Links 3/26/2023

The Myth of the Alpha Wolf The New Yorker (Furzy Mouse).

Robotic beehive provides vital life support to chilly honeybees New Atlas (Furzy Mouse).

Been caught stealin’: Hindenburg Research is on a roll with Adani and Block (Square) short reports Francine McKenna, The Dig

What Is Bill Ackman Up To? Institutional Investor


‘My City Is Gone’: Mississippi Delta Tornadoes Kill At Least 23 Mississippi Free Press

How rising temperatures are intensifying California’s atmospheric rivers Grist

Pangenomes reveal genomic signatures of microbial adaptation to chronic soil warming bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “Evolutionary responses to anthropogenic climate change are irreversible and largely uncaptured by climate models*. Below-ground carbon transformations represent an important natural mitigation solution, but novel adaptive traits may alter microbial climate feedback mechanisms…. these data illustrate the emergence of diverse lineage-specific adaptive traits as well as common ecological-evolutionary microbial responses to climate change.” NOTE * Once again, we know a lot less than we think we know.


End of a Declared Public Health Emergency — Implications for U.S. Emergency Use Authorizations NEJM. “[F]or the foreseeable future, medical products authorized by EUA for Covid-19 and mpox will remain available. The EUAs for specific products, such as antivirals and vaccines, may also be modified as appropriate.”

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Detection of viable SARS-CoV-2 in retrospective analysis of aerosol samples collected from hospital rooms of patients with COVID-19 (letter) Clinical Microbiology and Infection. “We provide much needed additional evidence for the presence of replicating SARS-CoV-2 virions in bioaerosols.”

Osterholm: BA.5 is so infectious an elevator ride is enough time to get you sick WCCO (2022) and Episode 127: A Tough Two Weeks (podcast) Osterholm Update. At 6:00, Osterholm descibes how, after three years, he caught Covid — apparently when unmasked, for twenty-seven secods, in an elevator (with a group conforming to the Osterholm Protocol, which I note does not include sprays). Osterholm’s caution and discipline meant that he avoided catching Covid for three years. For those yammering “It’s inevitable!”, I would urge that consideration be given to the idea that avoiding brain and heart damage for three years is a net positive.

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Notes from the Field: The First Case of Co-Infection with Omicron Subvariants BA.5.2.48 and BF.7.14 — Chongqing Municipality, China, February 2023 China CDC Weekly. Co-Infection: “The simultaneous infection of a host by multiple pathogen species.” From the Abtract: “According to the “National Report on the Epidemic of SARS-CoV-2 Infection” released by China CDC, the predominant SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating in Chongqing is BA.5.2.48 (>90%), followed by BF.7.14 (about 3.8%) (1). To date, there have been no reports of co-infection with BA.5.2.48 and BF.7.14 in China, particularly in Chongqing, where the proportion of BF.7.14 is relatively low, making its report more meaningful. Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 variants should be popularized as an important strategy to identify co-infections and recombination cases. As the risk of various variants co-circulating in a region continues to increase, the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially for key populations with immune deficiencies, is becoming increasingly essential.” Of course, just because something is “essential” doesn’t mean we’ll do it, in China or anywhere. Consider airborne mitigations. More on China variants:

Musical interlude.

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Host Manipulation Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Acta Biotheoretica. From 2021, still germane. From the Conclusion: “Analgesia due to neuropilin binding is argued to be beneficial to viral transmission by ameliorating sickness behavior.” IOW, people can spread the virus while not feeling sick. And: “Additional mechanisms of host behavioral manipulation via neuromanipulation include interferon repression, cough induction, and potentially diarrhea and impaired consciousness.” From the body: “Infection by SARS-CoV-2 is also associated with impaired consciousness, linked with inflammation, vascular damage and neuroinvasion (Losy 2020). It is unclear if this symptom is adaptive to the virus, for example by increasing the probability of transmission via an increase in risky behaviors. This might include a failure to adhere to hand washing and other social distancing measures, in the modern milieu.” I don’t like overly mechanistic explanations (“my opponents are stupid”), and “it is unclear” is a nice way of saying while not saying. Nevertheless.

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Long COVID Comes Into the Light Slate. A good round-up.

How Long COVID affects the careers of top athletes Deutsche Welle.

Nurse wins Long Covid compensation case, picks up infection at work Dutch News. More like this, please.

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Intranasal trimeric sherpabody inhibits SARS-CoV-2 including recent immunoevasive Omicron subvariants Nature. Mouse study. “The potency and robust biochemical properties of TriSb92 together with its resistance against viral sequence evolution suggest that TriSb92 could be useful as a nasal spray for protecting susceptible individuals from SARS-CoV-2 infection.”


US and China wage war beneath the waves – over internet cables Channel News Asia

Why Would China Be An Enemy? Craig Murray

China’s Political Discourse February 2023: A Balloon Comes to Symbolize High-Altitude Tensions; Chinese Modernization; TikTok Sinocism


Yangon Guerrillas Kill Myanmar Junta Money Laundering Chief The Irrawaddy

Dear Old Blighty

The end of Boris Johnson Politico

New Not-So-Cold War

Moscow to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, says Putin Andalu Agency

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No Ukraine offensive without more weapons – Zelensky BBC

Zelensky Admitted That Ukraine Already Ran Out Of Ammo Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter

Why is the US sending ‘downgraded’ weaponry to Ukraine? Deutsche Welle

Ukraine war throws wrench in massive Russian arms deal after they miss delivery, India says FOX

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Stolen Valor: The U.S. Volunteers in Ukraine Who Lie, Waste and Bicker NYT Gonzalo Lira was the first to expose James Vasquez; you’d think the World’s Greatest Newspaper would throw him a link.

The Georgian Protests: Another Chapter in the Color Revolution Playbook? Al Mayadeen

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Reaper madness: What really happened between Russian fighter jets and a US drone over the Black Sea Task and Purpose (Re Silc).

Mask-Off: US Reveals Real Intentions in Ukraine. Plus: Reporter Anya Parampil Confirms NSA Spied on Tucker (transcript) Glenn Greenwald

Biden Administration

The White House’s Case for Industrial Policy (interview) Katherine Tsai, Foreign Policy

Supply Chain

Agent Untraceable, Owner Not Responding London Review of Books. Well worth a read, if only for the B. Traven reference.

B-a-a-a-d Banks

The Death of Credit Suisse Apricitas Economics. Banking mavens please comment.

I’m an SVB employee who lost more than $1 million. Here’s the inside story of our struggle to survive. Business Insider

The Simplest Fix for Banking Project Syndicate

Intelligence Community

The RESTRICT Act: A Potential New Enforcement Tool to Address Economic and National Security Concerns Posed by Foreign Information and Communications Technologies JD Supra. Here is the text of the bill; perhaps reader with more expertise than I have can look at it. My impression was that there are rather a lot of terms defined, terms like “controlling holding,” and “covered entity,” and that all of it is almost guaranteed to be obfuscatory in some way I’m not smart enough to figure out. Also, one lesson of RussiaGate is that putatively “foreign” can be turned into “domestic” whenever the intelligence community, the Democrats, and their mutuals in the press want that done. So watch out.

The RESTRICT Act: Reversing Globalization in ICT Internet Governance Project. Since so much of the TikTok moral panic falls under the rubric of “What about the children?” we should assume an enormous quantity of bullshit, even if its exact composition is as yet undetermined.


What’s Behind Losses At Large Nonprofit Health Systems? Health Affairs. “Large nonprofit health systems are reporting financial strain, even as the worst of the pandemic has passed. This financial strain is driven primarily by investment losses.” And the investment losses were driven by the pandemic. So we have built a for-profit health care system that is least robust when most needed, good job.

The Monopolies Behind the Adderall Shortage Matt Stoller, BIG


AI-detection tools can discern academic work by ChatGPT, suggests study Deccan Herald. Meanwhile, because AI = BS:

Levi’s to Use AI-Generated Models to ‘Increase Diversity’ PetaPixel. So meta.

Artificial intelligence ‘godfather’ on AI possibly wiping out humanity: ‘It’s not inconceivable’ FOX. Nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

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Society’s Technical Debt and Software’s Gutenberg Moment Irregular Ideas with Paul Kedrosky & Eric Norlin of SKV

Police State Watch

Is the Caller the Killer? 911 Call Analysis Can’t Give You the Right Answer Office for Science and Society, McGill University

Guillotine Watch

How Cigna Saves Millions by Having Its Doctors Reject Claims Without Reading Them ProPublica. Well worth a read, although by no means unexpected. NC on Cigna in 2014 (!).

What’s Behind Train Derailments and Are They Happening More Often? WSJ

West Reading chocolate factory explosion: 3rd body pulled from rubble as chances of finding more survivors ‘decreasing rapidly’ Reading Eagle

Class Warfare

‘Live free and die’? The sad state of U.S. life expectancy NPR. Everything’s going according to plan!

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Reformer Shawn Fain Wins the UAW Presidency, Talks Plans with Steven Greenhouse in Exclusive Interview In These Times

UAW official appointed to $174,000/year leadership position after donating $25,000 to Shawn Fain’s campaign WSWS

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Los Angeles schools, union leaders reach deal after strike AP

What’s Fueling the Graduate Worker Union Upsurge? Labor Notes

Non-Disparagement Clauses Are Retroactively Voided, NLRB’s Top Cop Clarifies Vice

Human skills will be vital for future jobs FT. The deck: “Young people must seek out ways to develop qualities such as empathy and critical thinking.” Let me know how that works out.

On the Interrelationship of Race and Class CEPR

In Search of Lost Time Harper’s

Why Is Everything So Ugly? N + 1 (MT). Not everything–

Antidote du jour (via):

That’s Flaco, the Eurasian Eagle-Owl loose in New York’s Central Park (rats are good eatin’). Flaco already has an enormous fan base:



Encouraging. In the darker times of the year, I always recommend walking, and looking up at the sky, not down at your shoes. There will come a day when you spot the tree branches budding. But in Central Park, if you look up, you might spot Flaco!

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. Stephen

    “I’m an SVB employee who lost more than $1 million. Here’s the inside story of our struggle to survive.”

    So a bank that seems to have had a business model of taking large uninsured deposits from investors, offering incentives to VCs to maintain the flow and then making money via the carry trade of buying “safe” long term bonds was essential to the innovation economy?

    It was also rewarding (it seems) relatively junior / not top level employees with stock options worth seven figures (at least on paper). So executive rewards were obviously much higher. Whilst one can sympathise with anyone who lost their job it is hard to see how such a model makes sense.

    Michael Hudson’s argument that banks are really a utility (I think that is the term he uses) seems increasingly correct. But they sure behave differently.

    1. timbers

      Banks are utilities…yes, if deposits are 100% insured there is no need for a “bank”. All that is needed is an account at the Federal Reserve for each person/entity to move their money.

      If people/entity want to “borrow” money, they can go to a loaning business that gets money from the Fed or investors. But they would not offer to hold deposits because that is provided publicly at zero risk and zero charge.

      So we might have not “Savings and Loans” banks but “Savings” and “Loans” banks.

      The intermediary cost savings would be huge, as would the ability of the government to abuse power.

      1. Michael Hudson

        If there are no more banks, there is no need for the Federal Reserve. The deposits would be in a Treasury bank.
        If commercial banks ARE permitted to exist, then the Fed will take money from “its” depositors and give it to the bankers.
        The problem is the Fed itself, and the way that it was created from the start to shift control of money and credit from Washington to financial centers, mainly New York but also Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston.
        The Fed can’t regulate banks because (1) regulatory capture: the banks will lobby against anyone who is not passive (“free market”), and (2) the training of Fed board members brainwashes them into not understanding the inherent insolvency problems of a financialized economy.

      2. Questa Nota

        Bank of North Dakota.

        Postal Banks are in many countries, and there is even a test run in the US of A.

        There are examples of workable financial institutions that serve markets that aren’t so sexy or griftable.

        1. none

          Sutton’s postulate (after Willie Sutton): a bank is where there is a big pile of money, all in one place.

          As soon as you have enough money in one place (SSA trust fund, pension funds, banks) you will have grifters doing everything they can to get their hands around it, including gaming and changing the regulations and laws for that purpose.

      1. some guy

        What about looking to the past? Specifically the High Classical New Deal past? Weren’t banks somewhat tamed and domesticated at the height of Peak Glass-Steagall-for-real?

        Would it be inherently illegal and unconstitutional to repeal all the anti-Glass-Steagall laws and restore Glass-Steagall as was? And break all the combined-function banks back into Glass pieces and Steagall pieces?

    2. Rob

      To echo your Michael Hudson observation about banks being a utility, see Ben Hunt @Epsilon Theory seeing that observation and raising that the entire market is a public utility (Hence the 20+ yrs of Fed put). I agree. The question to me is … Is it Jerome’s intention to end it? Is he serious? And will he succeed or will the rest of the state say No!, Too much pain? Stay tuned. See you next week, same time, same channel. :)

    3. Gregorio

      Shouldn’t even a junior banker understand the concept of asset diversification?
      It sounds like they were all getting high on their own supply.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Shouldn’t even a junior banker understand the concept of asset diversification?

        Apparently some lessons have to learned again and again and again… I still vividly remember an interview with a guy from Enron back in 2001. He’d been approaching retirement and had $1.5 million worth of Enron stock in his 401(k). Within the course of a single week, he’d been laid off and had his retirement account reduced in value to a mere $7000.

        I quit purchasing shares of my employer’s stock for my 401(k) the very next day.

        1. upstater

          A friend worked for Montana Power. They went into telecom in a big way around 2000 and became Touch America. Stock went way up, executives cashed out. Then share price went from $20 to $65 to $3, but employees were locked out from sales to the very bottom. Virtually all of them lost most of their retirement savings. It was too good to be true…

    4. Karl

      RE: The idea of banks as a “utility”.

      If by “utility” is meant “regulated” entity, one can “argue” we have that now. We have the OCC, the FDIC, the FCPB, the regional Fed Banks, all serving as “watchdogs”. But we know that’s a facade. So many bureaucrats, so little true and effective regulation! Regulators act mostly after the fact, i.e. when the banks have already blown up. They serve up ad hoc actions like “all depositors are now insured”; attempts to sell off the bank; and post-collapse resolution. We know post-SVB that pre-collapse regulation with teeth in the public interest is non-existent. In reality, banks are unregulated in the true sense, i.e. ensuring reliable, safe, cost-effective operation such that runs, risky portfolios, etc. won’t occur in the first instance.

      What might be an alternative worth considering? Consider an investor owned “electric utility.” This is done mostly at the State level. When it comes to “keeping the lights on,” the States don’t fool around. As a result, the lights do stay on (although there are outliers, e.g. in Texas). Federal regulation of banks, I suspect, could borrow heavily from proven State models of investor owned electric utilities, whereby every bank is run with very heavy oversight roughly as follows: 1) Every Bank would have regulated rates of return, regulated fee structures, etc. 2) When costs prevent the bank from reaching its allowed rate of return, it must initiate a “rate case” before a cognizant utility commission (independent of the Fed). 3) Said “rate case” would be subject to public review by the Commission. The Commission would determine appropriate leverage limits and approve risk management policies. Etc. Etc.

      Banks would argue that “we’re different!” because banks must encourage enterprise and take risk. I’ll point out that electric utilities do this as well, and quite successfully. But, as a concession to the banks, it might make sense to permit a rather high allowable return on equity within the guardrails mandated by the Commission.

      This is not rocket science, folks. What’s rocket science is getting Congress motivated to actually fix the banking system. And that’s the root of the problem.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I was actually wondering about this yesterday; what metrics do we have left? Excess deaths is one, but it’s a seriously lagging indicator, and we already know deaths are gamed, because we’re looking at “excess” deaths. After so many years of excess deaths, when will this be declared normal, and thus these deaths simply vanish, as if by magic, kind of like what Trump said about testing.

      I guess I’m not the only one; Some day, anecdotes about people getting sick with something, but we don’t know what, is all we’ll have about SARS-COV-2 circulating in the population. Fun times.

      1. anonymous (Katelyn Jetelina)
        “Excess deaths (red line below) continue to be above the “epidemic threshold” (black line). We haven’t had a national conversation defining the new baseline. What do we now consider normal given that we have an additional threat in our repertoire? As we move out of the pandemic phase, this black line needs to shift up.”
        Yep, Jason, the death rate will be declared the new normal, after a national conversation, of course.

      2. jsn

        Actuarial life expectancy is the only metric that won’t be gamed.

        Definitely a lagging indicator.

        The one to watch.

    2. Samuel Conner

      I think they may find it harder to conceal the decline in life expectancy, and the collapse in US standing in the longevity league tables.

      It would be a bitter irony if the “poor lifestyle choices” were ultimately seen to have included, in elite assessments of the well-deserved suffering of the American masses … rejection of personal wearable respiratory protection.

      Not looking forward to the future — no country for old people.

    3. GramSci

      As I read the underlying CDC webpage, and discounting the CDC’s propensity for lying, and not going too deeply into the weeds of the “Farrington algorithm”, whatever that is, it looks to me like the CDC is actually trying to do the right thing: taking covid deaths out of the baseline death rate.

  2. OIFVet

    Re: Human skills will be vital for future jobs FT.

    So much lip service, so little follow thru. Being a teacher, I can honestly say that we are facing impossible odds in trying to develop said human skills in our students. When they are clearly shown that our “betters” got to their stations by actively ridding themselves of whatever little of these qualities they possessed to begin with, how can we expect to tell our students that empathy is a good thing to have?

    And don’t even get me started on how new technologies applied to “innovative teaching and learning” actively sabotage the development of critical thinking skills at an early age.

    1. OwlishSprite

      First, thanks for being a conscientious teacher.
      TPTB are looking at a world filled with sociopaths like themselves? “I never thought the leopards would eat MY face.” Creating a world where no one knows how to do anything and does not care may make them feel secure, until it all falls apart. I just hope what they are seeing is a world that will not care about *them* and doing what *they* want.

    2. chris

      Thanks for being a teacher. My friends and family are telling me it’s not a great time to be a teacher right now.

      As far as critical thinking and empathy and general humanity…no. No, I don’t think we should put something that basic on the shoulders of teachers. Teachers are not responsible for the failings of families and society to show people how to be human. If a kid goes through a class without becoming a better thinker or refuses to internalize lessons and gain a perspective that allows them to empathize with people from different backgrounds, then that’sthe student’s fault and the parent’s responsibility to address.

      And I agree that the financial sociopaths in charge want other people to be nice so that we’re all great marks for them. I’m sure empathic people are less likely to argue against bailouts…

      1. Wukchumni

        Everything was critical thinking for yours truly when pushing old metal rarely larger than a few inches in circumference, and unlike most businesses you had to be a savvy buyer as well as seller, for opportunity was always knocking and I was comfortable going either way, largely all on a wholesale basis in buying and selling to others in the trade.

        I think it sharpened my critical thinking to the point where I used the same methodology on larger things than coins, which would be most everything else.

        But how do you teach critical thinking?, so much is experience based.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Wuk – I actually think it’s empathy that can’t be taught, while critical thinking can be, at least somewhat.

          Taking myself as an example, I’ve always felt that my critical thinking skills were pretty good. However, reading Lambert’s analyses when he puts on his yellow waders has taught me so much more.

          Empathy, OTOH, I believe, is developed by seeing parents and others demonstrating it as a part of relating to others.

          I see it as a difference between feeling and thinking. YMMV

          1. Wukchumni

            Empathy, OTOH, I believe, is developed by seeing parents and others demonstrating it as a part of relating to others.

            JZ, absolutely, polite society depends on common courtesies which boils down to the golden rule, treat others as you would yourself. Learning by others example was a given, for most.

          2. Cetra Ess

            Given adversity the impoverished share, the wealthy reach for their guns.

            Which I think suggests a correlation or connection between wealth and lack of empathy.

            Money leads to pride, pride leads to thinking you’re better and more deserving than others, that others are inferior, so wealth becomes a form of supremacism. Thinking others are inferior means you view and treat them as less than human, you don’t empathize with those you view as inferior or fundamentally different than yourself.

            Which is almost the United States national ideology, the exceptionalism based solely on the argument that wealth = better thoroughly permeats all levels.

            And critical thinking is what would normally lead you to figure out that you are not in fact superior to others.

            So it’s somewhat ironic (?) to read of a need for empathy in the Financial Times…

            1. hunkerdown

              “Empathy” is a call for susceptibility to the emotional manipulative stylings of a particular religious movement, and can and should be dismissed as the predatory cry it is.

              I don’t need to give a familyblog what anyone thinks in order to see that they’re fed, sheltered and clothed.

          3. kareninca

            “Empathy, OTOH, I believe, is developed by seeing parents and others demonstrating it as a part of relating to others.”

            That would be ideal, but I don’t remember seeing much empathy growing up. I learned of empathy from reading novels.

            I think movies could work to teach empathy, too.

            1. Janie

              It must have been a different world in the 1940s in small town USA. Empathy was an unnamed attribute modeled and expressly taught (how would you feel if…) by my parents and neighbors, teachers, Sunday school teachers and brownie scout leaders. How has all that been lost? It was my experience exceptional? I never thought so.

        2. JP

          Experience is the real teacher. Critical thinking is not theoretical and is visceral. My personal school of hard knocks is starting a small business. If you are still in business after two years you may have developed critical thinking.

          But really it’s about mapping reality. Failure is the best teacher cus it’s real. Learn by doing.

          1. Wukchumni

            What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable. The laws, the aphorisms, the generalizations, the universal truths, the parables and the old saws — all of the observations about life which can be communicated handily in ready, verbal packages — are as well known to a man at twenty who has been attentive as to a man at fifty. He has been told them all, he has read them all, and he has probably repeated them all before he graduates from college; but he has not lived them all.

            What he knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty boils down to something like this: The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see.

            Adlai Stevenson

            1. GramSci

              I think these are all things Freud called the ‘ego’: our personal narratives, habitual plot lines. Empathy, on the other hand, is a luxury only the sated have time to indulge in. Hunger and fear make no room for empathy.

              1. ambrit

                Agreed. The “commonality of interests” is not empathy.
                The old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” is misleading, perhaps by design. The more accurate formulation is; “The enemy of my enemy is my potential ally.”

              2. JP

                A little late here but I had to go to band practice.

                No that’s not it. Personal narratives is not wisdom gained from the perspective of long life and having the edges of ego ground off. There is humility in critical thinking that is only achieved by rejecting the luxury of self indulgence.

                Maybe I misunderstand but it seems you are taking it around the corner.

                1. JP

                  What I mean is, you guys are being theoretical. That is not critical thinking. that’s smoking a joint and musing philosophically.

      2. Jason Boxman

        I think it’s been a bad time to be a teacher at least since Bush’s No Child Left Alive Act was passed. Then Obama doubled down with Neoliberal Race to the Top. (Liberals, always “racing” somewhere.)

        And Balfour got flack for wanting to mandate moar education at the turn of the 20th century.

        The Act was a short-term political disaster for the Conservatives, who lost massively at the 1906 general election. However, G. R. Searle has argued that it was a long-term success. It standardized and upgraded the educational systems of England and Wales and led to a rapid growth of secondary schools, with over 1,000 opening by 1914, including 349 for girls only. The Church schools had financing from local ratepayers and had to meet uniform standards. Eventually, in the Butler Act of 1944, the Anglican schools were brought largely under the control of local education authorities.[2]

        1. GramSci

          It was a bad time even before No Child’s Behind was Left. Especially for us junior high school teachers, expected to ’empathize’ with kids just learning that Santa was a fake, but pubic hair is real.

          The rites du passage of high schools are a reflection of the larger society, a sad reflection for most of the past century.

          1. Procopius

            When I was in high school, I read that there is an Egyptian papyrus, from 1350 BCE or so, in which the writer complains that young people are ignorant, rude, have no respect for their elders, and do not know how to write a simple sentence.

      3. Stillfeelinthebern

        Teachers face “the failings of families and society to be human” every hour of every day.” There is no escape. Never has been. Used to be called, “classroom management.” It was far more difficult than the “critical thinking part.” Having the respect from society to do the job has declined tremendously. And turning schools into a “parents rights” arena has not helped. Few remember that we ALL (many non-parents) pay for public education. For what? The production of workers? No. The production of citizens who can participate in a democracy. Channeling Theodore Sizer.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          As a now retired teacher of ten year olds/5th graders, I agree with you that classroom management is difficult, and perhaps harder–at first– than anything else a teacher does. Empathy has to be demonstrated, and critical thinking must be modeled via discussion in groups big and small. After getting down the management skills, the best teaching–IMO–is when teachers are invested in the curriculum and have some freedom/latitude to choose some the books students read and discuss, and to enhance math/science/social studies lessons with their own take on topics. In other words, the opposite of the canned and highly prescribed curricula used often in schooling today. Two of my personal favorites for reading group / discussion were Gary Paulsen’s “NIghtJohn” and Christopher Paul Curtis’ “Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963”. Both rich in material for thoughtful discussion.

      4. some guy

        Really? ” The parent’s responsibility to address?” Even a single parent with 3 separate part time jobs 30 miles apart from eachother each way?

        1. OIFVet

          So how do you propose we on the frontlines, aka the classrooms, overcome societal ills? Trust, me it’s a question we ask ourselves daily and the frustration we experience because of our inability to make a meaningful difference is beyond description. The fact is that without addressing the socioeconomic factors that lead to your single parent with three jobs scenario our fight is for naught.

          Sorry for the frustration but I can’t describe just how hard it is to do what we do and know that it won’t help most kids in our classrooms.

          1. some guy

            You mostly can’t, and you mostly should not be expected to. But neither should the 3 part-time jobs single parent. So overcoming the societal ills would be the only way to solve the problem.

            And I see no clear path to overcoming those ills when the Overclass has invested so much time and money creating those ills and so much time and money protecting those ills.

            Obviously the Overclass and its Overclass-Aspirational helpers and admirers would have to be deleted from physical existence first before any societal ill can even be addressed. But I have no clear idea how to do that.

            Perhaps little local ills can be addressed in little local jurisdictions in defiance of Overclass desires.

            1. chris

              No. Life is hard. Life is unfair. Some people get hit harder than others for no reason at all. And plenty succeed who don’t deserve it. Still doesn’t change the fact that they’re your kid and your responsibility. Still doesn’t make it right to put your problems on a teacher. I agree that it is an intractable problem. Socioeconomics factors are impossibly intertwined with the issues that have been discussed so far. But the concept of responsibility in child rearing has to rest on a foundational unit. That unit has to be the family, not the state.

              I am in favor of birth control. I am in favor of increasing the social safety net. I would love it if we resurrected the child tax credit program that Biden killed because it helped so many families. But I cannot accept any parent saying that their life is too hard to be a parent. Your kid needs you. Step up and stop complaining about it.

        2. Big River Bandido

          I cannot make my students learn. All I can do is teach them. Whether they learn, and how much, is completely under *their* control, not mine.

          Parents have the ultimate responsibility for their childrens’ learning, which must be reinforced at home in order to take effect on the child. Adult students are completely responsible for their own learning and development. As a college teacher, it is illegal for me to even discuss an adult student’s private information, even with their parents.

          It must also be remembered that every student has the right to fail, that failure is a critical part of everyone’s learning and that many people must fail on their first attempt at something before they learn how to do it.

          1. chris

            Agreed. It is the parent’s job to send their children to school, clean, dressed, healthy, fed, ready to learn, and prepared to be respectful while at school. Parents who fail to do that have no one but themselves to blame for their kids poor learning. Parents who cannot do that for any number of reasons need to be given help.

        3. Old Jake

          I suspect there is an element of irony in your statement. But, who else? The teachers? Really? Indeed, this is a conundrum, because neither the parent you point out, nor the teacher with 30+ students in the classroom, can do this and their paying jobs all at once.

          We inhabit a sick society

      5. TomDority

        When you have a bill in Florida with the reported intent of eliminating critical thinking….. guess that tells you what the ‘no child left behind’ legislation was designed to do…eliminated critical thinking and to only learn to pass the standardized tests…..if I had some critical thinking skills I might think I should be cynical.

        1. ambrit

          “….if I had some critical thinking skills I might think I should be cynical.”
          Not to worry. You are a natural.

  3. Michaelmas

    Re: the ‘Long COVID Comes Into the Light’ article in SLATE, it’s worth glancing through the comments responding to the piece. The majority come from Long Covid sufferers or those close to them and strongly disagree with the piece’s relatively anodyne argument and conclusions, and do so with far more specificity than the piece itself cares to go into.

    The comments are, basically, far more informative and persuasive than the piece itself.

    1. BeliTsari

      Thank you! Twitter kinda went wild with CDC PASC minimization, Brownstone Institute tropes in WaPo, The Atlantic, New Yorker; while hospitals were innundated by “Anything But COVID” morbidity & mortality statistics, being studiously ignored, after the holidays. The “up-ticks” in “natural causes, quitely in our sleep” deaths, had to be tittered-away, “In Memoriam” websites added to the Academy Awards & whole new coteries of sneeringly brainwashed NEPO interns unleashed on a media minimalizing industry trying to disappear scores-of-millions of us, with VERY mild acute infections magically getting the exact same debilitating circulatory, CNS, heart, gut, dysautonomia, hypoxemia, ED, brain & kidney damage… simultaneously?

    2. Jason Boxman

      I thought the intro to this comment was good:

      Yikes. Talk about weaponized optimism. We all make mistakes and I hope the writer now views this as a huge mistake.

      Gotta drink the hopium. There’s an overwhelming urge by the Establishment to minimize as much as possible long-COVID, because it is a society wide train wreck in progress. The response to COVID by governments is likely to be the biggest debacle in this century, besides allowing and encouraging climate change to blossom.

      1. some guy

        Probably the pro-covid governments hope that covid ( and other things) will reduce population enough to make climate change more solvable.

        That might explain why so many governments worked so hard to make covid Pandemic and then Permademic ( with crucial help from WHO, CDC, etc.

        I think the ChinaGov merely tactically retreated from the threat of huge country-wide riots which would have required a million or more casualties to put down if allowed to really get going. And the ChinaGov did not want a population of over a billion to be in a mood to all riot at once. So they backed down from Dynamic Zero Covid.

      2. Michaelmas

        Jason Boxman: The response to COVID by governments is likely to be the biggest debacle in this century, besides allowing and encouraging climate change to blossom.

        You’re being too optimistic, I suspect.

        The century is still young, after all. More than three-quarters of it remains for apocalyptic and non-apocalyptic threats and policy debacles to emerge.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>The century is still young, after all. More than three-quarters of it remains for apocalyptic and non-apocalyptic threats and policy debacles to emerge.

          Rather like the First World War with its various horrors like Verdun, and the fall of three empires and the slow dying of two more with the concurrent 1918 Flu Pandemic, which was horrible enough, but was followed by the next eighty years with:

          The Armenian Genocide, the Great Depression, the Holodomor, Stalin’s purges, the Second World War, the Holocaust, the Cold War with its hot conflicts, genocides, and famines… really, I could dig down and list a number horrible things with death counts in the millions like the Cambodian Genocide or AIDS, and many more merely in the hundreds of thousands.

          The 21st century is young and just might have a similar body count as the 20th’s.

          What actually keeps me up at night is my understanding that our current leadership is far, far, far less competent than that of the 20th century with an American society equally as dispirited and shattered compared to the previous generations. It does not look like we have anything like the social resources needed to survive. All the talents and efforts of the past forty years have been used to create this situation with its obsession with idolizing and fetishizing wealth and worshipping power while destroying anything that interferes with it such as civil society, religion, or a functioning economy.

    3. ChrisPacific

      I thought both the article and the comments were good. I was a little worried that it led with a study with 108 sample size, but it went on to discuss some more comprehensive studies as well.

      The commenters are right that there are a lot of incentives to minimize or undercount this kind of thing and we should read with skepticism. At the same time, the article does address a question that’s been bothering me. If the survey data on prevalence and severity of long Covid is accurate, it should be a cataclysm affecting every sector of society, and it’s just… not. Most people are going on as normal. I know of a few who have long Covid to the point where it’s impacting their work, but not in the numbers you’d think from the study results. I think the article sheds some light on this.

      Yes, it could still be having a disproportionate impact among demographics that are typically poorly served by the health sector, and it would be possible for that to go under the radar, so we should be vigilant for it. But a society-wide scourge on a scale that dwarfs the original infection (which is what I have been fearing…) It doesn’t seem to be that, so far.

      I’m going to continue to be cautious because I don’t think there’s enough evidence for a firm conclusion yet, but I’m somewhat more hopeful based on the studies and results quoted.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Moscow to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, says Putin”

    Not good news if you live in Poland or one of the Baltic States. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea for the UK to announce that they were going to send depleted uranium munitions for use in the Russian-speaking areas of the Ukraine. Putin did say that he would take counter-measures for the British doing this and I would say that this is it. I know that this is a radical idea but perhaps the collective west should back off crossing Russia’s red lines on purpose. Just sayin’.

    1. timbers

      While there may be spin that this is Putin’s response to depleted uranium decision, my guess this was already in the works to happen regardless. But Putin is using it to check the “I retaliated” box.

      And if this is accurate:

      No Ukraine offensive without more weapons – Zelensky

      One might say the war is nearly over and settled, but let’s not jinx it.

      Russia might need to think of where the new national boundaries she wants are to be and if/what kind of buffer zone, if any. She should also have plans to fortify her new boundaries and a strategy to protect and enforce them. For example, once the new boundaries are secure, how will she respond to incursions and attacks? It might make sense to target decision centers in Kiev which each violation of new Russian borders.

      If decision makers do not pay a price, I have a bad feeling the Donbas might be in for a lot of shelling even after this ends.

      1. David

        The story doesn’t give many details, but it looks as though what’s involved is the construction of a special storage facility for nuclear warheads either for gravity bombs or stand-off missiles, since it’s good practice to store the warheads separately. Once that facility is constructed, nuclear warheads can be moved there as needed, as can aircraft (most Soviet aircraft were designed to be nuclear capable and I assume the same applies today.) It’s a bit of an escalation and a useful warning to NATO, though I doubt it has much military importance. I suppose it might be related to Russian trolling of the UK sending Challenger tanks with DU ammunition, but it’s certainly not a reaction to that. What we may be seeing, in fact, is the start of the post-Ukraine security order in Europe, with Russian weapons deployed further forward, against an increasingly weakened Europe.

        1. Michaelmas

          David: What we may be seeing, in fact, is the start of the post-Ukraine security order in Europe, with Russian weapons deployed further forward, against an increasingly weakened Europe.


      2. Lex

        Yeah, the Belarus decision is obviously older than the UK announcing DU deliveries. Putin is facing internal, popular pressure that his red lines are too flexible. He had to publicly comment about how NATO arms supplies are making it to the front too. The Russian strategy of patience and attrition has dangers of its own.

        Last year I was surprised by his decision to take military action because he’s super cautious. He’s still very cautious and he may not have infinite runway for his cautiousness.

        1. timbers

          Attrition is done already for all practical purposes. There is a commentor at MOA who is critical of Kremlin restraint. One point made is, there are on occasion large AUF formations w/equipment that go untargeted by Russian missiles. I also suspect but can not prove the Kremlin has locations of more NATO personnel in western Ukraine that is has not targeted.

          Kremlin restraint indicates territory wise, this operation may more limited, such as securing the 4 new Oblasts and essentially stop there.

          Lavrov saying Russia will only take more territory the more long range weapons Ukraine is given, Helmer writes of huge safety zone to the Dnieper. IMO, non of this makes sense if Russian won’t even close down the Dnieper bridges, hence my guess taking more territory beyond the 4 Oblasts is not (yet) in Russian plans.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Using their own NATO personnel as human shields … I would not put that past them.

            When do Ursula, Tony and Jens get their rotation?

          2. The Rev Kev

            I tend to suspect that they will go for all the Oblasts that have a Russian-speaking majority such as Kharvov and Odessa. NATO has already said that as soon as the war is over, that they will once more build up, train and equip the Ukrainian military over the next ten years so that they can go after the Russians again. Without making sure that this is not possible, the Russians would at best suffer a Pyrrhic victory and at worse, be setting themselves up for a worse war to fight in a few years more. Can you imagine if in 1864, that the Union had decided that they had fought the Confederacy enough and were going to declare a peace with them? Think that there wouldn’t have been a Second Civil War after only a few years?

            1. timbers

              Whatever the territory, my preference – no buffer zone but heavy layed defense like the ones NATO constructed in Donbas PLUS swift and severe military response similar to those that small nation in the ME is famous for.

            2. Craig H.

              There is near universal instant push back on the American Civil War analogy in my experience. I don’t know why. I am not even close to a proper knowledgeable war historian but I have read a bit and it seems to me that one is the closest one and it’s obvious.

              I might never bring it up again; some of the reactions I have gotten were personal.

              1. Stephen

                It is a good analogy in many respects.

                Some commentators have likened Russia’s military strategy to Grant’s Petersburg Campaign of attrition against the Confederacy designed to destroy their army and break the will to resist.

                The Civil War also had the pre Grant phase where in many respects the Union was fighting with one hand tied behind its back. That could correspond to the pre mobilisation phase with respect to the SMO.

                A key question is whether Russia has fully taken the gloves off yet though. Certainly, they are far more casualty averse than Grant was (despite his apparently genuine hatred of war) or than the Ukrainians.

                On the other hand at the geopolitical level, this Ukraine War itself feels simply part of a much broader conflict that will likely not end soon, whatever happens on the ground in Ukraine itself. The Civil War on the other hand did end and the threat of secession was defeated. That is even if one might argue that there was unfinished business until at least the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. But there were no more civil wars. Here the analogy might be less good but only time will tell.

                People do choose odd things to get personal about!

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Grant doesn’t have or face modern artillery and was fighting an opponent that adopted early trench warfare fairly quickly and efficiently.

                  Like seeing US weapons removed from a combined arms situation, it’s hard to determine actual merit. I think the Russians are more cautious because they don’t like the abilities of their lts and non-coms. The Kremlin has complained about them for years.

                  1. Polar Socialist

                    The lts and non-coms have been fighting a shooting war for over a year, pure Darwinian selection should have improved them a lot by now. If this was WW2, we’d be 2-3 months away from the beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.

                    That said, NCO based training and discipline (or esprit de corps) mostly works for standing armies. Armies based on cadres and expecting to always expand when going to war have to rely on junior officers to take care of the troops simply because there are never enough experienced NCOs around.

                2. lambert strether

                  Grant pinned the Confederacy in place while Sherman clawed its guts out (and good for them both). Where is Russia’s Sherman? Waiting for the word up in Belarus?

                  1. ambrit

                    Think outside the ‘front’ here. Russia’s “Grant” has the NATO/Proxys pinned on the Donbass front. Russia’s Sherman is making deals with the Global South to economically disembowel the West. Think of economic affairs as a different sort of “combined arms” tool.

            3. GramSci

              As it was, it took 50 years for the Confederacy to regain the White House, if you don’t count Andrew Johnson and Teddy R.

              As bad as slavery was, it wasn’t the Original Sin of the U.S. Hubris always comes first.

            4. Richard

              “Can you imagine if in 1864, that the Union had decided that they had fought the Confederacy enough and were going to declare a peace with them?”

              That”s basically what happened when the US government abandoned reconstruction and let rebels populate southern states’ governments. It took 100 years to reverse that decision.

            5. John k

              I agree, 5 oblasts done, 4 to go.
              Maybe the best thing for Russia is to assure the rest of Ukraine remains de-electrified, encouraging pop to move west and leaving few people. After all, there’s nobody to negotiate with, so anyway doesn’t seem to be anything that would work for Russia means a situation where Ukraine can neither re-arm or launch guerilla ops.
              Whether putin is tough enough to make a desert and call it peace is a question, he certainly wants to sell whatever he does to both Russia and row.

          3. Lex

            Must be good ole “shadowbanned”. He’s a Doomer of the first order. I disagree that nothing’s being done. We see video released by Ukraine of the accumulations but not necessarily the strikes against them. I also doubt that only weather has delayed Ukrainian counteroffensive(s). But Putin is feeling it necessary to respond to the criticism.

        2. Polar Socialist

          I think it was option for escalation the Russia agreed long time ago with Belarus.

          It’s simultaneously and answer to the British, a completely new problem for Polish, a promotion for Lukashenko (and Belarus) while it’s easy to roll back should The West suddenly come to it’s senses and seek detente instead of escalation.

          Almost as if we’ve reached a phase where for every move The West makes, Russia matches and raises almost immediately.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        My suspicion is the only viable options for Moscow are:

        -complete defenestration and bore Americans away from the conflict. Zelensky can’t get an Oscar’s invite

        -coup by the peeps in Kiev without bugout money.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          I wonder if there might be a third option, taking a book out of the Neo-con playbook:

          3. Bribe the locals in Kiev to take care of Zelensky, making them an offer they cannot refuse, etc.

          Maybe that was the original plan when they surrounded Kiev a year ago, and it went awry or the they got outbid by the neocons, who admittedly have a deeper bench of hookers, South Beach real estate, and cushy gigs churning out think tank papers to offer.

          However, facing imminent death has a way of clarifying the mind. A few dachas in Sevastopol and some good home-grown sex workers might do the trick (no pun intended there, and no insult to sex workers intended either.)

          1. lambert strether

            > 3. Bribe the locals in Kiev to take care of Zelensky, making them an offer they cannot refuse, etc.

            Too lazy to find it, but I linked to really odd and inorganic piece of hagiography about IIRC Ukraine’s intelligence chief. Mere beat sweetener? Or…. something more? Surely our spooks would welcome one of their own in Big Z’s chair….

            1. ChrisFromGA

              How do you overthrow a head of state who is in a bunker in another country, in front of a green screen?

              Shut off the internet in Poland with an EMP? Cancel the TV series by going after his advertisers?

              The green screen can be located in Langley. Big Z can be a CGI-d back into existence.

              The question is, can the folks on the ground in Kyiv be paid off to “cancel” the entire show, not just one character?

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                They did it in Philadelphia in 1776. You just start running things.

                -Announce the Kiev crisis government.

                -Order a withdrawal after a set ceasefire time with a withdrawal deadline.

                -ask Moscow to try their best not to respond to shelling.

                -See what Zelensky orders and how troops respond

                I’m suspicious certain guys tried this a few months back when their helicopters crashed.

          2. hunkerdown

            Operation Clippy

            It looks like you’re trying to create an exit strategy for a defeated authoritarian vanguard. Would you like to:

            • explore the results of previous attempts in Encarta
            • open Paint to rebrand
            • strategize with ChatGPT (charges may apply)

      4. Don

        It is more likely in response to American forces in the Baltic and Eastern Europe already having tactical nuclear weapons in their toolboxes.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      do you really think they’re (collective west) that smart? this whole Ukraine thing seem like slow-motion stutter step to nuclear something – reading today that T-shirt Zelly is running out of ammo – on yahoo there was a link about how bad Russia had it(HUH?) with a particular tank division – after reading Big Serge from a link sometime over the last few day here, entitled Apocalypse: Operation Barbarossa – seems the (collective west) is making the same mistake of underestimating the Russians – as you say RK, just sayin’

    3. lambert strether

      > “Moscow to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, says Putin”

      If indeed there is to be a MacGregor-style “big arrow” attack by Russian regulars south from Belarus towards Odessa, Putin just signaled his willingness to protect his right flank from attack by or from Poland. Presumably the left flank will be protected by further attritting Ukraine’s forces on the zero line (plus whatever additional meatgrinder performing for NATO requires him to throw more sixteen-year-olds and pig farmers into).

  5. upstater

    re. What’s Behind Train Derailments and Are They Happening More Often? WSJ

    A good overview of derailments. The class 1s have for years (decades?) touted improved safety with reduced crew sizes (4 in 1980s, then 3, down to 2 in the early 90s). What is not taken into account, which WSJ illustrates, is less freight is being moved. While the US economy has grown and truck traffic up 30%+ in the past 2 decades, rail freight is down perhaps 10%. What is also significant is the abandonment of carload freight to smaller customers; this results in fewer switching moves and fewer opportunities for failure. This change, of course, feeds into PSR with long, heavy trains, less intermediate or terminal switching and cars delivered to very large customers, 20 or 50 at a time.

    The biggest tell on the WSJ graphics is the recent increase in the percentage of derailments caused by “equipment failure” or “human error”. Both of these point to problems caused by the reduction of the workforce by 30%. The timing of increases in these 2 categories coincides with PSR implementation.

    Still germane from February 22 ProPublica A Norfolk Southern Policy Lets Officials Order Crews to Ignore Safety Alerts

    Norfolk Southern declined to say whether members of the train’s crew received an alert before the derailment and, if they did, whether the help desk told them to disregard it. The company did not address questions about its policy giving its help desk leeway to ignore such alerts.

    Did Norfolk Southern tell the crew on train 32N to ignore prior warnings before East Palestine? Stay tuned, the NTSB will tell us.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      . . less freight is being moved.

      Haven’t read the WSJ piece because paywall, but I suspect a big factor in this is the shut down of coal fired power generating stations as ever more wind and solar comes on line. Anecdata: About twice a year I drive about 100 miles up from the Twin Cities to central MN to meet up with my sister for lunch. About half the drive, beginning near Xcel Energy’s Sherburne County Station*, parallels the BNSF’s main line and 10 years ago it was common to see 4-5 unit trains of full cars (100 tons each) or empties coming from or returning to the strip mines in Wyoming and Montana. The last few trips since the pandemic nada, either coming or going.

      * A fair amount of that coal went to Sherco when all three units (about 2,300 MW total) were base load. Now Unit 1 is decommissioned and #2 used intermittently. #3 is still mostly base load AFIK. Sherco is about
      3 miles upstream & across the Mississippi river from Xcel’s Monticello Nuclear station, which has been in the news of late because of radioactive water leaks.

  6. flora

    re: Stoller’s article – The Monopolies Behind the Adderall Shortage

    Matt mentions almost in passing there are laws against what these monopolies are doing but the laws have never been enforced in modern times. I note that sounds like something very similar to how the Hudson River Riverkeeper organization started in the 1960’s. There were old anti-pollution laws on the books that hadn’t been enforced for decades. Bringing a law suit against the big corporations seemed like a long shot. But the little guys won. From the Riverkeeper history:

    “Then another ex-Marine rose to speak. Bob Boyle was an ornery fly fisherman and outdoor writer for Sports Illustrated. In the course of researching an article about angling in the River two years earlier, he’d stumbled across two little known laws: the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1888 and the Refuse Act of 1899. These statutes forbade pollution of American waters and provided a bounty reward for whoever reported the violation!

    “After listening to Boyle with escalating excitement, the American Legion crowd agreed to organize themselves to track down and prosecute the Hudson’s polluters one at a time until they were all eliminated. They were as good as their word. Two years later they shut down the Penn Central Pipe and collected $2,000, the first bounty ever awarded under the 19th-century statute….”

    It sure seems like pharmacists , and especially the small independent pharmacists could to after these monopolists using old laws. The monopolists’ practices are hurting potentially everyone.

    1. Wukchumni

      A good many Wall*Street traders are addicted to Adderall, and i’m sure they aren’t affected by the shortages, but what if they were, and what would it be like going without after years/decades of Rx’ing?

    1. Eclair

      The story of Flaco has a metaphor for us all buried in there.

      All the arguments against him remaining free, he will crash into glass-encased tall buildings, get run over by humongous moving vehicles, die from the build-up of rat poisons stored in the bodies of his favorite snack, involve dangers he did not evolve to avoid. He and his kind developed into efficient winged predators: saucer eyes to see at night, swivel head to allow a wide field of vision, big, silent wings to swoop down quietly, sharp talons to grasp prey. Unfortunately, humans have constructed other dangers over the past few centuries, and so we must cage Flaco to protect him.

      There is a barred owl (click on his picture in the sidebar of the Audubon article, to hear his call) who lives in the woods by our house in Chautauqua County, NY. I hear him when we are both awake at 2AM in the summer night. Warning the other owls to stay away from his territory. Always makes me shivery.

    2. flora

      One of the most extraordinary memories of my youth was seeing a barn owl fly silently at deep dusk toward a fence row in the backyard and land silently on a fence post. As if it was no more than a shadow. Thanks.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine war throws wrench in massive Russian arms deal after they miss delivery, India says”

    I don’t think that the Indians will complain too much considering the boatloads of money they are making by buying Russian oil and selling it to the EU as “Indian” oil. At the very least they are getting a good look at how the weapons systems they are buying perform in real combat.

  8. Wukchumni

    Some folks are born made to wave the flag
    Hoo, they’re red, white and blue
    And when the band plays “Hail to the chief”
    Ooh, they point the cannon at Ukraine, Lord

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no President’s son, son
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no unfortunate one, no

    Some folks are born cocaine spoon in hand
    Lord, don’t they help themselves, Lord?
    But when the Fox man come to the door
    Lord, the house lookin’ like a rummage sale, yeah

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no unfortunate one, no

    Yeah-yeah, some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
    Hoo, they send arms to the Ukraine war, Lord
    And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
    Hoo, they only answer, “More, more, more, more”

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no President’s son, son, Lord
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no unfortunate one, one

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no unfortunate one, no, no, no
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me
    I ain’t no unfortunate son, no, no, no
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me…

    Fortunate Son, by Creedence Clearwater Revival

      1. Wukchumni

        Thanks, 1970 ditties that require almost no upkeep to remain as strong of a message 53 years later, must be few and far between.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          One of the funniest songs that i heard retrofitted for the current times was “The Stroke” by Billy Squier. Just think about it the next time you see a young athlete in his/her prime go “thud.”

          Fair attribution, this was from some post over on Karl Denninger’s ticker forum.

          Now everybody have you heard if you’re in the game?
          Then the stroke is the word
          Don’t take no rhythm
          Don’t take no style
          Got a thirst for killin’
          Grab your vial
          You put your right hand out
          Give a firm handshake
          Talk to me
          About that one big break
          Spread your ear-pollution
          Both far and wide
          Keep your contributions
          By your side and
          Stroke me, stroke me
          Could be a winner boy, you move quite well
          Stroke me, stroke me (stroke)
          Stroke me, stroke me
          You got your number down
          Stroke me, stroke me
          Say you’re a winner but man you’re just a sinner now

        2. ChrisFromGA

          So, to finish the thought, the 80’s put up one on the scoreboard as well.

          Personally, I like it when you only have to tweak a lyric or two. Seems to add the element of “musical surprise” but when I see some of Antifa’s stuff I have to just stand back and admire the work.

          Thanks for the laughs today. I am now looking to the comments page first in eager anticipation of the next satirical piece.

  9. Lex

    We all know that what really happened with the Reaper was the Russians pulled alongside, opened the cockpit and threw a sapper shovel at it. They’ve been out of fuel and ammunition since April 2022.

    The article doesn’t explain how the Russian fighter could damage the prop without damaging the tails and sending the reaper into an uncontrollable spin, which would have been pretty obvious in the film released by the US. The tails are much larger than the prop diameter.

    But one has to appreciate the conceit of terrible Russian pilots and not enough of them. It seems nobody’s calculating the flight hours of Russian pilots over the last 13 months. Flight hours in actual combat with at least some enemy Air Force and plenty of enemy air defense. The Vietnam era pilots still alive are probably a bit too old to count on the US side of the ledger.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You could also add in all the combat flights that the Russian pilots flew over Syria. In conjunction with the Syrian Army and their allies, they really did a number on the jihadists over not that long a time period. No opposing Air Force or anti-air of course but they got lots of practice in operating high-tempo operations.

    2. .human

      The pilots never needed to physically touch the drone. Think a semi-truck passing you at 70mph! The pressure wave of the fighter doing 4 – 5 times that speed just needed to disrupt the stability of the drone. There was probably much learned, or confirmed, with accurate speed, altitude, and distance data.

    3. John Zelnicker

      I’ve read recently that the picture of the damaged propeller may be an artifact of the way a moving object is captured by a camera.

      I think most people have seen the effect when they stop a video and see a kind of trailing ghost image of a moving object.

      As a photographer, I know it’s a possibility, but I have no way to confirm this instance.

    4. Hazelbrew

      “threw a sapper shovel”

      Oh very good sir, very good.
      First comment to make me laugh out loud today.

    5. tevhatch

      What I find interesting is the overflights of US bases in Syria are now starting to be followed by missile / mortar strikes with improve accuracy. I suspect that this is Russia’s giving of a subtle hint that if the USA keeps dishing up intel to Ukraine that there will be body bags returning to the USA, and considering the number of USA bases around the world, it could easily be made into a flood, and all with 3rd parties and thus no direct Russian involvement. The Russians will ratchet it up, but as they usually do, with a speed that seems glacial by American hothead standards.

      There was a discussion on the prop damage without impact on I understand the reaper went with a new 4 blade carbon fiber prop to reduce weight/increase range/efficiency. There is a cost to ruggedness.

      1. Gaianne

        “the overflights of US bases in Syria are now starting to be followed by missile / mortar strikes”

        This is very interesting indeed.

        It may be that the Russians have found an asymmetric response to the providing of targeting information by the US to the Ukrainians.

        The US was already looking for a new theater of war. Now they may be getting one.


  10. Wukchumni

    How rising temperatures are intensifying California’s atmospheric rivers Grist
    Pre-Cali had substantial flooding ala the 1862 ARk storm which flooded Godzone and then some, forget about Tulare Lake being the largest body of water west of the Mississippi, imagine a watery morass massed from Bakersfield to Sacramento?

    212, 440, 603, 1029, 1300, 1418, 1605, 1750 & 1810 were epic floods and there certainly wasn’t much man made climate change going on back in the day aside from burning wood.

    March is leaving us with one last storm and a few more feet of snow on the camel’s back, er, the Sierra Nevada.

    And then a week later another AR is coming-the onslaught from on high has no quit, just what you’d expect to create what would be the largest lake in the country, if only a fleeting one.

    The immediate danger here of having a full Lake Kaweah and more water coming has passed, and they are madly releasing water, the reservoir went from full up @ 185k acre feet* to 156k acre feet now in a week’s time, just one of 6 reservoirs feeding newfound Tulare Lake.

    1 acre foot = 325,000 gallons

    1. fresno dan

      The parade of storms that has struck California in recent months has dropped more than 30 trillion gallons of water on the state, refilling reservoirs that had sat empty for years and burying mountain towns in snow.

      But climate change is making these storms much wetter and more intense, ratcheting up the risk of potential flooding in California and other states along the West Coast. That’s not only because the air over the Pacific will hold more moisture as sea temperatures rise, leading to giant rain and snow volumes, but also because warming temperatures on land will cause more precipitation to fall as rain in the future, which will lead to more dangerous floods.
      I was wondering as the temperatures where rising, where all the excess moisture that the atmosphere should hold is going…
      I can imagine that the pray for rain signs will in the not too distant future be replaced with pray for drought. Ironic that the danger to all those almond groves will not be not enough water, but too much… How fickle man is.

      1. Wukchumni

        Its obvious now the Pray For Rain sign concerns certainly overprayed their hand, amen happens.

        As you’re no doubt aware fresno dan, there are vast oceans of almond trees in harms way, and lets be optimistic in regards to them, think of all the great deals on almond firewood?

        1. .human

          Last I read, there were over a billion pounds of almonds in storage looking for a buyer. This would seem opportune.

        2. Laura in So Cal

          The local church announcement board says “You’ve done a great job praying for rain. You can stop now.”

        1. Wukchumni


          To get a perspective of how much snow there is in the Sierra Nevada from a drive yesterday @ Shaver Lake (5,500 feet) there was 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, and @ China Peak ski resort @ 7,000 feet there was 10 feet of snow on the ground, and it goes like that exponentially all the way up to 14,000+ feet, i’m thinking 100 foot tall snowpack in the highest Sierra, wow.

  11. Carla

    “Simplest Fix for Banking” states the loanable funds theory in the second paragraph. Is it worth reading anything else this guy has to say? (Asking for a friend.)

  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Osterholm Protocol

    I can’t help but wonder if a “protocol” relying on notoriously unreliable testing and self-reported absence of symptoms of an infection that can be notoriously asymptomatic yet contagious is any kind of “protocol” at all.

    But it must have been a 27-second elevator ride in an elevator occupied only by persons thusly deemed “clean” that did it.

    Not to mention the almost guaranteed “rebound” case of covid from the Paxlovid “remedy.”

    It must be the irredeemable conspiracy theorist in me that finds all this expertise more than a bit…uh…confusing. But I guess it’s all good as long as the word Ivermectin is never mentioned.

    Of course it is heartening that even in these tempest-tossed times, those on the front lines of the scourge can maintain such active, fulfilling social lives and a podcast to keep us up on the details.

  13. Roger Blakely

    Osterholm Update, Episode 127: A Tough Two Weeks (podcast), CIDRAP – Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy

    We needed Dr. Michael Osterholm to catch COVID-19. He’ll be fine. He took Paxlovid immediately. He’s had all of his booster shots. We needed him to experience SARS-CoV-2 for himself.

    Dr. Osterholm has had way too much confidence in his N95 and booster shots. He went to the Bruce Springsteen concert three weeks ago at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul feeling like he was bulletproof. The Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, has a capacity of 18,000 people.

    He talked taking an elevator without wearing his N95, but he admits that he doesn’t know how he picked up the infection. I am convinced that what lands on the eyeballs and washes down into the eyelids is enough to do the trick.

    We will all benefit from Dr. Osterholm’s having experienced a solid infection from SARS-CoV-2.

    1. Nikkikat

      I don’t listen to anything from Osterholm. He started out in the beginning of Covid as a good source of information. In my opinion some where along the line, he turned into a mouth piece for the CDC and Fauci. He won’t get a second chance from me.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > He won’t get a second chance from me.

        I don’t agree. An article from CIDRAP, which Osterholm heads, was critical to stopping the Cochrane study juggernaut.

  14. Alice X

    Yesterday I commented, found here, on the James Bamford piece in the Nation pointing to Israeli covert action in the 2016 election. Ambrit replied on the problem of influence per se in US elections, while Pat pointed to the huge but largely legal influence of AIPAC et al. Jan replied with a link to a MoA subsequent followup to the Nation piece:

    Israeli Agents, Not Russian Bears, ‘Hacked’ The 2016 Elections For Trump

    The case may not be exactly proven, but it looks like there should be some serious scrutiny.

    So to do a recap, for years the M$M pumped up the RussiaGate hysteria which was a hoax, but served to manufacture consent for a proxy war with the evil Russkies, while never investigating, let alone mentioning the possible Israeli connection.

    Does anyone else see a problem here?

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          There oughta be a law. They could call it FARA–Foreign Agent Registration Act–or something like that.

          A little ancient history (2017) on AIPAC’s unhappiness with such an affront:

          On November 21, 1962, the Department of Justice ordered the AZC [American Zionist Council] to begin registering as an Israeli foreign agent. This touched off an intense battle between the Justice Department and the AZC which outlasted both JFK and RFK. The bloodied and bruised Justice Department hid away its files on the affair until they were finally declassified and released in 2008.

          The effort to register Israel’s foreign agents clearly failed. Just 42 days after the Justice Department order, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee incorporated itself in Washington and took over the AZC’s functions. Since the year it was ordered to register—as part of the AZC—AIPAC has extracted an inflation-adjusted $250 billion from US taxpayers for its foreign principals. Influencing the conduct of US policy “by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels” has never stopped.

    1. pjay

      Bamford’s Democracy Now interview is also informative:

      I’m always a little suspicious of these types of intelligence “revelations,” even from relatively dependable sources like Bamford. Questions arise, like “why now?” or “who benefits?” from such information. But it does contribute to explaining some of Trump’s most despicable foreign policy moves; and we all know about the Israel lobby – even if we don’t talk about it.

      1. Alice X

        Thank you! Yes, I referred to the DN interview yesterday. What has been missing with Goodman & Co. is any mention of the twitter files, Hamilton 68, or perhaps most egregiously of Jeff Gert’s Columbia Journalism Review four part 23,000 word piece on the trajectory of the Russiagate hoax.

        It takes determination and often much time to uncover the real workings of the perpetrators. Because they obviously don’t want such things to be known.

      2. Lex

        Bibi isn’t having a great time of it these days and this was during his last stint. I strongly suspect the the story broke now because a journalist got a message like, “you might be interested in this thing and by the way, we left a trail of breadcrumbs for you. Good luck!” Much the same way the story has Stone getting tidbits.

    2. digi_owl

      Nobody speaks ill of Israel because:

      A: it makes them a genocidal anti-semite.

      B: it will cost them the bible belt vote.

    3. mrsyk

      I missed that exchange. IIRC, pretty much from the onset and throughout the tenure of “Russiagate”, the laughably obvious point (and rich hypocrisy byproduct) that Isreal was the undeniable gold medalist in the election meddling department, was merrily sprinkled amongst the comments here.

      1. Wukchumni

        I should have known, as I came in 5th in the jumping to conclusions event in Montreal in 1976.

        1. mrsyk

          I was all lined up to smoke the competition then, but my focus on medaling in the all-med left me one toke over da kine.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How Long COVID affects the careers of top athletes”

    Just winging it here but I would guess the rest of their careers and probably the rest of their lives. Paris in 2024 is going to be a hoot if you have a lot of world class athletes unable to compete and not turning up and if there is a mass infection in the Olympic Village just as the Games kick off, then all bets are off.

      1. lambert strether

        Since the bigger the ChatGPT database is, the more closely it approximates the conventional wisdom, modulo what adjustments are made to accommodate the conventional wisdom and/or pragmatics of its owners, I assume the jump has already been made.

        1. mrsyk

          Thanks Lambert. That’s not gonna help me sleep better tonight. If there ever was a time for the “noble lie”… Hey, maybe it will accelerate the ultimate demise of AI. After all, our species seems to be trying to off itself.

    1. spud

      completely tap dances around the lack of universal health care free of financial parasites, this includes drugs and food production. besides almost everything else.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        It was interesting to me that the study’s authors didn’t understand why no action was taken. There is no obvious or short term profit in any of the measures you might use to fix some of the problems.

        No profit=no action

        1. spud

          the real reason american health care is in shambles.

          “Equity’s Stranglehold on US Healthcare

          “The damage that private equity has wrought on Americans’ healthcare from cradle to grave, simply for profit, has become a life-or-death situation.”
          Brett Wilkins
          Mar 22, 2023

          Private equity’s ownership of U.S. healthcare providers is incompatible with the needs and best interests of patients and should be checked with federal legislation, according to a report published Wednesday by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

          Critics of for-profit care have long decried private equity’s focus on maximizing returns through practices including slashing staff, surprising patients with astronomical bills, and eschewing low-margin care upon which vulnerable populations rely. The new report—authored primarily by Public Citizen healthcare policy advocate Eagan Kemp—examines investment firms’ impact on more than a dozen healthcare sectors, from reproductive health through end-of-life care.”

  16. Carolinian

    Re the US/China cable wars article–so if a group of hardened gas pipelines can be taken out then one wonders how hard it would be to destroy a fiber optic cable. Probably not very hard. As Craig Murray says today what’s the point of all this hostility toward China that can only end up hurting the US and its allies? Isn’t it little more than a makework project for The Blob?

    And it’s not as though the Republicans are any better on this than the Dems. DeSantis questions the Ukraine war but says we should definitely be ready to take on China over Taiwan. Big truth teller Tucker Carlson hates the Chinese too btw.

    Craig Murray is right.

    1. spud

      because china is not playing its part that the free traders ideology told them they would do. that is sub human serfs that only do what they are told to do. the sub humans would have no self initiative because they were not white and western.

      bill clinton, robert reich, lawrence summers, gene sperling, and even lately joe biden even said so.

      “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” said Biden, who last week announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.”

    2. spud

      “the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Russia President Vladimir Putin while Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama, responsible for horrific crimes against humanity and literally millions of deaths combined in Serbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, walk around as free individuals.”

      “How did we get here?

      It is not a mere historical coincidence that the world became a much more dangerous place with the escalation of conflicts that threatened international peace in the 1990s. Without the countervailing force of the Soviet Union, the delusional white supremacists making U.S. policy believed that the next century was going to be a century of unrestrained U.S. domination.

      And who would be dominated? Largely the nations of the global South but also Europe with an accelerated integration plan in 1993 that the U.S. supported because it was seen as a more efficient mechanism for deploying U.S. capital and further solidifying trade relations with the huge and lucrative European Market.”

  17. antidlc

    RE: Episode 127: A Tough Two Weeks (podcast) Osterholm Update. At 6:00, Osterholm descibes how, after three years, he caught Covid — apparently when unmasked, for twenty-seven secods, in an elevator

    Episode 126, the previous episode:

    But I do want to comment first about something that happened this past week, and this was for both Chris and myself. We both attended the Bruce Springsteen concert here in Minnesota on Sunday night. And it was a show unlike I’ve ever seen before. Three hours of nonstop music only as the boss could deliver with an 18 member E Street band. It was simply remarkable. And I was there and I was very, very happy to be there with Fern. And I was there with my N95. On feeling confident that I would be protected if there were anyone there who was shedding the virus in my locale.

    Transcript at the link.

    Later on he says there were 18,000 people at the concert.

      1. Sardonia

        There would be more, but the last few songs I’ve tried to post would not post. Finally gave up….

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Email them direct to Yves, or Lambert?

          What browser are you using? Obviously you’re able to post something.

          I’m on a bit of a break this week plus running out of material. We need another bank to blow …

  18. Not Again

    It’s good to see that The Business Insider still knows that the job of the media is to afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable. Here we are looking “for clues” about who blew up the Nordstream pipeline. Of course, they are starting in Denmark because that’s about as far away from Washington, DC that they can get and still be on planet earth.

    Coming next week in BI: “The search for Nicole’s killer still goes on. An exclusive interview with OJ Simpson.”

    1. chris

      LOL. The object on the seafloor they want to bring up could be a glove!

      They’re never going to stop looking for answers they think will dissuade others from the story that Sy Hersh has written. They believe that if they publish enough BS it will bury what they don’t want others to think about. And they may be correct. It won’t be until years later, when the blowback from what we did hits the US, that we will be told what people think happened. But along with that, we will be reminded to look forward and not back in anger.

      I can hope that Biden and his team have overstepped with this NS pipeline operation. But history says I’m wrong and they’ll get away with it.

      1. Michaelmas

        Chris: history says I’m wrong and they’ll get away with it.

        No. They’ve overstepped. Even if the vast majority of German and EU populations remain quiescent sheep, it only takes a few individuals somewhere in the intel-security-military complexes of any of those countries to organize, prepare for however many years, and then hit back when and where it’s not expected.

        Don’t know where, don’t know when. But there will be blowback.

        After all, who among the general run of American policymakers and the American masses ever expected a bunch of Arabs to knock down the WTC towers? In the European case, moreover, there will be large populations living permanently poorer lives because of US actions.

    2. Jeff W

      “…they are starting in Denmark because that’s about as far away from Washington, DC that they can get and still be on planet earth.”

      Seems to me they’d be starting in Augusta, Western Australia, Australia then. (Maybe, like Rick Blaine of Casablanca, they were misinformed?)

      1. Kouros

        They forgot that everyone knows that something is rotten in Denmark. Not that Hamlet is not relevant here, but it was in the papers the fact that Denmark security services were carrying water for Americans and spying on their neighbors and reporting back to Langley. A Danish director was sacked and interrogated but without any transparency for the public…

    1. fresno dan

      Donald Trump was back in all caps this week, denouncing prosecutors, warning of “death and destruction” if he is arrested, and even posting a picture wielding a baseball bat menacingly near a headshot of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
      After each tirade, many of us denounced the inflammatory rhetoric while others insisted the former president was becoming unhinged at the prospect of being arrested.
      I really detest Trump. But with DeSantis apparently walking back his doubts about NOT supporting Ukraine, Trump again becomes the single significant US politician who does not want the war to continue.
      What does that say about this country? At least with Iraq, there was a real debate here. There was a real debate in Europe. At the rate it is going, people won’t utter a peep about using nukes… astounding

      1. Carolinian

        Taibbi and Kirn talked about this and suggested that Trump was using the “Red October strategy” (from the movie) where you charge directly at the opposing submarine before they can get ready to fire. Or, alternately, he really wants the Law and Order perp walk treatment so he can film it and put in campaign ads.

        In other words Trump’s whole motive in running is to show up his critics just as his original motive in 2016 was to get back at Obama for making fun of him.

        And that may be right.

        Meanwhile Biden’s motive is to cover up the shady doings of his family. And it was even suggested–by Indian Punchline I believe–that thousands are dying in Ukraine because years ago Putin was dismissive of Biden in a conference and insulted him.

        That may be right too, at least in part.

        1. flora

          an aside: I once used what’s now called the Red October strategy myself when I was a young, svelt, bicyclista riding training miles on country blacktop (tarmac) roads. A lone guy in a car passed me, turned around in a farmhouse drive maybe 100-150 feet ahead me, and came back toward me, stopping his car maybe 40 feet ahead of me, and stepped out of his car walking toward me. I knew he was up to no good and knew that no one else was around and knew I couldn’t outrun a car. Well then… I decided if he wanted to hurt me I was going to sure as heck hurt him. I picked up as much pedaling speed as I could, aiming directly for the center of his “wishbone.” There was no doubt about my angle of attack. ha. When I got within 10 feet of his car he jumped back into his car and roared off. ( Did I mention he wasn’t entirely dressed? ) Sometimes it works. / ;)

          1. Carolinian

            Hope he hadn’t armed his “missile.”

            Taibbi and Kirn also make fun of Trump as Sean Connery although it should be said that the late Connery and Trump probably have/had about the same amount of hair.

            Turley thinks the Bragg attempt still isn’t over. Here’s hoping it is. Even my Trump hating brother is tired of the media obsession.

            1. flora

              Ha. “Hadn’t armed his ‘missile.’ ” Indeed. My unknown, long past, car driver guy was arming his unclothed-below-the-waist (except for shoes) “missile” at someones. ha. Laughing only because I escaped a potentially dreadful situation. (I leave it to your imagination.)

              1. flora

                and adding: I’d encountered many many man/male car or pickup drivers who might slow down a bit to ‘admire’ a young female rider. That sort of male’s generously admiring driver of women sportives was very much different from encountering a male creepy driver. It’s hard to explain. Women cyclists will know what I’m talking about. The men who slow down to admire women riders are entirely different from the men who slow down to find a weak female mark to prey upon. And women bicycle riders can generally tell the difference, imo.

                1. flora

                  adding: here’s a shout out to all the men who silently and unrecognizedly “rode shotgun” for me in my cycling travels on busy roads. Seriously. I understand it now, I understand your driving now. Thank you.

              2. Carolinian

                I wasn’t making fun of your scary encounter although it sounded like you were a little bit. As someone who in the past has felt free to wander around Nomadland in my car I’ve been in lots of situations that I wouldn’t have been willing to risk if female. So in that sense males have an advantage. It’s not fair but it is true and must be borne in mind.

                When I was a kid I rode my bike all over the county. Now that I know the risks I can’t believe my parents let me. I guess attitudes were less protective back then and perhaps the world a bit less scary. Loose dogs were a problem.

                1. flora

                  I was not making fun of my scary encounter. Not at all. Never. Sometimes humor is the best defense against despair. The best defense against a kind of moral surrender to that which must not be surrendered to. Ever. / ;)

                  1. Carolinian

                    Sorry. The world is full of idiots and bullies and worse–both inside their cars and, as it seems, sometimes out of them.

        2. The Rev Kev

          ‘that thousands are dying in Ukraine because years ago Putin was dismissive of Biden in a conference and insulted him.’

          The story I read recently was that Obama sent Biden to Moscow in 2011 to tell Putin not to run for President of Russia but to stand down. You can imagine what Putin told Biden and Biden has born a grudge ever since then. But ultimately you can pin this on Barry.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        DeSantis is the great white hope of the nyt editorial board. He won’t survive tv.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > DeSantis is the great white hope of the nyt editorial board. He won’t survive tv.

          The RINOs and liberal Democrats in essence put DeSantis on the cover of Sports Illustrated. What a shame.

              1. ambrit

                This is very strange. We had a line of medium sized thunderstorms earlier in the day. The ‘bow wave’ front effect. The actual, dangerous front passed to the North of us by about a hundred and fifty miles or so.
                Tonight is shaping up to be a repeat of last night. The front has stalled out.
                Thanks for asking.
                “The NC commenteriat is the bestest commenteriat.”

  19. fresno dan

    Why Would China Be An Enemy? Craig Murray
    I am completely at a loss as to why the UK should seek to join in with the US in considering China an enemy, and in looking to build up military forces in the Pacific to oppose China.

    I cannot readily think of any example in history, of a state which achieved the level of economic dominance China has now achieved, that did not seek to use its economic muscle to finance military acquisition of territory to increase its economic resources.
    In that respect China is vastly more pacific than the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain or any other formerly prominent power.
    Ask yourself this simple question. How many overseas military bases does the USA have? And how many overseas military bases does China have?
    Depending on what you count, the United States has between 750 and 1100 overseas military bases. China has between 6 and 9.
    The last military aggression by China was its takeover of Tibet in 1951 and 1959. Since that date, we have seen the United States invade with massive destruction Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
    The United States has also been involved in sponsoring numerous military coups, including military support to the overthrow of literally dozens of governments, many of them democratically elected. It has destroyed numerous countries by proxy, Libya being the most recent example.
    Americans say, and most of them actually believe it, that Americans are a peace loving people…
    Which is like a armed criminal who shoots you and then takes your wallet saying he would not have shot you if you had had more money in your wallet…

    1. Onward to Dystopia

      Very well said. Any anti-war sentiment on the right-wing is proving paper thin these days and the Left is in disarray and isn’t taken seriously to begin with. Just a whipping boy. There’s no anti-war sentiment left in America, not from anyone close to power. I get nervous whenever the sheep all point in the same direction.
      And it’s such a stupid, death drive idea. I think someone on here said a few weeks ago that a war with China would go something like this…
      1. Walmart closes in 2 weeks.
      2. Americans lose their minds.
      3. War over.
      I would add, Great Depression 2.0 begins. I guess these people haven’t picked up any objects in their house lately and turned them upside down to see the “MADE IN” sticker. I think this can only be explained by some semi-conscious desire to solve domestic strife and contradictions by throwing it off on a foreign enemy.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “1. Walmart closes in 2 weeks.
        2. Americans lose their minds.
        3. War over.”

        chickens and turkeys ran away, and dog and youngest came arunnin.
        i laughed hard.
        newest graffiti in the wilderness bar environs.

    2. LifelongLib

      People in the U.S. are peace-loving, or at least largely indifferent to what happens in other countries. It’s our leaders who aren’t. I can’t think of a war the U.S. was involved in from the beginning of the 20th century that was a result of popular pressure. All of them were top-down affairs, supported by huge propaganda efforts and (arguably) some contrived provocations. Borrowing what Orwell said about the British of his day, most Americans have little interest in empire.

      1. chris

        I second that. Most are peace loving or peace seeking. Most just want the ability to succeed and for everything to not be so damn hard. Or so expensive.

        Our leaders? From the ones in the biggest cities to the national offices they are not peace loving or peace seeking. Or, perhaps they are piece seeking instead. “A little piece of Russia, a little piece of Greece, a tiny slice Turkey, a nibble out of Nice…”

  20. Mikel

    “Why Is Everything So Ugly?” N + 1 (MT)

    Entertaining. There may be some connection to the bland asthetics and less ornate melody being the trend in this era of music creation.
    Still…a hard no to eating bugs. Around that part, the “we” got overworked.

  21. Tom Stone

    After 3 years we have @ 1.2 MM dead and 15 Million Americans with long Covid, all of whom will have lives diminished in both quality and duration.
    Assuming that morbidity and mortality remain unchanged ( Can you loan me a can opener?) over the next decade we are looking at 4 Million more Americans dead from Covid directly and 50 Million disabled by long Covid.
    Interesting times…

  22. Bsn

    Regarding the article on long Covid. I call BS. An example as to why …. neuropsychiatrist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, researchers at the University of Washington, researchers Felicity Callard and Elisa Perego, the Brokings Institution, etc.
    Where were they when the “retrospective cohort studies” and “the anecdotal reports and the early evidence” came (and keeps coming) out regarding IVM , vitamin D, ventilation and other safe and effective approaches?
    Where were these experts in 2021 and ’22? I’ll remind you. They followed the CDC and WHO propaganda and stayed silent so as not to loose their funding or be labeled conspiracy theorists. So many, in fact a huge majority of “experts” and “doctors” were full of excrement and busy licking the boots of Fauchi, Gates and Blix over this whole time period. I call BS. Sincerely, Bsn

  23. semper loquitur

    Re: flying the unfriendly skies

    Southwest pilot suffers medical emergency on flight, off-duty pilot helps land plane

    An off-duty pilot jumped into action Wednesday after a Southwest Airlines pilot suffered a medical emergency, mid-flight, airline officials said.

    Southwest Flight 6013 had just taken off for its trip between Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio, around 6:33 a.m. when the pilot had a medical emergency, Southwest Airlines said in a statement. Crew members reported that the captain had stomach pain and fainted, according to air traffic control radio.

    Doesn’t say what the actual cause of the stomach pains and fainting was but it is part of a cluster of recent pilot impairments and gaffs if I’m not mistaken.

    1. ThirtyOne

      From the comments:
      “Sure seems like the rate of these incapacitations has gone up dramatically.”

      My 60 years in commercial Aviation tells me what has gone up, is the number of incidents (of many kinds) media outlets find out about/reports is what has gone up.

      1. semper loquitur

        Interesting. Thank you for your perspective. Could you elaborate as to why these things get reported more often than before?

        Also, someone in the comments of the link you provided mentioned it was appendicitis.

    2. vao

      Wait a minute: there was no co-pilot? What kind of airplane was it (the article does not say)?

      1. The Rev Kev

        If it is the incident that I read about, the co-pilot took over while the pilot from another airline that was a passenger took over the job of co-pilot.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Friendly reminder: the US airline lobby has been lobbying the FAA to allow only a single pilot in the cockpit.

          Yup, these are the same bastards that took a crapton of moolah from the CARES act and still have the authority to do stock buy-backs. So far the FAA hasn’t caved … yet.

          1. Noh1

            I guess they didn’t learn anything from the recent train derailments that happened when staff was cut on the railways. A single pilot is an incredibly bad idea.

  24. Wukchumni

    Dow Jonestown, or how I learned to drink the kool-aid…

    We all more or less figured out that we shouldn’t take up bank robbing for a livelihood and then later return to said bank incognito a week later after with a large deposit from the heist, only to rob it again-knowing it’s flush with funds…

    …and then there’s the usual method of robbing a bank involving exhibiting a weapon to a teller

  25. hk

    Re. “Stolen Valor” NYT piece.

    Should we expect anything else given that, ever since it came into existence, the current state of Ukraine has been a giant fraud scheme masquerading as a country? It’s international associates, insofar as what we know to date, have almost invariably been crooks themselves or dupes, in many cases both as well.

  26. some guy

    About the Politico article on the end of Boris Johnson noting that Liz Truss needs a category of her own as she was neither Bookie nor Bishop . . . Ameringlish ( ‘Gringlish’) comes to the rescue with the phrase . . . ” post turtle”.

    And what is a “post turtle”? Here is a definition with an explanatory anecdote.

    If Sarah Palin had become President, she would have been a post turtle President.

  27. TomDority

    ‘‘Restricting the Emer5 gence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Com6 munications Technology Act’’ or the ‘‘RESTRICT Act’’.
    After reading this act…and this is my non-lawyer take . It’s intention to limit speech, international commerce and conduct limitless searches and forfeitures without judicial review and accepting of non disclosure ex-parte information even to the accused. What’s more…. and mind you, I am not that good at this explaining…. it appears to consolidate a lot more power into the executives hands and to great extent that of commerce secretary while relieving congress of much of their duties to deliberate effectively and enables them to act more secretively. It’s an expansion of information and financial warfare to be aimed both domestic and overseas and it certainly caters to the more hysterical, paranoid and delusional – like supporting FBI’s Hoover ideology. It can certainly continue the politically motivated aggressions against dissent and free speech….of course this political ideology is contorted to support the neo-liberal financial capitalism that both parties owe their seats. It shows the distain the political aristocracy has for the common man in this republic when congress goes on to worry about foreign politics and general opinions influencing the minds of their constituents …that they think I am not capable of using common sense and capable of discerning the truth – they show fear of the people who put them in office with these bills.

    As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Henry Lee from Monticello, August 10 1824.
    ““Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist; and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.”

    Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Henry Lee, August 10, 1824

  28. lambert strether

    Has anybody seen a transcript of Trump’s Waco speech? I’d like to make sure the press isn’t misquoting him, which they generally do. Thanks!

      1. Jason Boxman

        Likewise, we are a nation where energy costs have reached their highest in our history. We are no longer energy independent or energy dominant. As we were just three short years ago. We are a nation that is begging venezuela and many others for oil. Please, please, please help us, joe biden says. And yet, we have more liquid gold under our feet than any other country. We are a nation that is consumed by the radical left’s new deal. Yet everyone knows that the green new deal, will lead to our destruction. We are a nation whose leanings — leaders are demanding all electric cars, even though they can’t go far, cost too much and whose potteries — whose batteries are produced in china, with materials only available in china. When an unlimited amount of gasoline is available inexpensively in the united states of america. But it’s not available in china. We are a nation that ended oil exploration and production in the united states. Just as the price of oil reached an all-time high. What other country would do such a thing?

        (sentence-cased with neat web page I found)

        Drill baby drill man!

  29. The Rev Kev

    Well shoot. It’s not enough that we got screwed over with the submarine deal here in Oz. Now Obama and his wife have just landed in Sydney. I wonder what grift they are here to cash in on.

  30. ChrisFromGA

    Arab “spring” finally hits, albeit late in Israel.

    Let’s just hope they don’t give Netanyahoo the Gaddafi treatment.

  31. Jason Boxman

    Philadelphia Tells Residents to Consider Bottled Water After Chemical Spill

    Who needs trains?

    Butyl acrylate was among the hazardous materials aboard the Norfolk Southern train that derailed and ignited a toxic chemical fire in East Palestine, Ohio, in February.

    With the scope of the Norfolk Southern disaster still unknown, some people expressed a wariness to trust officials’ assurances that the Friday spill in Bucks County was not dangerous.

    Comments posted on Facebook about the news conference by Philadelphia officials drew parallels to the Ohio derailment and reflected a reluctance to drink the municipal tap water.

  32. Jason Boxman

    Overshadowing all was the Social Problem. Investigations and reports appearing all at once after 1900 made harshly visible the fact that the consequences of extreme inequity in possession of material goods. … evidence accumulated that the richest country in the world rested on a foundation of one-third of its population living “in chronic poverty, unable to satisfy the primal needs of animal life. “

    Name that country.

    From The Proud Tower, Tuchnan.

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