Links 9/25/2023

NASA’s First Asteroid Sample Has Landed, Now Secure in Clean Room NASA

How to Hide a $2 Trillion Antitrust Trial Matt Stoller, BIG. Today’s must-read. Here is Stoller’s trial reporting site. How disconcerting that Stoller is doing this, and not, say, The Times or WaPo!

The Selling of America’s Most Controversial Gun WSJ. The deck: “Private equity turned the AR-15 into a big profit-maker and a charged symbol in the debate over gun rights and mass shootings.” Private equity getting bad press recently

Private Equity’s Slow Carnage Unleashes a Wave of Zombies Bloomberg

The $100 Billion Luxury Complex That’s Sitting Empty and Unfinished and The Luxury Tower Built for New York’s Elite Still Sits Half Empty WSJ


What Climate Finance Needs Nouriel Roubini and Reza Bundy, Project Syndicate

Revealed: top carbon offset projects may not cut planet-heating emissions Guardian

Getting to $30,000: The Cost of EV Industrial Policy vs. Adoption Macro Polo

The Summer That Reality Caught Up to Climate Fiction Gizmodo


The largest freshwater lake in the British Isles has been poisoned The Economist


Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Updating Our Approach to Masking in Health Care Facilities (opinion) Annals of Internal Medicine. “In a recent article, Shenoy and colleagues (2) proposed a transition back to prepandemic approaches to mitigating health care–associated respiratory viral infections by using Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions in health care settings. This recommendation assumes that our prepandemic approach to preventing hospital-acquired respiratory viral infections was adequate. In fact, it is likely that before the pandemic, we vastly underappreciated the degree of harm caused by hospital-acquired respiratory viral infections that were preventable by masking among patients and HCWs (7).” A direct assault on Shenoy et al.’s vicious, reprehensible — indeed, eugenicist — and shoddy proposed guidance to decrease patient protections in what we laughingly call hospital infection control at CDC’s HICPAC. Worth reading in full, and not jargon-filled. I’m encouraged that this piece was written, and even more encouraged that it was published.

In hospitals, viruses are everywhere. Masks are not. Boston Globe. Greed (masks and ventilation cost money) and fear (of anti-maskers) in the hospital infection control community, with patient care a distant third (hat tip, CDC, MGH, Brighams, etc.).

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Association of COVID-19 with New-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. “In this retrospective cohort study of 6,245,282 older adults (age ≥65 years) who had medical encounters between 2/2020–5/2021, we show that people with COVID-19 were at significantly increased risk for new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease…. An infectious etiology of Alzheimer’s disease has been postulated for decades and despite supportive evidence, it is still controversial [1]. The increased risk for COVID-19 in people with Alzheimer’s disease [2] and recent recognition of long lasting neurological sequela of SARS-CoV2 infection [3] in part reflecting inflammatory processes, which are central to Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology [4], suggest bidirectional relationships. However, whether COVID-19 might trigger new-onset Alzheimer’s disease or accelerate its emergence is unclear” [chanting: “Just a cold! (Mild!) Just a cold! (Mild!)”].

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What you need to know about Covid as new variant rises BBC (MV). Worth reading in full. Of the many demented quotes from bent practitioners, this strikes me as the best:

The emergence of BA.2.86 meant a decision was made to bring forward the autumn Covid booster to better protect the most vulnerable this winter.

But the new jabs are only available to people over 65 years old – it was the over-50s last year – and those with certain health conditions. That is a tactical decision, says Dr Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol.

He explained: “When younger people who’ve already had infections and vaccines get Covid [again], they get a cold and a cough and might be off work for a few days.

“There’s no real value in investing a lot of time and effort immunising them again when there are so many other things for the health service to be doing.”

The reality is then that most under-65s will now end up boosting their immunity not through vaccination, but through catching Covid many times.

“Reality” is another one of those words. When you hear “reality” think “artificial construct” (building social or symbolic capital for the propagator).

What It Will Take to Avoid a Tripledemic This Winter Ashish Jha, Time. “Over the coming months, more than 100,000 Americans will likely die, mostly unnecessarily, from respiratory infections. Yes, that is the reality we are now facing this fall and winter—and likely every fall and winter for the foreseeable future. Unless we act. Between flu, COVID-19, and RSV, we are likely looking at a very large number of Americans getting sick, ending up in the hospital, and dying…. For the first time, this fall and winter, we have highly effective, safe vaccines available to protect Americans against all three major causes of serious respiratory infections.” So this is why the “Tripledemic” framing some PR brain genius invented (false because Covid is not seasonal).

The immunology of long COVID Nature. Just as a reminder: “The oncoming burden of long COVID faced by patients, health-care providers, governments and economies is so large as to be unfathomable, which is possibly why minimal high-level planning is currently allocated to it.”


Senior Nomura banker barred from leaving mainland China FT

Evergrande Liquidation Risk Rises After Creditor Meet Scrapped Bloomberg

Criminal groups from China spreading out to South-east Asia, including S’pore: Experts Straits Times

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Anybody know the Mandarin for “uptick”?

Pandemic Spending Put Local Chinese Governments $548 Billion in the Red Caixin Global

‘Baby steps’ for ASEAN as it wraps up first-ever joint military drills Al Jazeera


Why India fears the Khalistan movement and how Canada became embroiled in diplomatic spat over killing of Sikh separatist The Conversation

Commentary: The fraught history of India and the Khalistan movement Channel News Asia

The Lucky Country

The Voice: a vote on indigenous rights divides Australia FT


French envoy, diplomatic staff in Niger’s capital to be evacuated in few hours: Macron Anadolu Agency

Estimation of epidemiological parameters and ascertainment rate from early transmission of COVID-19 across Africa Royal Society Open Science. From the Discussion: “Our findings suggest that the basic reproduction numbers were much higher than when only clinically reported cases were taken into consideration and the average overall case reporting rate was rather low in this early stage of localized outbreak.”


Developing Afghanistan’s mines will uplift Afghans Al Jazeera

Iraq’s federal court dissolves Kurdish provincial councils in northern Iraq Anadolu Agency

European Disunion

Out of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, One Country Has More Than Anywhere Else The Messenger

Dear Old Blighty

Jenny Harries interview: We’ll behave more like Sweden when the next pandemic hits The Telegraph

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine, US reach ‘historic decision’ to jointly produce weapons: Zelenskyy Anadalu Agency

It’s a kayak with a grenade launcher. And it could be game-changer in Ukraine ABC. Wunderwaffen indeed!

Germans Now Operating Leopard Tanks in Ukraine: Are Captured Crews Mercenaries or Servicemen? Military Watch. Same (thin) sourcing as yesterday, more context.

Kyrgyzstan has ‘the balls’ to send Russia parts crucial to making tanks, trade data suggests BNE Intellinews

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Amid Black Sea Threats, Ukraine Steps Up Use of New Shipping Route NYT

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Bill Kristol’s Refreshingly Honest Ukraine War Ad Caitlin Johnstone

The Morality of Ukraine’s War Is Very Murky Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy

The West’s Patience Is Running Shorter Than Ukraine’s War Niall Ferguson, Bloomberg

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Nazi-linked veteran received ovation during Zelenskyy’s Canada visit Politico. The deck: “House Speaker apologizes for leading tribute in Parliament: ‘This initiative was entirely my own.'” Falling on his sword. And for what? And for whom?

Russia and China Can’t Get Anyone to Like Them Foreign Policy

Biden Administration

Lawmakers are trying these 3 plans to fund the government The Hills

Democrats en Déshabillé

I’d love it if Greenwald were wrong:

But I don’t think he is.

The Bezzle

Cruise Robotaxis Cause Austin Street Gridlock Due to ‘Heavy’ Pedestrian Traffic The Drive. Oh.

Digital Watch

AI is on the world’s mind. Is the UN the place to figure out what to do about it? AP

‘Swatting’ gets a terrifying new update as criminals now wreaking ‘emotional havoc’ as a paid service FOX. Using AI, naturally.

Ochsner doctors will use AI to answer patient questions as a ‘time saving tool’ Times-Picayune (MV). “‘time saving profit-making tool'”. Fixed it for ya.


Ultra-Processed Food—Especially Artificial Sweeteners—Linked To Depression, Study Finds Forbes. Good for Big Pharma, though. Popsies -> Krunchies -> Starrs -> Popsies.

Prescription opioid shipments declined sharply even as fatal overdoses increased, new data shows AP

The Gallery

The Avant-Garde Origins of ‘Gumby’ Animation Obsessive

Abie the Agent Mister Slang

Feral Hog Watch

Word of the day: Pannage:

Rather like goatscaping, if the goatherd had a legal right to feed their goats on weeds.

Class Warfare

The wage growth puzzle for central banks FT

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Hollywood writers, studios reach tentative deal to end strike CBS

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UAW strike scrambles political allegiances Axios

UAW Files Labor Complaint Against Sen. Tim Scott for Saying “You Strike, You’re Fired” The Intercept

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Arizonans can now receive workers comp benefits for getting Covid-19 on the job KVOA. Good news.

California workers who cut countertops are dying of an incurable disease LA Times

Why is the sea so hungry? Hellenic Shipping News

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (Desert Dog):

Desert Dog writes: “Now after a hard days working the sheep its nap time.”

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. Acacia

        I figured I was not the only person to read this headline and immediately think…”Hah! Andromeda Strain.”

        All atmospheric seals in the lab are crumbled by the organism… red alert ! red alert ! … I’ll take my chances with the frickin’ laser beams… Lol

    1. redleg

      I beg to differ. Having worked with lunar soil first hand, it was in the same condition as the collection containers Jack Schmitt used when the stuff was gathered. The contamination I saw was from the sorting process (to remove the coarse material such as pebbles and sand-sized bits). Once that process was perfected, which admittedly took too many tries on NASA’s part, the stuff was clean.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Nazi-linked veteran received ovation during Zelenskyy’s Canada visit”

    If you want to know how this was possible, then I would say that it all goes back to Trudeau and his obsession with this war. Alex Christoforou’s latest video drop starts with a 45-second clip from a recent speech of his and more that a few commenters in the comments section drew a parallel with his performance and that of the Austrian corporal. Enjoy!

      1. Jessica

        I believe that Zelensky is in bed with Nazis and is a war criminal, but this time it looked more like a wave than a Sieg Heil to me. Z is definitely media savvy and would know how destructive of his image a Sieg Heil would be. Just my take.
        I completely agree on the broader point of just how toxic Canada and the US have supported some diaspora nationalisms to become.

    1. pjay

      “We have here in the chamber today a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today, even at his age of 98,” Rota said Friday, followed by a lengthy round of applause and a wave by Zelenskyy. “He’s a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service. Thank you.”

      Amaud Bertrand’s response to the “but we didn’t know” excuse:

      That he capped his intro with a “thank you for your service” is an especially nice touch.

      I think it’s hilarious that they f**ked up by offending the only ethnic lobby that has more clout than the Ukrainians. That’s the only reason we’re hearing about it.

    2. TimmyB

      The guy being honored was a member of the Waffen SS and fought on behalf of Nazi Germany against the Allies. Calling him “Nazi linked” is soft pedaling the truth.

      Here is the oath every SS member took: “I vow to you, Adolf Hitler, as Führer and chancellor of the German Reich, loyalty and bravery. I vow to you and to the leaders that you set for me, absolute allegiance until death. So help me God”.

      That man swore a personal oath to Adolph Hitler. You can’t get more Nazi than that.

      1. GC54

        And his allegiance still holds for a little bit longer.

        I suspect that Deputy pm Freeland’s office was responsible for this, but the House Speaker fell on his sword.

        1. Kouros

          I suspect the dream of Madam Freeland is to have the name of her grandpa red and recognized on the hill as “Defender of Democracy”…

    3. eg

      I’m not so sure that it’s Trudeau so much as the rabidly nationalistic Ukrainian diaspora here in Canada (the largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine) and a gullible Canadian population that mostly has less than zero understanding of Eastern European history. Add in the constant bombardment of the US media organs from across the border and you have a recipe for a deluded populace where the war in Ukraine is concerned — in every dimension.

      I take a ton of heat here for even the slightest questioning of the Western narrative.

  2. DJK

    The Military Watch link has an odd sentence: “…the Leopard being a successor to the Panther and Tiger tanks of the Second World War era when German[y] led a European coalition to invade the Soviet Union.”

    So that’s what it was, a cuddly-sounding German-led European coalition. And there I was thinking that the USA, British Empire and Soviet Union were allied together to fight a Nazi Germany that had discarded any semblance of humanity in its quest to conquer Europe.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Man, don’t you see the difference? In 1944 you had German tanks driven by members of the German military fighting Russians in the Ukraine where as in 2023 you have German tanks driven by members of the German military fighting Russians in the Ukraine. Big difference that.

      1. DJK

        Well yes, history’s rhyming. Even so, I object to historical facts being rewritten to pretend that back in the 1940s we were on the same side as the nazis, with their oh-so-stylish uniforms, and to pretend that Russia/USSR dropped the atomic bombs on Japan.

          1. hk

            When vDL was German defense minister, she was presided over cancelling General Hoepner, one of the participants in the plot to assassinate the Austrian corporal. Now, many of the plotters we’re not exactly nice people–old times Prussian aristocrats and militarists who hated democracy and all and she said something about people like Hoepner not being compatible with “European values” and all that…

            But now, I really wonder if people involved in the July Plot we’re being cancelled really because they were anti-Nazi after all.

      2. Sibiriak

        in 2023 you have German tanks driven by members of the German military…in the Ukraine.”

        That’s only an unsubstantiated claim at this point. If I had to bet, I’d say it turns out to be false.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The British have already publicly admitted that they had their special forces running around the Ukraine helping fight the Russians. So why not the Germans with their soldiers? Those Ukrainians were never going to learn how to properly drive one of those tanks in only two months so it would be logical to have some German crews in some of those tanks.

          1. Sibiriak

            Plausibility is not evidence. Apparently, one of the alleged German tankers was taken prisoner; his identity could easily be verified and made public. So far, it hasn’t, and, afaik, the claim has not been substantiated in any other way.

            1. The Rev Kev

              The driver died of his wounds shortly after and so remains unavailable for comment. Soldiers going on a mission are supposed to leave all forms of identity behind and I would expect the same to be true of these Bundeswehr soldiers. So, can we pick a number of how many NATO personal are in or have served helping fight Russians in the Ukraine? Can we pick a number on how many of them have died in the Ukraine? Last I heard, 10,000 Poles have died there alone and I refuse to believe that they were all just ‘volunteers.’

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Should have clarified my comment more. I meant things like personal papers, photos, letters and the like which might give intelligence to the enemy if they fell into their hands. Dog tags merely confirm the ID of a soldier and not much more than that in case of death or capture.

                  1. Darthbobber

                    But they’re different by nation. If you have US Army dogtags, one can reasonably infer that you’re one of our soldiers. Now if we were sent to places where they wanted to deny our presence, I suspect they’d have had us leave those.

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                potato/potahto – correlation/causation, causation/correlation – if it walks like a duck……etc., etc., etc……. the West is in there, bickering over details is pointless – liked Alex Christoforou’s link RK and stated bluntly, Russia is winning – and although i’m not an expert on wars it seems clear that if Russia wanted to go all the way to the borders of Poland and the Baltics they could do so – have to admit being nervous about the idiots at the controls in the West when they are losing so badly and folks getting pissed about $$ being dropped into that black hole of grift and corruption – want to start smoking again but just lost a friend who smoked menthols all his life and esophagial cancer got him quick – oh well; me, Roscoe & Pippa and a frisbee working just fine – gotta be in love when doggies smile at you and roll over for belly rubs –

              2. Wæsfjord

                “Last I heard”

                That’s not a very solid source. No way 10,000 Polish troops died in Ukraine and nobody noticed. How many injuries? 30,000? Not buying it.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  About a year ago the Poles themselves admitted that there were 2,200 of their people dead in this war and which had been returned for burial in their cemeteries. Again, this was about a year ago. The problem is to confirm current figures. I mean, it is not something that you can email the Polish Ministry of National Defence and expect them to answer back. You might as well ask me how many active soldiers from the American and British military have been killed there. Those numbers will never be admitted to.

            2. Skip Intro

              I think an important question is, theoretically, WTF would a German tank crew be doing in Kupyansk? Either it is some very weird special mission, or we have to assume that there are a number of other German crews riding around without even the courtesy of ‘leaving’ active duty like the various US, UK, French and Polish ‘mercenaries’ and ‘volunteers’ have done.
              Or it is completely fabricated, which doesn’t seem to be very big win for Russia, and remains somewhat baffling, as Russia has been careful not to claim that NATO troops are on the ground, until now.
              Or it was fabricated by SBU, to escalate things.

              1. Greg

                Possible plausible explanation – Assume Leopards are turning up with minimal time for training, volunteer regiments contains a number of German ex-soldiers.
                It then makes sense to dump those into a tank where possible instead of Ukrainians that can’t read the labels on switches.

                I don’t think anyone can deny that there are a reasonable number of German volunteers in Ukraine, and that a large proportion of volunteers have some sort of military training (because that was a selection criteria, at least early on).
                Then it’s just a quibble about whether they volunteered entirely on their own merits, or recently retired from service and volunteered with iffy timing (as with the Canadian general (colonel?) who went awol earlier in Mariupol).

              2. The Inimitable NEET

                The most likely answer is the same on-the-ground reality that recurred in Korea and Vietnam: limited numbers of active personnel are operating from countries that officially declared they were only offering material and financial support (USA/Soviet Union in both cases), under the auspices of a “gentleman’s agreement” that neither side would make a big stink if those soldiers were killed or endeavor to unmask that participation publicly. It’s been the norm in modern war that weapon systems transferred to other countries are operated and overseen by military members from the home country.

                Similarly, the public start of Operation Iraqi Freedom was preceded by American special forces with boots on the ground, spearheaded by the CIA, buying off commanders and generals to lay down their arms and disband their troops.

          2. CarlH

            Driving the tank can be taught quickly. It is everything in the turret (communications, sighting systems, weapons systems, etc.) and all the facets of maintenance and operation that take months of intensive training to familiarize yourself with. After that it takes many more months of intensive training to master everything properly. Time consuming and very expensive.

            1. CarlH

              In addition to the basic tank operation and maintenance, I failed to mention the other half (at least) of a tank crew’s training. They must be able to work cohesively with everyone else in their unit, being only one small part of a larger fist. Then there is also all the basic combat training, such as camouflage or light and noise discipline for instance. All this takes the type of time and experience I just can’t see Ukraine being able to muster given that this is their third (?) army they are running through? And on equipment where everything is labeled in an unfamiliar language?

      3. Alice X

        Well, not to be too prickly but, I think the Germans were pushed out of Ukraine by the end of 1943. Maybe that rhymes better.

        1. hk

          Depends on which “Ukraine.”. Soviets retook the left bank of Dniepr by the end of 1943. The remainder was during 1944 (Lwow was not captured until July, for example.).

          1. Alice X

            The Germans were definitely in reverse.

            And then there is the western region that was Poland but they would yield after the war.

    2. Samuel Conner

      > “European coalition to invade”

      Finland and Rumania (IIRC, also Slovakia) participated from the outset, and Italy and Hungary later contributed significant ground forces (armies from these nations were overwhelmed on the flanks of the German 6th Army as it was being encircled at Stalingrad).

      I’ve never encountered the specific language “European coalition” in this context before. Perhaps a better framing would be “coalition of the willing”.

      To be Nazi Germany’s enemy was dangerous, but to be its friend was fatal.

      1. Polar Socialist

        No Finnish troops in Stalingrad or thereabouts. Finns pretty much stayed in Carelia, taking care of 30% of the length of the Eastern Front.

        I believe the term at the time was Neuordnung. Though that included also the unwilling participants.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Agreed — my bad construction — “these nations” was intended to refer to Italy and Hungary. The Rumanians had large formations near Stalingrad, too.

    3. IM Doc

      I am seeing all kinds of things online today stating that some Ukrainian Nazis were with the German troops in the bunkers on D Day. If true, it was not just on the Russian front. If true, they were participating in the shelling of British, American and Canadian troops.

      This is very concerning to me. It seems just in the online world that this event yesterday in the Canadian Parliament may have been a big wake up call to lots of folks.

      I have looked without fruition for any statement that this true about the Ukrainians on D Day. Does anyone in this awesome comment section have any leads on if this is true?

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think you need to find “D-Day: June 6, 1944” by Stephen Ambrose (of the Band of Brother fame). According to him 16% of the German troops manning then Channel coast were non-German.

        Ukrainians, Georgians, Azeris, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians took part in the defence of Normandy. I’ve been under the impression (for so long that I can’t remember the source) that Germans tended to send their foreign hilfwilligers to the other side of the Europe to prevent collusion or change of mind. Plus they are easier to motivate for atrocities among population that is not their own, while also being expendable.

        1. Paradan

          I was gonna bring this up last year, but I figured no one would believe me. I learned about this decades ago watching the History Channel. The Germans didn’t trust the Ukrainians to fight against their fellow slavs, so they used them as garrison troops to free up Germans.

          1. Greg

            Same tactics as the Roman empire, no?
            Been a while since I read about it, but I seem to recall the legions recruited from conquered peoples were generally shuffled about so they were used to subjugate people they wouldn’t relate to as much.

            1. Paleobotanist

              The Parthians did the same. They recruited and posted a captured Roman legion to their eastern frontier with China. The legion went over to the Chinese eventually and you had Roman legionaires fighting in the testudo formation in China. Tis a strange world….people just try to get by….

        1. Polar Socialist

          …but in a support role. Perhaps doubtful that they fired any guns.

          Last year, around the time the Ukrainians in Azovstal were about to surrendering in batches, there was an interview of a Donetsk veteran who was one of the negotiating team. He said these were the first Ukrainian POWs he saw who didn’t claim they had only been cooks/medics/drivers. He respected them for that.

          1. Carolinian

            I’m just quoting my newly discovered source links. However it could be the Germans didn’t want any “volunteer” Russians carrying weapons around German soldiers in case they decided to un-volunteer.

            Whereas working in camps or support roles they fulfilled the then German troop shortage.

            Of course there were Italians and Romanians who fought with them and I’ve heard in the past that some non Germans were at Normandy. The second of my links says quite explicitly that some Russians, probably Ukrainians, were there.

      2. Samuel Conner

        I have never heard this before and am a bit skeptical on principle — it seems unlikely to me that the Germans would have employed Eastern European volunteers in front-line responsibilities in the West.

        Having said that, there was a division-sized unit of Eastern European volunteers in France at the time of the Normandy operation. According to this page,

        it was formed in early 1944 for the purpose of suppressing partisan activity. The page does not mention Ukrainian or Galician volunteers in the unit’s composition, but perhaps there were some.

            1. S.D., M.D.

              Eastern Europe had already had nearly three decades of chaos( balkan wars, world war, collapse of empires, revolutions, civil wars, famines, just to name the highlights) before WWII, so how on earth can anybody be disturbed or even surprised that there were hosts of enraged people with scores to settle, willing to fight for anyone who gave them the chance?

                1. Jabura Basaidai

                  having lived in the Loop for 4 years and traveled about the city that comment made me chuckle – you must be a Chi-town resident –

        1. magpie

          Until dawn on the 6th of June 1944, there were no front lines in North-West Europe.

          Up until that morning, these units were fulfilling quiet garrison-deterrence-occupation duty on the Atlantic Wall, a sensible posting for static, third-rate formations of foreign nationals, since it allowed the Wehrmacht to commit their quality units elsewhere.

      3. frankenstein

        True – In addition to Ambrose noted in today’s comments see a pithy summary at Wikipedia on the Ostlegionen

        My recollections about the matter seconded at Quora:
        “They generally surrendered as soon as they could either kill or get away from their supervising German NCO or officer; or once US troops were in sight and shooting. (The Ost battalions Im aware of were in the US sector)”

        Good summary of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS also on Wikipedia. The pictures provide clear background and context around the applause up in Canada.

        One might draw a distinction between conscripted POWs who bailed as soon as they saw an opportunity vs. SS volunteers.

    4. Kouros

      How that coallition was set up?

      Secret treaty with Russians allowing Russia to take pieces of Romania, and Finland.
      Paying up Hungary with Romanian territory.
      Convincing Romanians to join so they can take their territory back and mabe a bit more.
      Finland joining to take back their territory.
      Italians joining for the sake of alliance and possible support in Greece and Africa.
      ANd there were volunteers from Denmark, France, Spain, Norway, etc….

      No UK or France state support on this though.

      Whitwashing Nazism…

  3. flora

    re: California workers who cut countertops are dying of an incurable disease – LA Times

    Good gawd, we’ve known about silicosis for decades. Where is OSHA? Not providing the workers with appropriate fine dust particle masks, and not insisting the workers wear them is a clear health and safety failure.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Well then, it’s sure taking them a long time to react.

        I’ve read WPA oral histories about the granite sheds of Barre, Vermont in the beginning of the twentieth century, and early death from silicosis was a recurrent theme in almost all of them. In the 1930’s the great Vito Marcantonio of East Harlem – the most successful radical politician in US history, yet who is virtually forgotten – led a House sub-committee investigating horrific silicosis rates resulting from drilling the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel in West Virginia in 1930. Poet and Left journalist Muriel Rukeyser (who later taught Alice Walker) wrote a cycle of poems called “The Book of the Dead” about it.

        The deadliness of silica dust is well-established. That OSHA or its California counterpart (a state with Democrat super-majority control, and where the article is set) hasn’t created standards or is not enforcing them is telling, in a very dark way.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          thank you MF i never heard of Vito – just reading his wiki page is jaw dropping – what a great human being – will have to explore and discover more about him – NC is always a source for the forgotten heroes of our past – Antonio Gramsci is another, although his name sounds familiar and may have been mentioned one of my times chatting with Saul Wellman –

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            If you can, find Gerry Meyer’s biography of him, Vito Marcantonio: Radical Politician. It’s a very informative and powerful work of political and social history, covering Marcantonio’s career, it’s profound embedding in Italian East Harlem and El Barrio, and the political lessons to be drawn from that.

            Meyer taught at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx, interviewed many of Marc’s former constituents and colleagues, and in so doing points the way to a lost thread in American Radicalism that needs to be reconstituted.

        2. Neutrino

          Muriel Rukeyser is an interesting case, and perhaps a cousin of Louis Rukeyser (of Wall Street Week fame) although maybe just coincidental naming. If related, there could’ve been some fascinating conversations around Thanksgiving dinner tables!

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            when saw she was a poet went to the Poetry Foundation website to read some of her work – she pulls no punches – kinda weird but she reminded me of Roberto Bolano – yes it would be an interesting conversation with Louis –
            from “The Speed of Darkness”
            ” The universe is made of stories, not of atoms”
            further on
            “I hear their unborn voices
            I am working out the vocabulary of my silence.”

            or from “Song For Dead Children’
            “Weave grasses for their childhood—who will never see
            love or disaster or take sides against decay
            balancing the choices of maturity.
            Silent and coffined in silence while we pass
            loud in defiance of death, the helpless lie.”

            “…or take sides against decay…” wow – when living in Chicago would walk once a week to the Poetry Foundation and pick a book at random to sit and read – thank you for sharing

          2. flora

            I still miss Louis R. He was never overawed by Wall St.’s PR and bluster. He seemed happy to call out their PR nonsense as nonsense, and to happily go to the fundamentals. / my 2 cents.

        3. flora

          “The deadliness of silica dust is well-established.”

          Yes. As is the deadliness of asbestos dust – asbestosis, and the deadliness of coal dust – black lung disease.

          Even the modern ceramics industry knows the danger of silicosis as do most modern solo potters.

          1. Old Builder

            Sillicosis and asbestosis are the same disease. When naturally occurring hollow glass fiber insulation (asbestos) was banned about 2000 years after the romans realised breathing it killed you, they started to manufacture hollow glass fiber insulation (fiberglass) instead. Under a microscope it looks the same. Its in the walls of 95% of US homes and you breath it daily through the failing tape and various holes in your ductwork that is wrapped in this shit running through your attic or basement (both stuffed full of it). Hell theres a good chance your ductwork itself is made of fiberglass. People use cellulose (paper pulp) or sprayfoam (petrochem)
            nowadays cos the thing is a formaldehyde filled tinderbox anyhow.

    1. paul.w

      The first person responsible for their health is themselves. The second person responsible is the employer. An example of this is a discussion I had with a young man, early 20’s. You need to wear hearing protection around these Jet engines on the ramp. You will have permanent hearing loss. If your doing leak checks on the engine you need ear plugs and a headset, dual protection. He just smiled and nodded. He didn’t seem to take my thoughts seriously. At the door out onto the ramp is a ear plug dispenser. Headset is free issue in the tool room. I wouldn’t be surprised if in half of the business’s here, respiratory protection is available.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        I guess you didn’t read that many of these shops had no water spraying the work to keep down the dust – an employer responsibility and a minimal form of industrial hygiene in that setting – lest you endanger that Personal Responsibility narratve you seem intent on promoting.

      2. mrsyk

        The first person responsible for their health is themselves. The second person responsible is the employer. Theoretically, and big picture, sure. The rules of neoliberalism says you’re probably overly optimistic with your “respiratory protection is available” remark. Either way, these stonecutters sure seem like “essential front line workers” for the real estate industry. Sure won’t be unloading any of that overpriced Hudson Yards luxury living space without end to end granite countertops.
        Personally, I don’t understand the attraction to expansive granite countertops in the kitchen. Stone is a loud, cold and unforgiving surface.

      3. Paleobotanist

        Youngsters can’t protect themselves from an abusive employer – someone else has to. This also has to include family businesses where older family members are willing to provide dangerous working conditions to younger family members who they totally control.

      4. JBird4049

        This is much like with Covid including the “loss” of knowledge I have know about since junior high and certainly high school meaning forty years ago. Classes, books, documentaries, tv programs, have all been used to extensively document silicosis.

        This has been done something over a century now or nearly as long as disease spreading by airborne transmission has been known. As with the causes of diseases spreading, it is very, very elementary, bog-standard stuff.

        If I knew about this from just being taught the history of the United States… Well, it is interesting to see The Genocide continue and spread.

      5. Kouros

        Sorry, but the first responsible is the employer, who needs to provide the means of protection, the education for the appropriate techniques, procedures and mode of employment of the safety equipment, and lastly, to enforce their appropriate use.

        If all these are in place, then you can blame the employee to for not following the safety rules.

      6. Antagonist Muscles

        Some mysterious force is causing all of my sensory sensations to accelerate. I told my ENT doctor that I use safety ear muffs on top of ear plugs for ordinary loud sounds, e.g. air conditioning units. Do you have any recommendations for extreme reduction in sound? A jet engine would be unbearable for me even with two layers of protection.

    2. BeliTsari

      It’s been a sad stereotype, since Feb 2020. The exact workers, most likely to infect you; acting all MAGA, unmasked around plasma torches, grit/ shot blasting, scarfing, blow-outs & (FILTHY) hydrotesting. Stick-welding inside pipe, unmasked; was not uncommon. There’s easier ways to kill yourself? All these folks have young kids with sniffles & poops.

  4. ilsm

    Ukraine adventure! Rationalized.

    In the run up to US war in Iraq in 1990, the chaplains preached “Just War” doctrine. I listened.

    They stretched each of the 6 or 7 points of St. Augustine’s sermon.

    The US’ proxying in Ukraine breaches all or most!

    No moral tone on this one!

    Bill Kristol confirms it is empire!

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      have a friend i used to jam with, he was a harmonica guy – he knows i have no skin in religion after 12 years with nuns and Jesuits when i was a kid in grade school and high school – but don’t call me an atheist, it takes a belief in god in the first place to believe there is no god – just find no use for the concept – my friend is a member of an Unitarian Universalist church, whatever that means, and teaches Sunday school to kids – during a break after our last jam session we were talking and he asked if i was going to vote for the Husk, which didn’t go too well, so i asked him what he says to kids that might ask about the Ukranian proxy war – he asked me what i meant by proxy war when it’s a “just war” – i told him what i thought and he ceased speaking with me after that – after a few weeks of no response to phone/text/email messages i finally received a text from him that perhaps we could “repair” our friendship – sent him an email suggesting he didn’t understand friendship and that he would always be my friend – c’est la vie –

      1. Polar Socialist

        The “correct” term is apatheist, I believe. A person who has no use for the concept of god and/or who finds the question of god’s existence completely uninteresting.

        And I hope your friend eventually understands friendship.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          thank you – unaware of that term and glad to now have it as part of my vocabulary – have a lot of respect for the Jesuits that taught me to critically think – nuns were a bit heavy handed but given our ages in grade school they were saints of patience – have no bone to pick unless utilized to justify nonsense like war – thanks again for pointing out that word, much appreciated –

        2. Jabura Basaidai

          hmmmmm?…….apatheist the root of apathy? know that theist refers to god but sure seems similar

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                PS and P thank you both because agnostic did not fit for me at all – nor did atheist either – don’t mind being called a heathen or pagan but there is still a god component in their definitions –

    2. berit

      Saint Obama, on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, from naive Norwegian admirers and social democrat Torbjørn Jagland, then chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, spoke eloquently at great lenght on Just War. Shortly thereafter, saint Obama spoke eloquently again as he sent more US troops and some NATOes too into Afghanistan, for more destruction, killings, even a Norwegian was killed. Such saints are never satisfied, craving human blood and sacrifice, spreading the gospel of a rules based world order when and where they find the opportunity to make fortunes in military procurement and stock, as some politican-husbands here, doing good investing in Kongsberg and Ammo products for the US-NATO proxy war on Russia in Ukraine, diligently held together on NATOs march east by saintly social democratic lort (turd) Stoltenberg.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The Voice: a vote on indigenous rights divides Australia”

    Been wondering how long it would be until this story hit Links. In American terms, it would be like if Americans were asked to vote in a Constitutional Amendment to give a separate voice to Native Americans that would be kinda outside the House and the Senate. Good thing that that would never be controversial. When I first heard this proposal a coupla months ago I was dubious as it sounded like you would have two classes of citizens. Mind you, this was never brought up in the last elections at all and it kinda came out of the blue. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has staked his political capital on this passing and maybe he wants this to be his ‘legacy’ or something. Regardless, I waited to be convinced about this idea and I was – by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He was giving an open air interview with the press and answering questions about The Voice. I will paraphrase the questions and answers but I promise you, it is not by much-

    ‘Prime Minister. How many people will be selected to be the Voice?’

    ‘That has not been determined yet.’

    ‘Prime Minister. What powers will they have?’

    ‘That has not been sorted yet. Look, just vote for the Voice in the Referendum and when that is passed, we will sort out the details later.’

    I would rather trust a Californian Democrat with that sort of power. Governments here are getting fond of these surprise decisions. There is a popular tourist island just off the coast called Fraser Island. Then one day a coupla months ago the State government announced that it was now renamed K’gari. There was no public discussions, publicity, nothing just bam – done deal. Not a good way to build confidence in government.

    1. nigel rooney

      Each to their own.
      Personally I’ll be voting “Yes”.
      I’ll be supporting the indigenous folk in my local rural area who are in favour of some, any, sort of recognition of their legitimacy by the ruling Anglo elite, who have taken full advantage of settler colonisation since day one.

      1. The Rev Kev

        My beef is that they had years to put together a legislative package so that if they voted yes, then it would be voted into law. But that has not been done. Why? How come we are not allowed to see what this new text will look like? How hard would that have been? We are being asked to depend on a politician’s promise. How does that usually work out?

  6. Matthew

    It’s very plausible that depressed people seek out sweets to distract themselves from their distress. That’s what compulsive over eating, and compulsivity issues generally, seem to involve. You’d have to compare it to the consumption of sweets generally to begin to make a causal case. Dietary studies generally are incapable of showing causality and involve plausible bidirectional effects.

    1. chuck roast

      Three days of rain caused this depressed person to seek out a pumpkin muffin in order to distract myself from my distress. I messed up the whole bidirectional thingy when I forgot to also pick up a Snickers. In any case, nothing in the world will make me seek out Pumpkinhead beer. No possible causal case can be made for its consumption let alone its production.

  7. QuarterBack

    Re Greenwald’s tweet, If Hitler and Mussolini had the technology and political support for censorship that exists today, there would be no ‘fascism’ nor atrocities — because no one would be a allowed to talk about them.

    Or perhaps, they DID have it. For their rise — until they didn’t anymore.

    1. Senator-Elect

      I hope Greenwald realizes that these poll numbers (which are probably skewed given the pollster; see comment below) mainly reflect the public’s desperation for some kind of solution to the problem of their crappy online experience and, obviously, what they’ve been told by a lot of mainstream media should be the solution: censorship.

      But does anyone have a solution to this problem? People will believe the dominant narrative most of the time. In other words, propaganda works. But they will also believe any old garbage that they hear from a friend or relative or read on a dubious FB post. Greenwald himself believes a bunch of nonsense, despite his formidable intellect. Probably we all do. Is this just a fundamental flaw of humanity that we will never escape?

      It’s worth noting that most websites used to moderate their comments, and newspapers never published every single letter to the editor. But social media lets basically everything go through. People are obviously in need of some kind of town square: the question is, how should it be governed?

    2. .Tom

      I’m not so pessimistic. Software manipulates bits and bytes: symbols that, like words, can be used to represent or misrepresent the world but are not the real world. That’s an important distinction. The map is not the territory.

      Human minds have some resilience and their beliefs aren’t easily managed. Coercing people into conforming behavior works and is normal but it’s not the same as making people really believe something. Hence the methods of achieving social control through information control are limited. Early indoctrination is very effective but is too slow (multi-generational) for the political timescale. So they are stuck with trying to control what we believe by controlling what we know, i.e. editing history up to 1 minute ago.

      Partnering with big-tech to create real-time ministry of truth using AI to discriminate and delete unorthodox utterances, or to launch AI chat bots to talk us down or bully us if we sound heretical, or to automatically banish from apps for comms, banking, transport services etc. is all very frightening but …

      Personal financial sanction and no-fly lists is frightening but that’s not social control through information control, it’s an old-fashioned punishment administered through new software and it works by frightening you into conformant behavior not by controlling your understanding of the truth. Moreover, for now there are still laws more-or-less protecting us from governments doing this arbitrarily.

      But while controlling a few very-large online platforms can perhaps work to produce a limited alternate reality, the the internet is a big place with a lot of smaller communications that for now aren’t so easily filtered. And as people feel the censorship creep in to the big apps, some will lose trust the reality it wants to push. There may even be a positive feedback dynamic there.

      Personally, I still believe that contemporary IT has shifted the information flows in favor of more democratic transparency relative to, say, the era before cable TV. Back then you had to get your hands on seriously weird literature to get anywhere on building a coherent, well-sourced counter-narrative of current events. It’s often been noted here at NC that the information environment of the UA war was the worst in recent memory but we still got around it, I think. Same with the covid stuff. I admit it was rough, the authorities deployed info-weapons like we’ve never seen before and that in itself was frightening, but it didn’t work very well in the end.

      So I think information control is not working very well as a way for incumbent pols and bureaucrats to retain and enhance power. And if that’s indeed what they are trying to do then it seems a bit desperate.

      But maybe it isn’t their doing. Maybe tech is selling info control to the government? Maybe it’s all just another big stupid software scam, like crypto currency, CBDCs, LLMs, self-driving cars, and everything apps. I’m not saying it’s dangerous. I’m just saying it’s way, way oversold as is the habit of software hype.

      1. QuarterBack

        The more insidious part of censorship is the color of law and force that coincides with it. History shows that once one group is given power and authority to prohibit and punish thoughts and words that they don’t agree with, it very quickly spirals towards a dystopian maximum. History also shows that when this power slips, the blowback can flirt with biblical levels. I have ultimate faith that truth always prevails, but the journey through the learning curve can be very painful.

        1. .Tom

          Yes and it has happened often. A ruling elite that has lost the popular consent to rule does not politely leave voluntarily. And since they hold the levers of power it’s going to be ugly…

          I was just countering the proposition that the new cartel of government, NGOs and VOLPs doing media control together is going succeed at mind control to a radically new extent.

          1. hk

            I don’t think they can succeed in “mind control.”. However, I expect that they can succeed more than anyone ever in subverting collective action necessary to overturn or even meaningfully steer the regime in a different direction.

  8. Darthbobber

    Carbon offset programs.
    One example, which unleashed a bit of controversy within the Audobon Society.,the%20CARB%20carbon%20offset%20market.

    “Mass Audubon has enrolled 10,000 acres of our forests in a CARB Improved Forest Management project, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. Since the carbon stored in these acres exceeded the regional average value, we were awarded more than 600,000 offset credits, which were then sold on the CARB carbon offset market.”

    An easily gameable premise of carbon offset schemes is that you get people to “save” on carbon emissions by financially motivating them to maintain or create forests. It is then “assumed” that the forest in question would otherwise have been cut down, and the purely hypothetical savings become credits which others can purchase to emit more carbon. The obvious problems of such schemes are part of the satirical premise of Venomous Lumpsucker.

    In this case, the Massachusetts society already intended to maintain its acreage as forest, with no cutting beyond that related to managing and maintaining the forest. So there are no savings, just credits against them. Variants of this are repeated all over the place.

    And more to the point, it was easily foreseeable that they would be.

  9. tapper

    The German troops manning the tanks isn’t a real surprise… I would bet that all of the “newest” tanks, esp. western, are a bit more teched-up than the older iterations (of everyone’s) so that “learning to operate” is more than learning how to drive……so experience counts. It also seems that the thinking about tank use includes a trained ground force that works symbiotically with them , something the Ukrainians lack? If that availability changes significantly (westernizes). That would be a big change.

  10. IMOR

    Re: free speech poll embedded in G. Greenwald tweet: What is RCOR, the source of the poll? No quick find in search, and I’mnot on X so I can’t just click further through.

  11. antidlc
    Covid flight cancellations are back as thousands grounded after virus hits Gatwick air-traffic controllers

    An estimated 8,000 passengers were left out of position

    An outbreak of Covid has been blamed for the third air-traffic control slowdown at London Gatwick so far this month.

    Staff sickness in the control tower meant the “flow rate” of flights using the world’s busiest runway was reduced.

    Fifty flights to and from the Sussex airport were cancelled or diverted, while many other services were delayed by up to seven hours.

    1. mrsyk

      Excellent article, thanks. It’s amusing that Covid is getting the Lord Voldemort treatment (don’t say the name!), but terrifying as well.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Cruise Robotaxis Cause Austin Street Gridlock Due to ‘Heavy’ Pedestrian Traffic’

    Meanwhile, in California…

    ‘California governor Gavin Newsom worked late last night, vetoing a law that would have banned self-driving trucks without a human aboard from state roads until the early 2030s. State lawmakers had voted through the law with wide margins, backed by unions that argued autonomous trucks are a safety risk and threaten jobs.’

    Can you imagine those self-driving trucks in California doing the same sort of things that those self-driving cars are doing in Texas? And how much can a fully-loaded truck weigh?

      1. albrt

        I live in Phoenix and I am a bicycle activist. The Waymo vehicles drive much better than most humans. If I were going to blow up a vehicle, a Waymo would not be anywhere near the top of my list.

        I do not feel the same warm fuzzies toward Teslas, or toward other branches of Google.

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: UAW strike scrambles political allegiances Axios

    UAW president Shawn Fain has withheld an endorsement for President Biden — even as Biden has positioned himself as the most pro-union president in U.S. history.

    The Railroad Workers Union might beg to differ. You’re not “pro-union” just because you close public schools when randi weingarten tells you to, and don’t reopen them until she gives you permission.

    Biden announced last week he would be joining the picket line Tuesday, days after former President Trump made plans to meet with striking autoworkers.

    Hopefully old joe’s advance team has filled all the sidewalk cracks and swept away any errant pieces of gravel, or it could get pretty ugly when they load the geezer onto a gurney with a broken hip.

    The one labor-related issue in which UAW leaders hew closer to Republicans is their skepticism over the government-directed push toward electric vehicles.

    Electric vehicles require less labor to produce, and the jobs are predominantly non-union…

    Deliberate policy choice, for some definition of “industrial policy,” and inexcusable in view of the taxpayer subsidies being provided to this industry.

    1. Carolinian

      I read elsewhere that a new WaPo poll has Biden ten points below Trump. It’s hard to see any upcoming news that will improve things for Joe and in fact just the opposite. The MSM may ignore impeachment but the word gets out.

      Perhaps our elites can only make so much of their own reality and some Dem poobahs need to have a talk with Joe. Not sure who that would be.

      1. albrt

        Obama is probably the only one who can do it, and he will not do it by having a talk with Joe. Obama will do like any other organized crime boss and have Joe taken care of by third parties, whether literally or by reverse-rigging the primaries back into existence.

        Will no one rid me of this demented placeholder?

  14. Jason Boxman

    What you need to know about Covid as new variant rises

    The stupid continues:

    But – in general – Prof Finn says each new infection should feel milder with the length of time you are sick reduced.

    “Each time you catch it, your immunity gets stronger and broader,” he adds.

    Except COVID damages your immune system, so, no, immunity does not get stronger and broader. This is eugenics, plain and simple.

    But perhaps it is starting to become part of the background to our everyday lives.

    Get back to me in 10 years, when everyone has diabetes, high blood pressure, and dementia.

    1. Peggy

      New variant alarms….excellent rationalization for another round of
      Mail in ballots nationwide, just in time for 2024.

      How stupid do they think we are?

      Paper ballots, hand marked, counted in public, retained for ten years.

      Any election using software intermediation is subject to fraud.
      The election results of same are not legitimate,
      any government, federal, state or local,
      or candidates thus chosen, are not

    2. Jan

      Bzzzt, wrong. Covid damages a percentage of people’s immune system who contract it. These ppl may have some genetic predisposition to, and others may be immune to this effect.
      If what you said was true, a spin of the roulette wheel every time you get it, covid would be wreaking much more (undeniable) havoc around the world than it currently is.

      1. jsn

        Give it time.

        It’s a logarithmic function, so a power curve.

        Right now we can’t keep flight schedules regular, in a few years will we be able to keep planes in the air at all? For instance.

        1. Jan

          Touche. But i posit that the breakdown in societal functioning has more to do with the loss of executive function and neoliberalism gone mad + ppl disgusted by vax mandates, rather than the effects of long & acute covid.

  15. Lexx

    ‘The Summer That Reality Caught Up To Climate Fiction’

    I was reading the kind of science fiction that took me on journeys to other planets… we were still in love with space and space travel and where those rocket ships might take us.. The bulk of the dystopian novels that came later worked off Planet Earth, so I think the author is talking to a younger fan base.. I can barely recall a young Kim as a guest at NorWesCon; that was long ago and early in his career.

    We’re on the Oregon coast (Winchester Bay) trapped in the 5th wheel by the ‘atmospheric river’ slamming up the sides with pouring rain and gusts of wind hard enough to shake this large and heavy vehicle. Even the many hardy fishermen in the park are going to have a difficult time getting out on the water this morning; it’s simply miserable weather.* We sprang a leak around one of the skylights Husband patched and we’re hoping will hold. I keep looking out the window to see if there’s a visible reason why we should hook up the RV and seek higher ground. The rain has been relentless even by PNW standards.

    *Husband joked that the rain was so loud he wondered if the mic in his headset was picking it up, leaving his teammates to wonder if he took the conference call while in the shower!

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The weather in the u.s. has indeed been a little extreme lately and the Elites do seem to be taking some notice. The First Street Foundation released its 9th National Risk Assessment: Insurance Issue — and when you can get it or keep it, expect insurance rates to go up, probably a lot. Recalling a few bits and pieces of what past climate transitions experienced, the extreme weather is just the beginning — although the fine details of paleoclimate are difficult to infer some of the large events undermine the notion that present weather events are all that extreme.

      I believe Grist is a little more optimistic than warranted. Of the science fiction books referenced, I am only familiar with Robinson’s “Ministry for the Future”. In Robinson’s future a ‘carbon coin’ and carbon credits work, and the Imperial colonies and ‘protectorates’ are allowed to shut down petroleum and natural gas production, and coal mines are closed, “building battery storage and wind, solar, and hydro plants became a national priority” and happily they adequately replace fossil fuels. Carbon sequestration works even lowering the CO2 ppm in combination with the transition to Green solutions that halt the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere. There is even funding and technology to stop the relentless advance of the glaciers in Antarctica and elsewhere … and all this in the near future! Perhaps all this is possible, but I tend to think of “Ministry for the Future” as fantasy rather than science fiction. Maybe if the story moved further into the future and took place on some other world like Mars I could regard it as science fiction.

      This quote from the link strikes a ringing chord of what I believe is its main theme:
      “Given that the technological and policy solutions to reduce emissions rapidly are already at hand, the discussion on climate disaster should come with a firm look at what could be done to prevent the worst.”
      What happy news … but what technological and policy solutions to reduce emissions rapidly are already at hand? I must have missed that memo. I guess that is what I should expect by refusing to hop on board the Green New Deal bandwagon. If I apply my litmus test: Have massive government subsidies for fossil fuels been revoked? — I remain skeptical of the Grist optimism.

      The ‘money’ quote to take away from the link and mull upon: “We happen to live in a world where rich people have to become convinced of something before policy is enacted on it,” El Akkad said.”
      I believe the bunkers and remote hidey-holes might give some indication of what kind of policies the Elites are convinced of, at least those not fully committed to the beliefs of the “IBG/YBG” group.

  16. Ben Joseph

    AI needs more editing.

    Disfrutar — which means “enjoy” in Spanish — in Barcelona took the second spot, DiverXO in Madrid, Asador Etxebarri in the tiny town of Axtondo, is right behind at #3, and is flanked by high-end Basque eatery Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo.

    From the Europe’s best restaurant article. Reads like the AI generated 2 alternative wordings and plugged both into the text.

    1. cfraenkel

      Honestly, this sounds more like a human editing under time pressure error. Someone decided to gussy up the wording (“flanked by”) and forgot to remove the original wording. AI wouldn’t do that particular error – why take the time to go changing copy if it’s artificial, why bother? It does show where the business case for AI is coming from though…. ‘they’ need so much content and can’t afford to pay humans to take the time to do it right.

  17. Ignacio

    RE: Association of COVID-19 with New-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

    A neighbour (he and his wife) got Covid and he immediately started to go down with Alzheimer fast fashion without prior symptoms. Whether it was coincidence or not it is impossible to say but I would bet Covid accelerated the process. How? Who knows.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Hollywood writers, studios reach tentative deal to end strike”

    I’m not sure how many people really care anymore and not because they are anti-union or anything. It is simply the fact that most of those striking writers are inflicting rubbish movies on the viewing public with the sort of stuff that they write. This year alone, there are not many winners as far as popularity are concerned but far more stinkers such as “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” And people are voting with their wallets and purses and are refusing to pay good money on this sort of hot garbage. So the announcement that the writers for these very same movies are going back to work is not one to be met with enthusiasm.

    1. Mikel

      Again, ask the writers about all the “notes” they get from the “creative executives.”

      Even when well-paid, unless the writer is a hypen writer-director-producer, they are often re-written at the behest of the studio or production company. For a writer to get their original vision on screen in tact is a monumental feat.

      However, the insularity of Hollywood and the elite ranks it draws from are more of a problem with the type of content more so than writers in general.

    2. cnchal

      > It is simply the fact that most of those striking writers are inflicting rubbish movies on the viewing public . . .

      The writers are not to blame for the rubbish handed to them by management. It is similar to blaming assembly line workers for crappy car engineering and design.

  19. Carolinian

    Re the article on our other distinguished Senator, there’s also this doozy

    “The other things that are really important in that deal is that they want more money working fewer hours. They want more benefits working fewer days.” In “America, that doesn’t make sense,” the senator said. “That’s not common sense.”

    In truth the spirit of John C. Calhoun lives on in our African American senator. After all SC used to have workers who received no pay at all. Some of them may have been Tim Scott’s ancestors.

    Seems some Republicans also live in a bubble and they’re sticking to it. Scott was appointed by Nikki Haley. She’s in there.

    1. JBird4049

      More Republicans do seem to be bending towards child labor as a “positive good” much like Calhoun’s beliefs towards slavery.

      Somehow, I do not think that their children will be doing the labor.

        1. JBird4049

          Would it matter? The children of the elites even those born on the wrong side of the blanket are not the ones laboring as children even in the old cotton mills and factories of late nineteenth century, or in modern industry. If nothing else, in the antebellum South, they would have been house servants.

          Of course, there were always a few slave owners around who did not care at all or even worse would sell their children to the brothels because of the “value” of the slave’s lighter complexion, which is all sorts of fracked up. (Here’s where I think about just how evil we can be.)

  20. pjay

    – ‘The Morality of Ukraine’s War Is Very Murky’ – Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy

    The argument of Walt’s wishy-washy article is pretty “murky” as well. He is apparently advocating for a more realist position on Ukraine, but he is doing so in such a fearful and careful “cover-your-ass” manner as to be almost undetectable.

    I remember the fireworks caused by Walt and Mearsheimer’s book on The Israel Lobby years ago. Apparently Walt is more worried about the feelings of his Kennedy School colleagues these days than his former co-author. Maybe he doesn’t want to risk rocking the boat again as he dips his toe in the water ever-so carefully.

    1. No $

      Walt and Mearsheimer’s “The Israel Lobby” was actually rather tame in its take on Israel’s power inside the United States. They went out of their way to be as polite about the subject as possible.

      Remember, no one in the United States would publish the long-form magazine piece that led to the book . No one would touch it. They were finally able to get it published in The London Review of Books.

      Their book was eventually published in the United States and, despite becoming a NY Times bestseller, it was almost initially entirely ignored by the media.

      Once it became somewhat known and had to be addressed, it was of course smeared across the board in this country by almost all media outlets – mainstream and alternative, left, right, center and beyond.

      Thus proving their point. And then some.

  21. Pat

    The migrant business in NYC gets another black eye. There have been other reports on the emergency contracting measures Adams and his officials have been using linked here previously. But this NY Post report on the City Council hearing about these contracts that just took place has highlighted some very glaring issues. And it looks like a whole lotta people saw an opportunity and ran with it.

    Cost of no bid contracts and confusion of city agencies just part of the transparency issues and questions regarding city migrant services.

    I’m not Gale Brewer’s biggest fan, but it looks like she and the council are over the sky rocketing costs to the city enough to try to eliminate the obvious grift.

    1. Neutrino

      Those NYC grifts don’t shock like they used to, and the practice seems far more commonplace now. To me, that seems like one leading indicator of societal decline. Some people appear to no longer care beyond getting what they can quickly. That type of short term behavior is not likely to end well either for them, those in their communities or for the larger society when practiced by increasing numbers. :(

  22. Alice X

    >How to Hide a $2 Trillion Antitrust Trial Matt Stoller

    Wellie, Lily Tomlin’s timeless quote never goes out of style:

    No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up!

    Why did the DoJ even bring this case when it is so obvious whose side they’re on.

  23. timbers

    How to Hide a $2 Trillion Antitrust Trial….Secret testimony? What has become of US? I think Google is being much too timid. They obviously has a brainwashed suplicant in Judge Ahmit. So Google should tell the Judge that each trial day that begins, he should bow before an edifice provided by Google called “Google God” and drink his urine. He will not be allowed to hear any testimony because danger of copyright infringement, be may read Google provided redacted translations once a week.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Bill Kristol’s Refreshingly Honest Ukraine War Ad”

    ‘we get a lot for a little’

    I understand that Bill Kristol is also running an ad in the Ukraine which says

    Your sacrifice will bring us victory.’

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Russia and China Can’t Get Anyone to Like Them’

    What does Foreign Policy think diplomacy is all about? High school popularity contests? Heaps of people got Trump Derangement Disorder back in 2016 after Trump was elected President and I think that we are seeing something like Putin/Xi Derangement Syndrome arising as well since this war started. And I would not mind betting that it is basically the same group of people. So is this the group that Foreign policy are catering for?

    1. Mikel

      I kind of think the article had a point, but it is missed through the some of their more stringent claims.
      Centuries of immersion into Western culture and language, especially by the power brokers in those countries, isn’t overcome in a few summits.

      The “can’t get anyone to like them” is a bit high-schoolish.

    2. nippersdad

      Sounds like someone talking his book, and then one goes back to see who the author is and one finds that he is talking his book:

      “By Christopher Walker, vice president for studies and analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy.”

      Check this, his diverse polities polled turn out to be Sweden, Canada, Australia and South Korea. He might have done better were he to have polled those countries that are actually working with them. If he did, it is notable that he leaves those percentages out.

      It is convenient that they are concern trolling about the very things that the NED uses to create cracks in the societies they target for destruction and projecting about the methods they use..

      Looks to me like the only people who would buy thhis schtick are the very ones who would profit most from it.

  26. nippersdad

    This article in The Hill appears to be the first fruits of the Clinton Initiative effort to rebuild Ukraine. It looks like Hillary Clinton is going full on Joe McCarthy in this rant about fifth columnists here in the US:

    “Clinton said that U.S. does not talk about Russian interference in the nation’s elections enough, claiming that Putin has “a lot of apologists and enablers in our own country.”

    She said some Americans do not see the “danger” of Putin, while cautioning that some even agree with him on certain issues, such as the invasion of Ukraine.”

    Everything there but a cry for a new UnAmerican Activities Committee in Congress. Which dovetails nicely with the new Correct The Record effort by the Biden reelection team to police social media:

    “One of the leaders of the fight against what it expects to be a flood of misinformation will be a controversial figure: Rob Flaherty, the former White House director of digital strategy, whose combative emails to social media firms have become part of a Republican-led federal court case and a congressional investigation. He’ll work with the campaign’s legal, communications and digital teams to fight false narratives during the race.

    The new strategy offers a window into how campaigns will handle the fast-shifting online landscape of the 2024 election — and the increasingly precarious politics of pressuring social-media platforms to police misinformation.”

    So, shades of things to come.

    1. Carolinian

      Does anyone other than MSNBC care what Hillary thinks any more? Oh, ok, The Hill.

      I’d say the window for new McCarthyism is closing fast and the real worry for the Dems is seeming like cranks. The public have other issues on their minds whatever the Dem faithful care about.

      Or to put it another way they are going to need a bigger vat of Koolaid.

      1. John

        In my opinion, robot taxis cars, trucks, et al are an immature technology loosed upon the public in a scramble for profit. The soft ware is too unsophisticated to deal with contingencies and there are always contingencies. Neo-liberal greed and carelessness.

        1. John

          Well now, that reply is misplaced.
          In answer to your initial question: no, no one cares what Hillary, or Bill, have to say about anything … even the weather.

    2. Daryl

      > So, shades of things to come.

      I am personally planning on being out of here come election time next year and making the arrangements now. I don’t intend to be part of the proscriptions between the populares and the optimates, sorry Democrats and Republicans.

      1. Neutrino

        Doesn’t she have a university to chancellorize or something?

        There is an air of the movie Sunset Boulevard about her, where chauffeur Bill has been writing fan letters to bolster that ego. She stayed big, the world got small.

    3. ambrit

      “…false narratives…”
      That is one of the ‘funniest’ symbolic constructions I have ever read. Attend me here; a “narrative” in social terms is a story that establishes and supports a policy of the promoters of said “narrative.” As such, a “narrative” is generally fictional. Such “narratives” have varying degrees of connection to phenomenal reality, but never complete congruence. Thus, ‘truth’ or ‘falsity’ are mainly subjective. The real battle is for the ‘minds’ of the consumers of these “narratives.”
      In short, what is being described here is a Propaganda War.
      The above being so, then I refer back to Lambert’s construction; Socio-Political Efficacy.
      Vote for the “narrative” that palpably produces greater concrete material benefits for the Public. (As always, watch what ‘they’ do, not what ‘they’ say.) Sub-Zero freezers full of gelato are not a concrete material benefit for the Public. Arms for a proxy fighting a traditional enemy are not concrete material benefit for the Public. Subsidies for Medical Interventions that hurt more people than they help are not concrete material benefits for the Public. I could go on, but you get my point.
      Stay safe. (An example of a Counter Narrative if I ever saw one.)

      1. Carolinian

        Well narratives can also be true. In fact Hollywood does it all the time with their “based on a true story’ or better still “inspired by a true story.” They wouldn’t lie about their lies would they?

        So Hillary’s Russiagate was “inspired by a true story”–The Manchurian Candidate.

        Oh wait.

    4. Screwball

      I read some stuff on Twitter about this yesterday. Seems Hills went on Jen Psaki’s show and said this same stuff. Not sure when that aired. Russiagate is still alive and well and we can thank Clinton as one of the guilty who can’t give it up.

      Why would they?

      So many still believe all of it. Just the other day a guy I know was wondering how many GOP’ers were on the payroll of the Kremlin. So many think Putin and Russia are running America though Trump and the republicans, and if he wins we will become Russia. These people are scared out of their shoes at this point. Amazing, really.

      George Orwell would be proud.

  27. LadyXoc

    What you need to know about Covid:
    “SARS-CoV-2 virus
    Covid immunity in the UK
    aged 12+ have received at least one vaccine

    infected at least once by Nov 2022

    Source: NHS Digital, ONS”

    So, nearly as many people have been recorded as being infected with Covid as have been “vaccinated.” Faint praise. I put the latter in quotes as this shot neither prevents infection nor ability to transmit (unlike true vaccinations).

    The word “immunity” should be taken out of the headline as it is completely misleading!

    1. cfraenkel

      Their definition of “immunity” seems to have changed to ‘keep most people out of hospital emergency rooms this next six months so we don’t have to spend more money on facilities or staff’. A more charitable reading would be ‘well, you didn’t die, did you?’

      1. ambrit

        “‘….well, you didn’t die, did you?’”
        The next sentences now are: “What’s the hold up? Go die already!”

  28. Googoogajoob

    Re: “Falling on his sword. And for what? And for whom?”

    The entire political body that was giving the man a standing ovation? It’ll likely come out how said honoree was referred to the speaker and who else is implicated but for now you can see every party is gritting their teeth on this situation.

  29. .Tom

    I think the Antidote du jour from via shows a working pulli dog in action herding cattle. Pulli is a Hungarian herding dog, iiuc, known for exceptional toughness, able to work all day in bad weather, fast and agile on its feet as defense against the dangerous but slower animals they herd, and not easily imitated as this photo superbly shows.

    The pulli can find itself the butt of rather obvious jokes if it is unfortunate enough to end up in a life of contesting dog shows. You can find photos of the well-groomed ones on your own.

  30. Mikel

    “Private Equity’s Slow Carnage Unleashes a Wave of Zombies” Bloomberg

    When I read this Bloomberg article, I remembered that the search is on for new bagholders:
    “…We find that private equity funds have a well-established performance history that justifies expanding investor access to them, and we recommend three ways to do so. First, legislative reforms to expand access to direct investments in private equity funds. Second, SEC reforms to expand access to public closed-end funds that invest in private equity funds. And finally, Department of Labor (“DOL”) reforms to enable 401(k) plans to invest in private equity funds…”
    “Private markets funds are keen to reduce investing hurdles to attract more capital from retail investors. Not everyone is convinced this is a positive development.”

    1. Neutrino

      Milo Minderbender’s grandchildren could say that everyone gets a piece of the action!
      What could possibly go wrong? /s

        1. Eudora Welty

          In my opinion, Milo Minderbinder is one of the seminal fictional characters of 20th century literature. I thought he was a joke back in high school, but that’s the “war is a racket” deal right there.

  31. Feral Finster

    “Nazi-linked veteran received ovation during Zelenskyy’s Canada visit Politico. The deck: “House Speaker apologizes for leading tribute in Parliament: ‘This initiative was entirely my own.’” Falling on his sword. And for what? And for whom?”

    O what a hot steaming pantsload!

    Because apparently Google doesn’t work in Canada. Because nobody in the Canadian government is capable of basic research and maybe saying something. Because the Canadian Parliament simply cheers for whatever war criminal is paraded in front of them like performing seals or trained monkeys.

    The Parliament members either knew full well what they were doing, or they didn’t ask questions because they knew that they would not like the answers they would get.

    And the only thing that they are sorry for is that the backlash was bigger than they had predicted.

    1. Kouros

      The western world and especially the Anglosphere has been brainwashed for the past 20+ years on believing that US won WWII with some help from UK, Australia, Canada. USSR were in fact enemies and they were to be dealt next, after Germany.

      The cognitive dissonance hurts. How then Russia or China for that matter got to be among the 5 permanent members of the UNSC?

  32. Sin Fronteras

    Commemorating Richard Lachmann – A Distinguished Sociologist of Elites, Power, and State

    Who knew that the decline of The Empire was a subject of academic study? A Facebook friend posted this. If you are interested in elite control of the US, the crapification of everything, looting and plundering of everything, lack of executive function, and more, he is worth reading. There are two key contributions theoretically that really hit me.

    1. There IS NO unified oligarchic consensus today. There used to be, his study starts in the 50ies, but neoLiberalism didn’t just de-regulate everything, it dissolved oligarchic means of coordination and unified policy making. So it’s just loot and plunder before your competitor beats you to it.

    2. Elite plunder weakens the imperial state apparatus and contributes to its decline.

    1. Sin Fronteras

      “The U.S. social order had not become captured by a right-wing agenda, nor had it been re-established under the principles of finance capital. Instead, Richard argued, it had become completely disorganized as a result of new, and unresolved, conflicts among elites whose capacities and interests had been reshaped by structural transformations in the U.S. economy in the 1970s.
      …Here, Richard takes a cue from the research on the developmental state: absent a coordinating, disciplining force, most often a coherent, autonomous state, business elites do not automatically fall into some pattern of rational accumulation. They plunder as much as they can, as quickly as they can, before a rival elite can do the same. In a recent essay Richard argued that the Trump administration was not an aberration, but the apotheosis of these dynamics: the failure of the “respectable” capitalist class and the establishment Republican Party to reign him in was a mark of their weakness and disorganization.”

      These were my friend’s comments that caught my eye. I was quite used to the idea that the US is an oligarchy with factions, and voting determines (subject to money flow of course) which one takes over control. But it had never occurred to me that the oligarchy (or “elites” as the professor says) were unable to come to a consensus for structural reasons. And that there was no unified “national project”. This kind of explains how the US has such a dysfunctional military and how they could start a war and run out of ammunition.

      I come from a Leninist background where one envisions a ruling class that may be divided, but somehow they fight it out and come up with a policy. And I liked Gramsci’s notion of a hegemonic elite coalition. But this guy’s arguments exclude that.

      He died before the full impact of Trump was apparent. So one question is: is Trump a fascist? I’ve had fun mocking liberals who want to reach across the aisle to, OMG, fascists. But historically fascism arose as a reaction to organized powerful working class movements (Italy, Germany, Chile). And to quote Dimitrov, it is “the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary sectors of capital”. So is THAT what I am seeing with Trump? Seems doubtful, yet all my Facebook friends throw the word around to the point where it’s just a curse word.

  33. altruisticpunisher

    Re: COVID situation in China “uptick”, please consider the source. New Tang Dynasty television is a Falun Gong “news” outlet that clearly has a political agenda in their COVID-related coverage (e.g. in 2021 they ran a story about more deaths in Taiwan from vaccine side effects vs. the virus). Having run a machine translation on the linked story it is also very light in terms of sourcing, etc. I appreciate NC’s focus on examining sourcing/footnotes but many of the COVID-conscious Western accounts have a blind spot when it comes to sourcing foreign language media and should be subject to the same scrutiny.

  34. antidlc

    “The oncoming burden of long COVID faced by patients, health-care providers, governments and economies is so large as to be unfathomable, which is possibly why minimal high-level planning is currently allocated to it”

    There’s a somber statement.

  35. Commander McBragg

    “Khalistan” is a transparent regime change/color revolution threat on the level of Kurdistan, Kosovo Albanians and the supposed ‘extermination’ of Uighurs. Anglo-American spook agencies manufacture seperatist groups and ‘freedom fighters’ and ‘democracy advocates’ through a network of NGOs, which function as General Gehlen’s Stay-Behind operations, trained and waiting for the go code to begin sabotage operations. People want to blame George Soros- all he does is manage the payroll.
    India, Arabia, Iran, China, Russia an the rest have finally had enough. Once Russia called their bluff, the petrodollar began to fall apart quickly.
    All the fanatics and dupes they find to staff their subversion operations are just cannon fodder for the Strategy of Tension.

  36. nippersmom

    How disconcerting that Stoller is doing this, and not, say, The Times or WaPo!

    Disconcerting, yes. Surprising? Not in the least.

  37. some guy

    If Greenwald is correct about the Dems and Liberals supporting a merger of Business and State to jointly censor and muffle political speech online, then can we still say that the phrase ” Liberal Fascism” is still a contradiction in terms?

    I myself don’t think so. I think that Greenwald is describing Liberal Fascism. And we should note that the same Liberal Fascists who want Speech Control are the same Liberal Fascists who want Gun Control. Maybe we should ask ourselves why that is.

  38. JBird4049

    >>>Ultra-Processed Food—Especially Artificial Sweeteners—Linked To Depression, Study Finds Forbes. Good for Big Pharma, though. Popsies -> Krunchies -> Starrs -> Popsies.

    Well, the cheapest food are the ultra processed foods and the depressed tend to be poor and the poor depressed. You do know that it is possible to make and sell profitably fast food without it being ultra-processed or having artificial sweeteners? Of course, that would cut down the profits and it would help to have a FDA not wholly captured by big food and big pharma.

  39. Tim

    Even a finished, purchased elite luxury residence remains mostly unoccupied. It’s just assets and an occasional vacation visit.

    I’d bet 3/4 of the beachfront homes in socal are probably unoccupied on any given day. When you have a portfolio of exclusive real estate and there is only one of you, you can only be one place at a time, and likely have your preferences.

    1. Richard

      We winter in Florida — North Naples. It is remarkable (and we often remark on it) how many of the expensive high-rises on the Gulf coast are dark at night in mid-season.

  40. Lex

    I’m late to links but the LA Times article silicosis is weird in how it present the information. First, the problem with working silica containing stone has been understood for well over a century. Second, OSHA (and by law CALOSHA) reduced the permissible exposure limit for silica several years ago with a corresponding mandate to prioritize enforcement and education. It is a crap rule because it has outs that were clearly designed by the construction industry. For example, if you use a wet saw you don’t have to prove exposure below the PEL.

    The article doesn’t get around to even discussing the important, regulatory side of the story until the last paragraph or two, while earlier in it referencing “recommendations” and “best practices”. No argument that enforcing worker heath and safety in cash employment situations with undocumented workers is exceedingly difficult. But the fact remains that the employers here – even homeowners who hire day labor – are breaking the law.

  41. Willow

    > Russia diesel restrictions

    Yes, allows stockpiling for own offensive but more importantly impact’s West’s logistics capability also. Not only in Ukraine and any possible Western intervention, but also any potential Western activities in ME and any potential conflict with China. Interesting that this comes on the back of concerns in West about significant increase in cost of explosives which is directly related to sanctions on Russian gas which makes the key feedstock (fertilizer).

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