Links 7/20/2023

Rare Fossil May Show a Small Mammal Attacking a Dinosaur Smithsonian. Encouraging!

The Santiago Boys Evgeny Morozov. “A wild tale of how Allende’s engineers and a British management consultant dared challenge corporations and spy agencies – and almost won.” A teaser for the upcoming full video.


Passengers said people were passing out, getting sick from extreme heat on Delta flight to Atlanta WSB. I wonder how the ventilation was on the plane.

Tornado damages Pfizer plant in North Carolina as scorching heat and floods sock other parts of US ABC

The Biggest Winners in America’s Climate Law: Foreign Companies WSJ

Resilience policing and disaster management during Australia’s Black Summer bushfire crisis (PDF) International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. Uses the ugly neologism “learnings” in the Abstract (as opposed to “lessons,” a perfectly good word). Anyhow, good to know somebody’s thinking ahead to the role cops can play in The Jackpot.


New Study Finds PFAS In Drinking Water Everywhere, Here’s How To Protect Yourself The Brockovich Report


This Blood Type Could Make You More Vulnerable to COVID-19 Time. Type A. Blood types by country.

Trends and Seasonality of Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations for Suicidality Among Children and Adolescents in the US from 2016 to 2021 JAMA. “This study’s findings suggest that the unexpected decrease in suicidality among children and adolescents after school closures supports hypotheses that suicidality is associated with the US school calendar.” The lockdowns decreased student suicides. The GBD ghouls are 180° wrong, as usual.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 is linked to a gene variant that boosts immune memory after exposure to prior seasonal cold viruses The Conversation


Exclusive: China’s state banks seen selling dollars offshore to slow yuan declines – sources Reuters

China’s President Xi meets Henry Kissinger in Beijing Channel News Asia

US needs ‘diplomatic wisdom’ of Henry Kissinger on China policy: Top Chinese official Anadolu Agency

Foreign investors sidestep China in rush into Asian stocks FT

Politics of hedging in the Indo-Pacific Indian Punchline


Biden indicates ‘special relationship’ on the line in absence of consensus on overhaul Times of Israel. The deck: “US president tells NY Times’s Tom Friedman that ‘vibrancy of Israel’s democracy’ is at heart of ties between the 2 countries, but threatened by unilateral moves to weaken judiciary.” “Tom Friedman.”

Dear Old Blighty

UK dental crisis: Millions of Britons struggle to secure dental appointments from National Health Service Anadolu Agency

Coutts closed Nigel Farage’s account because he didn’t ‘align with their values’ The Telegraph

New Not-So-Cold War

Why Russia pulled out of its grain deal with Ukraine – and what that means for the global food system The Conversation

Ukraine war: Wheat prices soar after Russia threatens ships BBC

Poland threatens to close border with Ukraine if EU doesn’t extend grain ban – Polish Prime Minister Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

Putin Strikes Back: Ukrainian Ports Devastated To Cap Grain Deal’s Termination Simplicius the Thinker(s)

Russia strikes Ukraine’s critical port facilities in Odesa after halting grain deal AP

Why Russia’s grain deal snub isn’t just about attack on Kerch Bridge Christian Science Monitor

Leaked files suggest hidden British hand in latest Kerch Bridge strike Kit Klarenberg, The Grayzone

* * *

Ukraine Adopts Slow Approach to Counteroffensive: ‘Our Problem Everywhere Is the Sky’ WSJ. Air cover as one essential part of combined operations. Seriously, who knew?

Military briefing: the mines stalling Ukraine’s advance FT. Mines. Wowsers. It’s like we’re not even children, we’re little babies, discovering object permanence for the first time.

Why Ukraine’s counter-offensive is failing Responsible Statecraft

* * *

NATO Can Help Create a Global Security Architecture Foreign Policy. US + vassal states > China?

Ukraine In NATO Would Be A Disaster … Trying to Understand the World

EU plans €20B fund to stock Ukraine’s military for years Politico. The deck: “EU plans €20B fund to stock Ukraine’s military for years.”

NATO’s Article 5 does not override Congress’s war powers Rand Paul, Responsible Statecraft. But:

South of the Border

Peru’s anti-government movement reignited months after deadly protests Axios. Fortunately, we’ve already got US troops on the ground (which Axios, oddly, does not mention).

The Caribbean

Kagame and Other Stooges Do U.S. Bidding in Haiti Black Agenda Report

Biden Administration

Top DEA official resigns after report on consulting work The Hill


Friendly Fire: Dan Goldman Demolishes the Biden Defense in Whistleblower Hearing Jonathan Turley

IRS whistleblowers air claims to Congress about ‘slow-walking’ of the Hunter Biden case Orlando Sentinel. Commentary:

Spook Country

RIP BuzzFeed News, intelligence agency propaganda conduit Al Mayadeen. Unsurprising, if true.

Groves of Academe

Stanford president resigns over manipulated research, will retract at least three papers Stanford Daily. Sadly, Stanford is no longer the university of Donald Knuth; Bhattacharya and his stochastic eugenicist goons fit right in….

The Bezzle

FBI raids embattled wine seller Sherry-Lehmann’s NYC store NY Post (Erasmus). Erasmus: “Sherry-Lehmann was a family-owned store with impeccable wine connoisseurship and excellent service for decades. The two current owners (one is a hedge fund guy) have ruined it.”

Digital Watch

AI just wrote a bill to regulate itself Politico. It’s a cookbook.

“AI introduced and I’m useless”…The agony of an art college student who lost the meaning of studying Confessions of two women found on a cliff [From the scene of Tojinbo] (Google Translation) Fukui Shimbun. More:

I don’t think anybody’s thought through the effect of AI on college debt.

Is GPT-4 getting worse over time? AI Snake Oil. “Chatbots acquire their capabilities through pre-training. It is an expensive process that takes months for the largest models, so it is never repeated.” Oh.

* * *

A friend-finding app offered a ‘safe space’ for teens — sextortion soon followed NBC

Fa Fa Fa Fa Fashion

Macy’s Launches New Brand Promising Better-Fitting Clothes WSJ. Commentary:


Trial of the MIND Diet for Prevention of Cognitive Decline in Older Persons NEJM. From the Abstract: “Among cognitively unimpaired participants with a family history of dementia, changes in cognition and brain MRI outcomes from baseline to year 3 did not differ significantly between those who followed the MIND diet and those who followed the control diet with mild caloric restriction.” I’m linking to this to encourage the publication of negative results.

Realignment and Legitimacy.

Thomas Frank: Ordinary People by the Millions (interview) Seymour Hersh (PI). Two greats, together at last.

Guillotine Watch

Polo Hamptons Match & Cocktail Party Dan’s Papers

Class Warfare

Reform Caucus Rises, Sues for Elections in Amazon Labor Union Labor Notes

L.A. film and TV production plummets in second quarter amid writers’ strike LA Times

* * *

Rule #2:

Measuring private equity penetration and consolidation in emergency medicine and anesthesiology Health Affairs Scholar:

Our findings demonstrate that PE and publicly traded companies have become a major force in both the anesthesia and emergency medicine markets over the last decade. We estimate that they controlled 18.8% and 22.0% of the national anesthesia and emergency medicine markets, respectively, in 2019—a sixfold increase in anesthesia and nearly a threefold increase in emergency medicine since 2009…. It is notable that the rapid growth of PE and publicly traded company ownership in anesthesia and emergency medicine—the two specialties most linked to surprise out-of-network billing—occurred alongside growing interest from state and federal policymakers in protecting patients from surprise bills, eventually culminating in passage of the federal No Surprises Act at the end of 2020. While our study does not provide causal evidence, other research suggests that large staffing companies owned by PE or publicly traded companies increased commercial prices and the prevalence of out-of-network billing.

Concludes “more research needed.” Research which some people are doing every day…..

Early OxyContin Marketing Linked To Long-Term Spread Of Infectious Diseases Associated With Injection Drug Use Health Affairs. Abstract only:

Exposure to initial OxyContin marketing statistically significantly increased rates of fatal synthetic opioid–related overdoses; acute hepatitis A, B, and C viral infections; and infective endocarditis–related deaths. The greatest burden of adverse long-term outcomes has been in states that experienced the highest exposure to early OxyContin marketing. Our findings indicate that OxyContin marketing decisions from the mid-1990s increased viral and bacterial complications of injection drug use and illicit opioid–related overdose deaths twenty-five years later.

Rat Kings of New York The Baffler

Reconsidering the Grand Civic Staircase Curbed

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. griffen

    July in the Hamptons. Where all the swells and the finest of the 1% gather. Small wonder that reports this morning on CNBC, one candidate for 2024 named DeSantis is visiting today / tomorrow for a fund raiser? I think, perhaps not.

    I realize it’s summer but maybe Ron, leave the white boots at home.

      1. ambrit

        When will the Karma Kommandos swim ashore from the Cartel supplied submersible to raid the gathering?

  2. chris

    What a great interview with Sy Hersh and Tom Frank. I look forward to Frank’s next book. I’ve been amazed at the kind of descriptions I see in various social media from friends and colleagues who work for the big military contractors. What does it mean that Lockheed Martin or Northrup Grumman support DEI policies? Why should I care that either have events for Pride month? Don’t they know that the majority of their business comes from blowing up minorities and children, or at least the resources that the disadvantaged need to survive in other countries? Do they really think Pride washing their purpose obscures that?

    I hope Frank is able to help make sense of it.

    1. WhoaMolly

      We’ve used Berkey Travel filter for several years now. Removes “chemical taste” of local tap water. It’s simple, effective, and economical over time. Highly recommend.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Rare Fossil May Show a Small Mammal Attacking a Dinosaur”

    There might be more going on than what might be seen here. If a smaller mammal is attacking a larger dinosaur, then likely it is because the mammal has an edge on that larger dinosaur or because it has been cornered. But it might very well be that that dinosaur was being attacked by a pack of those mammals and only one of which was preserved. And like packs of wolves and packs of jackals, the implication might be some sort of social behaviour is in play here. It’s an intriguing idea.

    1. Eric F

      Are we certain that the dinosaur wasn’t already dead at the time?
      I’m thinking a small mammal scavenging is pretty likely.

  4. flora

    re: Thomas Frank: Ordinary People by the Millions (interview) Seymour Hersh (PI).

    Great interview. Thanks for the link. I think Frank is right on all points. This part caught my attention:

    “What I mean is this: All our great historical moments of progressive reform have been due to huge social movements, movements that enlisted ordinary people by the millions, not just the professionals in DC. I’m thinking of the farmers’ movement in the 1890s, the labor movement in the 1930s, and the civil rights movement and then the antiwar movement in the 1960s. Social movements succeed. They build and they change the intellectual climate and then, when the crisis comes, they make possible things like agrarian reform or the New Deal or the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s.

    “We need that kind of mass mobilization today. And we have had inklings of such a thing. Black Lives Matter seemed at first like it might become such a movement. And look at the union organizing and the strikes that are going on today. It is totally possible to imagine a kind of mass social movement that brings ordinary people together behind some larger vision of economic reform.”

    This caught my attention not because I think it’s a new idea or because I think people aren’t aware of this or haven’t tried to start new movements. It caught my attention because, after reading Taibbi and Shellenberger et al about the social media sensorship industrial complex behind social media, I think mass social movements are exactly what all the sensorship complex is designed to prevent.

    1. digi_owl

      Less prevent and more disrupt. And less social media than media in general.

      BLM may well have been a grift from day one.

      But before BLM there was Occupy. That got disrupted by a bunch of people yelling about intersectionality, and demanding preferential treatment based on race and gender.

      As in, once a mass movement starts forming in the garden get the mass to splinter by splitting internal hairs.

      And frankly that is a story as old as USA, at least. First the English got the Irish and Scotts to fight each other over scraps. And then later get both to gang up on Blacks, Latinos, Slavs and Asians at various times and regions. This because otherwise these groups collectively would have the mass to topple the English/WASPs.

      1. Lexx

        ‘As in, once a mass movement starts forming in the garden get the mass to splinter by splitting internal hairs.’

        Ahem… the Green Party. It can’t get anything meaningful done, leadership is too busy trying to out-virtue each other … gawds in heaven, what’s wrong with them?! For a party that consistently acknowledges how short of time our species is to save ourselves, they behave like they have all the time in the world for infighting. I’m disgusted with them.

        1. ambrit

          Short version: the Greens are more interested in seizing the moral high ground than in actual power.
          That’s one big reason why so called “fascist” movements do so well. They have a unity of purpose, the origins of which matters not.
          Power is it’s own reward.

          1. Not Qualified to Comment

            In my neck of the woods where a Proportional Representation democratic system handed the Green Party ‘actual power’ as a minority party holding the balance of power in Parliament it promptly lost my vote by turning into a bog-standard political party of egos, in-fighting and competing blocs promoting left/right policies completely unrelated to the environment/climate etc. Ditto Germany where the Greens also attained a degree of ‘actual power’.

            As someone who fought for and supported the Greens here right from its gestation in the early ’90s its noticeable that not a single name that put in the hard yards selling the message and winning the early battles is still associated with the movement, which has been taken over by greenwashed ‘professional’ politicians whose number one priority is their career.

        2. Big River Bandido

          The US Greens are kind of party that might be susceptible to being taken over by committed leftists who want to use the party’s structure and machinery (e.g., ballot lines) to real purpose.

          1. Rolf

            This has been my emerging view as well. I don’t think the Democratic or Republican parties are reformable, the rot is too deep. They’re two sides of the same worthless coin, anyway. But the Greens could be taken. Whoever organized this needs a strategy for the smear and ad hominem attacks certain to follow: they’re as racist, sexist or anti-feminist, conspiracist, anti-Semitic, as woke, un-woke, anti-LGBT+++, anti-immigrant, elitist (LOL), spoiler, Rooskie cut-outs, commies, anti-American, as pro-gun, anti-gun, … and so on. This movement must also enlist the support of [gasp!] the deplorables — from the get-go. It must get these groups who have been schooled since birth to hate each other, to stop and see the other as legitimate, with shared interests, strengths, and vulnerabilities. This will require MLK-levels of authoritative passion and persuasiveness, and Trumpian doggedness. But possible, no?

              1. Eclair

                My yes, Lambert. Grange #1 is in our neck of the woods, here in Chautauqua County, NY, in so-called ‘north county,’ Fredonia.

                The Grange is alive and well in Pennsylvania, although much defanged. A branch of my husband’s family is heavily involved in the Pomona Grange, down in Warren county. We still have old cookbooks, collections of recipes by the women of the grange, published to raise money.

                The grange halls served as places to gather: to dance, to eat the ‘covered dish’ suppers, to talk politics, to educate. But, can’t have ‘the people’ gathering and talking amongst themselves!

              2. Arkady Bogdanov

                A friend and I looked into opening a Grange chapter, and we were turned off by some of the requirements. We wanted to operate upon consensus to create unity of purpose- all decisions must be made by simple majority, which we found problematic as this would always alienate some people. There is also a requirement to display the US flag, speak the pledge of allegiance, and display an open copy of the Bible at every meeting (interestingly, the display of the bible appeared to be a violation of the national charter which states that the Grange must accept all religious affiliations). The national charter also says something about minimizing conflicts between capital and labor- which also turned us off, as we wanted to empower the local working class. We actually wanted to use the Grange as a vehicle to create dual/parallel power, but with rules like that, we saw conflicts, so dropped the idea.

        3. ArvidMartensen

          This is the problem with mass movements. As soon the state assesses a mass movement as a possible threat to power, the state sends in their spies and provocateurs to make it fall apart.
          Like taking candy from a baby. Obfuscate, spread rumours about who said what about whom, put sand in the gears of organising. Use any differences of opinion to prise alliances apart (like frost on rocks, where the layers gradually peel off and the rock falls apart).

          This is such a well worn tactic, exposed in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. State agents have even gone so far as to form romantic relationships with the true activists as their cover, while having genuine families that they return to regularly under the cover of working abroad or overnight or whatever.

          It works. Intel is sent back. Demonstrators are smeared by provocateur violence and lose public support and heart. Activists fall out among themselves as provocateurs spread rumours to divide. The group falls apart or limps along, impotently.

          I would imagine that there isn’t an activist group in the western world that isn’t playing host to undercover police/secret service agents. This would include the Green Party.

          1. cosmiccretin

            “I would imagine that there isn’t an activist group in the western world that isn’t playing host to undercover police/secret service agents. This would include the Green Party”.

            The evidence – likewise circumstantial (I never having been in a position to acquire any more concrete) – is that in the UK it would also have included the Labour Party after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader, in connection with which any roll-call of undercover agents would also have included (at one remove or directly) Mossad. For Corbyn, “anti-semitism” played an analogous role to “Russia, Russia, Russia” for Trump.

      2. ChrisRUEcon

        We need a surreptitious left as it were … one that can operate largely undetected at first … building structures that look like existing ones but operating very differently.

        You mention #Occupy, and to me, one of the failures of #Occupy is that it did not lead to a mirror economy of sorts. I was only just becoming part of the #MMT community back then, but it seemed clear to me that what was needed was some sort of “alternate economy” to serve as a counter to the mainstream. It never came to pass – splinters and such, as you said – but I am looking to explore this academically and beyond within the next year.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Also, this to me is key:

          “First, that every single battle in the culture wars has been presented to us over the years as a kind of substitute class war”

          … again, not much can succeed at scale unless whatever movement anyone builds can make this realization front and center.

        2. Kouros

          There is an excelent 5 or 6 onehour episodes BBC documentary about the Spanish civil War, done in late 1970s, with a lot of interviews from first hand witnesses and participants. And there are stories about exactly this thing, on how they have created functioning parallel economies, very localized, but nevertheless.

          1. ChrisRUEcon

            > And there are stories about exactly this thing, on how they have created functioning parallel economies, very localized, but nevertheless

            Excellent, indeed! Just what I’m talking about … I’ll have to go look! #TYVM

            1. Late Introvert

              NC commentariat is simply the best in the world. I can’t believe I never heard of this before.

      3. Oh

        I will never forget how Saint Obama got the state governors to breakup Occupy in the middle of the night.

    2. GramSci

      «THOMAS FRANK: I sometimes feel like it’s the story of my life, because it all began shortly after I was born in 1965, during the Vietnam era.»

      ME: I sometimes feel like it’s the story of my life, because it all began shortly before I was born, in 1944, when the “Conspiracy of the Pure in Heart” shivved FDR.

      That’s what they proudly called themselves.

      1. pjay

        Good point. The rot started long ago.

        I was surprised to find that the Wikipedia article you link to is pretty good. And I was downright shocked to find under the heading ‘In Popular Culture’ this single sentence:

        “The events of the Chicago convention were dramatized in the second episode of the popular Showtime documentary series Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States which looks at how close Henry Wallace came to the US Presidency.”

        I guess the CIA “fact checkers” haven’t caught up to this article yet. Maybe they don’t think anyone cares about Wallace anymore. Definitely a key turning point in our history – one of many.

    3. chris


      I think you can throw the desired education reforms into that mix too. The big messages across the board seem to be, “stop questioning authority, stop questioning institutions, stop acting out, stop being violently crude, stop thinking about yourself because you’re too privileged to have problems, stop asking for protection and repayment, stop expecting the government to stay out of your personal business, stop expecting to live longer, stop expecting to have a say in anything that matters; in fact, stop speaking because no one in power is listening and isn’t it just better to accept where you are and make the best of it?”

      Naturally people are rebelling against that.

      1. ambrit

        “Naturally people are rebelling against that.” But not yet ‘rebelling’ hard enough.

        1. chris

          Some individuals are rebelling very hard. But as discussed in the interview, not enough people are doing anything together for it to matter. Reading about the kind of strikes and work stoppages we had one hundred years ago the strikes we have today seem cute by comparison. But people have so much more debt and things seem so much harder now. I can’t imagine the support needed to support that kind of strike effort today.

          1. Rolf

            Yes. I think the weak response speaks to the deep corrosion of public institutions and true social networks and neighborhoods — our current cloud versions are state propaganda channels — coupled with just how utterly precarious, isolated, and atomized people’s lives are. Many people have nothing. They’re not just bowling alone — they’re not bowling at all. They have no money in the bank, are spied on at work, Google records every search they make, The Man is everywhere, etc. At the risk of sounding CT here, I think it’s difficult to overstate the insidiously oppressive effect of the state and its media allies to coerce conformity, induce stress and anxiety, defeat any popular response before it can even start.

    4. Jabura Basaidai

      agreed that the main push of censorship is to prevent a community understanding of how f$@#ed we are by the uniparty of oligarchs – healthcare may be one area that helps with the unraveling and shining light on the inequality that affects red & blue poor folks equally and any that do not have an employer healthcare plan – perhaps a benefit of the pandemic? – a close friend is being impacted because a sister-in-law who had a brain bleed cannot afford healthcare and they are trying to work some magic with medicaid for her but first must deal with what meager savings and assets she has – previously in NC it was pointed out the impact of private equity on rural healthcare facilities – and the drastic force of medicare advantage to disadvantage folks – the patriotic BS about the Ukraine proxy war when unaudited billions are being sent, is increasingly falling on deaf ears when armed forces families need SNAP and no one wants to join anymore as well as the homelessness crisis that is increasingly being criminalized – ‘increasingly’ is the key word as noted and it will reach a breaking point – the old tropes dividing folks are becoming ‘increasingly’ ineffective – someone yesterday mentioned that in overheard checkout line chatter folks were not interested in the usual tropes – i do see the possibility of a counter effect to the censorship in creating a mass social movement – at least i can hope – excuse me while go pick japanese beetles off my fruit trees –

    5. ex-PFC Chuck

      “I think mass social movements are exactly what all the sensorship complex is designed to prevent.”

      The censorship is merely the first line of Defense. If that proves not to have the desired effects the follow up will be a coordinated nationwide crackdown a la the Occupy movement. Thank you Obama.

        1. ambrit

          However, “they” have no compunctions against “peering” into everyone’s private lives.
          R2P = Right to peer.

      1. ambrit

        Just like every Empire experiencing terminal decline. Think the Cossacks in Tsarist Russia or the Black and Tans in ‘Occupied’ Ireland.
        One must admit though that such exercises of ‘Force Majeure’ often accompany the building phases of Empires. Groups like the Pinkertons and the East India Company come to mind in that regard.
        I view the resort to force on the part of the Ruling Elites of a society as a marker for the ascendancy of a hyper authoritarian political philosophy. “We know what is best for everyone and we will enforce it.”
        The grey area here is the determination of just when the revolt threshold is crossed. Generally we do not determine when that happens until well after it has occurred.
        For the above reasons, I generally categorize Asimov’s “Foundation” books as fantasy and not science fiction. Hari Seldon is seldon correct.

          1. Mildred Montana

            Am I stating the obvious, the moon landing? As for the rest of your comment I am flummoxed.

          2. ambrit

            I remember watching that live on television in Homeroom Class at school. All other classes that day were “cancelled.” Fascinating to watch history “live’ in glorious black and white.
            “In Clavius did Kubla von Braun,”
            “A stately pressure dome decree.”
            “Alas the Greys then did proclaim,”
            “The Moon is ours.”
            “Tis not for thee.”
            Be thee of good cheer.

            1. Wukchumni

              Somewhere there’s a photo of me watching the tv show the first steps on the Moon, as proof by my parents that I was there, for if I hadn’t watched the event, it either wouldn’t have happened or we as individuals wouldn’t be whole.

              The fondest memory came about a month later when perched on my father’s shoulders about 7 lines of people back on the sidewalk during the ticker tape parade in Manhattan, i’m pretty sure Neil waved at me, in particular.

            2. Wukchumni


              Interesting date for Werner von Braun, if Adolf gets assassinated the Nazis sue for peace and the V-2’s never get launched in anger, but that isn’t how the deal went down.

        1. timbers

          Decline – Check out New Atlas, live section. You only need to listen to the first 12 minutes (or first 20 if you want more details) of the 2 hour discussion on the rotting state of public infrastructure and transportation in the US & Europe vs the super fast clean modern crime free public rail systems in Thailand, China, etc.

    6. Sailor Bud

      I don’t know. It seems to me we are in times where a hundred Kent State incidents would simply be normalized and forgotten overnight, and very easily too. I hope I’m wrong, but it aint the sixties anymore. America, on a cultural level, has absolutely no grass roots anything now. It’s all handed to us from on high. This is why nobody can name a single famous 21st c. guitarist at all, almost a quarter of the way through this century, to say nothing of the other artist types where fame is denied. Not allowed. At the political level, it’s not much better.

      I really dislike hearing modern predictions of the ‘history always shows’ type, predicting the near end of capitalism and empire. Historic empires never had the tools of media, legalism, military hardware, the drug of screen addiction, surveillance, analysis, and psychology available to the elites of today, and maybe history doesn’t always ‘rhyme’ as much as people say it does.

      Neoliberalism is still going strong, and ‘the Left’ is weaker than ever. We’re going into 2024 with a truly miserable country, yet millions of incredibly banal, TV-addicted Americans will still be cheering these corrupt clown politicians at election time. We’ll get Trump or Biden again (I predict the former), along with all the others in congress, and then its four more years of quiet population culling, business as usual. That’s as scary as hell to me, and I see no other future at all, no matter what protest movements happen. I hope I’m wrong, but my political predictions rarely are, sadly.

      Cops can simply beat protesters with impunity, as far as I can tell, along with mass cheering and high-fiving from the contingent that claims to hate government so much (hint: they don’t), plus way paved already for millions of Rittenhouses.

      1. tegnost

        re guitarists, maybe you should take a deeper dive into the music industry.
        It’s not that there are no great guitarists, it’s that silly con valley is still making money on kurt cobain. Also, as a musician and writer I have no interest in training an ai, and also no interest in fame. Shorter, there are no “great guitarists” because there’s no money in it.

        1. Wukchumni

          Where are the great writers, great movie directors, great artists et al, who were seemingly a Dime a dozen in the 20th century?

          The internet should have made it easy for fame to find them, but no.

          1. ambrit

            I’ll jump into the fray here and assert that “greatness” is not what the majority of the public want in their art. The Public is quite satisfied with nostrums and placebos that impart a sense of safety and comfort. Generally a false sense of comfort, but then, illusion is reality.
            As the Zeta Reticulan Overlords like to say; “When the Terrys believe that they are in control, our work is done.”

          2. Kouros

            Ballade des dames du temps jadis

            Dictes moy où, n’en quel pays,
            Est Flora, la belle Romaine ;
            Archipiada, ne Thaïs,
            Qui fut sa cousine germaine;
            Echo, parlant quand bruyt on maine
            Dessus rivière ou sus estan,
            Qui beauté eut trop plus qu’humaine?
            Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

            Où est la très sage Heloïs,
            Pour qui fut chastré et puis moyne
            Pierre Esbaillart à Sainct-Denys?
            Pour son amour eut cest essoyne.
            Semblablement, où est la royne
            Qui commanda que Buridan
            Fust jetté en ung sac en Seine?
            Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

            La royne Blanche comme ung lys,
            Qui chantoit à voix de sereine;
            Berthe au grand pied, Bietris, Allys;
            Harembourges qui tint le Mayne,
            Et Jehanne, la bonne Lorraine,
            Qu’Anglois bruslerent à Rouen;
            Où sont-ilz, Vierge souveraine ?
            Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

            Prince, n’enquerez de sepmaine
            Où elles sont, ne de cest an,
            Qu’à ce refrain ne vous remaine:
            Mais où sont les neiges d’antan!

            Tell me where, in which country
            Is Flora, the beautiful Roman;
            Archipiada, or Thaïs
            Who was her first cousin;
            Echo, speaking when one makes noise
            Over river or on pond,
            Who had a beauty too much more than human?
            Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

            Where is the very wise Héloïse,
            For whom was castrated, and then (made) a monk,
            Pierre Esbaillart (Abelard) in Saint-Denis?
            For his love he suffered this sentence.
            Similarly, where is the Queen (Marguerite de Bourgogne)
            Who ordered that Buridan
            Be thrown in a sack into the Seine?
            Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

            The queen Blanche (white) as a lily (Blanche of Castile)
            Who sang with a Siren’s voice;
            Bertha of the Big Foot, Beatrix, Aelis;
            Erembourge who ruled over the Maine,
            And Joan (Joan of Arc), the good (woman from) Lorraine
            Whom the English burned in Rouen;
            Where are they, oh sovereign Virgin?
            Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

            Prince, do not ask me in the whole week
            Where they are – neither in this whole year,
            Lest I bring you back to this refrain:
            Oh, where are the snows of yesteryear!

            Nevertheless, have you noticed, Stil, how beautiful the young women are this year?

        2. Sailor Bud

          It’s not just the music industry, though. Artists of nearly all types were abandoned as soon as this century began. Your personal interest in fame means little to me, I’m afraid. I see this as probably intentional gating, so that kids don’t have artist heroes anymore. As for guitar not being profitable, it certainly was for tons of 20th c. musicians, as Wuk says.

          Name a single famous, household name, 21st c-pure:

          Painter (other than G. Bush, H. Biden, and cute little Banksy)
          Pianist, drummer, bassist, etc
          Novelist? (C. McCarthy was writing since the 70s, Franzen already feted by NYT and LAT in the 80s or 90s, etc)

          Fame is allowed to the following:

          Political pundits & talk show hosts
          Sports stars
          TV/movie stars
          Taylor Swift (shoveled at us endlessly) & other pop stars
          Rappers & ‘R&B’ autotune singers
          Useless celebrities like Kardashians
          Tech billionaires
          Total nobody housewives who go missing, if attractive enough (Gabby Petito)

          Am I missing anyone?

          One thing I’m not missing is that, on a planet of 8 billion, I seem to be the only human noticing this anywhere and saying it out loud.

          1. Mildred Montana

            “Fame is allowed to the following”

            Your list contains nearly everybody who has been featured on 60 Minutes since the turn of the 21st century. Coincidence?

          2. Partyless poster

            Nowadays fame is reserved for those who can spend all their time on social media promoting themselves. I am a music producer myself but its a choice of do I want to spend my time making music or spend my time pushing my social media presence. If you really want to get listeners you have to spend almost every waking moment on promotion.
            To me that is the heart of it. Real artists aren’t necessarily media savvy promoters.
            Adding to that is that most just stream music based on corporate algorithms.
            “You will own nothing and be happy”

          3. ChrisRUEcon

            One thing to be careful of with this kind of critique – and I offer this comment raising my hand and saying “guilty” – is that while it has “merit” in one sense, in another, it doesn’t because great artists are always out there, toiling in the “spectacle-unseen” spaces. And, let me explain “spectacle-unseen” – if you can get your hands on Guy Debord’s “The Society Of The Spectacle” (via Google Books), it aligns with the ideas you put forward above about who is allowed to be part of the spectacle as it were. I’ve also said similar things over the years, but then I relent because if you take the time to look, you will find many artists to support and promote outside the mass production zones.


            1. Sailor Bud

              Without demeaning your point with a bad analogy, this feels a little like saying ‘The Dark Ages weren’t dark at all, because there were Irish monks translating classical texts the whole time.’ There. I’ve demeaned your point with a bad analogy anyway.

              Yes, we can access art and music, great stuff too, if we have it nearby (I don’t, in my little town of Aberdeen, WA, from where the above-mentioned Cobain came, as he was).

              I cannot, however, blithely throw away the fact that there is no worldwide fame for any of the things I listed, on the basis that it’s fine because I can see something awesome that isn’t known to anyone but a handful of humans.

              It feels intentional, weird, and totally nefarious. We all know that the easiest way to bury a political candidate is never to mention them. Art is similar, and we simply don’t have a healthy art culture. It especially feels gross to see the pathetic dearth of local bands playing gigs, compared to my youth.

              Thanks for the book recommendation, and cheers back. :)

          4. Kouros

            Please translate this in Mandarin/Hindi/Spanish/Russian and post it on the appropriate channels, see the responses…

          5. Kouros

            Please translate this in Mandarin/Hindi/Spanish/Russian and post it on the appropriate channels, see the responses…

      2. hunkerdown

        Those modern eschatologies are tiresome, to be sure. On the other hand, we too have versions of these tools, however handicapped or degraded, but I don’t care to enable any PMC who might be reading this so I won’t go into detail.

        People aren’t playing guitars; they’re playing digital audio workstations, and that’s okay.

        Here is yet another instance in which heroism and individual fame generate new forms of cancerous aristocratic theories of value and begs for its own negation. What is wrong with people who need something to worship and massacre others for not joining in? All of them are responsible for all this atrocity, and their theories of individual innocence are nothing more than whining to be ignored. Anti-heroism ftw, but winning in this case means only the end of the Greek cultural compulsion to LARP Homer forever.

        1. Sailor Bud

          If that’s a household name, I’m Aloys Kontarsky. Never heard of Billy, in any case, sorry.

          He’s certainly no Eddie Van Halen, is he? (No, not an endorsement of EVH. Just pointing out his very well known status. Tegnost conflated ‘fame’ with ‘great,’ above, which I certainly didn’t say in my original post.)

          1. homeroid

            youtube is yer fried on this. Pick a show and listen to the changes.
            Not easy to classify I would say newgrass.

            1. Sailor Bud

              Yeah, I looked him up, and he’s playing up in Seattle soon, near me. I forgot to thank you for letting me know about him, because I do like some good bluegrass (and the green stuff, too). :]

          2. tegnost

            It seems I touched a nerve…
            My point is that the incentive structure that made it work for the stadium guitarists is difficult to reproduce in the current environment.

            1. Sailor Bud

              You didn’t. I’ll be honest about how you did, though, which was with this post. Saying “I touched a nerve” will touch a nerve with me, because I’m not fond of that line as a friendly way to talk with others, if you’ll forgive me for saying so.

              I merely corrected your misreading of what I was saying. It’s an important distinction, too, because as far as I knew from most of what you wrote, I thought you were under the impression that I was saying there are no great guitarists at all. In short, don’t take it that way, please.

              Plenty of talent out there, including working guitarists. We just don’t get to know who they are. What people think of that is up to them, but it’s not something that I can pass off as simply nothing to worry about and no big. “It’s just the times. Nothing to see…”. I think it’s too obvious to be anything but intentional. Maybe I’m wrong.

      3. Oh

        Agree with you completely. Once again Biden will try to win the election by shouting “Trump, Trump”m “Russia, Russia” and “China, China” and the voters will bite on this. We’ll get him for the next President one more time.

      4. spud

        many in the left today blame FDR for saving capitalism. but i am sure at the time FDR also watched how poorly the left fared in europe, they were no match for the fascists. so by 1932, it was obvious that we were either going to go hard left communism, or hard right fascism.

        i am betting privately he knew the fascists would win. so the only way out was the new deal.

      5. eg

        The contradictions build and the elites overproduce (per Turchin) right up until they can’t.

        Then it’s on.

    7. Carolinian

      Frank is great, Hersh too, but both can’t quite shake the TDS

      TF: First of all, consider what makes Trumpism different from the culture-war game the Republicans have been playing for decades. Part of it is his enhanced vulgarity, his outrageous bigotry, his flaming contempt for insiders, his absurd hyper-masculinity, but these were always present before in some lesser form.

      Is Trump’s bigotry against Mexicans and third world countries more outrageous than mainstream bigotry against Russians and Palestinians and Iranians and deplorables? Or is it all the same thing and Trump merely says out loud what most of his class believe and say in private until someone like Mike Wallace starts talking about watermelons. If this makes Trump “the wolf” then it’s really the same wolf but without the sheep’s clothing.

      Someone like Trump certainly shouldn’t be president but these days we have to consider the alternatives.

    8. ArvidMartensen

      Yes, totally agree. Frank’s idea of mass movements being a solution makes as much sense as fighting WWIII using horse drawn artillery. It is of another age, with different technology.

      The problem is that the state is ahead of us. It has legions of well paid, university educated, PMC ers, working at this as their day job. For decades they have been wargaming what risks exist to the society run by the 1%. This includes policy risks, political risks, and activist risks, risks from new organisations that question the status quo. For thousands of hours across state organisations, every day, every year.

      It is no accident that the communication backbone for modern society was started using DARPA funding.

      If you control comms, then you control the populace. And so it has proven. Any activist group that relies on the internet to coordinate and run a campaign are sending a message to the state, lit up like a giant christmas tree, to come and get them.

      And in state agents come, using camouflage tricks as old as the hills to dismantle and destroy. And the other prob is that if any activists come up with a half-way workable idea to fly under the radar, they must keep this very quiet. Or else the new activist tactic just goes into a new wargame, and voila!, out comes a solution to squash them like a bug.

      Frank’s utopia of people in mass movements had the freedom to at least talk in the spaces that used to exist free of surveillance in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like over the back fence, in the pubs and clubs, at work when the boss wasn’t around etc. Those times are dead.

  5. Jabura Basaidai

    “…..requires the “diplomatic wisdom” of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the Chinese foreign affairs chief said on Wednesday.”
    y’all are a lot more savvy about foreign affairs – what would encourage a Chinese official to say that?
    to me the guy is a ghoul and a war criminal –

    1. The Rev Kev

      It could be that by encouraging him and the faction that sent him, that it might drive a wedge in the different foreign policy fiefdoms back in the US between the rabid let’s-fight-China group and the let’s-deal-with-reality group. Old Henry, being about 100 years old and being there when China came back into the world in the Nixon era, was seen as a suitable emissary by the later group as well as the Chinese. His being there is the not so much as a messenger but as the message itself and his status meant that the first group could not stop him going.

      1. digi_owl

        Around the time of Obama one could perhaps argue that D vs R was tech vs energy/oil.

        It may well be that Kissinger is the emissary of a globalist faction that has benefited from the rampant offshoring, vs the neocon/MIC trying to retain a US hegemony.

        It may well be that USA is going through the same convulsions that UK did after WW2, where i think Churchill insisted that UK didn’t fight to retain the empire just to give it up.

        1. Synoia

          The UK’s empire met some resistance in the 20th century

          The Boer War – where Concentration Camps were used by Kitchener, to depopulate the farms.
          India Gandhi lead protests
          Mau mau – Kenya
          Malaya Emergency
          Aden emergency
          Gold Coast – Nkrumah

          And possibly many others.

          The UK became a US satrap because WW1 and 2.
          The US was much more generous to Germany, expunging all of Germany’s war debt in about 1955. The IS was not so generous to the UK, which finally settled it’s debt to the us when Boris Johnson was the UK Prime Minister at the end for the 20th Century.

          1. Kouros

            Don’t forget the Irish Nationalist movement, which is still bitting at the diminished heels of the empire…

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        interesting point RK – and also perhaps the idea that the Chinese respect ‘wisdom’ of age?? – and perhaps the wisdom of the d_owl below could be in the tea leaves – in the end perhaps NTG is correct and K will return with a blunt message – as much as i despise the man he understands real politik and pragmatism to achieve his goals, i don’t agree with his goals of the past and just wondering what the goals of the present are in this regard –

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Why would the Chinese authorities dislike Kissinger? They were working with him against Vietnam when he was earning the ghoul and war criminal labels. I doubt they dislike him for that. He was also consistently friendly and helpful to them.

      That aside, he also has a widespread reputation as a realist statesman. I consider him vastly overhyped, but whatever Chinese officials may think of him privately, they would of course appeal to this reputation in public.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        To me its simple. He was there for Nixon’s trip. Beijing isn’t going to diplomatically insult a centarian version of Kissinger. It may not be Lafayette visiting the US, but its like that. I think this was a hail Mary by DC to get the Chinese to back a managed wind down with a nominal NATO status for Ukraine and private assurances from the West. Kissinger fancies himself a patriot, so my guy is when he realized that dog wasn’t going to hunt he ran out that line about the trip not being on behalf of DC. Taiwan was likely included with pleas about how Republican senators would be mean to Biden or even Trump if the US Navy isn’t allowed to sail through Chinese waters.

        Kissinger probably took a blunt message back.

        1. Pat

          If your scenario is correct, and it is plausible, I can only hope that his blunt message was: “not even I can clean up the mess that your delusional fanatics have made. They aren’t your only problem. The government has allowed the manufacturing base of the US has been hollowed out so much that you are in no position to truly threaten them. Or anyone else. And they know it. Kick out everyone and get some realists in here to manage the descent.”

          But I don’t suppose that would be diplomatic.

        2. flora

          an aside: if I remember, part of the reason for Nixon’s trip to China was to cause division between RU and China, cause a split in the 2 big communist countries.

          Now B’s actions have driven RU and China and the rest of the BRICS closer together than before. They seem to be doing well, while the West is not doing so well. If the neocons are running the B foreign policy (and I think they are), then the neocons have managed to score an own-goal times 10. great job, guys. / oy

          1. eg

            This was precisely my reaction when the Ukraine war began (well, the Russian bit, not the civil war part which goes back to 2014) — what a waste of 50 years of American diplomacy (not that much since Clinton took office has been worthy of the name).

            I mean, how clumsy (or arrogant) do you need to be to reunite two nuclear powers against yourself after Nixon had gone to all that trouble to separate them?

            Lambert is right: we live in the stupidest timeline …

  6. Louis Fyne

    “The lockdowns decreased student suicides.”

    My knee-jerk reaction when I saw this headline was lockdown = less SSRI medication scripts = less psych med adverse reactions = less suicides.

    (I support SSRI, psych medication interventions in children and adults…but only as a last resort)

    1. digi_owl

      Lots to untangle there.

      One thing is that SSRI may well be fixing the wrong thing, by giving people the energy to act without removing the dark emotions underlying it all.

      Then again it may well be that giving some students a valid reason to not show up for class also meant they didn’t have to deal with social problems with fellow students etc.

      1. mrsyk

        To put that last bit in simpler language, less suicide caused by less exposure to bullying. Hard to argue with that.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          makes me wonder what my subsequent life would have been like if i could have just skipped junior high.or at the very least, have my freakish intelligence put me de facto on the short bus, rather than du jour.

          1. hunkerdown

            As someone who bailed out of high school early, I can tell you only that life as a gifted person with no bourgeois socialization has been refreshing and clarifying, though not necessarily as smooth or easy as subordinating my soul to bourgeois society in the role of faceless desk jockey would have been.

            200% agree with .human’s Twain quote below.

            1. LifelongLib

              I went to a high school of what around here would be described as offspring of the “working class” and “PMC”. Almost nobody had any interest in learning beyond what was needed to graduate. Reading anything other than an assigned text marked you out as a weirdo. Largely the same in college. For me becoming (barely) a “professional” wasn’t based on a desire to dominate people. It was more like a refuge.

          2. Henry Moon Pie

            Off topic, Amfortas, but I came across this Nate Hagens podcast with Daniel Zetah, a Minnesota farmer, activist and educator. He’s building some more facilities out of salvaged wood for his summer school for people to learn about farming, gathering and animal husbandry. He’s been all over the world, working as he went, but is now back on his family’s place.

            Seems like some common ground with you. Maybe more than some.

    2. GramSci

      As I’ve commented before, my grandchildren thrived during lockdown–especially when the online lessons didn’t work. It was hard getting by on a single income, but the kids learned real family values, instead of the textbook values of the ‘marketplace of ideas’.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    The way we live now. Marc Tessier-Lavigne on the way out at Stanford.

    He attempts to shore up his impunity and purity: “I am gratified that the Panel concluded I did not engage in any fraud or falsification of scientific data,” Tessier-Lavigne said in a written statement. He acknowledged that “the report identified some areas where I should have done better, and I accept the report’s conclusions.”

    The rest of the article details lie after lie. Pauvre Marc, on ne se fout pas avec la verité, hein?

    Note Genentech. Lots of lying for the sake of money. Who’da thunkit?

    1. KLG

      Yes, note Genentech. But Genentech also blew the whistle in near real time. Genentech was early on the block, predating Bayh-Dole, and the carryover from their scientific foundation stuck at Genentech, for the most part.

      And this:
      “The report concluded that the fudging of results under Tessier-Lavigne’s purview ‘spanned labs at three separate institutions.’ It identified a culture where Tessier-Lavigne “tended to reward the ‘winners’ (that is, postdocs who could generate favorable results) and marginalize or diminish the ‘losers’ (that is, postdocs who were unable or struggled to generate such data).” Substitute “make up out of whole cloth” for “generate” and you get the point.

      This is utterly damning. The world of Biomedicine is leavened with these evil types, at institutions like Stanford and others considerably less majestic. One Nobel Prize winner was famous for putting two postdocs on the same project at the same time. To the “winner” goes the spoils, while the honest “loser” is cast into the outer darkness. Imagine the collegiality of that laboratory. Imagine the cold room and cell culture sabotage…Imagine working in a lab in the Department of Making Sh*t Up…It isn’t hard to do. Bullshit talks and money follows.

      1. hunkerdown

        Epistemologically, to generate is to make up out of whole cloth. If they wanted observations, they would have called for their production. Your proposed reread is superbly perspicacious.

        As for making shxt up, according to Graeber’s “Culture as Creative Refusal”, that’s normal in heroic societies, among other features such as: decentralized aristocracy, politics as a history of loyalty or vengeance between heroic individuals, a concept of “social mobility”, (according to) game-like contests as the primary feature of ritual and politlcal life, profound theatricism, the veneration of boasting and lying as high arts; self-righteous abstinence from the practices of one’s neighbors.

        As long as we love heroes and get high off them, most or all of these toxicities will continue to plague us. Perhaps an anti-heroic society would be more healthful and self-conscious.

        1. lambert strether

          > the veneration of boasting and lying as high arts

          “Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices…”

        2. Bazarov

          The anti-heroic society is the society of capitalism–personal virtues of “heroism” are not necessary when those virtues can be bought and worn like a fine sable shawl. They’re just another bauble in the marketplace. Indeed, the scions of capital are strikingly unheroic. Just look at Gates! He wouldn’t last a minute in the agon, but the capital ascribed irrationally to his name could buy all the champions (unless, of course, the champions heroically refused to put themselves up for sale; these heroes can be so irrational!).

          “That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who thanks to money am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?”

          1. hunkerdown

            I’m going to go with the historiographers on this one. Perhaps you’ll see how you proved my point about the general toxicity of heroism with that pious yet uninformed appeal that your judgment somehow transcends history and philology in importance, a very heroic (and cringe) attitude indeed. Bill Gates doesn’t need to be important; anti-heroists would never have elevated him, or would have kept him down to size. I found the paper in open sources; it’s worth a read:

            However this may be, the heroic complex, if one might call it that, had an enduring impact. The city-states and empires of the classical Mediterranean, to take one vivid example, could well be seen as a kind of fusion of heroic principles into a standard of urban life drawn from the far older civilizations to its East – hardly surprising, perhaps, in a place where all literary education began with Homer. The most obvious aspect is the religious emphasis on sacrifice. On a deeper level, we find what Alvin Gouldner (1965: 45–55) called ‘the Greek contest system’, the tendency to turn absolutely everything, from art to politics to athletic achievement to tragic drama, into a game where there must be winners and losers. The same spirit appears in a different way in the ‘games’ and spirit of aristocratic competition in Rome. In fact, I would hazard to suggest that our own political culture, with its politicians and elections, traces back to heroic sensibilities. We tend to forget that for most of European history, election was considered the aristocratic mode of selecting officials, not the democratic one (the democratic mode was sortation: see Manin 1997, Dowlen 2009). What is unusual about our own political systems is rather the fusion of the heroic mode with the principle of sovereignty – a principle with its own peculiar history, which originally stood entirely apart from governance, and which has quite different implications – but one which cannot be more than alluded to here.

            1. Bazarov

              I don’t find your appeal to your historiographic PMC priests all that convincing. To assert our election system is a relic of the ancient heroic agon is humming capital’s propaganda hymn–the bourgeois political system is just another irrelevant showroom for capital’s perusal, another Macy’s or Tiffany’s. Any customer’s permitted, long as they can pay. No prowess necessary!

              Anachronistic historical analogies are for the PR pimps.

      2. Paleobotanist

        Labs from hell. I’ve heard alot of stories like these. Biomedecine seems like a field to avoid. How much of medicine can we trust? Brand new drugs and procedures certainly seem dicey.

        I have to admit that science is not what I idealistically imagined starting out in it as a youngster many years ago. Not at all.

        I’m getting pretty cynical about big names in science. There doesn’t seem to be many who have come by that big name honestly and decently. It seems that you get the big name almost always by treating students badly and exploiting them.

    2. vao

      What is going on with all those celebrated francophone researchers on Alzheimer, working at prestigious Universities, and involved in high-powered biotech startups, all being unmasked as frauds?

      There already was the case of Sylvain Lesné.

      The worst thing is that their influential, much-referred-to articles practically led the entire Alzheimer research astray for decades, chasing a mirage conjured out of their fraudulent reports.

    3. Mildred Montana

      Only the lower orders commit crimes. Members of the PMC guilds merely make “mistakes”. Per MTL: “I could have done better.” No lack of honesty involved (ie. fraud), just regrettable incompetence.

    1. Screwball

      Amazing to watch what the media covers, doesn’t cover, and how. Like Greenwald said, anyone watching CNN or MSNBC has no idea this this is even going on. This isn’t the only example, as we all know. At the same time, my PMC friends don’t want to hear it anyway, so they would poo-poo it to start, and if pressed, the reaction would be “but Trump.” The default go to answer.

      Right now they are so freaked out at another Trump win they don’t care about anything as long as he is kept off the ballot, because democracy… They hate Donald J Trump more than any living human who ever walked the face of the earth, and they don’t care what anyone does, no matter how awful, illegal, unethical, or immoral to get Trump off the national stage. They would cheer his death if he were executed, I have no doubt.

      Joe Biden could rape a child on the White House lawn and they would say Trump is worse – shut up about Joe – vote blue no matter who. These people are that far gone in the unhinged sweepstakes, and we have a long way until the next election.

      The rhetoric will only get worse, the gaslighting more intense (because they know it works), and the divisions more severe. By the next election the mighty Wurlitzer of political BS will have BlueMAGA whipped into a frenzy of anxiety and fear ready to crawl over hot coals to save our democracy in the most important election EVER, by saving the country from the fascist takeover by Trump/Putin.

      And it will work (also adding some carrots like student loan and R vs. W promises, or something similar). I expect team Blue to win everything and have a supermajority once again. Of course nothing will get any better (fundamentally change you might say).

      The beatings will continue until morale improves.

      1. Acacia

        I am seeing the same thing: either acute PTDS (post-TDS), or just TDS that never ended.

        I’m casting about for verbal retorts that might dent this, even a little, but not get me unfriended.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      It will be interesting so see how much more the MSM can sweep under the rug. That sucker is getting pretty lumpy these days.

      Thanks for the link.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        please scold me if deluded but almost hoping the orange monster wins just to see what happens – would it be any different or worse than what the husk will force upon us? just not seeing the difference any more – could it be the catalyst needed? – don’t if the gaslighting, fear, anxiety will be enough to elect the husk, a lot of time before 2024 and those lumps in the rug can trip up the arrogant –

    3. Martin Oline

      I watched nearly all of that hearing yesterday. Today I am watching R. F. K. Jr. testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on alleged censorship. My impression of these hearings, generated by the hostile questions minority of the witnesses, is that I am watching the suicide of the democrat party in real time. Pass the popcorn.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Coutts closed Nigel Farage’s account because he didn’t ‘align with their values’ ”

    Wait – banks have values? Really? Does Coutts commission reports on each and every one of their customers? Can you get a negative review by associating with the wrong people – like Novak Djokovic? As in guilt by association? Was there a vote and Farage get a black ball? As Farage has been turned down by ten other banks, either each of those banks also utilize a sort of social score or else – gasp! – there is a conspiracy to cancel people through their banking. Whether the former or the later, this is failed state sort of stuff.

    1. GramSci

      Now that Western Europe has agreed to de-industrialize, it’s time for the UK to rejoin the United Colonies of Europe in its local, but rightful, role of leaderhip.

    2. flora

      Think how much easier this would be for the bank with a Central Bank Digial Currency (CBDC) system. An AI algo could do the sorting in the wink of an eye, saving the “bankers” from all the work (and embarrassing explanations).

      Social credit score system. Think of the credit rating agencies we already have, think of them on steriods… with no recourse for the individual wrongly tagged.

      1. The Rev Kev

        But would that be the banks doing it or would it be the government ordering it behind the scenes like we saw how Twitter worked on censoring people through the release of the Twitter Files?

        1. hunkerdown

          The US government wouldn’t undertake such a thing on their own, but they would eventually pass an FCRA-like enabling act to “create a market” in private moral surveillance.

      2. ambrit

        There is recourse, but it involves destruction and bloodshed.
        Just saying, but, the “Interesting Times” we are presently living through are about to get much more “interesting.”
        Look at all of the ‘mass’ shootings happening in America now. At present they are basically a mindless, inchoate lashing out at the society the shooters inhabit. Now imagine all of that rage and anger harnessed to an ideology.
        Stay safe, Go Grey.

        1. flora

          an aside: I really do wonder how many shooters were on prescribed psychotropic drugs for a mental illness of some sort. This isn’t to condemn mental illness, or condemn any illness. It is to question big Pharma and its profit motives.

    3. John

      Removing those with whom you disagree but find methods more genteel than those of France’s Committee of Public Safety. The hypocrites are taking over everything.

      1. Synoia

        It is a step in implementing Orwell’s Ministry of truth.

        Silly me: I believed Orwell to be a fiction writer, when I read his books in the 1960s not an author of a Road Map.

        1. ambrit

          Seeing as “1984” is considered a work of fiction, perhaps we could categorize it as a “Yarn” Diagram.

  9. Kurtismayfield

    RE Hunter Biden IRS investigation.

    So it sounds like the IRS wanted to go after Biden’s som for Felony tax evasion, and then the lawyers got involved. Considering the thousands upon thousands of cases that the IRS pleas our every year, why is this a big deal? The IRS decreases penalties for people all the time as long as they get their money. This feels like a huge blow up over nothing.

      1. ambrit

        If the Democrat Party rolls out “Creepy” Joe as their candidate again in 2024, then Trump is going to ‘make bank’ with this story.
        We can write off the “Vote Blue” crowd as hopeless True Believers. They do not constitute by themselves a large enough bloc of the voting public to carry a National election. To win, a National party must woo and then ‘capture’ the “undecided” voters. In this, optics do matter. Many voters are, by design I’ll suggest, “low information.” So, antics, hoopla, stunts, rhetoric etc. all play a part. Whatever grabs an “average” voter’s attention long enough to leave a lasting impression will further the designs of the party machines. This Biden Crime Family Saga is perfect political theatre. Played right, it will win the 2024 election for Trump. (Assuming of course that Trump stays off of small aircraft.)

    1. Pat

      But the lawyers who got involved weren’t hired by Hunter. They were supposed to protect the interest of the People fairly for everyone.
      Unless we are going to enact a policy where the government’s lawyers are going to put pressure on every IRS investigation to close them with little or no charges because everyone under investigation is someone’s son or daughter it was not just improper it was illegal.

      1. flora

        It’s starting to sound like the “lawyers” saying “back off” came from the DoJ… / my 2 cents

        1. Pat

          Exactly. The IRS isn’t going to listen to the scofflaw’s lawyers except to negotiate a deal. These guys had the power to eliminate possible charges before negotiations began.

    2. t

      I don’t begin to know in this case -although it’s irksome that Greenwald cites the demeanor of the whistle-blower rather than any actual information. But, yes, this kind of thing is day in and day out for US taxes.

      One of the things Bill and Hillary kept doing wrong was using a small boutique firm for their taxes, which year after year after year, were then wrong (that is, criminal in way that was actually outside the law) and had be redone. And I’m still willing to bet the first thing Mitt Romney did after not winning the election was head over to his accountants office to redo all his taxes.

      I am sure there has been some pressure somewhere to make this Biden’s life raiser, but it would be pretty simple to do that without crossing any lines with the IRS.

    3. bob

      It’s not about the money, but where it came from and what was done to earn it. The Bidens had no business; used multiple shell corporations; and hid where the money went.

    4. Wukchumni

      I’m trying to ease myself into the idea that Kamala will be ensconced in the White House soon, but am still in denial.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      The whistleblowers made clear that investigation of this case was not like “the thousands upon thousands of cases that the IRS pleas our [sic] every year.”

      Unusual delays in the investigation and failure to extend it allowed the statute of limitations to expire on some tax years with evidence of serious felonies, and the investigators were never even allowed to interview hunter due to interference by the biden transition team. Searches of biden residences were also prevented, ostensibly due to “optics.”

      The idea that this case is just the same as any other, which is being parroted by dem apologists because there is no other “defense,” is irresponsibly and unforgivably dishonest.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Oh Hunter is definitely dirty. But the problem is our entire political class is dirty. This is par for the course for our political class. And tax evasion is seen as a virtue by a large proportion of the country.

        If the DoJ or some other official really did put pressure on the IRS to change it to a misdemeanor, then yes that is an issue. But if this deal was taken after negotiations between Hunter Biden’s lawyers and the DoJ/IRS, I don’t see much smoke.

        1. ewmayer

          Sorry, you again resort to strawmanning. The issue is not whether they’re all dirty, but which dirt the MSM chooses to ignore and which to trumpet from the rooftops; which to treat skeptically and which to repeat verbatim on orders from so-called “officials familiar with the matter”. We heard the Dems yammering loudly and endlessly about Russiagate – which proved a whole-cloth fabrication of vengeful Clintonites – and “Trump’s tax returns” – which proved a damp squib – for the entirety of his presidency, and the MSM dutifully amplifying same. Whereas the same MSM have studiously ignored or rubbished as “Russian disinformation” a much greater amount of evidence implicating the Biden crime family in a vast long-running influence-

  10. Will

    re The Santiago Boys

    For those who want to get a hard start, this episode of Tech Won’t Save Us with Eden Medina, author of “Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile” is a great listen.

    It’s part of a mini-series they did on history of tech. The episode on France’s Minitel system was also great.

    1. digi_owl

      I can’t help wonder if had cybersyn worked, and perhaps transplanted to say USSR, it would have smoothed out one of the major issues of soviet communism.

      One reason Marx envisioned socialism springing from capitalism, was that it would utilize the communication and transport network capitalism had built up previously.

      A problem of the soviet system was the issue of feedback between consumption and production, or lack there of.

      1. Late Introvert

        So maybe marketing, advertising, and the subsequent data collection (and surveillance) are just built-in? How could a less consumerist society without the capitalists skimming the profit manage to communicate market information? Probably my most on-topic post to NC since I discovered its naked and wonderful ways.

        1. digi_owl

          Marketing in the modern form is traced back to Edward Bernays, who took his inspiration from his uncle Sigmund Freud.

          Bernays was hired after WW1 to help factories, retooled and enlarged for WW1, “find” an outlet for their excess production capacity.

          His best example is perhaps “torches of freedom”, the slogan used to get women to smoke.

          1. Late Introvert

            I’m a devoted reader of Thomas Pynchon, so I got there from another path.

            And my honest question is how could a non-capitalist society transmit useful market data without corruption? Is that not a key element?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “EU plans €20B fund to stock Ukraine’s military for years”

    It’s a EU slush fund. That is, if it goes ahead. Every EU country would be committed to handing over annually a chunk of their budget to this fund which then would receive a part of it back. And god help them if their economies tank as they would still be expected to kick in that cash so they would probably have to cut back on social services. But this cash would not enough to both arm themselves and to send weaponry to the Ukraine as those countries are already for all intents and purposes tapped out. And of course as all that money goes through Brussels, I would expect some of it to be retained ‘for administrative costs’ by certain people. No wonder Hungary is kicking back on this idea and I bet that there would be other EU countries giving them quite support to kill it by not voting for it.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Yes, but the Westies also know that once Ukraine falls they will be next, forced to fight Russia without effective air defenses.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Can’t see Russia making a move into Poland or the Baltic States for two simple reasons. The first is that they do not have the manpower to effectively occupy all of the Ukraine so how will they do that and launch invasions of those other countries at the same time? The second is that after watching their behaviour the past year or two, they are so disgusted with them that they want no part of them at all.

        1. digi_owl

          The two things that riled Russia up about Ukraine was Donbass ethnic cleansing plans, and noise about NATO missiles with the ability to carry nukes on Ukrainian soil. The latter would leave Russia with very little reaction time come a US first strike. Something that Russia fears no matter how much USA claims it will never do so.

        1. Polar Socialist

          It’s my understanding that Russia would prefer sovereign “Westies” instead of the ones completely aligned to US foreign policy (to the extend such a thing exists). Not sure if they would be willing to fight for it, though.

          But they certainly will want, at some point, to establish a new security framework in Europe, and that likely requires destruction/failure of the existing “security” organization, NATO. I do expect to see more direct confrontation between NATO and Russia-China axis within the next two years. Not necessarily a “kinetic” (or military-technological) confrontation, but something that forces NATO to finally blink and enter the negotiations.

          1. ambrit

            Perhaps something like “mysterious” explosions that wreck the Liquified Natutal Gas (LNG) export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico. (Cuba is a very useful place for ‘adversaries’ of the United States to work out of. China seems to have already learned that lesson.)

        2. Robert Hahl

          The Westies have a higher power that is forcing them to fight with Russia whether they want to or not. My guess is this power is the SWIFT system, or maybe there is a euro kill-switch that would erase everything, or just threats like “we know where your bank accounts are, where your children are, where your mistress lives, etc. Civilian governments seem rather easy to push around like this after they have been occupied for a while.

    2. Ignacio

      Really? I don’t think the EU can make its members to commit for such expenditure if It is not part of EU expenses.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Exactly. All members have to agree or else it won’t happen. That is why the EU has been pushing for ‘majority votes’ by changing the rules so that they can pass such stuff. But for that change in the rules of voting, they would have to get ALL the members to agree unanimously first. Not going to happen.

        1. Ignacio

          There is no way the EU can force members budgets on some kind of foreign police. For that to happen the EU should have exclusive competences on foreign police and It doesn’t. Each government Will always have the last word on such expenditure no matter what majorities or unanimities the EU reaches.

      2. Polar Socialist

        You mean like the €21B “EU” spent on vaccines causing an internal probe and 9 members demanding re-negotiation of the deal?

        1. Ignacio

          This is quite a different thing, don’t you realise? It would make sense as a single purchaser to agree for a coordinated bid. In retrospect It is now clear that negotiation powers should have been given to a team composed by representatives of at least varios members and not to vdL or anyone in this corrupta EC.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Commissions point was to stop the “national” competition that was tearing the EU up, not achieve the best possible deal on vaccines.

            My point, though, was more about how at least the initial €1B was reallocated from the Flexibility Instrument meant for taking care of the refugees. Meaning that if commission needs €20B for Ukraine, it can just reallocate a billion from here and a billion from there from other budget instruments, and soon enough it’s just throwing good money after the bad money.

    3. eg

      The amount of money is meaningless if there is nothing available to buy with it. Ignore the spreadsheet and follow the molecules …

  12. bonks

    The width and curve of King Felipe’s suit lapels are indeed proportionately elegant, and something that I quite like making for myself, especially for peak lapels. However that proportion is considered ‘old school’ and not something that my Millennials peers want to wear for interviews, weddings, work etc. The 21st century lapel is on the skinny side, as is the overall cut. I cannot move suits with lapels of that width unless I am selling them to ultra fashion-forward women who love a solid suit. Even Japanese masters such as Yohji Yamamoto pushes slim lapels for his oversized men suits.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If asked as a kid, I would have said that in the future that a person would have gone to a store, stood on a platform, been scanned by a series of scanners for dimensions and body shape, and then have delivered a suit that would have fitted them perfectly whether made by tailors or computer controlled machines. And yet here we are where a person with a well-fitting suit stands out and is remarked upon like with King Felipe here. Same too with expensive, well-fitting shoes that are not one season wonders and are made to last year after year. Still, educated people always recognize a person with a well-fitting suit- (25 secs)

    2. Pat

      The sad part is that those trends and ignorance of proper fit mean most of what they are buying will be out dated and look odd very quickly. Making them much more expensive than the Prince’s suit in the long run.

          1. Pat

            There are some things even a good tailor cannot hide, but they can work seeming miracles. A well fitted suit will disguise or distract from body issues, but an ill fitted one is likely to highlight them just by pulling in the wrong places.

            A really good seamstress and tailor is also a fashionable woman’s best friend.

            Fitting and alteration is an art, and sadly a dying one.

          2. JBird4049

            Same here, but the proper fit should be able to make it work even if one is a round ball. It might be some tailoring at least after buying it, but still. Which is why having someone like Yohji Yamamoto pushing slim lapels for his oversized men suits is whacked. Proportions in whatever you wear is important even in a slackers t-shirt and jeans.

            Moneywise, there is just is no time in the future that I expect to have a suit fully tailored for me, but only buying something as close as can be and then tailored afterwards. Unless, I win the lotto that is.

    3. Polar Socialist

      To me His Majesty’s suit jacket looks slightly bulging on the left side, likely due to the overextended shoulders (yuk!) and the obvious fact that his right shoulder is lower than the left one.

      In any case, while His Majesty’s jacket in the first picture is indeed a huge improvement over the two-sizes-too-small jackets one sees everywhere these days, his choice of shirt is downright appalling with that check pattern barely suitable for more informal occasions likely involving physical activities.

      And the tie in the same picture certainly looks like something he had to rent from the bouncer in order to fulfill the dress code of the establishment and be let in. If one insists on wearing the most ugly shirt collar know to mankind, one should understand to wear either a bow tie or an ascot with it to cover as much as possible of the fact that one’s tailor spoiled the collar of one’s shirt.

      1. JBird4049

        It could be a class thing. Skinny suits work best on skinny people, and who are the most likely to be skinny these days? Before, wearing a well fitting suit was the signifier and now wearing skinny, whether or not it works, is the thing. It is like those fashionable ridiculously pointed shoes of the Middle Ages or those extra long three foot plus clumsy in fight swords in Elizabethan England. Fashion above all as it was clumsy to walk in one and difficult to fight with the other.

  13. Mark Gisleson

    Not surprised that someone might not know how to properly spell “Purdue Pharma,” but I’m kind of shocked that The Hill apparently doesn’t have any copy editors. “Perdue Pharma”?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Hill has come out with a statement that ‘they reject any criticism of their spelling or grammar in their articles but take great pride in their poof readers.’

    2. Robert Hahl

      It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word. – Andrew Jackson

    3. Darthbobber

      I’m not in the habit of following the futures market, but unless I’m greatly misinterpreting something, the Chicago market seems to be showing more hiccup than anything that would justify all of the nearly identically worded media pieces on astronomically soaring prices.

      Looks like the peak was around 750, and back down to below 720. In 2022, early in the war, this exchange peaked at a bit over 1200, (I noticed that cnn’s scare graph showing an astronomical rise actually ended in March of 2022, not now. Just an accident, I’m sure.)

  14. timbers

    Putin Strikes Back: Ukrainian Ports Devastated To Cap Grain Deal’s Termination Simplicius the Thinker(s)

    Most interesting part for me, was the idea given for the reason some Europeans like Norway, Sweden and others who are pushing for direct assimilation of their military’s under the command of NATO, specifically NATO’s “Joint Force Command Norfolk” located not in Norfolk, Europe but Norfolk, Virginia USA(!). The Thinker says this plus centralization of civilian governments into a United States of Europe (or might we say a United States of Europe of the United States of America) will allow Washington more direct and firmer control of their European vassals and make it easier to convert the whole of Europe into a battering ram against Russia…just has done with Ukraine.

    Highly speculative but if the neocons in control of Washington today are anything like those of the future, why wouldn’t they do it? It’s just more of the same of what they are doing now.

      1. Adam

        Unfortunately the serfs have no say in the matter, just like everywhere else the neoliberals/neocons have taken root.

        1. timbers

          Hope Hungary gets the helll out of the EU. It still has a functioning legacy currency HUF, so unlike Greece it can leave. Of course we might then see a NATO invasion that would look similar to what happened to Warsaw Pact nations that tried to leave. Which as Lambert says would be “clarifying”.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      On a related NATO topic, Rand Paul’s very sensible amendment to the Bombs ‘R’ Us bill did not receive a single D vote. Lookin’ at you, Bernie. For shame.

    2. digi_owl

      A retired Norwegian journalist raised some stink the other day regarding NSA funding Norwegian intelligence.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Russia strikes Ukraine’s critical port facilities in Odesa after halting grain deal”

    Dima from Military Summary was saying that there are three port areas in Odessa and that the Russians have demolished only two of them. So the message is that if the west fulfills their side of the grain deal, then there is still that port that can immediately be used for shipping that grain out. But if they still refuse to honour that deal, well, then that last port is toast.

  16. Russell Davies

    Aurelien’s latest essay – “Ukraine In NATO Would Be A Disaster” – appears to show two political laws at work: 1] A complex, but solvable, problem that is deferred always returns in an even more complex way and is no longer solvable under the terms of the original problem; 2] A bureaucracy that exists purely for itself will continually propagate itself in a form of metastasis in which the bureaucracy always seeks to go beyond itself, while essentially remaining the same.

    This second law, with regard to NATO, holds at both the organisational and missional levels. In terms of its mission, at the alleged end of the Cold War, NATO lost its raison d’être. Its floundering around for a new mission can easily be read in its 1991 Strategic Concept with its talk of “multi-faceted” and “multi-directional threats”, the notion that there was “a greater risk of different crises arising”, and that there were likely to be “adverse consequences of instabilities” that might “arise from…serious economic, social and political difficulties, including ethnic rivalries and territorial disputes”.

    The notion that NATO could become a force to be used to combat instability, rather than a specific declared enemy, was cemented in its 1999 Strategic Concept following its armed intervention in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia. The philosopher Howard Caygill argues that it was this Strategic Concept that formally acknowledged the ambiguous and contradictory transformation of the military alliance into a police organisation that had de facto occurred in its interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo. He also argues, via Hegel, that the object of police is national and international civil society and its task is to manage the turbulence and insecurity that would inevitably arise – for Hegel civil society is ineluctably conflictual, a position which seems to be echoed by NATO’s Strategic Concepts.

    War requires an enemy, police is directed towards a condition, and NATO, therefore, became a police power, as much as it was a military one. NATO’s object became a condition of instability, rather than an enemy, although an enemy could always crystallise around the condition. The problem with police, according to Hegel, is that there are no boundaries between what is harmful and what isn’t, what is suspicious and what isn’t, “or between what should be prohibited or kept under surveillance and what should be exempted from prohibitions, surveillance and suspicion, inquiry and accountability”. The scope of police becomes limitless.

    Once a condition of instability is the criterion on which one acts, and once one sees threats to one’s security arising from anywhere in the world – as NATO’s Strategic Concepts do – then it becomes almost inevitable that the condition has to be tackled everywhere. Once NATO had arrogated to itself a police power it was only a matter of time that this power necessarily became enforceable globally. A reading of Duyeon Kim’s piece in ‘Foreign Policy’, where she writes of the participation of NATO’s four Asia-Pacific partners – South Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand – in the Vilnius summit, and of knitting together the “patchwork of different regional security systems into a global security architecture of networked alliances and partnerships”, is enough to show NATO’s continuing metastasising from its initial Atlantic seaboard orientation to a global police power orientation, or at least its desire to do so.

    None of this, of course, means that NATO can or will be able actually to act globally. Its limitations have been enacted daily in Ukraine for over a year now.

    Having said all that, it is clear from NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept and its Vilnius Communiqué that Russia has now become a declared enemy again. And this is where the first law comes back. What was essentially a complex, but solvable problem – what position should Russia have in the new European security architecture, if a new security architecture was needed – in the years immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, has now become much more complex, one that might only be solvable through the destruction of one of the sides to the conflict. The problem for NATO is that it seems more likely that it, along with Ukraine, will be destroyed rather than the West’s wished-for annihilation of Russia.

    1. Polar Socialist

      While greatly respecting Aurelien’s expertise and knowledge in these matter, I do think his description of the birth of NATO is rather benevolent. It leaves out how the Marshall Plan and creation of West Germany were carefully crafted by the USA to provoke Stalin.

      In other words, if the Western European leaders were in 1946-48 seriously concerned about the next war in Europe, it was not because Soviet Union wanted one, but because other actors wanted to prevent the peace breaking out in Europe.

      1. britzklieg

        Agreed. Such erudition should not so easily lapse into excuse making for the status quo. NATO is a malign organization and can not be defended. It’s like those who would defend the Democrats as the lesser of two evils. There’s something rotten in Denmark and it needs to be called out, not explained.

        1. Russell Davies

          Explaining is not defending, nor is it offering a justification or an excuse. One of the great strengths of Naked Capitalism is the way that its various authors explain what is happening in the world. It is one of the few places where intelligent explanation is possible. The notion that an explanation is equal to an excuse or a justification is one that plays very well with Western politicians and its media. Anyone who tries to explain what led up to Russia’s special military operation who does not follow the West’s officially sanctioned narrative is automatically labelled a Putin Versteher or one of Putin’s useful idiots. Explaining how NATO came to be the organisation that it is does not make anyone a NATO Versteher.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            Or in the words of the immortal vers libre bard archy the cockroach:

            mankind may be doing the best it can
            but that s an explanation
            not an excuse

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Poland threatens to close border with Ukraine if EU doesn’t extend grain ban – Polish Prime Minister”

    So how is the Ukraine supposed to join the EU when their grains alone will cause chaos throughout the continent? Once they are in, the Ukraine will be able to export everything including its people. Could it be that Turkiye was more likely to join the EU before the Ukraine ever will?

  18. Wukchumni

    Passengers said people were passing out, getting sick from extreme heat on Delta flight to Atlanta WSB. I wonder how the ventilation was on the plane.
    Slakes on a plane, especially icy beverages would’ve helped the hothouse on high, no?

    1. ambrit

      Well now, slaking the mix on that plane would have bricked it good and proper, if you want a concrete example. See also, the aerodynamic characteristics of a BRIC.

    2. Mildred Montana

      New Delta promotion: If we don’t leave the tarmac on time the sauna’s on us”

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > Of course, their recommendation is….GET VACCINATED!

      Ugh! The vax-only strategy has been sold as the only strategy … what a mess!

  19. Adelhyde

    100% of Democratic senators voted for the increased liklyhood of your eyeballs and brain flashing to steam in WWIII for “Democracy in Ukraine.”

    Here’s the Republicans who voted for this common sense measure.
    here is our political future. Haley/Vance, Trump/Hawley, Paul/Hawley etc.

    Braun (R-IN)
    Cruz (R-TX)
    Daines (R-MT)
    Hagerty (R-TN)
    Hawley (R-MO)
    Johnson (R-WI)
    Kennedy (R-LA)
    Lankford (R-OK)
    Lee (R-UT)
    Lummis (R-WY)
    Marshall (R-KS)
    Paul (R-KY)
    Rubio (R-FL)
    Schmitt (R-MO)
    Tuberville (R-AL)
    Vance (R-OH)

    1. Clayatina

      Here’s who is deciding the fate of future generations. Hagiography anyone?

      She was absent from the Senate for three months, returning in May, and has dealt with medical complications from her illness since.
      Questions about Feinstein’s mental fitness have followed her for more than two years. Some of her Democratic colleagues told The Chronicle in April 2022 that they believe her difficulty with memory was hindering her ability to do the job. Feinstein defended her abilities amid each new wave of concern.

  20. Wukchumni

    Who wants to be a billionaire was my thinking when I violated the cardinal rule of lottery winning by not buying a ticket, and seeing as it was sold in skid row-adjacent in downtown LA, the irony being especially rich.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Perhaps this bears repeating in light of the recent Powerball billions.

      “Lotteries are certain disappointment and a happiness sought for only by fools”

      1. Late Introvert

        I was on a video shoot, so surrounded by people I didn’t know well, brought from many walks of life, some for their ethnicity, others for their makeup or audio recoding skills, myself for my camera skills.

        The talk of the evening was the latest Powerball worth hundreds of millions. I said “if you win, you’ll never have another friend again”. It started many arguments and nobody agreed with me, kind of proving my point really.

  21. juno mas

    RE : PE in healthcare

    It is notable that the rapid growth of PE and publicly traded company ownership in anesthesia and emergency medicine—the two specialties most linked to surprise out-of-network billing

    These are the two areas of medical service that are difficult for Health Insurers to restrict payment. The law in California requires insurers to pay the full cost of medical care in an “emergency”. If the emergency is a traumatic injury the likelyhood of getting an Anethesiologist billing is quite high.

    Even if you are having scheduled surgery in a hospital, you won’t know if the Anesthiologist is In-network, or not. (They are not employed by the hospital–they are independent contractors.)

  22. spud

    now many want to know why i am so obsessed with bill clinton,

    this is why,

    A conversation on current US politics with Thomas Frank
    Seymour Hersh

    A conversation on current US politics with Thomas Frank
    Seymour Hersh
    Jul 19, 2023

    “TF: First of all, consider what makes Trumpism different from the culture-war game the Republicans have been playing for decades. Part of it is his enhanced vulgarity, his outrageous bigotry, his flaming contempt for insiders, his absurd hyper-masculinity, but these were always present before in some lesser form. What really distinguishes Trumpism is that he swiped certain traditional liberal positions—on trade and war, for example—to make his appeal to white working-class voters much, much more convincing.

    Trump’s success was made possible by Democratic betrayal of those same voters. Every time some Democrat went before an audience of industrial workers and told them they had to get a college degree or learn to code, they brought this shit on. And while Biden has worked hard to reposition the Democrats with his middle-class-Joe persona, I doubt it will be enough. So, yes, Trumpism will continue. You will see more and more of it in the years to come. The old Republican Party is not coming back.

    SH: Which candidate or president in recent history was most responsible for this turn?

    TF: I think Bill Clinton was the pivotal figure of our times. Before he came along, the market-based reforms of Reaganism were controversial; after Clinton, they were accepted consensus wisdom. Clinton was the leader of the group that promised to end the Democrats’ old-style Rooseveltian politics, that hoped to make the Democrats into a party of white-collar winners, and he actually pulled that revolution off. He completed the Reagan agenda in a way the Republicans could not have dreamed of doing—signing trade agreements, deregulating Wall Street, getting the balanced budget, the ’94 crime bill, welfare reform. He almost got Social Security partially privatized, too. A near miss on that one.

    He remade our party of the left (such as it is) so that it was no longer really identified with the economic fortunes of working people. Instead it was about highly educated professional-class winners, people whose good fortunes the Clintonized Democratic Party now regarded as a reflection of their merit. Now it was possible for the Democratic Party to reach out to Wall Street, to Silicon Valley, and so on.

    Although there were hints of this shift before Clinton, he actually got it done, and his perceived success as president then made it permanent. This was something relatively new for a left party in the industrialized world, and it was quickly adopted by other left parties in other countries, most notably “New Labour” in the UK.

    Unfortunately, this strategy has little to offer the people who used to be the Democratic Party’s main constituents except scolding. It merely assumes that they have, as the ’90s saying went, nowhere else to go.”

    as we sink ever deeper into the nightmare bill clinton crafted, the spotlight will shine ever brighter on him.

    if you want to reform the democratic party, start by exposing what bill clinton is to the millions that still think we was some sort of prosperity hero.

    1. Late Introvert

      Thomas Frank is great but he suffers from liberal TDS sadly. I have it in my family so it’s “familiar”, so to speak.

      So many terrible presidents before Bill Clinton, it’s hard to pin all the blame on him. But ya, he was family blogged in every way, along with all the rest.

      1. Pat

        No question there were terrible presidents before Clinton for instance Reagan, but I believe that Frank has it right that much of the devastation of the end of the last century can be laid at his feet because of both NAFTA and his normalization of the Reagan policies. It may take a century before it is freely acknowledged how critical Clinton was in the downfall of America. But then I also believe that much of the end of the American empire will be attributed to Obama who continued not only the worst of the Clinton’s support of the financial sector but normalized the Bush actions for both war crimes and propaganda not to mention the destruction of civil liberties.

        That someone else instigated despicable policies does not absolve those that normalize and expand them.

    2. digi_owl

      The dot-com boom likely helped mask some of that, and then the nation rumbled on into 9/11 and 20 years of WoT.

  23. Richard H Caldwell

    “Uses the ugly neologism “learnings” in the Abstract (as opposed to “lessons,” a perfectly good word).” I love and share your irritation here.

    In the jungle of ugly neologizationingation around perfectly-good existing words: metric / measure, normalcy / normal, orientate / orient, ask / request. Also consider consumer / citizen — more sinister and which has fully occupied the host, displacing the original almost entirely.

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