Links 4/24/2023

How Saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre Taught Me Organizational Theory The Honest Broker

The Overwhelming Case for CBDCs Willem Buiter, Project Syndicate

Return to pandemic hunger levels could signal economic fragility Reuters


The Challenge of Blue Carbon Nautilus (MT). Who knew that monetizing a swamp would be risky? Today’s must read.

Fire and Ice NPR

EVs Fall Short of EPA Estimates by a Much Larger Margin Than Gas Cars in Our Real-World Highway Testing Car and Driver

Small Towns Chase America’s $3 Trillion Climate Gold Rush WSJ


California to meet 100% of water requests for the first time since 2006 AP


Looking for helpers (1), later today:

I have no idea what a “phone zap action” is, but if it gets Johns Hopkin’s attention, good.

Looking for helpers (2), tomorrow:

An old trick. Wiring up a meeting on very short notice!

* * *

The heightened risk of autoimmune diseases after Covid Eric Topol, Ground Truths

Lymphocytopenia MSD Manual (via). Definition:

Lymphocytopenia is a total lymphocyte count of < 1000/mcL ( 1 × 109/L) in adults or < 3000/mcL (< 3 × 109/L) in children < 2 years. Sequelae include opportunistic infections and an increased risk of malignant and autoimmune disorders. If the complete blood count reveals lymphocytopenia, testing for immunodeficiency and analysis of lymphocyte subpopulations should follow, usually after the patient has recovered from any acute event. Treatment is directed at the underlying disorder.


Acquired lymphocytopenia can occur with a number of other disorders (see table Causes of Lymphocytopenia).

The most common causes include

  • Protein-energy undernutrition
  • HIV infection
  • COVID-19
  • Certain other viral infections


* * *

Long-term risk of herpes zoster following COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study of 2 442 686 patients Journal of Medical Virology. “The risk of [herpes zoster (HZ)] within a 12-month follow-up period was significantly higher in patients who had recovered from COVID-19 compared with that in the control group.”

* * *

Saliva and Plasma Antibody Levels in Children and Adolescents After Primary Infection With Omicron Variants of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Germany (letter) JAMA. “SARS-CoV-2 Omicron reinfections within short periods are increasingly reported. Our data suggest that this might be explained by a weak humoral immune response to Omicron. In contrast to pre-Omicron variants, a primary Omicron infection elicited only a poor IgG antibody response, possibly resulting in insufficient infection prevention by salivary IgG. The observed neutralization escape of recurrent Omicron variants may be due to the absence of antibodies rather than reduced binding affinity. As a result, first-time SARS-CoV-2 infections with the Omicron variant may remain also largely undetected by seroprevalence studies.”

* * *

Determinants of nurse’s and personal support worker’s adherence to facial protective equipment in a community setting during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada: A pilot study American Journal of Infection Control. From the Abstract: “Adherence rates were relatively high. In this context, with participants reporting high levels of organizational support, individual-level factors were the significant predictors of adherence. Initiatives addressing perceived FPE efficacy, knowledge of recommended use, perception of at-work risk, and personal barriers to use may improve FPE adherence.” Another way of saying this is that masks fail when Hospital Infection Control administrators sabotage mask-wearing efforts (a confounder not included in the infamous Cochrane study). Lawyers: Note the venue. This is a professional journal that Hospital Infection Control administrators should be aware of, and an article they may have chosen to ignore.


Chinese Leaders Highlight Economic Risks as Recovery Takes Hold Blooomberg

Yi Gang: Building a modern central banking system to contribute to Chinese modernization Bank of International Settlements

Why China’s billionaires keep disappearing CNBC. ‘Cause Xi has the right idea?

Why China’s luxury market is stronger than ever after Covid-19 pandemic South China Morning Post. It is? Fancy that.


Top election official in Myanmar assassinated by guerrillas AP. A junta-run fake election.


Covid spreading fast in 8 states; Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar has highest 57% positivity Fortune. Quite an achievement.

* * *

The Big Con London Review of Books. Adani.

Q&A: ‘Chilling’: Journalist sued by Adani, cited by Hindenburg Al Jazeera

Adani Group Starts First Bond Buyback After Hindenburg Attack Bloomberg

The Koreas

US urges South Korea not to fill China shortfalls if Beijing bans Micron chips FT. To be a friend is fatal….


Syria Comes in From the Cold Scott Ritter, Consortium News

The Amazing Story of How Philly Cheesesteaks Became Huge in Lahore, Pakistan Philly Mag (Re Silc).

European Disunion

Travel disruption warning as May Day targeted for latest round of French protests Travel Weekly

Serbian president signals possible referendum for EU-backed deal with Kosovo Anadolu Agency

Dear Old Blighty

Britain wants special Brexit discount to rejoin EU science projects Politico. Chutzpah!

New Not-So-Cold War

The Planning of the Ukraine Invasion from the Russian Point of View (Maybe) Gaius Balter, A Son of the American Revolution. Intriguing!

On the Edge of the War Zone Dimitri Lascaris (jrkrideau).

* * *

EU’s Borrell sees deal soon to buy ammunition for Ukraine EU

Unprepared for long war, US Army under gun to make more ammo AP (Rev Kev).

* * *

Ukraine’s Longest Day Foreign Policy. The deck: “The first 24 hours of the expected counteroffensive will likely be decisive.”

Opinion Can Ukraine win without Western boots on the ground? (letter) WaPo

Guided bombs — new Russian tactics in the Ukraine war? Deutche Welle

No nuclear strike will happen after Ukraine enters Crimea – Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence Chief Ukrainska Pravda. Oh.

Biden Administration

Record Numbers of Migrants Are Dying at the U.S. Border WSJ


When Colorado’s dominant Democrats refuse to pass an assault weapons ban, you have to wonder why Colorado Sun. Because the Democrats are just as much gun fetishists as the gun fetishists who oppose them, and the entire debate quickly generates into “They don’t even know what ‘AR’ stands for [snicker]!”. By focusing on the hardware, all parties refuse to think systemically. Guns should be licensed like cars, with training and insurance. They should also be kept away from children.

A nation rocked by mass shootings goes on an extended gun-buying run CNN

The Bezzle

My High-Flying Life as a Corporate Spy Who Lied His Way to the Top Narratively (MT).

The secret ingredient to hustle culture: A virtual assistant in the Philippines Rest of World. Filed under “Asia/Labor.”


There Is No A.I. Jaron Lanier, The New Yorker

How we all became AI’s brain donors Axios. Not merely strip-mining, but outright theft (or “original accumulation,” as the Bearded One calls it).

The Future of AI Relies on a High School Teacher’s Free Database Bloomberg. Kropotkin would be proud. Or not?

Supply Chain

‘Russia to boost China pipeline gas supplies by almost 50%’ Anadolu Agency

Militaries, Metals, and Mining RAND Corporation

Zeitgeist Watch

Dragon at Disneyland bursts into flames, no injuries reported ABC

Realigment and Legitimacy

Free Association (map) Lapham’s Quarterly

Imperial Collapse Watch

Concerns grow as US military faces recruitment crisis for second year in a row: ‘Cultural rot’ is spreading FOX

Class Warfare

How it’s done:

* * *

East Palestine: “We Basically Nuked a Town with Chemicals So We Could Get a Railroad Open” In These Times

Our View: Still ‘very angry’ and ‘sick.’ Norfolk Southern must do right by East Palestine Columbus Dispatch

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour“>here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Sweet Baby James by James Taylor)

    There is an old Justice who worships great wealth
    But he’s stuck in his job until he kicks the bucket
    So he said the same phrase as the man from Nantucket
    And for decades he’s taken bribes, always by stealth

    As he and his billionaire boyfriend conspired
    To favor the judge like a real racketeer
    For decades the gifts that this Justice acquired
    Were never reported — they did not appear
    That’s crooked as hell, to be clear

    Goodbye to Justice Thomas
    And the shady deceits you have done
    On our country’s high court you’re required to report
    When you sell your soul to someone
    Your treason is second to none

    Vacations abroad with your billionaire beau
    With no upper limit on what they are costing
    You’ve kept this on ice, yes, but now it’s defrosting
    You dance on his strings you’re a cheap puppet show

    The bribes that you took are base pillage and theft
    Deliberate lies and corrupt bribery
    You’ve defiled the court feathering your own nest
    There are virtues above and beyond simple greed
    You’ve made you a Nobody

    So goodbye to Justice Thomas
    And the shady deceits you have done
    On our country’s high court you’re required to report
    When you sell your soul to someone
    Your treason is second to none

  2. Matt Alfalfafield

    Phone zap = coordinated protest where dozens/hundreds call the company’s phone lines all day to register their support/opposition to something. Most effective when you can get the direct numbers for executives rather than a general line. I’ve seen it work pretty well with local housing activism, i.e. deluding a landlord’s personal cell with demands to reverse an eviction or make needed repairs.

  3. zagonostra

    >East Palestine: “We Basically Nuked a Town with Chemicals So We Could Get a Railroad Open” In These Times

    Maybe East Palestine will be just another story added to the long list of other government-permitted corporate homicides, which includes (among many, many others): Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York; Times Beach, Missouri; Middlefield, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

    …we hope that… the East Palestine derailment is remembered as the last straw — the moment we decided to collectively abandon this track and come together to lay a new one that makes people, communities, and nature its highest priority.

    I am glad that East Palestine hasn’t completely disappeared from public, occluded though it may be, view. However, I couldn’t help reading the article’s last paragraph copied above with the lines below.

    If wishes were horses,
    beggars would ride.
    If turnips were bayonets,
    I’d wear one by my side!

    1. upstater

      Norfolk Southern’s Q1 Earnings report is due on April 26. Betcha they look great! Both Union Pacific and CSX reported last week and although traffic is down these class 1s record profits are recorded. is a rather lame website (built for phones and lacking detail) from the AFL CIO Transportation Trades Division, maybe trying to outflank RWU? Buybacks have been a problem for decades, now they notice?

  4. Mark Gisleson

    Old union hands usually have to explain stuff to new hires only once and then only on their first day. American management isn’t hard to figure out. If they don’t screw you on your first day they’ll get you the next day or the day after and if not then, you’ll figure it out come payday.

    1. Lex

      I was probably 8 when my best friend and I walked up to the supermarket to buy some snacks. We didn’t understand why everyone was outside or the dirty looks we got when we entered the store to buy candy. When we got back to his house, his dad a UAW worker asked where we got the candy. And then we got a thorough explanation in no uncertain terms about the value of unions.

  5. KLG

    Under Class Warfare: I had the exact same experience in my first (and only) union job at the age of 17 in a heavy chemical plant. Breaks were at 10:00 and 2:00 and I was told to take them whether I needed to or not, by the 30-, 40-, and 50-somethings who had been working in similar jobs since WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I learned much from those men (all men at the time) and remain grateful for their teaching. Spent this past weekend with similar contemporaries, who have mostly survived the neoliberalization of our world. One chemical plant still in existence in the old home town now has 250 workers, down from 1,500 in 1975, before the union was broken. What that has meant is “contractors” are hired to do essential maintenance, laboratory work, and safety engineering. Last week this resulted in a huge fire, basically because these contractors have no real interest and responsibility for their jobs beyond their paycheck (that comes without benefits). I was told that no one met the fire department at the gate and advised them that water would not put out this fire. No injuries but the damage was extensive. To the typical denizen of the PMC these “deplorable” Americans might as well speak some obscure Assyrian dialect…So it goes.

  6. zagonostra

    When I reflect on my own reaction to listening/watching WH press secretary, Karine Jean Pierre and Maria Zakharova, press secretary of Russia’s ministry of foreign affairs, or Lavrov with Blinken, and Putin with Biden, I wonder at the (mis)functioning of the “Peter Principle.”

    Is the process of “rising to the top” in the U.S. a cover for those who pull the strings, functioning to enthrall citizens in spectacle, scattering their attention helter-skelter, whereas in Russia and China, it still reflects political reality, whatever that may mean.?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Came across a very unusual nugget of info on Antony Blinken in a comment today so checked it out and it is true. It seems that Blinken’s stepfather – Samuel Pisar – was Robert Maxwell’s longtime lawyer and confidant and was likely the last person to see Maxwell alive before his strange death. Small world, eh?

  7. Savita                                                      

    Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Money Metals Exchange, and sound money advocates and supporters throughout the state, HB 1718 reaffirms gold and silver as legal tender, as well as ends all taxes on purchase, sale, or exchange of specie, including state capital gains taxes.
    The Arkansas Legal Tender Act, introduced by Reps. Lundstrum (R – 18) and Sen. Dismang (R -18), passed overwhelmingly out of the House by a vote of 82-8, passed unanimously out of the Senate with a 32-0 vote, and ultimately received Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ signature on April 11

  8. skeptic

    Concerning your snarky statement “An old trick. Wiring up a meeting on very short notice!” – the April 23 meeting was announced on FEBRUARY 23. Two months is NOT “very short notice”.

  9. flora

    re: Buiter and CBDCs. From the subheader:

    ‘There is growing evidence to suggest that, in the coming years, the US Federal Reserve and other central banks will find themselves back where they were before the pandemic, with their primary policy instrument constrained by the natural real interest rate. Fortunately, this old problem now has a prudent technological solution.’

    Ohhh… so the value is in allowing official negative interest rates. Got it. Govts can take what small savings people have and make those savings even smaller, with no escape. (Can’t take your money out of the CBDC.)

    1. Socal Rhino

      Banks can employ negative interest rates now, and a few european currencies were negative for years. After all, currency today is almost entirely digital. The difference in what the article describes is turning almost into all, removing the ability to escape the system by stuffing mattresses with paper currency. Better described as outlawing paper than going digital.

      1. Old Sarum

        Outlaw paper

        You can stuff mattresses all you like but when the old notes are rendered obsolete and slated to be no longer legal tender there is only one recourse, so how in any way has one escaped the system?

        It reminds me that money is a social construct and at its heart “socialist”, and a form of “socialism” that is almost inescapable.


        1. flora

          er, um… US Civil War Confederate money notes? / ;) (Speaking of USian money notes, aka Civil War “greenbacks” and etc.)

    2. Mildred Montana

      I read the entire article and am so distressed I can only respond to it with a few bullet points:

      1. The writer Willem Buiter himself: Glittering and “respectable” connections to Princeton and Yale and to Citigroup and Goldman Sachs as an economic adviser. Ad hominen I know. But there’s truth to the axiom that one will know them by their friends.

      2. The *overwhelming* case for CBDCs? Overwhelming? Beware of economists bearing certainty, especially when they are comfortably positioned in the 10% and know or care nothing about those outside of it.

      3. The “natural real interest rate”. According to Mr. Buiter what once was *natural* and still is now is a “problem”. To use his jargon, it creates an Effective Lower Bound (ELB) on central bank interventions. To use my jargon, it prevents central banks from running amok.

      4. Writes Buiter in favor of them running amok: “The good news is that the Fed (and other central banks) do have one other promising option: ditch the ELB altogether by abolishing cash and introducing a well-designed wholesale and retail digital currency that is widely available to the general public. With a central bank digital currency, setting the policy rate at -5%[!] could be as easy as setting it at 5%.” Thanks Willem. -5% a year on my CBDC account, and I should be grateful to the CB for keeping my money safe.

      5. From the article: “…11 countries have already fully launched a CBDC (Jamaica, the Bahamas, eight countries in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, and Nigeria)…” LOL. When your argument depends on a list like that, you are grasping at very thin straws indeed.

      1. TomW

        Of course. But the real interest rate is likely negative. So, a modest negative rate is not all that unusual. It is exactly the kind of idea that would appeal to an economist.
        For us living in the moment, the negative real rate is a challenge.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        This guy talks like a negative interest rate is just some neat-o financial tool and not the bank stealing your [family blog]ing money, which is what it actually is.

  10. chris

    Re: the project syndicate article on CBDC’s…

    I appreciate that a cheerleader for the concept put all that out there. You rarely get to see bold faced admissions that setting a negative interest rate as a matter of policy would be simple, and the numbers used in the example provided dwarf what many have been able to get as interest on simple savings accounts for decades now. The idea of the Fed setting a real -5% on money fills me with dread. But the description in the article of the circumstances it might occur in fills me with a little hope, even if the reasoning is dreadful.

    I have no confidence that the Fed actions will bring the currently inflationary conditions under control. I have no confidence that we will be able to return to ZIRP effectively or in practice unless a lot changes. The Fed can raise interest rates until traders start falling from the sky but that won’t create more copper, cheaper oil, or trained workers. The premise of the article is that the transition to CBDC will occur when the Fed realizes its limits after the current inflationary pressures have been killed. I doubt that will happen anytime soon, if ever.

    I also don’t see how we’re going to tell workers they need to take real and ongoing paycuts via negative rates just because they have money they want to save. Yves and others have even posited there could be vapor dollars involved, as in, the Fed could put time limits on funds creating a “use it or lose it” situation with money. I guess the theory here is the people will take it and like it because the people in charge won’t give them an option? I don’t see how our current society would survive that kind of a dictatorial decision. Seems like that would be a great way to unify all the out groups against the ruling class.

    I’m not an economist. But I think that the people who believe our citizenry will peacefully accept the loss of privacy and control from these unelected officials implementing CBDCs are crazy.

    1. Susan the other

      I don’t understand financial language at all but if I defocus my confusion, I get the following: Buiter is saying that jerking interest rates up and down is destabilizing fiscally. Well, yes it is. And if we had a more immediate response to financial imbalances it would create better stability fiscally. The central bank can achieve this with a CBDC which maintains the value of the currency based on a healthy underlying economy. The economy we are headed into is an aging one worldwide. And the birth rate is declining. So the old turbo-economy of growth and profits uber-alles portends the usual explosion of inflation followed by severe recession. But instead of Fedheads cranking the interest rate up and down, the currency itself could be controlled without disrupting the economy in damaging ways like the recent rate hikes causing SVB to implode. and by preventing fiscal-financial imbalances, the value of the currency remains relatively stable.

    2. JBird4049

      >>> I don’t see how our current society would survive that kind of a dictatorial decision.

      The poorer you are, or the larger your family is, the more you need to save something for an emergency, which, apparently some either don’t or refuse to understand. Cramming a negative interest rate onto one’s savings makes them that more vulnerable to economic disaster, if they have to move, the kid has a medical emergency, or the engine falls out of the car.

      I usually keep five hundred in the savings account, not because I want to, but because something always seems to pop out of the thin air that needs it.

    1. Craig H.

      On the one hand there is OpenAI’s billion dollars deal with Microsoft.

      On the other hand there are shelves in the library Philosophy and Psychology sections illustrating the futility of defining intelligence and consciousness and will and so forth.

      This is the proverbial irresistible force v. immovable object.

  11. R.S.

    To be a friend is indeed fatal. OK, Europe, go for it.

    European navies should patrol the disputed Taiwan Strait, the EU foreign policy chief has said, echoing earlier comments stressing how crucial Taiwan is to Europe.

    Josep Borrell wrote in an opinion piece in the Journal Du Dimanche that Taiwan “concerns us economically, commercially and technologically”.

    “That’s why I call on European navies to patrol the Taiwan Strait to show Europe’s commitment to freedom of navigation in this absolutely crucial area,” he wrote.

    1. Louis Fyne

      It only takes a wink and an anti-LVMH, anti-Armani campaign, anti-BMW will spread like wildfire in China. Happened before to Japanese and Korean companies.

      And as a bonus, great way for the Beijing Establishment to appeal to the Chinese bottom 95%.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Saw that earlier but which made me wonder. “Jungle” Jossep says European navies but what he actually means is a NATO squadron. So which country will that naval squadron be based out of? Japan? South Korea? Taiwan? Whoever it would be, you can bet that China would have an opinion on the subject and would make their feelings known to that host country. But getting an organization with the name North Atlantic in it’s title involved in the Pacific might be a bit on the nose.

      1. flora

        When they say NATO squadron do they mean US squadron? Anyone looked at the current level of the US petroleum reserve, a defense petroleum reserve? / ;)

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The end of the Ukraine misadventure must be close. We need to fight them over there because we can’t fight them here. Without air defense, kaboom.

      Early on there was an article going around pushing the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis as a way to resolve the issue where the West can save face. I suspect the recent “Ukraine will be part of super NATO” rhetoric is part of the West’s peace plans. Russia will get territory and private assurances in exchange for NATO membership. Of course this ignores Russian war aimsor that Beijing and Moscow have their own political issues.

      Politics is still local. Economic declines are driving political uncertainty, and people like Borrell will need to justify their jobs.

      1. Polar Socialist

        His job as is not to set the aims of EU foreign policy, though. He is foreign policy representative and spokesman – sorta like Zakharova but without the charm and wit.

        And should it be his job, as a head of diplomacy he should be telling everyone that the age of Europe sending gunboats to Chinese waters is way past and it’s time to find more… diplomatic solutions.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      This is batshit crazy. Other than perhaps the French, who inside the EU even has a blue-water navy? Are they going to send Lithuanian dinghies, or maybe rent a yacht like the six guys and a gal did, when they blew up NS2 (wink, wink)?

      Clown world stories, volume 32.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Didn’t Macron recently indicate he wanted no part of this? After his trip to visit Xi.

          Or just more “talk?”

          1. The Rev Kev

            The guy is just a human wind vane depending on which way the political winds are blowing..

          2. tevhatch

            You assume he’s got powers that even Joe Biden or any American President doesn’t have. The French Military have the protection of their own MIC-IMATT. When we read that a general or admiral was “fired” in the USA, or France, that just means they are being transferred to another position — maybe with a nice vacation in between.

          3. Lex

            Yes, but then the Chinese ambassador to France went on TV and said that none of the former Soviet states have sovereignty under international law, so now Macron has to get really anti-china. And to be fair, it sure looks like China was stirring the pot with that one, or that it expected more forceful Macron after he told them what they wanted to hear in Beijing but (as Macron will do) changed his tune once he got home. So they burned him.

      1. R.S.

        Well, Germany can send the brand new F222 Baden-Württemberg. She used to be a little bit overweight, and not quite right in the head[*], and had some politically incorrect right-leaning tendencies[**], but we’ve fixed it. Yeah, we did it, trust me. /s

        Jokes aside, “The Garden” can scramble some ships, but what’s the reason? What do those guys think they are, with Annalena and Ursula lecturing the Chinese and all that? a bunch of pith helmets doing gunboat diplomacy?

        * Radars and FCS not working properly
        ** A constant list to starboard

        1. ChrisFromGA

          I picture a motley assortment of barely seaworthy craft, foundering in the South China seas.

    5. Kouros

      And then China responds with a shipment of weapons and ammunition to Russia. I wonder how will that go down?!

    1. Lexx

      You beat me to it! Yeah, a nightmare muppet, probably not what Henson had in mind. ‘Fozzie Bear, what happened to you?!’

    2. The Rev Kev

      I could see Disney using that image to create a cartoon alien creature for one of their next films.

  12. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Team Blue killing gun control efforts in Colorado.

    Does Polis has Carville types whispering in his ear nonsense about 2028 or did the White House ask for a favor to not put pressure on Biden?

  13. PlutoniumKun

    EVs Fall Short of EPA Estimates by a Much Larger Margin Than Gas Cars in Our Real-World Highway Testing Car and Driver

    From the article:

    The way the tests are conducted also skews the reported range figure. Unlike Car and Driver’s real-world test—carried out at a constant 75 mph—the EPA’s cycle is variable, with the speed increasing and decreasing over the course of the test. While this is detrimental to the results for gas vehicles, which tend to be most efficient at a steady rpm, the ability to regenerate energy under braking leads to higher range results for EVs, which are shifted even higher by the slight bias towards the city results in the combined rating.

    Car and Driver considers a constant 75mph a real world test at a steady rpm? I’d love to find those roads. So they essentially chose the speed and driving pattern most favourable to gasoline and least favourable to EV’s and concluded that…. well, they would, wouldn’t they.

    1. Carolinian

      Constant rpm is why my late model automatic transmission has 6 speeds rather than the 3 speeds of yore. Which means that even at high speed the car can shift down when ascending the many hills in upstate SC. Of course it will still take more gasoline to go up a hill but after that you get to go down.

      It’s also the justification for even more recent CV trans which are even more constant.

      Of course drivability wise all those gears can be a pain, especially with the now rare manual shifting. My current car took some getting used to and particularly if set to “eco” mode but I love the high freeway mileage–in the forties.

      1. britzklieg

        My manual transmission 2006 VW GTI has 6 gears. It’s a sweet ride and with just 45,000 miles on it, hopefully my last. I recently had issues with the drive chain and spent $2000to fix it, but compared to shelling out for a new car…

        It requires high octane, alas, so gas is expensive.

  14. PlutoniumKun

    The Planning of the Ukraine Invasion from the Russian Point of View (Maybe) Gaius Balter, A Son of the American Revolution.

    I’ve no idea if this speculative theory is true or not, but its the first full explanation of the actions of both Russia and Ukraine in the first year of war that makes sense to me, from the lunge towards Kiev to the insane defence of Bakhmut.

    1. magpie

      Also a possible motive for the obsession with the Zap. Power plant and the associated shenanigans that have dragged on there for months – a DMZ around the plant, the river attack, a nuclear release, etc, all for a precious foothold across the river.

    2. The Rev Kev

      It certainly matches the observable facts and I think that Gaius Baltar has called it correctly. The Russian strategy seems to have been to pin down the Ukrainian assault army in the Donbass, secure the approaches to Crimea (with the added benefit of opening up the waterways to Crimea once more) and lodging a force on Kiev’s front door step to pressure them into negotiating. It nearly worked but the US and the UK ensured that there would be no negotiated peace to end the war. I guess the idea for NATO was that the Russian army would send wave after wave of troops to assault the Donbass Line causing enormous casualties which would put pressure on Putin to end the war on the losing side – or be deposed. Trouble is that the Russian army is not in the business of WW2 tactics anymore and their operation to take back Crimea was fair warning. There will be a lot to learn from this war when it finally ends but I can just imagine the “lessons” on this war that they will be teaching at institutes like West Point and Sandhurst.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    The Challenge of Blue Carbon Nautilus (MT). Who knew that monetizing a swamp would be risky? Today’s must read.

    As far back as the 1980’s I was studying pricing proposals for wetlands as part of research I was doing on decision making theory. The entire concept even at the time clearly didn’t hold up for two fundamental reasons. The first is that wetlands are a highly dynamic ecosystem – they go through natural phases of progression which can result in what appear to be random changes in ecology or hydrogeological status and this directly impacts on ‘outputs’ like cleaner water or erosion prevention or carbon/methane emissions. The second is more fundamental, which is that ‘pricing’ environmental goods is pretty much impossible because of the commensurability problem (which economists almost entirely ignore). Quite simply, the ‘value’ varies enormously according to the context in which you measure it, which means that outputs measured in financial value terms become largely meaningless.

    1. jsn

      Shorter version: the only living things stupid enough to believe in the “value” of money is people.

  16. Lexx

    ‘The heightened risk of autoimmune diseases after Covid’

    Although not an autoimmune disease, I’m going to throw in fibromyalgia with lupus. Both are difficult diagnoses to get right (it can take years); they can coexist in one patient; fibro is three times more common than lupus, and fibro contributes to an early grave by generally sucking away quality of life.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Today the orthopedic surgeon admitted me to hospital as they can’t work out what’s going on following a bite from a random cat and first course of antibiotics not working. Replicating very weird vascular pattern following non trauma related vein burst earlier in pandemic. Latest couple of days of links re covid very interesting.

      At least I’m the patient nearest the window….. God I hate hospitals (being a patient in them anyway)…. Thankfully an old fashioned Matron has just begun lecturing other patients on their bad covid practices…. Auto immune stuff was mentioned

      1. anon in so cal

        I got cellulitis in my hand after a neighbor’s dog bit me. It took a bolus in the ER followed by 875 mg of Augmentin for 5 days. Hope you are better soon.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Thx and to Presley too. I have just no doubt become the awkward patient again by quizzing on blood details etc. But they’re all being v nice and professional.

      2. Presley

        My, my. Cats. I am sure your healthcare team is doing a differential diagnosis to get to the bottom of it. Depending on the level of engagement you are comfortable with, asking questions can help pass some time and keep you up to speed. Fourteen questions come to mind: CBC? WBC: Are my neutrophils up (bacteria)? Are my lymphocytes up or down? What does Pathology say?….and on and on. Best wishes for a speedy recovery….

      3. Lexx

        My copy (just out) of ‘Pathogenesis’ arrived last week and I’m starting to dig into it. This is going to be a fascinating read… for those not hospitalized. I went looking for an excerpt to offer you, the introduction alone could be the basis of a long conversation, and asked Google… who offered me the definition of the word ‘pathogenesis’ (it hadn’t occurred to me to look before).

        What I’m reading here is offering cold comfort but helping to adjust those lenses through which I view reality, about my place in the world and that of our species on this planet, and maybe the laws of the universe as we know it. It’s humbling really, a bit like finding out there’s a God after all and it has nothing to do with bearded men. But that’s why we come here – the commentariat – to pick up clues about how our world really works. Not everyday (yeesh!) but slowly, sometimes fighting tooth and nail internally… change is hard at any time, but Kennedy is talking about a major mindset changer for humans, if we survive long enough.

        For what it’s worth, I also no longer seem to benefit from antibiotics.

  17. jackiebass63

    I have lived in my present house since the fall of 1971. Up until recently I have felt safe from possible intruders.I have had the same neighbors for 20 years so the neighborhood is stable. It is a semi country setting with the houses about 100 yards apart.Recently we have had several break ins near by.That has led me to be concerned about safety because police protection is at best sporadic. After a couple months debating with myself, I decided to purchase a hand gun.I’m a hunter and have 3 rifles.My friends tease me that my box of 20 shells will last me 20 years because of my accurate shooting. The rifles are locked up and hard to get to.There are no children in the home so leaving my hand gun unlocked and accessible isn’t a problem. The handgun is loaded with a clip so loading it doesn’t take much time.I haven’t fired the gun and hope I never have to.In my rural NYS area times have changed. It isn’t for the better.

    1. petal

      jackiebass63, yes, rural NYS has changed a lot. My quiet, sleepy, formerly leave your doors unlocked safe rural hometown had 6+ murders a few years ago. Unthinkable. Serious crime, theft, and murder is no longer unusual for the town, let alone the county. The area is nothing like when I grew up.

      1. S.D., M.D.

        Yes indeed! Around these parts of the upstate hinterboonies, which have been on the slow, steady slope to Appalachia level poverty since the mid 1970’s, the supermarkets and big retailers suddenly feature young adult men in groups of four or five. faces covered with crude tats, apparently newly arrived from somewhere- no understanding of English, staring slack jawed as if they might never have been in in such a store before, being shown how EBT cards work.

        This is an area where construction, restaurant, landscaping, other types of seasonal employment and home health care workers are still people who were born and raised here, and where the state government is showing remarkable efficiency and diligence in regulating farms out of existence. There is simply no way such new arrivals will be legally employed here.

        Personal anecdote: Recently forced to shell out for a P.O. box after the half life of packages on the stoop of a house on a low traffic residential street on the edge a very small city dropped below 30 minutes.

    2. Screwball

      Northwest Ohio here. Our crime is increasing too, in this little rural town of around 15k. I didn’t go the gun route, but I put in 4 security cameras. Two in the front, and two in the back. I can see almost all the way around my house.

      If nothing else, it is fun to watch the critters. But I like to know what’s going on outside too.

      1. jackiebass63

        I also have 4 cameras. Until recently I thought that was enough. It is no longer the case. Many break ins are drug related. Druggies are looking for things they can steal and sell to buy drugs. These kind of people are very dangerous.As I said I hope I won’t have to use my pistol. I’m a pretty good shot so I would aim to cripple not kill. A 167 gr hollow point will really cause a lot of damage anywhere it connects to a target.

    3. Wukchumni

      The traveler with empty pockets will sing in the thief’s face.

      Crime is not an issue in tiny town, but should it become one, they’d get a 55 inch tv, a couple laptops and truly not much else aside from outdoor gear like backpacks and whatnot, who wants a well used greasy fart sack, er sleeping bag?

      …are some of you willing to shoot to kill over ‘stuff’?

      1. Charger01

        The author (Robert M. Pirsig) of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance fame, lost his son on the streets of San Francisco when the assailant attempted to rob him, finding nothing he was killed out of spite. Please keep in mind, having no items of value will not grant you mercy in desperate circumstances.

        1. britzklieg

          When I first moved to Manhattan in 1983 it was typical to carry a ten or twenty dollar bill as “mug” money with the belief that, if given over quickly, the incident would not escalate to violence should the mugger face getting nothing for his criminal effort. Then again, I was mugged twice – knocked out from behind, never saw my assailant and never had the chance to test that theory.

      2. eg

        This is also my solution — having little of value in my home.

        If you really want to lug it away, you probably need it more than I do. In any event, none of it is worth getting shot or shooting anyone over …

    4. marku52

      Be sure to at least practice with the gun. Semi autos can be fussy about the type or brand of ammunition they prefer. Don’t want to get a jam the first time you NEED to use it.

      1. Bsn

        The gun advice I received a few times being a younger woman living alone….. Get a sawed off shotgun and have it by your bed side. If an intruder came in (I’ve been lucky all these years in that respect) and entered the bedroom door “you’d have a hard time missing” – I was told.

      2. Jed

        Late to this, but I second this reply by marku52 and would go further.

        It is much harder to fire a handgun accurately compared to a rifle or shotgun.

        There’s also a chance of manufacturing problems that would be easy to discover if you take it to a range.

        Lastly, it may need to be lubed. Guns are often stored for sale with a different type of lubricant than one that might be put into service.

    1. tegnost

      I’ve long thought that the masters have plenty of reasons to hate trump.
      Number 1 is he axed the tpp on day 1.
      Try to imagine the leverage the us would have had on the global south re ukraine had that extremely undemocratic power grab been implemented, which the globalist hillary would absolutely have done, along with number 2, the war in ukraine would have started 4 years sooner and russia was less prepared then so trump gave putin 4 years to get ready for the inevitable.
      a third generally positive thing trump did was axe the 700 dollar affordable care penalty but that wasn’t something the dems should hate on him for, they only did it to get socialized insurance for rich people past the supremes.
      I don’t think any of this makes republicans good as none of the other “maybe trump will give us m4a or make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy” wishes were then or now possible, but he did disrupt the craven authoritarian scoundrels who populate wall st and silicon valley.
      I am in a wealthy enclave working lately, and these people all voted dem…the party of rich (sociopaths) people.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Serbian president signals possible referendum for EU-backed deal with Kosovo”

    Aleksandar Vucic is being a bit of a smart a*** here. The EU would have kittens if this ever happened as the Serbs would knock back any deal that would put them in the losing position. And the EU has a dodgy history with the idea of referendums in any case. So long as the EU keeps on backing Kosovo against the Serbs, any deal will be problematical. Hey, I have an idea. They should totally bring in China to negotiate a permanent peace accord and settle all their differences. Brussels would love that idea.

  19. Wukchumni

    Just off a wonderful kayak trip on the Colorado River, perfect weather and a feast of friends along ..

    Once again in a couple days on the river, waterfowl had been largely ruptured.

    I saw maybe 100 birds, whereas in past trips in the last 20 years I’d see 1,000 to 2,000 birds on the Colorado.

    Avian flu might be the culprit, but let me throw out a thought…

    Insects are few and fewer these days, are birds starving to death on account of missing meals?

    1. curlydan

      Sorry to hear of the lack of bird sightings on the river.

      I was taking a short hike with my wife yesterday when we heard tons of bird calls in the distance. I said they must be in a field or lake nearby, so we went to see them. It turns out we were very near the Kansas River, and there probably were 500-1,000 birds on the river, making a wonderful racket and a beautiful sight.

      I’m not a birder, so I don’t know what type of bird they were. Smaller than snow geese, but decent sized. Mainly white with maybe greyish coloring on the wings and some dark color underneath.

  20. Bill Malcolm

    Re EV driving range estimates provided by EPA.

    As an engineer, I’ve watched the bogus PR electric vehicle efficiency nonsense play out for a good 15 years now, and witnessed the laws of thermodynamics ditched for political purposes. The official EU is even worse in this regard than the US EPA.

    Consider the following: A typical thermal power plant generating electricity from coal, oil or gas is about 40% efficient at producing electricity. 60% of the available energy is rejected as heat. That’s the laws of thermodynamics for you. Perpetual motion does not exist.

    Then the generated electricity is transmitted at high voltage on those huge pylon transmission lines, followed by local step-down to distribution voltage level at substations and lines to your neighborhood. In my jurisdiction, the line “losses” from generation to consumer final use is about 9%. For easy illustrative purposes, let’s use 10%. The loss comes from the resistance heating of wires and transformers.

    So our 40% thermal power plant efficiency comes down from 40 to 36% at user level.

    Any EV plugged into such a generating network is thus already only at best 36% “efficient”. You can argue a few percent different either way if you want to be super picky.

    Now any EV itself suffers inefficiences in its motor and control system. Typically, that might amount to 10%, leaving the EV itself 90% “efficient”. It is actually only at about the 33% overall level. taking our thermal generating, transmission and distribution system’s 36% efficiency and subtracting 10% for real world EV losses.

    Compared to an internal combustion engine vehicle’s typical 25% overall thermal efficiency in actual use, well, yes, the EV is indeed ahead by a third or so. Maybe. I’ve seen no real studies as to real world IC engine efficienies. They’ve all been “estimates”.

    But the official nonsense we get fed is that EVs are 90% efficient and gas cars are only 25%. The inefficiencies of thermally generating electricity and distributing it are banished to a big black hole. Forgotten about. As if those major generation “losses” did not exist. But they do, whatever some joker in governmental policy espouses. They are inescapable.

    It’s certainly true in our specialized world that your average citizen hasn’t the first clue about anything in depth excepting their expertise at whatever job they work at. Engineering and the laws of thermodynamics, a good 95% of the population has not the first clue about. In much the same way I knew little about until recently all these faked-up mRNA Covid vaccine safety and efficacy trials that NC so well exposes, we have been fed official nonsense on EVs and their “three times better efficiency” than gasoline vehicles. It’s as if the electricity fed into an EV’s battery at a charging station appears out of the blue, pure and wonderful and with no environmental baggage. 90% efficiency compared to 25%, that’s the government line of horse manure, and by golly, they’re going to stick with it.

    Of course, if electricity is generated by hydro, nuclear, wind or solar, then the engineering case for EVs is better. In Canada, where 70% of electricity is generated by hydro, well, EVs make sense. In the US, with its bias toward thermally generated electricity, not so much.

    Another societal policy failure we face is that gasoline is heavily taxed, but electricity supply for EVs is generally not. So EVs contribute little to maintenance of highway infrastructure costs, and their owners get at least a partially free ride compared to the average citizen and their gasoline-powered vehicle.

    In my personal opinion, the best engineering compromise is the basic hybrid vehicle like the Prius. Plug-in EVs, not so much — they appeal to consumers looking to minimize costs under existing taxation regimes, but are not the most engineering-efficient solution. No wonder Toyota, the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world, has been so hesitant to jump feet first into pure EVs. Toyota employs honest-to-goodness engineers, not policymakers off on the fad-du-jour, or carnival barker get-rich-quick types employing the magic sleight-of-hand trick of distracting attention from what’s really happening.

    Oh well, at my advanced age of 0.75 of a century and likely relatively imminent demise, it’ll be up to younger folk to extricate themselves from the rathole current government policies have led us into. There are many issues that make little sense to me, and where reform is necessary. They comprise most obviously, overpriced housing and food, low wages, and on to provoking unneeded war to the employment of materially unproductive financial drones who are but parasites on the body politic — as Michael Hudson so astutely continually points out, and to whom nobody making money on the existing system pays any attention whatsoever, because they’re all right, Jack. And to hell with you.

    1. Boomheist

      Thanks for this well-explained analysis. Years ago – many years – during the FIRST energy crisis that started in 1973, before there was a Department of Energy, I worked for a consulting firm on Cape Cod that sold the Interior Department in DC on conducting two “net energy” analyses – the first to look at the net energy of power generation, and the second to look at the end user of that power. It was a serious effort, taking into account construction and mining energy needs, machine efficiencies, etc. Of course hydro power was as I recall the most efficient (though maybe tidal power today might be more so except for the corrosive effects of the salt water) and nuclear ranked up there too, depending on the assumptions about how to handle the waste. These reports were done long before the web and computer use so were produced as paper reports with yellow covers, bound together with punch holes and clips. Remember them? They probably still exist, somewhere. All these fads for EVs are a scam, totally. It is true that traffic jams of EVs will not produce air pollution on the highways, but the power generation – usually near low income communities – will produce air pollution.

    2. Lex

      The one good counter argument that could be made is that centralized electricity generation can have far better emissions controls than individual ICE engines. Before we started closing all the coal plants, they were pretty clean except for the CO2/heat exhaust. Almost all the coal plants I’ve shut down had the chemical, catalytic converters installed for the last, realistic capture of mercury and some other metals.

      That does not change the fundamentals of your argument. IMO, the problem is that electric vehicles are presented as *the* solution. As if passenger cars are the worst contributor to climate change and the appropriate responsibility is assigned to common people. Electric vehicles make the most sense in some cases and less sense in other situations. Long haul electric trucks is a dumb idea, but freight trains with short haul electric trucks would not only reduce pollution significantly but would also reduce wear on public roads.

      I don’t think that those in power actually want solutions to the problems that we face but rather what look like solutions, especially if those apparent solutions require the minimum effort and responsibility from those in power.

      1. marku52

        And what kind of EVs are we going to build? 9000lb Electric Hummers and 600hp F150s, for one.

        That’s saving the planet /s

    3. Cetra Ess

      When we say an EV is more efficient than an ICE vehicle, we mean the EV converts a higher percentage of the battery stored energy into motion, compared to an ICE vehicle which converts a smaller percentage of fuel energy into motion. Energy loss via resistance of power lines shouldn’t factor into whether an EV is efficient or not, it’s purely the stored energy into motion. We don’t say a lighbulb or a refrigerator is more or less efficient because some of that energy is lost as power travels over power lines.

      There are other efficiencies as well. EVs have fewer moving parts, an efficiency, and don’t rely on combustion, also an efficiency. EVs can also capture energy back through regenerative braking, which contributes to efficiency.

      Then there’s the fact that the efficiency of EVs can be improved through constantly improving battery tech, more efficient power electronics, and better aerodynamics, whereas the efficiency of ICE vehicles is limited by the inherent inefficiencies and limitations of the combustion process. For example, carbon frames could potentially store additional energy – imagine storing gasoline in the frame of the car, it’s not feasible.

      Although some of that tech developed to manage EV’s can crossover to ICE. I have this notion that CVT is conceptually giving an ICE some of what an electric motor can inherently do.

      Then there’s the question of how this translates to lower operating/maintenance costs (huge expense reduction for the trucking and transport industries), reduced emissions, environmental impact (not just pollution, also heat) and less reliance on fossil fuels should be a goal. An effective engineering solution factors all of the above.

      I also don’t agree that an infrastructure commons such as a road is a “free ride” for someone who doesn’t pay taxes. By that argument if someone rides a bike over a road they’re not paying for it, are somehow stealing. They’re not, it’s a public benefit for all, there are many such benefits which car owners enjoy but don’t necessarily pay for, such as public washrooms, parks, sidewalks, airports, emergency services, hospitals….

      1. c_heale

        Total energy loss should be considered, including transport from mining and drilling. Because EROEI. I’m looking forward to a car free world.

  21. Carolinian

    Re recruitment “crisis”

    So will the blob have to ease up on the deplorables so they will continue to go fight their wars for them? Perhaps “woke” and imperialism are not entirely compatible.

    But then since when do our elites actually know what they are doing (see todays vaccine post)? One problem I find with RFK Jr’s contention that the CIA killed both his uncle and his dad is the notion that the often bumbling CIA could, for once, succeed in covering the tracks of the all time biggest conspiracy. Our ruling class is worse than a crime, a mistake.

      1. Carolinian

        That’s at least more believable than “the CIA did it.” Apparently RFK also thinks the CIA klled Bobby Kennedy.

        Can’t we please get past the “paranoid style” of American politics even if they really are “out to get us.” Belief in unseen devils kills thought and action. The criminal mastermind is a staple of fiction going back at least to Balzac but in real life criminals are usually not very smart.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “SCOTT RITTER: Syria Comes in From the Cold”

    This is good news for the people of Syria and hopefully it will be the end of the food blockade on that country by the west. Perhaps too, Chinese money might come into that country as investments and to help them rebuild. Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar may protest about Syria being brought back into the fold but I have no idea if that is what they think or that is what they are being told to do by the US. It may be that Israel will have to do their own reconciliation with Syria or else they will be left out in the cold. And in any case, when the Ukrainian war ends, the Russians will be more involved in this part of the world and will help the Syrians defend themselves from the constant Israeli attacks and provocations. After decades of wars in the Middle East and an ocean of blood being spilled, I am all in favour of a serious case of peace breaking out.

  23. petal

    Lambert, just sent you email. Not sure if I can go, or if it is a good idea I be seen there, as our dept chair has strongly made his politics known.

  24. antidlc

    RE: Lymphocytopenia

    Acquired conditions that can lead to lymphopenia

    Infections such as HIV, viral hepatitis, influenza, SARS CoV-2 (the viruses that causes COVID-19), tuberculosis, pneumonia, sepsis, or malaria


    Viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi can all cause infections that lead to lymphopenia. Infectious diseases that can cause lymphopenia include:

    HIV and AIDS.
    Influenza (flu).

  25. pjay

    – ‘Opinion Can Ukraine win without Western boots on the ground?’ – (letter) WaPo

    Curiosity got the better of me so I jumped through the hoops to read this (I don’t have a subscription). It was just a short “letter,” the gist of which is in the second paragraph:

    “The United States sat out the first few years of both 20th-century world wars, hoping arms supplies alone would suffice to counter unconscionable aggression. It was then, and is now, a fatally flawed strategy. The only remaining question (which is unlikely to be addressed in the shadow of a looming election) is whether the United States will enter the fray directly. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forays into Crimea and eastern Ukraine were ostensibly undertaken to protect ethnic Russians. The parallels to Adolf Hitler’s seizure of the Czech Sudetenland to protect ethnic Germans are hard to miss.”

    I immediately googled (well, binged) “David Leatherwood, Reston” (I assume Virginia). I found little about him except he is apparently important or noteworthy enough to have more than one letter published in the Post. A Hitler/WWII analogy. Not to intervene directly is “a fatally flawed strategy.” I hope he’s not working in some government policy-making position (more likely some warmongering think-tank). I also hope there are some letters in response calling out such insanity. But it is the Post.

    1. John k

      Headline, ‘can Ukraine win without us boots…’
      Better would be, ‘can Ukraine win with us boots on ground…’
      I discussed this with another couple, who said if we entered we’d have air superiority, quickly mop up the Russians…
      I mentioned they’d be shot down with worlds best air defense, plus we don’t have enough boots, and the boots would soon run out of ammo. And that we’ve totally lost ww2 industrial capacity while Russia retained it.
      Gonna be a major shock to us psyche… seems worse to lose to a peer (or maybe Russia) than sandal-shod warriors with ak47’s.
      I keep seeing news we can’t find enough qualified recruits to meet army demand, imagine if we wanted another 300k combat-ready troops to send over… and if they managed that, they’d be treated the way the Ukraine armies have been. Maybe better to fight to the last pole…
      I really hope Taiwan learns from Ukraine. The more us troops they take the less independence they will have.

      1. jrkrideau

        I keep seeing news we can’t find enough qualified recruits to meet army demand

        My understanding is that the USA does not enlist people with a criminal record. USA has world’s largest prison population.

        I wonder if there is some connection, here?

    2. Skip Intro

      I guess he’s saving the appeasement trope for his next emission, coming presumably as calls to negotiate blossom in the absence of any great and glorious counteroffensive.

      Of course a suspicious sort would see these headlines as a subtle way of implying that NATO forces aren’t already participating in hostilities in country..

    3. anon in so cal

      APO AE. He was/is Director of Operations for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency


      1. pjay

        LOL! This would certainly explain some things! I can’t say it makes me feel any better though.

          1. pjay

            How fitting! The idea that a top DIA official like this would publish this little letter in the Post arguing such an *insane* policy really blows my mind – though I don’t know why I should be surprised at this point.

    4. LifelongLib

      I think I mentioned this before, but it’s a good rule of thumb to stop reading anything that says “Vladimir Putin’s x” (war, invasion, foray) because it immediately tells you the writer has no interest in history or geography and just blames everything on the madman who’s trying to restore the Soviet Union and helped Trump.

  26. Bart Hansen

    Re: Hopkins masking, the University of Virginia Medical Center, University Hospital, and area clinical facilities’ new mask policies went into effect April 18. Patients need not wear masks and for the staff it is optional except for areas like the ER, transplants, cancer treatment, and dialysis.

    Last week my PCP came in maskless but quickly offered to put one on.

  27. John Beech

    I’ve never wondered why billionaires in Asia fall off the RADAR. Quite the opposite, in fact. By this, meaning I hold the belief that in bringing themselves into view with a flashy lifestyle, the newly wealthy put themselves at risk old money knows better than to do.

    For example, we live in FL where McMansion style homes go up routinely. Homes so large they require not one, or even 3 or 4, but 8 to 10 and more HVAC units – using 5 tons per 2500 conditioned square feet gives a rough estimation of their size, meaning truly ginormous homes! Once the mark of drug lords, today these principally are the homes of newly arrived denizens of Connecticut and New Yorker enticed by Florida’s lack of an income tax.

    Reminds me of the story (allegory?) of the little bird flying along in such cold it began freezing to death and fell to earth whereupon which by chance, a cow shat on it. Buried in the life saving warmth, it soon began to chirp for joy, which brought it to the attention of a cat, which promptly ate it. The moral being, when you find yourself buried in good fortune, keep your mouth shut!

    Anyway, I rather suspect more than a few Asian billionaires today wish they had never developed the habit of displaying lifestyles of such conspicuous consumption, neh?

    1. rusell1200

      “…keep your mouth shut” LOL

      And to add what your saying, various stories going way back have shown the wealthy trying to setup escape routes for themselves. Thus the popularity of Canada’s pay to go immigration policy.

      Did those routes get shutdown? Are the wealthy just having a hard time leaving behind their lucre?

      Or is there a whole lot going on, and the disappearing billionaires is only a tip of the iceberg: an iceberg where there are all sorts of interactions going on.

      There have been a number of stories about three-legged Cartel laundering through China. One part of the leg has Chinese who want US$.

    2. Bart Hansen

      Multiple heat pumps can save energy. Our 1997 home came with two, one for the second floor and a larger one for the main floor where we live. Being empty nesters, we leave the top unit turned off and used only when children visit.

      However, I wouldn’t fancy juggling 8 or 10 let alone the staggering cost.

  28. Michael Fiorillo

    Regarding Ted Gioia’s piece about Jimmy Giuffre, two points:

    – Gioia includes a lovely clip of Giuffre’s trio
    playing at Newport, a band that included
    trombonist Bob Brookmyer and guitarist Jim
    Hall. In other words, it helps
    Giuffre’s/Gioia’s “theory” that Giuffre’s pals
    were exemplary, first call musicians whose
    music is enjoyed and admired today.

    But what if your friends don’t include
    people of that caliber?

    – On an mass organizational level, how
    relevant or practical is this for institutions
    hiring large numbers of people? He makes a
    fair, if self-evident, point – hire creative
    people you’re compatible with – but how
    scalable is it in practice?

    It might theoretically work at McKinsey or on Sand Hill Road (then again, let’s get real here), where Gioia previously worked, but what about a large urban school district, for example?

    1. Michaelmas

      Michael F: a band that included trombonist Bob Brookmyer and guitarist Jim Hall. In other words, it helps Giuffre’s/Gioia’s “theory” that Giuffre’s pals were exemplary, first call musicians


      Jim Hall did recordings where he had co-leader/duet status with Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, and Ron Carter, FFS, and when he semi-retired to a day gig for a few years in the 1960s it was to Merv Griffin’s TV band. Pat Metheny called him the father of modern jazz guitar.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        I’m well aware of Hall’s career. My intention was more a comment on Gioia’s argument than Hall’s (and Brookmyer, who was also a monster) artistry, and so I understated their greatness in order to sidestep any “Who’s #1?” debates. But yes, Jim Hall is most certainly in the Pantheon.

        And double yes, the radio/TV bands and orchestras were the highest-paying jobs of the time – far more than the symphony orchestras – and were filled with incredible musicians. I knew a one-time network orchestra bassist who took a pay cut to become Principal at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1960’s, a move that turned out to be prescient, as the broadcast orchestras were disbanded and the symphonic musicians organized and struck repeatedly for higher wages in the ’70’s and 80’s.

  29. Henry Moon Pie

    Fox News just announced that Tucker Carlson had done his last show on Fox. There was nothing about where he was going etc.

    1. pjay

      Just saw that. Here’s CNN’s blurb:

      They are spinning it like it was Carlson’s hypocrisy that was supposedly exposed in his private text messages criticizing Trump and the election stuff. I’m sure it had nothing to do with his stance on Ukraine, giving air time to the likes of Greenwald or Aaron Mate, or other Red Team heresies.

      Obviously it’s not just about ratings, folks. War Party doctrine must not be challenged!

      1. Nikkikat

        I think that’s exactly what happened pjay. Old Rupert loves wars and warmongering.
        It makes him a lot of money. He also has always had a fixation about Russia. And alas, he couldn’t have been too happy about greenwald, Jimmy Dore and Aaron mate.
        My right wing relatives do not watch anything on fox now except Tucker. They have been somewhat intrigued that left wingers like Jimmy Dore or Greenwald kinda hate the same things they do.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Fox apparently did not want to give Tucker a chance to say good-bye to his sizable audience. I can’t imagine why. (video) We’ve sure made a lot of progress in the nearly 50 years since that movie was written by Paddy Chayefsky.

    2. Steve H.

      Now that’s news about news that is actually news!

      : Rogan $200 million Spotify contract
      : Maddow & MSNBC
      : Dominion lawsuit

      On that last one, an unlikely but important possibility is Murdoch reassessing Fox as deadweight. Limited demographic, cable-cutting and the fight for online dominance, and caught in a Trump doom-loop that doesn’t necessarily help Murdoch. Has the asset been fully stripped?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        And CNN fired Don Lemon a few minutes after Fox’s announcement. Night of long knives in the media world? Who’s next? Mehdi Hasan at MSDNC? Too much to hope for.

        Lemon will be lucky to ever have such a cushy, high-paying job again. But who knows what Tucker will end up doing. Might be something Rogan-like.

        1. Michaelmas

          But who knows what Tucker will end up doing. Might be something Rogan-like.

          Or he could run for office.

          If so, Fox News mightn’t have got him out their hair at all, as they’d then have to report on him.

          He’s smarter than Trump. Probably more popular with the base, too.

    3. WhoaMolly

      Murdoch is up to something. Exactly what is unclear.

      – Settling with Dominion
      – Tucker gone
      – Bongino gone

      All three moves appear to be anti-follow-the-money to my uneducated eye. Is this some kind of 3D chess by the genius Murdoch? How could these three moves make sense?

      1. pjay

        Well, let’s see if Carlson had any Rogan-like deal in the works behind the scenes. In the meantime, there seems to be one “theory” that makes perfect sense. There was one mainstream media platform – *one* – that provided air-time to voices critical of our policy in Ukraine, or *non-partisan* critics of the National Security Establishment like Greenwald, Taibbi, Mate, etc. (i.e. not just the usual conservative whining about liberal media bias that is always around). Whatever other positions he took on various “culture war” issues that really mean nothing to the Establishment, he did offer this. And he happened to have the most popular (and profitable) show on cable TV. Now he’s gone. It ain’t about money. Call me a “CTer” if you want, but until I learn otherwise, Occam’s Razor leads me to one conclusion.

        1. ambrit

          Accepting your theory, what does that presage for America in the next Quarter? If NATO does try to impose a “no fly zone” in the Ukraine, there will be a great wailing and rending of garments when Russia proceeds to act against said “no fly zone.” Like in Korea seventy three years ago, American pilots fighting Russian pilots?
          One idea is that, by capturing all those tunnels and mines in the Donbass, Russia is redressing the mine shaft gap.
          Yesterday, I watched as three sets of two C-17s fly past at I’d guess a mile altitude, spaced five minutes apart. Flying from North North West towards the Southwest. I have never seen six in a row before. (Not enough elapsed time for the initial pair to circle around for a Tank Parade Loop.)
          Stay safe.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            My serious answer about the next quarter is based on the prosecution on the African Peoples’ Socialist Party. (excellent summary of the case by Aaron Matte subbing for Jimmy Dore).

            The elements of Garland’s case are:

            1) spoke against American involvement in Ukraine war;
            2) contact with accused Russian agent; and
            3) receiving money from accused Russian agent.

            No accusations of plans to bomb a bridge or even egg a recruiting office. No direct action. Just speech.

            And they’re looking not at demonetization or being kicked off a platform or losing a salary. They’re facing a federal felony charge punishable by ten years in prison.

            Just remembering how the feds work, maybe they caught this guy being a spy, and they offered him a deal if he could reel in the APSP. And this is probably a test run that will be rolled out more widely if it works without drawing too much fire from the public. Look at the victims they chose. Like the Cleveland 5 kids.

            In any case, anyone off the Establishment script should be very careful to research the backgrounds of anyone they meet with and be very well informed about the sources of any money they receive.

            Things on the civil liberty front are not headed anywhere good.

    4. Henry Moon Pie

      So Tucker Carlson gave an address at the Heritage Foundation this past weekend. Townhall, a competitor of Fox, compiled some of those remarks into a 6-minute video that makes for interesting listening as an indicator of the zeitgeist. It’s a little “The End is Near!”

      His demeanor must give rise to the question of whether he knew things were at an end with Fox when he gave this speech.

      1. Willow

        Can’t help but think Carlson is being set up as a ‘coherent Trump’ VP for DeSantis. Heritage speech touched on all of the psych points needed to lock in Trump voters. Also interesting overlap with Kennedy which suggests Carlson’s views have a lot of supporter depth across party lines. Will be an interesting space to watch.

        1. Yves Smith

          I can’t imagine Carlson would want to be VP. It’s a terrible job and he has vastly more power as a commentator. He can find a new platform if he wants to, if nothing else on Spotify.

          It’s too bad Musk blew his wad on Twitter. It would be vastly entertaining for him to attempt a hostile takeover of CNN.

    5. JustTheFacts

      Tucker had very high ratings which suggest people wanted to hear a different perspective. You’d think that for-profit media would milk such a person for all they could. But no, he has been fired. He was noticeably vociferously against the war in Ukraine and political corruption, which is not the narrative our “betters” want to hear. He also invited those cancelled by our “betters”, like Greenwald.

      Matt Taibbi, was threatened by the IRS when delivering Congressional testimony and delegate Plaskett thereafter. His recent work and Congressional testimony has been to document the control of social media by our “betters” to prevent the plebs from learning or discussing things that go against their narrative. Such interference (Hunter’s laptop) may have affected the last election results.

      Teixeira’s leaks show that our “betters”‘ narratives for the plebs go against what they themselves believe.

      Our “betters” also decided to write a letter claiming Hunter Biden’s laptop was “Russian disinformation” for the stated purpose of affecting the last election. They even told us so.

      I also hear that there will be no primary debates for the Democrats. A primary debate would be an opportunity for the population to hear other views from the other candidates, such as Robert Kennedy. But our “betters” seem to have decided that this isn’t to their advantage.

      It seems there’s a pattern here. I hope I am wrong.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The emperor is doing the full monty, and the solution is to issue a decree that it’s a crime not to look at the ground in the emperor’s presence.

  30. Screwball

    Many reports on Twitter that Susan Rice is stepping down/got fired. Read it both ways, don’t care which. That’s a damn shame as Lambert would say.

    What ghoul will replace her is the question.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Granted Susan Rice has always been awful, but having her be a domestic policy advisor was completely mind bogglingly. Her son is a Kavanaugh fan boy. Can you imagine how she framed politics at home to produce that?

      There are rumors she’s a regular Klobuchar, but Biden is running for reelection. He may have taken stock of his accomplishments and simply saw the ones he wants to highlight weren’t the ones she was pulling for. He is more practical than many other Washington types. Biden can’t run on a grand infrastructure bill. He turned 5 year highway bills into one 10 year bill because of Susan Rice types.

    2. Jeff Hails

      “What ghoul will replace her is the question.”

      Michelle Flournoy? There seems to be no end to these demons

  31. Samuel Conner

    re: the FOX item on military recruitment, surely the declining engagement of the young in the national military project is just a mirror of loss of faith in/declining engagement of all ages in the national political project. There is nothing left to believe in.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So now everyone will have to deal with what Carlson actually says, instead of sneering about the fact that he says it on FOX.

      With what’s going on in this government right now, I’m surprised he lasted as long as he did. You don’t interview Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Mate and Jimmy Dore without consequences.

      1. britzklieg

        Or Stephen F. Cohen. Carlson was the only person who’d have him on during the last 5 years of the good professor’s life.

      2. Boris

        Right, this should become really interesting! I mean seriously, for the last few years he seemed to have been the only one working for any cable-news enterprise that was allowed to talk about serious stuff, like how private equity destroys whole towns, or how war is actually a bad thing, etc. Despite all the things that are less lovely about him, I feel like he is in a way the least dishonest of them all.
        His further path may become intriguing.
        ((Won’t happen, but I had the wet dream of “Tucker/Tulsy 2024”))

  32. magpie

    That WaPo letter, how does that make it to publication? There’s no insight, no originality. It’s just, [Somebody] needs to start WW3 (openly) because of Godwin’s Law. Does the WaPo publish this sort of piffle all the time?

    1. Bart Hansen

      You should see the WaPo reader comments on any piece about the war. They sound like the work of interns from NED, CIA, ISW and so forth, if not bots that is.

  33. Wukchumni

    Lotsa northern lights where they shouldn’t be which is a sign of strong solar storm activity…

    I’m hanging out with my mom in her assisted living place in LA for a few days, and the City of Angles is about the last place i’d want to be in a CME event, the Sun of all fears.

      1. Wukchumni

        Oh, the available food on hand here might last a week, and then it would become quite the hell whole.

        All of the water here depends on electric pumps bringing it from far far away…

        1. WhoaMolly

          Would such a coronal pulse fry electronics too?

          Cars, jets, iPhones, cell towers, police radio, computers… the mind boggles…

          Might be worthwhile to have a small live-aboard sailboat nearby. Something like a 30-34 foot sloop with a fiberglass hull built in 60s. And a solar distiller. (Half-kidding…)

          1. Wukchumni

            It’d be damned fascinating watching the deal go down, and would solve all of our other problems toot suite!, as they’d be of no importance rather all of the sudden.

            Every last gun would continue to function as if nothing occurred

  34. Tom Stone

    I’m curious, if you live in a State that regulates the carrying of concealed weapons what percentage of the households in your County can afford the required fees, screening and training?
    Here in Sonoma County the cost is @ $3,000 which excludes more than 90% of law abiding gun owners.
    Does this mean I’m half a Citizen because I can’t afford a $3K spend?

    1. Wukchumni

      Why not carry guns in the open on your person, considering 99.9% of others in your county are also denied the privilege of concealing their gats?

      Sure, you’d cause quite the commotion wherever you went, but its your legal right.

  35. Joh

    Britain wants special Brexit discount to rejoin EU science projects Politico. Chutzpah!

    Maybe, if read at a shallow level. But what’s the difference between this story as told, and there being elements of what the UK bringing things to the table, which the EU wants, as amongst the real reason for the UK’s ask in return?

    After all, to a near certainty, we don’t know the whole story. Moreover, the entire delivery chain – from conception to our reading it – involved a host of usual reason. My experience is it’s usually money. That, plus an attempt to influence. Influence could mean expressly to deliver confirmation bias. Or maybe to reinforce the attention of those of a certain belief. We don’t know.

    When I don’t know, I let my imagination run wild regarding the real story (and for the same reason I add a grain of salt to my eggs, for the flavor). Or, because truth really is stranger than fiction!

    So regardless of who, what, when, where, and why . . . the point stands, we don’t know the whole story. No more than when someone confides regarding their divorce (there’s his side, her side, and reality somewhere in the middle).

    Withholding judgement is my advice when what’s going on is unknown. And in time we may learn the real reason because actions really do speak louder than words. So let’s wait and see.

    Wouldn’t it be a kick if Brexiteers were proclaimed soothsayers in the end? Like what if recession tips into something dark? Something so dark the EU despairs for what Pound Sterling brings to the table!

    England remain – diminished – but nevertheless, the world most recent circumglobal power. Only 150-200 years on, they retain an excellent standing army, blue water navy, and nuclear strike capability sufficient to pose a threat to the world.

    Plus, Pound Sterling.

    The latter being the only circumstance I even want to consider. So, what if things become so dark the world’s oldest bank in Europe (who were reportedly on their knees at times – Monte dei Paschi di Siena) finally cracks? Don’t you think it’s reasonable there will be many others, Deutsche Bank for example, maybe staring at the abyss? Some will see it staring back, too. That’s for sure when it might be handy having England’s Pound in your hip pocket, agreed?

    So in general, I’m thinking its a mistake to believe the EU have the whip hand. Especially with Ukraine and Russia facing the possibility of being beaten and pushed back (but if we’re being honest, what they and the world need to see). Nothing would speak louder for USA-USA than this development in Africa, the Middle East, India, even Brazil.

    So just because we haven’t lived a Great Depression doesn’t mean this most recent bubble doesn’t crack, resembling something we haven’t seen in hundreds of years!

    After all, conditions of freedom for Wall Street approach conditions of oversight laxity not seen since the Great Depression, and even earlier. Buybacks only became legal with President Reagan in 1982, remember learning?

    So the rules change and smart folks will engage in arbitrage. They’ll do it as surely as the earth spins and for the same reason knowledge is power arose as a saying, also. Combine lax oversight and gullibility, and things can still come crashing down.

    My favorite saying is one I heard when I was pretty young . . . be prepared. As I grow older, I find myself trying to think further and further ahead and playing, what if?

  36. WRH

    “The Overwhelming Case for CBDCs”
    That he treats loss of privacy as necessary collateral damage rather than intrinsic to the entire enterprise because of miscreants should tell you all you need to know.
    3 years ago this sort of talk was ‘ conspiracy theory”. Now it is ” we must do this”
    Be wary, Very wary.

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