Links 3/25/2024

Geomagnetic storm from a solar flare could disrupt radio communications and create a striking aurora AP

How to stay safe during the April 8 solar eclipse How to stay safe? If you travel, try to find a motel where the doors open directly to the outside so you don’t have to share air in hallways, the lobby, or elevators. And so what if there’s no mint on the pillow?

Is private equity’s bet on life insurance turning sour? FT


The world is warming faster than scientists expected FT. In the next quarter?

Bats are in trouble. That’s not good for anyone who likes mezcal, rice or avocado Guardian

Do the Health Benefits of Boiling Drinking Water Outweigh the Negative Impacts of Increased Indoor Air Pollution Exposure? (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Boiling water generally resulted in net decreases in [disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)].” Second time in as many days that I’ve encountered this DALY acronym.

The Ocean Vents Where Life on Earth Likely Began JSTOR Daily


The Attack on Long Covid Anthony Leonardi, Easy Chair

“This Would Translate to About 10,000 Deaths” Reflections From the Start of the Pandemic Science-Based Medicine. Ioannidis still making bank, just like Bhattacharya, Killdorff, Jha, and all the rest of ’em.

How Covid Changed Nursing The Baffler

There’s a New Fungus in Town and It Won’t Be the Last MedPage Today


‘Structural’ problem: top China scholar says US tensions will be ‘with us for a long time’ South China Morning Post

China must reinvent itself to turn economy around, says IMF’s Georgieva Business Standard

China’s Personal Income Tax Haul Slumps 15.9% in First Two Months Yi Cai

The Koreas

South Korea Starts Ship-Launched Ballistic Missile Development Naval News


US and Japan plan biggest upgrade to security pact in over 60 years FT

Ill at the Plague Festival Orion. Shinto.


India’s coal & lignite production at ‘historical’ one billion tonnes The Hindu


What African architecture can teach the world BBC


Israeli war to end with Jews settling northern Gaza: Knesset member Anadolu Agency

Chris Hedges: Israel’s Trojan Horse Consortium News. The pier.

Israeli attack on Rafah will be ‘huge mistake,’ says US vice president Anadolu Agency

The Enduring Power of Purim The Tablet. Cf. Esther 1:22.

New Not-So-Cold War

Former CIA agent: Putin putting blame on Ukraine for Moscow attack is ‘nonsense’ The Hill.

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 23, 2024 Institute for the Study of War. “ISW assesses that the Islamic State (IS) is very likely responsible for the Crocus City Hall attack.”

How Ukraine war distracted Moscow from Isis-K threat FT. Look! Over there!

* * *

Putin seeks to tie concert hall attack to Ukraine despite ISIS claim Axios

3 suspects in Moscow concert hall attack plead guilty in court India Today

What we know after the Islamic State group claims responsibility for Moscow massacre AP

Concert hall attack dents Putin’s tough image. He tries to use it to rally support for Ukraine war AP

* * *

‘Massive’ Russian air attack hits Western Ukraine, Kyiv; Poland says its airspace violated France24

DTEK has lost 50% of generating capacity, repairs will take months – Yasno CEO Ukrainska Pravda

Thermal power plant and all transformer substations in Kharkiv destroyed Ukrainska Pravda

Russians damage ground infrastructure of gas storage of Ukrainian oil and gas company Ukrainska Pravda

The War Biosphere: A Lecture by Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah Internationalist 360°

The ‘Rules-Based Order’ Is Already Over The American Conservative

Global Election Year

Is Democracy Under Attack In India? Madras Courier

South of the Border

Rio Police Chief Arrested for Killing Marielle Franco Payday Report

Biden Adminsitration

Scoop: Biden’s border nuclear option is still on the table Axios

Spook Country

Supreme Court Justices Question Standing, Evidence in Murthy v. Missouri Tech Policy Press

Digital Watch

Monitoring AI-Modified Content at Scale: A Case Study on the Impact of ChatGPT on AI Conference Peer Reviews (preprint) aRxiv. AI crapification proceeds like grass through a goose:

Some useful heuristics there…

A modest proposal: No smartphones for kids Axios

A Big Defeat for Big Tech Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate


U.S. Sues Apple Over iPhone Monopoly Michael Tsai. A good round-up.

Monopoly Round-Up: How FTC Chair Lina Khan Cut Inhaler Costs to $35 Matt Stoller, BIG

Zeitgeist Watch

World Happiness Report 2024 Gallup. The “1980” factoid is interesting:

Why the **** does everyone swear all the ******* time? Vox


Exclusive: More Than 70% of Americans Feel Failed by the Health Care System Guardian. Thanks, Obama:

Guys, come on. It’s not funny anymore.

Supply Chain

The Brutality of Sugar: Debt, Child Marriage and Hysterectomies NYT (Furzy Mouse).

DHL says globalization expands despite geopolitical and policy headwinds DC Velocity


Boeing union wants board seat to ‘save company from itself’ – report Seeking Alpha

Why Is Boeing Such a Crappy Company? Robert Reich, LA Progressive

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Addicted to Losing The Anarchist Library

Class Warfare

Long Beach Post staffers laid off after moving to unionize and going on strike LA Times

Can States Use Economic Incentives to Discourage Card Check Agreements? On Labor

Nobel laureate economist savages his own profession as clueless and unethical Crikey (Turtle).

Law and Historical Materialism (PDF) Duke Law Journal

I’m 60 – and want to live to 100. Will my years of drinking and inactivity be a problem? Guardian. Not if there’s any justice in the world!

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Mambo Number Five by Lou Bega)

    Ladies and gentlemen, we say ‘No One Left Alive’

    No. One. Left. Alive.
    We are gonna leave a scar, right at dawn, let’s fly
    Bombs are bigger, sure, to kill the for’ner
    We’ve got a load turn us loose,
    Say a prayer to Madonna full thrust, throttles at their peak
    We’re flying deep doncha fall asleep
    We’ve got a thousand planes just follow the leader
    There’s a fire down there and we’re gonna feed her
    Too many planes to count we have a mighty horde
    In a Lancaster or a Flying Fort
    Bombers fly like they should let ’em dump it!
    Please Lord let ’em dump it!

    We terror bombed in Guernica that was dire
    We terror bombed in Tokyo it’s on fire
    We terror bombed in Dresden let ’em bleed
    We terror bomb in Gaza make ’em flee
    We terror bombed in Hamburg till we won
    We terror bombed in Warsaw all day long
    We terror bombed in Hanoi our grand slam
    We’ll terror bomb wherever that’s our plan

    No One Left Alive! (Ha)

    The bombs go down with a siren sound
    Slam into the ground, tossing people around
    Willy Pete left, Willy Pete right
    Some bombs have wings for a gentle glide
    Some napalm in front cuz it burns so nice
    There’s lots of bombs and the pattern’s tight

    We terror bombed in Guernica that was dire
    We terror bombed in Tokyo it’s on fire
    We terror bombed in Dresden let ’em bleed
    We terror bomb in Gaza make ’em flee
    We terror bombed in Hamburg till we won
    We terror bombed in Warsaw all day long
    We terror bombed in Hanoi our grand slam
    We’ll terror bomb wherever that’s our plan (Ha)

    (Ha) Dump it!
    Just dump it!
    No One Left Alive!

    We terror bombed in Guernica that was dire
    We terror bombed in Tokyo it’s on fire
    We terror bombed in Dresden let ’em bleed
    We terror bomb in Gaza make ’em flee
    We terror bombed in Hamburg till we won
    We terror bombed in Warsaw all day long
    We terror bombed in Hanoi our grand slam
    We’ll terror bomb wherever that’s our plan (Ha)

    We will kill you
    From above with a perfect view
    When we’re done all the people die
    Those huge bombs falling from the sky

    No One Left Alive! (Ha!)

    1. Wukchumni

      {standing applause}

      Ever notice how in entertainment when something bombs, it’s always a failure?

        1. Lee

          When I was a kid some seven decades ago, which makes me now old enough to run for president, we had a cat that had a serious wound on the side of her head. We couldn’t afford to have her treated by a veterinarian and figured she would die. Our dog regularly licked that wound over a period of several weeks and the cat healed up and fully recovered. That dog did not particularly like cats and had actually killed one belonging to a neighbor that came into our yard. I suppose the dog considered our cat to be a fellow pack member, while all others were not.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Strange that as I can see that page here in Oz. The subtitle is ‘The “temporary pier” being built on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza is not there to alleviate the famine, but to herd Palestinians onto ships and into permanent exile.’

      1. communistmole

        Conclusion of his article:

        “Israel, by design, is creating a humanitarian crisis of such catastrophic proportions, with thousands of Palestinians killed by bombs, shells, missiles, bullets, starvation and infectious diseases, that the only option will be death or deportation. The pier is where the last act in this gruesome genocidal campaign will be played out as Palestinians are herded by Israeli soldiers onto ships.

        How appropriate that the Biden administration, without whom this genocide could not be carried out, will facilitate it.”

        1. Neutrino

          Just wait until you and I, along with everyone else in the west gets blamed for not doing enough to take in Palestinian refugees. That buildup, cathartic thrust and crescendo will coincide with some midnight renditions to, uh, select countries.

      2. Cristobal

        So what do you think? Has someone in the EU put the site on their shit list, or is It just a passing thing? This site is old and ( to me) as clean as NC.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “3 suspects in Moscow concert hall attack plead guilty in court”

    Saw these guys being frog marched into a Russian court tonight and they did not bother being gentle. The news commentator was obsessed by the fact that they had been beaten up and maybe tortured but they were lucky that the Russians had enough discipline to capture them rather than to kill them when they had the chance. They really wanted viewers to sympathize with these guys. If four guys had shot up a concert in phoenix, Arizona killing over a hundred people and were making a dash for the Mexican border in their car and were intercepted by US FBI/police, I am fairly certain that the only recognizable part of that escape attempt would have been the engine block. Here is footage of one of these guys being captured- (1:47 mins)

    No sympathy for those guys.

    1. Polar Socialist

      A facet of this that I haven’t seen discussed here but was mentioned in for example Awful Avalance, reporting what’s being written in Russia, is that using Tadjiks for this act of terrorism fits quite well with the grand scheme of trying to sow internal discord in Russia – just what the sanctions were aiming to do, what the car bombs were aiming to do and so on.

      Many Russians do have an issue with “uncontrolled” immigration from the “stans” and the crime that comes with them. It’s almost as if this was aimed to flame up ethnic frictions in Russia. And it seems that Russian media is already responding by telling how a Muslim kid saved hundreds of people from the burning building and strongly pointing out that the immigration discussion is a separate issue from this terrorist act and that ethnic friction is precisely what the West now wants.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘And it seems that Russian media is already responding by telling how a Muslim kid saved hundreds of people from the burning building’

        You must mean this gutsy 15 year-old kid-

        ‘A teenager who led over 100 people to safety during Friday’s terrorist attack at a Moscow concert hall, has been hailed as a hero. 15-year-old Islam Khalilov, who worked part-time in one of the cloakrooms at Crocus City, recounted the events of the tragic evening to the Ruptly video agency.’

        And his courage is being acknowledged widely-

        ‘After Khalilov’s feat had been reported-on by several Russian media outlets, his favorite football club, FC Spartak Moscow, invited him to a meeting where he was presented with free passes to their matches.

        Popular Russian rap artist Morgenstern said he had transferred 1,000,000 rubles ($11,000) to the teenager – something that Khalilov has confirmed to media.

        The leader of Russia’s Muslims, Mufti Ravil Guynutdin, has announced that Khalilov would receive a medal for his bravery.’

        One of Lambert’s helpers but man, he looks so young.

      2. pjay

        – “Former CIA agent Marc Polymeropoulos said that Russian President Vladimir Putin casting blame for the Moscow concert hall shooting on Ukraine is “nonsense.””

        As today’s Links indicate, there seems to be a definite theme in Western media coverage of this incident. I don’t know if this has been cited yet, but Andrew Korybko provides a number of relevant reasons why this is anything but “nonsense”:

        1. flora

          an aside: I really miss Gonzalo Lira’s commentary. Trying to imagine what he might say about what’s happening.

            1. ambrit

              And that he, as an American passport holder was “allowed” to be detained on political charges in the Ukraine, which was the ultimate reason for his death.
              This Administration is facilitating the emergence of a modern Know Nothing Party in the United States.

          1. .Tom

            That, as a CIA guy, Polymeropoulos maybe does know who organized it and doesn’t want to see Kiev getting the credit for this outstandingly successful operation?

          2. Em

            Let’s not get too rosy tinted with this. Lira supported Pinochet even though he came from a rather leftist family. His views on COVID, economics, gender and race relations, and much else can only be described as reactionary. Lots of right wingers were right on Ukraine but completely bigoted against uppity brown people.

            Nobody deserves to die cold and sick in jail for voicing their opinions and he was brave (and foolish) to do so while in Ukraine, but Lira is no Dan Ellsberg or Julian Assange.

              1. Em

                Very curious to find out what “much good” you think he did. He put together some mildly informative panels at the start of the SMO. Before that he was “Coach Redpill”. Again, nobody should be arrested and tortured like he was but “much good”?

                Pinochet supporter is only a rung below Zionist and Banderites for me.

                Compare him to someone like Eva Bartlett or Patrick Lancaster, who risked their lives constantly to report the real frontline conditions and who worked their beats for years in obscurity (Eva lived and reported from Gaza for years and both have reported from Donbas for years when it was completely ignored by the Western press).

      3. Feral Finster

        Of course, the West’s goal is to dent Putin’s image and to get the Russian public demanding resolution of a crisis not related to Ukraine.

      4. Em

        I still find the “it’s ISIS” narrative utterly bizarre. I assume that most people in Russia already know ISIS is Mossad+CIA. So pointing to ISIS just implicates the US and Israel more directly than an Ukrainian terrorist attack.

        Does Victoria Nuland and Budanov think that Russians are as easily bamboozled as westerners?

        1. Duke of Prunes

          I think their real goal is to bamboozle westerners, and many of us are probably being bamboozled.

  3. DJG, Reality Czar

    Rio police chief arrested for killing Marielle Franco. Big news

    I recommend keeping an eye out for commentary from Glenn Greenwald. His late husband was an ally of Franco, and Greenwald knows the case through and through.

    (U.S. news reporting is nearly incapable of reporting on Brazil. )

    1. CA

      March 20, 2024

      The Hybrid War Against Lula
      As Bolsonaro arrest looms, allies set stage for coup after possible Trump victory

      After a year in which Brazil’s GDP grew at a rate over 3 times higher than projected by the IMF, unemployment hit an 11-year low, and the number of Brazilians living with severe food insecurity dropped from 33 million to 20 million, President Lula has angered international business elites, the military, and evangelical Christians. This has led to a month of negative reporting in Brazil’s mainstream and social media reminiscent of the smear campaigns in the lead up to the 2016 coup against Dilma Rousseff…

      1. Feral Finster

        Were Lula to get a new attitude concerning American hegemony in general and the War on Russia in particular, all would be forgiven.

  4. Wukchumni

    Ohtani, Ohtani
    Ohtani, Ohtani

    I knew a great ballplayer
    Ohtani was his name
    Since he left the Angels
    The diamond will never been the same
    Because the love for gambling
    Ohtani, Shohei the money? Where can you be?

    Now that your interpreter’s gone
    And left all alone
    All by himself
    To wander and roam
    Because the love for gambling
    Ohtani, Shohei the money? Where can you be?

    Well, Mizuhara, now that you’re gone
    I don’t know what I’ll do
    All the time and my friendship to you

    I had an interpreter
    Ippei was his name
    Since he left me
    I’ve never been the same
    Because the love for gambling
    Ohtani, were you in it with he? Shohei the money

    Ohtani, Ohtani
    Ohtani, Ohtani

    Donna, by Ritchie Valens

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Ill at the Plague Festival. Wonderful text and excellent photos by Marie Mutsuki Mocket.

    Before things became “overly dynamic,” Lambert Strether posted several times on the body and embodiment. Mutsuki Mockett’s essay brings up this big issue: Body, disease, ritual, heat, seasons of life. It’s an excellent read.

    And as a bad Catholic and bad Buddhist but only a moderately bad pagan, I found this theological paragraph especially important: “I stayed on the roof and watched the gods go by in their gold boxes, but their procession and the movable floats and the beautiful gestures of the Chigo-san [children who are spirit mediums] no longer seemed central to the Gion Matsuri. It was about this: the men working together in tandem to move the god they had brought back to life.”

    If there are divinities, they aren’t transcendent. The Latin word “numen” means nodding (in the sense of acknowledging)–the divinity waving as it goes by on its movable float.

    Ahinoi. So much of our world is now dominated by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

      1. Alice X

        Thank you, right down my little alley, I suspect.

        An NYT (always suspected by me of being bourgeois, if not downright dishonest) review is here.

        I don’t have time presently to compare the two reviews, but I will look for the book when my library has it.

      2. Lena

        Thank you. I definitely want to read that book. There is so much we can learn from studying the lives of our ancestors. Most of mine came from Ireland.

        1. CA

          What is little recognized or understood is that Ireland has used education as a critical development tool. Real per capita GDP in Ireland in 2023 was a remarkable $137,638 or next to only Luxembourg in Europe and higher than that of Singapore. Irish real per capita GDP growth from 1977 through 2022, grew more than 3 times as fast as that of Germany.

          And, while relatively favorable tax policies have been instrumental in attracting international investment, essential to advanced technology work in Ireland has been the increasingly highly educated workforce.

          1. Lena

            Yes, the Irish, like the Chinese and the Jews, have long revered scholarship. What was the popular book that came out a few decades ago? Something like “How the Irish Saved Civilization”. The Irish monks of the Middle Ages were fine scholars. The importance of education has wisely remained part of modern Irish society. The US could learn from that.

            1. digi_owl

              It perhaps helped that outside of some visits from wayward vikings, the emerald isle was far removed from continental squabbles.

              1. Jessica Rooney

                More than a few wayward Vikings. Endemic Viking raiding ended the “Ireland Saved Civilization” phase, which covers from the end of the Roman Empire in the West until the rise of the Middle Ages in narrower sense.
                It also left Ireland vulnerable to the Norman/English invaders who followed.

                1. CA

                  “More than a few wayward Vikings…”

                  I very much appreciate your comment.


                  March 17, 2010

                  Turning Green With Literacy
                  By THOMAS CAHILL

                  WHY should we celebrate the Irish?

                  No doubt, several reasons could be proffered. But for me one answer stands out. Long, long ago the Irish pulled off a remarkable feat: They saved the books of the Western world and left them as gifts for all humanity…

    1. CA

      February 20, 2024

      A Love Song to His Roots
      In “Remembering Peasants,” the historian Patrick Joyce presents a stirring elegy for a vanishing culture.
      By Fintan O’Toole

      In 1970, when John Lennon wanted to denounce the bourgeoisie in his angry song “Working Class Hero,” he delivered the ultimate insult: “You’re still [expletive] peasants as far as I can see.”

      In French (paysan, paysanne), the word simply means “a country person.” Yet almost all its synonyms are contemptuous: boor, bumpkin, churl, clodhopper, hillbilly, hayseed, hick, oaf, rube, yokel.

      Most of the people who have lived on this planet since the invention of agriculture have been peasants. The word “human” is related to the Latin “humus,” meaning earth or soil. And yet the full humanity of those who survive by working the land has been routinely denied.

      The cultivators, it is often assumed, are dreadfully uncultivated. And this alleged lack of sophistication has made them fair game for every kind of depredation. The food they produce has been expropriated by their overlords, by marauding armies and by totalitarian states. They have been conscripted as cannon fodder; entangled in debt and dependency as sharecroppers and serfs; starved, sometimes deliberately, in famines and prisons; forcibly converted to their masters’ religions; herded onto collective farms and slaughtered mercilessly when they revolt.

      In “Remembering Peasants: A Personal History of a Vanished World” his moving and sensitive rumination on the historic fate of these earthbound people, Patrick Joyce quotes Ignazio Silone’s summation, in his novel “Fontamara,” of the hierarchy of existence as seen by the peasants of his native village in rural Italy. “At the head of everything is God.” Then came the landowner, Prince Torlonia, followed by the prince’s guards and then by his dogs. Below the dogs was “nothing at all.” And under nothing at all were the cafoni, the poor peasants.

      If peasants have been at the end of the line for power and respect, for thousands of years, they are now part of a great ending. Joyce’s study is an elegy for a way of life, and a way of understanding the world, that is “part of a past we have now lost, lost in less than a single lifetime, lost with barely a sign of its loss in a present that is obsessed with itself.”

      He writes of Europe, but the same processes are at work everywhere. Around the world, a great driver of migration within and between countries is the desire to escape the peasant life…

      1. Cat Burglar

        The Chinese, Russian, and Mexican revolutions — the three largest in history– were peasant revolutions. That is something else we can learn from peasants.

      2. Lena

        In “Remembering Peasants”, Joyce writes, “Almost all of us are in one way or another the children of peasants. If we are cut off from the past, we are also cut off from ourselves.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “DTEK has lost 50% of generating capacity, repairs will take months – Yasno CEO”

    This is Russia increasing pressure on the finances of the Ukraine as the financial tank is starting to go to zero. The Ukraine was still able to export and sell electricity to the EU but that is now over. The Ukraine has to import triple what they did before and you can bet that they have to buy it-

    “For the current day, imports of electricity are projected to be 14,900 megawatt-hour (Mwh), while no exports are expected,” the ministry said on Sunday in a statement issued on Telegram.

    On Saturday, Ukraine imported 12,784 Mwh of electric power, while its daily power exports amounted to 1,033 Mwh. The ministry’s projections for electricity imports had not exceed 6,000 Mwh in the preceding days.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      And then there is the gas storage facility that got vaporized last week.

      From what I understand that storage facility contained gas that belonged to European countries, as part of their winter stockpile.

      Now it’s all gone. Is Europe going to demand the Ukraine pay them back for the gas that got burned off?

      Imagine if you put your stuff in one of those storage facilities, and drove up to get it one day, and saw a smoldering pile of rubble where your couch, flat screen TV, and priceless family heirlooms once were.

      The manager walks up to you and says: “sorry, dude, it’s all gone. Oh, and I don’t have any insurance. Hope you did! Have a nice day.”

      PS – separate discussion needed on how dumb it is to store anything you care about in a war zone.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Ukraine is getting so much foreign aid that I’m certain this won’t be a big deal for them, at least not in terms of having to pay anyone back.

            It will be written off as a total loss by whoever owned the gas.

            Europe, however, is another story. You can’t print natural gas.

            1. Feral Finster

              Exactly, Everyone knows that, whatever happens during the war, Ukraine will never be able to pay off its debts, at least not without “help”.

              1. ChrisFromGA

                You have to wonder what the West’s plan is … they’re essentially printing money to pay the interest on Ukraine’s debt so that investors don’t get zeroed out. It’s akin to handing a check to Madoff so his ponzi scheme can keep on keepin’ on.

                I guess it’s can-kicking games as usual, with a chaser of “we’ll make Putin pay!” Even if the war ended today there is no hope that Ukraine can ever repay that debt, given its depopulation and loss of territory. It would be like expecting some broke dude living in a trap house and sleeping on a stained mattress to pay Paris’ Hilton’s credit cards off.

                  1. Em

                    The goal is to make it last long enough to buy a bigger mansion in Northern Virginia, whether through government contracts or buying up Ukrainians farm land for pennies on the dollar. Ideally long enough to get enough Blue Anons to vote for whoever the Dems put up in the fall. Winning was not planned for.

                    1. Feral Finster

                      If winning were not planned for, the West would not be acting so recklessly.

                      as it is, they have so much sunk cost in Project Ukraine that they can’t leave it. So they keep doubling down.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Watched Dumb & Dumber again with the Codgers, and it follows our financial path somewhat accurately in that Harry & Lloyd dutifully scribbled out IOU’s on scraps of paper for all they quantitatively eased out of the briefcase, which totaled every last ¢.

                2. .Tom

                  I think the various ejaculations of senior pols from DE, UK, FR, EU and Nato and the news reports in recent weeks combine to show that Europe is struggling to wake up to the fact that there is no plan and no leader. When the US departed, the Europols were left standing to attention saluting the spot where Biden had been standing. After a few weeks of that they are now doing what looks like a zany “Who’s in charge?” comedy bit but I think it isn’t scripted or very funny. I think they really don’t know. Europe is a consensus animal except when taking orders from USA.

    2. Polar Socialist

      From what I’m reading, that underground storage that was hit is being used mostly by EU countries to store natural gas. It’s a shame if they can’t access it now, since they won’t be paying the transfer fees, either.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        There was a video of it after the hit, a huge explosion and fire broke out. So, most of that gas got converted by chemical reaction into other elements and released into the surrounding environment.

        I am weak on chemistry but basically, it is not an access issue, it’s an “and … it’s gone!” issue.

      2. digi_owl

        One really do have to boggle at storing the winter reserve in a nation one embroiled in a proxy war.

        1. Em

          This would be a really bad year for a major AMOC slowdown/stoppage. Hope the passivhaus builds really come through.

          Or they could just open that last Nordstream pipe.

    3. The Rev Kev

      ChrisFromGA & Polar Socialist

      Who would have ever thought that storing your irreplaceable energy supplies in a war zone could ever go wrong. Depending how much got vaporized, it might be a very cold winter in Europe this winter. I guess that the EU can now stop paying the Ukraine storage charges now that there is nothing left in storage.

      1. Martin Oline

        I believe the contracts for gas with Europe end in 2024. It would be a pity if Russia discovers that Europe is an unreliable business partner and does not come to terms for a renewal.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The EU would first have to pay the Russians the gas that they received but did not pay for when they shut down the lines. If they did renew any contracts, I am sure that the Russians will demand payment in advance from now on.

  7. timbers


    This is causing some re-evaluation of solar roof panels, something to think about. The last 6 months have seen 2 new neighbors buying homes in my neighborhood. The first cut down several trees. They were ugly trees that high end nursery folks sometimes call “weed trees”. Then they installed solar panels on their roof. The trees shaded the roof.

    The second home recently sold and occupied. They just removed a magnificent adult Oak Tree that shaded the house in morning and afternoon. I expect to see solar panels on their roof soon.

    I have a pie-shaped yard. On the corner of this pie well removed from my roof, I have planted multiple trees and vegetation with the intention of creating a small partly shaded ecosystem, with semi-shade loving trees/shrubs/plants protected by several eventually Oak trees. The front yard is devoid of large growth as it should be so tree roots don’t damage underground plumbing and gas connections.

    1. Benny Profane

      I’m moving into a house my girlfriend recently bought, and we’ve reluctantly concluded that a tall tree near the house has to go, which is a shame, because it casts a really nice shade shadow on the backyard. It’s just too dangerous to keep there, for us and the neighbor. So, maybe that oak you mention may have rot inside like ours, but still appears healthy from the outside. Sad, but, roofs and home repair are expensive.
      If the home is in a dry place, then you have to consider fire prevention.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Trees are not the only way of providing shade. I grow hops up the west side of our house. The rooms on that side used to turn into saunas on late summer afternoons, but no long. After they were established, the hops reach the top of the upper floor windows early in June.

    3. Mark

      Hope you don’t live in California. We used to, fled, along with other sane people.

      A unanimous vote by the state’s Public Utilities Commission, all appointed by Gov Gavin Newsom, Pacific Gas & Electric’s puppet, sharply reduced incentive payments for rooftop solar power Thursday, taking a sledgehammer to a program that helped 1.5 million homes and businesses put solar panels on their roofs and made the state a leader in fighting the climate crisis.

    4. mrsyk

      I live on a slope in a northern New England forest, white pine mixed with a handful of hardwoods approaching maturity. I’ve got canopy towering over me on one side and I’m looking into it on the other. I’ve dodged some downed tree bullets over the years, been lucky. I’m averse to cutting trees as a general principal, the result is I’ve got great shade on the house but those spidey senses do go off when it gets windy.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        One wonders if those tree-branches which grow towards the house can be cut, leaving all the branches growing “neutral” or “away” from the house intact; might move the tree’s center of gravity in an away-from-the-house direction, such that a blow-the-trees-down wind might blow them away from the house.

    5. Kouros

      I did an analysis on the morbidity and mortality due to the last heat wave in my neck of the woods, being responsible with that kind of work, and I have painstaikingly estimated each individual’s home tree coverage. The higher percentage of shading, the fewer heath related health incidents…

  8. chris

    I don’t have the mental capacity or the emotional fortitude to consume any further US propaganda about Ukraine and this latest attack on Russian citizens. To quote something often heard around here, “It’s just what they would do, isn’t it?” The CIA and other US aligned organs are interested in prolonging the Ukraine war. They’re also interested in attacking easy targets to make it appear that Russia is weak. And the CIA as an organization has no morals. The CIA will never consider any consequences of their actions in pursuit of stupid goals. Never forget that in our search for Bin Laden we abused the concept of a vaccination program in the developing world so badly that we turned Afghanistan and Pakistan into the major reservoirs for polio in the modern world. We’re still dealing with that problem, domestically and globally.

    They can print article after article saying this tragedy was ISIS and had nothing to do with the US. They can have Jesus, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny swear under oath that it didn’t happen with our support or prior knowledge. The burden of proof is on the CIA to show that they didn’t do it or support it. And they won’t ever come clean about it. So now there’s an entire category of news I’ll just forego, while never forgetting that our government seeks to take advantage of slaughtering helpless civilians to support despicable Naughtzis in their civil war, all to try to prevent Europe from engaging with Russia.

    1. JohnA

      And despite being far removed from the crime scene, and the border area when the 4 men were arrested, western spokespersons immediately scream in unison ‘there is no evidence that Ukraine was involved’. How can they possibly know? Psychic powers on steroids or what? It is not even as if an ISIS ID card or passport from an ISIS related area or equivalent were miraculously found unharmed in the smoking ruins and the western media could claim it was planted by the Russian police. Ridiculous.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Alex Christoforou was pointing out how after a year and a half, nobody can work out who blew up the NS2 pipelines. Such a mystery. And yet within an hour of this attack the US knew with certainty that it was ISIS.

    2. Benny Profane

      I am trying to talk to a friend of mine who is open to new ways to see through this bs, and told him last night in a message, watch the coverage of this Moscow attack. Here’s your chance to see in real time how a narrative is born and enforced. Immediately we were told that it was ISIS and no way it was Ukraine. Right out of the gate, before they caught those cowards. And then, this morning the NYT published an article right on top of the digital front page all about the new, improved and formidable ISIS that we should all fear. Meanwhile, the videos of these scum being captured and confessing totally belie that notion. Psychopathic low class hit men, simpering and crying in the mud. But, no doubt we and the west will be spending a few trillion building planes that don’t work to fight that. The lies are obvious.

      Oh, and isn’t it interesting that the evil Putin doesn’t have the death penalty to use on his poor, trod upon people? Texans say, huh?

      1. Kouros

        Psychopatic? My diagnostic is quite different. All those individuals had under 90-85 IQs, and that was one of the main criteria why they were recruited in the first place.

    3. Aurelien

      Remember, that when we react to an unexpected event, particularly a shocking one, the tendency is to try to shove it into a conceptual space that we are already familiar with, and think we understand. This is the psychologist Daniel Khaneman’s distinction between “fast” and “slow” thinking. Our ancestors survived by making fast, impulse decisions: today, when life is more complicated, we still make too many of these. So in situations like this one, people have historically made quick, emotional judgements on the basis of little or no evidence, and then, as more evidence comes out, they produce more and more elaborate and complex theories to explain why their original emotional judgements were right, and to protect their own ego, and its ability to understand the world. The possibility that the crisis may have come from a completely different direction, involving factors we don’t understand very well, is a threat to our ability to understand and explain the world, so we settle for what we know, or think we know, or what we are used to hearing, even if it isn’t a good explanation.

      As it happens, I was flicking through the Ukraine page of Moon of Alabama just after the first few fragments of news came out, and there were already pages of confidently-expressed conspiracy theories, generally contradicting each other, by people who clearly had seen only headlines, but felt impelled to avoid letting the subject escape into areas they didn’t feel comfortable with. After all, if it’s ISIS-K who are you going to listen to? Well, someone who at least reads Arabic, is familiar with the tangled history of Political Islam over the last century, understands the complexities of the split between Al Qaida and the IS fifteen years ago, and the latter’s insistence on capturing territory to create the Caliphate, understand the internal stresses within the organisation and the difference between different regional franchises, and has studied attacks carried out by various IS groups over the last decade. And that reduces the number of people who can sensibly comment by … well, quite a bit. That is, of course antipathetic to our modern world, where the right to sound off on any subject at all at any moment, in our little blog or even in comments on somebody else’s is considered a human right. So whatever the exact final explanation, the reality is that people already know what they think, they knew in the first few seconds of the first news story, and they will continue with that belief whatever happens.

      1. vao

        After all, if it’s ISIS-K who are you going to listen to? Well, someone who at least reads Arabic, […]

        If it is ISIS-K and the perpetrators come from Tajikistan, then reading Persian will probably be a must.

      2. Siskëwahane

        Our ancestors survived by making fast, impulse decisions

        Really? Have you ever read any indigenous history, or listened to an indigenous elder?

        Please stop.

        1. Aurelien

          Yes. Thought process: could be a sabre-tooth tiger, better get out of here. Read Khaneman’s book, and there are plenty of others.

        2. SteveW

          This is uncalled for. Aurelien refers to Daniel Khaneman whose work concerned with evolutionary level of behaviour origin. More about Homo Sapiens than about indigenous elders.

      3. Benny Profane

        “A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes”

        I think Mark Twain.

        You should read the comment sections in the NYT right now. There are some skeptics among that educated, fairly well to do segment of our middle class, but most are, Yeah, Putin sucks! Didn’t you read what the “officials” said? Of course it’s the evil ISIS! They said so!
        So, here we are. There’s no time to learn Arabic (or Persian). That’s boring. As boring as Putin lecturing us for a half hour about Ukrainian/Russian history. Nobody wants that. They want revenge, or getting ready for the other side coming for us. And, all of this is how the world works in an instant news environment. And this will be tomorrow’s history. The positive side to all this is that we’re dealing with a leader in Putin and the members of his clique who just don’t take the bait impulsively. But, we’ll see. Remember your duck and cover drills, they might be useful.

      4. chris

        Thank you sor. Good points. And I’m clearly just as guilty in arranging these facts to fit my world view. Still, I’m going to put the onus on the CIA here. Maybe MI6. Especially because I have yet to hear of any official condemnation of the violence from the White House that is anywhere close to sincere.

      5. pjay

        Let’s leave emotional thinking aside for a moment. Of course what you say has merit; it’s political psychology 101. But there is all kinds of historical precedent for suspecting the Ukrainian GRU in such an attack. For that matter, there is all kinds of historical precedent for suspecting the CIA of supporting “jihadists” or other opposition groups against our enemies in such an attack. Far from being some sort of crazy “conspiracy theory,” the ties between the CIA and the GRU, the CIA (or other Western organizations) and radical opposition groups all over the Middle East and Central Asia are very well known. I will not claim to know anything for *certain* about this particular event. But once again, you are denigrating what past experience would suggest are *the most likely* explanations by throwing the same old “conspiracy theory” insult. Further, as far as your appeal to authority (only experts on the language and history need apply), as someone who spent a lifetime in academia I can assure you that such credentialism is no guarantee of the truth. I believe Michael McFaul and Tim Snyder are “experts” on this part of the world (McFaul has both “book learnin'” and diplomatic experience). John Mearshimer is not. Whose views do you think I’m more likely to support? Why do you think I would do this, and do so with confidence?

        1. zach

          Ukrainian GRU (I think it’s SBU these day, but what’s an acronym between friends?) could have been involved in this attack, and it would fit a pattern of behavior to a degree, but tying MI6 or CIA to the planning and execution, while plausible, is a stretch.

          If we can believe that Ansar Allah or Hezbollah enjoy close political, financial, and military support from Iran yet maintain a healthy degree of autonomy when it comes to making certain decisions, then I think it makes sense to allow for the same with regard to Ukraine and its connections to the security apparatuseseses’s of other states, especially when political elements in some of those other states guard their “plausible deniability” chits quite jealously.

          Just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to add more hot air to this balloon! A little more and maybe it’ll pop, or float away, just like all the other tragedies.

          1. Yves Smith

            I think you need to study up before opining so confidently. First, ISIS and ISIS-K, unlike Ansar Allah, are such spent forces that many were surprised to seem them as having any operating capacity now. Second, following from the first observation, there is no evidence of any Iran connection as in support. In fact, it takes very little time on the Innertubes to see that Iran regards ISIS as a problem: Third, the killers fled toward Ukraine. Proper jihadis would eliminate as many as possible and die rathe than run away. Fourth, in their video when they pledged fealty to the mission, the terrorists used their unclean hands, showing their lack of any serious connection to actual jihadis. They were mercs so the question remains who hired them.

            As for joint Ukraine-MI6 or Ukraine-CIA operations, are you kidding me? The Kerch bridge truck bombing has been widely depicted as joint MI6-Ukraine. The CIA and MI6 work fist in glove with Ukraine in the use of fancy Western weapons systems. Ukraine depends on Western help for targeting and operating the equipment.

            1. zach

              First, may I also extend my condolences for the loss of your friend.

              Second, may I say, there is very little I disagree with in your assessment, and clarify that in no way did I intend to suggest that Iran was somehow involved – that seems unlikely in the extreme, but who knows maybe someone is out there connecting those dots as I type (I have other far more important foolishness to waste my time on).

              I merely brought up the “Iran-backed militias” of MSM lore to raise the point that, if we learned clear-eyed denizens of the naked capitalism comments section can recognize that Ansar Allah, Hezbollah, etc accept the patronage of the Iranian gov’t but are not in its thrall, then perhaps we should allow for the possibility that the Ukrainian gov’t (or at least factions within it) isn’t entirely the marionette we’re told it is. Much like the crashed Russian missile that wasn’t in Poland a year or so ago, this event has a tail wags dog aspect to it.

              CIA/MI6 is heavily involved in Ukraine. No arguments or counterclaims here. The media rollout would tend to support central, intelligent planning; however, rogue elements exist in every organization.

      6. Not Qualified to Comment

        “..people have historically made quick, emotional judgements on the basis of little or no evidence, and then, as more evidence comes out, they produce more and more elaborate and complex theories to explain why their original emotional judgements were right, and to protect their own ego, and its ability to understand the world.”

        “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?
        -attributed to J.M Keynes

    4. Feral Finster

      Of course the CIA did it, probably with the active participation of their Ukrainian buds.

      The fact that the bodies hadn’t all finished dying dead before we were assured that it was ISIS and only ISIS that was responsible for the Crocus attack (but 17 months later and nobody knows anything about NordStream) tells us all we need to know.

        1. Feral Finster

          Good point, and I say that without snark. The UK has a vested interest in stirring up conflict, so that they can show the US who is the loyalest little lackey as they march alongside their American Master.

            1. Feral Finster

              I can’t open the link, but I assume that you are talking about the little yappy dog that follows Spike the Bulldog around and eggs him on at every opportunity?

  9. Wukchumni

    The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the FanDuel moneyline that day:
    The score stood +140, with but one inning more to play,
    And then when Shoeless Joe gambled at first, and then Pete Rose did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

    1. Wukchumni

      A straggling few punters got up to go in deep despair. The rest
      Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
      They thought, “If only Shohei could but get a whack at that—
      We’d put up even money now, with Shohei at the bet.”

      1. chuck roast

        I’m beginning to think that online gambling could become a public health issue just like the proliferation of guns or the widespread presence of motor vehicles. Of course the problem of online gambling will eventually surface as point shaving/insider info/third person scamming or some other obvious shenanigan. There will never be any discussion of broken lives and families…call “hopeny” as they say on the flood of TV ads. Mustn’t mess with the market. And as a bonus (‘bet your first $5 and get a $150 automatic credit!’) the wonderful world of sports chatter…largely sponsored by FanDuel and Draft Kings…will remain as clueless as they are today.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was offered over a billion for my first $2 bet if my numbers came in, and I liked the odds.

          Was gassing up, and the idea of somebody winning a billion in Barstow struck a chord in me to the tune of half a billion clams, clear.

          We all knew that a betting scandal would surface, but to have it involve the very face of MLB, it’s boy wonder of summer, is quite something.

          I view gambling with a jaundiced eye and loosened loot lost en route long ago, I was typical of many punters in that I bet too much when I was losing and not enough when winning.

          It’s a different kind of addiction in that those so afflicted look perfectly normal, except they are dying to make the next wager and if they have to rob Peter to play Paul’s parlay, than so be it.

          I fear that legions of young adults (gambling used to be predominantly a male issue, not sure how it plays out now) will be broken on the rack and yes the goods are odd, but odds are good.

        2. digi_owl

          Seveal places, like my home Norway, already considers it such. There have been a regular news item over the years of people racking up severe amounts of debt gambling online.

          Most recent news is that the government wants to block the sites using DNS, but anyone technically inclined will know that it can be easily bypassed.

        3. Pat

          It already is. We hear about the issues with drug addiction, but even that doesn’t get enough coverage. But No one wants to talk about gambling because it is has become another money maker for various groups.
          Anywhere there is a casino, there is the devastation of gambling addiction. About the only mitigation I can see for the spread of online gambling is there are few more steps for them to suggest credit line increases.

  10. Jason Boxman

    These people are f**king stupid.

    The headline on mobile is: “With a second term, Biden could reverse this national health emergency”. Not on desktop. It’s “The Health Moonshot Biden Can Campaign On“.

    Which is worse, you decide.

    Today, as New York City’s health commissioner and a practicing doctor, I see a desperate need for similar focus and ambition here in the United States. The major health crisis we’re facing is not Covid or a single epidemic. It’s not cancer, diabetes or drug overdoses alone. It is the national emergency of worsened life expectancy in America.


    Since World War II, no single period has taken more years off our collective lives than the three years from 2019 to 2021, following nearly a decade of flattening. While Covid was a factor, it was far from the only one. Countries of similar economic strength suffered less drastic drops in life span, and they have mostly regained the ground they lost during Covid. Because of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease — along with drug overdoses, suicide, violence — the United States has not. Some groups, such as Black Americans, have suffered even larger declines. Those without bachelor degrees have lost more years than their college-educated peers.

    While directionally correct, it obviously misses the point. COVID exacerbates every aspect of America’s failing/failed health care “system”. The solution first and foremost is to end the Pandemic. Otherwise every single item on this dude’s wish list to address to reduce death is simply a forlorn hope, and unachievable.

    And whatever editor wrote the headline for mobile is scum.

    Oh, and the author is really stupid, because by the way, from top causes of deaths: (CDC)

    Oct. 6, 2023 — Heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19 are the top three causes of death in the United States and account for more than half the deaths in the country, the CDC reported.

    Just based on that COVID should be tackled directly, and can be. Stupid…

    1. Neutrino

      Cue the oligarchs to loot assets from the hapless Russian stooge doddering fool?
      Shades of 1990s Russia lifespans and actors, now with less conscience and more insider upside.
      Thanks, Obama. /:

    2. .human

      The third leading cause of death, just ahead of Covid, is Medical Error, but because of the manner in which deaths are attributed they are not tabulated that way.

    3. digi_owl

      I guess if you are not a PMC with corporate health insurance, you are not an American according to the Biden White House.

      1. Jason Boxman

        According to the political class, almost no one is an American. Everyone is a “consumer”. I consider it derogatory and dismissive, which it is. The only autonomy that anyone has in America is as an economic actor in the consumer disposable and financial debt economy. And the only purpose is to drive profits for capitalists, at any human cost.

        Because markets, go die.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah, more and more when i hear or read “consumer” i envision a bovine chewing cud.

          Or maybe if one want to get into the realm of political cartoons, a bovine chewing greenbacks. While some fat cat banker, complete with monocle and top hat, is seen in the background discussing with the butcher how to best partition the consumer.

        2. griffen

          When the best in Hollywood offerings get around to remakes, refreshes and reboots to late ’90s era of movies they put a touch up to the prescient film Fight Club. Talk about a satirical and cynical take becoming reality.

          I’m Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

          1. digi_owl

            Will probably somehow manage to do what they did to Matrix, and make it all about “gender”.

    4. Feral Finster

      If only Biden had a Team D majority from 2020-2022, not to mention a public health crisis that he could have used.

      Oh wait….

      At least the dotard’s handlers figured out that the voters weren’t buying the “Freedom Agenda” BS.

      1. Procopius

        You not only need a majority, you need 63 in the Senate (to have enough to allow for defectors). Less than 60 in the Senate is a minority.

    5. eg

      Covid is like those stains we used to use in Biology labs to study cell morphology in that it reveals the structures of the society in which it spreads — the US (with the UK not too far behind) was revealed to be almost uniquely susceptible due to its unfit-for-purpose “healthcare” and public health systems exacerbated by a culture of rabid individualism and “profits before people” business ethos.

    6. ArvidMartensen

      It looks like another case of obfuscating the devastating effect that letting Covid run rampant is having on countries.
      Throw up a whole lot of other possible causes and generalise as much as possible.
      Just like the stupid “research” that says long covid doesn’t exist, which got such a glorious run in all of the mainstream press in Australia.
      That is what people remember, the headlines, so job done.
      And it doesn’t matter if the “research” is equivalent to a drunk throwing darts at dictionary pages and then stringing the words together.
      Or a tobacco industry exec doing a brainstorm of what could possibly cause lung cancer that has nothing to do with cigarettes.

      1. Procopius

        Or a tobacco industry exec doing a brainstorm of what could possibly cause lung cancer that has nothing to do with cigarettes.

        You’ve reminded me of an item I saw in Time Magazine, back in 1947-48. A researcher at Reynolds had published a study showing that there was 100% correlation between lung cancer and the importation of bananas.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “I’m 60 – and want to live to 100. Will my years of drinking and inactivity be a problem?’

    Unless you were going to be a robust old person, why bother? When you hit your 70s things start to fall apart and I have seen guys wearing suits that they wore when younger and it was really oversize on them. By the 80s you can get really frail and falling over is a worry which it never was when younger. In your 20s you just get up again. By the time you are in your 90s you are just waiting to have your ticket punched and I knew people in my family who said that they just wanted to die as it was past their time. Really tough for them when they have outlived their family, friends, neighbours and everybody else they ever knew. It’s not how old you live to be but how well you are traveling with what age you are.

    1. Wukchumni


      My late mother was in a assisted living place in Whittier, Ca. for almost 8 years, and we overnighted there in her apartment many times and broke bread with the other residents by eating meals in the restaurant with them, and my mom would regale them with tales* of what I was up to lately, and they all told me to a one, that I should do it as long as I can keep it up, as once you lose mobility its all over.

      Everyone in the 51 apartments at the cruise ship docked on Whittier Blvd that never went anywhere, needed assistance in getting around with a cane or walker, and what set my mom’s place apart initially, was they didn’t allow those with wheelchairs to live there, but when occupancy went down big time during Covid, they relented and !Presto! all of the sudden the new old arrivals were all in wheelchairs.

      * a favorite mom moment from a few years ago was when she called me asking if I knew of an extra Burning Man ticket for my brother-in-law …what a cool mother I had.

    2. Neutrino

      Caught a glimpse of that with Dean Martin. For those of a certain age, he was a cool persona from the Rat Pack, entertaining behind a microphone or in front of a camera. Then he gave an interview in which he said that he was waiting to die. That was jarring, which started me noticing seemingly random mentions of pneumonia being the old man’s friend and similar sentiments, and revisiting Dylan Thomas.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Recently saw Toby Keith youtube interview, was shocked at what cancer had reduced him to. From a big strapping dude to a little old man, in no time.
        They played his last song, “Don’t Let The Old Man In.”
        I don’t intend to Toby, RIP brother.

        1. griffen

          Yes I had missed the news of his cancer diagnosis. Didn’t realize his impact to country music was that large and he is partly responsible for the first contract signed by none other than Taylor Swift.

          He did play a very short bit at a country awards show late in 2023, and that’s the tune. Of all the types who paid tribute one was poignant from Stephen Colbert. Tim McGraw played a tribute as well, worth a watch. Added comment to the topic, I’m not sure I really would choose to reach 100 or even 90.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          It may have been the treatment as much as the cancer. I’ve done radiation on my double Stage 4, and that wasn’t too bad, at least in the short run. My second round of chemo feels like the old adage that cancer treatment aims at coming as close as possible to killing patient without stepping over the line. This is the week off from the poison with the hope of bouncing back for another round. Right now, I feel about a bouncy as the horrific UVA men’s basketball team’s offense. I guess the ‘Hoos’s miseries are good for my fan humility. Not all the teams I root for are going for 3-Peats. ;)

          1. griffen

            Best wishes on bouncing back more quickly from these treatments..and wow this year’s Virginia squad turned the clock back a few decades ago when they could reliably expect a Phil Ford managed Four Corners to keep the scoring & excitement to a minimum.

            The memory of late ’70s men’s college hoops almost makes one miss corduroy pants, wide collars and canvas Chuck Taylors. Almost.

          2. foghorn longhorn

            Prayers Henry.
            Watched my mom go thru that process, not sure I would have the wherewithal to endure all of that.

          3. wol

            HMP I’m so sorry about this and will take the opportunity to thank you for your commentary.

          4. vao

            Is there a surge of NC commentators affected by cancer recently? KLG, Henry Moon Pie, Lena, I think Amfortas’s wife…

    3. Robert Hahl

      “Will my years of drinking and inactivity be a problem?” Absolutely not, in my experience. My late mother-in-law never did any physical work ever, except ballroom dancing on New Year’s Eve. She went through rehab twice, then cut back to just one drink a day near the end (100 years, 8 months) because that is all we would let her have. No dementia. What worked for her was staying thin, and not sleeping around in her youth. That was notable since she looked like Grace Kelly and had married three times, with lots of offers after that.

    4. Lena

      That was certainly true for my grandmother who lived to be almost 100. She outlived everyone she loved from her own generation – her husband, siblings, cousins and close friends. She had lost her only son. She grieved all those losses and longed to see them again. She was in constant pain, wheelchair bound and ready to depart this vale of tears. I remember every day she prayed to Jesus, Mary and Joseph to take her home (she was a very religious woman). I’m glad I will not live to that ripe old age. There is a fear of the unknown the thought of death brings but also some hope for a world to come where there is no pain and we are reunited with loved ones.

    5. MT_Wild

      There’s some weird plateaus. I’m 50 and just set a personal best on leg press. But I focus more on lower body because my shoulder is zounded up and I’m not sure shoulder surgery will work out.

      I figure every day I lift now will pay off if I ever make it to retirement.

      1. Wukchumni

        I feel secure at 62 throwing my weight around, hurtling thyself off of steep precipices at breakneck speed in full control of my faculties, feet et al, with no chance of AI intruding.

        According to Strava we gained 89,000 feet in altitude for the week in riding chairs up, which means we skied down the equivalent of 3 Mt Everests from top to sea level

        1. MT_Wild

          Just watch those trees.

          It’s not going fast that kills you, it’s stopping suddenly that does it.

            1. Wukchumni

              A 4 year old boarder that suddenly darts into your path can also be a danger, but where else can toddlers and almost too olds participate on the same playing field?

                1. ambrit

                  That’s why they put those long, pointy spikes on the ends of the ski poles. Those poles really are spears for fending off pesky boarders.
                  “Prepare to repel boarders!”

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Saw a 20 year old boarder that thought the corner of a hairpin turn on a cat track would be a groovy place to stop and plop his board up like an ad hoc fence.

                    Thinking quickly, I pulled the 4.3 placard out from under my anorak and flashed his score.

                    1. ambrit

                      Hmmm… Sounds like you encountered a new fangled Robber Baron. He “cornered” a market and begins exacting tolls.
                      But, to be fair, who am I to complain? I’m an old fashioned ‘rantier’ from way back. (Not, however, a specialist in “Snow Jobs.”) Oh well, I’ll have to be satisfied with the ‘Sand and Serf Scene’ here down by the Gulf Coast.

    6. Benny Profane

      I’m 71, and happy I decided to “retire” at age 62. Watched two close friends die of cancer in their early 60s, and another a few years ago, which justifies my decision to enjoy what ever is remaining, because time is a fixed asset, and I was pretty sure that my body was going to break down much faster in my 70s than even my 60s, and, well, seems to be true. So, I got it while I could, travelling, skiing for a few months, and learning new things. Ironically, I am healthier in some ways than when I was working, because, even though I was a regular gym rat and frequent cyclist and skier, I spend much more time exercising. But, you can’t fight mother nature, and it’s a folly to think that you’re going to be doing activities at 80 that you were at 60, at the same intensity. I’ll bet you that the author of that piece has to give up running or curtail it soon in his life, because old knees and feet and backs can’t take the punishment. I can’t ski all day like I used to, and cycling mileage has decreased. Thank the Lord for artificial joints, though. That’s one advancement in medical science that has almost radically improved the quality of old age, and Medicare pays for it. And they invented e-bikes just in time for me. A few years, and it will be back to climbing mountain roads.

      1. Lena

        I miss being able to go for long walks especially now that spring is here. Walking was my source of exercise as well as transportation for most of my life. Never had to go on a diet!

        1. Lena

          My knees are strong, so are my heart and lungs. Never been overweight. Not a drinker or a smoker. Why did I get so sick at such a relatively young age? My guess would be that it is trauma related. I have been reading and listening to Gabor Mate recently. For people who have experienced trauma, especially childhood trauma, I strongly recommend his work. It might not save you but it could provide some comfort.

      2. griffen

        To quote Sergeant Murtaugh from the Lethal Weapon movies…”I’m too old for this sh*t!”…Yes I’d say e-bikes have been winning over a few converts within my little circle of those who actively ride and three of them are under 60…

        Near where I live is a great location for cycling and hiking, and outdoor activity. I don’t think that e-bikes are actually welcome on the extensive trails within Dupont Forest nearby to Brevard, North Carolina. Great spot.

    7. eg

      Yes, it has come to my attention that it is possible to live too long. Really old age is a shipwreck.

  12. zagonostra

    >Paul Craig Roberts vs Scott Ritter

    PCR asserts that Putin should have acted decisively and have overrun Ukraine when hostilities broke out, Scott Ritter, and most of Judge Napolitano’s eminent guest, assert that Putin’s mistake was trusting the “Collective West” and was snookered into withdrawing his troops prematurely, thinking a peaceful peace negotiation could be reached. Week after week I’ve listened to Garland Nixon and the Judge’s guest declare that Ukraine has been effectively defeated, and that Russia has been, until recently, pursuing a war of attrition, sparing her own men, wearing down the enemy, and that this strategy was proving effect.

    I’m starting to think PCR was correct, that if decisive, quick, overwhelming occurred at the inception that terrorist attacks like the recent one could have been avoided and the slow decimation of a generation of Ukrainian men would have been at least partially preserved. But, 20/20 hindsight is bootless. Maybe this is so much wider and deeper in scope than the general public understands, that this birthing of the multipolar world has it’s own, ineluctable dynamic and that history will play itself out as it does, with out rhyme or reason but with its own bloody Hegelian dialectic.

    1. digi_owl

      It all hinges on that BJ visit to Kiev that convinced Z to withdraw from the negotiations going on in Turkey.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Russia did not have the army in place to occupy most of the country in 2022 and the first year of the campaign was the Russians plugging gaps and abandoning territories that they did not have enough troops to man. When it became obvious that thanks to the west that it was going to be a multi-year campaign, that is when they pulled the pin and did their mobilization. In the first year of the campaign, I think that it would have been hard for the Russians to believe that the Collective West would strip their armouries empty of weapons to send to the Ukraine while the EU destroyed voluntarily their own economies trying to sanction Russia to death. If I had written this in a comment two years ago I would probably have been mocked by everybody – and rightly so.

    3. danpaco

      I would also add that after BJ’s visit to Kiev and the strategic withdraw due to lack of manpower, the Russians figured out that they were actually fighting NATO.

    4. Benny Profane

      “this birthing of the multipolar world has it’s own, ineluctable dynamic”

      Which may be the point. Putin realized that the real war at the time was the sanction regimen, and he and Lavrov travelled the world making quick friends and establishing alliances to defend themselves against all that, calming nerves in many countries. If they went in whole hog it would have probably been a miserable failure, because they didn’t have a large enough military, and most of the world besides China would have been forced to choose sides, or face economic ruin themselves. It worked to a great degree, and the Lavrov vs. Blinken competition for hearts and minds clearly showed how little respect the world has for our neocon bullying. Then, they mobilized, and trained an army. Patience is their virtue.

      1. Procopius

        If they went in whole hog it would have probably been a miserable failure, because they didn’t have a large enough military, …

        I wish I could find a link, but somewhere, last year, I read an assertion that it was illegal for Russia to send conscripts out of the country, so the SMO was done with only the volunteers and long-term contract soldiers, and they were not enough to overcome the Ukrainians. I’ve noticed that with the mobilization the Russians have not been training soldiers for twelve weeks and sending them to combat. They are giving their soldiers a couple of years’ training, including rotating them into and out of combat. It makes us impatient, but after the war with Ukraine ends this year or next, the Russians will have a large, well trained, well equipped Army large enough to successfully fight off NATO.

        1. Yves Smith

          Please do not use the word conscripts in connection with the SMO. That is a Western propaganda trope.

          During the early days of the SMO, Russia was not able to use regular military in the Donbass for legal reasons I never quite understood. This was one of the reasons for the annexation of the four oblasts. Before that, they Donbass forces were the militias, the Chechens (why they were in a different category is again beyond me) and Wagner.

          My understanding is Russia is still not using conscripts (the men required to do military service) in the SMO. The forces consist of regular contract military, called-up reservists who decided to stay on (I think that means they entered into contracts) and “volunteers” as enlistees. Russia is paying very well so uptake is high.

    5. tegnost

      I think the US thought RU would take all ukraine (see US in Iraq) then a robust guerrilla war could have been visited on them. As to the terror attack the genius clique at state assumed the perps would die in the attack/capture and the mighty wurlitzer would be up and humming the ISIS tune. Epic friday night news dump to get gaza out of the news while sort of justifying muslim hate…a win/win/win for avarice and greed.
      These things work in the boundaries of the US with it’s state media and totalitarian bent. Wasn’t QE/open borders basically sanctioning the US working class? And it worked great, didn’t it?
      Other countries not in the US corral seem to be catching on. Personally I think RU is playing a game the US can’t win, the claquety quacks at the levers of US power know it and are panicking.

      1. digi_owl

        Or at least would attempt, while the people soured and the oligarchs schemed.

        Because no way in heck can he have an approval rating in the 80s, as he is turning the nation into a police state according to the English speaking Russian PMCs.

        Russia and China is demonstrating an affinity for statesmanship that USA has not seen since the 60s.

        1. tegnost

          So true. I’ll never forget blinkens anchorage diatribe against china at the onset of the biden admin.

          1. CA

            “I’ll never forget blinken’ Anchorage diatribe against China…”

            Remember that Secretary Blinken came to Alaska just after the US setting of sanctions on Chinese companies. Then too, just after Biden became president, the administration personnel were told to boycott the Olympic games in Beijing. A pattern to the relationship with China, was set by the Biden administration from the beginning.

      2. Feral Finster

        Ukraine is not a good place for a guerilla war. If you look at successful insurgencies in recent decades, the one thing all of them have in common is a young population.

        The median age in Ukraine is over 40, and that from before the war. The median age in Yemen is 19.

        Not that the West would not have encouraged it, anyway.

        1. zach

          Says Lord Google;

          The median age of a population is an index that divides the population into two equal groups: half of the population is older than the median age and the other half younger.

          Says Inigo Montoya – you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means?

          Says Me – in the event of an insurgency, why would you assume that the native Ukrainian population would be the only source for fighters? Seems like there’s been a steady supply of Georgians and Poles getting their licks in the last couple years.

          History disagrees with your assertion that Ukraine isn’t a good place for guerilla war. As factionalized as it is, Ukraine’s a great place for guerilla war!

    6. Feral Finster

      What PCR says is fairly obviously correct and the attempts to turn the current war into some kind of eleven dimensional chess strategy is just a retcon/

      But yes, hindsight is 20/20. The real question however is – what to do now?

    7. Kouros

      PCR might have been right in theory the the implementation would have been impossible:
      1. Inadequate Russian manpower
      2. RU forces would have had to destroy from the onset ALL aviation, navy, armour, and air defense systems that UKR had at the time of the attack. ALL. OF. IT.
      3. assuming 1&2, who thinks that UKR wouldnt have been able to get ressuplied by the west in no time

      As such, the present attrition might inflict a psychological wound on the collective psyche of ukrainians that will cure them of wishing to be Russias enemies… However, this is different from what is happening in Gaza, where Israels crimes are leaving a wound demanding justice on the entire world…

      1. vidimi

        the current state of things is russia playing a video game on easy mode. the enemies come at them in easily manageable waves. If NATO were really serious about defeating Russia, they would have to throw everything at them simultaneously. Only then, you have to deal with your own publics.

  13. none

    Boeing CEO David Calhoun stepping down. This just appeared.

    Now do the rest of the C suite. Put Sullenberger in charge, unless someone has a better idea.

    Added: more detail,

    He is staying on til end of 2024. Being out tomorrow would probably be better.

    McNerney is stll around, though old. I wonder what he thinks about.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Seen on TwiXter last week – Boeing announces new slogan:
      “While one door closes, another door opens.”

        1. Wukchumni

          A couple of Boeing executives are on a 737 Max when
          a profit versus paragon conclusion happens, and there is only 1 Golden Parachute, who gets it?

    2. Skip Intro

      This provides a test of (i think) Yves’ theory that female CEO positions arise when company needs a rescue/scapegoat. Now with Boeing they may even need a woman of color, although it is possible if Calhoun had started transitioning a year ago, and given up ‘little Dave’, he could have held the post.

    3. Feral Finster

      OK, now everything is all better and we can get back to 8-Ks about the latest stock buyback.

    4. HotFlash

      My neighbour, an Air Canada flight attendant, says the mantra around her place (YYZ) is, “If it’s Boeing, I’m not going.”

  14. zagonostra

    >Money for foreign war, none for parks

    I went to Hollywood North Beach Park this weekend. The bathrooms were filthy beyond anything I recall from my previous visits there. The picnic area was littered with trash of ever sort. The wooden planks in various boardwalks were cracked and rotting, with occasional new ones interspersed here and there.

    The most precious asset that Florida has and it is in such a state that I would have been embarrassed if any of my relatives from Italy or Canada had been with me. I could only imagine what a couple of million, let alone billions could do to take care of the dunes, tear down the dilapidated shelters and picnic area; such beautiful nature sullied and desecrated with no apparent care from the public agencies that is supposed to care for the blessings of nature that all of our shared inheritance.

    At least as I walked from the public park south, through private hotels/motels, and private residencies, the litter was gone and the upkeep improved. When I reached the Dania Pier, again, filthy public restrooms, litter, and the feel of desuetude.

    How the U.S. gov’t can rationalize sending billions each year to Israel, a budget deficit in the trillions, have a disintegrating infrastructure, inadequate healthcare, and a public service sector that doesn’t take care of its charge, ghettoized enclaves for the wealthy, is beyond comprehension. And, to top it all off parking was $10.00, and metered parking even more.

    1. upstater

      Visited Queensland last month… I was pleasantly surprised at the well maintained parks in Brisbane and in the north. If there is littering I didn’t see any. Clean and free public restrooms everywhere, not a hypodermic needle to be found. National parks abound. Roads all well maintained. And the people were nice. People told us there were homeless encampments, but nothing on the scale of the US.

      It is all a question of priorities and civic pride.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is this guy named Ryan Was who has a YouTube channel and he posts videos of him reacting to clips from Oz. Saw one where he was talking about a road that had all the lines properly painted on it on the sides and in the middle. He said that he has never seen roads like that where he lives and I think that it was a midwest state. It felt weird listening to him talking about what to us would be an ordinary road. Here is a typical video of his- (15:26 mins)

    2. neutrino23

      Money for Israel etc. is a Federal issue. Local street maintenance is a local issue. Complain to the City managers.

      The chart shown below about income divide pretty much explains it. When the rich skim off all the profits there is no interest in maintaining the commons.

    3. steppenwolf fetchit

      If those were State or Local parks then that would be the State or Local governments refusing to maintain them. Or being unable to maintain them if the State and Local citizens supported the great tax boycott enough to deprive their own State or Local government of the tax money needed to maintain their own State or Local parks.

  15. IMOR is my friend, but I haven’t been able to reach them today or yest. Anyone else having issues?

  16. Mikel

    “Why the **** does everyone swear all the ******* time?” Vox

    Many times, the bigger or more obscure the words I use, the more I’m trying not swear.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When I saw that title, my first thought was that there was more and more stuff to swear about each and every year.

      1. Late Introvert

        The recent article about changing diets allowing our mouths to make the “f” sound easier comes to mind.

  17. Wukchumni

    However, the unfortunate reality is that the 2024 budget for the National Parks Service is a $150 million reduction from 2023 levels. Last year’s funding was not enough to restore lost staffing levels and now, with more reductions and the pressure of inflation, the chronic problems plaguing the National Park Service will only worsen.
    Almost all of the infrastructure here @ Sequoia National Park is Mission 66 era buildings that date from the early 1960’s, the main visitor center @ Lodgepole mens’ bathroom has 3 toilets & an equal amount of stalls to handle half of the 2 million annual visitors to the NP.

    Pro sports builds new stadiums all the time, what about a little something for our crown jewels?

    You get the idea that things almost need to break in order to enable funding, last year’s winter of record for 125+ years here in the Southern Sierra wrecked so many sections of road that in total probably approximated $25 million in expense, 1/6th of the cut in the overall budget of the National Parks!

  18. Es s Ce Tera

    What are the odds the Crocus attackers, regardless what they think their affiliation or ideology is or may be, ISIS or whatnot, were in reality groomed by the CIA pretending to be [insert affiliation here]. Tajikstan does seem like a prime recruiting area for this.

    Another possibillity is they were coerced into it under threat of harm coming to loved ones.

    Or both.

    This would explain how the US knew anything at all even as it was happening, it’s because they orchestrated it. And also, this is probably the US crossing another red line, although this one will tend to be an unspoken one. The US reallyreally wants to go there, it seems, is pulling out the black ops.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I think the odds of that are quite likely based on current info at least. If the video of one of the captured shooters is to be believed, they did not know exactly who was paying them. Given that it’s been shown that the “moderate rebels” the US financed and encouraged in Syria were ISIS types, it seems quite possible the US spooks put these mopes up to it. And if they were going to commit an international outrage for chump change like $5k, my guess is these were not the sharpest tools in the box and set up to be patsies. Also possible the US didn’t tell the Ukrainians ahead of time, at least not the specifics. In general though, the Ukrainians must be aware of potential plans. We did have”Cookies” Nuland broadcasting to the entire world about the nasty surprises in store for Russia no long ago. And then this concert gets shot up – what a coinkydink! Kind of like how both she and Biden mentioned that Nordstream would go away if Russia invaded, and then it went “kaboom”.

      I mean, when you basically confessed to it ahead of time….

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Wait . . . I thought the “moderate rebels” the US financed and encouraged in Syria were al Qaeda types.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I think it depends on the day if they’re AQ or ISIS.

          It’s a convoluted mess of clans, tribes, families and poor, jobless, unmarried young men seeking leaders and opportunities outside of that tradition which leads to a ever changing network of groups, loyalties, aims and interpretations of what is conservative Islam.

          A complex mixture of opportunism and ideology dictating whether any given two groups collaborate or shoot at each other. The relative success of the reconciliation system in Syria shows that many Islamist fighters are actually ready to return to the peaceful, secular society and try to find their happiness there.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            The day, or maybe whether it’s the Pentagon or CIA? I remember them backing different groups at one point.

    2. Procopius

      A problem I have is the U.S. Embassy originally warned for the 7th of March, more than two weeks before the actual event. Of course, that may be for deniability, but it seems like a glitch. The fact that the shooters were nabbed so quickly and started talking immediately means the CIA story is widely disbelieved, obviously not their intent. In fact, the strength of their denials makes me wonder why so many people are so committed to the original CIA story. There’s a lot here we’re never going to hear about.

  19. Mikel

    World Happiness Report 2024 Gallup. The “1980” factoid is interesting…

    Probably more interesting is what happened between 1965 and 1980.

    1. Wukchumni

      Generation Jones humbly reporting, Sir.

      We were the Baby Baby Boomers who didn’t burn our draft cards or go to Woodstock, and were teenagers in the 70’s who got used to the idea of waiting in gas lines just as we became newly minted hellions on wheels.

      That said, we had it so good compared to more recent iterations of generations…

  20. Smith, M.J.

    >Re Gaza pier

    As Joyce once wrote, a pier is just a disappointed bridge. Still seems apt.

  21. GramSci

    Re: Angus Deaton (per IMF source)

    «…I had also seriously underthought my ethical judgments about trade-offs … unions need to be at the table for decisions about artificial intelligence…»

    Welcome words, if not entirely unexpected by NC readers who have rollowed Deaton’s work. I do, however, have my doubts about unionizing nerds and their ethical judgement. In my somewhat stale experience they either trend Ayn Rand/Ray Kurzweil or have been/get declared redundant.

    1. flora

      I enjoyed the Deaton article very much. How many Nobel Prize winning, (yes, I know about the riksbanks pris stuff), feted in his academy and world wide, will have the courage to accept they misjudged the situation? Not many.

      I can imagine that because he came up in his academic work before Milton Friedman’s neoliberal bunk took over western economics and politics that he assumed the govt still regulated, unions still challenged on wages and safety the corporations and businesses. Call it a 3 part economics system with checks and balances. After a mere 10-15 years of the neoliberal onslaught against unions and govt regulation the checks and balances were destroyed. I can imagine that living in the Ivory tower, where really nothing much changes over 10-20 years at a time, that he missed this. (It’s called the Ivory Tower for a reason.) Now he sees it and speaks out, correctly, imo. Good on him.

      I can only hope younger econ academics and students see it, too, before they’ve invested their entire career as courtiers to power and to billionaires. I hope a young academic or an older emeritus academic writes a brilliant rebuttal to Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose, the book which launched the publics acceptance of neoliberalism. / my 2 cents.

      1. flora

        I once explained to a young econ student that getting govt out of regulating business was like taking the referees off the court or the field in a sports match. Considering sports is multi-billion dollar business, do you think teams would cheat without the refs? Or even worse, image leaving the refs on the field but making it legal to bribe them. (I’m not saying Citizens United or donors or lobbyists. You may think that, but I’m not saying it. / ;)

        1. Wukchumni

          I look at economists as dismal scientologists beholden to their craft, allowing events to dictate the terms of their whimsy acceptance of the new normal, formal wear if you will, for the emperors new clothiers.

        2. digi_owl

          I’m becoming increasingly convinced, thanks to Hudson et al, that economics, if not the entire corpus of thinking from the enlightenment onwards, was all about giving the proverbial referee a curb stomping.

      2. chuck roast

        In Deaton’s IMF piece he states, “…economists on the left bought into the Chicago School’s deference to markets—“we are all Friedmanites now”…’ Geez, I’m old enough to remember when Friedman stated, “we are all Keynesians now.” Good thing I kept all my skinny ties from that period.

        1. CA


          March, 2024

          Keynes wrote that the problem of economics is to reconcile economic efficiency, social justice, and individual liberty. We are good at the first, and the libertarian streak in economics constantly pushes the last, but social justice can be an afterthought. After economists on the left bought into the Chicago School’s deference to markets—“we are all Friedmanites now”—social justice became subservient to markets, and a concern with distribution was overruled by attention to the average, often nonsensically described as the “national interest.”

          — Angus Deaton


          Actual quote:


          “We are all Keynesians now; no one is any longer a Keynesian.”

          — Milton Friedman

          ‘The point of Friedman’s statement was that while Keynes’s terminology and many of the analytical details of Keynes’s “General Theory” were in common usage by almost all economists, Friedman believed that “no one accepts the basic substantive conclusions of the book.” ‘

          1. eg

            Keynes was not a “Keynesian” and that term is in any event grossly misleading — in the current anthropology of the Econ tribes he has more in common with the Post-Keynesians.

      3. Michael Hudson

        Don’t be conned by him. I met him in Germany a few years ago when my Super Imperialism was being published in German, along with David Graeber’s book. Angus REFUSED to meet with us at the press presentation, saying that he would not appear or sit with anyone who didn’t believe in capitalism.
        He gave a gung-ho praise for deregulation of enterprise. The reporters and even the publisher thought he was a free-enterprise nut. David and I had no conversation with him to set him off.

        1. flora

          Ah. Thank you, Prof Hudson. This is instructive. I’ve given him benefit of the doubt, but perhaps if I’d know this I’d given him no more benefit of doubt than I gave Robert McNamara during that war. (And I did not buy McNamara’s “The Fog of War” book or self-exculpatory excuses.)

        2. CA

          “[Angus Deaton] gave a gung-ho praise for deregulation of enterprise…”

          Thank you for explaining, Michael Hudson.

  22. Wukchumni

    A mountain lion in Northern California killed one man and injured another while the two were out hunting for shed antlers, authorities said.

    An 18-year-old male called the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, reporting that he and his 21-year-old brother were attacked by a mountain lion in a remote part of the county, the office said in a news release.

    Deputies arrived around 1.30pm to find the younger brother with “traumatic injuries” to his face.

    Minutes later, deputies saw a crouched mountain lion next to the older brother on the ground, according to the statement. They fired their guns and scared off the mountain lion, but the older brother was deceased.

    Wardens with California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife are searching for the mountain lion. The department did not immediately respond to emails and a phone message seeking more details.

    Georgetown is a small, historic town about 80km northeast of Sacramento. Mountain lions have attacked humans previously, but the last fatal encounter was in 2004 in Orange County, according to a verified list kept by the fish and wildlife department.

    When I encountered a couple of yearling cougars about 30% larger than an adult German Shepherd on the deck of the Silver City resort in Mineral King @ 4:20 in the morning 3 years ago-one of them 4 feet away from me, all I had in terms of fending them off was body odor and this here laptop, but thankfully the lion closest to me gave me a ‘oh, one of those’ kinda looks and turned around to slowly saunter away down the deck where it’s yearling mate of the same size was 20 feet away. It’s tail never moved an iota and I can still see it in my mind.

    If I had video, would have been internet famous, lemme tell ya.

      1. Wukchumni

        Saw that, people who run and ride bicycles in mountain lion habitat are willingly turning themselves into prey, which makes me wonder what went down with the brothers who were attacked in Cali?

        1. Benny Profane

          I read that they were collecting antlers.

          The incident with the ladies proves that there is safety in numbers. Well, survivable safety.

          1. Wukchumni

            One of the employees @ the Silver City Resort would run up to Mineral King Valley and back every morning-a 2,000 foot gain in 8 miles there & back, a superb athlete who happened to be black.

            I worried that he would get profiled by claw enforcement, but alas no.

            1. ambrit

              He might have been on early morning Cougar Patrol. (It’s a dangerous job, but somebody has to do it.)

            2. Benny Profane

              I knew a guy who lived in a condo right at the base of Big Sky resort about ten years ago. That’s pretty much still in the Yellowstone ecosystem. I asked him about bears (I assume there are big cats, too), and he told me he hiked a lot in the summer there with his dog, and would never leave the front door on these hikes without a 45 strapped to his chest, easily available. That was a shock to this city boy.

        2. flora

          Serious question here. In flyover country areas with large deer populations it’s understood that certain times of the year, aka the fall rutt, are more likely to produce car/deer impacts. One knows to drive more slowly (even driving half the legal speed on gravel road) and carefully especially after dark on gravel/country roads to avoid deer charging mindlessly across the roads.

          Is there a similar season/time of year that cougar attacks are more likely to occur? We do have cougars in my area. Or is it entirely random with the big cats?

          1. Benny Profane

            I live in upscale Fairfield county, CT, right next to upscale Westchester, and we have plenty of deer, and we ain’t flyover.
            I lived in Saratoga Springs NY for three years, and, after six months, asked a few workmates, hey, how come I don’t see any deer up here? It’s practically the Adirondacks. One guy said, because we eat them. Its a part of growing up.

          2. Cat Burglar

            I live in mountain lion habitats, too, and have spent a lot of time in the wilderness for 50 years now, and I have seen five lions over that time. Pretty much, they don’t want to have anything to do with you.

            They always need to eat, so they are out making a living all year long, in every season. I am out alone in the wild quite often, and after my time as a wildlife researcher in the Rockies, when I learned a lot about mountain lions, I started checking trees and rocks I walked under or passed. Practice during an encounter — if the cat seems threatening — is to get loud, and be big and threatening (the opposite of a grizzly encounter). If you can have something to hit the cat with, that can be helpful to brandish. Don’t look like prey. But risks of an attack are tiny; prevention is the most effective way of stopping one.

            The chances of even seeing one are extremely small; being invisible is their stock-in-trade. They are very risk averse.

            One of the funniest cat stories I remember came from the animal tracking expert Jim Halfpenny. He was hired by the City of Boulder, Colorado, to look in to the cat/human encounter problem in town, and look into solutions. The problem was that everyone had turned their yards into perfect deer habitat, so the cats came down the Rocky Mountain Front into town looking for a good bite to eat. That wasn’t good for people’s pets. But it turned out that an amazing number of police calls about lions were right in downtown Boulder! Halfpenny did some sleuthing, and found out that most of the reports were from nurses at the hospital. It turned out that night shift nurses that smoked took their smoke breaks outside, up on the hospital roof. With a clear view of all the streets around the hospital, they could see lions moving around in downtown Boulder during the night! But as far as I know, there have been no lion attacks on humans in Boulder, even though there are many cats there.

            1. Wukchumni

              I waited 59 years to see my first mountain lion in the Sierra, and got a couple of them thanks to my patience, methinks.

              Have a friend on trail crew in Sequoia NP whose crew camped in the backcountry for 4 months a year in the summer-switching camps once or twice, and it took him 21 years to glimpse his first cougar, they’re rarely seen.

              1. Cat Burglar

                In the high country I haven’t seen one. But years ago the Tuolumne Winter Rangers told me about seeing a cat at the west end of Tenaya Lake, and every time I have skied it since, I have seen big cat tracks in the snow there.

                A friend and I hiked and scrambled part way up the eastern escarpment of Wheeler Crest in the Eastern Sierra once, picking our way, sometimes taking separate routes, until we decided to turn around. We found a less cliffy way down, just granite sand and low Rabbit Brush, and went down. We stopped briefly to rest, and turning around, saw brush piled on a deer carcass — the blood wasn’t even dry. A cached lion kill.

                The chill went right up our spines. I started scanning the rocks above us — somebody had to be watching us. Then my friend remembered that, while resting alone on the way up, she’d heard sand and little stones tinkling down the rocks, as if someone had been moving around nearby. We weren’t in danger, but it felt pretty eerie. We were in somebody else’s territory, who knew we were there — it seemed like a good thing to do to head on down the slope, fast.

            2. flora

              Thanks very much for your reply. I’ve seen one or two cats ambling along in the wooded wild area in an otherwise suburban town area. The cats were in a stream fed area that went out to the open countryside.

              1. flora

                adding: “…everyone had turned their yards into perfect deer habitat, …” Can you say tulip bulbs and flowering tulips? Gardeners know what I’m talking about. Tulips, and not just tulips, are the salad bars for deer. ha.

              2. Cat Burglar

                You’re lucky! And if you saw two cats, they may have been immature siblings just starting out in life.

                As for the deer, they are no suckers. Once in the Olympic Mountains, we came hiking up to the Olympic Guard Station Camp on the Hoh River, a clearing in the rain forest with a camp shelter. I noticed a herd of deer grazing close-but-not-too-close to the campers. As we ate lunch, some of the other backpackers told us to watch out, because a mountain lion was in the area.

                Heading up the trail, in the bush, we came around a curve — and there was the cat, trotting away from us. (The power and control of the tail was what struck me then.) What the cat was doing was circling the clearing, staying hidden in the forest, as it sized up the deer.

                For their part, the deer knew what the cat was doing, but also knew the cat would stay away from people. Studies of elk in Yellowstone NP have found that after wolf reintroduction, they began to calf near roads because the cats were averse to getting close to human traffic.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “If I had video, would have been internet famous, lemme tell ya.”

      I’d rather read your story about it, Wuk. The drama comes through perfectly, and you’re alive to tell about it since you didn’t point a phone at those two.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli attack on Rafah will be ‘huge mistake,’ says US vice president”

    Kamala Harris has warned the Israelis that if they attack Rafah causing a general massacre, then Joe Biden will write them a sternly worded letter.

    How is it that growing up in the west my entire life, I now find myself being on the side of countries doing all in their power to enable a genocide. Israel just dropped their masks and now everybody knows who they really are. But why do so many so-called civilized western countries still try to protect the Israelis from consequences and even supply them with military gear.

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      Perhaps because the western countries’ leaderships still remember who/what the Israelis of several decades ago were as of several decades ago? And confuse that gauzy memory with the Revisionists, Kahanists, and Goat Sacrificers in charge of Israel today?

  24. Wukchumni

    Geomagnetic storm from a solar flare could disrupt radio communications and create a striking aurora AP
    A hiking friend only recently learned of the Carrington Event and wanted me to know all about it, and I told her I only had a few decades of dread in regards to it happening, it would be the rather quiet end of us, and make many wish they were part of a yet undiscovered tribe in the Amazon livin’ la vida local.

  25. flora

    re: Why the **** does everyone swear all the ******* time? – Vox

    Um… because it’s easier that exclaiming “Oh asterisk asterisk asterisk asterisk!” ? / ;)

    1. Martin Oline

      I lived next to those people in a duplex. They only used one word and it served as an interjection, verb, adjective, pronoun, and noun.

      1. flora

        English is a context sensitive language. / ha (And the AI bros think they’ll sort this out? double-ha.)

        1. flora

          adding: in my childhood, a neighbor man swore all the time with a smile and laughter in describing anything from carpentry to politics. His descriptions of anything were always lighthearted and funny and of good will. Not a mean bone in his body, as they used to say. Listening to him one would think swear words were a kind of poetry. No one was ever offended by his speech, except maybe the town bluenoses. I still smile with regard remembering his descriptions of this or that, and his smile and his laughter. Always well meant.

      2. flora

        adding, and sorry to go on: If your neighbors only use the same word over and over as a thudding exclamation mark instead of a lyrical description then they are not poets. / ;)

  26. Tom Stone

    What’s the payoff for Bonnie Henry, Mandy Cohen and the ghouls at the CDC?
    Is it just keeping their jobs?
    Or are they sadists?
    It’s a serious question, four years into the Pandemic there is no way they don’t know that they are condemning Millions to lives of misery and an early death.
    Bonnie and Mandy get their faces onna TeeVee while having “Personalities” fawn over their words of wisdom and in return they betray the trust of their neighbors and thousands of years of tradition, “First do no harm”.
    Couldn’t they at least hold out for a significant amount of cold hard cash?
    Why so cheap?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      That may be one of the most pertinent questions of our time, and it extends beyond public health into just about every field. Is it that these people have been trained so hard and so long to follow the herd? Do they chart their life course by discerning what they rich and powerful want and then going all out to give it to them.

      Whatever it is, they all seem quite pleased with themselves.

    2. Late Introvert

      Privileged ass white people. Sure, they have dragged in other races, but it’s that simple.

  27. i just dont like the gravy

    Why not turn to our fugitivity, an irreducibly black mode of sociality which affirms blackness as a force that escapes control?

    Anarchists doing what they do best: navel gazing.

  28. B Flat

    Regarding Boeing, I recently booked a flight on American, California to New York for March 22. I chose non-Max planes for obvious reasons. The morning of travel, an American rep called twice to offer inducements to switch flights to not coincidentally flights on the Max. The first call offered to put me in first class, which I declined. The second, more urgent call offered first class + cash to switch. Since the flight I booked was packed, I suspect other passengers also wanted to avoid the Max.

    1. Wukchumni

      So kiss me and smile for me
      Tell me that you’ll wait for me
      Hold me like you’ll never let me go
      ‘Cause I’m leavin’ on a Boeing jet plane
      Don’t know if I’ll ever be back again
      Oh babe, I hate to go

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        How things have changed from the days that song was written. Peter, Paul and Mary covered “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” written by Denver, but they also covered Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Mornin’ Rain” with this tribute to Boeing included:

        Out on runway number nine
        Big 707 set to go
        But I’m out here on the grass
        Where the pavement never grows
        Well, the liquor tasted good
        And the women all were fast
        There she goes my friend
        She’s rolling down at last

        Hear the mighty engine roar (Hear the mighty engine roar)
        See the silver wing on high (See the silver wing on high)
        She’s away and westward bound
        Far above the clouds she’ll fly
        Where the morning rain don’t fall
        And the sun always shines
        She’ll be flying over my home
        In about three hours time

        “Early Mornin’ Rain”

        1. Smith, M.J.

          Left out that immortal line:

          “You can’t jump a jet plane
          Like you can a freight train”

          RIP Gordon Lightfoot

      2. Wukchumni


        Loves me a long road trip in lieu of a plane trip and the mighty Taco (just turned over 208k) hummed along flawlessly with no worry of a door blowing out en route or a side quarter panel for that matter.

        I threatened to highjack the ride to Little Havana, but being the pilot in command was able reason with my demands, and stopped in Grand Junction @ a decent Mexican restaurant where they trusted me with a serrated knife and assorted cutlery whilst eating a meal far finer than the stuff 1st class gets.

        Signs along the way dept:

        Vegas always titillates me from afar as I never delve into the belly of the beast, only typically from Interstate 15, where the lawyers dwell above, each attempting to assuage you into an accident as there is money in it for you according to the larger than life likeness staring you down on a billboard, some of them of the electric variety that have a few different barristers dueling for clients, its crazy.

        Once you lapse over into Utah there are no gambling billboards and a few lawyer billboards here and there, but nothing even remotely close to the plethora in Pavlovegas, and the wording is really soft, as in:

        ‘Injured?, Dan Can Help’

        Riddle me this Batman…

        Why are 90% of the railroad cars graffitied, but you almost never see a big rig truck with graffiti emblazoned on it?

        1. ambrit

          “Why are 90% of the railroad cars graffitied, but you almost never see a big rig truck with graffiti emblazoned on it?”
          Because, generally, the truck drivers are close to their rigs and will become extremely irate when confronted with vandalism to their “baby.” The train rolling stock is often stored up between uses in huge storage yards with minimal security and literally miles of obscured alleyways running between files of blank canvases.
          Last year, there was a small outbreak of “tagging” near here. The number one suggestion on the Nextdoor message board for how to deal with it was the “enthusiastic application of corporal punishment” upon the culprits if and when they were caught. I know not if the public sentiment was a factor, but the outbreak died out quickly.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            When I used to do solo cross country drives back in the salad days and didn’t want to incur any hotel expenses just to sleep for a few hours, I would always pull over in a rest area and sleep in my car next to all the big rigs, because as you noted, nobody [family blog]s with those guys.

  29. Wukchumni

    Why is 4 guys with assault rifles shooting up a concert in Moscow a terrorist event, when a Walter Mitty Sobchak in Vegas with 4 assault rifles shooting up a concert is only a lone gunman event?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Mostly because terror is intentional violence used to achieve a political aim – usually in an asymmetric fight against stronger opponent – while lone gunman is mostly a mental health case, an outcast or a murder-suicide without any agenda.

      This is, of course, extremely crude division. Breivik is a outcast mental case with an agenda.

  30. Jon Cloke


    Following the invasion of Avdiivka it seems the Russians are mainly on the advance into Ukraine, at which point some other fairly extreme things begin to happen:

    1) Ukraine begins to mount fairly extensive drone attacks on Russian fuel depots and ships
    2) ‘Russian nationalists’ (CIA lap-dancers) threaten more attacks into Russia
    3) ISIS, of all organizations, suddenly mounts an attack on Russian civilians near Moscow to give Putin something else to think about
    4) The ISW (Kagan family armed industrial complex), the most chickenhawk of all chickenhawk institutions, swears blind that ISIS undertook the attack with no-one else involved, honest…

    Now, 1) and 2) seem fairly normal for this war, but if anyone can give me a genuine reason why ISIS (!!) would suddenly mount an attack on Russia without US/Ukrainian involvement, just by chance, I have some WMDs I’d like to sell them…

      1. Polar Socialist

        There’s no ISIS in Syria, there’s just “moderate opposition forces”. \snark

        The branch of ISIS this is attempted to blame on is a small spin-off fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, mostly against Taleban but sometimes firing rockets to Tajikistan, too. The current leader used to work for Afghanistan security forces during the US nation building period. Creating instability is still his game, as we can see, but who’s paying the bills?

        1. Turtle

          Thank you. I haven’t been keeping up with IS and all their franchises. I don’t know if anyone has any reasonable explanation for why ISIS in Afghanistan/Pakistan would want to attack Russia at this stage of the game.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Somebody kicked the donkey. Two Patriot systems also taken out. How many billions of dollars would that be worth again?

  31. tegnost

    Stiglitz on big tech…

    Turns out to be a screed against that other guy, the orange thing.
    But throughout the rise of big tech, dems were mostly in charge, so…
    How did that happen on their watch?
    The only bad stuff was done by the other ones?
    Just another in the “you don’t know how good you’ve got it” panacea.

    The penultimate sentence…
    The US, like other countries, should decide its digital policy democratically.

    Yeah, democratically… “we” should try it sometime, you know, after “we’ve” tried everything else
    For some reason I had hoped for more…isn’t columbia considered a serious institution?

    1. rootin'-for-pootin

      At one time, many years ago, Stiglitz was, or at least appeared to be, reasonable. Truer colors displayed more recently betray that image… just another big money hatchet man protecting the wealthy western hegemon. The world bank might have been a good thing, a counterweight to the odious IMF. Not anymore.

  32. Ranger Rick

    Re: the boiling water study

    It’s a deliberately provocative title. What they mean to examine is the health effects of indoor cooking fire use without adequate ventilation in the context of “is this worth doing if you’re actually shortening your lifespan?” The DALY acronym seems to represent a growing awareness that people are less interested in absolute lifespan and more interested in quality of life.

    Also that article is timely. Don’t stare at the sun!

    1. vidimi

      DALY and absolute lifespan have to be very strongly correlated, chich makes DALY rather pointless

  33. flora

    I appreciate the NC crew linking to articles I disagree with. NC is no bubble narrative approved of place. So if NC makes a link….Makes me think. / ;)

    1. Late Introvert

      I know it puzzled me for some time and will do the same with other new people to this oasis of critical thinking. I think it might be the greatest thing that NC does, highlighting the lunacy of the PMC and their cowed journalists, boot lickers one and all.

  34. flora

    adding from Tennyson’s heroic poem of the 19th century, now regarded as an antique poet I’m sure, but still entirely appropriate to our age, imo, here is this from Tennyson’s epic poem Ulysses. These thoughts are with us still, imo. My grandfather’s age believed in them. My grandfather’s age left bodies buried on Flanders Fields in WWI:

    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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