Links 9/21/2023

Yves asks me to apologize for the lack of original posts today; she is doing post-fundraiser planning — thank you, dear readers* — and other administrivia. –lambert. NOTE * I can’t think of a snowclone for “____ couch” (as in fainting couch) that covers the idea of overwhelming relief and gratitude instead of fainting, so I’ll have to go meta here instead of making an actual joke; load off one’s mind-couch is just too awkward. But you see what I mean.

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return to Earth: Live updates Space

Bears raid a Krispy Kreme doughnut van making deliveries on an Alaska military base AP

Many people hate wasps, but research shows they’re smarter than you might think and ecologically important Tsk! I identify as a WASP!


How Europe’s forests regenerate—without any human interference

Plant and forest researchers: do not “anthropomorphize” plants (press release) University of Heidelberg

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Minnesota Judge Rules That Criminalizing Enbridge Line 3 Water Protectors Would Be a Crime Exposed by CMD. Good news!

Colorado wants to create carbon-capture hubs across the state. But locals aren’t sold. Colorado Sun

Why Batteries Might — Might! — Solve America’s Power-Line Shortage Heat Map

Degrowth and Ecosocialist Revolution Science for the People

Learn to live with wildfire smoke, British Columbians told Castanet


Biden administration announces $600M to produce COVID tests and will reopen website to order them AP. A bit late. Apparently, nobody in the molasses-brained West Wing has been following the wastewater numbers. The story doesn’t say whether RAT (false negatives) or PCR, or both. If this year’s site is the same as last year’s, there will be PCRs at “more than 15,000 sites nationwide.” Readers? (Of course, a test is useless if you can’t afford treatment, so it’s another “access to” scheme, but better than nothing, I suppose.)

Opinion: The mistake hospitals made on Covid-19 CNN. Doing better scientific communication than the CDC:

Does the risk of getting long Covid increase each time you get reinfected? STAT (MV).

Convalescent plasma may lessen the odds of long COVID, study suggests Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Continued selection on cryptic SARS-CoV-2 observed in Missouri wastewater (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “SARS-CoV-2 lineages of an unknown source that have not been detected in clinical samples, referred to as cryptic lineages, are sometimes repeatedly detected in specific locations. We have continued to detect one such lineage previously seen in a Missouri site. This cryptic lineage has continued to evolve, indicating continued selective pressure similar to that observed in Omicron lineages.” Still out there, mutating away, as one does, if one is a virus.


The Fight Continues For Those Affected By Camp Lejeune The Brockovich Report


Foreign investors still shunning China despite signs of upturn FT

Chinese blockade on Taiwan would be ‘monster risk’: Pentagon Channel News Asia

White House told U.S. ambassador to Japan to stop taunting China on social media NBC. That Rahm. Such a kidder!

High-level disappearances deepen China’s political black hole Channnel News Asia

In search of the eagle huntresses Al Jazeera


Myanmar Junta Seeks Chinese Help Acquiring Nuclear Technology The Irrawaddy

Okinawa governor tells U.N. that U.S. military base threatens peace Japan Times


India suspends visa services for Canadians as diplomatic row deepens FT

What we know about the Sikh murder that soured India-Canada ties Channel News Asia


The Moti Files – Zunaid Moti’s grand lithium ‘sting’ Daily Maverick. They salted the rock samples; oldest trick in the book!

Dear Old Blighty

I’ll tackle climate change – but I will NOT punish Sun readers to get to Net Zero Rishi Sunak, The Sun

London Playbook PM: Caught in the net zero Politico. “Standing at a podium with a new slogan, ‘Long-term decisions for a Brighter future’, Sunak….” Not a parody, apparently. “Brighter decisions for a long-term future?” “Future decisions for a brighter long term”?

Sunak heads for the the gutter as Packham takes the lead: a tale of two climate interventions Funding the Future

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelenskyy at the White House: Five things Ukraine wants from the US EuroNews

Poland’s president: Ukraine like ‘drowning person clinging to anything available’ The Hill

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Ukrainian defenders strike Russian Black Sea Fleet’s command post in Sevastopol Ukrainska Pravda

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Lockheed Martin Boasts to Investors: Ukraine War Fueling “$10 Billion of Opportunities … Now to the End of the Decade” Lee Fang (GF).

Looking Beyond the War: Planning for Ukraine’s Reconstruction RAND. Let me know how that works out….

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Operation ‘carte blanche’ : Ukraine’s new defence minister cleans house France24. And not a minute too soon!

Four Russian oligarchs want billions from Ukraine on basis of Ukraine’s agreement with Belgium and Luxembourg Ukrainska Pravda. Comedy tonight!

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Did Kennan Foresee Putin? Foreign Affairs

Azerbaijan to hold peace talks with Armenian separatists after Karabakh victory France 24

US says it hopes Karabakh cease-fire ‘comes to fruition’ Anadolu Agency

The Caribbean

Poison and Magic in Caribbean Uprisings JSTOR

South of the Border

The Mexican Question New Left Review

Ferromex suspends operations of 60 freight trains in Mexico Mexico News Daily. “After a string of accidents involving migrants riding the rails.”

Biden Administration

The anti-vaccine movement is on the rise. The White House is at a loss over what to do about it. Politico. Resign en masse and immediately?


AI about to pollute our antidotes, if we’re not careful about provenance (which we are):

History, too:

Monitoring, Streamlining and Reorganizing Work with Digital Technology Cracked Labs. The deck: “A case study on software for process mining, workflow automation, algorithmic management and AI based on rich behavioral data about workers.”

Zeitgeist Watch

Russell Brand was the norm in the nasty noughties The Economist. Odd, then, that only Brand is being dogpiled.

Russell Brand is not the main target, but a mere proxy for the censors’ global assault on free speech Dossier

Realignment and Legitimacy

Americans’ Dismal Views of the Nation’s Politics Pew Research Center. Handy chart:

I don’t have a dismal view of “politics.” I have a dismal view of parties (and, I suppose, party animals). More:

Hard to argue with this, though how to have politics, in any form, without “division,” without harshing somebody’s mellow, is an open question. Sortition? Deliberative democracy?

What to Do When Your Political Party Loses Its Mind The Atlantic. A party, of course (?), does not have a “mind.” But whatever the process is that causes “loses its mind” to be applied to one is something it would be useful to understand, and of broader application than the Tories. (It’s not the “madness of crowds,” because a party is not a crowd.)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Editorial: Why skeptical Californians should rethink cash reparations for slavery LA Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

Inside the delicate art of maintaining America’s aging nuclear weapons AP

Class Warfare

Pontifications: IAM 751 gearing up for Boeing contract talks in 2024 Leeham News and Analysis

Go North The Baffler

Antidote du jour (via):

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. ArkansasAngie

    This sentence … “a test is useless if you can’t afford the vaccine” is invalid. I am not vaccinated and I recently purchased some tests. If I get covid (which I haven’t so far) I will quarantine. I will seek medical attention.

      1. .human

        Some of us do not see the point of a non-sterilizrng “vaccine” and are willing to perform our own precautions.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe an aversion to unknown serious side-effects caused by an experimental vaccine of dubious effectiveness and a dodgy testing regime pushed through to public distribution because of political expediency? Otherwise no idea.

        1. bassmule

          I’m getting the shot not because it will keep me from getting sick, but because it might keep me from dying of COVID.

          1. John Beech

            I’ve been surprised to learn some are ecstatic with vaccine skeptics. Seems they believe it does two things, reduce the number of idiots, and reduces the financial load due to social security obligations that won’t be due. Seems harsh, but as a proponent of freedom, I’m neatly precluded from objecting without hypocrisy. And if nothing else, another’s abject ignorance is none of my business.

          2. ambrit

            Sorry, much as I usually agree with you, but “might” is not good enough.
            I am in the camp that suspects that the spike protein of the Coronavirus 2019 “vaccine” does serious damage all on it’s own. Thus, I apply the Precautionary Principle in determining what “vaccines” I avail myself of.
            The argument that this attitude proves someone as “anti-vax” is a canard. I, and I’ll guess here that many others like me, accept standard vaccines as useful and socially beneficial. The only “social benefit” I can see arising from the coronavirus outbreak and the “vaccine” campaigns to date is the enforced diminuition of the “useless eater” population.
            If the Coronavirus 2019 “vaccines” were any good, the incidence of coronavirus infection subsequent to the “vaccination” campaign should have experienced a noticeable and significant decline. Such has not been the case.
            Stay safe.

            1. Samuel Conner

              > suspects that the spike protein of the Coronavirus 2019 “vaccine” does serious damage all on it’s own

              This is where I reluctantly find myself, so that one’s thinking is forced to balance the risks of a voluntary 100% probability of exposure to potential harms from the antigen with a smaller (how much smaller dependent on the efficacy of the NPIs one implements) probability of exposure to the live virus, with its attendant harms.

              I know a number of maskers who are similarly anxious about the booster shots.

              The very low compliance in 2022 (20% uptake of boosters, vs 70+% uptake of the original 2021 vaccines; this per a recent link I think I encountered at NC, but cannot now find) suggests to me that skepticism toward these vaccines is mainstream. Not sure what can be done to correct that (and not sure that it should be corrected; perhaps the skepticism is justified).

              Given the even greater lack of use of NPIs (many fewer than 20% of the people I encounter are masked), we seem to be in a very bad place, where very little is being done by the population to retard spread of the CV.

              In 2021, it was “vaccinate and you won’t need to mask”.

              more recently, it was “the pandemic is over”

              and now we are in a place where the danger is disregarded by much of the population and the authorities seem to have no levers remaining to influence population behavior.

              1. TimH

                The “pandemic is over” message doesn’t quite align with “everyone must vaccinate again to save the world”.

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              > I am in the camp that suspects that the spike protein of the Coronavirus 2019 “vaccine” does serious damage all on it’s own.

              I’n about airborne, and not a vaccine maven. That said, I like technology to be proven (I think Taleb calls this the “Lindy” principle.) Killed virus and protein vaccines are proven. mRNA is not. Hence, I am adjacent to your position, and don’t much like all those spikes either.

              Nothing about the vaccine roll-out was good, most especially the mandates. And one can only wonder why an effective, non-mRNA vaccine like Novavax still awaits approval.

              1. Phacops

                Aldo, the Novavax vaccine as a primary or booster induces a high degree of cross reactivity to all SARS variants.

        2. Mo

          I more than suspect that the vaccine does damage. My wife was in bed for 2 days after her booster. Heart racing and chills, couldn’t get warm. I was very very worried.

          We are both done with the vaccine. Would be crazy stupid to try it again after what she went through.

          But the smugness of the way Sam Adams offers his loaded question is a good encapsulation of the way people think they’re smart while only repeating talking points they’ve received from their tribal betters

      3. FlyoverBoy

        Should she have to? A recent Cleveland Clinic study suggests the 2022-23 generation of vaccines don’t work. It’s already known that the brand new ones are targeted to the XBB variant family that’s already outdated by the newly spreading 2.86. And I personally am among the well-concealed group of people who’s suffered from a painful and sometimes crippling autoimmune disorder that three physicians have identified as quite probably caused in my previously healthy body by the jabs.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the newly spreading 2.86.

          I’m not a variant chaser, but that said, I don’t think that BA.2.86 is anywhere near dominant in the United States. It’s “out there” (apparently some cases in Cleveland), but not dominant. Even with the horrid lags in our reporting system, I would have expected it to be coming up on the CDC charts by now.

          Also, “A recent Cleveland Clinic study” needs a link. We call this section “Links” for a reason.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        Here’s a question I’m still looking for an answer to. Not a theory, an actual factually based answer.

        The US developed vaccines, and strongly encouraged and/or forced the vast majority of people to get them (I would have lost my job had I not gotten one). Most of Africa did not get vaccinated at nearly the same rate as USians. And yet if statistics are to be believed, the US had pretty much the worst pandemic result of anywhere in the world, while there were far fewer deaths in Africa. And yes, perhaps reporting wasn’t as good in Africa, but if bodies had been piling up in the streets, I’m sure we would have heard about it on other continents, but we did not. So why exactly is it that the highly vaccinated populations had a worse overall result?

        Given the above, I really don’t know why anyone would be rushing out to get a booster at this point.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > perhaps reporting wasn’t as good in Africa, but if bodies had been piling up in the streets, I’m sure we would have heard about it

          Certainly there would have been every incentive to publicize that, too.

          I am not aware of a “factually-based” answer. I am not a believer in single causes for anything so I would doubt any answer that blamed (say) vax (only) in the United States, and (say) the drug that shall not be named (only) in Africa, a theory I have encountered in the wild.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I actually didn’t even have the voldemort pharma in mind when I typed the comment, and I have no idea how widespread intake of that may have been in Africa.

            But like you noted, there would have been incentive to publicize bad results in Africa, and yet that didn’t happen. I find the whole thing very odd – worse results in countries that did use the mRNA stuff. Extremely odd.

        2. Troy

          > So why exactly is it that the highly vaccinated populations had a worse overall result?

          Africa understands it is not going to be first in line for vaccine rollouts. Thus, they have to be prepared to prevent transmission. They’re well practiced in preventing viral spread. And African nations had actual lockdowns in effect instead of the mitigation advisories that most Western nations had in place.

          And Western nations —upon development and rollout of the vaccine— ended their mitigation advisories (or their (insert Spongebob mocking meme) “lockdowns”) before they ended transmission. These advisories ended at least three weeks too early. Arrogantly and recklessly, Western nations returned to brunch, and hence there were huge amounts of infected people with sizable numbers of disabilities and deaths.

    1. Objective Ace

      Yea–I didnt understand this. Arent you explicitly advised not to receive a vaccination if you are sick? This isnt rabies, by the time you test positive its too late.

        1. AndrewJ

          Having followed the “ivermectin question” here in my daily reading, I thought the eventual analysis through studies and meta-studies was that it probably doesn’t have an effect, though it’s got a good safety profile and is unlikely to cause harm.
          That it got turned into a slur as soon as it’s use was proposed, and as a result there was no serious large-scale effort to research it’s efficacy here in the West, was one of the first signs to me that our government’s response to the pandemic wasn’t going to be a good-faith effort.
          I’d be happy to be wrong about this, though. I still occasionally take some of my vitamin I stock when I think I’ve been exposed and feel “funny”.

    2. Ignacio

      If someone gets a positive in test, you are infected, do not go for a booster. The combined effect of infection and vaccine can be really awful and there are chances you can have a mess of an immune reaction worsening everything. This has happened in cases of boosting while infected too recently to show symptoms.

      1. maipenrai

        Can you elaborate? i know someone who died in this setting, but doctors said that there was no connection

    3. JTMcPhee

      I’m triple-mRNA-shotted, but no more of that. I was fortunate to have minimal immediate problems from the shots, but I have likely but obscure long-term effects from both the disease and the fake shots on offer here.

      Other countries have actual vaccines available that appear to do what Pfizer and Moderna mRNA sh(i)ots do NOT do — keep you from getting sick, from spreading the virus, from having your immune and other body systems hijacked and damaged by the virus and the pathologies the mRNA shots engender. (Why do people still call them VACCINES? They only get that disingenuous nomenclature after a change in the “public health” definition of the term.) the mRNAs do not even provide effective immunity from reinfection, and each reinfection makes you sicker and weaker..

      If this is a “free market,” why are the Cuban and Russian and Chinese and Indian and even non-Enemy-Bloc-sourced actual vaccines not in the US “market space?” Silly effing question of course.

      I got covid from my wife, who got it on a destination-wedding trip to europe/Italy for her daughter. Nasty onset. We had a few RAT tests on hand, and the second one confirmed a whole lot of antigens (at least I think the fact that it only took 5 minutes for a very dark line to appear in the reagent window — may not be a correct understanding of how they work.) Moderately severe disease, not hospitalized. I received Paxlovid which had practically no effect since the Walgreens pharmacist the doctor E-scribed the script to told me I did not have medical insurance that had a prescription benefit (just Medicare A and B and AARP secondary) and therefore could not get paxlovid, could not even just pay for the drug on the prescription from my PCP since “government rules banned pharmacists from dispensing to uninsured -no drug plan- people.”

      Pax is supposed to be administered within 5 days of onset of symptoms. On the fifth day I took a chance and called CVS, where the pharmacist said “no problem, and what the hell was that pharm at Walgreen claiming?”

      My PCP will not countenance discussion of horse paste or hydroxy or other non-Narrative approaches to treatment, and several pharmacies have told me they would not fill scripts for them without a written “approved diagnosis” and say that pharmacists have independent power to override doctor’s orders where an MD dares to prescribe “off label.” And I cannot afford the “secondary market” source since the online MDs want a hefty “retainer” and the pharmacies who dispense want YUUUGE amounts of money for the FLCCC-protocol dosing of those meds. I do take the Vit D and C, zinc, melatonin and now met for min.

      Now I’m having what may be age-related problems, but many of which are a lot more reminiscent of what I read are the prolonged effects of both the virus and the rip-off “remedy” the Great Private-Public Partnership of the “public health [sic] apparatus” has tried, with some success, to cram down on us mopes. Have to wonder how many spike-protein micro factories are churning in my body, and where the covid virus is hiding out and sniping at me. (I’ve had run-ins with shingles and Epstein-Barr, so the phenomenon is personally familiar to me.) I gloat when reading occasional whiny posts by PMC types (which I have to think are thinned out and pre-memory-holed by the Algorithms That Protect Us) about their sad symptoms and, rarely, awakening to the intentional-crapification reality one can learn about (so far, when will NC get the zero-day treatment?) here at NC and the links made available by this site in reporting and comments.

      As to “conditions precluding vaccination” red herring: I have had all the other vaccines, from childhood onward, up to the realization that mRNA shots ARE NOT VACCINES. They don’t stop the infection, stop the spread, provide immunization against reinfection, mitigate the severity of infection, and all the other claims.

      In this age of manufactured consent bullshitt, I am not “anti-vaxx,” I am anti falsely presented pathogenesis-for-profit.”

      Give me “access to” actual vaccines from places other than the US Death Cult sources, that have some actual “science” to substantiate their safety and effectiveness, and I’ll be happy to get another shot-in-arm, spritz up the nose or whatever.

      Until then, no forking way.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > invalid

      You are correct! I wrote in haste, being especially pressed temporally. I had ObamaCare in mind, which puts patients in the position of being able to get a diagnosis, and then not necessarily being able to afford treatment. In such a case, is knowledge of one’s condition really a good thing? Hard to say!

      So I changed the wording accordingly.

  2. furnace

    “Inside the delicate art of maintaining America’s aging nuclear weapons AP”

    Eight hundred miles (about 1,300 kilometers) away in New Mexico, workers in a steel-walled vault have an equally delicate task. Wearing radiation monitors, safety goggles and seven layers of gloves, they practice shaping new warhead plutonium cores — by hand.

    Sounds very safe.

    The key radioactive atom in the plutonium pit has a half life of 24,000 years, which is the amount of time it would take roughly half of the radioactive atoms present to decay. That would suggest the weapons should be viable for years to come. But the plutonium decay is still enough to cause concern that it could affect how a pit explodes.

    So we literally don’t actually know if the nukes work. I’m not sure if that is reassuring or worrying.

    “The United States has not regularly manufactured plutonium pits since 1989,” the Government Accountability Office noted in a January 2023 report, adding that the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration has provided “limited assurance that it would be able to produce sufficient numbers of pits.”

    Do people want to deal with another Hanford? Isn’t one irreversibly polluted landscape enough?

    1. Aurelien

      Well, it’s an inevitable consequence of the Test Ban Treaty. For a generation now, nobody has really known whether the nuclear weapons they are building will work, or whether those in their stockpile are still functional. Mathematical modelling and inspections will only get you so far.

        1. Paradan

          Think how much camera and imaging technology has progressed since the last above ground test. Think of the IMAX movie! Come on just one, they can design it to have like a 99% fission fragment(less fallout), and an airburst will just be a few extra bananas downwind. Best Burning Man ever…

      1. MicaT

        Could be true.
        What could also be true is that this is just a 2.5 trillion dollar give away to the MIC user the guise of “ we don’t know if they will work so we have to redo the whole thing”.

        It was another of Obamas great actions.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The real form of “nuclear blackmail.” And there’s a plant in Amarillo, TX, where Revelation/Rapture True Believers are just absolutely sure they are doing God’s work keeping the nuclear weapons in fine condition for when that “great day a-risin’” comes along: Pantex. In 1994, due to a “failure” in the Rapturist strategy of ever-increasing “yields “ and numbers and types of weapons, a silly international agreement led to an actual REDUCTION in the numbers and types of bombs and warheads, requiring people with experience to defuse and disassemble thousands of world-ending devices. The people of Amarillo, as the following article says, divided into “boosters” and “bashers” depending on their alignment with the Chamber of Commerce-Rapture believer axis.

          “Disarmed and Dangerous

          For decades the Pantex nuclear-weapons facility quietly made bombs. Now it has the very public mission of dismantling them. But Amarillo is bitterly divided between the economic benefit and the hazard of having tons of highly radioactive plutonium stared in its back yard.”

          And a little later, there was this:

          There’s nothing that says “oh shit” like a vague emergency alert from the U.S. government’s primary nuclear weapons assembly plant.

          On Tuesday, the Pantex Plant in Carson County, Texas — the beating heart of the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile — announced an “operational emergency” in a single terse tweet: “The Pantex Plant is experiencing an operational emergency. The Emergency Response Organization has been activated.”



          Five hours later, Pantex officials clarified the cause of the emergency as a “potential concern with a vehicle” in an administrative building parking lot that, following an inspection by local law enforcement, yielded “no prohibited items of explosives.”

          But for several, agonizing hours, nobody had any idea what was going on at the U.S. Department of Energy facility responsible for both assembling and disassembling the majority of the country’s nuclear stockpile.

          This wouldn’t be the first time a nuclear emergency struck the plant: Back in March 2005, Pantex was the site of a near-miss incident that nearly saw the detonation of a W-56 warhead during a “bungled” dismantling process, according to The Nation. And in 2010, the facility went on lockdown after workers “spotted people in camouflage carrying rifles near the facility,”

          The prospect of a security breach at the facility raises all kind of concerns. As the War Zone reminds us, the security of DoE nuclear sites is uniquely reinforced against potential breaches (this feature on the Office of Secure Transportation’s booby-trapped nuke trucks is excellent), but even the most hardened facilities in the U.S. nuclear apparatus are not without inherent security risks…”

          Lots more in that story than shows up in the top of the search results…

          Nothing to worry about folks. It’s all perfectly under control.

    2. chuck roast

      They use tritium (half life around 12years) to boost mega-tonnage of standard tactical atomic weapons. It is attached to the warhead in little pint-sized bottles. So, I think the concern is less the Ur or Pl and more the tritium.

  3. Mikel

    Go North – The Baffler

    “…Recently, in Texas and Florida, they all had a good laugh sending migrants up here. The day will come when they will be begging for letters of transit to come along.…”

    They have visions of dystopia dancing in their heads.
    “Letter of transit” my a – -.

    1. diptherio

      The author also seems to be a little outdated in their view of the past, given that they cite a book that was published in 1957. His contention that “As in ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs, the greater the need and extent of the irrigation, the bigger and more centralized the state,” is disproved by more recent findings. But one does get the feeling that this guy actually wants things to go (even more) dystopian, the better to shore up his moral high horse – “Well, I do admit to a certain bright side: this all may be good for Chicago…” Someone who can write the article he did, and the end with that has something seriously amiss going on between their ears.

      1. Carolinian

        As a Southerner I endorse his point of view. My town is slowly packing up with new residents while the roads and infrastructure stay the same. Atlanta where I used to live is now a traffic nightmare due to the same problem. All this influx is good for the economy but less good for those of us who no longer depend on that. It could be that a lot of Southerners don’t want to turn into the North.

        So dear new neighbors please do return to Chicago and btw good luck finding jobs up there unless you are a well paid lawyer like the smug author of the Baffler. The industries that used to make the Midwest prosperous have moved, not so much to the South as offshore. Seems like the enlightened people of places like Chicago and NYC did this to themselves. Go figure.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I have not read the latest climate projections for the Midwest. Based on their weather this Summer I am not sure the Midwest will be the happy haven projected in this link. I think that projection might be based on the simplistic idea that climate change will come as a more or less orderly shift in growing zones. I doubt that is how Climate Chaos will evolve. The reports on Paleoclimate transitions read as some much more exciting and rapid change than a shift in planting zones. Of course moving South or West does not seem such a great idea, but people move where the work moves.

    1. Terry Flynn

      The victims of Jimmy Savile didn’t get a jury. Plus, correct me if I’m wrong, but other 2000s “comedians” didn’t offer to send their female assistant round to his house to perform tasks naked .

      So the “pile-on” re Brand might be the usual Social Media feeding frenzy. However, Brand either consorted with a widely known “for the people in the know, who he claims to hate” sex offender, or he made that joke and didn’t know, in which case a jury would probably be asked to consider whether a “innocent by reason of insanity” verdict is appropriate. IF he DIDN’T know, WHY make that joke with Jimmy Savile as the key punchline?

      The phrase “trying to have your cake and eat it” could be said to be appropriate here. I don’t seek to absolve the public of this pile on. However, there is absolutely no way this does not look bad in some way for Brand in a way that none of his peers stooped to.

      1. Darthbobber

        Doesn’t seem like a jury is going to be asked to consider anything, since all the accusing is avoiding taking any form that might lead to people having to testify under oath. So far, all I see is an illustrtation of the old proverb: “Where there’s smoke, there’s a smoke machine.”

      2. Revenant

        Nobody’s victim gets a jury, unless you’re thinking of a coronial court. The dead have no reputation or interests to defend (could be interesting though when the copyright of the heirs collides with cancel culture – will Disney get demonetised because Walt was an anti-semite?).

        Talking about Saville is a nasty cocktail of shroud waving, guilt by association and won’t-you-think-of-the-children?

        Russell Brand may have been distasteful but he is innocent unless proved guilty and yet the Establishment are urging us to restrict his economic life on anonymous denunciation and hearsay. Where next, the return of outlawry where he can be shot on sight or witchfinding, to see if he floats rather than drowns when swum?

        He may be guilty or he may not but a court should decide. It is astonishing that Channel 4 etc have published their dossier rather than handed it to the CPS in confidence. But then again, perhaps he is not being charged precisely because the allegations could not be made while the matter is sub judice….

        If you think about it, Brand’s alleged crimes don’t seem much different from 1970’s and 80’s rock biographies. The underage girls, the drugs, the excess. Look at Spinal Tap as a (parody) of misogyny. But nobody is trying to lock up ageing rockers or boy bands for crimes against groupies because they don’t have a million strong public following on alternative media….

          1. Terry Flynn

            Neither does deliberate pedantry bordering on straw manning. Did people really thought I meant the victims legally get a jury in that way? I tried to economize on words to avoid skynet and get that? Sheesh…. If having a large coffee to get through a doctor’s appt about my long covid just causes this nonsense I shouldn’t bother.

            My bullet points in wordpad being (I hope) constructive about the long covid and repeat infection piece and thoughts from UK immunology/infectious disease shall remain that.

            1. Revenant

              I didn’t mean to fight straw men. I genuinely thought you were appealing to victimhood and, to cap it all, suggesting that the jury is there to judge the victims not the accused. Apologies if I spoilt your coffee break with a slightly prim correction, it wasn’t intended to put you off speaking your mind: you are one of the commenter that I savour!
              Please post your covid notes!

              I feel strongly that Brand should not be monstered, even if he turns out to have been a monster. Look what happened with Cliff Richard and the BBC nonce-copter. The whole thing is a bit Brass Eye….

              And yet there are other people (the former Sun showbiz hack, Dan Wootton, for example,) who are accused of worse stuff and there is no mob with torches and pitchforks assembling.

              Blasphemy and lèse-majesté and even unorthodox thinking are no longer stigmatised.

              The only tools of ostracism left to the establishmemt appear to be heterosexual offences and climate change denial. The only thing wrong about being caught with a Guards officer these days is the bearskin!

              1. Terry Flynn

                Thanks. Unfortunately I’m too lacking in energy to rewrite the points (which I’d not saved) regarding long COVID. I have a specialist appt coming up in a month, however.

                If I get any insights that haven’t already been brought to the fore by Lambert I’ll try to write them up and post. But my energy levels are alas getting worse.

      3. urdsama

        I assume you are aware that many, many people consorted with Saville but oddly none of them are being taken to task…

        1. Terry Flynn

          Google the picture of Savile wearing the vote Conservative t-shirt – there’s your answer. Plus, my paternal grandmother family tree (ROBERTS!) is easily established – two family members got back to 16th century without Mormon help to ensure we weren’t related. Gran was Tory stalwort of the 2nd, unrelated, Roberts family of Grantham. I don’t have to quote what my grandmother’s siblings told me (including her younger sister who LITERALLY sat next to the future prime minister and sort of befriended her due to identical surname and school year age) to know EXACTLY why people of Grantham to this day go mad at thought of a Thatcher statue there. Google the controversies.

          Funny how old people of Grantham are not proud of its greatest political “asset”….

          I’m being discreet due to libel laws but USAians on here in the past have shown awareness of “certain issues” and even quoted stuff. If you’re gonna use the Brand defence it’s rather silly to not first distance yourself from such a huge controversy. This is NOT “secret stuff” and I maintain Brand is either a bit intellectually challenged or thought what they had on him would get ignored in modern media due to his number of followers. Old people in Grantham are the tail wagging the dog….. Wise people don’t forget that.

      4. Mildred Montana

        >“trying to have your cake and eat it”

        Sorry, but I’m in the mood for a brief pedantry break. The above aphorism has never quite made sense to me until I discovered that it made more sense if it were reversed. A reader of the New York Times Magazine feature called “On Language” agrees with me:

        ‘In my previous reader response, I mentioned the puzzling proverb “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Matthew Parry writes: “I’d always found ‘have your cake and eat it too’ perplexing, too, until it was pointed out the reversed construction makes sense: ‘You can’t eat your cake and have it too.’ Of course, everyone thinks I’m misquoting when I say this now!”’

        The link for interested fellow pedants:

        As always, current usage prevails and I would never criticize it. Now, back to regular commenting.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Thank you. Since I get annoyed about these issues I’m happy to be corrected.

          My bugbear is “the proof is in the pudding”. NO – The proof of the pudding is in the eating! The shortened version is stupid.

    2. bob

      From Supreme Court Justice’s to Donald Trump. Charges of sexual impropriety decades ago with no proof. I cannot remember where or when. Lets just change the law on statute of limitations and allow anyone to make accusations. Sexual abuse is horrible, but so was being accused of something without the right to defend yourself because it is hard to prove innocence when there is no where or when. The me too movement has morphed into a witch hunt by political opportunists.

      1. Enter Laughing

        The censorship industrial complex continues to refine its techniques.

        Brand has become a real nuisance with his skeptical takes on the corrupt, crumbling entities in charge of this current mess.


        Generate a flurry of anonymous allegations, which creates the necessary McGuffin to simultaneously demonetize his social media channels and increase his expenses for things like legal fees, public relations help and so on. The coordinated media frenzy further distracts Brand from focusing on creating new content, while also exacting a presumably heavy toll on him from the stress of having to defend himself.

        The result?

        Brand is substantially diminished as a critic of the PTB for several months or even years — however long it takes until he has his day in court. If he’s guilty he should face the legal consequences, of course. But that’s really beside the point as far as the censorship industrial complex goes. Its aim is to hobble anyone it sees as a threat to the approved narrative.

        Trump is the obvious Beta test for this kind of technique. Trump is so buried under a mountain of charges and allegations that he has much less time, money and energy to devote to his presidential campaign. It doesn’t matter if two years down the road he’s totally exonerated of all charges — the damage is already done.

    3. AK

      The proximate result of this will be a vast increase in the popularity of Rumble, who have refused to bow down to a request issued by the chair of a UK parliamentary committee to follow YouTube’s lead and demonetise Brand’s account.

      BBC report: Russell Brand: Rumble rejects MP’s ‘disturbing’ letter over income

      Also, looking at yesterday’s Guardian report on Rumble, funny that they fail to mention that their own Pulitzer-winning reporter Glenn Greenwald has also set up camp there.

    4. JCC

      Brendan O’Neil strongly infers that Russell Brand is all about “anti-vax”. Obviously he has never watched many of his videos on youtube or on rumble. And it seems like he is almost supporting youtube’s policy in a sort of back-handed way, focusing on Me Too and vaccine avoidance, as if those two items are Mr. Brand’s primary focus.

      Brand’s diatribes against neoliberalism, Ukraine. NATO, the 0.01%, and specifically, something he often discusses with examples and proofs, Censorship, are purposely (in my opinion) avoided in this mild defense. Plus, he’s pulling the Bernie Bros card.

    1. cnchal

      The other day I relied on search for a well known business’s address and when I got there found out they moved five years before, so crapification runs deep. The fake can’t keep up with the real.

      I bet this type of collision has happened. Driver relies on the warning light in the outside mirrors before doing a lane change, the system fails for some reason or other and by looking for a warning light instead of into a properly adjusted mirror to see if it’s safe to change lanes, wipes out the dufus riding in their blind spot.

      1. jhallc

        I never rely on my mirrors for a lane change. Always look over my shoulder. Has saved me more times than I can count.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          If you need to use your mirror or look over your shoulder to make an emergency lane change, you weren’t paying attention in the first place.

          I gratefully absorbed all the tips Secret Service agents gave me on driving from hands at 9 and 3 (instead of 10 and 2 which tangles your arms if you do an emergency 180°) to always knowing where all the cars in traffic are around you, judging their speed and noting any erratic behavior.

          To do this you need to check all three of your mirrors at least once a minute but mostly you have to be focused on driving and surrounding traffic and road conditions.

          There is no such thing as over-driving or paying too much attention to surrounding traffic.

          1. Sam

            This is one of the most important article I have read when it comes to driving safety. The author is a truck driver who has seen all kinds of accidents and incidents through the decades he has been driving.


            Yes I know that it’s a daily kos link, but please don’t be put off by this. I read it yearly when I was a hospital courier just to stay updated. One of the key points he makes is to try to stay on the road because worse things can happen if you get off it.

          2. cfraenkel

            Yes, but…. I thought the new recommended position was 8 and 4 to keep from getting broken arms if the air bag goes off.

          3. ChrisPacific

            True, but I like redundant safety checks. I wouldn’t bet everything on my ability to pay attention 100% of the time, especially if I’m tired, it’s a long drive or there are distractions. I do my best, but you can bet I still check the blind spot before changing lanes.

        2. Amfortas the Hippie

          yeah…let alone a little light, or the dern seat shaking.
          i got in the look over shoulder habit by driving beaters that didnt have functioning mirrors, long ago.
          my 76 vw van that i spent most of my Wild Years in was such a vehicle.
          one side mirror, on drivers side, you had to hold up with yer hand,lol.
          and when the clutch cable broke, and i attached a rope to the lever thing on the transmission, the mirror stem outside the drivers side was the only place to tie the other end, so i could reach out the window and yank the string to engage the clutch(hard to find vw mechanics in the South in those days). steering wheel was such that it was almost acrobatic to drive with the left knee, while yanking the rope with left hand, and jamming into whatever gear with the right.
          (starter went out one time, too…so push start…all along the Gulf Coast, where its flat as a pancake…attempting to always park on the barest rise,lol…to facilitate a popping clutch start…good times!)

        3. JCC

          Plus, for those of us who took Driver’s Ed classes many years ago, there were two lessons drilled into us (not to mention some pretty gruesome films – probably “triggers” today) – Situational Awareness at all times, and “Leave Yourself An Out”.

          1. elissa3

            From that distant past, I remember two: 1) Aim high–look as far down the road in front of you as you can; and 2) Expect the unexpected, or simply, defensive driving. That car in front with the left blinker on may very well turn right. Green light for you, still glance left and right for the idiot that may run the red. I guess we could add a number 3: Awareness at all times.

          2. jhallc

            Yup.. Always be aware. Check your mirrors every 10 seconds or so and look over the shoulder to be sure. Cover the brake was the other thing I remember being drilled into me.

            1. NYMutza

              I am of the opinion that manual transmission vehicles are safer to drive than are automatic transmission vehicles. For one, a manual transmission vehicle requires physical actions in order to drive. And also, mixing up the brake and gas pedals is far less likely when the clutch needs to be manually engaged to move forward (or backward).

      2. Enter Laughing

        Stick those little round convex mirrors on your sideview mirrors and presto, no blind spot. Foolproof.

    2. griffen

      If it’s a state, or county, maintained bridge, then the responsible department also deserves to get sued. Trust me on this one, the Carolinas, Georgia, etc…have a solid and reliable market for the ubiquitous orange barrels or orange cones to stick on the roadways. Not to defend the ridiculousness of Google, et al, or their Maps.

      In western North Carolina, I’ve noticed certain trails or locations of interest are quite specific about the lack of accuracy in utilizing a cell phone app like Maps or Waze.

      1. Alice X

        They are suing other entities. I don’t want to dis the driver, he died, but my point was that we increasingly rely on their gadgets and forget about our own senses. I recall reading about the airline crew glued to their instruments and flew into a mountain they could have seen out their window.

    3. PelhamKS

      If pilot experience with automatic pilots is any indication, over-reliance on this and similar technologies is absolutely unavoidable.

      Once you put any kind of driving assistance in place and drivers turn it on, they will subconsciously relax whatever portion of their mind was previously devoted to that given task no matter how hard they try not to do that. Or so the evidence suggests.

  4. Eudora Welty

    I watched a Trump appearance in Iowa yesterday. He said both these things in one speech: he will eliminate the Dept of Education & give power over schools to the states. Secondly, on Day One he will strike down the teaching of unAmerican racial facts & gender ideas.

    1. t

      Man is not bad at reading a room – especially when the room has fully absorbed a lot of well-funded untra-conservative ideas. Remember when he not only said we could prevent school shooting by arming teachers but also added that at least 20% wouldn’t even need training? That little fillip of supporting random statements with what sounds like a fact goes over so well, so often.

      I look forward to the all-Prager U circular in charter schools that cost more in public funds than our current public schools and yet charge tuition for the few who are accepted.

      1. Carolinian

        I think the notion that Trump lacks core principles and is always “reading the room” is fair criticism. Last time around he said he would clear out the Swamp and then mostly did the Swamp’s bidding once in office.

        So we know that he will say one thing while running for president and another while in office. But if one believes the system is hopelessly broken, no matter who becomes president, then a candidate who at least responds to the public, and reality, can be useful. It’s looking like he may even run to the left of Biden on some matters rather than maintaining the duopoly TINA stance. This has them in a tizzy.

        Better an insincere politician than the committed fanatics who are running the government under Biden? I say yes.

        1. griffen

          Joe promised me $600. I still have yet to receive, and not holding my breath either. Speaking of our current POTUS, Delaware senator Coons was on CNBC and detailing all of the wondrous accomplishments by Joseph Biden. And he can’t fathom how Americans aren’t more grateful, and appreciative, of these wonderful and varied items done by the mighty President. And to add, Coons says Trump accomplished nothing of lasting substance; anyone can quibble with Trump as a leader of the free nation of course, but unemployment was quite solid pre-Pandemic and wage growth was progressing against inflation. I find Trump’s economic record better than eight years under Obama, and the under reported “jobless recovery”.

          I tell you, it’s the happy juice and happy talk that kills me. Economic shills, be they red or be they blue, can “always find the good in any situation” ( to borrow a quote from Braveheart, King Edward ).

          1. Wukchumni

            It was a much more adjective rich stanza under Benedict Donald, and he could talk in complete sentences… even if you hardly believed a word uttered.

          2. Sam

            Heh….next time anyone gets a donation request from democrats remind them that Joe still owes you $600 and once you get it you will happily donate a few $$$.

            1. Young

              I’d send $60.

              Yoi know, ten percent for the big guy.

              OTOH, he would sign off tomorrow if he thinks everybody in the country would do the same.

        2. Pat

          And because so often it gets forgotten by those offended or driven crazy by Trump, saying or promising one thing in a campaign and doing nothing or the opposite in office is not something he invented. It has been SOP for my lifetime.
          Biden has done it for over four decades. His support of the working man got jettisoned whenever Wall Street needed him.
          Remember Obama and his comfortable shoes, card check, and codifying Roe v. Wade. Oh and the anti war rhetoric was a front as well.

          For me Trump’s appeal was that he actually acknowledged that disgruntled Americans weren’t crazy in a time where both parties had written off about half the population and were actively ignoring their concerns. He said out loud “this isn’t working”. In 2008 it took Edwards doing well in early primaries for Obama and Clinton to even acknowledge that things weren’t rosy economically. In 2016 Trump ran the table against Republicans and Clinton had a fight on her hand rather than an acclimation because Sanders and Trump pointed out the obvious.

          2020 changed the landscape slightly. The CARES act allowed more economic relief than had been seen in decades, but the pandemic was a chaotic and new issue. Then despite going all in to set the stage, it was not the landslide the PMC, Beltway regulars, etc needed to feel that Trump was banished.

          He still reads the room and recognizes the unaddressed concerns, but I think that Trump is still the candidate to beat more because of the subsequent crazy actions of the status quo mostly Democrats. The obvious law fare, and I personally believe that the iffy events of January 6th and resulting overkill, have alienated a lot of voters. In trying to destroy Trump they have created a martyr. And creating a martyr causes other problems. More attention is being paid and people are listening to him to hear him out because of the spotlight from the indictments and subsequent court actions. The section three ballot machinations aren’t helping.

          1. Pat

            I should add that by ending the so-called “Covid” support, both parties actively destroyed the economic relief that much of the population saw. The Feds actions to lower inflation, and Washington not actually addressing that much of that was price gouging by reactivating the excess profits tax hurt most Americans. They threw much of the population back to where they in 2016, or in an even worse position economically. So the economy is once again “divisive. And that will hobble all of Trump’s opposition going forward because once again economic distress of the population is not supposed to be acknowledged.

        3. John k

          Reading the room is responding to the public, which imo is well to the left of Biden. Unlike the uni-party, trump doesn’t advocate cutting social programs or starting wars, and we have 4 years of evidence that he probably wouldn’t do either in office.
          Seems to me he’s pulling reps to the left of dems, and he’s in a position to brag about these points while imo Biden is vulnerable to attack on both points.
          Not in a swing state, so I’m free to go either west or to Camelot.

        4. lyman alpha blob

          I think it’s more that the swamp ignored him rather than that he did their bidding. He tried to get troops out of Syria, was ignored, and then never did anything about that rank insubordination when he could have rightfully fired those who refused his orders.

          I was watching Brianna Joy Gray the other day, questioning why Trump’s DOJ never saw fit to indict Hunter Biden when Trump was in charge. Because they wouldn’t go after Hunter then, she was implying there wasn’t really much to go after now if even Trump’s people wouldn’t indict.

          The obvious answer is the DOJ were not Trump’s people. The TDS-infected like to paint Bill Barr as Trump’s guy, but I doubt Trump knew much about his background before appointing him. That background would be as a long time Republican fixer hired to bury scandals inconvenient for the ruling class.

          1. Carolinian

            All true so the other problem with Trump running as an independent within the Republican party is that he doesn’t have a party to back him up. Perhaps Sanders would have had the same problem.

            But Trump also did things that are not to the left of many Dems like Venezuela or canceling the Iran agreement and he did these enthusiastically. Putin says if Trump took office US policy would be same. I dont think that is true but I also don’t think Trump was all that great at foreign policy himself.

    2. skippy

      Problem being is the system that brought what is politically on offer these days, period they grew up and lived in, social dynamics, especially during and post Raygun, amount of monies directed at education/ideological mouth organs, and best of all the fervent belief of all attendant that it would unleash human potential and ring in a era that superseded all others ….

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Plant and forest researchers: do not “anthropomorphize” plants”

    Well that is pretty useless advice. I mean, that is what makes us human. Over hundreds of thousands of years we have self-bred to be pack-bonding animals because it was such a great survival trait. And because it is so strong, this pack-bonding behaviour extends everywhere. We can bond with people from other countries, races, religions, etc. and if we ever get to the stars we will bond with other alien species as well. But more to the point, we bond with animals as well. We do so with our dogs & cats as well as other animals and give them names, treat them with respect, note their moods, etc. But we also bond with objects as well. Ever notice how sailors refer to their ships as ‘her’? Feel comfortable driving your own vehicle and its traits? Got a computer that you feel comfortable with? How about that coffee mug that you insist on drinking out of to the exclusion of all others? So if we do the same with plants, it is only to be expected.

    1. lambert strether

      “Big trees from little acorns grow,” the acorn in this case being not anthropomorphizing. De-agnotologize the corner where you are!

  6. witters

    “Ambassador Emanuel is serving with distinction as an uncommonly effective representative of the United States in Japan. Every day his inventiveness, passion and relentlessness are on full display,” Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said in an interview.

    He continued, “This guy is a superstar and when you put Rahm on the field you get the full Rahm.””

    Roger Rahm Jet!

    1. Louis Fyne

      once you get used to the distance from nome and cultural quirks, being US ambssador to Japan must be the easiest job in the world, as the Japanese government is a 100% kow-towing US vassal.

      no need for Rahm to ever man-splain for DC

  7. El Slobbo

    “India suspends visa services in Canada till further notice”
    My first thought seeing this headline was “again?”
    When India reinstated the e-visa process (briefly suspended due to covid), almost every country in the world was included except Canada, due to Canada’s mistreatment of Indian visa applicants. After many months of negotiation Canada was back on the e-visa list, and now Trudeau opens his mouth and makes the situation worse than before. I can’t see how this benefits Trudeau or his party: The Canadian Sikhs that I know aren’t going to change how they vote based on this kind of comment from Trudeau (yes, yes this is anecdotal…), And I’m sure that there are many Canadians who are unhappy about this situation affecting their own travel plans.

    1. cfraenkel

      There’s far fewer Canadians planning to travel to India than pissed off about the Libs pretending there isn’t a housing problem for years. It was the first ‘oh look at this shiny thing’ distraction that came to hand.

    2. eg

      My suspicion is that the Trudeau Liberals are overreacting to the drubbing that they have taken over the previous “election interference” and “the two Michaels” incidents with China.

  8. Milton

    The time has come to voice our fears and be honest with wider society. Current net zero policies will not keep warming to within 1.5°C because they were never intended to. They were and still are driven by a need to protect business as usual, not the climate. If we want to keep people safe then large and sustained cuts to carbon emissions need to happen now. That is the very simple acid test that must be applied to all climate policies. The time for wishful thinking is over.

    Pull quote from an older post in the Resilience blog describing the inanity of Net Zero and the market-led tech that drives such policies.

  9. furnace

    “The Mexican Question New Left Review”

    I have mixed feelings about this piece. While obviously yes, AMLO isn’t a Lenin or an Allende or even strictly speaking a social-democrat, you can’t pretend that questions of sovereignty are somehow divorced from left politics. I am constantly reminded of Nick Corbishley’s pieces on non-GMO corn which clearly is a tremendous deal, and an assertion of long-overdue Mexican sovereignty. Porfirio Diaz’ quote still rings very true: ‘So far from God, so close to the US’.

    While yes, the constant use of the military to do non-war things is worrying, this is simply a colonized country problem (see: the entire African continent). There are every few institutions capable of actually making stuff happen. And given that Mexico has been in a undeclared Civil War for decades now, you end up with a lot of soldiers around. Sometimes I feel that after Fanon got everything right in Wretched of the Earth and people just decided to ignore it for the decades to come.

    1. pjay

      Yes. This article is yet another example of a prominent, if not dominant form of writing today on the left. You condemn a leader, or a country, by pointing out all the flaws, without providing the historical context with which to judge them. It’s not your fault if your devotion to “truth” or ideological purity happens to serve globalist propaganda. These days, whenever I see “populism” or “nationalism” emphasized as the problem, my propaganda (or “useful idiot”) radar clicks on.

      Interesting that here “populism” and “nationalism” are condemned from the “left,” and in the Atlantic piece they are condemned from the right (well, from the poor “centrist” Tory perspective – as a warning about Trump, of course). Both pieces leave out crucial context to serve their ideological purposes. Of course the piece of s**t on “Putinism” by anti-Putin propagandist Kolesnikov in Foreign Affairs does the same thing, twisting history and the work of George Kennan in the process.

  10. GramSci

    Re: «how to have politics, in any form, without “division,”»

    Eliminate invidious pecuniary distinction? Granted this might only eliminate division along the “corruption” dimension.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “White House told U.S. ambassador to Japan to stop taunting China on social media”

    They gave a notorious bully the job of US ambassador to Japan and gave him access to a social media platform. What else did they expect to happen? Of course this was a Biden appointee-ship. Biden probably saw a lot of himself in Emanuel and liked him hence his appointment.

  12. Louis Fyne

    ….Convalescent plasma may lessen the odds of long COVID, study suggests Center for Infectious Disease Research….

    good luck with that as there is zero slack in the system for new uses of plasma.

    it takes thousands of mL of plasma to make 1mL of medicine for hemophiliacs, etc.

    no leftovers for Covid, barring a big change

  13. .Tom

    Scott Ritter explained on The Jimmy Dore Show live stream yesterday that the TV show Servant of the People, the Ukrainian version of West Wing, which was a psyop on the Ukrainian population to subsequently get Zelensky elected president of UA and that UK intel mainly handled the project, and that it was part of getting ready for the confrontation with the Russian Federation.

    The evidence he gave wasn’t very strong. What do we know?

    1. Yves Smith

      I doubt that charge. Zelensky campaigned on normalizing relations with Russia and got 73% of the vote. He rapidly changed his position to Russia-hostile once in office. It was billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky who was Zelensky’s big backer and I have never heard anyone allege he has CIA ties. It seems pretty odd that the CIA would work fist in glove with Kolomoisky and then throw him under the bus. From Wikipedia:

      In 2020, he was indicted in the United States, on charges related to large-scale bank fraud. In 2021, the US banned Kolomoyskyi and his family from entering the country, accusing him of corruption and being a threat to the Ukrainian public’s faith in democratic institutions. Citing the ongoing US criminal investigation, in July 2022 Zelenskyy stripped Kolomoyskyi of his Ukrainian citizenship. In November 2022, those of Kolomoyskyi’s assets deemed to be of strategic value to the state in light of the Russian invasion were nationalised. These included Ukraine’s largest gasoline companies.

      On 2 September 2023, Kolomoyskyi was arrested by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on charges of money laundering and fraud, and placed under pre-trial arrest.

      Now some have surmised that the neo-Banderites threatened Zelensky. They had beaten enough seen-as-too-Russia-friendly pols quite badly, so Zelensky would have reason to take physical threats very seriously. Weirdly Kolomoisky was close to some of those groups, IIRC at least Right Sector, allegedly because he liked having muscle and the neo-Nazis were the toughest around.

      But the CIA kept the Banderites in business after WWII to harass Russia.

      At a minimum, too much Game of Thrones-style double-crossing to keep track of.

      1. schmoer

        You are correct that Kolomoysky was close to the far-right militias (if you believe Vox):

        “Kolomoisky, an oligarch who is also the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, is a significant backer of the pro-Kiev private militias fighting in the country’s east. He funds the Dnipro Battalion, a private army that, according to the Wall Street Journal, has 2,000 battle-ready fighters and another 20,000 in reserve. Newsweek reported that Kolomoisky has funded other militia groups, as well.”

        As for whether Zelensky during his campaign was saying what people wanted to hear re: ending the civil war and was or was not sincere is a bit like deciphering whether Trump was sincere in his intent to “drain the swamp”, prior to his filling his administration with swamp creatures. Keep in mind that Zelensky closed three opposition media outlets in February 2021 . That, along with his deploying force to the Donbass at the same time, calls into question his motives.

        Ritter’s video was interesting in terms of laying out how scripted Zelensky’s election was.

      2. Feral Finster

        Not only was Zelenskii elected in 2019 over vociferous American objections, the US Ambassador campaigned openly for his opponent.

        So I no buy it.

      3. pjay

        This is pretty much my interpretation as well, though it seems clear that Zelensky was set up for his Presidential “role” by his Kolomoisky-sponsored TV show, for whatever purposes. His abrupt about-face in policy once elected is also striking, though I suppose the neo-Nazis could explain it – along with some large off-shore bank accounts (both carrots and sticks). However, it seems clear that the CIA had its hooks in a lot of the country. I don’t know about Kolomoisky. But the CIA has a long history of playing different factions against each other or even covertly backing those to whom we are “officially” opposed (re Feral Finster’s point), and also throwing assets under the bus when they are no longer useful. So those arguments don’t necessarily convince me. Certainly a Games of Thrones mess though, with corruption and double-crosses all around.

        1. Feral Finster

          It wasn’t possible to find a Ukrainian puppet who doesn’t play piano with his penis?

          An awful lot of moving parts in that scenario, and Zelenskii’s recent defenestration of I.V. Kolomoiskii makes the who thing questionable.

          A much simpler explanation – the CIA and State weren’t happy about the election of the little twerp, but he was quickly brought around, lest he face one or more of:
          *Maidan 3.0
          *western prosecutors suddenly taking a keen interest in Zelenskii’s offshore financial activities (he was prominently named in The Paradise Papers), or simply
          *the IMF expressing its dissatisfaction with Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts and thus, the latest aid tranche must regrettably be delayed.

          The CIA have a long history of doing precisely that as well.

  14. eg

    “Did Kennan foresee Putin” brings to my mind two observations.

    First, the author never mentions the horrific socioeconomic conditions of the ‘90s in Russia (as exemplified by the greatest fall in male life expectancy in peacetime history) which I believe resulted in the security consciousness of the Russian population and its gratitude to Putin for having brought order back out of Yeltsin’s chaos.

    Second, that there’s an element of projection in this description of how both Soviet Russia and the Putin regime imagine the West:

    “The outside world must be portrayed, in these circumstances, as very iniquitous indeed—iniquitous to the point of the caricature.”

    Oh, you mean like how Russia and China (not to mention Iran, Venezuela, Cuba et al) are portrayed to the American people by the Uniparty, its alphabet agencies and its poodles in the plutocratic media organs?

    1. Lex

      I’m biased because I lived in Russia in the late 90’s, but it’s my opinion that it is not possible to really understand modern Russia and Putin without being deeply familiar with the reality of 90’s Russia. I don’t know of another example where a fully developed and industrial country became a failed state in the modern world. The psychological shock was as disastrous as the real economic and political shock. And it would have been much worse but for the remains of Soviet social guarantees.

      As the old post Soviet joke goes: everything they told us about communism was a lie but everything they told us about capitalism was true.

      Putin is and will remain deeply popular, but more importantly trusted, by large segments of the Russian population because they remember the 90’s. They can compare Russia today to those memories. They may not agree with all his political positions, they may rightly argue that the gains haven’t been as evenly distributed as they could be, and they may wish for a more open and competitive political system. (They do discuss all these things vigorously.) But they credit him with picking Russia up from the muddy snow, drunk and destitute. They credit him with being honest with them and working tirelessly on behalf of the country. Someone else might have done it, but he actually did it and frankly it didn’t look like anyone except maybe the communists were even interested in doing it in the late 90’s.

      All of this is why DC hates Putin. Russia was supposed to look like Ukraine in 2021. The two nations were on the same trajectory for a decade. Putin is the difference.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I disagree about the last line. Putin shaped character, but Ukraine was problematic in 1991. It was too distant and behind Poland to unload excess labor (Polish plumbers) on the EU and was dominated by industry a country as large as Russia would and could have to keep entirely in house. And again, it was behind East Germany and Poland for reinventing factories into boutique products.

        Ukraine on the other hand simply couldn’t justify the industry or export to ready made markets for MIGs with Russia having to keep the whole supply line in the long run.

        Without sharp new boundaries, Russia would rebuild. DC hates Putin because he isn’t western TV pretty, and he doesn’t speak in soundbites. Ukraine would need a real dynamic center left party/leadership to oust oligarchs and create a safety net while they reoriented.

        The Cargo Cult view of the US kept Ukrainians especially in the western blind, but the country needed to look to Turkey as a guide.

        1. Roger

          DC hates Putin because he wont do their bidding, he didn’t turn out to be a “sober Yeltsin”. As long as Putin would act like a US vassal they wouldn’t care how he presented himself. DC and the MSM loved Putin until he turned on the oligarchs who had stolen so much, especially Khodorkovsky in 2003 who was ready to sell out Russian oil and gas assets to the West. After that the oligarchs accepted a rebalancing between state power and their own. Its the underlying political economy, not surface level phenomena that count.

          Just go look at the Western MSM before Khodorkovsky was arrested and after, its night and day.

        2. Lex

          It’s true that Ukraine would never have the absolute resources to become what Russia has become. But in 1991 it had a large, well educated population, an established nuclear industry, an established rocket industry, a wholly indigenous steel industry and loads of some the world’s finest agricultural land. Plus a ship building industry, Black Sea ports, etc etc.

          Ukraine had as much potential as any nation could want. Instead it was pillaged for 30 years. Russia only got 10+ years of western finance and native oligarch pillage.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Not to mention that by the end of the 80’s Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was subsidizing Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to the tune of $10 billion (in current dollars) annually. That tap closed, by 2010 Ukraine was third largest borrower from IMF, even when Russia took the burden of all the debt owed by Soviet Union.

          2. Paradan

            In 1988 the Soviet Union was the third largest* manufacturer in the world, 90% of its industry was in western Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

            *don’t ask which countries were number one and number two, it’ll make you cry.

      2. Darthbobber

        And this is also why the kind of opposition that the United States likes to support in Russia can’t get any traction at all. Navalny’s party would be an example. While some of his anti-corruption diatribes had popularity, his party’s platform has always involved pushing to unleash the “magic” of the markets again. And everyone who lived through shock therapy even as a child will have to have passed from the scene before this sort of thing can be anything but a nonstarter.

      3. nippersdad

        “I’m biased because I lived in Russia in the late 90’s, but it’s my opinion that it is not possible to really understand modern Russia and Putin without being deeply familiar with the reality of 90’s Russia.”


        “Russia was supposed to look like Ukraine in 2021. The two nations were on the same trajectory for a decade. Putin is the difference.”

        Even without the benefit of on the ground experience that has been my assessment of Russia and Vladimir Putin as well. The US has a playbook, and it always looks the same. They send in the “guys from Harvard” to rearrange the economy for best value extraction, watch the victim fall to pieces and then publicly hit the fainting couches even as they are privately counting their Benjamins.

        We went to Yugoslavia in the early Seventies; it was a dreary and frightening place. Even so, you could see the hope of the populace for a better future. Those hopes were dashed in Russia early on, and that Putin restored those hopes would naturally have the effect of a gratitude that few here in the West could really appreciate.

        When I point out to people that Putin is nowhere near as evil as the Clintons, that he is a patriotic, dedicated and talented bureaucrat, they look at me in shock, but the evidence is there for anyone willing to see it. He took away the neoliberal punch bowl that they had turned Russia into, and they will never forgive him for it.

          1. John k

            My country, right or wrong… so not patriotic to think, much less speak, of anything wrong.
            Wife frets I sound un-patriotic to focus on such. I should focus on what we’re doing well, right? Can’t think of much just now.
            When trump seems the best option that will be on offer, things are seriously wrong.

    2. Louis Fyne

      a bit depressing as if Establishment DC can’t understand Russia, they’ll never understand/empathize/co-exist with China.

      1. The Rev Kev

        After the collapse of the USSR, they got rid of all their Russian experts as they would no longer be needed. Not only in government but also academia. But since Russia has made a comeback, they have begun to recruit Russian experts once more. But unfortunately they are usually hacks who have no real understanding of Russia or they have familial grudges against Russia like Nuland and Blinken have. The same thing, by the way, has happened with Chinese ‘experts’ and to be one, you have to prove how much you hate China.

        1. rowlf

          An uncle of mine lost his job as a Russian analyst at a US government agency in the mid 1970s for not having the accepted biases. He was a WASP trained to be fluent in Russian to be a White House translator before leaving the US Army and becoming a professor of Russian history, traveling many times to the USSR to do research.

          He probably wasn’t up to Condi Rice Russian expert status. /s

        2. hk

          What pass as Russia “experts” are clowns like Michael McFaul, and that’s been true for several decades now….

  15. Anon

    Re: Politico

    Maybe this Administration would have an easier battle ahead of them if they didn’t coerce private industry to have people choose between employment or this “vaccine” (i.e. palliative) to continue their standard of living. At this point, three years in, Lambert’s approach, touted in Water Cooler well over 100+ times now is a multi-layered defense. If the “vaccines” prevented infection/transmission, we would already be done with this whole situation.

  16. timbers

    Here is what Microsoft Edge/ features in it’s headlines the moment I open the Edge browser:

    Drama at the UN Security Council: Sergey Lavrov leaves the room

    The highlight of the meeting was Zelensky’s speech, and it was uncertain whether Lavrov would even stay in the room to hear it.

    “He’s (Lavrov) a coward. There’s no doubt Zelensky will use strong words and a sharp tone against Russia.”

    As it turned out, the expert was right. Lavrov chose not to stay in the room during Zelensky’s speech. His empty chair was a clear sign that he had left to avoid hearing about Russia’s war crimes and unexplained aggression towards Ukraine.


    However, X says the UN audience was near empty. So empty, Ukraine showed side by side footage of it packed full. So full you can spot Zelensky in the audience listening to himself at the podium.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘New: this is crazy. The top Google image search result for “tank man” right now is an AI-generated “selfie” of the man. Shows that as AI content becomes more and more widespread, the platforms we use to surface content don’t have a good way to identify it’

    Looks like AI has the ability to flood the internet with images that are just made up and I do not think that a good thing. Personally I would require that each IA image have a small mark on it to show that it is AI-generated but that is just me. I would have called it the Best Suited mark so that people know that it was not real. Of course this is also spreading into videos- (1:18 mins)

    1. Polar Socialist

      I know it shouldn’t be funny, but that text and the image do amuse me plenty. If the man was riding a neon green unicorn in the picture, I doubt the text would say no “good way to identify” fakes.

      I mean the tank in the background is pure fantasy creation – a half-man turret on a landing craft.

      Any photoshop would have been more believable than that.

    2. nippersdad

      Call me crazy, but IIRC we didn’t even have cell phones that could take pictures at the time of Tiananmen Square. That is one of those Jesus riding a dinosaur kind of things.

    3. lambert strether

      > Looks like AI has the ability to flood the internet with images that are just made up and I do not think that a good thing

      Just wait until AI-generated bullshit gets included in the next generation of AI-training sets…

      GIGO, but with a GO -> GI doom loop. I can’t wait!

  18. Lex

    That Pew word map says it all, and I think speaks loudest through the size of the “corrupt” dot. That’s the thing that permanently undermines faith in politics.

    1. Rolf

      Yep. And “Divisive” and “Corrupt” struck me as intimately related: pols employ “othering” (e.g., Clinton’s characterization of Trump supporters as “deplorables”) as a foil to create division and discord (giving the lie to her Stronger Together slogan), deflecting attention from their own corrupt practices (her espousing lefty views in public but refusing to release the content of paid speeches made to Wall Street banksters).

      I recall Pelosi dismissing concerns about insider trading in Congress, refusing to even consider her own behavior, as if to say, “Me? Corrupt? I’m a Democrat!”

  19. Rolf

    Re Lockheed Martin and the tie between the merchants of death and the political machine. Lee Fang’s article shows the obscene disconnect between the violence and death of Biden’s war (he can wear the name, as he is committed to prolonging it), and war as “investment opportunity”:

    The Ukraine-Russia conflict has killed or severely injured over half a million people on both sides. The war, now mired in a brutal counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces attempting to retake territory in the eastern region, has no end in sight.

    But the war has created unique business opportunities for arms manufacturers and dealers to not only supply Ukraine with weapons but to also refill stockpiles of NATO countries and meet the demand for rapidly growing European defense budgets.

    Last week, Reuters revealed that the Biden administration “is close to approving the shipment of longer-range missiles packed with cluster bombs to Ukraine, giving Kyiv the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory.”

    In a presentation, the defense contractor, which produces a variety of missiles, munitions, and rockets, gave a sunny financial forecast for the Ukraine-Russia war.

    “Just switching gears to Ukraine,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Kristine Liwag, during an investor town hall with the firm. “What’s the opportunity?”

    Jay Malave, the chief financial officer for Lockheed Martin, noted that his company is supplying Javelin anti-tank missiles, HIMARS mobile artillery rockets, and PAC-3 air defense missiles, among other missiles and munitions for the war.

    Lockheed Martin has “visibility” of orders that include “$10 billion of opportunity,” Malave said. The surging growth, including orders to replenish U.S. military stockpiles depleted by weapons transfers to Ukraine, he continued, means “demand is enduring between, frankly, now to the end of the decade.”

    Will public sentiment evolve after it becomes clear that the Biden administration deliberately derailed an early resolution to this conflict, thus ensuring the death of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, all to sustain its political fortunes?

  20. Wukchumni

    I’ve mentioned this local Tiny Town kid-Adin Ross before, who became a Twitch streamer influencer, and now is on Kick, whatever that is.

    He has almost 4 million subscribers on his youtube channel, to give you an idea of his reach.

    The internets say he is worth about $40 million in his 20’s, and has lots of audience online, and a much trumpeted meeting with Kim Jong Un, had what appeared to be a middle-weight Un who bore a bit of resemblance to the North Korean leader, particularly the haircut.

    …I had no idea that he spoke English

    Adin Ross Meets KIM JONG UN

  21. Ghost in the Machine

    Regarding the vaccine safety debate, RFK jr claims that no safety trials have been done, while those defending vaccines say trails have been done. There appears to be talking past one another as the trails that have been done were designed to assess efficacy not safety. So does anyone know of a technical review paper on designing trials for these two metrics? Why can’t safety and efficacy be assessed at the same time. Authorities claim that ongoing monitoring suggests safety. We know here that the monitoring via VAERs etc. is inadequate. What do we know from the monitoring we have? Every time a high profile youngster dies or has heart issues, the anti vax perspective points to the vaccine. But, there is also a virus rampaging that causes long term damage, which seems to me the more likely cause in most cases though a percentage is also likely caused by the vaccine, as we now know that the spike protein itself is bio active. Are these two causes hopelessly intertwined now? What a mess.

    1. Yves Smith

      RFK, Jr. is Making Shit Up. There were safety trials but for the novel mRNA vaccines you could very well argue too small and over too short a timeframe. Those were Phase 1/2 trials. They also looked at immune response while they were at it.

      Phase 1: First testing in humans, primarily to test safety. A drug is given to a small number of healthy volunteers who are closely monitored. Phase 2: Testing in a small number of patients, to assess safety, to monitor how a drug is metabolized, and to gather initial data on efficacy.

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        Yes, RFK jr is clearly wrong in categorically stating no safety trials were done. But, this ‘small number’ is pretty small, 45, in the case of the Nature paper cited. This won’t find the kinds of problems with the Covid vaccines often discussed at NC. How big a number in a phase 1 trail would have to be tested to say, find the level of effects associated with Vioxx, a drug pulled and resulting in penalties?

        If RFK jr’s beef is that the safety trials are not conducted at a level that will detect significant population level problems, he should state that. He is a trial lawyer, it seems he should be smart a enough to avoid these kind of categorical statements. Listening to people like RFK jr and Joe Rogan I get the impression they hate the drug industry so much (I am sympathetic!), that they think everything is a fraud. Rogan blames all weird deaths, athlete heart problems etc. on the vaccine without considering at all that Covid itself could be a problem, clearly biased by his personal experience.

        I should say that myself, my wife, and kids have gotten the vaccine and the bivalent booster. My wife is immuno compromised. I had an unpleasant reaction to the second shot. The kids had no reaction. Some of their friends did though. My decision about the booster hinged on long Covid. Only a ~30 % reduction from what is known so far, but something. Their classrooms do have filters, but there is no mask wearing anymore. I try to get them to mask during surges but I don’t think they wear a mask on their own. Still thinking about what to do going forward.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          What RFKJ actually says is that there are no placebo controlled safety studies of the covid “vaccines.”(Or other of the newer “vaccines” but that’s for another day.)

          The pfizer Phase 3 study, which had a placebo group initially, lasted only 3 months until it was “unblinded,” meaning that all participants who had been given the placebo were subsequently “vaccinated.” RFKJ contends that this approach prevents discovery of longer term adverse effects of the vaccines, and can lead to the inaccurate perception that the drugs have been deemed “safe” by some accepted standard.

          Here is pfizer’s announcement of the end of the trial. It claims to have demonstrated “efficacy” only. The famous “95%” efficacy. The EUA was granted the next day. That “safety concerns” may arise is relegated to the word salad at the bottom of the announcement titled “Pfizer Disclosure Notice.”

          The unblinding of the study occurred in November, 2020. Supporters of unblinding suggested that it would be “unethical” for those receiving the placebo to be allowed to behave as if they were “vaccinated,” given the severity of the covid outbreak, and the demonstrated “efficacy” of the new “vaccine.”

          RFKJ suggests elimination of the placebo group was a way to prevent acknowledgement of serious adverse effects of which they were already aware, i.e. safety.

          In December, 2020, nyt published an article titled:

          Many Trial Volunteers Got Placebo Vaccines. Do They Now Deserve the Real Ones?

          Some vaccine experts worry that “unblinding” the trials and giving all of the volunteers vaccines would tarnish the long-term results.

          Interestingly, the article notes that Jonas Salk argued against placebo controls in 1953 when trials of his polio vaccine were being designed. He lost that fight, and the polio vaccine, which is considered extremely safe to this day, was tested against a placebo.

          1. Ghost in the Machine

            The phase I study Yves linked to was placebo controlled. But, n=45 is just a hand wave at safety. RFK jr needs to be precise in is language on such high stakes battles.

  22. Darthbobber

    The Canada-India blowup. Another bit of weirdness. What compelled Trudeau to blather about how unspecified authorities were “investigating” “credible” allegations, with no information as to the state of said investigation, the specifics of the allegations, or why they were thought to be credible. Once upon a time it would have been the norm to let the investigation run its course and open your mouth if and only if you could provide hard evidence of something.
    But Canada appears to be following our lead in proceeding onto dangerous ground on the basis of either flimsy evidence or no evidence whatsoever.

    1. Roger

      India keeps following its own independent path, not siding with the US and most definitely not following the US sanctions against Russia. After the Ms. Meng incident Trudeau can be considered to be a front man for the US. With this one the US gets to disparage the Indian leader while maintaining plausible deniability. There also does seem to be some strange links between Trudeau and the Khalistan extremists.

      As a Canadian I can simply watch shaking my head as Trudeau destroys economic, social, and political links built up over decades with both China and now India. Also, of course with Russia. Previously Canada had some leeway in its foreign policy (e.g. no Canadian troops invaded Iraq), now merely a vassal who picks up the crumbs from the US table. But that now seems to be the new reality for so many of the US “allies”.

  23. Carolinian

    Re that addle headed LA Times editorial favoring reparations–if the issue is economic justice, something that can be made right via money, then surely confining oneself only to African Americans is way too limiting. What about all the Mexicans and white Okies who were exploited by California’s vast farming borg not to mention the Indigenous Tribes whose land they took? After all no great fortune without a great crime and maybe the descendants of those past criminals should do most of the paying and not ordinary people who themselves are struggling to own a home in the very unequal state of California.

    What the reparationists are proposing is socialism for one particular race while excluding and even blaming the others. A return to true social justice, a more economically equal society, high taxes on the wealthy–these are the last things those editorial writers want.

    And so it’s divide and conquer the lower classes with bogus crocodile tears for one particular segment so the wealthy can continue to predate. Fighting race prejudice with racism isn’t very convincing.

    1. jax

      I wholeheartedly agree with your take on this. I will get behind Reparations to Black Americans when *all* minority groups are included and, most particularly, Native Americans. Until then, this idea is just more divisive kabuki.

      1. PelhamKS

        Why just minority groups? There are vast swaths of the white population that have suffered a multitude of class injustices, here and abroad. My ancestors in Scandinavia were thralls (lower than slaves) in the time of the vikings. And doesn’t the UK owe something to the many Irish forced to flee starvation?

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Indeed. Instead of reparations, how about a $25 minimum wage, nationalized healthcare, and free secondary education for everybody, for starters?

    3. ChrisPacific

      It’s way too simplistic a fix for a complex problem (or more likely, an attempted bribe to a class of voters disguised as one).

      To properly consider reparations, America would have to honestly face up to its history and the harms that were done – and not just a committee studying the issue and telling people what to think, but the American people actually honestly engaging with the problem. It would, in other words, require a cultural change. I cannot think of anything less likely to happen in modern day America, when the whole of American history has been founded on never admitting it was wrong about anything (see e.g. manifest destiny).

      Trying to implement reparations without this step would anger pretty much everyone – whites because they would see it as a political buyoff and presenting a position they didn’t agree with, blacks because there had still been no serious attempt to reckon with the harms of the past and they would now be expected to consider the matter settled because of a one time payoff.

  24. Es s Cetera

    re: Degrowth and Ecosocialist Revolution

    Capitalism is both systemic and ideological, it’s a religious belief system, it’s money/profit worship, and you won’t convince believers by packaging the solution as socialist, which is the equivalent of trying to convince a Christian to adopt satanism or devil worship.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I don’t think degrowthers are trying to convince capitalist true believers. That’s a rapidly shrinking group anyway. They’re speaking to people who are skeptical or at least agnostic about capitalism and concerned about where we’re headed with Overshoot. The true believers were satirized pretty well in “Don’t Look Up.” No matter how severe the disaster, we must keep profits alive! They’re not changing.

      And I think it’s a lot more than packaging. It’s actually the socialist answer to dealing with Overshoot. And because it’s socialist, it can afford to be honest. The nature of the problem is how do we reduce energy consumption in the rich countries fast enough to not go too far above 1.5 degrees of warming. If it’s done by The Market on an individual basis, the rich will keep spewing carbon in the air while the rest of us can’t afford air conditioning when the temperature is over 90 degrees F at night. Degrowth proposes an ecosocialist solution that shifts from our private splendor/public squalor system to one with quality public services that include health care, housing, schooling and transportation. Hickel proposes a job guarantee whose workers will be focused on repairing the ecological damage we’ve done and moving from chemical to organic food raising.

      As this system continues to fail in many different ways, people will be listening for someone with a different idea who has actually considered approaches seriously, done some modeling. This is what Hickel and his colleagues are currently engaged in, something of a continuation of Limits to Growth, exploring the alternatives to Business As Usual.

  25. Ghost in the Machine

    Convalescent plasma may lessen the odds of long COVID, study suggests Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

    Someone is out there obliviously living their life and pooping. And at the other end of the sewer people are sampling their virus and writing papers about it. It is weird thinking you could unknowingly be the object of intense study and curiosity.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I think he learned that you can kill over a million people and sicken nearly the entire population, while simultaneously bloviating about having tools or some such and abandoning public health for the magic of the market, without any political or personal consequence, and remain in high regard with your esteemed peers.

  26. flora

    re: All the US billions sent to Ukraine so far: Thomas Nast about the Tammany machine in the mid-1800’s. “Who stole the people’s money?”

    Jesse Watters is having some fun with this. War for profit, what a concept.

    Today, the Clinton Global Initiative announced their very own program to rebuild Ukraine. The US is sending the World Bank $25 billion. Then, the World Bank is sending money to the Clintons. And then the Clintons are sending it to Ukraine.

    I wonder if O’s declaration of sending financial aid to the flooded area in the middle east is his foundation’s way of getting a taste of the largess? Yes, I’ve become this jaded about current US politics. The poll numbers in the chart in today’s links do not surprise me.

    1. pjay

      The Clintons already have an established blueprint for rebuilding a country; surely everyone remembers their “Miracle in Haiti.”

      I find that whenever I think I’ve become too jaded, something happens to show me that I’m not jaded enough.

  27. nippersdad

    There is a very nice shout out for Yves on the Duran today about her article on the walls closing in on Biden.

    But I still do not get how they reckon Republicans who have been in office forever are RINOS. Seems like the anti-war ones are historically the outliers. Maybe they haven’t heard the refrains of “Democrats are weak on defense” for our entire lives, but it has been a tedious refrain that has only lost potency since the Democrats joined them in their warmongering.

    The likes of Newt Gingrich swift boating Max Cleland and John Kerry are still ringing in my ears all these many years later.

  28. ChrisPacific

    Dear God, that RAND corp article on Ukraine reconstruction was from an alternate reality.

    Despite its many problems, Ukraine is a modern country with a functioning government and high levels of national cohesion. It is not facing an insurgency or civil war.

    Except for the one in Donbass, ongoing since 2014?

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