Links 3/3/2023

Is the Alpha Wolf Idea a Myth? Scientific American

All the recessions that didn’t happen Yahoo News

This Rare Asteroid May Be Worth 70,000 Times the Global Economy. Now NASA Is Sending a Spaceship to Explore It. Robb Report


Signs of Everglades recovery emerge. Long way to go but ‘trending in the right direction’ Miami Herald

The biggest obstacle to saving rainforests is lawlessness The Economist (Furzy Mouse).

Why measuring the economic value of ecosystems is important World Economic Forum


The gray swan: model-based assessment of the risk of sudden failure of hybrid immunity to SARS-CoV-2 medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Our findings suggest large jumps in viral evolution may cause failure of population immunity resulting in sudden increases in mortality. As a rise in mortality will only become apparent in the weeks following a wave of disease, reactive public health strategies will not be able to provide meaningful risk mitigation. Learning to live with the virus could thus lead to large death tolls with very little warning.” The infamous CDC “green map” is the very definition of a “reactive public health strategy,”

Vaccine may limit long-COVID impact, studies show, but controlled trials needed Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

There is more to Sars-CoV-2 than meets the eye Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Girl who died of bird flu did not have widely-circulating variant Nature

Dear Old Blighty

Sunak’s Windsor agreement splits Tory Eurosceptics FT

What’s at Stake in Northern Ireland Trade Deal NYT

Britain’s Economic Model Is Crumbling, but Its Politicians Don’t Want to Face Reality Jacobin

Mother of Parliaments:


As South China Sea trigger points grow even beyond US control, what will China do? South China Morning Post

Inside China’s Peace Plan for Ukraine Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Why China Is Not a Superpower Foreign Policy

Former Malaysia PM, 1MDB ex-CEO cleared of audit tampering charges Reuters

Dow said it was recycling our shoes. We found them at an Indonesian flea market Reuters. Singapore left out of the headline, oddly.

The Lucky Country

Robodebt and the empathy bypass The Monthly

South of the Border

As US Reengages Maduro, Oil Giants Earn Deals — and Venezuelans Protest Truthout

New Not-So-Cold War

You And Whose Army? Trying to Understand the World. Well worth a read.

Lessons from the Melian Dialogue: A Case Against Providing Military Support for Ukraine The National Interest

Ukraine WILL become a NATO member in the ‘long-term’, head of the alliance says Daily Mail

Hungary calls on EU states to stop sending arms to Ukraine and work for peace (Google translation) La Tampa

* * *

Bakhmut on the brink as Ukraine signals retreat The Hill

Representative of Ukraine’s intelligence explains why Russians set out to “liberate” Bryansk Oblast from Putin’s regime Ukrainska Pravda. Commentary:

Rather clean uniforms in this latest stunt. Worn by “Far right Russian nut jobs”? Who would fund such a thing?

* * *

US to send more ammo, folding armored bridges to Ukraine AP

Poland to produce over 800 South Korean K2 tanks as part of order for Polish army Andalou Agency

At secret location, Ukrainians train on ‘game changer’ German weapon South China Morning Post

Assessing the Economic Value of Military Materiel Philip Pilkington, American Affairs

* * *

Ukraine finds stepping up mobilisation is not so easy The Economist

U.S. hosts war games for Ukraine ahead of next phase of Russia conflict Reuters

Biden Administration

Government system for protecting farmworkers plagued by staff turnover and lack of outreach Investigate Midwest

Parents push back on allegations against St. Louis transgender center. ‘I’m baffled.’ St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Commentary:

Our Famously Free Press

Lots of Twitter Files and Nowhere to Go Yasha Levine

Guy Debord’s Warning of “The Role of the Expert”: A Philosophical Perspective on the Rise of Fact-Checking The Internationalist

The Bezzle

Technology Behind Crypto Can Also Improve Payments, Providing a Public Good International Monetary Fund

Supply Chain

War In Ukraine Has Had a Structural Change In Global Shipping Hellenic Shipping News

Zietgeist Watch

How I Changed My Mind on Social Media and Teen Depression Richard Hanania’s Newsletter

The Supposed Economic Benefits Of Marriage Could Be Outweighed By The Financial Risk Of Divorce Dealbreaker

Realignment and Legitimacy

Exposed: Dallas Humber, Narrator Of Neo-Nazi ‘Terrorgram,’ Promoter Of Mass Shootings HuffPo

Police State Watch

OK, So Maybe Those Gummies Didn’t Contain Heroin or Fentanyl After All CIty Life

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Havana syndrome’ not caused by foreign adversary, US intelligence says Guardian. Mass hysteria in the foreign policy establishment? How very unexpected!

The Reckoning That Wasn’t Andrew Bacevich, Foreign Affairs

Patrick Lawrence: The Return of Non-Alignment Scheer Post

Robot dogs are taking over the US military Task and Purpose (Re Silc). They’re not dogs. They’re roaches with four legs.

Class Warfare

Where are all the missing workers? Politico. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners?

You may have heard of the ‘union boom.’ The numbers tell a different story NPR

Physicists Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy out of Nothing Quanta

Living on a Deadline in the Nuclear Age. Some Personal News From Daniel Ellsberg (Rev Kev).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

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. The Rev Kev

    “‘Havana syndrome’ not caused by foreign adversary, US intelligence says’

    Well this is awkward. More so when you remember that Congress passed on October 8th, 2021, the “Helping American Victims Affected by Neurological Attacks” (HAVANA) Act of 2021. The Biden administration wanted to pay some diplomats and intelligence officers roughly $100,000 to $200,000 each to compensate for the mysterious health problems known as “Havana syndrome. While each US Marine on guard in those Embassies got a free box of crayons each. So here is the thing. Will those people have to pay back the government they money that they received. Maybe that money can be donated to East Palestine-


    1. griffen

      In America 2023. Our foes are after us. Look up, it’s the balloons! Listen up, it’s some foreign adversarial mechanism messing with my head !

      $200,000 for in all likelihood, a concocted illness. Hard to take some of these so very serious people all that, well, seriously.

      1. Milton

        Well, when I asked for a reason why the Biden admin hadn’t sent my $600. The only reply back I got was… Crickets.
        So there’s that.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Well, at least it was crickets rather than tree frogs … those can cause “Havana Syndrome”

    2. tevhatch

      The purpose was served, Cuba got slammed for a few more years til another excuse is found, but more importantly State Department and CIA staff got to guzzle at the public feeding trough. Joe Public will never know.

    3. Grumpy Engineer

      ‘Havana syndrome’ not caused by foreign adversary, US intelligence says.

      Gah… This reminds me of the debate about the origins of COVID, where people are making grand statements about things when they actually don’t know the answer.

      The only way we can firmly state that “Havana syndrome” was not caused by a foreign adversary is to know what actually caused it, with that cause being of natural or domestic origin. Absent that knowledge, I don’t see how we can firmly rule out actions by foreign governments. When we don’t know, we don’t know, and it’s premature to categorically rule out foreign, domestic, or natural causes.

      On the other hand, perhaps US intelligence does know the actual cause, and they just don’t want to admit it. “Oops, we injured hundreds of State Department staffers with excessive exposure to the ultrasonic microphone jammers we installed six years ago“, or something like that.

      1. Louis Fyne

        ” …ultrasonic microphone jammers…”

        this makes much more sense than psychosomatic diplomats—-(allegedly) made possible by the same government that has no qualms about letting its own soldiers drink water tainted by its own military

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          Yes. I can’t remember who first brought them up in the NC comments section, but when I researched these jammers, I discovered that they put out a lot of acoustic power. 115 to 125 dB kind of stuff. If it were audible noise, OSHA rules would limit exposure to a few minutes per day. Does the fact that it’s inaudible mean that human beings can endure unlimited exposure without harm? I kinda doubt it.

          1. Synoia

            Some Children have hearing in the Adult “ultra sonic” range. I seen to recall that Children were don of the ones with headache,.

            I have had a high frequency tone i (more white white noise) n my head all my life – in-delectable by doctors.

            1. Grateful Dude

              in a restaurant one day 30-some years ago with my dad, sister, brother and one of his daughters in her mid-teens, a violinist. She cries “what’s that screeching noise?” We elders listen and reply in unison “I don’t hear anything”. …

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > ultrasonic microphone jammers

          We’re talking about ultrasonic microphone jammers not detectable by our intelligence community, when warmongering against Russia is all the rage. It was crickets in Havana, and it’s cray cray now.

          A mechanical exception, besides being purely hypothetical, makes less sense than the psychological, in any case. After all, our foreign policy establishment has the capability to self-induce cases of mass hysteria, and we’ve seen it many times before: WMDs, RussiaGate, hatred of Putin, etc. Given the old trope that Washington, DC is essentially high school, mass hysteria seems on form.

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            We’re talking about ultrasonic microphone jammers not detectable by our intelligence community…

            I was talking about the possibility of ultrasonic microphone jammers deployed by the US Department of State, likely smack dab in the middle of embassy conference rooms. I would expect counter-surveillance equipment to be routinely deployed in US embassies to prevent eavesdropped by outside parties, and they’ve likely considered ultrasonic microphone hammers as a means of preventing planted bugs from functioning properly. Hopefully they rejected them.

            I agree that this scenario is a hypothetical, but such technologies do exist and are advertised and sold for such purposes. It’s not a stretch to imagine them being used in embassies. But I’m not at all convinced that subjecting people to a continuous 115+ dB of acoustic power is safe.

            As for ultrasonic equipment being deployed outside the embassies by foreign powers, that was never a credible theory. Ultrasound penetrates walls very poorly, and any that did manage to penetrate could easily be picked up with appropriate instrumentation. If ultrasound was the culprit, we almost certainly did it to ourselves.

      2. some guy

        I remember someone once telling me that if you could subject someone to a steady soakdown with 5 cycles per second of infrasound, they would not “hear” it, but they would drift into a state of furious rage that they themselves could not understand.

      3. c_heale

        What about Malaria vaccines/medicine. I seem to remember some of them can induce some of the symptoms of Havana Syndrome.

      1. Piotr Berman

        Crickets can be adversarial too, and their national allegiance can vary.

        However, noise/sound intolerance is affected by mental state, pessimism/optimism, cool headedness/paranoia etc. I can imagine that some types of preparatory training can induce paranoia, sense of isolation (all locals hate us) etc. As someone proposed, the personnel that succumbed to psycho-somatic syndromes could be “pre-damaged”.

  2. Kyle

    RE: St Louis Trans Clinic

    I wish this stuff wasn’t so politicized so we could have open dialogue and discussion

    Bari Weiss could have done real journalism and taken those statements from a disgruntled employee and interviewed more people involved but she has an agenda and wanted to get the clicks, not actually give us the full story.

    It’s a broader problem in journalism today – actually investigating a story instead of rushing it out with one source to “break” it or be the first to report

    I have no idea the bias for the St Louis paper that did all the follow up but at least they did a more in-depth investigation

    The truth? Probably somewhere in the middle, but we will never know because it’s become a political topic

    1. Questa Nota

      Clicks, the new drug.
      Brought to you by Fact Checkers, the new Social Science Replication Crisis folks.

      Inherent in those is a desire, even mandate, driven by a strain of instant gratification, bolstered, or undermined, by short term memory.

      It takes more work just to stay in one place these days, whether physical, mental, psychological or spiritual.

    2. Objective Ace

      I wouldnt be so quick to pin it on “click bait”. I think its more like the abortion issue. Some people are just for it or against it–there’s no discussion to be had. If you’re against minor’s transitioning, it doesnt matter how slow or methodical it is–it’s still the transition of a minor. The contention is that a minor’s brain isn’t fully formed yet, they do not have the ability to consent (as recognized with statutory rape) therefore any doctor performing these transitions is irresponsible if not even acting with malfeasance. I’m not sure I personally would take the view that far–but I can at least see the logic in their view.

      1. Phenix

        You can also add that Gender Dysphoria is very rare. Individuals that transitions do so with the desire to be called the proper pronoun. They do not dress and look like a man and demand to be called she/her. They spend a lot of money so people DO NOT ASK their pronouns.

        Lambert posted a article discussing the profound effects that Social Media has on mental health. We are experiencing the same thing with gender transitions.

        This is not just about children. The woke corporatists are totalitarians just like their conservative brethren. They seek to control our language and ban anyone that pushes back.

      2. semper loquitur

        Something to add to your list of contentions: the irreversible nature of the procedures. Altering the hormonal development of a child is a “Humpty-Dumpty” situation, according to what I’ve learned. I’d be very interested if any of our medical experts care to weigh in. Castrations and mastectomies definitely are; you don’t need to be a doctor to know that removing a child’s sex organs is a one-way street.

        Then there is the fact that we are only just beginning to learn the long-term consequences of these procedures. We know neither what the physiological ramifications are nor the psychological ones. The “transitioning” industry is an enormous social experiment using mostly children as it’s lab-rats.

        1. Kyle

          It is VERY rare for surgical procedures to be performed on youth – that is part of the “sensationalized” aspect of this story that often gets more coverage than the treatment 99.9% of youth receive.

          1. semper loquitur

            Oh, okay, it’s just a couple of kids being mutilated, got it. According to this article:


            which confuses gender with observed sex as per usual, in 2021 there were 282 youth “top” surgeries in the US. I couldn’t find numbers for castrations, but I’m working on it. Judging by the totally organic explosion of “trans” identifying youth in recent years, those numbers will be rising. The good folks at WPATH are on the case:


            Now let’s see how the “treatment” you refer to is going elsewhere:

            Sweden’s U-Turn on Trans Kids: The Trans Train (Part 1): The New Patient Group & Regretters


            Sweden’s U-Turn on Trans Kids: The Trans Train (Part 2): Other Issues, Talk Therapy and Suicidality


            Sweden’s U-Turn on Trans Kids: The Trans Train (Part 3): Regret, Reassessment & Policy Reversal


            Sweden’s U-Turn on Trans Kids: The Trans Train (Part 4): Puberty Blockers, Complications and Consent


            In May of 2021 Sweden announced a change of their policy regarding the medical and surgical transition of children. The change came in the wake of several bombshell documentaries which explored the issue of medicalization of children experiencing gender dysphoria in Sweden and Europe.

            The controversial documentary series examined the evidence base of the protocols, the ethics of treating children who cannot consent and the degree of oversight and accountability that clinics held for their patients.

            The english speaking world isn’t aware of much of what the documentaries uncovered because of the language barrier, as the films are mostly in Swedish. English captions have been made available and for the first time the films are presented here with english voiceover to make them more accessible.


            This transition protocol for children based on “The Dutch Study” had previously been used by clinics in Sweden since around 2014 to start children on puberty blockers leading to cross-sex hormones and surgery.

            The “Dutch Study” was originally designed with strict criteria for inclusion which were not being applied to the exploding population of mostly young women who were starting to seek treatment for dysphoria. As such, most patients being put on this “trans train” of affirmation and medicalization were a different population group than those studied in the original Dutch protocol.

            As a result, the issues of regret and detransition began to be come more common as people for whom the Dutch Protocol was not designed for started to see that medical and surgical transition did not solve their issues.

            When these stories started to leak out, the Swedish investigative journalists at “Mission: Investigate” started talking with regretters and detransitioners and approached the hospitals and clinics who were treating young people at the time to figure out what was going on. Over the next several years subsequent episodes of Mission: Investigate explored other aspects of the modern discourse about the medical treatment of gender dysphoria. The revelations of this series were eventually led to the national health system in Sweden reviewing their protocols and issuing an official policy halting the implementation of the Dutch protocol in treating children with gender dysphoria.

            I’m willing to make a solid bet that the situation is far more exploitive in the US. It’s business, baby.

            1. aletheia33

              sl, could you please indicate the exact source of your long quot. in italics here?
              is it transcribed from the swedish documentary?
              i’m very interested in this issue; thank you for the video links.

        2. hunkerdown

          OTOH, they’ve been cutting up males for decades or millennia, depending on how you wish to read history, and Americans are not only nonchalant about that, but some even celebrate the damage. In other words, I don’t think mutilation drives the controversy, so much as a battle for which political church’s style gets to command other people’s genitals in service of that church’s social reproduction.

            1. hunkerdown

              The “donated” tissue is collected, purified, and grown into skin graft material or added to cosmetic treatments. The procedure has well-funded religious and enthusiast groups pushing for it. And those benefits (which I don’t propose to debate) are a bit downstream of the biopolitics that put the removal of this body part, and the accompanying general pain and shock to the donor organism, as spmething to be “weighed” in the first place.

              1. semper loquitur

                Yeah, interesting, but cutting off the foreskin doesn’t compare to removing the organs.

      3. Carolinian

        And I agree. The premise of the article is that all the beliefs of the gender studies movement are valid and that parents who go along are making wise choices and–in the Florida dispute–those who don’t are violating their children’s “rights.” There’s also the cynical belief among some of us that the AMA will always favor expensive treatments if an excuse can be found. In other words medical professionals are not necessarily wise or pure themselves.

        1. JBird4049

          Well, greed changes everything, doesn’t? Greed for power, money, influence, ego gratification, ambition. There are people who suffer from gender dysphoria, and twenty years ago I would be confident that they could get honest help, but today, rather than helping them in the best way possible, it has become culture war and money extraction above all.

          It somewhat reminds me of the child daycare abuse craze of the 1990s, where even when it was clearly, factually impossible for the daycare workers to have done what they were accused of, they were still charged and convicted of child abuse. It was like as if many people had gone just insane, mentally ill, but even worse was that actual cases of child abuse were now tainted.

  3. zagonostra

    >Bakhmut on the brink as Ukraine signals retreat The Hill

    Opening Sentence/Paragraph:

    Ukrainian officials are signaling a potential retreat from the embattled town of Bakhmut, which would give Russia a symbolic victory and deliver Moscow its largest advance in months but wouldn’t significantly change the dynamic of the wider war, experts told The Hill.

    Symbolic? Largest advance in months, insignificant? I’ve never seen a more confused/confusing sentence. By all the accounts I’ve been hearing (mainly from The Duran, Scott Ritter, Brian Berletic, Douglas McGregor, NC) there hasn’t been a more grueling grinding fought over piece of geography since WWII.

    The Ukrainians want to bloody the Russians as much as they can. And this is a good place to do it because the Russians are losing a lot of people trying to do this

    From what I’ve been gathering it’s the exact opposite, indeed, the head of the Wagner group just taunted Zelenesky to send more Ukrainians to defend Bakhmut since they, the Ukrainans are being wiped-out.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      The Hill ceased being a journalistic enterprise a long time ago. Their role when it comes to foreign policy is to parrot whatever the State Dept. says.

      1. hunkerdown

        They were never a “journalistic” enterprise. They were always a trade rag for the “government relations” profession.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I heard today that the Ukrainians were still sending in fresh formations into Bakhmut and apparently a coupla Leopard 2s have also been spotted in the east. On the bright side, Nuland, Sullivan and Blinken gave Zelensky’s Facebook account a lot of likes for doing this. But not to worry. Zelensky had a bright idea. He said-

      ‘The US will have to send their son’s & daughter’s exactly the same way as we are sending,and they will have to fight,and they will be dying God Forbid.’ (19 secs)

      Better start checking your mailbox for your call-up papers.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The latest news in Russian media say (with pictures) that the Ukrainians blew up a bridge over a small canal west of Bakhmut, on the only road still open to them. Go figure. Any troops coming in or out have to travel over the fields now.

        A Russian expert claimed that the reason Ukrainians have clung on to Bakhmut so long is because they prepared it as a fortress, loaded with weapons and ammunition. Then they lost their means of transport and now can’t haul all that material out anymore. Nor can they afford to lose it. So fight they must.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think they simply don’t know what to do. I feel like Zelensky expected to be showered with planes. He even said he didn’t realize it takes three years to train pilots with that we can do it in 2.5 years. If he didn’t grasp this, he likely doesn’t grasp simply increasing shell production isn’t easy.

          Then we have US military advisors who have been removed from logistics through the use of private contractors instead of soldiers and don’t have experience with bringing material from the factory to the front. It’s just magic to them.

          They know the roads in Bakhmut are important to moving troops and fantasy counter offensives, so they wanted to hold it. The fantasy supplies never materialized regardless of how many hugs Zelensky received.

          I think the encirclement is working. Kiev has promised an orderly withdrawal if there is a withdrawal. What a weird thing to say? Leaving means they have to walk to avoid artillery fire, and staying means constant shelling and running out of supplies. They don’t have the weapons to fight out, and without air protection, they won’t be able to bring up forces of hit the Russian line. The Russians don’t want Bakhmut the way they wanted Mariupol. It can just sit there. The front is 1200km. They can fight other places while the Bakhmut defenders starve.

          1. Danco

            Talking of pilots, past couple of days there have been two pairs of F16’s flying up and down the valley where I live in the Peak District, UK. Regularly see Lightnings lumbering along, as well as Typhoons, Hawks, Tucanos, Hercules and other RAF fixed and rotary winged craft but first time I’ve seen F16’s around these parts. Perfectly normal I’m sure.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s not quite a cauldron since it’s from an advance, but the goal of the near effective encirclement is the same. Kiev can’t decide what they are doing. Retreating or fighting on. Two weeks ago, they were droning on about offensives. The idea is to create confusion among the soldiers on the ground where the start making their own decisions. Orderly withdrawals become routs under fire.

      3. timbers

        ‘The US will have to send their son’s & daughter’s exactly the same way as we are sending,and they will have to fight,and they will be dying God Forbid.’………..the kids I work with in Cambridge shared with me that statement from Zelensky. And many of them know of Ukraine Third Reich like reputation and the fact eatern Ukraine is mostly Russian. Cracks in the narrative? But, when I explained same script different nation is happening to China in Taiwan, they “that’s a different situation the Taiwan is a different country and hate the Chinese”. Very much like Brian Berletic said. So US propaganda is slipping regarding Ukraine but apparently not regarding China.

        1. John

          I must be odd, but why Americans hate Russia and hate China escapes me. Policy differences? Yes. Economic rivalry and/or competition? Yes. Military threat too the US and the Collective West from either? No. Seems to me that real interests of the nations and not whipped up emotions should be the ground on which to stand.

          There need not have been a war in Ukraine. Far from being unprovoked, there was a litany of provocations over the years. Not in all cases but in this one, I think the Russian government set out reasonable proposals for settling the controversy.

          The “one-China-policy” with all its ambiguity recognized that in the end Taiwan was not our problem to meddle in or solve. Here also is a series of provocations.

          We may say we do not want war, but our very words and actions edge us ever closer to it. Need it be added that the use of nuclear weapons spells the all but certain end of civilization, the mortal wounding of the human race, and the degradation of the biosphere.

          1. Realist

            Taiwan is the US problem. The fact that Taiwan exists at all is because US used it’s navy to protect the despotic elites who fled there to escape from the revolution, whilst hoping to get them back into power asap.

          2. Louis Fyne

            —but why Americans hate Russia and hate China escapes me. Policy differences? —

            Ordinary Americans neither hate, or love, Russia-China due to literal ignorance about those two countries beyond cultural tropes. And most certainly Russia/China do not generate the same “Red Scare” reactions that post-9/11 America had about Islam.

            The current hysteria is all DC- and media-driven. DC sees Russia and China as Whitehall/Westminster saw the “Huns.” DC has inherited all of London/British Establishment’s historical racism since 1917.

            Mission Accomplished Cecil Rhodes, you and the Rhodes Scholarship turned American elites into racists just like you!

            “…We [America] hate China. We propose never to forgive the Chinese. We count them outside humanity. We charge them with every crime we can invent.”

            WEB Dubois, speech in Madison, WI,

            1. JM

              Listening to that speech right now – an absolutely devastating critique. And it’s fantastic to hear DuBois’ voice; only bad thing is that it cuts out part way through what’s certainly a longer speech.

              I’d go so far as to call it the must-hear of the month, and last month too.

          3. JTMcPhee

            The US “covertly” interprets the one-China policy to mean that Taiwan’s Kuomintang is the actual One True China. Snigger snigger. Nudge nudge know what I mean?

        2. Pat

          I wonder if at some point you should ask some questions regarding their thoughts about America’s capabilities in war with China. They may have gotten thar a false narrative that drove the Ukrainian misadventure, but have they yet digested what this misadventure has exposed about support for American foreign proxy wars and the limits of American military supplies and strategies. Not to mention its dependence on BRICS countries for manufacturing and resources.

          Being belligerent and attempting to start a proxy war that likely will not remain that might not be so appealing if they have a more realistic grasp of America’s odds of surviving without major destruction and life loss. Attempting to achieve change with Diplomacy and measured negotiation rather than adolescent posturing and insult might hold more appeal at that point.

          1. timbers

            Not mention as Berletic has at The New Atlas, the US State Dept website says Taiwan is part of China. As does the United Nations. So sending US troops to Taiwan as we’ve been doing is quite literally a “totally unprovoked invasion” of China.

            1. JTMcPhee

              But sub silentio the current “China hands” at State pretty clearly believe that as Beijing is “a part of China,” so too Taipei — but Taipei is the “real” capital. After all, Chiang kai-Shek was “our guy…”

                1. JTMcPhee

                  Since when does what the indigens “want” have any damn thing to do with Great Power Politics and Policy? The persistent fraudulent myth of Democracy ™.

                  But maybe you were being ironic or sarcastic? So hard to tell these days.

                  1. JBird4049

                    Not sarcastic, but since both the American and China both purport to speak for the Taiwanese when apparently they want to make up their own mind; this is not surprising as they have been on the island IIRC as least as long as people have been in all the various islands of Indonesia or Australia with the Middle Kingdom only starting it process of colonialism and conquest in the 1600s. It is not any different from the various European powers that conquered, brutalized, and exploited the various nations, countries, kingdoms, and empires with Chiang Kai-shek being the latest thug.

                    Everyone is oh so serious about Taiwan, but really that country is a giant chew toy being tugged between drooling Jackass #1 and foaming Jackass #2. I guess fifty thousand or more years of running their own societies don’t count for anything. This when both the Americans and the Chinese scream and threaten to get violent whenever their abuses are even mentioned. Hypocrites.

                    1. tevhatch

                      The Taiwanese who were on that island for so long are, like North American 1st nations, mostly deposited on the worst lands in reservations, and where they are off it they are discriminated against. Women are the primary cash earners, through prostitution. I suspect if they can not be rid of the Han colonial settlers, then they would prefer life under the CPC, where at least they’d be guaranteed representation and some privilege law instead of chattel law.

            2. tevhatch

              There’s an unprovoked invasion of Syria that’s going on right now, along with the brutal sanction war. Syria’s mistake is not having sufficient nuclear weapons and the ability to deliver them onto the Hamptons. The USA has zero interest in provoking a hot war with China, what they hope to achieve is a rash response that will create a sanctions storm, which will delay China’s rise. As a reminder, a hot war that does not go nuclear, but where nearly every vessel (bar missile subs) in the USN is sent to the bottom of the pacific ocean is still bad for the USA. It will make clear these expensive toys are useless and will destroy demand for a profitable part of the MIC-IMATT. It also will leave South America and Caribbean free of USA’s ability to interfere for many years, so another strike. Hot War will only happen vis a miscalculation, but Economic War is already on all of us.

      4. Stephen

        Maybe Zelensky will send himself first. To set an example.

        The one thing guaranteed to end a US / puppets initiated war is significant numbers of body bags returning home, of course.

        Overseas nationals dying in the thousands seems to have no political impact though.

        1. Lex

          To clarify, Zelensky was actually talking about if Russia defeats Ukraine it will then attack the Baltics or Poland and NATO will have to intervene (which isn’t true of course). He wasn’t talking about US sons and daughters going to Ukraine to die. The full clip I’m replying to makes that clear while the social media clip going around makes it seem like he’s talking about Ukraine.

    1. jefemt

      Caught my eye as well…all news is old news, nothing new under the sun?

      Today’s links, March 3, 2023, are labeled 3/2/2023.

      1. ambrit

        Caesar: “So old prognosticator. Here we are. The Twos of March have come, again.”
        Investment Advisor: “Aye Caesar. Come, but never gone!”
        Caesar: “Oh Scryer of Securities, I suspect thee lives in an ‘In The Pocket Universe.'”
        Investment Advisor: “Great Caesar, these Pockets are lined, with silver.”
        Caesar: “Good work, if thee canst steal it’s fruits from those who sweat and toil.”
        Investment Advisor: “Mighty Caesar, silver cares not who’s Pockets it lines.”
        Caesar: “Hah! The Pockets do! Beware thou of being ‘In The Pocket.'”
        Then did Caesar start awake. What manner of dream was this? he wondered. Caesar’s catamite slumbered on, already being Woke.
        Likewise, a few miles away, the Advisor sprang from the bed. Slapping his concubine awake they rushed to the office. “Heed you apprentice in the Arcane Arts. Gather yesterday’s trading records. We shall perform the same trades as did bring benefit that day and ‘We shall make a killing.'”
        Thus is History made, again and again.

          1. ambrit

            Even deeper into Country territory; “The Fourth Man in the Fire,” Johnny Cash version.
            Warning, NSFW (Not Safe For Woke.) Many lose sight of the heavy Christian influence in old time Country and Western music. Whatever the slur de jour for this population is among the PMC class, these people cannot be ignored or demonized forever. Eventually, a reckoning will come about.
            Hear (only 2:47 long):
            Numerology for fun and prophets!

  4. Irrational

    Lambert, just a small point re. the Korean tanks and other recent links: Either your spellcheck or your fingers are playing a joke on you, because the source is Anadolu Agency, not Andalou Agency ;-)

  5. zagonostra

    >Why China Is Not a Superpower Foreign Policy

    Superpower” was coined as a concept by the American international relations scholar William T. R. Fox in his book The Superpowers, published in 1944

    I think Foreign Policy should update their thinking and adopt the concept of Super Imperialism as laid out by Michael Hudson in his book named the same.

    1. jackiebass63

      Only a fool wouldn’t consider China as a super power. The article is another propaganda piece.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Keeping Russia aligned in the West was the surest path to containing China. It would require certain changes, but those would be minimal in practical terms. We just let the grandkids of people with no records from 1939 to 1945 and Clinton types out to keep 1991 scams going run things.

        Now we are getting USSR level propaganda to cover up what “our betters” have done.

          1. Wukchumni

            Funny how it goes, China & the USA got together over ping pong but will come apart over Tic Toc.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            This is the expectation of Western elites, but they don’t really grasp the problem with the USSR wasn’t that they were Communists but the Politburo was just a noveau Russian Imperial elite who didn’t trust other Communists.

            Guys like Biden believe their own propaganda, so they never really get how Nixon could go to China because they believe it was nonsense about communism and capitalism.

          3. nippersmom

            I was thinking about that the other day as. Nixon was the first president I was really old enough to remember, and quire frankly, despite all his faults I think he was the best one, as well.

            1. digi_owl

              I’m tempted to say that at least until Carter, the people in office had a sense of stewardship for the nation etc.

              But after Reagan it has all been about self promotion and finance.

            2. jackiebass63

              Nixon was forced out over behavior that happens every day with our political class.My how times have changed.

          4. Pat

            I was slow to realize but I have said for over a decade that a large part of the reason I despise Obama is that he made me nostalgic for Richard Nixon.

            Sings “ Mister, we could use a man like Richard Nixon again!”

    2. tevhatch

      Radhika Desai (who has been doing a series with Michael Hudson) has a new book out for free (“Capitalism, Coronavirus and War”) where she posits Neo-liberalism reached it’s peak capacity/power potential in 1914, and it’s been a bumpy, but more or less downhill self-consumption. China isn’t interested in paying the fees, which are self-destructive, for being a “Super-power”.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        A few minutes agoI went to Amazon to get th e ISBN number for the purchase suggestion I submitted to my public library, and noted that the Kindle edition is available free! Don’t know how long this will last, or whether the offer was related to the fact my better half shops the Bezos Behemoth frequently, but I couldn’t pass up getting something free there.

        1. Irrational

          As tevhatch said it is out for free (under a creative commons licence). Thanks for the find!
          Had some trouble downloading the full PDF at the link above because for some reason the file comes up in a pop-up window, but fixed that.

  6. ChrisFromGA

    Thank you for filing that odious politico piece under “Class warfare.” Because that’s what it is.

    God forbid the Hamptons crowd can’t find good help, or someone to pull a latte for them at the local Starbucks.

    And it’s anecdotal, but I am hearing more friends and LinkedIn contacts stepping back from 6-figure corporate gigs because it isn’t worth it anymore.

    Ye shall reap what you sow, corporate America.

    1. jefemt

      Reading Ellsberg’s update (one of today’s must-reads, thank you!) and the politico…

      between these and all things, including covid, it really should be no surprise many many people have re-oriented their trajectories. Quiet Quit. Eschewsing different paths, you name it.

      Maybe waaaay too little to late…

    2. Kurtismayfield

      This last paragraph is especially irritating:

      For the economy’s sake — and possibly Joe Biden’s re-election chances — it would be helpful if a big chunk of these missing workers decided they miss the more bougie lifestyle.

      So people now should be dinks for the economy, instead of doing it because they want to. Or do it for the Dems because they are going to take the heat about inflation.

      And even if the two million came back, last time I checked JOLTS it was ten million plus of job openings. So there is still a shortfall.

  7. griffen

    Where are the missing workers? Well there is the Office Space quote, “I see you’ve been missing work lately.” “I haven’t been missing it too much, Bob.”…or some derivation closely aligned to that.

    I don’t miss the expense and time spent commuting. And putting 12,000 to 15,000 added miles on my reliable, but questionable at times, older model Honda. So, it’s an immediate win being able to work remotely and currently on a contract role that continues to be extended. It’s helpful when the system implementation is rather horrendous, so more hands are still needed.

    Honestly, I think many have chosen newly available options to find contentment without being in the office 4, 5 , to 6, days per week. Added, I’m right in the middle of the Gen X range; I have another 10+ years at a minimum of working. At some future point, this current arrangement may no longer suit but here and now I’m quite happy with it.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Where have all the workers gone?
      Long time passing.
      Where have all the workers gone?
      Long time ago.
      Where have all the workers gone?
      The careless have been sickened every one.
      Oh, When will they ever learn?
      Oh, When will they ever learn?’ (4:17 mins)

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Where have all the office REITs gone?
        Long time passing
        Where have all the cREITs gone?
        Long time ago
        Where have all the REIT-wrecks gone?
        Liquidated, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn?
        Oh, when will they ever learn?

    2. GramSci

      Guillotine Watch:

      «… especially at the lower end of income earners, the BofA study suggests there is still some cushion. “Even for those with accounts under $50,000, the median bank balance is still up 50 percent from 2019,” Anna Zhou, author of the study, told Nightly. “So there is still some stimulus tailwind.”»

      When something like half of USians can’t meet a $400 emergency, let’s just pretend they have $50,000 in the bank…

      1. CanCyn

        The question that arises for me about the money in bank accounts – perhaps they inherited money from elders who died of COVID? That could keep people from having to go back to work that they hate. I don’t believe the stimulus money is still around to that degree (“… median bank balance is still up from 50 percent from 2019.)” People didn’t get that much money.

        1. Don

          Revenue Canada revealed today that ±65% of CERB (sorry USians, I can’t remember what the acronym stands for and I’m too lazy to look it up) covid relief payments — ±Cdn3.4 billion — were payed out to non-eligible recipients. This being Canada, the funds will never be recovered and redirected to those who need them.

          On a happier note, Nordstrums, which opened multiple locations across The Great White North a couple of years ago, announced yesterday that they were shuttering them all — saying that they have not been able to identify a business model that would allow them to operate at a profit in Canada.

      2. ambrit

        Or as the Thugg Life Jobs Recruitment Agent put it; “It’s zakly like academic economics dudes. Just assume an armoured car opener.”
        Sounds like the plot to “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.”

  8. Questa Nota

    Social media, as represented by Facebook.
    Younger people have said for years that Facebook is what their parents use.
    They shifted to Instagram and then to TikTok.
    The overall trends may be similar but each platform has its own toxicity.

    1. IM Doc

      He and his good friend and fellow band member, Herbie Hancock, saw what I and many others have been seeing in the minds of our next generation. The problems really do seem to transcend the “grumpy old man” stereotype prevalent in younger people for eternity.

      Shorter and Hancock wrote an open letter to the next generation. I have been since 2018 when I first saw this and will continue to have each and every student read this before their first meeting with me. And then we discuss their lives, their goals, and their future.

      1. antidlc

        Thank you!

        Pre-pandemic I was very active in the local theatre/music scene.

        I will pass this on to artists and professionals.

      2. juno mas

        I’m off to the piano to explore the sound of Herbie and Wayne. The Arts are not a Hobby.

      1. Alice X

        Thank you! It’s basically a blues but what a stratospheric adventure they turn it into.

        I saw that same group in 2003 just before the Montreal date. I went back stage after the concert, where the group was breaking down the setup. I talked with Brian Blade whereupon I said Wayne’s LPs are on my shelf between Schumann and Shostakovich, but Wayne deserves a better place than that. I had brought the Speak No Evil LP cover with me, which I had had since high school in the 60’s. I’m not at all embarrassed to say Wayne signed it for me.

  9. Wukchumni

    I’ve been guilty of caterwauling over lack of water calling the past 3 drought years, but i’m prepared to cry uncle @ this point.

    I feel sorry for those trapped in Sierra & SoCal mountain homes many of whom probably possess guns which are frankly of no use.

    Here’s what they could have spent the money on instead of buying a gat, holster and ample ammo.

    7×7 gallon water containers, to keep about 50 gallons on hand

    1x Coleman 2 burner stove & 10x 1 pound propane canisters

    4x hot water bottles

    20x Freeze dried meals & coffee, lots of coffee.

    2x headlamps (much more useful than flashlights, as you’re hands free)

    1x multi-band am/fm weather radio dual battery/hand crank powered

    1/2 cord of firewood

    1x box of 300 matches & 6x Bic lighters

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe too a huge water tank hooked up to the gutters on your roof. When it rains you get a free water source.

      1. Wukchumni

        Rain isn’t likely until summer and even then it won’t happen much…

        I seriously doubt we’ll be able to pull off our High Sierra Trail backpack starting in early August, as the high passes will still be snowbound and while not dangerous with no frozen white stuff, just add snow & ice and its a whole different ballgame.

    2. jackiebass63

      People need to look at long term availability of water before they choose to live in a place.It can disappear quicker than one realizes.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not only water availability but possible floods. We took care to build on the gentle slope of a hill and when we had the big floods in 2011, they never got closer than a few hundred meters from here. When we were looking for a place to build, you could see plenty of wire fences that had grass trapped in them which was a sure sign of flooding. That is the story of water – too little or way too much.

    3. anon in so cal

      Here in my part of Los Angeles, we had no power from 10:30 pm Friday night through 7pm Sunday night.
      For us, that also means no telephone, no WiFi. We cannot get a cell phone signal anywhere in or around the house. We have a “land line” but it’s powered by Spectrum and useless without WiFi.

      It got really cold, so we resorted to burning wood in the fireplace (which we have not used in over 10 years). By 5 pm Sunday, we were out of wood. The estimated time of power restoration was uncertain and we started to worry. Had it not been for Covid and our dog, we might have gotten in the car and left (although nearby main roads were partially blocked and/or in terrible condition).
      We’re going to stock up…

      1. JBird4049

        >>>For us, that also means no telephone, no WiFi. We cannot get a cell phone signal anywhere in or around the house. We have a “land line” but it’s powered by Spectrum and useless without WiFi.

        They really don’t want to maintain the old copper phone lines. Fortunately, my landline is still a landline. Unfortunately, the local cellphone towers only have battery backup, which means after about two hours, it’s gone.

        1. anon in so cal

          We originally had a true landline, with perhaps copper wires, from ATT. It used to conk out often, though. No joke, ATT maintenance trucks are parked near the local elementary school almost routinely. Then we opted for the TW/ Spectrum package, where the phone is WiFi-dependent. I think it was last summer when we also had no phone and no WiFi–for over a week–due to a car knocking down a utility pole.

          When and if the pandemic ever subsides, I am going to try to get an actual landline. Right now, we don’t let anyone inside the house for fear of Covid.

          1. LifelongLib

            I just tried my landline, which I had unplugged the phone from years ago because of telemarketers. Dead. Don’t know yet if it’s the line, the phone, or the cords…

            1. JBird4049

              I have and pay far too much for my landline because it probably will still function after a disaster. At least, having no power will not stop it.

              However, AT&T keeps jacking up the prices because reasons. I am not quite poor enough for the low cost option that they give to poor people. I guess my disability payments are too generous.

              So, for emergencies like flooding, fires, blackouts, and earthquakes, I have the cellphone for two hours and hopefully the landline. However, they keep trying to get me to dump it. How long will it be before they accidentally, but really not, forget to do the proper maintenance for the copper lines?

              If they were serious about emergencies, they would have backup generators instead of two hour batteries; I only have to look at the various follies of PG&E and the way they manage the corrupt PUC and the state legislature. The punishments and legal consequences are not jokes, but insults.

              I can believe that AT&T will continue to increase the costs faster than inflation while skimming the maintenance. Why not as it seems to work for almost every other American corporation? It is the American Way.

  10. .human

    This Rare Asteroid May Be Worth 70,000 Times the Global Economy. Now NASA Is Sending a Spaceship to Explore It.

    Reminds me, as I often am, of the short story Element 79 by Fred Hoyle. An asteroid comprised of gold is found and through a series of billiard like collisions, it safely grazes Earth to come to rest.

    1. Wukchumni

      As long as the current alchemy of turning paper into gold exists, why bother spending all that money to do a fly-by?

      1. jefemt

        I saw on Jesse’s Cafe that the ratio of physical gold to paper is 1:100. No worries!

        It gives those in my inner-circle no solace, but being so broke that one can’t ‘invest’ has its perks!

    2. Mildred Montana

      On the other hand…from the same article:

      “…more recent research out of the University of Arizona suggests that the asteroid might not be as metallic or dense as once thought. Psyche could actually be closer to a rubble pile, rather than an exposed planetary core, the research claims. If true, this would devalue the asteroid. NASA’s upcoming mission should settle the debate about Pysche’s composition for once and all.”

      Gold or garbage? That is the question.

      1. Ranger Rick

        It’s the scientific angle that’s the most interesting here. Psyche is such a valuable target because they don’t know why it grew so big in the first place. Planet formation is one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy, and the jump in scale from pebbles to planetoids is something Psyche would give valuable information on. I don’t see its value going down just because it isn’t a solid chunk of iron.

    3. fresno dan

      reality mirroring fiction? Reminds me of Don’t Look Up (an asteroid on a collision course with earth is not blown up because a billionaire wants to harvest all the rare metals in the asteroid. A nice parable of the rich literally destroying earth because of their greed)

      1. Wukchumni

        Air travel using a rigid airframe was only possible because of aluminum, and it only became a reality after alchemy.

        The engine in the Wright Brothers plane was made of aluminum, to give you an idea…

        Airplanes really went out of their way to wreck cities during war, and haven’t done a bad job since in helping destroy the planet.

        What effect would gold being as commonplace as aluminum have on the world?

        1. AndrewJ

          There’s a theory championed by George Thompson in his books Lost Treasures of the Old Spanish Trail that the legend of El Dorado aka the Seven Cities of Gold was based on the pre-Spanish tribes around the Great Salt Lake, in present-day Utah, where gold was so plentiful, and so unvalued by the Native inhabitants, that they really did use gold as pavers and as weatherproof architectural elements.
          Then the gold-mad Spanish conquered the Aztecs in Mexico and wreaked a path of destruction and enslavement north, the El Doradans heard what was coming and threw away everything they could.
          I love that book. It really colored in a lot of pre-Anglo history of the West, for me.

          1. Wukchumni

            Well, the Donner Party gold treasure is still presumably out there in Utah, not too far from where in theory I was skiing in January and not seeking it.

            In 1846, a well-equipped wagon train led by George Donner and James Read left Illinois for California, all of the members of the party loaded with all of their worldly possessions. One of the wagons was known to be carrying $15,000 in gold coins. When the train reached Fort Bridger, the party split, some wanting to take the well-known Fort Hall Trail, the remainder, led by Donner, took the little-known Hastings Cut-Off Trail. By the time they reached the Great Salt Lake Desert, the animals and travelers were already weary and the long waterless stretch was devastating and the abandonment of nonessentials began. Donner, himself, buried his own chest of gold coins after the fifth day of travel over the desert, at a campsite somewhere in the area of Floating Island within sight of Pilot Peak to the west, planning to return to recover the treasure. But, Donner and 43 others of the party never reached California, perishing enroute. The entire route is littered with quantities of artifacts and relics, as well as a number of known treasure caches. Most sources place Donner’s treasure chest at a little spring north of Pilot Peak in the area about 15 miles south of ( ghost town ) Lucin between the Pilot Range and the Desert Range.

    4. Bazarov

      Wouldn’t the astroid–if it were indeed mined–lower the value of its minerals by their sudden superabundance?

      It’s like saying “Planet Sized Diamond worth 5 billion times Earth!” but of course once such a supply of diamonds became available, diamonds would be worthless.

      The real headline should be: “Rare Astroid to Massively Devalue Iron and Nickel if Mined”

      1. Phenix

        Why would that matter? We could just stop mining on Earth and use the cheap materials to help people..

        I don’t understand an argument that says don’t get more from space because it will be too cheap. Money is a construct. If we increase the material we need then that is a net benefit.

      2. Realist

        Have you heard about the fabulously rich West Papua gold mine that Alan Dulles of CIA fame secured for US interests? It’s still the richest mine in the world after 70 years of being exploited.

        Some “theorists” wonder if the US has been using the mine to build a huge war chest of secret undeclared gold, ready to flood the market, and crash the price of gold, if rivals set up a successful gold backed alternative to the dollar.

        1. Wukchumni

          For what its worth department:

          More gold has been mined since 1950, than in all the time immemorial hence.

    5. griffen

      I immediately thought the asteroid in question, well it looks sorta like the Death Star. Do we have a young Jedi in training at a secret NASA location ?

      Al “Weird Al” Yankovic has a quite funny take on the Star Wars…”the Saga Begins”…

  11. Lex

    So while the shoe recycling program was clearly a scam (or at least partial scam) by Dow, it appears the investigation found that the shoes were being diverted into reuse rather than recycling. Which is on its face a good thing. Although if those shoes don’t get purchased and used they’ll likely just end up in a landfill.

    1. earthling

      Yes, it seems that re-use is a higher and better use of the shoe, so, don’t see a big problem.

    2. Vandemonian

      We’re diverting half a suitcase full of shoes to re-use in Bali at the end of the month, together with sundry other pre-loved clothes.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Richard Murphy
    From the latest Private Eye, a sure indication of a government gone both mad and bad’

    That is one thing that I have noticed in recent years. Government will listen to – and ignore – protests and the same for criticism. But if there is one thing that riles them up it is satire and people laughing at them. They are really sensitive to this and the fact that they have ‘Private Eye’ on a banned list shows how deeply they feel about this. When you have a group of people acting like the Masters of the Universe with each other but then they get openly mocked in public, it really seems to strike a raw nerve.

    1. JohnA

      And yet Private Eye is establishment supporting when it wants to be. A long-term contributer to the Eye, a high profile Opinion Columnist for thesupposedly left of centre Observer, and a big supporter of the iraq war, anti-Putin etc., recently resigned following years of sexual harassment claims against him. The Eye has not written a word about this, even though it regularly writes about shamed journalists in general.

    2. Mildred Montana

      The Rev Kev, in support of your point:

      About thirty years ago Canada’s then-PM Jean Chretien got “pied” at a public event. I believe it was custard-cream and the prankster’s aim was perfect. A full face of dripping “blanc” and “jaune” for “vieux” Jean.

      Spectators were amused. Somehow Jean didn’t see the humor in it. In fact, he was enraged. The little of his face still exposed radiated an angry red, sorta destroying the comedic effects of the custard-cream.

      The prankster was charged with assault. Don’t expect a sense of humor from the cops or the legal system either.

      1. hunkerdown

        If only Matt Taibbi would bring back his famous pie recipe for the neocon think-tankies.

      2. Jorge

        Hitting someone in the face with real pie is assault, because it is liquid and heavy. You have to fill it with whipping cream instead, so it’s just a light tap.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Would you believe that the origin of the Australian Federal Police began with an egg? Back in WW1 this Prime Minister was trying to force in Conscription – which was twice knocked back in referendums. So while he was in Queensland this guy threw an egg at him to let his feelings be know. The Prime Minister demanded that the Queensland Policemen arrest the man but the officer replied that it was a Commonwealth matter and not a State one. So afterwards, Hughes ordered the formation of a national body to enforce Commonwealth law – now known as the Australian Federal Police-

    3. Anonymous 2

      A noticeable phenomenon in the UK in recent times has been the decline of political satire. It has clearly become too dangerous for people’s careers for many to take the risk of poking fun at the government. All part of the victory of the far right in 2019, facilitated by Brexit. The contrast with the 1960s (I am that old) and even the 1980s is very striking.

      Shame – the UK used to be a free country but it is rapidly ceasing to be one.

    1. Rod

      I’ve been following the s-show on The Racket.
      First Twitter– which I now understand why everybody should be so livid about–Then centering the Big Shush of Gerth after CJR. Now this re-dux of Global Engagement Center.
      The New Business of Mis-Information: Dis-Information; and Mal-lnformation–all US taxpayer funded–washed through Britain, and back home to make some fat payrolls of chaos.
      Who else in Journalism is chasing this down with any platform of scale??
      Whose Politician has their hair on fire for the lies and dissent reined on the society.
      Where is the Church Committee?
      I feel we’re living our games 60 second drill…
      and i feel like I am directly $upporting Journalism that can fight back

      1. ThirtyOne

        Or perhaps more important, the Pike committee.

        On 19th January, 1976, Pike sent the final draft of a 338 page report to the CIA. Mitchell Rogovin, the CIA’s Special Counsel for legal affairs, responded with a scalding attack on the report. He complained that the report was an “unrelenting indictment couched in biased, pejorative and factually erroneous terms.” He also told Searle Field, staff director of the House Select Committee: “Pike will pay for this, you wait and see….There will be a political retaliation.. We will destroy him for this.”

  13. Wukchumni

    A snowy Sierra tale from 1869…

    The Outcasts of Poker Flat, by Bret Harte

    As Mr. John Oakhurst, gambler, stepped into the main street of Poker Flat on the morning of the 23d of November, 1850, he was conscious of a change in its moral atmosphere since the preceding night. Two or three men, conversing earnestly together, ceased as he approached, and exchanged significant glances. There was a Sabbath lull in the air, which, in a settlement unused to Sabbath influences, looked ominous.

    Mr. Oakhurst’s calm, handsome face betrayed small concern in these indications. Whether he was conscious of any predisposing cause was another question. “I reckon they’re after somebody,” he reflected; “likely it’s me.” He returned to his pocket the handkerchief with which he had been whipping away the red dust of Poker Flat from his neat boots, and quietly discharged his mind of any further conjecture.

    In point of fact, Poker Flat was “after somebody.” It had lately suffered the loss of several thousand dollars, two valuable horses, and a prominent citizen. It was experiencing a spasm of virtuous reaction, quite as lawless and ungovernable as any of the acts that had provoked it. A secret committee had determined to rid the town of all improper persons. This was done permanently in regard of two men who were then hanging from the boughs of a sycamore in the gulch, and temporarily in the banishment of certain other objectionable characters. I regret to say that some of these were ladies. It is but due to the sex, however, to state that their impropriety was professional, and it was only in such easily established standards of evil that Poker Flat ventured to sit in judgment.

  14. jhallc

    The newest German “Wunder” weapon to be sent to Ukraine.

    “At secret location, Ukrainians train on ‘game changer’ German weapon”

    “A few days ago, our air force commander said IRIS-T has hit 51 out of 51 targets, that’s a 100 per cent quota for Shahed drones and cruise missiles,” said 36 year-old Anatolii, adding Kyiv needed at least 12 of the systems.”

    Really…that’s nothing… our US NASAMS systems can hit 56 out of 51 targets said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin /s.

    If they ever get 12 of these systems I’d be surprised. The rest of the country will be in the dark but at least the lights in Kyiv would be on.

    1. David

      Um, well, if you read the article closely, the system has a maximum range of 40km (that’s 25 miles to you.) So it can defend an area of about 5000km2. Ukraine is, well, a bit bigger than that. And if they have really shot down 51 Russian missiles, that means the Russians must have launched at least that number of missiles at a very small area. Is that really feasible?

    2. digi_owl

      NASAMS are a curious system. It basically reuses venerable AAM (like AIM-9 and AIM-120) as SAM.

    3. R.S.

      our air force commander said IRIS-T has hit 51 out of 51 targets, that’s a 100 per cent quota for Shahed drones and cruise missiles

      So, it’s
      1.0 in a combat environment;
      against two different types of targets;
      one of which is a rather low-temp combustion engine (the IR in IRIS stands for “InfraRed”).

      Reminds me of a certain lewd Russian joke, along the lines of “you can say that as well”.

      1. Skip Intro

        If they choose to bring up Shaheds, can we ask them for the costs of intercepting that drone?

  15. Lex

    A portable unit capable of detecting opioids or fentanyl at at 0.01 nanograms is ridiculous. In a quick search I’ve noted that NIOSH hasn’t even published an analytical method for fentanyl, but it seems like labs are using gas chromatography – mass spec analysis. UN documents about analytical methods (biological samples) indicate a limit of detection of 2 – 5 ng/mL. So nobody in a commercial lab is hitting bulk sample limits of detection anywhere near the equipment the police are using, which from a scientific perspective makes the equipment police are using unreliable. The results cannot be confirmed with repeatable scientific methods.

    On the flip side, Delta 8 THC is weird stuff. If it exists in cannabis plants, it does so in nearly undetectable amounts (I don’t remember if it’s ever been isolated). The stuff available at gas stations and smoke shops is a chemically altered product derived from hemp extraction. I believe that DEA just made it illegal.

    1. voislav

      Not really. The test kit probably uses chemical sensors, which are cheap and very sensitive, they only need 100-1000 molecules for positive detection. They do suffer from false positives, which is likely the case here. Mass spectrometry is ridiculously sensitive, we can detect things at much lower concentrations than 1 ng/mL and fentanyl is an easy analytical target. Last time I did mass spec analysis, we were hitting picograms per mL on stuff that’s much more challenging than fentanyl (antibodies and whole proteins). One of my colleagues at the time was using capillary electrophoresis – mass spectrometry to hit atomolar detection limits, 3 orders of magnitude lower than pg/mL which translated to something like 5-10 molecules.

      1. Lex

        I’ve definitely seen GC-MS with LOD at fentograms but just quoting what UN analytical method on the LOD (it was biological urine/blood samples). Neither NIOSH nor OSHA have a published analytical method for fentanyl. I’m sure there’s an accepted standard but wasn’t going to call my preferred lab to ask.

        Absolutely, chemical detection is likely right. But that’s never enough to be relied on, at least not in my line of work.

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Oliver Carroll
    With evidence coming through, now looks more and more legit — the work of far right Russian-turned-Ukrainian nut jobs taking advantage of porous Russian border.’

    More details have emerged about this attack. Those terrorist were chased back to the border and when over it, they were slammed with artillery. But they left a heap of mines, hand-grenade launchers and other explosives which teams are securing. During the attack, they shot up one car and killed the driver. There was a second car that was shot up and which killed the driver and left a 10 year old by which a wound to the chest. But that boy managed to get two girls – first graders – out of the car and into some woods to hide. I guess that kid gets to keep the bullet that they got out of his chest and he is expected to make a full recovery-

    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe I saw somewhere that the governor of Bryansk Oblast has already shortlisted Fjodor for a Medal of Courage.

      This kid and the idiotic raid are kinda jackpot for the internal Russian propaganda.

  17. Michael Hudson

    I don’t understand the article about wolves at all. The ancient Greek treatment (mythology?) of wolves was that they were carefully egalitarian and mutually protective. This became a political metaphor for a few centuries.
    The SciAm article doesn’t mention this tradition.

    1. Carolinian

      While the article seems to fly in the face of those endless hours of nature shows that I watch, one should perhaps agree that wolves, intelligent social canids, are not necessarily the same as those Bighorn sheep or stags butting each other for the privilege of “alpha.” And even the linked article admits that alpha may be a valid wolf phenom when the pack gets big enough.

      Bottom line: nature still red in tooth and claw despite some efforts to make it warm and fuzzy.

    2. Retired Carpenter

      IMO the SciAm article reads almost like a woke propaganda tract. I wonder how many old timers think of an “alpha wolf” as “a merciless dictator” with “snapping fangs and fights to the death for dominance“, or use it as “shorthand for a kind of dominant masculinity“. Ms. Pappas might have considered how Kipling described the Seeonee wolf pack of Akela and Raksha, or how Farley Mowat described the wolf pair in “Never Cry Wolf”. Even though both books are works of fiction, they describe a counterpoint to the “masculinity” ethos used to introduce this article. It reminded me why I had stopped reading Scientific American more than a decade ago…

      1. Milton

        Woke culture (not that it’s necessarily bad) in the workplace. A recent project was completed where all Git branches from most development repos in our company were renamed from Master to Main. We had scores of paths that needed to be QA’d and verified before regular work could resume.

      2. Lex

        Or even just watched a large group of domestic dogs for a while, especially if all of the same breed.

  18. fresno dan
    Once upon a time, Congressman Ron DeSantis strongly supported arming Ukraine against Russia.
    That was in 2015, in the wake of Russia’s last invasion of its neighbor to the southwest—when Barack Obama was president and, more importantly, before Donald Trump replaced him.
    Now, Governor DeSantis is thought to be eyeing the White House himself, and the Republican landscape has changed dramatically—and so has his position on Ukraine.
    It was a 180-degree turn for a politician hoping to become the next commander in chief. It was also a window into the paradigm shift that has engulfed the American right—turning the old assumptions on their head and reimagining the United States’ role in the world.
    The shift has its roots in September 11, 2001.
    That day, Rod Dreher was on the Brooklyn Bridge when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.
    By early 2005—by the time it became clear the U.S. wasn’t about to turn Hamid Karzai’s regime into a Jeffersonian republic and Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction—Dreher, now a senior editor at The American Conservative, was rethinking both wars.
    This led him to a broader skepticism about nation-building, a skepticism that eventually hardened into opposition to American militarism. “I realized that my own side was led by a bunch of fucking incompetents and ideologues who had taken our country down a path of destruction,” Dreher said. “And for what?”
    For one, the anti-war right is likely to put the brakes on U.S. involvement in Ukraine. (Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in October that Ukraine could not count on a GOP-led House writing a “blank check” to fund the war with Russia. All 57 House members who opposed the $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, in May, were Republicans.)
    Finally, in the summer of 2015, came Trump, who broke through all the neoconservative platitudes about “defending freedom” and “bringing freedom to others,” as Bush famously put it in his March 19, 2003, address announcing the start of the Iraq War.
    With Trump, elected Republicans felt free at last to say out loud what they’d been picking up at home—toppling the received wisdom of the Washington, D.C., think tanks, the foreign policy experts, all the people except those whose sons and daughters fought in the so-called forever wars Trump was railing against.
    Today, these people—otherwise known as the Republican base—are among the most vocal opponents of an interventionist foreign policy.
    They have lost trust in the whole security state: the FBI, which infiltrated the January 6 storming of the Capitol; the CIA, which had tense relations with Trump (former director Michael Hayden seemed to imply Trump should be executed for the Mar-a-Lago classified documents fiasco); and, more recently, the Pentagon, which many Republicans fear has gone “woke” in its effort to remain in the good graces of elites.
    GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted in December: “Hemorrhaging billions of taxpayer dollars for Ukraine while our country is in crisis is the definition of America Last.”
    There are realignment(s) happening. I don’t know why exactly republicans ceased to be the original civil rights party, but at some point it became democrats. Dems are the anti war party. Things change…
    AND Gaetz….the guy taking underage (supposedly – whatever happend to that?) girls across state lines…I agree with him more than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?!!??! so much for perceptions

    1. Martin Oline

      “guy taking underage girls across state lines” I guess it’s a swing and a miss for One Country Under Blacknail. See also JimJordan‘s scandal that failed.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Not a fan of Matt Gaetz, but those charges were dropped by the DoJ.

        I would not let my daughter near him, but he still is (legally) innocent.

    2. digi_owl

      Not the first time the parties has flipped. Wasn’t the democrats big on segregation at one point?

      Never mind that their color coding can drive a European to drink, as over here red is the color of socialists…

  19. Lexx

    ‘This Rare Asteroid May Be Worth 70,000 Times the Global Economy. Now NASA Is Sending a Spaceship to Explore It.’

    ‘A study published by The Planetary Science Journal in 2020 suggests that Psyche is made almost entirely of iron and nickel. This metallic composition sets it apart from other asteroids that are usually comprised of rock or ice, and could suggest it was originally part of a planetary core. That would not only represent a momentous discovery, it’s key to Psyche’s potential astronomical value: NASA scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton calculated that the iron in the asteroid alone could be worth as much as $10 quintillion, which is $10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (yes, a 20-figure sum). For context, the entire global economy is worth roughly $110 trillion as of writing.

    Are the laws of supply and demand applied? And is that figure before or after the costs of transporting those minerals here? This is a scenario long entertained in science fiction but the stories skip over all the difficult costly bits and go right to part where there are miners in spacesuits.

    1. Wukchumni

      Aluminum in metal form used to be hundreds of times as rare as gold, but that was then and this is now after aluminium alchemy and I can buy 2 pounds of it in thin sheet form for about $10.

      1. Lexx

        In jewelry class the poorer students (and usually the most creative) used small sheets of aluminum rather than silver to practice the same sawing techniques. I thought that as beginners they got better results minus the anxiety of screwing up. Later I realized there were no screw ups, it’s all good and no piece of metal however small was ever wasted again. ‘There are no small parts, only small artists!. ;-)

      2. fresno dan

        Still, the number of aluminium hats I have to wear because of the incessant bombarding of my brain by the US gubermint still makes head shielding and mind protection quite expensive. I understand that gold foil hats are more than 8 times more effective (and much more stylish) at blocking gubermint originated mind rays, so I think the exploitation of the asteroid would benefit all us conspiracy theorists immensly – – – Of course, this is why it will never happen….

        1. Wukchumni

          fresno dan, heretofore i’ve only gone to the Reynolds Wrap toque when needing to ward off advances from the zombies on Blackstone Avenue, one of which approached me doing continual 360’s, doesn’t he get dizzy, oh yeah I forgot, he’s a zombie.

          Trump is a gold plated kind a guy, drove by the Trump casino in Pavlovegas the other day, looking all that glitters.

    2. Piotr Berman

      “NASA scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton calculated that the iron in the asteroid alone could be worth as much as $10 quintillion”

      Hm. Once I read that in the mining output of Alaska segregated by categories (not counting hydrocarbons), the highest value was for “sand and gravel”. One can calculate the value of sands and gravel of Sahara desert for fun… could be easily more than global GDP.

      1. Jorge

        The Sahara has the wrong kind of sand. For concrete you need sand with rounded edges that has been worn down by washing, aka beach sand. Inland sand dunes have rough edges and are not useful.

        Thus, Saudi Arabia importing all sand used for concrete- no beaches to raid.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The same happened during the Iraq war. To build all those concrete blast walls like in Baghdad they found that that the sand in Iraq was not up to up to standard so they had to import enormous amounts of sand from overseas to do the job.

    3. Kurtismayfield

      Here we go,the real reason the squillionaires are interested in colonizing Mars. You need to get to the Asteroid belt one hop at a time,l.

    1. ambrit

      ‘They’ are not paid to listen.
      When you are a talking head, that’s what you do, talk.

  20. Carolinian

    Re the Bacevich–this is a pretty good article but like all such it’s telling those in the know what they already know while touting an alternate vision that seems beyond our grasp. One might almost suggest that the real reason our elites are so obsessed with reliving WW2 is that they are incapable of doing much about the real problems of today. Global warming continues; greed is out of control; social division is everywhere. Perhaps there could be a way out if people like Bacevich could overcome their blind spot regarding Putin and see that he is, and has been, offering such a path with his talk of multipolarity and, yes, renewed nationalism. Bacevich derides America First even as he admits it’s an attitude we need to get back to. Trump has deranged his thinking on this by allowing it to be caricatured. But that doesn’t make such iconoclasm wrong.

    1. Robert Gray

      > [Bacevich is] telling those in the know what they already ‘know’ … [inverted commas added]

      That’s the problem. Here’s what they all, Bacevich included, ‘know’:

      > A Russian army that can’t even make it to Kyiv doesn’t pose much of a danger to Berlin, London,
      > or Paris, much less to New York City. The ineptitude displayed by Russia’s military reinforces the
      > argument that European democracies, should they make the effort, are more than capable of
      > providing for their own security.

      I pretty much quit reading when I got to that point; too bad he didn’t say it at the beginning instead of in the middle of the piece. As I say, I stopped, so I don’t know if he went on to insist that Ukraine is winning / would win — but it wouldn’t surprise me if he had.

      1. Carolinian

        I said it was good. I didn’t say it was all good. I very much relate to his account of the Cold War.

  21. LawnDart

    Re; The Supposed Economic Benefits Of Marriage Could Be Outweighed By The Financial Risk Of Divorce

    Child-support will end you.

    It’s seriously not worth the risk. Bad enough to support one household on one income– try two.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Try the experience of paying child support established based on income from a well-paid but very unstable job that grows less stable each year that you age.

      1. LawnDart

        What I have seen, mid-Atlantic into midwest, is that a lot of girls/younger women trying to have a kid early-on to have the security of some monies coming in each month– and for many, this does make sense as it can mitigate risks of potential hunger and homelessness. Definately a better bet than college.

  22. Wukchumni

    Had breakfast with my mom & the amazing Miriam @ the assisted living place where they live…

    I’ve told Miriam’s tale once before but it bears repeating.

    She was born 4 days after my mom in 1925, albeit to a Jewish German family in Leipzig, not in Bellevue, Alberta.

    Miriam is akin to my mom in that she’s got a remarkable memory and i’ve related tales of WW2 vets i’ve had breakfast with before, but this was such a different slice of the war.

    She was old enough to have witnessed ‘No Jews’ signs in public parks and other horrors of the 3rd Reich, that is before making good their escape via Italy and then a 19 day voyage to Shanghai where they spent out the war. She told me that the Japanese treated them ok under occupation and she lived in China until 1947 when she immigrated to the USA.

    Miriam worked for the UN in 1946-47, and one day all the UN mission workers were told to dress in their best clothes as an important visitor was coming, who happened to be Chairman Mao, and she got a picture with him, which she shared with me.

    There’s a great backstory to the picture in that she was a Sinophile and went back to China in the late 1950’s and she and her husband were in a Beijing taxi with the most irritating cab driver who had all the bad qualities you can imagine, that is until she pulled the photo of her & Mao out of her purse and showed it to him, and oh my did the taxi driver turn into the most courteous servant imaginable.

    1. flora

      Wuk, love and appreciate these stories. Your mom is lucky to have a child who appreciates her stories. How many of us, (me included), inwardly rolled our eyes when our parents talked about their experiences in WWII? What’s the phrase? “If I knew then what I know now.” ?


      1. Wukchumni

        I feel fortunate to meet interesting people, and have had great luck mining the old veins.

          1. ambrit

            Re. “…the old people have the best stories.”
            Those that survive that is.
            One unexpected impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic is the wholesale destruction of the West’s “institutional memory.”

        1. flora

          And adding, though I know many or even most won’t understand the reference. best wishes.

          ‘Prairie Suite: Symphony in the Flint Hills’ shines light on Kansas prairie ‘

          Though we all may be deplorables here, I mean everyone says so. (ahem) ( you get the nonsense in the claim.) /heh

  23. Roger Blakely

    There is more to Sars-CoV-2 than meets the eye – Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

    “The Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus does not only cause infections of the respiratory tract. Other organ systems, such as the nervous system, can also be affected. In fact, Sars-CoV-2 mRNA has been detected in the brain in autopsies of patients who died from Covid-19.”

    No, COVID-19 is not a cold. As society agrees to go into collective denial about COVID-19, I get asked if I am going to wear a respirator for the rest of my life. Yes, I will.

    1. Phenix

      Don’t forget goggles. I do not work on an environment that allows for masking but we are effectively outside so I get some leeway with that.

      I have dealt with brain fog by taking 400 mg CoQ10 20 mg PQQ, 1200 mg NAC, ashwagandha, quercetin. So far I’m better. I still struggle with writing and following longer conversations but I’m better.

      1. ambrit

        [Insert boilerplate legal disclaimer here: “I am not a Doctor….”]
        For acuity issues do look into GABA and Garlic.
        I have read that much of the damage done by the Coronavirus is inflammation related.
        Take care and the best of good outcomes in your treatment regime.

  24. Jason Boxman

    So this is the stupidest timeline. My 15 pound recycling trolley disappeared one day. This is up in the ‘mountains’, and from a quick survey of the terrain here, there is nowhere it could have blown, nor would someone mistakenly walk up a 10 degree include in search of it and drag it a few hundred feet back to their own dwelling.

    So I call the city, small small town, and they offer to sell me a new bin for $100. The city worker didn’t want me to have to spend money on a new bin, so she urged me to look already really good, because it had been windy and these 15 pound bins apparently blow all over the place, or something, or a neighbor might have taken it by mistake. Of course, none of this actually happened. Visibility is great, and there is absolutely no sign of the bin having blown up an incline and then over the lip of the mountain and then down 10 feet, by passing any trees, and landing immediately in a neighbor’s yard that would have probably said something.

    Bin is just gone. Someone absconded with it.

    So for the first time in my life, I’m throwing everything in the trash. Shrug. It is some consolation that if I kill myself right now, the world is still f**ked, so it’s not like throwing trash into one bin instead of some other has any true material impact on the world at scale.

    Still, what a stupid situation. The city didn’t account for any wastage in bins? Do households buy into this program to start? A bin has never been lost or stolen or destroyed? There aren’t any spare bins? This is functionally stupid.

    1. LawnDart

      This has been going on for years in urban areas– many paint or etch their street # into bins for that reason.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Each house has an assigned bin; Mine had a number etched into it as well. I’m not sure why someone would steal it way out here, for what purpose? They have resale value? It’s plastic. And you’d need a pickup truck to haul it away. Seems a strange crime?

    2. Kristin Brown

      Which company do you have? Here in Minnesota lots of recycling material gets sorted first, but still ends up in a landfill or burned in our Minneapolis incinerator…perhaps 5 percent gets recycled if I recall?…don’t quote me but certainly not all of it is recycled.

      We also have to pay to have a bin replaced or taken away like when moving..I have Waste Management as one of 3 carriers in my city that recently changed to city organized garbage removal…they picked the carrier for my location, I had nothing to say about it

      Does sound expensive though for what you said was a 15 gallon trolley….Our bins are a minimum of 64 gallons and cost about as much as yours if taken away or replaced, app. 100 bucks.

      1. Jason Boxman

        It’s been a while since I’ve actually paid any attention to the truck and it’s hard to see clearly from my window. It might be CWS. Given how much of a cost burden recycling programs have become recently, rather than a revenue source, I can see why it might cost money for a bin.

        I guess with no penalty for not participating I give up in this lifetime. Sad. Maybe if I ever move.

    3. fresno dan

      I am just not worried about my “recyclables” because I hear too many stories that they don’t really get recycled. also, it is simply incomprehensible what is to be recyled. The city of Fresno puts out one list, and the actual trash collectors (Republic) put out another. ??? which one applies??? So the cardboard boxes (my wife is on an Amazon buying spree so we have…millions of boxes I think) and it is actually quite a bit of work flattening them and cutting them up to get the maximum amount into the bin. One day, in the far distance future, there my be space in the garage for my car…. Glass is simple enough, although does it really make any sense to clean them in a water scace area??? And the algothm for plastic is imponderable…

      1. Jason Boxman

        As far as I know, the aluminum is definitely recycled and I’m addicted to soda, they get you young, so I produce a fair amount of waste, but nothing on the order of a wealthy person flying even a few miles in a private jet I imagine. The cardboard is recycled as well. The glass is so cheap virgin I don’t think it’s recycled, but was valuable reused before this hopeless deluge of plastic these past decades.

        Almost all the plastic is simply buried or burned, only #1 gets any recycling at all and the % might not crack double digits.


      2. ambrit

        Depending on your tolerance for home grown anything, may I bring to your attention this DIY use of old cardboard boxes for growing potatoes?
        Any spot in the back yard would be appropriate.
        Remember, as Lambert says; Surviving the Jackpot is a good thing!
        Bon appetit!

    4. Susan the other

      they could even make them with trackers. I got so sick of my bin getting blown over every other night that I tethered it to the fence with a dog leash. Works great.

  25. fresno dan

    You And Whose Army? Trying to Understand the World. Well worth a read.
    How many Brigades of this sort could NATO actually field? Nobody really knows, but the best estimate seems to be between six and ten, bearing in mind that, if we are at war with Russia, it might be as well to have some troops at home as well. I leave military experts to judge how much value that size of light mechanised force would have, but I honestly doubt if Moscow is too worried.

    And that’s the problem. The West is so intoxicated with the perception of its own power, that it assumes everyone else is as well. After all, the US spends far more on defence than Russia, so it should be much more powerful, shouldn’t it? Well, in certain areas, like Carrier Battle Groups, it is. But the Russians don’t want to play that game : they want to play High-Intensity Land/Air War in Europe, which is a game that the West essentially gave up on a generation ago, and which it can only play for a week or two at most before it runs out of ammunition. The other delusion is that the West is untouchable. They wouldn’t dare drop a missile on NATO HQ, would they? I mean, if they did, we would … we would… well what would we do? Nuclear threats are recognised to be dangerous, pointless and irrelevant. Like King Lear in the quotation at the start of this essay, NATO will do … something, when it works out what that is. But if I were the Russians I would be sceptical: after all, remember what happened to Lear.
    When was the last time the US dealt with significant casualties? Vietnam. But the casualities in Iraq II were significant enough that there was a mutiny. And this was with a volunteer army.
    Can you imagine the numbers of dead and wounded in convoys across Europe, not from IED, but modern targated munitions?
    The thing of it is, how screwy is the West’s leadership? Faced with humiliating surrender, or use of tactical nukes, what would they do? Europeans (and the Americans derived there from) are people who seem to not have good sense or judgement. Whether WWI is a good analogy or not, the leaders of Europe and America threw millions into a meat grinder…over what really? Plunging the world into nuclear armageddon just doesn’t seem that unthinkable to me…

    1. John Wright

      How much of the leadership issues in the USA can be traced back to the USA’s “higher” education system that has trained its leaders, economists, historians, political scientists, military strategists, state department officials, journalists, think tankers and op-ed writers?

      The USA’s higher education product might become a formerly high valued “product” that is downward “marked to market” by the rest of the world as the USA blunders on the world stage..

      1. hunkerdown

        Or that people, having seen past the emotionalism inherent in politics that followership is always and by design exploitative, have simply lost their desire to be “led” and have instead decided to create value and meaning for themselves alone?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > how screwy is the West’s leadership?

      Figure 1:

      Figure 2:

      (Amazon’s new HQ in Crystal City, VA, now on pause. They call it a helix, but I think “screw” will do fine.)

      An example of Christopher Alexander’s idea that cray cray in architecture mirrors cray cray in those who commission and approve the designs of buildings (in this case, Bezos and his merry persons).

      So how screwy would you like them to be?

  26. Wukchumni

    Tranny news:

    The reason for this uptick? Young folks! We previously reported that millennials and zillennials are fueling this upward trend in manual-transmission sales. Young people love vinyl records and point-and-shoot cameras. Apparently that analog fascination extends to stick-shifts too.

    Damn, that means young hoodlums now stand a chance of stealing my 6 speed chariot named TVC15

  27. Karl

    RE: US hosts war games for Ukraine

    “I have tremendous confidence in the Ukrainian will to resist. And at the end of the day, the outcome, I believe, will be a free, independent, sovereign Ukraine,” Milley said.

    But Milley said last month, in effect, Russia has already lost the war.

    “Tremendous confidence” seems a revision. Just sayin’.

    1. Polar Socialist

      …free, independent, sovereign…

      I don’t think Milley cleared that with the State Department, considering all the work they have put into preventing that. /s

  28. Willow

    From my time working in France, NATO is the type of European organization where you place the ‘desert lighthouses’- people who are really bright but in practice f**king useless.

  29. tevhatch

    As South China Sea trigger points grow even beyond US control, what will China do? South China Morning Post

    The author of this piece had an interesting web history on the Yandex search engine, so it seems that SCMP has been fairly well infiltrated ala Asian Times. One wonders if Jack Ma is aware of what his toy is up to.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The author of this piece had an interesting web history on the Yandex search engine, so it seems that SCMP has been fairly well infiltrated ala Asian Times. One wonders if Jack Ma is aware of what his toy is up to.

      Don’t faff around. If you’ve got something to say, say it. Here is Valencia’s bio at SCMP:

      Currently he a non-resident senior research fellow at the Huayang Institute for Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance

      So far so good, but a search shows Valencia also writes for the Lowy Institute (Australian Blob).

      So if you’re saying Shanghai elite is Westernized, I should have thought that was obvious during Zero Covid, when “business-friendly” policies were preferred. If that’s not what you’re saying, explain.

      1. tevhatch

        I can only say he has a history of working with publishers, NGOs, etc being funded by NED and other US organs. I’ve noticed more and more an increase in the number or authors/commentators at the SCMP with a similar history. It’s a habit when I read any opinion piece to check the author’s background, so I keep a mental record/track of such trends.

        BTW, I’m seeing this site being blocked using USA, Canadian, Singapore, and Malaysian VPN. I’d be interested to know if anyone else had luck. Huayang Maritime Center — HOME PAGE It could be the server was shutdown for the weekend, but it’s odd.

  30. Susan the other

    Two Links. The Quanta link on farming energy out of nothing is more like borrowing energy here and sending it back simply by using it. The ultimate recycling scheme. And Patrick Lawrence on the Non Aligned Movement returning – this confirms humans are basically sane which is nice to know after the marathon of mind control we have endured for the promotion of a screwball idea about perpetual neoliberal capitalism. So that’s all good and I’m thinking maybe all is well for sustainable living.

Comments are closed.