Links 12/29/2022

With eyes sealed shut, cat frozen to ground is found just in time, Michigan vet says Miami Herald

The Seamstress Who Solved the Ancient Mystery of the Argonaut, Pioneered the Aquarium, and Laid the Groundwork for the Study of Octopus Intelligence The Marginalian

Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022 Smithsonian

Southwest Debacle

Estimated 1,000 travelers slept at Denver airport Monday amid Southwest cancellations The Hill

How Southwest Airlines Melted Down WSJ. Commentary:

Southwest Airlines’ Christmas Meltdown Shows How Corporations Deliberately Pit Consumers Against Low-Wage Workers Adam Johnson, The Column

State Officials Warned Buttigieg About Airline Mess Lever News


Winter storms put the US power grid to the test. It failed. Vox

Canada’s Hudson Bay polar bear population plummets as climate change warms Arctic Reuters


Transboundary Water Governance is a Regional Security Issue in Asia The Diplomat


The Case for Wearing Masks Forever The New Yorker. The deck: “A ragtag coalition of public-health activists believe that America’s pandemic restrictions are too lax—and they say they have the science to prove it.” This is the second article from a major liberal organ dissing mask-wearers (first was “The Last Holdouts” from the Times). Commentary:

Track post-conference COVID infections Nature. “I, for one, will be assuming that the risk of getting sick (with COVID-19 or something else) at any large meeting is roughly 20–40%, until I see data that convince me otherwise.” I have often registered consternation at how the PMC are infecting each other at unmasked and poorly ventilated conferences. Finally [pounds head on desk] the issue emerges in a professional journal. And: “[M]any conference organizers already conduct post-meeting customer satisfaction surveys. So why don’t they make the effort to find out how many people are getting sick following such conferences? Perhaps it is because conference revenues sustain the finances of many scientific societies.” Oh.

Flu, RSV, and COVID: The Pediatric ‘Tripledemic’ MedPage Today but Experts challenge the narrative for this season’s flu activity CIDRAP


Lack of info on China’s COVID-19 surge stirs global concerns AP. Unlike the “lack of info” in the United States.

U.S. to require negative COVID-19 test for air travelers from China Axios. Commentary:

Why has China had such a struggle vaccinating the elderly against Covid-19? South China Morning Post


Myanmar Junta’s Worst Massacres of 2022 The Irrawaddy

The Koreas

Yoon reprimanded defense minister for failure to intercept North Korean drones KN News


‘She worked in bondage as a child labourer’ People’s Archive of Rural India


Maids trafficked and sold to wealthy Saudis on black market The Times. A second version.

European Disunion

Germany could become ‘bankrupt state’ due to energy spending: Berlin Al Mayadeen

Vucic: Serbs in northern Kosovo will start removing barricades Al Mayadeen

Prince Heinrich XIII and the Failed German Coup The American Conservative

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia launches massive missile barrage across Ukraine AP

Fun stuff:

Dehumanizing the enemy Gilbert Doctorow

* * *

2022: The year of the middle power Responsible Statecraft

West lost the plot in Ukraine MK Bhadrakumar, The Tribune

Why Germany Has Learned the Wrong Lessons From History Foreign Policy

* * *

Zelenskyy, BlackRock CEO Fink agree to coordinate Ukraine investment CNBC. Musical interlude.

Ship insurers to cancel war cover for Russia, Ukraine from Jan 1 Hellenic Shipping News

Biden Administration

Year of the Living Dead: How Schedule F Continued to Threaten to Upend the Civil Service in 2022 Government Executive

Biden doesn’t trust Secret Service, said agent lied about dog bite: book NY Post

Capitol Seizure

January 6 Committee Final Report upholds “one-man coup” whitewash of Republican Party, Supreme Court, military-intelligence agencies WSWS. In other words, January 6 was a failed SCAD. Big if true.

Supply Chain

World’s biggest lithium producer bets on prices staying high despite supply rush FT

Can’t Wave Away The Problems Eschaton. EVs. Sure we can!


NTSB issues critique of Ethiopia’s final report of Boeing 737 MAX 2019 crash Leeham News and Analysis

Silicon Valley staff rush to offload start-up shares as valuations plummet FT. That’s a damn shame.

The Bezzle

The rapid evolution of buy now/pay later loans The American Banker

‘Pig Butchering’ Gone Widespread: California Warns of Another 17 Crypto Scams Finance Feeds

Groves of Academe

Hamline University Reportedly Fires Art History Professor Who Showed Images of Muhammad Jonathan Turley

Realignment and Legitimacy

Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’ Consortium News

Propaganda Isn’t Something That Only Happens To Others: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok’s Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted Glenn Greenwald

Class Warfare

Home Depot’s Bernie Marcus: ‘I’m worried about capitalism’ FT

Labor’s Lost Michael Lind, The Tablet

The Best Films of 2022: The Silver Screen Staggers On WSJ

Give generously Times Literary Supplement

Antidote du jour (Roland zh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons):

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. John Zelnicker

        Most of the Laphroaig malts have a higher alcohol content than the usual 86 proof. I particularly like their Quarter-cask version at 96 proof. I wonder if that’s the one that loosened those lips.

            1. semper loquitur

              When I drank, every few months I would have a neat Laphroaig….then I was good for a few more months.

      1. Gaianne

        “I thought the guy pouring said Buffalo Trace.”

        He did,

        This short clip is fragments of the later portions of a longer (nearly two-hour) video.

        During most of the interview they were drinking Laphroiag, seemingly finishing the bottle.


  1. griffen

    Best films of 2022, it is against trend that I have watched more new releases during 2022 but not a single one in a theater. Family members have great streaming options, so there we were last weekend during the cold stretch in the Carolinas (okay, virtually everywhere).

    Bullet Train was more entertaining than I expected. Pitch a Tarantino film on a train and see what happens. And before that, the Glass Onion entry for Knives Out was just generally fun; I’ve not seen the initial film but that did not hinder the experience. Also watched Tenet on demand, but that is not a 2022 film release. That is a movie with a whole lot going on.

      1. griffen

        A minor quibble to make, but one could argue that Zuckerberg is who comes to mind. Especially since Zuckerberg also cut out the co-founder and key partner from their dorks in a dorm Harvard days, Eduardo. At least in the film version, and I believe in real life, Eduardo did receive compensation.

        Also the ending of Glass Onion is much like what tech stocks have done this year, up in flames! There goes the treasured Porsche.

    1. John k

      Personally thought knives out was vastly better than glass onion; the former was a quality Agatha Christie while the latter was a crazy James Bond thing I guess intended to be funny.

      1. paul

        I’d agree, the second had a supposedly similar cast of stars, but they had no space to shine. Chris evans’ supremely slimy turn in the first was balanced by the rest of the cast, especially by jamie lee curtis, and christopher plummer in are a rare non nazi role.

  2. Wukchumni

    Estimated 1,000 travelers slept at Denver airport Monday amid Southwest cancellations The Hill

    All my bags are stowed
    I’m ready to go
    I’m sleeping here outside the jetway door
    I hate to wake you up to say we can’t fly
    But the dawn is breakin’
    It’s early morn
    Everybody is waitin’
    Southwest’s sheep have been shorn
    At least i’m not lonesome
    Hanging out on the wi-fi

    So kiss me and smile for me
    Tell me that you’ll go get a Cinnabon for me
    You get the feeling they’ll never let me go
    ‘Cause I’m not leavin’ on a jet plane
    Don’t know when I’ll be back again
    Oh babe, I want to go

    There’s so many times airlines let you down
    So many times I’ve been played around
    I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing
    Every place I go, I’ll think of Southwest
    Every song I sing, I’ll sing of disgust
    When I get back home, I’ll file a complaint with the FAA

    So kiss me and smile for me
    Tell me that you’ll go get a Starbucks for me
    You get the feeling they’ll never let me go
    ‘Cause I’m not leavin’ on a jet plane
    Don’t know when I’ll be back again
    Oh babe, I want to go

    When the time has come to leave
    One more time
    Let me board you
    Then close your eyes
    And I’ll be on my way
    Dream about the days to come
    When I won’t have to sleep with 1,000 alone
    About the delay time, I won’t have any say

    Kiss me and smile for me
    Tell me that you’ll save a seat for me
    You get the feeling they’ll never let me go
    ‘Cause I’m not leavin’ on a jet plane
    Don’t know when I’ll be back again
    Oh babe, who knows when i’ll go?

    But, I’m not leavin’ on a jet plane
    Don’t know when I’ll be back again
    Oh babe, who knows when i’ll go?

    Leaving On A Jet Plane, by John Denver

    1. paul

      Remember the words of the wisest:

      Freedom of choice
      That’s what you need

      Freedom from choice
      That’s what you want

      Devo circa 1980

  3. griffen

    Southwest Airlines, your business model is taking a super serious hit this week. Thank heavens I don’t have to fly during these holidays anymore.

    You are now free to move about your terminal as you are yet delayed from arriving to where ever it was you paid good money to go. Please forgive our sins, come fly with us again! \sarc

      1. John

        How about dismiss the management as a first step and replace them with people who actually include service to their paying customers along side profit profit profit and annual bonuses.

        1. spud

          how about reversing jimmy carters disastrous deregulation/assault on unions polices that mangled the airlines.

          he is still alive, time yet to rub his mug into it. he deserves it.

          elites in this country never have to pay a price for their follies, its time to change that.

    1. Lexx

      I was trying to imagine the nightmare for the people who work there in DIA, trying to keep up with the demands a 1000 exhausted and annoyed travelers would put on the facilities. The toilets that never stopped flushing. Trash cans overflowing. Never enough places to plug in their electronics. The consequences of those flyers that spent their wait time drinking at the bars. All those deeply unhappy babies and small children as the hours wore on… sharing themselves freely. Think RSV.

      Noise-cancelling headphones aren’t a luxury for flying these days, they’re a survival tool. The son of a friend of mine used to feel his anxiety crank up even as they packed to go to the airport the night before. When they arrived and he slammed into that wall of stress, he really started to lose it. I suggested to his mom that they buy him some of those foam earplugs and place them in his pocket, so he had something that allowed him to turn down the volume and exert some control over the experience. The anxiety attacks ended.

      There used to be some respite in the private lounges, not any more.

      1. Mikel

        “The toilets that never stopped flushing”
        With no lids and aerosols going everywhere. Bathroom doors constantly opening, although many have added to the no lid toilet problem by having no bathroom doors
        Petri ports.

        I’m sure the behavior of execs and customers made it worse.
        Imagine having to show up on Monday after a weekend of that?

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Lao Tzu on travel:

        You don’t have to go out the door
        to know what goes on in the world.
        You don’t have to look out the window
        to see the way of heaven.
        The farther you go,
        the less you know.

        Tao te Ching #47 (Le Guin rendition)

    2. Mikel

      For all we know, this is the test run for the new air travel business model.
      The discomfort of the workers and passengers becomes normalized and the execs walk away with the profits from savings by not providing adequate service.

      There should be serious nervousness about the state of mechanical maintenance of the planes.
      And they keep pointing out software issues with the customer service. I don’t think other software is immune to the neglect and ineptness.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >”You are now free to move about your terminal…”

      From Wiki: The company [Southwest Airlines] has always employed humor in its advertising. Former slogans include “Love Is Still Our Field,” “Just Plane Smart,” “The Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You,” “You’re Now Free To Move About The Country,” “THE Low Fare Airline,” “Grab your bag, It’s On!” and “Welcome Aboard.” The airline’s current slogan is “Low fares. Nothing to hide. That’s TransFarency!”

      Some necessary updates to its slogans (you’ve already take care of one, griffen):

      1. This one’s too easy: “Just Plane Dumb”
      2. “Love Is Still Our Field; Running An Airline Isn’t”
      3. “Grab your bag, before we lose it!”
      4. “Low fares. No need for a refund!”

  4. GM

    The Case for Wearing Masks Forever

    It isn’t a “case”, it is a necessity forced upon us. Personally I absolutely don’t want to be wearing masks, but I don’t have a choice, and neither does anyone else. I have hard time believing anyone who truly understands the risks involved is going around maskless.

    P.S. Famous popular science writer and outbreak reporter Laurie Garrett said on several occasions in 2020 that “we need to get rid of this damn virus or we will be wearing masks forever”.

    Then November 2020 came, and after that January 2021, and the tune changed — the vaccines were oh-so-perfect and the way out.

    Now it’s almost 2023 and I think we all can judge when she was telling the truth…

    1. Zagonostra

      Christmas Midnight mass was packed and I only saw 1, that’s right 1, person wearing a mask. At this point I’m not making a judgement about people who don’t wear one or the ones that do.

    2. bdy

      The guy at massextinctionevent got it right:

      “Once was all it took for me to realize that masking was in fact, cool and good and awesome, something I was now gonna do forever because there were simply no good reasons not to do so. It’s just so little effort for so much benefit – a common courtesy I will extend to everyone I can for no other reason than that I can.”

    3. Cat Burglar

      The author of the article is a Georgetown graduate, and has a background reporting on religion. She seems to have done very little fact-checking, (as in, comparing factual assertions of interviewees with research) and instead done most of her research in her rolodex of authorities. Is it all about faith in higher power for her?

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Yoon reprimanded defense minister for failure to intercept North Korean drones”

    Defense minister Lee Jong-sup should point out to President Yoon Suk-yeol that if the Ukrainians with the full backing of NATO are unable to stop the constant drone attacks on their country, just how the hell is he suppose to stop North Korean drones crossing into the south. When in response to this provocation, South Korea sent a bunch of their own drones to meander about North Korea for three hours, it was not like the North Koreans could do anything about them either. So these drones may just be a new way of how things are done over the DMZ from now on. I’m afraid that these days aerial superiority really applies only to manned planes and not for unmanned drones an I’m sure that the US commander in South Korea is having to think about that now.

    1. Acacia

      Hmm… this makes me wonder how the Russians will manage any future DMZ in the Ukraine, as NATO can eventually also play the game of drϕnes… or if the Russians are aiming for an endgame in which there is no DMZ.

      1. jo6pac

        Russia sees and shoots down drones.

        During the day, air defense systems shot down seven Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in the areas of the settlements of Pshenichnoye, Kremennaya, Chervonaya Dibrova and Koshelevka of the Luhansk People’s Republic, Kyrylivka of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and Lyubimovka of the Kherson region. In addition, four rockets of the HIMARS and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems were intercepted in the areas of the settlements of Popasnaya in the Luhansk People’s Republic, Peremozhnoye and Tarasovka in the Zaporozhye region.

        From here.

      2. timbers

        This is my take, too. Russia has figured out how to locate and destroy artillery that is shelling Dontask civilians (I suspect with mostly Western weapons given to Ukraine). I agree with you that a large DMZ aka Helmer’s version makes less sense than fortifying her boarders with this type of defense.

        MOA has a good explanation from yesterday. I posted this, but it seems to have been removed for reasons I don’t know.

        Since Russia started doing this, shelling of Dontask has declined dramatically because Russia is using new methods of locating the artillery, and then eliminating it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read that post too and especially noted where he wrote that the displacement time for a M-777 howitzer is at least three minutes with a fully manned & well trained crew. But the Russians can now return fire on that M-777 in about only two minutes. Something for those crews to think about as they ready their M-777s to fire into Donetsk City.

          1. timbers

            Yes. The Russians aren’t so much using new technology (but it does seem new-ish), but different methods to locate Ukraine artillery. It involves deploying some of their better equipment but seems a much better way to secure their borders and citizens from attack than Heller’s speculative DMZ.

            And bringing Ukraine shelling of Dontask to a close will be a real crowd pleaser in Russia.

            1. John

              The Russians display adaptability. The West keeps to the same tired and tattered playbook. Why? Because sometime or other it will work.

            2. Polar Socialist

              The Russians have reportedly deployed their pretty new and innovative 1B75 Penicillin anti-artillery sensor vehicles. It uses a combination of (passive) sound, thermal and seismic sensors to pinpoint any mortar, artillery or anti-aircraft gun firing within 25 km (15 miles).

              They claim it can also calculate where the enemy shells will land, and also use it’s sensors to correct fire by one Russian battery at a time (it can rotate between several batteries, though) automatically.

              There has also been news about testing of a privately developed, mobile StarLink terminal locators with an effective range of 10 km (+6 miles) which, if successful, can hinder Ukrainian C&C networks.

              1. Ignacio

                So this could be these sensor vehicles which is making the difference now. I had noticed a change in the military summary reporting a few days ago where Dima is now frequently talking about “artillery duels” and how Russia is reporting many many destroyed Ukrainian artillery units of all kinds every day. In some cases (or in several cases) those artillery units where located much further from Russian lines as those 15 miles / 25 Km you say is the reach of the vehicles. There may be something more to it. May be as Rev Kev comments above faster reaction time by the Russians.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  I think it’s not due to any single thing, but by having more resources dedicated to all aspects of counter battery fire – more sensors, more drones, more eyes, more experience, more guns available, better targeting info, shorter time from observation to fire mission, quicker delivery of fire missions…

                  And of course, the better the Russians get at it, the harder it’s for the Ukrainians to counter, since they have less and less resources for it. Less drones, less guns, less ammunition, less crews, less willingness to use the remaining ammunition for artillery duels and so on.

        2. jo6pac

          Yes they use drones for spotting and quartice to Russian artillery or rocket launchers. The drones stay until on the job until it’s done.

          The Rev Kev
          There was a clip of that when it happened. ukraine has started to use 2 crews one to fire then hurry away while the other is left to move it. It doesn’t go well the the number 2 crew. I wonder who the first crew belong to?

          bad spelling on my part

      3. nippersdad

        It looks to me like Russia is aiming high. The economic warfare is going badly for the EU, which can only have deleterious effects upon NATO as well. Perfect time to push the security guarantees that were ignored last December. Who needs a DMZ when they will both voluntarily give you what you need and enforce it themselves?

        1. John k

          Only Russia can repair/replace the Ukraine electric system in a reasonable time frame, and so long as they are motivated to keep it down it will stay down. This means all of west Ukraine is/will be uninhabitable except by state sponsored armies, which can be destroyed with artillery.
          All of west ukr might end up an emptied out no-man’s land, where Russian troops can move freely. They could then only be attacked from outside Ukraine, which would invite response.
          Any negotiation has the twin problems of ‘not agreement capable’, plus too many cooks. Ukraine, eu, nato, Poland, gb, and of course us. If there are any they might go on for years, which might actually suit the major parties, nobody has to ‘lose’ until it’s forgotten.
          What happens in Ukraine might shift thinking in eu… what good is nato, and wouldn’t it be nice to get back to pre 2022 trade agreements? Course, us might not want to leave… Iraq asked them to, and they haven’t.

      4. Pookah Harvey

        Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Konashenkov’s latest sitrep reported that Russian forces destroyed two US-made M777 howitzers in the Kharkov Region in the past day and uncovered and destroyed a US-made HIMARS multiple rocket launcher in the area of the settlement of Konstantinovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Along with quite a bit of other damage to Ukrainian forces.


  6. Wukchumni

    Everybody figured Mayor Pete would be a natural with anything trans-being gay, but obviously transportation isn’t his long suit.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe he can swap jobs with Kamala. He can take control of America’s southern border and she can take control of transportation. What could possible go wrong?

      1. Wukchumni

        Maybe he can swap jobs with Kamala. He can take control of America’s southern border and she can take control of transportation. What could possible go wrong?


        Mayor Pete causes would be immigrants to turn around and head south because if all gringos are such obvious phonies, what hope is there for them?

        Kamala unbeknownst to most, is really a giant AI chip, which can be used also in the computer system of a 737 MAX.

      2. Pat

        He can tell the migrants of the possible corporate vouchers for their bus trips north in case of weather cancellations or delays!

    2. christofay

      We shouldn’t have any expectations about our permanent Intern, Pete. He successfully rode out the container shipping snafu on the West Coast in 2021 by waiting it out. If he rides through the Southeast melt down, that will be two problems managed in a row.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s going to take some biden (or santos) level resume embellishment / social media censorship to polish the buttigieg turd in preparation for his next presidential primary performance.

      I think his current “strategy” is a good one. Stick with venues that nobody pays attention to like “The Late Late Show With James Corden” for now, and let social media / nyt sell a manufactured persona when the time comes, with a healthy shriek of anti-gay accusations for anyone who begs to differ.

    4. Verifyfirst

      Being gay has no necessary connection to being trans, or vice versa. Why do you make this connection?

      1. hemeantwell

        Being gay has no necessary connection to being trans, or vice versa

        good point. I think we’re dealing with a political connection made for the sake of solidarity among oppressed groups that’s fuzzed out how different their sex/gender practices really are.

        1. semper loquitur

          A connection that, according to voices I’ve heard on my YouTube journeys, are increasingly galling to many L,B, and G’s, not to mention the trans-identified people who see the writing on the wall re: Storytime with Sin-derella…

      2. cfraenkel

        ‘trans’ was just because he’s in charge of transportation. Simple wordplay. No need to make a federal case out of it.

        That said, jumping to reading it as an identitarian slight does show how far gender has infected the culture, sadly.

        1. Wukchumni

          ….the punisment will continue until the morale improves

          The thing about jumping to conclusions, is you want to stick the landing, in order to meddle.

  7. begob

    From the founder of Home Depot:

    And then there is destiny — beshert in Yiddish, which Marcus learnt from his Ukrainian immigrant mother. Marcus attributes his encounters with critical people in his life such as Shultz, or Ken Langone, who helped finance the launch of Home Depot, to beshert.

    Everyone needs a sales pitch for their own life.

    1. ChrisPacific

      It’s a good article. Somebody should make a copy in case Pete becomes the anointed successor (maybe something happens to Biden) and all prior negative media coverage vanishes into a black hole.

  8. BeliTsari

    Further, the NewYorker article: singing to the choir takes on a whole new meaning; where yuppie liberals are expected to demonstrate their SUPER Immunity©, spewing contaigen directly into each-others’ sneeringly brain-washed MASKLESS face… i ain’t ‘fraid o’ no immunity escaping VOC’s pro-inflammatory cytokines (only the schvartzes are still dying; but of “natural causes, quietly in their sleep,” months later!)

      1. BeliTsari

        I’d remembered joking with coworkers, pictured in Sturges, packed concerts at maskless clubs, jamming cruise ships as quickly as allowed. Now, it’s libertarian HCW, GBD captured health departments & ginormous conventions. I’d laughed
        at Bernie, Squad & “Progressives” at unmasked, the soul-kissing SOTU with far UVC, MERV13, mAbs, PCR, NONS intentionally playing NORMAL to promote Vax, relax & unmask, LIVE with PASC debilitation & murder of, uninsured 1099 gig indentured precariate victims re-re-reinfected by “asymptomatic” kids. These creatures are feeding on all of us as organs fail & CDC disappears long COVID excess mortality.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Hamline University Reportedly Fires Art History Professor Who Showed Images of Muhammad”

    More idiocracy. The professor did warn his students about the subject matter and invited any of them uncomfortable to leave. But that wasn’t good enough for his uni. Good thing that he never mentioned Jehovah. He might have made it worse for himself- (2:30 mins)

    1. John

      The knee-jerk reactions of administrators is a travesty motivated, I suspect, by the fear that they will be blamed, pilloried, canceled, stared at malevolently by the trustees or heaven forfend … the big donors. The realization that college administration is a gravy train and a metastasizing one attracts ‘managerial types’ as a bare leg attracts guinea worms.

      I was born at a fortunate moment to be able to attend university before the decline set in.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Though the ball started rolling with a student’s complaint, it may actually have been amplified by the schools budget situation.

        There’s a strong possibility that this professor was/is the target of opportunistic cancellation.

        Academia has been under extreme budget pressure for a while now, and the rise of what has been called ‘cancel culture‘ has led to an alternative route to opening up positions/opportunities where there are precious few available.

        I watched a friend be ‘canceled‘ and dismissed from an organization he founded because of an indiscretion that ‘almost happened’.

        (There was a person who felt uncomfortable, but was not a victim in any sense.)

        The move to dismiss this man was spearheaded by a woman he had mentored for years, and who saw this as an opportunity to take his place.

        While she was successful in getting him dismissed, she was unsuccessful in grabbing his position, and soon after left town in a sort of huff, declaring herself retired.

        Within a year, the woman who did replace him used the position as a stepping stone to climb higher on the Not for Profit mountain.

        All the elbows are extremely sharp in the paint, and times being really tough has made it much more so.

        My wife and both kids have recent and on-going teaching experience, two in university settings and one as a high school teacher, they tell me that there are an alarming number of people, students, fellow teachers and administrators who are ready and able to leverage any “micro-aggression” to their advantage, no matter how trivial the pay-off.

        In this case, it’s entirely possible the school just solved a budget problem.

        1. semper loquitur

          “they tell me that there are an alarming number of people, students, fellow teachers and administrators who are ready and able to leverage any “micro-aggression” to their advantage”

          In a related vein, a high school teacher I know has reported that when he reports a student for some infraction, he often finds himself under scrutiny himself. It’s led to an environment where the teachers find themselves pitted against the student on a “on par” basis as far as the administrators are concerned. Add to that the fact that oftentimes the students escape any sort of discipline anyway, even when patently at fault.

          Another friend who used to teach at the university level reported a situation in which a student showed up to the first day of class with a laundry list of “health issues” that allowed her to do things like not show up to class on time or at all, reschedule tests at her leisure, and dispute grades with little standing to do so. When he corrected her poor performance in class one time, she immediately reported him to the administrators, who took her side and put my friend under intense scrutiny. He opted for retirement after that.

    2. semper loquitur

      All the usual nauseating and slimy Woke language was in effect. “Harm.” “Care and decency.” Read: coddle and infantilize the students and pander to the $hit-lib donors, cause that’s where the bucks come from. Education be d@mned.

      1. hunkerdown

        Persons destined for a noble rank in a neoliberal market society need to learn how to affect tones of command and propriety, and the less beyond that, the better for the security of property. Knowing how things actually work is for the engineers, and even there to be avoided as much as possible.

        1. semper loquitur

          This rings true, and far beyond academia. They get to levy white-glove, nebulously moralizing terms like “harm” and “decency” while the workers have to deal with the nuts and bolts of running things. Always with a fearful eye and ear out for a loosely defined infraction that might get them fired.

    3. flora

      Now the Uni can replace the prof with an underpaid, no job security, no benefits, adjunct lecturer. A financial “win” for the uni. (How much grant money does an art history prof bring in? )

  10. zagonostra

    >Fighting the ‘Psyopcracy’ Consortium News

    I was surprised that there was no mention of the 1948 Smith-Mundt Act amendment during Obama’s tenure, maybe it was mentioned in one of the embedded video clips.

    …in order to protect the American people from their own government, Congress passed the Smith-Mundt Act [in1948] which prohibited our government from using our departments, agencies, and tax dollars to propagandize the American public…Without that protection, all manner of media can be usurped by political operatives within our government.

    Fast forward again, this time to 2012. Under the Obama Administration Congress reversed the Smith-Mundt protections. They buried the “Smith-Mundt Modernization Act” into the National Defense Authorization Act which passed and was signed by Obama in 2013.

    1. Alan Roxdale

      The Obama era Smith-Mundt amendments are likely directly connected to all the recent revelations from Twitter about Government C&C of social media companies. Clearly, the domestic and foreign security agencies in the US had been pushing for such latitude beforehand. I suspect the urgency went back to at least the Arab Spring (Twitter and Facebook being integral to that), whenever the US security state realised it needed more direct controls over social media and media in general. Probably a lot of the implosion of the media itself in recent years can be traced back to this influence. There are probably more DHS, FBI, DoJ, DoD, etc personnel directly editing content and distribution on the internet than there are paid actual media editors curating the same. Here’s hoping for more twitter files to come in the new year.

    2. spud

      thank you zagonostra.

      by exposing what obama did, you enlighten many who never knew. its about time the elites in this country, are made to pay a price for their follies.

        1. spud

          but lots of sellouts look prosperous, but once the s##t hits the fan, maybe not. hope they have their bunkers in new zealand reserved. you never know when the outrage will boil over, or what it boils over into.

  11. timbers

    Today’s (or yesterday’s) must read at MoonOfAlabama. It seems the Russian Military has figured out how to locate and destroy the weapons shelling Donbass. Don’t quote me on it but am guessing the systems listed are mostly Western meaning all those arms we give to Ukraine are being used to target civilians in Donbass.

    Donbass has been unusually almost shelling free for the past 4 days.

    Gonna guess, that long term Russia will fortify her boarders on a permanent basis with what she is now doing near Donbass. IMO this makes more sense than Helmers dead zone map. But Russia will also have to adopt some fierce Israel like reprisals to any violation of her national boards once she determines what those boarders are. To date, she has not yet been doing this.

    1. hemeantwell

      Saw that yesterday. I skimmed the comments — I’m finally able to leap over the anti-Semitic trolls, kinda like a 2D arcade game — and saw several people claiming that shells had fallen on Donetsk after 12/23, the date Moon gave as the start of successful suppression of AUk artillery. Has that been resolved?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok’s Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted’

    Aaaaand this was why DC absolutely hated Tik Tok and went after it with a vengeance. They could not tolerate any software platform that was not under their direct control. We have seen the Twitter files and if Tik Tok had been a Silicon Valley company, it too would have had an “ex”-FBI contingent working their to prevent any emergence of any dissent. If it had been an allied country, the government would have leaned on them to accept an “ex”-FBI contingent, even if only as “consultants.” But being Chinese this was not possible hence all these attacks.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Fourteen Discoveries Made About Human Evolution in 2022”

    I would give congrats to new Nobel laureate Svante Pääbo for all that great work that he did. But here I would have to argue that the greatest invention was beer which they have dated back to 5,800 years ago. No, I am being serious here. Look at how slowly change came with generation after generation leading basically the same lives. The work that your parents did was the same that you and your partner do and which you would expect your kids to eventually do the same. But then several thousand years ago the tempo of change quickened and has not stopped since. So why the change? I would argue the invention of beer. Maybe not so much the beer but the mild drunkenness and lessening of inhibitions. So you and your friends are sitting around drinking in a place where nothing ever changes and I mean nothing. With drinking, you get to a point where ideas start to flow but it is a delicate process. Any more drinking and you would just get drunk and would have forgotten the idea by next morning’s hangover. Any less drinking and people would say that it has never been done and so cannot be done. But there is a point reached where the ideas are flowing, people being less inhibited will listen to it more sympathetically and you are still sober enough to have rational arguments. The result? The next day they say ‘How about we try that idea for a new wagon axle from last night’ or ‘Let’s try that idea for a new style irrigation channel like Gronk suggested’ and it has gone of from there. And it’s all thanks to beer.

    1. hunkerdown

      In other news, human history began in medieval England and everyone lived like medieval Englanders.

      More darkly, beer could be said to have led to the invention of religion and the state, by way of administering offerings to the dead in care of the priestly class.

      1. Skip Intro

        “Cause of, and solution to all life’s problems.” – Homer (S.)

        I fear beer and fermented drink in general may be responsible for the break with the relaxed hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and the subsequent ills of society we dissect in detail daily.

    2. John k

      Or, if farming wasn’t already established in a given area, maybe the popularity of beer encouraged people to farm and grow the grain needed to get that great feeling?
      Farming got groups to live permanently in good farm land. While waiting for the grain to grow u had time to discover or invent stuff, or combine thinking with similar friends, not as easy when always hungry and moving in a hunter-gather society.

      1. thousand points of green

        Many “hunter-gathering” people managed their landscapes with fire and other tools for better hunting and gathering.

  14. Lexx

    ‘Propaganda Isn’t Something That Only Happens To Others’

    ‘The tendency to meet authority-endorsed information with critical thought and scrutiny seems to have a lot more to do with the dumb luck of having been conditioned to do so by the kind of life you have lived. If there’s any sort of personal attribute that leaves one less vulnerable to propaganda, it could be described as a sincere devotion to the truth. A sincere devotion to knowing what’s true, and to seeing, thinking and living accordingly. This quality can emerge in people of any kind of intelligence.’

    You have to be willing and able to take a step back from the narrative of the story to see that’s it happening. Time and distance are enormously helpful. That’s the experience of ‘waking up’ and she’s warning that once you do, be aware that someone(s) are going to try to use your new sympathies to serve yet another agenda – their own – personally or professionally. There you are cancelling your membership to one club, only to find you’ve been adopted by another before you got the chance to read the fine print.

    I’ve been trying to decided for some time if it is ‘dumb luck’. What is ‘The Truth’? Is there more than one, and can they co-exist? If so, aren’t we always discussing a truth?

    The secret to solving Wordle every day is accepting and defending against your own blindspots… like laziness. It has little to do with intelligence, a wide vocabulary, or luck. There are only 26 letters in the alphabet.

    Oh, and you know who’s most likely to come sniffing if you put your sympathies on display in public? Psychopaths. I think of intelligence officers as hind tit dogs. We had one of those. She wasn’t the smartest in the pack, but she was the most persuasive and I’m pretty sure we taught her how to get what she wanted.

  15. Mikel

    “Southwest Airlines’ Christmas Meltdown Shows How Corporations Deliberately Pit Consumers Against Low-Wage Workers” Adam Johnson, The Colum

    “The waiter hasn’t been replaced by an iPad, they’ve been replaced by you.”
    Kind of long, but a graet bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan.

    I have also had many rants about the drivel being promoted to us. It’s presented as “innovation” to make lives better. The great majority of it is serves the purposes of surveillance and/or avoiding accountability, liability, and responsibility.

    People do all the adapting and these con men are telling people it’s “AI.”

  16. Lex

    The current escalations in Korea are interesting to me. Normally I mostly ignore news reports about how Korean War II is about to break out, mostly because I lived in Gimpo for almost two years and got to see the difference between US media coverage and reality on the ground first hand. But this is different. The number of missile launches in 22 is far higher than it has pretty much ever been, there’s the talk of new nuclear tests and now the drones which scrambled air defenses. (Normally even that wouldn’t pique my interest since I used to watch the ROK fighters fly by with every scramble and they weren’t that uncommon.)

    Aside from the hilarity of how ROK air defenses went to high alert and planes went airborne the next day because a flock of birds flew into S. Korea, I do think that this is different than it has ever been. For one, the DPRK couldn’t/wouldn’t be doing this without China allowing it which probably means that China is actively encouraging this level of escalation. And that serves a purpose. It requires attention from the US both in the context of European supply/deployments and potential hostilities in Taiwan. A DPRK invasion of S. Korea is still very unlikely, but that’s not the point. It’s a pinning maneuver and deeply threatening to US force disposition in East Asia. Everyone in Okinawa and S. Korea is under direct threat.

    Would the DPRK launch missile attacks if hostilities break out in Taiwan? Probably not, but the US has to consider it. Would it invade the ROK in that situation? Almost certainly not. For one, Okinawa will always be the first target. But it’s necessary to consider all eventualities if you’re the US, including your response if Japanese bases are attacked by missile, most of which would precipitate a land war in Korea. I’ve never read an assessment suggesting the ROK could handle the DPRK alone. Kim’s current behavior looks to me like designed stressing and stretching of the US military with encouragement from China … and to a lesser extent Russia but the relationship is very different.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The US is actively destroying the economies of its most important allies in order to get a naval base on the Black Sea despite a NATO ally controlling the Bosphorous. Merkel gave the game away on Minsk, and Biden’s foreign policy record is awash in supporting naked aggression. This isn’t a one off event or in the wake of a make you go crazy event like 9/11. Talk softly and carry a big stick, but I think this is a case of needing to demonstrate the stick they have before Biden tries to fluff bis foreign policy credentials. Biden is a guy who won’t even fire Buttigieg.

      1. spud

        if i was turkey, i would be very wary of greeces build up on the euro side side of the straights, so close to that spit of land that makes turkey europeon.

        its not out of the question for the fascist planners, to seize that spit of land, closing the straights off to russia.

        and with the build up on greek islands in the opening of the straights, it will choke off turkeys side of the straights, and no gas hub for turkey.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Greece’s build up of military near the approaches to the straights is being done with active US military support if not direction. But now that the present Greek government has blown up the usually friendly Russian-Greek relations, the Russians may now give support to the Turks here and that may bring Cyprus back into play.

        2. John k

          Greece better be careful, imo turkey has the largest army in nato, they won’t lose a land war with Greece even with us help. Plus it’s hard to see us wants a war between nato countries, or force turkey to choose east. Granted, us likes to poke whenever somebody isn’t falling into line.
          And imo Greek islands won’t be able to stop Russian passage in international waters, or where right of passage is established. Those Greek islands don’t have to remain Greek.

        3. Young

          Since Zelensky(?) was promoted as Churchill, it is only fitting that he should be put in charge of 2nd Dardanelles campaign by NATO.

      2. Kouros

        The NATO ally controlling Bosphorus is maximally using its rights under the Montreaux Convention (one of the most hated documents there it was by the US military establishment) and block the entry (military vessels) to anyone non-littoral or having a different base (for Russian Navy).

    2. Kouros

      It seems to me that NK actions mostly stem from the unreported initial activities of the US-ROK combine. Shouldn’t we discuss these as well before throwing China into the mix?

  17. pjay

    – ‘January 6 Committee Final Report upholds “one-man coup” whitewash of Republican Party, Supreme Court, military-intelligence agencies’ – WSWS. In other words, January 6 was a failed SCAD. Big if true.

    Sometimes stories at the WSWS are good. Sometimes they are bulls**t. This is the latter, not because there aren’t some useful truths here, but because the facts are so mangled and convoluted to conform to the site’s pre-existing bias that it is pretty much worthless. One of those biases is that Trump is some kind of leader of a dangerous fascist movement in the US (and possibly the world!). And the Republicans are in on it. So is the military and intelligence communities. Oh, so are the Democrats, who are “whitewashing” this massive conspiracy in their Report about it:

    “While the report conclusively establishes that former President Donald Trump led a conspiracy to overthrow the government, it downplays or conceals the significant support for the coup throughout the Republican Party and within the police, military and intelligence agencies, as well as on the US Supreme Court.”

    This ridiculous piece could be taken apart paragraph by paragraph, but is there really any need to do that again here? As I said, there are some significant facts noted in the story, but they are presented within a narrative that renders them useless. The most ridiculous assertion is that Trump was somehow leading this massive fascist conspiracy of, well, the entire Establishment apparently, against the People. I would say “against the Democrats,” but again, they are apparently in on it too. I guess.

    WSWS accuses the Dems of whitewashing all this by focusing entirely on Trump, and then they make Trump out to be some sort of evil mastermind behind this vast conspiracy, instead of the petty egoist in way over his head that he actually was. There is definitely more to the Jan 6 “insurrection” than appears in the Democrat’s partisan Report. But this ain’t it. Aarrggh!

    1. lambert strether

      My point in classifying the WSWS narrative as a SCAD was to point out the weakness of the ‘S’ (State) part, a problem for Trump during his entire tenure.

    2. Carolinian

      Don’t forget their pooh poohing of # me too and seeming defense of Harvey Weinstein. To me the site is just a grab bag from different sources and too erratic to be taken very seriously. After all what does Harvey Weinstein have to do with socialism anyway? I used to read it but lost interest.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I agree that WSWS has a debilitating case of TDS. But I am thankful for their constant reminders that “Me Too” is nothing but another PMC outgrowth that revealed its true intent when it attacked Tara Reade. I also appreciate their no-holds-barred criticisms of “cancel culture”.

  18. Carolinian


    The tendency to meet authority-endorsed information with critical thought and scrutiny seems to have a lot more to do with the dumb luck of having been conditioned to do so by the kind of life you have lived. If there’s any sort of personal attribute that leaves one less vulnerable to propaganda, it could be described as a sincere devotion to the truth. A sincere devotion to knowing what’s true, and to seeing, thinking and living accordingly. This quality can emerge in people of any kind of intelligence.

    Blame our fantasy, narrative obsessed culture on “affluenza”? I’d say she’s onto something.

    Biden may be arranging the poverty based vaccine–if not worse.

    1. Kouros

      Nah, about 80% of the general population of any country wouldn’t stick their necks out. There would be about 5%. Then a bit more, with lots of fence sitters. Only when it is really clear where the wind is blowing, a majority will form…

  19. nippersdad

    If the Russians are already in control of eighty percent of the Ukrainian economy, one wonders what BlackRock is buying up? The plundering of Ukraiine 2.0 may not work out as well as it did the first time. If he is taking out options on things like the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, it will be interesting to see how he gets his investors money back.

    1. begob

      Tempted to say it’s an experiment in establishing a slave plantation. Wonder how Zelensky and his successors will deal with freedom of movement, given the current proposal for membership of the EU.

    2. The Rev Kev

      BlackRock does not care about reconstruction or the Ukrainian economy. What it does care about is the EU effort to put together up to a trillion dollars in “reconstruction” funds which is one massive honey pot for them.

    3. Skip Intro

      If they will invest in crypto, why not Ukrainian farmland with no GMO restrictions? There is probably enough reflexive belief in the bubble narrative that they can find buyers.

      1. Questa Nota

        Does BlackRock vote proxies? There seems to be a sense floating around that they can act to influence large blocks of stock. It would be interesting to have some clarity on just what they, Vanguard, State Street and similar can and can’t do. Thanks

  20. Jason Boxman


    Priya Natarajan, a seasoned software engineer, was restless this year and looking for her next career move. She wanted two things: a job where her technical skills would be put to good use in a field that could make “a big impact on the world,” she said.

    Ms. Natarajan, 36, chose health care. In July, she left Amazon, where she had been for nearly 14 years, to join Optum Labs, a research arm of UnitedHealth Group, a big insurer and health services provider. During the recruitment process, she became convinced that the company was committed to being a leader in using data and technology to improve health care.

    “I liked the story,” Ms. Natarajan said.

    Ms. Natarajan, the software engineer, said she had enjoyed her years at Amazon and admired the company. But at UnitedHealth, she joined a growing corps of 36,000 technology workers, up more than 10,000 in the past three years, focused on health care.

    What she found particularly appealing at UnitedHealth was the opportunity to help harness the data pulled from the health group’s vast stores of billing, clinical and demographic information to improve care.

    “Data will be the driving force for innovation for health care in the future,” said Ms. Natarajan, who is now a vice president of architecture at Optum Labs.

    (bold me)

    Functionally stupid. That’s definitely not what health insurers are doing with Big Data.

    1. Daryl

      Reads like an ad for returning to work in offices for bigcorps. Like the picture is literally of one of the interviewees in a cubicle with a goofy grin.

      It touches on but doesn’t really discuss in detail that the layoffs and contraction in tech is probably a bigger factor than the joy of collating insurance data. Few of these traditional companies were willing to match the salary and benefits provided by larger tech companies (aside from Walmart Labs which was somewhat well known as a tech employer), and startups for all their problems tend to offer more freedom and interesting problems to work on.

      Also doesn’t really cite any stastistics. Large companies now generally employ developers, data scientists &etc directly which is part of a long-term trend but unclear whether that reflects a shift away from tech companies or just overall growth. Overall seems like it should be tagged with opinion, but it’s the NYT after all.

    2. skk

      Yup. stupid. Especially since the data she’ll work with is “billing, clinical and demographic information”. For my sins I worked in data science for WellPoint so I know some aspects of this.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      If she was so interested in “improving” something, she shoulda knocked on Southwest Airlines’ door.

      Of course it’s kinda hard to get all lofty about luggage.

    4. bdy

      Likely the protagonist doesn’t exist. It’s fluff propaganda for the insurance industry through a faux-personal lens: “Look at how our obscure and opaque billing practices help the world by data. It’s why Ms Natarajan joined the team!”

  21. Mikel

    “Lack of info on China’s COVID-19 surge stirs global concerns” AP. Unlike the “lack of info” in the United States.

    “U.S. to require negative COVID-19 test for air travelers from China ” Axios

    The USA doesn’t give a rats about data or precautions. The CDC and govt are just trying to sell mRNA shots.
    “Hey, China, join the pharma experiment and you all can come on in as sick as you want to be.”

    Now I’m also thinking about all that action crossing on the Southern border. What’s the Covid status of the cheap labor train?

  22. semper loquitur

    It comes as no surprise to me that Biden doesn’t like his Secret Service guard. Imagine all the stories they could tell. All the hair sniffing of eighth graders. All the demented comments about how Hunter pulls in the big bucks. All the “sharting” incidents.

  23. GlassHammer

    We live in a culture framed around “doing what feels pleasant to ourselves 24/7”, why is it assumed that pandemic solutions predicated on “discomfort for the common good” (masks, social distancing, vaccines, etc…) would somehow work out?

    It just seems painfully obvious that absent status enhancing incentives (massive payments/wealth for vaccination) for the individual and locally controlled solutions with outside funding no solution would hold.

    I really hope that when the very worst of climate change hits we will know going into it what our current culture will and will not abide.

    1. semper loquitur

      “We live in a culture framed around “doing what feels pleasant to ourselves 24/7”

      I’ve rarely have a problem with wearing a mask, even for long periods of time. I attribute it to my gas mask training in the Army wherein I had to wear a mask in a small hut filled with CS gas for what seemed an eternity. After that, a N95 is dreamy. I sometimes forget I have it on. Plus, I like the anonymity.

      But you would think it was like wearing an iron mask straight from some 17th. century dungeon if you listened to a lot of people. Beyond the physical discomfort, which is real but in my opinion negligible except for people with skin conditions etc., I think it was just a constant reminder that the world had changed for the worse. Here was a problem that couldn’t be solved with mere positive thinking, a good attitude.

      1. hunkerdown

        Orthodontia is also a class marker. Not to ad hom, but mask denier Emma Green’s twitter photo is all too proud of hers.

        1. semper loquitur

          I’m so tired of “smilers”. In advertisements, (rappy television news, Twitter icons, political fare; there is nothing to smile about but you get hit with this psychotic leer everywhere you look. Pelosi is the ultimate, her smile makes my hair stand on end.

      2. Kouros

        I have seen studies looking at the profound psychological damages done by masking in children. Oh, not the children!

      3. GlassHammer

        I really wish the rejection of pandemic mitigations was attributable to “running from the problem” but it really looks like “vanity” and “pleasure” are the primary drivers.

        It’s like people are rejecting these things simply because they aren’t fun or sufficiently enhancing their…. egos.

  24. The Rot in US HHR Depts

    Not sure whether this should be filed under Fourth Estate, or perhaps a new category:

    Amelia Knisely @ameliaknisely Dec 28

    I was let go from my job at WVPB last week following threats from DHHR about my reporting on DHHR’s treatment of people with disabilities.

    Dec 28, 2022 • 4:48 PM UTC

    (or access via )

    Her article archive (before it disappears):

    DHHR = The West Virginia Dept. of Health and Human Resources
    WVPB = West Virginia Public Broadcasting

    (Why some of us gave up on Public Broadcasting™ News in the Early 2000’s. I can’t help but ‘wonder’ why so many good reporters seem to frequently disappear from Non Profit™ newz sites, right along with For Profit new sites.)

    1. Offtrail

      Yes, I noticed that. The link is to a revised version of the story. The original version opened by saying flatly that Lavrov was “falsely accusing Kyiv and the West of fuelling the war”.

      This could be a bellwether. Up to now only Trump and campaign fraud believers got the “falsely stated” treatment.

      Things have gotten so bad. It’s hard to take.

  25. panurge

    “Ship insurers to cancel war cover for Russia, Ukraine from Jan 1”, am I understanding it correctly that tankers and freights are legit targets or at least eligible for tragic accidents?

    Did not know that the problem with insuring is that many reinsurers are pulling back.

    Anyway, it looks like Japan is going in a different direction, see
    Nikkei’s “Japan insurers to continue maritime war insurance in Russia”

  26. Sue inSoCal

    Si, DJG, I’m in the middle of the process…ain’t easy but worth the effort. You’re correct that there’s an entire industry for dual citizenship which can be extremely predatory, so one must be well informed. I’m so glad it worked out for you.

  27. Kouros

    “Why Germany Has Learned the Wrong Lessons From History”

    The article is behind a paywall. However, I am sure that the purported reason was not the fact that West Germany was in fact not subjected at all to re-education by its US masters after the end of ww2 on the topic of the eastern front activities and Germany’s intention to bring holocaust on the Slavs and especially on the Russians, the way it was done with the Jewish holocaust.

    In fact that was (the Generalplan Ost) considered a bonus point and all German Wehrmacht officers reincluded in the Bundeswehr to fight against USSR likely told Americans: we told you so, we were right.

    I guess these things will never come up. Same as blowing up Japan sense of righteousness with their fighting the communists in China… never mind that when they started killing Chinese there wasn’t a communist China to speak of, just a lame, fractious and corrupt republic.

    1. hk

      It’s funny: even in 1930s and 40s, there was a large number of Russophiles in the German diplomatic snd officer corps, as well as in the businesses, who, after successful secret cooperation with the Soviets in 1920s and 30s and mutually beneficial trade relationship starting in late 30s, could not understand why Hitler was obsessed with going to war against USSR. I always thought the ostpolitik was based on THAT historical lesson. So if this is the wrong lesson from history, does this mean that Hitler was right after all? I suppose we know who our friends in Ukraine are, so that is probably what the author is really saying.

    2. jrkrideau

      Roughly, the author was and is horrified that that West Germany -> Germany was willing to do anything friendly with USSR/Russia. He seems to be a descendant of Cato the Elder and has always endorsed the “Russia delenda est” approach.

  28. XXYY

    Can’t Wave Away The Problems Eschaton. EVs

    Re. the difficulty of converting to EVs.

    Recall that the US converted from horses to horseless carriages in about 20 years. This was a much harder shift, requiring roads, sidewalks, a fueling network, and a massive manufacturing effort (not to mention getting rid of hay, stables, street cleaners, millions of horses, and whatever else).

    Switching powerplants in the existing car system is nothing. We can do it in a few years if there is enough demand.

    1. Yves Smith

      You come off like an MBA or economist, who lives in a world of spreadsheets. You really are assuming a can opener. There are material world constraints, the biggest being batteries and insufficient capacity in electrical grids.

    2. juno mas

      Those horse-less carriages were few and far between in 1906. The shift to modern roads (the Interstate) did not begin until 1954, or so. It is this shift to personal cars and truck transportation that catalyzed the trillion$ in roadway infrastructure. Infrastructure that is currently poorly maintained. We have essentially built a way-of-life that will be difficult to sustain into the future.

      1. BeliTsari

        Funny, how nobody mentions electric traction; streetcar suburbs following electrification, interurban railways (look at rail maps of EU nations, compared with us: before white-flight redlined “urban renewal” and National City Lines vs now? My mom worked from 14-72 without a car, 3 of my urban partners still have no license. It’s all an issue of presumptuous grandiosity and socially conditioned entitlement. We’re all facing a new world, with denial calming us with little hits of dopamine from TV?

  29. LawnDart

    Re; Ukraine:

    Russian ‘patriots’ will not allow Moscow sign a hasty peace treaty with the West

    There is a noticeable change in the public attitude towards the Russia-Ukraine war. The recent surveys shows that the numbers of those in favour of peace negotiations are going down rapidly, while those who want Moscow to strike harder are getting more numerous

    The article is from state-media, but I have seen nothing else from Russian media-sources that indicate that the Russian public is willing to accept anything else than a total victory and Ukrainian capitulation.

    This train took time to get started, but is now rolling along with a full head of steam. And thanks to anti-Russian sanctions, even most Russian liberals have climbed aboard, so good going with that.

  30. Tokyognome

    “Why Germany Has Learned the Wrong Lessons From History”

    The title tells the author’s message: “Russia can’t be trusted.” Himself a cold warrior (going by the journalistic credentials mentioned at the end of this opinion piece), the author denounces the merits of Ostpolitik of the 1970s and 80s, “which focused on rapprochement and confidence-building with the Soviet bloc.” This is exactly what Ostpolitik achieved, very much to the displeasure and despite the resistance of the US State Department.
    Especially relations with Poland, location of some of the worst Nazi atrocities, up to a point revived thanks to this policy. Personally I very much doubt that the German government after Scholz’s insincere “Zeitwenden” speech and presumptuous Foreign Affairs opinion piece is having second thoughts about its policy shift to unconditional Atlanticism. A change of heart, if it were to happen, would be more than welcome.

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