Links 10/16/2022

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

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


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

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Bear 747 Overcomes Scandal to Win Fat Bear Week Smithsonian and How Fat Bear Week Will Recover From Voter Fraud Slate

US imports sink in September, suffer steepest drop since 2020 lockdowns American Shipper


Proposal to grant the ocean rights calls for a sea change in legal framework Monga Bay

Alaska snow crab season canceled as officials investigate disappearance of an estimated 1 billion crabs CBS

America’s Lost Crops Rewrite The History Of Farming The Atlantic

Study provides evidence of physical change that can be observed in the days before an earthquake The Watchers


Weber Shandwick Provides PR for Moderna and Pfizer, While Staffing the CDC’s Vaccine Office The DisInformation Chronicle. As of September 2020. Given the democidal debacle that CDC’s Covid messaging has been, obviously nobody should ever hire Weber Shandwick for anything, ever. And speaking of lying–

Lying about COVID? Many Americans did so to feel ‘normal’ amid pandemic, study finds Miami Herald.

Many Americans have admitted to lying about COVID-19. The lies include misleading others about whether they were sick and if they were following recommended public health guidance to reduce the spread of the virus, according to the study published Oct. 10 in JAMA Network Open. The most common reasons 42% of Americans reported telling lies included desiring to feel “normal” and wanting to “exercise personal freedom,” the researchers found.

From JAMA’s original:

Anatomy of a scientific communications debacle. Of the highlighted “reasons” (left column), notice both how damaging to public health the ideology of “personal freedom” is, but also the blown opportunity for public figures to provide life-saving quidance. However, I can’t fathom the first highlight: Lying to feel “normal.” Sounds like our foreign policy establishment, i.e. the fish rots from the head?

* * *

BQ.1.1 is among the most immune-evasive COVID variants yet. It’s coming in hot in the U.S. Fortune

COVID waves: Europe and US compared Pandemic

* * *

Tolerability and immunogenicity of an intranasally-administered adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine: An open-label partially-randomised ascending dose phase I trial eBioMedicine. AZD1222, University of Oxford / AstraZeneca. From the Summary: “We performed a single-centre open-label Phase I clinical trial of intranasal vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in healthy adults, using the existing formulation produced for intramuscular administration…. This formulation of intranasal ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable tolerability profile but induced neither a consistent mucosal antibody response nor a strong systemic response.” Fine. It’s hardly in AstraZeneca’s interest to nuke their intramuscular market in the rich West. What about Bharat?

First They Got Long Covid. Then, It Made Them Homeless Rolling Stone and Long COVID took their health. Then it took their money. Boston Globe. Both from a thead by Taylor Lorenz, oddly.

New monkeypox cases have declined by 85% since August peak. Here’s why. LGBTQ Nation. The deck: “‘The strategy worked,’ White House MPX coordinator Dr. Demetre Daskalakis told LGBTQ Nation.” Indeed. Monkeypox is now endemic, along with Covid. And with Ebola, CDC has a chance for a hat trick!

Ebola hits Ugandan capital as president blames victim for ‘poisoning’ others Telegraph. Entebbe International Airport. Commentary:


As it happened: China’s 20th Communist Party national congress opens in Beijing South China Morning Post

Xi Jinping heralds ‘critical time’ in history as he prepares for third term in power FT

The End of ASEAN as We Know It Project Syndicate


Why India is arming Armenia against Azerbaijan The Cradle


Iran’s Evin prison set on fire after clashes between inmates and guards FT

LIV Golfers On Saudi Course Forced To Putt Around Woman Being Beheaded The Onion

Dear Old Blighty

UK PM Liz Truss Is in Charge, Says Her New Finance Minister Reuters. Sounds like the dreaded vote of confidence” in baseball. Commentary (CanCyn):

That’s quite an act you’ve got there. What do you call it?

Mark Carney: ‘Doubling down on inequality was a surprising choice’ FT. It was?

European Disunion

Germany’s Apokalypse Now The Tablet

EU Ambassadors Annual Conference 2022: Opening speech by High Representative Josep Borrell EUEA (The Diplomatic Service of the European Union). Commentary:

Germany’s Scholz calls for bigger European Union Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

Elon Musk changes tune, says SpaceX will ‘keep funding Ukraine’ after asking for government support FOX. Post hoc?

* * *

The dangers of letting blustery rhetoric dictate US policy in Ukraine Responsible Statecraft

A Winter War In Ukraine Favors Russia And Will Be Bloody 1945 (MA).

A Blast From The Past Andrei Martyanov, Reminiscence of the Future. Martyanov was a cadet when the Russian Naval Academy was run by Vasily Alexandrovich Arkhipov. More from Martyanov:

Here, Martyanov does a close reading of the dog’s breakfast that is the Biden Administration’s “National Security Strategy” (original at NC here). Well worth a listen. Good clean fun!

* * *

Ukraine War Day #232: Why Russia Needs To Take Odessa Awful Avalanche

Kerch Bridge, Nord Stream the handiwork of top-tier saboteurs Asia Times

#NAFO Ukes, Kooks & Spooks

Local family tired of dad’s daily Ukraine war briefings Duffel Blog

Biden Administration

With New Crackdown, Biden Wages Global Campaign on Chinese Technology NYT. Let me know how that works out.


Here are 10 critical House races to watch in November The Hill. CA-22, MI-7, NE-2, NH-1, NJ-7, OR-6, RI-2, TX-34, WA-8, WI-3.

Capitol Seizure

As FBI probed Jan. 6, many agents sympathized with insurrection, according to newly released email USA Today (Furzy Mouse).

Democrats en Déshabillé

With Tulsi Gabbard Out Of Democratic Party, Title Of Hottest Democrat Goes Back To Nancy Pelosi Babylon Bee

The Bezzle

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin Culture Coin Desk. Normally I don’t link to CoinDesk because cheerleading The Bezzle is not my thing. But there’s some history here.

Interview: Why Mastering Language Is So Difficult for AI Undark


The Instagram gods are angry FlakPhoto

Zeitgeist Watch

New York Congressional Candidate Releases Porn Video Featuring Himself Jezebel

Class Warfare

Quality of life concerns weigh heavily on rail contract vote ABC

Shein: Fast-fashion workers paid 3p per garment for 18-hour days, undercover filming in China reveals iNews

Good Servants and Bad Masters Lapham’s Quarterly (AL).

Did Emily Dickinson Have A Boston Accent? An Investigation Defector

What Do Conductors Really Do? (Part 1 of 2) The Honest Broker

Music and the Body: Richard Powers on the Power of Song The Marginalian

What Is It Like to Have a Brain?: On Patrick House’s “Nineteen Ways of Looking at Consciousness” Los Angeles Review of Books. Get back to me when it makes sense.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from the Christian hymn We Gather Together)

    The fighting in Ukraine has gotten momentous
    Four Oblasts have joined the full Russian state
    We’re as much in charge as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    We’ve lost both of the Nord Streams, and now it’s too late

    We sent Ukraine most of our bombs and munitions
    We stripped all our armies right down to their bones
    We can’t fight the Russians in wintry conditions
    Their tanks will drive around us like armored cyclones

    We can’t even nuke them or just like Chernobyl
    The wind will blow fallout right back on our lands
    Our loss is immense, our defeat will be ignoble
    We’ll soon be signing anything Russia demands

    This winter we’ll dump all our dumb politicians
    Whose policies chased all our factories away
    heir sanctions reversed by the Kremlin’s magicians
    Don’t ever think the Russians don’t mean what they say

    Don’t ever think the Russians don’t mean what they say

  2. Steve H.

    > However, I can’t fathom the first highlight: Lying to feel “normal.”

    […Normalcy Bias, a survival mechanism our brains are equipped with that can place us in grave danger when we’re faced with something traumatic. Simply put, it causes our brains to insist that all is okay. Everything will return to normal. For most of us who have never faced true peril, Normalcy Bias tells us that nothing bad will ever happen. “This is America!,” some people insist…

    Oncoming hurricanes and similar disasters elicit similar reactions. We simply expect life to go on as it always has, and our brains are wired to accept that and nothing else. A driver attempts to cross a flooded river. Thousands of New Orleans residents faced with Hurricane Katrina refuse to leave the city, and city officials don’t even make an attempt to evacuate them. One survivor from 9/11 tells of going blind as she saw dozens of human bodies hitting the ground outside the Twin Towers. Our brains can accommodate billions of bits of information each day, but apparently, there are some things too terrible to comprehend.]

    1. Roger Blakely

      I think that something that is forcing people to lie about COVID-19 is the misconception about the black-and-white nature of SARS-CoV-2. I call it zombie-not-zombie. You are either a zombie or you’re not a zombie. COVID-19 is not black-and-white but a shade of grey. Immunity is not a magic bubble. Normal people are constantly inhaling SARS-CoV-2 in all indoor public spaces. The immune system is constantly fighting off every particle of SARS-CoV-2 inhaled. Do you have symptoms? Do you have COVID-19? Everybody has symptoms. Everybody has COVID-19.

      Everybody is fighting off diarrhea. SARS-CoV-2 gets inhaled into the lungs; the lungs clear it out and dump it into the gastrointestinal tract; SARS-CoV-2 beats up on linings all the way down to the anus; the immune system flushes the intestines with white blood cells to control the infection; the uninformed individual blames it on Mexican food.

      1. Eudora Welty

        Yes. In addition, I see big privacy issues with expected behavior if/when you get sick. My manager (at an academic medical center) needed to know why I was sick/ what my symptoms were. I am running into this because I hadn’t taken a sick day in many years, and was shocked to see how intrusive the medical apparatus is when you call in sick, even for a headache or insomnia – almost all typical symptoms are labeled as potentially covid symptoms. This has probably been discussed here in NC, but I haven’t run into it until recently. I did finally take a sick day, but took home covid tests which all came up negative. What gets my goat is that I recall John Roberts, in a Supreme Court decision, saying that you can’t make lying illegal because then it would be illegal to take a day off for a job interview, etc.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Thank you for the link you provided. Continued effects of the curse on Cassandra linger on. Normalcy Bias helps to explain the peculiar response many of my friends and relatives have to some of the things I try to warn them of after receiving information from NakedCapitalism and other of my readings. I am increasingly inclined to hold my tongue. If someone does not want to hear it or see it, they will not hear it or see it — no matter what I do or say. The worry I have is that experience has become such a costly teacher of increasingly harsh lessons for those who would learn no other way.

      1. chris

        What I try to remind myself, when I have conversations with people like that in my family, is that these are folks who are not used to government lies hurting them. They don’t live in the places where cancerous ingredients are infiltrating their water. They don’t have positions that were outsourced or are capable of being removed to India now. They haven’t suffered financially in the last several years. They happily worked from home. Their kids go to good schools. They have never had a reason to seriously question their government. They weren’t frontline essential workers in 2020 so they didn’t see the reality that many of us did. They listen to Pod Save America and they think that Andy Slavitt fellow has good ideas.

        So when you tell them that the COVID mRNA vaccines don’t prevent infection, don’t prevent transmission, and that the government is now and was then covering up important details about managing the pandemic, they laugh. You must be a crank. A conspiracy theorist. That can’t be true. Where the hell did you get that from? Fox News?

        It’s sad. It really is. But you can’t teach someone something they are certain they already know. So it isn’t lying to themselves thats really being described in that study. It’s the return of a point of view that things are right with the world and when things are right with the world I am with the people who are in charge. And they’d never lie to me.

        I guess in addition to the Pelosi stock fund watching we should make a habit of watching what’s going on in the neighborhoods where the NIH director and the FDA people and the CDC people live. We should get notes from what they’re saying during the next pandemic. And we should share how different that advice is from what we hear in the NYT. Because if it threatens those in power at all, it absolutely will be different.

    1. Pavel

      Speaking of reappearances, can the Beeb please get the great James Naughtie back on the Radio 4 Today show to do another interview with Jeremy *unt?

  3. none

    Every doctor, every biologist, everyone with any grasp of antibiotic resistance and its development, just clutching their heads and screaming OH MY GOD NO…

    That’s about the proposal to dispense antibiotics without a prescription at pharmacies in the UK. It has always been like that in China though, I thought. Maybe that explains some things.

    1. GramSci

      I don’t know about the UK, but in the good ol’ USA, one could simply head down to the feed store and buy 5 lb of any of a half-dozen antibiotics. I haven’t done this for a few years, but I have never heard the CDC or the AMA screaming OH MY GOD NO!

      1. JBird4049

        The CDC and other agencies in the United States have screamed in decades past only to be shut down by the power of Big Food.

    2. John Wright

      From Alexander Fleming’s (1945 Nobel for being co-developer of penicillin) December 11, 1945 Nobel Lecture at

      “There may be a danger, though, in underdosage. It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them,
      and the same thing has occasionally happened in the body.”

      “The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant. Here is a hypothetical illustration. Mr. X. has a sore throat. He buys some penicillin and gives himself, not enough to kill the streptococci but enough to educate them to resist penicillin. He then infects his wife. Mrs. X gets pneumonia and is treated with penicillin. As the streptococci are now resistant to penicillin the treatment fails. Mrs. X dies. Who is primarily responsible for Mrs. X’s death? Why Mr. X whose negligent use of penicillin changed the nature of the microbe.”

      1. CanCyn

        I worked for a few years as a pharmacy assistant way back in the early 80s. The pharmacist would often give us a few days of antibiotics if we had a sore throat. I suppose some knew about antibiotic resistance back then. I am pretty surprised to learn about a doctor doing that kind of thing now. The last time I needed antibiotics I was told in no uncertain terms to take the entire prescribed amount even if I was feeling better. Doc was very clear that under dosing is a huge problem

        1. SKM

          In the seventies (at St Thomas hospital London but all over the place, of course) we were incubating antibiotic sensitve bacteria with anti-biotic resistant ones and “watching” the resistance to one, two, three or more antibiotics be passed from one to the other. Not only was it all known about but the sheer folly of over-use (of all sorts) was well understood. The stupidity of automatic prescription for antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections blew me away then and still does now. To say nothing of the prophylactic use etc in agriculture. Like with the climate, it`s now too late, and there is and has been far to little money put into the searh for new molecules. People are already dying unnecessarily of untreatable infections – in hospital, after surgery for example.. we can`t find new antibiotic quickly enough to be much use. We should probably start looking at phages in the west. Not sure what else we can do.

    3. paul

      Not so different in India, about the turn of the century, my better 50% got rather ill and the hotel called its favoured local doctor, who rummaged through the free samples in his cardboard executive briefcase.

      While everything was resolved,whether any actually worked, we will never know.

      Medical regulation, as in most countries, leaves a lot to be desired.

      There has been a fair amount of fair comment about the degradation of the uk civil service.
      That can only occur due to the greater degradation of office holders, whose intemperance towards those beneath is rewarded.

      Therese Coffey is non plus ultra in this category, ignorant,intolerant,indolent and stupid in any convenient order.

      I do wonder if the new chancellor might give her the boot, as he so assiduously was enabling the privatasion of the NHS.

    1. timbers

      England needs a PM who tells it like it is:

      “As your new Prime Minister, my job is above all to take orders from the USA, which currently requires England to pursue policies causing a drastic reduction in your living standards. But do not fear, I will do my best to protect we – your governing class – and the wealthy in England who we serve as best we can while following USA orders.”

  4. Ignacio

    RE: Proposal to grant the ocean rights calls for a sea change in legal framework Monga Bay

    IMO, this, about “ocean rights”, “species rights” or “atmosphere rights” and we could even define “mineral rights” or “Antarctic rights” is kind of PR for the simple minded as if all these “legal entities” could be created and have presence in courts defending themselves. More straightforward would be if we first can get to agree on conservation measures for all this rather than trying to humanize all the stuff.

    We don’t start from 0 and we have the UN Convention for the Law of Sea which is messy but a starting point. Extend the scope of it.

    1. David

      Well, consider the following two propositions:

      -The ocean has rights.
      -We have responsibilities to the ocean.

      Do you see immediately that, whilst they are superficially similar, in practice they are quite different? One is a performative statement, the other, if taken seriously, would actually require us to do something. As long as you can ascriptively grant “rights” to some entity that can’t answer back, you can argue that somebody else should be responsible, and start Twitter-storms, organise demonstrations and glue yourselves to famous paintings, thereby attracting publicity and money. But acknowledging that the human race as a whole has responsibilities means that you have responsibilities as well, which is not a welcome conclusion.
      As it happens, I’ve written a couple of essays here and here on this.

      1. Eric Anderson

        This is correct.
        “Rights” make for wonderful marketing campaigns.
        Duties? Not so much.
        But, a “right” has never existed without an attendant “duty.”
        Nobody. Understands. This.

        1. Teejay

          EA: “Nobody”? understands this. IIRC This was delivered on his final broadcast in 1977: “Democracy is not a free ride. It demands more of each of us than any other arrangement. There are to be no rights and privileges without responsibilities.” Eric Sevareid

        2. witters

          Simone Weil did:

          “Obligation is concerned with the needs in this world of the souls and bodies of human beings, whoever they may be. For each need there is a corresponding obligation: for each obligation a corresponding need. There is no other kind of obligation, so far as human affairs are concerned.”

          “Relying almost exclusively on this notion [“rights”], it becomes impossible to keep one’s eyes on the real problem. If someone tries to browbeat a farmer to sell his eggs at a moderate price, the farmer can say ‘I have the right to keep my eggs if I don’t get a good enough price.’ But if a young girl is being forced into a brothel she will not talk about her rights. In such a situation the word would sound ludicrously inadequate.”

          “An obligation which goes unrecognised by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognised by anybody is not worth very much… Rights are always found to be related to certain conditions. Obligations alone remain independent of conditions. They belong to a realm situated above all conditions, because it is situated above this world. ”

      2. Ignacio

        I cannot say I disagree with any of your statements. Much it hurts me when i love disagreeing, hahahaha!
        Instead: Thank you and well said. Much better than I could possibly would.

      3. Greg

        It can be done, but it needs to be done in such a way that the responsibilities that David talks about can be enforced.

        An example –

        Note: perpetual funding, human representation, legal backing to enforce rights via control over development. Hard to see how any of that can be in the current inter-national free piracy zone that is the global oceans.

    2. Eric Anderson

      Put it all in Trust and assign a trustee. Any right minded eco-thinker knows this. The planet is OUR Trust. The problem is, the trustees were always more interested in looting the corpus rather than preserving and/or enlarging it for the beneficiaries.

      I’ll gladly put forth my services as the official Trustee for the Pacific Ocean.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Germany’s Scholz calls for bigger European Union”

    When German Chancellor Olaf Scholz talked about a much bigger EU, I wondered which countries he could mean and I found that ‘Currently, 23 countries located in the continent of Europe, are not part of the European Union’

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    North Macedonia
    San Marino
    United Kingdom (left EU on January 31, 2020)
    Vatican City

    I think it safe to strike off Russia, the United Kingdom and Turkey from that list but I wouldn’t want to be going into the EU right now. To do so is like checking into the Hotel California. And what this Reuters article does not mention is the fact that he wants to change the rules so that you need only a majority vote to get a policy passed saying “In foreign and financial policy, there must be a gradual transition to majority decisions,” he argued, adding that it would mean “no loss of sovereignty.” Yeah, I bet. You would have the big EU nations threaten the smaller ones to get anything that they wanted passed, no matter how bad it would be for those smaller nations. Best to keep the EU at a distance to see how things shake out I think.

    1. digi_owl

      Some of those, like Norway, has a foot in the door via the EEA agreement.

      A piece of paper i would love to see put to the torch personally.

      Nevermind that the of the politicians in charge in Norway at the time, one, Bruntland, ended up as WHO boss, and another, Stoltenberg, is now NATO “boss”.

    2. OIFVet

      So Scholz wants more markets for German goods, never mind that said German goods will soon be produced elsewhere and Germany itself is headed the way of the US Rust Belt states. Given that Germany and the EU are not issuers of the (for now) global reserve currency, I don’t see how and expanded EU will solve any of Germany’s and the EU’s problems. For I am certain he envisions the new members as comprised mostly of former Soviet and Balkan statelets. Most others already have agreements for the free movement of people, goods, and services, and do not need formal ascension into the EU. I’m affraid Scholz is dangerously delusional if he thinks that trying to expand the EU by admitting Moldova and Georgia, for example, would do anything for the EU other than cut off forever the Russian energy it desperately needs. Admitting Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, etc. is just as delusional.

      I see other motives, motives which happen to coincide with American interests to keep Europe and Russia permanently separated economically and thus preventing the rise of a greater Eurasian economic and military powerhouse and its key players’ dangerous notions of a multipolar world based on international laws rather than arbitrary and capricious ryles, mutually beneficial relationships rather than a bullying by a hegemon, and stability rather than chaos.

      The question then is, when will Germans and Europeans get tired of being sold by our elites and whether the reaction will lead to far-right violence and wider European war or will it restore some bit of working social democracy and European independence from the US. We will live through some interesting times ahead.

      1. Mikel

        Yes, indeed…

        “Given that Germany and the EU are not issuers of the (for now) global reserve currency, I don’t see how and expanded EU will solve any of Germany’s and the EU’s problems.”
        How hard are they going to try to push the Eurozone?

        “So Scholz wants more markets for German goods, never mind that said German goods will soon be produced elsewhere…”

        Just like with the US, the goods may be produced elsewhere but the owners, stockholder, and bondholders still collect. And they can stay right where they are and live large or live somwhere else.

      2. digi_owl

        Trade/toll barriers.

        EU is Zollverein 2.0, it is all about forcing smaller players to supplicant themselves to the big one via a take it or leave it toll barrier. If you take it your exports are no longer subject to the toll, but in exchange you relinquish sovereignty.

        And some, the industrial workers and family farmers, are already deeply tired. But the PMCs and industrial owners love the EU. As the former can set up camp anywhere with a net connection and a credit card terminal, and the latter get to play arbitrage with cost of living differences.

        1. Michaelmas

          digi-owl: it is all about forcing smaller players to supplicant themselves to the big one via a take it or leave it toll barrier …some, the industrial workers and family farmers, are already deeply tired

          @ digi_owl

          Very clearly and succinctly put.

          In the UK, 65 percent of the English working classes voted Brexit and, according to the last poll I saw a month ago, 65 percent would still vote Brexit.

          And that’s because for the first time in 40 years working class wages in the UK are rising and industrial strike actions have become plausible — and the RMT’s Mick Lynch has explained this —

          — because the bosses can’t simply ship in Easter European workers and pay them as little as a quarter what they’d have to pay British workers.

          digi-owl: PMCs and industrial owners love the EU. As the former can set up camp anywhere with a net connection and a credit card terminal, and the latter get to play arbitrage with cost of living differences.

          As it happens, I’ve just come to NC after looking — for the lolz, I guess — at the Grauniad’s piece on Truss and the Conservative party’s options and the BTL readers’ responses, which monomaniacally always return to the root of all evil being the perfidious ‘Brexshitters ‘and a return to the EU as the assumed solution that’ll make everything good and right again.

          In the real world, of course, there’s many more working class folks than Grauniad types and there’ll be blood in the streets if Starmer (and Starmer at least knows this) or anyone else tries to take the UK back into the EU.

          1. paul

            You call always read the editor’s lumber episode 3xx, why I am a self obsessed something or other.
            A journal of class that does not care

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘This is the EU. Lower your barriers and surrender your sovereignty. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile!’

    3. mary jensen


      As for la Suisse and her sister Liechtenstein you can forget it. They’ll never ever …

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Swiss are being threatened with all sorts of penalties and isolation if they do not play ball and ‘get with the program’. I have been to Switzerland many times but no longer recognize who they are. I mean, throwing away centuries of their neutrality stance and getting onboard with the Anti-Russia sanctions program to the point of getting on Russia’s enemies list? Ignoring the referendums of their own people and placing contracts for F-35s and pretending that they can’t change that? This is not the Switzerland I knew. And I am pretty sure that the EU is demanding that Switzerland join the EU – or else.

  6. Ignacio

    RE: #NAFO Ukes, Kooks & Spooks

    Ukraine is already member of the real NAFO, with Russian Federation and others. Whether Ukraine has real interests and trawlers operating in the regulatory area I don’t know but contracting party it is.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That article should have a warning sign above it saying be prepared to go down the rabbit’s hole.

      1. norm de plume

        ‘be prepared to go down the rabbit’s hole…’

        yes, into an odious fascist degeneracy. A juvenile but murderous mindset, a dangerous swamp of bad faith and unreason.

        This stuff is hard to credit given it’s ostensibly from the side of freedom and democracy and apple pie, etc, but not really. It is unfortunately only to be expected nowadays.

        The worst of it is that official Western organs, NGOs and personalities sponsor and encourage these dreadful people – very often good looking young women for some reason – with everything from financial support to approving retweets. Much of it is probably CIA driven, like the kill list website Myritovets. Like teenagers left alone with an open drinks cabinet they seem to end up squabbling amongst themselves. There’s no honour among dweebs.

        Not sure if you noticed that one of the notable supporters and followers of NAFO (endearingly termed ‘fellas’) is a certain warmongering gadfly of ‘Strayan provenance, who hawks his wares several times a week in both the SMH and the ABC:

        I wonder whether those organisations are aware of this affiliation or, either way, whether they care… and I reckon a perusal of his share portfolio might pay a dividend.

  7. griffen

    Bonus antidote this morning, well no one loves you like mama*. And speaking of mama, the antidote picture just above it; well that is a face only a mother could love!! \sarc

    *with apologies to those who had a terrible mother, or an absent mother, or generally a bad experience from your birth / natural mother or similar.

      1. griffen

        Well, now I’m thinking Merle Haggard and “Mama Tried”. First time hearing that was during a pivotal scene from the horror flick “The Strangers”.

  8. griffen

    Nancy Pelosi replaces Tulsi as supposed top of the hottie lists for Democrats. Well, perhaps it is best towait on that breakfast if you really wish to keep it this Sunday morning!!

    I demand a revote of this rigged count. That being said I do love the satire of the Bee lately.

      1. griffen

        Since it’s Auburn football, I’m sure more recent forums are discussing how much they* plan on paying to #1 fire the current coach and #2 pay to hire the next guy who may, and likely, consistently lose to Saban and / or Smart. Beating Alabama while Saban still breathes is just a tough task.

        And by they I mean the boosters who keep a few million in the couch cushions.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “New York Congressional Candidate Releases Pron Video Featuring Himself”

    Standing up for supporting sex workers’ rights? What sort of ‘standing up’ is he talking about anyway. Good thing that this did not become standard in American politics. I mean, don’t they call Washington the Hollywood for ugly people? And really, who would like to see Nancy Pelosi or Lindsay Graham doing the horizontal mambo in their released pron videos to get themselves re-elected?

    1. griffen

      How is that not satire, I have to honestly question this antic. And for shame, no one needs to think upon these things when it comes to either Pelosi or Graham!

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”Good thing that this did not become standard in American politics.”

      Prostituting one’s self for political or monetary gain is, unfortunately, the standard in American politics. The only difference is, the prostitution of the “ugly people”, the Pelosis and the Grahams, is conducted behind closed doors and off-camera. There is, even in Washington, a certain etiquette that must be properly observed.

      “Politics is one of the minor branches of harlotry, in that its practitioners seek to be all things to all men.”

    3. digi_owl

      The term “sex worker” is stretched so thin thanks to the net, that it is downright meaningless. A college student prancing nude for the camera in her dorm room is lumped in with a street walker in her 50s giving back alley blow jobs.

  10. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Emily Dickinson

    She would sound more like the real JFK versus an impersonator than say most of the cast in Good Will Hunting. Given Emily traveled to Boston, she isdefinitely rubbing shoulders with Brahmin or would be if she wasnt Emily Dickinson and not going outside.

    Also, the real question was whether John Adams said it would be wicked pissah to declare independence. His most successful sons name is pronounced John Quinzy Adams, not QuinCy, just like the locals call the town John Q was born in.

    1. bassmule

      “Quint-zee” is also acceptable.

      for bonus points: How to pronounce “Woburn” and/or “Billerica.”

    1. JohnnyGL

      That’s a great find and an excellent point from Snowden.

      I think it’s just as important to put that episode into the larger pattern of behavior from the so-called ‘left’ representation in congress and the broader organizations around them.

      Every time there’s a chance to do the right thing, but there’s a requirement for personal/political risk, the alleged ‘left’ members of congress always take a pass. At most they vote the ‘right’ way, but never take it any further than that. They never offer a real challenge to the narrative or to the broader political consensus at key moments.

      In short, the entire problem with the upper-echelons of the ‘left’ in this country is that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I have problems with the particular example described in the thread you linked to. To me, at that time as now, the claims about WMD in Iraq were vague, lacked credibility, and seemed immaterial as a justification for going to war against Iraq. The u.s. Populace responded with all the thought and forethought that guides wasps in their attacks protecting their hive following a disturbance. Cheney with Bush, aided and abetted by others willing to forever soil their reputations turned the wrath of the hive onto Iraq. I disagree with Snowden’s belief that exposure of the information Leahy was so spookily pointed to might have avoided u.s. entry into war against Iraq. As I recall there were already several reports of very credible information strongly contradicting the Cheney and Bush vagaries, and completely ignored or savagely impugned by the Media and its talking heads. A trial for Leahy would only contribute to the growing hysteria stirred up by Cheney and Bush, and the many arms of the MIC.

      However, I agree with the notion that the widespread and forever classification of information as practiced by the u.s. government and government funded agencies and Corporate entities imposes a terrible cost in the blood and welfare of Humankind. I imagine there are other far more damning and still classified documents that might have had far greater impact if they were made public. I believe details of Bush’s Saudi connections and Cheney’s Big Oil connections along with other connections within the MIC may one day tell of a much greater crime than facile lies about WMDs in Iraq.

      I believe Leahy was wise not to disclose the contents of the files the spooks pointed him to. I think they were bait. Is it so cowardly or unwise to take lesson from the fate of Eugene V. Debs and the many Union Organizers, IWW, socialists, communists imprisoned in the 1920s? I also believe there are other considerations motivating the fecklessness of our so-called Progressive politicians. Besides Debs, I suppose they might take lessons from the fates of Henry A. Wallace, or Dennis Kucinich — or — perhaps feckless politicians are all a feckless Populace can expect from our corrupt political system.

  11. marku52

    I have a book review of Wolfgang Streeck’s “How Will Capitalism End” posted over at Ian Welsh’s place.
    “The fact that capitalism has, until now, managed to outlive all predictions of its impending death, need not mean that it will forever be able to do so; there is no inductive proof here, and we cannot rule out the possibility that, next time, whatever cavalry capitalism may require for its rescue may fail to show up.”

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Nice review of a great book. The book can be a bit of a slog to get through, but there is some real arch, dry humor interspersed throughout which makes it worth the effort.

    2. digi_owl

      Capitalism has been lucky, and damned good at kicking the can down the road.

      The first is the opening of new markets just as the old ones are being saturated, and the second is thanks to market implosions not happening everywhere at once.

      COVID may have been a dress rehearsal of what’s to come though.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “America’s Lost Crops Rewrite the History of Farming”

    Very much worth reading this article. In short, North American agricultural history is not what you would expect it to be and to a large extent relies on buffaloes of all things. How these seeds were selected reminded me of an interview of a former Japanese soldier from WW2 that I saw. He said that none of the men in his unit had ever been in a jungle before so what they did was to watch to see what monkeys ate, figuring that if it was safe for monkeys, it would be safe for them. So I wonder if this was the mechanism how some of these seeds were initially chosen – by watching what animals ate.

  13. Carolinian

    To save time here’s the finale from the Blustery Rhetoric article in “Responsible” Statecraft

    So why press Ukraine to settle and take political heat when it won’t work anyway? If escalation risk can be controlled, why not let Russia’s losses erode its demands and get Ukraine a better deal? I hope this is what the administration is thinking, and that they’re seriously considering the size of that “if.”

    The author offers up two possible explanations for the administration strategy but not the third which is that they simply don’t know what they are doing. This is clearly the correct explanation.

    Or perhaps a fourth is that Biden is stalling until after the midterms and then will raise the white flag–killing thousands and fleecing his voters and allies in the process. Neither supports the author’s contention that this White House is “pragmatic.”

    1. digi_owl

      Everything seems to feed back to US politicians using foreign policy for domestic leverage. And we are seeing this failing spectacularly as they are throwing a tantrum over OPEC not playing along.

      Because as long as the hardships stay “over there”, they can do whatever they damned please. But with the gas prices etc going up, things take a different tone. And the US political sensitivity to gas prices has been known since the 70s.

  14. Ignacio

    Martyanov analysis. if correct I think it is clarifying but lets me more confused. No matter how strongly *elensky (this is a joke at Duran I believe) pushes for more NATO intervention, it would be the stupidest for the NATO to go and fight directly in a situation where they could easily be overwhelmed by the Russian military. If you are not ready, then why all this babble on ‘possible’ nuclear strikes by Russia? Apart from ill informed sanctions, where on Earth is NATO ready to escalate war and prevail?

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s not Russia threatening to use nukes but the countries of the west. They won’t shut up about then and go on about them every single damn day. I can only think that the purpose is to convince people that they have to “keep the faith” in the war in Ukraine or else the big, bad Putinman will go crazy and nuke them all. So let’s just drop nuclear bombs, OK? No! Wait! I meant all talk of nuclear bombs. Not actually dropping them. Whew!

      1. Ignacio

        Yes Rev, I feel the same. My question is why. But rather than “keep the faith” it looks like is “keep the hate and make it stronger”. As a purpose it is mean, sad and ill conceived, isn’t it?

        1. Polar Socialist

          I gather in this case the “hate” part is required for the “faith”, otherwise people might start to question why we are so against our own interest, again…

        2. The Rev Kev

          Agreed. And the whole thing was so unnecessary but now so many have died already, Europe will be economically devastated and the world will probably be put through the wringer of a general Recession. In short, I am putting this down to how Neoliberalism demands that it be made the standard in each and every country in the whole world to drain the wealth of each for a small global elite. And now some countries have said no. Not going to happen, hence this war. And now this resistance is spreading to the global south and even to countries like Saudi Arabia of all places. As Lambert says, we live in the stupidest timeline.

        3. Skip Intro

          I can’t tell the purpose of the ubiquitous ‘Putin will nuke Ukraine’ line, a misrepresentation of his statements about hypersonic weapons, and ridiculous from strategic and tactical perspectives. It keeps bubbling it up even after the DoD shoots it down. That makes it seem like a neocon-faction preparation for a false flag attack. ‘Putin nukes his own territory in desperation — just like the pipelines’.
          Or it could be preparation for a noble restraint in backing away from Ukraine and negotiating an end to the war. If only this weren’t the dumbest timeline.

          1. Karl

            can’t tell the purpose of the ubiquitous ‘Putin will nuke Ukraine’ line…

            It’s an old agitprop tactic, accuse your enemy first of doing the abhorrent thing you in fact plan to carry out. It’s the only trump card the US has left, and so the US is signalling louder and louder via Poland and Zelensky “watch out” to the Russians around Putin, IMHO.

            1. Jess K

              This pattern (blame Russia for the atrocities NATO/Ukraine has either committed or plans to commit) has dominated Western media narratives and reporting since the start of the conflict.

              If it holds wrt nukes, there is a powerful suicide-doomsday-cult faction within the US ruling class that is more than willing to press the button. Dark times for our species.

              1. anon in so cal

                A segment within the national security state thinks (incorrectly) that a nuclear first strike is survivable. It is not. US warnings that Russia “threatens to use nuclear weapons” is reaching a crescendo. This strongly suggests the US is planning a false flag attack and also conditioning the public to believe the lie that Russia perpetrated the attack. The incident could then serve as pretext for US/NATO escalation or a US first strike on Russia. The US did this in Syria, just as the US is now recycling the viagra/rape lies it used for Libya.

                Tomorrow, NATO starts its Steadfast Noon nuclear exercises 600 miles from Russia.

      1. timbers

        IMO, this is obvious simply because these warnings by the West for Russia not to use nukes is following the exact same script as when the US warned Syria not to use chemical weapons. Those “warnings” were made for the exclusive purpose of the US planting a false flag chemical weapons ploy to blame on Syria, so the US could find more reasons for a direct attack on Syria.

        1. digi_owl

          So, will it be an actual nuke or will it be a uranium laced “dirty” bomb that makes the Geiger counters trip?

          1. timbers

            Well, think I read the US false flags in Syria used “chemicals” but were not the real deal so to speak…just something to look like a chemical weapons attack so the West could point at it and yell in unison “Assad used chemical weapons.”

        2. Lex

          It’s become clear that the west wants a nuclear war really badly. Why is up for debate but the fact that it blatantly lies about Russian nuclear doctrine while warning about use and then tops if all off with a [family blogging] nuclear war game in Europe is a level of depravity that surprises even me.

          1. digi_owl

            More and more the whole thing is looking like a drawn out “blood feud”, and one side is now gunning for the ultimate weapon because things didn’t turn out as they expected.

            In a sense it is reminiscent of both Greece and turkey trying to convince USA to hand over the launch codes, under the pretext that it would allow them to respond faster to a first strike from USSR, while arguing over Cyprus.

    2. Watt4Bob

      where on Earth is NATO ready to escalate war and prevail?

      Where to begin…

      The real purpose of the MIC is to make a lot of money for a very few people, so an affective military is just an afterthought.

      So, planes that can’t fly, (F35), ships that the Navy doesn’t want (littoral combat ships), and missile defenses that don’t defend (Patriot) are a gigantic success from that perspective.

      The neocons running the show think that the information war is what really counts.

      All the color revolutions they’ve promulgated have been very helpful in making money, so far, which explains their enthusiasm.

      This, I think is a case of the cheerleaders thinking they can win without the players.

      Trouble is, it’s also a case of the neighborhood bully finally running into the inevitable.

      As far as I can remember, the bully never gets out of his predicament by lying and bull-sh*ting, he always ends up running home with a bloody nose.

      1. digi_owl

        Sadly the only way to give the MIC a bloody nose would be something akin to carpeting Arlington in fully laden jumbos.

    3. David

      NATO is not going to fight, and never was. It doesn’t have the forces, and those it does have are in the wrong places. But that’s not the point.

      NATO has always seen itself, and most of its member states have seen it, as having the primary responsibility for European security. Here is a European security problem, and so NATO is obliged to make noises and do things, otherwise people will forget it exists. However, NATO does have a very small number of nuclear weapons. It’s generally assumed that there are about US 100 air-delivered gravity bombs in Europe, as well as about 50-60 French nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, equipping two squadrons of Rafale aircraft. (The British gave up the WE177 bomb a long time ago). Whilst nobody remotely imagines that such weapons would ever be used in anger, there is a useful theatre to be performed with them. The alternative is to say nothing, and international organisations, and major states, are simply unable to do that for political reasons.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Here is a European security problem, and so NATO is obliged to make noises and do things, otherwise people will forget it exists.

        Or, heaven forbid, notice that the current security problem is caused by the very existence of NATO (at least in it’s current state).

        1. Greg

          Did you intentionally put “flaw” instead of “fragil” in there? Also, that movie must truly have stuck in my youthful head if I can still remember how to spell that word.

      2. britzklieg

        NATO is not “obliged” to do anything… “for political reasons.” Where exactly is the European security problem? Undesired immigrants from a war NATO is stoking? Is Russia really going to “invade” NATOstan? No. Its posturing is always a choice. so I do not agree with your construct, based as it is on belligerent, power hungry people acting stupidly and promoting fear in a public which is not allowed to read between the lines without cancellation. If this is indeed the condition of western “diplomacy” it is a failed one. IMHO. Not that asserting so makes a damn bit of difference to the idiots in charge. They get theirs and to hell with everyone else. Jens Stoltenberg is a buffoon. Period. End of story.

      3. Michaelmas

        David: NATO is not going to fight, and never was. It doesn’t have the forces, and those it does have are in the wrong places. But that’s not the point. NATO has always seen itself, and most of its member states have seen it, as having the primary responsibility for European security.

        This is all very sensible and what most intelligent people in and around government doubtless understood in your time.

        Unfortunately, it’s 2022 and the Americans have moved on, and now have rather different ideas and plans for NATO. See forex the RAND corporation strategy paper ‘Extending Russia: Competing from Advantageous Ground’ pub. 2019 —

        Land and Multidomain Measures…………………………………… 213
        Measure 1: Increase U.S. and NATO Land Forces in Europe…………. 214
        Measure 2: Increase NATO Exercises in Europe………………………. 228
        Measure 3: Withdraw from the INF Treaty …………………………… 238
        Measure 4: Invest in New Capabilities to Manipulate Russian Risk
        Perceptions ……………………………………………………….. 25

        More specifically…
        pg. 220: – ‘The second option would involve substantial increases in spending by European NATO members to improve the readiness and capabilities of their military forces …The solution, in broad terms, is to spend more money … Ideally, this money would come from the taxpayers of the countries themselves … Relatedly, the common budget for the NATO Security Investment Program, funded through country contributions proportionate to their GDP, could also be substantially increased. This would allow for larger, primarily European contributions to fund more-extensive construction of infrastructure in eastern-flank members of the Alliance ….

        ‘…The third option would involve the deployment of much greater numbers of either U.S. or Western European NATO member forces directly in either the Baltic States or Poland.’

        pg. 224: – ‘…increasing NATO land force capabilities could extend Russia by encouraging Moscow to invest more heavily to counter that potential threat or to maintain its advantage on the border and ensure continued freedom of action.’

        And so on. Should we take all this seriously? Granted: on the one hand, an industrially and economically depleted EU — since Germany, the EU’s motor in those respects, looks likely to be more or less flattened — will be far less able to be forthcoming with the military spending increases that this RAND report presumes.

        On the other hand, however, if we consider this RAND report’s ‘Measure 3: Withdraw from the INF’ on page 238, the US had already carried this proposal out in 2018 before it got published in 2019. So that’s how serious Washington was and is there.

        Furthermore, EU policymakers will by and large remain ‘Atlanticists,’ to use a descriptive term that’s more polite than this group deserves.

        The example of Tony Blair, who took the UK into Iraq against the expressed wishes of much of the UK’s population and who’s consequently now worth $120 million is instructive. Europe is largely ruled by policymakers who [a.] range from being mediocrities to outright incompetent (VDL, Truss, Stoltenberg); [b.] who are by acculturation unable to imagine a turn away from US leadership; and [c] who are invested in decades-long political careers in which fealty to the DC-run ‘Rules-Based Order’ is their only assurance of getting paid off once they leave office. They have nowhere else to go, in other words.

  15. Robin Kash

    The piece about people lying about their COVID protections (a repeat from yesterday) suggests a kind of crypto-spreader against which it’s difficult to impossible to guard.
    My wife and I mask-up and keep our distance when we go out. When service people enter our home, we insist they wear masks. We keep a supply on hand for just that purpose.

    1. Nikkikat

      We also request anyone entering home put on N95 we keep them on hand. We wear ours anytime we enter a building. Outdoors we keep a distance, but do not go any where crowded. We have not had anyone say a word about the mask. No one coming into house refuses or gives us trouble. All repair people have been nice and respectful of our requests.
      I really have not had anyone look as us strangely. I will say that we do not see anyone else wearing one, ever.

      1. anon in so cal

        We do not let anyone inside. Shortly after the pandemic began, our dishwasher started malfunctioning. Since then, I wash the dishes in the sink. When our elderly dog needed veterinary care, we found a very good veterinarian who makes house calls and he and his assistant treat the dog outside on the patio. The assistant wears his own N95 and the vet obliges and wears an N95 that I provide. We always wear N95 masks even to the car, to get the mail, or to put the garbage out. Our neighbors across the street asked me when I planned to stop and I said not until the pandemic is completely over. Very few people in the neighborhood wore N95s during the height of things and now I see almost no masks on anyone, anywhere.

    2. Socal Rhino

      Policy in my house is to treat people like guns—always assume loaded.

      I was actually surprised last week when a salesperson came to our home for a consultation (sales meeting) and did not wear or possess a mask. We ended up speaking at a distance outdoors. The other three we contacted met with us by teleconference.

  16. fresno dan
    Robock’s study was the first to closely consider the disruption nuclear war would cause to the climate and to food supplies. The results were harrowing. If even a handful of the world’s several thousand nuclear weapons were detonated, massive firestorms would result. The firestorms would kick up soot. The soot would block the sun. With sunlight blocked, the atmosphere would cool. The cooling of the atmosphere would impact everything from crop production to fish harvesting. The result: a nuclear exchange, which killed tens of millions in the immediate war zone, would eventually lead to hundreds of millions of deaths, worldwide, from starvation.
    It seems to me, once the nukes start flying, all limits go out the window. And it seems soon enough the nuclear powers not initially involved would soon enough be drawn in. Starvation, global cooling, radiation poisoning – so many ways to die…
    And yet it is reported as if its an option.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”And yet it is reported as if it’s an option.”

      The possibility of it is unthinkable, unspeakable, beyond any sort of reason. That’s why I tune out when the MSM goes nuclear, in the (likely) hope that it is merely filling pages and air-time.

      The wildcard in all these speculations is, of course, the nuclear-armed suicidal madman.* Then all bets are off.

      *I read recently that if Hitler hadn’t lost so many Jewish scientists to emigration in the ’30s, there is a chance he could have been the first to develop the bomb. Scary thought.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The wildcard here is Joseph R Biden. His aggressive foreign policy may lead to nuclear war, despite it being “unthinkable”. It may not be US vs Russia, but US vs. China initially. What Biden is doing with his China policy amounts to an act of war. It remains to be seen how China will respond. Back in the day Japan responded by attacking Pearl Harbor.

        1. jsn

          The line between unthinkable and unthinking.

          For the aware, what’s unthinkable isn’t even a consideration for the unthinking when they go do it for some thoughtless reason that sounds brilliant to their similarly benighted peer group.

          It’s a fine one, like Spinal Taps line between clever and stupid, actually, maybe the same line.

  17. Lexx

    Note: must stop reading all of Lambert’s links or acquire much stronger antidotes than those provided. Try straight Jack, skip coffee.

    The Duffleblog was funny though, so all hope hasn’t been abandoned yet.

  18. antidlc

    RE: BQ.1.1 is among the most immune-evasive COVID variants yet. It’s coming in hot in the U.S

    We have the tools! We have the tools!

    Oh, wait.

    BQ.1.1 is already known to escape antibody immunity, rendering useless monoclonal antibody treatments used in high-risk individuals with COVID. According to a study last month out of Peking University’s Biomedical Pioneering Innovation Center in China, BQ.1.1 escapes immunity from Bebtelovimab, the last monoclonal antibody drug effective on all variants, as well as Evusheld, which works on some. Along with variants CA.1 and XBB, BQ.1.1 could lead to more severe symptoms, the authors wrote.

  19. petal

    Emmanuel the Emu (the famous camera pecker) has avian flu and is very ill.

    Snip:”Emmanuel the emu – a bird who went viral on social media earlier this year after pecking his owner’s phone as she filmed videos about farming – is fighting for his life amid a deadly outbreak of avian flu that has killed most of the birds on the farm.

    Emmanuel’s caretaker, Taylor Blake, revealed his dire condition Saturday, just three months after the pair had flown to stardom on TikTok.

    Blake, whose family owns Knuckle Bump Farms in South Florida, said the bird is experiencing nerve damage and cannot eat or drink on his own after contracting the disease, and blamed the outbreak on wild geese that invade the farm nightly.

    Desperate to save her feathered friend, the farmer said she is hand-feeding him all his food, sleeping less than an hour a day, and providing him with nourishment through subcutaneous fluids administered every two hours around the clock.

    She further revealed that she had been in contact with Florida officials who reportedly told her told her that stagnant water puddles left behind by Hurricane Ian late last month also spurred the outbreak, and had ‘made the virus run rampant.’

    The sudden spread has seen the 29-year-old content creator’s stable of more than 50 birds almost completely wiped out in a matter of three days – leaving behind only the lovable Emmanuel and his stablemate Rico the swan.

    The roughly 5-foot-8, 120-pound emu faces ‘a long road ahead’ to recovery, Blake said, but insists that the lovable animal – who has been left temporarily unable to walk because of his affliction – is a ‘fighter.’ “

  20. timbers

    Don’t laugh:

    Former President Barack Obama slammed Democrats in a recent podcast, calling them “buzzkills” whose identity politics and cancel culture rhetoric force people to “walk on eggshells.”

    Speaking with four of his former employees on the Pod Save America podcast, the former prez said that his fellow Democrats need to tone it down and understand that everyone makes mistakes, the Daily Mail reports.

    “Sometimes Democrats are [buzzkills]. Sometimes people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells, and they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us, at any given moment, can say things the wrong way, make mistakes,” he said, adding that Democrats should learn from he felt were his mistakes as president.

    “I used to get into trouble whenever, as you guys know well, whenever I got a little too professorial and, you know, started … when I was behind the podium as opposed to when I was in a crowd, there were times where I’d get, you know, sound like I was giving a bunch of policy gobbledygook.” 17.45

    “That’s not how people think about these issues. They think about them in terms of the life I’m leading day to day. How does politics, how is it even relevant to the things that I care the most deeply about?” Obama continued.

    “The thing that I think sometimes we seem to make a mistake on is his behavior can be so outrageous,” Obama said about Trump. “And now, folks who try to copy him and his outrageous behaviors, get a lot of attention. And so we join that game.”

    What’s his advice? Democrats need to stop with the character assassination.

    “We spend enormous amounts of time and energy and resources pointing out the latest crazy thing he said, or how rude or mean some of these Republican candidates behaved,” he said. “That’s probably not something that in the minds of most voters overrides their basic interests — Can I pay the rent? What are gas prices? How am I dealing with childcare?”

    Does this mean Obama thinks we should be allowed to start calling the folks running Ukraine what they are – the N word – w/o being deleted or censored by YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/& Co.?

  21. timbers

    Don’t laugh:

    Former President Barack Obama slammed Democrats in a recent podcast, calling them “buzzkills” whose identity politics and cancel culture rhetoric force people to “walk on eggshells.”

    Speaking with four of his former employees on the Pod Save America podcast, the former prez said that his fellow Democrats need to tone it down and understand that everyone makes mistakes, the Daily Mail reports.

    “Sometimes Democrats are [buzzkills]. Sometimes people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells, and they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us, at any given moment, can say things the wrong way, make mistakes,” he said, adding that Democrats should learn from he felt were his mistakes as president.

    “I used to get into trouble whenever, as you guys know well, whenever I got a little too professorial and, you know, started … when I was behind the podium as opposed to when I was in a crowd, there were times where I’d get, you know, sound like I was giving a bunch of policy gobbledygook.” 17.45

    “That’s not how people think about these issues. They think about them in terms of the life I’m leading day to day. How does politics, how is it even relevant to the things that I care the most deeply about?” Obama continued.

    While stumping for Democrats, Obama is expected to highlight the party’s ‘accomplishments’ – while also raising the alarm over MAGA Republicans.

    “The thing that I think sometimes we seem to make a mistake on is his behavior can be so outrageous,” Obama said about Trump. “And now, folks who try to copy him and his outrageous behaviors, get a lot of attention. And so we join that game.”

    What’s his advice?

    “We spend enormous amounts of time and energy and resources pointing out the latest crazy thing he said, or how rude or mean some of these Republican candidates behaved,” he said. “That’s probably not something that in the minds of most voters overrides their basic interests — Can I pay the rent? What are gas prices? How am I dealing with childcare?”

    Does this mean Obama thinks we should be allowed to call the folks running Ukraine what they are on YouTube/Twitter/Facebook?

    1. John D.

      I believe Hillary Clinton made some comments recently about the Democrats needing to begin distancing themselves from the Trans community.

      In other words: The Dems/neolibs/sh*tlibs all aggressively encouraged the identity politics/woke garbage that’s so poisoned political discourse over the past decade, but now that it’s a liability and no longer useful to them, they’re getting set to dump these people without a second thought. At least, we can probably assume as much if there are further comments like these from leading Democrats in forthcoming days. It’s all so damned cynical.

  22. KD

    I read the Josep Borrell speech and found it truly bizarre. He asks “What?” and he asks “How?” but never ever does the question “Why?” appear.

    The EU was originally formed as a customs union to create a transnational trade block to create leverage so that EU nations could fare better in regional and international trade. What is the point of the EU if you get in a geopolitical pissing contest with your natural resource suppliers and your biggest export markets? What is the point of an transnational trade block that has nothing it can competitively produce and no one who will trade with them?

    The EU energy independence? Is he on crack? The only thing the EU can burn and be self-sufficient is to revert to some kind of coal-fired retro steampunk autakary. Granted, it would make a very cool sci fi plot, but not a green new deal. Besides which, petroleum is a huge input for fertilizer and other important industrial processes, and what are they going to do without secure access to rare earths and other natural resources?

    The only way out for Europe is to form an independent, European security force and boot the American’s out and then pursue their economic self-interest. It may take 30 years for the politics to provide the “How,” at which point the current generation of Eurocrats will all be dead or working at the car wash where they belong.

    1. digi_owl

      “We” are never to ask why, ever.

      Asking why is the first thing the “education” system beats out of us.

  23. semper loquitur

    The New York Times Magazine said GPT-3 writes “with mind-boggling fluency,” 

    Good to hear. We can hope it will replace some of the PMC cheerleaders they feature there. Probably a lot less pretentious.

    “But I think that people are led to believe that this system actually understands human language, which it certainly does not. What it really is, is an autocomplete system that predicts next words and sentences. They’re confused by that because what these systems are ultimately doing is mimicry. ”

    This. Being led is right, because it will help to sell stuff. Thus you will have a robo-nanny to “lovingly” raise your child and dispense a sedative when it’s riled up, a robo-therapist to “concernedly” listen to your problems and proscribe you the latest pill, a robo-doctor to “advise” you to get that second vasectomy.

    “You’ve written that GPT-3 can get confused about very basic facts. I suppose if you ask it who the president of the United States is, it may be almost as likely to say Donald Trump as Joe Biden — just because it is, as you say, mimicking. I suppose in some sense it doesn’t really know that it’s currently 2022?”

    “It may even be more likely to mention Donald Trump as president, because probably the database that it is trained on has more examples of Trump. He’s in the news more; he was in the news for longer; he was in office for longer. He continues to be in the news more than your average ex-president might be. … It’s astonishingly dumb in that regard.”

    So GPT-3 is a $hitlib?! Drat. I was hoping it could replace some New York Times Magazine writers.

    “What is the gullibility gap?”

    The reason why people pay 1000$ for a pair of sneakers. And why they think Diet Coke is a healthy choice of beverages. And why they continue to vote.

    “A system called ELIZA did very simple keyword-matching and had no idea what it was talking about. But it fooled some people into discussing their private lives with it. It was couched as a therapist.”


    “The Turing Test has a kind of incumbency: It’s been around the longest; it’s the longest-known measure of intelligence within AI — but that doesn’t make it very good. … So a lot of the engineering that has gone into beating the Turing test is really about playing games and not actually about building genuinely intelligent systems.”

    I’ve been saying the Turing test was a load of crap on this site for years. I’m glad to see my intuitions confirmed by an expert. I’m going to do a little dance now.

    “Just as GPT-3 doesn’t really understand language, merely memorizing a lot of traffic situations that you’ve seen doesn’t convey what you really need to understand about the world in order to drive well.”

    Touchdown. Which is why they stop and hold up traffic because of a simple obstacle that a human could deal with in a second. But that won’t stop psychopaths like Musk et al. from trying to sell you one. No doubt one that will “discuss” your day with you and “sympathize” with the fact you got laid off. Then it will auto-navigate back to the dealership when it “realizes” you cannot pay the monthly bill for it. A “therapist” will come over the loudspeaker as you ride along and recommend a pharmaceutical treatment for the stress of losing your job due to lack of transportation.

    “One is that corporations have their own incentives about what problems they want to solve. For example, they want to solve advertisements.

    Yep. And create the “need” for new products to “solve” new advertisements. And spy on you through your AI toothbrush.

    1. semper loquitur

      A final point: Mastery a language isn’t simply a matter of grammar, spelling, and meaning. There is an emotional and imaginative content to words. It’s one of the key differences between okay writing and great writing: a great writer uses words that have more emotional keys and that trigger the reader’s imagination.

      Lovecraft knew this. He’s a good example because although he wasn’t the greatest writer overall, he understood that words have an emotional and imaginative impact. Thus, he used “cyclopean” in pretty much any story where the monster was enormous. Instead of using “enormous” or another banal word. AI may come to mimic this but they will never understand it.

    2. hk

      I always had the notion that people judge their interlocutor as “human” based on a very lackadaisical and fairly predictable set of “ground rules,” which, ironically, may be harder for a real human to match exactly. I suggested some time ago to acquaintances that, soon, only AI would actually be able to pass the Turing test and I still don’t think I’m wrong.

  24. JustAnotherVolunteer

    He rode over Connecticut
    In a glass coach.
    Once, a fear pierced him,
    In that he mistook
    The shadow of his equipage
    For blackbirds.

  25. Exiled_in_Boston

    The Russians certainly don’t have a hit list otherwise there would be people in various parts of the world being poisoned in mysterious ways.

      1. Polar Socialist

        So far only one person has (allegedly) been killed by novichok. Mostly is just makes people either to disappear completely or shut up about it almost as completely.

  26. Jason Boxman

    On agriculture, I’ve never had much reason to consider.

    Thinking about agriculture’s origins in this way fills some of the gaping holes in the traditional narrative. For instance: How does a person envision a domesticated plant if they’ve never seen a domesticated plant? (They don’t have to.) And how does a society keep after that vision, generation after generation, for the thousands of years that domestication can take? The slow, evolutionary story, as opposed to the fast, revolutionary one, “doesn’t rely on a few clever people in every society making the decision,” Kistler said. “It just happens. It emerges.”

    SARS-COV-2 continually evolves through mistake to achieve ever greater affinity to spread; So why not plant species? Instead of domestication from intent, it seems plausible a plant evolves to attractive that which helps it procreate. But on a much drawn out timescale.

    1. semper loquitur

      I propose wisteria as an extreme candidate for your idea. It’s gorgeous when in bloom but let it get out of control and it will literally crack the walls and lift the roof of your house. It will take over your yard and kill off other plants. Yet people plant the stuff like daisies.

      1. eg

        I look around at what has become of us and I wonder whether our ancestors would ask, “just who is it that has been domesticated here?”

    2. digi_owl

      Yeah, the only “trigger” for the process to start is for humans to stick around long enough to notice that certain parts of a plant bloom when spread on the ground rather than eaten.

      After that the interaction between human and plant will inevitably lead to the mutations that yield more edible stuff to be selected for.

      May well be that the first domesticated plants were not grains, but fruit trees. After all, you can get branches to take root.

      1. Greg

        There’s a weird congruence in the dates given for domestication of current crops. This is usually taken to be because the climate shifts of 10-15kya led to sedentary agriculture, but it’s also possible that it’s more to do with the dates we could comfortably reach to in archaeology. If that’s the case, we might start to see earlier dates pop up as techniques get better for deep history. Pollen is the only plant stuff that really sticks around for the long haul though, and its hard to read selection from that.

        I’ve got a personal theory that there is a longer history of selection by humans in edible plants, going back some 250ky or more. This is for the same reasons you state – as soon as humans start eating a plant and spreading the seed of their own preferred food, that’s selection.

        It would be interesting to look at selection pressure in some edible Australian plants, in tandem with analysis of the lore carried by aboriginal tribes for those plants. In other areas of the world we’re going to struggle to find a historical record to match to the plants, so we’re back to “well it evolved like this, but it’s not clear what that selection pressure was let alone if it was human”.

        1. The Rev Kev

          @ Greg
          It would not only be plant selection but other stuff going on as well such as Aboriginal fire-stick farming here in Oz-

          And of course we have plants that depend on these fires to properly germinate as well. I wonder if archaeologists in other continents are also looking for traces of this practice.

  27. flora

    Taibbi’s latest (paywalled):

    On the Loony Van Gogh Protests
    We were warned about this in Fahrenheit 451

    From the longer article:

    ‘I don’t buy the idea that thought was put into what to throw at a Van Gogh, and not where to throw it. It’s just too much of a coincidence that campaigns of kids dumping on Botticelli and Van Gogh are taking place in the middle of a years-long war on art, literature, music, humor, and even math and science, when there are movements to obliterate entire fields like classics, and professors are fired for everything from reading passages from great books to teaching subjects students deem too difficult. Young people seem more and more to come out of college convinced ancient thinkers have nothing important to teach them, and may even actively symbolize the politics of exclusion, à la Beethoven. Whoever is teaching these kids is robbing them of all the joy of learning, and using them as political pawns. Another theme of dystopian literature that’s proved depressingly on-target is that the youthful urge for idealism would be appropriated for society’s ugliest work, especially destruction. “I’m afraid of children my own age,” says young Clarisse in Fahrenheit 451. “They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way?” ‘

    1. semper loquitur

      Here’s a talk from Camilla Paglia about the dire influence of post-structuralism on academics….and everything else. I think you will find it germane. She argues it has “destroyed” the humanities by turning everything into narrative, language games, and it has become epidemic. She totally trashes Foucault as being a rank fraud. Susan Sontag and the “outmoded” linguistic analysis of Saussure get kicked around a bit too:

      As I’ve said before, when anything can mean anything, power will dictate meaning. Divorcing language from consensus reality does exactly that. Thus, we have imbeciles claiming that chairs don’t exist:

      and the “idea” of a chair is up for grabs. So is the fact that 2+2=4.

      1. flora

        Thanks for the links. (I wonder who funds these imbeciles? And why? Someone does. Colleges are chasing grant funding. / ;)

        1. semper loquitur

          For one thing, I think it’s just easy to turn everything into a narrative. History, art, science, whatever. Than you can blather on about it. If someone disagrees, well, that’s just another narrative.

          Also, it’s about power. When everything is narrative, the loudest narratives will hold sway. There are no facts to check the narrative against because facts are just narratives too. I suspect it’s at the heart of Western foreign policy. How many times has someone here marveled at how our leaders think they can just “spin a narrative” or take “narrative control” to solve a problem?

          1. eg

            I recall encountering Stanley Fish’s “Is There A Text In This Class?” for the first time while doing some work on Reader Response/Interpretive Communities in grad school. I believe that some of his subsequent faculty controversies over the years support your observation that in the end it’s really mostly about power.

      2. begob

        The concept of a chair arises by some kind of consensus. He’s saying you can’t sit on a concept, but you can sit on the material that we conceive of as a chair. The argument is no more remarkable than Plato’s theory of forms or the allegory of the cave.

        1. flora

          Shakespeare got there, too. But that’s English literature, old dead white guy literature, so it probably doesn’t have anything meaningful to teach us anymore than does Plato…. (riiight) / ;)

          ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
          Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
          What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
          Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
          Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
          What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
          By any other name would smell as sweet;
          So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
          Retain that dear perfection which he owes
          Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
          And for that name which is no part of thee
          Take all myself.

          -Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

        2. semper loquitur

          Yeah, no kidding. His arguments are still silly. I don’t have time to expound at the moment but I’ll try later.

    2. Carolinian

      I’d have to read the whole column but I’m not so sure about the Farenheit 451 connection or, culturally speaking, whether we should be too upset if people don’t revere what they are supposed to revere. Plus perhaps there is something political to say about a painting being worth 85 million dollars. Banksy, surely a more intelligent iconoclast, likes to prank museums too.

      Pauline Kael once reviewed Truffaut’s film of Farenheit 451 and talked about the notion of turning physical books into talismans and how destroying them is therefore particularly shocking to intellectuals. But of course it’s the contents of the books we really care about and in this digital age those are much harder to destroy.

      In other words one can read too much into the attention grabbing scheme of a couple of idiots.

      1. flora

        Except… it’s not just a couple of idiots. Not revering something isn’t exactly the same thing as destroying something, or trying to destroy something you don’t revere. One is opinion, the other is vandalism, destoying other peoples’ property. There are lots of things I don’t revere, doesn’t mean I’m going to go smash up stuff because it “offends” me.
        (There seem to be some very wealthy patrons supporting these, uh, “demonstators”, too.

        See these idiots for example.

        adding: in this digital age it seems much easier to erase writings someone doesn’t like. Ask the twitter. / ;)

        1. Carolinian

          The painting had a piece of glass (probably bullet proof like the Mona Lisa) in front of it. The vandals doubtless could see this. It was never in any danger of being destroyed.

          And obviously I’m not defending them–just making my own small point and questioning Taibbi’s.

          Our own wars and conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan have destroyed architectural and sculptural works that had no such protection. Cultural vandalism is hardly new. Ancient Egypt also comes to mind.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Your comment reminded me how Trump threatened to destroy all of Iran’s cultural heritage buildings causing Iranians to go visit them in case he actually did it.

  28. semper loquitur

    Thanks for the interesting article about having a brain. As a counterpoint, maybe we can find out what life is like without a brain, perhaps by interviewing Biden or Harris. But that aside, I found some of the authors points to be….confused.

    “Bagels can be bread or battleground (just ask someone from New York, or Montreal), a symbol of diaspora or a metaphor for the multiverse. Brains are lumps of flesh or a shorthand for knowledge or the core of the modern self, depending on how you look at them.”

    This is gibberish. The cultural “battle” between styles of bagel are not the bagels themselves. One is the perception of an object, or the experience of an event if one is just thinking of a bagel, the other is a narrative about the object as a subject. We experience narratives as well but they aren’t the object they describe. Brains are lumps of flesh, the shorthand or conception of the core of the modern self are narratives about the lump of flesh. More language games from the dunces in the post-structuralist inflatable bouncy castle of ideas?

    “Near the beginning, brains “carry with them, in their assumptions and lessons, statistics about the world they act in.”

    Really? I don’t see numbers when I look out onto the world, although numbers can probably be mapped onto the assumptions and lessons I rely on. Sloppy language here again.

    “But what of Thomas Nagel, whose classic essay “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” set the parameters of House’s search? It’s true that a number of neuroscientists and their readers have contested Nagel’s claim that there is something it is like to be a bat, and that this subjective dimension of consciousness is inaccessible to objective study.”

    Now it’s the neuroscientists who are confused. Unless the author is confusing their words. Simply because the subjective dimension of consciousness isn’t open to objective study doesn’t mean it exists. It’s a mystery.

    But anyone who doesn’t lean towards the idea that animals have emotional, inner lives hasn’t been paying attention to them. Just as we rely on anecdotal evidence to conclude that other humans have inner lives, we can look at the actions of animals to make the same claim, if not as clearly as an entity who can communicate that through words. My dog definitely has an inner life, unless she is somehow this fabulously complex biological robot, a proposal that beggars the imagination far more than the notion that she has wants, fears, and hopes. If there is consciousness, there is an inner life, by definition. Are these scientists saying that bats aren’t conscious? Are they proposing a different kind of consciousness? That’s a bit inflationary, no?

    “The one and only thing we know for certain for every one of us,” House writes early on, is that “there is something that it is like to be us.” And for both men, that “something” remains just beyond the grasp of anyone but the person experiencing it. Subjective knowledge of me never evolves into objective knowledge of you.”

    A break in the clouds.

    “Doing so would mean solving what David Chalmers in 1995 famously dubbed “the hard problem of consciousness.” While explaining mental functions in physical terms was “easy,” the “hard” problem was explaining why they were accompanied by the experience of performing them.”

    No it wouldn’t. Were I to be able to objectively experience what another was thinking and/or feeling, it wouldn’t explain how those experiences came about. It would be knowing the contents of another’s mind, not explaining them.

    As with Nagel’s point, House seems to accept Chalmers’s — before concluding that consciousness is “Not That Hard” after all. Why the optimism? To be honest, it’s hard to tell.”

    Good gravy, how many times do we have to hear that the “Hard Problem” has been solved? Only to be followed by a bunch of gobbely-gook that demonstrates that they either don’t understand the problem or that they are side-stepping it like that recent article from that psychologist at the London School of Economics who claimed to be “inching” towards a solution by running away from the problem at full speed? Nothing the author says afterwards dispels that notion, certainly not James’s theory of consciousness as reactions to movements.

    “Any act of thinking,” he writes at one point, “is just pretending to act out”; elsewhere, all thinking is “planned movement with no muscular output.”

    Huh? This is senseless. What about meditating? Thinking about your thinking for it’s own sake? Or not thinking at all, as best you can. The act of experiencing your consciousness with no other goal in mind. This and what follows seems some sort of brute, mechanical conception of consciousness. Bleh.

    “Asked to elaborate on that point, however, and words fail me.”

    I’d bet.

    “The book doesn’t reduce to an argument about movement, nor should it.”

    From what you just said, it sure seems like it does. Or rather, it seems that it’s reduced to the notion that consciousness is always about something other than consciousness.

    “After all, as he and Nagel and Chalmers insist — we are each conscious in our own way, alive in our own minds and aware of the world through our own senses.”

    Do they? Or are they saying we cannot know whether or not we are conscious in the same way? There’s a big difference.

    “There’s good reason to believe we’re similar to one another, seeing things in much the same way, or experiencing the same pleasures and pains.”

    Which are very similar to the reasons we can believe that animals have an inner life.

    “And neuroscience has its limits.”

    Another moment of clarity.

    “None of House’s 19 ways intersect with religious, humanistic, or literary perspectives (despite his literary references). We never see consciousness as a point of contact with the divine, or as something that extends beyond the individual mind, as Chalmers himself proposes it might. Give House 19 more ways to look and he’d meet some surprising characters: ghosts, say, or government agencies. Neuroscience might get weirder, in a welcome way.”


  29. GW

    I apologize for the dumb question, but where can someone view this ghastly Myrotvorets list online? I’d like to know who they regard as “Russian propagandists.”

    I’m on the Ukrainian website, using English translation. But I don’t see any links leading to this notorious list.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is the link-

      The first image on that page shows you what they are all about. Plenty of Americans are on that list but nobody seems worried about that in DC. Even Henry Kissinger is on that kill list. I believe that this website is hosted on NATO servers but note what it states on the top right corner of the page-

      ‘Langley, VA, USA
      Warszawa, Polska’

      And I know that Langley has something important there but just can’t quite remember. /sarc

  30. JBird4049

    >>>And with Ebola, CDC has a chance for a hat trick!

    A disease that melts the organs of its victims in a gruesome death that often makes the other two look nice in comparison? Well, okay then. (Goes back to bed and under the covers)

  31. Karl

    The problem is it’s now late 2022 and the EU’s economy is tanking, so increased EU defense spending to bolster NATO seems fanciful. I believe more $ from th EU was to enable the US to pivot MIC priorities toward Asia. This may not be so possible either as the US economy seems to be tanking too. Meanwhile, Russia’s economy continues to improve….

  32. Jason Boxman

    In today’s episode of the NY Times and liberal Democrats are garbage: Democrats Spent $2 Trillion to Save the Economy. They Don’t Want to Talk About It.

    n the midst of a critical runoff campaign that would determine control of the Senate, the Rev. Raphael Warnock promised Georgia voters that, if elected, he would help President-elect Biden send checks to people digging out of the pandemic recession.

    Mr. Warnock won. Democrats delivered payments of up to $1,400 per person.

    But this year, as Mr. Warnock is locked in a tight re-election campaign, he barely talks about those checks.

    (bold mine)




    They were demonstrably supposed to be $2000 checks. And his own campaign featured a picture of a… wait for it… $2,000 check.

    Liars. Lies.

    Democratic candidates in competitive Senate races this fall have spent little time on the trail or the airwaves touting the centerpiece provisions of their party’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue package, which party leaders had hoped would help stave off losses in the House and Senate in midterm elections. In part, that is because the rescue plan has become fodder for Republicans to attack Democrats over rapidly rising prices, accusing them of overstimulating the economy with too much cash.

    And liberal Democrats aren’t even running on it! Biden nerfed the payments, and now they aren’t even running on it! And surprise Republicans are attacking the spending anyway! Ha. Because who could have predicted that?

    What a joke.

    These people are worthless.

    And we have a million dead now. Maybe they can run on that?

  33. Zen

    Hey Yves,

    I’d like to comment on the use of Andrei Martyanov as a source in the daily selection of links. His analysis on his blog and videos certainly provides a much needed alternative point of view that may be more realistic than much of the foginess in other media. However, after following his blog for a while, it is difficult not to be bothered by racist and discriminatory messages he circulates (such as against LGBT groups, BLM protests etc.). What is worse from an analytical point of view, he falls into generalisms and essentialisms in characterising different groups of people. While he may provide a useful critique of “Western” war narrative, he does so from an increasingly nationalist point of view, glorifying all things Russia and belittling practically everything else.

    While it may be practical to listen to his claims regarding Russia/Ukraine/Nato to get a unique perspective, I wonder whether this informational benefit outweighs the moral dilemma of further circulating his bigoted views on

    Best, T.

    1. Yves Smith

      Your request is an example of halo effect cognitive bias, of seeing or needing to see people as all good or all bad. You concede Martyanov is an excellent military analyst. We put him under New Not So Cold War, not US politics.

      Martyanov’s cultural critique is usually directed at the US devoting too much energy to woke issues as opposed to taking care of the material needs of the public, and of that emphasis also increasing our difficulties in military recruiting. And even the well-housebroken Colonel Douglas MacGregor says that the strong emphasis on enlisting and promoting out groups is hurting enlistment efforts. Men from rural and low income urban neighborhoods are increasingly seeing themselves as disadvantaged in military career prospects. This is so universally reported by men with military backgrounds, including senior ones like MacGregor where the incentives are for him to not bring it up (he volunteers this information) that I have to think it’s true.

      Shorter: if you don’t like Martyanov, don’t click on his links. We also sometimes run links to Tucker Carlson, to whom other readers object. We expect NC readers to be mature enough to avoid material that does not suit their taste rather than seek to impose their preferences.

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