Links 11/16/2022

Rare Asian golden cat spotted in northeast Thailand Thaiger (furzy). Pretty!

Cogitating black holes aeon

3D microscope video tracks virus zipping around in real time New Atlas (furzy)

Dead Ascending a Staircase The Baffler (Anthony L)

Sperm count is declining at accelerating rate worldwide: study Bangkok Post (furzy)

Asahi now sells hot bottled water in Japan as an alternative to coffee or tea Japan Today (resilc). Not as weird as you think. Hong Kong Chinese (and maybe others?) drink hot water. But in cups.

America’s Adderall shortage Axios

The Desert Changed My Life. It Can Change Yours, Too. New York Times (David L). Per the song Horse with No Name….



Long covid in kids is not common, and difficult to diagnose Grid


California Doctors Sue Over Covid ‘gag bill’ CounterPunch (resilc)


E-Bike Batteries Have Caused 200 Fires In New York: ‘Everyone’s scared’ Guardian

Climate change will clearly disrupt El Niño and La Niña this decade – 40 years earlier than we thought The Conversation (Kevin W)


China circles El Salvador’s economy as country edges toward crypto plunge Guardian (resilc). See Nick Corbishley on China in Latin America too.

Apple Prepares to Get Made-in-US Chips in Pivot From Asia Bloomberg

Meeting between Xi Jinping and British PM Rishi Sunak called off South China Morning Post

Old Blighty

Taxes up, services cut: your Brexit deal in full Daily Mash

London loses position as most valuable European stock market BBC (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Report: US Tells Ukraine Talks Don’t Need to Happen After Milley’s Comments Antiwar (resilc)

NOVEMBER 15th – The calm before the storm in Ukraine Douglas Macgregor, YouTube. Important. Macgregor’s take on Milley plus US inability to conduct a large, sustained land war. Not a point Macgregor made, but I should have noted a while back that the fact Milley went to the press meant he lost the argument about the desirability of having Ukraine negotiate now.

Blame the Deep State for Carnage in Ukraine American Conservative (resilc)

* * *


Biden Says Unlikely Rocket That Hit Poland Was Fired From Russia Bloomberg

NATO aircraft tracked missile that hit Poland – CNN RT (Kevin W)

Hungary’s premier holds Defense Council meeting over blast in Poland, pipeline’s suspension Anadolu Agency

Lithuanian president says ‘every inch of NATO territory must be defended’ Reuters (resilc)

* * *

White House asks Congress for $37.7 billion in new Ukraine aid The Hill

* * *

Exclusive: Germany steps up emergency cash plans to cope in blackout Reuters (resilc)

Germany opens first quay to import liquefied natural gas DW. Resilc: “One down how many to go??????”


On Iran – Fakenews From Newsweek Moon of Alabama

Gantz: DOJ decision to investigate Abu Akleh’s death ‘big mistake’ Jerusalem Post (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Another Event-Related Spyware App Bruce Schneier (David L). We put up a post on the COP27 spyware over a week ago, but useful to point out this is part of a pattern.

Imperial Collapse Watch

First Public Video Footage of U.S. Government Force-Feeding Intercept


Trump announces 2024 run for president The Hill

Opinion | Why Trump Could Win Again New York Times (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

McConnell faces leadership challenge from Rick Scott as conservatives steam Politico (Kevin W)


US midterms: Gen Z makes sure its voice is heard DW (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

The Burning of Witches Will Continue Matt Taibbi

Musk delays Twitter relaunch after fake account frenzy Agence France-Presse (furzy)

Elon Musk’s useful philosopher New Statesman (Anthony L)

The Bezzle

What happened at Alameda Research milky eggs (resilc)

FTX Owes Money To More Than a Million People, Court Filing Suggests Vice

Alameda promised ‘high returns with no risk’ in 2018 pitch The Block (resilc)

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Collapsed Crypto Empire Creates Regulatory Chaos In Washington Forbes (furzy)

Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Downfall Is a Cryptocurrency Warning for Democrats New Republic

Opinion | Sam Bankman-Fried and Our Faith in the Tech Whiz Kid New York Times (resilc). Who is this “our”?

CalPERS gives its staff more investment power Pension & Investments. Kevin W: “What could possibly go wrong?”

Guillotine Watch

Who Said It: Elon Musk or Mr. Burns? New Republic (resilc)

Credit Card Balances, Burden, Delinquencies & Collections in Q3: Consumers Still in Great Shape with their Cards Wolf Richter

Wall Street Bonuses to Plunge as Much as 45% for Bankers – Study Reuters (resilc)

Foreboding Economic Signs Coming from consumption and employment data Angry Bear

Class Warfare

Medical labs in France on strike for 3 days over austerity rate cuts Anadolu Agency

48,000 University of California Workers Demand Better Pay in Biggest Higher Ed Strike in US History Sputnik (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. Chet G sends more pictures from the Centre Wildlife Care animals for its annual adoption/sponsorship. Its website is Artemis is a peregrine falcon with attitude.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >US midterms: Gen Z makes sure its voice is heard DW (resilc)

    The youth vote helped “hold back the red wave” expected in these midterms, the analysis found.

    I’m not buying it. Was the youth “voice” heard for Sanders when he promised student debt forgiveness? Was the majority who favors M4A voice heard? How about increasing Social Security Benefits? Affordable housing? No the voice is heard only when it suits/aligns with those in power. Otherwise, it’s easily silenced by the stenographers in the MSM.

    We don’t have a government that pursues the interest of the majority/common interest, in the U.S., it is an oligarchy controlled by powerful/monied forces. It is nevertheless entertaining, at least if it doesn’t have its iron heel pressing on your neck. I see that Tulsi Gabbard has been filling in for Tucker Carlson. Can you imagine if they where to be on the ticket in 2024 running for president and vice president? The joke going around is that Biden and Fetterman on the ticket would be a no brainer. And then there is Trump whose victory, to somewhat paraphrase Marx, was initially a tragic comedy is now a farce.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It was the pollsters’ fault. They totally missed the gen z constituency for 8% inflation, nuclear war, perpetually living in their parents’ basements and lifelong student loan debt for a women’s studies degree.

      Prolly the fact that gen z-ers only use their cell phones and there aren’t any landline extensions in the basement.

      1. Realist

        That would be a concern if the other side was offering anything different other than less student loan relief, and less bodily autonomy.

        Stingy theocracy was not the vote getter that the GOP thought it was.

      2. TBellT

        lol that air of superiority where you are mocking ppl who are saving money by cutting expenses (i.e. living with parents) is exactly why they rejected conservatives.

        1. hunkerdown

          Autonomous households are a Calvinist social norm. The sole conservative value is conservation (of forms) by their accurate reproduction. Everything else, to them, is “materialism” and therefore Bad. If only Gen Z would reject conservatism as a general principle, rather than make up property games and try to conserve them by getting others to play them.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>Autonomous households are a Calvinist social norm. The Their sole conservative value is conservation (of forms) by their accurate reproduction.

            Well, yes, often the problem is a focus on the letter instead of the spirit, forget the actual goals, of something like conservatism. Things are often deemed good and conserved because they work and usually to the benefit the community and preferably for everyone in it as well. Hunter-gatherers, small town farmers, and others like them are often very, very conservative, sometimes viciously, even destructively so. But, they can also be the most caring as well.

            I think that what is labeled conservatism in groups like the Calvinists is really those in power conserving, really enforcing, patterns on everyone else because it benefits the ones in power. The same with many things being labeled as liberal or even leftist as they are used to destroy things to benefit those in power or who want to attain it.

            1. hunkerdown

              To define ‘working’ no further than the successful and faithful reproduction of a culture’s preferred abstractions and relations is a conservative idea, by my original definition. That one happens to find purpose and meaning in that process doesn’t make it not conservatism or imbue it with intrinsic value. It is perfectly reasonable to understand why and out of what G.K. Chesterton built his fence, and to tear it down in disagreeance.

    2. Wukchumni

      CNN gets around 600k viewers while local Gen Z kid makes good being a twitch streamer and gets 10x as much viewership watching him play video games, but there is a downside in that Adin Ross get ‘swatted’ for a 4th time (I have no idea what that means) and is under double secret probation.

      The idea that Gen Z kids had any stake in the election outcome is a lot of wishful thinking going on…

      1. semper loquitur

        If memory serves, getting SWATed is when someone calls the cops and claims there is an armed intruder or suchlike at your address. The cops send in an armed response team. The goal is to get you killed or arrested.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>The goal is to get you killed or arrested.

          Which does happen. American police, aside from their various issues, are often told of stories of violent armed wife/child/stranger victimizer threatening to (or already has) kill/beat/rape wife/child/stranger with the swatted being completely confused as to why the police are there, acting as they are.

          Honestly, it would be a concern if the police didn’t come in hard; So, I read stories of murder-by-cop and often done for no reason than not liking the victim or just being a malicious prankster.

          1. semper loquitur

            This happened to a couple of Right-wing Youtube commenters a few months back. I don’t remember all the details, sorry, but I do know that Matt Walsh was at least threatened to the point where he announced on his show that he is armed and ready to defend his family to the death. Another popular conservative commentator, Tim Pool, was SWATed in the middle of his broadcast around that time. He and his staff were told to get out of the building by the cops, who had been told there was an armed intruder. This had happened before and the cops knew to reach out first. The channel’s live feed sat empty for around an hour.

            Yet another young conservative Youtuber was actually pulled from his home by the cops. I believe the SWATers had claimed that he was attacking his wife. There is video of his wife talking with them while the guy lays on his front yard in handcuffs.

              1. semper loquitur

                They go to prison if they are identified and successfully prosecuted:


                This m0r0n got a man killed and earned himself a 20 year bid. I don’t know if anyone was identified in the cases I listed above. It seems you would have to use a burner phone or some such trickery to get away with it.

      2. The Rev Kev

        CNN gets around 600k viewers? Out of 335 million people? That’s not even a niche audience that. I suppose that MSNBC and Fox have similar numbers. Would it be so bad that they all went away?

    3. hunkerdown

      States are institutions, and institutions (like other personas) strongly tend to sacrifice their mission for their own “survival”. Liberal moral philosophy is disinformation meant to conceal this fact behind “spiritual” simulacra so that we don’t see ourselves creating these gods, and (Rule of Law forbid) start to inject labor interests into the most sacred and holy capitalist idealism.

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    America’s Adderall shortage

    From the article;
    “Anxiety can present as ADHD, and depression can present as ADHD,” said Sanford Newmark, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco’s medical school.
    What about crappy jobs* that people don’t want to have to work but are stuck in out of economic necessity ? I’m just a layman but I’m almost positive that would “present” as ADHD as well…. which you would think would lead some questioning about the ADHD diagnosis, it’s actual scientific basis and if the psychiatric industry is just an enforcement arm of status quo social norms and the varying power structures that attend those.

    * office jobs. The soul crushing variety. I’m too lazy to check if there’s any sort of study on the demographics of adult ADHD diagnosis/office work but I’d be willing to wager a significant amount of overlap.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I had several of those jobs and, shall we say, I can be a bit of a grasshopper on the attention span front.

      While I was growing up, my mother noticed this, but you know what? She found it rather amusing. Little Slim had a lot of energy and a wide range of interests, and what’s not to like about that?

      Of course, my teachers were concerned about my tendency to be a wiggle worm, but, well, my mom and dad weren’t. So, no drugs for me.

      Now, how do I handle my attention span, which tends to wander off to this, that, or the other thing? Well, there’s this thing called self discipline. It’s possible to learn it, even if you’re like me.

      I have also found that keeping my diet low in simple carbohydrates and sugar, and high in fat and protein helps a lot. I focus a lot better and it’s also good for weight control.

      1. Lexx

        You may find agreement in the book, ‘The Glucose Revolution’. The author had a history of “mental instability”. Her problems abated when she controlled her blood sugar and she wrote a book on how to do that without drugs. It’s about the order in which we eat food. She calls it her ‘five hacks’. You’ll recognize some of them as those you’ve figured out for yourself.

    2. semper loquitur

      I don’t understand how any mental healthcare professional can make any sort of accurate assessment at all these days. Everyone is on some kind of pill, if not several. A friends mom was placed on something like five different psychiatric drugs by her “doctor” until I told her to go find a new doctor and the pill count went down to one or two. The American diet is a cornucopia of sugars, artificial flavors, and related garbage. I remember an article here about how crazily grapefruits interact with drugs, what do we know about Coke Zero’s effects? Then, everyone is totally stressed all the time from the nasty realities of modern life. How do you quantify all of that?

    3. wol

      A take on ADHD, youtube. Uploaded two hours ago: Dr Gabor Maté | Capitalism is KILLING Us. Circumstantial cause of trauma.

      1. spud farmer

        lol, good point.

        I do know that it is laughably easy to get diagnosed with ADHD and other DSM listed mental health ailments. In many cases just a short questionnaire is all it takes to walk out with a prescription for all kinds of pharma products. Many shrinks even allow patients to basically tell them what drugs they want. “Jeez doc those pills you prescribed don’t work for me at all but my friend who’s prescribed dexedrine for treatment resistant depression says it totally changed his life and made him a functioning and productive human being again.”


        Is it worse, from a health as well as from a “moral” standpoint, to pop two 10mg adderall or dexedrine tabs after getting up in the morning instead of swilling coffee or energy drinks throughout the day?

        Pharmaceutical amphetamines like adderall and dexedrine when taken in moderation are almost certainly healthier than knocking back sugary energy drinks and probably cause less stress on the body than drinking coffee regularly. (I’m not a doctor and haven’t researched this topic in depth so please don’t take my word for it.)

        Perhaps the question should be: what is it about working conditions and work culture in contemporary western society that has so many people thinking they need regular mood and energy boosts via psychoactive substances, be it caffeine or amphetamines, to make it through their day?

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Everybody feels better on stimulants That’s why coffee drinking is pervasive. Tea has caffeine too but the tannins buffer that a lot. My understanding similarly is pretty much everyone who tries cocaine very much likes it too.

        Matter of dosing, too much coffee/uppers = jitters.

        Oh, and Adderall chemically just like meth save for a methyl group, which drives the compound deeper into your brain.

    4. hemeantwell

      Sanford Newmark is completely, totally, absolutely correct. I could go full Martyanov when it comes to my assessment of many “mental health professionals” who are simply incapable of understanding that intrapersonal conflicts associated with interpersonal endeavors can be disruptive of effort. For example, there are in fact those who are “wrecked by success.” I’ve seen more than one patient who would routinely start to feel guilty (sibling rivalry in the cases I have in mind) about developing a good idea — for a paper, for a project — and then have trouble concentrating, start dithering and then set themselves up for becoming a failure, not getting anything done >> anxiety and depressive tendencies. Treating that with meds is at best temporarily useful, but just kicks the can down the road and leaves the patient feeling at odds with themselves and more or less addicted to speed..

  3. The Rev Kev

    “3D microscope video tracks virus zipping around in real time’

    That’s amazing that video. It really shows how fast and agile those little b*******, err, viruses are. But it was only when I watched that purple trail build up as it moved around that I realized what it was doing. It was performing a search pattern. And that that is how it finds a target. That is when that video got a bit ominous.

    1. BillS

      The virus relies on Brownian motion (a random walk) from the thermal agitation of the fluid particles that surround it. Viruses have no ability to move on their own.

      The “random walk” is indeed a useful search pattern in computational optimization algorithms because it is very robust in finding local optimal points (altho’ it is not always the most efficient in a computational sense, it’s robustness however guarantees a solution – or in this case an entry into an infectable cell).

  4. Sardonia

    That Counterpunch article on California’s AB 2098, which levels heavy penalties on doctors who say anything to a patient which is “not in line with scientific consensus” is one nasty little hit piece by one nasty little piece of work (Lily Meyersohn). I lost count of the references to “Koch Brothers” “right-wing apparatus”, “anti-vaccine”, etc etc. in characterizing the opposing voices. Seriously, WTF?

    I read some excellent, balanced articles on this bill after it was passed. This one is pure schlock. When I have a bit of time I’ll go back and try to find some good ones I read when this bill was passed. This is some ugly legislation, and the defense of it truly falls to the likes of someone like this author, who strikes me as someone whose fantasies oscillate between sucking Rochelle Walensky’s toes and being coronated as the worlds Minister of GoodThink.

    No mention, curiously, of Fauci’s anti-masking advice, Walensky’s and Biden’s assurance that once vaxxed, one cannot get infected or transmit the virus. No, “disinformation” is not to be punished, just “deviation from ‘scientific consensus’ ” (Who the hell determines THAT??). This bill is a train wreck.

    1. howard

      per your last paragraph, scientific consensus from when? 2020? now? What if doc thinks they’re repeating CDC guidelines but has neglected to notice that they’ve changed?

    2. marku52

      Yeah unenforceable. Consensus? Great. Defined how? Terrible bill..Mainly designed to defrock some doctors in the central valley that were very successfully treating covid with the drugs that cannot be named. Prevented long covid too. Can’t have that….

      Consensus in the 1800s was that there was no need to wash hands before surgery. Consensus on anything is wrong eventually.

    1. griffen

      I like the above analogy. And if my reading and recall is any good, the CDO business really should have faded more quickly were it not for the enablers at AIG financial products and their master play to underwrite insurance protection on a high number (by count, or in billions of USD) super senior CDO tranche securities. So when nothing came of it, as in the underlying securitized non prime and near prime mortgages, well AIG had far too little reserves. There was an excellent chapter of the Big Short that covers this in detail.

      Yeah in 2008 the Lehman failure was massive but AIG was the next straw to break. Life comes at you fast, isn’t that a trendy commercial ?

      1. Mikel

        Speaking of “The Big Short,” it is being reported that Michael Burry is now placing buying stocks of prison companies.
        Expecting the prison population to grow. How ominous.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, CDOs were highly structured products, sold only to supposed grownups (although all it took was a lot of hookers and blow to get German landesbanken to hoover them up, see the barely fictionalized account “How I Caused the Credit Crisis” by an ex Goldman-Lehman CDO salesman in Europe). It took me nearly 2 years to get to get the additional key contact into two who had partial insight to explain the structure. Only about 75 people in the world made them and were fully up on the tradecraft, and then about another 300-400 buyers and insurers who should have understood what I eventually pieced together but apparently for the most part didn’t.

      The scams here were way way easier to understand, but like Uber, there was a massive consensus the other way so no one wanted to hear the skeptics. They were effectively shut down or otherwise ignored.

      1. LilD

        My wife worked on these for Thornburg (IT projects)
        They ended up as the 6th largest bankruptcy ever but since HQ in Santa Fe, not in a financial center, no publicity….
        Assemble a bunch of debt instruments into a “portfolio” and slice it into risk tranches, what could go wrong?
        Oh, they aren’t uncorrellated? Who knew?

  5. Wukchumni

    The Desert Changed My Life. It Can Change Yours, Too. New York Times
    I’ve always felt fortunate to have such easy access to mountains and deserts here in Cali, and from afar or in a car, both seem daunting and are…

    The Sierra is teeming with water in the summer and you’ll come across creeks, rivers and springs all the time, it isn’t as if you need to think about where your next drink is coming from~

    The desert (there is very little in the way of sand in ours) is a different kettle of fish and water sources are out there but few and far between, and when you come across them, it makes them all that more sweeter and they’re almost all from springs, the best kind of water.

    Its funny how a couple of places in the state are named after fvck-vps, in that the Donner Party made all kinds of mistakes en route and then got caught in the throes of an early winter in the Sierra, dooming them and giving us Donner Pass.

    Death Valley was named by wayward Kansan 49’ers seeking the treasure who thought walking through the desert was the way to all that glitters, and yeah I could see how they got that idea of it being a bad place, but there’s a lot of character assassination going on.

    It’s a beautiful place and i’ve often wondered how visitation would be now if they’d named it Happy Valley instead?

    1. Sardonia

      My first taste of the desert was at 17, hitchhiking my way out of the oncoming Illinois Winter, headed for LA – and stopping in the middle of the Mojave at night so my latest driver and I could have a stroll through the dead silence and the zillions of stars.

      Just bring a lot of water and a good hat, and deserts are a Paradise.

        1. Joe Renter

          Having driven through Phoenix, I will pass.
          But water and desert I have experience with. I spent 30 years in Seattle and had my fair share of water (I am a Pisces). Fast forward to the beginning of Covid I found myself further south in that golden state living in my hometown. Lost our rental and hit the road in a van and ended up in Nevada after a tour of the PNW. My partner and I were not dealing well with 24/7 in the van, so I got the boot.
          Had to be resourcefully, so I took the MTB and bought a bike trailer and headed to Big Bend State Park in TX. about 1500 miles of riding through the desert. I was a good trip for my head and made look at issues in my life I had to deal with. I stopped drinking and had zoom meetings with a therapist. Here I am back in the desert taking care of my 90-year-old mother.
          I recommend getting to spend time nature regularly for one’s mental health. A meditation practice and exercise really help. Lastly doom scrolling is not something I suggest doing much of.
          Be well.

    2. Crow

      While it’s been a few years since I’ve been there, the high desert of eastern and central Oregon was, for me, impressive beyond measure, especially if no wind was blowing. When passing through it I would occasionally stop the car, turn the engine off and step out into the incredible desert silence. The landscape, stretching for miles to the horizon and not a single sound.

      1. semper loquitur

        You just blew my mind with the “high desert of eastern and central Oregon”. I had no idea Oregon had a desert. It sounds magnificent. Thanks.

      2. anon in so cal

        It is spectacular. I can remember car camping in the Malheur and Sage Thrashers were all over the place.

      3. mary jensen

        Born and raised in PNW, many camping trips in Eastern Oregon etc. Let me just point out that the biting insects are as merciless as the scenery and zillions of stars are gorgeous.

      1. mrsyk

        IIRC from my NOLS days, spring water at the source is generally safe. A cursory look at google informs me that the only safe water to drink is from a plastic bottle. Sigh.

      2. Wukchumni

        Giardia isn’t much of a risk in the Sierra Nevada or desert as far as I can tell.

        Know lots of peeps that have spent a lot of time and drank a lot of water there who have never gotten sick, and that’s not just spring water-its the gamut.

        Here’s the perfect song for this conversation…

        Man Walks Among Us, by Marty Robbins

    3. LilD

      And the water table is pretty high. Not obvious, but you don’t need to dig very deep to get water in much of Death Valley

  6. Stephen V

    Lambert’s self-licking ice cream cone on steroids from Larry Johnson piece:
    The United States, by contrast, is exercising great caution. Part of the reason for that hesitancy is the financial collapse of FTX, which is exposing evidence that the Democrats, some Republicans, the Ukrainians and FTX organized an elaborate financial kickback scheme. The scheme involved promising members of Congress who sent money to Ukraine a hefty contribution in turn from a Democrat benefactor. In this case, the owner of FTX. Once the U.S. dollars were credited to Ukraine’s account, President Zelensky and his partners diverted some of the proceeds to purchase crypto currency from FTX. FTX, in turn, sent some of that funds back to the cooperating members of Congress and the Democrat National Committee. This scheme is unraveling. The dummies mistakenly believed that crypto is untraeable. Nope. Thanks to block chain, eminently traceable.

    1. Realist

      I am not convinced about the Ukraine FTX money laundering claims. I would want to see evidence that Ukraine liquidated it’s donations for below market rates and FTX only donated from “the change”.

      I think the truth of the matter is that FTX was giving out campaign donations because they wanted the government write laws and regulations that would legitimize their Ponzi Coins.


      1. JBird4049

        Why not both? Professional grifters are almost always looking for the next mark. Birds of a feather and all that.

  7. Sardonia

    Re: “Who said it, Elon Musk or Mr. Burns.”


    Give me a choice of having a beer with Elon Musk and Dave Chappelle, or the woke and adolescent writers of SNL and The New Republic, that’s a no-brainer. The petty little screeds of these writers is just nauseating.

    1. zagonostra

      I watched the recent Dave Chappelle SNL monologue. Disappointed in his echoing the “Trump was controlled by the Russians” trope and mischaracterization of Ukraine. His allusion to “chains” at the beginning and end was an obvious double entendre.

    2. Mike

      It’s important for people to understand Elon is a technocrat through and through. He gets way too much good press these days. That’s probably no coincidence either considering billionaires work hard to ensure good PR, think Rockefeller or Gates types.

      1. BlakeFelix

        Elon is a technocrat, but at least his technology is cool and works sometimes. I think half the people called technocrats are like like Nancy Pelosi and Biden and their VCRs are blinking 12:00…

  8. Anonymous 2

    Brexit – I always thought that the working class would be the main victims. Sad that so many voted for it. We will see what the government has in mind shortly but I don’t hold out much hope as they will probably ‘spread the pain around’.

    Who is going to feel the pain the most – the people who are already having to choose between eating or heating and frequenting food banks? or the rich who have seen their wealth hugely increased by QE?

    I doubt Murdoch and Co will suffer, so that’s alright?

  9. Toshiro_Mifune

    The Burning of Witches Will Continue
    One of the most interesting things about the recent Musk related Twitter shenanigans is this; Throughout the rise of the various social platforms from roughly 2009 through about 2013, there were lots of people in the tech press (Arstechnica, Wired, posts on Slashdot, etc) asking questions about how many actual users there were. In other words, its was a pretty open secret that there were lots of bot accounts infecting FB, Twitter, Instagram, whatever which were being counted as user base to artificially inflate those numbers to pull in more ad revenue or VC funding. It was a legitimate question to have been asking. Eventually the questions stopped, FB went public, valuations became what might technically be called “stupid” and the world forgot.
    And then Musk brought it up again when he was looking for a way of backing out of the Twitter deal and the same press and media outlets that had been asking questions about bot accounts back in 2012 were acting like he was insane for bringing it up. Musk may be a jerk and a blowhard but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid question.
    Watching the media fall over itself vilify him, in many cases after having lionized him earlier in the previous decade, just convinces me that huge swathes of the media world is nothing more than bunch of cliquish small minded nerds deserving of whatever happens to them.
    I should add, because things have gotten so bad that I now have to, that I am not defending Elon Musk I just am refusing to participate in a pile-on without justification.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Mifune-san: It isn’t a matter of your defending Musk. I am an agnostic about Twitter, reading Twitter messages only when Yves Smith and Lambert Strether post them.

      Yet Musk was buying a business. He was doing due diligence. If he were buying a restaurant that claimed to serve 10,000 portions of Classic Club Sandwiches (on three pieces of toast), he’d be within his rights.

      The question proved embarrassing. Social media are a swamp. If we are lucky, social media are in for a big reduction.

      Other people who are unsavory have asked the right question at the right time. Let us not forget Trump’s famous tweet to Bernie Sanders about getting screwed over by the DNC.

      So at least Musk isn’t famously wrong about everything, like Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton, two dolts who have risen to the top of the swamp despite their collective intellectual curiosity of a doorknob.

      1. cfraenkel

        I suspect your last para was a large part of why those questions were swept under the rug.

        Social media was a cheap and dirty megaphone to boost the narrative. The bot armies just made it easier to amplify the stupid.

      2. Mike

        In the financial circles the belief was the twitter sale gave him a back-able pullout for selling Tesla stock, enough to outweigh the penalty for backing out of twitter (which could be wrote off). But then he actually bought it…

    2. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Musk can just split Twitter into two. You would have Blue Check Twitter made up exclusively of Blue Checks telling people what their opinions are and then you would have Regular Twitter made up of everybody else. Blue Checks would not be allowed on Regular Twitter nor would they be able to send tweets to them. If they were caught doing so, they would lose their Blue Check status and be booted off Blue Check Twitter so would never risk it. Regular Twitter would be able to read Blue Check Twitter tweets but could never reply to their tweets. I think that that could work.

      1. hunkerdown

        But “WEIRD” Nina Jankowicz is a Voice and therefore has a Sacred Right to an Audience.

        I do like the idea of separating church Twitter from festival Twitter. Worth noting the Puritans and the Honest Men already had that run-in in the old dart, and the Puritans won. Here’s hoping they lose it all this time.

    3. marym

      The issue isn’t that Musk, like Trump, raises some important issues. AOC and Sanders do that too, and we criticize them for being ineffective and even counter-productive in addressing these issues.

      Musk doesn’t seem to be doing anything about bots. He’s firing the workforce without a plan for how bots or any other problem will be addressed; dismantling a flawed but useful identity verification process; alienating (at least temporarily) fellow capitalist advertisers; and tweeting a lot.

      It’s very comparable to Trump, who rightly raised the issue of Obamacare not providing healthcare. He then supported its repeal, but never proposed – or worked with Republicans in Congress to propose – a replacement, and tweeted and held rallies a lot.

    4. digi_owl

      That tech press fell a long way between then and now.

      By the time i fully gave up on Ars Technica for example i think i was down to reading their science section with any regularity, as the rest was all Apple evangelism. Long gone were the days when the site’s founder would deep dive the intricacies of CPU engineering that drew me in.

        1. Alex Cox

          Ars is impressive for the way it manages, on an almost-daily basis, to print an anti-Russian story in the guise of science or tch.

    5. Mike

      Unfortunately the twitter verification could be a stepping stone towards further reinforcement of online ID to participate in the internet which I don’t believe is good. I think the cons of online ID outweighs some negative externalities like fake twitter users. Maybe not by much though; online ID is direct control vs twitter bots is indirect control (fake influence).

      The online ID would be par for the course in my belief for Elon as he is a technocrat.

  10. Mikel

    “Sam Bankman-Fried’s Collapsed Crypto Empire Creates Regulatory Chaos In Washington” Forbes (furzy)

    I would much rather see that laws currently in place are enough to prosecute and jail SBF snd crew.
    I don’t think regulatory bills coming from politicians that accepted big campaign donations from the crypto industry are going to help. Bet the regulatory bills are nothing more than a blueprint to be used to dodge laws. And it bettet not provide for any bailouts!!
    This entire “regulating crypto” stinks to high heaven.
    If SBF and crew get no criminal sentence, it will serve to institutionalize more money laundering and other scams.

    1. griffen

      It conjures the memory of Marc Rich who escaped the US official clutches for the cozy boundaries of somewhere less judicial. I think Rich eventually returned to the US, lo and behold, receiving a pardon by the then departing President William J Clinton. A country of laws my eye, all respect due if John Adams said as much. The story of Rich is worth mentioning if only as a reminder.

      Choose between Pigs or Snakes. Just know and see who they kept company with. SBF should probably be on the run and stay there, but that is not a suggestion or a legal strategy.

      1. Mikel

        Sounds like he hid out until the news quited, memories faded, and evidence could possibly disappear.

        The crypto mess should not be causing any “regulatory chaos.”
        Companies are being investigated for crimes. Shouldn’t be anything “chaotic” about it. Let’s see how the laws and prosecution hold up.

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    Larry Johnson article, Did Russia Just Strike Poland?, is interesting for two reasons:

    –He asserts that the Poles have had many casualties in Ukraine recently.

    –He points out an intriguing tangle, something like how Monica Lewinsky saved Social Security–Is Sam Bankman the Fried a bag man extraordinaire, now exposed? Quoting Johnson: “The United States, by contrast, is exercising great caution. Part of the reason for that hesitancy is the financial collapse of FTX, which is exposing evidence that the Democrats, some Republicans, the Ukrainians and FTX organized an elaborate financial kickback scheme. The scheme involved promising members of Congress who sent money to Ukraine a hefty contribution in turn from a Democrat benefactor. In this case, the owner of FTX. ”

    Others have hinted. Johnson is boldly connecting the dots.

    One more money-laundering operation out of Ukraine, that Epitome of Direct Democracy (and Deposits) of Central Europe? Should I be shocked?

    And was Hunter Biden involved?

    1. Screwball

      There is a headline on CNN right near the top; Fact checking Donald Trumps speech.

      Really? They see the need to fact check that speech? OK, fine. Now do Biden, Pelosi, Schumer or any democrat, and while you are at it. What about this FTX money laundering scheme with Ukraine and who knows who else? Let’s dig into that too, while fact checking is in vogue.


      1. Sardonia

        That’s just CNN’s business model these days. The small remaining readership they have consists solely of TDS junkies. CNN must keep a pot of that boiling, so the junkies can wander over and get their fix from the fumes.

        Kids in the favelas who spend their days huffing gasoline have more brain cells left.

        1. hunkerdown

          Ratings could miss “background” television [retch] viewing in malls, restaurants, and other public places. One doesn’t need to marinate in state propaganda for hours each day to stay on the boil. A few minutes here and there might be more effective in creating followers of a religion. (A state exists only insofar as it is felt to be the world.)

      2. Bart Hansen

        The Washington Post is just beginning to dip a toe into fact checking Biden. When you lose their fact checker….

    2. Wukchumni

      And was Hunter Biden involved?

      Hard to tell if he’s the guy, but if you advance FTX 1 letter you get GUY, so yeah probably.

    3. DJG, Reality Czar


      From that long and readable (and unrollable) Jason Choi twitter thread: “Here’s more information on the shady “Mind the Gap” bundler operation founded by @SBF_FTX’s mother, Barbara Fried, and led by @Stanford faculty, funneling millions of dollars from Silicon Valley to the Democrat Party:”


    4. KD

      Having been underwhelmed by Johnson’s secret “Rand Corporation” report, I am equally disappointed by his allegations that US aid went to Ukraine, Ukraine converted it to crypto and kicked it back to Democratic campaign contributions. Maybe this is true, but more likely people did fundraising for Ukraine in crypto on FTX, and SBF gave big donations to Democrats (because it is helpful to have powerful friends when you run a Ponzi scheme).

      Ukraine has denied involvement in FTX. (Of course they would even if it were true).

      Further, I would imagine if you were really laundering, you would be sending it to accounts controlled by folks like Paul Pelosi and James and Hunter Biden and that it would not be disclosed to the FEC. Maybe this happened, who knows, but establishing it requires evidence, not speculation.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m content to let ‘Underwater Gate’ play itself out.

        SBF and crew strike me as pretty sloppy, wouldn’t be that hard to ferret out any clues to whether there is any palace intrigue.

        1. KD

          That is what I meant, Ukraine has denied the laundering allegations, which is contrary to Johnson’s allegations (and I saw Jimmy Dore is pushing this as well, but he is a comedian). The fact that Ukraine got donations in crypto and converted them using FTX does not equal foreign aid converted to crypto then kicked backed to Democrats. The later is possible but where is the evidence?

          I suppose if there is evidence, we will likely witness a new level of Epstein-type suicides in the near future.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Even in a place as corrupt as Ukraine, I don’t think anyone would be as dumb or brazen to give $ directly from the government (or the big Z) to the Dems via FTX. That is what cutouts are for.

      2. hemeantwell

        I read Johnson re the crypto scandal as very relevant to Col. Macgregor being introduced in today’s video as “on the short list to be Trump’s national security adviser.” As has been discussed here, Trump has many reasons for going after the Blob. If, as seems likely, they face a time of tribulation in the coming months, Macgregor’s analysis of NATO in disarray would be an excellent grounding for more scandal-oriented attacks on the Dems. Given the uncertainty that is being promoted about the viability of his candidacy after the damp squib midterms, Trump seizing the critical high ground on Dem foreign policy could be quite a boost.

      3. Mark Gisleson

        To my untutored ears this seems a lot like Hunter and Burisma but on a much larger scale which would be consistent with the Zelensky regime as a kleptocracy. A while back it was reported that an astonishingly high percentage of Ukraine’s GDP came from the Donbass and is now part of Russia.

        And because my mind loves to drift, now I’m wondering what would happen in Italy if the north ever made good on its desire for independence.

        Is the UK really just one big happy family?

        Is every other European border in just the right place or should they be tweaked a bit?

        Would California try to break away if Trump regains the White House?

        Now I think I’m starting to just misremember stuff from old Phil Dick books. I believe we’re living in one right now and hoping it’s Ubik and not Dr. Bloodmoney (or how we got along after the bomb). Not a great choice, but are they ever?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “US midterms: Gen Z makes sure its voice is heard”

    I wouldn’t be too hard on them for helping the Democrats. They are too young to have experienced the multiple betrayals that older generations have experienced. Maybe when nothing has been done about Roe-Wade or the environment or healthcare or any other measure to do with ordinary people in the next two years will they begin to wonder. And then they will realize that for them there is no hope and no change at all following either party.

    1. hunkerdown

      Nah, we need to teach them that political religion only seems new and interesting to the adult-stage Homo sapiens, and what ambition and avocation they are feeling are illusions and will pass.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Old school, nowadays they’re all manufactured. Take an existing constituency, divide it into its components, vat grow the parts you like, discard the rest. The result is a leaner, more tech savvy, management-based party with the ideological focus and vocabulary to lead from day one.

        In the future, all constituencies will be grown in vats. And I didn’t get that from Phil Dick, I learned it from Lambert. (I may have misplaced his original context which is something something candidates and not constituencies but either way ‘vat grown’ is a useful term.)

    2. Lex

      Remember when the still young millennials turned out for Obama in ‘08 and there was talk of the Dems being in political control for a generation? And then Obama screwed them all over and the youth vote was lost as it crossed into adulthood. It’ll be the same with Gen Z and they’re already a cynical bunch. On the plus side, from what I’ve seen of them, they’ll be as likely to burn it all down when they get screwed as to meekly accept being used politically.

  13. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    ‘We had to wreck the climate in order to save it…’

    …was the catchphrase often bandied about in the upper echelon of Earth do gooders @ COP27, there was an undeniable veal-good feeling as attendees were served an utterly delicious supper which everybody agreed was as good if not better than any of the other meals @ previous COP’s.

    1. John Wright

      Perhaps “fossil fuels” are “dinosaur seeds” in that once fossil fuels are heavily liberated from the earth and burned, they will assist in recreating a good environment for dinosaur re-evolution.

      Dinosaurs simply needed an assisting human life form to give them another chance to evolve after a long, long, long, absence.

  14. tom67

    Is this tweet by Dances with Bears about Poland a joke? Can´t imagine that usually well informed John Helmer could be so wrong. Poles absolutely hate Russia. Anybody with even a passing acquaintance with Poland is aware of this fact. I speak Russian and therefore have a Russian accent when speaking Polish. Even ten years ago I would always first ask “do you speak English” or “Sprechen Sie deutsch” before trying out my Polish on some unknown person. Otherswise I would risk being treated very unfriendly

    1. BillS

      My past experience with the Poles reveals a very complex situation. I met quite a few who expressed a visceral hatred of Ukrainians and Germans while less animosity for Russians. Others were less concerned about Germans, but hated Russians. Some just shrugged their shoulders and expressed no preference and others (usually with shaved heads) kinda hated everyone (I tried to stay away from those!)

      I notice most Polish commenters on Graham Phillips’ and Patrick Lancaster’s video blogs are very positively disposed to the Russians, altho’ I cannot say how representative of Polish society those commenters are.

      1. hk

        I suppose somewhat similar picture elsewhere in Eastern Europe. I had a fair amount of dealings with Lithuanians a while ago and the one thing that surprised me a lot was the surprising (at least given the stereotype) percentage that hated Poland, but had unexpectedly blase attitude towards the Russians. Complex melange of stuff.

      2. Joe Renter

        The area of Poland was in such a flex before and after WW1. Germans, Poles and Russians were back and forth in territory. I got a little taste of that history in reading the book, The long walk, by Slawomir Rawicz. Lots of ill feeling between the populations.

        1. Karl

          Sounds like the USA just stepped into a 300-year old clash of ethnicities…. let’s add Carpathians, Bukkovinans, Bessarabians, Romanians, Hungarians, Ruthenes, and of course, Jews– all victims of ethnic cleansings at one time or another.

          We sure can pick the great neighborhoods where we think we can “fix” things….

          The key lesson of every failed war since Vietnam: Location, location, location…

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Helmer overloads his tweets with irony. Problem is he then switches w/o a beat to the straight stuff.

      Having said that, a very good Polish friend at McKinsey opened D&B’s office in Moscow and she and her local staff got on well. She very much enjoyed her ex-KGB driver (shades of Putin driving a cab for a bit in St. Petersburg). But she was not typical. Her family also harbored Jews during WWII. Offended her deeply that Jews assumed she was anti-Semitic.

  15. pjay

    – ‘Blame the Deep State for Carnage in Ukraine’ – American Conservative (resilc)

    This is a useful historical summary of the many US/NATO provocations leading up to the “unprovoked” Russian invasion. The content will be very familiar to most NC readers, but that dark picture of Victoria Nuland at the top is reason enough to check it out. It looks like the mug shot of a serial killer from America’s Most Wanted. Very fitting!

  16. The Rev Kev

    “E-Bike Batteries Have Caused 200 Fires In New York: ‘Everyone’s scared’”

    And of course you have the same with EV car batteries that catch fire while the cars are charging in garages causing a lot of people to leave their EV cars parked outside their homes. John Michael Greer writes about developments like this in general terms. He says that our society is all about progress but there come a point with progress that what comes onto the market is in fact inferior and performs worse than what it replaces. In fact, that there is a point of diminishing returns for technology too. So looking at these E-Bikes and EV cars and maybe they are in fact worse than what they replace in some ways but they certainly are more dangerous-

    1. Questa Nota

      Are smart phone batteries a similar risk?

      Visualize that phone, or an iPod, in a safe deposit box, along with valuable flammables like photos, letters, wills, passports, deeds and such.
      Then the bank calls, saying that your box went up in smoke, and the gun you stored began shooting randomly.

      1. digi_owl

        Best i can tell, the major risk is charging. In particular if the circuitry at the battery end do not properly monitor the battery behavior.

        Also, i think most phones these days have moved to lithium polymer batteries. That involve a modified electrolyte chemistry to improve safety at the expense of performance.

        And as best i can tell, the whole issue is that of the electrolyte. They all seem to be some variant of lithium particles suspended in a non-water liquid (lithium and water basically do get along), and seem to react badly to various abuse or high temps.

        That said, there is a massive amount of money and research hours being thrown at creating a solid electrolyte that can handle rough treatment etc.

      2. hunkerdown

        It’s a bad idea to store lithium-ion batteries in a fully charged state. Before placing them into long-term storage, run them down to 30% or so. Where possible, disconnect them completely from the device (or better, store batteries and devices separately). At the same time, deep discharge and time also wear on the battery, so don’t leave lithium-ion batteries or devices containing them unattended when charging them out of long-term storage.

    2. John Beech

      Model airplanes and helicopters use the same battery technology and while not a pile of thousands of cells (Tesla), a half dozen to a dozen is pretty common. But guess what? The average laptop has a similar quantity. So does a scooter or e-bike.

      Anyway, the way it works with models, laptops (and Teslas, too) is you get hold of the (+) and (-) ends of the pack, plus also tap off each cell (so you can monitor the voltage of the whole ting and of each individual cell). Next what happens is you turn on the charger and wait. However, because cells are individuals, and hence, theoretically the same as their adjacent cells, but in reality each are different by slight amounts, some cells reach full charge more quickly.

      So the tactic that has evolved is to then bleed off charge from these fully charged cells whilst the rest continue charging – until the last one reaches full charge – by which point the charger shuts off. Works and is moderately inexpensive.

      So the point of my sharing all this is a charger with the requisite ‘smarts’ costs more than one that doesn’t, but they’re common. Major point being, charging a pack without bleeding off current from the fully charged cells risks a cell catching fire. And the nature of these things sees the cells packed closely together so you get a conflagration.

      Anyway, as a modeler, I do a couple of things to mitigate my risks.
      1. I never charge unattended – means I’m nearby – always!
      2. I never charge the pack whilst installed in a model (balsa, fiberglass – think tinder)
      3. I never cheap out on chargers or connectors
      4. And I am proactive about mitigating risks in that I use a Justrite cabinet for storage
      . . . to this last, these are quite expensive so the average guy won’t do this.

      Fortunately, inexpensive alternatives are readily at hand. My first choice (and I still do this) is to place packs whilst on charge on a ceramic tile or concrete paver, e.g. something inflammable and thus, unlikely to spread a fire. These can be had for a mere $3 at Lowe’s, or Ace Hardware. They represent an alternative to placing them on a workbench surface to charge (e.g. something typically made of flammable wood).

      So what do you do if you’re in NYC walkup? Actually, really similar strategies will work.
      1. don’t charge the pack unattended..
      2. if the pack is removable, then take it out of the scooter to charge.
      3. keep a close eye on the condition of the connectors for charge and balance
      4. maybe put the pack on a couple of pavers or inside the oven whilst it charges. But even setting inside a metal trash can will mitigate fire risk. But my preference would be a couple of pieces of ceramic tile floor material. Heck, they can be placed on the fire escape to charge (they’re made of steel and won’t be hurt or in any way promote further fire damage), etc. In short, be aware they can catch fire and plan accordingly.

      What I am saying can basically be summed up as, be careful of what you’re doing! What I suspect is the case, however, if people gloss over the instructions if they even bother reading them, and blissfully unaware of the risks, treat the device like a toaster. Bad idea.

        1. Mikel

          And just think…people were thinking of all the things they could do (like sleep) while their EV batteries charged.

          1. flora

            The risk of charging lith batts unattended is that lith batt chemistry can be inadvertently polluted with bad chem additions at the manufacturing stage. That pollution can’t be seen, can’t be noticed on first use or second-thru-x use, but it is still there and can show up unexpectedly in horrible ways.

            Never charge a lith batt or pack unattended. Really.

            1. flora

              Much shorter: not all batts have this risk but there is no way, none, for end users to tell which batts do or don’t have this risk.

      1. Chas

        Thanks. Good information. I’ve been thinking the fires get started because the battery is filled to the top and then the temperature warms and there is no room for expansion. I’ve been charging an electric car battery for more than three years and have noticed that when I charge the battery to say 80% and stop and then temperature warms and the charge expands to 82%. For that reason, I never charge to 100% unless I’ll be driving soon.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          Depending on the car, 100% shown to the user is rarely 100% to the battery. In my Toyota, 100% charge shown to the user is actually about 80% at the battery. In this way, there’s a buffer before bad things happen. Similar buffers exist on the lower end because the batteries don’t like to be fully discharged either.

      2. semper loquitur

        “What I suspect is the case, however, if people gloss over the instructions if they even bother reading them, and blissfully unaware of the risks, treat the device like a toaster. Bad idea.”

        The majority of E-bikes I’ve seen here in NYC are in the hands of overworked, impoverished food delivery guys. The bikes tend to be battered in appearance, as do their riders. I would bet many of the bikes are purchased second-hand, sans instructions and safety guidelines. I don’t think anyone is taking the time to properly attend the batteries as you advise.

      3. The Rev Kev

        My respect for all those risk mitigation procedures and your methodical way of working. The thing is, if all this is necessary just to charge these batteries, is it a really good technology at all as they stand?

      4. Karl

        ….don’t charge the pack unattended.

        That’s also what the manual for my E-bike says. This is unrealistic.

        I prefer the recommendation in the article: be sure the battery is UL certified.

    3. Samuel Conner

      I’ve been contemplating rigging up a gizmo to adapt C or D NiMHs to my Li-ion powered bike lights (an older model that does not have the battery integrated into the light housings) so that I don’t find myself faced with a battery fire either while riding or while unconscious after a collision.

      NiMHs also have the advantage that they have a significantly longer useful life (Watt-hours of discharge; Eneloops claim 80% capacity after 1000+ charge/discharge cycles) than Li-ion.

      They have significantly lower Watt-hour capacity for the same battery volume, however. It would take multiple NiMH in series to match the voltage of a Li-ion cell.

      1. hunkerdown

        Commercial battery packs tend to be well-designed and well-protected. When handled normally and not physically breached, lithium-ion cells provide good service. I imagine your existing battery pack is physically robust, and made from something like carbon-filled nylon.

        Guardian’s vapors seem more politically oriented, to manufacture consent for the restriction of individual-level international commerce that the think tanks have been wanting for a while now.

  17. Wukchumni

    Helpful hints from Helloise:

    …if you cut the economy with just a little Fintanyl, you get the same high GDP feel, but be careful not overdosing on your own supply chain

  18. SocalJimObjects

    “Asahi now sells hot bottled water in Japan as an alternative to coffee or tea.” According to Chinese traditional medicine, drinking hot/warm water in the morning helps kick off the digestive system, so no it’s not a Hong Kong Chinese people thing, people in the Mainland and even Chinese people in Taiwan and South East Asia do it too.

    Also, one thing that I really like about Japan is that you can find HOT bottled beverages in Konbini (convenience) stores. Heck, the food you get in their convenience stores are also really good, the egg sandwiches for example have become an obsession to foreign people visiting Japan. 7 Eleven egg sandwich for the win!!!

    1. Lexx

      I was talking with my hairdresser* about the book I mentioned above. One of Jessie’s hacks is vinegar in a glass of water before eating a meal. I prefer a short glass of homemade kombucha.

      She said she’d gotten up every morning since she was a child to drink a slice of lemon in a cup of warm water before eating, it got her digestive tract moving. She got that habit from her father who did the same.

      *My hairdresser for over 15 years, every 6 weeks we continue on some subject we’ve been talking about for years. She’s from Iran and about 10 years younger than me. Also, quite slim.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          My grandfather (who was born in the 1880s and died when I was young) was famous for starting each day with a cup of hot water and then not drinking anything else until lunch. In the summer if it was hot he would take a break to drink some well water. Despite being a third-generation American, he only spoke Norwegian on the farm so I’m wondering if that wasn’t a custom brought over from the old country. He lived well into his 80s on this regimen.

          1. Joe Renter

            Starting the morning… I like what Ben Frankling did… An air bath.
            Open up the windows and be butt naked with deep breathing. He was a vegetarian as well. I consider him an evolved person.

  19. Carolinian

    It’s been decades since my last visit to NYC so I know little about The Vessel, but that’s an interesting Baffler article.

    Barbara Ehrenreich was right to characterize the exercise craze that rose to prominence in the latter part of the twentieth century as a defense mechanism, a “part of a larger withdrawal into individual concerns” in the wake of the curdling of communal fantasies of the 1960s. Her understanding is that, in an unpredictable world, exercising offers something that feels like agency: “I might not be able to do much about grievous injustice in the world,” Ehrenreich concedes, “but I can decide to increase the weight on the leg press.”

    Although fitness signals a social decomposition, it still functions socially. A fit body is a sure sign of self-discipline—and therefore, says Ehrenreich, a testament to one’s capacity for scaling the ladder of success. That might have been true until recently, in the epoch leading up to the Vessel’s construction. But today’s fitness vanguard is more creative than disciplined. Rather than self-possession, people hope to become possessed, to get rattled out of the comfortable drudgery of living.

    That’s some fancy talk although I’m not sure “fitness” should be raked over the coals while criticizing yet another NY piercing of the skyline–what Kenneth Clark scolded as “heroic materialism.” Exercise can be a way of denying thought or encouraging it. Einstein liked taking walks and Beethoven composed immortal works in his head during long walks. Here in the unheroic heartland it used to be that practically all buildable land was occupied by taxable real estate but lately my town is shoehorning in some walking/cycling trails and some of us are enthusiastic.

    But leaving aside the sidebar surely New York or at least Manhattan has never been modest about its often inhuman scale. Sounds like Hudson Yards is just the latest episode and going by the name may eventually sink beneath the waves with only the Vessel sticking up like liberty’s torch at the end of Planet of the Apes. The rest of the island will still be towering high above.

    1. hunkerdown

      Exercise is bodily maintenance. Exercise styles itself a heroic journey to realize a virtue. The difference between the two is a difference of value. Reps are material, and could serve either intent equally well, depending on how they are done.

      It’s interesting to interpret the fads of the social-creative classes through the lens of initiation. Lacking a celebratory rite of passage into the whole world community, and pedigree having conferred no real halo onto their heads, they construct their own virtues and their own rites. Those heroic journeys aren’t necessarily self-terminating, nor is that necessarily much of a concern of their creators. Unsatisfiable ideals provide a ready excuse for prolonging that liminal state of Becoming, where certainties dissolve and reform before one’s eyes, accountable only to the initiate’s conscience and private judgment.

      This book looks like great fun and apposite: Permanent Liminality and Modernity: Analysing the Sacrificial Carnival through Novels by Arpad Szakolczai

    2. JBird4049

      One of the three commissioned articles that compose The Story of New York’s Staircase—a slick coffee table book celebrating the structure (now available used from $2.54)

      From the article, this somehow seems appropriate.

      All the slickitued and it comes to an over-promoted murdertower. I live near the Golden Gate Bridge with its over one thousand suicides, which did horrify my brother’s wife when she found out as I was driving them over the Gate; however, the Golden Gate was built as a functional, architecturally gorgeous Art Deco symbol of hope, connection, and the future rising from the fog being as it was built during the Great Depression. This might seem corny, but it is true. They built it during the Great Depression when you could, and people did, say that it was an unaffordable, unnecessary luxury in a time of chaos and oncoming war. But built it they did, and as often as I have driven across it over the decades, it still hits something good inside me. Wham. Just what is this functionally useless Stairway to Nowhere suppose to represent being like a beautiful, inverted pimple on the waterway?

      In near a century we have gone from a beautiful, hopeful connection to a egotistical pimple. What an improvement.

    3. The Rev Kev

      In the 18th century it was common for all those wealthy estates to have a Folly built. A Folly was just a building as a decoration with an extravagant appearance like a ruined Roman temple or something-

      Thing is, the wealthy back then had them on their own estates but the wealthy today insist on having them built in our own cities and have Joe Public pay for them – and the larger the better. So I am calling out the Vessel as nothing more than a tarted-up Folly.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      I agree with “exercise is maintenance”. But if you do it with enough intensity, it winds up

      1. Generating endorphins

      2. Separate from 1, getting your mind off the rest of your life

  20. The Rev Kev

    “London loses position as most valuable European stock market”

    So here is the £64,000 question. Was this loss due to the ramifications of Brexit or is it due more to the blowback from the present sanctions regime against Russia? Personally I would suggest that it was the later but I stand ready to be corrected.

    1. cfraenkel

      Why not both?
      (I’d add to the candidate causes the election of Truss being an un-ignorable sign that there aren’t any adults left in the Tories.)

  21. The Rev Kev

    “FTX Owes Money To More Than a Million People, Court Filing Suggests”

    Personally I would rewrite that head line to say this-

    “More Than a Million People Will Never Again See The Money They Lost In FTX, Court Filing Suggests”

    1. Wukchumni

      One unusual aspect about the FTX imbrogliowe is the fishwraps are always quick to find the schmucks who lost everything in these tales of woe no-so as to personalize the downfall, but I haven’t really read any.

      1. Wukchumni


        Maybe crypto was a Bizarro World lottery in that you bought a sweepstakes entry with the right numbers but when you went to collect, the cashier made off with your winning ticket?

    2. Bruno

      “FTX Owes Money To More Than a Million People.”
      At least.
      The 2022 “Season” of that huge infotainment cartel known as “Major League Baseball” was, in a major aspect, a vast advertising operation for the FTX swindle, most spectacularly in the capitalized letters “F” “T” and “X” prominently displayed on the uniform of every one of its “Umpires.” If the “Major League” crooks were even fractionally successful with their scheme, there may well be many more than a million victims of the “CRYPTO” swindlers waiting to join a class-action suit against “MLB” & co.

      1. Wukchumni

        The average age of an MLB fan is 57, but what about the average age of those gambling on MLB games online through the multitude of sports books that the league allows to advertise, while steadfast in that no way is a gambler like Pete Rose gonna get in the Hall of Fame, even with those 4,256 hits, a dirty player!

        One burgeoning problem among others that we’ll have to face, is that we have a very serious gambling addiction among our youth.

        Adin Ross, the 22 year old fellow I mentioned above who has 6 million followers?

        All I did was put in ‘adin ross bet’ into the google and the first thing that came up was him winning a million bucks gambling on Stream.

        1. cfraenkel

          Not a whole lot different than buying lottery tickets.

          And to be honest, if you were a 20 yr old & knew what you do now about how the system is rigged – I kinda get why it would seem like a rational course.

  22. flora

    I think the English translation of the name “Ukraine” is “bottomless money pit.” Or “laudromat”, depending on which translation dictionary you use. / ;)


    Conflict in Ukraine best thing to happen to US in last 10 years – Roger Waters

    “They let it happen because it’s good for business, says the Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters

    “British rock star Roger Waters has hit out against the US for profiting off of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which he says Washington allowed to happen because it was beneficial to American interests.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      They needed something to replace the money stream from Afghanistan and the Ukraine has been a 100 billion dollar winner – and in only nine months and not twenty years. There will be lots of sad faces when the Russians shut this one down.

  23. Mildred Montana

    >Trump announces 2024 run for president The Hill

    Trump’s announcement is being described as “subdued” and “low-energy”. Indeed it was. Because he knew that, according to Maggie Haberman of the NYT, “The networks would not take him live if he was yelling, talking about the 2020 election over and over again.”

    And then there was this, a small headline in the New York Post at the bottom of the front page which reads “Florida Man Makes Announcement”. Yep, that was it.

    So the bastions of free speech (sic) are already trying to erase the first declared candidate for the 2024 presidency.

    I am no Trump fan but I am even less a fan of censorship. The video of this shameful behavior is seven minutes long:

    1. pjay

      Re the NY Post, it will be interesting to see how Murdoch’s “dump Trump” strategy plays out. “Does right-wing media shape the minds of deplorables or merely reflect their desires?” Sounds like a fundable study for some liberal political scientist. Will Sean Hannity be a good soldier? On the other hand, will CNN and MSNBC be able to resist the viewers and profit in once again demonizing Trump 24/7? Will *all* media unite behind a DeSantis run, given the fact that the Dems have no one who could beat either of them? Will Musk’s Twitter provide Trump with a new Voice?

      So many important questions! This should be fun.

      1. Pat

        It will be fun.
        My bet is that the Post will find itself reversing much of its position as the continued assault on Trump by local and National entities use as their basis things that Murdoch hates and which might upend the status quo. It will take a while but eventually supporting him will also include at least tacit acceptance of his run, even if their enthusiasm will remain with Di Santis.

    2. fresno dan

      And then there was this, a small headline in the New York Post at the bottom of the front page which reads “Florida Man Makes Announcement”. Yep, that was it.
      I like that.
      So when Biden announces, it will be: Delaweenian says somethin’ ???

      1. JBird4049

        Who knows and who cares? But I think about the Streisand Effect, which be justice of a sort, don’t you think? I do wish the Orange Man Bad would just go the heck away, but I wish that his sanctimonious detractors would just take a long walk on a short pier.

  24. Ghost in the Machine

    From the kids and long Covid link:

    “The cases are complex, varied and heartbreaking. Once-active children now struggle to walk more than 50 feet. Some are so tired they sleep for 20 hours a day. Others have had to withdraw from school because virus-induced brain fog clouds their ability to solve simple math problems. The one thing they have in common is a covid infection.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were roughly 26 million cases of covid among people under 18 during the first 20 months of the pandemic. But just how many kids are dealing with long covid is hard to pin down. The condition seems to be less common in children than in adults; one international study put the risk at nearly 6 percent. “

    As a parent, I do not classify 6% as ‘not common.’ That is frighteningly high to me.

    1. cfraenkel

      Agree – but I read that as saying that adults seem to be at a much higher risk (ie more common).
      6% is scary high enough. It’s unbelievable that our MIC (medical industrial complex) are ignoring the even higher adult incidence.

    1. Wukchumni

      Great footage, it somehow makes Trudeau appear to be a teenager (the lighting or lack of) who is being scolded by his father and puts up a typical teenager trope in not much defense.

      To me, the tell was Justin’s just-in-time exit, man did he beat a path outta there with his tale between his legs…

      1. Nikkikat

        Thank you for the link. I thoroughly enjoyed that little punk running away with as you say, his tail between his legs. Cannot stand the sight of him.

    2. Mildred Montana

      Trudeau, my Prime Minister, is a disgrace. He has, unfortunately, inherited his father’s prickly temperament and his mother’s—Margaret Trudeau’s—empty skull.

      Here’s an amusing Margaret Trudeau anecdote from the ’70s. I actually saw this and remember it because, even at that young age, I was appalled. She was being interviewed on (I believe) The Mike Douglas Show.

      MD: So who are some of your favorite singers?
      MT: Ooh…I love Lou Rawls. I would like to marry him and have a chocolate baby.

      Yep, she really said that.

      1. Sub-Boreal

        A variant on this is that Justin would like us to believe that he inherited his father’s brains and his mother’s looks. Instead …

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Xi really does not care for Trudeau. I imagine the orientalist attitude by Western leaders gets a bit trying especially when a real US puppet tries it.

  25. McWatt

    Great Falco Peregrinus photo. Thanks!!!

    I see a pair in Chicago stooping past the lakefront windows of The Cliff Dwellers Club.

    An amazing bird.

  26. Bsn

    Does anyone else find themselves wanting to share the link “Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation NOT recommending booster shots for under 30’s” with people who accused you of being a “Conspiracy Theorist” over the last years? I’ve misplaced a few friends/coworkers when I brought up vax injuries, Ivermectin and other anti-science regarding Covid. Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever had it, but it’s so tempting to show this to past friends. But, I’ll be nice and not do a “told you so”. However, I saved this comment from one included in the link. Got to love it …. “ATAGI has followed the science and now the science is pointing to the science saying that the science was previously wrong about the science but luckily the science is now thoroughly sound in recommending that people follow the current science which is probably the right science.” (smaller font each time) Science Science Science!

  27. Glen

    Douglas Macgregor mentions something that needs to be emphasized regarding tactical nukes – using tactical nukes results in full on nuclear war, end of the world stuff.

    And I’ll throw in my two cents. Back in the day when NATO was staring down a huge USSR military, that was the end game. If the USSR invaded, tactical nukes would most likely have gotten used, and things would have gotten very very hairy. The notion that NATO, even back when America/Britain/Germany/France/Italy had a heavy industrial base, could go toe to toe in a conventional war with the USSR was hotly debated.

    Now? NATO is going to be out of conventional options very quickly if it decides to engage in Ukraine or continues to pursue maximal proxy war. All this tactical nuke talk is either projection or wishcasting of the very worst sort. It needs to stop, and serious negotiations need to start.

    1. Karl

      Totally agree.

      Nuclear deterrence — and the credibility of NATO’s “first use” of nukes if necessary — was the cornerstone of NATO at its founding and still is. It’s scary enough to have kept the peace all these years. So scary that Russia had to invade before Ukraine joined NATO to ensure once and for all that it never would.

      My worry is yours: that our neocons would rather “bet” on using a teensy little tactical nuke, say in Donetsk City, in the hope that Russia would retreat. The problem is, our neocons don’t think like Russians. And they don’t pay attention to clearly stated Red Lines, whether it’s Taiwan or Ukraine.

      Barring our willingness to use nukes, I see only one future for Ukraine. Its cities will look a lot like Aleppo, Syria. Zelensky and Biden, with their firm “we won’t negotiate” strategy must have something up their sleeves. Nukes are the only possibility I can imagine it being.

  28. Wukchumni

    Wouldn’t FTX (pronounced: ‘Creditanstalt’) make good hunting if you were on the prowl for a scapegoat in being the cause for a market rout in other financial arenas, and i’m looking at you, Dow Jonestown.

  29. Jeff W

    Not as weird as you think. Hong Kong Chinese (and maybe others?) drink hot water. But in cups.

    I wouldn’t think that’s weird. A lot of my friends who are Chinese-Americans (and not from Hong Kong) drink hot water. In restaurants they might ask for hot water instead of coffee or tea and the food server won’t bat an eye. If I’m in their house and I ask for some water, I’ll always get hot water, unless I specify cold water. My friends say it’s healthier—this LA Times piece says “hot or warm water is considered essential to balance cold and humidity”—but I always figured that, in a place like Toisaan (the “First Home of the Overseas Chinese”—where a lot of earlier generations from China came from, including my friends’ parents or grandparents)—or, for that matter, China in general—where the water quality was not that high, it was probably better to drink boiled water than icy cold water from the tap. (The LA Times article mentions water quality, too.)

    1. Mike

      It’s a fascinating piece to me, from a cultural perspective, my 1st thought was:

      Next time you drain your hot water heater, shine a light in there and tell me how nice and clean it looks to you…

    2. Late Introvert

      That is a good point, boiling water as a way to make it safer. I say that as someone who starts every day with 2 cups of strong coffee. America and China are both way polluted. My own state of Iowa used to have frogs in ponds, 50 years ago. No more.

  30. kyle william

    I’ve been reading Naked Capitalism for a few years now and I firmly believe it is essential reading. It’s helped get me and my family through the Covid pandemic so far, and I will be forever appreciative for the valuable information that gets posted here. This is my first ever post. The articles and information on this website has been an important dose of reality regarding the “pandemic is over” declarations and other leaps of faith that have been characteristic features in the US in response to the Covid pandemic. I am a teacher and I live in a high PMC town. I wear an N95 mask to work everyday and my children (both 9 years old) are one of the very few who still mask at school (they wear KF94’s). We take Covid seriously. My son was hospitalized for a week in an infectious disease ward when he was a baby with RSV and he has asthma. I’ve spoken at local board of education meetings about the importance of wearing masks in schools and about doing things to improve ventilation and air filtration since Covid is spread through the air. I showed administrators how to make Corsi boxes and offered to fundraise to build them for all over the district. I offered to buy and donate HEPA air purifiers. I was told no to both. No one wants to hear about it. Instead the local town wants to spend money on building a new astroturf football field. Local administrators deny anyone gets Covid in schools and that the pandemic is in fact over, and even declared it over even before Biden did. While I wear a mask, people have said to me, “are you still afraid of Covid?!” I respond that I’m not afraid of Covid, but I am afraid of what comes after Covid, which is the potential of Long Covid, organ damage, immune system damage, and spreading it to other people. I’ve gotten the 2 primary shots from Moderna in the spring of 2021 and 1 booster back in December 2021. My kids have gotten the 2 pfizer shots last December. The video showing the Australia Immunization Agency recommendation against a booster for under age 30, coupled with the article about kids and long covid, really highlighted a major dilemma, which is that while we have a vax only “strategy” the vaccines may or may not be appropriate for large segments of the population, but long covid in kids is a real concern that cannot be written off, especially if Anthony Leonardi is correct (which he seems to be) that Covid does major damage to the immune system so repeated infections will cause more health problems. So vaccines seem to possibly help against Long Covid and maybe against immune system damage, but the NEJM article that IM Doc wrote about in comments recently showed that the vaccines did not seem to help kids all that much: . My kids’ pediatrician’s practice won’t vaccinate kids under 12 for the bivalent booster, which was never actually tested on humans before being rolled out. Personally, I would prefer to get a Novavax booster for my 4th shot since I am tired of the mRNA method, but it is only approved for a first booster shot. This whole situation–ill-informed yet highly confident “know it all” PMC’s, lack of clarity from political leaders and public health officials, misguided priorities, a vax-only strategy with vaccines that overall aren’t ideal, and a”your on your own” mentality that has been perpetuated–is maddening. I was a Democrat but left the party last winter because of the vax-only covid response and Biden’s lies and war-mongering. But I have no interest to be a Republican bc they tend to be worse. I’m sure I am among good company who hate both parties. My heart aches for kids who have to grow up in this and be repeatedly subject to Covid infections that have the potential to cut short their lives due to organ and immune system damage, out of control climate change, and an increasingly dysfunctional “country.”

    Thank you to Yves, Lambert, and the Covid brain trust for all that you do!

    1. Mike

      I agree NC is essential reading. I have a 9 month old but I have no intention of providing him the Covid vaccine for now because of the small sample size of of the studies (a few hundred per group, with less than a dozen actually to test against getting Covid at least for Pfizer when I read it). I want to see how it bears out over the next few years.

      I am biased because I had a very bad experience from the 1st booster that took me months to recover from.

      I have no reassurance though that my decision is correct because of the really bad RSV wave (and pneumonia) going around daycares currently. It is bad enough in my area that the daycare begged all the parents to keep their child home. Why is this happening? Could it be from Covid? Most people I know with babies like mine who got Covid had virtually no issue, my baby was mildly sick for a day, but the long covid thing still has me worried.

      Just my experience here, thanks for sharing yours.

    2. Late Introvert

      My daughter still masks, and is mostly alone in doing that, in her high school. She also gargles Betadine solution and does a similar nose spray. You are not alone, there are parents who still want to protect their kids.

      Online schooling was a disaster, but she has bounced backed since 2020. As I have reported on this blog she used to get sick many times a year and has only been sick once since then (it was not COVID).

      Prophylactics work if you’re careful. Masks, rinsing, gargling, D3/Zinc.

  31. Adam Eran

    A propos not much, I just finished reading the late Elton Rayack’s answer to Milton Friedman (called Not So Free to Choose: The political economy of Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan and cannot recommend it highly enough.

    As you might guess, it’s out of print and not in the library (not so for Friedman’s polemic Free to Choose)…and is mighty expensive, even on ebay.

    Nevertheless, it’s worth the effort. Rayack was Friedman’s student and dismantles his arguments (and portrayal of history) piece by piece. Call me naive, but I didn’t think it was possible to lie and deceive as often as Friedman. His entire thesis is bunk

  32. will rodgers horse

    “I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate, but it is unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia,” (Biden) said.

    Say what?

  33. Karl

    RE: Germany opens first quay to import LNG

    This is crazy.

    The 40-year old “Ostpolitik-era” pipelines are mostly fully depreciated sunk costs. Financing new LNG ships, ports and gasification facilities will require long term contracts and a very steep (probably take-or-pay) natural gas price.

    Germany must be engaging in empty PR — window dressing for a gullible public. Meanwhile, German companies will have no alternative but to move to where the cheap gas is. Qatar maybe?

    I guess the U.S. policy is: we must destroy the German economy in order to save it!

    1. Acacia

      Yesterday, @ilpalazzo posted a link to an excellent article in NLR by Wolfgang Streeck on the assisted suicide of the German economy. One especially interesting passage:

      As for Germany, on 7 October the government had to answer a question from a Die Linke Bundestag member on what it knew of the causes and perpetrators of the pipeline attacks. Beyond stating that it considered them ‘acts of sabotage’, the government claimed to have no information, adding that it would likely not have any in the future either. Moreover, ‘after careful consideration, the Federal Government has come to the conclusion that further information cannot be given for reasons of public interest’ (in German, aus Gründen des Staatswohls, literally: for reasons of the welfare of the state, a concept apparently modelled on another neologism, Tierwohl, animal welfare, which in recent German legalese refers to what breeders of chickens and pigs must allow their animals so that their farming practices can count as ‘sustainable’). This, the answer continues, was because ‘the requested information is subject to the restrictions of the “Third-Party-Rule”, which concerns the internal exchange of information by the intelligence services’ and therefore ‘affects secrecy interests that require protection in such a way that the Staatswohl outweighs the parliamentary right to information, so that the right of MPs to ask questions must exceptionally take second place to the secrecy interest of the Federal Government’. To this writer’s knowledge, there has been no mention whatsoever of this exchange in the Staatswohl-oriented media.

  34. The Rev Kev

    Sometimes I can understand why conservatives call out liberals as s***-libs. So right now you have in New York City the annual documentary film festival and as a guest speaker, they had a Nazi. Not a pseudo-Nazi or a Nazi-lite but the real deal. An honest to god Nazi who is proud of it. He has been with the Azov battalion for several years and actually has a Swastika tattooed on his body. But these New York elite libs actually gave him a platform. An activist called him – and them – out but they quickly chucked her out-

    So when does the School of Visual Arts eventually lets a speaker from the white-hooded boys on?

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