Links 3/31/2022

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

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


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

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

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.

* * *

What Does a Bond Bear Market Look Like? A Wealth of Common Sense

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Problems Doomberg. Tiger Global Management.

BioNTech to return almost €2bn to shareholders after Covid vaccine success FT

The Best Defense Against Rubber-Hose Cryptanalysis Cory Doctorow, OneZero

Abrogation Theory Dror Poleg


Arizona faces a reckoning over water High Country News


Our Early Confusion About Airborne COVID-19 Transmission Still Haunts Us Time

Airborne Toxic Events The Baffler

Fire Walensky:

* * *

Effect of Early Treatment with Ivermectin among Patients with Covid-19 NEJM. n= 3515. From the Abstract: “Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19.”

* * *

Why is the UK seeing near-record Covid cases? We still believe the three big myths about Omicron Guardian. And by “myths” we mean lies.

Never Had Covid? You May Hold Key To Beating the Virus Bloomberg. GM commments: “We’re back to the early 19th century and spontaneous generation — the virus is magically appearing in people’s noses and cannot be stopped in any way other than by ‘immunity.’ But in fact, yes, I indeed do hold the key to beating the virus — I masked and social distanced ultra-hard and called for Chinese-style lockdown.”


‘Stick to zero-Covid’: Xinhua puts Xi Jinping’s stamp on China’s coronavirus strategy South China Morning Post. Commentary:

China’s factories were hit harder this quarter than last year as Covid drags on, survey says CNBC

Automakers, Suppliers Battle Shanghai Shutdown

The Koreas

South Korea tests solid-fuel space rocket, amid rising tensions Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

US, Australia concerned at proposed sanction-skirting Russia-India banking scheme Sydney Morning Herald

Russia sanctions threaten to chip away at dominance of US dollar, says IMF FT

Sloppy sanctions will blunt themselves Reuters

Russia-West: Is It Possible to Lift the Sanctions? Valdai Discussion Club

Russians expect Western businesses to return BNE Intellinews

* * *

Biden Means What He Says Black Agenda Report

The Realist Case for a Ukraine Peace Deal Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy

How Ukraine could lose land but still win the war with Russia WaPo

Ukraine Is Ready for Painful Concessions Foreign Policy. A non-Atlanticist commentator.

* * *

The Perilous Long Game in Ukraine Foreign Affairs

George Kennan, NATO, covert guerrilla warfare (excerpt) Yasha Levine. Bracing, as usual.

* * *

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth ” – TTG Turcopelier. Indeed:

Mariupol woman recounts escaping deadly theater bombing: “I’m very lucky … I have my arms, I have my legs” CNN. But plausibly:

Those darn NGOs. Here’s another one such.

Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry

Biden Administration

Collins will support confirming Jackson, delivering Biden bipartisan SCOTUS vote Politico

Senators shrinking size of COVID deal amid disagreements The Hill. Because of course they are.

Meet the ‘crypto caucus’: the US lawmakers defending digital coins FT

What Happens When Enforcers Stop Being Polite Matt Stoller, BIG

Supply Chain

Russian oil tankers are vanishing off the map CNN

Tesla inks secret multi-year nickel supply deal with Vale

US seeks new lithium sources as demand for batteries grows AP

Intelligence Community

How UK Military and Spy Agencies Are Weaponising Social Justice Declassified UK

The Groves of Academe

Punishment and Reward in the Corporate University Steve Salaita

How an Ivy League School Turned Against a Student The New Yorker

Sports Desk

The ‘Hot Hand’ Is a Real Basketball Phenomenon, but It Is Rare Scientific American

Zeitgeist Watch

Here’s How 14 Different News Outlets Covered The Will Smith Slap The Babylon Bee

Guillotine Watch

BlackRock President Says ‘Entitled Generation’ Now Learning About Shortages Bloomberg (Re Silc).

Class Warfare

Judge: Seattle concrete companies intentionally drove into striking workers at picket line FOX13

1 in 5 workers runs out of money before payday, survey finds CNBC

Restaurant Workers Explain Why They Quit During The Pandemic The Onion

Women in Labor History, From the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to Today Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue. Good to see Kelly back on the beat.

This Could Be Why The Massive Volcanic Eruption in Tonga Was So Explosive Science Alert (original).

Nobody Lives Here The Big Picture

Why People Are Acting So Weird The Atlantic

Antidote du jour (via):

Dear patient readers,

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

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. griffen

    I’m trying to spin a Yogi Berra effort on the Nobody Lives Here article linked today. But, I got nothing. If anyone is watching or has watched the 4 seasons of Yellowstone, it can be clarifying that Montana is not there for everyone (fictional presentation, mind you, but well done).

    1. Eclair

      “Flying into Aspen Monday for a conference this week…..” A reminder that the wealthiest 10% of the population produces over 50% of the pollution. By flying into two-thirds of the places where only one-third of the people live. In order to enjoy the “vast swaths of untamed wilderness that is the American West.”

      Aspen, an ‘untamed wilderness?” Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Also, and unmentioned by Ritholtz, is the fact that the empty regions he refers to are that way for very good and specific reasons: too dry, too steep, too cold – I’m sure Lambert could wax eloquent on the reasons for the existence of Maine’s Empty Quarter – too alkaline, etc. for human habitation or agriculture. As a result, they serve as loci for resource extraction, if feasible, and not much else.

        1. Wukchumni

          Back in the day before the internet was revealed to the public, I once drove across Nevada on Hwy 50-the loneliest hwy in America.

          Nevada seems awfully similar to Afghanistan, to me. Endless basin and range that goes on forever with a lot of nothing inbetween. It was around twilight one day on the road when in the far distance I saw what would turn out to be the lights of Austin, Nv (population: 192) and it was dark when I pulled into a gas station to fill up and I inquired of the fellow working there where I could set up a tent for the night, and he held out his arms and swiveled his head left and right, and said…


          1. juno mas

            Ah, yes, Austin! Almost dead-center between the east and west borders of NV. That 192 is a recent pop. number. In my days traveling through (80’s) the number of souls was less then a hundred. Sitting below Mt. Prometheus, Austin, at 6500′ elev. can be a nasty cold in January. The hot springs just east on the Loneliest Road can be a wonderful warmup.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          RE: Maine’s empty quarter

          In the winter it’s too damn cold and in the summer it is the realm of our blood sucking state bird, the black fly.

    2. dougie

      It was VERY well done. Initially, I thought it might not sustain my interest, but I became quite the fanboi before the end of Season 4.

      I found that I liked the prequel “1883” even better. Beautifully brutal, much like I find life in general to be, and simply the best “coming of age” story I have ever seen. My previous favorite, “Almost Famous”, pales in comparison.

  2. Questa Nota

    Those Azov patriots and scholars so honored and respected by The Times of London are in select company.

    They join that austere religious scholar so revered by the WaPo. Now that right there is aspirable, even paeanable.

    1. Soredemos

      Most of the Azov fighters don’t look like they’re going to physically exist for much longer.

  3. Wukchumni

    The dollar value of water is climbing to heights never before seen in the state or hardly anticipated. Arizona last year approved the sale of 2,083 acre-feet of Colorado River water annually to Queen Creek, a Phoenix suburb. The cost of the deal: $21 million or $10,000 per acre-foot. Queen Creek is anxious to pay. It needs the water. The city’s population – 60,000 – is 15 times higher than in 2000. Its water demand is 10 times higher.

    During the 2012-2016 drought here, an acre foot of water was fetching $1500 or so for Ag use, versus the usual $100-200 when H20 is flush.

    $10k per acre foot is absurdly high, but it gives you an idea of how tenuous water resources are in the crass-test-dummy state for the GOP.

    1. Wukchumni


      Tomorrow’s news today!

      Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe is one of the many snow gauging stations in the state @ 6,800 feet and the last snow survey of the year is tomorrow, and the day after April Fools, you’ll see photos and videos of gaugers and mostly dirt with a few patches of snow.

      I did snow surveys for the state for a number of years in Mineral King, where unlike Phillips Station where you can drive up to the survey site, it’s a bit more complicated in getting there.

      One time I had jury duty before a survey scheduled for that weekend into Monday, and the judge asked if there was any reason any prospective jurors couldn’t fulfill their duty, and I piped up and told the judge I was scheduled to do a snow survey for the state, and he asked if somebody else could do it, and I explained to his honor what was entailed…

      My partner in the effort and I had to go to Ash Mountain HQ for Sequoia NP and pick up a park truck (in NPS verbage such a government vehicle is known as a G-Rig, btw) and trailer with a couple of park snowmobiles, and drive as far up MK road as we can until stopped by snow, untrailer the snow-mos @ around mile 13 or so, and then ride them 10 miles up the road to the ranger station where we’ll sleep that night, get up the next morning and ride them another mile to the end of the road and put on our AT & Telemark skis with climbing skins and ascend a few thousand feet over about 3 hours to the snow survey sight below Farewell Gap, do the survey (the gear to gauge snow & water content is state of the art 1912 technology which has never been improved on) peel off our skins and turn into downhill skiers for one glorious run down to MK Valley, ride the snow-mos back to the ranger station for another night and then the next morning ride down to the truck and load them back on the trailer and return everything to Ash Mountain…

      I’d barely finished the last word, when the judge interrupted me, ‘Excused!’ he said with a smile. ‘That was the most interesting excuse for not doing jury duty i’ve ever heard…’

      1. The Rev Kev

        Being serious here. You should really expand that comment into a small manuscript and lodge it somewhere so that it cannot be lost. Maybe a university or a library or maybe even the State Archives. Stories like that need to be preserved for future generations so people have a better understanding down the track of how our society actually worked. Or maybe down the track there will be no snow in your region so people may want to know what was lost.

        1. Wukchumni

          It was fun, and yes, its one of those stories that could easily be lost, the loneliness of the long distance snow gauger, ha ha.

          One time we were hiking the Abel Tasman* great walk in NZ, and I met another Sierra snow gauger @ a hut who did pretty much the same thing as I did, albeit further north.

          * a superb walk by the way, you take a water taxi out to where you start about 40 miles from where you parked your car and walk back on the coast and inland a bit. often passing perfect beaches with nobody there hardly-begging you to go take a dip.

    2. Carolinian

      crass-test-dummy state

      Well it is that but one should point out that much of the country’s real estate speculation is coming out of the appropriately named Empire State. You can’t blame AZ for what is happening in SC.

      My friend who lives in Mesa (and quite a ways from central Phoenix) despairs as her onetime backwater is being crammed with ever more three story apt buildings that block the once stunning view of the nearby mountains. Perhaps all those new residents are ditching the 20 mile commute and working from their new homes.

  4. fresno dan

    I watch so you don’t have to. Fox news has a small amount of Ukraine stuff, but of course Hunter Biden reigns supreme. MSNBC is Russia! Russia! Russia! I mean, Ukraine! Ukraine! Ukraine! And the new News Nation has some Ukraine, but is back to Will Smith and crime stories mostly.
    Is it me, or is Ukraine not so slowly reaching levels of reporting (or more accurately, non reporting) that Afghanistan reached in the last few years prior to the pull out? I just don’t think Ukraine will distract from inflation.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think they want Ukraine off. Its not offering footage for CNN of the nightly news of the US blowing stuff up. Rumsfeld made it clear this is always a going concern. The WashPost article up above is hilarious. I didn’t finish, but the line was “now people are whispering the Ukrainians might win this thing” despite giving into every Russian demand.

      If the US can’t stop that gas station with nukes (not accurate), what the hell has all the money spent on defense been going to? They need to distract the choir from asking these questions or learning where Ukraine is.

      1. fresno dan

        I didn’t finish, but the line was “now people are whispering the Ukrainians might win this thing” despite giving into every Russian demand.
        LOL – you know what that reminds me of? The “analysis” that Will Smith didn’t slap Chris Rock, but that Chris Rock’s face hit Will Smith’s hand….

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      My personal gauge for measuring the degree to which Ukraine disappears down the United States of Amnesia’s memory hole is when #McResistance idiots take down the “Stand With Ukraine” lawn signs that instantaneously replaced their BLM and “We Are More Virtuous Than You/We Believe In Science (but not an increased minimum wage)” lawn signs.

      The shiny media objects Liberals salivate or project aghastitude over may suddenly change, but their impotent and embarrassing moral vanity is a constant.

  5. fresno dan

    Here’s How 14 Different News Outlets Covered The Will Smith Slap The Babylon Bee
    I know they are trying to do satire, but if that ain’t a documentary on news media preconceptions and framing, I don’t know what is…

    1. Louis Fyne

      even if lithium was as common as water, for EV purposes it is worthless without neodymium (given current tech).

      the list of top neodymium producers is intersting. among them is Myanmar-Burma. you’ll know when someone at the State Dept. learned about neodymium when you see Myanmar coverage disappear from the news.

  6. fresno dan

    Biden Means What He Says Black Agenda Report
    I started excepting portions of the article, and I soon found that I had cut and pasted the whole thing. So I will just say it is a very, very good take down of Biden on Ukraine.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Lots of good work is coming out of the Black Agenda Report. I have a lot of respect for them.

      1. jo6pac

        Yes, they haven’t missed a beat since the founders pasted away unlike counter punch. It’s not the same without Alex.

        1. Martin Oline

          “It’s not the same without Alex.” Yes, I agree. My print subscription lasted about a year without Mr. Cockburn writing there. Never really cared for St. Clair.

    1. Steve H.

      Ruby is a mix I met, in her backyard as we’d come back from me stepmum’s. Big, eyes that the small dogs (“snacks”) won’t meet but caught me. We’d quietly howl together, and she larned me about head resonance. Haven’t seen her for a couple of weeks, hope she’s okay, an old canid. I’m keeping the backscratcher in the car, just in case.

      1. nycTerrierist

        nothing like howling with a dog – deeply soothing
        my dearly departed pup and I would howl together,
        I’d throw back my head to vocalize and he’d join me

        he was a terrhuahua, a jack russellish mutt,
        he’d howl with a neighbor, too
        his successors haven’t been howlers, but they’re still fine beasts

        1. Nikkikat

          Dear NYC terrierists, I love terriers for their feisty attitude, all of my dogs have been terriers and they all howled with me. Lol all I had to do is give them a tap as we kicked back on the sofa and throw my head back. They would then sit up and do the same. I always got a few minutes of howls. One of my German pinchers always scanned the upper apartment windows for anyone looking down on our patio. He would show his teeth and give them a barking growl fest.

      2. fringe element

        I used to do that with a friend’s mastiff. When someone asked him if I got along with the dog he told them that ‘They sing together’.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Is BlackRock President experiencing any actual shortages in his personal life?

    1. BH

      ??? The reference asks the question: “why is phenylephrine still being sold as an oral decongestant drug”. Oral= “taken via mouth”. It is not about nasal sprays.

      1. BH

        PS There are many different nasal decongestants, with different active ingredients. It is a rather strong overgeneralisation to state “So OTC nasal decongestant sprays don’t work”. The specific ingredient phynelephidrine is listed as having ‘disputed effectiveness’ on wikipedia (see below), and the link you provided, Mikerw0, amplifies that sentiment. Many OTC nasal decongestants just work.

    2. FredsGotSlacks

      I’m a long time chronic sinusitis sufferer. Had two surgeries which did little to nothing. I will say the OTC nasal sprays (Afrin for example) are the only thing that clear me up in the short run. I try to only use them during acute colds so as to not get somewhat addicted to them.

      In terms of oral decongestants, I long ago read about how phenylephrine was shown to be so useless that they shouldn’t bother or be allowed to market and sell it for it’s stated purpose. However, with the whole meth hysteria (not to diminish the real issue of abuse, etc. but now people like me are treated as drug dealers for wanted some good old fashioned pseudoephedrine), they replaced pseudoephedrine in nearly all regular cold/flu medicine with phenylephrine. You can still get the real stuff but you have to submit your license for scanning and tracking. It’s the only thing that gives me any kind of relief so I submit myself to the state tracking system a few times a year to by Sudafed.

      Always strikes me as crazy though how, in my state, Sudafed is the most difficult to obtain drug compared to all other OTCs, or alcohol, or illegal drugs. Once saw a 75ish year old man get refused sale of Sudafed because he didn’t have his ID on him. As usual the regulations (on substances) seem to do little to stem the real issues and just make life more difficult for anyone else.

      1. CanCyn

        As a fellow sufferer from chronic sinusitis, I share your frustration. I have tried many nasal decongestants over the years. They work and then they don’t. And many of them do more harm than good with long term use. Sometime earlier this year, someone in the NC commentariat pointed me to guaifenesin (active ingredient in Robitussin cough medicine). Sorry, I forget who but I did say thank you at the time. It is herbal in nature and while billed as an expectorant, what it really does it thin the mucous so you’re less clogged. Long story shorter, I am not miraculously cured but much better. It also does wonders for my ex-smoking husband’s post nasal drip. He hardly ever horks or noisily clears his throat anymore. We take 600 mg per day – OTC brand is Mucinex. Don’t buy the cough medicine, the dose isn’t enough. If I can find the convo in comments I will respond again with a link.

        1. Art_DogCT

          Guaiaphenesin is a synthetically produced version of guiacum, derived from the resin and/or wood of one or another of the five species of guiac tree (native to the tropical western hemisphere). The Spanish are credited with introducing it to Europe in the 16th century as a medicinal plant. They first learned of it from the indigenous people of what they called ‘Santo Domingo’ (before they enslaved/murdered them). Fast forward to the mid-20th century and a way was found to synthesize guiacum profitably, approved by the FDA in 1952 as guaiaphenesin. In 1988, a 12-hour extended release formulation was approved, which gave rise to the brand Mucinex.

          The commercial success of guaiaphenesin was an important example to the nascent ethnobotanical community in the 1970s-1980s, and pointed to species loss worldwide as potentially missed opportunities for new medicines. I’m nor sure of the success of these efforts.

          There is some dispute whether the drug ‘works’ or not. One paper I skimmed suggests there is no demonstrable benefit between guaiaphenesin and placebo ( For myself, I find using it helps in achieving a productive cough.

          1. CanCyn

            Sorry I can’t seem to track down the January conversation.
            And yes there is little ‘research’ proving the benefits of guaifenesin… perhaps to do with the lack of profits to be found with the drug? AFAIK it is safe to use & without long term side effects. Remind anyone of our fried Iver….
            Anyhow, while n=1, this is nonetheless an interesting case study.

        2. JP

          Here in the western Sierra we have Yerba Santa, which makes a decongestant tea. Or you can just chew the leaves. A local name for it is indian chewing gum. It is most effective when mixed with horehound that is also abundant here. The combined effect is like squezzing a sponge.

      2. Harold

        You are not alone.

        I also keep a supply of sudafed. You have to ask for it at the pharmacy but I can’t recall having to present my ID. I take a very small quantity before bed (break up the pills with a pill cutter, if necessary) , because otherwise can’t breathe when lying down. It’s the only thing that works. Glad to hear other people vouch for it as well.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      no wonder.
      i’d noticed that the “red pills” haven’t seemed to be working in the winter(bad cedar allergies all around)
      i often forget my glasses when doing the grocery run, and hadn’t noticed the change…just made out “s***titu** f** *ud**ed” and went with it.

      we, per our 25 year doctor, take either loratidine or cetrizine(sp-2), switching between then biannually, the oTC flonase, and the Simply Saline thing for nasal/sinus lavage(this is by far the most effective, when we can do it…but we’d all have to overdo it in order for it to work as a replacement…causing it’s own set of problems.)

      the generic “sudafed” had been the extra kick on a bad cedar day.
      DEA strikes again.

    4. marieann

      I am late to this discussion but thought I’d add in my experience with chronic sinus headaches.

      I also use Sudafed but it is not good for my blood pressure. I use a Netipot nasal rinse every day during winter…just plain warm water with a pinch of salt.
      I also started going to a Chiropracter who works around my eyes,nose and jaw area with a lazer.

      With all that I have decreased the frequency of sinus headaches, I get about 60-70% less that I used to.

  7. steve

    Why People Are Acting So Weird

    “Improvement may be slow. But experts think human interaction will, eventually, return to the pre-pandemic status quo.”

    Good luck with that.

  8. Sutter Cane

    Why People Are Acting So Weird

    I guess I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed. People are deranged out there right now. It has made maintaining my personal China strategy of zero covid easier, at least. I’m not in any particular hurry to return to society.

    The article mentions stress, alcohol, isolation, and mental illness, but doesn’t mention the fact that one million Americans have died. And the article wraps things up with “Some of the antisocial behavior Americans are seeing will resolve itself as the pandemic loosens its grip.” Since we’ve abandoned all efforts to control the pandemic, how exactly is the pandemic going to “loosen its grip” anytime soon?

    While the things mentioned in the article are undoubtedly factors, I think that people’s crazy behavior is also a result of cognitive dissonance from seeing a million deaths while everyone around you pretends it isn’t happening.

    Like Mr. Plinkett says: “You might not have noticed it, but your brain did.”

    1. jr

      Your point is well made. I would add that the author of the article is missing the fact that this country is pretty crazy at the best of times. Whenever I read $hit-lib’s writing about how rude everyone has suddenly become or violent or whatever, I think of how insulated they must be. A culture that dignifies rudeness as being “assertive”, constant images of violence flooding our minds, competition for it’s own sake. And a sense that it is your neighbor, the other guy on the street, that is your enemy. Is it any surprise that when times get hard people lash out?

      1. Mr. House

        They didn’t start acting weird in 2020. It started at least in 2016, then those people turned the dial up to 11 in 2020. The exact same people who firmly believed in RussiaRussiaRussia, were the worst in regards to it which shall not be named, and now the Ukraine. Almost like some sort of profession has been studying how the brain works for a few decades and instead of using that for good, uses it more so to enslave you to their “causes” and sell you endless pills.

          1. Sutter Cane

            No, quite the opposite, in the US anyway – instead of getting people to stay home out of fear they’ve gotten them to accept millions of deaths as normal and necessary, and a fine trade off for continuing to go to Applebee’s

            1. Mr. House

              Sutter Cane if Gail tverberg is correct you won’t be watching the mouth of madness in the near future because you won’t have electricity and then you won’t have to worry about applebee’s either ;)

                1. Wukchumni

                  Humans did without oil & electricity for about 53,800 years after we kicked the neanderthals to the curb, we can do without them again, if need be-the few hundred million of us left on this good orb.

                  1. Mr. House

                    I don’t disagree. I’m not scared of having to “go back in time”. Its everyone else i’m worried about. Though you have to admit, the audacity of the people who created this situation and then trying to pivot to a new system where they remain in charge. It was evident in 08 that we had to change, most of us wanted the debt to fail and clean the slate. But those in charge just wouldn’t hear of it, so now they want to wipe the slate clean after kicking the can for 12 years and continue to be in charge.

                    1. Wukchumni

                      They wrapped an ace bandage around the sucking chest wound of an economy in 2008, exhorting us to shake off the injury, walk it off, you’ll be fine!

                2. Sutter Cane

                  Mr. House, the piece you have linked is eight months old, and the idea that the economic elites have frozen the global profit-making machine due to the pandemic is more ludicrous today than when the article was originally published. Everything is wide open for business, and not even the barest minimum of preventative public health measures remain in the US, but right wingers and libertarians persist in imagining that their rights are being trampled somehow due to covid and whining about a ‘locked-down society’. I am not sure how your comments relate to my post, or to reality.

                  1. Mr. House

                    Look lock yourself down all you want, just don’t force other people to. How hard is that?

                    1. Sutter Cane

                      Nothing and nowhere in the US is locked down currently, and hasn’t been for two years. Again, your comments bear no relation to reality.

          2. Maritimer

            Exactly and just the starter. How many billions have been spent on Behavioural Science Teams to propagandize, threaten, coerce, intimidate, bully the population including children. Fear, anxiety, hysteria deliberately and methodically inflicted by Governments.

            More Scientists disgracing themselves and Science.

            1. c_heale

              But what seems to have happened is that people no longer trust the government – maybe that was the aim…

              1. Mr. House

                Cause you can’t BUILD BACK BETTER if the current institutions still have a sliver of trust ;)

    2. Lex

      ‘Weird’ rang our doorbell at one in morning last Thursday. The playback from our Eufy and security cameras would show a male in his late twenties/early thirties standing on our porch, unsteady on his feet and pushing the doorbell repeatedly. He suddenly spun on his heel to our walkway and ran down the block. By then we were standing in the library reviewing the recording… when we see the same guy return driving an old SUV to pick up his buddy passed out on the grass across the street and then drive away.

      Husband: I know that vehicle. It’s usually parked around the corner next to the house on the other end of the block. I think that’s their son.
      Me: What happened to the old guy that was living there?
      Husband: I don’t know. I think he went into assisted living. One of his children moved in and took over the house. You remember the dog turds incident? Couldn’t be bothered, so he covered it up with snow? That’s them and that’s their son.
      Me: [sputters again] They live on our block?!!!
      Husband: Yep, two houses down from the halfway house. You remember the Reynoldsssssssss.
      Me: This is a golf course community, that’s an expensive house! Wait, halfway from WHERE?
      Husband: Hard to say. Residents keep rotating in and out and the ‘community officer’ from the police department makes frequent visits.
      Me: I’m disappointed in myself to say I thought we could hide from the rising tide of weird here in this house, but apparently it’s going come ring our doorbell in the wee hours. Next time – and I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a next time – we need to have a plan in place. I don’t want us to get caught flatfooted again… and we need to learn to use the intercom feature of our security system. That might have gone very badly indeed.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Senators shrinking size of COVID deal amid disagreements”

    Just freewheeling here. Already the US Senate has voted about $13 billion to go to the Ukraine. And it is obvious that this will only be a down payment as there will be lots, lots more to come. So perhaps an Act could be passed that for every dollar that goes to the Ukraine from any government agency, then that dollar has to be matched with a dollar spent on Pandemic relief. You could even label it the American Lives Matter Act even if Nancy has already dissed that idea on account of people dying in the Ukraine (and when a reporter retorted ‘People are dying from COVID, too.’)

    1. Tangled up in Texas

      How about all of the money staying in country and going to our citizenry? We have millions living on the streets. Millions of children and families who are food insecure. Millions uninsured and many millions more under-insured. Failing infrastructure. On and on it goes and nothing is ever done other than a few small band-aids. How do we ever make a change when Congress continually turn their backs on the needs of the people?

  10. Geo

    “But in fact, yes, I indeed do hold the key to beating the virus — I masked and social distanced ultra-hard and called for Chinese-style lockdown.”

    Was on a job a few weeks ago working with a small film crew and a few actors in a tight space (mostly unventilated because vents are too loud when sound recording) for three days. Last day an actor tested positive for Covid (apparently got it from her kid’s nanny). Within the next few days everyone on the project came down with it except me. Oddly, I’m the least healthy and oldest person of the whole group so no idea why it would have passed me over. Fortunately all are fine and no signs of long Covid for any of them.

    The following week had another film shoot where the producer and my assistant camera person tested positive (day before filming so weren’t on set). A few others on that job came down with it later that week. Not sure if related to the job though.

    Feel like I’m navigating a minefield. Despite all the claims of it being behind us it’s popping up everywhere and, like so many people, I can’t afford to not work (can barely afford life even when I do work!). Feel lucky that it hasn’t hit me yet.

    1. Wukchumni

      8 out of 10 little indians in our over the hill ski group caught Covid in January, and I too kind of wondered why 2 of us didn’t contract it as we’d been all together in a rental condo all week.

      I know around 5x as many people who have tested positive from say xmas to now, versus the total up to that point from March of 2020 onwards.

    2. Late Introvert

      Sorry Geo. I (used to) do freelance video shoots, but haven’t done one in 2 years. I can’t imagine doing any in the near future, but the company recently contacted me that they were gearing up – and wanted to know if I knew the iPad pin, which is funny because they have full time staff, and I never knew it in the first place.

      Luckily I have a part-time job, and a wife with insurance. Stay safe!

    1. Pat

      That is an increase from the last figure I saw.

      Too soon to tell but trending up is not good, not unexpected but..

      1. bluegrapes

        The Monday newsletter from Johns Hopkins (The Week in COVID-19, goes out on Mondays) showed a 60% uptick in US deaths from the period of 3/14-3/20 to 3/21-3/27. Perfect time for the masses to stop paying attention. /s

  11. voislav

    Here is interesting finding on comparison between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It’s something that I’ve noticed before from more anecdotal data, but it’s nice to have it confirmed by a proper study.

    Efficiency difference between the two vaccines may be due to the different mix of antibodies that is produced. Pfizer skews towards IgG and IgM which are general blood antibodies, while Moderna produces more IgA, which is abundant in mycosal surfaces, such as respiratory tract. So Moderna is more effective because it provides better protection for the viral entry vector.

    Short report in Ars Technica

    Original paper

  12. Verifyfirst

    let us not forget Afghanistan, where the Dem PMC says they have (or used to have) a right to liberal democracy and other rights, but not, apparently, the right to food.

    In Afghanistan, ‘people selling babies, young girls to survive’

    You can’t even really donate to give yourself the illusion you are helping:

    “The unresolved liquidity crisis is a key driver in what is becoming the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) had said, adding that the organisation had called to raise $4.4bn for starving Afghans.

    “But unless the US Treasury and other Western financial authorities enable us to transfer the aid money, we will be forced to work with our hands tied, unable to get that money to the communities who desperately need it,” he warned.

    1. fresno dan

      “In Afghanistan, a staggering 95 percent of the population is not eating enough food … It is a figure so high that it is almost inconceivable. Yet, devastatingly, it is the harsh reality,” Alakbarov said in a statement issued in early March, adding that almost 100 percent of women-led households were experiencing hunger.
      The unresolved liquidity crisis is a key driver in what is becoming the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world,” Jan Egeland, secretary-general at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) had said, adding that the organisation had called to raise $4.4bn for starving Afghans.

      “But unless the US Treasury and other Western financial authorities enable us to transfer the aid money, we will be forced to work with our hands tied, unable to get that money to the communities who desperately need it,” he warned.
      Very much reminds me of we had to destroy the village to save the village.
      Now, I don’t think the Taliban are good guys, but can’t the US just concede that it lost, and not impose even more hardship on the people of Afghanistan?

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        And it should also provide a bit of caution to the Ukrainians about how they can expect to fare after they’ve outlived their usefulness to the US’s political class and MIC.

  13. Geo

    “BlackRock President Says ‘Entitled Generation’ Now Learning About Shortages”

    Kinda love the framing of an organization called “Royalty Owners Association” talking about how entitled the peasants are.

      1. Geo

        “They must learn to make sacrifices.” By which they mean: “Sacrifice themselves upon the altar of their BlackRock gods! Bow before their masters and nourish the markets with the blood of their young!”

    1. pjay

      Pat Lang’s website was pretty good on Russiagate, probably for partisan reasons more than anything. But the contributor TTG stood out then as supporting the mainstream narrative much more than other contributors. This was especially noticeable in long pseudo-technical arguments about the feasibility of Russian “hacking,” and general anti-Russian sentiment. Eventually Larry Johnson’s views seemed to win out and TTG’s were shouted down. There were some good “realist” analyses of Russian interests, including those by Lang himself. That all seemed to change very dramatically with Russia’s invasion. Now it’s like Russia was the Evil Empire all along. TTG is prominent again. I assume Larry Johnson is banished to his own website – though I can’t stand reading Lang’s blog much any more so I don’t know. But this ridiculous article does represent Lang’s current views.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Before he started to call for planes from the bone yard, he had a comment claiming he had been told intelligence agencies read his analysis. Tin foil hat time, I have a suspicion flattery worked.

      2. Paradan

        Both of them are ex-IC, but of course, your never truly ex-IC. So if a call went out for “all hands on deck” to support the current info ops, then they’d be obligated to play along. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it’s always good to come up with multiple explanations when trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

      3. JohnA

        The turcopolier site seems not to have heard of the very sage advice, when you are in a hole, stop digging.

        They’ve been predicting Ukrainian victory rolls and Russia getting bogged down from day one. Even the Ukrainians are now admitting their defence forces are pretty much destroyed.

      4. pjay

        Out of curiosity I went back and checked the comments on this article. TTG is getting considerable push-back on this hackery. I don’t think Lang himself has weighed in yet, and at least he is allowing some fairly strong responses. But articles like this are certain to reduce his credibility even further among whatever critical thinkers are still reading.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Heh. One of TTG’s retorts –

          “You characterize the Ukrainians as mere proxies manipulated by our [US] neocons. I disagree. The Ukrainians are an independent people living in an independent country.”

          That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day. If Zelensky really is a real boy now, why so much begging for weaponry from Uncle Sugar? Surely a truly independent nation could manufacture its own munitions with no strings attached.

          1. Rory

            I recall that the internet handle “TTG” is short for “The Twisted Genius.” To my mind, anyone who refers to him or herself as a “genius” is always suspect.

      5. super extra

        There were some good “realist” analyses of Russian interests, including those by Lang himself. That all seemed to change very dramatically with Russia’s invasion. Now it’s like Russia was the Evil Empire all along.

        Yes, I’ve noticed that this event has been rather non-comprehensible by a lot of cold warrior agency types. I suppose it is no different from the various other crises over the last decade that had their own market verticals which were unable to understand (maybe accept is the better word) what they were seeing so they doubled down on their preexisting biases to keep the cognitive dissonance at bay a little longer. Their only view of the world consists of this manichean view of big power warfare that has only ever really existed in the fevered fantasies of these people as the actual empire’s capabilities disappeared. They can’t accept that the ‘good guys’ lost, so they have to construct this wild narrative where they didn’t and then they can move on to the next distraction.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “US, Australia concerned at proposed sanction-skirting Russia-India banking scheme”

    For some reason, Scotty from Marketing is convinced that we are a superpower that can threaten both China and Russia when in fact we are just an average country that happens to have a lot of land. So now he has been getting on India’s case and is probably threatening them that he won’t sign that Australia-India free trade deal unless they take sides against Russia. Of course we have the boss of British spy agency GCHQ here right now giving all these stories of how Putin’s advisers are ‘afraid to tell him truth’ about Ukraine, Putin felt misled by the Russian military, that Russian soldiers “short of weapons and morale” were “refusing to carry out orders, sabotaging their own equipment and even accidentally shooting down their own aircraft”. But spies are lairs by profession so can you really believe him? The truth is that Putin’s popularity is in the 80s and after the Russian army saw those videos of their fellow soldiers being tortured by the Ukrainians and one stabbed to death through the eye, they have their blood up now and moral is not a problem. And then again, we had that twerp Zelensjky on video conference today in our Parliament where he got a standing ovation with promises of more weapons and money. Gawd!

    1. RobertC

      Your former PM has a few words about Scotty ‘It would make a cat laugh’: key moments from Paul Keating’s National Press Club appearance

      The former Australian prime minister Paul Keating spoke to the National Press Club on Wednesday [10 Nov 2021], denouncing the US and UK-backed plan for nuclear-powered submarines, accusing Australian political parties of losing their way on foreign policy and saying the public was being led astray on China by a debate dominated by intelligence services.

      And the Truth-to-Power Winslow T Wheeler (my acquisition friends and I read everything he wrote) on Scotty’s Big Thing The AUKUS Nuclear Attack Submarine: Good Luck with That, Australia

      In a decade or more, Australia will learn the actual cost, schedule and capabilities of their new subs. But then it will be too late for the too-big-to-fail program. Good luck with that, Australia.

      My analysis is AUKUS is Australia building and operating docks and logistics facilities for US submarines at Australian taxpayer expense.

  15. Tom Stone

    I dropped by the Woketown (Formerly Sebastopol) Library yesterday to pick up a book on hold and there was a table with a large “We Stand with Ukraine” banner above and a stack of WSWU signs free for the taking.
    I drove around a couple of neighborhoods and all but one (Out of 15) of the houses sporting a “Black Lives Matter” sign also had a “We Stand with Ukraine” sign.
    Bless their hearts

    1. Wukchumni

      My mom & dad were quite the travelers and one trip in the early 90’s after the USSR fell they were in Russia & the Ukraine for a month, including a week in the latter and when they got back, I asked my mom what the Ukraine was like, and she softly cooed:

      ‘Like Iowa, but without the charm…’

    2. bluegrapes

      I have joked with my spouse that they all must have been Amazon Primed the appropriate signage overnight. Some pockets of Sacramento are experiencing the same phenomenon. The neoliberal trifecta: BLM sign, brand new Ukraine flag or sign AND the In This House We Believe sign.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Russians expect Western businesses to return”

    But when those businesses return eventually, will the market still be there for them? Or will local enterprises have sprung up and have taken their market niche? Will the locals be welcoming to businesses that abandoned them? When Crimea returned to Russia in 2015, the EU slammed Russia with a huge sanctions program hitting their agricultural center and saying that we will no longer sell you our apples, cheeses, etc. The EU almost went into terminal shock when Russia slammed the EU with their own sanctions program a few weeks later and by now the EU may have lost a few hundred billion euros in profit. But what happened in Russia was that from 2015 on, Russia started to encourage local farmers to fill all those products that were no longer being imported and because they did not have to compete with EU products, they succeeded. So even if all sanctions were all dropped tomorrow, there is no market for the EU’s products as that market has gone for good. So the same may be true for those Western businesses. Forgot to mention, here is an example of this at play-

    1. Wukchumni

      The EU is waiting for go dough?

      One thing about the Russians, is during the Communist era, they largely had to supply every possible thing-all produced within the bloc party and while it may have been an austere autarky, it worked for 4 decades so it wasn’t as if the knowhow wasn’t there to go back to their roots sort of speak, not all that different to how it feels in the USA where we used to manufacture an awful lot of goods domestically, but hardly anything these days.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, but it looks like the Russians want to regain autarky whereas our Beloved Elites do not want for Americans as it would reduce their wealth hoarding by 0.0001% and we can’t have that can we?

        Maybe when the supply chains further collapse, but then the wealthy might actually believe that they can circumvent all the blocks with enough cash. That they have stolen created.

  17. jr

    Tough times in Astoria:

    I had to go to Astoria yesterday for some chores. It was a strange and sad trip. Masking is not unknown but there were restaurants and stores filled with the unmasked. A mother stood on one street corner with a young girl and baby in tow; she asked me for some cash which I would usually give generously but I didn’t have any. I told her I only had card and she looked down with a knowing look. I’ll bet she hears that a lot, both truthfully and as a dodge.

    There was a printed flyer on a light post that decried a new apartment development that none of the locals could afford to live in. Flyers like that always make me sad because they are so helpless looking. No one reads them but the curious like me and of course real estate is king in New York City and it’s provinces. Pretty hopeless.

    But the weirdest thing I saw was a Citi bike that was chained to bike rack. This is saying something as I have seen some weird stuff on the streets here. Dead, frozen corpses; bullet casings; drug paraphernalia; a propeller for a wind tower; gas bubbling up from puddles, to name a few.

    The bike had been painted bright red. A sticker was on the rear fender which asked “Still ridin’ with Biden?” and had a photo of Zelensky as well as an image of Stalin in sunglasses and Mario from the game. In the bike’s basket was a rather old copy of “The Communist Manifesto” glued down. I tried to pull it free but no luck. On the cover was glued a snake patch, like one would see on a jean jacket, with black and white stripes.

    One positive note: I found a cheap copy of Jung’s “Man and his Symbols” at a thrift store. Thrift stores are a dying breed. If you search for them online, you can find a bunch of them but they are mostly closed down.

    In general, it’s an ugly section of town. Lots of depots and truck yards and industrial looking buildings. People drive like they were playing “Mario Kart” as they go. I was only on the road for a total of an hour and a half, coming and going, but when I got home my back was stiff and my neck sounded like a bag of potato chips being stepped on when I gently stretched it. Overall, a very grim experience.

    1. North Star

      Biden expects the mother and her kids that you encountered to pay more, for whatever meagre food she can already buy, to support Russian sanctions. I am sure it warms her heart.

      1. jr

        Yep, more “worthy vs. unworthy” victims. I told some friends recently that they should save their coin and material donations they intended to send to the Ukraine and donate them here at home. No telling what mafia will get ahold of them over there, at least here one can hope for a bit more oversight as to where the stuff actually ends up. No promises of course, here in the land of the thief, home of the slave.

    2. Eclair

      ” …. a Citi bike … chained to a bike rack. … The bike had been painted bright red. A sticker was on the rear fender which asked “Still ridin’ with Biden?” and had a photo of Zelensky as well as an image of Stalin in sunglasses and Mario from the game. In the bike’s basket was a rather old copy of “The Communist Manifesto” glued down. I tried to pull it free but no luck. On the cover was glued a snake patch, like one would see on a jean jacket, with black and white stripes.”

      Astoria has a local Banksy, working in 3-D?

  18. Louis Fyne

    A Twitter thread take on what Putin means when he says that Russia’s goal is to de- na zi ify Ukraine

    Pretty illuminating as I only was vaguely aware of the laws ukraine passed since 2015

    many of you are wondering what the Russian government actually means when they say “Denazification”. I don’t speak for the Kremlin, but I’ll try to explain what this term means for “normal people” in Donbass & South-East Ukraine……

  19. pjay

    – George Kennan, NATO, covert guerrilla warfare (excerpt) — Yasha Levine.

    Lot’s of frustrating commentary on Ukraine today. But once again, Yasha Levine is at the top of my list. As even this short excerpt demonstrates, he is fully aware of the decades of US/NATO provocation leading up to the current conflict. In this he is much better than any mainstream critic of the invasion. But further, as his discussion of Kennan and the CIA’s covert activities and weaponization of ethnic hatreds show, he is also very knowledgeable about the multi-level hybrid warfare strategies used by the West against Russia over the last 30 years.

    Yet, in the end Levine is just another “progressive” enabler of mainstream propaganda. “Yes, the US/NATO is an evil empire that has been pushing Russia into a corner for decades, BUT… Putin is an egoistic insane thug for his immoral and criminal act of invading Ukraine.”

    OK, so IF you accept the Russian’s arguments about the US/NATO threat, including massive troop and weapons build-ups, construction of NATO/CIA military installations, plans for continued escalation, etc., etc., then why should we have expected Russia to just sit back and wait? Why is the “Evil Putin” narrative now fully justified? And Levine’s commentary individualizes the invasion as the result of Putin and “Putin’s ego” just as mainstream commentators do, as if all of the provocations and “existential threats” are no longer relevant. And his suggestion that Russian strategists expected the Ukrainians to roll over and welcome them with open arms, that they were this ignorant, might as well be some MSNBC “expert” talking point.

    Pat Lang’s 180 degree turn is one thing. But Yasha Levine’s post-invasion commentary has been much more disappointing to me.

    1. JohnA

      I agree totally. Another blogger who is doubling down instead of stopping digging, like the turcopolier site.

  20. Jason Boxman

    The U.S. will need far more lithium to achieve its clean energy goals — and the industry that mines, extracts and processes the chemical element is poised to grow. But it also faces a host of challenges from environmentalists, Indigenous groups and government regulators.

    We’re all screwed until conservation becomes a serious topic, with serious intent and urgency behind it.

  21. fresno dan
    The Ruble Regains 100% of Its Loss After Russia Invaded Ukraine, Why?
    Conventional wisdom on why the ruble has rallied is simply wrong. Let’s discuss the theories and what is really happening.
    Well, I don’t know the conventional OR unconventional wisdom on why the ruble has rallied (I assume the graph is correct and that this is not fake news). It does seem the emperor (US) has no clothes if true
    I guess what was suppose to happen is that Russians who “own” rubles and live in Russia, that those rubles would buy about 30% less stuff, i.e., the average Russian would see a rather precipitous drop in their standard of living, but apparently that won’t happen if the ruble retains its value? But I’m not sure, so I would appreciate being educated on the matter.

    1. Wukchumni

      In the old days of many currencies in Europe, when I was in UK and on the continent on a trip in 1985, the almighty buck was raging (the £ was briefly under a $, the DM was around 30 Cents) and everybody had lost 30% of their value in a year or so when measured against it.

      It was great for me as everything was still pretty much priced the same in their currencies, allowing me a 30% discount.

      The only thing really affected was foreign imports for those countries, which were all of the sudden 30% more. A tourist seldom needs imported stuff, so a moot point for moi.

      An odd thing came out of the devaluation in that ‘grey market vehicles’ were suddenly a thing, and how it went down was a 1984 Mercedes something or another in Germany was suddenly worth 30% less, and by exporting it into the US market you’d pick up the arbitrage between the value of a similar car in the US, by making the emission system on it to fit US regs.

      Around the same time I was in NZ when they ditched their cradle to grave socialism for an anything goes economy, and the Kiwi $ which had been worth 93 Cents US on my first visit in 1981, was now worth around 40 Cents, and everything was dirt cheap (as opposed to now, where I hear everything is quite dear) and I remember dinners for around $10 NZ that were just giveaway @ $4 US.

  22. Tom Stone

    Within a couple of Months the US Government will be faced with a choice of providing essential concrete material benefits to the general populace or cracking down,hard.
    The first choice would be sensible,compassionate and in even the short term better for everyone.
    The second choice would be short sighted, very expensive and cruel.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>The first choice would be sensible,compassionate and in even the short term better for everyone.
      The second choice would be short sighted, very expensive and cruel.

      And we have to guess what the Feds will do? Anything that makes the situation worse especially if it can be spun as moralizing BS about the bigoted poors.

    2. Art_DogCT

      “The second choice would be short sighted, very expensive and cruel.”

      So, the fix is in, right? Sounds like a trifecta to me.

  23. jr

    Here is a takedown of “Bread Tube” by Jimmy Dore:

    I’m not super familiar with Bread Tube but apparently is a loose collective of so-called lefties on Youtube. Younger folks, there is a trans woman host, some grungy punk rocker looking types, etc. Turns out they are funded by private and government money, including here and in Britain.

    Jimmy’s guest is a man named Caleb Mauphin, a real life commie who has written a book revealing the Bread Tubers as the sock puppets they are. They claim to be socialist but are quick to decry “class reductionism” and there is lots of social justice blather as well. Personally, I am waiting for the day when someone reveals that post-structuralism and the “thinking” of Judith Butler are the bitter fruits of some CIA funded scheme to warp the humanities towards the ends of the oligarchs.

    1. nycTerrierist

      “Personally, I am waiting for the day when someone reveals that post-structuralism and the “thinking” of Judith Butler are the bitter fruits of some CIA funded scheme to warp the humanities towards the ends of the oligarchs.”

      according to wiki, Butler seems to be a big Kamala Harris donor,
      even worse, her prose

      1. jr

        Of course she is, Harris fits the bill for her ideological conceits. Never mind Harris’s unpopularity, stupidity, and glaring incompetence. Butler no doubt thinks she can simply say the words and suddenly Harris is the peak of statespersonhood. If you can deny any idea of objective reality, what’s the problem with making a doofus into a genius?

        Years ago I tutored a Columbia student in philosophy. One of her classes was in women’s studies and the text was literally incomprehensible. It was like a freshman had written it, tossing in words in a vain attempt to sound profound. God, I would love to audit one of Butler’s classes. I would rip her B.S. to shreds; I’ve got more than one professor’s head over my mantlepiece.

        Just as BLM leadership has robbed the people in the street of their energy, just as the trans activist “community” has robbed trans people of their energy, Butler and the dingbats who follow her has robbed women’s studies of it’s energy. It’s all about distraction and diversion, it’s weaponized diversity whose goal is to split up real organizing amongst these groups of people. Authoritarian as heck, happily glommed onto by imbecilic corporate HR flacks and military officialdom.

    2. Yeti

      Jimmy also had a good interview with Chris Hedges, caught the end and will have to watch whole thing when it gets uploaded. Apparently he has been detubed.

    3. Michael Fiorillo

      Vaush, who is apparently part of this crew, is an especially nasty and dishonest piece of work. See his debate over BLM with Michael Tracey from a year ago for a prime example.

      1. jr

        I caught a few seconds of Vaush’s show: he is a disgusting smear artist who flings mud and little else. He went after Jimmy Dore as a “right winger” when Dore went on Tucker Carlson’s show a while back. No substance, but then these people don’t know the meaning of that word. It’s always smears and innuendo and Nerf-arguments.

    4. Aleric

      Breadtube is a name applied by outsiders to some YouTubers who became prominent in the mid-aughts by challenging the right-wing channels who were dominant at that time, ranging from communists to left-liberals. There is no collective or organization, some are friends, some have no idea why they are considered breadtube.

      Maupan’s deliberate deception about breadtube is an example of his stalkerish, dishonest, and ideologically inconsistent attempts to build his brand by beefing with more popular channels.

      1. Aleric

        Mid-teens, not mid-aughts, knew it was about 10 years ago, just not feeling the twenties yet.

      2. jr

        So the claims of Maupin and Max Blumenthal that some of these people are being funded by entities such as the British government and the CIA are false? Because if they are right, these people are sock puppets to power, whether they have a umbrella term to be collected under or not. Like a real Marxist, Maupin is making concrete claims. Can you refute them?

        And frankly, your comment smacks of a lot of comments I’ve read here in which the identitarian/faux social justice mob is described as a loose or even unaffiliated groups of “thinkers” and “activists” with no real pull. This is of course patent none sense. They are all over Twitter and Youtube, they read each other’s garbage, they may not have a membership card but that in no way dilutes their collective impact. We see their influence in corporate boardrooms, academics, schools, the military, government, etc.

    5. fringe element

      Well according to Caleb Mauphin Hannah Arendt was funded by the neocons.

      Nah. Who is this pasty-faced doofus to tell me he is more righteous than Arendt?

      Not buying it.

  24. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Miscellanea: A Very Short Glossary of Military Terminology

    Fellow NC classicists take note of this one – obscure ancient Greek lexicon joke that is funny to an extremely select few who all probably need to get out more gets a shout out!

    From the miscellanea of the article on miscellania –

    “From the Liddell and Scott’s An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (1889) also known as the ‘Middle Liddell’ (in contrast to the Little Liddell and the Great Scott – yes those are the nicknames for the best (ancient)Greek-English dictionaries).”

    I was in a used bookstore recently that had a copy of the Little Liddell up for sale and I told the joke to the owner. Didn’t get even a minor snicker.

  25. Del

    “Effect of Early Treatment with Ivermectin among Patients with Covid-19”
    “We gave nutritious food to people with stage three cancer and it didn’t work!”

    Ivermectin is a prophylactic, taken ahead of infection, along with vitamins and minerals.

    Big Pharma will lie, cheat and steal lives to downplay inexpensive, out of patent drugs.
    i.e. The Annals of Dermatology and Venereology reported that in a French nursing home, all 69 residents—average age 90—and 52 staff survived a COVID-19 outbreak.16,17 As it turns out, they had all taken ivermectin for a scabies infestation. COVID decimated the surrounding community, but only seven elder home residents and four staff were affected, and all had mild illness. None required oxygen or hospitalization. 17 C. Bernigaud et al., “Ivermectin benefit: from scabies to COVID-19, an example of serendipity,” Annals of Dermatology and Venereology (December, 2020),

    1. Basil Pesto

      Ivermectin is a prophylactic

      Sorry but no, it has often been advocated by its devotees as a treatment post-diagnosis (within a short timeframe, similar to Paxlovid) over the past year as well as as a prophylactic. To that end, I believe many NC readers have been using it as such, and if I recall correctly, IM Doc has been monitoring its clinical performance in his own practice when used in this capacity, not when used as a prophylactic.

      There are no vitamins or minerals with proven efficacy as a prophylactic against C19. If anyone thinks, for example, that Vitamin D is a prophylactic against C19, this recent study would appear to cast serious doubt on that: . I take Vit D myself, in the hope (and it is merely a hope) that it will lead to improved outcomes in the event of SARS2 infection.

      1. JBird4049

        The problem shown here is the lack of trust that the medical community and Big Pharma have earned. Ivermectin might have a limited effect or be useless, but how can we trust what they say? The studies that they have done in the recent past seem to be flawed in someway or other. Then the constant screaming about horse paste, the gaucheness of taking it, or the horrors of Ivermectin without actually saying what the problem might be.

        It is almost like the story of the boy who cried wolf. If this new study is honest and does show the ineffectiveness of the drug, why would people trust it?

    2. Maritimer

      That study specifically states:

      “Inclusion criteria were an age of 18 years or older; presentation to an outpatient care setting with an acute clinical condition consistent with Covid-19 within 7 days after symptom onset;”

      Dr. Peter McCullouch an expert Covid clinician had stressed over and over and over again that you must prevent and then, if infected, treat early, early, early. “7 days after symptom onset;” or even 2 days would send Dr. McCullouch ballistic. See FLCCC.

      And even now, in my humble jurisdiction where Dark Ages Medicine is practiced, the protocol for Covid is no prophylaxis. Then if you test positive, stay home until you get sick and then come to the hospital.

        1. truly

          The Reis study talked about here shows that even when IV is used late it can cut mortality by 12%.
          Someone check my math but I think that would have been 120 lives saved yesterday alone. In the U.S.
          What a death cult this country has become that saving 120 lives isn’t worth considering.

      1. whatidontknowisalot

        I for one am looking forward to IM Doc analysis of this.
        You mention the 7 days part. But there were protocol changes too that raise eyebrows. One was that if vaccinated you were to be excluded. that was later dropped but we don’t get to see vaccination status…odd to say the least. The other was ; no use of Zinc. All IVM protocls use zinc.
        third was; widespread use of IVM in that community: also not really assessed.

      2. Yves Smith

        From IM Doc via e-mail:

        Thiis is the exact study that came out in preprint in the fall last year.

        It was literally laughed off the stage during its presentation – and these were ivermectin skeptics doing the laughing.

        I remember one comment in particular – “If they are going to put this down – they are going to have to do much better than this This is a joke.”

        There are 2 method problems – that are so overwhelming as to completely invalidate the study.

        Firstly – Ivermectin is widely available over the counter in Brazil where this study was conducted. Not only that, at the time of the study and continuing today, it is part of the infection pack provided by the government. So, ivermectin is being widely taken in the population. And yet, somehow, there was no effort to have any kind of exclusion criteria from the study for those already taking IVM. NONE. Therefore, it is very likely that large numbers of the “placebo” or control arm were literally on IVM as well during the study which would instantly negate any conclusions.

        The likelihood of this outcome brings me to point #2 – If you look at the tables – you can see there was a literal 40% drop out of subjects from the placebo arm. It goes completely unexplained in the study. As an IRB veteran – that is an instant red flag. It is very unlikely any such problematic issue as this would have allowed patient recruitment in any IRB I have ever been on. The investigators must discuss why they think this is happening……and the most likely reason is the study was not blinded properly – and the subjects knew they were on a placebo and went back on their IVM government pack or whatever. Again – it is not even bothered to be discussed. THIS IS WHAT THE ENTIRE REASON FOR PEER REVIEW IS THERE FOR.

        Again, this is so flawed – it was literally laughed out of the room by IVM skeptics last fall. To see it published in NEJM is just icing on the cake. It is yet another example of the profound influence of Big Pharma dollars on this entire profession.

        This is now all over the news as THE END for IVM. When it is such a flawed study that nothing can be assumed from the conclusions. I am literally ashamed of the members of my profession – they are asking no hard questions at all.

        It does not help that one of the sponsors of this study is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. What incentive could they have to purposefully torpedo IVM? Which is basically what this is.

        This is Fauci’s tried and true handiwork – to purposefully engineer studies to make things look bad. He is also very good at purposefully engineering studies to make things look much better than they are – like REMDESEVIR.

        This is EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE at work – just like Big Pharma wants it. And those of us who have worked in the ethical research organizations such as IRBs for decades are just shaking our heads this AM.

        1. pjay

          Thank you very much for this. It confirms my initial reaction. Those of us who have neither the time nor expertise to keep up with this massive distortion of information are very grateful. As JBird says above, the worst effect of all this is the complete destruction of trust in medical authority. “…this is so flawed – it was literally laughed out of the room by IVM skeptics last fall. To see it published in NEJM is just icing on the cake. It is yet another example of the profound influence of Big Pharma dollars on this entire profession.”


  26. Matthew G. Saroff

    Of course Collins is supporting Jackson.

    That was certain once it became clear that her vote did not matter.

    If Manchin had gone the other way, she would have voted with Republicans.

    That is her deal: If it is important, and the vote is in doubt, she votes with the Republicans.

    1. Mildred Montana

      “…her vote did not matter.”

      I will hazard that none of the votes matter. Jackson’s confirmation will not change the right/left balance of the Court. It’s a fait accompli. She’s a woman, she’s black, she poses no threat, so who is going to vote against her?

      Well, perhaps a few Republicans in “unsafe” seats and that will be it. I do find it amusing how Romney and McConnell are being coy about their votes; they’re behaving like little schoolgirls keeping secrets—badly.

      In an attempt to squeeze some fun out of this whole dreary affair, I will predict 89 – 11 for confirmation.

      / MM puts numbers back in hat

  27. playon

    Almost all of the Ivermectin studies I have seen so far seem to be flawed in one way or another. This one from Brazil looks to be far from the FLCCC protocols — according to them treatment needs to begin early to be effective, and the drug needs to be taken with an initial dose followed by a second dose 2 days later, then twice a week following that. The Brazilian study only gave the drug for three days, and people took it on an empty stomach, which is fine for use against parasites but against COVID it is better to take it after eating so that it gets into the blood. This study was also quite small — only 71 people.

  28. CaliDan

    Here’s How 14 Different News Outlets Covered The Will Smith Slap, The Babylon Bee

    Appropriately filed under zeitgeist watch, indeed. For comparison, I’m almost positive The Onion does not run ads for AR500 Armor, which the Bee qualifies with: “NOT SATIRE [then comes the pitch]: We make Tools of Liberty for the defense of every free man’s God-given rights: Arm yourself with body armor and a plate carrier of your choosing; build your setup with tactical accessories to have close-at-hand on the carrier; train with our durable steel targets.” You know, just in case the reader wasn’t sure if it was satire…

    I found the above when I stumbled upon this lovely piece from last fall, “The Chosen One: 10 Little-Known Facts About Modern-Day Legend Kyle Rittenhouse.” The gist is that it’s gently poking fun at the exaggerations leading to/stemming from the mythologizing of an acquitted killer. Right? I’m not certain, but I don’t think that qualifies as satire. Anyway, The Babylon Bee is a very cute name.

    1. JohnA

      Appropriately filed under zeitgeist watch. Actually it should now be more appropriately filed under eitgeist watch.

    1. JBird4049

      Shark attacks in California are pretty rare. IIRC, Morro Bay is quite a bit south of most Great White attacks in California, which usually happen in the colder waters further north. We are not even the preferred food for them as we are not that fat compared to seals and otters. The man had some seriously bad luck to get bitten.

      The reason people get bitten is because we look like otters when lying on our boards and the sharks take a sample taste. People often survive an attack as they are usually immediately rejected as food, but the bites do tend to be a bit large.

      Since Zuckerberg is obviously a skinny human, he would have to have some seriously bad luck…

      1. Michael McK

        I believe it is seals we are mistaken for when surfing. Just this noon I read a bit (North Coast Journal, I think) about otter autopsies. Apparently shark bites are a leading cause of death. They too are generally not eaten since they are also low fat but it takes a bite to figure out they are all fur. The second cause listed was phrased as something like ‘a human spread disease’ which must mean Toxoplasmosis which, as I learned from a cousin who studies “sea snow” (loose knit biotic lumps floating in the water) is being washed into coastal waters from cat poop and infecting otters.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Go sharks! It always warms my heart a little to see nature striking back, providing I’m not the one being eaten.

      Your link notes that “unprovoked” incidents are on the rise, which begs the question, what about provoked shark attacks? Are there surfers out there dragging chum behind their boards and then poking great whites with sticks? If not yet, perhaps Zuckerberg could become a trendsetter.

      1. Wukchumni

        About 35 years ago I was in a friend’s coin store when this grizzled character about 65 years old came in and he had a number of fractional California gold coins and a few Federal gold $ coins from the 1850’s that he’d illegally dived wrecks on the Farallon Islands to acquire, and I asked if he had any competitors, and he gruffly said ‘…only Whitey!’

        Dumb me, I thought it was another diver named Whitey, ha ha

    3. jr

      A friend in school used to dive in the kelp gardens off the coast of California. He told me one time he was down there and he found the body of a flounder about the size of a newspaper sheet. Something had bitten a “Cookie Monster” style bite out of it, taking most of the fish’s body with it. He immediately got out of the water, not only because of the threat of the shark but because he began to hyperventilate with terror.

  29. jr

    re: Upenn abusing the abused

    No surprises here. When I attended Penn for a hot minute, there was a lot of talk about admitting (cherry-picking) poor and disadvantage students and how there were programs to assist the good folks of West Philadelphia. In reality, Upenn under Gutmann was steadily colonizing the neighborhoods that surrounded it, buying up homes for next to nothing. I moved soon after but I have no doubt the real estate will be used for expensive dorms and the like.

    Then there is the treatment of the women’s swim team. Here is a conservative Youtube sports commentator who presents a letter written by one of the competitors in the bogus NCAA swim meet that recently took place. Scathing, I salute the young lady for speaking truth to power. It also comes out that the women on Penn’s swim team were told to “Suck it up.” when they complained about having a man on the team and how they felt uncomfortable with him in the locker room, testicles and all:

    They were told to seek help from therapists and the school’s psychological services. How Soviet.

      1. juno mas

        Any born male that has passed through puberty will have a potential physical advantage in swimming (and certain other sport competitions) over the female body. Muscle mass, skeletal development, and heart/lung capacity is generally larger. Testing testosterone levels 12 months before competition is modestly useless. Years of training in the pool at normal testosterone levels gives an advantage to the trans-athlete.

        Swimming is particularly restricted to a particular body type: long and lean (propulsion and hydrodynamics). Swimming technique developed over long training hours in the pool is the hallmark of elite swimmers. Win, place, and show in a swimming race is decided by milli-seconds.

        There are women swimmers who would swamp Lea Thomas in a race of any length. But they have names like Katie Ledecky, or a few other Olympic level women. But to think that Ms. Thomas doesn’t have an advantage in the pool is to ignore the facts.

        Maybe there can be a Trans Olympics in the future as the field grows. That’s what the Para Olympics have accomplished.

        1. jr

          I don’t understand why trans-women cannot compete in men’s competitions. Sure, wear a women’s swimsuit if you like. Long hair, etc. But why do women have to suffer the presence of a male? In their bathrooms, their events, places that are supposed to be for them precisely because of their physical disadvantages? Because of the discomfort the trans-woman feels being around men? What about the feelings of the women? Side-lined, as always. This crap is turning me into a feminist and I like it.

          To be clear, these questions aren’t aimed at you, just wondering…

  30. Wukchumni

    I’ll admit I was a bit taken aback with claims of wild orgies (is there another kind?) and keys of blow blown up the GOP’s noses, but it was all a Madison avenue fantasy, after admitting to Neo-Consiglieres McCarthy & Scalise that he had disabled the truth.

  31. Mikel

    “Why People Are Acting So Weird” The Atlantic

    They still can’t help but write about people wearing mask as if it is a form of oppression instead of people’s desire to keep loved ones or themselves from illness. They act like the co-morbidity illnesses have magically vanished.

    1. Anon

      I don’t think Smith is acting weird… I think the people needed something to take their mind off gas prices. More circus than bread these days. Anybody remember Build Back Better, or for Christ’s sake, George Floyd Police Reform? I think we’re due to forget the pandemic, any minute now.

      Think about the tone of that act. The message it sends to the public: Gloves off. Action time. Going to need that fighting spirit America. Even you black folks.

  32. jr

    A good point made by Jimmy Dore recently. The words “transphobia” and “homophobia” are none sense. Phobia’s refer to diseases. Are these words to be found in the Physician’s Desk Reference anywhere?

    And they are a smear against people who really do have a mental illness, as I do. They water down what it’s like to be mentally ill. More baloney words from the identitarians, fools and hucksters that they are.

    I would love to be in school and have those words levied against me in a classroom or on campus. Perhaps I would act a little “off” in order to foment these attacks. I’d let it go for a while then I would seek legal counsel for redress against the bigotry I had suffered. No safe spaces for moi! My tactic would to be to seek help from the conservative legal associations on campus. Think of all the literature with those words in it, all the signage, all the classroom material. No doubt they would love to score some points against these schmucks. What fun that would be!

  33. Mikel

    “Never Had Covid? You May Hold Key To Beating the Virus” Bloomberg

    One of my keys has been the ability to work from home.
    And now that someone in the household has to report to the office occasionally, another of the keys is that I have my own separate bedroom, with window for ventilation, and restroom.

  34. fresno dan
    Biden turned the ruble into rubble. Then it quickly came back.
    Some current and former Treasury officials, foreign exchange traders and sanctions experts say the ruble’s rebound doesn’t necessarily mean the West’s economic weapons are losing their punch.
    OK….what does it mean? It does seem to resemble Rumsfeld’s remarks about how we would quickly mop up the dead enders in Iraq

    1. RobertC

      Yep here’s Rumsfeld five days after Bush’s invasion began Saddam’s ‘dead enders’ fight to the death

      Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has called them “dead enders,” Iraqis who would fight to the end. US officials, worried they may have underestimated these fighters, have begun calling them terrorists and war criminals and focusing significant military efforts on wiping them out.

      “I’m not going to call them troops because they’re … essentially terrorists,” Rumsfeld said yesterday.

      A recent retrospective at The Guardian History unlikely to forgive Donald Rumsfeld’s Iraq warmongering Analysis: reluctance to take heed of warnings that did not fit in with his worldview continues to burden the US government two decades on

      Three and a half years after the invasion began the Army Times editorialized Time for Rumsfeld to go

      Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

      And they still are together with the futures of the Iraqi nation and its people.

      But as repeatedly demonstrated Biden and his team don’t learn from or even appear to be aware of history.

  35. Mikel

    “Here’s How 14 Different News Outlets Covered The Will Smith Slap” The Babylon Bee

    That just shows everyone which of the two has the most high-powered, 24/7 PR team.

    Then the black on black crime headlines. People are most often violently victimized by someone they know or are related to. That’s why most murder investigations start close to home.

    Rock has shows in Boston. Masks required. You know the PMC is hating that.

  36. djrichard

    The Hill ( has removed commenting capabilities. And instead invites comments to their posts on twitter or facebook. Which I view as being even more of a ghetto – a “free speech zone”. Sure the comments section on The Hill was a ghetto content wise, but at least it was a better venue for the “crowd seeing the crowd”.

    In contrast, Yahoo seems to be slowly liberating their comments section. At the time, I saw Yahoo’s change being a gamble that the US was now “united” again, with respect to Ukraine and therefore US policy and so letting “crowd see the crowd” would re-inforce that. Now that The Hill has turned their’s off, not sure what to think. Probably just means they don’t want the marketing-campaigns-masquerading-as-news to be encumbered by the spray paint from the proles.

    1. hunkerdown

      Google just emailed me to invite me to turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing:

      Get faster, more proactive protection against dangerous websites, downloads, and extensions when you’re signed in. Help improve security for you and everyone on the web.

      It took almost 30 years, but AOL with some help eventually ate the Internet.

  37. juno mas

    RE: Nobody Lives Here

    Yet another anthropocentric observation. There is zero population in these census tracts (very small) because they are overlain onto very large western National Forests, National Parks, and wildlife refuges. The latter wildlife are glad their census tract is considered “empty”.

  38. lance ringquist

    new idea to approach the producers of the “LEVERAGE” reboot with. 1st episode can be based on the “LEVERAGE” team taking down the nafta democrat criminal sellout empire of the nafta bidens, who knows where it might lead:)

  39. Maritimer

    Abrogation Theory Dror Poleg
    “At the same time, I believe masks and lockdowns carry a huge emotional and developmental toll on grown-ups and children, respectively.”
    Wow, someone can finally say that and not get pilloried, cancelled, censored. What a difference a year and a half makes! And that sure sounds like part of, dare I say it, The Great Barrington Declaration written by those Fringe Epidemiologists/Scientists from second rate institutions Stanford, Oxford, Harvard.

    And can one now say, that as far as masks and lockdowns that, then and even now, no comprehensive studies have been done on all the effects. They were instituted without the complete Science to justify them.

    1. Late Introvert

      “They were instituted without the complete Science to justify them.”

      I’m not using Stop signs until I get the complete Science to justify them.

  40. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    As negotiations proceed it is useful to understand commercial interests in Ukraine. I found the Ukraine government’s Ukraine Invest — Industries useful.

    Aerospace — mostly in the SouthEast

    Agrifood — Western, Central and NorthEast

    Automotive — almost all on the Western border with Europe with some Central

    Creative Industries — no specific region but “Kyiv is a new trend!

    Electronics — no map provided, just a list of investors.

    Pharmaceuticals — no map provided, small list of investors.

    Energy (Renewable) — North Central, South Central and SouthEast

    Energy (Traditional) — no map provided but several useful charts.

    Furniture — Western, mostly on border with Europe

    Infrastructure — no maps, mostly lists of numbers

    Innovation Technologies (IT) — Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Dnipro, Kharkiv; worth visiting for the maps and numbers

    Industrial Machinery — not much information

    Mining — no maps, interesting minerals numbers

    Textiles — no maps but based on list of investors I’d say on the Western border with Europe

    Tourism — worth a visit for the pictures alone — Chornobyl, Medical, Green, Industrial

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Absolutely fascinating find. Thanks for sharing. Strange choice of images for “frozen fowls,” though (AgriFood).

      So, I just spent a couple of hours clicking around the website. Yes, it’s hosted on a Ukrainian government server, but it’s clearly a USG project. Check out the page “National Strategy to Increase Foreign Direct Investment in Ukraine.” The covers of the individual reports are all prominently marked “USAID.” Formerly attached to the State Dept., USAID is now supposedly an “independent agency.”

      I haven’t yet read any of the reports start to finish, but I did take a quick look at the “Action Plan” (last item on the page). The top action items are all about “reforming” Ukrainian law to attract foreign investors; for example, by clearing the way for privatization, getting rid of pesky business regulations, and my personal favorite, “Decrease the costs of doing business in the taxation pillar.” As I was poking around, I saw a reference to what I think was a recently passed law that ”permits” local governments to reduce business taxes for investors in their jurisictions.

      The Agrifood page has a refreshingly honest list of investment incentives, including the most fertile farmland in the world, either for rent dirt cheap or to buy outright,* an “enlightened” work force willing to work for dirt wages, cheap raw materials, and so much more. According to the agrifood report, there’s a special opportunity in honey production. Apparently, Ukrainian bees in traditional small operations have too much leg room, which is really, really bad for ROI. By packing more of them into a smaller space and adding
      automated plastic honeycombs, a savvy investor could become Honey King.

      * As I understand it (note caveat), the farmland market will open to big businesses in 2024 that either are owned by Ukraine citizens or in joint partnerships with foreigners under special rules. Zelensky has said in the past that to sell farmland outright to foreigners, it must be put before the public in a referendum. However, would anyone be shocked if the latest round of financial packages on offer include provisions for selling farmland to Big Ag?

      1. RobertC

        Thanks for your website investigation and report. I was pursuing another line of investigation. Now I’ll go back and look in the direction you pointed.

  41. KFritz

    The “Why Weird?” Atlantic article linked to this piece

    This inconveniently points out that major intelligence agencies of NATO completely botched their analyses of the Russian and Ukrainian fighting forces–just as Russia botched the war. Haven’t seen anything like this in the MSM.

    Also, if Putin and Russia delayed the invasion for Xi and the Beijing Olympics (PRC), that left the invaders with 2-3 weeks less time before the onset of “Field Marshall Mud.” Don’t know how important this may have been, but if it was significant, that was one expensive favor. The Grey Lady’s article on the delay follows.

  42. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Still flailing U.S. officials circle globe to keep pressure on Putin as rouble rises

    WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) – Senior U.S. officials fanned out this week to press world leaders to keep piling pressure on Moscow or join the campaign of sanctions and other measures, as the war in Ukraine enters its fifth week and the initial economic shock to Russia seems to be ebbing.

    In India, White House economic adviser Singh, who led efforts to coordinate the Western response to the war, told officials Washington would not set any red lines about purchasing oil, but warned against rapid acceleration of purchases.

  43. LawnDart

    Panda escapes from China’s EU embassy

    Belgian police used tasers to stun a panda which vaulted the gates of the Chinese EU embassy in Brussels and wreaked havoc in neighbouring gardens early Friday (1 April) morning…

    “The panda was going to be a diplomatic gift from Beijing to Brussels in the tradition of Ting Ting and Na Na,” an EU diplomat said, referring to Cold War-era bears. “But China withheld it because talks went badly,” they said.

    “It was our only summit deliverable,” a second EU diplomat lamented.

    1. RobertC

      LawnDart — too funny.

      The Diplomat’s readout highlights the viewpoints gap China-EU Summit Highlights Diverging Paths While China tried to emphasize the potential for general cooperation, EU leaders made clear that their “top priority” is to end the war in Ukraine.

      China’s “vision” for EU ties may remain the same, but the European perspective has shifted sharply since 2014. Even before the Ukraine war broke out, European leaders were raising more questions about China’s human rights violations (particularly the ramped-up campaign against the Uyghurs and the crackdown in Hong Kong), the militarization of the South China Sea, and repeated threats toward Taiwan.

      1. Yves Smith

        The Chinese readout make it sound as if Xi had a pleasent talk, patted France and Germany on the head and in code told them to go revive Minsk.

  44. LawnDart

    Oopsie. Joe needs to send more Stingers direct to Russia and cut out the Ukrainian middlemen:

    Ukrainian helicopter flying to Mariupol was downed with captured Stinger

    One of the two Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopters which were flying to Mariupol from the Ukraine-controlled territory was downed with a captured US-made man-portable Stinger air defense system, Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia deputy commander Eduard Basurin said on Thursday.

    Stinger is a US-made man-portable air-defense system that operates as an infrared homing surface-to-air missile. It is intended to destroy airborne targets, from planes to unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles, and can be used to fire at waterborne and surface targets.–/

    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe the current supply chain is US – pro-Maidan Ukraine – Russia – anti-Maidan Ukraine. I wonder if Raytheon could soon start shipping them to Mariupol, DPR seems to be a prospective client.

      There was an earlier attempt to evacuate fighters from Mariupol, but one Mi-8 was shot down and the other chased away. This time the Donetsk militia allowed the helicopters to pick-up Azov fighters before shooting them down.

        1. Polar Socialist

          They assume the helicopter crews had been on UN missions, which would explain at least some of the patches.

          Two of the passengers survived the shooting and the ensuing crash and told that they’re using the Mariupol harbor as helipad. The DNR intelligence is trying to find out why evacuate these people and why now.

          1. The Rev Kev

            There must be some people there that they are pretty desperate to get out. A coupla days ago Macron was actually suggesting a seaborne evacuation of people from there and I saw on the news earlier how the Russians stopped a column bringing in supplies with buses to evacuate the people there. So who are they? Azov bigwigs? NATO liaison officers? Western special forces troops? All of the above?

            1. Polar Socialist

              Maybe it’s just the top dogs that were promised an escape after the city has been turned to rubble. Wouldn’t want the local leaders in Kharkov or Sumi to get second thoughts about turning their cities to citadels and fighting to the “glorious end”.

              But yes, Macron has been very keen on getting France involved in Mariupol evacuations.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                If the US doesn’t get these people to McClean, the future would be instigators may start to notice.

            2. Louis Fyne

              — Azov bigwigs?–

              Another photo of that crash scene has certain bodies ID’d using their own military ID cards.

              Obviously those patches and Macron’s insistence on helping Mariupol have the rumour mill spinning on the origins of some of those bodies.

              Photos are floating around social media. IIRC either the RWApodcast or spriter99880 on Twitter or maybe intelslava on Telegram

  45. LawnDart

    And Biden suggested Putin may have placed some advisers under house arrest, though he cautioned “there’s a lot of speculation.”

    Meh. Here in US, we exile our political difficulties from the Beltway to fly-over country– an immense act of cruelty. Ask a liberal democrat which they’d prefer– house arrest or transfer to Nebraska?

    It’s also a well-known fact that at the White House all entrances and exits are alarmed, some even disguised or hidden by bookcases. While many believe that this is for security, these are actually safety measures in place to prevent residents from wandering off without proper escorts. We owe the world a debt of gratitude for its understanding, discretion, and compassion with regards to this matter.

    While you all are preparing the news of the day, I think I’ve already had enough of it– it’s April 1st, and everything is still a joke; it’s Russian Standard time for me. NaZdrovia.

    1. Sibiryak

      Biden […] cautioned “there’s a lot of speculation.”

      It’s disinformation, not speculation. They’ve been pushing the “Putin seems to be self-isolated ” talking point for some time. It’s completely false.

  46. djrichard

    > Punishment and Reward in the Corporate University Steve Salaita

    There but for the grace of the PMC go I.

    Actually I did go I. Not in the academic field, but in the tech industry where fortunately there’s enough maneouverablity to recover somewhere else when being shunned / cast out. In my case being called “off the reservation”. Or as I better understood it later, “why are are you trying to undermine my marketing campaign?”.

  47. whatmeworry

    “The study assessed the 4 vaccines using 14 metrics,”
    Not one of which was real world performance. Funny how that works.
    Sure, it would be harder to do than measuring Ab levels and the like. But it is what ACTUALLY MATTERS.
    And as you might recall even Pfizer said they can not accurately correlate Ab levels with performance

Comments are closed.