Links 12/6/2022

Cat Squeezes His Big Body Into Long Narrow Tube Laughing Squid (resilc). Big mainly fur body.



What patients find at long COVID clinics: rejection, outdated therapies, and unanswered questions Popular Science (resilc)

Long ICU Stays Lead to Extended Misery for Many Covid Survivors Bloomberg

Pfizer seeks FDA greenlight for bivalent COVID dose in kids under 5 years ars technica


China’s Xi unwilling to accept western vaccines, U.S. official says Reuters. Resilc: “The USA USA magic bullet…..only a million plus dead.”


People still afraid of catching COVID-19 are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars MarketWatch (resilc)


EVs Could Take a Hit From Swiss Plan for Power Shortages Barrons (resilc)

How chemists are tackling the plastics problem MIT Technology Review (David L)


The Distorted View of Taiwan from Washington Daniel Larison (resilc)

US Risks Stoking Inflation If Carbon-Linked Tariffs Hit China Bloomberg

South Korea tipped to tack to US, putting strategic ambiguity behind it South China Morning Post

European Disunion

EU must ‘take action’ against US – von der Leyen RT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine war latest: Russian missile strikes force emergency power shutdowns BBC. Alexander Mercouris had argued in his previous two presentations that up to 300 cruise missiles could have been deployed, which would have been >3x as big as Russia’s largest grid strike. This looks instead to be another “routine” big hit. Mercouris suggested Monday that a Ukraine drone attack on Russia’s Engels airbase, which may have damaged 2 Russia bombers (Mercouris compares them to B-52s and says they’d be easy to repair) was an attempt to disrupt this attack. Reader Lex and yours truly think the timing of the Russia attack was retaliatory. That may fit with Dima at Military Summary’s take that these attacks were not against the grid but military targets and hence less dramatic in their impact. Note the Engels airbase is way away from the border, making the odds high the drone was launched from within Russia (there was a Ukraine drone attack on a second air base, within reach of the border, which seems much less consequential in damage and security terms). But Slavynagrad says this was no drone:

U.S. Altered Himars Rocket Launchers to Keep Ukraine From Firing Missiles Into Russia Wall Street Journal

Russian Cruise Missiles Were Made Just Months Ago Despite Sanctions New York Times (marku52). is your friend!

Ukraine – Crimea Bridge Repaired, No Ammunition, Drone Attacks In Russia Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

* * *

Germany confronts a broken business model Financial Times

Europe’s Energy Crisis Is Reshaping Geopolitics OilPrice (resilc)

….and new modeling suggests that a 10% rise in real energy prices is associated with a 0.6% increase in deaths over a typical winter season – that equates to over 100,000 extra deaths of elderly people across Europe in the coming months.

Harsh Weather Germany’s Plans LNG Terminals Bloomberg (guurst)

* * *

Sanctions to stay, if Russia ‘dictates’ terms of peace in Ukraine — Scholz TASS (guurst). I suspect Russia has priced that in.

SCOTT RITTER: Merkel Reveals West’s Duplicity Consortium News (Alice X)

The transfer of ZNPP to a third party is out of the question, the Russian Foreign Ministry said RIA Novosti. Key statement: “We proceed from the fact that only we are able to ensure the physical and nuclear safety of ZNPP.” I was extremely skeptical of the talk of the IAEA brokering a deal re ZNPP…since it’s all been coming from the IAEA. I should have stuck my neck out and said so. There has apparently also been an IAEA proposal of Russia pulling tanks and armored vehicles out(but leaving infantrymen in) if Ukraine stops shelling. I don’t see why if I am Russia I believe that since no one outside Russia has been willing to acknowledge the obvious, that Ukraine is firing on the plant. If Russia feels the need to indulge this sort of thing, I would drag the talks out, since facts on the ground are likely to be different by spring.

Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Right-wing propaganda disguised as historical scholarship — Part Three WSWS

The Perpetually Irrational Ukraine Debate Foreign Policy

The Inevitable Winner of the War in Ukraine American Conservative (resilc)


Benjamin Netanyahu accuses Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz of sedition Jerusalem Post (resilc)

Iran abolishes morality police after protests, official claims Alarabiya News (Kevin W)


Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg was Wikileaks’ secret back-up BBC (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon is offering customers $2 per month for letting the company monitor the traffic on their phones Business Insider (Kevin W)

Risky Online Behaviour Such as Piracy ‘Almost Normalized’ Among Young People, Says Study Guardian

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Manifesto Dark Mountain Project (amfortas)


Senate Republicans turn on Trump over suspend-the-Constitution talk Politico (Kevin W). Hoo boy. Bye bye 2024.

Senators claim they have a bipartisan immigration reform DEAL – where two million ‘Dreamers’ would be protected, asylum seekers will be processed quickly and those who don’t qualify will be removed Daily Mail

Our No Longer Free Press

New Zealand Plans to Make Facebook, Google Pay for News Wall Street Journal (David L)

Meta’s Threat CNN (furzy)

The alternative-media industrial complex Axios (resilc). Lordie. Ignores that Taibbi has his own mini-media empire and does not need Musk. Plus the more careful outlets (like Gizmodo) pointed out that Musk no doubt cooperated, but there’s no evidence that Musk initiated the story.

Why Faulty Streetlights Are Turning Cities Purple — and Why It’s Worrisome Business Insider (resilc)

How Jared Kushner Lost at the World Cup in Qatar Intercept (resilc)

North Carolina county under curfew after power station attack, FBI investigating Reuters (resilc)

Tesla’s Berlin Hub Can’t Hire Enough People, or Keep Them Wired. Resilc: “The Tesla scam is over too. It’s just another car company now.”

Police State Watch

Hertz Agrees to $168 Million Settlement Over Bogus Stolen-Car Arrests Jalopnik. Kevin W: “They could have got people shot.”

Florida man restrained by officers in jail died by strangulation, autopsy finds Guardian (resilc)

The Bezzle

I Accidentally Interviewed SBF And He Hated It YouTube (flora). This alone makes clear that a serious prosecutor will make mincemeat of SBF if there is ever a trial because multiple ex employees will contradict SBF’s “I knew nothing/data was not on the dashboard” blather. At the same time, it also becomes evident that SBF is a complete sociopath. He does not rattle and his vocal timber stays even when he’s called out on obvious fabrications. Mind you, defendants do not have to testify and their lawyers strongly advise them not to, but SBF has provided tons of consistent testimony in these interviews. A DA could do a compilation and have ex-employees debunk the key bits. SBF has such a big ego and is convinced he is the smartest guy in the room (that is why he is talking to the media now) that he’d be champing at the bit in court about needing correct/clarify his earlier statements.

Sam Bankman-Fried Says He Will Testify Before Congress On FTX Collapse The Verge

Bankman-Fried claims new FTX CEO’s testimony is “false” Forkast. SFB seriously thinks he can win a credibility fight?

Crypto Exchange Gemini Trying To Recover $900 Million From Crypto Lender Genesis Reuters

‘Huge, Missing and Growing:’ $65 Trillion in Dollar Debt Sparks Concern Yahoo! Finance (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Student loans as a strategy for social control Boing Boing (resilc)

Your Creativity Won’t Save Your Job From AI Atlantic (David L)

California FAST Act goes to a vote after restaurant industry petition gathers one million signatures Nation’s Restaurant News (Kevin W)

An ATM at Art Basel publicly ranks its users by their bank account balance NPR (David L)

New York Mayor’s Plan to Round Up Homeless People Is a Trauma-Inducing Horror Truthout ZOMG, this is a completely reversal of long-standing New York state law, where people can be incarcerated only for 72 hours (the drunk tank drying out…..) unless they are a danger to themselves or others (see the layperson version from the classic Michael Clayton starting at 3:00).

Antidote du jour. Cliff V’s pensive kitten:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. Robert Hahl

      Look, if they gave railroad workers paid sick days, pretty soon everyone would be getting sick.

      1. jackiebass63

        I don’t think so. I taught in public schools for 35 years. We started out with 15 days of paid sick leave. You could accumulate the unused days up to a limit of 180 days. Enough for a full year of teaching. Over the years the number of day of paid sick leave increased up to 35 days. If you had 180 days accumulated you still got 35 new days at the beginning of each year. I never used even the new day so it didn’t take long to accumulate 180 days. When I retired I still had 180 unused days I got nothing for.Most people were like me in not using their days. I only knew 1 teacher, in a district that had 400 teachers, that used all of their allotted sick days. So based on my experience I don’t agree with your statement.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Here in the socialist Nordics we in general have 3 days paid sick leave without medical certificate. And it’s reset when you return to work even for a day*.
          In Sweden they did try, under pressure from employer’s federations, to change that to 1 day with the result that people suddenly had longer sick leaves because the doctors often gave them a certificate for 5 days (instead of the normal 1-2 days employees usually took). That was rolled back quickly, me thinks.

          * too many sick leaves, and the occupational health provider will contact you, though.

          1. JBird4049

            There are always be those who will take advantage of anything. Always. In the United States, it is that fact that is used to deny everything to everyone, even those truly suffering. “What do you mean you have pneumonia? Get back to work you moocher.” “Somebody is taking advantage of sick days, so you can’t one! You’re all moochers!” Or “I didn’t get something and that makes me mad. No nice things for anyone!!”

        2. Robert Hahl

          Sorry, I was being sarcastic. My wife was a teacher and had the same experience. She never used sick days because some other teacher would have to cover for her.

          1. Milton

            Of course you were. I’ve never been a believer in sarcasm fonts as that would be the same as a comic explaining their joke.

        3. eg

          Your experience mimics my own in Ontario education — people banked those days over the years because it was a form of short term disability: in the case of a long term illness the banked days would get used first (at full pay) before LTD would kick in at its reduced rate of pay. People were rightly fearful of long term illnesses coming up later in their careers as they aged, so they banked them despite there being zero payout for them upon retirement. As a result, with 20 sick days available per year the average taken was in the order of 6 or 7 per year.

          After I left teaching, the fools in the Ontario government changed the sick leave program in 2012, reducing the number of annual days from 20 to 10 and eliminating banking (any existing bank was zeroed out) and introducing a short term disability program (I can’t remember the number of days — something like 75 or 90, after which LTD was triggered). As I could have predicted, the annual average sick days immediately soared to greater than 9. The idiot accountants who thought they would save money by reducing the annual allotment and eliminating banking (which they interpreted, wrongly, as an “unfunded liability”) actually ended up costing the government MORE money.

          If they had had the sense to inquire as to how and why the old system had emerged, they would have realized that they had a great system in place — the vast majority of teachers were retiring with 240 banked days for which they received NOTHING! They exchanged this for a system encouraging the use of all days every year by everyone! It was an astonishing unforced error — only one possible by young pointy-heads with no grasp of the history or of basic human nature and utterly in thrall to what a spreadsheet “told” them must be so. It’s a classic example of orthodox economics in action as empirical failure.

          I recall at the time of the change explaining to a friend who was a union member that this was going to be a massive fail — and sure enough, so it remains.

      2. The Historian

        Actually, people do get sick. I would say that is just a fact! Most of us have paid sick days just for that reason – and from the places I’ve worked in the past, I’ve never seen that sick days were abused by people staying home when not sick. Most people know they only have a limited number of sick days and may need to use them later.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if the rail workers could stay home when they are sick instead having to work through it and passing it around? And, quite frankly, I’d rather have someone running a locomotive staying home when they are sick instead of having their performance reduced so they can’t adequately respond to situations and perhaps causing a derailment. But that’s just me, I guess! Certainly the CEO’s of the rail companies don’t seem to care about that.

          1. The Historian

            Thanks for that! I’ve just heard so much ‘stuff’ over the past few years that I cannot tell what is real sentiment and what is not any more!

          2. Jeff W

            I might be in the minority but, as I’ve said before, I’d sooner not comment than use an “/s” tag.

            And I took your original comment to be irony, in any case, not sarcasm.

            For years, someone I know described me as “sarcastic”—which, honestly, perplexed me, because I actually disfavor sarcasm. (Sarcasm has always seemed to be nasty and crass to me so that person’s comments seemed particularly insulting, even if wrong.) After a long time, I finally realized that what the person was referring to was a penchant for irony.

            1. The Rev Kev

              You should come to Oz sometime. Our whole sense of humour has a strong undercurrent of sarcasm in it.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        Yep, thats the thinking.
        All those workers are grifters who would just rort anything we gave them.
        Because. WE use our sick days responsibly, but THEY are irresponsible cretins who need to be kept in line by denial of sick days.

  1. The Rev Kev

    ‘Maria Dubovikova
    Armed forces in Ukraine shoot three of their own fellow-soldiers (most likely for refusing to follow orders), and then they try to shoot down the Russian drone that filmed the crime.’

    I came across a translated Tweet which goes into this story more-

    ‘◾️Military expert Daniel Bezsonov @neoficialniybezsonov

    ◾️Yesterday a quadcopter of our servicemen was lifted into the sky in Artemovsk (Bakhmut) direction for reconnaissance of the situation in the area of Ukrainian army positions. The operator of the quadcopter detected the movement of a group of the enemy along the landing, which is near the advanced positions of the AFU.

    ◾️At first glance, it looked like the movement of a sabotage and reconnaissance group of seven people, so our drone operator decided to continue visual observation of the potential SRG. But soon it turned out that four AFU soldiers were leading three men in standard Ukrainian field uniforms to a firing squad. They chose an abandoned or spare trench as the place for the shootings, but they did not shoot them inside the trench, but on the surface.

    ◾️Over the years, all of the AFU units have turned into Nazis themselves, and you don’t need particularly rabid Right Sector people to shoot their “brothers-in-arms’

    Something tells me that they did not even mark where they lay for the sake of their families. Eventually it will be the RF forces that will recover these bodies.

    1. Samuel Conner

      There was a recent interview with the commander of a “nationalist” unit in this area that mentioned that the trenches were filled with corpses.

      Evidently not all of them were the result of enemy fire.

      1. Polar Socialist

        There have been comments from Russian side fighters that Ukrainians are again surrendering more easily – after every attack there are killed, wounded and surrendering Ukrainian in front of their positions.

        Naturally this must be taken with a hefty dose of salt, but the perception of the Russians is that many Ukrainians rather take the risk of surrendering rather than withdrawing only to be forced to attack against artillery the next day again and again.

        The scuttlebutt is also that it’s the Russian speaking Kharkovians being send to the “Bahkmut meatgrinder” while the western Ukrainians are manning the second line. These could actually be the “less motivated units” the nationalist was mentioning.

        Or maybe it’s just a Russian PsyOps to make the Ukrainians doubt each other. Who knows?

    2. Aumua

      Does anyone here really know what this video shows? Do we trust that ‘Ms. Dubovikova’ is presenting an unbiased description? I don’t know, maybe.

      1. Offtrail

        Right as rain. I almost never watch war porn. Partly because I’m not up to it, but also because you seldom really know what you are seeing.

  2. s.n.

    A 3-part investigative report on well-heeled plunderers of Cambodian antiquities:

    Unmasking “The Scholar”: The Colorado woman who helped a global art smuggling operation flourish for decades

    An investigation into how Emma C. Bunker helped Douglas Latchford sell stolen Cambodian antiquities

    The global hunt for a cache of stolen Thai treasures runs through Denver

    1. Alice X

      Ritter’s drawing the Chamberlain comparison introduces more moving parts than need be, in my view. The key take away, to me, is that the Russian’s now more fully understand that the collective West is agreement incapable.

      Jeffry Sachs, today on DN, is repeating the call for negotiations. While he is bringing up basic points that are understood hereabouts (but not in the wider populace, courtesy of the M$M), that horse has left the barn. Why would the Russians believe anything that was ostensibly agreed to?

      This is the essential take away of Ritter’s piece:

      …all underscored the harsh reality that there never was going to be a peaceful settlement of the issues underpinning the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

      And there never will be.

      1. Karl

        Ritter said recently “we are bearing witness to the death of Ukraine as an independent country.”

        When I mention this to my progressive friends, they’ll ask, “what can we do?” and I’ll answer “all we can do is watch.” Then they almost invariably say “you mean, they should just give up?”

        The idea that the outcome is quite baked in, and that it is now even too late for meaningful negotiations (other than surrender terms), is beyond their comprehension. Apparently they’ve already forgotten how Iraq and Afghanistan ended. Amazing.

          1. Karl

            Good point. I was trying to convey that that these progressive friends of mine have forgotten that they were lied to consistently over the course of those other recent wars, and we spectacularly failed to make the people we were trying to help better off. This time, they think Ukraine will triumph in the end with our help, our objectives are noble, Putin is evil, and we/they can’t give up now! They can’t or won’t seriously consider that they might be misled (again).

          1. Robert Hahl

            They never just give up in Hollywood, even against high odds and superior technology, e.g, “Star Wars” and “Independence Day.” The Russians are just humans after all, so all Ukrainians really need is “True Grit.”

    2. Bruno

      But see: Parssinen, Terry M. (HarperCollins,2001). “The Oster Conspiracy of 1938 : The Unknown Story of the Military Plot to Kill Hitler and Avert World War II”.

      The generally unknown reality of the Munich pact is that Hitler politically and personally could not back down from his declared intention immediately to invade Czechoslovakia–but decisive commanders of the Military and Intelligence apparatuses (men like Beck and Canaris whose last chance was to come in July 1944) were operationally ready to overthrow the Nazi regime the moment Hitler would give the order to invade. British Intelligence had been fully informed that if Chamberlain remained loyal to his treaty committments the Nazi regime would have been overthrown.

      And that was the rub. Hitler was to be preserved. For Capital, the Nazi regime was indispensable to prevent the German working class from attempting a repeat of 1919. The Second Imperialist World War therefore had to be postponed until it could be pursued to its preordained conclusion–to be spelled out later (as “Unconditional Surrender”) at Casablanca, Cairo, and Yalta: complete occupation of Germany by the imperialist states USA, USSR, and UK after the German proletariat had undergone virtual genocide in brutal warfare and Allied terror bombing.

      1. JBird4049

        I would also note that the desire to play god usually for one’s own benefit is also important to note. Some people just have to feed their egos. However, with the exception of the American financial interests from World War One and possibly after the Second World War, everyone got burnt from any planned actions they took immediately before, during, and after the wars including the ultimate victors. People can say that the victors had plans that were carried out, and they benefited more than anyone else, but while that is true, the costs to everyone was much, much greater than anyone had planned. It’s a cliché, but the dogs of war really do have no masters.

    3. David

      This is one of the most-studied episodes in modern history. The British (and French) plan was to continue re-armament, where they were ahead of the Germans, and use threats to make Hitler accept a diplomatic rather than a military solution to the Sudetenland Crisis. The argument domestically was that it would be insane to risk millions of deaths and years of destructive war to stop a German-speaking province of an artificial country joining Germany. (You may see a contemporary parallel.) Hitler, who wanted a war, knew that his Army could not fight the French successfully, let alone the British as well. He accepted a diplomatic solution with extremely bad grace, and it appeared, for a moment, as though the crisis had been solved. But this was an illusion because the dynamics of the Nazi regime were such that it could only go from crisis and struggle to crisis and struggle, always escalating, or it would have fallen apart. I think historians these days are more prepared to accept that there were no good answers, and that many things were worth trying to avert a war which in the end claimed fifty million lives.

      There was an anti-Communist dimension: Stalin’s Russia was not considered a military threat, but rather a political one although, ironically much more after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, when it was feared that European Communist parties would cooperate with a German invasion. But that’s another story.

      1. Karl

        Czechoslovakia actually had a pretty decent armaments industry and could have put up a pretty good fight. There was a real fear on the German side of fighting alone on two fronts again, as in WW I.

        Interestingly, after Munich, Stalin tried to establish an alliance with Britain and France but was rebuffed:

        The establishment of the [Ribbentrop-Molotov] treaty was preceded by Soviet efforts to form a tripartite alliance with Britain and France. The Soviet Union began negotiations with Germany on 22 August, one day after talks broke down with Britain and France, and the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact was signed the next day.

        The West could not overcome its ingrained hatred for Russia. Sound familiar?

        1. hk

          After Munich, London and Paris were committed to Poland and Poland would not side with the Russians. That was the end of the story at that time.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I think that I read once that Czechoslovakia had about forty or fifty divisions at the time and a chain of mountains that would have helped protect them. But instead Hitler bluffed France and Britain into forcing Czechoslovakia to give up as they told that country that they would give them no military support.

          1. David

            The British and French told Hitler that they would declare war if he tried to invade Czechoslovakia. The Nazis might have been able to pull off a victory just against the Czechs, but against the French and British as well it was impossible. He backed down. There’s an entire school of counter-history looking at what would have happened in 1938 if Hitler had ignored the warnings and gone ahead and invaded, but I don’t think anybody really knows.

            1. Polar Socialist

              There would have been 15 months of Sitzkrieg instead of 8?

              To me much more interesting alternative history discussion is how the war would have panned out if French and British would have actually helped Finland in 1939-40?

  3. The Rev Kev

    “EU must ‘take action’ against US – von der Leyen”

    I’m afraid that Ursulla von der Leyen isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and is an example of a person failing up in their career. She can say that the EU will take action against the US but everybody knows that she will not do so. And old Joe knows that too. That would require making a decision. Not the first time she said something stupid in the past week either. Just the other day she was making an address to a joint sitting of the Irish Parliament in Dublin to mark Ireland’s 50-year European Union membership. Not much could go wrong there. Just make an anodyne speech congratulating the Irish on their participation in the EU in the past and how much more progress Ireland will see in the future. But she did not do that. Instead, in her speech she likened Britain’s rule in Ireland to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which blew up into a totally unnecessary row with the UK. I guess that the Peter principle says she still needs to be promoted another level so perhaps Secretary General of the United Nations?

    1. Eclair

      Rev, but both Ireland and Ukraine suffered ethnic-cleansing famines, so there’s another similarity. And then there’s the mass emigrations from both countries. But, but ….. is she implying that Russia and England have/ had identical imperial ambitions?

      Full disclosure: my maternal ancestors emigrated to the US from Ireland in the 1860’s, fleeing famine and British occupation. My paternal side, from Russia, as listed on their early records, but really they were ethnic Lithuanians fleeing the heavy hand of The Russian Empire.

      1. Kouros

        This comparison btw Ireland and Ukraine is not apt. It was the entire Soviet Union that suffered from famines due to the drive to bring land under state controlled kolkhozs. And as a percentage of population, more peasants died in Kazakhstan than in Ukraine. And of course, Russian peasants died galore…

        The comparison would have been apt if England would have suffered similar levels of famine as Ireland.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The potato famine struck Britain too – the difference was that there were alternative food sources made available to British peasants who lost their crops while there was a deliberate policy to depopulate Ireland.

    2. Synoia

      Looks line a fair comparison to me.

      In her speech she likened Britain’s rule in Ireland to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine..

      The truth hurts.

      1. hk

        It would be fair if Belfast had been shelled daily from Eire for years and Dublin government was dominated by militant factions of IRA

      2. Revenant

        Because Dublin is full of Nazis funded by the CIA who have recently disestablished the Church of Ireland; the British have a strategic naval base in Strangford Lough; the Welsh and Scots plan to divide Ireland’s maritime counties and Ulster has been shelled for 8 years by Dublin?

        There is no comparison. You might as well say that Cuba or Corsica or Catalonia is the Ukraine because unsettled business or Bengal is the Ukraine because famine.

    3. exiled_in_boston

      Back in February of this year, I heard echos of British imperialism in some of the Russian and its supporters justifications for needing to invade Ukraine. Ireland was in the British sphere of influence and was too important to UK security for it to chart its own path. Also there were claimed to be large numbers of folks in Ireland who thought of themselves as Brits whose rights needed to be protected from Irish nationalists. The Irish were accused of working for the interests of foreign governments who were out to destroy the UK through all of Ireland’s rebellions. Whether it was royal Spain, royal France, republican France in 1798 or Imperial Germany or even fascist Germany, the Irish took whatever help they could get wherever and whenever they could find it. I am of the opinion that is was no business of the British gov’t who Ireland got help from while trying to secure and maintain their independence. Sir Roger Casement landed on the Banna Strand in 1916 from an Imperial German navy U-Boat prior to the Easter Rising with arms supplied by the German government. In WWII, the Irish Free State denied the UK the use of its ports and harbors while also interring both RAF and Lutwaffe pilots landing on Irish territory. Remember that the UK was in an actual life and death struggle with a fascist power at that time not just a threat like Russia is said to have faced last February. Nor were all Irish nationalists pure of heart as some expect Ukrainian nationalists to be. Read up on Sean South of Garryowen of whom Dominic Behen wrote a ballad.

      I am unsure why it is any business of any Russian government, Tsarist, Leninist or the current rulers who Ukraine associates with or seeks help from. If one considers Ukraine a fully sovereign nation (remember that at Yalta the USSR insisted that Ukraine be given its own seat in the UN) then you have to believe that the Russians are imperialists seeking to subordinate its neighbor. I have read way too much since February 24th about how the Ukraine government does not respect the ‘legitimate’ concerns of the Russian government and that all of those supporting it are not pure of heart. The same was said about the Irish vis-à-vis the UK.

      There is the old adage ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. If true for Ireland throughout history, I am not sure that I can deny it to Ukraine simply because I abhor/despise/distrust who Ukraine is seeking help from or who some of its supporters are. It appears to many that the current Russian government is simply intent on reestablishing as much as possible of the former Tsarist empire.

      1. Kouros

        I think Ireland got its independence recognized only on the condition of a stated formal neutrality, mate.

        RSF, Ukraine, and Belarus decided to dissolve the USSR (no other parties were involved) in 1991, with the solemn promise, enshrined in their constitutions, to not harbor ill will against each other.

        Ukraine changed that constitution in 2019, under Zelensky, going all broke for NATO aspirations…

        Also, the OECD treaties signed in Astana and Istanbul (204 and 2010 I think) declare clearly that there shouldn’t be built up security to the detriment of another country’s security, that is unacceptable.

        Also, there is a big ethnic and historical issue concerning Ukraine / Russia. Russian ethnic Ukrainians are being persecuted in Ukraine and culturally forced to assimilate, leave, or die, while Russian historical lands (Crimea, Novorossiya) are being used as a spear against Russia, in alliance with the US.

        I think there are more dissimilarities than similarities btw Ukraine / Ireland comparison.

        1. Exiled_in_Boston

          As the Irish Republican Brotherhood under James Connelly stated ‘We serve neither king nor kaiser’ so neutrality was not the stumbling block to getting out from under John Bull’s tyranny and the cause of the War for Independence. And certainly the Brits didn’t like Irish neutrality in WWII

          1. hk

            Ireland was not exactly “neutral” during World War II: DeValera understood that if Irish neutrality was perceived to actually hurt British security, Ireland would be promptly occupied by the British. So he made grand speeches, but cooperated behind the scenes with the British and, even more so, with the Americans, providing enough help that British govt decided that militarily occupying Ireland was unnecessary.

            It is noteworthy that one country that did try to be a true neutral in a manner that Britain thought was threatening to their security, despite being less important than Ireland, was violently invaded and occupied–Iran. We are still paying in part for the legacy of that intervention.

            1. Revenant

              The Irish turned a blind eye to British overflight of the west coast as RAF pilots would fly out west down Lough Erne, the final six miles or so before the sea at Ballyshannon being in the Republic. They also let British airmen filter back home.

              I don’t remember if Britain still had use of the Treaty Ports like Cobh but it certainly had use of the Foyle.

              1. hk

                They didn’t…. officially. But Britain could do a lot of things out of Ireland if they weren’t “in uniform” or had “defensible” excuse.

              2. PlutoniumKun

                The Treaty Ports had been relinquished in 1938, much to Churchills horror.

                You can still see the white numbering along many Irish coasts that were used to guide aircraft crossing the Atlantic. They were usually marked out with white painted stones. Allied seamen and pilots were usually driven to the NI border and told where to walk, Germans were interned. The German graveyard for internees in Glencree in Wicklow is still a very popular stop off for German tourists.

                1. hk

                  Well, until mid 1943, a number of British (and, among the Allies, only British) who wound up too obviously in Ireland had to be interned, so that Ireland could claim that it was being neutral. As I understand it, excuses were found to let the internees go for one reason or another (and that applied even more to Americans–no US serviceman was interned in Ireland, although an American volunteer with the RAF was early on, during the Battle of Britain, I think). I think everyone Allied was let go by the Fall of 1943, at latest.

                  I don’t know if this is just an impression from outside, but it seems that Ireland has been pretty successful in creating a myth of neutrality, playing up the evenhandedness (I guess this myth began in 1939). I’ve come across a lot of stuff doing this–like the tales of Curragh internment camps where British and Germans were housed side by side.

            2. Ben Joseph

              That may have been more about oil. British grabbed Iraq after ottoman collapse, or else they would not have been in the neighborhood.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          On the contrary, Ireland got its independence on the condition that it would still be a military ally of Britain and the US – Cork Harbour was jointly used by the Royal Navy and USN up until 1938. It was the Irish government that unilaterally withdrew from this and declared neutrality following the Anglo Irish Trade War of the 1930’s. By that time, longer ranged ships had made those ports more or less surplus to requirements anyway.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘I am unsure why it is any business of any Russian government, Tsarist, Leninist or the current rulers who Ukraine associates with or seeks help from.’

        Quite true that. But where that falls apart is where the Ukraine would be hosting nuclear-tipped missiles aimed at Russia after going into NATO. If an independent Ireland sought to host nuclear-tipped missiles to be used against the UK in case of war, what would be British policy to Ireland then?

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        FFS, Ukraine stopped being sovereign as of the 2014 Maidan coup. Yanukovich’s removal violated the Constitution in place at the time. Even after he fled the country after an assassination attempt, there still weren’t enough votes in Parliament. The rolling back of the then-current constitution to an earlier version was not done through any valid means. Victoria Nuland, with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, plotted who would replace Yanukovich….three weeks before the coup, and their choice was indeed installed. See Oliver Stone’s Ukraine on Fire for more detail.

        In keeping, Zelensky was elected with a 73% majority with the most important element of his platform being normalizing relations with Russia. Zelensky has since outlawed all opposition parties, jailed their leaders, and shut down all opposition media.

    4. Mikel

      I’m going to liken the EU’s negotiations with the USA to the Greece’s negotiations with the EU. A resemblance in spirit more so than technicalities.
      The USA is being just as unbending as the EU was then and the EU reps suddenly can’t comprehend “my way or the highway” economics.

        1. Mikel

          Yes, I know. I’m talking about:
          “A resemblance in spirit more so than technicalities.”

          And though it’s flailing about, the UK having its own currency is the only thing that let them play the game (however one thinks about their choices) the way they did.

    5. Tom Bradford

      Relates to the discussion in today’s NC re Turkiye and Russia’s relationship over Ukraine and the extent to which ‘historical memories’ can influence today’s politics. In my experience the Irish Famine of the mid-19th century still rankles with many Irish and poisons their perceptions of the English, while here in New Zealand the treatment of the Maori in the Land Wars of the same period can be played at a political level as the ‘guilt’ card . For an outsider to breeze in and inflame these tensions is crass, insensitive and inane politics.

      1. Exiled_in_Boston

        Commentators also breeze in and dismiss historical issues. Past events can and do illuminate current events in many ways and lend perspective. I will maintain that we can learn much from past examples of imperialist powers insisting they have a right to control their neighbors.

        1. Revenant

          Can’t both sides be Ireland? Aren’t the Russians in the Donbass fighting for eight years against the suppression of their religion and language and culture and against an apartheid state? Who exactly is being oppressed here?

          The analogy does not seem to clarify much. If the Russians are colonists in Ukraine, the Banderites are not the rightful owners – they were the Turks of Bessarabia that Catherine the Great displaced.

          1. Paleobotanist

            On the other hand (there is always the other hand in history…), the Russian Empire really had to expand south to stamp out the Turkish slave raids into southern Russia and the Ukraine… West Europeans choose to forget this. The raids were about as foul and murderous as the slave raids in West Africa. There is a good reason why “slave” and “slav” are cognates in most European languages today…

            Ain’t history great?

  4. timbers


    Senate Republicans turn on Trump over suspend-the-Constitution talk Politico (Kevin W). Hoo boy. Bye bye 2024.

    Two things: First “Suspend the Constitution” – I thought it already was, with one big part helping to accelerate starting with the Patriot Act. American Presidents are pink misting American children after all and no says boo and the Supremes sit quietly and pretend it’s not their job to say one way or the other.

    Second Bye bye 2004. That could be very good for Republican prospects for the WH in 2024. I don’t follow individual candidates closely but it seems there a number of nimble and media attractive Republicans who have embraced some semi-populist issues (immigration, audit the war, etc) that neither carry Trumps baggage and also on their own overwhelm a PMC anchored to a mentally handicapped Candidate at the top of the ticket.

    1. griffen

      Trump is doing what he does best, carnival barker and crowd pleasing rabble rouser. But maybe even the crowds who follow will start asking some legitimate questions, though I have doubts. Trump will appeal to fewer of the R base. As for 2024, there is DeSantis, Youngkin, plus some others I presume waiting in the wings. Pompeo also though I really wish it otherwise.

      I am sticking with my plan for 2028 all the same, Jackpot / Apocalypse on my personal bingo card.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        DeSantis and Youngkin are both weenies at the end of the day. The GOP didn’t hold a primary to avoid letting Republican voters weigh in on the Virginia governor nomination. His selling point was his vest wouldn’t offend Democratic wine mom’s. Washington based reporters love the idea of actually knowing a president so they slurp Virginia statewide office holders. Youngkin is on his 3rd snitch line. DeSantis just needs to open his mouth. Reagan, Shrub, and Trump played good hollywood tough guys.

        Then Biden is President. It’s not like the GOP has to complain about liberal overreach or anything. Trump just needs to grab his nuts and go “honk, honk” and he will coast to the nomination.

        Rufio is like Pete Guaido. No man who can’t ride all the rides at Disney will never be president.

      2. Carolinian

        Of course the MSM were pronouncing Trump finished before he ever became president and that campaign was a litany of “ok he’s really done it this time.” But one does sense that his moment is past unless he can find a way to reinvent himself. Still, Pompeo? Haley? It’s depressing how little Trump has to do to be the “lesser evil.”

        1. hunkerdown


          No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

          If Congress holds to the view that his post is colorably “aid or comfort,” and Congressional action and ceremony is required to make the US political world turn, then his only path back to the Presidency is that 2/3 consent of Congress, which would appear not very forthcoming.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            As far as the Presidency goes, this is like “high crimes and misdemeanors”. Its just a popularity contest.

          2. Carolinian

            I believe Turley has weighed in on this and said you’d need a legal conviction of said insurrection rather than Pelosi’s whim. But then Hail Mary would be the Dem’s unusual middle name. The original provision was intended for Confederate secessionists.

          3. Come now

            Not even the most insane reading of his post indicates a desire to suspend the constitution.

            You’re aware you can read Trump’s words directly, right?

      3. JTMcPhee

        Rising stars attract flak. Now there’s the statement of one Guantanamo “detainee” that DeSantis “participated in” his torture there:

        Any more, how can any of us know anything is true and honest and honorable? “We will know our program of disinformation is complete when nothing the American public believes is true,” “allegedly” per departed CIA director William Casey.

        And “United States Secretary of State and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director (2017 – 2018), Mike Pompeo, admitted to an audience from Texas A&M University on April 15, that the agency especially trains employees to “lie, cheat and steal.”

        “When I was a cadet, what’s the cadet motto at West Point? You will not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do. I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment,” Pompeo boasted as the audience laughed and celebrated the statement.

        It was a rather honest yet disconcerting thing to say, three days after (April 12) a new batch of declassified information from the U.S. government shows the extent of the 1970s ‘Operation Condor,’ in which South American dictators systematically tortured and killed dissidents in the region.”

        False and exaggerated product claims that result in harm are blown off as ‘mere puffery.’ Everyone knows political candidates lie in their teeth in their campaign promises.

        I wonder if the product placement and packaging will end up giving us a choice between Mayo Pete and Kabala Harris on the Dem slate, and DeSantis and Trump on the Rep.

        Is it true that “the People get the government they deserve?”

      4. Aumua

        It’s funny to me to watch Trump say that about the constitution, just because the right wing pundits’ favorite word these past years has been ‘constitution’. Seriously, they can’t go 3 sentences without saying it, or ‘constitutional’. And now this? LOL keep on Trumping, Trump.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Despite politico propaganda to the contrary, republican party “leadership” like mcconnell, cornyn and thune, not to mention bill barr, have zero to negative influence over committed MAGA Trumpers.

      Sites that speak for / to the MAGA crowd like The Conservative Treehouse regard these senators as uniparty collaborators in the soft coup nullification of the Trump presidency, the rigged 2020 election, and the maintenance of an increasingly unconstitutional status quo. Trump supporters are not likely to be persuaded to abandon him based on attacks that echo those of woke democrats and the despised legacy media just because political eunuchs like mcconnell tell them to.

      I suspect that the mcconnell / thune contingent would gladly trade the 2024 presidential election to rid the party of Trump once and for all. (Actual legislative “leadership” is the hot potato that neither party seems to know what to do with anyway.) But there is a war brewing in the republican party, beginning with the upcoming elections for the head of the RNC. Rumor has it that mcconnell’s brand of “leadership” is no longer acceptable to the rank and file.

    3. John Beech

      No offense to those who want to believe this matters but it’s my opinion the only people upset with President Trump over the suspend the Constitution bit are the PMC, and Republicans who lean that way (RINO). Nobody else, and I mean NOBODY in the base gives a flip.

      For example, my Dad is 92 and I can guarantee you this, if he lives to voting day (God willing) he will vote Trump again. Me? I don’t love DeSantis but if he’s on the ballot come the FL primaries, then I’ll make sure to cast my ballot in his favor despite knowing in my heart Trump will destroy him. And if Trump is on the ballot for 2024, then despite my personally detesting the man as a type of braggart of the sort I’d never invite for dinner, against President Biden (or anyone on their bench) then he’s certain to have my vote, again, also.

      What part of ‘we the people’ are fed up with how things are going, don’t folks understand? Seriously, voting Trump is a symptom! If he were more attuned to anything beyond his own self-interests he’d tap into this in a big way and win over Democrats, too. We the people, all of us – team Red and team Blue – are well and truly fed up!

      1. Chris Cosmos

        Do you really believe that the 24/7 mainstream propaganda Narrative will be ignored by more than half the people? Trump has no chance in 2024 though I would support him because the demonization of this guy is so thorough and universal that most people half-believe the lies if for no other reason to just get along with co-workers and relatives. Look at the lack of gains by Republicans in last month’s election–I believe it was due to, yes, occasional cheating (the US election system in the easiest to hack in the world), but mainly due to the net effects of strident and non-stop propaganda by the Deep State/Democratic Party apparatchniks in the mainstream media. Maybe I’m wrong but I just tend to believe that even false certainty is appealing to most people who just want to go along to get along.

      2. The Historian

        You do understand that all Trump did was to say the quiet part out loud, don’t you? From the Powell Memo to Reagan to the Tea Party to MAGA, the plan was always to drown the government and run it like a big business. Do big businesses run as a democracy with constitutions? I agree with you that Trump is a symptom, but he is also the culmination of where all this was headed since Goldwater’s loss.

        I don’t see any way to change it now – those who wanted this back in the 70’s now have it and as much as I would like to believe we can change this (as much as I would like to believe there is a god), I think it is too late. Perhaps I am too jaded by my readings in history, but I see only one way for this to end and until then, we are just have to do the best we can with what we can.

        And as I’ve said before, vote for who you want for any reason that you want – it isn’t going to make much of a difference in the end. And I so wish that weren’t the case.

        1. Robert Hahl

          The only chance I see for reform, peaceful or otherwise, is by withholding votes until politicians actually start to need them.

  5. John

    When employees are no more to you than expendable parts, what would human decency have to do with it? The ‘persons’ demanding these “work rules” ought to spend some time abiding by them. I forget myself … not possible … hands might get dirty, fingernails chipped.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Something similar is happening at the US Post Office. My mail often arrives after 7pm. I asked a mailman recently how many houses were on his route: 620. I think the point is to burn them out, so that they quit or get fired for insubordination or slowness before qualifying for retirement benefits.

        1. Keith in Modesto

          I don’t think you can reasonably pin the many problems at the USPS on just Biden, though he certainly hasn’t done anything to help, as far as I’m aware. The efforts to undermine (and eventually privatize) the post office have been going on for decades and are bipartisan.

        2. John Zelnicker

          Nikkikat – It was Trump who got Louis DeJoy appointed as Postmaster General, so he shares some of the blame.

          Not that this relieves Biden of his responsibility in this mess. He could have prioritized appointing people to the USPS Board of Governors who would have replaced DeJoy with someone who would roll back some of the most egregious changes he made.

          My local branch has had hiring signs out for the past year or so. It’s a shame they can’t get the workers they need.

          1. playon

            It’s the same in our town, help wanted signs out on the sidewalk in front of the local P.O. for over a year now. Our postman told us that new hires are being paid less than before. I’d hazard a guess that there are also fewer benefits for them.

            1. chuck roast

              P.O. workers have a union. Or more precisely, it seems like they have a bunch of unions. Sounds like assisted suicide.

              1. Keith in Modesto

                Management is completely in control of hiring and staffing decisions. The decision to create a new lower-paying city carrier starting position was opposed by the letter carrier union.

      1. Keith in Modesto

        We are chronically short-staffed at the Post Office all across the country, among other problems. That means many open routes (‘open’ means no one letter carrier available to deliver the route) that have to be split up into pieces that are given to other carriers who already are delivering a full route. Makes for a very long day, esp. if the pieces are large (because of too few carriers so fewer larger pieces per split route) and the mail volume (including parcels) is high. That’s why many people are getting their mail so late.

        1. Wukchumni

          The irony of irony of the new & not improved USPS, is renaming post offices is about the only thing Congress does on a bilateral basis.

          Looking up My Kevin’s (since ’07) legislative record, he was one of 58 co-sponsors on this important bit of lawmaking only last month…

          H.R.9308 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6401 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, California, as the “Susan A. Davis Post Office”.

          The list of co-sponsors is broadly across the aisle McCarthy, Pelosi, Schiff, Issa, etc., with every member of Congress involved, all expressing their approval on November 16th.

          Is this what we vote these clowns into office to accomplish?

          1. Wukchumni

            And probing Kev’s record, I find that Congress has branched out to naming other stuff. This became law a few months ago thanks to 122 cosponsors, over a quarter of all Congressmen & Congresswomen when you do the numbers…

            To designate the clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Mishawaka, Indiana, as the “Jackie Walorski VA Clinic”.

            1. Wukchumni

              Yeah its me again, and My Kev’s been on a roll in the past fortnight, with a slew of co-sponsoring renaming post offices, but this one takes the cake, legislation to do what?

              H.R.6725 – To change the address of the Marilyn Monroe Post Office, and for other purposes.

              Can’t wait till he’s speaker and starts renaming shit, big time.

              1. Eclair

                Wuk, I thought you were kidding about the MM-named post office building, but I asked the google and by golly, Trump approved the renaming of the Van Nuys Center Postal Depot!

                Suggesting that you trademark the My Kev Report. And, maybe the idea will spread!

        2. Mark Gisleson

          I’ve been advising a postal “temp” on how to deal with a corrupt local postmaster (who is sleeping with another temp who was hired for the holidays last year and yet somehow still has a job). The temp works ten-hour shift and then, without warning, they hold him to work another two hours even though he has a three-year-old in child care.

          100% of the feedback from postal employees is to let it slide. Under current management temps are less than human and treated as such. The temp’s wife is also a temp but working in a different post office where the rules are completely different.

          This is all on Louis DeJoy who should be the subject of a congressional investigation over his ties to private carriers.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Yeah, hit him with a congressional investigation! Hard-hitting fact finding, rooting out corruption, holding the malefactors up to public scrutiny, making them accountable! Serious action in the service of the people.

            Haw haw haw.

            And yet we, many of us, still believe in this shibboleth chimaera. If the Tsar only knew…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks. Calling derivatives debt is not correct but it’s a way to call attention to the risk. As long-established readers know, one of my big frustrations is the 2007-2008 crisis is widely misunderstood/misdepicted as a housing crash, when it was a derivatives crisis. The derivative exposures (credit default swaps mainly camouflaged as CDOs, which were mispriced due to certain normal arbitrage mechanisms not working, as explained long-form in ECONNED) were a huge multiple of real economy subprime debt and also wound up concentrated at systemically important, overleveraged financial institutions. But no one even wanted to think about curbing derivatives except at the margin (central clearing houses) so here we are.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Maybe revise to “no one with any power and the public interest at heart, who was not part of the fraud,wanted to think about curbing derivatives…”?

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Sanctions to stay, if Russia ‘dictates’ terms of peace in Ukraine — Scholz ”

    “Our message to Moscow is very clear: we are determined to defend every single inch of NATO territory against any possible aggression,” the German chancellor states

    Does Scholz imagine that the Ukraine is in NATO already? By his statement, it sure sounds like it. But when Scholz said that the sanctions will remain if Russia wins the war, he was being disingenuous. It does not matter if Russia wins, loses or ends in a draw with the Ukrainian war. Those sanctions are permanent and are not going away – ever. They are here for good and they are already working on the next sanctions package. The EU now sees itself in an existential war with Russia so will never relent.

    1. Polar Socialist

      […] against any possible aggression

      I guess backfiring sanctions won’t count as an aggression, then?

      And indeed, I’m not sure it’s good for the NATO self-image if folks are already considering Ukraine as part of NATO, considering the havoc caused to it.

      Why, we could have a trivia: name a country that is better off after a NATO involvement?

      1. Edgar, not Edmund

        Fredonia springs to mind. Oh, wait, that Roaring Mouse was fantasy. Except for the part about acquiring a nuclear device protecting you from invasion.

        1. thousand points of green

          Technically, that Roaring Mouse was called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, to the best of my memory.

    2. Insouciant Iowan

      I rather think such EU tough talk will give way to hat-in-hand raproachment with Russia. EU prosperity relied heavily on inexpensive Russian fossil fuels.
      Shoptz, van Der Leyen, all have awakened to the reality that they can be poor vassals of the US, or better-off burghers living at the end of a Russian pipeline and on one of China’s B & R ways.

      1. nippersdad

        That is pretty much how I am seeing it. We jumped the shark with this one, and those who pushed this will have a hard time explaining how we lost the good will of an entire continent.

      2. Synoia

        Shoptz, van Der Leyen, all have awakened to the reality that they can be poor vassals of the US,…

        Individually not true – Those politicians will not loose their positions or loose money..

        The actual loose are the workers in the EU, who will loose jobs or income or both.

      3. Richard

        Who says Russia wants the sanctions to go away. From one angle, they amount to forced Mercantilism, a set of policies favoring saving, investment, and development that are hard for any government to freely adopt, because the public would always rather borrow, spend, and import foreign doodads. In other words, “Please don’t throw me in that briar patch.”

  7. griffen

    Pity poor Sara, working away on her ancient Selectric while the peer group she writes about in the Axios column are sipping fine wine and eating the best meals all thanks to the billionaire class. It just can’t be possible, that a Taibbi or a Greenwald write for an audience searching for anyone with investigative columns and legitimate answers amid the clutter and noise. And we are searching in the non usual locations because we must.

    Good grief, Charlie Brown. I just know of people in my immediate circle that will agree with Sara is writing, and pointing at the apparent hypocrisy of an aforementioned Taibbi.

    1. Laputan

      I loved this quote in the article.

      Many tech journalists argued it didn’t reveal much beyond Twitter’s policy team grappling with a tough call that was soon reversed.

      I’ll go ahead and finish the thought,”…which, since there were revelations that Twitter did deliberately intervene in suppressing the story due to their partisan alliances, explains why consumers are so distrustful of the mainstream media in the first place.”

      And as if the content of the article wasn’t damning enough, right below it is a sponsored message from Wal-Mart titled “Walmart helps families save on the things they need most”. Just bald consent manufacture at its finest.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “The Great Purpling”

    I can understand how people were upset when these new LED lights came in changing the character of their cities at night. Perhaps they could have gone with a filter to make them resemble the older sodium vapour streetlights but this article makes plain that they just went the way of cheapness whose side effect was faulty lights turning purple. People do take lighting seriously and rightly so.

    About a century or more ago homes were it with gaslights which gave a gentle hue. Then electric lighting came in which was much more efficient and more brighter. Perhaps too bright. That new lighting showed up exactly what was in the corners of rooms but which were hidden by the less far-reaching gas lights. So much work was done cleaning and refurbishing entire rooms because of this because what would guests say? Come to think of it, I am not sure if they have ever really studied what sort of lighting that people can live their lives under best but just assumed the brighter the better.

    1. Lex

      The switch to LEDs is problematic in some ways. I’ve done light assessments in brand new buildings where LEDs replaced fluorescent fixtures 1 for 1. Except that a 2×4 (imperial) fluorescent fixture can easily be replaced by a 2×2 LED. When the total lighting isn’t dialed back, the difference in color is much more stark. We’ve grown accustomed to the horrible color spectrum of fluorescent so the jump to most LEDs, which are very blue, is dramatic. It tends to feel “clinical” and is often overwhelming for many.

      LEDs can be produced to mimic any spectrum, including UV and Far Red wavelengths. Usually the best LED fixtures have a mixture of diodes to do this. The cheapest LED fixtures, however, are usually very blue (cool white, as they say). Streetlight LEDs could very easily be any color. IMO, much like the awfulness of fluorescent fixtures, the HPS of traditional streetlights is nasty. They could just dial back the output of the new LEDs and it would solve the problem.

      1. AndrewJ

        We’ve known for years that circadian rhythms are driven in large part by the blue light of day, and that daylight color temperatures after sundown seriously mess with your body clock – the proliferation of day-night color adjusting apps and smartphone features attests to this. Yet not a peep out of the BI writer about color temperature, and what happens to animals of all kinds – definitely to humans – when nighttime streets are awash in blue.
        4000 kelvin nighttime lighting is an abomination. The sodium vapor lamps didn’t produce aesthetically pleasant light, but at least it wasn’t tricking your body into thinking the sun was still up at midnight. 2700 kelvin maximum, and I reckon that’s still too high.
        Also, never trust a company that’s called “xxx Brands”. Of course they will use the cheapest vendor.

        1. will rodgers horse

          lest people not know what you are referring to, we are talking about possible increases in cancer risk that are NOT at all trivial.

      2. juno mas

        …but “they” don’t dial back the LED’s in the public setting because to “them” more light is more better. And “they” don’t employ lumaires (the lampholder) with light cut-off shields so intense white light spills onto adjacent property (usually adjacent residential homes).

        LED’s installed by public agencies that do not employ/retain qualified lighting designers (not technicians) are a public nuisance. My city just installed LED’s without cut-off luminaire at its large harbor parking area. The garrish glow is overwhelming against the dark night above the ocean beyond!

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Confirming that light sensitivity is a real thing, my kitchen in NYC had multiple shades of white: white walls, even bluer-white stove, not quite as white fridge, yet another sorta white countertops, and the decidedly on the way to cream cabinets.

        I had had one incandescent light. I got one of those environmentally proper supposedly color corrected fluorescent bulbs.

        Not only did I not like the way it amped up how different all those whites were, when the cats walked in, they looked all over and were visibly distressed.

    2. Jeff W

      The piece refers to the older sodium vapor lights like this:

      “It was a startling switch from the more romantic, orange glow of sodium vapor. Less Paris by moonlight, more Porsche on the Autobahn.”

      Two things about that “romantic, orange glow of sodium vapor”:

      Probably, like many of us, I remember the shift in the 1970s from the whiter street lights (either incandescent or mercury vapor) to the orange sodium vapor ones and I never thought of them as “romantic.” They seemed muddy, oppressive, and vaguely dystopian to me. (I’ve seen them referred to as “prison yard orange.”)

      The other is that I can’t think of sodium vapor lights without thinking of one of literally the only two—extremely minor—plot points from Stephen King’s 1979 The Dead Zone that I remember (aside from the fact that it had to do with someone awakening from a coma with psychic powers). Here’s the reference:

      Bright orange light filled the car, turning the interior as bright as day it was nightmare light, turning Sam’s kind face into the face of a hobgoblin. For a moment he thought the nightmare was still going on and then he saw the light was coming from parking-lot lamps. They had changed those, too, apparently, while he was in his coma. From hard white to a weird orange that lay on the skin like paint.

      The other, incidentally, was this one:

      He was making notes on a clipboard with a type of pen Johnny couldn’t remember ever having seen before. It had a thick blue plastic barrel and a fibrous tip. It looked like the strange hybrid offspring of a fountain pen and. a ballpoint.

      Suddenly it seemed terribly important. ‘That pen. What do you call that pen?’

      ‘This?’ Brown held it out from his amazing height. Blue plastic body, fibrous tip. ‘It’s called a Flair. Now go to sleep, Mr. Smith.’

      That I can’t remember anything else from that book is probably due to the fact that I couldn’t stand Stephen King’s writing and stopped reading shortly after the sodium vapor reference.

    3. King

      My local electric utility is responsible for street lights. Said utility company went with the more blue lights because they were cheaper. City held meetings, blue lights were not popular but getting things changed was made to seem uncertain how/howmuch/who and legally as well as practically uncertain. Now we have lots of cheap purple lights and it’s taking the utility a long time to replace them all.

  9. Alice X

    Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Right-wing propaganda disguised as historical scholarship — Part Three WSWS

    Snyder is a Yale Historian. He has a youtube survey class series on the history of Ukraine. Class 1: Timothy Snyder: The Making of Modern Ukraine. Class 1: Ukrainian Questions Posed by Russian Invasion

    I have been attempting to reinforce my understanding of the region’s history, lately I read on the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, of which Ukraine long was a province, so I watched Snyder’s first two classes. As his Putin derangement syndrome jumped out at me repeatedly, I haven’t watched more. Other’s mileage may vary.

    1. Lex

      Your mileage is accurate. Snyder is at best a Nazi sympathizer and can reasonably be accused of being an open supporter of the Nazis in historical terms. How he has a job at Yale is beyond me, but it reinforces my opinion of the Ivy League schools in general.

      The historical treatment of the Eastern Front prior to 1991 can be somewhat explained by the sources of most historians being German records. Even those those records are damning under any sort of scrutiny, but there is the problem of the sources being one sided. With the Soviet archives opened, there’s no excuse for it. The WSWS series is a very good takedown of Snyder’s “scholarship”, particularly because it goes to the non-English sources Snyder manipulates and that manipulation cannot be anything but intentional.

      1. Judith

        Question: Snyder worked with Tony Judt, who died in 2010. My impression of Judt at that time was that he was a thoughtful historian. Snyder, as you say, does not inspire trust. What if anything does this say about Judt, retrospectively?

        1. chuck roast

          I dunno. Judt made all the right enemies. His Postwar was a real political tour-de-force…fortunately he skirted the late economics demonstrating that he was not a kunckle-head; Reappraisals was a fascinating intellectual history and The Memory Chalet was a wonderful walk back.

      2. Alice X

        How he [Snyder] has a job at Yale is beyond me, but it reinforces my opinion of the Ivy League schools in general.

        As in: the Ivy League schools are a formation of the Empire? That tends to be my view.

        1. anon in so cal

          Snyder is one of the worst anti-Russia propagandists on social media. Tied, perhaps, with Paul Massaro.

          Academia is replete with propagandists for Empire. Public universities, included.

      3. eg

        How he has a job at Yale? I was led to believe that the place is infested with spooks and the spook-adjacent. I’m sure he feels right at home.

    2. David

      I decided against reading Snyder’s book when its first came out because it was very obviously pushing the Stalin=Hitler comparison that was so fashionable during the 1980s, especially in Germany. I’m not sure I’ve missed anything.

      The article is right about many things, including the notorious Wehrmacht Order, Generalplan Ost, and the fact that you can’t compare the food policies of the two regimes. But it’s all seen through the blinkered Trotskyite lens of the WSWS. One of the reasons for invading Russia was to knock the country out of the war and persuade the British to settle. Another was to fight communism, which created links between the working classes of different races, and was thus a direct competitor to Nazi ideology. And another still was because that ideology saw history as a series of exterminatory struggles between races, and if the Aryans didn’t exterminate the Slavs, the Slavs would exterminate the Aryans. Little of this has anything to do with Trotsky’s ideas.

      For a good summary , see Mark Mazower’s book, Hitler’s Empire.

      1. Polar Socialist

        On a tangent, Mazower’s Dark Continent did change the way I reasoned about Europe, Europeans and our history.

      2. hemeantwell

        “Another was to fight communism, which created links between the working classes of different races, and was thus a direct competitor to Nazi ideology…Little of this has anything to do with Trotsky’s ideas.”

        Hard to follow you here, David. Trotsky’s writings on fascism emphasized its anticommunist aims and its hostility to working class organizations, social democratic and communist, and the essays in his “The Struggle against Fascism in Germany” often make this point. Are you trying to distinguish between communism as a unifier of races and as a threat to their exploitation under capitalism, with fascism being more concerned about the former?

        1. David

          I was thinking primarily of the great efforts the Nazis made after 1933 to build support among the working class, many of whom had voted for the KPD. It’s interesting that, whilst the leaders fled or were imprisoned, the Nazis didi actually try to convert many ordinary party members to their doctrines. There were, apparently, a whole rash of dreadful films from the mid-30s, in which former KPD voters finally realised that Race, not Class is the important issue, and become fervent Nazis. It’s clear that a party which argues that the real struggles are between classes and a party that argues that the real struggle is between races, are going to be competitors. The Nazis almost certainly remembered the debates that split the SPD in 1914, and could have led to a refusal to vote war credits and encouraged moves towards peace.

          1. hemeantwell

            There’s a scene in Hitlerjunge Quex (1933) in which a uniformed Nazi party member, seeking to educate Quex, corrects his father, a self-identified proletarian internationalist, by didactically asking him where he was born (Berlin), next to what river (the Spree), in what country (Germany), thereby proving an authentic shared interest. Nothing further needs to be said, and the scene wraps.

    3. hk

      Snyder’s previous work was decent, although his sympathy for Ukraine (and Lithuania) was pretty evident–but it is fairly normal for historians nowadays to fall in love with their subjects, I guess. Bloodlands, though, was where he rather clearly jumped off the cliff.

    4. Bsn

      Yes, I gave Snyder a chance on a recommendation from a friend. Drivel. I saved two quotes to make sure I wasn’t confused, then I gave up. The two quotes: Calling Putin “Tyrant” and “Authoritarian” in passing as he addressed the students. He also calls the 2014 take over “Revolution of Dignity”.
      Also, there is a decent history of Yale hiring Nazis.
      Vladimir Sokolov (Yale prof, for 17 years until 1976) also ″gave lectures and speeches … and was decorated by the German occupying forces with several medals for special service″ as a Nazi collaborator in his Russian homeland, the prosecutor, Joseph Lynch, said in opening the government’s case in U.S. District Court. Later in the article ……
      He was forced to resign his position at Yale when faculty members in the Slavic languages department learned the allegations about his past and split over their support.

      AP article link:

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think there has been a shift in nomenclature over time. The word “sophisticated” once meant shallow and superficial, for instance. I don’t think most laypeople today would treat an unmanned aircraft that big as = a drone.

      1. cfraenkel

        In Air Force nomenclature, the word “drone” originally meant a retired airframe that had been reworked to be flown by the autopilot (no human pilot). They were used as live fire targets, thus the lack of a human pilot. I think originally, they were towed to the target range by another aircraft, to handle the takeoff and navigation, then let go and the preprogrammed autopilot would step up to be the sacrificial offering. This was back in the 50s ~ 60s.

        As computers started taking over, the capabilities available kept growing. There’s been a long standing tension in the service, with pilots doing a fierce rearguard action downplaying unmanned aircraft, thus painting them with the derogatory “drone”.

        As for size, the mainline military drones (predators and the like) are pretty much full sized aircraft, since they’re carrying full sized weapons, and need full sized operational range. The hot newness is militarizing small, civilian derived designs so individual units can carry their own air support. That class is ‘small’, more like what you’re used to in the civilian world. But ‘drones’ as a category can be either.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Here is the Wikipedia page for that drone-

      Something about this whole drone operation just does not feel right. The Tu-141 has hardly been seen for the whole war except for that one that overflew NATO territory and crashed in Croatia back in March. And now two of them fly over 500 kilometers to target two air bases in Russian territory just like that? And this was a reconnaissance drone remember and not one with a one-way ticket. So it has obviously had an upgrade and almost certainly the software has received a serious upgrade as well. If somebody told me that it was the UK I would not be surprised. Unlikely the US here as they were busy limiting the range of the HIMARS ammo so as not to do something like this.

      But I am guessing here that the Russians are looking this over extremely closely. In scenario one it was another publicity strike like the one on the Crimean bridge. Small casualties and damage but big propaganda value. The second scenario is more dangerous for Russia. At least one of those bases was capable of hosting Russia’s nuclear bombers. So Russia must be asking themselves right now if this mini-raid was what the Ukraine was intended for after going into NATO. A base to launch a whole series of drones to take out the Russian military in case of war – but those drones would be carrying tactical nukes aboard.

      With scenario number two, it may have been that as the war is going badly for the Ukraine, some neocon reached into the future plans files and pulled out this drone plan. The Ukraine may have only had a handful of drones still working so two were upgraded to do the mission which was intended in future with several hundred drones. If so, somebody tipped their hand badly and will make Russia even more determined to de-militarize the Ukraine once and for all.

      1. Polar Socialist

        IIRC Tu-141 doesn’t have software but a set of analog inertial navigation modules where you manually set the route as values for direction and height with a timer. Then it executes them one after another. Thus it’s easy to make a mistake in the settings and end up with the thing flying to, say, Croatia instead of Crimea.

        Managing to hit a target the size of an airfield so far away should be considered an amazing feat using just a stopwatch and a compass, though. Even if it flew directly fro Ukraine to the target, the timing to “land” would still be pure guesswork. Which gives some credibility to the claim that they were shot down when overflying the airfield.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Maybe those Tu-141s did have software and that is why it has taken so long to see them do stuff like this. And if there was a NATO aircraft circling near the region to provide better control, I would not be surprised.

      2. Zephyrum

        Rev Kev and Polar Socialist are far more expert than I, but reading both Russian and English Telegram channels there seem to be two theories on the drones: Tu-141s launched by Ukraine, or modern British aircraft guided by real-time satellite visual monitoring of the targets. I find the latter more credible because the targeting is too good to be just luck. Of course the Russians would know from the remnants which type of craft it was, but they are entirely capable of asserting that soviet-era drones were used. Also the Ukrainians would target civilians in Russia. Going after the Russian red line of the nuclear deterrence force would be a very British thing to do.

      3. LawnDart

        “Unlikely the US here as they were busy limiting the range of the HIMARS ammo so as not to do something like this.”

        I’m not sure I’d take this at face-value. Keep in mind the info is sourced to a USA “leak” and delivered via NYT, both known for remarkable credibility.

        The strikes on Russia seem like pretty accurate targeting. I would suspect that if satellite navigation was used to help guide them then this would make the satellites themselves fair game, no? Must prevent further attacks on the Motherland, and if satellites were used, then these are an existential threat that must be dealt with.

        Some Russian officers are definately going to get flayed for allowing this to happen: if you’re at war with your neighbor, why wouldn’t you keep your guard up?

      4. John Beech

        Occam’s Razor remains alive and well in my mind, but obviously not in that of those who write for a living and seemingly possessed of a shallow understanding of controls for old school bombers. They use cables and pulleys stretching from a control wheel to the moveable flight control surfaces. Ditto throttle levers.

        Making them move requires servos, which are easy. GPS guiding it? Also easy. Or an FPV (first person video) remote link reaching out 500km? Also easy, but also subject to jamming. Easier still, however, is simply employing wetware.

        By this meaning a pilot who flies nape of the Earth to avoid RADAR and bails out ahead of the impending chaos before subsequently making his way back home 300 miles.

        This ‘solution’ requires ten minutes of thought, no added technology, a few beers to dream it up, 30 minutes for fueling, a bit over an hour of flight time, and Bob’s your uncle, big boom at your target of choice.

        Risk near 0, propaganda value 100.

    1. Wukchumni

      I could hardly believe it, when I heard the news today
      I had to come and get it straight from you
      They said you were runnin’, someone who swept Trump away
      From the look upon your face I see it’s true

      So tell me all about it, tell me ’bout the plans you’re makin’
      Oh, then tell me one thing more before I go

      Tell me, how am I supposed to live without Trump?
      Now that I’ve been enduring him so long
      How am I supposed to live without him
      And how am I supposed to carry on?
      When all that TDS i’ve been livin’ for is gone

      I’m too proud for cryin’ over spilt ilk, didn’t come here to mend
      It’s just a dream of mine is coming to an end
      And how can I blame you when I built my world around
      The hope that one day everybody would be so unsound

      I don’t wanna know the price I’m gonna pay for dreaming, oh
      Even now it’s more than I can take

      Tell me, how am I supposed to live without Donald?
      Now that I’ve been enduring him so long
      How am I supposed to live without him
      And how am I supposed to carry on?
      When all that TDS i’ve been livin’ for is gone

      Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Tesla’s Berlin Hub Can’t Hire Enough People, or Keep Them”

    Pretty good article and it shows why Tesla is failing in Berlin. They not only imported the technology but also the American management manual which calls for treating workers like dogs. So let’s see what they flew into-

    ‘Tesla is paying 20 percent less than similar businesses based on staff contracts and job descriptions’. Yep, crappy wages.

    ‘The German labor market has record employment despite coronavirus and inflation. There is a shortage of qualified workers everywhere. Everyone who could be employed is already employed.’ Yep, workers have better alternatives

    ‘But without any warning, (workers) were given a new job description that required them to work early, night, and weekend shifts. After two months they changed my shift to a 24/7 three-shift system.’ And there is the trifecta. Intolerable working conditions.

    Maybe Musk can make a deal with the local government to use Ukrainian refugees with the understanding that if they get fired from that Tesla plant, that they get sent right back to the Ukraine. It’s the capitalist way.

    1. tindrum

      “Maybe Musk can make a deal with the local government to use Ukrainian refugees…”
      Musk will have to fight the farmers (asparagus harvesting) the restaurants, the bakeries, old-folks-homes, home-help-companies and probably many more that I can not think of, to get them.

  11. haywood

    Re: “People still afraid of catching COVID-19 are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars”

    And here is why we won’t have another serious public health intervention for the next decade.

    1. curlydan

      As a person afraid of catching Covid, I could easily rewrite the headline as, “People unwilling to do simple Covid mitigation strategies are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars”

      1. hop2it

        Ha,ha…. Looks like people are slowly realizing, getting smarter. I mean they want us to do personal risk assessment on one hand on the other hand get back to the so called normal, because markets! I mean who even writes these types of articles. Dumb and dumber it gets.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I like your headline better as it actually reflects the truth. Maybe they will cancel all unemployment benefits across the country to force those workers back into the economy. ‘Work or Starve.’ Now that is a motto that Big Business and the Main Stream Media could get behind.

    2. outside observer

      Yes, the framing is infuriating. People catching COVID-19 are also costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars. Perhaps let’s do something to reduce the probability of catching covid at work and school so that people neither have to catch it nor fear catching it, thereby saving the economy those billions upon billions, nevermind the actual lives saved. And yet… we double down.

    3. jsn

      Exponential curves argue otherwise.

      More mutations, more infections, more Long Covid.

      The odds don’t improve with time or exposure so pressure on the workforce should be on a hyperbolic upward curve.

    4. c_heale

      Everything wrong about modern economics is summed up by the title. As far as economists are concerned…

      1. Most humans are just meat robots.
      2. If they get sick or have dependents, it’s their problem.
      3. Money/profit is the most important thing in the world.

      It’s beyond disgusting.

      1. caucus99percenter

        “Liberal” economists and their followers hate Ayn Rand, though, because she (perhaps inadvertently) exposed what Marxists would call the contradictions of their (neo-)liberal capitalism by showing where points #2 and #3 take one if followed to their logical conclusion.

        Everyone, measured against the norm of being driven by perfectly informed rational self-interest — only Galt’s Gulch types can win in that scenario.

  12. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    It was agreed by our commander that we win the hearts, minds and crypto wallets of the villagers sequestered in suburban hamlets, so as to gain their trust, sort of speak.

    These weren’t savvy investors, many were swayed by sports stars (by the way, it’s official… TB12 still has it after yesterday’s improbable comeback, and to quote Chick Hearn as to the outcome 5 minutes from the finish: “The game’s in the refrigerator, the door’s closed, the light’s out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the jello’s jiggling.”…but no) who they often know intimately and yet said star wouldn’t know them from Adam.

    All it took to separate some galoot from their wherewithal was the cryptic cryptocurrency 2 word selling point: “I’m in.”

  13. Zephyrum

    Regarding Why Faulty Streetlights Are Turning Cities Purple — and Why It’s Worrisome, the article asserts that cities choose 4000K color temperature streetlights because of cost. There is a great deal of backstory to “cost” here, involving psychometrics, color science, photometry, and agencies such as the US Department of Energy.
    Blue light is very efficiently generated by LEDs, and the standard CIE spectral luminous efficiency function V(λ), which defines the “brightness” of the various visual wavelengths combines with this efficiency to make high color temperatures “efficient”. But this efficiency does not take into account color rendering quality, nor aesthetic factors.

    In my experience as a lighting designer people often feel they see better in lighting environments that are not technically as “bright”; you’ve probably experienced this yourself with the mono-wavelength sodium vapor lamps in parking garages. Perceptually bright, but also oddly difficult to perceive detail in that environment.
    It’s entirely possible to produce LED-based luminaires cheaply that have much better aesthetics, if one is willing to deviate somewhat from the V(λ) curve and consider aesthetics as well. But DoE is an enthusiastic promoter of metrics-based mediocrity, which is also heartily embraced by the manufacturers and suppliers in the lighting industrial complex. (And some cultures prefer high color temperatures. In Japan it is see as “clean”.)

    By the way, the shape of V(λ) was heavily debated at the CIE meetings back in the day. Before my time, but one of my mentors described the discussions as almost coming to blows, and probably a few blows actually landed. Long history of passion in this field, but it’s all history now.

    I just think it’s ironic that the dystopian lighting environment predicted in Blade Runner and so many other movies is actually coming to pass, and the transition is only accelerating. We could do so much better, but will not. Because our imagination does not reach as far as our grasp.

    1. Carolinian

      We could do so much better

      Like? My neighborhood is in the process of replacing the orange Sodium lamps with the white LEDs and also adding more lights. I like it. The article says the purple LED are almost all from a defective early run so we probably won’t have that problem.

      The new lights are brighter. Presumably the city is concerned with security matters as well as aesthetics. In this older neighborhood lots of people park their cars on the street.

    2. Lex

      I’m on the measuring after the fact rather than the design end. I appreciate your contribution here. As I said in another comment, I’m also seeing people replace fluorescent fixtures 1 for 1 with LEDs in new commercial construction. Combined with the spectrum of most economical and recommended LED fixtures it’s just way too much. I dig the Japanese calling it “clean” because I usually describe it as “clinical”. It has its uses. My kitchen track lighting has 4000K(ish) is LEDs pointed at the sink/counter where food prep happens and much softer LEDs to provide the combined general light for the room. There are color rendering issues with those high color temperatures that at least I find noticeable, but there are color rendering issues with other temps too.

      Interesting that DoE criteria is part of the story. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised nor by its reasoning. LEDs can do anything. In the horticulture space there are now LED fixtures that can be nearly infinitely adjusted in terms of spectrum and output. (Synce is the primary manufacture and those lamps are cool)

    3. castilleja

      As a lighting expert, what is your understanding of possible effects of different types of lighting including different types of LEDs on migrating birds and bird-building collisions, or potential effects on other animals?

      1. Koldmilk

        I firstly worry about the effect on humans.

        LED lights are notorious for not being full spectrum, ie not reproducing all the colours of visible light in the usual continuous black-body radiation curve. Despite several absorption bands sunlight is pretty close, and incandescent and halogen are near perfect.

        LED light is missing large portions, with the result that one has effectively simulated colour blindness when using so-called white LED lighting as the lack of some colours (usually at the red end) will cause objects to not appear in their actual colour.

        The rating for that effect is called CRI for “colour rendering index”. Most LEDs produce a cool-white light that is strong in green-blue, weak in red, and has a CRI around 70. Warm-labelled LED lights, which have more orange fluorescence material to boost the red-yellow part of the spectrum are around 80.

        A minimum CRI of 90 is mandated for a lot of industrial settings because workers can fail to distinguish red and yellow colours used for wiring, etc. leading to industrial accidents.

        Returning to street lighting, a low CRI likely means important things like road signs which use red wouldn’t stand out.

        I personally find it very fatiguing to use cool LEDs for any kind of reading or detail work. It’s cost more but I use LEDs with a CRI of 90 at home.

  14. Mikel

    “China’s Xi unwilling to accept western vaccines, U.S. official says” Reuters

    Does the USA have a better “vaccine”?

    These are threapeutic shots of varying efficiency (alot depends on environment and the current health status of individuals) that don’t prevent catching the disease. The shots are alleged to provide some kind of temporary protection, which doesn’t make sense when what is really described is a few months where the drug therapy may have the potential to keep a person from “severe sickness” (which means different things to different people) or death.

    Like the opioid drugs were marketed, when it was finally admitted that the shots did not work as originally advertised, people were told that more doses were needed. “Break through infections” would have the same prescription as “break through pain.”
    Apparently, the injections are expected to go on forever for a few times year, since each “booster” has diminshing returns.

    The amazing thing is that the USA thought they would be trusted with the lives of Chinese population. All the saber rattling and history of salivating over dividing up the resources of China, don’t just vanish for a comapany’s profit.
    And, in the USA, the big corporations and government are the same thing.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How Jared Kushner Lost at the World Cup in Qatar”

    In the White House Jared may have been treated as a Very Important Person but when he goes out into the real world – meh! I have noticed videos of Israeli journalist being given the cold shoulder in Dubai and most people just walk away from them and can’t be bothered giving them the time of day. It must be very frustrating for those journalist, especially if they were hoping for a feel-good story. And it is not a matter of people not liking their religion but hating what they do to Palestinians each and every day. I’m sure that a few Rulers in the Arabic world have taken notes how granting recognition to Israel internationally does zero for you among your own people.

    The Intercept gets it knickers in a twist because the Serbians had an inappropriate flag in their locker room but forgets to mention that the US team published the flag of Iran on their site but without the emblem in the middle ‘in support of protesters.’ For some reason the author of this article really hates Serbs. Saw a coupla videos showing something funny in Dubai. The Russian were banned though there are plenty of Russian visitors there to watch the games, So you have these Dubai bands playing music near the actual games to liven up the atmosphere and somebody recorded how they were also playing Russian songs like the Katyusha. Vox populi.

    1. Lexx

      There was a guy I used to sit next to in college who told me that he and his sister had a neurological condition that prevented them from making facial expressions (Moebius syndrome, maybe?). When I first saw Jared (and Mark Zuckerberg) I thought they seemed remarkably like John. But behind that autistic facial neutrality or blandness, it has never occurred to me that either of the later two showed their true colors, that they didn’t at all times have hidden agendas. So whatever the press broadcast as Jared’s mission abroad, I was pretty sure he was up to something else, and it probably had something to do with profiting his family. I could find no other reason for the Trumps and in-laws to be in the White House except to use those positions of power and influence to get richer. Everything about them says to me – ‘The Mob’.

      And now Jared and Ivanka don’t want to join Dad on the 2024 campaign trail? It can’t be because they fear loss of face in public. ; >

  16. Mikel

    “People still afraid of catching COVID-19 are costing the U.S. economy billions of dollars” MarketWatch

    And people should be afraid of the healthcare bills and debiltating effects of chronically catching Covid.

    “Long ICU Stays Lead to Extended Misery for Many Covid Survivors” Bloomberg

    And not only with long ICU stays, catching Covid is costing people billions of dollars in a global economy with inflation running wild.

  17. Mikel

    “Tesla’s Berlin Hub Can’t Hire Enough People, or Keep Them” Wired. Resilc: “The Tesla scam is over too…”

    Per a previous NC linked post, the scam is moving on to frying brains like the monkeys’ brains were fried. Neurolink.

  18. Mikel

    Starts as yet another musing on the corruption of SBF, but then:
    “…The CEO also responded to a claim that the FTX fiasco began after he tweeted on Nov. 6 that he would be selling his remaining FTT tokens — FTX’s own token that plunged shortly afterwards.. The crypto titan said the demise could be tracked down to the below tweet from Alameda Chief Executive Caroline Ellison…”
    (tweet is inserted in article)

    “…Zhao said that Ellison’s tweetsparked the point of no return for FTX, not his, citing a Bloomberg article. Her tweet offered to buy all of Zhao’s FTT tokens for $22. Zhao claimed she had given away her floor price…”

    No wonder she is reported to have lawyered up and there have been reported sightings of her in NY near an FBI office.

    1. flora

      donning foil bonnet/
      I can’t tell if Sam is going on his Sargent Schultz talking tour with endless “I don’t remember” in order to keep the con going for those who still believe or if the endless “I don’t remember” is meant for other reasons. The financials will eventually come out.
      /removing foil bonnet / ;)

  19. fresno dan

    Why do people get more upper respiratory tract infections in winter?
    He decided to first test whether or not the flu is transmitted better in a cold, dry climate than a warm, humid one. To test this, Palese infected batches of guinea pigs and placed them in cages adjacent to uninfected guinea pigs to allow the virus to spread from one cage to the other. The pairs of guinea pig cages were kept at varying temperatures (41°F, 68°F, and 86°F) and humidity (20%-80%). Palese found that the virus was transmitted better at low temperatures and low humidity than at high temperatures and high humidity (see Figure 1).
    “This is the first time that we have a biologic, molecular explanation regarding one factor of our innate immune response that appears to be limited by colder temperatures,” said rhinologist Dr. Zara Patel, a professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine in California. She was not involved in the new study.

    In fact, reducing the temperature inside the nose by as little as 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) kills nearly 50% of the billions of virus and bacteria-fighting cells in the nostrils, according to the study published Tuesday in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
    Later in the CNN article, there is a subheadline: You don’t have to wear a nose sock
    Under this, the article states: “Not only do masks protect you from the direct inhalation of viruses, but it’s also like wearing a sweater on your nose,” he said.
    Patel agreed: “The warmer you can keep the intranasal environment, the better this innate immune defense mechanism will be able to work. Maybe yet another reason to wear masks!”
    I don’t know who writes the sub headlines at CNN, but apparently they don’t read the body of the article…
    explains a lot about the quality of our media

  20. Mildred Montana

    Re: The North Carolina sub-station attacks

    As the authorities search for motives I suggest to them a variation of Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to reason that which can be adequately explained by malice.”

    If one assumes the attacks were acts of pure vandalism (malice) and the perpetrators were young or young-ish, both of which are quite likely, then there is a possible explanation for them: Anger stemming from inter-generational strife.

    Inter-generational strife? Yes. I think it’s something that ought to be discussed more. It is manifesting currently in the lashing out of young people who sense (but perhaps can’t articulate) that they are getting the short end of the economic stick. Rents and houses virtually unaffordable, wages lagging inflation, savings accounts paying next-to-nothing in interest, pension plans (if they have one) no longer defined-benefit but now defined-contribution, etc.

    Here in my otherwise law-abiding Canadian city, I am seeing more examples every day of youth vandalism. Windows broken repeatedly, spray-paint defacements, businesses threatening to relocate, a heretofore unheard of bank robbery by two 20-year-olds who had a shoot-out with the cops and seriously injured one, seniors being pushed to the sidewalk in stranger assaults, the list goes on.

    On a personal note, I’ve twice had young people I didn’t know say to me apropos of nothing, “Your generation has ruined everything” or words to that effect. My nieces and nephews (25-35 years old) say the same thing although in more polite terms.

    I am not coming down on older people (I’m 70 myself) nor am I coming down on younger people. I actually sympathize with their situation. I am just saying inter-generational strife is here, it’s growing, and ought to be recognized by the people in charge as a cause of seemingly senseless vandalism and taken seriously.

    1. hemeantwell

      A while ago we looked into the intergenerational warfare literature and found it to be at best idly sensationalistic and at worse an intergenerational division-sowing tactic by social security cutters aligned with Pete Peterson. Polling data was quite thin but it appeared that faux wonkish fretting didn’t have much mass traction. I’m afraid what you’re describing is of a very different order and will only get worse in the absence of proper political targeting.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        This observation in your comment is cryptic to me: ” I’m afraid what you’re describing is of a very different order and will only get worse in the absence of proper political targeting.” “Proper political targeting” — are you being sarcastic?

        The literature pushing the inter-generational warfare concept does seem a transparent division-sowing tactic. But skip the polls and the literature and listen to what many Young people will tell you if you give them a chance. You will collect countless anecdotes of life as a bleak house, and hear many complaints how older people just will not listen and seem unable to understand the disappointment and genuine angst so many of our Young feel. And remember that we live in a wealthy nation. Consider how bleak the prospects for many of those living in the poorer nations around us. Now consider the conditions driving much of the politics of the last century. Perhaps that is what you are referring to when you suggest “a very different order”?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe the anger manifesting as inter-generational strife is a by-product of nihilism beget by the bleak prospects too many of us, and especially our Youth face looking toward the future. Besides anger — desperation, withdrawal, suicide, and madness are born. I wonder how many character traits those who attacked the North Carolina sub-station might share with the traits of the Joker character portrayed in the movie “Dark Knight”.

    3. Don

      I suspect the anger and disappointment of many working class 20-somethings has a lot to do with growing up being told (significantly, in advertising) that they can do anything/be anything they want: An olympic champion/a pop superstar/a world-changing inventor/tech billionaire/all of the above combined — sure, why not? Nothing — race, size, shape, gender, looks, charm, intellectual or physical abilities, certainly not class — factors in. (And there is, of course, no working class anymore, just a middle class.)

      Then, in their mid 20’s, reality smacks the less fortunate upside the head: Living in Mom’s basement, expected to actually achieve things at work, no fame no fortune, no sex, no travel, no car, not much money, nothing like what it looks like on TV, nothing like the liberal dream they’ve been sold…

      In Vancouver there is constant hand-wringing about how people in their 20’s are no longer able to “buy their own home”. When were working class 20-somethings able to “buy their own homes” in places like Paris or Sydney or London or Brussels? We bought our first home, a barely habitable dump, when I was 40, 24 years after having to drop out of high school and leave home to retain my sanity.

      A recent study here revealed that the percentage of people in their twenties who own their own home in the Lower Mainland is at a higher level than it has been over the past 50 years.

      Those 20-somethings that are excluded from the home-owning cohort, are are pissed off, but it is generally not directed at those it should be. Creating expectations with no intention or ability or interest in delivering, is the new model.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        A generation “growing up being told that they can do anything/be anything they want” is being set-up for disappointment, and feelings of failure and self-loathing. But there is another side to these false expectations — parents expect their children to succeed further stoking intergenerational anger and mutual feelings of failure.

        Your shift to the disappointments and alienation 20-somethings feel from being unable to own a home is curious. Being unable to own a home is a big source of disappointment and alienation to 20-somethings in the Vancouver area? You must live in a different Canada than that of Mildred Montana: ” Rents and houses virtually unaffordable…” In the u.s. I believe you need to talk about being able to rent an apartment of your own in some barely habitable dump without sharing it with roommates.

        1. Revenant

          In London, until the 1980’s, post war young adults could buy a house or rent one in the social or private sector with good security of tenure. Removal of quantity controls on mortgage lending blew a still-going bubble in house prices, removal of tenant protections encouraged small time rentiers and the right to buy council housing and bars on the councils purchasing replacement dwellings created a one time transfer of housing wealth to 1980’s floating others to reward them for voting Tory. This ended affordability!

  21. Eclair

    Thank you for those observations, Mildred M. We had a conversation with our grandson recently, an honors graduate, gainfully employed in the public sector, working remotely, by choice. Lives in The City (NYC), sharing space with 3 other young adults. Does not drive a car and has no license, but takes public transportation and walks. Buys most of his clothing at second-hand stores. Political science major and active in local political groups.

    He and his cohort are feeling that the gerontocracy who have embedded themselves as the ruling class have out-of-date ideas, as well as offering no room for younger leaders. We talked about ‘quiet quitting,’ which he defined as doing what the job contract requires, but pushing back against the ethos of working until you drop. I mentioned ‘working to rule,’ which was new to him. But, quiet quitting is not quite that, more of an acknowledgement that there is life outside of The Job. And a realization, from their parents’ and grandparents’ stories and experience, that the corporate world will drop you in a minute, in spite of your years of dedication.

    I think that the only reason he and his friends are not out there throwing rocks, spray painting graffiti, is that they have had the advantages of an expensive education and lots of family support and they have jobs. So, they are in a relatively good space right now. In a few years, if the long-promised relief for student debt does not materialize, if housing costs keep escalating and medical care keeps deteriorating, if the subways flood in the next super storm, and the electrical grid goes all wonky, all bets are off.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      As most of us are already much too aware, even young people with your grandson’s gifts and advantages are facing rapidly diminishing prospects and growing risks of returning to an empty bedroom at their parents house — if there is an empty bedroom — or couch surfing until they are forced into the ranks of the homeless. This is not the world promised to them as they grew up. The 21st Century better resembles the times around the first half of the 20th Century than it does any of the dream worlds of the future that fed the hopes of my generation in the 1960s and 1970s. But unlike that earlier Century we face the combined grim specters of Climate Chaos, overpopulation, depletion of resources, horrendous weapons of mass destruction, and a politics and economics maimed by deep structural flaws threatening great instability of a much larger scope and scale than that threatened by similar flaws in that earlier Century.

      I fear that the cities, especially the City, remain terribly dependent on a steady supply of electric power. My daughter is scraping by in an apartment in Brooklyn. I have warned of how dangerous I believe the City would become if the electric power shutoff for more than a few days. I ask my daughter to imagine how things might be if the City had no electric power for a month. She just tells me that what I am telling her is depressing and she does not want to hear any more.

      1. Pete

        My work as an attorney handling Plaintiff’s side employment law puts me in in regular contact with the underclass youth on an extended, personal basis. As I am old enough to be an “authority” figure but young enough to “get” them, eventually the underclass youth drop their guard and, let’s just say their fear and anger is palpable. Some of the nastier ones even “joke” about the “night of the pillow” to settle scores with their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. Couple that with a general callousness towards others, a sense of entitlement to a lifestyle they feel was robbed from them (though few can articulate how), and I fear we are setting ourselves up for one hell of a roller coaster ride, soon.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with you about the coming roller coaster ride. I am old, with an avuncular appearance, and I too have listened to the concerns and sorrows of some of the young people with whom I was attending classes at a community college. My classmates were not what you might describe as underclass youth. Their fear and anger was not so palpable as the feelings of unhappiness that so many of their parents seemed unable to understand the troubles they faced paying for school, renting a place to live, and holding on to a low-paying job where their employer and the public they were expected to serve treated them like thralls. Few of them held high expectations for themselves of the life they might live after school. They held on to hope while enduring daily setbacks.

          I imagine the underclass youth you deal with hold very little of that lingering hope I saw. I saw a lot of the fear and anger you described when listening to defendants in a county criminal court while waiting for my son’s case to come up. I also saw more than a little madness.

  22. Mikel
    “Jamie Dimon says inflation eroding consumer wealth may cause recession next year”

    “Consumers have $1.5 trillion in excess savings from Covid pandemic stimulus programs and are spending 10% more than in 2021, he said.”

    I’m don’t even have words for calling that “excess” with the prices of necessities. Or the rip-off of savers for over a decade.

    But what are they counting as part of this 1.5 trillion? The majority of the central bank handouts went to the already well-to-do and they blew ridiculous asset bubbles and borrowed on margin.

    Now the global central bank critters say it’s the fault of $17/hr jobs and one-time $1200 subsidies.

    So essentially people are being told that only damn-near slave labor (or actual slave labor – See FIFA Cup in Qatar) can save the 1% at this point.

    1. eg

      You can reliably count on none of these “excess savings” (in itself kind of a bizarre construction in a society that otherwise worships wealth so fervently) articles to inquire as to the DISTRIBUTION of said savings, eh?

      Setting aside for a moment how lazy and meaningless the average is as a mode of central tendency for virtually every economic statistic, in this particular case it is inexcusable. Absent any sense of the distribution the varying “propensities to spend/save” magically disappear along with any predictive value of the “excess savings” statistic.


  23. Mikel

    Here’s yet another example of what jackasses called “productive” in the era of ultra low interest rates:
    Document Claims Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison’s FTX Margin Position Was Negative $1.3B in May 2022

    “…The document our newsdesk viewed indicates the user’s negative balance owed or held in a margin position, points to a massive amount of FTT, megaserum (MSRM), locked megaserum (MSRM), locked serum (SRM), locked maps (MAPS), solana (SOL), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin (BTC), and millions of dollars worth of stablecoins. The user’s balance, allegedly tied to Alameda CEO Ellison, shows nearly every account is in the negative to the tune of roughly $1.31 billion…”

    “…The large margin position shared in May 2022, is around the same time frame the Terra LUNA fiasco happened.

    The insider that shared the document purportedly tied to Ellison, asked “how can a buddy of SBF generate a debt” of that size “with no collateral?” There’s a lot of unanswered questions that circle back to Ellison and people have been investigating the Alameda CEO for quite some time. Ellison was reportedly spotted in New York this past weekend with the FTX office dog called ‘Gopher….’’

    The gaslight: the problem is all the fault of $1200 dollars and some unemployment benefits (some never received by people) given out a couple of years ago….

  24. JBird4049

    >>>New York Mayor’s Plan to Round Up Homeless People Is a Trauma-Inducing Horror

    From the very little I know, it’s about $300 per day for extremely basic hospitalization. For a 30 day month, that is $9,000 per a month and $108,000 per year. I could be an idiot here, but even in the San Francisco Bay Area, even in the city itself, one could easily live on that amount, even after paying taxes. Granted, a nice, not slumlord studio apartment is around $2,000 to $3,000 with a one bedroom five hundred to one thousand more. Add that most of the mentally ill, although not all, either become that way because of, or have it seriously worsened, homelessness.

    $3,000 per month housing.
    $500 for food.
    $300 for electricity.
    $500 for clothes and incidentals.
    $1,000 for medicine (if needed) and therapist (again, if needed)
    $1,000 case management
    $1,000 for the inevitable graft or “management fees”
    $7,300 total against $9,000

    That is must less expensive and more effective than what the mayor of New York is planning.

    From what I unfortunately know, I think at least half, probably most, of the “mentally ill” would do much better than any hospitalization. Some people must be hospitalized because that is the only way, but it is usually an excuse. However, much of our mentally ill go to jail or prison because reasons. And of course, treating people like humans should be is considered the dreaded communism. Unlike capitalism of course, which is ever so much better. And slavery is very profitable, isn’t?

    1. Pat

      Three things to understand about our former cop now NYC Mayor Eric Adams:

      He is a Sharpton trained media clown. He pivots on a dime. Spending millions on the illegal immigrants that were sent to NYC as a publicity stunt appeared to be garnering him the press he wanted until suddenly the press got tired of stepping over the homeless to get into their offices and started giving the already protesting housing advocates a megaphone.

      He almost always will decide to do something showy that is likely of minimal usefulness but will make friends, supporters and/or backers a fair chunk of the city’s monies.

      He is a business mogul wanna be, and is deeply in debt to both private equity goons and real estate industries. Real estate do not want the homeless in their buildings. In the meanwhile NYCHA has been underfunded for years, that is NYC owned and operated low income housing. Many of the buildings are in serious trouble. There is no money in the budget for housing and no private ROI for “helping” to provide it. There is however ROI for the private equity owned hospitals in NY if you put the homeless in them. And they are the majority of the hospitals here now…)

      Side note, he has not said anything recently, but the “I want to be paid in crypto” idiot was still affirming his belief in crypto even after the Fried debacle.

      1. JBird4049

        I am guessing that if a profitable investment opportunity for something like Soylent Green was available to solve the homeless crisis, getting rid of the trash, and profitably beautifying the NYC Theme Park he would support it?

  25. Jason Boxman

    Tangentially to The Great Purpling:

    It was a startling switch from the more romantic, orange glow of sodium vapor. Less Paris by moonlight, more Porsche on the Autobahn. “The introduction of every new lighting technology caused a lot of consternation until people got used to it,” says Sandy Isenstadt, an art and architecture historian at the University of Delaware. “It’s often around color, sometimes simply around brightness. For that matter, even the introduction of gaslight caused a lot of concern.”

    (bold mine)

    I dunno, relatedly, I haven’t gotten used to murder headlights. More and more cars have them now, and they’re deadly blinding from oncoming traffic, particularly on two lane roads. I’m shocked and saddened that this is apparently a thing that’s going to become universal in my lifetime. I hate driving even more now than ever. I guess the NTSB is okay with this. Why not? They did so well with Boeing.

    1. juno mas

      Agreed. Headlight brightness is restricted by federal law to 500 (min) to 3000 (max) lumen (or candela). In my experience it is the Bozos with the jacked-up vehicles that are the worse offenders. Placing a 3000 lumen headlight a half-foot higher than it was designed for places a searing light bean into your retina and can blind an oncoming driver for much too long for safety sake.

      But there is no one willing to enforce the highway regulations.

  26. Jason Boxman


    Iwasaki’s top candidates for potential therapies to study include antivirals, like the drug Paxlovid, which will undergo its first clinical trial to alleviate inflammation and other long COVID symptoms in January. Early results from a widescale study on veterans found that the treatment with nirmatrelvir—one of the two pills used in the treatment—can slightly decrease the risk of long COVID if taken during the acute phase. Iwasaki also hopes to investigate other therapies that target the reactivated Epstein-Barr virus and inflammation associated with long COVID, as well as cortisol supplementation therapies.

    So that’s a different way of expressing it than Topol did in one of this posts; From his post, you’d think Paxlovid was a lot more promising in regards to long-COVID. Not sure what to make of that. I’m certainly not feeling motivated to get COVID, though.

    The worst part is we can end the Pandemic at any time, but that requires material benefits for all citizens and we can’t have anyone getting any ideas about their place in neoliberal society, so we get death and disability instead. At least this is a plague that visits the elite as well.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe most of us would require only very limited material benefits from the State to regain control of the Corona pandemic. However, these limited material benefits would have to be combined with some limited material losses to the FIRE Sector. After utilities, food, transportation, and medical care are covered, most of us would be reasonably comfortable for long enough to tame the pandemic — after rents, and debt payments are taken care of. Why was the government unable to simply mandate stopping all payments to rent and debt until things including incomes resumed their flows? I realize it is not quite that simple, but at the same time I am greatly angered by the way our Finance and Wealthy were so well fed and feathered using the Corona pandemic as an excuse.

      This plague does visit the elite as well — though seldom with the same terrible impacts as its visitations on the Populace.

      1. Basil Pesto

        It’s certainly true that too much of the pandemic support of 2020 trickled up to those who not only deserved it the least but were least important to get it to (money should go to the people to minimise the hardship of necessary mass cordons sanitaires to solve the problem), but it’s also true that throughout 2020 in the traditional neoliberal world, as a result of the semi-Keynesian response to the initial shock of a dangerous pandemic, there were very brief flashes and signs of a re-emergence of the welfare state in countries that had spent decades undoing it. For example I was looking at this recently as an aide-memoire of the timeline here. Like, money to temporarily house the homeless for their protection? Are you kidding? We didn’t devote decades contriving a homeless underclass all to risk throwing it away by making people understand that it’s actually completely unnecessary.

        That was a (the?) useful function of the vaccines: one last gift that won’t actually do what we’re telling you it will, and then get back to work, peasants.

        Meantime, the Koch/Hoover Institute nexus convinced the understandably trust-deficient paranoiacs and the grifters ready and willing to exploit them that this largesse in service of disease control – paltry that it was in far too many places – was, in fact, about social control and freedom robbing or some such inane blather. A propaganda masterstroke.

  27. Karl

    RE (from yesterday’s links): Macron’s visit tells Europe’s Alienation (Indian Punchline)

    There was no comment on this yesterday, but thought this might be important for capturing the European mood. Macron is quoted in an interview in France on his return from the US:

    We must think about the security architecture, in which we will live tomorrow. I am talking, in particular, about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s words that NATO is approaching Russia’s borders and deploys weapons that could threaten it. This issue will be a part of the peace discussions, and we must prepare for what will come after [the Ukrainian conflict], and think how we could protect our allies and, at the same time, provide Russia with guarantees of its own security, once the sides return to the negotiation table.” 

    Surely Macron conveyed this message to Biden during the State visit. Macron (a first for a European leader perhaps?) is actually proposing something fairly concrete to address Russia’s security concerns. What a concept! Too bad the West is not agreement capable, in Putin’s eyes, to “guarantee” anything. The world has seen the U.S. rip up too many agreements it doesn’t like when convenient. Putin calls the U.S. the “Empire of Lies.”

    But the fact that Macron said this (almost certainly?) to Biden’s face, is an indication of Europe’s growing alienation, as Indian Punchline puts it. Not sure if this got much press in the US MSM. But Macron, who has talked with Putin frequently, surely knows his suggestion won’t get far with Putin.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      My impression reading the link you referenced was that it was a nicely written description in diplomacy speak of the meeting between Biden and Macron. Reading past the diplomacy speak it sounded as if Macron came to tell Biden that the natives were restless back home and the u.s. should ease up on Russia, and Biden told Macron — very nicely — to go home and pound sand. Macron’s expression of “an indication of Europe’s growing alienation” fell on deaf ears. I am still mystified as to why European leadership so willingly followed the u.s. in its NATO initiatives which promise the debacle of European economies as well as European security. I cannot but wonder what sort of benefit the European Elites derive from slavishly supporting u.s. policies that promise to be disastrous.

      Another of yesterday’s links described how the u.s. trade with China has rapidly declined and trade with the EU coincidentally increased to where the u.s. imports more goods from the EU than from China. At the same time the Indian punchline article described how one of Macron’s concerns was the impact of the u.s. IRA bill whose “Buy American” clauses Macron characterized as protectionist. On one hand u.s. trade with the EU is up, while Macron is worried about the IRA’s protectionist language.

      1. Karl

        Good points. I have also been mystified by how willing Europe has been to follow the U.S. and take the attendant economic risks. I’ve been asking myself: OK, what “upside” might justify such large risks?

        First and perhaps most likely is that Europe and the U.S. never expected Russia to call Europe’s bluff and invade Ukraine. After a window of opportunity for a negotiated settlement closed in Istanbul in March, the West actually thought maybe Ukraine might actually be able to win, and decided to go for broke. Then “fog of war” took over. One step followed the other in the March of Folly.

        But why did NATO and the EU take such great risks poking the bear with NATO expansion in the first place? The lobbying of the Eastern European countries to move the front-lines of the next battle further eastward was a likely contributing cause. But I wonder if it came down to economics. I suspect the U.S. genuinely felt that Russia just needed a big kick to cause the door to Ukraine’s and Russia’s vast resources to crash open with a regime change in Russia. Pre-invasion, Ukraine’s biggest export customer was China by far. #2 was Poland, and #3 was Russia. Perhaps Ukraine was part of a larger NATO/EU strategy to corral Ukraine-Russia’s resources into the EU trading bloc rather than the Asian (which was rapidly taking more and more). If so, it shows how dependent the EU economy is on access to cheap energy, food and other resources of the East. And now that gamble has utterly backfired.

        What amazes me is that NATO and the EU continued to have faith in following the U.S. after their joint ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan failed so miserably. Why did they think a proxy war in Ukraine would end up any different? Here one must conclude, as many here at NC have said countless times, that blame must fall on the low quality of Europe’s leadership class.

  28. Kouros

    “South Korea will try to maintain good relations with China, but we are going to see it pursuing its own national interest aligning with the US.”

    How can S Korea pursue its national interest if it is aligned with the US? Same way as EU countries…?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      You ask a very good question. Sitting between China and Japan I continue to believe Korea would benefit in many ways from an extension of the Transiberian railroad through North Korea into Seoul. It would not hurt Korea to seek closer relations with Russia as China grows and the u.s. Empire declines.

      1. Polar Socialist

        One would be tempted to even think that the two Koreas can start reconciliation towards some weird “one state, two governments” arrangement much better when the US power in the peninsular affairs declines.

        At least one can hope.

  29. The Rev Kev

    Cliff V’s kitten in the Antidote du jour is not pensive. It’s just glad to be on the right side of the window. Hey, its cold outside.

  30. David in Santa Cruz

    Daniel Ellsberg is my hero. I first met him 45 years ago when he was under threat of being imprisoned for the rest of his life and I’m happy to say that I’ve recently had the opportunity to tell him what I think of him in person. He inspired me that truth is the highest moral value.

    Now, learning from the BBC that Ellsberg had possession of all of Chelsea Manning’s materials on American war crimes, just in case Assange was taken-out, and that he was ready to make them public if that happened — well, Dan Ellsberg is even more of a hero than I thought!

  31. Anon

    Thanks to amfortas for sharing The Dark Mountain manifesto with us… that was moving. A strong dose, vivid, in its bleakness… yet a bright light in the face of what is being wrought.

  32. The Rev Kev

    For those interested. The Lindybeige site has gotten mention over the years on NC and I just came across a very recent video where he is interviewing a British volunteer back from the Ukraine. The video goes for about an hour but the guy, who is quite likable, as a lot of insights into life at the Ukrainian end of the war- (57:50 mins)

    Very much worth listening to.

Comments are closed.