Links 10/6/2022

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

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


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

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

* * *

Fossils Reveal Pterosaur Relatives Before They Evolved Wings New York Times (Kevin W)

Shocking Study Finds Decreased Proteins – Not Amyloid Plaques – Cause Alzheimer’s Disease SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

Most Americans don’t plan to get a flu shot this season — lots of them say they’ll mask to avoid germs instead CNBC (Kevin W). Given that I saw just about no one in a mask in left-leaning Maine, this seems like an excuse, not a plan. A better excuse would be that flu vaccines are hit or miss in terms of efficacy.

New Infectious Threats Are Coming. The U.S. Probably Won’t Contain Them. New York Times (Robert K)

New Discovery Means Parkinson’s Could Be Diagnosed With a Swab in Just 3 Minutes ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Seeing and somethingness aeon



What Doctors Still Don’t Understand About Long COVID Atlantic (resilc)

New NIH Grant Awarded to Group Central to Lab Leak Theory Intercept


What Does Sustainable Living Look Like? Maybe Like Uruguay New York Times (resilc). Uruguay is still high on my list of possible expat destinations, but I am concerned about not adapting well to manana, having to learn Spanish, doctors being paternalistic (as in expecting patient to accept their views w/o question), and generating income even from entirely foreign sources being in a grey area (ie a real risk of a change in attitude from current non-enforcement). Oh, and due to very high VAT on imported goods, it’s not all that cheap either. But #1 currently is Malaysia (specifically Penang) which is a medical tourism destination, has a very expat friendly visa and tax regime, big city amenities at a much lower price point (yours truly likes living in high density areas) and great food. Also in the Russian energy sphere, so something of a buffer against energy price increases, even if not as well insulated as Uruguay. Negatives are that it is stinking hot and a very long way from the US.

The Climate Economy Is About to Explode The Atlantic (David L)

Somalia drought: The fight for survival as famine looms BBC (resilc)

Hurricane Ian Response: Florida Should Let Insurance Market Work Bloomberg

UC researchers finally may have solved how to recycle plastic bags into something useful LocalNewsMatters (David L)


U.S. Said to Plan New Limits on China’s A.I. and Supercomputing Firms New York Times (resilc)

China’s difficult choices as export growth slows Michael Pettis, Financial Times (David L)

U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot New York Times (David L)


13 dead, several missing during Durga idols immersion in 3 separate incidents Hindustan Times (J-LS)

Old Blighty

‘Seeking hope’: MPs reflect on Liz Truss’s calamitous Tory conference Financial Times

Is This the End of ‘Socialism for the Rich’? Atlantic (David L)

Producer prices rise at record pace German Eye

New Not-So-Cold War. Apologies for how heavy this section is, but some important catch-up.

Ukraine city centre homes hit in missile strike BBC. MoD made a statement that dual-use buildings and infrastructure (as in civilian but employed in part or full for military purposes) were legitimate military targets.

* * *

Poland suggests hosting US nuclear weapons amid growing fears of Putin’s threats Guardian (Kevin W). These people have lost their minds. Alternatively, believing your own propaganda (as in misrepresentation of what Putin has been saying) is dangerous.

The great game in Ukraine is spinning out of control Jeffrey Sachs, Pearls and Irritations (resilc)

Putin warns expansion of NATO into Nordic countries would ‘certainly provoke our response’ Press TV

Putin Must Go: Now Is the Time For Regime Change in Russia John Bolton, 1945 (Kevin W). And I’d like a pony.

* * *

Putin Signs Law Admitting 4 Regions; Russia Retreats in Kherson; OPEC+ Cutting Oil Production Alexander Mercouris. Mercouris puts a different spin on pretty much the same issues that Johnson raises below. Russia has weirdly withdrawn in spots in Kherson in the face of a tank advance of only (per other commentators) 1000 men and has stopped or cut back on efforts to destroy them from the air. This is a bit bigger than a single Russian BTG. Mercouris basically argues that the Russian public will be anxious about this, particularly since, as usual, the MoD has refused to ‘splain itself. Yet he also points out that the area Ukraine has advanced into is pretty much deserted. And I don’t see any evidence of Ukraine mustering forces to take advantage of this advance. I also don’t get Mercouris riffing on Russia allowing Kherson City to be taken. Izyum was a planned retreat from a small city that was deemed to have no strategic value. It also had very few people, a pre-war population of 45,000 that was estimated to have fallen by 2/3. Still a bad look for Russia to have abandoned the Russian-sympathizers there and in Kharkiv generally. Kherson city is a Black Sea port with nearly 300,000 pre-war, and since there’s not been fighting there, I doubt it has depopulated much.

But Mercouris did give us a nice shoutout on economic commentary late in his talk, which I do appreciate. And it’s positive that YouTubers and bloggers are talking with each other across their platforms to try to get to the bottom of what is happening. We saw the same thing among financial bloggers the runup to the financial crisis, although this community is sadly much smaller.

Contrast with What Do You Make of Russia’s Strategy in Ukraine? Larry Johnson. Johnson takes the bigger picture view, that Ukraine has been unable to capitalize on past tactical gains and will be even less able to do so once Russia forces have reorganized themselves to take advantage of the partial mobilization (note potentially another as many as 75,000 volunteers added to the 300,000):

It very much reminds me of a game of chess. Russia is now sacrificing pawns in the form of strategically useless territory, while Ukraine is rushing forward to seize symbolic territory without having the necessary reserves in terms of trained soldiers and equipment to sustain the attack and defeat Russia. Russia, meanwhile, is moving its Knights, Rooks and Bishops into position for checkmate. The question remains–what is Putin’s gambit?

The Limits of Ukraine’s Offensive and the High Price to Pay When it Ends Brian Berletic, YouTube. Longer but more pointed and with more backup than Larry Johnson.

Kharkov and Mobilization Jacques Baud, The Postil

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Strong, and the Merely Powerful Consortium News

Politics By Other Means Big Serge (Chuck L)

* * *

Kremlin responds to rumors over Ukraine operation rebrand RT

Ukraine’s revenge on the West India Punchline (J-LS). Important. Perhaps other posts while I was on vacation addressed this, but I missed it. See the first map. Russia is laying claim to much more than the occupied territory. I knew that to be the case with Kherson and Zaporozhye, but did not realize the degree to which that was also true of Lugansk and Donetsk. My impression is, however, that not much past the boundaries of the former DPR/LPR, the territory is not heavily populated. Also says how much can be carried to Germany via the one not-punctured Nord Stream 2 pipeline: 27.5 billion cubic meters a year v. the original 55 billion cubic meters a year for either of Nord Stream 1 or Nord Stream 2.

* * *

Energy war with Russia may cost Europe upwards of 1.6 trln euros Vedomosti (translation from TASS)

‘We impose these things and then that’s it’: McGovern tears into US sanctions policy Responsible Statecraft (J-LS)

US officials say Ukraine was behind car bomb that killed daughter of Russian nationalist: NYT The Hill. OK to admit that since Dugin has since been sanctioned.


Harper’s Index Harper’s Act. Li: “How are the Ukies gonna win if they’re all puffing away? Scroll down.”


Watch Stella Assange Slap The Mustache Off John Bolton’s War Criminal Face Caitlin Johnstone. My goodness, Bolton, who has been right about virtually nothing, is suddenly in circulation.


Trump’s death threat against McConnell and the silence of the Democratic Party WSWS


Inside the White House’s failed effort to dissuade OPEC from cutting oil production to avoid a ‘total disaster’ CNN

GOP Clown Car

Trump-lover wearing a “blow jobs” T-shirt says he doesn’t want kids seeing anything inappropriate Boing Boing (resilc).

The Right Stuff’ Asks Users to Share Details About January 6th Gizmodo (furzy)

Want to Hire a January 6 Rioter? Now There’s a Website for That. Vice (resilc)

South Korean Internet Giant Buys Poshmark in $1.2 Billion Deal New York Times (resilc)

New York Fed Names Richard Ostrander as General Counsel and Head of the Legal Group Federal Reserve Bank of New York. They couldn’t find a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell or Covington? Awfully incestuous.

The Bezzle

You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie The Register (Chuck L). Important in terms of overall argument. The wee problem is that software people cannot relate to the (non) skill level of mere mortals. “You will have to put some effort into switching. You need to do some relearning.” Assumes time some of us do not have, even before getting to the fact that I hate learning now software with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

Supply Chain/Inflation

OPEC+ confirms oil production cut RT

U.S. airlines reject lawmakers’ request to refrain from share buybacks Investing (Kevin W)

The scandals and hypocrisy behind McKinsey’s sterling reputation Washington Post (Paul R). From last week, still germane.

Markets Break When Interest Rates Rise Fast: Here Are the Cracks Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Nursing shortage sparks bidding war as countries battle for talent Financial Post. Resilc:

My wife goes to her dentist in Chapel Hill, NC. Home of UNC dental school, which also offers degrees in dental hygienists and assistants. Dentist says “We cannot hire another hygienist, no matter what we offer in pay.”

Russian MP Maria Butina: Angela Davis, please bring hope to these times of darkness RT (Chuck L). Important.

Antidote du jour. Robert H with Betsy and Tippy: “Bow hunting season in Maine.”

And a bonus from a reader who was on this Madagascar lemur trip:

Indri Song

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. digi_owl

    Yep. most people learn to operate a computer via rote repetition.

    It is why for example Adobe has such a stranglehold on graphics even as there are plenty of usable alternatives out there.

    A computer is effectively a multitool with replaceable tools. But once someone find their preferred combination, they will be loath to change it up.

      1. Skip Intro

        Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer offer competition to Photoshop and Illustrator, but don’t require you to make your art/business hostage to their subscription and server maintenance whims.

        1. You're soaking in it!

          Not a professional, but putting the time into learning GIMP has been super valuable for me.

        2. Arizona Slim

          Affinity fangirl in the house.

          I am the proud owner (no Adobe subscription model here, folks!) of Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, and Affinity Publisher. Is this software robust enough for Arizona Slim?

          In a word, yes.

          I have used Affinity Designer for the creation of postcards. Affinity Photo and Publisher? Well, as mentioned here before, I have been working on a book and I’m playing the roles of designer, photographer, and writer.

          I used Affinity Photo to process all of the book images so that they would mesh with the printer’s production process. When you get to the print pre-production phase, this is crucial. The printer has a process, and you must follow it. Period. End of discussion.

          Affinity Publisher? I’m using it to do the cover and interior layout. It’s been a complex project, and I’ve really needed to up my design game. The good news is that I’ve been able to produce files that mesh with that aforementioned printer’s production process.

          So, that’s the story of Arizona Slim and the Affinity suite. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments or get in touch with our moderators. They have my contact info.

          1. Ghost in the Machine

            Thanks. Not too pricey either. I will give them a try. I have an over ten year old computer I still use because I own the software on it, including Adobe products.

        3. Mikel

          You guys are forgetting that Adobe has video editing software (Premiere Pro)that has become a challenger in film and TV to previous standards. And they have it integrating with their other graphic design software that is making it a standard to use.
          Affinity needs a video editing software – unless I’ve overlooked it.

          1. orlbucfan

            Hey, can one of these super smart software designers actually write a easy-to-read, literate Owner’s Manual to all this high tech crap we’re inundated with? Intelligent minds would like to know.

            1. semper loquitur

              I would say no, they can’t, if my experience in 3D design for video games is any tell. I tried to learn a modeling platform years ago but found that the manual written for it assumed all sorts of essential knowledge on the part of the reader. I spent a solid week stuck on one problem only to find out the problem didn’t even exist, the book simply hadn’t explained the situation clearly. Coders aren’t teachers and they sure as living he!! aren’t writers.

              1. Greg

                And the addendum to that last statement – “and there’s no budget to hire a writer”.

                Once upon a time there were jobs for writers of documentation, many authors got their start at writing for money in that market (Charles Stross, for one). Died around the 2000 crash, no more budgets for writers, no more manuals, no more documentation worth a damn.
                Nowadays if you’re lucky there’s a wiki maintained by the public, and if you’re blessed there’s an active forum.

      1. Socal Rhino

        I made my peace with Excel but agree on WP. Best user experience ever. Word, well it’s a family blog…

        1. cfraenkel

          Have to disagree…. Word v5.1 on the Mac OS7 was the best word processor UI. It’s been downhill since then.
          (for everyone who hasn’t used it – this was the last ‘Mac’ version, then MS switched over to using the PC codebase and UI.)

      2. JohnnySacks

        The cold blooded murder of WordPerfect by Microsoft is a tragedy I still mourn. Microsoft was developing Windows 3 in one department while developing Word to run on it in another department.
        At the release of Windows 3, Word for Windows was ready to roll out and the rest of the world was stuck at first base trying to code their wonderful and widely used apps against the intricacies and complexity of Windows.

        All the really functional software this family has used and bought licenses for have now gone rental, some of which I wish I could get install discs and cracks for the last non-subscription versions, things like AutoCad, SketchUp, Quicken, Adobe
        Seriously, what casual user can afford to pay $2000 a month for AutoCad to now and then use it for detailing home improvement projects? We bought the products, we bought upgrades, and now we’re locked into rental. That Windows 10 box’s image is backed up and I pray perpetually restorable.

  2. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from She Caught the Katy by the Blues Brothers)

    My Optimusk robot
    Shiny from every side
    Elon Musk’s robot
    Gender unspecified
    When it sets to workin’
    My world unwinds
    It just used a hammer
    To dust the blinds
    You’ve so got to see
    This Optimusk robot of mine!

    The battery’s weak
    It plugs itself into the wall
    Updates every morning
    You know that’s Elon’s protocol
    It stayed up all last night
    On a conference call
    Then tried to cook my breakfast
    On the tile shower wall
    You’ve got to come see
    This Optimusk robot of mine!

    Well, I love my robot
    I bought from Elon
    Get out the way when it switches on
    I looked for its brain
    There’s just wheels that spin
    A big black box
    And a firing pin
    Huh! Huh!

    My Optimusk robot
    Can’t walk on greasy floors
    Can’t work no kitchen
    Or deal with those double doors
    It falls on its fanny
    Then it falls on its face
    Then it screams ‘It’s over
    For the human race!’

    Natchurly I’m crazy ’bout
    That Optimusk robot — that Optimusk robot of mine!
    Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh!

  3. zagonostra

    >Putin’s annexation speech and the bankruptcy of Russian nationalism -WSWS

    Since NC had a link to WSWS today, I took a stroll over there since I haven’t visited there in a long time. I was amazed at how calcified they’ve become in analyzing/interpreting world events. Having just read and re-read Putin’s speech of Sept 30th I was dumbfounded that WSWS’s take is that Putin’s historic speech all boils down to “national chauvinism.” These people are stuck in some kind of time worm hole where the world is still viewed from a Trotskyist perspective.

    Ultimately, all of Putin’s statements emphasize that he is basing his response to the onslaught of imperialism on national chauvinism. It cannot be otherwise, since Putin embodies the capitalist restoration regime in Russia. His reactionary policies reflect the socio-economic role of the ruling Russian oligarchy, which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union due to the false and blatantly counterrevolutionary policies of Stalinism…Only the Trotskyist movement represents a genuine vanguard revolutionary movement of the working class..

    1. Carolinian

      IMO WSWS is a very mixed bag that has sensible articles mixed in with the Trotskyism purity police. There was a dispute some years back where they claimed Google was discriminating by not making the grandly self named “world socialism website” the first result from search term “socialism.” Could be the world has had enough of ideologues of all stripes.

  4. SpainIsHot

    I understand we don’t all agree on the issue of animal rights and their protection … but the Antidote has usually been a place for *loving* animals, not for bow-hunting them… :-(

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was kinda hoping that Betsy and Tippy had some chain-mail vests under those orange vets. :)

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Tippy and Betsy are not participating in the bow hunt. They are wearing jackets to be protected from hunters when out in the woods. Even my house guest in Maine wore an orange jacket as barely a joke because moose hunting season started the week she was there.

      1. BobW

        That was my immediate take on the pictures–the dogs being visible to hunters. People, cows, and dogs are in danger during hunting seasons.

        1. ambrit

          Add hunters to your list of ‘endangered’ species during Hunting Season.
          I worked with a man who’s brother went up in a tree stand one fine morning, proceeded to fall asleep, and was then roused from his slumbers by a large animal tromping through the brush beneath the tree he was in. In a mental fog, he aimed at the ‘animal’ and shot himself in the foot. I met the man and verified the truth of the tale.
          Then there was the curious case of Snorky S— and the catastrophic camping trip.
          Stay safe. Especially in the woods!

        2. jonboinAR

          In my time here in Arkansas, deer hunting season has been an extremely fraught time for hunters. But… 100% of the accidents (I think) have been hunters falling out of tree stands. The conclusion I’ve drawn has been that grown-a$$ men don’t need to be climbing trees.

      2. Lex

        Here on the superior riviera region it is the time where dog walk hikes and time in the woods requires blaze orange because hunting on public land and open private land is allowed and common.

      3. Ignacio

        Thank you for the explanation. Like SpainIsHot I was puzzled by the comment above the antidote. Those lovely dogs, if i were their companion it would be a tragedy for me to find them hit by an arrow. No “bow season” in Spain.

      4. hk

        Not a joke at all but a vital necessity of life in areas where hunting is common. Everyone who doesn’t want to be shot, including hunters, should wear visible clothing in those places, especially at night.

      5. Tom Stone

        Wearing an orange vest is a very good idea anytime you are in the country any time there is a hunting season open.
        Year ’round in some parts of the Country.
        Be safe!

    3. diptherio

      If it makes you feel any better, I would imagine taking two old dogs bow-hunting with you is a pretty sure-fire way to ensure to don’t have to field dress anything.

    4. jhallc

      I like to run around the Maine woods with a white hankie hanging out of my back pocket this time of year :)

        1. orlbucfan

          Thank gawd, it’s too hot where I live to hunt—unless it’s human bipeds. One can always go into the swamps and take on the alligators and pythons. Be my guest on the snakes, the more killed, the better.

    5. Wukchumni

      Ran into a couple hunters yesterday on the Farewell Gap trail in Mineral King headed to the Golden Trout Wilderness on the other side of the gap.

      There is no hunting allowed in Sequoia NP, so in essence they were hiking through ‘Animal Switzerland’ en route to the hunting grounds.

      Its a 10 mile one-way walk with 3,000 feet of elevation gain and then 1,000 feet of loss.

      If they manage to get their buck perhaps weighing a buck, buck fifty, they’d have to cut up the carcass on site and each of them would have around 40 pounds of venison to walk back 10 miles to their car.

      Me, I prefer traipsing through the aislederness towards the meat counter, meekly asking for a pound of pastrami sliced wafer thin, please.

    6. Val

      Gilet jaune. A community safety standard amongst we deplorables. Think of blaze orange as a mask one wears to ward off bullets and arrows when attempting the harvest of communal organic free range protein. One wants to strenuously avoid gargling in this instance.

      The dangerous thing is tree stands, though almost everyone would benefit from 4 hours in a tree without their digital devices, if they could only tolerate it.

      Those seasoned pooches have enjoyed themselves on their home range and appear well pleased with their primate, which is the entire point.

  5. zagonostra

    >Ukraine’s revenge on the West India Punchline (J-LS)

    …one of the three lines of the Nord Stream 2 remains unaffected and the gas giant has lowered the pressure to inspect the link for damage and potential leaks. Nord Stream 2 has a shipment capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, which means its line B could deliver as much as 27.5 billion cubic meters per year to Germany across the Baltic Sea.

    So did the saboteurs screw up? Did they just miss this part of the pipeline? And since Gazprom suggest the damaged sections can be repaired, what was accomplished by this act of sabotage except accelerating putting a hole in the ozone and exposing the perfidy of those who were responsible?

    The article’s concluding comment that we are in a “Kafkaesque moment” in Europe’s integration, and I would add, its relation to the “Collective West,” is right on point.

    1. Carolinian

      There’s speculation the other of the two lines was double bombed by mistake. On the other hand curious that this is only now coming up. Maybe it’s all part of Putin’s nefarious plan to first make the Germans mad at the US and then offer them a lifeline. /s

      1. Michael Ismoe

        It’s probably the ultimate Polish joke.

        “What happens when you give a Polish guy 4 bombs….”

        1. Stephen

          Handed to him by a British guy with an American guy supervising.

          It can be a more diverse joke too.

      2. Ignacio

        That spells aficionado pipeline bomber. Possibly rogue actors rather than officially appointed dynamiters.

    2. Stephen

      Maybe it confirms that the Russians did it. Pretend to blow up the whole thing but keep one line open to retain leverage. Especially given it is an NS2 line not an NS1 line.

      Have not seen western media yet make this argument but am anticipating it, once they get steered in that direction.

      Of course, this comment is a parody.

      By the way, I did not follow the maths from 55 to 27.5 in the Indian Punchline article if 2 lines out of 3 are out of action. Were they smaller ones, perhaps? It is a very good article though that joins the tactical dots back up to the macro strategic picture. The post 1945 European settlement, as then adjusted in 1991 is clearly running out of road. When will Europe realise this?

      1. Irrational

        I had the same thought about the next feverish media narrative.
        Re Nordstreams both could carry 55 bcm on two strings each, 3 of which were blown up, leaves 1/2 of 55 bcm.

      2. Polar Socialist

        There are four pipes in the bottom, two for Nord Stream and two for Nord Stream 2. Each has the capacity of 27.5 bcm/year.

        The 55 bcm comes from the fact that Nord Stream 2 was never opened, and only Nord Stream was flowing gas.

        Since three of the four pipes have been blown up, the remaining capacity is 27.5 bcm. On the pipeline Germany has not approved and thus remains unused.

    3. zagonostra

      >Bernie Sanders stance on Ukraine

      I saw a twitter feed that said that Kissinger is now to the left of Bernie Sanders on Ukraine. I was trying to find articles on B.Sander’s stance and came across below which made me think that his reliance on worn out tropes is not that dissimilar from WSWS invoking Trotsky. Bernie can’t resist conflating Putin with the “rich people.”

      The United States and our allies must impose severe sanctions on Vladimir Putin and his fellow oligarchs. At a time when thousands may die as a result of his war, Putin, one of the richest people in the world, should not be allowed to enjoy the billions he stole from the Russian people

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Bernie is likely also suffering from dementia. It’s not just Brandon. Pelosi as well.

    4. Mikel

      “…What all this means is that the three main power centres within the Eurozone (Germany, France and Italy) and Britain are entering a period of deep crisis. Their capacity or level of interest to fight Russia in Ukraine is getting severely limited….”

      If the war ramps up, they won’t be able to treat it like some annoyance that is far away.
      And “climate goals” are going to be the last thing on people’s minds.

    5. Magpie

      Honest question: where did all this talk of Russian ‘nuclear threats’ come from in the past week or so? What started this?

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think it came from Mr. Putin saying that if Ukraine keeps shelling that nuclear power plant, they should realize that the radiation won’t stop on the border. And that for those in The West who constantly talk about using nuclear weapons (like Mr. Zelensky just did), they should know that Russia can and will retaliate.

        I am paraphrasing, though, from the memory.

  6. Mikerw0

    In my opinion there have been some important, and quite thought provoking and useful, sobering economic pieces mainly focused on the implications to a financial house of cards built on plentiful cheap credit. The protracted bull market, despite its little hissy fits that were quickly tamped out, is most easily explained by a twenty year long secular decline in interest rates starting in the early 80s.

    In my opinion, of equal importance is the plentiful availability of cheap energy — at least in real terms. Our economies and the distributed manufacturing model pushed by the neoliberal economists need cheap oil for this to work.

    If cheap credit and cheap energy are coming to an end at the same time nothing good will come of it. In fact, just the opposite as the global economy enter a period of mass reorganization simultaneously.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “If cheap credit and cheap energy are coming to an end at the same time nothing good will come of it.”

      It’s not all bad. A crash would do way more to slow down carbon emissions than Joe’s (Manchin) Inflation Reduction Act. The problem is that as long as the billionaires are in charge, the pain from these changes will on the poor and working class and eventually, even the PMCs. But not the billionaires.

      1. endeavor

        When it becomes obvious that EV’s aren’t happening in force, a $10 per gallon gasoline price will achieve about the same thing in the US. That may be why they are attempting to slow US production for that time of $3oo a barrel oil. I have read that the former greatest American investor, Warren Buffet, is all in on energy. Not to mention the new greatest investor, Hunter Biden, is selling oil to China.

    2. ambrit

      Thus, we see the implementation of the Population Culling Methodology (PCM) today. Fewer people equals les demand for resources. Less demand leads to less strain on the ecology. It’s an Unvirtuous Cycle.

  7. Wyatt Powell

    The “Trump-loving “blow job shirt” article is … Im not sure the correct word for it but misleading.

    The shirt the guy is wearing is more akin to the “F.B.I” shirts me and the boys would wear to school. For the uninitiated thats “Female Body Inspector”.

    What he is talking about is keeping children away from is this degeneracy. (NSFW*)

    *What a world I find myself in thats its Not Safe For Work, you know the place were adults go to make a living? But the woke crowd will tell you its completely harmless “fun” for the childern!

    I think any rational person at NC can see the difference between blatant pedophilla and a “funny**” teeshirt

    **funny = immature yes… I doubt this guy is trying to earn most mature man of the year at the PMC Awards. And neither were me and the mates in school (mind you we were 10-12 years old at the time!) But I dont think that makes him some hypocrite as the headline would suggest.

    As usual, Nothing to see here with the clickbait title.

    1. ambrit

      Having “grown up” in the Miami area, I noticed right about when Reagan stole the country that Miami and environs were becoming Sodom By The Sea. Now Hialeah, somewhat inland of the Bay, can assert it’s claim to being America’s Gomorrah.

      1. Wyatt Powell

        Florida is certainly a interesting place to grow up! And Miami makes the rest of Florida seem tame.

        You learn quickly how the world actually works down there. Much faster than most “educated” people, if they ever do.

        The general welfare of children and keeping them away from the truly obscene was atleast something we could depend on (From my perspective in the 90s atleast)

        All that seems to have died in early 2000s with free Pornography on the Internet, and The screen being in your hands just made the porn that much easier and closer!

        Finally is seems to have gotten buried under cement with the 2010’s identity-pol / be who you want “King/Queen” and screw anyone who doesnt think like you you outrage machine coupled with normalizing pedophilla in entertainment and education.

        I dont know if kids today can have normal lives like we had anymore. It truly seems impossible.

        1. orlbucfan

          Oh please, how long have you lived down here in Florida? I’m married to a cracker (native and not considered an insult). I might as well be one myself. I’ve watched my state be systematically. destroyed by greed and overdevelopment. I am a proud Futurist and have worked in 4 political campaigns since forced into medical retirement in 2002. It breaks my heart that this state attracts every crook in the planet. That is not what all Floridians are: we are not all stupid rednecks and Jesus jerks. Period.

          1. Wukchumni

            Florida, man what a place.

            Ever notice there aren’t any ‘Oregon Man’ ‘Pennsylvania Man’ or ‘Hawaii Man’?

            1. ambrit

              Wait there. There is a “Washington Man,” and he was originally called ‘Kennewick Man,’ but when the forensic reconstruction of his skeleton turned out to look a lot like the actor Patrick Stewart, the “Natives” were called in to ‘quietly’ try to rebury the evidence.
              It’s complicated.

            2. ForFawkesSakes

              That has more to do with open public records laws in Florida and a media always trying to get eyes on their product.

              Local papers in Florida write articles based upon the police reports which are available through an online database open to the public. Those stories get national attention because everything is a meme these days. You have more Florida man stories because many other states do not have the same public records laws.

            3. jonboinAR

              Years ago when I told my friends I was moving to Arkansas, every single one of them, I kid you little, went da da dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt duuhh! (You know what I mean.) I remember only my musician buddy did it in tune and time. The fact that Deliverance was set in Georgia, not Arkansas, was beside the point.

      2. digi_owl

        Do wonder how much of that was thanks to people losing access to Cuba, thanks to Castro and crew.

    2. The Historian

      Oh, I so envy you! For all the years of my life I have been trying to develop ESP and know what others are thinking but I just never developed the talent – so I have to go on what people say. But you just know that the man was referring to the clip you included! Somehow, in my wildest imagination I would never have thought that clip you posted was about a school, which was what I thought the man in the link was talking about. I’m glad you caught that! And your ESP worked so well that you just knew he was talking about pedophilia – I missed that too!

      And I thought that the link was just about hypocrisy – which in my simple, non ESP mind, that is all it is.

      But, just so you know, as a mother of both sons and daughters, I would have been seriously distressed if my 10-12 year old sons wore t-shirts that said that their female schoolmates were just bodies to be inspected – and I don’t think my daughters would have thought that was just a ‘ha-ha’ either.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Putin Must Go: Now Is the Time For Regime Change in Russia”

    Part of a pattern. It seems the narrative has changed the past several days to one where the general idea is to have Putin regime-changed because this will make things better – somehow. In fact, Zelensy signed a decree a coupla days ago saying that the Ukraine will only negotiate with Russia when Putin is gone. Another way this campaign is displaying itslef by all those stories how the Russian economy is ‘in tatters’, millions have fled Russia, the Russian army is in full retreat while the Ukrainian army is about to take back those four territories, etc. so I guess that the hope is that these stories will get picked up in Russia and increase pressure on Putin to step down. And you just know that very serious people here in the west came up with this idea.

    1. Polar Socialist

      There is indeed a pattern on how peace is achieved between warring parties:

      In Italy, Mussolini was dismissed and imprisoned on 26 July 1943, armistice signed 3 September.

      In Finland, president resigned 1 August 1944 and armistice was signed 4 September.

      In Romania, King Michael’s coup was in 23 August 1944, ceasefire was immediate.

      In Bulgaria, government was overthrown 9 September 1944, next day war was declared on Germany and armistice signed 28 October.

      In Hungary, Miclos’ provisional government took power 28 December 1944, and armistice was signed 20 January 1945

      Somehow I doubt it’s Mr. Zelensky who needs to worry about negotiations, though.

      1. digi_owl

        Makes you wonder if the war in Europe could have ended in 44, if not for that massive conference table.

        1. Jessica

          That extra year of war cost so many their lives, but perhaps things were more peaceful with the NS regime in Germany so thoroughly, unquestionably defeated, and so many of its most ardent supporters no longer around.

      2. Darthbobber

        If I recall correctly, the Romanians didn’t precisely get a ceasefire but changed sides, their remaining troope moving from the German to the Soviet order of battle. Budapest was encircled by the Soveits and Romanians on December 26th, and its defense was largely controlled by the German military.

      3. hk

        Something that Goebbels was hoping when FDR died. Well, in a way, USA and Germany did make peace soon after, just not the way Goebbels and Hitler were hoping for. Like what the Oracle told Croesus, it’s not clear which leaders and what kind of peace.

    2. zagonostra

      I wish someone would force regime change in the United States. It would be nice to be rid of the uni-party and have one that rules on behalf of the majority.

      1. Joe Renter

        That still may be dangerous considering the lack of common sense of the population.
        How about less influence of money and greed for starters?

    3. Mikel

      Maybe it still has to be determined to what extent the conscription has caused any “brain drain” from the country, but that could have a bigger effect on the Russian economy than the sanctions so far.

      1. hk

        Any halfway reliable numbers on how many people of what demographics actually left Russia in the past half year or so? If they wound up in Western friendly countries, especially, there ought to be reasonably good numbers (visas, etc) that can be easily accessed from their gov’ts for those who know where to call.

        1. Mikel

          And who knows if it’s over. It would be an ongoing process.
          Alot depends on the body count that emerges among those already conscripted.

          1. LifelongLib

            According to Wikipedia, Russia has conscription (draft) that obligates male citizens aged 18 -27 to one year of military service, if called. No info on how many are actually called each year.


            I don’t know if a call-up of reservists is properly called conscription. These are men who have already served in the military but are (I assume) legally obligated to more years of service if asked.

            1. Polar Socialist

              I think president just signed a degree for this autumn’s call-up to be around 126,000 if memory serves. In the spring call-up it was 134,500.

              It’s about 270,000 – 300,000 every year, in two batches. So basically Russia has about a million men with 4 or less years from their military training.

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              The conscription has been IIRC 135,000 called every half year, so 270,000 at any one time. Again v. a labor force of 75 million, this is small beer.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        First, it was not conscription. It was calling up reservists.

        Second, the “brain drain” is total Western made up bullshit. They have no idea precisely who left. About 300,000 left, v. a workforce in 2019 of over 75,000. Less than 0.5%.

    4. Old Sovietologist

      Rev Kev – A maiden in Moscow has been the NATO plan for a month now. The aim to set the house on fire from the inside.

      The problem they have is twofold. Firstly, many of the activists have fled Russia which won’t have disappointed Putin and the Liberal opposition is very divided.

      Mobilisation seems to be going fine but it seems they wont rush troops into action before they are ready

      Still Putin can’t relax until full mobilisation has been completed.

    5. Tom Stone

      The Problem is one man, Donald Putin.
      This is the good and the pure fighting pure evil!
      We must use every tool at our disposal or the Soviet Hordes will overrun WESTERN CIVILIZATION!

      I actually find slipping “Soviet” into a conversation about Ukraine can be quite amusing, most people will echo that rather than use “Russian”.
      How much money was lost on the Russian Railroad Bonds after the October Revolution
      and who lost it?
      It was enough for the US to send a Division of troops to Vladivostok armed with Remington made Moisin-Nagant rifles which the czar could no longer pay for.
      And while the Soviet Union was effing awful in some respects the propaganda has been non stop since 1917 with a short love affair with “Good old Uncle Joe” during ’42 to ’45.
      I have a great deal of respect for Russia and its people, and deeply regret that instead of recognizing the multipolar reality of the World the Hegemon has decided to dominate all or destroy all.
      Family-Clan-Tribe-City State- Nation State- Corporate State.
      The Corporate State is pathologically tribal in its nature, it has no connection to place or a shared purpose beyond growth and profit.
      And they work through the mechanisms of Nation States to achieve their ends.
      So we get a resource war with Russia because Corporations are Persons with wealth that exceeds that of most Nation States with an insatiable need for more.
      Nationalism sucks when it becomes the least extreme, Globalism sucks and blows at the same time

  9. GW

    Seeing all these highly educated types posting Ukrainian flags on their profiles isn’t just irritating. It’s unsettling. Don’t these people understand which country provoked the war, and why?

    I’ve talked superficially with some of these people – undergrads and grad students – at a nearby university. In spite of having higher than normal IQ’s (in fact, they’re often of superior or very superior intelligence) and not knowing anything about Russian or Ukrainian history, these folks feel comfortable making blunt judgments about the conflict.

    Often, these people will explain the the war is a “just” one fought by Ukraine, US, and NATO for the purpose of ending the historical practice of “spheres of influence.” They pride themselves on being progressively minded. They believe Russia’s the aggressor because it wants to turn Ukraine into a sphere of influence. Russian imperialism, some of them will say.

    Not a single one of them realizes that, in fact, the war is happening because the US wants a sphere of influence in the former USSR. It doesn’t help to point this out, either. They’ll just get uncomfortable and go silent upon hearing this argument. At least that’s my experience with them.

    We’re talking about intelligent people behaving like lemmings, really.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’d like to blame those people but when you think about it, is this not a result of how the education of our young is set up? From what I have read, education these days is more about checking tick-boxes and achieving minimal pass requirements whereas in a more ideal world, the young would be taught how to think critically and using a bit of lateral thinking. In fact, it may be worse these days for the young as when they go onto higher education, they have to contend with speech “safe-spaces” and can find themselves ostracized for wrongthink i.e. holding unpopular opinions. In higher education you would hope that the idea was that you could have an opinion but if challenged in a savage attack, that you could defend that idea in a manner that would get at the truth of the matter for all participants. So in a way, it was a refection of the scientific method but I don’t think that is a popular method these days alas.

      1. KD

        I am not aware that they even teach military history in higher ed, and I’m not sure they teach any diplomatic history like A.J.P. Taylor used to write. Further, stuff like the 1619 Project–leaving aside historical accuracy–is pretty much just a medieval morality play. The “history” seems mostly to be “four legs good, two legs bad” and mostly obsessed with the West, non-Western world figures mostly as imbeciles lacking self-agency abused by the big bad Western colonialists. I would imagine say history taught in China, while not sparing the abuses of the Japanese and the Western powers would not portray the Chinese people as the hapless victims you get in Western morality plays.

        Anyways, the kids have been provided a model of reality that doesn’t actually model reality, and they have been protected from facts that would show the model is ridiculous. Of course they don’t have a clue, its by design. [And I don’t think its imperialism, I think its nice people who have anti-odor spray in the bathroom doing the same with history because history ended.] The only alternative to maintaining a stable balance of power with defined spheres of influence is full thermonuclear war between the Great Powers of the World. That has been and will continue to be the only way to achieve relative peace and prosperity in the world. People won’t accept that because they are ignorant, and ignorant by design. But if they don’t wise up, they will see the consequences of foolishness and hubris.

        1. hunkerdown

          Reality is a perception. Reality is changed by changing perceptions. The middle class are taught how to manage people’s perceptions because capitalism can’t reproduce without lying and killing, and killing isn’t always free.

          If you can’t see how the middle class and its fussiness IS imperialism, how commercialism is actually a lifestyle choice, it could be because you’re invested in TINA neoliberalism and need other people to believe in your properties.

          1. KD

            No, reality is what you experience when you fall off your bicycle and hit the concrete.

            You may be correct: we certainly have this PMC niceness, kindness, mode of therapeutic social domination by compassionate experts, and it may very well be connected to neoliberalism. . . but is it imperialism?

            On the other hand, your standard 19th century imperialism (which was very capitalistic) was very much undergirded by racism and ruthless balance of power politics, which the current mode of “woke” US imperialism seems to lack. (Yes, the Russophobia is similar.) Of course, Europe was multipolar and so was European colonialism, so balance of power was necessary.

            The story in the 90’s was globalization, nations are obsolete, war is archaic, and history has ended. At that time, the relative power of the US to Russia and China was unprecedented, and so while war was not archaic, it was only elective wars that the US wanted to fight that were permitted. Americans are still living in the 1990’s, similar to the French when they got into it with the Germans in the 1870’s and got clobbered.

            On the other hand, no one has ever accused me so far of being invested in TINA neoliberalism. . . as far as “believing” in property, people will believe in your property so long as you have force to defend it. I think that view is older than neoliberalism.

            1. hk

              British imperialism in West Africa was partly fueled by a desire to end slavery by force. (it made for some very strange bedfellows)

              19th Century European imperialism, and even downright racism, had a pretty strong and very odd “woke” element (in fact, what makes a lot of woke arguments really uncomfortable to me is that they are rehashing the more “benevolent” variants of rank 19th century racism without much change, without realization (apparently)): white man’s burden, anyone?

              In a way, one might say that all these were self-justifying excuses. BUT that they needed to be made and publicized, imho, is an important thing.

              1. KD

                White liberals all see themselves as the Lone Ranger riding out with Tonto to protect against the ignorant yeoman farmers, without any awareness of the power dynamic that presupposes.

                Better the Hulk:
                Anarcho-Syndicalist Smash!

              2. David

                Yup, if you read the literature of the time, this is unmistakeable. The British case is better known and has probably been more studied, but actually the French, as you might expect, pursued the idea with the greatest rationality and conviction. The idea was to spread the ideas of the French Revolution throughout the world (that included ending slavery.) Imperialism at the time was far more controversial than we now realise, and many important sections of society, especially those involved in finance and industry, were strongly against it, as a diversion of resources and a potential cause for war. Whilst it’s an exaggeration to say that the great age of European imperialism was brought about by the NGO-equivalents of the time, I think it’s accepted that without them (especially the Churches) there would have been much less pressure for colonies.

        2. Old Sovietologist

          A.J.P. Taylor and Eric Hobsbawm are still very much on my students reading lists. However, I’m very much part of the old guard.

          Of fourteen academics in my department 12 are pro-Ukraine or more specifically anti-Putin. Its not the best place to be and I can’t remember an atmosphere like it in the last 30+ years.

          As for the students you can tell who has won the information war. There are a handful of
          skeptics and I have had a few tell me that they are pleased to hear contrition voices. However, most are following the official narrative.

        3. semper loquitur

          “I am not aware that they even teach military history in higher ed, and I’m not sure they teach any diplomatic history like A.J.P. Taylor used to write. Further, stuff like the 1619 Project–leaving aside historical accuracy–is pretty much just a medieval morality play”

          I studied US diplomatic history under an accomplished historian while an undergraduate and it was a real eye-opener. I already had a (shallow) critique of US power in place but for the other students it was a rough struggle to retool their thinking from moralizing accounts of American greatness and purity in it’s actions on the world stage to one of powerplays, deception, violence, and exploitation. Time and again the instructor would have to gently steer a student back from notions like, for example, that we went into WW II because it was “the right thing to do” or something similar.

          I think your characterization of the 1619 Project as a morality play is spot on. It’s a constant theme running through so much of liberal progressive culture. Ignoring material realities and historical facts in favor of moralizing. Not moral examinations, but moralizing, which I define as starting from a set of assumptions about the moral dimensions of a person or event and then bending everything towards those assumptions no matter how convoluted or irrational that route might be. It’s hard to analyze history and then explain that to others; it’s easy make some simplistic moral claims and appeal to other’s “gut feelings” about it.

      2. Lex

        I went to school when supposedly US education was still “good” and spent a lot of time in my HS world history class correcting the textbook to the annoyance of the teacher. I wouldn’t say college was much better when it came to history courses except where I had some Eastern European profs. I understand that I’m atypical, but in my age group of late 40’s (and people younger) I’m consistently shocked by how little history is known even in the broadest strokes.

    2. fresno dan

      Again and again, I come back to the history I have lived, and I am astounded at America circa 1968 and the present. I never would have believed back in ’68 that it would have evolved the way it has. There is probably more skepticism out there than we can see – but still, it is amazing what an all pervasive media environment of total propaganda can acheive…
      But maybe there can be great change again

      1. nippersdad

        It is kind of wild that the most “out there” hippies of my youth all became the most conformist citizens of my middle age. I, too, have no answer to how that happened. It is just very strange.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There were two waves of hippies. They may have looked alike, but the similarities ended there. The younger cohort was more aligned with what amounts to an “I’ve got mine” /libertarian attitude. When the war stopped being a concern, why not vote for someone who is going to cut your taxes? Think Bill Maher if he’s a bit young. New Ageism has a good deal of prosperity gospel nonsense, and libertarianism ran rampant in the second wave.

          The earlier pre-branded hippies participated in the Civil Rights movement. The second wave had Woodstock. The second wave of branded hippies got into disco, turned 30 and started voting for Reagan.

          1. digi_owl

            It always ends up going like that. Just look at early days burning man vs the current day tech bro hedonism.

            1. Wukchumni

              My longtime backpack partner has been going to Burning Man since the mid 90’s, and that version had lotsa guns, drive-by shooting galleries, explosives, fire everywhere on the playa and was generally out of control from what he said, truly anything went.

              The version i’m familiar with from 2003-2009 and this year is much tamer in comparison, and a heck of a lot safer.

              The much vaunted tech bro component looks like every other dirtbag (er, make that dustbag) on the playa. Maybe they were there, but how would you know, everybody looks the same.

          2. Mark Gisleson

            Interesting take. I graduated in ’71 and was definitely a freak but after reading your comment I realized I probably wasn’t rejecting the hippy ethos so much as I was rejecting the cultural mush that was shoveled in the late’60s/early ’70s. Being a hippy was hard, especially if you lived in a place that got snow in the winter. So they made being a hippy less difficult, easier to shop for. Then disco and dance/shop until you drop.

            Like a lot of freaks, I punked out and then flirted with grunge, the bottom line here being that I have spent LESS on clothing than most 1st Worlders. Worn, torn, patched or not patched, unbranded blue jeans. Almost all my caps were free and have advertising on them.

            I thought freaks had a lot to offer the left in terms of energy and commitment but then the neolibz improved everything by firing the volunteers and bringing in full-time staff to more efficiently fundraise to pay for all the staff not to mention expensive ads in lieu of free unpaid volunteers knocking on doors.

            1. ambrit

              Yes, I remember when the “hippy” food co-op we shopped at changed from a “group effort” to a “managed business.” The shift in outlook and emphasis was profound.

          1. THe Rev Kev

            That’s like a cartoon I saw once of a field full of people in tuxedos and the women in gowns and all were holding martinis. In the background was a sign saying ‘Woodstock: 20th Anniversary.”

    3. Carolinian

      US policy is always to play the villain while trying to arrange things so the other guy gets the blame via the school yard cry “they started it.” This was as true in Vietnam (which many intelligent people initially supported) as it is now. Large doses of propaganda are necessary to make our foreign policy palatable. Also educated people are just as prey to tribalism as anyone else. Part of being educated is that it allows the NYT readers to feel superior to the Fox viewers.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was definitely concerned for my fate, but luckily they weren’t taking Nixon-jugend in the late 60’s

          1. The Rev Kev

            I was wondering myself if the Vietnam war would be over first or whether I would reach 18 and then have to take my chances with the lottery system of conscription here in Oz. Fortunately the government finally changed and Whitlam ordered all Aussie forces out of Vietnam the same day of his election. Wanted nothing to do with a war that everybody could see by then was already lost.

            1. Wukchumni

              I discovered when I was about 10 that if you sent a letter to the MIA/POW organization requesting stickers, buttons and bracelets for your school that they would send you a veritable shitlode of them to distribute among the student body.

              I’m talking like 1,000 of each item. (not so much on the bracelets)

              There I was indoctrinating 5th graders, ha!

      1. hk

        This was true even during World War 2 (the history of the undeclared naval war between US and Germany through most of 1941, for 8-9 months before Pearl Harbor, or why the Pacific Fleet was at the Pearl Harbor in the first place rather than its home base at San Diego, make for a fascinating reading). The difference is that, especially in retrospect, the guys whom we fought (especially from our viewpoint) were clearly in the wrong. (This is now being a bit contested since, from the perspective of the Taiwanese, Ukrainians, and the Balts, this was not nearly so obvious). Knowing these, I don’t really care to make moral judgments about dirty tricks and deception in foreign policy and grand strategy–these happen and are part of the normal conduct of business, no matter who’s doing it–them or us. What should worry us is that they are being done in such plainly stupid way that they are self-destructive., IMHO. Why I think the morality of “excceptionalism” is dangerous is that it blinds people to the amorality of those activities and convinces them that, even if they are caught in the act redhanded, they are entitled to be not merely forgiven, but applauded for those things because they are “doing it for the superior moral reasons.”

        1. Joe Renter

          The fleet was in Pearl Harbor due to the expansion of the Japanese in the pacific. Handwriting was on the wall.

          1. Wukchumni

            The fleet @ Pearl Harbor consisted of circa 1910’s battleships and the aircraft carriers were conspicuously absent on the day of infamy.

            Some months after the attack, the first of the brand new North Carolina class modern battleships took to sea.

    4. Eclair

      I counter the claims that Russia, or ‘Putin,’ is trying to take over the world, by asking, “How many military bases/installations does the US have in foreign countries?” Usually the answer is, “I have no idea.” Then, how many US bases in Germany, in Italy, in the UK? How about the Middle East? Bahrain? UAE? Saudi Arabia? Japan and South Korea? What about Africom? One woman was adamant that there were only 2 bases in Germany and that the Bahrain port base had been closed for years. Smart phones can be so handy at times like this.

      We then move on to colonization, How many non-contiguous countries/continents has Russia (or China, btw) colonized vs. England, Belgium, France?

      However, I really don’t think I have changed any minds: people simply avoid talking Russia/Ukraine when I am present.

    5. hunkerdown

      In class societies, the “middle class” often has a ministerial role of generating and performing the myths that motivate and reproduce some institution of labor exploitation. Mythologists are often exempted from commodity production because non-laborers value activities that create the conditions for labor exploitation.

      No “marketplace of ideas” is actually operative here. Their ultimate class interest is in a dictatorship of the experts. They engage in “conversation” to do the will of their ideals on Earth as it is in Markets. All that does not celebrate their holiness is “Russian disinformation” or whatever the fresh hip trademark for blasphemy is this election cycle.

      In short, the parties are churches of the state, and the professional-managerial class are the priests and generals (and rentiers) of many of them around the world. And this is why we need freedom FROM religion.

      1. Mikel

        “…ministerial role of generating and performing the myths that motivate and reproduce some institution of labor exploitation…”

        And they also put it in the tax code.

    6. Skip Intro

      Those flags are merely the latest accoutrements of MSNBC-believers reputational economics: Virtue Hoarding
      They are used apolitically by the smugly embubbled to signal to in-group standing.

    7. jonboinAR

      To some extent or other, education has always been about learning fancier, often more abstruse, language with which to lie to ourselves and others. IOW, education doesn’t reduce the impulse to dishonesty any, seems to me. It often provides cover for it.

  10. Klimashkina

    I’m sorry – but what is the recommended solution for this transmission in schools? Close all schools down again? Thanks but no thanks.

      1. Eclair

        And spend a lot more time outside. Although this option is more difficult in high density urban areas. But not impossible, with a bit of creativity.

        1. Robert Hahl

          This is something schools are afraid to do because of shooters, but it doesn’t seem like the armed guard approach is working well. I think outdoor classes are a good idea.

          1. semper loquitur

            This is an interesting point. The “meta-problem” of solving problems in the US is that there are always a host of other problems that make solving a problem problematic. In a sane society, we could set up outdoor classes when necessary. But we have to worry about shooters and schools are short on money and there is a propaganda machine in place to make it seem as if COVID is over and parents don’t trust the school system and the school system is a political football for the politicians and so on ad nauseum.

            I guess this is what is meant when people describe the US as being brittle. There is no flexibility, fixing one part breaks other parts. Things cannot be fixed for fear of a cascade effect of problems. Nothing gets done.

    1. Mikel

      A better question is why don’t you know about any of the ways to reduce transmission of an airborne disease?

  11. fresno dan

    The great game in Ukraine is spinning out of control Jeffrey Sachs, Pearls and Irritations (resilc)
    Under Clinton’s watch, NATO expanded to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in 1999. Five years later, under President George W. Bush, Jr. NATO expanded to seven more countries: the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), the Black Sea (Bulgaria and Romania), the Balkans (Slovenia), and Slovakia. Under President Barack Obama, NATO expanded to Albania and Croatia in 2009, and under President Donald Trump, to Montenegro in 2019.
    Not news to NC readers, but I doubt one in a hundred Americans understand how little of US policy is changed by political parties. One reason why I never get TOO upset about Trump – on serious matters, all the parties are nearly identical.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      “on serious matters, all the parties are nearly identical.” I told an ex co-worker this at the height of the Tea Party craze, and he told me I just didn’t understand.

      1. Massinissa

        Yeah, the Tea Party craze has come and gone, and they changed nothing of consequence in either party. But perhaps I just don’t understand either.

    2. cosmiccretin

      Julius Nyerere, then president of Tanzania, expressed that truth better than anyone.

      In response to repeated denigration by “the West” of Tanzania (a democracy btw) as a so-called one-party state, he shot back:- “The USA is a one-party state but – with typical American extravagance – it has two of them”.

  12. Wyatt Powell

    The Patrick Lawrence article is genuinely beautiful, IMO, it is todays must read.

    Thank you NC and thank Patrick for it.


    1. fresno dan

      I agree.
      From the article:
      Nations dependent on power alone lack the coherence found among the strong. In them you find that all relations are power relations. The social fabric is in consequence frayed. There is an evident atomization among the citizens of these nations, leaving them with no social bonds or common purpose and nothing to believe in.
      When a nation’s ethos tips toward the pursuit of power, the polity is hollowed out. All the familiar social ills proceed from this — inequality, corruption, greed, and the collapse of mediating institutions through which people are able to express their political will.
      The rampant, perverse corporatization of every aspect of life in unduly powerful nations represents the institutionalization of these characteristics. When everything is measured according to its potential to turn profit, we have to say that Margaret Thatcher was horribly right when she asserted, “There is no society. There are only individuals.” This is a key feature of nations that are merely powerful.

  13. Joe Well

    I have never been to Uruguay, but I got medical care next door in Argentina at private clinics, and I did not find the doctors anymore paternalistic than anywhere else. Of course, I was speaking Spanish but doctors in private hospitals usually have excellent English. I have found that in any country if people have trouble communicating with me, they will resort to simple commands for obvious reasons.

    Argentina has the highest levels of English in Latin America, and I would imagine that Uruguay is not far off.

    Uruguay is expensive by Latin American standards. Since I speak Spanish, if I wanted to live cheap right now I’d go to Argentina. But Argentina could be expensive again easily.

    I don’t know what you mean by “mañana.”

    The biggest downside of South America is consumer goods. Expensive and reduced selection.

    Are there many North American expats in Uruguay?

    My one big tip is that looking at expat Facebook groups, most of their complaints are a result of not knowing Spanish. You don’t have to really learn it, but you need to get someone who is a fixer. And some locals to talk with who will be frank about local conditions/complain.

    1. Stephen

      I cannot open the NYT article but I spent time in Uruguay in early 2020, prior to Covid. Had just been to Argentina and Chile.

      Some people see it as the Switzerland of Latin America and there is truth in this. In Argentina and Chile, passport control was manual whereas for Uruguay it was totally electronic even for a UK National. No queue either. Taxi cabs in the other countries were also reasonable but not great cars, the ones at the airport in Uruguay were all large new Mercs and so forth. It did not feel that cheap either, as Yves says, but highly developed in a more uniform way than the other two countries.

      Culturally. I really liked Argentina. Has a real depth and richness to it. Shame that it was so wealthy at the end of the nineteenth century and failed to progress to its full potential.

      1. Revenant

        I cannot locate the link but, in the vein as one I shared in a discussion with Plutoniumkun, there was a recent genetic anthropology study showing that Uruguay is the most European of the South American countries by descent (except the Falklands, which are basically pure settler, given human-penguin hybrids are sterile).

        1. ambrit

          I was going to counter your point with the example of Terran human sheep hybrids, (see, Scots.) Then I realized that the sheep on the Falkland Islands were all imported, thus technically also settlers.

      2. anon in so cal

        Argentina and Chile are spectacularly beautiful and fascinating countries. If I were relocating, I’d choose Argentina over Chile. Never been to Uruguay.

        Malaysia was wonderful to visit. Most areas are hot and humid except for the highlands.

        What I always say to anyone contemplating relocating: have you visited and spent time there, such as, at minimum, one month?

  14. ArkansasAngie

    “Trump’s death threat against McConnell and the silence of the Democratic Party”.

    The purpose of this article by WSWS is ?????

    Has it made “you” hate Trump more? Are you now going to change from voting for Trump to against him (should he ever run again).

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Just goes to show how highly contagious the Trump Derangement Syndrome is.

      A “clear and unambiguous” death threat?!!!???! It was clearly an allusion to political “death”, not a sign that Trump was about put on a black robe and take a scythe to McConnell.

      We truly are in the stupidest timeline.

  15. nippersdad

    I, too, have been wondering what Mercouris, much less the Russian public, is bothered about wrt the Kherson and Kharkov fronts. Hasn’t strategic retreat during bad weather been a feature of Russian warfare for centuries now? Seems like luring the majority of the Ukrainian forces into a mudhole would be something that he (and they) would be salivating at.

    Drag ’em in, wear ’em out and then massacre them.

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the Russian military has not had much to say about this. The knowing glances should tell all even as the Western powers behind the puppet show demonstrate their lack of awareness of what is to come.

      1. hunkerdown

        Feral hog hunting was baked into the conflict since 2014. Someone was going to have to run everyone off of Cargill’s land eventually.

      2. The Rev Kev

        They have been doing that since 2014. Not all those 14,000 dead people were killed by artillery fire after all. These sort of people think that pogroms are a really good idea and try to practice it.

      3. Sibiryak

        “Strategic Retreat” has unintended consequences.

        True enough. But what would have occured if those Russian forces had not retreated?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Those formations would have been surrounded and destroyed. The Ukrainians would have been able to use the surviving equipment for their own forces and any survivors would be used as bargaining chips in future negotiations with Russia. Meanwhile, the Russians would have less forces to plug the line against Ukrainian advances and moral would suffer as Russian & allied forces would see their lives being thrown away on territory of no strategic value.

      4. nippersdad

        From the little I have heard on the topic, it sounds like the Russians have been evacuating those in danger of Ukrainian reprisals ever since Bucha, hence the deserted nature of the land in contention right now. I imagine that were the Ukrainians to try and take populated areas they would soon find that Russia is more than capable of taking care of their own.

        Those fronts look like traps to me, and I would take anything that the Daily Mail has to say with a block of salt. I don’t know what the Brits’ deal is, but they have been more rabid than anyone with less of a rationale for being so.

          1. zagonostra

            Twice I ran into the word “delenda” today, first time it was an article titled Germania Delenda Est

    1. pjay

      The pro-Ukrainian spin has been very powerful. In addition to the hysteria by all the “pro-Russian” bloggers, Moon of Alabama also posted a “what the Hell’s going on?” piece similar to that of Mercouris.

      I’m not going to claim enough knowledge or prescience to reject their concerns. But I will say that for those whose anxiety level is rising with the propaganda noise, Brian Berletic’s piece is an excellent antidote.

      1. nippersdad

        Agreed. He has been on point for the duration of the conflict. I find Ritter, for all of his bombast, to have been largely correct as well. I don’t think that there was ever a time when the end was not foreseen, but the lengths to which NATO and the EU have gone to force it has been really shocking. One almost wants to ask “Why the suicide pact”?

        If I could figure out that this was the end of the petrodollar subsidy when they stole Russia’s foreign exchange I would have thought smarter people than I would have stopped the train. This is just a wreck, and one can only attribute it to hubris and lack of imagination.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I don’t agree re Ritter. I was mislead by his repeated early call that Russia would wrap things up pronto. and was put off by his flip flop that NATO supplied weapons would be a game changer. He also acted as if the Kharkiv strategic retreat was a big deal military defeat, as opposed to a PR one.

          Douglas MacGregor does not comment often but in addition to being seasoned, he appears to have his own sources of intel.

  16. Robert Hahl

    Re: “Kharkov and Mobilization” Jacques Baud, The Postil

    Tocqueville mentioned how pretentious Americans are and I think nothing has changed. It is useful to keep that in mind when analyzing any official statement or action, and to look for multiple layers of pretense in most things, so this sentence jumped out at me:

    “In his speech, Vladimir Putin does not threaten to use nuclear weapons, but other types of weapons. He is of course thinking of hypersonic weapons, which do not need to be nuclear to be effective and which can thwart Western defences.”

    This means not only is Washington pretending that Russia is loosing the war, and desperate (obviously), but that nuclear weapons are still the most important weapons in the arms race. Not so. Hypersonic missiles armed with conventional explosives can drill down into those emergency bunkers and mountain safe havens. A true game changer. You can’t understand what is happening if you only think that these things as getting to the target faster or are not interceptable. Those are least of our problems and they know it.

  17. The Rev Kev

    Can very much recommend that “The Limits of Ukraine’s Offensive and the High Price to Pay When it Ends” video by Brian Berletic. He really does give good analysis and puts what Russia is doing into context. In short, Russia is swapping small sections of territory for the destruction of Ukrainian soldiers and armour. And every day it seems that I hear of one or two dozen armoured vehicles and tanks being destroyed which no army can sustain. It sounds like the Ukrainians are throwing the last of their armoured units into battle to win some sort of victory before all those Russian reservist come online. Maybe in doing so they hope to put themselves into abetter position if there is a cease fire.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The CIA wishes to disagree with you. Our favorite Langley mouthpiece tells us the war is almost over, Putin is trembling in his underground bunker and Zelensky is Patton/ St. George wrapped up into one. I can only hope that they don’t really believe this crap.

      “As Ukrainian troops surged forward on the ground this week, European leaders who gathered at a conference here were heady with what many described as an impending Ukrainian triumph over Russian President Vladimir Putin and the lawless, autocratic system he represents.”

      1. nippersdad

        I imagine that they almost have to herald Zelensky et al as the next coming, it is for them an existential fight. When, not if but when, this is lost, over thirty years of pure crapfest is going to be laid at their feet for public perusal. This is a country that has valued sacrificial goats for a very long time, and in the best puritanical tradition they may soon find themselves with a choice between relocation and a bonfire.

        Burn the witches!

        I seem to recall the Bush family had bought the better part of a Paraguayan acquifer to escape to in this event, and they might want to start buying shares on that property as a means of self preservation.

    2. Darthbobber

      Could be misreading, but I think the Ukrainian offensives have moved into a parallel with the waning weeks of the 1916 Brusilov offensive, in which the Russians continued to attack with few to no further gains for weeks after their initial drive was halted. Impressive amounts of real estate had been acquired,(at a cost of around a million casualties on each side) but it also broke the Russian army, and the february revolution followed within 5 months of its conclusion. But it DID burnish the Russian rep briefly and generated a ton of favorable press in the entente countries.

      1. hk

        Brusilov offensive also broke the back of Austria-Hungary, who were no longer a really independent actor. At the same time, it also inspired innovations in German tactics as the “infiltration tactics” developed by Brusilov proved highly effective in breaking through prepared defenses.

        No clue if there is an equivalent to either today, though.

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        Interesting comparison to the Brusilov offensive, I hadn’t thought of that, thanks. I have argued often w historically-minded Russians that the Brusilov campaign was a Pyrrhic victory. IMHO, the current UKR offensives are reminiscent of Ludendorff’s spring 1918 advances on the western front, which ultimately seized a lot of unimportant territory while inflicting awful and irreplaceable casualties on the German army whilst overextending their lines. While the western armies gathered their reserves and then smashed the Germans with surprising speed. Are we in for a repeat? Who knows.

        1. Stephen

          I agree. That is exactly the analogy I have been thinking of.

          Just as happened in the Spring Offensives, the Russian Army is retreating in good order and is not broken. Unlike the Spring Offensives no one is demonstrating that it is suffering serious casualties or the other indicators of a defeated army such as leaving large quantities of wounded and equipment behind. Despite the squawking by western media.

          At the same time, pictures showing literally trainloads of Russian equipment rolling slowly towards the area of operations have been appearing. Guess they are getting ready for the equivalent of the Hundred Days.

        2. Darthbobber

          And in addition to the other defects of Ludendorff’s western front campaign, he left Hoffman with 800,000 men in Russia, bravely fighting not much of anybody while the last throw of the dice in the west was coming up short.

    3. hk

      If this is the game Russia is playing (there is good reason to believe that it is–in fact, it is the only reason I can think of as to why they are retreating without being actually defeated), there seems to be a good rationale for it: regardless of the number of casualties Russia has been inflicting on the Ukrainians in the first half year of war, most seem to have been falling on conscripts and other “cannon fodder.” Like most modern countries, Ukraine too probably has a two tier military: relatively few properly trained professionals and regulars and fairly numerous riffraff (militias, conscripts, foreign volunteers without useful military background, and such). It seems unlikely that Ukrainian regulars have been suffering a lot of casualties since they would have hoarded them carefully, arming them with good Western gear and training them for a chance to hit hard. So Russia had to give the Ukrainians a chance to “hit hard” to lure the professional part of their military out.

      1. nippersdad

        It sounds like the more motivated and professional parts of their military could be found behind the rest of the troops with bayonets mounted ever since Mariupol, so you had to get through a lot of conscripted convicts and accountants to get to them. It may not be so much that they have been hoarding them as that is all they have left.

        1. juno mas

          Yes, the Krakken gang has been shooting retreating conscripts. Advancing or retreating they will die.

    4. Mike

      It could be easy to say something similar about Russia…I’ve watched hundreds of videos of combat footage, of Russian armor of all shapes and sizes being blown up on either Funker or Documenting Reality, and it hasn’t slowed down with this retreat. Between that and telegram there are easily thousands. It could be true that a lot of these videos could be of Ukrainians and be mislabeled to their benefit or propaganda. I guess I would say it seems that both sides are sustaining serious losses. I don’t think its too much of a stretch to say that at a minimum the Russians haven’t sent the best or that they really don’t have the punch a lot of people thought. No I’m not a US fanboy but it’s impossible to ignore the destruction.

      The Russian’s will “win” as they simply have more manpower and resources and are clearly mustering themselves for a bigger fight. However we can’t deny that the Ukrainians a large reserve of bodies and don’t appear to be giving up, this will be costly for Russia I believe. They’ve decided millions of men are worth it.

      1. Stephen

        All of America’s / the west’s wars of misadventure have costs lots of lives. Just typically not American ones.

        I saw a statistic that the proxy Afghan National Army suffered 50,000 deaths in action during the whole campaign whilst American deaths were under 2,000. Civilian casualties resulting from the aggression across the Middle East are a multiple of these figures. Again, not Americans so the MICC really seems not to care.

        These relative numbers rarely (if ever) get highlighted by the corporate media, of course.

    5. Cetra Ess

      Berletic’s piece made me wonder what the US game plan is, given the mere crumbs they’re releasing to the Ukrainians, given they appear to want to make the whole situation worse for the Ukrainians, given they’re pushing the European economy toward induced collapse which will have cascading effects on the world economy, including the US.

      Given they just blatantly, wildly and wrecklessly sabotaged German infrastructure, for no apparent reason other than ideological, and at significant cost to the environment, the human cost to come later, a statement in and of itself about what the US is willing to do in this conflict.

      The Russian response seems….responsible, measured, methodical, careful, logical, avoiding appearance of retaliation or anger. Meanwhile, the Americans seem unhinged and it almost seems like every action is aimed at bringing on the apocalypse.

      I wonder if the US game plan is they intend to use nukes pre-emptively, it would seem consistent with their actions and wrecklessness thus far.

  18. Dave in Austin

    Re the Dugina article “US officials say Ukraine was behind car bomb that killed daughter of Russian nationalist: NYT The Hill.

    The NYT leak on the Dugina killing is not getting a “We are outraged” from the Biden administration, so the leak appears to be authorized. El Jazeera has an interesting note at:

    The El Jazeera article says:

    “The US officials who spoke about the intelligence did not disclose which elements of the Ukrainian government were believed to have authorized the mission, who carried out the attack, or whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed off on it.

    Ukraine’s government denied involvement at the time, and when asked about the US intelligence assessment, Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak reiterated those denials.

    “Again, I’ll underline that any murder during wartime in some country or another must carry with it some kind of practical significance,” Podolyak told The New York Times. “It should fulfill some specific purpose, tactical or strategic. Someone like Dugina is not a tactical or a strategic target for Ukraine.”

    Podolyak seems to be saying a murder (not a killing) “in some country or another” must have a specific purpose, which the killing of Dugina lacks. But clearly the attack was aimed at her father and she was an accidental victim. My take: either this article is a covert Ukrainian apology, a warning shot across Zelenskyy’s bow by the US or an admission that a poorly controlled Ukrainian intelligence organization acted on its own- a case of “Who will rid me of this troublesome monk?”

    Both sides are downplaying this killing. Neither side wants the conflict to accidentally spin out of control.

    1. KD

      The US is trying to wash its hands because *everyone knows* Nordstream sabotage wasn’t likely done by the Russians, and if assassinating Dugina-a Russian journalist with no greater political value–simply to incite terror is linked to the US, it will damage the US international reputation even more.

      1. zagonostra

        it will damage the US international reputation even more

        That would be a hard task after Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse, but you’re probably right.

  19. pjay

    – ‘New NIH Grant Awarded to Group Central to Lab Leak Theory’ – Intercept

    Understandably, most of our recent attention and outrage has focused on the Russia/Ukraine issue. But I just can’t ignore this. It is outrageous that Daszak was able to sabotage an investigation that directly affected him and suffer no consequences. It is outrageous that Daszak could withhold evidence with impunity. And now, he is rewarded with *another* f***ing multi-million dollar NIH grant! Just who *is* this Daszak guy, and how powerful are his friends?

    Paging Jeffery Sachs for a comment.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Yes pls, would love to hear from Prof. Sachs on this —

      dog bless him for speaking out lately.

  20. Mikel

    “The Climate Economy Is About to Explode” The Atlantic

    “Late last month, analysts at the investment bank Credit Suisse published a research note about America’s new climate law that went nearly unnoticed….”

    “Many of the IRA’s most important provisions, such as its incentives for electric vehicles and zero-carbon electricity, are “uncapped” tax credits. That means that as long as you meet their terms, the government will award them: There’s no budget or limit written into the law that restricts how much the government can spend…”

    BIG loans will be taken ou, by individuals as well as individuals, for a possible means tested “tax credit” sometime down the line.

    Why wouldn’t bank rave about that?
    Probably the only thing that would make them rave more is if the big ticket purchases wete mandated.

    1. Mikel

      “BIG loans will be taken out, by individuals as well as institutions”
      “were mandated”

      got a bit hurried there…

  21. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Register article which explains something that those of us of a geeky persuasion already understand.

    So the real deal about free and open source software is this: since you can’t really buy or own software at all, only big companies can, then the only software that isn’t someone else’s property is software that is nobody’s property.

    The one meaningful advantage to having the source code is just that you can make your own unlimited copies. If it’s legal to get the source code, it’s legal to use it to make more copies. So the only software that doesn’t put you under someone else’s control is software that isn’t someone else’s. Software that isn’t a trade secret. Meaning software that is community property, open to everyone.

    It’s not about ownership at all. It never was. It’s about control.

    In other words you control it or it controls you. And while Linux itself isn’t perfectly safe or perfect control–as the article explains–you will at least have much more control and not be a slave to someone else’s business model. Long ago H.G.Wells wrote a story about an underground society that cultivated an above ground society that would live in perfect comfort and convenience–until they get eaten.

    1. Soredemos

      Linux is awful. Not from a programming standpoint, there it’s extremely streamlined and efficient (though Windows has also massively upped its game since Windows 7 on that front). But from a user experience standpoint Linux is nearly as big a trainwreck as it ever was. It’s for nerds, full stop. It’s a technicians OS. It’s for people who genuinely don’t mind opening up the Terminal and compiling their own code to run anything. And the only solution the Linux community can offer on that front are App centers stolen right out of the Apple playbook. Which is good for popular stuff that is in the App list, but you’re SOL if you want something not included.

      The Linux community needs to stop coming up with an endless series of slightly different specialized distros and concentrate on making something normal people will actually want to use. Because for something that is literally free to still have such a small market share, there’s a lot more going on there than just ‘evil Microsoft monopoly’. The UX with Linux is just miserable, and it turns normal people off.

      1. Carolinian

        Throw Microsoft or Apple money at Linux and you’ll have all the suave user interface you want. It’s an operating system that is given away for free so it’s hardly surprising that it’s a bit bare bones. I find this objection beside the point. And as today’s linked article (by a computer expert) says, you can waste plenty of time scratching your head over the latest seemingly random marketing twist by Windows. I use both OS and find the predictability of Linux–once you spend some time with it–to be vastly preferable. There are lots of commenters here who are not nerds who say they like it very much.

        This is really what the Register article is talking about. Big Tech goes to lengths to seduce you into their particular “world” so that it will be too complicated to leave. Whereas simple but standardized gives users a lot more freedom. Yes Linux may not be simple at first but after awhile it is.

        1. orlbucfan

          I’ll bet they don’t provide you with a literate Operators Manual either. I have bitched about that problem to my high- tech genius Hubster since forever.

        2. Soredemos

          Sorry, but that argument doesn’t hold up. When it comes to something like UX the money factor is mostly just paying people to sit down and do a bunch of work at a computer, with to some extent the related element that the people with the most UI experience will likely charge a bigger paycheck.

          But the problem with Linux is absolutely not either a lack of time and effort invested, or a lack of skill. A huge amount of skilled volunteer work goes into Linux. The problem is that all that effort is being dispersed across dozens, nay scores, of distros. The continued failure of Linux to catch on is very much a self-inflicted problem of the Linux development community. They need to whittle all their efforts down to, say, a half dozen or so distros and then pour all their energy into making those the best experiences they can be. They don’t even have to put equal effort into all of them; Mint and Ubuntu could continue to slug it out to be the most user friendly general purpose desktop environment, while the others could be more technical and specialized.

          1. Gumbo

            “They” is doing a lot of work there. “They” aren’t a coherent whole but different groups trying to improve the product. To accuse “them” of dispersing the effort across dozens of distros is to misunderstand the environment.

            1. Soredemos

              Oh please. Let’s not pretend the Linux community isn’t, well, a community. They have the internet. They have forums. They could knuckle down and coordinate their efforts for the betterment of Linux as a whole. Or they can keep doing what they’ve done for decades, which is start distro number 379 and fume that normal people still refuse to adopt a superior, and literally free, OS.

              I give Linux another fair try every few years, and each and every time it still sucks and I would never reccomend it to a normal user.

    2. Acacia

      One thing worth adding WRT open source projects is that often the support is incredibly good.

      If you encounter a problem and need support, you join a forum, you post the problem, and often in less than 24 hours there are smart people responding and helping you resolve the issue. On many projects, you can even end up in dialog with a developer.

      By contrast, if you have a problem with, say, just about any part of macOS, you join one of the Apple forums and usually find dozens of other people asking about the same problem, and nobody has a solution. The Apple devs are completely insulated, I guess off in some lovely office in Cupertino, thinking big thoughts or something. You pretty quickly realize that you will never get much in the way of actual software support from Apple.

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘Schools are Significant Sites of COVID Transmission’

    This was always known. Remember the first year of the Pandemic the insistence that kids had to go to school by so many people? And not just in the US either. I thought at the time that they wanted the kids to go to school so that their parents would have no excuse not to go to work – in the middle of a pandemic. But now I wonder if the real reason was that they wanted those kids to go to school precisely because they know that those kids would get infected and take that virus back to their families and then their neighbouring communities. That way they would have a big massive wave of infections and before you knew it, you would have herd immunity and so the pandemic would be behind us and the economy could go back to norbal.

  23. Adrian D.

    @Yves – have you been to Malaysia? It’s been a long while for me, but I can see why it would be on your list – strangely it didn’t come up in a conversation with some friends on this subject last week where we decided upon Chile, Ecuador or NZ (the latter on fall-out grounds). I’d have some reservation of moving myself to a state where the major religion was Islam (on sex/gender rights grounds), but they carry that all very lightly as far as I can see. Lots of very good English spoken – which would only tend to make the learning of Malay less urgent.

  24. Mikel

    “Changes in social mores, the legalization of same-sex marriages, bans on gender discrimination in labor markets, and widening economic inequality make it more likely that today’s households will consist of a multi-generational family, single parents, unmarried partners, childless married couples, and married parents who both earn income in the paid labor market,” Dickerson added…”

    Oh, just tell them that all of the groups take out loans too…that should get some attention.

  25. Wukchumni

    Before you slip into more unscrupulousness
    I’d like to have another diss
    Another flashing chance at bliss
    Another diss, another diss

    Your days are bright and filled with gain
    Pardon me from your ill-gotten refrain
    The time you ran things was too insane
    We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

    Oh tell me where your freedom lies
    Markets eventually up & die
    Deliver me from reasons why
    You’d rather fly to your bunker, I’d rather cry

    The Cristal shift is being filled
    A thousand bubbles, a thousand troubles
    A million ways to spend your Dimes
    The hangover, it could last a long time

    George Winston – The Crystal Ship

    1. orlbucfan

      Wuk: that sure sounds like “The Crystal Ship” by the Doors. Great iconic tune. Plus, George Winston is a graduate of the same college I graduated from: Stetson University. Location: east central FL. Not all Floridians are dumbazzes.

  26. Tom Stone

    When I envision John Bolton relaxing at home he’s sucking the marrow out of an infants thighbone in a thoughtful manner while watching the CIA torture tapes.
    Whatever eats the dung of a dung beetle is less repulsive than John Bolton.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The good news is that he is getting old and decrepit and just got beat up by a girl – Assange’s wife as it turned out to be.

  27. zagonostra

    >Petraeus: Putin is ‘literally out of moves’

    The gains became the latest embarrassments for Putin, who has faced steep territorial losses in recent weeks from a Ukrainian counteroffensive that previously found significant success in the country’s northeast.

    What is Petraues talking about, Russia just incorporated 20% of Ukraine’s land mass into “Mother Russia.” Don’t know too much about Petraues except that he was hailed as some military wunderkind during Iraq War II. Seems so odd and out of step with Colonel Douglas Macgregor’s analysis.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      I remember when it came out that he slept with his biographer, someone commenting that it was probably as close as he could get to sleeping with himself. Another one of America’s failed generals. But, I am sure he has made bank.

      1. jo6pac

        betryus also gave his biographer top secrets folds to include in her book. Then no one went to jail?

    2. Wukchumni

      An oldie but a goodie…

      Ooo bonk me Dave Patraeus
      Bonk me Dave Patraeus…
      Bonk bonk bonk bonk me Dave Patraeus
      Bonk me all the time to the top

      He was into Intelligence
      And he lived in the big city
      It was near Vienna, in Langley
      Where he did everything
      He had Humordor by the balls, in the CIA halls
      But a couple women loved him
      And each one shouted:
      Come on and bonk me Dave Patraeus

      Patraeus, Patraeus, Patraeus
      Patraeus, Patraeus, Patraeus
      Patraeus, Patraeus, oh oh oh bonk me Dave Patraeus

      He was Superstar
      He was popular
      He was so exalted
      And then his peter got excited
      He was a reverse cuckold
      As his wife was looking old
      And he shouted:
      Come on and bonk me, i’m Dave Patraeus

    3. anon in so cal

      Petraeus (who also conned Obama into the Afghanistan surge) and the entire MSM keep repeating the propaganda that Russia is on the verge of defeat, collapsing, etc. It is the case that some of the Russian telegram accounts suggest some snafus in the mobilization program. Dmitri Sablin also noted this.

      Assuming that Berletic’s take on the military situation is accurate, and assuming that the US nat sec state knows its propaganda is completely false, then why are they saturating the public with the bs that Russia is on the precipice? My guess is they are setting the stage for a false flag.

  28. The Rev Kev

    ‘The question remains–what is Putin’s gambit?’

    Use to play a lot of “Age of Empires 2” years ago which is still so popular, that it has been expanded and playable online. You started off with very little and you had to grow your economy while balancing it with a military to defend yourself. Point is, from what I am seeing in the Ukraine, it sounds very familiar. So when I fought 4 or 5 AIs on hardest, I would let them come to me and swap territory for their heavy equipment and then let my defenses deal with the rest. I would do this until they had exhausted their economies at which point I could send out a strike force to mop those enemies up one after another.

    Something similar here. The Russians are letting the Ukrainians come to them and are taking out their heavy gear while swapping small sections of territory. Not only have the Ukrainians lost their own heavy gear, but they have used up most of the heavy gear sent by the west and now there is very little to send. We are reaching the point where there will be virtually none. And the Ukrainian economy is toast as well and is heading for hyperinflation. And when the Russian reinforcements arrive and are integrated & the ground frozen solid, the Russians will send not one strike force but probably a coupla – and the Ukrainians will have nothing to stop them with at all. And that point expect to hear calls for a cease fire and very long term negotiations which will go nowhere if taken up- (7:10 mins)

  29. JAC

    “Shocking Study Finds Decreased Proteins – Not Amyloid Plaques – Cause Alzheimer’s Disease ”

    So, the simple answer is increasing the effectiveness of soluble amyloid-beta. I know most of you here think I am just a stupid nobody when I go on about this stuff but I think that it is because what I am saying is so simple is the reason no one listens. As for the Alzheimer’s Pharmaceutical Industry, it is in their interest not to hear it.

    The simple answer to make better soluble amyloid-beta? Zinc.

    Zinc lowers amyloid-beta toxicity by selectively precipitating aggregation intermediates

    So we are going to be seeing a lot more Alzheimer’s because we let COVID run amok and never told anyone to check their RBC zinc.

    Here are some more papers regarding zinc and amyloid plaques:,38&as_vis=1

      1. Acacia

        If a Zinc deficiency is one of the important factors, doesn’t it imply there must be something(?) about the standard diet that leads to this condition? Are there any broad studies of this?

  30. Wukchumni

    Joey was down in Florida and apparently was caught on mike saying:

    ‘Nobody {family blogs) up like a Biden’

  31. Ignacio

    RE: Shocking Study Finds Decreased Proteins – Not Amyloid Plaques – Cause Alzheimer’s Disease SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

    Shocking, shocking!! A headline designed to attract attention. The research is very interesting and goes deeper into the root causes of Alzheimer’s disease but the results are not shocking and do not dispute the role of amyloid plaques. Instead tries to describe the mechanisms that cause them.

    1. JAC

      No, this is really important. The Plaques are not bad, the aggregation intermediates are bad. They are saying that Alzheimer’s is being cause by a disruption in plaque formation.

  32. Lexx

    ‘Nursing Shortage Sparks Bidding War…’

    Veterinary teaching hospitals as well. I was on the phone talking to our dog’s internist, an earnest young woman who said to me, ‘Honestly, Lexx, sometimes I think this school may be falling apart’. The cause is the lack of two year techs where the graduating students are being hired for higher pay by private practices even before they’ve completed their studies and shifted their tassels to the other side of their caps. They’ve decreased their open hours for both urgent care and emergency. Kennel space is at capacity because there isn’t enough staff to watch over more animals overnight.

    The majority of the daily grunt work is done by techs. Residents have always been limited; they’re better paid. Every resident we’ve seen to the end of their residency had a facial expression like they’d just returned from a war front and were so glad to be off the field and finally enjoying the easy more relaxed pace of civilian life. Ha!

    The private practices around here are just trying to keep their doors open with fewer employees to get the work done, before they’re offered a buyout too tempting to refuse and/or become employees instead of owners with new corporate partners where they have little say in how the business is run. So offering a freshly minted tech more money is rationalized as a survival strategy.

    In every type of healthcare, people (and their pets) just stopped seeking professional help unless absolutely necessary. There have been consequences… we’re effectively all po’ now.

    Given who likely remains at the vet hospital to do tests and type up reports, almost every detail on the dismissal report we received (by email) became suspect. Some of it just seems to be outright horse hockey.

  33. JBird4049

    >>>New Infectious Threats Are Coming. The U.S. Probably Won’t Contain Them.

    I see Lambert Strether’s “#2 Go Die” is working nicely.

  34. Lee

    “New York Times (resilc). Uruguay is still high on my list of possible expat destinations…”

    Given climate change, you might want to consider distancing yourself from to the equator as one of your criteria. The Yukon and the northern Russian steppe are looking pretty good for the longer run in that regard. They are low density population areas now but I’m guessing that will be changing as as latitudinal shifts in available arable land continue to occur causing climate-driven mass migration to further ramp up.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      At 65, I can’t get into Canada or Russia. And I could not get my US generated income into Russia very easily either.

      A big issue is visas.

      And the change in temps will be much greater at the poles than at the equator.

      High-latitude regions – far north or south of the Equator – warm more rapidly than the global average because excess heat in the tropics creates a temperature and pressure gradient. This drives heat up to higher elevations and higher latitudes through an atmospheric circulation called the Hadley cell.

      The stronger the gradient, the more heat is exported.

      However, an offset is urban density. Singapore has shown higher increases in heat than predicted due to heat island effect.

      I am looking at Penang, which is not that dense overall due to having a central peaked area with few people on it and concentrated ‘hoods in the lower areas.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Penang might be a good choice. I have not been there myself but I’ve heard from friends that there is a “significant” expatriate community and it’s also diverse. The quality of medical care in Malaysia is high, and the country as a whole is self sufficient in terms of food. Local fare might not be to your liking, but hei at least it’s hard to get hungry. I’ve only been to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca (I took my dad for a medical checkup there), and although I am still partial to Kuala Lumpur, I totally enjoyed my sojourn to Malacca.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          As to how Penang compares to Singapore. The locals sometime call Singapore the tiny red dot, but it’s also a true international city. I lived there for quite some time, and in my opinion, it’s hard for any major city in the region to compete with Singapore in terms of pretty much everything e.g. convenience, safety, medical care quality (best in the region) with the exception of cost of living. Rent is high and the price of real estate is pretty much WTF.

          The big con to Singapore is obviously the super small size, I simply can’t imagine being locked down in Singapore for two years, especially for people who have never lived in an island, I can imagine them developing a minor island fever.

  35. Anthony K Wikrent

    “software people cannot relate to the (non) skill level of mere mortals”

    Quite right! Veblen’s analysis of conspicuous consumption as a marker of elite leisure class status is applicable here. Thomas Frank’s analysis of professional credentialism echoes Veblen’s analysis in many ways. So, they don’t even want to relate to “mere mortals.”

  36. Mikel

    Dentist says “We cannot hire another hygienist, no matter what we offer in pay.”

    What does that even mean?
    You don’t like the way the applicants look? What exactly is it?

    1. curlydan

      I love it when people give me that line. Reminds me of the classic “jobs only illegal immigrants do”. I always respond with my offer to work and a wage and working conditions I deem appropriate, so yes, indeed people will do that job at the right price.

    2. Glen

      Have they offered a billion dollars? I’m sure they could get one for that.

      Which makes me think they must be at a minimum, cheap and liars.

      1. Ben Joseph

        Well, there’s also the possibility they don’t want to pay the helpers more than themselves, so your facetious billion dollar remark falls flat. Until reimbursement for flossing and scraping tartar catches up with fillings and crowns, there is a rational cap to what their max offer can be. I suspect the local dental monopoly is paying more to damage the small competition.

  37. Mikel

    “My goodness, Bolton, who has been right about virtually nothing, is suddenly in circulation….”

    Must be an election coming up. The dregs are always highlighted as the only option if the status quo isn’t kept.

  38. Bugs

    Thank you for the link to the Marina Butina letter to Angela Davis. I had to point my VPN at a neutral country to read it :( So powerful. Essential reading for anyone who cares about the actual living state of humanity, and how one can change. Ms. Butina came to the US as a right-wing Russian, thinking that the fringe NRA types and Trumpists would be helpful in strategizing for the Russian right. She found herself transformed by the power of real sisterhood, behind bars.

    Highly recommend reading it for everyone here.

  39. Korual

    Aeon article: scientists on consciousness are wilfully blind when it comes to the humanities. The answer to the questions in the article is essentially discourse.

    It’s like Freud, Jung, Saussure, Lacan, Chomsky etc never existed!

  40. zagonostra

    Thanks for the comment, I completely missed the Aeon article. The answer, “discourse,” presumes that there are “selfs” to engage in discourse.

    What always disappoints when reading articles on the topic is their complete disregard for the works of George Herbert Mead. In Mind, Self, and Society approaches consciousness from what his student, Herbert Blumer, coined as symbolic interaction. Mead’s explanation, usually lumped under social psychology or behaviorism gives an explanation for the mechanism/process which leads to the emergence of the “self” and what we mean by “consciousness.” His books, written by from his student’s notes except, The Philosophy of the Present and some sundry articles in journals, still resonates with me after having read his book more than 40 years ago.,_Self_and_Society

    1. semper loquitur

      There are a lot of books skipped over by those who claim to have solved the hard problem. I can provide a couple for that list. The author of this article seems no different. He starts by making an interesting claim:

      “Over the past 50 years, I’ve been inching my way towards answers to these questions. From the start, I thought better than to confront the hard problem head-on. Not just because it’s hard, but because it’s the wrong problem.”

      So he set about “inching” towards an answer to those questions by setting aside those questions in favor of another problem. This reminds me of the Turing test, where Turing eschewed asking people about their experiences of consciousness in favor of an artificial arrangement that parodies conscious interactions. The author of the essay next provides:

      “Let me emphasize: sensations are ideas. They are the way our brains represent what’s happening at our sense organs and how we feel about it. Their properties are to be explained, therefore, not literally as the properties of brain-states, but rather as the properties of mind-states dreamed up by the brain.”

      Okay, so how does the brain dream up these “mind-states”? Dreams indeed. Can, meet road. Then:

      “Quite possibly, it involves the brain generating something like an internal text, that it interprets as being about phenomenal properties.”

      Ah, the materialist’s miracle. All they need is one! What exactly is doing this generating and interpreting? And we are back at square one with the hard problem.

    2. Korual

      Yes, Mead as well, and any number of modern philosophers. I guess professional scientists are wary of stepping outside of their expertise but consciousness demands that you cover all the bases. Philosophers are best trained to be a jack of all trades, so they are the most interesting on this topic. Scientists and theologians are looking for a simple answer.

  41. GW

    Brian Berletic’s 10/5/22 video is very interesting. But can anyone here substantiate his claim that Russian forces, during these past few weeks, have indeed suffered only minimal losses of troops and equipment while retreating? Berletic gives a list of references beneath his video, but I’m not sure which ones (if any) back-up this particular assertion.

    Over the past few months I’ve grown so sickened by Western MSM hype, rhetoric, and propaganda that I’ve lost my normal capacity to scan US/UK media outlets. Now I’m getting my war news through blogs, Telegram, and only to some degree from Western MSM.

    Noteworthy, though, is that AP produced a lengthy war update today which largely contradicts what Berletic says. I’m not sure what to believe. My impression has always been that AP has more credibility than the rest of Western MSM, but who knows. Certainly I hope Berletic is correct.

    I saw Berletic’s WaPo and NYT confirmations of hideously high Ukrainian casualties. However those articles date from before 9/16/22, just prior to Ukraine’s victories at Balakeyia-Izium and Lyman. Can we really be certain that Kiev’s still losing massive KIA and WIA, now that it seems to have Russia on the run?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The proof of Russia losing little in the way of people and equipment is indirect. Particularly since the Ukraine military does not appear to prohibit the use of cell phones by soldiers and is PR driven, you’d expect to see photos of dead, braying about POWs captured, images of killed or captured equipment. None of that in evidence.

  42. Tom Stone

    Russia is not on the run.
    They invaded with a 1:3 ratio of Men Vs Ukraine and although they have made some mistakes ( It’s war) they have conducted their campaign prudently and with remarkable restraint.The accession of the 4 Republics to the Russian Federation Changes this dramatically,as does the betrayal of Western Europe by the USA.
    This is a war for soft power as much as it is land, Russia has demonstrated that it respects the Rule of Law and that it will keep its agreements.
    You can deal with Russia’s leaders and know that they are (For the most part) rational actors who will keep their deals.
    The USA will betray allies of long standing for no sane reason, as the sabotage of NS1 and 2 once again demonstrates.
    None of the Western European Countries have proved to be agreement capable over the last year, their leadership is just as bad as the US is.
    Given a choice, who are you going to deal with?

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