Links 11/13/2022

Want To Fire Up the Dance Floor? Scientists Figure Out the Secret SciTechDaily

The return of the American bison is an environmental boon — and a logistical mess Grist

Scientists discover massive ‘extragalactic structure’ behind the Milky Way LiveScience

Unnatural Selection: Technological Evolution Life in the 21st Century


Truffles Are Becoming Even More Expensive. Blame Climate Change Wired


Uzbekistan: Where the Amu Darya goes to die Eurasianet

On its 100th birthday, the Colorado River Compact shows its age High Country News


Cruise ship with 800 Covid cases docks in Sydney BBC

Uptick in flu cases prompts hospitals to put up overflow tents in parking lots to ease ER burden The San Diego Union Tribune

Is it the flu, RSV or COVID? Here’s the latest ‘tripledemic’ advice from Bay Area experts San Francisco Chronicle


US President Joe Biden pledges more support on Myanmar, South China Sea row in ‘new era’ of US-Asean ties SCMP


Iran takes aim at ‘gambler’ and ‘political dwarf’ Aliyev as Azerbaijan tensions simmer Intellinews

How British intelligence weaponizes the Sunni clergy class The Cradle

What Theodor Herzl’s Zionist-Utopian Novel Says About Israel Today New Lines Magazine


China’s easing of Covid tracking rules to free up stretched resources in Guangdong: official SCMP

Apple’s business model made Chinese oppression inevitable Pluralistic

Ukraine is a ‘Warm Up’ for Fighting China: Why the Head of America’s Nuclear Forces Just Warned of an Imminent ‘Very Long’ War  Military Watch Magazine

Japanese PM Kishida Renews Calls for Expanded Defense Spending USNI News

Japan PM to address food, energy crises, condemn Russia at summits Kyodo News

New Not-So-Cold War

Russo-Ukraine War Assessment: Russians Withdraw Across the Dnipro River SOFREP

Boiling the Frog and US Mission Creep in Ukraine The Real Politick with Mark Sleboda



LNG bottlenecks highlight Europe’s energy infrastructure weaknesses Upstream

Who Can Prevent a New War in the South Caucasus? EVN Report

Italy economy minister promises fiscal prudence, lower debt Reuters

Italy finds $9 bln to support economy, boosts energy security Reuters


Biden Administration

Democrats Clinch Nevada, the Senate, and a Chance to Be Free From Joe Manchin Rolling Stone Will they hold auditions for the next Joe Manchin?

Why Democrats Don’t Win The Way They Should Black Agenda Report

The Real Reason for Dems Rust Belt Revival The Lever

Imperial Collapse Watch

This is the U.S. Navy’s Answer to China’s Type 055 Destroyers: They Cost 340% as Much and Will Be Ready 15 Years Later Military Watch Magazine

More teenagers dying from fentanyl. ‘It has a hold on me, and I don’t know why’ LA Times

GOP Clown Car

‘They completely f–ked up’: How the GOP lost its grip on the Senate majority Politico

Democrats en déshabillé



Police State Watch

Groves of Academe


Our No Longer Free Press

Corruption exposed: US meddled in Ecuador’s election, using Julian Assange as bargaining chip Multipolarista

‘SNL’ writers to ‘boycott’ Dave Chappelle’s return as host: report The Hill

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

Universal Benefits Cost Less Than Means-Tested Benefits Matt Bruenig People’s Policy Project

Peasants storm the castle: Medieval Times workers in Buena Park vote 27 to 18 to unionize LA Times

Sports Desk

FTX Spent Hundreds of Millions of Dollars on Sports Marketing on Road to Bankruptcy Decrypt

The Bezzle


Sam Bankman-Fried reportedly denies fleeing to Argentina, says he’s still in the Bahamas CNBC

Crypto nerd Sam Bankman-Fried, who just lost $16 billion, “would never read a book. Literary Hub

Nailed It: Amazon Becomes the First Company Ever to Lose $1 Trillion in Stock Value Gizmodo

Crypto Confidence Soars After CEO Defrauds Customers Just Like Real Bank The Onion


Antidote du jour (via):

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot)

    Back in 2014 ’twas one hell of a scene
    Banderistas took over Ukraine
    Russia came and took Crimea in hand
    And vowed that’s how things will remain
    For eight years since then Ukraine sent Army men
    To war on Ukraine’s Russian regions
    The US and EU helped them pull off their coup
    And to train and then send forth their legions

    With much bluster and pride the American side
    With the EU and NATO and Britain
    Loudly did boast that the Russians were toast
    For they’d broken The-Rules-That-Aren’t-Written
    Stiff sanctions were laid to stop all Russian trade
    Then more sanctions were laid with delight
    Ukraine got munitions from new coalitions
    Who would help when the time came to fight

    By 2022 the Ukrainians slew
    Many thousands of Russians in Donbass
    When Russia said Quit! the West threw a fit
    And the whole thing boiled down to an impasse
    When Russia rolled in much to Europe’s chagrin
    The EU stole all Russia’s Euros
    The Russians alas said Pay rubles for gas
    Or there’ll be no methane for your boroughs!

    Russia’s advance seemed slow at first glance
    For they worked at a leisurely pace
    They fought with great care, each man knowing he’s there
    To wreck Ukraine’s army in place
    Ukraine had more men, but time and again
    Ukraine’s troops went running to hide
    The Russian command wasn’t there to take land
    But to see that Ukraine’s soldiers died

    After half of a year it was perfectly clear
    That the Russians were reaching their goal
    As autumn came ’round all of Europe has found
    That they’re starving for oil, gas, and coal
    They started this war that has made them all poor
    So it’s high time for some circumspection
    As with much heated talk of the damned NATO bloc
    Their citizens launch insurrection

    What with power blackouts, and historical droughts
    The EU is starting to splinter
    Their provisions run dry and no one can deny
    There’s scant hope of living through winter
    But their leaders and rulers are liars and mewlers
    Privileged and proud playground gangsters
    Ruining lives while exchanging high fives
    Disrupters and neocon pranksters

    The bill has come due for the fake Maidan coup
    By dint of the whole Russian nation
    NATO won’t dare fight the big Russian bear
    So we have a whole new situation
    The Brits and EU have no choice what to do
    But accept Russia’s terms and surrender
    To threaten and bluff was never enough
    When NATO is just a pretender

    Russia wants neighbors who don’t sharpen sabers
    Or issue harsh sanctions and threats
    In the decades to come Europe’s income
    Depends on how grim climate gets
    A single potato is worth more than NATO
    When citizens starve in the street
    Russia’s no rival when your survival
    Depends not on weapons but wheat

    America hollers and prints petrodollars
    Convinced that their narrative’s winning
    They spread democracy to the South China Sea
    But support for their Empire is thinning
    In DC and Brussels they flex their mouth muscles
    To stop China taking Taiwan
    But we can’t win a war anywhere any more
    Not since we ran from Saigon

  2. Wukchumni

    I heard that you’re on your own now
    So are crypto investors
    You’re living alone now
    I wasn’t wrong, it was overdue
    So were all the clues
    What will you do?
    Are you glad to be free?
    Are you feeling lost @ sea
    Longing for the good old days of a crypto company

    Oh Sam, Sam, the Feds know you’re on the lam
    Come around and talk about non-extradition countries awhile
    You need a place to hide your pile
    You need more guile
    Oh Sam, Sam, the Feds know you’re on the lam
    And the door is open wide
    Come on over to the dark side
    The authorities longing to see you
    Oh Sam, Sam, livin’ on the lam

    You find the days hard to face now
    Empty trading room
    There’s much too much space now
    And the Nassau nights go so slow
    I’m sure you know
    Wish I knew what to do
    It would be so nice seeing you vamoose
    And it might help you too

    Oh Sam, Sam, hope you stick to your plan
    Come around and talk about Tierra del Fuego awhile
    You need to put on many a mile
    You need a place to sequester your pile
    Oh Sam, Sam, the Feds know you’re on the lam
    And the door is open wide
    Come on over on an airplane ride
    Oh Sam, Sam, you know what happens after the collapse of a sham

    Oh Sam, good luck livin’ on the lam
    Oh Sam, ooh Sam
    You know, you know
    They know your getaway plan

    Sam, by Olivia Newton-John

  3. Alice X

    Vandalized US military billboards in Louisville, Kentucky

    Marines fight to win

    for the rich

    ———- Touché

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Remember it was resistance to the draft that helped accelerate the end to the Viet Nam war. My generation that followed, turned off by what our older brothers and cousins told us about being a soldier, avoided the military with few exceptions. Then Hollywood went Rambo and sold the lie of military service to the next generation, a ramp up of MIC propaganda that crescendoed after 911. Looks like now we’re finally completing that circle again.

  4. Amfortas the hippie

    the article on the STRATCOM guy’s appeal for more money doesn’t mention the almost Trillion $’s already apparently baked in.
    and not a word about the global supply chain(all the way to China, notably) for parts and gizmos that enable the gee whiz mass murder machines to (sometimes) function at all.
    also curious.
    and it really bothers me that the reasons for a war against China are apparently considered as Read…without comment or exegesis.

    1. Janie

      The quote from the stratcom guy begins with we must rapidly change the way we defend this nation (the USA). By magical logic, this leads straight to how we’re going to be forced to fight for Taiwan. I’m guessing Greek logicians would have a field day with that.

      1. ambrit

        Speaking of Greek logicians, a perusal of Thucydides would prove instructive on this subject. His work is a primer on what not to do regarding “foreign entanglements.” Ad to this, Xenophon’s “Anabasis” and you will have the wisdom of the Ancients to guide us. Not that I see any evidence of our “Fearless Leaders” reading, much less understanding the lessons of unbiased history.
        I fear that I must now read “the Stratcom guy’s” article, if only to get a feel for just how non-sane our ruling elites are. From what I have read here in comments, he seems to be pushing the old “we have to fight them there so that we don’t fight them here” trope.
        Stay safe. Keep the potassium iodide handy.

        1. JBird4049

          On those potassium iodide pills, to quote others from the Cold War when asked what they would do if the Bomb was dropped, they would sometimes say that they would hope to be directly under it.

          True, the numbers and sizes of the bombs are much reduced, but this just mean the end of civilization instead of the end of humanity. Maybe, if I lived close enough to family to have a realistic chance of getting to them, it would be different. Otherwise, I just hope that I never know if some fool pushes the button.

          1. ambrit

            Good points. We live a few miles from Camp Shelby, where a lot of the Ukrainian troops were trained on NATO artillery. That place could well be on the Second Strike target list for the Kremlin. Otherwise, we don’t seem to be in any major fallout zones. As you say, this could be a case where the living will envy the dead.
            Stay safe!

  5. Wukchumni

    Uptick in flu cases prompts hospitals to put up overflow tents in parking lots to ease ER burden The San Diego Union Tribune
    Like a good many of you, I haven’t had a cold or flu for about 3 years now leading up to the Pandemic℠(I served vis a vis Omicron and was asymptomatic) and i’m a cold or 2 a year kinda guy typically, and get the flu once every couple of years-suffer a bit and come out clean on the other side.

    My body hasn’t been at battle with itself in far too long, a bit rusty.

    1. mrsyk

      Same here until Friday morning when my number finally came up. So far pretty much like getting the flu for me. I’m skipping the Paxlovid since I don’t feel that bad (and my liver and kidneys asked me not to). Anyway, gotta go. MsSyk has a faint line on her Abbot Labs lottery ticket this morning. I need to winterize the dog house.

    2. marieann

      I haven’t ever had the flu and I haven’t had a cold for about 10 years. I am not worried about covid, I am still masking and mostly staying at home.
      I figure I have a very good immune system and that’s why I am usually healthy……now arthritis,bad knees and back…..those I could use a hand with.

      1. ambrit

        Please be very careful with those “problems.” They generally fall into the category of inflammation problems, which looks to be the primary way that the Coronavirus does it’s damage to the Terran human body. Lot’s of anti-oxidants for a start.
        A decent primer from an “official” source. [Surprisingly even handed.]:

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Cruise ship with 800 Covid cases docks in Sydney”

    They are now letting off passengers to roam across Sydney after pinky-swearing that they will stay away from public transport. Who gets off? Anybody that passed a rapid antigen test of course because they are so accurate. After the total fiasco of the Ruby Princess back in 2020, the medical authorities here have taken a thorough review of their procedures and techniques while updating their guidance. This time they will have both fingers crossed.

        1. Milton

          Never saw that version. Casting seems pretty close (at least better than the latest season of the Crown) Never a fan of remakes, however, unless it’s to parody the original, ala Zero Hour –> Airplane! or Family Guy –> Star Wars or to simply remake another A star is Born.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Arguably Night of the Living Dead has had successful remakes in the vein of a Star is Born, they just don’t share the title. The “A Star is Born” flicks do fit “how we feel about the story” requirement for a successful remake.

  7. Old Sovietologist

    “Russo-Ukraine War Assessment: Russians Withdraw Across the Dnipro River”.

    You can divide the frontline into 6 sections, 4 of which now have a neutral status, that is, they won’t see active defensive or offensive operations.

    1. Kherson region where the demarcation line now runs along the Dnipro – In Kherson the front line has been transferred from an active (defensive operation) to the status of a neutral section
    2. Zaporozhye region
    3. The border of the Russian Federation-​Ukraine in the Belogorod and Bryansk regions.
    4. Border of Belarus and Ukraine.

    Shelling and/or sabotage) are being carried out in these neutral sectors, but there is little in the way offensive or defensive operations.

    The two areas where serious operations are taking places are:

    1. In the south-west of Donetsk, the Russian army is conducting an offensive operation, while the Armed Forces of Ukraine are on the defensive.

    2. On the border of the Lugansk and Kharkiv regions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are conducting an offensive operation, and the Russian army is conducting a defensive one.

    Both sides have chosen the best places for defence.

    Taking into account the fact that additional forces have been released in the Kherson region, plus mobilization It’s easier for the Russian army to realize the advantage in winter. Although it can be expected that both sides, despite the winter period, will intensify offensive operations on those active sectors of the front.

    Surovikin’s team’s strategy looks to be to reduce activity in neutral areas in order to focus on the two active fronts. Will this approach work? We’ll find out this see this winter.

    Both sides are now probably merely busy developing tactics rather than strategy. Since the main confrontation now focuses on a narrower section of the front.

    Both Russia and Ukraine can work on their mistakes and whichever side learns quicker will gain greater success at the next stage of the conflict.

  8. KD

    Bacevich in the Hedges’ interview:

    So what I argue in the book is it’s preposterous to say that we’re part of the West. If you acknowledge the extent to which the United States of America has become a multicultural nation where our people come from Latin America and from Asia and from Africa, the notion that we are somehow still tied to the so-called Mother Country, England, Great Britain, is really preposterous.

    But of course, there was a West, which is essentially the area formerly part of Christendom in the 14th century (e.g. the Roman Catholic portion of Europe at that time). Further, “Latin America” is alternatively the former lands of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, and the name Cortez remains common to this day, and there is perhaps no greater paragon of the Spirit of the West as Cortez, for good or bad. [Aguirre, the Wrath of God, may have been a commentary on the Nazi movement, but the character was literally a Spanish soldier.]

    The fact remains that America, multicultural or not, consists in the majority of European immigrants from the West, and African-Americans, for example, were forcibly made to drop their native cultures, religions and languages and take up the Anglo ways. Yes, there are a lot of Hispanics in America, but look at the countries they come from, they are all former Spanish colonies and look at their leadership classes in most of those countries. As far as first or second generation Africans or Asians, they are small in number and rapidly assimilating.

    I think Bacevich is in denial about the cultural and ethnic dimensions of American Empire. No, it won’t be the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it will be the children of the Crusaders and Cortez in new disguises.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The premise seems to be more aspirational. The US is still very much the descendants of the communities founded by two major types of English settlers. Everyone just assimilated into or through them. Then “does it play in Peoria” ended the quirkier outliers like New Orleans. Though we are separated by an off page Revolution described by Adams in a letter to Jefferson preceding the more heated events. English immigration had stopped by 1700. Half the population in 1776 wasnt English.

      The US is largely English trash despite English immigration stopping around 1700. The big potential exception was Black America, but WEB Dubois won that fight via MLK and Abernathy. Garveyism and at least officially Booker T Washington 2nd class citizenry with exceptions aren’t the place of Black America.

      The fascination with “the Royals” is tied to how entwined we are. We don’t even specify. The young Dutch Royals practically lived with the Roosevelts during World War 2, but nope, our media is obsessed with Charles of all people.

      1. KD

        My sympathies are with realism in International Relations, and much of the explanation of events can be understood for structural reasons. Notwithstanding, the cultural complex that gave rise to the Crusades, then centuries of wars of imperial conquest and assimilation, then the world wars and now manifest in American “exceptionalism” belies a unquenchable Western drive for domination and conquest always sanitized in moral terms, whether it is civilizing the heathens in Mehico, or spreading our “values” (e.g. civilizing the heathens) in the Middle East. In fact, that the American Empire, whether in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq or Syria or Ukraine continues to pick fights that don’t even serve any real strategic interests manifests this Satanic drive for total domination. Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven is the order of the day.

        1. LifelongLib

          Europe was almost overrun by Arabs, Mongols, Turks. “Satan” is everywhere. Reign in Hell or serve in Hell. Good luck finding Heaven anywhere.

      2. C.O.

        Hmmm… I just read Hackett Fisher’s “Albion’s Seed” in which the author contends that the U.S. was basically founded by four major colonies founded by four separate waves of migration from England. Of course this book is fairly old – 1989 – and inevitably in such a huge book (900 pages) he occasionally suffers from an exhausted copyeditor or tries to get cultural history to do and explain things it can’t. Being a person in Canada it seems to me the book holds up well although of course it can’t stand alone, and it seems quite plausible to me that fairly cohesive early communities of English migrants would have an ongoing impact on voting and cultural patterns today. Admittedly, this may activate my priors in the sense that it is taken as something of a given here that Canada’s underlying regional patterns reflect early English and French settlement despite major subsequent migrations from other places.

        1. eg

          Colin Woodward’s American Nations examines similar territory while also discussing the Canadian and Mexican dimensions — highly recommended.

    2. Carolinian

      I thought the Real News article was spot on. Bacevich:

      There’s a paradox here, or a contradiction, that I think is difficult to pull apart. On the one hand, it is certainly the case today that American history, as written by professional historians, as studied in our colleges and universities, is a warts and all chronicle. Nothing is hidden, nothing is off limits. And yet, on the other hand, that history, the warts and all history, seems to figure only marginally, if at all, in our politics. And then we much prefer the sanitized version, the heroic version, the version that I think, more than anything else, centers on the way we choose to remember World War II and the way we choose to remember the role that the United States played in World War II. And I phrase it that way because the way we choose to remember is radically at odds with what actually occurred.

      Indeed my brother who, unlike me, hasn’t cut the cord says cable TV is all WW2. And the whole silly business of Trump being, or not being, Hitler sums it up. We live in a new century with new problems but they can’t get over the last one. The fact that many of our leaders and business people are in their 80s or even 90s no doubt contributes to this. They are reality clueless.

  9. Amfortas the hippie

    the Bruenig bit is, i think a must read…especially if you live in a “Red” place. a new box of ammo for rebutting the conventional wisdom that taxes=bad, welfare=bad, “whogonpayferit!?”, etc.

    i often am confronted by relatively poor people(when compared with extracounty wealth distribution) who are worried sick about the Estate Tax/”Death Tax”.
    these folks are rarely aware of the sales tax, of course.
    but whatever.
    tie the Zendik-Havel…and now Bacevitch and Bruenig things up into a single package…and we’re in the Matrix, and unaware of how frelled we are, nor how insane the whole mess is…because we haven’t the perspective….nor even the want/need…to step outside and regard the edifice with unfiltered vision.
    (to bring in They Live to the mix)

    throughout all 4 of these, i found myself thinking…again…about Phillip K Dick’s Black Iron Prison( and the part of that that the Roman Empire was a Mind Disease…from which our rulers(as well as ourselves) are still suffering.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Phillip K Dick’s Black Iron Prison

      As good a metaphor, if indeed it is a metaphor, as any. (Brutally paraphrasing Bourdieu, the problem with Marx is that he does not give a satisfactory account of the role of delusion in public affairs. Looking back on the last decades — Iraq WMDs, CDOs, RussiaGate, the Covid debacle, and Ukraine — I think Bourdieu’s got hold of something.)

  10. Wukchumni

    US President Joe Biden pledges more support on Myanmar, South China Sea row in ‘new era’ of US-Asean ties SCMP


    Burma Slave

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Japan PM to address food, energy crises, condemn Russia at summits”

    The G-20 Summit promises to be a barrel of laughs and Japan here is gearing up to do their part. Probably the G-20 Bali Summit will get the nickname of the Mean Girls Summit before it is over. The Collective west is planning to try to isolate Russia at the Summit by having no common statement, no group picture, is telling other members of the G-20 that they must avoid Lavrov, walk out whenever he gives a speech. avoid having any contact with him after his speeches and not line up for autographs like happened at the last major get-together. I’m sure that countries like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, China, Indonesia, ert. will be totally on board with being told what to do and how to behave by the collective west.

    Putin won’t be there and I have heard that Russian security so no way and that they would not put it beyond the west to do something stupid like to try to have him arrested or maybe have his plane shot down. Just like the Baltic pipelines it will be a matter of ‘unmarked’ F-35s appearing out of nowhere but nobody knows where they came from or where they went. And the inquiry is secret anyway so move along, move along. And don’t bother looking to ask ‘Maverick’ any questions either. Good old Zelensky will be there via Zoom and I am certain that he will be demanding money from all the members of the G-20. It will be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets.

    1. Wukchumni

      The goods are odd, but odds are good we lend out the goods…

      The problem with using ‘stealth-stealth’ F-35’s in the Ukraine is you can hear them in Kraków when they’re overhead in Kiev or vice versa.

    2. digi_owl

      Yeah, international politics has for decades now looked like schoolyard antics.

      And i was no fan growing up, and i am even less of a fan now. They are all adults, and should act accordingly.

    3. Kouros

      The Japanese should put their actions where their mouth is and relinquish their stake in the Sakhalin project then. Hypocrites.

  12. Lexx

    ‘The return of the American bison is an environmental boon… and a logistical mess’

    Nancy Bender gave a talk about raising muskox in Montana and someone in the audience asked her how she gathered the qiviut from the animals. She said she didn’t gather the wool from the animals. They found it clinging in patches in the fencing; they’d walk along the fences in the spring and pick it up. Given the sheer mass of the animals and their ornery attitude, shearing them was, um, extra challenging. They weren’t sheep or alpaca. Few were docile enough to put up with that level of intimate interaction, e.g. ‘being groomed’ for their undercoats (like bunnies) or sheared down to their skins outright (like sheep). That’s not to say it can’t be done.

    That’s herds of massive animals shedding their itchy undercoats every spring looking for anything vertical to help them remove it faster, like sturdy fence posts. It takes wildlife level fencing (expensive) to prevent the passage of wandering herds like bison and elk, as any gardener knows who has tried to protect their veggies from deer. At least bison aren’t known to be standing high jumpers.

    BTW, bison down makes wonderful wool, best as socks and undergarments in very cold winter environments.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      our Dorper Sheeps do that…there’s wool in all the non-barbed wire(legacy) fences around here as it gets hotter….on tree trunks, as well.
      one particular sheep momma apparently got so OCD about it…perhaps had a sticker bur embedded in just such a way…that she wore a wound in her side.
      but she’s one of the skittish ones that we can’t get anywhere near, so i monitor that wound from 50 feet…healed up, now.

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    RE: Rolling Stone’s headline: It’s still amazing to me how many people accept the Manchin/Sinema kabuki at face value. The Dems “break free” of Joe Manchin, only to find a new one, and these folks will never connect the dots, never ask why a Joe Manchin always seems to exist or why the Dems never do anything about them. They also won’t make the connection that the Republicans never seem to have this issue and wonder why that is… I understand they’re just playing their role but it is oh so tiring.

    1. Daryl

      Laying aside the fact that Joe Manchin is of course more of a role and not an individual person (sort of like Spiderman, swooping in at the last minute to make sure the Dems don’t have to actually pass legislation that might be useful in any way), the article didn’t really address how gaining a whole senate seat would help. As I understand it, the Senate rules (which could also be changed if anyone could care to) allow one senator to engage in quite a bit of shenanigans anyway. And Manchin/Sinema are still there, are we assuming that the presence of another cardboard cutout Dem will change their tune?

      1. hunkerdown

        > Joe Manchin is of course more of a role

        Exactly right. When one treats the US political cosmos as a religious ritual, these masques, like the katcina masks of the Hopi, can be untangled from the person animating or “playing” them (and, indeed, from many of the normal contradictions of lived human experience). More vanities for the bonfire, someday.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          like the “Dread Pirate Robert” or Zorro, except in service of the imperial mind disease, instead of against it.

          1. hunkerdown

            Or regime mythologist Nicole Hannah-Jones wearing the skin of investigative reporter Ida B. Wells on Twitter, for a particularly odious (but directionally representative) example.

    2. The Rev Kev

      It’s not just Joe Manchin. How many times do you see a good piece of legislation being voted on when just enough Democrats will cross the floor to vote it down with the Republicans. Not always the same Democrats but it will always be just enough to vote down that legislation.

  14. pjay

    Re: “Tony Blair and Bill Clinton on the same stage (and SBF.)”

    A picture worth a thousand words about our end-stage empire.

      1. Wukchumni

        I shouldn’t be so judgmental but what is up with the man boobs on such a young fellow who aside from yearning to save the world from itself, is a vegan.

        1. MaryLand

          He could have a hormone imbalance problem or even a genetic mutation. I know a guy like that who was teased mercilessly through high school because of it.

          1. Wukchumni


            …and from what i’ve read about him, he never ventures outdoors and while i’m not saying he’s a vampire, there are some similarities.


            I’ve tortured the young man enough, I wouldn’t know him from Adam a week ago, and now look at me taking a byte.

        2. John

          French fries, chips, cheetos, coke and sitting /gaming all day long.
          The endocrine disruptors in the environment help with the man boobs too.

          1. polar donkey

            It boggles my mind that liars, cheaters, and generally not the best people in the world would get taken in by SBF’s act. After Elisabeth Holmes at Theranos, you would think someone would do due diligence. Seriously, you don’t talk to this guy for 30 seconds and not say “I wouldn’t give this guy pocket change.” He looks like he should be wearing a sandwich board that says “I steal pension funds.” Perhaps I’m biased against 30 year old man babies in jhorts wearing a backpack, because I’ve never met a competent man baby in jhorts with a backpack, especially $32 billion worth of competency. The jhorts, hair, backpack, Corolla is just as much a gimmick as John Cena’s jhorts, hair, and t-shirts. Paul Tudor Jones got taken by tubby Cena for God sakes.

    1. semper loquitur

      That image really stuck in my craw. Billy “Smooth Jazz” Clinton, proud holder of the Epstein Airlines Frequent Flyer Honorary Captain award, in his laid back sneakers, perfect for fitting in with the fawning young ladies looking to advance their NGO careers. SBF cannot be bothered to even put on pants and a button-up shirt because, hey!, he’s a “crypto-nerd” too busy saving the world to diddle around with slacks! Not that I give a frog about how he dresses but it’s telling that he really sees himself as some kind of specific entity, a character.

  15. GramSci

    Re: Groves of Academe and More Police

    One should perhaps have more sympathy for the plight of the two Harvard assistant professors who wrote The Injustice of Under-policing in America.

    I started out teaching educational computing, but year-by-year my student demographic shifted from teachers-in-training to almost entirely FBI, CIA, and NSA employees who were accumulating educational promotion points.  In my tenure year, I received a call:

    “This is 202-123-4567. We have been very impressed by your work, and we would like to discuss fully funding your laboratory.  We can provide you with whatever equipment you might want.”

    “I’m sorry, I replied.  I was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam war, and I would prefer not to work for you.”

    That year the dean over-ruled the faculty and denied me tenure.

    That was back around 1990.  I can only imagine how much more pressure is laid upon assistant professors nowadays.

      1. hunkerdown

        And if you’re fired, take a boss down with you. It’ll hurt for a while but at least bosses will be more judicious about trying it again.

        A much better lesson for the young to learn.

        1. GramSci

          I’m pleased to report I did. As it happened that year was the year our department came under external review. I was allowed to appeal, and four past presidents of the Linguistic Society of America wrote strong letters in my support. I got tenure, finished my magnum opus, and In the fullness of time, the dean was defenestrated.

          Still, it was a pyrhhic victory. My book was heretical, and there was no way I was going make full professor, so I became a work-for-hire computer nerd. At least I put my kids through college without incurring crushing debt.

    1. Mikel

      I notice that most spy/secret agent movies are in the action (blow things up) genre.
      Movies like “The Good Shepherd” a far and few between, but alot more on point about the action that happens at the universities.

    2. JBird4049

      I am reminded of a book, which I needed to reread and I have somewhere, where the author talked about the Black community in Los Angeles as being “overpoliced and underserved”; they are constantly hassled, surveilled, ticketed, arrested for anything and nothing, but when they need help with the violence, burglary, theft, and general abuse being done, it’s a big meh from the police.

      This seems to be common in minority or poor communities everywhere. The police will happily mess with you, but if your car gets stolen or your home gets broken into, they really don’t care.

      Our whole country is circling the drain, and the suggestion is not to deal with the massive corruption both legal and political, or the collapse of a growing amount of the economy, but to ramp up a corrupt, violent police force in a country that already has the largest number of police on the planet; this suggestion seems mightily convenient for the ruling elites that do not want change and certainly not honest reform.

  16. Lost in OR

    Truffles Are Becoming Even More Expensive. Blame Climate Change Wired

    Went searching for magic this past week, with a side venture for truffles. The truffles were a no-show. The magic was much diminished and hard to find relative to previous years. The consensus was that it has been too warm and dry and the season is more than a month behind. We’ll see.

  17. Carolinian

    Politico on the midterms

    When Republicans reviewed mid-year fundraising numbers, their jaws dropped. In the most competitive Senate races, Democrats had nearly $80 million on hand; Republicans had less than $20 million. Law said it was “the wake-up moment for us.”

    In other words the big money (or bigger money) was on the Dems. Follow it.

    Of course traditionally the Repubs are the money party so perhaps the takeaway is that both party organizations are now fighting to be Wall Street’s darlings–the Third Way in a nutshell. The Dems paper over this perception with ever more furious virtue signaling. But who really has a dog in the fight over, oh say, the fate of Ukraine? It’s certainly not the American public.We are just spectators.

    1. JBird4049

      It could be that the monied people are balancing the power and therefore money between the parties. Both parties are the other party’s cudgel; be a good pet or I give that food bowl to the other pet.

      I still think that straight money will lose much of its effect when the knives start to come out in a few years. When people lose faith in the system and become desperate or angry enough, power will come from the barrel of a gun, not money or words. This is a frightening scenario, but it has happened before and is what our leaders are creating in their desire to have everything.

      1. John k

        Hard to see when or if ‘people lose faith’ given the cia/msm endless narrative combined with short term memory.
        Certainly no sign of it in these midterms.

        1. JBird4049

          Give it more time. People are much more cynical today than they were forty, thirty, even ten years ago. Narratives will not give one food or shelter as well. I am just listening to the cracks spreading despite all the propaganda being desperately slathered like it is a miraculous adhesive.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The buzzwords in this election’s aftermath seem to be “candidate quality,” the narrative being that repub’s had poor candidates because they were picked by that now perennial political liability and all around jerk, Trump.

      How Republicans blew it despite their obvious political advantages is the story of a larger, existential struggle within the GOP. Interviews with more than 20 strategists and senators from both parties highlight the reasons for Republicans’ stumbles this year: former President Donald Trump played kingmaker, and the party reasoned it could do little about it besides trying to ride historical tailwinds.

      Trouble is, poor “candidate quality” only seems to work in one direction. In 2020, for example, the dem ticket, comprised of the two least popular candidates with one in the obvious throes of dementia and both with dismal records on issues dems supposedly espouse, were not considered “poor quality.” In fact, their election with the highest vote totals in any presidential election evah was not even questioned. Once again, the success of bad dem candidates was blamed on Trump.

      While I’d imagine that this won’t sit well with some, what’s beginning to be talked about is that it’s not the candidates at all, but the elections themelves after all. Here’s how James Howard Kunstler put it in his election postmortem on Friday. Variations on this idea are bubbling up in corners of the internet. Conditions in this country are so bad, it really is a stretch to believe that, when given the chance, the people “voted” not to change a thing. Because Trump, of course.

      … The Democrat’s Lawfare soldiers have slowly and systematically changed the methods of voting and counting the votes, especially to eliminate accountability for the massive scams and screw-ups that have occurred recently. The changes have been accepted as normal.

      One insidious change was shutting down the small local precinct polling places in churches and schools, where it was easy to get in, get your signature checked, and vote on-site, and where the precinct captains and workers were known and accountable to voters in the neighborhood. Instead, Lawfare got states to consolidate all the action in huge impersonal voting centers — often sports arenas — where hundreds of election workers churned, and all sorts of frauds went unnoticed in the enormous shuffle of activity.

      It was also harder to get in and vote at such a giant venue on game day when thousands showed up and long lines formed — which made it easier for interested parties to justify the expansion of mail-in balloting. It’s just possible that Covid-19 was introduced in 2020 to make sure that Election Day in-person voting would look hazardous, with mail-ins becoming the dominant method. It sure helped get rid of Donald Trump.

      Among the conclusions of the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by (Democratic) former president Carter and (Republican) former Secretary of State James Baker, was that mail-in voting is the easiest way to invite cheating and fraud. Apparently, no one listened except Lawfare’s Marc Elias, who saw that as a good thing. What we got starting in 2020 and continuing today are the creative refinements of that, as fraudsters apply their zillions of dollars to new ways of stealing elections — as Mark Zuckerberg did in Wisconsin, literally switching out local election officials with Democratic Party activists.

      1. Carolinian

        I think it is perfectly legitimate to question this last election or any election which is no doubt why the Dems are so eager to say it isn’t legitimate.

        But I also think the funny business only works when elections are close as polls showed this last and some others to be. So it’s still about 50/50 and keeping the public evenly divided.

        One could even argue that the money control only works if things are close enough that they only need to buy a few contests. Even Soros can’t pay for the whole thing.

        And finally as long as Trump is around they are always going to blame everything on him so perhaps he should step aside and make it about somebody else. He did have his shot.

      2. marym

        The author didn’t provide links to evidence of all this fraud. The elite lawyers, tech gazillionaires, and voting machine providers can defend themselves or not, they have the resources.

        The target of much of the legal contention and verbal accusations in 2020 and since then has been the manual activity at voting and tabulation centers.

        In my opinion, claims that the non-elite public service and volunteer workers doing all this work are committing crimes should be accompanied by some evidence, and a plausible explanation of how all this fraud is taking place, what risk mitigations are or aren’t in place, what procedures aren’t being followed, etc., not just an assumption that it occurred and was “unnoticed.”

        1. Aumua

          Nope, how about we just throw doubt all over it at any chance, and continually undermine the entire election process with the flimsiest of reasoning and evidence, except where our side wins of course, then we’ll say nothing.

          1. hunkerdown

            Only scams and cults require faith. The system of Puritan moral theatrics and private property preservation called “Our Democracy” isn’t entitled to exist if nobody wants to play anymore.

      3. square coats

        I reckon many people didn’t see any real change options to vote for on their ballots (but I might just be generalizing my own experience to others).

      4. ArvidMartensen

        Seriously, there is absolutely no way that a black box voting system run by political parties is legit.
        Who knows who the voters actually voted for last week, and who really got the most votes.
        It’s all a hoax. That makes almost all political entrail watching irrelevant and fantastical. Like debating how many angels sit on top of a pin.

        1. Aumua

          Are you saying that the voting process is run by one or the other of the political parties? I’m not sure that is really the truth, but I do agree that the voting system(s) could use a lot of improvement.

          1. hunkerdown

            They’re run by all the political parties together for their mutual benefit, not that of the people. Consider who sets the laws of political motion such that two parties are sacred and other parties are kept subordinate to them by any means necessary up to and including assassination.

            How dare they tell us who we are allowed to vote for. How dare they even speak to us to persuade us, frankly. And how dare they even be allowed to vote against their voting constitutents’ will. That’s the kind of system you’re calling for faith in. Does it deserve faith? It’s far from irreplaceable.

            1. Aumua

              I’m not calling for faith, or for doubt. I’m just calling out conservatives for being such terrible losers.

  18. Wukchumni

    On its 100th birthday, the Colorado River Compact shows its age High Country News
    Of all the climate change things on the to-do list, the slow death of the Colorado River is a given, now just a few years away from deadpool status unless a heroic amount of liquid falls from the heavens on its tributaries.

    No state is going to meekly give up its rights to the translucent goodness we all so crave-especially since it says so in the water constitution, despite who the Feds decide doesn’t make the cut on the team in 2023.

    A floatila of 10 of us will be in the Black Canyon this weekend right where the old time photos are in the link. It was once a wild and woolly stretch of the Colorado with that tight canyon creating quite the cataracts before Hoover Dam came along, but that was then and this is now, its gentle flatwater with 3 slot canyons full of hot water creeks emanating from thermal sources on high and lots of hot springs to soak in, just watch out for Naegleria fowleri play!

    Only about 30 miles from the Vegas strip as the crow flies, but the only gamboling you’ll see is bighorn sheep negotiating impossible cliffs.

    1. Luckless Pedestrian

      Wuk, enjoy your travels. A post here on NC on about the river when you get back would be appreciated.

    2. Carolinian

      When I was at the Hoover Dam a couple of years back there was a sign on the roadway, “No Drones.”

      Things have changed and not just the water level!

      Try not to run aground on any suspicious oil drums. Could be like the final shot of Deliverance.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Boiling the Frog and US Mission Creep in Ukraine”

    Scott Ritter was talking about those “inspectors” in the Ukraine supposedly checking all the equipment sent over there. Ritter opined that the real reason is to check out the lay of the land so that if it becomes necessary to send US formations into the Ukraine, that the troops will know about what sort of landscape to expect and where would be good positions. By now there must be at least several hundred US military/spooks on the ground there already and the numbers only promise to increase. And scores if not hundreds of American s have already been killed there acting as “mercs” but you never hear about those numbers and only individual Americans from time to time.

    1. Wukchumni

      Thanks, I tend to post up behind the line and hope to sink the trey while getting fouled in the act of shooting my mouth off on a finger role.

  20. digi_owl

    “Peasants storm the castle: Medieval Times workers in Buena Park vote 27 to 18 to unionize LA Times”

    TIL that this exist…

  21. Wukchumni

    Boldfinger, he’s the man, the man with the QWERTY touch
    A digital touch
    Such a bold finger beckons you to enter his web of sin
    But don’t go in

    Cryptic words he will pour in your ear
    But bankruptcy can’t disguise what you fear
    For a crypto player knows when he’s dissed you
    It’s the kiss of death from Mister

    Boldfinger, just like that you got rolled
    This trail is cold

    Cryptic words he will pour in your ear
    But bankruptcy can’t disguise what you fear
    For a crypto player knows when he’s dissed you
    It’s the kiss of death for Mirage Money Mister

    Boldfinger, just like that you got rolled
    This trail is cold

    Goldfinger Instrumental

  22. Lexx

    ‘Why Democrats Don’t Win The Way They Should’

    First off, my appreciation for the sharp writing of the Black Agenda Report. The writers there do not seem to be inclined to mince words.

    ‘It isn’t incompetence that keeps the democrats from fully realizing their political power. The terrible truth is that they prefer horse trading over the issues of importance to their donor class than they do meeting the needs of the people.’

    There it is, whether a Republican or Democrat majority, our government at work but not for us.

    One of my thoughts ran along that line as I read about the Nevada win, giving the Democrats the edge in the Senate. Now that they have that edge and less of Sen. Manchin to blame for not really getting much done for most of the 335 million people who live here and actually pay taxes, what will they do with it? Who takes up the role of villain next?

    Polly Pureheart here, tied to the railroad tracks. We may be looking at and listening to more of “firebrand” Lauren Boebert for the next two years. Why do the gawds hate us?!

    1. Carolinian

      I read a lot of history and people talking about history and one theme going back even to the Greeks is that for the democracy version of government to work you need “virtue.” You don’t need politicians who go into that line of work so they can become multi-millionaires. You also need a public that has the information and the civic spirit to participate.

      Meanwhile if we look around the world at the moment it’s grifters out to the horizon. Surely this is what Franklin was talking about with his “if you can keep it.”

      1. Lexx

        I commented earlier this week about how after reading a story here I was spending more time that usual considering the balance between the seven deadly sins and seven virtues. The sins are always in evidence and seem to be “winning” … where are the virtues? I mean real virtues, beyond narcissism and tax evasion? Did they every exist? It’s like the virtues are ghosting us; they’ve abandoned humanity. I know good works are still being done every day but they don’t make the news much. It’s pretty much a steady stream of villainy. Part of the human drama – sure, but all villains all the time, on and off the screen? No, that’s not the story of our species either, it’s not who or what we are.

        Has charity come to define how one does good, or tribalism? Has virtue been captured and absent institutionalized framing, it doesn’t exist and it’s everyone for themselves?

        1. semper loquitur

          It’s been said here before and it bears repeating: the human species needs a spiritual revolution. As long as life is conceived of as nothing more than a series of biological functions and psychological complexes playing out it will never be valued for itself but only within itself. Without a concept of a bigger picture, we are consigned to the grim specter of an existence of mere details, akin to disassembling a collage and picking through the individual tiles….

          When I sat aside materialism and atheism, I didn’t do so because I had had some wonderous spiritual experiences that transformed my life. They came later. I had come to a point in my life where those ‘isms just weren’t satisfying me anymore. I didn’t stop believing in them, right away, I just found that when I was pondering them they no longer provided the satisfaction they had, the sense of knowing what’s what and why it’s right.

          It was a profoundly empty feeling but I refused to stop believing in those concepts just because they didn’t serve in their former roles as intellectual wooby-blankets. I couldn’t just do a 180 because I was burdened with ennui. I resolved to simply deal with it.

          But something nagged me. Why didn’t they fulfill their old roles any longer? If they were the answers, why didn’t they satisfy? How was it that such a hole could exist at all?

          So I began a spiritual exploration, with no preexisting goals and most especially no pre-existing beliefs in place. It was an experiment, literally. I sat my old ‘isms aside, without disavowing them, and began to poke around.

          Organized religion wasn’t for me, that I knew. Eastern and Indigenous Western spiritualities, while totally valid in their own right and certainly not answerable to my standards, were too commodified in my culture and my mind to serve. I’d seen too many Buddha and Ganesh statuettes next to cash registers in restaurants, too many “Eyes of God” hanging from the rear-view mirrors of BMW’s. So I turned to Western Esotericism and I haven’t looked back.

          As to the current location of the Virtues, well, have you reached out lately? Consider the words, cribbed from another book by me, of Peter Kingsley in his book Catafalque, his analysis of Jung’s Red Book:

          [The modern attitude towards the divine can be summarized in the words,] “Let’s make sure the divine takes good care of us. But as for finding what, in reality, the divine might possibly need: let it look after itself.” From here onwards one can sit back and watch how the idea of looking after the gods starts, almost by magic, vanishing from the western world. … And now it never occurs to us that the divine might be suffering, aching from our neglect; that the sacred desperately longs for our attention far more than we in some occasional, unconscious spasm might feel a brief burst of embarrassed longing for it.

          quoted from Decoding Jung’s Metaphysics by Bernardo Kastrup, pg. 100

        2. square coats

          One of the participants in Gonzalo Lira’s recent roundtable was a journalist from Spain who’s been going to report several times from Donbas, currently there for the third time. She said that she has delighted affection for the people there that she interviews and especially compared it to how she’s felt after returning to Spain each time so far, in that her impression is people in Donbas are focused on what seems truly important, whereas people in Spain seem to focus on ridiculous or insignificant things. At heart this isn’t per se a new idea but I thought I’d share it as food for thought for your considerations.

      2. hunkerdown

        The high ideals of states are fatally dependent upon forced labor. Their advice might not be applicable to producing the kind of society and world that people, liberated from myth and habit, would prefer.

  23. Wukchumni

    Fresno… can live without it, can’t live with it.

    One of the most notable arrests was that of 38-year old Mark McGill Jr. of Perris, California, a Forest Service Employee staying in the Fresno area,” said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims. “He arrived at the meeting site in a department fire engine with the intent of having sex with a teenage girl.”

  24. Expat2Uruguay

    I’m trying to find a story that may have been linked here in a links article in the last 2 weeks. Is there a convenient way to search for “oil tankers” within the category of Links articles?

    I seem to remember an article about oil tankers being sunk by US missiles off the coast of Syria in the last 10 days. Of course Google is unable to assist in this search, so I’m hoping some smarter person here can point me in the right direction.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        Thank you both, toosoonold and deleter. Although, I think the search bar only searches the current article. And I was hoping not having to open article after article to search each one. I was looking for a way to search the website, preferably within the category of links articles. I’m surely asking for too much technology….

        1. digi_owl

          Om the major search engines you can usually limit results to nakedcapitalism by adding something like to the search terms.

          As for the search box on the right, i think it searches all the articles. But it does not highlight exactly what part of the articles that was a match, and i am unsure if it searches comments.

  25. Wukchumni

    Crypto nerd Sam Bankman-Fried, who just lost $16 billion, “would never read a book. Literary Hub

    Bookem’ Danno!

    Kinda sad the strident book banner look, and that was before the imbrogliowe.

    How is that so many gave so much to him and paid so little heed?

    1. Mikel

      Weren’t his parents academics of some sort?
      Maybe if he would have read a few books he would have realized what a cliche he actually was:
      Rebelling against his parents, maybe? Oh, how original.

      1. flora

        The gaslighting is getting strong on this story.
        Ya don’t get into MIT by never reading a book. / ;)
        Both his parents are Stanford law professors specializing in tax law and psychology.

  26. Lexx

    ‘SNL writers to boycott Dave Chapelle’s return as host’

    There was a famous night in stand up, where Tig Nataro post mastectomy talks about the diagnosis on stage, and lifts her shirt to show the audience the scars. Considered one of the bravest things a stand up comic has every done.

    I could argue well I think that comics are deeply flawed humans who know this about themselves and for who stand up is their outlet and therapy. They joke because they must. Comics make fun of everything, especially themselves; nothing is sacrosanct.

    What Dave said was that a trans comic changed his mind about the trans community by stripping away the ‘identity’ to the common humanity between them in a way that Dave couldn’t deflect or ignore. He saw in that moment himself in her. He’s a flawed man, not a stupid one.

    But those with a will to outrage often can’t or won’t move on. The ‘writer’s in the room’ are usually the smartest people present… but not always, and that’s their flaw.

    1. flora

      The wokeists see the world as a small container filled with labels which they control and must carefully guard, imo. I see the world as huge, unimaginable, and filled with real things (not labels); I think “there are more thing is heaven and earth than are drempt of” in woke philosophy. Dave Chapelle opens up that larger world in his comedy and it’s great. My 2 cents.

      1. semper loquitur

        It’s authoritarianism at heart. Controlling speech with a patina of righteous moralizing. Enforcing imbecilic ontologies and epistemologies that are sure to alienate and trigger the outsider; that and incestuous in-group formations are the goals. Oh, and churning out insipid graduate programs like “whiteness studies”.

        It’s why school boards and corporations cleave to it, I believe, it sets the nonconforming individual on a confrontational stance with their power. What better way to exert control over parents than to let a man get undressed with their daughters or bash them around a volleyball court, then clamp down when the outraged parents lash out? What better way to generate confusion than to condemn a body of students or workers for their race while proclaiming antiracism is the goal?

        It’s also profoundly dehumanizing, as it attacks the commonalities that bind us and condemns the natural, historically valid process of inter-cultural exchange. It reduces the arts to the droning analysis of power relations that is itself a power relation. It deconstructs while failing to see it’s open to the same process. It is the meta-narrative that eschews meta-narratives. Like materialism, it denies key aspects of what makes us human. I see the two as peas in a pod.

    2. begob

      Comedy Central has a youtube channel This Is Not Happening, where comedians do 15 min sets on their drug addictions. Some are eye-opening, although the later ones tend toward college high-jinks nostalgia, ie. the SNL range of the spectrum.

      1. Lexx

        Yes, Flora, that’s it and thank you. I’m glad you got it too. It was truly one of the best bits I’ve seen him do, to open himself up to criticism, as Daphne did night after night, and describe the process and pain of change, and find that he and Daphne and the rest of the comics in the room were more alike than different. “Having a human experience” is the heart of comedy… and tragedy.

  27. ChiGal

    Dave Chappelle is a comic genius and a mensch. I watched all those Netflix specials carefully and it is not too much to say that he speaks for and to our humanity, a few jokes about getting his d*ck sucked aside.

    Unfortunately I don’t have cable; wish I could see for myself what he had to say last night.

  28. Mildred Montana

    Not in links, sorry, but it is CNN Talking Head Sunday. Fox is unavailable in Canada and CBC has become so “woke” I barely watch it anymore. That, regrettably, leaves me with CNN or nothing.

    So here’s my rant: Does nearly every one of those heads on CNN have to preface their remarks with the word “Look…”? I happen to consider it inexcusably rude and just a short step from “Look, you idiot.” Yet the majority seem to do it (they’ve been doing it all this morning) and it’s like they have been hanging out with each other so much that it has become some sort of contagion or a requirement for membership in their class.

    I imagine a meeting of PMCs going something like this:

    PMC #1: Look…
    PMC #2: No, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 look…
    PMC #3: No, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 look…

    /meeting adjourns in rancor with nothing being accomplished

    1. MaryLand

      I agree it sounds rude, and Biden says it a lot. It might be their way of signaling their alignment with the prez or more likely they are trying to make it seem more normal since Biden does it and it makes him seem like a cranky old man.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        It’s consistent with woke-ism. You’re not engaging with the other person, you’re lecturing them. Here is the information I have that you do not have that proves I am right and you are wrong so apologize already and let’s move on!

        Today’s Democrats don’t ask for your vote, they lecture you as to why you’d be an idiot not to vote for them. Frankly, it’s the kind of strategy that works best when you have an ace up your sleeve (electronic voting/ballot tabulation).

        1. MaryLand

          Yes, each party of the duopoly lectures and condemns anyone who does not fall in line with their current talking points. They continue to divide the public with their harangues and grease the slides to near civil war. All to bamboozle the public so we don’t notice who the grift is going to. Sickening.

    2. flora

      Ha! Yeah, “look” is the same verbal tic B. Clinton and O used and JB uses – with the addition of “here’s the deal.” / ;)

    3. JEHR

      Mildred, there is more to CBC than television although there are some good programs on tv such as The Documentary Channel, Marketplace, The Nature of Things, etc. The radio provides even better programs and at night you can listen (in English) to German, Irish, UK, Australian and Canadian programs such as “Ideas.” Sometimes you have to be patient and pick from a number of offerings. Do you really miss Canada not making Fox available?

      1. Paleobotanist

        for some reason, radio canada (the francophone) version of cbc is not nearly as bad. even has some good lefty economical analysis sometimes.

      2. Mildred Montana

        JEHR: Sorry for the late reply; I’m a morning person. Hope you read this.

        I agree that there’s still some good stuff on CBC radio and TV but I’m not the only one in my circle who thinks its programming has declined badly of late.

        The programs you mention can be excellent. I occasionally awake in the middle of the night and catch a bit of the foreign radio shows. Again, they can be very interesting. But midnight to 5am is too late for me (I am in the Pacific time zone). Why can’t CBC replay some of them in the daytime when most people are listening and where, imo, most of its identity politics rot has set in.

        And yes, I wouldn’t mind Fox being available in Canada, if only for the reason that I am all in favor of alternative points of view, no matter how crazy-seeming. Show me all sides of an issue and let me decide for myself.

  29. Mikel

    “Nailed It: Amazon Becomes the First Company Ever to Lose $1 Trillion in Stock Value” Gizmodo

    Odds are they’ll get another pandemic sooner rather than later.

  30. cnchal

    > Nailed It: Amazon Becomes the First Company Ever to Lose $1 Trillion in Stock Value Gizmodo

    In it’s quest and single minded determination to be the corporate ISIS and groaf uber alles, it grew too big too fast where it now is trying to get rid of nearly four dozen warehouses and stopping construction on a half dozen office buildings.. Excrementitious.

    Amazon’s stawk price needs to drop another trillion to get to fair value.

  31. All Ice

    Four Questions

    1. Approximately how many mercenaries are in the employ of Ukraine or its benefactors?
    2. Approximately what does the average mercenary contract pay and is it taxable income anywhere?
    3. Do mercenaries’ contracts offer benefits in addition to wages, e.g., medical benefits, death benefits, disability benefits, payments to the families of the deceased or disabled?
    4. Does the US, NATO, and/or the EU guarantee mercenaries’ contract payments creating an indeterminate future liability for their taxpayers?

    This information is not irrelevant to the Ukraine fatigue that the US fears.

    1. hunkerdown

      Tangential to 4, mercs and collaborators need assurances that they can safely spend their ill-gotten gains. When Russia, Iran, or others violate the principle of social substitutability and single out particular mercenaries or collaborators, no such assurances are available. At the collective level, the West’s melodrama over Xinjiang is connected with China’s reasonable and correct unwillingness to respect those US assurances for “totally over them, we promise” ISIS mercs back from Syria.

    2. hk

      I have this hunch (just a hunch, no evidence) that most of Ukraine’s “combat capable” troops are not at all Ukrainian, but also are not “mercenaries” in the usual sense.

      1. My sense is that modern “combat capable forces,” as in troops capable of conducting serious large scale operations, not just holding territory and defend, are too costly to train and organize that they are essentially irreplaceable in the medium term. For all the talk about the overall size of the Ukrainian Army, my recollection is that they began the war with something like 10-12 brigades of such troops, about 40-50,000. How many of these are still left? Not very likely to be many. Could they have been meaningfully replaced since the war began? There’s no information out there that suggests that a thoroughgoing training program of large enough scale has been established anywhere to replace these losses. Calling up 100,000’s of riffraff does nothing to replenish these losses.

      2. What was really surprising to me about large scale Ukrainian operations over last few months was that they managed to deploy tens of thousands of troops seemingly capable of proper large scale operations. It seems unlikely that most of them were newly raised troops–see the reasoning above. One possibility is that they managed to conserve a large proportion of their original troops and kept them hidden–maybe. But they, too, since then, suffered heavy losses. So do the Ukrainians still have any reasonable number of such troops left? Maybe, but if they do, much, of not most of them, can’t be Ukrainian since they have not had wherewithal to raise them.
      3. So it follows that a large chunk of Ukrainian “combat capable” troops must be foreign in origin. I think Scott Ritter claimed recently that upwards of 30,000 Polish troops are already in Ukraine. This seems like a reasonable guess. So are these “mercenaries,” assuming they are actually there? Only in these technical sense, I think, so that Poland, say, is not officially at war with Russia. I have a hunch that, in fact, the Russian forces in Belarus are there at least in part because of the Polish question, in case the Polish beligerence becomes public, even if not official.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > it follows that a large chunk of Ukrainian “combat capable” troops must be foreign in origin. I think Scott Ritter claimed recently that upwards of 30,000 Polish troops are already in Ukraine.

        Nothing on Russian Telegram about this? That seems odd. I won’t even ask why this wouldn’t be covered….

        OTOH, the Poles were making big demands for reparations there for awhile; I wonder if that was the quo for an otherwise invisible quid. Those demands seemed hysterical and over-the-top to me at the time, like so much in the Intermarium, but they might make more sense on this assumption. Of course, they’re assuming the US is agreement-capable….

    3. JCC

      Relative to questions 2 and 3 and US (citizen) Contractors hired by US Companies relative to the Iraq War, which I imagine is probably similar since it is 15 to 20 years later and inflation:

      2: At least $150K/yr and, more than likely, more. If you’re a US citizen, stay out of the US except for a maximum of 30 days in the US you don’t pay income tax but you do pay FICA.

      3: US companies offer medical insurance, but it’s very limited for the contractor for obvious reasons. The ones I knew were only interested in family plans, if they had a family. Death benefits are available as a cheap insurance policy, standard US disability insurance applies, the company probably offers none.

      Of course this applies only to US citizens hired by US companies (or, quite possibly, their foreign-owned subsidiaries).

      I imagine “3rd world” mercs work for about 1/3 to 1/2 the above mentioned salary, at best, even if employed by US companies or their subsidiaries, and of course their country tax rules apply.

      1. JCC

        I should have added, relative to #2, housing, food, transportation, a sign on bonus, and “tools” are supplied as part of the salary.

        If you are young, have no advanced degree, and you’re an adrenaline-adicted, high risk individual that believes in the glory of war (or if you are older and out of decent employment options), it beats working at McDonalds, I guess.

      2. Felix_47

        Pretty good estimate. I recently retired from the Army and I get a lot of ads and mails from recruiters and the pay rates are up to 1000 per day depending on the circumstances. Less dangerous jobs go for less. All expenses and travel covered. Health insurance provided. I would imagine quite a few want to do it but there is a pretty stringent screening process.

    4. David

      I’ve always been sceptical that there are large numbers of foreign troops, under any designation, fighting in Ukraine. I’m prepared to believe there are, but I would want to see actual evidence (dead bodies, for example). I don’t know where Ritter got his figures from (and I wish he would say) but I have my doubts about them.

      As far as I can see, there are only two ways that large numbers of foreigners could be fighting there. One would be individuals or groups recruited throughout Europe, possibly through NATO or US initiatives. By definition, such people could not easily fight as formed units, because, even if they were all ex-military, they would have had different training, have different specialisations, speak different languages, be used to different equipment and be from all sorts of ranks and experience. You can’t make an infantry section out of two retired Portuguese Warrant Officers, two former Norwegian HGV drivers, two former Military Policemen from Latvia, and two former tank gunners from Greece. Or you could, but I wouldn’t give much for its chances. The only way this would work is if you had such large numbers of people from the former WP nations, all with recent service, familiar with Soviet/Russian equipment and having at least rudimentary English, which would have to be the language of command. You would then have to give them weeks, at least, of collective training as formed units before setting them loose. But I haven’t seen any stories suggesting that this is happening. The alternative is to take anyone who comes, give them a gun and tell them they’ll get a bonus if they are still alive after the attack.

      The other way would be to send formed units of a national Army: the Poles seem to be the favourites here, but of course a lot of their equipment has been sent to Ukraine. Nevertheless, let’s see what would be involved. A number of Polish armoured units are equipped with Leopard 2s which are a bit of a give-away, so let’s take the 34th Armoured Brigade, which has two battalions of T-72Ms, according to Wikipedia, and which could presumably fit in with the Ukrainians. It’s based in Zagan, over 2000 km from Donetsk by road, except that tanks don’t move that far by road, they go on transporters or by rail. Is it really true that you could recall reservists, bring the units up to war establishment, outload ammunition, and transport perhaps 4-5000 men and hundreds of vehicles and pieces of equipment across Poland and through Ukraine without anybody noticing? If not, I really don’t see where these figures or these stories, come from.

      1. hk

        This would be the biggest reason to be skeptical, admittedly. You may be able to ship enough equipment for a few brigades among all the “aid for Ukraine,” but making ten thousand soldiers disappear is a tall order. For exactly the same reason you have argued, the only way it would make sense for the foreigners to make effective addenda to Ukraine’s “combat capable” forces quickly would be to send in entire regiments of them. But this is not easy to hide.

        Still leaves a curious problem, though: where is Ukraine getting its “combat capable” troops from? It is clear that they still have at least several brigades that can conduct proper operations. I don’t think they could have been trained over past 9 months. Were they so good at “hiding” them while sending conscripts to die in droves? Or is it (at least a decent chunk) the Polish Army fighting under Ukrainian flag?

        1. square coats

          I can’t think of a specific source for the info but I think it’s been reported numerous places that Ukraine had several tens of thousands of troops (or maybe up to 100,000 I can’t quite remember) stationed throughout the west of the country, I think at least until the early autumn. I think it was also reported that Polish troops and/or more like security forces or police and the like might be sent into west Ukraine to relieve those Ukrainian troops so they could be sent to the front.

          (also sorry if this comment ends up appearing multiple times, for some reason twice I hit “post comment” only to have a entirely different recent nc page load..)

        2. Discouraged in WI

          I wonder if Ukraine kept better troops at the back because they believed the NATO story that with the sanctions being imposed, Russia would collapse anyway. Also, the British ( I believe) kept saying, month after month, that Russia was out of artillery, weapons systems, etc. So why use up your best-trained troops when it won’t be necessary?

        3. Greg

          I believe there were formations held in reserve until the Kharkiv and Kherson offensives, particularly of the “nationalist” battalions. Losses only ramped up for the “nationalists” after the offensives started and they were put in harms way. These were also the units trained extensively from 2014.

          On the other hand, there’s no reason large numbers of “volunteers” couldn’t be smuggled in with the returning “Ukrainian” units that have been going out of country for training at friendly bases in Poland, UK, etc. That’d be my pick for how to get large numbers of men in on the down low. The gear can obviously come with all the other donated kit. Total speculation, no evidence this has happened, at least that I’ve seen.

          1. Greg

            Further to the speculation on possible entry points for booster troops, the refugee flows noted in this chart from the UNHCR suggest that you could hide a few tens of thousands of troops in the entries from Poland and Romania without anyone noticing. Millions of border crossings into Ukraine from those countries since 28 February.


            However I still don’t think we’ve seen sufficient evidence of large scale units of foreign troops on the ground. If they’re there, then Russian media is being particularly reticent about the numbers they’re observing for (reasons).

      2. The Rev Kev

        It could be that military people were recruited as volunteers from regular formations. Remember the First American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Republic of China Air Force – the “Flying Tigers” – of WW2? Of the pilots, 60 came from the Navy and Marine Corps and 40 from the Army Air Corps so it had official government blessing. The numbers there were small but the principle is the same. The Russians have been tracking a lot of traffic in Polish and Romanian plus the occasional English. And the stories of their use is far, far too common to be just rumour like that one recently where Polish/Romanian mercs shot an enforcer formation to pieces when they were threatened by them. And when you talked about dead bodies, there was that article about American mercs where one of them was killed and the Ukrainians burned his body – and that was in a MSM article. In any case, it is not like the Polish or Romanian military is going to give regualr press briefings on weekly losses.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > I really don’t see where these figures or these stories, come from.

        Good counter-arguments! I agree that proponents of the “Polish Little Green Men” theory need to give an account of which units would be involved, and how they would be integrated with existing Ukrainian forces.

    5. Tom Stone

      The answer to question # 1 is…not as many as are on the books.
      To questions 2-4 the answer is “It depends”.
      Are you working for a private military company headquartered outside of Ukraine?
      Or one of the indigenous groups, of which there are many?
      What is your skill set how much experience do you have ?
      A Ranger qualified retired US NCO is going to be paid very differently than a “retired” HIMARS tech…
      Pay and benefits including death and health benefits can be very generous, and taxes…again, that depends.

      1. JBird4049

        The numbers of Americans fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq were camouflaged and reduced by using organizations like Blackwater using Americans and more questionable organizations that used non Americans who didn’t get the pay and benefits of the Americans; since up to half of all the people being used by the United States government were not regular American military, it was easy to hide both the scale and and casualties with the complicity of the mainstream media. If an American retired soldier on guard duty or a Pakistani truck driver got blown up while on convoy, they did not die fighting as American soldiers or marines. Also, it could have been an American truck driver and a Pakistani guard.

        The charade was not done to save money, but to obfuscate the true number of people dying for the United States government. The United States has just lost Afghanistan. I am sure that the system could have been easily set up for Ukraine using the same operators.

        1. David

          Different point. Quite a lot of PMCs operated in Afghanistan, but the ones I saw, at least, did things like airport transfers, static guard duties, and VIP protection. There were no PMC armoured brigades, which is what you would want if you were to have a hope of changing anything in this war to the West’s advantages, nor do I see how there could be any. It’s a different type of war: indeed it’s not really our modern concept of war at all, it’s a reversion to 1941-45.

          1. JBird4049

            I get that, but the question is just how does Ukraine get those people and units it apparently has?

            I think that since the United States has already done so for hundreds of thousands, admittedly over two decades, this gave it at least the basis or framework for expanding into whole units; I will say that this all supposition. I am reaching, but this war has been growing for much of the two major of American wars (Afghanistan and Iraq); I can see some thoughtful and ambitious American functionaries getting ready for the Russian-Ukrainian War this way.

            It is only money and the other people’s lives after all. And there are plenty of people and some governments needing the cash. Perhaps, they would bring back the Hessians.

  32. Yeti

    Re: fentanyl overdoses

    Since beginning of pandemic over 15,000 overdose deaths in Canada. 76% male and majority between 20-59 years of age. Compare that to 3200 Covid-19 deaths in the under 60 age group. Majority of those, over 2000 over the age of 50. No one I know has been untouched by this tragedy. Years lost is astronomical.

    1. JEHR

      The pandemic has revealed just how much our government has neglected our country and allowed nearly all our institutions to decay: it has neglected keeping the healthcare system working by not hiring doctors and nurses that were needed for the past 10 to 20 years; it has neglected the training and/or education of healthcare workers; it has neglected the building of needed housing; it has neglected the homeless who in all provinces appear to live in tents even during the winter; it has neglected the illegal use of drugs and the health problems and deaths caused by overdoses. In effect, most of the wellbeing of Canada’s citizens have been neglected for so many years and the politicians seem totally unaware of what has to be done. We need an overhaul of almost t every institution starting with the political class. And I haven’t even mentioned climate change!

    2. Tom Stone

      Fentanyl is a painkiller.
      People take and sometime overdose on painkillers to deal with the pain of their existence.
      Take a moment to reflect on that fact.
      Perhaps making life a little less hopeless and painful for so many people might help…

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Perhaps making life a little less hopeless and painful for so many people might help…

        But that’s communism! /s

  33. RobertC

    Link: This is the U.S. Navy’s Answer to China’s Type 055 Destroyers: They Cost 340% as Much and Will Be Ready 15 Years Later

    Military Watch Magazine is optimistic: US Shipyards – Record Revenue At Firesale Valuations

    To put that in perspective, the United State’s largest and most important shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries, is worth:

    Less than 1/4 the price Elon Musk paid for Twitter.
    Just over 1/10th the market capitalization of Boeing
    About 1/14th the value of the largest US defense contractor Raytheon.
    Less than the combined price of Peleton and Roku after their prices burst

    And the new Constellation-class frigate on which so many hopes ride is being built at our worst shipyard, Marinette Marine, who has never built a warship that large or complex.

      1. RobertC

        Lambert — that’s the shipyard I was referring to. The largest warship it has built to date is the Lockheed Martin consortium’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships, widely considered a failed class along with the Independence-class variant.

        Another assessment of our Navy’s dire shipbuilding state is “Hoist the Flag and Sound the Trumpet”

        The third element [Industry]* – in nearly every one of our previous conflicts, we relied heavily on the capacity of our industrial base especially shipyards. How many do we have today? To give you the scope of what we face, one shipyard in China has more capacity than all of our shipyards combined.

        * The other three elements are Executive Branch, Congress, and Public Opinion.

  34. antidlc
    Long COVID and Me: A True Story

    Ironically, just as I failed to self-diagnose my acute COVID-19 breakthrough by attributing it to just a bad cold, I was also in denial regarding my long COVID diagnosis. I was fortunate to have recovered from the delta variant with only a couple of weeks of a severe upper respiratory infection, accompanied by anosmia and acute fatigue, which improved significantly over about 1 month. Easy right? In reality, it was anything but easy, for after about another 6 to 8 weeks I began noticing several other symptoms, which at the time left me uncertain as to what was going on.

    First and most obvious was tachycardia. I felt it mostly at night and chalked it up to anxiety about life issues. This is now considered a classic sequela of COVID-19. This persisted for a couple months but I was able to exercise and felt reassured.

    Then, insidiously, I began to notice a change in my neurocognition. I would not describe it as just forgetfulness, as it was much more than that. It came on subtly and slowly, escalated from 2 months post-acute infection to crescendo at about months 6 to 8. Although I do not like the phrase and have found it somewhat pejorative, I now robustly endorse the term “brain fog,” which hung like a cloud particularly impairing my capacity to multitask.

    Leonard H. Calabrese, DO, is the Chief Medical Editor, Healio Rheumatology, and Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, and RJ Fasenmyer Chair of Clinical Immunology at the Cleveland Clinic.

  35. John k

    Onion misses mark:
    Running a ponzi doesn’t make you like a bank. Running a ponzi and being TBTF when it collapses does.
    Imo crypto failed, the perp will likely be brought to some semblance of justice, and it will happen again.
    Not a bank.

  36. John k

    Russia withdrawal:
    Big serge suggests the withdrawal was the best of bad choices, and credits the leaders allowing the army to decide such matters regardless of bad optics, all of which seems credible to my untrained eye. But it seems that Russia now might think odessa must be taken given the attacks on crimea from that region, and to do that will require a major op from the left bank presumably under fire. Doesn’t seem likely to be quick.
    Row seems to be losing patience, and that presents political problems for Russia, otoh Resistance to endless Ukraine aid seems to be emerging in eu and maybe us house. Interesting to see what Russia manages to do this winter as many regions gets squeezed by the sanctions.

    1. hk

      Sensible argument, but….

      Russia no longer has the wherewithal to launch an attack along the coast. (It’s not clear if they had it after Ukraine made the Antonovsky Bridge unusable–for logistical reasons ). Whatever happens, it needs to happen inland.

      1. ambrit

        Belorussia. This time, take Kiev, and burn it to the ground. Pound Lvov to rubble. Blow up the Dnieper bridges and isolate the Ukrainian troops on the east bank from supply. They can wither on the vine. Let the Poles “occupy” the West of the former Ukraine to “protect ethnic Poles” and freeze it there, just like in Korea.
        Russia tried it “the easy way.” That didn’t work well. Now it’s time to admit that they (Russia) are in a war with NATO and go all in.
        Given the neocon ideologues in control in Washington now, Russia is fully correct to consider themselves engaged in an existential war with the West.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Russia no longer has the wherewithal to launch an attack along the coast.

        Attack along the coast seems most straightforward. But maybe it’s not. For one thing, you don’t really get a straight shot. There are three rivers in the way:

        “Along the coast” also raises the potential of being pinned against the sea by an attack from the North.

        Of course, you can avoid the rivers by taking a northern route deeper in Ukrainian territory, but then it would seem to me an attack from Kiev/Kyiv southward would do the trick as well. Much longer, but has the advantage to cutting Ukraine in two, and cutting Ukraine troops in the East off from supplies from the West.

        Armchair generalship! Since I don’t really know the ground in either case.

  37. kareninca

    Having read the Military Watch magazine piece, I have a theory. It is that we are going to see Russia do things that don’t seem to make any sense from the perspective of their military goals. The reason will be that China and Russia will begin planning together, as China sees that they must, as they are the real target. Russia will start saving and conserving resources that they otherwise might have used right away; they will be saving them for something else that they will do in coordination with China (I fear). Analysts will say “look, Russia is running out of X!” But it will be Russia saving X for a planned use.

    We won’t see the mutual planning, but we will see the strategic outcomes in bits and pieces.

    Of course, this is just speculation.

    1. Lost in OR

      Oops… Funded by DARPA. Research into micro organism milkshakes. Waiting for Bill Gates and his bugs.
      What a weird mix of populism/anti neoliberalism and bio/techno fix.

  38. kareninca

    A married couple who volunteer at my organization here in Silicon valley just caught covid. They each have had two shots and two boosters, and they are saying that they now regret not having had the bivalent as well. I sent a “get well” email and got an oddly sharp reply, then I remembered that they know that I’m not vaccinated at all, and that I have not had covid at all (I’m required to test weekly to volunteer).

    Unlike them, I N95-mask; I also use Xlear and once in a while take a dose of horse paste (this is not medical advice). Everyone where I volunteer has been waiting for many months now for me to drop dead or at least become deathly ill or at least catch covid FFS, but so far I have disappointed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I hope that that does not become a general trend that. Where vaccinated people still get sick but instead of blaming the government, big pharma and the media for getting sold a bill of goods, blame those that are unvaccinated instead. Having said that, it would be in the interests of the government, big pharma and the media to have that actually happen to avoid being blamed for the present mess. Might be worth your while to grouse loudly and often about having to wear your N95-mask all the time and how uncomfortable it is to make your co-workers feel better about things and you in particular.

      1. kareninca

        I don’t think my fellow volunteers blame me. It is more of a “we did everything Right according to the Smart People we listened to! but still we have covid, and why is this person we volunteer with who is smart but not a Smart Person (since not on TV) not getting covid????? Despite perversely and obstinately doing the Wrong Thing???? Is there something up that we are not aware of???? How can this comport with this being a just universe???”

        They are smart enough to know that they could be wrong. I’m smart enough to know that I may be wrong.

        I’m not around them enough to talk about my N95 with them since, well, I don’t want to catch covid. I mostly volunteer by myself, or with a couple of people in a well ventilated space. When masks come up, I tell them how much I love my N95. I tell them this because I am hoping they will wear one and survive, but so far no-one is listening. I don’t care at all how they feel about me, but I am hoping they will eventually take my lead.

        1. ambrit

          The Rev has a point. The demonization of “nonconformists” is a classic tactic of authoritarian regimes whenever ‘events’ do not ‘follow the script.’ Keep your eyes and ears open to the undercurrents in the group “vibe.” If you start to see the “side eyed look” aimed your way with regularity, consider disengaging.
          If you are so inclined, also consider “gunning up.” The history of previous authoritarian regimes, world wide, often include episodes of physical “liquidation” of designated “others” in society. I say this because of my exposure while a teen to a veteran of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. He had the scars to prove it. He said that only those who fought survived. I do not give such “advice” lightly. Be very careful.

          1. kareninca

            I expected all of what you describe, from the very beginning. I’m really surprised that so far it hasn’t worked that way.

            1. ambrit

              I take your point and observe that, so far, internal “soft power” has ‘managed’ events for the elites fairly well.
              What worries me is what the “knee jerk” reaction of the ‘ruling elites’ will be when push back happens domestically. The suppression of the Occupy Movement was just the opening salvo I fear.

  39. Carolinian

    This is a good Turley where he patiently why a California champion of “experts” doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    And no offense to the generalists who are schoolteachers but the notion that they are child care experts also has little support. Many are in the job because they couldn’t find another with their degree. My dad taught school but that was just one of the things he did.

    1. Soredemos

      Learning by doing? Just because someone doesn’t have a degree in something doesn’t mean they don’t understand it.

        1. ambrit

          It all depends on what “scales” are being used to define the processes.
          When new school teachers are being overwhelmed with demands that they learn to ‘manage’ a top down credentialling process, there is little if any time left for “learning by doing.”
          “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with credentials.”

  40. Jason Boxman

    On COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA BQ* variants summed now top 20%. Hooray! BQ1 and BQ1.1 both beat out BA5.2.1 now.

Comments are closed.