Links 11/17/2022

Secret behind spectacular blooms in world’s driest desert is invisible to human eyes Frontiers Science News

Artemis 1’s Orion capsule sends Earth 1st image of home on the way to the moon

Early Humans May Have Cooked Fish 780,000 Years Ago Smithsonian

Nouriel Roubini Says More… Project Syndicate


Biden and Xi unshackle Cop27 climate teams to formalise talks Climate Home News. Big if true.

COP27: Lula promises to protect the Amazon Le Monde

* * *

How the hydrogen revolution can help save the planet — and how it can’t Nature

The Petro-bourgeoisie Couchfish

How the Meat Industry Undermines Effective Climate Policy The New Republic

* * *

Floods can be a disaster for humans – but for nature, it’s boom time The Conversation

NASA war-games an asteroid impact disaster and it goes badly The Hill


Will We Get Omicron’d Again? The Atlantic

As global COVID cases rise, multiple viruses stress health systems Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

‘Where the Gallatin nursing home failed, and failed multiple times’: What may have led to big COVID outbreak NewsChannel5. Nashville, TN.


href=””>Graphics: China’s 20 new measures for optimizing COVID-19 response CGTN. Nothing on airborne mitigations that I can find. That’s not good news. Commentary:

A lot of information! The transcript of the press conference on optimizing and adjusting epidemic prevention and control measures is here What China Reads. Ditto, ditto.

TikTok is China’s ‘digital fentanyl,’ FCC commissioner says FOX

The violent phobias that bind Hindutva and Zionism 972


US blames Iran for Tuesday’s drone attack on Eastern Pacific product tanker Splash247

Dear Old Blighty

As U.K. Braces for Painful Budget Cuts, the Mood Is Gloomy NYT. Commentary:

Doctors are warned that learning disability or Down’s syndrome is no reason not to resuscitate a patient The Times. Oopsie.

‘They Know Who I Am, They Know What I’m Doing’ Arrested Journalists Speak Out over New Policing Act Byline Times

European Disunion

Financial centres: Paris powers past liquid, disliked London FT

Blowback: Italian police bust Azov-tied Nazi cell planning terror attacks The Grayzone. Commentary, via: The Atlantic in a few years:

New Not-So-Cold War

How a lightly-sourced AP story almost set off World War III Responsible Statecraft (Rev Kev).

Ukraine war: Poland says missile deaths an unfortunate incident BBC. “Dude, how many times do I gotta tell ya? Clear the false flags through the Embassy!” Ha ha, only serious.

* * *

Cold, dark confusion grips Ukraine after Putin’s missile barrage Politico

Relative Dominance: Russian Naval Power in the Black Sea War on the Rocks

For Western Weapons, the Ukraine War Is a Beta Test NYT. So we’re using Ukraine just like the Nazis used Spain in the Spanish Civil War. Good to know! Meanwhile, stating the obvious:

* * *

Ukrainian soldiers announce massacre of civilians in Kherson (Google Translation) Anti-Spiegel (Micael T). Original.

“Potentially sensitive content”:

* * *

Talking With Russia Is Tempting—and Wrong Foreign Policy

Putin said that banks “drink the blood of pensioners to the grave” (Google Translation) Aftershock. Original (tip: Google translates this as expected when I set my VPN to RU). No wonder the West hates him.

Structural Adjustments, Then and Now: A Conversation with Miguel Ángel Contreras Venezuelanalysis

Guyana Is the Most Exciting Story in the World Oil Market (podcast) Odd Lots

Biden Administration

Biden Taps Federal Management Guru to Lead IRS Government Executive

The Bezzle

Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself (interview) Vox (Re Silc). SBF, PMC failson. From the messaging transcript:

Both SBF’s parents are professors at Stanford law school, so it’s amazing he doesn’t see how desperately he needs a lawyer to tell him to STFU; and that they haven’t found him one. Also, what on earth? Adderall?

Harry Potter-loving ex-girlfriend of disgraced FTX founder bragged of ‘regular amphetamine use’ on Twitter – which she said made her ‘appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is’ Daily Mail

Sam Bankman-Fried oversaw FTX’s meltdown, and the fallout is reaching DC The Verge, The deck: “He had friends in high places — and they are probably embarrassed right now.”

Is Effective Altruism to Blame for Sam Bankman-Fried? Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Larry David sued by crypto investors after FTX collapse NY Post (Re Silc).

Our Famously Free Press

U.S. adults under 30 now trust information from social media almost as much as from national news outlets Pew Research Center

Journalistic Responsibility Vanishes When Reporting On US-Targeted Nations Caitlin Johnstone

Supply Chain

Global pool of shipping containers to decline for the first time in 14 years Hellenic Shipping News

Imperial Collapse Watch

USA’s Military Empire: A Visual Database World Beyond War (RK).

Class Warfare

Silence from the top: 48 hours of chaos inside Amazon’s massive layoffs Vox

Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Up 20% Farm Bureau

Social Democracy Will Not Save Us Black Agenda Report

Ten Marxist ideas that most people agree with Carl Beijer

DRAFT: Talk on “Grand Narratives” & “Slouching Towards Utopia” Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality

Antidote du jour: From alert reader TAS: “Kadee Belle, a wire hair dachshund. 15 pounds of personality!”

Bonus antidote: From alert reader AL, “a recent summer picture of the goats on the roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay (Door County), Wisconsin”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. griffen

    Bankman-Fried is living the antithesis of the famed Garth Brooks tune. So much for the tight bonds with those Congresscritters and even the SEC chairman.

    Well I had friends in high places,
    With tequila shots and beer chasers,
    Yeah I had friends in high places

    My balance sheets have evaporated
    My company tokens are liquidated
    Yeah I had friends in high places

    Apologies but that is the limited recall of the Garth Brooks tune.

    1. Carolinian

      Shorter SBF–if you could stop Hitler by cheating lots of people wouldn’t you do it? Or as Carson used to say, “buy the premise buy the bit.”

    2. ChrisPacific

      “Everything I said to you last time we talked was a lie, but I’m being totally straight with you now”

  2. Steve H.

    If I may throw this one on the barbie:

    Rossiya-1 propagandist Olga Skabeeva posted this photo of the moment that NATO realized Ukraine attacked NATO

    I’m not sure if it’s the missile moment, or the from UKR moment, but those are some concerned people. My question is, why is everyone listening to the Goldman guy who’s been in office like three weeks?

    1. DorothyT

      Re: Kadee Belle, the wire haired Dachshund

      I live adjacent to a park in NYC. The neighborhood is full of Dachshunds. Not one is what one would call a ‘regular’ as in red, short-haired, standard-sized Dachshunds of my youth. There are blond, long-haired, miniatures, tiny red and black miniatures, a dapple, and even two piebald puppies. All have BIG personalities. Highly social, confident characters. This is a great place to live if you love dogs.

      1. nycTerrierist

        I was a regular at Tompkins Square Park several years – and 2 pups ago.
        Currently on the 3rd, a delightful wiener-mutt, a turbo-cuddler.
        TSP is a lovely spontaneous ‘community’
        dogs are great ice-breakers as we all know

    2. Wukchumni

      I’ve been publicly harshing Gus’s mellow (he actually has none-the kind of cur who like a driving denizen of the Big Apple taking the extended warranty on their car horn, should’ve done the same with his vocal chords…) and even though there’s no way word will get back to him and even if it did he would bark over me as I was talking, anyhow I want to apologize to Dachshund adorers giving me the lowdown.

    3. Pat

      I would be putty in her paws. “Treats, you want more treats? Here…here….here.”

      Doxies, there is usually half a ton of personality in those quart sized bodies.

    4. Lexx

      Oof! I maintain there are few dog faces, from puppyhood to adult, more adorable and engaging than dachshunds.

      For us the kryptonite of dogs is another German breed – the mini schnauzer – but I’d still put them in the #2 position behind dachshunds, and little wieners with their big expressive eyes, too long floppity ears, short muzzles, and paddle paws… slay on visual contact!

      If you’re not overcome with the cuteness, check your pulse, you may have died and haven’t noticed yet.

    5. Irrational

      second that!
      my parents had a wirehair dachshund with an outsize ego and would bark at anything and everything – the funniest was when he picked the bull in the local field, who was distinctly unimpressed. Bull snorted and the dog ran away yipe, yipe, yipe!
      otherwise an absolute sweetie!
      (pulse: check)

  3. Wukchumni

    Shorts & white t-shirt, tennis shoes, I’m Sam the sham, how do you do?
    Gimme five, I’m still alive, ain’t no luck, I haven’t learned to duck.
    Check my pulse, it don’t change. I need $8 billion bucks
    Wave the Crypto flag, pop the bag, rock the boat, skin the goat.
    Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.

    Summertime done, come and gone, my, oh, my.
    I’m Uncle $am, that’s who I am; Been hidin’ out in Bahamas land.
    Shake the hand that shook the hand of P.T. Barnum-a fan
    Lighten your account-wipe it out. Can you use them ol’ Crypto Blues?
    I’ll ruin your health, share your wealth, run your life, bring you strife.
    Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.

    Summertime done, come and gone, my, oh, my.
    Back to back virtual smack. Son of a gun, better change your act.
    We’re all confused, what’s to lose?
    You can call this all the Crypto Blues.
    Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.
    Summertime done, come and gone, my, oh, my.

    U.S. Blues, by the Grateful Dead

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    The anti-Spiegel reporting of what the Ukrainian army is doing to civilians fits in with a pattern in that well-known Beacon of Democracy. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been reporting on the violence in Ukraine at least since the 2014 coup, if not earlier.

    But what makes the anti-Spiegel reporting so credible is that it brings to mind the devastating reporting by Curzio Malaparte in Kaputt. Malaparte, being Italian, was allowed to cover the war “from the other side”: occupied Poland, fascistic Romania, occupied Ukraine, complicated Finland.

    What he wrote about Ukraine is come true once more.

    Kaputt is a riveting read–Malaparte has an insightful, almost lyrical style–as he reports death after death, cruelty and cruelty.

    And here we, once again.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Russian media is relaying a report by Kherson oblast officials that in Kherson itself Ukrainian militia members have allegedly executed 39 citizens and detained 74 more.

      Apparently the western media has already left the area after filming people celebrating the “liberation”. So it’s time for yet another Russian war crime to be discovered.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      Mikhail Bulgakov is best known for his classic novel The Master and Margarita, but another excellent book of his is The White Guard; set in Ukraine as WW1 draws to a close, it describes how ordinary people live while the front lines swing chaotically back and forth over them, with resulting changes in government. Once again we can see history rhyming and life imitating art. It must be awful for the ordinary souls who are just trying to live their lives.

      1. Cristobal

        El Maestro Juan Martinez, que Estaba Allí, by the great Manuel Chávez Nogales, is another great depiction of the era. Thought fiction It is based on the actual experiences of a man Who lived through that time. The ebb and flow of the war in Ucraine is vividly described.

    3. Kouros

      Sorry, Romania was not fascistic. It was a military dictatorship during the war. The fascists tried to take power but military intervened. The Iron Guard leadership was taken to Berlin, just to put some stress on General Antonescu.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Blowback, by Rubenstein, from the GrayZone, on the arrest of the Azov/neonazi cell in Napoli. I just want to confirm that you should take a look. I’ll also confirm that the arrests have been widely reported in Italy.

    Fatto Quotidiano’s article sticks in my mind because of the journalist’s insistence on explaining what the black sun symbol is, the black sun not being in use in Italy: It is three superimposed swastikas rotated, to form a “sunburst.” (Can anyone confirm?)

    Meanwhile, the Right Sector and Centuria supposedly are part of the Democratic Coalition of the Willing in Ukraine–photogenic blondes supporting representative democracy and pink-washing:

    oh: To quote the article by Rubinstein:
    Members of the Order of Hagal reportedly maintained “direct and frequent” contacts over Telegram with not just the Azov Battalion, but also the neo-Nazi Ukrainian military formations Right Sector and Centuria, “probably in the view of possible recruitment into the ranks of these fighting groups,” according to Italian media.

    1. Lex

      The Black Sun gets a lot of play, with Ukrainians and other Slavic fascist groups (including Russians) claiming that it is an ancient Slavic symbol. However, the first verified use of it is on the floor of Himmler’s castle. It’s an international fascist symbol now. The Christchurch shooter used it and the Buffalo shooter used it. But it is quite specific to Slavic ethno-nationalist fascism. AFAIK, it never got widely used in Germany by the Nazis though may have had some importance in the super esoteric Nazism.

      It’s not multiple, superimposed swastikas though. It’s radiating sig runes. I’m pretty rusty on this stuff, but that’s the SS rune and I believe the rune originally meant sun.

      1. communistmole

        The sun wheel symbolizes the course of the sun and, in Aryan pseudo-mythology, the victory of the powers of light – represented by the Aryan – over those of darkness – inferior races, whose symbol is ‘the Jew’. As Lex writes, this has its origin in the so-called Runenrad, ‘rune wheel’.
        In the Wewelsburg, an old castle in North Rhine-Westphalia, which Himmler had expanded into an ‘SS-Gralsburg’, the mosaic of the Black Sun can be found.

      2. Exiled_in_Boston

        Russian fascists? Since when? From reading comments and articles, it would appear that they don’t exist.

        1. hunkerdown

          That’s because tendentious Puritan PMC morality plays are simply not worthy of recognition or validation.

        2. Polar Socialist

          There used to be groups of neo-nazis, but ever since they started beating migrant workers (and different looking natives) to death, the law enforcement hit them with a big, big hammer and they are mostly rotting in prison now.

          Coincidentally, while I wrote this, the media reported that three men have been detained in St. Petersburg related to an ethnic killing in 2003. All were members of neo-nazi group at the time.

        3. Lex

          Well, most of them emigrated to Ukraine after 2000. Fascists and neo-Nazis are always a feature of failed states, and there were more than a few in Russia during the 90’s. But, yeah, most of them went to Ukraine after Putin started cracking down on them. And as Putin has said, Russia still has neo-Nazis, like every other country but the government doesn’t sponsor torchlit parades with them. And there are still Russian fascists in Russia who fight against the Ukrainian fascists; the Donbass war was a place they could go and operate with some freedom of action at least in their own units. It was a bit tricky though because a lot of the Donetsk and Lugansk militias were/are openly communist and many of the foreigners who joined those militias were communists too.

          1. digi_owl

            This is really starting to look like 1930s Spain, only with NATO playing the part of Nazi Germany…

      3. Raymond Sim

        But it is quite specific to Slavic ethno-nationalist fascism.

        To me the black sun looks like Beavis and Butthead’s idea of a really cool kolovrat. Which kind of fits right?

    2. Mikel

      That’s what the USA does second best: fund and train terrorists. The A game is propaganda.
      That trash is getting their pick of weapons being sent to the Ukraine.

      Maybe the USA isn’t going to let Ukraine begin negotiations with Russia begin until the required number of fascist terror cells are armed, trained, and dispersed around the globe?

      1. Denny

        This is starting to smell like our arming and funding Osama Bin Laden and the “Freedom Fighters” against the Russians in Afghanistan.

        How’d that work out?

        Overthrow the Biden Badministration for god’s sake, sooner than later.

        Vaporization is painless. It’s the people living outside of the blast zone that will curse the administration when they have to compete with the rats to eat human corpses as long as they last and then the crippled and weak before their teeth fall out and they become Neocon roadkill.
        Read The Road for an example of that.

      2. Cristobal

        Well, I don’t know about around the globe, but in the USA, yes. A Scott Ritter piece recently discussed a Ukranian summer camp in Ellenville NY that he says smells strongly of fascism – stepan bandera monument and all. Having lived in the área, a beautiful área with little tiny towns and lots of more or less ethnic summer camps (former borcht belt) I do not doubt his story’.

  6. zagonostra

    >Putin said that banks “drink the blood of pensioners to the grave”

    Reshetnikov, in response, suggested raising the maximum amount of debt for out-of-court bankruptcy proceedings to 1 million rubles, and reducing the minimum amount of debt to 25,000 rubles. “In addition, [we propose] to provide for the possibility of reusing extrajudicial bankruptcy after five years (now 10 years. – RBC),” the minister added. The president supported the proposal.

    Compare above with the debacle – or successful strategy depending on your view – of Biden’s mid-term election student debt forgiveness proposal and his erstwhile Senate role in changing bankruptcy legislation to carve out exceptions for student loans.

    1. Stephen

      Sounds like he might have read Michael Hudson too….

      I am in the middle of “The Destiny of Civilization” and as someone who studied neo classical economics, what he says makes total sense.

      You do hear very little these days about “rent seeking” behaviour. Or when it does get mentioned it is in different terms such as “leveraging returns on assets”.

      Similarly, “conflict of interest” which often enables “economic rent” is typically discussed as “leveraging relationships”.

  7. griffen

    Thanksgiving dinner is around the corner. Costs to feed your favorite (or maybe unfavored?) people, for an average table of 10 are up a good bit.

    Those turkeys aren’t going to eat each other after all, unless I am wrong. Maybe just maybe there will some turkeys being handed out, but be careful out there. Some radio stations may never live this down, real life or fiction. Might forward to about 2 minute mark if in a rush.

    1. Lexx

      We have a Big Snow coming in this morning and continuing until tomorrow, so I was out grocery shopping with what seemed to be half the city at Costco. The place was packed like I’ve never seen it and there were few masks in sight, so I was getting some weird looks for mine.

      We usually have prime rib over the holidays, but not last year and maybe not this year either. I had been watching a youtube video for breaking down a beef tenderloin into “lesser cuts”, and up to Chateaubriand. It looked easy enough so I checked out the price for a small tenderloin… on average around $120. Double that price for prime rib and I still watched customers scooping them up out of the cooler.

      Two Chateaubriand from the case at a Kroger’s at $25 a pound would run us $40-$50. Breaking down the tenderloin myself becomes the smarter purchase, but holy smoke!

      The organic turkey breast we preordered last month and will pick up next week will run about $70.

      Big Meat is a Big Profitable Business. They’ll fight tooth and nail to keep meat on our menus whatever the climate cost, especially at those prices.

      Meanwhile, I have been wondering where all the the new people in town came from, what with all the out-of-state licenses plates on our streets. Another part is that they are from Denver, Boulder, and Longmont, where they were priced out of the rental market and this was next most affordable place for the working class to go… for now. Priced out here, freeing up some of those rentals, were those on low fixed incomes. They left for more affordable states east. The rental migration continues apace.

    2. Will

      Please also think ahead to your New Year festivities. There is a critical shortage of fine champagne that must be planned for.

      The company behind Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Dom Pérignon has said it is “running out of stock on our best champagnes” as the wealthy spend big on luxury goods

      He said the leap in demand had been so big that, internally, the company was referring to the current boom as “the roaring 20s”, a reference to the economic prosperity of a century ago.

      And for the long term thinkers, perhaps buy a few years worth of New Year’s bubbly as the surge in demand is forecast to last a while.

      Analysts predict that the boom in luxury goods is likely to continue as rich people spend the £2.52tn saved up during the pandemic… the sector “remains poised to see further expansion next year, and for the rest of the decade to 2030, even in the face of present economic turbulence”.

      I wonder what the ‘30s will bring.

  8. hunkerdown

    I appreciate SBF for calling out Liberal Perfectionism as the trite, adolescent idealism that it is. Taken with the Black Agenda Report essay, we can safely call out Liberal Perfectionism’s adherents and proselytes as either suckers or perpetrators. Aeon, we’re on to you.

  9. CGKen

    As a young boy I took many trips to Door County with my family and always looked forward to driving past the restaurant with goats on its roof. I thought it was so cool that the roof grew grass and the goats kept the height manageable. Why didn’t more buildings do this?

    Perhaps the start of the journey that led me to read Naked Capitalism daily and not trust the narratives we are given daily came the year we drove past and I saw a man on the roof with a lawnmower.

    1. Questa Nota

      Did you miss the goat picket line when they were protesting the work lockout due to lawn mowing? Yet another job mechanized, practically robotized. /s

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Artemis 1’s Orion capsule sends Earth 1st image of home on the way to the moon’

    Gee. An unmanned spacecraft to the Moon and back? I feel like I’m reliving the 60s again. Especially with US and Soviet, errr, Russian confrontations in a proxy war in a far off land.

    1. Polar Socialist

      And somehow completely unnoticed, at least by me and my coworkers, China added the third module onto their space station two weeks ago, and is in the process of sending a crew up there at the end of this month to finish the phase I construction and start a series of scientific experiments.

        1. orlbucfan

          Hate to disappoint you all, but NASA was/is a part of the creation/maintenance of the JWebb Space Telescope. The images that sucker is sending back make acid trips look like candy runs. And, along with their fellows in Canada and the EU, this is a totally peaceful mission.

  11. zagonostra

    >Sam Bankman-Fried oversaw FTX’s meltdown, and the fallout is reaching DC -The Verge

    He may have had easier inroads in Washington because of those kinds of connections… Bankman-Fried had been working with a number of people on the Hill and, until the collapse of FTX, was the poster child for compliance in the industry

    Sure sounds a lot like Jeffrey Epstein, and like him, BF and FTX will be handled so as not to harem those implicated. Those in the “conspiracy” world are having a field day with the nexus of those aforementioned connections just like they did with Epstein.

    Fallout? No, this event will be controlled and there won’t be any substantial fallout; like all good crisis it will be leveraged to maximize the building of the road to a digital currency that is controlled and managed so as to benefit the controllers and their Washington hirelings.

    1. Wukchumni

      Its a different gig with barely of legal age bankers screwing everybody, versus Epstein’s underage antics-the latter being political hairy carry whereas the former is only about money.

      1. zagonostra

        At this point I’m not convinced it “is only about money” and I certainly don’t think that Epstein was about “underage antics”…it goes much deeper and it gets much darker than that. I’m sure you’re familiar with Whitney Webb’s reporting on Epstein.

      1. Wukchumni

        A significant fraction of the finance industry is on Adderall – I know because they keep trying to make me prescribe it to them. This hasn’t degraded performance so much that managers have noticed or made rules against it. And for all I know, maybe the medicated mental risk curves are better for trading than the unmedicated ones. Still, I would warn everyone involved to be careful.

        The Nazis were all hopped up on Pervitin which enabled the blitzkrieg, whereas Wall*Street traders need it for the bitskrieg, and now there’s a shortage of ‘Pilot’s Salt’, er Adderall?

    2. Screwball

      I would love to see how deep the FTX rabbit hole goes, but I suspect we never will as you say. Just like Epstein, Pelosi’s hammer attack, Hunter’s laptop, etc. The magicians will make things go away/disappear and herd the masses to something else. You are not allowed to report the truth.

      For example; I watched a local TV reporter (on the street) from San Francisco a few days ago report the conflicting data in two Pelosi attack filings. He was questioning who opened the door, and how these two official reports said two different things. He merely asked why they couldn’t clear that up, but got no answer. The anchor in the studio played her role by asking “why does it matter” sort of thing. Well, because facts do matter. It was short and I didn’t think it was a big deal since I believe we will never find the real truth anyway.

      A couple days later I read the guy had been suspended from the station. Imagine that.

      1. Wukchumni

        I dunno about this one, a bunch of sloppy meth-odd actors who probably rearranged post-it notes on their screens madly in the wee hours.

        And it isn’t as if Sam knows when to shut his yap, there’s already enough to put him in Sing Sing from his swan song, but he keeps piling on when the chirps are down.

        1. BobW

          Stand by for news of a sudden fatal illness, or maybe a suicide. Yapping is not good for you, all that hot air can be unhealthy.

    3. Mikel

      And this part:
      “A person affiliated with a large crypto exchange described the senior-most levels of the Securities and Exchange Commission as being difficult to approach and expressed frustration that Bankman-Fried was able to get meetings with SEC head Gensler.

      Reports to my office allege [Gensler] was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly,” Rep. Tom Emmer wrote on Twitter. Emmer says his office is “looking into this.”

        1. Duke of Prunes

          I’ve read that his boss when he worked at MIT was the CEO of Alameda Research’s (Caroline Ellison) father.

          I’ve also read some theories that maybe the parents put their kids up to it. Explains their sudden access to so many in high places. Then again, people are stupid and psycopaths have to psycopath so maybe it is what it looks like.

  12. cnchal

    > Silence from the top: 48 hours of chaos inside Amazon’s massive layoffs Vox

    “I don’t even know if I want to work for this company any more,” an Amazon senior manager who has worked at the company for more than 10 years told Recode on Wednesday afternoon, referencing the lack of transparency from company leaders. “This is a horrendous way to treat people.”

    The real horror show is the daily whippings in the warehouse. Amazon senior management was tasked with making that happen. Not many conscientious objectors, it seems.

    On Tuesday morning, that began happening. Some Amazon employees — most notably those working in the flashy but unprofitable Alexa voice assistant division — found a calendar invitation for a 15-minute videoconference awaiting them . . . While Alexa is one of the flagship brands that Amazon is best known for, the company has been unable to generate significant revenue for the voice assistant service in the eight years since it launched and soared in popularity. The division that houses Alexa and Amazon’s own tech gadgets had lost more than $5 billion annually in recent years, the Wall Street Journal reported in early November.

    One fat Nimitz unit here, one fat Nimitz unit there, whose counting? How about the $100 + billion Jeff spends annually to induce whip cracking sadists to shop at his store?

    “The truth of the matter is that if the company was more transparent, we wouldn’t have this shitshow,” another Amazon senior manager told Recode. “Now you have most of the population wondering if they are next.”

    The words Amazon and shitshow from an Amazon senior manager, priceless.

  13. SocalJimObjects

    My Chinese teacher was still pretty gung ho last week about China opening up, but now that there are signs that Covid restrictions will be relaxed, she’s managed to somehow get religion and wonder about how her parents and the older generations will be impacted.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      My guess – and its only a guess – is that what is going on is a power play between levels of government. In simple terms, local governments are trying to signal that zero covid is unsustainable until they get a lot more resources from Beijing, their budgets are under too much strain. They know the worst case scenario for Beijing is to have covid run loose while zero covid is still the official policy, so the message from below is: ‘either change the policy, or give us more money’. Needless to say, in a country as vast as China there are multiple interest groups pulling in various directions.

  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    Since the US has a rate of generals and admirals that match World War 2, the US doesn’t have the experienced personel to do anything without including a “general” or “admiral” doing the job of a Lt. Colonel.

    1. amechania

      To be fair (although your right) with the new scale and complexity, a rational organization would add more ranks. Perhaps one at the bottom and one in the middle to avoid upsetting the history crowd.

  15. Wukchumni

    Nouriel Roubini Says More… Project Syndicate

    I started to read it and then an image of Count Formaldehyde popped up on my screen in a small box looking like a forlorn puppy dog who had missed a meal, and I couldn’t ‘X’ it out despite there being an escape route on the upper right hand corner, in theory.

    I’m guessing he’s really down on the economy and who can blame him even though record of picking the next downfall sure to come is 0-15 in the past years.

    1. upstater

      I loved this Roubini quote:

      >Historically, fiscal policies – including progressive taxation – have had only a modest impact on inequality.

      Apparently he didn’t notice how CEO vs worker compensation went from 8 or 12 to 1 to 300-400:1 today. Or the role of schemes like stock compensation, carried interest or low capital gains rates. Recall Mitt Romney’s 13% tax rate.

      Is it the water in Manhattan that does this? Dr. Doom needs to retire.

      1. hunkerdown

        Pathos isn’t an argument. Capitalism, through the private property relation, naturally drives wealth upward, and no amount of idealistic perfectionism is going to change that fact; in fact, to the contrary, idealistic perfectionism allows the crimes that form the state to go unpunished and unretributed.

    2. chuck roast

      Roubini has the unfortunate malady that he is usually diagnosed to be proven right. IMHO an excellent macroeconomist, unencumbered by orthodoxy. So, it’s the rare day that I disagree with him. He says that increased wages “…lead to higher inflation by increasing wage inflation.” It’s my understanding that increases in productivity and the development an export market mitigates this wage inflation. But, I understand that we can’t have an export market and the world’s reserve currency.

      Additionally, The Doctor opines that the rise of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation mean that labor is set to become even weaker over time, as humans lose many jobs.” These are increases in worker productivity that he assumes will be appropriated by capital. If there was ever an argument for surplus capital… Anyway, why shouldn’t these bennies go to labor? Say, in the form of a reduced work week that would keep neer-do-wells like me employed, but with more time off for good behavior.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Cold, dark confusion grips Ukraine after Putin’s missile barrage”

    Some people need to be kept on a leash. So this story talks about this woman who missed her father’s funeral. So she takes her two young daughters – one aged seven, the other five – to go visit and console her mother in the Ukraine. I’m sorry but this is just nuts. Think about it. She is taking herself and her two little girls into an active war zone that is undergoing aerial bombardment and suffering constant blackout. She would know that the trains are getting dodgy too. Be better if she left her two young kids back in the UK, met her mother at the border, and brought her safety with her in the UK. And her father? Sorry but he isn’t going anywhere and so can wait till the war is over. There is also the additional danger that perhaps she wouldn’t be allowed to leave the country but would be told to report to the nearest recruitment office.

    1. Tom Bradford

      They missed the sad-eyed family dog they had to leave behind, Tiny Tim in his leg-braces and crutch facing a horrible death as the Russians are preventing him getting his medication and the totally unnecessary burning down by the retreating Russian Army of the little family home in which the grandparents struggled to raise their 14 children to become upstanding citizens of mother Ukraine.

      You just don’t get the quality hack journalists coughing over their beer-stained notebooks in smoky pubs any more, though I’d blame the price of cigarettes and beer these days, and of course the Clean Air Act.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “NASA war-games an asteroid impact disaster and it goes badly’

    Luckily these war-games were not being run by the Pentagon but by NASA instead. If they had been running it, they would have immediately ordered a total reset, for the asteroid to be reduced in size from 70 meters in diameter to 35 meters in diameter, and for NATO to have seen it coming for the previous five years allowing time to develop and build asteroid-deflection vehicles. And if that had not worked, to see if Bruce Willis was up for one more mission. But if not, they would say ‘Armageddon out of here!’

    1. Ben Joseph

      “Some have observed that the dinosaurs died because they lacked a space program.”

      What a slogan for science. NASA should make a t-shirt.

  18. Tom Stone

    That report on Neo Nazi’s in Italy is just the beginning, if Ukraine is like Vietnam half of the weapons shipped there have been redirected, either sold to whoever has the money or distributed to like minded groups.
    We are not talking about a few weapons, we are talking about hundreds of Stingers floating around.
    I’d be surprised if a pallet or two manifested to Ukraine didn’t stay in the USA, the US Military has had a
    “Problem” with both Right wing extremists and gang members for decades.
    The “Soft Air” weapons they mention are Airsoft weapons, they are not easily modified to fire live ammo, but you can take the full auto switch off of an airsoft Glock 18, pop it onto a Glock 17 and you have a full auto machine pistol.
    Not very useful because they are very hard to control, but plenty noisy and a huge “Cool factor” for the LARPERS.

    1. digi_owl

      Didn’t Germany recently uncover a neo-nazi group in their military, that had high ranking officers as members?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “US blames Iran for Tuesday’s drone attack on Eastern Pacific product tanker”

    After the shenanigans over the fate of the Baltic Sea pipelines, is anybody interested in accusations by Washington anymore? I have one. So a convoy of 22 Iranian tanker trucks carrying fuel was traveling from Iran to Lebanon to help them out as they are in so much strife. ‘The US warned Lebanon on Wednesday against accepting gifts of fuel from Iran, telling the crisis-hit country that it could be subject to US sanctions if it goes ahead with the importation of Iranian oil.’ So as soon as that convoy had crossed the border, drones attacked them killing 15 people and destroying the trucks. Doesn’t matter if they were US or Israeli droned that did it as the orders would have come from Washington to crush the Lebanese economy-

  20. Jason Boxman

    Then on Tuesday evening, large swaths of the company’s HR division, including recruiters and software engineers alike, received a buyout offer, or voluntary release program.

    Not a surprise; I used to get recruiter messages on LinkedIn from 3 or 4 different Amazon recruiters about the same positions earlier this year. Doesn’t seem very efficient to me. And yet the scheduling system was supposedly automated, although it seemed broken.

  21. All Ice

    Re as many Generals and Admirals as in WW2.

    It is really outrageous that this bloat is permitted. In WW2 in 1945 the size of the Army was 8,267,958, the size of the Navy was 3,380,817, the size of the marines was 474,680, and the size of the Coast Guard was 85,783, totaling 12,209,238. The justification must be that this bloat in generals and admirals is not disproportionate to the overall bloat in the MIC. No- the US Govt is hegemon that doesn’t need to justify anything it does and the generals and admirals are its enforcers.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Didn’t Dire Straits write a song about this?

      “Medals for nothing and your cheques for free”

      1. Wukchumni

        Saw Dire Straits a few times in the UK and a bunch of times in the states, great band who helped quash disco!

        This song from the mid 80’s seems oddly contemporary in the lyrics…

        I am just an ageing drummer boy
        And in the wars I used to play
        And I’ve called a tune to many a torture session
        Now they say I am a war criminal
        And I’m fading away
        Father, please hear my confession

        … I have legalized robbery

        Called it belief
        I have run with the money
        I have a-hid like a thief
        Re-written history
        With my armies and my crooks
        Invented memories
        I did burn all the books

        … And I can still hear his laughter
        And I can still hear his song

        … The man’s too big
        The man’s too strong

        The Man’s Too Strong, by Dire Straits

        1. Mikel

          Except disco wasn’t squashed. It went underground and mutated and merged into other forms: house, techo, D&B, etc. It even did some co-mingling with rap. Then it re-emerged as mainstream pop music in 2000s/2010s.

    2. russell1200

      You should see an increase in officers, relative to overall troops, as the communication revolution and advanced weaponry decreases the size of units, and increases the firepower/person. You will also have some bloat as there always has to be some anticipation that you will need to fill in officers for new units if you do have to go to conscription for a big war scenario.

      But this bloat looks more like the bloat you see in college administrations. Some of it due to regulatory pressures, but also because you have this income stream (college loans) which increases revenues: and said revenue increases need to be justified.

  22. IM Doc

    I saw this interesting tweet this morning.

    It appears to be an advertisement for an upcoming New York Times “TED”-like talk.

    The problem is that the credibility of the New York Times is now so destroyed that it is impossible for the reader to discern if this is real or an elaborate fake……….

    1. zagonostra

      a live event with Sam Bankman-Fried, Zelensky, Zuckerberg and U.S. Treasury’s Janet Yellen.

      Heck they should include former George W. Bush back, he and Zelensky just had a staged event…maybe Bono can provide some music and Sean Penn can curate.

  23. Wukchumni

    Early Humans May Have Cooked Fish 780,000 Years Ago Smithsonian
    I love hot springs, they’re so primal with water emanating from the very bowels movement underfoot.

    Probably the first cooked food ever was an egg of some sort which fell into the aqua caliente and just like that humanity was 1/3rd of the way to an egg salad sandwich.

    1. semper loquitur

      My guess is that the first cooked foods were cooked by forest fires triggered by lighting strikes. I think there was an article linked here a while back detailing how animals will forage through forest fire stricken areas for cooked meat. Doubtless our ancestors did the same as civilization rose. Egg salad sandwiches, on the other hand, were a product of a civilization in decline…

        1. Don

          Mayonnaise: In the style of the Balearic Islands, from Mahón, (or Maó in Catalan), the capital of Menorca.

  24. Half Bankrupt

    “I don’t even know if I want to work for this company any more,” an Amazon senior manager who has worked at the company for more than 10 years told Recode on Wednesday afternoon, referencing the lack of transparency from company leaders. “This is a horrendous way to treat people.”

    Another one who thought they were special and wouldn’t be treated the way the warehouse workers and drivers are treated. Idiot.

  25. fresno dan

    (I don’t subscribe to the Washington Post, so I get these WP snippets from a right wing site.)
    Federal agents and prosecutors have come to believe former president Donald Trump’s motive for allegedly taking and keeping classified documents was largely his ego and a desire to hold on to the materials as trophies or mementos, according to people familiar with the matter.

    That review has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump’s possession, these people said. FBI interviews with witnesses so far, they said, also do not point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets. Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property, these people said.
    I think the documents were a McGuffin to distract people from the real grift …Trump is really making billions by all the White House towels, sheets, paper weights, and pens he absconded with and is selling on eBay
    OH, and I know some cynical people will think the WP published this after the mid terms because the Post favors dems….

  26. Maxwell Johnston

    How a lightly-sourced AP story almost set off World War III–

    Events like this–when something is presented as a fact, but then rolled back a few hours later–are extremely useful in showing people’s true colors. How they behave during those few hours can be most instructive. Anders Aslund’s openly calling for bombing RU, imposing a no-fly zone over UKR, and “cleaning out” the RU Black Sea fleet tells us everything we need to know about this Swedish economist. I already held him in low esteem based on his activities in RU during the 1990s, but these comments really take the cake.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Anders Aslund’s presence has graced the pages of NC several times before – and never in a good way.

  27. Jason Boxman

    Rare good news:

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the face of House Democrats for two decades and the first woman to serve in the post, announced on Thursday that she would leave leadership in January following narrow election losses that cost Democrats their majority, but will remain in Congress.

    Although it’s a shame she won’t just resign and go away completely.

  28. Kouros

    Something must be done against Russia in Black Sea, bemoans War on the Rocks. Moar ships, moar Harpoons, moar submarines for Ukrainians. And more training for troops to conduct naughty operations. Russia must not control the Black Sea!

    War on the rocks, truly.

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