Links 10/23/2022

Hummingbird Migration Takes an Incredible Journey Birds & Blooms

Newham Parks Service is going wild for nature! Newham London. A seven-mile pollinator trail. What a great idea!

FX swaps, shadow banks and the global dollar footprint Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. “Despite its partial success in reducing instability due to cross-border financial imbalances, the Fed’s uneven and hierarchical lender of last resort approach cannot sufficiently stabilise global finance to underpin a new era of macrofinancial stability.” Way above my paygrade. Readers?

How a magician-mathematician revealed a casino loophole BBC


An Introduction Phenomal World. To the “polycrisis.”

Tuna Granta


Meanwhile, in Texas: Drought Revealed Previously Unseen Dinosaur Tracks Texas Monthly. See NC here on “drought reveals.”



Notice anything missing?


[Slams the glass down on the bar]:

I love the one guy holding his mask. Notice how he’s the only one not smiling broadly? Removing one’s mask for photo ops is one of the more insidiously destructive of elite norms. Anyhow, I’m sure they can all avail themselves of the best America has to offer in contact tracing. Oh, wait….

* * *

In Cleveland and beyond researchers begin to unravel the mystery of long COVID-19 Well worth a read.

Remote work opened some doors to workers with disabilities. But others remain shut NPR. The headline conceals this gem of a data point:

Researchers collected online responses from supervisors working in companies with at least 15 employees from May 11 through June 25….. Among nearly 3,800 supervisors surveyed, 16.9% said they had a disability, said Andrew Houtenville, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and the report’s lead author. Forty percent of respondents said they had supervised someone with lasting physical or mental challenges associated with COVID-19.

That’s a lot. Implications:

* * *

Effectiveness of Monovalent mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19–Associated Hospitalization Among Immunocompetent Adults During BA.1/BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 Predominant Periods of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in the United States — IVY Network, 18 States, December 26, 2021–August 31, 2022 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC. “Three-dose monovalent mRNA VE estimates against COVID-19–associated hospitalization decreased with time since vaccination. Three-dose VE during the BA.1/BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 periods was 79% and 60%, respectively, during the initial 120 days after the third dose and decreased to 41% and 29%, respectively, after 120 days from vaccination.”

ACT-A: “The international architecture did not work for us” The Lancet. “Consisting of ten UN agencies and global health organisations, The World Bank, Wellcome, and the Gates Foundation, ACT-A aimed to develop health products for COVID-19 and to ensure their equitable distribution, while helping health systems with delivery…. ACT-A afforded too much influence to donors and corporate partners, global targets were not met, and low and middle-income countries (LMICs)—the purported beneficiaries of the scheme—were excluded from conceptualisation. It documents particular dissatisfaction with ACT-A in Africa and Latin America.”


Economic and finance shake-up on China’s Central Committee heralds new era in face of global uncertainty South China Morning Post. Drama:

The Seven Men Who Will Lead China Into Xi’s Third Term Bloomberg

What Does the 20th Party Congress Tell Us About the Future of China? Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Caixin Explains: How Severe Are Chinese Local Governments’ Budgetary Troubles? Caixin Global


Big if true:

Achieving the Best Outcome in Myanmar’s Civil War War on the Rocks

Sanctioned Myanmar Tycoons Find Shelter in Singapore Bloomberg

Myanmar villagers say army beheaded high school teacher AP. No doubt an NGO connected the villager witness with a cellphone to the AP. Nevertheless, Myanmar’s army has form, and this is it.


The Wire Retracts Its Meta Stories The Wire

Raising the drawbridge: why are so many Australians creating their own countries? Guardian


Why the Turkish-Libyan MOU has enraged Libyans and regional countries Middle East Monitor

Receivers for Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Are Being Smuggled Into Iran Time

Mossad’s agents used chalet in Malaysia to interrogate abducted Palestinian: Report Straits Times (Re SIlc).

Dear Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak poised to enter Tory leadership race as Boris Johnson seeks support FT

‘Chief Mouser’ Larry The Cat Has Now Outlasted 4 UK Prime Ministers HuffPo. Splendid photo of Larry, who looks tough as hell.

The Party is Over Craig Murray

Why can’t I give blood? Commentary via Private Eye:

European Disunion

France sends gas to Germany, another step towards energy solidarity Deutsche Welle (Furzy Mouse).

‘People will burn anything’: energy poverty and pollution hit eastern Europe FT

Germany: Fire destroys Ukrainian refugee home Deutsche Welle

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia’s homage to Nord Stream pipelines Indian Punchline

To Defend Ukraine, It Is Time To Strike Iran 1945 (Rev Kev). “[A]n unusual opportunity for the U.S. Washington can take meaningful action simultaneously on two fronts – in the indirect defense of Ukraine, and in support of Iranian protesters.” Now I’m even more dubious the Iran protest videos we are seeing are organic.

Berlusconi, Putin invented SMO. NYT, six weeks to take Kherson. US army ready to enter Ukraine. Alex Christoforou, YouTube. The close reading of the Times story at 28:10 is interesting.

Ukraine plane engine builder head held on treason charges, media report Reuters (Re Silc).

Will Putin Fall Like Khrushchev and Gorbachev? Peggy Noonan. “If we’re facing Armageddon, that should be taking up all the president’s time. JFK wasn’t at fundraisers in October 1962, and when he spoke it was in a studied, careful way, and to the entire nation.” Read all the way to the end; I’m not sure the United States is, to coin a phase, gravitas-capable.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Why Neoliberalism Needs Neofascists Boston Review

Afropessimism, or Black Studies as a Class Project Adolph Reed,


Democracy in peril argument fizzles as midterm issue The Hill. Unsurprising, since as any Sanders voter knows, Democrats have no standing to make it.

Opinion In Nevada, election deniers prepare to sabotage the midterms WaPo

Five investigations House Republicans are plotting if they win majority The Hill


Some People Who Appear to Be in a Coma May Actually Be Conscious Scientific American


Helium shortage: Doctors are worried that running out of the element could threaten MRIs NBC


U.S. judge: Passengers in fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes are ‘crime victims’ Reuters (Re Silc).

Imperial Collapse Watch

More Proof That This Really Is the End of History Francis Fukuyama, The Atlantic

The Plank in Frank Fukuyama’s Eye The American Conservative (AL).

The Calamities of Others Polybius, Lapham’s Quarterly

Class Warfare

US companies rework bonus plans to protect executive pay FT

A Psychological Theory of the Culture War Richard Hanania

What Did Mary Know? Philosophy Now

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

I wish I could stabilize my head like that!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Sardonia

    Rochelle Walensky catches Covid, so now she’s singing to the tune of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil”: (live Stones’ performance video in the first reply, in case you don’t know the song)

    Please allow me to introduce myself
    I’m a witch of Wealth and Waste
    Got the gig at the CDC
    With Big Business interlaced
    I was ‘round when the Pharma Boys
    Ran their jabs through the FDA
    Made damn sure the data
    Would never see the light of day

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you know my name
    Cuz I may forget if my
    Brain becomes inflamed

    I ran point at the CDC
    For Special Interests with financial stakes
    Numbed the mind of America
    So they thought the vax was all it takes
    I made Business hum, criticism mum
    While the virus raged, I kept them deaf and dumb

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you know my name
    Cuz I may forget if my
    Brain becomes inflamed

    I watched with glee
    As fools at NBC
    Spewed my narrative
    Said, “Go out and live.”
    I minimized the fact of Long Disease
    And that victims’ blood looked like cottage cheese
    Let me please introduce myself
    I’m a witch of Wealth and Waste
    Cast a spell, made everyone an imbecile
    ‘Til the Sick and Dead became invisible.

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you know my name
    Cuz I may forget if my
    Brain becomes inflamed

    Just as every pol reps donors’ interests
    We appointees are just the same
    Pave the way for those we “regulate”
    Then join their boards to cash in our claim
    But if you meet me have some courtesy
    My future plans just may have been marred
    I swallowed my own propaganda
    I’ve been hoisted on my own petard!

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you know my name
    Cuz I may forget if my
    Brain becomes inflamed

    1. griffen

      I know this one!! My utmost compliments on your version, updating on our dear CDC leader’s current affliction.

    2. OptikErik

      Sympathy for the Devil is my favorite Rolling Stones song. Can be found on spotify on the Beggars Banquet album of 1968. The first guitar solo by Keith Richards [2:45] is clean, spare, and harrowing

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      This is the first rendition you’ve done of a song that I know well, and I’m truly impressed with your lyrical flexibility. Well done, and thanks for sharing. Oh, and I’m not very keen on Rochelle W either. Truly hoist on her own petard.

  2. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from We Shall Overcome by Joan Baez)

    You shall live in fear
    Work for a rentier
    Human cogs and gears this way
    The bosses bogart
    You’re just a spare part
    You shall live in fear this day

    Poverty’s your right
    A corner camping site
    Watch out for frostbite today
    As this world falls apart
    Play your small part
    Poverty’s your right today

    With luck and elbow grease
    Get yourself a lease
    Watch the rent go up and away
    Ohh right off the chart
    Time for a fresh start
    You know the drill by heart these days

    Life with no address
    No wrinkles on your dress
    A magic sorceress some days
    Ohh breakfast a la carte
    Cans from WalMart
    Savvy and street smart these days

    How to overcome?
    Hard life make you numb
    Head back where you’re from today
    Ohh let it all out
    Cry scream and shout
    Tomorrow is another day

  3. Lexx

    ‘Chief Mouser’ Larry the Cat Has Now Outlasted 4 UK Prime Ministers’

    There’s bit of lion in every domesticated pussycat. Female cats tend to out hunt males 10:1. Every champion mouser we’ve ever had was female. A well fed male will not hunt; a well fed female will hunt just to stay in shape and keep the rodent population down and maintain order.

    We had a male and two females for a time. The girls would go out and bring back their kills and lay them before the male lounging in the yard. He accepted their fealty but didn’t usually dine on the birds, mice and shrews.

    He got hit by a car and died very young.

    But never mind about Larry, did you see that awesome display of gardening prowess around the door of No. 10?! Are those flowers real?! It’s small patch but there’s some bragging going on there.

    1. Yves Smith

      Haha, always a counter example! My favorite cat Blake for a while lived in an office in the meatpacking district in Manhattan before the meatpacking district was gentrified. Not only did he get out of his “office” (~1500 square feet, very high ceilings, lots of boxes and stuff on racks, so lots of vertical space to use, people there 9 to past midnight, often on weekends too and he was well liked so always visited and fed on weekends) and get into every other office that huge building over time, he killed mice in his office that the workers there had no idea they had. He was also exceptionally eager to get into the (big, 27 employee) office across the hall. His humans thought it must have been to get mice there (lotta eating at desks there; the company employees joked it should have been named “CodeFlab”).

      He also once chased 2 adult men he deemed to be intrudes out of the office.

      When he came back to me after I came back from Oz, he was super excited any time a water beetle got into the apartment (that would happen 2-3x a year due to construction in a neighboring floor) and would most assuredly kill it. Other male cat would just look on.

      In his old age, he took to terrorizing cleaning women.

      1. Lexx

        I was trying to describe a kinda ‘pride’ social arrangement that seemed to occur where there was one male and two females. The male was the offspring of one of the female barn kitties who had chosen ours to have their litter in. Never found out where they came from or why. We discovered them when their kittens started to venture out from the nest. Once it was under the old milking shed. The farm had been a dairy from the late 1800’s until the 1960’s. We found some of the old glass milk bottles around the property.

        Did she still recognize him as her kitten? He was full grown by then. If so, I could understand that he was used to mom feeding him whatever she could find; milk was out, mice were in. He didn’t seem all that interested though, didn’t fall on it and chow down as she laid them before his paws.

        What I didn’t understand was what was in it for the second female? It wasn’t her kitten, and both females had been spayed, so a sire for her next litter wasn’t happening. It looked like a pecking order had been established. The girls would lay their catches down and hunker at a distance; he got first choice and they got what was left. Sometimes he ate, sometimes he didn’t. All the cats were well fed with food always available to them, and we lived then on 33 acres, surrounded by other parcels and farms. There was no lack of hunting territory or prey. The girls weren’t hungry either. Their behavior seemed to an observance of their social order that we weren’t aware of at all until we began to see what looked like some kind of deference toward him.

        But to your point, our first two cats were both male and unrelated. We were in Olympia then. They got along, shared food and the use of the litter box when they chose to lie in. Hunted when the mood struck and when prey made pests of themselves.

        Neither hunted with the practiced gusto of the females though. Those girls were hungry and had mouths to feed; they were extra motivated. We’d had him snipped as well, but perhaps fertility had nothing to do with their group dynamics. Maybe something innate.

  4. Stephen

    “Will Putin Fall Like Khrushchev and Gorbachev?
    Russia’s strongman has become a weak man. That proved a perilous position for his predecessors.”

    I agree with Peggy Noonan’s comment that we need to show seriousness, sobriety and gravity. Her final paragraph is great. Ursula von der Leyen dressing in yellow and blue, 101st Airborne officers being interviewed in a gung ho way and the vilification of Putin personally are all elements that play against this, for example.

    In my view, Noonan herself lets the side down in the bulk of the article though by dreaming of mythical liberal coups against Putin and repeating the western media narrative. As many commentators on this site recognise, any internal threat to Putin is likely it be from the more hawkish elements in Russia not the dovish ones. Her rendition of history is also distorted and fails to recognise the significance of US missiles in Turkey (I recall) as part of the jigsaw that led to the Cuban missile crisis. The fall of Khrushchev was then also more complex and, as ever, US / western commentators see events that they were part of as the prime driver. No thought either that perhaps Soviet dabbling in Cuba is a metaphor for US dabbling in Ukraine. Where is the sober self awareness?

    Sobriety requires even handedness and the ability to see the perspective of both sides. I did not get that from the article and I reread it a couple of times to see if I was missing something.

    The attached video of Viktor Orban’s 11 October question and answer session in Berlin appeared last night. Not sure how well reported this was at the time but in my opinion he does show sobriety and gravity. One may not agree with everything he says but it is rational, balanced and far beyond the childlike utterances of most western “leaders”. Bit lengthy but worth a watch.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Some of this feels like preparation for a NATO defeat. Take solace that Putin will be gone soon. Which to be fair is likely true, not from a coup, but retirement. Putin isn’t a lazy US politico. He actually works. It’s crazy.

      Noonan is using figures who weren’t strong men to make her supposed point. Desperation is in the air.

    2. digi_owl

      To let on that you are even interested in the viewpoint of the enemy is political and social suicide these days.

      1. LifelongLib

        Well, Russia should accept Ukraine’s right to join NATO, just like the U.S. would accept (say) Mexico’s right to enter a military alliance with China. Self-determination, you know. /s

  5. The Rev Kev

    “How a magician-mathematician revealed a casino loophole”

    ‘The executives were horrified. “We are not pleased with your conclusions,” they wrote to Diaconis, “but we believe them and that’s what we hired you for.” The company quietly shelved the prototype and switched to a different machine.’

    Somehow I found this part reassuring. They called in a technical expert, the expert did his analysis and gave his report, the execs said that they were horrified by what he found but took it onboard, took appropriate action & paid the guy for his services and with some thanks I would imagine. This is how things are supposed to work and seeing the constant s***-show for the past coupla years with our own leaders makes quite the contrast.

    1. griffen

      Hiring a competent consultant and outside expert, perhaps the best money those execs ever spent and maybe even with a smile. That’s a good niche to have for the former magician, now employed at Stanford. I would be curious to know or understand, if it is their machines shuffling decks the world over, are they somehow on the line as culpable for having an unbreakable widget that is or could be actually breakable. I’ve heard, second hand, casinos don’t like being taken !

    2. Carolinian

      That’s an interesting article about “the perfect shuffle.” Of course the Casinos themselves are playing games with statistics given that the house always wins given sufficient suckers, er, players.

      And the article says that despite the welcomed advice the casinos still don’t do the seven shuffles necessary to produce a truly randomized deck.

    3. bradford

      If anyone is interested in further reading on this, (what must be) the journal article from 2013 is Analysis of casino shelf shuffling machines, and the preprint is at

      Diaconis has a large body of academic work, some of which you can also find at He and Ron Graham also wrote, for a broader audience, “Magical Mathematics”, a coffee table book about the mathematics behind magic tricks; this one came out about ten years ago.

    4. aleph_0

      Usually, it’s because not listening here means a lost gaming license and getting blackballed by casino operators. Not only do you lose the business entirely, but the execs are then locked out of the industry (can’t get their personal gaming licenses back). I joke that the gambling regulators are the only ones still with teeth in the US, and that gambling throughout the supply chain has longer, more strict audit trails than finance.

      One of the biggest slot manufacturers was a week away from losing their gaming license for an exploitable bug and had to shut down the entire company for about 6 months to fix it. Steve Wynn was forced to divest and abdicate in a week when his NDA covered up rape came to light in the midst of dithering on much more famous cases in Me Too. The stories go on, but industrial gambling doesn’t mess around when this stuff comes to light.

      I always wondered if it’s an acknowledgement that it’s already vice so that you need to be a little cleaner, and it’s really obvious why the casino is losing money or reputation in these cases. Nowhere to hide.

  6. fresno dan

    Will Putin Fall Like Khrushchev and Gorbachev? Peggy Noonan.
    The column is extraodinarily disappointing. Every canard regurgitated regarding BOTH Russia and the US.
    The West in turn had to make clear it would resist this brute violation of international law, the violent invasion of a sovereign nation.
    The pot calling the kettle black much? There is a big difference between legal and just – look at how the US tilts outcomes to favor the rich by the use of law. The US believes, and ONLY believes in international law when it advantages the US.
    … Oval Office address that doesn’t emote but speaks rationally to a nation of thoughtful people
    I don’t know how thoughtful this nation’s people are, but the oligarchy that runs it has proven long ago how delusional they are, and we are all imperiled because of it. The “people” don’t launch nuclear bombs – its the “leaders.”
    Here I jump to Mr. Putin himself. It’s hard to imagine a peaceful resolution while he retains power. Really Peggy? If only we got rid of Saddam Hussein, Iraq would be Switzerland. No self reflection on why you believed that bullsh*t back then, and none in the present why you still believe the US intelligence apparatus…
    Khrushchev was a fully rational actor, as was Gorbachev, as apparently were those who opposed them. We cannot be certain Mr. Putin is.
    Oh good grief. Seriously, I have far, far, FAR greater faith in Putin’s rationality and faculties (and basic honor) than I do Biden, as I think anyone who is intellectually honest would conclude. And I say that without being conservative or republican – its just being in REALITY. Can’t we have anyone in the MSM in reality???
    We are against the Russian government’s actions but feel only respect and regard for the people of Russia, with whom we only want peace.
    Barf worthy. Peace loving US – despite instance after instance of the US acting against duly elected governments – what writer, who is really interested in reality, and taking it whereever it goes, no matter how much it reveals that everything taught in US gradeschool is a myth of greedy self absorbed people, can sling such drivel.

    1. Eureka Springs

      the violent invasion of a sovereign nation

      Russians should have called it – Humanitarian Intervention

      Oval Office address that doesn’t emote but speaks rationally to a nation

      Haha! Another needless war based on lies. The only rational act from the Oval would be Biden declaring an immediate end of the war and falling on a sword in shame on live TV. While Kamala in the background measures the drapes and worries about the blood on the carpet, suggests someone should call 911, apologizes to Disney for interrupting their commercial revenue for the evening, fires another aide and says – oh hell no, Raytheon tells me we are not backing out of Ukraine.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      dowd is a member of the d.c. and new york crowd that bought the “turning the corner” line on Afghanistan for 20 effin’ years, lionized american military celebrities like petraeus and mccrystal and gushed over their books on counterinsurgency “strategy” and “leadership;” and justified casualties, lack of progress, and blank check budgets as necessary to counter the “existential threat” from a country that didn’t even have an organized, modern military.

      At this point, the only reason to read what she or they write is to mock it.

      PS. Ya really gotta love the characterization of boris yeltsin as the “pro-democracy figure” who “took to the top of a tank” to resist the 1991 coup against Gorbachev by the army and KGB. The only thing she forgot to mention is what brand of vodka he was drinking at the time of these heroics, or how much he’d already banked from the looters-in-waiting.

      1. Merlin in Florida

        She will cheer on the 101st Airborne moving further into Eastern Europe. CBS News reported that several thousand troops just deployed to Romania. Fellow cheerleading contact General Petraeus is pushing for more, more, more.

        Does your Rep or Sen support US troops engaging the Russians, before or after the midterms?

        What strategic or other interest would justify that?

        1. GF

          Just to clarify:

          “Note that these guys replaced the 82nd Airborne Division, so this was not then and is not now a new deployment of U.S. troops. Moreover, these troops have been in place for a little more than four months:

          Elements of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) began arriving to the Mihail Kogalniceanum Airbase in Romania June 20, and are scheduled to continue arriving during the next several days.

          Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, will support the U.S. Army V Corps’ mission to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and engage in multinational exercises with partners across the European continent in order to reassure allies and deter further Russian aggression.

          The deploying 101st Soldiers do not represent additional U.S. forces in Europe, but are taking the place of Soldiers assigned to 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters and the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.

          In all, approximately 4,700 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are scheduled to deploy to locations across Europe.

          From: 101st Airborne Does Photo Op In Romania

          1. Kouros

            They placed themselves as close to Odessa as possible… It seems that after loosing Crimea, the US is prepared to defend Odessa and maintain a Ukrainian, sorry, US outpost on the Black Sea coast to threaten Crimea and Russian Navy.

    3. John

      Can’t we have anyone in the MSM in reality???

      No, of course not. The ‘narrative’, that would be the story, the fiction, is reality as we see it and we exist in a post-fact world. Get used to it.

    4. Zephyrum

      Thank you, Fresno dan. I am in complete agreement. Your words remind me of this:

      They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.

      — Tacitus, The Agricola and The Germania

  7. Old Sovietologist

    Turkey is being accused of using chemical weapons against the Kurds. Rather convenient I have to say.

    Are Turkey capable of using such munitions? Of course they are. However, Erdogan has no reason to use them at this time. A couple of dead Kurds are not worth the loss of international reputation that they have built up since the Ukrainian War began

    This looks like an attempt to get Turkey back on message with the US/UK in regard to Russia.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Doesn’t matter if it is true or not. It worked well enough those charges in Syria and I am sure that the OPCW would confirm any such charges. After all, all that evidence that Russia produced about biolabs in the Ukraine went nowhere and the OPCW never even had to go there. Perhaps they can get CNN reporter Arwa Damon to go sniffing Kurdish backpacks to see if she can smell any chemicals present. That would count as proof positive.

      1. Nikkikat

        Lol Rev! One of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen on CNN was that particular clip of this reporter talking about poison deadly gas killing all those people and then sniffing a conveniently placed back pack and stating with a wrinkled nose that there was defiantly something there that burned her nose a bit.

    2. timbers

      Yes Turkey is being very bad indeed and must be punished, especially for eagerly getting on board selling Russian gas to the world and building up Turk Stream.

      On a similar note, just saw a blurb the Saudi Prince has cancelled his trip to Algerian summit due to doctor’s advice to avoid travel. Perhaps his doctors think a US regime change action against him made easier outside his own country might be bad for his health? Or perhaps is just that he’s gotten busy…like preparing to join BRICS and working with Russia to keep oil prices high and for his “Davos in the Desert” event he dis-invited USA from because it can’t get along with so many of the nations in the world?

      1. nippersdad

        Sounds like the most lucrative business opportunities for Congressional kids may not be biolabs anymore, but flying with the leaders of “unpopular regimes” to summits we are not invited to.

    3. David

      It doesn’t look to me as if the alleged Turkish soldiers are wearing NBC protective gear. From the speed at which they run I suspect what they used was a riot control agent, and the legal position around that is, well, complicated. The Rome Statute seems to rule it out, but Turkey is not a signatory.

  8. Old Sovietologist

    RIA Novosti are reporting that Shoigu held telephone conversations with the Turkish Defence Minister, the Russian Defence Ministry said.

    The head of the Russian Defense Ministry conveyed to his Turkish counterpart his concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a “dirty bomb”.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Saw a film clip where the Wagner group had taken a Ukrainian Major prisoner who, while being interrogated, said that the 93rd Brigade had chemical warfare suits, devices to detect radiation & chemicals and other gear delivered to them enough to equip an entire battalion. It seems that Japan handed over NBC suits and masks a coupla months ago – which seemed an odd thing to prioritize – so perhaps this is the gear being issued-

      2. Old Sovietologist

        He’s also spoken to Ben Wallace so that’s four now. I hope that Shoigu has issued a final warning about possible provocations.

        Something is coming.

    1. John k

      Imo it’s far more likely before midterms, msm will immediately blame ‘desperate putin’, and not desperate Biden worried a gop house would investigate Biden laptop etc.
      after midterms attention might pivot away from Ukraine, allowing time for loss to be forgotten by 2024, and towards Taiwan/Iran.

    1. Clay

      Producer Price Inflation lags retail by something like six months or so.

      It’s far worse, than retail. The cost of raw materials, energy, thanks for the sanctions Biden, Next Spring we are going to get retail inflation good and hard, may 20% acknowledged, and real level will be worse.

      Rule of 72 to figure doubling time of a percentage increase. If inflation is 7.2%, year over year, prices double in 10 years. If 14.4%, prices double in five. At real inflation levels of 28% in materials, prices double in 2.5 years.

  9. Old Sovietologist

    Seems like an Su-30 fighter has crashed in a residential building in Irkutsk.

    The first time is an accident, the second time is a coincidence, a third one and we can assume that sabotage is at work.

    I wonder how far Western intelligence services have penetrated the Russian military?

    1. OIFVet

      Increased tempo of military operations is the far more likely culprit. It’s the nature of things, accidents happen and they happen more often as the operational tempo increases. Granting omnipotence to Western intelligence subversion is just as fanciful as granting omnipotence to Putin.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Supposedly the other plane flew by when the would be crashed plane became unresponsive and saw the crews heads were slumped, implying suffocation. My guess is extra man hours went into the airframe and newer aspects and not checking older, reliable systems.

      2. Tom Stone

        Exhaustion is one of the givens of War.
        Those techs keeping the machinery going are working 16 Hr days and 7 day weeks, at least they usually get fed and get some rack time on a regular basis but whether they get much sleep is another question.
        It’s part of the “Friction of War”.
        Everyone and everything is stressed, often to the breaking point.

    2. The Rev Kev

      RT is reporting

      ‘Videos have emerged showing the moment when a Russian Su-30 fighter jet crashed into a two-story house in the southern Siberian city of Irkutsk on Sunday. It is the second such incident in Russia this week.

      A statement explained that the aircraft was conducting a test flight when it crashed. Irkutsk is a major centre for Russia’s avitation industry, and is home to production for the Irkut Corporation.’

      And I do not think that the two pilots survived. The way that plane augured in makes me wonder if those pilots decided that they would not let their plane hit any building full of civilians.

    3. Vandemonian

      Is this the quote you’re looking for?

      “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”
      ― Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

  10. OIFVet

    I read Francis Fukuyama’s latest attempt to usher in the end of history that he so desires and my blood was boiling a bit. Then I read The American Conservative’s response and I calmed down. Weird times when I have to read conservatives to find a modicum of clear -headed thinking. In any case, I can’t help but think that Fukuyama, much like liberal “democracies” these days, projects its sins upon the autocrats that dare to stand up to to this perfect meld of neoliberal finance capitalism and neofascism dressed in the respectability of the mythic democratic society.

    It is perhaps coincidental that only yesterday we were discussing how the so-called democracies are now unable (or more likely, unwilling) to address the concerns and needs of their populations, whereas autocratic rulers like Putin are able to act fairly swiftly to address them at least partway. Fukuyama dresses his desired end state as a form of TINA, if I read him correctly, and that would account for the US unwillingness to provide real and affordable access to healthcare,, as the most glaring issue facing Americans. If Americans and other liberal “democratic” societies truly have no alternative other than the status quo ushered in by the end of history, then what could possibly compel said status quo to address the needs of its citizens?

    In any case, I doubt that many citizens in the US, the EU and the rest of the “Western world” view their governments as responsive to their needs, much less as effective and efficient in addressing them. Yet Fukuyama insists that it is the other way round. Could it be that there are alternatives and TPTB are scared of their populations turning to them? We shall see. In any case, there is a plethora of interesting reads today and thank you to our hosts for them.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Fukuyama has his and simply doesn’t expect to be incarcerated in a California internment camp like his grandfather. His father was a Congregationalist minister, we talk a lot about the Prosperity Gospel, but these guys are the OG proponents in the US. However he dresses it up, a Rand Think Tank employee who started when their budgets blew up thanks to outsourcing government functions, thinks things are pretty great is largely his story.

      I think Fukuyama gave comfort of people who saw deindustrialization, mass poverty (China has been combating poverty), environmental decay, and so forth that it’s not their fault or requires actual change.

    2. fresno dan

      I have posted many times graphs from the Federal Reserve that show that working class men have lost economically over the past 50 years. This while GDP has continued to increase, and the wealthiest have made great gains in wealth. The data is clear that China has raised hundreds of millions out of poverty in the last few decades. Putin has also staunched the economic immiseration of the Russian people, something that happned after the fall of the Berlin wall in no small part due to the machinations of the US neoliberal order.
      One can read the Fukuyama essay and only be amazed at the ability of supposed educated people to put themselves in a bubble and hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My dad always called it “I’ve got mine to hell with everyone else” regardless of how it’s dressed up. Take the story of the Prophet Daniel. Isn’t it just Nebucchaneezer was sad and Danny tells him he is really great and only needs to give Danny more stuff to be really, really great and all will be well? The peasants will rejoice living under such an empire where Daniel was already part of the royal court. Sure there is a ludicrous miracle, but isn’t the story that Daniel largely tells Nebs how great he is already and is rewarded?

        Coincidentally Daniel advises Nebs’ successors when they are conquered. This makes me believe Danny was real.

    3. Mikel

      “If Americans and other liberal “democratic” societies truly have no alternative other than the status quo ushered in by the end of history, then what could possibly compel said status quo to address the needs of its citizens?”

      The most pressing issue of the times: Convincing those in positions of power that “the end” of their worldview is not the end of the world.

    4. Carolinian

      what could possibly compel said status quo

      Pitchforks. Unfortunately it all too often comes down to violence. I’m reading Antony Beevor’s new book on the Russian Revolution and you can’t help but be repelled by Lenin’s cold bloodedness and the general savagery on both sides. Maybe it can’t happen here but the US oligarchs sure are “tickling the dragon’s tail.”

    5. Kouros

      Very interesting. It seems Fukuyama forgot his own work “The Origins of Political Order” and especially “Political order and political decay”….

  11. fresno dan

    Democracy in peril argument fizzles as midterm issue The Hill. Unsurprising, since as any Sanders voter knows, Democrats have no standing to make it.
    Threats to U.S. democracy highlighted by the House Jan. 6 select committee’s blockbuster *hearings are fizzling as a midterm election issue, drowned out by inflation and other economic concerns that appear to be driving voters in the final weeks of the campaign.
    While the committee examining the 2021 Capitol attack has made a convincing case that the American experiment is a fragile one — and is sounding dire warnings that the foundational threat remains very much alive — the message is being overshadowed by more immediate economic anxieties, according to a series of recent national polls.
    First, I would be far more disappointed in this country if most people did buy the baloney that an insurrection occurred on Jan 6. It was a riot, and a pretty mild one at that. And those that assaulted police, destroyed property, and trespassed should be prosecuted.
    And as far as democracy being imperiled, as all the people saying that seem to be fine with the neoliberal agenda which has simply eviscerated true representational government in the US, with the goal of imiserating the 99% – No, I really don’t have much concern about Jan 6.
    * blockbuster??? You cannot be serious

  12. Wukchumni

    Listen to the ground
    There is movement all around
    There is something goin’ down
    And I can feel it

    On the kamakaze drone waves of the air
    Casting aspersions up there
    It’s somethin’ the Persians share
    Up where eagles dare

    That sweet city Kiev
    Unmoved through the fight
    Controlling our mind and our soul
    When you reach out for thee, yeah
    And the mutual feelin’ is right

    Then we get might fever, might fever
    We know how to do it
    Gimme that might fever, might fever
    We know how to show it

    Here I am
    Prayin’ for this moment to last
    Livin’ on the MIC proceeds so fine
    Borne on the windfall profits
    Workin’ a gold mine

    Might fever, might fever
    We know how to do it
    Gimme that might fever, might fever
    We know how to show it

    In the heat of our love of war
    Don’t need no help for us to make it
    Gimme just enough propaganda
    To take us past the step penultimate

    We got fire & forget on our mind
    We get higher in our warrin’
    And if I’m glowin’ in the dark sometime
    Give you a little radiation warnin’

    Might fever, might fever
    We know how to do it
    Gimme that might fever, might fever
    We know how to show it

    Night Fever, by the BeeGees

    1. John Zelnicker

      Thanks, Wuk

      This makes it a hat trick today for the NC Songbook.

      Thanks, also, to Antifa and Sardonia for today’s contributions.

      Ya’ll stay safe.

  13. timbers

    The New Atlas is suggesting the US air force sent to Romania may reflect plans for US military to enter Ukraine in the western and Odessa region to prevent Russia form taking all of Ukraine coast. The New Atlas episode (the most recent, it can be easily found on YouTube) is saying some US military is saying Ukraine is very over extended for the upcoming Russian augmentation, so much so it opens possibilities of Russia entering western Ukraine from Belarus and cutting the bulk of UAF from Western supplies, allowing RUF to more easily finish up in the east, south, and center of Ukraine.

    Personally, it seems more logical and less risky Russian become ever more aggressive in destroying electrical and transportation infrastructure, and to ensure is totally non functional if/when Russia makes a big move.

    1. Lex

      The US lost its main goal in 2014 when Russia took crimea. It does not want to lose Odessa, though it also doesn’t have much in the way of options to keep it. Note the 2021 basing agreements in eastern Greece and increased US military presence in the Aegean. That’s the final line of defense. Primarily it wants to deny the eastern med access to Russia but would prefer denying Black Sea access. If Russia takes Odessa, the US will wash its hands of Zelensky as neither he nor Ukraine would serve any geopolitical purpose of the first order anymore.

      1. Stephen

        When the British Empire in the nineteenth century was not in hysteria over Russia somehow marching troops into India it spent that time in hysteria over Russia somehow capturing Constantinople.

        The “threat” was Russian warships then sailing around at will in the Mediterranean. Which was apparently a bad thing. We fought the Crimean War (which had huge unintended and not great consequences) as part of that hysteria.

        Maybe the US is now worried about the same “threat”. History sure does rhyme.

        1. Wukchumni

          There were gun emplacements in Auckland to ward off the pre-commie Russian threat to Godzone, circa 1890-1900.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Come to think of it, they were still active a few years later. During the American Civil War the Russians sent a naval squadron to San Francisco and New York to protect those cities in case the British and French got any smart ideas. Some of those Russian sailors are still buried in a cemetery in San Francisco. History is full of all sorts of weird twists and turns.

      2. Kouros

        I was thinking the same thing, because no matter how lacking backbone Romanians and Bulgarians are, I really don’t think they (and especially Romanians) would allow Americans to do too much crazy on their territory. Now I know I look I put my foot in by mouth, given the missiles installed in Romania, but one is hopeful, given the history of the place…

    2. David

      I doubt it. The 101st is a Light Infantry Division, for heaven’s sake. It’s used for fighting wars in places like Afghanistan. The only situation I can see it being used is as a purely deterrent force, ie it could enter Ukraine by invitation and set up shop somewhere, denying the Russians a chance to take and hold the area without a serious risk of escalation. This would be, to put it mildly, very dangerous, since a single weapon firing in the wrong direction could start something nasty. It would also rapidly become, in effect, a hostage unit for the Ukrainians, and I would have thought the US realises this. In any event, for all that it could influence the battle, the Russians could simply ignore it, and perhaps just manoeuvre to get it out of supply.
      I wouldn’t pay any attention to the reported words of the Commander, by the way. Generals don’t get to decide things like that.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed that the 101st does not have any heavy equipment and even if they managed to get into Odessa, there would be the matter of back-up and logistical support. Still, you can bet that there would be some White House policy makers like Blinken or Sullivan who would think that this would be a great idea because they did that in Syria and got away with it. I doubt that the Pentagon would let them do it though as the thought of the 101st Airborne coming up against a combat-experienced Russian battalion tactical group is not an idea to be lightly entertained. And if the 101st called in air support, because they would have to take off from bases in NATO countries, that would be as good as a declaration of war against Russia.

        1. tegnost

          fodder for the sunday am talk shows…I imagine, since I have no military experience, that every graduating class of ranger has to go on one of these larpy trips somewhere over the globe. That said things are going badly for the west and the propaganda is thick so it’s anybody’s guess at this point what happens.

        2. Stephen

          Exactly. Syria was not in Russia’s back yard either. The Pentagon will surely know that Russia would see a US combat division deployed in Ukraine as an existential threat. Feels this is more sabre rattling because the Biden regime really has no idea what to do and cannot stop Russia winning the on the ground war.

      2. hk

        I think that is exactly the point: a sort of American Pristina, that is. But, back then, the British general had common sense to tell the American general “I am not starting World War III for you” when ordered to evict the Russian paratroops from the airport by force. Things may not be so peaceful now, on both American and Russian side, if the same trick gets repeated on Odessa.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That American General was Wesley Clark who tried to run for President in 2004 while the lead British officer that would have had to attack the Russians was named Captain James Blunt – who said that he would have refused to follow such an order. You may know the name James Blunt from elsewhere-

          1. hk

            I didn’t want to bring up Clark since I felt that an attitude like that is too typical among US generals last couple of decades so that anyone else would have done the same: they’d have seen how weak the Russian contingent was and would have thought, “we can easily beat these guys,” regardless of broader consequences. Did not know about Blunt, though–most accounts I’d seen attributed the response to the overall British commander, General Jackson.

      3. Tet Vet

        I think it’s a sign that we’re running out of whatever Ukraine thinks they need so in answer to Zelensky’s constant calls for more of this and that our answer is, OK, already – we’ll send the Screaming Eagles over there so they can do a little screaming for ya. Reminds me of this:

      4. timbers

        Am not sure that I doubt it. Look at today’s news. There is a pattern:

        1).US moves mobile military into Romania, saying it could be used if Russia “escalates”
        2). Petraeus saying the US may intervene with allies if Russia does something “so shocking and horrific” (dirty bomb/escalates)
        3). Russia is calling nations about info on Ukraine preparing a dirty bomb false flag.
        4). Reports NATO may intervene
        5). Biden’s party is tanking in the polls and has reportedly been urging escalation for weeks
        6). The West has “no reverse gear”

        1. Old Sovietologist

          6). The West has “no reverse gear” – I don’t think it does and as the US/UK plans for Ukraine come unstuck. What do they do? Escalate.

          If Johnson pulls off the biggest comeback since Lazarus then you what’s been prepared.

          On the subject of escalations. It seems like Russia only major risk in Kherson is related to the safety of the dam. I suspect they are taking all measures possible to save the power station.

          My fear would be if the Ukrainian’s use the underwater drones, which they got from the UK. It would seem very easy to use them on the river to demolish the locks.

        2. Don

          CTV (which is, along with the CBC, one of Canada’s two national broadcasters) veered widely off-script today with a piece on how European and North American arms manufacturers are benefiting hugely from the war in Ukraine, and not only that… Other points made were that they were the biggest private funders of the 50 most prominent think tanks in the US and the most prominent such group in Canada, thus being a major force in forming popular opinion on the war, and that in addition to the enormous financial burden they place on taxpayers, the military-industrial complex is responsible for the devastation and loss of lives left behind in places such as Afghanistan… I can’t find the video on the CTV website, and don’t know how to find a link to it (YouTube?), but maybe someone with more skills can. The CTV anchor today is Natasha Fattah (sp?). A one-off, or an indication that the entire narrative is changing? Either way, it was astonishing

    3. anon in so cal

      >CBS yesterday reported the US 101st airborne is training in Romania and open to crossing into Ukraine

      >Iranian Drones: Israel has reportedly bombed a drone factory in Damascus

      >Gilbert Doctorow on Iranian Drone:and the US dirty war against Russia in Ukraine:

      “My questioner was particularly interested in my view of the legalities of Russian deployment of Iranian drones that, under existing UN sanctions, they should not be acquiring. Moreover, the illegal transactions are aggravated by the reported presence of Iranian technical staff in Crimea to help the Russians master the use of these unfamiliar weapons. My response was and is: ‘legalities’ are irrelevant to the present situation of a dirty war in which the United States and its NATO allies are violating whatever ground rules there are for ‘proxy wars’ and are de facto co-belligerents through their secondment of military officers to guide Ukrainian military units on the ground and by their sharing real time military intelligence with the Ukrainians, not to mention by their deliveries of their latest most lethal weapons systems to one side in the conflict.

      To speak of ‘violations of international law’ in these circumstances is to revert to the wooden language of John Foster Dulles at the State Department during the height of the First Cold War. This approach was nonproductive then and remains so today. When nations are at war, even proxy war, the only law is ‘might makes right.’ The United States has maintained its global hegemony over the past thirty years precisely on that basis and there is no reason whatsoever to deny to the Russians equal access to that modus operandi.”

      1. Kouros

        The problem with 101 crossing into Ukraine from southern Romania, where has been positioned is that there is no bridge over Danube between Ukraine and Romania and the first highway /road that links Ukraine with Romania, starting in Galatzi, crosses through Moldova. And then, given the destroyed bridge in southern Ukraine, another pass through Moldova would be necessary to reach Odessa. Logistically I don’t see how they can accomplished any transfer, maybe this is why Romania accepted to participate in this sharade.

    4. digi_owl

      Getting to Odessa from Romania will be hell, unless they can get Moldova to play along.

      Never mind that much of the Moldova-Ukraine border is taken up by Transnistria.

      May well be that the blob are planning to cut their losses, have Zelensky move government to Lviv (if that is not already the case), and have NATO forces move in from Poland and Romania to help secure that as Ukraine. While leaving Russia to deal with an eternal insurrection in the remaining territory.

      1. amechania

        “Watch as support for funding Ukraine erodes among Republicans”
        Zachary B. Wolf (politics desk)

        The article ran last night and was gone with the morning editor on the homepage. Obviously the blob’s brain and nervous system are in disagreement on the direction in Ukraine, but the real players only bluster cynically. Nobody wants to play for real against Russia and China.

        My read, NATO loses Ukraine, but the war convinces Europe to start arming. And arming western-style. All those hold-over Russian arms stores will be used up and thrown at Russia (killing their export market in Europe, ironically.) Europe will suffer and become militarized, politically and economically. From a certain lens, this is acceptable as a way to hold the EU project together long enough to really take root.

        Ultimately, unless there is a disconnect between the front line and the back rooms, this is a political decision. Nobody is ready for China.

        In fact, the new Honda ad on tv shows a drone they’re making. NATO will learn their mistakes and try again later. The statisticians are running the numbers and planning the next war. The politicians will take the money and run.

        Also, the Russians just appointed a theatre-wide commander for Ukraine a month or so ago. Thats why the abortive attack on Kiev was launched. Every service and command got to make its own move, and they won’t make that mistake again either.

    5. Karl

      U.S. troops entering Ukraine would presumably require a Congressional AUMF for offensive operations. No way.

      Without an AUMF, you’d probably need a covert operation. A covert force to save Odessa is a pretty ridiculous operation to contemplate, given its high chances of failure, human loss, exposure, and consequent U.S. humiliation. Biden may be dim, but too many cooler heads would have to sign off….. And then, who would sign up for that mission impossible?

      Still, these are extreme times, and our leaders have surprised us with extreme stupidity many times, so it’s not out of the question I guess!

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        To the many commenters here on the prospect of a dirty bomb: listen to this latest video from the Duran.
        It is a word per word copy of what is written in some of these comments! It appears that someone (Duran) is practicing plagiarism by not crediting the original authors. Are people okay with this?

  14. The Rev Kev

    Better link for ” Meanwhile, in Texas: Drought Revealed Previously Unseen Dinosaur Tracks ” article at-

    Not just Texas. The Mississippi is getting real low waters levels too and in a repeat of the American SW, they too are finding sunken boats and bodies. Barges are having a helluva time trying to sail this river-

  15. Dftbs

    Fx swaps and shadow banks. The thesis doesn’t seem novel, and it contains a few technical errors in its description/ comparison of Swaps and Repo, albeit not in a way which affects the conclusion. For example the authors believes that:

    In the case of the FX swap, at step 2 in Figure 1, the investor has reached the limit of their exposure to dollar assets using FX swaps: without yen deposits, the investor has nothing to swap for dollars, and thus cannot extend their holdings of dollar assets.

    But if the “investor” now holds a dollar asset, they can repo it for more dollars in order to “purchase” more dollar assets or to FX swap into another currency, regardless of their initial level of yen deposits. This may seem roundabout, but “markets” are, contrary to popular belief, inefficient mechanisms and arbitrages exist due to the regulatory constraints. For example you may not be able to exchange Rials for USD directly but can FX swap them for Yuan. Purchase a Yuan asset with yield, repo it for more Yuan which you FX swap for dollars and purchase a dollar asset. Repo it, fx swap or repo, etc and so on.

    Moving on to the thesis, there isn’t much to disagree with but it doesn’t seem like a particularly groundbreaking notion. Yes, the Fed’s swap lines are extended on a “preferential” basis, duh, the Central Bank of Iran or Russia doesn’t have the same access to Fed dollars as the BOE or BOJ. Yes, there is a “global” (Western) dollar funding gap, this is a more acute problem “off shore” where the Fed’s swap lines are the largest single source of dollar funding. These FX swaps are more balance sheet friendly (perhaps collateral credit friendly) sources of funding than repos. And finally, No, this isn’t a stable system; we spend a lot of time on this site reading and discussing the instability promoted by this system.

    A more interesting question to answer would be: why is there a dollar funding gap (foreigners having more dollar exposure than dollars available)? And what does this do distort and inform the nature of the USD?

  16. BeliTsari

    Further toxic “positivism,” Lambert aggregated from despicable Alternet. We’d encountered an incredibly courageous woman, nearly our age wrestling a psychotic guy, 30 years her junior @ W86th St. He’d been trying to crawl out into typical Saturday afternoon traffic, on Broadway (not a good idea, they’re all instagramming their Mindfulness Coach & can’t see you, scooting on your butt, in front of 45-60 mph trucks & cars, ALL cutting each other off, due to unresolved childhood trauma.) Rhonda was trying to use her Krav Maga to keep him alive; something, we don’t ofter see in the UWS. Folks calling 911 were all being asked arcane questions as we scurried out amongst the speeding cars. No, nobody got shot or run over. See, glass sorta full story?

    1. Mikel

      “Lambert aggregated from despicable Alternet.”

      Maybe he was just surprised to see an article there not about Trump and is giving the mag some encouragement?

  17. Carla

    IMHO, Craig Murray’s “The Party Is Over” is the must-read of the day. Thank you to Mr. Murray for writing and Lambert for posting.

    1. Karl

      I agree. What I found particularly interesting (as a US reader) was the growing alienation of elites from the members of all of the major UK Parties, and their ability to constrain Party opinion within a narrow range by punishing those who deviate. Murray’s description of the Labour Party and its rightward drift since Corbin was fascinating. It seems there really isn’t a “Left” left. If I read him right (and if he’s reporting right) there seems to be a central tendency at work to keep Party poles from drifting too far apart. In the U.S., the two major Parties are moving farther and farther apart, at least on the hot-button culture issues. On economics and war, both U.S. Parties seem pretty aligned, perhaps similar to the U.K. Maybe our culture wars help to distract the public from knowing just how aligned our politicians really are on austerity and war.

  18. Eclair

    Re: ” …. the one guy holding his mask ….”

    Is that a mask or a codpiece? In the 1500’s, said article of male clothing was ” … a symbol of political and economic power.” Now, men have to make do with the tie.

    Apologies for my flippancy.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not only the only one with a mask but did you notice that he was the only guy wearing jeans and comfy shoes?

      1. Eclair

        Well, yes. And his shoes in particular. Not polished black, or tan, oxfords. A renegade, obviously.

        And, only one guy wearing a tie. A striped tie. Signalling ‘indecision?’ Can’t decide on a color, so so with a tri-color look?

        I am thinking, we need a new class of analysts, ones who read the costume details in these photo-ops. I knew, as soon as Zelensky started appearing in that smelly (waves of testosterone-laden sweat just roll of it) khaki tee, with the 3-day beard-look, that a Master Hand was at work behind him.

        Look at the photo of the closing ceremony of the Chinese Communist Party. Whatever happened to the famous Mao jacket? The men not in military uniform are all wearing suits and ties.

        1. nippersdad

          At least Zelensky, or maybe his handlers, have had the presence of mind to stop using green t-shirts with iron crosses on them. I seldom infer much from how others dress, that hit me like a brick.

          1. digi_owl

            He do seem to have a first rate PR team. But in the end they simply demonstrate that winning the PR war will not win the physical war.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The politics of clothing is always interesting. In the case of the Mao jacket, I have thoughts.

          Within certain structures, the coat and tie is a good look on men and useful for all occasions. No fuss, no muss. To a certain extent, the wearers are submitting to the common practice and not standing out. It’s a democratizing outfit. The Men’s Warehouse slogan was “you’re going to like the way you look.” There is more truth than any Madison Ave executive could conceive in that line.

          The Mao jacket had important symbolism, but the Middle Kingdom has regained it’s place in the world order after a century and half disruption. Xi doesn’t need to shout or stand out because he’s the President of China, a first among equals as many of the attendees of the recent meeting could be a future president of China. He’s not the king with people jockeying to be noticed to be elevated to master of the privy chamber. The established bureaucracy is there to handle this. Xi and the Chinese elite on down to the middle class don’t need to cosplay anymore. Our own Ben Franklin, one of the most brilliant men of his Era, played a country bumpkin for the French with a strong American flair, wearing animal pelts, something a resident of Philadelphia wouldn’t wear. Modi is no Franklin, but his outfit is meant to project the same message Mao, Franklin, and Iran’s Ahmenijnad were projecting.

          During the 2008 DNC, Biden came out in a shiny suit compared to Obama’s seemingly conservative outfit. It seemed like an ill omen.

          As for Zelensky’s look, he’s a working man, not stealing billions, so all the money is going to the front (wink, wink).

          1. Wukchumni

            Z’s always wearing a green shirt that practically screams military, combined with wearing an overt cross on a necklace, the effect in theory to get evangs on his side, as you know how horny they are for that dynamic duo.

            1. JBird4049

              Ick. Leisure suits were the work of Satan. Just another sign that the good taste left and died in the 70s.

        3. digi_owl

          Makes me think of Kremlinologists that tried to analyze images of the military parades to figure out who was in or out of favor…

  19. Tom Stone

    At least there’s good news about Wollensky, I hope she lives a thousand years!
    With every breath.

  20. Carolinian

    Adolph Reed on “Afropessimism.”

    Its political project, which, as Kenneth Warren makes clear, was also always an intellectual one,16 is preserving and reinforcing the racecraft—most of all the mythology of black distinctiveness and unitary racial interest—that enables black upper-status Racial Voices to ventriloquize the black population as a whole. And, for Afropessimists, the collective ventriloquist dummy is not merely the forty-two million officially black individuals in the United States (a population larger than the entire population of Canada), but black people all over the world and across time.

    Reed in his knotty way is taking on the current fad of pretending that the sixties and MLK never happened and that we are still stuck in Jim Crow times beneath the surface if not explicitly. Of course just as the old racism consisted of white people pretending to know what’s going on inside black people, the White Supremacy theorizing pretends to know what is going on inside all while people via selective evidence. We don’t have to call this in turn racism to question its intellectual bona fides, and that’s Reed’s theme–evidence over theory. Reed continues

    This is the environment in which anti-disparitarianism has become the programmatic and rhetorical center of gravity of black political criticism and the context that has encouraged arguments framing contemporary inequalities, or apparent racial disparities, as legacies, or substantive continuations, of slavery or Jim Crow. It is resistance to accommodating the new political possibilities and challenges presented by the sea change of the 1960s that prompted political scientist Willie Legette’s powerful apothegm that “The only thing that hasn’t changed about black politics since 1965 is how we think about it.”

    The article goes on to suggest that what BAR calls the “black misleadership class” has a neoliberal interest in keeping this particular situation intact perhaps in the same way that Jewish Americans–who have overcome past prejudices and become quite successful in our society–often use “never forget” as a way of asserting that nothing has changed under the surface. And that feeling can undoubtedly be quite sincere as, per above, it is as much psychological as social. All of which leads to the point of the article

    Resistance to accommodating the changed political circumstances is not simply a result of stubbornness or short-sighted habituation. It is the product of concerted ideological effort in service to a class-based political program.

    In other words capitalism is the US preoccupation, not race.

    1. Eclair

      “Finnish” is only too prescient.

      Was it at NC last week that I read the comment, “The electric car is not meant to save the Planet; it’s meant to save the auto industry!”

      1. Mike

        Simon Michaux’s reports which are referenced in the article should be put on NC. They are awesome.

        He has several reports which are free to download on research gate (they are hundreds a pages but littered with many charts so it can be read in an afternoon). He gives a great resource constraint perspective on alternative energy issues.

        You can look him up on youtube as well. He was tasked by the Finnish government to explore what it would take for them to go all in on alternative energy and to exemplify the “circular economy” only thing is his reports don’t tell their government what they want to hear…

        I don’t fully buy his peak oil analysis but his report on the circular economy is awesome and also somewhat humorous.

        I would point to Nate Hagens “great simplification” podcast interview of Simon Michaux as a great place to start.

    2. Wukchumni

      Had the alternator on my truck nearing 180k miles drain my battery down the other day up @ the cabin and a friend was hanging out and she has a Kia Niro plug in hybrid which was of no use in jumping the car with cables. No biggie getting a jump with another cabin owner’s good old ICE, ICE, bay-be.

      An interesting missing link that you can’t get a charge from an electric car…

      It was akin to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride down the 20 odd miles and 439 significant turns to the foothills, and along the way the display for the radio went haywire, there were tiny moments of music missing, and the jalopy sputtered a few times giving me agita-all signs of alternator issues, but in the end I made it outta dodge and back to tiny town to tell the tale.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I find it fascinating that because of rising energy prices, that it can now be more expensive to charge your electric car up than it is to fill your gas tank up. Never saw that coming.

      2. Chas

        I think a Nissan Leaf would have been able to boost your ICE car battery because the Leaf carries a 12 volt battery which runs the lights, radio, etc. It is charged by the car’s big battery.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          Doubtful. The little 12v accessory batteries found in PHEVs and Leafs tend to not have enough power to crank an ICE (PHEVs use a drive motor/generator to crank the ICE). Ever have a “dead” battery where the radio and possibly the lights work, but the engine doesn’t crank? Same concept. It takes a lot of power to start an engine.

    3. Paul Jurczak

      The World Does Not Have Enough Lithium and Cobalt to Replace All Batteries Every 10 Years

      This is an obvious nonsense title. The metals we put into the battery stay there. They don’t leave our planet. The issue is with the cost of recycling, which is much higher today than buying “virgin” Li and Co. Technology is not standing still, though. So is the price.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Germany: Fire destroys Ukrainian refugee home ”

    There is a bit of form here. You had the same when the German government brought in a million, unidentified refugees and dumped them on the local communities to take care of several years ago. A hostel for refugees was burned down and am pretty sure that that fire was in eastern Germany too.

  22. Lex

    The Fukayama piece really encapsulates the state of American political “science”. Rather than an examination of what he got wrong it’s all fact massaging to make him seem right. The necessity of apologia rising due to an unwillingness to question his own assumptions. Never mind the continuing failure that is conceptualizing history as a line of progress.

    I don’t have the stomach for Fukayama and Noonan in a single sitting.

    1. Mikel

      I couldn’t get past his opening. A person has to buy into the narrative that Xi and Putin have no checks on their power within their systems of government or society.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Barry Hunt #COVIDisAirborne 🌬 😷🪟
    If I were Sun Tzu, I would keep my population free from infectious disease at all costs to gain advantage.’

    That is genius that. I have his book and that is exactly the sort of thing that he would say.

  24. Mikel

    “Why Neoliberalism Needs Neofascists” Boston Review

    “…Neofascist groups exist in all modern societies, but typically only as fringe elements. They take center stage in periods of crisis only with the backing of corporate capital, which provides access to massive financial resources and control over the corporate-owned media and other means of opinion-making…”

    So much going on now is reminiscent of the years between WWI and WWII. While elements of classical fascism (as defined in the article) existed before then, it was the rise of Mussolini that seemed to institutionalize the playbook that has now been adapted to global finance capitalism or the current neoliberal regimes.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Wasn’t there a video last February of an Azov Battalion leader bragging into a mic about how it only takes about eight percent of the people to leverage a fascist agenda into reality?

      1. Mikel

        Reminds me of a quip I once made about the 99% vs. 1% meme.
        That exaltation may be good for generating awareness, but has its limits as an organizing principle.

      2. Polar Socialist

        If I recall correctly, that was about the Nazi-party membership of Germans (and Austrians) in 1944.

        All you need is funding and people to look the other way while you capture the security apparatus. After that it’s just a matter of unhindered political violence to become (for all practical purposes) a one-party state.

  25. Stanley Dundee

    Here’s the great Peter Lee (aka China Hand) on the 20th Party Congress: Xi Jinping Prepares for War:

    The United States blew up Huawei. It cratered China’s advanced semiconductor industry. It provided rhetorical and G*d knows what other kind of support to separatists in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. Joe Biden has committed America to the defense of Taiwan come what may, we’re loading the island up with weapons, and the Pentagon has gone so far as to slyly place Taiwan under America’s nuclear umbrella. Japan has committed itself to its biggest arms build up since World War II for forces that can only operate overseas when embedded in US military operations. Guam is being hardened as an intermediate range missile base. And let’s not forget the AUKUS clown show.

    It would be a dereliction of duty for Xi Jinping not to assume things are going to get worse before they get better.

    Now if only we can figure out a way to get a war going with Iran simultaneously!

    1. Paul Jurczak

      Let’s make it more interesting and add North Korea to the list. Why only go mad if you can go completely crazy…

      1. digi_owl

        Can’t stop wondering how much this is about congresscritters trying to get reelected by being tough on nations their donors fled from at some point.

  26. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sky News
    China’s former president Hu Jintao has been unexpectedly escorted out of the closing ceremony of the ruling Communist Party.
    He seemed confused and appeared to resist leaving, turning back to his seat at one point.’

    I see two possibilities here as far as Hu Jintao are concerned. Either there was a pistol shot heard just after he left that Hall not included in that video. Or else they made him get into the car.

    1. Wukchumni

      Hu are you?
      Who, who, who, who?
      Who are you?
      Who, who, who, who?
      Who are you?
      Who, who, who, who?
      Who are you?
      Who, who, who, Hu?

    2. Joe Renter

      I watched that video. Certainly full of intrigue. I am guessing it was done to send a message to those present. Any guess as to what that may be comrades?

    3. garden breads

      I have to agree with Alexander Mercouris – he definitely looked unwell and unsteady sitting there. It looked like a “are you sure you can walk by yourself” conversation to me. It’s not unexpected for older or unwell people sitting for long times in such settings. It would be important to him to be seen walking unassisted and carrying his own papers. So I can believe he returned to his seat but selective reporting would obscure that.

    4. skk

      I noticed the mask elitism etiquette. The front row lot was maskless, the 4+ rising tier backranks were all masked.

    5. Kouros

      Or he is a doodling old man touched by dementia and it wouldn’t be proper that having him ranting all kinds of nonsense, putin a biden there and embarrassing the party. CCP, as opposed to DNC and Americans, still has gravitas and decorum.

      Occam’s razor that I am right.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        One of the two men who “escorted” him out was his grandson. You (and Occam) win.

        He has Alzheimer’s and his grandson is his “handler.”

  27. chuck roast

    Achieving the Best Outcome in Myanmar’s Civil War

    I believe that this is what gamblers call a “tell”…

    “To prevent this outcome, the United States, regional partners, and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should work more strategically with the National Unity Government and ethnic armed groups.”

  28. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: the Walensky handwashing photo

    Why do so few men not understand cupping their balls in a photo is a terrible look? Sanders did this next to Hillary all the time and looked emasculated in pictures.

    1. semper loquitur

      They should be cupping each other’s balls, given all the time they spent j3rking off together at the session…

  29. QuarterBack

    Re the psychology of the culture war, my interpretation in the US instance is simpler. If you look at the 2020 Presidential election and zoom to the precinct level, it is stunningly obvious that 2020 was not a red state vs blue state contest, but was instead urban vs rural. Nearly all the large cities were strongly blue and the rural areas were overwhelmingly red; even in the bluest of blue states.

    Having been raised in a city and now living in a rural area, I have experienced stark differences in cultural mindsets, and have also discovered that these differences are both equally rational and are reenforced by their. very different conditions of life.

    In urban areas, people live in close proximity and actions of individuals can more often have impact on other residents. Many urban laws such as zoning and noise ordinances are enacted that limit individual rights to maintain the urban peace and order. Urban areas have many public services and service industries that are possible due to the economies of scale that come from the close proximity of people. In urban areas, various taxes are enacted to maintain and improve the public services, and more regulations exist to ensure that service industries are safe non-disruptive to public order.

    In rural areas, people live far enough apart that few public services and service industries can operate; even internet access is hard to find in rural areas. Taxes are lower because there are fewer services to pay for. There are fewer regulations too, because there is less to regulate. Because of the lack of public services and service businesses, rural people, by necessity, must fend for themselves. In large disasters, people rally together, but in day to day life, people must be much more self sufficient, and they are much more occupied with responsibilities to their families and more immediate neighbors. Rural communities are much more respectful of individuals making their own decisions on how to run their own life. This is reinforced by necessity because people are often on their own to make a life. Rural people are respectful of others but don’t take kindly to strangers telling them how to live their lives.

    Until the most recent decades, these vastly different cultures had been allow to coexist in their separated geographies. Federal and State governments focused primarily on urban issues with urban taxes and regulatory enforcement. However, over the years, as the central Federal government power and reach has extended more and more in to rural communities. Communities that they do not understand, and communities that urban economic and delivery models cannot support in any practical way. Rural communities angst grows by the day over promulgation of policies, taxes, and regulations that make perfect sense in urban areas, but have no relevance to rural peoples. Taxes are mandated to pay for services that can never be delivered in any meaningful way to rural areas, and regulations are established to protect against threats or service consistencies that the rural areas will likely never encounter.

    As time and events pass, I believe more and more that the republic that the original Founders established with separations of powers between Federal and States was very wise. Even as technology evolves, there are limits of how effective central power can be. Over great distances, circumstances and ways of life evolve very differently, and one size clearly does not fit all.

    We see this on the world stage as distance cultures clash with Western forms of government. If NYC laws do not work in Central Montana, or U.S. governance does not work in Afghanistan, it does not make one choice wrong and the other right. Cultures and laws are much more the results of the realities of living than the causes of them. The Federal and the Western governments would be well advised to respect the upper limits of effective governance when differences in geographies practical realities of life between people do not universally fit.

    1. Carolinian

      Good comment. Of course there are large cities and small cities so things get blurred a bit. My red state has genuine cities but all well under 1 million. My own town is in a still very rural county. My parents started out rural but then moved to our small but still genuine slice of urbanism.

      And as you know Montana these days is chock full of celebrities and city folk.

    2. Jason Boxman

      A counter-point; We do know meaningful services can be delivered to rural communities, because until recently, many of these places did have access to critical care hospitals. Today, that’s increasingly and disastrously no longer the case. And in some (many?) of these instances, these hospitals were owned and operated by the local communities.

    3. Pwelder

      That Hanania piece is the smartest attempt I’ve seen at figuring out what’s in it for our gung-ho culture warriors, especially in the Trump faction. Not surprising that the commentariat hasn’t picked up on it – the thing is a small book! (10,000 words) Maybe if it was put up as a separate post, rather than an item at the bottom of Links?

      Anyway, thanks to whoever found it and put it up.

      Reminds me of Pat Moynihan on a good day. (But then, I’m pretty old.)

      His view that the uppers look down on the lowers, but not vice versa needs some qualification. Trumpist rallies lately have featured references to “RINO Trash”. That’s a definite put-down.

    4. farmboy

      Richard Hanania’s A Psychological Theory of the Culture War is interesting perspective. Encouraging that he says it’s all theatre and that we are in good shape politically, just natural ebb and flow between and among upper and lower classes. On the other hand it looks like a doom loop of sorts with no resolution or rather any improvement is secondary or even tertiary. This analysis vectors off of Thomas Frank like a comet’s tail. Elite overproduction certainly is a faceplant with a bad hangover.
      Also the observation by QuarterBack of urban v rural voting patterns and the fact urban taxes subsidize rural life without much means testing doesn’t mitigate the anger toward elites. Placing values above economic interests is painfully evident in rural settings. Culture warriors make big splashes in some very small ponds and get magnified by media. Washington state congressional races in the 3rd and 4th districts contain the ironies where a guy with no job but $130k of income may win and a Republican Trump impeachment yes voter is struggling against a Democrat in the most conservative district in the state.
      Remember a time when it was thought all we needed was more information, well we have it and it may have made everything worse. The discourse is certainly more coarse without a lot of problem solving, in fact it appears the biggest issues just don’t seem to get any respect, i.e. climate, disease, war and the latest disgust is what matters. Makes you wanna throw some paint or at least some shade!

  30. Jeremy Grimm

    Reading “Introduction to polycrisis” juxtaposed with “The Calamities of Others Polybius” I am afraid this time is very different than previous declines and collapses. The collapse of the u.s. empire may echo the collapse of ancient Rome. The collapse of the u.s. empire is one thing. But though it may play large on our parochial stage — unless the u.s. starts a nuclear conflict as it goes down — it will be little more more than a footnote to the ongoing world collapse enwrapping the fortunes of all nations.

  31. semper loquitur

    re: Hans F. K. Günther’s, err, Richard Hanania’s A Psychological Theory of the Culture War

    I was preparing to write a point by point critique of this entry but I realized I have to work on Tuesday. Packed with gems of eugenics and dubious notions such as that those with much greater access to education and education prep are “smarter”, not just better educated. Then some economic claims that border on some form of a dissociative disorder, such as “everyone is getting wealthier…” and “society invests so much money is educating all children.” And the imbecilic claim that improvements in technology equate to better living standards, the “flat screens and smartphones” theory of wealth…

    1. Alice X

      Generally, I have my computer read pieces to me as my eyesight is very poor. Immediately, I was also thinking of a point by point critique, but the points deserving such kept piling up and then overflowed. And my computer kept reading, he’s unflappable. Finally 3/4 through I had to stop. The piece is bunk.

      1. semper loquitur

        Totally. He obviously has a high opinion of himself, all that talk of “smart” and superior genetics is a surefire tell. He is mistaken.

    2. hunkerdown

      Hah, nice. He seems to live on a different timeline, one that reifies numbers. His whole “how dare they watch us rule them” PMC schtick was charming, too.

      On the other hand, it is interesting to see some shade of convergence between the dirtbag left and the young egghead right in our respective appraisals of the state of the world and some key sources of the problems that vex us all. Sadly, no agreement on solutions looks forthcoming (but divorce has not yet been seriously proposed).

        1. caucus99percenter

          No, not if you’re thinking of “the dirtbag left” as one of the poles.

          That’s because “the dirtbag left” refers more to people like us here in the NC commentariat, as opposed to those groupings — now revealed to be authoritarian in the extreme — who for historical reasons are still conventionally labelled as “left” (DNC or Daily Kos type Democrats, NYT or MSNBC type mainstream media, Hollywood, woke capitalism, German Greens, etc.).

      1. bayoustjohndavid

        ” He seems to live on a different timeline, one that reifies numbers”
        The paragraph that starts:
        “We rarely stop and think how much better off we are than previous generations.” Gives some figures on increased income and ends: “Moreover, I’m of the firm belief that changes in GDP over time underestimate how much better off people are today, as economic stats don’t seem to do a very good job of capturing improvements in the qualities of goods and the benefits of the internet and communications technology.”
        Is particularly egregious. I honestly thought he was going to admit to some objections to his thesis in the next paragraph because I read it as changes in income overestimate. He’s relatively young, so I won’t say he’s either a fool or intellectually dishonest, but stats on increased income underestimate how well off we are?! Seriously?

        1. bayoustjohndavid

          “All of this is why concern with immigration is a class issue, as to feel affronted or threatened by Mexican gardeners indicates that one is extremely low status. ”

          Another example of academic/PMC bs. The affect of undocumented workers on wages in general has been well documented, but it’s still debated. The affect that undocumented workers have on wages in particular fields like construction has been well documented, but ignored by PMC academics. Liberals like Hanania only talk illegal immigration separately from legal immigration to cluck their tongues about saying undocumented rather than illegal.
          I’m for more liberal immigration policies and not anti-immigrant. I am anti acting like it’s a simple issue.

          1. caucus99percenter

            No, no, I’m pretty sure that it’s just the opposite — the “dirtbag left” is meant to refer to voices like Jimmy Dore or the Reddit group “Feel the Bern / Way of the Bern” who oppose said Synthetic Left, Identi-Left, etc.

      1. semper loquitur

        I’d bet he’s an Ivy Leaguer. They all think they are on the top of the intellectual food chain. It’s part of the package deal of getting into a school like that, one of the perks. You get to strut around and feel superior. Talk down to people from other schools. I’ve seen it first hand. I used to eat people like him, IQ and all.

    3. Karl

      I agree with you and most of the negative commentary under this thread that you’ve started. That said, I thought his thesis, and his comprehensive approach, pretty fascinating. And he may be correct that the culture war has mostly psychological rather than objective (e.g. economic) roots. Sometimes you have to be willing to mentally discard some of the obnoxious chaff to connect the nuggets (imho) that are there.

      1. hunkerdown

        The form of Hanania’s thesis — a multi-stage pattern of motion — is relatively unusual to see coming from any public intellectual these days, regardless of substance. Is conservatism partaking of the New Materialism as an instrument of its mysteries? Maybe!

        (He seems to lowkey wish he were a bit less public so that he and the haute monde he flatters could mystify power into existence with less bother, but his feelings aren’t that important.)

  32. Alex Cox

    Regarding blood donations:

    Some years ago I tried to donate blood in a small town in Spain. I wasn’t allowed to do so. The reason the doctor gave me was that I was British and that the medical profession was worried about blood contaminated by “Mad Cow” disease.

    I said I didn’t live in Britain and was a vegetarian. Sadly it made no difference. But they gave me a very nice souvenir purse!

    In the US, years previously, a friend was injured and ended up in hospital: Our Lady of Los Angeles. There, I and others were generously permitted to donate blood. For every pint we gave, our friend got one free!

    1. kareninca

      I studied and traveled for four months in England during the early 1980s and consequently I can’t donate blood in the U.S. (I’m American). I’m not sure how you managed to donate in LA; that must have been an oversight on the hospital’s part. I keep checking but I’m starting to think that rule will never go away.

  33. tegnost

    Not sure what drove me to looking, but the dow is down 15% ytd, while raytheon is up 2%, which is measly since lockheed is up a very nice 28.29%.Royal dutch shell only up 18%…exxon did you say? An eye popping 66.60 (is that synchronicity r what?) %

    1. scott s.

      Well, these days Shell is neither Royal nor Dutch. Viewed over a longer term, Shell han’t done all that great and dividends were cut too.

      1. tegnost

        ok RDS has reduced itself to Shell, apologies
        and sure, but compared to the dow overall they’re doing pretty good, even if they’re not doing as good as exxon…what level of guaranteed profit do you think these corporate citizens deserve?

  34. Jason Boxman

    * First, it found that people with long COVID-19 are primarily women, around 75% of McComsey’s nearly 900 subjects are women, and not by choice. “We don’t go looking for them,” she said. “These are the people who are calling us.”

    I wonder about sample bias, then? In America as a male you don’t want to be seen as ‘weak’.

    1. curlydan

      I was also thinking about sample bias when I read that, too. There are a lot of auto-immune issues that seem to affect women more than men (e.g. lupus) unless there’s some bias there, too.

      I thought this was an interesting quote from that same article:
      “Vaccination dramatically reduces a person’s chances of developing long COVID. A fully vaccinated individual is five times less likely to continue to have any symptoms or ill-effects three months after their initial infection compared to someone who has not been vaccinated. And that, said McComsey, makes a strong case for continued vaccination. “I’m not afraid of getting acute COVID,” she said. “I’m worried about Long COVID.””

      This seems fairly different from the 15% reduction in long Covid _incidence_ from vaccination that I’ve heard about from other sources. A 5x difference would be huge although she’s talking about symptoms 3 months out and not just incidence.

      I looked up the paper she wrote, and it was a little odd since they had 1.5M people to select from but only 1.6% were fully vaccinated. Here’s the paper:

    2. Ignacio

      Sample bias could be if it is true that women tend to take care of themselves better than men and are more prone to call the physician, because as the article says they examine people calling, they do not select patients.

      This is the least important thing of an article that as L.S. says is well worth a read. It explains very well how Covid19 is NOT another flu or other typical respiratory virus. It is quite different and the reason, the main reason is that it meddles with the immune system, it makes the virus able to survive for longer and cause more damage mainly via ugly inflammatory reactions which are the result of such meddling. It is important, and this is why i don’t like those descriptions of Covid as a “vascular disease”. Misleading it is.

      From the article (the words are from the excellent researcher who is doing the hell of a job in Cincinnati, I applaud her):

      It’s a virus that produces a lot of inflammation. We see a lot of conditions that are known to stem from inflammation, and now we have some evidence that it persists in different organs.”

      Record these words and store them in your brain.

  35. Michael Maratsos

    I believe Hanania’s article has some promising ideas, but I am certain his idea that genes completely determine SES now is wrong. Here are some findings from a recent study that show why this is probably so. The investigators studied three variables; 1) MATH score. HI = top quartile of math achievement in the 8th grade. LO = bottom quartile of math achievement in the 8th grade. 2) SES background. HI = top quartile SES background; LO = bottom quartile SES background. 3) CD = Probability that child finished college degree (a marker of likely SES outcome status). Here are some Major results

    HI SES CD = .74 CD = .30

    LO SES CD = .30 CD = .03

    As can be seen, SES made a big different at either MATH level. Children with LO MATH scores, but HI SES, had the same probability of finishing college as children with HI MATH, but low SES (!). I think we can assume that if a child from LO SES managed to achieve in the top quarter of math competence, they had pretty good math-relevant genes, whatever those are. But their LO SES background made them no more likely to get a degree, than a HI SES child with LO MATH scores. This study (and it is not the only one of this kind) indicates that SES background retains considerable importance for determining end SES. I actually find a good deal of the author’s ideas plausible and interesting, but clearly his mistake in thinking SES is pretty much all genetic now is almost certainly wrong, and this could require considerable adjustment of some of his discussion.

    1. KD

      I think that misses the point: the more egalitarian the contest, the more innate factors decide the outcomes. If you take six kids at birth, raise them in the same orphanage under the same conditions, and coach them all in track and field events, and then hold a competition, innate talent factors will decide the outcome because the environmental factors are basically the same. Further, the more you make the environment equal, the more the innate factors will cause inequality.

      Its not that genes determine everything, its that the more society become egalitarian, the more genes determine everything. Looking at your example, is it a good thing that people from High SES who can’t do math can finish college at the same rate as Low SES students who can do math? Well, if you erase this form of SES privilege, then outcomes becomes less determined by environmentalism. A perfectly fair system which equalized everyone’s opportunities would result in societal sorting into castes based on genetic factors (if you assume assortive mating will hold). This result would contradict the purported goal sought in creating the perfectly fair system of equal opportunity in the first place which is intended to close the gaps between individuals and groups.

      And its not hypothetical, because there is an every increasing volume of evidence associating gene prevalence in human populations with behaviors and social outcomes, which anyone who desires can research for themselves. It wouldn’t matter if the genetics only held 5-10% influence–if you equalize the environment, then the genetics becomes outcome determinative.

      1. KD

        BTW, this equality stuff obscures a lot. For example, billionaires don’t become billionaires by working, they do it by owning property interests in what becomes quasi-monopoly businesses. If CEO’s made 10x what the janitor makes, you wouldn’t have the housing segregation and the breakdown in incentives between elites and ordinary mortals, even though you would have pervasive inequality. The problem with excess concern over inequality is that it obscures the difference between rentier passive income and wages from productive work. One can make a compelling argument for incentivizing productivity by some degree of inequality based on productivity between workers, but if you look at rentier income, especially given how obscene it can be, there is no societal justification for phenomenon such as trust fund babies. The money would be better used by being taxed away and invested in infrastructure. There is a huge difference between tolerating some level of inequality and creating the winner take all society on the back of financialization.

  36. Tom Bradford

    The ‘What did Mary know’ thought experiment chimed with something I’ve often pondered.

    When making a list of the music I’d take with me to a desert island I was surprised that so much had a religious ‘bent’, given that I’m an atheist. Why was this and, perhaps more pertinent, would someone with a religious bent get more from this music than I ever could?

    eg. Take Barber’s ‘Agnus Dei’. An exquisitely beautiful work that, yes, ‘stirs’ something in me. Yet while I know what the latin means and its context in the liturgy, that has no meaning to me and I simply hear – and ‘love’ – the music it makes.

    Sat in one of the great cathedrals listening, with pleasure, to Bach’s great B-minor Mass would I be a colour-blind Mary in an art gallery facing a Monet and admiring the brush-stokes?

    1. semper loquitur

      “Why was this and, perhaps more pertinent, would someone with a religious bent get more from this music than I ever could?”

      Yes, I think we do. I listen to a lot of very old religious music, early baroque back to ancient Roman. The beauty of the voices and instruments are a kind of aural symbolism of the spiritual realms and their inhabitants. But then, everything is a symbol of the spiritual realms.

      Unless I’m wrong. Nothing is certain. That I know.

          1. ambrit

            As in, the Goods, and the Bads, and the Sadness in between?
            A “simple” functionality test would solve this riddle. Data point: Music “works” for Religion, not the other way around. As to the ’cause’ of this, I know not. I must admit a deficiency of modalities.

  37. JBird4049

    >>Sat in one of the great cathedrals listening, with pleasure, to Bach’s great B-minor Mass would I be a colour-blind Mary in an art gallery facing a Monet and admiring the brush-stokes?

    Having seen his brushwork, I think maybe you would.

    Some paintings are like 2.5-D pictures where seeing it on a screen in two dimensions diminishes its effect. It surprised me and I wonder how much of it is deliberate.

    1. B24S

      My father was an artist, a painter who was criticized as a “slatherer” by the NYT critic Greenberg during a certain period of his work. As a child I was unable to resist the texture of the paint, and would nip off the tips of paint whorls with my fingernails, to my poor fathers’ anguish, until he finally decided that my “presence” was part of the paintings environment, if you will.

      When I look at paintings the brush strokes speak to me as much as anything.

  38. Jason Boxman

    A combination of two Omicron subvariants called XBB has been fueling a wave of cases in Singapore, among the most highly vaccinated nations in the world. Its subvariant XBB.1 has just arrived in the United States. Another variant, called BA.2.75.2, is also highly immune evasive and causes more severe disease, but is so far responsible for less than 2 percent of cases nationwide.

    (bold mine)

    Just arrived? WTF. Like it booked a f**king flight? These people are functionally stupid.

    Biden’s Winter of Death is gonna be great!

    1. Tom Stone

      It did indeed take a flight and likely several with different hosts.
      The pandemic is over, remember?
      No need for masks or tests or quarantines, it’s all good.
      And “We” want to see your smile…

  39. KFritz

    Re: CDC Chief Walensky and Mask-Messaging

    It’s a possibility that part of the “Masking Isn’t Necessary” message is a political calculation that emphasizing masking would hurt any Democratic chances for a victory in this year’s election. That may be a correct calculation.

  40. john gleason

    Enough of Covid except as it relates to capitalism. I do not donate $365.00 a year to NC to read covid medical information unless it applies to Capitalism; I have my own source when seeking information about the medical field. Your covid coverage is a drain on my time and have begun to pass over many articles and responses, unlike, in the past, reading all articles and responses.

    1. Yves Smith

      1. This site is not about capitalism. Its explicit purpose is to promote critical thinking. We say so clearly on our About page.

      2. We have been covering Covid intensively since January 2020. You donated well after our status as one o the top resources on Covid was established. It’s a bit late to profess buyer’s regret.

      1. Noh1

        I greatly value the COVID unbiased coverage. I’ll chip in with $100 today to show appreciation.

        BTW, I skip over articles that don’t interest me. The articles tend to be grouped by subject area, making it easy to scroll past a section. I don’t expect every article on the site to exactly suit my personal preferences.

        The COVID coverage is the best of any site.

  41. Mikel

    “Six people who tested positive for monkeypox — two in New York City, two in Chicago, one in Nevada and one in Maryland — have died, local health departments have confirmed…”

    “…The first confirmed US death due to monkeypox was reported in Los Angeles County in September. A person with monkeypox in Houston died in August, but officials have not determined whether the virus caused the death.

    In late September, Ohio reported its first death of a person with monkeypox but noted that “the individual also had other health conditions…”

  42. Tom Stone

    I consider it more likely than not that i Covid 19 is a lab escapee based on what has come to light about its behavior.
    In the back of my mind I can hear “This virus is SO COOL to work with”
    I look forward to comments from those better qualified, but it would be nice to nail down the origin.

    1. Ignacio

      It is a lab escape because behaviour. I see. That must be the cleverest, most well thought, and informed opinion about Covid, ever, in the internet. A new paradigm in virology. Bad behaviour = lab escape.

  43. will rodgers horse

    Re What Did Mary Know?”; i am sadly not amazed that someone can write about that and not even mention Wittgenstein once.

    1. korual

      Too true. Scientistic materialists tend to dismiss anything linguistic, so are also sadly unaware that Saussure already explained what ‘orange’ is. Orange is infinite, in as much as there are an infinite number of shades of orange, so it is not a real, material thing, nor can it therefore be imaginary. Human consciousness is inherently symbolic and any layman knows that human thought is intimately entwined within a community of language.

      Living beings including plants have to be aware of their environment and respond to it, so that is a second, more fundamental, layer of consciousness. We then know that logically, as consciousness cannot arise ex nihilo, there must be some form of panpsychism, which most would associate with the puzzles of quantum mechanics.

      So that’s at least 3 connected but separate dimensions of consciousness, whose existence is proved. Some people seem to want to make the problem hard by reducing it all to one or sometimes two concepts only.

  44. Jason Boxman

    The helium shortage with regard to MRIs is instructive. First, America has a lot of MRI machines. This provides hospitals a good excuse to use this for diagnostic tests as often as possible.

    (Japan actually has more, a lot more.)

    Perhaps we could just do fewer MRIs?

    Meanwhile, hospitals keep installing additional conventional MRI machines to meet demand for diagnostic scans.

    And how is that demand generated? Medical necessity? Convenience? Or just grift? In the US the latter is likely a portion, without a doubt. And we know the US has demonstrably worse care outcomes than other OECD countries. So more MRIs and more testing doesn’t seem to be the ticket here.

Comments are closed.