Links 11/7/2022

What time is the Blood Moon total lunar eclipse on Nov. 8? Space. On election day….

Reasons Are Adding Up for Optimism on Inflation John Authers, Bloomberg

Economists see recession coming, so maybe it’s not FT


Brazil, Indonesia and DRC in talks to form ‘Opec of rainforests’ Guardian

US works on plan for companies to fund emerging nations’ fossil fuel switch FT. Carbon credits.

Sea Level Rise Revisited (video) Mark H. Shapiro, YouTube. Shapiro: “I provide evidence that the rate of mean sea-level rise has been increasing in the last two decades, and I also show how much sea-level rise is impacting shore locations on the U.S. east-, gulf- and west coasts.”

A Nuclear Renaissance? The New Atlantis

One of Our Most Beloved Environmental Writers Has Taken a Surprising Turn Slate. Wendell Berry.

The Preppers Were Right All Along Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).


Southwest Water Wars Yasha Levine


Covid-19 is a leading cause of death in children and young people ages 0-19 years in the United States (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Using publicly available data from CDC WONDER on NCHS’s 113 Selected Causes of Death, and comparing to mortality in 2019, the immediate pre-pandemic period, we find that Covid-19 mortality is among the 10 leading causes of death in CYP [Children and Young People] aged 0-19 years in the US, ranking 8th among all causes of deaths, 5th in disease-related causes of deaths (excluding accidents, assault and suicide), and 1st in deaths caused by infectious or respiratory diseases. Covid-19 deaths constitute 2.3% of the 10 leading causes of death in this age group. Covid-19 caused substantially more deaths in CYP than major vaccine-preventable diseases did historically in the period before vaccines became available. Various factors including underreporting and Covid-19’s role as a contributing cause of death from other diseases mean that our estimates may understate the true mortality burden of Covid-19.

Eugenics and Public Health in American History (PDF) American Journal of Public Health. From 1997, still germane.

More on the latest brainworm, “immunity debt”:

Fauci says U.S. is at a ‘crossroads’ as COVID kills 2,600 a week and new Omicron variants bloom with winter coming soon Fortune

Has Long COVID Always Existed? New York Magazine

Doctors say masking can help stop the spread of RSV WBRC. I’ve got strong priors here, but CDC’s obfuscatory “respiratory droplets” — the phrase CDC uses because the words “airborne” and “aerosol” stick in the throats of entrenched droplet dogmatists — appears in the text, so I immediately think RSV spreads not just from coughing and sneezing, but also breathing, talking, singing, shouting, etc.


China’s No 1 priority is still GDP growth, senior economic official asserts, amid focus on ‘common prosperity’ South China Morning Post

This is why there is no ‘China-Russia alliance’ Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

We had plexiglass barriers, but in China:

China – Mining by the numbers, 2022 Hellenic Shipping News

Fuelled by meth addiction, Vietnam’s drug-treatment centres are rife with abuse Globe_

The real message B‑52s send from northern Australia Lowy Institute. Hmm.

Loopholes Continue to Undermine American Manufacturers and Give China an Advantage Newsweek


Imran Khan Declares War On Pakistan ISI & Army; Asks President To Stop Them Abusing Power Republic World (India) and The wounded Khan, worried Generals and political chaos Dawn (Pakistan).

In bankrupt Lebanon, locals mine bitcoin and buy groceries with tether, as $1 is now worth 15 cents CNBC

Dear Old Blighty

Thirteen days in October – how central bank balance sheets can support monetary and financial stability Andrew Hauser, Bank of International Settlements. Hauser is Executive Director for Markets of the Bank of England.

European Disunion

Europe Must Protect Its Electricity Market From Putin Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

To End the Russia-Ukraine War, Shut Up About Negotiations WSJ. The last sentence: “A last thought: If the war is still ongoing by the 2024 election, whether or not Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, expect the U.S. intelligence establishment for the third time in a row to play an oversized role in our presidential election, mostly for ill.” “Outsized” in comparison to what? 2016? 2020?

Nation-Building in Ukraine The American Conservative

Ukraine war: Kyiv mayor warns of winter without heat, water or electricity Euronews

* * *

Russia’s aviation industry defies sanctions to remain airborne FT

“When oil ran low, technology developed the pedicab” –Frederik Pohl & C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants

But notice the width of the rails:

It’s a tourist railway line… Looks like symbol manipulation to me, though of course it could be Urkrainian irony, said to be rich.

* * *

Cost of Living in Europe and Further Aid to Ukraine Gilbert Doctorow

Germany’s economic entanglement with China Adam Tooze, Chartbook

Despite tensions, Russia is shipping a giant magnet to France for a nuclear fusion project EuroNews

Biden Administration

Wow. Judge Stops the Looting of Albertsons (For Now) Matt Stoller, BIG

In back-to-back cases, justices will scrutinize traditional limits on challenges to agency proceedings SCOTUSblog


Four Reasons Why The U.S. Is Grappling With A Diesel Shortage

The Twitter

Twitter reportedly delays blue-checkmark changes until after midterm elections MarketWatch

Thousands Have Joined Mastodon Since Twitter Changed Hands. Its Founder Has a Vision for Democratizing Social Media Time. Thousands!

Is Twitter’s ‘blue tick’ a status symbol or ID badge? And what will happen if anyone can buy one? The Conversation. Before Mush, you only got a Blue Check if you’re “Notable” (see NC here). That’s status.

The World That Twitter Made The Scholar’s Stage. From 2020, still germane. Commentary:

Sports Desk

World Series: Philadelphia becomes 1st city to ever lose 2 championships in 1 day with Phillies, Union loss Yahoo Sports


The Worst Pediatric-Care Crisis in Decades The Atlantic

Imperial Collapse Watch

Stratcom Commander Says U.S. Should Look to 1950s to Regain Competitive Edge U.S. Department of Defense

Realignment and Legitimacy

Secret War Brennan Center for Justice

The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them To Save It Chris Hedges, ScheerPost

Psychologists provide evidence for a causal link between greater forgiveness and reduced paranoia PsyPost

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Dear Landlord by Bob Dylan)

    Dear Russia
    Please, let us out of this war
    It’s cold and we’re hungry
    The pain’s getting hard to ignore
    We tried so hard to spread your legs
    To rape Mother Russia for gold
    We went a-Viking to run you through
    Now we pray that we might be paroled

    Dear Russia
    Please take this noose from our necks
    We need to get home now
    We’ll write you some big blank checks
    We brought world war to your front door
    And you saved this world from our aims
    We’ve both had enough of blood and gore
    And our arrogant, treacherous games

    Dear Russia
    We’ve no right to mercy, it’s plain
    Our Lebensraum effort
    Was clearly absurd and insane
    Since 1054 we’ve been coming on
    And you always chase us away
    You’re right to doubt those days are gone
    Or to trust any words that we say

  2. semper loquitur

    Holy (rap, stay away from Philly today. The only thing that city likes better than winning is losing. They are probably gonna lynch the Phanatic.

    1. griffen

      I dunno, the baseball fans might view the longshot MLB wildcard Phillies team as generating a once in a while historic run to reach the World Series. And they were not swept, which is always a plus. I can remember the Braves having incredible seasons in the ’90s only to manage 1 championship.

      They do have the Eagles, so suffice it to say they have a decent coping mechanism in place. As opposed to the winning Astros team, does Houston now root for the Texans?

      1. Craig H.

        They will definitely be rooting for Texans when they play Cleveland in week 12. I like to watch the youtube highlight clips. Houston has a lot of empty seats. Many stadiums this year have a lot of empty seats. The only losing team right now with no empty seats might be New Orleans Saints.

          1. curlydan

            I attended the Chiefs-Titans game last night with my son. The tickets we got were in the 5th row of the upper level around the 5 or 10 yard line. They were about $220 apiece. Parking was $50, and there is no public transportation to the game, so you pretty much have to park.

            My son got a burger, fries, and a Coke for $25 (no kidding!). I got a hot chocolate with a shot of some “fire whiskey” added in–I think that was $15 or $16. We definitely spent more than $500 on the night. It’s outrageous.

            Thankfully I don’t have to pay LA/NY prices for a game.

            1. indices

              At least you got to see a great game decided in overtime… Patrick Mahomes and the Human Wrecking Ball, Derrick Henry, certainly made it worth watching.

    2. juno mas

      Well, to be fair, the Phillies were not favored (7th seed) and the Union (soccer team) lost the MLS championship game, in a thrilling 3-3 tie, on penalty kicks.

      Only in America is losing the championship game considered a failure. (Despite season long triumphs for the fans to revel in.)

  3. Wukchumni

    Lace up your 280 characters and we’ll get the low down
    To the who what & where on the edge of online town
    There’s an eight buck combo that just won’t quit
    Keep payin’ ’til you get a monthly blue check tick
    Fall in there and we’ll see some sights next
    At the house of blue checks
    There’s news and gossip and the usual outlandish fibs
    But the treat of the treats
    Is when they serve you all those fine eight buck bleats
    You’ll want to spend time with the rest of the nervous wrecks
    Down at the house, the house of blue checks
    We’ll have a time and we’ll cut down some mug
    While we dig those blue ticks like they should be dug
    It’s a real home comin’ for all the Twitteratti cats
    Just wander down a path of $96 a year welcome mats
    Fall in there and we’ll see what happens next
    At the house of blue checks
    There’s news and gossip and the usual outlandish fibs
    But the treat of the treats
    Is when they serve you all those fine eight buck bleats
    You’ll want to spend the rest of your time next
    Down at the house, the house of blue checks

    House of Blue Lights, by Chuck Miller

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘When #russians shell our energy infrastructure, we switch to diesel locos and #KeepRunning. We always have “plan b”. Was checking today “plan b” for diesel locos – steam locos.’

    I don’t think that the Ukraine has that many diesel locomotives that would be capable of supplying an army stretched across 1,000 kilometers of battle-front. I found a Ukrainian railways page that, though poorly translated, appears to say that they only have 302 of them. The EU can’t help much as the railway gauge is different to the standard EU gauge. And of course the Russian have the option of shooting up the actual diesel locomotives themselves if they want to or eventually just taking out bridges that any trains must cross-

    1. Polar Socialist

      I find it telling that the plan B (be it in jest or not) for the Ukrainians would be a Soviet era steam engine running on a Hungarian era track saved from destruction only by the total economic collapse of 1994…

      Regarding diesel engines, they also require imported diesel to run, and they need much more maintenance than electric engines. It’s lucky that UkrZaliznytsja doesn’t have to foot the bill itself, because they share our values or something.

      Also, for what it’s worth, many of those diesel engines are actually D1 and DR1 diesel trainsets, designed for passenger traffic in non-electrified sections and not at all suitable for hauling cargo.

      1. Tom Stone

        Is “Plan C” is horse drawn transport?
        With all the horseshit being exported from Ukraine they clearly have no shortage of ponies…unless those are unicorns.

    2. upstater

      I would expect the Baltics and perhaps Finland have already sent 1520mm gauge diesels to Ukraine. Lithuania, which I’m familiar with, had considerable diesel powered traffic into Kaliningrad and also export of bulk commodities into Klaipeda. These lines are not electrified. Probably the same picture in Latvia. Given most of the export and Klaipeda business has dried up, there are no doubt dozens of surplus diesel locomotives.

      This can only help at the margins, given the small scale of Baltic railroads compared to Ukraine’s.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Finland might have some to-be-retired Dv12 engines which would be great for Ukraine – they are designed to pull a lot of weight trough a wilderness, and if they’re kinda small, you can link two or three together and command all from the main engine with only one crew.

        The main issue is that weighing 70 tonnes, delivering them any other way than Russian railroad network is, shall we say, challenging. Even the big bulk carriers to Odessa would be suspiciously low in water carrying even one of these.

        1. upstater

          In the US, locomotives and rolling stock are sometimes placed on flat cars for transport. Perhaps Rail Baltica is finding its strategic use to ship locomotives into Poland.

        2. Revenant

          Sweden and Finland have now relinked their rail networks but there is a change of gauge. You could potentially load the locos on another train if the loading gauge is sufficient and then take them through Denmark, Germany and Poland….

    3. lyman alpha blob

      The Ukrainians are already on to Plan Z and unfortunately for them, there are no more letters.

      Maybe they’ll have to go cyrillic.

  5. zagonostra

    >To End the Russia-Ukraine War, Shut Up About Negotiations WSJ

    Our elites aren’t as incompetent as they seem. Ninety-nine percent of the people in Washington know their jobs well enough to know the letter [30 progressives that went down with a whimper] was a bad idea.

    The 99% are, it is understood but not underscored, unelected. This reminds me of another WSJ article, this one by Francis Fukuyama.

    Those attacking the “deep state” are really attacking the rule of law…The rule of law, Americans should remember during such a crisis, is not a physical barrier but a set of normative beliefs in the minds of those who exercise power. Under such circumstances, only a deep state would preserve the possibility of continued constitutional government in the United States.

    Americans have become uncomfortably numb, accommodated even, to the recognition that there is a “deep state” or permanent government that really runs policy. The predictive programming of movies like the Jason Bourne franchise or other psychological dramaturgy playing on social media, have been conditioned us to accept the unspoken, it is hidden in plain sight.

    1. Louis Fyne

      all great powers had a “deep state”

      the best analogy for today’s US are the palace eunuchs from the Chinese imperial era. no joke.

      1. Acacia

        A fair analogy, though were all other deep states bleating in public about “our democracy” while covertly engaging in the same level of hoodwinking, skullduggery, murder, and warmongering as that of the US Empire?

        1. Paleobotanist

          Oh, I’m sure they were also going on non-stop about the nobility and worthiness of the emperor, or sultan, the certitude of having the mandate of heaven or the blessing of the prophet, etc.

          Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

          One of the virtues of aging is that you start to see all the repetitions and similarities and bull droppings.

        1. hunkerdown

          More like Matt Yglesias and Noah “Tankie” Smith. Graham’s just a fat emperor of some seaside province on the take of some foreign power. Nothing much to distinguish any of them, really.

    2. Mikel

      Covert operations by intelligence agencies are “rule of law”?

      The Judicial and Legislative branches of government have nothing to do with “rule of law”?

      Anyway, it is known how little the deep state thinks of actual Democracy.

      And I’ll have zero servings of Fukuyama’s “normative beliefs,” thank you.

      1. hunkerdown

        The “rule of law” is a myth. In reality, the law has to follow material reality and manipulate the material world into conformity with the ideal. Human hands are needed to interpret and adjust material reality.

        Even then, rule and law are a crackpot Roman religion. Direct democracy, on the other hand, would be dismissed by the propertied as “rule of men” because some men no longer have a protected right to make personal demands on others. Which is good, actually.

        1. Mikel

          A look at some antiquated laws that hang out in the books of various states is a good example of the sheer insanity of some of it.

          “Direct democracy, on the other hand, would be dismissed by the propertied as “rule of men” because some men no longer have a protected right to make personal demands on others. Which is good, actually.”
          That protected right to dismiss others demands (which is also what you arr describing) has led to a vile oligarchy. Which is “rule of a few men”….not working either.

        2. zagonostra

          Are you channeling Thrasymachus and saying that “Justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger”?

    3. Harold

      They seem incompetent and they are incompetent. Just as before World War 1, only worse, if that were possible.

    4. The Heretic, SJ

      This from the man who prophesied the ‘end of history?’ I have no doubt this is how he maintains his ‘Iron rice bowl’ from the powers that be, by mentioning this drivel.

      At minimum, Mr Fukuyama should distinguish between the IRS, the Justice department, the people who runs Medicare, from say, ‘ the guys, who run guys, who run guys, etc…, to the guys who run the black ops teams of the CIA and state department’.

      Oh, and who turned the 30 progressives from suggesting negotiations with the Ukraine/Russia situation, into people who then expressed unreserved support for the Ukraine. Please correct me if I’m wrong; but who flipped Bernie on this matter. It’s sad to see one of the few dissenting voices on Iraq war in 2002 go the other way on this.

      1. Oh

        When the French flip the switch on this magnet, there’ll be giant grinding sound that will mean that all the Ukraine supporters will be immobilized! I wish!

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Despite tensions, Russia is shipping a giant magnet to France for a nuclear fusion project”

    Offhand, I would be pretty sure that the Russians would have taken care to send along the proper paperwork for this giant magnet with it.

  7. diptherio

    As a member of the admin team on a cooperatively run instance of Mastodon, I can attest to the massive influx of users (relatively speaking). I just got our membership report for October, for instance, during which we added eight paying members. We’ve gotten more new memberships than that every day since Elon bought twitter. So, we are talking an order of magnitude change, although granted, from a rather low baseline, but still it’s quite encouraging.

    Also, anyone looking for a Masto instance to join, feel free to check out There are a few hoops you have to jump through (involving real, live, honest-to-goodness humans), but it’s worth it, imho. Of course, we’re a co-op so we’ve got democratic governance (using Loomio); we use Open Collective for our budgeting, so all the finances are completely transparent; and we have an agreement with that allows all of our members to have a video conferencing account with them, so you can get off of twitter and zoom all in one go, saving both your sanity and your money! Also, despite our minimal membership fees we have extra revenue piling up (unlike Elon), which means we’ll likely end up voting to use some of that excess to bundle even more services into our membership deal. Lambert may poo-poo at the scale, but it is honestly one of the coolest things I’ve been involved with in awhile.

    1. diptherio

      Here’s the numbers according to the lead maintainer of Mastodon:

      Hey, so, we’ve hit 1,028,362 monthly active users across the network today. 1,124 new Mastodon servers since Oct 27, and 489,003 new users. That’s pretty cool.

      Half a million new users in 10 days doesn’t seem like something to sneeze at, although I doubt we’ll keep that pace up for too long.

      1. Carolinian

        So do you have a Fake News department? Because otherwise why would those miffed MSM elites want to use it?

        I’ll admit I know nothing about Twitter or social media in general but size seems to be the point for Trump and all those celebrities. You rack up a score and then it’s “fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong.” But good luck to your honest efforts at an alternative.

        1. Wukchumni

          The abominable showman was given Elba room in online exile, but like a lot of things that really mattered once upon a time, the march of events has overtaken the urgency of what once was of great import.

          Who other than the teetotalitarian leader taking credit for the Donkey Show going down for the count tomorrow?

          1. ambrit

            Well, give the man credit for ushering in “The Hundred Daze” after the Debacle Diabolique. Next, the “War of the Woke Coalition versus the Congress of Deplorables.”

        2. cfraenkel

          The kind of people who would be interested in a federated social media platform would also consider the lack of MSM presence a feature.

          Social media used to be all about talking with friends and people who shared your interests. This whole ‘narrative’ / celebrity / ‘influencers’ / pushing your personal brand plague ruins it for it’s original purpose.

          Mastodon’s lack of VC investment and semi-geeky user experience maybe can serve as a vaccine against your MSM parasites. One can hope.

          1. hunkerdown

            The “personal brand” is the unit of neoliberal society. I heard here that California’s unemployment insurance claimants get to learn that in their work culture training videos.

            As Jon Stewart’s experiment showed, it is legal for candidates and Super PAC managers to discuss campaign strategy and tactics through the media. I think this fact drives a good lot of the crying from the blue-check class about Twitter. Whether the Mastodon system would allow them to enjoy that loophole as neatly as Twitter’s system is a matter for the attorneys.

            1. digi_owl

              Seen something similar regarding industrial workers, where they should think and behave like a single person company signing project contracts with the factory etc.

  8. Chas

    The Slate article panning Wendell Berry’s latest book must be the first time Berry has ever been called lazy. The Need to be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice, we are told, is “a lazy book” which is “befogged with resentment.” What that means to me is it’s probably one of the best books he has written. Last Spring we spent a month driving the back roads of the south and were depressed by all the dead towns. Worst were the county seats with their majestic courthouses faced by four commercial streets full of empty stores. The only county seat we found with any life to it is Newcastle, Kentucky which is the seat of Wendell Berry’s county. There Berry and his daughter Mary Berry, have set up the Berry Center which, among other things, is running a school of farming where the Berrys are paying the tuition of young people who want to learn how to farm. You might say Wendell Berry is putting his money where his mouth is.

    1. ArchieShemp

      >You might say Wendell Berry is putting his money where his mouth is.

      Perhaps by re-erecting Confederate statues?

      I thought it was a great review, and if you read the whole thing you’ll see that one egregious form of laziness in his new book is his failure to reconcile his sympathy for what’s been done to Black people with his affection for the supposedly benign social order that was the antebellum South.

      1. Carolinian

        That “done to Black people” was a national problem and not just Southern. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just watch some old Hollywood movies–particularly the ones with blackfaced singers. While we are taking down the statues maybe we should deep six The Jazz Singer and take another look at Gone With the Wind.

        Or maybe we should let history be history and concentrate on the here and now. In an era when culture is totally shaped by pixels and gigabytes statue propaganda is small beer.

      2. hunkerdown

        So that we understand the sort of pietous PMC mythology that informs your opinions, you also thought regime historian Heather Cox Richardson’s daily roundup of the 1/6 protest was of value. Outside of your little PMC echo chamber, neither your nor anyone else’s myths are entitled to service, and you can put that in your lazy pipe and smoke it.

        1. ArchieShemp

          Thanks for that bit of ad hominem tab keeping, and the usual conclusion-jumping that comes with participation in most online peanut galleries. FWIW, i think her columns are of value, if only as summaries of what happens most days. I also think “regime historian” is a pretty good label for her. Being allowed to interview Biden likely further clouded her judgment.

          And to the point at hand, perhaps you agree with Berry’s apparent nostalgia? For those good old low-carbon days, full of contented slaves and happily subservient lower-order white folks? Or maybe you’d like to comment otherwise on, you know, the matter at hand? Did you bother to read the Slate review?

          1. hunkerdown

            I did read the review. I found it an attempt at training up Mr. Berry into the proper moral pieties of the neo-Puritan successor mythology (and selling Deegan’s savvy #ADOS cred to whomever’s hiring), with the book serving mainly as a pretext.

            As for me, I believe in freedom from religion — both of them — and a robust right of self-defense against symbol manipulators who trespass.

        2. jsn

          To the extent Berry takes the position about the interpersonal relations of slavery presented in the review, he is profoundly and importantly ignorant of the realities of capitalist, American slavery, with human lives as a material input.

          “The Half Has Never Been Told” meticulously corrects this particular misunderstanding of the American past.

      3. Chas

        I’m going to wait to read Berry’s new book myself before concluding he has failed “to reconcile his sympathy for what’s been done to Black people with his affection for the supposedly benign social order that was the antebellum South.” Berry’s position on racism may be better observed by going back a couple years to look at his opposition to removal of a mural at the University of Kentucky which depicted segregation and slavery. What Berry was opposing was wokeism, or what he called “over cooked political correctness.” Here’s an article about the mural controversy and another about Berry’s position on the mural.

          1. Chas

            I don’t know. My search this morning didn’t turn up anything about the outcome of the lawsuit either. Often they take more than two years to resolve.

      1. dermotmoconnor

        Listen to ‘Woman’, dear christ. ‘Imagine’ was awful enough, but that thing, pure glurge.

        1. juno mas

          Well, he also wrote Working Class Hero (1970). So, between his Beatles days and the Ono Band there was a lot of work. Most of it not sugary.

  9. square coats

    Apologies if this was shared here before (I did try to be diligent searching to see if it had been)

    A very interesting interview of Alex Krainer (Vanessa Beeley interviewing) from 3 weeks ago but I think still quite germaine, particularly in discussing/pondering what the UK and Poland are up to these days w/r/t Ukraine, etc.

    (link goes to a youtube video)

  10. Wukchumni

    Something like 40 million people depend on Colorado River. But most of the water doesn’t go to people directly, it goes to big ag: Around 80 percent of the river is used for farming and cattle ranching, and growing crops like hay and alfalfa as cow feed. So a giant powerful industry depends on that water and they’re not gonna give it up without a fight. Remember the Bundy family and their standoff against the federal government? Well they’re ranchers from Nevada — right along the Colorado.

    Southwest Water Wars Yasha Levine

    In some fashion we treat the largess from the Colorado River in a way similar to fractional reserve banking, it being so oversubscribed versus actual cache on hand.

    It makes sense that upriver users dependent on it will have first dibs as rules & accords break down and ideally you don’t want to be last man charlie on the long supply chain in the SoCalist movement.

    We go on a flatwater kayak trip in a fortnight putting in just below Hoover Dam and you’d never know the great stress the Colorado is under in our stretch of about a dozen miles, as the releases to create hydroelectricity are fairly constant and the flow regulated for the most part.

    The birdlife is always extraordinary along the river and hopefully we’ll see some bighorn sheep too, all about 33 miles from the Las Vegas strip as the crow flies.

    Curiosity will be served after the kayak trip and we head up on the western edge of Lake Mead for about 50 miles, to get a better glimpse of what’s what.

      1. Wukchumni

        The forecast over the next few days is for 4 to 6 feet of new snow above 8k in the Sierra Nevada as a freezing atmospheric river comes calling.

        This is great news and a similar amount albeit in inches and in liquid form will come bearing down on us in the foothills, which will result in a fleet enema of sorts for the 5 rivers, of which we only lay claim to 3.

        It’ll be a muddy, beautiful dirty mess… the gullywasher about to cleanse our waterways of algal blooms and other nastiness in a clean sweep.

        Everything is so cattywampus with climate change as this year we will have received more precipitation in the Sierra in the summer & fall, than in the winter.

      2. Mikel

        The earth is going to surive.
        People are afraid they won’t be able to extract what whatever it is they need for a certain living standard or, in some cases, to survive. That’s the crisis.
        Earth is going to chug right along.

        It’s already been covered in ice, covered in water, covered in greenhouse gasses…the earth has been there, done that. It keeps on humming along and vibrating. It will be over when the vibration stops.

          1. Mikel

            And many intuitively know this.
            But I suppose “save the planet” framing is a coping mechanism.
            It’s a grasp at control or imagined domination.
            For some, it’s the way it’s been talked about for so long that people just roll with it.

        1. Tom Bradford

          Humanity survived and rebuilt after the Toba eruption c.70,000 years ago which is estimated to have reduced the human population to 3,000 – 10,000 individuals from whom we are all genetically descended. Even in the worst of what is to come there will be pockets where it will be survivable, and when push comes to shove mankind’s dexterity, intelligence and sheer bloody-mindedness will enable him to avoid total extinction again, adapt to whatever ensues and rebuild again. At least there won’t be much competition.

          I guess we can only hope that the survivors remember enough history to learn from our mistakes.

  11. Stephen

    “This is why there is no China-Russia alliance….”

    Seems to be as fair an article as one will get from a paid up member of the academic and think tank class, which I think Anatol Lieven is part of. Makes the classic (and religious) comments about “Putin’s increased repression” and “Russian military incompetence”. Otherwise he runs the risk of being accused of being a Putin stooge and then the requests to submit articles and give speeches would dry up. But the overall insight seems very valid.

    The Chinese and Russians both behave as most independent great powers typically have done through history. They have “interests” and make common purpose with other states where those interests intersect. They manage conflict where those interests diverge. They also seem to be adult enough to understand that reality works that way. So, Putin is quite capable of cooperating with Turkey when it makes sense to do so but being assertive with her in other respects. Am sure that Xi is the same with Russia. Very Westphalian and an approach that the statesmen of the Vienna Congress would clearly understand too. Everyone then needs to play by those rules too and be agreement capable.

    It seems to be the west (and especially the US) that has the different binary idea that countries are either friends or enemies and that we should only work with people who share our values. Except when it suits us to break that rule of course. The article could perhaps be a little more reflective on these broader points and I am sure that Anatol Lieven is fully aware of these historical perspectives.

    By the way, his brother Dominic Lieven wrote the excellent “Russia Against Napoleon”. It is long but well worth reading and follows the full story from 1807 through to 1814 and the entry to Paris. So many parallels with the present day conflict. Is told from the Russian perspective which is deeply unusual in western history, of course. Most western history has seen Alexander I as a man of great inconsistency and even of mercurial moods. Lieven is deeply sympathetic to Alexander though and makes a compelling case. Many analogies between what Alexander did back then and how Putin now behaves too.

    1. Louis Fyne

      I’d be more afraid of two countries that can work together informally over a handshake than countries that need an official alliance with a formal declaration and a 20-page treaty.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It might be worse than that. Like nations in the past, they are both agreement-capable. If one nation says that they are going to do something and the other nation knows that they will carry out that action, that is how you build up a level of trust. And it still counts. Who would trust an agreement made with the EU these days. How much would it be worth? The worse recent example is the Minsk 2 agreement which were done under the UN but which they never had any intention of fulfilling or getting the Ukraine to hold up their side of that agreement. And also, we keep on hearing about the negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal with the US. A sticking point is that not only does the US refuse to guarantee any treaty after the next President comes in in 2024, but they won’t even guarantee it for the term of Joe Biden’s term which is only two years. How do you negotiate then with the EU and the US?

          1. SKM

            Wagenknecht is amazing. Wish we could have party leaders in UK, or anywhere for that matter. Thanks for that link – something to cheer the heart

          2. caucus99percenter

            Sahra Wagenknecht could save the Left Party from oblivion, but the most vocal faction won’t have it and wants to kick her out instead.

            Similar story with the newly re-elected mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer: popular with voters, but whom the most vocal faction within the Greens, his own party, have ostracized for insufficient wokeness and are trying to expel for good.

            1. JBird4049

              I think much, but not all, of the stupidity and blind obedience to ideologies like the current Wokeism or Neoliberalism is a deliberately encouraged by people in places like the CIA or in organizations created by people like the Kochs. Whatever their reason for existing, they now have the same effect as a cult: it cannot fail, it can only be failed, comrade. Are you a wrecker?

              This kind of “reasoning” seems to have spread throughout our societies as everyone has blind spots as well as emotional and mental weaknesses, which our society seems to be trying to find and crack open. It is almost like a malevolent, conscious, horde that demonically seeks out new minds to destroy; reading the writings, or even knowing people personally, and then to see a sane, rational, understanding, even tolerant and forgiving person turn into a cultist is disturbing. I think, I know that this person is at least, if not much more, intelligent than I. I respect this person, but they have retired into the warm, safe blanket of the fanatic. What does that say about me? Will I become a loon as well? Deranged in my thinking, driven into black and white thinking of only good and evil with no gray accepted?

              On the “good” side, I better understand just why people become fanatical.

              1. fairleft

                Excellent and thought-provoking comment imho.

                Can’t be good that when, by quasi-official design, people now lust after ‘victim status’, they often ‘achieve’ such by revealing to their minders their personal trauma and ‘weak points’.

      2. Stephen

        Right. And the article fails to mention that the bellicosity of the “collective west” has given these two powers mutual interests and a common cause. Something that did not occur so much during the Cold War when they were allegedly ideological comrades in arms.

        I think the overall insight of the piece is valid but Lieven clearly feels a needs
        to put comments like this in, that are pure assertions. Anyone objective might ask whether the warning is aimed at the U.S., of course.

        My former Soviet politics / history professor is also a paid up member of the think tank world. He seems less objective these days than Anatol Lieven.

    2. LawnDart

      “Chinese leader Xi Jinping issued a strong statement warning all countries not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons — something that can be read above all as a warning to Moscow not to use them in Ukraine.”


      1. juno mas

        That’s the writers impression. My impression it’s a request to both the US and Russia. (Since Xi has been having direct talks with Putin, I’m sure the warning is to Biden—the only person who actively talks about nukes.)

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you and well said, Stephen.

      With regard to your first paragraph, that is, unfortunately, all too true.

      The Lieven family are Baltic German, no longer Lutheran, but Catholic now due to marriage. Their insights and thoughts are similar to those (recently) expressed by the economist Robert Skidelsky, born in Harbin before WW2.

      I don’t know how old you are. In the 1980s, especially on Weekend World presented by Brian Walden, recognised experts in their fields like the late Paul Nitze and Wynne Godley were regulars. They also wrote in the MSM. The MSM does not dare invite their modern equivalents now, if only to avoid being shown up.

      NC’s David, aka Aurelien, has written a fine post that parts address this theme,

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thanks Col., as always you provide so much context!

        I’ve always found Lieven to be an interesting and articulate foreign policy commentator. He seems to have sufficient status within the establishment that he doesn’t need to follow the party line. In contrast to someone like Timothy Snyder who has become almost unhinged in his enthusiasm for war.

        Skidelsky has followed a fascinating path, from SocDem to almost Tory and then to supporting Corbyn.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, PK.

          (Redlife2017) and I went to an event on monetary policy and central bank independence addressed by Skidelsky three years ago. It was amazing that someone whose social democratic beliefs have hardly shifted has found the world around him move.

      2. Stephen

        Thanks. I read the Aurelien article and it is useful.

        Brian Walden takes me back. I was quite young! I also remember Wynne Godley of the Cambridge School. That was an era when academics did appear on mainstream media and there was genuine debate.

        1. Mikel

          “That was an era when academics did appear on mainstream media and there was genuine debate…”

          For the uninitiated, some of those types of debates are posted on YouTube.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        It’s an interesting article, but I must lay down the marker that I don’t agree that the PMC is a caste, not a class. Members of the PMC do indeed have “the same economic function”: At the 30,000 foot level, reproducing capital(ist social relations, with their own social relations as a subset of that). They do not rule, but they govern. At ground level, things are more complex, but if a Martian looked at our world from space, that is what they would see….

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I think the basic point Lieven makes is fair and accurate.

      Russia and China have common interests, and they have directly competing interests, as always with regional powers with common borders. They are not historical enemies nor particularly strong rivals, but they also have ‘issues’ going back a long way, which neither are likely to overlook. In particular, the Russians will have noticed that China’s claims on Taiwan are derived from historical boundaries of China which happen to include significant chunks of what is now Russia. Russia is also well aware that they’ve been the junior partner in previous commercial/military co-operations which has led to them losing a lot of their tech edge. China still remembers what it sees as a betrayal by the old Soviet Union over nuclear weapons.

      The US is of course being extremely foolish in pushing both together, but increasingly we are seeing western unity on this break down, even in the past week as both Japan and Germany step back from US ‘guidance’. We are rapidly seeing the development of a complex multipolar world, in which China and Russia will have many common interests. But there is very little chance that they will somehow create a unified counter power to the West, this seems to be a fantasy of many western leftists, but it is not grounded in either countries history or their interests.

      1. Stephen

        I think all of that is correct.

        Lieven strikes me as “getting it” and is clearly not one of the unhinged mainstream brigade.

        Obviously, we cannot read his mind either. My suspicion though is that he feels the need to throw in minor narrative consistent sound bites (eg Putin’s repression) as part of the pedagogy. Otherwise, many of the people he wants to influence would simply switch off and then try to stop him having access to write more pieces.

        Practicality matters as much as pure principle.

      2. Kouros

        Sorry but I have to disagree here. The situation between China and Taiwan is slightly different than between Russia and Ukraine. The only commonality is the fact that in both cases the US is involved, trying to use Ukraine and Taiwan as a battering ram against Russia and China respectively.

        Otherwise, the situation is very different. Russia was very willing to live with an independent Ukraine on its border as long as such a state would be militarily neutral towards Russia (as it originally committed in the 1991 Constitution) and had some modicum of rights provided to the Russian sizable minority in Ukraine.

        Also, the territories that Russia helped China loose where first and foremost Mongolia and then some north of the Amur River, lands that were conquests of imperial China and not places where the Han civilization has sprung from. Not many Han there.

        However, Taiwan is not only populated by a majority Han, but until late 1970s it was considered in the west as the rightful successor to the Chinese Middle Kingdom and only recently Taiwan seems to want to renounce to the One China Policy that they also believed in, with them at helm, of course.

        Since 2000s there is a treaty of friendship between the two countries, and they are agreement capable. Also, there is more and more connectivity between Russia and China being build up, pipelines, railways, roads, bridges.

        Yes, China steels technology from Russia, but let’s be honest here everybody steals technology from wherever they can.

        1. bonks

          Thank you for your perspective. In all my years of living in China the party has never claimed any Russian territory as part of China, while they make it known loud and clear their opinions about Taiwan pretty much everyday. In recent decades, the only talk about ‘taking back’ territories from Russia (Siberia seems to be a popular trope) came from the KMT/ROC, and NYT.

  12. Wukchumni

    The Preppers Were Right All Along Bloomberg
    I knew that if I just kept wearing my Izod shirt, Dockers and Sperry Top-Siders sans socks, the look would come back into vogue…

    But as far as preppy goes, the 8th billionth of us was born in a manger on the other side of the wall in the West Bank the other day. He was named Halah.

    Congrats are in order but thats a lot of mouths to feed and I keep hearing about crop failures everywhere, and like everybody I like to eat.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine war: Kyiv mayor warns of winter without heat, water or electricity Access to the comments”

    On the news tonight I also heard the mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko say that it may be necessary to evacuate three million people from Kiev so I think that this is part of a pressure campaign on the EU to fork over more money. Several years ago you had the Syrian refugee wave which resulted in Germany taking in a million of them even though they had little idea of who these people actually were. There would have been more as Erdogan had a huge reservoir of refugees in Türkiye but the EU agreed to pay him billions to keep them there. So suppose that the Ukraine carries out its threat to evacuate those three million people. So where do they go? Certainly not Russia or the other towns and villages of the Ukraine so it can only be the EU. Can you imagine the political effect of three million refugees streaming out of the Ukraine and heading their way? One million refugees was bad enough. It would be chaos and the EU leadership would be put in a catastrophic position. So I’m thinking that Zelensky is saying that if more money is sent his way, then perhaps it will not be necessary to evacuate Kiev after all.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      But if there’s really no electricity and water, what can Zelensky do to prevent people from leaving? Is he going to close the border? With what army? The surviving remnants of the Azov Batallion?

      Rather than paying Zelensky, it’s probably more effective to get Ukraine’s neighbors to strengthen their borders.

      I also think that the evacuation of Kiev means that the city has effectively “fallen”. When that happens expect a lot more Ukrainians from other towns to flee to neighboring countries, so it’s not just going to be 3 million people.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that Ukraine’s neighbors can strengthen their borders. Can you imagine the optics of tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians pressed up against a chain fence trying to get away from a war zone with NATO soldiers stopping them on the other side? How would EU leaders explain away that? They can’t, so Zelensky would have them over a barrel here.

        1. chris

          I’m not so sure. If those countries don’t have extra fuel or food to spare I can see them shutting the door. The US is still relying on Trump’s policies to keep refugees and asylum seekers out. Of the countries surrounding Ukraine, who is capable to even let those people pass through, or settle?

          I can see where things get ugly if Poland transports Ukrainian refugees to the German border. Hungary won’t want any refugees to come in. Belarus and Moldova won’t be supportive of importing Ukrainians either. The people outside of the annexed areas won’t go east. So…where do these people go if they’re hungry and freezing?

          1. juno mas

            Yes, it is amazing that by NOT killing people, but forcing real live people to leave the land of your enemy, you can win the war!

      2. Michaelmas

        Rev Kev: I think that this is part of a pressure campaign on the EU to fork over more money.

        Sure. But as SocalJimObject says, all the money in the world given to Zelensky and the Kiev regime won’t make an iota of difference to what the Russians choose to do to Kiev’s electricity, water, and communications infrastructure.

        In the real world, the endgame was always likely to be Putin expelling as many non-Russian Ukrainians east of the Dnieper as possible, effectively weaponizing them as refugees sent on into the EU.

        Before the current scenario of inadvertent German de-industrialization, there was some neoliberal hunger for cheap Ukrainian labor. We don’t know how bad 2023 will be for the EU, so we don’t how much that hunger will still exist then. But all the delusional narrative about a plucky Ukraine seeing off a collapsing Russia has only served to put off the recognition that all the EU money that Zelensky and Kiev want would be more profitably spent on EU internment camps to process Ukrainian refugees

        Alternatively, the EU could just let Ukrainians surge in. But in my experience wherever there’ve been ‘Russian’ mafias in the West, they’ve invariably turned out to be Ukrainian, often from Odessa. Letting those elements swarm into Europe would be, to borrow EU bigwig Josep Morrell’s pompous metaphor, like letting a mass of predators into the precious European ‘Garden.’ Predators, moreover, with access to the vast quantities of ordnance with which the West has flooded Ukraine.

        Conversely, of course, internment camps on the EU’s borders holding, for a change, masses of ‘white people’ (!) will be a revealing, clarifying moment.

        Ugly, either way.

        1. Michaelmas

          Rev kev: Can you imagine the optics of tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians pressed up against a chain fence trying to get away from a war zone with NATO soldiers stopping them on the other side?

          I can imagine that. A year or two of constant socio-economic near-collapse across the EU ‘Garden’ might have a way of changing lots of minds in Europe.

          How would EU leaders explain away that? They can’t, so Zelensky would have them over a barrel here.

          Pfft. In a year or less, Zelensky may be in Florida or the UK, if he isn’t dead.

          To quote J.G. Ballard: “Civilised life is based on a huge number of illusions in which we all collaborate willingly. The trouble is, we forget after a while that they are illusions and we are deeply shocked when reality is torn down around us.”

          In the next few years, many people are going to be deeply shocked.

        2. hk

          There is somewhat of an irony: “Ukrainian” was never a so widely spoken a language in the Ukraine (and where Russian or Belarusian ends and Ukrainian begins was never clear anyways. Everyone in Ukraine, except those in the western fringes, speaks Russian (and Ukrainian is a recognized legal language in Russia anyways). Who’s stopping most of the affected “Ukrainians” from declaring allegiance to Russia anyways, except for a relative handful of known extremists?

    2. Lex

      I would assume that the Kiev evacuation would be to western Ukraine rather than the EU, but it does light a fuse. The Kiev government is also now making public pronouncements that citizens should not expect the government to help them much. I try not to put too much stock into the rumbles out of Ukrainian telegram on domestic issues, but they are getting louder and louder. Zelensky’s biggest problem may be internal rather than external. After all, it should have been entirely predictable that this sort of situation would or could arise, and if that’s the case why isn’t the government prepared for it?

      1. Yves Smith

        Why is the power situation going to be much better ex Kiev? Russia is hitting transmission lines to produce the result that generation facilities at most serve a very local area. If they continue balkanizing the grid, only some pockets will be functioning adequately. It seems very likely those all together won’t be able to support 3 million more people, housing and food transport wise.

        Helmer has noted Russia is pointedly sparing power supply to train lines that go to and from the western borders.

    3. Polar Socialist

      On a tangent, but still about “Ukrainian” power generation: iEarlGrey has posted a document on his Youtube channel about Zaporozhye NPP. Every citizen of Energodar they bother to ask, knows very well where the shells and rockets are coming.

      It also touches before the SMO issues like Energoatom firing people for celebrating Victory Day, or kindergarten kids forced to use Ukrainian in a Russian speaking city etc.

    4. Kouros

      They can go in the countryside, in western Ukraine. Plenty of wood for heating, and in the countryside they have outhouses, don’t need no fancy indoor plumbing that requires electricity to pump water. Food and army cots could be delivered at very low costs. Crowdedness will keep them warm and as long as they don’t contaminate their wells, all should be good.

      1. Polar Socialist

        It’s my understanding that as majority of Kievans speak Russian*, they would not be received with general hospitality** in more “ethnically aware” parts of Ukraine.

        * a “city thing” not ethnic – for over a century Russian has been The Urban Language, country folks speak Surzhyk, a mix of Ukrainian and Russian (and it’s least liked by the ethno-nationalist, who consider it a bigger threat)
        ** if not strictly beaten up, maybe denied some services and price gouged at a minimum

      2. Yves Smith

        With all due respect, this is MBA thinking.

        Outhouses for millions?

        “Food” delivered to places with no running water or cooking facilities? Even assuming there are enough trucks to deliver said “food”?

        Your plan is a prescription for dysentery and starvation.

        1. juno mas

          Yes. And if that food is distributed to a cold crowd, expect chaos greater than an American Black Friday event.

          1. Wukchumni

            …expect chaos greater than an American Black Friday event.

            I’m kinda thinking it’ll be ‘Lack Friday’ this year for much of the country is broke and spent out, as they bought everything their little hearts desired during the pandemic.

        2. Kouros

          People having nothing to do can dig up outdoor latrines in little time, just with shovels. Machines could be used in frozen ground.

          Also, basic wooden stoves could be build very easily. If there is food and wood/fuel and a latrine and a not freezing shelter, people can survive.

          It is no MBA thinking. I have been in the army and I have also worked in forest management in the most remote places in Romania. I spent childhood summers in countryside, and I had to go to “voluntary work” to support the collectivist agriculture. What I spoke was about basic necessities, adjusted to the realities on the ground.

          What I had in mind was people being bivouacked. With so many people already left Ukraine, with an aging population and depopulated countryside, I am sure space is available. I do not have in mind “western” living conditions. Also, conditions better than what people in Donetsk or even more, Mariupol, living in building basements (as shown by Patrick Lancaster), had to endure.

          1. SocalJimObjects

            You’ve been in the army and you’ve worked in nature. Millions of Ukrainians haven’t. Within a week of experiencing this paradise of yours, there will be riots guaranteed.

            You are effectively asking millions of urban people to dramatically change their way of life ASAP. Not going to happen. There’s a reason after all that most people live in cities.

            1. Kouros

              I am not talking about any paradise here but about basic necessities. I gave the example of Mariupol and how people managed to survive there for months, without power, water and under fire, in apartment building basements.

              Bivouaqued people in the country side, the way Brits sent children during the Battle for England is what might come close to how one can operationalize such an operation.

              And if people really dislike such conditions, they can always overturn their government and maybe find people that will consider negotiating for peace.

              1. skippy

                Old saw was you want to mess up a city kid send them to the country and vise a versa ….

                This view does not consider the realities of adaptability and social psychology factors because its reliant of some broad generalization deduced from whole cloth – have a care.

              2. SocalJimObjects

                The population of Mariupol dropped from 400K plus to 100K, so no, most people elected to flee than simply “survive” on basic necessities.

              3. Stephen

                Not sure which WW2 histories you read.

                My father was one of the British children evacuated in 1939. He left London to live with a family in a house that had running water, sewage services and heat (even then) out at Oxford. His siblings had similar experiences.

                They were not in bivouacs living rough. Even then, they drifted back to London quite quickly as it happens. These evacuations are never ideal. Despite the bombing which did end up destroying their house in 1944 (a V1). British history tends to glorify the era but the evacuations were not that pleasant based on my own family’s recollections.

                I do agree too that in theory we can live on the land like hunter gatherers. But pretty much none of us are equipped for doing so. Camps of such a type would be a disaster. Especially for that many people.

                1. Kouros

                  Almost every house in the countryside in that part of the world, that I have seen, has one or two rooms for guests, whatever. Usually they come equipped with some form of fireplace, and there is an outdoor and more recently an indoor toilet. How is this living off the land?

                  Two to three people can bunk into such accommodation. It is not fun, it is not easy, but likely more livable than in 10 stories apartment buildings with no power (water, elevator) and potential bombing.

  14. upstater

    re Europe Must Protect Its Electricity Market From Putin Bloomberg

    Let’s remind ourselves before electic price deregulation (before markets) generation, transmission and distribution were vertically integrated systems operated by nationalized or highly regulated monopolies. There was no such thing as the last dispatched generating unit setting the price for the whole system or location-based marginal delivery pricing.

    I believe the UK was the leader in “unbundling” its electric system into separate entities, each with its own tradable “market” to set pricing at the margin for every kilowatt produced. This applies to generation production and transmission capacity, with costs passed through to customers on the distribution system.

    The complexity introduced “because markets” in mind-boggling complex. It essentially created a whole new non-value adding layer to the industry. There were all sorts of tradable instruments and derivatives introduced; the utilities themselves and financial firms enthusiastically trade and manipulate these instruments (particularly for transmission capacity which can be gamed).

    Bloomberg advises more complexity is needed:

    They should also develop better hedging instruments, to protect consumers from volatility, and improve fiscal transfer systems, so they can deliver well-targeted aid quickly when the next shock hits.
    Europe has created a market where none existed, for an extremely idiosyncratic commodity. This is an accomplishment that makes all Europeans better off. Don’t let a Russian dictator destroy it.

    Never let a crisis go to waste.

    1. Acacia

      Yep, let the rolling blackouts roll, and bring on a Euro Enron with traders laughing as the lights out out on old folks homes all over the continent. ‘Cuz Putin be so evil.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, both.

        That explains why Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered have former Enron traders, although the former had to fire one, one of the most obnoxious scoundrels one could ever work with, for ripping off customers.

      2. Mikel

        Cali readers peeped that “Enronization” right away.
        Remember when they bankrolled The Terminator for governor when Wilson was threatening to do something about it?

    2. Stephen

      The U.K. did something similar to its rail industry too!

      One outcome was lots of lawyers and contract specialists rather than traders but same overall negative consequence.

      The answer, of course is always more complexity. It justifies so many careers and creates so many ways to cream off income.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Stephen.

        It’s funny you mention the lawyers.

        My former manager at Barclays was at Simmons & Simmons. He said that the law firm, then advising on the process and managing the legal aspects, spent the grand total of one evening, a couple of hours after work, observing how the trains and the infrastructure and different providers could / would work in practice.

    3. JW

      There has always been economic signalling in electricity generation; fuel, O&M, capital, and networks; entry, exit costs, O&M, capital. SRMC and LRMC. In the UK the old CEGB Bulk Supply tariff mimicked ‘market’ pricing between CEGB and the regional Area Boards ( distribution/supply). National Grid section of CEGB produced econmic signals for location of generation given proximity to fuel sources and load demand centers.
      There is nothing new about this. What is new are the derivatives. The one-way and two-way cfds around energy pricing are always going to be necessary in a centralised dispatch system. As long as they reflect physical reality they add to efficiency. When they are used to ‘bet’ and those bets influence real pricing outcomes then they become potentially dangerous. The derivative markets around something so central to an economy’s well being needs to be highly regulated.

    4. Mikel

      “It essentially created a whole new non-value adding layer to the industry…”

      There’s alot of that going on in many industries. Like parasite infestation.

  15. T

    Thanks for that Immunity Debt link. And yet we still haven’t heard how many of these kids had Covid. Which was my first question.

    1. anon in so cal

      Didn’t the same people pushing the “immunity debt” line months earlier say 80% of US children had contracted Covid?

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Agreed. According to this nbc “news” report from last April titled “CDC report finds 75 percent of children and teens had Covid by February”:

      The increase in Covid was most significant in kids: from 44.2 percent in December to 75.2 percent in February among children ages 11 and younger, the CDC report found. The percentages were almost identical for kids ages 12 to 17.

      The findings reflect record numbers of Covid cases among kids reported during the omicron surge. In January, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported a spike in kids hospitalized with Covid.

      And yet according to the good doctor:

      While numbers of RSV & influenza are not higher than last yr at this time, MORE children are hospitalized than last yr. So higher proportion of children are coming to hospital with severe illness. (4/8)

      The significant increase in the number of children who “had covid” should have increased the number who are sick now because covid “impact[ed their] immunity downstream,” but it has not, apparently.

      I get that she doesn’t like the “immunity debt” framing, but I don’t find her rebuttal particularly persuasive.

      And then there’s this, which belongs in the “price of eggs in China” category:

      To add, there is a massive healthcare staffing crisis. Healthcare workers are sick themselves, leaving healthcare due to being burnt out & underpaid. Without staff, hospital beds are in short supply.

      Also, there is an ongoing shortage of fever reducing meds for children.(7/8)

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          jeezus h. christ. Who is this goomba, and what in the world does “assistant professor of ‘information’ (teaching stream)” even mean?

          He replaces the “fallacy” of “immunity debt” with “photo galleries” and virus “mugshots?” “Information” indeed. All “due” respect, but he sounds like one of those people who complained that he couldn’t get into med school because the organic chem tests were too hard.

          But it’s this that got me:

          But that’s not the only possible strategy: you can also trash the photo collection itself, so your intended victims won’t recognize you.

          In 2015, it was discovered that Measles does this. It literally erases immune memory. It fades those photos. How was that discovered?(6/19)

          It was discovered through epidemiological data: people who recovered from Measles tended to THEN get all kinds of diseases they shouldn’t get. Nobody suspected Measles was erasing immunity, until we had these data that couldn’t be explained away.(7/19)

          An entire generation, of which I happen to be a member, got its immunity to measles by actually getting the disease and letting our bodies deal with it. An epidemic of weird diseases did not result.

          We also ate better, cleaner and less; got more exercise, sunshine and fresh air; got jabbed with far fewer “vaccines” during the first 6 months of our existence; scratched mosquito bites with dirty fingernails; put pennies in our mouths; and never even heard the words “hand sanitizer.”

          The “all kinds of diseases that they shouldn’t get didn’t start until chemical pollution of the air, water and soil became acceptable because capitalism and profit, not to mention the pollution of the human body by big pharma and big medicine.

          Give me a break.

          1. skippy

            Must have missed all the historical pandemics that happened in human history when we were all dirty …. pre industrialization …

      1. Basil Pesto

        The significant increase in the number of children who “had covid” should have increased the number who are sick now because covid “impact[ed their] immunity downstream,” but it has not, apparently.

        No, RSV is gonna RSV, it is always there and always circulating. The hypothesis is that the discernibly acute severity of this RSV outbreak relative to past outbreaks is due to the damage Covid has done to many (but not all) kids’ immune systems at scale following Covid mass infection policy, making it harder for their wee bodies to fight the infection when it does take. It’s plausible (certainly moreso than the made-up-by-political-actors and crudely tossed out into the ether “immunity debt”, which falls apart under minimal scrutiny), though we should probably keep an eye on what happens in Europe in the months to come, to see if a similar phenomenon happens there as well.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          It’s the numbers I’m talking about.

          More covid-wrecked immune systems–44% to 72%–would be expected to cause more cases. But it didn’t work out that way. Why not?

          1. Yves Smith

            HUH??? Are you not paying attention? Pediatric hospitals are overloaded with cases and this is only November, and a super warm one in the US. Respiratory viruses transmit much better winter because people are indoors more and viruses live longer in colder air/low humidity conditions.

    3. Late Introvert

      How can we know without proper testing. I can say my kid in high school most likely has not had it, unless it was asymptomatic, but that “most” of her friends have indeed had the Covid. She is one of a handful still masking.

  16. PMO

    Just anecdotal but it seems the Brits may have greatly reduced their (arms?) traffic to Ukraine. A few days ago someone posted a map showing density of air traffic to the main NATO airport in Poland and my house is directly below the thickest line in southern England. For months there was a fairly constant flow of planes (1 or 2 an hour 24 hours a day) flying fairly low over our house and bear in mind I don’t live anywhere near commercial air routes; we never had air traffic like that before. A few days ago it almost stopped, now maybe 1 or 2 a day rather than an hour.
    Interestingly this reduction was almost perfectly timed with the Russians publicly pointing the finger at the UK for the Sevastopol attack. Maybe just a coincidence and it has more to do with budget cuts or maybe they’ve just changed their flight route?

    1. anon in so cal

      Brits to reduce assistance to Ukraine refugees. “Rishi Sunak,intends to significantly reduce aid to Ukrainian refugees and to Ukraine itself in general in conditions of budget deficit

      Sunak and Finance Minister found a”black hole” of 50 billion pounds in the British treasury,which they are “desperately trying to fill.””

  17. Wukchumni

    It’ll be open season on Hunter soon, and you’d have to think he’s looking at non-extradition countries if My Kevin (since ’07) decides to do laptop dances @ the house of bada-bling!

    1. LawnDart

      I don’t think there’s enought sunlight to disinfect the D wing of the party. But yeah, should be fun watching the PR machines spin and the lawyers dance– like it or not, we’re all going to get to know the contents of “the laptop from Hell” quite intimately.

      The Burisma Holdings stuff might gain a second-life, and perhaps this could be useful in a way of helping to extract US from Ukraine? Or maybe this thinking has others thinking that I’m smoking some of what Hunter was smoking…

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘Gulp Fiction’, the plot:

        A mysterious laptop is thought to contain the chief executive’s soul sold to the devil (password: 666), or is it merely a repository for NFT versions of the diamonds stolen in Reservoir Dogs?

  18. Mikel

    “Germany’s economic entanglement with China “Adam Tooze, Chartbook

    Big plans with China.
    I guess the people in Germany can be left with some more Wirecard type of businesses as their future.

    1. Revenant

      The Tooze article was intriguing but I am curious what has driven the huge increase in China’s exports to Germany in just two years, such that China now runs a trade surplus with Germany. That sort of spike does not look like the acceleration of an existing trend (e.g. pandemic shopping from the sofa), it looks like a new trend entirely.

      Possible answers:
      – healthcare consumables, e.g, masks: possibly a contributor but surely not valuable enough alone?
      – increased price of semiconductor imports for automotive industry etc? Maybe but, again, is the volume enough?
      – importation of the output from the Chinese factories of German manufacturers? I have no proof but I wonder if, during the pandemic, the Germans did not redirect Chinese production to Europe/USA to make up shortfalls. This would also show up in the re-export data from Germany, if anybody knows where to find it.

      I’d be interested to hear other ideas!

      1. Grebo

        My guess would be batteries and other EV equipment as VW, Audi and Mercedes have all switched from diesels to EVs.

  19. Carolinian

    Re Kroger and Albertsons–we don’t have either chain but out in Phoenix the major players were once Fry’s–owned by Kroger–and Safeway and Albertson’s. Safeway is now owned by Albertson’s and having all three under the same management will perhaps lead to higher prices in what is already the inflation capital of the country. But there’s still Walmart grocery as the elephant in the room and once the “snowbirds” arrive it can be hard to get near the place. In fact Walmart and Aldi just announced that they will be selling traditional Thanksgiving items like turkeys at “pre Covid prices” for the holiday season. And pre Covid in my town meant a grocery price war between Walmart, Lidl and Aldi–deflation rather than the opposite.

    So per Stoller it’s good that judges are now standing up to would be monopolies. However it would be better if they did so where the actual monopolies are.

  20. semper loquitur

    “Let’s be sure we’re not fiddling with freeze-dried fettuccini while the planet burns.”

    You have to love the cognitive dissonance at Bloomburg. Yeah, blame the preppers for not paying attention as the world burns. As if stocking up on canned food and jugs of water is detracting from mitigation efforts. “Regenerative farming” and “next-level technologies” are great buzzwords. Meanwhile, it’s full steam ahead with business as usual at Bloomburg. I’m surprised the author didn’t provide a list of investment opportunities to get on board the Armageddon gravy train.

  21. anon in so cal

    US and NATO will consider peace talks if Russia loses Kherson? A sick joke?

    “US and NATO allow the start of peace talks on Ukraine if Kyiv recaptures Kherson, the battle for which has both strategic and diplomatic significance.”

    La Repubblica newspaper

    1. LawnDart

      Well, the US and NATO aren’t saying the peace talks won’t happen.

      Too funny! [And yes, I am a fan of black humor]

    2. Polar Socialist

      I didn’t know it was for US or NATO to allow the peace talks. I may have suspected, though. Now I know. And they say Western MSM is good for nothing…

    3. All Ice

      Hmmm. Is it possible that Jake (the snake) Sullivan’s secret message to his Russia Counterpart was if you even want to start to negotiate, lose Kherson so our MIC can extract many billions more $? Jake is one balsy negotiator. Maybe one day he will find it in his heart to negotiate for ordinary Americans. Never.

      1. hunkerdown

        Sully isn’t exactly in a position of strength, so I read the message more like “Look, please just let us get a W on camera and we’ll leave. We really need to continue our WEF-inspired internal reforms and not completely lose the election. Can you do us a solid for old Westphalia’s sake?”

    4. David

      It’s hard to tell without more context, but I expect it means that US and NATO are looking for an off-ramp, and a situation which will allow them to say that they are lifting embargoes and stopping the supply of weapons, or at least taking steps in that direction. But if they do so straight away, it will look like a defeat (which of course it is). What they may be signalling is that they need a Ukrainian “success” which can be presented as a “victory,” gained because of US/NATO support, after which they can make public concessions, and offer to talk about circumstances under which all sanctions and arms deliveries would be suspended. It’s fantasy, of course, because they have no real control over what’s going on, but it may also be an indication that they are coming round recognising the inevitable.

      1. Yves Smith

        The other theory is that Sullivan told Zelensky that he needs to get that damned Kherson offensive going so as to help the Dems push through the additional $50 billion to Ukraine in the lame duck Congress. Dima at Military Summary reported yesterday that Ukraine moved an Azov unit to Kherson behind the units on the front lines. Those are to prevent retreat, which may signal they really will launch an offensive once the ground gets hard again.

        ISW is backing a Kherson offensive:

        I have found M.K.Badrakhumar to be extremely erratic and too often run ideas that have no apparent grounding in fact. Helmer tells me M.K.Badrakhumar knows nothing about Russia, merely cuts and pastes from the MSM. and also does not have the ear of any Indian official of consequence either.

      2. skippy

        There is no saving face from this and that is the rub due to past and currant geopolitical antics … that is playing out in real time to deals in the future and the past winnars[tm] of that game all sold out their intellectual capital for a pay day …

      3. skippy

        Too simplify as YS has noted … enlightened self interest vs libertarian self interest and the way that has and will roll … everything else is just a side show to bang on about …

  22. zagonostra

    >Researchers Find Massive Anti-Russian ‘Bot Army’ – Consortium News

    Speaking of “deep state”…

    A team of researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that as many as 80 percent of tweets about the 2022 Russia-Ukraine invasion in its early weeks were part of a covert propaganda campaign originating from automated fake “bot” accounts…

    In May 2022, the National Security Agency (NSA) director and U.S. cyber command chief, General Paul Nakasone, revealed that the Cyber Command had been conducting offensive Information Operations in support of Ukraine.

  23. Mikel

    “A last thought: If the war is still ongoing by the 2024 election, whether or not Donald Trump is the GOP candidate, expect the U.S. intelligence establishment for the third time in a row to play an oversized role in our presidential election, mostly for ill.” “Outsized” in comparison to what? 2016? 2020?”


  24. fresno dan

    The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them To Save It Chris Hedges, ScheerPost
    The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.

    In “The United States of Amnesia,” to quote Gore Vidal, the corporate press and the ruling class create fictional feel-good personas for candidates, treat all political campaigns as if it is a day at the races and gloss over the fact that on every major issue, from trade deals to war, there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic Party and Joe Biden are not the lesser evil, but rather, as Glen Ford pointed out, “the more effective evil.” (long, LONG list of what Biden has done follows…)

    Biden and other establishment politicians are not actually calling for democracy. They are calling for civility. They have no intention of extracting the knife thrust into our backs. They hope to paper over the rot and the pain with the decorum of the polite, measured talk they used to sell us the con of neoliberalism. The political correctness and inclusivity imposed by college-educated elites, unfortunately, has now become associated with the corporate assault, as if a woman CEO or a Black police officer is going to mitigate the exploitation and abuse. Minorities are always welcome, as they were in other species of colonialism, if they serve the dictates of the masters. This is how Barack Obama, whom Cornel West called “a Black mascot for Wall Street,” became President.

    1. Mikel

      “They hope to paper over the rot and the pain with the decorum of the polite, measured talk they used to sell us the con of neoliberalism…”

      Don’t forget the use of the fake, corporate nice smiles.
      All fueled by emotion and mind numbing prescription drugs.

    2. Carolinian

      Ditto yup. I would go make my protest vote tomorrow but feel like i have nobody to vote for. That’s how they get us.

      1. katiebird

        I voted against a constitutional amendment. And third party that I’ll never admit to voting for.

        1. Late Introvert

          I did as well, here in Iowa it’s for “strict scrutiny” for gun laws. I also voted for the black woman the genius DemRats decided to run in lily-whitesville. She seems OK, and hasn’t yet proven to be a lying warmonger, but there’s time.

    3. Karl

      Hedges delivers a comprehensive indictment of Biden and the Democrats. It may help explain tomorrow’s election results and why the Democrats’ closing argument of “Democracy is on the ballot” rings hollow….

      If the election is the wipe-out that is widely expected, will the Hedges narrative on the reasons for the Democrats’ failure get much traction in the MSM? Doubt it.

      The flame of blame will need to skewer someone. I think “muddled”, “gaffe prone”, “stumbling” Joe Biden will get the worst of it. Also bad messaging, bad luck, bad timing….Anything but policy failure, is my guess.

      And so the usual pendulum-swing game that both parties play will continue, as the American people continue to squabble and their cities and towns degenerate. And as we lurch closer to WW III.

      Or, might some rationality set in? I suspect the repudiation will need to be catastrophically clear for that to happen.

  25. Wukchumni

    Another day of F-35 flyovers…

    The last time we had this much action overhead was in the leadup to January 6th 2021 where there were flights every day for about a fortnight~

    1. JP

      They always have seemed to like the cloud cover. I believe most of the fighter traffic is pilots keeping their required hours up but I think there has been more traffic generally since the beginning of hostilities in the Ukraine.

  26. semper loquitur

    It’s 76F in NYC today. My neighbor is on her deck having a work meeting over Zoom. They are discussing “cozy weather” content. Earlier, someone on the street commented on what a beautiful day it is. I wanted to scream at them.

  27. spud

    ever more treason.

    “De Minimis Value Increases to $800
    Release Date
    Fri, 03/11/2016 – 12:00

    WASHINGTON — As agreed in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, signed by President Barack Obama Feb. 24, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that March 10, it raised the value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that generally may be imported free of duties and taxes from $200 to $800. This raising of the de minimis exemption is due to an amendment of the Tariff Act of 1930 included in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.”

    “As businesses and consumers face harsh economic challenges, a loophole in U.S. trade law continues to plague and undermine U.S. manufacturers while giving China a back door into the U.S. market.

    This legal loophole has led to an explosion in shipments from China, while legislation passed by the House of Representatives to essentially close this loophole remains in limbo.

    This provision of U.S. trade law is now being aggressively used and lets millions of products into the U.S. market duty free that otherwise would be subject to tariffs, penalty tariffs, taxes and customs inspection. Known as the “de minimis” mechanism, it allows a package of goods valued at $800 or less per person to come into the country duty free everyday through e-commerce.”

  28. JBird4049

    >>>Eugenics and Public Health in American History

    Thanks for this. It is both depressing and interesting as it rhythms well with today’s more subtle genocidal thoughts. And the Nazis really did get most of their ideals and tactics from the Americans. They just were more honest and ruthless then the American Professional Managerial Class of the time.

    Most of went away after the Holocaust, but as both the study of history and the witnesses of the time have both died, the current happily ignorant children are bringing back the ideas that did not quite die.

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