Links 4/13/2023

Majesty or steadiness: researchers identify two tiger personality traits Guardian

One of Pablo Escobar’s ‘cocaine hippos’ dies after being hit by an SUV in Colombia NBC

Here’s Where Market Timing Works Institutional Investor


An L.A. Startup Aims To Turn The Oceans Into A CO2 Sponge And ‘Green’ Hydrogen Machine Forbes

* * *

Fungal infection outbreak affects 90+ workers at Escanaba paper mill Free Press. Not in a flour factory, fortunately.

Opinion: This rapidly spreading deadly fungus is a warning about climate change LA Times


EPA Standards Miss Many Chemicals in Drinking Water, Study Says WSJ


Can China’s Long-Term Growth Rate Exceed 2–3 Percent? Michael Pettis, China Financial Markets

Chinese exports roar back to life in sign of economic recovery FT

Xi says China must strengthen training for ‘actual combat’ Channel News Asia

Top Beijing official overseeing Hong Kong affairs urges city to use Communist Party theories to solve issues ahead of 6-day trip South China Morning Post

Exclusive: China out of UN’s wildlife survey for pandemic controls Reuters

US starts week of courting Asian partners after Taiwan flare-up Channel News Asia


ASEAN ‘strongly condemns’ deadly Myanmar air attack Al Jazeera

The Koreas

In Seoul’s ‘piece rooms,’ there’s barely enough space to lie down. Inside South Korea’s brutal housing crisis LA Times

European Disunion

Macron doubles down on Taiwan comments, says France won’t be US ‘vassal’ France24. “The empty vassel makes the greatest sound.” –William Shakespeare, Henry V, except not.

Italy declares state of emergency over migrant crossings surge France24

Dear Old Blighty

Sunak says discussed ‘economic opportunities’ for N.Ireland with Biden Reuters. But somebody got Biden’s dose wrong (1):

Somebody got Biden’s dose wrong (2):

Kidding! Except not.

‘Joining the picket line is a last stand’: junior doctors on the four-day strike Guardian. Commentary:

Another way of looking at this is that the destruction of the NHS — and, by extension, the destruction of, well, socialized medicine globally, an act of civic vandalism for which it’s hard to find a parallel — has been a project carried on over a twenty year period. Awesome discipline and sense of purpose by elites.

New Not-So-Cold War

What’s Really Going on Between Russia and China Foreign Affairs. What’s going on is that the brain geniuses in The Blob thought a two-front war, U.S. v. China + Russia, would be a really good idea. They did everything they could to make it happen. And they’re still at it.

“It’s dangerous” – Secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council on four “wild card” scenarios of war Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

Trading with the Enemy (excerpt) Seymour Hersh:

The Ukraine government, headed by Volodymyr Zelensky, has been using American taxpayers’ funds to pay dearly for the vitally needed diesel fuel that is keeping the Ukrainian army on the move in its war with Russia…. Zelensky has been buying the fuel from Russia, the country with which it, and Washington, are at war, and the Ukrainian president and many in his entourage have been skimming untold millions from the American dollars earmarked for diesel fuel payments. One estimate by analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency put the embezzled funds at $400 million last year.

That’s real money! “‘It would be beautiful in another context,’ [Smiley] remarked almost dreamily.” Here is an article that quotes Hersh’s excerpt, plus other snippets.

Ukraine makes direct appeal for US fighter jets in Pentagon meeting Anadolu Agency

* * *

Ukraine’s Spring Offensive Just Got Harder Bloomberg. “[T]he Ukrainians still have their heroic will.” See under Will, Triumph of?

Ukraine’s Best Chance Foreign Affairs. The deck: “A Successful Offensive Could End the War With Russia.” And if my mother had wheels, she’d be a tea cart.

* * *

Finland’s Turn New Left Review

US sanctions are here: Hungarian head of the Russian spy bank is also on the list Daily News Hungary. Hungary being both in NATO and the EU.

* * *

Manchin leads bipartisan delegation to Ukraine along with country music star Brad Paisley FOX

Ukraine’s tech warrior Emerging Europe. Fan service. HRH Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia is on the board!

Ukraine’s outrage grows over video seeming to show beheading AP. I have to run this but I can’t take the time to look it; suffice to say that Ukraine has form on fakes (plus the Azovs for whatever is real).

Russia: Bill to allow electronic conscription notices passes AP

Biden Administration

The IRS faces tough questioning from justices over privacy concerns in third-party summons dispute SCOTUSblog

Intelligence Community

Leaker of U.S. secret documents worked on military base, friend says WaPo. Today’s must-read. Every so often I mutter than we have an enormous population of gamers, but gamers + games (as opposed to gaming (in both senses)) don’t show up in the broader culture or the zeitgeist. Well, now they have. Yves and I discussed this piece; it seems to us remarkably “shiny”; perhaps written, from clues in tone and structure, by an entity other than the bylined “reporter.” The central character in the excessively tight narrative, “OG,” the leaker, is putatively a Christian, a gun enthusiast, and something akin to a cult leader of a group of disaffected teenagers on the Discord server where the documents were found; his motive in placing the documents there seems to have been to consolidate his authority and moral ascendancy over his group. Meanwhile, “OG” seems almost perfectly calcuated to fit neatly into the “fascist traitor” hole in liberal heads. I wonder if we’ll ever find him? One can see “The Hunt for OG” storyline persisting for many weeks, good job. But perhaps he’s already left for Venezuela? As far as cui bono, Yves points out that obvious next steps are to pass the pernicious Restrict Act and exert authority over yet another platform, Discord.

Our Famously Free Press

Meet the Censored: Me? Racket News. Well worth a read. Wouldn’t happen if we had the blogosphere again (assuming the Democrats and their assets in the organs of state security didn’t start working through ISPs, of course).

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Gets Basic Facts Wrong on DHS Content Moderation Partnership Lee Fang. Fang jumps ship from The Intercept to Substack.


Donald Trump Sues Former Lawyer Michael Cohen for $500 Million WSJ

Anti-Christian hostility reaching ‘unprecedented’ levels in culture, government under Biden, observers warn FOX

Digital Watch

Elon Musk BBC interview: Twitter boss on layoffs, misinfo and sleeping in the office BBC

* * *

Training your successor:

A Guide to Collaborating With ChatGPT for Work WSJ

Generative A.I. and the New Medical Generalist Eric Topol

Can AI answer your money questions? We put chatbots to the test Reuters

Police State Watch

Four Harvard Students Held at Gunpoint by Campus Police in ‘Swatting’ Attack Harvard Crimson

The Bezzle

a16z’s crypto report anticipates developer growth as blockchain scaling solutions expand TechCrunch. There is always a market for fraud.


Florida fight over ‘baby boxes’ part of bigger culture war Independent. Not the same as Finland’s baby boxes, more’s the pity.

Zeitgeist Watch

Bali is overrun by influencers. Locals are fighting back Australian Financial Review. I read the whole thing with horrified fascination.

Home Sweet Home Bloomberg. Van life.

* * *

‘In Marx’s novel …’ London Review of Books

Class Warfare

Tension mounts in US West Coast ports labour talks Seatrade Maritime

The Super Rich Are Worried. Should You Be? Barron’s. Yes, because I am sure the super-rich will wish to share their worries with us all. Handy chart:

JPMorgan Unveils Headquarters With Dimon Committing to New York Bloomberg. “It’s offering lots of amenities at the Park Avenue tower, including yoga and cycling rooms, meditation spaces, an abundance of outdoor areas and a state-of-the-art food hall.” All the stuff Silicon Valley just axed.

Hugh Kenner and the Origin of the Work of Art Big fan of Kenners Ulysses, a guidebook to Joyce’s work.

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. griffen

    SUV survives collision with hippopotamus. Begging the question, what make / model is the SUV and was the vehicle somehow reinforced cause that has to leave a mark. Added thought, if it was a Fiat 500 I’m sure the hippo would just destroy such a small vehicle.

    Makes me think of the film Jaws. Big shark, 2 tons of him. Or maybe it was 3 tons.

    1. t

      When I was a wee lass, it was not unusual for a Toyota Corolla or small truck to hit a cow or horse and be totaled, with the cow or horse merely bruised. Hogs and wombats, I am told, are dangerous to cars. That SUV must have been tank-like, and the kind of thing that would reduce a person to a smear of paste even at a low speed.

      NotJustBikes has a good overview of brodozers.

    2. Wukchumni

      When we had a bear invasion of around 150 of them in the fall of 2015, they were in search of acorns, as the usual feeding ground @ 2k to 6k had a failed acorn harvest, but we were in the midst of a bumper crop, so down they came, pretty much all from the wilderness, and none had ever seen the black top, let alone 4,000 pound things doing 40 mph and coming right at them.

      I think around a dozen bears were hit on Highway 198, we were driving down from Mineral King and there was a lady on the opposite side of Hwy 198 trying to get somebody’s attention, so I did a U turn and stopped and asked what’s up?

      She pointed to the strawberry blonde bear sprawled on the ground, and related she was Native American and needed a hand getting it into her SUV so she could take it to the Tule Reservation for a proper burial.

      The bear was hit on the head and a little bloody there, but otherwise intact. I’d never touched one before and the fur was quite soft, and the thing that really got me was it’s claws, about 8 inches long, and this wasn’t a big bear, maybe 150 pounds.

      Onto the tarp and into the car it went…

      1. Glen

        On our road a black bear tumbled down the up hill road bank right in front of the local Lutheran minister driving a VW Bug. The Bug was totaled, and the bear was apparently dazed, but got up and ran away. The minister was shook up, but OK.

        My first car was a VW Bug. Great car, but very lightly built compared to almost any contemporary vehicle. I once had a body shop guy tell me that one of the biggest problems with trying to “straighten out” a VW Bug after an accident is that it’s “pretty easy to pull them apart”.

  2. Wukchumni

    Donald Trump Sues Former Lawyer Michael Cohen for $500 Million WSJ
    A signature move by the Donald, and he taught Devin it too, Dev has been incredibly active with libel & defamation lawsuits involving tremendous amounts of money, and the game is quite simple, you file a lawsuit and all the public sees is say half a billion bucks, which is a story in it’s own that trumps the truth. I think Donald erred by the way, why not sue Cohen for a billion $, more impact and it doesn’t matter anyhow, the suit will be silently dropped and the press will forget it was ever filed, as is their penchant.

    Nothing ever comes of these pesky lawsuits aside from lawyers taking their kilos of flesh from both sides.

    1. griffen

      Trump does have form when it comes to lawsuits. Those of us who recall the fledgling USFL of the 1980s, will remember how Trump was a USFL team owner; the USFL had to close down operations but eventually sued the behemoth NFL in court. In hindsight, quite a few USFL players and coaches eventually went to NFL teams and worked their way into elite territory (Steve Young, Reggie White, just naming a few).

      ESPN has a worthy documentary about this, called Small Potatoes. The lawsuit attempt against the NFL didn’t really go in the direction that the USFL team owners wished.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        Hershel Walker played for Trump’s New Jersey Generals.

        I wish my head was filled with more useful information than this.

    2. some guy

      Trump has been an open law-suer for years. He learned it from Roy Cohn in his younger days, when he was Cohn’s eager young mentee.

      ( By the way, I claim that I saw Roy Cohn being interviewed on TV once and I was horrified by his ” living corpse” appearance. I thought he must be desperately unwell with something. It was not long after that he died of what turned out to be a years-running case of AIDS which had been kept secret from the general community).

  3. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Paperback Writer by the Beatles)

    Little Bit Cyber . . . Cyber . . . Cyber

    I can use AI on my home PC
    It can make a photo that goes viral fast
    It can churn out content or some repartee
    I have been surpassed
    So I wanna be a Little Bit Cyber
    Little Bit Cyber

    With some Huawei chips in my ears and eyes
    And some extra fingers on my robot hands
    I will fit right in in my man disguise
    I’m the real trans
    Ooh I gotta be a Little Bit Cyber
    Little Bit Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber . . . Cyber . . . Cyber

    Hydraulic muscles and some wings in back
    And a brain that tops a million gigahertz
    Everywhere I go I’ll play a cool soundtrack
    Wearing denim shirts
    ‘That dude must be a Little Bit Cyber’
    Little Bit Cyber

    I’ll fill my bloodstream with nutritious juice
    So my human organs won’t be needed hence
    I shall live forever with the strength of Zeus
    It’s just common sense
    To wanna be a Little Bit Cyber
    Little Bit Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber . . . Cyber . . . Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber Little Bit Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber Little Bit Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber Little Bit Cyber

    Little Bit Cyber Little Bit Cyber

    1. Sardonia

      Man, I love how your tunes slide perfectly into the original songs. So easy to sing along with and hear the original, while laughing at the new content. Bravo.

  4. Carla

    We need the billionaires chart to be proportionate: the number of peons per billionaire in each country. (OK, I know there are plenty of people with several million to a few hundred million who aren’t exactly peons–we can call them lackeys.) So, how many peons and lackeys per billionaire in each country?

    1. griffen

      Warren Buffet was on CNBC yesterday morning, and I can easily recall his statement, or more truth of fact. It’s a class war and his class is winning. In a country of 330+ million, America does winning really well is a cynical take.

      Proportionate would perhaps show, I dunno, about 85% firmly in the peon and aspiring peon classes. That might include individuals and couples performing well on the household income chart but no legitimate or true net wealth once mortgage debt and student debt get accounted for.

      1. digi_owl

        I believe he has been saying that for years now.

        But as long as the divide and conqueror routine of critical race/gender/whatever theory is being deployed against the left, nothing will change.

      2. some guy

        But he hasn’t ever done anything to help his class win a little less.

        Isn’t he a major shareholder in Norfolk Southern etc. Railroad, through his Berkshire Hathaway vehicle? Doesn’t he have the power to decree to his executives over there that they abolish precision railroading and re-instate basic safety measures and levels of staffing? Aren’t the executives over there his Cossacks and isn’t he their Czar? And don’t the Cossacks work for the Czar?

        So what has he done about the serial crash-a-matic state of his railroad?

        Someone should ask him that at one of his folksy avuncular appearances.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”We need the billionaires chart to be proportionate: the number of peons per billionaire in each country.”

      Ask and ye shall receive. This link mostly answers your question I think:

      Throwing out the small country outliers, here are the three on the Olympics-of-the-rich podium* (per capita basis):
      GOLD: Hong Kong (in a canter)
      SILVER: Singapore
      BRONZE: Switzerland

      USA! USA! stumbled in a disappointing seventh. Time for some tax cuts for the rich. Otherwise, how will all those American multi-millionaires become competitive in the billionaires league? /sarc

      *Honorable mention to Cyprus(?!), which would have narrowly copped the gold from Hong Kong but was disqualified on the small country criterion.

      1. Steven A

        If we consider that Hong Kong is not really a country but a Special Administrative Region under Chinese sovereignty, the bronze would go to Israel.

        I noticed that small country St. Kitts and Nevis came in with an impressive 37.037. It’s amazing what the sale of citizenships can do.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        Cyprus is the favoured refuge of the Ukrainian and Russian rich. Possibly even more so now.

    3. spud

      the chart is why i say anyone who thinks they can fix the mess we are in by only internal reforms like a land tax, or a wealth tax, or more unionization, is either a dangerous naive fool, or a ideologue that thinks free trade is good.

      those billionaires got to be that rich and powerful, because they are allowed to interact with each other, and have full access to the world. they are super inter-connected.

      to regain civil society, first we must dump free trade, restore sovereignty, tariffs, capital controls, then reverse bill clintons and others disastrous policies, then internal policies will work far better.

      1. some guy

        We could fix some of these things if we first defected from the Free Trade order and re-instate Protectionism and bilateral trade agreements entirely fair to us. Obviously we can’t fix anything about anything while we are still part of the Corporate Globalonial Free Trade Plantation.

        A legitimate well-intended Political Party-Movement would run on that ( Free Trade Abolition and Defection) as well as a few other important things. It could give itself a terminally boring name like the
        Social Democrat New Deal Party, to show how very serious and non-entertaining it wants to be.

    1. Aaron

      Thanks for this. Always enjoy KSR thoughts even if I don’t always agree with them. Will listen on a walk today

  5. Stephen V

    I suspect this was hard to write but I can’t help but enjoy it. The shine is off the Mush halo. Taibbi’s conclusion::
    …but we still have a lot of material, and more reports are coming. Holding up my end of the deal, these will appear on Twitter first. They just won’t be on my account, since I wouldn’t wipe my ass with Twitter after the events of last week.

    1. .Tom

      You’re referring to Taibbi’s new piece on his split from Twitter and Musk, who is starting to seem a bit demented. Well, it’s not the first time he’s seemed demented.

      The advertising revenue model doesn’t seem compatible with free speech. Heterodox thought is not good for business.

      1. Meta

        I don’t have access to the full articke but it seems as if Taibbi is surprised that a billionaire and subvention well-fare queen will change his mind when money is at stake. That surprise is surprising.

    1. Wukchumni

      Biden is our 2nd teetotaler President in a row-kind of odd for him to make an alcohol reference, and in searching for a down under connection the only thing that comes to mind is a young kangaroo, a Joey.

      Too bad he didn’t take it further and say ‘The Black & Tans do their famous Harkonnen before kickoff’

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    Harvard bust–

    Wow. How things have changed. Harvard cops in riot gear? Back in my generation, the Harvard “cops” were guys our age who hardly qualified as security guards. If they happened to be around when a joint was being passed, they’d happily partake. Nathan Pusey had to call in the Cambridge cops to bust some heads after students took over University Hall. (Picture note: this picture was the cover of Life magazine in the spring of ’69. At high school morning assembly one day, our headmaster strode to the front with a copy of Life in his hand. He held it up and pointed to the guy on the left and announced, “This is NOT what [name of school] is about!” That guy on the left had been valedictorian of his class at our school two years earlier. It turned out he was not there as a protester but as a Harvard Crimson reporter, but since the headmaster hated this guy when he was a student at our school, he never bothered to check things out first.)

    Harvard was essentially a no-law zone where as long as you didn’t steal books from the library or burn the buildings down, you were OK. Dealing by Harvard students was rampant to the point where hold-ups were not uncommon, particularly if people were dealing to townies.

    And the students “busted” were black. Oops.

    Bill Gates needs to fund some research into robot cops to go with the robot bees. Or maybe robot bee cops?

      1. JBird4049

        While seeing some protests again some Central American dictator back in the 1980s in San Francisco, I had a chance to witness some of the city’s finest go berserk against the protestors. Terrifying as hell to see.

        But the police at the time only had police motorcycle helmets and batons, maybe some riot shields for the frontline. They looked human even while they were beating the stuffing out of the protestors. Admittedly, the protestors were your aging hippies and angry college students types, so the police probably felt safe.

        I wonder what it would be like to see them in action today? Open faced helmets and batons compared to today’s full gear plus extensive weaponry in which you can’t even guess the sex of the individual so encompassing the armor is?

        1. ambrit

          It’s going to end up with snipers working for both sides. Watch. Then the National Guard will be called in. This is what happened at the turn of the Twentieth Century during the Union wars.
          Americans are still too complacent to engage in real dissent. Give it time and a disconnected from reality Elite. We’ll get there yet.

          1. digi_owl

            The gasoline dole is doing its thing. Once Biden has run out of reserve to spend, that is when things will heat up.

  7. zagonostra

    >PBS joins NPR in quitting Twitter

    When I was a younger man these two outlets helped form my political world view, NPR’s Bob Woodward while in the car, and the venerable MacNeil, Lehrer’s NewsHour over dinner. Fast forward to today and news of their departing from Twitter platform is irrelevant to me. Their veracity/independence, in my view, has deteriorated to a point where I haven’t listened to either in more than a decade.

    1. marcyincny

      Bob Edwards maybe? Remember Edwards with Red Barber? We also stopped listening and now, on the rare occasions when the car radio hits on NPR, the strange vocal patterns they all use with odd emphasis on entirely inappropriate words makes them sound like they’re trying to hold the attention of 5-year-olds. But I remember when…

      1. Howard

        I also haven’t seriously listened to NPR in years, though before the millennium it was my main news source (Naked Capitalism and Water Cooler fulfill that function for me now). Occasionally I catch a snippet (wife still listens sometimes) and the vocals are what stand out for me. The sound for me seems to alternate between well-oiled elitist condescension and chirpiness. In fact I think it was the relentlessly upbeat vocalizations of the Marketplace announcers that first started to make me realize how turned off I was by the whole enterprise.

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        It has been a long-term Republican project to cut government funding for public broadcasting. The list of corporate sponsors and degradation of the quality of journalism at NPR and PBS is not entirely coincidental, but this is certainly a key factor.

        1. Bsn

          Oh really? Hmm, well I guess the dems with re-fund them when they are in power. Well, maybe not. SOS, and I’m not asking for help.

    2. Carolinian

      Oh I agree totally (think you mean Bob Edwards), and PBS Washington Week used to be good too. The MSM, which includes those public outlets, took an unserious turn in the 1990s. Blame it on OJ, or perhaps Clinton’s impeachment. 9/11 was like the final plunge off the deep end.

      Now they’d like to take the web down with them. Hope they don’t succeed.

    3. Jason Boxman

      I grew up on PBS News Hour; I actually used to believe that shite, dedicated public servants, coming together to compromise, for the good of the nation, working things out. Ha. Ha. HA. Propaganda does work. The farewell to Judy episode at the end of last year had me want to puke.

      1. jefemt

        Judy… no one had a more perfect, gracious Pearl-clutch. I missed her every day.

        Nation-states and their industrialist/financial Oligarchy need Propaganda!

    4. CaliDan

      I remember the exact moment I turned off the station for good, after becoming increasingly disenchanted over the years. They ran an old interview with Scalia a day or so after he died. It was really interesting and informative, not that I particularly liked the justice. But nearing the top of the hour, they just had to, I mean really had to get to their promos and ads. So they abruptly cut the interview in the middle of a question, with an overly excited voice announcing, “Coming up next: puppies! Brought to you by Coca-Cola…”

      1. IM Doc

        The exact moment in time when NPR went dark for me and my family was about 5 years ago. There was a segment on one of their shows imploring listeners to realize that the Ingrid Bergman character in Casablanca was actually a transgendered (M to F) female.

        It was at that very moment that I realized the entire network’s grasp on reality was pixie dust. How can they even remotely be trusted with any other news?

        The unfortunate thing is our entire culture is now believing this type of thing. I blame quite a bit of this on the PhD programs around the country. In the arts, PhD dissertations are meant for the candidate to bring something “novel” to the world. So much of this woke thinking really has nothing “novel” left. So, they just make stuff up out of whole cloth. And obviously in that kind of system, the lunacy just gets worse every year. This is now bleeding out into our culture at large and it is very clear to me that NPR was a main conduit.

        From one who has read ancient Greek for decades – Our culture has completely forgotten in its entirety what the word root “Soph” actually means. What exactly is a “Doctor of Philosophy”? It certainly is not what is being peddled today.

        I have made a conscious effort to no longer participate in the lunacy.

        1. semper loquitur

          Recently, Tucker had a segment about NPR uncritically discussing people arming themselves for self-defense. Yes, squishy liberal NPR. It was, of course, trans people. I’d bet a million bucks that NPR gets some serious funding from Trans Inc.

        2. BeliTsari

          Always watched/ listened to Car Talk & Furniture on the Mend & a girlfriend TRIED to work for Fred Rogers! So, since we’d stopped watching network news ~Jan 20, 1981 we’d use it to check-out our assessment of PMC/ yuppie tropes & predict where that’d take us (in Pittsburgh, that meant: the dumpster, varmint hunting, soup kitchen, foraging, etc). I don’t think we’d ever felt ALL especially surprised that all 6 media sources soon adopted this calming little dopamine fix, “it’s only the help who’ll die from plague, storm, wild fire, drought, wildfire or killer cops” soporific iPhone-clutching prattle? “State-controlled” media, outing whistleblowers, sources & journalists is not all that new?

        3. skippy

          I would note the change in academia under the privatization model = pay too play = student debt = income streams – and the views expressed in the book Science Mart. Hence the need to publish in quantity overrode any notion of intellectual rigor. So I would suggest your umbrage would be better directed at the agency that changed things and not just the result of those changes in how they alter society.

          Still think Toynbee was on to something as no esoteric framework can resist the march of time, my favorite baseline is Goodwins concise summary [Puritain] that does not pull any punches for its time. Really detest the whitewashing of so much stuff just to fill pews = larger flock and not give people the information to make decisions one way or another.

          Yet whilst we might see something differently I do acknowledge your deeds.

      2. Martin Oline

        I stopped listening to NPR the day after 9/11 when I realized the reporters were actually watching some other news network and reporting what they saw as news. They thought they were reporting! They exist solely to propagandize, present puff pieces, and produce a perverted reality for their listeners.
        Fresh Air was especially annoying with Terry Gross’ voice always rising in pitch at the end of her sentences, whether she was asking a question or not. I remember a program she did on the Mafia and the emphasis on Italian gangsters with never a mention of the Jewish mobsters. Even back then I was aware of Detroit’s Purple Gang. Don’t take my word for it, turn off your computer and go read a book. One Nation Under Blackmail vols. 1 & 2 by Whitney Webb is rather dry but has an excellent bibliography for further reading. The price has dropped to about $20 each online. Barry & the Boys by Daniel Hopsicker and Compromised by Terry Reed are both expensive and hard to find books but are online and can be checked out at They are, among other things, about the life of Adler Berriman ‘Barry’ Seal, who was working with the Israelis during the Iran/Contra affair and was killed after he tried to blackmail VP George H W Bush.

    5. nippersdad

      The MacNeil Lehrer News Hour lost me when Shields declared in horror that those who were protesting the Iraq war “weren’t even Americans.” After years of having supported PBS, I made sure they knew what I thought of his ability to distinguish who the real Americans were, and they were not the ones buffing Bush’s butt to a shine.

    6. Joe Renter

      Ditto for me. And one of my ex wife’s worked for an NPR affiliate station and former GF was a reporter who made the big time jump from AK to national corespondent in DC. Water under the bridge.

  8. kramshaw

    I have to say, the Lambert humor is on fire today. Thanks for adding some spice to my morning coffee!

    1. wol

      One of my joys is reading the NC quips, including the commentariat. They’re not always gallows humor or /sarc, just genuinely funny.

  9. ChrisFromGA

    Re:WaPo story on the leakers bio

    Right outta central casting! All that is missing is the phrase “disgruntled Trump voter.”

    Maybe they left that out just to not make it too obviously a work of creative fiction.

    1. nippersdad

      Re: “Right out of central casting.”

      Au contraire! Someone needs to tell the CIA/NYT/WAPO that their storyline needs six Incels in a boat playing D&D on Lake Baikal or we’re not buying it. MAGA defectors with posters of Marjorie Taylor Greene on their walls would be just the ticket! The only thing that makes these narratives interesting is the creative fiction part.

      Clearly there is someone at the Pentagon that is rethinking their position on going to war with two nuclear powers at the same time.

      1. Vandemonian

        …six Incels in a boat playing D&D…

        Did they find traces of explosive residue on the table?

    2. Screwball

      Maybe it’s just me, but at this point I don’t believe anything that comes out of the MSM or the administration. Their only usefulness is laughing at the “creative fiction” you cite. I’m still amazed the amount of people who suck all this BS up like a souped up vacuum cleaner.

      I think it was Biden not too long ago got caught on a hot mike saying “they will believe anything.” That might be the most (and only) true statement he’s said while in office.

    1. Akash

      Where is the edit in that youtube clip that conflicts with the twitter clip from above? Are you referring to Biden’s exchange with Sunak (aka Rasheed Sanook) after the brush aside and salute to the geezer in uniform?

        1. Akash

          The peremptory Sunak handshake (since he is the first person to greet Biden after all) can be seen in the Twitter clip above, but still doesn’t mitigate, IMO, the brush aside and the enthusiastic salute and greeting to the adjacent uniformed geriatric.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Manchin leads bipartisan delegation to Ukraine along with country music star Brad Paisley”

    Never heard of the name Brad Paisley before but that is OK. He seems to be all in on the Ukraine as shown by his Wikipedia entry-

    ‘On January 24, 2023, Brad Paisley became an ambassador of the United24 project and will support the “Rebuilding Ukraine” program. On March 14, 2023, it became known that Brad Paisley would donate royalties for his track “Same Here”, (which he dedicated to Ukraine), to rebuild Ukraine.’

    I don’t know if the guy is up front or not but that double reference to taking part in rebuilding Ukraine makes me wonder because that whole thing will be nothing less than a multi-hundred billion dollar scam.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Dedicated to West VA Joe:

      The Kiev Shuffle

      (As performed by The Rolling Stones)

      You’re gonna take a hike
      Yeah, and you do it for the “likes”
      You move it to the steppe
      Yeah, its a bipartisan schlep

      Just take it kinda slow
      Gotta jack up those polls
      Don’t move it too fast
      Just make the Fox newscast

      You scratch like a tank-monkey
      Yeah ya do, real cool
      You shake hands with spokes-bimbo
      Yeah, how low can you go?

      Now come on baby! come on baby!
      Don’t go Xi on me now

      Just move it to the right here to the Kiev Shuffle
      Huh, yeah, yeah, yeah
      Do the Kiev Shuffle!

      Yeah, yeah, yeah,
      Ya do the Kiev shuffle

      hitch me hitch hike baby, across the pond
      Whow, whow, whow,
      I can’t stand it no more

      Now come on baby,
      Oh, come on baby
      Now don’t let those polls slide

      Just ride, ride, ride, shameless crony ride!
      Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
      Do the Kiev Shuffle
      Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
      Do the Kiev Shuffle
      (Bend the knee for Zee!)
      Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
      Shake your war monger baby
      (Shake, shake, shake yeah)
      Yeah, yeah, yeah,
      Do the Kiev shuffle
      (All the cool cats do it)
      Yeah, yeah, yeah
      Do the Kiev shuffle

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Now do one for Brad Paisley. I’d suggest “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive,” which begins, some might say ominously in the context of ‘the last ukrainian,’ like this:

        In the deep dark hills of eastern Kentucky
        That’s the place where I trace my bloodline
        And it’s there I read on a hillside gravestone
        You will never leave Harlan alive

        And for your “enjoyment,” Paisley’s rendition:

  11. Bosko

    Regarding the LRB article, I too have noticed students using words like ‘novel,’ ‘short story,’ ‘essay,’ etc., interchangeably–for example, referring to a short story as a novel, or a personal essay as a novel. And I too thought it was because the students I taught were not terribly literate. Interesting to hear that it’s also happening in the Berkeleys of the world, and that it’s more common than I knew.

    1. LifelongLib

      Whatever literacy I can claim didn’t come from school, but from books I read on my own. I wonder if kids now just don’t have time for that, or if video games etc are so immersive compared to the five TV channels of my day that books just seem dull.

      1. ambrit

        I wonder if it is a function of their addiction to their iPhones?
        We geezers could chose the physical books we read. I remember cruising the stacks at the local Library and picking tomes out at random and testing the texts to see if the tome in hand interested me. If yes, I checked it out and took it home to read. If no, I re-shelved the book and continued sampling. (One is exposed to a very wide range of ‘content’ that way.)
        Today, the iPhones are programmed to “suggest” content. As the algorithm learns the habits of the consumer better, the range of ‘suggested’ items narrows. A restricted conformity results. No wonder the youth of today look like the dreaded Walking Dead of television fame. Their horizons are shrinking, their choices degrading.
        Stay safe!

        1. Martin Oline

          There is a site on the Internet where you can type in an author’s name and it will provide you with a ‘mix’ of similar authors. It comes in handy when you have read all of a favorite author’s work or they have died and you would like to read something related. I think the algorithm is actually based on what people read and assumes they always read similar books. A handy tool none the less. The link is LITERATURE MAP.

      2. c_heale

        I don’t play video games but I have watched quite a few of the Let’s play (youtube where someone plays the entire game). I have noticed two things.

        Most of the games have really poor storylines – nowhere near as good as a book – and even the good storylines are fairly simplisitic.

        There seemed to be a peak of the games with relatively good storylines a few years ago. The most recent games seem to be rehashes of old storylines, or to have poor plots.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          I think they partly make up for it by engaging players’ imagination (will work better for some users than for others).

        2. digi_owl

          What happened was that a new cadre of “creative arts” graduates got a foot in the door, and with them they brought their race and gender hobbyhorses. And also a complete lack of worldly experiences.

          And because any naysayer will be subject to the social media mob and corporate DEI policies, these people seem to continue to fail upwards.

          Another issue is that the gaming market has split between the big studios and a cadre of “indies”.

          With the big ones having movie studio envy and thus produce what can be described as interactive movies in a serial fashion, complete with wasting eons of GPU processing time on recreating movie camera imperfections and artifacts (film grain, lens flares, etc etc etc).

          While over at the indies they are busy chasing fads, like pixel graphics, randomized levels, and confusing being obnoxiously obtuse and awkward to control with being an awesome experience.

          The latter in large part thanks focusing too much on the Twitch streaming scene where unless you are playing some competitive multiplayer game, you play some obnoxious game you can scream obscenities about while viewers jeer and spam memes in chat as if at some Roman circus.

          Effectively the entertainment industry is eating itself.

  12. Alice X

    >MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Gets Basic Facts Wrong on DHS Content Moderation Partnership

    Greenwald had Lee Fang on last night (4/12) to discuss his piece. Remember it was about Hasan’s malicious grilling of Matt Taibbi.

    GG also showed a clip of the BBC reporter’s interview of Musk at Twitter HQ, mentioned above. It did not go well for the BBC guy, but we never would have seen it from them.

    1. José Freitas

      That’s fine, more than three million people saw it live on the Twitter feed, which is more than any BBC news program ever gets, LOL

  13. CGKen

    For years gamers have been posting classified materials in the forums for the tank simulator video game War Thunder, apparently to help them win their arguments over this or that tank’s specs.

    See the History section at War Thunder Wikipedia.

    Never doubt a gamer’s efforts when trying to impress another gamer, I guess.

    1. digi_owl

      The only one better is when trying to impress a lady.

      Some years back a group of researchers posted a fake Linkedin profile with a pretty picture attached, related to computer security.

      They had all manner of men trying to impress this “lady” with their credentials and insider information.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Xi says China must strengthen training for ‘actual combat’ ”

    Isn’t that what every military does? Train for combat? Well, maybe not countries like Lichtenstein or Luxembourg. I would dearly love to know how many Chinese observers are running around the Ukraine right now. They could be in Russian uniforms and disguised as coming from some of Russia’s Asiatic republics so as not to excite comment. The Chinese Army has not done hard combat operations since I think the 70s so the opportunity to study and incorporate the lessons of this war would be too good a chance to pass up. And on the other side, I am sure that there are NATO soldiers doing precisely the same.

    1. cfraenkel

      Maybe that was a veiled message to the PLA leadership? That maybe they shouldn’t be paying quite so much attention to their pet corporations and real estate investments?

      (you’re right about the observers, but Xi has no reason to say so publicly.)

    2. rusell1200

      You would think so. But oddly enough, it is actually relatively rare: particularly so with conscription based armies.

      The US got its recent fixation on training from the Germans, but didn’t really implement it until after conscription went away.

      And in areas like air forces, and navies, it is expensive to fly/move around these assets: very expensive. So a lot of navies spent an incredible amount of time in port.

    3. Polar Socialist

      I recently read an article saying that in 2010 (or so) Chinese long range bombers trained only during day time, and only in a good weather. Then somebody high enough on the ranks noticed that this wont go during a conflict, and now they fly 24+ hour missions regardless of the weather, landing in different airfields around China for the flight and ground crews to learn the routine.

      Something could also be said about how Russia’s Zapad exercise has over 200,000 participants, while the biggest NATO exercises have 30,000. So while The West trains two divisions to work together, Russia trains two armies to work together.

      China seems to have exercises in the range of 50,000 men, while biggest US-Philippino exercises have been 17,000.

      Of course there are different levels of training: it’s completely different to train a squad or platoon to fight as a unit compared to making a brigade or a division to operate smoothly compared to even deploying ten divisions simultaneously to the training grounds.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Finland’s Turn”

    I never heard about Finland undertaking a plebiscite of their people so I guess that the government decided for them. They would probably have decided yes anyway but it would be good to learn by what percentage. They may be celebrating right now but I think that in the coming years that they will find that they have lost their sovereignty, their foreign policy and ultimately their budget. I hope that it is worth it for them. Wait till they find out that they will be expected to send units of their military to the Indo-Pacific in the coming years. They won’t see that coming.

    1. Polar Socialist

      It was done in such a hurry that one of the most important decisions regarding Finnish international standing and internal expenditures was deemed sufficient for the parliament almost at the end of it’s term to decide.

      It’s all rules based now, democracy be damned!

    2. Expat in Espoo

      I’ve seen several articles in this vein in the past few days. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies had one yesterday — Finland’s NATO Move Leaves Others to Carry On the “Helsinki Spirit” — on Medea’s Substack:

      They make a very perceptive observation.

      quote> Finland’s success as a neutral and liberal democratic country during and since the Cold War has created a popular culture in which the public are more trusting of their leaders and representatives than people in most Western countries, and less likely to question the wisdom of their decisions. So the near unanimity of the political class to join NATO in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine faced little public opposition. … The lack of discussion about the implications of Finland joining [NATO] has been attributed to an overly hasty accession process in the context of the war in Ukraine, as well as to Finland’s tradition of unquestioning popular trust in its national government. endquote; emphasis added.

      My family situation is such that I have been quite happy living here for almost 30 years but I must say that sometimes these Finns drive me nuts. Every year; indeed, every term of Parliament there are multiple examples validating Benjamin and Davies’ comment. Referenda are all but unknown here. Petitions to the Parliament are cumbersome to mount and are almost universally ineffective, often simply ignored outright by the leadership. ‘Don’t make waves’ could be the national motto, which is why the occasional animal rights and climate awareness protests are violently squelched by the police.

    3. digi_owl

      What constantly annoying me about that membership is that people will drag out the Winter war as some evidence that Russia can’t be trusted. But what they fail to mention was that Finland not only won the Winter war, but went on to invade Russia alongside Nazi Germany! The aftermath of that idiocy is why they were subject to “Finlandization” during the cold war.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        They only won that war in the sense in which Ukraine might win this one – i.e. they survived as an independent polity outside of Communist control, but had to give up territory, including a major city (Vyborg/Viipuri). The invasion was an attempt to get back what they lost. Risky but not that idiotic, IMO – they saw an opportunity and took it. Like many other Europeans at the time, the Finnish elite likely expected Germany to win, at least in the near term.

      2. Polar Socialist

        I know even in Finland many don’t realize this anymore, but Finland totally lost the Winter War. After a hundred days Finland had no men or ammunition left. A surviving officer wrote in his memoirs how the men were so tired (and nihilistic) in the end they didn’t bother to cover anymore during an incoming.

        Soviet Union dictated the terms of the peace and Finland accepted them. Same, of course, happened after the Continuation War.

        Now “Finlandization” was just a German term for having good relations with Soviet Union. It took Finland three lost wars to understand that the eastern power will always be able to crush Finland, no matter who Finland allies with (and usually because with whom Finland allies with).

        It should not be that difficult to look at the map and see that Finland’s security depends on relations between Helsinki and Moscow, not between Helsinki and Berlin or Helsinki and Washington.

        1. Another foreigner in Suomiland

          “I know even in Finland many don’t realize this anymore, but …”

          Finns (like everywhere, I suppose) have a serious case of “selective memory”, especially when it comes to the war and / or Soviet Union-Russia. The civil war of 1918 was brief-but-bloody (as they so often are) but unlike the US civil war it was not geographical but rather class-based, with workers and peasants (‘reds’) against the monied elite (‘whites’). After a German expeditionary corps landed in support of the latter, the end came quickly. Anyway, about 20 years ago an obviously self-hating Finnish historian published a study in which he showed that in the mobilisation at the outbreak of the Winter War, the General Staff assigned men from a ‘red’ background disproportionately to ‘cannon fodder’ battalions whilst the sons and grandsons of the civil war ‘whites’ received safer postings. The public reaction to this scandalous revisionism? ‘Oh, no — we would never do that!’

      3. cosmiccretin


        While seconding E-in-E’s comment (which replicates my own experience) I think you’re being wise after the event where Finland’s participation in the “Continuation War” 1941-44 is concerned.

        Neutral Finland was invaded by the USSR in early winter 1939, Stalin having secured Hitler’s compliance beforehand – ie an unprovoked premeditated attack on what was assumed to be militarily a pygmy (by a colossus). (It’s said that Soviet battlefield commanders were issued instructions concerning how not to mistakenly infringe Swedish neutrality upon reaching the Finnish-Swedish border!).

        The heavily-outnumbered and -out-gunned Finnish forces having against all odds – but at great cost in lives – stopped the Soviet incursion dead in its tracks, Finland faced with being overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers, tanks, artillery and aircraft was nevertheless compelled to sue for an armistice, the price for which was ceding 9% of her territory constituting 13% of her economic assets and containing 12 % of her population (Wikipedia). In addition, the Hangö peninsula was required to be leased to the USSR to be turned into a military base.

        Given that background, Finland invading the USSR fifteen months later in alliance with Nazi Germany can only with the advantage of “20-20 hindsight” be regarded as “insane”.

        Having said that, I’m utterly dismayed by today’s Finland’s decision to join NATO, which I regard as lunacy – and I have no time at all for that vain, self-absorbed nincompoop Marin.

        1. Another foreigner in Suomiland

          Thank you, cosmiccretin. Here is another perfect example of that selective memory I mentioned.

          > Finland invading the USSR … in alliance with Nazi Germany …

          You know that the Finns and the Germans were allied, and I know it and (non-Finnish) western history knows it — but the Finns even today will insist ’til the cows come home that, no, no, they were not allies, they were merely co-belligerents in some ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ kind of way. Meanwhile, the Finns in the Waffen-SS units besieging Leningrad must have only been a figment of Stalin’s imagination.

          I share your view of Sanna Marin, by the way. She went from being a secretly-ambitious but basically innocuous under-the-radar local politician to being a darling of the Davos crowd in far too little time.

  16. paddy

    let’s send usaf f-16’s to ukraine so the dod can claim russia has a new weapon that makes the airplane break on the ground……. or on the way back to base if it survives a mission.

    gao 23 106375 table 1 shows usaf has <1000 f-16 avg age 31 years, they did good for clinton setting no fly zones over iraq!

    gao 23 106217, figure 1 shows f-16 met budgeted/required readiness targets 0 of the past 11 years.

    and the number of "contractors" per aircraft in ukraine would be a strain on personal services budgets.

    1. nippersdad

      I am just imagining the look on Lindsey Grahams’ face were we to donate our entire fighter jet fleet to Ukraine and he figures out what the contracts to Boeing for new planes would look like.


  17. Toshiro_Mifune

    Van Life
    Reading the article and I had to wonder how many of the Van Life types would have moved to somewhere in the East Village 40 or 50 years ago. Or Maybe Tribeca or the Meat Packing district, etc. All places that were, at one time, cheap. They were cheap for a reason, but cheap none-the-less.
    The effects of gentrification are almost always written about in the frame work of identity politics in the American media. However, there used to be places to go for the types of people who don’t fit in to corporate America or industrial America. Maybe not the nicest neighborhoods but they existed. There was somewhere you could go to if you looked at the 9-5 world and just knew you couldn’t do that. Now all the places that were the traditional refuges are gone. $5000 for a 1 bedroom in the Bowery means the place is inhabited by low tier bond traders and not the disaffected.
    You can pretty much copy and paste the above for Austin, Portland, San Francisco, LA, etc.
    We can dress it up as environmental concerns, that certainly puts a nice face on it, its certainly nicer than saying “there’s no where else to go”.

    1. wol

      Cheap rents attract young creatives, who fix up the sketchy neighborhoods and attract quirky amenities. Then developers, agents, designers, upscale lifestyle businesses move in and price them out. I can remember Soho NYC in the early 70’s. Rinse, repeat, everywhere. In the 90’s I got a phone call offering a very low interest rate for housing in a down-and-out neighborhood in a small city I had barely heard of. Nothing came of it, but years ago I heard Paducah, KY had some success with that model. Not sure how it stands there now.

      1. jefemt

        First step toward gentrification— art communities or ski (surf, fishing, climbing..) bummery.
        Weekend aspirational bums, with day jobs or Trustafarians, climb on board.
        “Invest”, live ’til the pony has been rode hard, and put away wet.
        Flip the house, and move along to The Next Big Thing.

        Crapification— the Next Big Thing gets lower and lower quality, in terms of physical amenties…
        Maybe clamoring for community and social setting will fire off places like DuBuque.

        Bozeman/Durango/Gunnison/Butte/Jackson/Sandpoint/Bend to DuBuque? Har de haw haw.
        I’m hearing eastern Adriatic and Mexico are all the rage. $650K for a modest home in a Mexican hill town? Hot global money sloshing around.

        My bet is the contrarian move to ‘sh*thole’ Californeeyah.

        With 8 Billions, one could throw a dart at a globe (remember globes?) and find a wave heading that way.

        Running away like chickens with head recently removed (apologies to the proximity to events in eastern ‘europe’)

        1. ambrit

          As for gentrification, do not forget the grand opportunities natural disasters present to the up and coming Local Gentry. We experienced that first hand along the Mississippi Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina. (I would imagine a similar dynamic played out in New Orleans after the same hurricane. I have read that almost none of the ‘lower class’ people forced to move to Houston after the storm ever returned to the Big Easy. Removing the lower classes from a region is the essence of gentrification.)
          However, as Clint Eastwood of all people remarked when he was the Mayor of Carmel California, a highly gentrified community on the Pacific coast, where are the workers needed to do all of the heavy lifting in a town going to come from if they cannot afford to live there?
          Political Clint:,Elected%20Mayor%20of%20Carmel,community%20on%20the%20Monterey%20Peninsula.
          That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

          1. Anonymous for now, recently hacked

            Well, I have an anecdotal view from NOLA. Having lived uptown (Tulane, Loyola, lots of old mansions) for over 20 years.

            Less shootings since Katrina. My neighbors love it.

            But… less of the people that make New Orleans culture what it is (it is timeless despite ups and downs.)

            We now have renovated houses go for $1 million + that used to be section 8 apartments.

            Paul Vallas and Ray Nagin have a great deal of atonement ahead of them, one hopes. Plenty of others to point a finger at, but this city is in a very strange phase at the moment.

      2. JP

        In the 80’s we elected to move outta the big city. Asked by our real estate dealer friend why we would move to such a remote place, I replied we wanted to move somewhere our property value would not go up. That statement just trashed her religion.

        Besides retired folks and youth without the sense to get while the gettings good, only real self starters can survive here. Not too many bohemians are attracted for dearth of like and kind. The real problem for non self starters is the lack of canned diversion outside of netflix.

        I haven’t been to good party in years.

    2. Mikel

      One way or another, any non-wealthy anti-establishment area is going to be targeted.
      Disrupt residency and disrupt power blocs.

  18. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the links about the destruction of the NHS, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry and wonder what the above doctors expect.

    I don’t recall doctors, unions etc. pointing out that Labour health ministers under Blair and Brown, health spokesmen under Miliband and Starmer, Starmer himself, former health minister Sajid Javid, former Covid vaccines tsarina Kate Bingham and the Oxford vaccine team were are in the pay of UK and US private healthcare, pharma and technology firms.

    This week, we had the ridiculous spectacles of junior doctors going on TV and allowing themselves to be harangued by autocue readers on 10 – 30 x their annual salaries about being greedy, putting patients at risk and not being able to read the room. Not one answered back or pointed out what the autocue readers earn. Some of the autocue readers also do corporate work, moderate panels, narrate films, speak at events etc. so won’t alienate where they make most of their money.

    I was a bank and fund manager lobbyist from 2007 – 16. We didn’t mince our words. At one hearing at the House of Commons, I sat next to a Standard Chartered counsel, a former UK government official and now at Facebook, and heard him say, “We aren’t a charity. We don’t have to be here.”

    It would help if Britain’s unions started learning, even listen to their insider sympathisers, and stop thinking that the Labour party is their friend. If they think it’s bad now, just wait until Wes Streeting and Peter Rees-Mogg become PM.

    1. Stephen

      Thanks, Colonel.

      I had some professional association with the Department of Health Commercial Directorate that was established on Blair’s watch circa 2002 or so. You may be aware of some of the litigation that led to which certain highly paid Americans were at the centre of. The money being thrown at certain employees, contractors and consultants was out of this world.

      Am sure that it has not changed, and likely intensified in the past two decades.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I can recall as far back as the 1990’s medical friends and family members in the UK talking about the ‘market reforms’ that were eating away at the NHS ethos, even though most acknowledged that changes were needed. It should be said that at least the Labour government at the time did put a lot of money in (although allegedly this was due to Brown, not Blair).

      But as you say, its hard to have too much sympathy when supporters of the NHS seem so clueless about what is happening. They need a Mick Lynch type figure who isn’t afraid to make strong arguments in public in defense of staff and the public interest. But in my experience of health systems, there is an often fatal conflict in aims between hospital doctors, non-hospital doctors, nurses, admin, support staff and patients, which makes it all too easy to divide and rule them all.

  19. Wukchumni

    Rivals try to put us d-down (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Just because the $ gets around (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    I hope our hegemony keeps hold (talkin’ ’bout money generation)

    This is money generation
    This is money generation, baby

    Why don’t you financial fauxs fade away (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Don’t try to have a s-s-s-say (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    I’m not trying to ’cause a big s-s-sensation (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    I’m just talkin’ ’bout Bretton Woods g-g-g-generation (talkin’ ’bout Bretton Woods generation)

    This is money generation
    This is money generation, baby
    Money money money generation
    this is money generation

    Rivals try to put us d-down (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Just because the almighty g-g-gets around (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Things we do look awful b-b-bold (talkin’ ’bout money generation)
    Yeah, hope the old standard never gets old (talkin’ ’bout money generation)

    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation
    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation
    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation
    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation
    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation
    (Talkin’ ’bout money generation) this is money generation

    My Generation. by the Who

    1. Old Jake

      Feh. Look what “our generation” has done and is doing. Well, let’s see if the next generation does any better. I’d bet they won’t but why bother, I’d never collect anyway.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Home Sweet Home”

    You read this article and you see all the feel good words – ‘simpler life, less energy, fighting climate change, solar panels, carbon footprint, more sustainable, community, anti-consumerism’ – but even this article has to report on the reality in it for fair warning-

    ‘It’s a desiccated landscape punctuated only by scrubby vegetation and purplish hills in the distance. There’s no running water, bathrooms or trash services. The main attraction is that authorities aren’t likely to bother the Skoolies here, even though the event is unpermitted.’

    I find it interesting that it was published in Bloomberg though as the typical reader of this newspaper is hardly the sort to abandon their life and go get themselves a van and live on the road. Maybe what it is all about is how some US corporations want to see their workers doing. ‘Company towns’ have a capital cost to build but having a workforce that will provide their own accommodation/van and are mobile enough to travel from workplace to workplace would be seen as a good thing in some circles. it would be like a form of mobile unemployment where all the costs have been outsource to the unemployed themselves.

    1. Luckless Pedestrian

      I recommend the book Nomadland on this topic. About Amazon’s Camperforce program among other things.

      1. jefemt

        No gardens, no permaculture. No free lunch. A part of nature, apart from nature. Son, mind yer prepositions and phraseology!

        How to Poop in the woods. No worries. No property taxes, no tax load with no civil society infrastructure. I would be willing to bet (and I am not a betting man!) that there will be no mass shooting or gun play at these places.

        Do little, with less? Jimmy. Jimmy Dolittle. Pleased to meetcha. Pardon my Mask, it’s simply the New Global Burka. I do notice-however- most people cross the street on my approach…

        Benign precursor to Mad Max?

      2. Carolinian

        And there’s an excellent movie version that perhaps pulls its punches a bit re Amazon (to get filming permission?).

    2. Wukchumni

      Everything about the van life is similar to the backpacking life, except you can take a ton of stuff with you in a 4 wheeled chariot, while you’re limited to what you can take into the back of beyond, about 10 days worth of food and skimpy clothing choices along with tent, mattress and sleeping bag, and stove & pot, fuel and water filter.

      That’d be around 40-45 pounds, which although i’m used to carrying such a load, i’ll admit to a slight grimace merely typing it.

      One thing about the wilderness here, it’s squeaky clean. You might come across the odd power bar wrapper on the ground once in a while, but there is no trash to be seen, the ethos is strong, bring it in-bring it out’ means just that.

      I’ve boondocked in dispersed camping locales a number of times with friends in vehicles, and its a mixed bag as all it takes is 1 lout who leaves trash everywhere, and paradise isn’t so much anymore.

      Generally my experiences have been ok, and a few times it had the feel of covered wagons circling, not so much to ward off an Indian attack, but to ward off boredom.

      1. Carolinian

        Some of us downgrade from time to time to Car Life with a handy tent in the trunk. The downside to car camping is that one’s bonfire happy fellow campers can be a pain.

        Now days though they are more likely to be inside their RVs watching TV and running their noisy generators. Call it camping gentrification with state parks locally greatly raising their site fees because the traffic will bear.

        If one wants to jump in the time machine to the 1930s then many of those CCC created parks were part of a wave of nostalgia for the covered wagon pioneer days (then not so distant a memory) and roughing it was the point. To me it’s still the point and the RV obsession seems a bit strange. If you want to be comfortable stay home. Travel is supposed to be an adventure.

        1. Wukchumni

          Maybe a decade ago we were car camped @ Dorst campground in Sequoia NP, to get some altitude in us before a backpack trip, and i’ve been sleeping in a hammock for almost 25 years now, i’ll be hanging out between trees, and that’s where I was that night, and all night long, I heard short bursts of car alarms, what is up with that!?

          It was cagers either hearing something go bump in the night or the perceived notion of such a thing. They were warding off something wicked this way comes with their remotes!

  21. Henry Moon Pie


    Nate Hagens interviewed a “hydrogen chemist” on his podcast who says that using hydrogen as a fuel is impractical and more of a carbon problem than oil or coal. Specifically, he says that hydrogen production–from hydrocarbons–now produces more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry. Now if the hydrogen is produced by a non-carbon emitting method, that would leave only the practical considerations like how hard it is to contain hydrogen and its propensity to explode.

    BTW, I wouldn’t give all that much weight to the interviewee’s agricultural opinions.

  22. Jessica

    My paternal grandfather fought in the Irish War of Independence. “You dirty Black and Tan” was my Dad’s favorite curse when I was a child. When he was older, he did get more comfortable with the by-then common f*** and especially a******, but “dirty Black and Tan” was always big in his vocabulary of curses.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its easy enough to confuse the All Blacks and the Black and Tans as both of them got their butts kicked on their last visit to Ireland.

    2. LifelongLib

      There’s a novel in which the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins is resurrected in modern-day New York (something about having to pay for his sins before he can go to heaven). He’s quite offended when a bartender offers him the black-and-tan beer drink. IIRC in spite of that and various other clashes with the world of his time and ours, he does make it to heaven in the end.

  23. Jessica

    Add to that, it used to be possible to get with a part-time prole job and have the rest of the time for something more real. And Academia was a refuge for those whose elbows weren’t sharp enough for the 9-5. That is gone now too.
    I met a guy in Thailand a few years back who had settled in Buffalo. “Why Buffalo”, I asked at a Thai beach in February. “I’m 25 and I own my own house. Not me and the bank. I own it free and clear.” “But the crime?” “I don’t hear gunshots that often anymore.”
    By the way, I am not sure how creative the “creatives” are anymore. Not unless loyally servicing the Spectacle counts as creative now.

    1. ForFawkesSakes

      Yes, thank you. Instructional creatives have largely signed up as mini PMC enforcers, IMO. I thought most performance based art forms have been as dead and unburied as the Democratic Party for about fifteen years now, bit it’s becoming more obviously regionally.

      They are repelled by any seats sold to anyone but capital Liberals and yet complain bitterly about the wine drunk patrons chattering through the show like it’s TV. They want to guarantee butts in seats, but only curate the most narrow world view. They produce tedious shows about race or trans issues, while class, a constant fount of artistic inspiration for centuries, is too icky to consider.

      Actually, it’s the administrators what done it. The creatives I work with have seemingly moved on from the brick and mortar model but Konstantin Trepelev’s new forms haven’t quite coalesced yet.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “JPMorgan Unveils Headquarters With Dimon Committing to New York”

    ‘To encourage employees to back that revival, it’s offering lots of amenities at the Park Avenue tower, including yoga and cycling rooms, meditation spaces, an abundance of outdoor areas and a state-of-the-art food hall’

    JPMorgan is also telling their senior personnel that hybrid work is over and all of them have to go in to work – or else. It will only be a matter of time until this will apply to all of their employees-

    Of course JPMorgan is also the same organization that worked out what Jeffrey Epstein was all about way back in 2006 – but refused to cut their links with him as a client-

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s Best Chance”

    I heard that General Mark Milley is so convinced that the Ukraine will win, that he has drawn up a treaty to end the war which will be favourable to the Ukraine of course – after the Russian forces end up in tatters. Tatters I tell you. Milley must still have a bag of the the good stuff that he got from Afghanistan before it fell if he believes that.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      Maybe he’s afraid that it will be like the USSR collapsing all over again. Very embarrassing to be so unprepared.

    2. square coats

      Does anyone else remember this thing that happened last November where Milley tried to say Ukraine might not be able to defeat Russia militarily and then the Biden admin immediately walked back Milley’s statement?

      Adding: not trying to be snarky, actually curious because I think it might have bearing on what that source told Hersch but idk what to make of it myself.

  26. Henry Moon Pie

    Another reminder of what and who matters in our society:

    The news feeds are talking about baseball’s new rules intended to speed up the game. Apparently, the rules are working. Average minutes per inning are down.

    One side-effect has been a decrease in beer sales. Attendees at major league games may recall that beer sales have been cut-off at the seventh inning in most ballparks. The idea is to give fans some time to sober up, at least a little, before driving home.

    So guess what some MLB teams have decided to do. No, not cut-off sales earlier so that the same “sober-up” period remains at least as long as it was. Instead, they’re going to sell beer into the 8th inning so that beer sales rebound.

    Just like Covid. Just like Precision Railroading. Just like the climate catastrophe. Any societal or basic human goal that conflicts with profit-uber-alles will be subordinated. And just remember who profits from that goal. Essentially, a very few, very rich people. In the case of baseball teams owned by very rich people, this beer sales rule is quite direct and obvious.

  27. madarka

    Re the beheading video. For what it’s worth, russian telegram seems to think it’s real. there was an earlier pic of wagner in bakhmut with a head on a spike, this seems to be the “making of”.

    1. Zalahaldin

      What they are saying is that it was a Kraken Nazi (i.e. worst of the worst). Also, some say that Aiden Aislin (British merc captured in Mariupol and later released) confirmed this.

    2. JP

      Who doesn’t like a good beheading? Thousands killed by bullets is just so everyday compared to the allure of a beheading. The real joke is that there are war crimes instead of war is a crime. The other real joke is death by bullet is probably much more likely painful.

    3. R.S.

      Would you please elaborate? “Russian telegram” is kinda big, something like dozens of millions of users and channels. (NB: I’m pretty fluent in Russian.)

      What I’ve managed to find so far is that the Prosecutor General’s Office opened a legal investigation. The video is probably real (no CGI/”special effects”), but it’s unclear, who was filming, where, when and so on.

      Prigozhin specifically has denied Wagner’s involvement:

      Interestingly, I got wind of the video from an acquaintance in Germany, not in Russia. That Pozdnyakov (not “Pozdyankov”) guy the Daily Beast mentions is a shady character also living outside Russia. And the video was clearly put out in a coordinated manner, within an hour or so, on some 20 tg Ukrainian channels.

      Paint me skeptical.

      P.S. That “volunteer research group InformNapalm” is as Ukrainian as it can be, and their statement about “Russian commanders giv[ing] orders to their subordinates to cut off heads or torture, while they themselves film everything on a phone as evidence” is pure propaganda. Russian regulars just don’t carry phones with them in the combat zone.

    1. Carolinian

      Frontline was one of the last hold outs of good journalism but switched to the party line about the same time PBS got rid of Bill Moyers (or maybe he quit).

      But I still watch PBS which has some good shows among the less than good. I haven’t listened to NPR in a very long time.

      1. ambrit

        I’m still hoping Moyers does a book about his time working in Lyndon Johnson’s White House. That should be very informative.

        1. Carolinian

          He’s pretty old at 88. But then Sy Hersh is in 80s and hoo boy. There’s this from wayback

          In The New York Times on April 3, 1966, Moyers offered this insight on his stint as press secretary to President Johnson: “I work for him despite his faults and he lets me work for him despite my deficiencies.”[29][30] On October 17, 1967, he told an audience in Cambridge that Johnson saw the war in Vietnam as his major legacy and, as a result, was insisting on victory at all costs, even in the face of public opposition. Moyers felt such a continuation of the conflict would tear the country apart. “I never thought the situation could arise when I would wish for the defeat of LBJ, and that makes my current state of mind all the more painful to me,” he told them. “I would have to say now: It would depend on who his opponent is.”[31]

          Moyers was a voice of sanity on his later interview show which was less about his politics than a willingness to listen. I don’t think the popular at PBS and one of my PBS systems (North Carolina?) booted it to a later time slot.

      2. Milton

        What’s there to watch except the very local shows? All the British programs have been scooped up by Brit Box, or whatever the name is. I think Death in Paradise and the murder mysteries shows are about the only things left.

  28. Lex

    Re: Fungal infections in Michigan

    That’s me. I’m the primary investigator trying to unravel the mystery. I obviously can’t talk about details for a host of reasons. Blastomyces is a real mystery. Of approximately 2400 academic studies attempting to isolate it from environmental samples, something like 20 have been successful to some degree or another. So in fact, any statements about where blastomyces lives is to some degree conjecture based on a few samples. Which isn’t to say it’s not good conjecture. It’s not uncommon as a veterinary disease and it’s not terribly uncommon in people, though the outbreaks are usually quite limited in numbers.

    1. Tired Nurse

      Cared for at least one case of this over the winter at a county hospital I worked at. Kept them in isolation.

      1. Lex

        AFAIK it can’t be transmitted person to person. I think that’s because at high temperatures like internal body temp it grows as a yeast, but it “sporulates” only in its fungal form. As a human disease it’s relatively common, but almost always in very small outbreaks of a person or two. More common for there to be larger outbreaks in dogs.

    2. square coats

      Maybe once you’re able to you could give us an update about what all’s going on, if you’d like to?

      I’d definitely be interested in whatever you’d have to share.

      1. Lex

        I would love to because the search for Blastomyces in the environment is bleeding edge stuff. Although I wish I didn’t have to do it because I’d prefer people weren’t getting sick. I assume that at least some of my work will be publicly distributed.

  29. Mikel

    Forgive me if this was posted already a few weeks ago. I was getting a chuckle out of an online mag named “Marijuana Moment” and ran across this article:

    “…The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) said that “the current conflict between state and federal law is not only causing adverse consequences for consumers and non-consumers of cannabis but will also have long-term public health and safety costs that are too great to ignore…”

  30. Stanley Dundee

    Lambert said

    the destruction of the NHS — and, by extension, the destruction of, well, socialized medicine globally, an act of civic vandalism for which it’s hard to find a parallel — has been a project carried on over a twenty year period. Awesome discipline and sense of purpose by elites.

    I beg to differ; a better model than vandalism is looting. The awesome discipline and purpose on display seems to have been directed to the prospect of looting the system via privatization.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Let’s not be tediously literal-minded. I am well aware that privatizing NHS (and Canadian Medicare, too) is the goal. The Vandals, however, were famous for the sack of Rome in 455AD. That’s looting.

      When I say “civic vandalism” I mean something like the destruction of Penn Station in New York; the destruction of a magnificent public construct — much like the NHS — for base motives of profit (IIRC, Madison Square Garden).

      1. Kouros

        Between 1991 and 2000 the modern vandals extract about 1 trillion USD worth in wealth from the Russian Federation… I would call that looting.

  31. Kouros

    With the support of the US Embassy, a nationwide poster campaign was launched this week in Hungary, calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. The posters are saying “Ruszkik, haza!” (“Russians, go home!”) and “There can only be peace in Ukraine if the Russian occupying army withdraws”.

    What about the Gringos?!

    The cognitive dissonance is out of this world.

  32. digi_owl

    “Ukraine makes direct appeal for US fighter jets in Pentagon meeting Anadolu Agency”

    This is so going to turn into a rerun of the Korean war, isn’t it?

    Everyone back then knew those NK marked jets were being flown by soviet pilots, but kept mum about it in order to not widen the conflict.

  33. RobertC

    I don’t have a category to put this into. The perspective is too big and broad. Perhaps a new category is needed. But I can’t even suggest a name.

    BLUF: The Ukraine conflict is important but it’s a cat’s paw. The Taiwan conflict is important but it’s a cat’s paw. The great power conflict is control of the Indian Ocean.

    Bear with me.

    AUKUS is about basing AUS-UK-US SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) in the Indo-Pacific theater. If you read ASPI you would think Australia is buying SSNs to counter China. But the first step is for Australia to build, at its own expense, a submarine base with logistics, maintenance and training facilities at Perth. Which is on the west side of Australia facing the Indian Ocean not the Philippine, South China and East China Seas. Those seas are difficult for SSN navigation due to their shallow depths and complex bottom contours (eg USS Connecticut collision last year). But the Indian Ocean is wide open territory for SSNs. (There’s also a USN VLF station at Exmouth to communicate with submerged SSNs.)

    But there’s another aspect: the France d’Outre-Mer It’s a surety French and Chinese ministers discussed Chinese economic and maritime presence on those territories.

    An example of many explaining the importance of the Indian Ocean is We’re Thinking About the Indian Ocean All Wrong Be sure to explore the interactive map Indian Ocean Map

    Southeast Asia to the northeast; Middle East-North Africa to the northwest; and East Africa to the west. The Indian Ocean is the true locus of great power conflict.

    BTW The insight and most information came from this post AUKUS News, Views and Analysis

    1. digi_owl

      And smack in the middle of that sits Diego Garcia, the atoll claimed by UK and housing a US air strip able to handle the big bombers.

      And all this brings to mind the idea i was introduced to recently, that WW1 happened in order to stop a Berlin to Baghdad railway.

      Because China is working tirelessly to try to bypass US/UK sea power by building a trans-Asiatic railway, aka the belt and road initiative.

      With it they could ship goods from the Pacific to the Atlantic over land, and maybe even down into Africa if the Saudis and Egyptians play along.

      1. ambrit

        I have read that China recently put on a proof of concept train load of goods from central China to European Russia. So, the network is basically complete. Now for the ramping up of internal trade.
        Will we see “mysterious explosions” wrecking sections of that rail line in the near future? I would put literally nothing past the sociopaths running the Imperial West today.

        1. RobertC

          I wish I had answer. This insight didn’t just topple my Mackinder worldview — it knocked me into the Spykman worldview. It provides a rationale why we’ve recently seen SSNs/SSBNs popping into view when normally they are the hidden hunters. And the ultimate sanction threat. Australia is being tempted into the US hegemonic exercise of militarized economic power. Inward-looking India will be more difficult and expensive.

          From the US military perspective this region is split between the Central Command with 5th Fleet in Bahrain and Indo-Pacific Command with 7th Fleet in Yokosuka. I’ll be watching for organizational changes.

          As reported by Naked Capitalism, the US has been pushing China out of the region economically with its WB/IMF demanding debt forgiveness and BRI project terminations. And the Great Game has returned to Central Asia.

          The Iron Silk Road (containerized rail freight transport) portion of the BRI is working but not at the efficiency level intended for both political and engineering reasons Rail Freight Use on China’s Iron Silk Road Underdelivers although I think The Diplomat article is overly pessimistic.

          1. Revenant

            That article on the China Europe Rail project is very interesting, especially for one line in the table of services. Most China-Europe connections are of the order of 16 days +/- 2. But Urumqi-Duisburg is 8-10 days, on a par with China’s routes into central Asia and half the time (so twice as efficient use of locomotives and wagons).

            Think about that: China has spent years directing growth inland, away from the lure of the ports, to rebalance wealth (and tap remaining cheap labour pools) in Chongqing etc. But by rail, your Xinjiang hinterland in Urumqi just became your foreshore! You can see why from a Chinese perspective they would encourage the relocation of industry to Xinjiang and Sinification if it is half the journey time to Europe.

            However, at the moment the rail programme is just another panda: a charismatic megafauna welfare queen diplo-baby, good for international relations vibes but of no economic account. The problem is that those routes to Europe are like “long thin” air routes (say London to Seoul) which are much harder to make work than fat routes like London New York. The rail project needs demand at all the intermediate stations if it is to gave rail rather airline economics. So the situation where the table shown of China Europe routes is three times as big as China Asia routes needs to be reversed!

            The Chinese are not stupid and I doubt their BRI vision is limited to servicing Europe as if there was nothing but desert in between: the BRI vision is precisely the opposite, to fill in the map between with customers and industry. If anything, the focus on long thin routes connecting seaboards through empty lands is, as ever, an American projection of their own freak circumstances….

            So I think the article you cite is right about the work needed on China”s side to profit from Eurasian rail but wrong on the timescale and outcomes on which to judge it. If China transcends sweatshop labour, Urumqi to Bishkek or Irkutsk will matter more than Duisburg.

        2. digi_owl

          More specifically from Beijing to Moscow, right before Xi visited Putin.

          This perhaps a show of capability, similar to when they airlifted a bunch of SAMs to Serbia back when the shooting started in Ukraine.

          Because we should not forget that rather than send the equipment across over days or weeks, they decided to use six of their military transport planes to deliver the whole shipment in a day.

          Thus demonstrating that they could match say USA in deploying globally and quickly.

          1. RobertC

            Yep — noted that here RobertC April 10, 2022 at 5:24 pm Not only same day delivery but

            Instead it was a show of force with some aircraft coming in with chaff and flare dispensers uncovered.

            That’s wartime hot-airfield tactics.

            China’s airborne logistics demonstration is a warning to NATO and an affirmation to Russia.

  34. square coats

    Re: Bali influencers

    Those people in the article sound horrid. The focus on Russians felt rather forced to me though so I looked up tourists in Bali by nationality and found some Central Bureau of Statistics data (via here) which listed the top 5 tourist nationalities in February of this year as follows:

    Australia: 79,100
    India: 28,009
    Russia: 17,338
    Malaysia: 17,031
    South Korea: 15,655

    Perhaps the writer of the article (who is from Australia) doesn’t need to look so far to find the country of origin of tourists to take issue with.

    I’m not trying to take issue myself here with Australian tourists. Frankly I don’t know why nationality of tourists is an issue in the article at all.

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