Links 10/27/2022

Amou Haji, Known as ‘World’s Dirtiest Man,’ Dead at 94 ‘Not Long After’ First Bath in 60 Years People

Cats React to ‘Baby Talk’ From Their Owners, but Not Strangers Smithsonian. Cats: “Owners? Owners?!”

Cats are as good as dogs at helping us beat stress Sky News. Cats: “As good as? As good as?!”

Value Has a Price, But First It Needs to Be Seen John Authers, Bloomberg

Credit Suisse launches $4bn Saudi-backed fundraising FT


The 2022 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: health at the mercy of fossil fuels The Lancet

Eucatastrophe: Tolkien’s word for the “anti-doomsday” BBC (Furzy Mouse).

Europe’s Meat Habit and the Global Food Crisis Project Syndicate


Blinders On: Wilful ignorance never ends well Dr. Joe Vipond, Speech to United Nurses of Alberta. Resistance to recognizing that COVID-19 is spread by airborne transmission resulted in ‘the most egregious public health error in modern history.”

Cabin fever for cruise ship guests after possible Covid isolation breach Stuff. New Zealand. Everybody hates a tourist.

We May Have Only a Few Months to Prevent the Next Pandemic Craig Spencer, NYT. Nothing on cleaning the air….

* * *

Disinfecting the air with far-ultraviolet light Nature. “But companies aren’t waiting on peer-reviewed research. Far-UV lamp fixtures are already on the market, and being installed around the world.” I’m skeptical, because the incentives (“convenience”) are so obvious. I would think twice before irradiating myself, or others.

* * *

Genetic diversity and evolutionary convergence of cryptic SARS- CoV-2 lineages detected via wastewater sequencing PLOS One. From the Abstract: “[S]everal of the cryptic lineages from New York City appeared to be derived from a common ancestor that most likely diverged in early 2020. While the source of these cryptic lineages has not been resolved, it seems increasingly likely that they were derived from long-term patient infections or animal reservoirs. Our findings demonstrate that SARS-COV-2 genetic diversity is greater than what is commonly observed through routine SARS-CoV-2 surveillance. Wastewater sampling may more fully capture SARS-CoV-2 genetic diversity than patient sampling and could reveal new VOCs before they emerge in the wider human population.”

Acquired immunity against random food allergens may protect some lucky people against Covid-19 Frontiers Science News (original). Big if true.

* * *

What Covid Has Taught the World about Ethics Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Ross E.G. Upshur, and Maxwell J. Smith. NEJM. ” The agencies responsible for responding to public health emergencies need to have trained ethicists on staff, regularly participating in scenario planning and advising.” PMCs gotta PMC.


Cautious US, EU responses to China’s party congress signal widening gulf with West South China Morning Post

China’s Gradual Reform Dilemma The Diplomat

It only takes 24 hours from being infected to infecting people! Guangzhou’s current round of epidemic strains are more infectious What China Reads. BA.5.2. But China doesn’t act like #CovidIsAirborne any more than we do:

Afraid of needles? China using inhalable COVID-19 vaccine AP. “The inhalable vaccine was developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics Inc. as an aerosol version of the company’s one-shot adenovirus vaccine, which uses a relatively harmless cold virus.” Used as a booster.

The real corporate cost of decoupling is becoming clear FT and The end of the system of the world Noah Smith, Bloomberg. More “decoupling.”


How have Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts evolved since the coup? Al Jazeera


How my family came face to face with settler violence on the road to Nablus 972

European Disunion

The awkward lunch: Macron snubs Scholz in Paris Politico. Deck: “French and German aides say the meeting went well. The lack of a joint press appearance tells a different story.”

European Council and Gomorrah (French media about the risk of an imminent collapse of the European Union) (translation) Aftershock (original). Aggregation and summary of material on the Macron/Scholz meeting.

Finland Willing to Host NATO Nuclear Weapons on Border With Russia (Rev Kev). Rev Kev: “If the balloon goes up, you won’t be able to see the lights of the aurora borealis due to the glowing of Finland.”

Dear Old Blighty

Markets Didn’t Oust Truss. The Bank of England Did. Narayana Kocherlakota, Bloomberg. Commentary:

Ignore the media hysterics — Britain is not a basket case Izabella Kaminska, Unherd

The NHS is facing the bleakest midwinter BMJ

N.Ireland set for fresh elections over post-Brexit impasse International Business Times

Employer Intimidation Complaints Quadruples in Brazil Ahead of 2022 Election – Poll: Lula Leads 52% – 46% Payday Report

New Not-So-Cold War

Another “progressive” catches heat from constituents on Ukraine?

I would like to know more about where the audio came from; however — note the background in the photo here — the venue was certainly the Boston Public Library branch in Dorchester on October 25. Readers?

“Most fascinating thing about the Ukraine war is the sheer number of top strategic thinkers who warned for years that it was coming if we continued down the same path.” Arnaud Bertrand, ThreadReader (DD).

Putin Is Onto Us Thomas Friedman, NYT

Ukraine’s President Signs Law Allowing Central Bank to Issue a CBDC Coindesk. From 2021, still germane. Commentary:

Our fascism incubator already producing good results!

Spooks and the haunting of Russian Area Studies PostSocialism

How the DRC became the battleground of a proxy war over precious resources FT

The Supremes

The Historian’s Case Against the Independent State Legislature Theory (PDF) Boston College Law Review (TW). Moore v. Harper.

Diversity by diktat: An obscure 1977 OMB memo forms the basis for today’s affirmative-action programs SCOTUSblog. “David E. Bernstein holds a university professorship chair at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.” Nevertheless:

In pursuing diversity, colleges universally rely on racial classifications derived from the Office of Management and Budget’s 1977 Statistical Directive No. 15. These classifications were never intended to be proxies for educational diversity, but rather to create uniform classifications to make government data collection needed for civil rights enforcement and other matters more consistent and coherent. OMB cautioned that the “classifications should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature,” and warned that they should not be “viewed as determinants of eligibility for participation in any Federal program,” such as affirmative-action programs.

Nevertheless, the classifications became the standard used in measuring diversity in higher education.

Classification struggles….

Coordination and expertise foster legal textualism PNAS. “The transition from deference to authority to autonomous reasoning is a major landmark in moral development. In this light, it is interesting how citizens and especially legal experts often heed the letter of the law in detriment of their moral standards during judicial decision making.”

The Bezzle

Exclusive: Tesla faces U.S. criminal probe over self-driving claims Reuters

Elon Musk Shows Up at Twitter HQ With a Porcelain Sink, Which Is His Way Of Saying He’s Serious About Closing Deal SFist

Elon Musk To Cut Twitter Staff To Single Devoted Hunchback Who Laughs Hysterically At All Of Boss’s Genius Tweets The Onion

Andreessen Horowitz Went All In on Crypto at the Worst Possible Time WSJ


Boeing adds 737 MAX 7 to at-risk status with MAX 10 for cancellation over FAA certification Leeham News and Analysis

Imperial Collapse Watch

DOCUMENT: Prologue: The Global Fragility Act, April 2022 Black Agenda Report. If you’ve noticed an uptick in Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity language for imperial ventures lately (“But they’re women fascists”). the “pivot” in this statute could be a driver. Big NGO energy.

Class Warfare


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Mike Davis (1946 –2022): Enemy of the State Verso. Commentary:

Mike Davis, California’s ‘prophet of doom’, on activism in a dying world: ‘Despair is useless’ Guardian

The Petro-bourgeoisie CouchFish. The deck: “Some thoughts on flying, carbon and tourism boards.”

Adult Brain Structure Is Not Fixed: Scientists Discover Depression Treatment Increases Brain Connectivity SciTech (Furzy Mouse).

A woman was arrested for feeding homeless people in Arizona. Now she’s suing the city. USA Today (DCBlogger). DCBlogger: “criminalizng kindness.”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. griffen

    Cruise ships and acknowledged Covid cases. Do they name one of those floating giant vessels “Petri Dish of the High Sea”? Granted such a name might be a difficult sell for agencies and travel bureaus.

    No, no a thousand times no. Not going on one anytime soon.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A coupla days ago they were gleefully saying that we can expect tens of thousands of cruise liner passengers in the next year here in Oz. But five days self-quarantine? On a cruise where you have spent big money just to be there? That’s just a bad joke that and a recipe for mass contamination. They have taken to heart nothing learned since the “Diamond Princess”.

      1. Wukchumni

        During the first year of Covid, I linked impossibly cheap cruise deals on here of around $250 for a week including free drinks and other perks, no way these death ships were making money on the deal en route to the river Styx.

        Prices have gone up, and now its more like $400 for a week cruise and most of the perks are gone, but kids sail for free. (wouldn’t want the little tykes to miss out on being infected)

        Everything involved in a cruise ship has been under incredible inflationary pressure, and in closing i’d be remiss to mention that the cruise industry along with big screen tV sets, are about the only things deflating in price, which is nice.

        1. Eclair

          ” …. the cruise industry along with big screen TV sets, are about the only things deflating in price ….”

          Oh gosh, had I known that factoid, I would have passed it on to the irate grocery check-out clerk at our local Wegmans, when I stopped in to pick up two ‘to go’ meals from their once awesome deli section.

          It was Tuesday, so she gave me the Senior Discount, and muttered that even one dollar off was a big deal when the price of EVERYTHING was skyrocketing. (The plastic enrobed poke bowl and chicken-topped salad were kind of outrageously priced, and I had come from Tractor Supply, where my purchase of 150 feet of ‘poultry netting’ formerly known as ‘chicken wire,’ had the former price, still on the sticker, which was $10 less than the current price, so I was on-board with her complaint.)

          She continued on to blast the overlords, who, during CoVid, told us that prices had to go up because of rising supply chain costs, but have prices declined when the supply chain has, well, not recovered, but been patched up with lots of duct tape and bailing wire? Bet your bippy, NOT.

          Bet she is voting for GOP candidates next week. If she has not given up on the idea that voting will change her life for the better.

          1. Wukchumni

            A night at a bare bones motel in Lee Vining, Ca. cost me $160, and somehow they are going to feed me and my kids (you’re safe cruise industry-they’re aren’t any) along with a private room for about $50 a day?

            1. juno mas

              Well, that private room has an ocean view balcony to sit in because the interior “room” is way too small.

              My scenic coastal town has been “hosting” consecutive 3K passenger cruise ships every day for weeks. They anchor offshore and arrive at the SB Harbor in lifeboats ~100 visitors at time.

              The latest one had 13 stories of balcony, and blocked the view of Santa Cruz Island. We are now the WalMart parking lot for cruise ships.

  2. Watt4Bob

    Thomas Friedman never disappoints.

    In his ‘opinion’ piece, he explains the long list of Biden’s/America’s tactical mistakes, and our resulting situation are not the result of of our own hubris, but somehow items in Putin’s evil plans.

    Just one example, Biden drawing down our oil reserves is not a desperate attempt to improve democrats chances in the coming election, but something Putin intended, and somehow forced us to do.

    Then to put the frosting on this pile of BS, he states the following;

    American oil and gas investors need to know that as long as they produce in the cleanest way possible, invest in carbon capture and ensure that any new pipelines they build will be compatible with transporting hydrogen — probably the best clean fuel coming down the road in the next decade — they have a welcome place in America’s energy future, alongside the solar, wind, hydro and other clean energy producers that Biden has heroically boosted through his climate legislation.

    The most important thing is that American oil and gas investors feel welcome.

    And that everyone understands that Biden is actually performing heroically.

    I’m surprised he didn’t mention Zelensky’s heroic performance.

    Not the Onion

      1. tegnost

        it’s a self driving car unit. Not unironically, a friend who may perceive myself as maybe not entirely supportive of mrna tech carefully pointed out to me that in 10 years mnra will cure cancer. Any time I hear “10 years ” from a techie I translate it as “never.”

      2. Watt4Bob


        The solutions to all the world’s problems will become clear within the next decade.

        Most likely the outcome of the heroic work of brave American president’s efforts to save us from those who would plot to destroy “our democracy”, inflict sharia law, communism and of course, scare investors.

        Along the way, we’ll reform Russia and China, and get a firm foothold on Mars.

      1. Watt4Bob

        You’re right, he really hit it out of the park with this one.

        A compilation of his gems would probably be a best seller.

      2. Sibiryak

        Matt Taibbi’s “Flathead: The Peculiar Genius of Thomas L. Friedman ” (2009) is rather amusing.

  3. Wukchumni

    Mike Davis, California’s ‘prophet of doom’, on activism in a dying world: ‘Despair is useless’ Guardian
    Growing up in LA, I remember thinking to myself at a tender age, how does this city work as everything is imported, the water, oil, food and lastly, new arrivals.

    Was there ever a major city with nothing other than abundant sunshine and a generally agreeable climate?

    Food production was the first thing to go away as avocados & oranges don’t pay property taxes, and then light industry went the way of the Dodo as they could do it quicker & cheaper in the far east and/or Mexico.

    Water of course is the key to everything else, and Marc Reisner figured out in Cadillac Desert that LA had enough localized water to support 100,000 people circa 1900, and now there’s 200x as many in the greater LA/OC region, all dependent on sources hundreds of miles away.

    The MIC mostly went away after the Soviet Union folded up shop, and now the entertainment industry looks to be doing a slow fade along with their fare, which so enticed us before the internet came along as it was the only game in town, but now is tired and reliant upon computerized gimmickry that even teenagers are bored with.

    Any old used home in a halfway decent ‘hood is a million bucks and yet who could afford a $8k a month mortgage payment for the next 30 years for their first house if just starting out?

    LA is also now the most populated city with homeless in the entire country, where people with a net worth of $10 live cheek by jowl near those aforementioned million $ domiciles, could there be anything more akin to nadir meets zenith?

    1. johnherbiehancock

      It sucks that the first time I read this man’s words is right after he dies.

      Sounds like he was one of the good ones.

    2. chuck roast

      The task for today:
      All the NC fellow travelers who have not read Mike Davis must proceed immediately to their local indy bookstores and by a copy…any copy…of one of Mike Davis’ books.
      Rest in peace brother.

    3. David in Santa Cruz

      I lately avoid The Guardian due to their nutty Putin-Derangement/Russophobia and was traveling when the lovely interview with Mike Davis was published. City of Quartz should be required reading for anyone disquieted by where America has landed. I cherish my hardback first edition. I’m so glad that Mike got to have time with his evidently wonderful family and to hear so many touching accolades before his final suffering ended. Thanks for the link!

  4. hunkerdown

    re: Coordination and expertise foster legal textualism PNAS

    “prioritizing the letter of the law over its spirit helps citizens and judges reach a shared understanding of law’s scope” i.e. they make the imaginary laws of motion more real and help the imaginary friend at the cost of real people.

  5. zagonostra

    >Zelensky declares that Ukraine will be the new Israel

    Old headline, I know, but yesterday while reading a passage on Martin Buber’s philosophy I came across a word I wasn’t familiar with “Chassidism.” This turns out to be an alternate spelling of Hasidism and refers to Hasidic Judaism. I went to Wiki and it stated that it arose as a spiritual revival movement in the territory of contemporary Western Ukraine during the 18th century .

    I never knew this. There is so much more going on with Ukraine than is covered in either MSM or alternative Media. I read/hear much about the economic and political antecedents leading up to the war, but hardly anything about the cultural and religious background. A whole new area of research to dig into…

    1. LawnDart

      Z wants Ukraine to be a nuclear-armed apartheid state supported by the US taxpayer, just like Israel, and the bonus: First Amendment protections for any US would-be critics are null-and-void.

      Seems like he already has two of the three, but I’m not too sure that the Chosen People will be thrilled with Z trying to muscle-in on their racket.

      1. Polar Socialist

        From 1772 part of Austrian Empire, too.

        The was no “Eastern Ukraine” either, in the 18th century. There was Novoserbia, Malorossiya and Novorossiya.

        People started to call themselves Ukrainians in the 1840’s or so. And even then, not often and usually meaning people from the area of the old Hetmanate. Usually they called themselves malorossiyan or countryman. Only in the latter part of 19th century there was a growing sense of Ukrainian identity, but people really couldn’t yet agree who or what was included, and whether is was a separate identity or part of Russian identity.

        1. Old Jake

          So then where and when did the Ukrainian language appear? As that seems to usually define a cultural and often national grouping.

          Polar, not so much picking on you to answer this, but this is a logical place for the question.

          1. Stephen T Johnson

            Ukrainian is a member of the balto-slavic family of Indo-European languages, and has its’ roots in the Old Slavonic tongue, which has (roughly) the same relation to modern Russian / Ukrainian / Bulgarian as Old High German has to English / Dutch / German

          2. Polar Socialist

            “Modern” Ukrainian is from the turn of the 18th century, it’s predecessor was called Ruthenian (contemporary Latinised version of “Russian”) and was allegedly spoken in the area of Belarus and Ukraine by people who called themselves Ruthenians (if anything, most Slavic communities/tribes/nations seem to have referred to themselves as “our people”, and their language as “ours”).

            One should remember that huge swathes of the current Ukraine were at time uninhabited or ruled by either Cossacks (mixed ethnic origin, “free men” of the steppes) or Ottomans. In the 17th century eastern Ukraine was called Wild Fields and it was very sparsely populated. All that changed when Catherine The Great took possession of the area and started building cities and infrastructure.

            While the official languages differ somewhat, there is no actual linguistic border between Russian and Ukrainian languages. There are only two local dialects spoken between Kiev area dialect and Moscow area dialect.

          3. Old Jake

            Maybe I should answer myself, at least I can cite a couple of references. The usual Wikipedia (always a bit sus but this one appears thorough and backed by references) and Britannica that the roots of the language go back to the 12th or 13th centuries, and it emerged as a written language at the end of the 18th century, though as Ruthenian it was recognized for several hundred years previous.

            Enough scholarship. It’s real. As if my old Ukrainian associate isn’t proof enough.

  6. LawnDart

    Re; China’s Gradual Reform Dilemma

    Hmmm, not so sure about The Diplomat’s perspective which suggests China backwardness and need for “reform” in order to “balance” economic growth. It sounds like bankster PR for advancing a Wild West of complexified finance instruments designed to change the cuts or to steer the action– who gets the skim.

    Here’s a different viewpoint, one that stands in contrast to the image of moribund leadership and cronyism painted by The Diplomat’s article:

    The Return of The Technocrats in Chinese Politics


    …Hu/Wen presided over a period of global integration and rapid growth, there was more of a need for development and investment-focused officials to run provinces, not necessarily technocrats.

    This seems to comport with the fact that the pendulum is swinging back in technocrats’ favor under Xi as he has prioritized technological advancement over growth.

    After a decade of reviving the talent pool of technocrats at the local level, emerging industry technocrats will very likely populate the upcoming 20th CC. Some of them have also been placed in key ministerial positions, such as Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng. A computer scientist by training, Huai was appointed last August to further enhance STEM training from primary schools to universities.

    As the technological competition with the United States intensifies, Beijing has given more political power to technocrats to execute ambitious industrial policies and build out local tech supply chains. Whether that will actually lead to Beijing’s desired outcomes remains to be seen. At a minimum, STEM training will likely have greater political payoffs in coming years.

    Xi has not kicked the money-lenders from them temple, but seems determined not to allow anyone to Goldman Sachs China’s economy.

    So will the banksters get another war?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Europe’s Meat Habit and the Global Food Crisis”

    While reading this article, which sounded like it may have come from the World Economic Forum, I kept on waiting for the part where the authors would point out that an even better way to reduce meat in diet would be to substitute bugs instead. Unless you are a vegan – which I can respect as a personal choice – you can not tell me for example that a plate of broccoli is the same as a sizzling beef steak. One of these is not like the other. And anybody with two neurons to rub together would tell you that if you were a member of the World Economic Forum, that there would be no way that they would giving up their steaks. That would be for the plebs.

    1. Lexx

      Since you mentioned bugs I took a quick look at the number of carbs in a serving of grasshoppers I’ll never willingly eat. I felt silly even entertaining the question, but sure enough Google provided.

      The grasshopper equivalent of the two slices of toasted sourdough that shot my glucose levels up to 201 is around 1 serving, or 30 grams. What does 100 grams look like in other ingredients? A standard recommendation for those who are diabetic or glucose intolerant is to stay under 50 gm. daily, so cut every portion in the link below in half. I’m blowing half that budget on breakfast alone, since it’s the only meal I’m really interested in eating.

      Here’s another link as a reminder of the number of diabetics (officially) in the world:

      Bodies respond to all food intake with insulin. Fats get the lowest response, protein is next, the highest is carbohydrates, and especially those fed to livestock and made into the products occupying the middle aisles at the supermarkets… and nearly every shelf at food pantries.

      On almost every level I can think of cheap energy via cheap synthetic fertilizer leads to profits for some and disaster for most of the population of the planet. Bug-supplemented vegetarianism sounds good idealistically but in practice would be a fast track to accelerate the deaths of the glucose intolerant.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        from yer first link:”Grasshopper belong to ‘Liquor and cocktails’ food category. ”

        we’ve included the occasional grasshopper feast around here for a long, long time,lol….long before they became associated with Davosman’s plans for all us little people.
        boys actually like them(tempura batter, fried in butter, dipped in honey)
        part of the reasoning for this experiment was the 6 or so years of biblical grasshopper plague(gave up on apple trees…stripped them down to the wood)…billions of the damned things…so it was part simple availability, part an experiment in mitigation strategies and a whole lot of revenge.
        i’d also go out at 4am with a headlight and pick the sleeping hoppers off fruit trees to feed to my chicks.
        squished their heads to disable and make it easier for the chicks to learn how to catch them, themselves, later.
        as for diabetics…wife was type 2(ie: own goal)…and while we never counted carbs, the dietary changes were enough to reverse that diagnosis….at least until the last 2 years of the cancer.
        many of the wild foods around here(hoppers, mesquite bean flour, acorns) have complex carbs…as in more complex than anything King Arthur Flour puts out…so one’s body must work at it more.
        when we’d make pancakes with mesquite and homegrown buckwheat, her sugar would actually go down.
        this gels with my understanding of the nexus of genetics and those sorts of metabolic disorders…the more mestizo there is in the mexican person, the more refined carbs will mess them up….from the Indian lineage that came about eating things that grow here.
        better to stay away from white bread and refined sugar, and go out to the pasture and pick dinner.
        not for everyone, no doubt…and i find that i am rather ignorant about living with type 1.

      2. jsn

        My theory of the US Oligarchic political economy:

        Anything that looks like a problem to you and me, looks like a profit stream for some Oligarch or Oligarchs somewhere.

        Any remedial action legislators may take to ameliorate such a problem in the Political Marketplace, created by judicial fiat from Buckley vs Valeo to Citizens United, will be bought out with the payouts from the existing profit flow by purchase of other legislators to prevent or denature any such legislation.

        Until humans can figure out how to bundle cash more effectively than corporations, death and disease lands somewhere between a cost of doing business and a profit center. We are just a feed stock to the death cult of Capitalism.

  8. Jake

    About the woman arrested for feeding the homeless. I know nothing about the woman’s situation, but I do know that in Austin, we have numerous groups of what I call Instagram Activists. They show up in my neighborhood bringing dozens of homeless people to the camps they created in our part of town once a week. They get everyone in the camp together to ‘do a prayer’ where half the activists spend the whole time taking pictures of the people they are about to give a meal to standing with them so the can post them on social media. Then the pack up their stuff and leave until the next week, but they leave a number of people at the camp. So over time the camp in our area has become a huge problem situation. Other Instagram Activists also now come to the area to do handouts. Some come with huge food service sized trays of things like refried beans with nothing to serve with and no utensils. They area has become a huge hazard to public health, public safety, and the environment. These trays of food pile up, there are huge numbers of rats and ants all over the neighborhood, the people at the camps spend their days panhandling for meth while they get free food and clothes no matter what they do to passers by. Children that go to the Ann Richards School nearby must pass under the highway past this camp and are treated exactly as you would expect a gang of meth addicts to act. I would love to see an ordinance that requires these Instagram Activists to get a permit and follow some health codes. They even pull up in a big truck with a trailer right next to the no parking and no camping signs under the highway. They have no respect for the community they are operating in. I’d love to see them put in jail. The damage they are doing is very serious. And the small number of people left homeless here that are trying to get help are constantly attacked and robbed by the meth addicts that come only to panhandle for meth at take handouts. And the PMCs on the city council only seem to be able to spend more and more money on non-profits (read more Instagram Activists) hoping the problem will disappear on its own. It’s become a very strange situation where we can all see what is going on and how the camps keep getting bigger and more dangerous, but the city council keeps digging in, refusing to accept that what they are doing is making things so much worse. I for one support throwing Instagram Activists in jail. Again, not saying anything about hte situation with the woman in AZ, just mentioning that it’s not a cut and dry situation. There are very good reasons to require people to get permits to do handouts, and people who choose to ignore the requirements should be put in jail to protect the entire community, including the people receiving the handouts.

    1. hunkerdown

      >I would love to see an ordinance that requires these Instagram Activists to get a permit and follow some health codes.

      Those PMC who are preserving the problems so that they can be seen only apparently solving them, are going to be the ones benefiting from regulating altruistic behavior to those who can file a permit.

      Such emotional thinking veers away from solving the material problems caused by idealism, and in fact is only helping to perpetuate the problem of middle-class affective pollution.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Here’s an idea. An ordinance demanding everyone have a home, utilities, food a plenty, and healthcare.

        1. Paradan

          But then there would be no incentive to work and society, plus the oligarchies free ride would collapse.

    2. BrianH

      After seeing similar disasters in Baltimore, I agree with most of your take. But I don’t think jail terms are a viable solution. These “activists “ would continue to cry foul and that would only intensify their performance. The only solution is for the local and state government to provide the services that people need to live like other humans. The fake activists are not the solution, jailing the fake activists is not the solution, and farming the problem out to nonprofits is not the solution. The government must provide.

      1. Wukchumni

        The haves in our Big Smokes who used to have sympathy for the have-nots are dwindling in number, and a real test for our humanity when the shit hits the fan, is how do we treat our untouchables, castaways if you will?

        First they came for the homeless, but I wasn’t homeless and to be frank quite sick of their presence, and I did not speak out…

    3. The Rev Kev

      Of course what a city council could do is to deal with the reality of the situation and act like grown ups. OK, so for the truly homeless how about setting up a part of the city that the city is not using. Work with charities to provide food and make sure that they have water for drinking, washing, laundry, etc. Set up porta-potties to be emptied daily and network with organizations that can help with employment services and make sure that they have access to transport for going to or looking for work. Have police foot patrols not to hassle them or kick over their stuff but to protect the people in that camp from those that would do them harm. To push a point, this has been done in the past from time to time and here is one such example-

      1. Chas

        Burlington, Vt. took some of the steps you suggest with a homeless camp. The spur to get it started, I think, was when it was discovered that many of the homeless people there had jobs — and still couldn’t afford a home.

    4. Mildred Montana

      Jake: Thank you for your lengthy and detailed comment on the situation in Austin.

      I live in a Canadian city where the homeless are approximately 2% of the adult population. I myself was homeless for many months quite a few years ago (due to an addiction) and still drop in to the local soup-kitchen a couple of times a week to stay in touch with some of the people I met back then. Therefore, I think my experience of homelessness qualifies me to speak on the subject.

      As I’ve said here before, the homeless are not a homogeneous group as in “The Homeless”. Like all human populations of any size they are highly diverse. Roughly, imo, they consist of the impoverished through no fault of their own, the criminal, the addicted, and the mentally ill. (Yes, I admit there can be some overlap between these categories). Until governments and charities take the time to do such a breakdown, there can be no rational long-term solution. They’re just throwing money at the problem, without discrimination and with only the hope that it will miraculously go away.

      For now, I will take only those homeless who suffer from various addictions. Money and low-cost or free housing will never cure them. Here in my Canadian city with mild weather many of the addicted prefer not to “waste” money on rent. Spared that expense, they have more for their drug of choice.

      Same goes for charitable donations of food and clothing to the addicted. All those mean to them is more money for crack or meth or heroin. As the facilitator of the recovery house I lived in for a year once said, “There’s a very thin line between helping and enabling.”

      1. Janie

        Sincere congratulations and best wishes, Mildred. I’m in awe of the strength of character you must have found to overcome your circumstances.

      2. Revenant

        Mildred, what do you think of the Finnish approach to addiction homelessness, where they give the homeless person an apartment without conditions regarding getting clean on the basis that their addiction is a result of some fundamental unmet need so meet the needs?

        There is something similar in North America but I think it is in Canada rather than in the USA – there was an NC post and link about it one time because the approach is so revolutionary compared to the US approach of stripping your dignity and agency until you get clean. The beatings will continue until moral(e) improves….

      3. BlakeFelix

        Housing won’t cure their drug addiction or mental illness, but it might well cure their homelessness. They are related problems but they aren’t the same IMO. And if they have a home they are a lot easier to give other treatments to, I would think.

    5. Darthbobber

      The woman in question is a 78 year old retired restaurant owner who had been doing this several days a week for 4 years before her arrest, and has continued doing it in an alley since. Not my image of an Instagram activist.

  9. antidlc

    RE: #CovidIsAirborne

    Jha admitted on 10/25 covid is airborne during a press briefing:

    What I — my recommendation to parents is — you know, for most kids, RSV is very, very mild. And my recommendation is, you know, pretty standard stuff, right? Avoid sick contacts. If your kid is sick, keep them at home to prevent spreading it to others.

    You know, unlike COVID, which is purely airborne, with RSV, a lot of it is surface transmission. And therefore, washing hands turns out to be actually quite a good thing for RSV.

  10. Alice X

    The Arnaud Bertrand piece should be quite a handy list to present to several of my friends who say they are PO’d the US isn’t sending Ukraine more weapons. Maybe I could sneak in and turn off their TV and radio at the same time.

    1. Ignacio

      I think that inside that, the interview with Stephen Cohen in 2014 is a must watch. He puts the blame on the EU (by minute 3:15 when he talks about the ultimatum of the EU on Yanukovich for a divorce from Russia if he wanted relationship with the EU). Does anyone has the details on this?

      1. Yves Smith

        The 45 minute Oliver Stone doco Ukraine on Fire is a great overview.

        Short version: Russia has an existing no tariff deal with Ukraine. Dunno how the bidding war started, but EU and Russia offer new trade deals. IIRC Russian one better on terms but EU big market, romanticism, etc. Ukraine about to ink deal with EU.

        Putin clears his throat and says, “You can do whatever you want but we aren’t paying for it.” If Ukraine entered into a deal with EU, it would become a back door for EU goods to go into Russia tariff free w/ no reciprocity for Russia. So Russia would cancel its tariff free deal with Ukraine. This would be massively disruptive. Many Ukraine manufacturers depended on much bigger Russia market, not clear even if, let alone how long it would take for them to get equivalent sales in EU (competing with German cos among others).

        Putin says he’s willing to negotiate with EU and Ukraine to find a solution. EU refuses to negotiate. Yanukovich puts pause on EU deal while he tries to figure out what to do. Coup shortly thereafter.

    2. TimH

      Kings used to lead their armies into battle. Now they have secret bunkers to hide in.

      A question for those who were conscripted into armed services say for Vietnam (USA) or National Service (UK)… did you have to sign something on enlistment, and what happened if you refused?

    3. hemeantwell

      Agree with you on the usefulness of Bertrand’s post.

      It would be even better, as would all of the lists of notables saying no to NATO expansion, if expansion was linked to how in the 90s the US blocked the development of a European security system, based on the OSCE that is still limping along, that included Russia. It’s one thing to say the US was doing something stupid and misguided, it’s something quite different to say the US had a plan to maintain dominance in Europe. The US wasn’t just “poking the bear” like some giddy child at a zoo. It was pursuing a plan aimed to prevent European unity and independence and, dare we suggest, was not pleased with the development of mechanisms of conflict reduction that meant the US military was not necessary..

      1. Oh

        The US wasn’t just “poking the bear” like some giddy child at a zoo. It was pursuing a plan aimed to prevent European unity and independence and, dare we suggest, was not pleased with the development of mechanisms of conflict reduction that meant the US military was not necessary..

        You might well be right!

  11. Lex

    Slightly off topic, but yesterday I went down a short but illuminating rabbit hole when I saw a picture of one Mason Clark who is a senior analyst and Russia team leader at the famed ISW. Mr. Clark attended the American University from 2016-2019. His various bios don’t indicate any ability to speak Russian or Ukrainian, which is odd because his resume is so short that you’d think he’d be fluffing it any way possible. By short I mean that his only job has been at ISW and his Linkdin resume still lists his part time student work at the AU university library.

    Senior analyst and Russia team leader may not speak Russian and is approximately 26 years old (no indication of military service that might have delayed his university start). ISW claims he briefs lawmakers and policy bureaucrats. It feels like 75% of US news on the conflict is sourced back to ISW. Which would mean that the NYT and similar are hanging on the analysis of a 26 year old blogger. Outstanding.

    1. caucus99percenter

      Reminds me of the so-called “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” that Western news media all relied (*cough* re-lied) on … It turns out to be just this one guy living in Coventry, in the U.K., who says he gets his info by spending hours each day talking to contacts in Syria on the phone. A super-Friedman? A spook front?

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Yep, I saw that Clark guy on PBS weekend news, shut it off before he even opened his mouth. Hiring young, attractive “experts” has been an ISW strategy for some time, apparently because they think it will influence young social media users. Remember the big “oops” when it was discovered that their Syria expert lied on her resume about having a PhD from Georgetown? She got fired only after it came out in the conservative media — although founder Kim Kagan (“Toria” Nuland’s SIL) naturally had no problem with her affiliation with a State Department funded anti-Syrian-government group.

  12. Vodkatom

    On the Nature article on UV light, I’ve been reading this last week on HVAC UV and upper-room UVGi, and the first thing I learned is in these systems humans aren’t directly exposed to the UV light, so we’re aren’t irradiating ourselves.

    Also these are not new technologies. It seems they been around for decades and are known to be effective. The main issue is cost, and its not as simple are putting in a new light bulb.

    From the EPA:

    And the tweet that caught my attention in the first place:

    1. lambert strether

      Because I read the entire Nature article, I know that with Far (as oppose to “upper room”) UV we are irradiating ourselves (“hoping that they would be protected by the invisible light shining on them”). In any case, I have no reason to assume the Upper Room UV is properly installed.

      Further, I don’t recall saying the technologies were old or new; I wrote, along with Nature, that research was lacking.

      1. Vodkatom

        Yikes. Guilty as charged. I read only the first half of the Nature article. I didn’t grasp Far was different than Upper Room, and Far involves direct UV exposure.

        But I still believe in the cleansing power of sunlight ;)

      2. hunkerdown

        Near (UVA/UVB) vs. far (UVC) conventionally refers to the micro distance of the UV wavelength from the visible light band, not the distance of desirable life forms from the emitter. It would be strange to conflate the application strategy with a property of the source.

        1. Greg

          Yes, it’s a confusing use of the terminology. The problem applications are using far-UV, but shining it directly on people instead of hiding it away in ducting like UV hygiene should and traditionally has been applied.

          I don’t understand how these physicists went “higher energy smaller wave, that definitely means its safer for direct use on humans”. It seems bonkers to me.

          1. hunkerdown

            Perhaps they are banking on air’s increasing absorptivity and scattering losses as UV wavelengths become shorter. Mercury-vapor HID lamps also pose hazards at longer-reaching UVA-UVB wavelengths, often mitigated by absorptive glass and several meters of distance from skin.

      3. chris

        Researchers claim to have done the safety studies to support use of Far UVC indoors. Here’s one article as an example. I have to admit I’m optimistic about this tech. I know some physicists doing studies on this kind of exposure for NIST. Hopefully we’ll have this as an option soon.

      4. Brunches with Cats

        Wasn’t blue light mentioned in an NC link a while back? Just did a quick search and found the following December 2021 article discussing the dangers of UV light, not only to humans but to materials used in medical equipment, versus blue light and specifically pulsed blue light, or PBL. Lots of history, science behind the different wavelengths, observations about commercialization, and more. Much of it over my head, but appears to support Lamberrt’s misgivings about UV.!

        Dunno if it’s at all comparable, but I have an old Verilux lamp (a gift) with both red and blue bulbs, marketed as a skin-clearing device. Over the summer, when kitty was sick and there were no viable veterinary options, I tried everything I could think of to help him feel better, including the lamp. He LOVED it, and sat directly in front of it, even though I had tried to turn it to the side to avoid hurting his eyes. When I turned it off, he’d continue to sit by it and look up at me, like he was pleading to have it turned back on.

      5. Ignacio

        Lot’s of care have to be taken with UV lightning. As UV lamps age they might start delivering more harmful wavelengths than those on design. Nobody seems to care about, for instance, what are the effects on skin microbiomes if there is exposure. You cannot just say this is safe because it doesn’t enter beyond 10 micrometers. There are occasions when total or nearly total sterility are necessary but beware exposures of people and unintended effects.

        1. Greg

          I have similar misgivings about the implicit assumption that “its only killing everything at the top of skin therefore its fine”.
          The outside of the skin is important! Dead cell layers are important! All our little gribbly friends are important! And that’s without even getting into the many places where outer and inner are not so far apart.

          It seems like classic physicist-does-biology-and-assumes-a-simple-system sort of a proposal to me.

      6. Lex

        From the link above (CDC/EPA): “Buildings that provided healthy, code-compliant indoor air quality prior to the pandemic can be improved for pandemic occupancy using less costly interventions.” They’re obfuscating. Code compliance for indoor air quality is rare and when it exists has nothing to do with “healthy” air but vaguely related to human comfort and in every case I’ve ever seen simply refers back to ASHRAE recommendations, the most recent versions are especially wishy-washy.

        via links at the links, this ASHRAE paper doesn’t really talk about effectiveness of UV disinfection except to say that it’s complicated, especially for viruses, because it’s all about contact time. That’s going to be a bit better in upper room air (depending on circulation) than in ducts but it will always be the downfall of UV disinfection in moving air streams. The link does do a good job of explaining the basics of UV disinfection applications though.

        Research is lacking because it’s really hard research. And I agree with you. I’d expect that most UV disinfection systems are improperly installed and do not take into account the physics but are primarily the pandemic equivalent of security theater.

        1. Greg

          This review seems pretty good to me, but I am by no means an expert.

          I hadn’t considered the risk of poorly implemented UV sterilisation as a mutagen, that’s going to be similar to the effects of some of the treatment systems that generated persistent reserves of mutating virus. Different, but similar in terms of new variant generation.

    2. Acacia

      I posted here recently about the Daikin Streamer tech that uses UVC internally, i.e., there is no direct exposure to humans. Since then, I found this article from IQAir, a Swiss company:

      Are UV air purifiers worth it?

      After reading the article, I’m not sure what to think. No doubt the UVC tech in air purifiers has some positive effect, but maybe the IQAir argument that it’s really negligible is correct… or maybe they are just trying the kneecap their competition?

  13. Wukchumni

    Anybody else going to Comic-Econ which is held @ the Federal Reserve bldg in Humordor?

    I’m going dressed as William McChesney Martin Jr and will be recognizable in that i’ll be holding a punchbowl.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Elon Musk Shows Up at Twitter HQ With a Porcelain Sink, Which Is His Way Of Saying He’s Serious About Closing Deal”

    Of course if Musk really wanted to get out of the Twitter deal, he could always put forward a plan to make peace with China in the Pacific. If the deal goes through and it come out that there are far fewer uses of Twitter as claimed by Twitter itself, could he not have charges brought against the present Board for fraud and claw back a lot of the money that he will pay? It would be like buying a car and discovering that it does not come with an engine but a giant rubber band instead.

  15. fresno dan

    above is the Friedman opinion piece without the pay wall. IF one reads it, one discerns there are just too Many bad people in the world – Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Venezuelans, Saudis, and who knows how many unmentioned – apparently anyone who doesn’t do exactly what the land of the brave and home of the free wants them to do. Kinda reminds me of how some (?Hillary supporters?) think if we could only get rid of all the deplorables, our problems would be solved…

    1. JohnA

      Thanks for the link. I got as far as the first sentence:
      “As the Russian army continues to falter in Ukraine…”

      and realised it was more magical thinking by the Moustache of Magical Thinking (I think that is how he is described, no?).

      1. Lex

        He gets all his conflict updates from the 26 year old russian team leader at ISW who probably doesn’t speak Russian or Ukrainian and gets his information directly from the Ukrainian MoD or a handful of propaganda TG channels/NAFO fellas.

    2. OIFVet

      Friedman starts to make perfect sense once one understands that he writes for children, albeit very grown children inhabiting liberal/neoliberal/neocon kindergartens. His main fare is legends in which the virtuous good guy (variously the US, the neoliberal world order, etc.) fights all alone against hordes of unvirtuous would-be destroyers of the virtuous flat earth that hosts his huge mansion, cocktail circuit, and the cabbies who inspire the legends he publishes.

      1. The Rev Kev

        How many people like Friedman get into trouble for telling people just what they want to hear? He knows who his audience is and what they want to hear and has gotten lucrative employment out of it for how many years now? In a way I can respect his astuteness here in cashing in so well and if it wasn’t him, it would simply be somebody else.

  16. Laughingsong

    “ The agencies responsible for responding to public health emergencies need to have trained ethicists on staff, regularly participating in scenario planning and advising.” PMCs gotta PMC”

    Because #*&#&#*((*$% like Emanuel can’t imagine having any natural talent for ethics and HAVE to get specialized training to have any. /rant

  17. ArkansasAngie

    Adult Brain Structure Is Not Fixed: Scientists Discover Depression Treatment Increases Brain Connectivity

    If the brain does Not change, then you should Not develop PTSD later in life. We know that isn’t true.

    1. Acacia

      Electroshock is one of the treatments explored in this study… which, yes, I assume changes the brain structure.

      Evidently they didn’t explore TMS, though, which is supposed to be effective for depression.

  18. Wukchumni

    Cats are as good as dogs at helping us beat stress Sky News. Cats: “As good as? As good as?!”
    Friends have a Dachshund named Gus-9 & 1/2 inches tall and 2 feet long of barking terror who probably should’ve taken the extended warranty on his vocal chords, as that is all Gus does.

    A leaf falling from a tree might elicit 5 minutes of uninterrupted howling, how could such a breed be so loud?

    15 minutes with Gus seems like an eternity, imagine owning the cur and have to put up with it all the time, major stress.

    In comparison Einstein (the brains of the outfit) will let out a whimper of a meow when he wants something, and purrs contentedly on my lap, but won’t fetch or play dead.

    1. Wukchumni


      Maybe I sold Gus short, as the dog that barks and backs up @ the same time… treed 7 bears this summer, even if if there were probably a few repeat customers.

      1. Wukchumni

        # 2 most aggressive dog, eh?

        I’ve found as long as you have kevlar gaiters on, the aforementioned ankle biters are effectively disarmed.

        I kid the breed though, only knowing them from a odd abled audible, and truth be said I enjoy playing with Gus’s elephantine ears, so there’s that.

      2. Randy

        When I worked for the phone company the worst dogs were Dalmations. High strung nervous biters, not at all like the ones in the famous movie. Dobermans were easy to get along with and the pit bull varieties were seldom seen back then.

        I hated Dalmations.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘Ukrainians have one digital govt app which consolidates all their govt ID in one handy place. It also allows them to contribute many services for the war effort and to receive welfare payments. It’s not quite a CBDC yet but they are well ahead on that too’

    I have no doubt that they are being used as the crash-test dummies with this program but what do they do when the power is out like it is in most of the country right now? What if this program was in use in western countries but then you had four-hour rolling blackouts?

    1. hk

      I just don’t see most Ukrainians actually going with the program–they might, on surface, but there has to be a huge “black market” that refuses to accept it. Ukrainians went through both Soviet Union and decades of variously dysfunctional, corrupt, and authoritarian regimes. They should rightly distrust any “innovation” on governing and administration promoted by gov’t, let alone something that provides for this much surveillance capability.

    2. anon in so cal

      Speaking of CBDC:

      “UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is the son-in-law of Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys.

      Infosys operates the world’s largest digital ID/social credit system: the Indian AADHAAR system.

      “AADHAAR is not just a system that forces people to provide their personal biometric data to obtain their rights. It is actually a gigantic social credit system, praised by global thought leaders.”

    3. Acacia

      The Japanese government is now trying to roll out this shite too. The LDP wants to eliminate the existing National Health Insurance card and merge it with the “My Number” card. Given that it’s the LDP pushing this, there are probably nepotistic angles similar to what’s happening in the UK, free money to idiots at Dentsu, etc.

      It’s sad when the best hope of avoiding this future dystopia of biometric-enabled CBDCs is that the new systems will explode on the launch pad due to incompetence and graft.

  20. Mikel

    “European Council and Gomorrah (French media about the risk of an imminent collapse of the European Union)”(translation) Aftershock (original). Aggregation and summary of material on the Macron/Scholz meeting

    The translation link isn’t working. Anyone having better luck with it?

      1. Mikel

        Thanks….and it was worth the read.

        Kind of like being transported back to 1871, but with smartphones.

    1. Acacia

      The translation I got includes this line (lol):

      The French media brought to light all God’s dirty underwear accumulated over the past fifty years of living together with the Germans, and began to rinse it in front of a surprised world community.

    1. flora

      adding: I’m not a denier or against new tech. I am against magical thinking, aka “step 3: then a miracle occurs.”

    2. The Rev Kev

      That’s a good link that. Thanks. Copper really is a choke point in our civilization, isn’t it? It was the same in the 19th century as well. I wonder how Friedman would react to that tweet. Would he understand the implications of it all or would he just hand wave it away like the good economist that he is?

      1. Wukchumni

        Nickels are in fact 75% copper in content, but nobody knows that so keep it to yourself.

        Its the one coin in current circulation with the best chance for appreciation.

          1. Wukchumni

            Fund fact:

            Cents are 97.5% zinc, and the reason the pesky good for nothings are still being minted is the zinc lobby.

            As far as I know, there is no copper lobby, so no need to make Nickels, and go with the coinspiracy theory angle.

    3. Lex

      Great link! I live in a traditional mining area, a bit further north was the first US place of large copper deposits that were fairly easy to get (going back before Columbus) and then mined. It’s still a major iron mining area and we have an underground nickel-copper mine. I work with and in these facilities, so it was refreshing to read something on the process that matches the reality I see.

  21. pjay

    Re: ‘Spooks and the haunting of Russian Area Studies’ – PostSocialism

    This is an excellent piece illustrating one important reason for the group of insane Russiaphobic “Russia experts” we are infested with today. But here is an interesting tidbit. Morris (the author) holds up the very relevant example of Richard Pipes:

    “Pipes is an example of a type of Eastern European anticommunist intellectual recruited to enthusiastically tell the US government what it wanted to hear about Russia at a particular point in time. A leading critique of détente, his hawkish views came from his flawed reading of Russian history (a kind of historico-genetic autocracy thesis that even at the time was seen as simplistic). The result: advising politicians and the public that the USSR was bent on world domination and a real military and economic threat to US hegemony. Both these hyperbolic assertions were empirically falsifiable at the time by any curious undergraduate student with a good grounding in Russian Studies; the point is that effectively countering such an approach was not possible – not because of group think, but because of the structural conditions of academia-as-adjunct-of-security-state.”

    But here’s the interesting thing. The Thread by Arnaud Bertrand includes an open letter to Clinton from 1997 signed by 50 foreign policy experts opposing NATO expansion, calling it “a policy error of historical proportions.” Guess who was one of the 50 signatories? Richard Pipes!

  22. Wukchumni

    Today’s headline article in the SD UT which I couldn’t break the forcefield on in going any deeper into debt by actually paying them to see the gist of what’s what.

    Federal cash arrives for San Diegans drowning in water bills as shutoffs resume

    Around 70,000 in Tijuana-adjacent are delinquent (as of January 2021, must be scads more) in paying their water bills and a house without water is like a fish without ocean. And houses are worth over a million there, ha!

    From January 2021:

    More than 69,600 people in San Diego County are behind on their water bill right now, according to a report published last week by the California State Water Resources Control Board. The agency surveyed all of California’s water utilities in November to get a clearer picture of the financial hardship utilities have on residents at a time when more people are jobless and quarantining at home. Statewide, one in eight Californians has water debt, and the unpaid bill total has swelled to $1 billion, according to a CalMatters analysis of the data.

    “That’s what’s alarming about that data. That much debt has accrued that fast,” said Glenn Farrel, the San Diego County Water Authority’s chief state lobbyist. “That tells us there’s a lot of folks living on the edge, on a month-to-month basis. And if they’re that quickly turning to water debt, it’s a structural systemic problem.”

    1. Wukchumni

      I heard after election day, the Donkey Show will be setting up shop in Palookaville, presumably still charging for admission till they get pitched out and the January 6th Humordor hearings conclude.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Biden has said that he will refuse to meet Putin at the G-20 as well as Saudi Arabia’s MbN. I’m not even sure that he will meet with China’s Xi. Kinda makes his trip pointless I would say.

    3. Terry Humphrey

      Number of days Putin has taken to restore the U.S.S.R.—246, contrary to the armchair military commentariat of a Russian Army walkover in the Ukraine.

      Number of Democrats still in the Senate after November 8th — 52+ Tik Tokers vote too Michael

      1. tegnost

        When I hear people say things like this I like to refer to a map…you see this big red part? That used to be ukraine…as to the dems, well my ballot is sitting here on my desk, as yet unopened, and I’m struggling over whether to go with accelerationist and vote for patty…argument in favor, the dems are doing a great job of crashing it faster, and the republican will only slow it down some, change the direction, glide path etc…and then there’s the people who are taunting me to vote for the other guy just for the schadenfreude evinced from seeing the dems get decimated, or just the usual undervote, sherriff, library funding, dog catcher and leaving the senate race for people who are fed up. Todays thinking, which can change, the ballots not opened yet…is that I won’t need to vote against patty murray for her to lose, and I still get the schadenfreude!

      2. hunkerdown

        Every comment like this is another warrant for the total abolition of the professional-managerial class.

      3. Michael Ismoe

        If there are 52 Democratic senators after November 8th, then Trump was right about voter fraud. People vote too, Terry.

        1. Wukchumni

          Remember, remember, the 3rd of November,

          Election treason and plot.

          I see no reason

          Why this election season

          Should ever be forgot.

  23. Wukchumni

    Lets say we were playing chess and through our moves on the playing field pretty much squandered any chance of winning and we were now playing for a stalemate, but this board also comes with nukes.

  24. Jon Cloke

    I sent this to the Critical Geography Forum about Mike Davis’s death:

    “As higher education globally is absorbed into the frozen urinal of neoliberal product-management.

    As the howling clouds of institutionally-managed MSM hatred turns Palestinians and the Trans Army into objects of hatred and we are invited to warm ourselves on the incipient glow of rapidly-approaching nuclear war with Russia.

    As the UK descends in a rapid, triplicate downward spiral driven by environment-hating crypto-fascist sadists in love with torturing the UK population with Brexit, Pandemic and the Cost of Living Crisis…

    We shall miss Mike, one of the last remaining critical geniuses, who understood that whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad:

    “I’m a fatalistic Celt, and I have the example of my mother and older sister, who died like Russian soldiers at Stalingrad. Thanks to California’s aid-in-dying law, I have control over the final act. But I guess what I think about the most is that I’m just extraordinarily furious and angry. If I have a regret, it’s not dying in battle or at a barricade as I’ve always romantically imagined — fighting. Everybody always wants to know: Aren’t you hopeful? Don’t you believe in hope? To me, this is not a rational conversation. I’m writing because I’m hoping the people who read it don’t need dollops of hope or good endings but are reading so that they’ll know what to fight, and fight even when the fight seems hopeless.”

    Mike Davis, 2022″

  25. jsn

    I guess now that life expectancy is approaching 75 on it’s downward trend, Ezekiel Emanuel can start looking for other “problems” to solve in ethics.

  26. Mikel

    “Ignore the media hysterics — Britain is not a basket case” Izabella Kaminska, Unherd

    True with regards to ill conceived comparisons to Greece that I’ve noticed around the internet.
    A country having control of its currency gives it options and some bargaining power – even if an economic ideology prevents making good use of those options.

  27. Wukchumni

    Kamala is at a rally for Fetterman today, I hope she speaks first in order to make him seem more coherent.

      1. Wukchumni

        In the unfortunate scenario of Joey aging out on a permanent basis, who would Kamala pick as veep?

        They mustn’t appear to be more intelligent than the commander in chief, which narrows down the candidates to that fellow from Texas, Gohmert.

  28. kson onair

    I like how corporations giving billions of dollars to politicians is just freedom of speech but people giving food to other people is a criminal act.

  29. Wukchumni

    The crass-test-dummy state always comes through as it’s a proving ground for red states back east to see what they can get away with.

    In more tragic news, i’ve heard a couple that leaned so far right politically, unfortunately tipped over in Grand Canyon NP @ the overlook and met a tragic end.

  30. Kouros

    Oh the hypocrisy of the West is mind dumbing. One cannot negotiate in any way with people like this. I can understand what drove Lenin to his actions. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is the greatest threat to humanity. And I am pessimistic about the future.
    German energy giant explains ‘paradoxical’ move on renewables
    RWE says the current crisis has forced it to remove wind turbines to make way for the expansion of a coal mine
    ‘Neutral’ Switzerland defends its sanctions against Russia
    A Federal Council report states that the restrictions are in line with the long-standing national policy

  31. Mikel

    Finland Willing to Host NATO Nuclear Weapons on Border With Russia (Rev Kev). Rev Kev: “If the balloon goes up, you won’t be able to see the lights of the aurora borealis due to the glowing of Finland.”

    Or maybe, as sung by Sarah Vaughan, they will see more of a “Midnight Sun”:
    “…The clouds were like an alabaster palace,
    Rising to a snowy height.
    Each star its own Aurora Borealis,
    Suddenly you held me tight,
    I could see the midnight sun…”

    1. digi_owl

      I can’t help wonder what has happened to that nation. It threaded the proverbial needle during the whole cold war, yet now they seem to have reverted to 1930s antics.

      1. cosmiccretin

        I live there, and I can’t fathom it either.

        I can tentatively proffer only two possible explanations:-

        1. The Finnish psyche was so traumatised by the Soviet invasion of 1939 that it has remained permanently scarred.

        2. Collective insanity.

        Of course the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  32. NorD94

    Model Predicts COVID Deaths Will Flatline This Winter — IHME foresees almost eight-fold reduction in COVID deaths compared with last winter

    *** cherry picking a few comments, apply grains of salt as needed ***

    The U.S. probably won’t see a major surge in COVID deaths this winter, according to new models from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle.

    By Feb. 1, 2023, daily deaths are projected to be at a high point of 335, which pales in comparison to the approximate 2,500 daily deaths seen during the Omicron surge around the same time last year, according to a recently published IHME policy brief.

    Still, the U.S. will see some 30,000 deaths and globally there will be about 250,000 deaths by February 1, though this includes deaths where the virus was present but didn’t necessarily cause or contribute to the deaths, according to the policy brief.

    The reason for this hopeful picture comes down to immunity, Mokdad said. IHME estimates that 95% of people in the U.S. have been infected by the virus to date — and that’s not even counting vaccinated immunity, he said.

    As part of that, about 62% of people in the U.S. have been infected with Omicron sublineages BA.1 and BA.2, and about 60% have been infected with BA.5, giving a large swath of the population recent immune memory that could help stave off infection.

    He added that IHME modeling shows that if 80% of the U.S. population wears a mask, daily deaths this winter will be cut by a third.

    *** some links from article ***

    IHME: COVID-19 Projections

    COVID-19 Results Briefing: United States of America: October 21, 2022

    1. caucus99percenter

      Calling b.s. on the “destruction” bit — crude attempt at anti-German agitation? Looks to me more like a run-of-the-mill, combination fund-raising / virtue-signalling auction, whereby rich folks are dumping Russian memorabilia and art because of a politically-influenced fall in prices.

      1. Acacia

        Yeah, there’s no evidence in that video to support the claim about “destruction”. Agree with caucus99percenter’s take. In the case of Germany, though, there is precedent…

        In the 1920s, the Nazis started talking about “degenerate art” [Entartete Kunst], which was their term for modern and avant-garde art. Through a series of raids, the Third Reich confiscated over 16,000 works of putatively “degenerate” art. In 1937, an exhibition was held in Munich, showing the seized modern art alongside the retrograde Nazi-approved art of the Third Reich (in the Haus der Kunst, which still serves as an art museum today).

        After the exhibit, in 1939, a large auction was held by Galerie Theodor Fischer to sell off the most valuable paintings in Luzern, Switzerland. I suspect this is why there are so many works by Klee, Kandinsky, et alia in Swiss museums. Rather hypocritically, leaders of the Nazi party, including Göring, took many of the works for their own private collections.

        Of the works that didn’t sell in the auction, roughly 4000 were torched by the Berlin Fire Brigade in 1939.

  33. Wukchumni

    I was thinking about Elon Musk & Alex Jones, and how if they’d just kept their mouths shut about things that frankly meant not that much to them, neither would be in the pickles they are today.

    Does the forced acquisition of Twitter elongate his sphere of influence, or portend the end?

  34. Some Guy

    Izabella Kaminska provides a useful correction to the popular notion that the UK’s troubles were just down to a poor budget, with everything sorted out now that Goldman Sachs, sorry, I mean ‘the grownups’ are back in charge.

    But her closing, “Britain is not a basket case. … It just needs a leader to [work in] in the interests of its own population” seems pretty self-refuting if you ask me.

    Of course Britain wouldn’t be a basket case if it had leaders who were working in the interest of its population! That has been true for years and years – but do we see that happening any time soon – honestly?

    I guess maybe the idea is that things aren’t so bad that in the fairytale world that a benevolent leader ended up in charge somehow, they couldn’t be fixed, but that is pretty weak sauce.

  35. MaryLand

    Re: The End of the System of the World, he puts Turkey and India in a trading bloc with the US and not with the China-Russia bloc. Russia has made some important deals with Turkey lately and India is buying Russian oil and blending it with other sources for resale. I don’t think we can count on those two countries as being firmly in the US bloc.

  36. fresno dan
    The D-word in question is “diplomacy,” which has long been a favored word of Democrats. Indeed, it’s their go-to proposal for solving any international problem, no matter how intractable or threatening. That it has now become a toxic notion in the context of the Ukraine war is a sign of how a justified feeling of moral righteousness among backers of Ukraine is swallowing rational thought about how the war might end.
    Rich Lowery…said the above. Fault lines are cracking, bedfellows are practicing adultery, and things are changing

  37. MaryLand

    So the article says the adult brain is still capable of change and they applied traditional methods (including electroshock therapy) to treating depression. There have been numerous articles about the quick (1 or 2 treatments are enough) and successful treatment of depression using psychoactive substances like ecstasy and others. They did not list these for some reason. I’m wondering if these “unorthodox” treatments could prove helpful to people suffering from long covid with loss of taste and smell. After all these are controlled in the brain. Possibly connections could be restored. It might help with “fuzzy thinking” too. I suppose they will never be tried.

      1. MaryLand

        It would be great if some of these could help the many who suffer from depression and also some effects of Long Covid. There are a lot of small
        studies reporting that it gets rid of PTSD.

    1. Revenant

      Neuronal progenitor cells in the hippocampus form new neutrons in the adult brain. This was shown pre-2010. The process of neuronal cell replenishment and maturation is affected by certain drugs. Some drugs which have efficacy in depression are thought to work this way rather than their erstwhile mechanism of action (SSRI’s, tricyclic antidepressants). Maybe ECT too…?

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