Links 8/27/2023

This bird can predict the intensity of a hurricane season. Here’s how. National Geographic

This songbird’s genes may show how climate change has sped up evolution WaPo

Jackson Hole: established policy models are under threat FT


Earth’s ‘third pole’ and its role in global climate

Is Cheap Gas Worth Our Children’s Health? The Brockovich Report

Discovering a Green Marx: Kohei Saito’s Marx in the Anthropocene Protean Magazine


Climate change may force more farmers and ranchers to consider irrigation Chicago Tribune

Drought-hit Panama Canal to restrict access for one year Agence France Presse

Europe’s water crisis: how supplies turned to ‘gold dust’ FT


Eugenics, straight up (1):

Not one single mention of airborne transmisson, ventilation, or masking. Not one. Cohen does, of course, mention “common sense strategies like washing your hands.” 

Eugenics, straight up (2):

What kind of Propagandaministerium are they running over there at the Stanford School of Medicine, anyhow?

* * *


Public Pushes Back On CDC’s Plan To Weaken Infection Control Forbes

Patients asked a CDC advisory panel to be more transparent. Then their comments disappeared. Source NM. The deck: “CDC re-posts YouTube recording of public meeting after taking it down.”

* * *

Excess All-Cause Mortality in China After Ending the Zero COVID Policy JAMA. From the Abstract: “[A]n estimated 1.87 million excess deaths occurred among individuals 30 years and older during the first 2 months after the end of China’s zero COVID policy. Excess deaths predominantly occurred among older individuals and were observed across all provinces in mainland China, with the exception of Tibet.” Life is cheap in the Orient. As opposed to the West, where every life matters.

* * *

What you need to know about BA.2.86, the new ‘highly mutated’ COVID variant Today

As schools resume, CDC reports new rise in COVID emergency room visits from adolescents CBS. NC readers know that ER Covid visits have been increasing for weeks.

BRICS is fake Noah Smith, Noahpinion. If Biden wants to call BRICS, who picks up the phone on the other end?


How China’s economic crisis serves as unparalleled trial by fire for Premier Li Qiang South China Morning Post

Country Garden to Be Cut From Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index Bloomberg

China Ponders Russia’s Logistical Challenges in the Ukraine War The Diplomat

Non-Events New Left Review. Chinese painting.

The Japanese student dorm that governs itself The Face


The Constitution Isn’t a Colonial Imposition – It Emerged From a Great Mass Movement The Wire


Charismatic leader is gone but Wagner will survive in Africa, analysts say Al Jazeera


Six Tropes to Look Out for That Distort Israel/Palestine Coverage FAIR

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine will speed up advance on southern front, commander says Reuters

Ukraine’s army has broken through the first line of Russian defense in ‘bloody, long, and slow’ counteroffensive, US Gen. Milley says Business Insider. I’m not seeing aerial photos or videos with dragons’ teeth. 

Ukraine’s Armed Forces approach next breakthrough of Russian defensive positions – ISW Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

The Ukrainian counteroffensive has already failed. The West could limit the damage by opening negotiations with Moscow. Exclusive interview with Professor Geoffrey Roberts (Google translate) Strumenti Politici

How Russia’s War In Ukraine Could ‘Collapse’ 1945. This pearl of wisdom:

Moltke lays out the logic succinctly: “”The tactical defense is the stronger [form of war], the strategic offensive the more effective form—and the only one that leads to the goal.”” In other words, the contender that seizes or occupies some object or parcel of territory, then defends it tactically, primes itself for strategic and ultimately political success. In colloquial terms: grab something and hold it, and dare your enemy to come and take it back while fighting at a daunting disadvantage. For the German sage, in short, waging offense through defense blazes a path to triumph.

Advantage: Russia.

Hmm. Maybe if the Confederacy had tried that….

Time and Logistics are Working Against Ukraine National Interest

Ukraine’s Vain Search for Wonder Weapons The American Conservative

* * *

SITREP 8/26/23: Wagner Denouement and BRICS Rebirth Simplicius the Thinkers(s)

Who killed Yevgeny Prigozhin? Gilbert Doctorow

* * *

Medical Services chief who criticised poor quality of tourniquets is severely reprimanded Ukrainska Pravda

OPINION: The Myth of Ukraine as ‘Most Corrupt Country in the World’ Kyiv Post

Biden Administration

Everyone Wants to Talk to Gina Raimondo–Even China WSJ


Trump campaign raises $7.1 million in fundraising since mugshot was taken Thursday, Fox News confirms FOX because Trump Pays $12 Extra To Get The Cool Laser Background Mugshot The Babylon Bee

Trump’s Prosecution Is America’s Last Hope Wired. The deck: “Social norms—not laws—are the underlying fabric of democracy. The Georgia indictment against Donald Trump is the last tool remaining to repair that which he’s torn apart.” So we’re prosecuting Trump because the Norms Fairy is having a sad? Really?

A Trump Victory Would Create a Constitutional Crisis David Atkins, Washington Monthly. Personally, I think normalizing the concept that one party’s election officials can take another party’s candidates off the ballot in “self-executing” fashion is already a Constitutional crisis (albeit a crisis in our unwritten Constitution, since political parties are not Constitutional entities. I say this, in full multitude-containing mode, having just slagged “norms” above).

Is Trump disqualified for the N.H. primary? The secretary of state is seeking legal advice. Boston Globe

Trump co-defendant denied bond, held in jail The Hill. “Harrison Floyd, the leader of Black Voices for Trump.”

* * *

Former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin accuses Joe Biden, Hunter and Burisma of corruption and claims he was POISONED twice by enemies trying to silence him Daily Mail

Spook Country

CIA stairwell attack among flood of sexual misconduct complaints at spy agency ABC

Digital Watch

California DMV Steps Into Autonomous Taxi Debate, Tells Cruise to Halve Its Fleet In SF SFist

Open challenges in LLM research Chip Huyen

The Bezzle

‘Worthless’ forest carbon offsets risk exacerbating climate change

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa  Fashion

Can fast fashion kick its dirty habits? FT. No.

Supply Chain

A rice shortage is sending prices soaring across the world. And things could get worse AP

Extreme heat could cause an olive oil shortage, skyrocket prices CBS

The Myth of Global Grain Shortages Business & Finance

The Jackpot

The polycrisis Aeon

Overcoming fear Funding the Future. “Fire and fear, good servants, bad lords.” –Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

Class Warfare

Food delivery startup Getir to cut 11% of workers in global restructuring Reuters

The Vicious, Multibillion-Dollar War Over Sports Trading Cards The New Republic

How Musk, Thiel, Zuckerberg, and Andreessen—Four Billionaire Techno-Oligarchs—Are Creating an Alternate, Autocratic Reality Vanity Fair. They are the oligarchs who currently get the most press. But there are others, just as “effective.”

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. griffen

      Gotta wonder if the smaller forest animals ever tire of the fight or flight moments in daily survival. It’s a kill to eat and survive existence. Kind of like Jurrasic Park when the programmer reboots the entire system and the fencing goes out. Hey the T-Rex and those raptors are on the loose, and humans are on the menu. Hold onto your butts.

      1. Old Jake

        Do you? In truth, we are so much accustomed to daily life that we don”t realize how immersed we are in that inevitable and never-ending fight for survival. It goes on without our even being conscioua of it. Of course we are also very much social creatures. Perhaps foxes not so much. Our awareness and reactions are very different. I suspect though, that becoming tired of life may be a thread that appears throughout living things. We are not unique in any way.

  1. digi_owl

    > Can fast fashion kick its dirty habits? FT. No.

    Fast fashion as a concept is inherently dirty.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Ran that through an online translator and it came out as-

      ‘Naked Capitalism: Europe’s elite is realizing that Ukraine is helpless

      Europe’s elite has begun to realize that Ukraine is helpless and has no chance to regain its lost territory. This is reported by the publication Naked Capitalism.

      “The European elite finally realizes that Ukraine has no chance to regain the lost territory,” – stated in the article. The journalists noted that this fact has led to a change in the narrative around the Ukrainian conflict. Despite this, Europe’s elite continues to downplay Russia’s strengths.

      It is emphasized that the Russian economy has withstood European sanctions. In addition, overtaking Germany, it has become the fifth richest economy in the world and the largest in Europe in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). This indicator is used to compare the cost of living and income levels in different countries.

      Earlier, former US military intelligence officer Scott Ritter warned Ukraine about possible territorial losses. In his opinion, when “the Ukrainian Armed Forces hide behind the Dnieper river” and Russia realizes that the front has settled, the army may move on Odessa, the former intelligence officer said.’Naked Capitalism: Europe’s elite is realizing that Ukraine is helpless.’

      Translated with (free version)’

  2. digi_owl

    > Discovering a Green Marx: Kohei Saito’s Marx in the Anthropocene Protean Magazine

    One thing to ponder about Marx is that he was writing before the introduction of modern industrial fertilizer. Haber-Bosch was introduced 20 years after Marx’s death.

    1. Sub-Boreal

      On the strength of the buzz about Saito’s book, I actually bought a copy this spring. Oh dear, I really did give it a good try, but I only made it about halfway through before bogging down.

      Despite some sympathies for common causes, I’ve always been wary of Marxist writing. The experience always gives me the feeling of watching an arcane theological debate among cleric-scholars anxious to show that the old guy actually had things figured out 150 years ago, based on re-interpretation or re-discovery of some lost or ignored manuscript.

      Maybe I just don’t have the patience or self-discipline anymore to work through difficult texts; that’s entirely possible. But I can’t help wondering if some folks have so much invested in a particular sectarian slice of belief that they’ll devote endless efforts to trying to show that it’s still relevant – rather than just trying to think some new thoughts?

      1. Susan the other

        I don’t like separating out all the social aspects of the economy, without which “the economy” doesn’t exist, and then talking them to death as if they were somehow isolated. Seems to me that Marx was always an eco socialist because his natural “metabolism” of the planet is a dialectical process. The two are the same to me and they are the driving energy for evolution of both the environment and civilization. Fer shure Marx thought that way too.

      2. Darthbobber

        Its not the Marxist approach that makes it demanding, in my view, but the philosophical level its pitched at (as one comes to expect from things published by Cambridge University.)
        As to the latter, Saito’s not particularly old, and this all counts as pretty early work by him.

    2. Acacia

      The Ryan Moore article gets into a lot of deep Marxology, without mentioning that Saito Kohei has another forthcoming book that is pitched to a more general audience.

      More on Saito Kohei, from the NYT (de-paywalled):

      Can Shrinking Be Good for Japan? A Marxist Best Seller Makes the Case

      The NYT article is a more general pitch and contains a little bit about Saito’s forthcoming degrowth manifesto Slow Down, to be published by Penguin Random House in January (not including the URL here as that might send my comment to the mods).

      Table of contents to the forthcoming book is suggestive: “SDGs are the Opiate of the Masses!”, “Climate Change and the Imperial Mode of Living”, “The Limits of Green Keynesianism”, “Marx in the Anthropocene”, “The Escapism Known as Accelerationism”, etc.

      Of course, the adults in the room will dismiss all of this as highly impractical, or that we no longer need to read Marx, etc.

  3. notabanker

    Jackson Hole – These people are completely delusional. All they are doing is making money for the consultants.

    In completely unrelated news, next year I’m going to throw a swanky conference to discuss how big of rock I need to throw in the ocean to make the waves go the other way. Should be fun.

    1. chuck roast

      Aye that. File under the category Nero Fiddles. But, there was an interesting tid-bit about the “neutral (or natural) rate of interest.” Who knew? I must be spending too much time at Cannes and Monoco, but now I’m getting up to speed. I guess it’s like the natural rate of unemployment (NAIRU) that was shown to be demonstrably bogus during the Clinton years…won a Nobel shortly thereafter.

      I always thought that macroeconomics worked reasonably well until the marginalists began working there special magic on it. Maybe we should start calling the Austrians “The Naturalists”. Or, maybe they should stick to baking torts. But surely it’s a recipe for a Nobel.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Trump Pays $12 Extra To Get The Cool Laser Background Mugshot”

    Was just thinking today that that mugshot image of Trump should be his main campaign photo. After a while, people will forget the source of it. But there is another factor. I have always been surprised as to how easy it is in America to be arrested and end up with a criminal record. It’s like the government does this to have as many people in the system as they can. When I checked Google, it says that ‘between 70 million and 100 million—or as many as one in three Americans—have some type of criminal record.’ That is colossal that. But those 70 million to 100 million people could look at his mugshot and say ‘Hey, he is just like me. I have one of them as well. Maybe I should vote for him.’

    1. digi_owl

      Could have sworn i read that USA strip former prisoners of their voting rights. How do that even work if so many has a record?!

      1. Benny Profane

        Only felons, and not all states. I’m assuming those numbers include many very minor offenses.

      2. Art_DogCT

        The right to vote is governed by the individual states. This page ( gives an overview of state laws, which range from two states that allow convicted felons to vote while serving their sentence, to nine states that permanently disenfranchise convicted felons. The majority of states restore voting rights upon completion of incarceration. In some states the disenfranchised comprise ~6%-10% of voting-age populations – more than enough to have meaningful electoral consequences.

      3. Tom Doak

        A felony conviction used to result in loss of voting privileges. Some states (mostly blue states, but also Florida) have overturned this in recent years, due to the impact it has on the black vote in particular.

        1. Bart Hansen

          Didn’t Florida quickly queer that deal by making the ex cons pay court and often several other fees before being eligible?

          1. marym

            Yes, the legislature overrode the results of the ballot initiative that restored voting rights by requiring the fines to be repaid. The system for doing so was so convoluted and undocumented that it was sometimes impossible even to find out what was owed. When a few people mistakenly thought their rights had been restored and voted, the governor had them arrested.

            1. britzklieg

              Meet Ron DeSantis… as cruel and vindictive a mofo as exists. His work as a prosecutor at Gitmo was appalling and although he rightfully took on Disney’s sweet deal with the state he did so for all the wrong reasons, of course. The world should collectively breathe a sigh of relief that his POTUS campaign is failing.

              1. some guy

                If Nominee Trump puts DeSantis on the ticket as his VP running mate, will the people who plan to vote for Trump in order to give the Democrats an enema still vote for Trump in that case?

                I think we’ll get to find out in 2024.

            2. John

              I wonder what the result would be if all the various
              “shrink the vote of the ones who don’t vote for us” schemes went away and there was a truly free and fair election using paper ballots hand marked, in-person with all voting during a 72-hour window that included one weekend day and one national holiday… and hand counted in public … just dreaming.

      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Virginia has a felony voting rights restoration approval process. People have to apply. This was instituted by George Allen, after a few months they reached a level of approval each year that the next two Republican governors (one was Mark Warner) kept. When Tim Kaine became governor, he simply stopped the approval process. He was trying to be an inoffensive running mate material, but Kaine is human trash.

        Terry Mac of all people just cleared out the Kaine back log with an auto signer.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This was in 2007-2011. He also was Obama’s point man who dismantled the 50 state strategy at the dnc, bungled a number of initiatives in Virginia, and was a prominent supporter of Joe Lieberman. He also eliminated the estate tax in Virginia under the premise of attracting billionaires who I guess would pay things like sales tax and get hunting licenses.

            1. Jason Boxman

              And now I get his fund raising emails every day, multiple times a day, which thankfully I’ve got bouncing over to the NGPVAN blowhard’s MIT email address. I hope he enjoys reading them as much as I have.

              I even got a text recently from someone that claims some affiliation with a previous Sanders run, some survey, immediately replied back F U without reading that closely. I still wonder if Sanders sold his list. Biden is such a good friend, after all.

    2. Benny Profane

      Was it here I saw a video of his motorcade traveling through a seedy black neighborhood in Atlanta, with maybe forty residents cheering Trump as he went by? Yeah, maybe old Mr. Crime Bill may have made a major mistake with all this jailing of the opposition. He needs that vote in Georgia and beyond. Ask Hillary about that.

        1. ArcadiaMommy

          Good lord, I counted 19 vehicles, including one in the parking lot and one in the side street.

          I would be livid if these lunatics sped down my street.

          1. alfred venison

            I noticed the outbound motorcade was minus some 22 or so police motorcycles I counted at the head of the inbound motorcade, as well as the inbound motorcade’s ambulance van, fire/ rescue van and unmarked black van. -a.v.

      1. Enter Laughing

        “Seedy black neighborhood.”

        Looks like an okay neighborhood, actually. Grass is mowed, street is in fairly good repair, traffic lights are working, utility poles and wires in good shape, no garbage strewn around. Not exactly a leafy, upscale ambiance, but there are definitely far, far worse neighborhoods to be found.

      2. griffen

        Trump would get cheered by less urban portions of South Carolina in nearby Spartanburg and Greenville as well. There are larger tracts of open fields here, mostly for horses and lately more hay than I recognize in the past. One home sports an outdoor large flag, hoisted high on a pole. It reads something about “Biden” but I can’t always make the wording ( Sarc ).

        Let’s go!

        1. britzklieg

          Both my parents grew up in Spartanburg. My Papou emigrated from Sparta and moved there (after pushing a fruit cart for a few years in Manhattan, early 1900’s) because of the name… then had 10 kids all of whom had large families and I still have dozens of cousins there and in the surrounding areas. I spent most of my summers in Sparkle City until I went to college and it remains dear to my heart because of it. My brother, now retired, lives there still. He chaired the English and Lit Dept at Wofford, where my Dad earned his undergraduate degree. Memories…

      3. marym

        Alternatively, if Trump wants the votes of – what stereotype are we proposing here? people who live in urban neighborhoods whose reason to cheer Trump’s motorcade is assumed to be an affinity for people who get arrested? – maybe old Mr. “I just need to find 11,780 votes” is making a “major mistake” as to who should be allowed to vote and have their votes counted.

    3. Mikel

      If he were re-elected, imagine him using the mugshot for White House gallery of Presidential portraits.

        1. Mikel

          Makes sense. Remember one of Trump’s first things to do when he entered the White House as President? He returned a bust of Churchill to the mantle Obama had removed it from.

          1. John

            Please explain the need for a … what was it … ten vehicle parade with flashing lights of police cars, blocked intersections just to get one person from the ail to the airport. … Oh and moving at what appeared to be considerable speed through the public streets. Seemed excessive and more than a little ostentatious to me.

            1. GramSci

              Need? I think the cops felt a need to show their appreciation for Mr Trump’s steadfast support.

      1. wilroncanada

        He will have his own mountain built, somewhere in NY State. Mount Trumpmore will have at least five carvings of himself, one of course the now easy-to-be ignored, mug shot. Beats the hell out of the Otower in Chicago. Pathology goes the limit.

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      It’s easy to get arrested in the country with for profit prisons and police department budgets that eclipse the GDP of many countries? Huh. Who’d have think it?

    5. Sam

      Added bonus for the government is that anyone with a felony record cannot receive help from the government. HUD housing for sure and probably other assistance like food stamps, ect. That saves it a lot of money that adds up over time.

        1. some guy

          For institutions as evil as the Prisondustrial Complex, I have thought of another phrase more evocative of the nastiness involved . . . self-wiping butt. In case anyone cares to use it.

  5. upstater

    What could possibly go wrong?

    A.I. Brings the Robot Wingman to Aerial Combat NYT

    The possibility of building fleets of smart but relatively inexpensive weapons that could be deployed in large numbers is allowing Pentagon officials to think in new ways about taking on enemy forces.
    It also is forcing them to confront questions about what role humans should play in conflicts waged with software that is written to kill, a question that is especially fraught for the United States given its record of errant strikes by conventional drones that inflict civilian casualties.
    And gaining and maintaining an edge in artificial intelligence is one element of an increasingly open race with China for technological superiority in national security.

    After decades of building fewer and fewer increasingly expensive combat aircraft — the F-35 fighter jet costs $80 million per unit — the Air Force now has the smallest and oldest fleet in its history.
    That is where the new generation of A.I. drones, known as collaborative combat aircraft, will come in. The Air Force is planning to build 1,000 to 2,000 of them for as little as $3 million apiece, or a fraction of the cost of an advanced fighter, which is why some at the Air Force call the program “affordable mass.”

    1. Benny Profane

      And I’ll bet they still won’t work, while Russia has built thousands of the Lancets at a much cheaper price (with refrigerator chips) that are decimating our overpriced Bradleys and German Leopards as I type. Still have not read if the Brits have allowed the Challenger to be humiliated by them yet.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Russian S-70 Ohotnik wingman drone is supposed to go into serial production next year. Allegedly prototypes/pre-series has already seen action in Ukraine.

    2. ilsm

      for usaf ‘affordable’ lasts as long as the first failed tests, and the need to make the fix look like modernization.

      no one knows what an f-35 costs, because some usaf contracts official is signing receiving reports for a product which has not passed tests, and so physically has no ‘baseline’.

      in case of f-35 they are adding new chips sets not waiting on gallium nitride which demand more cooling which paradoxically overheats the engine which breaks too much….

      and usaf needs to modernize the engine!

      that said f-16 was cheap and simple for about 2 years!

    3. digi_owl

      Looks almost like they took a F-35 and stripped out the cockpit.

      Anyways, there was some recent chatter about a F-35 having trouble when crossing paths with a SU-30 carrying the latest Russian ECM tech over the Baltic sea.

      Do wonder how well these automated systems will do against the same tech, when a frozen AOA sensor can make a Boeing 737-MAX nose dive into the ground.

      1. GramSci

        My old dissertation mentor, George A. Miller, built his career after helping the military improve natural language communications during WWII. His favorite, self-deprecating joke was to drily tell an audience that his team “advised the generals that, if they wanted to communicate more intelligibly, they should use polysyllabic words”.

  6. timbers

    BRICS is fake Noah Smith, Noahpinion. If Biden wants to call BRICS, who picks up the phone on the other end?

    China is fake, too. No one picks up the phone when Biden calls China. Also Ebay, insurance companies, National Grid, and credit card companies. No one picks up the phone there, either.

    I’ve never had a need to call the European Union, NATO, or that place that Ursula von der Leyen works at, so I’m not sure if she is working at a fake organizatioin or not.

    1. Carolinian

      Whereas if they have a problem with NATO they just ring up the Delaware beach house and ask for The Big Guy. If he’s out on his bike leave a message.

    2. ISL

      Read some of the Noah Pinion piece to see where he was coming from, poor scholarship.

      For example, he claims it has funded nothing by citing wikipedia entry four years old instead of clicking on their actual website. 96 projects funded, $32 billion, on cap of 100 billion 50 billion subscribed , Noah claims its ratings dropped, website claims AA+ from S&P, and still lists Russia as a member (which it is) whereas Noah claims it dropped Russia. He also incorrectly claims it founded by a Goldman Sachs man. The term BRICS was coined, not founded.

      Original source, dude! As it took me two minutes to figure out he clearly believes everyone should have their own facts, I decided a better use of my time was: Octupus gardens (in the shade – well actually complete dark).

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > I’d always thought Noah was just another ChatGPT prototype

          I surmised as much years ago, although I can’t seem to find the tweet/comment …

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        Thank you for (again) independently confirming what many of us who have tangled with (and are proudly blocked by) NoahFamilyBlogOpinionClue online. He is a bad faith, poor study source of engagement.

        1. skippy

          Member of the blocked from years ago w/ some PKE mates, something to do with path dependency with Micro … smirk …

          Then again his perch seemed reminiscent of past appointees to spread the good word, replacement for old staff on the way out. BTW watched the movie Hot Money last night as slow cooked and reverse seared a few mpa3 t-bones, Wesley Clark and son, whooboy …. had that late Kubrick doco feel too it … the huzz I call it …

      2. Willow

        Noah Smith misses that BRICS is as much an anti-colonist group as an economic grouping. Power of BRICS is in the political narrative not the economic narrative.

    3. ilsm

      i don’t think any of the brics+ want to go where the eu has slumped toward.

      noahpinion thinks the us needs more military spending!

      while some one named pgl at econobrowser says Yves is guilty per cia of spreading russian propaganda.

      the depth progressives have descended!

    4. marcel

      I would say it is an outstanding quality of BRICS that no one answers the phone.
      The best proof that it is a voluntary association of sovereign countries, having fireside chats about what would be good for them all.

    5. Glen

      Jeffery Sachs provides some prior history and a report on the BRICS conference. Very interesting look at world economies:

      Jeffrey Sachs Interview – BRICS and Allies Rise

      I especially like his clarification of the Japanese “Lost Decade”.

      Noah’s opinion seems to differ, but I think it’s just

  7. Steve H.

    > The polycrisis Aeon

    >> Words are wanton,
    >> People are using different tools for different uses but debating as if they are using the same ones.

    Gunna disagree with him here, in that ‘the’ definite article locks in framing to the particular moment, and subverts the frame-shift necessary to deal with changing conditions. Taleb: ‘Explanations bind facts together. …this propensity can go wrong when it increases our impression of understanding.’

    It can be useful. For example, ‘The Before Times’ can refer to dates before March 11 2020, when the CDC declared the pandemic and the lines at the grocery blew up. But if you call ‘The Polycrisis’, who picks up the phone?

    Darwin despised ‘evolution’ as a name, as it derived from a scroll unrolling. ‘Descent with modification’ did not have the directionality and implied hierarchy. The failure of the author’s case lies within the article ;) itself.

    > More immediately, the polycrisis requires us to take seriously the coexistence of quick (pandemic, war) and slow (climate change, biodiversity decline) crises.

    FFS, does climate change look slow to you? The magnitude of the comparative damage is overwhelming right now, not in the future. The Leybourn quote is gibbering pablum in this context, as is ‘Economic growth is just as important as avoiding disastrous climate change or widespread ecosystem degradation, for example.’ Focusing on ‘economic growth’ as having a value greater than the ecosystem which supports it is inane, of course. But that focus is a hand-wave to the word ‘avoiding’, snuck in there as implicit agency, of the sort that ‘The’ polycrisis implies we have a grip on it.

    Words are wanton, indeed.

    1. Vandemonian

      “FFS, does climate change look slow to you?”

      Yes, if I look back to the warnings I remember from the 70s. The climate change (aka ‘global warming’) crisis only seems un-slow now because so many people have only just started to wake up, and some are still in denial.

      The delayed-by-decades responses from our various political ‘leaders’ has been extremely delayed. We’re still waiting for effective action, in almost every case.

    2. some guy

      I like the phrase ‘crisis crisis’ , myself. Too many crises to keep up. Each crisis making several other crises worse. A crisis for every taste in crisis.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Overcoming fear’

    Powell’s determination to achieve a goal that he cannot, and will never be able to, justify is an example of the supreme arrogance of some in society who have been given power over others, and believe that they are right as a consequence. There was no hint within his speech of doubt and no real apology for the pain that he will impose.’

    I was rewatching ‘The Big Short’ where they use a quote from Mark Twain: “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. “ Yes, it’s the absence of doubt, no room left for the possibility of being wrong and with unintended consequences, that creates so much pain and suffering… borne by other people.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      To know without knowing is best.
      Not knowing without knowing it is sick.

      Tao te Ching #71 (Le Guin rendition)

    2. griffen

      Powell wants to be remembered like Volcker instead of (I want to say) Burns, for what it’s worth…interviews on CNBC practically all day on Friday from the watering hole talks in Wyoming. The beatings shall recommence until further notice. The arrogance on display from various talking heads is hard to ignore, quite simple to dispel. It is the best time to live in America! hooray for Joe Biden and all his myriad and boundless abilities to accomplish great feats as a leader ( high on the sarc, I am).

      What Powell and the Fed cannot undo, will be dealing with (my opinion) the soon to be realized inflation bouts from the infrastructure spending and the CHIPS Act. I don’t necessarily disagree with target spending on beneficial infrastructure for the grid and EV expansion (etc…), but my example of regional infrastructure is I-85 running south from Charlotte through South Carolina into Georgia ( “outer Atlanta”). Stretches of the road are always in “construction zone barricade hell” so to speak. And just prior to my departure from Dallas / Ft Worth metro, there was an incredibly comprehensive rework of a main road and interstate loop, I-635. To cite one big infrastructure example from another state.

      1. Lexx

        Husband flies into Charlotte 1-2 times a year, but I don’t think he’s made the run south down I-85. Sounds no worse than northern Colorado though, always in ‘construction zone barricade hell’, with the pace picking up in summer. I wonder if it’s going on all over the U.S. and whether we should complain, considering the alternative. We have pulling a 5th wheel behind us to look forward to next month and on much worse roads than Colorado’s before we reach the coast.

        1. some guy

          I wonder how many of these roads and highways are “made” and then “maintained” with mixe-in secret ingredients or processes designed to prevent the road from lasting more than a predetermined planned-obsolescence time span. By building the roads to self-destruct, the road-builders guarantee themselves infinite work re-fixing the ever self-destructing roads.

          ” This road will self-destruct in two years.”

          Sounds like a possible process to use the phrase ” self-wiping butt” to describe.

    3. ilsm

      quantitative tightening was about $9 billion week ended 24 aug, not so much on reputed assets of $8.1 trillion plus.

      and the overnight reverse repos run north of $1.7 trillion, face closer to $2.2 trillion to give 5.3%.

      a lot of cash needs to be kept out of the economy!

      google fred to see when rev repo agree we’re so huge.

      result of so much printing into short time!

      1. skippy

        A lot of those flows are just cycling between the derivative pool – repo pool and never ever ever anything to do with main street economy let alone the rest … too much risk mate … how can one ***enjoy*** the beautiful life[tm] when you might lose a big chunk or all of it – ?????? – animal spirits rim shot echo …

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘What kind of Propagandaministerium are they running over there at the Stanford School of Medicine, anyhow?’

    It seems that a lot of bad stuff has been coming out of Stanford during the present Pandemic. Jay Bhattacharya got all his degrees from Stanford and you dig into his Wikipedia entry and find that-

    ‘Bhattacharya was a lead author of a serology study released in April which suggested that as many as 80,000 residents of Santa Clara County, California might have already been infected with COVID-19.’ I remember that study at the time and it was blasted for being so dodgy. You look further and find that he was also a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration. Imagine my surprise. And those two examples are only the tip of a very dirty iceberg-

    1. Daryl

      I am not sure if I would qualify not getting cancer due to t-cell exhaustion in my 30s as “fun,” but I will take it over the alternative, thanks for the advice Dr. Jay.

    2. PelhamKS

      Is there no one at the Stanford School of Medicine Propagandaministerium who differs with Bhattacharya on Covid? I mean, absolutely no one? This appears to be the case.

      Perhaps Bhattacharya will take his own advice and, as the signs at the Frankfurt airport suggest re Long Covid: “Fuck around and find out.”

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    The four billionaire horsemen of the apocalypse–

    This is the link I would designate as today’s must-read. We live in a world where we let the businessman decide, and these four businessmen are deciding to obsolete humanity in their quest for divinity via transhumanism. An excerpt:

    The men (and they are mostly men) who are inventing this world of super machine intelligence and biological engineering tend not to believe in religion. But they want to be gods. As the writer and commentator G.K. Chesterton contended in 1932, “The truth is that Irreligion is the opium of the people. Wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the world, they will worship the world. But, above all, they will worship the strongest thing in the world.”

    That Chesterton quote is getting thrown around a lot these days, and this article’s author seems to have finally nailed its source and complete form.

    For an example of transhumanist thinking in more depth, I recommend this debate about transhumanism between “reactionary feminist” Mary Harrington and Oxford transhumanist ingenue Elise Bohan.

    As the linked article reveals, this movement is all about warehousing the great mass of humanity while a few, ultra-rich demigods pursue their sick dreams.

    1. digi_owl

      “History may not repeat, but it sure do rhyme”

      This reads like a repeat of the gilded era robber barons.

    2. griffen

      All manner of future science fiction versions, on book and in film and television, come to mind. Literally almost too many to count. Not enough room to add in Bezos? Jeff took the Wal-Mart economic model and logistics and then prescient Jeff (Princeton educated, I add) infused a dose of PEDs into the Amazon retailing monster, ahem, retailing giant. You can’t deliver batteries on the same day, on a Prime account, without the proper servant classes!! To steal a live CNBC anecdote from chief blabber head Jim Cramer (who for a change in direction was incredibly right on Nvidia).

      It’s going to be the minting of a “trillionaire asshole” class we need to concern ourselves with, to be honest. Bezos, Zuckerberg, et al, will just continue to gather unto them selves what they have earned. These billionaire CEO icons, are collectively the fictional Brad Wesley’s of our modern economic times, and the rest of us are fighting like Swayze’s bouncer Dalton ( Roadhouse has a few memorable moments! Kelly Lynch is in a few of those ). I’ve also liked to think about Elon Musk, that for all his ills as a leader, instigator, and thought provoking CEO, he could have bought the Washington Commanders and still had roughly $25 – $35 billion in his pocket. Makes me wonder what is wrong with a billionaire who isn’t desirous of a shiny object like a professional sports team.

    3. Carolinian

      Maybe the techies read/watch too much Sci Fi–our modern form of Biblical speculation. How many Clingons can dance on the head of a pin?

      The prob with Chesterton’s quote is the notion that religion is somehow separate from “the world.” Tell that to the Renaissance Popes. The church long served as a prop for the worldly and powerful who had themselves declared monks on their death beds in the hope they could get away with it all.

    4. Robert L. Peters

      Once upon a time, the world had two groups.
      One was influenced by reputation, the other by tribal affiliation.
      The former was self-managing and one’s word was one’s bond. Scarlet letters helped to maintain order.
      The latter had its own mores, norms and ways to resist the Other.
      Then people like the billionaires decided that they could buy reputations with deft management by handlers, publicists and some money to the right people.
      They made their own tribe, controlled the rules about who got to join and reinforced compliance with social credit scores.

    5. Mikel

      “As the linked article reveals, this movement is all about warehousing the great mass of humanity while a few, ultra-rich demigods pursue their sick dreams…”

      And it should be considered a main component of the “polycrisis.”

    6. Lexx

      Hmmm, a ‘hostility’ or indifference to religion; the increasing ‘Nones’ of the population regarding their affiliations, give rise to New Gods to replace the Old. Do you think it’s our nature, Henry, to have gods one way or another?

      ‘… all the children say
      We don’t need another hero
      We don’t need to know the way home
      All we want to life beyond Thunderdome’

      1. Schopsi

        Hunter-gatherer cultures seem to have preferred a much more egalitarian spirit world without dominating figures we would easily recognize as gods.

        The earliest civilisations in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley seem to have done quite well for themselves for quite a while without recognizable temples (or palaces, or city walls), so there’s that.

        Honorable mention should perhaps go to some pretty successful, widespread and influential religions/philosophies (at least back in the day) like Buddhism, Jainism and several important schools of thought like Yoga, that later became Part of the Hindu Synthesis, for at least in the beginning at the very least strongly relativizing or even discarding all gods, even if the Gods later came back in via the backdoor.

        I think it is very likely that there was a time before and without gods, just as there was a time before agriculture, before capitalism or before war and the written word.

        But the concept of Gods IS a sticky one, convenient and attractive to many, so it is incredibly hard, perhaps even Impossible, to fully get rid of it once it has taken hold.

        But we didn’t always have or need gods and they were independently invented only a very small number of times and like war, agriculture and writing were spread everywhere else from there.

        1. Lexx

          I thought it interesting and not coincidental, reading ‘Pathogenesis’ that religion spread at the same time empires rose and ebbed due to ideology but also plague, and thinking ‘there will always be plague in one form or another, and therefore always religion… in one form or another?’ If we figure out how finally to address the plagues that plague us – ‘the ultimate effective vaccine’ – will it kill our gods too?

        2. BeliTsari

          Have to admit, growing up in a time where white trash kids pretty much avoided our betters, when experimenting with LSD, A. muscaria, DMT, psilocybin & DOM was FAR more likely done with foreign exchange scholars, refugees, biker types or Black city kids (dis-acculterated nerds, like us?) Wiccan spiritually kinda involved letting go of ego; projection of pretty unlikely quintessence upon some whiff, aura, ambiance or vibe? Shutting off the inner voices & it had nothing whatsoever to do with gods or individual spirits? Now, mind you; this was being experienced in an industrial wasteland, surrounded by heroin, meth addicts & hammerhead cops!

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        If Chesterton means some sort of transcendent, anthropomorphic projection, I’d differ with him. My contention is that we all have a worldview that provides some sort of answers to the big questions of human origin, relationship to the rest of what we see around us, maybe some teleology. Animism played a big role for early humans. That’s essentially Thomas Berry’s point that the universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. Is that a “god” in the Chesterton sense? If not, then Chesterton is stuck in a western mindset. There’s no talking, jealous god in the Tao te Ching, but there are plenty of assertions about how the universe works and where humans fit into it.

        If Chesterton’s point can be more limited, i.e. that those brought up in western, “Christian” culture who reject Christianity will replace the Christian god with one of their own making, then he’s onto something. If one wants truly to escape Christianity, one must also exit Christian culture. Alan Watts tapes are recommended.

    7. Schopsi

      Setting aside the fact that lots of people firmly believing in a thing beyond the world still are busy planning a future absolutely horrific and heinous in it’s own right for all of us, a couple thoughts, admittedly more of stream of consciousness:

      Worshipping a thing beyond the world is still worshipping what is presumably the strongest thing, worshipping power and pure authority.

      Perhaps that is more problem than solution.

      Many say that our societies are turning to shit because lack of believe in some supreme authority, but even if that were part of the reason, it very well might still be only because our current societies made themselves more vulnerable artificially by growing dependent of the worship of power and authority (including and especially “beyond the world”) for so long.

      Earlier cultures, from hunter-gatherers whose art show no sign of a figure comparable to the ruling gods that should only later arise in tandem with earthly despots, that seem to have believed and still tend to believe where they exist today and haven’t been assimilated by one cult of power and authority or other, in a much more egalitarian world of spirits, as well as early, sophisticated Mesopotamien and Indus Valley cultures that appear to have done well for quite a time without apparent temples, palaces and city walls, point towards the possibility that bowing before power and authority no matter where it is located, in or beyond the world, real or quite possibly fictional, is not the beginning of wisdom and maybe not humanity’s unavoidable fate.

      The supposed power and authority beyond the world (and nobody in antiquity had any of those pseudo science fictional notions in mind that are today evoked by these words in most people’s heads (well, except some people in India, perhaps), the God of ancient Jews was not at all transcendent in the extremely vague sense in which modern Christians claim their deity to be, nor was he imagined as being pure mind or consciousness) has always justified every act of oppression and exploitation.

      Even if somehow for the first time we hit a sort of wall, where for some reason some particular set of further acts of oppression and exploitation suddenly can’t be justified with/by the supposed power beyond anymore, too much has been allowed and justified already for far too long for those beliefs to now be peddled as a supposedly wholesome and innocent cure to a sickness that we are to view a utterly unconnected to the medicine.

      After all, when capitalism became a thing it seemed to conflict in all sorts of ways with christian teachings up to that point, but instead of stopping capitalism’s rise Christianity miraculously transformed itself to adjust to the new reality (aka elite preferences) and the two only ever grew more cozy with each other over the next couple centuries.

      Just because currently there is conflict that doesn’t mean that a form of Christianity (and other established religions) won’t arise that will be/see itself as perfectly compatible with transhumanism and indeed help selling the former elite project to the masses (again, it successfully did so with capitalism and other isms).

      I for one have little trust in any kind of permanent rift between elites and their preferences on one side and organised religion on the other.

      Believers in the Thing Beyond found ways to rationalize and support even the reign of their arc persecutor Stalin.

      There already are more than a few christian transhumanists, plenty of anti woke transhumanists, libertarian pseudo populist transhumanists, pseudo socialist/communist transhumanists, the number of flavors increasing.

      Sooner or later they might well come up with a truly successful one or more than one, including a flavor that can be sold to today’s mostly conservative critics or their children.

      Even if a combination of transhumanism with traditional religion weren’t to become a killer app initially, it’s far from unlikely that traditional religions would jump on the bandwaggon if it ever were to become truly popular with the masses.

      We would soon hear all the brilliant insights as to how belief in a thing beyond the world is actually perfectly compatible with transhumanism after all (and honestly, I don’t see why it necessarily wouldn’t be if there was a Thing).

      Then there is the fact that transhumanism originated in and is most popular by far in and definitely strongly shaped by nominally christian societiesp.

      Basically all prominent and influential peddlers of the ideology and their yesmen are at least cultural christians.

      And boy do they yearn for some thing beyond the world.

      Poor world.

      In it we live and have our being, it sustains and feeds us, gives us sunshine and rain, regardless of how good or bad, perfect or imperfect we, gives us endless opportunity for joy without demanding obedience or worship, and yet so many us denigrate and hate it, blame it for their vices or for the fact that it doesn’t contain enough unambigious hints at the existence of a thing beyond it,
      for stubornly refusing to take sides in our petty conflicts or to give us ego gratifying magic and superpowers, for being only very difficult but not impossible to shape by our will and even then only to a VERY limited degree.

      So many of us don’t want to accept IT as it is, want to “transcend” and “escape” it, transform it beyond recognition, destroy it, etc.

      If they want to use magic or technology, to do it themselves or desperately hope to see a magical thing from beyond to destroy it for them (but somehow, for some reason not THEM), it matters little.

      In any case poor, lil old world is judged and condemned for it’s imperfections and needs to go or be violently forced it a shape more perfect.

      So, perhaps the dependence on SOME sort of power and authority, regardless of where it is to be found, that might be very real but could still more learned than truly hardwired, the tendency to worship, especially power and strength, plus this desire for an unrealizable perfection, are all more part of the sickness than the cure.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I completely agree with your point about “worshiping something beyond,” and I put it as a transcendent, anthropomorphic god. “Transcendent” is the “beyond,” and the anthropomorphic part makes it familiar and easy to relate to. It’s the opposite of the Tao te Ching’s point that the name you can say isn’t the real name.

        Animism and hunter gatherers were not about hierarchy but harmony. The necessity of being in harmony, in tune with Nature is obvious if you’re sleeping under the stars, gathering what you eat each day. Agriculture and civilization brought hierarchy, and that was reflected in the Ancient Near East with henotheism Each nation had a ruler, and above that ruler was a god. When nations went to war, their gods went to war. Victory on Earth reflected victory in the heavens. The hierarchy between human ruler and his subjects was reflected in humans’ relationship to god.

        That became a problem for the remnants of Judah. They lost to Nebuchadnezzar. YHWH lost to Marduk. Exilic prophets like Second Isaiah weren’t willing to concede that. They made a move to monotheism and claimed that this loser god, YHWH, was actually the one and only god. Ezra took that theological move and built a vast narrative around it and used that to create a Jewish nation around the YHWH cult.

        The East went a different, and in my opinion, better route. Harmony remained a priority. And right now, it’s harmony between humans and Nature that’s desperately needed, not domination.

    8. hunkerdown

      Chesterton was a religious salesman. Of course he’d say that. The labor exploiting class simply needs the slaves to believe in something so that said exploiters can still exploit them without the physical exertion and downtime entailed in corporal punishment. Transcendence is just a posture people adopt when they ignore the labor that brings them food.

    9. Lee

      When I go to the link, the title screen is the one you intend but when I hit play other debates show up. I got three different debates or lectures each time I tried. I wonder if the Harrington/Bohan debate has been taken down, or if there’s some sort of glitch at work.

    1. ilsm

      law of the sea is determined by the biggest guns on the biggest ships in the vicinity.

      why the us has 7 fleets!

      and 800 installations around the world

      1. The Rev Kev

        In an age of missiles, gunboat diplomacy suddenly does not work anymore. It is why the US will not attack Iran.

        1. ilsm

          usa’s 1980,s proxy wars w/ iran….. Iraq as kievan rusdom

          why try it with nuclear russia now? I think usa should have done in 2017, bad trump!

    2. Kouros

      I heard that the original Charter of the City of London served as a template for this “international rules based order”…

  11. griffen

    A quick nod and an ode to long time host Bob Barker…per the Barnaked Ladies It’s all been done. If the man was bidding on 100, he got close without going over.

    Alone and bored
    On a 30th century night
    Will I see you
    On the Price is Right
    Will I cry will I smile
    As you run down the aisle

    It’s all been done….

  12. Zeni

    Re: “The Japanese student dorm that governs itself”

    These kind of “small” scale battles are really crucial. I’ve recently visited Yoshida dorm and it’s flourishing with art, music, and alternative views in Japan that is so often stereotyped as uniform and with strong social norms. It is incredibly sad to see the forceful closure of such places, resulting in a much more monolithic society…

    Thank you for circulating this: the visibility might help the students with their legal battles…

  13. griffen

    CIA and reports of sexual abuse and associated misconduct. Stairwell attack, seriously wtf. I will never understand my fellow males of the upright walking apes species who, not only will they seek out and lurk, prey also, but seek to do it where the ground is hardly even or on fair terms. A firm quick to the stones would solve a lot of issues, but maybe that is just what I’d want my niece to do in those circumstances. Another example, glad that I’m not a parent. Incredibly creep behavior, perhaps not an Epstein level of creepiness, but others mileage may vary.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What I don’t understand is how they did not sack him and shoved him out the door pronto. The guy is a creep and if he could not keep control of himself as just a trainee at Langley’s CIA headquarters, then that would imply that if he went out into the field that he would be vulnerable to being blackmailed by foreign agencies via a honey trap. That ramps it up to a national security issue which is supposedly what the CIA is all about. To be crude about it, being a guy means that you should know when to keep your pants zipped up and this guy did not.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My gut is its CIA no accountability culture. Like Silicon Valley where prices keep lawyers from setting up shop or distances from lawyers keep victims from having lunch meetings, I imagine the culture of secrecy and past behavior that wasn’t punished has simply created a situation where publicizing this opens a can of worms.

        It must be bad because Mark Warner is already trying to distance himself with a call for a blue ribbon committee to oversee the organization he is supposed to oversee.

        National defense is always a red herring. Genocide, land purchases, and a couple of wars solved those problems, and those were over a century ago. Rome without the potential for barbarian hordes.

        1. digi_owl

          I have come to regard the operation side of the CIA to be a club for the bored sons of rich men, and that it inherited that from its OSS forerunner.

          Something a bit like a college fraternity gone global.

          1. Mikel

            It is at its root.
            They’ve got America. In their minds, the rest of us are just visiting.
            But the organization has made some concessions to the melting pot theory for appearances sake.

            “Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around…”

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Being a creep is part of a spy’s job description. The folks in charge think every single employee should be willing to hop into bed with anyone to get their secrets.

        The sexual preferences of the folks at the very top? Ask Jeffrey Epstein.

        1. Es s Cetera

          I’ve always thought Epstein was run by the CIA. As soon as I learned he had anything at all to do with Noam Chomsky I considered it confirmed. Epstein’s role seems to have been to learn everyone’s sexual peccadilloes, naturally such could be used as leverage.

          1. antidlc


            Epstein’s name, I was told, had been raised by the Trump transition team when Alexander Acosta, the former U.S. attorney in Miami who’d infamously cut Epstein a non-prosecution plea deal back in 2007, was being interviewed for the job of labor secretary. The plea deal put a hard stop to a separate federal investigation of alleged sex crimes with minors and trafficking.

            “Is the Epstein case going to cause a problem [for confirmation hearings]?” Acosta had been asked. Acosta had explained, breezily, apparently, that back in the day he’d had just one meeting on the Epstein case. He’d cut the non-prosecution deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys because he had “been told” to back off, that Epstein was above his pay grade. “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone,” he told his interviewers in the Trump transition, who evidently thought that was a sufficient answer and went ahead and hired Acosta. (The Labor Department had no comment when asked about this.)

            1. some guy

              The answer may not have been “sufficient”, but is there any reason to think the answer was less than totally and exactly true? And if so, just what was Acosta supposed to do when instructed to back off by people who have a thousand and one ways to assassinate you and make it look like an accident?

          2. GramSci

            Serendipitous that, as I write, Carolinian’s comment appears on the topic of how “Social norms—not laws—are the underlying fabric of democracy”.

            Norms change, but laws do not. The poor fear it, but nobody who is anybody in the US respects The Law any more. Not the CIA, not the billionaires, not even the “lawyers” on the Supreme Court.

      3. Wæsfjord

        This is an organization that does murder wholesale. You think a bit of rape is going to trouble their psychotic non-conscience?

  14. Carolinian

    Social norms—not laws—are the underlying fabric of democracy

    Clearly what the country needs are Nice Polite Republicans (they even have their own radio network) and not mean Don Rickles Republicans saying mean if truthful things about nice Joe Biden. Unanswered in the Wired article is how someone so outside the norms got himself elected in the first place. It seems to have surprised even him.

    The article is ridiculous, but does represent the attitude of the elites or for that matter the founders themselves who added a Senate to keep the House from doing anything too rash. But the true modern norm is that ordinary people have no power at all other than to choose a champion who will call the whole thing a fraud. This the founders didn’t intend.

    1. Mikel

      The policy makers and officials can’t really say laws are the foundation of their basterdized definition of democracy – especially after all of the contortions they go through to let bankers get away with all they do.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      If “social norms” are the fabric of democracy, with the implication being it should not be rent asunder, then why has so much time been spent trying to convince everyone that there is no difference between males and females and people are free to identify as whichever they please? Is the male/female dichotomy not also a longstanding social norm?

      These “norms fairy” liberals are no better than the “states rights” republicans – deploying the argument when convenient and tossing it to the trash heap when it doesn’t fit.

      1. Carolinian

        The Reagan Repubs used to call it “values” rather than norms and weren’t above tearing the social fabric asunder by accusing Dems of destroying the country’s morals. When SC’s Susan Smith drowned her babies in a pond so her ex-boyfriend would want her again Newt Gingrich blamed it on the Democrats.

        Of course it was Reagan himself who tore the country apart by attacking the New Deal social contract. Carter helped him before that therefore making it bipartisan.

        The current Dems refuse to accept the Trump chicken and egg problem where Trump is the chicken and they are the egg along with their partner Reagan Republicans (all the rest of the field this time) who they resemble.

        1. nippersdad

          Also, too, Anne Coulter.

          Absolutely right about that. “Norms” are commodities that have price tags attached. In a world that increasingly cannot afford them it should come as no surprise that they have been deep sixed such that those on the bottom do not recognize that which those at the top use only for exploitation.

          I am seeing a lot of left wing podcasts asking the question “who does not owe taxes? Who has not owed child support? Who does not have a mug shot? He looks just like me!”

          All they are succeeding in doing is ensuring that people like Trump and West look more like them than do those who require their votes every few years.

        2. mrsyk

          “The Reagan Repubs used to call it “values””! Yes, being able to misconstrue “norms” with moral code is where the weaponization is effected.

    3. hunkerdown

      To “counter ambition with ambition” would not have been the pervasive design principle of the USA if competitive drama were not the desired result.

  15. notabanker

    Had the opportunity to listen to Andreessen on JRE yesterday. Fascinating conversation. If you want to know what the top echelon of tech think of AI, it is a must listen. Also much discussion of the cult culture in both tech and San Fran area in general. He puts Goog and MSFT as the leaders commercially. Then doesn’t call them out by name, but says the corporations that want to control it are actively lobbying for regulation so they can infiltrate it and control that. Their first volley is shutting down open source. They are leveraging the anti-AI faction painting pictures of ‘rogue’ Chinese data centers running “unauthorized’ versions of it. Rogan asks him about the founder of AI RISK being Sarah Conner, and MA says ‘yeah, but without the time machine and….uh…. sex appeal.’ He then goes on to explain that founder has written work saying we need to risk nuclear war to shut down AI, because we have to bomb those rogue DC’s regardless of where they are.

    So the corporatists subvert the radical movement to write the regs and put their people in the right places, the first of which is banning open source to monopolize AI.

    He talks about Musk investing in OpenAI 10 years ago as a non-profit and getting hosed when OpenAI went commercial. Musk is in the open source camp and is considering another large venture in AI. He also tells a story of a conversation between Musk and Larry Page where Page tells Musk (and I’m paraphrasing here) if AI eventually takes over we should be proud parents. Then goes on to say it’s 50/50 whether he was serious or busting Musk’s family blogs.

    Andreessen himself is a huge believer, appears to be in the open source camp and thinks there is zero chance of it becoming sentient. He comes off as somewhat reserved and almost magnanimous. I got the sense that he is very much playing a multi-generational game. They get into a ton of other topics, MSM, US gov, China…..

    I spent time in their offices, a few times over a few years, interviewing startups for them on operational and marketing capabilities. It was really, really interesting and quite honestly a lot of fun. I could not help but think what it would be like to do it as a career. Rogan puffs him up at the end with, you’ve got a lot going on, you’re right in the middle of this, must be tough. Andreessen replies, ‘I’d rather be in the middle of it than outside. It has to be extremely frustrating to be on the outside of this.’ That was my money quote.

  16. antidlc

    “What kind of Propagandaministerium are they running over there at the Stanford School of Medicine, anyhow?”

    Back in December, 2020 Stanford touted its expanded BSL3 lab:

    This type of lab is capable of handling microbes that can cause serious or potentially lethal disease through inhalation, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

    With the aim of enhancing research on SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, Stanford University has expanded its Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) lab. This type of lab is capable of handling airborne microbes that can cause serious or potentially lethal disease. The BSL3 is administered by the Innovative Medicines Accelerator, a part of Stanford’s Long-Range Vision that is designed to help faculty generate and test new medicines to slow the spread of disease.

    (bold mine)

    Be sure to look at the photos that show the PPE they use in the lab.

  17. ChrisFromGA

    Milley ought to know better than to “make shit up.” From Southfront, a generally trustworthy source:

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine are still trying to advance on southern frontlines, while Kiev’s counteroffensive is widely regarded as doomed. After almost three months of bloody attacks, the Ukrainian military only captured several small villages in lowlands but were stuck unable to break through the first line of Russian defences.

    The village of Rabotino located to the south of Orekhiv is currently the main target of Kiev’s offensive. After protracted fighting on the outskirts, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) managed to enter the village about a week ago. The Russians maintained positions in the center and on the southern outskirts.

    The problem with this sort of spin from Milley is it is unprofessional to continually make bad predictions and false statements. You would think these guys might value their own credibility a bit more. Then again, just about every government official seems to think they can lie with impunity and not get called out on it.

    1. Es s Cetera

      He values his retirement more. And who knows what the CIA has on him for leverage to keep him obedient. It’s not his fault.

    2. Rolf

      Then again, just about every government official seems to think they can lie with impunity and not get called out on it.

      It would seem this is because what passes for the press never does call the Biden administration out on anything, except in a very softball way that fails to underscore the utter falsity of their statements, no? Never, “Why is your current statement, newly revised in light of recent events, so distant from your previous one? Why were you so wrong? Why should the people trust what you say? Was your previous statement unknowingly false? Or were you just lying?”

    3. cfraenkel

      Milley’s already at the tip-top of the greasy pole. He has no future in that profession, he’s already made it. His ‘professional’ future is instead joining the upper ranks of the MIC – who are going to judge him on his ability to grease the skids for continued massive amounts of funding. Facts on the ground north of the Black Sea are irrelevant. Opinions inside the beltway are the coin of the realm. That groupthink doesn’t thrive on it’s own without frequent fertilizer.

    4. Polar Socialist

      Best part is that today even Zelensky talked publicly about the need of transferring troops from Zaporozhe front to Kupyansk front to stop the Russian advance there. For a few days there has been indications in TG that Ukrainian army is transferring to defense everywhere (as in preparing defensive positions in south and literally cutting roads in the Kharkov area), but not it seems to be official.

      I assume in a few days we can read Milley telling how Ukraine has achieved all goals and now has to secure the gains. And MIC needs another trillion to help Ukraine to defend democracy and freedom, anyway.

  18. griffen

    It’s too early to start drinking games at home, but overseas can play along. A Biden campaign spokesperson was on the Sunday morning, ABC news weekly. Discussing politics and the campaign for 2024. The Biden / Harris administration has done many good things! The President and VP are working hard daily for the American people. This was after Chris Christie was on. Not sure what he had to say and I really don’t care, he is barking like he’s now a bulldog anyway.

    13 million jobs created. Roughly 800,000 manufacturing jobs as companies return to their factory roots from abroad. High levels of consumer confidence, high levels of work satisfaction. Putting a lid on drug prices for seniors.

    High levels of delusion going on there. happy talk happy talk happy talk…as I had this thought a few weeks back, economic shills come in both flavors. Red kool aid and blue kool aid.

    1. Screwball

      If you are on Twitter you would be overwhelmed with democrat Tweets touting what they have done, and what they are “fighting” for. They are just incredible. TV is just another soundboard for their endless BS.

      But it seems to work. I get a kick out of listening to the PMC class chatter. Yesterday they were all talking about how great Biden is. Yes, maybe a little old, but he’s doing such a great job, and look how he has stabilized the world (yes, they actually said that). Him and the democrats could literally shoot people on 5th ave and they would find a way to slobber over them even more.

      I find it funny, you never know what their “Hitler” of the day is going to be (one day Trump, one day Musk, one day a song writer, it goes on and on) and on this particular day they were picking on people of the left. What? Why? Because they spend too much time talking about Trump. So they were making fun of people who spend too much time complaining about Trump – when all they have talked about for the last 7 years is Trump. You can’t make this stuff up.

      Delusional isn’t a strong enough word for some of these people. I can’t believe some of the stuff that comes out of their mouth. I think some are just plain nuts. The hatred for Trump and GOP has broken their brains.

      1. irenic

        The approval of Biden reminds me of the approval of Nixon before Watergate took him down. A month before the start of the Watergate hearings(wall to wall coverage on every network that was impossible to escape: 71% say they watched at least some of the impeachment hearings.) Nixon had a 50% approval rating and it wasn’t until shortly before Nixon resigned that his disapproval rating reached 50%. But 10 years later almost no one(even Republicans) would admit they had supported Nixon! I think it might be the same for Biden; after he is impeached, or resigns in disgrace, or dies in office, in 5 years there will be almost no one who will admit they supported Biden.

        1. Lee

          “…Biden; after he is impeached, or resigns in disgrace, or dies in office…”, or trips while shuffling through two inch high grass. The guy rather frighteningly reminds me of my mom, when a little older than Biden is now, started showing early signs of dementia. Besides the shuffling gait, one of her symptoms was unwarranted fear and hostile feelings toward family members. When those feelings were directed toward my then ten year old son, it was time to send her away.

        2. griffen

          Ahem, minor quibble here but the approval of Biden is certainly south of 50% when it comes to the economy. Joe Biden is Carter version 2.0, just a little less full of the Baptist sunday school teacher that Jimmy was.

          I realize approval ratings are like, well, certain orifices and everyone else has a smelly one. I don’t think many Americans are as appreciative of Biden, necessarily.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. According to George Berkeley, an Anglican Bishop and philosopher in the 1600s, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, it did make a sound because God heard it. However, if the sound of a falling tree is a human experience that requires a sound vibration to come in contact with an ear, it made no sound.

      I’ve taken to regarding the biden admin “happy talk” as “tree-falls-in-the-forest” spin.

      “god” is apparently doing great, so the great american biden economic revival is definitely happening. If actual people don’t feel it, it’s their problem.

  19. furnace

    > How China’s economic crisis serves as unparalleled trial by fire for Premier Li Qiang South China Morning Post
    Broken link.

  20. Mikel

    “BRICS is fake” Noah Smith, Noahpinion

    Whatever one thinks of this analysis, more attention needs to be paid to the think tanks ans universities that groomed the officials of BRICS and potential BRICS members. Also, take a close look at any past legislative records (which do get a bit of ink, but maybe not enough).

    It’s with that in mind that I don’t have any use for the claim promoted in the Simplicious article in links today:

    “One of the strengths and weaknesses of BRICS is that it is not ideological…”

    Do the biographical work and get back to me.
    This “non-ideological” claim reminds me of what was said about the EU. It’s a term applied blindly to the dreams about supranational organizations that are an ideological dream to begin with.

    It also reminds me too much of the “non-ideological” claims made by neoliberal organizations like the Third Way that always pop up for a minute in some form around election time in the USA.

    1. Kouros

      EU is a centralizing entithy that tries to hog power from the member states. Can’t see that happening with BRICS, and this is why UN model has not yet lived past its time. G7 got started when UN passed the developmental agenda and US wanted nothing to do with that…

      1. Mikel

        Speaks nothing to “non-ideological” claims.
        I haven’t seen all the UN members really escape the developmental trick box they are in. That all remains to be seen.

        But you do point out something. I need to update a sentence:

        More attention needs to be paid to the think tanks ans universities that groomed the officials of BRICS and the UN and potential UN and BRICS members

        1. Kouros

          The technical genie is out of the bottle, and now China, Russia, Iran can provide decent development solutions, and they are backed by a bank.

          The developmental trick box is mostly an artefact of the west.

          1. Mikel

            You’re talking process. I’m talking ideology. What difference will that “backed by a bank” provide for the billions of people in all of those countries? That would be in a budget.
            What kind of budget did this BRICS meeting produce?

            A budget and how money is distributed tells more about any organization or government than instituting some process. Then the real priorities of each participant can be examined and not speculated on.
            And what that budget really is about will be contingent on how all those officials were groomed.
            They don’t call it the global elite for nothing. Plenty of those BRICS officials went to the Chicago School of Neoliberal Economics.

            1. Kouros

              The New Development Bank has btw 30 to 40 billions to work with. And loans are provided to worthwhile proposals I think, that have to do with infrastructure developments. This is how it works.

          2. Mikel

            I completely understand the desire to move away from a specific hegemony.
            But the USA political, social, and economic leaders had a lot of help from friends in high places in all the other countries for the world to be where it is now.

            1. Kouros

              That is very true. Oligarchs all over the world see the US as their ultimate protector. Nevertheless, for how long do you think such people will want to be surrounded by eternal poverty?

  21. Lex

    So that was the first Noah Smith article I’ve ever read and lordy is that man the platonic ideal of Liberal PMC apparatchik. I’d joke about him being created in a lab but I went so far as to look up his education and he was, in fact, created in a Liberal PMC apparatchik lab.

    I’m not a part of the group that sees BRICS as something designed to or that will bring down the US. But his mischaracterization of it is an order of magnitude worse than some of the opposite alt-media takes. I suppose he’s doing the rest of the world a deep if unintentional favor by molding opinion amongst his caste. They can look down their nose at it as inconsequential and feeble imperial games by China while the members work to build horizontal power structures outside the confines of Noah’s comfortable imagination of how the world works.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There is a great deal of ado about the dollar, but the big event is trade, government contracts, and hiring PMCs. Putin’s talk about trade routes like home values in bedroom communities in northern Virginia is at least not discussed the way it should be. This is where the hammer is going to drop. AI and job loss is chic, but this is where the real turmoil will be.

      One of the promises of free trade types was the US would export legal advice. With arrangements that avoid the US, what good is a US lawyer or any service industry?

  22. The Rev Kev

    “The Myth of Global Grain Shortages”

    That article said the following-

    ‘The global grain market operates as an oligopoly, with the four largest grain traders – Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge (which recently merged with Viterra), Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus – controlling more than 70% of the market and Glencore accounting for another 10%. In the early stages of the Ukraine war, especially between March and June 2022, the Big Four grain traders reaped record profits and revenues. Cargill’s annual revenues were up 23%, to $165 billion, while Louis Dreyfus’s profits soared by 80%. These gains reflected price hikes that were not aligned with real-world demand and supply dynamics.’

    The Russians burned down the Grain Deal because the EU was not letting their grain be exported to the Global Majority while the grain from the Ukraine was mostly shunted to the EU. So could it be that the four largest grain traders were working behind the scenes with the EU to stop Russian grain getting out so that prices would stay high and that they could continue with those record profits?

    1. digi_owl

      Feels like this conflict and COVID has been a massive excuse for the merchant/finance class to fleece everyone else.

  23. GlassHammer

    “Climate Change is a slow moving crisis”…..

    ^If your an Air Conditioned Person you should never utter those words to a person working in the elements, they will hit you and be totally justified in doing so.

    1. digi_owl

      I keep having the early parts of Soylent Green flash before my eyes whenever this topic comes up. Specifically the contrast between the masses huddling in doorways and on stairs during the mid day heat, and the company and government men lounging in their well equipped apartments. And the film came out in 1973…

      1. griffen

        Well I’m sure there’s a Caterpillar government contract to deploy those scoopers when people don’t appreciate the rations running low. \sarc

        Serious note, yeah some things about that future depicted are already in place. But for context to add, I’ll note the wisdom of Yogi Berra on predicting the future.

  24. Bsn

    In regards to ‘What kind of Propagandaministerium are they running over there at the Stanford School of Medicine, anyhow?’ there was an interesting article in A Midwestern Doctor Substack entitled “How the Heart Controls (bloodflow) that in itself is very interesting. Within the article, the author points out “Although Russians in general have suffered from a significant lack of personal freedoms ever since the days of the Soviet Union, with science it has been quite the opposite and they have been able to perform and publish a wide variety of experiments we could never do here without facing significant political repercussions. I suspect this scientific freedom is due to a combination of:

    •Russia having significantly less money ….
    •Russia having a daring culture which is willing to be both upfront about challenging entrenched dogmas or cut to the heart of a complex issue and exploring unorthodox ideas

    Quite a different approach to the process in the west of having to scramble for grant funding if you have an idea. If it’s a cockamamy idea or goes beyond the established norms of fauchi or other grant reviewers, you’re out-a-luck.

    1. Lee

      Cuba is another fine alternative example of doing more with less against strong economic, geopolitically imposed headwinds.

  25. The Rev Kev

    Made myself watch that Mandy K. Cohen video and can only conclude that she is a maniac. If you listened to her advice, you would be setting yourself up for a serious fall with this virus. In fact, the advice that she was giving sounded like it came from early 2020 and for her, it is still all about ‘magical bs’ vaccines. Actually, she kinda reminds me of CalPERS’s Marci Frost with her vacuous expressions.

  26. Sub-Boreal

    My COVID data point for this weekend:

    Yesterday, I went out to my school’s field station ~ 200 km away to teach a half-day segment of a field course. As usual, I started with a half-hour introductory talk, and the 20-or-so students and I crowded into the small classroom.

    When I did this last year at this time, the course coordinator had asked the students in advance to mask up when they came in for the session, and I didn’t have to say anything.

    This time, I set up my presentation on the projection system and put on my N95 before calling in the students. I also discreetly tucked my Aranet 4 CO2 sensor on a shelf where I could see it easily. Some of the windows were open, but I didn’t make any effort to maximize airflow. The students and the coordinator entered and took their seats, with none of them masked.

    Thirty minutes later, I wrapped up my talk, and glanced at the Aranet, which was now reading almost 1600 ppm. After I packed up my gear and the students had filed out, on a whim I showed the gadget to the coordinator, and commented on the alarmingly high reading. His only comment was that it was probably no different from any of the classrooms at our main campus! (It was actually way worse, because I’d checked myself many times on campus and never had readings over ~1000 ppm, which is still pretty high.)

    I never thought that I’d be saying this, but I am now so happy to be retiring in 9 days. It is just so wearying to be the only one in my department and one of the few on our campus to be fretting still about COVID safety. I suspect that my mask-wearing is regarded as the odd but probably harmless quirk of a doddering geezer. What’s more demoralizing is to find myself wondering now about spending the last half of my career in teaching an aspect of environmental science. If the science makes no practical impression on those employed to research and teach it, what social value do we actually produce?

    Tomorrow I finish clearing out my office.

    1. mrsyk

      Congratulations on your retirement, although it may be bittersweet. I imagine your experience is being played out across campuses everywhere.

      1. Sub-Boreal

        Thank you for the good wishes. I suspect that you’re right, although with the inaccessibility of Twitter now to lurkers like me who refused to sign up, it’s harder to know about counterparts elsewhere with similar views. So I’m even more grateful for Lambert’s good work.

        1. no one

          Try,and enter the twitter user name. Learned about this on NC a few days ago. Works for lurkers.

          1. Sub-Boreal

            I tried it and it worked for a couple of the most-missed tweeters! Thanks for the tip!

            (There goes my retirement plan to chip away at the lateral moraine of unread books & articles on the floor beside my bed …)

  27. Alan Roxdale

    Social norms—not laws—are the underlying fabric of democracy.

    This is a one way road to authoritarianism. Your every waking moment dictated to by Karens of Power and which every tv-show/priest/social-grifter influenced them this morning.

    1. griffen

      I’m thinking about the Wizard of Oz today, for some reason, politicians that behave like the Scarecrow in need of brain cells or the Cowardly Lion full of roar, sound and fury, but reality it signifies little in substance ( looking right at my one of my current state’s sitting Senator Graham ). Fill in the blanks as you will on who is needing brain cells.

      Back to Oz…did they announce a tune after announcing and confirming the death? “He is not just merely dead, he is most certain and sincerely dead…”

  28. mrsyk

    “Fossil Fuel Subsidies Surged to Record $7 Trillion”, IMF
    Dovetails with the Brockovich Report essay. “As the Chart of the Week shows, fossil-fuel subsidies rose by $2 trillion over the past two years as explicit subsidies (undercharging for supply costs) more than doubled to $1.3 trillion.” This doesn’t seem sustainable on several fronts.

    1. flora

      I keep thinking if tptb really believed that rising CO2 is causing climate change they would not be buying multi-million dollar estates on sea level beach front property, like the Hamptons or Hawaii. ymmv (But it’s a great talking point to bully everyone else into replacing gas stoves and ceiling fans. The deplorables must have less – either options or money. And no mention that the CO2 output from CH and India dwarfs what the West produces.) / oy

      1. some guy

        Rising CO2 either is or is not causing climate change regardless of what tptb think. And if tptb are rich enough to buy disposable multi-million dollar estates on sea level beach front property like the Hamptons or Hawaii, why wouldn’t they go right ahead and do so for a couple decades of fun before the sea takes them? What’s a few million dollars to a billionaire?

        And maybe they buy these estates in open view just so that you will see them do it and say ” they must not privately believe in climate change their own selves or they wouldn’t buy those estates.” They may well hope to foster cynicism on your part so that you will join the “policy-obstructionist skeptical public”. That way, they can keep making hundreds of millions of dollars warming the global. Losing a few multi-million dollar estates along the way is just a cost of doing business for them.

        Reality is what stays real no matter what anyone thinks. Or pretends to think.

      1. nippersdad

        Re: “Watch what they say, not what they do…”

        It wasn’t all that long ago that Democrats tried to use what was left of BBB to subsidize the real estate taxes of wealthy enclaves on the coasts, and they are trying to do so WRT higher insurance premiums as well.

        But any way you look at it, if someone can afford such coastal real estate in the first place, premia of ten grand plus may not be the problem for them that it would be for regular people. It is just another way of further gentrifying the area by getting rid of the plebes and, as such, is just another cost of doing business.

        IOW, they just don’t care. IBGYBG, and in the meantime we are richer and can afford to do anything we want. They are just a plane ride away from the inland estate, after all.

        1. flora

          Re: “Watch what they say, not what they do…”

          Heh. Of course they prefer we watch what they say and not what they do. Good one. Thanks.

      2. some guy

        If you believe that the millionaires’ buying multi-million dollar estates right near sea level on the shore shows they don’t really believe the global is warming or sea level is rising, and you believe they must be right because if they weren’t smart they wouldn’t be rich; then you might consider taking their buying of multiple multi-million dollar seaside estates as a powerful contrarian investing signal.

        You might consider buying whatever seaside property you can afford and going to live by the side of the sea, because clearly they don’t think the global is warming, so why should you think it is? Or that carbon skyflooding is driving it?

        So this is your chance to self-discover what it is you really think about what the climate and the ocean is doing and why, and to act accordingly.

  29. Jason Boxman

    Yeah, that’s the video I got banned from Twitter from commenting on that I look forward to hearing about Mandy’s future COVID infection. How can one not be outraged? These people have failed so completely, they ought to throw themselves on their swords.

    Granted, Mandy don’t see those replies, nor likely do staffers at today’s CDC even look either. It was wasted effort.

  30. Mikel

    Ten years ago Canada stole the American dream. Now the U.S. is taking it back

    I wouldn’t be so quick with the “taking it back.” Both countries are FIRE controlled and it’s going to be the same accelerating mass inequality and feudal effects.

  31. Jason Boxman

    On Climate change may force more farmers and ranchers to consider irrigation

    The Texas ranch where Gilda Jackson trains and sells horses has been plagued by grasshoppers this year, a problem that only gets worse when the hatch quickens in times of heat and drought. Jackson watched this summer as the insects chewed through a 35-acre pasture she badly needs for hay; what they didn’t destroy, the sun burned up.

    So back in Orlando, an interesting thing had happened over the years. By the 2010s, I no longer ever saw any grasshoppers in the yard when mowing. No love bugs, either. Not in decades. All gone. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, we’d get a lot of earth warms getting lost on the pavement and dying as well. Then, all gone.

    There’s been an insect die off or something going on for quite a while now in central Florida, and it’s been disturbing.

    1. John

      I live in the Hudson Valley. Other than mosquitoes, rainfall has been abundant where I am, insects are largely absent. The moths who flourished say ten years ago are simply gone. Plenty of ticks.

    1. GC54

      The argument seems to be that Kinzhal doesn’t maneuver much near its target, so (if you spread enough) Patriots can occasionally make a kill/deflection there.

      1. Carolinian

        You may be right. Simplicious went into this at length and the upshot seemed to be that by the time the Kinzhal reached terminal phase it was too fast to hit. For more detail probably worth Googling his report on Kiev Patriot versus Russian destruction of Patriot. As usual with him/her/them it’s quite lengthy.

      2. cfraenkel

        Agreed – I thought he was quite clear on the distinction. In the very prior sentence, he mentions the West Point analysis that claims the Kinzhal is not all that maneuverable (relying instead on pure high speed to not give interceptors enough time to catch it… if the Patriot happens to be in front of the Kinzhal’s flight path, it enables an intercept. Of course, that means you need many, many Patriots to defend all your targets, which don’t appear to be available in nearly enough numbers, so in practice the Kinzhal becomes undefendable.)

        The quote from Prof Postol talks about maneuverable missiles, where you can’t predict where the missile will be when the interceptor reaches it. Not the same situation at all.

  32. ChrisRUEcon

    Thank you for the #SundayFunday links, Lambert!


    Kinda want to respond to @DrJBhattacharya with:

    Looking forward to you posting about the rare cancer you develop after multiple COVID reinfections because your body’s T-Cells are exhausted/depleted.

    #CancerIsOver … be sure to have fun, Jay.

    … but don’t feel like getting banned from #ClubElon today … perhaps I’ll let that one stew for a bit. In the mean time, a good study on my delayed response: Cancer as a prospective sequela of long COVID‐19 (via NIH, 2021).

  33. Es s Cetera

    re: Climate change may force more farmers and ranchers to consider irrigation

    One thing I noticed about my garden (and lawn) this summer was for the first time the topsoil was getting sunbaked into a sandy/silty type when it’s normally quite loamy. This made me very hesitant to turn the soil at all for fear of nuking it. I also had one stretch of lawn where the earth was so baked the grass was disappearing altogether.

    Fortunately, I also have awn that was doing alright, had tree shade, and what I did was take the grass clippings from mowing that lawn, using them to completely cover the garden topsoil, also the topsoil of the baked lawn. It worked. Clippings retain moisture, turns to hay, feeds nutrients to the soil, but also keeps the soil protected from the sun’s rays.

    Given all the grass lawns across the continent where clippings are collected at the curb, could my solution work on a larger scale, could grass clippings be diverted to help farmers avoid irrigation and subsequent topsoil damage?

    I also plan to cover my garden soil with leaf mulch for the winter. I wonder if leaf collection could be diverted to farmland for the same purpose.

    1. flora

      Mulch is a great idea. Another great idea is finding cultivars of grain crops that are perennials instead of annuals. Such cultivars would reduce or eliminate the need for yearly plowing and seeding the new crop. Wes Jackson at The Land Institute has been working on this idea for decades, and I think they are showing some interestingly good results. (Big Ag hates the idea. What!! Farmers only have to plant new crops every 5 or 10 years instead of every year!!! Think of our seed business profits! / heh)

    2. GlassHammer

      Only downside to grass clippings for the garden that prevents me from using them more is that the grass itself often needs them. So I only collected them every other time I cut the yard and never from an area that was struggling.

    3. Lee

      As an alternative to grass as ground cover, you might consider a plant that is variously named: Lippia Repens, Phyla nodiflora, turkey tanglefoot, frogfruit, and who knows what else. It does well here in the San Francisco bay area where we don’t have to contend with snow and hard freezes, so it may or may not do as well wherever you are.

    4. Jed

      Mix those clippings with food scraps (coffee grinds, egg shells, fruit n veggies, etc.) and you have some powerful natural fertilizer and soil.

  34. flora

    I like this John Cadogan guy. He’s gruff and uses naughty language, but he knows his stuff and he’s pretty funny, imo. He describes the Internal Combustion Engine as – this will not surprise you – as powered by internal combustion. Whereas EVs are powered by remote combustion. Remote combustion. (He likes EVs, he doesn’t like the BS in the sales pitch.) utube, ~17+ minutes.

    The great greenwashing ‘zero emissions’ lie! (ACCC weighs in.) | Auto Expert John Cadogan

  35. ChrisRUEcon

    #Doctorow #WhoKilledYevgenyPrigozhin

    Thanks as always for Doctorow’s links. I wish I had the presence of mind to read him independently (daily!).

    The West’s image crafting of Vladimir Putin as both some kind of omnipotent (eg: “There is not much that goes on in Russia without the involvement of Vladimir Putin”), nth-level-chess master, who despite galaxy-brain capabilities would be so daft as to do questionable things that leave no doubt as to his involvement a.k.a. “the obvious”. Happy to see Doctorow take this fallacious line of thought head on in his post.

    In concluding, I’d like to bring back this banger:

    Why Putin’s Foes Deplore U.S. Fixation on Election Meddling

    #RussiaRussiaRussia created Putin the super spy master election stealer to spare #HRC blushes and seven years later, Putin’s like The Gruffalo, a creature initially spun out of lies, but made very real to the liar(s) that created it.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        Hmmm … having problems posting … about to try a test.


        Noooooo … say it ain’t so!

        I had reason to look at the food basket used to calculate food inflation last year (or year before), and surprisingly when many other things were getting more expensive (especially meat!), I discovered that rice and pasta were largely unaffected.

        Perhaps it’s time for Guyana to step it up!

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          OK, so didn’t like the link, I think … because it had the extra HTML reference to a quoted section. Duly noted.

      2. Jason Boxman

        That guy has been dead to me for years. It would seemingly have been a sad presidency anyway, what with a political class strike against Sanders anyway. Orange Man still bad I guess.

      3. Feral Finster

        Doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

        Sanders has less self-respect than a whipped dog.

      4. ChrisPacific

        Not quite as bad as it sounds from the headline, but really Bernie – we have to defend democracy by beating Trump?

        You defend democracy by holding free, fair and transparent elections, and by accepting that sometimes that means the guy you don’t like will win.

  36. thousand points of green

    So . . . ”

    While that is bad for the world in general, it could be good for the rice growers of Maine and Vermont.
    Maine and Vermont?



  37. Carolinian

    How Nikki Haley went from $15,000 in the bank in 2017 to 12 million in income and a $5 million island home.

    Haley’s primary income, aside from speaking engagements, is from United Against a Nuclear Iran, an advocacy group shrouded in secrecy.

    The group, which has lobbied for military strikes on Iran, is advised by Zohar Palti and Tamir Pardo, two former Israeli intelligence officials, as well as many former U.S. national security officials. The Department of Justice previously intervened in a lawsuit to prevent the disclosure of United Against a Nuclear Iran’s donors, claiming that doing so would “cause harm to national security.”

    Color me astonished at this rise to riches. Her Indian immigrant parents had a used clothing store.

    1. Feral Finster

      Haley has no realistic chance of securing the Team R nomination, but that’s not why she is running.

      She is running in order to position herself for Bigger And Better Things. See: Harris, K.

  38. Sub-Boreal

    There is a fresh addition to the semi-dormant Bonnie Henry dossier: Victoria garden named in honour of Dr. Bonnie Henry.

    Five years from now:

    A mysterious blight has struck several types of plants in the Dr. Bonnie Henry Commemorative Community Garden. After initially showing only a mild yellowing of some leaves, which recover fairly quickly, plants exhibit an escalating number of symptoms in subsequent months, including rotting of roots, weakening of stems, and a failure to produce flowers. Despite this, plant pathology experts in the Ministry of Agriculture have advised gardeners not to worry excessively, as that can harm human health, and also insist that it is perfectly fine to put the remains of diseased plants in the communal compost pile at the Community Garden …

  39. Mikel

    “What you need to know about BA.2.86, the new ‘highly mutated’ COVID variant “Today

    “As schools resume, CDC reports new rise in COVID emergency room visits from adolescents” CBS. NC readers know that ER Covid visits have been increasing for weeks.

    From 2021:

    From 2022:
    Hawaii overtourism: Residents beg tourists to stop visiting amid post pandemic boom

    Hawaii calls for tourists to visit Maui as unemployment claims surge after deadly wildfires

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Yep … “Crisis Capitalism” making a comeback …

      If only there were some entity that could literally just “mark up bank accounts” to help people in their time of need.

      Oh, wait … (yours truly, via Twitter)


  40. some guy

    ” So we’re prosecuting Trump because the Norms Fairy is having a sad? Really? ”

    No, we are not prosecuting Trump because the Norms Fairy is having a sad. Really. That’s just an after-the-fact yet-another-reason-to prosecute that Wired Magazine decided all on its own to overegg the pudding with.

    The prosecutors, most certainly the prosecutor in Georgia, are prosecuting Trump because they think he committed highly illegal very prosecutable acts. Wired can ex-post-facto invoke “norms” all it wants to.

    1. Pat

      Well bless their bottoms. I fully admit that the Georgia indictment is harder to apply my test for partisan vs. justifiable prosecution test. If I can name any other prominent person who has committed a similar act that is not being pursued with the same vigor I call partisan. So far none of Trump’s multiple indictments have passed that test.
      As time passes more may come out so that Georgia also fails, or we might be faced with the very real possibility that the broad application may be chilling to every candidate’s right to question results and force test actions most commonly recounts. Something I would also consider very damaging. But we shall see.

      1. some guy

        That’s what the Republicans said about the entirety of the Watergate Pursuit Process involving Richard Nixon. That the Democrats were only interested in it for purely partisan reasons. That way they could dodge discussing whether what Nixon did was real or not.

        In the same way, Trump apologists and the Democrat Derangement Syndrome afflicted say that the interest in what Trump did is strictly partisan. That way they don’t have to think about whether Trump committed any crimes or not. And if it is proven that he did, they will say that Democrats commit crimes, therefor Trump should get to commit crimes too. We shall see if that is what they say if Trump gets convicted of real crimes on real evidence. I predict that is exactly what they will all say. But we shall see.

  41. John Steinbach

    “The prosecutors, most certainly the prosecutor in Georgia, are prosecuting Trump because they think he committed highly illegal very prosecutable acts.” And the prosecutions have nothing to do with partisan politics and the 2024 election./sarc

    1. some guy

      Are you saying the prosecutions have nothing to do with Trump’s actual possible crimes? Trump’s plans to run in 2024 have nothing to do with his own criminal defense strategy and pursuit of immunity and impunity for himself./sarc

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