Links 12/18/2022

Is the Fed Right or the Market? Policy Tensor

Car repossessions are on the rise in warning sign for the economy NBC

Global coal use set to reach fresh record FT (BC).

Biggest US shale operator says more drilling would harm industry FT


Salt rising, river slowing: Climate change drives harsh realities for people in the Mekong Delta Channel News Asia

New era of violent and unpredictable eruptions at Stromboli volcano, Italy The Watchers


A good question:

Imagining COVID is ‘like the flu’ is cutting thousands of lives short. It’s time to wake up The Conversation. From September, even more germane.

A liver drug reduces SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells Nature (JB). An off-patent liver drug, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).

Surveillance of COVID-19 vaccine safety among elderly persons aged 65 years and older Vaccine. From the Discussion: “Our early warning safety system is the first to identify-four new statistical signals for modestly elevated risks (RR less than 2) of four serious outcomes of [acute myocardial infarction (AMI)], [pulmonary embolism (PE)], [disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)], and [immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)] following BNT162b2 vaccination. This FDA and CMS COVID-19 vaccine safety study is one of the largest studies of elderly persons aged 65 years and above including approximately 34 million doses administered to more than 17 million Medicare insured persons. Our surveillance monitoring did not detect statistical signals for the mRNA-1273and Ad26 COV2.S vaccines for any of the 14 monitored outcomes. The statistical signals of four serious outcomes are not necessarily causal and may be due to factors potentially unrelated to vaccination.”

How even mild COVID-19 infection can damage your lungs (thread) Jeff Gilchrist. Lots of links.


China’s COVID Wave Is Coming The Atlantic

Covid outbreak throws Chinese factories and supply chains into chaos FT

China set to offer compromise to save summit nature accord RFI

The Global Economic Disruptions from a Taiwan Conflict Rhodium Group

Cambodian Film Seeks Oscar Glory Cambodianess

Japan OKs enemy base strike capability in major defense policy shift Kyodo News. Commentary:

The Koreas

South Korea protests Japan’s island claim in national security strategy Reuters


Why Saudis Don’t Want to Pivot to China Foreign Policy

Dear Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak ‘orders Goldman Sachs-style audit of how UK supplies are used in Ukraine war’ amid fears he will be overly-cautious during crucial phase of fight against Putin’s Russia Daily Mail

By-election triumph for Labour – but Starmer still has a mountain to climb Independent. Meanwhile:

The Prophet of Brexit: An Interview with Maurice Glasman The American Conservative

European Disunion

Germany opens floating gas terminal at North Sea port FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Putin’s War: The Inside Story of a Catastrophe NYT

Ukraine SitRep – More Missiles, Attack Plans, Artillery Hits Morale Moon of Alabama

Russia fires scores of missiles in one of its biggest attacks on Ukraine Reuters

Chief of The Defence Staff RUSI Lecture 2022 (transcript) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Battlespace

Democrats en Déshabillé

State investigation of former FTX executive’s $500,000 donation to Democratic Party of Oregon passes one-month mark The Oregonian

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

‘The footage will haunt me for the rest of my life.’ Jeffrey Epstein survivor claims she watched tapes the pedophile made of his wealthy friends having sex with a female victim for ‘blackmail’ – and says she still has copies stashed Daily Mail


The dawn of AI has come, and its implications for education couldn’t be more significant The Conversation

The Earthling: Out-of-control AIs are here Nonzero

* * *

My Slow-Moving Ride in the Motorverse, the New ‘Metaverse for Cars’ Gizmodo


Opinion: We don’t know what’s causing the tsunami of sick kids, but we’d better figure it out fast Calgary Herald

A Culture of [Blood] Cultures Eric Topol, Ground Truths (NL). The deck: “Why hasn’t rapid sequencing for serious infections and sepsis become standard of care?”

Our Famously Free Press

Notes on FBI/Twitter Story: Link to Text Version of Twitter Files Thread Matt Taibbi, TK News. The thread. Taibbi:


Groves of Academe

History is in the making Works in Progress. And on historians:

PLOS flags nearly 50 papers by controversial French COVID researcher for ethics concerns Retraction Watch

The Dismal Science

Mathematical modeling in economics Lars P. Syll

Supply Chain

Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to End Container Dwell Fee They Never Implemented gCaptain

MSC, a Balkan Gang and the Drug Bust That Changed an Industry Jalopnik

Police State Watch

‘This is not just lab grade fentanyl’: Florida cop who claims she nearly died from TOUCHING the drug with gloves on says ‘street scientists’ are creating superpowered doses (after experts warned it’s not strong enough to kill from contact alone) Daily Mail. The cop equivalent of the State Department’s Havana Syndrome, and that’s the charitable interpretation.

Sports Desk

France sickness before World Cup final explained: Who’s ill? Who’s a doubt? And what’s the cause? The Athletic

Xmas Pre-Game Festivities

Strategic Outpost Brings You Santa’s 2022 National Security Gift List War on the Rocks

Most Popular Sex Toy In Every State The Onion. Minnesota: “Snow, Packed However You Like.”

One of my favorites:

Guillotine Watch

Yes, why aren’t we doing this?

Class Warfare

Mortality Change among Less Educated Americans American Economic Association. Commentary:

The missing workers who are never coming back Axios

Some workers could see as much as 66% raise as University of California and striking union reach agreement CBS. The press persists in treating contracts that union members have not voted on as “agreements.”

No Union? You Still Have a Right to Strike Labor Notes

The Long American Counter-Revolution Boston Review

“Goodnight Moon” Author Margaret Wise Brown’s Radical and Rapturous Life, Illustrated The Marginalian

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. diptherio

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that the FBI/twitter story is as big of a deal as Matt is trying to make out, and the highlighted tweet here doesn’t do anything to change my opinion. Here, Matt first objects that some profiles were flagged by the Feds who asked Twitter to check them out. But the only account holders that Matt talks about are people who WERE NOT censored. So somebody at the FBI asked twitter to reprimand people for making jokes, and they didn’t. Is this news?

    17.Of the six accounts mentioned in the previous two emails, all but two – @ClaireFosterPHD and @FromMa – were suspended.

    Ok, and what were the other 4 accounts posting? We don’t know, because Matt only bothers to tell us about the two were posting jokes and that were not suspended. Um…interesting way to report on the “story,” don’t you think? I’m aware that “this is a nothingburger” is the current mainstream take, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day, you know?

    1. diptherio

      And Glenn’s take also seems pretty unhinged to me. I mean, after the Snowden revelations, after Bill Binney, we’re really supposed to think that FBI sending twitter some emails is the problem we need to be concerned about? Really? I don’t know, maybe I’m a hopeless authoritarian, but I think maybe we should be more concerned with doing something about Thin Thread, or XKeyscore than freaking out over the absolutely least problematic way in which our gov’t agencies overstep their boundaries when it comes to tech. Read some Yasha Levine fer chrissake! This is so minor compared to anything in that book that Glenn and Matt, who both know better, trying to make this into the story of the century is causing me to lose a good bit of respect for both of them.

      1. square coats

        I find myself personally feeling not so interested in the twitter stuff because I feel like it’s just confirming what I already knew which is that the u.s. govt and big tech are totally immoral/corrupt institutions (and I also don’t use twitter much), so I’m happy with the amount of exposure to revelations I get here at NC.

        And also I do think it’s important information for MT & GG to be making much ado about because
        1. It has been happening up to the immediate present
        2. It has clearly discernible effects for everybody
        3. It isn’t only passive surveillance, it’s importantly active intervention or attempts/intentions at distinct interventions into our collective narrative of reality
        4. It calls bs on a central category of the u.s. govt’s current rhetoric directed at perceived threats (Russia, China, potential/actual domestic dissidents, for lack of a better term off the top of my head)

        5. I think it may be more accessible than (e.g.) YL’s writing for a lot of the vote blue no matter who types

        In my experience, based on ongoing disagreements with a few people in my life who fall into the VBNMW bucket, in particular because they believe in the impt of human rights and social justice (I think they ought to consider anti imperialism and economic justice more often than they seem to), they’ll subscribe to the following positions
        1. The u.s. govt has done x or y corrupt thing in the more or less recent past
        2. The u.s. govt (but for them it’s usually mostly the republicans) is harming/oppressive/not doing enough for particular identity groups
        3. There’s documented evidence of u.s. govt surveillance, but for some reason or another it’s not such a big deal
        4. They readily accept the govt. rhetoric against China, Russia, domestic dissidents

        5. They more or less require discourse/topics to exist within an Overton window to be considered legitimate and have the possibility of changing their minds

        I think what MT & GG are doing is helping to expand / at least has the capability of expanding what a lot of vbnmw people will allow into their overton windows, which then makes further expansion possible, hopefully eventually helping them to understand the importance of aforementioned anti-imperialism and economic justice and to realize the u.s. govt is crooked through and through and needs to be fundamentally changed (and other things too, just what most immediately came to mind atm)

      2. lambert strether

        > sending some emails

        I don’t think it’s the sending, but the assumptions that senders and recipients both make.

        Like, ya know, FBI goons taking down individual tweets. And just like a roach in the kitchen, when you one TLA, you know there are more…

      3. Lachlan

        They have both recently turned themselves into clowns – they are obsessed with owning the libs these days. Caught in the same neuroticisms as both sides of the culture war.

    2. Yves Smith

      Sorry, the Federal government interfering with speech IS a big deal. As a victim (the WaPo reporter who did the PropOrNot hit job on us and ~200 sites is believed at the WaPo to be spook-connected, second hand from a buddy then on the Hill who was told that from an editor). I can’t believe you can’t see that.

  2. Pat

    First response to the headline “Is the Fed right or the Market?” :

    Why says either one is right? Why pick between an amoral gambling casino and a robber baron protection agency both of which would happily set the majority of Americans on fire to keep a small group of “the right” people warm, flush and happy.

    1. digi_owl

      Always fun when “the market” is flipping between some deity with agency or force of nature with zero influence from humanity.

      In the end the market is a social construct around the distribution and allocation of finite resources.

      1. Mikel

        The “market” is also a reflection of the effects of the loooong period of easy money and low interest rates.

        It’s a social construct with a foundation of massive economic inequality, perpetuated by Fed policies, past, present and future.

        At any rate, the Fed officials don’t seem to be allowed to say, “we need to let more air out of these comic asset bubbles.”
        A big problem: the fantasy finance asset prices were collateral or impetus for ridiculous loans from banks and other types of financing entities.

        And the line for not wanting rising rates to bring a dose of reality? “But we have to think about the most vulnerable. Rising rates will hurt the poor.”
        As if the masssive inequality (and its effect on prices), also fueled by the Fed’s and other central banks’ policies are just a blip.

    2. JP

      Once again the press poses the Fed against the Market.

      The market is not the economy. The market weighs the health of corporate America, which is not especially an indication of a healthy economy or a healthy society. There is a zero sum relation between wages and profit. For the past 40 years labor has been subdued by various constraints imposed by corporations with legal permissions. It’s high time that labor begins to get its due but don’t expect it to stick because the current rules favor capitol.

      The consumer is fueled mainly by wages and consumption constitutes 80% of the economy. However it is a snake eating its own tail as long as the consumer is buying corporate junk. The economy is currently awash with money chasing not enough competitive pricing. There are a lot of reasons for this on both ends of the game. The culprit here is gov’t enabled corporate greed. I can’t claim the fed has not been a party to the market action (Allen Greenspan was obscene) but their job is to respond to the economy. Actually their job is inter-bank settlements and keeping the banking system working but setting interest rates is their only tool and it affects it all.

      In order to cool the economy they will punish everyone. That is their mandate and they are forced into it because for the past 30 years or so congress has been unable to pass fiscally responsible socially progressive legislation. Yea, defund the CFPB) The Fed is not protecting the market. They protect the banks and to some degree the dollar. Congress is in the business of business. We elect them and they are bought and paid for.

  3. fresno dan

    James Medlock
    Taxing private jets equal (at minimum) to passenger airlines seems like an absolute no brainer
    I bet if someone added up all the myriad ways the rich don’t pay for things that everybody else pays, I bet it would account for at least 50% of their income

    1. griffen

      How else can they better differentiate themselves? There are regional and major airports for the little people to fly in and out of, on the major carriers. Only savages fly in coach. \sarc

      Rules are for the suckers. If I were indeed wealthy and successful with the means to travel better, and make the tax situation work to my advantage I’d own a private jet. Because of course there is a tax angle to benefit such a purchase, I am almost certain of that. Alas I am not wealthy enough for such a personal toy.

      1. Wukchumni

        The oh so very rich are different than the rest of us, in that they have much more to lose when things come a cropper.

      2. Carolinian

        Don’t forget the infrastructure subsidies since the Federal government gave my town millions to lengthen the downtown airport’s runway. The city would claim that this was in the civic interest since convenience for executives attracts more businesses (the larger airline airport is twenty miles away).

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Corporations never pay taxes, they pass them along to the end users.
          It has ALWAYS been this way.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Year 3 of the pandemic and we still don’t have one integrated app/website/number where we can:
    – View COVID rates in our area
    – Find a vaccine site
    – Order free rapid tests and N95 masks
    – Report rapid test results
    – Order treatments
    – Check air quality’

    It’s always the simple things that we don’t think about. Of course there should be such a website for each and every country – no login required. Going by such factors as infection rates and wastewater data, you should be able to see what level of infection your locality has. There would be links to pages describing procedures that you could do to protect yourself, instructional videos, videos on how to build or buy a Corsi–Rosenthal Box, comparison on mask types and how to properly wear them, a list of simple medications and the like to stock up on, links to help lines for those that are having difficulty in coping, links for those who have lost somebody recently, sections with technical papers for those that are medical personnel or want to understand things on a deeper level. In outlay, the website would be simple and light on graphics so that it loads easily and navigating those pages should be easy by design. Nothing like the initial Obamacare website of course. So where is it?

    1. fresno dan

      If I have said it once, I have said it a zillion times: its whats not reported that is most important.
      This doesn’t happen because it is an oversight or somehow the rank and file at CDC haven’t thought of it. It is inconvenient and expensive (well, if might cost what a few F-35s cost) but money spent on people who are not rich (and therefore expendable) is money wasted to the people who are making these decisions.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Going by today’s linked article “The missing workers who are never coming back”, it may be that it is dawning on our betters that perhaps the wheels are coming off this idea and that herd immunity is not a thing with a Coronavirus after all. Not only will it effect their portfolios, but the remaining workers will be able to demand higher wages as well which will hurt.

        Would you believe that on the TV news tonight, I heard a news presenter talking about the exploding numbers of infections in China but she said that it will be all good in the end as they work towards ‘herd immunity.’ Yes, three years into this pandemic and they are still talking about this as if it were a real thing.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I’ve taken to calling these people the COVID stupid, although they might just be functionally stupid in general. This is adjacent to Lambert’s “a**holes spread COVID” theory of transmission.

    2. cnchal

      . . . continuing . . .

      Where is the push to sort out the problem of ventilation and air handling in buildings that one must go to to function in society.

      How about accelerated tax write offs for improvements or direct subsidies for those modification? Not a word about that.

      Instead, the priorities are grotesque military budgets and massive giveaways to tech for a so called chip shortage so that moar power sucking data centers that masticate all the zeros and ones that enter through the self spying devices clownsumers adore which are endlessly mined by algorithms to sell you crap you neither need or want, are built.

      Healthy people generate no profits, that’s why we are encouraged to breath a deadly pathogen into each other’s faces.

    3. Mikel

      “A liver drug reduces SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells” Nature

      And late with the study and admission of drugs that are already available that would serve as therapeutics.
      Coming now after the chaos and control grab of mandates around the non-sterilizing experimental shots.

    4. Verifyfirst

      In addition to not having the will, the U.S. does not have the operational capacity to do this, especially given the fragmentation of resources and reporting among states and counties. Are there any counties that have stood up a system like this? Would be interesting to look at.

  5. fresno dan

    Ukraine SitRep – More Missiles, Attack Plans, Artillery Hits Morale Moon of Alabama
    I liked the below comment from Moon of Alabama so much, I reproduced it:
    Clearly all of the “missile strikes” on random apartment buildings were wayward antiaircraft missiles. Why would the Russians waste what surely by now must be their last missiles (this was struck through but the formatting was not reproduced upon pasting) on park benches and parked cars? Furthermore, it seems likely that facilities that were put out of commission were hit by more than one missile. After all, have the Ukes not been trying to “harden” vulnerable grid nodes lately? Either their efforts are wasted or the Russians are hitting their targets with more than just a single geran-2 drone.

    The Ukraine is punch-drunk. The Russians knock them down and NATO picks them back up off the mat, waves some “smelling salts” under their nose, and pushes them back into the fight while the ref counts “… eight… nine… nine and a half… nine and three quarters… nine and seven eighths…” and the announcer shouts “What a fight, folks! Those Russians sure are taking a beating!”. Stumbling cross-eyed back for more punishment the Ukraine slurs “That didn’t hurt! You totally missed me!” and promptly “intercepts” another triple combo with his face.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Do the Russians have an equivalent of the USO? Because it sure sounds like it. Do they have an equivalent of Bob Hope too?

        1. tegnost

          I don’t know one way or the other, but I expect russia’s birth rates are through the roof as guys get cycled out of the war zone…

    1. timbers

      Dima’s daily Military Summaries are becoming increasingly positive for the Russians and of course grim for the Ukrainians. Don’t want to jinx the current course of the war, but the possibility the Russians may have to deal with tens of thousands surrendering troops is quite a logistical dilemma.

      The Russians at least on the international scene have proven over and over again that they are true humanitarians, using only a carefully calculated amount of force – and no more – that they think the situation requires. I have said this openly to people for example when some say “I’m surprised Russia hasn’t won already” (a clear mark they are not buying into all MSM propaganda) and they listen carefully and say nothing in response. Like they are thinking about it.

      1. digi_owl

        Because for the most part the “true” Ukrainians are found over in the west, around lviv. The population east of Dnieper is at least partially Russian last i looked at an ethnographic map. Thus from the outset it seems Russia tried their outmost to spare those the hardships of war. It would not surprise me if most of the corpses that showed up in city streets after Russian withdrawals, where from these groups that the Azovs had considered as collaborators. If for no other reason that they didn’t take up arms against the Russian soldiers during their stay.

      2. Otis B Driftwood

        Read today’s NYT special section on ‘Putin’s War’.

        It’s as if exactly everything ascribed to the state of corruption in Ukraine was simply copy/pasted and the word Russia replacing the word Ukraine.

        The highlighted snippets of phone calls claimed to be taken from Russian soldiers remind me of the same device used in the disgraceful Frontline show about Bucha.


        1. LifelongLib

          Russia GDP 1.8 trillion U.S.
          Ukraine GDP 200 billion U.S.

          Russia population 143 million
          Ukraine population 44 million

          Without knowing anything else I know who I’d bet on. But of course the Russians must be losing because they’re the “bad guys”…

    2. digi_owl

      And if you are not taking part in the epic display of kayfabe, you will be eaten alive by the rabid fans (who themselves fear being eaten etc etc etc).

  6. griffen

    Repo man is a busy man. Yep that will happen after the perfect storm of low supply increasing used car values, then causing auto financing loan terms to be extended to a zany sounding 72 – 84 months. 84 Months is just Insanity And Yes I am Capitalizing. Good grief.

    I know the industry fairly well, from a role inside a consumer finance firm. Believe me these people are not your friends, not your friendly neighborhood loan shark. Maybe, just perhaps if you can finance through a credit union. I’ve not shopped for a car or car financing in nearly 10 years, and have no current plans to replace a fully owned 2008 Accord. Noted, that many discussions surrounding vehicles of choice and maintenance of said vehicles often encourages a great trend of thoughts and maintenance suggestions.

    1. cnchal

      The “value” mind trap. Increasing new and used late model freedom machine “prices” were a black flag to me.

      If your Accord is a V6, I would be OK with it, a K series four cylinder, never.

      My experience is that overhead cam motors that use timing belts outlast those that use timing chains by two to one. Why did they go to timing chains? Automotive customers demanded that the scheduled maintenance of timing belt changes be eliminated. Then, typically maintenance coolant changes are ignored, rotting out heater cores and radiators prematurely and when those engines get to about 250,000 KM are on death watch for a check engine light that resolves to oh fuck, variable valve timing mechanism, timing chain guide and tension failures and a trip to the scrap yard when the expected bill to repair that is presented.

      A buddy has an 06 Infinity that is staring at a $6 to 7 thousand dollar bill for exactly that. Beautiful car, nice interior, loved it then, now not so much. I warned him, even if he were given $5000 to take the car it was too little, but he got it “cheap” and all the people he took it to were telling him great car, nothing wrong with it, wow what a deal. It is good looking on the outside, garbage on the inside. Now he uses it in “limp mode”, can’t go over 2200 RPM. Fixing it is too expensive and buying another car is too expensive.

      Complexity is your enemy.

      My favorite is a gen 6 Accord (98-02) four cylinder with a 5 speed stick and we are on the second one, the first having rusted out, with nearly 500,000 KM, with the original engine, transmission, clutch, starter, alternator, radiator, even the rad hoses, power steering rack and pump, they just do not break and our second one runs even better than the first one, with a rust free body. It is “priceless”.

      Even if it were an autotragic, that would be OK. A couple of thousand for a new transmission and you are good to go for another decade of driving.

      A few tips that I use to treat the car with kindness. So called experts may disagree, but screw them, where have they gotten us so far?

      I warm up the electronics for about ten seconds before starting the engine. I get in, turn on the ignition and then fasten my seat belt, before starting the motor. If I am driving one of our automatics, I start and stop it in neutral so I don’t shift the transmission through reverse for that instant. The P R N D L shift pattern is idiotic, shifting through reverse all the time stresses the transmission.

      When I am on the highway and going into a rest area for a short break I slow down about a kilometer from the exit to the speed limit (typically traffic moves at 20 KPH over) and then coast in neutral for the last 1/2 KM so the coolant has a chance to draw heat away from the combustion chambers reducing the odds of head gasket failure. Warning – do not coast down from high speed in neutral if you have an automatic, let it idle for a minute before shutting the motor off.

      As for giant monthly payments to drive new garbage, they are clownsumers with the really bad part being that the cars and trucks made today are going to be useless in a decade and worth less than zero.

      Turbochargers, direct injection with “walnut blasting” the intake valves as routine maintenance (and you thought timing belts were too expensive to maintain), I mean the list of crapola on new cars is endless and then these things spy as you drive, the only move is don’t play. Even if you can’t repair an old car, any descent mechanic can, and without being held hostage by the dealerships.

      1. griffen

        It is a V6 Accord, automatic transmission, I’ve been incredibly happy to own it. Makes me wish I kept repairing the 2001 Maxima some 10 years prior but that is a totally different conversation (economics of losing and changing jobs, etc…). I know basically jack about maintenance other than obvious items like a check of the oil levels and tires. So, a well informed idiot I surely am but I can and do rely on the Honda dealer to keep this vehicle rolling a little longer.

        I would reliably pay for premium unleaded once upon a time, and the dealer service rep said why bother. The engine is built to run 87 octane gasoline so that is what goes in.

        1. cnchal

          >. . . but I can and do rely on the Honda dealer to keep this vehicle rolling a little longer.

          Never get rid of it. Drive it till the wheels fall off then get new wheels. A paid for car that you enjoy driving is worth repairing no matter what the “Blue Book” says. For what new car buyers are paying, $10,000 per year or so on payments plus expensive comprehensive insurance to drive a depreciating crap box on wheels with ridiculous gargoyle lights front and back, I can buy a couple of nice cars that won’t drop in price, and insure and run them including fuel and maintenance and owe the banksters nothing.

          I am thinking of getting a mid 2000s Odyssey as my next Honda, yeah, a minivan.

          I once drove a higher end car (M6) and it was embarrassing, I felt like a look at me clown.

  7. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    It was acknowledged that many GI Joes & Janes picked up bad habits and/or addictions while stationed in the green felt table jungle on their screen.

    We had a fair number of ‘Air-o-win’ addicts in the platoon who’d staked most everything on cryptocurrency being the only way out for them aside from a section 8, with the thought process perhaps leaning towards those partaking being mentally unfit either way, it isn’t for me to say.

    Nobody could have ever expected the scourge of Fintenyl emanating from the Bahamas-pure uncut greed combined with snatch & grab tactics is no way to go through game of life, although he is a vegan and accrued at least some woke points for the effort.

  8. Nikkikat

    I personally love how I’m supposed to calculate my own risk. I’m to perform this risk assessment with absolutely no data whatsoever. Old Joe is going to send me a free test to help me out but if I have determined I should test myself then it’s probably too late to take a test.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Rishi Sunak ‘orders Goldman Sachs-style audit of how UK supplies are used in Ukraine war’ amid fears he will be overly-cautious during crucial phase of fight against Putin’s Russia”

    The backers of the Ukraine war are seriously unhappy about this idea. Such a dashboard would show the true situation between what the Ukraine needs and what the UK has left to send which to nobody’s surprise turns out to be very little. This hasn’t stopped people like Boris Johnson demanding that the UK strip out the weapons from the British Army and send it all to the Ukraine, including long-range weapons that can be used to hit places deep in Russia itself. But Sunak is a finance guy and I am sure that that £50 billion ($57 billion) hole in the country’s public finances that was recently revealed has really concentrated his mind on where all that money is going and how the Ukraine is a constant hemorrhage on those public finances.

    1. griffen

      Scanning through the offerings on Netflix yesterday evening, here on the US east coast, and what appeared to my wondering eyes? On offer in 2022, an interview by David Letterman of none other than dear Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It appears that the intrepid Mr. Letterman traveled into Ukraine to make his interview appointment. I did not venture any further than this and have zero plan on doing so.

      Says everything we need to know for circa 2022 – 2023.

      1. playon

        I used to enjoy Letterman’s old show but after his semi-retirement and foray into the interview arena I lost interest when he interviewed Obama – I realized I wasn’t going to enjoy watching one multi-millionaire interview another.

      2. playon

        I used to enjoy Letterman’s regular show but after he quit the network and moved to an interview format I lost interest. When he interviewed Obama I realized I wasn’t too interested in hearing one multi-millionaire interview another.

    2. Questa Nota

      Bear Stearns-style audit, since dealing with Russian situation?
      No way to work in Lehman Bros gracefully.

    3. Stephen

      Entering the UK through Heathrow T3 tonight there is a sign in the Immigration Hall addressed to travellers who have been to Ukraine. It asks if they have seen war crimes.

      Not sure if this is a serious request for “evidence” or just subliminal propaganda. The sign does not mention Russia. Guess they chickened out on that.

      Been in South Africa. Zero about Ukraine except an AFP press feed in the airport had some update as part of the regular news. The west is on its own. The world is not deeply interested.

      1. The Rev Kev

        An interesting report that. The Ukraine is a western obsession, not a global south one. They don’t care. But that sign in Immigration Hall was bizarre. It points to the fact that they have little to go on and are now reaching to find something, anything for the post-war tribunal of Russians that they are planning to hold. The Netherlands have already said that they will host it and the British are training about 30 judges to do so.

        1. hk

          Too bad they couldn’t bring Roland Friesler to trial back in 1945 (he died in an Allied bombing during the war) to set an example for those 30.

          1. The Rev Kev

            That Roland Friesler was a nasty piece of work so it was good that he never saw the end of the war. Here is a video of him in court shouting at prisoners and you can click “CC” for the subtitles-

   (4:52 mins)

            I can see the British training those Ukrainians judges though. They would say ‘Ask them if they are Russian and if they say yes, then you can find them guilty of all charges.’

      2. El Slobbo

        I saw a similar sign in international arrivals at Vancouver airport in July. At the time Canada was letting in anyone with a Ukrainian passport, no vaccination checks needed (vaccination documents were required of Canadian citizens).

  10. wendigo

    I guess it will not be long before the street scientists create a fentanyl that is strong enough to kill you before you touch it, this century’s thiotimoline.

    1. Martin Oline

      The story as reported in the Daily Mail was significantly different from the story reported on the local news here in Florida. They said it was believed that wind had caused some of the fentanyl in the folded dollar bill to become airborne and she had unknowingly ingested some when it was inspected. Film, probably from shoulder cameras, showed she was unresponsive and in bad shape. I cannot say whether the Daily Mail did not have that information or they deliberately edited it.

      1. Aumua

        If this were just a one off incident then the explanation offered of “the wind blew it in her face” might be plausible, but you should understand that this is a pattern of police behavior and local news reports that has been going on for a number of years. Misinformation about street drugs has also long been a staple of local news stories. So this isn’t the only video of cops acting like they are OD’ing from the mere possibility that might have touched some fentanyl. I’m not saying that it’s all an act, either, but that it’s some kind of mass hysteria, possibly exacerbated by a general culture of dishonesty that pervades police departments, and also news stations that are all-too-willing to run cop sympathetic stories.

    2. TimH

      Gov doesn’t care that people die of CV, and by simple inaction have raised the death rate of particularly those pulling money from the system (SS, Medicaid, VA).

      Similar inaction for addicts on street drugs?

    1. fresno dan

      Pornhub reveals top trends in 2022 showing users from red states stay on the longest (we’re looking at you, Alabama) – as ‘transgender’ category jumps 75% in popularity
      Looking at the favorite term in each state is…interesting

    2. Robert Hahl

      I went through that slide show mainly to see what the shape of Rhode Island is. What do they call that southern island? It made me think of Taiwan, if anyone wants to set up a separatist government in Rhode Island.

      1. rob

        do you mean Block island?
        nice place north of long island sound… few cars… they used to rent mopeds to visitors for getting around.

    3. griffen

      A few of those are pretty funny, including Iowa and a corn cob as well as my native state of North Carolina. Off topic, the Onion should really improve how to quickly view those slides.

      Idaho, home of fictional Napoleon Dynamite. “You gonna eat your tots?”

    4. Wukchumni

      I read somewhere that the Stanley Cup was modeled after a T-Rex sex toy, found along with the skeleton in a dig in Saskatchewan.

  11. timbers

    Why Saudis Don’t Want to Pivot to China Foreign Policy

    A clever tittle but it should be “Why I want USA to regime change Iran and Syria not just Russia”

    The paragraph that finally reveals the writer’s actual motive describes Iran. If he did a word search and replaced “Iran’ with LUSA/Saudi Arabia” it would make more sense.

    American propaganda can be filled side alleys that initially appear intriguing for a while until you realize you’ve been down that road before.

  12. Wukchumni

    They packed my bags last night pre-flight
    Zero hour 9:00 a.m.
    And if I get my meds I’m gonna be high
    As a kite by then

    I miss League of Legends so much I miss my vegan life
    It’s lonely in a confined space
    On such a timeless flight

    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
    ‘Til extradition brings me ’round again to find
    I’m not the man politicians think I am at home
    Oh, no, no, no
    I’m a talk it man
    Talk it man, burning out the spoils system here alone

    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
    ‘Til extradition brings me ’round again to find
    I’m not the man politicians think I am at home
    Oh, no, no, no
    I’m a talk it man
    Talk it man, burning out the spoils system here alone

    The cloud ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
    In fact it’s connected to hell
    And there’s no one there to raise them
    If you did

    And all this blockchain science
    I don’t understand
    It’s just my job five days a week
    A Nassau man
    A Nassau man

    And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
    ‘Til extradition brings me ’round again to find
    I’m not the man politicians think I am at home
    Oh, no, no, no
    I’m a Nassau man
    Nassau man, burning out the spoils system here alone

    Elton John – Rocket Man (Royal Festival Hall, London 1972)

  13. FreeMarketApologist

    RE: My Slow-Moving Ride in the Motorverse, the New ‘Metaverse for Cars’:

    One more method to remove people from being involved in the directly experienced world around them. Why look out the car window at the homeless in the city, the hardworking delivery people on bikes, the trash by the side of the highway, or the traffic jam that is many urban freeways, when you can ignore it through a virtual reality headset? You can also miss the beauty of mountain ranges, fields of crops, and the wildlife (what’s left of it).

    It’s bad enough that people already walk around inattentive to the immediate physical world while pawing their phone, attempting to fill some gaping hole of need. Do we really need further disengagement? Perhaps more direct attention, thought, and reaction to our immediate world would be a better use of our personal resources?

    1. britzklieg

      “people already walk around inattentive to the immediate physical world while pawing their phone,”
      In Manhattan, where I lived for 30 years, we called them “meanderthals” and they were dangerous.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        Yes. Excellent term! I’m in NYC (30+ yrs), and walking around has become a lot less fun as people attempt to walk and finger their phone at the same time.

        1. Wukchumni

          In my haven’t been there in donkeys years experience, weren’t denizens of the Big Apple particularly adept at avoiding eye contact with one another, well before cell phones?

          1. FreeMarketApologist

            Yes, but one can avoid eye contact while still moving efficiently through crowds. It’s the ones whose eyes are only on their phones that are the danger.

          2. B24S

            “Who you lookin’ at? You lookin’ at me?”

            Looking at someone (anything but a glance so as to avoid collisions) would often be construed as a challenge, and possibly get you beat to a pulp. If you seriously told someone “f*** you!”, you better be ready to fight or run. I was small, skinny, and quick.

            As a callow yout’ in Manhattan, I’d swim through the ocean of humanity like an olympic champion. I’d sit on the second story window sill of the workshop on 79& B’way as people streamed by, just below my feet, never glancing up. I learned that junkies will leave you alone if you look like trouble, even in the middle of the night. I’ve also been accused of having an attitude.

            Friends would go visit California, and never come back. In ’74 I went to visit my brother, and lo and behold, never moved back. For us it’s the land of milk and honey. While my wife and I still have the stone house in the middle of the woods a 1/2 hr. north of the GWB, we consider it a successful trip to NY if we can stay out of the city. But we’re going to be letting it go; what with C19 & travel, etc., we haven’t been there for three years. We’re not moving back.

            See you in Tiny Town…

    2. Mikel

      “You can also miss the beauty of mountain ranges, fields of crops, and the wildlife (what’s left of it).”

      The primary target of these technologies is the youth.
      The bet is that they won’t miss what they’ve never seen or experienced.

      1. TimH

        Yet I would not use VR if it was free and amazing, because it will become a habit forming drug in the sense of stimulating endorphin highs. Plenty of SF stories on this.

        Ditto not interested in a lifetime free supply of consistent strength (to reduce OD risk) opiates… good company, good red wine and good food suits me fine, thanks. Plus the felines of course… not snitting at canines, please be sure me darlin’s.

          1. rowlf

            That was the theme in Simon Stålenhag’s The Electric State.

            The VR headsets sucked in everyone that could use them.

      2. Wukchumni

        I’ve noticed a great uptick in young adults venturing into the wilderness the past decade in the High Sierra and I think one of the driving factors is a lack of connectivity, Meta met its match.

  14. timbers

    Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to End Container Dwell Fee They Never Implemented

    I thought this would be about zoning changes to American housing policy. It looks like we missed the opportunity to place rows of these shipping containers encircling the White House, steps and boulevards to Congress Supreme Court homes of Nancy Pelosi/Chuck Schumer/Mitch McConnell/Martha’s Vineyard/Obama mansion OAC and The Gang with big bold sign planted in the middle IMMIGRANTS WELCOME.

    After all Chuck Schumer (Dem-Wall Street) himself told us Americans aren’t having enough babies so surely he would all in on this. It’s comforting to know our leaders take it upon themselves to regulate our personal private reproductive lives in the bedroom to such a degree.

    But most importantly, a welcome center should be organized in front of the Federal Reserve – surrounded with containers – with an information booth providing helpful tips on how to use public bathrooms and find running water.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sir Keir Starmer strikes again! He’s expelled yet another Jew from the Labour party – in this case, she happens to be the only Jew elected to the party’s ruling body. Labour doesn’t care. The media don’t care. Because she’s the WRONG KIND OF JEW’

    Antisemitism is pretty despicable at the best if times. So how is it that Jeremy Corbyn was accused of this falsely so was removed from power but when Keir Starmer actually does it, he gets a free pass? And what I want to know is where the UK’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in all this? He came down on Corbyn and helped force him out but is he maintaining radio silence on Starmer then? As one person commented to that tweet –

    ‘So anti-Semitism is now REAL in the Labour Party’

    1. Kouros

      Remember the Rabbis from the Temple put Jesus on the cross because he wanted to bring the Jubilee of clean slates? “And Forgive us Lord, our Debts!”?

      1. agent ranger smith

        Rabbis weren’t from the Temple. It was Priests who were from the Temple.

        And I thought it was the Romans who put Jesus on the cross. Am I wrong?

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Chief of The Defence Staff RUSI Lecture 2022 (transcript)’

    Admiral Sir Tony Radakin is a political Admiral in the same way that US General Milley is a political General. Both won’t tell you what the truth is but will just spew out the latest spin for what the political establishment wants to hear. More to the point, the neocons can point to their talks as proof of how what they say is the truth because this is what the professionals are saying.

  17. Wukchumni

    FIFAtanyl is suspected in a number of players laid low on the pitch, writhing in pain if only until they hopefully receive acknowledgement from the refs of a wrong that must be righted.

    This one is for all the marbles, the winner makes off with what looks like a sex toy, play ball!

      1. Mildred Montana

        I sincerely apologize for the snark but I think you’ve got to hand it to the referee or timekeeper or whoever kept time in the France-Argentina match. 35 minutes of extra time? What kind of game is football/soccer, where timekeeping seems to be so arbitrary?

        Compare with the NFL where the clock runs relentlessly and viewers know EXACTLY how much time is left in the game. Zero on the clock is zero. No added time. Game over. Therefore coaches must call their plays and use their time-outs judiciously in the waning minutes or seconds. I’ve seen many instances where the referee for some reason has added a few mere SECONDS to the clock, but only while play is still on, NEVER at the end of the game.

        I watched intermittently—but right to the end—the big World Cup match. So, serious question Wukchumni, what’s up with the timekeeping in a football match? To me, a native North American and a big NFL fan, it seems incomprehensible.

        I have prepared myself for a bombardment of criticism from NC football (soccer) fans including you. ;)

        1. Wukchumni

          I too am perplexed by the ambiguity of time keeping in soccer-which isn’t my deal as I prefer the NFL where the injuries are all too real and forgot to add, what superb writhing efforts today, any mere touch of another player often sent those so assailed in a sprawling heap, leaving you wondering what to say to their widow and loved ones, that is until they get up and sprint down the field.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Not much of soccer fan here (Mrs. Socialist watched the game, though), but as an European I know them rules…

            The standard is two half times, 45 minutes each, continuous time. The clock never stops, whatever happens in the field. So when the end of the halftime is approaching, the referee estimates how much time has been “wasted” on injuries, acting up, giving out cards, telling the players to shut up etc and declared as much overtime.

            It’s a relatively new thing that everyone knows how many minutes overtime they have, earlier only the referee knew. The game is over when, and only when, the referee whistles three times, no matter what the clock says. Until then you keep on trying.

            If the game is even at the end, but you need to find a winner, there will be a short break and then two halftimes of 30 minutes. And again, the referee can add extra minutes if and when there are longer intervals when the ball is not in the game.

            I guess it’s supposed to prevent a leading team for stretching out the moments when the ball is not playable. Or faking an injury to fish for an advantage or catch one’s breath. The referee is there not just to enforce the rules, but ensure a “fair” game.

            1. Jed

              Pretty much correct, but to nitpick…

              At the end of the 45 minutes the added time is called stoppage time, ie., the time added due to extended periods of time where no football is played (mostly due to injuries.)

              After 90 minutes plus stoppage, in a match that needs a declared winner there are two 15 minute periods of “extra time” with further stoppage time as needed. Most tournaments then settle the winner with penalty kicks as in the FIFA World Cup.

              Also, it was live broadcast here in the U.S., beginning at 10 am EST.

          2. foghorn longhorn

            But miracle of miracles, it ended exactly two minutes before the start of todays gridiron matches began.
            Money and all that, ya know.

            1. flora

              I might accept the unspoken idea if this was a US-North American-centric sport, but soccer really isn’t a dominant game in North America. So, it’s possible, even likely a lot of us saw it on tape delay where the US broadcast network schedulers already knew exactly when it would end (in total minutes) and how to fit the tape delay broadcast into the schedule. Just a guess.

          3. Mildred Montana

            As I said a couple of weeks ago. watch soccer and then you can believe, really believe, in the Resurrection of Jesus. If soccer players, then why not Him?

            1. fresno dan

              I saw a meme if foosball was like soccer but unfortunately I can’t get the link. Its of a foosball table – all the little players are lying on the foosball table clutchling their legs

      2. flora

        I don’t follow soccer but tuned in for the last 20 minutes. oh WOW! I was jumping up off my chair! (no spoilers here for those who have seen it yet in replays. )

        1. Bugs

          It was a great sports weekend for both (US) football and soccer. Lots of suspense and fun endings!

          And the Packers are still sort of in it. So that’s nice.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Just logging off for the night but before I do. A day or so ago President Zelensky told FIFA that he wanted to deliver a message just before the big match but they nixed it, much to the surprise of the Ukrainians. Don’t they know who he is? But FIFA isn’t suppose to be into politics which is why they canned this idea. Anyway, here is Zelensky’s message that he wanted to deliver and if you look over his shoulder at the map of the Ukraine, you will see that it includes Crimea. Anyway, enjoy- (1:46 mins)

  19. Carolinian

    Friday’s Taibbi Twitter dump was the most important so far and would be the weekend’s major story were the MSM not in CYA mode. For a discussion, this Taibbi/Kirn audio podcast is valuable even though non-subscribers only get 30 minutes

    The gist is that the FBI created an entire task force whose purpose was to scan social media and tell Twitter (and other companies?) what they wanted censored. Often the offenses were obvious jokes or quite trivial. In other words Twitter was indeed under the influence of a “state actor” but that state was our own. In the bad old days Hoover used his agency’s spying to protect his bureaucratic turf and enforce his anti-Communist (and quite frankly racist) obsessions. Now they seem to have found another excuse for their abuse of power and that is of course Trump.

    Perhaps Trump’s vow to “clean out the swamp” struck terror in the hearts of the swamp creatures and created an implacable enemy. They didn’t know he was just kidding.

    1. Screwball

      It was the most informative release yet. I’m curious to see reports on what the Sunday news shows talk about today – or should I say – not talk about. I’m guessing this story won’t get much, if any, airtime.

      These releases are one point of entertainment, but the reactions are just as interesting. The meltdowns by some, and “I told you so” by others. They even named the suspensions “Thursday Night Massacre.” I thought Keith Olbermann was going to have the big one.

      That guy is a real doozy. They should put him and Rob Reiner in a round room and tell them to sit in the corner. Oh, and it should be padded.

      But unfortunately, the narrative isn’t focusing on what were the most egregious parts of the story. But we have come to expect that.

      1. Carolinian

        Yes long ago “Meathead” had a predictive quality. But I have always liked his wingman Morgan Freeman and still do.

        I doubt that opinionated actors have too much power over the zeitgeist.

    2. clarky90

      “OUR Ruling Elite” were caught by their own insatiable greed! Elon Musk made a overly high dollar offer for Twitter. “OUR Ruling Elite” balked at selling. So, Elon asked for data on the fake-bot Twitter accounts (discovery). “OUR Ruling Elite” refused the info. So, Elon “tries” to back out of the deal. haha….

      “OUR, genius, Ruling Elite” then sue Musk to force him to buy their overpriced website. Musk acquiesces. ….

      Great hilarity and sobering drama then enter, stage left…. stage right…

      “the bomb-maker is lifted (“hoisted”) off the ground with his own bomb (a “petard” is a small explosive device), and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.”

      Trapping a Monkey in Colonial Times / La Chasse au Singe à l”epoque coloniale (1912)

      “A monkey is caught alive — for a pet, performing animal act or zoo, presumably — in footage dating from 1912. The information about the original film tells us that the method shown is the native way of doing this: … “

    3. Jason Boxman

      This is shades of Bush’s no-fly list, as it was used for political purposes, taken to its logical conclusion, I guess.

    4. fresno dan

      Being an old timer, I can remember when the FBI and CIA being so indisputably involved in politics would have been an OUTRAGE. The idea that the “liberal” networks employ former FBI and CIA agents is really quite remarkable. How did that come to be??? Now a days, all I can think of is Orwell, and war is peace(keeping, making the world safe for neoliberalism), freedom is slavery(because the wrong people will spread disinformation), and liberal is ill-liberal…

      1. Carolinian

        I don’t think it’s as far gone as that but perhaps what is most disturbing are all the boiled frogs who think this is perfectly ok. Local cops are their villains and Federal cops their would be protectors. They really don’t know the history of these agencies.

        And one should also say that the FBI political enthusiasts like James Baker may be a mere subset. In Hoover days it all came from the top.

  20. Revenant

    The article on rapid blood testing is good to see but I fear it is more wailing in the wilderness.

    I have been involved since 2011 in the area, when I led the first VC round in a very elegant novel clinical laboratory test. It exploits a difference between microbial (bacteria and fungi) and mammalian DNA replication to demonstrate the presence of replication competent bacteria or fungi in blood, using standard clinical lab diagnostic PCR machines. Blood should not contain bacteria or fungi so the test works by making replication dependent on bacterial enzymes. If you get successful replication, you have an immediate confirmation of sepsis.

    This is the most important result, ruling IN sepsis to begin IV rescue antibiotics. You don’t want to miss anybody but you don’t want to hand these out to the wrong people, because of antibiotic resistance concerns and the damage some antibiotics can do to gut flora and organs (liver, kidneys, some times hearing). You can run follow up tests, once the patient is on broad spectrum antibiotics, to analyse for specific bacteria / strains or for antibiotic sensitivity but note, the costs of using PCR to do this are 10x+ the cost of cell culture because each PCR test is like a nespresso capsule and is dedicated to just one analyte, yes or no, so testing to identify type requires testing everything!

    Anyway, it has taken over ten years and we have run through at least four very committed deeptech fund’s chequebooks and we still don’t have widespread adoption, despite the UK being a leading proponent of change in clinical microbiology. Unfortunately, outside of the leading academic labs, the NHS clinical lab service is desperate to save money and local labs get no reward in spending more money to get to a result faster. Plus existing workflows are cost optimised, automated and the capes amortised. We are stuck in the old regime because that’s all most clinicians know exists, despite everybody agreeing something better is needed, and therefore only early adopter clinical labs are deploying it.

    Clinical innovation is hard! And so far, not profitable….

    1. Bazarov

      A very cool idea for a sepsis confirmation test.

      Interesting observation how optimization can impede beneficial changes. It seems as if optimization of the clinical laboratory process has in turn rendered it fragile: one change, even a beneficial one, so upsets the whole as to call into question whether the change is worth it at all!

    1. flora

      Yes, I wondered what kind of bird that is but can’t find out from clicking ‘via’, which simply reloads the Links page, as you say.

      adding: are those frosted raspberry leaves the birdie is perched amongst?

  21. Scylla

    I took a look at the Paul Novosad increase in mortality tweet thread. I quit using Twitter a while back and this just illustrates why I did. The replies made me mad enough to want to shoot people. They see this massive increase in mortality among the poor and what do people reply?
    “they are opiate addicts” and “they are anti-vaxxers” (basically). Never does it occur to these privileged idiots that THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO, AND I MEAN *ZERO* HEALTHCARE!
    I despise this society so much, I could never put it into words if I tried. Bring on collapse. Bring on insurrection. Bring on the jackpot. Whatever it takes to kill this society so that we can get people to move on and try something different will be worth it. Total chaos would actually be better than the organized destruction that we currently have.

    1. flora

      The what I’d call excuses by the MSM for why things aren’t going as well as previously advertised is reaching new levels of nonsense if not utter bs, imo.

    2. semper loquitur

      I find myself sympathetic to this view. The powers that be will cling to the status quo and ratchet down harder and harder. We need a paradigm shift.

    3. agent ranger smith

      The elites have already brought on the Jackpot and are rolling it out steadily and slowly. Giving a group of people “NO, AND THAT MEANS *ZERO* HEALTHCARE” was designed to put that group of people on a slow and steady road to Jackpot. Jackpot will be applied to each higher rung on the social class ladder, rung by rung.

      Maybe the Jackpot will kill this society by bringing on insurrection. More likely, the Jackpot will kill this society by killing most of the people in it. Which suits the elites just fine. They look forward to their own “nobody left but us elites” society in the after-Jackpot future.

  22. Carolinian

    Re History is in the Making–Personally I agree that history would be more interesting if it focused on underlying events rather than an endless and rather repetitive succession of battles and generals. But of course the tradition of history writing precedes our modern times when science and technology became the driving force. One could even suggest that liberal arts professors are often somewhat hostile to science and, like Kenneth Clark, sniff disdainfully at “heroic materialism.”

    That said the article does leave off one very significant date: July 16,1945. That’s when the world’s first atomic bomb exploded near Alamogordo, New Mexico. This may be the most important date of all.

    1. Bazarov

      History writing for a very long time has been quite scientific and empirical.

      Thucydides relies on interviews with eye witnesses and other sources. In the 19th century, Mommsen pioneered the use of inscriptions to cross reference the ancient narrative sources to separate fact from fiction. He also, in the first volume of his History of Rome, applies sophisticated linguistic analysis to trace the development of the Indo European migrations into Italy.

      Modern history makes extensive use of highly advanced archeological techniques, including carbon dating, DNA analysis, chemical assays of paint fragments, etc. Of all the “hard” humanities, history is the most enthusiastic in its application of science.

      I majored in history, and none of it was anything like learning a “secession of battles and dates,” even in classes focused entirely on a particular war. In the Civil War and Reconstruction class I took, for example, we discussed absolutely essential questions: What is the South? Why did the Civil War break out? Was it inevitable, and if so at what point in American history did it become inevitable? If not, how might events have played out differently? We hardly discussed individual battles or generals at all.

      In fact, my history education was so focused on the “underlying driver of events” rather than the minutia that it could actually have done with more “here are some important dates you should know”!

      1. Carolinian

        But you will concede that it’s not all like that? At any rate thanks for the reply. I still would contend that the linked article is making a valid point.

  23. fresno dan
    The first world war was a kind of cultural suicide that destroyed Europe’s eminence. Europe’s leaders sleepwalked – in the phrase of historian Christopher Clark – into a conflict which none of them would have entered had they foreseen the world at war’s end in 1918. In the previous decades, they had expressed their rivalries by creating two sets of alliances whose strategies had become linked by their respective schedules for mobilisation. As a result, in 1914, the murder of the Austrian Crown Prince in Sarajevo, Bosnia by a Serb nationalist was allowed to escalate into a general war that began when Germany executed its all-purpose plan to defeat France by attacking neutral Belgium at the other end of Europe.
    I don’t know what it is about Europe (and America joining in) that makes it so good at getting into world wars. You would think after two of ’em that they would have learned. But it looks like extinction will be the only process that can stop the recalcitrant unwillingness to learn.
    And even in this piece, Kissinger seems to believe that Russia is losing. It is quite amazing how so many influential people cannot see reality…

    1. Polar Socialist

      I don’t know what it is about Europe (and America joining in) that makes it so good at getting into world wars

      A pretty good guess would be the Anglosphere’s fear of Germany and Russia “finding each other” which would set the continental Europe on to a new path almost completely independent of Anglosphere.

      To steal from lord Ismay, a big chunk of modern European history follows from US/UK trying to “keep Germany down and Russia out”.

      1. hk

        I had read that that was the goal of Castlereagh’s diplomatic strategy at the Congress of Vienna. Keeping Russia and “Germany” apart has a long history in Anglophone diplomatic history.

    2. britzklieg

      tried twice to reply with an excerpt from Randolphe Bourne (war is the health of the state) and both replies vanished immediately. I didn’t even get the ever-present “moderation” notice on my comments, they just disappeared.

      Release of the twitter files will do absolutely nothing to stop censorship and narrative control.

    3. digi_owl

      I don’t think there is anything unique about Europe as such, it is just that being the most industrialized, for the time period, the latest wars have been that much more devastating.

      When you have had generations fighting with smooth bores and horses, trucks, trains and rifled barrels makes for a brutal change of pace.

      1. Mikel

        There are claims that with the 30 Years War some areas of what is now modern Germany experienced population declines of over 50%.[

        And the 100 Years War….

        Maybe it is the speed of the devastation of more modern war that makes it more shocking?

      2. JBird4049

        >>>When you have had generations fighting with smooth bores and horses, trucks, trains and rifled barrels makes for a brutal change of pace.

        Yes, but rifled guns and artillery had been in heavy use in multiple wars since the 1860s by both the Americans and the Europeans. The Europeans had military observers on both sides of the American Civil War. That is fifty years of experience.

        It was all there for the seeing, but the military leaders of all the major powers just doubled down on the old ways with the very predictable results. The only real difference was the mass mobilizations made the armies gigantic and all combining everything made the killing much, much worse than any single innovation could have. It was not 1+1=2, but 1+1=3.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Just like like has been found in the present war in the Ukraine, artillery is by far the biggest killer of soldiers. It was true in WW1 and it is true in the Ukraine now.

          2. hk

            Europeans also saw machine guns, heavy artillery, and heavy entrenchments at work during the Russo-Japanese War–again, a lot of observers on both sides who sent bsck copious reports. Unless they dismissed that experience as a big screwup by unenlightened Asiatics (an attitude that seems to have made a big comeback lately.)

            1. digi_owl

              For all i know, it may well have been what gave the Germans the idea that they could beat Russia in a straight up war, given how much damage the Japanese “upstart” did.

    4. LifelongLib

      IIRC Clark says it was Russia more than Germany that caused the escalation that led to WW1. Russia overtly mobilized against Austro-Hungary, but implicitly against Germany as well since there was no separate mobilization plan against Germany. Germany mobilized after that. In all nations the mobilizations were so complicated that once begun they could not be changed or halted because it would leave the transportation systems in chaos and the militaries paralyzed.

      1. Stephen

        AJP Taylor’s War By Timetable was pretty much that argument too. He boiled it down to the Schlieffen Plan needing a certain number of trains to get through a certain junction or else the whole German Army would kind of derail.

    5. agent ranger smith

      When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and America then declared war on Japan, Germany then declared war on America in support of its ally Japan. If Germany had not done that, would America have declared war on Germany all on its own? Given the level of “isolationism” in America at the time?

  24. ambrit

    The NC site appears to have suffered from the attentions of an “Attack of Trolls” yesterday. They seem to have focused on anything relating to the Russia versus the Ukraine War.
    I hereby nominate the word “Attack” as the Term of Venery for Trolls. (Like ‘Murder of Crows’ or ‘Pod of Whales,’ etc. etc.)
    An example: “Forsooth moderator! I doth detect an Attack of Trolls lurking behind yon paywall!”

    1. caucus99percenter

      There’s also an emerging “nothingburger” brigade, with concentrated substanceless name-calling and attacks on Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi — and by implication on NC, its hosts, and its readership for judging the TLA-Twitter hookup to be a serious breach of constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties.

  25. Mark Gisleson

    Not surprised there are no comments about the parody the NY Times published about Russia being on the verge of collapse. I read the whole thing waiting for the punchline when the authors would reveal they’d actually been talking about Ukraine, not Russia (ha, ha!).

    No disclaimer. The two ultra-hawkish think tanks responsible for providing this shovel-worthy piece should be dissolved. [The rest of this thought deleted out of respect for family blogging and holiday spirits]

    1. NN Cassandra

      I managed to read about third, then stopped at the bit where they repeat the story about how Ukrainians shot down two big transport aircrafts trying to land on airport around Kiev, killing hundredths or Russians onboard. That is pure fabrication, the supposed wreckages were never found, but they don’t even pretend this story may have more in it than as told by Ukraine. Just that Ukraine and US officials says so, the totally legit Russian military logbook NYT has examined says it too, so who could ever doubt it.

      I guess I expected at least a little bit of effort, that there could be some interesting information thrown into the mix? I don’t know.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I’ve been very deliberately skipping anything about the SMO anywhere in the western press, simply because it’s clear from NC coverage that it’s all garbage, like most other coverage in the western press as it relates to Russia or geopolitics in general.

      It was clear from the headline of the piece that once again the Times is misinforming its readers that Russia will collapse any day now. It’s hard to make sane foreign policy choices when your point of origin is wrong.


    1. Edgar, not Edmund

      Regardless of whether that’s correct, thank you, Chas, for reminding me of the board game, Careers, from my youth. I can’t remember why, perhaps if you pursued being a naturalist, but yellow-belied sap suckers definitely featured in the game.

  26. Boomheist

    Re: The Long American Counter-Revolution Boston Review

    In 1974 I took a swordfish boat south from New Bedford to Florida to participate in a bootleg swordfish fishery (then swordfish were declared illegal due to mercury in the flesh, which tuna also had, but tuna were not declared illegal) and we hit bad weather off New York and put in to Norfolk Virginia to take the Inland Waterway south to avoid bad weather off Hatteras. We came into Charleston from there, spent a night there in a marina, our worn and smelly boat among pristine yachts. Never been there before and we wanted to wander the town. Back then we were told by many about the places in the city where slaves were auctioned off, a tourist attraction, mentioned it seemed with pride by everyone, it seemed, as I recall, black and white. Then, a lifetime later, back at sea, this time aboard a container ship running the coast from New York before its 60 day trip to Singapore and back through the Suez Canal, I am sailing as an Ordinary Seaman, eight to noon watch, on the bow pre dawn as we entered the Charleston harbor, up there with the second mate, Roy, nearly as old as I was, who was from South Carolina. I said, to him, in the dark as we ghosted toward the dock, I had been here before, a lifetime earlier, and wondered if those slave blocs were still a place to see, and he launched off into his explanation of the Civil War, which was, it was not about slavery, at all, but a War of Northern Aggression, against the southern way of life, a war that, framed that way, had not and never would end, I was old enough and smart enough not to argue with him, as on this matter he was beyond any rational argument, for me to question his explanation would be as startling and shocking as arguing the earth did not circle the sun.

    That pre-dawn moment, now nearly a half century ago, when the children and grandchildren of Civil War veterans and slaves still lived among us, such that millions of us had heard with our own ears stories and histories experienced by immediate relatives who themselves had been told by eye witnesses of the events of the past, was the moment I saw with my own eyes and ears how real that conflict remained among us all, and remains still, now nearly two generations later.

    David Waldstreicher’s article about Horne’s book and its thesis, a supposedly new framing of the U.S history, a darker and more savage frame by far than normative history has shown us, builds on a thesis clearly described by Howard Zinn in 1979, A People’s History of the United States, a book now nearly 40 years old which I first read in 1980 not long after that discussion with Roy on our ship back when I was sailing. I have been rereading Zinn’s book now, and am startled by how there is this clear and savage, yes savage, thread running through our history from its outset before even the year 1619, as even Zinn forgets to discuss the European fishing camps along the northeast coast of North America to salt cod that started flourishing as early as the last 1490s, summer camps salting the fish taken near shore, then shipped back to Europe, and the encounters with natives then which were generally savage and disease spreading even before the English colonists arrived in 1607-1620 (which is why the land or much of it seemed abandoned).

    The frame running throughout all this bloody history is this: European, mainly English and Spanish and French and Portuguese, kings thought whatever they could claim in the New World was theirs for the taking, so they took it, however they could, consistently and always, suppressing indigenous people, bringing in slaves to do the hard work, and making sure that the enslaved and “free” and indentured poor European peoples never were able to turn on their overloads and take their share of the riches earned. Throughout this time every intervention was justified, often with lies, and the lies have continued, always. Zinn wrote his book before the lies that justified the US invasion oi Kuwait and Iraq in 1990, and the lies again about WMD in 2003, and the lies this past year about Russia and Ukraine (claiming Russia’s incursion was unprovoked as if the history 2008-2021, the Maidan coup, and NATO expansion never happened) . The thread is over 400 years long, consistent, and real, and it seems we proles are only now coming to see this. The collective reaction as this truth becomes every more clear is impossible to imagine. It will not be smooth or easy. It may be terrible.

    1. Carolinian

      mentioned it seemed with pride by everyone

      You are entitled to your view but here’s suggesting you know a lot less about the South, or at least the modern South, than you think you do.

      As for Zinn, he too is bringing a certain take to things but his notion that the country was only and ever about money is a bit strained. The Noble Savage versus the invaders narrative ignores that many who came here were themselves escaping a bare subsistence and are also entitled ot our understanding and sympathy. Zinn was a footsoldier in the Civil Rights movement and out to make a point but I think his big picture understanding is a bit limited. True humanism says that we are all cut from the same cloth. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

  27. Wukchumni

    State investigation of former FTX executive’s $500,000 donation to Democratic Party of Oregon passes one-month mark The Oregonian
    Is there an effective remedy for Cryptomaine poisoning?

  28. Jason Boxman

    Car repossessions are on the rise in warning sign for the economy

    Industry analysts worry the trend is only going to continue into 2023 with economists expecting unemployment to rise, inflation to remain relatively high and household savings set to dwindle. At the same time, a growing number of consumers are having to stretch their budgets to afford a vehicle; the average monthly payment for a new car is up 26% since 2019 to $718 a month, and nearly one in six new car buyers is spending more than $1,000 a month on vehicles. Other costs associated with owning a car have also shot up, including insurance, gas and repairs.

    (bold mine)

    Holy s**t. More car than you can afford much? A year ago I managed to find a used 2017 Elantra and my payments on a 5 yr note are nowhere near 718-1000/mo.

    I’d prefer to see this broken out into quintiles and loan sizes, not monthly payments.

    This is actually slightly more useful: Average Car Payment and Auto Loan Statistics 2023

    Increases in vehicle prices aren’t as severe. New vehicle prices are up 8.4% year over year, according to the October 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) consumer price index, but used car and truck prices are up just 2%. Americans borrow an average of $41,665 for new vehicles and $28,506 for used vehicles, according to Experian.

    Americans are taking many years to pay back their auto loans. The average auto loan term is 69.7 months for new cars, 68.1 months for used cars and 35.9 months for leased vehicles, according to Experian.

    Or a slightly deeper dive: Market monitoring insights: Examining the potential credit impact of high vehicle costs for consumers

    Either way, the increasing duration of loans is not good news, along with increasing loan amounts!

  29. Jason Boxman

    China’s COVID Wave Is Coming

    He’s a bit of nastiness from a “global health expert” at Yale!

    One of China’s biggest weak spots is its immunity, or lack thereof. Although more than 90 percent of all people in the country have received at least two COVID shots, those over the age of 80 were not prioritized in the country’s initial rollout, and their rate of dual-dose coverage hovers around just 66 percent. An even paltrier fraction of older people have received a third dose, which the World Health Organization recommends for better protection. Chinese officials have vowed to buoy those numbers in the weeks ahead. But vaccination sites have been tougher to access than testing sites, and with few freedoms offered to the immunized, “the incentive structure is not built,” says Xi Chen, a global-health expert at Yale. Some residents are also distrustful of COVID vaccines. Even some health-care workers are wary of delivering the shots, Chen told me, because they’re fearful of liability for side effects.

    (bold mine)

    Sort of like you don’t have to wear a mask if you’re vaccinated? As I recall, the whole incentive structure as practiced here in America is a complete debacle. As if public health is based on a foundation of incentive structures for individual action. This is liberal Democrat’s nudge theory. How degenerate.

  30. Anonymous 2

    Glasman – the sad things is that Brexit is essentially a right wing movement which has installed the most right wing government in modern British History which is now using the situation further to cut working people’s wages. Yes, some people on the left voted for it – useful idiots is the term that comes to mind.

  31. ChiGal

    thank you so much for the link to the story about Margaret Wise Brown.

    a short but magical life—and what a legacy!

    1. IM Doc

      I thought it was just a fluke this AM when I sat down with the pencil.
      However, as you got to some of the clues – look at 58 and 60 across it becomes a bit more concerning that there is some malevolence going on…..I do crosswords daily for decades and never have seen any type of clues on those subjects.

      I think this was done on purpose and in Hanukkah. It is just another example of the complete incompetence in our society. Where are the editors? That pattern just jumped out at me this AM.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Bit off to have a cross-word puzzle in the form of a Hakenkreuz, especially as IM Doc says that it is the beginning of Hanukkah. That’s what happens when you normalize Nazis I guess.

        2. caucus99percenter

          The black squares in the crossword formed four lines that reminded me of the walls of tiles one builds when beginning a round of mahjong.


          It seems that, perhaps because of one of those figure-ground perceptual flips that can occur with simple graphics, they reminded a lot of other people of a swastika.

  32. ChrisPacific

    The out-of-control AIs link was good. A lot of this seems to stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what today’s so-called ‘AI’ chatbots really are. They are essentially sophisticated tools for learning and imitating patterns, and nothing more. So for example, it makes no sense to talk about whether the AIs of today can lie. They can neither lie nor tell the truth, any more than a parrot can. For an AI to either tell the truth or deliberately refrain from doing so, it would need to understand what ‘truth’ actually means, which would require the the ability to abstract and generalize.

    The machine learning models of today cannot even begin to do this. They can pretend quite well in some circumstances if they have a sufficiently comprehensive set of training data and the problem is unambiguous enough for the data to be useful – remember, they are very good imitators, just like parrots. But it doesn’t mean they’re telling the truth, or even understand what ‘truth’ means. It just makes them good at pretending. Talk to one in conspiracy theory/QAnon type language for long enough, and if its training corpus includes any of that stuff – which it will if it’s been trained on publicly available social media, for example – then it’ll pick up on the pattern pretty quickly and start responding in kind.

    This is all at odds with what the tech industry wants to sell them as (replacements for human chat support agents, for example) so it’s largely ignored. Instead we give them control over things like parole decisions that will have a massive impact on people’s lives, not realizing that it’s essentially the equivalent of asking a toddler to do air traffic control. (Actually it’s worse, since even very small children usually have some grasp of abstraction).

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