Links 3/25/2022

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.


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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.

P.P.S. One of our mods is on holiday till the end of the month, so comment liberation may take longer than usual. We are very sorry! Please be patient.

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Why boa constrictors don’t suffocate when they squeeze their prey to death Science

For Markets and Ukraine, ‘Good’ Scenarios Are Gone John Authers, Bloomberg

The car will triumph, again Noah Smith, Noahpinion. I’m long stupid, so, yes.


‘This plan is a lie.’ How biogas could do more harm than good for the hog industry Scalawag

Maine’s landfill is meant for in-state waste. Here’s how Massachusetts and NH are filling it up Maine Public Radio. It’s almost like Maine is some sort of colony.

Scientists Found Microplastics in People’s Blood for the First Time Gizmodo

Satellite data shows entire Conger ice shelf has collapsed in Antarctica Guardian


White House diverges from CDC, focuses on aerosol COVID spread Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (ChiGal). From the White House:

I don’t wish to seem churlish, but “Covid Is Airborne” is short and sweet. More, it commits to a theory of transmission, unlike “Clear the Air,” which could mean anything (though I can see why it might be more meaningful in internal Administration deliberations). Still, why not say it?

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Association of COVID-19 with risks of hospitalization and mortality from other disorders post-infection: A study of the UK Biobank (preprint) medRxiv. n=412,096 . From the Abstract: “Mild (non-hospitalized) COVID-19 was associated with modestly increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR=1.237, 95% CI 1.037-1.476) and mortality from neurocognitive disorders (HR=9.100, 95% CI: 5.590-14.816), as well as hospital admission from a few disorders such as aspiration pneumonitis, musculoskeletal pain and other general signs/symptoms.”

How it started:

How it’s going:

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It is not too late to achieve global covid-19 vaccine equity BMJ

Trying to Solve a Covid Mystery: Africa’s Low Death Rates NYT

Morgue data hint at COVID’s true toll in Africa Nature


Ukraine war: China does not support UN vote blaming Russia for humanitarian crisis South China Morning Post

China factories set up ‘bubbles’ to ride out Covid lockdowns FT

Japan’s hardcore train fans accused of going off the rails Agence France Presse


Myanmar Junta Deploys Militias in Key Strategic State The Irrawaddy

‘Troubling the Water’ author chronicles the fate of the Tonle Sap Globe_

Australia alarm over China security deal with Solomon Islands Al Jazeera


25,000 Children In 12-14 Age Group Receive Corbevax Times of India

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 24 Institute for the Study of War. New map of Mariupol.

Chechen Leader Says Hoisted Russia Flag At City Hall In Ukraine’s Mariupol Agence France Presse. Flags on buildings are digital evidence I will accept (given acceptable provenance, which the Chechen leader’s Telegram account is not).

Ukraine war latest: Ukrainian forces reoccupy towns near Kyiv, says UK defence ministry FT. They would, wouldn’t they?

‘Marshal Mud’ will slow not stop Russia’s onslaught Asia Times. Would explain why Russian troops are digging in, too.

Legion of the damned: Inside Ukraine’s army of misfits, veterans, and war tourists in the fight against Russia Task and Purpose

Weapons for Ukraine’s Fight Against Russia Flow Through Small Polish Border Towns WSJ

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Economic Warfare: A Brief History Stokes Family Office

UPDATE 2-US, EU strike LNG deal as Europe seeks to cut Russian gas Reuters. See NC here.

Only a Financial NATO Can Win the Economic War Foreign Policy

Concern Turkey becoming Russia sanctions evasion haven ‘growing in Europe’ Intellinews

* * *

Media watch: when parallel lines converge, stand clear! Glibert Doctorow. Important.

Ukraine war: US, Nato prepare for Russian nuclear incident South China Morning Post

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Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia Consortium News (pjay).

The west is rash to assume the world is on its side over Ukraine Edward Luce, FT

Static and Signal: Part One Verso

Finis Europa The American Conservative

Biden Administration

Biden says NATO has “never been more united” amid Ukraine crisis CBS. Brussels summit.

Biden heads to Poland following emergency summits in Brussels CNN

Supply Chain

Biden Says to Expect ‘Real’ Food Shortages Due to Ukraine War Bloomberg

Fertilizer Prices Surge as Ukraine War Cuts Supply, Leaving Farmers Shocked WSJ

These Are the European Countries Most at Risk of Diesel Shortages Bloomberg

Chip industry under threat with neon production set to fall off a cliff following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine CNBC

Health Care

Undisclosed industry payments rampant in drug-trial papers Nature. Australia.


Julian Assange Marries Stella Moris in a British Prison NYT

Guillotine Watch

‘Will l be allowed a cleaner, or a driver?’ Life after sanctions for a Russian oligarch FT. No, of course not, but why not for all oligarchs?

Class Warfare

Pivotal week kicks off for Amazon unionization campaigns The Hill

Hershey workers at Virginia plant vote against unionizing Reuters

A short tutorial on how wage labor works:

‘Testosterone-Fueled Bear Pit’ Discourages Women From Economics Bloomberg

Antidote du jour (via):

“May I take your cat and goat?”

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. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Mooooooooring Fiatnam!

    The platoon had been sent on a mission to seize planks, boards, Bogner, Fusalp & Moncler outerwear and any other snowcoutrement from the Russian oligarchy hiding in plain sight on the slopes, and to make it more difficult to discern-few if any of them wore a ushanka, so it was more or less open season on the wealthy, we couldn’t afford to differentiate when confiscating gear to send to potential skiers & snowboarders in Kiev as recompense.

    Luckily for those latter-day aints who strangely resembled protesting Doukhobors, it was an unseasonal 60 degrees when we stripped them down their birthday suits (what, you really thought we’d ignore that $300 pair of Prada skivvies?) so a sunburn was more likely than frostbite.

  2. JohnA

    I went to my local farmshop today and asked what was new in. They said Red Russian kale. Wow, how are you allowed to still call it that? I asked. Naturally, I bought some.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The car will triumph, again”

    Yeah, the term “car” may be considered a bit of a movable holiday here. Through the late 60s to the early 70s cars coming out of Detroit were getting larger and larger and car enthusiasts like Mustang drivers were very unhappy about this and complained loud & long. Not for nothing did American cars earn the moniker of a ‘living room on wheels.’ Then the ’73 oil crisis hit and suddenly small cars like those that came out of Japan became highly popular and flew off the docks as they were landed. Detroit was caught flat-footed by this as they thought that American drivers had no choice but to get larger and larger cars. Cars were still popular but it was not the same sort of cars anymore. So we have come full circle and we have these monster cars whose grill is almost as tall as a person and that is a lot of metal & plastic for an engine to push requiring a big engine to push. So yeah, cars will still be popular but if by the end of the decade most cars were small and highly fuel-efficient I would not be surprised.

    1. Appleseed

      Angie Schmitt has been chronicling the alarming rise in bicyclist/pedestrian deaths & severe injuries due to oversized motor vehicles – not just pick’em up trucks, but SUVs and sedans. The photos are of concern to this old bicyclist/pedestrian. I’m afraid American vehicles will remain oversized for the foreseeable future – maybe not quite as large as Bruce McCall’s Bulgemobile, but still, too huge – b/c too profitable.

      1. PlutotoniumKun

        The higher the vehicle front, the more likely it is to kill the person it hits – its basic physics. More energy is transferred to the body as its pushed forward, rather than going over the top of the vehicle.

        Its long been thought by risk assessors that ‘relatively’ lower pedestrian and cyclist deaths is mostly due to risk averse behaviour. Quite simply, people stay further away from roads than they used to.

        So much of this is due to bad and manipulated ‘safety’ regulation. Most focus is on the driver and passenger, not on other people. Its often said by risk analysts – only partially jokingly – that the best safety device on a car is to ban the driver seat belt and put a 6 inch long blade on the steering wheel pointed at the drivers heart. If you did that, there would be no need for speed limits or other measures, everyone would drive very slowly and carefully.

        1. anon y'mouse

          isn’t it a very old saying that the passenger side is the “crying seat” and the driver’s side is the “dying seat”?

          if this is no longer known, it should be brought back.

          1. LifelongLib

            I’ve read a number of accounts of traffic accidents where the driver survived and passengers were killed (steering wheel taking impact? some cars only having driver side airbags? driver wearing seatbelt but not requiring passengers to?). Anecdotal, but goes against the idea that it’s better to be a passenger.

            1. JBird4049

              IIRC, it wasn’t until they started to make the steering wheel collapsible, which made the steering wheel and its column not a spear for impaling drivers that drivers’ deaths started to really decline.

              1. brian wilder

                It turned out that GM’s collapsible steering column didn’t. NHTSA identified the problem around 1977-8 from statistical data.

            2. Grateful Dude

              in the 50s before seatbelts, we used to call the passenger seat the “suicide seat”. A lot of folks went through that windshield. And then there was “riding shotgun” …

        2. Ellery O'Farrell

          One result is that, to avoid the massive cars and their sometimes-unhinged drivers, the bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters now ride the sidewalks, at least in my town of NYC. They are, of course, very quiet, in addition to moving fast in order to meet their delivery time (or just because they like to be fast and they can). As a pedestrian, I find this disconcerting at best and terrifying at worst, as they really don’t seem to care whether they hit me and therefore it’s my job to get out of their way.
          But this is only mentioned as a by-the-way in paragraph 30 of a 31-paragraph story in, say, the NYT. The comments, on the other hand, are voluminous and vehement.

    2. Wukchumni

      My nearly 18 year old nephew shows no signs of really wanting to get his drivers license, and it’s no big deal-mom or dad uber are always on call to take him on his appointed rounds, so there’s that.

      I’m thinking there’s a veritable shitlode of young adults in the USA who are living la vida indulge as far as somebody else doing the driving, and if you don’t learn early, maybe you never own a car?

      Saw $6.39 as the top price for the high spark of low wheeled deploys en route to Mammoth on Hwy 395 (lost over $100 playing the outdoor one-arm bandit slot machine @ the Paiute casino gas station just outside of Bishop) and my gas expense circumnavigating the Sierra to be in Ullr’s embrace is now equal to what it costs for 4 days of skiing as per my average daily price based on seasonal pass usage. That’s a bit scary.

      Each day had about an hour of good skiing on the lower slopes before the claimed 58 inch base (actually closer to 5.8 inches-ski resorts always lie when cover is skimpy) turned into grabby runny mashed potatoes, forcing us to retreat higher up on the mountain to frozen goods, and we all dreaded having to eventually have to make our way to the bottom-a reversal of form in what would usually be the easiest of things to do, becomes downright treacherous. A lift attendant told me a few Mammoth employees were injured the past days negotiating the gooey mess.

      It was a record breaking 90 degrees in the CVBB on the drive home, with more daily all-time high records to be toppled in the next couple days as what skimpy amount of snowpack dwindles prematurely, putting paid to our winter of missed content. The April 1 snow survey will really lay out how dire our drought situation is, but luckily nobody will really pay attention. Hydropower potential will be steeply curtailed this summer, too.

      Hwy 395 is such an interesting drive, it goes over lava fields a number of times with a 200 foot wall of it running alongside the highway for quite a spell. The last activity was during the ice age and it must’ve been something to see when it was happening, giant masses of lava being howitzer’d all over the place.

      Big Pine volcanic field is a volcanic field in Inyo County, California. The volcanic field covers a surface area of 500 square kilometres (190 sq mi) within the Owens Valley east of the Sierra Nevada and consists of lava flows, one rhyolitic coulee and about 40 volcanic vents including cinder cones. Some vents are simple conical cinder cones while others are irregular scoria cones. Glaciers and former lakes have modified lava flows.

      Volcanic activity in the field commenced 1.2 million years ago and was controlled by a number of faults which cross the valley. Activity continued into the Pleistocene with the youngest eruption generating cones and several lava flows about 17,000 years ago. A major road and the Los Angeles Aqueduct would be threatened if volcanic activity restarted at Big Pine. (Wiki)

      1. juno mas

        And the result of all that pyroclastics was the Long Valley Caudlera. An edge of this broad depression in the landscape is marked by signage along Hwy. 395 (adjacent to Mammoth Mtn.). Driving the 395 in the 70’s was much different than today. Jim McCoy was just beginning his ski slope enterprise (Mammoth) and the highway shoulder and traffic was much slimmer.

        Long Valley was formed 760,000 years ago when a very large eruption released hot ash that later cooled to form the Bishop tuff that is common to the area. The eruption emptied the magma chamber under the area to the point of collapse. The second phase of the eruption released pyroclastic flows that burned and buried thousands of square miles. Ash from this eruption blanketed much of the western part of what is now the United States.

    3. Tom Stone

      You did not mention the shoddy quality of 70’s built American cars, it was very rare for one to make it to 100K miles, most didn’t make it to 50 K miles before falling apart.

      1. The Rev Kev

        “The Big Three” back then thought in terms of TINA as in Americans had no choice because There Is No Choice. What were American going to do? Buy German and Japanese cars? In 1973 the answer turned out to be yes.

        1. Hepativore

          As I have always lived in “farm country” in the Upper Midwest, most of the vehicles you see in these areas are “pick-up” trucks, just because their drivers often have to haul stuff around.

          While I agree that people who live in urban areas should consider if they really need a vehicle or not, a lot of these articles assume that most car owners are big city dwellers who buy a vehicle as a sort of indication of status. Another thing to consider for people like me, is that many smaller vehicles are often rather poor in winter driving as they often get stuck in snow and the Upper Midwest is infamous for its harsh winters.

          A lot of people in the areas I have lived in like myself who are not farmers have been pushed into these locales because of the ridiculous housing costs for both buying a home as well as renting. While I prefer to live in the country, it does have its drawbacks such as the longer commute to nearby big cities where we work as well as how the cost of housing is offset by higher fuel costs as well as the higher risk of collisions with near-suicidal wildlife like deer.

          The car is not ending for country-dwellers like me, anytime soon.

          1. Mildred Montana

            “The car is not ending for country-dwellers like me, anytime soon.”

            Yeah, I agree. Once again, the urban-rural divide raises its head.

            I’ve lived in three small towns, populations 30,000, 5000, and 1000 respectively. In all of them, public transportation was either non-existent or so spotty as to be virtually useless. So owning a vehicle was not a choice, it was a necessity.

            Unless, that is, one was healthy and determined enough to ride a bicycle or walk five miles or more, while baking in summer heat or soaking in winter rain and carrying the week’s supply of groceries.

            As you say, the country car won’t be ending any time soon.

          2. JBird4049

            Back in the early 20th century there was commuter rail as well as an extensive passenger rail system and even IIRC an extensive private bus system between towns. But we got rid of all this.

            Then we can talk about American car makers making poor quality, oversized gas hogs while never refusing to build vehicles that many people would want like smaller pickups or smaller cars that are good for rough conditions.

            It seems like my old VW Bug could handle bad roads (not to mention the old Jeeps which really could) better than the monsters being sold. Certainly better than the economy cars can. But SUVs are built on cheaper truck chassis with a car body jammed on it and then sold with a surcharge for being fabulous. Makes them more profitable than regular cars.

            Now, The Powers That Be want us to use public transportation or smaller cars when the former does not exist and the latter is impractical. This after much of the population has been forced into the country.

            But hey, the PMC will find some way to blame and punish everyone else.

        2. lance ringquist

          it was really fords fault back then. they showed wall street the incredible profits that they were making off of the f-150.

          the rest is history.

      2. lance ringquist

        as a ex auto mechanic i can attest that your statement has some truth, but leaves out the real story.

        the vega, piece of junk, but i put a 327 c.i. chevy motor in it, and turned it into a dragster, that lasted a long time under the stress of burnouts.

        dodge dart and valiant, slant six would outlast plutonium half life.

        a.m.c. ambassadors built like a tank.

        fords really were the worst.

        as far as foriegn cars go, they were built for 100,000 in most cases, then the problems started. once had a guy bragging to me about his foreign car, but it had window crank problems and it seemed very cold in the car during the winter, even with the heat on. got the door apart, called him over so that he could see a thin clear film like saranwrap, the door was full of rolled up news papers as insulation, and i said i had seen this many times before. the window crank mech i could bend easily with my hands.
        but if you got under the car, yep, built well till you had to try to get it apart for repair, a nightmare of one giant bolt holding together a lot of car and stress.

        this was to make the car last under stress, but also cheaper. once rusted, forget about it.

        we used to drool when we saw foretin cars come in, just like 4wd trucks, when you are on hourly pay plus, they bought me a lot of beer and steaks.

        1. fringe element

          I always made it a practice to ask my mechanic what to look for when shopping for a car. He was a good guy and knew I couldn’t afford big repair bills.

        2. Yves Smith

          My parents had a Datsun as their second car. Remember Datsuns?

          It had well over 100,000 miles on it before my father sold it to a neighbor’s kid at a nominal price. The reason for getting rid of it was not that it was shot but my father had started trapping (don’t ask!) and bought a Subaru because higher wheelbase and so better for some off road driving.

      3. Procopius

        A great description of Detroit in those days is David Halberstam’s The Reckoning. The Japanese wannabe auto-makers were really afraid they couldn’t compete.

  4. sinbad66

    Media watch: when parallel lines converge, stand clear!

    This is what really caught my eye:

    Perhaps most damaging in the present U.S. – Russian confrontation which has become so personalized on the two presidents is that the Russians are publicizing documents showing that Joe’s son Hunter was directly involved in the work of the criminal biological labs through a company of his that operated in Ukraine during the presidency of Barack Obama.

    If true, oh boy. Nuclear bomb shell info. The Grayzone, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, et al should be trying to confirm this. But, looking at Hunter’s past actions, this would be very believable…Unfortunately, the Mighty Wurlitzer will find a way to bury this or dismiss it as “Russian disinformation”.

    1. Pelham

      Fully agreed. Still, Hunter Biden’s lucrative, sleazy no-show setup with the Ukrainian gas company was enough for me,

      1. Procopius

        Just so. Neither Hunter nor Joe actually had to do anything. Being visibly on the board was the corruption — a demonstration that they had connections to powerful political entities.

    1. Screwball

      Wouldn’t it be nice to have a department of justice and a media who actually looked into things and asked tough questions?

      I would love to know what was actually going on by us westerners in Ukraine since…let’s say 2014 ish? We get bits and pieces from all sorts of places but never anything that seems complete or researched deep enough.

      There sure seems to be plenty that has went on there, but apparently we serfs are on a need to know basis, and we don’t need to know.

      Looks like a giant money laundering mechanism to me, and likely still going on today, but nothing to see here, move along. Like so many other things.

      Orwell would be proud.

      1. digi_owl

        I wonder if the problem is that out media these days rely on local freelancers for reporting. And i fear that said freelancers may be biased.

        For example there was an recent article going round about an AP associated journalist being hunted by Russian forces. But only by digging into it did one find that the person was a Ukrainian freelancer, and not someone from USA that had made their way over.

        After all, the biggest scoops of the Vietnam war came from American photographers covering the atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers.

        1. Screwball

          You could be right, but I think it is a bigger problem. Look at the censorship going on in today’s world. From COVID issues, to war issues, to political issues, etc. Nothing seems to be covered to the extent it should, and how many times what is covered and reported is by anonymous sources, or the publication has a obvious bias and message. And what doesn’t get covered at all (maybe the most important thing).

          Our media is controlled by big money. The media people are paid liars, or they don’t have a job. The ones who do tell the truth via alternative outlets get censored, or are too afraid to tell the truth. Our politicians are corrupt to the core, as well as our spooks, 3 letter agencies, and the courts.

          As far as I’m concerned we are a failed state being raped and pillaged by an elite class of criminals who know they can get away with it. Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t suppose to be an instruction manual. In 1991 George Carlin gave us “The American Dream” which IMNSHO is the best 3:15 second explanation of what we see today. He warned us, we didn’t listen.

          All that is left is the burning and riots when the serfs can’t eat and afford gas. Buckle up, things are going to get fugly.

          Sorry for being a Debbie Downer, but that’s how I see it.

          1. fringe element

            Abby Martin was on Briahna Joy Gray’s Bad Faith podcast talking about the de-platforming of her former show on RT. Seems all of her past shows were just disappeared from the internet, a regular cyber book burning. The unexpected happy ending to her story was that her mom taped all of her shows, so none of them were lost. Way to go mom!

            Here’s a link to the podcast if anyone is interested.


            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Perhaps millions of people with internet connections should make home recordings of their own “best of internet/ you tube/ podcast/etc.” collections onto analog media if such even exist any more, to save for the future in case there is one.

    1. The Rev Kev

      And salt. No, I am not kidding. Salt is vital and can be traded if you have enough to spare.

      1. Wukchumni

        This site in the northern Sierra Nevada contains about 369 circular basins carved in fresh, glaciated granodioritic bedrock, with 325 basins crowded together in an area of 2,700  m2 on the main terrace. These terrace basins have a median average diameter of 125 cm (80 percent between 100 and 160cm) and a median depth of 75–80 cm. They show a strong congruity to similar granitic basins in the southern Sierra Nevada apparently of Native American origin that are generally shallower.

        The basins are not of natural origin, as indicated by uniformity in size and non overlapping character of the basins; their common arrangement in lineaments; details of the shape of the basins; features in common with granite basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada; and, most compelling, the clustering of all the basins adjacent to (within 20 m of) two saline streams fed from a nearby salt spring. Native Americans apparently excavated them for the purpose of collecting saline water to evaporate and make salt for their use, and also as an animal attractant and a trade commodity.

        The flow of the salty streams delivers about 2.9 metric tons of salt per summer season to the basin area, and evaporation rates and the holding capacity of the basins indicate that about 2.5 tons of salt could be produced per season. This correspondence shows that the Indians made enough basins to exploit the resource. The site is the most impressive prehistoric saltworks yet discovered in North America and represents a unique departure from traditional hunter-gatherer activities to that of manufacturing.

        The actual grinding of so many basins in granite could not have been done without the labor of a concentrated population. It is believed that the work was accomplished over a long time by many people and with the use of fire to help disaggregate the bedrock.

        Marmot Cong a salt troops on patrol in the Sierra highlands are in search of what they crave excreting from our sweat or urine deposits (too much information dept: i’ve had as many as 5 Marmot Cong fighting over recently divulged precious bodily fluids, as testament to my sodium chloride intake) and a deer lick is a sure way to lure Bambi over, everybody needs it.

        Book tip with a salt trip: Alas, Babylon, by Pat Frank.

      2. Robert Hahl

        Printed porn is also tradable, as shown in a British war game testing conditions after a big war.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Some of those gung-ho survivalist that you see with plenty of guns reckon that they will go with ‘tradable’ girls when SHTF. Seriously.

  5. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding the lack of covid in africa:
    way back in the first half of 2020, i remember noticing that…while the rest of the world were seeing rampant infections, etc…africa got nary a mention.
    i thought then…since Horse Paste(tm) and that trumpy quinine drug were beginning to be used as political weapons…that these might have something to do with it.
    in a place where malaria and parasites are common…and therefore the usage of these 2 drugs widespread…it makes sense that there’s a correlation.

    and given that both are way past their patent hyperprofit days…well…lol.
    can’t have cheap, safe and effective treatment when there’s money to be made.
    similar to the apparent defacto policy of making sure that wars last forever.

    1. Yves Smith

      GM thinks it is almost entirely a data artifact, as in not real, except for West Africa, where the Covid rate really does seem to be low.

      But one factor that is an offset is equatorial sun. 20 mins of full body sun exposure there = 20,000 IU of Vitamin D.

      1. super extra

        Having spent some time (more than a month) in Ghana in ‘normal’ conditions (I was staying with locals, not western-style hotels), I can confirm another likely factor is low usage of air conditioning. Most people spend most of their time outdoors and when they are indoors the windows are open because ac is rare.

        1. LifelongLib

          Living in Hawaii with no a/c I have my windows open 24/7 year-round. Probably one of the few places in the U.S. where it’s comfortable to do this. Combined with relatively strict masking rules and high immunization rate covid cases/deaths in Hawaii have been low compared to the rest of the U.S.

      2. Wukchumni

        The one thing I noticed about longterm homeless people (can we call them dwellingless?) is they all have deep tans that would make George Hamilton seem like a paleface in comparison, being outside all day in the Cali sun.

        They’re getting more natural vitamin D than I daresay, anybody in these not so united states.

        How did they fare as far as Covid goes?

        1. Mildred Montana

          “…homeless people (can we call them dwellingless?)…”

          Call them the “outdoors-people”. Sounds healthy and wholesome and like something everybody would prefer to be if only they didn’t have that damned house or apartment.

        2. howseth

          Yes, Tanned.
          The home-less/house-less/transients/vagrants/vagabond/hobos/bums… around here – I don’t know what to call them, are mostly young – mostly male – mostly looking fit as they walk or bicycle about our neighborhood in Santa Cruz.

          Of course there’s hygiene and/or mental issues, or heavy drug use too in the equation. But no lack of sunshine and exercise.

      3. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah. i forgot about sun(and a/c, below).
        when my bunch got covid(last 2 januaries), and i didn’t the first time…and prolly had it but didn’t test positive the second…i did think about my lifestyle of being outside all the time. even in the winter, so long as there’s sun, i can usually be found in the greenhouse, nekkid, sunning myself…like a large lizard on a rock.
        a big part of what led my speculations about the african experience was the concurrent(or nearly so) hyperventilation and craziness about Horse Paste(tm) and that quinine drug.
        why go so nuts about relatively safe, dirt cheap drugs, when we were presumably willing to try the whole pharmacopeia?
        it was only then that i noticed the lack of mass death and sickness from Covid in africa.(even went looking for such data, in case it had been overlooked, somehow)

        i was introduced to Iver**ctin via having farm animals…it’s the go-to wormer for sheep goats and cows.(we have bad Bot Flies around here when it gets hot and dry)
        in studying up on it in that light, i learned(this is 25+ years ago?) that practically everyone in africa was taking it, more or less…because of the bad water, etc…and the parasites therein.
        so i knew, long ago, how safe and effective it was.
        the weaponisation of the contrary to everything trump said aside, it just struck me as weird that “our betters” and “leaders” and “experts” would be so over the top with obvious lies about that drug.

      4. CuriosityConcern

        A year or a year and a half ago Thuto offered a personal observation that I, at the time, rashly or blithely dismissed as anecdote, robust immune systems.

    2. haywood

      Similar to liberal American enclaves, extended school closures and social distancing regulations could be found in several east and west African nations until recently.

      Nothing in the social world is monocausal, and there’s a good debate to be had about the societal costs of lockdowns, but shutting down crowded indoor establishments suppresses viral transmission.

  6. Donald

    Doctorow should stop saying that the US had killed hundreds of thousands in the equivalent period during the Iraq War unless he has a citation. I have never seen anyone say that. There has been heated debate about the true death toll, with two Johns Hopkins papers in 2004 and 2006 claiming it was much higher than the Iraq Body Count figure. There was another study

    which found 460,000 deaths by 2011, but with an enormous 95 percent confidence interval. The low end is completely absurd. (48,000) , far below the Iraq Body Count figure for civilians alone that time period. That tells you something— to me it suggests that the method used must be biased in some way towards the low end. There ought to be some Bayesian adjustment you could make, Or maybe one could just point out that the statistical technique gives this particular confidence interval, but the low end is clearly absurd.

    But anyway, I am ranting on two topics simultaneously. I think the true Iraqi death toll is probably much higher than the Iraq Body Count figure ( but maybe not 10 times higher as the 2006 paper claimed for its time period). But I have never seen anyone claim the US killed hundreds of thousands in the first month.

    1. Yves Smith

      These are the closer to contemporary studies:

      Three major studies of war mortality have been done in Iraq. Two appeared in The Lancet, the British medical journal, and one appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. They bear strong similarities in their findings, but have some important differences, too.

      The first household survey that appeared was published in The Lancet in October 2004, measuring the war-related mortality in the war’s first 18 months. The researchers–mainly epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and medical personnel in Iraq–estimated 98,000 “excess deaths” due to war. Read

      The second household survey, conducted by the Hopkins scientists again, was completed in June 2006 and published four months later in The Lancet. Its findings: 650,000 people (civilians and fighters) died as a result of the war in Iraq. Read

      Another household survey, this one conducted by the Iraq Ministry of Health at the same time as the second Hopkins study, found 400,000 excess deaths, 151,000 by violence. As is the case with most such surveys conducted during time of war, there were problems in data gathering and the analysis tended to minimize violent death estimates. But the survey generally confirmed the very high mortality reported in The Lancet. Read

      1. Kevin Walsh

        If we take the first Hopkins study as the most relevant, then the figure of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in the first month can only be sustained if you assume that

        (a) The study drastically underestimated the number of deaths.

        (b) The vast majority of the deaths in the first 18 months of the war occured during the first month.

        (c) The vast majority of the deaths during the first month were civilian deaths rather than military deaths during the phase of the war where you’d expect the proportion of military deaths to be highest.

        If you estimate that half of the deaths in the first 18 months of the war were in the first month and half of those deaths were military deaths, then you are not looking at multiple hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.

    2. jax

      I don’t think we’ll ever know because “Lieutenant General Tommy Franks, who led the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan during his time as head of US Central Command, once announced, “We don’t do body counts.”

    3. lance ringquist

      you forgot the part that nafta billy clintons fascist albright did, just a mere half million plus children.

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘Wayne Pankratz of @Applebees says that higher gas prices are great for business because most employees live check to check and hopefully they can start lowering wages.’

    One month later-

    ‘Dear Wayne Pankratz

    We see that you are reducing lowering wages and conditions because you see that higher gas prices has us in a vice. You are correct. However, a quick check of a pocket calculator shows that it will now cost us money to work at Applebees so we all quit. That is us you see walking out the door.

    Your former Applebees workers’

  8. CBBB

    Europe is the loser from the Ukraine conflict because they’ve made themselves the losers and they’ve spent the last – at least 12 years – turning themselves into losers.

    1. Maritimer

      Ed Dowd, a financial guy working the Covid Malfeasance Trail with Dr. Malone and others has suggested there may be fraud involved by the FDA itself which has a responsibility to audit clinical trials.

      Dowd suggested that audits were not done or done improperly. One would expect that this will be an inspection point by investigators and litigators. FOIP could be interesting. And if a State AG steps up, FLA anyone?

      Clinical trials may be the MBS of 2022.

  9. Wukchumni

    Went largely news free for a week, but succumbed to the pressure and caught a little propaganda late in the stanza on CNN & NPR-the go to war cheerleaders regaling me with atrocities real and/or imagined, I was half expecting an appeal to come on asking me to support an intervention @ just $19.95 a month (is 63 ¢ a day too much to ask to pry into somebody else’s conflict?) which includes a commemorative NFT of a NFZ, free with your commitment.

    Call now, operators are standing by.

  10. The Rev Kev

    ” ‘Marshal Mud’ will slow not stop Russia’s onslaught ”

    Of course the parallel is that the Ukrainians will also have the same problems trying to resupply their own formations with ammo, fuel, etc. – under an unfriendly sky. And if you run out of ammo, what are you gunna do? Chuck a molly?

    1. Tom Stone

      I was thinking about the incredible stress many liberals are experiencing due to cognitive dissonance.
      #Me Too went away overnight when Tara Reade opened her mouth, Trump lost the election and he was all that was wrong with America.
      Joe Biden was going to be the “New FDR!” ,$2,000 checks in the mail, public option,no more crippling student loan debt, a $15 minimum wage,eradicating Covid…
      A new age of peace and prosperity was on the way.
      At least there’s still “OMIGOD, RUSSIA!!!”
      That’s going to wear a little thin with $6 regular, empty shelves,more waves of covid,massive wildfires and the resulting evacuations.
      It’s going to be an interesting summer as the anger and irrationality continue to increase.
      Someone is at fault, someone needs to be punished.
      Will it be RUSSIA!!! and a Nuclear holocaust?

      1. Wukchumni

        I heard the local powers that be were contemplating canceling the Russian River and really the easiest fix would be calling it the Prussian River instead, as you need only change 1 letter.

      2. the last D

        Well, it’s no comfort in realizing that ‘nothing fundamental will change’ wasn’t true; excepting maybe, that here in this country, we’re still on a track to collapse, and bring down an entire living world with us. Failure is still the game plan, but biden is finding his own way of effecting it.

  11. Sub-Boreal

    Here is a pretty damning appraisal of the Swedish handling of COVID (open access):

    Evaluation of science advice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden


    Sweden was well equipped to prevent the pandemic of COVID-19 from becoming serious. Over 280 years of collaboration between political bodies, authorities, and the scientific community had yielded many successes in preventive medicine. Sweden’s population is literate and has a high level of trust in authorities and those in power. During 2020, however, Sweden had ten times higher COVID-19 death rates compared with neighbouring Norway. In this report, we try to understand why, using a narrative approach to evaluate the Swedish COVID-19 policy and the role of scientific evidence and integrity. We argue that that scientific methodology was not followed by the major figures in the acting authorities—or the responsible politicians—with alternative narratives being considered as valid, resulting in arbitrary policy decisions. In 2014, the Public Health Agency merged with the Institute for Infectious Disease Control; the first decision by its new head (Johan Carlson) was to dismiss and move the authority’s six professors to Karolinska Institute. With this setup, the authority lacked expertise and could disregard scientific facts. The Swedish pandemic strategy seemed targeted towards “natural” herd-immunity and avoiding a societal shutdown. The Public Health Agency labelled advice from national scientists and international authorities as extreme positions, resulting in media and political bodies to accept their own policy instead. The Swedish people were kept in ignorance of basic facts such as the airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission, that asymptomatic individuals can be contagious and that face masks protect both the carrier and others. Mandatory legislation was seldom used; recommendations relying upon personal responsibility and without any sanctions were the norm. Many elderly people were administered morphine instead of oxygen despite available supplies, effectively ending their lives. If Sweden wants to do better in future pandemics, the scientific method must be re-established, not least within the Public Health Agency. It would likely make a large difference if a separate, independent Institute for Infectious Disease Control is recreated. We recommend Sweden begins a self-critical process about its political culture and the lack of accountability of decision-makers to avoid future failures, as occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    1. Bugs

      “Many elderly people were administered morphine instead of oxygen despite available supplies, effectively ending their lives.”

      This is mass euthanasia.

      1. C.O.

        “Euthanasia” isn’t the word that came to my mind, with you on “mass” for sure though.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The plot thickens in Sweden in that it seems Anders Tegnell resigned to take up a post in WHO – a post which WHO denies exists. There was a Twitter thread on the topic this morning – I can’t link to it right now but I’ll try later.

      It seems that Tegnell and several other top Swedish advisors have been pushed out quietly, with fake posts created to ease the ‘transition’. It would seem that even the Swedish government now recognizes that their handling was a disaster.

  12. TimH


    Criticism of the faked justification for the invasion of Iraq after 911 means that you support terrorism.

    Criticism of any action by the Israeli government (not the people, not the religion) means that you are an anti-Semite.

    Criticism of the stupidity by both the Ukraine government and Nato prior to the invasion by Russia means that you are a Russia lover and support the invasion.

    Control the discussion, you control the people.

  13. jr

    Women (real ones) protesting Lia Thomas’s participating in the recent swimming competition discuss their political “homelessness”:

    All former liberal Democrats, all either aligning Republican or unsure. One notes that during the last election, two Democratic politicians (unnamed) told her they didn’t want her vote.

  14. hamstak

    “a senior US official said Thursday that Washington is working with allies on preparation and deterrence postures over Russian weapons of mass destruction, as well as on potential medical and other countermeasures to help Ukraine”

    What “deterrence” postures, and what other countermeasures? Pre-emptive sanctions? Harsh language? Say a “chemical incident” were to occur, and a hazmat/med team were sent in to treat the injured and neutralize the agent to the extent possible. Wouldn’t the purely malign Russkies simply wipe them out upon arrival — unless they were completely out of ammo and were resorting to flinging the smartphones they stole from Ukrainian citizens in order to communicate?

    Or postures could mean poses, freezing their bodies in statuesque artistry symbolizing defiance, courage, liberty, and constipation. Maybe they are working on some dance moves as well, a la Sprockets on the SNL of yore.

    1. Polar Socialist

      As far as I can tell, deterrence posture is NATO jargon for moving a battalion or two around.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden plays a faux-tough guy on tv. Its why he lets Manchin dump on him.

      Propaganda and reality do meet occasionally. All those F-35s don’t matter without airfields and so forth. Now Biden needs something for the domestic audiences especially the “OMG Russia” types. The refurbished hypersonic missiles pretty much mean the US can’t intercede in its wildest fantasies. I feel like the new talk of Putin might use chemical weapons will be pitched as NATO solidarity deters Putin as the former Ukraine is dismembered.

      Missiles put into field by the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians mean the carriers are obsolete, many of our planes are obsolete. and so forth. We have rising seas and useless weapons. Biden needs to get out of this, and he can’t look like a wimp. Who is the real President has already been asked.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The real president is probably the committee who jointly make Biden’s decisions and then inform Biden of what he has decided. Except when Biden decides to go rogue.

  15. Martin Oline

    Last night I saw a rerun of NPR’s news hour and they gave about 1 minute to Donald Trump’s suit against the Demo Party et al for $72 million. It concerns the so-called Russia hoax and alleges it was a deliberate action by the defendants that cost the Don $24 million in legal fees. The prompter-reader followed the suit by announcing IIRC “In 2020 the Senate released a report that Russia aided the Trump campaign in 2016.” So there!
    I was amused by that and after my geriatric nap this morning it occurs to me that to the children running our foreign policy truly believe in the Steele Dossier. In their minds Russia is the military arm of the Republican Party and anything that can be done to damage Russia hurts Donald Trump! That would help to explain the incredible lockstep of the media in the military propaganda of Ukraine. It is part 2 of Russia, Russia, Russia.

  16. Robin Kash

    How odd that the Scalawag article on bio-gas from the poop-piss-pus of mostly corporate hog production does not mention Iowa. Iowa produces three times more hogs than NC, and more that two-and-a-half time more than its nearest, um, competitor, MN.
    Smithfield has eight facilities in Iowa. It is owned by a Hong Kong-based investment group. []

  17. jo6pac

    I received a letter from dnc and joe b. to Dear Jo6pac. I bet you didn’t get one;-) It has return envelope with no need of stamp. In the space how much I was giving I put big 0 with line through it and put in the mail in a few days. I’m sure my protest will go unheard.

    1. Martin Oline

      I have heard that gluing it to a brick will increase the cost of postage to the addressee but I don’t know. Postal centers are automated and they would probably throw it out. Perhaps a sheet of lead?

    2. Purdon

      Old lead tire weight, in bubble wrap to make a bulky envelope. Write “HAND~STAMP” on it. Drop off at Post Office counter, or drop in mail box. Should cost them at least five dollars. We always create big globby envelopes stuffed full of paper to return to the DNC. Step on them to flatten and get more weight in envelope.

    3. Nikkikat

      I used to do the same thing, mail it back at their expense. They just kept sending them to me. Then in 2016 I started writing really the nastiest things I could think of about Hillary Clinton. It was pretty easy to come up with things regarding her and Bill.
      They stopped sending them to me haven’t received anything from Democrats in years now.

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    One for the “Up is Down” department:

    Uber planning to add all NYC taxis to its app in surprise shift

    “If Uber and Curb think they can slide in with a payment structure that’s broken for Uber drivers and piece it together on the backs of yellow cab drivers, they’re in for a sobering surprise,” the union’s executive director Bhairavi Desai said.

    Desai claimed that taxi drivers picking up passengers would earn an average of 15% less per trip.

    On Uber’s end, the company has faced a driver shortage since 2020 and is now grappling with soaring gas prices that have convinced some would-be drivers that hitting the street isn’t worth it. Adding taxis to the app could help appease Uber customers frustrated by a lack of available vehicles.

    Matt Daus, a transportation expert and former chairman of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, said that Uber working with cabbies could help insulate the company from legal challenges over its classification of drivers as employees rather than contractors.

    “The ability of cab drivers to reject rides makes them more like true independent drivers,” Daus told The Post. “That’s one of the biggest reasons why they’re doing this… This is an argument that could be used in court.”

    Any money that Uber may lose through the New York cab partnership will be far outweighed by the money it will save on potential labor battles, Daus predicted.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the taxi drivers of NYC degrade their service to Uber levels, how will that affect the long term survival of them and the cab business in NYC?

  19. Carla

    Ohio redistricting “battle” update:

    It was ever thus. When the ACLU and the Ohio League of Women Voters abandon voters at the 11th hour, they are always unhappy about it. (Much to the delight of the criminal Republicans in the Ohio legislature and sitting behind the governor’s desk.) The Republican Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court has more guts than all the Democrats in the whole damned state put together, but only because she’s stepping down this year, rather than running for re-election.

    1. Daryl

      The famously humanitarian Nestle, probably wondering if they can buy up Lake Baikal for a few rubles and sell it back to Russia a liter at a time.

  20. Mikel

    “I don’t wish to seem churlish, but “Covid Is Airborne” is short and sweet. More, it commits to a theory of transmission, unlike “Clear the Air,” which could mean anything (though I can see why it might be more meaningful in internal Administration deliberations). Still, why not say it?”

    It’s such a careful dance that I have to wonder whether, deep in the bowels of govt rules, there are regulations written that are guidelines for agencies to follow once a virus is declared “airborne.”
    And they can’t get rid of or change the regulations and guidelines without calling attention to the “airborne” classification and its relation to Covid.
    Or there may not be a worthy and detailed plan in existence in response to declaring a virus airborne. So it’s avoided.

  21. Manny

    “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”

    Translation,~ “My subservience to the New Wold Order through my chosen policy decisions means that we can accelerate their goal of destroying the American middle class and get those lumpen out of the way of our luxury cars.”

  22. lyman alpha blob

    RE: It’s almost like Maine is some sort of colony.

    Don’t even get me started. Between this and the power lines our feckless Maine governor is trying to ram through to bring electricity to Massachusetts, and the cost of housing rising so fast due to rich people from away (primarily Boston and NYC) buying up property so that barely anyone who actually works in Maine can afford to live here anymore, I’ve pretty much had it.

    We recently had some “unconscious bias” training at work and the “trainer” was an older woman from Brooklyn whose first question to the group was if anyone at the meeting was from the Bangor area, because she wanted to know what the real estate prices were there in case she needed to get out of the city.

    I had to bite my tongue to not tell her what I really thought, which was that she had just hit the bullseye of my extremely conscious bias.

    1. Another Scott

      Living in Massachusetts, I see a lot of these people. What strikes me is how completely oblivious they are. They have no clue where food or water or electricity comes from, and then when someone tries to put something in locally, they go all NIMBY. And as a result, prices keep going up, the supply chains get longer and more fragile, and poor people far away get stuck with all of the negative consequences. They are pretty hardcore PMC in my experience.

  23. Dave in Austin

    Two comments today before I go work on my country place in Bastrop, TX. First what I call Censorship in Depth. Second, both sides in the war are settling in for the long haul.

    On censorship in depth. The west claims it doesn’t censor. So the censorship has to be soft and barely recognizable. In war a defense-in-depth or an elastic defense means that the attackers are allowed small, costly advances through the first line then hit a second line, third line… on and on. The gains are small and the costs are high. It is the crush-zone on the front of your car.

    Censorship in depth uses the same methods. The attacker (me trying to get information) is allowed small gains; the interesting Twitter feed isn’t blocked, Kremlin.Ru comes up on the screen. But as I follow the links the defense imposes costs. The Twitter feed doesn’t allow me to download the video and the comments; the click on Kremlin.Ru sends the little world icon spinning for thirty seconds then sadly says “the site is not responding” or “this site is not presently available”.

    Notice no actor. No “Twitter has been pressured to not deliver this kind of account” or “The US government has cut access to Kremlin.Ru; don’t blame us”. So most seekers weigh the time cost vs the results and stop trying. We need a taxonomy for this process.

    Second, settling-in for the long haul. Another depressing day in the Ukraine.

    From El Jazerra 14:03 GMT:

    “Russia has said the first phase of its “military operation” in Ukraine is mostly complete and that it will now focus on completely “liberating” eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
    The Russian defense ministry said Russian-backed separatists now controlled 93 percent of Ukraine’s Luhansk region and 54 percent of the Donetsk region – the two areas that jointly make up the Donbas. “The combat potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been considerably reduced, which … makes it possible to focus our core efforts on achieving the main goal, the liberation of Donbas,” Sergei Rudskoi, head of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, said. The defence ministry added that it did not rule out storming Ukrainian cities that had been blockaded and said that Russia would react immediately to any attempt to close the airspace over Ukraine – something Kyiv has asked NATO to do, but NATO has resisted…. Moscow’s offensive would continue until Russian forces had completed the tasks that had been set by Russian President Vladimir Putin, without saying what those tasks were. Russia’s military had considered two options for its operation in Ukraine, one confined to the Donbas and the other on the whole territory of Ukraine, before opting for the latter, according to Rudskoi.”
    All sorts of reports from Ukrainian bloggers, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages tell of very minor shelling of towns and villages within 30 miles of the front and around Crernihev, A 100,000+ person city in the northeast . These lead to evacuations and civilian flight. A not-so-soft separation and cleansing is in progress, like all sides did in Yugoslavia in the 90s and the Donbas from 2014 to 2021. Make life hard and dangerous and the other sides’ civilians will slowly leave.

    The quote, above: “ Russia’s military had considered two options for its operation in Ukraine, one confined to the Donbas and the other on the whole territory of Ukraine, before opting for the latter” leaves open the question of when the two options were considered; before the war or now that it appears this will be a stalemate. My bet is the latter. If so, the Russians are opting for an ethnic reordering and an expansion that will occupy a line running from the southern suburbs of Karvov southeast through Dnipro, east to the outskirts of Kherison and then to the sea, taking most of the majority Russian-speaking areas. Zelinskyy will continue to appear in front of green-screen Kiev wartime backgrounds pretending he is taking risks while calling for a no fly zone.
    A plague upon both your leaders
    Postcript: Yesterday I erroneously described Sergie Shoigu as the Chechen leader based on a link from the Guardian. He isn’t the Chechen leader; he is the Russian Secretary of Defense who surfaced yesterday. Trust the Guardian, but not always the Guardian’s links.

  24. RobertC

    Politico reports that G-7 leaders pledge action to address food shortages caused by war “We will make coherent use of all instruments and funding mechanisms to address food security, and build resilience in the agriculture sector in line with climate and environment goals,” leaders of the Group of Seven said.

    I believe the last paragraph hints at Biden’s intent to assert coercive reputational control over China’s and Russia’s wheat, etc (emphasis mine)

    In another move aimed at stemming food price increases, the G-7 leaders called on participants in the international Agriculture Market Information System to continue to share information and explore options to keep prices under control. That includes sharing information with the World Food Programme about each country’s level of grain stocks and other key commodities.

    PS Thanks for the link to this devastating analysis Finis Europa by Nicolas Hausdorf, a German writer safely living in Melbourne, Victoria.

  25. Maritimer

    Don’t ignore the behemoth threat from the North, the Irving Empire. Oil, gas, shipbuilding, forestry, etc. Lots of Government Grease for these fellows. Based in St. John, New Brunswick, a vassal state of the Irvings. Tentacles into Maine and the rest of the desperate Maritimes of Canada.

  26. Mikel

    “Wayne Pankratz of @Applebees says that higher gas prices are great for business because most employees live check to check and hopefully they can start lowering wages.…”

    Higher gas prices also make up for the profit margin lost to the people still working from home.
    Even a 20 -30% change in the commute probably has the oil companies weeping.

    All these convenient “shortages”….

  27. Gan

    There will be hundreds of thousands of deaths from this war in Ukraine, they just won’t be in the Ukraine, Russia, Europe or the USA, they will be Africa, the “Middle East” and parts of Asia, who will count them? They will die because we replace diplomacy with killing squads, that’s what hegemon do, and we elected clowns to be our leaders. And nobody will care, because that’s what we do when the skin clour is a slightly different shade and the color of their eyes aren’t brown.

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