Links 4/13/2022

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.

* * *

Cops: Cat Used As Weapon In Domestic Battery The Smoking Gun (resilc)

Mushrooms Have Their Own Language With Up to 50 “Words” My Modern Met (David L)

Psilocybin for depression could help brain break out of a rut, scientists say Guardian (Kevin W)

How the Battle Over a Pesticide Led to Scientific Skepticism Wired (Robert M)

Scepticism is a way of life that allows democracy to flourish Aeon (resilc)



An experimental COVID drug was so successful that they’re shutting down trials early Fortune (David L)

Why Are People with Allergic Asthma Less Susceptible to Severe COVID? UNC (resilc). I assume that they must use inhalers and whatever is in those inhalers….My mother with not very bad COPD was on a daily inhaler.


Shanghai Cases Exceed 26,000 Again as Covid Zero Resolve Holds Bloomberg

The rest of the world should watch what is happening in Shanghai Financial Times (David L)


IM Doc has an entire large-ish very vaxxed family (3-4 shots each) that went to the Star Trek convention and all now have Covid. He adds that George Takei had been putting up hateful tweets about the unvaxed and he was at this convention:


Hydrogen 11 times worse than CO2 for climate, says new report New Atlas (David L)

You’ve heard of water droughts. Could ‘energy’ droughts be next? TechXplore (Robert M)

Climate Change Is Hurting Penguins Unevenly in Antarctica New York Times (resilc)

Stripe, Alphabet, Meta Join to Fund Carbon Removal Bloomberg (furzy). Hate to be a knee-jerk skeptic, but the identities of the backers pretty much assure that this initiative is somewhere between empty PR and a scam.

Chemours Claims PFAS Chemical GenX Protects Climate Intercept (resilc)

As Climate Fears Mount, Some Are Relocating Within the US Wired

Chile announces unprecedented plan to ration water as drought enters 13th year Guardian (Chuck L)

Colorado’s First Legally Composted Human Remains Laid to Rest Treehugger (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

FRENCH JOURNALIST DESCRIBES TIME IN UKRAINE Bitchute (Chuck L). Journalist says a story is running this week in Le Figaro (not clear if just about this or this account is a tidbit).

US, EU sacrificing Ukraine to ‘weaken Russia’: fmr. NATO adviser Aaron Mate, YouTube. Important. Jacques Baud.

Sitrep Z The Saker. Also important. Latest of his periodic updates. Many developments and rumors, most important being a big uptick in Ukrainian captures/surrenders/deaths in the field. See also the summary towards the end of a West Point presentation on Russian capabilities.

* * *

Le Canada a formé des éléments d’un régiment ukrainien lié à l’extrême droite Radio-Canada. Translation: Canada trained elements of a Ukrainian regiment linked to the far right

Pentagon looks to vastly expand weapons for Ukraine Washington Post (furzy). How do you spell “pork” in Ukrainian?

Biden says Putin committing ‘genocide’ The Hill. Contrast with Jacques Baud above starting at 35:00.

Is the Biden Administration Trying to Prolong the Ukraine War? (resilc). We need to ask?

Zelensky Says He’s ‘No Longer Interested’ in NATO’s Diplomacy Antiwar (resilc). Recall Clare Daly. “NATO diplomacy” seems to be an oxymoron.

The Savage Art of Learning Nothing American Conservative (resilc)

Indian PM may be dropped from G7 meeting – media RT. More high school antics. Serious people maintain relations in the face of differences.

* * *


Kremlin will take legal action if Russia pushed into default, minister threatens Guardian (Kevin W). Cyprus, maybe? They run English law courts. Or Hong Kong, which similar English law courts and no doubt some afflicted investors? This is more for optics since the US will still get S&P/Moody’s/Fitch to declare a default. But Russia and its state-owned enterprises aren’t going to borrow in dollars or euros again, so this is largely academic in terms of impact on Russia.

China’s Jan-March overall trade with Russia rises 28 percent to $38.2 bln Al Arabiya

Which Oil Giant Stands To Lose The Most In The Exodus From Russia? OilPrice

* * *

Why is a Russian Intelligence General in Moscow Lefortovo Prison? Moscow Times

Is Putin Conducting A “Stalinist” Purge of Russia’s Intelligence Service? Ian Welsh (Randy K)

Contrast Ames with this: Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician thought to be Putin’s pick for puppet leader arrested, Zelenskyy announced Business Insider. I have yet to see any suggestion that Medvedchuk has done anything bad beyond being a personal friend of Putin. In addition, I have yet to find a story on this capture that acknowledges that on March 20, the National Security and Defense Council halted the activities of all opposition parties in Ukraine.

* * *

This is amusing (hat tip furzy) but it also proves Russia is no good at propaganda. No glam, no clever visuals, just a spoken rejoinder face on to the camera:


Why did the Saudis invest $2 bn with Jared Kushner? Juan Cole (resilc)

Gov. DeSantis signs bill addressing ‘fatherhood crisis’ WLRN (resilc)

Democrats Bail On Promise To Shed Light On Corporate Political Spending Lever

Oklahoma governor signs bill making nearly all abortions illegal Axios (Kevin W)

Our Famously Free Press

Brooklyn subway shooting Live Updates: 23 people injured after gunman fired 33 bullets; shooter at large Indian Express. Includes many secondary stories.

Facebook is making employees read Chinese propaganda to impress Beijing Quartz (Kevin W)

Supply Chain

China Port Congestion Strands Ship Cargos From Grains to Metals Bloomberg (resilc)

Elon Musk accused of breaking law while buying Twitter stock Associated Press

Lumber falls to fresh 2022 lows as spike in mortgage rates cools housing demand and inflation puts dent in home renovations Business Insider

Dark personalities and Bitcoin(R): The influence of the Dark Tetrad on cryptocurrency attitude and buying intention ScienceDirect (furzy). As you know, we are not fans, but this sort of armchair psychologizing needs to get its own DSM category.

Why American Teens Are So Sad Atlantic (resilc)

Class Warfare

Watch: Melk Talks How Established Unions Could Blow “Amazon Moment” in 30 Min Segment w/ RJ Eskow Mike Elk (ma)

Starbucks Just Fired Yet Another Union Organizer Vice (resilc)

Antidote du jour (CV):

An anti-antidote, unless you really like bats or homely animals (guurst):

And a more typical bonus, again from guurst:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Judith

      Pepe Escobar has been Twitter-suspended. One less voice.

      This silencing of course goes well beyond twitter. The lies about the covid data, for example. The list goes on and on.

      1. The Rev Kev

        This is really disconcerting how important voices are being silenced on the net for not going along with the narrative which, in this case, is a proxy war against a nuclear power. Puts me in mind of what Sir Edward Grey – the British Foreign Secretary back in 1914 – said as war started to break out all over the European continent. He said ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time’. When I see these voices being silenced, I really understand what he meant.

        1. Dave in Austin

          Grey’s comment was in response to one of his underlings who noted as the sun set: They are turning off all the streetlights”. Grey had just watched a late summer crisis left unresolved because “Everyone takes off August”.

          We are not there, but it is a turning point. I never thought I’d say “I wish Trump had been re-elected”, but here we are.

          Today I went to an LBJ school/UTexas Law School presentation about international war crimes law and came away more depressed than ever. I wonder how people in the US will take it if things go south in the Ukraine and the happy-talk news people are at a loss for words.

          I belive in divided government. I trust neither party. But this set of events could give us a full Republican government in the next 30 months, something I as a Republican am not looking forward to.

          1. John Beech

            . . . something I as a Republican am not looking forward to.

            Me neither in FL. I wish abortions to be between the women who have to make that decision and St. Peter before the pearly gates. Until then, leave me out of it.

            My more strongly religious than me fellow-citizens are going to lead us into civil war over a God we cannot see or touch. Like the Imams would.

            And seriously, who gives a flip what Robert does with William in their bedroom? Not me!

            Please deliver us from Mrs. Grundy!

        1. jsn

          And brought to you by “symbol manipulators” who think their spreadsheets are “the thing” and their maps are “the territory.”

          Russia and Covid can, in this mental universe, simply be deleted.

          “Reality is what remains even when you cease believing in it.”

      2. Leroy R

        Of course, along with the silencing of voices during this kicking ass and taking names nightmare, the internet and smartphones have made it ever so easy to take note of who the unreliable citizens are, in case this information is useful at a later date. I think of Stalin’s Great Terror way too often when contemplating man’s inhumanity to man. Damn you Solzhenitsyn…

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes but less traffic and I have not been able to get on it in a way I find acceptable security-wise. They have a verification process that I find to be unacceptable…just to read or view!

      3. Paul Jurczak

        Twitter is a cesspool. There is only one cure: mass defection. Carry the light someplace else.

  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    Cops: Cat Used As Weapon In Domestic Battery….
    #reads article….
    a Florida Woman allegedly battered her girlfriend
    Well, I see Florida is diversifying away from “Florida Man”. Good for them.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe that headline should have read ‘Cops: Cat Used As Weapon In Domestic Cattery….’

            1. ambrit

              Hmmm…. The term “cat fight” comes to mind. Thank heavens no ‘pumas’ were involved.

    2. Darthbobber

      I’m reminded of an episode in one of the Gormenghast novels where Flay looses his temper and throws one of the Countess’s endless supply of white cats at Steerpike’s face, leading to Flay’s banishment.

      1. Benny

        Dang, I was trying to remember why “cat as weapon” pinged my memory bank, and you nailed it.
        I might have to re-read the trilogy now. So great.

      1. Bart Hansen

        All that’s left is a baby in the microwave.

        Florida needs to be put into receivership.

  2. Stick'em

    re: anti-antidote du jour Hammerheaded Bat

    H. monstrosus has a lek or arena mating system. The bats gather at night along a stream or river bed where males line up on tree branches in a long, narrow strip. Males attract females with loud vocalizations, including guttoral honking and croaking. They also use wing flapping. The bizzare head shape of the males of this species probably aids them in making favorable vocalization. Females fly through the arena to assess the males, then choose a mate and sit beside him on the branch.”

    ^ Sounds just like my mispent youth when the crazy kids went cruising up and down the boulevard honking on Saturday nights!

      1. Art_DogCT

        I sort of get why people react badly to bats in general, and the bigger species in particular. I am within the set defined as those who “really like bats or homely animals”. For me it is and, not or.

        The pictured individual is (again, to me) absolutely glorious. I consider it a fault of the general perversity of the universe that North America lacks bats of such size. Wouldn’t we all be so much better off if we had Hammerhead Bats and Flying Foxes and such wherever they might find a niche? I feel the same way about Shoebill storks, who are of an ancient magnificence that leaves me thrilled and somewhat breathless. And I want capybaras, which some people I’m sure consider homely. There are undoubtedly timelines in which this continent is blessed with the kind of species we’re talking about. This brings to mind E.E. Cummings:

        a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
        of a good universe next door; let’s go

        [From “pity this busy monster, manunkind”, published in 1944 in his collection 1 x 1, ISBN13 9780156688000. It is included in many anthologies NCers might have in their libraries, and in most collected/selected editions of his poetry.]

        1. Offtrail

          There are way too many lumbering capybaras infesting wildlife refuges out here in Washington State. I would offer some to Connecticut but I grew up there and don’t wish it any misfortune.

          1. Art_DogCT

            In my fantasy ecology there are very healthy populations of non-human predators, so being overrun by capybaras would be much less likely. I was unaware that an escaped/abandoned capybara problem existed anywhere in the US. I presume the situation results from the exotic pet trade. File under #HumansWreckEverything

    1. digi_owl

      whenever i see a nature documentary where two young males go at it with teeth and claws bared, i think of oh so many similar scenes that played out during my youth.

      I suspect i am in large part single because i didn’t partake, and thus didn’t send the proper “virility” signals.

    2. Lee

      “The bizzare head shape of the males of this species probably aids them in making favorable vocalization.”

      That answers the question: “So, why the long face?”

      1. orlbucfan

        I think they’re terrific looking. Bats that big? Wow. Now, if I encountered a spider that size…………….

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Here’s a little Zeitgeist anecdote:

    Around eight last night, my spouse came into the room after talking on the phone with our daughter and said she had to make a run to a Rite-Aid to get some low-allergy Enfamil for our granddaughter. Our daughter, her husband and our new and first grandchild live on the other side of town, and they were running low on formula and could fine none on their western side of the city. My spouse got on the web and phone and found some further east from us, the only place that seemed to have any. It was in a sketchy part of town, but then we live in a sketchy part of town.

    The trigger for this was some recent articles talking about shortages of low-allergy Enfamil, and the hoarders went to work. This is pretty scary for young parents and new grandparents. We’ll all breathe easier when the granddaughter is weaned to solid foods in a few months. It may also serve as an object lesson to our daughter why her system-skeptical mother breast-fed her and her brothers.

    As we’ve been reading on NC for months, shortages induced by Covid, war and climate issues will only increase in the coming months and years. Our YOYO religion in America will generate even more hoarding, worsening shortages and leading to even more extreme and eventually violent methods of obtaining whatever must-have good is hard to find. The PMC-ers think they can buy their way out of this, but they are probably as wrong about that as everything else.

    I’m thinking two things:

    1) Donella Meadows was a prophet. Those Limits to Growth non-food production curve turned down right about now with the food curve bending down shortly after; and

    2) Mad Max may not be far away.

    1. The Rev Kev

      So what happens with all those people who are used to next-day delivery by Amazon but now find themselves lucky if it is next-month? In the US alone, you have hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who are used to the idea of ‘What I want, when I want it’ and suddenly maybe that idea will no longer work. I can see a lot of self-entitled people going into meltdown if you have these major disruptions kicking in. This won’t be like the first two years of the pandemic when a lot of them could stay home and have their stuff still delivered. This is stuff not arriving as in at all and I am not sure how they will react.

      1. marieann

        I came to Canada in 1967. I could send a letter to my Mum in Scotland on Monday and get a reply from her the following Monday.
        I have watched over the years the crapification of everything. My motto is, never expect anyone to do the work they are supposed to, when the are supposed to, and always expect delays.

        I have been a prepper and preparer for for years.

      2. jr

        They lose their marbles. I’ve mentioned I’m hoarding some of my meds. What happens when the trazillions of Americans on anti-depressants lose access to them? Or anti-psychotics? Lots of laughs coming down the line. I heard a guy screaming on his phone the other day about how he hasn’t had his Adderoll for days. Not a happy camper.

        1. jonboinAR

          Well, when zombie movies finish their run, they can go to making anti-psycho/depressant shortage movies.

        2. ArvidMartensen

          Once they get out of withdrawal they may find that their current symptoms were caused by the anti-depressants.
          Most of the RCTs on antidepressants had a success rate of around 30 – 35%, ie no better than chance.
          The pharma industry sells products that aren’t much better than tobacco, addictive but maybe causing less cancers.

      3. Mikel

        Add to that the crapification of the manufacture of so many goods and how much they need to be replaced.
        Do you think really durable goods will make a comeback?

  4. SocalJimObjects

    “Hours after the shooting, New York Governor rides the subway to reassure commuters.” Reassure commuters of what? That everyone will get the same protection she has while riding the subway?

    “See!! You can have your cake while riding the subway. Whee!!!”

  5. Sibiryak

    This is amusing (hat tip furzy) but it also proves Russia is no good at propaganda. No glam, no clever visuals, just a spoken rejoinder face on to the camera.

    Not to mention the underlying sexism.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I saw the video that these men were responding to and which they were not amused. In it, you had this Ukrainian woman dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothing with this weird hat and a wheat-field landscape behind her. In one hand she has the scruff of a Russian prisoner held and in the other a sickle like the old Soviet symbol. She then starts into her rant saying things like ‘Something terrible woke up the peace-loving and grain-growing nation. Something that has been dormant for centuries in the bowels of the Dneper banks. Primordial and antique Ukrainian god. And now we’re reaping a bloody harvest. Death awaits you all’ and then slices the neck of that prisoner in an ISIS-style imitation. She goes on to threaten the families in Russia and more specifically the Russian soldiers in the Ukraine and it was as hateful as it was weird. Can’t find the video now but here is an RT article mentioning it which shows her image-

      1. Fritzi

        Perhaps the Russians should react somewhere along the lines of:

        “Yeah, we always suspected you Uki Nazis are a bunch of Devil worshippers, thanks for kindly confirming it to us.

        We will now continue to kick your sorry Nazi-Satanist asses with the power of Christ.”

        I believe in neither God nor Devil myself, and I prefer my politics and even war to be as religion free as possible, hell, I’m both critical of Christianity’s role in wiping out other religions and forms of spirituality, and quite sympathetic to various forms of pagan revivalism, as long as it is not hijacked by Nazis and similar scum (see the ukrainian odinist Nazis who are so enormously proud of their Viking ancestry).

        But in this case, Uki propaganda could be seen as a potentially perfect setup for the orthodox christian resurgimento crowd.

        And seeing as many ukranians outside some of the hardcore Nazis and the cool, edgy internet kids surely are traditional Christians as well, some of them may be less than happy about propaganda that could easily be interpreted as satanic either, even in wartime.

        1. scarnoc

          I’m an Orthodox Christian. The head-chopping video has been described many times as demonic on Russian social media. And there is a reason the Muslim Kadyrov refers to the nazis (and their Muslim comrades in arms from Chechnya or the Levant) as Shaitans and evil spirits. You are perceptive to have noticed this. There is also a long standing religious component overlaying the material foundations of struggles between east and west in the ukraine going back to at least the sixteenth century. The west, homeland for the Banderists, is Roman Catholic and the east is Orthodox. Western intelligence services know this. Western politicians attend Ukrainian Roman Catholic services in their nations to show support, not Ukrainian Orthodox services. And the west worked for some years to advance a schism within the Ukrainian Orthodox church that caused a wider schism between Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The religious struggle is used by both sides as another field of combat.

          1. ForgotMyHandle

            Western Ukrainians are primarily Ukrainian Catholic, which is a separate rite from the Romans. Services are basically Orthodox. The rite was created during the time of rule of the area by the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a means of eventually moving the peasants to Roman Catholicism, but it didn’t work out.

          2. Fritzi

            Thanks for this important and fascinating (though depressing) perspective.

            Well, for the western powermingers, there is definitely nothing sacred.

            Well except power and mammon, of course.

      2. deplorado

        You can see the video here:
        ” Russian American Daily @RussiaUSA
        An ISIS style propaganda video released by Ukrainian actress Andrianna Kurylets appears to encourage executions of Russian POWs.
        ❗️Viewer discretion is advised.”
        2:01 PM · Apr 11, 2022·

        The video is disgusting, also poorly worded, and from what I know, vastly exaggerates some stereotypes of Russians toward Ukrainians it refers to.

        And I think she is using the wrong side of the sickle — to slice the throat of a cartoonish middle aged man standing in for, apparently a Russian.

        I sincerely hope such utterly st*p*d and d*s*usting displays do not become a celebrated tendency. There are a better and real ways to express your patriotism, if you have to.

      3. square coats

        The imagery reminds me of poludnitsa in slavic mythology, in english this is translated often as “lady midday” or “noon witch”. A poludnitsa is said to appear in fields during the hottest time of day, hence midday, (in many versions of the idea though not always) as a young woman wearing a white dress and carrying a sickle.

        I don’t really understand what the relevance of a poludnitsa would be in this video, though I haven’t seen it and am just going off the rt article the Rev linked to.

        1. Fritzi

          Cool info.

          I find stuff like that quite fascinating, just hate seeing it misused as warpropaganda, especially by Nazi scum.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      We’re big on PC but nearly one in four servicewomen report having been sexually assaulted, which pretty much means 100% have been sexually harassed more than once.

      Women weren’t put in front line roles until IIRC 2013 and even so you can see weasel wording here:

      As a result, women are able to fly combat aircraft, serve in artillery units, staff missile emplacements, serve as combat medics, and fill various other roles that involve potential combat exposure. Additionally, many more women are assigned to combat-support roles located on the front line.

      So many are at real risk but how many are in infantry positions where they need to get hand to hand combat training because they will be on the front lines and their weapon might jam or they might not be able to reload fast enough? That sort of training teaches you to kill with your bare hands, like rupture kidneys and break joints (and yes, they train on the assumption that you are smaller, slower, weaker, whether guy or woman).

      There’s a lot of deep seated squeamishness about disinhibiting women enough about violence (or as the trainers drily say, inflicting trauma on the human body) that they can and will gouge eyes out or crush testicles if needed to survive.

      Also wonder what you make of this exchange? Something seems to be lost in the translation. Female medic is remarkably chill given the circumstances:

      Is the bit about asking if she’s OK “as a woman” more misplaced chivalry, or could he be awkwardly trying to ask if she might need “feminine products” (as if he could get any).

      1. Pat

        Very chill.
        I’m fascinated by her lashes. Can’t be sure if there is full makeup, but she is definitely rocking the mascara.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Don’t think PC is functionally valuable in a hot war. Remind me which part(s) of the human brain get activated in all the activities that constitute “war?” And which parts are active in woke behaviors? And what parts of the brain, and soul, are active in real or pretend atrocities, and responses thereto?

      Atrocity is equal opportunity. And Leni Reifenstal was a woman. And Nuland, and Albright, and h. Clintonii.

      So special to be gender-sensitive at considerable remove.

      If there is a vaccine to avert such behaviors, seems to me it’s just “Don’t go there in the first instance.”

    4. Brian Beijer

      Not to mention the underlying sexism.

      The few Russian and Ukrainian immigrants I met while studying Swedish here in Sweden were very “sexist” by Western standards. I put sexist in quotes because I’m not exactly sure the word is appropriate for their cultures as it appeared to me to be a mutually agreed on set of very stereotyped gender roles that both sexes seemed to expect strict adherence to. As a Westerner, I found it weird, like I had somehow traveled back to the early 1900s. I often found myself thinking, “What the f**k did you just say?” as their cultural norms were so different than those of the US and most countries in Northern Europe. It was even more bizarre when this type of thinking was expressed by the women. This one Russian woman in my class was VERY vocal about one of the male characters in a film we had just watched. She argued that the character wasn’t a “real man” because his behavior was too effeminate, and he didn’t “take care of the woman” like a man should. My male teacher was left speechless because the film had been his attempt to show “normal” realationships between men and women in Sweden.

      1. Paleobotanist

        Yet the Russians used female front line troops in the Great Patriotic War very effectively… and they scared the hell out of the Germans. See the Night Witches, their top sniper with the most kills, the flag on top of the Reichstag… Possibly the Russians had lost so many men, they were dipping into the reserve population and allowing women to enlist in number.

        People are a rum lot and things are often mixed…

        1. skk

          YEs, I was listening to an audiobook on the WW2 Eastern Front war and how both sides killed soldiers even if they surrendered – the Germans killed the surrendering Russian women soldiers too, calling them Flintenweiber (rifle-slut). One Wehrmacht general did try to put a stop to that.

        2. Soredemos

          Russia did use large numbers of female soldiers, but they were largely used for rear and support units, to free up men for the frontline.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I agree but those are not roles that require interpersonal violence. The actress in the video was presented as making a beheading.

      2. digi_owl

        Heh, makes me think of a retort to Nitobe’s Bushido: The Soul of Japan from another Japanese scholar. it basically said that Nitobe was distorting the depiction of Japanese culture in order to make it fit the western idea of chivalry. And in the process put the woman on a pedestal.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        Its the western feminist viewpoint that is anomalous. So far as I’m aware in most parts of the world women’s rights/feminist discourse (where its not polluted by western NGO’s) focuses on equality of esteem between the sexes, recognizing the differences in abilities and aspirations of the sexes/genders and ensuring that those women get the same opportunities as men, rather than trying to impose spurious notions of equality.

        Its the refusal of western commentators and scholars to recognise this that leads to constant errors in interpretation of events. As an example, I’ve repeatedly read in various English language sources that strict laws on prostitution brought in during the late 1950’s in Japan was an early victory for Japanese feminists. In fact, it was a victory by the most reactionary elements of the conservative right, and was deliberately intended to destroy the largely female owned and controlled businesses in the entertainment districts of Japanese cities and drive women back into the home (or turn them into useful worker drones).

        1. Expat2Uruguay

          I’m quite familiar with the demands of feminism here in Uruguay. The top demand regards an end to domestic violence, and police respect of victims of domestic violence and or rape.
          They also have a special name here for the crime of a man killing a woman that he knows. It is called femicide.
          There is a famous video from the feminists of Chile where they accuse great parts of society, specifically male society, the police, and the politicians, of being complicit in the rape of women.
          Also in South America there is a wave of greater access to abortion. So in my few years of first hand experience, these are the things that are important to the feminists of South America.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      Maybe not to the intended audience. Which I would wager is not white, liberal, PMC

  6. Wukchumni

    As Climate Fears Mount, Some Are Relocating Within the US Wired
    Maybe a few percent of Californians live within close access of freshwater, maybe not that much.

    20 million of us in the state are going to have to relocate if the punishing drought prolongs a few more years, and seeing how most everybody’s savings are in real estate and you can’t take it with you, we’re talking about paupers having to get the hell outta dodge, not Cali equity refugees presently as in the story who could relocate anywhere, really.

    The midwest is probably the best fit for the pauperazzi as its cheap and was successfully depopulated in anticipation of new blood coming in, but will climate change put the whammy on flyover, too?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was reading that article and it occurred to me that the most important priority would have to be access to drinkable water, no matter how hot or how cold that new region is. No water, no hope. But then it occurred to me that through fracking, a lot of areas will have to be ruled out as the underground water sources have been polluted by that industry with toxic chemicals of which we are still not sure what they were pumping into the ground. They claim it is propriety – but you do not want to be relying on the water there for any your needs.

      1. digi_owl

        Not just chemicals. I recall hearing about farms where their well water was so saturated from escaped methane that it could be lit on fire.

    2. The Historian

      The Midwest has tornados and floods and those will only get worse with global warming. I don’t think there is anywhere in this country that is ideal or safe from global warming any more. I think people will just have to pick their poison since we can’t get the powers that be to take global warming seriously.

      I’m living through my first two day blizzard up here in ND an the whole state, except Fargo, is shut down. Yesterday at noon not a drop of snow on the ground. This morning, I have 4 foot snowdrifts in my yard – and the blizzard is only half way through. I think our drought problem may be cured for this year though!

      1. Lex

        I mostly agree with this take. But I say it as a resident of the Superior Riveria who lives a few blocks from Lake Superior. This may be the safest place in the US to experience global warming. Honestly, it has brought us more traditional seasons over the last decade. Like now there’s a 70/30 chance that April showers will bring May flowers instead of “May showers bring June flowers, probably”. On the other hand, if the lake level rises much, it will be in my basement.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Yes, I hereby invite anyone looking to relocate due to climate change to Wisconsin. There is tons of nature, lots of small and medium-sized towns – and one formerly big city – with quality (but degrading) infrastructure that are declining but could easily be rejuvenated.

          And please come quickly. Despite the state’s progressive history that led to the creation of all this infrastructure, and made a very cold state a pretty livable one, the a$$holes that now run the state truly believe that us residents prefer the Arkansas/Alabama model of limited government (limited to those with access to said a$$holes). For example, there is lots of water here but the commitment to keeping it clean is being regularly tested, the latest being yesterday when the state Supreme Court declared that the DNR could not issue regulations regarding PFAS in water because the legislature had not specifically named them as a subject of regulation (which this legislature will never do). But we are a true swing state and it wouldn’t take too much in-migration to change the political balance.

          Alas, the Big Sort is doing our state no favors as (not shockingly) it is rarely high on anyone’s list of desirable destinations.

          1. LawnDart

            I like Wisconsin: good food, family farms, great outdoor rec., but politically it’s been on the verge of becoming as nutty as Iowa in recent years– and what a depressing state that has become.

    3. Amateur Socialist

      Your observation made me visualize a reverse Grapes of Wrath where broke homeless Californians trek eastward in search of livable housing with access to water. The central plains are likely to be forced back into dry land farming in the next decade or so as the oogallala runs out. It will be cheap except for the increasingly large and violent tornadoes and the occasional fracking triggered earthquake. Goodbye to affordable homeowner’s insurance in many places I guess.

      The sudden inability of people to cash out of CA real estate and relocate anywhere will become its own little cultural schism. Not to mention the political reality a massive crash in real estate would deliver to sacramento.

      1. TimH

        Actually CA’s Prop. 13 means that property tax on anything but very recent sales will continue to rise on the vast majority of properties even even the market values suddenly slump 30%. So State revenue is ok.

        1. juno mas

          Please explain. Prop.13 (1978?) capped year to year property tax increases at 1%. In the 1970’s CA property tax from business property was 60% of all property tax revenue. Today it is 40%. (Residential tax revenue is now greater.)

          Residential property taxes are not nearly enough to sustain most cities. That’s why sales, hotel bed tax, gas tax, and the like have increased over the years. At the state level, it is income tax (from the wealthy) that is driving the state budget surplus. Unfortunately, that is unstable revenue.

          Californians send more money to the Feds in taxes than any other state. That is why most CA cities spend money on projects that are likely to get a federal funding match. Clawback!

          1. Left in Wisconsin

            I’m no expert but I believe that under Prop 13, the capped increase is only for the current property owner, so when a property is sold the tax rate or amount readjusts (to something). Increases are then capped again for the new owner, but when the property is sold again, the tax rate or amount again readjusts to some approximation of “market” or “standard”. I stand to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable.

            1. Tom Doak

              That’s correct. A vey rich friend of mine pointed out that his parents’ home on Russian Hill in SF, bought in 1970, enjoys ridiculously low property taxes, but the next owners won’t be so lucky.

    4. Carolinian

      Here in the Southeast the main result of AGW seems to be increased weather intensity with our wet periods often monsoon like and tornadoes and thunderstorms a bit more common. Changes in the jet stream also give us weird spells of Polar Vortex. Needless to say with the warming Gulf of Mexico sending so much precip our way water is not a problem. Add in elevation in the 700 ft + range and the ocean should stay well south of Columbia.

      Y’all come on over.

      1. griffen

        Yep, i think the region is poised to go boom during the coming 5 to 15 years. And by the end of those 15 years, just maybe the I-85 corridor will no longer sponsor orange barrels for 20 mile stretches. Wait, then again never mind. They’ll just relocate the barrels!

        More than just west coast migration; I wonder will people just get leery of the congestion living in an Austin, or the increasingly far flung nature of the Dallas / Ft Worth metroplex ( and who also desire to avoid the sprawl of Atlanta ).

    5. Tom Doak

      As someone who lives in the Midwest but has spent many days in California, I have been wondering for a couple of years how much longer California can keep property prices high before everyone realizes the run on the banks has begun in earnest. Although the Californians I’ve heard from all seem determined to move to a “no tax state”, so Texas, not the Great Lakes.

      Of course with the financial sector holding a lot of property foreclosed on after 2008, the banks will be on both sides of the problem

  7. Stick'em

    re: Why American Teens are so Sad (Alantic)

    “Fears about finances, climate change, and viral pandemics are smashing into local concerns about social approval and setting oneself up for success. I think of it as a pile-on effect. We’re coming out of the pandemic, and then suddenly Russia goes to war. Every day, it feels like there’s something else. It creates a very gloomy narrative about the world.

    This sense of doom doesn’t just come from teenagers. It comes from us, the news media, and from the social-media channels through which our work is distributed. News sources have never been more abundant, or more accessible. But journalism also has a famous bad-news bias, which flows from an unfortunate but accurate understanding negativity generally gets more attention. When we plug our brain into a news feed, we usually are choosing to deluge ourselves with negative representations of reality.”

    Just a friendly reminder to self and suggestion to everyone here at NC to take time to unplug. Go out and play today for mental health reasons. Not everything is bad, though at times it seems as if.

    1. Questa Nota

      If you make an article mash-up of teen sadness and Facebook employees encouraged to read Chinese propaganda, you see yet another reason to watch The Social Dilemma.
      Talk to your kids more, have unplugged meals together, what a concept.

    2. Ranger Rick

      If they want to know why the teens are sad, just look at their parents, the Millennials; the first generation to have it worse than their parents in decades. Online at least, Millennial humor is dark and frequently ends with the punchline “just kill me”.

  8. Milton

    Maybe, and I’m just spit balling here, but maybe children are getting more serious disease because of the cumulative effects of Covid shots and how that might be having a lasting effect on their immune systems. I don’t suppose there are studies tracking no-dosed children vs those that have been boostered. I’ve never been in favor of having young adults and children getting the shot so I’m mostly talking out of my ass but I would have to think that there is something to this. No?

    1. ajc

      That’s not true for kids under 5. What’s more likely is that these more severe covid cases in kids are due to (multiple) re-infections because let ‘er rip has been going on much longer for kids than the population as a whole.

      At some point, society will hopefully acknowledge that public health officials who repeatedly lied about the severity of covid in kids and will be held accountable. We know from emails uncovered in Sweden the public health officials actively lied about the effects of covid on kids to push a strategy of building ‘herd immunity’ on their mass infection while not telling parents that this was the goal (not giving informed consent to use their children in a radical medical experiment never tried before in history, mainly because it is unconscionable). I believe that strategy was copied heavily among the public health officials throughout the west, and it is a strategy that obviously failed, and in fact, has likely accelerated and made the pandemic worse for all humans regardless of age.

    2. Janie

      A first grader has spent 1/3 of life to date in a pod – no opportunity to build antibodies, and in infancy was probably not around crowds.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Omicron out of the gate was leading to hospitalizations among the 0-9 cohort in South Africa, which has a very low vaccination rate even among young adults, and I am pretty sure no kids were vaccinated (as in not approved/distributed, remember the dosing is different). So that does splat to your thesis.

      And even here, not many kids have been jabbed. Getting the disease is much harder on you than the shots. So if you want to posit prior exposure playing a role, that might fly. No one was testing kids for Covid in prior waves, and it’s entirely plausible that many got asymptomatic infections.

  9. timbers

    “See also the summary towards the end of a West Point presentation on Russian capabilities”

    Much of that summary is about Russian EM/EW capabilities. Yet it seems mostly MIA in Ukraine, have seen little if any reporting of her use of this in Ukraine while the US feeds intelligence to UAF. Maybe Russia is mostly holding back using this for her own reasons.

    “big uptick in Ukrainian captures/surrenders/deaths in the field”

    If/when Russia breaks the back of the UAF in Donbass (probably around the Kramatorsk area) it will likely seem like a damn breaking suddenly then all at once.

    Hopefully this will jolt Zelensky to become serious about negotiating but wouldn’t hold my breath, those who are really in charge won’t want that at all.

    1. JohnA

      Russia pretty much established a no-fly zone over Ukraine in the first couple of days. No real need for E/W. And the Dagger missile certainly acted as a don’t even dare put a bootcap over the border, to paraphrase the liar in chief, now the convicted covid rules breaker Johnson.
      Britain/NATO is not officially at war with Russia. Any yet calls for Johnson to resign as protocol demands if found to have lied to parliament, are being rebuffed with the logic that ‘we are at war’. Remarkable.

      1. Jeff V

        The Tories are demonstrating that it’s possible to be a big fan of Winston Churchill yet apparently not know how he became Prime Minister in the first place.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s remarkable the most strident voices in the West are two teetering leaders. Gee, I wonder if there is a connection.

      3. Tor User

        The Russian no-fly zone seems to be ‘lose’. Based on the videos, Ukraine is using lots of drones for various reasons. Seems that the Russians should be shutting those down to reduce the effectiveness of the Ukrainian forces.

        1. jsn

          Show them just enough to win.

          I expect for the Russians the modest additional casualties they’re taking from not using their full E/W capability is compensated for by NATOs sustained relative ignorance of what those capabilities fully are. This ignorance buys Russia perhaps one or two cycles of action and response in a full bore confrontation with NATO.

          If Ritter et al are close to being right, the Russians don’t need to show any more capabilities than the ones they’ve shown already.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          You are projecting US doctrine onto Russia.

          US achieves air supremacy before anything goes in. That means total control of the sky. Leads to delay in starting ground ops, which has worked to US disadvantage in some conflicts (defenders have time to dig in).

          Russia goes only for air superiority, enough control of the sky so that anything that gets through won’t do much damage.

    2. Fritzi

      I imagine they may intend to hold back some nasty surprises for NATO, if NATO is stupid enough to intervene.

      And while NATO technically DOES know better, it’s big Kahunas are arrogant and deluded enough, prone to irrationality and falling for their own propaganda enough, that they’d still manage to be surprised.

      At least Russia wants to give them a chance to be “surprised”, if/when NATO escaletes things.

      While keeping a balance between using Western arrogance against the west, and at the same time sending subtle but unmistakeable messages to the saner, more knowledgeable heads, in case those still exist and have influence.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They aren’t engaged in a war effort for CNN and the 630 broadcast. Though it’s possible the refurbished missile launched during Biden’s visit was meant to be seen. Where are the Jessica Lynches, the neocon version story book Tillmans, the Marines riding ponies? I mean they aren’t even clips of soldiers handing out Baltica no. 5.

        My gut is a good deal is the don’t trust their lieutenants and ncos in accordance with public plans to reorganize the military and recruitment process.

      2. midget

        I suspect that this is exactly it, especially if you remember that (1) the Russians successfully tested a satellite-killer at geosynchronous orbit, (2) Americans were complaining about Russian EW being overpowered in Syria, and (3) that right now, the Ukrainians are using NATO infrastructure and analysis for intelligence/targeting without said infrastructure being targeted by the Russians. It’s a fairly nice state of affairs.

        Not using any fancy toys could be an inducement for NATO to continue sitting in the local optimum where it is a participant in all but name, and yet is safe from Russian strikes/EW/anti-satellite rockets.

      1. XP

        From department of stupid: Ukraine kidnapped the opposition leader Medvedchuk (on the picture above from Mark Ames) and proposed an exchange of prisoners with Russia. Russia told them that it was not in the cards because… Medvedchuk is a Ukrainian citizen. Add also that the Russian government may not be that impressed with oligarchs in general anymore.
        Must have been an idea from the US-handlers.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          There is speculation in Russia-friendly corners that Ukraine had Medvedchuk in custody all along, pulled him out now for a photo op to distract attention from certainty that remaining Ukraine forces in Mariupol will surrender or die.

    3. nippersdad

      Alex Christoforou said yesterday on his show that one of the leaders of the Right Sector, Taras Bobanich, has been killed, so one less person in charge.

      The way he described it, Bobanich got “de-Nazified.” After watching the Lancaster video yesterday, where he interviewed an elderly lady who had to bury her Husband and neighbors, I am looking forward to more de-Nazification amongst the ranks of Zelensky’s bosses.

      Those people are bad actors (no pun intended), so I fail to see the point of negotiations. This redux of the military action postponed by Merkel to get her troops out of the Donbass in 2015 just needs to play itself out. If “the flower of Ukrainian manhood” (as Alex Mercouris calls it) wants to play that game, it just looks like Ukraine needs to be a little less floriferous.

      I know I should be more politically correct about this, but (IMHO) de-Nazification is about the only rationale for there being Nazis at all. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

      1. jsn

        I can’t remember which it was, but I’m pretty sure there was a link the other day that showed the percentage of draftees that went AWOL in each of the recent rounds of the Ukrainian draft.

        Most of “the flower of Ukrainian manhood” is apparently waiting tables in Paris, Munich etc.

        Meanwhile the Azov bulked up with Nazi and Nazi adjacent soldiers of fortune from across the spectrum of CIA destabilizations globally. Is this really a CIA house cleaning to get rid of all there most ideologically rabid fighters? Or are they that incompetent?

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    BitChute, excerpt of video. I’ll take another look at Figaro Magazine, but on first and second look, I don’t find an article. But then I don’t recognize the journalist. We’re going to have to rely on our France-based correspondents among the commenters.

    This, though, is what we have been expecting, given events in Mariupol. It is also a political disaster. one more tactical disaster among the U.S. elites, who are execrable tacticians.

    From the BitChute summary: “I was surprised that in order to join the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this must be done through the Americans. We almost got arrested. An American came up and said: “here I am in command, not the Ukrainians.” He introduced himself. He is a veteran of the Iraq War. A report about it will appear in Figaro Magazine this week. He behaved rudely, at first he wanted to kick us out. Ordered to get sim cards from phones. We had to sign a contract before the end of the war. In general, the Americans rule there. Of course, unofficially.… I thought that we would be with the international brigades, but it turned out that with the Pentagon.”

    Note, too, the mention of Switchblade armed drones: U.S. supplied.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      He said it was going to be in the upcoming, not current issue, at least as I heard it. But yes, that’s a big claim when even if someone got it in a draft, it could be relegated to the cutting room floor.

      I have doubts about those drones. They only run 40 mins on a charge. And if they are big enough to take out a tank, they have to be big enough to be seen and therefore shot. I haven’t checked the West Point presentation to confirm that it says what the Saker says it says, but from his summary:

      Russian EW shuts down all communications in huge areas along the front, no cellphones, military radios etc. They break GPS links with drones, making them useless and can even fry the fuses on artillery shells midflight.

      Russian MoD has claimed very high capture/destruction of Turkish drones, way in excess of what they had admitted to sending.

      Relevant section of video starting at 27:00

      1. David

        Figaro Magazine normally comes out at the end of the week, from what I recall. I’ll have a look and see if I can find anything. I can’t see the name of the journalist anywhere.
        The interview is on CNews, the channel that made Eric Zemmour famous, owned by right-wing billionaire Vincent Bolloré. It”s the second most-watched information channel in France, after BFM. It has an unashamedly right-wing approach, but I don’t think it’s ever been accused of actual fabrication. Le Figaro is, of course, the traditional journal of the Right (the Daily Telegraph, for UK readers) and is often shamelessly partisan in French political issues. That said, it’s international coverage is generally pretty good, and if they publish this guy it means there’s probably something to what he says. To be continued.

        1. c_heale

          What I find interesting is that the right wing news media, including Tucker Carlson and Zero Hedge (never read the comments, since they are full of anti-semitism and racism among other things), seem to have more articles and broadcasts, that make sense on the Ukranian situation, than the centre left media.

          It seems the centre left media has completely jumped the shark.

          Naked Capitalism is of course an exception to all the above comments.

  11. Polar Socialist

    There are probably several reasons to limit EW (one of which is the constant intelligence gathering by NATO), but we should also notice that so far a lot of the fighting has been done by LNR and DNR forces, which don’t have the same capabilities (although they have some).

    In the one hand Russians are following a really strict communication discipline and not telling if they use any or not – “everything is proceeding according to the plan” is all we get. On the other hand, Ukrainians don’t really have weapon systems left that would need to be constantly jammed.

    And in any case, I recall reading that in Syria the Russians learned to hook into the mobile networks rather than bringing them down. While they can’t breach the encryption (in real time) they can follow the traffic, find locations and from this (re)construct the lay-out of enemy positions and figure out command centers.

    1. caucus99percenter

      > While they can’t breach the encryption (in real time) they can follow the traffic, find locations and from this (re)construct the layout of enemy positions

      Remember when TPTB were trying to reassure us that government (NSA etc.) tapping into and keeping permanent records of all cellphone activity was benign? “All legal, because ‘pen register’ precedent!” … “It’s just the metadata, bro! Nothing to worry about!”

    2. Tor User

      Wouldn’t EW also blunt the Ukrainian anti-missile systems? The continued existence of these limits the Russian air effort.

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      Please consider;
      2014; The USS Donald Cook was sailing in the Black Sea. A Russian jet approached it and apparently used Electronic jamming to take down the electronics affecting Aegis and other systems on the destroyer. The jet is alleged to have done multiple passes over the ship. The article alleges no US ship has approached a Russian target since, or to get close to Russian territory.
      Remember that that there have been repeated reports over the years of nuclear missile launch facilities finding UFO’s present above their bases that then shut down the electronics and launching systems, disabling the missiles. (until they left the area?) Russia is the largest land mass and may have the most foreign visitors flying by, landing and crashing. How many Roswell type events might such a large country have?
      Is the technology for disabling electronics something borrowed something green?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon looks to vastly expand weapons for Ukraine”

    I see reports of ancient Leopard 1 tanks and modern Bushmasters being sent to the Ukraine but without air cover, they will not last long. Not to worry.The Pentagon is getting the top eight US arms manufacturers together in an online meeting ‘to discuss the industry’s capacity to produce arms for Ukraine if the war lasts years.’ Hey baby, we’re talking billions in sales here and who cares if it does the Ukrainians little good. Those mortgages on those third houses aren’t going to pay themselves off-

    1. c_heale

      Won’t be making much if they can’t get the resources, not limited to metals, etc., but also workers, energy, and water.

  13. salty dawg

    Re: Why Are People with Allergic Asthma Less Susceptible to Severe COVID?

    This article is about Interleukin-13 (which is involved in asthma) reducing viral entry, replication and spread.

    The article doesn’t have a link to the full research paper, so here it is:
    SARS-CoV-2 infection of airway cells causes intense viral and cell shedding, two spreading mechanisms affected by IL-13

    1. Mikel

      These are the kinds of studies that will trickle out slowly. Let’s hope some of them get as much press as big pharma press releases.

      Same with the results (from the past couple of years) of the what may the largest ever mass experiments on humans.

      1. salty dawg

        This study is at a basic “lets understand the mechanism” level, so is far away from being able to consider recommending a covid treatment.

        It seems the kind of study that I hope there is a lot of–understanding why some people have less problems with covid than others, and how exactly covid works.

        As to the results of the “largest ever mass experiments on humans” of the last two years, I’m sure that if there were positive results, we’d be loudly told :)

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I was curious reading about this as to the assertion that it had to be inherent to the natural response to the allergen. An obvious question surely is whether anti-asthma medications, especially steroids, may be acting as a prophylactic of some kind. As an asthma sufferer, I’m particularly curious.

      1. Ignacio

        Inhaled Corticosteroids act to reduce allergic inflammatory responses (not pre-emptively) but have apparently shown to have some pre-emptive effect at least against virus-induced exacerbation of asthma. (If this clarifies anything) Otherwise I think these cannot be considered prophylactic. Take this with a grain of salt, I would need an extensive review to check this.

        Interestingly in many other cases asthma, particularly in children, increases susceptibility to viral infection. It could be that asthma increases susceptibility to initial Covid infection but reduces chances of disease spread into the lungs.

      2. salty dawg

        My interest in this was for the same reason–I have asthma. I had heard of the use of inhaled corticosteriods (which people with severe asthma tend to have puffers for) for covid treatment, and was somewhat surprised this paper didn’t mention them at all.

        From one of the references the PNAS paper is based on, Association of asthma and its genetic predisposition with the risk of severe COVID-19, :

        In Conclusion, the large population-based cohort study demonstrated that adults with asthma had a higher risk of severe COVID-19, which was driven by the increased risk in patients with nonallergic asthma. In contrast, the risk of severe COVID-19 was not significantly elevated in patients with allergic asthma.

        The PNAS study from the original article is about Interleukin-13 and how it is involved with allergic asthma. I neglected to mention the allergic part earlier.

    3. Ignacio

      Thank you. The Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences is one of my favourite broad-range science publications. Very good for instance in climate change literature.

  14. ambrit

    Quick Zeitgeist report.
    Went to the local stores yesterday.
    Several packages I purchased had been “downsized.” Prices were the same as before for the box of goods. For example, the can of tuna formerly was 5.5 ounces, now, 5.0 ounces. Box of “cheap” graniola was 12 ounces, now 10 ounces. Jar of almond butter was 7.5 ounces, now 7 ounces. Etc. etc.
    Barbara Ehrenreich should put out a new version of her book; “Nickle and Dimed.” This time, it will cover all of us, and have the same, but new and expanded plot.
    Almost no masks, even in the Bigg Boxx store. Just about all those I observed with masks were ‘older’ persons. The youngsters I did see wearing masks were with supervising adults, some of whom were not masked. Could this be a side effect of the “covid vaccination” scam?
    Stay safe.

    1. Questa Nota

      Shrinkflation, seen in those oddly-shaped cereal boxes, too. Many grocery stores have shelf tags showing the price per ounce of foods, so going shopping includes solving story problems. Remember those? Now you can multi-task at a practical level and exercise your memory, too.

      1. ambrit

        The Bigg Boxx store ‘games’ the price per feature by mixing up different types of baseline measurement from which they calculate their “comparison prices.”
        My example, powder stevia, bulk and packets. Several varieties use the “price per ounce” method. Other varieties of the same product use “price per container” for calculating the ‘comparison price.’
        Secondly, I did notice later when I toted up the cash register receipt that the price tags on the shelves of a significant percent of the products were wrong. All the ‘shelf prices’ of the affected products were lower than the central computer’s price. Lazy, stupid, or evil, or all of the above. Take your pick.
        Stay safe! Put in a veggie garden.

  15. Pat

    Here is a small piece of investment advice, something I am usually in no position to provide. If Jeff Zucker is any position of power or responsibility or if he has had any significant part in development of the business model – RUN.

    I’d feel sorry for Discovery and Warner Media but they not only didn’t sack Zucker and this plan immediately, they kept him around to get CNN+ up after they bought the failing network.

  16. mrsyk

    In regards to the west forcing a default on various western currency denominated Russian debt, I’m curious to the risks that the writers of hedge protection would be exposed to if such an event were to happen.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      There is a surprising amount of legal ambiguity in CDS land as to when a default is a default. But yes, unless the protection writers can rely on the coming legal challenge, they seem to be in hot water.

    2. Tom Doak

      It would not surprise me if the Biden Administration had promised to cover their losses behind the scenes, somehow.

      That’s the cool thing about money = electrons, the government can just correct what it wants to correct.

  17. Wukchumni

    Winter done showed up again this week in Mammoth where 1/2 a foot of snow fell on Monday and daytime temps are below freezing, as good of conditions as one could hope for in mid-April which is usually icky spring skiing where the piste turns to slush and isn’t a lot of fun…

    Homewood ski resort in Lake Tahoe was where I first skied in 1979, attired in Levi 501’s and I must’ve fallen 50 times on the bunny slope that day leaving my legs dyed a little blue, and wanting more.

    JMA Ventures President Art Chapman remembers the days when Homewood Mountain Resort had six or eight ticket windows open with lines leading up to each window. Those days are no more. According to Chapman, one day during the week of March 7 there was a single ticket window open, and only one person bought a walk-up ticket the entire day. On Feb. 2, Chapman reported that only 115 skiers were on the mountain the whole day, and that included seven employees. Even on big holiday weekends, Homewood is barely getting 1,000 skiers.

    With passholders and skier visits in decline during the past 10 years, JMA Ventures, which bought Homewood in 2006, has had to pivot to a new financial and development model that is sustainable. What the company came up with is a hybrid, semi-private model that will restrict access to season passes to people who buy new Homewood residences as well as full-time residents of several West Shore homeowners associations. This model will be phased in over a number of years as Homewood transitions away from being a public ski area in the hopes that it will eliminate a key problem for Homewood — commuter skiers cannot get to the resort in the heavy weekend traffic that occurs on the highways leading into the Basin, according to Chapman.

    Over the past decade, skier visits to Homewood have dropped 40% and season passholder sales have fallen from 2,800 in 2012 to 1,800 this winter, a 64% decline. According to Chapman, the large majority of current passholders are West Shore residents. He attributes these slumping numbers to one major thing — traffic.

    “The fact is today with all the Ikon passes, if you go to Highway 89 on a Saturday afternoon you will see traffic backed up all the way from Squaw and Alpine into Truckee. You can’t even get to Homewood,” Chapman said. “Commuters coming from the Bay Area can’t get past Squaw and Alpine and get to Homewood unless you are through the Mousehole at 7:30 in the morning.”

    1. jefemt

      EPIC / ICON + 8 Billion Humans = crowding. Remember, the US is the third most populated nation-state in the world. Fuel prices seem to have no deterrent effect.
      Nor ticket price… I have no idea what the average price is per day, because of ICON/EPIC, package deals, local mid-week passes, etc, but the posted algorhythm driven pricing showed a ticket at Big Sky to be $216 that day for the largest tallest area in North America, which also has the largest amount of low- angle acreage and terrain known.

      My college roommate, who skis every month of the year, was out visiting and I hauled out my dried-out 203 CM Strato 102’s for a slow-day at Pig Sty. Longest wait was 30 seconds, mountain not crowded, in my mind.

      My pal was lamenting the crowd effect at his home area, Crystal Mtn on the flanks of Mt Ranier… and I have heard that our local community area Bridger Blow is looking at reservations and limiting skier numbers.

      I skied a TON in Crowdorado as a kid-my dad was a 10th MTN Division/ mountain nut and former collegiate racer. Alpine skiing was a non-negotiable— and fun back in the day. I find it incredibly boring now, and also marvel at the hyper level of ego and self -indulgence, not to mention the non-sustainable nature of the whole sport in the early Anthropocene.

      Bike/ walk from the front door is becoming my go-to.

      Based on trajectories of weather and warming, this will be an industry and resort area real estate phenomena marveled by the Anthropologist/ Archaeologists. Nero fiddling…
      Zero utility/ necessity associated.

      Cannot recommend highly enough the following 1/2 hour video… it is seriously hilarious. Features cultural anthropologist Wade Davis in a cameo role as arch-ironic straight man…. first of three segments The Lost People of Mountain Village (Telluride)

  18. The Rev Kev

    “How the Battle Over a Pesticide Led to Scientific Skepticism”

    This article reads as a sick joke and beggars belief. So tobacco corporations, in order to make their lives a bit easier, want to bring back freaking DDT and start spraying it all over the place? This is really evil psychopathic stuff that is being done, especially with smearing Rachel Carson. So is the American Academy of Arts and Sciences telling these people to put a sock in it? What about the The National Academy of Sciences? Next thing you know, they will be demanding the elimination of the child working laws because those same tobacco corporations will see this as an opportunity to hire child workers for a pittance.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It was a very successful campaign. Years back I even heard people on the left and Green side of things repeat the ‘Banning DDT led to a resurgence of disease’ meme. Apart from anything else, it was never banned, just restricted to certain uses, including its use against mosquitos in poorer countries. There is zero evidence for the assertion that its banning caused significant harm.

      I see this all the time with renewable energy – the right, along with copious amounts of money, is very good at injecting superficially scientifically plausible ideas into the mainstream discourse, usually through a variety of libertarian leaning outlets (libertarians always seem particularly credulous at anything that seems to back up their arguments and sounds contrarian but smart). They know they don’t have to prove the case, just subtly recast the arguments and throw shade and doubt on whatever it is they want to suppress.

      1. Ignacio

        Worst thing I remember was the campaign claiming that crude oil is renewable, fed if I remember correctly by Russian ‘scientists’.

      2. c_heale

        Another reason DDT stopped being used, I believe, was that mosquitos evolved resistance to it quite quickly.

    2. Gawr Gura

      They already do hire child workers for a pittance. Make them but their own trash bags to wear as “protection” too.

    3. Mikel

      And they think they can get away with it because…marketing reasons not scientific reasons.

    1. Tom Stone

      Learning that Swedish politicians are as stupid as America’s politicians is not reassuring.

      1. digi_owl

        sadly the last 20 odd years have made the nordics fat and lazy.

        For one thing, Sweden’s crown jewel in the air, the Gripen, is heavily reliant on US goodwill to even fly. The engine is a US design built on license by Volvo, and the radar is a US made part (with USA supposedly holding back delivery when Norway was doing its horse and pony evaluation just to be on the safe side).

      2. JohnA

        They are at least as much bought and paid for as other EU and US politicians. Plus the assassinations of Palme and Lindh focused their minds about not getting out of line with US interests.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        Sweden plummeted in my regard because of its handling of Covid.
        Had not really been aware of the rich vein of eugenics in Swedish society until then.
        I can’t see how joining NATO would go against any principles of a government that carried out a plan to euthanise older people with Covid.

        1. Tom Doak

          Sweden plummeted in my mind because of its handling of the Julian Assange case. Enthusiastic willingness to help the Five Eyes.

    2. digi_owl

      From elsewhere it sounded like DC was already crowing about both nations being a done deal, even though nothing official have been stated by either government.

    3. RobertC

      Yeah and here’s the Reuters article Finland to make decision on NATO entry in coming weeks, not months

      STOCKHOLM/HELSINKI, April 13 (Reuters) – Finland will take a decision about whether to apply to join the U.S.-led NATO alliance in the next few weeks, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Wednesday, underlining a shift in security perspectives since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

      Finland has a stable population of 5.5M, not much more than the number of economic emigrants and wartime refugees who left Ukraine in 2021-2022. And almost twice the GDP: $270M to $156M — that’s how much Ukraine is a basket case.

      Finland’s border with Russia is 830 miles long compared to Ukraine’s 1,280 miles and it’s empty, barren, rugged and cold.

      NATO isn’t going to find its members eager to fund and man a multiple base buildup on that border. The US and Europe are going to be struggling with rebuilding their economies and upgrading their own militaries. Building a meaningful Finland-based threat on the Russian border will be a decade or more away if ever. Cat laugh

      1. wilroncanada

        I suspect the first US effort in Finland will be to invite “friendly” Finnish educators to learn about the superior fragmented (demented?) US education systems, to begin using charters, to reduce the salaries of teachers at all levels, to translate US (meaning Texas) textbooks on all subjects, to increase discipline, to put police into schools, and to dramatically reduce maintenance of buildings. Can’t have such a poorly performing US client state system, so it will have to be “reformed.”/s

  19. super extra

    thank you for the magnificent Spanish Moon Moth! I love moths’ big fuzzy antennae. These are silk moths apparently. I wonder if anyone has ever made fabric from their coccoons?

  20. Darthbobber

    Sole source for the London Sunday Times article on the “Stalinist” purge of the FSB, to which Welsh reacts, is the Executive Director of Bellingcat.

  21. Otis B Driftwood

    Re the Sitrep article, lots of sobering information for anyone who is cheering for escalating this conflict. The section on Russian vs. US/Nato arms is particularly scathing in its assessment of our supposed military superiority.

    The only thing Ukraine is missing is the U.S. airforce, which is at the end of the day by far the most powerful and important weapon the U.S. has. In every other category U.S. stands no chance against Russia.

    And defense spending in the US remains the highest in the world, and for what? Tell me again which country is rife with corruption.

    1. Fritzi

      The most powerful tool for a conventional war by far, no doubt.

      But what gives me regular nightmares, are those goddamn nuclear armed subs.

      Of course, Russia has them too, enough to wipe out North America right quick if push comes to shove.

      But the US has more, and neither has a way to detect them.

      I am waiting with dread for a day when someone perhaps develops a method to reliably track those subs.

      Anyone having that ability is scary (of course their very existence is a horrific nightmare and stain on humanity), but as things stand, US power elites are so criminally insane and irrational, that the US potentially developing a way to track and destroy Russian and Chinese subs first, seems like the worst of all possible, horrible scenarios.

      Of course in a remotely sane and just works, nobody would and would be able to hold the world at nuclear gunpoint, but seeing as that train of course left the station many decades ago…

      Assuming such a technology is feasible (and I have no idea if it is), I don’t know what to wish for (not that my wishes matter, of course): That the Russians or Chinese develop it first (right now I am definitely scared most of the Yanks pushing the button, but who knows who will be in charge of Russia or China in the decades to come), as such a devastating advantage on their part could perhaps finally force the US to stop it’s relentless aggression and bear/dragon poking, and even if/when they got the capability as well, a world where nuke subs can be detected may be one where it is generally much less likely that they are used than one where they remain undetectable for everyone.

      Okay, writing this out makes me think that this would probably be the less horrible alternative to the subs staying invisible, making writing out that option superfluous.

      Being neither a military expert nor an expert on psychopath mentality, I may easily overlook something, and technical infeasibility might make the question moot.

      PS: Of course, the mere suspicion of one side being or becoming able undermining the other’s sub deterrence might seriously tempt the others into going for an first strike before it is too late.

      So, more than with any other development, where “falling behind” would possibly be somewhat less dire, each side would have incentive to keep the lid on this particular secret closed as tightly as at all possible, which is also scary as hell.

      Again, assuming feasibility, who might be expected to be better with the secret keeping?

      1. Gc54

        There was speculation that Seasat’s bus was intentionally “shorted” to fail a few months after launch in 1978 when its synthetic aperture radar designed to measure sea level variations also unexpectedly revealed submarine wakes. I suspect it took a while to replan to run deeper, but it’s officially a CT dismissed by “later more sensitive satellites didn’t show them”. Duh, of course not. The military apparently can learn from its mistakes occasionally. Run silent run deep(er).

        Had occasion on a low level puddle jumper from Hawaii to Oahu mid channel to fly near a sub as it surfaced on way into Pearl. Astounding.

        1. LifelongLib

          I saw something a while ago about it being theoretically possible to detect submarines from their wakes, but that the computing power needed to do so in real time only became available recently. Sorry, no link or even a clear memory of where I saw it…

  22. PlutoniumKun

    Sitrep Z The Saker. Also important

    The Saker is an important source of information, but his one-sidedness, especially on the topic of Russian military prowess, really makes one question the accuracy of his conclusions.

    He makes a huge meal of the 2015 exercise where the Indian Airforce Mig-30’s apparently beat Eurofighters hands down. But he could just as easily have highlighted the other 2015 exercise in Asia – Falcon Strike – where the Thai Air force equipped with Swedish Gripens completely dominated Chinese J-11’s (an upgraded version of the Sukhoi) along with Su-27’s.

    It also should be noted that the Indian Air Force themselves don’t seem to have been particularly impressed by the outcome of the exercise as they retained a strong interest in buying European aircraft to complement and replace their Sukhoi’s. Ultimately, this type of exercise is usually less about the quality of the aircraft than the abilities of the pilots. And any exercise of course can only minimally replicate what would happen in a real war. There are all sorts of potential wild cards that could come into play.

    In an air battle, the Russians could undoubtedly hold their own in the sort of environment where they are designed to operate – within range of their SAM coverage. In a one on one battle over neutral ground, a Nato aircraft would almost certainly win. Nato pilots have something like twice the hours of training and have access to better AESA combat radars and probably better missiles.

    While I’m sure Saker is on firmer ground when assessing the ground war in Ukraine, throwing in stuff that amounts to propaganda or advertising for Sukhoi doesn’t really give me a lot of faith that he is looking at things with a genuinely open mind.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Where Saker, or … my mind is blanking, is Andrei Martyanov his name? I’m pretty sure interested readers will know the guy I’m referring to … where they’re on solid ground is that there’s a consistent history of US/NATO systems and tactics not being able to deliver the goods as advertised in real fights, typically due to unwelcome suprises.

      We’ve got AWACS, but they’ve got anti-AWACS systems we’ve yet to encounter, and less specialized systems that could be a big problem too. Those ultra-long-range missiles MiG 31’s shoot might not be much use against a manuevering combat aircraft at 100 miles, but a superannuated airliner hauling a giant radar on its back? Mach 2.5 at high altiltude is so 1960’s – but could a NATO formation be counted on to continue their mission if 6 MiG-31’s appeared, spread out across the horizon?

      And while supermanueverability might not be exactly what it’s cracked up to be, the Russkies have gone for it big time. It’s worth asking ourselves if we really understand why. Anybody seen any discussions on the effect on kill probability for longer-range engagements? As I understand it, those missiles are robots which have to predict their target’s future path in order to choose the most advantageous use of their very limited fuel and kinetic energy, and their manuevering capacity may be much degraded once the fuel runs out, which it typically does long before intercept. Could supermanueverability significantly alter the expected exchange ratio in such engagements? That could be a very unwelcome suprise of a kind that ought to seem familiar: Attrition might be too great for our planning to be valid.

    2. Irrational

      Hey, we are getting total one-sidedness from the US/EU media, so maybe one-sidedness in the other direction balances out.

    3. Lex

      Agreed on some of the stuff coming out of the Saker site (I think those sitreps are being written by someone else) relating to near wonder weapons of Russia. I reread the Iraq War GRU files, still no idea if they were real or not but they seem pretty damned real. The biggest takeaway from them was an analysis of combating US air power. At the time, the russian air force and air defense were separate branches but there was discussion about combining them. The authors considered that a crime of the first order based on the fear that air defense would take a back seat to pilots and planes.

      They were combined but to me it looks like the last 20 years have seen the Russian air force concentrate heavily on their air defense systems. Maybe it’s a matter of Russia assuming that it’s military will be called on as a defensive unit (or near abroad offensive). I think they just look at air power differently than the US. But who knows. I tend to agree with your take. Though I also have a feeling that the days of dog fight air battles are mostly over.

  23. altruisticpunisher

    The Facebook/China propaganda story is from 2014. Not sure if it’s particularly relevant to the Stoller thread or not but just a suggestion to check dates…

  24. flora

    In other news:

    I think this guy’s main point is sound: the monopolists will try to drive all small producers and independent producers of food out of business. Already large, independent commercial chicken flocks in the Dakota’s have been destroyed – based only on PCR tests. I’m leaving this link primarily for the small farm poultry and egg producers who sell to co-ops and farmers’ markets, and for the backyard hobbyists who keep a few hens for the eggs. utube, d~20 minutes, from the Ice Age Farmer:

    BIRD FLU: the Next Pandemic?

      1. flora

        Oh, wait! Maybe not funny. Billionaires get to monopolize whatever they can find and exploit in space thanks to a recently passed US law. and… Bezo’s is getting YOU to pay for his rocket dream. See this Taibbi article. (no paywall)

        The Great Billionaire Space Capers

        Whoring out of NASA to billionaires is serious business. Back in 2015, a bill called the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, passed by unanimous consent, gave private commercial enterprises the ownership rights to celestial bodies discovered through space travel. “A U.S. citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained,” the bill read, “including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell it according to applicable law.”

        For this reason, congress appropriating NASA funds to the likes of Musk and Bezos to build long-distance rocketry and landers is not just about symbolic missions, but the space version of the NIH: giving space hobbyists free R&D to become mega-oligarchs via the limitless potential offered by space prospecting. “The first trillionaire there will ever be is the person who exploits the natural resources on asteroids,” is how Neil deGrasse Tyson put it, around the time of the passage of the 2015 act.

  25. Bruno

    crucial question:
    Glenn Greenwald asks: “But one question lingers: why is there so much urgency about silencing the small pockets of dissenting voices about the war in Ukraine?”

    1. flora

      From Greenwald’s latest substack. :

      The benefits from endless quagmire in Ukraine are as immense as they are obvious. The military budget skyrockets. Punishment is imposed on the arch-nemesis of the Democratic Party — Russia and Putin — while they are bogged down in a war from which Ukrainians suffer most. The citizenry unites behind their leaders and is distracted .

  26. Raymond Sim

    I disagree about the Russian video not being good propaganda.

    Good or bad depends on your targets and purposes. As I said a while back, I would anticipate that part of denazification would be crushing the Banderists in as humiliating a way as possible. ‘Humiliating’ of course from the point of view of the Banderists and those inclined to sympathise with them.

    Grim, stoic Russian soldiers ordering a Lviv woman back to her kitchen works for this purpose, imo. Especially in light of the theatricality of the Ukrainian video they’re responding to.

    The video is ISIS meets Slavic mythology, with a noonday demon doing the throat slitting. It’s actually rather clever in its way, with wordplay and allegory that I suspect even most Slavs are unlikely to pick up on immediately. The sort of thing Ukrainian ‘We are the true Slavs.’ types lap up. Having some Russian killers tell her to cut out the nonsense and go home, because this is men’s business – I’m pretty sure that works.

  27. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Yellen urges China to help stop Russia’s war in Ukraine, or lose standing in the world

    WASHINGTON, April 13 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday appealed to China and other countries to help end Russia’s “heinous war” in Ukraine, warning in a landmark speech that those who seek to undermine Western sanctions face consequences.

    …China cannot expect the global community to respect any future appeals from Beijing on sovereignty and territorial integrity if it fails to respect these principles in Ukraine “now when it counts,” she said. [Are we thinking Taiwan?]

    Exclusive: China’s oil champion prepares Western retreat over sanctions fear

    LONDON/SINGAPORE, April 13 (Reuters) – China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. (0883.HK) is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing the assets could become subject to Western sanctions, industry sources said.

    …As it seeks to leave the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritise the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana and Uganda, the sources said.

    Some 1,000 Ukraine marines surrender in Mariupol, says Russia

    KYIV/LVIV, Ukraine, April 13 (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Ukrainian marines have surrendered in the port of Mariupol, Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday, signalling that it had moved closer to capturing the ruined city, its main strategic target in eastern Ukraine.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      At the moment India and China are not so good friends. But, a spectacular own goal for the western hegemony would be for India to keep it’s links with Russia, and because of these, start exploring mutual links to China.
      Far-fetched for now, but a round of sanctions on India might loosen it’s diplomatic goals somewhat.
      The folk tale of the competition between the wind and the sun comes to mind. Where Russia and China are the sun, and the US and it’s vassal states are the wind. Spoiler alert: the sun won, but not through force.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Thanks for that Robert re AHP. I had missed it, but good to see that trying to be rational, logical and inclusive worked for you. Sometimes it works, especially softly, softly.
          A part of my previous work that I really enjoyed, getting people into a room and then finding out what they really wanted and getting a consensus. Usually took two days. The first day they said what they wanted. The second day they would come back and say ignore everything we said yesterday, this is what we really want..
          Thanks for your other links, will look at them tomorrow. Interesting times indeed!

  28. FreeMarketApologist

    Stripe, Alphabet, Meta Join to Fund Carbon Removal “…pretty much assure that this initiative is somewhere between empty PR and a scam.”

    It’s the purchase of carbon offfsets from companies that remove carbon from the air. The offsets are purchased by a company that Stripe owns (and has funding from others, including McKinsey). So I’d suggest it’s a scam.

    The follow-the-money quote is here: “As the startups mature, the hope is that these purchase commitments will enable them to raise billions of dollars for building large-scale plants through debt markets, which are cheaper pools of capital that make safer bets than venture funds do.”

    So mostly looks like a vehicle to create debt, with all the attendant fees to the bankers and the VC crowd, without actually reducing carbon emissions.

  29. John Medcalf

    Totally agree podcasts should offer transcription.
    Ideally would link to audio/video in case transcription was garbled reader/viewer could be jumped to the matching point in the audio/video.
    Also suggest. to keep me from ignoring most podcasts, they should include excerpting audio/video and transcribed versions. I’ve probably not listened to more that a dozen in the past couple years.
    I do read some distance into 5-10 referenced articles and Yves and Lambert articles every day.

    1. Ignacio

      I watched with increasing interest this in the links:
      US, EU sacrificing Ukraine to ‘weaken Russia’: fmr. NATO adviser Aaron Mate, YouTube. Important. Jacques Baud.

      And my opinion is that in this particular case, as well as Ritter’s videos, it is better watching than reading. This one in particular contains, IMO, the best account of events that led to Russian attack on Ukraine I have watched/read. I find it reassuring also that a lot of Baud’s analyses go in the same direction as Ritter’s.

  30. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War at home

    Too funny: US Texas Governor Greg Abbott lesson-learned from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Bus with migrants sent by Texas governor arrives in DC

    The Biden administration earlier this month rescinded Title 42, a Trump-era immigration rule that prevented people seeking asylum from getting an immediate hearing if they were coming from a country with a communicable disease, such as the coronavirus. Title 42’s recension is effective May 23.

    The Memo: Democrats face nightmare scenario, ‘biblical disaster’

    Inflation, immigration, the war in Ukraine and the still-lingering COVID-19 pandemic make for a dreadful political atmosphere for President Biden’s party.

    + Inflation — failure to thrive after spending xxx$Ts then jumped into a commodities war with eyes closed
    + Immigration — difficult problem made worse; an own goal
    + War in Ukraine — the “Foreign Policy” president is enabling the decline of the US dollar
    + COVID-19 pandemic — this should have been easy; an own goal

  31. RobertC

    Supply Chain Life in Russia

    A wide-ranging easy read without too much anti-Putin bias Ruble’s recovery masks sanctions’ economic pain The future looks bleak for ordinary Russian citizens, who Putin expects will have to tighten their belts

    …I’ve been a close observer of Russia for over 30 years. I have been struck by the tension between Russia’s integration into the global economy on the one hand and its growing domestic authoritarianism on the other.

    Russia’s integration is what makes the sanctions sting. Its authoritarianism is what makes them irrelevant.

  32. RobertC

    Recommended Read

    Oh noes. If you lose Goldman Sachs … Doing without the dollar Pessimism used to be for monetary cranks; now even Goldman Sachs warns the dollar will go the way of the pound

    The notion that the dollar’s dominance in world finance might come to an end was a fringe view only five years ago when America’s net foreign investment position was a mere negative $8 trillion. Now one reads forecasts of the end of the dollar era in research reports by Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

    Washington’s seizure of Russian foreign exchange reserves seems like a self-defeating measure given America’s enormous and accelerating dependence on foreign borrowing. Paradoxically, America’s strength lies in its weakness: A sudden end to the dollar’s leading role in world finance would have devastating consequences for the US economy, as well as the economies of its trading partners.

    And it gets even better…

    1. Michael

      As Q1 earnings season kicks off, Jamie Dimon had this to say:

      There was more: in an unexpected twist, the bank revealed that it suffered a $524 million loss tied to market fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and was driven by “funding spread widening as well as credit-valuation adjustments relating to both increases in commodities exposures and markdowns of derivatives receivables from Russia-associated counterparties.”

      Stock down 3-4%. Who’s on deck?

  33. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Indian diplomat (retired) MK Bhadrakumar SITSUM Russia’s Ukraine operation has no deadline

    In his first extended remarks in nearly a month about the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that peace talks had reached a “dead end” and pledged that Russia’s “military operation will continue until its full completion.”

    …In his words, “Our goal is to provide aid to the people of Donbass, who feel an unbreakable bond with Russia and have been the subjects of genocide for eight years.”

  34. Copeland

    Here’s a vote for promoting the (male) Hammer Headed (fruit) Bat from anti to antidote.

    What a spectacular creature! Hypsignathus monstrosus indeed!

  35. Chops

    Saker says NATO is losing badly in Ukraine (presumably through the medium of not being there beyond a handful of trainers etc), and also that apart from the air force Russia far outclasses the US military.

    Picking out facts from his fantasies is just not viable.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please tell me how NATO or Ukraine is wining? I’d say your comment about fantasies is projection.

      And in case you managed to miss it, the source for the assessment of Russian military capabilities is the West Point, and consistent with an older but less detailed US assessment.

      And more generally, all you did is name call and not offer an iota of contrary information. Empty opinions are not on here.

  36. RobertC


    Former Pakistan ambassador Touqir Hussain addressed the question Did the United States Really Try to Overthrow Pakistan’s Imran Khan? America’s tensions with Khan had been simmering ever since the Biden administration took over.

    …It is possible that U.S. diplomats in Islamabad may have told the opposition about their unhappiness with Khan, hoping to weaken his political support. If true, this was the farthest Washington’s “interference” went. And this would be nothing new—Washington has been part of Pakistan’s body politic this way for decades. Diplomats across the world keep in touch with all manner of politicians, including the opposition, and hear their positions on relations between their countries. When advising their governments back home, diplomats give advice on which political parties would be good for their relationship. Did former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan not publically indicate a preference for the BJP in the Indian elections in 2014 and 2019?

    After reading the article, you might agree with me — YES.

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