Links 11/14/2022

An Astonishing Exhibition Shows How Ancient Mesopotamians Not Only Worshiped, But Respected, Women artnet

Canada will soon allow medically assisted dying for mental illness. Has there been enough time to get it right? The Globe and Mail

Poverty’s toll on mental health Urban Institute

Avoiding the “Great Filter”: Extraterrestrial Life and Humanity’s Future in the Universe

A coup for poo: why the world’s first faecal transplant approval matters The Guardian


Gas giant’s $3.2b effort to bury carbon pollution is failing The Sydney Morning Herald

Imperialist powers abandon climate pledges at COP 27 summit WSWS

The truth about eco-fascism: Environmentalism has been hijacked by the technocrats Unherd


Another water quality effort is washed away in Iowa The Gazette



A potent, broadly protective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Nature

Beijing, Tianjin provide aerosolized vaccine as booster shots, latest move to combat Omicron flare-ups Global Times

Respiratory syncytial virus after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic — what next? Nature “The non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs; such as masking, ‘stay at home’ guidance and social distancing) that were introduced to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have had a marked effect on RSV circulation, with a significant reduction in RSV cases … The lack of RSV circulation in the population during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic might also have resulted in reduced transfer of passive immunity from mothers to their infants.”


India to double trade with Russia RT (Rev Kev)


Istanbul explosion: 6 killed in suspected terror attack DW

Turkey turns up pressure on allies in Syria Al-Monitor

If NATO Opposes Aggression, Why Does it Support Turkish Crimes Against the Kurds? Current Affairs

Russia: Progress being made to reopen Turkiye airspace to Russian flights to Syria Middle East Monitor

Turkey lays ground for possible diplomatic rapprochement with Syria The Cradle

The Case for Keeping U.S. Troops in Syria Foreign Affairs

Netanyahu returns, but Israel’s political and military landscape has changed The Cradle (Chuck L)

Old Blighty

Why is the UK struggling more than other countries? BBC (Kevin W)

Revealed: the £30bn cost of Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget The Guardian

Raw deal: discontent is rising as water companies pump sewage into UK watersThe Guardian


The United States, China, and great power competition in the Middle East Responsible Statecraft

U.S. doubles down on ASEAN aid to counter China Nikkei Asia

Yellen says price cap on Russian oil will benefit China Reuters

Taiwan says Chinese fighter jets fly near island AP

Russia’s Lavrov says West seeking to militarise southeast Asia Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

As Ukraine Retakes Kherson, U.S. Looks to Diplomacy Before Winter Slows Momentum WSJ “The U.S. and some of its allies are concerned that their stockpiles of weaponry, including some ammunition, are being depleted at an unsustainable rate.”

No end in view for Ukraine war Indian Punchline

Ukraine Building Concrete Walls To Shut Out Belarus OilPrice

UN envoy admits fabricating claim of Viagra-fueled rape as ‘Russian military strategy’ Alex Rubinstein


Strikes flare in Europe as cost of living spirals Hurriyet Daily News

Ukraine minister urges ASEAN bloc to stop Russia’s ‘hunger games’ Al Jazeera

Fashion Industry Gets Torn by Europe’s Soaring Energy Bills WSJ

Ukraine’s war economy: businesses cling on as Russia damages power supplies FT

Biden Administration

Control of the House remains on a knife’s edge. Here’s how it could break. Politico


Trump set to officially launch 2024 comeback bid AFP

Super PAC emerges to encourage DeSantis to run for president Tampa Bay Times

GOP Clown Car

Republicans Blew the Senate. Who’s Really to Blame? Slate

Imperial Collapse Watch

Only tiny fraction of US military aircraft met mission capable rate goals in FY21 Breaking Defense

Groves of Academe

Class Warfare

The power pendulum is swinging back to employers, isn’t it? TechCrunch

They Want to Kill Libraries: The Last Place in America Where You Are a Person, Not a Customer Cory Doctorow, Medium

Inflation/Supply Chain

GoFreight raises $28M to become the “Shopify of freight forwarding” TechCrunch

Guillotine Watch


The Bezzle

Prosecution Futures – The Downfall Of FTX And Everything Crypto Moon of Alabama (with a shoutout to NC)

Ukraine Partners With FTX, Everstake to Launch New Crypto Donation Website Coindesk (Acacia)


Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown’s first hearing next session should be on crypto and it should be titled “I Fucking Told You So” and it should be two hours of Saule Omarova cursing at the Senators who opposed her nomination to the OCC because she wanted to regulate crypto.

— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) November 13, 2022

Elizabeth Holmes Asks Judge to Please Be Nice to Her Gizmodo

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooooooooourning Fiatnam!

    The young grunts in the platoon continually were pressing the lever and money kept coming out in increasing amounts by seemingly only the pressure of a few digits, and then one day the lever still worked, but reinforcements were AWOL.

  2. YuShan

    “A worker at a foundry in Illinois died after falling into molten iron”

    This reminds me of the laughable scene in Terminator 2, where the terminator sinks into molten iron. Of course it is impossible for a human being to fall “into” molten iron, because iron is much heavier than the human body. You will simply lie on top of the molten iron.

    1. HandyAndy

      Sorry YuShan, but this is sooo wrong. If you’d like a technical explanation of bouyancy and all that, the info is readily available, but this is too disgusting for my taste. I’ll leave it to you to experiment with not floating in molten iron.

    2. semper loquitur

      But the Terminator was made out of metal. The whole point is that it looked like a human but wasn’t. And besides, who wouldn’t like to see Arnie sinking into molten iron?

      1. Wukchumni

        But the Terminator was made out of metal. The whole point is that it looked like a human but wasn’t. And besides, who wouldn’t like to see Arnie sinking into molten iron?

        …he’s by far my favorite arty ex-pat Austrian strongman leader

    3. ewmayer

      Other users have noted the T-1000 was liquid metal, so quite probably very dense – sure, the CGI was cheesy, but then again, the movie is 30 years old.

      The following part where Arnie’s T-800 has Sarah lower him into the molten steel is density-implausible – even with the metal endoskeleton, the bulk of the T-800 is human tissue – but I believe it’s called “dramatic license”.

      In Terminator 3 there’s a scene where a burly firefighter tries to move Arnie’s presumed-dead body and notes how incredibly heavy it is.

      1. Dermotmoconnor

        T1000 is not mostly tissue. A layer of skin covered the heavy metal machine.
        Jesus, can we move on?

    1. griffen

      I am trying to figure the greater irony in the above. That FTX had issued audited financials, or that the auditing firm had any competence whatsoever in performing the duties of auditing. Since auditing generally means, maybe asking a few hard questions ?

      Go long the stupid, it always burn.

    2. upstater

      I find very little to criticize of our gracious hosts at NC… but I sure wish the link to the Prager-Metis CPA Closing Party Dollhouse had been posted Saturday or Sunday morning 😕

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah, telling us about parties after the fact is just cruel. So much for that “we really like you” digest email.

      1. hunkerdown

        I love that line coming off the bottom of Gary Wang. 100% to Cottongrove, 10% to Alameda Research LLC (DE). It’s like a regular potlatch in here.

    3. flora

      Was regulator Gensler asleep at the switch or “helping out”, sorta like Holder and the subprime scam? Foaming the runway for something? / ;)

      (At least W put the head Enron crooks and Worldcom crooks in jail with real jail time. And they were his buddies. I’ll give him that.)

  3. Wukchumni

    Tiptoe through the window
    By the withdrawal window, that is where I’ll be
    Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

    Oh, tiptoe from the garden
    By the garden of the money tree
    And tiptoe through the tulips with me

    Knee deep in moolah we’ll stray
    We’ll keep the statesiders away
    And if I Bahamian you in the garden, in the moonlight
    Will there be a fee for me
    And tiptoe through the tulips for recovery

    Maybe the manna you strayed will be the forever delayed
    And when they dismiss you in the garden in the moonlight
    Will you Bahamian with me and tiptoe through the tulips for a draconian fee?

    Tiptoe Through The Tulips, by Tiny Tim

    1. GramSci

      Tiny Tim was a dedicated musicologist. Among the important music he rescued from obscurity was the prescient The Other Side, written by William (Bill) Dorsey, a landscape painter who wrote some other songs for the Monkees. (For those who came in late, Tiny Tim released this track in 1968.)

      Here’s the relevant excerpt from Dorsey’s biography:

      «William’s father, Herbert Dorsey Jr., was a Harvard-educated meteorologist who participated in the Byrd expedition to the Antarctic in the late 1930s. He was among the first exploration party to winter at the South Pole. An island was discovered by Herbert during his exploration that bears the Dorsey name. In addition, his father became the first American to drive a dog sled team over the Greenland ice cap in the 1940s.»

      1. Wukchumni


        I always had a falsetto opinion about Tim…

        To tie in the Bahamas and this bubble of essentially limited edition 1’s & 0’s, the whole cryptocurrency craze so reminded me of the Franklin Mint and the multitude of what were termed ‘non-circulating legal tender’ coins they issued in limited edition for countries mostly in the Caribbean, with Bahamas being one of their biggies.

        50 years ago the Franklin Mint issued 34,789 1972 Bahamas proof coin sets for around $40, and it included 4 silver coins containing nearly 3 ounces of silver (at the time the melt value was $10 for the 4 coins) in the 9 coin set.

        Why anybody would want or desire a Bahamas proof set might have something to do with the beautiful designs of the coins, or the idea that what if everybody in the world wanted one, well surely they would go up in value and they did for awhile, but then reverted to the melt-down value as to worth, so there was a silver lining, and half a century later said proof set is worth $60.

        There could only be 21 million limited edition Bitcoins, which is about 600x as many 1972 Bahama proof coin sets were minted in the heyday of the Franklin Mint coin bubble, but in the latter’s defense… there is still something there, there.

        1. indices

          As an amateur coin collector for about 65 years now, I always find your knowledgeable and encyclopedic numismatic insights and anecdotes quite fascinating. Personally, I consider many of the finest coins to be works of art.

          1. Wukchumni

            Thanks for the accolades… it was an interesting life chasing down aged metal discs where my prey was hardly ever larger than a couple inches in circumference, and yet what I long for is the wide scoping big picture-think Ansel Adams.

            There is some amazing beauty on so many older coins, and I stopped collecting them when I was maybe 14 as I think I preferred to just be a conduit, an arbitrage provocateur.

            They are little works of art…

            No day was ever the same in my business life and I thrived on the haphazardness in a world that was disconnected before this contraption came along.

            When I started travelling all over the world, you’d see that in Australia in the 80’s that they prided themselves on their very strict grading-which often was a grade or sometimes a few grades stricter than North American standards.

            There was also the fact that most every coin was worth more in the country it came from than elsewhere, what good is a perfect XF-AU 1916 double die Buffalo Nickel if you’re in New Zealand where at the time there was absolutely no market whatsoever for American coins?

            Zigzaw it all over and certain coins would turn up in odd places, and like that proverbial box of chocolates, you never knew what you were gonna find, but you had to be there, couldn’t do it remote control from afar, all hands on.

            I saw variances of that all over the first world where I plied my trade in the early days, and coming from old money you were in essence time-travelling.

            One last coin story:

            Circa 1975 an elderly NZ couple come into an Auckland coin store to sell a few things and they’d been in the states in 1914 in the midwest and of all things they brought back to NZ was a brand new roll of 1914-D Lincoln Cents, each of the 50 now worth around $5k to $10k each.

            Most every high end uncirculated 1914-D in existence comes from that 1 roll.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    On Mesopotamian (and note the Iranian) women: “The centerpiece of the exhibition is a stunning golden headdress archaeologists found in the tomb of Queen Puabi of Ur, identified only by her own name, not in relation to a male relative or husband.”

    Dazzling indeed. What’s more dazzling, though, is that at the Penn Museum in Philly, there is a set of display cases with remains of the forty to fifty people who were killed at her burial. Some kind of hammer was used to smash in the back of their heads. And you can then admire Puabi’s jewelry.

    So: Power. Power is something to contemplate. Once I figured out what went on with Queen Puabi, I began having some doubts about people wanting to discover an equality of misuse of power and praise said equality of abuse. Four thousand years later, Madeleine Albright (reincarnation of Puabi?) wasn’t all that concerned about the thousands of dead.

    1. hunkerdown

      Surely regents don’t stop needing an entourage just because they’re dead? Their slaves and their court, in their role as the regent’s bodily limbs, were bound to accompany them and render care forever. At least, that’s how they were believed to have seen it.

      I would call that custom, force, maybe spectacle, but not necessarily power. Unless they could have been manumitted without causing an incident or crisis, it was their duty to follow the rest of the Queen’s body into the afterlife. I don’t think that’s the message the PMC wants to get from it, but it would be better than some Janet Jackson diva phantasy.

      1. ambrit

        To differ, if I may; the ability to induce someone to end their life prematurely is indisputably Power, with a capitol ‘P’. Talk about “voting against one’s self interests.”
        The ‘tell’ for me, (no pun intended,) is that I find no mention of the names of any of the ritually deceased servitors.
        This Queen Puabi sounds like a classic PMC (Professional Mesopotamian Class.) Even back then, it was all in the messaging.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Ancient peoples are always interpreted according to contemporary prejudices, but at least in the past there was an awareness of this and good scholarship meant trying to understand the ancients on their own terms.

      But it seems that nowadays this has been thrown out the door and museums and galleries are incapable of avoiding the most obvious traps of interpreting the past in the light of the most up to date prejudices. Its utterly ridiculous to interpret those statues in the manner set out in that article, and I hope that at least to some degree the writers are aware of this. I’m not sure which is worse, that scholars are taking such a shallow view of the past, or that they are aware that things are vastly more complex, but feel that its impossible to communicate this to a modern audience.

      1. Dermotmoconnor

        Worst example of this was the championing of “genetic diversity of migrants” in Norse settlements. One commenter correctly replied on that article: “congratulations, you discovered the Viking slave trade.”

        PMC morons have never read Herbert Butterfield’s ‘whig interpretation of history’ and would memory hole it if they did.

  5. Milton

    It’s disgraceful that my state (CA) can no longer count ballots in a timely fashion. Some races are still showing return percentage around 35 and most in the 50s. This used to be attributed to the state’s extensive use of mail-in, however, we see this option used successfully in other states.
    I’m not a fan of the initiative process but I would vote for any proposition that limited the time for counting to a week at most. I don’t care how this would be enabled, I just want the process done. Kind of like how they were done in the pre-digital Era.

    1. Wukchumni

      I find it ironic that the fate of My Kevin (since ’07) as potential speaker lies largely with votes cast in Godzone still to be tabulated.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Forget it. Arizona is even more embarrassing and they only have four million registered voters or so. But you are right how this only happens with all this digital crap. You think that some intrepid reporters will go through the archives and find out how long it took to count votes pre-digital? (crickets)

      1. bdy

        Arizona counters are paid employees, not volunteer. No procedures or funds are there to adjust for the shift in popularity towards mail in ballots and (my preference) mail in ballots dropped off at polling centers on Election Day. I’ve done it that way since Lambert called my attention to the obvious wisdom of hand marked, hand counted paper ballots here at NC forever-ago, when election integrity was still a left thing. The Dem shill who knocked on my door to get out the vote approved, and said he was telling everybody else to do it that way, too. I guess that means there must be something wrong with it.

        Biggest upside IMO is that a strong post-election day count makes it harder for potential hackers to figure the numbers. Unfortunately the practice also feeds the voter fraud Fox narrative.

        I don’t mind waiting a few days for the inevitable — not nearly as much as I despise the Blue Republicans and Whack Monarchist Peter Thiel Palin-ite Weather Girls I had to choose from at the top of the tickets.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Here in Tucson, I voted by mail.

          And, true confession, I left parts of my ballot blank.

          Mark Kelly vs. Blake Masters for Senate? Nope to both of them. Blanked that part of my ballot.

          Katie Hobbs vs. Kari Lake for AZ governor? Please. In a state with more than 6 million people, this is the best we can do? Blanked that part of my ballot too.

          In addition to being such a recalcitrant voter, I also has a strong aversion to people walking up to the door at the Arizona Slim Ranch, knocking on the door, and trying to influence my politics. They’re my politics, people. Leave ’em alone.

          Well, I was glad to see that my mail-in ballot included one of those “I Voted” stickers. I put it on my front security door and boom! What a canvasser deterrent!

          That sticker stayed up until last Tuesday.

          Now, I have no clue about the status of my ballot, but I do have a question: How much under voting is going on? I’d be willing to bet that I’m not the only one who’s blanking the ballot when the choices are, oh, subpar.

          1. ambrit

            Even if it would not be ‘counted,’ a “None of the Above” option would be useful from a statistical perspective. If used properly, the amount of voter discontent could then be quantified and used to figure out the “true” legitimacy of any political “winner.”

              1. ambrit

                Thanks. I didn’t know that. Is it teased out in the publically displayed vote figures?
                [I remember reading of the early days after the “Fall of the Soviet Union” where a “None of the Above” was included in every ballot and that line often won.]
                For Nevada, see:
                I see that Nevada is the only American State with that option on the ballot. Such is not available at the Federal elections level.
                Federalism in all it’s refulgence!

                1. giantsquid

                  Thus far, “none of these candidates” has received 1.2% of the vote in the Nevada senate race and 1.4% of the vote in the Nevada governor race.

                  1. ambrit

                    Hmmm… Thinking out loud here. Do the “NOTA” numbers track or oppose the voting percentage? That would be interesting.
                    Thank you for going the extra mile here.

                    1. Amechania

                      Not sure if its real so do your own research, but its be wierd if the longest delayed votes skewed harder.

                      I remember some leaky pipes in atl two years back for sure though.

                    2. rowlf


                      Fulton County in the ATL area has a long history of having voting problems. Maybe all accidental. Try a 30 or 40 year search.

          2. dday

            Slim, you can easily check your ballot status with the Pima County Elections Department.

            Here’s a link:


            I personally think that Mark Kelly and Katie Hobbs are much better choices for Arizona. Hobbs in particular will stop a ton of crap coming out of the state legislature.

            As for under voting, once the official canvass comes out, you can check the numbers in total for each candidate versus the total number of voters.

            1. Arizona Slim

              I checked my ballot status. Thanks for the link, dday.

              For some reason, my ballot has been sent up north to Phoenix.

  6. Thistlebreath

    The horse image is a balm. NC is one of the few media that carry news about the US BLM’s pogrom against allegedly protected, free roaming horses and burros. Thanks. Venceremos.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Agree – beautiful picture. and ‘pogrom’ is the word for the BLM carnage,
      ‘conservation’ my Aunt Fanny

      1. Joe Renter

        Having lived in areas that were never too close to BLM and now being in Las Vegas, I was quite disheartened to learn that BLM sold thousands of acres to developers that bordered Red Rock conversion area. Now thousands of homes being built in an area that is quite short on water. All about mismanagement and greed.

        1. ambrit

          And now many of those builders are going bankrupt without finishing their houses.
          Raccoon City here we come!

    2. Dalepues

      The volcano in the background is Concepción on the NIcaraguan island of Ometepe, which is located in Lago Concepción, the largest body of fresh water between the Great Lakes and Titicaca in Bolivia/Peru. The great volcano comes into view from the highway that runs from Peñas Blancas at the border with Costa Rica until it reaches Rivas. From San Jorge you can catch ferries to take you to Ometepe, when the wind isn’t blowing too hard.

  7. griffen

    Loud mouthed vulgarian and narcissism enthusiast is set to announce a 2024 election bid for the US Presidency, who holds these elections at every four year interval.

    Insert your own narcissist and very loud as*hole of your own choice. Headlines may read Trump, but hey this is America so we have plenty of narcissism to share !

    My chosen election motto: Reality no more after 2024. The Jackpot is nigh!

    1. bdy

      Am I the only one enjoying the Peripheral on Amazon? Is it a guilty pleasure?

      It’s my understanding that delays in the third book are about Trump completely upending Gibson’s near future story-line.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > Am I the only one enjoying the Peripheral on Amazon? Is it a guilty pleasure?

        What’s your take? Is it as good as the book?

        I really like the idea that Trump made Gibson do a rewrite of his third book; Clinton’s loss, IIRC, forced him to rewrite the second. He wasn’t the only one!

        1. Keith Newman

          I have only watched the first two episodes of The Peripheral and have enjoyed them very much. They are close to the book, which I appreciate. Note that I have not gone back to the book to compare dialogue or other things.
          I found the book confusing at first and had to puzzle out the story line as I went along. Understanding the story from the start could be helping me enjoy the TV version.
          Nonetheless I cancelled Amazon Prime after realising they were only revealing the new episodes week by week, or maybe more slowly. I only stream one service at a time. Amazon for a month or two until my wife and I have exhausted our interest, then cancel, Netflix for a couple of months then cancel, then Crave for a couple of months, etc.

        2. bdy

          >What’s your take? Is it as good as the book?

          Half a tier below, which makes it a home run by Amazon standards. Moretz is outstanding, as are Jack Reynor as Burton and Gary Carr as Wilf. Both worlds are compelling, so there’s really no drop off as I get bounced between the two narratives.

          It’s slightly easier to follow than the book without feeling at all dumbed down. And that trademark Amazon tedium is mercifully absent. So far I’ve been moved or deeply satisfied each episode, usually more than once. Burton’s face to face with Corbell Picket in 3 (2?) was especially gratifying.

      2. Kouros

        It is good indeed. There are some simplifications in the movie, with the Met Police officer lady totally out of picture, but is above the cut.

        Also, Andor is the best Star Wars universe product so far. Not surprising since is the prequel to the Rogue One movie, which in my opinion is the best Star Wars movie yet produced.

  8. Watt4Bob

    As concerns the “coup for poo”;

    I remember reading William Nolan’s “The Making of a Surgeon” when I was young, wherein he describes medical residents misguided interpretation of a doctors off hand comment to indicate the need for transfer of healthy microbiome content to a sick patient.

    I don’t recall if Nolan was one of the residents who actually affected this “transfer”, but in short, they collect a stool sample from a healthy patient in another ward and separated the solid content and had the sick person drink the fluid.

    The results were ok as I recall, but those involved were reprimanded and required to write a report on their actions, which of course highlighted the great care taken in ‘processing’ the material in question.

    Anyway, Australia’s approval of the process may be a ‘first’ but it’s not the first time this has been used in medicine.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Still got that book as it is a favourite of mine. It was a resident and when Nolan found out, he hit the roof, especially when he found out that the stool had just been mixed into chocolate milk. Within 24 hours, the Chief of Surgery found out and and tore strips off all involved. The guy that did it said that it was taken in a sterile container, put into a sterile saline solution, centrifuged and then only the surface fluid given to her. The Chief knew the guys was lying his face off but needed a story to tell the medical superintendent. The resident was dropped from the program at the end of that year. But like you say, this practice is not anything new. That book was relating events from New York’s Bellvue Hospital back in the late 50s and early 60s.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I wonder, did Galen or Asclepius practice this? Or other ancients unnamed and unknown, long before “modern medicine?” How about in China, African locales?

        Seems like this would be a likely thing for any medical practitioner of any discipline or age to at least consider.

    2. ACPAL

      ” in fact, it’s the first time a faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) has been given regulatory approval anywhere in the world.”

      I looked into this a few years ago and FMT was approved for resistant strains of Dif-C here in the states. As far as I could tell that approval was cancelled with the start of Covid-19 though I haven’t read up on it lately. As the one link explains there is a large community of DIYers with a mountain of anecdotal stories on successes, failures, and side effects. With hundreds, even thousands of different critters in our guts, each churning out different chemicals it only stands to reason that some of those chemicals should affect various other functions of our bodies.

      However, putting on my tin-foil hat I have to wonder if the great resistance to more research and testing in this area is due to the broader medical community finding more financial benefit in treating symptoms than in curing patients.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I’ve heard that one of the benefits of eating yogurt is the fact that yogurt is a very dominant bacteria and eventually it will become the main part of your microbiome.

    3. BMW DOG

      My girlfriend got the C diff and could shit clear across the street. Bought an old blender at the thrift store and mixed up one of my fine samples which was inserted with use of a duchy bag. Total cost was something like twelve dollars. If I had taken her to Phoenix and the Mayo it would have been a little more I think. They were offering $50 for stool samples. We did the procedure for five days and complete recovery. She never did pay me for my turds which was ok better than her with C diff.

  9. Basil Pesto

    Signs in China vis à vis Covid are quite worrying, and it’s looking strongly possible that dynamic zero covid is being wound down to something even leakier.

    I understand that the central government also foists the costs of the dynamic zero strategy onto the regional governments (testing etc), which is of course insane.

    It is a situation to keep an eye on. The CPC remains fairly inscrutable and it’s hard to know what they’re thinking but none of the policy signals of the past week have been encouraging at all. They still have many rules etc, and there are still significant regions that remain barely impacted at all by Covid, but everything is looser now, and they are well and truly in whac-a-mole mode and unlike the previous outbreaks so far in 2022, there isn’t really a sense that this situation will be brought under control. The question is whether China can competently transition to “low covid”, if that is indeed their aim, but I think this would be hubristic; the virus is formidable and highly transmissible – and standard of masking and airborne awareness in China remains quite poor. While they can be expected to try and hide the virus’ impact (from their own population and the wider world), particularly deaths, China undergoing its first meaningful Covid wave en masse in 2023 would have an unignorable impact on the world economy (supply chains etc.), you would think.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, they seem to be trying to have their cake and eat it so to speak. There is little doubt but that there is enormous pressure behind the scenes to loosen things up, many business sectors are under enormous strain (for a number of reasons of course).

      Plus, the very decentralised nature of Chinese implementation of top down directives almost invariably leads to what can appear to outsiders as very contradictory policies, even though everyone is supposedly following the lead from Beijing.

      I suspect that they hope then can keep infection under a sort of dynamic equilibrium in the more ‘open’ cities, where constant re infection from outside looks inevitable, while keeping it away from the industrial heartlands through strict internal travel controls. But i doubt that its sustainable in the long term.

    2. TroyIA

      Full Text & Analysis: China’s 20 measures to optimize COVID controls

      So, in Beijing’s own words:

      COVID is likely to spread further in China in the coming months;
      Beijing is sticking with its grand strategies on COVID; it is not “relaxing” COVID controls or “opening up.” It is merely making “optimizations.”
      To make sure that the Chinese population do not 误读 misinterpret Beijing’s latest 20 measures, the notice repeats, in its final part,


      Strengthen publicity guidance and policy interpretation. Strengthen the interpretation of the optimization and adjustment policy, emphasizing that we continue to adhere to the general strategy and general policy of prevention and control of the epidemic in China, guide the whole society to fully understand the importance of adhering to the people first, life first, adhering to “guarding against imported cases and a rebound in indigenous cases” general strategy and the “dynamic zero-COVID” general policy.

      Guide the whole society to fully understand that further optimization of prevention and control measures is to prevent and control more scientifically and precisely. We must not cause misinterpretations such as a relaxation of prevention and control or even 放开 opening up or 躺平 “lying flat.”

      1. Basil Pesto

        Yes, but they can say whatever they like, the simple reality is that the virus plays by its own rules. I think PK’s assessment is pretty much the sum of it, but we’re in “wait and see” territory, really.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “An Astonishing Exhibition Shows How Ancient Mesopotamians Not Only Worshiped, But Respected, Women”

    As a thought experiment, wouldn’t it have been interesting if the Judeo-Christian values system never took hold and how it was older values like that from Mesopotamia that became ascendant? I seem to recall reading an article talking about a female deity that was worshiped by women in the middle east that was eventually suppressed because, you know, Monotheism. Certainly world history would have been radically altered in ways that I can only begin to imagine. At the very least, it would make an intriguing alternate-history novel.

    1. Watt4Bob

      Monotheism had a rough start in Egypt as I recall.

      The first pharaoh to introduce monotheistic belief, Akhenaten, ended up being ‘canceled’ as I recall.

      He was King Tut’s dad I think.

    2. Polar Socialist

      It’s been decades since I dabbled in exegetic, but I do recall that in older versions of Old Testament (or Torah?) in some places the feminine form of God is used, and sometimes even plural, and a point was being made that at least some parts of it were way older than male/ monotheistic interpretation.

      Could be wrong, though. As I said, it was a long time ago, I even lost interest long time ago.

      1. Kouros

        Thomas Mann has done tremendous preparation work for his magnificent “Joseph and his brothers” and describes with great detail and artistic sensibility this monotheistic view that is more subtle than appears – I was reading somewhere that Judaism is more lax on this than it looks.

        But Joseph and his brothers is a masterpiece, long, but a treat.

    3. skylark

      Who Cooked the Last Supper? A Women’s History of the World was a book from one of my daughter’s anthropology courses that I really enjoyed reading. Fascinating stuff!

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸
    I want an audit of where every single penny has gone in funding to Ukraine.

    Everyone is ok with that, right?’

    How is it that Marjorie Taylor Greene of all people gets to outflank the Squad and the rest of the Progressives from the left? She may or may not have meant it but it does reflect traditional Republican values.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Maybe because MTG is a much better representative of the people than the squad. Why would that be so impossible to believe?

      The way it’s supposed to work is that you look at what politicians say and do and vote for them if they say and do stuff you agree with. (When tptb try to convince you to do something else btw, it’s called gaslighting.)

      At this point, calling the squad “progressive” or expecting its members to support “progressivism” is just self-deluded willful blindness.

      1. Wukchumni

        I must admit we in the Palinstinian Movement were all strung out on heroine when she nabbed second place in the inter-murals, but have gotten on board the Greene Dream Team, and truth be told the high doesn’t last nearly as long.

    2. Pat

      I don’t like a lot of her positions, but have to admit this is not the first time I have had to high five her in my mind.

      The first time is the most disconcerting.

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Republicans Blew the Senate. Who’s Really to Blame? Slate

    There are a couple of straightforward lessons here for Senate Republicans in shock at how they screwed this up. The first is that if you work to fulfill a decades-long quest to install a Supreme Court that will eliminate constitutional rights, prepare to live with the electoral consequences of that Supreme Court eliminating constitutional rights. The other, as McConnell said in April, is to not nominate dodos in coin-flip states.

    So, apparently, Laxalt, Masters, Oz, Bolduc and even Herschel Walker are soooooo bad that “voters” chose the status quo of 8% inflation, the possibility of nuclear war over who runs the Donbass, millions of illegals flooding over the border, explosions of crime and homelessness, increasingly unaffordable “healthcare” and college, and the possibility of a dispute with China over changing which party “controls” the senate because Trump endorsed those candidates?

    Not to mention the current relentless obsession with insisting that men dressed as women keep the country “strong.”

    Yeah, I don’t believe it.

    1. Pat

      Oz was such an obvious carpetbagger I’m not sure he can be lumped with the others.

      Incumbents should be looking for new jobs, and I don’t know why they aren’t.

      That said, I have real problems believing anybody would vote for the candidates from either party so I am gobsmacked overall by the naivety exhibited in all the results. That makes my not believing the results suspect.

      1. Carolinian

        Seems like both parties have turned to lesser evilism as their theme. Maybe the Dem base is simply more afraid.

        Repubs could have turned up the heat by re-running LBJ’s daisy ad but with a Biden sound alike doing the countdown. Might have gotten me to the polls.

        1. bdy

          Sadly, given no other options, I stirred the horse-paste into my coffee rather than drink the bleach.


          Masters is truly Fasc.

      2. Arizona Slim

        Slim here. As mentioned previously, I am a born-and-raised Pennsylvanian.

        Suffice it to say that we Keystoners don’t take kindly to carpetbaggers.

        OTOH, when it came to Oz vs. Fetterman, I would have been a ballot blanker.

        Sorry, but not sorry. Fetterman should have withdrawn after his stroke. He needs to be in rehab, not the United States Senate.

        1. ambrit

          It can be argued that the US Senate is rehab. Take old, worn out theories of Aristocracy, Bimetallism, Eugenics, and the rest and ‘rehabilitate’ them to allow them to do their work.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          His staying in the race and playing for the pity vote was, IMNSHO, tremendously disrespectful to the people of PA. Of course the senate doesn’t seem to have much respect for itself, what with criminals and grifters everywhere you look. Expensive waste of space if you ask me.

          1. bdy

            He will be fine. Weekend at Bernie’s is more than enough for the role. Vote your conscience until the party bosses tell you to take one for the team, then play the villain until further notice. EZ-peasey, even with a day job recovering from disability.

        3. Pat

          That wasn’t an endorsement of Fetterman, just a statement about Oz having an additional and very obvious black mark beyond being a Republican that Trump liked, one that would have been disqualifying for most voters regardless.

          I am sorry about Fetterman’s stroke, and not just because it should have thrown him off the ballot. I was really curious to see how he would handle being in the Senate. Now his absorption into the blob is pretty much a given.

          And I am of the belief that we need mandatory retirement for age and severe disability in both Houses. So I would be kicking him out anyway.

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps the candidates you mentioned didn’t exactly say “man of the people” and concern about 8 percent inflation. Myself, I think there’s a big populist opportunity available for any politician who chooses to go there. And a cast including TV stars and sports heroes apparently wasn’t enough.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Fair enough on your “man of the people” point. But what those candidates did represent is “different” or “change in course,” and with the current state of the economy, it’s impossible for me to believe that changing course didn’t resonate in even one of those contests.

        As Pat notes, Oz was a carpetbagger. But what was Fetterman? Well, whatever he was before his stroke, now he’s just a cognitively impaired, guaranteed dem vote in the senate. There’ll be no persuasive white papers, stirring floor speeches, reasoned legislative debate or penetrating committee hearing questions coming from the Fetterman half of the PA delegation to the world’s greatest deliberative body.

        The dem senate “majority” now consists of two independents who refuse to call themselves dems, two cognitively impaired senators–Feinstein and Fetterman–and, depending on what happens in Georgia, a universally reviled zero of a vp to cast the tie-breaking vote. Add in a cognitively impaired dem “president,” and any contention that the “people” have “chosen” the democrat way is a pathetic joke.

        Here are12 minutes of Jimmy Dore reminding everyone of why the dems must remain in charge at all costs, including brain damage. To paraphrase, the democrats can screw the people like republicans never could, because everyone knows the dems are so nice and the repubs are so (Trumpianly) rotten. (See clinton / nafta etc.)

  13. russell1200

    Ukrainian Wall – It is the same trap that Poland fell into at the start of WW2. Given that the Germans had taken over Czechoslovakia one bite at at time, they don’t want to leave any of their territory exposed to a quick grab.

    So like the Poles, they are going with the idea of defending every foot of their territory. Which means that they are going to be very spread out, with a lot of troops not really where they are needed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That article said that they had fortified about three kilometers of that border. That leaves only 1,081 kilometers left to go.

  14. Carolinian

    Re Doctorow/Medium–nothing like another tired Nazi trope to defend libraries that are really under threat from those iPhones that his fellow Dems are so fond of. We did have a local Republican attack our library for materials that may or may not have been in the children’s section, but it seems to have landed with a thud even as that “safe space” sticker on the entrance suggests the librarians themselves see a moat of Woke as their best defense against the barbarian horde.

    The truth is that here in redville our library is popular if sagging in door count due to competition from the internet that I and others turn to for information and even for book loans via ereader. It’s the internet that we must protect and that the Dems themselves seem ominously zealous to censor. Meanwhile the library itself will remain popular as a kind of public forum for meetings and children’s story hour for the moms. There are even paper books for those who still read them.

    1. semper loquitur

      Doctorow is full of $hit. Typical liberal willful myopia. It’s no surprise to learn that the Right and their masters want to kill public libraries but the Wokels have left the library doors, and many other doors, wide open to the machinations of the Right.

      Matt Walsh, amongst others, is feeding this fuel into his locomotive of reactionary fervor. He’s building a head of steam. His home state of Tennessee is clamping down with a current bill that criminalizes fetishists performing for children. It will go way overboard of course, ensnaring a lot of innocent people who have nothing to do with the insanity.

      It’s all about power grabs, all around. The pendulum is pushed waaay too far to one side, then comes crashing back waaay too far in the other direction. I’m inclined to believe that this is the point; the bottom line is greater social control by whatever Team Purple sub-group is in power.

      1. JBird4049

        Libraries are a community blessing. I have often seen both the homeless and students, especially the poorer ones, use the library to keep warm, to use the internet and type, and even check out books to read. It is still something that is popular and very useful to the bottom ninety percent of the people. It has also been a free speech with the librarians being strong privacy advocates as well.

        Of course, that is all anathema to our leaders in both parties. The fanatical libertarians, the police state, the anti smut and pro censorship ninnies, the opponents of civil rights all hate it. Plus, it is the one place where I can see the local homeless population, the undocumented, the poor, and the upper middle class all there at the same time and being civil. It is like the post office and so it must be destroyed.

  15. TroyIA

    Strikes flare in Europe as cost of living spirals

    Bad news for Europe as well as the U.S. as the northeast imports diesel from this refinery.

    EXCLUSIVE: Staff at BP Rotterdam refinery to strike

    Industrial action at one of Europe’s largest oil refineries is set to start on Monday after British oil giant BP rejected the salary demands from Dutch unions representing works in Rotterdam, the unions told Quantum.

    The ultimatum submitted by BP workers at the 400,000 bpd Rotterdam refinery is set to expire on Monday at 1200 local time, after which the two unions will start their action.

    The refinery is a key diesel producer in northern Europe, with the unions’ actions fuelling a potential new wave of diesel shortages.

  16. Wukchumni

    Dateline: Cairo

    I snuck into COP27 under the cover of blight with hardly a care oh, not even the clerk at the gas station wanted to see my credentials even though we both knew our tenuous existence was based on the levees surrounding us holding up and so far-so good.

    An odd choice, a place that has lost almost 90% of it’s population in a century, but maybe that’s it, we depopulate the world and in combination with using less, we save ourselves from ourselves and the nightmare City of Eden as prophesied by Dickens.

    But lets face it, that steamboat has sailed…

      1. Wukchumni

        When I inquired about getting a guide to see Giza, they mentioned there was a cafe that had gizzards on the menu.

        1. Carolinian

          At least it had a river. Same river also has a Memphis complete with fake pyramid and Graceland. Take that Egypt.

        2. ambrit

          You should have gone to the American Embassy there and asked to see the ‘Commercial Attache.’ He, she, or it, would have had some handy dandy maps to any scale you like ready to hand of any part of the country.

  17. Wukchumni

    Saw 3 more black bears yesterday-a mom and 2 cubs all jet black in color, probably the same ones i’d seen last week, but i’m adding them to the year’s total of 19 sightings so far.

    They were a few hundred yards away from the road in the back of a big open field with oak trees on the periphery, kinda frolicking.

    1. Wukchumni


      Been on a few hikes @ 3k to 5k in the past week with friends and we all remarked about how huge the acorns are @ that altitude compared to other years, a plus for the bruins.

      Without the crown, they resemble bullets to me, the offspring of a live oak looking like a 30mm, to give you an idea.

  18. cfraenkel

    Re BBC “Why is the UK struggling more than other countries?”
    ctrl-f ‘brexit’
    — crickets —

    1. PlutoniumKun

      For the first time in a long time I was listening to BBC Radio for a few hours over the weekend, and I found it striking how the ‘B’ word could not be mentioned while discussing the economy.

      And I do find it remarkable that the UK is well and truly into a recession, but it hardly got much of a mention in my browse of the weekend newspapers. This is not a situation where the UK is just first into a downturn, with the implication that it will be first out of the other side. The economy is in really serious structural problems, with no real options available to either the BoE or the government. By early to mid 2023 its hard to see anything but cascading bad news.

  19. Skip Intro

    Sounds like the CIA director’s visit to Turkey may be about more than just gas pipelines. Egads, how many NATO allies can suffer these mysterious attacks before the value of its security guarantees is questioned?

  20. Kouros

    I wonder if any ASEAN leader asked the whiny Kuleba from Ukraine whether he also advocates for Russia’s ability to sell its grain on the world market to stave off hunger. Who’s really playing the hunger games here?

  21. Jason Boxman

    So this stuff is always fascinating.

    The Kilogram Is Dead. Long Live the Kilogram!

    After a vote (and a century of research), the standard measure for mass is redefined, and the long reign of Le Grand K is ended.

    Time Is Running Out for the Leap Second

    To the world’s timekeepers, the leap second is a kludge, a bane, a pain in the little hand. Now they’re proposing to ditch it. Will our days ever be the same?

    The idea, formalized a century and a half ago by national signatories to an international treaty called the Meter Convention, is that each unit of measurement should be identical everywhere in the world; one meter in Spain is precisely one meter in Singapore. The seven standard units are integral to fair commerce, reproducible science and reliable technology. The second is extra-special because it underpins all the other units except the mole. For instance, the meter is defined as the distance light travels in a vacuum during one-299,792,458ths of a second, and the kilogram was recently redefined in terms of the second.

    In addition, the second is tethered to a time scale, or flow of seconds. A key tenet of modern life is that not only must the unit of time be identical no matter where it is measured, so must the flow of seconds of which the one is a part.

    The closest I ever got to any of this is using the ntpd daemon on Linux systems to ensure the clock is relatively accurate and to adjust for drift. Home computers don’t really have the most accurate time pieces. The daemon keeps track of local drift relative to the official time on time servers, which last I looked came from academic institutions and laboratories, perhaps these very same sites that also participate in maintaining accurate time worldwide.

    You can buy serious hardware for this purpose:

    The Atomic Reference Time (ART) Card, developed by Orolia, is intended to work in pair with OCP’s PTP-OCP driver, which offers a PTP Hardware clock (PHC) interface to use for time synchronization.

    Unsurprisingly, from further investigation, it looks like Orolia offers stuff that’s particularly useful for military applications. What else is new?

  22. Mo

    I love the juxtaposition of headlines “Canada will soon allow medically assisted dying for mental illness” and “Poverty’s toll on mental health”

  23. Jeremy Grimm

    “Avoiding the ‘Great Filter’ …”

    This paper repeats an oft recited litany of the standard disasters used to explain the
    seeming lack of alien civilizations detected by the SETI efforts and their kin [longer lists
    of filters have been cataloged elsewhere.] : nuclear war, disease natural or designed, an AI
    Singularity, asteroid or comet impacts, climate change. The standard appeals for Humanity to
    pull together to surmount these filters follows their review, concluding with an
    inspirational thought. We can expect the sun will last few billion years more leaving “Time
    enough for humanity to finally make other stars our home.”

    There is one filter — unmentioned — that I believe might explain the difficulties
    detecting alien civilizations. The Earth chanced to store a portion of the sun’s energy into
    a readily extracted, portable, energy dense form, over millions of years. I wonder how many
    alien civilizations were gifted similar legacies of energy wealth. I believe a detectable
    alien civilization must have discovered its own legacy of stored energy.

    Humankind has succeeded in using up the greater part of its energy wealth in just a few
    centuries. To paraphrase a line from a favorite movie: “The light that burns twice as bright
    burns half as long – and Humankind has burned so very, very brightly.” SETI is searching for
    us, our mirror civilization. I suspect a distant alien civilization would have to burn very,
    very brightly for Humankind to detect its presence. But like Humankind such bright shiners
    would all too quickly burn their candle to the pan. In a little more than two centuries
    Humankind has wantonly consumed the greater part of its all too exhaustible energy legacy.
    Our two centuries of burning brightly is a momentary flash in vast expanse of time extending
    over billions of years. Unless an alien civilization discovers some way to obtain a rich
    and continuous source of useful inexhaustible energy, and wantonly consumes that energy,
    similar to the way Humankind is wantonly consuming its all too exhaustible legacy of energy
    wealth SETI must look for those rare flashes of energy coincident with our own momentary

    Aside from some problems with speed limits in space, I am afraid the paper’s optimistic
    dream of Humankind finding a place in the stars will require a lot energy. I am not sure how
    or where Humankind will discover that new energy resource. I hope there is some such
    cornucopia to be discovered but even so, I worry that the Science or its discovery requires
    large amounts of energy, for its support and for its tools and toys. Our candle is burning
    so very very brightly.

    1. Candyman

      Agree with you that “running out of fuel” is a possible filter, and one that seems particularly relevant to us. However, we use most of our non-renewable energy consumption to a) move things, b) heat and cool things, c) light things. This is done to support our chosen lifestyles, not to power science per se.

  24. Mildred Montana

    >Canada will soon allow medically assisted dying for mental illness. Has there been enough time to get it right? The Globe and Mail

    Okay, since no one here so far seems willing to dip a toe into these treacherous waters, I will start with a well-known quote from Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus):

    “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.”

    Here in my neck of the woods we now have the somewhat euphemistically-named MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying). It is legal, government-approved, used regularly, and from all reports seems a welcome—if I can use that word–addition to our healthcare system. No protesters in front of the legislature, no screaming about that feared “slippery slope” into mass euthanasia of the disabled, the elderly, and the terminally ill.

    Now, as far as the mentally ill go, that’s a tougher nut to crack. I can only speak personally on that. As a person who has dealt with anxiety and depression most of my life (and resorted to non-medical treatments for them) I think that medically-assisted suicide for problems that might be otherwise insoluble (loneliness, infirmities, chronic pain, ineffective therapies, etc.) is perfectly acceptable given the express permission of the patient.

    If one is suffering emotionally and physically (but not terminal) and unable to get help because of the medical profession’s almost sadistic reluctance to prescribe pain-killers and the anti-anxiety benzodiazepines (the danger of addiction, ya know, you should walk more, think good thoughts, get some talk therapy, all the bromides), then MAID should be an option.

    As an otherwise healthy 70-year-old, excepting the anxiety and depression, I know I would find comfort in knowing that it was available.

    1. Mo

      Thank you Mildred. What you say is reasonable.

      OTOH, I can never ever trust our capitalist kleptocracy heath care system to be truly committed to anyone’s health. Yet we have no other choice when we need care.

      I’m sure plantation owners hired some doctors to provide care to their slaves at times. I imagine such help was accepted with foreboding.

      1. ambrit

        Your last analogy is flawed. Slaves on a Southern Plantation were, first and foremost, an economic investment. Just like the other “beasts of burden” being used, the physical health of these “economic investments,” (thus the extensive ‘othering’ of the actual Terran human souls within those economic units,) was important enough to warrant medical intervention. Today, supplying medical care to chattel slaves would be treated as a business expense and a tax write off.
        As Skippy commented the other day, it would fall into the category of “unenlightened self interest.”
        Stay safe. Make no decision in haste.

  25. JBird4049

    “Offering” help in suicide while doing everything, but making it easier to actually live seems suspect to me. I don’t know—can’t give decent, or for Americans any, healthcare, add hunger, homelessness, overwork or no work, only “illegal” drugs for succor, being treated as if you are garbage with the expectation that it will never end—this is seems like the plan for getting rid of the surplus population. I might, maybe, somehow, support suicide, if everything else was offered, but we all know that will not happen.

    1. flora

      I resist the idea they are trying to kills us, (whoever they are). The idea is becoming harder to brush off as nonsense when I read about the new “help” being offered.

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