Links 7/26/2023

Cheetah Gives Birth to 5 Cubs, But Then The Staff Starts To Scream When THIS Happens! YouTube. Yes, clickbait headline and leisurely storytelling…but baby cheetahs are SO CUTE.

The Civil Theology of Robert Bellah Commonweal (Anthony L)


COVID-19 data shows early signs of an increase in cases Salon. There’s data despite the CDC’s best efforts otherwise?!?!

Pentagon COVID-19 Case Registry Is Riddled with Errors, Watchdog Finds


Gulf Stream current could collapse in 2025, plunging Earth into climate chaos: ‘We were actually bewildered’ Live Science (Dr. Kevin) and Global warming threatens collapse of Atlantic currents this century, new study finds Financial Times

Florida ocean records ‘unprecedented’ temperatures similar to a hot tub Guardian

‘Like a blowtorch’: Mediterranean gripped by wildfires as blazes spread in Croatia, Portugal Guardian

Three Major U.S. Cities Ranked In World’s Top 20 For Worst Air Quality Forbes

Carbon capture and geoengineering Angry Bear

New method of recycling colored plastics offers possible solution to ‘huge environmental challenge’ PhysOrg

Lawsuit Says US Environmental Agency Ignores Harm of Biofuel Production Guardian


Varoufakis sadly is pretty orthodox, see his incorrect comments on US Treasuries, but otherwise useful.

Why America Is Losing the Tech War with China National Interest

Driven by AI Boom, TSMC To Invest $2.9 Billion in Advanced Chip Plant in Taiwan Reuters

North Korea: China, Russia in first post-pandemic visits BBC

Vietnam to up annual raw rare earths output to 2m tonnes by 2030 Nikkei

European Disunion

Britain is Europe’s liberal outcast Unherd

German Economy Contracts: Manufacturing & Services Hit Hard FXEmpire

The German economy is in a ‘slowcession’ and needs a new reform agenda ING

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian military experts on the current state of the war Gilbert Doctorow (guurst). Important.

Glimpses of an endgame in Ukraine Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Who Can Give Security Guarantees To Ukraine? Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

EU Passes Law To Blanket Highways With Fast EV Chargers by End of 2025 The Verge

The EU Has No Plans To Revise Its Russian Oil Price Cap OilPrice

Neither east nor west: Turkiye’s travails as a ‘swing state’ The Cradle


Israel’s government has passed the first part of its legal overhaul. The law’s ripples are dramatic Associated Press (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

CEO of Company that Wants to Scan Your Irises: ‘World ID’ Is Coming ‘Whether You Like It or Not’ Breitbard (Li). Yes I know Breibart but it’s reporting on CEO statements…and reader Wukchumni linked to this comparatively anodyne BBC article yesterday: Worldcoin: Sam Altman launches eyeball scanning crypto coin. Bad enough that people are willing to sell their biometric IDs, but worse when they give it away for free. The 2x when I was in an airport in the last year and they wanted to take a photo of me before getting on the plane, I was the only one who refused (I held something over my face to assure no pix). This is not a DHS or FAA requirement. Whatever goon is collecting this info is scum.

New York Using AI to Detect Subway Fare Evasion Bruce Schneier

Imperial Collapse Watch

Even the generally measured Quincy Institute shows it is Not Happy: Uber Russia-hawk Victoria Nuland rises to acting deputy secretary of state Responsible Statecraft

The United States Refuses to Play by the World’s Rules Rebecca Gordon, TomDispatch

Navy, Marine Corps to conduct second ‘Large Scale Exercise’ — a warfighting simulation Virginian Pilot (Li)


McCarthy: Biden probes ‘rising to the level of impeachment inquiry’ The Hill

Inside McCarthy’s sudden warming to a Biden impeachment inquiry CNN (Kevin W)

Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration’s New Asylum Policy New York Times (Kevin W)

Biden’s Dog Attacks White House Staffers in Cover-Up – Reports Sputnik (Kevin W)

FACT SHEET: White House Launches Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy White House

Consumer crusader Ralph Nader says Congress is unresponsive Washington Post (furzy). Quelle surprise!

Support for using violence to ‘coerce’ members of Congress nearly doubled over the last 6 months — even more so among Democrats — according to a study Business Insider

Billionaire Leon Black’s $158M payment to Jeffrey Epstein sparks Senate investigation The Hill (Kevin W)

GOP Clown Car

The Republicans in Iowa: can anyone really catch Trump? Financial Times

The Memo: Culture-war battles fail to deliver for DeSantis The Hill. One can hope that this strategy is a bust, but DeSantis being a bust may not be dispositive. DeSantis didn’t hold up well under exposure.

Universalism vs woke racism Lars Syll

I’m not a fan of Mercola but this is dead wrong:


As Actors Strike for AI Protections, Netflix Lists $900,000 AI Job Intercept

People who took popular weight loss drugs say their stomachs are paralyzed YouTube (furzy) !!!!

FTC Readies Lawsuit That Could Break Up Amazon Politico

Elon Musk’s Rebranded Twitter Cuts Ad Prices Wall Street Journal

Guillotine Watch

Ghislaine finds her prison clique! Maxwell befriends disgraced Rhode Island socialite fraudster and has is exchanging letters with ‘mystery male pen pal in the UK’ as she struggles to cope with life behind bars Daily Mail

Class Warfare

UPS workers denounce “miserable” tentative agreement WSWS

180,000 UPS Part-Timers Left Out of Teamsters’ Deal – Biden Pressured Teamsters to Settle Early – Yellowstone Rangers Unionize PayDay Report

Harvard’s Legacy Admissions Faces Investigation From Department of Education Rolling Stone

What the data says about food stamps in the U.S. Pew. From last week, still germane

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Acacia

    Re: Current wave of COVID in Japan

    According to the latest data, XBB.1.16 and XBB.2.3 are now dominant in the capital:

    This wave, because — duh — the govt told everybody it’s safe to unmask. Kishida administration taking a page out of Biden’s book. Apparently, the policy in public schools is to no longer even report exposure, so a student will suddenly disappear from classes for a couple of weeks, the school says nothing, and the other students are left to “guess” whether they have been exposed to COVID.

    I know several people who have recently gotten ill. Each took precautions, wore masks and were fully jabbed. Vector of infection unclear but train transit is suspected.

    Also heard about the relative of a family friend, Japanese national, who has been living abroad for many years. Visiting Japan, he fell ill with COVID and is now hospitalized. No national health insurance (because no longer resident in Japan), and apparently the hospital asked for a 4 million yen deposit (approx. USD 28,500). It’s likely a private hospital — there are many in Japan. I ventured that it’s still probably cheaper than spending a weekend in a USian hospital, but really this kind of expense is no laughing matter.

    Stay safe !

    1. Pat

      Just a local detail here. NYC public schools also no longer report Covid exposure.

      The West has a lot to be ashamed about.

      1. ambrit

        I am contemplating ‘retiring’ my use of the term “The West” to describe the amorphous congeries of like minded oligarchs and associated elites ‘running’ our best of all Neo-liberal worlds and switching to the increasingly popular term “The Globalists.”
        So, not only do the Globalists have much to be ashamed of, (not that shame is an emotion they pay any heed to,) but they have a long way to go in their program of ‘Population Reset.’ By ‘Reset’ I refer to the Club of Rome’s goal of a world population of a half a billion persons.
        We are just at the beginning of a real Jackpot.

        1. Wukchumni

          One out of 16 people living
          And what do you get
          Numbers skewing older
          A population reset

        2. The Rev Kev

          I tend to stick with the term the Collective West as that is who they are – a collective. Just like the Borg. And both seek to absorb others and to assimilate them with their beliefs. Resistance is not futile.

        3. hunkerdown

          Well, you could use “The West” to refer to the combination of Hebrew religion, Greek philosophy, and Roman law that has synergized its way into global “existence”.

          Elites don’t have anything to be ashamed of. They answer to Order, not emotion. That doesn’t mean they need to be allowed to “exist”, of course.

        4. Bugs

          They unironically refer to themselves “The International Community”, so I’ve started using that but always with the scare quotes.

          Sort of works.

          1. ambrit

            That is interesting.
            “The International Community” sounds like a more “respectable” version of “The Jet Set.”
            The more things change….

          1. ambrit

            True enough, it does describe the territory. What we need is a generally agreeable term for the socio-economic grouping that includes the super wealthy and politically powerful. This group seems to be truly world wide and a good example of the axiom: “Not race, class.” Thus, my hesitancy to continue describing this group as “The West.” The appellation “The West” is insufficiently expansive enough for the task.

            1. jsn

              Having read Quinn Slobodian’s “The Globalists” I think you’re on target with that name.

              It’s a propertarian ideology all the people you have in mind would never recognize as such, it being the very air they breath.

              And once you’ve internalized it, behavior normalizes to precisely what’s burning the world down.

        5. Cat Burglar

          I have retired the term.

          It is not geographically correct, for one — Japan, South Korea, Australia, and NZ are held to be in The West. What are they west of? Europe is considered to be part of it, too, but it is to the east. Asia is to the west, but it is often placed in the Far East. Turkey is nominally in The West as a NATO member, even though it has historically been placed in the Near East, like Israel in the Middle East. Sure, the designators all go back to an original European reference point, but that should be questioned.

          You can bring in the cultural angle. But are Confucian countries like South Korea and Japan (OK, true, MacArthur’s people did write the Japanese constitution) part of that? And with the full exposure of western imperialism, can the US and European powers really be thought to have a Judaeo-Christian ethos?

          So the title is questionable, and it gets in the way of a clear view of the US-led world order.

    2. maipenrai

      that is odd. japan has universal health insurance covering even foreigners. I had expensive care with CTs and ER and my bill was close to nothing/

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Are you a resident? If yes, then yeah you are covered even if you are a foreigner, OP said that that person was no longer a resident. If you say every single person in the planet is covered without having to pay into the national health system then I simply don’t believe you.

        Also I was in Tokyo as recently as March, and I definitely remember seeing a poster at the Haneda airport asking tourists to get insurance up to 30K USD, or was it 50K? Can’t remember the amount but it’s substantial.

        1. Acacia

          Correct. You only get NHI in Japan if you enroll and pay premiums. Foreigners staying in Japan for longer than three months are expected to enroll. A non-resident Japanese national may no longer be on NHI. The amount of coverage depends on age, but typically NHI pays 70%, and you must pay the remaining 30%.

          At the same time, health care in Japan is generally quite inexpensive, and CTs are used a lot here, so it’s possible that @maipenrai paid full price but compared to the rip-off rates in the US, it really seemed like “close to nothing”.

          That’s been my experience, too, even before I got NHI in another country — kind of an inverse-sticker-shock that Zomg how is this not more expensive!? And then you realize the extent to which you’ve been being fleeced by USian “health care”.

          1. rowlf

            I work on an international project and my European colleagues are afraid of US hospitals for the bonus infections the patients end up being responsible for. The US healthcare system has been part of the decision making process of several of them not taking positions in the US.

            To add: I really enjoy buying medications for my family outside the US. Too bad I can’t bring in a case size amounts safely.

            1. Janie

              In the Before Times when we travelled internationally on a low budget, we frequently talked with non-USAians who wanted to visit but were frightened by possible medical emergencies.

    3. Angie Neer

      I’m a USian whose main window into Japan is that I watch Sumo tournaments on NHK (Japan’s national broadcasting service, which has an English-language channel). Early in the pandemic they took very strict precautions, including tournaments with no spectators, and quarantining wrestlers to the “stables” where they train and live together. A few wrestlers who violated quarantine rules, for example by going out to dinner at restaurants, were punished with substantial suspensions from competition. Once spectators were allowed back, masks were required, and cheering and shouting were prohibited—prohibitions that were actually obeyed. After mask requirements were dropped early this year, initially about 50% of the spectators continued voluntarily. But in the tournament that just ended, I saw very few masks. I was a little surprised how quickly masking dropped off.

  2. Bugs

    “The Civil Theology of Robert Bellah” was a great profile.

    I always had trouble with Communitarianism, thinking that it was a conservative liberal subterfuge to force engagement with a sort of mild Episcopalian thought in philosophy departments gone fully over to post structuralism (then I see he hung out with Foucault at Berkeley…)

    Maybe I’ve mellowed a bit or the idpol shouting over everything else has me looking elsewhere for intellectual respite. Anyways, thanks for that. Very interesting.

    1. Mike

      There is a subtle problem with Bellah’s critique of the Left. It is the function of reverence and its role in policy, program, and action, but more. The Left is not a collection of secular (atheist?) activists prepared to beat religion out of the populace, but a fine line does exist between Leftist politics and the right-wing atheism we see today. While those disposed to policy and programmatic thinking often slide over into non-humanistic behavior (maybe an innate inclination), both the Right and the Left exhibit a certain non-moral compass that does turn off the mass of people who are willing to follow a program but balk at the behavior and attitudes that often come with it. To reach this populace requires not teary-eyed compassion, but a strength that comes of this question- Not WHICH side are you on?, but WHOSE side are you on?- and then serving that side, not trying to command it.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Agreed. Here’s a teaser paragraph:

      Habits of the Heart portrayed a people suffering from a crippling case of moral mutism. Stripped of the ideas, narratives, and symbols that could express a richer vision of life, Americans were inarticulate about what mattered to them most. The book’s most haunting sections showed people struggling to explain even the real sacrifices they had made for their families and spouses, describing their genuine self-giving as calculating self-interest. Bellah argued that the language of individualism had the effect of making people opaque not only to each other but also to themselves: “There are truths we do not see when we adopt the language of radical individualism.” His deepest fear was not that Americans were morally confused but that, as they became habituated to the attitudes they expressed, their innermost identities would be altered as well—a degradation of character following a deterioration of language. “The irony,” Bellah concluded, “is that just where we think we are most free, we are most coerced by the dominant beliefs in our culture.”

      The promise of the Randians and the Marxists was that wholly secular moral systems could be constructed on the basis of “reason” or materialist history, but that’s a promise that remains unfulfilled in a society that seems unable to grok a meaning of life beyond “the one who dies with the most toys wins.” We now seem to have entered an age when each individual gets to make their own rules, and the scope of this solipsism had grow beyond primary sexual matters to whether red lights must be obeyed. Things don’t work so well in such a society, and there is absolutely no hope of collectively dealing with major challenges like Covid or Overshoot.

      Patrick Deneen at Notre Dame is the most prominent contemporary exponent of communitarianism. His critique of Mills and liberalism is persuasive, especially in the current environment when it seems that the glue holding our society together has dissolved.

      I was struck at several points how author Rose and his subject, Bellah, make points that sounded like echoes of the Tao te Ching. Bellah’s eventual disappointment with the limitations of civil religion, the childlike qualities of spirituality, the limitations of reason and the primacy of intuition as long as the deep waters are kept still, all these are found in that little book. Maybe what America needs is to listen to recordings of Alan Watts.

      The article was also a nostalgic journey for me as I’m bumping up against 70. There was John Rawls from whom I took Ethics as an in-over-my-head sophomore. There was Sam Huntington, from whom I never took a course or even one in his area, who surprisingly chose to be the faculty reader of my senior thesis. There was Richard John Neuhaus who graduated from my seminary alma mater and went on to the U. of Chicago as I did, and with whom I had an unfriendly email exchange back when I was blogging 20 years ago. Even the author of the article received his Ph.D. from U. of C., making me wonder, with his focus on ritual, whether he had taken the same course on ritual that I had from the Div School’s resident Marxist, Bruce Lincoln.

      For twenty years, I’ve been pushing back against those on the Left who want to eradicate not just Christianity but even a spiritual perspective. At the same time, I’ve tried to argue against the kind of judgmental, self-righteous Christianity that probably inspired a lot of that Leftist reaction against any religious point of view. My contention, following James Fowler rather than Robert Bellah, though the two are congruent in many ways, is that all humans have a worldview that seeks to answer questions beyond “how can I get ahead.” I take this article as some confirmation that I haven’t been all wrong.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        “Maybe what America needs is to listen to recordings of Alan Watts.”

        that certainly couldnt hurt!

        i’m in agreement with your take on this…but add in humility…and good dose of agnosticism….Socrates’ “i know that i do not know”, adopted more or less universally, and incorporated into our being, would go a long way towards remedying some of the shouting.
        if you think you already know about something, how can you learn…especially how can you learn that you are wrong?
        and the thing about “left” being overrun with atheists…yeah, that always turned me off. hard core atheists are just as dogmatic and unpleasant as the hard core antievolutionists(we stopped by the creation museum in Glen Rose Texas, after going to see the dinosaur foot prints…but they were closed. i wanted to show the boys the other side of things)
        ive never been a christian…or all that religious, save in a Spinozan sort of way.
        but ive spent my life among very religious people…and if i expect to be tolerated by them, i must tolerate them first.
        that so many democrats and other pseudoleft people cant understand this indicates a great failure in education, formal and informal, sometime in the last 40 years or so.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Thanks, Amfortas. Hey, it’s all about the search, especially in these times.

  3. Pat

    My Union is generally pretty good, the National not so much. But even closer to the job, the leadership can be clueless on some nuts and bolts. Many years ago, one of our contracts was being negotiated. The committee brought the deal they had negotiated to the membership where it was torn apart over two seemingly innocent clauses. One clause not only eliminated an occasional bit of work for our members, if things went wrong (and members pointed out the numerous ways it could go wrong) it would cause numerous hours of massive work under pressure mostly for the one member type on salary, meaning without extra pay. The members rejected the contract. (They also wrote a clause to be added if the “owners” didn’t want to remove the item described above. It absolved union members of all responsibility for items in their care from the time they left their care by order of management. Any items not returned in the condition they left were to be the responsibility of management for repair or replacement. The owners dropped it, as saving that fifty dollars versus spending hundreds or thousands on a predictable regular basis didn’t make sense.)
    The sad part was a portion of the negotiation committee was still insisting it was a great contract and that even management thought they had gotten the best deal of any union that negotiation period as it got voted down.

    This long story is why I didn’t begin to get excited about the supposed great contract the Teamsters announced yesterday. The devil is in the details and too often the supposedly significant pay raises come at a great cost because of seemingly innocent clauses or changes.

    1. jackiebass63

      I’m retired. When working pay was down on my list of priorities. Probably number 3. Usually pay raises were in the same ball park to what other workers were getting.Working conditions were number one on my list. Next were benefits. Unlike a pay raise which was taxable, benefits were usually not taxed. Because pay is taxable , I ended up getting only about 50% of my pay raise. We have a graduated income system so a pay raise was taxed at my highest rate. In terms of dollars and cents you got 100% of the money value for a benefit like health care. Pensions are also high on my list. Too many people think more money in their pay check is the best deal. They don’t realize some day they may retire and without a pension along with SS they will be living at a drastically reduced standard. My advice to workers is to look at an entire package when voting on a contract.


      1. Pat

        I admit I didn’t understand that benefits thing as a young worker. I appreciate all the work my more experienced union members did when I was young and green.

        On one type of contract my issue was turn around. It was amazing to me how often people were willing to trade an hour off turn around or weaken the invasion penalty for an extra 50 cents or a dollar. Now that turn around is short and easily invaded more people have realized that this is a very big safety issue. But it takes some explaining and will now cost a lot to get what was lost back, if it is even possible.

        Details matter.

    2. Bill Urman

      Having negotiated many Teamsters contracts in my past working life (also involved in the 97 strike), the announced TA by the Union caught my attention as a rather too obvious attempt to sell the agreement. If you’ve negotiated a good contract it is reflected in the language and members don’t need a hard sell. From my experience, when the hard sell is employed to ratify a proposed contract settlement the settlement is likely problematic for the members.

      1. rowlf

        My experience with the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

        It was fun to later switch to a craft union that made past IAM negotiating records available to the membership to read. The IAM said the company was stalling negotiations (during the past two contracts) but the reality was the negotiating committee either missed meetings or wanted meetings held only at resort locations.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Cheetah Gives Birth to 5 Cubs, But Then The Staff Starts To Scream When THIS Happens!”

    Damn onion ninjas must be at work again.

  5. Stephen

    “Big Brother is Watching You Watch” and “I’m not a fan of Mercola but this is dead wrong”:

    For anyone following the Nigel Farage versus NatWest fight, the CEO resigned now.

    This 6 minute video by Blackbelt Barrister is a good analysis of the issues, as well as sharing his own attempts to deal with this on behalf of clients. He also makes the very sensible link with digital currencies and the extra legal use of money laundering regulations.

    Similar issue to yesterday’s article that referred to the EU Commission seeking to force Internet platforms / search engines to remove content that the Commission tells them to.

    All part of an increasing tendency in the west for the cross sector oligarchy / rent seeking groups to seek to control behaviour through administrative processes that are not restrained via legal remedy or juries.

    The administrative freezing of individuals assets for being Russian or sympathetic to the Russian cause is another part of the same trend.

    Scary that it is only people such as Nigel Farage who seem to be making a stand on topics such as this. It ought to be a major left wing cause. I guess most of them these days are too busy making money from the Establishment.

    1. ArkansasAngie

      I wonder how many times this happens and we don’t know/hear about it.

      Do the banks have to report somewhere public the number of accounts closed administratively and not because of some specific form of illegal malfeasance or lack of funds?

    2. JohnA

      I have not really been followinng the Farage case, but I would have thought his very juicy EU pension would be enough to satisfy Coutts with regard to his credit worthiness. The case of Graham Phillips, a British journalist reporting on events in Donbass. who hss been stripped of accounts, mortgage etc., for not toeing the Zelensky line, is far more troubling.

      1. Ignacio

        I confess to have 0 sympathy for Farage neverthelss this ideológical turn by the bank is outrageous. Money and banking was in the past supposed to be politically neutral now It is clear it is ideologically charged to the extreme. Demonetizing people and platforms not bound to the CW narrative is just another case that joins sanctions, the use of SWIFT as an economic weapon etc. Someone wrongly wrote yesterday that economic sanctions are casus belli but with the extremes the CW is going to with economic and financial warfare this might change. The only area where money remains neutral is the one that deals with tax evasion. Isn’t this a shame?

      2. Stephen

        Exactly. My reference to asset seizures is intended to refer to Graham Phillips. It is totally outrageous.

        I did try to get Toby Young’s Free Speech Union interested in it. But I think they might be selective in the “free speech” that they support. Have not heard anything for ten months.

    3. digi_owl

      What happened was that the eternal academics/students of the New Left/68-ers abandoned any kind of material basis for their politics.

      Thus all that is left are some 5 minute pathos events and then back to living in “utopia” by way of Amazon Prime.

      1. Mike

        Ditto- the identification of the 60s generation with the Left is spurious- many never were active on anything. The Left is determined by many to be the Democratic Party and its minions- another laughable case. If they are making money from the establishment, they are NOT Leftists, and that detail is often totally missed by conservative “thinkers”.

        1. John Zelnicker

          “If they are making money from the establishment, they are NOT Leftists, and that detail is often totally missed by conservative “thinkers”.

          Exactly right, Mike. Although it’s not just conservative thinkers, it’s most everyone. See Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal.

          I was active in the civil rights and antiwar/anti-draft movements in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I have no doubt that the FBI opened a file on me back then.

          I’m not sure identifying the 60’s generation with the Left is entirely spurious. There were millions of us who were indeed radically leftist. Unfortunately, a majority of my peers, it seems, have given in to the attractions of the money and good life that the establishment can offer. Very disappointing.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            I think this is a relevant story. When I headed to college in fall of ’71, I expected to enroll in a revolution. There were radical actions still–a group trashed the CFIA my freshman year. But the strikes that had wiped out spring exams from ’68-70 were over. Instead, the McGovern campaign rolled into MA for the primary that spring. The revolutionary went out canvassing.

            In the spring of ’73 after McGovern’s painful defeat, my roommates and I thought what the world needed was a Democrats Club. We thought there was none. So we went to the Dean of Students, Archie Epps, and told him about our desire to start the club. He said it sounded like a nice idea, but there already was one. It had six members and the contact was Jamie Galbraith.

            So we looked up Jamie, and he was very gracious and helpful. But at the end, he delivered a gloomy forecast, “There isn’t much interest in conventional politics here.”

            The next fall, we held an organizing meeting, and three hundred people signed up. Jamie wasn’t wrong. He was in that class that took spring exams only once, and they spurned electoral politics. We never missed spring exams or even came remotely close. And with that brief, shining moment with McGovern, we were optimistic about conventional politics. (embarrassing)

            That’s just how quick it changed.

        2. Don

          If by the 60s generation, and if I am included in it by virtue of being from 14 to 24-years-old as I lived it, I protest. While the vast majority of the 60s generation, were then, and are now, liberals, a small but significant minority were then, and are now, of the left. The music-in-the-air, flowers-in-your-hair, fashion cohort did not stop the war; young workers, working class students, drafted soldiers, and their allies did.

          I can’t overestimate how much I value access to the NC community, but am irked by the tendency of a minority of the commentariat to equate liberal/liberalism with the left/socialism.

          It is more than irksome, as it blocks those that embrace the fundamental absurdity of this conflation from intellectual, political and philosophical clarity. As does slicing and dicing up humanity by gender, race, sexual identity, generation, and so on.

          Militant liberals are the source of this deliberate befuddlement, and many of the world’s other scourges.

      2. hunkerdown

        That was the Frankfurters’ error, not the ’68ers. As a reminder, the neoliberal thought collective were diligently undermining the ideological conditions for Marxism to exist with cosmological nullities like “human capital” and “development”. If anything, the Situationists were feeling out the material dimensions of built environments such as cities and the MSM cosmos, and theorizing a strategy of desecration in order to counter that ideological battle.

        If heroic LARPs actually changed material conditions, Marxists would have consistently applied them, consistently buried industrial property owners and their families in unmarked graves, consistently erased their names from history, etc. But the purpose of heroic narratives is to generate blindness, futility, ignorance, submissions, private property, and passion, and we would be much better off sending all such narratives to the incinerator and encouraging a general ethic of undermining property owners in every aspect of their lives.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Let me try this on you, especially in light of that Bellah piece about religion and its trappings.

          Marxism’s holiest book is divided into chapters and verses. It has an eschatology about a communist heaven in which the state has withered away. It has hymns, some of which are beautiful and stirring in their own right. It has a definite direction to history, just as Christianity is teleological, unlike Eastern religions. The sage has the most theological authority as in Judaism. A material benefit, at least in the mind of pie-in-the-sky Christian believers, is a central concern as it is in Marxism.

          Has the opiate of the masses merely gone atheistic without ditching the trappings?

          1. Kouros

            I wonder what would Marx&Engles would make out of all the information and interpretations of Graeber & Wengrow on their “The Dawn of Everything”, would that change their perspective on things and make them revamp their “bible”?

            Many sacred bulls are gored by the two Davids…

      1. Stephen

        Big Brother is Watching You Watch” is a section header above not an article.

        “I’m not a fan of Mercola but this is dead wrong” is a comment by Yves with the Joseph Mercola tweet.

    4. Feral Finster

      As long as it happens to them, then that makes it okay!

      A dear friend was all in favor of the so-called “Patriot Act” and using torture to root out “Islamofascist terrorists” and “radical leftists” but is singing a very different tune, now that the National Security State has people like him in its crosshairs.

    5. flora

      Thank you. The big banks in the UK and the US are pushing in this direction, testing the boundaries of what the public will accept, imo. Do not ever accept it.

    6. flora

      When did being sympathetic to the UK’s Great Charter or to the US’s Bill of Rights become equivalent to Russian Sympathies? It makes no sense. There is no equivalency there. (Unless some PR campaign is at work.) It’s a mystery.

    1. gsinbe

      Actually a bumblebee mimic (Clearwing sphinx moth – Hemaris), but I liked your link.

      1. Eclair

        I thought this was a sphinx moth as well, or hummingbird moth as some call it. They have been feasting on our patches of bee balm for the last ten days. It is a mystery as to how they appear, ‘out of no where,’ a few days after the bee balm starts to bloom. Then, they disappear. Are they migrants? Following the trail of blossoming bee balm across the landscape?

        1. Chet G

          You’re the closest: It is a snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis), the smaller of the two hummingbird moths in the US. In my backyard, both types of clearwing moth feed on the bee balm and on butterfly bushes. As far as I know, they’re locals and don’t migrate. They feed on nectar while hovering, the same as hummingbirds.

  6. Lexx

    ‘Support for using violence to ‘coerce’ members of Congress nearly doubled over the last 6 months — even more so among Democrats — according to a study’

    Which Congresscritters and to do what specifically? It wouldn’t really get us anything actionable or satisfying, since that isn’t how Congress works, as though by design… but I’m all for snatching up half a dozen and torturing them for funzies just to watch them wiggle and scream* then releasing them to carry “a message” back to their fortresses of privilege. Let the games begin.

    If we really wanted to coerce Congresscritters, a better target is their families (tribe). If you want to get someone’s attention, attend to what or who they love. A time-honored tactic for good reasons, still hasn’t gone out of fashion and reliably effective.

    *Please post this on Youtube! Most views ever!

    1. flora

      Say what? The B admin would luv a reason to go marshall law on the US. You did see the DHS page posted in a links twt the other day, I presume. / ;)

      The first thing Congress should do is revamp the Executive emergency powers scope. Every US admin since W has acted under emergency power authorization – aka a nearly free hand – because there’s always a new emergency they can find. / ;)

      Congress isn’t afraid of violence; Congress critters are afraid of losing their donors’ money.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I wouldn’t be holding my breath for Congress to do anything about those Executive emergency powers. There was a vote a coupla days ago and-

        ‘In a massive show of support for limitless executive power, Congress rejected legislation that would have terminated national emergency powers allowing Washington to wage war across the Middle East.

        These same emergency powers give the president the power to lift bans on testing biological weapons on US citizens.’

        About that last bit. I have seen that whatever illegal, evil thing is done overseas, that sooner or later it makes its way back to the American mainland. So do you remember those biolabs that the Russians were busting up in the Ukraine….

      2. ambrit

        Someone behind the scenes has learned from past mistakes. ‘Marshal Law’ is alive and well in America, just under new names and legalisms.
        One of the major concerns for any government is to retain an exclusive “right” to the use of force. This involves many venues and methods.
        The DHS page from yesterday was an outright declaration of Marshal Law in disguise. With that list they have criminalized dissent. The criminalization of dissent is the cornerstone of any self respecting authoritarian State.
        The operative method of engaging with the State today is to “watch what they do, not what they say.” I’ll believe that we have a viable reform movement in America when items such as the New and Improved Minimum Wage Law is actually passed and implemented. Anything less is simple performative politics.
        As the career arc of the thrice dreaded AOC has shown, the Road to H— is paved with designer body art. I’m cynical enough to view the present day crop of “reformers” as political performance artists. Time for the revival of Bloody Street Theatre.

        1. ambrit

          You are generally truthful, but here I must respectfully ask for a link. Is it a disinfo psy-op perhaps? I put nothing past those vying for power today.

          1. hunkerdown

            Bosko, at 10:11am yesterday, says it’s a paste-up job, but amfortas suggests it’s an old slide from 2009.


            The tweeter (put that in your Model Why and smoke it, Elon) is a neolibertarian activist, with their certain, particular tendency to tone.

            Not saying, by any means, that the content is not an accurate reflection of the Fatherland Security narrative and policy stance, but that the evidence seems to have been reassembled for added effect, as one does in election years (which is every year by now).

            1. ambrit

              Thank you for this. Background is always important.
              Hmmm…. The Frankenstein Monster effect.
              Stay safe.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        The scope of Executive emergency powers granted u.s. presidents and government powers assumed, combined with the Patriot Act, the DHS and the manifold alphabet ‘security’ agencies protecting the “Homeland” to say nothing of the u.s. police forces armed with DoD surplus military equipment, the widespread surveillance, censure, and propaganda — echo the past in increasingly ominous ways.

        The 1933 Reichstag Fire lead to President von Hindenburg’s Reichstag Fire Decree:
        “The decree consisted of six articles. Article 1 indefinitely suspended most of the civil liberties set forth in the Weimar Constitution, including habeas corpus, inviolability of residence, secrecy of the post and telephone, freedom of expression and of the press, the right to public assembly, and the right of free association, as well as the protection of property and the home.”
        The rest is history. [And a small caveat: the Nazi state was a totalitarian state but not all totalitarian states are Nazi or Fascist.]

        1. Cat Burglar

          I remember some Dem flunky writing in The Guardian a couple months after Trump’s inauguration, attesting to their “shock over the authoritarianism that has overcome our nation since January” (my emphasis).

          Given presidential emergency powers, their shock was only about 70 years too late! A brilliant diversion by the Dems.

      4. Feral Finster

        There is no need for martial law, except as a symbolic matter. The administration already can do more or less as it pleases.

      5. Henry Moon Pie

        I agree with everything you said about emergency powers. They’re very dangerous and a temptation to go power crazy, a real thing, I believe.

        But I want to quibble about this:

        “Congress isn’t afraid of violence”

        Looking at those pictures of some of them crouched in the gallery aisles, and the way Hawley was the big, masculine man shaking his fist to encourage the crowd, but when it went down, he hid with the rest of them. Why didn’t he or Cruz or little Marco go out and calm the crowd? Why are these politicians so afraid of the people? It’s pitiful, but telling.

        I still think that if it hadn’t been for 1/6, there would have no extension of the child tax credit, and we wouldn’t even have gotten $1,400.

        They haven’t done a thing since except try to figure out how to take as much back of it as they can, like the Covid money.

        1. Kouros

          “Congress isn’t afraid of violence”

          But it is true as long as the violence is not directed at them and as long as they have some say on the direction of violence.

          1. The Rev Kev

            During the January 6th riots we saw that the Congress people were very much afraid indeed and there was panic in the eyes of some of them.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      I used to think a good way to end the forever wars would be to require all military age relatives of the Congress critters and senior administration political appointees to the 3rd or 4th degree of consanguinity should be required to serve in the Army or Marine Corps infantry. Just imagine the angry phone calls and harsh words at family gatherings.
      But now that Ukraine has shown that we can start those wars with a game of “Lets you and him fight” that may not be effective.

      1. digi_owl

        Unless they were required to serve with rifle in hand, most likely there would be some quick emails and calls to get said relatives serving a desk assignment back at HQ or in some depot somewhere far from the action.

      2. Benny Profane

        Not so specific. Bring back the draft with no college exemptions. You’ll finally see kids marching in the streets again, like the old days.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          As a high school teacher, I have to laugh out loud when anyone suggests the draft. These kids will never go for it and will end up in the brig before they march.

          1. ambrit

            We knew someone who refused to go and spent his “tour of duty” in Fort Leavenworth military prison. Two years of what he described as ” a life of torture and deprivation run by uniformed sadists.”
            The ‘Exclusive Right to the Use of Force’ that the State claims manifests itself in many ways.
            What the military feared after the collapse of the Indochina Adventure was to have an army full of troublemakers in perpetuity. Hence the switch to the “all volunteer” army. The draft only works well when the public is behind the Army and the State it serves. That takes a popular war.

            1. Feral Finster

              The draft only works well when the public is behind the Army and the State it serves. That takes a popular war.

              Later in the conversation, Gilbert recorded Goering’s observations that the common people can always be manipulated into supporting and fighting wars by their political leaders:

              We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

              “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

              “There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

              “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” (emphasis mine)


              1. ambrit

                True enough, but Goering was speaking of a government that enjoyed legitimacy in the eyes of the German public. The Chinese term this “The Mandate of Heaven.”
                The best way I can think of to lose “The Mandate of Heaven” is to lose, or to be perceived as losing, a big war.
                In a related note, Sun Tsu, and many after him, noted in his writings about warfare that one should always leave at least one way for an enemy to escape the trap he is in. Otherwise, the enemy will fight to the bitter end. That was what happened when the Allies in WW-2 promulgated the Unconditional Surrender demand in relation to the Axis Powers. Japan finally surrendered when their very top authority determined that the alternative was the complete devastation of the Homeland. Hitler blamed the German People for failure and determined to take the country down with him. The Emperor of Japan decided to “…endure(ing) the unendurable and suffer(ing) what is insufferable.” Otherwise, the elites of the country were willing to fight to the end.
                Unconditional surrender is not a military strategy but rather a political one. It’s aim is to humiliate the enemy. It often backfires later on.
                Stay safe!

                1. Anthony G Stegman

                  Daniel Ellsberg made the same point in his book The Doomsday Machine. The United States was hell bent on delivering a “decapitation” strike on the Soviet Union with multiple thermonuclear warheads targeted at Moscow. Ellsberg argued that that was foolish because if you kill the leadership who will be available to negotiate the end of the war. Because of the US policy of decapitation strikes the Soviet Union (and now Russia) developed the “Dead Hand” which ensures nuclear retaliation even if the leadership has been killed earlier.

    3. John Beech

      Lexx, that you support political violence against family members or elected officials leaves me wondering if you’ve lost your mind. I am horribly saddened at your words being published within an economic forum like NC.

      Let me be clear, in NO WAY do I support political violence and I urge you to renounce your position. Honestly? I view people who treat in American political violence as an unacceptable threat to our way of life and I would report you to the FBI if I knew who you were. Added to which, the moderator who allowed your words to be posted here is complicit because they’ve endorsed your views.

      Folks, if you want to see this writ large, just eyeball what’s going on in Mexico where judges and mayors are targets of assassinations. Is this what anybody wants happening in America? In short, I view what Lexx propose as un-American.

      For God’s sake, Lexx, we have the franchise! We’re free to exercise it. Right now, less than half of Americans control government because more than half don’t bother to vote. Yes, this effectively cedes control for the 100% to ~25% of citizenry. But just because we’re not effectively getting the vote out doesn’t make political violence acceptable. No! Absolutely not. A thousand times no! I support voting versus violence!

      Please reconsider your words; ask the moderators to remove your post. For shame!

      1. hunkerdown

        Stop whining, John. That you just spent 231 words not just standing up for a government that has EVER killed one family, but affectionately deep-throating the boot, makes you a willing accomplice in every murder the state has ever committed, and your feelings are not only not an argument, but the exact opposite of one.

        1. ACPAL

          Morally we should never threaten the families of those who vote for and support sending our family members to wars to be killed, maimed, chemically damaged, or mentally injured for life. Those who support wars started and continued based on lies that kill, maim, and displace millions of people and destroy nations are sacrosanct. No, morally they and their families should never be threatened because that just wouldn’t be morally justified.

          1. Kouros

            In some old(er) cultures, (correcting) bad behaviour of individuals is considered to be the responsibility of family and clan, which is / are held accountable for the bad apple…

        1. tegnost

          see, as soon as you say it the moral outage comes pouring down from on high.
          It’s a losing tactic, even tongue in cheek.

          1. hunkerdown

            The morality classes are the problem. What they think doesn’t have to matter if their emotionally-rooted (and therefore irrelevant) judgments are no longer welcome in the public discourse. Thus the race to supervise and mediate popular communication.

          2. Don

            Argh, Militant Liberalism!

            If I replied, citing the many tens of thousands of families slaughtered with the approval/participation of the American PMC, would I be guilty of “whataboutism?

        2. flora

          Thanks. In earlier times, before things got so… batshite, an over-the-top, absolutely deadpan satire could be read as so over-the-top that it must be a joke. These days not so much, unless there’s a tag to explicitly set the meaning. Sorry it’s come to this. (I used to think I was half-way competent at picking up a comment’s general meaning based on what was once “normal”. These days? Who knows? / ;)

          1. cosmiccretin

            Agree 100%.

            I’m reminded of (Dean) Jonathan Swift’s pamphlet “A modest Proposal” in which he suggested that the solution to contemporary widespread starvation in rural Ireland would be for the people to eat their babies.

            I don’t think anyone at the time took that as anything other than outrageous, wounding, satire born of justified indignation. Nowadays some might, as vividly demonstrated above.

      2. ambrit

        John, violence has been an integral part of politics since Terran humans first congregated around a campfire. Such violence takes many forms and yes, the resort to violence against the persons adjacent to the ‘targets’ is reprehensible, but it works.
        This can be characterized as a rational response to the Organs of State Security having already made resort to such terror tactics. Those who studied history realized that the organized terror tactics that began on far off fields, such as drone bombing wedding parties in the Middle East would eventually be imported back to the Homeland. This has always happened. When I read about that first Middle Eastern wedding party being bombed by the American military, I realized that no one, absolutely no one at all, was safe.
        One can object to such suggestions being given exposure on this blog. It is an economics blog, not a survivalist militia site. However, this is an expression of the mood of an increasingly desperate public.
        As for the franchise, I would agree with you if voting was made both mandatory and a public holiday. As it is, voting in America is hemmed in by hedges and fences built of and by partisan politics.
        In the final analysis, I fall back upon the words attributed to Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
        Lest we forget, the immediate outcome of that Declaration was a long war.
        America was founded on violence and has remained true to that heritage ever since.
        Stay safe, and forgive us our trespasses.

        1. cosmiccretin

          A plea:- please, please, don’t fall into the trap of *ever* using that term “Homeland” – even ironically. It’s already become more than halfway normalised, when it ought to be anathemised – no less than the totalitarian mindset that spawned it.

      3. Lex

        Wait, wasn’t this country founded on violence against an unresponsive government? IIRC, that’s what we were all taught in school.

        The cognitive dissonance is what I celebrate every 4th of July. That’s what makes America what it is.

    4. synoia

      I am more interested in why Ghislane Maxwell and Jeremy Epstein investigations did not name their customers.

      1. LifelongLib

        Apparently Epstein was bipartisan in the “services” he provided. It isn’t in either major party’s interest to start naming names.

      2. flora

        I’m still waiting for the list of Sam Bankman Fried’s list of clients and financial beneficiaries. / ;)

    5. tegnost

      They made so much hay from the foolish j6 protesters that they’re trying to scare up some more action? Nothing pleases the establishment more than some outbursts they can suppress.
      “Spare the rod, spoil the child!”

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      This link makes a number of vague and incendiary statements about “political violence” and support for “political violence” to coerce members of Congress. Support for “political violence” means what exactly?

      1. hunkerdown

        Making versions of that Kathy Lee Griffin photo with generative AI seems to be their biggest terror right now.

        1. ambrit

          What??? Our son had some dealings with Kathy Griffin some years ago and said it was an education in how the “Entertainment” Industry works. [He still likes her.] Could you mean Kathy Gifford?
          This I have to see. Just call me Prurient Geezer.

  7. ArkansasAngie

    If ‘they” … Chase … can shut down Mercola for ideas then they can shut you down too. You need to turn up your empathy receptors. Time to personify. Access to banking is a big deal. Public companies must serve every one.

    Free speech must be protected

    Honestly … the people involved in this are truly dangerous. They are indeed coming for your neighbors. It’s happening today.

    1. Benny Profane

      This is nothing. As we have seen, requires a very important human to make the decision, and one very important human just had to resign her very important position in Britain because she forgot to consult the lawyers before lying to the media about Farange’s accounts. The ultimate everything app is being developed in Ukraine, of all places,(although Musk seems to have similar plans for X) and may soon be coming to the device in your pocket.

    2. hunkerdown

      “Public companies” is a disinformation term. It tries to equate the potential for ownership to actual ownership, just like happiness as a serf under the Schwabian World Order.

      They are joint stock corporations, still owned by private actors with no general duties of importance.

      “Empathy” is a term for vulnerability to middle-class emotional manipulators, and it’s better eradicated than allowed to be misused. In fact, the entire Greek ideology of “love” is probably best dispensed with.

    3. flora

      I agree. I remember when the utube decided Alex Jones was beyond the pale and cast him out. (Was that only 4 years ago?) Lots of people brushed that off because who watches that guy none of us like. No big deal.
      Now they’re shutting up presidential candidates like RFKjr.

      1. Futility

        Same with Trump being kicked off Twitter. No problem, since it hit the right guy. But it seemed obvious at the time that they won’t stop with Trump. Censorship always extends further and further. Pointing this out only elicited accusations of being a MAGA troll. Shortly after that they started going after left voices as well. People are myopic.

    1. griffen

      Thanks for this link, I get about 5+ minutes in and need to pause; but I will plan on circling back to finish the video. As a white kid who grew up on the other side of the country, fairly small and rural NC towns, the life of growing up that way ( as depicted in the well done movie ) is startling. Violence from gangs and crime, and then violence is compounded by how the law chooses to enforce laws via the most onerous, often times evil, methods; a topic also covered in the ESPN documentary about OJ Simpson.

      1. Wukchumni

        Aside from going to the Fabulous Forum or Hollywood Park for the ponies, there was never really a reason for an Angeleno to go to South Central LA except for maybe Watts Towers, that’s my story of 4 decades of living cheek by jowl, but never curious enough to enter that world.

          1. Wukchumni

            I hiked up to Parker Mesa overlook* in Topanga State Park in the midst of mayhem in 1992, and the look of South Central from afar perhaps approximated the aftermath of a WW2 bombing raid with dozens of smoke spires reaching up into the sky.

            * If you want a hike with a view in LA, this is the one.

              1. Wukchumni

                A friend had a coin store on Fairfax and the carnage asada of burning & looting came within a block, the ire water mark.

                1. Sardonia

                  My girlfriend at the time was Korean-American, up here in SF getting her law degree. But her parents owned a store in K-Town.

                  We watched the TeeVee, and she saw one of her cousins on the rooftop of the store’s mini-mall with his AK-47, which she never knew he owned.

                  She ran up my phone bill with lotsa calls back home for a few days.

          2. Joe Renter

            I remember listening to my scanner that day into the night. Watch out whitie! I condone the use of violence as norm. But, no peace without justice and we are seeing a lot of injustice these days. I might live long enough to some real sh*t go down.

            1. Wukchumni

              We’re already seeing it, people are looting stores not a lot dissimilar to what I watched go down 30 odd years ago, casually walking through the exit with their gotten gains, and nobody tries to stop them.

              1. tegnost

                In downtown seattle recently the new game seems to be have private security in fatigues follow the perp, come up from behind and snap a picture, not whole body, right up in their face like a mug shot, oh wait…anyway. Next step back off and send the picture to somewhere, then wait for an opportunity to get the merch back,at a bus stop, say, basically a magician like thing where you ask a question and grab the merch at the same time which somehow the perp i witnessed let go of the bag while security said can you come back to the store with me we want to look through the bag and in this case perp says no, amplified with invective. So there is a strategy being implemented. FWIW. I also saw a dead guy on the sidewalk and a cop showing up with narcan. Downtown seattle is an alternate universe. Hop on the d line to ballard, and next thing I know I’m getting the stinkeye as I walk to my friends house with a suitcase. I’m sure the nextdoor app was following my progress. I don’t think apprehending shoplifters is our biggest problem.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Guess i’d want to know what shoplifting is like in our peer countries, in comparison.

              2. Sardonia

                Those who try to stop a shoplifter get immediately fired. Policy is “Not worth it”.

                Easier to just offset it by increasing prices. I’m sure Fed interest rate hikes will take care of that though…. :/

              3. griffen

                I hear of some anecdotes from older siblings in or around Atlanta metro. On a list of metro cities I will never plan on moving to, the ATL is on the list for all sort sof reasons. Traffic hell.

                Over the past 10 years or so, those siblings have become a few licensed, trained, conceal and carry sorta dudes. Not as vigilantes, for protection of their families. Much like a condom, better to have a condom just around in case one needs it.

        1. Milton

          It’s surprising how many life-long Angelenos have never heard of Watts Towers, let alone visited them. I think the movie Crash encapsulated that aspect quite well.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “North Korea: China, Russia in first post-pandemic visits”

    South Korea must be sweating bullets at the moment. It was all fun and games sending military gear, along with 155mm artillery rounds, to the Ukraine but did they think that there would be no consequences? That there would be no blow-back? Traditionally Russia has had better relations with North Korea than China has had but to have both China and Russia visit North Korea would be bad enough. But to have Russia’s defense minister turning up must be making them wonder what they would be talking about. Of course Russia shares a 17.3 kilometer (10.7 mile) border with North Korea so who can say what is in some of those containers aboard those trains going back and forth. And if Russia starts to throw North Korea an economic lifeline for their people, what is the west going to do about it? Sanction both Russia and North Korea? But one thing is sure. Shoigu is not there just to sample the North Korean kimchi & soju.

    1. Martin Oline

      I have wondered if this visit to North Korea may be for sharing sensitive intelligence that Russia has acquired concerning the west’s plans for North Korea. Pure speculation, of course, but perhaps the Pentagon has concluded starting a conflict there is better than messing with China. They wouldn’t want to lose a couple of carrier task forces. (More afraid of plummeting stocks in the MIC than human life.) A low intensity conflict there would be seen as ideal to sap the resources and attention of China. The obvious problem is nukes, but they are a much smaller target than China.

        1. ambrit

          I have read that Seoul would be toast quickly if a full on war erupted there. Additionally, North Korea made the right call, for their security if not the rest of the world’s, when they went ahead and built some thermonuclear weapons. With the missiles they already have, Japan could be radioactive in a matter of minutes. That is a serious deterrent there.
          Shoigu might be there to politely ask the North Koreans not to use those nukes when the border war begins.
          Shoigu to the North Koreans: “We and the Chinese have your back. If the Westerners try something, we will supply infinite conventional arms and ammo. NATO cannot do that for the Ukraine. We can do that for you. Hold fast.”
          North Koreans: “But what if the crazy Westerners use nukes first?”
          Shoigu: “In that case, the world is ending anyway. Go out in a blaze of glory.”

          1. Lex

            Perhaps apocryphal so take it for what it’s worth but I got this from a Korean I was close to when I lived there and his father was in charge of the presidential helicopter when my friend was a kid (which is how my friend got educated in Switzerland and the US).

            Everything north of the Hahn River is considered lost from the moment hostilities begin. For a long time north of the river was lightly developed but that’s no longer the case. The rumor is that every bridge (43 IIRC) is prepared for demolition and when the siren sounds it’s a 30 minute countdown to them all falling in the river and anyone on the other side is on their own.

            About a decade ago the US completed moving the main base out of Itaewon. It was long held that the base itself was a tripwire location. Thousands of US troops in downtown Seoul. It’s now out of artillery range. That’s not the official reason for the move.

  9. Benny Profane

    One wonders if recent reports about Biden’s surly and loud outbursts to staff (a classic early dementia symptom) and the dog attacks have a connection. Dog watches man, dog learns, dog bites SS.

    1. The Rev Kev

      C’mon, man. Biden would be pleased as punch that his dogs are so vicious. More so because they are attacking people who cannot really defend themselves as they are part of his detail. They wouldn’t be allowed to even use mace on his dog much less pump it full of 9mm. There is a way to deal with them. My brother, when he was in the Police Force, used to work with a renowned Sergeant that was tough as nails and they received a report of a vicious dog attacking people. So they rock around there whereupon this dog launches itself at them. This sergeant timing it right grabs the dog by the neck and chokes it to death while the owner is shouting him to stop. When the dog was dead, he drags it by the tail and throws it into the boot and then they drive off. Yes, this was a long time but hey, it worked. And no, that sergeant was not just a thug. He soon went into the New South Wales Police Rescue Squad where years later he became a national hero for his work in a massive disaster that killed scores of people.

      1. Benny Profane

        That’s impressive.

        Imagine if Trump had a dog. All of his SS would have to walk around in protective suits.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Somehow I can’t imagine Trump with a dog. But I can imagine Biden with a Pit Bull Terrier.

    2. jefemt

      Lot of trauma in the Biden clan after the tragic car accident. The effects on the Joe, kids and generations is plain and clear.
      Even goes to the dog.

      I truly, for all of our sakes, wish Biden and Trump would, as my dear ranch raised ma would say,
      “Dry up and blow away…”

      1. Pat

        You mean the one where Biden’s first wife caused the accident and yet Biden spent years blaming the other driver by name who not only was not the one driving drunk he was NOT the one at fault in any way.

        That family was messed up long before that. For one Joe started his plagiarism career before he graduated. If there was an environmental cause for Joe Biden, his anger, his lying, his corruption, his bullying…start looking nearer to birth.

    3. Carolinian

      Turley is on it.

      Major was then replaced by another photo-ready dog, Commander. These dogs are not only featured often in home shots of the Bidens, they actually warranted Christmas stockings over Navy, the granddaughter that Joe and Jill Biden refuse to acknowledge. It turns out the vicious dog is undeniably a Biden but not their granddaughter.[…]

      In one account involving Commander, an agent had to defend himself from the dog with a chair. That was after prior biting incidents. As many as ten people were either bitten or threatened by the dog.

      In other words, the Bidens would likely be viewed as knowing the vicious propensity of Commander and subject to strict liability. They showed a pattern of knowledge and a lack of precautions not just with regard to this dog but all of their dogs.

      Rule of thumb is that there are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners. Some of them get to be president. But those of us who like to hike know this scenario well. If you get bitten (and I have been) the dog owner will even claim you must be making it up because their dog would never do that.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i delivered pizza in rural east texas in the late 80’s….trailerhouses in the woods…and pitbulls.
        did the exchange from on top of my car many times.
        then someone gave me a cattle prod,lol.
        i was more comfortable delivering to the black village a mile over there, to the drug dealers standing in the road.
        those dudes tipped well, and while armed up, didnt threaten the guy who brought them dinner.
        the crazy white folks with their canine gauntlet, otoh, rarely tipped at all…and laughed at me being on top of the vehicle to escape their cujo’s.

      2. Lex

        Indeed. Some dogs are just reactive, but a consistent behavior of biting non-threatening people over multiple dogs says that the problem is Joe Biden. His choice of names is pretty telling too.

    4. Wukchumni

      The first numismatist I worked for had a German Shepherd who was taught a secret word to attack if uttered by my boss, it was ‘Jäger’, which is hunter, in German.

      …I wonder what Joey’s attack word is?

      1. ambrit

        Und Blitzen of course because “Creepy” Joe is Santa to all the prepubescent girls he meets.
        “Com’ere girly. Let Uncle Joe give you a hug and a sniff.”

    5. Mildred Montana

      Having owned many, I’ve always believed that dogs can smell human meanness from a distance—or at least intuit it with one of their inscrutable dog senses.

      Commander seems to be selecting only Secret Service agents for “dental implants”. No reports of aggressions on other people or animals. It’s entirely possible that he knows something we don’t.

      1. The Rev Kev

        We had German Shepherds for over twenty years and normally they are not a vicious dog. They have to be made that way.

        1. Wukchumni

          Yeah, they are no Pit Bull, and it would fit Biden’s character better having a breed such as a Pit Bull, that year in-year out is responsible for the lions share of deaths by all breeds of dogs in the USA.

          ‘Don’t worry he’s friendly…’

        2. jhallc

          Same with the American Stratfordshire Terrier AKA “Pit Bull”. I’ve had many dogs over the years ( Spaniels, Standard Poodles). After my last two Poodles passed I adopted a 3 year old “Pit Bull” from a shelter. I had his DNA checked and turns out he is effectively a pure bred going back several generations on both sides. He is 10% Bulldog and 10% Boxer and 80% Terrier. He is not any more aggressive than my poodles were toward strangers. Once properly introduced he is more likely to lick you to death. Not saying there aren’t bad actors in the breed but, they are often the result of the owners actions. When I was a paperboy delivering to each house door, not just tossed in the driveway, the Shepards and the Dachshunds were the ones that gave me trouble.

          1. Pat

            Doxies have attitudes, in my experience lack of training cause most of their problems.
            Along with mistrained dogs, intentionally or not, there are also bored or undirected dogs. Dog owners need to pay attention.
            There are bad dogs, but they really are rare. Most problems come down to bad owners.

            1. jhallc

              The only time I was bitten on my route was by a Dachshund. He was hiding under a shrub and when I walked past he got me from behind in the calf. I had more than one dog that would launch themselves at the screen door when I tried to throw the paper inside. Had to be quiet and fast and make sure the door latched behind you.

        3. anonymous

          From a little online sleuthing, Commander on his paternal side is from high drive working and show lines, bred from dogs who are titled in bite sports (Schutzhund, IPO) and have done police work. According to Wikipedia, his father is Zoltan vom Windy Ridge (p. 7 in, confirmed on Windy Ridge K9 Facebook page, either and go to March 6, 2022, or see

          From the comments there, Zoltan’s sire is “Wenzel” :,, breeder website page

          Zoltan’s dam is “Frankie” :, Frankie training for Schutzhund: Frankie then became a dual purpose police dog:

          I can’t identify Commander’s mother, but I wouldn’t expect someone breeding mellow shepherds to use Zoltan’s line for stud. So, Commander is probably a high drive dog who likes to grab things with his mouth and needs lots of time, training (including in impulse control and relaxation), physical exercise, and mental stimulation. He might have been a great choice for a companion for the secret service, sniffing out that cocaine and being ready to take down a White House intruder. As a pet for an older couple with a million other things taking up their time, in a place with a lot of strangers coming and going, not such a great idea.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        If so, perhaps he’s not the only one doing the selecting with respect to those people.

    1. Wukchumni

      Some hot springs are really intimate such as Sykes hot springs in Big Sur-a 10 mile walk in, which gets way too much traffic for the few opportunities to soak, but the Atlantic Ocean hot spring is the polar opposite, and it’d be damned interesting to soak in it, just for the experience.

      100 degrees or thereabouts is what we’d call an all-day-sucker in that you can spend hours in it, versus say 30 minutes duration in 105 degree water.

      I wonder if the hot temps in the ocean will cause Naegleria fowleri to occur, a brain-eating amoeba that happens in hot springs and kills a few people a year, and you’re always admonished to never put your head under water, and that’s all there’s to it in terms of prevention, an easy fix.

      1. Lexx

        Ummm… and maybe a butt plug? Sure, it may be the long way ’round (depending on where they keep their thinking apparatus), but an amoeba could get there eventually. As we’ve learned the last few years, the blood-brain barrier is not as advertised.

          1. Sardonia

            Maybe NC will develop its own version of Godwin’s Law –
            Instead of every conversation referring to Nazis within 6 replies, here we can get a butt plug reference.

            1. ambrit

              Maybe the reference to the b— p— will be put on the list of fundamental moderation trigger words. Since this is an economics blog, I must include the obligatory reference to “tail risk.”

            2. Lexx

              Psst! ‘Hunker just used the words ‘deep-throating’… maybe you should drop a word to him about Godwin’s Law… I’ll get the popcorn, please don’t start without me!

  10. The Rev Kev

    ‘Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis mocks the American media’s hysteria about China. Yanis gently reminds us that if it weren’t for China……’

    This video has been on the net for some time but it is still relevant. A coupla days ago I was watching a brief talk by this Zambian official. She was saying how a western delegation will land at Zambia’s airport – which was built by the Chinese – and then drive along the highway to their hotels – again built by the Chinese – and then proceed to give a speech warning against the dangers of business dealings with the Chinese. In a building that was gifted to the Zambian people by the Chinese. So what can a western delegation actually offer somebody like the Zambians? A loan from the IMF?

    1. Carolinian

      But take away the US and Zambians would never have gotten to see Barbie. You gotta look at the big picture. All those “little countries” need an influencer.

      Funnily enough a few years back H’wood was doing everything in its power to suck up to the Chinese and Matt Damon even starred in a Zhang Yimou movie (the film not so great). Now Biden is doing everything in his power to anger the Chinese and kill the Chinese market for some of his most loyal Beverly Hills supporters. Could be when it comes to influencing you need to have a plan.

      1. Wukchumni

        Or think of the Super Bowl thrills Zambians get in sporting the t-shirt of the champion, er make that the team that lost the big game, in that they make an equal amount of apparel before the game for both teams, and what do you do with the wrong winning side’s schwag?

        America, {family blog} yeah!

      2. hunkerdown

        That’s what the RESTRICT Act is for. Basically, it penalizes copyright infringement more severely than basic armed robbery.

  11. britzklieg

    WSWS: Bu… bu… but just yesterday a few comments here were celebrating the teamsters SELF-DESCRIBED “historic” deal offered to UPS slaves. Pre-mature victory = credulity and although no one should be faulted for being hopeful there is abundant evidence that believing our uberlords pronouncements on anything these days is beyond naive and should not be the default position when looking for a reason to continue supporting the wretched, just-as-evil-as-the other-guy Dems.

  12. flora

    re: Mercola and the bank.

    Sounds like the banks are starting to discriminate according to their social-cultural biases instead of the legal banking requirements. Guess the big banks, the Wall St. banks, are above the law. (O made that clear enough.) What was it Sen. Dick Durban said about the big Wall St. bank’s relationship to Congress? “They own the place.”

    Find a good, sound, local or regional bank.

  13. KD

    Hard not to gloat, I predicted that Nuland, architect of the Ukraine disaster and enabler of the Sino-Russian bloc (taking a page from Khrushchev) which will likely destroy the American Empire, would fail upwards, against a sea of commentators who thought she would be marginalized. Well, now she is officially number 2, which is an apt designation for her.

    1. pjay

      We really, really have to figure out how these viciously destructive neocons not only keep coming back, but they keep coming back into powerful political positions. I mean this seriously; it is a question of *existential* importance. How and why are these despicable creatures able to destroy pieces of the world, in ways that are clearly detrimental not only to world peace but to the general interests of the US, exposed as liars, and then *keep coming back and getting promoted*? They are a relatively small cabal, yet they wield incredibly destructive influence. I had the same rant a few weeks ago when Biden nominated *Elliot f**king Abrams* to some propaganda post.

      How and why? Can we PLEASE answer this question??

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Probably because the wider US elites either share their outlooks or find them to be useful attack dogs.

      2. KD

        Domestic politics: No one wants to be “soft” on Russia, China, Libya, Syria, blah blah. Neocons are Viagra for foreign policy. Feminism and LGBTQ+ have been coopted into foreign policy as well, so people from both sides of the aisle can enjoy bombing Arabs for 20 years in the name of women’s equality and gay rights.

        MIC: Follow the yellow brick road.

        While Ukraine is likely to have long-term negative consequences (largely unfelt yet, and plausibly deniable in MSM when they do show up), Vietnam, Iraq I and II, and Afghanistan didn’t really matter much to the US, but were great for Raytheon. Neocons are useful to the interest-based political system, so long as we remember that the national interest has no place in that system.

      3. GC54

        Because they get $h1t done for the Empire (they think), allowing the rest (of the governors) to coast along while they insider trade.

    2. ambrit

      Oh my. Vicky, the Neocon floating in the punchbowl.
      When the Neocons get their atomic war against Russia, I hope the Russians target the Washington elite’s bunkers in the first wave of the return strike.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      This will never be over until she has been convicted and hanged for war crimes.

      SOS now being run by Nuland, Blinken and Baal.

      1. KD

        You have to assume this is posturing in part on the Biden team, they’re putting the “tough guys” in to deal with the situation. Whatever happens, America won’t be giving away the farm in the eyes of the Establishment.

        1. Cat Burglar

          The Nuland policy is to not give away the farm in Ukraine, but it means giving away the farm in Asia. National failure on the horizon!

      1. rowlf

        While I like your style, keep the house handy to drop on her just in case.

        The house seems to do the trick for Witches of the East.

  14. ajc

    Paper claiming creation of ambient temp and pressure superconductor just dropped

    Should be able to be replicated in less than a week so we will know if it is correct. Physics twitter is pretty positive about it. And from my own physics knowledge, it seems legit. If it is, we are looking at a future of room temp superconductors made from non-exotic materials.

    1. Ben Gunn

      Interesting. I wonder how the crystals are grown and if they can be grown with minimal grain boundaries, which cause loss. That was one of the downfalls of TBCCO thin films. The temperature and process for nucleating thin films may determine what applications are available. If they can be grown like bulk crystals (Si boules, for example) then the sky’s the limit!

    2. John Beech

      Read this last night and shared it with my father, a PhD candidate for physics in 1963 and he said, wait and see. No surprise, he’s a cautious fellow. Nevertheless, big if true. And make no mistake, I hope it’s true because it’ll change the world the way electricity did.

  15. marym

    > Class Warfare – UPS

    Thank you for the 2 links. I apologize for posting a link to the celebratory Teamster press release in yesterday’s Links without responses from the workers.

  16. flora

    From Haaretz. I’m surprised the Court is kicking the can down the road.

    Reasonableness Standard | Israel’s High Court Won’t Issue Injunction, Appeal to Be Heard in September

    The law, which the Netanyahu-led coalition passed to subvert judicial review on government, came into effect on Wednesday. Appeals filed against it will be heard only after the court’s recces

  17. Mikel

    “German Economy Contracts: Manufacturing & Services Hit Hard” FXEmpire

    “The German economy is in a ‘slowcession’ and needs a new reform agenda” ING

    For entertainment, I checked the DAX market index for today. It’s just around the all time high. And I mean ALL TIME.

    Ah, the West and their “wealth effect.” Sort of reminds me of 2020 with everything shut down and stock markets rocketing upward. Climbing the wall of worry or pacification of the PMC, whatever you want to call it, I have to giggle. (Pacification in the sense that it’s a bit of “ignore the naysayers about the global economic order, look at the lines go up!!”)
    I can’t find the article, but NC once ran a post that talked about stock markets as an expression of power.
    I often think about that theory.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘NC once ran a post that talked about stock markets as an expression of power’

      I tend to think of them as like American high school popularity contests.

      1. Mikel

        It’s one thing knowing that the stock markets are about profit over people, it’s another thing to have it seared into the brain as it has been in so many ways since 2008.

      1. communistmole

        If one implies premises Marx did not share, it is not difficult to undermine them.

  18. KD

    Support for using violence to ‘coerce’ members of Congress nearly doubled over the last 6 months — even more so among Democrats — according to a study

    I’m not sold on the violence thing. If Corporations can spend millions and millions on lobbyists, what makes people think they can’t spend millions and millions on private armies, and if Congress is dependent on private armies and security, my prediction is that they would be even less responsive. There is a real democratic deficit problem, but not seeing any easy solutions.

    Ironically, with the Sanders campaign, he showed you can raise enough money to be competitive at the grass roots level from crowdfunding, so it would be pretty easy to bypass the lobbyist/party infrastructure provided you had an organization and a plan. The Democratic Party is useless.

    1. hunkerdown

      Money can only buy what is available for sale. Fragging is always, always an option, and would that the ethic be played out more widely in society.

      Did you forget that the parties jointly own the electoral machinery and are playing for the exclusive right to create political narratives? If you believe in the Greek contest system as a source of truth rather than trash, you are in love with the problem.

      1. KD

        If you do not believe that an outsider can seize power in the American political system, then you were not paying attention to the 2016 election. Granted, you ended up with Trump and not a left-wing populist, but that is a reflection of a lack of will, planning, and preparation on the left.

        If I am in love with something, it would be the peaceful transfer of power, which democracy, or representative “democracy,” tends to be good at in general. Sure, if I’m in a bad mood, I feel like “burn it all down” but that is emotion talking, not reason. I’m too old and too crippled for street fighting.

        1. hunkerdown

          That’s a heroic narrative, and therefore immaterial. The actual elites learned from their mistake and formulated a bulwark against it, which they are deploying now. We would all be much better off punching our local PMC and oligarchs in the face than even dignifying heroic drama by preservation.

          Power shouldn’t even exist. I’m in it for the destruction of power. There’s no emotion behind that but simple cussedness and an unwillingness to submit to Plato’s schizophrenia.

  19. Screwball

    Victoria Nuland and Brown Tweet – great! /s

    Elevating more warmongers – just what we need. Some will be quite happy about this, I’m sure. Example; Just yesterday my PMC friends were having their daily Trumpgasam. They are so worried about another stint in office for Orange Hitler and his paymaster Putin. One commented “it’s too bad we don’t have Obama to run again, he would wipe the floor with Trump.”

    Then someone said they need a mixture of Obama and Biden, taking the great speaking part of Obama and the war part of Biden, because (are you ready for this?) Biden is so much better with war than Obama.


    These people used to be democrats. What they are now, I have no idea. Other than completely nuts.

    1. The Rev Kev

      For Victoria Nuland, that could be a poisoned chalice that promotion. She seems to like working in obscure positions that nevertheless are very powerful ones. With this promotion, she is being pushed forward and out front so if Project Ukraine becomes a spectacular failure, her professional neck will be on the line now. When this war is over, Washington is going to need someone to pin the blame on and be the sacrificial lamb and it might very well be Victoria.

      1. BillS

        We can only hope. I’d love to see her begging for quarters on the street, but I am sure she will find some cozy sinecure somewhere as her Ukrainian debacle drops down the memory hole.

      2. ambrit

        Be very afraid of this development. Vicky Nuland represents a faction inside the government that sincerely believes that America can win a nuclear war with Russia. Not just survive, but win.
        When the Ukraine begins to collapse, this group will argue that the only way to “defend and preserve democracy in Europe” will be to use nukes on the battlefield against the “neo-soviet hordes.” They will further argue that the Russians are either wimps who will roll over and submit, or that a “popular uprising” will depose the Putin government and then submit to the Globalists.
        We are dealing with non-sane people here. They could try and do anything.

        1. Screwball

          This is exactly what scares me.

          We desperately need some anti-war voices but there are not many. That is what gripes me so much about the democrats – who used to be a non-war party (for the most part). I have never watched so many become rabid warmongers. They have become as obsessed with Russia as they did with Trump. Some of them are just fine with nukes to use against Russia. Whatever it takes they are good with. More bombs, more money, more planes, more tanks, more everything, even nukes.

          Stop the insanity before you get us all killed.

      3. Lex

        Her first role in the Obama admin was DoS spokesperson. Though true that many of her other appointments were powerful but less public. Deputy SoS isn’t usually super public either though. It’s the nuts and bolts to the SoS public work.

    2. Feral Finster

      In other words, stop kidding yourselves. The neocons are not in “panic”, they are confident and they continue to double down.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “EU passes law to blanket highways with fast EV chargers by end of 2025”

    All this in about two years time? Ummm, OK. Who is going to pay for all that work? Do they have the personnel that will be able to accomplish it all so fast? But most important question of all. When they are all built, will the EU have the electrical grid capable of dealing with it all much less the quantities of energy needed now that cheap energy from the Russian Federation is gone now and is not coming back? And the EU gets cold in winter. Will those EVs be able to cope? Remember that severe snow storm that shut down that highway on the US east coast not that long ago and the Ev cars were a bust? So many questions.

    1. BillS

      Rev, to answer your questions:
      1) Two years’ time? Say it, and it is done with PPPs!
      2) Who pays? Don’t worry, PPPs at taxpayer expense will save the day!
      3) Personnel? We don’t need no stinking workers! PPPs, MBAs and coders are all you need!
      4) Electrical grid? Again, we’ll throw lots of Euros at PPPs. We don’t need resources from those pesky Russkies!
      5) Cold weather? With everyone needing woolly jumpers because of the lack of heating fuel, we’ll just make a version to keep your EV batteries cozy.

      In short:
      Make vague proposal.
      Promise Euros.

      1. hunkerdown

        4) There is an endless spool of futile solar roadway grifts because Euromittels are too precious to stick them on poles.

    2. Feral Finster

      As long as the EU and its member states can continue to borrow money to throw at the problem, nobody cares.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      Transhumanists like Elise Bohan have an answer for you Rev. See, we “meat-brained apes” are just too stupid to solve the problems we’ve created for ourselves. We have to hand them over to the superior intelligence of AI and carry out their instructions. What could go wrong?

    4. Polar Socialist

      I’ve heard that most EV cars in Nordic countries have a heat pump instead of electric heater, which when stationary would actually outlast ICE heat source (on full tank/battery). On the other hand, in Nordic countries almost all bigger streets and roads are plowed and/or graded within hours of a major snowfall, so highways just don’t shut down (unless there’s an accident).

      1. digi_owl

        A recent-ish accident in southern Norway made a mockery of that.

        Thing is that down there, at least on the coast, most are not used to winter like further inland and north. So a bunch of EV owners had to be provided by blankets and hot drinks because they had plans to top of their cars on the way home from te office, but got stuck for hours thanks to a couple of semis blocking the road.

        And this is a nation where winter time drivers between east and west are routinely advised to bring extra warm clothing etc because the mountain crossings snow over. Not sure i would do such a drive in a EV.

  21. Bsn

    Quick note on yesterday’s water cooler garlic harvest picture(sorry I’m late). A better way to harvest garlic is to let the bottom 3-4 stems go brown (seemingly dead). That is the peak time to harvest. At that point he energy of the plant has nearly completely gone down into the bulb. After that later harvest, let them sit and dry in a dark, room temp place until all of the upper plant is brown and dry as well as the roots (don’t cut them off) have dried. At that point all energy has gone into the bulbs and they’re ready to eat or store. Mangiamo!

  22. Mikel

    “As Actors Strike for AI Protections, Netflix Lists $900,000 AI Job” Intercept

    The curse of the “creative executive.”
    Some may say the actors are jealous, I’m sensing a jealousy of the actual creative content creators and performers in all of this.

  23. Ignacio

    Gulf Stream current could collapse in 2025, plunging Earth into climate chaos: ‘We were actually bewildered’ Live Science (Dr. Kevin)

    Thanks to Dr. Kevin for the link. The article includes critic views with the prediction which i find fine and correct. After all the posible collapse is predicted with a weather model and we know things about models. (Even if weather models are way better than economic ones and these are not ideologically biased). Yet, if this may not be correct, the warning shouldn’t be neglected as one of the posible outcomes on North Atlantic Ocean extreme warming. Unfortunately we are surrounded by brave minds insensitive to “scare stories” like this.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      We are waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the billionaires say, “Move on!”

      Why are the billionaires so crazy? What will life be like for them in bunkers? The old Keynesian, John Kenneth Galbraith, with his typical acerbic wit, delivered the explanation on a BBC series no less:

      People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.

      (video of JKG delivering this quote)

      Galbraith made the comment about Louis XIV and his failure to reduce the taxes on the French people that he required to support his military adventures and lavish court life. But Galbraith did not limit the observation to the French and the 18th century.

  24. Boomheist

    “Universalism vs woke racism” link – I opened the link and was presented with a single paragraph of text which I attempted to read and understand. I found it incomprehensible, totally. Total gobbledygook. I think this may be a reflection that in my approaching dotage I am losing my wits.

    1. hunkerdown

      Shorter: Wokism needs totalitarianism in order to win.

      Shorter yet: All moral philosophy is trash.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Why America Is Losing the Tech War with China’

    At least the solution is simple. All America has to do is formulate an industrial policy, spend big on research and development, invest in manufacturing facilities, arrange to have training for American workers who will be well paid for their work with decent benefits and then they can compete with China. Think that DC & corporate America will go for it?

    1. Cat Burglar

      I doubt they can hang on to global power unless they do it. But there will have to be a face-off between elite factions to pull it off, and some kind of deal will have to be struck.

      For years I have been wondering how the US can be a deindustrialized world power. Virtual power is not coming off well on the Ukraine front in the face of physical power, and China awaits.

  26. Wukchumni

    ‘Like a blowtorch’: Mediterranean gripped by wildfires as blazes spread in Croatia, Portugal Guardian

    Aside from a few nothingburger blazes in SoCal, the fire season has been quiet, too quiet in Cali.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Cali fires season may not begin in earnest this year until October. It may take that long for things to fully dry out after an extraordinarily wet year.

    1. hunkerdown

      UFOs. The people who “want to believe” (something, anything, other than that they’ve been living a lie since their first breath) need a mystery to keep them busy and not watching the election being rigged.

  27. Wukchumni

    Can there be any doubt Kamala is behind Hunter’s plea bargain falling apart, wielding the puppet strings from above as she sprouts word salad sandwiches in an effort for us to be thrown off the chase to the White House vis a vis the 1st Son?

  28. Lex

    Nuland has been Biden’s creature for a long time. She’s also deeply enmeshed in the dem party elite. Her first appointment was under Strobe Talbot in the second Clinton admin. Then directly for Cheney for the first few years of W. Then off to NATO (her job was to get Europeans to fight for the US). She was DOS spokesperson under Obama before Paski and then off to Europe to foment revolution.

    The only time she hasn’t been a political appointee was under trump. And I would suspect that if Biden wins another term she’ll end up SoS. The whole Clinton power structure will n the party has always been a neocon foreign policy. Nuland is a feature not a bug.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      IMHO, her appointment is a sign Biden’s loss in 2024 is assured, assuming no nuclear war or declaration of martial law to prevent elections (recall the Constitution has no provision for a later election if the every 4 year date is missed; I used to view this line of thinking as batshit crazy but I now think this crowd is capable of a stunt to stay in power).

      Biden is doubling down on Ukraine and China and that will be too obviously a loser for it not to suppress his ratings. The audience applauded in the Fox interview of RFK, Jr. by Hannity when RFK, Jr. said something to the effect that we provoked the war.

      1. Pat

        I never thought I would say I hope you are right and I hope you are wrong in the same comment.
        The scariest part is that I think the batshit crazy action is the one with the best odds. But I am in NY, where reality is ignored on a regular basis by much of the populace and the paper of record.

      2. Willow

        If Dems are facing a choice between Trump being President again or starting WW3 – Dems will choose the later. Batshit crazy is the new norm.

      3. Stephen

        Scary that such crazy thoughts are not crazy these days but simply realistic. When I lived in the US in the late 90s I would have regarded such ideas as madness. How times have changed.

        Agree on the war. Even in the U.K. people are seeing through the BS. The media is in no way reflective of opinion, nor are comments sections on mass media websites which I believe are increasingly populated by paid shills or edited out if they do not support the narrative that is wanted.

        I had two conversations with near strangers over the past few days where after a little preliminary “exchange” we all agreed very easily that “the narrative” is nonsense. People who are not part of the PMC seem to “get it” most readily.

    2. Cassandra

      The scuttlebutt in 2016 was that Nuland was HRC’s choice for SoS. If only those deplorable voters, erm Russians, had not interfered with Her presidency!

  29. spud

    oh dear, could not view it all. Yanis Varoufakis is one of the soft left that completely misunderstands marx’s view on free trade.

    jobs did not make the decision, bill clinton let jobs make the decision. this was predicted to happen from earlier history, and marx knew this well.

    what debt is he speaking of, surely not the debt from balance of trade, we are stuck with this, and all it entails, massive poverty and war.

    also the fact that i agree with this lady on some aspects. any one who thinks china will not abuse this great power that bill clinton handed to them on a silver platter, is completely ignorant of the history of humanity.

  30. Mildred Montana

    All politics is local. When one cannot enjoy his/her life or sleep because of noise and disturbances (pickleball being the culprit-du-jour) what is one to do? Think of Ukraine, high house and rent prices, homelessness, hunger, and war and then say, 𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘭, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦, 𝘐’𝘭𝘭 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘵?

    Perhaps the reference to Gandhi is over-the-top but this couple has a legitimate complaint. They’ve been featured on local news a couple of times and I sympathize with their plight. There’s a reason “disturbing the peace” laws are in place.

    I can only say in closing, the next time your neighbors are playing their music at insane volumes don’t call the police or make a complaint. Just think of Ukraine.

    1. jefemt

      Cork pop-gun war zone. we just had two tennis courts replaced by seven Pickle-pop-skirmish zones.
      I tell ya… there is money to be made in inventing a silent paddle and ball for the pickle set!

      City of Denver apparently yanked the Pickle ball courts at Congress Park (8th and York?) over Pickle Ball noise complaints by organized neighbors.

      I am all for recreation, and the number of user hours at Pickle is only rivalled by our local over-subscribed disc golf course. Very successful, everybody is laughing and having fun.
      Outta be eeeee legal!

  31. Mildred Montana

    No, because it’s a Senate hearing. Usually I would be interested but ya know, fool me once, etc.

  32. KD

    Why America Is Losing the Tech War with China

    My prediction is on option 3:

    3. America continues to lose market share in industry and increases its import dependency, following the United Kingdom’s path of industrial decline.

    Rent seeking in health care and higher education is too fat and too powerful for the government to cut the cost of living to a point where wages are competitive. The finance sector is too big, and isn’t going to go for policies that privilege real economy over arbitrage games. A real production operation is running on what, returns of 4 to 6 percent in comparison to payday lending? Further, no one will tolerate the environmental impacts of heavy industry, and you will never get projects approved locally. Last, you don’t have the engineers and the skilled workers to work in the new factories, that can’t get built, won’t get capitalized with their ESG scores, and can’t compete on labor with the rest of the world.

    1. Cat Burglar

      That’s a realistic prediction given the present disposition of power.

      But, events. It is possible that losing the Ukraine war, or a crisis involving China, could upset the current pecking order. Great power competitions and crises have been known to mobilize constellations of interest that come forward to put down competing groups and reorder a society. That’s not to say it would be good for most people. But sometimes such upsets provide political openings for better policies for most people. Hard to see that happening now, I know.

  33. spud

    the U.S. refuses to play by the rules, who’s rules? our rules, their rules, or someone elses utopian rules. pray tell, where is the enforcement mechanism for the rules to be enforced internationally?

    “The ideology of neoliberalism, which makes no economic sense and requires a willful ignorance of social and economic history, is the latest iteration of utopian projects. It posits that human society achieves its apex when individual entrepreneurial actions are free from government constraints.

    Society and culture should be dictated by the primacy of property rights, open trade — which sends manufacturing jobs to sweatshops in China and the global south and permits the flow of money across borders — and unfettered global markets.

    Labor and product markets should be deregulated and freed from government oversight. Global financiers should be given control of the economies of nation-states.

    The role of the state should be reduced to ensuring the quality and integrity of money, along with internal and external security, and to privatizing control of land, water, public utilities, education and government services such as intelligence and often the military, prisons, health care and the management of natural resources. Neoliberalism turns capitalism into a religious idol.”

    “These utopians mutilate the social fabric through deindustrialization, turning once-great manufacturing centers into decayed wastelands, and the middle and working class, the bulwark of any democracy, into a frustrated and enraged precariat.

    They “offshore” work, carry out massive layoffs and depress wages. They destroy unions. Neoliberalism — because it was always a class project and this was its goal — redistributes wealth upward.

    “Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions,” Karl Polanyi writes in his book “The Great Transformation,” human beings “perish from the effects of social exposure” and die as “victims of acute social dislocation.””

    “Neoliberal utopianism, because it suppresses the freedoms to organize, to regulate and to protect the common good and empowers the freedoms to exploit and consolidate wealth and power, is always fated, Polanyi writes, to end in authoritarianism or outright fascism. The good freedoms are lost. The bad ones take over.”

    the direct results of free trade,

    The freedom of the capitalist class to exploit human beings and the natural world without restraint transforms the freedom for the many into freedom for the few. That was always the point.

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