Links 11/5/2022

Making daylight saving permanent could drastically reduce deer collisions, study finds NBC. Resilc: “I’m all for more dead deer. They kill all kinds of new forest growth by over population. Death to Bambi.”




SARS-CoV-2 Omicron’s newest subvariant BQ.1.1 shows extraordinary immune evasion potential against vaccine sera


How a sand battery could transform clean energy BBC

Clean Energy is Booming (Here’s the Bad News) CounterPunch (resilc)

Waterlogged wheat, rotting oranges: five crops devastated by a year of extreme weather Guardian (David L)

Ukraine War Day #253: Is Gruzia Next On The Menu? Awful Avalanche (guurst)

Canadian logging industry’s emissions on par with oilsands: Report The Star

A third of southern Sierra forest lost to drought, wildfire Los Angeles Times

He’s an Outspoken Defender of Meat. Industry Funds His Research, Files Show. New York Times


US godfather makes a chip offer you can’t understand Asia Times

Germany’s Scholz flies out under fire to meet Xi Politico

President Xi Jinping Meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Notice the coded dig in the mention of Helmut Schmidt.


India Gambles On Building a Leading Drone Industry BBC

The United States may start losing talented H1-B visa holders to Canada Economic Times


‘Imran Khan’s Long March Could Lead to An Army Intervention in Pakistan’ The Wire

New Not-So-Cold War

Slovakia: Firewood back as energy crisis bites DW (resilc)

Ukraine Russia War What’s Happening Scott Ritter YouTube and Will Biden Gamble on a Ukraine Coalition? [Douglas McGregor] YouTube. Both focus on the American troops now admitted to be in Ukraine. guurst points out the McGregor talk really gets going at 16:40.

Vladimir Putin demands evacuation of civilians from Kherson Financial Times. The Kherson non-offensive (or at best Ukraine-initiated encounter battles that have been consistently ending badly for Ukraine) = “a fierce counter-offensive”. Russia is in fact fortifying its positions west of the Dnieper (trenches, pillboxes) and moving in more troops. Alexander Mercouris speculates that a reason for wanting civilians out is that the west bank is being prepared as the launching point for an offensive to take points west, eventually Odessa.

In U-turn, Bulgarian parliament tells Sofia to send weapons to Ukraine Politico (Gayle M)

Ukraine Is Paying A Heavy Price for Its Total Dependence on the West Larry Johnson

Pope, in Bahrain, condemns rearmament pushing world to ‘the brink’ Reuters (resilc)

Europe May See Forced De-Industrialization As Result Of Energy Crisis OilPrice (resilc)

Pentagon, U.S. arms makers to talk Russia, labor and supply chain Reuters (resilc)

Low Prices And Tanker Traffic Leave $2 Billion Of LNG Floating Off Europe OilPrice

Leaked documents: British spies constructing secret terror army in Ukraine Grayzone (Kevin W)

US takes swipe at China, Russia for ‘blanket protection’ to North Korea Anadolu Agency

Russia calls into question US management of UN Headquarters Voltaire Network (Chuck L)


Warning of ‘imminent’ Iranian attack in Saudi Arabia raises eyebrows Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Netanyahu Ally Says Israel Will Attack Iran Absent a ‘New Nuclear Deal’ Antiwar

Biden’s ‘Free Iran’ Blunder Daniel Larison (resilc)

The Israel We Knew Is Gone New York Times (resilc, David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US military donation misuse in Guatemala going unchecked: Report Al Jazeera (resilc)


Trump ally Tom Barrack acquitted of foreign agent charges Associated Press (resilc)


The Democrats will probably lose the midterms, because our society is falling apart. Jacobin

In Pre-Election Drop, House Republicans Release ‘Bombshell’ Report Composed Mostly Of Old Letters TalkingPointsMemo (furzy)

How Fetterman drew Oprah into the race against Oz Politico

Biden, Obama set for clash with Trump in Pennsylvania The Hill

National Guard Leaders Warn More Cyber Security Spending Needed to Help Protect Elections Why is the National Guard opining?!?!?

Our No Longer Free Press

PBS and BBC Team Up to Misinform About Brazil’s Bolsonaro FAIR (guurst)

The Twidiot-in-chief Matt Labash

Can Elon Musk Make the Math Work on Owning Twitter? It’s Dicey. New York Times

Why Elon Wants to Make Them Pay New York Magazine (furzy)

The Bezzle

The Crypto Art Crash: What Remains of the NFT Hype Der Spiegel

A History of Economic Whac-A-Mole Brad DeLong Project Syndicate (David L)

Wells Fargo Faces US Demand for Record Fine Exceeding $1 Billion Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Guess How Much These New York Jobs Pay New York Times (resilc)

Socially responsible companies laid off more workers than their peers during the COVID-19 pandemic University of Vaasa

GitHub Users File a Class-Action Lawsuit Against Microsoft for Training an AI Tool With Their Code Vice

Antidote du jour. Chet G:

This past Friday, I was photographing some Centre Wildlife Care animals for its annual adoption/sponsorship, and I thought you might enjoy a few of those photos.

Opal is an opossum (North America’s only marsupial).

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. none

    Anyone know whether the bivalent covid vaccine helps against the new variants? Is getting it worthwhile? I stay away from humane as much as I can, but there are some like family who I can’t really avoid, sigh. Thanks.

    1. borkman

      I believe Yves isn’t keen about readers giving medical advice. But the first link under Covid might get you started.

    2. Bugs

      Eric Fiegl-Ding on Twitter has been pushing people to get it – the BA4-5 bivalent one. @DrDing

      You can read his reasons by going through his tweets there.

    3. Lupana

      Paul Offitt has some videos on Youtube that are I thought helpful for deciding whether you want to consider getting it. In my opinion the whole COVID situation has become a nightmare of confusing narratives. It’s hard to decipher what any advice is based on or means especially since the decision seems to have been made to declare the pandemic over while at the same time saying to stay “up to date” with vaccines..I just simplified it to wear a mask indoors and stay away from crowds but like you say – family … …

      1. John Medcalf

        I’ve been a Topol follower for many months. Also Zeynep Tufecki and nakedcapitalism’s Covid section. I was skipping booster 3 until Topol said it offered somewhat improved outcomes. Check the link and consider subscribing to his newsletter.

    4. Lee

      At minute 24, two papers on this question are discussed by Dr. Daniel Griffen in his Weekly Clinical Update.

      Antibody responses to bivalent mRNA vaccine booster shot (Biorxiv)

      Immunogenicity of bivalent mRNA vaccine boosters (Biorxiv)

      The conclusion is that the bivalent vaccine booster is not significantly better than the original formula in producing effective antibodies to the new strains. Boosting with either will produce higher levels of antibody protection against severe disease at least for awhile. No vaccine will prevent infection and antibodies always wane.

      Currently, 40% to 50% of people dying are vaccinated. Most of these are older persons with preexisting comorbidities. It’s particularly important for the vulnerable, even if vaccinated, to seek treatment. And hopefully you won’t have to go full on John Q to get it.

      The discussion of Covid more generally begins at minute 13.

      1. BeliTsari

        Does that mean 40-50% of people dying with a positive PCR, or excess deaths (elevated by cascading PASC damage?) We’re given bogus statistics, based upon Boss Hogg level obfuscatory pleonasm? Many envisioned a horrific late winter, where excess mortality, coded-out PASC victims, as “preexisting comorbidity” or “poor lifestyle choice” natural causes… Oops, we’re exceeding last years numbers NOW, before the holiday up-tick? But, weeding through OUR party’s Brownstone Institute/ CDC gaslighting is reminiscent of obese irradiated, smokers, in an asbestos plant, in Cancer Alley?

        1. LilD

          I can’t get my hands on it but I saw recently a table on death rates
          Top line:
          unvaccinated mortality from COVID ~ 1%
          Vaccinated more than 90 days prior ~ 0.1%
          With recent booster ~ 0.02%

          Not controlled for anything else so drawing inferences is dependent on your personal risk assessment for data with uncertain sourcing…

      2. marku52

        Plus every does of this stuff gives you a shot of myocardiditis. (of course it’s “mild”, except when you are unlucky and get it bad) for the possible benefit of 10 weeks of potent antibodies

        A bad trade off, in my view. Unless you are immuocompromised or other high risk

        Here is a vid of the paper showing elevation in heart damage enzyme in young people
        Money shot at about 7 minutes showing the effect in everybody that got the shot.
        Vinay Prasad

        1. fairleft

          Proposed Covid Info Wars Deal:

          ‘Official side’ allows myocarditis, airborne transmission, and the ineffectiveness of cloth masks into official narrative IF, in exchange, ‘Trump side’ admits the limited but real benefits of ‘vaccines’ (which we’ll all agree to stop calling ‘vaccines’), that ‘long Covid’ is real, and that policy should prioritize caution for a virus whose effects are far from fully understood.

          Naah? Just asking …

    5. clarky90

      “Degradative Effect of Nattokinase on Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2”

      “Nattokinase’s Amazing Effect on Blocked Arteries & Circulation – Natural Blood Thinner – Dr.Berg”

      I buy natto at my local Asian Mart. It is very inexpensive, and you can make it (ferment it) at home with some practice. I eat a spoon of it most days. Put some into a curry or soup just before serving if you don’t like the fermented taste. OR, just buy nattokinase capsules…….

      “Nattokinase is an enzyme that comes from nato. Natto is a fermented soybean. Natto is a really good source of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is great to help pull calcium build-up out of the arteries. Nattokinase may also be helpful for those with endometriosis, pulmonary embolism, or cirrhosis.

      Many people take nattokinase as an alternative to aspirin to help lower the chance of stroke. Nattokinase may help get rid of clots and act as a natural blood thinner.

      More potential health benefits of nattokinase for the heart and brain:…..”

      1. BeliTsari

        Nattokinase, Serrapeptase, aspirin, NAC & adjuncts like PEA/ Luteolin added to daily PASC hippy-dippy snake oil (about 2 months after 3rd infection) did a REMARKABLE job increasing blood O2, alleviating joint pain (ALL joints!) Never had bad issues with physical activity. But, had some kind of crash in Sept/ Oct, where sweats, tinnitus, ED, sinusitis, LPR returned simultaneously? No sign of any infection. Stopped NO precursors & 5HTP long before. Abrupt change in weather or being fed up with NYC’s DENIAL might be a factor? Still using, with Nicotinamide riboside, Quercetin, Bromaline, D3, C, zinc…

    6. eg

      I’m a veritable pin-cushion. In addition to my 5 Covid shots I just got my flu shot this week.

      But I’m also the guy who never stopped masking and avoids going indoors as much as possible while it appears that everyone around me is “over Covid.”

  2. The Rev Kev

    “US takes swipe at China, Russia for ‘blanket protection’ to North Korea”

    This may have been a case of China and Russia teaching the US, the UK and France an object lesson in cooperation. About two or three days ago there was a vote to investigate the biological warfare research stations that were in the Ukraine in the UN Security Council. When it came time for a vote, both Russia and China voted in favour of an investigation, the US the UK and France voted against investigating and every other country on the Security Council abstaining. This being the case, I am sure that China and Russia found no need to provide the justification for trying to punish North Korea even further which would only ramp up tensions in this region even more. The US is already bringing in nuclear-capable systems into South Korea I understand.

    1. hunkerdown

      Russia and China aren’t trying to “make a better citizen” out of the USA. That’s a silly Western desire that will probably not be recognized or valued. Russia and China would be perfectly happy not to seek the Western return-to-the-womb of “unity” (i.e. others’ supposed interest in your personal doings, another invasive Puritan cultural principle) and instead do their own thing in their own sphere coupled less intimately. Otherwise Russia and China would have been trying to “cooperate” with the bigger organization because they would wish to be part of a house with a master and system would be more important than subjectivity.

      1. timbers

        Scholz is trapped. Officials in his government have already pointed out China does not “share” German “values” so trying to do business with her is folly…it would be like trying to do business with Russia. A German/Chinese reporter should be allowed to ask Herr Chancellor “if China does not share German values, then why did you allow representatives of leading German corporations to come with you on your trip to China?” Sarcasm aside if Scholz has people skills he could go for chemistry and strike up a relationship with X and tell him quietly “this shared values thing is total BS let’s try and leapfrog over it…are you game?”.

    2. Lex

      The increased DPRK activity fascinates me. Generally it is China that restrains Kim(s) and clearly the restraints are off. I sense a willingness to let Kim stress DoD in its current, overstretched situation. Kim isn’t doing much more than testing rocketry but the US has to respond. And in that response it cannot really move troops / equipment while having to consider that hostilities in Taiwan are not necessarily going to be limited to Taiwan.

      1. hk

        SK has, quite frankly, been stupid going full on behind NATO, when it has very little to gain and a lot to lose. What is strange, though, at least based on SK media, is that their elites, like Western Europeans, seem fully onboard with the program regardless of their usual political orientation, and this is a country where elites of opposing sides routinely go into derangement syndromes against each other and rarely agree on anything.

      1. BeliTsari

        Of COURSE, it’s a matter of perspective? Minimization from 74°F NYC is all we’ll get to hear about, once contradictory “disinformation,” “fear mongering” & “eco-terrorist, RooskiBot conspiracy theories” are excised from THEIR internet & Fact-checked SCIENCE about geo-engineering, GE monoculture, carbon sequestration, 4G fission reactors & the GREEN glories of bridge fuel supplant our evil craziness. Pangloss LIVES!

  3. in_still_water

    According to the latest from the Duran – Ukraine has just called up another 100,000 of its citizens. Russia has only used approximately 87,000 of the 300,000 experienced soldiers, recalled last month, to replenish established brigades. The US is sending blankets and stones that can be heated to the Ukrainian troops.
    The other links this morning seem to allay that the US will fail to establish a coalition that has enough experienced troops from the EU/Eastern European nations to counter Russia. DOD is no longer denying that there are US troops in Ukraine.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Duran also made the point that that Ukrainian call up of 100,000 of their people is not to reinforce their brigades like Russia is doing but are to act as replacements for Ukrainian losses. That doesn’t sound good. They’ll be lucky to have a week’s worth of training before being sent into battle.

      There has been a lot of talk about American boots on the ground in the Ukraine and how many there actually are. So I went digging to see how many American boots were on the ground in Vietnam from the beginning to the end. I would guess that we have long since passed the “1960” point-

        1. JEHR

          Anyone in favour of any war should make a point of watching on Netflix “All Quiet on the Western Front” and be sure to not cover your eyes or turn off the sound.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            There is a wonderful book written by Wade Davis – Into the Silence – that in chapter one describes in great detail the horrors of trench warfare.

          2. JBird4049

            Or go old school and just read the book. Western suicidal insanity at its finest. Preferably in the sunlight. Maybe with your favorite pet. The writer does not soften his punches and to think that it was essentially a memoir. There is a reason it has been banned.

            1. Anonymous 2

              Also La Peur by Gabriel Chevalier (better known as the author of Clochemerle) which is also basically a memoir. It is very graphic in its descriptions of what happens to human bodies when they are dismembered by shells. The French troops had to live with that going on around them for four plus years.

          3. spud farmer

            I also highly recommend the 2002 Russian documentary film Prisoners of the Caucasus/Кавказские пленники about the Chechen wars of the mid-1990s/early 2000s. It’s on YouTube with English subtitles but be warned it is extremely harrowing. It is IMO, it is one of the best war documentaries ever made. Higher quality versions of the film are available from a variety of Russian websites but this is the only English subtitled version I have been able to find. Surprised YouTube has left it up for so long.

          4. SocalJimObjects

            Hitler was a front line soldier during World War I. He was wounded twice, promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal, and he even won a few medals. Guess what he did afterwards? It’s a mistake to think that one would reject war forever just because one has seen the horrors of war.

            “Some people just want to see the world burn”, I think that’s an apt description for the powers that be over at Washington. I am just wondering when the later will be desperate enough to dress American soldiers up as Ukrainians. “Voila, here’s your 100000 volunteer soldiers, Comrade Zelensky!!!”

          5. eg

            “Stalingrad” for me still ranks right up there as a grim film depiction of war. “Johnny Got His Gun” really disturbed me where war novels are concerned.

      1. hk

        It would be ironic if American soldiers wind up playing the role of post Tet North Vietnamese (regular) army (who wound up replacing the Viet Cong who were nearly wiped out during their offensive.)

    2. nippersdad

      One thing that was really interesting in that report about Russian troops was how they called up eighty thousand more than the upper ask of the military. The military had based its’ upper limit on how many troops could be trained in a given period, so, with the seventy thousand volunteers they now have 150 thousand more than they can comfortably train. They are going to have to be training people on an ongoing basis just to get through them all.

      They not only have their industrial base ramped up for a war that they have yet to declare they are also minting troops faster than they can train them as well, and it is having the effect of consolidating support by the population for the SMO.

      The people at the Pentagon who cannot fulfill their quotas right now must be looking at that with some trepidation. If they aren’t, they should be. Russia is starting to look like a juggernaut, and when reality hits the NYT and WaPo they are going to have a hard time explaining how Russia lost the war but gained all of Ukraine in the process.

      1. Polar Socialist

        There was also talk (not in Duran, though) about 15,000 volunteering directly to Donetsk and Luhansk militias. The number was mentioned in the context of these men having to be brought under the same social benefits as the mobilized men (and their families) are.

        And I would think that if the Donetsk militias are becoming part of the Russian forces instead of “allies”, at least their officer corps has to be (re)trained to operate within the Russian army context. Liaison officers are just not gonna be efficient enough.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I could be wrong but as the Russians have been training and equipping them for the past eight years, it may be that they already are well grounded in Russian tactical doctrine and know all about their tactics, techniques and procedures. Probably find though that those Donetsk militias are also full of cowboys in how they handle themselves.

          1. nippersdad

            “Probably find though that those Donetsk militias are also full of cowboys in how they handle themselves.”

            After nine years of battle the cowboys have prolly pretty much weeded themselves out. I feel like in a few years the Donbass militias are going to have the same rep as the Chechens do now. It is really impressive how they have handled themselves. At the start of the SMO the Donbass was about the size of New Jersey, and that they could field a credible army against an entrenched, NATO trained and equipped opposition at all was just amazing.

          2. Polar Socialist

            If you ask LDNR militiamen, Russia has mostly sat on it’s hands for 8 years while they have been fighting alone. Most of the weapons they have were captured from Ukrainian storage or troops. In 2014 they had some Russian volunteers helping, but mostly were dead or left when the exiting part was over and the trench warfare began.

            Naturally they do share the same root regarding military thinking and procedures, but I’d venture a guess LDNR militias have mostly focused on getting by with constant lack of ammunition and men, while fighting a superior enemy. Being militias, they didn’t even seem to have holistic command structure within each oblast – the units were formed around charismatic leaders, and some withered away, other became hardcore professional fighters (Group Wagner being the ultimate example).

            1. chris#5

              Your comment about the origin of weapons is consistent with an article by Jacques Baud in Postil Magazine in April:
              “In 2014, when I was at NATO, I was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and we were trying to detect Russian arms deliveries to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received then came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not “fit” with the information coming from the OSCE—despite rather crude allegations, there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia.
              The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian- speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side.”
              He is writing about the beginning of the civil war, so perhaps some weapons flowed afterwards – i would be interested in any firm information about that.

          3. Tom Stone

            Rev, just as important id that those Militias have been maintaining and repairing Russian Vehicles and other equipment for 8 years.
            They have the trained personnel and those personnel have the right tools.

    3. tgs

      Today at MOA, b writes:

      This creeping towards more involvement can easily lead to a catastrophic war between superpowers. The best Russia can do to prevent that is to speed up its operations in Ukraine. A fast and decisive defeat of Ukraine’s army is the only way to prevent a deeper U.S. involvement.

      I’m no longer sure that Russia can accomplish that. After all, eight months and they still do not have total control of the DPR. Mercouris has been talking about a breakthrough Bakhmut since last summer but as of now, the Ukrainians are holding on. Donetsk is still being shelled everyday and civilians are dying.

      I think an intervention of some kind of western coalition will happen if Russia begins to make any progress on the battlefield. The Poles are itching for a fight. Ritter points out that there are technical issues to creating such a force, but lord knows that seemingly have all the time in the world to get it done.

      1. David

        I’m puzzled by the widespread belief that US, or even NATO, involvement in the conflict would make any real military difference. The US, for example, has only an Armoured Cavalry Brigade with wheeled APCs in Germany, and an Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Italy. Neither is suited for the kind of war going on in Ukraine. I don’t know what readiness that they are at, but it would take weeks, if not months, to get them to Poland and ready to deploy into Ukraine to fight, and even then they would run out of supplies after 1-2 weeks. The US has three Fighter Wings with F-16s and F-15s: about a hundred aircraft all told, in Europe. Even though more aircraft could be brought in, there are only so many airfields within useful flying range of the battle area in East Ukraine. (It’s about 1500 km from Warsaw to Donetsk, and not a lot less to Odessa).

        European NATO allies don’t add much more in capability. Even if you could make Bundeswehr units totally effective, probably by cannibalising others, you’d be trying to move, say the 60-ton tanks and 40-ton AFVs of the 12th Armoured Brigade the best part of 2000 kilometres into the area where the fighting is taking place, together with all the equipment and support, and with ammunition for only a few days’ operations. The idea of a multinational buffer force of some kind, West of Kiev, and not expected to fight, does make a bit more sense, but even then, the NATO bureaucracy involved in force generation and force balancing would take months, never mind actual arrangements with the Ukrainians.

        Ultimately, US, and even NATO involvement involves massive risks without much possibility of affecting the outcome, and I assume that the military staffs, at least, understand this.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I agree wholeheartedly. Any official NATO unit would be unlikely to even reach the battlefield before being hit thus causing a serious crisis within the organization.

          As in a lot of questions that nobody would want to answer.

        2. scott s.

          I think there is a rotational airborne brigade (2d) of the 101st Div ABN in Romania, along with the Div HQ. There is a rotational combat aviation brigade (I think from 1st Armored Div) in Poland. And of course V Corps HQ moved in to manage it.

          1. hk

            Not exactly enough to make a serious dent, if the conflict escalates to full confrontation. If they get involved, I still think they would be good only for playing the “Pristina” game, get in the way of the Russians before some important objective and dare them to dislodge them. A pretty dangerous possibility, to be sure.

        3. marku52

          Rittter points out that all these units would also have to be detached from NATO and that has to be negotiated with all the NATO partners, most of whom have no interest in joining the ongoing catastrophe.

          And yes it took the US 6 months to get Iraq part 2 staged. There is no time for this

      2. ArvidMartensen

        If the US wanted to make Ukraine a draining, bloody quagmire for Russia, it looks to me after 9 months that they are succeeding.
        Just in time is the name of the game. Just in time re-inforcements, just-in-time weaponry, all to keep the quagmire at a stalemate. Since the US, as a rogue terrorist nation, has never in its history cared about civilian casualties or collateral damage, they will force their Ukrainian and EU agents to keep providing bodies for slaughter.
        It also looks to me like the US doesn’t want to start winning as this might provoke the doomsday weapons from Russia. But every red line that Putin has drawn so far, the US has marched over.
        Is the US mistaking Putin’s caution for weakness? Or are they on the money?

      3. Tom Bradford

        MOA and your comment repeats the error many western ‘military expert’ pontificators make, which is that because Russia isn’t ‘advancing in broad arrows across the map’ it’s failing.

        Putin’s orders to his military were, inter alia, to destroy the Ukrainian army. Simply pushing it back to whatever new border Russia wants to create is only going to create a new ‘Iron Curtain’ with a US-armed Ukrainian army champing at the bit on one side forcing Russia to maintain a sizeable army on the other side to defend it. Destroying the Ukrainian army will enable Russia to eventually dictate terms on the Ukrainian rump which will likely severely limit the size of any army it can rebuild. And the best way to destroy any army is to sit tight in solid defences and let it come at you across open ground, which has been what has been happening for the last month or more.

        IF the US starts making moves to field substantial forces in support of the Ukrainians – something not done overnight – the battle changes and more aggressive – and costly – action by the Russians to preempt this by forcing a conclusion before they can join the fight might be necessary, but with the Ukrainians being thrown into attack after costly, unsuccessful attack by its US and UK masters as is the case now it’s doing exactly what the Russians want. So as Napoleon observed, if your enemy is making a mistake, don’t interfere.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          They are also ignoring the impact of the destruction of the electrical grid. If Russia merely keeps it at its current 45% effectively knocked out by inability to move power to key places, Ukraine will fall apart in the next month or two.

          And Russia might well degrade the grid further…..or find a dual use excuse to cut lines to data centers….

        2. timbers

          “MOA and your comment repeats the error many western ‘military expert’ pontificators make, which is that because Russia isn’t ‘advancing in broad arrows across the map’ it’s failing.”
          No. MOA is pointing out the fact as I have also pointed out repeatedly, that Russia’s failure to conclude this war far past her clear and obvious ability to do so, has invited additional escalations and risk even far more escalation to her great detriment. For example…Russia’s utterly incompetent failure to replace troops at the end of their contract. There is no excuse for such incompetence just as there is no excuse for Russian failure to take out Ukraine infrastructure…still at this very extreme late date.

          1. fairleft

            I’m at a middle ground. Yes, not replacing ground troops in August/September was an example of incompetence. And yes, there’s a risk of escalation the longer the war lasts (though that risk is overblown now and for the next several months).

            What if, for awhile, and partly in hopes the winter produces pro-peace political changes in Europe, Russia’s aim has been to achieve military victory by March 2023? There’s not much effective aid the West can or will transfer before that time. So, Russia grinds Ukraine forces down steadily and at increasing pace and pushes them out of NovoRossiya and you would think more (if you buy The Duran’s assessments) by next March.

            But if the above isn’t visible by late November or early December, then I start to agree with you that something is not right with Russia’s military effort and thinking.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Mercouris had made clear they expected them to have more patriotic fervor and stay on. You can’t plug a hole like that quickly without screwing up. Putin said yesterday that something like 49,000 of the 312,000 mobilized troops are on the front line. They have to have some remedial training and then get integrated into existing units. You appear to think men can just given guns and sent into battle. That’s a cannon fodder approach.

              And Russia did manage that by pulling out of Kharkiv. That was so far advanced when Ukraine attacked that it was clearly a plan being executed. An orderly retreat is more difficult than an advance. But the optics of ceding that much territory, even if non-strategic, were terrible.

              1. fairleft

                Not monitoring and surveying during a war for whether someone will re-enlist, something that important, was a mistake.

                Sure, October-November for retraining for many, but the new troops are experienced. Russia will be fielding at least an additional 100,000 of such troops by early December. Against decimated, depleted, often aging ‘border guard’ Ukrainian troops largely cut off from supplies. That’s the picture we’re provided by Mercouris and Russian English-language Telegram channels, and I think it’s accurate.

                Effective counter-offensives should start then and grow greatly in intensity when all 360,000+ additional experienced troops are fighting. Otherwise something is off: either the US/Ukraine side is somehow stronger than I thought, or Russia is weaker in some way.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Oh, come on. You are confusing conquest of territory with achieving war aims, which here is destruction of the West’s war making capacity.

            Russia is clearly winning, just not the way the US likes to fight wars. Russian doctrine tends to prefer grinding and General Surovkin said that was what Russia would (continue to) do.

            And since the US has not won any wars since what, Desert Storm? The Iraqis are running us out of Iraq. Russia is systematically draining the West of weapons. Listen to Brian Berletic of the New Atlas discuss in detail how weapons shipment have been falling dramatically, with the US and NATO now scraping the bottom of the barrel.

            Russia is not just at war with Ukraine but with NATO, and Russia needs to bleed NATO dry. The progress of the economic war is working out well too.

            The big issue is Russia hasn’t bothered to do any PR with respect to the war, so people like you accept US narratives and framing.

            1. Pavel

              Not only bleed NATO dry but destroy the German industrial economy! Of course that is mainly due to the reckless and feckless US/EU sanctions. The Russians must not be able to believe their luck, as they sell all their resources to a very willing Asian market and the EU is crippled for years.

    4. chris

      The Medium crowd is losing its collective mind again this AM. Lots of reporting from Ukraine ministry of defense updates, including claims that Russia is now shooting deserters or conscripts who retreat. Other articles claiming “Putin is a monster because…” v 19.0.

      I would have thought we reached peak hysteria last month but it appears not. I expect the public relations campaign and war beat to intensify regardless of what happens with US voting this week. If the Dims lose badly, they’ll double down on funding and support during the interim. If the Dims don’t lose, they say the American people support them and their actions supporting Ukraine, so they’ll double down on funding and support. The Republicans will talk a good game about decreased funding and removing support until their donors tell them how much money there is to be made.

      I agree with others that short of a knock out punch soon, the risk of open war between super powers will increase no matter. We’ve taken away all our diplomatic options because Putin Is Evil(TM). We can’t admit defeat because then there is no reason to spend billions on NATO compatible weapons. If the Bangladeshi war for independence was the first conflict officially over a language, the Ukraine conflict may become the first war because so many people who spoke the same language decided to stop talking to each other.

      1. marku52

        David as Aurelian has an article describing this situation as not being very different from a Holy War, with all the lack of reason implied therein.

  4. Wukchumni

    A third of southern Sierra forest lost to drought, wildfire Los Angeles Times

    Slovakia: Firewood back as energy crisis bites DW
    I’m right in the heart of the action as luck would have it, as much dead and dried our firewood as all of soon to be freezing Europe could handle and then some. Come & get it!

    I counted newlydeads the other day within a few hundred feet of my cabin, all on Sequoia NP land, and there are a dozen pines all dying from the top down, most about halfway through their demise-the needles in the upper 75-100 feet have all gone tan, the bark beetles having compromised the trees vascular ability to push water up internally.

    I felled a couple of 150-200 foot dead pines this summer and it took me nearly the whole summer to burn off the slash (essentially all tree parts other than the trunk) for just a couple of trees, while cutting the trunk into rounds for many cords of firewood I frankly don’t need all that much, but its more to keep potential fire away in the future.

    Will the forest for the trees go away in my lifetime?… perhaps

    1. nippersdad

      Some time around January their HOA’s are likely going to start lotteries to see whose house gets burned today. The upshot will be that those who lose their houses will be happy to see the end of their adjustable rate mortgages on houses they cannot heat.

      I see the makings of a Shirley Jackson short story.

      1. Carolinian

        LOL. I live in a neighborhood of 100 year old oak trees that are gradually being reduced by the Real Estate beetle. Gosh knows what happens to all that oak wood (probably winds up in Norwegian pellet stoves) but healthy trees are being removed for fear they may fall on somebody’s heavily mortgaged “investment.” To be sure there was a period when disease and age were killing some of our trees but many huge trees are taken out just for being huge. This changes the character of the place and if it continues we’ll soon be like those sun baked tract neighborhoods with only the lack of a HOA to complete the transition. What a world.

        1. anon in so cal

          Wondering if you have any neighborhood associations that could oppose this.

          Los Angeles has a city forestry department and Coast Live Oaks and several other native tree and plant species are protected. They cannot be cut down without a permit and justification.

          1. Carolinian

            The city itself has cut down lots of trees–not so much lately–and as I said it’s not completely without justification. Some of the old trees did need to be cut.

            I’m just saying that in some instances it seems a needless taking of healthy trees and in any case I hate to see it. I grew up in this urban forest

            A tornado a couple of years ago was a first inside the city with ever more violent storms. A new climate change world as well to deal with.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I read your posts on what is happening with the trees in your neck of the woods and I sometimes wonder what will replace those trees. Trees of a different type that are more resilient? Just grass and/or shrubbery? Probably it will be all those fires that you have from time to time that will finally push those pines into extinction where you are.

      1. Wukchumni

        Last year the fire department cut down everything less than 8 inches in circumference within say 100 feet of my cabin in preparation for something wicked this way comes in the KNP Fire, but didn’t thankfully.

        I had nice young stands of manzanita bushes that were probably 20 years old (very slow growing and also the wood that burns the hottest in the Sierra) and nice looking, but probably too close to the cabin being 20 feet away.

        Bye-by manzanita and hello whitethorn and welcome to the neighborhood, er not really.

        Whitethorn is a supremacist ground cover group that seeks to take over neighborhoods by hogging all the rays.

        All of the sudden I have 2 feet long whitethorn in 1 year’s time, its like a trouble with tribbles gig, except whitethorn isn’t going anywhere and in just a decade or so it makes walking through it pretty much impossible and it refuses to grow up, seldom being more than 5 feet tall.

        That’s what will fill in the void where once upright citizens held sway.

      2. Mike

        I think different areas of the country are effected differently by tree loss than others. I live in Gilpin Colorado which has a very lush (by colorado standards) forest that is healthy and a lot less of the death elsewhere in the state. I also have a mining history book of the area showing my area darn near clear cut in the 1800s. You almost wouldn’t know any better looking today without knowing that history. Not sure the same could be said about areas like Oregon or Washington that has much older/bigger trees that have been clear cut though.

      3. jonboinAR

        My fear is that these areas end up looking like so many areas around the world where cultivating/civilized humans have lived for a long while. That is, they’ll become some kind of combination of grassland and desert where it’s remembered that there once were forests and woodland creatures here.

    3. Lexx

      Drove from Gunnison to Alamosa early last month through a lot of forest land. Crews have gone through and cut down dead pines, leaving the trees in what look like huge pyre formations near the roads. I kept thinking ‘won’t that be handy when a wildfire sweeps through here’, because structurally it looks like an invitation to burn.

      Easy access to those with permits to gather firewood seems more likely, but it is a bit ominous to behold seeing hundreds of them on either side for miles on end.

    4. Yeti

      I’ve noticed same here in central British Columbia. Douglas fir dying from top down. Not nearly as much as what the pine beetle killed but noticeable. We went from very wet spring to literally no rain through to fall. Now ground frozen, snow covered and going down to -22C in a couple of days. No moisture for ground now till spring.

    5. chris

      Temperatures in Ukraine are forecast to hit freezing conditions regularly starting this week.

      I guess we’ll start to see how winter affects the war effort soon.

    6. JCC

      I drove up to Lake Isabella this week for the first time in a year. It was a little depressing. Most of what was Lake Isabella is now beef cattle pasture, the lake no longer exists for the most part. Reports say it is at about 8% of its capacity just a short 10 years ago, and it shows.

      Meanwhile, at least a third of the pine trees on the way up the mountain are now standing dead trees, anecdotally it looks like more than a third to me. Sad.

    7. JP

      I am also deep in the fire zone but the SLQ fire was two years ago. You have extensive burns from this year. So the Times article is a bit of fluff. Nothing that wasn’t well known 30 years ago. 25 years ago some of us were pounding the table for prescriptive burns. The city bound Sierra Club type was saying leave the forest in its natural state, which it wasn’t, and don’t touch it. The local, can’t happen here type, was saying but the smoke, you can’t burn, I have asthma. Now they all want to be Indians because a few years back an article in High Times extolled the lost art of indigenous burning.

      The Native Americans indeed burned extensively but not in the forest. They burned in the chaparral and the grasslands. Those burned areas supported many times the deer population of the unburned areas. Now everyone want to pretend to be an Indian burn expert but indigenous burning really doesn’t apply to the national forest or the park. Those mountainous areas always burned due to lightening strikes.

      I toured the local California State Forest with state forester Dave Duletz maybe 25 years ago. He was engineering a more natural forest by extensive cutting and burning, He pointed out the multi-storied visual with the thinned understory, the mid-height and the taller canopy “mosaic” that was normally the result of lightening strike burns that were minimized or bounded by previous burns. He pointed across the state boundary to the national forest at the dense understory with smaller trees very close together. That experimental forest was only possible because they were using prison labor on 50,000 acres. In spite of the incarceration rate, there is simply not enough prison labor, by a long shot to manicure millions of acres of the sierra.

      It has been two years since the SQL fire ripped through here. I went into the back country this summer and was pleasantly surprised to find fairly contained areas that sustained devastating crown runs surrounded by healthy trees. The understory was pretty well cleaned out. I could walk freely in areas that were previously choked with undergrowth, the ground was covered with leaves and pine needles and under that was substantial ash but everywhere there was regeneration. The happiest thing I saw down in the Sequoia elevations were thousands of Sequoia seedlings where the fire had been the hottest.

      What will happen with drier hotter times is the forest will retreat not disappear. The vast central valley will become a desert but hopefully after a couple of hundred thousand years, when humans are extinct, the valley will again contain a huge tule lake with abundant waterfowl and other wildlife.

      1. Mike

        Hundreds of thousands of years? We have already logged out vast swaths of the country over the past several hundreds years. Probably doesn’t grow back the same but it does grow back… areas where it doesn’t is where it burns too hot, which is because of buildup of too much fuel, be it from drought but also not letting forests burn for the last 60 years…

    8. Anthony G Stegman

      Many of the dead trees need to be left in place. They provide important habitat for a variety of non-human life. Fires are a natural and necessary part of every healthy forest. Government agencies have done a generally poor job with forest fire management and mitigation. Controlled burns that have gone out of control. Thinning forests that actually increases fire intensity, not lessens it. Etc…

      On another note, cabins in the woods are a bad idea in the West. Federal land managers ought to purchase all of the cabins on federal lands in and adjacent to Sequoia National Park, including the “historic” cabin community in Mineral King.

  5. Milton

    Um, under permanent DST, the early morning hours in the northern hemisphere will be ever increasingly darker for a month, or so. How is that safer? I’m a standard time fan and would rather it be the one used year round.

      1. HotFlash

        Michigan was late to adopt DST, mid-60’s. As I recall, the fiercest partisans in my neck of the woods were the bowling alley owners (for DST) vs the drive-in movie owners (against). I was a phone answerer when our local newspaper did a survey. My only memory of that was a lady who wanted to “keep time the way Mother Nature made it.”

      2. QuantumSoma

        The simplest solution is just to flip a coin, then adjust work and school schedules as necessary for different regions.

    1. John Beech

      Permanent DST, eh? Might be wise to be careful what you wish for. Me? I favor standard time as well.

      Meanwhile, is everyone forgetting Nixon’s permanent DST debacle of 1974, which went from 79% support to 42% support after the first winter. In short, people grew to hate it. Here’s a brief read . . .

      . . . and the money quote is;

      Permanent DST in the US was briefly enacted by president Richard Nixon in 1974, in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The proposal was initially supported by an estimated 79% of the public; that support dropped to 42% after its first winter, owing to the harshness of dark winter mornings that permanent DST creates. The new permanent DST law was retracted within the year.

      1. tegnost

        I agree john, here in the great pnw sunrise in permanant dst this year would be 8:54 am dec 21.
        I can hear whingeing from here…
        standard would have the summer solstice sunrise around 6am and sunset after 10pm, and sunset precedes darkness by a good half hour more

        1. tegnost

          I swore I would stick to simple math at least I have the covid excuse…
          standard in the summer would have sunrise at 4:15 am
          No more math for me.
          I don’t even know that I got this right.

  6. Mikel

    “Europe May See Forced De-Industrialization As Result Of Energy Crisis” OilPrice

    In addtion to energy, the article mentions businesses have “problems with new regulation.”

    Considering the extremist ideology of what is often called “neo-liberslism” thrives off of crisis to implement agendas, I can’t help but believe some businesses, such as those in Germany, are glad to be getting their chance to breakaway from unions.

    The businesses and politicians have the political cover of a self-imposed energy crisis. I expect more moves to countries with cheaper labor and less strict regulations from among those that have “paused” or “stopped” operations.

    Then this:

    “..Some of these businesses might choose to eventually relocate to a place with cheaper and more widely available sources of energy, contributing to the deindustrialization process in Europe. As for the best candidate for this relocation, according to some observers, it is the United States, with its abundant gas reserves, rising production, and friendly investment climate…”

    The Fed is doing its part, pushing for higher unemployment in order to create more pliable workforce.
    However, the cost of living – essentials – is too high. It’s only going to produce an angrier workforce that lashes out in ways that make the country ultimately an unattractive place to be.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      My reading of history said that the Allies after WWII had the choice of pumping money into Europe or starving them into the Middle Ages as revenge. Since Hitler was the outcome of the latter course after WWI, the Allies chose to pump money to head off another Hitler, simplistically speaking.
      It sure looks to me like the US is getting a twofer at the moment. Sticking it up Russia and also sending the uppity and ungrateful Germans in particular, back to the Stone Age.
      However, isn’t it a b*tch how consequences flow from actions. There are any number of consequences that could come back to bite the US. One scenario is that in a few years the starving, jobless, impoverished workers and middle class of the EU might spawn another Hitler-like ruler to unite all of Europe. The EU on steroids. A common enemy will do that.
      And who might that common enemy be? Hmmmmm. My guess is it doesnt start with an “R” or a “C”. But this scenario could be derailed of course by the armies of quislings that the US has planted in Europe. Popcorn time for the foreseeable.

  7. griffen

    Antidote for today. I cracked a joke once about roadkill and eating those, and a North Carolina friend who grew up in Louisiana chimed in that I shouldn’t be knocking opposum as a food source.

    Generally I think those are ugly critters, but that is just me. In a pinch during the apocalypse, I do suppose if you can kill and roast it on a fire pit it would have to suffice.

    1. Stephen V

      We prize our possums. They eat a LOT of ticks which are a big problem here in the Ozarks (too many deer, which are a reservoir for disease). We’ve lost a few cats to bobcat fever and that’s before the various flavors (Lyme) that us humans can get.

      1. MT_Wild

        Had not heard of bobcat fever. Seems like there is an ever increasing number of tick-borne diseases that are ultimately a result of some combination of wildlife and forestry mismanagement and climate change.

        Your part of the world seems to be ground zero for them as well.

      2. Stephen

        Ditto here in SW Ohio. We encourage possums in the orchard and on the homestead, as they help suppress ticks. One of our tactics is that leave some portion of the weekly table scrap dump unburied on top of the compost pile, where possum momma’s can grab it without trouble. They don’t bother the chickens, unlike racoons, and so far as I can tell we’ve never observed any rabid individuals, again in sharp contrast to the racoons.

          1. Carolinian

            Cute? They look like the prehistoric creatures that they are. Of course their pretend fierceness is all show and when confronted they will “play possum” and the animal control officer will pick them up by the tail and toss in a bag.

            I’m not a fan of possums but they are way better than raccoons.

        1. Bart Hansen

          Our table scraps go on the compost piles as well. Some time ago we attached a motion activated camera on a nearby post and saw mostly possums and raccoons with skunks and deer also stopping by.

          I second the motion on the tick eating possums being useful.

    2. Wukchumni

      Lotsa dead Aussie possums on NZ roads in the South Island, and sometimes you’ll see a majestic NZ falcon noshing on them as they beat a path out of harms way before you and your vehicle cross over repast.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Here we just get black crows waiting for the next car to provide them with their breakfast. At least it is a warm breakfast.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      In Vietnam the forests are silent. There are no living creatures because they have all been “harvested” for food. Encouraging the killing and eating of every living creature leads to a sterile planet bereft of beauty and joy. Possums, deer, snakes, racoons, even rats all have a place in this world. Leave them be.

  8. zagonostra

    >King Henry VI Part III

    I couldn’t tell you why, but when I came across these lines it made me think about the current U.S Russia relationship.

    [Queen Margaret rising from her swoon to King Edward]

    O Ned, sweet Ned, speak to thy mother, boy.
    Canst thou not speak? O traitors, murderers!
    They that stabbed Caesar shed no blood at all,
    Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
    If this foul deed were by to equal it.
    He was a man; this, in respect, a child,
    And men ne’er spend their fury on a child.
    What’s worse than murderer, that I may name it?
    No, no, my heart will burst an if I speak,
    And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
    Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals,
    How sweet a plant have you untimely cropped!
    You have no children, butchers. If you had,
    The thought of them would have stirred up remorse.
    But if you ever chance to have a child,
    Look in his youth to have him so cut off
    As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.’

    This whole thing about Musk and Twitter and Blue Checks will no doubt be heavily analyzed in years to come because it is getting so bizarre. One thing I note. Isn’t it interesting that a lot of these Blue Checks are not upset about the idea of maybe paying $8 a gallon for gas (maybe they drive EVs) or sending another $80 billion to Europe but they are personally upset at paying $8 a month for Twitter. Can’t they ask their followers to pay for it instead?

    1. MT_Wild

      They view themselves critical to the thing that is twitter. As in Elon should be paying them. That $8 is nothing monetarily, but strips away a lot of overpriced ego and clearly identifies them as just another subscriber.

      Literally threatens their PMC status and credentials.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘As in Elon should be paying them.’

        Funny you should say that-

        Stephen King: ‘$20 a month to keep my blue check? (expletive) that, they should pay me’

        1. griffen

          Badges. We don’t need no stinking badges! A little Mel Brooks always helps I find.

          I had a thought about the evil Musk and those layoffs. If the website and support necessary to function is so very compromised, what exactly have those Twitter employees been doing these past decade or so? You’d think there would a back up process or redundancy process as a fail safe.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Looks like Musk is going to play hard ball-

            ‘Twitter owner Elon Musk has warned that he may identify advertisers that are boycotting his social media platform under pressure from leftist groups, a move that would likely trigger counter-boycotts as the billionaire’s supporters push back against corporate America in defense of free speech.

            “A thermonuclear name and shame is exactly what will happen if this continues,” Musk said on Friday night, referring to the sharp drop in revenue that he’s seen at Twitter because activist groups are pressuring advertisers to stop using the platform.

            He made the comment in response to a Twitter post by former US Senate aide Mike Davis, who suggested that exposing the advertisers would enable Musk’s 114 million followers on the platform to launch a counter-boycott.’


      2. marym

        Whatever the blue check means to those who have it or want it, to the other twitter users it means twitter has done an identity check to verify that the person or entity is who they say they are, not an imposter or parody account.

        Musk seems committed to less moderation and the replacement of voluntary identity verification with payment of a fee. If anyone who pays $8 can claim to be anyone and say anything, any consequences for his advertising revenue or changing numbers and demographics of his user base are on him, not “activists” or “elites.”

        1. hunkerdown

          On what basis do you claim what “twitter users” want from the blue checkmark,other than projecting white middle-class values onto them without asking?

              1. marym

                All kinds of people and entities use twitter, on all kinds of topics. What does that have to do with whether verification is a useful service?

    2. Wukchumni

      Truly the only Twitter fare I tingle an entanglement towards comes from the naked city, er Naked Capitalism.

      Kinda similar but different to Alex Jones, Elon stuck his neck and scrawny little fingers on the QWERTY and vis a vis their taut vocal chords, both making the biggest mistakes of their lives over something that didn’t really matter to either of them.

      I’ve mentioned the similarities to Elon & his business-like doppleganger Ivar Kreuger before, the ‘Match King’ of the 1920’s.

      It didn’t end well for Ivar…

      1. Carolinian

        Me too. Truly if a Twitter falls in the forest would anyone care other than the MSM who by then will have moved on to..???. Facebook is reportedly also losing ground and those of us who think social media are a fad may yet be proven right. Blogworld is where you find out what is really happening.

        The day Google and Facebook and Twitter committed their first act of true censorship was the day they began their descent toward obsolescence. We are on the internet because it’s not the MSM.

        1. ArchieShemp

          >Blogworld is where you find out what is really happening.

          Hmm, maybe, but it’s also another world crammed with mis- and disinformation.

          Anyway, that matters little now, given how few people can be bothered to read anything longer than a headline.

          1. Carolinian

            Oh when it comes to choosing material you have to be your own editor of course. But even we amateurs are probably better at that than those NYT editors who are deliberately lying to you. The point is not that you believe everything on the web any more than we believe (well some of us) everything we see on TV. It’s that least on the web the truth has a chance of getting through–that there’s no media lock step.

              1. ambrit

                Well, as it was put to me once: “You are entitled to your own opinion.” Said title does not include ownership of the underlying facts. It only signifies ownership of the opinion part.

                    1. Carolinian

                      Fun fact: the Durham, NC minor league park was painted blue but the filmmakers liked green. They were allowed to repaint it but only if they would paint it back blue afterwards (and they did).

                      We have an old minor league field here. It’s green. It’s so old that Lindbergh rallied there after his famous flight and then paraded the town including down the street where I live.

                      And after the film Tim Robbins really got the girl since he and Susan Sarandon became long time partners (but no more).

          2. hunkerdown

            No, but PMCs need others to believe that so that PMCs can rule more of society in their own class interest using their infantilizing, whiny Puritan semonizing voice. Every word they say is one more pebble in favor of their total abolition as a social formation. They’ve already established the necessity of total freedom FROM religion.

        2. Acacia

          Blogworld is where you find out what is really happening.

          Maybe this is stretching things a bit, but I would include NC in the blogosphere. I learn a lot more here than I do from Twitter, which seems increasingly hysterical since I joined, years ago.

    3. Skip Intro

      As some wag noted, their problem is not with paying $8/mo, it is that everyone else can also do that. Their prized status marker is a commodity now.

      1. Pavel

        At some point *not* having the check mark will be a sign of status… as an indication of simple common sense and lack of vanity.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      As if twitter was ever anything more than propaganda / narrative management, pretending to be a “business” supported by “advertisers” so it could operate in everybody’s face.

      Did it ever make a profit that wasn’t “adjusted” into existence? Despite all the hype to the contrary, twitter’s “value” was never financial, and all the trappings of a “corporation” were just window dressing.

      Now that Elon’s butted in and wrecked the game, the “company” will need to die according to the very fiction by which it “lived.” Everybody knows that when the “revenue” dries up, businesses go bust.

      Something else will be coming along soon to replace it, I’d imagine. There’s no shortage of narratives that desperately need to be managed.

      1. hunkerdown

        Elite society deems the popular emotion too important not to dominate. They’re just haggling about price and who pays.

      2. Mikel

        There are “journalists” who thought Twitter was a legitimate news organization that was supposed to do a lot of their work for them

  10. Mikel

    Re: NBC news clip on Twitter

    So, badically alleged “jouranlists” and “reporters” are afraid they are going to actually have to use journlism and reporting skills to cover the election (and other news).
    This might involve research, pavement grinding, interviews, phone calls, etc. and alot of them do not know how to do it.
    They are used to going from tweet to retweet or whatever and calling that research.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Slovakia: Firewood back as energy crisis bites”

    We’ve all heard the reports how bad this winter is going to be in Europe and how the people will be struggling. I have heard that in the UK alone, one in seven old people will struggle to stay warm this winter as they will have no heat. Next winter will probably be worse. Consider. The EU went crazy this year and tried to pump in as much Russian gas as possible to fill their reservoirs. That will not be possible next year as there will be no Russian gas imports – unless it comes via TurkStream. But more to the point, how much firewood will be available next winter if it is all being burnt up this winter? Will people have to go back to burning coal?

    1. Wukchumni

      We’ve only lived la vida oil for 150 years, and somehow we survived without it for 69,850 years of our existence, and the situation in Europe once the oil runs out, places them back in 1848 if my math is correct.

      …helpful hint from Hell-o-wheeze

      Ideally the citizenry would do best to cut down live trees early this spring, so as to allow the firewood to dry out for next winter.

        1. Wukchumni

          We’ve grown so accustomed to plentiful energy that we’ll try to keep up by cutting down our forests as quickly as possible, and they didn’t have chainsaws back in the day, think of how easy it is comparatively?

        2. Mikel

          Easter Island – Where Giants Walked

          The entire doc worth a watch.
          From about the 40 min mark to the end gives a whole other theory of the collapse of Easter Island.
          Plenty of evidence the people there did not engineer their own demise.
          In the end, they shared the fate of many indigenous populations around the world.

      1. Tom Bradford

        We’ve only lived la vida oil for 150 years, and somehow we survived without it for 69,850 years of our existence

        With a life-expectancy of around 40. Just long enough to breed and bring up the next generation.

      2. eg

        You might want to check the world population statistics for those first 70,000 years, Wuk. So yes, absent “la vida oil” some of us will survive — just nowhere near as many.

  12. semper-loquitur

    Thanks for the Climate Catastrophe article. It put that bit of sugar written by the New York Times climate writer David Wallace-Wells into sharp focus. I should have known a hyphenated-named writer would be full of (rap.

  13. Wukchumni

    Waterlogged wheat, rotting oranges: five crops devastated by a year of extreme weather Guardian

    Just turned over most of our 1 year food supply that was nearing or past best-by dates by a few months. I deposited it in our local food bank’s C-train, which has a nice door slot that allows you to utilize it 24/7/60/60.

    The truth of the matter is we eat very little of our stash, its there for an emergency situation beyond our control (take your pick of a passel of potential crisis points), and there isn’t much in the way of glamour tucker, its pretty basic fare with some variety so we don’t hate on having to eat rice & beans all the time.

    Its an insurance policy no different than paying a few grand a year for auto coverage and yet I haven’t been in an accident in like forever, and then nothing happens and my $2k got me nothing, essentially.

    With my diet plan, it’ll cost you a couple grandidos too, with the twist being that even if there isn’t an ‘accident’ and the $2k worth of food goes unused, it has a second life as a gift for the less nourished in your community, and nothing will go to waste.

    We keep hearing of crops being wiped out all over the globe and I haven’t read much in regards to bumper crops of this that or whatever, as we’re just around a fortnight away from the 8 billionth mouth to feed.

    Unlike the mouse clique on this contraption conjuring money out of thin air, it doesn’t work with food.


    25 pound bags of Jasmine rice were $17 a year and a half ago, and now it comes in 20 pound bags for $22, you get inflation and deflation all in one go.

    1. semper loquitur

      I decided not to stock up on dried rice because of the high water to rice ratio necessary to cook it. I’ve got a decent stockpile of flour and cornmeal instead. I have to use a 2 to 1 ration of water to rice in my rice cooker but I can make a nice bit of bread with a 3 to 1 ratio of flour to water.

      I’ve also been stockpiling water, both for consumption as well as a different stash for washing myself and my clothing. My super leaves these five gallon buckets in the basement leftover from the floor cleaner they use. I line them with heavy-duty brining bags, fill them with water, and tie them off. That water is for cleaning and bathing.

      I’ve considered turning a bunch of the flour and cornmeal into hardtack as well. I have to do some research to see if cornmeal will be stable for a long time. If properly prepared hardtack can literally last for years, something tells me a lot of NC readers know this already.

      1. Louis Fyne

        have you consider “japonica” rice? 1.1-ish water to 1 rice for “al dente” rice.

        flavor/use wise not everyone’s first choice tough. And Japonica is mucn more expensive than standard long-grain white rice.

        1. semper loquitur

          I’m not familiar with it but my partner is the definition of finicky so I have to stick to pretty mundane fare.

      2. nippersdad

        Hard tack is pretty hard core.* You would have to be pretty hungry to even think about eating something like that. How to make pemmican might be something to look into, though. It sounds like that stuff may very well last forever if properly stored.

        I believe from my research last year that corn meal still has the germ in it, so it will get sour within the year if not eaten. It may last a little longer if refrigerated, but not much. That would be true whether it be baked or not. White flour (no germ) you can get an extra year out of if you have frozen it, so baking it should have a similar effect. Hard tack may outlast you, but your heirs may not thank you for it to anything like the degree that inherited fruit cakes might, and we all know how popular fruit cakes are.


        1. semper loquitur

          Thanks for this. I am considering hardtack as a backup and one that can be cooked in a pot of beans etc. to soften it up. That’s good info on the cornmeal.

          I’d be willing to try my hand at pemmican but for two considerations. First of all is the cost of converting five pounds of lean meat into one pound of pemmican. Secondly, if I screw up the process I could find myself with several pounds of rat food.

          I’m going the Mesoamerican route: beans and corn with some supplements, not squash. I have dried beans and lentils. I also have a growing stockpile of canned beans, corn, and vegetarian chili. I have two big tins of olive oil for fat. I also have a lot of flour and cornmeal, which I can make breads with or in the worst case scenario cook directly in the beans.

          I know it’s far from optimal but I have very limited space so I’m trying to get the basic fats, carbs, and proteins nailed down. I’ll probably buy a big tub of multivitamins as well. Good times.

          1. nippersdad

            Yeah, I, too, would be a little afraid of the kind of pemmican that has meat in it. The stuff that is made of fruit, though, sounds appealing. And it could be boiled down to add to any number of things that want something sweet. It might be a good substitute for sugar.

            Also, too, unopened peanut butter lasts forever.

            Not being a foodie, the only part of this that I like is finding stuff that is cheap in bulk; it satisfies that hunting urge. My Wife laughs at me, but those fifty half-pound bags of Easter pasta found for fifteen cents apiece may come in handy some day. Once it is put into something they don’t look like Easter bunnies anyway.

            But, I have to say, any modern nation state that has to make its’ population buy up a years’ worth of food in advance, even potentially, is a failed state. If the Dems wonder why they got wiped out in the mid-terms, they only need ask why we all have garbage cans of food lying around as they spend a hundred fifteen billion dollars feeding their pet Nazis in Eastern European countries that few could find on a map.

      3. FredW

        Doesn’t any water you add to the rice mean less water you need to otherwise consume? So it ends up being a wash? Little water is lost in steaming rice, unlike, for example, cooking noodles.

        1. semper loquitur

          Thanks! That’s a really good point, I hadn’t considered it. I was just looking at the amounts.

          Another concern is power, though. I mean if it goes down. I can fry a piece of dough in a very short amount of time whereas rice takes much longer. If the power goes out, I have a jet-stove and a pile of fuel. I think it would be more fuel efficient to fry the bread in a skillet than boil the rice.

          1. Paleobotanist

            Soak the rice several hours beforehand – cooks quicker and takes less fuel. It’s how you cook basmati anyway.

            1. Felix_47

              A pressure cooker uses up to 70% less energy because it hold the steam as opposed to letting it escape. He could use his rocket stove to get it up to temperature and then stop adding fuel. They are making electric ones now but I have no idea about them. Pressure cookers have always been more popular in Europe where energy prices have traditionally been high. At current prices cooking a roast in an oven for three hours in Germany would cost a ton of money comparatively speaking. Figure 2000 watts for a stove oven. Figure 4 hours. 8000 watts times 40 cents is 3 Euros 20 cents or about three dollars. Do that in one third the time in a pressure cooker and you are talking 1000 watts on the stovetop for one hour or 40 Euro cents.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Not surprised rice prices are so much lower out West. I have to drive to the nearest city to buy in bulk, and my last 50# bag (bought last February) cost me $70, up from the $60 the year before (COVID prices). In the 2000s, buying rice for a restaurant we paid $30 for a 50# bag. Yet I’m unaware of any actual rice shortage due to crop failures.

      To be fair, the city I shop in serves a large rural Hmong population in west central Wisconsin and the prices were probably driven up by 1) necessity of rice for consumers, 2) logistics (strong preference for Thai grown jasmine rice). Most Hmong were processed through camps in Thailand, and as refugees many ate better in the camps than they had in the mountains of Laos resulting in the explosion of Thai restaurants wherever the Hmong resettled.

    3. Phenix

      We buy our grains in bulk too. We were trying to get a year of supply but life and finances got in the way.

      I recommend anyone who can, store rice and wheat/alternative in 5 gallon sealed buckets. The fertilizer shortages are real and will have an impact on everyone.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Will Biden Gamble on a Ukraine Coalition?”

    Lots of good hard common sense here but it is alarming the thought that perhaps Washington will send troops into the Ukraine under the assumption that the Russians will never dare shoot at them. Big assumption that. But there will be damn few troops on the ground to help reinforce any American troops. The only countries that might be keen to do that would be Poland, the Ukraine and the UK. Well the entire UK armed forces can be fit into a large football stadium which is not impressive. And the Poles and the Romanians already have troops fighting in the Ukraine. Ritter estimates that the Poles have from 10,000-30,000 troops on the ground fighting. As Poland’s military has 150,000 active personnel and 32,000 reservists, I would expect that a lot of those troops in the Ukrainian are volunteers from them. If so, perhaps the Poles do not have as many troops to send as you might think. The Romanians have 68,500 active personnel and 53,000 reservists but who know how many are in the Ukraine fighting. Point is, to take on the Russian military you would need several hundred thousand troops so the numbers are just not there.

  15. Mikel

    Glenn G: “The lesson Democrats (and their US Security State partners) derived from their humiliating 2016 loss was that the preservation and expansion of their power requires tight control over the internet.”

    I would say the security state and
    other entrenched powers, including Dems and Repubs, certainly noticed the discontent brewing when the financial crisis hit around 2008.
    That’s when the control began to be tightened.

    1. Lee

      There’s a book being plugged on PBS, Meme Wars: The Untold Story of the Online Battles Upending Democracy in America.

      Deploring the right wing use of memes to mobilize, they trace the capability to use the internet for this purpose back to the Occupy Movement.

      Having successfully crushed the economically progressive left as representing alternatives to the status quo, the goodthinker Dems now have burgeoning right wing mobilization to deal with, and only ineffective centrist solutions to offer a restive polity. Good work, Dems.

      1. Mikel

        Occupy went global.

        And establisment heads turned 360 and spewed bile like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

  16. Mark Gisleson

    Yes, there are way too many deer. Hunting groups lobby state natural resources departments to protect deer so there are plenty to “harvest” during hunting season.

    Meanwhile the people who hit deer on the roads are usually in cars and sometimes die or are crippled in the numerous car-deer accidents that plague rural states. The hunters (for whom the deer exist) tend to drive monster trucks and aren’t at risk from road accidents. I survived my collision with a deer because my vintage Buick Electra barely felt the impact but the Ford Focus I now own would have been totaled and me with it.

    Deer are also not nature’s creatures anymore. The large deer populations survive by eating crops and the occasional garden. They are pests and eventually could further fuel the feral hog problem (feral hogs don’t attract predators but deer do and their predators include coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, bears, wolverines, alligators and yes, hogs).

    1. Yeti

      I remember reading a stat that claimed whitetail deer killed more people than all other animals in US…. Mainly due to vehicle collisions

  17. Tom Stone

    After reading Dr Taylor’s tweet about brain damage and long Covid on top of how evasive the new variants are…HOLY SHIT.
    And then I thought about what the USA can actually do about Covid at the National level and the answer is, almost nothing.
    Joe Biden said that the Pandemic is over and in his mind it is because HE is the big dog.
    Anyone trying to tell him otherwise will be instantly unemployed.
    And I think a lot of what we are seeing from his Admin is Joe trying to prove he’s THE BIG DOG, “Nobody Effs with a Biden”.
    And this comes, IMO both from his cognitive decline ( Dementia exhibiting as cruelty and a need to control) and his self knowledge.
    He’s much smaller on the inside than he is on the outside and he knows it.
    I hope someone points out to Joe that there won’t be any more Girl Scout troops touring the White House if someone pushes the big red button.
    I don’t think he realizes that…

    1. Roger Blakely

      I wear an industrial respirator in the grocery store, and people look at me like I’m a freak. The respirator keeps the fatigue, brain fog, and diarrhea under control. Even with the respirator I live my life at 50% capacity. I don’t know how people, especially grocery store employees, muddle through.

      1. Basil Pesto

        The respirator keeps the fatigue, brain fog, and diarrhea under control.

        How? A respirator cannot keep symptoms under control, it can only reduce the probability of being infected in a given situation.

    2. semper loquitur

      He is a pathetic specimen, a small man in the pejorative sense of the word. Didn’t LBJ hate Kennedy because he was young and handsome while LBJ looked like an ambulatory potato? I wonder if Biden feels that way about St. Barack. He knows he will always be the sidekick in that relationship.

      Now his mental and physical faculties are obviously degrading and he is lashing out. He feels himself slipping away. A cruel king who knows his courtiers, and subjects, are laughing at his foibles behind his back. As far as he can know anything

      No one fu(ks with a Biden? Tell that to the neural plaque. I hope he is screaming inside. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy…

    3. schmoe

      I have been baffled by the lack of discussion of the geopolitical and economic consequences if an additional ~ 5%-10% of the Western world’s population is is cognitively impaired versus baseline, versus if China only has an additional 1% -2% of its population versus baseline cognitively impaired

    4. Felix_47

      His basic functions still are good. His years as a representative of MBNA served him well as the de facto leader of the Ukraine during his time as VP as we transitioned it to a NATO state. His son learned international business from his father and like his father has been well rewarded for his skills..

  18. The Rev Kev

    “In U-turn, Bulgarian parliament tells Sofia to send weapons to Ukraine”

    If the Bulgarians are smart, they should slow-walk this and I mean really slow-walk this. Tell everybody that those tanks need complete overhauls, servicing, upgrading, refurbishing, etc. Whatever excuse that they can make. If they keep this up for two months or so, it may be that there will be no need to send those tanks at all as the need will no longer be there.

  19. Tom Stone

    A book recommendation:
    Preston Q Hale’s “Two Toes”.
    It’s about a duel of wits between a master trapper and a Coyote.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Democrats will probably lose the midterms, because our society is falling apart.”

    It’s the Zelensky Curse at work here. Every nation’s leaders that bolts themselves to the Ukrainian cause has or will end up booted out of power. From what I have read American society has been falling apart but your Democrats had two years to do something – anything – but didn’t. Their entire focus and attention has been on the Ukraine and who cares what happens between New York and LA. They could have said that yeah, we are going to send $50 billion to Ukraine but as part of that bill, we will also spend $20 billion to end homelessness in America. But nothing like that happened. In fact, I remember that one of the first lots of money that was being voted on to send money to the Ukraine also had as part of it money to deal with the pandemic. But the Democrats neatly separated those bills, voted the Ukrainians that money and voted down the Covid bill as they did not have the money or something. Beware the Curse of Zelensky!

    1. Paul Jurczak

      Well, $50 billion to Ukraine may be cost free. There is $300 billion of “frozen” Russian central bank funds, over $20 billion in Ukrainian gold, billions of oligarch’s property, etc. EU is looking into “legal” ways to start using the loot. I’m sure US is thinking along the same lines.

      1. nippersdad

        I imagine that the very first thing that will come up in peace talks will be all the money stolen from various countries, plus interest, as a prerequisite for getting any face saving measures at all. I have no doubts that Russia will win their war, but just how bad we are seen to lose will be an issue.

  21. Wukchumni

    Go take a hike dept: Colony Mill Road

    The late 19th century was ripe with utopian xanadus all over the country, with the avowed socialist Kaweah Colony being our standard bearers here.

    They got together and homesteaded contiguous plots when they descended upon Visalia one day and their plan was to build a road up to the timber zone and log it out, and starting in 1886 and using only blasting powder, human power and equine assist, they managed to make a wagon road up into the Giant Forest by 1890 just in time to be pitched out, as Southern Pacific didn’t want a competitor in the lumber business, and they had a California Congressman introduce a bill making the area now Sequoia NP, and that’s all she wrote for the socialists, they were beaten by the system despite everything they did was on the up and up, railroads being all powerful in the era.

    Anyhow, the road they made was the way into Sequoia NP from 1890 to the mid 1930’s until the Generals Highway was built.

    It has kind of a nobody goes there anymore vibe for nearly a century, reverting to nature.

    I’ve never been on this particular hike as it was previously a tribute to poison oak by all accounts, but that was before the KNP Fire and bulldozers scraped away the long tendrils of leaves of three.

    I look forward to this walk, there’s half a dozen of us going.

    The largest known single-stem tree on earth is between two and three thousand years old. It’s a sequoia redwood, located in Tulare County, in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Tourists, scientists, and oglers know it as the General Sherman tree, but for decades, residents of a local socialist colony called it by another name: the Karl Marx tree.

    The colony was called Kaweah. Its leader, Burnette Haskell, was born 1857 in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills, moved to San Francisco, and became a radical socialist, working with the Knights of Labor and the Coast Seamen’s Union, and establishing a local chapter of the International Workingman’s Association. Haskell was also active in the Socialist Labor Party, and published his own socialist journal called Truth.

    But Haskell eventually soured on trade unionism and took to the ideas of Laurence Gronlund, a Danish-born American Marxist who encouraged cooperative economics as an antidote to capitalist exploitation. “The more Capital is being accumulated in private hands, the more impossible this wage-system renders it for the producers to buy what they produce,” Gronlund wrote. It was up to workers themselves, then, to create self-sustaining systems where people can always afford both the necessities and luxuries their own labor makes possible.

    Inspired by Gronlund’s ideas and eager to get back to the mountains, Haskell decided to establish a systematic society that would operate by socialist principles of equal compensation for equal labor. He and several other socialists applied for adjoining timber logging land grants deep in the Sierra Nevadas, 53 claims totaling more than 12,000 acres, nestled between three forks of the Kaweah river. Membership cost $500 (about $13,000 in today’s dollars), $100 of which was to be paid up front. The rest could be earned with communal labor.

  22. semper loquitur

    The Poetry Nook:

    A dancing dead tree
    In rattling flight
    Golden and glowing
    In mid-morning light
    Swooned in wind’s arms
    Ice bitter delight
    Aches in God’s heart
    When I take in the sight.

  23. Mildred Montana

    >The Democrats will probably lose the midterms, because our society is falling apart. Jacobin

    No, they will lose because they are no longer an honest party which tries to represent its constituency. Lord knows they’ve had their chances, Obama in 2008 and Sanders in 2016. Obama after his election promptly forgot about the “change” part of his platform. In 2016 the party deep-sixed Sanders in favor of establishment Hillary.

    The Democratic party is the author of its own misfortune, and whether that misfortune is accidental or intentional is beside the point. Its goose is cooked, probably for many years, and it will be beaten on Tuesday by a hard-to-believe, laughable top-to-bottom Republican roster of Trumpsters, all of them clowns, crackpots, and election-deniers, none of them qualified for public office, and all of which would have been considered lunatic candidates forty years ago.

    PS. As I was typing this comment Obama was on CNN making a “Hail Mary” speech in Pennsylvania. Go back to Martha’s Vineyard, Barack. You had your chance 2008-2016,

    1. LifelongLib

      OK, but it’s not just the Democrats. A party that truly represented the less well-off in the U.S. would probably have more fundamentalist Christians in it than atheists, socialists, or feminists. Based on a number of comments I’ve seen here on NC I have to wonder how many on the ‘left’ would be willing to join such a party, or even just back it on economic issues while overlooking its less agreeable social aspects…

      1. marym

        It’s always – my whole life, whatever the issues or tactics – been a criticism of the “left” that they haven’t sufficiently accommodated the “less agreeable social aspects” of the right.

        If these less agreeable social aspects include policies to curtail the rights of others and exclude them from public life; or a commitment to “single issue” voting on guns or abortion, without regard to economic policy, I’d also question whether they would support a party that truly represents the less well off on economic issues.

        1. LifelongLib

          Well yes, because a left party that only accepts (say) socialist atheists is going to end up as five people yelling at each in the headquarters at Motel 6.

      2. hunkerdown

        Parties are churches. They’ll all be cringe because partisanship is cringe.

        If you spent more time creating food than creating people, none of these problems would exist.

    2. LawnDart

      Barack the Betrayer flat-out ended any lingering hopes I had for the dems.

      “(T)hey will lose because they are no longer an honest party which tries to represent its constituency” is perfect: the boldness which they lie and misrepresent is a trespass against basic human decency, and, as far as I’m concerned, their party is a mafia, a criminal organization, and a plague upon humanity.

      The two-party party Tangos on it’s grave, cursed by the young, mourned by the old, and hated, reviled, near and far, by all but the devout cultists. The duopoly calls this “democracy,” but it sure smells like manure, and from what I read, it sure looks like manure to most of the world– the mature adult, sane world: “America, please keep your “freedom and democracy” to yourselves, thank you.”

      I don’t think BO should go back to the Vinyard, not till next season, he should go on tour– town-halls from coast-to-coast! The booing, the heckling, people speaking their minds… …it would be glorious! And it would help the kill revisionist hagiography as D propagandists seek to enshrine his (p)residency, attempting to portray themselves in favorable light to the young and unlearned.

    3. Felix_47

      Sanders was also deep sixed in 2019 in the South Carolina primary through the able representation of Jim Clyburn. The Black Congressional Caucus has been opposed to campaign finance reform for a long time on the grounds that they need to be able to compete with white candidates in terms of advertising and patronage . Because of racism Black constituents cannot donate to their politicians like whites can to their candidates and Black legislators need PAC and dark money to equalize the field. Sanders uttered those words, campaign finance reform, as well as M4A. And his success in getting the little people to donate was horrifying to the established leaders. Can you imagine an electoral system dominated by small donors? It would be disorganized and completely out of control. Anybody could run and get elected no matter how off the wall their ideas were. Luckily, Jim Clyburn put an end to that nonsense and got a sensible, straight thinking democratic leader in the White House who over a 50 year career representing banking in Delaware has proven he knows how politics works. One has to wonder how the Ukrainians got him to work the same political magic for them.

  24. griffen

    Blunders by our thoughtful politicians. Well there ought to be like a history of these blunders!

    George Bush #41, “read my lips, no new taxes” I can remember this from just before entering college
    Bill Clinton “It depends on what the meaning of is, is” Well there was this ordeal with an intern…
    John McCain “Wanna bomb bomb, bomb Iran” Campaign trail in 2008
    Donald Trump “Well there’s good people on both sides” I’m forgetting which protest, Charlottesville ?
    Joe Biden “Free Iran” Campaign trail in 2022 (I am severely restricting the documentation of more)

    It’s no wonder we find ourselves at this incredible place in history.

  25. IM Doc

    A large part of my job, or at least it is supposed to be, is to be an advocate for my patients. I take that very seriously.

    As I have shared on numerous occasions, the most heart-wrenching several months of my life started in September of last year. One after the other young father in my office head in the hands sobbing out loud. Losing their jobs and the livelihood for their family because they would not accede to the vaccine mandate. Working class Dems almost to the one – not one of them or their families will be showing up on Tuesday for the Dem party. They have been betrayed in the most fundamental way.

    It will be a stain on my profession forever. Lead medical ethicists and other medical people demanding repeatedly on national TV the ostracization and impoverishment of these people. Calling them names. Refusing them access to medical care. And so much else. You all know – you were all here.

    Completely oblivious to the fact the SCIENCE even at the time was telling us that the vaccines were not going to prevent transmission at all. There was no public health advantage to be had by forcing young healthy people to do it. Never mind the fact that decades of public health experience and research have repeatedly shown that mandates like this simply do not work. They typically make things much worse. Never mind the fact that forcing experimental agents on populations, indeed coercing them in any way, is against the most cherished of principles of both medicine and public health. Included in that are declarations that our immediate forbears put into place right after WWII and The Holocaust so that nightmares like Dr. Mengele would not happen again.

    Every bit of that shat on and thrown out the window.

    Those of us in the profession who had the will to point out these problems were shouted down, censored, slandered, and deplatformed. What kept me sane through the whole thing was being right there with my patients as they were walking through the valley of the shadow of death. It is what I was trained to do.

    So no, Dr. Oster, amnesty is not really in the cards. My own religious and spiritual background is to forgive and put this in the hands of God. I am trying my best to work through this with many of these patients that have been gravely harmed and have them view this the same way. Forgiveness yes. Giving it to God, yes. FORGETTING, absolutely never. This must never be allowed to happen again.

    Many of those young men found other work. Unfortunately, many have not. The course of their lives has been forever altered.

    And yet our leaders and all who visited this upon the nation remain resolutely out of touch. Their blindness is obviously hopeless.

    And the organ of our overlords just today has the absolute gall to publish this pablum.

    And to add insult to injury – why don’t we put this line as the sub-title of the article – Losing a job is one of the most emotionally traumatic experiences a person can go through, experts say

    As I have heard so frequently from the opinion pages of this same paper – “Well, those stupid workers.
    It is their fault they got laid off. They can just learn to code.”

    This is all becoming laugh out loud funny if not so tragic – My response now – “Well maybe these tweet-heads can go learn how to run a backhoe or do farm work.”

    I am ashamed that I ever supported this party that has championed this claptrap in our lives. The current leaders cannot be dispatched soon enough. I pray daily that someone with morals will rise again out of the ashes.

    1. griffen

      Lost two jobs in three years between 2009 to 2012. Getting aggressive and sending out resumes definitely was a help the second time. Lessons learned. One it can be brutal and really mess with your emotional and mental state. And the finances, well it’s good I didn’t live too terribly large.

      Those Twitter employees deserve some level of empathy, but I’m less sympathetic to their plight. You had to know that the acquisition was going to happen, and if it did not a broken company would be left to fix and correct. And since the acquisition did happen, well you have a new boss. Contact HP employees about that empathy aspect. Among many, many other examples of corporations in USA USA.

      I appreciate your insights every time you opine in the manner you have been doing.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Zac Bissonnette
        At the risk of getting ratio’d: There are a lot of people expressing sympathy for laid off Twitter workers, and I agree. Job loss is one of the 5 most traumatic life events

        But it bothers me that many people didn’t have the same empathy for people fired over vaccine requirements’

        The guy has a point.

        1. griffen

          Twitter employee, 2022. In the history of man, no one has suffered like we will suffer at the hands of the brutal capitalist, and celebrated genius, of Elon Musk.

          Carnegie Steel Works, late 1800s. Ahem, we wish to have a word. Were you fired upon with live gunfire by your senior management team hiring out a private firm? And that is among other examples, to be sure.

          Textile workers, coal miners digging under ground. I mean to say, Holy Crap on a Cracker.

          1. Glen

            Maybe Rahm can show up and tell all those laid off coders they have to go back to school to learn to be miners, coal miners.

    2. Carolinian

      But, but those fired workers were trying to kill us by not getting vaccinated. I’ve read comments from people on this blog saying that. And that’s after also reading on this blog that the vaccine would not prevent transmission.

      When people are dying hysteria is perhaps understandable if not forgivable. There once was a US leader who said “fear itself” was the greatest enemy. Now we have a crowd whose motto is “never let a crisis go to waste.” Pepe Escobar describes this thinking as the Empire of Chaos. Lawfare may be the polite term. The goal is not justice but to use the rules to win.

    3. The Rev Kev

      ‘I am ashamed that I ever supported this party that has championed this claptrap in our lives.’

      For what it is worth Doc, how much in common does the Democratic party of the 1970s have in common with the Democratic party of the 2020s.

    4. anon in so cal

      California Gov Gavin Newsom was first in the US to mandate that school children get the vaccine.

      July 2021, Newsom signed a $500 Million contract with the California Prison Guards.

      Sept 2021 The California Prison Guards Union donated $1.75 Million to Newsom

      Oct 2021, Newsom demanded that the CA Prison Guards be exempted from the vaccine mandate.

    5. Earl Erland

      My son and I waited until Novavax was approved. First shot August, Next shot September. We were masked in public as soon as I read SARS, February. Pulled my daughter out of school a week before Whitmer’s flack called for schools to stay open. It was a Friday, and Trump stepped in to reinforce Galen.

    6. Carla

      IM Doc says: “I am ashamed that I ever supported this party that has championed this claptrap in our lives. The current leaders cannot be dispatched soon enough. I pray daily that someone with morals will rise again out of the ashes.”

      I say: I am ashamed to live in a country that trades political control between corrupt “Democrats” and morally bankrupt “Republicans” while pretending this is “our democracy.” Meanwhile, we all struggle to survive under the iron fists of rich white men whose overriding purpose in life is to kill and imprison poor people of color and deny bodily autonomy to more than half the population. This not claptrap, it is criminal.

      I cannot imagine what ashes a moral savior might arise from, unless it is the ashes of this country after the revolution. Such a being sure as hell won’t be either a Republican or a Democrat.

  26. Jason Boxman

    What Are Those Mysterious New Towers Looming Over New York’s Sidewalks?

    Alex Wyglinski, the associate dean of graduate studies and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, said residents need not worry. He noted that 5G is non-ionizing radiation, on the opposite end of the spectrum from ionizing rays that people need protection from, like UV rays and X-rays.

    In addition, Dr. Wyglinski said, the tower “cannot just blast energy everywhere. It’s going to be hyper-focused points of energy going directly to your cellphone.”

    And while the towers are tall, “you’ll get used to it,” he said. Just like streetlights and traffic lights, he added, “this will get integrated into the cityscape.”

    What an a**hat.

    And given the track record our governments have of demonstrably lying, it’s entirely reasonable to be suspicious of the claim that these are completely harmless. It’s rational to distrust when trust is abused repeatedly.

    1. ambrit

      Wait just a minute. A so called Professor of Electrical Engineering said that 5G cell towers broadcast their signals in guided lines!!! Something doesn’t sound right about this. I always thought that cellular communications are segregated along micro-bandwidth lines, not “directed” radiations. From what I was taught, the basic “bandwidth” is part of an all encompassing field effect. So, how do we ‘micro-focus’ field effects? That feat would be worthy of a Nobel Prize all by itself.
      Smarter boffins than me please correct me if I err.

      1. LY

        5G systems running at higher frequencies (millimeter wave) use arrays of antennas (Phased Array Antennas or PAA) to direct their RF beams. It was harder to do that before because of the computer processing power required.

        At those frequencies, your hand will block the waves, but now the antennas are much smaller so you can put multiple antennas all over the device. Because of the smaller cell sizes and antenna technologies, the transmitted and received power is lower than with 4G – which was lower than 3G which was lower than 2G.

    2. Paradan

      I cant even begin to imagine how complex it must be to make some kind of phased array system that can handle creating thousands of individual aimed beams all at once. Even if you did something like just 10 targets for 1/1000 of a second and then cycled through them all rapidly…

      Hey, you what else is on the opposite side of them spectrum from ionizing rays, microwaves, you know the kind we cook food with…..Hmmm….”Hyper-focused”…..HOLY SHOOT!!!….They’re MASERS. They’ve lined New York’s streets with MASER turrets, they’re gonna kill us all!

  27. Glen

    Biden, Obama set for clash with Trump in Pennsylvania

    Really? If I was running in PA, I would NOT want Obama there “to help”. It’s denying reality. Everybody KNOWS he’s quite literally talking about things the Republicans are “going to do” that he himself was trying to do. It’s glossing over WHY Trump was elected. If Obama is serious about campaigning in PA – he can apologize. Here’s what he needs to say:

    “I’m sorry, I told you Hope and Change, and then I [family blogged] you and bailed out the Wall St crooks that wrecked the world economy.”

    But I suspect there are higher odds of having monkeys fly out of his a$$. Um, that might get votes for the Dems too…

  28. KD

    Right wing and I started to get nauseous when Will Ruger started on the classical liberal hobby horse at the beginning (maybe this is a mandatory evocation at the beginning of discussions at Hillside), but it was interesting to here Goldman’s analysis on China, US and Russia. Also, I got the sense that Ruger is actually smarter than the ideology he spouts.

  29. Tom Stone

    Obama was well rewarded for his efforts.
    $100 MM in Real Estate alone, but he didn’t get the Silicon Valley money he angled for repeatedly.
    And He and the lovely Michelle still have the adoration of the same kind of people who idolized Princess Diana,
    Bless their hearts.

  30. Tom Stone

    A new Realtorspeak euphemism!
    “Enhanced Price”, and no the place doesn’t come with a Porsche or anything else of value, it’s just a price drop.
    And I have seen a brand new Porsche ( An $80K machine IIRC) as an enticement to buy a high end condo in a spanking new SF tower that was completed just a few months too late in the RE cycle..

  31. upstater

    NYT reports the preferred candidate for NATO Secretary General is Christia Freeland:

    Who Will Be NATO’s Next Chief? The Race Is On (paywall)

    I wonder if she’ll wear black and red to her coronation?

    1. griffen

      Goodness. Please and yes, it just seems so appropriate…to paraphrase Star Wars.

      I sense a disturbance in the Force.

    2. C.O.

      Wow, there’s a double-edged possibility. If that would prevent Freeland from becoming prime minister of Canada, that would be a plus of some type to Canadians, except that she is such russophobe that it seems ludicrous to put her in charge even of NATO’s mailroom, let alone any other capacity that could endanger everyone including Canadians. She has done Canada no favours as finance minister, though of course the elites like her well enough.

    3. Kouros

      I know that the Romanian president is doing and saying anything in his power to get that job. Despite the rumblings of Romanians who don’t like Russians nor Ukrainians, but dislike Ukrainians more…

  32. The Rev Kev

    Looking at that image of those cuddling African Servals I was thinking. If you got an artist to create a realistic painting that looked just like that image, people would believe that animals don’t do that and the artist was just making the whole scene up.

  33. Karl

    RE: “The Israel We Knew is Gone”

    It was interesting to get Friedman’s take on Netanyahu’s return to power and the extremist-right-wing cabinet he has assembled. A commenter on this article had this to say:

    – Netanyahu is under criminal investigation in Israel.
    – Netanyahu’s wife is under criminal investigation in Israel.
    – Netanyahu’s regime is under investigation for war crimes in Gaza.
    – The policies and actions of Netanyahu’s government are in violation of the UN Charter and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    The Israeli people chose to re-elect Netanyahu as their leader. What does this tell us about the State of Israel today?

    Those thinking the indictment of Trump will be the end of his political viability among the U.S. right wing should take note.

    1. Paradan

      Chavez was tried and convicted for trying to overthrow Venezuela’s government. He spent time in prison for it, and then was voted in as President.

      Here in the USA, if your convicted of incitement, revolt, etc., your barred from serving in the Federal Government, unless congress by 2/3rds majority allows it. Considering that going after the other parties leading politician is a great way to ensure you loose control of congress, its almost like the framers had thought this one out.

  34. Jason Boxman

    Inflation watch.

    Spectrum just increased my monthly Internet service by $5, unannounced. Saw it on the bill like nothing untoward happened.

    The cost of whey protein isolate more than doubled over what I paid for an 11 lb bag last year; This applies to every vendor I’ve looked at, I can’t find a cheaper source. Creatine also doubled in price.

    Stay safe out there!

    1. ambrit

      We are seeing similar increases in the prices of items and services too. We are looking at ‘marginal’ expenditures that can be axed.
      Finally, the realization of a Neo-liberal dream; the Downsizing of America.
      Fewer people, with lower standards of living, feigning allegiance to less representative governments.

  35. Ignacio

    RE: Socially responsible companies laid off more workers than their peers during the COVID-19 pandemic University of Vaasa

    Ahem, so let me tell you this, you are now Responsibly Fired! For the better of us, you should be happy to note.

  36. robert lowrey

    NBC: “The Buck stops Deer”

    “Making daylight saving permanent could drastically reduce deer collisions, study finds” .

    Is that why they’re called stags? They stagger around from running into each other so often?

  37. robert lowrey

    “How a sand battery could transform clean energy BBC”

    Lol. Nowhere in the universe is there such a thing as “Clean Energy” … so there’s that.

    Its what’s called the first law of thermodynamics.

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