Links 11/23/2022

British man catches absolutely massive goldfish Boing Boing (resilc)

Warmest Tent on Earth – Pitching in the Siberian Arctic Winter – Ненецкая палатка чум YouTube (resilc)

Nomadic lifestyle of the northern mountains of Iran in Winter YouTube (resilc). ZOMG, the father is tough! Heavy boots and a hat, yes, but no gloves and wearing what looks like a suit (presumably with a sweater and leggings underneath, but still….)

Meta AI Bot Contributed to Fake Research and Nonsense Before Being Pulled Offline Gizmodo (Kevin W) versus Meta’s board game-playing AI can pass as a human in diplomacy game negotiations New Scientist (Dr. Kevin). Um, some humans are really bad negotiators…

Does Consuming Cannabis Boost Creativity? Nautlius (Micael T)

A 48,500-year-old virus has been revived from Siberian permafrost New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

#COVID-19

Enough time to make one by Christmas:

Asia

Beijing shuts parks, Shanghai tightens entry as China COVID cases rise Reuters

Coronavirus in China: ‘critical moment’ for Beijing with cases at record high South China Morning Post

Climate/Environment

Carbon Negative Energy Storage from Abandoned Oil Wells Might be a Win, Win, Win Climate Crock of the Week (Chuck L)

Esa mulls Solaris plan to beam solar energy from space BBC. Resilc: “Too many Star Warzzzz movies and the EU can’t keep the lights on this month.”

Tiny Aerosols Pose a Big Predicament in a Warming World Wired (resilc)

China?

China Announces New Social Credit Law MIT Technology Review

Huge Foxconn iPhone plant in China rocked by fresh worker unrest Reuters

Old Blighty

NHS bosses in Scotland discuss having wealthy pay for treatment BBC (resilc)

The charge sheet against Brexit’s guilty men just keeps growing Chris Grey (guurst)

Bolsonaro contests Brazil election loss, wants votes voided Associated Press (David L)

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainian Consequences: Energy in Europe YouTube (resilc)

Putin’s nuclear grip on Europe could spark another energy crisis, expert warns Express

Ukraine to hike transit fees for Russian oil to EU RT. Kevin W: Also problems with the Ukraine swiping gas from Moldova’s deliveries – ‘Gazprom threatens cut-off over Ukrainian theft

Europe’s Wind Industry Is Stumbling When It’s Needed Most New York Times (resilc)

Poor French households ‘having to choose between eating and heating’ this winter France 24

OFAC Guidance on Implementation of the Price Cap Policy for Crude Oil of Russian Federation Origin U.S. Treasury. The “who is liable” part is the same as we flagged earlier: Tier 1 are parties who have direct access to price info like brokers and traders. Other parties can rely on their attestation so long as there is no reason to suspect funny business. Mixing oil supposedly does not make it non-Russia except for residues. Ban supposedly extends to everyone involved, like ship owners, insurers, customs brokers, and national ship registries. Nothing on enforcement or punishments.

* * *

EU plans subsidy war chest as industry faces ‘existential’ threat from US Politico

* * *

Ukraine War Day #272: Why Shell A Nuclear Power Plant? Mystery Explained Awful Avalanche (guurst)

It’s Costing Peanuts for the US to Defeat Russia CEPA. Stephen:

This delusional advertorial might be worth linking to. Underlines your earlier comments that there is limited / no appetite for the US to make peace, and plenty of money being poured into the war party.

Obviously, Ukrainian lives do not count in the cost benefit analysis either, according to authors like this.

The major UK war industry company BAe Systems is one of the sponsors of CEPA that hosts this drivel, along with Lockheed et al. So (amazingly) is Mercedes. The money go round of war as a business seems very real.

Ukraine to protest over Orban scarf showing Hungary including part of Ukraine Reuters (resilc)

Syraqistan

House Members Push for U.N. Oversight of Yemen Atrocities Intercept

World Cup 2022: Yemen’s Houthis congratulate Saudi Arabia for win over Argentina Middle East Eye (resilc)

Saudi Arabia executes 12 people with swords even after Crown Prince’s promise to cut back Mirror

Israel: Netanyahu asked the world to forget the occupation. Ben-Gvir wants it front and centre Middle East Eye (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US primacy is relegated to the sidelines at World Cup Responsible Statecraft

‘Not the progress I would have hoped for’: Pentagon fails latest financial audit Breaking Defense. From last week, still germane.

McCarthy calls on DHS Secretary Mayorkas to resign, threatens impeachment inquiry The Hill

Blood Telegram – Bangladesh 1971 Adam Tooze (resilc)

Trump

Some Advice for Jack Smith, the New Special Counsel in the Trump Investigations New York Times (David L)

Supreme Court Clears House Panel to Get Trump’s Tax Returns Bloomberg

Ron DeSantis would have to overcome Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP primary Vox. Resilc: “Trump eats him for brunch.”

Biden

Biden extends student loan repayments freeze amid lawsuits BBC

Supreme Court agrees to hear Jack Daniel’s trademark case against dog toy company CNBC. Kevin W: “Priorities!”

Parkland parent named Broward chair, replaces DeSantis appointee Miami Herald (furzy)

The Bezzle

Christie’s Pulled a $25 Million T-Rex Skeleton From Auction After Experts Pointed Out That Most of Its Bones Are Replicas ArtNews (Jules)

Crypto: Everyone Was Just That Stupid Heisenberger Report (resilc)

Senators press Fidelity to reconsider allowing bitcoin access in 401(k) plans MarketWatch (resilc)

With tens of thousands of cars in stock, Tesla will cut prices Huxiu (resilc, original here)

Zoom Shares Plunge 90% From Peak As Pandemic Boom Fades Reuters

What Would Breaking Up Ticketmaster and Live Nation Actually Do? New York Magazine (resilc)

‘Manager started capping people’: Cops say SEVEN people are killed including the shooter during bloody Walmart rampage as worker reveals ‘manager’ opened fire on staff in break room Daily Mail

Instead of Black Friday, try Buy Nothing Day! Boing Boing

Class Warfare

Severely ill refusing sicknotes as they cannot afford time off, says GPs’ head Guardian

Joe Biden Is Finally Moving Toward Allowing Bankruptcy to Eliminate Student Debt Jacobin (resilc)

Canada: Why the country wants to bring in 1.5m immigrants by 2025 BBC

Judge orders Amazon to stop retaliating against union organizers MarketWatch (resilc)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus. guurst recommends sound on:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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185 comments

  1. Antifa

    DINGO
    (melody borrowed from Ringo by Lorne Greene)

    They live where they can in the Outback
    The wild dogs the dingos
    Half-starved and worse
    Mostly scared of people
    But you’ve got to watch your back
    There’s always one watching — it’s a mystery
    Most of them are varmints
    But every once in a while in one of them
    There may be found
    A friend

    Drivin’ a road train through the Great Outback
    Three trailers for this insomniac
    Jacked on reds and caffeine juice
    And recreational substance abuse
    Which is no surprise in this enterprise
    That’s the day I first laid eyes
    on Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    He was skin and bones lying in the road
    I was well into psychedelic mode
    So I parked my rig and clambered out
    He came over to eat me when he heard my shout
    He bit me twice I bit him back
    That day I joined the forlon pack
    of Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    I fed him jerky and a sticky bun
    I call him Ratface just for fun
    We stopped at every lonseome tree
    And found we were good company
    We sang and howled to heavy metal
    I kept my foot down on that pedal
    wih Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    I took him to a vet in Adelaide
    That doctor started throwing shade
    At Ratface — said he’s not canine
    He asked about my state of mind
    I asked him for a rabies shot
    He said a rifle’s all I’ve got
    for Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    So he’s got no license got no shots
    Has a chewed up tail and some mangey spots
    They won’t let me walk him at the mall
    I got a Health Department conference call
    The police keep knocking on my door
    My wife won’t live here anymore
    with Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    He’s learned some tricks he’s versatile
    He chews through cans in the grocery aisle
    I don’t clean it up it’s not our mess
    It’s part of his ‘cognitive process’
    He slips his collar for kangaroos
    Three times he’s been on the TV news
    my Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    But a mob of farmers — men of sheep
    Sued me and said I could not keep
    A vicious beast like Ratface here
    A judge and jury made it clear
    Ratface must go back to the wild
    I lost all rights to my stepchild
    my Dingo

    <em(Dingo)

    It was a week before I did the deed
    On my next road trip Ratface was freed
    He didn’t look back didn’t stay to gab
    But I’m not alone in my great big cab
    I found a jumbuck in a swagman’s noose
    I adopted him and call him Bruce
    not Dingo

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    <em(Dingo, Dingo)

    Reply
  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Creative stoners–

    Definitely a bogus study. Look at this:

    But we also had third-party evaluators look at the outputs of the creativity tasks our subjects tried, and we did not find a relationship between cannabis use and that creativity, as rated by third-party evaluators.

    No sh-t, Sherlock. The “evaluators” needed to be stoned to properly judge the creative quality of our stoners’ output. ;)

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Heh, but there is a real problem. They confound the brainstorming exercise with goal-direction, which, as we know, is not a famous stoner characteristic. More sensuous, performative arts, such as dance, music, brush work, or even comedy (as they allude), seem more likely to reveal an effect.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        …and small scale organic/sustainable agriculture/horticulture/permaculture.
        moderate weed use is akin to the reliable functioning of the ranch golf cart/Falcon…as in productivity plummets without it.
        a million years ago, Les Grinspoon’s book (something like “revisiting marihuana”) referenced a study of laborors in the jamaican hinterland that found similar results regarding productivity, motivation/gumption etc.
        in that study…and i suspise in what this study is attempting…freedom from persecution(ie: have a splif and relax and get into the flow) was an essential component.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      I knew a numismatist who used to ‘drug-test’ prospective employees as he was looking for creative stoners with a work ethic-like him. Your eyes were really the most important asset of your skill set as differentiating the grade of a coin (the condition) precisely was where you made your money on old money, and for the right kind of extremely near-sighted numismatist, indulging heightened their visual acuity, from what I saw.

      Before the internet, coin shows were a mainstay of the business and there was quite the lingo that came with the pursuit of aged round metal discs by men (almost entirely dominated by dudes-the profession) and if you asked if anybody had any copper coins, that meant you were on the prowl for some marijuana. If you inquired about silver coins, that was code for cocaine.

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        In the ’80s it was my understanding that cannabis and cocaine were openly traded on the Chicago Board of Exchange using similar insider jargon. Unlike most trading, buyers did insist on immediate delivery.

        Reply
        1. Late Introvert

          I used to work for a video post-production house, and the boss lady used to meet with other CEOs who recommended that she drug test her staff and she replied “but I would have to fire everyone!” That was the best job I ever had for sure.

          Reply
    3. Spider Monkey

      It certainly helped my creativity and problem solving, problem was by the time I got around to pursuing tasks the next day I hadn’t the motivation to do anything with it!

      Reply
    4. indices

      I have always wondered if, back in the 60s when psychedelics and marijuana were sweeping the land and hippies were an unknown quantity and a possibly dangerous phenomenon, the powers that be decided that if people wanted to get high — well, let’s get them lots of cocaine (not, of course, unknown for some time at the time), possibly the most addictive substance on Earth, and they will be happy to use it instead of all those psychedelic unknown quantities… with the plus that it would cost plenty money, so coke head hippies would soon become coke head yuppies. Course, now we have crystal meth on top of everything else.

      Reply
      1. Spider Monkey

        That’s a lot of the argument for the people who argue for the CIA bringing in coke…funds their operation. PLUS it’s very hard to run psyops on people who dabble with the likes of mushrooms. What they think being right or wrong is one thing, but people who have taken psychedelics generally are much freer thinkers.

        Reply
  3. paul

    Here in Jockistan, the big news is that the UK supreme court has decided that we are not a colony, we are a country in a voluntary union of equals which cannot have any say in its own determination.

    Mission accomplished for the first minister, the answer to a question that should have been asked 6 years ago in the aftermath of another (non binding) referendum.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, it was a strange decision, seemingly internally contradictory, but thats hardly surprising.

      Seems you’ll have to get the nationalists out of power to be a nation. There is a precedent to your southwest.

      Reply
      1. paul

        An unnecessarily unpleasant precedent in our sophisticated, breakup happy age.

        ..but maybe thinking has changed a lot less than the territory controlled.

        Reply
  4. griffen

    FTX implosion and the above tweet. I caught up on some of this news from yesterday, regarding the real estate purchased by FTX employees or execs plus the salacious part of the Bankman Fried parents also buying some new digs. They would all be so convenient and nearby, like a commune but without the garden.

    How does any of this hold up under scrutiny, in the event those were not arms length or distinctive non FTX related transactions? Sorry if I’m wondering out loud here. I heard some kerfuffle on CNBC yesterday as well, regarding the release (or not) of FTX customers in the bankruptcy filing. The bizarre nature of this all unwinding continues to amaze, at the level of absolute a$$hole behavior by SBF and the rest of them.

    Reply
    1. TiPs

      As Bill Black wrote, the best way to rob a bank is to own one. However, the hurdle for starting a bank is very, very high unless your part of the good ol’ boy banking network. I’m starting to believe the end purpose of crypto is an end-around into banking. The crypto “exchanges” are more bank-like than exchange. The real purpose was to create a bank-like entity with access to those crypto deposits. Of course, without regulation it’s the era of wildcat crypto banking (or maybe more akin to what Black wrote about, the S&L fraud) which attracts a mostly nefarious element that would never be allowed in the “real” banking club (despite the fact the personalities aren’t all that different). What a surprise these characters used “depositor” money for their own gain…

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Factional banking is all the rage now, and truth be said before the FTX imbrogliowe, I hadn’t really paid attention to what they were about-just not interested.

        You typically only find out what made a fraud tick after they fall apart, resulting in the surmise of surprise.

        I think the bigger picture of it all that isn’t being addressed in the media is in regards to who got taken and its overwhelmingly young adults, most of whom lost everything… and when ya ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose. You’re invisible now, ya got no secret money to conceal.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Sad to say that all those young adults discovered that they were not dealing with so much factional banking but with FTX, it was more a case of fictional banking. Going to take a guess here and say that because of the very slow pace in going after those hucksters, that all the big and powerful people got their money out as it all fell apart so the government no longer really cares. I might even take it a step further and suggest that all those movements of money from FTX after their crash was that money being used to make wealthy investors whole again. In effect, buying them off – with their own money.

          Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, Dayen has this wrong. The Keating Five were aggressively interfering with active investigations of particular S&Ls. They’d show up in senior examiners offices to harass them. By contrast, this is bog standard Congresscritter browbeating regulators in hearings and via letters on behalf of funders, who are also often big employers/taxpayers in their districts. IMHO, Nancy Pelosi trying to start a war with China to curry favor with Chinese voters in her district is much worse.

          Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          The “What I Think I Do” vs. “What I Really Do” meme seems an apposite piece of memetic canon. Just four more book covers to complete it.

          “What Society Thinks I Do” (pick any tawdry pulp novel cover)

          “What My Mom Thinks I Do” (Dr. Dolittle)

          Reply
        2. Wukchumni

          Its easy to hate on Ayn, but did she nail our current circumstances down to size in her ‘Money Speech’ from 65 years ago?

          So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

          Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

          Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

          Reply
            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Since she comes off like a Bag Lady, especially in her infamous interview with Mike Wallace (available on YouTube), that’s no surprise.

              Reply
            1. Procopius

              She resisted applying for Social Security for a long time. Finally, the persuasion of her friends and her poverty made her do it, but I still consider her a hypocrite.

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                She also took Medicare but instead of using her real name used her married name to hide the fact. For her, it was a case of government aid for me but not for thee.

                Reply
          1. MT_Wild

            I should probably read more Rand, because she seems pretty spot on in this piece. But she suffer’s a guilt by association bias due to her more ardent supporters.

            Reply
            1. Bugs

              Oh my. Some of the most turgid and banal prose ever published as serious reading.

              I chanced upon a copy of Atlas at an ex’s mom’s house and spent a few hours reading it over a weekend, just in an attempt to understand the admiration some have for her (Rand, not my ex’s mom). Eye rolling, hilarity and anger ensued. I do recommend everyone who has an interest at least read a bit of it though. It helps to decipher some of the stuff that libertarians are always on about.

              Reply
              1. Wukchumni

                It makes for a better doorstop than a how to manual, but the money speech always stuck with me, amongst the schmaltz rigor one must endure to get to the good part.

                Reply
                1. anahuna

                  I tend to suspect that when she talks about money being “forcibly taken away” she’s referring to taxation.

                  The words we sling at others come back to bite us. “Moochers” — seems she brcame one herself in her later years.

                  Reply
              2. Karl

                In my adolescent days I read Atlas several times….I never could get through the “Money” speech, though.

                I was a pretty convinced libertarian until, in my mid-twenties, I read Garett Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons and other tomes. His “mutual coercion mutually agreed upon” (to save the environment) was the beginning of a long and slippery slope to the “Red Pill” that opened my eyes to the limits and externalities of individualism and competition.

                Individualism breaks down because of unfortunate group dynamics from freedom (Prisoner’s Dilemma, Fallacy of Composition, concentration of wealth and power).

                Ayn Rand was fine with “All Power to the Capitalists.” Her ideal society–a variation on Plato’s Republic–was a governing class, not of philosophers, but of accomplished industrialists– Male, Female, black, white. She was Russian, grew up under Bolshevism, and was fighting “All Power to the Soviets.” She worshipped Aristotle, but I think deep down she was a Platonist who would have been quite fine with a Capitalist dictatorship (or “Republic”, rather like oligarchic early Venice), as long as it was based on merit.

                The problem is, capitalism was never the pure meritocracy she idealized because of the corrupting effect of concentrated power.

                I still contend that there is much in the meritocratic vision to admire. She was an early advocate of women’s right to succeed and a fierce opponent of racism, anti-semitism, other horrific “isms” of the 20th century.

                Reply
              3. lyman alpha blob

                Best description I ever heard was some wag who described Rand’s Objectivism as the squishy Wonder Bread on the buffet of ideas.

                Reply
            2. spud

              dictionaries include RANDROID as an accepted word, its considered a noun, here is the definition: randroid Noun (plural Randroids) (slang, derogatory) A supporter of Ayn Rand’s philosophies, particularly an overzealous one.

              http://www.yourdictionary.com/randroid
              A Randroid is a follower of Objectivism, a phallocentric religion designed to turn basement dwellers into self-righteous zealots devoted to the worship of a dead soviet hag. It is the most rational belief system in human history.

              Firstly, the randroid – incapable of independent thought, parrots lines from Rand and other similar thinkers and thinks that wins them the discussion.

              definition of Randroidism – anyone who doesn’t agree with Ayn Rand shows himself incapable of thinking for himself. This can be clearly seen from individuals who quote Ayn Rand as if it was scripture or other holy writ. Just as fanatic Christians will find a passage in the bible that supports their point of view, so will the followers of Randroidism find a passage in the works of Ayn Rand.
              With any philosophy or religion, there will be people who regurgitate the dogma they believe. It is difficult for such an individual to see beyond what exists in their world view. A true grasp of any religion or philosophy requires the understanding of the other points of view. Quoting scripture does not show that this understanding is present and thus it is pointless to argue with such philosophasters – they hear and see only what fits what they know.
              ————————————————————————————————————-

              Generally, the work of Ms. Rand is hugely enjoyed by people with the literary sensitivities of 11-year-olds who imagine they have fierce political sophistication. These people, due to their often-slavish devotion to Objectivist principles, are often called Randroids.

              Reply
              1. Karl

                That was a long fierce rant. What is at the bottom of that? My experience is that those with the strongest opinions about her have not read her, or not very deeply.

                While there are undoubtedly Randroids (as there are Trumpoids and every other flavor of non-critical thought), that is a subset, and probably a small one, of the class that has actually read Rand (have you?) and finds much in her philosophy to admire, even if it is incomplete. She was, for example, a rare novelist that had female characters who were smart and powerful in male roles (Atlas was published in 1957, pre Friedan et. al.) and for this reason I was an early adopter of the the feminist (and other pro-civil rights) viewpoints. I’ll take Objectivism over the many other more oppressive (and much more “phallocentric”) “isms” of history. Her influence on philosophic thought (even in academe) continues to grow, a difficult feat for a novelist.

                Reply
            3. ChrisPacific

              I think she’s best understood as a prophet or religious figure, like Nostradamus or the writers of the Bible. She’s not actually saying anything very much here, just telling a story. It means what you want it to mean. You could read it to a socialist and a free market libertarian and they’d probably both nod along in agreement, the former assuming that “criminals-by-right and looters-by-law” refers to executives of big monopolistic companies, and the latter assuming it means government and the taxman.

              Reply
          2. hunkerdown

            So money is a token of value, its value is alienation, and that’s something that Rand’s dream society should value. Yeah, nah.

            Reply
          3. Carolinian

            I’ll keep on hating. Probably apocryphal but it’s said that when Frank Lloyd Wright got a copy of The Fountainhead he threw it across the room and said “what junk.” Hardly surprising that one of her early jobs was as a screenwriter for Cecil B. Demille.

            Reply
            1. Karl

              Wright and Rand were friends so I think there’s more context to that story, if it is true. Wright was reportedly involved in the movie production of “The Fountainhead”, as was Rand herself. What we do know is that Wright scoffed at the aesthetics of “Howard Roark” as depicted in drawings shown in the movie.

              Reply
              1. Carolinian

                Your link–from a pro Rand site–suggests it was aesthetic horror toward the movie that was indeed the source of that anecdote. But it is thin and speculative on the question of whether Rand and Wright had any real relationship other than fangirl and famous (and vain) architect. Which is to say if he didn’t throw the book across the room he should have. It is ludicrous.

                Rand’s better known associate Greenspan is more representative of her cadre.

                Reply
                1. Keith Newman

                  Speaking of throwing things across a room and Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW), I just visited his house in Chicago. His children had a room with a 10 foot high ceiling. The two boys were separated from the two girls by a seven foot high wall. They used to throw pillows and the cat over the wall at each other! The cat!!
                  Re “Atlas Shrugged”: read it 40 years ago. Found it poorly written and boring.

                  Reply
          4. KD

            Money is created by Looters (State’s) issuing fiat currency, generally in the first instance to levy taxes. Further, piracy and robbery, as well as those schemes which most resemble them, have the highest return on invested capital.

            Reply
          5. lyman alpha blob

            Meh. She’s not wrong I guess, but she also sets up a straw man to make herself look smart. The “root of all evil” quote is originally from the Bible and she misrepresents it. It never said money is the root of all evil, it said the love of money was.

            She leaves out the key part of the quote to try to disprove it, and winds up saying the same thing as the Bible did. Money is a tool. Those who covet it too much create crime and fraud, etc. and all the concomitant civil discontent.

            Reply
      1. Lost in OR

        Hopefully, living and losing through this will help youngsters grok the true nature of the market.

        My son has a religious fervor with regards to the power of Wall Street. He is sure he will be retiring early off market wealth. All evidence of WS malfeasance is dismissed without a second thought.

        Reply
    2. Tom Stone

      As far as a creditor attaching Real Estate in the Bahama’s there may be a few complications.
      Bahamian law is derived from British Law, but it is decidedly different.
      How the properties are held ( Which legal entity holds title) matters, so does where the money came from to purchase those properties.
      FTX apparently controlled either 130 or 160 ( I have seen both #’s) business entities, many of them corporations.
      And in may cases there are no financial records for these entities.
      If SBF and his group were moderately competent ( Or so incompetent that the effect is the same) it may not be possible to trace the source of the funds used to buy these properties or other assets with any degree of confidence.
      SBF does seem to be aware of how important good relations with the local authorities and regulators are, transferring a few hundred Million $ to the Bahamian Government after BK had been filed was brilliant.
      At the least it guarantees the Bar in the Bahama’s will get a nice cut.

      Reply
    3. Wukchumni

      The coin biz started using the teletype in the 60’s in the USA and it was a closed system open only to those that paid for the privilege, kind of similar to the internet with buy/sell quotes on coins. It was still going strong until the internet done showed up.

      There have always been all that glitters gonifs who absconded with the assets kind of similar to SB-F, with my favorite being this one, and almost immediately after news broke, wags on the teletype were doing but/sell spreads on spray-painted gold 2×4 ‘ingots’.

      International Gold Bullion Exchange was a gold bullion dealer that committed major fraud during the early 1980s.

      International Gold Bullion Exchange was founded in 1979 by brothers William and James Alderdice. It grew to be reportedly the largest retail gold bullion dealer in the United States. It offered sale and storage of gold and silver bullion and coins. The company would sell gold bullion at a discount if the buyer agreed to postpone taking delivery. It was headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with offices in Los Angeles and Dallas and employed over 1000 people. The company advertised in national publications like the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.

      The company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 1983 and then ceased operating. When the company’s offices were raided by law enforcement, it turned out that the gold bar stacks shown in their advertising were only wooden blocks painted a gold color. While it operated the company collected over $140 million. At the time it shut down, there were $75 million in claims by 23,000 people. The company spent over $44 million on personal spending, salaries, marketing and travel and had little in assets when it shut down. (Wiki)

      Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine to protest over Orban scarf showing part of Ukraine as Hungarian territory”c

    Reuters making it all about the Ukraine once again. The scarf that Orban wore showed what could be termed Greater Hungary and includes territory that are now part of the countries of Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia and Slovakia. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has already let their displeasure be known to the Hungarians and a German MEP said that that scarf would be very ‘reassuring for Hungary’s neighbors’ but somehow Reuters made it all about the Ukraine.

    Reply
    1. JohnA

      And in the meantime, Ukrainian soccer ‘fans’ have been daubing nazi slogans on world cup billboards and posters in Qatar.

      Reply
    2. Karl

      The article quotes Orban as saying–

      “Soccer is not politics. Do not read things into it that are not there,” he wrote. “The Hungarian national team belongs to all Hungarians, wherever they live!”

      Actually by saying this I think he revealed a basic truth: national sports like soccer, baseball, football ARE politics, absolutely. They are rituals of nationalism with all the patriotic pomp and imagery of national war observances. I’ve always felt that U.S. football, in particular, was a symbolic gladiatorial celebration of warfare. This became more obvious when the U.S. defense department in the 2014-15 seasons funded NFL half-time extravaganzas to honor the troops and vets of Iraq and Afghanistan (I think this practice has since ended after it was publicized).

      So, yes, I think sports is politics. And Orban saying that Hungary’s national soccer team belongs to all Hungarians is a dangerous thing to say, given the violent ethnic history of Eastern Europe over 100’s of years (as he’s quite aware). Gonzalo Lira has speculated that, if the sh*t hits the fan in Western Ukraine, Hungary and Poland will take steps to “protect” ethnic enclaves from the Russians, even possibly annexing them. There are significant Hungarian and Polish populations in Ukraine, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin would say “your welcome to them”.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if a disproportionate number of Ukrainian refugees who fled to Hungary are ethnic Hungarians; and those who fled to Poland are ethnic poles; and those who fled to Russia (about 2 million) are ethnic Russians.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        That’s an interesting line of thought that. I suppose that you could say then that sport is downstream of nationalism and you really see this in events like the FIFA cup and the Olympics. And it is true to say that on lower levels inside countries that in games like football and soccer, that it gets really tribal.

        Reply
    3. Kouros

      Orban et al would be wise to make maps without hard borders, jjust with the colours of the flag fading slowly, and with this claim that they are referring to people of Magyar ethnicity… The thin edge of the wedge…

      Reply
  6. griffen

    Instead of Black Friday shopping, either online or in person, I have a reasonable alternate suggestion, and I’m sure a few adherents will concur with their own worthy ideas.

    Call it a Do Nothing Day. If the weather cooperates, then an afternoon hike or walk to just begin to work off the excesses of the previous day. This also presumes that a leisurely day is in the works for oneself or immediate family.

    Reply
    1. CanCyn

      Agreed! unfortunately, I have to go out. I have been waiting to see a podiatrist for a foot problem, my original appointment was in January 2023. They called about a month ago to say they’d had a cancellation for Nov 25. I took it not thinking about Black Friday. Now I realize why they had the cancellation – person probably wants to shop and I get to brave the city on that busy shopping day. Sigh. My first thought was get in and out but then realized I could spend at some local retailers. So I will go to my favourite local bookseller for some fall releases and our local bagel baker for some goodies for breakfast on the 26th. I think that downtown will not be as busy as the malls but I am prepared to have to spend some time looking for a place to park.

      Reply
    2. fresno dan

      griffen
      being retired, every day is a do nothing day (other than ranting and raving on the innertubes). And being cheap, not spending money is my favorite pasttime

      Reply
      1. griffen

        Ranting and raving is permitted, even encouraged within proper settings…It’s all good until someone loses an eye !

        If you don’t spend money and consume like a good American, how can you be certain that you are functionally alive? \sarc

        Reply
          1. Margaret Devoll

            How about a Buy Nothing MONTH?

            Not only to protest consumerism, but also the Ukraine slaughter and tax looting plus lack of affordable health care. If sales were to crater versus expectations, that would put the stage managers of the economy on notice. Besides, prices after Christmas and New Years are super low, so one would be saving money on a broader range of necessary items.

            Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      As a practical matter everyone should remember that, ever since “Black Friday” became a “thing” where people make asses out of themselves fighting in Walmart aisles to consecrate the beginning of the “season of giving,” “Black Friday” prices are nowhere near the lowest that will be available before Christmas.

      Just tweakin’ the rubes so they’ll perform like trained dogs dancin’ for treats. tptb show their disdain for the rubes every day of the year. Why the rubes are so eager to debase themselves on this one day is beyond me.

      Reply
      1. earthling

        Some of them are underpaid, overworked parents, with little discretionary money to spend, and going through that gauntlet is a way to be able to gift their children some nice things at a bargain price.

        Reply
        1. Louis Fyne

          that is the point, Black Friday is pure marketing, fed by media and advertisers.

          any “savings” is an illusion as corporate retailers use a MSRP that is inflated to take into account 30, 50% discounts and order specific products on the expectation that those products will be advertised at 50% off.

          Reply
          1. earthling

            My actual observation of some poor people I have known revealed that that they have not read these studies, but they do comparison shop the prices available to them, and often find it worth their while to Black Friday some things. They do not deserve blanket condemnation as trained morons eager to debase themselves.

            Reply
    4. Lexx

      I’m a little in awe (?) of those still going to the stores on Black Friday or any day up to Christmas, with some firm idea of what to buy others. Wants, needs, and tastes have become so individualized, the recipients so difficult to shop for and so obviously ungrateful when it isn’t exactly what they wanted, I couldn’t see the point anymore.

      Alternately, I do keep a list here on the desk that approximates the Swedish idea of ‘cozy’. Most of the items on it are homemade and/or low cost. The latest additions were small boxes of locally made macarons, smoked shoyu, Tara’s licorice caramels (when they’re in stock), and bento boxes. These are all purpose gifts for ‘thank yous’ generally, the kind that don’t say they’re trying to impress, or to pay off a significant social debt. The objective is something warmer, more intimate and comforting.

      It has struck me as a great way to put the bite on retail; they would spend decades trying to get ahead of that curve and still make a profit. In trying to sever one dependency, does it need to be at the cost of our social networking?

      Meanwhile, the stores here are absolutely bulging with merchandise. I felt like a magpie in Wild Birds, it was all I could do to get out with nothing and stick to the item on my list… so many pretties! Help me, lawd, my resolve is dissolving! Your best bet is to stay away altogether; they are gunning for consumer’s credit cards like never before.

      Reply
  7. Polar Socialist

    There seems to be another volley of missiles hitting Ukraine today. Apparently all areas are reporting hits.

    Also, Verkhovna Rada published a budget for next year assuming Ukraine has 27.8 million citizens. In 1993 it had 52 million, so somehow they achieved a drop of 47% in three decades.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that the last time that the Ukraine had a Census was way back in 2001. So any numbers would be on the dodgy side.

      Reply
      1. Polar Socialist

        A year or two ago I did read an article that they switched to “statistical censuses” because it was cheaper and more efficient. Some claimed it was mainly because it’s easier to hide the loss of population when guesstimating.

        So, yes, the number is a WAG, but that’s what they will base their budget on. Given the level of grift and corruption, it’s probably on the high end of plausible.

        Reply
    2. Polar Socialist

      Apparently today’s attack took out the 750 kV transformers used to distribute the power generated by the three remaining nuclear plants.

      As a result South Ukraine and Rive nuclear plants have disconnected from the grid and are on emergency power. Situation with Khmelnytski is yet not clear.

      Reply
      1. LawnDart

        Not-so cold war, 23.11.22, via t-gram:

        The first data on the results of strikes in Ukraine: emergency power outages have been introduced in all regions, Ukrenergo reports
        ▪️A series of powerful explosions in Kiev. Mayor Klitschko announced a hit on an infrastructure facility. The whole city is without water and partly without electricity.
        ▪️Also, in the Vinnytsia region and the Lviv region, attacks were carried out on critical infrastructure facilities;
        Power outage at:
        – Kyiv and regions
        — Dnepropetrovsk
        — Krivoy Rog
        — Poltava
        — Zaporozhye
        — Nikolaev
        – Odessa and the region.
        — Rivne and regions
        – Khmelnytskyi and the region
        — Kremenets-Podolsk
        — Kirovograd region
        — Kharkov
        — Lutsk
        — Cherkassy
        — Chernihiv
        — Sumac
        — Zhytomyr
        Interruptions and shutdowns of water in:
        — Kyiv
        — Sumac
        — Nikolaev
        — Kharkov
        — Dnepropetrovsk
        — Odessa

        Reply
                1. Greg

                  It does, particularly since it’s “out of schedule” compared to the gradual degradation over the last month and a half.

                  Surovikin got a weather report he liked the look of?

                  Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe the Russian reply to those mysterious strangers doing artillery strikes on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. RT is reporting that the whole of Odessa Region has been left without electricity and Kharkiv’s subway system also lost power which meant that people had to be evacuated up to the surface. Kiev has also been heavily hit and the trolley buses in Kiev are all stopped as there is no longer electricity for them. Also, emergency power outages occurred in all regions as a result of the attack. Maybe the real message behind this wave of attacks is that this is the last chance for the Ukrainians to negotiate or else-

        https://www.rt.com/russia/567044-massive-strikes-ukraine/

        Reply
    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks. Had not made Rybar by the time I finished Links and the BBC, which used to be fast out of the box on this attacks, instead has the Walmart shooting as its lead story and nada anywhere on its pretty busy landing page.

      I see there is a BBC tweet but title of story is about Moldova when other tweets report hits in Lvov and Kiev.

      Yours truly has been annoyed at the vastly overhyped notion that there is anything that even rises to the level of peace feelers happening. See more confirmation:

      https://twitter.com/NOELreports/status/1595415956402184192

      Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘This is why we talk to our patients even when sedated. Why they get their hand held, hair sorted, music on. We look after people, not numbers. This is quite a thing to watch.’

    For those who do not recognize him, that man is Richard Hammond – one the the co-hosts of the “Top Gear” program, along with Jeremy Clarkson and James May. For those wanting to know, here is a page describing the accident that nearly took his life-

    https://topgear.fandom.com/wiki/Hammond%27s_Vampire_Dragster_Crash

    Reply
    1. Laughingsong

      That was a nasty accident, Himself and I were huge Top Gear fans while they were on BBC2. Touch and go for a while. They made a big deal on his return to the show, then afterwards only alluded to its ever happening once or twice… obliquely.

      Reply
    1. mrsyk

      Fascinating video. Mesmerizing winter landscape straight out of a fairytale. The flatbreads coming off the fire pit made my mouth water.

      Reply
  9. fresno dan

    Crypto: Everyone Was Just That Stupid Heisenberger Report (resilc)

    Beyond that, though, the notion of private money at scale, and, more to the point, the notion of private money at scale as an investable proposition, is stupid. Not “misguided,” not “misplaced” and not any other more generous adjective either. Just plain old stupid.
    ==================================================
    An undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is
    I would say we’re actually getting stupider as the centuries go by. I would rephrase the above: An undertaking of great advantage, but everyone to know exactly what it is, and that it can’t possibly work….but there are a lot of morons out there, so you can still make money

    Reply
    1. Geo

      “Private money can work in self-enclosed micro contexts”

      Reminds me of the oft repeated refrain on NC that if your business depends on one platform it’s not a business. (Or something like that). Having a currency which depends on a gimmick or whatever isn’t a currency. Have had friends and colleagues try to convince me of the value of various crypto schemes (most common is the Render one used by various CGI outlets) but never understood why the token was a better option than just paying a render farm with money. “You’re investing in the technology!” Am I? Isn’t that what stocks, VC, and simply paying for services does?

      It amazes me how excited people get over the reinvention of the wheel every few years.

      Reply
    2. spud

      Crypto is simply another rube goldberg scheme to create value and income in a free trade economy, that has been stripped of its ability to generate value and income from real physical innovation and production.

      only production can create the type of wealth needed to sustain finance.

      Reply
  10. fresno dan

    Loud squeaky noms
    I am not saying I am EXACTLY like that on Thanksgiving – but put a tie on that otter and I am disturbingly similar…

    Reply
    1. Lee

      The otter initially takes the food with its paws rather than its mouth as would most critters. I wonder if that behavior is taught or just normally how they do.

      Reply
  11. PlutoniumKun

    Europe’s Wind Industry Is Stumbling When It’s Needed Most New York Times

    One key point in this article is the claim that many turbine manufacturers are losing money on contracts. This has become a pervasive problem in construction throughout Europe this year. Supply chain problems and sudden price hikes has led to contractors taking on additional costs that they could not pass on contractually to developers. I’ve heard of at least two major residential development schemes here on Ireland that have been put on ice because the developer can’t get the type of fixed price guarantee construction contract that funders insist on. Its becoming a huge problem, not just for the renewables industry.

    Reply
    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, PK.

      My employer, from a country well known for its wind mills, is betting big on the transition to wind power and, increasingly, leading syndicates to fund such developments.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        I keep hearing stories of major issues with developers of all kinds of problems not being able to reconcile funders requirements with construction contracts.

        To what extent this is a fundamental problem, or the usual dance between parties trying to squeeze more money out of each other (and the government) I don’t really know. But ultimately, in a time of inflation and supply chain crunches someone has to take on the risk, and that’s usually whoever has the deepest pockets.

        Ultimately, investing in renewables makes sense for major financial investors, as whoever owns the main source of power in a society usually ends up doing well. Its rarely the engineering companies who make most, its all a speculative game, as the frackers found out. For the most part, it wasn’t either the drillers or the majors who made most money, but those who timed getting in, and then getting out, at the right time who made most.

        Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            Thanks CS, I’d be very interested to hear more, there are all sorts of confusing signals out now in the construction industry.

            Reply
    2. Ignacio

      I guess you are completely right. About the same article I was wondering if the “fear China” that has become so fashionable had water on it or was just that: fear China, the new norm.

      Reply
      1. PlutoniumKun

        China (and Vietnam, increasingly a major source of components) is benefiting hugely from being a second mover in both wind and solar. Europe has suffered perhaps from being just a little ahead of the game, its stuck with tech which veers a little bit too much on the high tech, but isn’t cheap enough. This particularly applies to solar.

        China has rolled out a staggering amount of off-shore wind capacity in the past couple of years and has driven down costs – the latest round of power contracts make offshore wind with storage fully competitive with coal in key coastal regions. With off-shore wind, its all about scale steady learning to get costs down, not necessarily about being at the cutting edge of tech. Whether this is exportable or not, it remains to be seen. Europe and other countries have pretty much blocked China from exporting their HSR skills, mostly via legal routes (i.e., Europe and Japan owns the licenses for key tech in railways and uses this to block many contracts). My guess is that this will apply when China tries to export wind expertise to Europe, but probably not elsewhere. But for PV cells, I think the game is largely up for non-Chinese producers.

        If Europe wants to really push ahead, I think it will have to accept Chinese dominance with PV manufacture for now, but will have to bite the bullet and underwrite risk with on and off-shore wind. It may also have to temporarily thrash a lot of EU Directives which have proven a major impediment to rapid roll-out of off-shore wind and interconnections.

        Reply
        1. Ignacio

          I agree very much with your recipes for the EU. But i believe the EU shouldn’t give up with solar PV and do the same there. I have seen a few interesting developments but not enough and without the support needed to make them relevant. Support and development is needed in all segments: classic silicon, thin film, perovskite, organic PV hybrid solar-thermal etc. An industrial policy is needed rather that leaving it all to the markets. More now than ever.

          Reply
          1. PlutoniumKun

            Agreed. I think we are on the verge of another major technology step forward in PV, there are a few very exciting new designs coming. Europe would be better off focusing on the next generation, China is still focusing on scale and price rather than tech breakthroughs.

            Reply
    3. Another Scott

      It’s not just a problem in Europe. Costs are rising in the United States faster than developers anticipated (or will admit anticipating). Here in Massachusetts, Avangrid/Iberdrola (the same company that is trying to build a transmission line through Maine) underestimated costs of the Commonwealth Wind development off the South Coast of Massachusetts and asked the state for more money. I was genuinely surprised when the request was rejected.

      Reply
    4. Spider Monkey

      As a GC in Denver, I can second that. Certain building components are priced as an allowances, no pricing guarantees (& or no schedule guarantee). This has been going on since mid 21’.

      My business is only getting more difficult. Somehow though there is still more work to be had than people…for now. I think lenders are counting on inflation and as we all know real estate is regional. In Denver’s particular case it is still seeing a big population influx which is great for construction.

      Reply
  12. Mikerw0

    We have our popcorn ready. If anyone seriously challenges Trump and triggers a civil war inside the Republican Party boy will it be fun to watch. If so, it materially reduces the chances the Rs win in 2024 (yes I know it is real a long way away so this type of punditry is a bit silly) but the history of these internal battle is dim.

    Some examples in my lifetime:
    – 1980 we had two of them. Carter v Kennedy and the Ds didn’t heal the rift. Reagan v. Bush, and they healed the rift.

    – 2000 we had Clinton v. Gore and they didn’t heal the rift.

    – 2008 we had Obama v. Clinton. My view is they cut a deal to heal the rift. Clinton as Secretary of State, Obama clears the field for her when his term is done, which he did in 2016.

    Does anyone seriously think Trump would heal the rift?

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Too bad Obama didn’t turn on Clinton and boot her from State for her security breeches. I mean it isn’t as if he has proven to be agreement capable. I’m not sure if it would have been good for the country, but a whole lot of what is going on would not be happening. But in truth I would have preferred a whole lot of prosecutions for torture and lying to get us into a war.

      OTOH if Clinton weren’t around I would have had to miss Trump saying honest things out loud.

      Reply
  13. eg

    Regarding the Javier Blas tweet about the European Commission, with apologies to William Lyon Mackenzie King, it’s a price cap if necessary, but not necessarily a price cap …

    Reply
  14. Mildred Montana

    >Canada: Why the country wants to bring in 1.5m immigrants by 2025 BBC

    From the article: “This plan would see Canada welcome about eight-times the number of permanent residents each year – per population – than the UK, and four-times more than its southern neighbour, the United States. Today, about one in four Canadians have come to the country as an immigrant, the highest among G7 nations. Compare that to the US, known colloquially as the world’s melting pot, where only 14% are an immigrant.”

    I think I’m going to re-write that headline:

    CANADA’S MAD PM PACKS COUNTRY WITH LIBERAL VOTERS IN DESPERATE GAMBLE FOR MAJORITY GOVERNMENT

    I realize that permanent residents cannot vote but I’m sure Trudeau will find a way to fast-track them to citizenship.

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      When I was reading that article the first thing I thought was of Chrystia Freeland bringing all of her little Nazi friends in out of the cold. Given that kind of immigration policy, I wonder how long Canada could keep up its’ reputation for being nice.

      Reply
      1. cfraenkel

        I’ve been under the assumption that Ottowa / Toronto are eyeing the vast tracts of land in the north. None of the locals want to move up there.

        Alternatively – there’s been a drumbeat of stories about the Atlantic provinces de-populating as all the kids moved out to the big city. Maybe TPTB are looking to backfill the small towns?

        Reply
        1. Mildred Montana

          By and large, immigrants to Canada do not settle in small towns. They prefer the larger cities with already-established immigrant populations and, dare I say, a more tolerant accepting attitude. I doubt that any government would or could force the newcomers, as a condition of permanent residency or citizenship to “backfill” the declining and aging populations of small towns.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            You get the same pattern here in Oz for the same exact reasons. Every now and then the government makes noises about having newcomers go straight to the countryside to live to ease of pressure in the big cities but as they are not willing to invest in jobs for them there or infrastructure like hospitals either, it never goes anywhere.

            Reply
          2. Roland

            That is less the case now, than it was in the past. I live in a small city in central British Columbia, and there has been a rapid increase in the number of recent African and Indian immigrants. Interethnic relations seem to be good, but the true test will be in hard times, and those are upcoming.

            Housing here, while very expensive, is nevertheless much cheaper than in the Vancouver region. There is full employment–anyone who wants a job can have one for the asking. However, as is the case elsewhere, real wages have lagged, so we got the paradox of there being jobs that people can’t afford to take.

            It’s the distorted housing market that is chiefly to blame. In particular, small employers can’t afford to raise pay, so we see the paradox of retail businesses closing down in a full-employment economy. Put it this way: the central bank can inflate housing prices a lot faster than most enterprises can raise workers’ remuneration. That’s the current Canadian economy.

            The government is just running scared. Too many Canadians have huge debts and most of their worth in their house, so the gov’t doesn’t dare let the real estate market correct. The gov’t is importing more people in the hope of maintaining the current regime of low labour and high housing. There is no long run policy, it’s all IBGYBG, and meanwhile accuse anyone who objects of racism, or putin-under-the-bed.

            But for as long as it lasts, the incumbent rentiers will do well.

            You wouldn’t guess that Trudeau has a minority government. Singh’s NDP holds the balance in Parliament, but they have proven to be irrelevant. Yesterday’s social democrats today serve finance capital.

            Reply
        2. Spider Monkey

          Middle latitude folks going way north doesn’t sound easy. My dad was born and raised in middle Manitoba. Certainly a different and much harder way of living. Middle latitude folks would be used to the summer bugs but not the desolation and cold. There are always a lot of trees to fell and process or mines to be worked or sands to be processed for oil though…

          Reply
    2. Failed Intellectual (Emeritus)

      I’m more and more of the opinion that immigration, conceptually, is just a scam perpetrated on the locals as well as on immigrants by big business. ‘Groaf’ by any means necessary. My favourite talking point I hear trying to justify these huge increases in immigration rates our rulers are pushing on us is that we need to bring in workers to pay for the retirements of the currently retiring boomers. Whenever you ask people making that argument “who will pay for the retirements of the immigrants who will be paying the retirements of the boomers?”, you get blank stares or sheepishness because of the sheer absurdity and obvious ponzi-scam that justification is. Or when you ask “how will we meet our climate and CO2 reduction commitments if we keep raising our population?”. Or when you ask “where are we going to house all these people in a country suffering from a historic housing shortage?”. And on and on. On any metric other than ‘will this line the pockets of businesses’, and perhaps the back-slapping ‘look how tolerant and awesome we are!’ brigade, this policy is objectively bad news for everyday Canadians, and seeing it being pushed with so much gusto by the current government as if this is the most brilliant obviously cunning plan ever, well it has been clarifying, as we like to say here.

      Gotta keep that Groaf™ going.

      Reply
    3. JEHR

      I wonder if bringing in 500,000 immigrants per year will also result in keeping wages down for those in the lower wage jobs. I would suspect that some immigrants would work for lower wages than working class Canadians. However, having more people in Canada may also help with many organizations such as healthcare that do not have enough workers right now. I guess we will find out. Maybe both situations are possible at the same time.

      Reply
      1. Mildred Montana

        See my reply to cfraenkel immediately above. More immigration might help alleviate healthcare staffing problems in the big cities (ignoring the unavoidable increased demand), but almost none of those fledgling Canadians will want or be willing to work in hospitals in rural areas where shortages are especially acute.

        Reply
        1. Failed Intellectual (Emeritus)

          I seriously doubt more immigration will alleviate healthcare staffing issues even in the major cities. I mean, 40 years of experience of our current immigration policy quite clearly says otherwise on that front, why would it change now? The Ottawa Citizen ran an article recently titled “Canada used to have one of the best doctor ratios in the world. What happened?”, where it points out we once had one of the highest ratios of physicians to population in the world, and now we are nearer the bottom. That pretty much says it all.

          Our provinces aren’t willing to do the investment necessary to keep up with the growth they are foisting on us, or at least ensuring that it isn’t getting worse. In the city I live in here in Ontario, we haven’t had a new hospital built here since the 1970s, yet the population has tripled in the last 40 years, and surprise surprise, you have patients sleeping in the hallways on stretchers (I know because my father was one of them). Even pre-covid!!! Now it’s a complete cluster-F, capital F.

          But we are assured somehow increasing the rate of growth is going to magically improve things. We’re given the equivalent of ‘Trust us bro’ as an argument. I’d like to see a detailed plan on how these policies won’t end up f*****g us, maybe something about how our society is going to absorb these huge numbers that doesn’t involve magical thinking around the infrastructure investment it will take to pull this off successfully, but I seriously doubt you are ever going to see anything of the sort from the jokers who ‘rule’ us.

          Reply
    4. Milton

      Just wondering why, if we have a N. America economic treaty that essentially removes trade barriers, why doesn’t it follow that there isn’t the same for each of the countries’ citizens? Why can’t I buy a place in Mexico or work in Canada without the extraordinary amount of time and paperwork that is current needed?

      Reply
      1. JEHR

        Hey, Milton, we are different countries, have different laws, have different cultures, have different political systems, have different languages (except for English), different history and different economies even if there is NAFTA 2.

        Reply
        1. Milton

          So what’s the point? Just because people can move freely doesn’t negate local laws and customs. States in the US already have tax laws that differ from each other. Should we now talk about the different abortion laws? If free movement is good enough for finance and large corps it’s good enough for the bloc’s people.

          Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I guess that if that happened, then The Wall would have to be moved south to Mexico’s border with Guatemala. The good news here is that that border is only 871 kilometers (541 miles) long whereas the one with the US is 3,145 kilometers (1,954 miles) so there would be less to patrol.

          Reply
  15. fresno dan

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/charlamagne-tha-god-says-desantis-beat-trump-gop-primary-sad-biden-dems-safest-bet-2024
    During an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Charlamagne suggested a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump may not go in the Democrats’ favor the next time around.

    “I think it can go either way. Like, I don’t think it’s a sure thing, which is sad, right?… It’s sad that we’re saying it’s still a toss-up between [Trump] and President Biden,” Chalamagne said after pointing to the multiple investigations plaguing Trump. “I think that’s more indicative of what, you know, Democrats aren’t doing. And for me, I just don’t see the bench that the Democrats have. I personally don’t see the person that they could put up in 2024 that could really galvanize and energize people. I mean, the fact that Biden is still their safest bet- ugh. I think that’s sad too.”
    ===============================================
    I think this is interesting that FOX interviews him and that Charlamagne does an interview on FOX.

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      The Murdochs have said that they are dumping Trump but unlikely they will dump Tucker with his top ratings and Trump boosting.

      If the Dems are really worried about Trump running (as opposed to delighted) they need to make sure Biden doesn’t run again–or alternately just do it for all the rest of us.

      Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “What Would Breaking Up Ticketmaster and Live Nation Actually Do?”

    AOC is trying to pick herself up brownie points here by going after Ticketmaster but which led to the following tweet-

    ‘Defund Ukraine
    @DoctorFishbones
    Me: “I am currently paying over $20k a year for health insurance that doesn’t cover anything”

    AOC: “Sorry, best I can do is get you slightly cheaper concert tickets”‘

    https://twitter.com/DoctorFishbones/status/1595156597462175745

    Reply
  17. Lexx

    ‘Not the progress I would have hoped for’: Pentagon fails latest financial audit

    You don’t say? I don’t know much, as you all know, but I did vaguely recall reading something last year that said the Pentagon had never passed an audit, and henceforth they’d be penalized for that failure. How’s that claw back in their departmental budgets going? Did they perhaps budget for that inevitability too?

    https://www.npr.org/2021/05/19/997961646/the-pentagon-has-never-passed-an-audit-some-senators-want-to-change-that

    Reply
    1. GramSci

      “That is absolutely unacceptable,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

      Did these jokers think they’d be able to audit the umpteen billion dollars they’ve approved for Ukraine??

      Reply
    2. Karl

      The article cites continual large errors in estimating costs, with no political consequences. Of course, low-balling estimates is a game politicians have been playing since the Pharoahs. I was particularly struck by this quote:

      The Navy plans to expand its ship production in an effort to maintain an edge over China,…at an average cost of $27 billion per year between 2023 and 2052, a 10 percent jump from current annual shipbuilding costs.

      Bingo! The US raises tensions with Russia and China, and Fetterman ekes out a win in Pennsylvania, saving the Senate for Dems! Lots of DOD contractors there….

      Much of the rest of the world (as commentary above indicates) is investing scarce capital to prepare for the electric-powered future (with renewables) while the US is investing in a war-powered future. Which will it be? Peace or rubble?

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!

    Dr. Seuss
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Quite a video, that Tik Tok from Castlemilk Dairy on sense of place and how your mind longs for it…

    I like to walk a piece and its kind of a pushmi-pullmi world here in my surroundings where half of it is seasonally forbidden pretty much (the foothills are a no-go zone in the summer-higher climes a no-go zone in the winter) and in particular during the winter my mind races with visions of the summer in my favorite place to be stored up through nearly 40 years of traipsing on high like so much comfort food for the feet.

    Reply
    1. Michael Fiorillo

      It was a lovely and meaningful clip, but my takeaway is that the protagonist was less scared of death than of his wife, an emotion to which I can relate.

      Reply
  19. Tom Stone

    I wonder what would happen if a majority of mid level members of the Ukraine Government recieved free rail tickets to London for themselves and their families…as a Christmas gift from an anonymous benefactor.
    Perhaps with a few thousand euros in pocket money.
    Perhaps a hundred people or two a day, enough to warm things up in Kiev.
    Cheaper than a Kinzhal and much more deadly.

    Reply
  20. ZenBean

    “Saudi Arabia executes 12 people with swords even after Crown Prince’s promise to cut back”

    Bit savage, isn’t it?

    Reply
    1. Tom Bradford

      Henry VIII agreed to Anne Boleyn’s being executed by beheading by sword rather than axe as it was considered ‘more merciful’, being quicker – and relatively painless? It’s claimed the decapitation of Mary, Queen of Scots, took three blows of the axe.

      Reply
  21. Carla

    I do not recall reading about The People’s CDC on NC. If it has been cited or highlighted here, please forgive me. Anyway, somehow I started receiving emails from The People’s CDC. Today’s email included a comprehensive guide to keeping each other safe during upcoming holiday gatherings at this link:

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTmYSlfUAYl29tBJfL1vMO8Kkoh7qsIdGmMwasPc74ITXUfCEgKBO_7DtZyYmJy0onE6BVo2_4UDRQl/pub?start=true&loop=true&delayms=60000&slide=id.p

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    The Indian Garden Campground within the inner gorge of Grand Canyon National Park has been renamed Havasupai Gardens following a request from the Havasupai Tribe to change the name.

    The U.S. Board of Geographic Names voted 19-0 to honor the request earlier this month.

    The Havasupai Tribe earlier this year passed Resolution 29-21, which provided a formal request to the National Park Service to change the name. Havasupai Gardens is along the Bright Angel Trail and is a frequent stop for day hikers and backpackers exploring the backcountry of Grand Canyon.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Walked from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim in a day about 15 years ago and walking the canyon is tantamount to doing it backwards compared to the mountains where you mostly go up and then come down, its reversed in la grande ditch, and we’d walked 19 miles to Indian Garden which was a sight for sore thighs as shade is basically non existent elsewhere unless you’re in the shadows, and importantly one of the few sources of water in the canyon. It was a few thousand feet more elevation gain and 4 more miles to the parking lot in one of my longest days putting one foot in front of the other and alternating.

    Really felt as if I was walking through time, walking between and betwixt layer cake-like levels of different hues of soil and rock.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      This sounds heavenly, sore muscles and all. Today, unfortunately, it’s beyond my physical capabilities. But 5 years ago, we were lucky enough to pay an all-too-brief visit to the North Rim and that was quite a treat for this Ohio girl. We splurged and stayed in one of the log cabins built by the WPA. The sunrise was to die for.

      Reply
    1. TimH

      MTG asking for UKR audit again shows up the continual rhetoric that politians are completely evil (the other side) or completely perfect (our side).

      My favourite example: DT killed the TTP immediately after becoming POTUS.

      Reply
  23. Wukchumni

    McCarthy calls on DHS Secretary Mayorkas to resign, threatens impeachment inquiry The Hill
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hmmmmmm, My Kevin (since ’07) on the border?

    I feel a hot wind on my shoulder
    And the touch of his Donald who is older
    Turn off the light switch and check the number
    Count Speaker votes like sheep in bed when I slumber
    I anticipate the rhythm of the swinging gavel
    I wonder if i’ll never use it
    I hear the talking of the lame duck madam Speaker
    Can’t understand just what does she say?

    I’m on a Mexican dog & pony show rodeo
    I’m on a Mexican dog & pony show rodeo

    I dial it in and explain the situation
    I blame it on the Biden inflation
    I understand just a little
    No comprende–it’s a riddle

    I’m on a Mexican dog & pony show rodeo
    I’m on a Mexican dog & pony show rodeo

    I wish I was in Bakersfield
    But sometimes you gotta go afield
    I’d take his requests on the smartphone
    I’m on a wavelength far from home
    I feel again that hot wind on my shoulder
    I dial it in from north of the border
    I hear the talking of His Donald
    Can do just what he wanted, after the call

    Rodeo, rodeo

    Mexican Radio, by Wall of Voodoo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyCEexG9xjw

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      Maybe, just maybe, instead of “Lift here” the missiles should have something like “Before launch, check there are no civilian buildings in the missile flight path” stenciled in them. Preferably in several languages.

      Reply
  24. Tommy S

    That Iran in winter video, broke my heart. What and who does the USA bomb, and put sanctions on? We have an almost bipartisan stealth war on Iran. Is the USA going to ‘free women’ there? Of course not. I’m reminded of the USA invasion of Iraq…..tens of thousands of cluster bombs from Basra up into the suburbs of Baghdad. A slaughter of people….over 20,000 in the first two months. No one paid for this .

    Reply
    1. Spider Monkey

      Also no one paid for when we backed ISIS (Al Qaeda) because bin Laden was dead providing a great pivot to put pressure on Syria and Iran.

      Reply
  25. Oh

    from the express.co.uk story on nuclear power and fuel:

    The EU for instance, got around 40 percent of its gas from Russia before Putin sent his troops into Ukraine. And when he withheld supplies to Europe, prices in Britain shot up too, despite the UK only getting four percent of its gas from Russia. This is due to the integrated nature of the gas market.

    I don’t remember where the Putin withheld gas supplies to Europe. It was more like the US sanctions made Europe withhold the gas supplies from themselves.

    Reply

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