Links 11/10/2022

Hippo’s ‘snooze bubbles’ at Texas zoo captivate internet. ‘You’re adorable Timothy’ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Octopuses throw objects at one another, researchers observe Guardian

After steep September slide, US imports stabilize in October Hellenic Shipping News


Grim outlook on global warming emerges from UN conference Responsible Statecraft

COP27: Sharp rise in fossil fuel industry delegates at climate summit BBC

World’s CO2 Hotspots Pinpointed by Al Gore-Backed Climate Project Bloomberg

Debt-for-Nature Swaps Gain Traction Among Developing Countries Bloomberg

Burst sewage pipe adds to infrastructure woes at COP27 AP


Rural ranchers face $4,000 proposed fine for violating state drought order CalMatters. That’s all?


Lifting Universal Masking in Schools — Covid-19 Incidence among Students and Staff NEJM. From the Discussion:

We estimated that the lifting of masking requirements in school districts in the greater Boston area during March 2022 contributed an additional 45 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the following 15-week period. Overall, this estimate corresponded to nearly 12,000 additional Covid-19 cases among students and staff, which accounted for one third of the cases in school districts that lifted masking requirements during that time and most likely translated to substantial loss of in-person school days.

We observed that the effect of school masking policies was greatest during the weeks when the background incidences of Covid-19 in surrounding cities and towns were highest, a finding that suggests that universal masking policies may be most effective when they are implemented before and throughout periods of high SARS-CoV-2 transmission…. [R]elying on lagging metrics such as CDC Covid-19 Community Levels and Covid-19 hospitalizations to inform school masking policies is most likely insufficient to prevent Covid-19 cases and loss of in-person school days, and policymakers might instead consider measures of community transmission (e.g., SARS-CoV-2 wastewater concentration or Covid-19 incidence) to inform such policies..

So, (a) masks save lives and prevent suffering, and (b) CDC butchered mask policy with its “Green Map.” Neither will come as as surprise to NC readers, though it’s good to have the imprimatur of the NEJM.

Geographic Accessibility of COVID-19 Test to Treat Sites by Race, Ethnicity, Age, and Rurality JAMA. Gawd forbid by income but wev. On Biden’s “Test to Treat” program. From the Abstract: “This cross-sectional study found that approximately 15% of the overall US population, 30% of American Indian or Alaskan Native people, and 59% of the rural population lived more than 60 minutes from the nearest site. Rural populations had a median 58-minute longer drive to the nearest site compared with urban populations.”

Wildlife exposure to SARS-CoV-2 across a human use gradient (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “[O]ur results highlight widespread exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife and suggest that areas with high human activity may serve as important points of contact for cross-species transmission. Furthermore, this work highlights the potential role of wildlife in fueling de novo mutations that may eventually appear in humans.”

Covid Patients Coming Off Ventilators Can Take Weeks to Regain Consciousness NYT


Has a Chinese-born professor discovered a big piece to a 150-year-old maths puzzle? South China Morning Post.

God save Australia because America will not Pearls and Irritations.

3D-printed guns are on the rise in Australia. How can we prevent them being made? The Conversation


Imran Khan sets up a rare showdown with Pakistan’s potent military FT

U.S. Tech Is Being Used In Iran’s Controversial Drones (Re Silc) lol.

A Pandemic Silver Lining in Senegal The Atlantic

Dear Old Blighty

Cool, calm answers are needed on how Labour will fund the NHS Tax Research UK. Which bits Labour will sell to the Americans, and whether the Tories would sell different bits? Meanwhile:

UK Announces Initial Steps For National Digital Identities Forbes

Government loses 18-month fight to keep ‘Covid lessons learnt’ review secret OpenDemocracy

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia says troops leaving strategic Kherson, Ukraine doubts full pullout Reuters

Putin’s nuclear threats may hint at an electromagnetic pulse strike FT. Deceptive headline, but interesting on the EMP.

Belgian nationwide strike of 9 November Gilbert Doctorow. Switches to discussion of Ukraine halfway through.

Global South in acute pain, return to table: Jaishankar to Russia Indian Express (J-LS).

With a Small Shift in Evangelical Votes, Brazil Elects Lula Christianity Today

Mexico not buying U.S. yellow corn as GM ban looms, Lopez Obrador says Reuters


The Status Quo Wins Michael Lind, Tablet

A Good Election for Anti-Monopolists Matt Stoller, BIG

‘It’s all about abortion’: how women clawed back ground for the Democrats FT

Youth Voter Turnout in the 2022 Midterms Delivered Key Wins for Democrats Teen Vogue

On Donald Trump and the Democrats’ Not-So-Awful Election The New Yorker

Two January 6th Participants Elected to Congress The Bulwark

Who Still Needs the Carnivalesque? The Baffler

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Delegating trust is really, really, really hard (infosec edition) Cory Doctorow. Important.

Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role WaPo. No, not AWS, silly!

The Bezzle

SEC, DOJ Investigating Crypto Platform FTX WSJ

Sam Bankman-Fried Has a Savior Complex—And Maybe You Should Too Sequoia. Comedy gold:

Handy chart:

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Took a Hit on Investment in FTX

* * *

Wells Fargo, Zelle slammed by Liz Warren over rampant online banking fraud The Register

Our Famously Free Press

FOCUS: A Lesson on How I Should Read the Political News Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality

Update on David Miranda’s Health and Reflections About Our Family’s Health Crisis Glenn Greenwald

Sports Desk

March Madness Is Perfect, So of Course They’re Trying to Ruin It New York Magazine

Imperial Collapse Watch

Mini-Theory Blog: Play it Again, Sam Nina Illingworth (JD).

Class Warfare

They Waged the Largest Private-Sector Nurses’ Strike in U.S. History. They’re Still Waiting for Justice Workday

Oldest known sentence written in first alphabet discovered – on a head-lice comb Guardian

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Dear Landlord by Bob Dylan)

    Dear Russia
    Please, let us out of this war
    It’s cold and we’re hungry
    The pain’s getting hard to ignore
    We tried so hard to spread your legs
    To rape Mother Russia for gold
    We went a-Viking to run you through
    Now we pray that we might be paroled

    Dear Russia
    Please take this noose from our necks
    We need to get home now
    We’ll write you some big blank checks
    We brought world war to your front door
    And you saved this world from our aims
    We’ve both had enough of blood and gore
    And our arrogant, treacherous games

    Dear Russia
    We’ve no right to mercy, it’s plain
    Our Lebensraum effort
    Was clearly absurd and insane
    Since 1054 we’ve been coming on
    And you always chase us away
    You’re right to doubt those days are gone
    Or to trust any words that we say

  2. Wukchumni

    To sail on a dream on a cloud, to ride on the crest of the wild raging storm
    To work in the service of life, in search of the answers to questions unknown
    To be part of the movement, part of beginning to understand
    Aye, Crypto, the prices you’ve been to
    the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell
    Aye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the fools who have served you so long and so well

    Like the market who guides you, now bring it upon you
    to light up the darkness and show us a new way too
    For though we are strangers in your silent world, to live on the land we must learn from history
    To be true as when it was going up, joyful and loving-winning the lottery
    Aye, Crypto, the prices you’ve been to
    the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell
    Aye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the gullible who have served you so long and so well
    Aye, Crypto, the hyperinflated prices you’ve been to, a bit apocalypto
    the things that you’ve shown us, the stories you tell.
    Goodbye, Crypto, I sing to your spirit, the fools who have served you so long and so well

    Calypso, by John Denver

  3. zagonostra

    >The Status Quo Wins Michael Lind, Tablet

    The boring truth is that the pendulum in American politics swings back and forth. Parties that get tired of losing sooner or later change their appeals to win over some members of the other party, making elections more competitive again.

    For the time being, the U.S. remains a 50-50 nation, with the political branches of the federal government going back and forth between the two national parties.

    Curious thing about this article is that it never really identifies who or what the “Status Quo” is. The article states that it is clear that the progressive policy agenda, the progressive theory of American partisan politics, and the progressive theory of the American constitution are now quite dead. I agree that progressive policies are dead. I don’t really know what is the “progressive theory.” For me, the death of the possibility of passing progressive legislation died with Bernie Sanders. I attended his rallies and saw in real life the enthusiasm and popularity of his platform. I donated to his campaign. When I looked at other political figures running they couldn’t fill a coffee house, Bernie was filling football stadiums.

    There were plenty of theories proffered for why Bernie Sanders lost and there are plenty of theories as to the underwhelming Republican performance in mid-terms. But really, for me, it’s beside the point. Exit Polls reported 73% of voters are angry about direction the country is going yet there is no translation of that anger/dissatisfaction into effective political change. The political system is broken. The mechanism by which the majority can coalesce to influence public policy that redounds to them as a class does not exist. Yet, the mechanisms by which the masses can be manipulated through a technocracy that uses propaganda and psychological technics using mediums/distribution channels never imagined strengthens each day.

      1. JEHR

        Get rid of the lobbyists that pay money to those running for office; stop gerrymandering on both sides; allow a third-party (possibly made up of all the Independent voters?); finally, get rid of all the politicians who make a long career of being voted into office; have a revolution!

        1. Joe Renter

          Fund all elections with government money (limited budget) and cut down length of the process. Real debates would help. Although this is just a fantasy seeing as money has corrupted all aspects of politics and branches of government.

          1. Oh

            Prohibit campaign ads in the TV, Radio and other media (including internet and social media). Make them campaign on the streets.

      2. nippersmom

        The method of tabulating results does need to change, but it will be of scant benefit if there is no one running worth voting for, and only the most superficial differences between the limited options.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Thank you!

          Voting, vote counting, voter ease, voter eligibility…none of these things matter if the choice is between brain-dead partisan and lying partisan.

          If it’s either Republican or Democrat party-supported, it’s corrupt.

    1. hunkerdown

      The progressive theory is the ideal of a rational, reproducible social order managed by professionals. Ehrenreich (1977) traces the primary sources. What did you think it meant, and why?

      1. zagonostra

        >The power and privilege of the professional managerial class

        The quote below referencing Ehrenreich is not what I was thinking of as “progressive theory” of politics. I had an idea more in line with what Leo Strauss contrasted as “conservative” and “progressive” in one of his available audio class lectures.

        The left is now more liberal and elitist as a result. It’s not focused so much on the historic agenda of reducing economic inequality, or delivering improved housing, education, and so forth, but is more concerned with the interests of the PMC – particularly symbolism and moral panics. They would rather change the names of government agencies, or even the name of the country, than see political change that might endanger their own economic interests.

        Ehrenreich argued that this represented a kind of death of the political left. Pointing in her own country to the likes of then Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, Ehrenreich argued Clinton represented a “takeover” of the left by the middle class which concentrates on condemning “deplorables” with their wrong opinions, but who once might have voted for the left instead of the likes of Donald Trump. She worried that the modern left had a strong prejudice against the working class which was counter-productive to its own success.

        Critics point to the PMC as being an increasingly cohesive and powerful faction in society. They rise to the top of institutions, whether in business or government agencies, by proving how progressive they are. Much of it amounts to grift – posturing for career advancement.

        1. hunkerdown

          Ah. Strauss was a proponent of esotericism in politics (I understand “Persecution and the Art of Writing” deals with this but it’s a couple slots down my to-read pile) and was very chummy with the neoliberal movement. He expressed some concern about having too many people understanding the philosophy of law (i.e. that it’s a scam). So I suggest that his ideas are very probably booby-trapped and ought to be handled carefully. For just one example on this slightly busy morning, there is a telos embedded in the idea of “controlling the intensity/speed of change”, portraying change as destiny that can’t be steered, only rescheduled. It is the same telos as in central bank monetarism: that market destiny can’t (or mustn’t) be steered, only timed (and trains have Responsibilities to the timetable). It is also the same telos as managerialism: we act, therefore we are.

          That Redline/NZ Democracy Project piece (by a Guardian pundit) was of expected quality. It was pretty good up to the point where they begged for redemption and conversion and other religious intervention, in lieu of purging their institutions and going after their credentials. Have they forgotten about the master’s tools already, or perhaps they are just softening us up.

          1. JP

            The central bank only has one handle and it is monetary. That is by design. Their primary job is interbank clearing. But they use interest rates as control rods to speed or slow the financial reaction. They react to change and the rate of change to attempt to keep the economy (not the market) on an even keel. This is very important with a fiat monetary system because it can easily overheat and expand out of control.

      2. GramSci

        That isn’t what “progressive” meant to Bob LaFollette or Henry Wallace. And even though FDR might have been imperfect by their standards, I think he truly appreciated how the “royalist” social darwinists immorally screwed victims of fate like poor people and cripples.

        1. hunkerdown

          Celebrated PMC feelings are not valuable and do not change the underlying logic of the movement. That righteous behavior can modify a value system is the great lie of liberalism.

    2. QuarterBack

      A state of being a 50-50 nation sounds like a state where the pendulum is not swinging at all.

      The left is often branded as being the villain that is killing free speech, but both parties have equally demanded adherence to their own dogmas, which has brought us into a state where we are frozen in place while our society crumbles around us.

      1. flora

        Both parties’ estabs love the status quo and, imo, love electronic voting machines and work in tandem to produce these highly unlikely 50-50 results. Both estabs want to keep unapproved (by them) newcomers out. Chuck and Mitch don’t want a leadership challenge from their own party Senate members.

        1. Carolinian

          Yes that’s it. Political chatters used to call this “inside the Beltway” versus outside but interestingly dropped that formulation as consent of the governed became less of a concern. Doubtless they feel vindicated by Tuesday’s results where divide and conquer has divided the country into neatly balanced opposing camps.

        2. John

          Why does it now take days to count the votes when in the pre-computer times it took hours in all but a vanishingly small number of ridiculously even contests? Does anyone besides me wonder what goes on in the counting rooms as the days pass? Is it strictly counting or is it manufacturing a result?

          Mail in votes? unrestricted absentee voting? I would tighten the rules on those. How about voting on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday only?

          How about more polling places so neither party can shut out the ones they do not want to vote? How about getting rid of arcane and unreasonable registration restrictions? Politicians and pundits go on and on about democracy but none would recognize the genuine article if it bit them in the ass.

          The hypocrites have politics firmly in hand.

          1. IMOR

            This all day- accompanied by Dr. John’s below. I think many if not most NC readers get that while one can reasonably point out “’twas ever thus” (or at least for 150 years in this one nation) in response to any single instance of electoral fraud, oppression of labor, government spying, or collusion among the parties to knife their ‘own’ internal agents of movement off the status quo — enough differences of degree amount to a difference in kind. A tall enough tower of more of the same will become shaky, collapse and bury not just its active builders (that’d be a damn shame) but all in its vicinity.

          2. dday

            Here in Arizona many voters receive ballots in the mail. If they mail them back, the ballots are checked for proper signature. However, many voters bring their mailed ballot to a voting location on election day. It is these ballots that are now being checked for proper signature. I believe that signature checks are still done by a human. Thus, the delay at least here in Arizona.

          3. QuarterBack

            As to the time needed to count ballots taking longer. Before so many 50-50 races, the provisional and absentee ballots were probably never counted because their numbers were less than the vote margin. They both take much longer, and COVID increased mail ballots that are much more problematic from a validation perspective.

        3. fresno dan


          Delegating trust is really, really, really hard (infosec edition) Cory Doctorow. Important.
          For example, Menn makes an excellent case that Packet Forensics is not credible. In 2007, a company called Vostrom Holdings applied for permission for Packet Forensics to do business in Virginia as “Measurement Systems.” Measurement Systems, in turn, tricked app vendors into bundling spyware into their apps, which gathered location data that Measurement Systems sold to private and government customers. Measurement Systems’ data included the identities of 10,000,000 users of Muslim prayer apps.
          Packet Forensics denies that it owns Measurement Systems, which doesn’t explain why Vostrom Holdings asked the state of Virginia to let it do business as Measurement Systems. Vostrom also owns the domain “,” which directed to Trustcor’s main site. Trustcor’s “president, agents and holding-company partners” are identical to those of Measurement Systems.
          One of the holding companies listed in both Trustcor and Measurement Systems’ ownership structures is Frigate Bay Holdings. This March, Raymond Saulino – the one-time Packet Forensics spokesman – filed papers in Wyoming identifying himself as manager of Frigate Bay Holdings.
          Neither Menn nor Reardon and Egelman claim that Packet Forensics has obtained fake certificates from Trustcor to help its customers spy on their targets, something that McPherson stresses in her reply. However, Menn’s source claims that this is happening.
          These companies are so opaque and obscure that it might be impossible to ever find out what’s really going on, and that’s the point. For the web to have privacy, the Certificate Authorities that hold the (literal) keys to that privacy must be totally transparent. We can’t assume that they are perfectly spherical cows of uniform density.
          In a reply to Reardon and Egelman’s report, Mozilla’s Kathleen Wilson asked a series of excellent, probing followup questions for Trustcor, with the promise that if Trustcor failed to respond quickly and satisfactorily, it would be purged from Firefox’s root of trust:
          Which is exactly what you’d hope a browser vendor would do when one of its default Certificate Authorities was credibly called into question. But that still leaves an important question: how did Trustcor, who marketed a defective security product, whose corporate ownership is irregular and opaque with a seeming connection to a cyber-arms-dealer, end up in our browsers’ root of trust to begin with?

          Formally, the process for inclusion in the root of trust is quite good. It’s a two-year vetting process that includes an external audit:
          But Daniel Schwalbe, CISO of Domain Tools, told Menn that this process was not closely watched, claiming “With enough money, you or I could become a trusted root certificate authority.” Menn’s unnamed Packet Forensics source claimed that most of the vetting process was self-certified – that is, would-be CAs merely had to promise they were doing the right thing.
          Remember, Trustcor isn’t just in Firefox’s root of trust – it’s in the roots of trust for Chrome (Google) and Safari (Apple). All the major browser vendors were supposed to investigate this company and none of them disqualified it, despite all the vivid red flags.
          Worse, Reardon and Egelman say they notified all three companies about the problems with Trustcor seven months ago, but didn’t hear back until they published their findings publicly on Tuesday.
          So a couple of weeks ago I got my “real ID” – my CA drivers license that “certifies” me as fresnodan. So I’m told to bring a whole slew of documents (birth certificates, utility bills, home mortgage, on and on and on). I also brought my passport, and that is the only thing the woman at the DMV (dept of motor vechicles) looked at. If just the passport is good enough, are asking for all the other documents merely security theatre??? Hmmmm….
          So I see this documentary about Tender dating – basically the old Nigerian prince scam, except the guy uses Tinder, actually meets the women, and FLIES them AROUND on a PRIVATE JET. So I begin thinking about this criminal: how is it that he is flying around and in and out of Europe with so many fake identities? Of course, that question was never addressed….
          You know, I used to think publicly counted ballots was Luddite – NOT ANY MORE

        4. BeliTsari

          Fundamentally, nothing will change? DMFI, UDP & “Ukrainian” oilgarchs, as well as the usual, if FAR wealthier tech billionaires will unleash cranked-up, armed neoConfederate & nazi DEATH on PASC indentured 1099 essentials & we’ll never know when we’ve passed a second million excess deaths (before Thanksgiving?) Remember how many of Hills’ most obvious PR flacks, lying shills, blithering kleptocrats, “ex” right-wing bigots & sneering DNC™ LLC psychopaths all ran to FOX or mysteriously switched back to their original Republican Party? Now, they can’t even be bothered with subtrafuge.

          1. flora

            You know about a pride of lions, a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, a school of fish.

            What do you call a gathering of oligarchs? A mob? An organization? A syndicate? / ;)

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        Not trying to pick on you but I am really hating this 50-50 narrative. It makes things sound more diverse than they actually are. To me, it implies there are two opposite poles and people are divided on them. In reality, US politics is two major parties, similar in a majority of issues, differing mostly in tribal identification and style. It’s like we have to choose between vanilla and French vanilla and the pundits can’t understand why the numbers keep coming up about even. I’m not a stats guy, but that seems about right to me, given the choices on offer. As the differences between the parties have shrunk, so has the split in voters.

        1. Carolinian

          It’s a psychological split more than real and has been manufactured by the media. The importance of the MSM in maintaining our stasis is huge. They are the defenders of the “norms.”

          1. hunkerdown

            Very true. The election process itself also validates the ideas that a top-down regimented social order is both necessary and ideal, that competitive verbal combat is a suitable principle for determining social mobility, and that performative moral condemnation is important.

        2. Polar Socialist

          According to Duverger’s Law FPTP “favors” two-party system. In other words, FPTP turns any system in to a two-party system.

          And two-party system eventually turns every society into a polarized society, because only two POWs can be handled by the system at any given time.

          1. MaryLand

            Very important point! Our system is set up to be a two party system with the “first past the post.” It makes third party challenges ineffective. We can’t get a multiparty system unless we would get proportional representation, not possible with our current system.
            From Wikipedia on Duverger’s law:
            Duverger’s law draws from a model of causality from the electoral system to a party system. A proportional representation (PR) system creates electoral conditions that foster the development of many parties, whereas a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, generally resulting in a two-party system.

        3. Realist

          50-50 is what you’d expect if Americans were asked to flip a coin, not choose between two meaningfully different candidates that had spent multi millions campaigning to assert their policy positions.

          1. nippersmom

            Therein lies the issue. We are not given “two meaningfully different candidates” to choose between. There is nothing “meaningful” in the differences between the candidates on offer in most elections, especially on the national level.

            1. Oh

              These charlatans constantly lie in their barrage of media ads which usually tell you about their rival candidates and when they do talk about what they’re gonna do (which is rare) they promise things nut never keep their promises. No wonder close to 40% don’t bother to vote. In the final analysis the two parties are not helping the voter – just themselves and their rich donors.

      3. Carla

        @Quarterback, who says: “both parties have equally demanded adherence to their own dogmas”

        I reply “the funders of both parties have equally demanded adherence to their own dogmas.” THERE. Fixed it for ya.

        We don’t have two parties at all — that’s just optics. We have one oligarchy that all politicians report to, and what the oligarchs say, goes. Gilens and Page showed years ago that voters’ desires and opinions don’t count one whit:

        1. QuarterBack

          I have no argument against that thesis. The oligarch’s use the parties to put us in a game of “Good cop, bad cop”.

          Also for anyone that believes that the elections are “rigged”, I would say that if it is true, I’m inclined to believe that both parties are in on it.

          1. fresno dan

            I would say its like going to a Chinese restaurant – dozens of choices, thousands of combos, but in the end, you only get to eat Chinese food.

          1. jefemt

            Consider, too, that the money being donated almost precisely dollar for dollar to ‘opponents’ is essentially free, a la Fed, Central, Private Banks,’ markets’ and Wall Street, Congress.

            Two sides of the same coin.

            Verrrrry S L I C C

        2. Lee

          You’ve nicely cued up one of my faves:

          The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.
          – Julius Nyerere

    3. BrianH

      It was an interesting article, but it makes a rather large assumption, the writer seems to have faith that there is a truly progressive force that exists in the federal government. That is not even an assumption, it’s a fantasy. There may be a very small collection of elected officials who believe in real progressive policies, but they are certainly not demonstrating the leadership and sacrifice necessary to bring about progressive change. Some tried and were beaten down and others are fakes, but practically speaking, they don’t exist. Until we have an electoral and campaign finance system that allows us to elect real progressives who are empowered to be leaders for change, than talk of the progressive wing of the Dem party is just feel-good chatter. There is no progressive wing if all it does is “ fight for”.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Any honest progressives would have a realistic chance to affect policy if, as I mentioned yesterday, the sizes of the House and Senate were increased dramatically, as they should be.

        One of the rebuttals to this suggestion was that it would only increase the number of lobbyists in DC (currently ~12000 registered). Well, as things are, they seem to have no problem buying 435 representatives and 100 senators.

        I’d like to see them try to buy 1100 representatives and 300 senators. All those fancy meals and expenses-paid vacations could get mighty costly. That would be a bad thing for the lobbyists, a good thing for the rest of us.

        PS. By way of comparison France, with a population of 65 million, has 577 deputies in the National Assembly. Germany’s Bundestag has 736 members for a population of 84 million. I will hazard a guess that what is left of democracy functions better in these countries than in the USA.

        1. BrianH

          Even the large increase in representation that you call for would not get rid of the corruption, this twisted system is more than capable of scaling up. Until you make drastic system altering changes to the campaign finance/lobbying scheme and the electoral system, it will be a bigger mess. Sure, there will be a relative increase in the numbers of real and courageous leftists. But if you’re lucky you’d still barely have a full dozen.
          Now fix that system and yes, I do like the idea of increasing the number and making it slightly more direct.

        2. ACPAL

          With 736 members in the Bundestag and Germany is still slitting it’s own throat to satisfy the US’s demand for sanctions against Russia? I wouldn’t want them representing me, no matter how many there are.

        3. Oh

          The legislators are successfully bribed because it pays off to the Businesses (Oligarchs) like a slot machine. It wouldn’t matter how many they have to bribe. Besides, the bribes really go to the key legislators who allow the bills to pass. The party uses arm twisting to control funds to the others to enforce their will.

    4. archnj

      The Lind article makes the usual pundit mistake of merging together the Democratic leadership, the professionals that underpin them, and some aligned activists and calling them “the left” as an excuse to hippie-punch. There is no organized left in the US at any real scale. The Democratic party is a center-right party with a few social justice fig-leaves, as noted many times here at NC and elsewhere. Framing the Democrats as “the left” lets pundits overlook the vast dissatisfaction with the economic trajectory of the country, or if acknowledging it, blame their strawman “left” for it.

    5. Anthony G Stegman

      The Status Quo is the status quo – forever wars, imperialism, “free market” capitalism, billionaires, environmental destruction, vast wealth inequality, rampant corruption, etc, etc, etc.

    6. lambert strether

      > why Bernie Sanders lost

      Because he didn’t win Texas when he won California. That’s it, that’s the explanation. And to this day, I have never seen a write-up explaining it. Readers?

    7. spud

      actually if you look at the map of the rust belt from pa. to iowa, its trumps to win all over again.

      the blubbering idiots running the nafta democrat party think the election was all about there towering performance. it was no such thing. it was a response to libertarian fascist policies coming out of the supreme court.

      the election changed nothing. the downward spiral of the economy will continue. once it hits the PMC suburbs, we shall see how well the nafta democrats will do.

      iowa used to be kinda reliable for the dems, not no more, wisconsin, man its beet red, michigan, slim slim wins for the dems, ohio, used to be a swing state, its swung red, pa. barely can eek out a win, by the skin of their teeth. Missouri, used to be a swing state, now its solid red.

      all of those states plus others, had their life blood of manufacturing free traded away, then told the workers code, or die, just go away.

      so this is not over yet.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Burst sewage pipe adds to infrastructure woes at COP27”

    I don’t see what the problem is. After all, there is so much bull**** floating round COP27 that hardly anybody will notice any burst sewerage pipes.

      1. Karl

        Yeah, but all that jet waste will occasionally need to be emptied there. We all know that rich people eat more, and that top tier (.001%) waste must go somewhere. Richer sh*t has generally higher viscosity, volume and buoyancy and I suspect this sudden overloading at airports and hotels is what burst the tired old pipes.

    1. Bugs

      Went there about 10 years ago thinking that snorkeling in the Red Sea would be a fun and relatively cheap winter holiday when I was a bit skint. This was also right after the Muslim Brotherhood had taken over so it was an odd time in recent Egyptian history, to be sure.

      In my experience, it was not a friendly place at all and the tourist infrastructure was extremely fragile. I saw no living marine life at all anywhere within 300m of the shoreline and even what was seen taking a day trip was extremely disappointing. The reef is basically dead. Like a lot of places in the developing world, there was an odor of sewage occasionally. The entire tourism labor force was male, btw. To bring a global conference, whose ostensible larger subject is the environment itself, to this place is ridiculous.

      I was also approached by what I figured was either Egyptian or Israeli security services to probe if I had any political point of view regarding the Arab Spring. This was right after I’d asked my hotel if it was safe to travel to St. Catherine monastery. Extremely uncomfortable holiday and I was glad to get the heck out of there.

      Could be that it’s improved in the interim but I’d doubt it.

  5. diptherio

    From Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Took a Hit on Investment in FTX

    The problems with FTX are a result of a general decline in cryptocurrency. Despite this turbulence, Ontario Teachers has recently maintained its FTX investment, calling it “certainly the lowest risk profile you can have.”

    Lowest risk profile??? Ummmm…wouldn’t that be gov’t bonds, not crypto speculation?

    1. Wukchumni

      This Bankman (a quite ironic nom de doubloon) fellow and the FTX puff piece that sounded so Theranos in depth (all the name brand celebrities, sports stars & politicians are invested…) is a cautionary tale of a 1-time event not to be repeated.

      It wasn’t as if there was a sequel to any of the daft schemes of 300 odd years ago: the Darien Scheme, Mississippi Bubble or South Sea Company Bubble, or if you want to take the wayback machine almost four centuries, the Dutch Tulip Bubble.

      I know of nobody in my age group who are invested in Crypto, and yet while talking to my 29 year old nephew and MD with USC degree some 6 months ago, he related that he knew of around 50 people his age that had played along including him to a small extent.

      The article mentions SB-F is a video game addict, and this old geezer (hey you kids! get off of my cloud~) wonders if that fantasy world was part of the appeal of the fantasy world of money they created?

      1. HotFlash

        Ooooh, nom de doubloon. Nice, Wuk! I will have to ask around to see if any of my friends/acquaintances (broad age group) have lost $$, I mean, invested in crypto. I rarely invest (as in, never), but Yves descrip of crypto as ‘prosecution futures’ just sounded so right. Hmmm, gotta ask my Libertarian goldbug friend… could be enlightening.

        1. Wukchumni

          I can’t imagine many #79 enthusiasts would be gilt’d into buying crypto as there is no there, there.

          And that’s what a goldbug is all nutty about, the there part.

    2. Mikel

      The memo is good laugh.
      “I want FTX to be a place where you can do whatever you want with your next dollar…”

      Then proceeds to name a host of functions and transactions that can already be done with dollars at banks and brokerages.

        1. HotFlash

          Ystrday, I bought 3 (count ’em, THREE!) bananas. With cash. And I didn’t even know enough to be amazed!

        2. Mikel

          And his “philosopher king” on altruism. More like a thesis seeking future employment with an NGO.
          I think I would get more bang for my buck spending on the needy closer to me.
          And people in other countires could have more food if organizations like the World Bank got out of the way.

    3. FreeMarketApologist

      That statement alone should be enough to get the person who uttered it fired, immediately.

      Were FTX operating only as a pure exchange (e.g., the NYSE or Amex) i.e., holding no positions, not making loans, not permitting margin, settling on a DVP/RVP basis), they might well be quite low risk (*). But the recent news updates are that in fact FTX was loaning, margining, and collateralizing with their own token, which is a great example of wrong-way risk. Interested readers should see Matt Levine’s column yesterday in which he walks through how FTX could blow themselves up. As an ex-trader Bankman-Fried should have known this, and his funders, had they any significant knowledge of trading market structure, and lending structures, should have known this also. The level of ignorance here is astounding.

      (*although remember that in US securities markets settlement risk is assumed by the central clearing counterparty, not the exchange. In the absence of the CCP, if the exchange is settling the transactions, there’s still exposure)

    4. Objective Ace

      Government bonds are extremely risky to inflation. Longterm gov bonds are down 30 percent+ this year alone

      Granted, that’s a lot less than crypto/FTX

      1. Chas

        Series I savings bonds have been paying 9.62% interest. I’m trying to buy one but you have to open a special account with the IRS and it takes three months for them to process the application.

        1. Mikel

          Don’t you mean you need to open an account with Treasury Direct for Series I? That can be done online in less than an hour.
          And the 9.6 window has closed or is soon closing and there are limits to how much can be putchased.

          1. FreeMarketApologist

            The account is with the Treasury, and it does not take 3 months to process – closer to 24 hours, and it’s not difficult (despite what cranky articles in the MSM have said). Limit is essentially $10k/person, and the reset will be to somewhere around 6% interest, which is pretty darn good for a risk free investment. There is reinvestment and rate reset risk, at maturity and reset periods, but as a medium- to long-term place to park some excess cash as part of an overall investment portfolio, it’s a good option.

            1. Chas

              The problem is that it takes Treasury Direct three months to validate my signature. I had to send them my signature by snail mail and then they begin the validation process.

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                Treasury Direct is even worse if you need to reset your password. That cannot be done online. It requires a phone conversation with a person who never, ever picks up the phone. I was advised to try calling at 3AM in order to reach someone.

    5. voislav

      Matt Binder’s Scam Economy podcast had a great episode on FTX featuring Mike Burgersburg. They called it the flywheel scheme, instead of Ponzi. It works by an exchange minting whole bunch of tokens, in FTX’s case FTT token, giving 10-15% to insiders and releasing 5-10% onto open market to sucker people into buying it. Then it raises capital and uses that capital to buy the token on the open market, driving up the price.

      So now that 75-80% of the token that’s sitting in their vault can be used as collateral at insane valuation, despite the fact that selling any meaningful amount of it would crash the market for it. For FTX, 88% of their crypto reserves, valued at something like $30-40 billion was their own FFT token. Coindesk managed to get the breakdown of FTX’s crypto reserves showing that most of it was FFT tokens and therefore is worthless, which triggered the collapse.

      Interestingly, all of the recently collapsed crypto exchanges used the same model, Celsius network had a CEL token.

      1. Wukchumni

        If i’m Wall*Street, doesn’t crypto imploding give good cover for Dow Jonestown tanking, in that everybody remembers Credit Anstalt, but not the next thing to go?

        It’d be a handy canker soar to blame things on…

      2. Mikel

        “Coindesk managed to get the breakdown of FTX’s crypto reserves showing that most of it was FFT tokens and therefore is worthless, which triggered the collapse…”

        Everything is located somewhere.
        And thanks for the link.

  6. Raymond Sim

    I fear we will begin to hear more and more of people suffering the symptoms David Miranda has been afflicted with. They are, unfortunately, an all too likely consequence of SARS-2 persistence in the gut.

    1. albrt

      I have several friends back in Ohio going through this, rare and highly mysterious gut problems that are not related to any known disease or syndrome. Nothing to see here, move along, but oh wait, here are some expensive tests we can run.

  7. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to NHS funding and Labour’s plan to (de)fund the NHS, this may explain why, and Owen Smith, who challenged Corbyn, was also funded and advised by United Health.

    Streeting, a fraud with many skeletons in the cupboard and, reckoned by Whitehall to be Labour’s Liz Truss, was interviewed by the BBC’s Radio 4 yesterday evening. He said there’s no money to for a pay rise for NHS staff, not just nurses, and the long term structure of health care needs revisiting.

    1. Stephen

      Exactly the path that New Labour went down in the 2000s.

      This article from a decade ago sums it up. I have no idea on the facts of that case and probably better not to comment on specifics, although I did know some of the players concerned. But it is symptomatic of the approach they took then. Will be no better this time around.

      Someone on this site commented a while ago that conflict of interest is a concept that seems to have been forgotten in English speaking cultures.

      1. Mel

        I’m convinced now that the UK has a US-style two-headed Uniparty, with Labour as the Democrat face, and Tories as the Republican face. The Uniparty and its Unipolicies will prevail.

      2. The Rev Kev

        The Duran dropped a video earlier on where they were talking about the financial ills of the UK and it is not looking good. There is one way that they could take off a lot of the pressure and that would be to end the sanctions against Russia. But this is the one thing that nobody is allowed to talk about. Probably true for a lot of countries that- (14:21 mins)

        1. JohnA

          Russia is so demonised in Britain right now that it would be impossible. As it is, both Sunak and Starmer are piling into Corbyn and saying things would be much worse if he had won. Sunak even lied in the House that Corbyn would have dismantled the nuclear deterrrent, leave Nato and worse. He even raised the long down the rabbit hole Skripal affair when Corbyn refused to jump on the Russia did it bandwagon without evidence.
          Now in Britain there are 2 main parties united in hatred of Russia and Corbyn.

          1. Stephen

            I agree. The UK political scene and the level of corporate media propaganda to support the various false narratives is just off the scale.

            I avoid all corporate media nowadays but just see the odd snippet from an Apple / You Tube notification or via newspapers in a shop. That’s quite enough. Life is far happier without the corporate media.

            Saying Corbyn would have been worse has the virtue for the uni party that no one can disprove the statement. Of course, it cannot be proven either but they skirt over that one as all propagandists do.

        2. Glen

          How cool, never thought I’d witness a replay of history. When will the “Charge of the Light Weight Brigade” commence?

  8. Mac na Michomhairle

    No one asked, but since I know you’re all eagerly awaiting news about the election in Vermont, I thought I’d give my two cents.

    The Congressional delegation are now all good Democratic soldiers. Welch, who succeeds Leahy, moves from the U.S. House (and VT House (Senate?) to which he was elected during the Iraq War on (for many) the basis of his opposition to it. Something in the D.C. air, I guess, but he became a supporter of the war as soon as he arrived in the capitol. People even went and demonstrated in his office to call attention to his remarkable shift in thinking. He has since copied all Bernie’s constituent-service tactics (veterans, etc) but nothing of Bernie’s views: he has been a good DNC follower all along.

    Moving in his trajectory is Becca Balint, who rose to sudden prominence endorsed, if not guided by T O’Connor, the model of a mid-20th century Dem boss, a smart politician ruling effectively and not at all “Progressive”. He is gone, but the only lawn sign at his daughter’s house is a Balint one. (The daughter has managed state-wide Republican campaigns.) Balint’s lawn signs are blue and yellow and she wants Ukraine in NATO. Her campaign was “Abortion, abortion, abortion!” To be fair, she did talk support for public services initiatives while in the VT House, and delivered in some cases. Her first statement after elected was about the evil Republican proto-fascists, signaling she knows what’s what, I suppose.

    She beat a spy-agency-adjacent Dem in the primary who was not as well known in the state, so it could have been even worse

    Liam Madden won the Republican primary, even though he is a progressive, enraging the Republican leadership here. He was actually a good example of the kind of candidates we need (I think): a populist, local boy, can talk to people, progressive views but not particularly identitarian. He had no money, no political experience and no read-made support group. In the last week, 56% of voters still didn’t know anything about him. His lawn sign was absent from all the gatherings of Republican lawn signs I saw, and he got only 20%. So, a triumph for the DNC, though not a surporise.

    Bernie spoke against him and then claimed it was an oversight. Bernie is smart, well-intentioned and a good guy, so I’m presuming it is the DC air, and that if you’re there 30 years, everything looks like the elite says it is. It is a huge disappointment, and I think one of the most critical mistakes made in recent political history was his decision to run along after the DNC bus since 2016, yelling “Me too, me too! I agree! And please, sir, a few pennies for the poor?” instead of focusing on community outreach and building the basis of a long term political alternative. Which leaves us all screwed, I think, given what’s going on. I wonder if there is any hope, beyond the local community level?

    By the way, there was a story three/four days ago about a Vermont bear mauling a woman in her back yard. The Bear’s Association wishes me to point out that there is no mast or nut crop this year, no wild fruits and apples (no rain at all in early summer), and bears are hungry; and with human settlements of nice getaway and “I’m a Vermonter!” houses pushing into the woods everywhere, it is a set up for difficult encounters. They also wish me to note the very many instances of hunters attacking unsuspecting bears deep, deep in the woods, for no obvious reason, and shooting them.

    1. Judith

      Well, I was curious and found this (and quite enjoyed your news report):

      The Pooka, rectè Púca, seems essentially an animal spirit. Some derive his name from poc, a he-goat; and speculative persons consider him the forefather of Shakespeare’s “Puck”. On solitary mountains and among old ruins he lives, “grown monstrous with much solitude,” and is of the race of the nightmare. “In the MS. story, called ‘Mac-na-Michomhairle’, of uncertain authorship,” writes me Mr. Douglas Hyde, “we read that ‘out of a certain hill in Leinster, there used to emerge as far as his middle, a plump, sleek, terrible steed, and speak in human voice to each person about November-day, and he was accustomed to give intelligent and proper answers to such as consulted him concerning all that would befall them until the November of next year.

    2. Wukchumni

      The Bear’s Association wishes me to point out that there is no mast or nut crop this year, no wild fruits and apples (no rain at all in early summer), and bears are hungry; and with human settlements of nice getaway and “I’m a Vermonter!” houses pushing into the woods everywhere, it is a set up for difficult encounters.

      Saw a mom and 3 smallish cubs in a clearing whilst behind the wheel yesterday here in tiny town and had to do a turnaround to watch the action for a few minutes as they eventually got within 50 feet of me on the other side of a fence.

      That takes me up to 16 encounters for the year-the most since 2015, with the majority of them happening in the foothills rather than the higher climes-which now sports a few feet of snow with the bruins up top probably denning down. (similar to hibernating-but you get up a few times over the course of the winter for a day or 2 before resuming the big sleep)

      Everybody I talked to related that the bears in Mineral King this summer seemed scrawny to them… as if they’d missed a lot of meals, and similar to your neck of the woods, there were no berries or wild fruits on account of the withering drought, although acorns seem plentiful enough and thats what I hope that family of four was noshing on, but if they’ve got into pick-a-nick baskets, er trash bins, they’re pretty much goners for truly a fed bear is a dead bear.

      A friend of a friend has a house on the west shore of Lake Tahoe and related that most every domicile there has an electric fence around the outside, to ward off bear break ins.

      They had a similar bearstravaganza in 2015 to our 100-150 bearapalooza, with the difference being that we had acorns-all you could ever want, while all Tahoe had was imported human food, and before you knew it every bear was a Willie Sutton type, robbing houses because that’s where the food is…

    3. Lexx

      Sympathy for the bears, who are all unsuspecting and shot for no obvious reason any of them can see.

      Of course while gifted with powerful noses, they have poor eyesight. Their hearing is twice as good as a human’s, over a wider frequency. I don’t imagine the bears were easily snuck up on deep, deep in the woods. They usually push off when they hear all that human clamor heading their way.

      1. mac na michomhairle

        Good point.

        Most bear hunters here use dogs, though, and chase the bears who are running away, until the bears either turn to fight the dogs, or go up a tree.

        1. Wukchumni

          It doesn’t take much of a cur for a bear to disappear up a tree, 9 & 1/2 inch tall and 2 feet long Gus the Dachshund treed 6 or 7 bears this summer.

          There used to be this porky Chihuahua who was also quite the catalyst for a bear to vamoose stage north.

          Frankly if I was a bear and there was a yappy dog that barks & backs up at the same time pestering me, i’d do the same thing.

      2. orlbucfan

        We have a similar problem down here in the entirety of central Florida. Black bears are native, and of course, good ole human greed and over-development has been steadily invading their territory for decades. Add in basic human stupidity. If you live in bear territory: seal your (family blog) garbage cans properly, do not put out catfood for feral cats, and let your pets out during the daylight hours. Also, you see a cub, stay clear! You can bet big momma is close by. Simple basic common sense and being informed. Is it really that hard to grasp?

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Cool, calm answers are needed on how Labour will fund the NHS”

    That Wes Streeting could have just said that he will get rid of all the consultants, Palintar and restore funding to the NHS but I suspect that he is fine with the way things are going with the NHS at the moment. Others, however, have had enough and are now taking action-

    ‘Nurses across the UK will strike this winter for the first time in the history of their 106-year-old trade union. As the Royal College of Nursing revealed on Wednesday, members at the majority of National Health Service employers have supported the industrial action “in their fight for fair pay and safe staffing.”

    “Industrial action is expected to begin before the end of this year, with more detailed plans and timelines announced shortly,” the trade union said.

    The walkout will not affect emergency services or intensive care units but is expected to impact routine medical appointments.’

    I wonder what Keir Starmer will say about this. I have heard that at the moment though, that he is doing a fair impression of the Invisible Man.

  10. Wukchumni

    California’s water officials plan to impose a $4,000 fine on Siskiyou County ranchers for violating orders to cut back their water use during a weeklong standoff last summer.

    State officials and the ranchers agree: A $4,000 fine isn’t much of a deterrent to prevent illegal water diversions during California’s droughts. The proposed fine would amount to about $50 per rancher.

    A rural water association serving about 80 ranchers and farmers — facing mounting costs from hauling water and purchasing hay to replace dried out pasture — turned on their pumps for eight days in August to divert water from the Shasta River. State and federal officials said the pumping, which violated an emergency state order, threatened the river’s water quality and its salmon and other rare species.

    Rick Lemos, a fifth generation rancher and board member of the Shasta River Water Association, said violating the drought order “was the cheapest way I could have got by … When you’re to a point where you have no other choice, you do what you have to do.” He said the alternatives “would have cost us, collectively, a lot more.”

    The penalty — $500 per day for eight days of pumping — is the maximum amount the State Water Resources Control Board’s enforcers can seek from the group of Siskiyou County ranchers under the state’s water code. The proposed fine requires a 20-day waiting period or a hearing before it is final.
    This is the issue in our punishing drought with all upriver users and in particular those upriver users of the Colorado River in that they aren’t going to just go ‘Well, no water means were finished, pack the bags and lets move on.’

    A whole $50 fine per rancher, hell they threw the book @ Kim Kardashian for unlawfully touting crypto, ha!

    It becomes a game of first in line gets some, while the last in line is shortchanged. Luckily the last in line only knows that their water comes from the faucet, when casting blame should nothing come out some day.

    1. Lexx

      Stories like these have me pondering the seven virtues along with the seven deadly sins. Pretty sure the sins are winning on balance.


      The Church considered pride the worst; I wonder if it still does?

    2. fresno dan

      I used to be quite worried about water. Then I found out that 80% of water in CA goes to agriculture,use%20efficiency%20can%20be%20significant.
      Now, at some point, reality prevails. If CA is a defacto desert, then it can’t do agriculture. That wouldn’t please me – I love driving the blossum trail in the spring and seeing and smelling the orange blossums. I love going to the Big Fresno Fair and looking at all the displays of fruits and vegetables (as well as the actual plants – CA joke ;) I think having something, maybe not totally natural, but at least connected to nature, is important. But I do note some ironry – farmers generally vote for a party that denies climate change, worships the “market” and believes government funding anything but the military (and water projects for farms in CA) is welfare (and bad). I could also point out that controlling the use and distribution of water is pretty anti market – just pointing out some contradictions…
      AND the fact is, that although agriculture accounts for billions, the CA economy is trillions. From google:
      In a state that is concurrently dominating the tech sector and has the most valuable real estate in America, it is equally impressive that agriculture accounts for approximately 3% of California’s GDP.
      if you believe in the market, agriculuture in CA is gonna decline.

    3. Lee

      Back in the 1950s while working as a ranch hand in Nevada, my biological father (not much of a dad), told me how he once opened a sluice gate to water some thirsty cattle. Upon learning of this, the ranch owner went ballistic as the watering was an unlawful use at that time. But it wasn’t the law he was so much concerned about but rather the reaction of his fellow gun-toting neighbors and water users were they to learn of the pilfering of the precious liquid. Alas, in the instance you cited, there are no gun-toting salmon.

  11. Carolinian

    That Doctorow is deep in the cyber weeds but his concerns are not something that only came along with our computer age. Back in WW2 radio was a leading technology and attempts to make that secure worked out badly for the Germans and Japanese. Carrier pigeons might have been better if not very functional. Obviously it’s always a struggle between practicality and safety and the only real security is not to put anything truly private on your computer or if you do keep it away from the internet.

    1. hunkerdown

      The TrustCor problem is more akin to a badge company printing fake ID lanyards for fake utility workers. In TLS, the browser or other software simply verifies the badge issuer before giving the fake utility worker free rein to manipulate locks, plant bugs in phones, copy passwords from Post-Its, etc.

    2. BobW

      That’s the road the French took, orders from the central headquarters were written, couriered, or pigeoned… making them disastrously outdated in the face of the German blitzkrieg.

      But they were secure.

    3. Joe Renter

      I was under the impression that codes were broken was the issue, not the technology. Yes, you had to change frequencies and use short transmissions so that a radio location from signals could not be determined. In a book I recently read about the war in the pacific, all call signs had the letter L in play since it is a hard letter for the Japanese to pronounce.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Tech Is Being Used In Iran’s Controversial Drones”

    Funnily enough, some of those drones have been found to contain parts made in the Ukraine.

    1. LifelongLib

      People have aiways “borrowed” each other’s tech. When the Soviets were building the first space probe to photograph the far side of the moon, they used camera film salvaged from crashed U.S. spy balloons. Better than what we were doing with it…

      1. rowlf

        A great story: Luna 3
        The film, temperature-resistant and radiation-hardened, came from American Genetrix balloons which had been recovered by the Soviets.

  13. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) practically clung to the abominable showman’s coattails, he was all-in to use poker parlance in regards to posterior position.

    Team Pachyderm will probably prevail in taking over the house but only just barely and it isn’t as if there is anybody waiting in the right wings aside from Kev who is probably as good as they come when it comes to getting nothing done, so he’s got that going for him-which is nice.

    I for one didn’t expect Trumpism to up and die on us yesterday, but there you have it.

  14. Tom Stone

    The aghastitude of OZ’ officials about 3D guns is amusing, that horse left the barn 2 years ago with the development of the FGC-9 and FGC -9 Mk2.
    Impro.Guns covers the proliferation of craft made firearms worldwide and they were talking about these weapons showing up in OZ well over a year ago.
    For @$3K you can buy a 3 D printer and all the materials needed to build half a dozen good quality submachine guns in a spare bedroom with some materials left over.
    They will wholesale for $1,500 each, easily.
    Invest $15K and you have an assembly line and your unit costs will drop substantially and keep dropping for some time as you amortize your equipment costs.
    I estimate that you can get unit costs down to about $200 without scaling up beyond what you can produce in a small house.
    With no noise or funny smells.
    FWIW they are showing up in the hands of Myanmar rebels in significant numbers.

    1. Wukchumni

      I used to be anti-hand cannon, but I say go big!

      A neighbor 3D printed a Paris Gun but has run into supply chain issues with getting 238mm shells for the behemoth, so mostly it just sits there on the railroad spur line he also 3D printed, and frankly should he ever acquire said shells, Pixley is in definite peril.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>FWIW they are showing up in the hands of Myanmar rebels in significant numbers.

        The article in The Conversation leaned towards outright censorship and use tracking. All in the interests of the children, I’m sure. The article even managed to put in child porn along with gun making. Interesting and very favorable to the powerful, which must be just a coincidence as well. An out of date, uninformative, poorly sourced article. If I was suspicious, I would asked just who planted the article for it had little to do with gun safety.

        Someone could make a good case for bending, even violating, our rights for some supposed extra safety, but this article does not do that.

    1. Oh

      While I helplessly read this link I find the walls closing in on whatever freedom we have left. The DHS was a Gestapo organization right from the get go.

  15. Wukchumni

    Biden and China’s Xi Jinping to hold first in-person presidential meeting (WaPo)

    Biden: “Gee willikers, forget all the malarkey you’ve heard about us getting a divorce, as if we could ever go back to making geegaws.”

    Xi: “Why’d he call me willikers?”

  16. Tom Stone

    That article on 3D printed Guns is full of inaccuracies and hyperbole.
    The claim that 3D printed guns don’t leave ballistic evidence in the same way conventional firearms do is absurd, as is the claim that since they are largely made of plastics that they can’t be picked up by metal detectors.
    It’s lame.

    1. JBird4049

      >>It’s lame

      It is not lame to the intended targets; it is meant as propaganda used to scare people into Doing Something especially when some massacre is done with a printed gun, and not as an informative article about an important subject. We must not have an another Myanmar (or people making whatever they want) so we need to control this.

      For our safety of course. /s

  17. Jason Boxman

    Pluralistic: 09 Nov 2022 Delegating trust is really, really, really hard (infosec edition)

    The money shot:

    I feel like I’m on the precipice of a great, epistemological void. I can’t “do my own research” for everything. I have to delegate my trust. But when the companies and institutions I rely on to be prudent (not infallible, mind, just prudent) fail this way, it makes me want to delete all the certificates in my browser.

    Societies operate on trust. Unfortunately the United States is essentially a low/no-trust society at this point.

  18. Cetra Ess

    re: Burst sewage pipe adds to infrastructure woes at COP27

    NATO has form here. The US/UK, especially.

    1. Karl

      Just in: “A NATO funded investigation points to’ Monkey Wrench Gang’ type sabotage because monkey wrenches are alleged to have been used to beak the pipes. No enviro group has stepped forward to take credit for the attack.”

      1. Lee

        I’ve heard that flushing an epoxy mixture while still in liquid form in a balloon blocks pipes once it hardens. Never tried it myself.

  19. Karl

    Theories about Russian withdrawal from Kherson posed by yesterday’s New Atlas commentary.

    New Atlas says it’s similar to August’s withdrawal from Kharkiv, i.e. a straightforward tactical move to conserve Russian forces and ease logistics, etc. as it digs in for the winter. New Atlas points out that as winter progresses, Ukraine gets hungrier, colder and weaker, while Russia gets stronger, so Russia can afford these tactical retreats for a later concerted push. That sounds reasonable, but Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson could pose big problems down the road.

    FWIW, I did find this Report from last July which predicted that Ukraine would eventually retake Kherson within three months (which proved correct). It paints a more dire picture for Russia from Ukraine retaking this city, for example:

    Controlling Kherson would enable to Ukraine to cutoff water to Crimea.

    Reportedly, if Ukraine retakes Kherson, Ukrainian artillery would be close enough to be a menace in various ways, e.g. preventing Russian forces from installing any sort of river cross, such as floating bridges, to retake the City later.

    Ukraine seemed so surprised by this “decision” to withdraw that it first thought it was a trap (might it still be one?). Christofourou seems to question the wisdom of this decision.

    From a tactical standpoint, it does seem as though Russia is conserving forces in order to press the push into Donbass.

    Curious to get the perspectives of informed NC readers!

  20. Aaron212

    Oldest known sentence written in first alphabet discovered – on a head-lice comb Guardian

    Years ago when I was a proofreader at a top drawer financial printing company, I participated in the Yankee Swap at the holiday party that was at some muckity-muck’s palatial home in Tiburon. Since the limit was $20, I went to Walgreen’s and grabbed a lice-comb and one of those little hand-held electronic blackjack games and wrapped them lavishly.

    The response when the VP of Sales opened my package was priceless.

  21. flora

    Sounds like the new colonialism of tokenized “commodity” extractions from the global south, again. A snippet from the meeting

    UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) – Former Bank of England Senior Advisor Michael Sheren says, “Carbon is going to be very close to a currency.”

    (but also good for nature, too, he says, almost as an afterthought.)

    1. flora

      Sounds like they want the billions “setting in the basement of the Bank of England” transferred to their own business accounts through the magic of Derivatives! / ;)

  22. Jon Cloke

    I re-posted your squirting clams video from yesterday on FB, above which I wrote “Weird. Squirting clams.” and got this:

    “Your post goes against our Community Standards on adult sexual solicitation

    No one else can see your post.

    We have these standards to help keep people safe.

    If you or someone you know is in a difficult or unsafe situation, support is available.

    Get support.”

    Could anyone let me know exactly what kind of support I need?

    1. JBird4049

      Ah, Faceborg keeping us safe from The Bad Something using algorithms, aka biases in code, because that’s cheaper than using real people, easier than thinking, and when things go wrong, you can always claim helplessness and blame the A. I. Gremlins for it.

    2. Procopius

      Yeah, once I posted, “Some days are better than others,” and they cancelled it. Took about three days after I protested before they allowed it.

  23. Cetra Ess

    re: Mysterious company with government ties plays key internet role

    Many Torontonians are probably connecting the dots right now – the 371 Front St address, the location for the TrustCor UPS PO box, is just a few doors down the street from the Toronto branch of CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service), the Canadian “equivalent” of the CIA – often a site for protests.

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