Links 3/22/2022

Dear patient readers,

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Two new species of see-through frog named in Ecuador National Geographic (furzy)

Should Leopards Be Paid for Their Spots? New Yorker (furzy)

James Webb teams successfully align mirror, commissioning continues NASA Spaceflight (Kevin W)



The mystery of COVID-19 reinfections: A global systematic review and meta-analysis of 577 cases MedRxIv (guurst)

Outdoor long-range transmission of COVID-19 and patient zero MedRxIv (Raymond Sim)

Pfizer CEO Pushes Yearly Shots for Covid. Not So Fast, Experts Say. The Conversation

Covid Analysis: Vitamin D for COVID-19: real-time meta analysis of 186 studies C19VittamineD (Chuck L)


Corona-card: incidence values in the counties NDR (guurst)


At least 5.2 million children have lost a parent or caretaker to Covid-19, study estimates CNN


Climate Change Is Making Allergy Season Even Worse Atlantic

Researchers are finding ways to turn down the heat in cities PhysOrg


At Site of China Eastern Airlines Crash, No Survivors Found Wall Street Journal

China Has a Huge Strategic Opening With India The Diplomat (RobertC)

In maglev innovation, Chinese researchers transfer power wirelessly to moving train South China Morning Post (resilc)

Ukraine war fortifies North Korea’s urge to arm Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

Replacements for P&O Ferries crew paid £1.80 an hour, unions say Guardian (Kevin W)

New Not So Cold War

I understand there was an effort to walk this back, but there are some things you cannot unsay:

Mariupol YouTube. This is a rambling presentation, and if you’ve heard Lira before, he covers old ground in the opening section. At 32:30, he discusses the humanitarian corridors. At 37:15, and his is the key section, he gives an overview of the civilian accounts coming out of Mariupol, including a long-form one from someone he knows personally.

U.S. Sending Soviet Air Defense Systems It Secretly Acquired to Ukraine Wall Street Journal (Li). Huh? We are sending antiques? The WSJ excuse is Ukrainians know how to use this stuff, but Scott Ritter said they were trained to NATO standards on NATO equipment, to the degree that they’d be interchangable with NATO units from Germany or Poland.

Ukraine Update: Biden Says Hypersonic Missile Shows Desperation Bloomberg. Help me. But this is to set up the claim that Russia will engage in chemical weapons attacks, something we’ve been flogging for weeks. See more: LIVE: Putin’s back against the wall in Ukraine – Biden BBC

Day 24 Summary – Ukraine counteroffensive in Mykolaiv-Kherson region YouTube. woozel recommends this map as from multiple sources and updated daily.

EU country won’t negotiate new gas deal with Russia’s Gazprom RT (Kevin W)

Oilfield Service Majors Aren’t Pulling Out Of Russia OilPrice

How Russia is using intellectual property as a war tactic The Conversation (Kevin W)

VIDEO: Destruction of steel factory in Mariupol BNE

As Russia moves to nationalize foreign companies exiting its market, the UK prepares to nationalize a major Russian natural gas supplier Business Insider

Far from Ukraine, Indonesia’s favourite noodles run out of stock Al Jazeera (resilc)

Putin puts Xi between a rock and hard place Asia Times (resilc). Um, sure looks like this guy did not read the Chinese readout or forceful articles in Global Times about the call. And that continues today, see below:

US is reestablishing a new Inquisition using Russia-Ukraine crisis as excuse: Global Times editorial:

The US is reestablishing a new Inquisition, infamous in medieval Europe, and all who disagree with the US have been labeled “heretics.” And the US also wants to tie and burn the “heretics” on the pillars of international public opinion.

Yet, to the disappointment of the US and its attendants, although they have been clamoring that countries should take sides, they cannot cover the fact that they are still the minority in the international community. The US wishes that the whole world will follow it to condemn and sanction Russia, but more than 100 countries are not involved in imposing sanctions against Russia.

Unholy Crusade: White House leads KOL on anti-Russia propaganda, Western ‘rights groups’ turn blind eye to hate speech Global Times

Russia halts peace treaty talks with Japan over sanctions Nikkei

Zelensky says ‘time for Israel to make its choice’ and back Ukraine France 24 (resilc)


Numbers don’t lie: more Saudi attacks on Yemen came after new US support Responsible Statecraft

F1 bosses ‘monitoring’ Saudi Arabian GP after missile attack PLANET F1 (resilc)

Animated Chart: Nuclear Warheads by Country (1945-2022) Visula Capitalist (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Weak Landing Gear Springs Caused The B-2 Spirit To Skid Off Runway At Whiteman AFB In September Aviationist (dk)

CENTCOM: US Troops Will Likely Be in Iraq for Years to Come

Russia invasion is a boon for the post-GWOT war machine Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

9/11: FBI links Saudi Arabia spy to attacks on Sept. 11 Northern Jersey (resilc)


Porn star Stormy Daniels loses appeal in Trump case, owes former president almost $300,000 CNBC

Our Famously Free Press

World’s Dullest Editorial Launches Panic Matt Taibbi

S.E.C. Considers Climate Disclosure Rule New York Times (Kevin W)

How Big Tech lost the antitrust battle with Europe ars technica (Kevin W)

Central Banks, BIS Develop Digital Currencies Platform Prototype Bloomberg. I need to tackle the embarrassing Fed paper on digital currencies. It does not articulate a single good reason for proceeding, which means the initiative has to be a combination of trying to be hip plus wanting to get rid of cash for better taxation and surveillance.

85,000 birds euthanized as South Dakota sees first avian flu outbreak since 2015 SDPB (resilc). We warned about this. Stockpile chicken and turkey if they are part of your regular menu.

Fifth Iowa outbreak of bird flu confirmed in a backyard Warren County flock Des Moines Register (Late Introvert)

Lithium Prices Have Nearly Doubled In 2022 Amid Insane Commodity Rally OilPrice

Top economist Mohamed El-Erian says sell risk assets now and warns ‘a policy mistake is coming’ Business Insider

Class Warfare


Google settles with engineers who said they were fired for trying to organize The Verge (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. An old picture of Tracie H’s EB White:

And a bonus video (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Weak Landing Gear Springs Caused The B-2 Spirit To Skid Off Runway At Whiteman AFB In September” article at-

    That was the first article I clicked on because I wondered how the hell that happened being an state of the art bomber. Figured either dodgy parts or slack maintenance but in either case, those repairs won’t come cheap.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The B-2 fleet is very small and many of the aircraft are approaching their third decade of life. Its likely that many parts – including non-proprietary ones – are long out of production and stores could well be running low. The usual approach of cannibalising some older aircraft isn’t really an option when you only have 21 of them. My guess would be that maintenance teams are under a lot of pressure to continually refurbish parts that should be replaced. The cost of keeping these aircraft operational is going to rocket upwards year by year – its already astronomical. The F-22 will be the next aircraft to suffer these problems, if its not already happening.

    2. Bazarov

      Remember that report awhile back about the woman tasked with performing an essential materials tolerance test for the Navy? Turns out she was faking the results for years because she thought the test was “stupid.” Recall also that Kobe Steel, a major steel producer in Japan, faked tolerance tests for several DECADES.

      Who knows how much of that is going on in the our insanely corrupt and increasingly concentrated military industrial complex. Who knows if these springs are really up to snuff. It makes one wonder: how many of our weapons will do their job, when the time comes to rely on them?

  2. Amfortas the hippie

    re. the unholy crusade thing in GT(which i glean is associated with chinese officialdom):
    just a reminder: Heretic(from greek:αἵρεσις) means “Choice Maker”.
    as opposed to …ahem…”sheep”…

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and, germane: lifted from a comment on Taibbi’s bit:
      this is, apparently, a thing in the world, now:

      see: “Tautology”, and “Circular Reasoning”.

      and, here’s a corrective for many of our abornin troubles, at least in theory:

      …better to get ta steppin on that sort of thing sooner, rather than later.

      1. chris

        Huh. Is it just me or would the NYT not pass any of those “rating criteria” according to Newsguard?

      2. djrichard

        I had the Newsguard chrome extension installed for awhile, just to screw around with them in the sites I visit.

        Your post prompted me to look at adding it again, but I see that there’s now a warning “read and change your data on all websites”

  3. Paradan

    James Webb…

    So are they eventually gonna send Kamela up there with a big pair of scissors to cut the ribbon?

      1. orlbucfan

        Knock off the jokes. The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the few multi-national achievements this sorry arsed species has achieved. I ought to know cos my late father designed the telemetry/guts of its great grandpappy: the OAO. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory which was a peaceful research project launched back in 1969. He worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center back when it was built. This telescope was designed by the best brains of this sorry whatever country, Canada, and the EU. I take any slights against it personally especially now with what the stupid PTB have done to this world.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the few multi-national achievements this sorry arsed species has achieved

          I agree. I’m amazed we didn’t screw it up. I always pictured it hitting some Elon Musk-emitted piece of space junk on the way up.

      2. orlbucfan

        I posted an educated rebuttal which did not violate any moderation rules on this site. I will defend the James Webb ST. This is the first time I have noticed my comment has vanished. I hope it’s due to the fact that the moderators are swamped with monitoring all the Ukrainian-Russian noise.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please read our Policies. This was a polite complaint but complaining about moderation earns you troll points. Posts going into moderation is not based on human action but it does take human action to review and free them.

          This is a small, thinly resourced site. Every second we spend on moderation is at the expense of generating new content. And that’s before the time sink and annoyance factor of readers making bad assumptions and us REPEATEDLY having to address them.

          You complained less than 20 minutes after you made your original comment. Do you have any idea how presumptuous this is? We commit to reviewing comments ONLY once every 24 hours, although we are typically way faster than that.

          1. orlbucfan

            Sorry, Yves. I read your R & R, and agree and follow them. I knew I made a goof the second I posted that complaint and should have deleted it. My bad. Again, apologies. It won’t happen again. BTW, thanks Lambert for your compliment.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Porn star Stormy Daniels loses appeal in Trump case, owes former president almost $300,000”

    That’s a lot of money that. She’ll be flat on her back paying that much off.

    1. Sardonia

      So Stormy walks into Trump’s office and hands him $300,050. Trump asks, “Who the hell paid you $50?”

      Stormy says, “Each of them.”

    2. ambrit

      She could ‘produce’ some Biden centric “sniff tapes” and probably, Trump would forgive the debt.
      I can see it now: “Bidengates. A new political retirement centre.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        That’s not fair that. Kamala had to go on her knees to get selected for the Vice-Presidency.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      It was obvious from the outset that Stormy Daniels’ relationship with Trump, which was once taken as “serious” evidence of election “law” violations, would be reduced to a sleazy punchline as is happening in the comments above.

      Pipsqueak Ukrainian ex-comedian and current media-created superhero, volodymyr zelensky, would do well to note the chew-’em-up-and-spit-’em-out way americans treat their “icons” once they have outlived their usefulness.

      1. Pate

        A heads up to dixlesic readers like myself: election law violations, not erection law violations.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        That’s because I just knew she and her future-Democratic-presidential-candidate and lawyer (yes, #McResistance media was seriously talking about Avenatti running in the primaries) would bring down Orange Man. I knew it, I just knew it… sort of like the way 9/11 Truthers knew that everything would be fixed once The People knew about those Thermite charges in the towers…

    4. Lambert Strether

      > “Porn star Stormy Daniels

      I think we’re kicking down on Stormy Daniels a little here. In my view, Ladies of Negotiable Affection — supposing Daniels to be one such — when they are involved in a scandal of some sort, are generally the most level-headed observers around, and worth listening to. (Cf. Mandy Rice-Davies in the Profumo affair: “Well he would, wouldn’t he?”).

      The jokes do write themselves, but maybe better jokes would be a good thing?

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        No disrespect to you, Lambert, or Stormy, who seems to have behaved with a little more dignity than those around her, but recalling the spectacle of #McResistance idiots thinking she and Avenatti would bring down Trump (just like Cohen would!, or getting hold of his taxes! or Mueller! ) is one of the few, perverse comforts left to a petty media slob like me…

      2. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that people are kicking down on Stormy Daniels because she as a working girl. They have a hard enough job as it is and I would never attack one in any way. Stormy Daniels tried to cash in on a transactional relationship that she had with Trump and let herself be used as a tool to bring a US Presidency into chaos no matter what the damage was done to the country – and all so that she could get a big payout. And I don’t care if that President was Trump. Personally, I regard her as in the same class as “Curveball” was during the lead up to the Iraq war. Supposing that at the time Trump wanted to bring in a bill to end surprise billing in hospitals so that it would help him be re-elected – but that this affair was used to bin it. People would feel differently about her then.

  5. timbers

    …more than 100 countries are not involved in imposing sanctions against Russia…


    BIDEN: “There’s going to be a new world order out there and we have to lead it.”

    If it’s occurred to anyone in Washington that the new world order they are leading us to is away from the US as the leader, it’s hard to tell.

    This bloody nose to once invincible US hegemony could have very long term consequences we can’t even see right now.

    1. Sardonia

      There’s a dollar bill on my desk, and I swear I can see George Washington’s lips moving. He appears to be saying “trade me for lentils!”

        1. wilroncanada

          Does that mean you’ll have to give them up for Lent?
          Sorry L F, couldn’t resist.

    2. Bono the Poet

      India likes Russia
      And China does too
      But the Irish love Zelensky
      And sanctions are what we do

    3. B flat

      When I was a kid hippie adults would say things like, what if they threw a war and nobody came? I know this is simplistic, but today bc of decolonization European countries and the Brits can’t drag their colonies into a world war. Hectoring and threats of sanctions aren’t intimidating them either, so far.

      1. begob

        The France v England rugby TV coverage on the weekend had a couple of cutaways to the England supporters in the crowd – the director’s choice was: three guys in white Indian Raj officer uniforms with pith helmets; then another three guys dolled up as crusaders sporting the St George’s cross. A third of the world’s population doesn’t even have to cross the room to receive those insults! Disappointingly from a French (or Irish or American) point of view, there were no red coats.

    4. fresno dan

      I saw those two articles and thought the same thing (i.e., the old – US hegemon – world order is falling). Of course, I hear the term “New World Order” and I immediately think of Bush the Elder. Searching for the origin of the term, “New World Order” it apparently originated under Woodrow Wilson, which is reason enough to doubt its usefulness. So now the term is associated with Wilson, Bush, and Biden…enough said

      1. Steve H.

        fresno dan

        It’s possible it’s a parsing issue. Is it ‘new / worldorder’ or ‘newworld / order’?

        Lookin’ at you, Venezuela.

        1. JohnA

          The whole concept of the ‘Free World’ is totally outdated today. Leaving aside current Covid and sanctions related travel restrictions, pretty much the only restriction on freedom anywhere is the ability to pay for what you want. And when it comes to Free, what is actually free for citizens in the US? Supposed leader of this mythical Free World? Free healthcare? No, Free tertiary education? No. Free parental leave after the birth of a child? No. Free paid sickleave? No. Free 25 days annual holiday leave? No.
          Most of the above benefits were free in the EU up until the neoliberal takeover over the past 20-30 years and the financialisation of everything. Free world? Only for the rich.

      2. caucus99percenter

        The reverse side of the great seal of the U.S. (seen on every $1 bill), adopted in 1782, does bear the motto “Novus ordo seclorum” or “A new order of the ages.” Apparently the idea for a story arc in which the U.S. is the protagonist, retconning all of world history in its favor, is an old and recurring one.

    5. Francine

      When people are abandoning you, get behind them and pretend you are corralling them.

      It’s the opposite of being run out of town and pretending you are leading a parade.

    6. Lambert Strether

      > There’s going to be a new world order out there and we have to lead it.

      Here is the transcript. It’s Biden before the Business Roundtable:

      I think this presents us with some significant opportunities to make some real changes. You know, we are at an inflection point, I believe, in the world economy — not just the world economy, in the world. It occurs every three or four generations.

      As one of — as one of the top military people said to me in a secure meeting the other day, 60 — 60 million people died between 1900 and 1946. And since then, we’ve established a liberal world order, and that hadn’t happened in a long while. A lot of people dying, but nowhere near the chaos.

      And now is a time when things are shifting. We’re going to — there’s going to be a new world order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. And we’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.

      The distinction between the world and what the West conceives of as “The World” is telling (“China isolated”).

      1. Brunches with Cats

        > A lot of people dying, but nowhere near the chaos …

        If by “chaos,” he means “war,” then he’s right: “let ‘er rip” is killing millions of people far from war zones. And just think of the glory in uniting “the rest of the free world” in killing off millions more, whether by guaranteeing total freedom, including international travel rights, to future viruses, or by using the united world economy (not just the world) to sanction and destroy un-woke countries.

        As often noted here, Biden has been around long enough that anyone who was paying attention shouldn’t be shocked by his policies. If anything is shocking, it’s his increasing inability to speak clearly. Maybe they need to make the teleprompter font bigger? Or maybe it’s a feature, not a bug? F if I know …

  6. The Rev Kev

    I’ll thank furzy now for that featured bonus video today. I had just finished watching that two-hour video with Scott Ritter and this was just the thing needed after by yours truly.

  7. Bandit

    Outdoor long-range transmission of COVID-19 and patient zero

    The big streeeetch. Nothing like getting paid to create studies that have no relevance to reality. From what I have read, outdoor transmission is practically non existent due to the fact that the sun’s UV rays kill the virus immediately. UV rays still penetrate cloud cover, so it can be overcast and still kill the virus.

    What is still a mystery is that even without the sun (at night) the virus has not been shown capable of transmission, suggesting another factor as yet to be discovered. Curiously, UV rays can be present at night due to a series of conditions. To get infected with covid outside, a person would have to literally cough in your face to transmit the virus during daylight hours, cloudy or otherwise.

    1. Paradan

      “Nothing like getting paid to create studies that have no relevance to reality.”

      This is the fuel that makes the State Department go Vroooom!

    2. Raymond Sim

      Oughtn’t your critique of the study’s “relevance to reality” include some reference to its content?

      Your second paragraph appears to consist entirely of unsubstantiated assertions and magical thinking.

    3. t

      What are you on about? Outside isn’t magic. People huddled together under a bus stop shelter during a storm are outside. People hugging all around and stand then standing in small groups in the church parking lot are outside. People packed shoulder to shoulder on a crowded sidewalk are outside. When we talk about the low low risk of transmission outside, we’re still talking about not sharing air.

    4. Basil Pesto

      This is simply not true. At distance especially, Covid transmission is considerably rarer outdoors, yes (as the authors of the provided study point out). But it is not ‘practically non-existent’. And I am unaware of any evidence that solar UV radiation kills the virus instantly.

      1. jefemt

        I was pondering an analogy… the study shows a very low percentage of event, but still a possibility…

        my analogy was one sperm in the bazillions making it to fertilize an egg. Happens all day every day.

        Good thing there are 8 billions of us jetting around the world!

    5. Ignacio

      The study justifies itself on studies with foot and mouth disease for which windborne transmission has been modelized. This is a picornavirus with highly stable particles compared with virus that have membrane envelopes such as CoVs. I think that trying to do the same with CoVs doesn’t make any sense and long distance CoV transmission occurs basically via and within infected human hosts. Extremely unlikely that any index case in any country has started by windborne CoVs.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Indeed, but I think it behooves us (no pun intended) not to make hoof and mouth the new measles, as in “Sure it’s airborne like measles, but it’s no hoof and mouth.” Every two or three months seems to bring new bad news about SARS-CoV-2’s persistence.

        If SARS-CoV-2 could remain airborne and viable for twelve hours in the conditions prevailing along a watercourse then, per the experience with hoof and mouth, it might travel a great deal further than most people would anticipate. The index case for a whole country might not fly in leaping 100 km all at once, but it might fly in making jumps long enough to evade internal travel restrictions as well as international border closings.

    6. Yves Smith Post author

      Stop Making Shit Up.

      Absolutely nothing kills the virus immediately. Even an iodine solution takes 15 seconds.

      And sunlight does not have enough concentration to do the job:

      Sunlight does not affect the novel coronavirus as quickly as UVC light.

      UVC light from the sun is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere. When you go outside on a sunny day, the UV light that reaches you is mostly UVA and some UVB. These types of UV light do not destroy viruses as quickly as UVC light.

      With enough time, UV light from the sun can break down coronaviruses, but it’s not a good strategy to use to disinfect your skin. The amount of exposure to the sun’s UV light that it would take to break down coronaviruses or other germs may give you a sunburn if you are not wearing sunscreen!

      The best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 are to get vaccinated, wash your hands, keep your distance from other people, and wear a mask when you are outside your home or can’t keep your distance from others.

    7. Lambert Strether

      > outdoor transmission is practically non existent due to the fact that the sun’s UV rays kill the virus immediately

      “The dose makes the poison.” Outdoor air dilutes the virus.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What’s that old Russian saying again? Oh yeah – ‘When your enemy is making a mistake, sit back and crack open a brewski.’

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that a coupla weeks ago that all those Members of the Russian Duma that voted for the military operation in the Ukraine were named and sanctioned by Biden. I found that bizarre.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “85,000 birds euthanized as South Dakota sees first avian flu outbreak since 2015”

    Now might be a good time to buy a turkey and chuck it to the bottom of your freezer – if you have the space – in case this has not all resolved itself by Thanksgiving. But going by the way that the economy is being handled, by Thanksgiving the only thing that people will have cause to give thanks to is the fact that the 2022 midterms will be in the rear view mirror.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i’ve been watching this, even tho we’re isolated.
      the good news for me is that the migratory bird traffic is all headed north at the moment, it being spring, and all.
      the bad news is that there’s lots of people ordering chicks right now…which come from midwest hatcheries.
      so any spread down my way will be due to lax protocols at the hatcheries, sending infected birds to my neighbors, who then infect the extant local wild birds, who then infect my fowl.(the relevant biosecurity protocols recommend that one excludes wild birds from interacting with one’s flock…which is impossible, as near as i can tell)
      historically, APHIS was regarded as a serious, no BS agency…ie: they took their mandate seriously.(i interacted with them, years ago, and knew 2 people who worked for them)
      I have no idea about their current status…like whether or not they’ve been captured or otherwise zombiefied.

      the bigger hatcheries(like Murray McMurray) will likely go all out, because they can afford to.
      the smaller ones(like i prefer), maybe not.
      => more consolidation of chick sources, akin to the rest of ag.

      1. scarnoc

        My wife and I were just discussing this. We keep chickens and geese. The only way to prevent wild birds from interacting with our flock would be to keep our flock indoors. I’m not going to do that. We won’t order any chicks this year or add any foreign animals. We have eggs in the incubator instead. I don’t think county will come knocking about this anytime soon. They will have bigger fish to fry, as will we all.

    2. mary jensen

      Late to the show but: can we please ditch the verb “euthanized” and call it what it is? “Gassed”. The birds are gassed en masse. Please just say it. Makes me as angry as people who died being referred to as “passed”. Passed where? Passed what? What’s wrong with saying “died”? People on this site are justly hypercritical of the ludicrous euphemisms we drown in every damned waking day so please drop “euthanized” along with the rest.

  9. OnceWereVirologist

    Latest in Chechen Propaganda Films

    I’ve read in Russian sources that some in the Russian Army proper are pissed or at least jealous that they have to maintain strict information security while Ramzan Kadyrov gets to release his own advertisements for how badass his Chechens are whenever he wants.

    1. Louis Fyne

      paging Nassim Taleb about leaders who have skin in the game.

      Who wants to follow Joe Biden and Boris into battle like in the Bronze Age days?

      (Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Chechnya, is in Ukraine, in the field, leading his troops and posts to social media regularly).

      of course, take with salt as it could be propaganda.

      But given Chechen honor codes, the leader is supposed to be leading from the front. something the west should revert to.

      1. nippersdad

        Because I can resist anything but temptation:

        “Who wants to follow Joe Biden and Boris into battle like in the Bronze Age days?”

        Biden remembers having to do that kind of malarkey during the Bronze Age, and it was really unpleasant; too many blows to the head leading to the need for hair plugs and false teeth. That kind of damage also engenders the kinds of olfactory damage which make it necessary to get right up on people’s heads so that you can sniff their hair.

        That is why he doesn’t do it anymore. He used to send Beau instead, but now that Beau is dead (“sob!”) he is only left with Hunter, but Hunter turned out to be too much of a weenie to get arrested with him protesting Apartheid in South Africa. Unreliable. So much better to farm Hunter out to Ukraine to rebuild the family fortunes in the eastern European gas fields………

        That would be fun to turn into a short story; so much material to work with. And, no, I wouldn’t follow that guy to the nearest Baskin Robbins, even if he was buying…and driving us in his Corvette. What we really need are leaders like Corn-Pop. Now he was a bad dude.

  10. Lex

    I can’t find a link outside of the Slavnet, but it appears that the Avosteel Plant was struck using the Tos-1 and there is drone footage (the drone footage appears to be Ukrainian in origin). That is a terrifying weapon.

    The hypersonics don’t show desperation, they show a degree of escalation dominance outside the use of nuclear weapons. If reports are true, the Kinzhal struck a Soviet nuclear bunker and was able to ignite the ammunition stores inside it. If other reports are true, Russia demonstrated that it can erase the Pentagon without going nuclear and not only is there no defense, but there’s a good chance there will be no warning. The time from over the horizon identification to impact may be as short as 3 seconds.

    1. Louis Fyne

      >>>but there’s a good chance there will be no warning.

      the heat around a hypersonic missile creates plasma which renders the missile invisible to radar.

      US nuclear missile Infrared detection satellites work only if they are looking in the right direction.

      This unverified video might be the Kinzhal given its meteorite-like plasma appearance

      compare to this, which definitely is not a hypersonic missile and bad journalism

      1. cfraenkel

        This is so misleading as to be disinformation
        >>>US nuclear missile Infrared detection satellites work only if they are looking in the right direction.
        The words you use imply the DSP satellites (and followons) are sometimes pointed at the moon??? DSP is never looking in the wrong direction. So clearly you imply something else, but leave it to the reader’s imagination.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > US nuclear missile Infrared detection satellites work only if they are looking in the right direction.

          IIRC, and I’m too lazy to find the link, US detection systems are optimized for missiles coming over the Pole, not from random directions.

          1. Glen

            DSPs have been retired. (Precursor MiDAS is long retired.) Now it’s SBIRS. These sit in geosynchronous orbit, use to monitor for launch plumes (not sure what now), and down link to Pine Gap:

            Missile Defense Alarm System
            Defense Support Program
            Space-Based Infrared System

            Pine Gap

            Follow the history back, and you find Corona, and that rockets in America was long driven by missiles for warheads and spy satellites.

            CORONA (satellite)

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        The first video you posted has some splendid RU profanity, which IMHO gives it credibility. Russian is a great language for swearing, so much flexibility with 6 grammatical cases (vs only 2 in English and 4 in German). That guy sounded genuinely scared.

      3. Tor User

        “the heat around a hypersonic missile creates plasma which renders the missile invisible to radar.”

        There must be some nuance here because ICBM’s can be tracked on radar as they enter the atmosphere and they travel even faster than hypersonic missiles.

        1. BillS

          The plasma around hypersonic vehicles makes them MORE visible on radar. The problem is, by the time you spot them, it’s too late – you have about 3 seconds before impact.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Unholy Crusade: White House leads KOL on anti-Russia propaganda, Western ‘rights groups’ turn blind eye to hate speech”

    You can forget those so-called Western human rights groups like Human Rights Watch as they are compromised no end. And as for Facebook being given the clear to ‘like’ Nazis and wish for Russians to get killed, this is really only the mask dropping to what they are really all about. And we also see Twitter and YouTube trying to censor any posts critical of the latest CIA talking points. But there is a lot more at stake here in that these tactics could just as easily be turned against people who live in America itself and we saw a hint of this with the four-year long saga of the Trump Presidency.

    So as an example just now – the other day on The View, the “ladies” there were calling on the Justice Department to be sicked onto Tucker Carlson and Gabbi Tulsard while Fox should pull Carlson’s show. There were the typical accusations that they were traitors and were doing it for money (this coming from millionaires). Hard to see from the video on the linked article below who is worse – Whoopie Goldberg or Ana Navarro or even Joy Behar. But this is the sort of stuff that in the old days led to treason trials and Star Chambers and you do not want to go there-

    1. nippersdad

      As regards The View, Aaron Mate’ was pointing out that Navarro’s father was a Contra, and that she was a lobbyist for the right wing El Salvadoran government. Behar, anyway, sounds like she occasionally shows some degree of shame, so I pity her when it comes out that she has been abetting Nazis.

      The US government and some of its’ toadies pushed for war crimes tribunals at the Hague over Ukraine, and the Judge accepted the case saying that he would investigate both sides of the issue.* As the Russians have proven to be excellent lawyers, it is going to be interesting to see how they both defend themselves and the documentation that they provide the court to prove their counter-assertions. I strongly suspect that the means by which the western media has managed to manufacture consent for a war that could easily have been stopped by merely getting Ukraine to implement Minsk II will feature prominently. Behar may want to change her European vacation plans accordingly.**



      1. The Rev Kev

        Good luck with getting war crimes tribunals going at the Hague. The Russian Federation never signed onto the International Criminal Court. Nor did the Ukraine for that matter. The ICC Prosecutor is only in the Ukraine investigating crimes because they seriously bent the laws to allow him to do so as the Ukraine could not ask them in. Yeah, Hague justice. In the long run it will make no difference as the Russian Constitution forbids their citizens being deported or extradited out of the country-

        The Constitution of the Russian Federation
        Chapter 2. Rights and Freedoms of Man and Citizen
        Article 61 – 1. A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported from Russia or extradited to another State.

        1. nippersdad

          The US has been pushing them, also not a member, and it looks like we may be in for more than we asked for.

          “Ukraine is not a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”), so cannot itself refer the situation to my Office. But it has twice exercised its prerogatives to legally accept the Court’s jurisdiction over alleged crimes under the Rome Statute occurring on its territory,…”

          “I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine in relation to the events already assessed during the preliminary examination by the Office. Given the expansion of the conflict in recent days, it is my intention that this investigation will also encompass any new alleged crimes falling within the jurisdiction of my Office that are committed by any party to the conflict on any part of the territory of Ukraine.”

          IIRC, we still have a GWB era law on the books that claims we will invade Belgium if any American is put up on war crimes charges.* It occurs to me that we haven’t invaded Belgium in years. Maybe its’ time has come.


        2. Pat

          IIRC didn’t part of Mueller’s show fall apart when he charged a Russian company in absentia as a PR stunt, and then their lawyers showed up and destroyed the case when the case was given a court date?
          Not sure how The Hague works but couldn’t something similar throw a wrench in anything attempted?

            1. edwin

              I’m not going to look up a link, but I seem to remember he stated earlier that Nazis who were caught by Russia would be summarily shot.

              I expect very little investigation of Ukrainian war crimes no matter how many they engage in.

    2. vao

      we also see Twitter and YouTube trying to censor any posts critical of the latest CIA talking points

      YouTube has been increasingly resorting to a more insidious form of control: turning videos that do not fit in the mainstream narrative into “age-restricted content” — rather than deleting them outright.

      Very recently, it happened to me again with a backgrounder on Ukraine, which explained the dark aspects of the Orange and Maidan revolutions, the Ukrainian anti-Russian legislation, the less than savoury historical and ideological roots of the Ukrainian “extreme nationalists”, and the corruption of the anti-Russian (Yushchenko, Timoshenko, Poroshenko…) and pro-Russian (Yanukovych…) politicians alike.

      Video freely accessible when posted, mysteriously becoming age-restricted because of “community guidelines” after a few days. There were scenes of the riots on the Maidan, and of the attack of the House of Trade Unions in Odessa — but no gore that would justify keeping it under wraps.

      Accessing such restricted content requires logging in into an account — which Google asks to be connected to a mobile phone number for security and confirmation purposes. I can only surmise that there is a double objective of (a) rendering access to such videos cumbersome (and hence reducing their audience) and (b) collecting information about those users who are sufficiently motivated to go through the hassle of logging in and performing 2FA to look at the videos.

      I understand that Twitter follows a similar approach.

      1. K.k

        As you said ditto for twitter. Blatant disgusting behavior. I do not have a twitter account. I used to check in on some accounts i had bookmarked over the years. One such account i would occasionally check out over the last few years was Eduard Dolinsky. Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Director General. He has been posting about rising fascism and antisemitism in Ukraine. All of a sudden after the war began almost of his posts became age restricted and are no longer visible unless you sign in to twitter. Again they were not age sensitive before the war and easily accessible. Disgusting.

    3. Tom Stone

      Now,now Rev,the Ukrainians are no more racist than Strom Thurmond was.
      The footage of Joe Biden delivering the eulogy at Strom’s funeral is unforgettable.
      And the USA is only supporting moderate Nazi’s, like Andrij Biletsky.
      Good old Andrij who made it clear that it is “The destiny of the Ukraine to lead the White races in a final crusade against the Semite led subhumans”.

    4. Screwball

      My X loved that show. I would have to leave the room. I watched the clips with those ladies going after Tulsi and Tucker, and got several other breakdowns and narratives from Breaking Points to Jimmy Dore. It was just as ridiculous no matter where you watched it (and it wouldn’t matter who they were talking about).

      I’m not surprised at anything said on that show. And of course they get away with it (but I do think Whoopie got busted not too long ago). What drives me crazy; why in the world would ANYONE watch that crap? It has to be the stupidest show on TV – maybe EVER. And yet, I was told I needed better news sources.

      Only in America.

  12. Lex

    47.104232041467775, 37.58761557333315

    Avostal and apparently the google earth pictures have been updated. A section of the plant is gone, this is the same section shown on videos released yesterday. Oddly, there aren’t a lot of other signs of massive destruction but that may be a result of Google not stitching in all the most recent photos?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I wondered when I read the account at BNE. The wording from the Ukrainian officials sounded as if it was the old, original plant that was hit, with it not clear how much of the neighboring newer operations were damaged.

      1. Lee

        Regarding your link: it looks like it is forbidden to get there from here in the land of the free.

        “403 – Forbidden . That’s an error.

        Client does not have access rights to the content so server is rejecting to give proper response. That’s all we know.”

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Maybe it’s the recent Firefox update banning Sputnik and RT??

          Always gotta be fn with the Roma! Can we give these scapegoats a break geez

          Speaking of Roma, there’s a semi decent new horror movie out called The Cursed. A badass Roma witch curses the rich british baron who steals her land.

      2. playon (formerly lordkoos)

        I’m not sure what is going on in these photos with the green paint – I have heard that it is gypsies but have also heard that it is Russian-speakers being persecuted in eastern Ukraine. Does anyone know for sure?

        1. Acacia

          From one of the tweet comments:

          The green stuff is zelyonka (зелёнка), a disinfectant

  13. Raymond Sim

    Not to be petty Yves, but it’s a bit of a sore point with those of us Sims who aren’t Simms or Simses: It’s “Sim” like the actor who played Scrooge.

  14. Hickory

    In that Biden White House speech screenshot, I had two reactions. First, it looked like the woman doing the sign language was mocking him, like she was pointing at him and laughing hysterically. Then I imagined her laughing maniacally at the prospect of leading a new world order. Either way, I’m glad for the sign language comedic relief. It’s hard to have respect for leaders hit zero and stay there for years and just keep watching.

    Also, that FBI leak about Saudi Arabia looks like evidence the US-Saudi rift is real. Seems like a warning shot over the bow.

    1. Guild Navigator

      Or that The Blob is not monolithic, and that there may be forces in The Blob that see the shit show for what it is and want to right the Titanic (before it is too, too late already).

  15. Lou Anton

    Question for UK-based NCers: For at home COVID tests, do people regularly/automatically/reliably report their positives and negatives? Or is it like the US right now, where we have the at-home tests but often don’t feel compelled to report a positive (or get an “official” antigen test at a clinic or doctor’s office)?

    Asking because hospitalizations in the UK are way up now, closing in on peak late-Dec’21 early-Jan’22, but positive tests are nowhere near their high. See here:

    Before now, you’d see an uptrend in positives — then a week or two go by — then the hospitalizations follow. Right now in the UK, they’re going up right at the same time. So is the lag relationship gone because of BA.2, or is it just that the cases data is underreported due to people testing at home and keeping results private?


    1. revenant

      In the UK, case ascertainment by reporting of tested specimens has collapsed:
      – PCR tests were removed as a requirement, in most cases
      – LFD tests are self-reported and many negative people do not both (and some positive people!) so the ratio is wrong

      The problem in the long run will be with the absolute value being wrong. However, if at around the time of the changes – say there was a PR blitz about covid being over and measures being relaxed generally… – then the case ascertainment could fall at the same time as cases are rising. Once the ascertainment rate has stabilised a new low, case numbers start rising but the delay means they now rise in lock-step with hospitalisations rather than before

      This twitter commenter has some useful posts comparing the behaviour of random survey testing (the gold standard) with self-testing and with the Zoe modelling from symptoms. Over time, the three measures have differed from each other in different ways.

      1. Lou Anton

        Appreciate the context, thanks revenant. Won’t be surprised to see *reported* case rates and hospitalizations rise in tandem here in the US either, now.

    2. Anonymous 2

      Covid Zoe have been showing high infection rates in the UK since December. The figures are now at an all-time high. BA.2 making itself felt?

  16. tegnost

    Biz insider stock outlook…

    Meanwhile, legendary investor Mark Mobius said investors should stick to stocks to protect against inflation while the Fed hikes rates.

    If there is any credence to yesterdays post on corporate debt, that may not be good advice… I think the saying is “talking his book”
    Get rid of bonds, which will have the whip hand over indebted corps, and buy stocks, which will take the hit instead.
    But don’t take my advice, I don’t even own a car…

    1. PressGaneyMustDie

      You bus-riding lentil-eaters need to quit staying ahead of Mark Mobius’ message. Might give the investment peasants ideas.

  17. Mildred Montana

    In other news (or, rather, non-news, since Ukraine stuff is dominating):

    How’s that Trump investigation going? Has anyone seen or heard from the esteemed Attorney-General of the United States of America, the chief law-enforcer of the USA named….hmm…I forgot for a moment…yes, Merrick Garland? Is he still working on the investigation or has he decided to use Ukraine as an excuse to do nothing? Are his subpoenas (and those of Congress) still being laughed at and crumpled up and thrown away like parking tickets?

    Since he appears to be doing nothing at the moment, I can’t resist a few jokes at his expense:

    1. What does Merrick Garland have for lunch? Three hours.
    2. Why isn’t Merrick Garland allowed to look out the window in the morning? Because then he’d have nothing to do in the afternoon.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Obviously Putin invaded Ukraine to pull attention away from the Trump investigation. Duh.

    2. Pat

      Almost makes you long for the days when banks were committing fraud on a mass basis to illegally foreclose on people. Sure nothing was done there, but Eric Holder did keep busy busting brothels in New Orleans and shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries in California. Good times.

      Honestly I can think of a few things beside Trump I wish Garland and NY’s Letitia James were spending their time on, but believe me they will get to Trump long before they go after my priorities. They would only benefit the public, not irate donors and the media.

  18. Michael Ismoe

    Does anyone know just how much extra Bette Midler is willing to pay to “save that pudgy little girl”? I just filled up the tank and it costs over 80 bucks and I am not as kid-friendly as I used to be.

    1. hunkerdown

      No, no, Bette Midler’s paying for “gas for her”. You know, the CW false flag whose gofundme hasn’t made it yet.

    1. Tom Stone

      Wow, 1,472!
      That’s almost 2/3’s of the civilian death count in the Ukraine since Russia invaded 3 weeks ago.

        1. Pat

          Good ole Sean Maloney, gotta remember that brilliant man got to be in charge of the DCCC as his reward for saving NY from having a serious anti corruption attorney general. He pretended to run for the seat in the primary thus pulling some upstate votes from Zephyr Teachout because he wanted a bigger role in DC and the National party. Yeah, his judgment is uh beltway ready. But if you want a bellwether for DC conventional wisdom and how the Dems are going to screw the public he is a good one.

      1. K.k

        Or entirely preventable continuing human tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan.

        “The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Monday expressed alarm over the infant mortality rate across Afghanistan, citing estimates that nearly 13,700 newborn babies and 26 mothers have died since the beginning of 2022 in the country.”
        Malnutrition Causing Increase in Premature Births, Fatalities

        Not a math wiz, but i know crimes against humanity when i see em. So much for all of our “western values”. We are ruled over by antihuman monsters as they without billions of dollars desperately needed by a country where over 90% population is going hungry.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “China Has a Huge Strategic Opening With India”

    Can you imagine what would happen if, through Russian diplomacy, that India and China were reconciled to each other and then went into partnership that would include at its core China, Russia, India and Iran with a whole bunch of ‘stans tossed in for good measure? Just in terms of population and resources alone it would leave us in the west in the dust and I am sure that Africa and South America would be interested in signing trade treaties with such an organization. And for all we know, it may just happen and sooner than we think.

      1. The Rev Kev

        After reading this and your other comment, perhaps this explains this frantic mania in the west about the Ukraine and here I am talking about the meltdown. The realization that there is a new world order coming and one that won’t be dominated by the west as has been the case for the past four centuries. The times they are a changing.

  20. Carolinian

    Re Taibbi and Froomkin–some of us are so old we can remember when Froomkin wasn’t a considered a tool. But even before that–going back at least to Woodward and Bernstein–there’s been this attitude of sanctimony among the ink stained drudges of the print press. After all they saved America by taking down Nixon and stopped Vietnam before that (after cheerleading it).

    At least that’s their version.

    1. bayoustjohndavid

      The funniest part of the Taibbi piece was the tweet from Adam Davidson mocking the New York Times for not speaking “truth to power.” For Adam Davidson to lecture anybody about “speaking truth to power” is…well


    New COVID-19 czar Dr. Ashish Jha brings visibility, scrutiny to role

    He’s also been tied to the Washington circuit through consulting work — including work with one firm that some experts have criticized for the opaque nature of its client lists, raising questions regarding potential conflicts of interest. Listed as a “senior advisor” at the boutique international consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group, Jha is the latest addition to a long list of senior Biden administration officials who have previously worked at consulting firms with murky client lists.

    Many such officials have disclosed much of their consulting work as part of their obligatory financial disclosures — and Jha, as an incoming member of the White House team, is required to disclose his past employment and sources of income, along with his personal finances, within 30 days of assuming his role.

    But the specifics of Jha’s work for Albright Stonebridge might not be part of that disclosure unless he discloses the work as part of his ethics agreement — because Jha says he did not get paid for his work at the firm. Officials are only required to include in their personal financial disclosures clients that have paid them more than $5,000 for their services.

    He hasn’t released a list of his private consulting clients, but he will undergo “extensive ethics training”.

  22. britzklieg

    re Pfizer’s next “booster”

    “Given how safe the vaccines are and how effective they are, I think it probably does make sense for people to get a booster, and the most convenient would be once a year,” said Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious disease specialist at UCLA.

    no need to read any further.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Yeah, effective. Effective for one year and presumably needed every year after that. That’s effective? Thanks Pfizer.

      Where government’s buyin’, big profits it’s findin’,
      South to Atlanta, it’s goin’ south,
      The rush is on.

    2. .human

      What was that twitter comment from a few days ago, “Oh, that’s right, effective means that you can get re-infected more than once.”

  23. Noone from Nowheresville

    Water, our most valuable resource, written by me with a sense of irony and great sadness. Once is bad enough but three times that we know of, there’s something wrong with their process. If it’s happening in Minnesota, it’s happening elsewhere.

    Enbridge Energy crews ruptured three groundwater aquifers while building the 340-mile Line 3 replacement pipeline across northern Minnesota last year and the Canadian oil company faces expanded sanctions, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

    “The DNR continues to work on a comprehensive enforcement resolution, with the goal of addressing restoration, mitigation and additional penalties associated with the three breach locations,” the agency said in a statement Monday announcing the completion of its investigation into the aquifer breaches.

    Combined, the punctures led to nearly 300 million gallons of groundwater flowing to the surface, with the most serious breach occurring near the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation in St. Louis County. That rupture alone discharged more than 200 million gallons of groundwater — and it continues to flow out.

  24. Mark Gisleson

    Sorry, no link, but I just saw the original tweet about unpaid asst adjunct professors labeled as satire that somehow went viral as being real. The tweet I saw was followed up by someone saying there is no such listing for this job at UCLA.

  25. Ignacio

    RE: Pfizer CEO Pushes Yearly Shots for Covid. Not So Fast, Experts Say. The Conversation

    This is an interesting link where the right questions about vaccines are asked. What can we expect for the vaccines to work for, then think twice about their deployment. It is a departure from the vaccinate! vaccinate! vaccinate now! that has dominated so far. The article assumes that vaccines are limited on their capabilities and we cannot achieve epidemic control with those. Just some protection and particularly for the most vulnerable. It leaves then a lot of open questions and goes on the line that epidemic control is no longer a goal, so how can we protect ourselves and particularly the most vulnerable part of the population? It leaves the question without even trying to answer it. It is a conundrum it says. Some say that annual boosting might be advisable for the most vulnerable such as with flu. That would indeed be something except that in the meantime there might me enormous numbers of COVID victims depending on how the epidemic evolves.

    At all levels what I perceive is a gigantic Covid fatigue syndrome. At home, workplaces, neighbourhood, institutions so I can only hope that it is true that a vast majority of cases remain below hospitalization. Cross fingers and hope this somehow fades away and some day no casualties are there to be counted. Only hope or wishes but not great expectations.

  26. Anthony G Stegman

    This morning on CBS Mornings Dr. Celine Gounder, a well known infectious disease specialist, was asked by the shows anchor team what she thought of Pfizer’s CEO calling for a fourth Covid shot. Her response was somewhat surprising. She said that there is insufficient data to support a fourth shot for the general population, though for immunocompromised and the elderly it may be appropriate. She further commented that part of Pfizer’s motivation for pushing a 4th shot is because it will be very profitable for Pfizer. One of the anchors even joked that the additional booster is primarily a boost to Pfizer’s bottom line. I was surprised by these comments since the TV networks go out of their way to avoid directly criticizing Big Pharma. Perhaps the winds are changing ever so slightly.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Hating Putin confers increased resistance to Covid, thus opening a little space in the booster narrative.

  27. JB

    Was following random Wiki trails after reading one of the articles – the Israeli nuclear weapons whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is worth a close look, as even today ~18 years after he was released from prison, his freedoms are so heavily restricted that he still can’t leave the country – and the restrictions keep on being renewed year after year.

    Another whistleblower made an example of – like Assange:

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