Links 8/9/2023

Why Insect Memories May Not Survive Metamorphosis Quanta. The URL is much more vivid: “insect-brains-melt-and-rewire-during-metamorphosis”.

Florida sheriff’s office: Stop calling the cops on manatee sex Axios

KKR to acquire Simon & Schuster for $1.62 billion Axios. Let the strip mining begin!

Alternatives Have Been ‘Kryptonite’ to Alpha — At Least for Public Pensions Institutional Investor

Wall Street has purchased hundreds of thousands of single-family homes since the Great Recession. Here’s what that means for rental prices CNBC

Economists Reconsider Industrial Policy Dani Rodrik, Réka Juhász, and Nathan Lane Project Syndicate. 


An Overheating Planet Requires Extreme Climate Solutions Bloomberg. From the deck: “Here’s how experts at eliminating carbon pollution think we can catch up — and cool down.” I feel like reading that in a Firesign Theatre voice. That said, at least the article outlines the data that shows there’s a problem. The final paragraph: “‘We know that 1.5C isn’t realistic in the short term,’ says John Christensen, director of the UN Environment Programme and one of the authors of the Emissions Gap Report. ‘But it can come back down. There’s no alternative.'” There isn’t?

Darning the Planet New Left Review. Well worth a read.

Capturing carbon where it is produced École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

People are starting a lot of fires in the Pacific Northwest High Country News


The Curious Case of the Colorado River’s Missing Water Atlas Obscura


Study links air pollution to rising antibiotic resistance levels Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

An interrupted time series analysis of the cardiovascular health benefits of a coal coking operation closure IOP Science. A natural experiment following closure of a coal coking plant in Pittsburgh, PA. “Statistically significant cardiovascular health benefits were documented in the local population, including a 42% immediate drop (95% CI: 33%, 51%) in cardiovascular emergency department (ED) visits from the pre-closure mean…. Our study provides clear evidence that this intervention lowering fossil fuel-associated air pollution benefited public health in both the short and longer term, while also providing validation of the past use of observational air pollution epidemiology effect estimates in policy analyses.”


German Council Reprimands Vaccine Makers for Censorship Attempts Revealed in Twitter Files Lee Fang


U.S. to Ban Some Investments in China WSJ

China has a 31-point plan for private sector to kick-start economy. But are bruised business owners buying it? South China Morning Post

Degrowing China—By Collapse, Redistribution, or Planning? Monthly Review

Fiscal Policy and the Government Balance Sheet in China International Monetary Fund

* * *

China floats two-hour daily limit of smartphone screen time for kids CNBC

US beats China in soft power and popularity in Southeast Asia, giving it regional edge: analysis South China Morning Post


The Age of Urban Insurgency in Myanmar? Myanmar Now

Investigators say Myanmar’s military is committing increasingly brazen war crimes Channel News Asia


Why ethnic violence in India’s Manipur has been going on for three months Al Jazeera

‘You Are Anti-National’: In Parliament, Rahul Gandhi Says PM ‘Murdered Bharat Mata in Manipur’ The Wire

The Lucky Country

Death of Sovereignty: everyday Australians will pay the cost of US kowtowing, AUKUS, inevitable war Michael West

Western Australia to scrap new law protecting Aboriginal heritage sites Al Jazeera


US still ‘hopeful’ but ‘realistic’ on trying to restore constitutional order in Niger Anadolu Agency. Maybe we should clean our side of the street first?


Joe Biden makes his big Middle East push: a Saudi Arabia-Israel pact FT

Dear Old Blighty

Hackers had access to UK voter data for over a year before anyone noticed The Verge

New Not-So-Cold War

Why a stalled Ukrainian offensive could represent a huge political problem for Zelensky in the US CNN

Ukraine Situation Report: Claims Swirl Around River Landing By Kyiv’s Forces The Drive

“… Russia’s nearly unique Railway Troops…” Eric Zimerman, Threadreader. Good stuff!

* * *

“To those who guard our skies”: Children sing heartwarming lullaby to Ukraine’s air defence forces Ukrainska Pravda

What Happens behind the Scenes of Negotiations on ‘Peace Plan’ for Ukraine European Pravda. Scroll down to see the funders.

* * *

Traffic Slows at Ukraine’s Danube Ports After Russian Drone Strikes Maritime Executive

Erdogan: Revival of Russia-Ukraine grain deal hinges on West Al Monitor

* * *

Russia overtakes Germany to become fifth biggest economy in the world in GDP on a PPP basis BNE Intellinews

Russia to launch first lunar mission in nearly half a century Friday France24

South of the Border

Cuba bans company access to ATMs, limits cash transactions Reuters


Trump seeks latitude in sharing evidence in Jan. 6 case with public, ‘volunteer attorneys’ The Hill

Spook Country

A judge called an FBI operative a ‘villain.’ Ruling comes too late for 2 convicted in terror sting AP

Digital Watch

Cops, Firefighters, and of Course Taxi Drivers Tee Off on Self-Driving Robotaxis Before Key Regulatory Vote SFist:

And it sure raises eyebrows, as the SF Standard reported last month, that CPUC commissioner John Reynolds used to be an attorney for Cruise, and now gets to vote on whether the company can expand service. But there’s also one hell of a tidbit in the above KGO report on Monday’s CPUC meeting that may also raise eyebrows, but it’s perhaps not surprising: former SF Mayor Willie Brown is now lobbying for Cruise, or rather, he’s a “”Cruise advisor.”” SFGate reports he’s been working for them since 2020.

Swapping a Twitter Habit for a Threads One Slate. Boggles the mind that anybody could take seriously the possibility that anything cloned by The Zuckerberg™ could be an improvement over the original.


US Apparel Retailers Break Up With China Amid Worries Bloomberg


4 crucial tests LK-99 must pass to be a true superconductor Big Think. Replication, sadly, remains elusive. Commentary:

More commentary:

I was hoping for some good news on this one. My mistake!

Sports Desk

Messi is everything MLS hoped for: Two more goals, stunning free kick and a late comeback The Atlantic

Imperial Collapse Watch

The West’s Two Leading Production Fighters Both Face Worsening New Supply Chain Issues: F-35 and Rafale Manufacturers Struggling Military Watch

Class Warfare

Wage Gains at UPS Have Amazon Workers Demanding More Labor Notes

The Era of Ultracheap Stuff Is Under Threat WSJ. The deck: “Factories across Asia are struggling to attract young workers, which is bad news for Western consumers accustomed to inexpensive goods.”

Wisconsin’s Dairy Industry Relies on Undocumented Immigrants, but the State Won’t Let Them Legally Drive ProPublica

How to Tell If a Dog Is Dehydrated Field & Stream

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. Toshiro_Mifune

    Seems to be an editorial mistake on the WSJ’s part in the below.

    “Factories across Asia are struggling to attract young workers, which is bad news for Western consumers accustomed dependent on inexpensive goods to offset the lack of wage growth.”

    There… that’s better. Not sure how they missed it

  2. timbers

    Russia overtakes Germany to become fifth biggest economy in the world in GDP on a PPP basis BNE Intellinews

    While watching Alex Christoforou walking about in St Petersburg and Moscow, has anyone else noticed or commented (an MSM talking head maybe?) how WHITE and EUROPEAN the Russian natives look??

    So why was Russia kicked out of “The Garden”?

    1. The Rev Kev

      If Alex went far east to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), there would be plenty of Asian-Russians to be seen. I find those walks of his in Russia to be quite remarkable. The streets never seem to be crowded, everything looks to be in good repair and not vandalized, there are no homeless, drunks or addicts sleeping on the streets and even the streets themselves are very clean.

      In passing, here is a Yakutian girl talking about ethnic variety in beauty standards alone with Russian girls- (6:03 mins)

      For educational purposes of course. And her channel is worth checking out, especially where she talks about life in -71 degrees Celsius winter-time (about -96 degrees Fahrenheit)

      1. JohnM_inMN

        everything looks to be in good repair and not vandalized “…

        As opposed to Cyprus, where no matter where Alex took us I rarely saw an outdoor vertical surface that didn’t have graffiti sprayed or displayed on it.

    2. Random

      Probably something about how they might look like Europeans but are actually devious Asians.
      Don’t remember the exact quote.
      I’m pretty sure that the separation between white/non-white is no longer the primary distinction anymore. It’s more about the benign liberal democracies fighting for freedom and the authoritarian nationalists fighting for evil.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        In short, our understanding of these words is a place where Black (different words, but the idea is the same) predates White. These words were necessary to justify structural issues such as slavery and the general state of Spanish colonies. Where the locals were running things versus official imperial rulers, white became a necessary word to establish their legitimacy over the black. The words are fluid of course. Don’t look to Gandalf the White as an example. Tolkien might be a beneficiary of empire, but he was too removed to get it right. The idea of color as a sign of morality is there.

        A Hillary Clinton type knows they can’t openly say “mighty white of you”, so they’ve switched to other words. In this case they’ve become “freedumb” to justify the 90’s in Russia. Borrell and a few other Euros have let the mask slip, partially because they aren’t in the US where we are more on guard, but nothing has changed, just the word.

        There are people in the world who are desperate for an official underclass they will accept house slave status. You see it in the Azov types or many of the Euro underlings. They may tolerate a few “exceptional” sorts to make things work. See Zelensky. Tarantino addressed this in Django. Dicaprios villain brought up the one in ten thousand number.

        1. nippersdad

          Nothing is new under the sun:

          “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”
          ― Lyndon B. Johnson

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              LBJ was a complex man, unlike people such as the Clintons, Obamas, Bush, Trump, and Biden.

        2. Keith Newman

          NotTimothyGeithner. at 9:02 am.
          Interesting about Django. I’ll have to watch it again.

      2. Polar Socialist

        That’s the thing. Russians are merely Ukrainians (The Pure Slavs) that bred with Finnic and Turkic (who also bred with Finnic) peoples. That’s also why Russian language is simple and ugly unlike Ukranian*.

        Now, for some reason (which these phrenologists have yet not figured out) the Finnic people (excluding the Ugric elements, who are more Turkic or Samojedic anyway) are the most European looking people anywhere. Especially the Baltic Finnic tribes that formed the basis of the Novgorodian state.

        * apparently thus claimed an Ukrainian textbook in 2010

      3. Lex

        They (we) are insidious because underneath the white exterior we’re actually devious Asians, you can tell by our ability to squat … or something.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      First, rwordists are inherently irrational. They also can have relatively complex r-word hierarchies in an effort to justify their views. Not too long ago, the catholics on the Supreme Court would have been a huge scandal among a certain set. The Irish, Italians, hierarchies in the African American community in major Southern cities.

      I would also add that Russia is too big to be an imperial vassal and will always be seen with mistrust by imperial elites as rules might apply to them

    4. digi_owl

      Uncanny valley in action? CIA lining some pockets to ensure Europe can’t become truly independent of big bro USA?

      1. Synoia

        Yes, got to keep those colonials on their knees; facing NATO and grovelling towards the sunset.

        Maybe get some suggestions from the denizens of the east on controlling the fractious unchosen.

    5. Daryl

      > Russia overtakes Germany to become fifth biggest economy in the world in GDP on a PPP basis

      Another glorious victory for NATO!

    6. MJ the Covid Spreader

      Eastern Europeans have always been second class citizens to Western Europeans. Always will be. Look at the routine drubbing Poland / Hungary was gets from Brussels, particularly before the war began every time they express some idea of independence. A friend of mine from the former GDR would complain how Western Germans were seen as “better”.

      It’s like New York/California vs the fly over states. The contempt is palpable.

      Russia just has it worse because they can actually fight back instead of being obedient and submissive.

      I’m not sure why Americans/Westerners are so obsessed with race as an explanatory cause (for example, you wondering why Russia was kicked out of the garden despite being white/european); my guess is it’s just part of the identity politics used to divide people and distract from the accidentally-on-purpose failures of “elites”.

      Given my migrant background and my migrant friends, we always chuckle about clueless middle class liberal types who will always be first in line to discuss the terrible problems of racism without knowing anything about a group or culture except for a popular dish. Or how racist immigrants can be.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Bloomberg on climate solutions–

    I was so surprised to scan the article and find no mention of the fact that the world’s richest 10% produce 50% of the carbon emissions. If the rich, spoiled brats would curb their conspicuous consumption, we might have a chance of staying under 2 degrees. There is no other response that can be implemented as quickly.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Well, for one thing, any curbs on the 10% would put a quick end to most professional sports leagues. Whadya tryin’ to do? Start a revolution? ;)

      1. Ignacio

        A good start would be to eliminate all sport leagues that depend on teams flying to other stadiums. Or is this too radical for Bloomberg readership? I am 100% with HMP on this while your reply is on the oh, nothing can be done camp.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          On that very topic, the Atlantic Coast Conference is said to be negotiating with Stanford and Cal Berkeley to come into the league. It used to be that the ACC extended from College Park, MD to Atlanta, GA. Three of the league’s teams were within 15 miles of one another. Flying was limited and at least short in duration.

          So this would extend the league from Florida to Boston to San Francisco. Insane. And it’s all about TV and a conference being able to cover all time zones when it’s negotiating with a network.

          On the other hand, Ignacio, let’s leave the NFL alone for the time being. ;)

          1. juno mas

            I imagine the travel miles are small for the NFL compared to MLB or the NBA. (How many on the tennis circuit travel by private jet?– few I imagine.)

          1. Mildred Montana

            It was and I did add a little wink. I guess my larger point is that the problem is huge and any solution will probably affect us all in one way or another.

            As a proud member of the 90% club (in a lower percentile) and an advocate of low consumption, I have for long tried my best to be a conscientious consumer and aware of the environmental effects of everything I buy—and do.

            That’s all I can do; take care of my little corner of the world.

            1. truly

              As a Minnesotan I think there would be a great opportunity for NFL to go to a biking/walking model. MN, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis can be traveled to under human power. It would be an amazing shift in the physical conditioning of the athletes if they needed to bike 250 miles per week from job site to job site. The “all around athlete” would again prevail.
              And if their pay was cut, there are plenty of farmhouses along the way. They could stay overnight in exchange for a little help out in the barn or up in the haymow.

              1. Mildred Montana

                Ya know how people (especially kids) idolize professional athletes? What a fine example they would be setting for them!

              2. Henry Moon Pie

                The MLB used to travel by rail. Whitey, Mickey and Billy must have been a lot to handle on a train.

            2. jonboinAR

              I’m not well to do by US standards, but I would guess I’m still firmly in the top 10% economic level by world standards. Not sure.

        2. ex-PFC Chuck

          Back in the day the Major League Baseball teams didn’t just find traveling the country by train. Now that we have a great high speed rail system that should serve just fine. Oh wait!

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Economists Reconsider Industrial Policy”

    This sounds like a real sea-change for mainstream economists. For decades now their industrial policy has been not to have an industrial policy. That is shown where this article quotes ‘There is a strong case against industrial policy in economics,” intoned one recent commentary, and embracing it “just wastes money and distorts the economy.’ But I am very much surprised when it said ‘owing to new academic research that is less driven by ideological hostility to government intervention and better grounded in rigorous empirical methods’ as for mainstream economists, that is like going to a totally different church. Maybe the failures of their approach is too much on display and one minor example is an article in Links which says that they just can’t build F-35s in large numbers as the people to do so aren’t just there. Same with the French. Meanwhile countries that have not drank their particular kool-aid are going full bore with their industrial output – countries like Russia and China. Both are capitalist countries but not the western brand of financialization and shareholder prioritization.

    1. cnchal

      > For decades now their industrial policy has been not to have an industrial policy.

      What are you writing about? Of course there was an industrial policy. The policy was get rid of industry, when we need a can opener we can buy it from China cheaper than from the stupid people that make

      I recall Brad Delong describing a factory worker in North America as a rentier.

      1. The Rev Kev

        What you say is totally true. But it is not one that they would ever admit too and by fighting the existence of an official one, it allowed the deindustrialization of America. I always found it mind-boggling that the tax laws were rewritten so that the US government was virtually paying these corporations to move to China. But I suppose it was all part of the design to demolish the working class with their unions and social infrastructure and allow the top 10% to have a free reign.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Yeah, imo it’s not a question of industrial policy, it’s one of tax policy (and the economystics should just stay out of the debate).

          With regard to those off-shored companies, there’s also the matter of repatriation of profits. In 2018 Trump signed into law a new 15% tax on it while simultaneously lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.* So if a company makes its products in a foreign country it pays less tax. Does that make sense?

          I was going to provide a link but the URL was ridiculously long, so suffice to say that it was a CNBC article referring to Apple’s decision to bring home its bacon.

          *Don’t know if there have been any changes in the five years since.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        I don’t know if the people pushing offshoring had this a part of their motivation, but one result of offshoring manufacturing has been to offshore carbon emissions. Viewed from a source-of-pollution standpoint, China how has more carbon emissions than the U. S., but a lot of those emissions are attributable to U. S. consumption.

        Viewed by consumption, no one comes close to the richest 10% in the U. S. have carbon footprints of 55 tonnes of CO2 per year compared to 30 tonnes by China’s top 10% and 27 tonnes by the EU’s top 10%.

      3. Vandemonian

        Sounds a bit like the plan to eliminate the telephone sanitisers by shipping them out on Ship B of the Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet.

        We’re beginning to to see the effects of the plague of virulent disease spread by dirty telephones.

      4. digi_owl

        I seem to recall the term post-industrial was a buzzword back around 2000 or so.

        Funny thing is that i swear UK tried the same in the 1700s via patent law, only for USA to give them the middle finger and copy it all to bootstrap their own industry.

    2. spud

      the article was a back door attempt at sloughing off that the crank policy of free trade endorsed, and embraced by most so-called economists, was a failure, a failure so huge, as to put the west into peril.

      industrial policy is protectionism, he skims over that fact, like a well oiled con artist. tries to justify protectionism, as industrial policy, a polite term used by cranks that had their policy failures blow right up in their idiotic faces.

      try to make heads or tails of chinese tariffs and vat taxes, which are back door tariffs, good luck.

      a nation cannot survive on just industrial policy, good luck employing your people by just shielding some industries. a real rich nation makes all sorts of things, big things, complicated things, small things, shoes shirts etc. just watch what is happening in russia.

      just come out and say it, we were idiots, bill clinton and tony blair were corrupt idiots that listened to us.

      then say we need to drive out of the economics profession, the idiots that got us into this mess.

      1. digi_owl

        IMO the economists are the useful idiots in the room.

        The real villains are globalized finance, that wants to squeeze every last one of us for that sweet sweet rent until we keel over from stress like good sararimen.

      2. LY

        Industrial policy isn’t just trade protectionism. Maybe that’s the Trump interpretation of it, but it’s also universal healthcare, public education, mass transit, housing policy, infrastructure, etc. Provide for a healthy, educated workforce where the basic needs are universally provided at low cost. Then ensure some industries are domestic and resilient, such as essential drugs, medical respirators, the entire supply chain for the military, etc.

  5. Neutrino

    About those supply chain worries:

    I’m so old, I remember when the defense contractors and their lackeys would plant scare stories in the press before budget time. Think of that as providing air cover for their retainers in Congress.

    1. mrsyk

      I grew up on those LPs, heh heh. Anybody/everyone up for a round of “Beat the Reaper!”?

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        the nurse(Judy?) is rolling in the REALLY big shot…… – but the first cut on their first album “Waiting For The Electrician…..” snagged me forever –

        1. mrsyk

          Civilization Ho! I always loved this micro-vignette:
          “Hey, corn! Now we can make whiskey!”
          “We’ve been waitin’ hundreds o’ years for this!”
          “Say! I just invented the Tom Collins!”
          “Here, Injun! Ya want some firewater?”
          “No. We were warned by our Elders not to drink anything that would make us weak or silly.”
          “Put it in their well”

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            never gets old – reading “1491” by Charles Mann – we never learned, just infected with colonialism and belief of an anthropormorphized god – a deadly variant of the pathogen called humanity – pass me the bottle please –

          2. Mark Gisleson

            Just had “Porgieeee, Porgieeeee Tirebiter…King of the Wild Frontierrrr! pop into my head. I’m pretty sure that’s my memory mashing up two different things, but does that make it false? I learned a lot at Morescience High but it’s all curiously jumbled now.

  6. earthling

    “The Curious Case of the Colorado River’s Missing Water”

    I keep seeing this provocatively titled article popping up. TLDR, somebody’s doing a NSF grant to study sublimation in snow country. Supposedly there is ‘missing’ water that doesn’t go directly from snow to river. Apparently, if you can’t ski on it or drink it, it’s ‘missing’.

    Welp, some of it is soaking into the parched pores of the ground and aquifers. And yes, some of it is sublimating. You can make a case that we urgently need to quantify this to complete the water budget numbers. Or you could address the demand side of the budget. Tell those guys from Saudi Arabia to cut back their water use so there will still be a trickle in the Colorado. or maybe even toss Western Water Law onto the dustbin of history before any more damage is done.

    1. juno mas

      Yes. And the Colorado River basin has been over-allocated since the beginning. As for water law: beneficial use is in the eye of the landholder.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    A couple of my favorite parts of European Pravda: SInce 2014.

    Oh, 2014. What happened then?

    I scrolled to the bottom surmising that Lambert Strether was being a cut-up and that European Pravda was a project of Babylon Bee. I was disappointed. Not USAIDl Shoveling dollars for Truth? (!)

    Lifting some dubious shinola from the article itself for your chucklesome pleasure: “Essentially, it concerns the parameters of Russia’s capitulation, leading to the complete liberation of Ukraine, reparations, and a tribunal for war criminals, among other aspects. The main goal is establishing Ukraine’s vision of victory as an axiom in the world. This is necessary to ensure that during negotiations with Russia, when persuading them to accept the capitulation, no one is willing to compromise Ukraine’s interests or part of its territory.”

    “Vision as axiom.” Pure word salad. Yet what these sentences and assertions are about is hegemony and the continuing manufacturing of hegemony. So we all want a world with Ukrainian hegemony (that we collectively will have to pay them and the Bidens for)? May I have a doubt or two…

    Meanwhile: Don’t try negotiating like this at home. Just imagine telling your love unit, “Sweet pea, my Vision Is Axiom.”

    1. rkka

      Yeah… It’s “my unconquerable will suffices to overcome all obstacles!” all over again.

      It seems that proposition was already tested on Russia, some decades ago. It doesn’t seem to have improved with time.

    2. digi_owl

      It is so weird seeing all these “Pravda” being waved around like they are telling the honest truth about the world, because back when i grew up Pravda was the Bagdad Bob of newspapers.

      As for word salad, that is the humanities for you. Even AI “hallucinations” would be an improvement over the purple prose those “educated” human bots produce.

    3. hunkerdown

      That’s not word salad, it’s another cutesy self-identical theory of management, the art of believing in lies so that other people make them true for you.

    1. semper loquitur

      Harris is a mental twerp. He has the synthetically smooth voice of a bottle of ex-lax that ate an NPR host and the brain crenellation to match. If you think Brett Weinstein and Michael Shellenberger don’t think much of him, take a listen to what Bernardo Kastrup has to say. It’s about 4 1/2 minutes long. Harris made the error of publicly criticizing Kastrup’s ideas without, insert heart attack warning, knowing what he was talking about:

      Bernardo Kastrup challenges Sam Harris on idealism

      The interviewer asks Kastrup if he would debate Harris. He says he would, but points out correctly that Harris would never dream of debating him. Too much to lose…

    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that that pact will ever happen for several reasons. The Saudis hate Biden and have no trust in him. Israel has all sorts of internal problems and tying themselves to an ultra-extremist Israeli government will make life difficult for the Saudis in their neighbourhood. The US has less and less to offer the Saudis and the US still saying that they will defend Saudi Arabia against Iran does not work anymore since the issue is going away and communications are opening up between the two countries. Trump’s Abraham Accords are just not cutting it and never could.

      1. Feral Finster

        My SWAG: Biden will offer enough sweetener to get all sides to embrace. Neither the Saudis nor the Israelis will carry out their end of the bargain, and nobody will care, since the goal of this exercise, from the US perspective, is to give Biden a foreign policy win that eclipses Trump’s, and from the Saudi/Israeli perspective, is to squeeze as much out of the US as possible.

        Presumably a US-led war on Iran will be part of the sweetener.

  8. Lexx

    ‘People are starting a lot of fires in the Pacific Northwest’

    What was once a treat for the rich and/or those with a lot of spare cash is now an ‘entitlement’. I blame Facebook and all those who posted the photos from their fabulous vacations for their ‘loved ones’ to see, and marinate in their own sense of tribal competition and envy.

    What was once once considered bad manners is now a casual observation shared aloud, ‘I’m jealous of … (whatever is going on your life that sounds great and isn’t happening in mine and you should feel badly about that… but I mean that in a good way, like a compliment.)

    Husband has just locked down the last of our reservations at campgrounds over a month’s time. This must be done in advance as it will be shoulder season and we could find ourselves with nowhere to park and hook up for the night. Campgrounds are now about half occupied by full timers. Then he averaged the rental prices over that month and it came to around $60 a night, none of them especially fancy*. His comment was to wonder aloud how any couple could afford to RV full time at those prices. I answered ‘they can’t without a lot of disposable income’ or a Youtube channel with corporate sponsorship. Rent will the affordable part for us; it’s gasoline round trip that will be painful.

    No photos will be taken or offered online.

    Cost is not preventing thousands of campers from doing so for little to nothing by boondocking. I saw two ‘portable power stations’ come up on an estate auction and had a pretty good idea what they’d be used for.
    Small campers and tents can be borrowed. Apparently a campfire is a must for any private party in the woods and of course, they bring lots of alcohol with them… and their pets, small children and electronic devices… that’s where the portable power stations come in.

    There are also perhaps more people living out in the woods than there has ever been in the PNW. It’s cold and damp much of the winter in them there trees, but it’s easy to bury oneself deeply in them where there is little to no contact with other humans. There are numerous Youtube channels for that form of living too. The woods is full of preppers preparing for the ‘end of days’ and that can have a steep learning curve.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      “…….and marinate in their own sense of tribal competition and envy.” – thank you for that one – never had or subscribed to FB, Twit or any social platform – never made sense – your comment helped – had a loan officer i worked with who had her phone attached to LinkedIn somehow and where she was when traveling was noted – she was surprised that her home had been burglarized when she returned after a vacation –

      1. LifelongLib

        I’ve been retired for several years and FWIW have no memory of ever signing up for LinkedIn, but I get emails saying that somebody or other has looked at my LinkedIn profile (or words to that effect). I can’t get rid of it because AFAIK I don’t have an account.

        1. Oh

          Sorry for the belated reply but Linkedin illegally uses your e-mail address from a member’s contact list that has your info. Just mark it as spam and move on.

    2. Lexx

      * Oops. By not ‘fancy’ I mean a level graveled area, septic and electrical hook up, access to laundry facilities and showers, and probably a community room for large gatherings that need a roof.

    3. earthling

      The Northwest is particularly crowded for camping, has been for a few years. There are problems nationwide wherever there are tons of city dwellers who want and need to get away, and few new facilities have been built surrounding those metros. The Northeast is particularly expensive.

      Full-timing is actually affordable outside these crowded and expensive zones, although getting less so as time goes by and corporations gobble up private campgrounds, and public campgrounds jack up rates to whatever people will put up with. Full-timers can make up large sections of some seasonal/permanent campgrounds, but nationwide the public parks see perhaps 5-10%. Many parks are empty weekdays but overloaded on weekends, often by locals who book the same campsite 8-10 times a summer.

      Anyway, sympathies on camping in the PNW, and I hope you get to go farther afield and get where it’s less crowded.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        30 years ago, during my Wild Years, living in the lime green 76 VW campervan…finding a place to park for the night was always the challenge.
        there were people on the road in those days…but a census was impossible.
        we’d run into others on occasion.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Public campgrounds usually have stay limits (usually not exceeding 2 weeks), and require reservations, so how is it that some people can take over campsites for an entire season? People need to complain and have these squatters evicted.

    4. farmboy

      Biggest fire in my locale and biggest fire in county history, over 60k acres, was likely started by a local on a four-wheeler. State mobilization happened immediately as some DNR ground was involved. Awesome to see (video) the aerial firefighting dropping retardant and the biplanes scooping water out of the Columbia, fires out, but what a doozy. No red card for me (retired) so just sitting here with tractor and disk and 6000g of water ready to deploy. Inciweb,, and of course fb were good ways to get info.

    5. mrsyk

      I seem to remember reading an article that pointed out fireworks as a culprit. A google search of “do fireworks cause wildfires” returns the AI (I assume) generated response (which I have cut and pasted, there’s a typo) “The embers and sparks that fall from fireworks can ignite wildfires. Research shows that in the U.S.July Fourth is consistently when the most human-caused wildfires are ignited.”

      1. Lexx

        Generally, if dry enough (drought conditions) PNW cities ban fireworks, except maybe public displays over water with fire department in attendance just in case. Those holidays fireworks are still for sale however, across state lines and on reservations.

        The attitude is ‘catch me if you can’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Looks like the Maui firefighters are in for a tough week. Everything looks burn out in that video and I guess that it is showing the aftermath of that fire sweeping through.

      1. mrsyk

        I see that the coast guard is rescuing people who have been pushed into the ocean. 2000 people stuck at the airport with nowhere to go.
        “Mahina Martin, chief of communications and public affairs in Maui County, told CNN on Wednesday morning that fires in three areas on the island are “not contained in any fashion.”
        “They are all active fires, creating the need for urgent evacuations in a variety of places throughout those districts,” she said.”
        This posted at about 10:00 am eastern time on CNN

  9. Teejay

    The Buffalo v Buffalo antidote today seems like the best visual summary of the first two months of the Ukrainian “counteroffensive”.

  10. LawnDart

    Re; New Not-So-Cold War

    I believe Ukraine is trying to force Russia into taking Odessa:

    Ukraine declares war on Russia’s Black Sea shipping

    Russian ports and ships on the Black Sea — including tankers carrying millions of barrels of oil to Europe — could justifiably be attacked by the Ukrainian military as part of efforts to weaken Moscow’s war machine, a senior Kyiv official warned Monday..

    1. Polar Socialist

      The Europeans may have to rethink their position in supporting Ukraine should their energy become even more expensive. Without a way to blame Russia for it this time, I mean.

      In a related note, Mr. Putin yesterday signed a presidential degree imposing the same procedure for Russian agricultural products that he did for the oil and gas – only rubles are accepted. The buyers can deposit their national currency on a special account in a Russian bank to buy rubles.

  11. pjay

    – ‘A judge called an FBI operative a ‘villain.’ Ruling comes too late for 2 convicted in terror sting’ – AP

    Whenever I hear about the FBI uncovering a dangerous terrorist cell, my default assumption is a sting of hapless dupes led by an agent provocateur.

    This story has another interesting element, however, involving Hussain’s son, which has been very prominent in our local news in upstate NY for a number of years:

    “Hussain is believed to have returned to Pakistan, but he maintained a limo company in upstate New York that was operated by a son. In 2018, one of the company’s vehicles wrecked while carrying a group on a birthday outing, killing 20. Hussain’s son was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to at least five years in prison after prosecutors presented evidence that the company had evaded safety regulations.”

    Originally the son had received a Hunter Biden-like plea deal with no prison time. But the judge in the case threw it out, as with Biden’s, because it stunk to high heaven. There were rumors that he also had high-level connections. Now it makes sense.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      At the time of the arrests, then-deputy attorney general James Comey said “we are working very, very hard to infiltrate the enemy.” After their convictions, then-U.S. Attorney Glenn Suddaby said the pair were “prone to support terrorism.”

      If anyone is still wondering why rampant, legitimate white collar criminality is never investigated by the fbi, let alone prosecuted by the “justice” department, they should wonder no more.

    1. digi_owl

      Yeah i recall hearing about it decades ago how Pentagon would provide all the men and vehicles you wanted, as long as your script presented them as heroic white knights saving the world.

      1. LifelongLib

        Reminds me of the novel “Dog Soldiers”, where the protagonist was a member of the Sealift Command and smuggled heroin into the U.S. on an aircraft carrier. In the movie version the ship was a rusty old freighter. I guess the Navy wasn’t on board with the idea of its ships being used for heroin smuggling…

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s their job to create society. If you don’t want to live in someone else’s dreams, then reject the Great.

  12. Lex

    The article about supply chain issues leading to lower than planned production of F-35 and Rafael airframes is pretty significant. The one military industry that the US has always had a significant advantage in is aircraft. It’s a large part of the reason that Russia focused on both air defense and missile capability: it worked under the assumption that it would not be able to catch up or surpass the US, and so it shouldn’t even try. It’s no real surprise that these problems have developed, and they’re likely to get worse not better.

  13. Mildred Montana

    File under The Bezzle?

    Those drugs that reportedly cause stomach paralysis include Ozempic and Wegovy (both made by Novo Nordisk). But there’s no way NN is going to take that bad news lying down. In a matter of two weeks it fights back with this:

    In a study funded by itself (!), it turns out its diabetes/ weight-loss drugs purportedly reduce serious heart problems by 20% and therefore could become eligible for insurance coverage. Happy days are here again!

    Of course the MSM joined in the celebration by featuring the “good news” on all three nightly newscasts.

    1. IM Doc

      I want everyone to know…..this is exactly how the opiate crisis started and this is exactly how the VIOXX/BEXTRA/CELEBREX debacle began.

      Breathless coverage in the press – We can CURE YOUR PAIN WITH VIOXX and you will never have ulcers or kidney problems again like those old horrible drugs like NAPROSYN. Merck and Pfizer were providing lunches for doctors at an unprecedented scale.

      It was only years later after millions of prescriptions had been written that the badness started to flow. And it turns out that the drug companies knew about the badness all along.

      I have already begun to see severe intractable nausea and profound malaise in a sizable number of these patients taking Ozempic, et al. Not yet seen gastroparesis – but then again – I am not giving this out for anything but diabetes.

      Please look at this commercial. Unfortunately, I have to keep up with this dreck because my patients are exposed to it constantly and often have questions.

      This is an ad for JARDIANCE which is for another class of diabetes drugs than Ozempic. But the same still holds. Take our drug and KEEP RIGHT ON LIVING YOUR LIFESTYLE and you can do the happy dance too. Not that long ago, the companies were forced to verbalize in their ads that this drug is IN ADDITION to a lifestyle change. Notice how that whole line of thought is completely thrown out the window – and that verbiage is relegated to a quick mini-second flash in the fine print.

      We obviously never learn. And it will eventually cost us dearly. It may already have. There is a reason that the very first piece I have every medical student in my service read is Hawthorne’s “The Celestial Railroad”. He summarized colorfully one of the fatal flaws of Americans – the “quick fix” approach to life and where that eventually leads – straight to perdition.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Every time I see that commercial, and I see it a lot, it blows my mind. It’s a frickin’ drug, ferchrissakes, and the disease it’s supposed to “treat” is extremely serious. (And you gotta love the small print definition of “perineum.”)

        “jardience is really swell. The little pill with a big story to tell.”

        Jeezus H. Christ. This country has become a nation of pathetic imbeciles.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        PS. I’m old enough to remember fen-phen from the 90’s, another “miracle” drug that was supposed to keep the world safe for the high fructose corn syrup, processed food, and couch potato industrial complex.

        Fenfluramine was marketed by American Home Products (later known as Wyeth) as Pondimin, but was shown to cause potentially fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems, which eventually led to its withdrawal in 1997 and legal damages of over $13 billion.

        A similar drug, aminorex, had caused severe lung damage and “provided reason to worry that similar drugs … could increase the risk of a rare but often fatal lung disease, pulmonary hypertension.”[1] In 1994, Wyeth official Fred Wilson expressed concerns about fenfluramine’s labeling containing only four cases of pulmonary hypertension when a total of 41 had been observed, but no action was taken until 1996.[1] In 1995, Wyeth introduced dexfenfluramine (the dextro isomer, marketed as Redux), which it hoped would cause fewer adverse effects. However, the medical officer of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Leo Lutwak, insisted upon a black box warning of pulmonary hypertension risks. After Lutwak refused to approve the drug, the FDA management had James Milton Bilstad, FDA Senior Drug Evaluator, sign it and approved the drug with no black box warning for marketing in 1996.[1] European regulators required a major warning of pulmonary hypertension risks.

        On cnbc yesterday an “analyst” weighed in with a dire warning for the future of snack food and alcohol stocks, since the newest “miracle” drug “reduces cravings.” OMG.

      3. Mildred Montana

        Re: Jardiance commercial

        I looked, I listened, I laughed. The comments shot it to pieces.

      4. elissa3

        Yes, I seem to remember a gushing story on Vioxx in The New Yorker many years ago when I actually read the articles of that debased rag. From memory, Vioxx was hailed as the second coming. Fortunately, having a good tolerance to it, I stuck with aspirin for my aches and pains.

        1. anahuna

          Back in the early 21st century, I worked for several months as an interpreter in the clinic of a branch of a highly regarded teaching hospital in NYC. The hospital had been forced to hire us (instead of relying on random Spanish- speaking staff) and didn’t know where to put us, so I’m between trips to interpret we ended up crammed into the PCP — hope I’ve got that right it’s been a long time– room where new doctors came to consult more experienced staff. It was then I learned that to treat someone “medically” means to prescribe drugs. I came to this several years after having been rescued from months of extreme fatigue and brain fog by a Swiss naturopath in London who relied mostly on diet, moxybustion, herbal tinctures and tissue salts so I was predisposed to skepticism, and what I saw and heard there only added to it. The doctors themselves, young and old, were highly trained and generally full of good intentions.

          But this was the era of Vioxx and Celebrex, and day after day I heard the prescriptions rolling out. That dose isn’t working? Try a higher, or on occasion lower

          (An exception to the “well-intentioned” rule was an Israeli doctor who mouthed at me, behind the back of a woman who was complaining of severe side-effects from Vioxx, “She’s so difficult.” And was no doubt surprised and disappointed when I wouldn’t play along. But I’m wrong, of course, it probably wasn’t ill-intentioned, just supreme confidence in his superiority.)

          Having no alternative to offer, I made what mostly non-verbal communication I could with the patients and occasionally and non-professionally threw in a suggestion to a receptive doctor.

          Those months left me with many memories.

      5. John k

        Fixes have to be quick and easy because we don’t do long and hard. Ukraine is a good example, it’s already way too long and hard.

      6. Lexx

        Ozempic becomes another tool where the patient feels like Polly Pureheart tied to the track, a train is a comin’ and Dr. Whiplash is standing to one side writing in the patient’s chart ‘prediabetic’, ‘diabetic’, ‘obese’… ‘has put on a few pounds since last visit’, ‘refuses to step on scales’, ‘combative/uncoopertive’, ‘declines further advice on behavior modification’.

        Polly: ‘Really, Snidely, if you could just help me loosen the knots, I think I can manage the rest,’

        I feel like there has to be a happy medium, where the tools of medicine are used to serve the ‘health’ of patients and not just profitably manage disease, when it finally and inevitably occurs sans intervention.. to get ahead of the curve. A path to recover what has been lost, always assuming ‘optimal’ existed in the first place.

        (And his dog, Muttley.)

      7. SG

        I don’t watch much commercial TV, but when I do the ads for powerful prescription medications with major side effects just appall me. I can’t imagine what it must be like seeing this stuff as a practicing physician or, worse yet, having to deal with patients marching into your office demanding prescriptions for the latest wonder elixer.

        Heinlein was right: these are the “Crazy Years”.

  14. Es sCetera

    re: Wall Street has purchased hundreds of thousands of single-family homes since the Great Recession. Here’s what that means for rental prices CNBC

    Remember how mining and factory companies used to own all the houses in mining and factory towns, forced employees to pay exorbitant rent for accommodation? They owned the food stores as well?

    This rather reminds me of that.

  15. Henry Moon Pie

    Moody’s downgraded 10 regional banks yesterday. It caught my eye because one of the ten is a bank that’s been run by the same family for now the fourth generation. I went to high school and college with the two brothers who just handed the reins to one of their sons.

  16. SG

    “‘We know that 1.5C isn’t realistic in the short term,’ says John Christensen, director of the UN Environment Programme and one of the authors of the Emissions Gap Report. ‘But it can come back down. There’s no alternative.’” There isn’t?

    Probably not. There’s a lot of hysteresis in the system, so I suspect there’s a certain amount of additional warming already “baked in” (no pun intended). Even if human beings disappeared from the planet and fossil fuel emissions dropped to zero overnight, temperatures would probably continue to rise for awhile.

    I am not a climatologist, but I’ve worked on climate models quite a bit and that’s my sense of the situation.

    1. Kouros

      I asked folks doing a lot of scenarios and data prep in Canada on what level of probability to associate with their scenarios. After much prodding, they accnowledged that the lower emission scenario is in fact being abandoned and they are working on another one, between the midd emissions and high emissions.

      Way to move the goal posts. And now is all about adaptation…

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