Links 1/10/2023

Engineers on brink of extinction threaten entire ecosystems The Register (Chuck L)

Fiber optics take the pulse of the planet Knowable Magazine (Randy K)

Anti-obesity drugs or surgery now advised for some US children BBC

California deluge forces mass evacuations, boy swept away Associated Press (Kevin W)

Humans Still Have The Genes For a Full Coat of Fur, Scientists Discover ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Approval of a second controversial Alzheimer’s drug is dividing medical experts Washington Post (Kevin W)



Interview with Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly on the COVID pandemic and Long COVID WSWS (fk)


More US schools institute mask mandates as COVID cases rise ABC. *Sigh*. You can bet no N95s to be found. And you’d need small ones for kids.


Restoration of the Ozone Layer Is Back on Track, Scientists Say New York Times

Why Pakistan needs help coping with climate disasters DW

Water-filled windows use sunlight to heat and cool buildings dezeen


US looks to deter China by sprinkling missile-armed marines across Japanese islands South China Morning Post

Will US Speaker McCarthy go to Taiwan? Asia Times (Kevin W)

Why China made a $540mn energy deal with the Taliban RT (Kevin W)

How the two Koreas use the Ukraine war against each other Responsible Statecraft


White House under pressure to expel Bolsonaro after Brazil riots Financial Times

Brazil’s Bolsonaro hospitalized in the U.S. with abdominal pain – report Reuters

European Disunion

New Not-So-Cold War

Pseudo-academic writings on the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine War Gilbert Doctorow

* * *

Fort Bragg strip club owners donate $1B in weapons to Ukraine DuffelBlog (Li)

UK weighs supplying Ukraine with Challenger tanks Financial Times. 64-66 ton tanks. Even heavier than Abrams (55 tons), deemed to be so heavy as to damage Ukraine roads. And as Alexander Mercouris has pointed out several times, maintenance needs increase geometrically with weight.

* * *

Ukraine War Day #318: Voldemar The Nation Destroyer Awful Avalanche

S Africa lends China-Russia a helping naval hand Asia Times (Kevin W)

* * *

How Zelenskiy became Hollywood’s man of the hour Guardian (Kevin W)

Kazakhstan denounces agreement with Russia on convertibility of ruble and tenge Armenia News


Israel Sees Palestinian Human Rights Groups as Terrorist Organizations Haaretz (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Researchers Track GPS Location of All of California’s New Digital License Plates Vice

Identifying People Using Cell Phone Location Data Bruce Schneier

US Supreme Court Lets Meta’s WhatsApp Pursue ‘Pegasus’ Spyware Suit Reuters

Imperial Collapse Watch

The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan CSIS (RobertC)


Joe Biden’s claim to presidential greatness Financial Times. I have to confess I could not bring myself to read it. is your friend if you have a sturdier stomach than I do.

Classified Documents Found at Biden’s Vice Presidential Center Wall Street Journal. Right wingers up in arms, see examples below

Biden REFUSES to explain why ten classified files were found at his think tank’s Washington office before midterms – or why DoJ investigation has only now been revealed – after he blasted Trump as ‘irresponsible’ for failing to return documents Daily Mail. Lead story.

Differences in the Trump, Biden classified document discoveries The Hill


GOP’s ‘weaponization’ panel would have power to review those probing Trump The Hill

The Republicans Are Very Excited to Investigate the Investigations Charles Pierce (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

GOP prepares to battle itself over defense spending Politico

Our No Longer Free Press

On MSNBC and “Authoritarianism” Matt Taibbi. Love the Good Will Hunting clip.

Seattle Public Schools sues social media over youth mental health Seattle Times (David S). I guarantee this goes nowhere. First, how can you prove “social media” uniquely caused harm, as opposed to, let’s say, parental negligence that led to child overinvolvement in social media? Second, you don’t sue “social media”. You sue particular companies. How can anyone possibly establish that TikTok harmed a particular child or group of children, as opposed to Instagram or other apps? That’s before problems with standing (dunno Washington but in a lot of states, schools can’t intervene in mental health issues unless the student poses a danger to himself or others; school can only advise parents, which would seem to = mental health being a parental responsibility. If so, any liability lies with the parents for failing to act on school advice) and even unclean hands (the schools are in loco parentis, at least during the school day. Did the schools restrict social media access, say by demanding phones be turned in during school hours? Did they warn parents to restrict social media use? If not, they arguably participated in the behavior they are now complaining about). I’m not saying suits can’t win but IMHO they have to be narrowly targeted with concrete harms to particular people on particular platforms, like chat groups dedicated to cutting or anorexia or autoerotic asphyxiation. Filing here.

Who holds power in Washington? Glenn Greenwald. With Matt Stoller.

Swiss National Bank posts record $143 billion loss in 2022 Reuters

US Sets 2024 Deadline For 5G Signal Safeguards On Aircraft Bloomberg

Hillary Clinton’s College Gig Funded by Chinese Oligarchs Front Page (Li)

When taxes go up, executives increase profits from insider trading PhysOrg

The Bezzle

FTX’s Former Engineering Chief Nishad Singh Looking for Deal From Feds: Report CoinDesk

Class Warfare

CEOs Explain Why They Oppose A 4-Day Workweek The Onion

More than 7,000 nurses go on strike at two New York City hospitals Guardian

Hospitals Scramble to Find Medical Workers as Nurses Strike THE CITY

Pro Athletes Want Workers’ Compensation for Their Injuries The Tyee (Dr. Kevin)

Rolls-Royce car sales hit 119-year record as US drives demand Financial Times (John C)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    California deluge forces mass evacuations, boy swept away Associated Press

    Been in touch with friends in Tiny Town and yesterday’s storm was a rain on snow event in the Giant Forest & Grant Grove areas of Sequoia NP where 3 feet of snow had accumulated, and with the resulting flood being the biggest since 1997, but not even close to the flood of record in 1955, yeah!

    Friends on the south fork of the Kaweah River have told me that the river smells very intensely of Sequoia trees, as the 2020 Castle Fire and 2021 KNP Fires did quite a number on the half dozen groves a mile higher in altitude, and all that tree-bris came flowing down. There doesn’t appear to be much flood damage I was told, but we have pretty much almost another week of rain in lesser amounts headed our way.

    The epicenter yesterday was Ventura to Santa Barbara where it looks as if the damage is extensive, as the atmospheric river more or less parked there for much of the day.

      1. ambrit

        That video looks like good old hurricane action to we Gulf Coast and Florida Old Timers. H—, this can be seen down here during any particularly strong cold front.

    1. Lee

      Down here in the lowlands, ~35 feet above sea level, on the east side of SF Bay, and not directly across from the Golden Gate, we are generally spared the high winds. But not always. 4 a.m. and the double hung windows in this old house are rattling like crazy in the gale.

    2. griffen

      It is all sounding pretty epic from way over here on the east coast. To add to the downside, will we be somehow inundated with yet more whinging from the former royals Harry and Meghan? Reading in the AP article that their little region of Montecito was also hit pretty hard. Perhaps they can coalesce with their famous neighbors, you know, host a barbecue and toast to their travails of life.

    3. Keith in Modesto

      We had a tornado warning at 3:45 am here in Modesto (Stanislaus County, Northern San Juaquin Valley, Central Valley of California), followed by 30-45 minutes (I didn’t time it) of very heavy rain, high winds, lighting and thunder. Went outside after sunrise to walk around my condo unit a little and the roof seems intact and all the ducks in the pond seem fine, but lots of tree detritus on the ground.

    4. juno mas

      Yes, the impact of the latest Atmospheric Tsunami in Santa Barbara has been stunning: 8″ of rain in 24 hours. All of Montecito under evac. order. The only N/S travel route (the 101 freeway) blocked by water/mud at multiple locations from Ventura-SB-Gaviota. County has ordered people to not drive (hee-hee).

      Santa Barbara beaches are all gone. Adjacent beach parking next to go.
      Cars at curbside are floating in standing water on the Eastside.

      It’s clearing, now, as I type this. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny—then the next storm!

      As I’ve written before in Comments: All drought ends with a flood!

  2. The Rev Kev

    “US looks to deter China by sprinkling missile-armed marines across Japanese islands”

    Not a great plan as Tony Stark would say. This is scattering US Marines in penny packets across the islands in the hope of restricting Chinese Navy ships. What will happen is that these garrisons will be isolated and denied supply, have their positions identified through satellites and drones, and then they will be destroyed in place. So for the US military they will be disposable assets with probably little hope of being evacuated once their missiles – those that are not destroyed – are expended in action. It is not even the first time that the US Marines have done something like this. At the beginning of WW2 they had what was called US Marine defense battalions-

    ‘Unlike the mobile Marine forces involved in offensive actions, defense battalions were detached to key outposts, in the Pacific and one in Iceland, and remained at the station they defended. Most varied greatly in size and equipment. The battalions often had several coastal gun batteries, several anti-aircraft batteries, a detection battery (searchlights and radar), and machine gun units. While a few had composite infantry companies attached, most defense battalions were responsible for providing their own riflemen.’

    The Wake Island defenders had these men there – before the Japanese overran that island. And if war ever broke out in the Pacific again, these “Missile Marines” will also be quickly overrun.

    1. Polar Socialist

      If they can be isolated and denied supply – and they certainly can – they don’t even need to be overrun. If they have no logistics and no targeting info, they won’t be a threat to anyone.

      As much as the technology has gone forward, in the naval warfare the advantage still goes to the one with more firepower and endurance. And my guess would be that on a head to head with a Chinese type 052D destroyer the Marine missile unit would be seriously outgunned and have no staying power whatsoever.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You may be right. US strategy in the Pacific was to isolate all those Japanese garrisons on those suddenly isolated islands as they were bypassed and let them rot. Later they were used for target practice by local US & Allied forces.

    2. tevhatch

      Primary function is to plant flag and insure that each island maintains no sovereignty. Their side arms (and the embedded NED agent with bag of non-consecutive bank notes/bearer bonds/money) are the critical weapons, the missiles are just a fig leaf.

      1. John

        Seems absolutely futile and nonsensical to me, but then I am not accounting for the great and subtle minds who devised this tactic, ploy.

        1. tevhatch

          It means Chinese commercial shipping and military patrols will be greeted with hostility instead of welcome, that trade will be curtailed, and that mineral wealth in the 200 mile zones are out of reach, etc. A tripwire. Another function is to contaminated local resource with pathogenic waste, such as fluorocarbon fire fighting agents, which then increases dependency on USAID, another branch of the CIA.

          The Coming War on China – John Pilger – Part 1 – starts with possibly the worst example

      2. Rice

        What is NED?
        Maybe the marines can emerge 50 years from now and like the Japanese old men who thought the war was still on, greet the occupying second generation of chincoms on the island?

        For the trillions of tax dollars and soldiers wasted, has the U.S. won a single war since the 1940s??? We taxpayers should ask for our money back from the Pentagon.

        1. tevhatch

          National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was created by the CIA/Congress blob to do publicly what the CIA use to do (sort of) secretly.

    3. digi_owl

      In part they are likely there with the hope that Beijing will screw up and give DC a casus belli to go on the offensive. This pretty much the same as the token marines dotted around Europe as tripwires against Moscow.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Lots of grumbling on the net how those Republicans were able to get all sorts of concessions out of Kevin McCarthy for their votes whereas a coupla years ago the Squad got zero promises for supporting Nancy Pelosi and AOC at least lost committee positions afterwards. One guy posted a tweet yesterday saying-

      ‘Defund Ukraine
      Hakeem Jeffries helped destroy AOC-endorsed @ninaturner in Ohio and AOC got her revenge by voting for Jeffries to be House Minority Leader without asking for a single f****** thing’

      1. Pat

        I don’t think I am the audience that the Democrats want for this type of thing. One of my takeaways from this was to be impressed with how the supposed Clown Car had so much familiarity with the Constitution and especially with previous House procedures that had been jettisoned over the last few decades.

        For someone like me the result was not to be appalled at the Republicans but at the minority Democrats who refused to fight even a tenth as hard for their values, but also to wonder how many of the Democratic delegation had even a clue about history, precedent, and legal positions McCarthy’s opposition kept bringing up.

      2. Mikel

        I haven’t been keeping up with the situation in the House for that reason.
        I took one look at the situation and thought, like them or not, negotiate is what they are supposed to do.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      I agree with Turley. This point really caught me:

      I have worked in the House in various roles since I was a House leadership page in the 1970s and, much later, represented the House in litigation. I’ve watched the body become less transparent, less deliberative, with every passing year.

      The Framers saw the House as a powerful forum to address factions in society, a legislative crucible where different interests could be expressed and resolved in majoritarian compromise. The legislative process can inform citizens while exposing legislative proposals to public scrutiny. But that process has been largely replaced with a series of robotic, preordained votes.

      I listened to some of the debate this past week, and it was as Turley says: a rare moment of true public debate, unscripted, non-Kabuki. Chip Roy’s speech claiming the reforms would require that big steps like the Ukraine war–the example he used–would be debated before the people before decisions were made. Oh that the Squad believed the same.

      I don’t agree with these politicians on things from Covid to the role of the government in providing basic needs, but they are right that Congress has become such an insiders’ game that it’s sickening.

    3. Questa Nota

      No more sketchy, prevaricating Schiff or ChiComSpy diddler Swalwell on Intel committee. Practically worth the drama for that alone.
      The latter likely wouldn’t be able to get a security clearance for a non-government non-appointed job so why trust him with anything, let alone delicate matters?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        With any luck at all, schiff broke his sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution when he demanded twitter censor reporter Paul Sperry, and that it’s prosecutable.

        V for Vendetta or “he who laughs last laughs best” or something like that…..

        1. Screwball

          Watching Schiff get perp walked from congress would be a sight for sore eyes, but let’s be real – half the country hasn’t even heard of the Twitter files, and half of the rest love Shifty Schiff like a cute new puppy, but I digress…

          We also know the FBI, the DOJ, and whoever else it would take to charge Shifty Schiff will never do so – because they are as corrupt as congress and Biden. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

          Laws are only for us little people.

    4. Verifyfirst

      Don’t forget you would never have seen those shots of the House debate under the regular rules the House forces Cspan to operate under–only because there was no speaker could Cspan show you what they wanted to.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      I’d imagine that the fact that this speaker fight was coming with the shift to repub house control was no secret in the halls of congress. You have to wonder if the specter of the changes that would be demanded by the repub “dissenters” didn’t contribute to pelosi’s decision “step down” from her position in “leadership.”

      While pelosi ruled the house like an apex predator, brooking no dissent, as she shepherded to “passage” a load of shitty “bills” that betrayed dem “voters” and benefitted only herself and her oligarch compadres, she also made absolute fools out of so-called “progressives” in her caucus. I don’t think aoc or jayapal will ever rehabilitate their “reputations” with actual “progressives,” who had had such high hopes for them initially.

      I mean, how humiliating was it when, a few months ago, jayapal & co. were forced to retract a milquetoast letter about just possibly taking a second look at the ukraine blank check after just a few hours, when Mommie Dearest brought out the wire coat hanger.

      pelosi may have feared her hold on the reins would slip now that those no account kids from the wrong side of the tracks, like Boebert and Gaetz, showed her heretofore subservient children how it’s done. Not that aoc or jayapal will ever overcome the psychological effects of the domestic abuse they’ve suffered, but there will be others, for whom debate on behalf of their constituents is the reason they got into the politics business in the first place.

      I also agree with Turley:

      It was an actual deliberation, conducted in front of the American people. While repellent to many, it just might be something that voters could get accustomed to.

    6. Wukchumni

      While i’m ok with the idea of transparency, the ‘deliverers’ are so suspect and swing so far hard right, you’d expect they take out life insurance against accidental falls from tipping over.

      Have a read of Mark Meadows text messages in the run-up to January 6th, these clowns are Keystone Kops-but there’s nothing funny about them.

  3. griffen

    Matt Taibbi article linked, my sincere and most simple thought. Keep giving it to them, Matt and the rest. Give them all hell and no let up. MSDNC, NY Times, Wash Post and the like are not reliable informational news sources, and I will throw Fox News and WSJ from the conservative angle into the hopper as well. YMMV.

    1. Not Again

      Couldn’t care less about Twitter one way or the other. I never assumed it was a free market of ideas any more than the New York Times op-ed page is.

      I don’t read the NYT and don’t Twit. If Lambert didn’t cite them every day, I wouldn’t even know that they exist.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        It doesn’t matter whether you care about it or not. The fact is millions of other people do use it (I’m not one myself) and our political class, for whatever reason, uses it to communicate with the public.

        I don’t like it, and was appalled the first time I saw TV anchors quote anonymous twitter users and call it “news”, but that’s where we are.

        If this and other platforms used by hundreds of millions of people are infested by spooks who get to decide what people can hear and what they can’t, that is a huge deal because the government is supposed to be promoting freedom of speech or at least allowing it, not taking it upon themselves to censor it, and the public has a right to know about it when their elected officials abuse the 1st amendment.

        If others choose to go around with their head in the sand pretending it’s all a nothingburger, well those people have a right to be deliberately ignorant too.

  4. cnchal

    > Rolls-Royce car sales hit 119-year record as US drives demand

    Here is an antidote to clown car owners.

    Luxury car owners are not happier than frugal car owners

    The topic of cars and happinessFootnote 1 is interesting for several reasons. First, it may seem obvious to people, especially males, that car, especially a luxury car, brings about happiness. Think of a shiny, fully loaded model of Lexus, BMW, Audi, or any other overpriced car.Footnote 2 It is easy to imagine that happiness results from such a purchase, and that is arguably a major reason to pay extra for these cars—their purchase promises happiness. It may appear that such a luxury car would bring about much more happiness than a frugal car, say a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic. We will argue here that this common wisdom is wrong.

    When that Rolls runs over a descent sized pothole, the price to repair that – new wheel and tire if lucky, if not lucky add a few moar grand for suspension bits, I would be happy to run over the same pothole in my old Honda, break nothing and keep driving for years including fuel and maintenace at less cost.

    The buck you don’t have to earn on crap you don’t need is way moar valuable than the one you do.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Humans Still Have The Genes For a Full Coat of Fur, Scientists Discover”

    ‘Yet all our ancestors had plenty of fur. According to a new study on relatively hairless mammals, we still have the means to be hirsute. Those genes, it seems, have simply been switched off.’

    For a handful of unlucky people, it might be that these genes switched on again and the condition is known as Hypertrichosis. In earlier times, these people would often be forced to earn a living in a freak show-

  6. Lexx

    ‘Joe Biden’s Claim To Presidential Greatness’

    Test drove this one so you didn’t have to. If you read the Chris Hedges article from yesterday without spewing and gouging out your eyeballs, you can get through this and be the stronger for it. What doesn’t kill you…yadayadayada. YMMV.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      After your comment, I felt compelled to read Chris Hedges “America’s Theater of the Absurd”. I guess I missed whatever it was that made you want to gouge your eyes out reading it. Perhaps you could elaborate a little on what so offended you. I am also curious how Hedges diatribe relates to Biden’s Greatness in the Financial Times link [which I cannot access without some contortions].

      1. Lexx

        Well, Mr. Grimm, I like reading Hedges but I’m ambivalent about it’s effects on my nervous system. I keep thinking ‘I’m glad Chris is on our side. He’d be even more formidable working for the enemy.’ His seminary background comes out in his writing, pounding the pulpit with his cadence and breadth of knowledge like he’s offering us the word of Gawd. It’s more a sermon really. I’ve read three of his books in bite-sized portions, then I have to go away awhile and think about what he’s written and it usually frightens me to my core.

        ‘Offended’ isn’t the right word; it’s more Old Testament and burning shrubbery (and I’m a Doubting Thomasina). I can’t recall how many times that came up in the Bible but here at NC our mortal souls are called to question often… daily for the regulars, truth be told.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Taibbi’s piece was fun. Taibbi is very out of fashion with his definition of “authoritarianism.” He thinks it still means what it has always meant heretofore. But now it means “not going along with the billionaires’ program.” Make a list of everyone accused of “authoritarianism,” and you’ll find that all of the international indicted, from Putin to Xi to Maduro to the Ayatollah, are there not because of the type of government or the ruling style of the fingered ruler. On such factors, they vary widely.

    They do have one thing in common: they are outside the “orbit” of the billionaires, that being those places where the money of the billionaires gives them overwhelming power. Some of these places have been exiled from the billionaires’ world, Maduro and the Ayatollah for example. Others have gotten rather rebellious like Russia and China. Are we hearing any billionaires rebuking our march to war with Russia? Please let us know if there are. The only people I hear complaining are those “authoritarian” Republicans and some of the Lefties that Taibbi is blamed for turning “authoritarian.” And that is what “authoritarian” means domestically: anyone objecting to the billionaires’ program of war, pestilence and famine for us and private jets, publicly funded football temples and personal islands for the billionaires.

    When I hear “authoritarian” from a Lib or a Bushie, I hear “not under the thumb of the billionaires.” The utterance comes, of course, from someone who is happily and remuneratively “under the thumb.”

    1. fresno dan

      What drives me to distraction is that MSNBC and CNN are self described as NOT conservative or right wing. That is incredible. Not only do they hire all these former FBI and CIA people, but they hire onew who were FIRED for lying and other problems. Nicole Wallace, a Bush press secretary, somehow is not identified as being a right wing warmonger. But ignoring reality is the main objective of the billionaire run news media. The values, or more accurately, the lack of values is what drives everything you see on TV.
      I remember reading once a physicist saying that you can make a refrigerator fly with enough energy – and I guess with enough money you can make a Bush apologist a “liberal” spokesperson…

      1. orlbucfan

        Authoritarian is just another word for totalitarian. I don’t care if it’s billionaires, oligarchs, or some yahoo with more sharp knives and spears than their neighbors. I don’t watch noize like CNN nor MSNBC; I avoid them like the plague they are.

        1. hunkerdown

          No, it isn’t. Totalitarianism is an epistemology. Authoritarianism is a mode of relations. “There are no such things as synonyms” -Tom Robbins

    2. Carolinian

      Perhaps they decided saying “fascist” all the time was starting to make them sound a bit nutty.

      It could be the truth is that both sides of this Twitter fracas are authoritarian but in different ways. The right likes to play the bully overseas while the left believes that the government is the solution, not the problem–as long as they are running it. Appeals to supposedly objective guides like the Constitution are used when convenient by both sides. The right says that we shouldn’t let the Constitution get in the way of fighting crime and the Left says bending the rules is “ok when we do it.” Therefore–to the Left in particular–Taibbi’s stance as the nonpartisan gumshoe is annoying. They think we are in an ideological war whereas it’s really, as you say, a class war between the rich and the rest of us. Since many on the Left are rich (or supported by contributions from the rich) this is an inconvenient truth.

      1. Gulag

        What gives you such apparent great faith in your economic reductionism (it is really a class war between the rich and the rest of us)?

        1. Carolinian

          But isn’t reductionism what we are really talking about in this discussion about Taibbi and the many knee jerk attacks that he is being subjected to? The point of my comment is that if we are going to generalize then let’s try to get a little closer to the truth than “fascism” which doesn’t fit the case at all. I’m contending that what the Dem left really fears is populism and the loss of control over a narrative that promotes alternate scapegoats for our social decline like Russia, conspiracy theorists on the right etc. That’s why the Twitter censorship story matters and why it really is about class conflict. The wealthy and the PMCs feel they are under threat and debate should justifiably be suppressed.

          Of course you don’t have to agree. Open debate is really the point.

          1. Gulag

            Sorry I missed your reply to my question. I agree with you that what the Dem Left really fears is populism and loss of control of the narrative.

            But I would add that what the Uni-party fears even more is a temporary alliance among the populist left (people like Greenwald, Taibbi etc and the populist right (people like Gaetz, Rand Paul, etc.

            Consequently I raised the issue of economic reductionism as worthwhile topic to be debated among the populist left and right. Who knows where it might lead.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Your tone is out of line. Carolinian responded much more politely that your unwarranted rudeness warranted. One more like this and you will be blacklisted.

      2. JBird4049

        >>>Appeals to supposedly objective guides like the Constitution are used when convenient by both sides.

        What I do not every hear is an understanding that the Constitution in general, and the Bill of Rights in particular, was created to protect all of us; after having fought a war against a military turned law enforcement under the control of an unresponsive and very corrupt government, Americans were a bit worried that this might happen again, but with their own government being the corrupt, tyrannical regime with a military as police. Does this remind anyone of some country today?

        I realize that I am a history nerd and that America history has probably been dumbed down, but even a very mild understanding of the American Revolution would make this clear.

        Adding American political science, and preferably the the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, would make it very understandable. I think adding the periods of Jim Crow, especially around the Nadir, and around the Palmer Raids, and during McCarthyism as well as the CIA/FBI/State Department during the Cold War would be good.

        But all this would mean taking four or five courses in American history, plus two courses in political science, and cracking open half a dozen books outside of class as well.

        Oh, the horrors. All that education. All that work. /s

    3. QuicksilverMessenger

      I have been watching a Star Wars ‘prequel’ called Andor, and it’s actually pretty good. Was watching the last episode of this season and towards the end there was a kind of voice over addressing this nascent rebellion vis a vis the Imperial Order that caught my attention:

      “And then remember this. The Imperial need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks. Authority is brittle. Oppression is the mask of fear. Remember that”

      Pretty good!

  8. LawnDart

    Re; Engineers on the brink of extinction…

    “Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

    On the brink of extinction… …in the United States. Does anyone note difficulties finding engineers in Asia or Europe? If so, let me stand corrected.

    How many Ahabs do we see in the classroom, notwithstanding the one at the helm? Egotistical with self-assured knowingness, but morally-void intellectual cripples? A lot more than we used to?

    Beyond the classroom, into the workplace, how often have you come across managers who do not understand what it is that they are supposed to be managing?

    What I have encountered throughout several unrelated professions are many individuals who are challenged by “simple” relationships between cause and effect, let alone possess the ability to use reason to deduce a cause from an effect.

    Maybe we need less “kumbaya” and more mathematics? A better balance between rational thought and emotive output?

    What ails the engineering profession isn’t the fact that the profession isn’t “sexy” or interesting, or that engineers suffer from lousy pay (pay ain’t the reason many are dropping out of the field and hanging-up their spurs); I tend to believe that the disorder stems from fundamental cultural issues, and that the problem is mostly in our heads.

    Best I leave further commentary on this to others– while I’m pretty good at troubleshooting and figuring-out why machines tick (or don’t), when it comes to people, I often find myself at a total loss.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘how often have you come across managers who do not understand what it is that they are supposed to be managing?’

      If there is one thing that riles me up is when some manager uses the word ‘product’ in relation to what they are making. I have heard it use by managers describing grapes, aircraft, cars, etc. Others may differ but whenever I hear a manager use this word, I feel like that they are just following some managerial textbook of procedures and could not care really what they are making or working on.

      1. digi_owl

        MBA from the outset train people to see the world as some platonic ideal pin factory.

        Back in the day webcomics used to make fun of people with MBAs, back when they were drawn by nerds idling in the server room.

        What seemed to have happened is that vocationals have been “outsourced” to immigrants, while the more attention getting bits of STEM has been coopted by “jocks” (giving rise to the “tech bro”).

        Lots of bluster, lots of VC money, little understanding of the nuts and bolts making things happen.

      2. bdy

        Yoga and same-aged offspring have made me weed buddies with a small group of software developers and project managers who work remotely. The coders call whatever it is they claim to create “code,” the managers call it “product.”

        With cascading layoffs I have noticed another difference. The coders call workers “people,” managers call them “resources.” My bubble shrinks in response, for the better. Some talk isn’t worth the pathogen risk.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      In the 1960s the u.s. was desperate for more aerospace, electronics, and mechanical engineers. The layoffs began shortly after human footprints marked the surface of the moon. There was steady demand for machinists and mechanical engineers in Detroit and the Midwest, until manufacturing moved overseas. Then there were shortages of electronics engineers, mechanical engineers, then programmers, and all too soon they were being laid-off as their work crossed the wide wide waters to distant lands. Software became one of the last places an electrical/electronic or mechanical engineer could find steady, relatively stable employment. I worked with many former electrical/electronic and mechanical engineers producing software. Then software went crazy with wave after wave of ‘innovation’ and newer ever shinier silver bullets driving an endless compulsion to master new programming languages and the latest paradigm changes of the moment [curse you Thomas Kuhn and curse fad seeking management]. Eventually the only relatively safe regions of engineering practice required a u.s. government Secret or better security clearance or a professional license to practice or extreme specialization and expertise — although these assets could quickly become crippling liabilities as programs shifted and twisted into new areas like the buildings in the movie “Dark City”.

      This mindless destruction of the u.s. work force includes numerous professions and trades I am too unfamiliar with to comment on. I should mention how my Father, who was interested in Art and Biology ended up grinding through a teaching credential when he was in college because there was such a powerful demand for high school biology teachers — it even helped keep him out of the Korean War. But on graduating he entered a job market where there were so many biology teachers that although he taught almost every other class he never got a chance to teach biology in all his long years teaching high school.

      Not enough people able to fill job-X? What a surprise. Maybe we need to issue more H-1B Visas.

      1. Screwball

        I worked 25 years in engineering at 3 large multi-national corps. I watched the blue collar jobs leave after NAFTA in 1995, then the stream of white collar jobs as time went on. Many of the new hires were H-1B as time progressed, and when there wasn’t enough of them, they just outsourced the white collar jobs (the ones they could) over seas as well. Mostly China & India.

        I was laid off when I was 59 from a large multi national. Or separation agreement had a dozen pages of all the job classes and the ages of the people who were laid off, and the ones who didn’t. Out of 113 people, all of them were in their late 50s, to mid 60s.

        In big bold print the agreement stated; you cannot take legal action against company X for age discrimination or you waive all offers of this agreement.

        It was all about age, cost (older guys at top of pay scale), and the inability to turn us set-in-our-ways old people into butt kissing yes men they so desired.

        1. Noh1

          It might have also been about the cost of medical insurance. Often companies manage their own plans under the name of a major insurer. You wouldn’t know it was company-managed unless you investigated. Anyway, these plans are allowed to make a profit. You can see where this is going. Companies figure that as you get older, you will develop more health issues and cost the plan more. Being let go in your 50s or 60s has everything to do with profits and not much to do with being set in your ways.

    3. Mikel

      In various industries and disciplines there is a focus on “strategy” and neglect or penny pinching around execution.
      How many companies now have job descriptions with “strategy” in the title?

      The engineering described seems to me like the execution side of many tech processes.

    4. BillS

      What ails (hardware) engineering?

      IMHO, there are multiple answers to that question. First, it is hard. It takes many years of training, many years of experience and is not very much appreciated in the present economic climate because good engineering is expensive and engineers are generally disdainful of manager-speak and accountants trying to dictate specifications to maximize “efficiency.”

      It is hard.
      I will give a bit of my own experience in studying electronic engineering. My specialty was so-called “radio physics”, which encompassed such stuff as the usual radio communications to particle accelerators, microwave tubes and semiconductor devices. The first two years of university involved semesters of mathematics, chemistry, physics, basic engineering mechanics, thermodynamics. These were major weed-out subjects where, at the end, 70% of the students were eliminated. The benefit of this was that the 3rd, 4th and 5th year (it was a 5 year program) were much smaller. That did not mean things got easier. There were classes in advanced electrodynamics, semiconductor physics, antennas, analog and digital electronics, introduction to computer science, numerical methods in science, technical writing, etc. This was not your “phone-it-in” online curriculum for code jockeys. This was stuff that meant sleepless nights studying in the Uni library and many dateless weekends. One studies this stuff ONLY because you have a passion and talent for it – and you have people around you who encourage you. Masochist that I am, I then went in for postgrad studies up to a PhD followed by a six year research post-doc, after which, eventually (to keep a long story short) I found that coveted tenured faculty position.

      Then, there is the work experience. For a host of personal reasons and disgust at where I saw the university going, I left the professorship and went to work in the private sector. Building hardware systems is generally not for the faint-of-heart. There is usually a mix of theoretical and practical aspects to this that requires years of experience: PCB processing techniques, thermal issues, power conditioning and noise reduction, frequency stability, electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues. First prototypes never work correctly and need trouble shooting and, usually, respins after debugging. Oh, and usually you are a software engineer as well, because you mush program embedded conputers to make your hardware work! This takes time and is expensive. This is why our overlords farm it out to the Chinese, where they can put 500 low-level guys on one project and eventually, one gets it (sort-of) right. Why would anyone in the USA in their right mind want to work as a HW engineer? It’s just too hard and what you do is little appreciated by the suits. You are just an expense that can and will be outsourced.

      No one in the C suite seems to appreciate the intellectual investment that such technical people need to put into their work. There is too much jumping around between projects, promising projects where prototypes have been built get canceled, too many meetings where sales guys make promises to customers that are physically impossible to realize and then look at you to confirm them.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do and would do it again. However, I feel sadness when I see how the engineering profession has been dumbed down – reduced to spreadsheets and power point. Grade inflation, even at elite institutions, has debased the value of an engineering degree. The scientific method seems unknown to many students today and everyone seems to be looking for the easy way out. Everyone seems to think that knowing how to use canned simulation packages means you know what’s going on. The company where I work has great difficulty finding people with adequate background for our work. I have personally mentored young hires, but they usually do not have the patience to stick out the steep bits of the learning curve. The ones that have talent often do not stick around long. They learn a few tricks and then disappear – often getting filched by a competitor.

      I fear for the loss of knowledge that is going on. I would be interested in hearing other readers’ experiences of the technical/scientific fields, both academic and industrial. My view is that engineering is suffering the same debasement that other fields/professions are suffering at the hands of those who would improve “economic efficiency”. Is this the path to another Dark Age or am I being too negative?

      1. marku52

        One of Carly’s many layoff at HP was done by a random number generator, so that there was no way anyone could claim age discrimination.

        What a way to encourage the troops-we don’t care one bit about your performance.

      2. Karl

        Thanks for that thoughtful post. When I got my mechanical engineering degree we were still using slide rules and a PDP-10 mainframe. By my senior year we got about five of these amazing Wang terminals that could do basic math operations to six significant digits. We had to share them, and we stood in line.

        My point is that engineering always required tools. So much of the actual work of engineering nowadays is done on very sophisticated computer software. The software is used to create the next generation of software. The line between engineer and computer science professional is getting blurrier and blurrier.

        My first job in the mid’70’s was for Westinghouse in their nuclear reactor design group. We’d run these canned thermal-hydraulic computer programs over and over and over. It was so routine, so stripped of any creative element, I eventually had to leave this line of work.

        At that time the company was run by MBAs who were mostly interested in buying TV stations. The top brass did some very stupid things (e.g. selling reactors along with long term uranium fuel supply contracts without long term price hedges) and never recovered when spot uranium prices took off later in the decade. By then I was long gone. I could see the writing on the wall for engineers even then — that engineers were getting marginalized in status, pay, job security, etc.

        I have two sons still in college. I could not interest either of them in engineering. C’est la vie.

    5. cfraenkel

      While I agree with the underlying sentiment, the linked graph doesn’t support the conclusion. It adds up all the CS + engineering students in a year, and graphs the percentage of each. Engineering students could have increased the entire time – the graph doesn’t say one way or the other. A less sky is falling interpretation is that there are a lot more software jobs available than engineering jobs. (in the context of the Intel presentation – you design a chip once, it then gets used in hundreds or thousands of applications. For Intel chips, millions of applications. And that’s before counting up all the web, e-commerce, finance software positions)

    6. Rick

      As someone who had a 35 year career as both a hardware and software engineer (BSEE, ECE masters), in my experience in the US one thing industry will not even think about is tapping older engineers. I managed to work until retirement age only by the luck of having a previous employer who knew my work having an opening. On the open market, someone in their fifties or sixties is beyond dead, they’re decomposed . I’m a better engineer now than when I retired (I really enjoy the field and have had a lot of fun doing my own hardware and software projects) but that doesn’t matter. I’m old and by definition unable to contribute.

      Luckily, I don’t need to work but the angst about shortages rings a bit hollow to me.

      1. Screwball

        This is so true. As I stated above, I was eliminated at 59. I still have years in me, and I still like the work (most of it). After that I worked at a craphole for 3 years and then retired because I was being abused by being forced to work long hours, then got screwed out of vacation pay and paid time off. I found jobs I was qualified for, but nobody would hire me – especially once they knew my age.

        Nothing has changed in the last 5 years, as I still look. I even had a guy at a local business give me his card and told me to submit a resume. I did, with his name on it (like I was told), plus a reference from someone I knew who worked there.

        I didn’t even get a phone call.

        When I hear these people whining about not being able to find workers, I don’t feel one bit sorry for them. You made your own bed – sleep in it.

  9. Lex

    I had high hopes for the Responsible Statecraft link on the Koreas. They went unfulfilled. “Should South Korean-made arms eventually be used in the war theater, the South Korean military will have opportunities to test its weaponry against that of Russia, whose military technology North Korea primarily uses.” Except that there are no recorded sales of Russian arms to the DPRK that I could find easily. True, many DPRK pieces of equipment are based on Soviet design and it does appear that the DPRK fields some T-72s that were bought from third parties, the article’s insinuation that the DPRK is armed by Russia and so represents a good test for S. Korean arms is pretty far fetched.

    And it misses a main point (IMO) of increasing tensions on the peninsula, which is that China – the nation with real influence over the DPRK – is allowing N. Korea to exert pressure well beyond the norm. I haven’t dug into the CSIS link fully but since the overview video talks about bases in Japan being attacked, I wonder if the war games included DPRK attacks on US basing.

    1. hk

      Yes, ironically, South Korea may have more “Russian” weapons than North might: quite a lot of Russian weapons have been bought by ROK over the years. T80 tanks, BMP3 IFVs, Saxhorn AtGMs, igla manpads, etc, from the days of fairly friendly ROK-RF relations. Things really went downhill after Moon’s soft coup against Park govt.

      1. Catchymango

        I remember reading a few years back how South Korea was one of the countries Russia was courting for its far east economic revitalization scheme. Indeed oft-overlooked relationship.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “UK weighs supplying Ukraine with Challenger tanks”

    I think that this is just the UK trying to get other countries to the point where they will supply Leopard 2 tanks while the US will supply Abrams M1 tanks. Both Poland and Finland have made noises aboit supplying them to the Ukraine. Will they make a difference? No. The numbers will be small and the Russians will take care to hunt them down to kill them or perhaps capture them to be sent on to Russia. The trouble with these main battle tanks is that they are so heavy that a lot of the smaller bridges in the Ukraine could not take their weight. And Brian from the New Atlas was pointing out that they were designed to be used in central Europe and not eastern Europe where the conditions are much different. When Russia went into the Ukraine one of the main stated aims was to demilitarize that country. It looks like that they are also doing the same for NATO but this might be a good thing in the long run. If some goofball comes up with the idea of sending an NATO expeditionary force into the Ukraine, it can be pointed out that they no longer have the equipment to do so. I pity those Ukrainian logistics officers though. For them it would be like running an IT firm that use MS Windows that has gotten into serious trouble. But then other firms offer to “help.” One sends computers with Apple on them while other send one with Linux on them. Yet others send computers with MacOS, FreeBSD and Unix. None of your people are trained to use them, all of them are versions that date from the 80s or 90s. And if they break down, you have to ship them to the other side of the country to be fixed.

    1. Jeff V

      Per Richard North, the Challenger also uses non-standard ammunition, which nobody produces anymore.

      “In anticipation of the upgrade, though, the production line of the Challenger’s unique ammunition was closed on MoD instructions sometime around 2006. The Army was then to rely on existing ammunition stocks. When the programme was beset by delays, plans were made in 2009 to source ammunition from Belgium, but in 2014 that idea was dropped.

      The British Army is thus in a situation where it is surviving on depleted stocks of ammunition which are barely sufficient to sustain peacetime live firing exercises and most certainly could not support the high expenditure incurred during combat operations.”

    2. Anthony H

      There used to be a common joke about British tanks, that they were the best in the world as long as they broke down in a good firing position.

  11. Carolinian

    That Frontpage Mag is a somewhat nasty rant that revives the notion that rightwingers don’t do humor. Indeed the snide, above it all tone reminds one of Hillary herself. We don’t need two of them.

    Truth to tell it’s probably a good thing that Hillary will be kept busy as a professor rather than meddling in politics or FP. Maybe Pelosi could go work there too.

    1. Carolinian

      Humor: how it’s done.

      “The club owners and our clients all own a lot of guns and seeing them throw lead at Russians is a life-long goal for most of us,” Sabarro said, “besides, today, our clubs are more vulnerable to a cyber-attack than a physical theft.”

      “The club owners and their friends really put out for Ukraine,” Sabarro said.

      “We gathered about a battalion’s worth of M-4s, 240 Bravos, MK-19 grenade launchers, a few 50-caliber machine guns, a good dozen mortars, about a hundred num-chucks, some crossbows and battle axes, an arquebus, a trebuchet, and two Putin voodoo dolls.”

      We luuuv Duffel Blog.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Researchers Could Track the GPS Location of All of California’s New Digital License Plates”

    ‘Customers can pay between $20 and $25 a month for a battery or wired powered version of the plate, according to Reviver’s website. The plates have around a 5 year or 50,000 miles worth of battery life, according to a Reviver promotional video.’

    Just goes to show you what happens with people that have more dollars than sense. The license plates on our car are bits of stamped metal and that is it, These ones you have a monthly bill for, you have to replace the battery when they eventually fail and now they have been hacked. But what I want to know is what will happen if Reviver that makes these digital plates goes out of business. Will those digital plates just go blank?

  13. Lex

    Also from CSIS and related to the linked piece is a really good one on the effect of supporting Ukraine in terms of American munitions stocks, including inventory rebuild time accounting for lead times, training usage, etc. Excalibur shells at a surge rate get replaced in 4 years, without will be 7. Regular 155mm shells would take 5 years of surge production to replace what’s been (officially) sent and cannot be replaced without a surge due to training requirements.

    Based on the recent public statement from Stoltenberg about NATO munitions stocks being depleted, it sounds like the problem is not confined to the US and will be a growing problem in terms of maintaining the current level of support for Ukraine.

    1. RobertC

      Lex — it isn’t only munitions — it’s platforms too The Surface Force’s Lost Generation. One paragraph really jumped out at me:

      I am trying to hard not to just snark old-school…but really – we have reached the point that giving commanders a chance to “walk the pier” without getting on an aircraft [to travel to their disbursed responsibilities] is something “new.”

      One the US Navy’s bragging points is its superior training and operational experience. Ignoring China’s rotating ships and crews through the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations, they fail to note the realistic training and command development opportunities provided by China’s Type 22 missile boat.

      Since 2004 China built 80+ (60 active) of these boats! They are perfect developing the commanders and sailors needed for the more capable destroyers, etc:

      ● Crew of 12 providing adequate separation of specialties and ranks for command functions while allowing direct visibility and interaction among everyone aboard.
      ● Two diesel engines capable of 36 knots providing wide range of navigation, maintenance, etc opportunities.
      ● Radar and optical sensors and C4 data links providing wide range of sense-control-engage operations in unit and combined operations scenarios.
      Realistic weapons including 30mm gun and anti-ship missiles for combined operations scenarios.

      In short, a great training vessel that is also serious anti-ship threat built in quantity. (Mention is made of their vulnerability outside air defense but what about grayzone operations using Israel’s shadowing technique with the maritime militia “fishing fleet.”)

      PS my assessment of the CSIS report is here.

  14. Carolinian

    Re Hollywood and Zelensky–it’s a bit of a puzzler how academic Timothy Snyder is described as a “star” and arguably, with the exception of Angelina Jolie, most of the rest on that list are well along the road to has been status. Clearly they have time on their hands.

    Perhaps the flow can be reversed in a few months and Zelensky can get a new job in Hollywood. He may have to give up the t-shirt.

  15. Nels Nelson

    I didn’t read the Financial Times article on Rolls-Royce’s record sales but I do follow the auto industry and received the press release yesterday on their record sales. This is not surprising as it reminded me of a meeting I had with the owner of the Jaguar Land Rover store here for which I do some work. He told me that JLR is pressuring him to drop the Jaguar brand and offering to buy him out. Jaguar is moving further upscale and will not be offering any vehicles for less than $150,000. JLR does not think his store will generate enough sales to justify having one in this city. Cadillac is also moving into ultra-luxury with its $300,000 plus electric Celestiq.

    Riffing off James Carville and a study by CitiBank, it’s the Plutonomy, stupid.

  16. Stephen V

    It doth burn that piece on Hillary and her new gig. To wit:
    Before Hillary made up Russiagate, Bill was palling around with Vladimir Putin in Russia and scoring a $500,000 check.
    WELL sourced & worth a read.

    1. Carolinian

      Maybe if the check had been bigger we wouldn’t be spending billions in Ukraine? The current mess suggests that Putin’s real mistake was not spreading nearly enough cash around in DC.

      And it’s really not a shocker to learn that the Clintons have always been available to the highest bidder. What might shock some of the country would be to learn that the Bidens have been doing the same.

    2. The Rev Kev

      There was also the Uranium One deal where the Russian purchased a stake in America’s uranium in return for a donation to the Clinton Foundation.

  17. Mildred Montana

    >Anti-obesity drugs or surgery now advised for some US children BBC

    From the article: “The guidelines encourage doctors to look at obesity more as a biological disease rather than a lifestyle problem, as research has shown that genetics and hormones can have an impact on weight.”

    I suppose they can, but only to a very small extent. I hesitate to contradict our esteemed doctors but obesity is largely a result of poor diet and inactivity, not of genes.

    The deeper problems beyond that of obesity itself are the twin American penchants for quick-fixes (we gotta pill for that!) and drug company profits (we got an expensive pill for that—one you’ll have to take for years!). But the latest guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics only makes them worse. It is recklessly advising very young Americans to start popping pills for something that can be easily and cheaply treated with better food and more exercise. All the while, Big Pharma is thanking the AAP for the sales.

    A decade or two or three from now, what will be the health of these youngsters? Yes, they might be of normal weight. But what about the poor musculature (back problems, tears, sprains, etc.), the osteoporosis from undeveloped bones, and all the other morbidities attached to their unchanged habits?

    At that point it won’t be the AAP’s problem anymore but I think I know what Big Pharma’s solution will be. More pills!

    1. Pat

      I am appalled that surgery is even an option. The various surgical procedures available are not the quick fix that you note Americans want. Under the right circumstances surgery can aid in helping to overcome morbid obesity, but it should never be the first step and should never ever happen except as part of a comprehensive program that is heavy on life style changes. Without that it can end up causing multiple really bad health issues upon a return to old habits. And that is for adults.

      I don’t even want to think about what could happen used in developing and growing bodies.

      1. IM Doc

        What concerns me is the speed at which this has all happened.

        When I was on the wards as a student in the 1980s, it was common for the word to get out about unusual physical exam findings. There was then a constant stream of students and residents into that room to look at the unusual or uncommon finding.

        What is fascinating is that in the mid to late 1980s, included in that list would be someone that was 350 lbs or more. They were just not seen back then. At this point today, you can walk into any WalMart or Costco and these people are visible as far as the eye can see. Some of them very young.

        I often get very upset because I know what kind of life these people are going to have. It is not pretty. But talk like that will get you shouted down now days as a fat-shaming bigot. Oh, if they only knew. As health care providers, we are actively told to not bring up the patient’s weight in any way. We cannot have bad patient feedback scores – and talking to people about their habits is a certain road to the Press-Ganey sewer. The consequences of handing your health care system over to the MBA and corporate crowd are just now beginning to bear their total fruit. The disaster is on the way. Thankfully, I personally escaped this by moving out of the big city – my colleagues back home are not so lucky. Nor are their patients.

        It is not just the physical and medical pain that is coming their way. The expense of taking care of these people will soon be overwhelming. We should have decades ago when this started to become obvious had a three alarm fire in public health to deal with it. The problem is that multiple dozens of our largest corporations are involved in the perpetration and continuation of these habits. I have no good answers at this point.

        1. ambrit

          The answer to your question, as supplied by the present day public health apparat seems to be: Eugenics.
          Stay safe.

      2. Mildred Montana

        Thanks for mentioning the surgery option.

        Imo, it shouldn’t even be considered in the case of young people. Among the leading causes of death in the US are medical error (in the hundreds of thousands per year) and hospital-acquired infections (~100,000 per year). I suspect both of these figures are understated, given the tendency of the medical profession to cover its 𝘨𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘪 𝘮𝘢𝘹𝘪𝘮𝘪.

        Would any caring parent want to subject his or her child to such risks?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Before pills, long before surgery, why not bring back recess for grade school and a little exercise in the ‘gym’ classes for the higher grades? For all around youth fitness and well-being I doubt anything can beat a well run women’s fitness class with suitably chosen music. I took a class like that in hopes of meeting some women — though I met no women, I ended the class in better overall fitness than at any other time in my life — including the time I ran cross-country and track in high school and the time I had access to the pool and weight rooms at the college I attended. The women’s fitness class was also a lot more fun. When the going got tough as the reps repeated, I did my best to keep up with some of the Grandma’s in the class, who were figuratively kicking my ass.

      Does anyone else remember President Kennedy’s programs and push for Physical Fitness?

      1. ambrit

        I caught the ‘tail end’ of that program.
        Phyllis assures me that some of those women were probably admiring your increasingly trim and toned ‘rear end’ as much as any man would a women’s. [Sometimes you have to go to the source.]

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Ah, yes — sung by Robert Preston, as I knew already . . . but when I went to confirm that, I found out it was written by Meredith Wilson to boot!

      2. Wukchumni

        Does anyone else remember President Kennedy’s programs and push for Physical Fitness?

        Yeah, I remember there was this patch with the Presidential seal and wording in blue red, gold and white.

        Wasn’t my deal, so i’m not sure what was entailed in earning it. I think that I have done 7 pull ups in my whole life, they wanted 10, that sort of thing.

        I too would like young people to be more active and your ideas are good.

        Also its important to immerse them in nature-which is like twofer in that they have to walk into the wilderness to experience it, and takes them out of their connectivity comfort zone.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      In a for-profit “healthcare” system, repeat customers…er…the “chronically ill” are the holy profit grail.

      There’s no more “chronic” a “condition” than one caused by “genetics” since that is absolutely unchangeable, except, apparently, in the “genetic” determination of gender.

      As pickins get slimmer, expect to see more of this form of “customer base” expansion.

  18. NorD94

    could not think of anything snarky to say about the victory plans

    Biden team eyes end of Covid emergency declaration and shift in Covid team – The Biden administration wants to lift the yearslong emergency declaration for the pandemic. But first, it needs to manage the latest Covid threat.

    Under the current tentative plan, health officials will quietly renew the emergency declaration for another 90 days before its scheduled expiration on Wednesday. That would give the administration until early February to alert states and health industry representatives that it plans to end the designation.

    The timeline means Covid’s crisis stage could be declared over as early as April, though the people with knowledge of the matter cautioned the administration could still issue additional short-term extensions if it needs more time to manage the transition — or grapple with the emergence of yet another variant.

    A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department said in a statement that no decision on ending the public health emergency has been made, “and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration.”

    In an interview, White House Covid response coordinator Ashish Jha said his team is focused on more urgent priorities like tamping down the latest surge in Covid cases and safeguarding vulnerable Americans from the virus.

    The rising post-holiday caseload “has compelled us to work even harder to try to make sure that, particularly, older Americans are getting vaccinated,” he said.

    1. ambrit

      This makes me wonder about the fate of the Emergency Use Authorizations for the “vaccines.” Will they expire along with the “Emergency?”

      1. Revenant

        I got into a discussion with my epidemiologist friend about this last week.

        [ Instant digression: He is currently analysing Pfarma data (on a non-Covid vaccine) and finding that it does not see what Pfarma claim it says and, like non-Pfarma studies, he sees no efficacy. He sends his abstract to Pfarma for *comment*. He receives it re-written! Now the Pfarma claims – in his own abstract – really do not fit the data and, unfortunately for Pfarma, inspire him to rip the data apart and rebuild it. His re-write of the re-write pulls no punches and will not be open for consultation. :-) ]

        Anyway, I pointed out the EUA is still the only authorisation. He very reasonably said that it is now impossible to run the trials to obtain full authorisation of the vaccines. So many people have had Covid, many asymptomatically, that the use label (essentially, reduce mortality/morbidity in recipients compared to subjects without antibodies) would be impossible to recruit for. We discussed that the only trial you could run would be for a sterilising vaccine, to see if it reduced transmission in recipients compared to non-recipients. But we don’t have any of those….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Re your last point. There was the possibility of using China for that the past three years but it was never done as in at all and now it is too late.

  19. spud

    as long as the country refuses to hold elites accountable like the clintons for their follies and debacles, they will be free to keep selling us out, till there is nothing left.

    the article about the clintons was excellent on some points, except they are not socialists.

  20. Screwball

    Classified Documents Found at Biden’s Vice Presidential Center Both articles.


    Nothing to see here – because Trump. The never ending get out of jail free card for team PMC. What would they do if they didn’t have that to fall back on every time those squeaky clean democrats do a Trump thing?

    And of course now that the FBI are involved, this will no doubt disappear into the dustbin of history.

    Our government is nothing but a giant corrupt shit show.

    Disclaimer; I have no use for Trump, but the double standards are off the charts by so many involved.

  21. Lex

    The CSIS link is also something. It talks about how China could be stopped from capturing Taiwan but the cost of hundreds of US airframes and two(!) aircraft carriers. I haven’t had a chance to dig deeper, but I’d be really interested to see what the starting points, parameters, etc of each game scenario were. Hopefully not like DoD war games where the enemy is always set up to fail, because if that’s the case and it still cost a couple hundred planes and two aircraft carriers we should probably just invite China into Taiwan and save everyone so many funerals.

  22. spud

    mr. Galbraiths article again missed the giant pink gorillia standing next to him. its not globalization, we have had that for over 500 years now. the power of the oligarchs, and the explosions of the oligarchs numbers, are directly linked to free trade, their power and numbers exploded from 1993 onward’s, its the free trade stupid!

    “Here’s how bad it has become: In the early 1980s, Forbes magazine started its infamous list of the 400 wealthiest individuals in the United States. In 1983, there were only 15 billionaires on the list, and the total combined net worth of the richest 400 people was $118 billion. In March 2021, there were more than 650 US billionaires, holding combined assets exceeding $4.2 trillion. In contrast, the bottom half of all US households — 165 million people — have a combined wealth of $2.4 trillion. This is because the bottom fifth of US households have zero or negative net worth, and the next fifth have so few assets they live in fear of destitution.”

    he touches on it, but won’t come out and say it.

    but even if the foreign product is made better, it must be paid for with other peoples prices, then shipped and distributed, all at ever higher costs that equals debt.

  23. tevhatch

    Engineers on brink of extinction threaten entire ecosystems The Register (Chuck L)

    Just like NAFTA and WTO were used to off-shore jobs, the manufacturing professions training was off-shored. The problem becomes when overseas markets can finally begin to offer employment to their graduates because the USA’s ability to blow up their economy has been weakened. That former flow of expats, blue-card and green-card visa workers starts to dry up, and oh so sweet, just when on-shoring of industry becomes a semi-real thing, and not a head fake.

  24. Revenant

    That water-filled glass invention is not new. I joined a fund that had invested in one in 2001….

    It was cool even then but beset by problems (leaks, repairs, algae etc.)

    1. tevhatch

      Yes, old tech with headaches. Phase change using waxes in glass do the same function with much less headache/machinery and better heat energy smoothing, and has been around for decades, if they came up with a polymer that did better at being transparent when solid, then that would be a breakthrough.

  25. Karl

    RE: James Galbraith weighs in on the conflict inflation debate!

    Galbraith is clearly losing his patience. This quote, obviously in a fit of pique and candor, says so much about the state of the country.

    Countries like ours (UK, Canada, UK) are ruled by gangs of oligarchs…. Their struggles are mainly with eachother. Labor has little to no leverage….For this reason, pressures for inflation are driven by resource costs, first and foremost, and after that, speculative competition between the various monopolists….It’s an oligarch’s world, we only live here.

  26. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    “The Arctic is Russian.”

    Gangbuster pullquote from M.K. Bhadrakumar’s explanation why Sweden hustled into military pact with US. MKB starts off at any easy pace, wanders a bit and then just drops this hammer at the end. As Gailbraith and others said, it’s about resources and it’s existential for Russia and China.

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