Links 1/14/2023

Cat calendar wins the internet for Portland’s Army Corps of Engineers Oregon Live (o4muse). It is charming how lame the Photoshopping is.

Who can die? Canada wrestles with euthanasia for the mentally ill BBC

Saints, Knights, and Dragons American Conservative

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations Nature (Paul R)

CDC, FDA see possible link between Pfizer’s bivalent shot and strokes Politico (Paul R)

COVID-19 is more widespread in animals than we thought National Geographic

Let Them Eat Plague! Red Clarion (John S)

Asia

China Reports Almost 60,000 Covid-Related Deaths in a Month Bloomberg

US

Climate/Environment

Australia-Singapore $35 billion solar deal fades to black Asia Times (Kevin W)

Swiss company that counts Microsoft as a customer says it’s removed CO2 from the air and put it in the ground CNBC

Is California still in drought after storms? What maps and charts show SF Chronicle. EM recommends the color-coded drought status map.

China?

Indonesia sends warship to monitor Chinese coast guard vessel Bangkok Post (furzy)

New US Congress agrees on one thing: China threat Asia Times (Kevin W)

Japan’s Kishida says allies must act in concert on China Reuters

India

Under Modi, India’s China Strategy Has Gone From Strategic Proactivism to Docility The Wire

Brazil

Behind the Terrorist Attack on Brazil’s Government BrasilWire (guurst)

Brazil Supreme Court to investigate Bolsonaro role in Brasilia riots RTE

Bombshell Testimony in Brazilian Congress Attack – 1,000 Case New Holland Workers Fought Down Deal – Loudon County Transit Workers Strike Mike Elk

EXCLUSIVE: EXTREME ESCALATION OF BRAZIL’S CENSORSHIP REGIME | SYSTEM UPDATE #22 Glenn Greenwald, Rumble (Alice X)

Old Blighty

UK may shelve controversial Brexit protocol bill in show of goodwill to EU Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia-Ukraine war live: explosions and air raid sirens in Kyiv as Russians attack Guardian

Will Western Main Battle Tanks Turn the Tide in Ukraine? What do Russian Gains in Soledar Mean? Brian Berletic

Ukraine defence minister: We are a de facto member of Nato alliance BBC

* * *

Russia speaks on endgame for Ukraine conflict RT

Laying the foundations for a settlement in Ukraine: Now that Kyiv is in a strong position to negotiate, the US must flex its diplomatic muscles to bring both sides to the table. Responsible Statecraft. I am sure readers will have fun this.

ERICH VAD: WHAT ARE THE WAR AIMS? Emma (guurst). Original here.

* * *

German media report defense minister soon to resign DW

* * *

US ARMY VET FROM IOWA RATS OUT UKRAINIAN CORRUPTION Larry Johnson. So if this is accurate and representative, Ukraine is sabotaging its military campaign. Looting is more important than winning.

Top US lawmaker Menendez objects to potential F-16 sale to Turkey ekathimerini. We said Erdogan would need a bribe to vote for Sweden to join NATO. Might this be it?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google says India antitrust order poses threat to national security TechCrunch (Kevin W)

Meta Sues Surveillance Company for Scraping Data With Fake Facebook Accounts The Verge

Android TV Box On Amazon Came Pre-Installed With Malware BleepingComputer

Imperial Collapse Watch

This tweetstorm (hat tip guurst) is today’s must read:

The Incorrigible Ideologues of Empire Daniel Larison

Trump

Trump Org. fined $1.6 million after conviction for 17 felonies, including tax fraud CNN

Biden

Obama-era White House counsel will represent Biden on classified documents Politico

Biden’s Corvette Defense Was a Lemon But His “Inadvertence” Defense Could Prove Worse Jonathan Turley

GOP Clown Car

The GOP’s New Crusade Is Destroying America’s Comeback Umair Haque (Randy K). Earth to Haque, there was no comeback for the Republicans to mess up. With (among other things), private equity buying even more housing and now healthcare, even middle class workers are on their way to becoming debtcroppers. All the GOP and Democrats are fighting over is the slope of America’s downward trajectory.

Transgender youth health care bans have a new target: adults The Hill

Missouri Republicans pass a rule requiring women to cover their arms in the state House chamber Business Insider (Kevin W)

Our No Longer Free Press

Remembering Aaron Swartz Ryan Grim

Why Tesla is dropping prices across the US The Hill

EVs are getting too heavy and too powerful, safety chief says ars technica (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

Crypto.com Cuts 20% Jobs Amid ‘Unforeseeable’ Industry Events TechCrunch

Bloomberg, WSJ, CoinDesk Among the Media Outlets Seeking to Know Who Bailed Out Sam Bankman-Fried CoinDesk. An interview with Puck.com (which I have not read because paywalled) reports that SBF has security. That’s awfully rich even for Stanford profs.

Yellen Says US to Take Extraordinary Steps to Avert a Default Bloomberg

Global bond market rebounds strongly as inflation fears recede Financial Times

Class Warfare

Wage Gains Lag Behind Inflation for Another Year Wall Street Journal

Antidote du jour. Ann M: “Penny settling into her favorite chair back in NYC after 2 years and 8 months in RI.”

And a bonus (guurst):

A second bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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198 comments

    1. timbers

      House Republican Introduces Resolution to Place Bust of Zelensky in the Capitol

      Only if we also get a bust of A.H. too, side by side. Or of A.H. and Joseph Bandara on each side of Zelensky.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Personally, I would be more interested if Congress had Dolly Parton’s bust on display in the Capital Building. ;)

        The guy that suggested this legislation – a guy called Wilson – once tried to introduce legislation to have Russia kicked off the UN Security Council which meant that either he was ignorant or grandstanding – or both.

        Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            You won’t get an argument from me about that. She is one decent person and, after seeing her in a few interviews, know there is far more to her than meets the eye. Originally I was going to use the name Mae West but stopped because I was not sure how many people would recognize that name anymore, even though a life vest was named for her.

            Reply
            1. DJG, Reality Czar

              Rev Kev: Mae West is an immortal.

              Three quotes to remind you why:

              Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.

              His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork.

              Man: I wish you’d forget your principles, Ruby. I must have you. Your golden hair, your fascinating eyes, your alluring smile and lovely arms, your form divine.
              Mae: Wait a minute, is this a proposal or are you taking inventory?

              Reply
                1. fresno dan

                  Too much of a good thing can be wonderful

                  Men are like linoleum floors – lay ’em right and you can walk all over them for years

                  Reply
            2. eg

              I rode past Dollywood on my motorcycle on my way back from Atlanta one summer in the early ‘90s — that woman is not to be trifled with.

              Reply
            3. eg

              Oh, for us Canajuns the Mae West is a snack cake (kind of a vanilla version of the Jos Louis), though they changed the spelling in the 80s to May West to avoid lawsuits from her estate

              Reply
          2. Discouraged in WI

            My cousin worked on the stage crew for Dolly Parton decades ago, when she was still touring. Absolutely agrees that she was terrific to work for and with. A truly nice person!

            Reply
            1. playon

              I met her back in the late 70s when a group I was touring with had a two week engagement in Reno on the same bill as Dolly. She told me about her plans to break into films and have her own TV show, and she did both within a few years time. My impression was that she was ambitious but at the same time a super nice person, a combination of traits that is extremely rare, especially in the music biz.

              Reply
        1. Carolinian

          The guy that suggested this legislation

          Yes, he’s from South Carolina. Sorree world. Still too big for an insane asylum.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Rumour has it that as soon as he gets off camera, that he shucks those green t-shirts and changes back into his regular bespoke Giorgio Armani business suit with a matching Tom Ford Classic dress shirt.

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        I like that he dresses like a weekend warrior picking up a Slurpee at the corner store. I’m surprised no one has photoshopped him wearing a t-shirt with a tie printed on the front for formal occasions. He should never be seen drinking from a glass, only straight from the bottle while wearing Biden-style aviator glasses.

        Reply
  1. griffen

    Second bonus, an allegory for modern American economics? You can’t have our nice things, see the distance between us and you means that we are better than you. Funnily enough the work of fiction “Elysium” was on the television yesterday afternoon. What with the near future fiction of a dystopian, controlled hell existence, or a future already in place depending on your view.

    Back to the video. Cats. Watch me try.

    Reply
  2. Steve H.

    > Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations Nature (Paul R)

    The overview first-pass on this one feels like a series of body blows. ‘Several hypotheses’ reads as ‘interacting mechanisms’, the selection on gut bugs is particularly flavorful, and underneath it all is this substrate:

    > Although PCR tests are our best tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infections, their false negative rates are still high. Further bias is caused by false negative rates being higher in women and adults younger than 40 years, those with a low viral load and children (Box 1), with several studies showing 52–90% of cases in children missed by PCR tests.

    Reply
    1. tindrum

      The WHO, being terribly concerned about the impact of bad publicity on vaccine take-up has helpfully provide this document in order to help “manage” any situations that may occur.

      https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/WHO-EURO-2022-3471-43230-60590

      Enjoy.

      Also, I see a lot of people rubbishing / attacking Dr. Aseem Malhotra but none of them actually try to repudiate his argument that the FDA FOI data shows clear danger signals of serious side effects at the rate of 1 in 800 vaccinations. This is a way way higher rate than any other vaccine and also way higher than the Covid illness itself for most age groups. Hence the mRNA vaccines must be withdrawn. Lots of handwaving and attempts to suppress information (see WHO document), but no one prepared to argue on the basis of facts.

      Reply
      1. Senator-Elect

        Thank you for raising this issue. There is a big gap between the people worried about SARS-2 and the people worried about the mRNA vaccines. I’m not sure it can be resolved by Lambert’s formulation the other day that both can be true, especially as regards risk-benefit analysis.
        All I know is that the people most worried about SARS-2 on Twitter do not agree with the paper that KLG posted or with the UK health authorities who denied children the vaccine for a lot longer than other countries. These people are obviously not afraid of defying the establishment and have heavily criticized the vax-only strategy. Yet they seem to have minimal concerns about the mRNA vaccines, especially relative to the damage the virus does. Something’s gotta give, imo.
        Finally, a point I have not yet seen made here at NC: someone on Twitter said that the trials data is irrelevant because we have billions of real-world data points now. As a result, if there were a serious problem with the mRNA vaccines, it would have shown up long ago. Instead what we see are huge impacts from SARS-2.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The problem is that it was not necessary for it to be a default assumption that people would eventually get Covid.

          I do know two people who have not been vaxxed and are weirdly only partially vigilant. They hardly see anyone, minimize shopping, but won’t wear masks, very occasionally go to a small restaurant, etc. They get Covid is bad but are willing to do only so much re avoidance.

          Reply
    2. Acacia

      Regarding the tweet from Dr. Deepti Gurdasani, if ‘mild’ COVID increases the risk of all-cause death by 10x, doesn’t that imply we would see a greater increase in all cause mortality throughout the world? I feel I’m missing something here.

      Reply
      1. Diogenes

        Only if the global population were homogenous in all pertinent respects, which it obviously is not.

        Picking just one obvious difference, demographics. The UK population is significantly older than the rest of the world on average (~40 y.o. vs. ~30 y.o.). A not inconsequential difference when talking about a risk disproportionately manifesting in older groups.

        I’m not asserting as a matter of actual fact that global all cause mortality didn’t increase (I don’t know if it did or not, or due to what causes), just that it cannot logically be inferred that it did just by extrapolating from the U.K. to the world.

        Reply
    1. griffen

      Now I recall a memorable Seinfeld episode. Racquel Welch wouldn’t move her arms in a Broadway play, and Kramer has to tell her she’s fired ( because he pretended to be included with the production team ). For the Missouri chamber though, sounds like an outtake of Mean Girls instead (just maybe).

      Hilarity on Seinfeld ensues….https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Summer_of_George

      Reply
    2. GramSci

      « … instead we are again fighting for a woman’s right to choose something and this time it is how she covers herself and the interpretation of someone who has no background in fashion,” [said] state Rep. Raychel Proudie, a Democrat»
      Fashism.

      Reply
      1. jefemt

        My first thought was 90/90… 90 degrees and 90% relative humidity in a hot poorly ventilated state house. That is simply wrong– and cruel on so many levels.

        Cruel and punishing… that’s my brief encapsulation of the worst of the radical right repug.

        Reply
    3. Lexx

      Did I miss the part about consequences? What happens if a female legislator removes her jacket with short sleeves underneath? What happens if any male removes his to roll up his sleeves for that photo-op ‘gettin’ down to business’ look?

      And of course the discussion was between two women about appearances. It’s what every taxpaying constituent in Missouri most hopes for in exchange for their wages. Two women politely scratching and clawing at each other while the men look on. Dinner and a show.

      Why has equality been so hard for women to achieve? My theory is that it’s because there are so many women, maybe especially women in positions of power, who like their covert one-step behind men and slightly to the left status just fine. It’s the ‘power behind the throne’, keeping the sister wives in line and constantly reminding them of their subordination. ‘I may only be a woman, but you’re still lower ranking/inferior to me! I’m only as powerful as the women I control.’ Like a pimp.

      I have never known misogyny from men that cut nearly so deeply as the absolute lack of sisterhood among women, especially those who lift themselves via the ‘good old boys’ networks of power. These days I refer to them as ‘The Cheerleaders’.

      *snort* Need more coffee.

      Reply
      1. eg

        On the outside looking in from the Y chromosome side, it has always appeared to me that women are engaged in some next level war of all against all that is beyond my understanding much as we are unable to hear certain high or low frequencies — which has simultaneously made me feel kind of stupid yet grateful not to be involved beyond minor circumstances as collateral damage.

        Reply
    4. agent ranger smith

      If ” no bare arms for women in public” becomes Law in Missouri, would any women begin cutting the arms off of gorilla suits and wearing the gorilla suit arms to obedient to the Law? Would the relevant authorities try to arrest them anyway? Even if their arms were totally covered by gorilla suit sleeves? How would such arrests turn out in court?

      Reply
  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Eat plague–

    Excellent “big picture” view of Covid denialism and the motivation behind “let ‘er rip” and the wholesale violation of the precautionary principle that we have seen these past three years. Key paragraph:

    The cold truth of the matter is that the motive behind COVID minimization is greed and social control. The capitalist system depends on constant growth: constant production, constant consumption, constant expansion of profits. Even brief pauses — such as a month-long stay-at-home order — have disastrous effects on capital. Implementing the mass prevention strategies necessary to slow down transmission (daily rapid testing, contact tracing, guaranteed paid leave for exposed workers, high-quality respirators, etc.) is expensive, and eats into profits. An information campaign explaining why everyone needs to stay home, instead of contributing to “the economy,” eats into profits further. Winding down all non-essential business and keeping it shuttered until the true end of the pandemic would contract the economy down to only what is necessary for society to function. The opportunities for financial capital to invest in new, profitable enterprises would vanish faster than they reemerge.

    So the reality is that the WEF is definitely not behind any attempt to deal with Covid in a responsible way. As an institution of the billionaires, the WEF, the Hoover Institute (where Barrington was born), the Heartland Institute and all similar tools of the rich are in line with “let ‘er rip.”

    You can take this article and plug in the climate crisis for Covid, and it works just as well.

    Whether we know it or not, we live in order for the billionaires to receive their holy and eternal return on their capital. The capitalist system is often touted as flexible. What we have learned, and this article points out, is that capitalism is actually a rigid, even fragile system that requires constant growth, consumption and wage slavery in order to continue. Nothing can interrupt this system, even pandemics or climate change, or it will collapse.

    So what we’re doing with both Covid and the climate crisis is to throw people into the volcano in order to appease The Invisible Hand. Of course, The Invisible Hand is as much a human creation as YHWH, and it turns out that the offerings made to “Him” actually go to someone else. There’s a fun old story about this found in the longer Septuagint (Greek) version of Daniel found in Roman Catholic but not Protestant bibles.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      “What we have learned, and this article points out, is that capitalism is actually a rigid, even fragile system that requires constant growth, consumption and wage slavery in order to continue. Nothing can interrupt this system, even pandemics or climate change, or it will collapse.”

      As always from you, HMP, most relevant and astute commentary.

      I would love to hear from any NC’ers who have read Jason Hickel’s “Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World.”

      A friend of mine was able to get it from the Augusta, Maine, public library, but the paperback can also be ordered for cheap with free shipping to the US from Blackwells.co.uk

      Reply
      1. LaRuse

        My copy of “Less is More” is on order (from Blackwells, at your suggestion). It will be here eventually and I look forward to reading it.

        Reply
      2. Adam Eran

        From Umair Haque (cited previously in NC):

        Why Britain’s Severely Underestimating British Collapse

        Excerpt: “Until a decade ago — just ten years — [Britain’s National Health Service – NHS] was the world’s best healthcare system. Not according to me, but according to international rankings. The BBC was widely acknowledged to be its finest broadcaster, developing many of the world’s finest cultural brands and training its best directors and actors alike. I could go on and on. Britain worked. It was an example of what a modern society could be. The NHS had taught Europe — Europe — that universal scale public goods were possible. The BBC had taught the world what art and culture meant. Its universities produced some of the world’s finest intellectuals, from Amartya Sen to Stephen Hawking, and by and large, its people were some of the most prosperous on earth, in history, period, full stop, admired and liked for being funny, gentle, warm, and wise.

        That was just ten years ago. Ten years. One decade.

        Now that I’ve set the stage, let’s take stock of where Britain really is. This is the part where we talk about how hard and fast a society can collapse — the utterly shocking, chilling story that Britain teaches the world. Yes, you can lose it all, everything, in one decade. Proof positive: British collapse.

        Right about now, Britain’s own finer minds have estimated that there have been 25,000 excess deaths because…the NHS has collapsed. It doesn’t work anymore. You can’t get an ambulance, you can’t get a doctor’s appointment, and if you do, well, you’re the lucky one. Those 25,000 excess deaths have happened “since the summer.” The summer ended on September 23rd. It’s been 15 weeks. In other words, there have been 25,000 excess deaths — because of social collapse — in 15 weeks.

        ….Britain is having a 9/11 every two weeks.”

        The whole article is worth a look.

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          I suspect the British system was broken for far more than a decade, and recent events just pull the plug on its Thatcher installed life support.

          Reply
        2. tindrum

          The British media is trying to plant the responsibility for the very large number of excess deaths in the UK on the failings of the NHS and in particular the ambulance service. However, in reality the number of emergency calls to the ambulance service has increased massively in the last 2 years hence the problem is not the response time of the ambulances per se, rather the increased absolute demand for ambulances. This rubbishes the argument that excess deaths are being cause primarily by failings in the NHS, although these are certainly making matters worse.

          Reply
          1. dandyandy

            Having been to my local A&E in “prosperous” town in SW London about a week ago, I can tell you that the number of visitors to the hospital (all departments), is about twice what it was only 6-7 years ago.

            As in, number of people who one can see during any visit to hospital has about doubled in that short period of time. The triage room that used to house one patient, now accommodates two, separated by a mobile screen.

            There is very visible increase in people in the streets in my town, and traffic visible on a typical drive to and from central London has more than doubled.

            London as a place has not doubled in size, and I also can report that the number of hospitals is still the same.

            Maybe that’s got something to do with the state of NHS.

            Reply
    2. Basil Pesto

      Good post but I think that paragraph you quote doesn’t quite go far enough I don’t think as it fails to account for debt in its analysis. Widespread debt creates the conditions that necessitate constant economic/GDP “growth”.

      Paying people to stay away from work temporarily would be a necessary component to get an internationally co-operative ~6 month mass quarantine + mass testing drive to work and end this nightmare. In the developed/non-IMF world at the very least.

      But a debt jubilee on top of that would be another component which, while not necessarily necessary, would be extremely helpful.

      Sorry to say but the USA will of course be the very last country to do anything like this (it should also go without saying that the occupant of the oval office is almost completely irrelevant, the problems are obviously so much deeper than that) and will have to be made a pariah state if the rest of the world is to get out from under this crisis. Of course RoW cocked this up progressivey from 2020-2022, followed the US’ lead, and demonised the countries that showed us the actual solution to the problem before those same countries gradually joined RoW in abject capitulation as we pretended, per USA, that vaccines would solve the problem. Maybe we’ll get another crack at this if/when the successive Pi/Rho/Sigma SARS pandemics kick off.

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Yep. Debt, if it’s honored, is the paint we’ve used to trap ourselves in the corner. And the way out, a debt jubilee, is against our religion. A mighty fortress is our Dollar, a trusty shield and weapon. Or at least it used to be.

        Reply
        1. eg

          Well, yes because monetary debt emerges from ancient systems of reciprocal obligation in place long before the invention of the ledger, let alone money/coinage.

          At least that’s what I got out of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years

          Reply
        1. albrt

          Disagree about holidays. Travel is a great thing, especially if you do it on foot or by bicycle. Of course, it takes longer than a week to get anywhere interesting.

          Reply
    3. Mikel

      Remember, around October of last year, the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held the “Catastrophic Contagion” exercise.
      The model of the exercise was an outbreak called SEERS [Severe Epidemic Enterovirus Respiratory Syndrome].

      https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/exercises/2022-catastrophic-contagion/
      “…The exercise simulated a series of WHO emergency health advisory board meetings addressing a fictional pandemic set in the near future. Participants grappled with how to respond to an epidemic located in one part of the world that then spread rapidly, becoming a pandemic with a higher fatality rate than COVID-19 and disproportionately affecting children and young people…”

      Then go to the part called “lessons” from the exercise. Here’s a highlight from the “lessons” section:
      https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/our-work/exercises/2022-catastrophic-contagion/lessons.html/
      “…In the Catastrophic Contagion simulation, even a group of some of the wisest and most experienced international public health leaders who lived through COVID-19 wrestled with opposing views on whether countries should impose travel restrictions or close schools to try to contain a serious new epidemic that was disproportionately affecting children….”

      Young people in general were more affected in the exercise. Also, bear in mind that with this simulated epidemic, a high rate of survivors could be left paralyzed or blind. So higher death rate and more severe outcomes from catching the virus in this simulation.

      Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      ‘What we have learned, and this article points out, is that capitalism is actually a rigid, even fragile system that requires constant growth, consumption and wage slavery in order to continue.’

      If you are a set of billionaire capitalists, it must be very frustrating that so much wealth in countries like Russia, China and Iran are out of reach – and exploitation. You are talking about untold trillions of dollars just off limits no much how they goose those political leaders to try to grab them. Not being able to do so means that there is now a hard limit to growth so what do you do when your system requires endless constant growth by also assuming endless resources?

      Reply
      1. Carla

        The hard limit to growth is called THE PLANET.

        (I know you know that, Rev — not shouting at you, but just out of frustration.)

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Last I heard, we are using resources up at the rate of if we had six planet’s resources to use which is crazy. Capitalism then is a death cult.

          Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘AZ 🛰🌏🌍🌎
    @AZgeopolitics
    🛰️🇷🇺⚔️🇺🇦Soledar direction: urban area with a difference of six months on 2 satellite images’

    There has been some talk about the level of destruction in places like Soldar and Bakhmut. And right now the EU is getting ready to actually steal all those frozen Russian funds to give to the Ukraine for “reconstruction.” But what has been missed is that like those two towns that I mentioned, they are now part of the Russian Federation and are now Russian towns. So it will be the Russians that will be rebuilding these town after cleaning up this region of munitions and unexploded ordinance, just like they are doing for Mariupol. Come back in five years and I would not be surprised to see those towns completely rebuilt and with a fast growing populations.

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      You think the construction firms working overtime in Mariupol can send their bills to EU? I mean, it’s all about reconstruction and caring for all those sacrificial lambs civilians…

      And, since they now have the expertise, they could go and rebuild Raqqa, and send the bill to whoever leveled that city. It seems to be the thing in rule based world now, right?

      Reply
  5. mrsyk

    Sobering math from the article about carbon removal from the atmosphere. Here’s a long quote. “ In June, Climeworks announced it had begun construction of its second commercial-sized plant in Iceland that will capture and store 36,000 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide. Even when complete, that will amount to a tiny percentage of the total global emissions of carbon dioxide released into the air each year: In 2021, they hit a record high of 36.3 billion metric tons, according to the International Energy Agency.”
    I’m beginning to think that mastering time travel is humanity’s only chance.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      Take a long view, like the Star Child in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

      From that perspective man is comparable to a bacteria (and no more or less intelligent or significant) in a petri dish. As soon as man overpopulates and destroys it’s food and environment, it as a species will disappear into extinction just like all other forms of life eventually do.

      Reply
      1. John k

        In the noughts somebody posted on the oil drum with the handle, are humans smarter than yeast? No evidence of that to date… though nukes give us the option of going out with a bang rather than starvation. Plus, as Lehrer said, ‘we’ll all go together when we go’, very democratic.

        Reply
  6. tindrum

    The WHO, being terribly concerned about the impact of bad publicity on vaccine take-up has helpfully provide this document in order to help “manage” any situations that may occur.

    https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/WHO-EURO-2022-3471-43230-60590

    Enjoy.

    Also, I see a lot of people rubbishing / attacking Dr. Aseem Malhotra but none of them actually try to repudiate his argument that the FDA FOI data shows clear danger signals of serious side effects at the rate of 1 in 800 vaccinations. This is a way way higher rate than any other vaccine and also way higher than the Covid illness itself for most age groups. Hence the mRNA vaccines must be withdrawn. Lots of handwaving and attempts to suppress information (see WHO document), but no one prepared to argue on the basis of facts.

    Reply
    1. ACPAL

      I took the first three “vaccines” on faith. Even then there was a lot of incomplete, misleading, and downright BS information coming out of the CDC and every other government related organization and the more I read the worse it’s gotten. At this point I refuse to get another dose and most people I know have decided enough is enough. Some friends even warned me not to get the first shot and wonder how I lived through that. I live in rural Idaho, stay out of town when I can, distance even then, hold my breath passing people, let fate do what it will and the government be damned.

      Reply
  7. griffen

    Satire can not keep pace with fact. The Joe Biden think tank, er Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, oh my dear goodness. In reading on his post-VP stint as a Penn professor, which in full honesty I was wholly unaware of, but in hindsight I am not shocked anymore. I suppose it beats giving speeches on whatever topics to Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley, am I right Hillary Clinton?

    These examples of consistently, and knowingly, just these horrible people being rewarded. I mean Biden criminalized an entire future generation of minor substance possession offenders. And the profit of prisons was therefore established and expanded upon, just one example.

    And Trump (who I also find lacking in many ways) is the enemy of goodness and light. Yeah, sure.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Can you imagine what it would be like to take “notes” in a lecture given by “professor” joseph robinette biden, jr.?

      Particularly if he was expounding on america’s being “a nation that can be defined in a ‘single word’ “:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14OK8_Cpiz0 (11 seconds)

      Is this gonna be on the test?

      Reply
  8. GramSci

    Re: Ideologues of Empire

    “It is really the grasping, expansionist Mr. Potter that Kagan wants America to emulate.”

    Who is this Mr. Potter?

    Reply
    1. earthling

      The greedy and mean-spirited Mr. Potter was the banker who sought to dominate the town in the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Would rather rent houses to people and keep them under his thumb than let them have mortgages.

      Reply
      1. davejustdave

        An imaginary but satisfying alternative ending to “It’s A Wonderful Life”:

        It’s A Wonderful Life – The Final Scene

        Potter’s personal health care attendant (the man who pushes his wheelchair) bursts into the party at George and Mary Bailey’s house. The mood, which had been festive (just a moment before, we saw the arrest warrant being torn apart and thrown on the pile of contributions from “so many friends”) changes immediately, as the tale of Potter’s purloining of the disappeared bank deposit is told. At first incredulous, the people become increasingly angry as the depth of depravity of the twisted, misanthropic millionaire becomes clear.

        Next we see the crowd carrying torches as they approach Potter’s mansion – it is like the evil twin of the house that George, Mary, and their kids have filled with love – equally large, but almost all in darkness, and without any sort of holiday decoration, neither Christmas tree, menorah, or solstice wreath. Ernie drives up in his cab, and siphons some gasoline from the tank into a large metal can. We see him and Potter’s former health care attendant splashing the gasoline at the entrances of the house, including the wheelchair ramp. Uncle Billy ignites the flammable liquid by throwing his torch into it, and the rest of the crowd follows suit. The volunteer fire department arrives, but Burt the cop keeps them from coming up the long drive.

        Inside the house, through the windows, we see Potter desperately going from room to room, trying to escape, but it is useless. Uncle Billy watches with grim satisfaction, and we see the flames of the house reflected in his glasses as he mutters “So long, you old so and so.”

        Clarence the angel, no longer in civilian clothes, but rather in his magnificent new robe and wings, watches sadly from treetop level. The camera pulls back and we see the house beginning to collapse as the flames leap higher. The final scene pans upward from the burning house to the starry sky, and we see in Gothic letters the following Biblical quote: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19).

        Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s Corvette Defense Was a Lemon But His “Inadvertence” Defense Could Prove Worse”

    It did not take long for the Republicans to start asking if Hunter Biden also had access to that garage as well. Between the guns, the drugs and the hookers – especially the Russian ones – his security clearance would be even lower than Edward Snowdens would be right now.

    https://www.newsweek.com/hunter-biden-access-delaware-classified-documents-joe-biden-home-1773456

    And the Republicans are still waiting for images to be released of all those classified documents laid out like was done for those taken from Trump in the raid on his home. Some people are beginning to wonder if this whole thing was engineered to have Biden taken down as President to be replaced with somebody better in time for the 2024 Presidential elections. If he is gone, then it would be easy to pin the blame of the whole Ukraine fiasco on him as well.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      My guess is inoculation.
      A few days after the republicans take the house, and a full 6 years since the bidenopolous was Veep, suddenly we find documents. Sadly I am in front of a tv during the News Hour lately, it is said repeatedly there that the documents are a nothingburger, “apples to basketballs” according to capehart (watching brooks try to be more to the right of capehart is telling, in a bad way).
      Adding, last nights episode (it’s not news) started with the japan thing and how it is necessary to prepare for the war with china…not the possible war, the coming war…they did admit russia took soledar…something along the lines of a rare victory. Also every night there is some mention of the homeless being drug addicts, last night it was eric adams…and no mention or implication that the rent is too high. It has disturbed me somewhat to see this same line taken by some commenters here on NC in regards to the police killings.
      I have a little list next to my chair near the idiot box…
      Homelessness, inequality, unhealthy and overpriced healthcare, healthy health industry, private equity, banksterism, 100 new billionaires in the pandemic, trillion ish defense budget esp. when you add add in ukraine (oh by the way, at the end of the episode there is a quick little uncritically reported blurb, global defense spending is 2 trillion, us is half of global defense spending, FFS), student loan debt, the rent is too high, and so much more but I can’t list everything…
      Which of those things are trumps fault? I have been known to unwisely ask, only to be scowled at and told that trump is bad. Bad. BAD.
      Yeesh.
      Kenneth Tomlinson did a heckuva’ job…

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        Ugh. News Hour. I saw the Judy send-off episode a few weeks ago. About the most horrific thing I’ve seen recently. The News Hour really is complete garbage, has been for decades now.

        Reply
      2. JP

        Trump is bad. Obama was bad. Bush was bad…Clinton, other Bush, Regan…. Was Truman OK? Comparatively speaking the documents are a nothing burger. What has conveniently not been mentioned in the outrage sells media is enforcement of the records act was pretty haphazard until Trump’s lock her up lock her up campaign. Then as president he made it a felony. I believe Trump could be prosecuted for felony but Joe and Hillary not.

        In other news it used to be possible to subsist without money and still have a shack to live in and some soil to scratch. That is no longer possible. Without money you must live under a bridge and tote your belongings. Right now in California it is getting pretty crowded under bridges what without your shopping cart getting soaked

        I am getting back in that 60’s revolution mood. Not Trump’s revolution. In the 60’s it was about a war we should not have been a part of. Where are the protests?.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          The student body has been quiet as a church mice in regards to being jerked around by Joey et al, but if you were to take their smartphones away there’d be hell to pay.

          Reply
        2. tegnost

          I believe Trump could be prosecuted for felony but Joe and Hillary not.

          The walls are still closing in on trump, but Joe and Hillary are guilty of all the things on my list of real problems in the country.

          Reply
      3. GF

        “Adding, last nights episode (it’s not news) started with the japan thing and how it is necessary to prepare for the war with china…not the possible war, the coming war…”

        We will fight China to the last Japanese, South Korean and Filipino…

        Reply
      4. The Rev Kev

        ‘Sadly I am in front of a tv during the News Hour lately’

        The SciFi author Arthur C. Clarke compared the world’s media to the nervous system of the body decades ago, which let people be aware of what was happening around the world so that they could react appropriately. If this holds true, then how are people suppose to react to what we receive from the present news/nervous system? These days, I listen to the news not so much for the news itself but how the news is trying to shape opinions.

        Reply
  10. Lee

    Health care providers in extremis:

    “New York is considered one of the worst states in the country to be a doctor. Meanwhile, a survey last year found 62% of doctors say they are suffering from burnout, a rise from 40% in 2018. A separate report found one in 10 physicians surveyed have either contemplated or attempted suicide.” NYC State of Politics

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      There are ample reasons for doctors and especially nurses working in ERs to be suffering from a lot more than “burnout.” As for some of the others, maybe the problem is that the PE boys are pushing so hard on the doctors to do more upselling.

      Reply
      1. B24S

        It’s not the upselling, though it is a burden. It’s the stripping of staff in order to boost profit, by PE and NFP, on top of three years of C-19. Everyone on staff is burnt out, many have left/retired, and more are on the way out.

        I say this as the spouse of a retired NICU RN (35 yrs, inc. during SARS-1, MERS, etc, ret. 2017, thank Dog) and the father of two who have been working in the ER since before the plague. While they’ve managed to avoid infection at work (one was infected by his GF’s father, a “batter”, but negative on Xmas morning, TYVM) they’ve both had enough of the ER, and are looking at other depts. ERs were severely impacted before Covid, what with the homeless and the addicted, but now, well, the system is terribly stressed, even in wealthy areas, and you really don’t want to be there if you don’t have to.

        And if anyone ever asks if you want to see an X-ray, just say no…

        Reply
  11. Dftbs

    I think Arnaud Bertrand’s thread about Emmanuel Todd’s ww3 thesis is very good, it touches on many of the topics that are dealt with daily here at NC, Western economic weakness and diplomatic isolation, to name a few.

    Todd also makes some points that stood out. First, the notion of Russia as a vanguard of a globally popular, non-Western Liberal, patrilineal moral conservatism. I think this topic is really resonant but probably requires more depth of discussion than a series of tweets.

    The second is that Todd “firmly believes the US is in decline but sees it as bad news for the autonomy of vassal states.” I think this is something that is really lost on the liberal elites and American sycophants in Europe, South Korea and Japan. They are now the colonies and they will be squeezed in the traditional manner of imperial exploitation for the benefit of the imperial core. Josep Borrell was rightly ridiculed a few weeks back for comparing the EU to a garden and the global south to a jungle. That statement was certainly bad diplomacy but also oblivious to reality. It’s all guns and roses now, they’re all in Uncle Sam’s Jungle.

    Reply
    1. Colony Fun

      Indeed. US and Sweden sign an agreement to allow US troops on Swedish soil. A couple of days later announces Sweden that they have the largest rare earth metals deposits in Sweden.
      Swedish soil and mining has been given away for free for some while already. Canadian mines and specific politicians such as Sven Otto Littorin being the main beneficiaries. The Swedish state and public being the losers.
      Ain‘t life as a colony wonderful?

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        MOA has found an English summary that talks about all the key points. NC gets a mention.

        https://www.moonofalabama.org/2023/01/emmanuel-todd-on-the-third-world-war.html

        Personally I hope this is wrong and that the Blob isn’t intent on “going to the mattresses” with Russia. There was a time when WW3 seemed a lot more thinkable than today and the Pentagon actually had a plan to pursue it. But it didn’t happen in the last century and I have to believe the NATO and State Department bumblers are overplaying their hand in this one. After all in the 1950s and 60s the entire country was obsessed with Communism. In our century the ground for total war has barely been prepared. It will be a much harder sell.

        Reply
    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Emmanuel Todd is a prescient and gutsy guy. Circa 1974 he chose the USSR as the topic of his PhD dissertatioin in Demographics, and when his analysis revealed a steep downward trajectory his advisor attempted to dissuade him from explicitly drawing the obvious conclusion. Todd not only ignored the advice, but also had the thesis published as The final fall: An essay on the decomposition of the Soviet sphere. As his advisor expected it was greeted with considerable ridicule. Fifteen years later, not so much. In 2002 Todd followed up with After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order, which we are now living through in the present.

      Reply
      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Both books are excellent. I read them a few years ago, and it seemed to me that The Final Fall was more convincing than After the Empire (although granted that the USSR was long gone and the Pax Americana is still with us). I remain convinced that the aftermath of the GFC in 2008 scared Europe’s elites so completely that they will do whatever the USA tells them to do, until such time as reality reasserts itself. After the Empire was published before 2008, so I cannot blame Todd for not anticipating this turn of events.

        After I read the two books, I asked a French-Swiss colleague in Geneva what he knew about Emmanuel Todd. He answered immediately that Todd was brilliant but viewed somewhat askance by the French elite, because he raises difficult issues that go against the narrative.

        Reply
      2. fresno dan

        ex=PFC Chuck
        I read the tweet and I think it is very insightful.
        But really, must we be forced to read things in 124 character Tweeter format (or whatever it is) snippets? This is the most US (or world’s) most efficient and effective means of conveying in writing ideas now a days??? It is so annoying and absurd…

        from the tweet (it took me about 7 minutes to cut, paste, and remove all the extraneous headers and punctuation to make this very small paragraph easily readable):
        He underlines the importance of skills and education: “The US is now twice as populated as Russia (2.2 times in student age groups). But in the US only 7% are studying engineering, while in Russia it is 25%. Which means that with 2.2 times fewer people studying, Russia trains….30% more engineers. The US fills the gap with foreign students, but they’re mainly Indians and even more Chinese. This is not safe and is already decreasing. It is a dilemma of the American economy: it can only face competition from China by importing skilled Chinese labor.”

        Reply
        1. Mikel

          It can also be noted that there was an acceleration of the decline in the number American of science and engineering students when the often cheaper foreign labor came into play.
          The cost of education and housing continued to rise.

          Reply
    3. Ben Joseph

      He makes a point to state the social position of LGBTQ+ is an additional turn off for the rest of the world. I’m interested if there is any corroboration or if it’s conjecture.

      Reply
  12. tevhatch

    Who can die? Canada wrestles with euthanasia for the mentally ill BBC

    The problem in Canada is many mentally ill or even just physically disabled are now being prompted/pushed to “off” themselves, to get them off the public dole or out of housing. Now this is a source with an agenda, but sometimes they are the people you need to collect hard facts. All so, Vicky Neuland and Chrystia Freeland can spend more CAD killing more Orks.

    I really dislike clicking on the BBC but sometimes I just got to do it. It feels like I’m rewarding a inveterate liar, one who is good at it, with the occasional slip up. But even more because they lie on behalf of empire and to crush the poor. The BBC did not fail to disappoint again.

    Reply
    1. flora

      The headline in this Daily Mail article says it all.


      ‘It’s the most rewarding work we’ve ever done’: Canadian doctor who’s euthanized 400 people proudly shares how she helped kill man deemed incapable of choosing assisted suicide – as another physician says she’s helped 300 die”

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11611095/Canadian-doctor-whos-euthanized-400-says-helped-kill-man-deemed-incapable-choosing-suicide.html

      …helped kill a man deemed incapable of choosing assisted suicide…

      No informed consent there. That doesn’t sound like assisted suicide. It sound’s like something that people are sent to prison for committing.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I just realized after reading your comment. Do you remember “Jack” Kevorkian? He only died about a decade ago but after helping with assisted suicides, the Feds came for him for second-degree murder and threw him into prison for all his work-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kevorkian

        You think that the hospital that that Canadian doctor works at will ever be renamed the as the Jack Kevorkian Center for Assisted Suicides? And while I am on the subject. Whatever the hell happened to ‘first, do no harm’ of doctor’s oaths? Too old school?

        Reply
        1. tevhatch

          First surgical procedure most medical students learn is circumcision, a real money maker. It is almost 99% cosmetic, does harm, and too often goes wrong. This is their baptism in blood to what modern medicine is all about. Don’t expect Medicine to grow a soul that society has not.

          Reply
            1. tevhatch

              It’s generic in some places, like the USA. Then again, female circumcision is considered either cultural or religious practice too, but it seems less tolerated and noted at the act of violence.

              Reply
            2. Henry Moon Pie

              This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

              Genesis 17:10

              The ceremony as practiced in Judaism.

              Reply
          1. Ben Joseph

            That’s a crazy claim from what body of knowledge? All med schools rotate in groups in different orders. I started in ob/gyn. Others in neurology and psych, others in peds. Hoist your pet peeves elsewhere.

            Reply
            1. Ben Joseph

              Ha, you got me. Missed the fact that ‘first surgical procedure’ was ironic…. otherwise you would have discovered we get the short white coats and get right to the foreskin harvest! Funny.

              Reply
        2. Terry Flynn

          Alan Williams is the British health economist who got the idea of how much life you “deserved” entrenched in countries that use the QALY as the metric to judge cost-effectiveness (so Europe, Canada and Australasia primarily).

          His Wikipedia bio is anodyne but this download mentions his “fair innings” argument on page 1 of the preface! It is age 70 BTW – three score years and ten – I attended the conference where he first said this, with his “defence” being that he had 3 incurable/difficult to treat conditions and everyone like him should be (essentially) bumped off.

          At that point in my career I wasn’t sure why I disliked him so much….. Once I discovered MMT I realised, contrary to his comments that QALYs don’t discriminate like cost-benefit analysis, that he was defending the status quo completely – that “money” (rather than real resources) was the constraint. Deeply unpleasant man IMNSHO.

          Reply
          1. Senator-Elect

            Thank you for this. If we had proper first-year economics courses, policy people would know that real resources is what matters, not money. Crazier still, all the economists know this, but they hardly ever say it out loud. It was Krugman who opened my eyes in 2008, and he ain’t no MMTer! Yet they let their deficit and debt fearmongering colleagues run around saying all kinds of doomsday garbage.

            Reply
      2. JBird4049

        The most rewarding work they have ever done? Some days, I actually hope there is a Hell for some, uncharitable as that might be. I wonder if these highly credentialed people have over studied history or about programs like Aktion T4?

        Reply
    2. tevhatch

      Then there is involuntary assisted suicide the American Way (Welcome to Hell World Luke O’Neill)

      Autumn Jones’ lungs were so filled with fluid they weighed four times what a normal person’s lungs should weigh during her autopsy. The thirty four year old died in an Alabama prison in 2018 after going untreated for pneumonia by medical staff for weeks according to a malpractice lawsuit filed by her father in 2020 that will finally get a hearing next year. Six years of waiting for the possibility that maybe someone will be held responsible for his daughter’s death.

      Jones had been arrested because she missed a misdemeanor court hearing over an alleged theft of $40 Alabama.com reported. State investigators interviewed women Jones was being held with and one said she got so sick toward the end that she started to hallucinate and was calling one of them momma.

      Reply
    3. Henry Moon Pie

      So three billionaires belly up to the bar. The first says, “I say we thin the herd with a pandem…” The second interrupts, “No. No. Too risky. Too imprecise. I say we starve and gaslight them into suicide. We’ll even offer to help them do it painlessly” The third waits a moment, then responds, “You’re both idiots. We’ll just make a few million self-driving Teslas and release them on the road.” All three together: Let’s do ’em all!

      Reply
    4. Kouros

      I worked on setting up the database for MAID in my province. I have not seen any oversight set up to check what is actually happening. Maybe things have changed, but knowing how the government works and how executives hate oversight of anything outside its own bureaucracy, I highly doubt it.

      Reply
  13. britzklieg

    re: Emmanuel Todd. It was about 8 months ago when I first commented: “no one seems willing to admit that WWIII has started.” Then again, I’m just a retired opera singer…

    Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Let Them Eat Plague!”

    You want to know the most ironic thing about all this. The whole purpose of all this pandemic-theater and half-hearted “attempts” to deal with the present pandemic was to sacrifice people for the good of the economy. And it wasn’t even secret as time and again you had people in the media appear and say so. One example was back in about 2020 when in the US you had this old dude come on TV and say that old people should accept their fate as they could not be saved if it mean derailing the economy. Public health was degraded and organizations like the CDC and the WHO let themselves become standing jokes because of their shockingly bad advice.

    And now as we are three years into the pandemic the results of this approach are in. A great big spanner has been thrown into the machinery of the economy and it will be there for generations. Older, experienced workers are either no longer among us or else, having seen the regard that they are held in, took early retirement. Business are having trouble as staff are falling sick again and again as are their customers. Supply chains have been disrupted due to the same causes. Small business owners, who were the most vocal for opening up the economy and letting ‘er rip, are now bitterly complaining about trying to run a business in the present business conditions. And after three years, I am still not hearing anything about work being done on a sterilizing vaccine. And don’t even get me started on the side effects of the present vaccines and all those mysterious early deaths that can be no longer covered up.

    In short, our elites tailored their responses seen through their portfolios. Guess that that did not work out so well.

    Reply
    1. flora

      It worked out very, very well for the elites.

      Nearly 500 People Became Billionaires During The Pandemic Year

      “Covid-19 hasn’t stopped the spread of billionaires, who multiplied at an astounding rate over the past year. A record 493 people joined Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list this year—meaning the world on average gained a new billionaire every 17 hours since Forbes last took a snapshot of billionaire wealth on March 18, 2020. The previous record for most new billionaires in a year was 290 in 2015.”

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2021/04/06/nearly-500-people-have-become-billionaires-during-the-pandemic-year/

      Reply
    2. LifelongLib

      “sterilizing vaccine”

      Is there any evidence that this is even possible for Covid? My understanding is that pre-Covid-19 attempts to develop vaccines for the common cold (also caused in part by Covid viruses) failed in much the same ways the Covid-19 ones do. I sure hope there’s been some progress but it could be that sterilizing Covid vaccines never happen.

      Reply
  15. griffen

    Tesla is dropping prices, on specific models. Odd or not, okay probably not, this approach coincides with a looming deadline for EV credits for which Tesla may see a dropoff after this deadline. Better hurry that order along, as March 2023 will be here soon.

    I see some value in having an EV for some distances to travel, but still long term ( and also in light of recent cold weather spells ) I highly prefer keeping / continuing with a combustible engine fueled by good old 87 octane level gasoline. Call me old, or call me old fashioned.

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      Assume a paid for gas ‘guzzler’ at 20 mpg.

      A new Chevy Bolt in inventory is $33670 cash out the door. At $3.15 / gal I would have to drive 213,000+ miles before I break even. And this is a serious downgrade of a car. You could go for a sporty bZ4X Toyota for $53,319. And let’s say gas is $5 a gal. It’s the same math, 213K. A Tesla? Forget it.

      Drive about 12K miles per year over the last six years trending down since covid. The back and forth to work driving lends itself well to the electric model. Car prices will not come down. Gas prices are going to have to go way up, or old betsy breaks and needs replaced. I have absolutely no one in my life I need to virtue signal to.

      Reply
      1. Realist

        in my experience, old betsy’s namesake “young betsy” is rigged to present you with endless 4 figure mechanic bills shortly after the warranty expires. The predictable cost of owning the car guys out the window after that.

        Reply
        1. cnchal

          My rough cutoff date for cars is 2006. Anything newer is out of consideration and when I look at slightly newer stuff out of curiosity I am quickly reminded why. In particular any car with an overhead camshaft motor that uses a chain drive for the camshaft and has complex variable valve timing is carsona non grata.

          As I told my friend when he bought a supposedly mint Infinity for cheap from his doctor buddy, he should have paid you five grand to take it off his hands instead of you paying five grand for a pig in a poke. Now he drives around in limp mode, can’t rev it over 2200 RPM, can’t afford to fix it, been quoted up to $7000 for repairs and can’t afford to trash it and buy something sensible, like his older Toyota Camry with a four cylinder non interference engine. He should have kept that car. When it stopped running one day, the timing belt broke, it was towed to a garage, fixed for a few hundred bucks and off he went.

          Whenever I read about new cars are so much moar reliable than cars made two decades ago, I ask myself, which car has better odds of still running in 2040, my 01 Accord, four cylinder with a 5 speed standard that I can maintain myself, never mind that they don’t break, or that new 2023 Accord with a 1500 cc turbo engine with CVT transmission and stuffed with Chineseum chips and computers?

          Reply
        2. John

          And here’s another reason: Help, I’m bumper to bumper in a blizzard on I95. I’ve run out of electric. Can you bring me 5 gal of electric to get my car going. I’m sure you can get some at the nearest station.

          Reply
        3. RobertC

          If your experience was a “plain jane” Toyota Corolla (44M produced since 1966) you would find its 10-year maintenance cost about the same as the Toyota Prius. You would also find a larger geographic range of qualified and experienced mechanics to maintain your Corolla along with matching parts availability and competitive prices, a concern as automotive dealers are starting to impose a 10-year age limit on accepting cars and stocking parts for repair.

          Reply
        4. albrt

          Yeah, the idea is you are meant to pencil in the $30K to $50K expenditure every 5 years. Nevermind that you took out a 7 year loan, and I’m sure discarding electric vehicles every 5 years or so will have no impact on the environment.

          Reply
      2. spud

        i wanted a volt, but the hedge funds said no, buy a truck instead! i will drive what i got till it no longer is drive-able, screw E.V.’s.

        Reply
    2. Adam Eran

      First, we need to stop designing our cities to require every single significant trip be in an auto (i.e. sprawl). Transit consumes 1/8th the fuel per passenger mile…and is made impossible by sprawl.

      As for the cost of owning electric cars, my wife spent $70/month on gas, commuting. We got a Chevy Volt (plug-in hybrid) that could do the round trip entirely on battery. The increase to our electric bill: $4/month.

      An internal combustion engine has roughly 2000 parts. An electric motor: seven.

      As far as efficiency and maintenance go, it’s a no-brainer. Hands down, electric is the nicer car.

      Reply
      1. RobertC

        Using notabanker’s numbers, $70/month for a $33,670 Chevy Bolt (Chevy Volt production ended in 2019) the electric vs gas payback is 40 years. Many of us can’t wait that long.

        Reply
      2. griffen

        Maybe so, but I have heard anecdotes the battery packs are quite expensive when needing to be replaced and not just any mechanic shop will be equipped to do so. I am curious where all the surplus rare earths are coming from for the EV battery packs, admittedly I am neither an engineer nor a battery expert. I’ve got a older sibling who swears by the value benefits and trade off also for owning a Tesla base model electric.

        I have seen these Chevy vehicles, they are not very attractive or stylish but that is my simpleton opinion on them.

        Reply
        1. Mildred Montana

          My life-long mechanic brother after much research bought a Chevy Volt four years ago. Thus far he is very happy with it, 100K range notwithstanding (significantly less in cold weather if he runs the heater).

          An EV is not an ICE vehicle nor should anyone expect it to be. Range will always be a concern, especially if one lives in a rural area. Therefore a change in driving habits is necessary. Drive less day-to-day, and rent a more appropriate vehicle for that dream of a driving tour of the USA.

          What are the clear advantages of owning an EV? Ridiculously low operating costs—both for recharging and maintenance. And if one restricts one’s driving even the cost of battery replacement can be amortized over many years.

          Reply
          1. albrt

            I owned a Civic hybrid for 15 years and replaced the battery pack 4 times. My mechanic and I actually came to the conclusion that the battery pack wants to be driven regularly – all the problems came up after letting the car sit when I was out of town.

            Reply
            1. albrt

              By the way, I eventually gave the Civic to my mechanic and replaced it with a 1996 Escort. Which has been much more reliable than the Civic.

              Reply
      3. caucus99percenter

        I seem to remember that, back in the 1950s when the master of Disney comic-book cartooning, Carl Barks himself, was the artist writing and drawing the Donald Duck stories, Grandma Duck was depicted as driving a retro EV, her “l’il ol’ ’lectric”.

        What is old is new again? Or is it more that there is nothing new under the sun?

        Reply
  16. Carolinian

    Re hacked Android TV box–just to be clear this is a third party Chinese device, not Amazon branded. The article says it is in ADB developer mode but as I understand it would also have to be rooted for unlimited file access.

    So for some that might be a good thing if not connected to the internet. However streaming is by definition connected to the internet.

    Reply
  17. Chas

    As for private equity buying into housing and health care, I just had an experience with that. My older sister lives in a large senior housing complex in Oklahoma City that was purchased by a private equity outfit a few months ago. Last week on our way to vacation in Tuscon we stopped in for a visit. The residents are on pins and needles because new management is raising prices and adding fees. The worst of it is they are now charging rent of $1,000 a month for having a pet. “That can’t be true,” I said. “It’s outrageous.” “Well it is true,” said Sis, “and people are digging down deep to pay. They love their cats and little dogs and can’t bare to give them up.”

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Cash flow, cash flow, let’s model some cash flow. Generating IRR / ROI on their investment is priority # 1. Calling these investment firms and private equity LPs vampires might begin to insult vampires. Housing, health care, dental practices, veterinarian practices, child card and juvenile treatment centers. That’s probably a short listing. NC covers this topic very well.

      That’s a horrible practice, but the ultimate ownership bears no shame.

      Reply
  18. in_still_water

    Glad to see that pfizer is concentrating on building an infrastructure to make sure in seven decades that no one will discover what went on in 2019-present w/r/t “vaccine”. /s

    Reply
    1. Screwball

      Thanks flora

      Shifty Schiff is quite the peach. Taibbi’s Twitter feed is a real hoot. Ted Lieu is accusing him of “spewing Kremlin talking points” and Chris Hayes spouting the same old worn out Russia is “aiming to elect Donald Trump.”

      These people are despicable. For these two who are attacking Matt, their cohorts, and their loyal followers, the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative is their story and they’re sticking to it. Facts by damned. And yet people like Matt are the fake news.

      What an upside down world we live in.

      Reply
      1. griffen

        If the likes of Chris Hayes and David Frum are continuing to spout their nonsense, then I feel highly comforted by the actual facts underneath and what these Twitter file dumps are finally revealing. Frum is the absolute worst, and I’m being nice today.

        Hoping Matt and the rest keeps at it, remaining undeterred. You are correct, upside down and topsy turvy.

        Reply
  19. Stephen

    “Laying the foundations for a settlement in Ukraine”

    Good of NC to provide some entertainment.

    I got my best laugh from clicking to see who George Beebe is. His job title is Director of Grand Strategy for the Quincey Institute. Ex CIA and a former adviser to Dick Cheney. Anatol Lieven, whom Gilbert Doctorow has been writing about recently seems to be a colleague too.

    Do not know enough about their US funders such as Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation and the Peaceshares Fund to understand their significance but these things tend to follow the money.

    Am genuinely wondering if I made bad career choices in my earlier life. Perhaps a “Think Tank” would have been fun. Although I guess these places are at least in part billets for politicos and administration hacks to hang out in until their party is back in power.

    Reply
    1. David

      It wasn’t always the case in the past, but in recent years, competition for funding between think-tanks has been so fierce that they have little alternative but to faithfully parrot the ideas of their funders, or at least not go against them. For years now whenever someone from a think-tank wants to talk to me, the first question I ask is “who’s funding your programme?”
      But another function they increasingly fulfil is that of a comfort blanket, of outside validation of government policies by apparently “independent” sources, who are quoted in turn in allegedly “independent” media. But it’s not an environment to work in these days, if you have any integrity.

      Reply
    2. Kouros

      The choice that we faced in Ukraine — and I’m using the past tense there intentionally — was whether Russia exercised a veto over NATO involvement in Ukraine on the negotiating table or on the battlefield,” said George Beebe, a former director of Russia analysis at the CIA and special adviser on Russia to former Vice President Dick Cheney. “And we elected to make sure that the veto was exercised on the battlefield, hoping that either Putin would stay his hand or that the military operation would fail.

      https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/russia-s-ukraine-invasion-may-have-been-preventable-n1290831

      Reply
      1. Karl

        “And we elected to make sure that the veto was exercised on the battlefield, hoping that either Putin would stay his hand or that the military operation would fail.”

        Clearly, this was a gamble. And now we know the outcome: we are now witnessing, as Scott Ritter has said, the death of Ukraine. In this gamble, it was always heads OR tails Ukraine loses (bloodshed and destruction). What did the West see as the upside that was going to make this worthwhile? Did they even consider other downsides to EU/NATO?

        Did they even try to assess the odds of “success” and really, what was “success” going to look like to make this all worthwhile? All of Russia’s Liebensraum? Is that how the leaders of the West think? Did NATO/EU not consider their own downside risks–lost credibility and a damaged economy? Did they not consider the possibilitiy–and consequences–of Russia coming out ahead and gaining control of most of Eastern Ukraine (or the whole country)?

        In terms of a straight decision analysis, this was an amazingly stupid decision from the get-go.

        Reply
        1. Thomas Wallace

          This was shockingly sensible for the main stream media.
          Could it be the first step in walking back the Neo con narrative? That is, Putin=AH, Ukraine=Munich, and this conflict is the most important thing ever.
          Everyone got paid or “wet their beak”. Americans have no patience. Forever wars are political tar babies. The most establishment candidate lost the presidential election 2008, 2012, and 2016. The Uniparty refused to sign on to the promoted Syrian intervention based on dubious poison gas allegations. Lengthy wars don’t age well.
          The US won the info war, and can still gin up a narrative that avoids admitting failure.
          On the other hand, Ukraine just wen’t off script, declaring that they are a de facto NATO member. The WSJ just admitted it was going to be a lengthy, difficult fight (although obvious, off script).

          Call me a hopeless optimist, but the alternative…if the US keeps insisting it is the most important thing ever, then we are fked.

          Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      She did a ridiculous piece in The New Republic a couple weeks ago, widely torn to shreds. These people are scum but vis à vis soi-disant progressives. the last three years have been, to use the Lambertism, wonderfully clarifying.

      Reply
        1. britzklieg

          I too had a less than outraged response to the article and outrage is often (indeed, too often) my default response. Thanks for the link. I’d read it before and found it rather compelling. A second reading did not change my opinion.

          Reply
  20. RobertC

    India

    The Under Modi, India’s China Strategy Has Gone From Strategic Proactivism to Docility article was a difficult but fun read due to colloquialisms I’m not familiar with so spent much time rereading and research. After decoding the historical references and grievances, I believe the last paragraph states the essence:

    Hindutva in the consolidation stage needs a period of stability. Peaceable relations with neighbours help with that. Strategic docility moderates the security dilemma induced in neighbours. They then do not need to instigate a like dilemma in India, thus allowing India to get on with the flagship internal project, Hindutva.

    In short, the author wants China to get off India’s case so

    India can make the most of its rotating chair of the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. It has already called for a non-G20 summit, staking claim to being the voice of the Global South.

    Recommended quick read.

    Reply
  21. Jason Boxman

    So the great collapse of Twitter seems to have been greatly exaggerated by the chattering classes. So this seems to prove to tech CEOs everywhere that perhaps they also could be overstaffed, and could use some house cleaning. It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses. Maybe DevOps can run much leaner than it is already, and it takes fewer engineers to implement a feature than previously thought.

    Or maybe tech debt will catch up with reality, and laying off so many people will be a debacle in the longer term. But CEOs don’t think long term, so in the meantime, a point in favor of tech layoffs.

    Reply
  22. Do you know the way to San Jose

    As for private equity buying into housing and health care, I just had an experience with that. My older sister lives in a large senior housing complex in Oklahoma City that was purchased by a private equity outfit a few months ago. Last week on our way to vacation in Tuscon we stopped in for a visit. The residents are on pins and needles because new management is raising prices and adding fees. The worst of it is they are now charging rent of $1,000 a month for having a pet. “That can’t be true,” I said. “It’s outrageous.” “Well it is true,” said Sis, “and people are digging down deep to pay. They love their cats and little dogs and can’t bare to give them up.”

    So very sorry to hear about you sister’s housing Chas. The government has known for quite some time that far more affordable Senior housing is needed, and not done shit about it.. The Bipartisan response is GO DIE. Out here in California, the situation is particularly vile, the waiting lists are years and years long, and much of that housing is thoroughly dignitary stripping. thanks to the Rotten Ass HUD manager’s and millionaire investors who own the HUD housing. If you want to hang on to your car so you can easier escape if you end up somewhere really rotten, good luck, you’ll have to park it blocks away and pray it doesn’t get stolen. And never mind about electric vehicles (especially with the ever increasing power outages) they’re certainly not meant for Housing and Apartment dwellers, only rich people who can afford Tesla Electricity Hogs. Speaking of which, the homeless living in their cars and RVs; and Seniors with older cars are going to have an increasingly hard time finding gas while Gavin increasingly makes the state unaffordable for almost 50% or more of its population.

    Covid 19 has multiplied DC’s total willingness to tell everyone over 55 to GO DIE, in California, they’re willing to tell every unconnected adult, of all ages, to GO DIE. It’s particularly brutal on unconnected single females, of all colors, despite vociferous claims otherwise. The gender: pay; age; and job discrimination gaps out here are alive and well, always have been. After an entire life of that, single females don’t tend to fare to well, many of them living out of their cars, or on the cement, where their life span is far lower than a males, if I recollect, it’s 46 years old.

    Reply
  23. Alice X

    So I posted this some hours ago but it went into the ether, apologies if they both appear.

    EXCLUSIVE: EXTREME ESCALATION OF BRAZIL’S CENSORSHIP REGIME | SYSTEM UPDATE #22

    Glenn Greenwald, Rumble

    Greenwald speaks about the extraordinary powers the Brazilian Supreme Court has granted itself, and in particular the one judge Alexandre de Moraes.

    De Moraes on Jan. 13, 2023 issued a new order banning certain individuals from online platforms, to take effect within two hours of the order. GG refers to this Sept. 26, 2022 piece at the NYT, though typically for more censorship, is alarmed, giving more chilling background.


    To Defend Democracy, Is Brazil’s Top Court Going Too Far?

    De Moraes has, without trial or even charges, banned people from online platforms and even jailed them.

    edit

    The US perpetrates similar tyrannies, but what is remarkable about de Moraes is that some of his targets are in the Brazilian Congress. Well, there are more than a few US congress critters who could be marched off to jail. so?

    Reply
  24. KD

    Russia-Ukraine war live: explosions and air raid sirens in Kyiv as Russians attack

    Damn, sounds like the Russians ran out of missiles again, and so soon since the last time. . . at the rate Russia keeps running out of missiles, don’t be surprised if the UAF turns up in the outskirts of Moscow soon.

    Just remember that a functional electrical grid has no tactical or strategic value in warfare.

    Reply
  25. JBird4049

    About those drought maps in the Chron. All those scientists are worry about the drought still not being truly broken, which is an honest worry; I guess a pessimist, but yes, the rains have just fabulous and the worry is that it might not last and it might get too hot in February and March; what worries me is that the rainy season is three months. Three months of almost steady rain.

    Yes, the ground is getting too saturated too quickly because of the unusually heavy rains, but what happens if the rains just don’t stop and the ground goes beyond saturated? Much of the Bay Area’s is clay with a thin covering of actual soil and in 1982, IIRC, right before the real flooding, houses started to slide down those hills we all love so much, which was after over two months of really heavy, unending rain. Two more months of what we had in December and January might be a bit much. The universe seems to have a perverse sense of humor making people beg for rain one month and the next to beg for it to stop.

    Reply
    1. Acacia

      Two more months of what we had in December and January might be a bit much.

      Check out Sinkhole, the recent Korean film.

      An ordinary office worker Dong-won and his family move into a house he bought after years of saving. Overwhelmed with happiness, he invites his colleagues to a housewarming party, but heavy overnight rain leads to a gigantic sinkhole, and in a mere minute, it swallows up the entire apartment and the people inside.

      Reply
        1. JBird4049

          Acacia,
          There does not yet appear to be a dvd region 1 release that I can find (Although if I am wrong, please let me know!)

          I am planning to buy a new region free player, but right now it looks to be either Korean or subtitled in French? It’s only been a year. I just might have to wait a bit.

          Now, if I could just get J’accuse / An Officer and a spy DVD/Blu-ray, but the film has been deep six for release in the English speaking world by the our cultural hegemon.

          Reply
          1. Acacia

            Hmm, yeah, it might take some more time for a DVD or VOD release in Region 1. Region coding is such an annoyance. The last straw for me was buying a ‘region free player’ in the EU, and then discovering that I had to take it to a distant, special shop to enable that feature. At the shop, the tech connected a cable to the player, pressed a button, and then asked for ~50 bux for this 30 second ‘service’. I got my region free player but the whole exercise was so absurd, I never bought another one.

            After that player gave out, I switched to using PC apps like VLC, which can end run around the whole mess. Subs are widely available on the Net, though a bit fiddly if they don’t sync. Sometimes I now use an excellent freeware app called SubTitle Edit that makes it possible to re-sync SRT subs with a few clicks.

            Reply
  26. ambrit

    Zeitgeist question: is anyone else noticing a strong uptick in pro Ukraine propaganda on the YouTube recently, or am I just ‘behind the curve?’

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It may be via the algos, not the content per se. For instance, when I search on “Scott Ritter” and even screen for the last week, I get totally non “Scott Ritter” pro Ukraine vids or news, often before any Scott Ritter stuff.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        How nice. Honestly, it’s like they are not even trying that hard to hide their creation of the approved reality bubble that we are all supposed to be in.

        How many lights do you see? I see four lights. Wrong, you see five lights!”

        I don’t know, and I be melodramatic, but it sure feels like we are being required to make ourselves truly believe what they say is the truth instead of what we see as the truth. If this is true, why hide this creation of a five and not four lights reality?

        Reply
  27. will rodgers horse

    Dr Gurdasani seems to suggest that questioning hte vaccine is wrong since mild covid increases the risk of death. But since the vaccines don’t really prevent mild covid i am not sure I understand her point

    Reply
  28. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine defence minister: We are a de facto member of Nato alliance”

    This is actually spot on. They are, which presents the Ukraine with a severe disadvantage in future negotiations with Russia. So imagine that the Ukraine agrees never to join NATO as part of a peace process. Fair enough but what happens then? NATO will then proceed to train up a whole new Ukrainian army up to NATO standards and equipped with NATO equipment – mostly American. NATO troops will exercise with the Ukrainian army like they did before the war either in country or in other countries. The Ukrainian special forces will still remain a pet of the US military just like the Afghan special forces were before the fall. There will be NATO instructors everywhere and NATO specialist teaching advanced skills. But on paper, the Ukraine will not be a part of NATO. In reality, it will be a turn key relationship where they just have to turn the key and the Ukraine will be a fully fledged member of NATO. And if I know this, then I am sure that the Russians know this as well and will act accordingly during negotiations. Ukrainian and western promises are worth zip and everybody knows it now.

    Reply
    1. Karl

      That’s why there will be no negotiations, in my view, until all of Ukraine accepts surrender.

      At that point there will be negotiations over the terms of surrender, e.g. Ukraine will not join NATO/EU, Ukraine will assist Russian troops in finding Nazis, etc.

      Saying that Ukraine is a defacto member of NATO could only have made Ukraine’s political position worse with the Russian people. Putin now has even less political space for allowing even a rump independent Ukraine to exist.

      Saying this can be understood as a poison pill and a signal to NATO/US: we will not negotiate, Putin will not negotiate, therefore, don’t even ask us to negotiate. If you want to win, you’ll need to do to Russia what you did to Nordstream I and II. You know you have the means. Use it.

      Reply
  29. Procopius

    Off topic, but I’ve been wondering. During World War II, there were wage and price controls to prevent hyperinflation. They worked reasonably well, and were not too onerous. I haven’t heard anything about wage/price controls since the 1970s. Have economists forgotten they are a possibility, since aggregate demand is apparently not the cause of the current (pretty much ended) inflation? I’d like to see a lot of the current record high profits rolled back.

    Reply
    1. eg

      Isabella Weber is one economist (if I am not insulting her with an incorrect title) who has dared to speak their name, to an avalanche of criticism from the usual suspects (I’m looking at you, Larry Summers). I am led to believe that she is actually getting some traction with policy makers in her native Germany, the squawking of the orthodoxy notwithstanding.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith Post author

      There are some economists brave enough to argue the US early 1970s price controls were starting to work but then the Ford Administration threw in the towel.

      Reply
  30. agent ranger smith

    What is that first bonus antidote? A sloth. But which sloth?

    Since it lacks a ” face-mask” marking on its face, and it appears to have 2 claws on its visible front hand, I will guess that it is a two-toed sloth. Here is a little article about the difference between 2-toed and 3-toed sloths. ( Strange to me, it also invokes 4 other species of sloth. I wonder whether that isn’t just a case of ‘splitters gone wild’).

    https://allaboutsloths.com/2-toed-sloth-vs-3-toed-sloth-they-arent-all-the-same/

    ( ‘ splitters gone wild ‘ ) ? Here are a couple of links about “lumpers and splitters”.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpers_and_splitters

    https://americanornithology.org/lumpers-and-splitters/

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      It’s striking how perceptive the authors/editors of the second Genesis myth were about humanity’s greatest temptation:

      “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

      And the irony is that this YHWH Elohim is himself an anthropomorphic invention of humans putting someone like themselves in charge of the universe.

      I believe Gates is quite ill. He seems to think that he can redesign the Earth and make it better. This from the guy who invented little more than blue screens and clever ways to monopolize an industry.

      I suspect that he is haunted in his dreams at night by the fact that there are all those birds living in the trees rent-free. How inefficient! How wasteful! How unfair to the billionaires! The guy hates Nature.

      Reply
    1. britzklieg

      …and the USA actually won. we’ve reached the point where obvious embarrassment is cherished as national pride.

      Reply
    2. Paradan

      Think of the technological achievement it required to build a costume like that, that wouldn’t just crush her under all that weight, There has to be some serious materials technology going on here.

      Reply
    3. griffen

      The horror. It’s as though someone finally got around to seeing Rocky IV, and the intro scene featuring James Brown “Living in America” before Drago kills Apollo Creed in the exhibition (spoiler alert). That could be the inspiration ( and having recently watched the film again, that scene is incredibly tacky but so very middle 1980s ).

      Reply

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