Links 12/29/2023

Thriving Otters in North America Linked to Nuclear Weapons Tests. Here’s Why. ScienceAlert. Chuck L: “I never knew that the USA had done nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands.”

I looked out my airplane window and was stunned — TikTok helped me solve the mystery New York Post (BC)

Using Early Human Existence To Understand Historical Societies Ian Welsh (Ian W)

Mathematicians found a guaranteed way to win the lottery in 2023 New Scientist (David L)

Gaza, Ukraine, and other conflicts could be accelerating antibiotic resistance/a> STAT (Dr. Kevin)


Para-infectious brain injury in COVID-19 persists at follow-up despite attenuated cytokine and autoantibody responses Nature (Paul R)

Unexpected New COVID Symptoms Arise As JN.1 Variant Continues To Spread IFLScience (furzy)


The year in clean energy: Wind, solar and batteries grow despite economic challenges Associated Press (Kevin W)

40% of US Electricity Is Now Emissions-Free ars technica

World’s tallest wooden wind turbine starts turning BBC (David L)

Danube River floods Budapest Anadolu Agency

Dramatic flooding in Santa Cruz County as storm breaches coastline SF Gate (Kevin W)


‘Fighting spirit’: Xi Jinping reveals China’s push for global power after rare closed-door meeting on foreign policy South China Morning Post

Huawei says business ‘back on track’ despite U.S. crackdown Nikkei

China Confronts a New Political Reality in Taiwan: No Friends Wall Street Journal

Japan eyes lethal weapon exports to South-east Asia to boost regional security Straits Times

European Disunion

“Scholz is more afraid of angering the Americans than his own voters” Anti-Spiegel via machine translation (Micael T)

Far-right extremists stage rural land grab across Germany Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Do our schools promote the democratic spirit? Nachdenkseiten via machine translation (Micael T)

IMF surcharges or surtaxes: How, in total opacity, the International Monetary Funds is making money at the expense of countries in the most precarious position CADTM (Micael T)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 83: Israel attacks 10 Palestinian cities in largest West Bank invasion since October 7 Mondoweiss (guurst)

Billionaires, imperialists, and antisemites: The forces behind the assault on opposition to Gaza genocide WSWS (Micael T)

Israel-Gaza war live: Hamas delegation due in Cairo to look at Egyptian ceasefire proposal Guardian


Biden Needs To Come To Israel’s – And His Own – Rescue Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

The Biden Administration Is Quietly Shifting Its Strategy in Ukraine Politico

Ukraine attacked with 158 missiles and drones, says military BBC

Scott Ritter: Maryinka’s Liberation ‘Major Victory’ for Russia Sputnik

A cargo ship picking up Ukrainian grain hits a Russian floating mine in the Black Sea, officials say Associated Press

Lavrov Warned Armenia Against Ceding Its National Security To NATO Andrew Korybko

A new Sputnik feature article worth reading on the attempted regime change operation in Belgrade these past several days Gilbert Doctorow


US base attacked in northeast Syria Almayadeen

Imperial Collapse Watch

How The Hell Did We Get Here? Caitlin Johnstone (Chuck L, Dr. Kevin)

US, Europe Likely On Track to Become ‘Failed Economies’ Sputnik. Based on interview with Michael Hudson.

The biggest foreign policy losers of 2023 Responsible Statescraft


Against Immunity for Trump Wall Street Journal (David L)

Colorado puts Trump back on 2024 GOP primary ballot while ruling is appealed New York Post


Why ‘Bidenomics’ is falling flat with voters The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Haley’s Civil War remarks stir backlash at crucial moment for campaign The Hill. Lambert covered yesterday in Water Cooler but fallout continues.


Blinken Meets With Mexico’s President About Surge in Migration at the Border New York Times (Kevin W)

New York City, Denver, Chicago attempt to clamp down on migrant busings with ordinances Axios (furzy)

Exclusive: DOJ threatens lawsuit if Texas enforces new border security law Houston Chronicle

Our No Longer Free Press


New York Times Sues Microsoft and OpenAI, Alleging Copyright Infringement Wall Street Journal

The New York Times Has an Edge in Suit Against OpenAI, Microsoft Bloomberg (furzy)


EU competition chief defends Artificial Intelligence Act after Macron’s attack Financial Times

OpenAI investor Vinod Khosla predicts AI will deflate the economy over the next 25 years Business Insider

Boeing urges inspections of 737 Max planes for ‘possible loose bolt’ CNBC (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

Stock market outlook: Why Roaring 20s may be back for investors, economy Business Insider (Kevin W). Do these people realize what they are saying? The 1920s did have a real economy growth impetus, as in electrification and new consumer goods, like radios. But the stock market boom was to a significant degree was the result of stock market leverage on leverage, which as Frank Partnoy described long ago in the Match King as including structures that were just like CDOs.

Class Warfare

“Reality Is Submerged in Fantasy”: The Villages Is a Boomer’s Utopia—And Demographic Time Bomb Vanity Fair (Dr. Kevin). One, I would need a lobotomy to live in a place like this. Two, separately it seems insane to live there. I see NO mention whatsoever (perhaps I missed it) as to how the residents get care when they need short term rehab or become too feeble or cognitively impaired to care for themselves.

Antidote du jour. mgl:

This is a red-crowned parrot (aka kākāriki) as seen at an enclosure at Pūkaha/Mt Bruce National Wildlife Center (Masterton, Wairarapapa, New Zealand) in 2017, clearly eating kiwifruit. They’re so cute!

And a bonus (guurst):

A different sort of bonus (Chuck L):

Yet another different sort of bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Western Union by The Five Americans)

    White House neocons live in the Age of Bronze
    They wanna take Teheran and then invade Taiwan
    They’re on some Great Crusade to see this world remade
    As in days of yore great things to come from war

    Wars that never do succeed — they crash and burn at lightning speed
    So much pain and death and gore — to make somebody’s profits soar

    They’ve brought us back to ancient times — when genocides were common crimes — (heyyyy)

    We’re the bad guys
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    What is going on — are we the modern Genghis Khan?
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    So many millions dead — we could have been breaking bread.
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    We’ve very clearly gone astray. How did we end up this way? (heyyyy)

    (musical interlude)

    We’ve very clearly gone astray. How did we end up this way? (heyyyy)

    We’re the bad guys
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    Their insanity means — desperate times for you and me
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    They fly the Hakenkreuze — it’s time for each of us to choose
    Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh

    Now we’re the bad guys . . . <em(Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh) We’re the bad guys . . . (Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh)
    We’re the bad guys . . . <em(Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh) We’re the bad guys . . . <em(Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh)
    We’re the bad guys . . . <em(Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh) We’re the bad guys . . . <em(Duh-Dit-Duh-Dit-Duh)

    1. farmboy

      Just watched the movie Oppenheimer, he, they were Prometheus and Vishnu indeed and he, they knew it. No stopping the physics, the scientists, politicians, time had come. Abomb the foundation of our modern day psyche, still reverberating in all directions like a shock wave. Puts apocalypse into everyday vernacular, well within view. There was a nearly zero chance that the first ignition, Trinity would ignite the atmosphere so the precautionary principle out the window. Humanities narcissim in full view now. I had to watch the movie twice to get the pace and full story.

    2. juno mas

      Umm, the Nevada Test Site (65 miles from Las Vegas) detonated 100 above ground nuclear bombs with mushroom clouds that could be viewed from the casino hotels in the 1950’s. It detonated ~900 more underground detonations until 1962. Worried about marine otters? Thousands of people eventually died from radiation exposure in eastern Nevada and western Utah (downwind). As a Nevada official I met some of their offspring in the 1980’s—they too had medical complications. The monetary reparations program from the federal government for those affected only ended a few years ago.

        1. juno mas

          Thanks for the Link. It made me notice the typo in my comment. It should read “until 1992”. (not 1962)

  2. furnace

    Stock market outlook: Why Roaring 20s may be back for investors, economy Business Insider (Kevin W).

    Didn’t the “Roaring 20s” end up pretty poorly?

    1. Benny Profane

      Should be dovetailed with the Boomers in the Villages article. Last gasp.

      “In the long run we are all dead”

    2. flora

      If only Andrew Mellon had known about Quantatative Easing and bailouts. (oh, right QE was impossible in the 20’s and 30’s) We’re so so much better off now. / s

  3. SocalJimObjects

    Stock market outlook: Why Roaring 20s may be back for investors, economy. If the Match King were alive today, he’ll go straight to the Fed and ask for a bailout. “If you don’t bail me out, my Ponzi Scheme will destroy your portfolio, Jerome!!!”. Presumably over the years, he’s also donated plenty of money to both parties, and his company will be seen as critical to the “long term security” (Senate and Congress members’ portfolios) of the US, hence voila, bailout justified!!!

    From my perspective, it’s just too quiet out there. The Fed raised interest rates at the fastest pace in history, but apart from SVB and a couple of other banks blowing up, we have not seen a major hedge fund fail, or an emerging economy crash, seems like things are chugging along and if there’s a problem, the Fed will be ready to introduce another scheme or two or three to prevent any real correction to the stock market. The question is what’s the theoretical stock market value under Quantitative Eternity? Interest rates are high and yet financial conditions are looser than when the Fed started raising rates (according to Wolf Street).

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It seems to me that calling this decade the “roaring 20’s” is a form of gaslighting.

      2020-2021: Pandemic, 1.2M dead in US
      2022: Ukraine war
      2023: Gaza/Israel war

      Stock market: outside of the narrow Dow 30, still hasn’t made a new ATH since Jan 2022.

      Seems like the better analogy is the 1930s

      1. CA

        “It seems to me that calling this decade the “roaring 20’s” is a form of gaslighting.”

        According to Gallup, in 2018 53% of Americans had a favorable view of China. However now in 2023, only 15% of Americans have a favorable view of the people of China and most Americans have a severely unfavorable view. The Chinese people collectively and particularly however are still characteristically as they were in 2018 and 2013 and even earlier:

        1. The Rev Kev

          You had the same process here in Oz under Scotty from Marketing where there was this campaign to demonize the Chinese. The media was all on board with this and I recall one Aussie reporter browbeating the PM of New Zealand about their Chinese ties. But the reporter looked more the poster boy for Army Special Ops rather than just some average reporter. Strange that. This was a dangerous sell this demonization as over 5.5% of the Australian pop is of Chinese ancestry so would be racially divisive from the get go. Bunch of neocon maniacs!

      2. Glen

        Well there are some similarties, but Western MSM tries pretty hard to let these be forgotten:

        1918 -1920 Spanish flu
        Best estimates 25 -50 million dead world wide, and most likely started in America, but finally made news in Spain when people started getting sick there (thus the name).

        1918 -1925 Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War
        British and American divisions occupied parts of Russia during the Russian civil war, but withdraw after White Russia collapses; the full effort involved many countries from Europe.

    2. timbers

      The tell is in stock market and housing prices never really took a hit and are actually still rising. Quantitative tightly my arse.

  4. griffen

    The roaring 20s…well the past few weeks since late October has illustrated something akin to a marker of sentiments shifting. US yields are quite lower, the Federal Reserve will be cutting rates in 2024 ( a few think 3 occasions, I think Goldman was in that camp ), and the stock market winners have begun to broaden somewhat. Energy and oil stocks are stuck, but the price of crude reflects dampened demand and the lack of a rebound in China, plus those evil oil giants can actually pump more oil in a given calendar year as it turns out.

    Yeah I’m a bit doubtful also, on that illustrious future. I noticed the article mentions Ed Yardeni, and I am nowhere in the camp of his intellect as a market maven. Just this week, he was calling for the S&P 500 index to land about 6,000 by the year end of 2025.

    Budget deficits and Federal budget chicanery, just maybe a loose cannon at some point? Or much, much higher levels of the WTI priced in with US gasoline pushing $5 a gallon yet again?

    1. flora

      ahem… tap tap tap…. how do you have a stock “market” when there is no real price discovery? Stock buybacks, bailouts: is this what Adam Smith would call capitalism? / ;)

    2. JP

      Oil is priced on a global market. If gasoline is costing more, a primary reason is your dollar is worth less. The stock market is somewhat similar. The global big caps (SP500) are doing fine and (cost) are worth more in terms of dollars. Meanwhile domestic small caps have gotten hammered.

      I would hold the S&P 500 to hedge against the declining dollar. At the same time I would bet on small caps because the rubber band has been stretched tight and the economy is strong

      1. griffen

        I’m watching whatever happens in 2024 to 2025 in the oil and energy sector. To my knowledge the US Strategic Reserve is not being actively replenished and the average price per barrel is in the range where it was said, once upon a time, the US government would be putting those barrels back into the SPR.

  5. Carla

    “Unexpected New Covid Symptoms Arise” — “stay cautious out there and if you test positive then it’s best to stay home, isolating from others for at least five days.”

    Yes, “caution” when out and about, and 5 days of isolation for those who test positive — let’s keep this thing mutating for F—ing EVER. That’s our Contagious Disease Central. The CDC, making and keeping us sick.

    1. caucus99percenter

      Freedom of speech in Germany tends to be a lost cause, doomed from the start. Public positions the government dislikes can always, via one-sided legal sophistry, be parsed so as to equate to categories of speech explicitly not protected (i.e. banned) by the constitution — hate speech (Volksverhetzung), glorification of violence, holocaust denial, etc.

      Back when West Germany was faced with the Red Army Faction / the Baader-Meinhof gang — a period some historians refer to as the “German Autumn” or “Leaden Age” (Deutscher Herbst / Bleierne Zeit) — the target was Left counterculture speech (for example, the “Göttingen Mescalero” case).

      Nowadays, though, the tables are turned and German officialdom’s target is mainly right-wing populist counterculture. As well as, of course, anything even vaguely critical of Israel / supportive of Palestine.

  6. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Incredibly illustrative: only 22 bills were signed into law this year by Biden (the lowest ever) BUT Congress introduced a crazy 616 anti-China bill that went nowhere.

    Effectively all about grandstanding to look “tough on China” but getting nothing done.

    The anti-China bills that went nowhere include no less than nine bills aimed at restricting Chinese ownership of agricultural land in the United States, when it is a complete non issue: the total amount of U.S. agricultural land owned by Chinese interests is less than three-hundredths of 1% and is less than what tiny Luxembourg owns

    ( ).

    Which really illustrates how dysfunctional things are: why would you introduce at least 9 bills (!) on this when only 22 bills total – on all topics – were signed into law? Essentially it means that the country’s legislature has become a gaslighting PR exercise instead of fulfilling its role of shaping legislation to improve the country…

    7:46 PM · Dec 28, 2023

    1. ambrit

      I can attest from what I see on the ‘conservative’ affiliated internet silos that the China is buying up all our farmland meme is being strongly propagated. (Still haven’t figured out who benefits from this, yet.)

      1. Pat

        Well it does make Bill Gates campaign to own so much look “patriotic”.

        My bet is that it is a twofer. It distracts from the very real battle of water rights that far too many people were beginning to notice by taking the spotlight away from who is really buying. AND it continues to help build real fear and antipathy towards China which our war hawks need.

    1. Alice X

      Thank you for the link! Lucy’s playing and story brought tears to my eyes. A brief respite from the daily tears for Gaza, Sudan, the Congo… humanity, or rather the lack thereof…


      Indeed. Absolutely beautiful.

      The juxtaposition of Lucy playing to the covid/security state selling out of democracy/ruining of environment links prior was a useful reminder for me.

    3. Louiedog14

      Indeed. Thanks for this. The animals usually cheer me up a bit, but Lucy’s performance was sorely needed.

    4. juno mas

      Yes, Lucy has a special talent. I imagine she has perfect pitch and incredible hand coordination to play with such dynamic expression. I would love to hear her playing some Jazz improvisation. (now back to practicing rifts in F#.)

    5. flora

      She is extraordinary. She IS the music. Thank you.

      adding: we are all in our own ways extraordinary. There are no superfluous persons.

  7. ambrit

    The SovBloc has a sense of humour. That RT video about “controlling” “Creepy” Joe Biden is in the vein of the Ozzie “Good Government” ads, minus the swearing.
    Ochin horoshaw.
    This is a case where the Russians are taking the piss of an American psy-op with their own pseudo-psy-op.
    As we used to say on the job; “F— ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s a keeper that video so grabbed a copy but man, the eyes on that “nurse.” Wanna know the funny thing? If the Russians had been controlling old Joe the past coupla years, they would have cause far, far less damage to America and its place in the world than the present pure, unadulterated Joe Biden. How about that?

      1. Polar Socialist

        FWIW, the “nurse”, or “colonel Simonyan”, is Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Weirdly the version tweeted initially did not have the opening still with her name or the translation of the “signal lost” screenshot in Russian, although you could guess what happened.

          Readers may recall she regularly poses questions to Putin at his big Q&As and Gilbert Doctorow sometimes attributes political significance to them.

          Is the woman with the gray-blond hair pulled back in a pony tail (the one who got to deploy the special Joe-controlling test glove) also a newscaster? She has the look…

  8. Alan Roxdale

    Billionaires, imperialists, and antisemites: The forces behind the assault on opposition to Gaza genocide WSWS (Micael T)

    This piece makes it clear than Bidens reelection is of no consequence for the “Serbian” bloc backing the ethnic cleansing. Indeed, Trumps election means the war and censorship both could get even worse. Like Israel, politics in the US is universally pro-genocide. I think democrats need to seriously consider primarying out the Yugoslavians.

    1. Vicky Cookies

      If your use of the terms “Serbian” and “Yugoslavians” are the dog-whistles they seem to be, kindly remove yourself from public comment until your analysis advances from simple bigotry. Statements like yours asserting that “politics in the US is universally pro-genocide” lack nuance, depth, and intelligent functional direction; it points us nowhere, because it is rooted in nothing.

      If you were referring to Israelis, or to Zionists, or to Likud, or to settlers; if you were referring to American Israel lobby backers, say so. No one, except those who conflate anti-zionism with anti-jewish sentiment, gain from comments like yours.

      Having been around Palestinian solidarity activism, especially since Al-Aqsa Flood, I can say that I have not heard so much as a whisper of anti-jewish hate, in crowds of of people whose families are at risk, some having lost family members. It’s been inspiring that no organizers have had to waste their time pruning racists from the movement. Be a help.

    2. Roger Boyd

      Why use such ridiculous linguistic contrivances, just call them Zionists as it has little to do with religion. Hertzl and the founders of Zionism tended to be religious non-conforming. The WSWS quite excellently noted the linkage to class, the best way to limit such interest group manipulation is to limit their economic power through high marginal taxes for the rich, a wealth tax to claw back some of the gains from the massive tax cuts for the rich over the past few decades, an active anti-trust drive, and the delinking of cash from speech. Then the enforcement of some level of proper independence from the state and billionaire class for the news media.

      Of course, this will not happen and the US Empire will continue to be dragged slowly down to its denouement by its lascivious and deeply corrupt elite classes.

  9. ilsm

    The Hill on selling Bidenomics:

    If the economy is so good, why are the fed and all the pundits hopefully hinting interest rates need to fall!?

    The energy shock was unneeded! A deliberate act by the US in form of sanctions the administration ignored collateral effects.

    While quantitative tightening has slowed to $27B total the past three weeks including yesterdays’ print.

    Too many people worrying about their jobs and Biden’s new adventures into world chaos.

    Who knows who is answering the inflation expectation surveys, they are not asking me!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I guess we can’t say wealth inequality because Biden is President and from Scranton or something. It seems fairly obvious that nothing has changed other than ending Trump’s pandemic response. The strategy of telling people not to believe their lying eyes is effective. Most voters don’t care about how Bill Gate’s land acquisition strategy is going.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        and another text from stublin joe….shamelessly fearmongering about trump’s return.
        i texted back, as is my wont(trying really hard to stay on those lists…its a point of pride for me):
        “im disabled and living off late wife’s stupidly tiny teachers pension…so hell no you damned people cant get any scratch from me.
        Lina Khan is the only positive thing youve done…trillions for military crap that doesnt work…and cant find money for health and welfare.
        and you expect my vote?!
        try earning my vote.”

    2. The Rev Kev

      On the military front it is even worse. Classically the Pentagon planned for a situation where they could be involved simultaneously in major actions in Europe and Asia while having a holding action in the Middle east until resources can be freed to reinforce there. But at the present they are stumped by the Houthies. The massive army that the US used in the First Gulf War may never be possible ever again as the present force is only a shadow of what it once was. They can’t even make the numbers for recruitment. That is why there is talk of recruiting “illegal emigrants” after they cross the border into doing service in the US military. Remember – service guarantees citizenship.

      1. ilsm

        US pentagon is a five sided wind tunnel.

        Money goes in and rushes thru the corridors, never to see light of day nor yield operationally suitable results.

        Red Sea debacle shows no one planned to use the US navy….. but it gets its historic share in the wind tunnel.

        That Russian ship destroyed the other day is the worst unrecognized defeat of the U.S. navy since aeroplanes.

      2. Nikkikat

        Garland Nixon has a very good podcast up with this citizenship issue to solve the military recruitment problem. Definite food for thought. I hope everyone gets a chance to take a listen. It has only been there for a day or two.

      3. Alice X

        >That is why there is talk of recruiting “illegal emigrants” after they cross the border into doing service in the US military.

        Hmm. Didn’t the Roman Empire try something like that?

        1. flora

          All the illegals entering the country are changing the numbers of House Reps each state is allotted. All persons are counted in the US census; citizen, legal immigrant, or illegal immigrant, for purposes of deciding the numbers of Representatives each state gets. If NY, CA, Ill and other states pump up their resident numbers enough in comparison to other states, by any means possible, they’ll be allotted more Reps and other states will lose representatives to keep the magic House total number of reps unchanged.

          Yesterday in WC there was a discussion of the Old South having out-sized voting power in Congress because of counting all the slaves as 3/5ths of a person, contributing to the Old South legally claiming more residents than many Northern states. Illegal immigration could be serving the same political ends for sold blue Dem states and cities.

          B is keeping the southern border open for some reason. Given his record on the crime bill, and more recent adventures, I doubt it’s because he cares about the world’s tired and poor. / my 2 cents.

          1. flora

            The Census is counted every 10 years.
            The next US Census will be counted in 2030.

            an aside: for genealogy buffs old county census records going back over 100 years, available online for many states/counties, can be an excellent trail to follow. Grandparents and great grandparents of state A were born in state B, maybe, to parents named…. It’s kind of interesting.

          2. ambrit

            Naturally, we could try counting “illegals” as 3/5 of a person for the Census figures too. Call it an Originalist strategy.

            1. flora

              Because they aren’t slaves but free persons that idea won’t work in the Originalist strategy. I wouldn’t want it to work. / ;)

            2. flora

              Oh, I get your joke now. A modest proposal. (I’m a little slow on the uptake today, well, most days.) / ;)

    3. Skip Intro

      Decades of gaming economic stats to present a rosy picture, and they wonder why the stats no longer match reality?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Even the good parts represent a problem in that they are nominally good over the environment that ushered in Donald Trump and required over a million extra deaths to achieve. It’s like the problems in Vermont. Young people can’t afford it. Oh, and guess who is supposed to save Team Blue?! People are worn out. Going from 14 to 16 bucks and hour in the real inflation environment isn’t a win for the individual, and that is what matters to a voter.

        Fetterman scolded James Carville in public for discussing Biden’s bad numbers. It seems like Fetterman has gone all in for Biden and is attacking likely Team Blue voters and now Team Blue loyalists instead of Republicans. The White House is completely lost at sea. Blame the Republicans. Blame outgoing senators like Machin and Sinema, but all they have done is guarantee Fetterman will try podcasting in a little over 4 years.

        1. Chris Cosmos

          The Democrats now are tending to look like the Communist Party. Originally, Dems where chaotic and not that disciplined–today it is the RP that is chaotic. Democrats keep a tight discipline due to their absurd and humorous fear of Trump–almost any discussion that strays from orthodoxy (determined by the NYT, i.e., Holy Writ) comes with accusations of being “right-wing” or “you’re obviously a Trump (or Putin) supporter. Thus Democrats create a hero out of Biden always seen as a right-wing Democrat and deeply corrupt. Biden brings together the captive (and scared) professional class of both traditional Democrats and mainstream Republicans, i.e., the “Uniparty” as the only hope to avoid the Trump whose worst sin is that he offends upper-middle-class professionals in his speech Nothing scares NYT/NPR Dems more that the white working-class who will be, eventually, joined by disillusioned members of the non-white working class communities–which is why Democrats emphasize identity politics so much.

      1. CA

        Interestingly and importantly, Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” has been ridiculed by a range of prominent American economists. With the work even subject to a profane dismissal, twice, by Brad DeLong of Berkeley:——grasping-reality-with-tractor-beams.html

        October 4, 2007

        Tyler Cowen Thinks Naomi Klein Believes Her Own Bulls—

        He reads her book. He doesn’t think it meets minimum intellectual standards. I think he is right: now I can borrow Tyler’s ideas and have an informed view…

        1. flora

          Economists. Real world. etc.

          The U.S. economy is humming. So why are Americans so grumpy about it?
          Updated October 26, 202311:20 AM ET


          US Banks Have $620 Billion of Unrealized Losses on Their Books
          Most banks are strong enough to withstand the paper losses. Still, their finances could be squeezed for years to come.

          “Humming” / ;)

            1. ambrit

              All those Homeland Security goons need regular exercise. My idea is to send teams of the Goons, in plainclothes of course, to burn some empty storefronts. Make it a regular “Training Exercise” until the overhang of vacant structures is reduced sufficiently.

          1. Chris Cosmos

            Things are currently “humming” but mainly for the rich. This has been obvious for decades. The lower half of our society has a different view–just ask. But NYT/NPR official reality only caters to the “better” half (actually I would put it as top third). But even that demographic feels something when their children can’t seem to move out of the house and face the reality of ultimately being replaced by robots and AI–which is why UBI schemes will eventually have to be initiated assuming the world doesn’t blow up.

  10. The Rev Kev

    Greek tanker KRITI STATE owned by AVIN, a VARDINOGIANNIS fleet company in Athens, isn’t Israel connected. But through MOTOR OIL HELLAS, the Vardinogiannis refinery in Corinth, it sells oil products to the US NAVY fleet now operating in the Red Sea against the Houthis.’

    Bonus irony points in that that oil originally came from Russia-

      1. flora

        And one thinks about how effective the guns were in the hands of the colonial rulers of their colonies against local, disorganize, under equipped uprisings. Maxim gun for the win… in the colonies. Against equally equipped and organized other European countries not so much. “It will be over by Christmas”, followed by a long, bloody slog through the trenches.

        1. The Rev Kev

          A guy called Hilaire Belloc coined a quote in 1898 saying ‘Whatever happens, we have got, the Maxim, and they have not.’

          1. flora

            Less than 20 later than 1898 the first industrial manufacturing capacity war between nearly equally matched European countries began. Industrial capacity against non-industrial capacity, against the colonies was an entirely different experience from European countries against each other in WWI. (I include old RU as a EU country at that time.)

            The UK’s then Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Jellicoe, won plaudits in the Anglo-Egyptian war and the Boxer rebellion. In WWI he was faced with a new situation and seemed to falter. He was relieved of command in 1917. His thinking and strategies brilliant in colonial wars were outdated for peer country wars, imo. It happens. We all have our brief time when our knowledge is equal to the demands of the time. His time, by WWI and the rise of the industrial revolution, had passed. Many other British and European generals’ time had passed. In British term, the red tabs were shown to be inept. Cavalry charges into machine gun (Maxim gun) emplacements? The tactics and strategy from 19th century the generals, the red tabs, had schooled on no longer worked. / my 2 cents.

  11. voislav

    On situation in Serbia

    It’s pretty annoying to read the analysis calling fairly minor protests in Serbia “Maidan” and “western attempted coup” when the situation is quite different. So what is really going on? The answer is simple, position of the Vucic government is quite shaky due to several factors, but primarily due to push to recognize Kosovo.

    To back up a bit, the reason for calling this election was due to the need to call for a national vote on Kosovo recognition early next year. At least that was the original plan. Serbian constitution prohibits any Kosovo deal, so it would need to be changed and that requires a national vote. Vucic already lowered the bar by changing the approval rules from 50% of registered voters to 50% of cast votes. Vucic was originally brought into power in 2012 to deliver the Kosovo deal and now he is being heavily pressured to deliver.

    So what went wrong? Serbia had 2 mass shooting earlier this year on a same day, one in a school which was widely publicized, and another in a smaller town which flew under the radar. Government response was abysmal and stirred up a lot of discontent. In both cases mass shooters were “protected” persons, meaning that their previous transgressions were ignored and covered up due to their family connections to the government and the security services. Prosecution of the mass shooters is proceeding at a glacial pace for the same reason.

    In order to boost popularity Vucic tried to stage an armed rebellion in Kosovo a few weeks ago, which failed miserably and implicated one of his close associates who was forced to flee to Serbia. There are also numerous more localized issues, the Chinese-owned copper mine in the east, Rio Tinto prospective lithium mine in the west, explosions at the munitions factory, etc.

    All of these have caused Vucic to severely underperform. I won’t even go into election fairness, the usual ballot stuffing (Serbia has more registered voters than inhabitants) and typical pressures on people to vote for the ruling party by threatening their jobs. Despite all these, the ruling coalition (Vucic’s SNS + SPS + minor parties) dropped more than 15% from the last election and barely held on to the majority in the parliament.

    More important for this election was the question of what are called “security” parties. These are parties that are nominally opposition, but will vote with the government when needed and are controlled by the government security services. These parties were the key for changing the constitution as that requires a 2/3 majority vote in the parliament. All of these got wiped out, none managed to qualify for the parliament, which will make it difficult for Vucic to change the constitution next year.

    So what’s happening now? Opposition parties protest after every elections. In 2020 they boycotted the elections completely. The protests are smaller than usual, typically they are in the 10-30,000 range, this year they are more like 5,000. So why is the government so concerned? One factor is they lost the capital, they don’t have enough votes in the Belgrade municipal assembly. This despite staging local elections so that they are held in only 1/3 of municipalities, allowing them to illegally register 30-40,000 of their supporters to vote in Belgrade municipal elections. Belgrade is important because it generates a lot of revenue through municipal government-owned services, controls several major media outlets and most importantly controls voting. So no more ballot stuffing in a city that contains a third of the country’s population. Government has been trying to buy off some seats and get a majority but has been unsuccessful.

    So what was supposed to be a reaffirmation of government’s mandate (last election was only a year and a bit ago) turned into a disaster, especially given the upcoming constitutional vote. Government has been running its usual playbook of accusing opposition of being in pay of foreign intelligence services, calling them traitors and attempting a violent overthrow, but for some reason this is now amplified by the foreign media. As I said, this is no different than any other election and most of the violence (as usual) is instigated by undercover police, sometimes to a comical effect, where one undercover officer was beaten into the hospital by uniformed officers.

    What to look out for? The constitutional vote. Vucic called these elections to buy time. That has backfired and Europe and US will expect him to deliver nevertheless. US especially has a lot of dirty material on Vucic and his brother, look up the Belivuk gang affair, which caused a government meltdown and took out Vucic’s right hand man Nebojsa Stefanovic. That was a warning shot which Vucic took very seriously.

    1. pjay

      So if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Vucic is actually a US/NATO lackey, and that these charges are actually cover to carry out the West’s agenda?

      1. voislav

        Not necessarily a lackey, but a person susceptible to pressure/blackmail. His rise to power in 2012 was engineered by US and EU, who convinced Ivica Dacic of SPS to switch from the ruling coalition to a new coalition with Vucic.

        Since then he’s been steadily moving towards Kosovo recognition and actually had an agreement in place with previous Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci, which fell through after Thaci lost elections to current PM Kurti. Now a new agreement is in place with Kurti so things are moving forward again.

        There was no real Western agenda in Serbia other than Kosovo, hence Vucic was allowed to dabble in business deals with Russian and Chinese companies, which made him and his family very rich, but also very vulnerable. Issues only begun to arise after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which increased the pressure to resolve the Kosovo question quickly and prevent it from becoming a trouble spot.

        Serbia and its political class is really controlled by the local security apparatus, which is largely aligned with US and German security services, although there is some Russian influence.

        1. anahuna

          After reading your exceedingly interesting and educational comments and passing some of them on, I found that the All-Seeing Eye had dropped this from The Hollywood Reporter into my news feed overnight:
          “How a Serbian Film About World War II Got Caught in a Modern-Day Political Crossfire.”

          Something called “Heroes of Halyard,” about an operation to rescue American troops during WWIi. Sounds like a pure propaganda vehicle, and makes me wonder about the funding behind it. The article goes on to condemn the “populist” (ultimate new smear word) Vucic who has just won a “sweeping victory” for his closeness to Russia.

          The Hollywood Reporter isn’t on my usual reading list. A multi-pronged campaign?

    2. Mikel

      “In both cases mass shooters were “protected” persons, meaning that their previous transgressions were ignored and covered up due to their family connections to the government and the security services…”

      That is intriguing. In the USA, land of mass shootings, that doesn’t fit the usual profile given in the media.

  12. digi_owl

    “I looked out my airplane window and was stunned — TikTok helped me solve the mystery New York Post (BC)”

    Makes me think of the greenhouse back where i grew up, and how it would turn the winter night sky orange when it snowed.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Israel is sinking in Gaza’s quagmire without any feasible objectives.”

    I think that the Israelis are finally waking up to one of the fundamentals of warfare. In a guerilla war, those fighters don’t have to actually win the war. They only have to not lose it. Bonus points if those fighters can inflict enormous damage and casualties to the occupying force. The weird thing? Even though the Israeli Dalek Forces (IDF) cannot defeat Hamas, their Cabinet is making noises about taking on Hezbollah which is a force actually capable of inflicting a strategic defeat on Israel itself. And right now the Israelis are so desperate that they launched a massive raid on the West Bank to empty out banks and exchange bureaus on the grounds that they are financing terrorists with all that money. How embarrassing a lie is that?

    1. CA

      Notice the extent of American defense spending:

      December 21, 2023

      Defense spending was 56.3% of federal government consumption and
      investment in July through September 2023. *

      $1,009.1 / $1,791.9 = 56.3%

      Defense spending was 21.0% of all government consumption and
      investment in July through September 2023.

      $1,009.1 / $4,794.8 = 21.0%

      Defense spending was 3.7% of GDP in July through September 2023.

      $1,009.1 / $27,610.1 = 3.7%

      * Billions of dollars

      1. CA

        Probably a foolish comment, but:

        Considering the defense emphasis in America and Israel, the seeming intelligence-defense problems that America and Israel have had in being effectual with regard to Ukraine, Gaza, Lebanon, the coast of Yemen, Chinese space exploration, the South China Sea and the general containing of China, reflect a seeming lack of strategic understanding that is as stark as surprising.

        1. Skip Intro

          It depends whether you measure success by geopolitical aims achieved, or by cash skimmed from fractally bloated procurement systems.

          Look at the ‘failures’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example.

    2. vao

      The fundamental principles of Carl von Clausewitz apply: has Israel achieved the three necessary objectives for a total military victory?

      1) Control of the disputed territory: no; Hamas, PIJ, PFLP continue to attack the IDF in the zones officially fallen under the control of Israel (and accessorily, throwing missiles at Israel proper).

      2) Destruction of the enemy forces: no; despite their losses, Hamas, PIJ, PFLP continue to throw organized units properly staffed and supplied with equipment into battle.

      3) Elimination of the enemy’s will to fight: no; Palestinians have not surrendered, on the contrary — polls indicate that armed resistance is viewed vastly more favourably than before the 7th of October. In fact, the number of enemies spoiling for a fight or active has grown (Lebanese Hezbollah, Yemenite Ansarallah, various Iraqi and Syrian groups).

      But objectively, even if the Palestinians win by not losing, it will amount to a most harrowing pyrrhic victory.

      1. Polar Socialist

        South Africa seems to have today asked the International Court of Justice to start proceedings against Israel for genocide. Or, more precisely, to investigate “violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”.

        One could assume that the real international pressure against Israel is only beginning to grow.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ““Reality Is Submerged in Fantasy”: The Villages Is a Boomer’s Utopia—And Demographic Time Bomb”

    This place sounds almost like a standard retirement home setup. Bring in old people and charge them. When they pop off bring in the next ones so that long term there is a churn of residents. Of course this is only possible because of the huge bow wave of baby boomers as they go into the end stages of their lives. When we baby boomers are finally all gone, then I suppose that they can reuse that place as low cost living or something for younger people.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No it is not.

      First, these communities seldom have their own golf courses and nevah their own papers, etc.

      Second, they all have at least assisted living and a nursing home. May be too small, may have crap Medicare ratings, but it seen as an integral part of the package.

  15. Barnabas Frid

    Snyder-cut of Z-mission just dropped! It was almost a year ago, in January 2023, Russian claimed victory over Maryinka. ‘Guessing “Maryinka” is up again in the victory rotation. And why not? Russia has been fighting in Maryinka for nearly a decade, so Russia earned a few wins for the tank, to celebrate over, as needed. This small town has been flattened for sometime; without canopy cover, there are no defensive positions there. Russia can fly a drone over the rubble, then consider Ukrainian spirits crushed. Do it all again next year!

    Day 675. You never get the exact dystopia for which one reckoned. Rather than conquer Ukraine, or overthrow the Kyivan regime, Putin’s retinue prefers to bleed their own political rivals within military command white. Carve a few petro-boyars down to a nub under cover of national security. Can’t have a incredulous modern Gen Zhukov, in an election year, stomping through the Kremlin Arsenal with the ears of billionaires.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      “Russia” did not claim victory over Maryinka last Jan. MoD is extremely conservative about that sort of thing. Pro-Russian commentators on Telegram did.

      I had wondered why Russia had been so slow to take Maryinka. Detailed commentary as the battle has progressed has revealed how heavily fortified the city is, much more so than Bakhumut, including a promontory, a slag heap, which gave the side controlling it great fire advantage. It was costly for Russia to take it but they have.

      The did NOT take the lowlands quickly (they took the slag heap and a crescent-shaped ridge, which is ~3/4 of the city so as to create another Bakhmut meat grinder, to let Ukraine troops try to retake the city from a very disadvantaged position.

    2. alfred venison

      Canopy cover is irrelevant in a site bristling with (ahem) Tunnels. The town had been systematically reinforced for over a decade, with concrete tunnels, trench networks, and pill boxes on every street. The Ukrainian military decided long ago to make it a battlefield.

      1. juno mas

        …because the location allowed them to attack the civilians in Donetsk City with impunity. (Until it didn’t.)

  16. Lovell

    So Milei is now about to drown the Argentinian state in a bathtub and create, putatively, a Hayekian utopia. Interesting how that experiment will unfold in a couple of years.

    1. vao

      Massive emigration of Argentinians back to Italy, Spain, and the other European countries of origin of their forefathers?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Either there or you will probably see lots of Argentinians turn up at the southern border. Certainly in the hundreds of thousands.

    2. flora

      Hmmm. I remember Pinochet was a fan of Hayak’s ideas. Wonder where Milei will decamp to when his ‘revolution’ fails. / ;)

  17. Amfortas the Hippie

    anybody have a link to that snippet from a while back that child poverty in usa went down under trump…then back up under biden?
    had to do with the child tax credit, and other pandemic stuff.

    1. marym

      As part of the 2018 tax cuts there was an increase in the child tax credit in the Trump years which benefitted some families but not – according to the linked “fact check” – “more than 26 million children in low-and moderate-income families — those whose earnings are so low they owe little or no federal taxes.”

      The expanded child tax credit that was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan in 2021 (Biden, not Trump) was only for 1 year. The Democrats claimed to want to extend it in 2022 but blamed the failure on Manchin who was against it in a 50-50 Senate.

    2. Lee

      Here’s year by year chart or U.S. poverty rates, 1990 to 2021: Statista. The stats would strongly indicate that the Trump years were significantly better for the poor than during other recent administrations including the current one.

      As to the particular snippet you have in mind, I can’t say. News search for “childhood poverty in the united states by year” brings up a lot of hits that may or may not bring up what you seek. Cheers, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

    3. IM Doc

      As is usual with everything else – I take a look around me with what is happening on the ground and do not pay one second of attention to official statistics coming out of DC or published by state organs like NYT CNN MSNBC FOX or others.

      With regard to child poverty in our area. It seems that in the recent past, under the direction of the Biden administration – Trump has nothing to do with this – the school lunch program had some kind of cut. The particulars of which I do not know. There are now 4-5 kids in each of my kids classes who have parents unable to foot the bill for their lunch. So, we have the very awkward situation for young kids of sitting in the cafeteria watching everyone else eat while you cannot afford it. Instead of that scenario, the teachers got together with other parents – and extra food is being packed in our kids’ lunches every day. This is handled by the teachers on the down low. America in 2023 – what a disgrace.

      My family and I do what we can do when opportunities present themselves. The feeling of complete impotence is overwhelming.

      I am not complaining. I know for sure that what they are getting is much better for them than the junk usually in school these days. And the last thing I want to do is have any of these kids embarrassed or worse malnourished. But what is painful for the soul – is this being handled in this kind of manner everywhere else in this country? I seriously doubt it……and when are the politicos going to get around to doing something about this. Billions to Ukraine would go a long way for these kids.

      But absolutely never in my wildest dreams did I ever think anything like this would happen under a Democratic admin. Even if it was the fault of the Trump admin, they should be rushing to fix it. Daniel Patrick Moynihan must be rolling in his grave. Yet another reason I will not even consider voting for them until an enema has happened.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, futility and dismay at current events, local or otherwise, makes for a distraught politics. May the New Year bring renewal to my favorite Doc.

      2. CA

        February 28, 2023

        Low-Income Families Brace for End of Extra Food Stamp Benefits
        When a pandemic-era boost ends on Wednesday, more than 30 million people will lose a significant amount of assistance.
        By Linda Qiu

        WASHINGTON — Tens of millions of low-income families are set to lose additional food stamp benefits on Wednesday after the expiration of a pandemic-era policy that had increased the amount they received, leaving food banks bracing for a surge in demand and some advocates predicting a rise in hunger nationwide.

        For nearly three years of the pandemic, emergency legislation enacted by Congress sought to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus, allowing all participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to receive the maximum monthly benefit, regardless of income. The extra cash, along with other economic assistance programs, helped keep food insecurity at bay and cut poverty rates to a record low.

        But that temporary increase lapses for more than 30 million people across 35 states and territories on Wednesday, effectively cutting benefits for the vast majority of recipients as inflation remains persistently high and many other coronavirus-era programs end.

        “This is a cost shift from the federal government,” said Ellen Vollinger, the SNAP director at the nonprofit Food Research & Action Center. “It just shifts the burden of hunger onto states and counties, to the charitable sector, but of course, most harshly, it shifts the burden to that household to try to make do with even less.” …

      3. CA

        Increasing rents have presented a major program for lower income families, and coupled with a loss of Food Stamp benefits, food problems for lower income families sadly increase:

        December 11, 2023

        Record Rent Burdens Batter Low-Income Life
        More tenants than ever spend half or more of their income for shelter, leaving less for everything else, taking an emotional toll and leaving some without a place to call their own.
        By Jason DeParle

      4. marym

        I would guess there are numerous factors (including layers of enrollment bureaucracy) that have an impact on free school meal eligibility and participation. The National School Lunch program website says income eligibility guidelines are adjusted annually based on the CPI as required by the National School Lunch Act. Some but not all states automatically enroll students if they’re on Medicaid. Being enrolled in other safety net programs can qualify for free or reduced price lunches. At the state level some states have passed their own legislation to make meals free for all. There was news recently about 2 states opting not to participate in a federal summer food assistance program. The second link below says it’s a continuation of a pandemic era program.

        (This is not to absolve Biden, Congress, or state legislatures from any specific responsibility or from their general participation in the corruption of “our democracy” that won’t even feed its children. What a good thing your community is doing, though, as you say, it’s a disgrace that they need to do it.)

        1. juno mas

          Yes, feeding school kids good food allows them to fully participate in that days lessons. And helps avoid the stress and strife that accompanies some poor neighborhoods. It is cheaper than paying for the “corrections cycle” with hungry and recalcitrant people later.

          Good food, good air, and good exercise makes Jack and Jill more chill :)

      5. Chris Cosmos

        Biden is the first and most authentic “Uniparty” POTUS. So the abandonment of the working class that started in the late seventies (when money became the goal of the DP) and magnified by Clinton is now a normal part of the DP.

      6. JBird4049

        Forget Covid for if you cannot eat, you cannot think and learning becomes impossible. Nice country we have here.

  18. Kouros

    How do we know that it wasn’t in fact a Ukrainian mine that hit that cargo ship in the Black Sea?

    Is this a sacrificial lamb to push some US ships (minesweepers) in the Black Sea for sell to Romania/Bulgaria, as suggested by War on the Rock…?

    1. ambrit

      Ah, we did forget about the joint American Norwegan minesweeper ploy of recent vintage. The scheme was to circumvent the Turkish policy, actually an international treaty, that allows them to restrict passage of military vessels not associated with the Black Sea littoral nations through the Straits of Constantinople. The minesweepers are promoted as purely defensive vessels. No harm, no foul, supposedly. Alas, any military design can be “adapted” for other purposes.
      Let one minesweeper get it’s bow under and into the tent and soon the entire fleet will follow.

    2. nippersdad

      The only mines in the Black Sea that I recall being reported were those initially put out by Ukraine. Lots of them became untethered early on, and my assumption was that this was just another one that got away. I read it not so much as taking one for the team so much as taking PR advantage of previous fails.

      There is always a new Goat of Kiev that needs to be propagated, this just sounds like another one for the books to be written later.

  19. Feral Finster

    ““Scholz is more afraid of angering the Americans than his own voters” Anti-Spiegel via machine translation (Micael T)”


    Scholz is a puppet, with less authority in his own house than the family dog.

  20. Gregorio

    re: “Far-right extremists stage rural land grab across Germany” When does buying up distressed and run down property become “a land grab?”

  21. Tom Stone

    What America needs is a ‘War on Sanity.”
    The USA hasn’t won a Foreign War since WW2 and on the domestic front the “War on Poverty” gave us record homelessness and childhood poverty while the “War on Drugs” gave us 94,000 overdose deaths last year from Fentanyl alone.
    It seems self evident from these results that a “War on Sanity” would be of great benefit to the whole World and not just the USA.
    And I can’t think of any World leader better fitted to this task than Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

    1. JBird4049

      Well, I would expand on this by saying the “War on (some) Drugs” has created the largest incarcerated population on Earth. Then add that it is an average of just over $31,000 to imprison someone and do not think that it is happenstance that the first or second poorest state in the Union is Louisiana, which has the greatest percent of its population imprisoned.

      We can all argue over public assistance, but it is strange that as a country, we are more willing to pay the cost of imprisoning someone, than to used the same amount to house and teach him some trade
      or provide a degree, which were the same(until the recent insane increase in housing costs that is).

      It seems like the intent is not to fight crime, but to create crime, much as all those wars, or the War on Terror, do not create peace or safety, but provide ample profits for somebody, or is that silly talk?

    2. Kouros

      America has been waging the War on Sanity for quite some time now. I think what you meant is a War for Sanity…

      1. Snailslime

        I think the joke is that America’s wars always achieve the exact opposite of their stated goal so an official “war on sanity” would actually increase sanity instead of crushing it further.

  22. flora

    re: Haley’s Civil War remarks stir backlash at crucial moment for campaign

    There’s an easy way, a few easy ways Haley could throw that question back on any “Dem” questioner and knock the ball back into the Dem’s court. I won’t correct Haley while she’s making a mistake, however. / ;)

    1. bayoustjohndavid

      Is the Dem establishment actually worried about Haley? The thing with Haley seems too similar to something that happened to Elizabeth Warren four years ago, while Sanders was recovering from heart surgery (changing Warren from potential tool of the Dem establishment to potential threat to the Dem establishment). Seemingly out of the blue, an ordinary New Hampshire voter* asked Elizabeth Warren to compare medicare for all to ending slavery. When she correctly, but awkwardly, said that anything that threatens moneyed interests will involve a hard fight, several Wall Street aligned Black politicians & media figures reacted with indignation. Links here and here.
      Not suggesting some kind of big conspiracy, and I’m certainly not trying to elicit sympathy for either Haley or Warren, just wondering if part of the Dem establishment playbook is to trip up people with unexpected questions about U.S. history from “ordinary” audience members.
      Also, I thought the similarity was worth noting.

      *I looked him up, and he seemed to be a retired PR guy or spokesman for local utilities, IIRC

  23. CA

    Harvard’s first Black doctorate in history, answered the question of the cause of the war definitively in 1903:

    April 25, 1903

    The Souls of Black Folk
    By W.E.B. Du Bois

    The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line,—the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War; and however much they who marched South and North in 1861 may have fixed on the technical points, of union and local autonomy as a shibboleth, all nevertheless knew, as we know, that the question of Negro slavery was the real cause of the conflict. Curious it was, too, how this deeper question ever forced itself to the surface despite effort and disclaimer. No sooner had Northern armies touched Southern soil than this old question, newly guised, sprang from the earth,—What shall be done with Negroes? …

    1. skippy

      Which begs the question of Race, back to its origins, noted that class wealth or status has shifted the singular use over many eras.

      1. flora

        Indeed. Beginning, I think, when indentured servants transported to the US from England and other European countries weren’t enough long term for the growing captive manpower needs for the plantations system, then the largest wealth creator in the US. Even indentured servants – white, brown, or black weren’t enough manpower to maintain the rising plantation economies. Indentured servants were “freed” of their obligations after 7 years. While white and brown peoples could easily join the general populace after their term of indentured bondage was over the black populace could not so easily do. Purchased slaves – black or brown – became forever bondage labor. There was no contract for labor for a defined period of time for purchased slaves. Some of the wealthiest slave auction houses were in the north, in Boston and other northern Atlantic trading depots.

        I will add that Pres. John Adams and his son, the later John Quincy Adams were ardent abolitionists. While J.Q.Adams had little regard for the rough mannered western congressman Lincoln, his regard for Lincoln as an abolistionist was unparalleled.

        But, sure, lets make all of US history one single thing of unabridged r*cism. / Meh

        1. flora

          adding,: the more I think about it, the more I think the Dem party does not want black and brown people to feel and believe themselves to be fully equal in citizenship in the country. The Dem estab wants them to be a forever victim the Dem estab can ride for it’s own virtuosity protecting said victims as their Dem moral claim to rule.

          (0h man, I need to take a break. ha. See you all after the new year. Happy New Year to you all.)

      2. marym

        Eric Foner on Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B.Du Bois

        Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880 is a complex, frustrating, but indispensable book. Its analysis is highly sophisticated, and its language often approaches the poetic, yet the reader may well become lost in the welter of details about Reconstruction in each state of the old Confeder­acy, which takes up the middle two hundred pages of the book. In this essay, I want to elucidate some of the key themes that unite Black Reconstruction and help explain why nearly eight decades after its publication, it remains one of the landmarks of US historical scholarship.

        While Du Bois is attentive to the power of racism in shaping white responses to Reconstruction, he also stresses the importance of class conflict in the era’s politics. During the 1930s, Du Bois had been influenced by Marx­ian ideas, which he assimilated into his own long­standing political outlook. In Black Reconstruction, the fate of Reconstruction is worked out via a com­plex set of class relations involving capitalists, laborers, and farmers in the North and planters, emancipated slaves, and “poor whites” in the South.”

        The link below is to a page that has the link to the PDF containing the quote. That link is many lines in length, the information after the ? being a “token” whatever that is, so I didn’t include it here.

Comments are closed.