2:00PM Water Cooler 6/14/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Cozumel Thrasher, San Miguel; Isla Cozumel, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico “Breeding status: Territorial. Other Behaviors: Advertise. Habitat: Forest, Evergreen Forest, Deciduous Forest, Second-growth, Scrub.” This is great!

(I had originally thought to pair this species with skateboarding thrashers, but I can’t find any videos that aren’t either corporate or influencer-ish. Oh well.)

* * *


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration


I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

Holy moley, this is epic. A must-listen:

The key passage:

We can point to the precise moment that permanent Washington decided to send Donald Trump to prison. here it is it’s from the Republican candidates debate in Greenville South Carolina:

[TRUMP:] “We should have never been in Iraq; we have destabilized the Middle East. They lied, okay. They said there were weapons of mass destruction there were none and they knew there were none there were no weapons of mass destruction.”

We should never have been in Iraq, Trump said. We destabilized the Middle East. Now by the time Trump said that a lot of Republican primary voters were starting to reach the same conclusion; how could they not. But it was the next line that doomed Trump to today’s arrest. “They lied” he said, “there were no weapons of mass destruction” and they knew there were none.

Now when he said that a few in the crowd booed, most just sat there in silenced stunned. Can he say that? Well he said it anyway and by saying that he sealed his fate. That was the one thing you were not allowed to say because it implicated too many people on both sides, which on this topic is really just one side.

Hillary Clinton was guilty of it, but so was Paul Ryan. All of them were guilty; they all knew, they all lied, and to a person they hated Donald Trump for exposing them.

After that it was pretty clear that even if he did get elected president Trump was going to have a very hard time controlling the federal government he was supposed to be in charge of. Most of permanent Washington decided that thwarting Trump was the single most important mission in their lives.

So Trump is this guy:

The guy who threw shoes at Bush. Except Trump threw his shoes at everyone who works “for government” in uber-Blue Fairfax, Virginia, plus every spook and eight-star general that makes bank on the teebee, plus every “access” journalist on the national security beat, and let’s not forget the military industrial complex and its Mighty Rice Bowl. Or the squillionaires with arms dealers in their portfolios, who doubtless phoned the family office from poolside when they saw the clip and said “deal with the matter” followed by “No, I don’t care how.”

“Trump raised $2 million hours after arraignment” [Politico]. “The campaign raised $2.04 million during a “candlelight dinner” with top donors and campaign bundlers, according to a person familiar with the campaign. Trump gave brief remarks to his supporters and was seated at a table with donors and supporters that included Sen. Tommy Tuberville, (R-Ala.), according to an attendee. While Trump’s campaign has mostly relied on small dollar, grassroots donors, the fundraiser — which had a goal of raising around $2 million — demonstrates how Trump has still been able to rely on deep pocketed supporters to fill his campaign coffers even amid his legal troubles. The campaign has not yet released information on how much money Trump raised in the aftermath of his indictment, but it planned to make those numbers public following attention for his arraignment and a wave of fundraising pleas from his campaign.” • Single-sourced, but… “They” never had to arrest Sanders, did they….

“The Trump Prosecution by the Numbers: 90, 70, 12, 1” [Jonathan Turley]. On “1”: “For Trump, his team must run the table on all of the 37 counts. As a man who will turn 77 years old on Wednesday, Trump cannot allow for a single count to survive because the charges come with a potential of 10-12 years in prison. … The number 1 also is looming for Jack Smith. Just as Donald Trump cannot lose a single count, Smith cannot lose a single juror without facing a hung jury.” • Well worth a read.

“CBS News poll analysis: GOP primary voters still see Trump as best shot against Biden” [CBS]. “Former President Donald Trump is Republicans’ top choice for a presidential nominee, not only because they like what he did as president, but also because they think he can win. Despite questions about his electability, they still see him as their best shot to defeat President Joe Biden. And views of electability depend on what voters prefer in a nominee: appealing to Americans in the middle or turning out the base. Despite Trump’s multiple indictments, six in 10 Republican primary voters say he would ‘definitely’ beat Mr. Biden in a 2024 general-election rematch. And comparing data collected before and after federal charges were unsealed, the new indictment has not put a dent into this number — at least not yet.” • Well, I’ve gotta say: I doubt very much that my views of Trump map well to the views of the average Republican voters. But Trump: (1) Got rid of TPP in his first days in office, and (2) his administration put an enormous dent in poverty with the CARES Act, (3) implemented Operation Warp Speed, and (4) didn’t get us involved in a major ground war (Ukraine) and tried to get us out of one (Syria). Also (5) Trump saved me $600 by abolishing the tax penalty that was the ObamaCare mandate. Meanwhile, Biden owes me $600. All in all, Trump’s record stacks up against Biden’s, Obama’s, Bush’s, and is arguably better than Clinton’s, simply because Clinton did so much raw evil. Do I want to have a beer with Trump? No. Do I like solid gold Louis Quinze bathroom taps? No. Is Trump careless, mouthy, undisciplined, and crooked? Yes. And?

“No Labels likely to back off third party bid if DeSantis emerges as GOP nominee” [Politico]. • Grifters gotta grift.

* * *

RFK on Snowden and Assange:

Good! Let’s see if RFK’s polling numbers hold up.

RFK on RussiaGate:


I’m so old I remember when liberal Democrat comedy was actually funny:

No, but seriously, Bill Gates? Windows ME was bad, but was it “crimes against humanity” bad?

Nice platform, but what (see above) about Ukraine?

Cornel West goes Green:

I’m not sure whether this is a People’s Party/Green Party unity ticket, or West solving his Nick Brana problem by throwing the People’s Party under the very small bus that is all it would take, or whether he’s trying to solve his ballot access problem, assuming the GP nominates him. (Long-time readers will recall that my experience with the Maine Green Party was excruciating; the logo we see in the GP tweet, professionally designed for good or ill, and delivered with a complete graphic, er, identity, was the source of long-running controversy, with some local groupuscules refusing to adopt it, etc., etc. Maybe things have improved now.)

* * *

Republican Funhouse

“Trump Allies Take Out Anger on FBI Headquarters Project” [Wall Street Journal]. “In recent days, some House Republicans have begun coalescing around a plan to eliminate funding for a new FBI headquarters in response to the bureau’s role in the indictment, the most clearly defined piece of a multipronged attack on the Justice Department. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) has expressed support for the idea of scuttling the project. ‘It sends a message to the FBI that they have to act more responsibly if they want us to spend over a billion dollars, way over a billion dollars,’ said Rep. Andy Harris (R., Md.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee. Democrats condemned Republicans for threatening to derail the long-awaited project. Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.), who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it would be ‘an enormous slap in the face of the literally thousands of FBI employees who work to protect the country.'” • That’s a damn shame, although it restores my faith in humanity to encounter an elected who thinks a billion dollars is still real money.

Our Famously Free Press

“Was Tucker Carlson’s New Twitter Show Actually Watched By 114 Million People?” [Mediaite]. “[T]here is little comparison between tweet views and cable news ratings. First, let’s start with Carlson’s new Twitter show. Did one third of the United States watch Carlson’s first episode? Not exactly. Musk has made a big push to show off the ‘tweet view’ metric of posts on his platform, adding it to the interface. Now you can see how many people have viewed each tweet on the site. Last month, he hid the ‘video view’ metric, which showed how many people watched a video on Twitter. Even the video view metric was pretty flimsy: according to Twitter, if you watch a video for two seconds, with only half the video player in-view, you count as one video view. The tweet view metric is even less valuable. It merely counts how many people viewed the tweet, so if you scrolled past Carlson’s video on Twitter, you counted as one of the 114 million…. As Steve Hasker, the former president of Nielsen who now serves as CEO of Thomson Reuters, explained in 2015: ‘In TV, the standard measurement unit for viewership is the average-minute audience — how many viewers there are in an average minute of content. In the digital space, on the other hand, video measurement is commonly expressed as the gross number of times the video is viewed, even if only for one minute or one second. These two metrics are quite different, and comparing one to the other unfairly tilts the comparison against TV.'” • So, apples and oranges. But suppose Carlson’s numbers are off, relative to TV, by an order of magnitude. That’s 10 million. Still impressive!

“Fox News sends Tucker Carlson cease-and-desist letter over Twitter series, reports say” [Associated Press]. “Fox has demanded Carlson stop posting videos to Twitter, The New York Times also reported Monday — as the network’s lawyers accuse Carlson of violating his contract, which runs until early 2025 and restricts his ability to appear on other media outlets. Meanwhile, Carlson’s lawyers have said the network breached the contract first. A spokesperson for Fox News Media and attorneys representing Carlson, Bryan Freedman and Harmeet Dhillon, did not immediately return The Associated Press’ requests for comments on Tuesday. ‘Doubling down on the most catastrophic programming decision in the history of the cable news industry, Fox is now demanding that Tucker Carlson be silent until after the 2024 election,’ Dhillon said in a statement sent to Axios and the Times. ‘Tucker will not be silenced by anyone.'” •

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

“AOC on climate voters: ‘I’m looking forward to pushing for more’ [Axios]. • So, “pushing for” is the new way to say “fighting for”? Because fighting is too aggressive, maybe? (Axios’s marketing department only lets me see the headline, sadly.)

“George Soros-linked PAC, extra races give Virginia Democrats fundraising edge in crucial primary election” [FOX]. “Democratic legislative candidates in Virginia have a fundraising edge due in part to donations from a George Soros-linked political action committee and having more nomination contests than their Republican counterparts, a nonprofit found.” See, Republicans have NGOs too! More: “The fundraising haul is not entirely good news for the state’s Democrats as it shows some political in-fighting as lucrative candidates are attempting to oust seasoned incumbents.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

Covid and “Lefty” organizations. I think this is very perceptive, and I haven’t heard it said before:

Granted, this comes out of conference organizing, so are we dealing with NGOs, or a genuine left? Unknown. On the other hand, for a genuine left, there’s opportunity here. And the left needs to meet in #DavosSafe rooms too, as DSA’s absurdly vague* annual conference policies — nothing virtual, though, that’s clear — couldn’t show more clearly. NOTE * “The Convention will follow a robust protocol in line with other in-person DSA events (e.g. NPC meetings, committee conferences). This policy will be put together by the Convention Committee and voted on by the NPC. Once it is finalized, it will be linked here.” “Robust” is one of those words you never want to hear. Operationally, it means a big honkin’ three-ring binder, and no follow-through. And three years into a pandemic driven by an airborne pathogen, with the role of ventilation and masking well-known, why on earth does the protocol need to be “put together by the Convention Committee and voted on by the NPC”? Can’t these people actually organize anything? Do they want their conference to be a superspreader event? And if they’re so all-fired “democratic,” why is there no link for comments or proposals? Fear of the disabled community?

“Amber waves of pain” [Lyz Lenz, Fingers]. “Farmers account for less than 1 percent of the population in America. But the American farm occupies an outsized role in the corporate imagination…. Brands like Busch and Miller High Life want to align themselves with the essence of being American. Or, at least, the imagined idea of what is American. In this narrative, America is open spaces — green fields, blue skies, a lone farmer in a field with nothing but a tractor and nature to keep him company…. But this image of America is more fiction than reality…. Images of American farmland swathed in rows of soy and corn are also images of poison. Every year, thousands of pounds of hog shit are sprayed on fields and run off into streams and rivers, making their way into the Missouri and Mississippi river basins. Iowa’s agricultural waste has played a huge role in creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, which is an oxygen depleted area of the ocean…. There is no place in America that is better than any other. Laughter in America’s heartland isn’t more genuine than in New York City. The heartland is not outside of or above America’s political divisions, it’s not a neutral space; it is not nicer, or more genuine than any other part of America. And when corporations fetishize farmers and fields, they work to ignore the violent realities that are roiling beneath the ground.”


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort.

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (9), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *


Were they smiling with their eyes? Or only with their lips?

The so-called HCWs should not have been allowed to “make him.” They should have given him an accommodation. Fight for one, if you are ever in this situation.

Censorship and Propaganda

“Silvio Berlusconi, scandal-ridden former Italian prime minister, dies aged 86” [Guardian]. • Not one mention of Covid. But in 2020: Italy’s Berlusconi leaves hospital after ‘dangerous’ COVID-19 battle and in 2021 Silvio Berlusconi leaves hospital after 24 days medical supervision “due to alleged long-term effects of Covid-19.” Alleged? By whom? Is there some crime involved?

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *

“A methylation clock model of mild SARS-CoV-2 infection provides insight into immune dysregulation” [Molecular Systems Biology]. From the Abstract: “DNA methylation comprises a cumulative record of lifetime exposures superimposed on genetically determined markers…. We characterized the temporal trajectory of blood epigenetic remodeling in 133 participants in a prospective study of young adults before, during, and after asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. The differential methylation caused by asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infections was indistinguishable….The clinical trajectory in the young adults and in a diverse cohort with more severe outcomes was predicted by the similarity of methylation before or early after SARS-CoV-2 infection to the model-defined postinfection state. Unlike the phenomenon of trained immunity, the postacute SARS-CoV-2 epigenetic landscape we identify is antiprotective.” • I don’t like that last sentence at all. But the whole piece is so far over my head I can’t even tell it’s woo woo. Perhaps a member of the Brain Trust will comment.

“Pfizer sees antibiotic supply running out as shortage worsens” [Bloomberg]. “Pfizer will run out of several doses of penicillin, which treat syphilis, strep throat, and other infections, later this year as shortages ripple across the US supply chain. The company anticipates running out of the children’s dose of the syphilis drug Bicillin L-A by the end of June, according to a letter Pfizer posted Tuesday on the Food and Drug Administration’s website. The company says it’s prioritizing production of larger doses of Bicillin L-A, which is recommended for pregnant people with syphilis because it is the only drug that can pass through the placenta and also treat the fetus. A different Pfizer penicillin, Bicillin C-R that treats other bacterial infections but not syphilis, is expected to run out in the third quarter, which ends Sept. 30. Pfizer’s penicillin has been in shortage since April. ‘The supply interruption is the result of a complex combination of factors including significant increases in demand, due to an increase in syphilis infection rates as well as competitive shortages,’ Pfizer said in the letter, which is dated June 12. Basic antibiotics have been in short supply in the US since October, when rising rates of respiratory infections led to increased demand for amoxicillin, the most popular antibiotic. Shortages of the children’s form of this drug led to more need for antibiotics like penicillin, which treats similar infections.” • “rising rates of respiratory infections.” Huh! Whaddaya know. Commentary:


The spectacle of the GBDers screaming “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!” while they successfully gave the political class cover to adopt stochastic eugenism as the preferred policy option…. Well, let’s just go ahead and say it’s not edifying:

Elite Maleficence

* * *

Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data from June 13:

For now, I’m going to use this national wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, June 10:

Lambert here: Looks to like XBB.1.16 and now XBB.1.16 are outcompeting XBB.1.9, but XBB.1.5 has really staying power. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell. Looks like the Walgreens variants page isn’t updating.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from June 10:

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, June 12:



NOT UPDATED Death rate (Our World in Data), from June 7:

Lambert here: Theatre of the absurd. I can believe that deaths are low; I cannot believe they are zero, and I cannot even believe that all doctors signing death certificates have agreed to make it so. Looks to me like some administrative minimizer at WHO put the worst intern in charge of the project. And thanks, Johns Hopkins of the $9.32 billion endowment, for abandoning this data feed and passing responsibility on to the clown car at WHO.

Total: 1,166,818 – 1,166,713 = 105 (105 * 365 = 18,250 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Excess Deaths

NOT UPDATED Excess deaths (The Economist), published June 13:

Lambert here: Still some encouragement!

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it. )

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Producer Prices Change” [Trading Economics]. “The annual producer inflation in the United States eased for an 11th straight month to 1.1 percent in May 2023, the lowest since December 2020 and below forecasts of 1.5 percent.”

* * *

Retail: “Amazon Calls On Governments To Help Crack Down On Fake Reviews” [Forbes]. “However, the company is calling for more support from governments in terms of legislation and enforcement. ‘The specific situation varies by country. In some countries, governments should establish enforcement authority or stronger enforcement tools to penalize fake review brokers,’ it says. ‘In countries that already have legislation or regulations against soliciting fake reviews, we believe regulators should be doing more to use their existing enforcement authority to take action against fake review brokers.'” • Amazon reviews are, in fact, a comments section and critical to Amazon’s continued success as a brand. But Amazon isn’t treating them that way. They’re trying to do content moderation on the cheap with algos, and since that doesn’t work, they want, in essence, to give their algos powers of arrest. Why not hire a content moderation team?

Retail: “Bud Light Loses Title as Top-Selling U.S. Beer” [Wall Street Journal]. • Maybe Pritzker can buy them on the cheap?

The Bezzle: “South Korean Crypto Lending Giant Suspends Withdrawals Amidst Soaring Market Volatility” [BSC News]. “South Korean cryptocurrency lending company Delio has announced the suspension of withdrawals, citing increased market volatility, according to the local media outlet, Decenter. Delio, which operates as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and reports to financial authorities, holds significant amounts of BTC, ETH, and other alt-coins totaling $9.3 billion. Delio did not reveal when withdrawals will resume. The decision to halt withdrawals comes as a response to the recent suspension of deposits and withdrawals by Haru Invest, a move made to protect investors following a business error. Delio CEO Jung Sang-ho stated that the suspension was a necessary measure to address the surge in withdrawal requests and maintain asset security. The exact details of Delio’s transactional relationship with Haru Invest were not disclosed. Delio’s suspension led Upbit, one of Korea’s largest crypto-asset exchanges, to reduce digital asset withdrawals from Delio as part of its investor protection measures. ”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 81 Extreme Greed (previous close: 80 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 76 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 14 at 1:30 PM ET.

Class Warfare

“Madison Avenue Takes On Capitalism” [Forbes]. “If you look at the brand within the American economic system most brand- challenged right now – one that both dominates practically and yet struggles attitudinally— it might well be capitalism itself. Despite its historic role as the greatest prosperity engine ever created, and despite the resilience of U.S. productivity and employment figures even during this rocky time, capitalism, has become increasingly unpopular within the country synonymous with it. Just 57 percent of Americans have a positive view, according to a massive Pew Research survey last summer, versus 65 percent in 2019, numbers that comport with numerous other polls, including ours, conducted with The Harris Poll. Drill down by age cohort, and those results become positively alarming: among adults under 30, only 40 percent have positive feelings (compared with 44 percent who said the same about socialism). America’s next generation of leaders seems more keen to create the next AOC than the next AOL. And oblivious to what socialism means when applied dogmatically across a country, whether Venezuela today or East Germany a generation ago.” If “the next AOC” is the outcome, then capitalism can rest easy.” • Fascinating article. I’ll just pull out one deliverable:

Neither has anyone else. There’s no such thing.

I’ve linked to and quoted Insider lately. Sorry, guys:

News of the Wired

“Amtrak St. Louis-Chicago travel getting upgraded from current 90 mph to 110 mph” [ABC7]. • That’s practically supersonic! What is it, maglev?

A variant of the drunk looking for his keys under the lamp post:

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From WB:

WB writes: “First MN wildflowers of the Spring — Siberian Squill — apparently an invasive but pretty nonetheless.” Well seen!

* * *

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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. Amfortas the hippie

      but just as secession…let alone revolution…is always, by definition “Illegal” and therefore “not allowed”…who cares?
      of course the Bosses would insist, hand on heart, that strikes are bad…and their employees in the gov will make that a reality…again, of course!
      one does what one has to do.
      i consider my 5 or so acres a separatist area.
      i’ve seceded in heart and soul and as much of my physicality as i could, so far , manage.
      more all the time.
      i have a great big moral issue with what passes for texas and america at large.
      especially in the collusion of corps(e) and state….but also the giant disconnect between our hallowed idea of ourselves, and the reality down here at the bottom.
      want my loyalty….or even my fealty?
      that’s gon’ take some convincing…as well as a whole bunch of readily identified Praxis.
      and i can see it all collapsing into a morass of illegitimacy and stupidity before that happens.

      1. ambrit

        As for Union activity, my Dad, front and centre in the Young Communists League when he was young, (remember them?) once remarked that it was not a real strike until someone was killed, on either side. He and his cohort understood the deadly serious nature of the struggle engaged in by Union organizers. Think Pinkertons busting strikes at the turn of the Twentieth Century and the Steel Worker’s Union bombing campaign.
        The present day Elites are true sociopaths. They care not who they harm in their pursuit of profits. The Workers must return the compliment.
        [Now to see if the Internet Dragons are hungry tonight.]
        Wheee! Stay safe, go Grey!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          ive never been fired.
          i have, conversely, fired every boss ive ever had…except for myself, of course.
          that would be silly.

          1. ambrit

            Good man. I have been fired. A big realization one time was that I was happy to have been kicked off of one job. I had internalized the abuse. That ‘boss’ did me a favour by opening my eyes to the essential dysfunction of “buying into” the Company Narrative.
            You may not ‘fire’ yourself as “boss” but you sure can burn your fingers once in awhile. I have. Just think back on those “Oh, s—!” moments. I try to learn from those contretemps, once I manage to remove my ego from the equation.
            Stay safe out there in the Comanche Territory.

          2. eg

            I’ve never been fired either. Mind you, I only ever worked for one private sector company (a meat packer) and at that part-time as a student. For the rest of my working life I was in the public sector. I did experience strikes and lockouts there until I ended up on the management side for the last 18 years of my career. In those 18 years I was only handed two union grievances, so I think my conduct would probably have been mostly characterized as worker friendly.

      2. LifelongLib

        Given the historical associations of “secession” you need a different term…a “declaration of independence”?

    2. Another Scott

      I beg to differ. Biden delivered big for the union and their administration with the funding for the multi-employer pension funds. $38 billion is a lot of money for the unions, and someone has got to decide how to invest it and have diners and trips with representatives from fund managers. Of course the AFL-CIO’s executive would endorse Biden; weren’t they the ones who negotiated the railroad contract in the first place?

      1. Yves Smith

        This is not a win for union but for the workers in the ONLY the most underfunded plans. Even by shoring up the worst plans, this brings average funding for multiemployer only to 91%. Experts advise employees to contribute to these plans only if they are underfunded: https://frostbrowntodd.com/think-twice-before-agreeing-to-contribute-to-a-multiemployer-pension-plan-especially-if-it-is-not-at-least-100-funded-2/

        Second, the total number of workers helped is on a par with CalPERS’ total beneficiaries.

        Third, these funds invest heavily in high-fee, underperforming alternative investments, and those fees are laundered to some degree back into political contributions.

  1. indices

    I remember beer before there was any such thing as “lite” beer — mostly pretty good, except the egregiously cheap junk. European brews were the best. When they came up with “lite” beer (originally for dieters, as I recall) I realized they had found a way to market water.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        “Canned water. Canned air. AI toilets.”

        Who is Philip K. Dick?

        1. ambrit

          Surely you jest! Horselover fats was the Prophet of the Dystopia and forerunner of the Jackpot.
          {Ever wonder what that Japanese Geisha ad playing on the Jumbotron on the street in Future Los Angeles in the film “Blade Runner” is saying? It says to really, really, consider emigrating off world.}
          That’s Phillip K Dick. He was so far ahead of his time that we still haven’t caught up with him.

      1. LifelongLib

        I’ve heard there were good American beers early in the 20th century, but the combo of WW1 anti-German sentiment and Prohibition did them in. And there are good beers now, although post-Monty Python…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Bud Lite has company with another mob – Call of Duty. Yes, the well known video game. There was a tussle between Arrmenian & Hispanic parents on one side and pride activists in the streets outside Glendale school in California recently and the cops had to break it up. Conservatives noted that it was an issue that united christians and muslims against LGTBQ+ policies in schools but whatever. Bear with me here.

      So Nickmercs, a very well-known game streamer put out a tweet saying ‘They should leave little children alone. That’s the real issue.’ because he is a recent father. Because it is Pride Month, Activision’s Call of Duty yanked his sponsored gear in the Call of Duty game to punish him. Video game players are not the most tolerant of people in any case but this went off like Hiroshima and has led to chaos. Other well know streamers have suspended their activities with Call of Duty and there is an ongoing boycott going on.

      This was bad timing for Call of Duty as they were about to launch another version and you do not want to know what people are being called that support Call of Duty’s actions on twitter. It did not help that CoD’s tweets were being ratioed like crazy and that CoD was caught deleting them. Here is a link about it but this is all over YouTube-


  2. DJG, Reality Czar

    Marianne Williamson: “Nice platform, but what (see above) about Ukraine?,” as Lambert Strether writes.

    Let me set up some agitation here on why Marianne Williamson is waffling:

    Recently, I watched Glenn Greenwald on the Two-Spirits Movement (GL…). Note his analysis from minute 3:40 to 7:00. He has a rather subtle view of power–but he understands power and its uses and how liberation movements slide into abuse.


    How does this lead to Williamson? I suspect that Williamson sees the majority of her natural constituency as being women, which means especially the interests of upper-middle-class women. She’s not quite a Nina Turner, a great unifier across races, class lines, and gender. And, of course, she has witnessed what the dominant feminists did to Nina Turner.

    Among upper-middle-class white women, the women who showed up for Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened” grifting book-signing tour, it is an article of faith that the war in Ukraine is a just cause, that Ukraine is the oppressed and abused nation, and that the darn man-spreading Putin has to be humiliated. I’m seeing this more than I would like to see it (even from my safe perch in the Undisclosed Region of Italy).

    RFKJr can simply say, as in the video: I have have changed my mind. In Williamson’s world, she can’t suddenly say, “I’m the new Medea Benjamin.”

    Upper-middle-class feminism has become a conservative force, with a significant part of the electorate not able to move past the “harm to Hillary” spectacle.

    What does Williamson say to women who think that Madeleine Albright is a feminist hero?

    Again, a man like RFKJr can simply write off Albright. Much of the old girls’ network, which exists and funds candidacies, will not approve of her doing so.

    I suspect that Williamson is against the war, but her milieu is not.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Hearing Cornel West interviewed today by Chris Hedges was just as disappointing. Hedges tried pointing out the history, but West seemed totally committed to “our Ukrainian brothers” and bad Putin.

      1. pretzelattack

        that is seriously disappointing. htf can he believe all the bullshit? he’s spent his life exposing it.

      2. some guy

        West has always been honestly intended as far as I know. That means that if he says ” our Ukrainian brothers” . . . he believes it. Perhaps he can give a detailed explanation of his understanding of the history here at some point that leads him to think as he does.

    2. Not Again

      Another Profile in Courage. Let’s elect her and see what she really wants to do. No Thanks

      1. LifelongLib

        Reminds me of what (allegedly) Eleanor Roosevelt said about JFK:

        “Too much profile. Not enough courage.”

    3. JBird4049

      For some reason I don’t like Marianne Williamson, I know that Tucker Carlson is a questionable in his morals, JFKjr. is a with too big a hate on vaccines, and Cornel West, while probably the best of them, has his own serious blindspots. But they are all running around speaking truth that is deemed forbidden to say by the Elites who have also brainfraked much of the people into believing their lies.

      I hope that they have all gotten their affairs in order, particularly their last will and testament, and that all their family and friends as well. American politics is usually peaceful, often corrupt, but when the goals become existential, one side, usually the conservative one, pulls out the guns, blackmail, and police/goon squads. And there is always a surprise heart attack or plane crash.

      This is often forgotten or ignored by the well-off, but American politics during the past three centuries has often been like this. It is baked into the DNA of America. Left or right. Leftist, liberal, or conservative. It does not matter. The past forty, forty-five years are an anomaly because of the successful, covert coup d’état of the entire political economy by two, increasingly one, American factions or coalitions; there was no need to get messy. It is a shame, really. We could treat the whole situation as some kind of ridiculous game, but now we cannot, and I wonder just how effective the news blackout and/or propaganda will be when it starts.

      Thing is that if anything does happen to a major, or even a minor, candidate, and it does not matter which party, it will almost certainly get interesting as most people are not in an credulous, forgiving, or accepting mood. This is one reason not to have Joe Biden in the race.

  3. Carolinian

    Re Carlson–can Fox really stop him from expressing his personal views on a social media site that is not paying him to do so? Fox needs to quit while they’re behind. But maybe they can judge shop an injunction.

    He is still on their payroll–unwillingly–but supposedly not cashing his checks since he is already quite wealthy.

    1. Bugs

      It looks like he’s still under an exclusive contract even though they fired him. That’s how he got the big bucks. Like the old studio system in Hollywood. He’s gonna have to negotiate a way out.

      1. The Rev Kev

        He can easily say that his tweeted videos do not compete with the Fox network and that he is just some guy having a ‘fireside chat.’ Also, the First Amendment say he can say anything that he likes and does not mention having to ask a corporation first. Also, he could argue that as Fox wants him on the payroll but not to talk to anyone till after the 2025 Presidential election, that his contract was negotiated in bad faith and would have a detrimental effect on his career by silencing him for two more years. Don’t like the guy but fair is fair.

        1. ambrit

          This could also turn into a major battle over the legality or not of non-compete clauses in contracts. Carlson has some deep pocket backers. This will likely go all the way to the Supreme Court. It will take a few years, (the wheels of justice grind slow but fine etc.) but Carlson can continue ignoring any cease and desist orders and take his chances. We just might find out if a person can be jailed for ignoring a cease and desist order.
          Interesting times.

    2. t

      My guess is that his contract has something like the old Hollywood morals clause and he’s still under it, whether or not he’s cashing checks and since he doesn’t manage his own money I’m confident those direct deposits are being logged as payroll and whatever scummy not-payroll payment plan he has by some lonely serf with a laptop job.

  4. Kurtismayfield

    This was mentioned before on the comments, but why aren’t capitalists responding to shortages? We are talking about PENICILLIN here.. this is not a new fangled drug that needs special ingredients. Why isn’t there a response by capitalists to produce more in a shortage? Isn’t someone leaving money on the table here?

    1. Objective Ace

      Econ 101 — there’s more money to be had by a monopolistic practices restricting supplies. That allows the price to be jacked up higher. Sure the quantity decreases, but quantity multiplied by the new higher prices is still greater.

      Disclaimer, I’m not saying this is the case here, it could just be good ol’ American manufacturing rot/incompetence, but it would match the storyline

    2. eg

      Because they aren’t actually capitalists (the very essence and engine of which is market competition) — at best they are oligopolists, at worst monopolists.

    3. Grateful Dude

      a few days late, but, and I am not a Doctor, I believe penicillin mold commonly grows blue-green on lemons. I’ve made tea a few times and had no reaction. I can’t say that it worked either.

      This is not a recommendation. Look it up before you try it.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      That was hilarious. I think the Democrats should run that Biden. He looks a lot better.

          1. ambrit

            That is a very good sign for them. They can make a bit of fun, including of themselves.

    2. Luckless Pedestrian

      The penguins were perfect. Goofy demeanor in such a formal package. The perfect “news” audience!

    1. Glen

      Actually when I heard Trump say that about the Iraq war and the WMD lies was when I became convinced he was going to win the election.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: bill gates / crimes against humanity

    No, but seriously, Bill Gates? Windows ME was bad, but was it “crimes against humanity” bad?

    So, I guess you’re joking here, but it’s really no laughing matter.

    RFKJ’s fauci book extensively chronicles the gates / fauci / WHO decades-long focus on “vaccine” experimentation that has resulted in the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of women and children, not only from the toxicity of the experimental drugs, but from the lack of focus on, and money for, more proven, less expensive, regular old, boring nutrition, sanitation and education.

    Thing is, the “humanity” against which these crimes are committed is in places that people only pretend to care about like Africa and other underdeveloped countries that are only thought about when someone needs a reason to throw a formal, self-aggrandizing, tax deductible fund-raising “gala.”

    If only half of what JFKJ documents is true, gates really is a megalomaniacal ghoul.

    1. Pat

      Gates is also the largest private land owner in the world. And much of that land controls water. (He is also big on owning farms.)

      And the Gates Foundation funded much of the intentionally flawed studies used to support vaccine only response. For instance those of off brand drugs and non pharmaceutical based interventions for Covid.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Let’s not forget his funding of the shooting sulfur in the sky every two years project at Harvard, nor his relentless push for agricultural practices that are fatal to both subsistence farmers and bees. He’s also funding robot bee research at Harvard to replace the bees. No word on robot farmers.

        1. skippy

          Kids minds through CORE after monetizing the curriculum via IP and establishing a monopoly on all of it.

          Gates Digital Capitalism …. looks out window …

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        11 illuminating minutes from today’s Rising on the meaning of “philanthropy” in bill gates’ world.

        Hint: besides land and water, he essentially controls the WHO in all of its “vaccine”-obsessed glory, while releasing genetically engineered mosquitoes on unsuspecting populations in his spare time.


  6. some guy

    So West wants to be Green Party now? So the good professor has decided to flush himself down that toilet of irrelevancy and and unseriousness? Well okay then.

    He will have interesting things to say. Will they be allowed onto the MSM? If he can find a way to insult Obama so badly and so personally that Obama feels driven to come out screaming from his solid gold lair on the ” Rich” side ( the “White” side) of Martha’s Vineyard, that could increase Professor West’s MSM exposure bigly. I hope that West’s speaking-Truth-to-Power trip is more than just entertaining.

  7. Pat

    I’m of the opinion if you asked most people if they were better off now or five years ago most would be hard pressed to say now.

    Since I am of the belief that lockdowns were as much to enable Biden to campaign remotely as they were to protect hospitals from collapsing, I do think that most of those who work remotely part or full time can actually thank him rather than Trump. I also think if he and his admin can find a way to end remote work they will, so I fully expect those workers to be this years railroad strikers.

    The thing that is sad to me about that “most of Washington” Carlson refers to is that the idiots haven’t realized that they have made Trump stronger AND, like that strategy backfiring, having their own way for the past three years has led to an increasing erosion of America’s status and power. Much of the world have realized that America is agreement incapable, its military power is less effective than the image, it is less than self sufficient, and dare I say it they are led by corrupt demented fools. Oh and their status as the holder of the world’s reserve currency is rapidly ending.

    If any one had told me ten years ago I would be rooting for Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump to help tear the entire edifice down…

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding the amber waves of pain:
    i live in a farming county.
    used to be peanuts and angora hair goats until clinton’s last farm bill.
    now its mostly hay and winegrapes and sheep and cattle…generally from the more prudent and/or ruthless among those who used to make money from subsidies for peanuts and hair goats.
    the people in the beer and truck commercials are my neighbors…i see them whenever i leave the farm.
    but i also know that what this article states is true…using 1% of us as a marketing gimmick is just as bad as step n fetchit or song of the south,lol.
    and just as bad…in taste, perhaps….as assuming that the enbubbled PMC represents “America”.
    in the almost 30 years since clinton, the suicide rate out here is higher than most other places in texas…as is the rate of overdose….as is the per capita incidence of meth and opioid use…as is the “access” to healthcare…and on and on and on.

  9. LawnDart

    (Almost) Daily Derailment(s):

    Union Pacific Railroad confirms derailed train in Grand Junction

    [1.5-minute video, yuck.]


    And there’s this:

    Derailed: Investigating the US railroad industry

    After a train derailment in Ohio, Fault Lines investigates whether the railroad industry has prioritised profits over safety.

    During our investigation, Fault Lines spoke with workers at the main railroads, who described how their jobs have been affected by a corporate strategy that has prioritised profits over safety.

    [25-min. video, I did not see a transcript]


  10. Dr. John Carpenter

    I read the Forbes article on Amazon wanting government assistance on fake reviews, but I’m still confused how this is a government problem. I think the comment section analogy is apt and the whole thing smells to me of Bezos wanting to have his cake for free and eat it too.

    On the other hand, Amazon still has an issue with fake products. I’m not just talking about cheap knockoffs. I’m talking about how, last time I looked, you can find computer storage devices claiming outrageous large capacity for cheap. But when you actually dig into the device, the capacity is faked and the actual storage is a fraction of the claim (there’s videos all over YouTube about these). Or just fake memory cards in general. I’ve bought some claiming to be SanDisk that the logos rubbed right off and the serial numbers on the cards were identical (and fake when checked on SD’s site.) Or there’s the retro videogame devices illegally loaded up with thousands of other people’s games. For my money, the influx of this kind of stuff is Amazon’s real “fake” problem, and one that would be a government issue, but for some reason they never mention this issue. (Not to mention, if they got rid of these products, they drastically cut down on those fake reviews, if not all but eliminate them, as these sketchy products and fake reviews go hand in hand.)

    1. Luckless Pedestrian

      I’ve been enjoying fixing up older bicycles lately. It seems like common knowledge on bike forums that buying a “Shimano” part from Amazon is all too likely to net a counterfeit. If I’m following the plot it is in part because they mix different sources/sellers of a given item into a common “pick” location. No effort to verify source or keep separate.

    2. some guy

      I realize there are people in deep isolation who can get a certain something from Amazon only, and no one else.

      But as to those people who “could” get something from NOmazon and “choose” to get something from Amazon because ” always the lowest price, always” or whatever, they deserve whatever fake “prawdukt” they end up receiving. ( Actually, they deserve to lose their job for helping Amazon kill everybody else’s jobs, and have to end up working in the Bezos Fulfillium mines.

  11. Amfortas the hippie

    from Moon of Alabama:
    Vlad sez:”The information space is a battlefield, a crucial battlefield.

    So, if someone uploads or writes something and provides an address, this is one thing. However, if there is no address and it is not clear who is writing or speaking, this is a completely different story. You and I are well aware that you can post things online using well-known technical means, and you can make it look like millions of people have seen these videos and commented on them when in fact there is just one person behind it who simply uses modern technology to replicate it endlessly. But, of course, there certainly are people who have a certain frame of mind, and they can express their point of view.

    What can we do to oppose this? I think this audience will know what I mean. This can and should be countered not so much by restrictions or administrative or law enforcement constraints, but by effective work in the information environment on our part. And I am really counting on your help.”

    compare and contrast to the voluminous authoritarian bullshit Tiaibbi Greenwald and others have uncovered of late…from “Democrats”, no less!
    i reckon that we’re in the Bizzarroworld Stage of the Jackpot.
    surely there’s gonna be a Peak Absurdity Point….surely.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        Ja,lol…i cant even type that word without thinking of my wife…bc she’d always say “dont call me shirley”

  12. pjay

    RFK Jr. on Russiagate: “Now I see that as the runway to the Ukraine War… that we were being propagandized to see the Russians as an existential enemy.”

    Whatever his other limitations, for me this is the *most* important issue we face today. And he has framed it correctly; Russiagate is about a lot more than “dirty tricks” by the Hillary campaign. That was only one element in a much deeper, long-term propaganda effort to justify our geopolitical strategy. Kennedy is the only candidate that speaks to this directly. Though I think Carlson is right about why there is universal Trump derangement among the Establishment, I think Trump himself is probably too clueless and inconsistent to stay coherent or committed on this issue.

    Kennedy’s comments on Israel still bother me, though. Maybe he’ll change his mind on some of these statements as well – though that would not help reduce the already massive smear campaign against him.

    1. Bsn

      Yes, I saw the interview by Krystal and Sagaar (sp?) and I listened intently to his Israeli answer. Right at the end he says, in effect “We should review our relationship”. That’s a start. He does seem to learn and is flexible when shown a contrasting view.

  13. Amfortas the hippie

    and something for tomorrow’s hopper, perhaps:

    i’ve read him, some years ago via interlibrary loan(as a late addition to the reading list for my research frenzy into the american right)…and a few of his offerings, here lately.
    y’all know i have a thing for Autarky/Emersonian Self Reliance…
    thats about the only thing i agree with this guy on…although i sympathise with how he’s been used by the Russian boss class to foment solidarity…much like Rodnovery and other Slavic pagan things.
    when iran was the folk devil du jour, during Bush2, i went and read the Avesta.
    i figger its good to get all around things out there in the world, when one cannot go and immerse oneself in person.
    this is that kind of article

    1. some guy

      If America can’t do full autarky, it could certainly do some major autarkishness anyway. It would take a PartyMovement to bring policy around to that goal.

      ” The National Green Survival Party supports National Green Survivalism in one country.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i see underutilised resources…especially the human resources(sic)…every time i leave the derned farm.
        we could do a whole lot more for ourselves…but for walmart, etc.
        its why i withdrew my Consent, after all.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          anniversary of Wife’s death day was monday.
          so we did a shindig at the bar sunday evening.
          i spent all day over an open fire in the heat, jammin out, cooking lamb osso buco that was 90% off this place.
          2 kinds of oils, rice and mushrooms were from elsewhere.
          rest, i butchered and froze months ago, thawed cut up and brined(a lil too long, as it turned out), and stewed with a bunch of things i picked that morning…including carrot greens in the gremolata!
          it can be done.
          but making bank cant be the incentive.
          i did all that for my Familia…fed 20 people if one includes the to-go plates.
          got companionship/fellowship out of the deal that i find impossible to quantify.
          notable, perhaps, that i’ve yet to see anybody involved with bean counting out here twice,lol.

          1. some guy

            Organized mankind has always traded “this” for “that”. But that trade was regulated one way or another, either by custom or religion or law or whatever.

            Balanced equity trade of equi-value for equi-value can be useful to autarkish societies so long as neither one pursues self-annihilating ( in the long run) mercantilist visions.

            Could olive trees grow in your part of Texas? Could bitternut ( mockernut) hickories grow in your part of Texas?

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              i planted what olives i could get, almost 30 years ago.
              but we have severe cold spells, sometimes.
              there are cold tolerant varieties of olive(relative)…like from mountains in israel and morrocco, of all places.
              but at the time, i wouldve had to deal with import protocols/APHIS.
              a dude 70 miles southeast, in Wimberly, went to all that trouble, and had a thriving olive grove and nursury…but then Winter Storm Uri happened.
              havent looked at him since then to see.
              as warming progresses, olives will definitely grow here…just ot quite yet.

          2. Carla

            Amfortas, it’s hard to believe it’s a whole year since your wife died. Feels like a couple of months ago. Our hearts are with you.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              thanks, babe.
              i spent the hour on either side of the time of her death on monday down there on the tailgate, listening to the wind…there, beyond the windchimes that she picked out for our little graveyard.
              and watching everything.
              all kinds of shit happening, even at 13:12 Lima.
              myriad butterflies of at least 10 kinds…swirling in their mating dances…for instance.
              and there’s a cow ant/velvet ant…which is really a flightless wasp…going about her bidness…eating grasshopper eggs that i cant even see.
              and theres squirrel scouts…come all this way to check on the acorn crop, i guess…
              and the other evening, as i sat in the ruck with the door open down there by the graveyard….a whole family of rabbits came up out of the tall grass and sat there and looked at my naked self, sitting in my truck.

  14. Tom Stone

    What’s next from the Biden Administration?
    The Mar a Lago raid and the arrest of Trump were over the top IMO, how can they top those two actions?
    Let’s see what the commentariat cancome up with as suggestions!
    Start with “No one could possibly be that stupid and reckless” and come up with an idea or two that are even dumber and more reckless than what we have seen to date.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      well, i fear a nuclear exchange would be considered notable, from within the bubble…and utter stupidity from without.
      and speaking of Good Cormac, i can’t think of a scifi and/or dystopian novel or tv show or film that regards nukewar, past or present(within universe) as a good thing.
      Orson Card, maybe…but i haven’t read all that much of him….just feels like that kind of guy,lol.
      Heinlein in Farnhams Freehold flirts with the necessity…from certain perspectives “at the time”…and the overall beneficial aspects, post-fallout…but nobody really gunning for it.
      in the Star Trek Universe…ere the frelling “Reboot”, at least…it was seen …tacitly…as a necessary step in the evolution.
      but also as a source of shame that it had to come to that for us to wise the hell up.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Hmm, how about bombing Mexico City because markets?

      AMLO getting way too uppity with the GMO corn ban. Nationalizing the oil industry is another strike. Also not a team player on project Ukraine.

      Why not start another war? Good for the Dow, good for ratings.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        and the lithium, tooo!
        he’s obviously putin’s sock puppet and must be removed asap.
        and i hear from my greencard carrying buddies(and otherwise not quite amurkin) that ordinary healthcare in Queretero, at least, is much better and affordable than here.
        they go home for anything major, too.
        too expensive and evil up in here.
        that’s gonna hafta be dealt with, of course…cant have a functioning alternative right down there.
        just wont do at all.

        1. psv

          Oh no, you’re all just making me laugh too much today. Thanks Amfortas, Chris and Tom. And to Lambert for the focus on the Tucker piece. Connecting the arrest to the Iraq debate moment just seems so on the nose.

  15. Louiedog14

    Tucky’s Vid:

    So the thing about Tucky is that I know he’s smart enough to connect all the dots when he feels like it, but I’ve too often seen him leave out plenty of dots when they don’t suit him. Maybe that will change now that he’s flying solo, but I don’t really trust him. So when, for example, he’s talking about what a suck-up Pompeo was, I’m reliant on Tucky for that info, and that’s where I get uneasy.

    His thesis makes a pretty good amount of sense I think. One thing I struggle with from a ‘perception of national politics’ perspective is that I have been intuitively anti-narrative dating back to Reagan’s election. So it’s a bit hard to give a guy like Trump (or anyone) much credit for realizing in 2016 that the Iraq War was a crock. I mean I saw b.s. from the get-go and who am I? I do suppose it was a jarring thing for the neocons to hear. But I always assumed that their loathing of Trump was down to his terrible table manners.

    And yes, I call him Tucky. I know guys like him and I don’t have much use for them. Soft, pampered, desperate to be ‘regular’. The tell here is when he talked about ‘people struggling’. He said drive 500 miles, he talked about Honduran roads and shuffling drug addicts. He’s up in Maine ffs. A lot of the people I know in Maine have about 13 different jobs trying to piece together a living, snowplowing, chopping wood, light carpentry, maybe make a few Adirondack chairs on the side…Tucky doesn’t have to drive 500 miles, he just has to open his eyes next time he’s at the grocery store and watch people decide whether or not they can splurge on a pint of strawberries this week.

    It’s a hit job on Trump though. He’s right about that.

    1. some guy

      Tuckie-poo? I thought he lives in Florida now. Am I wrong about that? I hope he has invested millions of his inherited Swanson Dinner family fortune in Florida land, right by the side of the sea.

      He will certainly emit a running Gish Gallop of lies when it suits his purpose, for example towards his goal of ManMade Global Warming Denialism. For example.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Yes, indeed.

      I have a hard time seeing why people get excited about an overgrown s#×*heel College Republican.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I have a hard time seeing why people get excited about an overgrown s#×*heel College Republican.

        Because Carlson’s thesis is correct, that’s why. (As to the timing, and the motivations of Trump’s enemies. I wouldn’t hang a dog on anything sociological or systemic from.) If you’re not excited, show me the other people expressing the same thesis.

        1. Eclair

          I watched Carlson’s video: first time ever that I voluntarily listened to him (all 13+ minutes!). Hate to admit, but he gives an impressive performance. Because I don’t voluntarily listen to Republican debates (or Democrat ones either,) I had missed Trump’s calling out the entire Washington establishment as liars in the Iraq WMD debacle. But, Trump being Trump, he could very well have reversed course the next day. He is nothing if not inconsistent. However, Carlson blatantly states it: the push to jail Trump over what dozens of federal government officials have done, substitutes a perverted judicial system for our electoral one. Don’t like your opponent? Fabricate a tissue of criminal charges, arrest him (or her.) What waste all that time and money on developing policies and a platform that will appeal to voters. Part of our devolution into a banana republic (sorry to denigrate bananas.)

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          So what if he is sometimes correct?

          I’m as appalled by the Dems combination of Lawfare and magical thinking as most NCers, and Carlson may happen to be correct in calling them out (I think he is, here) but the mere fact that we’re having this discussion – that we’re pointing to an overgrown s×+*heel college Republican as some kind of clarion of free speech and anti-imperialism – is mighty depressing.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > And yes, I call him Tucky.

      Not here you don’t. If nicknames for political (and other) figures became common practice in the NC comment section, the site would become unreadable. In any case, I was an adept at that sort of vituperation in 2003 – 2006, and what did it accomplish? Exactly nothing, except for a certain amount of self-satisfaction on the part o the inventor.

      All I care about is Carlson’s thesis which strikes me as correct.

      Straighten up and fly right.

      1. Louiedog14

        My apologies. I thought I had addressed the thesis sufficiently to take a cheap shot along the lines of sociopath of the day.

        I don’t trust Carlson because he frames his arguments as coming from a place of caring about America and Americans. That framing is what lends weight to his argument. But he is of a class of people that don’t care about Americans, they only care about themselves, and a lot of those people have stupid nicknames.

        Anyway, your site, your rules. I stand corrected.

  16. Samuel Conner

    Regarding CDC surveillance, I will be watching with great interest future annual updates of the cancer statistics.

    It appears,


    that there is a multi-year delay in reporting. Not sure why that is and if anyone knows of more up-to-date, if less authoritative, reporting, I would be interested to hear about that.

    Interestingly, in 2020 (the last reported year) there was an abrupt downward departure from the trend line. One imagines this is due to the effects on cancer diagnosis of the combination of lockdowns, distancing measures (patient reluctance to seek care in facilities with inadequate protective measures), and diversion of resources to deal with pandemic.

    In a few years, or perhaps as soon as later this year, we’ll know from the CDC statistics (assuming they are still reported) whether the pandemic has indeed had implications for immune suppression of micro-tumors. Or perhaps indications of this, if present, can be massaged or finessed away. Maybe it will be possible to construct alternative measures, such as the trend-lines in the share prices of pharma companies that specialize in cancer therapies.

    Do I sound bitter? I kind of am.

  17. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the methylation clock article: Note the authors’ remarks on the need to understand the implications of the effect on the dynamics of the immune system, and their remarks on the possibity that the significance of any observable immune system variable may depend on context – i.e. the configuration of the broader immune system, and the body as a whole. It really is like trying to understand a brain.

    To the extent I’m able to follow the broad outlines of the article, it seems to confirm and expand on other findings of (seemingly) subtle injury from virtually all Covid infections.

    I’d be interested to know from the Brain Trust whether this might present a possibilty if obtaining accurate data on rates of infection. Also, am I right in thinking this might indicate a route by which prior infection could trigger or exacerbate vaccine injury?

    Note also that we have here a case of an antiprotective effect of infection. “Textbook” viruses are useful fictions for purposes of pedagogy. You’ll be hard-pressed to find one in real life, and if you do it won’t be a SARS coronavirus.

  18. Amfortas the hippie

    wandering all over the place, and this:
    “It’s difficult to account for the totemic power I ascribed to the book. Its cover was made from some kind of metallic material that shimmered with unexpected colors when it caught the light. I carried it with me everywhere, tucked in the recesses of my backpack, though I was paranoid about being seen with it in public. It seemed to me a work of alchemy or a secret gospel. It’s strange, in retrospect, that I was not more skeptical of these promises. I’d grown up in the kind of millenarian sect of Christianity where pastors were always throwing out new dates for the Rapture. But Kurzweil’s prophecies seemed different because they were bolstered by science. Moore’s Law held that computer processing power doubled every two years, meaning that technology was developing at an exponential rate. Thirty years ago, a computer chip contained 3,500 transistors. Today it has more than one billion. By 2045, the technology would be inside our bodies and the arc of progress would curve into a vertical line.”

    from a former dispensationalist thumper student…which makes it heartfelt and rather remarkable.

    and remember that robot car guy who defrauded google or something, who was trying to incorporate an AI religion?
    pays to pay attention to such people when they go dark, sometimes…i mean, look at Mencius Moldbug/curtis yarvin…he’s almost mainstream right, these days.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and more!:
      “At the time, I would have insisted that my rituals of self-abuse — drinking, pills, the impulse to put my body in danger in ways I now know were deliberate — were merely efforts to escape; that I was contending, however clumsily, with the overwhelming despair at the absence of God. But at least one piece of that despair came from the knowledge that my body was no longer a sacred vessel; that it was not a temple of the holy spirit, formed in the image of God and intended to carry me into eternity; that my body was matter, and any harm I did to it was only aiding the unstoppable process of entropy for which it was destined. To confront this reality after believing otherwise is to experience perhaps the deepest sense of loss we are capable of as humans. It’s not just about coming to terms with the fact that you will die. It has something to do with suspecting there is no difference between your human flesh and the plastic seat of the train. It has to do with the inability to watch your reflection appear and vanish in a window without coming to believe you are identical with it.”

      rather deep stuff.
      neoexistentialist, even,,,perhaps as a reaction to the teleological morass of postlib, posthomanism and post modernism.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        to which i add:
        ” God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
        — Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann

        meaning, in my best estimation, that we are now charged with creating the meaningfulness of our lives, now that such meanings that were handed to us by our betters are no longer all that meaningful.
        still 80-some years to go on uncle friedrich’s 200 years of nihilism, if anyone’s keeping track.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and in an hilarious understatement, she says:
          “It is perhaps not coincidental that an ideology that grew out of Christian eschatology would come to inherit its philosophical problems.”

          1. Lee

            Godless Buddhists don’t have this problem. Or perhaps they do but understood and stated much differently.

            In both instances there is a sense of tragic separation from that which appears to be much desired but beyond us. But the disillusioned worshipper of a god outside and distant cannot see or accept what Buddhist and some other philosophies posit, that the thing you seek is right there in your damned hip pocket, you’ve just failed to notice.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              due to a long chain of circumstances, whch i wont enumerate,Kubric led me to Zarathustra when i was…like…8.
              terror ensued, as i became a godless philosopher.
              and now…at almost 54…i’m ok with creating myy own meaning for my brief sojourn.

              so this, too, can be taught.
              the princess tweenwear industry will likely suffer, though.

              1. some guy

                If one feels the need for a viable religious outlook to consider, perhaps this little chunk of text from this same Basic Call To Consciousness can be a signpost . . .
                . . . ” But the Native people can probably lay claim to a tradition which reaches back to at least the end of the Pleistocene, and which, in all probability, goes back much further than that.

                There is some evidence that humanoid creatures have been present on the earth for at least two million years, and that humans who looked very much like us were in evidence in the Northern Hemisphere at least as long as the second interglacial period. People who are familiar with the Hau de no sau nee beliefs will recognize that modern scientific evidence shows that the Native customs of today are not markedly different from those practiced by ancient peoples at least 70000 years ago. Indeed, if an Iroquois traditionalist were to seek a career in the study of Pleistocene Man, he may find that he already knows more about the most ancient belief systems than do the modern scholars.”

                Here is a link to where that ( and more besides) came from . . .

      2. christofay

        I have to leave the dictionary.com page open with the definition of teleological as as soon as I close it I forget what the word means. I have the same problem with typology; designers drop this term constantly. Now I have to open a second dictionary.com page for eschatology.

    2. fjallstrom

      Someone coined TESCREAL for Transhumanist, Extropians, (I have forgotten the SC…), Rationalists, Effective Altruist, Longtermists. And someone else called it Californian religion. They are overlapping and go from goofy to cultish. Moldbug is connected to them, though I am not sure how exactly. Probably through Peter Thiel who bank rolls many bad causes. “Neoreaction, a Basilisk” is I think the book on the topic (I have yet to read it).

      Chatbots improvement has many of them excited as they see the AI god approaching. Whether this is man becoming god, god bringing man into the machine or the risk of apocalypse, Terminator style. The last group usually talks about “AI alignment” and other terms from the Rationalist / Less wrong milieu.

      So yeah, there is definitely something going on there.

  19. Grumpy Engineer

    In terms of AOC “looking forward to pushing for more” on climate action, it’s worth noting that she and Ed Markey introduced a newly-revised “Green New Deal” back in April. The media didn’t seem to catch wind of it.


    It’s better than the first release of the GND (where there were no implementation details whatsoever), but this plan still strikes me as wildly inadequate. Total spending (not including the renewable energy production tax credits) is $370 billion, which is a far cry from the trillions (at least $5 trillion, likely more) that would be required to fully decarbonize the US economy.

    And all of the production tax credits are mis-specified, with values like “$0.03/kW” being listed, which would imply a 9-cent credit on a 3-kilowatt rooftop solar array. I strongly suspect they meant $/kWh, but it’s discouraging to see the basic units of measure botched repeatedly throughout the document. Furthermore, many of the items don’t relate to de-carbonizing power sources or conserving energy at all, but are just general infrastructure items. Like rural broadband, lead pipe replacement, etc.

    And like the first time around with the GND, there isn’t any estimate of how much progress we’d expect to make with this level of spending. Will the CO2 reduction be 100%, 85%, 50%, 25%, or something else? The expected benefits are completely unspecified. I’m reminded all too strongly of Yves’ article on loss of operational capabilities. If this is the best the US Congress can do, we’re in deep, deep trouble.

  20. none

    Cramer on CNBC Mad Money right now saying the Fed is trying to stop inflation by killing wage growth. Saying it right out loud.

    1. skippy

      Its right out of the marginal taxation hand book – give Corps/Financial wealth tax offsets and subsidies and then send the bill to the wage consumer …

  21. Roger Blakely

    “Unlike the phenomenon of trained immunity, the postacute SARS-CoV-2 epigenetic landscape we identify is antiprotective.”

    I’m not sure what it means either. But our real-world experience with SARS-CoV-2 is that we keep getting hammered.

  22. tegnost

    Another tech behemoth calling for a rules based botnet.
    They’re looking to build a corral in which we will be required to use artificial money and think artificial thoughts.

  23. Tom Stone

    I take a look at the online version of my local fishwrap ( The “Press Democrat” ) once a Month or so and usually it’s the Sports section because that’s the best writing, usually.
    So I’m reading the usual preseason pap about the local NFL team and it seems worse than usual…you can take the quotes from the coach from ANY year and they are nearly identical.
    “We’re looking good, high hopes etc.

    At the end of the article it states that it was written “With the assistance of” AI..
    When I moved here 25 years ago it cost $.25 daily and was only useful for the ads and the AP sports, now it’s $3.00 daily and Chat GPT is writing the articles.

  24. chris

    It’s articles like this one from Naomi Klein that make me glad I read the Guardian. Where else could I see so much that’s wrong with the Democrat party and the MSM captured in one place? I do enjoy a good screed. You can almost hear Klein’s voice getting more shrill as she writes paragraph after paragraph of why RFKjr is a horrible hypocrite who does horrible things and attracts horrible people so he must have horrible reasons for running and isn’t it a shame he can’t be ignored?!?!?

    I’m not going to get anything I want from this election. But if the threat to the status quo makes people like Klein fall over foaming at the mouth, I’ll consider that a small win :)

    1. Eclair

      I credit Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” with opening my eyes to the evils done by the US government, and its capitalist/neo-liberal ideology, around the world.

  25. Jason Boxman

    We have no idea what’s going on, but with declining waste water across the US, maybe it’s possible that XBB1.16 is taking up an increasing share of a declining number of cases? I’m not sure how that tracks with XBB1.16 being able to out complete XBB 1.5? Maybe so many people had XBB1.5 that temporarily it’s easier to get XBB1.16 than reinfected with XBB 1.5? Or does XBB 1.16 produce less material in waste water?

    If only we bothered to collect a variety of metrics in America.

  26. The Rev Kev

    Another nugget from the stupidity mine. So the Russians had purchase a block of ground in Canberra, the capital of Australia, for a new Embassy. Comes the war and suddenly that is a national security threat so the government tried in Court to take back that land. First they were stopping any building permits and then they tried to take the land on the grounds that the Russians had not done anything with it. The Court ruled no, that it was all legal and that Russia was entitled to build a new Embassy. So the government is now coming out with a brand new, one-off law saying that they can take that land from the Russians. I guess that the concept of a precedent has no meaning for the pollies-


    Of course the suggestion has been made to hand it over to the Ukrainians because they are such a superpower after all but at the moment the Ukrainians are too busy demanding that we hand over more Bushmaster APCs, all our F-18s, Abrams tanks as well as a coupla billion dollars more because Zelensky has his eye on a few properties in far north Queensland. Oh, and our media is presenting this as a second Embassy which is just bs. It was to be the new Embassy and when it was finished and the Russians had moved into it, would have shut the old one down. Aussie media is just garbage now.

    1. LawnDart

      There has been much talk about the use of nuclear weapons in Russian media over the past few weeks, a lot more than last year when it was a member of the Duma I believe who suggested detonating a nuke in the Nevada desert to let USA know that “we are serious” and “we can get you.”

      I found this via the brighterside.news website a little while ago (no joke), and now seems like a good time to share– it’s actually very-well written, not a doomer-piece, not overly technical:

      How to Shelter from a Nuclear Explosion

      Simulations show how dangerous a blast wave can be and where to hole up to avoid it.

      There is no good place to be when a nuclear bomb goes off. Anything too close is instantly vaporized, and radiation can pose a serious health threat even at a distance. In between, there is another danger: the blast wave generated by the explosion, which can produce airspeeds strong enough to lift people into the air and cause serious injury.

      In Physics of Fluids, by AIP Publishing, researchers from the University of Nicosia simulated an atomic bomb explosion from a typical intercontinental ballistic missile and the resulting blast wave to see how it would affect people sheltering indoors.


      It’s starting to look less like “if” and more like a question of “who will press the button first?”

      Should it happen, my guess is that we may hear or read of a rapid escalation of tensions, and then… nothing. No sirens sounding a warning; cell phones, computers, TVs all just suddenly kaput. Maybe flashes of light, rising suns and mushroom-clouds on the horizon will give some of us some rather obvious clues, at least those of us who are not in a state of shock and denial.

      This really kinda sucks, but it was the West who first suggested and introduced the topic of nuclear weapons in relation to the Ukraine conflict, so it’s no surprise that Russians are responding in kind (Russians– not The Russians, and this is still an important distinction, although as perhaps with a nod from officialdom to serve as a public though unofficial warning, to give us something to think about).

      1. ambrit

        Curses. We live ten miles from a first strike target, the Camp Shelby Training Grounds. It is listed on the strike map that I believe amfortas supplied recently as a first strike target.
        Got our potassium iodide, visqueen sheeting, heavy duty staplers, for covering the windows and doors and a few supplies to hole up indoors with.
        Will we envy the dead? Only time will tell.

    2. salvo

      I’m not even sure that the use of nuclear weapons with the goal of having the western “elites” coming to their senses again, would indeed reach that goal. In western societies, we live in a state of almost complete denial. I remember the short conversation I had with a neighbour of mine after the start of Russian invasion: He rightly noted that it was the “ordinary people” (“kleinen Leute” as the German say) who would suffer most, on both sides, but as I brought up the danger of the use of nuclear weapons, he looked at me as if I had said something unspeakable and just replied that’s something he wouldn’t even think about.

    3. LawnDart

      Fun press leads to the story:

      International Business Times: Russian Political Scientist Says Nuclear Weapons Could ‘Save Humanity,’ Tells West To ‘Back Off’

      Metro: Putin’s top scientist bizarrely declares: ‘Nuclear weapons will save humanity’

      Metro (again): Scientist close to Putin calls for nukes to be used on the west to ‘save humanity’

      Daily Express: Kremlin hardliner claims nuclear weapons are a ‘gift from God’ to Putin in deranged rant

      And there’s this excellent piece from Ukraine in response to the original article, via the Keeve Post (or Kiev, Kyev… whatever):

      OPINION: Remove Putin Now to Prevent a Larger War

      To “restore its grandeur,” pro-regime Russian “thinkers” are preparing their society for the unthinkable – the first-strike use of nuclear weapons against the United States.

      Russia is preparing its population for a first-strike nuclear attack on the United States, likely as an attempt to prevent losing in Ukraine. Would Putin really push-the-button to save himself from defeat? Yes. Putin must be removed if the West wants peace.

      A recent piece by the Prof. Sergei Karaganov of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, in the Kremlin-supported “Russia in Global Politics,” highlights the insanity of the Kremlin today, while simultaneously making the most convincing argument as to why the war will not be “over” until Putin, along with his radical imperialist allies, is removed from power.

      It increasingly appears that like the leader of a death-cult preparing for collective suicide the Kremlin is considering going all-out against the West.

      The Kremlin appears intent to not surrender after Ukraine, but now is toying with even more ghastly actions. It is clear that in order to prevent disaster, the West’s only option is to remove Putin from power.


      Not sure how they’re thinking to do this… maybe send Vicky to the Kremlin with a batch of her now famous (but poisoned) cookies?

    4. LawnDart

      RT published the piece 5-hours ago, and very little/nothing in MSM– mostly just the tabloids.

      Nothing to worry about then.

    5. Acacia


      I have often said and written that with the right strategy of deterrence and even use, the risk of a ‘retaliatory’ nuclear or other strike on our territory can be minimized. Only if there is a madman in the White House who also hates his own country will the US decide to strike in ‘defense’ of the Europeans and invite retaliation by sacrificing a hypothetical Boston for a notional Poznan.

      “Only if there is a madman in the White House who also hates his own country …”

      Sounds like Biden to me.

      1. some guy

        One thing I noticed in the article was that the article-writer tried posing as sympathetic to the de-jobbed Kenyan tea-leaf pickers but he kept referring to them as ” unskilled workers” . . . . as if quickly picking tea-leaves without injuring the plants and without getting unwanted bigger leaves etc. is not a skill.

  27. Eclair

    Ruminating yesterday (it was a gray day with a much-needed female rain falling on the parched crops and baby trees) on why Biden, at age almost 81 (two years younger than I) wants to spend the next 18 months running an exhausting political campaign to win a post that he won’t leave until he is 86.
    Already fraying about the edges, never an inspiring or vigorous leader, more like your lovable but bumbling grandpa, he is perhaps the president that a deteriorating nation deserves. Someone who ruminates on past glories, drifts off to sleep in his chair (a Lazy Boy Recliner, with the Nuclear Button built in to the arm rest) after lunch, but shows the occasional and surprising burst of vituperative energy when a kid runs across his lawn. Which happens to be most of the world. Unfortunately.

    A vision of Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade popped into my brain; a gigantic balloon figure, yards above the crowds, dipping, turning, a vacuous smile pasted on the oversized head. Held in place by dozens of almost invisible lines, secured and managed by a crowd of anonymous handlers who set the speed and direction of the balloon.

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