Links 6/27/2023

“Get Down!” What to Do When a Bear Climbs Into Your Tree Stand Field & Stream

She paid $18,500 for a WA service dog but became the dog’s ‘emotional support human’ instead Seattle Times

Assessing recession probabilities The FRED Blog

Quality of new vehicles in US declining on more tech use, study shows Reuters

Pedestrian deaths reach 40-year high Axios


A first-of-its-kind climate trial just ended — will it work? The Verge. Held v. Montana.


Young people are more likely to die of heart attacks post-COVID, study finds. But why? Today. ‘Tis a mystery!

A Big Leaguer Lost His Fastball but Not His Will to Compete NYT. Note lack of agency in “lost.” Due to Covid, naturally.


China calls West’s economic de-risking a ‘false proposition’ Channel News Asia

Local Chinese Governments Add Billions to Multitrillion-Dollar Hidden-Debt Problem Caixin Global. Commentary:

Chinese luxury goods: the bear case FT

Cattle, farmland short of water in northern China: Report Channel News Asia

Why a joke about the PLA has got China’s stand-up comics worried South China Morning Post

The South Korean ‘master’ of chips accused of sharing secrets with China FT

So Many Questions, So Little Time for Pacific Logistics RAND


Military-Aligned Border Guard Forces Defect in Southeastern Myanmar The Diplomat

COVID wave looms in Japan after case numbers nearly double in a month Japan Times. So how are those smiling lessons workin’ out for ya?


Cow Vigilantes in Nashik Kill One, Injure Another on Beef Transportation Suspicions The Wire

European Disunion

Germany: Far-right AfD wins first governing post Deutsche Welle

Germany Is Dragging Down Europe’s Economy WSJ

The role of supply and demand in the post-pandemic recovery in the euro area European Central Bank

Dear Old Blighty

NHS trailing behind other major nations on life expectancy, study finds Sky News. Obviously, we need to bring in some American consulting firms and privatize everything.

Gibraltar: Britain’s Militarised Rock After Brexit Declassified UK

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine making ‘steady tactical progress’ in war: British defense chief Anadolu Agency. Modified rapture….

Nuclear Falseflag on Zaporozhye NPP Heats Up + Major Wagner Updates and More SImplicius the Thinker

Russia-Ukraine war live news: Wagner to hand weapons to Moscow Al Jazeera

Prigozhin’s plane arrives in Belarus Ukrainska Pravda. Commentary:

Prigozhin’s Farce Is Over And It Is Clear Who Has Won Moon of Alabama

Inner workings of Wagner mercenary group revealed amid call to add organization to US terror list FOX. Timely report from the Soufan Center (“Founded in 2017 by former FBI special agent Ali Soufan….”)

* * *

The Beginning of the End for Putin? Foreign Affairs

Putin’s weakness has been revealed. Here’s how Russia’s neighbors are reacting. Atlantic Council. One such neighbor:

In any case, perhaps not:

Not sure about “plausibly-deniable deaths” in the general case, even in the political class. Oligarchs, especially foreign oligarchs, would be another matter.

Russo-Ukrainian War: The Wagner Uprising Big Serge Thought

White House says ‘too soon to know’ impact of Wagner revolt in Russia Anadolu Agency. Channeling Chou En-LaI?

Washington Needs to Get Ready for Russian Chaos Foreign Policy

* * *

Could Russia Deliver on its Threat to Cut Subsea Cables? Maritime Executive

Normalizing the Nazis:

UN General Assembly discusses ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Anadolu Agency

Biden Administration

FTC Sues Amazon, Claiming ‘Deceptive’ Prime Sign-Up and Cancellation Process Daring Fireball


RFK Jr. and Joe Rogan: Putting the old denialist technique of bad faith “Debate me, bro!” challenges on steroids Science-Based Medicine

B-a-a-a-d Banks

Former Fed official and ex-SVB risk officer team up to launch bank FT. Seems legit.

Big US banks to fare well in annual health checks despite spring turmoil Reuters

Digital Watch

Tech Startup Targets Missile Motors as Silicon Valley Moves Into Weapons WSJ. The deck: “Anduril’s purchase of a solid rocket engine maker marks a further pivot from software to military hardware.”

Zeitgeist Watch

Animating Irony: The Force of Irony in Online and Offline Political Movements Public Culture. Hmm.

The Conspiratorial Mind: A Meta-Analytic Review of Motivational and Personological Correlates Psychological Bulletin

Decades-long bet on consciousness ends — and it’s philosopher 1, neuroscientist 0 Nature

Abusive Men Describe the Benefits of Violence Voice Mail. From 2015, still germane.

Class Warfare

Frontline Workers Are Bargaining for Pandemic ‘Hero’ Pay WSJ

SAG-AFTRA and Hollywood Studios Still at Odds Over Higher Residuals for Hit Streaming Shows Variety

Boots Riley: Winning the Writers’ Strike Is Important for Humanity GQ

Influencers are under fire for praising working conditions in Shein’s clothing factory despite abuse allegations CNBC

Workers Ingested Into Aircraft Engines Twice In A Year: What’s Gone Wrong? Simple Flying

Never mess with an arborist:

Worth reading in full; karma acting in near-real time.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Steve H.

    > UN General Assembly discusses ‘Responsibility to Protect’
    >> UN Special Adviser on Responsibility to Protect presents annual report exploring ‘crucial’ relationship between Responsibility to Protect and development

    ‘Development’ appears to be ’17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. Here’s Goal 8 (‘LDC’ = ‘Least Developed Countries’).

    Recollecting the phrase ‘European problem’. It looks to me like they’re singing a song with what Dr James Mumford termed a ‘Non-European Aesthetic’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Damn, that’s good camouflage. The last thought of an animal coming around a corner would be ‘Good. Nobody’s here. I’m safe…..’

      1. Lexx

        There was a sharp-shinned sitting in our crabapple this winter, watching our bird feeders. Husband spotted him first, in the tree right outside out dining room window. He kept saying, ‘it’s right there!’ like it was obvious, whereas the bird in hunting mode was anything but. I didn’t see him to until he slowly turned his head and blinked, since tree bark doesn’t do that. I was impressed with how perfectly he was camouflaged, no small feat in winter. I was only 20 ft. away… I was in the presence of ‘cool’ and was reminded once again that the bar set for us by the wild was so very high.

        1. Otis B Driftwood

          This week I had a Cooper’s Hawk perched in a tree above my bird feeders. Nearby a little nuthatch was making a lot of noise. It wasn’t until I came out to look that I saw the hawk.

          That nuthatch made sure no other birds came close. Brave, adorable birds these nuthatches.

          The hawk eventually gave up and flew away.

          1. Lexx

            Sharp-shinned will dine on small birds; Cooper’s prefer something larger… or so I’ve read. Perhaps the nuthatch and his buds were too small a meal.

            1. Otis B Driftwood

              That’s true. I’ve seen Cooper’s with a Towees and doves and rats (all of which frequent my yard to ground feed on the seed the crazy finches spill like mad when they eat).

              Last year I passed a Cooper’s sitting on a low branch of a magnolia dining on a rat while a pair of small birds where calling out an alarm. Species cooperate with one another, even if they aren’t at risk of being lunch themselves, letting everyone else know there’s a predator in the vicinity.

              I’ve read and also noticed that hummingbirds sometimes travel with hawks, assisting them in locating prey.

      2. Not Qualified to Comment

        Long ago as a boy when I was in an air cadet squadron and I recall a visit to a local army camp. At one point our guide led us into what appeared to be a derelict part of the camp with some run-down, derelict buildings, overgrown and tree-edged.

        “Can anyone see the sniper?” our guide asked.

        About a dozen of us scanned the trees, the bushes, the rooftops and the empty windows for thirty seconds of silence.

        “Stand up,” the sergeant ordered, and a rifle-toting, previously invisible soldier rose out of the grass about twenty feet directly ahead of us.

      1. juno mas

        I cheated. Copied the pic into a new browser tab and then did a 2x zoom. Once you see the animal a 2x, it’s much easier to see its “ready to pounce” presence. In fact, it makes it impossible to un-see the leopard. ( Leopards in Ukraine could use some of these attributes.)

        1. Stephen Taylor

          That’s how a lot of these “Can you spot the…” features work. You’re presented with a photo that gives you no clues to sense of scale, so you don’t know going in whether the object of the search takes up a quarter of the image, a tenth, or a tiny sliver. Yes, the camouflage is good, but once you get a large enough view of the thing by zooming in, it becomes much easier to see.

  2. Pat

    I really wish that people, for instance @sentdefender would not reject the obvious out of hand.

    The UMD has not cracked down on Nazi symbolism because it is largely run by NeoNazis and because they are doing American something the neocon American government wants the fact that they are fascists is supported and protected and there is no cost to “being themselves”. In fact US Congressional Representatives even took some of them on personal tours of the Capitol.

    Oh and it isn’t just a bad look, they are just bad.

    1. Wæsfjord

      A lot of people are pointing out that the Balken cross was already being used by the German Empire. Which still does not answer the question: what is the Ukrainian fascination with the German Empire and the Third Reich? The claim that it is somehow an expression of Ukrainian culture is pathetic. Why not use Ukrainian symbols? If your country needs to used the iconography of the German Empire and the Third Reich, I am tempted to think that you may not have much of a culture.

      1. Jessica

        Two guesses: They know the Russians hate it and the two times between the mid-1600s and 1991 that Ukraine was not part of Russia was during the German invasions during the two world wars.
        Also, the strongest Nazi influence in Ukraine is in the westernmost region, which was part of Austria-Hungary from the late 1700s until 1918. So there was a connection with intense hatred of Russia and Germanic culture from the start.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          That and a significant part of their culture is inevitably shared with Russia, what with coming from the same roots plus centuries of close contact even after drifting apart. But shared culture is precisely what most modern Ukrainian nationalists want to deemphasise. So they lean towards the other regional cultural and symbolic pole, which is still Germany. (I suppose there is Poland as well, but that is somewhat more fraught, while Germany is farther away and never ruled them for long.)

    2. Polar Socialist

      Oddly enough, it seems that a Ukrainian polling organization VOXCheck recently released results that ~40% of Ukrainians (non-emigrated Ukrainians in non-occupied areas, that is) disagree with the claim that “there’s very little Nazi or neo-Nazi ideology in Ukraine”.

      They were also worried that 37% of young people said Revolution of Dignity was actually a violent coup – apparently more prolefeed is required to rectify this.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘A friend who is a municipal arborist just called to tell me about a guy who cut down 32 big mature trees on his neighbor’s NJ property to get a better view of NYC. He hired a guy who hired another guy. Cut them down and left the debris there. The fine per tree is $1000 so the 1/’

    Something like this happened in Oz several years ago. There are these homes on a hillside facing the ocean and with trees in between. So “somebody” went out in the middle of the night and cut those trees down but nobody heard anything of course. This had the effect of giving those homes views to the ocean and probably increased their property value. The local council were not idiots and knew who did it, not that they could prove it. So the council erected several billboards where those trees were and planted more trees. Now those homes only faced the back of billboards.

    1. Carolinian

      Great story as the trophy houses occupying mountain tops would be a pet peeve here in the mountainous zone of the Southeast. However here’s hoping the billboards had pictures of trees as the cleared view is also forcing you to look at them or the house behind them. To me the owner’s hubris is a kind of enclosure of the visual commons since the mountains are a big attraction of my area. Up in North Carolina one entire mountain top was shaved off for a hotel and I’ve been told a law was passed to never let that happen again.

      If we must be plagued by plutocrats then they could at least have the good taste to stay out of view.

    2. cyclist

      When I first read that story I thought the location might have been somewhere like Alpine,NJ – a wealthy enclave right across the Hudson from NY. Reading further the trees were cut in Kinnelon, which is a good 30 miles west of NYC. Any view of the Manhattan skyline from there wouldn’t be all that special.

  4. Lexx

    ‘RFK Jr. and Joe Rogan: Putting the old denialist technique of bad faith “Debate me, bro!” challenges on steroids’

    Something is up with this link, Lambert.

    ‘Sorry, we can’t find that page!

    You tried to find: rfk-jr-and-joe-rogan-putting-the-old-denialist-technique-of-bad-faith-debate-me-bro-challenges-on-steroids

    We can’t locate the page you’re looking for. Try some of the options below to find what you want:’

      1. Objective Ace

        The article’s main premise seems to rest on the question: “why do ‘cranks’ always want to debate scientist but never the other way around”. The answer we are told is clear: performative theatre. We are assured that real scientists debate all the time in the academic literature.

        I think after the whole Covid debacle its clear “academic literature” is not up to the task. There’s so many times Dr. Hotez as well as the CDC and other experts have been proven wrong. The article may well be correct that FDR and all these “cranks” are just performative artists. However, its not so clear that academic literature, peer reviewed articles, pharma funded control trials, regulation agencies funded by the industries they are regulating are not similarly performative theatre. When individuals no longer know where to look for expertise is it any wonder that charlatans start popping up?

        1. Screwball

          A long winded article to say what you did. He made it clear he is no fan of JFK Jr, Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, or Bill Mahar. What I got a kick out of was all the name calling.

          Crank = 34 times
          Conspiracy(in one form or another) = 31
          quack = 6

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Thank you. I lost count of all the name-calling, and was not inclined to dig through all that mud again for a tally.

            I was under the impression that in the rarefied world of “debate,” ad hominem was frowned upon as a legitimate “technique.”

            Fact is, hotez made his bed over the last three years and now he’s refusing to lie in it. That’s what people see. No amount of vilification of RFKJ or Joe Rogan changes that. Just about everyone who’s ever spent time on a playground as a kid understands the power of the words “Put up or shut up,” regardless of subject.

            No one’s asking hotez to school the public in the scientific intricacies of lipid nanoparticles, mRNA mediated protein synthesis or furin cleavages. As far as I’m concerned, RFKJ could score a takedown by simply asking how hotez and his ilk could declare the covid shot “completely safe” for pregnant woman and their fetuses without ever having tested it in pregnant women. Where’s the “science” in that?

        2. NN Cassandra

          The author seems to engage in circular logic. He assumes he is better than the “cranks”, the cranks advocate debate format they think suits them better (perhaps they should voluntarily seek settings where they can anticipate easy defeat?), therefore that format must be bad and so the cranks have ulterior motives and are bad too.

          But it’s quite an argument to say I’ll not debate this or that guy because he is proved liar and demagogue and thus he would easily defeat me in free debate.

          RFK says a lot of crazy things and it should be easy to outrun him, but then Dr. Horetz too made some questionable statements during the pandemic and it would not be so hard to peel down his expert mantle, which is probably the real reason why he tries to avoid such debate.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Agreed – I think any debate would leave them both pretty bruised.

            One thing I haven’t seen mentioned at all in any critiques of RFK Jr is his occupation. He is after all an environmental lawyer who gets paid by convincing a jury that corporations have harmed people. Isn’t it quite likely that in all of his public appearances, he is talking his book?!?

            I was only reminded of this myself after listening to most of his recent interview with Rogan. I agreed with his critiques of the official US pandemic response with its emphasis on unproven “vaccines”, and given the results in the US, it’s pretty hard to argue that it was anything other than a disaster. When he gets into mercury in vaccines causing autism and wifi causing who knows what, then I beg to differ. But in listening to all of his arguments, he very much comes across as a lawyer trying to win a case, which is exactly what he is. He does strike me as sincere though, albeit more than a little naive about a lot of things. He does often admit to believing the official narrative on a lot of subjects for most of his life, and only recent being disabused of certain notions.

            That being said, I would still like to see this debate.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              He is after all an environmental lawyer who gets paid by convincing a jury that corporations have harmed people. Isn’t it quite likely that in all of his public appearances, he is talking his book?!?

              Isn’t it quite likely that in many instances he’s right?

              (See East Palestine, Ohio for starters.)

              1. lyman alpha blob

                Yes, I personally think he is right on the majority of topics I’ve heard him discuss. And even when I think he’s wrong, like I said, I do think he’s sincere and not being disingenuous.

                The thing that struck me about him to make me think that despite being a Kennedy with a large part of his family assassinated he’s still a bit naive is his position on Israel. He’s admitted to being fooled by the prevailing narrative on other topics, but he still hasn’t come around on this one.

                To me though, that means he is at least open minded and willing to change his mind when the facts at his disposal change, which puts him ahead of 99% of other politicians out there.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            “Circular logic” would seem to be overly charitable.

            Buried deep in a link here from two days ago, in an article that took the opposite view of a hotez / RFKJ debate, is the crux of the matter:

            Don’t let them convince you that free discourse favors lies, as has been their justification for censorship. You are an adult in what is meant to be [a] free country: the public square remains the place to decide major questions.


            If hotez doesn’t have the skillzzzz to “debate” or discuss or answer the questions, he should step aside and let someone more competent accept the challenge. His credibility as covid interlocuter is shot anyway.

            1. Rolf

              OMG that video that Pearce links to … It’s hilarious, but seriously really drives home the breathless adulation Hotez receives from an uncritical media machine.

          3. Keith Newman

            Re RFK/Hotez debate
            It is undeniable we were misinformed by supposedly authoritative people about the pandemic and they should have to answer for it. The problem it seems to me is that there is no qualified critic who is prepared to speak out and could do so understandably for a lay audience and would be given an appropriate platform.
            That said I do have sympathy for the refusal to debate a crank. Note I have not listened to RFK’s claims and do not plan on doing so. Judging their merit would require far more time than I am prepared to devote to the issue so I don’t know if RFK could be qualified as a crank.
            However I do have personal experience with confronting false information from a sophisticated critic in the field of establishing a public prescription drug plan. I also recall listening to Paul Krugman, a very experienced and effective public speaker, try to deal with complete nonsense from a fiscal conservative.
            The problem with dealing with cranks, or simply dishonest critics, is that they can spout a vast number of lies and half truths in a few minutes. It is impossible to refute them convincingly in any reasonable amount of time. So at best the anti-crank arguments are unconvincing to the neutral person.
            The only way such a debate might work is if the issues to be debated are very focused something like: “Mr. Hotez on December x, 2020 you said the vaccines would prevent both infection and transmission of COVID19. Do you stand by that statement? If so why and if not why did you not correct it subsequently?” and “Mr. RFK what is your view regarding those issues and why?” This would still result in questions about safety, efficacy and Big Pharma malfeasance.

        3. GramSci

          Since WWII USian akademia, science, social science, and alas, the humanities, has been increasingly in the hands of the Empire. The banality of Empire.

        4. Yeti

          Re RFK jr. and SBM

          I agree with Dr. Gorski, don’t debate RFK with Hotez because there would be no win. Hotez has been all over the map with these vaccines, watch Jimmy Dore’s takedown of his previous turnarounds. See here:

          What I would like to see is Dr. Gorski answer RFK’s basic request to open up the CDC data base to the childhood vaccines and compare the multiple vaccinated to partially vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This data is available. Here is another study
          It was retracted at pubmed apparently due to complaints to the editors but against the wishes of the authors. Retraction here
          No specific claims just “an investigation was conducted that raised several methodological issues and confirmed that the conclusions were not supported by strong scientific data. The article is therefore retracted.”
          It seems many articles previously published then retracted are generally against or questioning the narrative. Since as far as I know all currently used vaccines are only compared to previous vaccines for safety and efficacy and all pro vaccination advocates claim it would be “unethical” to have placebo controlled studies given “the proven benefit” of said vaccines. Here is another article on US infant mortality compared to comparable countries:
          I’m not saying vaccines are the cause but if they are not it should be easy to prove.

  5. griffen

    Influencers are under fire for praising work conditions. In other breaking news, I am shocked to learn that useful idiots for brands and projection of a “caring fashion company” is a thing. \sarc

    Brings to mind the scenes from Temple of Doom, where Indiana Jones is seated at a banquet table with a young prince. “I can assure you no evil entity worship or child slave labor occurs in my kingdom. Please, you are not eating your baby snakes?”

    1. Lexx

      The one with chilled monkey brains for dessert?

      Charles Hugh Smith’s book arrived yesterday (‘Self-Reliance’) and I’m reading about ‘economies of scale’ and the fragility of our ‘global supply lines’ and fantasizing about asking… ‘So, Rihanna… really like your ‘Fat Water’ product as a replacement for the Korean serum I had been using that had become too expensive for my budget. I was wondering what you can tell me about the supply lines for the ingredients that go into Fat Water? Are they sourced within the U.S.?’

      1. The Rev Kev

        That question applies to a lot of things. The pandemic showed us how fragile our supply lines really are. Here, by the way, is a section from the book “World War Z”-

        ‘[He swivels in his chair, motioning to a picture above his desk. I lean closer and see that it’s not a picture but a framed label.]


        molasses from the United States

        anise from Spain

        licorice from France

        vanilla (bourbon) from Madagascar

        cinnamon from Sri Lanka

        cloves from Indonesia

        wintergreen from China

        pimento berry oil from Jamaica

        balsam oil from Peru

        And that’s just for a bottle of peacetime root beer. We’re not even talking about something like a desktop PC, or a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.’

      2. griffen

        That is the correct scene, the movie always left an indelible imprint on my near teenager mind and imagination. Especially a subsequent scene, when they’re in the bowels of the earth at the temple site, and the poor sap is placed on a “silver tray” and descends into the hell fires.

        By the bye, when it comes to the textile industry that formerly supplied these fashion companies with presumably raw input – I reside in a key region of the Carolinas that once thrived because of the textile industry. Fast forward 30 years, and instead of textiles there is a large BMW plant and sundry other manufacturers and suppliers.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Sudduth went on to claim the employees work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. She also said she expected to see people “slaving away” but that workers were “chill” and “not even sweating.”

      Enough said.

  6. zagonostra

    >Young people are more likely to die of heart attacks post-COVID, study finds. But why?

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, heart attack deaths were trending downward in the United States, but the pandemic appears to have reversed the progress, according to the Cedars Sinai research.

    I’m not qualified to weigh in on this topic, but I do find it curious that many sites you visit (not on Ytube, but freer platforms) don’t hesitate to speculate on why this is happening.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Perhaps not the cause but maybe a contributing factor: Lockdowns leading to more home-shopping, fewer visits to restaurants, pubs, movie theatres, libraries, etc. and more work-from-home.

      Take that sedentary lifestyle, throw in increased alcohol and tobacco consumption, and there will probably be a few heart attacks beyond the norm.

  7. zagonostra

    >The Conspiratorial Mind: A Meta-Analytic Review of Motivational and Personological Correlates

    Man what gobbledygook social psychological prose has become. I miss the clarity of a William James, Freud, Maslow, Fromm, and all those early 20th century authors on the subject, especially Kenneth Burke; they didn’t butcher the English language like modern day academics.


    This meta-analysis identified the motivational and personological
    variables that were strong and consistent correlates of conspiratorial
    ideation and whether there were notable boundaries in these relations.
    To continue advancing research on conspiratorial ideation, scholars
    should work to bridge the motivational and the personological in
    hypothesis-driven frameworks, strive to move beyond cross-sectional
    data collection, include those who are most wedded to conspiracy
    narratives, and identify interventions that target broad susceptibility
    to conspiratorial ideation. We hope that this meta-analysis can serve
    as a foundation for such research so that we can better understand
    and illuminate the conspiratorial mind.

    1. hunkerdown

      > and identify interventions that target broad susceptibility to conspiratorial ideation

      Well, they were trying to hide this little bit of managerial legalism. They demand piety.

    2. pjay

      Is “conspiratorial ideation” listed yet in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders? If not, it’s probably just a matter of time. I sure hope such research identifies “interventions that target broad susceptibility to conspiratorial ideation” as soon as possible so that we can “treat” these poor mentally ill creatures successfully.

      This is all too complicated for a mere civilian like me, but I’m sure the good folks at Science-Based-Medicine will explain it to me in language I can understand.

      1. jsn

        If we’re going to start locking up political prisoners for thought crimes, like the smiley face Stalins we’ve become, we need to get our terminology straight!

    3. Mildred Montana

      Thanks for that fine example of academic gobbledygook. There really should be an award every year for the worst in its category (I’m thinking of something like the annual Bulwer-Lytton prize). If these hacks of academe (Gore Vidal’s term) can’t write clearly, at least they should be honored for writing badly.

      As a general rule, I avoid books written by academics and published by US university presses. Writing like this tells me my rule is sound. So many multi-syllabic abstract words, almost as if the writer gets paid extra for using as many as possible.

      And btw, to address the point of the excerpt (I think), some CTs are indeed factual and not just “ideation”. For instance, if I had said a decade ago that VW was jiggering its emission results I would have been quickly dismissed as a CTer. “That’s impossible. That could never happen.” Well it did and here’s the scandal revealed and explained, one that went to very top of the executive suite:

    4. hemeantwell

      Aversion shared here, I skimmed the article and bibliography. What’s most objectionable is that they make no references to the extensive work in the mid 20th c. done by the Frankfurt School — e.g. Loewenthal’s Prophets of Deceit of 1949 or Adorno’s “The Stars Down to Earth” — in which a guiding idea was that the conviction that “some group is running the show” was seen as an inaccurate and simplified attempt to grasp the tremendous differences in social power between elites and the mass public. The only representative of that period’s take is Hofstadter, whose “Paranoid Style in American Politics” article from 1964 suppressed that critical option in favor of, more or less, smarty pants ridiculing of the mass mind. From my read the authors chose not to offer any characterization of the society the conspiratorially-minded are trying to understand, which to my mind sorta dulls the critical heft of “conspiratorial.”

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      I was amazed by the volume — 29 pages of text — this masterwork contained. I cannot imagine the amount of education and training required to generate such volumes of bullshit at such a high level of obfuscation and opacity.

    1. Acacia

      BTW, at least in Tokyo many people have stopped wearing masks in public, so this incoming Covid wave isn’t surprising.

  8. Bosko

    Confused by the arborist thread, but looking forward to the updates. Cutting down 32 trees on your neighbor’s property gets you in trouble with a municipal arborist? Seems like the aggressor would also be in danger of a lawsuit and/or criminal charges.

    1. jsn

      The arborist is the enforcement officer for the localities tree protection laws.

      It appears this arborist intends to get the message out “you don’t cut down trees around here” independently of the trespassed upon owners interests.

      Greenwich, CT promulgated strict tree protection laws back in the early 80. Local “Masters of the Universe” didn’t take it seriously until one cleared the town’s easement between his property and his view: the requirement to replant in kind, mature trees equal to the ones he took down bankrupted him IIRC. The town ended up having to do remediation, but the message got around.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ’10 minutes of Lukashenko mauling the BBC’

    He really is a take no prisoners sort of guy but you have to wonder if the EU would be better off with more leaders like him defending their country’s interests. Certainly a German Lukashenko would never have tolerated a Ukrainian Ambassador insulting him and the German people on a daily basis on Twitter like Scholz did. I can’t help feeling that there may be an undercurrent at work in this interview which shows itself in the hostility that Lukashenko has for that BBC reporter and blaming him for western mechanisms. So could it be that in briefing Lukashenko, the Belarus KGB informed him that this BBC reporter is one of those who really works for the British secret services? And that this is why that tone in that interview?

    For those interested, here is a link to the full 32:24 min interview-

    1. semper loquitur

      I love the bit where the interviewer tries to guilt him about the NGO’s he “liquidated”. Harmless creatures, those NGOs, doing God’s work and all. Poor dears.

      Another leader who can string together sentences into coherent speech. Must be nice.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The leaders that we have in Oz tend to talk in sound bytes. For them, this is an advantage as the more they talk the more you realize that they are in fact idiots.

    2. skippy

      The sudden shift by the BBC reporter too asking how “Merkel addressed him” and vis-à-vis that the E.U., and how that related to his status as head of state was some epic level Confuse a Cat theater ….

      Meanwhile as Lukashenko pointed at the beginning – is – why talk about some inferred guilt about events today, whilst ignoring 2014. So by this logic[tm] the whole past is a wash[white] and lets just myopically focus on 7K refugees, highlighted by BBC nob trying to insinuate Lukashenko is using them as a political device, when hes the one doing from the get go.

      Best part about that is the quiet part out loud for all too see – The West – decides who is a legitimate head of state or not[.] In the real world[tm] that pans as Zman is the Greta Thunberg* of War, so cool, and Lukashenko/Putin are Hayekian poster boys for totalitarian destroyers of freedom and liberty.

      * more like that guy from Chile starting with a P.

  10. semper loquitur

    Putin’s address to the nation after Wagner rebellion (English subtitles)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an address to the nation on late Monday night, two days after the Wagner rebellion came to a sudden end. Speech with English subtitles.

    1. Ignacio

      Thank you, hopefully the subtitles are correct. Interpretations I have seen in media in Spain differ from what you can conclude reading those subtitles. Western media in denial as usual.

      1. semper loquitur

        Always a pleasure. It’s fascinating to see a real leader speak. Can you imagine one of our !diots making such a speech? Kamala?

        1. Ignacio

          The “leaders” in the West are divisive and have serious difficulties to offer anything with a semblance of public interest. And yes, it is fascinating to hear/read this speech.

        2. Mikel

          I’m going to check that out later.
          I already gobbled down some popcorn watching that clip of “10 minutes of Lukashenko mauling the BBC.”

      1. JBird4049

        >>>So some cars come with an inbuilt crematorium capacity these days. Who knew?

        Maybe someone thought the Ford Pinto was a good idea?

    1. Jason Boxman

      On my way back from my 2nd jab back when we were almost done with the Pandemic the first? time, I’m driving down the interstate into Raleigh, through the construction at that time, and the minivan in front of me in the left most lane just basically stops. Like hard break stops. I have enough distance that I have time to notice a huge semi behind me and swerve into the center lane, thankfully unoccupied. I figured a hardcore rear end by a semi was more likely to get me killed.

      Stupid stuff out on the highway, and not the first time someone almost stops in the left most lane. I hate cars. I hate driving.

      Stay safe out there!

  11. semper loquitur

    “A Big Leaguer Lost His Fastball but Not His Will to Compete”

    I nearly threw up into my coffee upon reading this headline. What nauseating propaganda. Don’t let COVID stop you from being your best self! Back into the fray! No, your insurance doesn’t cover that!

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s a flavor of the more general capitalist propaganda known as “adversity porn”.

      1. ambrit

        Yep. I’m so old I remember Horatio Alger, the little boy who could! Just like back than, today’s dose of disaster is premised upon the notion that all it takes to be successful is that you find and then pledge fealty to a richer, stronger oligarch or autocrat.
        Anti-liberterianism? I’m not so sure about that.
        With the Liberterians, it is not so much a case of “sheepdogging” as “sheepwolving.”
        Stay safe. Keep your eyes and ears open.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘New Not-So-Cold War’

    From what I have read the past few months, I can see that Ukrainian officers should really develop their people skills-

    ‘Lord Bebo
    🚨Fixed & Subbed: A unit from the 59th brigade of the AFU left their position, because they’re only 3 people and can’t hold it any longer.

    -> Their commander got p*****, threw a grenade and most likely killed them.

    War is hell … especially if your own people try to kill you.’ (38 sec video) – language alert!

  13. Wukchumni

    Reading the dead tree LA Times @ my mom’s and it looked to have overdosed on Ozempic, and while not wafer thin-awfully close @ 26 pages.

    The powers that be have gone to an odd gambit in trying to rid themselves of older readers living in the past by raising the cover price to $3.66 per copy, that’ll teach them to go on the internet instead!

    1. Carolinian

      Hardly anyone around here seems to take the printed newspaper and yesterday I spotted one in a yard and was shocked at the emaciated appearance–more like one of those grocery day giveaway shoppers. When I briefly lived in NYC one of the great pleasures was being able to walk down to the street and get a copy of the NY Times. On Sundays you might need help carrying it.

      That was a loooong time ago. Perhaps the Times is the same bulk but in towns like mine the printed newspaper business has died. Our paper was never very good to begin with so not mourning the loss.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i remember fondly the sunday houston chronical…before that, the houston post…and perusing it lazily was a big deal from 10 to 2 on sundays.
        then later, same with the austin american statesman…also on sunday(i always insisted on sundays off…told various bosses that i was a rabid christian, “remember the sabbath and keep it holy”, etc)
        by then, the sunday paper had grown somewhat thinner than before, but was still pretty hefty.
        now, way out here, i dont think we get any newspapers at the local stores any more….from big cities.
        local rag/brochure on wednesdays…thats it.
        my boys cant conceive of what i’m talking about…4+ hours to read a news paper…as in actual paper?

      2. ambrit

        Problem there is that local affairs often now go “under the radar.” The local oligarchs now try to get away with truly egregious grafts and filibusters. Just another tool in the “dumb ’em down” kit.
        Remember folks! A dumb electorate is the autocrat’s friend!

        1. Wukchumni

          When the dead tree Kaweah Commonwealth went away 7 or 8 years ago, if you aren’t on social media, its as if nothing ever happens in Tiny Town anymore-death notices come by word of mouth or mouse, and a fill was voided.

          It was a weekly that consisted of 8 pages, about 1/3rd the size of the current daily LA Times in page amount.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      They’re selling at a loss at that price. Do you have any idea how much more expensive it is to insert cookies into a dead tree publication?

      1. ambrit

        Silly geese! They should ask their ‘friends’ at the Midnight Bar how to “insert cookies” into physical media. I’m sure there is a video tutorial about that on the Dark Web.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “So Many Questions, So Little Time for Pacific Logistics”

    Logistics for a Pacific war will be hell and it won’t be 1944 anymore. I don’t think that the US has the ships to supply a war effort in the western Pacific as in the actual numbers. So imagine this. War breaks out and the ships carrying the avgas for the war get sunk by missiles shot by Chinese submarines. That would put an ugly spanner in the war effort alone as there may be replacement avgas but will there be replacement ships to transport it? Does the US have the spare parts in stock to maintain a war lasting months? Would China still sell them those needed spare parts? In the same way that Russia has allowed the Ukrainian army to go to the east so that they can be destroyed in detail close to their bases, it may be that the Chinese will allow the US Navy to advance to the west and then chop off their supply lines and sink them in detail.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Obama’s “pivot to the Asia” is one of his many gifts to the Empire that could keep on giving. The Empire is self-destructing faster than I could imagine.

    2. scott s.

      It’s been about 40 years since we last used avgas/mogas. In my cold war days (which included a tour on the N-4 staff in INDOPACOM) expendable ordnance was the critical factor. But IME during joint exercises we didn’t really test out most logistics except at a notional level (importantly maintenance, engineering, medical) though I imagine our (at least army) expeditionary experience in the middle east has fleshed out capacity / utilization metrics.

      As far as fuel, Biden/Austin decision to close Red Hill is a major mistake. If theater POL is going to have to come from the west coast, all bets are off. As it is, defueling Red Hill is taking years as there isn’t the sealift to get it out of here. Though it was reported that CONSOL ops were included as an exercise objective during RIMPAC 2022, so that’s encouraging.

    3. ilsm

      in usa dod avgas is a thing of the past. currently usaf and usn jets use a mil spec kerosene based jet fuel…..

      that said a key petrol logistics dilemma is not only huge demands for fuel, but with adversary’s longer range indirect fires that are highly accurate the critical last mile for fuel is between aircraft launch site and the point where the fighter falls out of the sky w/o fuel far from any target.

      in addition to cargo ships and oilers a shortage of aerial refuelers will be aggravated by needing to be within sam range to refuel fuel guzzling fighters…… nato’s big problem in ukraine (when they decide russia is iraq)!

      i was a usaf logistician, but i understand jet fuel stores on an aircraft carriers are a limiting factor requiring meeting oilers at geolocations set by distant fuel managers!

      who optimize transport cost and do not want to lose scarce oilers!

      where are henry kaiser’s shipyards?

      and f-35 (a and c anyway, idk marine version) loads 16000 pounds of fuel for a disappointing combat radius…..

      spare parts us jets do not meet budgeted combat readiness now with a spare parts kit for training. the war kit is short term hoping for industrial mobilization after a planning factor number of days combat.

      and spare engine!

      per history of budgeted logistics effectiveness…. probably worry more about no cargo than no ships.

      1. ambrit

        The perils of ‘offshoring’ National Defense infrastructure.
        To mangle von Clausewitz; “Failure is warfare by other means.”

    1. Pat

      What you expected them to point out and prevent a situation they had worked so hard to get people in place to set up and egg on!?!

    2. marym

      Possible reasons for lack of preparation:

      Wanted it to happen – entrapment

      Wanted it to happen – supported the cause
      Didn’t think it would happen – didn’t think middle class white people would riot

      1. marym

        On my phone there’s an x in a box after the word entrapment. Search says there’s an emoji that my phone doesn’t support. I think it’s an editing problem on my laptop. I apologize for whatever this is.

        1. marym

          OK, I partly figured it out.

          When I show formatting marks in my draft, there’s a soft return on that line, a paragraph symbol on the other lines. Will be more mindful going forward for compatibiity.

  15. Onward to Dystopia

    >Gee I love hearing about Trump and Putin 24/7, thank you media.
    >>Oh, you don’t think Trump should be prosecuted for his CRIMES!?
    >No I just don’t want to hear…
    >I just haven’t built a personality around revenge fantasies and following all this boring minutiae…
    >>LULZ Okay MAGA! Shouldn’t you be [familyblogging] your sister in a trailer somewhere? haha I am very intelligent.

    (almost the only conversation I have with libs online now.)

    1. Late Introvert

      I’ve pointed out to my wife, and my mom, that Trump is living rent free in their heads. They don’t like me saying that at all.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Don’t suppose it would help if you pointed out to some people how Trump has a summer home in their heads.

        1. Late Introvert

          Thanks tegnost, I am an excellent cook. Tonight it was egg fried rice with leftovers including a garlic/ginger/sesame oil base. Edamame was the secret ingredient.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Germany: Far-right AfD wins first governing post ”

    I have seen this movie before. A country where the main parties lock in elections so that only they can rule and everybody else is kept out. Thus not having to worry about the bulk of the population’s wants or needs, they start pandering to minor interests, especially those of powerful ones. The policies of the main parties in Germany has led to recession, high food and energy costs, more unemployment as well as de-industrialization of the country – and it looks to be a very cold winter this year. And they wonder that people will vote for the party that states that they are for the interests of their own country, even if they do not agree with a lot of what they say. Lots of people too in the US hated Trump back in 2016 but voted for him anyway because they saw the other candidate was all about maintaining the status quo.

    1. vao

      In the recent elections in Greece, three extreme-right-wing parties gathered 34 mandates (out of 300), including 12 for the “Spartans”.

      The Spartans is a front for the old “Golden Dawn” fascist party whose leader, Ilias Kasidiaris, in jail, managed to organize and promote the Spartans. The government thwarted a first attempt by Kasidiaris to lead a party “Greeks for the Fatherland” to the elections thanks to a tailor-made law, but Kasidiaris craftily managed to eschew its provisions in his second attempt with the Spartans. The government is now investigating how to deny retroactively the official registration to the election of the Spartans…

  17. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Big Serge although he seems to be debating an MSM that some of us don’t even read or watch any more. If your motive in reading a newspaper is to find out what’s going on then why waste the time when it becomes obvious that they are making much of it up? To be sure there will still be news stories on uncontroversial topics that may be useful but the Pravda parsing of the old Soviet Union is very inefficient when we have an internet. Which is to say for the elites totalitarian tactics only work if you have total control and history suggests even then it still doesn’t work. You can guillotine Sophie Scholl but still end up chomping on cyanide in the bunker.

    Yves has written that trust used to be the lubricant that made business work. In other words truth is a practical thing, not just for chumps.. Perhaps at some point our ongoing disasters will “concentrate the minds” of our rulers

  18. Wukchumni

    “Get Down!” What to Do When a Bear Climbs Into Your Tree Stand Field & Stream
    Guess i’ve seen around a couple of dozen black bears climb up a tree, as it is their defense mechanism against us, pretty much. A number of times i’ve watched a bruin using all fours to ascend to the top of 100 foot trees in less than 10 seconds and it isn’t as if limbs are an issue as the grapple the trunk in a series of moves where they grab the tree with their front legs and the hind legs follow up, almost like an aerial gymnastic move.

    1. vao

      I once saw a bear descending a tree, and it was “wheeee!” all the way to the ground. The trunk was free of branches in the portion where it was sliding down.

    2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

      How do you tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly?

      Walk up and smack it on the butt, then get up a tree.

      If it climbs the tree to eat you, it’s a black bear.

      If it knocks the tree down to eat you, it’s a grizzly.

    1. hunkerdown

      How is the gentry going to starve the poor to “improve” them if bleeding-heart priests keep subverting the myth by fulfilling it?

    2. The Rev Kev

      Isn’t there a part in the bible on this? It was something-something-feed the poor.

  19. Jason Boxman

    COVID is still real. From a company I’m familiar with:

    Thought I’d let you know I’m alive and recovering. I returned from a wonderful PTO on [recent date]. That night, I started coughing severely and by Tuesday I couldn’t stand without getting clammy, nauseated, and feeling like passing out. Even after 4 vaccines, I ended up with Covid and was extremely ill last week. I permanently had an ice pack on my head for 5 days for the fever and splitting headache. I started the medication, as prescribed, and I like to think they helped lessen the symptoms.
    I’m still recovering and although I’m so much better, I’m exhausted and weakened. I’m going to check messages and hope to ease into working this week.

    With the possibility that reinfections can now occur in under 4 months, I wonder how much of this we’ll be able to sustain as a “society”?

    1. cnchal

      > . . . how much of this we’ll be able to sustain . . .

      I have asked myself the same thing for eons. As a child I saw ocean going ships throwing garbage in the water as they were going by, asked dad, what?? and was told ocean is big, so there. But I digress.

      I got the answer last night. Grind on!

      Mask on, go to big box retailer and the young lady assigned to me to make sure I don’t run out the door, told me point blank she was immune to covid after I asked if she was worried about It. No one is immune to Covid I replied. All of her family had it and she never so she is immune.

      I was the only one with a mask, and couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.

    2. Roger Blakely

      Jason Boxman, when the person who wrote this mentions coming back from paid time off, are they indicating that they flew somewhere for vacation? I think that air travel is the worst thing that anyone can do. People are coming in from all over the place. If I go to work, chances are that I am going to be exposed to the variant that is circulating in my city. If I go to the airport and get on an airplane, all bets are off. I am probably going to catch a variant from who-knows-where, and it is probably going to knock me on my keister.

  20. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) is a Pushmi-pullyu type bringing up impeaching and expunging an impeachment, or in layman’s terms, he can do little.

  21. zagonostra

    >Georgetown University Hires Fauci

    Seems like Universities have become the haven for the craven. HRC, Brian Stelter, and others going from politics and media to education underscores how widespread the rot is. Not the fan I used to be of Chris Hedges after CV19 reaction, but I have to hand it to him that his 2010 the “Death of the Liberal Class” nailed it. Education, Unions, Religions, Political Parties, and an independent media, as institutions, have all failed us.

  22. ewmayer

    Re. “Ukrainian Military Officials and Equipment using the “Balkenkreuz” or Iron Cross from the Imperial/Nazi Germany-Era is an extremely bad look” – this seems confused, as there is no such thing as a “Bakenkreuz”. There is the Hakenkreuz, a.k.a. Swastika, and the Eisernes Kreuz, a.k.a. Iron Cross.

  23. Jeremy Grimm

    Today is voting in the New State Primary Elections, or at least the primary in the little town where I live. I spent almost an hour poking around the web trying to find a sample ballot I could study before going to the the polling place up the street and find out what I could about who was running for office and where they stood on the issues. I used to think I was reasonably good at picking through search results [DuckDuckGo] to find what I wanted. I had to give after being unable to find even a sample ballot.

  24. Rolf

    I don’t know what to make of the tone of the FRED’s blog:

    Hence, if a recession occured soon, that would mark the first time this indicator would fail in this way. Another indicator, the Sahm Rule, is aligned with this assessment. But who knows? Abnormal things have happened in the data in the past few years.

    Bold face mine.

    Casting data as abnormal implies errors in understanding of underlying mechanism. In science, collection of data that are both statistically meaningful and unexpected would merit careful inspection of the basic assumptions that yield such expectations.

    I think everyone understands the inherent uncertainty in predictions of future economic activity. So maybe (probably) I’m being unfairly critical of the St Louis FED’s research blog page. But I’m still left with … that’s it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1. tegnost

      Abnormal things have happened in the data in the past few years.

      Don’t you hate it when reality doesn’t match the model? It’s abnormal…

    2. griffen

      A guru who was well known to spout truth in unconventional ways once said, it is hard to predict the future since it hasn’t happened yet. Yogi was merely a baseball player, not an economist, so I digress. I’m of the mind that an “R” recession might be avoided but in it’s place we get some quarters of really low growth ( hey I just did what they did !). Lot of talking this week already on the CNBC channel around real estate and CRE.

  25. Bugs

    “Workers Ingested Into Aircraft Engines Twice In A Year: What’s Gone Wrong?”


    this needs to be a sort of subterm in Lambert’s list of neoliberal euphemisms to be 1) carefully parsed 2) laughed at

    These people died in preventable work-related accidents. They were not “ingested”, they were killed by the negligence of their employers.

    1. James

      The worker who died earlier this year did not follow safety procedures. It is true that jetway workers are pushed to maintain timelines and get things done quickly, but the worker disobeyed the #1 rule and walked toward a jet with an active beacon light flashing.

      The worker who died earlier this week may have been a suicide. It is not being reported that way in the major news outlets, but according to folks in the know in aviation, the worker handed a co-worker their wallet and watch, and then walked directly into the path of the operating engine.

  26. some guy

    Just in case no one else has already spotted the snow leopard, it is directly ” under” the bottom part of the little snow patch, head end towards the right, with its head turned to look directly at us.

    1. ambrit

      Thank you. I guess that if I ever go hiking in the mountains I am going to end up some top predator’s lunch. (No, that is not a Blackstone reference.)

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