Links 1/30/2023

Kind readers, I hope that those of you have have constructed or encountered Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes will share your experiences here: “‘Look for the Helpers’: Corsi-Rosenthal Box Round-Up.” I’ve been very impressed by the technical quality of your highly informative comments so far, but alas! There are far too few, and I’d like to aggregate your thoughts into a second post. Thank you! –lambert

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When bugs swipe left (press release) Washington University in St. Louis

Central banks set to lift interest rates to 15-year highs as investor jitters grow FT

Does money growth help explain the recent inflation surge? Bank of International Settlements. “We are concerned here only with the signalling value of monetary aggregates for inflation, not with the direction of causation.”


Nobody Is Happy With the Federal Grazing Program Gizmodo

Europe experienced record number of hailstorms in 2022 for the second year in row The Watchers

A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging AP


Repeated vaccination of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dampens neutralizing antibodies against Omicron variants in breakthrough infection (letter) Nature. China take note.


Big if true:

I would like very much to know if Covid infection tape-watchers think these numbers correspond to any other country’s, even colorably.

COVID-19 treatment Molnupiravir starts to sell in China Global Times. Well, that should do it.

China’s Global Mega-Projects Are Falling Apart WSJ

Can Chinese pop music’s soft power push ever match K-pop’s success? South China Morning Post. No Betteridge Law violation detected.

On China’s Enemies Within The Scholar’s Stage


Why has the West given billions in military aid to Ukraine, but virtually ignored Myanmar? The Conversation. Because the fascists in Myanmar don’t need any weapons?

The Koreas

South Korea drops indoor anti-COVID mask mandate, infection fears linger Channel News Asia


Hindenburg report alleged fraud by its firms, Adani Group says ‘attack on India’ Indian Express. AFAIK, nobody has made the “Oh, the humanity!” joke, so please consider it made.

Our Reply To Adani: Fraud Cannot Be Obfuscated By Nationalism Or A Bloated Response That Ignores Every Key Allegation We Raised Hindenberg Research.

Chartbook #190: The Adani crisis – is Modi’s house of cards at risk? Adam Tooze, Chartbook

LIC doubles down on Adani amid short seller row The Economic Times

The man behind a $50 billion sell-off Mint


Israel Strikes Iran Amid International Push to Contain Tehran WSJ. Mehdi Hassan: “How is this not…an act of war?”

The struggle brewing inside Israel’s anti-government movement +972

The Magical Mossad Mystery Tour The Tablet

Turkey’s influence in Africa on the rise Andalou Agency. From 2021, still germane. Handy map:

Dear Old Blighty

NHS plan: £1bn boost in hospital beds and ambulance fleet BBC. “Currently one in 10 posts in the NHS is vacant.” So, nothing for the workers?

How London’s property market became an inheritocracy FT

The Paper Trail: the Failure of Building Regulations Inside Housing. More on Grenfell Tower. Not unrelated to the above; see NC here.

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Russia Tightens Grip Around Bakhmut as Ukraine Awaits Western Tanks WSJ

Western Volunteer in Bakhmut Admits Ukraine is Losing. Is the Western Tank Card a Bluff? Internationalist 360°. Link to potentially important interview (YouTube) with that volunteer, but the distortion used to disguise their voice is torture on my ears, so even if I had the hour, I can’t listen. Readers?

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Live news: German economy shrinks as energy and borrowing costs pinch demand FT. Everything’s going according to plan.

Is Europe Deindustrializing? Yanis Varoufakis, Project Syndicate

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After tanks, Ukraine seeks warships from Germany Andalou Agency. Musical interlude.

Germany’s Scholz denounces ‘bidding war’ over jets for Ukraine Al Jazeera

The shift in Europe, Tanks and What is Really Important about Them Phillips’s Newsletter. Interesting:

I do think the pressure that was applied by the Nordics, Baltics and Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, etc, really do matter, and going forward their outlooks will play an outsized role in the establishment of Europe’s security priorities. This is because they have a common outlook that will hold them together, and secondly because they are together one of the richest groupings in Europe and they will grown relatively richer in the future. This wealth has lead them to construct some of the most powerful military forces on the continent.

Ah. The Intermarium folks. Adjacent to this crowd:

Václav Havel (d. 2011) was a founder of the Visegrad Group. I wonder what he would think….

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Some Western Backers of Ukraine Worry That Time Might Be on Russia’s Side WSJ

Erdogan says Turkey may accept Finland in NATO, but block Sweden Al Jazeera

The Russian Predicament Valdai Discussion Club

South of the Border

Peru’s protest ‘deactivators’ run toward tear gas to stop it AP. Learning from Hong Kong.

Venezuela: National Assembly Moves to Regulate NGO Activities Venezuelanalysis

Biden Administration

Exclusive: Supreme Court did not disclose financial relationship with expert brought in to review leak probe CNN. Chertoff. Chertoff is pro-torture. So that’s a plus. And Chertoff was never charged with perjury. The Supreme Court likes its experts clean!

DEA Mexico chief quietly ousted over ties to drug lawyers AP

Supply Chain

Russia ramps up diesel supplies to Turkey, Africa ahead of EU embargo Hellenic Shipping News


Virus exposure and neurodegenerative disease risk across national biobanks Neuron. “Using time series data from FinnGen for discovery and cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank for replication, we identified 45 viral exposures significantly associated with increased risk of neurodegenerative disease and replicated 22 of these associations. The largest effect association was between viral encephalitis exposure and Alzheimer’s disease. Influenza with pneumonia was significantly associated with five of the six neurodegenerative diseases studied. We also replicated the Epstein-Barr/multiple sclerosis association. Some of these exposures were associated with an increased risk of neurodegeneration up to 15 years after infection. As vaccines are currently available for some of the associated viruses, vaccination may be a way to reduce some risk of neurodegenerative disease.” Let’s pick one. Viral encephalitis. So [one moment for search] is it airborne?. W-e-l-l-l-l: “Viral encephalitis may be due to either DNA or RNA viruses, which have various modes of transmission, including bloodborne, airborne, or mosquito-borne.” Vax, therefore, is not the only “way.” But when you’ve got a hammer, a nail is top of mind….

Measles virus ‘cooperates’ with itself to cause fatal encephalitis Medical Xpress

Police State Watch

The Crackdown on Cop City Protesters Is So Brutal Because of the Movement’s Success The Intercept. The deck: “One protester was killed by police, 20 were charged under a ‘domestic terror’ law, and Georgia’s governor gave himself broad ’emergency’ powers.” Georgia’s Governor Kemp is a Republican, so I expect we’ll see Democrat Senators Ossoff and Warnock raising the alarm about a “state of exception.” Kidding!

A feeling that police would not or could not do anything to help Welcome to Hell World. Commentary:

Doucette is worth a follow.

Professionalize the police Noah Smith, Noahpinion. Why did nobody think of this [slaps forehead].

Sports Desk

The Philadelphia Eagles Will Absolutely End You The Defector

Guillotine Watch

I’m a corporate fraud investigator. You wouldn’t believe the hubris of the super-rich Guardian. No, I would, really.

Class Warfare

Learning from neoliberalism: a Machiavellian plea for reverse engineering (PDF) Joanna Kusiak, Across Theory and Practice: Thinking Through Urban Research. From 2018, still germane:

The revolutionary capacities of capitalism in general, as well as its impres- sive ability to undo established orders, have been well known since at least the publication of the Communist Manifesto. However, neither capitalism nor neoliberalism (both of which are, as Berman (1982) and Harvey (2005) note, utopian in spirit) achieve their aims by means of ideological purity. On the contrary, ‘really existing neoliberalism’ is var- iegated (Peck and Theodore 2007) and, it might be added, omnivorous: it operates through co-optation. Trying to counter its power while ad- hering to the strict rules of ideological purity is like fighting an armed street gang while abiding by the principles of a martial art: we may feel more dignified than the opponent, but we also are bound to lose. Can we remain critical and yet become more street-smart?

Interesting question!

The real cost of shadow work FT

Gender and the Great Resignation Phenomenal World. Worth a read.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. zagonostra

    Antidote du jour looks like reality coming on quick, maybe appealing to “ideological purity” and some nice sounding phrases/words will slow it down…

    1. juno mas

      While that rhino seems imposing, second largest animal in Africa and fast for its size, it is the hippotamus that is the real threat. (No kidding.)

  2. NN Cassandra

    Well, Václav Havel supported bombing Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. So I think he would eagerly approve. Certainly people from his circle and those who revere him as hero, do now.

    1. tricia

      And helped facilitate the privatization of the Czech state, the destruction of social services, etc., subsequent enrichment of a new capitalist elite (including himself) at the expense of the working class…of course he was promoted in the West as a hero of democracy & freedom and given a standing ovation by our own ‘champions of the people’ here in congress…

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Once had an inadvertent lunch with Havel in the early 90s. His yacht pulled up to the very small and out of the way town on Crete where I was working on an excavation. He was wearing shorts, sandals and a Frank Zappa T-shirt (Zappa was a friend, and for a short time, ambassador of Havel’s and one of my all time favorite musicians) and seemed very humble – you wouldn’t have known he was president of a European state. His security detail was small – just two people who I wouldn’t even have noticed until someone pointed them out.

        He sat down for lunch at a small outdoor taverna where the archaeologists were eating, and when he found out that a fellow Czech was working as a waitress in another taverna down the street, he invited her to join him for lunch.

        I admired him quite a bit and he seemed a model politician at the time. After that though the neocons got their hooks into him and it was downhill from there.

        1. digi_owl

          That is likely a core problem. These people would have likely done fine if they could work the local system over years and induce gradual change.

          But the overnight dissolution of the soviet system left so many of them high and dry, exposed to a wilderness of international pressures and temptations they were in no way prepared to navigate.

    2. agent ranger smith

      Didn’t a commenter here a few years ago tell us that Havel lobbied Clinton very hard to extend NATO eastward to the borders of Russia? ( Though Clinton might have done it anyway without the Havel lobbying, if there was any.)

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Threat to Corvid population–

    From the unprecedented amount of crow-eating in southern Ohio.

    After an earlier orgy of corvid-devouring around Buffalo. ;)

    1. John Beech

      Cincy played well, just not quite well enough. Kind of thing where in best two out of three it may well have produced a different AFC representative to the Super Bowl. Anyway, the whole team is to be congratulated in my opinion. That young man who thoughtlessly took a shot at Mahones as he stepped out of bounds especially needs consoling in my opinion because he knows the import of what he did (although in honesty, it may not have mattered since there was enough time for one more play and they didn’t avail themselves of it). Anyway, I know how the prolate spheroid ball bounces is a fickle thing due to two things. First, a life long attachment to my beloved Crimson Tide (where I tried out for the team and met my wife to be) and my equally long following of the Miami Dolphins. Bottom line? Nothing will humble you quite like hubris, eh? So I guess you’re right, the invincible looking Buckeyes and Bengals both combined to deliver two helpings of corvid this year. Suspect Kansas and Michigan will gladly contribute if there’s a shortfall. As will Alabama and Florida since there’s no long term shortage.

  4. Irrational

    Philips’ newsletter: Argh, where to start? Well, a couple of those rich, influential Nordics/Baltics are busy giving away all of that military equipment. For example, Denmark is giving Ukraine all 19 of its Cesar howitzers. In the grad scheme of things it won’t help Ukraine, while Denmark cannot fulfill its NATO obligations, so it would seem to me they are using their wealth unwisely.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      A couple of years ago, a NATO review of combat readiness singled out the Scandinavians (including the strategic partners / wannabes), UK and Canada as being unable to deploy a brigade* at a moment’s notice, the minimum force required.

      When asked to explain what constituted their brigade, the UK said a big battalion of about a 1000, largely infantry and some support. NATO HQ had suggested about 3000 troops. The above said these numbers and units required would not be ready for some years, without being more specific about timing.

      Please see my comment about the UK when / if it gets out of moderation.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      My naive impression is that these really are small insignificant powers whose influence is amplified now only because they are willing to slavishly toe the US line. The load-bearing structure in the thesis that the Nordics/Baltics/Poland/Czechia are going to become a dominant force within the European alliance (and are not merely temporarily influential US toadies) is that : 1) combined they supposedly almost double the GDP of Russia. I would say that anyone who sees that factoid and just blindly accepts it rather than doing a doubletake and saying hang on a minute this discredits the whole idea that GDP unweighted by purchasing power is a meaningful metric is just a moron and 2) that according to IMF estimates Poland is going to leapfrog from the back of the pack past Japan, France, Canada, and Italy to equal Germany’s GDP per capita by 2039. Without any obvious competitive advantage or natural resource base, and while committing to billions of extra non-productive defense spending. Not a bet I would take at less than 10,000 to 1 odds.

      1. Lex

        Your impression is correct. The spin is that these are the “new Europe” countries elevated by the neocons in the early 2000’s when the “old Europe” countries were not keen enough on the Iraq War. So they have the most backing from the US FP establishment, which leads to articles about how they’re the future but also feelings inside those nations that they are very powerful because they’re supported by the US.

        1. Ignacio

          Now imagine what happens to the Baltic tigers when the US decides in its own interest that time has come to move along about Russia and focus on some other conflicts the US is opening elsewhere.

      2. Darthbobber

        They will appear to be “influential” as long as their “influence” points in the direction the United States wishes to go. And not 5 minutes longer.

      3. Maxwell Johnston

        That chart in the middle of the article which supposedly showed how much ‘wealthier’ these countries were vs RU caught my eye, so I ran the numbers using World Bank PPP GDP rankings: RU stands at 4.8 trillion, while Denmark/Nordics/Baltics/Poland/CZ/SK total to 4.1. This is my back of the envelope calculation, not taking account of the actual substance of GDP (many of these countries perform little more than low-end assembly and outsourcing for German companies) or scientific/industrial capacity (I won’t even bother showing links to data showing RU arms production or STEM graduates). Here is the raw data, maybe I missed something (used the World Bank column), corrections are welcomed:

        Given the awful demographics of most of these countries (with the possible exception of Sweden), I find it hard to agree with the author’s optimistic take on their future: “…they are together one of the richest groupings in Europe and they will grown (SIC) relatively richer in future.”

        On a purely anecdotal basis, I’ve visited the capital city of most of these countries (bar Bratislava and Oslo) at some point in the last 20 years. Moscow and St Pete compare favorably with all of them. Just sayin’.

        That said, I agree with the author’s viewpoint that E.Europe and the Nordics are having an outsized influence on European policy vs RU. For now, anyway. But reality usually re-asserts itself, if one waits long enough.

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          Seems about right to me. The economic heft of all these countries combined is roughly equal to Russia which is in turn roughly equal to Germany (if you ignore whatever unpriced advantage there is to Russia in having a greater proportion of your raw material inputs sourced internally). Even assuming a total convergence of interests and lobbying power, there is no way that that these countries could outweigh the European core of Germany, France & Italy absent a behind-the-scenes US influence.

      4. Cetra Ess

        Isn’t the Czech population quite torn, hardly unified on the issue of Ukraine, with mass protests happening and nevertheless all sides distinctly and definitively pro-peace/anti-war? I get the sense they’re against Russia’s invasion while not exactly being Russophobic or pro-NATO. I’m not an expert but I think the author may be taking liberties/stretching things by including them.

      5. agent ranger smith

        Are they just toeing the US line? Or are they quietly manipulating and pressuring the US into “setting” the line which the East Europeans themselves want set? And can then pretend to “toe” if they need the “plausible deniability”?

        Is Poland faking its antiRussianism just to please the US, for example?

    3. The Rev Kev

      One of the Baltic States also gave up their howitzers – all of them. I also heard that some time ago that the Netherlands got rid of their tanks so then they leased a bunch of Leopard 2s instead. Well then the Rutte government paid up in full and bought those tanks – and then gave them to the Ukraine for free. A year ago a primary aim of the Russian Federation was to demilitarize the Ukraine so that it would not be a threat. And now they are getting to demilitarize NATO as well which means that NATO cannot now attack Russia. If somebody is not careful, there might be an outbreak of peace in Europe afterwards.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Unfortunately, Rev, if NATO cannot mount an attack on Russia, it might get desperate enough in the likely event of a Russian victory in Ukraine to use a tactical nuke. That, of course, would be the end of us all. There won’t be just a tit-for-tat, i.e., one of your cities for one of mine, there would be total annihilation.

        I think the fear of that outcome is one reason the Russians are holding back somewhat rather than launching an all-out “shock and awe” attack on Ukraine, which could end the war in a matter of weeks or a couple of months. YMMV.

        1. Wukchumni

          In the interesting 20 part series The Unknown War with Burt Lancaster as narrator, Kiev doesn’t look any different from above than any German city bombed to smithereens with shells of buildings that went on forever, circa 1945.

          The WW2 documentary came out in 1978 and in one episode Burt is in Kiev-which looks pretty nice, and somebody had to rebuild it, and maybe unlike us with our bomb the shit of places mentality, they wanted to save themselves the trouble a second time?

          1. John Zelnicker

            Wuk – I think the Russians realize they will have to rebuild the parts of the Ukraine they are integrating into the Russian Federation and they are intentionally avoiding unnecessary damage to infrastructure.

            As an example, their attacks on the electrical distribution system have been focused on substations and transfer points rather than taking out the generation facilities.

            I’m not ignoring the fact that no one in their right mind would want to destroy the nuclear or the hydropower facilities, but there must be other plants producing power for the grid. From what I’ve read they Ukrainians are already down to 40% of their pre-war electricity production.

            1. Bsn

              Yes John, and ….. they’re rebuilding schools, apartments, etc. in the Donbas and S.E. in general – and ….. not bombing the infrastructure in said regions. If this war ever settles down central and west Ukraine will be a mess as the S.E. is a phoenix rising.

        2. agent ranger smith

          If the RussiaGov is slow and methodical enough in letting NATO bleed itself out on the Plains of Ukraine, perhaps the NATO defeat might be so slow in onsetting that the NATO leaders might not perceive the coming and going of opportune moments to drop a tactical nuke.

          Perhaps from the RussiaGov point of view, the best outcome would be a bleedout so slow that EUrope starts to break apart from its own internal contradictions, and the EU powers remain occupied for years to come by dealing with terrorist attacks all over EUrope carried out by disgruntled UkraNazis getting revenge on EUrope for not having supported Banderazovistan hard enough.

          One wonders if Russia would “demilitarize” the central third of Ukraine by inventing a new kind of mine designed to be as undetectable as possible by mine-finders, and then planting a hundred million of them all over the middle third of Ukraine.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Agent – I like your analysis and ideas.

            I think the process has already begun and the only reason protests and demonstrations aren’t more widespread is that Europe is having a relatively mild winter. Government support for high energy bills is also a big help in keeping things calm.

            However, European government can’t continue to provide that support without the help of the European Central Bank. If the ECB stops its fiscal support things could get dicey on the Continent.

        3. Cetra Ess

          I do think the Americans are dramatically more the likely to use tactical nukes, yes, but I also think the Russians are hoping/counting on it and plan not to retaliate in kind, because now they would gain the moral high ground. Whichever side first uses this option loses the moral argument.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Cetra Ess – That outcome might depend on where a tactical nuke is used. If it’s dropped on Russian Federation territory, including the four Ukraine oblasts and Crimea that are considered part of the Motherland now, I think the entire gig is up and civilization as we know it disappears.

            OTOH, it’s dropped on a non-Russian Ukrainian city, then the Russians might hold back. Unfortunately, I don’t think taking out Lvov or Kiev is what the Pentagon planners are thinking about.

      2. SteveD

        …there might be an outbreak of peace in Europe afterwards.

        Is it possible that outcome has already been ‘priced in’ as they say, hence Taiwan being readied as the next excuse to shovel money into the MIC?

    4. ddt

      It will fulfill its NATO obligations by upping proportion of GDP spent on defense to replace them. What’s Denmark need an army for? Germany or Sweden ain’t invading.

    5. JohnA

      Back in the 1970s, Danish politician Mogens Glistrup proposed to abolish the Danish armed forces and replace them with an answering machine that said: “We surrender” in Russian. Sounds prescient today.

      1. Carolinian

        Ha. No offense to the Norwegian resistance but the Nordics didn’t pose much of an obstacle to Hitler and Finland was even on the same side. Sweden sold him iron ore. If they are free to throw their weight around now it’s because the Red Army saved Europe’s bacon. Where’s the gratitude?

        Perhaps the real result of all that affluence is to make them toadies to capitalism central rather than some kind of military threat.

        1. JohnA

          Well the story goes that the Germans took Denmark in the morning and Norway in the evening. In between, they took Sweden by telephone (Sweden actually did allow German military vehicles to transit through the country to and from Norway).

          1. Kouros

            Isn’t this the actual start of WWII, because before that UK and France were just in a pretend war with Germany over Poland?

            1. digi_owl

              Kinda sorta, and may well have been induced by UK.


              The Royal Navy was just about commence operation Wilfred, the mining of the Norwegian coastline, when Germany invaded.

              And in accordance with R 4, UK sent its crack troops north to try to secure the rail line to Sweden delivering the iron ore.

              They may even have held on to that, thus turning northern Norway into a front line, if not for the outright rout at Dunkirk.

      2. Irrational

        So true. Glistrup was of course much maligned for espousing such un-Danish ideas of optimizing the tax he owed.
        Of course, the Danish government will need all the tax revenue they can get their hands on to re-equip their military, but people are already up in arms (pun intended) over the proposal to scrap one public holiday.
        Denmark seems to have moved on to being one of these service economies that has no concept of what it actually takes to manufacture things, hence the belief that money can make weapons and ammo appear. All truly bizarre.

        1. spud

          so true Irrational. GDP is meaningless if you understand that russia is a manufacturing power house, where at about 2/3rds of the economy is still in the hands of the state.

          that means Gdp says that russia is small. yet the surplus is captured by the state, and recycled back into production instead of profit for a few, that is what helps bloats GDP. this is where GDP figures are worthless, it does not take into account the might of a socialists economy.

    6. Louis Fyne

      an ironic lesson from the Ukraine war is that given the uniquity of precision guided munitions, dumb artillery is now more important than ever.

      Frontlines are too dangerous for tanks and infantry to operate unless the other side has been preemptively pulverized by relentless artillery bombardments

      1. Carolinian

        Plus these days it’s not that dumb. The Russians have a new counter battery system that can pinpoint the source of a shell optically rather than with vulnerable radar and instantly send a reply back along the same path.

          1. Polar Socialist

            It actually has optical, acoustic and seismic sensors, from which it combines the positional data. The manufacturer claims it can observe both the firing and the strikes of the shells, be they foe or friend – so it can even send correcting information to the batteries it’s connected to.

            Frankly, I’m a bit suspicious of the accuracy of the thing, but certainly two of them can triangulate close enough position, and if higher accuracy is needed, check the site by a drone.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Have a Lancet drone nearby and you are in business. There seems to be a awful amount of artillery pieces – especially M-777 howitzers – that have been destroyed the past coupla days.

        1. digi_owl

          Swedish and US companies have been cooperating on an artillery shell using much the same tech as guided bombs.

          Basically an artillery shell with wings.

          Meaning that it can even do a 180 turn after being fired to hit locations behind it.

          Thinking about it, planes serve much the same purpose today as it did during WW1. Spotting and low power artillery.

          But as artillery is getting more sophisticated thanks to electronics, the plane may well have the same fate as the battleship and the aircraft carrier. Too expensive, too risky in terms of personell, when one can instead saturate the air with cheap flying bombs.

    7. russell1200

      The Danish Caesars are likely early models, and easily replaced. They add to those already obtained from France. It is a mobile system, but being wheeled, versus tracked, has greater limitations in difficult terrain. They come with a computerized system that allows you to coordinate fire amongst many units. A big plus, they can shoot and scoot in a deadly fashion.

      The big limitation will be ammo. They use standard NATO 155 rounds, so that is helpful.

      1. Louis Fyne

        The production rate for the French-made Caesars are 10 units per YEAR as of this summer.

        Presumably the contractor is gearing up production but it still will be years before Denmark gets replacements

        1. Kouros

          10 good ones or bad ones? The word is that several nations have refused the contracted Caesars for not being to standards…

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the Ukraine and dear old Blighty links, readers may be interested in what a US general is supposed to have warned the UK’s defence secretary, himself a former army captain, the

    It’s not the first time. Some years ago, US defence officials and professionals, in a bilateral meeting, suggested that the UK, along with other European allies, concentrate on matters in Europe and leave the rest of the world, even north Africa and the middle east, to US forces. Britain’s political leaddership, then planning for global Britain after Brexit, would not have any of it.

    About a year ago, at a NATO meeting, the Dutch admiral presiding over a peer review session, Rob Bauer, suggested that the UK take time out and rebuild its forces, “in a parlous state” as per David / Aurelien’s latest masterpiece. The top brass would not have any of that, either, and were a bit put out by the latest source of the message.

    Last month, when UK PM Rishi Sunak proposed sending 14 main battle tanks*, a squadron, to Ukraine, the new army chief, Patrick Sanders, pushed back, saying that was about half of what the army has readily operational and the army could not lose such an amount. One of Sanders’ priorities is to address the army’s equipment issues, production, cost and maintenance. He was overruled by the politicians. *Challenger II tanks, none dating from this century.

    Former officers who take a different view are kept away from the airwaves, especially Michael Rose and Richard Dannatt, or keep their counsel as they need to top up their pensions.

    When Sanders, a former head of special forces and who became army commander on account of his favouring cyber and drone capability over boots and armour, pushed back, a joke began to do the rounds in Whitehall. It’s felt that, on current trends, the British army’s peer competitor in the next decade will be the Irish army.

    Ukrainian soldiers, initially infantry, but, from last week, cavalry are being trained around the UK. It’s just to get them through a few weeks basic training before being returned home. Not one of the UK instructors has commanded a unit above bigger than a company (about 100 soldiers), most having commanded a platoon (about 30 – 40 soldiers). Most the officers, including the son of former Tory politician Dominic Grieve, have no more than a decade’s service, apart from those commissioned from the ranks. Few, if any, of the officers, and again mainly those promoted from the ranks, have heard shots fired in anger.

    One wonders what the former veterans and David / Aurelien make of all that.

    1. Louis Fyne

      there is a revolution going on at the company to battalion level in small group tactics due to the proliferation of cheap, commerical quadcopters, military-purpose UAVs and ubiquity of precision munitions.

      The Russians learned the hard way of this revolution in the early days of the war…and had to reinvent the wheel from lessons learned by the Syrian army in the Syrian civil war.

      I doubt current NATO doctrine/training is ready for the new era of war.

      And historically, the US military has had awful debut battles in peer warfare…as the US military was literally prepared to fight the last war

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. To my eyes, it looks like that if you want to play in the ‘bigs’, that you have to be capable of doing combined arms on the Brigade and Divisional level and you have to have the industrial wherewithal to do so for months if not for years. If you cannot do so, then you are not in the game. And no matter how many high-tech toys that you have, it will always be up to the grunts to do the hard lifting who have the guts to do high-intensity warfare. Looks like all those bureaucrats who have cannibalized the British Army for decades are having a rude awakening and are learning that actions have consequences. Who knew?

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        As with the national health service, the UK armed forces have also contracted out some services to, including recruitment and maintenance, and lease some vehicles and aircraft, but not yet ships, from the private sector.

        None of the services meet recruitment and retention targets, another issue mentioned by David / Aurelien. The army could meet its infantry targets by recruiting from the former colonies, especially Nepal, but the former chiefs of the defence staff, an army officer, thought that it was essential to have one’s own nationals form a majority of the army.

        Many army battalions, supposed to be 600 – 800 strong, have half of that. In the case of the Guards, the Trooping The Colour and other similar ceremonies were changed to get around the lack of soldiers. Most of the Irish Guards are now from the Republic, not the north and areas of the UK with populations of Irish origin like Liverpool and Glasgow. The new Ranger Regiment, to support special forces, is supposed to be a single battalion infantry regiment, but has barely a company, about 100 troops.

        The professionals blame a private company, Link, formerly Capita, for not managing the recruitment process properly, but the politicians and, again to refer to David / Aurelien, “swivel eyed MBAs” don’t care. Link was known as the civil service’s Recruitment & Assessment Services and privatised under Thatcher.

        One firm servicing warships, Serco, is run by a grandson of Churchill, Rupert Soames. Soames admits he was brought in partly as he has connections. Serco also serviced Australian warships, but the performance was so bad that Soames ordered the contract to be terminated rather than risk further embarrassment, increasing distraction from core contracts and contractual penalties.

        With regard to your penultimate sentence, I don’t they understand or even care.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Going back to the late 19th century, the UK would reduce the size of their Army by having two Regiments – with their own histories, traditions and uniforms – combine into a new Regiment with a combined “identity.” Typically it was like a shotgun marriage. By my calculations, the British Army will have finished this process by 2035 leaving them with one Regiment, one tank and one artillery piece.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Rev.

            That’s correct, so, for example, there are no county regiments left. For example, the Cheshire and Staffordshire Regiments form part of the Mercian Regiment, along with the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters. There are now only Lancers and Dragoon Guards left, so no 17th/21st and 16th/5th Queen’s Royal Lancers and 4th/7th Royal and 5th (formerly 6th) Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, but Wales and Scotland have cavalry regiments, Queen’s, formerly King’s, Dragoon Guards and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, aka the Scots Greys, to go with their infantry regiments. The Household Division is protected.

            There have been calls for a single corps of infantry and all support units to be combined into an Adjutant General’s Corps since before I was a cadet in the 1980s (and intended to join one of the local infantry regiments, Grenadier Guards or Light Infantry (Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire). The county regiments have faced opposition since the withdrawal east of Suez.

            1. Ignacio

              To tell the truth having brigades and divisions in the UK doesn’t make sense if it is not to play wars anywhere else. Building anti-missile defences should be given top priority even if the hypersonic kind would be near impossible to be downed. [My opinion as someone who knows next to nothing about military issues]

            2. The Rev Kev

              Thank you, Colonel. Over the decades I have always had an interest in the British Army and its Regiments as they have a rich history indeed. Like the 28th Foot who were allowed to wear a cap badge in front and back because during the Battle of Alexandria in 1801, they fought in two lines back to back when caught by a force in their rear – and fought off both forces.

              A coupla years ago I discovered that I had an ancestor that was in the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot during the Napoleonic wars causing yet more research. But when you talk about Regimental tradition and standards to Whitehall bureaucrats, I am sure that they think that you are talking about “branding.” (eye roll)

    3. David

      Thank you Colonel, and thank you also for the kind remarks.
      We are seeing pretty much the final stages, I think, of the unwinding of the slow decline in capability of the British Armed Forces since the end of the Cold War. Something is about to go bang, and may already have done so.

      The British conundrum has been the political need to do more tasks (or at least retain existing ones) when doing these tasks costs more money every year, when none of the tasks can easily be given up, and when a combination of silly cheeseparing savings and madcap financial trickery and contracting-out has actually made the position worse. Because the priority is budgetary management, rather than operational capability, the answer has been an unending series of tiny cuts here and there, closing an establishment, undermanning regiments and so forth. In particular, for several generations now, sustainment has been sacrificed to keep the headline numbers up.

      The three tasks the British have tried to keep up (as well as maritime/air territorial defence) are, an independent nuclear force, an influential position within NATO and a capability to operate outside Europe. (Note that these are all political objectives, which is as it should be: the military provide the means, they do not dictate the policy.) In principle, all of these roles could have been performed a lot better if planning had been on a capability basis, rather than a financial one, but that’s another story. None of the roles is easy to give up. The nuclear one, which is linked to P5 membership and influence in NATO, is a very high political card, and any British government would have to be prepared to take a massive hit internationally if it gave it up. The French would be strongly against: they don’t want to feel exposed as the only nuclear power in Europe, and European states as a whole see the British (and French) nuclear forces as a welcome political counterweight to US dominance of NATO nuclear issues. It would also open all sorts of cans of worms about the NNPT, and permanent membership of the UNSC, which have no obvious solution and could cause huge controversy. And given that the Treasury would try, and probably succeed, in cutting the defence budget by the amount saved on nuclear forces, it wouldn’t actually do any good.

      The NATO dimension, as you illustrate, has been hard-hit. Again, it’s a matter of power-politics: if you don’t have serious forces, you won’t be taken seriously in discussions, and you don’t get positions of influence and command. But the British have tried for decade now to miniaturise their forces, cut back on sustainment, and make up for numbers with technology. We can see where that has led to. Again, the British can’t just leave NATO, and indeed their presence has historically been seen as a moderating factor by other European states. Quite where we are now, is difficult to say. The decision to scale down the NATO commitment wasn’t wrong, in my view, but it might have been better to use British influence to try to ensure that there were no more conventional wars in Europe at the same time.

      Finally, the ability to operate outside Europe is one very few European nations possess, and it means not simply a much more influential role in crisis management, but much more influence when decisions are taken. If the UN is trying to put together a team to look at (let’s say) a peacekeeping force in Myanmar, they will invite nations who have expertise in such activities, and there are very few of them; It’s no good asking the Argentinians, or the Egyptians, or for that matter the Germans. You ask people who are used to operating far from home and commanding multi-national forces. This is a capability the British still, just about, have, and one that other nations would not want to see disappear. In practice, the British (to some extent like the French) have found themselves dragged back into expensive commitments because there’s nobody else who is willing and can do the job.

      Which is to say that there are always enormously powerful political arguments against giving up any particular role, but the short-term, cost-driven way in which the British have opted to try to tackle the resulting squeeze has virtually guaranteed that there would come a time–now may be it–when all the financial prestidigitation in the world can’t create a capability out of nothing.

  6. griffen

    Since it’s available and linked, I’ll go out on a limb and say the Eagles dominated an opposing team without their starting QB, and the opposing team was now down to it’s 4th string player at the most crucial position. That player undoubtedly might have struggled to make a simple play like snapping the football prior to being flagged. The backup to the backup was none other than a star player at running back. Arguably in sports terms, the Eagles should have won by a bigger score.

    Next game for the Eagles, er Iggles, the competition is perhaps tougher. Patrick Mahomes is not Mr Irrelevant.

    1. IMOR

      Thank you for this. It’ll be interesting to see irascable, hype-spewing flavor of the month Nick Siriani coach against the stolid multidecade brilliance of Andy Reid. Though the snail’s pace, hundred commercials’ “pace” of the Super Bowl keeps defenses fresh in the first half, before stiffening most players up later on. Shades of the game five years ago.

      1. curlydan

        Although the Defector article avoided a lot of pertinent facts about that game, the Eagles look like the real deal to me. Their Run Pass Option (RPO) offense is a beast to defend. Plus, they’ve got 2 big-time receivers and a good defense. The Chiefs will have their hands full.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I love it when the guys here start talking about cricket. Wait. It is cricket that you guys are talking about, isn’t it?

          1. Wukchumni

            Its all fun and games until an errant googly takes you out and they have to use smelling salts to bring you around, and don’t get me started on all the C.T.E. cases in older cricketers.

      2. Wukchumni

        I’ve watched the Super Bowl a few times in NZ, and one time we were in sleepy Westport on the South Island and the only place showing it was a pub, and similar to a magnet’s attraction, before you knew it a dozen Yanks were in attendance, with no real allegiance to either team, its just something Americans do in a 1-day event, I got the same feel in Aussie in a shopping mall in Canberra when the Melbourne Cup was being run, the place just stopped in its tracks.

        The tv commercials were all local ones, such as Morrie’s Used Cars and the like. When you take away the bread part of bread & circuses, a snoozer of a game such as the contest we watched in Westport, really wasn’t worth sticking around for the second half, but that’s when we all got to know one another in the bar, nobody was interested in the game anymore.

        Last year was cryptocurrency commercials, but yeah that ain’t gonna fly this year, which means corporate America has to suck it up and stand & deliver, wonder what they’ll be pitching in a fortnight?

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Legal services ads? “Were you victimized by Sam Bankman Fried, Tom Brady or a celebrity pitching crypo cons? Call the law office of Saul Goodman!”

          1. Wukchumni

            ‘In an NFL wreck-need a check?’

            Oh, imagine individual NFL players getting attorneys to represent them against other NFL players for illegal hits, hello there! can of worms.

            I first saw the legal service billboards in Phoenix on the 10 freeway about 6 or 7 years ago with electronic billboards where they hit you with 3 different messages as you’re passing.

            There was every conceivable kind of attorney you could imagine, hungry to right a wrong that all seemed to happen on that very freeway, or street somewhere close. There were motorcycle attorneys, burn attorneys, husband & wife attorney, vegan (!) attorney (he stressed he was vegan, and yes also an ambulance chaser on the side) and others.

            It shocked me, was 40% of the income ginned up in Phoenix on account of everybody suing everybody with almost the entire emphasis on driving a car?

            I didn’t see this elsewhere, and now I see it everywhere in SoCal and certainly Las Vegas, where it probably is 60% of billboards.

            Utah was on the lighter side with the term ‘Advocacy’ in lieu other language, it was tantamount to ‘sue lite’ in my mind-not that I know, and not nearly as many billboards as i’ve seen elsewhere, on the road.

            1. ChrisFromGA

              Those billboards are all over the Southeast – Atlanta, Birmingham, and Dallas.

              My favorite: “Bad B&%$h Lawyer”

      3. Darthbobber

        A theoretically 60 minute game match of American football takes at least an hour longer than a 90 minute football match. And every single play is a set piece from a dead ball. This is a matchup between my current home-town team and the home-town team of my youth, so that’ll be fun. My rooting interest is that of a neutral.

    2. Martin Oline

      I am looking forward to the Andy Reid Super Bowl invitational. (Andy has taken both teams to a Super Bowl appearance.)

  7. Kevin Smith

    re: Western Volunteer in Bakhmut Admits Ukraine is Losing. Is the Western Tank Card a Bluff? audio
    You could probably restore the audio closer to normal by running it through something like the equalizer function in iMovie, which can correct various types of audio distortion [or insert various kinds of distortion, if you wish].

    1. Robert Hahl

      I listened to all of it. He describes operations that, one must conclude, mean that Ukraine and the West are not actually trying to win the war anymore, they are doing just enough to keep it going. As if this were just another one of Washington’s 10- to 20-year infusions into the MIC. I don’t think it’s going to run that way for much longer unless they get Poland to attack.

    2. playon

      It sounded to me as if the guy’s voice was simply lowered in pitch, which could be easily corrected with almost any audio software. As opposed to say Darth Vader’s voice which was run through a piece of recording studio gear called the Eventide harmonizer.

  8. SocalJimObjects

    “Europe is on the verge of a catastrophe as groundwater reserves dry up, scientists have warned.”

    “Dr Mayer-Gürr said: “A few years ago, I would never have imagined that water would be a problem here in Europe, especially in Germany or Austria.”

    I’ve heard that those Leopard tanks are real water guzzlers, so I guess it’s a good thing that Germany will be sending those off to the Ukraine.

    I wonder if the water shortage will also play havoc with various industries in Germany especially on top of the energy shortage?

  9. Roger Blakely

    Gender and the Great Resignation Phenomenal World.

    I was surprised that the quit rates of women were not that much higher than the quit rates of men. I would have thought that women would leave men to do the dangerous work. The graphs don’t really show that.

    “Frontline workers in accommodation and food services, retail, health care, and transportation were more likely to quit their jobs than others.”

    Those jobs suck.

    I think that the problem is that people are not taking the pandemic seriously. Women should be quitting those jobs. Everybody should be quitting those jobs. We are not protecting people from SARS-CoV-2.

    “BLS data also show that both men and women of working age who are not seeking jobs cite ill health and family responsibilities as their reasons for withdrawing from work.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There are more recent developments like the large tools needed to break up colonial New England soil at first keeping women out of field work and then freeing up women due to productivity gains (women were in the fields farther South, not just because if slavery but because they weren’t any different than men), but in general, women worked along side or in adjacent jobs to men. (Ms and Mrs is from the domesday book because women tended to jump jobs when they married).

      1. Alexandra

        Ms was an abreviation in That book.
        Ms. as used today is an invention of Gloria Steinham and the rancid feminists, funded by the CIA that promoted the magazine as part of the intitial psyop against the American people.

        The term Mrs. originated as a contraction of the word mistress, which was used to refer to all women, married or not, prior to the middle of the 18th century. After that, Mrs. came to be associated with married women, while the word miss was introduced for unmarried women.

        Mesdames is a term for plural married women. Like flip phones, traditional use of language is making a comeback among younger women as a means of rebellion against the tired old ladies in academia.

        1. hunkerdown

          Only so that the tired new ladies can establish aristocratic property of their own. There’s nothing magic or beautiful about styles of personal office. It is literally just the middle stratum centering and reproducing its tiresome, precise, fancy self in their permanently adolescent middle-stratum adulthood.

        2. anahuna

          You seem to have chosen to Ms. the point. A not identifiable as married or single by that prefix. A Mrs. or a Miss is. Do tell me why a woman would prefer to define herself by her marital status.

          1. witters

            Always a bit puzzled about “define herself” here. If you are married does that ‘define’ you? Is the problem other people knowing this? Should it all be kept a secret? Or is the problem that if you use “Mrs” etc. you let people know something about your legal/marital status while if they use “Mr” they are trying to hide this status for nefarious purposes?

      2. digi_owl

        When it came harvest time, it was all hands to the field even in the old world.

        Because when it was ready, and the weather allowed field work, it had to be done that day.

        So a typical sight would be the adults all bent over cutting and uprooting, and the kids bundling and carrying.

        Even as recent as the 50s there was school holiday set aside for picking potatoes.

    2. digi_owl

      Best i can tell, most people in at least health care see it as more of a calling than a typical job. Meaning that they care more than is typical for the plight of random strangers. Thus they will be reluctant to quit even if it harms them over time.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging”

    “People in Manhattan lived without refrigeration until the mid 20th century,” he says, “so it’s clearly doable.”

    Yeah, about that. This is total bs. Before then, people had a variety of methods to keep food refrigerated. A normal “appliance” was an icebox. Ice was placed in an compartment at the top and as the cold settled down, it would keep the food cold. And where did that ice come from? Why it came from the iceman whose wagon/vehicle would go down your neighbourhood and you would buy ice off them. I would also speculate that as this Josh Spodek lives in Manhattan, that there would not be a shortage of places to get food from. In fact, I once saw a map of just the McDonalds in Manhattan and it looked like it was every second store. This no fridge idea might work for a Manhattanite but will it play in Peoria?

    Check out the links in the ‘See also’ section too.

    1. Polar Socialist

      There are some cool (pun intended) methods and ways to survive without a modern fridge, although they do come with their limits.

      Clay cabinet cooled by evaporation
      – rethinking (or relearning) how to store you food
      – of course there’s always drying, fermenting or smoking your food, too

      Kinda requires a change in lifestyle and taste, though.

      1. Skk

        Ahh yes, As a kid I remember clay pots being used in the hot summer for keeping drinking water cool. It tasted different too, kinda earthy, kinda nice. Nowadays the water dispenser on the fridge keeps it cool for me. But it seems all sort of additional benefits are now stated for water from clay pots:,and%20stomach%20problems%20at%20bay.

      2. Cassandra

        We have an off-grid cabin with limited electricity from solar panels. We have a good quality cooler rather than a refrigerator, chilled by reused half gallon juice bottles filled with water and frozen in a tiny chest freezer powered by the copious summer daylight, or frozen overnight on the porch during the sun-starved winter. This is a second home, not a primary family residence, but we are very comfortable for stays of a week.

    2. Pat

      It also won’t work for most Manhattanites. The gentleman is vegan, but even cooked vegetables and dairy replacements need proper storage. Apparently he uses electrical appliances to cook, but takes them and a solar panel to his roof to cook. His trash out put means canned goods aren’t part of his process, even with a pressure cooker that is well over an hour for beans. How many people have the time in the daylight hours, and how many of the residents and their panels would fit on the roof. Not to mention shopping on a daily basis. Especially in poorer neighborhoods where getting to anything but a small bodega or deli can be a bit of a trek.(I realize a five or ten minute walk isn’t much but to/from and the actual shopping could add 45 minutes or an hour before cooking to food preparation before you even cook.)

      That just isn’t going to fly for the majority of people, even here.

      1. kareninca

        I agree with you overall but there are ways to cook dried beans that save a lot of energy; you don’t have to pressure cook them for an hour.

        I bring them to a boil in a big pot, then set the pot of beans/hot water (with a lid) on the kitchen table on a trivet, and cover the pot with a very thick blanket. After a couple of hours thus insulated, a lot of cooking has happened. I then bring it to a boil again and repeat. Depending on the beans, that may be enough, or they may need one more round of boiling and covering.

        This works for vegetable stews, too. I don’t know how safe it would be with meat; maybe you could let it “cook” that way for a limited period but not let it get dangerously cool.

        1. thousand points of green

          This looks like the basic concept of ” haybox cooking “. Here is an article about how to make your own heat-trapping passive cooker ( “haybox cooker “). The article-writer claims it holds heat well enough that it will keep the pot inside it hot enough to keep cooking for about 4-5 hours.

          Here is the link.

    3. Wukchumni

      In Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s early California sailing saga: Two Years Before The Mast (by the end of the tome, you might finally figure out where the 27 different named sails go on the ship, but probably not) of the early 1830’s, Cali was all about the ‘hide & tallow trade’ and the ship he was on brought consumer goods from back east and sailed back around Cape Horn with 60,000 hides.

      When news that the Wal*Mart of the ocean had anchored was when it was time to hide if you were one of the millions of range cattle who vastly outnumbered human beans, and it was said a Californio* was more often seen on horse than on his feet, and thus began the great killing where there was no way to preserve all that meat for so few people-thus it had no value, if only McDonalds, In-n-Out, eat al had opened up in the early 19th century-because markets.

      * i’m just the opposite, my last pony ride was 40 years ago.

    4. Mildred Montana

      Going without a fridge might be doable for a single urban-dweller like Mr. Spodek. Although, judging by the large amount of (perishable) produce on his table in one of the photos, I suspect food-wastage might be a problem, thus cancelling some of the energy savings.

      Most people, after reading this article, will still opt to keep their fridge. Here are useful tips for increasing its energy-efficiency:,by%20up%20to%2030%20percent.

      1. Wukchumni

        We have a propane powered fridge in our cabin in Mineral King, where there is no electricity aside from the pipsqueak amount that comes through the phone land lines.

        The technology is old school with no moving parts, I was perusing some old Life magazines and there was a full page ad for propane fridges in 1940!

        It gets turned on in late May & turned off in mid October.

            1. Bsn

              When living in Paris, our simple apartment didn’t have a fridge of any kind. It had a galvanized tin “cool box” that jutted into the central courtyard, where it was always shaded – no direct Sun. It would stay a steady high 40s (F) and keep milk, veggies and all … cool.

              I though it was a wonderful device.

              1. FredW

                When I was eleven in 1954, my mother and I rode The City of New Orleans from Chicago to visit my grandparents in New Orleans. They lived in an apartment-hotel on St. Charles Avenue for which my grandmother was the manager. A fond memory was “helping” the maintenance man deliver blocks of ice to the apartments. An icebox in the kitchen would backup up to the hallway wall, so that Carol and I could put a block of ice directly through a small door in the wall into the icebox without needing to disturb the tenant. Sometimes he’d even let me operate the elevator! I don’t remember how long a block would last, but certainly for several days, maybe a week. (Sometimes my grandmother would even let me man the telephone switchboard, which involved answering the phone and directing the call by plugging in the connector cables.)

    5. Kilgore Trout

      In the 19th and early 20th century, “the ice man cometh” with natural ice, cut from lakes and ponds north of NYC in winter, stored in ice houses with sawdust insulation and gradually sold off during the year to city people. Now many lakes and ponds don’t ice over enough to support one’s weight, let alone support an ice industry that could saw foot thick blocks of ice.

    6. Carolinian

      Refrigerators are a lot more efficient than they used to be. I’m not sure if that applies to billionaire Manhattanites with their walk in freezers.

      We could always go back to salting/smoking/drying all our food for preservation. Pemmican is a popular option.

      1. jefemt

        The Mosquito Coast, by Paul Theroux. Great read about … amongst other things, refrigeration.
        Kind of timely in oh so many ways, actually.
        Where you gonna run, smarty-pants??

        1. Mildred Montana

          I thoroughly enjoyed that book. The father of the family, a slightly demented proponent of self-sufficiency, is quite the character, perhaps unique in literature.

          Thanks for the reminder. I think I’ll re-read it.

    7. playon

      Before electric refrigeration people shopped differently – it was common to visit a (non-super) market to get what you needed for the next day or two. People in northern latitudes had root cellars and such that could keep food reasonably cold from fall to spring.

  11. ambrit

    I can think of several reasons why the West has not run out and sent tons of military equipment to Burma.
    First, the people in Burma are “brown.” [Echoes of The Raj and all that.]
    Second, as mentioned, the Burmese military is pretty well ‘gunned up’ already.
    Third, if I remember correctly, both Russia and China are ‘helping’ the Junta.
    Fourth, neither India nor Bangladesh are arming or otherwise helping Burma’s “aggrieved minority,” the Rohingya.
    Fifth, a fractious Burma leaves the opium producing “Golden Triangle” open to ‘exploitation’ by outsiders. Since the “fall” of Afghanistan, and the re-advent of the puritanical Taliban regime, the western ‘Intelligence Communities’ need a new source of “black box revenue,” which has traditionally been filled by drugs smuggling to the same West they are supposed to be “protecting.”
    Sixth, the West is running out of useful military equipment to send to Burma. Most of it has already been sent to the giant potlatch known as the Ukraine.
    Otherwise, it’s all “business as usual.”

    1. pjay

      What? Do you mean to suggest that the policies of “the West” are not crucially motivated by concern for human rights, democracy, and prevention of “genocide”?? Why I never…

      Next you’ll probably try to tell us that our DEA chief in Mexico was fraternizing with narcotraffickers! Are you sure you aren’t one of Putin’s trolls??

      1. digi_owl

        Some are, others not.

        Consider that Doctors Without Borders had to make the unprecedented step of pulling out of Pakistan, because CIA spooks would claim to be members while gathering intelligence. End result was that real members were being threatened as the locals feared they were spies.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “After tanks, Ukraine seeks warships from Germany”

    ‘Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk has called on Germany to help boost Kyiv’s naval capabilities, proposing the handover of a submarine and a decommissioned frigate.’

    Melnyk says lots of stuff and is using the classic ‘rock soup’ method to eventually get a NATO expeditionary force into the Ukraine itself. So the same day they got a promise of tanks then ALL the talk was about F-16s. I have no idea why Melnyk is asking for a decommissioned frigate. Back last October a Turkish Ada class corvette was launched which is intended for the Ukrainian Navy. Melnyk could have it sail across the Black Sea to Odessa but we all know that it would never reach there. So why is he asking for a frigate instead?

    Note, this is also the same guy that said in a tweet that when the war is over, that Russia will be forbidden to have a Navy in the Black Sea.

    1. Wukchumni

      With the miracle of compound interest and decidedly higher rates than the next to nothing we used to get, I can reasonably expect to double funds by my late 80’s, pip-pip hurrah!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Erdogan says Turkey may accept Finland in NATO, but block Sweden”

    Finland has been getting a bit antsy since they saw that Koran burner – Rasmus Paludan – had probably blown up chances of Sweden getting the nod from the Turks to go into NATO. So just to calm things down a bit-

    ‘Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto has claimed that Russia may have been behind the public burning of Korans in Stockholm, Sweden last week. He added that the stunt could have been orchestrated to derail the country’s bid to join NATO.’

    But if I were the Finns, I would block that Rasmus Paludan from entering their country.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Rasmus Paludan coming and burning a Koran or two in Finland would be in the best interest of Finland, me thinks (not that I approve, but fighting lunacy with unhinged hatred may work).

      Wouldn’t work, though, since Finland has laws against inciting hatred against or just generally insulting a group of people so the law enforcement would likely stop him. Even if some of the officers would rather give him a lighter.

  14. KD

    Western Volunteer in Bakhmut Admits Ukraine is Losing. Is the Western Tank Card a Bluff?

    Nothing really new here for NC readers. Most interesting is his perspective from the Ukrainian side, as far as what they need to do, as well as his perception that the West is more interested in giving Ukraine enough resources to slow down the Russians but not enough to overwhelm them. In combination with the recent Rand report, mission accomplished in Europe, Russia out, America in, Germany down. Sounds like the biggest problem is going to be managing expectations and trying to keep the Ukrainians from completely collapsing in a way that proves an embarrassment for NATO/US.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The shift in Europe, Tanks and What is Really Important about Them”

    ‘I do think the pressure that was applied by the Nordics, Baltics and Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, etc, really do matter, and going forward their outlooks will play an outsized role in the establishment of Europe’s security priorities.’

    I certainly hope not. Right now they are acting like the lunatic right and relations are so bad between the Baltic States and Russia right now that I believe that the Ambassadors for Estonia & Latvia are being sent home by the Russians and vica versa. Yesterday I mentioned a conference being held in the European Parliament in Brussels which is being hosted by two Polish MPs. Read this article by one of them and ask yourself whether you want Europe’s security priorities being set by people like her-

    1. Carolinian

      Can’t link the article but Scott Ritter had a good piece saying tanks are in many ways an out of date concept since they are now highly vulnerable to any opposition with the right tank killer weapons. Even in WW2 they needed strong infantry support and for the above reason now more than ever. But the age of epic tank battles is over.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think almost all of the epic tank battles were actually infantry battles with a lot of tanks thrown in. Even Rommel wanted his tanks always to be protected by a strong anti-tank gun detachment.

        1. tevhatch

          TIKHistory (YouTube)has an interesting item where he shows the war really started to turn around for Russia in WW2 when there were sufficient mortars, which made stripping the tanks of infantry cover from their lightly armored troop carriers much easier. I’ve always considered the wonder weapon idea more of a tactical advantage at best, which without the ability to use it to lever strategy is meaningless. Breaking one of the legs of any combined army is a decent strategy, and breaking the strongest of the legs first before you get yours broken has been a winner. USA/NATO keep trying to graft new legs onto Ukraine, but the science isn’t there, plus the strongest legs of NATO have been naval and air, the former useless in a deep land war, and the later effectively decapitated by Russia’s air defense strategy and lack there of by USA, so any graft would be useless anyway.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      “There are no such things as Russian gas, oil, aluminium, coal, uranium, diamonds, grain, forests, gold, etc. All such resources are Tatar, Bashkir, Siberian, Karelian, Oirat, Circassian, Buryat, Sakha, Ural, Kuban, Nogai, etc.”

      I’m in favour of self-determination and believe the redrawing of colonial borders (e.g. in Kosovo, the Middle East, Ukraine, much of Africa) to reflect the wishes of the people living there is a good thing. But let’s be real, the population of the Russian Federation is 80% ethnic Russian. If there’s no such thing as Russian natural resources, then there’s no such thing as US, Canadian, Brazilian, or Australian natural resources either. I wonder what this Polish MPs response would be to the idea of handing over the entire state of New Mexico to the Navajo ?

      1. Nikkikat

        When I was a kid, I lived in a small town in Kentucky. My grandparents had a root cellar. It was so fantastically cool and dry down there. They kept all kinds of vegetable and fruit. There was still an old ice box there. The ice house in town had become an ice cream store and also sold cold drinks. I still use the simplest refrigerator I can find.
        Freezer on top and bottom refrigerator. I never have the ice maker connected. I don’t want water from the door. I also do not need one that cost 5,000.00 dollars. I had the same refrigerator for well over 20 years. Then that one went out. Had two since then.
        The last time I went looking to buy one, the simple one with no water on the door, no water filter that I had to replace was a couple of years ago. I went down to Home Depot and couldn’t find anything but huge costly models. I asked a sales person if they just had one of the standard top freezer types. She pointed to one in the corner.
        It was advertised on a sign as the GARAGE model.

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          Nothing wrong with a garage model though I’d put the freezer on the bottom if I had my druthers.

      2. The Rev Kev

        There is a kicker with that bit about self-determination. Elsewhere she is calling for all those resources that those people own to be managed by the Europeans so what she is talking about is western elites getting control of all that wealth. She actually came out in the open and said it. Our elites want to plunder Russia again by breaking it up and that is what this war is all about. And the European elite are all in on it.

    1. Wukchumni

      We have to very carefully pussyfoot around when calling the ersatz fascists names that might upset AIPACkage deal.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Reading that very carefully written story was exhausting. Every fact had to be approached cautiously and in a nuanced context. Even the mentions of Palestinians came in clusters, separated into paragraph-sized ghettoes apart from the rest of the story.

        Even Jews don’t seem to know how to talk to Israelis about Israel anymore.

        1. pjay

          Palestinians? Are there Palestinians in Israel? I thought Israel was a tiny country valiantly protecting itself from the massively Evil Hezbollah, which is really a proxy for the even more massively Evil nuclear-armed Iran. Whom are these Palestinians of which you speak?

  16. Lexx

    ‘I’m a corporate fraud investigator. You wouldn’t believe the hubris of the super-rich.’

    ‘Only a child or a madman believes that the fantasies in his head can come true. And such delusions are so easily punctured, if only exposed to the right interrogation.’

    Or? They aren’t mutually exclusive and we all believe our fantasies, it’s why we have them, to entertain the possibility however remote. It’s matter of degree. Human behavior is a spectrum; some people are born to live their lives out on the edges of that spectrum. The problem isn’t the “delusional” but those who collude in their fantasies.

    How many people bought into FTX with the intent of making a lot of money fast and getting out, knowing perfectly well it was a house of cards? They gambled it wouldn’t collapse before the music stopped. They knew the CEO’s were sketchy. Y’all know the old joke about the guy who won’t take his brother who believes he’s a chicken to see a psychiatrist, because the family needs the eggs. For the family, perception is reality even as their bellies complain about hunger.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Let’s face it. While Holmes and SBF were undoubtedly “fraudsters,” they were also massively unfortunate enough to have come along at a time when “fraud” and corruption are so rampant and in-your-face that a bone needed to be thrown and they were it. Just a couple of young, unappealing posers who overestimated the power of the bill clinton protection racket.

      From screeching professional pump-and-dumpers like jim cramer to “defense” contractors making warplanes that don’t fly to “social media” surveillance companies getting fabulously wealthy “selling advertising” to drug companies selling untested “vaccines” and highly addictive pain meds to banks making “loans” they know can’t be paid back to EV makers saving the planet with electric Hummers, monster trucks and lithium mining plantations, the “fraud” and corruption are everywhere you care to look.

      And then there’s “government,” which is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

      We don’t need “corporate fraud investigators.” That’s a cakewalk. We need “investigators” turning up legitimate businesses. That there is needle-in-a-haystack territory.

      1. tevhatch

        As I often say to the point of irritation of others, Hong Kong set up the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to reduce the pilfering at the bottom so that more could be creamed off at the top. It was so effective that the crooks running Australia set up their own exact copy, and so have others. The job of the police, FBI, etc. is more or less the same, to protect rent extracting property from those tired of being squeezed, but in a less pure form. It’s all about redistributing wealth from the bottom to the top.

        1. hunkerdown

          Yup. It’s about ensuring that the bottom stays on the bottom where they can be safely and reliably herded, teamed, driven, milked, and butchered when the milk runs dry. Ever thus with states.

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: DEA Mexico chief quietly ousted over ties to drug lawyers AP

    The DEA wouldn’t discuss the specifics of Palmeri’s ouster or why he was allowed to retire instead of being fired. But an official told the AP the agency “has zero tolerance for improper contacts between defense attorneys and DEA employees.”

    “The DEA aggressively investigates this serious misconduct and takes decisive action, including removal, against employees who engage in it,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.

    The report, which did not detail specific items or amounts spent, also did not explain its conclusion: “Criminal prosecution of the Regional Director was declined.”

    This shit has been going on since the “War on Drugs” was “declared.” The movie Serpico was released in 1973. At the time, no one knew it was a DEA training film.

    That a nation, as massively corrupt as magnificent america is, can still “function” as a “country” must surely be the eighth wonder of the world. For some definition of the word “function.”

    1. pjay

      Yes. Another unintentionally hilarious “news” story from our mainstream media. No criminal prosecution! How puzzling! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!

      I would only add that this has been going on much longer that the “War on Drugs” or even the existence of the DEA, as Alfred McCoy, Douglas Valentine, and others have extensively documented. Yet another element of our hidden history of which most Americans are oblivious.

    2. hunkerdown

      But in reality, social ideals are cope, designed to be unachievable, to waste the maximum amount of time and cognition on futile activity and the illusion of motion (always and only that), and so forestall any interrogation of the material basis of that society. Diogenes’ lamp in the daylight intended to illustrate how ridiculous it is to take the idealistic tics of high culture as if they described something that had any warrant to exist.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >”This shit has been going on since the “War on Drugs” was “declared.”

      No, it’s been going on since the Volstead Act in 1919. Alcohol prohibition was the training ground for law-enforcement officials, when they first discovered they could make more money by abetting illegal activity rather than interdicting it. Has been ever thus.

      From the article: “The DEA aggressively investigates this serious misconduct and takes decisive action, including removal, against employees who engage in it,” said the official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.”

      If an official of a public agency asks not to be named, tell him or her to shut up. Also tell him or her that the next time the DEA wants to announce (and take credit for) a big drug bust, forget it. Hold your press conference, we won’t be there. That’s what a functioning independent media would do.

      “Criminal prosecution of the Regional Director was declined.” Isn’t that lovely? Declined. So anodyne. No agency, no reasons, just declined. Like in the NFL—penalty declined.

      And btw, Palmeri is now “retired” after a mere fourteen months in his position. Over-under wagers will be accepted on the size of his “retirement” package.

  18. Wukchumni

    Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes dept:

    My good friend’s cliffhanger video of Black’s Beach is approaching 3 million views, and he’s second guessing himself for not monetizing it ahead of time, so I mentioned the next time he has a once in a lifetime geologic event unfold over 10 minutes and you catch it all on video, to be more prudent about how you make money off of it, because markets.

  19. Nels Nelson

    In light of the police brutality incident in Memphis (note I have not watched the video), I had in one of my careers the opportunity to work closely with law enforcement agencies and their personnel. I came away from that experience with a very low opinion of many of the persons attracted to policing.

    During this period I read Deborah Tannen’s book “You Just Don’t Understand” about the difference in communication styles between men and women. With some caution as to my memory attributing the following to this book, I seem to recall she discussed the psychology of the men attracted to policing. She said they were usually the boys who were discipline problems in school. They didn’t want to be told what to do. They wanted to tell others what to do. From this analysis and my experience these are the boys and young men that if they didn’t become criminals they became police officers. The incident in Memphis and others like them are not at all surprising to me because police departments hire bullies and thugs. This is not to say there are no good and conscientious police officers but I think it skews toward the dark side.

    Tannen recommended many of the same things Noah Smith does in his article like more education and better training. But then take a look at what we have seen recently with the FBI. Power attracts the corrupt and they use it absolutely.

    Furthermore, where pay is concerned. When telling about how low it is, base pay is used. They don’t add, supplemental pay, uniform allowance, a car and the biggie overtime. If all of this is added up, police officers are among the highest paid classified civil servants.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”Furthermore, where pay is concerned. When telling about how low it is, base pay is used. They don’t add, supplemental pay, uniform allowance, a car and the biggie overtime. If all of this is added up, police officers are among the highest paid classified civil servants.”

      Thanks for pointing that out. There is also the generous pension after only twenty years of service (watch some true-crime shows and see the inordinate number of still-youthful retirees being interviewed) and the equally generous paid-leave benefits.

      In my city, the last time local media reported on it, 20% of the police force was on paid leave: paternity, maternity, stress, etc.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Better training” is the answer you give when you’re not really looking for an answer. It’s been used so many times it’s essentially meaningless. Train ’em to do what–not beat people to death?

      As far as “education” goes, that issue was settled 20+ years ago:

      N E W   L O N D O N,  Conn., Sept. 8, 2000 — A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

      Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

      Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.

      …The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover.

      After over 20 years of “service,” those “just a little above average” recruits who haven’t retired have risen in the ranks to supervisory positions, as is the civil service wont. While the emphasis in this case is on the street cops, some not so heeded voices are suggesting that the failure was in this unit’s supervision.

      Given the current “cultural” state of this nation, there’s not much appetite for looking beyond street level in assigning responsibility, even though this “Scorpion Unit” was formed by the current chief when she was hired in Memphis a couple of years ago, after having been fired for cause in Atlanta.

      Bottom line here is that you can’t solve a problem you can’t or won’t identify..

      1. playon

        I don’t know what it’s like in other states but in WA there is a higher bar for education for state cops, they must have at least a B.A. City and county cops I think it’s only a high school diploma. Whenever I’ve been pulled over in a traffic stop the state troopers are usually much nicer than local cops.

    3. Nikkikat

      You are absolutely correct. That job attracts a particular type of person. The military does too. During the 70s my friends and I encountered cops all the time. Because of our clothes and the guys long hair.we were stopped and questioned . Almost everyday our cars were searched and if we were walking, we were searched. I have had a gun pointed at me on several occasions. I saw people beaten by cops on numerous occasions. They all loved the power they had over us.

  20. Wukchumni
    Hit up my longtime friend in Auckland to see how they’re faring in light of deluge numero uno, and this is what he related:

    We’re all good. We did have about 6 inches of rain water through the ground floor on Friday night after the drains blocked up but it receded very quickly and we’re in the process of getting the carpets dried out (it was just bedrooms we don’t use much and the garage, fortunately we do all the livin’ up on level 2 and 3). It also flooded at the shop – about an inch right through but that seems to be drying out ok. We got a wet vac onto all of it – it’s still hard work (hours and hours) but they’re pretty amazing at sucking it all up. Thankfully it’s all relatively minor in comparison to what some people have had to put up with – a man was killed about half a mile away when a landslide fell on his house down by Hobson Bay. Next mega rain event forecast for early Wednesday morning! After that things should start to dry out.

  21. CaliDan

    Doucette is worth a follow.

    Seconded. I found Greg’s Twitter feed during the George Floyd protests (Did I find it here on NC?); it was a very stormy feed back then––I remember his robust catalogue of protest videos showing police allegedly overstepping their bounds. Must’ve been several thousand of them (checks notes: 2001+. Link below). He seems quite the knowledgeable first amendment lawyer with his finger on the police zeitgeist; quite informative for sure. But be forewarned at times it’s also a silly, jokey kind of place, too.*mIHYeMnoj9XWUp3Svb_KZA#

  22. farmboy

    “Nobody is Happy with Federal Grazing Programs” is a one sided look at what happens on Federal lands in the West and it is mostly correct. Best case rates get raised to state grazing and private rates while acknowledging Federal lands are some of the worst grazing and not by degradation but by geography, second, fencing out springs and installing downslope, out of drainage, gravity watering adequate for livestock and wildlife along with funding to pay for development, third, make federal lands subject to state environmental laws and jurisdiction of local conservation districts, even though not perfect, having some local interest is better than not-so benign-neglect, fourth, hire more people, and fifth, institute some form of biocontrol for invasive species like pseudomonas fluorescens for cheatgrass control, especially after fires. Every plant has predator species of bugs that will interrupt their success. Yellowstone notwithstanding.

  23. spud

    the article on Adani is why you cannot free trade. once you free trade, that type calls the shots world wide.

    getting rid of that type under free trade, is impossible, many are lined right up to take their place.

    its why keynes warning should have been heeded, instead we got bill clinton.

    the only way out is for just about every western country and the global south, go the peru route. to many grass fires going at once, might finally break the back of the free traders.

  24. tevhatch

    Israel Strikes Iran Amid International Push to Contain Tehran WSJ. Mehdi Hassan: “How is this not…an act of war?”

    Of course it’s an act of (an on-going) war. Iran and Israel already are at war, have been for decades. It is similar to the SMO in Ukraine. Just as the SMO war of USA and it’s colonies against Russia and it’s newish/oldish colony(Belarus), this is a war by the USA and it’s proxies against non-Sunni Arab and Muslim(ie: nationalist) states. This is a proxy war of attrition, hoping to get régime change. All out war so far has not been an option on the table because neither party is near collapse and thus unwilling to pay the price of mutual ruin. It’s going to get hairy when that point where one of the two, or both, collapse.

    * Israel will only collapse when the USA has no will/interest/ability to maintain it. Even if it does, the proxy war on Iran will go on until USA calls it quits.
    * The nationalist block will only collapse when it’s people who matter decide it no longer worth the costs for sovereignty, and instead pay out the nose protection money to USA empire.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Wow. Someone is talking sense, in the WSJ.

      The idea of updating mRNA Covid shots every season originally held promise. One advantage of mRNA technology is that manufacturers can tweak the genetic sequence and rapidly produce new vaccines targeting new variants. Hence the bivalent boosters targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants along with the original Wuhan strain.

      But three scientific problems have arisen. First, the virus is evolving much faster than the vaccines can be updated. Second, vaccines have hard-wired our immune systems to respond to the original Wuhan strain, so we churn out fewer antibodies that neutralize variants targeted by updated vaccines. Third, antibodies rapidly wane after a few months.

      Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine this month showed that bivalent boosters increase neutralizing antibodies against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, but not significantly more than the original boosters. In one study, antibody levels after the bivalent boosters were 11 times as high against the Wuhan variant as BA.5.

      The authors posit that immune imprinting “may pose a greater challenge than is currently appreciated for inducing robust immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants.” This isn’t unique to Covid or mRNA vaccines, though boosters may amplify the effect. Our first exposure as children to the flu—whether by infection or vaccination—affects our future response to different strains.

      (bold mine)

      None of which is news to NC readers, but might be to the WSJ reader and certainly the general public, which has been misled since day 0 of the Pandemic.

      So the whole booster campaign is simply wishful thinking. Always was.

      1. Telee

        And as always, follow the money.

        These links are shocking. A Pfizer project manager is spilling the beans on Pfizer and then panics when he realizes that he has been filmed. Is Pfizer contemplating or already doing “directed biology” to create more strains to sell more vaccines. Who knows what is true or what is real anymore. That was a major point made in the WSJ article. Nobody from the CDC or the pharmaceutical companies are telling us the truth.


  25. Wukchumni

    F-35’s were getting it on above and then all of the sudden there was flightus interruptus and off they went to their pad @ NAS Lemoore.

  26. zagonostra

    > Novak Djokovic Australian Open

    I know NC does not generally cover sports, but there are CV19 mandated vaccination undertones involved with how various countries handled them, and particularly how ND was banned in 2022 from competing.

    I for one, was thrilled to see Novak win. Russian Daniil Medvedev, had he won, would have had interesting political overtones as well. And I believe I saw that the Australian officials were covering up the flag of Aryna Sabalenka, the female AO winner, who was I think from Kazakhstan.

    1. asr

      Sabalenka is from Belarus. It seemed to depend on the day whether her flag was covered or not. I saw it both ways while watching on ESPN+. Rybakina the woman she devoted was born in Moscow, but competes for Kazakhstan. She was last year’s Wimbledon winner, in the year when Russians were banned a woman born in Russia still won.

    2. John k

      Aryna was imo born in Moscow and lives there now. She took advantage of Kazakhstan’s support for junior athletes and continues to play for her sponsor (Russia does not provide the major support that ussr used to, and which private sponsors do for juniors in the west.). However, Russian flags are not allowed to be shown in Aussie open, including in the telecast where for non-Russians a players flag is shown next to their name. (In some cases Belorussian players are also sanctioned.)
      Not as bad as England not allowing them to play at all on the grounds ‘it would not be acceptable for a royal to present the trophy to a Russian’, though as I recall that’s exactly what happened when a Russian lady (playing for another country) won there last year. Still not decided is who will be allowed to play there this summer. Perhaps the war will be over then.

    3. anahuna

      Another bit of politicized craziness occurred during the ESPN+ commentary, when super-jerk —in this instance, at least— Chris Fowler shut down John McEnroe’s empathetic praise of Djokovic’s fortitude in the face of the many man-made (and Morrison-made) obstacles he’s faced. According to Fowler, it was all Djokovic’s fault for not getting vaccinated.

      I heard that and yelped, then waited and waited to see if any other media outlets would pick up on it. One finally didr:

      Do sometimes wish Fox wasn’t often the sole source of sanity.

      1. John k

        What annoys me is for some to get exceptions from the rules that apply to the majority, as is typical of elites. My guess is that some players got vaccinated just in order that they could play in events that require that status. Novak wasn’t given special dispensation from the rules, nor do I think he should have been. He played after the rules changed, which imo was appropriate.

        1. anahuna

          Did the Australian Open miraculously become a less elite event last year because Djokovic was deported?

          Was Djokovic not smeared in the press as a dreaded and subversive “anti-vaxxer,” when he has always made it clear that his decision was for himself alone?

          Was Morrison’s insistence on deportation, after Djokovic had been invited by the Australian tennis association, not an obvious play for political advantage?

          Was the decision to lift the three-year ban for this year’s Open not a political decision as well?

          1. Jed

            Thanks for this response. Better said than my initial thought. What the f?

            Joker made a statement and the Aussies made themselves look ridiculous with their response.

            I’ll leave it at that, but this response from John K. deserves scorn IMHO.

  27. Wukchumni

    Skied China Peak on Saturday in a fitting climax to Feel Good Fresno Week-where the acid test was seeing if my left chest tightened up and breathing was labored-as in Utah where I self-diagnosed myself with Long Covid and my reasoning being that I watched a lot of Marcus Welby, M.D., so I think I know my way around a black bag & stethoscope, but thankfully I felt good, and they have a nice base and while it wasn’t warm, it wasn’t that cold either. Saw one fellow in his shorts and another skier without a shirt on.

    It’d be too easy to make Fresno jokes in assuming thats where the lads were from, i’ll just leave it at that. And hasn’t everybody been there, i’ve donned shorts and Hawaiian shirt in April.

    Rule A#1, do not fall if you have shorts on, if you’re lucky it’ll be the usual mashed potatoes gloopy gloops you get late in the season, but if that kid in shorts fell the other day on Sierra Cement, he’d be crying uncle.

    Feel as if i’ve been to the zenith & nadir of ski resorts in the past fortnight, with Snowbasin in Utah being the most opulent resort i’ve ever seen, with white marble walls in the toilets and 15 foot wide-10 foot tall chandeliers in the lunch room, easy chairs, fine grained wood used throughout and more, ye gads!

    It was as if the Ritz-Carlton was running the place.

    Versus China Peak’s not really all that updated late 1950’s infrastructure aside from newer chair lifts on the slopes. The circa 1959 rooms are tiny and feature accordion doors on the showers, how quaint.

    Reminds me of learning how to ski in SoCal resorts, it just never grew up.

  28. Delman

    Cop City “One protester was killed by police, 20 were charged under a ‘domestic terror’ law..!”

    How does the author feel about the January 6th trespassers?

    Also, no babes in arms have been killed by law enforcement so far a-la Ruby Ridge.

    Say, isn’t a bunch of invited in “Theys” from N.Y.C. speaking for the Muskogee Tribe and local black people, isn’t that cultural appropriation?

  29. Mikel

    “Is Europe Deindustrializing? “Yanis Varoufakis, Project Syndicate

    Cloud capital = rentierism propelled and and enhanced by computer software technology.

    My take on this is that the main focus and priority of car companies will be the customers who can afford all the subscription features and updates. When the time comes for a new car, I also imagine this will lock people into a brand or model in a way they aren’t locked into a brand/model with ICE vehicles.
    It will be less about selling and manufacturing cars and more about capturing and locking in customers.

    1. Karl

      Varoufakis made a lot of interesting points. This one stood out for me:

      …car manufacturing will never be as profitable in Germany and Europe as it once was. More and more of the profits to be made from electric cars will come not from selling the actual hardware but from applications sold to their owners (current and future) – exactly the way Apple makes a mint from “third party developers” that produce apps for iPhones sold via the Apple Store.

      The car industry may be following the history of the computer industry. In the early years, the profits were from the hardware–the big mainframes–and software was basically a freebie. This was so ingrained at IBM that they missed the shift when PCs entered the market. They let Microsoft retain the rights to DOS because they didn’t see the looming importance of proprietary software made for regular folks, while the standard hardware was commodified.

      Similarly, with EVs, the hardware (physical vehicle) may not be where the profits are in the future. EVs may differentiate based on the proprietary software and its integration into the cloud. According to Varoufakis, Germany has lots of catch up to do to in software if it wants to remain competitive in EVs.

      I’m not sure if Varoufakis is right, but it’s an interesting perspective. If he is right, the “big 3” in the U.S. may be in as bad a position to profit from EVs as the Germans. Of course the U.S. has been “de-industrializing” for decades by financializing. Is that Germany’s future if it de-industrializes?

      1. digi_owl

        Yes and no. IBM designed the PC with commodity parts, except for the BIOS. That is the ROM chip on the motherboard that the CPU reads upon first power up and that sets up the hardware environment the software was to interface with.

        What caught IBM by surprise was that Compaq (and others) were able to clean room copy the BIOS behavior, and defense that claim in court. This flung the door wide open to clones in a way that had not happened before with home computers.

        That is what accelerated Microsoft to the forefront, because now the DOS, and later Windows, programming interfaces became important. And with Gates at the helm, Microsoft stayed the course perfectly.

        And it may well be that Musk saw this coming when Tesla got started, as their cars behave very much like rolling smartphones.

  30. JBird4049

    >>>Cops failing to stop crime is common

    From the War on (some) Drugs to the War on (some) Terror to civil asset forfeiture, mass surveillance, and testilying to having cancer scanners and ass gropes used on me just to board an airplane…

    Why is any of this surprising? This has been ramping up for decades. It has never been about keep us safe. It has always been about keeping the peons under control, and extracting as much wealth from them as possible.

    Just look at the clearance rates for crime, which has decreased at the same time as the drug war and the so-called war on terror ramped up. The more focus is put on finding anyone smoking a joint, or creating any excuses to steal people’s money and possessions, or suppressing protests, the less focus is put on solving crime.

  31. Tommy S

    Don’t know about others, could be my old browser etc, but when I clicked on the Mint article about India, I got ‘this site wants to use space…on your…’ over and over and had to restart my iMac.

  32. Van Res

    Does climate change make hailstorms more common? [edited quotation], by EuroNews, based in a Nature article

    By Charlotte Elton • Updated: 06/09/2022

    “Though climate change will likely make hailstones bigger, it won’t necessarily increase the frequency of hailstorms – at least, not everywhere.

    This is because hailstorms need a specific set of conditions to form.

    As well as
    – a moisture-heavy environment and
    – strong winds, they require
    – a particular type of weather front:

    hailstones thrive in areas with

    – warm, humid surface air below
    – cool dry air.

    As climate change plays with these factors, meteorologists have tentatively sketched where storms might become more or less frequent.

    “Observations and modelling lead to the general expectation that hailstorm frequency will increase in Australia and Europe, but decrease in East Asia and North America,” the authors write.,likely%20as%20weather%20patterns%20change.

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