Links 11/3/2022

Crows Perform Yet Another Skill Once Thought Distinctively Human Scientific Americans

Swarming bees stir up their own electric fields Science

Fed raises rates another 0.75 point, hints hikes could slow in future Axios

The inflation narrative is fabricated, as is the response Tax Research UK

The Hidden Cause of Economy-Wide Inflation? Marshall Steinbaum, The Sling

Despite Recession Fears, 18.5% of U.S. Workers Are Searching for a New Job Morning Consult

Maersk Achieves Record Quarter While Warning of Recessionary Signals Maritime Executive


Climate change will make rainbows more likely ZME Science (Rev Kev).

Wildfire smoke alters immune cells, promoting inflammation Wildfire Today

The Insect Apocalypse Is Coming to Your Neighborhood Bloomberg

TPC Group’s Port Neches plant leaked chemicals, then exploded. Now they want Houston to trust them. One Breath Partnership

* * *

The Gomeroi people have fought Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project for a decade. They hope a novel climate change argument could help them win ABC Australia. From September, still germane. Drillling 850 wells over “aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin — the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world, and the only source of fresh water through much of inland Australia.” What could go wrong? Oh, and on aboriginal land.

New documents reveal corrosion, leaking in coal seam gas wells, raising contamination fears ABC Australia


The End of Evusheld The Atlantic. Not addressing transmission turns out to be a problem. Who knew?


Global bankers ‘very pro-China’, says UBS chair FT

We don’t want to decouple from China, but can’t be overreliant Olaf Scholz, Politico

China’s 20th Party Congress: The Implications for CCP Norms The Diplomat

iPhone assembler Foxconn shifts production from China Covid-hit plant FT

TikTok says staff in China can access UK and EU user data BBC

We are not the only country with terrible communication on Covid:


Big banks face scrutiny over business with Myanmar lender Al Jazeera

After Repeated Crackdowns, Myanmar Junta Officially Bans The Irrawaddy The Irrawaddy

The Koreas

The popularity of the Korean oegugin (foreign) influencer is on the rise. But there is a dark side to this pop-nationalism The Conversation

Supreme Court Orders Reparations for Sex Workers Serving US Military The Blue Roof


With 86% of votes tallied, Netanyahu on cusp of election victory Al Mayadeen

Saudi Arabia courts Australian miners for $170 billion plan

Dear Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak to review pledges made in Tory leadership contest FT. Commentary:

New Not-So-Cold War

Senior Defense Official and Senior Military Official Hold a Background Briefing US Department of Defense:

DOD is conducting hands-on training with the Ukrainian Armed Forces on U.S. best practices so they can provide better data, for example, from sites close to the front lines that U.S. personnel cannot visit.

And then fourth, to verify this data, U.S. personnel have recently resumed on-site inspections to assess weapon stocks in country whenever and wherever the security conditions allow.

Boots on the ground, eh?

Who’s afraid of US troops in Ukraine? Indian Punchline

Will Biden Gamble on a Ukraine Coalition? The American Conservative

Biden Administration Again Plants False Nuclear Scare Stories Moon of Alabama

Russian Retreat in Ukraine Exposes Collaborators—and the Finger-Pointing Begins WSJ

* * *

Russia rejoins deal on wartime Ukrainian grain exports AP

More than Half of Tankers Which Have Been Loading in Russian Ports in the Last 6 Months, Were Controlled by EU, G7 of Allied Countries Hellenic Shipping News

* * *

Fears of neo-Nazis in military ranks after ex-soldier’s passport cancelled The Age

How Pre-WW II Ukrainian Fascists Pioneered Brutal Terror Techniques; Later Improved By CIA, Now Ironically Taught to Descendants Covert Action Magazine. From June, still germane.

Bolsonaro backers call on Brazil military to intervene after Lula victory Reuters

The Supremes

“Originalism Is Intellectually Indefensible”: Eric Foner on the Enduring Myth of the Colorblind Constitution Balls and Strikes

Our Famously Free Press

How to Inoculate against Midterm Misinformation Campaigns Scientific American. The last sentence should be the starting point. not the ending.


‘This Is Our March 2020’: Children’s Hospitals Are Overwhelmed by R.S.V. NYT (Rev Kev).

The Bezzle

Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to attend International Symposium on Blockchain Advancements (ISBA) 2022 as Keynote Speaker Benzinga

The Death of Crypto Has Been Greatly Exaggerated, Again Institutional Investor. Fraud always has a place.

Banks detected a record $886 million in ransomware payments in 2021 American Banker

Imperial Collapse Watch

Geopolitics is the biggest threat to globalisation Martin Wolf, FT. Commentary:

Is the IMF fit for purpose? Guardian

Class Warfare

Your Boss Is Spying on You. The NLRB Might Stop It. Gizmodo

Beyond financialisation: the longue durée of finance and production in the Global South Cambridge Journal of Economics. From the Abstract: “Seen from the South, we argue that although there has been expansion of financial motives and practices the ‘divorce’ between the financial and the productive economy cannot be considered a new empirical phenomenon having occurred during the last decades and even less an epochal shift of the capitalist system. The tendency for finance to neglect the needs of the domestic productive sector has been the structural operation of finance in many parts of the Global South over the last 150 years.”

Bristling with Barricades London Review of Books. Paris, 1848.

Observing many researchers using the same data and hypothesis reveals a hidden universe of uncertainty PNAS. From the Abstract: “We coordinated 161 researchers in 73 research teams and observed their research decisions as they used the same data to independently test the same prominent social science hypothesis:…. In this typical case of social science research, research teams reported both widely diverging numerical findings and substantive conclusions despite identical start conditions. Researchers’ expertise, prior beliefs, and expectations barely predict the wide variation in research outcomes. More than 95% of the total variance in numerical results remains unexplained even after qualitative coding of all identifiable decisions in each team’s workflow. This reveals a universe of uncertainty that remains hidden when considering a single study in isolation. The idiosyncratic nature of how researchers’ results and conclusions varied is a previously underappreciated explanation for why many scientific hypotheses remain contested. These results call for greater epistemic humility and clarity in reporting scientific findings.”

The Intelligence of African Hunters, and the Ignorance of Popular Hereditarians Traditions of Conflict

Antidote du jour (via):

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. AbyNormal

    Needing Help…
    “And last but not least we have credible intelligence that Iran is going to attack Saudi Arabia and we have assets in place to defend. We are literally expecting it.”-Air Force ranking spy.
    I’m up on all that EXCEPT Iran….explain to me like I’m 4. How is Russia going to handle Saudi (it’s new friend) being fired upon by Russia’s drone maker?
    “Don’t interupt them while you they’re eating”, comes to mind.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Or why Iran is going to attack SA during a significant thawing of their relations and the Plantation petitioning to join the SCO….cui bono?

      “Air force ranking spy” is the operative phrase.

      1. AbyNormal

        I got me a spook and received this middle of the night:
        Iran send 1000 more ballistic missiles to Russia and Russia just moved a bunch of them to Belarus the not so willing agent of death that’s amassed troops and medical supplies on the border. When blood products move in it’s on in a matter of days. (and I’ve missed you NTG)

    2. digi_owl

      Why do Gulf of Tonkin come to mind?

      The blob has been edging to go another round with Iran since Carter got embarrassed, and i think it was plans drawn up for Iran to be the next nation to get it during the early days of “war on terror”. But then trying to stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan enough to perhaps act as staging areas ended up being a logistical black hole.

  2. JohnA

    Re Johnson as keynote speaker:
    “Mr Johnson is globally renowned for his passionate leadership on education, technology and infrastructure.”
    Now they are totally trolling us:
    As mayor of London Johnson wasted millions on a garden bridge across the Thames that never got built, on a new London routemaster bus that was a disaster, a zip line across the Thames that hardly anyone uses, he proposed a new airport that was not only in a wetland area used by migrating wildfowl, but also close to a dangerous sunken shipwreck loaded with munitions that is too fragile to dare disarm, he proposed a bridge/tunnel project across the Irish sea, that was used as a disposal ground for old munitions, to name a handful of infrastructure projects that were hugely expensive and disastrous.
    Incidentally, Johnson is still a sitting MP, who thinks it is totally OK to go on holiday for weeks while parliament is sitting, and speechmaking for $100,000+ a time in the US. Nice work if you can get it,

  3. Lopsided Llama

    With upwards of 100 volts, bees swarming could help the bee rescuers recharge their… hm. Phones?

    1. AbyNormal

      Bet Eeeloons counting on that bee power..
      “Two new plants Tesla opened in Texas and Germany were described by Musk as “gigantic money furnaces,” burning through billions in cash as they struggled to ramp up production. He even mentioned the risk of bankruptcy in one interview.”

      A learned fool is more a fool than an ignorant fool.~Moliere

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Wildfire smoke alters immune cells, promoting inflammation”

    Not sure what to make of this article. Perhaps it refers to heavy smoke inhalation but when you stop and think about it, we humans have spent the past coupla hundreds of thousands of years gathered around a fire at night and then sleeping by it as all that burning timber gave off smoke continuously. And here it applies to not only caves but roundhouses, huts and all other manner of homes that we have lived in before electricity became available only recently to heat homes. You’d think that by now we would be a race of smoke-eaters.

    1. Ken Murphy

      I’m half convinced that the ongoing appeal of cigarettes, despite all efforts to the contrary, is that burning smoke in the throat feel from countless generations spent huddled around campfires. Hopefully it will never get as bad as portrayed in the movie Millennium.

    2. JP

      Yeah I was reflecting on the article about not having a gas cook top in your house because even with an electronic igniter it will put a puff of methane in the air. But living with a bunch of old people and vegetarians exposes one to continuous puffs of methane, I must be immune.

    3. AndrewJ

      There is something different with wildfire smoke than campfire smoke. It certainly smells foul. (I’m in the American NW, I’ve got direct experience.) If I’m remembering an old science article right, it’s the exposure of the smoke to oxygen and solar radiation that alters it as it lingers in the air for days or weeks at a time.

    4. Jack Reilly

      I read that article and thought to my self, maybe I ought to change my air filters from Merv 13 to 16, after all, we live in the pacific northwest and forest fire smoke is a regular thing now.
      Thank you for reminding me of what our forefathers have dealt with for millennia. You are right, at this point in the game we should be a race of smoke-eaters. For that matter, I’m surprised there isn’t some medical condition that only happens when you don’t get enough smoke!

  5. griffen

    Fed raising interest rates. Are they done yet? No, the beatings shall proceed and be ongoing until employee morale improves. Back to the grind.

    I was watching the barking of Jim Cramer yesterday morning, prior to the Fed announcement. While Mr. Cramer continues apace with his hot take, that it is broad layoffs and only the job losses in the millions would actually work to curb and or curtail the inflation bogeyman. Contrary to this point, I began thinking it through; what if many corporations still have maintained decent margins and are choosing to largely maintain headcount? In doing so, they might avoid having to scour a tight job market to replace the fired employees in 2023 or 2024, that’s my summation.

    Tech companies like Meta, burning through billions for example, well that is a different argument. Meta will probably have to fire many engineers and coders, but that is me wildly guessing.

    1. Mikel

      It is indeed the area of employment and wages that needs to be in the forefront of the discussions about what is a primary driver of the Fed’s interest rate rising plans.
      I’m in the camp of it’s mainly a rising unemployment rate that the Fed wants to see before any discussion of easing up on the rate increases.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        What I don’t understand is why so many people are doing so much consuming that prices for everything are skyrocketing. If people would take a break from shopping prices will settle down. Most of the middle class has too much “stuff” already. Give it a break!!!

  6. Maria Popescu

    Military whistleblowers say cancer, miscarriages and heart disease all up 300% following covid injection mandates (see link below)

    Johnson …..revealed the following increases in other health conditions following the mandate of covid injections in the military:

    Hypertension: 2,181 percent increase
    Nervous system disorders: 1,048 percent increase
    Malignant neoplasms of esophagus: 894 percent increase
    Multiple sclerosis: 680 percent increase
    Malignant neoplasms of digestive organs: 624 percent increase
    Guillain-Barre syndrome: 551 percent increase
    Breast cancer: 487 percent increase
    Demyelinating: 487 percent increase
    Malignant neoplasms of thyroid and other endocrine glands: 474 percent increase
    Female infertility: 472 percent increase
    Pulmonary embolism: 468 percent increase
    Migraines: 452 percent increase
    Ovarian dysfunction: 437 percent increase
    Testicular cancer: 369 percent increase
    Tachycardia: 302 percent increase

    1. Questa Nota

      Camp LeJeune misdeeds, advertised by hungry law firms, have become emblematic. If you haven’t seen the television ads, they may not have hit your market yet. Others have been saturated with them, about decades-old water contamination by leaking fuel tanks, and resulting health problems that take years to show up.

      How many other sites have similar time bombs, and how many other personnel and their families suffered and died? Uncle Sugar may be on the hook for some problems, perhaps too little, too late. The private sector solution would be to file bankruptcy and let someone else pay pennies. :/

      1. ThirtyOne

        Where I call home:

        Fort Ord is one of the most complex waste sites in the country. The groundwater below Fort Ord is contaminated with chemicals that reach past the borders of the Fort and under the City of Marina. The soil is filled with lead, unexploded ordnance, and other debris; and the air is filled with particulate matter and chemicals when the Army conducts annual burns to clear vegetation. The final cleanup decision mandated 100-foot buffer zones around the landfills and munitions response areas to protect surrounding properties; nevertheless, the routes of exposure that follow do present ways the public can still come into contact with the contaminants.

        There are forty-five (45) chemicals of concern in the air, soil and water at Fort Ord. These chemicals include heavy metals such as lead and volatile organic compounds like TCE, DCE and Benzene. The chemicals at Fort Ord are known to cause liver and kidney damage, birth defects, respiratory illness, and lower IQ levels in children, among others.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          At one point in time (may still be true) Santa Clara county in the SF Bay Area had the greatest number of EPA Superfund sites of any county in all the 50 states. Plumes of toxins released decades ago continue to threaten groundwater supplies. These same toxins in some cases have become aerosolized and spread further. It’s no surprise that there are a number of cancers that are at statistically significant rates within the county. Those regions of the country that are eager to host semiconductor fabs ought to expect spikes in cancer rates. I personally know of more than a handful of semiconductor fab workers (dating back to when there were actual semiconductor fabs in Silicon Valley) who have died prematurely due to a variety of illnesses including cancer. South Korean and Taiwanese fab workers have also suffered similarly.

    2. tindrum

      yes, this is happening everywhere. Excess deaths also at very high levels in all age ranges all over europe, the US and Australia and absolutely no media interest whatsoever. Medical friends of mine are simply not interested – they firstly are not aware of the excess deaths and when made aware just shrug. The vast majority of the medical profession does not want to even entertain the possibility that the mRNA injections could be causing this. It would be a personal and professional disaster, hence I am expecting deafening silence from the medical profession on the same lines as the media silence on Julian Assange.

    3. Objective Ace

      I’m guessing there’s not enough data though to rule out how much Covid itself is responsible? The vaccines/mandates largely coincided with “let er rip” policy

      1. schulace

        “I’m guessing there’s not enough data though to rule out how much Covid itself is responsible? The vaccines/mandates largely coincided with “let er rip” policy”

        I’ll have to go back and dig it up, but I recall reading that Australia/NZ were anything but “let ‘er rip” and yet they have the exact same pattern of excess deaths.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “We don’t want to decouple from China, but can’t be overreliant”

    Lately whenever I see Schulz and think what he has done, I can really understand that German word Backpfeifengesicht. In that whole article, he really let the cat out of the bag when he said-

    ‘Of all the countries in the world, Germany — which had such a painful experience of division during the Cold War — has no interest in seeing new blocs emerge in the world.’

    And that says it all. He wants to maintain a unipolar world where his country is an obedient, if de-industrialized, loyal servant. Not sure how he is going to persuade China to abandon Russia and get in line with the west. He doesn’t want China isolated by the west nor does he want it to establish an hegemonic power. It seems that he cannot imagine there being any other course, namely the one which China is following at the moment where it takes part in a Eurasian power block to counter the hegemonic west. if the Germans were smart, they should forbid permission for his plane to return to Germany.

    1. tindrum

      Cheers for that Rev. Olaf is in a pickle. He does not speak for german Industry when he tries to toe the US line on China, in fact german car companies are running as fast as they can to invest in manufacturing in their biggest and most profitable market, China (see BMW moving its E-Mini production from Oxford to Eastern China). There is even talk within Germany of German Industry representatives flying to Moscow and buying gas and oil direct from Russia ignoring the sanctions and seeing what Olaf does about it. It will be tricky to arrest the entirety of the german Mittelstand.

    2. digi_owl

      That seems to be the core paradox of the emergent green parties.

      They seem to think that if we only nip a few things in the bud, particular things that will not affect their urban upper class lifestyle in the least (or so they think, having seemingly no clue about the logistical realities of said lifestyle), they can go on consuming into eternity.

      But that require that China continue being an obedient world factory, and that Russia shut up and supply cheap raw materials.

      Neither of those will come to pass, as world events are providing ample evidence off.

      In effect we are witnessing the end of a second “belle epoque”.

  8. Wukchumni

    Fed raises rates another 0.75 point, hints hikes could slow in future Axios
    The housing bubble where english is the spoken word is collapsing in concert with interest rates being the coup d’gasp.

    Real estate agent: ‘I can get you in on this beauty @ 6.66% on a 30 years to life sentence…’

    Appreciation goes to all those used homes that played along, with the consolation prize being that as values plummet, your pride & joy will still need upkeep.

    The weird ‘X’ factor in the ongoing crash will be AirBnB/VRBO short term rentals where the owner of a domicile is only in it for the money, having no ties to the community.

    Not one of these existed in the 2007-8 housing bubble crash.

    Perhaps the hardest part of getting your home ready for sale is all the stuff therein from a life lived, along with essentially divulging to neighbors and friends that you are getting a divorce from them.

    None of that is an issue for would-be Hiltons, and the homes are pre-staged and ready to go on the market in a jiffy.

    Memorial Day to Labor Day is when you make bank here on short term rentals as that’s when Sequoia NP is hopping, and then maybe a week a month is rented out in the off-season.

    My buddy who is attuned to such things told me a mutual friend who has a few dozen homes she’s the rental agent for, related that business just up and died a few weeks ago, wondering where all the European visitors went?

    Yeah whatever 3/2 SFH’s were $200k here a decade ago and nearly reached $500k, most of it coming on the heels of short term rentals being so profitable, as opposed to the mobile short term rental business of Uber/Lyft.

    My buddy thought the number of short term rentals was closer to 350 than the 300 # i’d been using, and what becomes of us when all of that inventory of pretty much rode hard and put away wet ex-rentals comes on the market at once?

    In marked contrast to tiny town-there isn’t one short term rental in Mineral King, with most of the cabins being on Federal land and its against the law to sub-rent them, while the others on private land don’t have an interest in doing it as none of the cabins has electricity and dealing with propane lamps and the like isn’t something you want strangers fooling around with, and besides-most of the cabins are full of memories of generations of families that have been coming up for over a century with occupancy rates approaching 90%. One cabin has family from Miami who dutifully show up every summer for their allotted week.

  9. Jon Cloke

    How Pre-WW II Ukrainian Fascists Pioneered Brutal Terror Techniques; Later Improved By CIA, Now Ironically Taught to Descendants

    “The CIA hands on brutality to man
    It deepens like a coastal shelf
    So get out early while you can
    And don’t have a CIA yourself”

    1. The Rev Kev

      A lot of those Ukrainian fascists found shelter in Canada among other countries which for Canada resulted in Chrystia Freeland. I had assumed that they were sent to Canada where they could rebuild and be a base for fighters and the like to go back to the Ukraine to fight the Soviets. But today, I’m not sure where, I heard the suggestion that they were brought to Canada as they were right-wing fascists and so would serve to balance out left-winger inclinations in Canada. If so, mission accomplished.

      1. Tom Stone

        Rev, here in the USA there have been periodic flaps about extreme right wingers and Ne Nazi’s joining the Military to gain training and access to Materiel for decades.
        There was also mention of young Gang members joining for the same reason and both groups paying for tattoo removal.
        Ukraine is CORRUPT, a very significant percentage (50% wouldn’t surprise me) of the portable weapons have been diverted hither and thither and I wouldn’t be shocked to find that a pallet or three of Stingers that were Manifested as shipped actually stayed in the USA.
        Certainly some will make it here one way or another, at the right price.

      2. danpaco

        Chrystia Freeland is my MP, she terrifies me. She is competent and ideological. She is also a shoe-in to replace Trudeau if there is ever a palace coup.

    2. AbyNormal

      “Vanity, if anything will, which I doubt,” Walter retorted. “No leader wants to go down in history as the ass who destroyed his country in an afternoon. And funk, I suppose. Most of our gallant politicians do have a narcissistic objection to suicide, thank God.
      John le Carré, The Russia House

  10. zagonostra

    >A World Split Apart -Solzhenitsyn’s Commencement Address Harvard University June 8, 1978

    If ever there was a prescient speech that speaks to where we are now it’s this one. What made me think of re-reading Solzhenitsyn’s address was hearing a Ukraine war protestor shouted down with chants of “Russia is our enemy” at a recent Obama rally.

    There is no true moral responsibility for distortion or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist or a newspaper have to the readership or to history? If they have misled public opinion by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, even if they have contributed to mistakes on a state level, do we know of any case of open regret voiced by the same journalist or the same newspaper?

    …members of the US antiwar movement became accomplices in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in the genocide and the suffering today imposed on thirty million people there. Do these convinced pacifists now hear the moans coming from there? Do they understand their responsibility today? Or do they prefer not to hear?

    If the world has not approached its end, it has reached a major watershed in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

    1. Questa Nota

      That speech by Solzhenitsyn should be assigned, and discussed in schools, along with others.
      Add Washington’s Farewell Address and your other favorites.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      “members of the US antiwar movement became accomplices in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in the genocide and the suffering today imposed on thirty million people there.”

      Isn’t Solzhenitsyn lamenting Ho Chi Minh’s victory over the U. S. and blaming the anti-war Left for stabbing this noble anti-Communist effort in the back?

      I wouldn’t be subscribing to that.

      1. will rodgers horse

        was wondering that too…maybe he blames the anti war left for Pol Pot ( as some i know did).
        this quote brings him down a notch in my book. Always a good thing. Much like Chomskies comments on the unvaxxed.

        1. digi_owl

          Pol Pot is the rhetorical “gotcha” that comes up whenever the “extreme” left is making too much political sense.

      2. Roland

        I often disagree with Solzhenitsyn, but he’s worth reading. Gulag Archipelago is a long and difficult read, but valuable–especially the third volume, which describes the communities of released convicts who remained in a client-like relation to the gulags. It also recounts how the “thieves” and the “politicals” eventually allied to stage uprisings, with some success.

    3. communistmole

      I bet Harvard liked this part of his speech:
      “I hope that no one present will suspect me of expressing my partial criticism of the Western system in order to suggest socialism as an alternative. No; with the experience of a country where socialism has been realized, I shall not speak for such an alternative. The mathematician Igor Shafarevich, a member of the Soviet Academy of Science, has written a brilliantly argued book entitled Socialism; this is a penetrating historical analysis demonstrating that socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    “With 86% of votes tallied, Netanyahu on cusp of election victory”

    This is really bad news as once more Netanyahu will be in power and demanding that the world attack Iran before they nuke Washington or something. He also wants to rip up the Lebanese gas deal and his right-wing supporters want to annex the entire West bank. He is in alliance with these right-winger extremists in Israel that somehow have become even more right-wing while Netanyahu was out of power which means that Israel will become an even more a right-wing run country. In fact, if it was any more right-wing, the whole country would fall into Jordan. Not good news if you are a secular Israeli.

    1. tindrum

      Israel is like the US, it doesn’t matter who is actually in power, the results are always the same.

  12. IM Doc

    About Biden’s speech last night.

    Are these current Dems serious? Who do they think they are kidding?

    There are any number of videos online now which show all kinds of Dem luminaries calling the 2016 election illegitimate or stolen. This is all the way from Hilary to The current White House spokesperson. And who can forget Stacy Abrams. And years of Russia Russia Russia.

    More alarming to me is the dozens of millions of dollars the DNC has pumped into the campaigns of true right wing lunatics this year. One of those seats is where many of my elder family live. They have a Moderate Dem with good moral sense who is about to be replaced by a right wing loon. How did they win the GOP primary? Why, one of the sponsors it turns out was the DNC. You would think they would have learned their lesson with Trump – but oh no, they are the “adults in the room”. Lessons do not apply.

    It is all Laugh Out Loud funny to hear a speech like that last night knowing what they have done. Except it is a total tragedy. Who would have thought – there really are consequences to elect a literal dementia patient as the President.

    I hope and pray that this upcoming dislodgement will knock some sense into the people of this country. There is part of me that thinks we may be too far gone already.

    How I long for a political party that stands up for the working people of this country. And as you can tell there are many of us who are so very torn. But clown shows like Dark Brandon certainly don’t help much.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You might appreciate the following story, IM Doc-

      ‘Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton filed court papers on Monday in a bid to compel Donald Trump to pay her more than $1 million. According to the motion, she is demanding compensation for money spent fighting a lawsuit that alleged she had engaged in a conspiracy to undermine Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by claiming he colluded with Russia.’

      Literally no self-awareness. Wait till Trump claims discovery.

    2. notabanker

      So hypothetically speaking, what if we wake up Weds morning next week and see the Republicans have taken a majority of races, but then are warned by the MSM that there are still millions of votes to count, and those votes would largely favor Democrats because, you know, deplorables don’t vote early, and over the course of 2,3,4 days the vote tally swings Democrat.

      Now would that speech make sense?

      1. IM Doc

        I wonder why in the past 5-10 years all of a sudden, our elections take 3 or 4 or 14 days to “count” all the ballots……All through my entire decades long voting experience – the votes were tallied and counted and known by 10PM or so. This included national elections. It was a rare nailbiter that was the exception.

        I wonder why with much more primitive technology during my entire life up until the past 2 cycles or so that we knew the winners on election night?

        I wonder why we seem to be the only country in the developed world that can’t get its crap together to have results in a timely and trusted manner?

        Anyone who disparages anyone in this country for thinking there is lots of possibility of fraud in this country’s election system is simply not paying attention.

        If and when the politicians on either side cut this crap about demonizing the other side – ( THEY BOTH DO IT ) – I will take them seriously – until then it is all a joke. The Dark Brandon spectacle last night was the worst I have ever seen.

        It is time we cut the crap.. Get rid of electronic voting systems. Limit the early voting to how it worked very well for decades of my life – absentee ballots for those who are ill or infirm or in the hospital, etc – everyone else shows up on election day – voter ID in hand. Put the election day to a weekend day OR make the election day a national holiday. Give everyone the absolute opportunity to be there. Do what we do in my precinct – each station is manned by one D and one R. There is a D and R precinct captain in each polling place. There is no foolishness and we have our results out usually by 10 PM.

        The fact that we do not have safeguards like this is insane. There is no excuse whatsoever to have vote counting, etc spread out over 2 or 3 or 4 days. That is part of the problem.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It is time we cut the crap.. Get rid of electronic voting systems. Limit the early voting to how it worked very well for decades of my life – absentee ballots for those who are ill or infirm or in the hospital, etc – everyone else shows up on election day – voter ID in hand. Put the election day to a weekend day OR make the election day a national holiday.

          Jeez, Doc, you do understand that these days, that is some pretty subversive, dis-, mis-, and mal-information, MAGA extremist stuff doncha?

          Our bi-annual “election” spectacle is the last vestige of “democracy” left in this country. That “elections” never seem to produce “elected” representatives that actually represent the voters’ preferences is just a quirk of democracy as practiced in this exceptional nation, not anything to get all riled up about. And certainly not anything to ask questions about.

        2. flora

          I say “bring back the exit polling”, just don’t report those results until all states have finished voting. (Early reporting of eastern and midwest states discouraged turnout in farther west, later time zone states.) If the exit poll results diverge widely from the reported results that’s something to look into. In fact, that happened in Ohio (I think) in 2004 and W’s run for re-election. After that divergence between the exit polls and the Ohio results for some reason exit polling was dropped as “confusing” or “unreliable”, although it had a long long track record of being a close to the actual final results. Exit polling had a good track record as a check on too much funny business.

        3. Bart Hansen

          Some jurisdictions will not even open mail in ballots until the polls close.

          And there are late votes coming in from the military, which like Sherwin Williams paint, cover the earth.

          And some jurisdictions will return your improperly marked ballot so you can fix and resubmit. Then again, some will be simply thrown out.

      2. Michael Ismoe

        The Dems backed Kari Lake in the primary here in AZ because she was an “election nutter” and would be easier to beat. And she’s about to pull Blake Masters over the line with her in the senate race. Brandon has no one to blame but himself.

        America, have we got a treat for you!

        1. Wukchumni

          To give the crass-test-dummy state enough hope to hang themselves with, is so par for the Donkey Show course.

        2. Skip Intro

          It will be illuminating to do a tally (with infographic!), when the dust settles and the smoke clears, of the Dem’s relative success with getting their candidates elected vs. getting the GOP nutters they ‘pied pipered’ in the primary elected. Judging by Trump, they can’t have very high expectations, assuming they count losing as failure.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        IMHO, there is no legitimate, organic reason for that to happen, the dementia-patient-in-chief’s “speech” last night notwithstanding.

        As far as I’m concerned, if it does happen, it will be the result of a conscious decision on the part of this “administration” to throw this country into a state of chaos and violence as an excuse to impose martial law and retain control in the face of abject collapse of support for the current regime.

        1. semper loquitur

          “to throw this country into a state of chaos and violence”

          I suspect this is the case in a number of arenas: education, academia, the courts, and policing for starters. Time and time again I hear about big foundations and wealthy individuals backing all kinds of efforts that result in confusion, strife, and stripping the average person of power. Creating spaces for the encroachment of private and state power. Maybe I’m being tin-foily but maybe not.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            At this point, there is no arguing with results.

            There have been more than enough opportunities for “lessons learned,” and more than enough heartfelt pledges to do just that. The only logical explanation is that the refusal to “learn” them is deliberate.

            No tinfoil necessary.

            1. semper loquitur

              The longer I live, the more and more the doomsters in their Idaho bunkers are proven correct. Digital currency, ID tracking, mass experiments, the private and foreign acquisition of crucial resources, the crackdowns on dissent, ubiquitous surveillance, etc. The “deplorables” were way ahead of the curve on all that…

              1. hunkerdown

                Liberty Lobby etc. struck me as limited hangouts. The accusations might have been right (Stoller has traced many of them to official sources of the time) but the solutions were not responsive to the problems, rather used as bulk “evidence” (i.e. feelings) to “sell” a supposed need for patriarchal authority according to the Calvinist tendency.

                The Ctrl-Left suborns AGW in almost exactly the same way, for beauty and symmetry.

                1. semper loquitur

                  Sorry, can you flesh this out some more? What are limited hangouts and what was Liberty Lobby accused of exactly? I saw that they were accused of racism and anti-Semitism at some point. And what does AGW mean?

                  1. hunkerdown

                    Trying again for clarity, LL and similar freedom-fighting organizations of the late 20th seemed to be either a) pulling their punches or b) promoting a specific cultural revanche. Like many other political movements, they got the diagnosis right in broadest strokes, that scientific management isn’t the normie’s or worker’s friend, but always with some angle to “sell” their own pet ideas as a solution, which theirs certainly did have racialist aspects. Most of what I know about LL I learned from the guy down the block selling The Spotlight.

                    The Ctrl-Left runs the same sort of thing with #outoftime and other organizations dedicated to performing an attitude about anthropogenic global warming (or whatever this decade’s pronouns are for “humans compulsively shxtting up their nest”).

    3. BeliTsari

      Sort’a like Scientific American lecturing how to inoculate against conspiracy theory! Lots of Hitler’s race-law dictums were based on unintentionaly hilarious, reconstruction-era neuroses, they’d promulgated without ANY sense of irony. Misinformation translates as “anything contradicting libertarian think-tank große Lüge, not originally from K, J or C Street bullshit factories or drunked-up, ofay, Madison Ave dunderheads, sneeringly brain-washed by hyperactive amygdala & cocaine. Fact is obviously, misinformation.

    4. Mikel

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say the DNC Dems and their entire institutional orbit are still laser focused on the Presidency – the Executive Branch. That’s where they get to populate the (for lack of a better word) “shadow govt” and administrate wars.
      Is it far fetched to think their plan for 2024 is to scream “Oh, no look. Those Republican crazies have the House and the Senate. Vote for whatever Dem for President to keep them from _____(fill in blank with horror of choice).”

      1. hunkerdown

        Not at all far fetched. It’s in their rules-based order to perform the “must beat the enemy in a numbers game” when down in the midterms and “fighting for the things we act to deny you” when up. They are strategic affect dispensers, like the most manipulative romantic partner you have ever had times seventy million.

    5. hk

      This is a very dangerous development. IMHO, every election anywhere ever is always somewhat questionable in the sense that vote counting is not an exact science and it is something done on an enormous scale with a lot of not so experienced and capable people involved. One can accept certain imperfections and accept the results as legitimate, more or less. Most mistakes will be, well, mistakes so the institution retains its credibility for the most part. Or, one can insistently accuse the mistakes as product of some ill will or conspiracies that, honestly, can’t ever really be proven (unless they are absurdly obvious, but even then, what exactly counts as “obvious” is questionable these days). Then every election loses credibility. 2016? Didn’t happen. 2020 didn’t happen either. 2000? Fake. 1960? Phoney. 1876? Lies. 1860? Manufactured. 1828? Crazy nonsense.. 1800? Vile conspiracy against Aaron Burr. Pretty soon, all of history will be reduced to fakery, and not without “evidence.”

      If you want to practice “democracy,” you can’t throw shade at the institutions that maintain “democracy.” If you do, then you are calling for its destruction.

      1. Yves Smith

        That is completely false. The UK uses paper ballots, hand counted in public, with all sorts of election watchers making sure there the ballot boxes were secure and observers from the major parties watched their conveyance to the counting station.

        Adjudication of any questionably marked ballots done with oversight of multiple party member, sin the open.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Up to a couple of decades ago electoral fraud in the form of double voting was rife in parts of the UK, mostly in Northern Ireland (‘Vote early, vote often’ as party activists used to say). Better ID systems has pretty much eliminated this.

          In Ireland, the institution of the Tallyman was highly effective at keeping elections clean. But very skilled local party activists with their ears on the ground can use that data to get a very fine grained idea of who is voting and how they are voting. They would match up what they were told on doorsteps with the votes from each box coming through. My mother was an electoral troll before anyone knew what a troll was – she took great glee in lying to local politicians who knocked on our door about what was being said by neighbours or other candidates.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              In a FPTP system this is true, but one reason that vote casting issues were never as bad in the Republic (with its STV system) as in Northern Ireland is that the Tallymen could quickly spot anomalies on a fairly granular level so any significant number of ghost votes could be highlighted. Its far harder to spot these when its just a lot of ‘x’s.

        2. caucus99percenter

          Back in 2019 I remember watching U.K. election night coverage of Boris Johnson’s victory and was impressed by what is apparently an established custom.

          In each district, as the hand counting of the ballots nears its end, the candidates for that district gather and await the results together, standing in a row in front of the cameras and public in attendance. An official steps up to the microphone and reads the final tallies. The winner then steps up to the mike and gives a short acceptance speech.

          All candidates, even ones in silly costumes from joke parties like the Monster Raving Loony Party, behave and are treated with decorum and good humo(u)r — at least that was my impression. “Well,” I thought cheerfully, “unlike in the United States, it would appear that in Her Majesty’s realm the spirit of fair play is not yet completely dead.”

  13. t

    ” People don’t like being manipulated and need a greater understanding of the fact that they are being manipulated by people profiting off of these lies.”
    That last sentence that should be the first, indeed. Dismaying how little people understand the amount of money in the mix. People hear something a lot and, I believe, internalize the notion that this view is popular common sense that many agree with and never consider that ~80% of the cash and online support promoting that view originally came from a half a dozen people who are up to no good.

    1. pjay

      “People don’t like being manipulated…” I agree. And when they realize they have been, they often tend to react negatively.

      “… and need a greater understanding of the fact that they are being manipulated by people profiting off of these lies.”

      Also true. And who might these people be? Why, they are all right-wingers! The article notes the social media sources of such misinformation, but its examples are *all* from the “right” – Trump, Fox News, Alex Jones, etc.

      This is just a very typical article by a liberal journalist, utilizing the work of a liberal academic, to “scientifically” confirm their own liberal biases with absolutely no self-reflection about these biases — in “Scientific” American!

      I read *many* such studies of conservative “motivated reasoning,” the “Republican Brain,” etc., as an academic. While valid, they were, of course, only half the story. I’m still waiting for research on the “Liberal Brain” and misinformation on Russiagate and Ukraine from objective academics.

  14. Wukchumni

    {with inspiration from Gerald…}

    Crack that whip
    Give the past a pink slip
    Get on a Volcker track
    Break the housing bubble’s back

    When inflation comes along
    You must whip it
    Before interest rates play along
    You must whip it
    When something’s going wrong
    You must whip it

    Now whip it
    Into shape
    Shape it up
    Get straight
    Go forward
    Move ahead
    Try to detect it
    It’s not too late
    To whip it
    Whip it good

    When a good time turns around
    You must whip it
    You will never live it down
    Unless you whip it
    Inflation gets in the way
    Until they whip it

    I say whip it
    Whip it good
    I say whip it
    Whip it good

    It’s not too late
    To whip it
    Whip it good

    Whip It, by Devo

      1. griffen

        We have our own chant, perhaps not for the kids or a button though.

        FJB. FJB. Let’s go, Brandon !

  15. Wukchumni


    Pakistan’s former prime minister, Imran Khan, has been shot and wounded in the leg in an attack on his protest march in the eastern city of Wazirabad.

    A senior aide told AFP news agency it was “an attempt to kill him”, but police are yet to confirm that he was the target.

    Members of his PTI party said another four people were hurt in the shooting.

    Mr Khan, 70, was leading the march on the capital Islamabad to demand snap elections after he was ousted in April.

    The former prime minister was seen being taken to a hospital in Lahore. A party spokesman said he had been hit in the shin.

        1. JohnA

          Imran Khan was more of a bouncer bowler than googlies, to be fair. He did upset the US by cosying up to Russia and stopped US use of drones in Pakistan. So I wonder who is behind this assassination attempt.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’d feared that somebody would bring that up when he was bowling alone, but saw my opening for rare cricket humor and pounced @ the wickets.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Saudi Arabia courts Australian miners for $170 billion plan”

    I guess with so much wealth coming from oil production, the Saudis never saw the need to see what other resources that their country had which sounds kinda short-sightened. But of course the interesting bit is where they did not ask their good buddies in America to look for that wealth. It may be that if they develop those resources, giving it to the US would be having too many eggs in one basket and they may want to diversify the number of countries involved. So why Australia? I suppose that we have so little to do with that country that we do not have a local power base there. Of course we have been selling them weapons to fight the Yemenis and helping train their Navy how to enforce a starvation blockade so there is that.

    1. The View From Howe Street.

      Australia has excellent mineral exploration infrastructure, education, risky finance and supporting culture. In a career in mining I don’t recall meeting a U.S. geologist who wasn’t part of USGS or a major producer. Never a U.S. exploration geologist though I’m sure they exist but loads of Australians and Canadians all over the world.

      Oil rich countries seldom bother with risky, grass roots, mining exploration. The financial markets don’t want to hear about anything else.

  17. AbyNormal

    Just a ponder about the shipping article…
    “Evidence of Iranian and Venezuelan trading patterns teach us that sanctioned barrels often go through multiple transshipments before reaching their final destination. Such practices are inefficient, meaning more vessels are required for the same volume of non-sanctioned cargoes.”
    July 2020:
    China never stopped buying. Crude from Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, kept arriving at Chinese ports with the help of a Switzerland-based unit of Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and a roundabout delivery method that made it appear as if the oil’s origin was Malaysia, Reuters has found.
    Jan 2022:
    The booming arms trade is complemented by Russia’s deployment of two nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Venezuela every five years since 2008.
    According to OFAC, CEIEC provided Venezuela with the commercialized version of China’s “Great Firewall.” The use of private contractors and private companies with ties to the military allows Russia and China to protect their oil, mining, and infrastructure investments while collecting tactical and strategic intelligence — and, most importantly, providing the Maduro regime with military logistical and intelligence support to manage the myriad irregular armed non-state actors operating on Venezuelan territory.
    (jump on in the waters are warm)

  18. Wukchumni

    Sports Desk

    Watched my first MLB game of the year and I picked a beauty in that it was a no hitter and the first i’d ever seen with so many co-stars in the pitching role for a no-no, and in a World Series game-the first in 66 years…

    Still, it felt awkward when the Houston coach pulled the starter out after 6 innings with a 5-0 lead, why not let him go all the way?

    So much of the talent comes from the Baseball Pyramid* of Cuba, Dominican Republic & Venezuela.

    I was once an baseball fan, went to 5-10 games a year and knew all the players, but i’m losing interest to the point where the 7th game of the WS might only pique my interest as a sudden death contest and be the first & last game of the season for yours truly.

    The only way MLB connects to its meager young adult audience is vis a vis gambling, somewhere Pete Rose must be laughing at his lifetime ban for doing something the league openly promotes now.

    *imagine the parameters of the pyramid, it’d be a rather flat sloping model going from Havana to Caracas and peaking in Santo Domingo

    1. fresno dan

      My wife who is a big Dodgers fan was very disappointed that the LA team didn’t make it to the series.
      Not being a basefall fan, I ask what is the point of the long (boring) baseball season when a wild card team gets to the World Series?
      NL Wild Card
      Atlanta Braves: 95-58 – clinched playoff berth.
      San Diego Padres: 85-68.
      Philadelphia Phillies: 83-69.
      Milwaukee Brewers: 82-71, 1.5 GB.
      San Francisco Giants: 75-78, 8.5 GB.
      using the above logic why not dispense with the regular season and just have every team play a best of 3? Take those winners, and then another best of 3, then maybe a best of five until you get down to the last 2 teams left, and than you can have a best of 7. You might even be able to have the series end before Thanksgiving (with the desire for ever more profits, I am sure the inflation in playoff contenders means that eventually the playoffs will continue till Christmas)

      1. Wukchumni

        Make me the Major Major Major Majordomo and i’d stretch the NFL season out to 162 games and reign in MLB to 16 stanzas.

        It’d be somewhat gladiatorial on the gridiron as the players would wear out, some sooner with injuries-others through general attrition, so you’d have probably the equivalent of 10 to 12 ‘squads’ playing during the season for one team.

        This would give all those college players that never go anywhere, a chance to play in the bigs, but of course the quality of play would suffer.

        On the other hand, baseball would be really exciting, you’d look forward to the game on the weekend all through the summer, with the World Series in August.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Because of systemic cheating in 2017 the Astros should have been banned from post-season play for 10 years. They should have also forfeited their World Series win in 2017. MLB is worthless to me. In any event, how does a team that hits five home runs the game before get no-hitted? Pathetic.

        1. juno mas

          That’s easy to answer: good pitching beats good hitting. Each game has ~ the same hitters while each game has a new pitcher. (In the ‘No Hit’ game, four of them.)

    2. griffen

      Nothing says fall weather like the October classic, er, rather the November classic. Is the plan by the MLB owners & commissioner to compete with Thanksgiving football? Some but not all pro sports seasons are, at least my two cents, increasingly absurd and taking extra weeks because that is what we did 50 years ago.

      I last watched a full series, or I think most games, when the Rangers were reaching the WS in 2010 and again in 2011. Getting swept by SF Giants in 2010, well that pitching staff was so loaded. As a then resident of Texas, living in Plano, I was ensconced in the follow up return the following year when they got so very close. Like 9th inning of game 6 close, if my recall is any good.

        1. juno mas

          Yes! Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was struck out on a “called” ball four. End of game. Rangers win. (I’m a Giants fan.)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hopefully by Christmas they will have finished doing a proper count of all those votes in spite of all the lawyers and gun-toting nuts watching the counters every move.

        1. flora

          Could hand marked paper ballots hand counted in public be faster than this computerized balloting/vote counting? Maybe so. I’m ready to try it again. / ;)

          1. semper loquitur

            Youtube had a PSA up yesterday saying something to the effect that it will take days to count the votes. The ‘tube has been very “helpful” lately. They have PSAs explaining to viewers how they can pick out an expert on a topic from a fake, how to identify mis-dis-information, etc.

          2. Vandemonian

            Australia uses hand marked paper ballots, count in public. Polls close at 6pm, and counting starts around 6.30 (in each non-tiny polling place). Ballots from tiny locations are transported to a nearby counting place. The overall national result is usually obvious by around 10 – 10.30 pm. Each candidate (or their party) can nominate scrutineers who watch the count from the other side of the table, and are invited to comment/advise on ambiguous ballot papers.

            Starting first thing Monday morning every ballot is re-counted to provide an official outcome. The final, definitive result, including postal, absentee and out of area votes, is usually available after 8 – 10 working days.

            We don’t need no stinking voting machines, and neither does the US.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “More than Half of Tankers Which Have Been Loading in Russian Ports in the Last 6 Months, Were Controlled by EU, G7 of Allied Countries”

    Makes sense as nearly half that grain went to the EU and not poorer starving nations.

  20. Dennis

    “Originalism Is Intellectually Indefensible”

    I am a fan of this strategy used by Justice Jackson. Let these conservative Justices paint themselves into a corner. I would start with making them explain how the War Powers Act is constitutional. Then move on to the Apportionment Act of 1911 and the Reapportionment Act of 1929 which caps the House at 435 members, and which would require an amendment rather than a Statute. Let them declare that unconstitutional and see what happens to conservatives with a House of Representatives with one representative for every 30K Americans.

  21. Wukchumni

    Today marks the first casualty in outer space 65 years ago as Laika-a stray mongrel from the streets of Moscow, breathed her last after 4 orbits in a Sputnik-the first ever by a mammal and a female beat the boys into orbit.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Like the man who was tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail, Laika would have said ‘If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk.’

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I think it curious how often Laika has shown up in the movies — e.g. “My Life as a Dog”, “Hanna”. I suppose Laika’s story holds a certain as yet unelaborated mythic quality.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Will Biden Gamble on a Ukraine Coalition?”

    When Douglas Macgregor talked about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, he forgot to mention that out of 612,000 men that went in, only 112,000 ever got out. Anyway, I can’t see any Coalition of the Willing wanting to join up. The US can’t even find a lead nation to go into Haiti for them. He suggests Polish and Romanian forces but there already are but pretending to be “mercenaries.” It has not been a good experience for them. Several days ago a bunch of these Polish and Romanian “mercs” were ordered to attack the Russians along the north front but they refused as it was a pointless suicide mission. So then the Ukrainians sent in a nationalist enforcer unit to “persuade” those mercs to go in, a firefight broke out and there are now fewer Ukrainians enforcer nationalist there now.

    In any case, it took the Coalition of the Willing how many months to move all those troops and equipment into place to attack Iraq? Wasn’t it six months or more? Well this new Coalition can’t do that. All that needed equipment and supplies were used up in the Ukraine and will take years to replace. Germany has only enough ammo for two days and I heard that all of NATO only has enough ammo and supplies for about a month. And NATO does not have the combat experience whereas the Russians have several months worth. And NATO air forces will have to fly over a thousand kilometers to the front whereas the Russian Aerospace forces are located right behind the front (like happened in the Battle of Britain). And after the first attempted air strike, Russian missiles will destroy those bases in places like Poland and Germany with long-range missiles.

    One final thing to consider is that the Russians have been keeping the best of their military out of this fight in case NATO was idiotic to try something like this. In the Ukraine, they are using their second tier forces. So as an example, the Russians use their S-300 anti-air systems in this war but have yet to deploy their S-400 or even their S-500 systems. And it should be remembered that all of those anti-air systems that the west are sending the Ukraine from all over NATO? None of them are even in the same league as the S-300. If NATO actually tried to go in, then they would get to see all the good gear that the Russians have been holding back as well as their best fighting formations.

    1. hk

      I always wondered about the Grande Armee numbers. A majority of the troops were not French, with widely ranging degrees of enthusiasm, from around 100,000 fanatically Russophobic Poles to about 100,000 Austrians and Prussians who hated the French more than the Russians but were dragged along by politics. My understanding is that many of the unwilling “allies” simply changed side. So how many of those “losses” were actual casualties?

        1. hk

          Thanks. The wikipedia entry notes how most of Prussian and Austrian “allies” of Napoleon survived and that fact shaped my thinking above, although, apparently, this was not quite as widespread among other non-French/Polish forces as I imagined. Of course, by the time they were leaving Russia, Prussia and Austria were already decracto allies of Russia….

    2. ThirtyOne

      From an article I linked yesterday:

      Today, after the frightening human losses suffered by Ukrainian troops, it is mercenaries who seem to bear the brunt of the fighting—but who, above all, are taking over the predatory role previously played by the Azov battalions. These mercenaries are obviously not paid by Ukraine, which does not have the means, but by the American-NATO military-media complex. Capitalism is at work! We can therefore already say that at the moment, a weakened (failing) state—Ukraine in this case—is no longer able to wage war with its own national forces. It is obliged to call upon external forces that it does not control. We are thus in line with our previous observation on the incapacity of the nation-state to wage war.

  23. Wukchumni

    Kevin y Devin was almost akin to Newman & Redford, except the former had no acting ability except when reading off a teleprompter or sorting out starburst colors.

    Nunes called it quits to run Truth Social* and seeing as it might as well not exist in terms of being a player, you wonder why the abominable showman keeps Dev in his employ. He must know zumzing.

    Nunes learned from Trump the power of the nuisance lawsuit demanding damages so incredibly huge, so as to become news in themselves when announced as the proles are always attracted to such things in lottery sized winner dollops.

    Dev had around a billion out there in ‘accounts’ receivable, and there wasn’t a lot of follow-up on his account, the initial news being all he was after, but there was a little hitch in his giddyup…

    In 2018, Hearst Magazines published an article in Esquire by reporter Ryan Lizza entitled Devin Nunes’s Family Farm Is Hiding a Politically Explosive Secret. The piece revealed that, contrary to the California Republican congressman’s claim to be continuing his family tradition of farming in Tulare, the Nunes clan had upped sticks in 2006 for Sibley, Iowa to run a dairy farm called NuStar. The piece went on to note that “Midwestern dairies tend to run on undocumented labor” and that “it’s an open secret that the system is built on easily obtained fraudulent documents.”

    In one particularly insane episode, Hearst’s counsel showed up to depose NuStar employees, who were represented by an attorney hired by the company. When Hearst produced evidence that the employees’ identification documents were clearly false, their lawyer advised them to take the Fifth. After which Biss lost his shit, fired the attorney, and insisted that “Not a single one of them is going to take the Fifth Amendment because they haven’t done anything wrong. We’ve produced all their documentation showing they’re authorized to work.” Hearst refused to depose unrepresented parties who were in danger of incriminating themselves, and eventually the court appointed outside counsel for the employees so they could be deposed.

    The Congressman’s $77.5 million demand is not tethered to any methodology or calculation of loss. It is based on “how much information’s out there,” after “look[ing] at all the posts” and “overwhelming number of views,” arriving at a “round number that [he] thought was appropriate.” He cannot remember the number of posts or views (“it was 10 or 15 or 20 million times”) and does not know how they add up to $77.5 million, musing, “well, what’s that [post or view] worth, you know, dollar, two dollars, three dollars? I don’t know.”

    It’s also not funny at all. Because, as Hearst points out, “The Congressman is a plaintiff in several other defamation suits, each seeking an eye-popping sum calculated a similar way.” In fact, the current chairman of a social media company which purports to support free speech has waged a campaign to weaponize the judicial system to punish true speech he doesn’t like. Even when, as here, the cost to his family and the community he purports to be protecting, is potentially devastating. Because while he’s succeeded in punishing Hearst by making it fork over millions of dollars to its lawyers, he’s also shined a spotlight on the very employment practices his family and indeed the entire Iowa dairy farming community was trying not to talk about.

    * one last ‘Say No To Socialism, listen to Devin Nunes’ banner wraps itself around a large pole on the side of Hwy 99, a bit twisted.

    And here he is now pushing social media, funny.

  24. flora

    re: ‘This Is Our March 2020’: Children’s Hospitals Are Overwhelmed by R.S.V. – NYT

    A possible unintended consequence of lockdowns on very young children? From the Guardian last year:

    Covid distancing may have weakened children’s immune system, experts say

    And from JNS today:

    Did COVID lockdowns harm children’s immune systems?
    In the months after Israel lifted the majority of social restrictions, a sharp incline was reported in respiratory and gastrointestinal infections among the 0 to 3 age group, revealed a peer-reviewed study by Ben-Gurion University.

    There are so many important questions.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s really strange how this idea has spread that the more often you get sick, the better. I have two grandchildren under a year, and both of them are better off not getting RSV until they’re older.

      And there’s also the question whether the severity of the RSV cases is augmented by a previous case of Covid.

    2. Verifyfirst

      This “immune deficit” theory appears to be a made up excuse the anti-maskers, anti-mitigation crowd have invented to “prove” mitigations hurt children. It has no basis in immunology–from what I have read. More likely is that mass infection by Covid has weakened/disregulated the childrens’ immune systems. Here from the Twitter:

      Pandemic News

      The immunity debt theory is a misinformation campaign.

      Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the circulation of other pathogens in England

      Only four of the 22 investigated diseases and disease groups displayed higher post- than pre-pandemic levels


      The article is interesting, I’m not a scientist though!

      1. flora

        a warning with a trigger mis-dis-mal word designed to color perception doesn’t increase my attention to the claim. / ;)

        1. flora

          The can offer a counter argument and evidence without trashing the intent or character of those they’re arguing against, imo.

  25. Wukchumni

    Read into it what you will, dept:

    We’ve had many sorties of F-35’s overhead the past week, with another loud one overhead as I peck away on this contraption.

    There’s more action in this past week than in the past couple months…

    1. scott s.

      Well, typically training $ for things like flight hours run out at the end of the fiscal year so major training gets scheduled after 1 Oct, though continuing resolutions can throw a monkey wrench into things.

  26. Mikel
    What Does Twitter Verification Mean

    I remember the article NC posted not too long ago about all of the people on Spotify being fake musicians to get verification.

    But this part:
    “…Karen North, a clinical professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, expressed similar concerns in an interview with The Hill website. If prominent people opt not to pay for verification, North said, “It undermines the primary purpose of the platform if users, especially people like journalists, have trouble figuring out who’s a legitimate source.”

    Didn’t journalism school once teach people how to verify sources as part of being called an actual journalist?
    So, they’ve become lazy and expect Twitter to do it for them.

  27. semper loquitur

    I had to go into the City yesterday for some chores. A few observations:

    I saw a woman wearing a “Smile again!” t-shirt. I was masked of course, being inside a Home Despot. She actually smiled at me as I walked by in a friendly way. Perhaps she has taken it upon herself to coax the paranoid maskers out of their self-imposed isolation by reminding them how nice it is to see a smile. In any event, she wasn’t unfriendly.

    There are actually more maskers on the street than I would have thought. No where nearly enough and most are wearing the useless surgical masks. I was still surprised though, I would have thought I’d have seen a lot less. And the store clerks and such I saw weren’t wearing any.

    I get looks for my masks, more than in the past. No one has said anything to me yet. But I see the side-eyes as I walk by and sometimes an uncomfortable look on the person’s face.

    On the way in, I passed a large billboard that someone had hung a small banner atop. I’ve seen this before, it’s been up for a few months now. It demands that we “End industry before it ends us!” Precisely the totally unrealistic and alienating notion the environmental “movement” spouts out without any apparent concept of how that would impact the average individual.

    1. flora

      re: “I get looks for my masks,…” I do, too, but I don’t read too much into it. Some may be wondering if masking is required again and they hadn’t heard. Some may be realizing they need to find your eyes to check if you’re giving them a smile or if they recognize you. Some may be wondering if they should keep their distance to respect your space. Other people’s motivations can be all over the place. It’s really hard to tell.

      1. semper loquitur

        Those are all excellent points, thanks. To be clear, I didn’t think everyone was throwing shade my way, I just wondered if they were feeling nervous for not masking. NYC is pretty “live and let live” in that I don’t worry too much about someone confronting me. I have had a few people fake-cough when they walk by me though.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’m not as zealous of a masker as I once was, but during the height of Covid, I went to an Army-Navy-NASA store and bought a new-never used Apollo 24 spacesuit with matching helmet and oxygen backpack for a relative song, and you should’ve seen the looks I got when out grocery shopping. You’d have thought I was from the moon.

      1. digi_owl

        During the early COVID days, there was a local story about someone going shopping after work in full “hazmat” as he was working on the renovation of some old office buildings.

    3. hunkerdown

      My rule of thumb is that anything that even sounds like religious cant should be rejected. Too bad about the banner, because industry is a highly problematic social system, and middle-class individuals, by hoarding the benefits of industrial society to themselves, have forfeited any legitimate right to decide how they are going to be remediated.

      Ask the “average” working-class individual, not the clerisy, and you will probably find more agreement with the problematic than the value. For some reason, industrial senescence in service of autarky doesn’t seem to be an option that anyone wants to talk about.

      As for masks, familyblog the haters. Under my 3M Aura I have managed to apparently successfully communicate laughter, bemusement, and “If you have a problem with my mask I will have far more fun than you will solving it”.

  28. Jason Boxman


    What terrible public health messaging, that this individual was practically in a straight jacket like this. Why wouldn’t you be able to touch people?

    Robyn Ruth, of Augusta County, Virginia, is at that decision point now. Her first experience with the treatment, in April, was momentous: “I had my first hug since the beginning of the pandemic,” Ruth told me. “I just remember my knees buckled, because I hadn’t touched another human being in so long.” In the weeks after, Ruth felt safe enough to go to a couple of doctor appointments and visit a few friends, even garden in their company—activities she hadn’t engaged in since the start of 2020. But as variants continue to chip away at Evusheld’s efficacy, Ruth is steeling herself for the possibility that another dose won’t bring the same relief.

  29. Jason Boxman

    And the lies continue.

    The New Covid Boosters Are Incredible, and Everyone Should Get One

    First, the government needs to get the word out about how great the bivalent boosters are, even if you’ve been previously infected, even if you’re young and healthy. “So few people know that they’re even available,” Dr. Boyd pointed out. And yet there is little money to spread the word. Worse, President Biden sent the opposite signal when he recently claimed that “the pandemic is over.” He could instead tell us that if everyone gets the new bivalent boosters, that’s the way to achieve what we all want: a full return to normal life.

    (bold me)


    This is a lie, simply stated. Unless these new shots completely stop transmission, there is no “return to normal” in the offing. And saying otherwise is simply a lie.

    The author?

    Bryce Covert (@brycecovert) is a journalist who focuses on the economy, with an emphasis on policies that affect workers and families.

    So, yeah.

      1. marku52

        “X.X. and P.-Y.S. have filed a patent on the reverse genetic system. X.X., J.Z., and P.-Y.S. received compensation from Pfizer for COVID-19 vaccine development. ”

        IOW, the whole thing has zero credibility. And it still shows that the boosters suck.

  30. Jeff W

    Crows Perform Yet Another Skill Once Thought Distinctively Human Scientific American

    In [Arnaud] Rey’s view, the notion of “recursive processing” as a unique form of cognition is in itself flawed. Even in humans, he says, this capacity can most likely be explained simply through associative learning mechanisms…According to Rey, researchers currently fall largely into two camps: one that believes that human language is built on unique capacities such as the ability to understand recursion and another that believes it emerged from much simpler processes such as associative learning.

    Putting aside the odd characterization of associative learning as a “much simpler process,” I’ve never understood the assumption that human language is built on some unique capacity, rather than on generalizable learning principles—to me, it’s like the linguistic version of phlogiston. (There could be some unique capacity, of course, but I wouldn’t assume it at the outset.)

    1. Korual

      If we accept that humans have evolved an innate universal grammar, then it’s more than likely that elements of this will show up in other animals, so recursion in crows is not impossible, though I’m sceptical of this research. However the claim crows recognise “number” is unbelievable. That study can only claim the crows recognise larger or smaller “amount”.

        1. digi_owl

          What is really fun is that they understand traffic lights well enough to use cars as nutcrackers.

    2. fairleft

      These theories were and are still about establishing and putting a fence around linguistics as a unique field of study.

      You’re right that there is no concrete evidence for a uniquely human language ability, and neither is there a theoretical need for same. (And that uniqueness hypothesis makes it ‘controversial’ to observe obvious language skill in other smart animals.) Similarly with Chomsky’s goofy idea there’s a ‘grammar part of the human brain’ that other animal brains don’t have. Nope, definitely wrong.

  31. Karl

    RE: The hidden cause of economy-wide inflation

    I find the posited hidden cause–market power and predatory pricing–utterly unconvincing for “economy wide” inflation. Sector-wide–like oil and gas–yes. OPEC has market power. Economy wide? You’d need to make the case that concentration and market power are pervasive, i.e. economy wide. Why are firms in all sectors suddenly using market power they’ve long had?

    Not convinced. Well, there is one instance of pervasive market power: the ability of the U.S. government to impose economic sanctions, which can at a stroke increase oil prices, gas prices, fertilizer prices…. The articles provided in today’s links don’t mention that!

    1. griffen

      The grain industry and the meat industry appreciate the continued support.

      But seriously, meats and packaged meats are run by a small list of maybe 4 to 5 giant corporations. Poultry, pork and beef are large protein sources for most non vegan Americans. Consolidation within these industries really intensified in the past 15 to 20 years.

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