Links 3/12/2022

Dear patient readers,

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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Five Loons Rescued on Lake Champlain Adirondack Almanack

When Pigs Cry: Tool Decodes the Emotional Lives of Swine NYT (KS).

What Google Search Isn’t Showing You The New Yorker. The site you’re reading now, for example.

Brave Search and Presearch say they don’t censor search results Reclaim the Net (ctilee).


Signature Event, The Honorable Ronald A. Klain (transcript) The Economic Club of Washington, DC

MR. RUBENSTEIN: Why do you think so many Americans don’t want to be vaccinated? Is this something you have, largely, accepted as a fact that you’re not going to be able to vaccinate everybody?

MR. KLAIN: Well, I think – 75 percent of adults are fully vaccinated and half of those who are eligible have also been boosted. Vaccine resistance is part of American history. It goes all the way back to George Washington having to require his troops to get the smallpox vaccine when they didn’t want to get it on the verge – in the Revolutionary War. Those of – those people who lived through the polio vaccinations in the 1950s know that it took eight years to get the country as vaccinated for polio as we’ve gotten it vaccinated for COVID in a single year. So, hesitancy about new vaccines is kind of an American tradition. It’s a global thing. We’re seeing it in Europe as well. They’ve had a little more penetration but they still have substantial vaccine hesitancy in some countries in Europe and other countries around the world.

The imperatives, then, are clear: Pursue a vax-only strategy, and denigrate a key non-pharmaceutical intervention, masks, as a “Scarlet Letter,” shaming those who wear them. I think I may have to put on my yellow waders for Mr. Klain.

Not everyone is ready to take the leap and stop wearing face masks NPR. “Not everyone is ready to take the leap and stop wearing seatbelts.” “Not everybody is ready to take the leap and start smoking in public again.” “Not everyone is ready to take the leap and have random sex without condoms.” I’ve never experienced two enormous, world-class propaganda campaign simultaneously. It’s disorienting. What on earth is wrong with these people?

* * *

Two years of COVID: The battle to accept airborne transmission Al Jazeera

Is Covid Over? No, But Global Health Funders Are Moving On Politico. Because of course they are.

* * *

Long Covid now major cause of long-term job absence, say quarter of UK employers FT

The immunology and immunopathology of COVID-19 Science. From the body: “It is now clear that COVID-19 can lead to long-term disease—often referred to as Long Covid syndrome or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC)—in a significant proportion of survivors. Although there is no universal consensus in the definition of PASC, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines it as a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience 4 or more weeks after first being infected with SARS-CoV-2. By contrast, the World Health Organization defines it as a condition that occurs in people with confirmed or probable SARS-CoV-2 infection, usually 3 months from the onset of COVID-19 with symptoms and that last for at least 2 months and cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis (Fig. 2). A systematic review of 57 peer-reviewed studies with 250,351 survivors of COVID-19 who met their inclusion criteria for PASC showed that the median age of patients was 54.4 years, 56% were male, and 79% were hospitalized during acute COVID-19 (70). At 6 months, 54% of survivors suffered at least one PASC symptom. However, nonhospitalized COVID-19 survivors who developed PASC were primarily middle-aged women.”


Coronavirus: Chinese leader Xi Jinping ‘concerned’ about Hong Kong’s crisis, as top official warns of ‘protracted war’ and urges anti-epidemic work ‘as precise as acupuncture’ and Shanghai to Shenzhen, Chinese cities rush to contain Covid-19 wave as new cases cross 1,000 for second day South China Morning Post. 1,000….

In Depth: The Winners and Losers of China’s Credit Easing Caixin Global


Myanmar Timber Exports Continue, Despite Western Sanctions: Report The Diplomat

EXCLUSIVE UK urges ex-Myanmar ambassador to leave London home citing junta ‘pressure‘ Reuters

Fallout in Southeast Asia of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Center for Strategic and International Studies


India Accidentally Fired Missile Into Pakistan: Defence Ministry Agence France Presse. Whoopsie!

Ramachandra Guha: How the Gandhi family is actively facilitating Hindutva authoritarianism The Scroll

Tendulkar vs Warne 1998: Master’s peak, Wizard’s busted shoulder and a sly curator Indian Express


Yemen war deaths will reach 377,000 by end of the year: UN Al Jazeera


Chancellor Olaf Scholz Could Save Germany, and Europe WSJ

Chile Shows How Social Movements Can Win Elections Convergence

New Not-So-Cold War

All of the gains — wartime censorship, McCarthyism, arms dealing, Pentagon budgets, appearance fees, book deals — with none of the pains (except for Ukrainians):

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Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 11 Institute for the Study of War

FIddling and didgling round Kyiv.

Russian warplanes, artillery widen attack, hit industry hub AP. Lviv. “American defense officials offered an assessment of the Russian air campaign, estimating that invading pilots are averaging 200 sorties a day, compared with five to 10 for Ukrainian forces, which are focusing more on surface-to-air missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and drones to take out Russian aircraft.”

Ukraine war: Mykolaiv being shelled by Russian forces, regional governor says – and losing city risks opening door to Odesa Sky News

No Quiet Place Left on Earth The Tablet. The primrose path in Mariupol, from one joyously treading it….

Analysis: Is Russia repeating mistakes of past wars in Ukraine? Al Jazeera

Defeating the Russian Battalion Tactical Group (PDF) Nic Fiore, Armor

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The Russian military intervention in the Ukraine – a macro view The Saker. It remains unclear to me that Russia’s strategic objectives as described here — particularly de-Nazification — can be achieved. “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” is all very well at the personal level….

‘Another Afghanistan, but even worse’: First criticism of Vladimir Putin’s war on Russian state TV Evening Standard. The Standard is owned by a “Russian businessman,” Evgeny Lebedev.

Is Biden Looking to Reignite a Dirty War in Ukraine? Recent Visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Raises Concerns Covert Action Magazine

Episode 205: Ukraine (with Ames) Part 1 (podcast) TrueAnon. Hoisting this one again; it’s aging like fine wine.

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Ukraine Is a War Without Endgame Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

Endgame in Ukraine: how could the war play out? FT

How Will Russia’s War on Ukraine End? Ross Barkan, Political Currents

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Symbol Manipulation (1):

Symbol Manipulation (2): The hive mind at work:

I curated a tweet on the Battleship Potemkin from Bush Era war criminal Hero Of The Resistance™ and Atlantic editor David Frum the other day and, like clockwork….

Symbol Manipulation (3):

My heart! Cuteness overload!

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Bargaining Chip? Phenomenal World. Commentary on sanctions:

Closing Tax Havens Is the True Test of the West’s Resolve Project Syndicate. So, again, what is the City of London for, if not servicing oligarchs, including Russian ones? And will no one think of the real estate?

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Putin sees ‘positive shifts’ in talks with Ukraine The Hindu

Borrell admits: Promising NATO membership to Ukraine was mistake Al Mayadeen

What Polls About a Ukraine ‘No-Fly Zone’ Really Tell Us FAIR

Facebook Introduces ‘Call In Drone Strike’ Button You Can Click On All Russian Profiles Babylon Bee (ctilee).

Supply Chain

India, Russia in search of alternative payment system, shipping access for trade Container News

IMO Council decisions on Black Sea and Sea of Azov situation Hellenic Shipping News. “Blue corridor.”

Class societies start pulling out of Russia Lloyd’s List. On shipping and classification societies, see NC here; Russian ships would be hard to insure, at least in the markets Lloyd;s services.

Our Famously Free Press

This keeps happening:

As long as the platforms do the Administration’s bidding, Lina Khan can go pound sand:

That said, self-censorship is always the best, and that’s probably what’s happening….

Intelligence Community

Classified US Intelligence Chat Rooms a ‘Dumpster Fire’ of Hate Speech, Says Ex-NSA Contractor SpyTalk

Class Warfare

A Nurse’s Story: My True Cost of the Pandemic Labor Notes

The Red Scare Scarred the Left — But Couldn’t Kill It Jacobin

College Town No Mercy No Malice

Why daylight saving time is unhealthy – a neurologist explains The Conversation

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

Double Bonus Antidote:

I hate to be all Maru, all the time, but who can resist and anyhow this one is for science!

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. ambrit

    Two propaganda campaigns; “What is wrong with these people?”
    ‘These people’ believe that propaganda is the equal to concrete material benefits as far as governing goes. Since they are now basically symbol manipulators, symbols are all they care about.
    I thought of an appropriate quote from Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther.”
    “Most people work most of the time in order to live, and the little freedom they have left over frightens them so, that they will do anything to get rid of it.”
    Truly, our social and political elites today are pathological.

    1. Robert Hahl

      “I’ll pay a little more for gas for her…”. How about $15/gallon? This situation reminds me of paying $2.60/gal in 1981.

      1. Robert Hahl

        P.S. A surprising aspect of that was I stared car-pooling with a coworker who happened to an attractive young woman. Everyone assumed we were having a love affair.

      2. The Historian

        I wonder how long it will take before self-interest overtakes empathy in this country. Didn’t take very long wrt Covid.

        Propagandists are going to have to up their game!

        That was an absolutely cute picture, though!

          1. amechania

            Remember Kony 2012 and ‘bring back our girls?’

            Gonna take a that as the model, but I’d also note Americans hate losing causes.

        1. Carla

          Americans have been carefully schooled to keep us from ever discovering what our interests really are. I mean, just look at us.

          1. Crane

            That’s called Populism Carla.

            Verboten. Imagine if the AFL-CIO had supported Ross Perot instead of the other one?

            1. lance ringquist

              BINGO, i have been saying that for years. the dumb unions in most cases, still think nafta democrats are the lesser of two evils, and will give them a few crumbs.

              it should be obvious by 1996, not going to happen.

      3. griffen

        I will pay a little more. Paying a lot more is another, much different conversation when most here are paying more for damn near everything beforehand. Symbol manipulation….tug at your heart strings. It is a long way from the Live Aid concert famously portrayed in Bohemian Rhapsody (I admit to watching that finishing scene more than twice).

        On the hand, there is this clip from the ironical view by SNL..YMMV.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          So Bette Midler is prepared to pay a little more. But is she prepared to use a little less? Using a little less would have a bigger impact than paying a little more, especially if a billion middles and uppers around the world all use a little less.

          The poors are already using as less as they possibly can. I don’t see how they could possibly use less than what they already use.

      4. The Rev Kev

        Does it help to report that as of 2022, Bette Midler has a reported net worth of $250 million?

        1. ambrit

          No, it does not help. Curiously, what is the net worth of the Harlettes?
          This showcases a primary flaw in the capitalist system; the equation of the posession of money with virtue. [John Calvin et. al. have a lot to answer for.]

        2. griffen

          Why would you go there…next we know there will be discussion threads about the Obama homes in the Vineyard and that construction on the Hawaii coast (pay no never mind that pesky seawall).

          Our elites can only be valued if they are pure of heart and by use of their own brand of bootstrap to hoist themselves upward! Becoming exceedingly rich and having an abundant lifestyle is a mere afterthought. As everyone knows of course, only the rich Republicans are the definition and class of evil ala Sauron of Middle Earth.

        3. Mildred Montana

          I wouldn’t be too hard on Bette Midler. At least she earned her hundreds of millions honestly; that is, people willingly bought her music.

          Yes, it’s easy (and perhaps proper) to ridicule a millionaire of any stripe who publicly states her virtuous acceptance of a paltry “sacrifice”, but there are other elites far more worthy of attack. Namely, those politicians and corporate executives who accumulate their millions— nay, billions—exploiting the rigged corporate/governmental system of laws and taxes that is designed to favor them.

          I bear no grudges against wealthy musicians, actors, authors, athletes, etc. Though they earn an elite-level income, at least it’s an honest one. Because many people happily and eagerly buy what they have on offer. While those other “elites” I speak of get rich by shamelessly looting the treasuries of their corporations and governments respectively.

          1. Sailor Bud

            Eh, when I hear about Johnny Depp’s 31 properties (or any of that kind of hoarding of planet Earth), and I know that’s even small fry, I’m not forgiving, but please do forgive me. It really is a difference in our ideas (and in my case, delusions) about Utopia or what this world should be, how chaste people should willingly be about their profligate lifestyles, and perhaps what is and isn’t vulgar, etc.

            I own a 1000-sq. ft house with a bunch of stuff in it, and all I can think right now is how badly I now want to rid myself of all of it and go mobile. I am embarrassed at the amount of stuff I’ve hoarded into this hut-person America told me to be.

            I’m thinking I want to sell it all, reduce myself to a nice big sloop or ketch, a folding bicycle, my musical gear (unfortunately will be reduced to electronica; c’est la vie), clothing and essentials, and then just get out of this sardine can hell. “You’ll own nothing and be happy” might be my future, if I can escape this country and its cruel people.

            My absolute favorite accusation from the richies is the envy finger. They’ll just outright fling it at people. I always treat that like a morbidly obese person suggesting that I envy the amount of food they ingest. I do not. The wealthy cannot see that others might view them as vulgar and obese. In a world where we are trained to see them as “classy,” I view their aesthetic hoarding as superficial. If they make a world that is this ugly, how can they claim to appreciate beauty at all?

          2. griffen

            Not to quibble on your overall point, but a number of athletes in professional baseball got somehow “bigger” and “stronger” using illicit substances. I know one in particular, a retired power hitter famously known as Sammy Sosa, has never admitted to the true source of his power. We’re not here to talk about the past, but Mark McGwire also had a reputation.

            Bigger picture, generally agree with athletes earning their keep. No one is arguing that elite quarterbacks such as Brady or Peyton Manning did not earn what he was paid. Well, there could be some debate but just fussing over details.

          3. ArvidMartensen

            She got rich singing because she was so good at it, and personable, and so she was such a saleable commodity for the big corporation that promoted her, sold her records etc. They got way richer, however, or they wouldn’t have bothered if they made peanuts out of her.
            Before corporations found a way to make money out of singers, really amazing singers were not worth a quarter of a billion dollars, or equivalent in old money.
            My problem with this is that those who work for the greater good, like nurses and teachers and garbage collectors and sewage workers, get paid a pittance. Even those who go to fight for their country don’t usually end up worth a quarter of a billion dollars from their lifetime efforts.
            So her wealth seems to me to be in some way undeserved in relation to others.

            1. howseth

              Feeling stingy these days. I am wondering if anyone – I mean anyone including artists and athletes should have $250 million at their disposal?… Don’t care what it was for… Best singer in the world… A pro basketball player with a 90% shooting average… even the reincarnation of J.S Bach… come back in a new exciting form – Well, for that maybe raise the limit to a billion. That’s it! One $billion tops.

              As far a bankers, tech magnates, hedge fund honchos… $250 million personal wealth should suffice… Get that top tax rate back up to 90+%

              So where would be the incentive to work hard and create the future?

              1. Procopius

                A 90+% tax bracket is the greatest incentive to work harder in the world! Anybody making (getting) more than $1 million a year doesn’t care about the money. They can’t spend that much. Well, I guess they could, but not getting maximum utility from it. The money is a scoring system. Make it harder to get more and they’ll work 24/7. Hey, they do that anyway now, right? But back in the 1950s nobody in the top 0.01% had any lack of motivation. In fact, the whole country was prosperous until the Fed started “fighting inflation.”

      5. ambrit

        Oh yes. I dimly remember pre-1973 gasoline prices. $5.00 USD would fill up the tank on the Chevy II.
        What is sad is that paying that “little more” for gasoline will not benefit that little girl one bit. She will still be a child in a war zone. If indeed she is the real thing. I keep remembering the Kuwaiti diplomat’s daughter who pretended to be traumatized by “actions” by Iraki troops in a non-existant hospital.
        It’s paper mache turtles all the way down.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          This exactly. None of these people could explain how paying more for gas helps that little girl…because it won’t. That image is the best piece of advertising the petrol companies have ever come up with. It helps that Biden is out there blaming inflation on Putin too. Higher prices? Those damn Ruskies are at it again! (Just ignore the record profits all the companies are reporting.)

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            Also, I have to wonder how many “I would pay more for her” people go as far out of their way as possible to avoid paying US taxes, which might benefit various “hers” here at home?

            1. fresno dan

              Funny how paying a little more to help and support “Mericans never, EVAH comes up. Its almost like there is an all pervasive censorship board that has complete and total control of all mass media, so that thought of helpins “Mericans can never be liked, retweeted, memed, or spoken of on ANY electronic gizmo at all.
              The fact that all electronic gizmo propagating stuff is owned and controlled by squillsonaires is sheer coincidence…

            2. Donovan

              Just look at the strategic and essential minerals and metals that Biden has denied to the American people through sanctions:

              Bidenflation is going to raise the price of alternate energy, electric cars and many manufacture items to the stratosphere. Saw first hand made car sign yesterday:

              Don’t blame me.
              I didn’t vote for Biden~Harris!

              1. Tom Bradford

                Presumably voted for Trump then. Had Trump won he would have:

                1. Done nothing, saying it was nothing to do with the US;
                2. Imposed purely cosmetic sanctions to no effect apart from inconveniencing a few Russian oligarchs and US businessmen;
                3. Imposed the same or even more Draconian sanctions which would raise prices the same or even more;
                4 Started WWIII, or
                5. *

                Which of the above would our blameless sign-writer have voted for?

                (* Enabling a diplomatic resolution of the causes of the conflict is, of course, an option – but does anyone with three or more brain cells think Trump was capable of that?)

                1. Late Introvert

                  Presumably is doing a lot of work, as Lambert would say. There aren’t any other options you can think of?

                  1. drumlin woodchuckles

                    Not that would have gotten elected, no.

                    If the point would have been to make some kind of a point, then yes.

                  2. drumlin woodchuckles

                    Not that would have gotten elected, no.

                    If the point would have been to make some kind of a point, then yes.

          2. Eureka Springs

            If your money has to filter through oil companies (and MIC) in order to help someone… Might as well just send cash to our Al Q fighters moving from Syria trough Turkey to Ukraine asking them to stop by and give the girls father some cash for us. March of Dimes updated.

          3. Crane

            Image of little girl in Syraquistan, Libyeni rubble;

            “Willing to pay more federal taxes to bomb her?”

          1. ambrit

            I wish it was a slant 6. Dad bought it new, with the 4 banger. I think that it was a 1963 model. That was a ‘basic’ car back then. It ran, and ran, and ran…..Did you know that the first generation Chevy II also came with a 327 ci V8! I didn’t realize this when I used to see it mentioned as a “Muscle Car.”
            One major thing about cars back then; you could work on them yourself. No computers to mess with. No proprietary codes, no special scanners needed, no dealer only electronic parts, etc. Cars today are an outright racket.
            The bright lining to the oil price spike going on now is that small cars will make a comeback. People will have no choice. Home economics will dictate the shift in buying patterns.

            1. meadows

              I would buy a car w/out any of the electric and electronic geegaws or computers, small and simple… w/one exception:
              fuel injection, baby! gotta have it.

              1. Grumpy Engineer

                Hah. Your philosophy on what constitute a desirable vehicle mirrors mine almost exactly. I’d cheerfully dispense with the infotainment systems, power seats/windows/locks, and brain-damaged automatic transmission controllers, but I have zero desire to go back to carburetors. Gah, I hated those temperamental, fuel-wasting contraptions.

                1. clarky90

                  I bought a JBL Charge 5 bluetooth speaker for my 1998 Toyota Caldina (Japanese import) station wagon. Now I have a great, in car, sound system! Cost, $100. The Caldina is a wonderful old reliable/fixable car.

                  The JBL replaces the non functioning cd player, with it’s 24 year old, rotten speakers.

                  I listen to obscure music wirelessly, from my phone.

                  People, imo, if your car runs well, but your music, back-up cameras, headlight bulbs….. are not good enough anymore….

                  …upgrade with inexpensive add ons.

            2. endeavor

              Speaking with my friends here in Michigan, we are at a loss as to how the automakers here will survive. They essentially make and sell work trucks and CUV’s. Neither get better than 20mpg in urban driving. They too are ramping up EV’s, but a have no capacity to build yet. Add in 40k plus average prices and the chip and soon to be commodity issues, it will be Katy Barr the door!

              1. Wukchumni

                New car dealers who can’t get any inventory aren’t long for the world either, it as if both the manufacturers and car sellers will go tilt soon, due to lack of turnover, plus having the wrong lineup for $7 a gallon gas.

                1. ambrit

                  Yes, and there are some pretty good hybrid powertrains out there. Some have a two or three cylinder engine, say, one to one and a half litre displacement, coupled with an electric generator and battery pack.
                  Then there are all the “small” cars from now and then.
                  I remember the ‘original’ Asian cars being very compact, budget cars.

                  1. WhoaMolly

                    Excellent, inexpensive, high mileage cars have been around for a long time.

                    My 2000 Geo Metro got 41 MPG on Northern California roads. It was roomy, reliable, and inexpensive.

                    No one but me–apparently–thought these cars were a good idea. They went out of business.

                    I lost the car after being rear-ended by a tricked out, big wheel, pickup truck on I5, north of Sacramento in 2004. The car crumpled, kept its footing, and spun into the median between lanes. The passenger compartment was untouched.

                    Safe, reliable, cheap, high mileage. And out of business.

            3. Screwball

              I had a Chevy II with a six popper, but it was a straight 6.

              Yes, you could actually work on them. I kept a set of points and condenser in my glove box. Many people did the same thing. Need a screwdriver too, so you could change them.

              1. ambrit

                Don’t forget the gapping gauge. Though I’ve seen it done on the fly with a sheet of construction paper.

            4. Grateful Dude

              how about a Morgan? A basic car that has survived all these years. EFI? not sure.

              And then there’s Lotus Don’t know about the electronics, but they’re hand made. Probably not easy to repair either.

              I have a ’95 Lexus SC300. No surveillance tech. Still runs like a dream.

        2. PHLDenizen

          Paying a “little more” where mom has to choose between gas for driving to a thankless, ruthless, and shit wage job where she’s disposable — or insulin, antibiotics, or mood stabilizers for her kid — is arguably a war crime. Inflation, wage compression, precarity, housing price madness, price distortion in the car market are all de facto sanctions on non-PMC types. Have been for a loooong time. So this “in support of Ukraine” line is virtue signaling horseshit and another erasure of concrete harm to the US’ own citizenry.

          Some enterprising soul should throw together a website that uses machine learning to scour liner notes in albums, credits for film and TV, authors from the beginning of time, donors to politicians, schools, museums. And upon finding anything remotely connected to Russia in any way, shape, or form, should immediately bombard all social media with demands of cancellation.

          Out of curiosity, I checked out the edit history for Vladimir Horowitz’s Wikipedia entry. And, sure enough, there’s already a pissing match between whether he was Ukrainian or Russian born.

          That thing is such a useless pile of turds. I’ve been trying to stockpile as many old magazines, journals, books of any sort as possible to prevent such malleability of the truth. Libraries are throwing them out left and right. Even with all the Amazon warehouses in the world, it would still be near impossible. Sigh.

          1. WhoaMolly

            All the people piously advising us plebes to “pay a little more” for a clear conscience seem to be in the multi-million dollar net worth category.

            Funny, that.

          2. square coats

            I’ve been wondering what sort of mischief or brouhahas people might get into w/r/t Nikolai Gogol, and after reading your comment just checked his wikipedia page, found a similar match ensuing.

      6. Polar Socialist

        Or is it worth it if the definition of “for her” is turning her country into next Syria or Afghanistan and trying to destroy any and all prospects for decent living standards for her cousins living in Rostov?

        1. The Historian

          I wish we’d drop the fantasy that this is about the Ukrainian people, even those as cute as the little one in this photo. When did we ever care about the people of a country that either we invaded or that we encouraged war in?

          I watched a video last night where Biden was almost gleeful about destroying Russia’s economy.

          He also said he’s sending more aid to Ukraine which will keep the war going – how is that helping the Ukrainian people?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Agreed. They can’t win and all it will do is ensure that lots of Ukrainians are killed and a general hatred built up. And come to think of it, nobody cared at all about the thousands of people that have been killed in the Donbass the past eight years. When they interview all those Ukrainians on TV who say it is terrible to be bombarded by the Russians, I must admit that I am curious to know that if you could have interviewed them a month ago whether they agreed with the bombardment of the Donbass. Here is an interview with a young woman from this region and her experiences-


            1. OnceWereVirologist

              It’s kind of tacky how emotional Westerners have suddenly and unexpectedly become over civilian casualties in Ukraine when they’ve proven over and over again that in reality they just don’t give a damn (Donbass being a good example).

              1. CitizenSissy

                I wonder whether Americans are reacting so viscerally to the refugee crisis because people who lead lives not unfamiliar to Americans have been displaced in a horrible humanitiarian crisis. American society has deteriorated, IMHO, to the point where I’ve certainly wonder what I’d do and where I’d go if the US situation tanked

                An Irish-born friend just got her Irish passport, and her grown children are applying for citizenship. I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of people are also exploring a Plan B.

                1. Louis Fyne

                  i love Eire, and the US is on the cusp of the 2nd Great Recession…

                  but Ireland will be even more messed up in a world without Russian commodities, a falling Euro, falling British Pound, stalling EU and UK economy.

                  The US elites will fight for their principles until the last European is left standing

                  1. ambrit

                    It’s even worse than that.
                    The US elites will fight for their principles plus interests until the last deplorable is laid low in the dust.
                    After a while, one becomes tired of continually being cynical, and of being proven right later.

                    1. Lupana

                      Has no one thought of just sending some American and EU negotiators and working out an agreement that addresses security for all concerned? It seems it would be cheaper, safer and much less complex than what we’re currently doing. Am I missing something..?

                2. NotTimothyGeithner

                  who lead lives not unfamiliar to Americans

                  The Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Eurasia. No one cared about what we did in Libya despite their living standards. I wonder what the difference is.

            2. WhoaMolly

              Re: They can’t win

              Maybe they can win. What happens if Russia loses all it’s tanks?

              The Javelin shoulder-mounted missile weighs 50 pounds and can take out a tank from 2 miles away. One man can launch it.

              Nato has reportedly sent 17,000 Javelins to Ukraine.

              It’s possible that the Javelin missile means the day of the tank is over. Just like the day of the battleship was over in WW2 when dive bombers were able to sink them by coming down from above.

              The tank might be thought of as a small land-based battleship.

              1. The Rev Kev

                The US and NATO has sent 17,000 anti-tank weapons and 2,000 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles into the most corrupt country in Eurupe. What could possibly go wrong. It’s not like the criminal gangs there would ever try to sell them on to the world’s black arm market. So how could this play out?

                The US wants to put troops back into Somalia. So next year a US troops column is advancing into the countryside when the Strykers are slammed with anti-tank weaponry. US helicopters are sent in to protect them but a coupla are shout out of the sky by Stingers. The fighters then disappear.

                After sorting through the battlefield, pieces of those weapons are found that still have the serial numbers and when checked, match with those sent into the Ukraine but not to a place where the Russians were ever able to grab them. Meanwhile an Israeli airliner is shot out of the sky by a manpad in a European country.

                1. Tom Bradford

                  Or the Russian’s win and send a note of thanks to the US and NATO for their generous contribution to Russia’s arsenal.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    The Russians have already said that all the ATGMs and the manpads captured are being donated to the Donbass military. Some of course are being sent to Moscow for technical analysis.

                    1. Polar Socialist

                      DPR announced they have captured enough NLAWs to start training their troops to use them, including practice shots.
                      They also claim to have added 7 modernized T-60s and one T-80 into their ranks on Saturday, all captured Ukrainian tanks.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    A German broadcasting out of Donbass (she has her own German podcast empire) when asked about the US sending in Javelins, said, “Oh the Russians would like that” because they’d capture most of them. Oddly I can no longer find that interview on YouTube to get a more exact quote.

              2. square coats

                I’m not personally well informed about military technology but I’ve seen several people (alas I can’t remember who/where), presumably with greater knowledge of such things, mentioning that the javelins have by and large simply not functioned, or have ended up being functionally useless because they use rechargeable batteries and the ones sent to to the Ukrainians hadn’t been charged beforehand.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Good thing for the Ukrainians that Javelin missiles are manufactured by Raytheon & Lockheed Martin and not John Deere.

                2. Will

                  Is the problem that the batteries weren’t pre-charged or that an international power/plug adapter was not included?

                  (I think this is a serious question. I vaguely remember a time when it would definitely have been a joke.)

                3. Acacia

                  Saker addressed the issue of the Javelins in a 2017 article on myths about weapons deliveries to the Ukraine. His assessment was they are not a game changer.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            It’s about markets, and Ukraine with all its grain and gas is on the route of China’s Belt and Road project, which promises to bring benefits to all of Eurasia. A quick check of the map shows that the US in not in Eurasia, so no wonder the US neocons want to stir up trouble there.

            We’ll see how it plays out, but right now it sure looks the US with it’s desire for a “pivot to Asia” to keep its own economy dominant, is instead speeding up its own irrelevancy.

            If the US could replace its desire for control with a willingness to cooperate, it could still be a player. Instead we’re in Saturn Devouring His Children territory, and Saturn was eventually replaced despite the gruesome precautions taken to prevent that outcome.

      7. chris

        Yeah. The memes are already being deployed which state that prior to the crash in 2008 gas prices ran up this high on average in the US. To which I say, we’re above those averages now AND we weren’t dealing with all the other price increases for food and rent back then too. Also, so you admit that Sleepy Joe isn’t doing a good job and we’re seeing signs of catastrophe everywhere? But only in person. No point in talking like that online.

        1. Aumua

          Yeah, and it’s also Joe Biden’s fault that both gas prices and inflation are higher in Europe and around the world. Because Biden’s in charge of gas prices and inflation everywhere, right?

            1. chris

              Yes, Germany is finding it hard to continue being a country with a serious manufacturing sector while not having the energy to support it. Wind and solar can’t provide what they need. Losing access to Russian gas/oil supplies has given them a big problem that they have to resolve quickly. We’ll see what happens.

          1. chris

            Well, I didn’t say Joe Biden was responsible for the current awful gas prices, I just pointed out that the people trying to say that we’ve seen this before are wrong. We actually haven’t. And if the we’re unfortunate enough to see what happened with gas prices in 2008 occur again this year, then we could easily see 7 or 8$/gallon come July.

            However, since you made the point to discuss the US role in this and Sleepy Joe’s role in particular, we might talk about that too.

            Considering we put up with Saudi Arabia doing what they’re doing, and we’re a large exporter of oil and gas, yeah, the inflation and increase in oil prices is something the US involved in. Saudi Arabia is only able to do what it does because we protect it and support it’s domestic and foreign policies. We’re stuck in a weird game with them where they tell everyone that they are economically attacking us and trying to break the domestic US oil and gas industry and we let them get away with it. I guess that’s because we derive such a benefit from the petrodollar. But I wonder if we could look at something closer to the gasohol approach that Brazil uses instead. That wouldn’t do good things for the world. We really do need to stop relying on fossil fuels so much. But seeing as there’s nothing anyone person can do to help that, and that there’s zero interest in stopping regardless of who’s in the White House, we might as well be more efficient about it.

            To your other point… Since the US is the place where many of the companies making the world a worse place are incorporated, and we’re the source of much of the outsourcing to other countries to evade labor and environmental laws, you could say we are more responsible than others when it comes to inflation and other issues in the world. We’re certainly a major cause of inflation and economic misery in Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, Palestine, and other places. The decision to pursue the various domestic agendas to immiserate the Rust Belt in the US is also the fault of the US government. The support for union breaking and union busting is the fault of the US government too. The reason for all the upheaval to do wars for the last 20 years is the US government’s actions as well. So, I would give that a qualified yes, it is the US that is driving economic misery in most of the world. To the extent that Joe Biden continues to pursue those policies from his basement, it’s his fault too.

            1. Aumua

              I agree with most of that, but those are ongoing conditions of the US foreign and domestic policies, so once again it’s not Biden at least not not any more Biden that it was Trump causing these things. I misunderstood your take though, so apologies. The thing is there are lot of people in conservative media who are hammering that it’s all Biden’s fault nonstop right now, so I’m a little on guard against that.

              In fact it seems like the right media is sort of sidestepping taking any real strong stances on the Ukrainian situation at the moment, by just keeping the focus on Biden and how terrible he is.

          2. lance ringquist

            Michael Hudson:
            The U.S. consumer price inflation reflects its dependence on other countries. Import prices are up, and cannot go down.

            nafta joe certainly is responsible.

            1. Aumua

              He’s as responsible as any other president of the last 4 or 5 decades for perpetuating and feeding the system, but it’s the system that is the problem and its name is Capitalism.

      8. JBird4049

        I already saw $5.99 around here in the Bay Area, so just give it time. Admittedly, it’s California gas prices, which are always the highest in the country, but ouch.

        1. Wukchumni

          I saw a gas station that had run out with bags over the pumps, but they still had plenty of 87 octane NFT’s in the convenience store.

          Diesel must be close to $7 a gallon now, does that mean that Cali truck drivers aren’t making any money?

          1. Wukchumni

            My crystal ball is only good for predictions a couple weeks out, but I see $8.79 in Cali in the future.

            1. WhoaMolly

              Wuk the solution is obvious!

              All we need to do is take Mayo Pete’s advice and get an $80,000 Tesla. And maybe a $20,000 Tesla PowerWall battery to go with it.


              PS: $5.99 in rural northern California… yesterday. Probably $6.29 today. Is it even possible to buy a Tesla these days? What with chip shortage and all?

              1. JBird4049

                Just to recap because I just have to for sanity sakes. Studying death cults can can be stressful.

                The plan is not have any electric cars (and I assume hybrids as well) while blasting fuel costs past the previously normal European costs.

                This in a country where fifty miles between towns is normal. Gee, I wonder what those truckers being bankrupt by $5 per gallon gas will do now?

                What genius. What skill! They set up a Summer of riots and plague deaths right before pivotal elections. It is a masterpiece of suicide camouflage as murder.

                After Trump dies or has an “accident” who are the most likely to take control of the Republican Party and very likely the presidency and Congress?

                Who is likely our Ernst Thälmann and our Adolph Hitler? I can not see any national Democratic leaders who have the intelligence, the ambition, and charisma to be President. For the Republicans, Marco Rubio?

                Kamala Harris is an empty suit. President Biden is not going to be around much longer. I do not see anyone else who will get the support from the oligarchs and be electable.

      9. hunkerdown

        That’s not a very nice thing for her to say when there are chemical weapons attacks being “predicted” by the West. Is she telling on her team?

  2. John Beech

    Mishandled from the beginning. President Trump vaccinated in secret when he could have rolled up his sleeve before God and country and said, ‘Folks, there’s a very small chance this may kill me, and I’ll be sad for it, but a bigger chance this protects me against COVID19 meaning protects you from me spreading it, too. If we want our nation back, then we need to pull together. Please do your part like I am.’ as he looks down at the vaccine being administered.

    It’s never been about red and blue.

    1. Milton

      But that would be a lie then, as we all know that a Covid shot recipient spreads the virus just as easily.

      1. Dean

        The recent issue of Science has two reports that vaccination may reduce transmission.

        The first ( is based on a model but the second ( uses household data.

        The second study titled “Indirect protection of children from SARS-CoV-2 infection through parental vaccination” reported on early (alpha) and late (delta) variant periods.

        From the summary:

        “We found that having a single vaccinated parent was associated with a 26.0 and a 20.8% decreased risk in the early and late periods, respectively, and having two vaccinated parents was associated with a 71.7 and a 58.1% decreased risk, respectively. Thus, parental vaccination confers substantial protection on unvaccinated children in the household.”

        1. Yves Smith

          The problem is that the study was from Israel and didn’t control for any other explanatory factors, like masking. The big vaccine refusniks are the super Orthodox, and their men go to very crowded (literally cheek by jowl) synagogues at least once a week (studies during the first wave found that synagogues were far and away the biggest vector for transmission, far more so than restaurants). So a substantial portion of the unvaccinated in Israel were engaged in very risky behavior, while the vaccinated were less likely to be so cavalier.

          Consider also: “A study focusing on unvaccinated spouses of health care workers found the indirect effect to be 43% (95% CI: 23%, 58%) 10 weeks after receipt of the first vaccine dose (11)”. That sounds definitive until you look at context:

          1. Israel had a wave that started in December 2020 and became acute by the end of December, with restrictions on inbound travel and a nationwide lockdown starting December 20. That is also when vaccinations started. Health care workers were at the head of the line. So at least for HCWs, the “one spouse vaxxed, the other not” was presumably due to the difference in their spot in the queue.

          It is not hard to imagine that spouses of HCWs would be much more compliant with Covid restrictions like masking….due to exhortations by/the example of the spouse. So behavior would have had an impact.

          2. By contrast, some of the restrictions during that lockdown were:

          Gatherings limited to 10 people indoors or 20 people outdoors, for approved events (e.g. funerals and weddings).

          Visiting another person’s home is forbidden.

          It takes ten men to form a minyan. I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t a lot of defiance of these rules among the ultra Orthodox. Again that alone would almost certainly lead to higher infection rates among their community….which also has rejected the vaccines.

          So shorter, the lack of controls is a real problem.

    2. Joe Renter

      Maybe Trump was told about Tiffany Dover and thought better to get the jab off camera (in that trail of thought).

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Glenn Greenwald
    This is such an amazing and revealing clip. A reporter who covers the Pentagon reads a statement from the DoD word for word, and then — when asked for evidence — says that the evidence is what she just read: namely, the Pentagon denial! Absolutely how many journalists think:’

    Yeah, I’m calling BS on this whole thing, especially after listening to the coverage on the news about Russia’s charges at the UN where you only got t listen to the US and UK ambassadors. If any are interested,the Saker has an article about quoting the Russian ambassador’s speech. It is called “Sitrep: UNSC on biolabs in the Ukraine + Russia Transcript” and includes this passage-

    ‘The activity of biolabs in Ukraine that we track back to 2014, and US-implemented program of so-called reform of Ukrainian healthcare system triggered uncontrolled growing incidence of dangerous and economically relevant infections in Ukraine. There is an increase in the number of cases of rubella, diphtheria, tuberculosis. Occurrence of measles has increased more than 100-fold. The World Health Organization said Ukraine runs high risks of having a polio outbreak. There is evidence that in Kharkov, where one of the labs is located, 20 Ukrainian soldiers died of swine flu in January 2016, 200 more were hospitalized. By March 2016, the total of 364 people had died of swine flu in Ukraine. Besides, outbreaks of African swine fever occur regularly in Ukraine. In 2019, there was an outbreak of a disease that had symptoms similar to plague.’

    1. timbers

      You don’t understand so I will help you. The reason it’s evidence is BECAUSE she read the government fact sheet word for word on the TV. For example the reason we could never find WMD in Iraq is because our free press didn’t know that back then and never read word for word on the TV the government fact sheets about WMD in Iraq.

    2. Charlie Sheldon

      Ah, the biolab issue. I have never seen such a full throated, multi-tasked, overwhelming media response saying, “debunked”, “lies”, “untrue”. Just amazing. “Methinks you doth protest too much m’dear…” If the Russians have papers and evidence, and present it, before impartial observers (are there any these days?) then we might know whether their accusation might be true. Based on the level of froth and denial, that evidence will be shouted down every time because the proles just cannot hear it…

    1. The Rev Kev

      TASS, for what it is worth, reports that the employees of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) – an international organization funded by the US authorities – have diplomatic immunity. Is that normal for simple medical research organizations?

      1. David

        Diplomatic immunity is what it says: immunity from prosecution by the host country for diplomatic personnel who have been properly accredited to and accepted by the host government, as well as their families. It doesn’t mean they can break the law, and it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be punished by their own country for doing so, it just means that they aren’t subject to the jurisdiction of the host government. (It doesn’t provide them with protection elsewhere). In practice, diplomats should obey the laws of the countries they are accredited to, even if they differ from their own: a diplomat who went round handing out copies of the Bible in Riyadh, for example, or who let his unmarried daughter drive a car alone, would probably be at least reprimanded by the Ambassador, but couldn’t be prosecuted by the Saudi authorities. This is one of those customs from which everybody benefits, and so it’s pretty universally accepted. There’s also a lesser status called Administrative and Technical, which covers essentially diplomatic support staff.

        Unless the personnel concerned were officially accredited with either status to the Embassy in Kiev, in which case their names would be on the local Diplomatic List, we are probably dealing with one of two other possibilities. One is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), but that only usually applies when there are significant numbers of military personnel deployed. So this is probably just a Memorandum of Understanding, which is an administrative document that sets out agreed arrangements for foreign nationals to work in another country. An MoU covers all kinds of things, but a jurisdiction clause is quite common, usually saying that for anything serious the sending state retains jurisdiction. I expect that that’s what is being misunderstood here.

        1. The Rev Kev

          To tell you the truth, this is sounding a bit like the Feres doctrine where members of the US military were not allowed to sue military doctors for any injuries caused by them, even in cases of medical malpractice. And this doctrine was then used to protect US military doctors that “experimented” on soldiers and the like, no matter how outrageous what they did-

          As for the actual diplomatic status of the medical staff that were in the Ukraine, I would judge there to be zero chance of ever establishing their actual status as this whole episode will now be deep-sixed by the US, the Ukraine and especially the media.

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      Guy’s an out-and-proud true believer in the Donbass Republic. Makes him far more transparent in his biases than what passes for journalism in the MSM. I prefer a writer who freely exposes their biases than one that pretends they don’t exist.

      1. Barbados Slim

        Carrying on a conversation with Bentley is challenging. Though we share a common language, he’s committed himself to an alternate reality. “With U.S. politicians and mainstream media, including Rolling Stone,” he tells me, “everything they say is a lie. It is 180 degrees — the opposite direction from what is true.”

        Where’s the lie

      2. Yves Smith

        He’s repeatedly disagreed with official Russian positions. Said he was seeing new recruits in the Russian units in Donbass when Russia was insisting there were no conscripts. Described how their uniforms and gear differed from the regulars. Said he hadn’t seen them only as of a day ago (which would have been IIRC a week after the war began)

  4. Raymond Sim

    It remains unclear to me that Russia’s strategic objectives as described here — particularly de-Nazification — can be achieved.

    I believe this is a failure of imagination, probably due to you being a good person. Remember when that Economics professor (at Amherst I think) came out with a study showing that Bernie’s proposed stimulus would have lasting effect, and hoisted the usual suspects on their own models, they seemingly never having plugged big numbers into them? I fear something similar applies to organized violence as a political tool – for those whose stomachs are Stalin-strong.

    The Russians have Finland as an example of a near-optimal outcome, and Chechnya as a recent guide to what works.

    As for ourselves, we can take Chechnya as an indicator of Putin’s gastric fortitude. Which is why I was suprised when the Ukrainians didn’t find a face-saving way to exit Donbas.

    1. NotThePilot

      I agree with you that Western discussion of Russia facing an insurgency with no end-game shows a lack of imagination. Also, the people cheerleading the NATO side are definitely underestimating how determined and grim Russia can be about something it decides is existential.

      However, I don’t think the absolute worst-case scenario is Chechnya. For one, I’ve noticed this tendency for Western journalists to interpret the Chechen war as a pattern for how post-Soviet Russia fights wars. But if you go looking for details on strategy or doctrine, it’s more like the Russian government sees it as a bloody mess that taught them a lot about what not to do.

      More to the point though, if the Russian gov feels it’s reached a point large parts of Ukraine will never reconcile, they have a much subtler option. I don’t think they’d want to do it except as a last resort: it’s not easy, it’s not kind, who knows what the long-term side-effects would be, and it would be a massive blow to pan-Slavism and international law (though see below for some diplomatic cover on that count).

      I think Dave in Austin mentioned yesterday that we could be seeing what he described as a “soft ethnic cleansing”, where the Russians aren’t actively looking to displace or destroy Ukrainians as an ethnicity, but they’re not exactly upset about the anti-Russian population fleeing into the EU either. That alone wouldn’t allow the Russians to avoid an insurgency, but it would if they paired it with Machiavelli’s first recommendation for consolidating territory (something IIUC Ukraine has a very long history of)….

      Colonization, and not by traditionally ethnic Russians. Holding a half-rebuilt suburb or stretch of fields and forests suddenly becomes a lot easier when it’s full of lightly-armed immigrants under your banner. While I don’t know if the Russians have actually planned for this, it would fit with all the ways the Russian government & church has been sort-of harmonizing with parts of the Islamic world recently. And if the colonists included a large contingent of Muslim refugees (from climate or war), even though the EU and NATO would scream bloody murder, Putin (who supposedly does love his judo moves) could probably sell it to enough of the world as a humanitarian measure.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Perhaps I should have described Chechnya as a guide to what works and what doesn’t.

        As for displacement of populations: The history behind Putin’s talk of “de-communizing” makes that tacit in what he’s already said, and I would assume quite a bit of that has happened in Chechnya, though perhaps largely Chechen on Chechen.

        Galicia might experience Anschluss with Poland via gentrification.

    2. David

      I think it’s also a question of timescales. Western liberal thinking sees wars “breaking out”, for various, hotly debated, reasons, followed by peace initiatives, ceasefires, attempted peace treaties, final settlements, treatment of “underlying causes” etc. That’s not on offer here, any of it.

      This is a war, albeit limited, undertaken for specific strategic reasons, and with specific objectives. It won’t be over until the objectives have been reached. Even if some kind of compromise were possible, it’s doubtful whether the Russians would accept it. The crisis was twenty years in the making, and what the Russians are trying to do is to re-draw the map of the region, and remodel the security structures of Europe, for the foreseeable future. We are so used to thinking in news cycles, re-election cycles and so forth that we cannot cope with a long term plan. The Russians are thinking twenty-five years ahead, and essentially they are prepared to take whatever time is needed now, and whatever pain is needed now, to accomplish their goals. They may well be expecting sanctions to last in some form for years, they may have to cope with a low-level insurgency in the Donbass, but they appear to have judged that, in the long term, they’ll be in a worse situation if they don’t act than if they act. But we can’t understand that.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        It’s possible that we would all be in an extremely worse position if they didn’t act, due to those forces of insatiable appetite who want all of the cake & just can’t help pushing matters to the brink.

        Building a much more defensible position & becoming more self sustainable seems wise to me in the long term – hopefully involving the minimum amount of eggs needed to make that omelette.

      2. Joe Renter

        Your comments are in line with Gonzalo Lira’s who was futured in a NC post in the last few days. Putin is tenacious.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          Maybe it is not that much different than preparing for a siege as back in the Ye Olden days, as in the central part being the keep, very likely Moscow with a succession of curtain walls as in defensive lines radiating out from that, while making sure you have enough resources to wait out the besiegers. Perhaps the Russians see the bio set-up in Ukraine as a potential modern version of the old method of catapulting diseased corpses over the battlements.

          But for the impressive walls around Constantinople that empire would have been toast much earlier when the par excellence rape & pillage Huns turned up.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I’ve come to believe that the mindset of elites in nations can be fundamentally different due to geography. A country which is in the middle of a vast landmass with no obvious ‘natural’ boundaries will always feel insecure in a way that an island nation, or one with a clear geographical coherence (e.g. China) will never quite understand. Russia has no ‘boundaries’, it has constantly shifting borders. Even with languages, the distinction between Russian and its slavic relatives is vague and constantly changing (the Russians of course are fond of describing other Slavs as ‘little brothers’, even when those Slavs happen not to agree).

            Russia is an idea, not a geographic fact on the ground. And ideas can be good or bad, or indeed, both at the same time.

            1. Polar Socialist

              Richard Connolly, in his book The Russian Economy – A Very Short Introduction, argues that this is the very reason why any government of Russia/Soviet Union has always aimed to have control over the strategic industries. For security’s sake they need to retain the capability to wage war at any given time, at any given direction.

    3. Tor User

      Finland doesn’t believe themselves to be ‘neutral’ and have thrown their lot in with the West some years ago. The news there is getting Army reservists to report for voluntary training and pushing public opinion into joining NATO.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Finland doesn’t believe themselves to be ‘neutral’ and have thrown their lot in with the West some years ago.

        So the outcome was only optimal for, say 50 years?

        As I said back when “Is Russian going to invade?” was still the question, one motive to do so would be to clarify the situation for the benefit of bystanders.

        Have any Finnish Nazi corpses made in onto social media yet? I daresay that sort of thing is coming. Meanwhile ant-Russian policies are likely to impose serious economic burdens on the population at large.

  5. Paradan

    So I’d just like to point out that a Brigade Combat Team is about 5-7 battalions, where as a Battalion Tactical Group is 1 Battalion with an extra company or two attached. Therefor, when comparing the two, you might want to mention the 5 to 1 force ratio.

  6. griffen

    Though I’m not a pet owner, I can appreciate the cleverness applied by the cat in that video tweet. Surely there is a method to pet proof your feline friends from opening doors. Reminds me of the clip from Jurassic Park, in the industrial kitchen where the velociraptors are in pursuit of the two kids. They can’t open doors after all, now can they?

    1. anon y'mouse

      cat-proofing doors uses the same tools as kid-proofing them does.

      how do i know? because my cat will serve herself from the upper wall kitchen cabinet if i’m not prompt about mealtimes.

    2. Nikkikat

      Our house had lever type door handles on interior doors and front door. I had adopted 2 cats within a month of each other. They both figured out that they could stand on their hind legs and open the doors. We had to change all the door knobs in the house to the standard round knobs. My cattle dog mix was only ten weeks old. She figured out how the unscrew the pressure rods on the doggie gate in two days of observe me put the gate in place. Had to permanently install a gate into the wall. She simply turned them in the correct direction.
      I was basically shamed in to the realization that my pets could out smart me in a matter of minutes! Lol

      1. petal

        If it’s any consolation, my older dog has a red flag on his vet file. During the covid lockdown when they weren’t allowing people inside, they put him in an exam room by himself. I was sitting in the car and could see directly into the lobby. Well, I look up and here he comes trotting through the lobby towards the front door, tail wagging and big smile on his face as if nothing’s out of the ordinary. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. After that little incident, he got red-flagged and is not allowed to be left alone in a room there. Required to have a staff member wait in the room with him. He stands up, puts his hands on the door handle and presses down and backs up to pull it back/open. At the old apt I had to change all the door knobs to the round ones, like you did. He is a very astute observer of how things work-anything from door knobs to can openers to bicycle mechanics. “Show me how it works, mom.” It’s really interesting. He wants to see and learn how things work, doesn’t matter what it is.

        1. Nikkikat

          My miniature Pincher got red flagged after an escape attempt turned in to a major tussle. He took off thru the pet hospital after he pretended like he would bite. This was his favorite game, once he used that to get them to back off he would go on the lamb. He could jumps onto 6 foot high shelves, over counters. They had insisted that I drop him off. I warned them but they said I was just over protective. I got a call at work that I needed come come back and catch him.
          When I arrived everyone gathered in a corner as Jasper held them hostage. Uniforms all askew and red faces. I laughed for days. He was what I call a free thinking dog.

      2. Jen

        My most recent addition, Max the Giant Orange Cat, can not only open doors, but in the early days when he was still adjusting to his new home, he figured out how to close the door to the guest room so he could retreat from company when he’d had enough.

  7. Nels Nelson

    “I’ll pay a little more for gas for her…”

    The Creel Committee could not have done better.

  8. anon y'mouse

    At 6 months, 54% of survivors suffered at least one PASC symptom. However, nonhospitalized COVID-19 survivors who developed PASC were primarily middle-aged women.”

    there you go. anything and everything that happens to middle aged women, up to and including broken bones (yes, i’ve heard from someone who experienced it), can and does get classed as psychosomatic.

    this will be very interesting if the men, because “confirmed” and hospitalized, are treated differently by their doctors than women will be. since we already are treated disparately, even by female doctors, i wonder whether this will be captured statistically at all.

    1. Lee

      Radio program Science Friday: What We’re Learning About Long COVID Symptoms And Their Causes (26 minutes)

      “If you’d like to participate in long COVID research, take this survey from the Patient-Led Research Collaborative.

      Over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, one topic has been on many people’s minds: long COVID. Some people with COVID-19 have symptoms that last for weeks, months, and sometimes even years after their initial infection.

      Long COVID affects people in different ways. Some report debilitating fatigue or a persistent brain fog that makes it hard to concentrate. And for many long haulers, their ability to exercise and or perform simple daily tasks remains severely limited.”

    2. Lee

      Radio program Science Friday: What We’re Learning About Long COVID Symptoms And Their Causes (26 minutes)

      “If you’d like to participate in long COVID research, take this survey from the Patient-Led Research Collaborative.

      Over the two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, one topic has been on many people’s minds: long COVID. Some people with COVID-19 have symptoms that last for weeks, months, and sometimes even years after their initial infection.

      Long COVID affects people in different ways. Some report debilitating fatigue or a persistent brain fog that makes it hard to concentrate. And for many long haulers, their ability to exercise and or perform simple daily tasks remains severely limited.”

      1. Lee

        For decades and to a lesser degree even now, ME/CFS has been viewed and treated by many in the medical establishment as a psychiatric disorder. The vast increase in the number of those now suffering from long lasting post-viral chronic illness makes it much more difficult to ignore and to dismiss such conditions as malingering.

        1. gepay

          It is the same with chronic Lyme disease. For a decade or so Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD) was not recognized by most mainstream type doctors or at most as a psychiatric disorder. I don’t see much difference between CLD, ME/CFS, and long covid. Individual symptoms may vary especially in intensity as in all diseases. It is a possibility that all 3 of these could be caused by something as yet unknown. Since the popularity of viruses as a cause for most any new disease, environmental causes are not looked for very hard at the CDC. HIV was announced as the cause of AIDS in a press conference with Gallo and the head of HEW. It is now an entrenched multibillion per year medical industry. 40 years on with no vaccine and no cure. Exactly how Goldman Sachs described the best disease and product for the Pharma industry to have. Actually AIDS(yndrome) is a syndrome and not a disease. COVID was thought to be a viral disease in Wuhan China with just 44 pneumonia identified by odd x-rays. There is really bad air pollution in Wuhan. I have not seen any search for possible pollution causes for the lung pneumonia in Wuhan. Since it is now acceptable to think of Covid as a lab created virus there is more evidence for SARS COV2 to really exist. As in the nurses article, I noticed that the hospital protocol was not good at all protecting staff from illness. In fact it appears to me that the hospital protocol was almost designed to create death – no early treatment but with remdesivir and ventilation when symptoms are bad enough to get you admitted to the hospital . Treating early is what is recognized as the best way to get a good result.

    3. JBird4049

      >>>there you go. anything and everything that happens to middle aged women, up to and including broken bones (yes, i’ve heard from someone who experienced it), can and does get classed as psychosomatic.

      All sorts of things can possibly be labeled psychosomatic, it is often just bogus reasoning, but still plausible. However, just how in the heck can broken bones be so labeled? That is just wilful denial and malpractice.

      1. Ana

        Yes. It happens to women all the time. In my case, a year ago I was told I was not going to get an MRI because it was expensive.

        Instead I got a useless x-ray and psyc meds for a broken vertebrae. I have a genetic issue regarding bone strength (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) . Didn’t matter.
        Ana in Sacramento

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Borrell admits: Promising NATO membership to Ukraine was mistake”

    Borrell should get together with Stoltenberg to get their stories straight as Stoltenberg was just saying that ‘It has been clear for a long time that membership, for Ukraine, was not something that was imminent, nor something which is relevant in the near future.’ I think that for him trying to pretend that the Ukraine and Georgia were not offered future NATO membership in 2008 is fooling nobody.

    1. Louis Fyne

      It isn’t just official membership.NATO and Ukraine have been publicly working together for years on command and equipment inter-operability.

      Defacto Ukraine was already a 49% member of NATO

        1. Louis Fyne

          and all the reason why Finland would be insane to ask for NATO admission.

          US will not go to war over Finland. Sweden can join NATO as the best defensive frontier from a cost-benefits stance, if i was a russian general, would be at the current Swedish Finnish border.

          1. Polar Socialist

            This has been already discussed in Russian media. At least one analyst assumed nothing much would change except that Russia would be forced to militarize Hogland, a 21 square mile island 70 miles from Helsinki.

            Or, as a Zircon flies, about 50 seconds away.

            Also Finland would have 700+ miles of NATO-Russia border to cover, which would probably cost way more than 2% of GDP which Finland could ill afford.

            One would think that NATO would be equally insane to admit Finland.

  10. Robert Hahl

    “Two years of COVID: The battle to accept airborne transmission“
    I learned it was airborne early on, when NC linked to a story about US ebola expert who got COVID on a flight home from Africa and said the only reasonable explanation was that he contracted it through his eyes. Talk about news you can use!

    1. Roger Blakely

      At the end of every day I have white particles caught up in my eyelashes. I suspect that the white particles are the debris from my immune system having rounded up the SARS-CoV-2 that landed on my eyeballs during the work day in my office building with a centralized HVAC system.

  11. Samuel Conner

    Me thinks the most interesting feature in that ISW assessment map, March 11, is the squiggly narrow finger reaching NW from the Mariupol area. Again, no evidence of concern to protect the flanks of this penetration — the U forces in the region are evidently fixed in place or “pinned”. OTOH, if this is a long column of vehicles with a high linear density along the road they are presumably following, it would be highly vulnerable to artillery strikes from U forces dug in to the rear of this R penetration.

    Even in this (presumably conservative) assessment of R control, one can discern the intention to physically encircle the U forces along the Donbas line of contact and break them into smaller groups. This is more or less consistent with the (presumably optimistic) assessment of R-sympathetic sites such as The Saker.

    If the U forces in Donbas are neutralized and the road network to the NW unobstructed, this will open a massive ‘hole’ and presumably the situation in the large region south of Kiev and east of the Dnepr river will become more fluid and rapidly moving.

    1. Polar Socialist

      According to the DPR/Russian sources, there’s more or less solid Ukrainian defence line running East from Vasilyvka (20 miles south of Zaporizhzhia) trough Orikhiv and Huliaipole to Velyka Novosilka.
      Apparently for the last few days the Russians have consolidated their control in area South of that line, while the DPR troop managed to capture Volnovakha and are in pursuit of Ukrainians towards North. It seems that the combined force of Russians from South-West and DPR from South-East are starting to roll the Ukrainians forces still on the contact line.

      So that narrow finger probably don’t exist on the ground.

    2. Dave in Austin

      Actually the squigly line running northwest from Mariopol happened in one bound on the first day. The tip is 20-30 miles from a civilian nuclear plant on the Dneiper river. The Russians are very worried about a “dirty bomb” made from used civilian plant fuel. I’ve been wondering why it stopped there. My pure speculation is that a deal was worked out and there are Russian inspectors at the plant having coffee every morning with the Ukrainian operators.

      Occupation of the plant north west of Mariopol, like many things in this war, turned into a sad little disaster with a couple of dead based on the videos posted online. Nobody thinks a firefight next to a nuclear plant is a good idea.

  12. fresno dan
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept an offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin, which would require Kyiv to make significant concessions to end Russia’s invasion, a senior Ukrainian official said Friday, according to two Hebrew media reports.
    The prime minister’s office quickly denied the claim. On Saturday, a senior adviser to Zelensky also denied the story.
    “If I were you, I would think about the lives of my people and take the offer,” Bennett told Zelensky during a phone call on Tuesday, according to the Ukrainian official, who spoke to Walla and Haaretz on condition of anonymity.
    The unnamed official also reportedly said Israel has asked that Ukraine cease its requests for military or defense assistance, as this could hinder Jerusalem’s efforts to mediate and maintain neutrality. Ukraine has repeatedly pushed Israel for more support since Russia launched its invasion. Israel has been seeking to avoid antagonizing Russia, which has a strong presence in Syria, where Israel carries out military action against Iran-linked groups.

    Bennett traveled to Moscow to meet with Putin on Saturday, becoming the first foreign leader to sit down with the Russian president since he invaded his neighbor. He spoke to Zelensky before and after the meeting.

    Bennett decided to travel to Moscow without consulting with his advisers, or with his political partners Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who were both only updated after the decision, Walla reported Friday.
    What to make of this?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just taking a guess here. A lot of countries in this region like Turkey, Egypt & Lebanon get their wheat from Russia and the Ukraine but this has ground to a halt because of the war. Countries like Lebanon are already forbidding the export of food but if this keeps up, we may very well see food riots before too long which will destabilize the countries in this region. There might be rebellions and governments might collapse. So I do not think that it is in Israel’s interest to have their neighbourhood blowing up around them causing all this chaos as this might create a path for radical Islam to move in and seize power. Bennet probably slipped away to Moscow announced as he did not want people like Gantz (or Biden) trying to sabotage him for their own political reasons.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Read today that Ukraine itself is low on wheat since they exported it until February like there was no tomorrow. Do you know if there’s any truth in this and if so, where did that wheat go?

            1. The Rev Kev

              Just got back online. Hadn’t heard about that but it could very well be true. At least western countries should help out with food supplies here. Maybe it is just as well a few million Ukrainians are now in other countries so that they can be taken care of. As to why this would be so, I would put my money on corrupt, greedy oligarchs if true.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The interests of Israel and neo-Likud are not the same. Like Saudi Arabia, the right wing in Israel doesn’t want stable and peaceful Muslim republics of any sort. It might give the locals ideas of how to run the country.

    2. ambrit

      My take is that the Izzy higher up governmental officials are all too aware of how literally crazy the American political elites are and are afraid of an atomic war breaking out. Bennett is considered Right-wing in Israel and thus should have some connections to the American neo-cons.
      As for who he is speaking for here, it’s anybody’s guess.

    3. Anon

      They are very creative. Apparently some have consciences as well… that, or perhaps the Ukraine affair has achieved its purpose, and it’s time to put their dog(s) to sleep.

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      good catch, Dan.

      putting on my Optimist Hat(rather stiff and ill fitting), perhaps Victoria the Destroyer of Worlds came too close to stepping in it with Rubio the other day…allowing her hubris and disregard for objective reality(and Little People) to overcome her on-message skills.
      it’s the other side of the schrodinger’s cat thing…where is the frelling cat?…still in the bag? well out of the bag?
      somewhere in between?
      nobody knows who has noticed , yet…outside of “those people”(Greenwald).

      so now, the Machine wants to back off a bit.
      (unclear on who runs who in the israel/usa relationship)

      …and, related…and such a terrifying concept that i waited til this morning to read the big tweet threads…as well as actually listen to a podcast:|
      meat of nut:
      long version:

      i’m an hour in to the long one…a lot to chew upon.

      1. bidule

        My understanding of the Twitter clip: The network/swarm has no sense of mortality, acts disproportionately with all its power committed to the task and has no leadership.

        My own analogy would be these unstoppable banks of fish or birds which seem to behave consciously, almost reasonably, with a purpose or an intention, moving like a coherent and guided entity, while there are only driven by impulses and reactions, which are replicated and amplified from neighbor to neighbor, resulting in the whole mass acting cohesively.

        What else it reminded me: the overwhelming and terrifying attack of the machines on the city of Zion, in the Matrix movie.

      2. britzklieg

        Robb’s explanation of what “empathy” is (it’s not sympathetic) is fascinating and, for me, a game changer.

      3. jonhoops

        Very terrifying interview, a must watch for anyone wanting to understand the over-reaction to Putin’s Invasion in the collective west. Robb’s prediction for the outcome are not good either way.

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      What to make of this?

      Assuming this isn’t a piece so Lapid and Gantz can deny involvement. Politicians are still politicians. My hunch is it was an opportunist “only Nixon could go to China” move in his mind with the intent of placing his political star above the coalition and his inner circle. Wow, look at little Israel go, playing with the big kids! Population 8.8 million.

      Bennett may have genuinely thought he could be a reasonable negotiator both parties could accept as an arbiter. France and Germany are the real players, but its not the worse idea in the world.

  13. griffen

    The article about the College Town is an interesting read. I’ve noticed a few commenters have reported their own current experiences, both in relation to the pandemic / reopening and also to the concentrated housing boom commonly found in some, but not all, college centered towns.

    The article focuses primarily on UC-Berkeley, but I suppose one could throw a dart at comparable impacts to housing and cost of living in other high level non Ivy league institutions. Columbus, Ann Arbor, Chapel Hill or Durham (I’m throwing Duke here because gentrification is definitely taking place there, as it will in other locations). I am not certain about Ohio State in particular.

    What the article leaves unsaid is just how many varied admin / middle managers are there not to serve the students but the business bloat of a college or university. The writer just doesn’t go there, when I’m sure a top down review would have a significant impact on the top level expense and those who represent management bloat.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Hear in Tucson, aka the University of Arizona’s party town, I’ve been noticing something interesting. In the past couple of decades, there has been quite the student housing construction boom.

      However, two of the biggest apartment complexes have exited the student market. They’re now offering expensive apartments for whoever wants to rent them.


      I’m also noticing many more houses for rent just a few blocks away from campus. That didn’t used to happen.

      The College Town article mentions online leaning, and I think that will only grow. One of my good friends is a graduate of Northern Arizona University — her interior design program was online. She was able to work full-time and live at home, so online school was just right for her.

      Oh, I might add that one of her brothers just got a job with Arizona State University. He’ll be running the IT side of their online degree programs, it’s a $120k/year job, and he can work remotely.

      And, griffen, go ahead and throw darts at high costs of housing and living in Ann Arbor. I lived through that experience. Never again.

      1. ambrit

        I’ll chime in here concerning college towns, even medium sized college towns, and gentrification.
        Our half-horse town is roughly 50/50 black and white. It is also suffering from “town and gown syndrome.” When the locals set up the bus system, which is still a work in progress, they included a route that served the main traffic spots of the State College. Students get a free bus pass for this service. The rest of us pay cash.
        The students used to be used as an excuse to run up rents in the town surrounding the campus. That briefly abated after the initial Covid wave struck. This rent inflation is looking to resume now that most people at the University are “so over Covid.” Southern is now only requiring masks in classrooms and the clinic. Everywhere else, ‘let ‘er rip!’ Plus, vaxx vaxx vaxx is the order of the day. Not mandatory yet, but give them time.
        The tentacles of gentrification reach to all corners of the town due to the City government being captured by the “Credentialed Class.” As I am experiencing in my crossing paths with the Code Enforcement crew, the default assumption at the City is that anybody who lives in our wonderful, shining city on a hill must have sufficient funds available to have all of their ‘difficult’ tasks done by third parties. No provision is made for the poor and resource constrained. We don’t ‘officially’ exist in this town. As I complained to Phyllis recently, “We are living in Neo-liberal H—.” She agreed that our move here was a mistake. When I think back on the miserable housing choices we had to pick from when we were trying to move away from the coast, I realize that this trend has been influencing events since at least Hurricane Katrina, if not earlier.
        So, if I occasionally come across as screechy and hostile, do consider that much of it stems from the all too familiar feelings of helplessness and defeat that is the portion of the lower classes in America today.
        There was a famous poster in the 1960s called “The Last Act of Defiance.” In it, a mouse is giving the middle finger to a swooping eagle. Some of us wonder how that would have played out if the mouse had had a RPG.
        It’s all Public Relations?

        1. Skip Intro

          Probably the ‘free’ bus pass the students get is rolled into their exorbitant tuition, so students who may not even ride the bus are subsidizing the whole system. The devil is in the details of course, so it would be interesting to know how much the system gets from the school for their ‘free’ passes, and how the usage stacks up to that.

          1. juno mas

            Yes, that’s the way it works at my local community college. All enrolled students pay a $30 fee that allows them to ride any MTD (bus) at any time by just flashing their student ID.

            Since we’re talking about SoCal, most students don’t ride the bus. They drive a car so that they can get from school to their place of work quickly.

            The growing student population impacts housing costs and traffic congestion. The non-affiliated citizens of Berkeley, CA have a valid complaint.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      There is quite a bit going on in this article. Its a big topic. With more walkable communities, many of these problems would drift away as its an appeal of University towns.

      Though this guy misses the brand nature of colleges. The rich customer at the bank isn’t the best dressed. Its the guy wearing nice but frumpy clothing or even just whatever he wears around the house. See Larry David or Warren Buffett.

      There was a Thirty Rock where one of the writers on the show within the show said it would be nice to go to Boston because he went to school in Boston, well, outside of Boston, not Tufts. Then when the action moves to Boston, they meet a John Adams reenactor who said he went to school in Boston, outside of Boston, not Tufts.

      Will: See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don’t do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!

      Clark: Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you’ll be servin’ my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.

      Will: Yeah, maybe. But at least I won’t be unoriginal.

      This is why elite universities won’t disrupt the system. Smaller non-name brands might.

    3. wol

      Chapel Hill/Carrboro and Durham are experiencing real estate booms; luxe condos in CH, infill in Carrboro, a significant amount of that infill is luxe. Driven in part by Apple’s East Coast campus being located in nearby Research Triangle Park. There are lots of retirement communities due to the quality of life (concert and lecture series, health care provided by the university hospitals). Chapel Hill has a rural buffer which resulted in containing sprawl and building up. The increase in housing prices and property taxes is one prong of the pincers, the other is inflation. ‘Affordable housing’ for essential workers is constantly bemoaned in the local press and very rarely addressed. My wife and I, artists, laugh about some of the affordable places we lived that were demolished after we moved on. I couldn’t afford to go to university here, now.

      1. griffen

        Very interesting to learn what all is going on there, thanks for the updates. I was in the area (lived at different apartments in Chapel Hill/Carrboro), roughly 1996 to 2006. Last two visits I made were late 2015, and then for men’s hoops game at the DeanDome in 2019. Very much a corporate feel to it, which is pretty unfortunate. Or maybe I just missed more of that happening at the time.

        Franklin Street was so very different. Heck, the UNC-Finley golf course was a bit dumpy but a fun walk for 18 holes (before they renovated the course).

    1. EKV

      And then there’s this: A mysterious drone, seemingly of Ukrainian origin, crashes in the Croatian capital, leaves behind a proper crater…
      Mysterious Drone Crash Leaves Croatia Baffled

      From the article: “The question of how the drone managed to fly over the skies of three NATO member states undetected, and where it started from, awaits an answer.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Ukrainians deny that it was one of there and tried to pin the blame on the Russians. The Russians said that they type of drone that crashes has not been used in Russia for over thirty years. I am inclined to believe the Russians here as the Ukrainians once accidentally shot down a Russian airliner killing all the crew and passengers but then tried to cover it up and say that it had nothing to do with them.

        1. Paul Beard

          It wasn’t undetected as Hungary scrambled aircraft to investigate, according to local news the drone came from Rumania. No confirmation from anyone that they are missing a drone but perhaps we will find out when an apology appears.

  14. Mikel

    RE: Klain/Rubenstein/Economic club discussion

    And again we are presented with what is an evil LIE at this point:

    Propagandists continuing to equate the experimental Covid shot therapies/non-sterilizing “vaccines” with sterilizing vaccines/inoculations like for polio and smallpox.

    They are not in the same league. Preventing the spread is key. If a dsease is endemic there is no vaccine for it. Again, time to reclaim the word “vaccine”.

    And this kind of disingenuous talk around the Covid shots continues to deny and ignore the already established science about coronaviruses before Covid 19: after catching it, the anti-bodies are NOT long term.

    I don’t mind repeating my response as long as these lies keep getting press.

    1. Nikkikat

      I encounter that lie on a daily basis. Everyone seems to think that the vaccine prevents transmission. People look at me like I am insane when I tell them vaccinated or not, I am keeping my mask on and you are not coming to my house with no mask. This seems to be prevalent among my liberal/ older friends and relatives. Too much CNN viewing.

    2. Ed Miller

      Ron Klain lied to push the narrative: “Vaccine resistance is part of American history. It goes all the way back to George Washington having to require his troops to get the smallpox vaccine when they didn’t want to get it on the verge – in the Revolutionary War. ”

      First smallpox vaccine was created in Britain in 1796.

      American Revolutionary War was 1775-1783

        1. Harold

          It would be more accurate to call what was practiced in the eighteenth century “inoculation”. Lady Mary Montague had her son inoculated in Turkey in 1718 and later her daughter in the 1720s in England. She was a lifelong proponent of the practice.

          My stepfather, b. 1911, incidentally, contracted smallpox as an infant in Southern Italy. He was swaddled to prevent scratching and therefore scarring, so it was believed. In any case, he and had few visible scars, but I saw other adults scarred by the disease when I was a child in Italy.

      1. Objective Ace

        That wasnt the first smallpox vaccine. Jenner just changed the methodology to something safer (using Cowpox). Catherine the Great was innoculated against smallpox in 1768. For what its worth, she similiarly writes about the difficulty with convincing the public of its safety and efficacy at a around the time as the Revolutionary War

        1. Objective Ace

          Edit, I should have added that this potentially being true doesnt change the fact that it is a red herring since the Smallpox vaccine actually prevented you from getting smallpox rather then just minimizing symptons

      2. Susan the other

        I think I read that the first smallpox vaccines were practiced in Turkey. After someone had recovered their scabs were pulverized and snorted by those wanting extra protection. This method was available long before cow pox was discovered/used in England. Ben Franklin lamented when his son died of smallpox that he (Ben) should have “vaccinated” him (I imagine that to also have been before 1796).

      3. Craig H.

        Ben Franklin’s very first public splash was promoting smallpox inoculation in Boston in 1721. His older brother ran a newspaper and was anti-.

        It was a really huge controversy at the time. If I remember the numbers right 2% of the inoculated died versus 14% of the non-. So the experts of 1721 claimed a 7X advantage. They probably cooked the books a little bit. Lying with statistics is as old as statistics. Smallpox in Boston in 1721 was an authentic crisis.

        1. Joe Renter

          Ole Ben was also a vegetarian and took an air bath first thing on getting up. an air bath, open the windows wide, and in your birthday suit with deep breathing, if I remember correctly. He is one of those people you would like to dine with it you could go back into history.

      4. Mikel

        And even before then, there was variolation being practiced.

        Also, I’m sure more than a few of the resisted in the past for reasons due to religion.

        1. LifelongLib

          This article notes that there is often confusion between variolation (using a hopefully weakened strain of smallpox) and vaccination (using cowpox, from Latin vacca, cow) to confer immunity to smallpox:

          Variolation was used for several centuries before vaccination was invented in the late 1700s.

      5. Raymond Sim

        Can we please all get this straight?

        It’s called VACcination precisely because COWpox was used to induce immunity (Better than from natural infection!) to the human disease smallpox.

        It worked great! Also, the trials were unethical.

    3. Maritimer

      “The Honorable Ronald A. Klain”. Honorable???
      These Injection Apologists never, ever mention the glaring fact that Pfizer, AZ and JJ are criminal organizations. For some critical thinkers, this is the numero uno reason to say nana. The fact that the criminal backgrounds are never addressed adds more hesitant fuel to an already raging fire.

      And, for all the Injection Apologists: how many Americans actually know they have been injected by a criminal organization? Were they informed of that by the injector? Now that would be an interesting poll which will never happen.

  15. Pat

    I don’t think the symbol manipulation is quite as successful as they might want probable Clinton Resistance leader Midler might be willing to pay more for gas but most of the people responding to that tweet aren’t drinking the koolaid. Oh some may still be supporting the insanity that brought us Russia invading Ukraine they won’t tell you that , but the dissent is split between you can because you can afford it not me and you aren’t doing anything for her you’re a tool for oil companies who are getting richer.

    However going with the earlier hive mind post there is a counter meme from the responses.

  16. JohnA

    I came across this interesting series of videos. A British guy has gone to Ukraine to see for himself. He juxtapositions TV reporting from western media about fighting on the streets of Kiev, empty food stores, all the refugees etc., then shows his own footage walkng the streets and in food stores, railway stations etc. Needless to say, life looks utterly calm and normal in Kiev. he shows a food store receipt dated 9 March as evidence it is current.

    1. Objective Ace

      I’m sure this is partially true, but its clear he has an agenda as he makes statements he has no way of verifying, like all of the hotels are full of the press and not refugees. For this reason, it might be best to view his observations through a bias as well

      1. marym

        Based on a few minutes of searches, I don’t find claims of extensive fighting in Kyiv, so “refuting” it doesn’t seem to be useful. Some msm reports of “street fighting” around the end of February, and bracing for attack now.

        (I don’t doubt the possibility of staging photos so crowds look larger or denser. I wouldn’t know how to analyze that, and I don’t follow mainstream media, so it’s possible there are far more claims about Kyiv around 03/09 that I didn’t find.)

        I’ll post some links which may go to moderation, if anyone cares to check later.

        1. marym


          02/26 “By Saturday morning, when the small Russian units tried to infiltrate Kyiv, Ukrainian forces controlled the situation, Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.”

          03/08 “Russian troops approaching Kyiv have made little progress in recent days, according to the [US] official.”

          03/12 “Trendy” restaurants now serving food to army volunteers
          03/12 “While Ukrainian forces have, so far, successfully held off the Russian troops from taking Kyiv, the towns around the capital have become some of the most intense battlegrounds of the ongoing war.”

          03/12 “Russia is likely seeking to reset and re-posture its forces for renewed offensive activity in the coming days,” as the British Defense Ministry said in its March 11 intelligence update. “This will probably include operations against the capital, Kyiv.”

          1. britzklieg

            report from the other side:

            Briefing by Russian Defence Ministry

            ▪️ Units of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk Republic, with the fire support of the Russian Armed Forces, took control of Valerianovka, Zeleny Gai and blocked Novoandreevka from the south and east. The advance was 9 kilometers.

            ▪️ The grouping of troops of the Lugansk People’s Republic, continuing offensive operations, took control of Surovtsevka, Schedrischevo, Zhitlovka and blocked Rubezhnoe. The advance was 6 kilometers.

            ▪️ The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, continuing the offensive on a broad front, reached Novodonetskoe, Novomayorskoe and Pavlovka. The advance was 21 kilometers.

            ▪️ On the morning of March 12, high-precision long-range weapons attacked Ukraine’s military infrastructure.

            ? The military airfield in Vasylkov and the Main Centre of Radio and Electronic Intelligence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Brovory have been disabled.

            ? During the day, Russian aviation and military air defence shot down 5 unmanned aerial vehicles, including 2 Bayraktar TB-2 and 1 Tochka-U tactical missile.

            ? Operational-tactical and army aviation hit 145 military assets of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

            ? Including: 3 anti-aircraft missile systems, 8 command posts and communication centres, 5 ammunition and fuel depots, 78 areas of military equipment concentration.

            ▪️? In total, during the operation, 3,491 objects of the military infrastructure of Ukraine were disabled.

            ? Destroyed: 123 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1,127 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 115 multiple launch rocket systems, 423 field artillery guns and mortars, 934 units of special military vehicles.

            via the saker…who knows the truth?

            1. marym

              “who knows the truth?”

              Not me! I was just responding to the linked thread disputing supposed reports of fighting and food shortages in Kyiv around 03/09 with reporting that doesn’t say that.

    2. Dave in Austin

      Sorry JohnA, all the videos are gone. This seems to be happening a lot recently. Takedowns without noticing.

      But I’ve found some interesting oddballs on twitter playing war reporter… and doing a good job. Better than the network “Roof of the hotel in a flak jacket crowd.

      1. Acacia

        I’m still seeing the videos. Maybe some “filtering” got installed on your data plumbing?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Tendulkar vs Warne 1998: Master’s peak, Wizard’s busted shoulder and a sly curator”

    Americans would probably not be familiar with the name Sachin Tendulkar but the guy was a genius. Whenever he came out to play in Oz, everybody looked forward to him playing, even though he was playing against our guys. He was as popular in Oz as he was in his own country of India. It was a sad day when he finally retired from cricket as “The Little Master” was respected everywhere. And there was no boasting from the guy or him saying that he was the greatest or drug and gambling accusations like there was with Shane Warne. An all around good guy-

  18. Mikel

    “We do have clarity. I have a fact sheet. That’s what I was just reading from here at the Pentagon.” Ok then.

    A good place to remind people of this related jaw-dropping bit of info: an online CIA factbook said the USA has a 99% adult literacy rate.

  19. timotheus

    “A reporter who covers the Pentagon reads a statement from the DoD word for word, and then — when asked for evidence — says that the evidence is what she just read: namely, the Pentagon denial!”

    Exactly what Ned Price at State said in response to the AP guy a couple weeks ago. At that time, it was considered ridiculous; now, not so much.

  20. chris

    On self-censorship… it’s a matter of sanity preservation these days. Why put something out there that could impact my family due to professional blowback? Why risk sharing an opinion that will cause friends and family to shun you? Why volunteer to fight a tide of misinformation that can easily be thrown at you for daring to oppose the regime? I’m not quiet because I agree with what’s going on. I’m not quiet because I don’t have things to say. I’m quiet because when reality asserts itself and the lies become clear the best response is to laugh at the fools who believed the people selling them propaganda.

    We talk a lot about propaganda and critical thinking in our family. Aside from the religion that is LGBT our kids are capable of asking good questions. We’ll get through this difficult time.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      wife and boys get me unfiltered.
      everybody else, it’s only if they ask what i think.
      on questions of war, at least.

      i learned more than i wanted to know during the last iraq mess about the hostility of crowds, especially in a tiny, isolated and very clannish community.

      when people do ask what i think, i must first assess their competence, how comfortable they are with objective reality, etc…and only then to i hold forth in any way.
      similarly, i suppose, to what hillary meant regarding the Two Messages(esoteric/exoteric, in straussian terms)

      there are very few folks hereabouts who get unfiltered Amfortas, lest i end up with crosses burning in the pasture or dead cats.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I find it necessary, typically, to ‘both sides’ things. “I’m really unhappy about what the Rs are doing, but I’m also really unhappy about what the US and NATO did that contributed to where we are now.”

        To one friend, who sent me a link to an Anne Applebaum interview with B Kristol (AA attributes Putin’s moves to internal political power issues in Russia, not to longstanding R perceptions of external risks), I wrote, “I agree with you [he didn’t affirm this, but I assumed, charitably] that it is not a good thing that Russia in 2022 is behaving the way the US did in the ’90s, the ’00s and ’10s.” I think this didn’t damage the friendship.

        It’s a bit paradoxical — US wants to remake the world in its own image, but I guess not too much in its own image. In more cynical moments, I suspect that the reality may be that US wants the rest of the world to simply … act like colonies.

        1. NotThePilot

          I find it necessary, typically, to ‘both sides’ things. “I’m really unhappy about what the Rs are doing, but I’m also really unhappy about what the US and NATO did that contributed to where we are now.”

          Interestingly enough, over the years, when I can’t just hold my tongue and feel the need to discuss things, I’ve settled into more of a via negativa. Answer questions with questions and try to get to the basic beliefs or assumptions we disagree about. Then as friendly as you can, neither in anger nor ill-will towards the person, just calmly blow the assumptions up.

          Come to think of it, I don’t think it’s just me and it might be a generational thing, because that’s pretty much the whole point of the “Yes.” meme

    2. jr

      Great points. Standing up for whats right in conversation is wonderful and all when you are dealing with critical thinkers who happen to disagree with you. We live in a time and place where tens of millions of people form their political perspectives based upon The View or in the mental food processor of Facebook. Where using direct, noun/verb statements backed up with evidence is considered rude and even a display of anger. Where propaganda, good-think, and Frankfurtian BS lay across the enfeebled consciousnesses of the middle-minded like a suffocating blanket. And they like it, it feels safe.

      Then there are the identitarians, lacking both ontological and epistemic grounding and any grasp of their necessity but who demand the status of intellectuals. Who blurt out things like “My truth is X.” but fail to see such a claim then renders that truth claim devoid of value as by definition such “truths” are not universally valid. (In short, if it ain’t my truth, why should I care about your truth claims? If I cannot understand your “lived experiences”, fundamentally, then why should I bother listening?) Who filch the language of the Marxists and claim to have a process of internal criticism but fail to realize that by rejecting any attempt at universal truth claims their internal criticisms amount to navel-gazing while free falling. Who decry criticisms aimed at them but never, never, rise up to actually defend their arguments. Ever.

    3. Objective Ace

      > I’m quiet because when reality asserts itself and the lies become clear the best response is to laugh at the fools who believed the people selling them propaganda.

      What makes you so sure they will become clear – Or to the extent it does, will even matter? Everyone responsible for Iraq’s WMD lies never faced any consequences. Who is laughing in anyone’s faces over that?.. If it’s brought up now as something to learn from you’re still stuck ” fighting a tide of misinformation that can easily be thrown at you for daring to oppose the regime”

      “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past” -George Orwell, 1984

      1. chris

        Well, because when I have food and medicine and fuel due to choices I made due to my understanding of the situation we’re in, and my friends and neighbors come begging because they don’t, I think that’s a pretty obvious reset button on their reality filters.

        The people in the Insulated Class (still love that description from MoDo) will likely never see the consequences from their awful mistakes. Just Condi Rice can go on TV and say that Putin is a war criminal and she is not, these pols will never lose out. The Clinton Foundation will always come back. Chelsea for congress in 2026! :p

        The people who have been cheering for these naked emperors… they’re not so lucky. And when even my well off friends had problems finding food and medicine and toilet paper and fuel this past two years, they started listening to sources other than MSNBC. They started asking me why I was doing what I was doing. I think there is a real limit to how far identity politics and delusion can take the Dems. I don’t know where it is but I think we’re closer to it than anyone in DC would like to think. I also think if gas prices continue to rise and we get another COVID surge that can’t be hidden they’ll hit that limit.

        1. Objective Ace

          >The people who have been cheering for these naked emperors… they’re not so lucky.

          Totally agree, but do they realize they are not so lucky? Or do they still continue to think they are being protected by censors and misinformation/lies. If the latter they will continue to fight for more and more authoritarianism and we may end up in a world where even those who realize the emperor has no clothes do not have the ability to inform ourselves and best protect ourselves and our family

          1. chris

            What’s that old saying? “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged…”?

            Take away their cushy jobs and let them know real hardship, actual scarcity, and your average upper middle class snob cracks really quick. I also think when it becomes clear that they’re not just sacrificing a couple hundred extra a month for gas to this project of ours that’s run out of our control. They’re sacrificing equipment with processing chips, things requiring rare earths, business relationships, low food prices, sales of real estate to wealthy Russians, the list goes on and on. Heck, most of my friends would cry if all the UberEats drivers had to pass on a real fuel surcharge for this. They’ve gotten so used to ordering everything to their houses they don’t shop for anything anymore. That won’t be able to last much longer if fuel prices keep increasing. I think the people who think they’re on the “right side of history” will learn that they’ve been cheering on a global depression soon.

  21. Sean

    My take on the Russian invasion/crisis is that the Russian military is doing a lot better than you would be led to believe in all of the Western press, while Russia’s sluggish response to sanctions is more troubling and hints at difficulties, infighting and/or dysfunctions inside the Russian state.

    The more I see, the more it seems to me that Ukrainian media outlets are all joking aside on level with Baghdad Bob. And the western press takes Ukrainian pronouncements as fact, off of which they create their analysis.

    What we now have in Ukraine is what would have been called “mopping up” during WW2. It is hard fighting and will take a long time if Russia takes any care at all with civilians, but the outcome is not in doubt if Russia is willing to see it through.

    I have no idea what Russia’s plan is to secure the peace after the war is “over”. Chechnya is one model but it has what, a bit over 1 million people? That will be a lot harder to pull off in Ukraine. My gut tells me Russia expects Russian tv/propaganda to do a lot of the work, plus timely pension payments, lower energy prices, and less corruption to do the rest. But they need a Ukrainian state to do extensive policing, I don’t think Russia will annex all of Ukraine. A referendum asking for annexation a la Crimea will not be believable even inside Russia, except maybe for bits and pieces along the Black Sea coast.

    1. ambrit

      I see the possibility of ‘engineering’ a mass movement in Russia supporting Irredentism concerning the predominantly Russian ethnic regions in the Ukraine east of the Dneiper river. The Ukraine is a patchwork country. The East is Russian, and the West is European. (More astute commenters correct me if I am wrong.) The Ukraine should be dissolved and the constituent parts doled out to the neighbouring countries based on the demographics and using some plebescites as political cover.

      1. Sean

        I have strong personal connections to the ex-Soviet Union, and from my understanding, while there are a lot of people with mixed Ukrainian/Russian ancestry in eastern Ukraine, Russians are a minority even there. Back in late Soviet times, people didn’t care much if you were Russian or Ukrainian, it was legitimately less of a thing than say being someone with a heavy southern accent in NY. Russians and Ukrainians fought together in WW2 (it’s hard to overstate the importance of that war to self-image in the late Soviet Union), they married each other, everyone outside of Lviv/Western Ukraine and the deep countryside spoke Russian as their primary language. Kharkiv and Odessa were certainly located under the jurisdiction of Ukraine, but they were in absolutely no way foreign to someone from Russia proper.

        But things changed, most especially after 2014. Even eastern Ukrainians are very nationalistic these days, I would hazard to say more so than western Ukrainians as a kind of over-compensation. This is mostly a development of the past 8 years, if Russia really really wanted to they could turn back the clock. But it would be hard and require a lot of effort and would lead to nonstop vilification in the west for basically forever.

        1. ambrit

          Thanks. As usual, the situation is much more complex than it appears. With the degraded state of the “News Media” today, we need comments from people with ties to any particular ‘event’ just to find our feet.

        2. Cas

          I listened to this interview last week, thought it informative about the Russian invasion. Mark Sleboda lives in Moscow, is ex-military, nuclear engineer, and an “internationalist analyst” (whatever that is). Never hear of him until Consortium News interviewed him and Scott Ritter. He seems reasonable and knowledgeable. Would be interested on your take.

      2. Samuel Conner

        IIRC back in the mid-to-late ’00s the neocons had similar ideas regarding a partition of Iraq, an arguably artificial state created by European map-line-drawers after WW1.

        Perhaps it’s another arguable instance of “Russia acting objectionably in ways that US doesn’t object to in its own conduct.”

        At some point perhaps leaders in US will begin to reckon that maybe US foreign policy in recent decades has not been the best in terms of establishing precedents for “how states conduct themselves.”

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Meh…the war mongering by outsiders has been problematic, but much of the old Ottoman provincial system never actually changed. Even the modern states aren’t terribly different than provinces that predate post World War 1 arrangements. The boss in Damascus ran a huge area. The relative travel speed made possible by the Mediterranean Sea wasn’t changed that much by modernity in the way say Africa was.

            The disruptions in Lebanon aren’t the result of organizing from post World War I issues but the refugees from Israel recently kicked out of Jordan.

            Where our the Middle East problems?

            -the settler nation related problems.
            -Wahhabiists, but they aren’t really part of the Ottoman empire.
            -Iraq (whoever was running Babylon which was replaced by Bagdhad) and Iran (Persia; as much as the Fifth Republic has anything to do with France prior to 1789)) rivalry. This has been going on since the dawn of time. The US was arming both sides in their most recent spat.
            -The Kuwait City area has always had an odd relationship with Bagdhad/Babylon before.

            This area maintains the Hajj every year for over 1,000 years (I don’t know when it actually started at scale).

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Or maybe turned into two countries . . . Russiakraine in the East and Galiciakraine in the West.

      1. Dave in Austin

        I’ve been watching this guy for days. He speaks fluent native Uk or Russian. He is definitley allowed to be with the Russian troops. I’ve found only one other like him. I’m not sure if he is real or a plant, but he seems so stunned to be there and breathless I take him at face value… with reservations.

        There are usually a bunch of other press types in the background of his shots if you look carefully.

  22. cobo

    I still have my Draft Clark 2004 sticker. Didn’t the former NATO Commander recently suggest we should jump on the Russian’s neck. If so, heck ya! We got ’em tied down in The Ukraine, let’s get ’em. Don’t be frozen by fear. Those who dare, win.

    1. Dave n Austin

      Before his NATO job he was the DCS for Plans. Wen he visited during his old office at Plans during the planning for the Iraq invasions the colonels kept coming up and asking him what was up; they were planning four follow-up invasions after Iraq- Syria, Libya, I think Yeman, and Iran. What do they have in common? Unwillingness to make peace with Isreal. The story is in his autobiography

  23. IMOR

    Point 2 in the IMO Council ruminations on Black Sea shipping crisis:
    Ahistorically standing the situation on its head to try to make Ukranian warnings in past post-annexation years that they won’t guarantee UKRAINE won’t shell or bomb ships in Crimean ports of a piece with current generalized concerns about shipping safety in a war zone. Good work!

  24. Mikel

    “Closing Tax Havens Is the True Test of the West’s Resolve” Project Syndicate. So, again, what is the City of London for, if not servicing oligarchs, including Russian ones? And will no one think of the real estate?

    I imagine there are more than Russian oligarchs shuffling money around. There has to be some concern about tit-for-tat.

  25. noonespecial

    Re: Project Syndicate and Tax Havens

    In the linked article: “The West’s accommodation of dark money has accelerated the trend toward more opaque ownership structures and complex trusts aimed at evading taxes, supported by a massive infrastructure of bankers, accountants, and lawyers around the world.”

    I may be wrong and welcome clarity, but I think that as NATO’s coalition of the willing clamps down on Russians’ holdings, some unintended consequences may arise. If banks in the Mid-East feel undue pressure, could an OPEC slow down be one such consequence?

    Link from Aljazeera on how some Russians with high value crypto assets are exploring ways to protect themselves. And where are they shopping? The UAE.

    Per the link below, “Major exchanges such as Coinbase Global Inc and Binance say they are taking steps to ensure that crypto is not used as a vehicle to evade sanctions, and they collaborate with law enforcement on the issue.”

    However, the article also notes, “Dubai, the Gulf region’s financial and business centre and a growing crypto hub, has long been a magnet for the world’s ultrarich and the UAE’s refusal to take sides between Western allies and Moscow has signaled to Russians their money is safe there…[one UAE financial] executive said, ‘We have one guy…and they’re like, ‘we want to sell 125,000 Bitcoin’. And I’m like, ‘what? That’s $6bn guys’. And they’re like, ‘yeah, we’re going to send it to a company in Australia’.”

    If movements such are these realized, would this not chip away at crypto bros dream of DAO utopias and living large with no one sniffing around their wallets? Missed reading NC’s post about Biden’s order on crypto, but I imagine regulations are afoot.

  26. Jason Boxman

    This is the most dangerous phase of the pandemic yet, with the elite casting off the yoke of public health entirely, the relaxation, elimination, and demonization of any approach that isn’t vaccination, and the ends of any appetite for provisioning the public purse. I don’t look forward to the carnage the next “wave” might cause.

    Stay safe out there!

  27. Tom Stone

    This is awful,I just checked my spam folder and for the first time in decades “Beautiful Russian Women”
    don’t want to meet me.
    It’s sad.

    1. OIFVet

      They have been phased out for “Beautiful Ukrainian Women.” The BG internet space is filled with memes such as “Ladies, if you haven’t married by now abandon all hope, the Ukrainian women have arrived.” Russian and Ukrainian women have earned a reputation here, not for me to say fair or not, as grasping home wreckers, particularly if the guy has a few euros to his name. One of my SO’s friends lost her husband to a Russian, and she’s not too keen about the Ukrainian influx either. So Bulgarian women seem to have dropped their social media warfare on Bulgarian men and have closed ranks against the hordes of Ukrainian women who have come to steal their otherwise good for nothing men. Wars can be strange like that.

        1. OIFVet

          Your analogy is not quite right. Should be Ivan of Tutrakan=Helen of Troy. Ivan was seduced away from Penka by Olya of Zhitomir and taken to Olya’s new apartment which Ivan paid for, thus leading to near-universal outrage and calls to arms amongst Bulgarian womanhood. I am not making this up.

  28. Carolinian

    That’s an excellent New Yorker on search engines.

    Lastly, Weinberg [head of DDG] argued, users are simply tired of Google’s dominance over their experience of the Internet. Google is reportedly paying Apple upward of fifteen billion dollars a year to remain the default search engine on iPhones.

    Count me as one of those who switched and also a disillusioned exile as DuckDuckGo has just announced that it will jump on the fake news bandwagon with downrating of “controversial” content and “truth” warnings.

    Still DDG, as the story points out, at least avoids the creepy spybot business which we used to tolerate before Google gave into “evil” and made their services increasingly a Devil’s bargain. The story also says that Google downrates mostly text sites in favor of the manic eye candy and search optimized sites that some of us hate. Indeed I have to admit–given that NC too needs ads–that I keep images turned off most of the time.

    Oh for the text-y web of yesteryear. If I want pictures I’ll watch a movie. Some of us are here to read.

    1. fjallstrom

      A portal to re-enter that world:

      As I wrote in another thread it is a search engine that gives primary spots to text-heavy sites, leading to results that are odd and interesting, even if you don’t find what you were looking for.

      1. Wukchumni

        We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a crowd. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.

        Crowds always, and individuals as a rule, stand in need of ready-made opinions on all subjects. The popularity of these opinions is independent of the measure of truth or error they contain, and is solely regulated by their prestige.

        From The Crowd by Gustave Le Bon

    1. Brunches with Cats

      You could always switch to PBS and on-the-ground updates by Atlantic Council/CFR shill Nick Schifrin reporting from the war zone safely ensconced in Lviv. With empathy and humor, he elicits the most heart-warming — and heartbreaking — interviews with everyday Ukrainians just like you and me, who have bravely risen to resist the worst invasion since WWII™. After watching one his personal and deeply moving conversations, you will understand why bakeries all over the U.S.A. are replacing their black & white cookies with blue & yellow. (Saw my first ones yesterday; an hour later, at the nearby thrift store, a man came in and asked whether they were accepting donations for Ukraine. Because in times such as these, all little Ukrainian girls should have Archangel Michelin wings).

      1. Michael Ismoe

        “The worst invasion since WWII…”

        Well, that grants us a lot of forgiveness for Viet Nam and Iraq doesn’t it?

        1. newcatty

          Can’t really express my disgust with PBS news hour. Schifrin is insufferable. Even when we check it out to keep an eye on the blob’s propaganda, it was so awful in its smugness and false narratives, that we skip his “reports”. Then there’s Democracy Now ! Believe it was yesterday that Amy did one of her insightful and objective interviews remotely with a brave “activist and resistance leader” in Ukraine. An LGBQ activist and an environmental attorney. The person rambled on about helping to save her parents and LGBQ people from the invasion. We turned that off after a couple of minutes. In the narrative , she humbly said that after she was an Ukrainian Harriet Tubman ( not really), she was going back to Ukraine to help the people. Points, both PBS and Amy Goodman are labeled as progressive and “liberal” news sources. Another point, the Ukranians shown on msm are as Brunches with Cats said, like you and me. Also, of course it’s great that they have nice and warm clothing and outerwear. Nothing like the refugees from other war torn, desperately poor , climate refugees who are basically ignored in media. Uh, besides they don’t look like me or you, if you are not a shade of pale.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            “Insufferable,” for sure. Smarmy, too. But hey, can you blame him?* He’s guaranteed the top slot for at least a few more weeks, after how long playing also-ran to the White House and congressional correspondents; heck, even the latter’s cat? The exposure is his ticket to career advancement, with more journalism awards (you think he’s insufferable now…), more side gigs for the blob, sky’s the limit. Plus he’s got an all-expense-paid adventure, an opportunity to cosplay Hemingway without actually putting himself in harm’s way or getting a spec of dirt under his nails. If the fighting gets too close, it’s just 40 miles to safety in Poland. Who among us would have enough humility to resist such insufferable self-satisfaction?**

            Just to clarify, it is not my position that his interview subjects look “like you and me.” My entire comment seemed so OTT sarcastic that I honestly didn’t think any part of it needed a sarc tag.

            * /s
            ** /s

  29. Ghost in the Machine

    My 9 year old son came home with a Ukrainian flag this week. Public school in Utah. Haven’t talked to him yet about what was mentioned. This is far and away the most frenzied environment I have experienced and I was paying close attention in the run up to the Iraq war. Right after 9/11 maybe? I was born after the Cuban missile crisis.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      You hit on something that’s been on my mind. The closest frame of reference I can pull is 9/11. I remember things getting frenzied (good word), but even then, it seemed there was a slower roll and there was much more mainstream skepticism and pushback. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s my perception, if I’ve just forgotten, or if things have snapped into place much faster, especially considering this supposedly isn’t our war.

      The best I can come up is a combination of years of Russiagate moving public opinion in this direction and white faces on the receiving end of the aggression. It’s tempting to think a Democrat administration rattling the saber makes it more palpable too, but I remember the Maddow types celebrating whenever Trump did anything militaristic. I feel there’s also a touch of people deep down wanting to believe our government is good and right and being unable to accept how out of control and uncaring things are. I think most people really want us to be the good guys and, even when the “wrong” party is running the show, they still don’t think we are the evil empire.

      Anyway, it seems I’m not the only one noticing this rush to the new Red Menace. I never thought we’d get to a place worse than the “Freedom Fries” days, but I feel we are rushing there at a much quicker rate and we are (technically) not even at war…yet.

      1. Rainlover

        The video posted by Amfortas (the long one) explains what is going on: it’s a swarm that has gone viral. Russia has been cancelled. Jack calls it “Karen starts a nuclear war.” Most apropos.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Funny how all the people that were panicking that Trump would start WW3 and that he should be denied the nuclear access codes are exactly the same people now clamouring for a no-fly zone which would lead to WW3. As Caitlin Johnstone put it-

          ‘Putin: Don’t cross this red line or it will mean war.

          Westerners: He’s probably bluffing. Cross that red line.

          Putin: *starts a war*

          Putin: Now don’t cross this other red line or it will mean nuclear war.

          Westerners: He’s probably bluffing. Cross that red line.’

    2. newcatty

      No words to say. A nine year old coming home with Ukrainain flag from a public school. Start them young. Sorry you have to deal with this situation.

  30. lordkoos

    I was immediately turned off to the Presearch search engine when they wanted my email address — no thanks. is pretty good.

    1. britzklieg

      when I go to directly I encounter no requirement for an e mail address, it’s just a search box

    2. Acacia

      Qwant is now censoring Russian media.

      Finding an honest broker these days has become difficult.

  31. Aaron212

    I’m really grateful that Brave browser was recommended here. DuckDuckGo frankly annoyed me and now with the censorship thing it’s Sayonara.

    I installed Brave last night and had some issues with a bum security certificate but once I got that fixed it’s been working great. I’ve only had it for a very short time but I heartily recommend it!

    1. Boris

      I installed Brave about six weeks ago and Im using it exclusively since—and I am really thrilled! This browser is better in any regard I can think of (perfectly good build-in add-blocker, much faster than any other browser Ive ever tried, which seems to be a side effect of the privacy measures of this browser that are preventing google, facebook, etc from doing all that stuff we dont want them to do and thus makes Brave do the stuff that we *do want* it to do much faster. It seems to be very stable, at least for me it did not crash one single time so far. And a super important aspect for me: it is build on Chromium, so the extensions for Chrome etc are also perfectly working in Brave like a good dark mode extension, a translator, etc.
      Highly recommended!

    2. Vandemonian

      Brave also do search:

      They say 10% of their results are sourced from Bing, because their own database isn’t fully populated yet, but they tell you which they’ve used.

  32. McClymonds

    Regarding yesterday’s Jussie Smollett fake hate crime verdict:

    Here’s a quote from the brilliant negotiator sent over to stop the Ukraine invasion.

    Remember Raymond Shaw’s brainwashed admirerers in The Manchurian Candidate?

    @JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
    Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019

    Here’s our president:
    What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie.
    — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019

    As of yesterday, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Tweets Supporting Jussie Smollett Remain Up After Sentencing.

  33. Carolinian

    Re-Jacobin/Red Scare

    Always useful to be reminded that history didn’t start yesterday and our growing wave of repression has antecedents.

    But history can also reassure since these periods in our history didn’t last. Here’s hoping this latest will be over soon.

  34. Wukchumni

    …the thin white line

    6 West Pointers o/d’d on fentanyl laced cocaine the other day in Fla, which can’t be good for their military careers, you’d think.

    We visited West Point before 9/11 (a no-go for casual visitors like us now) and everything was perfectly in place, not a blade of grass out of kilter, about as perfect of a place i’ve ever visited, and then on the drive out not 10 miles from West Point we saw drug deals going down on the street in Newburgh, which has a way out of control crime rate, and the place to score illicit drugs for cadets i’d guess.

      1. Wukchumni

        Wow, 73 cadets caught cheating on Calculus and I understand some of the questions were tough…

        1.) If Trevor buys a kilo of coke and cuts it with Italian baby laxative and sells it on the street in small amounts, can he still graduate from the academy with honors?

        2.) Liam goes through a gram a day, except on weekends when he doubles his intake, or holidays when he abstains. How much is his habit per month?

        1. ambrit

          Or this one from Logistics 301: Major Spliff is tasked with managing imports from the Golden Triangle. Average opiate production is 18 tons per week. Air America C-47s can carry 8 ton payloads twice a week. Three Army gunship helicopters are needed for protection during flight. Figure out the weekly fuel needs to import 10 tons of heroin into America per week.

  35. Michael Ismoe

    Yemen war deaths will reach 377,000 by end of the year: UN Al Jazeera

    I’m sorry but if these people wanted me to care about their deaths, they would have been born white. Maybe we could start a KIckstarter if we could get that cute Ukranian kid to front for the Houthis.

    1. Daryl

      Eagerly waiting the sanctions on Saudi Arabia. There’s one I can get behind. I’ll stop buying gas and uh… dates I guess?

  36. Captain Obious

    The stock market being closed for the weekend, MSM seems able to stop touting the economic advantages of our war with Russia (and their -the Russians- disadvantages) and ameliorate the situation here at home with the American People, so that they can go back to sleep and not worry their pretty little heads about the ramifications of all this. No worries; be happy…

    The Fourth Turning was pretty much put forth as a big joke when Trumpy was attached to it and Bannon was spouting off. Now that it’s here, maybe not so funny. This article appeared at ZH; sorry:
    Much wants more and loses all (from a European financial analyst GEFIRA)

    1. Anne Twitty

      I notice that, unlike the agents of previous pogroms and massacres, the analyst at Gefira manages to erase the remaining Polish Jews from view quite bloodlessly.

  37. Louis Fyne

    In a fight with the Russians, the US has zero chance of defeating Russian armor after Russian missiles blow up European military jet fuel depots and every military runway east of Ireland.

    Fighting Russia is multiples tougher than fighting 1942 Germans. And remember that the German Varsity squad was busy fighting the Soviets.

    We are doomed as a nation to an unprecedented defeat if all the DC bipartisan chickenhawks have their way—even if any fight stays 100% conventional

    1. fresno dan

      It has been a long, long time since we engaged an adversary that is significant. Its hard to know how much of the PR from the Pentagon is simply for public consumption, and how much they actually believe.
      And I saw Breach (again) last night. Despite Robert Hanssen spying for 22 years, which just shows that our intelligence service reveals more secrets than it obtains, we still seem to believe we know stuff (e.g., those WMD’s in Iraq).

      1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

        “Its hard to know how much of the PR from the Pentagon is simply for public consumption, and how much they actually believe.”

        “How much they actually believe?”

        Probably 110% and then some, as the individuals existing in that peculiar and particular life-world that is the pointy tip of the spear would quite simply not be in that position if the (compartmentalized?) belief systems that enable that same reality were not thorouighly assimilated as a reality where one is “ready to go at a moments notice.”, for duty, honor, and country. “You do your job, it doesn’t bother me.” (time stamp approximately 28:30) See for example,

        “In a documentary that cannot help evoking the madness of Dr Strangelove, we follow Lt Rene Hernandez as he trains for a role dislocated from reality. Rene opted for the job – ironically, to give him more time with his family – but it certainly isn’t an easy option as the missileers are required to perform faultlessly.”

        “Missileers (BBC documentary about ICBM launch crews)”—47:36

        See also the following,

        “The CIA is overseeing a secret intensive training program in the U.S. for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel, according to five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the initiative. The program, which started in 2015, is based at an undisclosed facility in the Southern U.S., according to some of those officials. . . . “If the Russians invade, those [graduates of the CIA programs] are going to be your militia, your insurgent leaders,” said the former senior intelligence official. “We’ve been training these guys now for eight years. They’re really good fighters. That’s where the agency’s program could have a serious impact.” . . . If the Russians launch a new invasion, “there’s going to be people who make their life miserable,” said the former senior intelligence official. The CIA-trained paramilitaries “will organize the resistance” using the specialized training they’ve received. “All that stuff that happened to us in Afghanistan,” said the former senior intelligence official, “they can expect to see that in spades with these guys.”

        “CIA-trained Ukrainian paramilitaries may take central role if Russia invades”

        Retaliatory geostrategic chessboard games and provocative proxy wars are a very serious business for some humans, or so it seems.

  38. JustaBob

    “MR. KLAIN: Well, I think – 75 percent of adults are fully vaccinated and half of those who are eligible have also been boosted. Vaccine resistance is part of American history. It goes all the way back to George Washington having to require his troops to get the smallpox vaccine when they didn’t want to get it on the verge – in the Revolutionary War. ”

    “The smallpox vaccine was the first vaccine to be developed against a contagious disease. In 1796, the British doctor Edward Jenner demonstrated that an infection with the relatively mild cowpox virus conferred immunity against the deadly smallpox virus. Cowpox served as a natural vaccine until the modern smallpox vaccine emerged in the 20th century.” wikipedia

    I thik Mr Klain is telling porkies.

  39. Permanent Sceptic

    I would like to bring attention to an issue that I don’t think has been brought up in the links today.

    On Friday, a drone from Ukraine crashed and exploded near some student dorms in Zagreb, Croatia, having flown first through Romania and Hungary. No one was injured. The air defences of all three countries, which are all NATO members, do not seem to have picked it up. NATO indicated that it had tracked the object, but apparently did not alert authorities in any of the countries.

    Needless to say, the incident has prompted questions about the level of coordination and communication of potential threats, as well as about the status of small alliance members. One article in the Croatian media has pointedly asked if NATO would have been similar if the drone had been headed towards Vienna or Brussels.

    Initial AP report:
    Drone likely flying from Ukraine war zone crashes in Croatia

    Later response:
    Croatia criticizes NATO after crash of Russian-made drone

    (Most of the English-language media seems to be running the AP reports, rather than doing any additional original reporting.)

    The angry Croatian media response can be summed up by the headline in an article in “Jutarnji List” (“Morning Paper”)—“How NATO left us stranded: What if the same drone went to Vienna or Brussels?”)

      1. Permanent Sceptic

        That’s true and I thought it was strange as well. But I chalk it up to the Croatian mindset, which, at least in the capital, continues to be culturally oriented towards Vienna, as the heart of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.

  40. Bob Kavanagh

    “The U.N.’s disarmament chief said the agency had no evidence of any biological weapons program in Ukraine. Russia had accused the United States of a plot involving biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine and migratory birds, bats and insects.” NYT 3/12/22

  41. LawnDart

    an online CIA factbook said the USA has a 99% adult literacy rate.

    The same CIA also said that Saddam’s Iraq was cooking-up WMDs, and honestly, the National Enquirer is a far more reputable, credible source. I wonder where the CIA pulled their factoid from. But here from Forbes:

    Low Literacy Levels Among U.S. Adults Could Be Costing The Economy $2.2 Trillion A Year

    According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old – about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

    Add to it the fact that while many can read words, they lack the ability to understand or connect these written words to knowledge or experience in a meaningful way.

    Mass media does not foster rational thinking: their job it to catch eyeballs and to turn clicks to cash, and anyway, thinking is hard– so they engage their audience through their feelings. The vaunted “Age of Reason” met Edward Bernays and Wall Street, now here we are, where lies flourish and love dies.

    1. Objective Ace

      Literacy is generally a binary construct–either you are literate or not. Given that construct, “low literacy” would still be considered literate and the CIA is not incorrect. You do point out a more thorough dynamic though, what good is bare minimum literacy levels?

  42. The Rev Kev

    The stupidity – it burns. So it looks like Netflix is cancelling Tolstoy-

    ‘Erik Baker
    This would assuredly have been terrible, but there is something soul-crushing about a corporation shunning the work of a pacifist anarchist as some kind of anti-war gesture’

    Turns out that Karen’s last married name is Grundy.

    1. Wukchumni

      Yves mentioned on the Russian tanker thread what intense pressure every company & corporation is under the threat of reputational backlash, and then you add in the absurd cancel culture already in place-like nothing I have seen before, and shazam!

      Are you now or have you ever been a Russian?

      I used to hike with a Walkman and my favorite music cassettes (wow, it was a long time ago!) for the long ups and downs in the High Sierra were often Russian composers, who made for perfect fellow travelers.

      Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 FULL / Martha Argerich, piano

      1. JBird4049

        They cancelled Anna Karenina? Why? What’s next, The Gulag Archipelago? Perhaps, I should burn my volumes as who knows what propaganda Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn snuck into them.

        My head hurts.

  43. RobertC

    Biden’s Defense Department discovers that Ukraine War Could Put Food Security on Pentagon’s Plate

    The Pentagon has not yet taken on a specific role in alleviating food security, Press Secretary John Kirby said on Friday, but the risk of escalation from it is “obviously…something that we are concerned about.”

    DefenseOne is closely affiliated with The Atlantic whose editor-in-chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, helped George Bush into the strategic blunder that is our invasion and occupation of Iraq.

  44. djrichard

    >Facebook Introduces ‘Call In Drone Strike’ Button You Can Click On All Russian Profiles

    Dystopia straight out of Zone 23 by CJ Hopkins. The byline of that book should be: nothing personal, it’s just business.

  45. Amfortas the hippie

    email to cornyn(whore) and cruz(psychopath):

    give russia its monroe doctrine, and stop being idiots.
    real people suffer for all your bullshit, after all.
    remember that, please.

    fucking reptile.

    oh, and please call me.

  46. Andrew A. Zimin

    Ross Barkan (How Will Russia’s War on Ukraine End?) is the same liberal as Pinochet.
    Is she CIA ‘secsot’?

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