Links 12/17/2023

Patient readers, I’m afraid this is a bit of a “director’s cut” because I became pressed temporally. I’ll do some slight slashing and rearranging very shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Follow the monarch on its dangerous 3,000-mile journey across the continent National Geographic

Red wine headaches could be caused by this intriguing culprit, study finds Fox

In 2024, the Tension Between Macroculture and Microculture Will Turn into War The Honest Broker


Urgent Need to Increase Immunization Coverage for Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV and Use of Authorized/Approved Therapeutics in the Setting of Increased Respiratory Disease Activity During the 2023 – 2024 Winter Season Emergency Preparedness and Response, CDC. Commentary (via):

COVID and flu surge could strain hospitals as JN.1 variant grows, CDC warns CBS News. But we’re sure not wearing masks! So there’s a bright side.

COVID study: 40% of children still infectious after symptom resolution Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Original.

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A synbiotic preparation (SIM01) for post-acute COVID-19 syndrome in Hong Kong (RECOVERY): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial The Lancet. From the Abstract: “Treatment with SIM01 [10 billion colony-forming units in sachets twice daily] alleviates multiple symptoms of PACS. Our findings have implications on the management of PACS through gut microbiome modulation. Further studies are warranted to explore the beneficial effects of SIM01 in other chronic or post-infection conditions.”

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Inhaled SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for single-dose dry powder aerosol immunization Nature. Animal study. From the Abstract: “Here we develop an inhalable, single-dose, dry powder aerosol SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that induces potent systemic and mucosal immune responses…. [T]his vaccine induces strong production of IgG and IgA, as well as a local T cell response, collectively conferring effective protection against SARS-CoV-2 in mice, hamsters and nonhuman primates.”

Mucosal boosting enhances vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in macaques (PDF) Nature. From the Discussion:

Our data demonstrate that Ad26 [intra-tracheal (IT)] boosting robustly augmented mucosal humoral and cellular immune responses and provided near complete protection against high-dose mucosal SARS-CoV-2 BQ.1.1 challenge in rhesus macaques. Ad26 IT boosting induced greater mucosal immunity than did Ad26 [intranasal (IN)]and [intramuscular (IM)] boosting for all immunologic parameters evaluated. In contrast, mRNA IN boosting proved ineffective, suggesting that improved formulations will likely be required for effective mucosal delivery of mRNA vaccines.


The inability of the bivalent SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines delivered by the IM route to provide robust protection against infection likely relates to their inability to induce robust mucosal immune responses at the portal of entry. Our data demonstrate the proof-of-concept that mucosal boosting by the IT route results in robust mucosal humoral and cellular immune responses and near complete protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron challenge in macaques. To the best of our knowledge, this degree of vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron challenge in macaques is qualitatively different from what has been reported previously with IM delivered vaccines. Adenovirus vectors may be particularly good at inducing mucosal immunity given their biophysical stability and natural mucosal tropism, although other vaccine platforms should also be explored as potential mucosal vaccines. Our data suggest that the development of next generation vaccines that protect against infection with SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses may be feasible by optimization of mucosal immunity.

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A Covid Update Eric Topol, Ground Truths. Lots of good information, despite a mini-shout-out to Bob Wachter, especially the nasal vaccine links (which I’m quoting below). The final paragraph:

[My] experience [finally catching Covid] exemplifies how much progress that we’ve made along the way. But there are still 2 absolutely vital objectives that haven’t been fulfilled: (1) highly effective treatments for Long Covid; and (2) inhalation vaccines to promote strong mucosal immunity and block infections and spread, effective against all variants. There’s still much work to do on both fronts, but I’m convinced we’ll eventually get there. If only we prioritized these like we did to get the initial Covid vaccines (think Operation Warp Speed), we’d likely be there by now.

Unmuffling the wording: The Biden Administration is far more culpable for the current Covid debacle than the Trump Administration. I wonder if Topol will get cancelled for this? Probably not….

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Superspreading problem solved! TicketMaster (via):

So apparently we have an “inherent risk” doctrine now, invented by TicketMaster’s lawyers. Of course, the level of risk is determined by the mitigations the concert promoters devise or impose. Next, I suppose, “inherent risk” of fire doors being nailed shut.


The Road to China-Free Supply Chains Is Long. Warning: Legless Lizards Ahead. WSJ

The Connections South China Morning Post. The deck: “This is the latest map showing connections between the Politburo Standing Committee – China’s most powerful leaders – and members of the 20th Central Committee, based on their official work history.”

How China’s celebrities became luxury fashion superstars in 2023 Jing Daily

He Haibo says China’s online publication of judgments must NOT regress Pekingnology


Rebel fire and China’s ire: Inside Myanmar’s anti-junta offensive Reuters


Smell that: The rise of India’s ittar industry Al Jazeera


When economists shut off your water Africa is a Country

The Great Arms Bazaar of the Nineteenth Century JStor Daily

Dear Old Blighty

‘Alas, poor country!’: performers suffering from long Covid to distribute masks at David Tennant’s Macbeth Bylines Cymru. Wales.

New Not-So-Cold War

Putin proclaims Odessa Russian city, challenges Ukraine’s historical narrative TASS

ISW analyses Russia’s war plan up to 2026, published by Bild Ukrainska Pravda. Handy map:

Ukraine may be preparing 2024 counteroffensive like Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi had planned for summer 2023 – Welt Ukrainska Pravda. So, at a maximum, one more Zelensky Unit, as Ukraine throws the class of 2024 into the meatgrinder, and that’s it. Maybe Russia wants to go more slowly, but if Ukraine insists on slaughtering another tranche, what to do?

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Grind at the sugar factory for my mother’s gravestone business in Harare Events in Ukraine. The About page isn’t even sketchy, but the writing is very good. Well worth a read.


7 October has not changed the Middle East Engelsberg Ideas. “Fundamental change is a long way off because there are no two willing parties committed to breaking the Israel-Palestine deadlock.”

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Israeli sniper kills mother, daughter inside Gaza’s only Catholic church Anadolu Agency (WaPo here). They’re Catholic, so maybe that will arouse Biden’s famous empathy.

Hostages were holding white cloth on stick when Israeli forces shot them dead, IDF says Sky News. Waving a white flag and speaking Hebrew. Haaretz:

Not unexpected; the IDF is a brutal and stupid colonial force.

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Gantz: If world doesn’t push Hezbollah from the northern border, we will Times of Israel. The IDF doesn’t have enough on its plate?

Israel keeps the pressure on Gaza as Qatar confirms truce talks Al Jazeera

Biden Administration

Think tank tied to tech billionaires played key role in Biden’s AI order Politico. RAND.

Manchin calls upcoming hydrogen tax credit guidance ‘horrible’: ‘We are fighting it’ The Hill. Says the coal owner.


Sununu: ‘Chaos and distraction’ would prevent Trump from getting things done if reelected The Hill. Six ways from Sunday?

Democrats en Déshabillé

Playbook: Senate staffer out after sex tape scandal Politico. “The video, which Rodgers reports was shared in a group chat with gay men in politics, shows two men having sex in what appears to be Hart 216, the cavernous room that has played host to Supreme Court nominees, the 9/11 Commission hearings and former FBI Director James Comey’s blockbuster 2017 testimony on Donald Trump.”

Spook Country

US Congress pushes warrantless wiretapping decision off until April next year The Verge

The Spy Who Dumped the CIA, Went to Therapy, and Now Makes Incredible Television Wired. “One-time CIA agent [guffaw].”

Marketing Company Claims That It Actually Is Listening to Your Phone and Smart Speakers to Target Ads 404 Media


Lina Khan’s Rough Year New York Magazine. Commentary:

Enshittification: A Monopoly Story Cory Doctorow, Real Progressives Substack. Interesting, but the introduction is misleading. “[Doctorow] explains another term, ‘acidification,’ which describes the pathology of this decay and the inevitable outcome when platforms are not regulated.” Not in the transcript, however.

Epic Games chief concerned Google will ‘get away’ with app store charges FT

Digital Watch

Google Promises Unlimited Cloud Storage; Then Cancels Plan; Then Tells Journalist His Life’s Work Will Be Deleted Without Enough Time To Transfer The Data TechDirt

Obama Legacy

The Obamas’ “Rustin”: Fun Tricks You Can Do on the Past Adolph Reed, “Malicious presentism” from The Wizard of Kalorama™. Well worth a read.

Health Care

‘Large’ TB outbreak may affect 800 people who were incarcerated in Washington state KOMO (PI). United States.

Supply Chain

Several New Major Incidents In The Red Sea Naval News

MSC and CMA CGM Suspend Red Sea Transits as US and UK Down Multiple Drones Maritime Executive. Commentary:

Panama Canal transits plunge as larger ships are turned away Freight Waves

Our Famously Free Press

Masha Gessen’s Hannah Arendt Prize has been canceled because of their essay on Gaza Literary Hub. Over this essay. Commentary:

Gessen comments:

Zeitgeist Watch

The language of emojis Michael Smith, Crying in the Wilderness

Selling Citizenship New Left Review

Imperial Collapse Watch

Likelihood Grows of America Abandoning Nuclear Triad: Would ICBM Funds Be Better Used Elsewhere? Military Watch

US Military to Screen All New Recruits for Heart Conditions Under Must-Pass Annual Defense Bill ‘Tis a mystery!

The Self-Checkout Even the Haters Will Love WSJ. RFID chips. “The frustrating thing about classic self-checkout is that it simply transfers the workload of paid employees to unpaid shoppers. It changes who’s doing the labor, but it doesn’t change the labor that has to be done.” I’ve helpfully underlined capital’s business model in the United States for the last forty years. Totally in paradigm!

Class Warfare

Cracks in the strong labor market are starting to show Axios

New King County milestone: One-quarter of residents born outside U.S. Seattle Times. An alert reader throws this over the transom:

Anecdata confirms what I found when I was doing demographic work on Disproportionate Minority Contact with the justice system as a prosecutor in a top-20 U.S. jurisdiction.

At that time I was also involved as an “ally” in the large local LGBTQ+ PAC. Circa 2011 I was seated with a then-police chief, who had been my friend’s college housemate. He complained to me bitterly that Obama was secretly coming to town 3-4 times a year to collect checks from Tech Titans seeking to certify more H-1b visas, especially Indians. The chief was getting heat because when Obama showed-up all his cops got pulled off their beats, but he couldn’t tell the public why calls for service weren’t being answered.

My demographic work confirmed that in a county of approx. 1.9 million, there were layered-on a quarter million H-1b’s from India alone (PLUS China, Taiwan, Ukraine, Russia, etc), while my Workers Comp Insurance investigations showed that a substantial portion of them had entered under clearly fraudulent certifications of “need.” Meanwhile 50-percent of U.S. STEM grads weren’t employed in their field of study 3 years out from graduation.

I’m convinced that there is a huge disconnect between the general population and the PMC political elite over immigration. We’ve been building our house in an area where most construction workers are still white people — but up here they show very little hostility toward Mexican immigrants, who they generally see as hard-working and willing to learn the trades. There is still a need for manual labor and the PMC obsession with training the native-born population to code has made this need more pressing than ever (I once picked a fight in a book-signing line with Joseph Stieglitz over his “Let them eat training” idiocy).

However, I’ve had a number of experiences where I’ve seen well-to-do Indian and Chinese immigrants driving BMW’s and Acuras behaving badly toward service providers who they transparently view as “inferiors” on the basis of caste or class. Also, I often fly between Seattle and California on what I jokingly call it Alaska Airlines Flight H-1b because it’s crowded with immigrant tech workers misbehaving due to their lack of cultural literacy and their evident sense of privilege (mainly not queueing, too much luggage in the overhead bins, not masking, not powering-down laptops, and bringing large take-out meals onto small airplanes and demanding that flight staff dispose of the trash). Just before I retired an Indian-immigrant Tech Titan was murdered by a gang after he had hired several Oakland prostitutes to act as concubines in his gated Monte Sereno (Silicon Valley) mansion. Bellevue WA (Microsoft) has a HUGE problem with “high-end” escorts and their pimps. A lot of my new furniture has been delivered by self-professed “Ukrainians” who are obviously ethnic-Russian draft-dodgers who got out when the war started.

In both Seattle and California I’ve watched as the “white middle class,” Hispanics, and Blacks were pushed-out of the housing market, also causing severe impacts on traffic and health care delivery. It’s probably “better” land-use to turn a 3-4 bedroom single-family home into an informal apartment house, but nobody asked the generation of Americans who took “a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage” for granted, however mistakenly. It’s the same broken promises that followed the Civil Rights Act.

This does seem to be driving middle-class voters away from the Democrats, although not necessarily into the arms of the Trumpers. It can’t be emphasized enough that Hillary appears to have lost in 2016 because 9-10 million 2008 Obama voters didn’t show-up for the election.

US homelessness up 12% to highest reported level as rents soar and coronavirus pandemic aid lapses AP

North Pole Elves Win Big with Escalating Strike Labor Notes

If Scientists Were Angels The New Atlantis

What Would It Mean to Treat Animals Fairly? The New Yorker

What Are Farm Animals Thinking? Science

Antidote du jour (via Expat2uruguay):

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. The Rev Kev

    “Hostages were holding white cloth on stick when Israeli forces shot them dead, IDF says”

    I would suggest that this shows what the Rules of Engagement must be and that would to shoot any military age male – no prisoners. Here is a thought. I bet since all those captives got taken back on October 7th, that probably none of them have been killed by Hamas themselves. But that the IDF has been responsible for all those captive’s deaths since what between the indiscriminate bombing, that botched rescue attempt the other day, and the killing of these three guys. The Hannibal Doctrine is still in play so no thought will be given by the IDF as far as the lives of those captives are concerned. And from the recent protests in Israel itself, I think that the general public has finally woken up to this fact. For the Netanyahu government, it would be better and easier if they were all dead. That is why you see fights between the families of the captives and hard-righters that support Netanyahu.

    1. Waesfjord

      Perhaps they were summarily executed for having “allowed” themselves to be taken prisoner? Pour encourager les autres?🔻

      1. JBird4049

        And that there is some dark thinking. Are we comparing it to the Japanese Second World War that surrendering was a dishonorable act with the prisoners deserving their horrible treatment?

    2. Joe Well

      Aren’t we giving both the IDF and Netanyahu’s regime a LOT of benefit of the doubt in assuming they don’t want the hostages dead?

      How many of the hostages were Likudists? Considering how many were captured at a rave?

    3. Feral Finster

      Which blows up the idea that if Hamas just surrendered nicely, Israel would halt the devastation.

      Like if the participants in The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had thrown themselves on the tender mercies of the SS, they surely would have been treated with magnanimity.

    4. Kouros

      I do think that some Israelis were killed by Hamas et co on Oct 7. I have seen a clip filmed by Hamas on the grounds of that Rave Party with a guy shooting for insurance on all portable toilets for hidden Israelis…

      But I do think that their main goal was to take captives.

    5. Jon Cloke

      The Apartheid IDF is famous for shooting anyone, any age, any gender, under any conditions, October 7th or not – see this in Haaretz: “The IDF Spokesman Announces: Continue to Shoot Palestinian Children”, Gideon Levy, Feb 9, 2020

      Why would anyone think that October 7th would make them behave *better* than this? The RoE are plainly shoot anything that moves, which is why so many Palestinian journalists have been killed…

  2. timbers

    One-quarter of residents born outside of U.S.

    “1.9 million, there were layered-on a quarter million H-1b’s from India alone (PLUS China, Taiwan, Ukraine, Russia, etc), while my Workers Comp Insurance investigations showed that a substantial portion of them had entered under clearly fraudulent certifications of “need.” Meanwhile 50-percent of U.S. STEM grads weren’t employed in their field of study 3 years out from graduation.”


    And it’s not just on the West Coast and upper echelon Silicon Valley PMC type areas. I lived thru this in working class Quincy, Ma.

    In Massachusetts, the same policy of flooding H-1b’s form India into America seriously damaged the working class here, too. I worked where it happened and saw the changes in work and ethnic makeup of the community I lived in. Entire apartment complexes and neighborhoods in Quincy, Ma, were flooded with H-1b’s from India, (driving up rents) entire office buildings (State Street in Quincy is literally a “little India” now), wiping out jobs in Quincy and surrounding communities of local Americans, entire IT departments of local Americans replaced by H-1b’s. All you had to do was take a ride on public transportation into Boston at rush hour to see how dramatically the passenger makeup of people going to work change to Indian from American, etc etc.

    The numbers where staggering and completely transformed the nature of the work place and neighborhoods.

    These H-1b’s were not asylum seekers, they didn’t come here to escape some regime change imposed on them by US foreign policy. They were here to drive down wages and increase corporate profits and stock buy backs. On balance as a group, they contributed nothing except to put Americans out of work and reduce American living standards. The work should and could have been done by local American workers. They were able to do it, but maximizing profits by reducing our standard of living was the priority.

    This point often gets sidetracked with the totally and completely unrelated (in this case) “asylum” seekers harmed the US policy of regime change causing global poverty, thus immigration, to the US. Yes these are valid, but hardly if at all in H-1b

    1. JohnnyGL


      Former Quincy, MA resident here. Couldn’t afford to buy a house there in 2013, so I moved to Weymouth. Lots of others were pushed out by housing costs.

      This goes with the running theme of every major problem of 10 years ago only having gotten worse (child care, health care, housing, etc).

      We’re facing similar challenges in metrowest area of MA, with a different mix of immigrants. It puts pressure on schools, traffic, rents, etc.

      The house across the street from me sold to an absentee landlord from the wealthier neighboring town who rents to a group of immigrants that has to cram in a bunch of people to afford the rent. You can actually watch, in real time, the PMC elites cashing in each month while squeezing the middle and lower classes by monopolizing the housing market.

      Immigrants are really just a mechanism to move wealth upwards to corporate elites and PMC vassals through cheap labor and high rent.

      1. Pacifica Man

        On the west coast, our experience is with Richmond and Los Angeles, California. The inexpensive funky little garage conversions, backyard cabins, small apartments and industrial spaces where artists, musicians, bands formed, college students once could live cheaply–they are occupied by groups of immigrants living four to a bedroom equivalent, paying $750 each, with big landlord profits. Pickup parked in front full of gardening tools, ready to service the elite, or undercut well paid union carpenters.

        This excludes the 50 year old punk rocker types, bohemians and old ladies who want a cottage where they can live out their days with their cat. They get tents on the street or a car to live in. Others that can afford it are forced up into the next level of rental, studios, where rents are approaching $2500 to $3,000.
        These studios are also sought by the recently arrived. Those unable find studios for rent, are forced upward to one or two bedrooms at $4,000. Competition drives rents higher. You cannot import 8 to 9 Million poor people, as under Biden, willing to work for next to nothing, happy to live packed in like sardines into a society without destroying the housing and the job market, where wage undercutting and the cost of fuel means it’s not worth working, if you’d even got hired, since you don’t speak Spanish.

        Then there’s the massive amounts of money sent out. Recent NPR story about a poor agricultural worker in Half Moon Bay living in barracks and how unfair it all is. Maybe some sort of tax could be imposed on San Mateo County property owners to rectify this?
        They let slip that he has been regularly sending $900 a month back to his Mexican village for decades.
        $150 Billion is sent out of our communities every year to foreign countries. Got food deserts and no local spending?

        1. Jorge

          This has been true for decades here in Silicon Valley. Our main problem is overcrowding of high-paid IT people, not illegal immigrants.

          California needs a new city, I would put it in the far northern end of the Central Valley: Chico, Redding, that sector.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      yep. when wife was taking her teacher certification test to be a spanish/esl teacher(in Texas)…none of the people in that “class” could pass the dern thing.(the test was run by a corporation that texas had outsourced the formerly state function to…so everything about the test was proprietary and secret).
      they only give you so many chances to pass…each costing a couple hundred bucks…and Tam passed on her last try…as did everyone else…at least those who kept trying and didnt give up(which, like welfare and a bunch of other things, is the point)
      meanwhile, as i’m sitting in the parking lot of the place waiting on her, i come across a story in the austin american statesman about how texas was at the time experiencing a severe shortage of spanish/esl teachers….so much so that texas was forced to send recruiters to guatemala and el salvador to head hunt immigrant spanish/esl teachers.
      none of this is an accident.
      its policy.
      and so called “replacement theory” is a convenient trope to dismiss any such investigation.

    3. liquid amber

      H-1b’s enter the country legally. From my experience they are hard working, some do “boring” tech jobs that no one else wants to do and in general add to the economy. And I am puzzled at how they can work for low wages and thus bring down wages and at the same time make entire neighborhoods unaffordable. In my very humble opinion, I agree with JohnnyGL when he says “Immigrants are really just a mechanism to move wealth upwards to corporate elites and PMC vassals through cheap labor and high rent.”

      The article starts with Obama visiting the tech titans for political donations. Perhaps we should start by looking there for the root of the problem.

      1. chris

        I’m not sure what experiences you have in this area, but what you’ve described isn’t accurate. Large corporations have been abusing the H1-B process for decades at this point. They’re literally firing entire departments of domestic tech workers and replacing those workers with H1-Bs. Which is directly against the purpose of the H1-B program. Here’s an example from way back in 2015 of bloggers discussing such things.

      2. MaryLand

        Yes, the corporations hiring the H-1b tech workers know fully well what they are doing. I am close friends with an Indian-American tech worker who married an American citizen and became a citizen too. She said often the US employer must show they can’t find American workers for a particular job before they can hire an H-1b worker. So the employer lists a job requirement of experience with software that has not been released yet. The applicant from India lists that they have experience with it, knowingly lying and knowing that’s the system. They get hired and when the software is released they learn it quickly enough. Employer is happy because they can pay the H1-b worker less than an American tech worker. Everyone knows the system.

        1. Bsn

          Mary, I respectfully disagree. Large corporations don’t have enough money to hire a competent HR component. They surely can’t afford ex-CIA psyops trained recruitment teams, nor headhunters reviewing applicants who’s online and social media activities imply anything specific. And of course they wouldn’t hire from other countries such as China that graduate 5x the doctoral students than the US does. After all, this is America – we have plenty of choices from our well trained workforce and they need to pay off those pesky University loans – so of course corporations would hire them out of their support for America first!

      3. NYMutza

        You neglect to consider the somewhat “indentured servant” nature of workers on H-1B visas. The workers themselves don’t hold the visas. Their employers do, and so the workers don’t have the freedom to quit and find a job that pays more. This is a significant benefit to their employers as it keeps their labor costs down and reduces worker turnover which is also costly to employers.

      4. curlydan

        The line “no one else wants to do and in general add to the economy” is just false to me. Although I’m not a big fan of classical economics, I do believe that every job has a wage that will attract a worker. For example, there is a wage at which I will pick up garbage, mow a lawn, put on a new roof, or do boring IT stuff.

        In addition, I saw the U.S. born coders (often 45+ years in age) get pushed out. Why? mainly because they knew Cobol or less needed languages, and it was easier to get an H1-B at a lower wage (and often contracted via middleman) than to retrain a worker at a decent wage to learn the new language. It was sad to watch perfectly competent co-workers get pushed out while watching a know-nothing contractor get huge chunks of an hourly IT wage.

        I am friends with many current or former H1-Bs (including my wife :) ), but what I saw was disturbing.

        1. Roger Boyd

          H1B is simply used to push down wage rates, there is no employee shortage at the right wage rate. That is how the free market is supposed to work, without the H1B indentured servants.

    4. Acacia

      Excellent summary, timbers !

      When I started in the IT biz, there were no H-1Bs, but by the late 90s, most of my co-workers were H-1Bs.

      And meanwhile, we hear about a “shortage of qualified engineers”, or “girls don’t want to study math”.

      Spare me.

    5. Michaelmas

      timbers: These H-1b’s … were here to drive down wages and increase corporate profits and stock buy backs … The work should and could have been done by local American workers …. maximizing profits by reducing our standard of living was the priority.

      Of course. This is America.

      How big is Bay Area boom in India-born residents? Together, they’d rank as the region’s fourth-largest city
      Indian immigrants now make up 1 out of every 5 residents in some South and East Bay ZIP codes

      In the larger historical picture, it can’t be stressed too much that this is how it’s always been done, back to the pre-Revolutionary era when the Owner class replaced indentured servants with African slaves.

      It’s the reason for, forex, the complete lack of a functional US healthcare system, the education system that turns out uneducated morons and, more recently, the murderous COVID policy, whereby the US population is 4 percent of the global population but suffered 16 percent of the deaths

      Throughout US history, the US Owner class has always — except for a brief period in the 1930s — operated very obviously on the assumption that it can import a replacement population if the currently existing population proves to be too uneducated, sick, expensive, or inconvenient in some other way.

      1. Carla

        Yes. Because the Owner class was SCARED for that brief period in the 1930s.

        Why we can’t manage to SCARE them now, and keep them scared, is the question.

        Re: “Throughout US history, the US Owner class has always — except for a brief period in the 1930s — operated very obviously on the assumption that it can import a replacement population if the currently existing population proves to be too uneducated, sick, expensive, or inconvenient in some other way.”

        I would amend the end of that statement to read: “…if the currently existing population has the utter gall to expect livable wages and a decently operated government.”

        It sure as hell ain’t the immigrants’ fault. They’re merely trying to better their lot.

        1. Mikel

          It takes about one or two generations before the realization that all that glitters is gilded. The “replacement” machine is thus constantly churning and spares no group. Not a one.
          It’s propped up by modern day Horatio Alger-like narratives.

          Also, I look at the spending habits of immigrants vs US citizens as key, while some focus is on the alleged work ethic difference.
          This includes more willingness to roll deep and for a longer time in apartments and homes. But prices are going to force a change in that.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>This includes more willingness to roll deep and for a longer time in apartments and homes. But prices are going to force a change in that.

            Sixty years ago, my working class family could rent a house in the Bay Area.

            Fifty years ago, my barely middle class family could buy house.

            Forty years ago, I could have rented a garbage apartment in the Bay Area for retail wages.

            Thirty years ago, it was renting a room for retail wages.

            Twenty years ago when I had a real job, I got a decent apartment. I am still here. There is no way that I could ever get the first, last, and deposit again. Well, that and being a widower with just one income.

            Today, there are over 170,000 homeless Californians.

            Rising prices are going to force a change?

            1. Mikel

              “Rising prices are going to force a change?”

              Indeed. An acceleration of what is already happening is more accurate.

    6. Ahinsa

      Tiring tropes and unfortunate cliches. Generally do not see such diatribes on this excellent and fair and cerebral blog

      1. ambrit

        Being put “out to pasture” before retirement age by a corporation you have worked for for decades and then watch a freshly minted H1b replacement take over your old job is most certainly not a “tiring trope.” It happened to someone I know personally recently.
        This ‘immigration’ issue will be a large factor in the next few national election cycles. The second level effect will be rising anti-immigrant sentiment in the general public. Look to see lynchings perpetuated against lower level immigrants trend upwards if the present state of play in the immigration debate does not change.
        When ‘times get tough,’ Elites everywhere search around for scapegoats with which to deflect popular anger away from themselves.

        1. Screwball

          Great post above Ambrit. I also know someone who lost their job to a H1b – me.

          Here’s how it works in the mid-west for a large corporation who builds many of the nice home appliances in our homes. Multi-national company with divisions and plants all over the world. Mine happened to be in Ohio, where we made a specific product (dishwashers) while the corporate office and tech center were in a neighboring state (Michigan).

          First, our IT department was outsourced to IBM, administrated out of India. Cost dozens of local jobs for people who had worked there for quite some time. Some of the local jobs were replaced by H1b. Then they started on engineering. It took several years, but many people who worked at the tech center were laid off, bought out, or forced to retire. They were replaced by H1b. My boss in Michigan called it an invasion. This was happening across all divisions all over the country – by the hundreds.

          Then, in February of 2016, myself and 113 others were given the boot. Small severance, insurance for a while, can’t work in the field for a year due to confidentiality agreements, and oh, by the way – you can’t sue us for age discrimination or you lose what we offered you. This was the first wave of several. If the jobs were not sent overseas, they were replaced with H1b.

          I was 59, the youngest in my job classification out of 4 people across the company. The other job classes were the same – all in their late 50s to retirement age. They were making their work force younger and cheaper – getting rid of us old people and replacing us with younger cheaper H1b people.

          A couple of years later I ran into a guy I worked with and asked what it was like now? He had been eliminated by then too, after 30 years, and said I wouldn’t know anyone – they were all gone – replaced by H1b.

          Just like manufacturing – if it can be outsourced it will be. The ONLY thing that matters is the bottom line.

        2. Neutrino

          IT people will tell you, as they did me, about having to train that replacement before you get that package.
          Some will also tell about getting calls for post-outplacement consulting. That means fixing what the new hires did not know how to do. At least the de$peration get$ reflected in $ome offer$.
          Other companies just let the enshittification proceed, as response times lengthen, updates get missed or skipped, or mistakes get made.

          Thanks, Obama, and all the others who encouraged all of that to happen.

      2. timbers

        Tropes? Clinches?

        Tell that to the several of my past colleagues I’ve bumped into over the years, sharing with me they are now in different companies working, as they were told by State Street “we are bring in some employees (from India) and you will train them how you perform your job, and you will be lay off.” No doubt the wording from the State Street was different, but these were generally the words they used in our conversation.

        Fortunately, Massachusetts economy was changing and generally booming more often than not during this period. So although many were pushed out of there neighborhoods from rising expenses, other jobs were available to be had.

        1. paul

          If you’re cerebral and a little tired of this sort of thing, you must be independently wealthy and cerebral.

      3. David in Friday Harbor

        The “tiring tropes and unfortunate cliches” are that immigrants are mostly Mexican and Latin American “rapists” and/or “asylum-seekers” teeming along the southern border. If you bother to read the Seattle Times piece you’ll see that in King County WA educated middle- and upper-class South and East Asian immigrants outnumber Latinos by over 4-to-1. These are facts, not diatribes.

        The lack of honesty on the part of the PMC political elites and their MSM enablers is disappointing, if unsurprising. However, caste and class are playing-out in unexpected ways, as was seen in California’s election of “man-on-a-white-horse” Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor (an actual Annie Leibowitz portrait) and the successful initiative to overturn the Republican-majority State Supreme Court equal-protection decision allowing same-sex marriages. Oh, and Trump…

      4. chris

        No… not at all a tired trope. It happens all the time. It’s partially why I think the MIC is so fiercely defended by the PMC. A lot of those positions specifically require you to be a citizen. It is very rare to be turned out by a cheaper immigrant in those cases. And the big companies prefer to have their indentured H1B work force locked as close as possible. Otherwise you run into the problems companies like Fluor have had, where entire floors of pipe designers go from company HQ to company HQ looking for raises after they’ve been trained. Hard to do that if your visa is tied to a specific employer.

    7. Skip Intro

      The other side of this is the education. The US can’t produce programmers and doctors without a huge debt overhead, so affordable workers can only be imported. The US can crapify and profitize domestic education, and rely on the subsidized educational systems in more socially advanced countries to produce and export a skilled workforce whose very residence is tied to the whims of an employer.

      1. Socrates Pythagoras

        Doctors, yes. Programmers, no. Computer Science and MIS degree programs are readily available through state universities and 2 year community colleges. A lot of high schools are providing instruction which includes industry certifications such as A+, Network+, etc. I know because I taught in a district that did this. And then there are the programming boot camp programs that are all aver the US.

        We used the degree gap to encourage kids to pursue comp sci studies. What we didn’t know is that companies didn’t really want domestic programmers. What they really want are H1B’s that they can underpay, abuse, and push around.

    8. DavidZ

      People complaining about H1B visa forget one thing. It’s a feature, until you get authorized for a Green Card, you can’t move jobs. I liken it to slavery until you get that freedom card.

      To make this problem go away, easy, allow the H1B visa to move with the employee. Then employers would have to pay the fair market wage and employers wouldn’t have a monetary reason to hire H1B visa holders (extra costs of lawyers and filing paperwork), except for those who they really needed.

    9. Carolinian

      Perhaps Obama felt sympathy for the H-1bs because he himself is Kenyan? (kidding!)

      In their latest talk Taibbi and Kirn talk about the Barack/Michelle produced Netflix film Leave the World Behind. The premise is that due to vague circumstances a white couple is required to spend time in a house with the suave black man who owns the house and his daughter. The white wife is a “Karen” and seemingly somewhat racist but comes to see how cool the perfect black man (or as Kirn calls him, Barack) is and changes her thinking.

      In other words to the Obamas, who “loved” the story, it’s about Obama’s impenetrable self regard more than some Sydney Poitier-esque theme about prejudice. When the character dances with the wife (Atlanta’s own Julia Roberts) it’s to jazz, not the blues.

      I haven’t seen the movie but we already had it for 8 years and the result discussed in the above sidebar is hardly surprising. The world’s political class seems to be awash in egomaniacs at the moment. For them the poor are just props.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        The movie was very good and artistic it was not propaganda in my view. I don’t like Obama because of the policies he chose to champion, i.e., the same policies every POTUS and Congress has supported for three decades at least.

        Yes, the rich and successful black man did seem a bit artificial but the story really moved because of his race and such people to exist I’ve known them and are often more cultured than their white equivalents. Julia Robert’s character was a classic selfish upper-middle class professional like many I’ve known. The whole “glorification” of black people that is now culture wide is just a fact of life as about a third or more of all characters in commercials is black (black people only make up 13% of the population). The thinking among the elites is that presenting black people in situation that does not center on criminality might help cause young black men to modify their behavior. In my view, this is not going to work. The problem in the black community is the absence of fathers which is both cultural and economic.

        1. Carolinian

          I haven’t seen the film and was conveying the Taibbi/Kirn view. But from observing the Obamas I suspect the conveyed view of them if not the movie is correct. The occasion for the discussion was some Fox news outrage calling the film anti-white. To me the Obamas are far more about pro PMC than anything to do with race. Many would suggest the current media obsession with race is more about putting the MAGA down as a way of defending the elites themselves rather than the blacks who are also their victims. Lots of black people didn’t care for Obama whatever he may have done for their social status.

          And for the record I loved Sidney Poitier–a fine actor. There’s still plenty of racism around but it’s not like back then.

          1. Mikel

            “Many would suggest the current media obsession with race…”

            As if the media wasn’t as obsessed with race when most major characters were white?
            When has the media not been obsessed with race?

          1. britzklieg

            I was gonna ask the same question.

            The movie, for me, is cringe thru and thru, despite the good acting which provides whatever aura of entertainment the movie accomplishes One big cliche after another, ridiculous xenophobia (teeth falling out due to radio waves a la the Cuban embassy/Russiagate fairy tale? really?) with the ultimate insinuation that the paranoid, gun-toting, resource-hoarding yet evidently wealthy (not an Idaho-like neo nazi) survivalist (Bacon) is the smart one. And “Friends” as a model of cultural virtue and goodness because it makes those who watch it feel happy, when the only thing that macguffin accomplishes is to underscore its desperate irrelevance and the lack of gravitas one feels as the final credits role.

            In other words, it’s exactly what one would expect from the shallow and self-absorbed Obama’s.

            1. JBird4049

              >>>The problem in the black community is the absence of fathers which is both cultural and economic.

              Yeah, about that… This really started in 1972-73 with Nixon’s War on (some) Drugs. One could not be an outright racist due to the Civil Rights Movement, but one could go after the blacks and dirty hippies because of them all using the evil Mexican marijuana. It was a component of Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

              In many black and some white communities, due to the 500% increase in the prison population (remember that the United States has the largest prison population on Earth) much of the parent population is or was incarcerated. There is also the growing percentage of incarcerated women in addition to the men.

              This would be a good cause for this culture of fatherlessness.

        2. Knot Me

          Of course the movie was a propaganda piece. How could you have watched that and not understood the undertones of the message?

          1. JohnnyGL

            Sorry, i’m late to the party on this. My wife watches lots of netflix crap, so i caught most of this movie, incidentally. It’s colossally stupid.

            I think the movie works better for an exploration of PMC paranoia.

            It wrestles with isolation, excessive luxury, over-dependence on brittle technology, with atrophied practical skills, insecurities about weirdo prepper neighbors, insecurities around race, vague geopolitical fears about countries that hate us.

            None of these things are explored/understood, or resolved, we just kind of grapple with those insecurities and get precisely nowhere.

      2. playon

        I didn’t realize those two produced it. Thanks for the review, I was going to watch this movie until I saw this.

    10. Hepativore

      Many private research fields are also flooded with H-1B’s. As a former employee in the biotech sector, most of my lab techs were H-1B’s from India or China. Companies love our H-1B visa program, because it allows them to find loopholes in or outright ignore what few labor laws the US has because foreign guest workers are basically a semi-captive workforce.

      In many ways they are modern indentured servants, as their work visa is tied to their corporate sponsor which can revoke it for any reason, and then they only have a very short period of time to find a new one or they must go back to their respective countries. Because of this, employers often grossly underpay them, offer few benefits; if any, make them work grueling schedules, and treat them horribly, all the while holding their visa sponsorship over their heads if they dare complain.

      The entire H-1B visa program should be scrapped, because the whole canard about “companies not being able to find qualified workers” within the US is actually because they cannot find what they need for what they are willing to pay as they want to hire employees that they can keep on starvation wages. With the way that foreign guest-workers have been flooding into the US since 1990, this has allowed companies to maintain steady downward pressure on wages in many “STEM” fields, as corporations in these sectors have been hiring them en mass. Unlike what many employers would have you believe, there is no “STEM shortage” of employees in these areas, just a shortage of people who are willing or able to live on the inadequate wages or working conditions that these companies are willing to offer, which is how I ended up in retail, like many of my colleagues.

      1. roxan

        I saw the same thing happen with nurses. The H1-b employees all lived in the same apartment complex–several to an apartment–and were driven to work in the company van. Once a week, they had a group shopping trip. That was their life. We were in an area with no real transportation or anywhere to just walk around, working in a psyche super-max. The night shift was all from the same Indian village, and the other shifts were being replaced too. Not much of a life!

      2. Futility

        An exception may be the semiconductor industry. I worked on sponsored visas twice for big semiconductor companies in the US (simplified since my wife is American, myself born in Germany, so not comparable to H1Bs). However, I know for a fact that semiconductor companies in the moment, because of the current rush to build more fabs, cannot get enough experienced or new hires from local universities. They even fund parties at universities to entice students to consider them later once they graduate. Even Taiwan is short on trained people in this specific field.
        But generally it is true that visas are used to suppress wages.

    11. Eclair

      We get a two-fer with the H-1B visas. A well-trained, yet compliant (because that visa always hangs over their heads) work force that is not burdened with student debt, one reason they will accept ‘lower’ wages. And, local taxes can be lower because we don’t have to fund a decent education system that will train US workers. We outsource education to Asia. Oh, and, we hope, all these tech workers will return to their countries before they can collect on their FICA and Medicare contributions ($22billion and $5billion annually, cash going right into the federal current accounts.)

      And did we mention the great Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese , Chinese and Mexican food that’s now available in the Seattle area. Beats a steady diet of lutefisk and rotmos! (Only kidding, the original Nordic settlers quickly became addicted to roast beef and hamburger.)

    12. Boomheist

      Great article. Couple other things to add to the mix:

      1. As someone who worked on the trades at various points in my life, one reason for all the Mexicans and Eastern Europeans flooding into construction jobs is that native born Americans won’t take the jobs. Maybe this is because the wages are too low, but I had long discussions with appliance repair people who owned small firms in King County looking for trainees to whom they could pass off their business stating they could not find local, or native born (white) who were willing to do the hours and work necessaryto learn the trade, and hence had no choice but to hire others. These btw are not, I think, H1B people, but rather those with green cards or illegals who are here, willing to do the hard work locals refuse to do….

      2. Another element, not mentioned in the article, lies in the forbidden discussion area of class. All these foreign born professionals – software people, engineers, doctors, etc – who here in King County tend to be Asian or from India generally, as well as some from Africa – are people of color who, when hired by public agencies and other firms doing a lot of work with public agencies as contractors, meet their color quotas and diversity quotas that everyone denies still exist but which everyone knows are paramount. In doing so, they – the agencies – avoid having to hire African Americans or native born whites from poverty backgrounds, hiring instead immigrants who are without question nearly all here from middle and upper class, even aristocratic, backgrounds in their home countries. As such, the US employers can crow about meeting diversity and equity standards while at the same time continuing to maintain, and even strengthen, the class structure of PMC leadership.

      This class distinction is a forbidden subject area of discussion by everyone in the mainstream and even most of the alternate media. The reality is that there is a huge amount of trades work that will always need to be done by poorer locals or illegal immigrants, who everyone knows works twice as hard as native born locals because they have no choice. This problem could be instantly fixed simply by jailing any employer who hires illegals.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        i have never known any H1b people…since i have never been around those sorts of industries.
        all of the immigrants i know and have known, as ive related many times, are the green card holding kind…or their “illegal” familia, who are in process of getting green cards.
        and i’d rather have them working with me out here than any of the local white folks i know…and not because of low wages(they charge a similar rate to the white folks)…but because of their work ethic, as well as ethics in general.
        they remind me of my depression era grandparents, plowing everything into their businesses.
        out of eldest’s krewe, when they were in high school, or soon thereafter, it was the sons of brown people who deigned to come work with me.
        not the sons of white folks.
        youngest’s krewe so far is mostly white dudes, and i have yet to see them take me up on my offers of day labor for gas and beer $.
        so dont take my above whinging about guatemalan spanish teachers as dislike of immigrants….its the policies that irk me.
        the boss class is thoroughly anti-american, imo.
        save for the handful of immigrants i have known who were/are mexican mafia, etc, i admire these people rather greatly.

      2. chris

        A lot of the Indians coming over are from the top castes too. Adding to the class issues in the US.

        I’m not sure what to make of the comments on trades jobs that US citizens won’t take. On a larger level, that is clearly a problem, and the record low level of union cards going to trades people where I live is a sign we haven’t figured out what to do. Like, the only apprentices and journeymen available are the ones who you don’t want because they’re unreliable, careless, addicts, etc. There is no spare labor capacity. Locally I’m seeing a lot of kids show interest in construction. They don’t want to spend 4 years and 100k$ to get a desk job. But almost universally, what causes them to drop out of those programs is the first touch of winter. Getting up at 5 AM to work outside all day is a rough day even if you have the right gear. I can’t blame them for thinking that. But when I think about all the benefits from this kind of work, I’ll take the Winters and the Summers.

        1. Michaelmas

          chris: A lot of the Indians coming over are from the top castes too.

          And they don’t leave it behind, either.

          One of the things one has to manage in a situation with Indian co-workers or subordinates is the inter-caste friction — usually some guy with a brahmin background feeling that some younger, brighter Indian person of lower caste is being less than properly deferential.

          1. David in Friday Harbor

            No worries: slicked-back Getty-puppet Gavin Newsom, your DNC draftee to replace Stumblin’ Joe, just vetoed California’s anti-caste discrimination law, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature.

            Gavin even emailed Dem fundraiser Ramesh V Kapur ($3.3M for Biden-Harris in one night) in advance to let him know after, “Kapur said he told Newsom that caste-based oppression simply did not exist in the West and therefore needed no law to address it.

        2. hk

          The bit about the natives not wanting to learn the trades applies to college students, too: there’s a peculiar desire for just getting to the “results/right answers” without understanding how we got there, instant gratification for “knowledge,” if you will. The problem is that much of the educational system is built on this type of thinking from grade school onward and it’s not easy to break people out of the habit, especially if your own institutions are getting in the way. We need more of a general social reform.

          In a way, I think this is where bringing back the draft could do a world of good. The best students I ran into were Marine Corps enlisted men who were in college through an officer training program (ROTC kids who didn’t have enlisted experience, not so great.). At least given my sliver of experience, the Marines taught these young (enlisted) people right. Most of us could use something like that.

        3. marku52

          That, and the fact that my roofer at age 40 is already needing a knee replacement. Construction can be had on the body.
          One roofer on a house of mine to another. “Hey man, I’ve got some of grannies Oxys”
          They were bonded, at least.

          1. juno mas

            Roofers have 10x the fatality rate than general construction occupation and 20x the injury rate. The most dangerous outdoor occupation is tree trimmer/climber. Then forestry logger. Heavy objects and sharp saws are fatal.

    13. David in Friday Harbor

      All of my grandparents entered the U.S. through New York City during the first decade of the 20th Century. I’m not anti-immigration or anti-immigrant. However, I agree with Professor Emeritus Veerabandan “Ram” Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute that migration and culture clashes will be the major feature of anthropogenic climate change — and I might add, global overpopulation.

      All of the anecdatata above leads one to the conclusion that the reaction to massive demographic changes and the resultant loss of opportunity and precarity have driven the results of recent U.S. elections more than the MSM are willing to discuss.

      However, migration isn’t only responsible for electoral changes; it is also driving increasing violence. “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” is the justification being used by both the Russian Federation and the State of Israel in their ongoing invasions, and it was the U.S. justification for bombing the daylights out of Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria. The question is: “protect” who from whom?

    14. NYMutza

      I spent 12 days in early October hiking and exploring the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I was surprised by the number of Indians there in all of the parks. They were the majority in a number of places I visited. I assumed most of them made the 2 hour drive from the Boston metro area, though that assumption may be false. One thing about the H-1B visa program that may not be widely known is that these visas can be obtained for a wide variety of jobs, not just STEM. In most corporations these days HR, Accounting, Finance, Engineering, IT, Sales and Marketing all have employees working on H-1B visas. The Big Four accounting firms have hired thousands of auditors via the H-1B program.

      1. Wukchumni

        The backcountry of the Sierra Nevada has always been rather Caucasian in terms of who frequents it, and then about a decade ago I started noticing Indian backpackers and their number has only grown since.

        In comparison, I’ve seen maybe 7 black backpackers and even less Mexican-American backpackers over the course of say 5,000 miles walked in the back of beyond.

        I’ve oft wondered what attracted them, was it proximity to the Himalaya, so they have a heritage of such things?

    15. Jason Boxman

      Near Journal Square, just outside of Jersey City, actually had its own little India. I had an opportunity to stop by and get some authentic Indian, which was nice, back in 2016. The area itself was shocking. Entire streets just strewn with piles of trash everywhere. It was awe inspiring. I don’t know if that’s just this area in NJ or this is typical of other areas with large Indian populations. Good food though.

      1. DavidZ

        “Entire streets just strewn with piles of trash everywhere.”

        Garbage is a indicator of society, it has to go somewhere. The difference is – first world societies tend to have someone cleaning up, so NYC has business associations who hire people to go around and clean up all day in that neighborhood eg. Chelsea business association would have people cleaning up around Chelsea etc.

        Those people in Little India finally got their business association to act and hired someone to go around cleaning up and it’s a much nicer, cleaner area now.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Red wine headaches could be caused by this intriguing culprit, study finds”

    Interesting study this but putting on my Captain Obvious cap here, if so many people are effected so badly by red wines, then why not switch to a nice white one instead. I would recommend a good Mosel.

    1. Acacia

      I also wonder about this.

      Flavanol? How about the sulfites used as a fungicide? I’ve heard that if sulfites are applied to the grapes and then it rains, the sulfites get washed off and may be applied again. Thus, in years with more unexpected rain, the grapes will contain higher levels of sulfites.

      1. bassmule

        Wine salesman here: People are used to blaming sulfites for headaches from drinking red wine. And for a very few of them, that is a legitimate complaint. For most, though, it isn’t. If you can drink a cup of tea or a glass of orange juice , each of which contain sulfites, without ill effect, you may still have a problem, but sulfites are not to blame.

        1. redleg

          Celery is high in sulfite. If people think they are having sulfite reactions due to wine, they should have similar reactions to celery seed.
          I’m not sure what the relative concentrations are, but it’s a simple experiment to try at home.

    2. chris

      Still trying to understand why I can drink French wine all day long and American wine gives me issues. Flavanol could be part of that but I doubt it.

      1. barefoot charley

        Americans dust with sulfites like we do everything, over the top. I suppose they have to because they’re irrigating rather than growing naturally like French vines, so they’re more moist and susceptible to rot. My wife is sensitive to sulfites so we have to weed through Californian and other ‘New World’ wines for sound practices (alas, by effect). French wines cause no problems.

        We live in far-northern California and when driving down 101 through Sonoma in June wife smells and responds to the sprayed sulfites in the air.

    3. Neutrino

      Tannins are the prime culprit for many red wine headache suffers. Try wines with lower tannin levels, so skip that big Cabernet and try a, gasp, Merlot.

      1. bassmule

        Same response: If you can drink black tea, which is loaded with tannins, then it is unlikely that they are the problem, either. There are some substances that do cause red wine headaches. The most likely causes are histamines and tyramine. More detail at the linked story.

        The Red Wine Headache And How To Avoid It.

  4. griffen

    North Pole elves article, yeah management had an idea about motivational speakers and hired some dude from the management office to give an inspirational speech. Sounds like he was pretty rough on some simple toy makers. Some holiday seasons are better than others.

    Oh and put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You can bet that it is not the Israelis picking up the tab for those mercs. Probably it will be through a US State Department contract like they did in Iraq. And you can bet that there would be regular military in Gaza as well. Probably US special forces. Maybe the British SAS (or ex-members in one of those “Private” security firms). Possibly French special forces as well. Maybe even Ukrainians as well for all we know. Not sure if they are just there fighting or to teach the Israelis how to do street fighting and it may be years before we learn about who was actually in Gaza.

      1. jo6pac

        Yes they’re Amerikan special forces there but only as advisors according to the state department. We all know they only tell the truth;-)

        1. paul

          You wouldn’t think the IDF need that much advice on how to carpet bomb a defenceless civilian population.
          After all, we all learn by doing.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Obviously they need some advice on who should be killing the hostages in Gaza. Hamas could reply to Kirby they already released all the hostages, but none dare leave the safety of the Hamas bunkers before “the most moral army in the world” stops shooting everything that moves.

      2. hk

        Probably more complicated mixture: ex Wagnerites have been reported in some numbers in Israel, too. The relationship between Israel and Russia is, fwiw, complicated. As shown in the Israeli diplomat’s op ed in Ha’aretz that attacks Netanyahu and Putin in the same breath, there are some interesting divides showing up. (I put the link to Ray McGovern’s web site reproducing the article elsewhere in the comments.)

    2. digi_owl

      Never mind that one can serve in the IDF as a foreigner as well, as long as one has the right ancestry.

      And from elsewhere i have recently seen the claim that some of the most aggressive “settlers” are Americans, complete with identifiable accents.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Possibly the outlaw hilltop squattlers in particular? Low-functioning dull-normal losers who want to escape their drab loser lives in America for well-protected canned excitement on the West Bank hilltops squattlements?

  5. Waesfjord

    I can confirm the disgusting treatment by Indians of their perceived inferiors here in Ireland in the healthcare sector. Numerous nurses are sick from the stress of being bullied by them. I could go on about their incompetence (looking up Youtube videos to see how to do a catheter insertion, etc).

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      this was mentioned above in the hb1 subthread, but it looks to me like a class/caste issue.
      we have one Indian guy here…bought the pharmacy.
      and i chewed the fat with several at a few indian rest. in san antone, during the cancer adventure.
      turns out, they are all from higher castes…hence, can afford to move here without h1b…and carry that superiority complex with them.
      pharmacy guy has a large chip on his shoulder that he shoves at all these backwards rednecks who cant understand a word he says.
      but i endeavored to get to know him better, and he softened(forget which caste he said he was, and all that i find confusing as hell anyways).
      the restaurant folks…a big extended family…the younger ones were friendly. i suppose better assimilated, or used to american gregariousness.
      the older, not so much,lol…dripping with disdain.
      oldest son, who showed me the tandoor etc said they were brahmins, and thats why mom and dad and uncles were so standoffish.
      it appears to be a very different animal than your run of the mill american south white supremacy(even the background, non-overt type)

      1. digi_owl

        I get the impression that class/caste is something one do not talk about in USA, because the foundation myth is all about working one’s way up.

        Yet at the same time the immigration laws have always had a class based edge to it. Either to keep the lower classes out fully, or in a state of continual fear of deportation.

        Never mind the ongoing game of getting various sub-groups of the lower classes to fight each other on ethnic lines so they do not gang up on the upper class. A behavior not that different from what one saw all across the colonial empires.

        One may well speculate if the latest gender bruhaha is a similar play, as it seemed to come into the mainstream just as the lower classes were getting organized via the Occupy movement.

        1. playon

          I view the gender thing as one more way to splinter the American public into smaller and smaller groups each with their own special interests. Divide and conquer to the max.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Gantz: If world doesn’t push Hezbollah from the northern border, we will”

    I’m sure that they will do so. Just as soon as they eliminate all those Hamas fighters so maybe by February 30th? Israeli cannot take down Hezbollah as the entire country would be swarming with missiles that would run Iron Dome dry and then guided missiles would take out all of Israel’s infrastructure. The ports, sewerage treatment plants, the electrical grid, the water distribution network and everything else. It would turn Israel into Greater Gaza in fact. Besides, why would those members of Hezbollah move away from the border? This is where they live. This is their home. Probably Israeli is starting to crack as they have to support the 64,00 people that fled south and that will be costing them. But I think that there is a hidden message in this article. Israel does not want Hezbollah moved through diplomatic means from the West. They want the West – especially the US – to attack Hezbollah i.e. Lebanon for them and let them deal with what follows. They are probably looking at all those US Navy ships off their coast line and thinking how they can be put to use on their behalf.

  7. griffen

    The cynical American might see the following as an indicator of sorts, that Congressional leading lights of DC and the White House don’t have their priorities in order. The increase in homeless hits a record level, after somewhat moderating following the 2020 Pandemic. I can only surmise something changed fundamentally ( sarc ). But hey look at the low levels of Unemployment !!

    In other news Joe Biden will occasionally brag about the “deficit reduction” once he took the office in January 2021, so there is that. Take a victory lap, or in this case a victory walk is probably more suited to his slower gait.

      1. griffen

        With all the campaign talk about a Biden vs Trump 2nd edition in 2024, and naturally a discussion about age and the aging of our less than cerebral and lucid leadership (Mitch, Nancy, etc..) I saw a wonderful, comedic original even, counterpoint to the aging degenerates who, reportedly, lead the USA from the highest political offices

        Dick Van Dyke is turning or has done so, a sprite age of 98. CBS featured his life and career arc this morning on their Sunday news show, he is quite interesting and still appears quite alert and vibrant even. They don’t make him like that every day!

      1. ambrit

        “At this point aides may want to make sure there isn’t any paper on the floor for the President to trip on…” Much less boxes of ‘classified’ documents from when he was Vice President.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The United States experienced a dramatic 12% increase in homelessness to its highest reported level as soaring rents and a decline in coronavirus pandemic assistance combined to put housing out of reach for more Americans, federal officials said Friday.

      And this is the Democrats, everyone! Always claim to support the worthy downtrodden, and once the opportunity existed to codify already existing increased benefits, make them permanent, they had to ensure we have a responsible a budget.

      When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “7 October has not changed the Middle East”

    Was going to comment about this when I found myself diverted by something I saw earlier to do with RFK jr. He was on that Breaking Points and he was nothing short of vile talking about Gaza. It was like he never reads the news or goes on the internet but gets all his info from AIPAC briefing notes. The mildest thing that he said was that ‘The Palestinian people are arguably the most pampered people by international aid organizations in the history of the world’ and how all their leaders are billionaires. At one point this happened-

    Krystal: ‘2.2 million people [are] having their access to water, food, medicine, blocked right now by lsrael. Do you think it’s acceptable to impose a siege on the entire civilian population in Gaza?’

    RFK jr: ‘First of all, I don’t think that’s happening… I don’t see any proof of that.’

    You can see Krystal reel back when he dropped that little nugget. Actually, when Krystal tried to bring up any facts, he kept on interrupting her and talking over the top of her in a vulgar display of I do not know what. At one stage he said that he had plenty of friends in Gaza (some of my best friends are blacks, errr, Gazans) and then he blamed them for not getting rid of Hamas. In short, there is absolutely no daylight between he and Joe Biden as far as Israel is concerned. He was a real lying sack of s***.

    “RFK JR. CHALLENGED On Israel, Free Speech, Epstein” – (1:00:31 mins) – Gaza segment 10:30 mins in

    1. chris

      Wow. Haven’t listened to that BP episode yet. Perhaps RFK was cutting off Krystal because of her treatment of him last time he was on? Either way, what an execrable attitude. Is it too much to ask for one Democrat who doesn’t believe in obliterating foreigners?

    2. John

      He does have his little quirks doesn’t he. I had a generally favorable view of him until I heard those remarks. Condoning … or is it denying … genocide is a deal killer. I guess I shall have to revert to my 1956 choice for president, Pogo. I shall explain youngsters. Pogo Possum was the leading character in Walt Kelly’s comic strip … a strip with serious satirical political overtones. You could look it up. My “I Go Pogo” lapel button is, sadly, long since lost. There may be a market for those internet entrepreneurs.

      1. John

        Just looked up “I Go Pogo” vintage and recent … dozens of websites. her I am back of the pack as usual.

    3. pjay

      This interview was indeed very jarring, though not surprising to me. His comments on Israel and related issues (e.g. Iran) have been consistently this bad for quite a while now. What continues to puzzle me, though, is that he can sound so calm and knowledgeable on some subjects and so totally gone on this one. And I don’t think it is just my own bias because I disagree with him on this issue. There is a change in tone and emotional level, and a corresponding displacement of facts by the most biased of talking points, whenever the subject of Israel comes up.

  9. The Rev Kev

    In today’s Antidote du jour, I can just imagine what is going through that Preying Mantis’s mind-

    ‘You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here.’

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Adolph Reed. Fun Tricks You Can Do on the Past. Well worth the read. Even Reed’s asides are insightful (and amusing). Watch for the cameo appearance by his revolutionary grandmother.

    Yet in a country where many don’t know history, won’t read history, and can’t be bothered to understand how history is going to dog American life, in a country that has as one motto Novus Ordo Seclorum (Ever New and Improved!), diddling with history is a constant.

    This observation is excellent: ‘The impulse to find or recover individuals and situate them in their “proper” places in history—that is, how they should have been recognized were it not for benighted features of bygone days—dominates academic as well as popular examination of the past and is so thoroughly hegemonic that no one even notices the tendentious, ideological premises regarding past, present, and the idea of historicity itself from which it proceeds.’

    So enjoy the read.

    I will note that U.S. reaction to the Russian operation in Ukraine relies on endless voluntary ignorance of recent events–that is, Ukraine of the last twenty or so years–which is why so much U.S. discussion and commentary are propaganda-drenched and clueless. The “presentism” extends back a whole year-and-a-half.

    I will note that the U.S. reaction to the Palestine crisis and massacre relies on endless voluntary ignorance of the situation in Palestine, down to the level of the U.S. public not knowing a thing about Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Another surprise war!

    To end on a lighter note, I will also remind people that Jada Pinkett Smith recently got her ass handed to her over that bio-pic about Cleopatra being “really” black in the U.S. sense of the racial category. The very definition of “presentism.”

    1. KLG

      Yes, Lambert! Thank you for the Adolph Reed, Jr. link. And while we are reading this, perhaps a reprise of this from Reed in the The Village Voice, 1996:

      “In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program — the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics, as in Haiti and wherever else the International Monetary Fund has sway. So far the black activist response hasn’t been up to the challenge. We have to do better.”

    2. Carolinian

      History is our database of human behavior even when it’s “victor’s history.” Or, as Barbara Tuchman put it, it’s a “distant mirror.”

      As for Cleopatra, there’s apparently another version coming up with Israeli Gal Gadot. Some of that history suggests that Cleopatra wasn’t that cute but seduced with her personality–the thing that Gadot conspicuously lacks. Even Elizabeth Taylor had a lot more spunk in addition to being a babe.

      Movies are almost always somewhat dubious history. They have a story to sell.

      1. LifelongLib

        Real history generally involves trying to understand ways of life and thought that are alien and even repellant. It’s often not very flattering to anybody and doesn’t fit with current political agendas. Most popular history and even much that is believed by the “enlightened” has little resemblance to what people at the time would have understood about their situation and what they were doing.

        1. Carolinian

          Oh I’m with Tuchman on this one–nothing new under the sun when it comes to human behavior. And it is all behavior on the psychological level.

          1. LifelongLib

            Well, as they say here ‘behavior’ is doing a lot of work. There may be only a limited number of things people do, but our ways of and reasons for doing them can be almost infinite. If today we have trouble understanding (say) Bayard Rustin, how much more difficult is it to make sense of the Salem Witch Trials or Cleopatra?

      2. hk

        To be fair, even when people accept the “correct” ethnicity of the Ptolemies, there’s still a long dispute: Greek? Albanian? (North) Macedonian? I started going through possible actresses of “correct” ethnicities and realized I wasn’t sure who could escape a controversy. (I remember there were problems with the ethnicity of live action Aladdin, who in the original, is “Chinese,” whatever that means…and the Aladdin story may well be a fairly recent addition to the 1001 Nights anyways)

    3. Mikel

      “Fun tricks you can do with the past.”

      “Google Promises Unlimited Cloud Storage; Then Cancels Plan; Then Tells Journalist His Life’s Work Will Be Deleted Without Enough Time To Transfer The Data” TechDirt

      About to see “fun” tricks with the past that will make anyone with half a brain do a head spin.

    4. Keith Newman

      @DJG, Reality Czar at 9:28 am
      Totally agree with your positive take on the Adolph Reed article. I had planned on just scanning it since I wasn’t all that interested in the apparent topic but wound up reading the whole thing very attentively.
      Thx for this link Lambert.

    5. David in Friday Harbor

      Always grateful when there’s a link to Adolph Reed. Bonus takedown of Obama and the neoliberal cult of personality! The New Left/Black Power Movement personality-driven demonization of the labor movement as “conservative” is the evil that allowed neoliberals such as the Clintons and Obamas to hijack politics. Bonus take-down of baseball statistics!

    6. digi_owl

      Frankly more and more USA feels like a cultural zoo, as descendants of immigrants clings to an almost caricature of the culture of the old nation they never lived in. And has taken on a new fervor after 23andme came about, as people will happily list their ethnic percentages like a badge of honor.

  11. Maurice

    Tb in prisons… several things to think about.
    Many of those will have a history of iv drug use. Think HIV, and how important is it to prevent infection with Tb.

    Many will not be native born US Americans, Think multi-drug resistance.

    Since the Attca prison riots of 1971 many state prisons have a practice of moving prisoners to keep cliques from forming. The system does know who has been where and when. Think, though, that this would also facilitate spread.
    A lot of things go on in prison life. Some are known and sort of ignored, some are assisted by prison personnel, some are unknown completely. Think the epidemiology may have some blank spots.

    1. Pat

      Please do not forget that prisons were hot beds of Covid infection. Covid is a disease that attacks the immune system. And of everything that you and I mentioned, the only thing that is a recent addition is….Covid.

      That doesn’t mean the rise of TB has to be Covid induced immune deficiency, but it certainly should be a part of any discussion and investigation into causes and solutions.

  12. Randall Flagg

    >What Are Farm Animals Thinking? Science
    A paragraph below from the article above…
    “If a farmer knows which of his cows like each other, it might be better to keep them together when moving the herd around,” Langbein says. He’s not just speaking academically. Langbein trained as a cattle breeder 40 years ago, and he’s especially sensitive to the housing conditions on modern dairy farms, where animals are often tied up for long stretches or confined to tight pens.

    Totally anecdotal, unscientific casual observations, but going back to the days of working on a couple small dairy farms as a kid I noticed that there were a few pairs of cows that always came into the barn and stood in the stall next to each other at miking time. I am convinced watching them in the pasture, walking to and from the pastures before and after milking there is a hierarchy in the herd when the animals are allowed outside on a daily basis. It was always a show when they were turn out again in the spring for the first time, they all sorting themselves out again to see who’s the “boss”. when they really get to “stretch” their legs. Here is a quick example:
    Not shown in this video but later in a typical herd they will be butting heads and shoving each other around to find out who will be the dominate one.

    Today we have a mix of beef ( and dairy breeds) for ourselves and overflow from my daughter’s herd for her beef sales. It is clear again there is a hierarchy among the herd. I’ve also noticed how some of the steers happen to pair up starting as calves, mainly if the had been brought in from another farm. Some, hang out together according to the breed they are, others, such as a little Guernsey and a Brown Swiss about 6 months older that came from another farm, hang together. The little Guernsey is at times treated as something of an outcast by all except by the bigger Brown Swiss that he arrived with on the trailer. Some of the steers of the same age and size will graze side by side across the field, lay down in the same direction when resting, acting most of the time like a pair of Oxen that are just missing the yoke between them (makes one think of the missed opportunity of the Team they could have been).

    We absolutely send them off to processing in the same pairs they came to the farm as. Our totally unscientific thought is that maybe a little stress is reduced if they are on the truck for the ride with another steer they have spent there life with, a familiar face so to speak.
    It is fascinating to just watch their behavior in the pastures for any length of time. I will attest the same goes for the pigs we used to raise for ourselves. A really intelligent animal too.

    1. Giordano Bruno

      Go to a pasture with the guitar and sit down and start to play. Within a very short time the entire herd will form a ring around you and, if there are calves present, they will break from that inner-ring and come up close to you for a closer look. I learned this as a young man growing up in Illinois surrounded by dairy farms where my horse and dog were my best friends. I had similar experiences as recently as a few years ago with cattle in Northern Colorado. Now I live in Central America in a rural area and have relationships with the number of wild animals. There’s nothing about this article that I find the least bit surprising.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      i see the same thing with sheep, goats, geese, chickens, guinneas and the 2 tom turkeys.
      currently dealing with the effects of the now gone Yelling Goat who apparently taught the sheep some bad behaviors…like leaping the cattle guard, finding the hole in the fence, and just plain getting into everything and being a nuisance….all decidedly unsheeplike stuff,lol.
      sheep also arent really browsers…eating fruit trees…even climbing them or pulling them down…but some of mine are.
      im convinced its the goats that taught them all that.

      back when we had cows(far too many for this place…mainly for stepdad’s sitting on the porch watching them…i lobbied for years to get out of the entertainment cow bidness,lol)…one had learned that fences were just psychological barriers. as were cattle guards.
      she taught all the rest of them, and i learned about my then new neighborhood by hopping fences with a broom to go retrieve them.

      i wouldnt call any of all this “culture”, but they are all social animals…with rules and almost mores and folkways.
      so when we do the killing and butchering, i take great care to make it quick…and do it out of sight of the rest of them…because they know…and it effects their behavior, as well as their relationship with me.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “’Alas, poor country!’: performers suffering from long Covid to distribute masks at David Tennant’s Macbeth”

    Maybe the actress playing Lady Macbeth should bear a sign saying ‘medical authorities’ when it comes to her ‘Out damn spot’ scene. Just a stray thought.

  14. ambrit

    Just a heads up to the site admins.
    In preparing to post a comment this morning here, I clicked on the ‘Name’ box. Instead of the usual ‘avatar’ handle popping up in the auto-sign function, I saw my “real” name pop up. [It just happened again for this comment.]
    When I click on a second “suggested” function, ‘Manage,’ I end up on the Google “Settings” page. Hmmm…..
    Something is a bit ‘off’ in the back end this morning.
    Stay safe!

    1. britzklieg

      try clearing all history and cookies and shutting down the browser. this was happening to me all the time on both firefox, brave and comodo (the only browsers I use) until I started clearing ALL collected browser data after each use.

  15. Larry Collers

    “Here we develop an inhalable, single-dose, dry powder aerosol SARS-CoV-2 vaccine…”

    Wait do you snort it? I feel like this has high comedic potential.

    1. Screwball

      That’s quite an article. Yes, many just love Liz, but that’s easy to do – just say bad things about Trump – they will love you. Some interesting tid-bits;

      Just below the headline; The ex-congresswoman is unapologetically conservative, but her decision to put democracy before party has made her an unlikely heroine

      The democracy canard, imagine that. Had to expect that card to be played.

      Wednesday night’s event at the historic synagogue Sixth & I, organised by the local bookshop Politics & Prose, which is run by a Hillary Clinton alumnus and former Washington Post journalist, was the latest stop on Cheney’s book tour. Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning is a scathing account of Donald Trump’s assault on democracy and urgent plea for America to avoid a repeat.

      Hillary and the Post – another imagine that.

      She voted in line with Trump’s position 93% of the time during his presidency, according to the FiveThirtyEight website.

      Say it ain’t so! So what’s the problem then Liz? Not enough wars? Am I close?????

      “The threat that Donald Trump and Trumpism poses to our country as a whole has created interesting bedfellows. Seeing Liz Cheney sitting down with Rachel Maddow and being simpatico on an issue as important as our democracy should give everyone hope that it’s not too late to turn this around.”

      Yes, of course. Elect a warmonger to save democracy from wars that are highly unpopular. Yea, that’s the ticket.

      What a time to be alive is right…

    2. pjay

      Thanks for this link! I wasn’t going to read it since I thought I was well-versed on this “liberal heroine” stuff and didn’t want to make myself nauseous. But I’m glad I did. This article touches on every absurdity: the NY Times #1 book, the trembling adulation by Trump-deranged liberals, the celebratory book tour appearance organized by the local bookshop “run by a Hillary Clinton alumnus and former Washington Post journalist,” the gushing interviews by Maddow and Colbert, who magnanimously set aside their policy differences to join with Cheney in saving humanity and “democracy” from the Apocalypse, the “professor of practice” position at the U. of Virginia, courtesy of Larry Sabato’s Center, and on and on.

      Very entertaining; you really can’t make this stuff up.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Just finished reading that article. That’s quite the tongue bath that one. Do they want her to replace Nikki Haley and are giving her all this good pr?

  16. The Rev Kev

    That map of the Ukraine is saying that it is Putin’s war plan for the next three years. I don’t think so. I think that the Russians are getting ready to wrap this war up next year. By then the Ukrainians will be out of replacement soldiers, out of ammo and out of money. You can’t fight a war with nothing as both Germany and Japan found in 1945. Frankly this war cannot end soon enough and it will put a stop to the slaughter. Yesterday I saw a video of a Ukrainian soldier laying on the ground when a Russian drone dropped a grenade on him. It basically blew the bottom half of this guy away and when the drone zoomed closer to see that he was actually dead, you could see this poor guy start to move his head. And if the west was not keeping on pumping in money and weapons, this guy might be still alive. And all those Ukrainian Marines are getting massacred as they cross the Dnieper river, even though there is no point them even trying. That area is nothing but a kill zone which Putin himself talked about. But our political masters are saying that they must fight to the last Ukrainian because it’s good for business.

    1. Pat

      I might cheer one last crossing of the Dnieper, if all the leading lights from the US, Canada, and Europe that paved the way and continue to push had to put themselves on the line, so to speak. That meat grinder might finally do some good for the world, and the people dying would have had a say in the destruction.

      But otherwise yesterday wasn’t soon enough much less next year.

    2. i just don't like the gravy

      At the risk of opening a can of cognitohazards, where exactly do you people find this gruesome combat footage? Presumably drone video is something the MoD tightly control, so where are they publishing all these snuff films?

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        all over twitter.
        lord bebo, ayden, war monitor, etc etc.
        lots of horrific gaza stuff, too.
        i force myself to bear witness/not look away…at least a bit…feels like a moral responsibility.
        but damn…

      2. Frank

        There are many different places to find such footage, but it’s featured most prominently on Telegram channels like Slavyangrad, for example. In fact, this coverage is a huge part of the information war, utilized by both sides. It is used as a morale booster for those who follow the war closely. Russian news agencies also post a lot of videos, but they are more tightly curated.

    3. Skip Intro

      I’m pretty sure that map, originating as it did with arms lobbyists of clan Kagan, is primarily a pitch for funding for themselves and their owners, and mostly magical thinking.

      1. Keith Newman

        @The Rev Kev at 10:08 am
        Simplicius The Thinker, a pro-Russian but it seems to me even-handed military analyst of the war wrote recently that the map corresponds more or less to his take as well unless there is a political collapse in Ukraine or complete cessation of funding by the West.
        I was surprised and dismayed. I was hoping the end of this nightmare might come fairly soon.

        1. Yves Smith

          You are mistaking how Russia is conducting this war. It is not about taking terrain or cities. It is about destroying the enemy’s army and will to fight. Russia is EXTREMELY well served by Ukraine continuing to engage in offensive operations, even if locally, since it has to take men and material in many cases across Ukraine to throw them against Russian lines. Ukraine finally moving to a defensive posture will reduce Ukraine casualties and material expenditures. However. Zaluzhny also wants Ukraine to retreat to more defensible positions, which in some cases could involve considerable retreats.

          Alexander Mercouris listed the now comparatively few key positions Ukraine is trying to hold. IIRC it is four cities such as Adiivka and Markina. Adiivka is particularly well fortified. Once those fall, Russia has one last line of defense to surmount in Donbass. at Slaviansk and Kramatorsk. which is much less substantial than Bakhumut. Once Russia clears that, it has a pretty open run to the Dnieper.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            im glad you keep harping on this, Yves.
            even in my isolation, there is much yelling about “but russia was chased away from Kiev!”.
            imo, totally not understanding that there can be objectives to warmaking that are not “shock and awe” and taking territory.
            your periodic long-form takes on all this are pretty bad-ass.
            i just wish more folks i know would contemplate that their assumptions/received wisdom might just be wrong.

  17. Mike

    RE; The Spy Who Dumped the CIA, Went to Therapy, and Now Makes Incredible Television

    In discussing the authors monomania, this great quote applicable to liberals in general:

    There it was: scratch the affability, uncover a gladiator.

    How succinct…

    1. Neutrino

      How fortunate we Americans are to have been led by more Best and Brightest. Their vision and selfless actions have paved the way for more global prosperity. In that rarified atmosphere, Clinton floats alone, well above the lower orders and less insightful. Without her brilliance and perceptions, where would we be now? The world owes her debts of gratitude that can never be repaid.
      /s, redundantly.

      1. flora

        “…float alone, well above the lower orders…”

        High on a throne of royal estate,…Hilary exalted sat, by merit raised To that bad eminence…

        (with apologies to John Milton.) / ;)

        So many of the current so-called best and brightest seem to have terrible character flaws, imo. I’ll take average brightness with good character any day over what’s running the show currently. No more libertines, please.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I don’t know if they’re here on H1Bs specifically, but most of the cheap bottom feeding tech recruiters, that handle workforce outsourcing for midsize and large companies, are staffed with Indians that claim to live in America in their LinkedIn profiles, and speak barely intelligible English, and seem on balance of limited competence in their roles are tech recruiters. I can’t believe there aren’t any Americans that can do these roles, but here we are. These firms all have generic, Internet-word-generator sounding names, and there seem to be thousands and thousands of them. I don’t know what the con is here, but there must be an odd story behind how all this “works” and someone(s) profits greatly from it.

  18. antidlc

    RE: Ticketmaster COVID “inherent risk” doctrine

    I’m not sure this warning is something they added recently.

    The following paragraph appears on the Ticketmaster website under “Terms of Use” and it says: Last Updated: July 2, 2021.


    An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any place where people gather. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. You assume all risks, hazards, and dangers arising from or relating in any way to the risk of contracting a communicable disease or illness—including, without limitation, exposure to COVID-19 or any other bacteria, virus, or other pathogen capable of causing a communicable disease or illness, whether that exposure occurs before, during, or after the event, and regardless of how caused or contracted—and you hereby waive any and all claims and potential claims against Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and the Event Organizer (as defined in our Purchase Policy)—and against any companies affiliated with Ticketmaster, Live Nation, or the Event Organizer—relating to such risks, hazards, and dangers.

  19. communistmole

    apropos Masha Gessen. An article from Die Welt (the flagship of the Springer publishing house), in which the real problem with Gessen’s article and the real enemy is described:

    “The case of Masha Gessen

    On December 15, Masha Gessen was to be awarded the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought. Now the prize donor is distancing himself from the Jewish-American Putin critic because she described Gaza as a ghetto. The background – and the long Russian history.

    The Soviet Union never disputed the fact that many high-ranking Nazis fled not only to South America after 1945, but also to the Arab states; that German technicians helped the Egyptian dictator Nasser to fire rockets at Israel; that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a close friend of Hitler and Himmler. It boasted of being an anti-fascist power and at the same time printed the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, an anti-Semitic work of art from the Tsarist era.

    In 1973, the Soviet Union ensured that Zionism, the national movement of the Jewish people, was condemned by the UN as a form of racism. Soviet Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel had to expect to be sent to the Gulag; even those who learned Hebrew were liable to prosecution.

    Masha Gessen, who was born to a Jewish family in Moscow in 1967, grew up with all of this. In a touching book, she describes her grandmothers Esther and Ruska: One experienced (and survived) the German invasion of Warsaw, the other experienced (and survived) the Stalinist terror. One worked in the state censorship office, the other became a dissident.

    After the Second World War, it was not easy to have the entry “jewrei” (Jew) in your passport in the Soviet Union. You were automatically treated worse. Her childhood in the Soviet Union trained Masha Gessen to immediately recognize Vladimir Putin for what he was: a person rotten to the core with mediocre mental gifts who, even as a teenager, did not want to become a cosmonaut or inventor, but an agent of the KGB. Gessen warned the West about this man in numerous articles and books when many of his contemporaries still blissfully and stupidly believed that Putin could be negotiated with.

    Putin and the Jews

    Until recently, the Russian dictator was considered a friend of the Jews. He cultivated good relations with Israel; Netanyahu welcomed him to Jerusalem. Russian Jews were able to visit synagogues undisturbed, Putin had himself photographed with rabbis. It could seem as if this former KGB man had at least broken with the tradition of anti-Semitism. But of course that was also a lie.

    Putin has been working closely behind the scenes for years with the Iranian regime, which wants to wipe Israel off the map. Immediately after the genocidal massacre on October 7, Hamas leaders were guests in Moscow. And then Putin gave a speech in which he compared Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to the siege of Leningrad during the Second World War. The siege of Leningrad was one of the greatest war crimes in history: more than a million people died of starvation at the time, many of them children.

    Masha Gessen has now published an essay in the “New Yorker” in which she describes the Gaza Strip as a ghetto, by which she explicitly means a Nazi ghetto. A statistical note on this: in 1967, when Israel conquered the Palestinian territories, 1.1 million people lived there; today there are 5.1 million. Life expectancy in the Gaza Strip has risen from 50.97 to 73.47. Hamas claims that the Israelis have killed 15,000 civilians to date.

    Even if that is true, which is unlikely, that would be relatively few for a month of warfare in a densely populated area. In the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942, the Germans demanded that 6,000 people be deported to their deaths every single day; Adam Czerniaków, the chairman of the Jewish Council, swallowed poison because he did not want to carry out this order.

    Masha Gessen’s essay is absurd, but it raises an interesting question: How is it that the most astute critic of Vladimir Putin suddenly agrees with her enemy, even outbidding him rhetorically? How is it that she responds to the obscene reference to the siege of Leningrad by using the Nazi ghetto as a comparison? Why does Masha Gessen, of all people, use a classic anti-Semitic cliché of the Soviet Union, namely the equation of the Jews with the Nazis?

    Gessen was due to be awarded the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought in Germany these days; the award ceremony planned for Friday in Bremen has been canceled and will be held on a smaller scale on Saturday. The award, endowed with 10,000 euros, honors thinkers who contribute to public political thought and action in the tradition of Arendt; it is financed by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Bremen Senate. The Böll Foundation had distanced itself from awarding the prize to the author because of Gessen’s Gaza comparison.

    In the meantime, there have already been calls for Gessen to be stripped of the prize altogether. That would be wrong. It would be better to award Masha Gessen the prize and ask her in the laudatory speech why she talks like those who once made her life hell in the Soviet Union.“

    1. Neutrino

      The article translation reminded me of the Refuseniks in the 1980s. My then-roommate was involved with campaigns to foster immigration, all done very quietly. Relieved to have forgotten much over the years, and heartened to see that people escaped.

    1. Alice X

      This is a remarkable interview, well worthy of a transcript. Levy is well versed in the mindsets of both the Israelis and the Americans. I will listen again.

  20. John

    What is it, other than greed, politics, and ideologies, that prevent the passage of a sensible law to set the guidelines for immigration?

    1. Neutrino

      Some see the world through a lens of power, monetization potential extortion and blackmail. They seek such opportunities.
      The rest consider other factors like humanity, dignity, compassion and common decency.

        1. flora

          Not to sound parochial or anything, what about the humanity, compassion, and common decency for the people living in a country legally; Citizen, green card holder, and visa holder. Line-jumpers, budging in line are now privileged before them? Really?

          1. Randall Flagg

            Please don’t take my sarcasm for anything other than the whole system is a mess. I can’t see it being fixed anytime soon.
            If we stopped meddling/wrecking in other countries maybe fewer people would want to come here and leave their homeland.
            We have no interest in supporting those in need, birthright citizens or legal immigrants across this nation at the moment.
            We should embrace and support those that want to come here legally.
            We should create some system to handle those that are just swamping the border.
            I write all this as someone who’s better half has the job of trying to help those in housing crisis. Winter is coming on fast in the Green Mountain State and many other States across the northern US.
            But, it’s easier to throw billions and armaments into ratholes all around the world, blowing shit up and being accessory to killing millions of innocents, lining the pockets of who knows how many grifters along the way.
            Kind of pisses me off at all the $shitbags in DC. The lobbyists. The supporters of said $hitbags.
            The whole system at this point has to just collapse before it can possibly be repaired. It can’ get any worse for those at the bottom. Only when the entire PMC class finally takes it in the rear will there be hope of any change.
            All we can do is help those we can on a daily basis. TPTB don’t care.

    2. Glen

      Well, I wonder what the American oligarchs think about this?

      Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk say human population not nearly big enough: ‘If we had a trillion humans, we would have at any given time a thousand Mozarts’

      Sure, yeah, we’re in it for the “Mozarts”.

      I’ll believe that when CEOs that hire illegal aliens or kids go to jail for breaking the law. Until then, it’s all about cheap, captured labor, and good bye middle class.

      1. Mikel

        At the same time, people are being told computer programs are going to be the next Mozart and everything else.

  21. Jabura Basaidai

    a while back there were a few comments about the use of povidone-iodine nasal preparations sprayed in the nose as a proactive way to assist in preventing covid – turns out here in Michigan there is a company that makes a povidone-iodine nasal and oral preparation and is found nationwide – when i was a kid and the family doctor still made house calls my Dad was instructed to “paint” my throat with a 2% providone iodine solution when i got strepp – a warm glass of Vernors ginger ale first, then the terrible tasting paint – Vernors at the time was only available in Detroit and made at the manufacturing facility on Woodward –

    here is the NIH white papers about povidone-iodine nasal spraying –
    Results: All concentrations of nasal antiseptics and oral rinse antiseptics evaluated completely inactivated the SARS-CoV-2.

    the company marketing it – – or make your own like my Dad did –

  22. Tom Hoffman

    I’m not a lawyer, but “inherent risk” is a legal concept used for things like ski slopes and skateparks. Extending that to attending a concert is probably novel. Unless there’s also similar language around mosh pits…. ?

  23. Eclair

    RE: Marketing Company Claims That It Actually Is Listening to Your Phone …

    I have long suspected this. But my suspicions were confirmed when, a short time ago, on the weekly phone call with my recently divorced daughter, she was discussing the possibility of using a dating site. About a week later, one of the ads on my Gmail account was for a ….. yes! …… dating site! Now, I am pretty sure that the AI has me in the ‘older than god’ age group, since most of the ads that pop up on my accounts are ways of getting rid of age spots, belly fat, failing memory, and for regrowing thinning hair. The AI circuits must have blown when they tried to fit that marketing group with ‘dating sites,’ but they persevered and I now have a link to …… ‘Age Appropriate Dating Sites!’ Don’t tell my husband!

    Question: Should I write my congresspeople and complain?

    1. flora

      Get a Faraday bag for your phone? Lots of options there, several manufacturers. At least that’s something in your control.
      And sure, write your congresspeople. Can’t hurt. Might help. / ;)

        1. flora

          Wow, that’s a tough question, trying to figure out how a faraday bag could work with the car’s necessary bag openings for the windows and wheels when the car itself is broadcasting. / ;)

          1. flora

            adding: there used to be a way to disable the OnStar feature on what are now ‘older’ cars, but these days doing that on a newer car might brick the newer car.

            1. flora

              “Joe Rogan” deep fake from 2 years ago.

              Deep fake with “Tom Cruise,” 7 months ago.

              Hey, maybe all the surveillance camera video and audio stuff can be challenged in court now. / heh

              Many actors are challenging the misuse or unapproved use of their images and voices now. Ripping off the people who’ve spent their lives building a brand, a following, only to see it appropriated without their consent for profit by others.

              1. flora

                My immediately above comment was meant as a reply to Bsn in the comment below. Sorry for misplacing this comment.

                1. flora

                  adding, adding: is the “creator economy” or “creative economy” really the ‘rip off economy’? Creative economy is now a rip off economy? um… ok. /;)

    1. Bsn

      The clip is so short and a bit grainy, I wonder about a deep fake. Of course that’s what they want us to wonder. I don’t doubt her sentiments, expressed many times before, but curious about the source. Is it also on CSPAN for example, or an excerpt from a longer presentation?

      1. flora

        Not sure CSPAN covers state lege and state local politics. I think its focus is on DC and Congress. About deep fakes, they’re getting better… er … more believable all the time. This sure sounded real in the sense the language flow and word emphasis and expression didn’t sound unnatural to me. But who knows.

  24. Mikel

    “The Road to China-Free Supply Chains Is Long. Warning: Legless Lizards Ahead.” WSJ

    Or an alternate title: The Long and Winding Supply Chain Road to Avoid Paying Living Wages As Much As Possible”

    An excerpt:

    “On the other side of the world, the hunt for rare earths has led a Canadian company to use ones that have been extracted from the mineral-rich sands in the U.S. state of Georgia. The rare earths there had to be brought to Utah to be stripped of radioactive uranium, and then shipped to Estonia to be ready for magnets.”

    Look at all of those stages that involve shipping to other countries. And the extraction. All so “green”…lol.
    And that’s shipping befor the final product has to be shipoed all over the world.

  25. ThirtyOne

    Playbook: Senate staffer out after sex tape scandal

    Oh yeah, oh yeah
    Oh yeah, oh yeah
    Imagine I’m in love with you
    It’s easy ’cause I know
    I’ve imagined I’m in love with you
    Many, many, many times before
    It’s not like me to pretend
    But I’ll get you, I’ll get you in the end
    Yes, I will, I’ll get you in the end
    Oh yeah, oh yeah

  26. Boomheist

    Re; Supple Chain

    A couple thoughts from someone who sailed as AB with American President Lines 2012-2016 on the US East Coast to Singapore run carrying containers from various US East Coast Ports across the Atlantic and through the Mediterranean and Suez Canal and Red Sea to the Persian Gulf and then on to Singapore and back, 60 to 70 day voyages. The Red Sea and passage around the southern horn of Yemen into the waters east of the Red Sea is where all those missile and drone strikes are happening right now, with all the attendant howls and pronouncements about US Naval and International Forces somehow stopping these attacks in order to maintain international trade routes. These are nearly the exact same waters we stood pirate watch on as we rounded the horn of Somalia and Yemen.

    I have no idea what the Houthies are doing, of course, but from a strategic standpoint it seems that they might be attacking any and all commercial ships using that route, not just Israel bound ships, because the simple truth is that naval escorts may or may not protect the ships being escorted. The math doesn’t add up – let;s say a US destroyer is escorting, say, two Maersk ships and those ships are attacked with drones and missiles. The response fire from the destroyers depends on how many missiles they have. Their missiles cost anywhere from one to ten million dollars, whereas the drones and local missiles cost one tenth that, or less. My guess is that a true series of swarm attacks on an escorted ship will rapidly exhaust the US or any warship’s supply, leaving the commercial ships and the destroyers without any defenses at all.

    And here is another thing. A drone carrying a single grenade is of course way too small to really damage a military vessel, but let’s imagine for a moment a commercial ship, manned by civilian crew. How many single grenade drone attacks on tankers and grain ships and commercial ships will it take for all commercial ships to stop? Can a drone carrying a grenade fly 30 miles offshore and strike a ship? I am guessing, sure, easily. One grenade exploding on a ship’s wheelhouse roof, or anywhere on deck, might injure or kill a crew member or two, cause some damage, maybe start a fire, which is a sailor’s worst nightmare….I will bet you, one, two or three such attacks coming in the next week or two would entirely upend everything, no matter how many warships enter the fray, no matter any Pentagon announcement. Each shipping company and shipping line will do the calculation, is this worth it? Will I pay the increased insurance premium? Can it? Drones are small. Will a commercial ship’s radar pick up an approaching drone? Something coming toward the ship at, say, 30 or 40 miles an hour, or faster? And then, if seen, what is the response? Point being, total vulnerability of the ship, I think. Seems to me nearly certain that ships will make the choice to avoid the passage, period. This will upend world trade and show to all the helplessness of a military response.

    Now consider that 17,000 to 20,000 ships a year use that passage, and ships with US contracts and crews, or ships bound to Israel, may represent, say, one or two percent of that number. All the Houthies need to do it attack ANY commercial ship plowing along the Yemen coast NOT being protected, such that any and all commercial ships will face the risk of attack, with or without escorts. The result of this will be that nobody will be willing to risk that passage, not just a few large container companies as we see now.

    This is the impact of asymmetrical warfare, the attacking of highly capital intensive systems with low cost abundant drones and small missiles, overwhelming the response abilities. This might be the time when the reality that all our anti-ship protection systems, designed to defend against aircraft and land-launched distant large missiles, are really unsuited to taking out several swarms of drones and Tomahawks, which can be launched from anywhere nearly on land, difficult to find. This is the vulnerability that may well close the Suez passage to all ships within the next few weeks. And this is the vulnerability which will render obsolete before everyone those huge carrier strike forces now patrolling the region.

    What is the response then? Will the West carpet bomb all of Yemen in the same way Israel is bombing Gaza as a means to eventually stop any and all ship attacks so the Suez can be reopened again? Can this even be done, and if so, how long will this take? And during all this time, what will be the impact of a closed Suez?

    At some point the structure of thinking might come to weighing reopening the Suez passage against continuing to support Israel. This seems to be the calculus of the Houthies.

    We will find out….

    1. Yves Smith

      You are underestimating the caliber of Houthi weapons. Yes, they are likely often using drones for their low cost and ease of making the opponent waste pricey weapons. But the Houthis have and deployed very sophisticated ballistic missiles too.

      1. skippy

        Yes, deplete stock of HP weapons with low cost drones and if and when chosen attack with a mix of low cost drones and a few sophisticated Ballistic missiles … see how the radar handles that array of targets.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Houthi “drones” can also be either copies of or imported Iranian UAVs. For example: Qasef-2K has range over 100 km and payload/warhead of 30 kg, Samad-2 has range of 1200 km but payload of “only” 18 kg and then there’s the Shahed-136 (a.k.a. Geran-2) with 1500 km and 50 kg respectively.

          Swarm attacks are problematic also because somebody (crew/computer) has to keep track if the assigned targets are destroyed or if they have to be intercepted again, and when stuff does blow up, the radars filters and other signal processors are a bit busy trying to separate the incoming targets from all the debris.

          Then there’s the problem that every fire control radar (the one that guides the interceptors) has limited capability to guide multiple interceptors (signal processing bottleneck, path projection bottleneck but mostly separate guidance channel/frequency bottleneck). So you may just not have the bandwidth to hit all targets.

      2. Boomheist

        Totally agree but this only strengthens my overall point – that if the Houthis have on hand sufficient quantities of both low-tech and higher tech weapons, and choose to conduct a planned attack on commercial shipping generally, this will cause a chaotic reaction and I don’t think there is anything the various navies can do about it….

        This sort of echoes a broader point, actually – we (the US) and other NATO allies have high technology, long maintenance trail, weapons systems quite entirely unsuited to foes who have lower technology, mass movement systems (like fortified positions and trench warfare and willingness to take casualties) and I think we are now finding that out in Ukraine and maybe even Gaza. And the movement to drone swarms and effective anti-ship missiles may be a paradigm shift in warfare fully as great as the development of the machine gun, the tank, or the airplane….

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          i agree…this is a big deal.
          and what can the West(tm) do about it?
          invade and get bogged down in another quagmire?(in an election year?)
          seems to me the easiest thing is for the West to yank israel’s chain a bit.
          rein them in from their evil ways.
          but i doubt that will happen.
          so closed suez and red sea it is!
          only the little people will be harmed, after all.

          now, if the houthis had smash, they would allow only friendly shipping, if such a thing exists.
          (i have no idea…does Iran have tankers?)
          tilt the table even more, as it were.
          why do i keep coming back to the first Dune book?
          this is literal hydraulic despotism, right here.
          make them go around the whole of africa.
          what a time to be alive.

          1. Steve H.

            : What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

        2. Procopius

          The Taliban in Afghanistan didn’t do entrenchment, as far as I know. They relied on movement — get out of Dodge before the Sheriff finds out you’re there. I’m not clear how much industry the Houthi have, but a couple of years ago they had a conclave of some kind to show off the missiles they said they were manufacturing. It was impressive, so I’m always dubious when I see Iran blamed for them. I think Iran does a lot less than they are blamed for, especially in Iraq and Syria. On the other hand it seems they have both cruise and ballistic missiles that can reach Israel. And then, of course, there’s Hezballah.

  27. Lex

    Gessen is a US intelligence asset, they should have known better than to bite the hand that feeds them.

    Bild is optimistic. The reality in Ukraine is that everything about the country is brittle and a full meltdown from a cascading failure chain could be provoked by a long list of events. But more importantly, the military momentum is starting to build. Reports from the front are now a long list of Russian advances. Often 500m to a kilometer, but there are many of them. Each fall back of Ukrainian forces becomes harder to sustain and defend the next position. And in some cases loss of a position means a much deeper withdrawal to a defensible location. A retreat from Avdeevka might require 20km.

    This rolling pressure, more Brusilov than Bagration, is going to continue all winter. While political, economic and social issues in the Ukrainian rear aren’t going to magically improve over that time. Spring 2024 lines up for all the breaking points being reached simultaneously (if one doesn’t snap sooner) and that means summer 2024 has a high probability of Russia rolling up whatever it wants.

  28. scott s.

    re: H1-bs. As much as you guys hate the MIC, it does have the advantage of requiring a great many US citizens.

    1. Feral Finster

      I have known quite a few people who joined the military in order to get Green Cards.

      FWIW, the Ukrainian example I know is in no hurry to return home for some reason, and had nothing but contempt for his fellow American soldiers.

    2. GF

      “As much as you guys hate the MIC, it does have the advantage of requiring a great many US citizens.”

      But not the military. Just think of 2 – 3 million H1b recruits per year. Offer a quick – may be 10 years in the active military with no rank higher than Sargent – enlistment for a citizenship opportunity. No more worries about recruiting.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          It might surprise you to hear this, but a lot of Indians don’t understand Hindi. When I was interning at Cisco at San Jose way back when, my fellow Indians would always converse in English, and I was told that they all had come from different regions in India and hence they could only use English to communicate with one another.

  29. Bsn

    Dear Lambert,

    We understand. You said “because I became pressed temporally”. ‘Tis the season. Hanukkah happening and of course Christmas. We had 5 concerts to play in over the last 4 days. And if one drives around, I’ve noticed lots of traffic and both assertive and spaced out (on their phones) drivers. So … we understand.

  30. Pookah Harvey

    Israeli sniper kills mother, daughter inside Gaza’s only Catholic church

    Not totally surprising. Although not covered by the Western MSM there has been a growing number of attacks on Christians in Israel by ultra-Orthodox Jews. A Jesuit newsletter reported back in June that ‘Anti-Christian incidents are on the rise in Jerusalem’s Old City’:

    “This is a dramatic change,” Father Schnabel said. “It is much worse than 20 years ago when I entered monastic life, when a spitting incident happened once every six months. Now it has become a daily thing. I am spit on every day. It is not a question of if, but of when.”

    Other headlines:

    The Times of Israel March,2023
    As attacks on Christians become more frequent, a crisis looms for Israel

    Christian news network CBN August 2023
    Spitting, Hitting Attacks on Christians are Surging in Israel: ‘Extreme and Unacceptable’

    Haaritz Oct. 2023
    Spike in Incidents of Jews Spitting on Christian Worshippers in Jerusalem

  31. Jason Boxman

    People who identify as Black make up about 13% of the U.S. population but comprised 37% of all people experiencing homelessness. People who identify as Hispanic or Latino make up about 19% of the population but comprised about 33% of those experiencing homelessness. Also, more than a quarter of the adults experiencing homelessness were over age 54.

    Here’s a zinger we see more and more: “People who identify as”. My head is going to explode.

    1. digi_owl

      Brings to mind Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, Ali G, where he was part of a lineup where the rest were very dark skinned indeed. When the witness pointed to him, he voiced those immortal words “Is that because i’m black?!”…

    2. bwilli123

      ‘People who identify as adult’ already exists in practice (at least in some categories)
      By self-affirming gender identity, what were once regarded as ‘children’ (with basically very few rights) can now accede to irrevocably life altering medical procedures.
      If only an ‘adult’ could previously make such decisions have we not already re-defined adulthood?

  32. Jason Boxman

    The Overlooked Crisis in Congo: ‘We Live in War’

    Rwanda and Congo appeared on the verge of open war in January, after Rwanda fired missiles across the border at a Congolese fighter jet as it landed at Goma airport. Now, though, the greatest danger is faced by Congolese civilians plunged into yet another round of misery.

    Over half a million people have fled their homes in just the past two months, mostly into the squalid camps that have sprung up around Goma. A sea of rough huts, fashioned from sticks and tarpaulins, is expanding across plains littered with sharp black lava rocks. Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano that forms a dramatic backdrop to Goma, bubbles in the distance.

    Foul-smelling sludge runs between shelters. Disease outbreaks threaten. Food is scarce. The World Food Program says it has enough to feed only 2.5 million of the estimated 6.3 million people who go to bed hungry every night in eastern Congo.

    Someone phone Hilary Clinton! What happened to right-to-protect or whatever?

    When the M23 last mounted a major offensive, a decade ago, the United States led efforts to roll it back. President Barack Obama and other officials cut aid to Rwanda, and personally called Mr. Kagame, to apply pressure.

    This time, the West is divided: The United States is openly critical of Rwandan intervention in Congo and recently cut some military aid to Rwanda. But Britain, whose government is trying to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, has been largely silent.

    Wait, not a no-fly-zone? No special forces going on assassination missions?

    A rare hope for peace emerged last Monday when the White House announced a 72-hour pause in the fighting around Goma. On Friday, the truce was extended until Dec. 28.

    Romuald, the French military adviser, said the truce had been precipitated by the arrival of a powerful new weapon: Chinese drones, recently acquired by Congo, that he said had struck Rwandan troops near Goma last weekend.

    Drones, drones, everywhere!

  33. Wukchumni

    A pack of gray wolves discovered in the Tulare County mountains last summer has been named — and is larger than scientists originally believed.

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Thursday reported that the wolf pack will now be called the Yowlumni Pack. In a news release, the state agency said it was honored to partner with the Tule River Tribe to name the pack formally.

    The pack was found in the Sequoia National Forest near the tribe’s reservation and ancestral lands. Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson said in September that the pack had been sited mostly in Giant Sequoia National Monument. The monument is located northeast of Bakersfield and surrounded by the Tule River Reservation on three sides. Reports that the wolves had been sighted on the reservation followed the CDFW announcement in August.

    The tribe shared that the name comes from the Yowlumni band of the Tule River Yokuts.

    In the course of a week’s span this summer, I found out that there was a Chinese bio-lab 35 miles away as the crow flies in one direction, and a pack of grey wolves about 35 miles away as the California condor flies in the other direction.

  34. Willow

    ‘INTEL-Roundtable with Ray McGovern & Larry Johnson: Why US Intel Lies About Ukraine.’
    Ray McGovern at beginning: ‘Zelensky in US to seek additional funding cover for discussion of an upcoming false flag event in next couple of weeks? Something serious enough needing in person discussions & not by cable?’

    Odd the Argentina visit at the beginning and just happened to stop off at US on way back.. US (Biden & State) can’t afford & won’t tolerate a Russian win in any form. Something has to happen no matter how stupid & escalatory.

    1. Willow

      US likely thinks a sudden dramatic escalation with a tactical nuke (dressed as a false flag over Christmas/New Year) will cause Russia to pause, backoff on any winter offensive, and agree to a freezing the conflict. A false flag tactical nuke would possibly provide sufficient political leeway to grudgingly ‘accept’ Russia’s territorial gains Korea style. (Only problem is Russia won’t be so easily bluffed into folding). Amount of skin Biden is losing over Gaza is now so bad Democrats need a Hail Mary ‘win’ in Ukraine to keep their chances afloat.

  35. Knot Me

    My brothers and I started out of high school working the construction trade. I left and went to college while my brothers stayed on working the masonry trade. The early 80’s saw the first push of immigrants into the building trades. My brothers seeing the writing on the walls left the trade and started careers in other fields. Raises were out of the question as the trades were flooded.
    When I left college the field I chose was a pretty small niche which grew into the 90’s as businesses started cropping up as folks started getting licenses etc. Immigrants were then starting to flood the zone in the arbor culture industry.
    Large outfits like Asplundh hired immigrants and indeed paid the largest fine by a privately held tree outfit related the the practice of hiring illegal immigrants.
    Adding to the woes of smaller outfits was the issue of insurance. Some years ago, the Baltimore Sun published an article which detailed insurance companies research which showed the accidents deaths and dismemberments of whites blacks and hispanics. While the whites and blacks were just percentage points away from one another, hispanics were way beyond mere percentage points in this category. This caused insurance rates to start trending upwards as smaller companies had to pay more to cover the costs of the big outfits problems.
    By that time I was running my own outfit which i held for about 15 years. After the crash of 08 I held on for another couple years then got out as the insurance companies kept jumping rates and the Maryland State Legislature had no appetite to put a stop the practice of having poorly trained people killing themselves in the most heinous of ways.
    Illegal immigrants cost plenty of money to support in our economy that isn’t seen directly.

  36. chris

    The US is now spreading the fuel of Bidenomics to gaslight our friends abroad. From the Guardian:

    It is an economy in rude health – with nearly every dial on the economic dashboard flashing green…He is so disliked he is advised never to use the word “Bidenomics” to describe the policies responsible for this economic success…All this matters to the Labour party. Its “new business model for Britain”, unveiled by the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, on her visit to Washington in May and at the core of her policy approach, is unashamedly rooted in Bidenomics. There will be a British version of Biden-style industrial strategy and Biden-style public investment focusing on the new – tech to green technologies – all aimed at provoking an even bigger jump in private investment.

    I am tired of economists using averages to lie to us. I am tired of the economic concerns of citizens being dismissed as “vibes”. I’ve been waiting for someone to attempt a thorough take down of this pro-status quo “be happy dammit!” line we keep getting from people in the administration and their bootlickers like Krugman. I’m not an economist but here’s the best case I can make for this not being just “vibes” – which is the official way to tell citizens that their childlike comprehension of complex matters is insufficient and they should listen to their betters.

    People are still in record amounts of medical debt, despite the hospital “industry” writing down over $40 billion in lost fees and charges because people can’t pay. The AHA is using that fact as if it makes them seem better but if true it appears the situation is even worse than I thought.

    Food prices are now described as not increasing more than anything else. But the detail of how far they have risen, and what you get for that outsized cost these days, is ignored. For example, the cost of a gallon of milk is at 30 year highs. the fact that the rate of increase in that cost of milk has eased doesn’t mean much if it’s still going up and it’s continuing that ascent from an already high plateau. That goes for all food products in the US. And it doesn’t even start with nutritional issues and skimpflation.

    Home ownership has stalled. Most likely due to a combination of high interest rates and high sale prices. But it’s not like renting is a good option. If you can find a place renting at close to fair market rates, unless you make over 40k$ per year, the rent for a two bedroom still exceeds 30% of your pay after taxes.

    People have been paying exorbitant rates for gasoline, which really matters because the US has no public transport to speak of in most of the country. And that rise in cost has occurred entirely on Biden’s watch. The similar increase in energy costs for homes has already been covered on NC.

    Dealers might be complaining about decreases in sale prices for used and new vehicles, but like everything else I’m noting, they’re coming down from record highs. Slowly.

    The history of price increases for tuition has also been well covered on NC. But seeing it March along, year after year, is depressing. The current cost is $30k higher than when I got my BS. But people aren’t earning $30k per year more with that same degree to make up for that price increase. When it is discussed, people think about tuition increases. But the cost of rent and fees and books and now insurance required by institutions is the bulk of a student’s expenses these days. Limiting the discussion to tuition only is disingenuous at best.

    Economists keep touting new ways to show that real personal income has increased. So what? If you can’t afford the child care you need to work, and it’s still too expensive to eat out, why do you care that you have a little more money? It’s not like any recent increases make up for decades of wage growth suppression in the face of critical needs inflating in cost. Which is likely part of the reason the US is experiencing record homelessness, also regularly discussed on NC.

    Compounding all that, we still don’t see people in power who have abused the system getting any kind of negative consequences for their behavior. Hello Hunter Biden! We don’t see anything like the support this administration has given to Ukraine or Israel pouring out domestically. And now that we’ve burned through anything that’s left, we’ll be forced to endure the cruelly austere remains from paying down the crazy interest on our debt. Because our debt is now affecting the material economy and MMT will only get you so far in that situation. Plus, no one in power believes in MMT unless you’re referring to millions of mega tons.

    This is not vibes. This should not be dismissed. The people in the US are materially worse off than they were 4 years ago. The issues causing that state of affairs are not tied to the pandemic. But speaking of that, the citizens are being forced to work longer and harder in worse conditions, constantly risking long COVID at their jobs. I am angry that such details are dismissed by those in power. Because what I’m describing isn’t fantasy. But these people are so high off the fumes from their gaslights that they’re living in a dreamworld. I hope that a peaceful transition of power teaches them to see the real world that US citizens have no choice to deal with. Because if they don’t, we’re liable to get the riots and chaos I’ve been expecting for the last few years. Any others who are more qualified to make economic arguments should feel free to correct my rant.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I noticed this morning that gas prices were the lowest I’d seen in many months – just over $3/gallon, which is down quite a bit since just last week.

      My guess is GenocideJoe tweaked the reserves hoping we might all forget the extremely unpopular slaughter he’s aiding and abetting in Gaza and the legal issues his prodigal son and he are facing.

      But I can still see the massive homeless encampment that has taken over an enter hillside nearby and has now topped the ridge. I’m also aware of the abyss that is my wallet not currently filled with cash after some very modest gift buying.

      No corrections to your rant needed. Let’s go Brandon!

      1. chris

        Thanks for that. It felt good to verify that I’m not making stuff up, the data really does show how skewed our economy is and how biased the boosters are in saying things are fine. This is literally Orwellian. I keep waiting for CNN to tell me my chocolate rations have increased…

  37. The Rev Kev

    Seems that the subject of the H-1B visa program is a well know one to readers here. I note that of the odd 216 comments, that about a third of them are about the effect of this program as witnessed by them. That is a lot.

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