Links 9/9/2022

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 575 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year,, and our current goal, rewarding our guest bloggers.

* * *

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.

* * *

Rival teams of male dolphins form the animal world’s biggest social networks, long-running study finds Science


Late Season Melting in Greenland NASA

The road to California’s energy disaster: A new history of PG&E paints a bleak picture LA Times

Farming, pandemics, and a conservation program aimed at enriching the Global North (PDF) Pandemic Research for the People


Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine gets DCGI nod for restricted emergency use Indian Express. Finally:

* * *

The dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity with changes in aerosol microenvironment PNAS. From the Abstract: “A decrease in infectivity to ∼10% of the starting value was observable for SARS-CoV-2 over 20 min, with a large proportion of the loss occurring within the first 5 min after aerosolization. The initial rate of infectivity loss was found to correlate with physical transformation of the equilibrating droplet; salts within the droplets crystallize at relative humidities (RHs) below 50%, leading to a near-instant loss of infectivity in 50 to 60% of the virus.” And on methods: “The reservoir of a droplet-on-demand dispenser (MicroFab) is filled with MEM 2% FBS. The application of a square waveform to the piezoelectric crystal results in a compression wave that passes through the dispenser’s orifice and initiates the formation of a jet that forms droplets of uniform size with each pulse.” I’ve gotta say, I’m a bit leery of this dispenser thingie because a 20-minute timeframe seems short, given the epidemiology we have. Do we have any aerosol scientists in the readership?

* * *

COVID-19 Medical Countermeasures and the Commercial Marketplace ASPR, HHS. The agency taking over emergency response from CDC. The Tweet:

In a “thoughtful, well-coordinated manner that leaves no one behind,” what the marketplace will do, totally.

Billionaire-Backed Group Steps Up Hunt For Long Covid Treatment Forbes. Just what we need. Squillionaires with bright ideas.


Next China: Millions Are Still Being Locked Down Because of Covid Bloomberg. “For President Xi Jinping, the only state leader in the world clinging to a Covid-Zero policy, the measures are justified because saving lives trumps everything else.” Wowsers, savage indictment! …. Meanwhile, the real story—

Protecting older people: a high priority during the COVID-19 pandemic The Lancet. “In a society that has embraced Confucianism for over 2000 years, Chinese people cherish filial piety as one of their fundamental values. Older people are usually regarded as the most prestigious members of a community. Therefore, Chinese people tend to accept older people’s choice of being unwilling to take vaccines, which include the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, many older people and their family members were not motivated to take vaccines because of the well controlled COVID-19 situation in China. These circumstances led to low vaccine coverage among older people at the early stage of the pandemic.”

Encouraging the elderly in China to receive COVID-19 vaccine is the next necessary step (accepted manuscript) Public Health. “There are two main reasons why the vaccination rate of the elderly in China has not yet reach optimal levels. Firstly, the elderly with underlying diseases often have safety concerns, such as the potential for serious side effects…. Secondly, the elderly have concerns regarding the effectiveness of the COVID-vaccine…. Recent studies have demonstrated reassuring findings to address the concerns of the elderly population regarding the COVID-vaccine. However, more combined efforts by healthcare workers, policy makers, and the media to encourage the uptake of COVID-vaccination in the elderly and other at-risk populations, such as those with autoimmune diseases and cancer, are urgently needed in order to restore ‘pre-pandemic life’.” Sounds like China has PMC; perhaps flapping studies at elders isn’t the best mode of persuasion?

China’s Zero-Covid Approach Explained NYT. “Zero Covid has been framed against the failures to control the virus in the West, particularly the United States, where more than one million people have died from the outbreak. China has reported just 5,226 deaths among its population of 1.4 billion.” Classic. See, it’s framing.

* * *

The Weakness of Xi Jinping Foreign Affairs

China’s Lending Strategy in Emerging Markets Risks Prolonging Borrowers’ Pain WSJ

Insider Knowledge Is The New Status Symbol For China’s Luxury Sophisticates Jing Daily


Abandoned mosque emerges from shrinking reservoir in drought-stricken India Miami Herald. 30 feet tall, that’s some shrinkage….

Texas regulators turn away from proposed microplastics pollution ban Courthouse News


Soldier Defections Since the 2021 Military Coup Independent Journal of Burmese Scholarship (funding). Actually a ginormous special issue, but quoting from the article whose title I linked:

“As reflected in this issue’s memoirs, post-coup defections in Myanmar began largely as one-off individual departures from disparate military sectors. But as some who left the military began to go public, declaring their identification with the CDM and the people’s resistance, defection gradually developed into an explicit revolutionary strategy. Supported by pro-democracy activists and later by the NUG and EAOs like the Karen National Union (KNU), defection is now considered one of the three pillars of the Spring Revolution—a common term used for the people’s struggle against the military regime. Alongside civilian protests and armed resistance, the defection pillar centers on making the military collapse from within and from below, by getting more and more soldiers and other security force personnel, such as police, to leave or engage in civil disobedience.”

Interestingly, I don’t see this tactic listed on Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods, bible of color revolutions. (Sharp is both annoyingly precise (“Skywriting and earthwriting”) and maddeningly vague (“Establishing new social patterns”). I think if Sharp had this tactic in mind, it would be on his list.)

Myanmar may be blacklisted by global financial regulator FAT Vietnam Posts


Tata Group could soon set up an iPhone assembly plant in India BGR

Devdutt Pattanaik on the 3,000-year-old Hindu ritual of feeding the dead

The Koreas

North Korea makes nuclear policy ‘irreversible’ with new law Al Jazeera

No model for change to Covid isolation rules The Saturday Paper. Australia. The deck: “The latest changes to Covid-19 rules – shortening isolation periods and removing some mask mandates – were made without any written advice and no modelling was provided to national cabinet.” Wait. I thought Scotty from Marketing got replaced by somebody completely different?


Afghanistan Commission identifies exact PowerPoint slide that lost War Duffel Blog. Here it is:

I hope they had the labels on a separate layer so they could swap in new stuff for Ukraine.

New Not-So-Cold War

Brussels faces opposition to capping price only on Russian gas FT. Ursula van Leyden would cap US gas, according to Alex Christoforou. Somebody should give her a call.

How Europe Can Manage Without Russian Gas Project Syndicate

* * *

Giant nuclear power plant in Ukraine is at risk of ‘unlimited release’ of nuclear materials unless a safety zone is established, UN warns LiveScience. “Observers also experienced active shelling during the team’s visit to the plant.” Oh, come on. If the observers had concluded from the evidence of their senses that the shelling came from the East, you know they’d have said it was Riussia. They’re didn’t, so it’s Ukraine. Have the United States tell its client not to shell a nuclear plant, problem solved. Easy peasy.

Italian journalist Mattia Sorbi wounded near frontline in Ukraine Guardian. Alert reader guurst supplies this tweet thread, which contains the clarifying information that the Ukrainians set Sorbi up:

* * *

The Ukraine Grift IM—1776

Digital great game: The West’s standoff against China and Russia Politico

US sanctions firms over alleged use of Iranian drones in Ukraine Al Jazeera

Russia makes a U-turn on reciprocity policies Gilbert Doctorow

Does War in Ukraine Impact Vital US Interests? Russia Matters

Biden Administration

Biden’s Pro-America Foreign Policy The Liberal Patriot. Tuxiera seems to think “liberal nationalism” is a new thing. I’m so old I remember Vietnam….

Labor Secretary Warns Labor, Rails (UPDATED) Railway Age

White House and Senate Democrats eye child tax credit Hail Mary Axios

Intelligence Community

Hunter Biden laptop deniers leading DC’s International Spy Museum Washington Examiner

Supply Chain

Empty container problem intensifies, reports Sea-Intelligence Container News vs. Xeneta questions ‘myths’ of heavily declining container volumes and bunker price unrest Hellenic Shipping News

Queen Elizabeth II

What Happens to the British Monarchy Now? Teen Vogue. Rainbow:

Thousands Of Miles From Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II Will Always Be Remembered On One D.C. Street DCist

What can the world expect from King Charles III? CNN. Game of Thrones:

Imperial Collapse Watch

The West needs to brace for the Great Reset as new voices challenge the established world order South China Morning Post

Reliance On Dual-Use Technology Is a Trap War on the Rocks. Defense procurement.

Class Warfare

United Airlines threatens to drop JFK service if U.S. does not approve more flights Reuters

Ransom Capitalism London Review of Books

* * *

What is to be done about the US death crisis? Policy Tensor

Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending: Report CBC. Friends, there’s good news tonight!

‘It’s Becoming Too Expensive to Live’: Anxious Older Adults Try to Cope With Limited Budgets KHN By Rule #2….

* * *

‘Stonks’ Aren’t the Only Reason Why Businesses Should Know Their Memes Bloomberg. The deck: “Know Your Meme, a leading online encyclopedia for memes, wants to turn its huge database into a profitable software tool for tracking internet trends.” A parallel to Wikipedia? See NC. Here is the metadata for the “stonks” entry, helpfully annotated:

Digital nomads have rejected the office and now want to replace the nation state. But there is a darker side to this quest for global freedom The Conversation. I agree we all need Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong. But a tiny fraction of the PMC lacks the clout.

Slavery and the British Industrial Revolution (PDF) “We show that areas with exogenously more slavery wealth grow faster, experience more structural change, develop more mills and factories, and adopt more steam engines. We rationalize these ndings using a dynamic spatial model, in which slavery wealth stimulates domestic capital accumulation, and hence expands production in capital-intensive sectors.”

It’s Time To Rethink the Origins of Pain Scientific American

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Lex

    Slavery and industrialization: at one point, Caribbean sugar production on slave plantations exceeded the possible caloric value of home island agricultural land. Without those slaves producing sugar there simply wasn’t the food energy possible to have industrial workers and feed England. Sugar actually exceeded the value of all the gold and silver taken from the New World.

    And the details of industrial capitalism were worked out on slave plantations to the point where the English had calculated the optimum slave lifespan of 7 years to maximize profit. At the time of the US “revolution”, almost all the exports of the colonies went to the Caribbean to maintain the plantations.

    On the Queen and her pirate/slaving/drug running empire, why is the US of all places flying flags at half-mast? Didn’t Americans fight and die to rid themselves of monarchal overlordship? Maybe we’re still a colony.

    1. OIFVet

      Because the US became an empire itself, and because they respect a neocolonial genius when they see one. The royal apologists have been busy trying to paint Lilibeth as some great decolonializer, as if she ever uttered a single word against colonialism and empire, or a single word of apology for British colonial rule. In fact, she was the willing and respectable face of neocolonialism and modern royalism.

        1. norm de plume

          I wonder if you were born into royalty whether you would:

          (a) feel the same way, and
          (b) manage the good manners and restraint that characterised 70 years of the Queen’s tenure?

          I doubt it, somehow.

          Hate the system, love the person. Who after all had no agency in her ascension to her position.

          What should she have done, abdicated after a stinging speech condemning the idea of monarchy? Changed her skin colour and perhaps her sexuality, grown her hair and lived among the down and out of Wigan Pier or London?

          I am some way to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, being in favour of strong unions, nationalised banks, public money, death taxes and indeed mandatory wealth redistribution, but while I too abhor the past sins and present costly existence of the monarchy I do not blame the incumbents for the state of affairs that obtains. Agitate for change for sure, but treat others with the respect you would have them afford you – especially those who sit across the aisle from you.

          We could use a bit more of that right now.

          1. Basil Pesto

            kson’s boring jejunery notwithstanding, who are you supposed to blame? If you abhor the institution, surely a measure of criticism ought be directed at the person who has done the most – quite successfully – to strengthen it, making that work her raison d’être? The institution doesn’t exist in a vacuum of leadership and direction, and Elizabeth II helped turn it almost single-handedly into the mind-blowing and apparently unassailable soft power behemoth that it appears to be today.

    2. Carolinian

      All good points and questions. Americans prefer their royals rosy tinted. A few seasons back PBS had a show (British made to be sure) where Queen Victoria was not only a liberal but pretty. They did at least pick a short actress.

      As for slavery, 1619 would have it that the good guy Brits were taking on rednecks Jefferson and Madison in the Revolution. In fact it was the so very royal class system that was at the bottom of treating African human beings as economic units.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I don’t remember the exact details, but I believe Mike Duncan discusses this history in his Revolutions podcast on the Haitian Revolution which is quite good. You can listen here if interested, and it’s also available at Spotify among other places.

      2. Lex

        There is. “Born in Blackness” by Howard French. It’s a fantastic book that charts Europe’s interaction with Africa and Africans from just before the Portuguese showing up. It’s one of those books the reader wishes was longer.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >”…why is the US of all places flying flags at half-mast?”

      More inexplicably, why is CNN at this moment devoting hours of coverage to her death and Charles’ succession? I am astonished and mystified that it would so readily set aside its domestic propaganda agenda to mourn one foreign royal and celebrate another.

      I have no axe to grind vis-a-vis Elizabeth or Charles, nor do I have anything against the constitutional monarchy form of government, but the USA is a 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 for gawd’s sake and should be antithetical to any form of monarchical rule or royal ceremony.

      So why is CNN bowing and scraping before English royalty? It surely can’t be about ratings, I doubt there are that many royal-lovers in America. My guess is, it is pandering to the courtiers of “Versailles on the Potomac”, that is, members of Congress, who dream and fantasize that, if only things were different, they too could be princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses.

      In other words, CNN’s coverage is aristocracy porn for those poor prisoners of a republican government who wish for something grander.

      1. hk

        Oh, believe me, there are tons of “royal-lovers” in US, certainly more than Australia and probably more than Canada or Britain. It is almost certainly market driven.

      2. CanCyn

        Umm. – can you say distraction? World leaders everywhere are more than grateful for this spectacle to take the heat off of Covid, climate, war and the economy. By dying right now, Elizabeth has done one last solid for her fellow neoliberals.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        It absolutely is all about ratings. All of the networks cover the British royal family intensively. Millions of Americans, apparently, are very interested in the comings and goings of the royal family. One can ask why, but that would be a waste of time.

      4. fringe element

        Aristocracy porn indeed. That’s why Downton Abbey makes me uncomfortable, even though I love their seriously beautiful clothes. I always have this nagging sense that it is popular with our PMC because they dream of being royalty themselves.

    4. Peerke

      Was but a small step from slave owning to employing young children in the cotton mills and mines of Lancashire amongst others. Reading the words of the Handloom Weaver’s Lament today still seems relevant funnily enough too:

      1. Perrke

        The owners of the cotton mills having undoubtedly acquired capital from slave ownership in the early part of the industrial revolution of course continued to benefit from the fruits of slavery in the form of cotton picked by slaves in the Southern US. During the Civil war the blockade of southern ports led to a so called cotton famine in Lancashire in and around Manchester. The cotton workers of Manchester took a principled stand and refused to work with cotton picked by slaves even though they were starving. President Lincoln went so far as to write a letter to the working men of Manchester thanking them.
        Guardian article:
        Interestingly Liverpool had made a lot of money from transportation of slaves before abolition in the UK and also from sugar and cotton shipping later. The merchants of Liverpool seem to have been big supporters of the confederacy as a result.

    5. JBird4049

      For the semi starving and overworked new laboring class of the Industrial Revolution cheap sugar and tea was both a large increase in calories and caffeine to keep working; Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola all seem like tea with sugar doesn’t? (But especially Mountain Dew. Its caffeine levels will effectively kill the hunger pangs as well.) The British Empire has never really gone away.

      1. Peerke

        And the great advantage of tea is that the water is boiled thus killing the pathogens in the water. The tannin also acts as a disinfectant. In places like Manchester early in the industrial revolution with no sanitation this must have been a literal life saver.

  2. OnceWereVirologist

    The Ukraine Grift : “Uncle Sam has so far pledged significantly more money to this war than all European Union countries combined, according to data compiled by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. spending on Ukraine hit roughly $130 million a day.”

    I saw a report from Goldman that European households are expected to be paying an extra 2 trillion in energy bills by early next year. Admittedly some of that’s redistribution – windfall profits taken by European energy companies on domestic energy generation – but I suspect the true cost to Europe is an order of magnitude or more higher than 130 million a day.

    1. fresno dan

      What is to be done about the US death crisis? Policy Tensor

      While its advanced economy peers have on average gained 12.9 years in life expectancy since 1960, the United States has gained only 8.9. Back in 1960, Americans could expect to live longer than the French, the Germans and the Japanese. Gains in US life expectancy were, in fact, more rapid in the 1970s than in Europe. But after the neoliberal counterrevolution, the United States has fallen more and more behind.
      ‘It’s Becoming Too Expensive to Live’: Anxious Older Adults Try to Cope With Limited Budgets KHN By Rule #2….
      Cohen, 79, has been distraught since learning that the owners of her Towson, Maryland, apartment complex are raising rents precipitously as they upgrade units. She pays $989 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment with a terrace. A similar apartment that has been redone recently went on the market for $1,900.
      It will be interesting to see if the European system will sacrifice as many of its citizens as the US has…
      What has happened in the “West” that governments are so universally and OBVIOUSLY conducting themselves against the interests of their own citizens and seem incapable of reversing this course?

      1. Antifa

        (melody borrowed from Paul Simon)

        Living till spring will be a matter of degrees
        These Russian sanctions have your family in a squeeze
        Your basic challenge is to manage not to freeze
        There must be Fifty Ways to Live Through Winter

        Riots won’t help you ’cause the problem’s in your head
        Concern yourself with ways to stop your family being dead
        Like lots of blankets, and more people in each bed
        There must be Fifty Ways to Live Through Winter

        Fifty Ways to Live Through Winter . . .

        You can sleep on the bus, Gus
        Stay over at work, Kirk
        Go where there’s some heat, Pete
        One shower a week
        Wear layers of clothes, Rose
        Stay warm but don’t sweat, Chet
        You’re a wage slave, Dave
        So can the critique
        Illegal to strike, Mike
        No need for more pay, Jay
        Don’t chuck it all in, Quinn
        When things look bleak
        Stand up to the stress, Tess
        You have to believe, Steve
        Go sleep with your mutt, but
        Treat it for fleas

        When strange calamities of life bring voters grief
        You must know it’s not the job of government to bring relief
        Why would a house on fire ever concern the Fire Chief?
        There’s Fifty Ways . . .

        Ayn Rand explained all this in scriptures that she wrote
        It’s up to you to sink or swim, just you in your own boat
        Be patriotic now, put on another coat
        There must be Fifty Ways to Live Through Winter

        Fifty Ways to Live Through Winter . . .

        Cold food on the plate, Kate
        Spam in the can, Stan
        Raw eggs and juice, Bruce
        Two meals per day
        There’s protein in soy, Roy
        And broccoli, too, Lou
        And canned tuna fish, Tish
        A worker’s buffet
        Consider a tent, Kent
        Your car or a shed, Ted
        Under a bridge, Midge
        You work and you pray
        Hang out at a church, Lurch
        All day in a pub, Nub
        Go sit in the park, Clark
        Cuz spring’s on the way

        1. Wukchumni

          Most excellent!

          I heard things are so bleak in France that in many cities you’ll see ‘escargot cults’ where the locals build faux heliciculture farms while occasionally shouting out this to lure the landlubbers onto a plate…

          ‘Snail Ho!’

          1. ambrit

            “Things are so bleak in France…”
            You’ve got to get out of your shell Wuk. (That’s about as twisted a comment as I can come up with this early in the day. Know what I Mean?)
            Oh, who am I fooling? Your comment is so multifariously Meta; and I have the glasses to prove it.

            1. barefoot charley

              It’s a dark day when you fogies go as meta as our lost youth. Hmm, gilded oldies? (That’s viellesse doree, sorta)

                1. ambrit

                  To re-steal a stolen line from P K Dick: “Through a scanner darkly.”
                  From the Confessions of Saint [Redacted.] “To San Jose then I came, where a cauldron of unholy grifts sang all about mine ears.”
                  As Hamlet teaches us; “Get thee to a punnery. Farewell. Or if thou wilt needs pun, play a fool, for wise men know well enough what consumers (of words,) you make of them.”

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Meanwhile my kid is learning about eating bugs during her first week of high school. Is there some kind of full court press going on trying to convince the rubes bugs will be good for them? While the elites continue to eat filet mignon of course.

          2. Bugs

            There is a thing called an “opération escargot”, which has nothing to do with snail surgery but is rather truck or taxi drivers, or anyone whose job requires using the roads, slowing down traffic to a snail’s pace as a means of collective labor action.

            Vive la France moribonde.

      2. marieann

        So mothers across the globe will have to start saying to their kids “eat your dinner, there are children starving in the America”

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Too late:

          Data from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement sponsored by the USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS) shows that use of food pantries increased from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, 6.7 percent of all U.S. households reported using a food pantry, an increase from 4.4 percent in 2019.

          Has anyone else noticed that there are no homeless living under overpasses in Ukraine?

          1. ambrit

            The homeless are not living under those underpasses because the Ukie army cleared them out so the Ukie mechanized units could hide there, out of drone sight.
            There is also anecdotal evidence that many of the previously ‘homeless’ have been given new jobs by the Ukie government as trench warmers at the front.

          2. tindrum

            check out the homeless stats for Switzerland and Zürich as a major city. I think there are like 2 homeless people in Zürich and they are both celebrities.

      3. griffen

        The article linked above, Too Expensive to Live, reminds me of the recent efforts here to provide a helping hand to Betty Jo. Which I think, in retrospect, that went fairly well. How exactly are these seniors just all finding themselves in these situations, and it makes me think what sort of future lies in wait for myself in the coming 15 to 20 years (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise).

        Throwing billions out the window to keep Boeing, or the airlines, going concerns in the pandemic and here some two years later the US people on the edges of financial ruin just seem to continue to grow. It is not good at all to sit in the mid-day heat without air conditioning.

        What a country. Let’s celebrate inflation?

      4. Joe Renter

        You will see a lot more statics of the elderly taking their lives shorty. Failure of society. It’s all about the money. I saw yesterday that China has a longer life expectancy than the US. I was reading a book on WW2 and China (General Stillwell in China 1911-1945) and the life expectancy when the war broke out was 30! Wow.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was reading a book on WW2 and China (General Stillwell in China 1911-1945)

          I’m a big fan of Barbara Tuchman, and a great tome of hers.

          Stilwell was an interesting fellow who preferred to walk vast distances in observing China, being an old China hand who first ventured to the middle kingdom around 1910.

          I remember one instance where he observed oranges being sold on the street in Peking by the section, wow!

          He had quite a low opinion of Chiang Kai-Shek, whom he despairingly called ‘The Peanut’.

      5. JBird4049

        “Zero Covid has been framed against the failures to control the virus in the West, particularly the United States, where more than one million people have died from the outbreak. China has reported just 5,226 deaths among its population of 1.4 billion.” Classic. See, it’s framing.

        Framing my gluteus maximus. In a recent comment I made, I showed that the combined deaths from drugs, guns, and auto accidents of 8.4 years equaled the current Covid death count in the United States. The deaths are just being ignored. ‘Cause business must go on and the money continue to flow ever upwards to Our Beloved Elites.

        I still sometimes think that I am just too cynical and bitter, then I read something or do calculations like this and realize I am just some fool Pollyanna.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that MoA is panicking like a lot of people are. Consider this the Russian’s Battle of the Bulge moment. Sure the Ukrainians have made big inroads with all the armoured units that they managed to accumulate. But where do they go from there? Last I heard they had about 9,000 troops so you think that they will push all the way to the Russian border with them? Already there are serious Russian army units in transit to go after these forces and unlike the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, the weather is sunny which means that they can be targeted from the air with drones, fighter-bombers, artillery, missiles, rockets, etc. When this battle is left, what will the Ukrainians have left?

      The Russian supply lines here are much, much shorter back to Russia which was not the case with the Kherson defense. Worse for the Ukrainians is that in their rear is a river that has only several bridges over it. When the Russians eventually drop those bridges, that force will be cut off. The fact that they have not done so may indicate that they are regarding that incursion as a cauldron and want the Ukrainians to put more of their military into it so that they can be reduced. So if the Ukrainians think that through this offensive that they will be able to defeat the Russians, take over the Donetsk Republic, take back the Luhansk Republic and then turn south to take back not only the southern districts but Crimea as well I am afraid that they have been taking the same stuff that Zelensky has been snorting.

      1. tgs

        I would describe b as ‘surprised’ even ‘shocked’ but not panicked. The fact that the Russians are rushing troops and material to that area suggests that they had not really secured the area despite the fact that the offensive was not a surprise. As b says, it may be a trap, but it doesn’t look like one for the moment. And he does not suggest that the end point of the offensive will be Crimea or the Russian border.

        At a minimum, this is a huge PR victory for Ukraine.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that that is the trouble. All along the Ukrainians have been fighting this war in terms of how to play it out on international media. It’s all about the optics with them. So the present offensive will be defeated at huge costs to them but by doing so, they just secured a coupla billion dollars more from Uncle Sugar. And when this war is finally over, the epitaph for it will be

          ‘The Ukraine won the social media war, but the Russians won the military war.’

          1. Polar Socialist

            If the Russians strike back while the Queen’s death occupies front pages and other news, the whole operation may have been in vain, though.

          2. hunkerdown

            What about us? Ukraine winning the social media war means the final neoliberalization of Western social media into a PMC ideology factory. “They” as human lives animating a series of properties may not prevail, but their ideology of woke war will have conquered much of the combined West.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Your comment reminded me of an economics quote-

              ‘As a rule, Panics do not destroy capital; they merely reveal the extent to which it has been previously destroyed by its betrayal into hopelessly unproductive works’ – John Stuart Mill

              I think that something similar has happened here. This war has not made our entire media become woke and propagandist. Instead, this war has shown us how thoroughly corrupted our media is and right across the board and in some surprising ways that we may not expect-


          3. Harry Haller

            The Russian leadership will very soon have to decide if it is engaging in a limited military operation or fighting a war against NATO.

            Even sober commentators and analysts have over the months been lulled into a sense of complacency in which Russian success was all but pre-ordained. But hang on a minute. If this is indeed a proxy war of NATO versus the Russian Federation than it is highly unlikely that the RF can prevail in this titanic struggle by running a shoestring “special military operation.”

            The crowing and guffawing on the “sceptic” side over one Ukrainian blunder after another and the EU’s litany of own goals has distracted from the fact that Ukraine/NATO haven’t, until now, seriously challenged Russian and allied forces. US and NATO military power, while obviously not invincible, is still a force to be reckoned with and it was never realistic to expect that Russia could successfully fight against the full weight of the West’s proxy war/sanctions combo with one hand tied behind its back.

            It looks like the phoney war phase of this conflict seems to finally be over and the real war is about to begin.

              1. dftbs

                I think the whole host of Russian leaning commentators in the West are falling victim to the same inadequacies they ascribe to the Western Ukraine cheerleading squad. That is while they acknowledge that Ukraine is fighting a PR war, they are now ascribing victory to Ukraine due to their “psychological” and “morale” “victory” in the field.

                PR or infowar is currency that is only valid in the West. Imagine waking up in New York City with 300 rubbles in your pocket. How would you pay for lunch? That money would be no good. Similarly, psychological or morale victories aren’t currency on the modern battlefield. They can be butter on bread, so long as there is butter and there is bread (in metaphorical terms the West has neither now). Narratives can’t move things beyond reality and so it doesn’t matter how much the Ukrainians and their puppet maters sway the narrative; what are we going to do give them more guns and money? We were going to do that anyway.

                At he start of the day we know the Russians have the ability to monitor Ukrainian troop movements and buildups. We know that the Russians have the ability to deliver massive and precise firepower anywhere in Ukraine. We assume the UA penetration was a result of Russian negligence. But at the end of the day the Ukrainian salients will likely be trapped and eradicated. The strategic situation in Ukraine after the UA offensive will be even more tilted in Russia’s favor. Because despite any PR victories, the forces used by the UA will no longer exist. If the Russians were negligent, I’d say they were negligent like a fox.

                Moreover, as to the Russian understanding of their conflict being against the “combined West”. I think they have a very full understanding of that situation and are working it masterfully. After 7 months of war in Ukraine, who seems more prepared politically, diplomatically, economically and militarily for direct conflict against the other, Russia or NATO? It seems to me the Russians are doing a handy job of defeating the West using only a portion of their military all the while minimizing the world ending consequences that would come with direct conflict.

                When Tony Blinken goes to Ukraine and gives them billions more, who is worse off, the United States or Russia? Maybe their national animal should be the fox rather than the bear.

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              I agree. Russia should have by now ramped up the real war. “Decision centers” in Kyiv should be targeted directly. Railheads at all border crossings should be targeted as well. All airfields inside Ukraine should be rendered inoperable. And so on. It may well be that Russia simply does not have the military capability for a full fledged war. All they have are their nuclear weapons to stave off utter defeat. They will not use them for obvious reasons. Perhaps the West will be compassionate and allow Putin a way to exit Ukraine and save face. Or perhaps not.

              1. Yves Smith

                Russia does not have your objectives. Russia does not have a timetable. You do, which is pretty bizarre.

                Putin has pointed out that Kiev is not a decision center. Do you seriously advocate having Russia strike the real decision centers, Washington and London?

                Russia does not want to provoke a formal war with NATO. Its measure pace is succeeding in depleting NATO arms, which reduces the odds of NATO members doing Something Stupid, as in finally working up a pretext to declare war.

                Russia does not want to have to conquer and occupy Western Ukraine. It is hoping to deke Poland and Hungary into taking parts of Western Ukraine.

                Russia prosecuting a measured pace has the advantage of having Ukraine keep throwing its diminishing men and materiel against Russian lines.

                Russia’s objective is to destroy Ukraine’s capacity to wage war and “denazify”. How it does the latter is not clear save by imposing changes in education in its eventual dictation of surrender terms.

                1. Harry Haller

                  Russia does not want to have to conquer and occupy Western Ukraine.

                  The “unknown quantity” in all this is Russia’s ability to sustain an intense and protracted military conflict against a NATO armed and funded adversary.

                  I notice “sceptics” tend to make a lot of assumptions about what the Russian military is capable of achieving. If one goes by what widely read pro-Russian commentators Saker and Martyanov claim Russia has the conventional weapon capabilities to easily wipe the floor with NATO but one-sided “assessments” like this are, to be blunt, almost worthless and need to be taken with a generous helping of salt. More sober commentator-analysts like Mercouris and Berletic aren’t quite as Pollyannaish but even so you know exactly what they are going to say before they say it. They always dance around the simple truth that Russia is not invulnerable.

                  I can’t shake the uneasy feeling that a lot of these very smart and sharp people are nonetheless letting their rational minds get overruled by confirmation bias and producing a “narrative” that is favorable to the outcome they would like to see rather than engaging in impartial analysis that takes into consideration the limits facing anyone attempting to determine and predict hard battlefield truths in a time of war.

                  We are all (please pardon the royal we) immersed in a frantically moving info space that can be disorienting and almost hallucinogenic at times. It would be refreshing to see some humility from the many analysts and commentators who often are far too certain about their ability to separate the signals from the noise in such a dynamic and challenging environment.

                  Major wars almost never play out as initially predicted. This is a historical fact. Might be prudent to reflect on that for a moment and widen the scope of analysis before continuing with the usual predictions of all but guaranteed Russian battlefield success and hopeless NATO incompetence.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    With all due respect, you are unable to mount any sort of counterargument. Your statement amounts to concern trolling plus ad hominem: “Who do you want to believe, NATO or Andrei Martyanov?” In our experience of moderating nearly 2 million comments, that is not done in good faith. And BTW we cited Saker only for some good sitreps (which are day to day status reports, not forecasts) early on by a writer who quit posting there months ago. So you are further acting in bad faith in acting as if our views derive from his.

                    So why don’t we look at facts? Russia is beating the best army NATO has with a force that is greatly inferior in numbers, an unheard of accomplishment. NATO equipped and funded the Ukraine army for eight years and it also had battle experience in Donbass. It is not going to get any better from here for Ukraine.

                    As for Russia’s prospects, concider what the Royal United Services Institute said, in its article The Return of Industrial Warfare. It lays out how it would take the West 10 years to reindustrialize to match Russia’s ability to fabricate missiles and artillery. Russia is already greatly outgunning Ukraine. The Washington Post report on the Kherson offensive describes in gory detail how Russia outmatched Ukraine on every axis of combat (paywalled but many extracts here).

                    Colonel Douglas MacGregor has similarly said Ukraine has clearly lost although it could be a very long time before the war is over. His comparison was WWII, where it was clear the Nazis were not going to be able to prevail after the Battle of Kursk, but the fighting went on for another two years.

                    Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson contends that Ukraine’s case became hopeless within weeks of the onset of the war because Russia established air superiority and took out Ukraine’s radar. The fact that the Russian decoy of a 24 KM line of tanks and armored vehicles in Ukraine went totally unmolested, even by ground assaults, was testament to that.

                    The US and NATO have designed their forces and strategies for over two decades for fighting insurgencies, not peer using combined arms operations. So yes, they are incompetent against Russia because they tried for years and finally succeeded in provoking Russia without understanding its capabilities or doctrine.

                    Ukraine has largely if not fully exhausted its stocks of weapons its men trained on. It’s now getting a grab bag of US and NATO leftovers, many of which it’s never used before, and a sprinkling of newer toys like HIMARS. The men don’t have time for adequate training. Using disparate systems is a logistical nightmare as well as a hazard to soldiers not very experienced with them.

                    Ukraine is increasingly sending green men to the zero line. Its ranks of senior officers are considerably thinned. If you watch Military Summary, you’ll regularly seem Dima mention that XYZ Ukraine unit has been reconstituted by combining other units reduced to below operational capacity.

                    Oh, and NATO is not one force. Each NATO member considers on its own whether to go to combat in the case of an Article 4 invocation (a member has been attacked). The NATO member with the biggest forces in the European sphere is Turkey. Think Turkey will go fight with Russia? The UK, who is the most gung ho in that part of the world, has an army of a bit more than 80,000, which readers confirm translates in about 10,000 front line troops.

                    The limiting factor for Ukraine is men (and women). It really does seem willing to fight to the last Ukrainian. So a lot could be thrown into the meat grinder before this is over.

                    We did say from the very outset that Russia could win the war and lose the peace. Russia did not define what it means by demilitarize and denazify. But Ukraine seems to be cooperating with the depleting its military goal. How Russia denazifies without taking Western Ukraine, something I am pretty certain it would very much like to avoid, is over my pay grade.

            2. KD

              What benefit would Russia get from expanding the war?

              Why can’t RF win a titanic struggle on a shoestring “SMO”?

              NATO combined probably has 4 weeks of artillery rounds if they tried to keep up with Russia. They aren’t really capable of division-level combined arms operations, and if they commit everything to Ukraine, what do they do if North Korea moves on the South, or China moves on Taiwan?

              The attack on Izium is the most intelligent thing the Ukrainians have done in this war, but it is a long-shot, and probably will only result in the slaughter of a lot of Ukraine’s best soldiers. Even if it succeeded, they would end up getting smashed in the end unless they could get some negotiated deal out of it.

              The Russians have been preparing for this seriously for the last 8 years. NATO is not going to issue a general mobilization and get in a direct war with Russia for Ukraine. The point is to fight to the last Ukrainian, not the last American.

            3. Roland

              Excellent comment, Harry.

              RF conventional strength has been insufficient to get a quick decision in the field.

              Meanwhile, NATO and UKR political demands have risen during the course the war. Now they want the fall of the RF gov’t and possibly the dissolution of the Federation itself.

              If the war should start going badly for RF, what would be their “walk away” option? Do they have one?

              If it turns out that RF can’t win conventionally, and they can’t just drop the war it as if it were an Afghanistan, then what?

              Simple: escalation.

              I’ve spent a lot of breath here in Canada, trying to explain to UKR supporters why RF’s relative military weakness is more dangerous than the USSR’s old strength, and that a proxy war involving a major power’s vital interests cannot lead to anything good, but if the proxies start winning, the major power will escalate, leading to a general war.

              Since this is a pretty low order of deduction, I am a bit puzzled why the Western leaders have been so loath to even contemplate an end to the fighting. I have two thoughts about this:

              1. Have they become fully confident in their ballistic missile defenses? Such confidence obviously could not be based on any information available to the public. Or

              2. The increasingly beleaguered and unpopular globalist elites in the Western world also feel like they have no room to back down from the nationalist/conservative challenge posed by the RF, so their fears and hatreds are overriding their power of reason. They want to stamp out the last powerful independent nations, and they feel they will be doomed if they fail to do so.

              In other words, the Western globalist leaders are either quite confident, or they’re quite afraid. Either way, it leads to cataclysm.

      2. KD

        If Ukraine is able to cut off the supply roads and encircle Izium, this will create a logistical nightmare for the Russians, and will damage morale. While Russia certainly has the capability of winning the territory back, it will cost them time and lives, and run the clock out on the SMO. Of course, with the passage of time, conditions change, especially if there are going to be diplomatic negotiations, if successful, it increases the leverage of the Ukrainians. Also, with the passage of time, all things are possible, and events may shift to the advantage of the Ukrainians. This in my view is the smartest thing they have done yet, even if high risk and high casualty, as they are running out of support and their economy is on the brink of collapse, so they have little choice but to commit to a high risk/high reward venture.

        1. Yves Smith

          Since when does Russia care about all that much about territory? Russia’s objectives are to destroy Ukraine’s warmaking capability. It has a secondary objective of “liberating” majority Russian territory, but that was never never never a stated aim of the SMO.

          So it is in the business of killing and wounding Ukrainians at as low a cost as possible to RF forces. Doesn’t matter where that happens. If it kills and wounds Ukrainians (or gets them to flee or surrender, but we don’t see much of that happening, Ukraine must be putting more “stiffeners” near the zero line), it is advancing its aims. So you looking at this as “cost” of “retaking” terrain isn’t at all how Russia is prosecuting this war. It is looking to degrade Ukraine’s military.

          A reason to be concerned about this “advance” would be if it were resulting in a lot of Russian losses. I haven’t seen any evidence of that.

          The territorial gains meme is a Ukraine/Western fixation and you are unwittingly propagating it.

          I don’t see anyone who is well informed saying that this “advance” has the realistic potential to threaten Izyum but I will admit to not having looked exhaustively.

          I anticipate this will turn into another costly defeat for Ukraine but on a smaller scale than the Kherson “advance” due o the smaller forces involved.

          1. KD

            My comment is not about territorial gains for the sake of territorial gains, but that Izium has strategic value for logistics, and also the encirclement of Izium would open a front on the northern flank of the Donetsk offensive, which would create a major headache for the Russians and allied forces and significantly slow their advance, as well as diverting resources.

            In addition, given the stupidity of past Ukrainian efforts, in the sense of wasting soldier’s lives for PR value, rather than toward obtaining any rational military objectives, the Kharkiv counteroffensive actually appears to be something emanating from the general staff rather than the big Z, and while reckless, and more probably than not, disastrous, at least it contains the possibility of yielding a situation beneficial to the Ukrainian war efforts rather than just create fodder to generate tweets from Bellingcat.

            It appears that the American military aid is grossly insufficient to prevent further degradation of Ukraine’s military capabilities, so starting a suicidal counter-offensive at this point reminds me of the way Nixon started the Christmas bombing campaign to try and get the Vietcong to the bargaining table. Reading between the lines (and as I noted in my comment), the advantage of the counteroffensive may be to record some kind of “win” intended to justify a return to the negotiating table on the part of Ukraine. You can see the press release from British Intelligence: “Triumphant in Victory, Zelensky, at heart of man of peace, returns to the table with Putin to graciously offer a way out to the desperate, disgraced and losing Russian Army (which has sustained over 100,000 killed in action in Putin’s failed war of aggression).”

            My guess is that NATO wants this thing to end soon, MIC has already gotten a good feed out of it and will be backlogged with orders for years to come, and they just need some fig leaf that allows them to save face.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      The problem in assessing the Ukrainians success (at least as the map stands now) is that there are no bonus points for getting 90% of the way to a strategic victory. If the Ukrainians push on take Kupyansk and force a complete withdrawal from Izyum and 90% of Kharkov province then its a massive and unequivocal victory. If they bog down where they are then they’ve fought their way into a pocket vulnerable to attack from three sides.

      1. lambert strether

        The Ukrainian offensive is enough to get them their next tranche of weapons (to sell on the black market). If indeed the Ukrainians have taken a swathe of lightly defended territory with only 9,000 men, I don’t see how they hold it. If the Rybar map is correct, I see a salient about to be pinched off. Much depends on who gets reinforcements there first.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        It’s hard for me to see that there is a traditional sort of strategic goal of this Ukrainian attack. It’s being compared to the Battle of the Bulge, but if the Germans had accomplished their strategic goal of Antwerp, they would have split the Allies’ Western Front in two and taken out one of the largest ports of supply for Allied armies. The Ukrainians are just headed deeper and deeper into Russian-held territory with no strategic goal in sight.

        Looks like more PR warfare to me.

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          There is a rail line from Russia to cut and a river that could anchor a new defensive line if the Ukrainians managed to expand their salient north and south. Decent small-scale strategic goals and a signal to the Russians that even after 6 months of bombardment the Ukrainians can manage to prosecute a successful offensive. Probably never a better time for the Ukrainians to return to the negotiating table, but since they almost certainly wouldn’t do that, it’s a moot point.

          1. Old Sovietologist

            An interesting point on going back to the negotiating table.

            The Ukrainians have said they would only return to negotiations from a favorable positions, after a series of victories. And this offensive does gives Zelensky such an opportunity, which is especially relevant for Western European govts as we head into winter. I suppose we’ll find out whether decisions are being made in Kiev or Ramstein.

            1. OnceWereVirologist

              I think that Zelensky’s statement that he would only return to the negotiating table after gaining some battlefield victories was disingenuous – a comfort and encouragement to Ukrainians who might have been nervous about committing to a fight to the last man with a far more powerful country. I’m more inclined to believe his various other statements that there could be no negotiations without a complete withdrawal to Feb 24 borders, or before the surrender of Russian soldiers for war crimes tribunals, etc.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The factories and resources are in the new republics or the war zone. Zelensky’s pitch is to turn Ukraine into Israel or an information capital, but do we need more programmers? Why go to Ukraine for this?

                The best economic option is a swift end where countries pledge money. Realistically, if they haven’t already, insurers won’t be back for a generation. Business except business that is hard to insure won’t be back as a result. Why build chip factories in the shadow of Moscow? We (USA) are in a predicament because our chip factories are in the shadow of Beijing.

          2. Henry Moon Pie

            Maybe. But a southern offensive would have been more real. If they could cut off the water and land access to Crimea that the Russians had just acquired during the SMO, and even knocked out the Kerch Strait bridge, Crimea would have been in trouble. Heading north or east, where do they think they’re going? Moscow? St. Petersburg?

            1. OnceWereVirologist

              As you say, a drive south from Zaporizhia to the sea of Azov, followed by the destruction of the Kerch strait bridge would likely be the only way for the Ukrainians to achieve an outright military victory. But lacking the forces for that, you either have to settle for what’s achievable or throw in the towel.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Did you skip to the end of the book?

        Don’t the Russians have another 300,000 troops sitting on the other side the border waiting for the word to go in once the SMO becomes a war?

        1. Wukchumni

          Devil’s Advocate Dept:

          What if the west delivered a nuclear weapon to Ukraine, or as Ambassador Alexei de Sadeski might have termed, a ‘doomsday device’?

          1. Michael Ismoe

            Gee, remember when we invaded Iraq because we said they had weapons of mass destruction? Joe Biden sitting in the dock at The Hague could be interesting.

          2. hk

            Then DC, or, at least London, will be glass. So will be Moscow and St Petersburg, probably, esp if DC is glassed, but those are the stakes if they tried something like that.

      2. XXYY

        Russia is probably luring them in.

        This seems almost like a certainty. The general war plan of Russia to date seems to be to get the Ukrainians to come to them as much as the the reverse. And Ukraine has been obligingly sending its people and materiel eastward whenever possible, usually leading them to be cut off in a cauldron and destroyed.

        An astute enemy, which the Russians certainly are, would realize that the Ukrainian leadership is under tremendous pressure to show “progress,” and will likely be willing to throw its entire army into a meat grinder in the hopes of reclaiming some territory and thus gaining some good PR. Meanwhile, the Russians are in no particular hurry, and are wisely taking their time in this operation to preserve the lives of their own troops and the civilians in the captured areas. It seems like it would be easy for them to play rope-a-dope with the increasingly decimated and desperate Ukrainian leadership.

        It’s horrific, but wars are one huge atrocity as we all know.

    3. Yves Smith

      9000 soldiers with less ammo and artillery than Russia and no air support will lose unless they are managing to spread biological or chemical nasties ahead of them. The conclusion is predestined. The only thing in doubt is how long they hang on. Russia has always been willing to take longer to save lives of its men.

      Kharkiv is a large city and I always thought Russia would leave it as the last big target to take. Much easier to capture and clear after the Ukraine army has been much further weakened. So since it’s sprawling and not a present priority, I can see why they didn’t waste a lot of man and materiel securing it. It will fall to them in due course.

    4. Louis Fyne

      IMO, I second the Battle of the Bulge/Pyhrric victory analogy.

      RU social media (and likely Kremlin too) hawks have been screaming at Putin to take off the gloves, much like MacArthur in Korea

      This bloody nose from UA may result in just that. Regardless, more death as UA’s advance guarantees more weapons from the USA.

      ironically QE2’s death has drowned out this news

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Reports are the Ukrainians have been using a limited number of tanks and heavy equipment. The Russians have eyes in the sky, so they were definitely aware of build ups. It’s likely they were caught off guard by a lack of heavy equipment in the Uke thrusts which led to them moving quickly, faster than expected. Hence why they didn’t evacuate civilians in that city the Russians had an orderly withdrawal from. The Russian/separatist forces could withdraw, but they clearly failed on their goal of defending civilians. The Russians won’t have movement issues as they control the skies and are still in friendly territory.

        The Ukes might knock out main supply lines, but the less ideal ones are still secure. Encircling Russian forces isn’t happening. Now, the Ukes won’t be able to hide resupply to the extended forces as commercial vehicles. They will simply be hit.

        The war has been over since day 5 give or take. One breakthrough on a massive front that won’t be able to do much hasn’t changed the original problem. Going back to the 2014 conflict, the Uke forces were slaughtered largely because the ran thrusts without being able to deny freedom of movement to the separatists who would basically form minicauldrons. An accusation made was the Uke offensive was being run by Americans who acted like it was Western Iraq where they could hit flanking movements. I suspect we have had a change in who is advising on the NATO side with the types who were replaced coming into favor.

      2. hk

        Possibly, a mini version of the second or third battle of Kharkov? The area had seen this sort of ripostes before.

        1. hk

          Should have added “from the other side,” as clarification. Unlike the Soviets, though, Ukraine doesn’t have the equivalent of Kursk waiting for the Russians.

    5. OIFVet

      Too little info available to properly judge anything. We know the Russians do have reinforcements as well as air superiority. Given the breakthrough, the logical and historically proven thing for Ukraine to do is to flood in units and to split the thrust north and south along the riverbank, widening its gains while cutting off Russian units. Do they have the manpower and the materiel? We shall see but I doubt it. If they manage to consolidate their gains and to form defensive positions before the Russian reinforces arrive and deploy, it will be a huge (if temporary) victory for Ukraine. If they can’t, it will become a huge Ukrainian graveyard. It will take a couple of weeks to sort out which way it goes.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I’m inclined to interpret this to be an instance of the famous Sun Tzu dictum to “appear weak when you are strong”. Lure the enemy into a position in which he can be badly beaten.

      As Rev Kev notes above (Military Summary emphasized this in its discussion on 8 Sept), the U communication lines depend on several small bridges that could be dropped by the Rs whenever they want. That they are still standing suggests that the Rs prefer that more U materiel and personnel be sent across them.

      This may be a case of the Us winning the battle of appearances, and the R silence on the matter and apparent collapse at the front may be necessary to encourage overreach before a counterstroke.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        So, for those of us in NADS*, the Russians just threw a screen pass?

        *ambrit’s North American Deep South

    2. Lex

      I think he’s not wrong but also not right. It is a colossal [family blog] up at the tactical/operational level and will allow Ukraine and the US to make propaganda hay. It’s absolutely tragic for the civilians who live in the areas because they’ll be punished for collaboration. But it’s what, <100 km2. That means Ukraine only needs to recapture another ~129,900 km2 to reach their goal. The best supply road to Izyum may be cut but it's not the only supply route and the question of how long Ukrainian forces can hold those locations with limited resupply is an important one.

      I don't think it's a "trap". It may turn into one because the Ukrainian forces have extended themselves deep along thin lines.

      1. Old Sovietologist

        The main task for the Russians is to keep hold of Kupyansk. This is the main logistics hub in the North. With its fall, the entire Kharkov front falls apart. It looks like there’s plenty of reserves being moved up to the front and civilians are being evacuated.

        If Kupyansk holds, then there is a real chance to roll everything back when Ukraine offensive fizzles out.

      2. Stephen

        I agree.

        Does look a little like The Battle of the Bulge. Similar attacks against very lightly held sections of the line. Created immense panic, albeit with some incredible US Army bravery in defence. In hindsight, it was never remotely likely that it would have a strategic impact on the war. The eventual counter attack was successful and if anything hastened the Wehrmacht’s defeat in the west because so much equipment and so many effective soldiers were lost.

        Think this is similar. Does hand a major propaganda coup to Ukraine in the short term; helping to perpetuate the money flow. Agree fully with your comment regarding civilians. Hopefully many were evacuated. Will create challenges if civilians in future do not think the Russians are in the territories they take for keeps.

        Not some clever Russian ruse either. Am sure that the General Staff were aware that this could happen and planned for such incursions but cannot see that they deliberately “provoked” this! Any more than Eisenhower / Bradley cunningly provoked the Battle of the Bulge by thinning out the line in The Ardennes.

        Ukraine is, of course, fighting war by media and war by Steering Committee / PMO. Timing clearly aligned with Blinken’s visit and the various NATO meetings. PPT deck ready to brief them all with.

      3. Stephen T Johnson

        Well, you should see the Russosphere!
        Honestly, a bunch of usually thoughtful telegram channels are acting like it’s the Nazis reaching the outskirts of Moscow.

        The assymetry of the actual combat – a fairly rigorously Clausewitzian operation aimed at the enemy army versus this surreal terrain-and-picures campaign by the UAF is just another complication.

        1. Lex

          I have. Frankly, if people actually dipped their toes into Russian social media they would never believe the Western press line that Russians are uninformed sheep at the mercy of Kremlin propaganda because they’d see reactions like the reactions to this. Russians always assume that the government is lying and [family blogging] it up in some way. Doom spreads like wild fire.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            “Russians always assume that the government is lying and [family blogging] it up in some way.”

            It is a deeply-rooted way of thinking, and one that IMHO is fairly well-justified by our history (both distant and very recent). I suppose that is why it is so weird and alien to me that Westerners watching this conflict appear to assume otherwise for whatever side they happen to support. I will grant that blind faith and knee-jerk lack of faith are about equally likely to lead one to the wrong conclusions about any specific event, though.

    3. BillS

      I think it’s a well executed move on the part of the Ukr regime to extract more funding from US/NATO. Almost certainly it will fail after a few days as the RF troops encircle the Ukies and cut the head off the salient. It looks like a last ditch attempt of the Kiev regime to convince its patrons that it’s still got fight in it. Looks a bit like the “dash to Antwerp” by the Germans in their Dec. 1944 Ardennes offensive. And the Germans threw in more than 400000 soldiers! How many does the Z Man have?

    4. OIFVet

      Checked Scott Ritter’s channel out of curiosity after seeing Big Serge’s new article. If what their sources report as far as tactics and developments is correct, then Russian military has deep institutional memory and has basically repeated the Volokolamsk Highway retreat leading up to the battle for Moscow. Outnumbered forces buying time for reinforcements while minimizing their casualties. Reinforcements already engaged Ukraine formations and mauling them before Kupyansk, while bypassed RU strongholds now spring blocks to prevent Ukie retreat. If true, it won’t be a pretty ending for Ukraine.

      And before anyone claims it was some 12 dimensional chess move on RU part, no, it wasn’t. They were surprised by new tactics designed to exploit seams in a thinly manned line. It’s just that they are both professional and adaptable and Ukies ran into a river, with no plan and no way to cross it. The rest is a matter of RU air and artillery superiority plus mobility.

      1. Yves Smith

        I don’t know why everyone is getting so worked up about this advance. It’s a mere 9000 men with no air support. By contrast, Ukraine sent 20,000 additional men to shore up existing forces in well bunkered positions in Lysichansk and suffered losses before pulling them out. And unlike the last bit of Lugansk Oblast, this area near Kharkiv looks to be as thinly populated and strategically valuable as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

        1. ambrit

          It would be more than ironic to see the Russians “sponsoring” a New Quebec Liberation Front, and said ‘movement’ taking land in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. As per Western Standard Operating Procedure, a propaganda win! As a bonus, the Russians could arm the Quebecois with NATO standard arms ‘sourced’ in the Ukraine!

        2. timbers

          I hope you are right but am concerned about reporting of US build up in Ranstein Germany with advanced weapons for Ukraine. IMO Russia should redeem its repeatedly broken promises to attack western decision making centers, and destroy all AWACS in the Black Sea and bombard Ramstein Germany with a massive amount of hypersonic missiles into oblivion such that no defense can stop them all and destroy it utterly. Upon doing this, Russia should issue no statement and act as if nothing happened, and meanwhile use the extra forces sent to Kherson to plow onwards to Odessa, and use the extra forces sent to repel Ukraine offensive to move west then south to envelope Ukraine forces in Donbas into a cauldron. Putin has allocated far far too few forces for hid SMO. This is a war with America and NATO. It’s long past time Russia act according to this reality.

        3. OIFVet

          It is both silly and hysterical. The PR win goes to UKR on this one but that’s all it is, a PR propaganda win. Not that these aren’t important, but ultimately we will be talking about some other sector 3-4 weeks from now in a somewhat westerly direction from the current front lines.

          If there is one valid point I have seen amongst all the hysteria it has to do with the equipment and some of the troops used in this operation, both of which appear to be of NATO origin. It creates optics that are rather ominous. I may be very wrong on this, but my thinking is that the Russians “accidentally” shooting down an AWACS or a Poseidon over the Black Sea or the Baltic Sea might just be the reality check that NATO/EU/US/UK need.

          1. The Rev Kev

            It might be enough to have a fighter get behind one of those birds and establish missile lock. The Russians know that they are being used for command and control purposes in this war.

        4. Stephen

          Right. I was fascinated that Jacob Dreizin and Moon of Alabama both got into “Russia is about to lose”, and in the case of Dreizin even into apocalyptic mode. This will fizzle out. It is either the Battle of the Bulge, or at most, this series of operations may collectively be the German 1918 Spring Offensive.

          There is a broader point well beyond this offensive (which I think you have made) as to how does Russia end this in a way that addresses the threat that she feels from the US / NATO. Every action that the west has taken since February has underlined to her that the threat is existential and real. At least, under this administration. It feels that this can only end with the total defeat of one side or the other, given the fear felt by Russia and the lack of reverse gear in the west.

          The EU and UK have zero ability or even inclination it seems to act as independent countries. So the only question that then matters is whether whoever runs the White House desists and moves on to the “next thing” or will we see the type of apocalyptic behaviour that Jacob Dreizin (for example) now fears? It is a rhetorical question: I do not have the answer either.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    “Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending”

    Follow-up story:

    Mandatory medically assisted deaths could save Billions in health care spending!

      1. Terry Flynn

        No. Right wingers used the cost-effectiveness methods used throughout the non-USA developed world to insinuate that such methods were evil and “out to get you being a socialist plot”. Don’t make up stuff. Look up my Google scholar stats (and publications) if you think I’m some fraud.

        I have to be careful here so I don’t break NC rules in self publicising. However in book I co-authored we show that best predictor of “having the kitchen sink thrown at you to keep you alive” it’s most strongly predictable via “have you seen a loved one in end-of-life scenario?”

        If you’ve seen the reality and not some godawful TV show where everyone is saved you’ll know…… These ICU interventions usually fail and why medical doctors typically have end of life directives saying” quick death” (essentially). It sounds awful but dignity and money are usually best served by allowing the person to go. My idea of hell is being kept alive in machines when my heart gives out.

        1. hk

          Oh, please. My dad just passed away and I was literally in this situation days ago. If he passed away prematurely because some panel decided that he should pass to save some money, I can tell you that some more people would have died prematurely, too. This is something visceral to many, if not most people, beyond the right and the left of politics.

          1. Terry Flynn

            The very fact you phrase it all using the right wing terms of a “panel” shows you are either grossly uneducated about health care in civilised countries (there’s no such thing as a death panel – you’re a liar) or you are a troll.

            Decisions remain with families but they are told true facts regarding the chances of success of interventions. Indeed the “frustrations” of my clinical colleagues was not that the “plug was being pulled early” but that family were doing the opposite.

          2. JBird4049

            There are two issues here. On one side, too many people die horribly after suffering from too many kitchen sink treatments. On the other, too many people horribly after suffering from no effective treatments or prevention because money.

            If everyone was in a functional and fully funded healthcare system, people generally would live much longer, less painful lives; their deaths would only come only when there were no effective treatments, and decent hospice was voluntary. Not if people deemed the costs too great.

            If some sort of rationing was imposed, you could bet your last dollar, the car, and the farm that the wealthy would not be affected by it, but the disposables would be.

            1. Terry Flynn

              I have sympathy with first part of your comment. There is HUGE inconsistency.

              The latter part? NC had recently hosted posts showing that life expectancy in US is below China. It’s been falling in uk for several years. Another factor is to do with the ECONOMY not healthcare. “rationing’ in some format has been going on across most of Europe for 20+ years. Result? NOTHING. Life expectancy now very obviously tracks tory-type policies on spending. I just look at whole picture and say it like it is.

              1. Dave in Austin

                How many morbidly obese Chinese have you seen lately? How many morbidly obese Americans? I’m 78 and suddenly getting to watch a crowd of people I’ve know since high school again. The overweight ones are fading fast- or have recently died. The ones who have gone for a walk everyday are doing OK.

                The process is insidious but simple: TV and never walking lead to weight gain at 50; that leads to joint and foot pain, which provides an explaination for even more TV watching with the usual salty, corn-oil filled snacks; with more weight and less muscle all activity is a chore; pre-diabetes arrives and all exercise is “too hard plus I can’t find the time”.

                The final spin-in commences at 72-75 with the hunched shoulders, the unsteady gait and the inability to go up stairs. The victim feels sad, lost, out of control and helpless. Plus the press has convinced the old women that walking in an even safe neighbohood in broad daylight is “Potentially dangerous, you never know.” Contrast that with the spry, smiling 80-plus folks we see living in the Ukrainian basements under fire. Or the old Chinese, Italians and French. We and the culture that encourages inaction and helplessness are the reason for the American death rate.

                So please go for a walk tomorrow. Set your IPhone timer for 15 minutes, start walking and when it goes off, turn around. Look at the sky and the birds. Smile at the people you pass and say hello; they’ll say “Hi” back. Then do it again the next day.

                1. Yves Smith

                  Chinese have a much greater propensity to diabetes at a normal body weight than Caucasians. It’s diabetes that is the big Covid co-morbidity. The famed Betty-Jo’s boyfriend has diabetes at a normal body weight, exercised, and is very sick from Covid and can’t shake it. By contrast, one of my brothers is morbidly obese (and has been for a long time) but not diabetic, illustrating that obesity does not always lead to diabetes.

                  13.2% of Chinese have diabetes v. 10.5% in the US.

                  White rice has a high glycemic index.

          3. Terry Flynn

            Look up death panels in the health economics literature.

            There. Hopefully THIS TIME I’m not moderated into oblivion for making statements others routinely get away with.

            1. hk

              Hinestly, very few people read academic literature. Trying to nitpick jargon with “refular people” only earns you their ire. Most regular people will ynderstand death panels to mean some group of people who decide if their sick loved ones die without getting their consent for some reason or other that is of no concern to them. It’s absurd to insist that “death panels” mean something else in academic jargon even if they do in face of the popular perception–especially when the popular perception is, in fact, justified notwithstanding the improper use of the jargon. And the problem is with what most people perceive “death panels” to be, regardless of whatever “real” death oanels are supposed to be–and this is why the “death panels” became the political hot potato in 2010.

          4. Soredemos

            I’ll counter that my own father died an Alzheimer-riddled husk, and absolutely should have been given the option to go out while he was still somewhat himself. He almost certainly would have refused the offer out of evangelical Christian stupidity, but he should have been given a choice. The reality is that terminally ill people choose to commit suicide all the time. They just do it slowly through refusing to eat.

    1. Glen

      Medically unassisted deaths are also on the rise, but totally under reported by the MSM since no profit is involved.

  4. Toshiro_Mifune

    What Happens to the British Monarchy Now?
    I am really not looking forward to all the gushing hagiographies that are bound to come.

    1. 'The Rev Kev

      It’s about 11 at night right now in oz. And all day long, it has been nothing on all the main TV channels but the Queen’s death – all. day. long. When I turned onto the news a coupla hours ago to see what else was happening, it was all about the Queen’s death for the entire hour. I guess that in sympathy with her death, the world had no news today. Yeah, it is not good for her family but the news is still the same-

      ‘A 96 year old woman died of old age today.

        1. The Rev Kev

          My wife was wondering if Covid may have had a part to play as she was infected back in February. But yeah, she had a peaceful death fortunately. And in researching family I see a very common pattern where a wife or husband dies in old age and within a year or two, the other partner follows them. And it was only in April of last year that her husband passed away.

          1. Louis Fyne

            lots of evidence for the broken heart hypothesis.

            you literally give up the will to live, or more like stress hormones from your loss weaken your immune/circulatory system—your body basically dies of exhaustion, emotional and physical

          2. The Historian

            Looking back through old You Tube videos of the Queen on her regular outings, I think I have to agree with your wife. Queen Elizabeth did seem to change faster after she had Covid. I see changes in her hair, her face, just how she presented herself – it’s like she just aged rapidly. She also seemed to be losing weight. I can imagine the Prince’s death had some effect but she didn’t seem all that different after his death until she got Covid.

            1. orlbucfan

              At 96 years old, even with platinum and diamond encrusted healthcare, a human body is worn out. I’m sure Elizabeth was ready to pass on.

      1. The Historian

        With Charles becoming king, I have no doubt that the British tabloids will start regurgitating Diana again!

      2. begob

        There was a repeat glurge – at least in the UK – on the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death a couple of weeks ago.

    2. Pelham

      Fair enough. I, for one, am actually looking forward to the remembrances. I get to be an anglophile, even though I’m hard left on nearly everything else.

  5. William Beyer

    Medically assisted dying could result in substantial savings across Canada’s health-care system – it could work here in the USA too. Start with the Congress.

    1. hunkerdown

      Instead, I suggest to start with the intelligentsia, particularly any economics degree holder NC doesn’t like, and the entire International Relations profession. Destroying symbols and figureheads is generally futile without control of the subsequent interpretations of that destruction.

      1. tegnost

        I say start with the richest and move down from there.
        Every kabillionaire who’s knocked off will leave dough to their heirs, amongst whom will certainly be some wastrels who will spend unwisely, which is of course good for the economy, while the above noted kabillionaires are concentrating on concentration and thus keeping the dough locked up in unproductive grifting and profit suppression of up and coming ideas through purchase by said concentrator.
        Society will be much healthier then, I can’t wait.
        Plus, added bonus, we could sell shares in the bomb that blows up {name of your least favorite grifter goes here] randomly the various castles each grifter has, sort of a “broken mansion” fallacy thing where it’s seen to be an economic positive as each kabillionaire, in the event they were not in the randomly blown up mansion (that’s right! They can “just move” if they don’t want to be where the blowing up happens) will need to rebuild, by statute of course, each broken manse. I can see a real “cottage industry” developing here where the grifters fight to be in the smallest house. Major unintended bonus for the climate! It’s just wins all around, this idea.
        Maybe something sensible like when you turn 72 if you have a billion, we start, randomly, of course, blowing your “stuff” up.

        1. tegnost

          no, no! wait!
          This has everything, we can include lots of nudges, definitely means testing…it can be incremental, it will reduce the deficit, fund the military who of course would be tasked with logistics, 3d tech for mapping the manses for the required rebuild, gatekeepers, administrators to administrate, the list goes on and on
          no don’t thank me just because I’ve solved all of the problems, I’m doing it pro bono,
          whats that? oh no, I’m not suggesting any individuals particularly, there’ll have to be a vote when you pay your taxes you’ll just have an added task of looking through a pamphlet where each candidate tries not to get elected…

          1. Rainlover

            Thanks Tegnost. I started laughing half way through your first post and I’m still laughing. A much needed relief during this intense week.

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Adorable, thanks, Kev. Made my day after a week+ of depressing news and a deluge of unexpected medical bills. Come to think of it, learning to stand on one leg could be a metaphor …

  6. Arizona Slim

    I found the digital nomad article to be quite interesting. As mentioned here before, I was a tenant at a coworking space in Downtown Tucson.

    During my nearly four years in that space, I met quite a few digital nomads.

    Very quickly, I noticed something about them. They were obviously living interesting lives, but for the most part, they remained aloof. And it wasn’t like this coworking space was a hard place to make friends in. I made quite a few.

    I guess we Tucson schlubs weren’t very interesting to the digital nomads. So, they sat amongst us, with their laptops glowing and headphones or earbuds welded on. Socialize with us? Uh-uh. We just plumb weren’t nomads.

    1. OIFVet

      Yep, you describe most digital nomads I’ve met in Bulgaria as well. Lots of complaining, aloof, mostly insular with very little interaction with the regular locals. Yes, interesting lifestyle but most do not get to learn much about the culture of the places they visit. It should be enriching lifestyle, yet most of them didn’t seem all that enriched.

    2. schmoe

      People might become digital nomads because they have few friends or acquaintances in their native lands, perhaps because they are just not very sociable folk.

  7. pjay

    – “I don’t think many people realize how big a deal it is that Charlotte is ranked #3 ahead of her brother Louis at #4. For first time ever, they tossed out the gender bias of male before female sibling primogeniture succession.”

    LOL! Is this for real? Well, I have to admit that Feigl-Ding is right about this – most people probably *don’t* realize how big a deal *female sibling primogeniture succession* is in a medieval institution like the British monarchy here in 2022. Thank God for progress!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Atrios had a tweet about this years ago that more or less went “whenever I’m down on my country, I’m inevitably reminded other countries exist, making me feel great about the US.”

      1. hunkerdown

        He single-handedly took Trump’s second term away by helping slow-walk certain pharmaceutical interventions sometimes called “COVID vaccines” until after the election. He has been granted all access to all the lanes.

  8. Mikel

    I can’t look at that rainbow without laughing.
    Thanks to Irish Twitter, I may laugh at beautiful rainbows forever.

  9. Sutter Cane

    Billionaire-Backed Group Steps Up Hunt For Long Covid Treatment

    At least now when people say that long covid is a psychosomatic condition, which seems to be the spin the powers that be are trying to put on it at the moment, you can ask them “Why would a billionaire invest in finding a treatment for a condition if it’s not real?”

    The fact that you can see lung scarring in the x-rays and brain damage in the MRIs of long covid patients hasn’t stopped them from saying it’s all hysteria, so this probably won’t, either, but those who downplay the pandemic do tend to value the concerns of our billionaires more than those of the average person so it’s worth a shot.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Giant nuclear power plant in Ukraine is at risk of ‘unlimited release’ of nuclear materials unless a safety zone is established, UN warns”

    It turns out that there were ballistics specialists on that team that visited that plant according to Scott Ritter but of course we will never be able to see their report as it would show that the artillery was coming from the north across that river where the Ukrainians are entrenched. According to Ritter, the plan was for the Ukrainian commando team to capture that plant, invite the IAEA inspectors to stay there permanently which would then require a UN mission to create a safe zone around that plant to protect them. It failed but the head of the IAEA is still demanding a safe zone around that plant – which of course the Ukrainians will totally respect. So I have an idea. Yeah, establish a UN force to protect that plant but have them composed of Chinese Army Special Operations Forces troops along with sufficient firepower including their own artillery, drones and attack-helicopters that will let them get the job done. Think that the west would be keen on this idea?

  11. Mikel

    “Insider Knowledge Is The New Status Symbol For China’s Luxury Sophisticates” Jing Daily

    Headwinds that Pepe Escobar may want to seriously consider in his writings.

      1. LifelongLib

        Well, so did the English. On my list of things to read about is why the Republic didn’t last. Still too dependent on a strongman figure (Cromwell)? Parliament not setup to run things? Poor administration? Anyway this is drifting away from the topic…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Still too dependent on a strongman figure (Cromwell)

          Maybe not dependent, but Cromwell was functionally just a different king, regardless of what he called himself. Since he functionally combined the legislative and executive in a form not seen since before Richard III, it wasn’t a republic. He put his kid on the throne when he died and had a different set of costumes.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “North Korea makes nuclear policy ‘irreversible’ with new law”

    Probably inevitable this. To get rid of their nukes, how would the North Koreans get any guarantees that the US would not attack them later like happened with Libya? John Bolton told them that that was the general plan for them. And the North Koreans were badly burned when they gave up their facilities years ago – but then George Bush reneged on his side of the agreement. And surely they are watching the Iran negotiations. A sticking point for Iran is that not only has Biden said that the US can renege on this agreement if another party comes into power in 2024, but that he will not even guarantee that he will not renege on this deal himself in the remaining two years of his Presidency. How do you negotiate with something like that?

    1. Jessica

      North Korea also had a brutal experience at US hands during the Korean War. Few Americans are aware of this, but the North Koreans have not forgotten.

      1. fringe element

        Thanks for adding that. It seems to be something most people in this country don’t know.

        One of the nicest men I ever met flew fighter missions in Korea. His daughter is my best friend, also super nice like her dad, and I will never share this information with her.

        Our rulers profit from doing evil, but the people they use to do their evil are sometimes easy to fool precisely because they are basically decent and mistakenly assume that their leaders also have good motives.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Ransom Capitalism London Review of Books

    ….Practices once applied by imperial nations to colonial subjects have now been turned on their domestic populations. Ransom capitalism and bailouts are not new, but their scope has expanded.

    Under the bailout consensus, as with the IMF interventions, the state and its citizens are expected to pay private companies’ ransom demands without taking anything substantive in return. There’s no suggestion that the public might acquire a stake in a company in exchange for the money they hand over. Shareholders and CEOs are provided with ‘protection’ or ‘compensation’ rather than being made to face the downsides of the risk supposedly inherent in investment. The bailout averts a crisis, but keeps things on terms friendly to capital.

    Trees may not grow to the sky, but, in monopoly corporate capitalism apparently, profits must.

    So when individual citizens are tapped out, the only “person” with enough money to keep the profit wheels grinding higher is the government. Private “healthcare” insurers get “subsidies” in the name of keeping “healthcare” “affordable.” Intel gets no-strings-attached government money because we need chips, and the ever important internationally “competitive” companies. Banks…well, they’re BANKS. The direct transfers upward are represented as ever increasing “debt,” from which the population can never escape and must sacrifice to “repay.”

    I don’t know how much longer this can go on without significant structural reform of the “industries” requiring ever more frequent infusions of government cash while, at the same time, exalting in their free market capitalist prowess.

    1. Mikel

      The most overly enthusiastic stock market participants are already saying the quiet part out loud: They seek out and hope for any signs of weakness in the real economy in hopes that the free money to gamble with comes back.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      during S&L shenanigans, then all the others that followed(ENRON,lol), i was not even yet politically aware…but noticed the strange disconnect between “give us money” and “we’re Capitalists!”.
      clinton’s first term…all the kowtowing to the Bond Market, etc…is what finally made me want to start looking into economics.
      i avoided those with physics envy, as their graphs and maths were suspect, and went straight for the story tellers, starting with Adam, then Karl, and so on.
      if the disconnect was obvious to a 14 year old boy not really paying attention, in the mid 80’s…why has it taken this long to become common sense?
      …and it is becoming more mainstream…like stoller suddenly being everywhere underfoot.
      (and ive got a pic of Lina Khan for the dern bar,lol…just need a frame—put her next to Pancho Villa)
      few weeks ago, i went wandering in places like the Fed, and especially BIS….the latter’s various speeches and other prophetic utterances were ludicrous.
      utterly divorced from felt reality of billions, and based on unquestioned assumptions galore.
      i say fire all economists…put em to work doing something useful.
      and start over.
      with actual empiricism…ie “this is water…it’s wet..etc”
      they’ve gotten away with bullshit for far too long.
      how to actually accomplish that, i have no idea.
      public shaming, stocks and pillories would prolly be a nice start.
      i’d bet a streaming channel like that would be a money maker for funding more traditional lobbying efforts.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        but noticed the strange disconnect between “give us money” and “we’re Capitalists!”.

        Besides the obvious greed, I suspect a good element for the refusal to acknowledge reality was the Calvin elect nonsense we have in the US. They were rich, so they must be worthy of help.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          yeah. i grew up north of houston…and remember the ferment among the oil people and whatnot my grandad did bidness with.
          and the rest of it, splashed out over the far exurbian asphalt.
          the preachers…first in somebody’s living room…soon in a barn or dingy stripmall….by ’90 they had a million dollar church with a giant limestone boulder in front of it.
          that area was one of the spawning grounds of the Reagan Revolution…Montgomery County, Texas, circa 1975-1990.
          i didn’t fully understand what i was watching until after i left, and started getting more into socio-psycho-anthro weirdness and associated systems thinking.
          everywhere ive been since, a proliferation of churches always bodes ill…for it means that the Right is in army-building mode.

          (and! i know ive touched on it before…but the whole Operation Gladio and stay behind army strategy just has so many analogs with how the Movement Conservatism/Reagan Rev./(what is it 4th?) great awakening/etc came about. similarly, see any of the US Army Field Manuals on Counterinsurgency…what i saw back then, from very low, and also moderately high, has that written all over it….just sayin’…)

    3. jsn

      Yeah, trends that can’t go on forever, won’t.

      But it’s pretty amazing how far they can go.

      Very slowly, then all at once? Should be an interesting winter.

    4. Carl

      “Biden’s Pro-America Foreign Policy” Impose sanctions on cheap foreign suppliers, i.e. Russia to mine the American people for their last dollar by doubling energy costs, food costs, raising housing costs…yup, meanwhile energy and food company profits skyrocket.

      Overthrow the Biden Regime for our survival.

    5. spud

      the law of diminishing returns is already in motion. the more dollars that flow to keep the rich afloat, the less bang for the buck, lower standards of living, shorten lives, more inflation, less technology and a ever worse economy. this of course will under cut the riches own positions, but greed is all they know.

      once it becomes apparent to the rich that russia will not yield, and china will not, the rest of the world will flood back to sovereignty, democratic control, and tariffs.

      so our plight will intensify as the rich look for ways to bleed the american turnip, that is us.

      “The phrase, “you can’t get blood from a turnip,” is one of the more colorful idioms in the English language. The meaning of the saying is that it’s impossible to produce a desired item or outcome from an object or situation that could not, in any case, provide it. In other words, this phrase is used to show that where potential doesn’t exist, none can be realized.”

      what can’t go on, won’t go on, and debts that cannot be paid back, won’t get paid back.

  14. Wukchumni

    United Airlines threatens to drop JFK service if U.S. does not approve more flights Reuters

    Did this threat emanate from a grassy knoll?

    Imagine a major carrier telling the Big Apple to drop dead?

    1. Michael Ismoe

      They are trying to find out how malleable Mr. Buttigieg is. They need to place their bets on 2024 soon and Mayo Pete looks like he’s for sale but they want to make sure he doesn’t cost too much.

  15. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update:

    Sure, Bitcoin has dropped a pile since my Coinstar buy-in way back @ $56k resulting in yours truly having to lick assorted financial wounds typically with salt and a shot of tequila, but has been amazingly stable the past month or 2, which is unusual for nothing worth a lot of something still @ $21k.

    Usually when a Ponzi scheme such as this drops in value demonstrably-its good night Irene…

    Why do you think it has retained it’s value in the face of all the news about crypto being so dodgy?

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Why do you think it has retained it’s value in the face of all the news about crypto being so dodgy?’

      Kinda reminds me of the first two minutes of this scene from “The Big Short”- (7:19 mins) – Extreme language alert!

      People with crypto must have the right “friends.”

    2. CheckyChubber

      Wash trades by the exchanges in order to keep the price high enough to keep the dream alive, yet low enough that everyone who is deep underwater can’t sell?

  16. Brian T

    Re: Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong – If NC had a ‘recommended reading’ list, what else would be on it?

    1. griffen

      William Gibson, The Peripheral. Recently read that one during 2021, based on recommendations from the kind readers here (and the frequent anecdotes by Lambert).

      May also depend on what type of work one wishes to read. Cormac McCarthy gets some mentions recently, for his novel The Road. Bleak (I’ve seen the movie, but have not read it).

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Abandoned mosque emerges from shrinking reservoir in drought-stricken India”

    It’s a sad sight but according to the article, it was not old and would have been built in about 1900. Still, it was probably the center of life for that long lost and scattered community. At the end of that article is a link to a story about a much older church that has been uncovered in Spain, also due to lower water levels. It’s called ‘Crumbling 11th century church emerges from its watery grave in drought-stricken Europe’ and is worth a look. The bell tower seems to be in very good condition-

  18. Wukchumni

    Missed the shivs in Saskatchewan saga when I was @ Burning Man, and here we’ve had a marked increase in 3D printed atlatls and more recently bows & arrows, including ‘Saturday Night Special’ versions of the former. Luckily 3D printed obsidian has proven to be a harder nut to crack using modern methodology, so locals have been using 3D printed chert, which is a crummy substitute for obsidian arrowheads.

  19. semper loquitur

    “ 30 feet tall, that’s some shrinkage….”

    That’s the truth. Our hot water heater was out for a few days last week. Cold showers are supposedly good for you. Bollocks, sez I!

  20. Wukchumni

    I played DC Monopoly one time, and only learned after the game was started that Senators and Congresspeople had bought up all the real estate with the exception of the railroads, which frankly nobody wanted and I can’t blame them. The highlight of playing was landing on a Choo-Choo, Chance or Community Chest, or hopefully a jail stint, as you had no opportunity @ landing on a politician’s haunt full of hotels while in the pokey.

  21. antidlc

    RE: “Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine gets DCGI nod for restricted emergency use I”

    Bharat Biotech developed the new vaccine in partnership with Washington University-St Louis. While the US university developed the vector that carries the spike protein and evaluated it in pre-clinical studies, Bharat Biotech is handling product development and manufacturing. The development of the vaccine was partly funded by the Department of Biotechnology’s Covid Suraksha programme.

    From the Wash U School of Medicine website:

    Washington University is exploring licensing the adenoviral nasal vaccine technology in other countries, including the U.S.

    1. Jorge

      Yes, we can stop getting jabbed

      What if (hear me out based on no medical evidence that I can cite) what if we have two different habitats for Covid-19: inside the body, and in mucous membranes? Yes, there is a set of transitional surfaces between these two habitats. If this is true, we will need jabs for inside the body, and a nasally-applied vaccine that really helps only in the mucosa.

  22. Basil Pesto

    “However, more combined efforts by healthcare workers, policy makers, and the media to encourage the uptake of COVID-vaccination in the elderly and other at-risk populations, such as those with autoimmune diseases and cancer, are urgently needed in order to restore ‘pre-pandemic life’.”

    Fools. The clamour for China to adopt ‘moar vaccines’ so they can abandon ZC is one of those most mind-boggling smoothbrain PMC-type arguments I’ve ever come across. China, more than any other country, and for all their struggles, has the overwhelming majority of its population closer to ‘pre-pandemic life’ than any other country for the overwhelming majority of the time, and vaccines have nothing to do with it. Merely pretending that the pandemic is over does not grant any nation the right to claim that they have returned to pre-pandemic life, unless by pre-pandemic life you mean setting back public health and, consequently, human progress back about ~150 years.

    1. antidlc

      Covid is here to stay, but the White House response team is eyeing its endgame

      The White House is planning the end stages of its Covid emergency response. But first, it needs to survive the winter.

      The pandemic may not be over. But there’s a growing sense among officials inside the White House that their days on the front lines of the Covid fight may be numbered.

      Even as it braces for a perilous winter, the Biden administration is planning a restructuring of its approach to major elements of the coronavirus response — a gradual shift that some administration officials now speculate could begin the phaseout of the White House Covid team as soon as the middle of next year.

      Biden health officials are transitioning responsibility for distributing vaccines and treatments to the private market within six months. They’re telegraphing an end to the government’s declaration of the pandemic as a national emergency. And they’re spending the last of their cash reserves on a booster shot drive they hope will ward off the threat of a winter resurgence.

      “We know how to manage fluctuations in Covid-19, and do so safely,” White House Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha said Tuesday. “If people step up and do what is necessary, we can get through this winter with far less suffering, far less death, far less disruption.”

      We lost 674 people just in the US yesterday due to COVID

      Yesterday’s data (9/9/2022)
      New Cases: 123,126
      Deaths: 674

      The first case of COVID-19 in US was reported 960 days ago on 1/21/2020. Yesterday, the country reported 123,126 new confirmed cases and 674 deaths.

      In what universe is losing 674 people in one day considered “normal”?

      In what universe is infecting 123,126 people IN ONE DAY considered “normal”? (And that doesn’t include the home tests.)

      They have “normalized” so much death and illness.

      1. Basil Pesto

        It’s really tough even just contemplating what has been done to us. State killing on a monumental scale around the world greeted with little more than a shrug of the shoulders, to say nothing of the forced (albeit stochastic) imposition of chronic illness on many more. Which is probably why people don’t do it.

  23. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the PNAS droplet dynamics article:

    Before I toss in my non-aerosolist two cents, I’d like to note that you guys are awesome!

    Aerosol dynamics are much more complex than seems to be generally recognized even by an awful lot of people who really ought to know better, i.e. anybody with a STEM degree. This article is very well written, managing to be technically dense yet scannable, and I’d recommend scanning it to anybody interested in getting a sense of the various processes in play in the air around us.

    The study is an investigation primarily of the internal dynamics of some standardized types of SARS-bearing droplets. The data obtained is of potential importance in informing the thinking of those looking to understand real-world transmission. I think it can be analogized to auto or aircraft crash-testing: Not real-world, but indispensible for understanding the accident scene:

    Under all conditions measured, the majority of SARS-CoV-2 is inactivated within 10 min of aerosolization. Further research is required to determine for how long the remaining fraction persists, how this may depend on the viral load in the aerosol, and the influence of chemical composition. The high-time resolution infectivity measurements reported here are uniquely accessible to the CELEBS technology and can only be understood once the detailed aerosol microphysics are fully explored. Although we do not report measurements in artificial or real saliva, the culture media used do have many of the same characteristics of real respiratory secretions, particularly the high concentration of inorganic ions that dominate the phase behavior and water content of the aerosol, along with bicarbonate ions that partition CO2 into the gas phase on aerosolization. In addition, the initial water activity of the aerosol is consistent with the high RH of the respiratory tract, and the aerosol generation process generates isolated droplets that must respond rapidly to the surrounding environmental conditions, which is typical of the very low concentrations of aerosol exhaled in infected individuals.

    And, perhaps of particular note:

    The aerostability data reported here are consistent with a view that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission is greatest closer to the source of infection. Often, the assumption is that short distance transmission is caused by large droplets that fall to the ground more quickly and therefore do not travel as far. The rapid loss of infectivity demonstrated in these measurements provides an alternative explanation for a short transmission distance, with rapid airborne losses of viral infectivity possibly making transmission decreasingly likely as distance from the particle source is increased, even if the particles that contain the virus are small and able to travel long distances. This loss in infectivity is compounded by the considerable dilution in aerosol concentration that results following exhalation and transport beyond the short range. However, the rapid loss of infectivity must also be considered in combination with the large variability in aerosol emission rate between individuals [up to a factor of 103 between individuals when breathing (75)] and viral titer in the exhaled aerosol [which could be as much as 104 if variations in sampled saliva are indicative (76)].

  24. Raymond Sim

    I think if Sharp had this tactic in mind, it would be on his list.

    Me too. Meaning, I think, that it’s not something that could be allowed to happen here. Miners’ strikes are fine, so long as you’ve got your tinhat soldiers.

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    “Review: The road to California’s energy disaster: A new history of PG&E paints a bleak picture”:
    “The biggest utilities in California will have to figure a way to earn a return for shareholders without compromising safety and reliability.” And while meeting the “…challenge of keeping rates low enough to avoid a public backlash.”
    That will be some pretty amazing magic trick.

  26. Val

    While one must always subscribe to the Annals of Irreproducible Results, publishing in the Journal of Reassuring Findings is better career-wise, as the Complete Repository of Demonstrated Reassuring Findings has yet to cover one side of a laminated index card.

  27. Wukchumni

    Two dozen new place names can be found across the National Park System in the wake of the Interior Department’s scrubbing of “squaw” from geographic locations across federal lands.

    The changes were called for by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last November. At the time, she said a formal review process had been created to come up with new names for places currently carrying derogatory names. Along that line, she also declared “squaw” to be a derogatory term and ordered the Board on Geographic Names – the federal body tasked with naming geographic places – to implement procedures to remove the term from federal usage.

    “I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long,” the secretary said Thursday in announcing the name changes. “I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to prioritize this important work. Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America.”

    Meanwhile over in Fresno County, Squaw Valley doesn’t look to be changing their name anytime soon, last time I drove through, I looked for signs agitating for a change of name or anything suggesting such a move, but all I saw was nothing.

  28. Jason Boxman

    So ponder this. By 2018, liberal Democrats controlled the senate. Much like McConnell, Schumer could simply have refused to confirm any judges until Trump was out of office. Naturally, that isn’t what happened; Instead, he made a deal so liberal Democrats could go on recess!

    Trump’s extraordinary success here was only possible, in part, because of liberal Democrat acquiesce.

    That’s some fighting for right there, isn’t it!

    Being unhappy is “not a good enough reason to quit,” Brogan replied, according to McGahn’s confidant. If McGahn threw in the towel so soon after joining the White House, it would look bad not just for McGahn but also for Jones Day. McGahn, who had gotten as far as packing up his office, heeded Brogan’s advice and stayed put until late 2018. By then, he had accomplished his mission. The Senate had just confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the second justice McGahn had chosen, Trump had nominated and Mitch McConnell’s Senate had confirmed. With McGahn in charge of selecting judicial nominees, the White House had nominated more than 130 judges to the federal courts in a span of 21 months. By the time they were confirmed, fully one-quarter of the appellate bench had turned over.

  29. Glen

    An interesting report that goes into details on how the Billionaires/PMC are destroying public education:

    America’s MANUFACTURED Teacher Shortage | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

    This looks like a sure fired way to destroy one of America’s bedrock successes, a good public education system. One wonders how much China benefited on it’s way to the top by looking at what America was doing and just being sure to do the opposite.

    1. bonks

      China is an old civilisation which values education to a very high degree. Many old lores, poems and proverbs were based on stories of parents sacrificing their lives to send their children to school, or about poor scholars studying hard to pass the civil service exams. Chinese diaspora worldwide boasts of Tiger moms, even if they’re the fourth or fifth generations, who make sure that their children memorise multiplication timetable by the time they’re six.

      The major factors why the Mainland was not doing well in the past were simply poverty, war and hunger. Now that 99% of the population can have rice, greens and meat everyday, they’re graduating more students than ever. There’s little need to look outside when the drive to educate the young is already burning from within.

  30. hunkerdown

    Fur Affinity bans AI-generated content as passing-off, which to me is a bit more compelling argument than plagiarism/sampling:

    We made the decision to ban AI generated content on FA. I know a lot of people are asking, “but what about…”

    Look, the AI-generated “art” is openly copying the signatures of the artists and teams it’s sampling from. Maybe even from somebody you know. It’s too much.

    I’ve been monitoring and taking notes for weeks. I’ve seen tons of mutilated artists signatures.

    AI art is a damn good *learning* tool, but it’s taking everything it does from artists. It leeches on the time, effort, skill, energy an artist put into their work.

    1. paul

      I read somewhere that spotify has 60K uploads of original content a day.

      I wonder how they manage that.

      Can they determine it is just not machine generated noise,pursuing advertising attention?

      1. hunkerdown

        By looking at a plot of the sound data, the kind of a sound file can be easily determined. By matching to audio fingerprints of known songs, duplicates and plagiarism can be greatly reduced. 60k per day is less than one per second. A relatively small team could manage the process while taking a few seconds to audition a part of each one. One person could almost manage it alone, given good tooling and few/no auditions.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Disney sugar coats its source materials relentlessly. I did not realize Disney’s “Bambi” was retold in much the same way as Disney’s “Little Mermaid”.

    2. anahuna

      Salinas Valley, 1944: I read and reread — which is to say, lived in– the original English translation of Bambi and its sequel, before Disney got ahold of it. Lesson, whole sentences, stayed with me for years. Quite impossible to communicate to other 8 year olds, not that I remember trying.

      I do remember, 1969 or so, while walking down Second Avenue (NYC), discovering a copy in a carton of sale books sitting on the sidewalk. And how startled I was to see the name of the translator: Whittaker Chambers.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i hope you bought, and still have that book,lol.
        i have an original press of steinbeck’s first published book, “to a god unknown”, which is also my fave of his.
        got it for a dollar at a library booksale.

        1. anahuna

          Bought, but long since abandoned in the course of many moves between countries and then back here in the US.

          Good for you,for staying put and holding on.

  31. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” Have the United States tell its client not to shell a nuclear plant, problem solved. Easy peasy.” . . .

    You can tell a client what to do, but can you make the client do it?

    If the US tells Zelensky to order “his” forces to stop shelling the nuclear power plant, but the Ukranazis who are right there in Ukraine tell Zelensky that they will assassinate him, his wife and his daughters if he stops shelling the nuclear power plant, he will keep “his” forces shelling the nuclear power plant.

    And if the forces actually doing the shelling are Ukranazis their own selves, they will tell him to mind his own business if he tells them to stop shelling the nuclear power plant.

    So it is not so easy peasy.

  32. spud

    good old free trade, the cash crops, the starvation, the exploitation, what not to like(sarc).

    folks you simply can’t make this stuff up!

    “I took that to be a definitive answer that the Bank was acting to drain a country of food that provides needed nutrition and protein that presumably would result in premature deaths. How could those who run the bank be so clueless about something a child would easily understand they should not be doing?

    Another person from the Bank also with the title of Information and Public Affairs, Pusha N. Schwartz, wrote back in June 1979 describing conditions and the reasons for the $5 million grant.

    The statement on page 24 [of the 1974 World Bank annual report] refers to the actual protein deficiency that the people of Niger suffered from the catastrophic drought-induced livestock losses in 1974. Cattle herds declined by almost half, small stock herds by about one-fourth, and some 75,000 families were estimated to have lost almost all their animals.

    Schwartz went on to explain that Niger has traditionally been a net meat exporter, “and they continue to have a long-term comparative advantage in raising livestock,” a sector that “accounts at present [1979] for 18% of Niger’s Gross Domestic Product and 17% of its export earnings. Fuller development of this activity depends on more efficient and cheaper transport, including air transport.”

    Schwartz continued,

    increased agricultural exports from [Niger] have not materialized fully as yet, because of the prolonged drought, but they are expected to in the long run and they should have a positive developmental impact on the economy.[4]

    Left unclear is whether the “positive developmental impact on the economy” results in a positive impact on the lives of most residents.

    Maybe the agricultural exports had not fully materialized because the protein deficient and starving people acted to eat the food rather than export it!

    The bank money may help some of the people of Niger. However, nothing is mentioned that the bank resources would be used to provide immediate relief to many people there who are presumably among those McNamara described as “barely surviving on the margins of life,” and provide for the children whose “physical and mental growth,” according to the Annual Report, is likely being impaired due to the “lack of protein in the diet.”

    Comparative Advantage

    Schwartz provides the rationale for the actions undertaken which is based on the theory of comparative advantage that one finds in economic textbooks covering trade policies. The advocates tout the supposed benefits of free trade, of which there certainly can be many.

    The basic argument made is that countries should specialize in producing commodities in which they are supposedly more efficient at producing than producers in other countries, or to focus on producing commodities they produce relatively more efficiently than other commodities they produce.

    By specializing, in theory, more than is needed is produced. The extra quantity can then be exchanged with those who also specialize in producing another needed commodity that they produce more efficiently. According to the theory, the result of the trade exchange will be mutually beneficial. Both parties will be better off with more to consume or use for production than they would otherwise have available if, instead of entering trade relations, they each produced, on their own, both commodities for their own use.”

    “Generally ignored is the relative power of the trading partners that may result in forcing a poorer country into specializing in what the more powerful country desires (and keeping its price low) even if detrimental to most people living in the poorer/weaker country.[5] Additionally, what is labeled as efficient is likely a function of the cheap price of the commodities being exported that results from forcing farmers to accept low prices for what they produce or by paying the workers who produce them poverty level wages.

    In other words, trade rationalized by those citing comparative advantage may not be beneficial. It may have more to do with the greater exploitation of producers in poorer countries and with maintaining imperial domination, power imbalances, and dependency. As Hudson suggests, aid programs from institutions like the World Bank are utilized to foster the growth of these unequal relations.

    Schwartz did not discuss what Niger would be receiving in return for its export of meat and vegetables. The money provided to Niger for improvements to its airport may strike one as an example of the use of the theory of comparative advantage to rationalize what turns out to be murderous policies, looting and economic exploitation.”

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What would Niger receive in return for its meat and vegetables? A pretty penny. Maybe even a shiny dime.

      Meanwhile, what would the ” always the lowest price, always” meat and vegetables be used for after they enter the targeted country’s market? They would be used to underprice the meat and vegetables grown by growers within the targeted country, in order to put them out of business entirely. Then what? Well . . . grab their land and consolidate it into million-parcel mega-plantations. Maybe have Bill Gates buy a million acres of it.

      And the disemployed farmers? Exile them off the land into a miserable urban existence, maybe doing gig work or no work at all. Give them just enough money to buy opiates to keep the Opiate Industrial Complex in business.

      And that’s Free Trade, in one filthy little nutshell.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And now that I think about it, it gets worse.

          The Nigerois pastoralists and microfarmers who made a decent survival living on their own land will be driven off it entirely, into brand new urban slums built just for them. A foreign investor class, with maybe some big-owner Nigerois collaborators will take over all that land and grow meat and vegetables for export. Perhaps some of the Nigerois pastoralists and microfarmers who are to be driven off their own land will be permitted to work for the agro-export platforms for a fraction of the pretty pennies and shiny dimes which the food exporters will be paid for inferior sh!tfood versions of the shinola foods which the displaced Nigerois ex-herdsmen and farmers grow and eat today.

          And the New Owners will pay the semi-slave workers a rusty brass farthing out of those pretty pennies and shiny dimes. And the New semi-slaves will be told they can buy GMO corn and GMO cottonseed meal from overseas. They will be told that if they don’t like it, they can either like it or lump it. They can always refuse to eat the new GMO sh!tfood from abroad. They can choose to boycott it, and go hungry and starve to death and die.

          Free to Choose!

          Bill Clinton would be happy and proud.

  33. tegnost

    “thoughtful, well-coordinated manner that leaves no one behind,”

    Of course she’s talking about the 100 partners…

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Part of why I voted for Trump against Clinton was to get revenge for NAFTA.

      Another part was to prevent TPP and all the other new NAFTAs yet to come under President Hillary.

      I think the General Election in 2024 will feature Trump/DeSantis against Hillary/Kamalabama. DeSantis will swallow his pride and agree to run as Trump’s VP. ” Paris is worth a mass” and all that.

Comments are closed.