Links 10/26/2022

Inside the enigmatic minds of animals MIT Technology Review

Images of Diwali: The Festival of Lights Atlantic (Kevin W)

The Body of Thought: On Markus Gabriel’s “The Meaning of Thought LA Review of Books (Anthony L)

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready? MIT Technology Review (David L)


Alison L sent several links on the question of how much student accomplishment declined under Covid v. historical norms

École, numérique et confinement : quels sont les premiers résultats de la recherche en France ? Ministère d’Education Nationale de la Jeunesse et des Sports

At UN, leaders confront COVID’s impact on global education Associated Press

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education: international evidence from the Responses to Educational Disruption Survey (REDS) UNESCO

Harvard EdCast: COVID’s Impact on Education in Developing Countries Harvard GSE


As Lambert keeps pointing out, the CDC is still not on board:


Heathrow needs 25,000 more staff as it admits pandemic recovery will take ‘years’ – live updates Telegraph


Garvey v. City of New York. Order by New York Supreme Court, which confusingly is its lowest trial court. City ordered to reinstate employees fired over vax mandate with back pay.


Fungal Disease Spiked During Covid Pandemic and Pathogens Spreading Due To Climate Crisis, WHO Says Guardian

NSW Central West farmers can’t catch a break, with costs rising as extreme weather bogs machinery ABC Australia (Anthony L)


Taiwan’s first industrial output fall in 2.5 years sign ‘Asia is slowing down’, with ‘darker picture’ ahead South China Morning Post

Ideological snipers aim at Scholz even before he leaves for China: Global Times editorial Global Times

Former US military pilot arrested over China ties – media RT. Kevin W: “Read to the end.”

When the unsustainable ends Wolfgang Munchau (resilc)

California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy Bloomberg (resilc)

Old Blighty

How the U.K. Became One of the Poorest Countries in Western Europe Atlantic (resilc)

UK’s first Anglo-Asian leader grips a poison chalice Asia Times (Kevin W)

Sunak unveils UK government of austerity and war WSWS

Bolsonaro Ally Engages in Gunfight with Police – Brazilian Congress Moves to Criminalize Faulty Polling – Bolsonaro Required to Run Lula Fact Checks Mike Elk

New Not-So-Cold War

Playing at War in Ukraine – Col. Douglas Macgregor Judge Napolitano, YouTube. Key point early on (2:45): Macgregor says Russian mobilization is continuing thanks to Western NATO threats and Russia could have a million men in the field by January. The op-ed mentioned: Playing at War in Ukraine American Conservative

Dima at Military Summary said late in his 10/25 account that the Russians had paused their electrical grid/infrastructure attacks on Ukraine. From what I can tell on Twitter, lights are still off in Kiev.

SCOTT RITTER: Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Scare Consortium News. Confirms my comment that dirty bombs are actually pretty lousy weapons. But the point here was not effectiveness but blaming Russia fo doing something horrific-sounding.

International Mobile Justice Team building war crimes cases in Ukraine targeting the Kremlin ABC Australia. Kevin W: “No plans to stop Donetsk city I bet. The shelling is too dangerous.”

* * *
Media Continue To Push ‘U.S. Officials Said’ Claims Even When Those Are Obvious Lies Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Return of the Living Check Jacob Dreizen. Yes, he writes in a rough manner (IMHO this is at least partly an affect) but the general point stands. However, note the attack near Poland is na gah happen soon, if ever. Russia hasn’t moved remotely enough troops into Belarus for an offensive.

* * *
Europe Under Control of the U.S. Mafia Black Agenda Report

Why Germany’s pursuit of peace in Ukraine is paralyzed Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Germany: Man fined €4,000 for hanging Russian Z sign on car DW. Resilc: “What if Zorro did it?”

* * *
Exclusive: U.S. considers HAWK air defense equipment for Ukraine Reuters (resilc)

Pakistan’s ex-premier announces march to Islamabad on Friday Anadolu Agency


Despite Khashoggi murder, these US universities still flush with Saudi money Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

US Recruits Elon Musk’s SpaceX for Iran Regime Change Op Brian Berletic

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Mirage of Washington Intelligence Libertarian Institute (resilc). Having to rely on libertarians to say things that the putative left used to point out frequently.


Hope Hicks, former Trump White House aide, meets with January 6 panel USA Today (furzy)


Political, legal battle heats up over student loan forgiveness The Hill


The Trump Tapes reveal much about Bob Woodward, Donald Trump : NPR (furzy)

MSNBC Legal Analyst Declares Trump Could Be Charged With Manslaughter Jonathan Turley

GOP Clown Car

The people of New York welcome Ted Cruz to Yankee Stadium Boing Boing (resilc)


You’re Not Imagining It: There Are Fewer Polls This Cycle FiveThirtyEight

Pa. Senate debate: John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz faced off on abortion and economic issues Inquirer (furzy)

Pro-Israel Groups Spend Big in Tight Senate Race Between Fetterman and Oz Haaretz

Arizona ballot box observers face lawsuits from voting rights groups Arizona Central (furzy)

From resilc:

Voting North Carolina
Early 230 today
90 minutes to vote
2020 presidential I waltzed in
Few masks


Texas synagogue siege: US gun supplier jailed for almost eight years BBC (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Caitlin Johnstone: White House May Block ‘Russia-Friendly’ Musk From Buying Twitter Consortium News (furzy). Help me. Is no one following the plot??? Musk DESPERATELY wants out of this deal! Matt Levine was having to stoop to parsing why Musk’s effort to renege would hit a big legal brick wall two months ago.

Inflation/Supply Chain

New York and New England start RATIONING heating oil before winter as stockpiles slump by 70% and fears rise that families will be left in the cold Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Why the Price of Gas Has Such Power Over Us New York Times (resilc). ZOMG, the NYT thinks this needs to be explained????

The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America: Biggest Price Drops since Housing Bust 1. Record Plunge in Seattle (-3.9%), Near-Record in San Francisco (-4.3%) & Denver. Drops Spread Across the US Wolf Richter

FAA Warns of Aviation Safety Risks Without US Mandate On 5G Limits Reuters. FAA not yet standing down.

Class Warfare

Bernie is right: Extreme wealth concentration has turned America into an oligarchy. Jacobin (resilc)

This chart shows just how out-of-control rent has gotten: The typical person has to work 64.2 hours just to pay rent — up from 56 hours just two years ago Business Insider (Kevin W)

Amazon Driver Found Dead on Front Lawn After Being Attacked by Dogs Vice :-(

New Zealand Uber Drivers Win Landmark Case Declaring Them Employees Guardian

The Effect of Low-Skill Immigration Restrictions on US Firms and Workers: Evidence from a Randomized Lottery NBER (resilc)

May God Save Us From Economists New Republic (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Michael H:

Here’s a great pic of Mount Evans and a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Ewe. I took this while hiking the other week and thought the readers may enjoy.

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key)

    By now you can see that our nation’s birthright
    Isn’t freedom or peace — if you think that you’re dreaming
    It is property rights spelled out in black and white
    Only property counts gained by any sort of scheming
    It is assets and cash stacked in some private lair
    In a nation that won’t even grant you healthcare
    To sell your hours and years for wages is the life of galley slaves
    The captains feast upon your life as they conquer the waves

    As your life passes by as the years slowly creep
    Opportunities fade and the door slowly closes
    Fifty hours each week for the income you keep
    Less what healthcare and taxes routinely imposes
    As you struggle and scheme in this American dream
    Your life is consumed by a merciless regime
    That rewards only those who worked with them and behaved
    To get a polished granite stone where their name is engraved

    The regime you work for are the ones keeping scores
    Their extraction of cash from your life’s no illusion
    First from out of your wage then all things in the stores
    Then from taxes and fines it’s a foregone conclusion
    They’ll collect many rents from each hireling and slave
    They’ll earn interest from your debts and they’ll steal what you save
    Every landlord will claim that the cost of your abode
    Is their right to collect or you can all hit the road

    Today you can see that our nation won’t stand
    For the good of us all — that is not our foundation
    It is cash in your hand factories stocks and land
    That determines your worth that determines your station
    The uber-rich wealthy in their endless money lust
    Must now give it all back or go down in the dust
    When we nourish every citizen this nation will be saved
    Today you see it’s time for us to all be that brave

  2. Sardonia

    Being a night-owl Californian, I don’t get to read NC’s Links and Water Cooler until everyone is gone. I see that Antifa and Wuk were turning Beach Boy songs into songs of Nuclear War yesterday. I want in too!! So, to the tune of The Beach Boys “California Girls” (link to the tune in the first reply). More fun if you sing along!

    The fission bombs are hip
    I really dig their little cloud
    And the boosted bombs
    With deuterium,
    They’ll put a million in a shroud.

    The cobalt-salted bombs, they
    Really radiate the ground.
    And the neutron ones
    Will wipe out all the folks
    But leave the structures still around

    I wish they all could be fifty mega-
    (I wish they all could be fifty mega-)
    I wish they all could be fifty mega-tonnnnssss

    The three-stage has such fusion,
    Packs a punch that can’t compare.
    These other little nukes
    Just take a tiny toll
    Ya gotta land them everywhere.

    I’ve been all around
    This great big world
    Examined stockpiles through and through.
    But I can’t forget
    That great big Soviet
    Tsar Bomba giant Number Six-Oh-Two

    I wish they all could be fifty mega-
    (I wish they all could be fifty mega-)
    I wish they all could be fifty mega-tonnnnssss

    (repeat, repeat, repeat, fade out…….)

  3. ArkansasAngie

    Garvey v. City of New York.
    Back pay is not enough.
    The state needs to redress any and all hardships imposed on them by folks who think they can force people to do things that are not in their personal best interests.

    I sure wish I could fire those responsible for this travesty.

    1. bassmule

      As Lambert has pointed out, breathing is a social activity. So personal best interests are secondary. Alas, the phrase “the common good” is clearly out of fashion, now that we’ve had decades of propaganda telling us to “build your own brand.” Selfishness rules all.

      1. hunkerdown

        The state’s actions weren’t in the best common material interest, either. There are plenty of reasons to reject moral entrepreneurs and moral entrepreneurship as social institutions, on account of their regressive and childish nature as games of self-aggrandizement.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Facts show that the “vaccines” mandate was at best a bad idea — inadequately, incompletely and fraudulently “studied” stuff that was shoved out under a bureaucratic category that shoots huge holes in what’s left of the precautionary principle, the “EUA” which by its terms does not fit. Some marginal benefit it might seem, though the data are uncertain and negative findings tend to disappear. And of course the mRNA vaccines put out by the big for profit Corps don’t do anything to halt the spread, let alone produce lasting response — you can get the disease multiple times, each adds to the damage, and you spread the disease even after your symptoms fade. Masking, ventilation and avoiding gatherings have actively been derided and Pooh-poohed as ‘infringements on freedom.’

        So what is “personal best interest” in the pandemic? A kind of global joke, no? Gonna ask “the State” to redress injuries to individuals experiencing any and all hardships due to the democide by wholly-owned government agencies and legislatures who foster the propaganda driving “let me see your smile” and “you can’t make me wear a mask or not go to drunken parties or “seminars” or other mass spreader events? Do each of us who have chosen not to wear an effective (N95-type) properly fitted mask around others have to pay every other person who caught the disease (including by viruses shed by unmaksers that still get past even the N95s or come in on airflow from other spaces not properly ventilated?

        I bet there’s an app that stores geotracks and identities of most of us, that would let us do a vast recalculation of wealth distribution based on liability for insouciantly passing the disease, added to the injuries and deaths occasioned by the democidal antics of our wholly-owned government. Could be enhanced by figuring the costs of long Covid, too. Wonder what my total would be?

        1. will rodgers horse

          Is Coercion even remotely compatible with the EUAs?
          what does the Geneva convemtion say?

  4. upstater

    As our host says “big if true”

    Shanghai to provide aerosolized vaccine as booster shots, latest move in China to explore better vaccination strategy amid mutations

    “Studies showed that six months after inoculation with two doses of inactivated vaccine, the level of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron mutant strain in people receiving the aerosolized Ad5-nCoV as booster shots is 14 times than that of those receiving homologous boosters, and six times than that of people receiving intramuscular Ad5-nCoV, the company said.”

    1. zagonostra

      …the aerosolized vaccine will be inhaled into the respiratory tract and lungs

      That’s wonderful. I can see a time when they can just load vaccines into a crop duster and spray the population just like a cornfield.

    2. chris

      Neat. A lot of domestic experts have been poo pooing the idea of nasal vaccines lately. I’d love to see that they could deliver on the promise people hope for. Even if they provide robust resistance for 4 months, can you imagine getting the nasal vaccine and spread being prevented for 4 months? Not to mention the science we’ll learn from working on this kind of delivery mechanism? I hope that it is true.

    3. Ignacio

      Big if true.

      This has several potential advantages compared to intramuscular yet I would like to see a scientific paper on this. Unfortunately no such reference in the article. Some of the advantages might include that neutralizing titres might be way higher precisely where these are needed first and there is much better prevention of transmission. Possibly more real and durable immunity. The difference in booster levels, if true, suggests there might be mechanisms that suppress antibody production by intramuscular boosts that do not work using aerosolized boosts. There might also be interesting differences regarding local and systemic adverse effects. This looks promising.

  5. zagonostra

    >Bernie is right: Extreme wealth concentration has turned America into an oligarchy – Jacobin

    This is the concluding paragraph of an article that could have been written, and maybe was intended for, by a high school student.

    Bernie is right: America is becoming an oligarchy in which the collective abundance of the many is increasingly held by the few. And, until the power of that oligarchy is broken, its democracy will remain more of an ideal than a reality.

    So is America becoming an oligarchy, which implies it is a democracy or is democracy an “ideal.” The article is rife with internal contradictions. It starts paragraphs with “political implications of concentrated wealth, needless to say…” and then goes on and says what everyone knows. The bromides abound such as “concentrated wealth threatens democracy” or “those who have money have power.” Jacobin has reached a new level for fatuous writing.

    Since I was visiting Jacobin’s site via NC link I thought I’d have a look around since I haven’t been there for a long time. Nothing on their main page on Ukraine. That was telling. There was an article on how the “Constitution can be a Weapon in the Battle against Oligarchy,” a topic that you can are better off reading in Aristotle’s Politics. As the recent retraction of the “strongly worded letter” to Biden on urging peaceful negotiations with Russia over Ukraine underscores, the anti-war, “Left” is dead. They have become comfortable with authoritarianism as long as it an authoritarianism of the Left. I suspect the article was written to keep Bernie relevant, a hard task to accomplish given the disappointment experienced by people who contributed to Bernie’s campaigns only to be let down.

    1. Bugs

      On the other hand, I’ve noticed that the film reviews in Jacobin are consistently well written. Perhaps they should move in that direction.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Bernie is years late on this observation. Former President Jimmy Carter was saying way back in 2015-

      ‘It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.’

      The least that Bernie could have done was to mention Jimmy Carter’s observation as well. I am afraid that Bernie is a day late and a dollar short here.

      1. russell1200

        Adding in one of the other links:

        When the unsustainable ends
        “The US economy will have to become less reliant on the rest of the world for imports, produce more at home, and maybe extend Nafta geographically and develop it into a deeply integrated market the way the Europeans did”.

        This sounds like a good deal for the general populace of the US. That it hasn’t been explored more, outside of simplistic protectionist language, is yet another part of the US finance-based spoils system.

        As an aside, did you see the front page of the WSJ today? Finance-Landlords have jacked up rental rates so high that rentals have dropped to 2009 levels. People get roommates, sublet, live with family, etc. You used to see this in South Carolina shore areas where rentals where too high for the people who worked their to afford without multiple roommates – the rest of the US has caught up with minimum wage Summer Vacation land.

        1. Objective Ace

          Its worth noting that housing builds dropped off a cliff in 2007. You can blame landlords all you want, but the prices of houses went up too suggesting there’s other factors (slow wage growth, high inflation?) at play unlike, say the insulin market.

        2. tegnost

          Why is expanding nafta geographically good for the general usian?

          These trade deals are simply cartels in which the US has outsized power and imposes the will of wall st, an entity that does nothing for the country, and everything for itself.

        1. The Rev Kev

          To be brutal, it carries more weight coming from an ex-President that an also ran that flamed out twice.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Bernie has gotten the Democrats to agree with him on one thing:

        “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “has to be resisted,” and that the Congressional Progressive Caucus was right to withdraw a letter that urged President Biden to negotiate an end to the war with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

        1. zagonostra

          Wow! Isn’t this the man who in his early days idolized Eugene Deb. If I recall Eugene Debs was jailed for speaking out against WWI. I bet if Debs were alive today and calling an end to Ukraine war Bernie would be okay with silencing him.

          What in the world has happened to Bernie? Did they show him the missing frames of the Zapruder film? Did they offer him another lake house?

          Like Judas of old
          You lie and deceive
          A world war can be won
          You want me to believe
          But I see through your eyes
          And I see through your brain
          Like I see through the water
          That runs down my drain

          You fasten all the triggers
          For the others to fire
          Then you sit back and watch
          When the death count gets higher
          You hide in your mansion
          While the young people’s blood
          Flows out of their bodies
          And is buried in the mud

          You’ve thrown the worst fear
          That can ever be hurled
          Fear to bring children
          Into the world
          For threatening my baby
          Unborn and unnamed
          You ain’t worth the blood
          That runs in your veins

          How much do I know
          To talk out of turn
          You might say that I’m young
          You might say I’m unlearned
          But there’s one thing I know
          Though I’m younger than you
          That even Jesus would never
          Forgive what you do

          Let me ask you one question
          Is your money that good?
          Will it buy you forgiveness
          Do you think that it could?
          I think you will find
          When your death takes its toll
          All the money you made
          Will never buy back your soul

          [Bob Dylan – Masters of War]

          1. Luckless Pedestrian

            Bob Dylan was performing a hard rock version of this song in the late ’70s when Billy Cross was in his touring band. When I say “performing” I should probably say “snarling.” It was powerful, to say the least.

            Even 1978 was a long time ago. Little has changed.

        2. Mildred Montana

          To the best of my knowledge, Bernie has never had the courage to challenge the MIC. He certainly didn’t do any of that in his 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nomination. And now it’s all over for him, bless his 81-year-old heart.

          Much as I like the guy and think he’s a good man, for whatever reason he lacked the spine to take on the gorilla in the room—a military that consumes over half of US discretionary spending year after year after year.

          For that reason and for that reason only, he is not entitled to call himself “progressive”. I’ll settle for “faux-progressive”.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Sanders is who he has always been. He’s a crafty politician who has created a niche for himself that appears to differentiate him from other politicians. Those who expect Sanders to act in different ways than he actually does are engaging in wishful thinking. Sanders is a product of the Party. He will never stray from the Party because the Party is him, and he is the Party. If you allow Sanders to fool you that’s on you.

            1. ArvidMartensen

              Yep, Bernie has proved himself to be a fake a few times now. He always seems to end up where the money is in the end.
              I hope he doesn’t sucker the young and idealistic in a third time, and deflect their rightful anger against those who don’t care about them, into voting for ?? whoever the next shmuck is to be chosen as the mouthpiece by the MISC – (S=surveillance and spying.

    3. c_heale

      I also thought Wolfgang Munchau’s article “When the unsustainable ends”, was also very weak.

      It basically says that the US, Europe, China, and Russia needs new economic models to run their respective countries.

      The arguments used are barely justify his opinion, and seem trivial to me. In the case of Russia, I think he is wrong and it already has a new economic model (autarky, export of resources to the East, and more production of finished goods).

  6. griffen

    Home prices are starting to lose their sizzle, no question. But aside from the hyperbole, nationally the gains were still in place based on the 20 city composite; year over year gains were up 13.1% as compared to being up 16% reported in the previous month. Charlotte, NC, is the nearest metro location to my southeast location and pricing still appears pretty strong.

    Mortgage rates and mortgage demand are in for a bad winter, it appears.

  7. t

    Still wondering if changes in grades and test results have anything to do with online teaching making it harder for teachers to write off and sacrifice a percentage of each class in order to support pets.

  8. Wukchumni

    The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America: Biggest Price Drops since Housing Bust 1. Record Plunge in Seattle (-3.9%), Near-Record in San Francisco (-4.3%) & Denver. Drops Spread Across the US Wolf Richter
    The Landlord’s Prayer

    Our short term vacation tenants, hallowed be your name. Your stay to come, will be done, out here as it is in Burbank. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us if the hot tub isn’t working, as we also have forgotten to fix it. And lead us not into temptation to gouge on cleaning fees, but deliver us from evil of 17 young adults partying in a 3/2 SFH.

    1/4 of all the homes in tiny town are AirBnB/VRBO, and not 1 of the landlords has skin in the game as they don’t live there, its all about making money-not neighbors.

    Looks like the average price hit about $465k thanks to the onslaught of ownership, largely fueled by more landlords seeking the treasure.

    Selling a home is a lot of work, you have to empty it out of a life lived, but its a lot easier for a short term rental landlord, the abode is essentially ready to sell, and there are no pesky things to deal with such as neighbors or friends you’re fond of, or the idea that your kids friendships in school will be ripped apart by leaving.

    They’re only in it for the money, and now that the high water mark is in the distance when do those with garage mahals exit stage left?

    We’ve got 300 short term rentals here, and if there’s a race to the exits, who would be the buyers of rode hard and put away wet stucco?

    1. Revenant

      We are selling our two farm cottages (refurbished from a cottage and barn in the 1960’s by my grandparents). The top of the market is in! In fact, we have probably missed the very top but we hope to catch it just at the start of the slide.

      Currently one is tenanted (notice expires end of this month) and one is a holiday let. Wuk is half right: the holiday let is ready to sell and already “staged” for the estate agents but bizarrely we will have to find a home for all the furniture (mostly ours in the first place!) whereas the tenanted one will be an empty shell (but sadly in need of a total refurb, when the most it will get is a weekend with the paint brush).

  9. griffen

    Ted Cruz should think twice before visiting the fine city of Philadelphia for the MLB world series. If the New Yorkers were that rude and crude to the Texas senator, Phillies fans are notoriously known for treating visitors in a hostile manner!

    Don’t believe me? They booed at Santa Claus back in the day !

    1. yancey

      Boo’d Santa. They pelted him with snow balls until he fell to the ground. They called a general strike of the Eagles over their lousy record and notoriously bad coach, Joe Kuharich. Then had a plane fly over Franklin Field with a sign reading “Joe Must Go.” Back in the day, Philly fans had an air force.

      1. Wukchumni

        We were @ the Ralph in Buffalo during my Long Suffering Bills Fan decades, and play had stopped on the field and there was a rising chorus of boos reaching quite the crescendo, and I couldn’t figure it out until I looked up at the jumbotron and the then hapless coach was doing a United Way commercial…

        …tough crowd

    2. voteforno6

      Phillies fans in small doses are alright. But in crowds, when they’ve been drinking…

      And, to be fair, they don’t just go after the visiting team and their fans – they’ll go after their own as well.

      1. semper loquitur

        Philly and sports is a subject worthy of numerous, multi-disciplinary research projects.

        I have a cousin, I’ve mentioned him before, a mean S.O.B. who has been in dozens and dozens of fight in his life and walked away victorious from most of them. A vicious ba$tard who has removed more teeth than your average dentist. The kind of guy who goes out on a Friday night looking for fights. If he can’t find one, he will make one.

        He is a big football fan, the ‘skins, and he attended an Eagles v. ‘skins game years ago, in Philly. He was wearing a appropriately branded rainslicker so the crowd knew exactly who he was rooting for. He’s a bigger guy, a garrulous drunk, and he’s happy to look you in the eye when you look his way.

        So the ‘skins scored at one point and he began to holler and wave his arms, to the consternation of the Eagles fans around him. One guy threw an empty beer cup at him or something like that and it was on. The guy shoved my cousin to the ground and started to whale on him.

        That lasted for about 1.7 seconds and then cuz, who is incredibly strong, wiry, and fast as a rattlesnake, wormed out from underneath him and began to give the guy a solid beating. That would have been the end of the story, in any other instance. But this was Philly.

        Cuz said he was suddenly hit with a full beer from somewhere. A woman jumped on him and began to claw at his face. Some kid ran over and started to kick him.

        A mob was starting to form. People were screaming and pointing at him. He jumped up and made for the exit.

        He told me he had been to games all over the country. Even in Dallas stadium, as a ‘skins fan, he said he had never felt that kind of rage. He talked the same shit when his team scored but he had never seen a reaction like the one in Philly. He said he wouldn’t go to another game there again.

      2. griffen

        Generally true of many fan bases; I grew up following and still closely follow UNC-CH college sports, namely men’s basketball and the occasional good football team. Which means I naturally will hate Duke above any others on “Tobacco Road”, although as a kid Duke basketball was not yet what they became in the 1990s.

        Duke fans would write the same about me, I have no doubt.

  10. russell1200

    As you noted on dirty bombs, I did a bunch of research online a few years ago looking to see what the effectiveness of dirty bombs was.

    Much to my surprise, they were extremely ineffective. There is no alternate filler I could find that wouldn’t be more effective with the one caveat being bio-weapon effects are not particularly well known.

    Some of the alternates to dirty “bombs” was explored: the best alternate being dropping particulates in some fashion from an airplane.

    Poison gas is much easier to get hold off and produce. Obviously, as shown in the 1995 Japanese subway attack, you can mess it up. But gas is more lethal, and if so chosen can also have persistence/clean up issues.

    Modern military explosives are much more powerful than their WW2 equivalent. Any decrease in explosive filler in your bomb limits radius of your burst. The kill radius of the dirty material will become quickly less than that of the explosives. Nails used in your bomb (presumably strapped to outside, but adding weight and bulk) will kill people much further away than you dirty filler.

    So the main purpose to the dirty filling is psychological. The failure of the 1995 Chechen dirty bomb to explode in a Moscow park obviously avoided a panic. The psychological nature of this “bomb” is also what led people to highly suspect it of being planted. Chechen bomb -hohum; Chechen dirty bomb – !!!

    1. David

      Yes, exactly. I had a little involvement with these issues many years ago, and remember a health physicist telling me that the only real danger from these “weapons” was if you were close enough to be affected by the conventional explosion. The idea was always to spread low-level contamination over a small area, and to cause public panic by trading on the fact that when people hear words like “atomic”, or “nuclear waste” they go nuts. But it’s not a weapon.

      I’m not sure about chemicals either. The Tokyo subway attack was conducted under almost ideal circumstances: at 9 o’clock in the morning at Kasumigaseki station, the trains are so full you can hardly breath, and the carriages have no doors between them. It was the original target-rich environment, yet Aum Shinrikyo killed fewer people than if each of them had had a knife, let alone a hand grenade, and in spite of the fact that some of their people were qualified chemists.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, I’ve often thought of the Tokyo subway attacks as a counterpoint to anyone arguing that nerve poisons are somehow uniquely terrifying. Leaving to one side that the Aum cult somehow combined a number of very good scientists and engineers with an almost comical ineptness when it came to mass slaughter, its very difficult to disperse any toxic material in a way to cause mass casualties, unless you are very lucky with atmospheric conditions.

        1. Wukchumni

          Its the psychological value, were somebody to explode a dirty bomb @ the intersect of the 405 and 10 freeway and where the 10/5/101 merge in LA or the Orange Crush interchange in Orange County, there would be great fear of being anywhere near it, and traffic which is typically at a standstill already, would be snarled in attempts to bypass it.

      2. Acacia

        The Tokyo subway attack was conducted under almost ideal circumstances: at 9 o’clock in the morning at Kasumigaseki station, the trains are so full you can hardly breath, and the carriages have no doors between them.

        Uh, have you actually ridden on any of these trains or studied this incident?

        Contrary to your claims, the Series 203 trains that were used on Chiyoda-sen, the Series 02 on Marunouchi-sen, and the Series 20000 on Hibiya-sen all have doors between the carriages. On Chiyoda-sen, the sarin packets were punctured just after 8 AM, before the train reached Shin-Ochanomizu sta., and passengers started collapsing in the train well before it reached Kasumigaseki.

        Yes, Aum killed “only” 14 people, but over 5,500 people presented themselves to hospitals in the aftermath of the attack, and over 1,000 have been certified with illnesses caused by the attack.

        I don’t understand why you keep minimizing the effects of different kinds of weapons.

        1. David

          I did, a few weeks after the attack and it was as I described. I took the Tokyo subway quite a bit in those days, including occasionally at rush-hour.
          But remember what the attack was intended to accomplish – the overthrow of the Japanese state and its replacement by Aum. Of course there was panic, because such an attack had never happened before, but that was not the intention. In terms of the objective it was a miserable failure.

          1. Acacia

            There are plenty of photographs on the Internet of the specific models of trains involved in the attack, and there are interior photos of the train cars during the clean-up operation that show doors where you claim there are none.

            The Japanese accounts of the sarin attack that I’ve seen say nothing about people being trapped due to problems with doors at the gangway connection [貫通扉], and in over seventeen years of commuting on Tokyo trains I have never encountered a locked door between carriages. These doors are a basic safety feature.

            Either you are thinking of a different train line — not the metro lines —, or something is wrong with your memory.

            People were killed, many people were injured, and the sarin attack produced mass terror. In that, it was very successful. Asahara’s “plan” to overthrow the state was sheer madness. Obviously, it never would have succeeded. Prior to the attack, Aum ran 25 members for seats in the Diet, but got less than 2,000 votes total. They were just another crackpot cult. Few took them seriously. But clearly, crackpot cults are dangerous and can do a lot of damage. The largest current issue in Japan is another cult: the Unification Church. In some ways the UC is more worrisome because unlike Aum that actually do have real political power, and at the highest levels of government.

            Meanwhile, the neocons have launched a war in the Ukraine, it may fail to achieve their goals but at what human cost? There’s no off-ramp in view, so we must assume things will get worse. If the conflict goes nuclear, all sides will lose. Should we say “yes, but it was a miserable failure”? I don’t take much comfort in the failed plans of power-hungry lunatics.

      3. Ignacio

        And what about bio-weapons: the messiest of all. Either they don’t work as weapons or they may end causing more damage in the unintended places.

    2. Old Sovietologist

      I think the fear of “dirty bomb is starting to fade. The Russians have made the world aware of the possibility and had word with various NATO govts telling them of the consequences of such actions.

      We’ll probably will never find out how much there was too the “dirty bomb” story.

      Russia clearly received “chatter” between the Ukrainians and British intelligence on the subject. Whether it was more than a mad Ukrainian scientist talking about the feasibility to a minor British intelligence official who said that sounds a good idea. Who knows.

      Watch out for any senior retirements from the British Intelligence services to see how far it did go.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The dirty bomb chatter may well have been disinformation intended to trigger a response from Russia that could then be analyzed. The British are far too clever to discuss such things with Ukraine if the intent was to actually detonate a dirty bomb and attempt to blame Russia.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You appear to have missed that the British Minister of Defense Ben Wallace took the highly unusual step of not only running to Washington to see Lloyd Austin IN PERSON, and said he was doing so because British comms had been compromised.

          You were saying?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Germany: Man fined €4,000 for hanging Russian Z sign on car”

    The guy was originally fined €1,800 but lodged an appeal and to have a public hearing. Since he couldn’t prove his innocence, they gave him a much bigger fine to teach him a lesson. Funny that. I thought that it was the State that is supposed to prove a person’s guilt, not for a person to prove their innocence to the State.

    Riffing off Resilc’s comment: “What if Zorro did it?”, what if there was a costume party with lots of PMC types – and you came costumed as Zorro?

    Swish, swish, swish!

    1. Wukchumni

      And yet any German is free to place a white ‘G’ on the rear echelon on their vehicle and nobody would complain that’s what Guderian’s tanks had painted on the rear.

      1. Basil Pesto

        It’s a Criterion disc though it might be out of print? unsure if it’s on the Criterion Channel (which is US only and I can’t be bothered with a VPN).

        1. Pavel

          I watched it most recently on (the great) Criterion Channel in France… I don’t believe it’s US only!

          I had seen it twice before over the decades and it seems more relevant than ever in some ways. And brilliant script and editing.


          1. nycTerrierist

            Yes, Criterion Channel is streaming ‘Z’
            – or at least it was, not too long ago

            Whatta soundtrack, too

          2. caucus99percenter

            I like how, in the movie, the typewriter the honest prosecutor’s helpers are using to transcribe witnesses’ testimony is an IBM Selectric — a magical seeming piece of technology back then, in the 1960s.

    2. semper loquitur

      “What if Zorro did it?”

      Or Elmo?! Will children’s programming have to come with disclaimers that teaching the audience about the letter “Z” is not a political statement? Or will the letter “Z” be sent to the dustbin like, say, the biology of sex?

      1. Wukchumni

        I’d like to do in the cursive capital Q, the bane of every aspiring writer when you’re like 7 as it looks like a sloppy 2.

  12. Stephen

    “Sunak unveils UK government of austerity and war.”

    I do not think anyone, other than the financial elite is inspired by this relaunch of the government that was elected three years ago, now three leaders later. Deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Dominic Raab becoming Deputy PM sums it up. He is my local MP for Esher and Walton. Super strong probability that this constituency will vote him out at the next election.

    But as the article states: Starmer is hardly an inspiration either.

    The warmongering and military posturing is even worse. It is all about spending money (obviously, for the US / UK MIC) but zero about the specific capability that they want. What exactly is it? What do they want to achieve? And by which decade, given it will no doubt all be about multi-year programs? More soldiers on the ground delivers very little to the MIC, of course.

    Will a British brigade of 3,500 per the exercises discussed really go up against Russia? It is nuts. I had to laugh especially at the quote: “This exercise is also about building our interoperability with US Forces.” Surely, they have been doing that since 1941……how long do they need?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think its the appointment of Braverman which will make even the most pro-Tory business elite worry. There is absolutely no good reason to appoint someone like her to any position of power except for the need for internal power balancing. That he believes he needs this shows he is not in real control. He will be as much a victim of the ‘bastards’ as John Major called them as most of his predecessors. And that is really bad news for the UK economy – the UK right now needs a strong pragmatic leader of whatever stripe more than at any time since WWII. Sunak is not it.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, Stephen and PK.

        Raab comes from nearby Amersham, a Tory fortress turned Liberal seat, and went to a grammar school that has turned out Brexiteers like Mervyn King and the Gibb brothers. It’s odd as the area is City commuter belt and used to elect the gentleman Sir Ian Gilmour. Many of these blue wall seats are under threat due to changes in demography and Brexit.

        Stephen mentions a British brigade. Around the turn of the year, NATO HQ asked members how many personnel, combat aircraft and naval craft could be deployed within weeks and sustained for months. The UK answered two brigades / about 6k – 8k, 20 aircraft and 20 naval craft.

        Whitehall chatter thinks Braverman’s reappointment is an unforced error that may come back to haunt Sunak. Why? For months, officials have complained about her persistent leaking, including from secure devices that are restricted even in government. Also, there was no need to give her a job as she’s a light weight with limited following (ability to make trouble), but is loud mouth and not interested in running a department, no organisational skills or willingness to learn.

        1. Stephen

          Thanks Colonel and PK.

          Ah yes, Raab went to Dr Challoner’s. I have come across a few people who attended that school over the years.

          Esher and Walton is probably not so dissimilar to Amersham. Same drivers for change. Mainly suburban Surrey commuter belt, Chelsea’s training ground at Cobham and a few villages such as Oxshott. Traditional blue wall but maybe not for ever.

          The Braverman appointment is very hard to understand. I agree. There must be some dynamic there.

          I am always fascinated that an army of circa 85k plus circa 60k MoD civilians can only meaningfully deploy 6-8k for combat. I understand the need for support services and so forth but it is an amazing ratio. The classic waterfall chart of total numbers drilled down to combat ready troops (the sort of thing that consultants love to draw) would clearly be a riveting read. Without talking up Russian efficiency too much, I wonder how their chart might compare. The truth of course is that there is very reality behind the UK sabre rattling and very little focus for what we want the military to do.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Stephen.

            In the past dozen years or so, in part to save money, but also an obsession with technology and disregard for the need for boots on the ground, infantry and armour have been neglected in favour of aircraft and even cyber capability.

            Privatisation of recruitment (and maintenance) has led to shortages of personnel numbers (and availability of equipment, vehicles, ships, aircraft etc.). No battalion is at usual strength, 600 – 800 troops. Some have as few as 300 – 400 troops. No armoured regiment can field the usual 50 – 60 vehicles.

            The army has no main battle tank made this century.

            Pay and conditions have not kept pace with the cost of living. A third of infantry is from the former colonies.

            NC’s David is more appropriate to explain.

            Declaration: Child of a former RAF doctor. I planned to join the local regiments, Royal Hussars or Light Infantry (now Rifles), or Grenadier Guards after university, but “Options for Change” cuts in the early 1990s took away the potential career. I have friends from school recently retired from infantry and cavalry regiments.

            1. David

              Thanks, Colonel, since you ask …
              This is where diseconomies of reduced scale kick in. A large part of the support infrastructure for an Army is needed independent of size. If you have an Army, of, say, 120,000 and you cut it to 85,000, you don’t save proportionately on all the logistic and personnel support. It’s rather like running a restaurant or a hotel and finding that your clientèle is reducing – you don’t save staff and heating/lighting costs proportionately. You may have slightly fewer officers to train at different levels but the support doesn’t change that much. Your logistics, communications, transport etc. can’t simply be cut in proportion to the front line.
              And of course if you have, say, 70,000 soldiers and the average service is ten years, you need to train 7000 per year, and the trainer/trainee ratio in most armies is about 1:1. This accounts for quite a large part of the total strength. The British military have been suffering from a long time from the fact that nibbling away at the overall strength has resulted in a smaller proportion of that strength being deployable on operations. A military built from the ground up would look quite different.

            2. The Rev Kev

              Thank you, Colonel. It should be added that building those two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers probably sucked the budget dry from the Army leaving them scrambling to find any spare resources that they could find.

    2. JohnA

      Aren’t the 2 idiotic white elephant aircraft carriers, Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, dependent on USAF F35 turkeys? Such vessels are only good for slamming a small country against the wall to correct the error of their would-be independent ways, and utterly useless to defend this sceptered isle. In any case, maybe due to paying maintenance personnel minimum wage, someone forgot to lubricate the propeller in the PoW, rendering it literally useless for an extended period.

      1. John

        An insult to turkeys who fly quite reliably as far and as often as is necessary to complete their mission.

      2. Stephen

        You are forgetting that they are excellent for hosting cocktail parties too. Yes, I know there are also cheaper ways of doing that……

    3. The Rev Kev

      Austerity is just like trickle-down economics – a stupid idea that does not work but damages an economy and wrecks the lives of people. But I suppose that the financial class keep on demanding it as a way to reduce wages and conditions for workers and keep them in line. If I remember right, the Conservatives did heavy austerity about a decade or so ago and it proved disastrous for the British economy and caused in addition all sorts of social damage. And yet, here we are again with a British Prime Minister saying that what is really need is austerity. A Prime Minister Larry the Cat would never have been so stupid and clueless. He would have advised people to go have a nice, relaxing nap. Good advice that.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Austerity should also trickle down, in that the leaders of society should lead by adopting an austere lifestyle themselves, giving more to charities etc.
        But western austerity is only meant to trickle down from the lower middle classes to the workers to the social service “customers”.

    4. Ignacio

      If i was Tory, a young one, I wouldn’t mind going now for elections, loose them to the Labour, and let them deal with the current mess until they come so unpopular they won’t be elected again until next century or so. Investing in the future I would call the strategy.

  13. bwilli123

    from When the unsustainable ends -Wolfgang Munchau
    “…Germany is dependent on the US for its security…” is somewhat ironic as recent events have shown that it is the provider of its security that Germany needs protection from.

    1. jsn

      In exactly the way Little Italy retailers were dependent on the Mob for protection.

      And occasionally even paying retailers got burned down for the insurance money.

      The Mob/Blob looks after the Blob/Mob.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy ”

    Is this article for real? Comparing California and Germany’s economic performance right now? Seriously? Did a quick check and found that about 38% of California’s power mix comes from natural gas. OK then. What if through mysterious circumstances, that somebody blew up California natural gas pipelines. So after that happened, how would California’s performance compare then? Stupid Bloomberg-

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The article was just a “progress report” on how well Biden’s War is working – for America. One major European economy down, the rest will fall like dominos.

    2. Wukchumni

      California über alles dude, but like there’s no hydroelectric to speak of and not much nuclear either, we’d be in so much deep kimchi fer sure if somebody did in the pipeline.

      Of course this might be a groovy time to clear out the Sierra forests of all that downed wood and take it to biomass energy plants to create electricity, but surf’s up.

    3. Kouros

      So Germany sinking and California sitting still, has been transformed in a fierce race of red hot economies. If it is a race, is a race to the bottom.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    How the U.K. Became One of the Poorest Countries in Western Europe Atlantic

    Europe is in a bad way, but on nearly every metric the UK seems to be in the worst condition and seemingly has the fewest potential ways out. I think the ‘carwash’ example in this article is a really good demonstration of this – the deep problems in the UK economy have been covered up for years by a flood of cheap imported labour along with every other sticking plaster available. Now its one really strong trump card – the status of sterling giving the UK access to seemingly endless amount of cheap borrowing and incoming capital – has pretty much been blown by Tory incompetence.

    Sunak is faced with a range of bad to worse options. Raising interest rates will kill the housing market and put an unsustainable strain on households. But not doing this could kill sterling and its perception as a ‘hard’ currency. Productivity (as the article points out) in the UK is very poor for an advanced nation, despite the general assumption within the UK that its those lazy French and Mediterranean types that are unproductive. This can’t be changed overnight.

    I think the only real question is whether UK decline can be managed, like a slowly deflating tyre, or whether it will come all at once as the facade cracks. I really can’t see any viable options out there, even with a forward thinking progressive government (which of course is not being made available to the electorate).

    1. zagonostra

      I really can’t see any viable options out there

      What about an approach that redistributes accumulated wealth? I saw an excellent documentary, The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire | Finance Documentary | History and it seems there is a lot of hidden British offshore money that could be repatriated. Of course that would take a political upheaval.

      1. hunkerdown

        Viable. Taking the endowment effects of capitalist private property relations as read, mere reallocation of the rights of the capitalist order does nothing to change the tendencies of capitalism. It merely allows the middle class to perform moral entrepreneurism and conceive themselves as morally superior, as illustrated by John Cleese et al. which preserves the problem.

        1. zagonostra

          Good video clip. Using the same skit, I wonder how he would dramatize class in America?

          Although reallocation won’t change “the tendencies of capitalism” it can curb them; and, maybe buy some heating oil to get through the winter so people aren’t deciding on food insecurity or freezing.

          1. hunkerdown

            Identically, I would imagine. His current anti-woke stance is feted (and doubtless partly funded) by lolbertarians.

            Reallocation of capitalist properties won’t change commodity supplies in time for winter. That’s a “non-causal” claim. Besides, there are enough PMC in the USA to feed the country for months. Banksters, for their part, can be flensed for heating oil.

            1. zagonostra

              New word of day for me.

              Flensed :verb
              past tense: flensed; past participle: flensed
              slice the skin or fat from (a carcass, especially that of a whale).
              “I flensed and butchered the whale”

    2. David

      Where I disagree with the author is the idea that after Thatcher there were twenty years of wonderful growth. Actual levels of growth, not to mention unemployment, would have had any government of the 50s or 60s that tolerated them thrown out immediately. Finance itself, the financialisation of everything and the importation of cheap labour from Europe served to disguise the decline and deindustrialisation of the country which began, let’s remember, under Thatcher. All that the 2008 crash revealed is that you can’t build an economy on borrowing from each other and selling each other life insurance.

      I’m not sure that the underlying economic situation is dramatically worse than it was: it’s hard to disentangle the effects of Covid and Ukraine. What’s clear though is the Thatcher virus has now pretty much killed off all real capability to deal with it. But it’s hard to know what the reaction will be. British people (like others in Europe I might add) have been stunned into a kind of helpless quiescence. The elderly can’t believe it’s really true that the Britain they knew has declined that much, the young never had any faith in the system anyway. I think it’s genuinely impossible to predict what will happen, though I fear the worst. Pity the nation that has merchant bankers for heroes.

      1. c_heale

        Yep, as someone who lived in the UK till ~2000, the 90’s were pretty crap too. Only alleviated by the amazing UK music scene at that time.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Canada drives on the right. This is the lesson the pomp and circumstances clouds. The UK before Brexit seemed to accept bordering the super state meant certain concessions. I don’t see it going well.

    4. Stephen

      When I was a child in the 70s, I never remember ever seeing a hand car wash and I grew up in south east Essex, an area where they now very much do exist. It is not progress. Still, I never remember seeing people begging in suburban streets in the 70s but you see that too now.

      1. Janie

        A retired relative travelled in the 70s and early 80s and was horrified by the sight of people sleeping on the streets in India as the tour bus rolled out early on a couple of mornings. Similar report from Cairo. Last time I was in San Francisco I thought it was worse than the description of Bombay.

        1. Roland

          When I visited Egypt in 2005, I spent about three weeks in Cairo. Pharaonic antiquities are of little interest to me, and I paid only a courtesy visit to Giza. What captured my attention was Modern Egypt (e.g. in Cairo I found an unexpected trove of Art Deco architecture and interior design). The taxi ride out to the Pyramids was something I found more interesting than the monuments themselves.

          Despite the general penury, I saw no beggars, and only a couple of people actually sleeping outdoors. I remember thinking at first that this was simply due to the very heavy policing of Cairo’s central districts–the most heavily policed urban area that I had ever seen. However, I didn’t see beggars in the much less-policed outer parts of the city, nor in the secondary Egyptian cities I visited, such as Ismailiya or Port Said.

          Poverty? Yes, a general poverty. Squalor? Yes, although I saw that Egyptians individually do their best to keep things tidy. But frankly, there was more downright wretchedness to be seen in 2005 in Vancouver than in Cairo, although the median condition of life in Canada is much more comfortable.

          Much the same applied in the other Arab countries I visited on that same 2005 trip. Amman, Damascus, Beirut–none of those cities had as many beggars as my then home town Vancouver. Damascus and Beirut had no more cops around than in Vancouver, so it wasn’t a matter of the authorities simply sweeping away the problem. There were just, plain, fewer beggars.

          However, I only passed through some of the satellite cities such as Zarqa in Jordan, or Harasta outside of Damascus, places which don’t get favoured as much as the central parts of the national capitals. Harasta, for instance, became a rebel hotbed in the Syrian civil war. On the other hand, smaller Jordanian cities such as Aqaba or Madaba didn’t seem to have much homelessness, either.

          I guess I’m getting old. I ramble. 2005 is now a long time ago. God only knows what things are like now after a decade of war in Syria, or in Egypt, after its cycle of revolution and counter-revolution, or in Lebanon, after its currency crisis. And, of course, they’re all getting side-swiped by the effects of this latest stupid war in Europe.

          I reassure myself: those Arabs are débrouillards. They can take a lot of hell. But why should they, or anybody else, have to take so much of it, and so often?

    5. digi_owl

      Defending sterling at all costs is likely THE problem of UK politics since WW2.

      Supposedly the plan by UK economists, based on modelling using MONIAC, was to first build up activity by relaxing lending rules, and then devalue sterling. But come the moment, prime minister after prime minister refused to devalue. End result was the infamous stagflation.

      1. c_heale

        I would agree. And before that – the gold standard in the 20’s and 30’s was a disaster then.

  16. QuarterBack

    In the PA Senate debate, complete political malpractice that Fetterman wasn’t replaced as the party candidate immediately after his stroke. Fetterman STARTED with “Hi. Goodnight everybody” and it was a painful to watch, downhill journey after that. Compared to him, Biden looks like Edward R Murrow. As to Dems chances of winning the PA seat, “Goodnight and good luck.”

    1. IM Doc

      My wife is one day going to kill me. But part of being an internist is being a honed diagnostician. It is often a Sherlock Holmes play to deduce and reduce until only the truth remains. There are certain clues that are oblivious to the untrained naked eye that stand out like red flags to me. Thus, my wife’s impulse to kill me when I go up to strangers in public and take them aside and privately tell them they need to get “this and so” checked out. I know for sure over my life that at least 4 strangers have been helped.

      This is the first time I have seen Mr. Fetterman in real life since this all went down. He has very clearly had an extensive stroke that has affected the left side of his brain. It seems to have spared or at least avoided the movement areas or he would be in a wheelchair with right sided weakness. But his speech centers, almost always on the left right in front of the ears, have been massively impacted. Most people with this have a very frustrating problem where they can hear and process the spoken word normally, but their own speech is very strained and garbled. His problem is much more significant. Indicating a bigger area was impacted. His ability to even process the spoken word seems to be impacted, thus the teleprompters. And he is saying things that are put together well but are adjacent or opposite to what he means, the infamous “good night everyone” comment at the beginning of the debate. That indicates a real significant issue.

      This is not good. He needs extensive speech therapy and it has been my experience that patients with this deep of a speech problem have a risk of quickly having cognitive issues.

      This was caused by atrial fibrillation. In someone his age, it is basically the result of not taking care of yourself. The obesity is clearly a problem. He is known to have been a big pot smoker and that is much much harder on the vascular system than tobacco. I know they don’t like to tell you that but it is the case. Furthermore, younger people with these kinds of problems are often hyper Type A personalities. Not just driven, but also screamers and phone throwers, etc. I have spent much of my life talking these kind of younger men down from this behavior.

      Interestingly, his red flag to me is a Buffalo hump on the neck. Instant recognition in an internist that there may be bigger metabolic problems at the heart of this all. There are several other things that need to be investigated based on that. This could be an indication that the answer here to the underlying problem may be very elusive.

      I was not impressed with the report sent out by his doctors last week. This is especially so after I witnessed what happened last night.

      If he were my patient, we would be having very serious heart to heart discussions. He needs to begin taking care of himself. Losing weight would be of the utmost import. That is very difficult to do in a pressure cooker of a job or campaign.

      1. Lexx

        I have a dog with Cushing’s, controlled with trilostane t.i.d.. He has a small fat hump between his shoulder blades. Also a sick sinus rhythm addressed by a ventricular pacemaker. The later may not have been necessary had the Cushing’s been found and treated earlier?

        I looked over at him one day last month and noticed his breathing was elevated; in dogs, it’s a sign of pain. Cardiology had just turned his pacemaker up and instructed me to watch for problems like elevated breathing. We rushed him into urgent care; they determined his heart was fine, the problem was his back. The next day his cardiologist agreed and put him on 100 mg. gabapentin a day (50/50), every day for a month.

        For the first two weeks he mostly slept which was the idea, to rest his back and let the arthritic areas “scar over”. Then his digestive tract took a turn for the worst and we were three weeks getting him back to normal eating and pooping. This week we have him up to the full three 10 mg. doses. but something is still not quite right. He’s old and that episode took a toll on him. We also found he can’t handle tramadol either. If he’s in pain, there’s little we can do for him right now.

        I doubled his Adaquan injections.

        Trilostane is known to be hard on the digestive tract, adding gabapentin or tramadol is worse. Is the track record for humans any better? Cushing’s in dogs, I’ve been told, is difficult is catch and even more difficult to control, and it’s expensive. The price for us is up to $213 a month. One vet said to us she thinks carefully before pursuing that diagnosis with owners. There’s no cure, only control and getting there requires careful continuous monitoring. Not something most dog owners want to hear, much less bear the cost.

        We’re in desperate need of seasoned diagnosticians, IM. There is no one on our dog’s team of vets I place a higher value than Dr. Wang, his internist. She genuinely seems to care about him, makes herself available even when not on rounds or that specific rotation. A doctor who cares is beyond price… to patients and maybe strangers on the street as well. I imagine your wife knows who you are and what she signed up for.

      2. orlbucfan

        I would vote for Fetterman in a heartbeat over Ozbrain. Why? I live in Floridumb where we have no opposition party. DeS(family blog)face will win over loser Crist in a nanosecond. Fetterman might have suffered a stroke, but he’s sure better than Oz. Both FDR and the nightmare governor Abbott were/are wheelchair bound. What does that tell you?

        1. IM Doc

          Their wheelchair bound status is like comparing oranges to apples. Poliomyelitis nor spinal cord issues from trauma have a thing to do with the cortical areas in the brain that control executive function. Sorry, that is a very serious false comparison – and has nothing to do with the issues at hand in Mr. Fetterman’s brain. The areas of damage are directly contiguous to the higher memory centers and the cortical functions of reason and executive function. It is not unusual at all for them to be seriously affected at the same time or soon thereafter.

    2. Pavel

      I managed to watch about 50% of the debate. It was thoroughly depressing in so many ways. The US political system clearly is collapse if these two (Fetterman and Oz) are the best two candidates PA could produce for one of the most important jobs in the country (especially now).

      I can’t stand Oz for a dozen reasons but I’d prefer him to Fetterman, who is either so out of it or so full of hubris that he thinks he should be senator. Apart from the cognitive/language issues resulting from his stroke (as discussed by IM Doc) he was evasive and duplicitous, e.g. when claiming he had always supported fracking.

      PA should accept Oz with all his faults and the PA democratic party should be disbanded for foisting this disaster on the electorate. And Fetterman’s wife should be jailed for spousal abuse.

      The rest of the world looks on in horror.

      1. QuarterBack

        Agree that this election illustrates the disfunction of the broader political system that canvasses the entire landscape and ends up with these two candidates as the “choice” for voters. We have a severely impaired teleprompter reader against a TV pitchman. IMO, whoever wins the race, their agendas will be driven by people behind the curtain. It seems that each election cycle, the parties look more for brand imagery over substance because the real decisions will be formed by the party operatives and lobbyists. At the end of the day, we the voters, have as much to blame for continuing to enable this downward spiral.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      From the clips I have seen, the debate was extremely difficult to watch.

      As for “political malpractice”…Fivethirtyeight puts the democrat gubernatorial candidate, josh shapiro, as heavily favored. Should John Fetterman take a seat in the senate and then be, for some reason, unable to continue to serve, his replacement would be appointed by a democrat governor, probably a democrat.

      It’s entirely possible the political calculus was to prevail on democrat inclinations to “forgive” or ignore obvious physical limitations in favor of presumed ideological purity. Let’s face it, senate “legislating” has been reduced to merely counting R’s and D’s, with I’s assigned to the D camp to keep things manipulatable.

      As Krystal Ball recently put it, no one cares if Fetterman’s impaired as long as his “policies” are in the right place.

      If Fetterman could just capture the seat by pity, he could be replaced later, by a dem governor, with a more re-electable candidate, and the dems don’t have to make excuses for callously abandoning a candidate because he got sick.

      1. Carolinian

        Sadly I believe your analysis may be the correct one but first they have to get Fetterman elected.

      2. Michael Ismoe

        He’s got a great Twitter team. Isn’t that enough to show how great a progressive he is?

        “Senator Fetterman walks into room. Inside, he meets with Senator Feinstein and the President…”

        Coming to HBO.

      3. Wukchumni

        While it wasn’t quite Weekend at Bernie’s, sadly Fetterman is not the candidate he was before his stroke, and it showed.

        A friend had a stroke a couple of years ago and he was one of those sinewy runners who cranks out a dozen miles a day without breaking a sweat hardly.

        His amazing condition probably staved off an even worse outcome, but he’s a shell of his former self-and to be fair, his stroke was a bit more extensive than Fetterman’s, I think.

        He talks in a whisper and words don’t align all that well anymore.

        He ran for political office about 8 years ago and came in 3rd.

        I couldn’t imagine him in that capacity with his stroke, had he won and was in office.

      4. anon

        His abrupt outburst at the end while Oz was giving his closing statement also suggests an impairment of executive functioning.

      5. QuarterBack

        I agree with your prediction of how it could play out. I also assume also that the party is thinking the same, however, this seems highly cynical and disrespectful of the voters to have the party put in basically placeholders so that the eventual officeholder can be appointed without pesky voters involved.

      1. IM Doc

        It is very sad to me as a physician that people are celebrating this kind of thing.

        Mr. Fetterman is disabled. He clearly has a medical condition which is not appropriate for further severe stress for the time being. This is for his own well-being.

        I have the same feeling watching these twitter and political fools play this game as people paying and enabling the severely disabled as “freak shows” at a carnival.

        This is absolutely horrendous. It speaks to the absolute rot at the heart of our society.

    4. voteforno6

      It seems that people are much more concerned with Fetterman’s cognitive issues that Herschel Walker’s. I’m sure party preference has nothing to do with that.

      1. IM Doc

        Interesting you should bring up Mr. Walker.

        I have a very good close friend who is a neurologist. In another forum, he wrote out a very long post about Mr. Walker’s rather obvious difficulties. He ascribed it to CTE – the football trauma syndrome. It was a brilliant discussion.

        In that forum, he routinely gets 5-10 comments on his posts. Somehow, he activated the leftist wokester mob on that post – I just checked – there are now 5273 comments. More than 95% of which are calling him names and saying horrible things about him because of his comment. All ad hominem all the time. Even though he is an expert in the field – and saying something concerning about a Republican to boot.

        It has to do with not being allowed to criticize or say anything about anyone BIPOC. Mind you – the vast majority of the comments that are not anonymous are from clearly Caucasian people. Most of whom have clearly no idea what they are talking about.

        He has told me privately that he will be soon deleting his account. It is just no longer worth putting up with. This is what all kinds of my rational friends have done over the past two years when engaging with the woke crowd.

        So maybe that is at least one reason why there is not so much discussion about Mr. Walker.

        Watching a mass puritanical thought system fall apart is truly fascinating. I know this has happened many times throughout history. But we are going to get to watch this all unspool in real time.

        It really is the snake eating its own tail.

        1. orlbucfan

          Walker is another GOP insult to the folks in GA. Where’s his qualifications for office? He’s seriously brain damaged. I hope the GA voters laugh at him. It may finally give me some faith that my country AIN’T totally doomed. And please, no more empire nonsense on here. This site is too intelligent.

          1. rowlf

            Is Herschel Walker the GOP’s Joe Biden? Someone to fill a spot?

            I also voted for Walker after two decades as a union member when the Democratic party never did anything for us. Reap what you sow.

            1. rowlf

              I’ll also add that during a recent trip to what may be considered a communist country I was asked during a cordial dinner about what I thought about former president Donald Trump. My reply was that most of the US does not like the federal government and the vote represented the electorate’s disagreement with the US oligarchs.

              ( Radio Yerevan jokes: you asked, we answered)

    5. Chet G

      I live in PA and have been aware that Fetterman has been an interesting character and politician for many years. It’s such a pity that the stroke left him as he presently is; however, he has also mouthed the standard Democratic position on Ukraine, so I wouldn’t have voted for him either before or after his stroke.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Re US Mafia:

      Maj Gen Smedley Butler called this out way back in 1935: “War is a racket,”

      Extending the Monroe doctrine over the whole planet, neatly divided into military “commands,” (CENTCOM. EUCOM, AFRICOM,” where troops work every day to maximize the “interoperability” of every government’s military and national police, and “civil institutions,” with the US imperial structure. All part of the racket. JTMcPhee

  17. fairleft

    Jacob Dreizen’s writing persona, ‘fratboy military expert who just doesn’t give a f#ck anymore’, makes me laugh and fits these lemming-like, stupidly dangerous Collective West times. And the Dreizin Report comment section is always world class deplorable so don’t miss it.

    1. nippersdad

      So many of these people have valid/interesting things to say, but the number of filters one must utilize to parse them becomes so distracting that the nuts are ultimately not worth the cracking. I ultimately had to dump Dreizen from the watch list, and it sounds like he has gotten no better.

  18. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: the NYT explains the price of gas

    Well, I mean look at Europe. They don’t seem to have any understanding, so why would the readers of that cage liner know?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: U.S. considers HAWK air defense equipment for Ukraine”

    I heard about this but I also heard that it was first introduced when Eisenhower was still President. Sure there have been upgrades to this system since then a coupla times but how survivable will this system be on the Ukrainian battlefield, especially in an era of drones like the Russian Lancet? Ever notice that there is never any talk about sending the Patriot systems to the Ukraine? Now why is that? Could it be that they were humiliated in Saudi Arabia against Yemen weaponry and to have Patriots being taken apart in the Ukraine might hurt sales of them to other nations? (1:15 min) – Lancet in action

    1. digi_owl

      Not like the Patriot system has a much of a solid rep since the first Gulf war.

      That said, i think one possible reason for going with HAWK is that it seems to be more compact. Much of it can be loaded onto a flat bed or hitched to a pickup.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to Wikipedia a Hawk -battery consists of 30 vehicles. The main reason to deliver them is probably because they’re not used anymore in US, because they’re much easier to use than Patriot and because Spain has already given some to Ukraine.

        Mercouris was entertaining the idea that this also means The West has run out of Stringer and other manpads to deliver.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “SCOTT RITTER: Russia’s ‘Dirty Bomb’ Scare”

    By now it looks like the plot to let off a dirty bomb to blame the Russians so that there can be greater NATO involvement has fizzled out thankfully. Russia taking it to the UN Security Council blew the chance of it working. Well for now that is. But Scott Ritter did bring up a name from the past that was supposedly connected with a dirty bomb and that was when back in 2002 F.B.I. agents arrested Jose Padilla. I think that it was this case that was used to trash Habeas corpus in the America. Wikipedia goes out of it’s way to label him a criminal but I recommend people read his Wikipedia entry anyway-

    Not mentioned in that article was the behaviour of the jury. In trashing chunks of the US Constitution, they still felt that they were doing their patriotic jury. In fact – and you know that I am not making this up – at one point the members of that jury went into court with one third wearing red shirts, one third wearing white shirts and one third wearing blue shirts. That was so mind-blowingly biased that and yet the judge allowed it without question.

  21. tricia

    re Europe Under Control of the U.S. Mafia by the excellent Margaret Kimberly at BAR

    “European governments do nothing but grovel out of fear…The truth of U.S. “partnerships” with allies has been revealed as a gigantic fraud. In reality these countries are living under occupation.”

    Exactly. So the ruling classes in European govts don’t just grovel out of fear. They have benefited from the US racket, more so than many of the US puppets elsewhere in the world (better living off imperialism throughout the West). They live well, have amassed fortunes, and won’t be suffering like many of their people from this economic destruction.
    So they have to jockey for lucrative positions at times, trade places, revolve in and out, whatever, they all still make out like bandits just like the elite in this country.

  22. Carolinian

    Re The Hill on student loans

    But Debra Dixon, former chief of staff at the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the Education Department under former President Obama, argued the block could take away from the Democrats’ campaign message with two weeks until Election Day.

    Does anyone really believe that Biden is doing this now for a reason other than Election Day? Turley has a better legal analysis saying this loan forgiveness via executive order is fairly unprecedented in the financial size of its presidential power grab and that such orders in general are protected not by their Constitutionality but by the narrow interpretation of “standing.”

    Of course a well designed forgiveness is a better use for our money than sending it to Ukraine but that latter issue is yet another power grab, suggesting that letting someone like Biden make up his own rules is very dangerous.

    1. fresno dan

      it is astonishing the equanimity with which the possibility of nuclear annililation is being …not discussed Presented

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re fast approaching the fourth turning since Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and that’s historically when you forget the consequences of your action because there’s nobody really left that lived it, so time to rinse and repeat.

        Treaty of Paris 1783 and then Gettysburg in 1863, or conversely Gettysburg and Tarawa, that sort of thing.

        I was born in the white heat of the Cold War, but never really felt threatened when it was us against the Soviet Union, but kinda wonder now what bad actor is going to set off the whole shooting works?

    2. Carolinian

      There’s a book about the reporting and writing of Hiroshima which had to be done somewhat under the radar screen because the US military was trying to keep people away. When the article and book came out it was a major blow to the attempted normalization of nukes going on at that time.

      Now the New Yorker is a completely different animal and more likely to print a rebuttal to Hersey entitled “Sure We Might Get Our Hair Mussed.”

    3. Janie

      I re-reread Hershey’s “Hiroshima” recently and forwarded it to several sixtyish friends. None had heard of it.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael Tracey
    statement because it’s basically a manifesto declaring Progressive Holy War against Russia by way of Ukraine. I honestly think they’d be OK getting incinerated in a nuclear holocaust if it meant staying true to this ideological “struggle”‘

    I heard somebody today say that for the US elite, Russia has become Moby Dick for them. They are that emotionally involved in the efforts to bring them down and it is actually personal with them. That sounds like a bad brew that – and not a bad description too come to think of it.

    1. Robert Hahl

      If you are pretending to be strong you have to keep pretending, otherwise it is just over, and you loose. As someone famously said during the 2008 financial crisis: We have to dance until the music stops.

      1. nippersdad

        Hard to distinguish them on their own terms when they are eagerly supporting Banderites. They may need to change their modus propagandi.

    2. digi_owl

      Because quite a few of them descend from people that fled eastern Europe, often under dubious circumstances.

      So to them it is akin to a blood feud.

      1. pjay

        I am convinced that this is actually a much more significant factor than I originally believed. In some key cases, individuals seem to have been recruited and sponsored by elites for academic or political advancement *because* of their origins.

        Yasha Levine’s Immigrants as a Weapon project was making valuable contributions on this issue – until he was sidetracked in unfortunate ways by the Russian invasion. I hope he will be, or is, getting back to it. I haven’t checked lately.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well off the top of my head, Antony Blinken’s grandfather was from the Ukraine. And there are others too. Too many I sometimes think. And I won’t even mention the Vindmann twins and the US Ambassador to the Ukraine at the time.

          1. nippersdad

            Nuland was an import as well. I just saw that Blinken is on his way to Canada to see Chrystia Freeland.

            Every day is old home week for these people.

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            I think there is a fair amount of Naziism with regards to Russia vs. Ukraine. Naziism permeates much of the West, though they will hotly deny it. Ukraine and the Baltic states are hotbeds of Naziism going back at least to WWII. Many of those who pulled the triggers for the mobile killing units hailed from Ukraine and the Baltic states. They eagerly did the dirty work of killing Jews, gypsies, gays, Russian POWs, and other untermenchen.

    3. Foy

      I think this clip of ex CIA Director Mike Morell being interviewed by Charlie Rose demonstrates exactly your point of them being emotionally involved and Russia being Moby Dick for them. Here he is talking about making Russia pay a price and killing Russians.

      Watch him point at his own chest continuously from 10 seconds in when he says “When we [US] were in Iraq…”. To him he is the US and it is completely personal for him. He holds his finger there in his chest for 30 seconds, it’s odd, bordering on very weird. Body language can say a lot.

  24. NL

    With regard to Despite Khashoggi murder, these US universities still flush with Saudi money Responsible Statecraft (resilc): The first chapter of this story is located in the mid-1970s, when the arms dealer, the uncle Khashoggi, gave millions to Bryn Mawr. Why Bryn Mawr? Don’t really know but there was a Saudi connection. Classmate was the daughter of Sheik Yemeni, the oil minister. Although at present a semi-public figure (author of a book on modern Saudi identity, Chathum House) she has been obscure for years now; self-protection I’d think. Anyway, there was a kerfuffle
    back then.

  25. nippersdad

    Re: New York and New England rationing heating oil. What happened to all of those Russian oil tankers anchored off the coast? If we must lie about not buying Russian oil, we could at least have our supplies topped up before they become necessary for the health and welfare of the citizenry.

    Those poor people in the North East. It has been getting down into the forties here at night and one can almost see the molecules cease to move, I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in Maine without heating.

  26. Wukchumni

    Everywhere there are tax breaks and free milk
    Illionaires & their ilk, tell me, where is sanity?
    Tax the rich, feed the poor
    ‘Til there are no rich no more

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Population keeps on breeding
    Nation bleeding, still more feeding the war economy
    Life is funny, skies the limit on money
    Bees make honey, who needs money? No, not the poor you see

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Oh, yeah

    World Economic Forum institution, there’s no solution
    Highfalutin elocution
    Just black and white, rich or poor
    Them and us, can’t stop the war

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Ten Years After – I’d Love to Change the World

  27. nippersdad

    “My Massive Cock review – you will never be able to unsee this penis documentary Guardian (Dr. Kevin). As you presumably know, men are obsessed with length while women generally prefer more girth….”

    OK, I’ll volunteer to go there. My inner Archie Bunker sez:

    “See, this is where they should have listened to their Grandmothers and eaten their turnip greens. I realize that 23 inch members* are not for everyone, but those Brits should have at least made an effort. And, ladies, with those kinds of proportions the girth takes care of itself (wink wink). This is why America (TM) rules the (air)waves. We are willing to put it out there and dare anyone tasteless enough to question us.”

    *Isn’t it interesting that they measure genitalia in Britain in Imperial units while they measure everything else in newfangled French things. I imagine it would sound even more impressive in centimeters, if anyone could figure out what those were. Less impressive in cubits, but still potentially doable.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m more of a girth man, Giant Sequoias playing the role of sumo wrestlers compared to coastal Redwoods being basketball players.

      Yeah they’re taller, but long isn’t all that.

      1. nippersdad

        I have never seen them in person, ogling the trees of others has never been my thing, but as features of the landscape go I hear they are quite outstanding. That even before you begin to discuss their powers of duration. They say that bristlecone pines last longer, but much of the experience has to be the visual awesomeness of being in close proximity to something so exceptionally large.

        Apologies to all the Brits out there, British Oaks may be storied but they can have little to recommend them when in the presence of such as our very own crop of home-grown Sequoias and Redwoods. Even The Guardian agrees that American imports stand head and shoulders above the rest of the forest in the UK, and have been in demand for discriminating landscape gardeners since the Nineteenth century for that very reason:

        “In woods across the UK, an imported American stands higher and broader than the trees that surround it”*

        You just cannot make this stuff up. Some facts simply must be acknowledged.


        1. Wukchumni

          Bristle Cone Pines are wizened ancients beating out a living near the maximums of altitude where wicked winds conspired to form them often leaving them in a crooked state, many having a medusa like head with what appears to be dozens of dead snakes in the guise of lightning hit upper branches, they’re neat and worth a visit.

          Giant Sequoias on the other hand are an iron fist encased in a velvet glove that has the consistency of say 259 layers of papier mâché, go ahead and push the bark in with thumb pressure, you’ll go about 1/2 an inch into the bark.

          2 wildly different species in terms of looks~

          1. nippersdad

            Yes, a little judicious pruning would have improved their presentation. That is often the case with smaller specimens, and there comes a time in the aging process where one just no longer cares what others think of their wizened bodies. There is a case to be made for experience, however, and the youthful upstarts that are redwoods could prolly learn much from their elders were they culturally in close enough proximity to do so.

      2. Carolinian

        I like the Redwoods so perhaps Freud was right. On the other hand “sometimes a tree is just a tree.”

        One could point out that historically explorers like to compare mountains to breasts. So that’s Freud 2, me 0.

        1. nippersdad

          Which reminds me of Marilyn’s cone breasts……

          Such an inviting prospect for inquiry…………but even Freud would object to further flights of fancy concerning delicious fruits (low hanging or otherwise) on my part, and (looking around, nervously) I think the Brits (and the French) may be about to tar and feather me.

          Their silence in the face of overmuch (good humored) taunting is deafening.

          1. MichaelSF

            And also San Francisco’s “Twin Peaks”. From Wikipedia:

            “When the Spanish conquistadors and settlers arrived at the beginning of the 18th century, they called the area “Los Pechos de la Chola” or “Breasts of the Indian Maiden” and devoted the area to ranching.[4] When San Francisco passed under American control during the 19th century, it was renamed “Twin Peaks”.”

      1. nippersdad

        I would be interested in hearing how many tricks short and thick get. The City of London screwing over the greater UK public has been much in the news of late. Maybe they will do a documentary for The Guardian some day on the topic and we can find out where the gross domestic product of the UK actually lies.

    2. Karl

      ….men are obsessed with length while women generally prefer more girth….

      First of all, that was hilarious!

      I’ve always wondered–was circumcision invented to increase both (length and girth). Maybe that was the secret of the Jews’ success during the time of Solomon (and given his 500 concubines, maybe they gave him the idea)?

    3. CoryP

      My friend recently made the observation that condom sizing is based on girth not length. He’d previously just assumed they were all uncomfortable and hated wearing them, and they’re severely underused in the gay community as is, with the advent of PrEP.

      Seemed like a non-obvious discovery that could actually be useful info to some.

  28. Tom Stone

    Yves, I’m behind the curve due to moving to a more walkable place to live, but saw your comment about the Double Rifle and the problems of valuing and disposing of the things your mother accumulated over a long life.
    First of all if it is a rifle and not a shotgun the value may be quite high, AFTER making sure it is unloaded make a note of any markings and email them to me and I can give you a ballpark figure on value. .
    A pic would be nice but the markings are enough to determine a range of value.
    Double rifles are desirable and values range from about $1K to $30K for those without embellishment.
    I’m a retired Real Estate Broker, situations like yours are quite common.
    Any Real Estate Agent that’s been in business for a while has the name and number of a professional in their area that handles Estate sales.
    Sometimes the sales combine the items from more than one Estate.
    They work on a percentage basis and the fee is negotiable.
    And do be sure to comply with ALL of the laws when disposing of firearms, they can be a PITA butthat’s still a lot nicer than spending a night in jail.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Moving totally sucks and I hope you are doing well in your new ‘hood.

      You are SO KIND! Yes, we have some good pix, including of the marks.

      My father was fastidious about his guns and had at least 10 rifles only hunted 2x a year (deer and ducks) so I am sure no one rifle got that much use.

  29. linda amick

    fungal disease. All an observant person has to look at is the fungi on the fall leaves as they fall…black, brown, miscolored spots, all indicative of fungi.
    Look no further than geoengineering, the crime of the century, covered up for years.
    Get a soil sample. Note the abundance of aluminum in your soils along with barium.
    The evidence is there. The media is not.

  30. fresno dan

    MSNBC Legal Analyst Declares Trump Could Be Charged With Manslaughter Jonathan Turley

    If McQuade is referring to 18 U.S.C. § 1112, the courts have imposed an element that she does not mention even for involuntary manslaughter: proximate cause. United States v. Main, 113 F.3d 1046, 1049-50 (9th Cir. 1997) (“When the jury is not told that it must find that the victim’s death was within the risk created by the defendant’s conduct an element of the crime has been erroneously withdrawn from the jury . . . It is not relevant that § 1112 does not expressly mention proximate cause.”)
    McQuade somehow seems to forget that according to the NYT, only one person (Officer Sicknick) in the tenuous and debatable circumstances could be posited as having died due to actions of anyone other than themselves at the riot
    the NYT notes this about Sicknick’s death:
    The Capitol Police had previously said* that Officer Sicknick died from injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protesters.” The Washington medical examiner later ruled that he had died of natural causes: multiple strokes that occurred hours after Officer Sicknick’s confrontation with the mob. The medical examiner added, however, that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

    One could make the argument that every person who died on Jan 6 could possibly not have died if that person had not been at the capital. However, it seems the most reasonable interpretation is that all except Babbitt died of natural causes or self inflicted harm. It seems unlikely that an unbiased jury would hold Trump to account for what people did to themselves, or that Trump is more responsible for the death of Babbitt than the law enforcement that shot her.

    *as usual, as with many police press releases, the facts change substantially with a modicum of examination…

    1. Alice X

      It was very sweet, the baby pounded its chest and then fell backwards, only to get up with the funniest expression, though no harm done. It was precious!

  31. Boris

    From the Black Agenda Report on the destruction of the NorthStream pipelines:

    One would think that Europeans would be outraged to see their already limited energy supply cut even further but they are strangely quiet.

    Just to be clear on this: our intimidated governments and our media, which chose this year to prove that nobody needs a Goebbels anymore cause they can do the propaganda all on their own, and even more effective…they are quiet. But come to my place, and you could hear me screaming with rage. Im not quiet at all, and the same applies to many, many people here in Europe.

    (Of course the destruction of the pipelines will have the intended effect: the uprising of this autumn and winter would have been under the general motto of “Open the pipelines, we are freezing!”….which would have been a very powerful motivator. Now all we can demand is something like, “stop the war”, which is honorable, but not that motivating.)

    1. tegnost

      It’s not for nothing they left one pipe intact

      In the telecom world I think it’s called throttling

      1. Boris

        This is one of the strangest things, and it makes me feel like Im in some kind of bizzar shadow world: the fact that one of the lines, one of NS 2, is apparently undamaged should be one of the most important bits of news for Germany—but you have to google hard to find it! Just like you hardly find any more discussions in media about the whodoneit question. Actually, there is hardly anything in the media anymore about NS, as if they are trying to memory-hole the entire affair, actually make us forget that something like NorthStream even ever existed.

  32. tegnost

    Funny how the market keeps going up on strong earnings when companies are being bled dry by those greedy workers…odd

  33. Korual

    Re: articles on animal sentience and human thought.

    Clearly the dividing line between sentience and thought is symbolic language, whether we’re using English or Mathematics.

    We perhaps should drop the “consciousness” terminology as this refers to many different concepts that cannot be reduced. Just as “intelligence” is a misused word. Computers can only calculate, they cannot speak Mathematics, they cannot even count to 2.

  34. David in Santa Cruz

    The “When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro” piece from the American Conservative makes me want to vomit. Readers may remember July 2019 when I had the opportunity to hurl turds at the oath-breaking self-serving worm Betray-Us during his CalPERS off-site “fireside chat” with subsequently de-fenestrated CIO Yu “Ben” Meng. KKR pays this clown $2M a year to read Wikipedia, when any other officer would have been made a felon and banned from polite discourse.

    Sending the 101st Airborne into Odessa would be child’s play straight out of the Betray-Us playbook — they would be unopposed since the Russian Army is currently 90 miles away.

    What then, pschitt-bird? They’re hostages?

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