Links 12/2/2022

Are you feeling charitably disposed this holiday season? Do you have a soft spot for this site and the members of the esteemed commentariat? If so, please include us in your holiday giving! Please see Announcing Mini Fundraiser and Launch of Payment Kludge! for details. And if you aren’t in a position to make a monetary contribution, you can always help by sharing posts and incisive comments on social media and with friends, family members, and colleagues.

Flossie, the world’s oldest living cat, is nearly 27 years old CNN

Blackstone limits withdrawals at $125bn property fund as investors rush to exit FT


Hawaii eruption brings tourism boon during slow season AP

Current webcam images for Mauna Loa Volcano United States Geological Survey. Impressive:


5 Billion People Will Face Water Shortages by 2050, U.N. Says Scientific American

What’s wrong with Lake Mead, summed up in a single chart AZ Central and Colorado River users, facing historic uncertainty, are set to meet in Las Vegas next month Nevada Independent

Following The Colorado River Story: A Primer On Water Terminology Arizona Department of Water Resources. From March, still germane.


L.A. County COVID surge raises prospect of return to indoor masking order LA Times. They will do so when “community levels rise to the ‘high’ category, which could happen as early as next week but more likely by the end of the month.” Je repete: CDC’s community levels (the “green map”) are “flawed, not evidence-based.” CDC’s community levels, since they incorporate hospitalization as a metric, are a lagging indicator. People who listen to CDC will mask up too late. (Use CDC’s transmission levels (the “red map”). If the virus has already left the barn and is in the next county (Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura) that would be bad. (Hat tip to alert readers Roger Blakely and Thistlebreath for keeping us informed on the LA situation, yesterday. I track NYC because, as a pandemic epicenter, NYC has form, but nothing says history has to repeat.)

Multi-kingdom gut microbiota analyses define COVID-19 severity and post-acute COVID-19 syndrome Nature. From the Discussion: “First, we identified two robust ecological clusters that defined severe COVID-19 and post-acute COVID-19. Second, these clusters, defined by altered multi-biome composition and impaired microbiome functionalities, were associated with PACS [Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome, or “Long Covid”]. Lastly, host and microbial factors can predict the duration of respiratory viral shedding. Six host factors and five microbial candidates provided high accuracy, suggesting the prognostic potential of microbial markers for determining COVID-19 outcomes and consequences.”

Shifts in global mobility dictate the synchrony of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic waves Journal of Travel Medicine. From the Abstract: “In line with theoretical work, we show that in a more connected world, epidemic dynamics are more synchronized.” As Taleb urged from the beginning.


US warns Beijing it cannot control Covid-19 without western jabs FT. Jha, Big Pharma’s salesperson-in-chief.

Coronavirus: cities in China roll back testing in a sign of shift in strict zero-Covid policy South China Morning Post. The SCMP is owned by e-commerce giant Ali Baba which is, oh, like the Washington Post being owned by the owner of an e-commerce giant.

Five Factors to Watch as the Chinese Communist Party Faces Protests The RAND Blog

China’s Political Discourse October 2022: The Dust Settles on the 20th National Congress of the CCP Sinocism

Manufacturing Job Cuts Deepen Vietnam Weekly

Malaysia PM Anwar to unveil Cabinet line-up on Friday afternoon Channel News Asia


‘I’ve spent my whole life waiting to get my land’ People’s Archive of Rural India


Pakistan’s Imran Khan vows to fight to ‘last drop of blood’ in first rally since being shot Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Pentagon eyes major expansion of Ukraine military training WaPo. Musical interlude. Better make sure there’s a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity administrator.

Ukraine war shows Europe ‘not strong enough’: Finnish PM France24

Is Germany’s military unfit for action? Deutsche Welle

Army could rush in new rockets as Ukraine war exposes Britain’s ‘out of date’ artillery Telegraph

* * *

Germany: Olaf Scholz warns against ‘decoupling’ economies Deutsche Welle

Germany just classified the Soviet Ukraine famine a “genocide” (excerpt) Yasha Levine. “There’s been a big decades-long push by a Ukrainian nationalist diaspora, backed up by the usual anti-communist/Cold War interests here, to recast [the Holodomor] as a ‘classic’ ethnic genocide in the mold of the Holocaust: the famine was meant to wipe out Ukrainians. But for this narrative to work, Jews and other ethnic minorities living in Soviet Ukraine had to be left out of the story — and that’s exactly what’s been happening.” Unsurprisingly.

* * *

Ukraine Hunts the World for Parts to Fix Crippled Energy Grid WSJ. Important.

EU refuses to apologize for deleted post about Ukrainian casualties Al Mayadeen

Ukraine war revealed as elaborate ‘Call of Duty’ ad campaign Duffel Blog

Biden Administration

Trade war averted? Macron gets Biden to ‘tweak’ his industrial subsidies Politico


Trump probe: Court halts Mar-a-Lago special master review AP

The Bezzle

Bitcoin’s last stand European Central Bank. “The value of bitcoin peaked at USD 69,000 in November 2021 before falling to USD 17,000 by mid-June 2022. Since then, the value has fluctuated around USD 20,000. For bitcoin proponents, the seeming stabilization signals a breather on the way to new heights. More likely, however, it is an artificially induced last gasp before the road to irrelevance.” That’s a damn shame.

Sam Bankman-Fried, Effective Altruism, and the Question of Complicity The New Yorker. The deck: “Leaders of the social movement had no way to know that FTX would collapse. But they also had every incentive to ignore warnings.” “The.” “Social.” “Movement.” What are these people smoking?

Neuralink Really Didn’t Have Much to Show at Its ‘Show and Tell’ Event Gizmodo. Musk:


Our Famously Free Press

CNN lays off hundreds of staffers after business review − read the memo CNBC

Elon Musk SUSPENDS Kanye West from Twitter for sharing a picture of a swastika inside a Star of David as his ‘presidential campaign symbol’: Anti-Semite rapper reveals their furious text exchange Daily Mail

Police State Watch

St. Louis Can Banish People From Entire Neighborhoods. Police Can Arrest Them if They Come Back. ProPublica

Zeitgeist Watch

Maker of TGI Fridays ‘Mozzarella Sticks’ sued for containing no mozzarella, just cheddar USA Today

Imperial Collapse Watch

Just Half of Americans Trust the Military, Survey Finds Defense One (Re Silc).

Guillotine Watch

Psychos in the C-Suite Peggy Noonan, WSJ. Noonan used to be able to throw a punch.

From forager to banker Times Literary Supplement

Class Warfare

Senate Blocks Sick Days For Rail Workers, Averts Strike by Forcing Biden Agreement The Intercept. Commentary:

* * *

Labor board blasts Amazon’s “flagrant” attempt to flout court order Axios. Entertaining:

More like this please.

Starbucks fired Long Island union leader in retaliation, labor board claims in new lawsuit Courthouse News

Reflecting on the Fight for 15, a decade later NY Daily News

* * *

Social Distancing Desires Keep Some Out of the Labor Force NBER. From the Abstract: “The researchers estimate that long social distancing reduced the US labor force participation rate by 2 percentage points in the period February–July 2022, and by 1.4 percentage points on an earnings-weighted basis. They calculate that this labor supply reduction lowered potential output by 0.94 percentage point, which translates to a flow output drop of about $250 billion a year.” Can’t have that.

* * *

Dream Houses The Baffler. Worth a read, despite the anodyne headline.

Robot Landlords Are Buying Up Houses Vice

Did physicists create a wormhole in a quantum computer? Nature

Strange coincidences: Are they fluke events or acts of God? Los Angeles Times. “Senseless, accidental if you believe in accidents.” –Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

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. Keith in Modesto

    So, if I’m getting this right (and I haven’t been able to follow all the details because of very long work hours -over 14 yesterday, gah!), the vote in the Senate to force the railways to provide 7(?) paid sick days failed because Manchin filibustered it. Didn’t Sanders tweet some tough talk about blocking the bill to impose the contract if it did not include those paid sick days? I guess he wimped out and didn’t filibuster while willing villain Manchin could. What’s the story there? Does Sanders have anything to say now?

    1. Chas

      I’m hoping the railroad workers go out on strike anyway. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned wildcat strike to get management’s attention. This could be done in the guise of a sick-out since they are being denied sick leave. In 1912 textile workers in Lawrence, Mass. walked out in a wildcat, then called in the IWW to lead the strike, and they ended up bringing the eight hour work day to the USA. The Feds would fine the unions and/or “decertify” them but that might be a blessing in disguise because the union leadership is corrupt anyway. The railroad workers have other options too, such as a work slowdown.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Stop the trains so that they block major intersections, power down the locomotive, then walk away.

        But it won’t happen because the workers are too scattered and my money’s on the NSA prioritizing the monitoring of their phone calls to prevent any significant attempts at organizing a wildcat.

        Republicans call out the National Guard. Democrats just find ways to stab you in the back à la Biden. Both parties then instruct a judge to levy huuuuge fines on wildcat strikers. To misquote Firesign Theater: “Don’t crush that worker! Hand me the pliers.”

        1. Bsn

          And don’t forget what Trudeau did in Canada to the truck protestors – and all the friends/donators who supported them. When will they come for the commenters in NC? “You may not have donated directly, but our AI detected that you typed a comment and indicated a level of support for the illegal act of the train strike”. “Your internet/phone account has been suspended and your bank accounts seized”. “Have a nice day”.

          1. JEHR

            For all your concern, Bsn, you will be pleased to know that there was a commission of enquiry to see whether or not the Emergencies Act was necessary for ending the Truckers’ convoy(s). There will probably be some changes to the legislation to make certain that the Act is actually used for emergencies.

          2. jrkrideau

            Ah yes, the people who wanted the GG to dismiss the government and appoint them and, maybe the Senate, to run the country (i.e a coup), the bible-thumpers, the alt-right fascists, the armed alt-righters who seem to have been plotting to kill RCMP officers at Coutts. There were even some truckers.

            “all the friends/donators who supported them.”
            A good proportion of whom seem to have been from the USA and a few other places.

      2. Matthew G. Saroff

        I do not think that railroad workers should go on strike. That is breaking the law.

        That being said, given the tremendous pressure that they are under, I think that they need to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves and the general public.

        Triple check every piece of equipment.

        Triple check your work, and then bring in a cow-orker over to confirm that you have done it right.

        Be conscientious, and if that slows things down a bit, so be it. **mr subliminal** Work to rule **mr. Subliminal**

        1. Raymond Sim

          I wish I thought this would work without illegal actions becoming necessary. I think it should be done, given the apparent state of the railroad industry and our economy it could have dramatic effect. But I think a proper tactical plan should anticipate an illegal strike justified by the bosses likely illegal response to a go-slow.

        2. Tom Bradford

          In the UK it’s known as ‘work to rule’ – you work, but apply every rule, requirement and/or regulation scrupulously. Very few railways would work if everything had to be 100% correct and it only takes one missing horseshoe nail – sorry, defective windshield wiper or something – for one loco to be unable to move, to delay one train, to wreck one schedule, creating a cascade of missed connections and blocks blocked when they shouldn’t be, to cause chaos.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think work-to-rule is a good idea.

          I remember that the Trillbillies interviewed country music star Sturgill Simpson, who once worked at a giant rail yard, I think Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard, and if a train was even a half-hour late, the frantic, angry, yelling phone calls would come in.

          It wouldn’t take much, and it wouldn’t many.

    2. chris

      Well, my mother and all other good Democrats have been slathering my feed with lots of “Why aren’t you complaining about the Republicans!” this morning so I assume the odds of any strikers getting support from the Blue No Matter Who(TM) are minimal.

      Is there a reference for who filibustered the 7 Day bill amendment? I’d love to be able to share it with people who seem to think we have The Most Pro-Union President evar! This play by play from the Intercept is the best I’ve seen. But it ignores the ownership of any filibuster. From this reporting, and others I’ve seen, it appears that the 60 vote threshold was assumed because someone would filibuster the bill, not that someone did filibuster it. Because of course. Why make you friends go on record as being despicable people?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Is there a reference for who filibustered the 7 Day bill amendment?

        I don’t believe there was a filibuster. There was the usual “we need 60 votes” [throw up hands in despair].

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      Sounds like everything is going according to plan. I’m anticipating hearing Bernie and the rest tell us this was all the fault of the Republicans while ignoring the Dems teeing this up to fail.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Schumer sent out a mass text yesterday about voting rights. I suspect they are worried are out the fallout. Betrayal is being openly used. It would fit the them of Team Blue betrayals.

      My gut is they thought everyone would just be ready for Christmas and move on.

    5. Darthbobber

      Not quite right. They arranged the rules so that the sick-day bill required 60 votes, which it was guaranteed never to get. On the original bill, there was plenty of republican support, leading to an 85-15 margin and rendering any threat by Sanders moot.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Yep. The same tired con every single time. Liberal Democrats really do believe people are stupid. We literally just did this with “Biden’s agenda” and two track bills a year and a half ago. It’s like they can’t even bother to be credible anymore. Too much work. And the midterms went extremely well for Democrats, so why even bother?

    6. rowlf

      Too bad there isn’t a US equivalent to British railroad union leader Mick Lynch.

      (Well there may be one but US media would never let that be shown. In the US there must always be a media interpreter rather than a direct recording for everything.)

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    I come not to comment on any articles in Links but to rant about yet another instance of the Federal government pushing around the elderly.

    We are “unbanked” as they say. When my spouse and I signed up for SS, we were pushed to sign up for a debit card account with some entity called US Direct. For me, since SS has long ago mis-entered my birthdate by a year, I had to go in to the SS office to sign up. At that time, they signed my up for US Direct Express direct deposit right there in the SS office.

    All was fine for the first few years, but my spouse encountered this sequence last night when she attempted to log in to the US Direct Express site to check her balance:

    1) the original login page no longer works;

    2) the old, non-functioning web page directs you to this page which looks like the old, familiar login page;

    3) but when you click the old “Proceed to Login” page, you’re taken to this page where you’re informed you must create a completely new account using a phone app.

    Now remember who this entire system is for: unbanked people relying on Social Security. My neighborhood on the East Side of Cleveland is full of people using this service as they were all but forced to do by the Social Security Administration. This whole massive change in account access was done with no notice and in such a scammy way that you’d be foolish to proceed with the new account without checking further. (Note that the card is still usable, but any ability to check the account history or change a PIN number is lost unless you submit to this switch to smart-phone-only access.

    Whenever I watch television, I’m bombarded by scammy Medicare Advantage ads for a government-created program with such a bad reputation that they’ve taken to calling it only “Medicare Part C” on the ads. When it’s not Medicare Advantage plan, it’s a drug company ad for a drug to treat the side effects of the other two drugs everybody is supposed to be taking. Every year, the cost-of-living increase is more than eaten up by increases in the Part B “premium” (like our government is an insurance company).

    We elderly in this country are nothing more than aphids milked by our billionaire ants. And if we’re not producing enough milk, well, here’s a nice dose of Covid for you to get you Eaters out of the way.

    What a country.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Henry Moon Pie–

      THANK YOU. My husband has been having the same problem for the last several days. When he tries the original login page, he’s told that the system is down, “technical difficulties, “system maintenance,” blah blah blah. “Call this number.” He did. “That gets you nowhere fast.”

      Trying to figure it out now. We’ll have to see, but THANKS again for the comment and especially the links.

      Were you successful in creating the new account?

    2. Bsn

      Dear Moon, what a hassle. We’re sorry for what you’re going through. My husband and I are soon to apply for SS> I did’t imagine what a headache it could be. Thanks so much for your “head’s up” and thanks for NC commentariat for keeping us all abreast of various “developments”. I was happy when they dropped (at least for a while) the requirement of using facial recognition to access your account. I don’t even have a cell phone, much less a smart phone. Pass the pitch forks, or is it hammers now a days?

    3. Eclair

      Henry M P, this must be so stressful for you and your wife.

      A small matter, compared to yours, but one of the emails from Medicare reminding me about open enrollment, waxes ecstatic about the 25 drug plans that are available to me in my zipcode. Like this is a boon? It means I have to wade through 25 confusing and contradictory descriptions of formularies, providers and deductibles. And then get out my crystal ball and find out which new illness, and the drugs needed to cure of alleviate it, will fell me in 2023. Aiiyeee!

      1. jax

        Eclair -Twenty-five drug plans to wade through? Of course. The Chinese call this kind of bureaucracy “ghost jobs” for the time and dread we’re put through each year during Open Enrollment. Matt Taibi’s “vampire squid” designation of Goldman-Sachs should get double use and be applied to U.S. health insurance, er, care.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Thanks to all for the concern expressed. We’re able to access our little pile of gold, but it’s upsetting to be treated so cavalierly by a government-sanctioned “provider.” And it’s the same way with the manipulative and misleading ads about Medicare “Advantage.” The government that is supposed to represent us has happily set us up to be scammed. I remember Tom DeLay handing out cash on the floor of the House to get the Medicare Part D scam through.

        We’re thinking through how to respond to this requirement to use a phone app. Our old phone is 3G and becoming unable to handle newer, more demanding aps. We can get account balances from an ATM for the time being.

        1. Late Introvert

          I have a $10 smart phone (Alcatel) that I got from Tracfone. I don’t have a SIM card or a monthly bill, I just use it over my WiFi to login to the Micro$oft Authenitcator my job requires. This might work for that app as well.

        2. flora

          HMP, I apologize in advance for offering questions or ideas unasked for. “Who asked me?!” Well, no one, and you’re right. Never the less, and at real risk of treading too far and offending, here goes….

          You are no doubt unbanked for good reasons. However, where SS is concerned, if local or regionally owned (aka State banks and not National banks) banks offer senior citizen free checking accounts and a certain number of free checks per year, with no minimum balance for the old folks. well that’s possibly a way to have you SS deposits made to an entity that will let you see your account balances, etc.

          You would, yes, need to inquire at various locally or regional banks, it would be a hassle. But, if you find a bank offering such you can visit your local SS office and change the deposit instructions into said bank and away from card. Yes, a hassle to make the change I know. But will it be less hassle going forward?

          Again, apologies for offering unasked for and probably rude advice.

          Best luck.

          1. Ben Joseph

            Not rude, but prescient. How was the website preferable to a tactical shift to brick and mortar since both are financial institutions?

      3. DaveJG

        There’s a not-difficult process at the web site that allows users to rank drug plans in their zip code by various criteria, including lowest expected annual cost. It makes estimates using your current meds and pharmacies prefered. I am both on Medicare and sell Medicare insurance, and I frequently use the site, which I consider unbiased, for myself, family members and my customers every year.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I have to wade through 25 confusing and contradictory descriptions of formularies, providers and deductibles.

        It’s all part of your portfolio of personal risk assessments. What’s wrong with you?

        1. Eclair

          I stand corrected, Lambert. I am dressing myself in sackcloth and ashes and standing, along with my ‘portfolio of person risk assessments’ (I found an only-slightly-used Louis Vuitton model in a little consignment shop) today on the steps of the main CMS office building in Baltimore.

    4. Vegan Borscht

      Dare one ask whether calls to elected representatives or senators provide relief, if not action?

    5. marku52

      Last night I saw an ad for an insurance company (Aflac, IIRC) offering insurance to cover those things that aren’t covered by your insurance.

      Wow, insurance on your insurance. More middlemen. More scalping. Perfect.

    6. agent ranger smith

      Is this something that your House Representative’s office staff would look into for you as part of ” constituent service” ?

    1. Laughingsong

      My sister and brother-in-law had a cat that looked almost exactly like that but with longer hair (“Miss Kitty”), and she lived to an estimated 23 years. But 27? I mean wow.

  3. zagonostra

    Strange coincidences: Are they fluke events or acts of God? – Los Angeles Time

    “Coincidences are often associated with something mystical or supernatural, but if you look under the hood, noticing coincidences is what humans do all the time,” Osman said.

    Even scientists are not exempt.

    For example, the COVID-19 pandemic is largely believed to have begun when a virus jumped from an animal host to a human at a wet market in Wuhan, China. Is it also just a staggering coincidence that in Wuhan there is a lab facility that studies coronaviruses?…

    Coincidences are often associated with something mystical or supernatural, but if you look under the hood, noticing coincidences is what humans do all the time,” Osman said.

    Very interesting (with a German accent please)…I prefer taking a view similar to that of Dr Iain McGilchrist which comes at this topic from a study of William Blake and neurophysiology, and, situates the discussion within an historical analysis going back to Nicola of Cusa.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Perhaps this is likely the money point of this article.
      “Even scientists are not exempt. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic is largely believed to have begun when a virus jumped from an animal host to a human at a wet market in Wuhan, China. Is it also just a staggering coincidence that in Wuhan there is a lab facility that studies coronaviruses?…”

      Perhaps not so much of a coincidence that this bold statement, without the slightest hint of evidence, is buried in a piece about the poor people who do not really understand the science of coincidences, and some of them are even scientists. Gasp.
      But then, who would want to push a narrative that takes away from the public gaze a burgeoning industry where there are millions in funding for experimenting on viruses and bacteria to make them more lethal, enriching companies and middlemen and meeting “security” goals. Hmmmmm…..

  4. Steve H.

    > Multi-kingdom gut microbiota analyses define COVID-19 severity and post-acute COVID-19 syndrome

    My initial reaction is Wow. There is much to consider here, both in the results and the methodology. Here’s one:

    >> The top representative taxa were not shared in the non-severe cluster. This observation suggests that the interactome of a microbe, rather than the microbe itself, dictates clinical status, such as the severity of COVID-19.

    Our understanding of the enteric nervous system is young, but we know it is symbiotic, relying on other species in the microbiome to perform critical functions. The association of age with Cluster 1 is effervescent with meaning.

    I note they stay away from causal implication. I’ll go there. My dear friend Matthew ran a health food store as a calling. There were three items I know of for which he recommended acute megadoses upon occasion: Vitamin C, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. The use of probiotics was to flood the gut with beneficial bacteria, to overwhelm the less friendly residents hiding in the dark places. He was of the opinion that some gut bacteria exerted behavioral control of our organism, akin to toxoplasma. I have subjective confirmation from fasting, where the morning of there’s a bubbly gut feeling and I crave carbs, but that goes away, and the real hunger signal is a deep tumba in the afternoon.

    Just FYI.

    1. begob

      I find hunger pangs don’t arise on a fast if I’m fat adapted – for me, that means abstaining from carbs the day before, so that ketones show up on a pee-stick the morning the fast commences.

    2. semper loquitur

      I fast occasionally, usual for a period of 24 hours. Once, during the COVID “lockdown”, I went for four days. On day four, I found myself in a state of sustained elation. I enjoyed it for a few hours but realized I had to rein it in and had a bite.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “US warns Beijing it cannot control Covid-19 without western jabs”

    The Big Pharma boys must be drooling at the thought of selling their vaccines to the Chinese with their tongues hanging lower than their ties. I mean, there are about 1,412,000,000 people living in China so I invite you to work out how many vaccine jabs could be sold there on an annual basis. And I am sure that the US State Department would see this as an opportunity to have leverage over China in being able to deny shipments if manufactured externally. Then there would be the propaganda coup of announcing to the world that the Chinese vaccines are rubbish since they are importing western vaccines so all those 100 plus countries which use the Chinese vaccines should drop them and now buy western vaccines as well. It’s all so predictable.

    1. John

      Westerners have been drooling over the “China Market” since the British first pushed opium on it. I am no longer “shocked, shocked” that the government is shilling for Pharma after all Pharma bankrolls many of the finest people and institutions in the DC Bubble and Echo Chamber.

    2. Mikel

      The only thing the US is controlling is a narrative.

      I’m going to ask point blank: Why should they take “jabs” from the USA when this country thinks of them as a threat to a certain way of life?

      1. jrkrideau

        Well if the Chinese vaccines are not doing the job Russia has a couple available and even little Cuba might consider expanding production though this last probably could take years.

    1. zagonostra

      Didn’t Australia do something similar but on a smaller scale? Didn’t Canada, NZ and other Western leaning countries push really hard for vax passports?

      From day 1 until today the CV19 transition from giving you free cannabis, movie tickets, McDonald’s hamburgers, ice cream…to you get the jab or you will be fired from your job restricted from boarding a plane or train, I’ve been suspicious and worried about the centralization of power and its potential abuse. Many, close friends and relatives were/are Insouciant and carried on with whatever was coming out of their narrow pixilated worldview, skilled T.V. watchers oblivious to the risk to their personal autonomy and civil rights. Paranoid? Maybe, but a touch of it seems called for given human nature when exposed/corrupted by power and the quality of those in leadership position.

        1. Mildred Montana

          My farmer brother woke up me, the city-slicker, on this many years ago. As he pointed out, the gun issue has to it a large urban/rural difference of opinion. City-folk strongly support gun-control and I did too until I spoke with said brother. His argument changed my mind.

          Living in an isolated area as he does, he told me that owning a handgun and/or a rifle was a necessity not a choice (and he’s not a hunter). Why? Firstly for protection against predators, both animal and—yes, unfortunately—human. And secondly and more commonly in the farming business, a convenient way of putting down sick, lame, and suffering livestock. What’s he supposed to do otherwise—call 911 in case 1 and call a vet in case 2 and wait forever for help to show up?

          However, he and I both agree that assault-style/automatic weapons have no place in a civil society.

          1. marku52

            Wife asked me “How do you define an assault weapon, why is is hard to define legally?”
            I answered, ‘It isn’t. Just define that a legal rifle has a non-detachable magazine of no more than 5 rounds”


          2. Polar Socialist

            So why can’t you defend yourself or put down sick animal with a registered gun? Are they less efficient or what?
            None of my farming uncles ever complained about their registered guns not being able to bring down a moose. And they had the ammo locked up long before it became a law.

            1. rowlf

              In the US why would someone have to register a firearm since the Militia Acts which required firearm ownership are no longer in effect?

            2. Mildred Montana

              Polar Socialist: Trudeau wants to go beyond mere registration. From Flora’s link:

              “Trudeau’s government is attempting to tighten gun laws further this year with a bill to “freeze” the buying, selling and importation of handguns, to stiffen penalties for gun smuggling and to introduce “red flag” laws that would allow judges to temporarily remove firearms from people deemed a harm to themselves or others.

              “Parliament is studying the legislation. An amendment that proposes a durable definition for a prohibited firearm so that manufacturers can’t get around the ban by modifying gun designs has drawn criticism from several provinces who say it would prohibit some hunting rifles.”

        2. Diogenes

          For a deep dive on the historical political background behind the framing and adoption of the Second Amendment:

          The nickle version: it was another slavery compromise in the form of an assurance to the slave states that their slave control forces (the “well regulated militia” adverted to in the amendment) could not be called up and sent to some far flung place leaving slaveholders without defense against revolts and uprisings.

          That the “insurectionist theory” — the idea that the Framers intended to enshrine a right of the population generally to protect itself against and if need be overthrow the Federal government — is utterly ahistorical, one need only look at the various post-Revolution rebellions (Shays, Whiskey, etc) and the (swift, brutal) reactions they provoked.

          1. flora

            Considering the British Empire was still making effort to bring their former upstart American “colonies” – 13 of them – back into line even as late as the War of 1812, I think the Amendment had more to do with the safety of the entire United States enterprise as a break away from England than anything else. ymmv.

        3. jrkrideau

          Meanwhile in Canada the Federal Gov’t is probably doing its usual half-assed job but notice it is Conservative Gov’ts, provincially, who are complaining. The new Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, is bats&^% crazy.

          Notice that the highly urbanized ( Conservative) province of Ontario does not seem to be whining. It is not a vote winner there.

          1. Mildred Montana

            As I pointed out above, gun-control is popular in urbanized areas (regardless of party) and a sure-fire vote-getter. (Pardon the pun.)

      1. Basil Pesto

        Didn’t Australia do something similar but on a smaller scale?

        No, not at all. We had QR code check-ins (or manual paper check-ins for those without smartphones or those who didn’t wish to use them) to assist contact tracers, who did heroic work. We didn’t integrate our testing/tracing infrastructure with a red light/green light system. We had hotel quarantine for incoming travellers.

        I think that China quarantine centre story is old. Why would China be building those centres now when they’re about to/in the process of abandoning containment? makes no sense

        That said, all states would be well advised to build quarantine centres to best position themselves to meet the challenges of future pandemics. They should be air gapped and comfortable, and could even be used as affordable tourist accommodation when there’s no pandemic. I *do* recall such plans being discussed here, perhaps in Queensland, but nothing seems to have come of them. Probably because, as the Covid experience has taught us, the plan will be to try and do as little of substance as possible if leadership can get away with it, and let people die.

            1. flora

              I haven’t found it so. ymmv. Or, to take up the painterly term “chiaoscuro” or the old poem “the blind men and the elephant”, maybe in this time taking in all aspects is a good way to come to an understanding.

              1. jrkrideau

                Do you live in Canada?

                Rebel News is generally considered quite a bit below the Epoch News as a reliable news source. I think @danpaco is being kind.

                Still it is always fun to watch Ezra Levant (the founder and whatever) blundering into another libel and/or slander suit.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Huh? Of course Australia used quarantine. It is, in part, one of the strategies that saved tens of thousands of lives before we Let It Rip. It was also, in part, a source of failure – a leak of the hotel quarantine in Melbourne led to the preventable outbreak we had in July 2020, for example. Capital cities except Darwin used hotels repurposed for quarantine. These facilities are not ideal, in part because of the dynamics of airborne transmission and lack of airborne mitigations, hence my suggestion for bespoke quarantine facilities which would make things easier in this regard (I had forgotten about Howard Springs – and obviously making repatriating citizens pay for their own quarantine is beyond stupid). The first link you share is what I was alluding to, but I’m not sure how that QLD facility is developing, or whether it’s stalled.

            Having quarantine facilities built for purpose and ready to go for the next time we are challenged by a pandemic is an axiomatically good idea, unless you are opposed to the very concept of quarantine per se, in which case I honestly don’t know what to say.

            Quarantine was also reserved for incoming international and interstate travellers. As best I can tell, our few positive cases before Let It Rip were directed to isolate at home unless they required medical attention.

            I repeat: Australia never had anything like China’s capricious red light/green light app to decide who is selected for transferral to a quarantine facility as you appeared to suggest. That is what I was responding to.

        1. Basil Pesto

          You posted a comment sharing a tweet from a random account that is weeks out of date, itself sharing information that was already months out of date (the construction of quarantine facilities that had already happened several months ago), and which was written at a time when it was already clear China was already in the process of abandoning containment, as indeed it is. You then represented this as information about “what is happening in China”, when, as of December 2, it plainly isn’t.

          What does this sloppiness have to do with “the MSM”?

    2. chris

      Yikes! Even if not true, just the thought sends shivers down my spine. That’s “Logan’s Run” level of dystopia. The more I think about what our ruling class would do with the controls enabled by digital currency, digital passports, digital portals to access SSN accounts, the more I want to shrink government so that it’s not so scary. And I hate that. I hate that we have such awful people in charge that they should never be trusted. I hate that the only faith I have in our institutions is that I am certain they will make my life worse. How did it come to this?

      1. hunkerdown

        Size doesn’t matter. The reproductive organs of society (police, media) will be fed and fueled until the last, at any other expense. The theory is, as long as commands and other lies can be enforced, everything else can be goaded back into place.

  6. Carolinian

    A short while back NC linked a discussion of the Empire State building versus the World Trade Center. Here’s part two giving a history of the WTC that goes back to 1939. A part three will follow.

    The project was eventually ramrodded by David Rockefeller who wanted to revive lower Manhattan to protect his own Chase Bank property. Despite much skepticism he was able to interest the Port Authority.

    Unlike McKinsey’s preliminary report, the Port Authority study was strongly in favor of the project. It noted that New York’s share of cargo entering the US had reached a record low, and that “It is thus of overwhelming importance to the metropolitan area of northern New Jersey and New York…to do everything possible to maintain the preeminence of the Port of New York, to insure that increasing amounts of cargo in foreign trade continue to move through the Port.” The trade center, which would provide facilities to centralize the various trading activities, would accomplish this, but because of the size and scope of the project, only a public agency (like the Port Authority) could successfully construct it.

    Ironically they thought this future real estate white elephant would be less risky than building more transit. More here:


    John Jay Terrell was a civil war doctor who brought in barrels of sauerkraut to feed soldiers and credited it with slowing down diseases.

    I think the stuff is delicious so it was a happy add to my diet in 2020. Not sure if I credit it with avoiding Covid so far or not but I’ll keep throwing it on eggs and Turkey sandwiches just in case.

    Excited to see the microbiome stuff being studied.

    1. IM Doc


      Most but certainly not all kraut sold in bottles in the store has been pasteurized.

      Therefore, much of the probiotic effect is very diminished.

      Kraut is an excellent food for colon and immune health. Our family eats it every day.

      We grow our own cabbage, staggered over the growing season. We have a ready source of cow manure from a cattle ranch next door which enables gigantic fertile plants. And then we preserve our own. We have an abundant supply year round. It is profoundly simple to make. Cabbage, salt, vinegar, and a big pot and about three weeks. You will also need some cheesecloth. The homemade stuff can be customized with various additions and tastes so much better.


        I’ve been overpaying for some whole foods “raw” stuff at $10+ per small mason jar. Good for the stomach, bad for the wallet. I’ll have to look into the homemade route – didn’t realize it was so simple.

        Very grateful for all your covid discussion over the years btw. Thanks for all you do.

        1. Lexx

          I’ve become fond of this company:

          Their products are good quality and available in most the stores hereabouts. We prefer their red beet/cabbage combo, and mild kimchi. YMMV.

          My idea of a good breakfast is two packages of brats, small potatoes, broccoli or broccolini, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and cloves of garlic (liberally tossed in olive oil and seasoned), roasted together at 375 and served with coarse grain German mustard, garlic aioli, and one or both of the wildbrine probiotics. It may be in part due to our German ancestry, but there’s something about that meal that satisfies us with every bite and for hours afterward. It just seems to hit all the right notes to start the day.

          Oh, and coffee, lots of coffee.

        2. MaryLand

          I make my own kraut as well. Super simple to do and you get all the great probiotics for very cheap. I make it with one small head of cabbage as I am the only one eating it here. I eat a heaping tablespoon of it almost every day. Yum! Recipes are online. I keep it in a container in the fridge after it is ready.

      2. Bsn

        Thanks Doc. We make a kraut that’s very simple. Cabbage (from the garden as in your case) and salt. Food grade bucket, sealed from air. We use a heavy screen with a couple big bags full of water to seal it from air. In one month it’s pretty good, in 2 months, it’s outstanding. We sometimes add horseradish for variety and heat. Homer Simpson voice ….. “mmmmm sauerkraut”

        1. semper loquitur

          I am a big fan of cold pickling. I make a delicious mix of live apple cider vinegar, a bit of wine, some other kinds of vinegar, salt, sugar, herbs, and seasonings. Into goes cucumbers, asparagus, onions, sliced garlic, carrots, peppers, you get the idea. Absolutely smashing on sandwiches and the liquids make a wonderful salad dressing.

    2. Lex

      Koreans swear by kimchi for a reason. A friend was dating a Korean woman when I lived there and they planned a trip to Thailand. Her mother insisted she take kimchi with her (Koreans often travel with kimchi) and she refused. A few days in she started having stomach issues that got worse each day. When she called her mom, the answer was to try some “second rate” Thai kimchi from a market. She did. She got better. And her mom got a real Korean “I told you so”.

      1. caucus99percenter

        The Russian supermarket in Dresden sells Russian-made kimchi as if it were a normal Russian food item. And why not? Russian and Korean cultural realms have shared a common border long predating the modern era and its division of the Korean peninsula.

        1. britzklieg

          watching the Olympics in college, I was fascinated by Russian gymnast Nelly Kim – a Korean Tatar.

  8. John

    How were the proponents of “Effective Altruism” to know that Bankman-Fried would go bankrupt? Tis a puzzlement unless you consider the school of thought that claims Bitcoin is useful only for “buying drugs on line, money laundering, and Ponzi schemes.” That might give you pause. Take a step back. Think it out again. Of course, there is also the argument, more implied than stated, that the original robber barons of the first Gilded Age ‘earned’ their money in dodgy ways but then the most successful became philanthropists. Carnegie gave it all away or so the story goes. Is there a moral to the story? There is. If you don’t want to know where the money is coming from, don’t look.

    1. JP

      I think the problem is Bitcoin is not very effective as money. Unless Visa accepts it for credit card payments it won’t have sufficient liquidity to be “real money”. But the exchange business model is to make real money, not bitcoin, off of the transaction fees, which exceed the profit margins that credit card co’s work on. So not likely to happen.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wouldn’t worry. I am pretty sure that Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich will be all over it any time now. And then one day, he too will become a US Secretary of Health and Human Services.

  9. Lex

    My cat is now 22 years and 4 months. Less steady on the leaps than he used to be, less likely to wrestle violently with the 95 pound dog and can’t weigh more than 5 pounds. But he still runs and this morning he bullied the younger dog off her food dish. Made her stand there and watch while he ate her breakfast. (I stopped it after the point he was making was made.)

    I remember a talk with the vet when he was 15 and me saying it was probably time to start considering just keeping him comfortable. She told me cats can live to almost 20. The big dog is just shy of 13. I sometimes wonder if Al (the cat) told puppy Tesla (after the dude, not the car) that this would still be his house after she died and now he just refuses to be outlived by the big dumb dog. (She’s not dumb but I’m sure he thinks she is.)

  10. Lexx

    ‘Multi-kingdom Gut Microbiota Analyses Define Covid-19 Severity and Post-acute Covid-10 Syndrome’

    Well, no fecal matter, Sherlock?! The wheels of science move soooooo slowly; it’s excruciating. My forehead hurts from repeatedly slapping it, reading through that article.

    What if, she asks once again, the patients with long Covid were treated as though they had a dangerous overgrowth of c. diff, while they’re still healthy enough to apply those protocols to?

    The people whose bodies have beaten the odds and walked out of the hospital able to breath on their own, took Covid with them. It’s subdued and living in their intestines as neighbors in an uneasy alliance… as viruses, bacteria, and fungi have done for millennia. That alliance is the only reason we’re living and breathing and walking the Earth in anything like a state of functional health. Whatever our individual ages here, we host very old battlegrounds inside and we should wake up every day grateful for the opportunity to play that role.

    To be alive means the Allies still hold most of the strategic ground in an endless war. Feed them better rations; armies march on their stomachs.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Elon Musk SUSPENDS Kanye West from Twitter for sharing a picture of a swastika inside a Star of David as his ‘presidential campaign symbol’: Anti-Semite rapper reveals their furious text exchange”

    People think that Kanye West was suspended from Twitter for being an anti-Semite. This is not true. Kanye West was suspended from Twitter for being a d***head.

      1. Mikel

        The Nazis would have gotten away with a lot more for a while longer if they made payments on the war debt (or acted like they might).

  12. All Ice

    Blackstone limits withdrawals from its REIT

    “Investors in the REIT, which is not publicly traded, have been growing concerned that Blackstone has been slow to adjust the vehicle’s valuation to that of publicly-traded REITs, which have taken a hit amid rising interest rates, a source close to the fund said. Rising interest rates weigh on real estate values because they make financing them more expensive.

    Blackstone has reported a 9.3% year-to-date return for its REIT, net of fees, while the publicly-traded REIT index is down 3.02% in the same period.”

    Isn’t this called arbitrage. If a company marks its assets too high, take it.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine war shows Europe ‘not strong enough’: Finnish PM”

    Party Girl Sanna Marin, by the sounds of it, is wants Europe to spend trillions of dollars over the next coupla decades to turn themselves into some sort of military superpower that can fight and defeat Russia. She must be using the same stuff that Zelensky is. This whole war started when the Ukraine was being turned into a NATO country with NATO bases & troops there and likely soon nuclear-tipped missiles. So Sanni looks at what the Ukraine has become and thinks to herself ‘You know what? I should turn Finland into a NATO country with NATO bases & troops here and likely nuclear-tipped missiles. What could possibly go wrong?’

    1. TimH

      On casualties, per the Link:

      Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated in late September that Ukrainian fatalities amounted to more than 61,000 troops.

      According to his estimates, at the initial stage, the armed forces of Ukraine amounted to 200,000-201,000 people. “They have 61,000 dead, 49,000 wounded. Half of the army is lost. They are in their fourth wave of mobilization. 300,000 have been mobilized,” the Minister said.

      Per the Duran and friends, who posit that while the Russians are certainly careful about what they say, they never lie, so perhaps the 100k casualties number is in the correct ballpark. Hence the retraction by UvL.

      1. chris

        The Guardian and others are saying that officially Ukrainian casualties are less than 20,000 but that the actual numbers will be publically available when the time is right.

        I don’t think black comedy or parody could capture what is going on here. I don’t understand what the goal would be in officially refuting the number of casualties? If the “West” sees a high number, doesn’t that mean they’d be more likely to cave into Zelenskyy’s requests? If the West sees a low number, doesn’t that mean they’ll assume the Ukro-Nazis have this under control? Do more importantly, does Ukraine really expect that they can keep this kind of thing a secret? The whole ordeal is mind blowing. Because no matter how many people are officially dead, more and more people are dying. The wat needs to end NOW!

    2. nippersdad

      In that article she sounds like she is at a job interview with the Lowy Institute. No sane person could possibly believe what she has to say without some kind of paycheck being involved….

      “I must be very honest, brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough right now. We would be in trouble without the United States,” she told Sydney’s Lowy Institute think tank.

      ….I mean, really? Finland did just fine throughout the Cold War with the Soviet Union, but cheap pipeline gas from a now capitalist Russia was just a bridge too far?

      And what is the deal with this central European diaspora determining world affairs? Having grown up in the American South I can remember when Italians were considered exotic, but this is just all kinds of extra. It just sounds like they are everywhere and (sadly) it really does bring out a lurking inner Archie Bunker that I had heretofore never realized was there to be found.

      “…the Lowy Institute was founded in 2003 by Slovakian-born, Australian-Israeli billionaire businessman Sir Frank Lowy.”

      If you had asked me if central Europeans ruled the world a couple of decades ago I would have wondered what planet you lived on. Now I am not so sure. It looks like the Blinkens and Nulands are the moles that Joe McCarthy never looked for.

  14. John Beech

    Hodgepodge of thoughts . . .
    St Louis banishing people, or face arrest – in towns across the country the cops telling someone, be outside the city limits by dark and don’t come back was a reality. You want to deny there are bad people and citizens can’t say, enough? We’ll see. Me? I bet the practice continues. And lest you think it’s a new phenomena, like dating back to the wild west, ostracism was always a thing. From early in recorded history, too just research the Greeks practice. Start with the link.

    Musk and the neural link . . . the PMC love to criticize the guy when they’re not loving his product (Tesla and SpaceX), but who else has the money and inclination to be trying these kinds of moonshots?

    Anyway, back to my day. Hope anybody reading this has a good one.

  15. Lexx

    ‘Psychos in the C-Suite’

    Ooooh, Peggy, you were so close. Look to Bankman’s right… a little more… yup, there she is. Bankman may have been pathologically idealistic and had the nerve to try to carry it all off, and no doubt most of the blame will be placed on him as CEO. But just behind him with every word that came out of her mouth I read grandiosity. So, when I saw the photo of Ellison, my mouth fell open because I really was expecting another Elizabeth Holmes… and then I couldn’t stop laughing. I called my husband into the room so we could behold her on the monitor together. A supermodel she is not, but she was very “available”, smart, and held enormous financial power… if the information in the article was true.

    Peggy really needed to write an opinion piece on what she made of the group dynamics at FTX, and not under estimate Ellison’s role for a nanosecond. Psychopaths are above all persuasive and that often entails telling people what they want to hear. You don’t need to be a genius to figure that out.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Peggy really needed to write an opinion piece on what she made of the group dynamics at FTX

      Something like that, yes. Nutritional value of that Noonan piece was pretty low. She served up the empty calories of spirituality instead.

      From the Post link, Ellison was a Harry Potter fan.

      And this quote from SBF, OMB: “We didn’t secretly transfer. We had confusing internal labeling and misread it.” Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

      1. Lexx

        It’s been awhile but I recall Hermione was the brains in that trio… and Muggle-born.* While Emma Watson’s role remained pivotal as the characters advanced at Hogwarts and aged, the action increasingly centered on Daniel Radcliffe, and supporting male characters generally. Mostly she seemed to be there to provide the answers regarding magic that eluded Harry and Ron (both full-bloods). She was ‘the good student’ who worked harder, an egghead you might overlook and under estimate, all the more so for being female.

        There was a rumor that Watson had a thing for a time for Tom Felton. That would be Hermione and bad boy, Draco Malfoy. Felton denied it was requited, but that made perfect sense to me. Watson would have wanted to rid herself of the goody-two-shoes image or be forever type-cast… then she played ‘Belle’ in ‘Beauty and the Beast’. In one of the most recent photos I saw of her, she was wearing very little clothing. Actresses (and women generally) struggle more to capitalize on their images than actors (men) do.

        *I re-watched the entire series this summer… Ellison wasn’t Muggle-born nor is she “ordinary”.

  16. polar donkey

    Didn’t Musk show off a 20 year old crappy robot a few months ago too? Are Musk’s researchers in a time warp?

  17. polar donkey

    Trust in military, see Camp Lejune. Trust in government, see railroad workers. Trust in academia. See Stanford SBF parents. Trust in Science, see Fauci.
    Who in their right minds trust institutions in America at this point

  18. TimH

    On trusting the military:

    …74 percent said they were concerned the war in Ukraine might spill over into Eastern Europe and force the U.S. to get involved.

    That 74% need to find better sources for their current affairs news… oh look! Ye has said something!

    The actual “trust” question was:

    For each of the following groups or institutions, please tell us how much trust and confidence you have in them?


    The military
    The Supreme Court
    The news media
    The Presidency
    Police & law enforcement
    Election administrators

    …and 48% trusted the military “a great deal” (the highest of all those categories), but only 9% for Congress and The news media.

  19. Bsn

    The Vice article: Robot Landlords Are Buying Up Houses, is quite interesting. Part of the “experience” of renting a home was “No one would give me a key, just a passcode.” I associate this tech with auto manufacturer’s growing use of “subscriptions” for add-ons (and basics) such as seat warmers, navigation assists, etc. Imagine a world where you’re a bit late on rent for whatever reason and the “landlord” changes your pass code until you pay up. It amazes me what people let tech do to their lives. “It’s so innovative, cutting edge and can solve unsolvable problems”. All hail high tech!

  20. Mikel

    Germany: Olaf Scholz warns against ‘decoupling’ economies Deutsche Welle

    “Instead, Scholz advocated “smart globalization in which dependency can be reduced.”

    Oh, sh –, not “smart.” That’s a bezzle trigger word.

    1. spud

      he somehow thinks more free trade will fix free trade, you can’t make this stuff up. and the W.T.O. parasite citing a 5% drop in world GDP, oh the horrors, since most GDP is harvested by the rich.

      every problem they cite like inflation, is because of free trade.

      and they completely dumped on protectionism, as protectionist russia and china are bringing the world to its knee’s!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Scholz was also idiotic enough to call up Putin the other day and suggest that he calls off the war and everybody just go back to the old status quo. Putin then proceeded to tear Scholz a new one, believe that!

  21. Deschain

    (Lambert) > Noonan used to be able to throw a punch.

    I don’t know, this

    (Noonan) > My fear with Mr. Musk is that if a scientific paper came out saying eating baby parts will add half a century to your life, he’d tweet: We can grow the babies in discarded ship containers and eat them—for the squeamish, God didn’t make them, I did so there’s no soul or anything.

    lands pretty solidly!

    1. skippy

      “It would be irresponsible not to speculate” – Noonan

      Hows that endgame working out for her ….

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > lands pretty solidly!

      I was thinking more of punches thrown within the political class, but you’re right. (The same might have been said of SBF, too, I think.)

  22. Questa Nota

    About that Amazon situation:

    BREAKING: Amazon senior management was forced to read the NLRB’s 30-page order to stop union-busting to every employee working at JFK8 today.

    A prior example of forced reading truth-telling was in pulpits across various dioceses after the priest abuses finally became more widely acknowledged. Priests prefaced those readings by noting that the text was to be delivered exactly as written, without any commentary.

    There seem to be a few similarities in those situations. Someone needs to be able to make the rules be observed, even made, and then followed!

  23. Willow

    Defining Soviet Holodomor as an ethnic genocide provides basis for also defining the British ‘Irish Great Famine’ of the 1840’s as ethnic genocide.

    1. hk

      I suppose, the Dust Bowl as a genocide against the (pre-)Deplorables?

      Honestly, at this rate, we’ll classify every major tragedy with a significant human fault as a “genocide.”

      1. caucus99percenter

        Why not, though? Over the last couple of years I’ve heard mainstream opinion leaders argue that arson and property damage are not violence but speech. And serious academics, politicians, and news commentators arguing that, on the other hand (provided group identities line up in the desired fashion), words (tweets) are violence and even silence is violence.

        The border to the Land of “Concepts can be stretched and words redefined to favor any framing we want” was crossed a long time ago.

  24. ArvidMartensen

    Coincidences. One of the things I find interesting is when people take the knowledge they have and apply it to everything as if it were the truth. Rare for learned people to preface their ideas with “as far as I know’.
    We don’t even know what life is yet. We may never be able to answer that based on technology. Yes IVR can create life but it takes as it’s starting point, existing life.
    So if we don’t have any idea what life is, then how can people decide that something is a coincidence or not not. In another time, these coincidences were thought to be something to do with god(s).
    So we have the person who dreams of the death of someone just before their unexpected death, the person who dreams of an accident just before it happens. The terrified person who dreams of their death on an upcoming flight but is convinced it’s all in her head, only to perish on said plane. The man who chokes for no reason as his father is choking to death. The list goes on and on.
    So, is life a pervasive energy or is it just and individual stroke of luck ? Who knows? Spooky action at a distance is still not understood. It might apply to life, to time, to space. Who knows?

    1. semper loquitur

      Strange events, as well as the attendant notion that there may be deeper forces at work, that aren’t reducible to repeatability and therefore modeling are terrifying for some people. I just read some math-bot on Medium who made the claim that if something isn’t describable in mathematical terms, it isn’t of any epistemic value. No matter that you saw it, it isn’t measurable and therefore doesn’t matter.

      It’s a failure of the imagination. It’s also confusing the map for the terrain, mathematical models being the map and the event the terrain. And at it’s deepest levels, it’s, as Lovecraft taught us, that oldest of fears: the unknown.

  25. semper loquitur

    re: strange “coincidences”

    The rationalists in the article assume that because something has a “physical” explanation that it still isn’t a strange event. If there is some overarching mechanism or structure that allows for Jungian synchronicities, it is an aspect of a metaphysical reality and therefore precedes and supersedes the apparent reality. The structure is simply more apparent in some events versus others. Causality is itself such a structure, as are the mathematics that describe it.

    It’s the meaning of the event that is important, as well. Let’s say that Jung’s beetle was entire coincidental. The patient changing her point of view was the synchronicity. The meaning of her situation changed.

    The case of the man choking while his father was as well. It wasn’t his neighbor, his friend, a total stranger, as the rationalist presents as an argument for the events mundane nature. It was his father. The meaning of that relationship is what made it special, as well as it’s timing.

  26. Wukchumni

    What’s wrong with Lake Mead, summed up in a single chart AZ Central and Colorado River users, facing historic uncertainty, are set to meet in Las Vegas next month Nevada Independent

    Following The Colorado River Story: A Primer On Water Terminology Arizona Department of Water Resources. From March, still germane.
    Push>meets<Shove is coming in the southwest, just as homes are increasingly more difficult to sell as the housing bubble crested and the wave of would be sellers is epic.

    What happens in Vegas when you buy a house there-makes you stay in Vegas.

    It isn't only water either with Sin City, I noticed no cranes building anything substantial in our drive-by a fortnight ago, and it kind of reminded me of Chaco Canyon which peaked as far as their building went, just before a long drought and climate change put paid to their civilization.

  27. Kouros

    Macron forgets that the US is not agreement capable. Biden’s promise that they might tweak the interpretation (?!) of the legislation (the law will stay as it is) is just that, a promise. Macron doesn’t even want to think of the bombing of NS1 & NS2 and what the US is capable of doing in pursuing its interests.

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