Links Thanksgiving Day 11/24/2022

Readers, I hope you are all having an excellent Thanksgiving. Purely for due diligence, I remind you to encourage kindness and helpfulness wherever you are. –lambert

Welcome to the Tiny Town Where Half Your Neighbors Are Polar Bears WSJ

Why Wild Turkeys Hate the Wild The Atlantic

Global Economy Slows, but Seems to Be Faring Better Than Feared WSJ

Climate

In Sharm El-Sheikh London Review of Books

COP27 Failed. Here Are 5 Ways We Can Still Help Save the Planet. Donzinger on Justice

Alan Kohler: It’s national suicide by politics, it’s death by degrees The New Daily. Australia.

America’s Billion-Dollar Tree Problem Is Spreading Wired

#COVID19

WHO’s departing chief scientist regrets errors in debate over whether SARS-CoV-2 spreads through air Science. But then again, too few to mention. This tweet is still up, still doing damage:

Shame!

The World Is Still Failing at Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project Syndicate

* * *

Study shows reinfection protection for COVID-19 vaccines Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Vaccinated people now make up a majority of COVID deaths Stars and Stripes

Visualising SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes and mitigations BMJ

China?

Foxconn offers $1,400 payout to quell protests at China iPhone plant FT. Not clear to me whether wages and working conditions, lockdown, or both. Commentary:

China has ordered six million people into lockdown in a city Agence France Presse

China GDP: avoiding ‘middle-income trap’ is key in 2023, and 5 per cent economic growth possible, Beijing adviser says South China Morning Post

Sustainable Peatland Management and Transboundary Haze in Southeast Asia (podcast) New Books Network. See NC on peat here, here, and here.

Myanmar

Electricity boycott buckles in Yangon but powers on in the Dry Zone Frontier Myanmar

Anwar Ibrahim is Malaysia’s 10th prime minister Channel News Asia

European Disunion

First nationwide map of Italy’s fascist monuments goes online Channel News Asia

Hungary’s EU cash at risk after European Commission concludes reforms fell short Politico

Sweden’s parliament votes through controversial espionage law The Local. “Under Sweden’s current espionage legislation, secret information obtained, disclosed or passed to another state must directly harm Sweden’s security. Under the new law, it is enough for it to damage relations with another country.”

Cutting-edge tech made this tiny country a major exporter of food WaPo

Yandex seeks Putin approval for restructuring plan FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine – Lights Out, No Water And Soon No Heat Moon of Alabama. Meanwhile, if you think high Ukrainian vs. low Russian casualties are in any way implausible, Moon dug up this video (NSFW):

Where the front is on the map doesn’t matter all that much, does it? The meatgrinder does its work regardless.

Ukraine works to restore power after devastating strikes AP

The Russian Winter Offensive Gordon Hahn, Russian and Eurasian Politics

It’s War, Josep, But Not As We Know It Trying to Understand the World

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Weapons shortages spark tough choices for Ukraine’s allies Defense News

Poorly equipped German army awaits financial reinforcement from Berlin FT

Defense Primer: Conventional Ammunition Production Industrial Base (PDF) Congressional Research Service. A subhead, “Mitigating potential ammunition shortfalls,” is as far as CRS goes on capacity issues. From the final paragraph: “A 2022 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that complex organizational relationships and outdated policy documents ‘can hinder effective coordination [and] lead to poor or delayed decision-making’ among the multiple Army organizations responsible for the ammunition production base.” Oh.

* * *

Proposed G7 oil price cap to have little immediate impact on Russian revenue Reuters

Russian oil moving to Asia on older vessels elevates shipping risks: Trafigura CEO Hellenic Shipping News and How Greek Companies and Ghost Ships Are Helping Russia Foreign Policy

* * *

Olena Semenyaka, The “First Lady” of Ukrainian Nationalism Illiberalism Studies Program, George Washington University. Know your Azovs!

Biden Administration

Biden administration extends payment pause on student loan debt CNBC

Shortages

Alert reader JC sends the following field report from Texas:

I went to HEB yesterday. Very, very crowded before Thanksgiving. No one, but me wearing a mask.

I walked by pharmacy. The cold and flu (or any othr respiratory symtoms) meds were like a post Apocalype smash and grab. Everything else was in stock. I did not need anything myself.

Note to self: consenus does not equal wisdom.

“I’ve got this cold I just can’t shake.” The shelves:

Readers, what’s happening where you are?

The Bezzle

Crypto: Everyone Was Just That Stupid Heisenberg Report. “The cryptocurrency craze taught us that if enough people believe, the myth can become strong enough to supplant common sense, and the resultant mania can perpetuate the delirium such that skeptics begin to question themselves, on the way to becoming converts.”

How Sam Bankman-Fried Sold The Bahamas An Empty Crypto Dream Forbes. Amazing details.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried plans to speak during New York Times DealBook summit FOX. If SBF is not indicted by summit-time! Commentary:

Tech

Elon Musk Hires PlayStation 3 Hacker To Fix Twitter Kotaku. As an intern?!

Mercedes locks faster acceleration behind a $1,200 annual paywall The Verge

Groves of Academe

The incredible shrinking future of college Vox

Healthcare

Medicare 2.0—A Vision for the Future of America’s Health Insurance Plan JAMA Network. “Medicare is one of the great successes in American social policy.” But heaven forfend we should make it universal!

World Cup?

Looking for this World Cup’s ‘Group of Death’? It doesn’t exist anymore. Here’s why… The Athletic

Our Famously Free Press

Media Misled on Issues Important to Midterm Voters FAIR. As well as determining which issues they were going to be misleading about, and which they would suppress entirely (Covid; Ukraine).

Thanksgiving Day

The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing Black Agenda Report. To my mind, most of the history has been leached away. America is good at that. What remains is a lot of good food and conviviality, at a table with family (original or adopitive). America needs more of that.

Guillotine Watch

‘West Wing’ cast urges struggling Americans to seek help AP

Class Warfare

Former employee sues United Furniture Industries over mass firing Freight Waves

Building Fast and Slow: The Empire State Building and the World Trade Center (Part I) Construction Physics

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (AM):

AM writes: “Some dogs like hunting jackets and some cats like napkins!! Emmett lay down on one, and then my son and husband put the others under his head and across his body. Surprised he tolerated it.”

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.

173 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    “First nationwide map of Italy’s fascist monuments goes online”

    Personally I think it a good idea to retain such monuments, street signs and plaques. What it means is that people today can look at them – if they notice at all – and say to themselves ‘This is who we were once. Yeah, let’s not do that again.’ In any case I can’t help but think that this census was undertaken because of the rise of the right in Italy due to the major failures of the Italian political establishment over the years. If they really wanted to do a public service, perhaps the Istituto Nazionale Parri should do a census of Europe’s Nazi monuments and see what comes up. See if there is a pattern to which countries have them.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I remember seeing lots of fascist art & monuments in Italy, the train station in Milano in particular had quite a bit of it gracing the walls & whatnot, but I never saw anything related to the 3rd Reich in Germany on display.

      Anything with a swastika had to be covered up-usually with a little piece of masking tape over the offending symbol, with the exception of coins which for some reason it didn’t apply.

      I’d go to coin shows in Germany and it was weird, medals and awards and anything other than a coin were always covered up and yet you’d see 10’s of thousands of Nazi era coins with swastikas for sale.

      Reply
    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Rev Kev: The article in Channel News Asia doesn’t go into enough detail. The Istituto Nazionale Ferruccio Parri is in Milano, although Parri was born here in the Undisclosed Region:

      https://www.reteparri.it/chi-siamo/ferruccio-parri/

      The Parri Network (rete) has more than one center and has as its mission to preserve memory. If you poke around the site, you’ll notice presentations at Casa della Memoria in various cities–this is a distinctive part of Italian culture.

      The data are in-part crowd-sourced. In August, I went up into the Valle di Susa from Chocolate City, Capital of the Undisclosed Region.

      In Oulx (re-baptized Ulzio by the fascist regime), I was wandering around. As I returned to the upper town where my inn was, I rounded the curve in Via des Ambrois to see this ghostly apparition:

      https://www.luoghifascismo.it/singolo-luogo-cercato/?ricerca=1444

      I am not sure why it has been left. It may have to do with the town just letting it fade away.

      The irony of some of the locations is that the fascists, who fancied themselves modernists, produced some good modernist architecture. This is a dilemma with some of the former Case di Balilla and after-work centers.

      A major irony is the Palazzo della Civiltà in Roma, now the headquarters of Fendi. It is high modernist, yet surrounded by statutes of heroically naked Italian athletes.

      On the map:
      https://www.luoghifascismo.it/singolo-luogo-cercato/?ricerca=1221

      What does one do with a serviceable building built for many wrong reasons?

      And here in Chocolate City where the fascists pushed through the inevitable Via Roma, what does one do with it? It’s another high-modernist project, serviceable, strangely unpolitical now.

      Yet I was recently walking on Via Eritrea to an appointment–a memory in much need of updating or revising or remedying.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        It seems the tendency to obscure “unapproved” items is still at work in Italia. Both links go to a map page. No photos or other visual aids, nor link throughs in sight.
        Orwell would be proud.

        Reply
        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          ambrit: Nope. You are going into a data base, with standardized cards. The addresses and descriptions are there. The record of the Palazzo della Civiltà Romana has a link to a photo, but the photo doesn’t display. The Palazzo is easy enough to find: It is now the headquarters of Fendi.

          The data base is a “mappa,” a map. It doesn’t claim to be a photo archive.

          Reply
      2. hemeantwell

        DJG, are you aware of any link between the more appealing forms of prewar fascist modernist architecture and postwar consumer product design? I’m reading Rossana Rossanda’s “The Comrade from Milan” and it sounds like a high point in PCI optimism in the 60s was linked to the success that Italian industry enjoyed in the European market, in part due to nifty product designs, with Olivetti as a standout.

        Reply
        1. communistmole

          Routledge in 2020 published ‘The Routledge Companion to Italian Fascist Architecture. Reception and Legacy’, which is interesting on this topic.
          The ebook can be found in the usual places.

          Reply
        2. DJG, Reality Czar

          hemeantwell: Living as I do in the Undisclosed Region, which includes Ivrea, where Olivetti was headquartered, I see regular mentions of Ivrea, the Olivetti family (much admired, ironically), and the vision for industry in Ivrea.

          Note that the ideas about industry and design started before fascism:
          https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1538/

          So: Some of the great Italian designers and industrial corporations (even FIAT) predate fascism, didn’t always cooperate with fascism, and outlasted fascism.

          And Olivetti invented the first personal computer: The great mystery is why the Italians didn’t capitalize on what they had invented.

          Reply
      3. Bugs

        Thanks – I was just going to post a few places that I find compelling as well. There is great beauty in some of Italy’s fascist architecture. The Florence train station is still gorgeous and perfectly functional. EUR less so, but still beautiful and a useful addition to Roman architecture.

        Futurism, also associated with Italian Fascism, is a widely misunderstood movement. The mainstays, Marinetti, Boccioni, Balla, Carrà made works for the ages that hold up today much better than say, Dalì or Klee. Unfortunately the display of the Rome Modern Art Museum’s permanent collection has been ruined by the inept meddling of a postmodern curator. Still worth going, it just means having to wander looking for the things that should all be together.

        Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      As a compare and contrast, here’s a database of anti-fascist Spomenik monuments built in the former Yugoslavia over several decades. I’d never heard of these before until someone posted this link at NC a few years ago. Never had any desire to visit Yugoslavia before either, but now I do just to check these out. Very interesting monuments, many seemingly in the middle of nowhere just rising out of the landscape.

      Here in the US when we have weird avant garde monuments pop up in the middle of nowhere, we just blow them to smithereens.

      Reply
    4. Joe Well

      In downtown Havana, there is a monument to the Battleship Maine from the era of the US occupation. The giant eagle was torn off by a mob during the Revolution and the US Interests section now has it. A plaque was added to the monument that it was rededicated to the victims of the Maine who were killed by their own imperialist government as a pretext for war (this is low-key a conspiracy theory since there is no proof, but in fact most historians regard it as the likeliest explanation, the next likeliest explanation is that it was a random boiler explosion or someone not linked to the US government sabotaged it–but now way would Spain have done it).

      In Mexico City in front of the national art museum, there is a statue of a king of Spain with a plaque “preserved as a monument of art”.

      I am sure there are others around the world.

      Funnily enough, in Boston, as Anglophilic as it is, pretty much every reference to the Crown was scrubbed out (King’s Street changed to State Street, lions and unicorns pulled down, etc.).

      Reply
      1. scott s.

        I don’t know about “random boiler explosions”, but details recorded during the raising of the Maine in 1911 were re-examined and analyzed by USN engineers in 1976. They concluded that the observed hull and arrangements damage were most consistent with a magazine explosion, specifically the 6 inch reserve magazine. Adm Rickover, in his 1976 history of the loss of Maine (“How the Battleship Maine Was Destroyed”) speculates the cause as a spontaneous fire in coal bunker A-16 (coal dust was an enormous problem in that era). That doesn’t exclude other possibilities but external causes seem unlikely.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          Ships then often used coal bunkers as additional armor to protect their magazines. I understand the idea, but wrapping tons of coal around tons of explosives seems unwise. Very occasionally a fire, often undetected, would start in the coal bunkers and ignite the explosives. That ship had a single wall between the coal and the magazine. Probably a thick and well insulated wall, but still.

          To be fair, ships have been exploding from their own ammunition every since gunpowder weapons were a thing even when they are not in a battle, but just in port or cruising. So, more than five hundred years. It is just very, very rare now because of the efforts over those more than five centuries creating ways to not have this happen.

          Reply
  2. LawnDart

    One to watch:

    Turkish strikes hit oil installations in northern Syria, sources say

    By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

    AMMAN (Reuters) – Turkish drones are targeting key oil installations run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeast Syria, three local sources said, in air strikes which drew strong condemnation from the United States overnight…

    The Pentagon said the Turkish air strikes threatened the safety of U.S. military personnel and that the escalating situation jeopardized years of progress against Islamic State militants in the area.

    The United States has roughly 900 soldiers in Syria…

    https://wkzo.com/2022/11/24/turkish-strikes-hit-oil-installations-in-northern-syria-sources-say/

    Turkey’s Erdogan (who we* tried to coup in 2016) has stated that he would like to see Syrian troops return to the oil-rich areas controlled by US/separatists, and that he does not rule-out a meeting with Syria’s President Assad (who’s still refusing to be Gaddafied by our* head-choppers), a meeting likely to be mediated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Syria so far has not taken much action to expel US troops and oil pirates from its country, but this may be about to change…

    Reply
    1. Bart Hansen

      “Turkish drones are targeting key oil installations run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeast Syria, three local sources said, in air strikes which drew strong condemnation from the United States overnight…”

      A U.S. Army spokesman, speaking anonymously for fear of facing a court martial, said, “Hey, that’s our oil!”

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if those key oil installations hit are the ones that the US is using to steal Syria’s oil from. You see footage from time to time of several dozen oil trucks heading into Iraq for sale and guarded by the US military (‘What did you do in the war, daddy?’). It strikes me that this may have been part of a deal then between Erdogan and Putin when they agreed to set up an oil hub for Türkiye.

      Speaking of which, Russian security services have just broken up a sabotage group that was going to target and blow up a gas pipeline to Türkiye, which mostly runs undersea. This is not the first time that the Ukrainians have targeted Türkiye’s pipelines so by now Erdogan must be really p***** with Zelensky and his mafia group. And by now he may have changed his mind and is hoping that the Russians take over the Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline

      https://www.rt.com/russia/567090-fsb-ukraine-attack-pipeline/

      Reply
      1. LawnDart

        I wonder if those key oil installations hit are the ones that the US is using to steal Syria’s oil from.

        Them’s the ones! So is this NATO vs. NATO? USA interests vs. Turkish domestic security concerns?

        Erdogan knows that EU will never accept the Turks and that the USA is not his friend, so he may as well openly turn to the East and place his country’s national interests above political niceties: “nothing personal, it’s just business.” (For sure.)

        In the first nine months of the year, Turkish data showed its main import partner was Russia followed by China, while its key export market was Germany, then the US.

        China was Turkey’s second-largest trade partner as of 2021, according to Turkey’s foreign ministry.

        https://www.scmp.com/economy/global-economy/article/3199562/china-turkey-ties-tipped-growth-under-belt-and-road-nato-uygur-issue-stand-way

        I guess the question is who boots first? Does the USA’s NATO kick-out Türkiye or vice-versa, and when?

        Reply
        1. LawnDart

          It’s like Erdogan is going out of his way to piss US off…

          TÜRKIYE INTERESTED IN TRADE WITH CUBA, ERDOGAN TELLS DIAZ-CANEL

          HAVANA, Nov. 24th On Wednesday, Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the Cuban President at the government headquarters in Ankara.During a press conference after a meeting with Diaz-Canel, Erdogan said that bilateral trade between the two nations is currently “below its potential due, without a doubt, to the unilateral sanctions imposed on Cuba.”

          …For his part, Diaz-Canel thanked the Turkish people for their support against the U.S. blockade against Cuba and confirmed that bilateral relations will be deepened.

          During their meeting, Cuba and Türkiye signed six agreements…

          https://havana-live.com/turkiye-interested-in-trade-with-cuba-erdogan-tells-diaz-canel/

          I’ll note that with Syria, the White House is saying that the Turks have “a right to defend themselves” while the DOD is expressing concerns. The Kurds are f@#ked.

          Reply
  3. jo6pac

    I would say your son and husband have been well trained by Emmett;-)

    “then my son and husband put the others under his head and across his body. Surprised he tolerated it”

    Reply
  4. Louis Fyne

    entirely plausible that Ukrainian military dead are 150,000 to 225,0000 thousand. The high number of UA missing-in-action versus low official UA deaths strains incredulity; then superimpose the low official UA military death toll with the videos of new graves at UA cemetaries—row upon row upon row of newly dead

    only Mr. Z (and an intelligence analyst at the Pentagon) knows the truth, and nobody in the media dares ask.

    rather disgusting that so many lives were sacrificed and no one inDC or the media gives a second thought,

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Lots of those dead Ukrainians are still scattered across the battlefields as since the start of the war they have not been much ones for collecting their dead. Once they are declared dead the families get to be paid a pension but if listed as MIA, then they get zip. Maybe too their officers are still collecting their regular pay. Hopefully the Ukrainian army uses dog-tags or an equivalent so that after the war, a lot of these dead will be able to be identified for the sake of their families-

      https://www.bitchute.com/video/EVLgUsztXUhq/ (24 secs) – NSFW

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        I think you are probably right with respect to money being a factor. As well as a macro level propaganda incentive for Elensky to minimise stated casualty reports and avoid pension payments there is bound to be some micro unit level incentive too. It may be about drawing regular pay, or simply that the unit gets to receive more equipment that can either be traded or make up for losses. Based on a fictitious inflated headcount.

        Agree fully with other comments that Ukrainian lives seem not to count in all this. Guess that has always been the way of these proxy imperial wars. It’s totally disgusting.

        Reply
      2. LifelongLib

        My understanding (welcome correction) is that in the U.S. military a person listed as MIA (or a POW) continues to receive full pay and benefits, but if the person is declared dead the family gets a severance and is not eligible for further benefits. During the Vietnam War this led to a number of people who were almost certainly dead being listed as MIA so their families would continue to be provided for. I guess Ukraine does the opposite.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      > rather disgusting that so many lives were sacrificed and no one inDC or the media gives a second thought,

      one death is a tragedy; one hundred thousand deaths is a statistic.

      Same in US — cf. the COVID casualties.

      It would appear that the authorities have as thoroughly domesticated the US plebs as they have the Ukrainian ones.

      Psalm 44 comes to mind; “we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered”.

      How long, O Lord?

      Reply
    3. timbers

      Dima at Military Summary is reporting Russians punching small but growing holes in several areas in Ukraine front lines of the most heavily militarized areas in Donbass, and expressing the opinion Ukraine responses to Russian offensives seems to growing lethargic at times. He suggests UAF may be growing low on arms. He also wondered why Kiev is being evacuated but not other large cities.

      As long as Russia keeps Ukraine electric grid and related infrastructure out of operation, at some point Russia will be able to advance as fast or as slow as she chooses, and take what she wants. Hope she has a well thought out plan. Her running out of soldiers the past summer because she sat on her hands for 4 months as her forces in Donbass ended their service contracts is big reason to not get overly optimistic regarding Russian prospects…if only because she could make another miscalculation.

      If we reach the point of Ukraine being defeated, the West is going to need some really big fake news to spin this given several Westerners have openly said if the West is defeated in Ukraine, it is a Russian victory over the entire West which suggests a new world order.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Assuming that Russia closes the Ukraine’s account, what will the west do then? The implosion of so many EU economies may lead to some radical changes with the EU. And as NATO too has itself been to a large degree been demilitarized, what sort of future will it have? There are going to be a lot of bitter people and if the neocons start blaming the people of the EU for not being “sufficiently supportive” of Project Ukraine, that is not going to go down too well. I would predict that the European elite will seek to tighten their grip and control of the EU countries while the populations of those countries start to revolt against the people who destroyed their way of life. Europe, as a continent, will lose that stability that they have prided themselves on the past few decades.

        Reply
        1. Polar Socialist

          Well, somebody has to own the failure. Just like the Afghanistan debacle caused the end of so many career… oh, never mind.

          Seriously though, these “experts” still feeding me the idea that Kinburn peninsula is strategically important, or that Ukraine should keep the initiative and not wait until spring to “liberate” Crimea, they should all have their comeuppance if not for other reason than to make the next European adventure more realistic.

          Reply
        2. Louis Fyne

          —And as NATO too has itself been to a large degree been demilitarized, what sort of future will it have?—

          not just hardware, but infrastructure too. Europeans have gotten lazy maintaining roads and bridges to handle military vehicles and freight.

          Have no idea, but I won’t be surprised if Polish roads and bridges are not designed to pre-1990 NATO weight standards

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Load_Classification

          Reply
        3. Not This Again

          There are going to be a lot of bitter people and if the neocons start blaming the people of the EU for not being “sufficiently supportive” of Project Ukraine, that is not going to go down too well.

          Funnily enough, I am not overly concerned about this, although I view the demise of the EU and NATO more or less a foregone conclusion in anything but formality. In reality, NATO Article 5 was pretty much already dead–does anybody really, truly, honestly believe that there is a snowball’s chance in hell that the US would risk nuclear annihilation if somebody were to attack, say, Vilnius? Do Americans even know where Vilnius is?

          However, what is increasingly scaring me is the footage of Ukrainian troops committing war crimes in Russia and the collective West just shrugging and trying to ignore it. If this is implicitly tolerated, and if an increasing number of troops fighting on the Ukrainian side are in fact from Poland and other NATO countries, what happens if one of these NATO troops is recorded on video while committing similar war crimes to Russians? (Or, for that matter, vice versa). These types of scenarios can spin out of control very quickly, with both sides having no way out other than by resorting to escalation.

          Reply
      2. Samuel Conner

        > the West is going to need some really big fake news

        another pandemic might do the trick to distract people from the humiliation, since they seem to have stopped noticing the current one.

        Pandemic and war. Where are the other two horsemen?

        Reply
        1. Cas

          Famine and Death. Tho “Death” seems redundant since it’s baked into the other three. I suggest switching out Death for Environmental Collapse, just to modernize our Horsethey/them of the Apocalype.

          Reply
        2. Chris Cosmos

          I think the West no longer needs to do anything extraordinary like create a new pandemic or new war. The oligarchical network that runs the show has achieved its goal of complete dominance over the peoples who happen to live in the West. Like Afghanistan the Ukraine War will simply fade and some coverage of the consequences of the defeat of the West will be covered “litely” perhaps talking about human trafficking, gang violence in some Euro cities and problems resulting from inflation. Some personalities who currently lead “countries” in the West will wax and wane and life will go on.

          Reply
          1. Keith Newman

            I agree Chris Cosmos.
            If the Russians clearly defeat Ukraine, annex more of it and establish a deep demilitarised security zone, the media will just say the nasty Russians engaged in more nastiness and then stop covering the issue.
            Few people care very much so Ukraine will disappear as a concern within a short time. My guess is Russian oil and gas will become generally available in Europe again and the entire Ukraine episode will be forgotten by all. Well, all outside of Russia and Ukraine.

            Reply
        1. timbers

          Indeed and the Kremlin deserves scorn for that IMO and received such from the Russian public. The Kremlin dithered for 4 months as Russian troops contracts ended in the summer, effectively de-juggernauting your so called Russian juggernaut. Hence my lack of confidence because Putin could easily replicate such an obvious blunder in a different way. Minus another Putin error – for example such as allowing Ukraine to restore infrastructure – its hard to see how Ukraine doesn’t fold.

          Reply
        2. juno mas

          Yes, $90B of US tax dollars, much of the petroleum reserve, and all available military equipment sent to a non-Nato country and the Russian juggernaut now controls 20 percent of the “borderlands”, mauled the AFU to the point of their conscription of 60 year old men, waits for the moment 8 million civilians parade to the EU, then removes the last of the Azov’s and Mozart’s.

          Reply
        3. juno mas

          Yes, $90B of US tax dollars, much of the petroleum reserve, and all available military equipment sent to a non-Nato country and the Russian juggernaut now controls 20 percent of the “borderlands”, mauled the AFU to the point of theier conscription of 60 year old men, waits for the moment 8 million civilians parade to the EU, then removes the last of the Azov’s and Mozart’s.

          Reply
      3. Skip Intro

        His theory of the capture of Kiev as a checkmate move seems tenuous, but apparently Ukraine is building a fortification line north of Kiev.

        Reply
    4. Lex

      I think 100,000 is the absolute low end and 200,00 would not surprise me. They’re all a blood sacrifice to Biden’s (and Johnson’s) pride. Nothing more. The “I support Ukraine” segment of the American population just disgusts me now because they don’t support Ukrainians. They support continuing this blood sacrifice and will conveniently forget it ever happened when we abandon Ukraine.

      Reply
  5. doug

    Computer scientist Fred Brooks died at 91. His book, ‘the mythical man month’ is a classic, and should be read by anyone in project development.

    Reply
    1. FreeMarketApologist

      Sorry to hear that. I learned a lot from that book back in college, and it’s been part of how I manage projects ever since.

      Reply
    2. Luckless Pedestrian

      I read it many years ago, but still remember “cutting an elephant in half does not yield two smaller elephants” and “if one woman can make one baby in nine months doesn’t mean nine women can make one baby in one month.”

      Reply
      1. BillC

        Thanks for that info. I still have the copy I bought ca. 1980, but it’s good to know it’s still readily and freely available to all. Of the many software engineering books and courses I encountered in a 45-year IT career, it remains the best and most consice — and the only one I’ve kept after many moves.

        RIP, Dr. Brooks.

        Reply
  6. GramSci

    It’s Thanksgiving Day in Amerika, and all I can think to be thankful for is Naked Capitalism. Heartfelt thanks to Yves, Lambert, and crew, and to all the assembled eyes!

    Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Olena Semenyaka, The “First Lady” of Ukrainian Nationalism’

    Had a vague feeling that her name had appeared before on the pages of NC and it turns out that she has. She was the one that an Austrian academic institute had given a fellowship too but only remembered afterwards to Google her name. Doing so turns up an image of her in front of a certain flag-

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7a5jy/austrian-academic-institute-revokes-fellowship-given-to-far-right-figurehead

    Memories of that era tend to be a bit raw in Austria, especially since the Big Boss came from there.

    Reply
    1. hemeantwell

      The linked article goes into her philosophical orientation, which sounds like a goulash of Profound and Militant Obscurity:

      Since 2010, she has been preparing a PhD … on Ernst Jünger’s hermeneutics of metahistory, including his dialogue with Martin Heidegger—two prominent German philosophical and conservative figures who shaped her current thinking, as we will see below

      I’m not familiar with the development of Junger’s thought after his flat-out manicky attempt in the early 20s to affirm the evolutionary impact of trench warfare. I can only imagine that a dialogue with Heidegger, whose “jargon of authenticity” Adorno nailed as a quasi-religious flight into abstraction that struggled to convey a sense of concreteness, would be essentialist gobbledygook of the sort that Laiback has parodied so well. “Life is life,” “trenches are trenches,” etc.

      Reply
    2. Lex

      I’ve seen statements from her that indicate she has some role within the Ukrainian office of the president. Which is terrifying that she’s in Zelensky’s ear. It was also her who used excess NED funding to help Unite the Right throw their protest in Charlotte.

      Reply
    1. Thistlebreath

      With Bannon in an advisory role for Bolsonaro roughly like Grima Wormtongue’s to Theodor in Lord of the Rings, there may yet be some violence. I’ll bet Mr. Bannon does not venture into the Favelas, even with a full complement of Brazilian equivalents to Orcs.

      Reply
  8. griffen

    FTX founder and Chief Lying Officer to speak at next week’s Dealbook Summit. I am sure of it, that Mr. Sorkin will ask him the toughest question of all.

    Where in the heck is all the money, you meth addled stupid brain….Here is some hope that anyone with a functional brain does not endorse the above clown act known colloquially as SBF to speak in complete sentences. Including his legal team.

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      What a gallery of rogues.
      And, in a sane world, the NYTimes attaching its name to them should be the nail in its coffin.
      I’m sure if Elizabeth Holmes wasn’t about to check into her new digs, she’d be there too.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      I’m surprised Madoff wasn’t asked, and of course he’s dead but why couldn’t they just prop up the corpus derelicti on a chaise lounge with sunglasses on?

      Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘World Health Organization (WHO)
    @WHO
    FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.

    The #coronavirus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.’

    Now that Musk has taken over Twitter, can’t that Tweet be tagged as deliberate medical misinformation? Maybe even taken down? Maybe even suspend the WHO Twitter account while that tweet is still up?

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      I was thinking the same thing. A truly cunning billionaire under fire from all sides might want to use Twitter to blow up the phony CDC narrative. That would be a [family blog] show worth watching.

      Reply
    2. John k

      Taking away the censors allows others to attack the narrative and is already making big enemies. Personally attacking the pharma bit of the narrative would imo likely get them to focus. If musk is smart he remembers both what happened to jfk and that he’s not pres, just another billionaire. And he already mentioned the forbidden negotiation word, not endearing himself to mic.

      Reply
    3. Bsn

      No, it shouldn’t be taken down. That tweet could be an example used in high school for children learning how to determine what is “true or false”. Most adults at this time are intellectually lost due to cable 24/7 news, social media, and simplistic messaging. So many people, especially Americans, have been dumbed down and cannot read between the lines, look up sources, follow the money, critically read, etc. There should be zero censorship. Of course the quantity of the message can be powerful, but is easily debunked by a critically reading populace. No censorship is a long haul but better in the long run.

      Reply
  10. Samuel Conner

    > As well as determining which issues they were going to be misleading about, and which they would suppress entirely

    Thank you, Lambert. This line, along with my AM caffeine overdose, helped me to fully wake up.

    I love the sound of snark in the morning. It sounds like, … reality.

    Except that this snark is the reality!

    Or, as others have said, no matter how cynical one gets, the reality is always worse.

    Reply
  11. Old Sovietologist

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/69914

    Vladimir Putin and President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez took part in the unveiling ceremony for the monument to Fidel Castro in Moscow.

    Monuments to Fidel are needed today in Russia and around the world. So that children weaned from history by TV and social media can learn an incredible story about incredible people.

    Today’s Fidel in Moscow in the snow is a good day for humanity.

    Reply
    1. Dftbs

      It would be nice. Although I wonder if the Comandante’s humility might have been affected. The real monument to Fidel is free socialist Cuba, which like that defiant pose of the Moscow statue continues to stand and defy empire. And perhaps the true monument to Castro in Moscow can be perceived in the words of the President of the Russian Federation:

      “Fidel Castro dedicated his life to the selfless struggle to advance the ideas of goodness, peace and justice, for the freedom of oppressed peoples, for a decent life for ordinary people and social equality.”

      Happy Thanksgiving day to those that celebrate.

      Reply
      1. Michael

        You will be able to see it from Kiev on a clear day I’m told. Certainly London. Easily Kursk.

        A big FU to the Brits and Nazis.

        Reply
  12. semper loquitur

    re: West Wingnuts

    This is so bad on so many levels. The fact that a crew of actors is called upon to spread the word to seek mental healthcare is just bizarre. Summoned to the White House, like they are the Justice League or something. The show that created a fantasy world detailing the hard working, imperfect but working on it, political class that is in reality creating the world that triggers so much anxiety and depression is tasked to “heal” it.

    Yes, I know the actors have some reach but there is something so flimsy about it, so fragile. We shouldn’t need to turn to a bunch of hack-tors to counsel people to seek mental healthcare. It should be so readily available that no one need seek it, as it is at their fingertips.

    Secondly, the depression and anxiety experienced by so many likely is environmental. Our society is falling apart. It’s an affront to those suffering to tell them that some therapy is going to make it all go away. It’s all rather Soviet in a way, you live in the best of all possible worlds but you aren’t happy? You need help!

    And finally, who can afford it? We have predatory healthcare in a predatory society. The Klingons probably have a better system.

    The political class creates the world that generates these problems. Then they bring out a bunch of actors that misrepresent them to the public in order to try and help fix the problem. Said actors urge you to seek healthcare that’s unavailable or unaffordable. Nothing actually changes. It’s a world of illusion…

    Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks. It’s really kind of sick, isn’t it? These are actors. We are expected to take this seriously? It’s like when some TV show announces an episode that’s coming up and tells you how “important” it is because they are using some real world issue as script-fodder. “Next week, an important Gray’s Anatomy deals with pedophilia.” ” A new Law and Order, ripped from the headlines…”

        I can’t wait to read the interviews of the West Wang actors solemnly informing us about how important their work is and how they too have suffered with depression so it’s ok that you suffer as well. Like when Epstein pal Bill Gates tells me how we need to address childhood hunger or something. Or some coked-up rock star warns us about drug use.

        It’s really all a kind of marketing for the Powers That Be, whether they are members of the political class or the carnival maskers in the entertainment industry. It reinforces the sick fantasy that these people are somehow truly concerned with your well-being. Important People saying Important Things. Take a moment from your life to consider what your betters are saying.

        It brings to mind the death of Robin Williams. The propaganda effort to make his death somehow meaningful was off the charts. Everywhere I looked, his face was grinning at me underneath words like “tragic” and “heartbreaking”. We had lost a treasure. Did you know he suffered from depression?

        But I don’t need a dead actor to tell me about tragedy and heartbreak. Or depression. I just have to open my eyes. I don’t need Rolling Stone or some other rag to tell me what I see all around me, every day. But I guess in “Snow-globe America”, some people do. They don’t look down to see the guy sleeping on their stoop because they are reading the billboard about the officially approved calamity of the day.

        Reply
        1. Mildred Montana

          Re: Robin Williams

          Tangential to your main point but Williams suffered from Lewy Body Disease, not some sort of vague, run-of-the-mill depression. It was organic and provably so, if only at autopsy.

          From Wiki: “In an essay published in the journal Neurology two years after his death, [his wife Susan] Schneider revealed that the pathology of Lewy body disease in Williams was described by several doctors as among the worst pathologies they had seen. She described the early symptoms of his disease as beginning in October 2013. Williams’s initial condition included a sudden and prolonged spike in fear and anxiety, stress and insomnia, which worsened in severity to include memory loss, paranoia, and delusions. According to Schneider, “Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it … He kept saying, ‘I just want to reboot my brain.'”

          He committed suicide in 2014. It wasn’t a choice. The disease made him do it. My mother died of the same disease five years ago and suicide was always on her mind before she sank into total dementia.

          Other than that, I do enjoy your point-by-point eviscerations of the pompous statements of the pompous.

          Reply
          1. semper loquitur

            Thank you for that context, MM. That is truly horrific. Were I to be suffering with that, I wouldn’t be hanging around either.

            Reply
          2. Michael Fiorillo

            The wife of a colleague of mine suffered from Lewey Body Syndrome; based on the few anecdotes he related, I wouldn’t wish the disease or the responsibilities of a caregiver on anyone.

            Reply
    1. Michaelmas

      Calling in a bunch of TV actors to tell Americans to seek mental healthcare is relatively lightweight — though pathetic, certainly — when the full range of horrific behaviors that mark the US as a mentally sick society is considered.

      Far more disturbing is US schools’ enforced, widespread drugging of children with ritalin, etc. These kids, having grown up medicated out of their minds, are now turning into adults who are frequently — maybe mostly — unable to keep it together in any meaningful human way.

      Just a horrific way for a society to treat its children.

      Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        I totally agree, it’s just that the cheesiness of using celebrities to address health issues jumps out at me. Ritalin and the cornucopia of pharmaceuticals, not to mention the “treatments” for social contagions, we inflict on children have “experts” to pitch their overuse. It’s still totally bogus; our healthcare providers have been morphed into salespeople and marketers but at least those illusions have some real expertise to give them some structure. Some letters behind the names. It’s understandable why people give them credence, although that respect is diminishing with every abuse of that power. But the notion that actors, people who openly sell illusions, have some authority is mind-boggling to me.

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          Societies need myths that provide meaning. This is not an option. The human body needs oxygen, water, food etc. while societies have to have come coherent mythical framework whether it’s provided by priests, actors, newsreaders, artists, or mystics (unlikely at this point). Actors and celebrities are the mechanism that society uses to tell us what life is all about and how we should act and think. Yes, there is always a minority of people who have eyes to see and ears to hear. My sense of things is that due to the obvious idiocy of the dominant culture those who can see things more clearly is increasing and we are fast headed to a new dispensation of some kind–for the better in my view.

          Reply
          1. semper loquitur

            I couldn’t agree more with your first point, in fact I’ve devised some myths of my own. I cannot agree with the notion that things will be getting better, though, any new concept of dispensation that challenges the order of things will be crushed under the heal of the concentrated power at the head of society. It enjoys a level of control unheard of in human history including the military, policing, communications, and the like. I’m not saying it cannot break down but I think that any such change would be as a result of structural contradictions larger than a disillusioned populace, such as the climate crisis. Even then, I see it simply devolving into more local concentrations of power although perhaps there would be more room for positive change at that level.

            Reply
            1. LawnDart

              You are on an absolute roll today– I salute you!

              I worked both LE and MH as a professional, and came to the conclusion that both fields were ultimately dominated by predatory players masked behind the appearance of good intentions: the victims of this system don’t need counseling as much as they need some protection and
              material or tangible support during time of weakness or vulnerability.

              Opportunity to survive in this society shouldn’t be limited to those born to the “good” families.

              Reply
      2. ambrit

        “Just a horrific way for a society to treat it’s children.”
        But it is an excellent way to maintain control of that society.
        Also, considering the shortened lifespans such drugs addiction generally produces, an excellent way of “curbing” the population.
        One cannot be too cynical today.

        Reply
    2. Thistlebreath

      Spot on. Expect more self righteous platitudes to follow, aka “the sequel.” Just look at how well motivational posters in break rooms have worked. Or life coaches donating their time in homeless encampments.

      Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        It’s all a kind of propaganda for “The System”, isn’t it? Not that it’s necessarily a coordinated, intentional effort. It just emerges, oozing out of the walls like some ichor in a demon-haunted house.

        Telling people who haven’t been able to bathe in a week and whose teeth are falling out that success is all a matter of attitude and pluck. A poster extolling “Teamwork!” as you are informed that you’re being laid off because the equity bros want an extra 3/4’s of a point on the quarterly profits. Inner-city kids being given pep talks by athletes whose personal wealth reaches into the heavens. Illusion piled upon fantasy, all of it a kind of foamy surreality…

        Reply
      2. semper loquitur

        Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian’s ex Tristan Thompson have ‘inspiring’ Friendsgiving with youths incarcerated at juvenile detention center in LA

        Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian’s ex Tristan Thompson held an ‘inspiring’ Friendsgiving for youths incarcerated at a juvenile detention center in Los Angeles.

        The reality star, 42, shared photos from her recent visit to Camp Kilpatrick, where she broke bread with the young men and listened to them share their hopes and dreams for the future.

        Kim applauded the youths for the steps they had taken to improve their lives as she posted snaps of her enjoying dinner alongside Tristan.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-11466851/Kim-Kardashian-Tristan-Thompson-inspiring-Friendsgiving-incarcerated-youths.html

        Reply
    3. NoFreeWill

      Research on the environmental/social (i.e. capitalist alienation) nature of depression was deliberately suppressed in the US… we are supposed to take our pills and pretend we have a chemical imbalance when we are responding accurately to the aesthetic, social, cultural, and actual poverty of American life and the looming threat of climate crisis.

      See here for contemporary example of such research which is making a comeback:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609238/

      Reply
  13. Carla

    I am profoundly thankful that many precious people in my life, including my sister, have survived cancer — and cancer treatment — in the last year. And I also give thanks that no one among my family, friends and acquaintances has succumbed to Covid-19, nor, to my knowledge, contracted long Covid. These are just two of the myriad things for which I thank the universe on this particular day. There is no reason for me to be more fortunate than so many millions of others–a fact that I strive to remember with humility each moment of every day.

    Warmest wishes to all.

    Reply
      1. Carla

        Our dear friend Amfortas the Hippie is facing his first Thanksgiving without his wife, as I’m sure many others are, too. Amfortas, I’m sure many here at NC are thinking of you today. Certainly, I am.

        Reply
        1. semper loquitur

          Seconding that. This is a sad day for myself as well. My partner’s mom has been moved to hospice. I hope to get a chance to say goodbye but she is on morphine now. Better that she is resting comfortably, of course. She knows I love her. She is a wonderful lady.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Very sorry to hear that. In a civilized society, terminal patients are given heroin, which makes the experience for the patient much more bearable. That patients in hospice in America are given morphine proves that we do not live in a civilized nation.
            Don’t let the morphine deter you. Go anyway. She is still ‘in there.’
            Good luck and stay safe.

            Reply
  14. hop2it

    Cold and flu medication flying off the shelves is nothing new in the Carolinas where I live. It’s been happening through out the school year since 2021, nothing new since schools reopened this fall. It’s the same, I was at CVS last week, you can find pretty much anything except kids cold/fever/flu.

    Reply
    1. flora

      I remember when something similar happened with hand sanitizer in 2020/21. It happened all at once, like overnight. Talking to a few clerks at different big stores I learned just a few people were coming in and buying out everything to, the clerks supposed, either ship overseas to relatives or sell at double cost on ebay. ymmv.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      We were on a family cruise over xmas down to Mexico about 20 years ago on the SS Norovirus and within a few days 5 out of 9 of us were sick with a flu that pretty much laid us low the entire week, I remember getting up the energy to go to dinner with the family and then barely eating anything-the first cruise i’ve lost weight on!

      I popped down to the ship store and got about the last of the cold/flu medicine they had on hand, although you could still buy 48 different kinds of perfume & cologne-priorities.

      The sick ship berthed in Zihuatanejo and I walked down to the disembarkment area and about a dozen people got off, indicative of how many were affected.

      Reply
      1. flora

        I’m not saying this isn’t real. I’m saying there are lots of greedy people in the world ready to take advantage of situations. (If this is part of the shortage then soon enough signs in stores will appear that read: limit to 1 or 2 per customer.) / ;)

        Reply
  15. semper loquitur

    re: Attack of the Killer Trees

    This article brought to mind my brief battle with lantern flies this summer. I read about them, probably here, and I saw some advertisements around town telling me to kill them on sight. I don’t like to kill things carelessly but I saw the wisdom behind the effort after reading about the damage that they can do.

    One afternoon, I was reading and saw one on my patio window. I hastened out and slew the invader. I returned to my book.

    Then Mother Nature sent me a clear message. Another fly appeared. Then another. Within a few minutes, I counted no less than ten of the things flittering around the patio and the bushes.

    It was pointless. No amount of stomping is going to stop these things. They are going to spread and do their damage until Mother Nature finds a balance, some predator or disease that tamps down their numbers. Mitigation efforts might help here and there but the things have thousands upon thousands of acres of plant life to colonize, just here in New York state.

    And what will those mitigation efforts look like? Toxins dumped into the environment? What’s the collateral damage from that?

    Those drought resistant trees will continue to spread as well. Unless someone can put the brakes on the altering climate, which they cannot. We struggle to fix our roads and bridges yet we are supposed to take on Mother Nature now that She is dropping the hammer? Good luck with that…

    Reply
        1. juno mas

          The article about drought tolerant trees invading the Plains is problematic. Especially the photo at the top; that is an aerial view of Pinyon/Juniper ecotone somewhere in Nevada/Arizona/New Mexico/Utah, NOT the Plains.

          The grasslands in these states were lost not to invading trees, but overgrazing by Ranchers! What you now see in Nevada (former Utah Territory) is miles and miles of Sagebrush/juniper ecotone; soon to be replaced by miles and miles of Cheatgrass (which burns ferociously).

          The landscape of the Plains and Southwest US has been changing ever since its “discovery” by the Euros. It will continue to change in a competition of discordant harmony.

          Those Pinyon pine in the aerial photo provided food for the Shoshone indians in times past. The trees are not encroaching on the Plains; people are.

          Reply
            1. flora

              adding: a much bigger problem in the great plains is over pumping, water drawdowns of the Ogallala Aquifer for crop irrigation during the dry years.

              Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks, flora, those are compelling images. But how long can those practices hold back the inevitable? What happens when all the trees are drought-resistant invasives?

        Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Indeed. Told an in-law today that I’d asked my folks who live in another nearby state for a small amount of firewood for Festivus this year. When asked if that wasn’t illegal to transport, I noted that it was, but it wouldn’t matter as long as the car didn’t get pulled over!

      I get the sentiment behind it – stopping the spread of “invasive” species. But those little buggers don’t respect artificial lines on a map anyway, and with climate change increasing, the efforts of the campfire police to micromanage the situation aren’t going to do diddly squat. It’s as if those trying to mitigate the situation can’t see the forest for the trees….

      I’ll let myself out now. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

      Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        “I get the sentiment behind it – stopping the spread of “invasive” species.”

        Referring to ambrit’s point about it being impossible to be too cynical, I wonder if such efforts are there to make the average citizen think they are doing something. Like recycling plastic. I understand that there may be some lanternflies in the woodpile. But there are untold thousands in the actual woods.

        I understand the lanternflies came from China when something got shipped over. Something tells me that those activities are going to continue. As long as we live in a “globalized” economy, there will be hitchhikers of some kind or another.

        Reply
    2. Potato Guy

      Having taken some acreage out of traditional corn and beans and installing native prairie in the prairie state, I have seen first hand as the cottonwoods take over without burning or mowing. Eventually the trees won out. The cattle don’t mind but the forage is impaired. If I was trying to sustain a commercial operation I wouldn’t have the luxury but the change is interesting and the trees will be logged in another 30 years.

      Reply
  16. semper loquitur

    I’m in New Jersey for the holiday. Stopped at a grocery store the day before, maybe one or two maskers besides me. On the train ride here, there were a few people wearing them but mostly not.

    As I was exiting the train, I saw a guy wearing two masks. I cordially addressed him and informed him that two masks are problematic. He thank me for my concern and pointed out that the one underneath was an N95, the surgical mask on top didn’t seem to be interfering with it as it was simply resting on top.

    I asked him if he knew about the proper mouthwash to use and he said yes. I said it’s good to see someone else hasn’t completely dropped the ball as so many others have. He nodded, adding that he has a family to consider. We wished each other a happy holiday and went on our ways.

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      yes, no masking is not just a “red state” thing.

      Live in a 2:1 Dem area, generously, at most 3% of people mask at the grocery store or airport.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          I don’t ‘do’ 4chan, but I’m willing to wager that there is a ‘page’ there dedicated to the proposition that someone, somewhere has “engineered” a virus to attack only Republicans and or Conservative people.
          Now that would be “Science” in the service of Humanity(TM). snark/ [As if you didn’t know already.]

          Reply
          1. Potato Guy

            It seems like that is sort of the case with the Rona as so many 19-49 year olds are dying. What more could our enemies want than to takeout our military age peeps?
            Regarding masks, in the nearby University town, when I stop in for vittles occasionally, there are many maskers (liberals). And they are the smart people? Much different in my county where us yokels are unvaxxed and mask less (conservatives).

            Reply
              1. Potato Guy

                I served with some fatties 30-40 years ago. They lost weight in basic training. They probably gained it back when they were allowed, but I don’t really know.

                The obesity epidemic is quite real. The poor used to be the thin people but now are the fat ones because of cheap processed foods. The more affluent the better the food and self discipline.

                We may all get our midriff’s scaled back if the food shortages the media is threatening us with proves true. As a product of the deep woods rather than the deep state perhaps me and mine will fare better.

                Reply
          2. Bsn

            Actually, Russia says it has documents showing how US Bio-labs in Ukraine were developing agents specifically to kill people from Ukraine/Russia with pathogens directed at the regions’ DNA and demographics characteristics. Maybe the Dems were working on something contra the Repubs as well?
            From the article (not 4chan):
            “4,000 Ukrainian soldiers donated their blood samples for hantavirus antibodies, and 400 soldiers donated their blood samples for antibodies to the Crimean-Congo fever virus. This type of screening could be used to identify biological agents that are most toxic for this region in particular.”
            Link: https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/russia-mod-exposes-hunter-bidens-relation-with-us-bioactivit

            Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Hungary’s EU cash at risk after European Commission concludes reforms fell short ”

    So if I am reading that right, if Hungary wants the €7.5 billion in regular EU payouts and €5.8 billion in pandemic recovery grants, then not only does Hungary have to change the legal structure of their country through 17 “reforms” but they also have to do an additional 10 that the EU came up with. On the other hand, if the EU wants the €18 billion aid package for Ukraine and a global deal on a minimum corporate tax rate passed, then they need Hungary to vote for them. And as far as I know, they still need Hungary to give their nod for Sweden and Finland to join NATO. Yeah, I know that the EU and NATO are two different organizations but they are basically the same countries. And the kicker in this deal? Ursula von der Leyen has proven once and for all to be agreement-incapable this year so Hungary knows that that money had better be in their vaults before they sign any agreements. Somebody pass the popcorn.

    Reply
      1. cosmiccretin

        And I devoutly hope Orban sticks to that, throughout the whole of 2023 at the soonest. He (and Erdogan) are performing a public service of the highest order for the idiotic populations of Finland and Sweden, in saving them from the consequences of their own idiocy – while getting nothing but curses in return.

        Of course they (O & E) are doing so entirely in their own interests as they see them but I don’t care about that so long as they keep on doing it.

        Maybe – just maybe – the benighted NATO gravy-train will have folded in the meantime. One can but hope!

        Reply
  18. JTMcPhee

    Medicare won’t be universal until the process of privatization and crapification (do we still use that word?) is complete. Then, mandatory — “Give us all your money!”)

    VA continues to get privatized and crapified, so no longer a model to pursue IMO. VA says privatization is just a disinformation myth, https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/news/debunking_va_privatization_myth.asp Veterans observing and experiencing the toxic effects to that mythical crapification disagree: https://prospect.org/health/va-privatizing-veterans-health-care-launching-campaign-deny/

    Reply
  19. Daryl

    After a good 2.5 year run, I seem to have got the crud. Headache, muscle aches, fatigue and chill, GI symptoms including nausea. I had a fever and slight dry cough yesterday, first day of symptoms, but seems to be gone today. I’m using enovid, and have a test for covid + flu scheduled tomorrow. I also happen to have recently done a blood workup with a lot of details, so I may have it done once recovered and see if anything has changed for the worse.

    Reply
    1. John Beech

      What country? The trial I came up with was Bahrain. This readily available in USA?

      Anyway, I hork my nasal cavities before going out and after returning (and wear an N95, of course), with saline and Povidone Iodine. My favored mix is 3 tbsp of non-iodized salt into a pot of boiling water sufficient to fill a 2 liter bottle to which I add 20cc of 10%. Studies were from 0.75% to 5% but, critically, no lower bound was established so I am comfortable with 20cc instead of the 150cc required to hit the lower end of their testing. How much? 300cc beforehand, 300cc upon my return unless I fear for my life, like sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room and someone was coughing, in which case I’ll run 500cc through my snoz. And FWIW, I have twice thus far in the course of the last three years, left and rescheduled when someone is clearly sick as shite and too inconsiderate to depart the waiting room and wait elsewhere.

      Further to this; I also carry a nose spray bottle, which I’ve washed and refilled with this formula, for whilst I’m out and about. Overkill? Maybe. Dunno. Haven’t caught it. N=3 (adults, wife and grown daughter living at home, in addition to myself). Plus 2 young children who only get the spray before and after because getting a good hork has proven impossible.

      Meanwhile, disappointed nobody has worked to establish an effective lower bound for destroying the virus in the nasal cavities using Povidone Iodine in saline. Very disappointed as the research wouldn’t take impossible numbers plus controls to come up with useful data.

      Anybody else have a formula? Or am I the only nutter going to this extreme?

      Reply
      1. semper loquitur

        You are not the only nutter. I use a 20 to 1 saline eye rinse to povidone nose spray and of course a mouthwash with Cetylpyridinium Chloride in it. I gargle for 30 seconds, twice a day, unless I don’t go out and don’t see anyone. That includes my partner, who must go out for work oftentimes.

        Reply
      2. Daryl

        Wasn’t hard for me to locate in the US, though I obtained it from a pharmacy in another country. I was using iodine-diluted nasal spray before then.

        Reply
      3. Tinky

        I’m a Neti Pot veteran, though have only used it sporadically since COVID began. I use a couple of drops of Oil of Oregano (powerful stuff) if I think that I might have been at high risk.

        Haven’t tested positive yet, though I may have experienced a low symptom case very early on.

        Reply
  20. Mikel

    “Crypto: Everyone Was Just That Stupid” Heisenberg Report

    One of my brothers, who has been involved in crypto. I brought up SBF and the shenanigans and he wants to put it in the “bad apple” category.
    He mentuoned some other thing he had once been involved in (“sousa” or “sussy” or something) and I told him that sounds like a pyramid scheme. At first, he tried to convince me it wasn’t by describing how it had worked. But it involved bringing in new people for the ones at the top to make money – which is fundamental pyramid. So finally he actually said to me: “There can be good pyramid schemes. They aren’t all bad.”

    I’m not saying that all crypto is set up like a pyramid scheme (it’s got elements of other schemes too), but crypto true believers may also be likely to have had involvement in pryamid or MLM schemes before.

    I don’t know how much the bad news about crypto is going to sway him.
    And it’s weird too, because he really is that kind of guy who wants to help people.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      There is precedence for do it yourself money in the USA…

      From the 1830’s to the 1860’s private mints in Georgia, North Carolina, California, Oregon & Colorado issued denominated gold coins ranging from 25¢ to $50 and everything inbetween.

      The reasoning was sound in that Federally issued specie was seldom seen in circulation and the one thing 49’ers et al didn’t bring out west was coined money, as you’d much rather have mining apparatus, so it filled a need.

      Unlike cryptocurrency where nobody cares that there’s no there-there, underweight coins were treated harshly by the public and only being underweight by 1.5% on one privately minted $10 gold coin caused San Franciscans to discount it by 20%!

      There were also at least four bad apples among the 1849 mints. Coins from the Mormon Mint (made of California gold but struck in Salt Lake City) were soon discovered to be far underweight, and those from the Miners’ Bank to be slightly so. What happened in response is crucial for understanding the dynamic operation of the market for private gold coins. San Francisco newspapers like the Alta California warned their readers about ‘coins issued by irresponsible persons or firms’, and cautioned them to ‘look well to the lettering lest you be deceived’.

      By Adams’s account, the underweight coins ‘speedily fell into disrepute’. The Mormon coins ‘were refused by all, when their spuriousness was once revealed’. Coins from the Miners’ Bank, which were about 1.5 per cent underweight, were‘only accepted at twenty per cent discount.

      Reply
  21. Tom Stone

    Ursula and Nancy have been busy planning the Victory Ball in Brussels, the theme will be based on Wellington’s ball just before his defeat of the Putin of his day, Napoleon.
    You have NO IDEA how hard it is to line up enough qualified dressmakers or you wouldn’t be complaining.

    Reply
    1. eg

      Perhaps they could be persuaded instead to pack a lunch and spend the afternoon along the Dnieper in the style of the First Battle of Bull Run picnickers?

      Reply
  22. TroyIA

    Ben Hunt

    Alameda bought a US bank (Farmington State) connected with Deltec and Tether, and then transferred it to FTX.

    There’s no way that the regulatory approval of a Bahamian HF buying a US bank was legit. No way.

    FTX was a criminal enterprise from the start.

    Crypto Firm FTX’s Ownership of a U.S. Bank Raises Questions

    It’s unclear how FTX was allowed to buy a stake in a U.S.-licensed bank, which would need to be approved by federal regulators. Banking veterans say it’s hard to believe that regulators would have knowingly allowed FTX to gain control of a U.S. bank.

    “The fact that an offshore hedge fund that was basically a crypto firm was buying a stake in a tiny bank for multiples of its stated book value should have raised massive red flags for the F.D.I.C., state regulators and the Federal Reserve,” said Camden Fine, a bank industry consultant who used to head the Independent Community Bankers of America. “It’s just astonishing that all of this got approved.”

    Reply
  23. Milton

    Well, last week my spouse got the latest Covid booster (her 4th booster since her initial series). About 4 days later she experienced pain in her chest that got progressively worse. We made a couple of trips to the ER when the symptoms did not ease and was given a diagnosis of pericarditis due to unknown origin. Tests were negative for all bacterial and viral agents, with the attending Dr stating that there could be other factors that may cause this. He finally got around to acknowledging there was a very small chance the Covid shot could’ve cause this but since my spouse wasn’t a young male it probably wasn’t likely.
    In my mind I’m convinced the shot was a contributing factor and I wish more curiosity was displayed by the physician. It’s no wonder the faers DB is lower than it should be as investigations of “vaccine” adverse reactions are not followed. It should be noted the Dr significantly downplayed young male cases of myocarditis–calling it an extremely rare event that may cause illness but not death.

    Reply
    1. Mikel

      “Vaccinated people now make up a majority of COVID deaths” Stars and Stripes

      It seems likes as time goes on the shots’ claim to fame about “preventing severe disease and death” could be eroding.
      But the marketing will probably be (as with opiods) that they just need even more doses and more often.
      At this point the medical establishment must be praying and chanting for Covid to evolve on its own into something more benign.

      Reply
      1. jrkrideau

        I have no idea of what the US vaccination rates are but here in my public health unit in Canada we have a 93.3% first shot vaccination rate for people 5 years old and over. We have, roughly, 200,000 people in the health unit area.

        That means we have 186,600 people vaccinated and a grand total of 13,400 unvaccinated.

        To get anywhere near a 50/50 death rate in raw numbers means a heck of a lot of the unvaccinated die for every poor vaccinated soul who dies.

        Reply
    2. curlydan

      sorry to hear that, Milton. I’m curious which type of booster did she get. Moderna or Pfizer? After my third shot where I opted to “switch” to Moderna, I had heart pain one week after the shot. I could not sleep on my left side for 1 night then took an Advil and felt better the next night. Still a little scary. The fact that an M.D. can’t quickly acknowledge the most likely suspect in your wife’s pain is scary.

      Reply
  24. 430MLK

    Thanks for the link to “Cutting-edge tech made this tiny country a major exporter of food.” Interesting read.

    The Dutch high-tech approach to food clearly has some benefits. However, the article seems to downplay the cost of these benefits in terms of energy use and soil-replacement, which seem to be comprised entirely of man-made inputs. It also seems to gloss over the continued transfer of ag power from farmers working land to corporate-based scientists in lab coats managing factories. (The seed saving and use of greenhouses seem to be a function of “old” ag practices that have a long history in the country.)

    Here in Kentucky, news officially broke this week that AppHarvest, a KY-based tech-ag company, seemingly Wall-Street financed, is going belly-up.

    “Once called ‘future of farming,’ AppHarvest discloses ‘substantial doubt’ about its future”
    https://www.kentucky.com/news/business/article268818147.html

    AppHarvest has overtly followed the Dutch model, right on down to setting up partnerships w/ Dutch ag companies. (The state of KY helped facilitate this.) The results here in the Commonwealth don’t look great. After several years in production, most of AppHarvest’s tomatoes are not Grade 1 quality–and this is in a region where natural climate and soil produce some of the best tomatoes in the country! (Admittedly, I’m biased in this assessment.) From the Herald Leader article:

    “In its Nov. 7 filing, AppHarvest reported net losses of $83 million for the first nine months of the year and net sales of $10 million, with an accumulated deficit of $270 million. The company has cumulatively spent at least $641 million for operations and fixed assets since 2018, when it incorporated, according to public filings.”

    If you read the extensive comments to the article, AppHarvest CEO, Jonathan Webb, apparently just purchased one of the most expensive non-horse-farm houses on the market in Lexington ($3 million). Quite the successful farmer, that guy.

    Reply
  25. John Beech

    Regarding Mercedes locking acceleration behind a subscription, when I was looking to buy my daughter a BMW 3-series, recently, news broke heated seats were to be a subscription. Angry at the thought, I bought her a Mercedes C300, instead.

    As it turned out, this was a BMW sales-tactic for the South Korea market, instead of USA, but the damage was done. I’ll never buy a BWM because of it. So now Mercedes wants to play that game, eh? Well, they got our money this time, and note, I drive a G-wagon and my wife has been driving their station wagons for decades, but I vote with my wallet so guess who else is on my shit list going forward?

    Guess I’ll look to the Japanese brands Lexus or Infinity, or even South Korean’s Genesis, instead. Is it because I cannot afford it? No, more like won’t versus can’t.

    Reply
    1. polar donkey

      Not to rain on your Mercedes Benz parade, but reliability report came out recently of top 24 auto brands sold in US. Mercedes came in 24th. Lexus was 1.

      Reply
    2. cnchal

      > . . . Angry at the thought, I bought her a Mercedes C300, instead.

      From one frying pan into another.

      Tesla had or perhaps still has the ‘Ludicrous Speed’ extra cost option and the extended range option so what Mercedes is doing is following the pioneer’s footsteps.

      The comedy begins when drivers of identical looking cars want to brag about how much money they have.

      I deal with this by ignoring it. I have enough ‘car’ for life and were I to get another, it would be about 20 years old. There are so many great cars for a few thousand bucks that are worth keeping going, and in another twenty years, when those cars are 40 years old they will still be able to keep going while the new stuff today is tossed at ten to fifteen years when the inevitable electronics failures total them.

      Reply
  26. Hepativore

    I take issue with the Black Agenda Report’s framing of Thanksgiving. Days of “Thanksgiving” actually predated the arrival of Europeans to North America. In a tradition going back to medieval England, if a particularly momentous occasion or bountiful harvest occurred, the local lord or mayor would often declare a “day of thanks” and have a small feast or celebration, and many cultures also had fall harvest festivals of some sort.

    Prior to Thanksgiving becoming an official holiday in the US, local communities sporadically held Days of Thanks as an extension of prior European traditions long before arrival into the US. The Feast of Plymouth was far from the first example of such an occasion.

    After being prodded by Sarah Josepha Hal’s letter-writing campaign, President Lincoln decided to make Thanksgiving a national holiday as a publicity move to foster a sense of national unity in the face of the political cataclysm caused by the Civil War. Make of that what you will.

    In any case, Thanksgiving was never really about the Feast of Plymouth, but more like an amalgamation of fall harvest traditions that predate the recognition of the US by hundreds of years. Many other countries around the world have similar traditions as well, so I find articles like one written by Glen Ford to be overly simplistic in terms of their viewpoint on the holiday itself.

    Reply
    1. jrkrideau

      I have not read the article but here in Canada where Thanksgiving is in October it seems to be a continuation of UK harvest estivals and to have basically no connection to the US one except for the same name.

      Reply
  27. Wukchumni

    Happy Thanksgiving to all from the wilds of Disneyland-adjacent, where the family has rented an over the top McMansion surrounded by 1,200 sq ft homes from the mid 50’s…

    Santa Ana winds are something fierce today in SoCal, a holiday blaze being quite the possibility~

    Reply
  28. Lex

    The Vox piece on universities is terrifying but doesn’t fully encompass the fear that should be running through academia. Most of these universities got into a construction arms race during the good times. The transition from student to “client/customer” was magnified by administrators that want to be real estate developers. The idea seems to be more like attracting students to a four year, all inclusive resort than an education. Most of that construction was funded by Wall Street bonds. The financials of many, many universities are horrible. Debt loads equal to endowments kind of horrible. It won’t be easy to bail out universities and beyond the jobs they provide there’s an a limit to the practicality of bailing out a university with fewer students than the physical infrastructure of the organization is designed for. Add in the huge trend of for-profit, privately operated forms with guaranteed contracts from the universities and this could become a really big mess.

    Reply
    1. Potato Guy

      Vox kind of disgusts me so the article was hard to read. But the deal breaker is “The Trump administration erected many barriers to legal immigration, while immigration seems to have bounced back under President Joe Biden.” Why blame Trump for barriers to legal immigration and give credit to Biden for immigration bouncing back? Doesn’t everyone know that Trump worked to stop ‘illegal’ immigration and Biden has the floodgates open?

      The bias is sickening and that is a big reason the Uni’s are imploding. Get woke go broke. AWFL. Of course it’s demographics too. And if you want to assess blame, what about the low sperm count? Plastics? Soy? (Don’t get me started on the tranny problem). Then there are the depopulationists like Gates, et al. What about our women going to work instead of raising children? And there’s the destruction of the family unit. We did it to ourselves. And continue too. Besides the Uni is a failed business model. Can you say unrealistic pension plans? Overpaid admin? And they’re the smart ones? Come on, man.

      I interviewed a theater major the other day who wanted to rent an apartment. He was totally clueless. He had no job and no prospects of getting one. And with 50k in student loans. He was almost in tears. Heads should roll for letting that kid out of school without knowing the basics of life.

      Good riddance to the glut of state subsidized universities. Even the junior colleges are failing. We are now seeing high schools getting into training for the trades. The junior colleges aren’t keeping up. Yet they continue to steal tax money from the productive class. Parasites I tell ya.

      Thank god I’m a country boy.

      Reply
  29. MaryLand

    Wishing everyone some things to be thankful for. My sister finally was able to be seen by the long Covid clinic yesterday and learned about pacing her activities. My son-in-law still has no sense of taste or smell after 2 years. Plenty of people are stressed out with health problems, family problems, job problems. Yet we hold each other up as best we can. Sending hugs to all.

    Reply
  30. Wukchumni

    ‘Twas the day before Black Friday, when all through the house
    The creatures were stirring, some using a mouse;
    The HD TV’s were priced by their dimensions with care,
    In hopes that bargain hunters soon would be there;
    The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
    While visions of Play Station 5’s danced in their heads;
    And mamma on her computer, and one on my lap,
    Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
    When out on the driveway there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
    Gave a luster of desirability to objects below,
    When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
    But a UPS sleigh, loaded up with goods from far & near
    With a driver wearing brown so lively and quick,
    I knew in a moment he must be in good nick.
    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
    Soon gave me to know I had no porch pirates to dread;
    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And filled all the porches; then turned with a jerk,
    And laying his finger aside of his nose,
    And giving a nod, up to the driver’s seat he rose;
    He sprang to his 4 wheeled sleigh, and gave the ignition a turn,
    And away he flew, time is money he’s learned
    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
    “Happy Black Friday to all, and to all a good buy!”

    Reply
    1. Jorge

      Bravo!

      I work at a “Black Friday” computer shop, and we are on special shifts this week watching the computers. I feel like the guy in Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” who is crucified on a clock.

      Reply
  31. John k

    I’m grateful to Nc for information not available in msm. I start with la times to check for changes in the narrative, bridge column and comics, then to Nc for world news and interesting links.

    Reply
  32. Bsn

    Getting ready to visit the relatives for a thanksgiving din din. Yesterday I asked the dad if they could put tape over the amazon ring camera on their porch. He said “sure”. Wife heard about my request and went ballistic. Last year at a big dinner I asked (it was our house) if a person could please put their phone away during din din. Another ballistic scene ensued. I’m an old enough woman to remember our parent’s rule of no TV at the dinner table and no elbows on said table. My how times have changed. Because of the no TV rule, we were forced to talk to each other. With 9 kids (admittedly some had grown and moved out) at the table we had some discussions with older siblings explaining things to younger, parents explaining to us all. It was up to each person to decide (young or older) for themselves any “truths” or takeaways.

    Does anyone else find themselves holding back and having difficulty toning down any discussions on subjects they feel strongly about? It’s unfortunate people can’t discuss and/or debate without getting off on tangents, getting mad, shape shifting, straw manning, etc. (Insert shout out to NC here)

    I’m just not willing to become a lemming if I can avoid it.
    Popular article about the dangers of amazon ring cameras ……

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/3adj59/ring-cameras-are-going-to-get-more-people-killed

    If it’s paywalled, remember to use this link to break through: https://archive.ph/

    Reply
    1. Screwball

      Does anyone else find themselves holding back and having difficulty toning down any discussions on subjects they feel strongly about? It’s unfortunate people can’t discuss and/or debate without getting off on tangents, getting mad, shape shifting, straw manning, etc.

      We have 7 adults that get together, not counting the kids who haven’t been subjected to the political insanity as of yet. We are petty much split between hard left (1) soft left (3) and the rest soft right (1), or “can’t stand any of them” (2). We had to create a rule last Christmas that there would be no talk at all about politics. None, zero. It got pretty ugly. Two brothers being brothers.

      A millennial (born 84) is the hard left. He hates old people and blames them for all our problems. And of course he hates the republicans. If you mention Trump he makes the Christmas tree look dim as the hate gushes from every pore of his body. He just goes off. He is falling down drunk on the blue cool-aide but says he doesn’t listen to the MSM news. His preferred news source is Tic-Toc. Oh brother. No politics is the ONLY solution.

      Reply
      1. chris

        OMG. All the time. I’ve just stopped having conversations about complex topics with anyone other than the people I live with and even those those are curtailed. Someone did ask me to explain somethings the other day and I asked them twice if they really wanted to know. When I was done explaining what I knew about the thing he asked after, he said his head was spinning and he had no idea why so many important things were absent from media coverage.

        But there’s also this feeling of internal pressure I have. Friction. Resistance. I want to share updates on the pandemic because I think it might help people to know…but then I just can’t bring myself to do it. Because too many don’t want to know. They don’t want to consider or reflect or learn. There’s also no chance of anything I share getting to friends and followers on my media accounts. Articles on things like Vitamin D3 and COVID would be throttled. So what’s the point of me trying?

        It’s like the way King described things in The Gunslinger: “The world had moved on.”

        I know the world has moved past these things. I know there will be real consequences to my continuing to talk about COVID, or the failure of Ukraine sanctions, or how Ukraine can’t win, or how awful the Biden administration is, or no matter how corrupt Trump is he will never be indicted because too many other people would go down with him…The world has moved on. There’s no place for all that anymore.

        Reply
  33. Wukchumni

    Foxconn offers $1,400 payout to quell protests at China iPhone plant FT. Not clear to me whether wages and working conditions, lockdown, or both.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I got bought out for $1200 to quell my protest over the Pandemic, so there’s precedence.

    Reply
    1. Jorge

      According to some reports, it was triggered by Foxconn offering Covid hardship bonuses and then reneging.

      This created “OMG you have GOT to be kidding me” outrage.

      Reply
  34. Chris Cosmos

    I am thankful for many things. I see life getting better in the next few years as the majority of people in the West come to the realization that they need not pull the wool over their own eyes anymore and gradually, as Machiavelli emphasized, the populations of the New Holy Roman Empire (NHRE) will get a new less obviously evil dispensation. All the events and movements point in that direction.

    COVID: People in the medical field no longer trust the authorities this will have a long-term effect that may even mean treatments will see more emphasis at the scientific facts (mainly repressed by the PTB) in general particularly the oneness of mind and body.

    Ukraine: it has always been obvious that Russia would win this conflict and the end result is that Ukraine will become a rump (I don’t see a partition at all–the Poles don’t want a deeply traumatized population at the edges) and Russia will get its security guarantees in a de-facto and eventually de jure way and gradually normalize relations with the NHRE which will turn its attention to Asia to fiddle and diddle.

    The Economy: I agree with the article above–the “sanctions” were obviously a mistake because they left open the development of semi-legal work-arounds to provide gas and oil from Russia to both Europe and the world. The sanctions were politically necessary but anyone who understand how the world-economy works knew that the international legal scene is moribund and where there is a demand whether it’s human trafficking, drugs, or energy there will be a supply. The only question is how much the middlemen get–that amount is Europe will be the difference between the real market price and the “tax” charged by middlemen which will be the percentage of real inflation above what it would have been without this hokey war. The actual world economy is incredibly robust which is why the NHRE did not hesitate in going ahead with the current War inc. project

    Finally, I love the WaPo article on modern farming in the Netherlands–this is a tremendously hopeful trend that will, eventually, stabilize food production and prices and begin to reduce hunger around the world such that food will not be used by the NHRE to intimidate weak states.

    Reply
  35. Karl

    RE: Building Fast and Slow

    Very interesting article about the Empire State Building (1931, 21 months to build) and the first World Trade Center (~1975, ten years to build). In the latter case, a lot of the delay was due to lawsuits and public opposition as a result (largely) of a “public be damned” attitude on the part of developers. The demolition of Penn Station in the ’60’s spawned the Historic Building Preservation movement and, by 1970 the fondness for huge neighborhood-and-skyline-destroying mega projects had passed.

    Many comparative studies have been done on building costs in the U.S. vs. other countries. Only in the “prosperous” and “advanced” US can we afford to spend 10x more and take 10x longer to build things than anywhere else in the world.

    A potentially feasible vision for zero-CO2 emitting transportation future in the USA is 200 mph electric bullet trains connecting every major metropolis, similar to what China has already accomplished (not sure they go 200 mph, but surely the technology exists). To realize that future we will need to revolutionize land use, zoning, planning, public involvement and legal dispute resolution. The same may be true for greatly expanding solar/wind power, pumped storage, expansion of EV charging, etc. If we don’t we’re sunk.

    Reply
    1. Parker Dooley

      At the Aichi Exposition in 2005 Japan Rail was demonstrating a 350 mph maglev train. They were also planning to use a maglev system for satellite launching. The US exhibit was a movie about Benjamin Franklin.

      Reply
  36. Wukchumni

    In a rather elaborate Thanksgiving ceremony on the White House lawn, Erdoğan was pardoned and set free to do what he wants in Syria in what onlookers described as a ‘perfect photo op’.

    Reply

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