned agricultural land, is dominated by ash trees. 7% of New York State trees are ash, but they cluster in wet areas. 75 years ago it was mixed with elms. A few elms continue to seed, growing 40 feet and 8″ diameter before succumbing. But with ash, it appears 100% mortality. Everything is dead.

    We have 15 acres that are 95% ash, fortunately few more than 12″ diameter. We’ve spent several thousands cutting wide corridors where foot trails had been, so we can maintain access. Plenty of firewood for the next 5 years, then nothing. I’ve milled several into lumber for projects. Last fall I planted buckets of black walnuts, acorns and hickory nuts, they’re growing. 2 generations from now this place will be very different. Some of the walnuts I planted in 1980 in my 20s at 60 feet high…

    The benefits of free trade. The ash borer has come in on shipping pallets.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I suppose the truth of the matter is that if you could live until the year 2122, that you might not recognize the forests of North America as climate change will select different trees for survival. And Ash will not be one of them. Not only through intense heat and fires but also the introduction of pests that normally would have died due to the colder climate of the 20th century.

      1. upstater

        We’re close to the northern range of many nut trees, while they predominate 500 miles south. The sugar maples are stressed. Regarding water, the long term climate models suggest more rain, less snow. Climate wise, I think central NYS will fare better than other regions in the US. There were very practical reasons why the northeast and great lakes were heavily settled by Europeans early on, while the remaining 75% of the US had to wait for air conditioning and heavy use of fossil fuels to boom.

        The predatory wasp that feeds on the ash borer is just now being introduced in the Champlain Valley. Hopefully it works and reproduces.

        1. John Beech

          upstater wrote in part . . . Hopefully it works and reproduces.

          Me? Think Kudzu and be on the lookout for unintended consequences!

      2. Bart Hansen

        As the winters see fewer extended hard freezes, the tick populations are predicted to increase. The season is not over here in central VA but my wife and I have not seen any increase yet, as each of us found only 3.

    2. GramSci

      I couldn’t click through to the story, but we lost a beautiful ash in Ohio in 2012 before being shunted to Florida. Upon rearriving North here in Outer Pentagonia this Spring we were astounded by the number of 12 and 15 foot ash trees–even though the many ashes of the 45 foot canopy were dead, dead, dead.

      Apparently, in a last hurrah, the doomed mature ashes put out a bumper crop of seed and the ash borer has not yet returned to feast on the juveniles. No one seems to know if and when they will.

    3. Louis Fyne

      Ash borers will always be around, if not “backfilling” areas they already past through, then via a new wave via imported pallets.

      IMO, a significant amount of damage done to bees is via the neocloprid used to save ash trees. Correlation, not causation, the the bee die-off accelerated as ash borer spread. (anecdote, notice a lot more bees around after the town stopped ash borer treatments and finished felling the weak ash)

      dead ash or dead bees, pick your poison

      1. upstater

        Onondaga County New York has not applied ANY neonics to preserve ash trees to my knowledge. In county parks ~10,000 ash trees have been removed. The state DOT and local utilities, towns and villages remove more. You should investigate where neonics are being applied; it sure isn’t for ash trees locally.

    4. Eclair

      Upstater, there are huge stands of dead ash here in Chautauqua County in western NY state. Last year we found ourselves the stewards of 62 acres surrounding my in-laws’ original 3 acre lot, acquired from the estate of our deceased 95 year old neighbor. It slopes down to a small brook, about 1/3 is wooded and 2/3 carefully mowed, twice a year, ‘old field,’ a former farm.

      Most of the dead ash are in the boggy bottom lands, although there are giants interspersed throughout. After every windstorm, we walkabout and survey the limbs and even entire trees, that have blown over.

      The current woodland is, in the words of the county forester, ‘not a healthy forest.’ It has been allowed to grow unchecked over the last 50 years and is a tangle of closely-spaced single-aged trees and house-sized thickets of invasive multiflora rose. Plus a sprinkling of invasive Japanese honeysuckle and Japanese knotweed. I have nightmares!

      And, the deer population has spread out of control. They browse down almost every seedling on the forest floor; they are especially fond of oak and maple, trees we would like to encourage. So, a natural progression of forest regeneration is pretty much a no-go. This year we are planting trees that like ‘wet feet:’ larch, red maple, swamp oak, river birch. And each tree has its own little protective cage.

      However, we are soldiering on. Sisyphus comes to mind. Or the Augean stables. Or the guy who tried to hold back the tide. We are in the process of developing, on the advice of our friendly county forester, A Plan.

      On the plus side: abundant water, so far.

      1. Eureka Springs

        I wonder how healthy a forest can be without a certain percentage of old growth? Here in the Ozarks we have no old growth. Old timers say since the building of first railways the Ozarks have been stripped 3 to 4 times. And I mean stripped to looking like the surface of the moon in brown. We can’t even determine if trees such as cedar are indigenous because stripping took place before documentation of such matters. There is a confederate cemetery not far from me with trees that age to compare what the difference looks like. And frankly I consider 150 plus the entry age of declaring old growth. I m also doubtful when some people around here say controlled burns in young thick brush/ new growth hardwoods is a good idea. Let the struggle, the new canopy do it on its own. In these hills fires do irreparable harm to so many other botanicals and the floor itself. I often think burning in the Ozarks (not environs like the Sierras) has to do with shorter term planning / propaganda of commercial forestry.

        In the seventies, for years, most holidays, weekends, much of Summers I had the good fortune of walking so much of our State with an Uncle who was the first of only four or five botanists hired by the Nature Conservancy to document every square foot of this State, Arkansas, its rare plants and animals. Uncle was a master, still mentioned for his knowledge and work in newspapers today, 40 years after his passing. Like Euell Gibbons we ate better than kings, catching fish with our bare hands, roots, greens, flowers, fungi combined with not much more than a pocket knife, metal cup, salt and on rare occasions a li’l butter in our pack. Where they burn, that floor which should be a major definition of a healthy forest is gone, even decades later.

        We need to give at least a hundred years between culling, where we cut at all, imo. And we really need to give some serious acreage 300 to 500 years just to learn what hardwood stands in the Ozarks could be.

        Wild ferns, once everywhere on the forest floor are all but gone these days. Something is seriously amiss among the birds. Mostly they just disappeared, not even a pass through. Bees are just gone as in zero for at least two years now. Bobcats are back. Mountain lions are back with more daring than the Bobs, in my yard ta boot. When it comes by my cat stays in the house for a week. But that’s okay with me for now since the fat rattlers are on their Fall move.

      2. JBird4049

        >>>And, the deer population has spread out of control.

        Oh, yes. Bambi the horned rodent. People don’t seem to want wolves or mountain lions and can’t seem to understand that they need trimming. It is not the deer’s fault, but you can not have a healthy forest without predators.

    5. MT_Wild

      In eastern Montana many of the drainages coming off the hills are too dry for cottonwoods or willows. The predominant tree is green ash, and it provides an important habitat component in what would otherwise be treeless grasslands and shrublands.

      The accepted wisdom is that the clock is counting down on these forests, and there isn’t much we can do about it.

    6. LY

      A few generations ago, American Chestnut (blight) trees and elm trees (Dutch elm disease) became critically endangered.

      In my lifetime, I’ve seen the decline of eastern hemlocks (wooly aphid), ash trees (emerald ash borer), and now American beech trees (beech leaf disease).

      The NY metro area is now in campaign to literally squash spotted lantern flies. These have popped up the last few years, and are serious agricultural pests. Remove your trees-of-heaven, the SLF’s preferred host!

      Another major emerging pest is jumping worms. These worms eat through leaf litter and other organic matter very quickly, leaving the soil exposed with easily-eroded coffee ground-like castings. This hurts our forests, as American forests evolved in a environment where this leaf litter sticks around and builds up into thick layers.

    7. JBird4049

      If the elms keep on somehow, they are likely, eventually, in a few centuries, start making a comeback. The American chestnut is supposed to be very, very slowly coming back from chestnut blight due to some combination of selective breeding, hybridization with Asian chestnuts, which are naturally resistant to chestnut blight, and lastly, of the descendants of the few natives free range trees that were also naturally immune or resistant.

      It has only taken more than a century of efforts starting with people now dead to get to this. I check on the progress of the efforts every decade or so. However, even the fastest growing tree takes a lifetime and breeding new strains…

      I can only be happy that it is not the Redwood or some species of oak although with in its range coastal redwoods are more like weeds than trees. I guess that is one of the reasons for there still being forests of them. That and being very hard to kill especially in a fully functional forest ecosystem with fungus, native plants, animals and whatnot.

  12. griffen

    I would not have known this actually happened but stumbled onto it. The equity market performance for retailer Bed Bath and Beyond is an insanely bizarre trend of the meme investors and then combined with a whale playing around the edges of what some might call “legal”.

    Sad commentary for the family here below, but this is or was a common thing after the 1929 crash. There is possibly more to this unfortunate ending, but this appears like a fresh story. Going long with the idea that something unusual is happening when a CFO exits ( I hope this does get posted ). Executives don’t often go this far, I must add.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The execs jumping after the crash is a myth.

      My dad’s brother in law “fell” out of a fairly prominent government building some decades ago. Gambling, so I almost always go there when I see these kinds of things.

      1. griffen

        Yeah I got the above wrong, had always thought or just assumed the stories were more akin to the stock brokers jumping after the Friday crash in 1929. I did find an article from 2021 where they had run some fact checking; apparently some big name comedians like Eddie Cantor were using the myth to add a bit of humor.

        1. ambrit

          The Snark is strong with this one.
          Westerners “fall” out of windows. Like Frank Olson, or Secretary Forrestal did.
          Coming Soon: The Defenestration of Wall Street.
          The Davos Dive? Those mountains are high pardner.
          Considering how large those Elite Egos are, cynical little me wonders if there might not be a sinister version of “nudge” theory going on here.
          Stay safe. Keep watching the skies!

    2. Kurtismayfield

      It is more plausible that he knew he was doing something illegal, and didn’t want to face the consequences. Most CFO’s aren’t “Salaried men” these days..

      He just sold $1 million shares of his stock two weeks ago.. maybe insider trading? Cooking the books?

    3. hunkerdown

      That “the decision was made” to close their quality-of-life store but hold the line in the baby accessories market is a very interesting subtext. It’s as if the imperial cores decided to get into a demographics contest for no real reason other than to dissipate energy and burn through souls as rapidly as possible.

      1. Ignacio

        This article (Spanish), says so.The Healthcare minister Carla Vizzotti informed. It all started in a private clinic and mostly among HC personnel. They are investigating now the source.

    1. digi_owl

      The whole thing is a pork barrel job in order to keep the former shuttle supplying factories going in the south.

    2. HotFlash

      It seems that NASA built well, 45 years ago. Hey, I have shoes older than that. And a leather jacket.

  13. Raymond Sim

    A couple thoughts about the slowing of the rate of increase in monkeypox cases:

    1. Given data collection practices by the CDC and the equivalent agencies of a number of other countries with many cases, this probably reflects the word finally getting out to gay men more than anything else. This is welcome, but unfortunately the disease is now well established outside of MSM.

    2. Growth is still exponential. If you have your computer or a calculator graph “exp(0.5x)” versus “exp(x)” you can get a sense of the difference – i.e. a slower boat to Hell.

      1. Raymond Sim

        I’m not sure if they’ve changed their guidelines. My impression is that doctors have more discretion in ordering tests. If Twitter anecdotes are any guide it’s now easier it is to find a doc willing to test for it.

        As for current data mostly reflecting changes among gay men, my thinking is that positive tests beget more testing, and with awareness, testing, and disease prevalence still disproportionately high among gay men, the effects of past practices likely still linger.

    1. vao

      It is all the more interesting because it provides contradictory trends:

      Shipments are very high: “U.S. container import volumes in June were lower than May but the highest seasonal volume since 2019. Twenty foot equivalent (TEU) volumes are 26% higher than in 2019 before the pandemic at 2,480,946.”

      But shipment costs are plunging: “the average Capesize rate has fallen from approximately $80,000 to $8,783 per day from October 2021 to today. That is now lower than the 5-year low for this time of year.”

      Delays in ports are down: “The average port delay across the top ten U.S. ports declined by 7% from May to June 2022”

      While traffic and waiting queues continue climbing: “the number of ships waiting off U.S. coasts for loading has risen by 66% since June. Additionally, the Suez Canal recorded an all-time high in daily traffic in August.”

      All the while, the traditional correlation between Baltic Dry Index and CPI is broken: “The BDI often leads inflation and the current trend is much lower with a wide divergence between the index and CPI.”

      So when the author states that “Falling shipping rates implies both lower economic activity and lower inflation”, I am not so sure. I have a feeling we are truly in unchartered economic territory and that those old heuristics no longer apply.

      By the way: swathes of the European industry are being throttled or even shut down. Glas manufacturing by the end of 2021, then fertilizer production just after the war in Ukraine started (with a secondary effect on agricultural production itself); now paper and steel industry, as well as intensive agriculture (see flowers and vegetables in the Netherlands), with more and more sectors being affected.

      Knowing that, historically, periods of hyper-inflation were caused by the sudden disappearance of productive capacity (e.g. for Germany, the Belgo-French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923; being cut off from the industrial heartland of Czechoslovakia post-WWI for Hungary and Austria; the expropriation of farms and industries cum transfer to incompetent, corrupt cronies in Zimbabwe), could Europe be heading to hyper-inflation because of the dearth of affordable energy leading to the massive closure of manufacturing plants and the reduction of agricultural output across the sub-continent?

    2. John Beech

      The slow down in China is real. People love to bash China but I wish we had a leader with the stones of President Xi. Imagine if in February 2020, and instead of fighting Trump’s every move, the country had gone along and sat tight for a month. Not just USA, but the whole world. A month of cooperation would have put paid to COVID.

      1. HotFlash

        I have similar thoughts about the defenestration of the occasional Russian oligarch. Maybe could use a little of that around here?

  14. Mark Gisleson

    The housing buys data may be misleading. I live in a small (less than 1000) town in a very rural area. I bought my house from a retired farmer who uses his massive equity to buy local houses when they don’t sell. He then finds buyers who, like me, find a contract for deed (good in MN, not everywhere) a good deal (NO BANKS!).

    He just bought the house next door and is looking for a young family to rent to who might be amenable to a contract for deed. He only owns two or three houses at a time, and has singlehandedly protected this town from investment buyers (he really doesn’t seem to pocket much from these deals because he fixes each house up).

    No, I don’t think most flippers are like this farmer. Probably because few communities have residents who still feel like their community is worth protecting. And when I lived in cities, everywhere I lived seemed to have community groups trying to achieve the same goal: stable communities not being drained by rents from outside investors.

    1. Carla

      So good to hear about this farmer. He is helping to maintain real community in your small town. The problem with community groups trying to do this in cities is there’s very little actual community in cities anymore. The institutions that actually built community in urban and suburban areas have been methodically dismantled by neoliberalism — in many cases intentionally, but in others, as an unforeseen consequence of some other neoliberal priority. I’m talking about political wards that disappeared in the wake of at-large city councils, PTA’s supporting local public schools, formal and informal block clubs, even neighborhood shopping areas of small local merchants — the whole infrastructure of the virtual and actual “front stoop.”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Title changes are recorded, and these arrangements have been on the decline. It seems Minnesota has some more credible standards than most places, but I suspect the arrangement is linked to farms or even passing on houses.

      The official reasoning for subprime loans offered to minority home buyers through HUD circa 1999 was to reduce rent to own arrangements which are just terrible.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Tim – What Mark is describing is called a Vendor’s Lien Deed in other jurisdictions such as Alabama and they are still quite popular. I’ve had clients with several on their books and they are always looking for more.

        These are not the same as rent-to-own arrangements as you seem to imply.

        One major difference is that the deed is transferred to the buyer in a Vendor’s Lien at closing. In a rent-to-own arrangement, the purpose of the contract is to lease the property with some of the payment going to an eventual down payment on the actual purchase. The deed is not transferred until this later transaction is closed, which depends on the buyer finding financing for the purchase.

      2. HotFlash

        Is this the same as a land contract? In Michigan in the late ’60’s, this was a common way to buy a home if you were Black* or Hispanic. For instance, Blacks were not permitted to access (that word!!) VHA mortgages. So, a land contract is kinda like a mortgage in that you make payments over time, but the *BIG DIFF* was that you were *not* building up equity and if you missed even one payment, that voided the contract and you lost it all. Maybe the mortgagor would allow to to stay on as a tenant if you paid up, maybe s/he would allow you to start over, but all your previous payments were lost. All nice and legal.

        *side bar — I am confused about this, I am nominally white, can I petition for a capital letter, too? Well, actually, I am tannish-pink, in winter whitish-pink. Perhaps Brazilian artist Angelica Dass can help us out here: Humanæ is her photographic work in progress “an unusually direct reflection on the color of the skin, attempting to document humanity’s true colors rather than the untrue labels “white”, “red”, “black” and “yellow” associated with race. It’s a project in constant evolution seeking to demonstrate that what defines the human being is its inescapably uniqueness and, therefore, its diversity. The background for each portrait is tinted with a color tone identical to a sample of 11 x 11 pixels taken from the nose of the subject and matched with the industrial pallet Pantone®, which, in its neutrality, calls into question the contradictions and stereotypes related to the race issue.”

    3. Objective Ace

      It depends what society’s goals are. I like to think of myself as the farmer. I buy things no one would move into (think holes in the roof with water pouring in) fix them up and rent them out. In one sense I’m protecting the community from blight – but in another, I’m the one who benefits from the Fed’s subsidized rates.

      The tenants payments are paying down my mortgage not equity for themselves which leaves them less sheltered when things come up. If we had more protections like universal health insurance home ownership would be less of a big deal… but as it is its the only way many people can ever have a comfortable life is buying a home

  15. notabanker

    So the gist of the Obama era economists (Larry Summers) being mad about student debt relief is essentially the means testing isn’t complex enough to render the program useless, ala HAMP.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Yes but the interest from a student loan is already forgiven. From the article:

        Your forgiven debt includes tax-deductible interest. If a lender forgives a business loan or mortgage, you don’t need to report the interest as income because it would have been deductible anyway.

        Student loan interest is already tax deductible.. so forgiving it can occur tax free.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Kurtismayfield – Just to clarify:

          Forgiven interest is generally tax deductible, but forgiveness of any principal is taxable, with certain exceptions.

          Debtors should receive a Form 1099-C which will indicate how much is principal and how much is interest.

    1. tegnost

      “Just as with cramdown, one reason the Obama administration failed to swiftly help homeowners was their obsession with ensuring their policies didn’t help the “wrong” type of debtor.”

      i’d say that’s bs, they were completely focused on helping the right kind of donor. The article was too easy on the biden, even as it was pretty clear on the failings of the hope/change crowd.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Agree completely.

        If there’s any “obsession” at all, it’s in coming up with a logical sounding “reason” they can’t possibly keep the campaign “promises” that got them elected.

        And it only seems to be a “legitimate” concern when certain people stand to benefit.

      2. notabanker

        Means testing all debt for forgiveness up to $10K results in circa $300BB cost. To eliminate means testing entirely on all debt up to $10K would cost another $44BB. Someone has to cover the Ukraine tab.

        Keep in mind that is on $1.6 Trillion in over all debt, so the $10K limit can only address a small fraction of the problem.

        BTW, I paid cold hard cash to send my kids to college and it was a non-trivial sum of retirement money so they wouldn’t have to face this nonsense. If anyone should be pissed, it’s me. And just the opposite, if we had taken out some debt, I would likely be means tested out of what is a paltry amount of relief in comparison to the total cost because someone in the DNC thinks I don’t deserve it. They can all go straight to Hell without passing go.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I think that’s too gentle a fate. Humans lack conception of an appropriate fate and the words to describe it.

          1. HotFlash

            Au contraire! I can think of it, but can’t put it into words in a family blog. Dante’s Inferno is only one inspiration.

    2. TimH

      On HAMP… My ex-GF’s apartment was being repo’d without telling her by her lender, who suddenly became honest when we sent a Qualified Written Request (QWR) with questions like “Statement of any actions that I need to do, if any, to ensure that I remain not delinquent”.

    3. Mikel

      Wait a minute…they can’t even get a list of names and say these people can stop paying NOW?
      They put it in that screwed up, BS tax code?
      (100 clown emjois)

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Cutting COVID isolation and mask mandates will mean more damage to business and health in the long run”

    You just know that this is going to end badly. I can only think that because it is the start of spring here, that they are going to hope that the warmer weather will help cap the number of people getting sick or something. And the present Federal government is continuing the policies of Scotty from Marketing. They may say that they are now rapidly pushing towards a “business-as-usual” pandemic but in practise what that means is that you have people getting sick again and again leading to staff shortages right across the board. The government wants to bring in a lot of emigrants so perhaps the idea is to use them to plug the gaps – until they get sick that is.

    And that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has called for isolation to be scrapped altogether. Worse. He and others are changing laws so that public health bodies will not be able to give health orders but only the politicians. As that idiot Perrottet said ‘I believe we need to move away from public health orders, we need to move … to a system in which we’ll respect each other – if you’re sick you stay at home, if you’re not sick go to work.’ which translated means that you are on your own. But long term, it will hobble the economy that they are so protective of but by then they will be gone and be working in the corporate sector, just like Gladys.

    1. BRetty

      Ummm … Mike Davis is a discredited fraud who has been making up “news” about how Los Angeles is Going to Hell for four decades.

      But admitting to fabricating quotes and whole people and places for the sake of “the story” in “City of Quartz” etc doesn’t stop people from thinking he is somehow wise.

      1. chris

        I thought that was just one story back in 1999, and that he had people defend him because he considered what he did more prose than journalism in that specific case?

        1. BRetty

          Since my knowledge and opinion of Mike Davis came mostly from an article on, in like 1999, I unfortunately cannot produce a working link.

          Subsequent references to Davis in my life have come from Angelenos who read “City of Quartz” and believe every word is alarmingly true, but have never ventured from the Westside, or West Hollywood, and are contemptuous and dimly afraid of anything or anyone “out there”.

          I have no ill-will towards Davis, but his name has been the punch line of a joke about a certain Steve Martin/LA Story kind of person for 20+ years. His pronouncements about Impending Doom are not news.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      If Martin Sheen can win an Emmy portraying an ineffective president, there’s no reason Obama can’t.

      Yes, we can.

      1. Bart Hansen

        One of his t-shirts is languishing in the closet, but because it was a good quality cotton, I am thinking of wearing it again, only inside out.

                1. hunkerdown

                  Kathy Lee Griffin hasn’t broken down all the barriers yet, but we can’t be too far from The Aristocrats live and in stereo.

                  Bart Hansen might have a screen-printing project along the lines of major tattoo rework, if he chooses to accept it.

  17. Tom Stone

    Things are getting more interesting by the day here in the land of the fee.
    Covid deaths are now well over 1,000 a day and growing, Monkeypox is making inroads, the Mar A Lago raid was obviously political and provocative ( The overly broad warrant, conducted by Agents who were grossly biased and compromised by their involvement in the Crossfire Hurricane scandal) and now Biden’s “Horrible Deplorables” speech.
    I almost forgot to mention the 1200 year drought here in the American Southwest,my bad.
    And of course Ukraine, just the cutoff of water to Crimea and the latest commando attack on the NPP were enough to cure constipation, next will be the economic and social collapse of Western Europe.
    Trying to discern motives rational or otherwise is not a simple matter when our “Leaders” have become objectively insane.
    Declaring that nearly 74 Million Americans are the enemies of all that is good and true is going to have consequences, one of the more likely consequences IMO is Martial Law being declared before the mid terms.
    If you think that no one could possibly be that stupid you haven’t been paying attention.
    As an aside we haven’t had any really big fires yet this season.
    I have a recurrent nightmare about a 6.8 quake on the Hayward/Rogers Creek fault on a hot and windy October day.

    1. Screwball

      And the cherry on top of all this will be stock market mayhem? Given all that’s happened over the last 15 years (going back to the 2008 meltdown) the market has held up (actually advanced quite a bit) surprisingly well. We are now seeing it turn over a bit. How far will it go? Depends on who you read. You can find plenty of bulls and bears, whatever suits your fancy.

      But it has survived COVID, wars, bad earnings, etc., but interest rate hikes have slowed it down a bit. Given what we see in Europe as well as things here at home (not so much good economic news), I don’t see how the market holds up. Looking at the technical’s, there is no bottom for quite a while once the bear starts eating.

      How deep, how fast, and how long? The November elections could have all kinds of issues facing the “most important election of our lifetime™.”

      1. Objective Ace

        >Given all that’s happened over the last 15 years (going back to the 2008 meltdown) the market has held up (actually advanced quite a bit) surprisingly well.

        That tends to happen even you increase the dollars in circulation by 600 percent.. asset appreciation doesn’t really mean much on its own. During the Weimar Republic the price of bread went up fivefold over the course of a day – hooray!

    2. Thistlebreath

      Seismic threats are real and for all intents and purposes, unpredictable. So is vulcanism. And I have to shudder at the gubbmint’s recent rejection of a system to detect life-ending asteroid approaches. Let’s not even start with ‘let ‘er rip.’

      Not to jump to conclusions or anything ** but ** the idea that’s been floated here on this forum, for some time, is that we are in thrall to a death cult.

      This concept is getting harder to disprove, on a daily basis.

      What is to be done? Act locally with compassion.

      We volunteered for some time with our county fire agency to evac large animals during wildfire events. One in ten horse owners also own a trailer. Salvation cuts both ways.

      1. HotFlash

        Seismic threats are real and for all intents and purposes, unpredictable. So is vulcanism.

        Vulcanism, now that’s a religion I could get down with.

    3. Socal Rhino

      You’re claiming 74 million MAGA Republicans? I don’t think so Tom. Like the Democrats, Republicans are a coalition of multiple groups.

  18. Louis Fyne

    I’ll say it…Bernie has jumped the shark a long time ago and he needs to retire to some academic emeritus dean-ship somewhere.

    Bernie votes to give Ukraine a blank check and now has the gall to talk about class problems when he is an accomplice (or useful idiot) to putting Americans last.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Even Jane doesn’t listen to Bernie anymore. But the fundraising for his 2024 re-election bid is just beginning.

    2. Keith Newman

      Very disappointing about Sanders. In addition to what you say, what is the point of an article going through the inequality stuff, again, if nothing is proposed to improve it?

      1. Earthling

        See above comment from Ismoe. It’s that time in the cycle, to start bravely saying all the right things, so the disenfranchised will start sending in their contributions again, so he can get their hopes up, and more contributions, then shepherd them into voting for his good friend Kamala or Pete or Chelsea or other corrupt muppet.

    3. Fraibert

      I had the same reaction. Senator Sanders leading from behind, as always

      Here we have a man who can’t even stand up for himself in high stakes political contests (proven in Sanders vs. DNC _two_ times) telling others to “stand up” against the elite. Not interested in anything he has to say.

      1. HotFlash

        Yeah, so sorry Bernie, you have spent all your cred with me. To quote Lord Buckley (not *that* Buckley, *this* Buckley) “If you get to it, and you can’t do it, then there you jolly are you are, aren’t you.”

  19. Alice X

    White House seeks $13.7 billion more for Ukraine

    Brother, can you spare a billion?

    Remembering William Proxmire and his Golden Fleece Award.

    To update: a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon we’re talking about real money.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      We should send someone to oversee these funds to make sure they are properly used. Someone who is familiar with the country, knows the landscape and the business leaders, has a real connection with the Ukrainian people. Where is Hunter these days? He could paint from his studio in Kiev. There are tons of Ukrainian single women – about 200,000 more of them than before the war – so he won’t be lonely.

    2. tegnost

      The military spending being referenced by year vs. public spending by 10 years really chaps my hide. I’m not sure how exactly it all adds up but my napkin calculation seems, with this latest infusion to be about 65 billion and it’s only september so we’re definitely pushing 100 billion by years end. So in public spending terms we’re on a trillion dollar track in this purposeful destruction.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      If they didn’t give it to ukraine, what would they do with it? It’s not like the people in Jackson, MS can use it.

      1. ambrit

        Those deplorables in Jackson would only waste the money on stuff like diapers, rice and beans, clean drinking water, etc. Spending that money on Predator drones, HIMARS systems, large calibre howitzers, plus all the ammo to go with them is well known to return a much larger “bang for your buck.” There is as of yet no ‘K’ Street lobbying organization representing the “Deplorable Demographic.”
        Do notice that “deplorables” is a gender neutral term. It seems to have been designed to replace former offensive terms like n—-s, and w—- t—-. The all purpose insult.

    4. Dave in Austin

      The “Billion here, billion there…” quote is from Everett Dirkson. Who said Republicans don’t understand humor?

    5. ChrisRUEcon

      We can go from boom to bust
      From dreams to a bowl of dust
      We can fall from rockets’ red glare
      Down to, “Brother Can You Spare”
      Another war
      Another wasteland
      Another lost generation …

      “Between The Wheels” by Rush (Lyrics by Neil Peart)

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Karish gas field: Are Lebanon and Israel preparing for war?”

    Probably not. Israel would like to just grab those off-shore fields for themselves but they can’t. Hezbollah won’t let them. And it was only several weeks ago that Hezbollah came out with a video showing off the missiles that would take any platforms out hidden in a bunker somewhere. But maybe what really put the wind up the Israelis was when the Ukrainians hit a Russian platform in the Black Sea with a missile forcing the Russians to evacuate the workers from it. It was a preview of what could happen if the Israelis set up an illegal platform. Hopefully the Israelis and the Lebanese can get together and negotiate an agreement that both sides can live with. Otherwise, that gas is going nowhere.

    1. Thistlebreath

      Elijah Magnier detailed this standoff a couple of weeks ago on his site. The full article is behind a paywall but he discloses enough for free to get a clear picture of how the arrangement evolved.

  21. Mikel

    “Radioactive Waste ‘Everywhere’ at Ohio Oilfield Facility, Says Former Worker” DeSmog

    Ohio battalion fire chief, Silverio Caggiano:
    “Given their poor industrial hygiene practices that we have photographic evidence of, even a medical situation could expose first responders to high levels of radiation and contaminate their rig as well as the emergency department. If they have a flood — that is highly probable given their proximity to the Ohio River and current weather extremes — it would spread the radium contamination everywhere, including Martins Ferry’s aquifer. If they had a fire, fighting it with water would be like a flood spreading contamination beyond any containment. If they let it burn, the smoke would carry the radioactive contaminant everywhere in the wind and any responding companies and mutual aid companies would become contaminated.”
    “In my opinion, the best way to prepare for this type of business,” he added, “is to keep them out of a community in the first place.”

    “…The Austin Master facility is located in a former steel mill on the Ohio River, not far from the city of Martins Ferry’s drinking water wells and the football stadium of the local high school team, the Purple Riders….”

    …”The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) does regulate the state’s roughly two dozen oilfield waste processing facilities, but in a limited way…”

    (insert 500 clown emjois)
    You “ain’t seen nothing yet.”
    Wait until people get a load of the rebooted, more deregulated nuclear plants. Brought to you by Neoliberalism!

    And BTW…my weekly ask…what’s the plan for disposal of billions of gaoline powered automobiles?

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      ICE automobiles are disposed of daily, and have been for generations. EVs can pose a major problem when it comes to disposal as the batteries are highly flammable and highly toxic.

  22. Mikel

    “Peru identified the first South American lineage of Monkeypox called B.1.6.

    The impact of the new mutation is still under study.

    “UNKNOWN PNEUMONIA—Very worrisome—3 people have died, 9 people infected, of which 8 medical workers, are in hospital after developing a “pneumonia of unknown origin”—Argentinian authorities announced. Not COVID or flu. #ArgentinaPneumonia”
    Good thing indoor air filtration and ventilation has been taken seriously throughout the country here while researchers figure out what’s going on.
    ..oh wait…
    (insert 1,000 clown emjois)

  23. Mikel
    Bed Bath & Beyond exec ID’d as Tribeca ‘Jenga Building’ jumper

    This is fascinating if you are aware of recent meme stock craze around the company’s stock (ala Gamestop).

  24. DaveinAustin

    Two comment.

    The link from AP and the comment: “Leak ruins NASA moon rocket launch bid; next try weeks away AP. Resilc: F-35 quality control comes to NASA” is off base. No huge engineering project using untried systems ever works the first time. Every rocket developed by the USSR and the US was “plagued” by problems and delays. Today is no different. Look at Musk, Space X and the like. This is headline as snarky editorial. Compare this with today’s NYT Serena Williams headline: “Seven Days That Closed Out a Career” sub-headed “At the U.S. Open, Serena Williams laughed, rocked sparkly shoes, rang the bell at the stock exchange, beat two opponents, teared up and said goodbye. She didn’t win, but she didn’t lose.”

    I didn’t know the stock exchange bell was now located at the US Open. If the NYT treated Serena Williams like AP treated NASA, the headline would have read: “Defeat Ruins Serena Williams Comeback, Career Ends On A Low Note”. Serena Williams is the Tom Brady of tennis; both were amazing but age catches up with us all. Headlines shouldn’t be disguised editorials. When we are served one of these rancid tidbits we should recognize it for what it is- and laugh.

    Second, the Pakistan flood. Satellite pictures show huge areas of flooding upcountry, maybe 1/3 of that area but not of the whole country. So technically untruthful, but an attempt to tell us about a real and possibly unprecedented crisis. The upcountry valleys are irrigated by the rivers and I suspect the damage to the water distribution system is extensive. Worse, when the flood heads down the Indus to the sea, much more farmland will be flooded. Karachi is west of the Indus river and will be spared. But the heavily populated land 20-50 miles to the east will probably be flooded and create another wave of refugees.

    Karachi is a city of refugees, 13 million people; 30 times larger than it was in 1947 and about 1/3 of Pakistan’s economy. When the USSR invaded Afghanistan in 1990, Pakistan’s population was 115 million. In thirty years it has almost doubled to 235 million. The arable land has not increased. Agriculture is heavily dependent on now-expensive foreign fertilizer and deep-well irrigation, which is slowly failing. Watching Pakistan is like watching an avalanche slide down a mountain and gather speed. Demographics, resource poverty and climate change combine to make the Pakistani floods a potential food crisis later this winter. The country is very poor and not economically viable without outside aid. The flood crisis could tip it over the edge.

  25. smashsc

    Re: Alaskan Defeat

    BFD. The Democrat can do proxy voting for 2 months before having to survive another election. What counts in November is if the Republicans who selected the Democrat as their 2nd choice as a protest against Palin will come back to the party to swing the vote back by 1.5% & re-secure the seat.

  26. Mikel

    “European Commission Calls For Price Cap On Russian Natural Gas”

    “Companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, echoing a statement made yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

    Isn’t the level of obtuseness of EU negotiating and expections reminiscent of the same attributed to Britain during Brexit talks?

  27. John

    Sleep for six months? Maybe there’s something to be said for simply paying less attention to the news, instead. Not checking out but deciding I have other concerns beyond Democrat vs Republican-politics. New approach? Basically, I’ve decided I’ve got no family bloggings to give – none!

    Instead, I watch. I listen more carefully (interesting what you hear when you withhold the emotions). Big change is I just let the propaganda-part wash over me. No emotion. What’s different? I mull now instead of react with outrage to whatever ‘they’ are up to.

    Conscious decision on my part instead of nature taking me out of the loop a few months at a time like a bear. Colder instead of hotter? Yes. Better? For me, yes.

  28. Mikel

    “John Podesta to Oversee $370 Billion in U.S. Climate Spending” New York Times.

    So people allegedly concern themselves with “democracy” and electing officials and they turn over things to corporate lobbyists.

    1. Young

      I would like to see Podesta Bros’ client list. I want to get on the bandwagon early, if anyone of them publicly traded.

      I think their clients will get a big piece of that $370B.

  29. Stephen

    There seems to have been an anti war demo in Cologne today. Allegedly, they are all Russian speakers. It’s a new variation on far left and far right extremists as a way of marginalizing protest. However, they did interview a German speaking baker! Telegram videos looked to me to be more than the 2k attendees quoted but always hard to estimate.

    Apparently in Paris too, according to Alex Christoforou of The Duran. But cannot find any details on this one. Either misinformation or a media black out.

    European vacations have ended. Demo time starts.

    Am not sure what to be most annoyed about: the substance of the energy price rises, the stupidity and ideology of European governments or the disinformation and propaganda that they and the corporate media orchestrate. The west is increasingly resembling what it claims to be fighting.

  30. Mikel

    Trying to pin the nail on the coffin of the global economy as we know it:

    Gives 2010 as the year

    2) WTF happened in 1971
    1971 is the year

    3) The never ending fallout of WWI thru 1945

    4) All of the above

    5) Other

    1. digi_owl


      As old man Marx put it (i think), capitalism lurches from crisis to crisis.

      Capitalism, thanks to debt, is bipolar. It will go from debt fueled euphoria to foreclosure fueled depression, With each depression failing to fully wipe out the debt burden of the preceding euphoria. Thus each euphoria stacks more debt on top of the last one.

      The open question, and what likely lead Marx to muse about communism and socialism, is how much stacked debt capitalism can cope with before complete collapse.

  31. fresno dan

    Carter Page, a foreign policy advisor for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, cannot sue the FBI or numerous other involved former officials over a series of forged FISA warrants, a judge sitting in Washington, D.C. ruled late Thursday.
    Summarizing the allegations of the lawsuit, the ruling says Somma “misled and withheld information from DOJ attorneys regarding Page’s status as a CIA operational contact” and kept lawyers in the dark about Christopher Steele‘s “political bias and funding source.” The judge quotes the appraisal of the Office of Inspector General that Somma was “primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions in the FISA applications.”

    The court also catalogues a series of alleged and proven missteps with respect to the Page warrant applications by agent Joe Pientka, analyst Brian Auten, then-FBI director James Comey, then-deputy director Andrew McCabe, then-counterintelligence deputy assistant director Peter Strzok, and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

    “There is little question that many individual defendants, as well as the agency as a whole, engaged in wrongdoing,” Friedrich writes. “Even so, Page has brought no actionable claim against any individual defendant or against the United States.”

    The crux of the rationale used to dismiss Page’s lawsuit relies on a gap the court found in the FISA law’s redress subsections.
    So….Page can’t do anything to punish people who are obviously guilty. But what stops the DoJ???

    1. tegnost

      yes, we screwed you, but due to an unfortunate clerical error there is no recourse for you.
      Thank you!
      Please consider our services, both foreign and domestic,if you have any other concerns.
      Thank you!

      1. rowlf

        “One night, Frank was on his way home from work, stopped at the liquor store. Picked up a couple Mickey’s Big Mouths, drank ’em in the car on his way to the Shell station. He got a gallon of gas in a can. Drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it, parked across the street, laughing, watching it burn, all Halloween orange and chimney red

        Then Frank put on a top 40-station, got on the Hollywood Freeway, and headed north”

        Frank’s Wild Years
        Tom Waits

    1. wol

      Eons ago we opened small cans (8 oz?) of Country Club malt liquor on the side, near the bottom. Put the opening to the lips then popped the tab. No swallowing involved. We called them ‘chokers.’ No time to taste.

  32. Jorge

    “Groves of Academe” – no rich guy starts a real college any more, just BS scam colleges like TrumpU and Liberty College.

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