Links 4/16/2022

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.

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Cellist Performs an Eight-Part Cover of the ‘Psycho’ Theme While Dressed as Norman Bates’ Mother Laughing Squid

Densely Arranged Stone Gradients Sweep Across the Sand in Jon Foreman’s Extraordinary Land Art This Colossal (David L)

US is hit by mysterious spate of severe hepatitis cases in children Daily Mail (Kevin W)

WHO monitors rise in cases of hepatitis in children across UK Guardian

Mysterious hepatitis outbreak sickens young children in Europe as CDC probes cases in Alabama Science (Kevin W)



UN agency gives special recognition to Cuban anti-COVID-19 vaccine developers Escambray (resilc)


Hong Kong Reports Fewer Than 1,000 Covid Cases for Second Day Bloomberg


FDA authorizes breath test that can detect COVID-19 in three minutes CBS (Kevin W)

Covid News: New Omicron Subvariants Spreading Fast in New York New York Times (resilc)


Ocean warming drove 10% rise in ‘extreme’ rainfall from Atlantic hurricanes in 2020 Carbon Brief

Researchers find declining nitrogen availability in a nitrogen rich world (Kevin W)

Lightning-sparked forest fires set to increase in North America Guardian

Land of Milk v. Honey: Dairy Farmers Lobby Against Banning Pesticides That Kill Bees Seven Days (resilc)

Even the Cactus May Not Be Safe From Climate Change New York Times (resilc)

Mapping U.S. Wind Energy Generation by State Visual Capitalist (Kevin W)


PLA drills around Taiwan targeted at US lawmakers’ visit, rehearse ‘real action’ once necessary Global Times. Key section:

The drills aimed to crush the reckless secessionist illusions, [a military expert] Song said, noting that attempts to deter Taiwan secessionists and their US support now seem to have little effect, and that is why the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] has to prepare for a real military conflict, and if secessionists and their supporters cross the red line stated by the Anti-Secession Law, the PLA will resolutely turn the exercises and all of the plans into action, and solve the Taiwan question once and for all.

La belle France

America has captured France UnHerd

Macron urges EU-wide executive pay curbs in campaign battle with Le Pen Financial Times

A tantrum by infantilized French populists could elect Marine Le Pen George Will, Washington Post. The hysteria is telling. I’m not wild about Le Pen, but one of her big campaign issues is inflation. So worrying about not being able to pay your bills is “infantilized”.

New Not-So-Cold War

The Russian Way of War: Part Two Gilbert Doctorow. Important.

NATO soldiers captured during special operation in Ukraine – Klimov Veterans Today

Can’t confirm these tweets:

Regarding the sunken Moskva, I have no idea but the people who love debating this thing on the innertubes suggest:

1. Ukraine Neptunes missiles could not have done it because reasons. But possible Norwegian NSMs sent in by UK. Note Pentagon refused to confirm Ukraine did it.

2. Some military types who supposedly know Russian practices say the sort of weapons that would be on the ship would not blow up catastrophically in a fire (more supporting details provided). So MoD fibbed about that, as well as heavy seas. So the ship sank either because it sank or it was scuttled.

3. Other possibilities include sabotage (which would be super bad) or my fave, a mine.

4. Despite the excitement, from what I can infer this was much more embarrassing and a great big propaganda black eye than a big deal. Why Russia had a garbage barge (the Moskva was old and doesn’t sound like it had been very well maintained) as a flagship is peculiar at best. However, with Turkey not letting military vessels into the Black Sea, there’s not going to be a sea battle. The Moskva did have (apparently only) long range missiles on it; I understand the other ships in the fleet have shorter-range missiles which again because reasons are more useful to deploy from where they are.

US Troops to Train Ukrainians on Howitzers and Radars to Fight Russia in Major Shift (guurst). Too late to make any difference.

Russia Threatens to Strike Kyiv ‘Command Centers’ Over Cross-Border Attacks Moscow Times

Ukraine: life in a minefield balcani caucaso

* * *

Siding with Ukraine’s far-right, US sabotaged Zelensky’s historic mandate for peace Aaron Maté

Biden official admits US refused to address Ukraine and NATO before Russian invasion Responsible Statecraft. Resillc: “Mistakezzzzzz were made.”

Clinton’s Revisionism on NATO Expansion CounterPunch

The End of Strategic Cacophony? The Russo-Ukrainian War and the Future of NATO War on the Rocks

Two US Lawmakers Visit Kyiv as Biden Mulls Sending High-Level Official (resilc)

* * *

Putin’s Ruble Standoff With Europe Risks De Facto Gas Embargo Bloomberg

Russian trucks stuck in long queues to leave Poland as EU ban deadline looms Financial Times


How long will Sharif last in Pakistan? Asia Times (Kevin W)

Surprised this many people, particularly in the rain:

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka crisis: Protesters reject government’s invitation for talks WION


‘Ripe for explosion’: Israel-Palestine tensions rise in Ramadan Al Jazeera (resilc)

The Taliban Were Afghanistan’s Real Modernizers Palladium (Robert M)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US admits using white phosphorus in Falluja Guardian

The F-35 is so too effective – Against Americans. Andrew Cockburn (resilc)

The military wants ‘robot ships’ to replace sailors in battle Washington Post


Biden shakes hands with thin air after North Carolina speech New York Post

Biden needs to show restraint — in his public comments Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

WATCH NOW: Why Biden Isn’t Really Going After Amazon David Sirota

Democrats Are Stacking the Deck Against Vets Washington Monthly

Policing The Womb (with Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin) Michael Moore

Police State Watch

NYPD Powerless to Stop Brooklyn Shooting Yet Mayor Calls for More Intercept

Our Famously Free Press

Western Dissent from US/NATO Policy on Ukraine is Small, Yet the Censorship Campaign is Extreme Glenn Greenwald

More Escalations In Online Censorship Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W). There’s also tons of soft censorship. When I was watching Dimash 5 days a week, YouTube would obligingly serve up Dimash videos on the landing page. Now I am regularly checking counter-narrative sources (and I really hate videos as a source of information, they are time-inefficient) like Alexander Mercouris and Arnab Goswami on Republic TV. And when I search by name, I am normally served date content, I have to do a filtered search to find the fresh offerings. YouTube isn’t serving me any geopolitical or even political content. Instead it’s fix it (they assume only men are interested in geopolitics) and relaxation videos, which I never have watched (I assume they are promoted).

Twitter CENSORING Ukraine War Coverage Jimmy Dore, YouTube

Police play Disney music to stop person recording for copyright infringement Sacramento Bee (resilc)

Indian Crypto Investors In Panic Mode As Bitcoin Exchanges Deactivate Deposits BitCoinist (Kevin W)

Twitter Adopts ‘Poison Pill’ to Ward Off Musk Takeover Bloomberg

How Tesla and EV charging networks threaten the future of gas stations Vox. Resilc: “I drove from Chapel Hill, NC to Stamford, VT on I-85/95 and the only EV I saw was my neighbor’s in NC.”

What It Costs to Live London Review of Books (guurst)

Mass demonstrations spread worldwide as food, gas costs spiral WSWS

Class Warfare

Woman Claimed Meth Sales As Only Work Option Smoking Gun (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Scott D: “Our dog arrived without spine. Caanan dog, if you were wondering.”

And a bonus. Alan T: “Pom very excited just at prospect of going outside”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    Selling meth was the only option? Well I think we can assume she had tried the oldest professional option, and conclude that indeed selling meth yielded a better result.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Had someone said – working at CVS – Walmart – Walgreens was the only option I would find that almost equally heartbreaking.

        1. griffen

          I think that’s classified as a just in time operation. All base supplies are readily available and distribution nearby to your primary customer base; plus you’ve reduced overheard !

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Pase was arrested on a possession with intent to deliver charge, a felony carrying a maximum prison term of 15 years. The seized meth weighed a total of about 20 grams, according to the court complaint.

        20 grams is less than an ounce. Hunter Biden smoked than in an afternoon. Different strokes for different folks

        1. Geo

          Thank you. No one should got to prison for possession or sales until Hunter spends serves his time for it.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            On the other hand, now that West Virginia’s Most Wanted “dangerous drug dealer” has been arrested, maybe Joe Manchin will allow the Child Tax credit to be revived?

  2. Wukchumni

    Police play Disney music to stop person recording for copyright infringement Sacramento Bee

    When you film upon a star
    Makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires
    Won’t come to you online

    If your heart is in your dream
    A copyrighted request is too extreme
    When you film upon a star
    As dreamers do

    Fate is fickle
    Video puts the coppers in a pickle
    The sweet fulfillment of
    Their secret filming

    Like a bolt from the blue
    Fate steps in and says you’re through
    When you film upon a star
    Your viral dreams don’t come true

    1. begob

      The headline suggested an arrest for the copyright infringement, but they were merely laying a tripwire for subsequent publication on social media. So it’s not a further leap toward sorry-for-breathing-permits. Or perhaps local property taxes are funding the license fee Disney will now demand of the cops?

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I vaguely remember reading about the white nationalists urging the young men who wanted to join their cabals to, instead, join the military and/or the police. This was, roughly, 15 years ago. Anyone else remember this?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I remember how some white nationalists wanted not only military training but combat experience as well – so they went to the Ukraine where they joined up with some of the ultra-nationalist formations over there which reinforced their ideology. Better hope that the FBI is keeping an eye on these guys as I would regard them as ticking time bombs. That guy that did that mass murder in New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque shootings went there and was hooked in with those guys-

          1. ex-PFC Chuck

            “Better hope that the FBI is keeping an eye on these guys . . “

            Or the FBI may want to recruit them.

          2. Lex

            Maybe the Russians will address this problem for us. I’ve seen two US passports from Mariupol KIA already.

        2. playon

          Perhaps these groups are allowed because the powers that be find them useful, or think the may be useful in the future? Azov has been useful in Ukraine, ISIS has occasionally helped US objectives, etc.

          1. Procopius

            There was a declassified memo from Defense Intelligence Agency, back in 2012, warning the State Department that they were playing a dangerous game because they were providing arms and funding to ISIS. The State response was that they were only supporting organizations who would be helpful to them in regime change in Syria.

      2. juno mas

        Well, a work-around seems to be to continue filming w/sound then place just the silent video on social media. Let the police explain what they said and what their actions convey. When their explanation differs from the sound recording, send the video w/sound to a TV News station. News is exempt from the copywrite exposure.

    2. Anon

      How eery and dystopian it is to receive a gang beating to a soundtrack… throw in a German Shepherd for good measure. That’s some pretty savage, scary clown, psychological stuff. Lullabies and serial killers. I already cringe when i see lights in my rear view mirror, I don’t need the association anywhere else, thanks.

  3. Polar Socialist

    The Moskva did have (apparently only) long range missiles on it; I understand the other ships in the fleet have shorter-range missiles which again because reasons are more useful to deploy from where they are.

    Not really. The three fregates and seven submarines of Black Sea Fleet all have Zirkons, Moskva’s missiles were from the late 70’s.
    Moskva did have the naval equivalent of S-300 air defense, though. When Russian intervention in Syria began, Moskva provided the initial air defense for the Kheimim airbase near Latakia.

    1. Louis Fyne

      I didn’t see mines listed above. Possible that the ship hit a UA mine that broke free of its moorings.

      propaganda-wise, a RU loss. but will not change the final outcome by even a day.

      ironically this sinking may prove that the future of navies is what Russia already has—-lots of small, mid-sized ships carrying missiles versus the traditional big cruisers and aircraft carriers

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        I read that there was a storm and perhaps both the mine broke free and the Sailor Watchmen failed to see the approaching mine.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          MoD said there was a storm but Alexander Mercouris checked weather and said there was not. But I recall reading early on that a commercial ship hit a mine in a supposedly unmined area, so some have already broken loose.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think its S-300 system was the older, 1980’s iteration. It would include short range missiles and a gun based close in defence system. Presumably, software was updated, but it seems not much else.

      But unless you know they are coming, sea skimming missiles are notoriously difficult to track. Exocets of course have been successful against both 1980’s tech UK and US (the USS Stark). And the Exocet is quite old and crude in comparison to the Neptune – the latter uses a turbojet rather than a rocket, making it longer ranged and a little stealthier.

      I don’t know why people are trying so hard to come up with alternative explanations. The Ukrainians were claiming a Neptune strike before the Russians even admitted the ship had a problem. With US satellite tracking it should be relatively easy for them to send it in silent mode right up to the vessel before active homing kicked in. It is well within the Ukrainians capacity to do this.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Russian MOD admitted today that the ship was sunk by “Ukrainian” missiles. Although the Russians seem quite angry at Boris Johnson again for no apparent reason.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’ll have to run it down but the argument that it was not Neptunes was pretty persuasive. If I see it again I’ll add it to the thread so readers who are knowledgeable can pick it apart. Aside from the technical-sounding argument, the contention re the NSMs is only three European countries, all NATO members, have them and being able to prove or have a good surmise it was NSMs that sank the ship would be a basis for Russia escalation, as in this was also an effort to bait Russia.

      2. Reaville

        I agree with you, PK. There is no need for alternate explanations (even if there is one!).

        Naval ships built around the 70s and 80s were thin-skinned by design philosophy. The Falklands War was a massive wake up about these ship’s weaknesses against missiles. I attended the US Naval War College in 1997-8 and the vulnerability of the USN to missile attacks was well understood and feared. The navalized version of the S-300 was a fearsome anti-aircraft/missile system in its day, but the Ukrainians understand its vulnerabilities, one of which was only 6 target simultaneous track. Sea skimmers in the radar clutter were always going to be a big problem, and if the Ukrainians saturated with UAVs, then the Moskva was going to lose. As the USN said in the 80s, missile shooters can make it rain longer than we can hold up the umbrella. There have been reports of a drone or drones near the ship before it was struck.

        The reason that I refer to the 80s is that the Moskva was apparently never given a real update, so it is essentially a patchwork of vintage analog and digital computers according to several sources.

        The Pentagon has confirmed that today there were 2 missile strikes by Neptune missiles (according to my Apple News feed). I believe this caused the Moskva to sink. First, two missile strikes would be devastating. These missiles hit at very high velocity. Harpoon missiles (similar but now old tech) could break the back of a cruiser. Second, the Moskva had missiles in tubes on its deck. They would almost certainly go off in secondary explosions. Third, the Moskva was not designed to take these kinds of hits.

        It is remotely possible that a roaming mine hit the ship. That would also be devastating. No navy that I know of invests adequately in anti mine capability. But a mine explosion would not normally kill the Captain however, as his at sea cabin would be up by the bridge under normal practice. Large above deck secondary explosions could shower the bridge and superstructure with lethal shrapnel and this would seem more likely to align with a Neptune missile strike.

        The Captain could also have died during damage control efforts post-strike when there would be secondary explosions. Apparently, damage control ceased and the ship was evacuated well before it sank under tow. This indicates that the situation was out of control at the time of abandon ship.

        I have not seen any video of the Neptune launch from the Ukrainian side. This is likely for security reasons, but it’s the kind of thing that the Ukrainians seem to like to show. Notwithstanding that, my somewhat informed opinion is that the Moskva was sunk by missile strikes. That there are also reports that the Russian navy has moved 20-30 miles farther off shore is very confirming that they fear more missile attacks.

    3. Lex

      My understanding was it was almost entirely a radar and anti-aircraft ship. Thought it was designed to be a carrier killer. I also think it was struck by a missile and I wouldn’t be surprised if NATO special ops were in the Odessa region (reasonable insertion/extraction). The propaganda value looks like an attempt to provoke escalation, and distract from the fall of Mariupol, with a side order of revenge since it sounds like active NATO forces may have been captured and likely a few NATO special ops helicopter pilots have died in those extraction attempts.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “PLA drills around Taiwan targeted at US lawmakers’ visit, rehearse ‘real action’ once necessary”

    I can understand the Chinese being riled by that visit of those US lawmakers but that itself was nuts. Right now, the US is in a de facto war with Russia. It is shipping, along with its vassals, tens of thousands of tons of military gear to the Ukraine. It is orchestrating a world-wide financial war on Russia itself and is seeking regime change in that nation by trying to cause it to economically implode. So with this all going on, a bunch of lawmakers sit around and say to themselves. ‘You know what the US really needs right now? We need to start up a fight with another nuclear power and where all our industries are located. Hey, let’s go stir up trouble with China.’ And this idea was bipartisan!

    The only things that makes sense – in a nutty way – is if the part of the DC blob that always wants to fight China was worried that it would get downgraded as the part of the DC blob has got their way with their wanting a fight with Russia. So they are stirring this trouble up so that their cause is not relegated to the back-burner. If this theory holds true, then it all comes down to DC politics which isn’t actually reassuring as through it, the net effect of this is a two-front war at a time of skyrocketing inflation and cost of living issues really start to take hold at home.

    1. lance ringquist

      none of this is mysterious at all. to a free trader, whats mine is mine, whats yours is mine, no discussions period.

      this was layed out quite plainly by the central european fascists who embraced free trade. and used it as a legal basis for naziism.

      only the fascists governments had the right to nationalism, all others were to be used as the free traders saw fit.

    2. Dftbs

      Within the context of the Ukraine war, a lot of the Russian leaning analysts seem to diagnose American “strategic” thinking as arising from a delusion of physical impunity, both economically and militarily. The complete failure of “sanctions from hell” and the self-imposed constraints of the “special operation” haven’t dented this premise. The fear is that Russia will inevitably have to escalate and directly engage Nato(USA) to remind them of their operational deficiencies, mortality among them.

      I think a similar premise undergirds American actions towards China. There is no comprehension of China’s ability to inflict massive pain on the US. It would seem we consider the PLA a parade force. And on the economic front our reasoning is that the Chinese require US markets in order to satiate their excess productive capacity. Testing the former is crazy enough. But the second premise is found wanting as soon as the words hit the page. I will abide by the radical notion that those who “make” are in a better strategic position than those who “take”.

      I think you may be right in that this latest American provocations in Asia may be the result of dysfunctional domestic politics; but in that regard it also seems inevitable, it’s just Americans being American. They can only see and engage with the world in that aggressive manner. I think the Chinese, like the Russians, are going to remind us of our operational deficiencies. Will they chose to pull the short and curlies of our economy. Or will they also remind us that we are mortals. Earlier this week there was a video of a Shanghai police officer arguing with a lockdown violator, and in asking her compliance he noted the need for unity because they would be fighting the Americans soon. I would venture to guess they are prepared to do both; and we are ready for neither.

      1. playon

        China hardly needs weapons or conventional warfare to inflict pain on the USA. All they need to do is to stop sending us consumer goods, medicines, etc.

      2. Adam Eran

        “Americans are a primitive people disguised by the latest inventions.” – George Santayana

      3. digi_owl

        Because DC etc is completely disconnected from the larger nation both economically and politically.

        And they have a massive moats cover most of the nation, known as the Atlantic and the Pacific. The only “weak point” is that south border.

        Basically they can order anything and have it delivered in 48 hours, and likewise be anywhere in the same time frame.

        Their only real fear is a recreation of the French Revolution, as seen with how they overreact to bison-head and crew.

    3. Bart Hansen

      We’re just flailing about, aren’t we? Like some creatures following the removal of their heads.

    4. Boomheist

      If whatever Putin and Xi are doing is in fact a long game of using this Ukraine issue as the means to force the collapse of the dollar as the petro currency in favor of something Eurasian as a replacement, and this is seen by policy makers in DC as what is happening, then I suppose it makes sense to carry the fight to Russia and China as well. This way we can have our fight with Russia and do an Asian and China pivot as well.

      Hard to know what is really happening. There are videos coming from China about this covid lockdown that, if correct, seem to suggest that the entire Chinese population is about to revolt, at least in Shanghai and some other big cities. Yet if China doesn’t kill covid it will really sweep through the whole country and create chaos. So we will have a situation whereby China is in chaos, Russia being pummelled, Europe broken for lack of gas and oil, the United States facing high inflation and shortages right before an election, and food riots and chaos among many other countries everywhere else causing their own battles, and all of this happening at exactly the same time as this thing in Ukraine is more and more looking like a direct full-on NATO/US war against Russia.

      You’d think someone, somewhere, in the West or anywhere would be howling to stop all this, and maybe they are, but the full-on MSM war cries are silencing everything else out….

      1. digi_owl

        Supposedly Shanghai, being the original special economics zone, is a pocket of westernized thinking (entitlement) inside the larger China.

    5. RobertC

      At the moment I don’t know how Biden and the Blob would initiate an armed conflict with China. China has repeatedly demonstrated its preference for barking without biting. It doesn’t want armed conflict, especially with the “wandering” province of Taiwan because they are one people, culture, etc. Biden hasn’t demonstrated the ability and patience for salami-slicing his way to an objective. So he’d have to do something big and overt which China would observe and obstruct before it inflamed into conflict.

      Here’s a hypothetical. The US sends military transport aircraft with anti-ship cruise missile weapons along with trainers and maintainers to Taiwan. China diverts the aircraft except for one collision involving the loss of life on both sides. Taiwan’s leadership expresses condolences for both sides, withdraws its request for the weapons and initiates deescalation talks with the mainland. What casus belli could the US claim to militarily engage China, knowing China would avoid the death of Taiwan’s civilians and destruction of TSMC factories thereby limiting the conflict to naval and air forces rather than gain of territory?

      1. Reaville

        Historians have written (I can find a reference if needed) that the Germans didn’t need to fight WW1 to gain dominance over Europe because their industrialization was winning the economic battle for supremacy. In effect, the only way that the Germans could not gain the dominance they so clearly wanted was to go to war. The militarized Kaiser/German culture believed in the imperial process of short/sharp wars for gain, thinking buttressed by decisively beating France in 1870. Ergo, war it was.

        China is not going to make this mistake. The only way they can fail to triumph economically is to get into a shooting war with the USA. Sure, they want Taiwan. But time is on their side. I view most of the Chinese military activity as “fleet in being” actions: the threat is real, but our imaginations make it larger than it really is. The “fleet” is never going to sail.

        Our military is unaffordable. Every penny spent weakens us further in the world of chips, batteries and manufactured goods relative to China’s methodical economic expansion. All China has to do is to encourage us to keep diverting our spending from economic expansion into the Pentagon. Strangely, this seems a lot like how Reagan got the Soviets to collapse.

        We should be able to figure this out and start investing in ourselves. The neoliberal globalization thesis resists with all of its might. Well, nice republic we had there…

  5. Stick'em

    re: What It Costs to Live LRB

    This is a decent account of how the homeostasis requirements of the body become the economic requirements of the society.

    “What do the majority of educated people know about poverty?” Orwell asks

    By George, I think we’re going to find out!

  6. timbers

    Biden shakes hands with thin air after North Carolina speech New York Post

    In fairness I’ll defend Biden against the headline as it’s not clear to me this was an intended handshake but rather it could be just a gesture. But any Joe/Josephine Smith watching this might well ask “So…who IS in charge of our govmit, honey? Because it’s not Biden.”

    On Ukraine, reports are that Russia stepped up her nightly targeting of military sites in eastern Ukraine which one might expect prior to ground movement.

    With the “whole world” saying it’s going to flood Ukraine with weapons (never mind a lot of that could end up in the hands all the mercenaries there with their own agendas some of which appear to be in custody of Russia now) that really is throwing gasoline on the flames. But Russia is under a time limit if she wants to reach her goals without a big increase in violence.

    1. Robert Hahl

      It looked like a real hand shake offer to me, but also just force of habit, since people often stand behind him during speechs. It didn’t look good but it was understandable. Part of this is just like what happened to Gerald Ford when he tripped once or twice, and ever after became a punchline (see: Chevy Chase). When Regan’s mental decline was obvious we used to wonder who was in charge. Some people said it was Nancy but that was hard to believe, so probably Bush the Elder. But this time it is definitely not VP Harris, so who?

        1. ambrit

          Perhaps no one person or cabal is in charge and the Administration is running along “Games Theory” lines.
          Call it a “von Neumann Administration.” Whoever or whatever is “controlling” the decisionmaking processes in Washington today would definitely fail the ‘Turing Test.’
          Some time ago, the puzzled in Foggy Bottom would ask: “What does Joan, (Nancy Reagan’s astrologer) say?”
          Now, those in the corridors of power, bedeviled by doubt, will ask: “What does the Biden Bot say?”
          Try and stay safe. The inmates are running this asylum.

          1. Wukchumni

            ‘Not Being There’ plot:

            Chance the Candidate, despite mired in the polls somehow perseveres thanks to divine intervention by the other hapless hacks who pass as leadership in the Donkey Show.

            When asked about inflation, Chance replied ‘there will be growth in the spring!, elevated in fact.’ ‘All Vladimir’s fault’, he added as his handlers almost simultaneously gave the kill his feed motion by mock slitting of their throats with a lone digit.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Someone should tell him never to turn his back on the camera. And that someone should make sure an aide is nearby to direct him. Are the staff failing him on purpose?

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          That was my reaction as well. Like the Obama diss video, sure, you can see what you want there, I guess? But was I saw both times is his people left him high and dry. And considering how stage managed politics is, it’s hard to think it wasn’t intentional.

          That’s not to say I don’t think Biden is sundowning and that Biden didn’t get dissed at his own shindig. I think both of those things. But there should be people around him to try to prevent YouTube moments like those and in both cases, it seems he was flying solo.

      2. Susan the other

        Whoever it is, has been lurking in the shadows since 1946. And becoming gradually bolder. The 3 videos yesterday on Gladio, the history of its genesis and longevity, were instructive. Whoever operates the secret services and black ops of NATO together, and those countries separately, is the puppeteer. Joe has always been their faithful servant. And he’s never been the sharpest tool, especially when it comes to skimming money. That’s part of his job description. I’m sorry to see him on display in all his cluelessness. But it is a good metaphor for the United States of America. So why not? In a nation without subtlety or nuance it’s either a blank stare or a paranoid rant. I’m beginning to wonder just exactly what concessions the “West” wants from Russia and China and the growing number of countries that sympathize with them. The US is clearly incapable of governing its own society, let alone that of others. If we could, we would.

        1. digi_owl

          Aka the MIC and Wall Street.

          Keep in mind that until Hitler started a hot war he was seen as a miracle man that got Germany back on its feet without turning communist.

          If not for the issue with the Swedish iron ore and Poland, there may never have been a western front during WW2.

          Damn it, US industry was happy to skirt sanctions by trading via Franco, and even sued DC, and won no less, after the war for bomb damage to their holdings in Germany.

          And hell, look up Smedley Butler and the Monroe Doctrine. It may well be that this has been going on ever since the colonies told London to pack it up and started expanding westward.

      3. KLG

        I remember seeing the entire video of Gerald Ford slipping and falling on ice. It actually showed that he was quite the athlete who played football at Michigan (as a star on two #1 teams) rather than the stumblebum Chevy Chase aped during the first year of Saturday Night Live. But there you go. As for Joe Biden, well he is old and slow.

    2. Screwball

      Re: Biden shakes hand. There was a video going around the other day of the Saudi’s (I think it was) mocking Biden and Harris. Basically making fun of his “gaffes.” It seems obvious to many of us his lessened condition, and I think IM Doc has even weighed in.

      But let me tell you, be careful around the PMC types with this kind of talk. They do not like it one bit. Even hint at the fact Biden isn’t all there and they are triggered big time. The two most common responses are 1) Are you a doctor? 2) Trump was the one who took a cognitive test, not Biden.

      Of course these are the same people who say Zelensky is a great world leader, Biden has handled the war magnificently, we are kicking Russia’s butt, there is no problems at the southern border, Jen Psaki is a national treasure, Rachel Maddow is a top notch journalist, and Steven Colbert is actually funny.

      For the life of me I can’t figure out what makes these people tick?

      1. Oh

        For the life of me I can’t figure out what makes these people tick?

        CNN. MSDNC, NPR, The Hill and a whole lot of propaganda media.

        Even sports sites are asking for donations to help Ukraine.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Funny you should say that. Was on the computer earlier and they had horse racing on. I was happily ignoring it until they had some jockey (I think it was) with his Ukrainian wife going on about helping the Ukraine and so the horse racing pundits (whom I bet could not find the Ukraine on a map) were saying what a terrific idea this all was. This propaganda campaign is insidious as it is relentless.

          1. Pat

            And as a racing “fan”, I would say said jockey would be better off lobbying for one of the various funds for hurt and disabled jockeys. Or perhaps the funds to support the workers in the barns. Or for the various programs to find places for retired horses.

            If you aren’t a top jockey, you are probably one accident away from being destitute. Like kitchen workers, grooms are absolutely necessary and are given subsistence wages. And unless the horse has breeding potential, the future can be very bleak for them. He might want to look around and realize that he is surrounded by need.

            This probably offends me more than it should because of my deep suspicion about most of these charities and more importantly the knowledge that most Americans believe that any responsibility we might have in this is satisfied by throwing money at it and absolutely no necessity to recognize that because we have not controlled our government we have either waged war or pushed proxy wars that have devastated region after region. All while stripping our citizens of time, health, and wealth for a select few who benefit from these actions.

            1. jr

              I’ve made a similar point to friends. If you want to help the downtrodden, start at home. You have a far better chance of knowing where the money goes rather than tossing it into a war zone.

        2. petal

          Even our local feed store is at it, selling blue, yellow, and white dog bandanas in different sizes.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was almost accosted @ Grocery Outlet in Mammoth by a gaggle of moms of students from a local school selling blue & yellow bipolar cupcakes in the foyer of the supermarket. (all proceeds go to Ukraine!)

            Closer to home, there are rumors that until peace breaks out, that UCLA will temporarily change it’s name to Ukrainian College Los Angeles.

            1. juno mas

              …and change their named colors from powder blue and gold to gunpowder blue and yellow(tail). The mascot will hibernate from a Bruin into The Brewsky. (To honor Zelensky.)

            2. jr

              American can-do spirit! Gotta keep those black markets thriving! How would you know? Maybe there is an NGO tracking the cupcake money, for a cut of course…

          2. The Rev Kev

            Maybe you could have pretended to look indignant and told them that your dog will only ever wear the “red, white & blue” and see how they react. If they go on, tell them that your grandfather was killed in WW2 fighting a Ukrainian SS Division at the end of the war.

            1. petal

              Luckily nothing was said. It was just some poor high school aged girl at a PT job. Happened to notice the display next to the register. Took a photo of it with my ipod for posterity. Don’t go in there much anymore as it is. They also have a radio ad flogging the fundraising effort. It’s “for the pets”. Very serious tone of voice and those horrible invading Russians, etc. A couple more Ukrainian flags have popped up as well. A couple on cars, and one a couple houses down. It’s impressive how pervasive the fundraising and propaganda effort is.

              An intellectually open-minded coworker and I got talking the other day and he mentioned he recently learned of our meddling there in 2014, and I suggested he read a little about the Banderites. He is starting to not eat the proverbial dog food. Gave him some other tidbits of info(thanks, NC) before the Banderite suggestion but didn’t want to overwhelm him so early in his awakening.

              I did have a relative in Nicki II’s personal guard, so the story goes. Great grandparents were from the ever-fluid northeast border region and spoke both Polish and Russian. They’d switch into Russian when they didn’t want their kids to know what they were talking about.

      2. Stick'em

        What makes these people tick? They Saw a Game:

        ^ This classic psychology paper has much explanatory power. Will make your head hurt much less.

        For the average American, there is no separation between the sports page and the news section.

        Politics is a team sport. Both Red and Blue team members necessarily see every issue as a Win/Lose zero-sum game. The people on the Blue team see every play as an opportunity for their team to win and the Red team to lose (and vice versa). So the most important question is not whether any single given issue is judged factually, but rather who wins the game!

        Therefore, whenever there is any sort of controversy, the referee is correct when he rules for the Blue team. In your example case, Biden is competent and Trump is a dotard.

        The referee blew the call if he sees it the Red team way, by ruling Biden is a dotard and Trump is competent.

        Unfortunately, the truth is both Trump and Biden are 80 year old dotards. That’s the objective call. And that’s exactly why Red/Blue team members can’t see it. Because the price to be a team member is to lose your objectivity.

        1. amechania

          The link’s name has changed in the last 6 years. Headline seems unchanged.

          “Ronald Reagan himself worked as a sports announcer for WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa during the 1930s. He would call Chicago Cubs games, but rather than being at the game, he would recreate the action from nothing but a slip of paper typed by a telegraph operator who was transcribing plays sent by Morse code.”

      3. dftbs

        What makes you think they are “ticking”?

        The propaganda regime around consensus building is as useless as it is insidious. The dirty secret is there is no need for consensus because the would be “tickers” don’t have any agency. Even if they disagreed, what would they do? Post? Tweet? Drop a deuce in Nancy Pelosi’s office?

    3. JTMcPhee

      Yah, gotta keep up the comfortable fiction of Biden’s compos mentis, despite these many indicia of his “lost in space” actual condition, while he “presides over” the house fire that’s about to burn it all down. C’mon, man — the poor old man is deeply into senescence. No amount of “we believe” “fact checking” and papering over changes the reality that he ain’t all there, and that the neocons and neolibs and oligarchs and crazies have us on the path to destruction. See, e.g., all the entries in the last weeks of NC.

      And Jeebus, look at the succession list. Kamala with the Football?

      1. barefoot charley

        It’s Harris or the gerontocrats–Pelosi, Clyburn, what’s left of Feinstein, they’re all a few months or moments behind Jumbled Joe. And their Democratic bench is Buttigieg ffs. Because Republican thought isn’t so policed, being out of power and in uncivil strife over Trump, I often see more reality and reflection from their side, not that I’d expect it to survive coronation. But in fairness, how could you serve the empire without being out of touch? I suppose out-of-touch is the payback.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Remember that time Trump was being careful going down a ramp at West Point because he didn’t want to do a Jerry Ford and the media made a big deal about it and how he might be medically unfit and said nobody else had a problem with that ramp? They even came up with #RampGate but when Biden looked totally lost, there was mostly silence in the media and certainly there was no #LostGrandpa tag-

      1. ambrit

        And Hillary Clinton “collapsing” at the 9/11 Memorial event in 2016. Her team tried to “spin” that one so hard it shifted the ‘balance’ of the Earth.

        1. Pat

          Harder to ignore, it was no simple stumble there was clearly something wrong.

          That they couldn’t get their stories straight also added to the spin session.

          1. ambrit

            The rumours about her being ‘on’ Coumadin were the most troubling. That is some evil stuff.

      2. ambrit

        And Hillary Clinton “collapsing” at the 9/11 Memorial event in 2016. Her team tried to “spin” that one so hard it shifted the ‘balance’ of the Earth.

          1. Wukchumni

            ‘i’ll have a double-double animal style, fries & a vanilla shake, and yes i’ll be eating it in my car.’

            1. ambrit

              Oh great. Now I have four left feet. I could barely dance with the original pair.
              Curses. See below. Now it’s six left feet.
              I’m beginning to feel like “Creepy” Joe, a stumblin an a mumblin.

      3. ambrit

        And Hillary Clinton “collapsing” at the 9/11 Memorial event in 2016. Her team tried to “spin” that one so hard it shifted the ‘balance’ of the Earth.

          1. Ed Miller

            Duplications – a thought.

            Why not try to refresh the page before hitting Post Comment again?
            I know it’s a pain since you don’t know where you will initially arrive
            on the page after doing refresh, but that might be effective.

            Full disclosure – I have not tried that myself, so just a thought.

            1. ambrit

              I’ll keep it in mind. The Internet Dragons are often hungry at the most inopportune times.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          You are the third person to mention this today!. Do NOT conjure up the evil spirits!

          1. ambrit

            I wonder what sort of a response I’d get if I did it over at Daily Kos?
            Here’s a business idea perfect for N’Awlins. Gris Gris Covid masks. Soak them in some ‘Special Hemp Oil’ and help the tourists stay safe and happy.
            Be safe down there cher!

              1. ambrit

                We’re waiting in anxious an-tici-pation round here too. Most of the people I see ‘out and about’ now are acting as if the Pandemic was over. Poor fools.
                The spike is starting up north, where, if I remember right, the former waves bagan.
                Please, please, don’t tell me you are wearing one of those Saints masks. (I have seen a few up here already.)

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Same here in Oz. People on the news are celebrating because of the return of ocean cruise liners, the first of which will be arriving in port tomorrow. It’s like being in the middle of a giant game of ‘Let’s Pretend’ but in this case, it’s ‘let’s pretend that the pandemic is over.’

      4. ambrit

        Interesting. I tried a comment placed here and ended up with an “Error 504” notice. So far, so good. It is the internet after all.
        Changing over to the Iceland server today? Seeing as Iceland looks to be a place where personal privacy is taken seriously, good!
        Serious question; Are Troll points permanent, as in the dreaded ‘Permanent Record,’ or do they wear away over time?
        Just curious.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Just hazarding an opinion here, but I think you’ll be fine in the long run. Just avoid any mention of Louis Pasteur.

          1. ambrit

            Is Madame Pasteur fair game?
            Seeing how we can “train” the algorithm to view us as ‘deplorables’ of the Internet variety, that would probably be classed as a successful essay of the “Reverse Turing Test.”
            I, for one, will be greeting our new Robot Overlords with extended manipulator appendages.

      5. Screwball

        I remember the outrage about that. Off the charts. Imagine if the media treated Biden the same way as they did Trump? Yet I hear the PMC class say the media is biased against them. Give me a break?

        Related; I just read a tweet blaming Russia for all the Hunter laptop stuff. And of course people ate it up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

        This country has went mad.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I can beat that. A coupla days ago I saw an article where the US blamed Russia for the disaster in Yemen – but then thanked Saudi Arabia and the UAE for all the help that they gave that nation. And you know that am not making it up.

      6. digi_owl

        I wonder if that will change depending on the outcome of the midterms.

        As in, they do not dare rock the boat right now by questioning his fitness to lead. But if they win then he can announce a dignified resignation and the ascendancy of Harris as madam president.

  7. Bandit

    US is hit by mysterious spate of severe hepatitis cases in children

    Just like the hundreds of athletes suddenly dropping dead and having heart attacks, I wonder how long it will take before the connection is made between the covid-19 vaccine and hepatitis? I am not making any claims, just curious:

    1. Noah Pinion

      Yes the observation was “…and this is PRE-OMICRON…” but the tweet did not say “pre-vaccine.” Subtle. I’d like to know too.

      1. aleric

        The article did say that the UK children who had hepatitis were nearly all unvaccinated. It looks like an aggressive new variant of a common virus, just another illustration of evolution in progress.

    2. diptherio

      You are repeating claims that have been pretty thoroughly debunked. Might want to be a little more skeptical about your sources of information. And your “just asking questions” line isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card for peddling a lot of BS.

      1. Josef K

        Exactly. Read the article before commenting, it’s stated very clearly that the study involved non-vaxxed kids.

    3. Josef K

      One should read the article before commenting, it’s stated very clearly that the study involved non-vaxxed kids.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      You misrepresented the study, period. That’s a violation of house rules.

      You were already in moderation for past misconduct.

      I trust you will find your happiness elsewhere on the Internet.

  8. LadyXoc

    One of my right-wing co-workers sent me an antiEV screed that pointed out 1) the US recharge infrastructure has not been built. And 2) full charges require several hours (as opposed to gas stations, where you can fill up in under 10 mins.) So where are the acres and acres of charging platforms that would be required to supply EV future? Do we even want to build more asphalted acres? This fantasy is not feasible (unless you go with Chinese EV carmaker model, where they have “gas station” that will exchange batteries in <10 min). Further, where does all this “clean” electricity come from? At least in part from burning coal. IMHO same goes double for self-driving cars: US does not have infrastructure (ie embedded sensors) to make this a possibility any time soon. Amen.

    1. griffen

      That article above was just a little too bright eyed for my perspective. I see where I’m based, that local stations are expanding the options to charge an EV; but I have no idea if those stations will charge a little faster than the standard assumptions. I think in regions dominated by major interstates, such as I-85 from Charlotte down through Atlanta, the quick charging option might likely increase in the next 5 to 15 years.

      I’m just not seeing the prevalent adoption of the technology, additionally low cost EV options aren’t exactly cheap to come by.

      1. Larry

        The article could take a look at a country where EVs have taken off to understand what the future might look like. How about Norway, where the majority of auto sales are now pure electric?

        A bit of internet sleuthing finds an article far more useful than the Vox article:

        The summation is that charging presents an opportunity to stations that will have captive customers for say an average of 30 minutes. Sell them more food and coffee. Every station becomes more like the fabled WaWa here in the US Northeast. Moreover, even if the car doesn’t need a charge or fuel, people will still need a rest stop as they travel longer distances.

        This transition is much farther off in the future for the US. We’re not subsidizing BEV vehicle purchases in the way that Norway is. The vehicles are scarce and expensive, being sold largely to well off people. I’d say gas station owners in the US have plenty of time to plan.

        1. JohnA

          In Oslo, EVs get free parking and do not pay congestion charge, the sticker price is subsidised as well. Oslo is verily Tesla city.

          1. digi_owl

            Bingo. And most of those exceptions were made law long before the Tesla was on the market. They were aimed at sponsoring compact cars like Norway’s own Think.

            But not many bothered until Tesla shipped a sports car, as then the CEOs etc got a car they were happy to be seen driving. And being an electric car, they could make use of all those exemptions.

            I know personally of people that went out and ordered a Tesla the same day a new toll road was announced around here, as a “fuck you” to the government. And these are people that vote right wing and pretend they are southern rednecks.

      2. Carolinian

        I could be wrong but I don’t think you can even buy a Tesla in SC due to state laws opposed to the no dealer sales method. You can now see Teslas around my town but not many.

        1. Art_DogCT

          Connecticut is under the same regime. Legislation to permit the sales of new vehicles into the state without restriction has been introduced perennially for some while. So far it has failed. I assume this is a campaign funded mostly/entirely by Musk and cut-outs. It seems the only manufacturer ever mentioned in the local/state press by frustrated buyers has been Tesla.

          I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Tesla in the wild. (I don’t get outside my small town very often, by necessity and design.)

          1. Bun

            Here in Vancouver, B.C. Teslas are everwhere, almost on every block and not just in the fanciest neighbourhoods.

            Now it makes sense here as all our electricity is hydro and cheap by world standards. If a region’s electricity is fossil fuel powered that changes the calculus considerably.

            (The vast majority of cabs are Priuses as well – they are cheap to run and last forever. I’ve been in many with >500,000km on the odometer.)

            1. Glen

              Just a bit south of you in the PNW, and EVs are actually becoming not “common”, but not unusual at all. Mostly Teslas, but also BMWs, Nissans Leafs, and GMs.

              To be honest, once you suck it up and pay for the sucker – these are pricey, but they need very, very little maintenance, and are extremely cheap to run. Good short range commuter car.

              I’m paying north of $60 to gas up even our small good mileage car, more for the pick up, but I’m sure that “filling up” a typical Tesla is about $15.

              But I would never buy a Tesla – I’m holding out for a dirt cheap, dumb as a box of rocks EV.

              1. playon

                I’d love to have a cheap and dumb EV too but finding that doesn’t come with all that smart crap will be a huge challenge, I predict.

    2. Michael

      In a small SF Bay area town where I manage property, the U 76 gas station still located in the middle of the downtown retail section, applied for a permit to allow 2 hydrogen fuel tank dispensers under the fueling canopies. Attached to these tanks is a 35 ft tall venting stack.

      City staff proposed a study session first, before talking permits and also expressed concern that the discretionary use permit standards might be difficult to meet.

      Venting stack caused me to dig further. Hydrogen storage leaks constantly in very small amounts and may be 11x more potent than methane. Just the thing to add to the downtown business district!

      1. Josef K

        There was an article about this recently, I believe linked to from this site. From that article:

        How does hydrogen act like a greenhouse gas?
        One way is by extending the lifetime of atmospheric methane. Hydrogen reacts with the same tropospheric oxidants that “clean up” methane emissions. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas, causing some 80 times more warming than an equivalent weight of CO2 over the first 20 years. But hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere clean it up relatively quickly, while CO2 remains in the air for thousands of years, so CO2 is worse in the long run.

        When hydrogen is present, however, those hydroxyl radicals react with the hydrogen instead. There are fewer cleanup agents to go around, so there’s a direct rise in methane concentrations, and the methane stays in the atmosphere longer.

        What’s more, the presence of hydrogen increases the concentration of both tropospheric ozone and stratospheric water vapor, boosting a “radiative forcing” effect that also pushes temperatures higher.

    3. Carolinian

      At the national level, lobbying groups that represent the gas station and convenience store industries have pushed back against a proposal in Congress to build EV chargers at public rest stops on the interstate because, they argue, it would undermine gas stations’ ability to compete.

      In my experience interstate highway rest stops are in decline rather than expanding and those that persist are usually quite crowded so putting the solution on the states seems dubious. Without a doubt there are huge practicality issues regarding current EVs with the batteries being at the top of the list. The Tesla approach exacerbates the problem by selling the cars on their long range and therefore quite large and expensive (and flammable) battery packs. Smaller, cheaper urban only EVs might make a lot more sense until the technology is more mature.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, a cheaper, urban only EV is what the GM Insight EV was intended to be (Pre-Tesla). It was too far ahead of the times. It was mostly leased for use in California. People who drove them loved them. In the end, GM had them all crushed for scrap. The Chevy Bolt EV is a subcompact that is now gaining favor for its price and urban utility.

        A more robust charging network is essential to EV adoption.

        1. Carolinian

          That GM car–there’s a movie about it–used cheaper, less dangerous ni-cad batteries as did the early Prius. The switch to lithium was due to the far greater efficiency.

          When Musk took over Tesla he decided a sports car was the way to go in order to sell the EV concept. But for AGW purposed a car that only rich people can afford does little. What is needed is an EV Volkswagen and a way of motivating, or pushing, people to buy it. Our coming $7 (?) gas price may help.

      1. juno mas

        Where I live the charging stations are being placed in parking garages, institutional parking (schools/Corp. HQ), and for Tesla SuperChargers, grouped in large shopping center lots. (shopping and entertainment).

    4. PlutoniumKun

      You don’t need a huge infrastructure to put in place a charging network. Existing gas stations and retail outlets will already have the basic electricity infrastructure in place as they have a high power requirement for pumps, air con, etc.. The capital cost of putting them in place is something like $250,000 for multiple superchargers on one circuit (which can charge most EV’s in around 30 minutes – the latest ones are down to 15 minutes). So its perfectly viable for a range of existing developments as it attracts business. The logical location for large scale charging is in retail and coffee outlets, not gas stations. Maybe it will be good for people to take a break and have a coffee on long drives rather than use drive-thru’s.

      The big problem in the US is scale – there just aren’t enough EV’s for the private sector to roll them out yet and there is insufficient government regulation and/or support to force it through.

      It would have course have been logical if there had been international agreements to force manufacturers to share battery swapping systems – this would greatly reduce the number of batteries needed per car and allowed for constant upgrading of battery tech. But there were too many obstacles to this – it maybe set EV’s back a decade.

      1. Charger01

        Chicken, meet egg. Is it the demand or the perception of demand that will create the business case for these capital outlays?

        In this case, neither. Not enough cars create not enough charging stations. Must be subsidized and (hopefully) standardized to flourish.

      2. TimH

        PK… I’d think you underestimate the extra kW taken by a bank of superchargers. A modest gas station with store and 24 pumps is taking of the order 10kW for the HVAC, 2kW for modern lighting, and perhaps 500W per pump. Call it 25kW peak. Per Pikiwedia (sp.), “Supercharger stalls have a connector to supply electrical power at maximums of 72 kW, 150 kW or 250 kW”.

        That’s not a small delta.

      3. solarjay

        Hi PK,
        I don’t agree with you as to the gas station coversion to EV station.
        A standard gas station with say 6-8 pumps has about a 200 amp service, single or 3 phase, roughly 50,000 to 75,000 watts max from the grid.
        A single lower end fast charger is 100,000 watts, think tesla super charger. With many cars now accepting up to 300,000 watts.
        With 8 pumps at 100,000 thats 800,000 watts just slightly above the 75,000 that feeds the gas station from the grid.

        Can the grid in that area provide that kind of power? Maybe, maybe not. If not, it is a big utility upgrade to bring in the extra power if its even possible. If it is possible then sure pretty easy, larger transformer and upgraded wires/service to the gas station.

        The idea that installing millions of high speed high wattage charging stations all across the US is going to be easy or fast or cheap is nuts. Its going to require a massive utility upgrade almost everywhere. Rural might actually be an easier upgrade because of easy access to poles/wires etc, vs city where most is underground and is already at capacity making it very expensive, time consuming etc to upgrade.

        Then there is fantasy of electric long haul trucks and charging them. Take a big interstate truck stop. Might be 12-20 diesel pumps. Each one fills a truck in about 10-15 minutes. Those trucks in electric would have about 2MW of battery capacity. Using a 3-1 charging/battery size ratio thats 6MW per truck x 12 stalls or 72MW, thats hugggge. And each one is going to take about 30-40 minutes at that rate. Lower power rates equal longer charge times. ( better for the battery but thats another story)
        What about when there is the inevitable power failure due to storm or whatever. Many gas stations and truck stops have a back up generator. But a 70mw generator? nope.

        Can this be done, yes, but its a massive expense that nobody its telling you about, funny that.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          All this assumes a massive one off take up of EV’s, and that the majority of charging will require superchargers, and that somehow all the infrastructure would have to be rolled out in a very narrow timescale. Only 5% of trips in the US are longer than 30 miles. So the overwhelming majority of all EV trips can be done using standard domestic chargers overnight or while parked at work or while shopping. Only a very small percentage of users will regularly exceed an EV’s range on a daily basis, and those people will be the very last to buy one.

          Since the average life of a car is something like 11 years, this means that even if there was an immediate ban on ICE vehicles, it would be 15 to 20 years before the great majority of cars were EV’s. And there would still be plenty of conventional cars around for those who either by choice or lifecycle want to keep an ICE. So the requirement for upgrading networks is well within the normal replacement life-cycle for power systems – or at least the normal design replacement lifecycle, I know of course in the US systems have been patched up for decades longer than they should be. But upgrading local grids is important and necessary anyway, with or without EV’s. It is, among other things, vital for decarbonising home heating and cooling.

          1. TimH


            So the overwhelming majority of all EV trips can be done using standard domestic chargers overnight or while parked at work or while shopping

            This is great for the middle classes who have access to power where their car is parked at home. But no service sector worker will be given charger access at work, and home charging in apartments is only feasible for the small percentage which have a private garage each with access to 120V.

            1. LifelongLib

              If the apartment/condo project has assigned parking it can put in power, meter each space and bill the owner. My parents lived in a condo (Utah) with that setup. It was proposed where I live (Hawaii) but so far not enough demand to justify the expense. It’s true there could be issues (someone might park in your space and charge their vehicle) but that’s more of a security problem than a technological one.

          2. Tom Bradford

            I seriously investigated ‘going solar’ last year. To go independent of the grid you need battery storage which was 50% of the cost – and every year the batteries lose capacity, to the point that after 10 years they would only have 80% of their notional storage, and it drops faster after that, meaning that to maintain the capacity to take what the panels are (hopefully) still putting out (they had a 25-year guarantee) you’d need either the replace the batteries or supplement them with additional, expensive storage. This was the main reason I didn’t go ahead with it.

            Hence every year you hold an electric vehicle your range shortens by a few % as the batteries age and lose capacity – and if the solution to charging times on the road is a battery swap you risk getting an older battery a few miles short of the ‘advertised’ range even if fully charged.

            1. gepay

              It’s spring now but I was wondering how heating an electric car affects the driving range.

    5. hunkerdown

      “Wings” exist to marry disinformation and passion. Yes, all of them.

      Teslas can charge a full “tank” in 30 minutes. This is available in the field, today. If charging takes these right-wing people several hours, those people need to upgrade their private home’s electrical service, install a Class 2 charger, and shut up about how society owes them something.

      “Nudges” are microaggressions that the bourgeoisie happens to like. We can whack political partisans about the ears with their own ideological postures, hold them at a distance for engaging in partisan passion play, and “reprice” partisan allegiance as community treason.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m a little sick and tired of playing the one-arm outdoor bandit and losing $100 each time.

        Do recharging stations charge you for ‘filling up’?

          1. Solarjay

            I’m not sure what you pay for electricity.
            Average EV is about 3 miles per kWh
            National average is about .15 cents per kWh.
            1 mile is 1/3 of 15c or 5c per mile.

            Electricify America is about .32-.45$ per kWH. Which makes it about 10-15 cents per mile.
            And many high wattage chargers are more than that.

            1. Taurus

              Interesting – I have never considered that the cost of electricity is comparable to gasoline cost.

              Based on Solarjay’s comment The break even comparison between electric and gasoline:

              at 10c/ mile the cost of electric is on par with a 3 dollar gallon (if you take a run-of-the-mill gasoline car@ 30 mpg). If you drive a Prius, then it is on par with like a 5 dollar gallon (the Prius does 50 mpg).

              So the raw economics works like this, you pay upfront and you keep paying for fuel on-par. Some marginal gains on maintenance that are probably offset by the major cost of replacing the battery at some point.

              1. TimH

                Just got my PG&E electric bill today, in sunny San Jose, CA. Useage in the first tier (lowest cost) is now 31.465c a kWh. Dunno how nasty the 2nd tier is, since I didn’t hit it. So equiv. of about $9/mile in your 30mpg example…

    6. Pelham

      Wouldn’t EV charging stations in many lonely or remote locations become prime venues for carjackings and robberies? Relatively prosperous EV owners would be stuck for lengthy periods — even if only for a few minutes — in places with no other law-abiding human beings in sight.

      I’m seeing only marginal reporting about it these days, but I should think it would be much more viable to invent renewable fuels that work in existing internal-combustion engines. Otherwise, as with EVs or even hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars, we need to topsy-turvy enormous volumes of infrastructure and release vast quantities of CO2 in the process.

    7. jr

      That and the tanker truck of water you need to drag around in case the batteries catch fire. We have a parking garage in our basement. I dread someone getting a Tesla in there, the whole building will go up.

    8. Maritimer

      Here’s fast talkin’ Scotty on electric cars:

      Just another of those experienced Deplorables who hold unacceptable opinions and may be a racist or misogynist. Trust the Government Climate Science just like the Government/WEF/WHO Kovid Science.

      Anecdotally, in my humble jurisdiction, during a highway drive today. I observed the twinning of the highway underway, i.e., going from two to four lanes. And extensive development of housing, a lot of them second homes, yes second. Meanwhile the Build Back Better folks have instituted a jack in the carbon tax. Like Covid Injections, one is supposed to just believe, don’t examine the evidence right before your eyes.

  9. Wukchumni

    The F-35 is so too effective – Against Americans. Andrew Cockburn
    It’s a mutt of an airplane, the kind that barks too loud-upsetting neighbors and has other annoying habits too numerous to mention, but isn’t the fix pretty simple?

    Rename it the F-38 Lightning, and it will evoke memories of cutting edge technology (the counter rotating props on the P-38 were genius) that the USA once had in spades.

    The Germans called the P-38 ‘the fork-tailed devil’, while the Japanese termed it: ‘two planes, one pilot’.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The report on readiness is interesting. It is mostly the B and C (Navy) variants that are particularly troublesome. Another key issue seems to be that the ‘just in time’ spares plan is a flop. A lot of them are sitting in the hanger waiting for spares. This should be a warning to any non-US country buying them – if you don’t order a lot of spares, you are very vulnerable to the whims of the US government, or the competence of suppliers.

      What is most concerning though is that its not getting better. The received wisdom is that it was put into service too soon. But its quite legitimate to do this (the Chinese do this all the time) in order to use the first Block or two as sacrificial aircraft to iron out problems in real life use. The Chinese J-20 is pretty much a dog in its first iteration, but is getting better and better with each upgrade and within a decade will be a formidable aircraft. But the F-35 seems to be stuck, at least in terms of readiness, and probably capabilities.

      Its still the only true fifth generation aircraft operationally, and would be very useful in a fight – the Finns in particular seemed very impressed with it and bought it over a wide range of other aircraft. But it will never be the cheap swiss knife it was designed to be. Its too expensive and too limited in its overall capabilities. It will be like the F-111 – an aircraft that was a bit of a disaster in its conception and design, but in the end proved quite useful in a limited role, albeit at a gigantic cost. It will never operate by itself, it will always have to be a complement to other aircraft to get the most out of it.

      The fundamental problem though is that its over designed. The airframe simply doesn’t have the capacity to grow and change in the way the F-15 or Sukhoi 27-35 platform has proven so useful. My guess is that the F-35’s will be retired when F-15’s are still in service.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Finns dropped some original requirements just to get F-35 included, which did raise some doubts. When F-35 was selected as the cheapest and best performing over the others, it became obvious to anyone with half a brain that the scoring was totally rigged to get the plane the Air Force wanted.

        Now with a possibility of an actual shooting war looming in the horizon, and Russia having demonstrated their missile capability, one would think there are second thoughts about purchasing a fighter that can only operate from 9 airfields in Finland. With 9 missiles any enemy can ground the Finnish Air Force completely.

        1. digi_owl

          Or that the politicians and the MIC wanted, with the air force brass playing along or risk getting sacked.

          And the politicians want it in order to curry favor internationally for when they are done with national politics.

          Or at least that is how the whole shit show seemed to have played out in Norway, and it would really surprise me if Finnish politics is that much different.

      2. David

        It will be interesting to see if these aircraft are offered under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) terms, which means that you buy spares through the Pentagon rather than direct from the manufacturer. The advantage is quick delivery from USAF spares facilities in your country or a neighbouring one, but of course you are never going to be first in the queue.

      3. RobertC

        The F-35 A-B-C won’t meet its expected (promised) operational effectiveness for the Fleet because:

        + logistics (ie, ALIS keeping it armed and flying)
        + SATCOM (ie, 5th generation ISR+C2 interoperability)
        + mission range (mid-air refueling is dangerous and frightfully expensive)

        Neither the future of naval ships nor naval aircraft is known, except that it will be turbulent and budget-busting. Starting now…

    2. The Rev Kev

      Maybe when they get around to building a replacement for the F-35 in about twenty or thirty years time, they can once more pinch the name of a WW2 fighter like they do with the P-38 ‘Lighting’. Hey, maybe they could call that one the ‘Brewster Buffalo’.

    3. RobertC

      Early in F-35 days the naval aviationists bragged to we surface ship “airfields” about the awesomely great capabilities of their new thing. I already knew from simple weight, etc analysis the performance compromises across A-B-C but didn’t want to burst their bubble. Having experienced the “wisdom” of the logisticians, I looked into the just-in-time enabler ALIS. Did some quick bandwidth math and asked the SATCOM bubbas if they knew about this huge new demand. Nope — never heard of it — nobody asked — besides bandwidth demand exceeds bandwidth available already (it always does).

      Which leads me to a core weakness of naval operations — the dependence on SATCOM. Attending a conference a few years before retirement I saw some folks off to the side, the kind whose real names don’t match their badges. So I told them how I’d disrupt* naval operations — operate a jammer (they made them in the Ukraine those days) for 3 minutes causing all TCP connections to timeout and OSPF to essentially reset and then scoot before a HARM found me then repeat 50 miles away a half-hour later… They smiled saying they got that covered. I walked away, both of us knowing the other were fools.

      And for these two reasons much of what makes the F-35 5th generation for the Fleet is lost.

      * disrupt rather than disable — the wounded take more time and attention than the dead.

    4. BillC

      F-35 effective against American military officer, too?

      Quoting yesterday (if inaccessible, see here for less detailed coverage):

      The US Navy has fired the commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center East in North Carolina due to a “loss of confidence in his ability to command.” The facility is responsible for overhauling the service’s variant of the next-generation F-35 fighter jet.

      The story does NOT assert that the change of command was specifically due to F-35 issues, though it notes “[Cherry Point NC MCAS] is the only facility in the US certified to carry out crucial airframe strengthening work on the F-35B, a variant of the F-35 fighter jet used by the Navy and Marine Corps” and cites cost and throughput figures that might suggest a relationship.

      Having grown up 1954-1964 at Cherry Point, I still recall how far away DC seemed despite its importance to us. One wonders if DOD has picked someone a long way from the beltway as a convenient scapegoat for its difficulties in keeping pigs flying.

  10. JMM

    The official Russian line is that the Moskva was promoted to a submarine to scout the Black Sea bottom for nazi parafernalia, and it doesn’t matter what was the cause, because that was the plan all along.

    1. Wukchumni

      There is said to be no defense against one of the Russian high-tech hypersink weapons if you are a hapless sturgeon in its way en route to Davy Jones Locker.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      The hottest trending meme on the internet seems to be to laugh at the Russians. First the tank forces were a joke, then the Air Force and now the Navy. But I’m yet to see the news report poking fun at the Russian missile forces, showing their cruise missiles malfunctioning and landing in some poor Ukrainian farmer’s field, for example. Every night they fire off a new salvo of Kalibrs and by and large they seem to land on a dime. So if you’re counting on their nuclear-tipped missiles being duds, I wouldn’t be so sure. It’s all fun and games, but it also seems to be fueling this attitude in the West that confronting the Russians is no big deal. That’s dangerous.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

        Mahatma Gandhi

    3. Tor User

      There are multiple stories that say the US believes the Moskva was hit by Neptune missile(s).

      That said, I agree that it is unlikely those missiles directly caused the ship to sink. That is based on having spent time in the past modeling this issue. (The bigger the ship, the more holes needed.)

      Indirectly though, the ship was known to have limited fire fighting capability.

      And this is a picture is NOT from the Moskva but another Russian ship a few years ago. Very risky if something like this was going on.

      The Moskva was providing anti-air capability into southwestern Ukraine, something that will not as easily done with the remaining Russian ships.

      Here is a Russian MOD released video of a Russian ship (not the Moskva) engaging a Ukraine drone:

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Putin’s Ruble Standoff With Europe Risks De Facto Gas Embargo”

    At this point, I think that the EU should totally call Russia’s bluff. Just refuse to pay for that gas as Russia would surely give away billions of dollars of gas for free, wouldn’t they? In Germany, the head of the Federal Network Agency of Germany was saying in an interview ‘You will have to ask yourselves a question, whether you really need to take a hot shower seven days a week – with gas heating.’ I hope that he is not talking about winter-time though. A cold shower in winter-time is guaranteed to cause, ahem, some shrinkage.

    The European Commissioner for Competition was saying to ‘control your own and your teenager’s showers, and when you turn off that water, say, ‘take that, Putin.’ But if the Russians cut gas off to the EU for non-payment, it will not matter how much the EU leaders try to blame Russia for it as people will know who is really causing the chaos and economic contraction. Washington wanted regime change? It may get its wish but not where it hoped to be. Remember – ‘Winter is Coming.’

    1. Dandelion

      Was in Germany during winter of 73-74 Oil Embargo, and the Netherlands singled out to receive NO oil at all. I can’t believe Germans don’t remember that winter. I’m sure there are Dutch who do. My memory is of sitting in my unseated classroom in parka and gloves watching my breath plume out in front of my face.

  12. Steve B

    Re: Gilbert Doctorow article
    Doctorow intriguingly suggests that the US proxy war with Russia might find another flashpoint in the Kurile Islands, with Japan playing the role of a Ukraine in the Pacific. Nasty! Another possible flashpoint in the Pacific are the Senkaku islands, contested not by Russia and Japan but by China and Japan:

    There’s a scenario where the Ukrainian war is a US strategy designed to pin down Russian forces in Europe to prevent them from reinforcing China in a Japanese war. A two-front strategy, in other words. Are the US State Department boffins that clever and/or crazy? Probably not…

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Crazy would be my guess. Without imports from China, inflation would be even worse than it is right now, not to mention the US imports a lot of critical drugs from where else but China. Someone must really hate old Joe, because inflation and Hunter’s laptop will surely finish him off. Would love to see Old Joe’s Pikachu face when someone tells him that it’s time for a “regime change”.

    2. Louis Fyne

      China doesn’t need Russia’s help and the peeps at State Dept. have gone bat-s crazy thinking that a simmering UA proxy war helps the US

      In any US-China war, the US has to win. China has to merely not lose (of course tChina will want to win too) as inflation and supply chain breakdowns hobble the US

      The US, in the name of ostensibly keeping down he rise of China,is only encouraging China to stand up to the US.

        1. hunkerdown

          As if on cue, Shen Yun’s coming back to town. This time, they’re not coy about it. They’re not bringing us “5000 years of history in one night”, but “China before Communism”.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve been curious about the Japanese very hard line on Ukraine. Its a direct contrast to the ROK (among others) which has soft pedaled its response and (very subtly) given two fingers to the US. Its very unJapanese to take a lead on an international matter. And particularly so as Japan has been very slowly stepping away from its dependence on the US militarily (very slowly, but also quite clearly if you follow their policy statements closely over the years). I don’t think the Japanese establishment has quite forgiven the US for not selling it the F-22, not to mention AUKUS.

      I think there may be a number of domestic considerations at work. One is that they are concerned about the Kurile Islands – but if this is the case, then its backfired as Russia has pretty much shut down any discussion on the islands and surrounding fishing areas and there is little Japan can do about it. It may also be that they may be trying to signal to China that Japan will not roll over if Taiwan is taken – Japan has very strong but low-key links with Taiwan, including military links.

      If so, they’ve been very clumsy about this – the ROK has handled it much better. The potential blow back to Japan is likely to be quite severe if Putin were to follow Doctorow’s ideas. It would very much suit China if Japan found itself in difficulties over the Kurile Islands as it can’t rely on direct US help, and the ROK and other powers in the area won’t be sympathetic.

      However, it is possible this could become a major flashpoint. Japan is deeply aware of the military vulnerability of its far northern islands – historically they’ve been passed back and forth between Russia for centuries. If they overstepped the bounds, I don’t doubt that the Russians would be in the mood to take whatever steps they deemed necessary. This could lead to Japans slow militarisation going back into full throttle. If a multi-polar world comes out of the Ukraine crisis and the US steps back, or is forced back, from the western pacific, both ROK and Japan will have little choice but to carve out their own areas of interest.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There are 273 million people in Indonesia. 97 million in Vietnam. Without being the chosen of DC, Japan has to learn to play ball with people they brutalized not that long ago or become post Brexit, UK in the Pacific with less US tourism.

        Seoul is too close to China to be cut out with NK needing management, but comparative tech advantage is fleeting.

        1. Lex

          Yeah, the Koreans on both sides of the DMZ aren’t to fond of Japan either. I once had a 7 year old kid say, “Teacher, I love the USA!” Weird, but I asked why? “Because you nuked Japan.” It’s why S. Koreans are rarely concerned by DPRKs missiles like one might expect. They know they’re for the US bases and Japan. The latter would be quietly supported.

          1. SocalJimObjects

            It’s not just the Koreans. A famous Taiwanese novelist who lives in Japan, Lee Qin-feng/Li Kotomi once said in an article that the Japanese remembers their occupation of Taiwan more fondly than the Taiwanese.

            I’d say a lot of people in Asia like Japanese culture, but they don’t like Japanese people. I myself like going to Japan quite a bit as a tourist, but living and working there is a different story altogether.

      2. ACPAL

        If one takes an extraterrestrial view of the geopolitical Earth it looks like someone is trying to start WWIII and the US is the point man. The US grew the Russia/Ukraine issue over many years and is now encouraging the weakening/destruction of the entire European continent. At the same time the US is trying hard to start a major Asian war. They’ve already ruined most of the Middle East and weakened strategic parts of South America and Africa. In the meantime the US territory is relatively unscathed and not likely to be a direct participant should WWIII break out. Should WWIII break out the US stands to make a fortune selling arms and be in a position to rule the world afterward. The avid participation in their own destruction by so many countries will, I’m sure, be the subject of numerous studies.

        1. juno mas

          The apparent protection provided by two large oceans is about to become a thing of the past: nuclear powered submarines with nuclear warheads. And dispersing homemade munitions across those same oceans will be subject to other lethal submarines.

          Russia’s protection is that her landmass is about a fifth of the planet. She is fighting a war next door and has multiple routes of munitions supply. There are no winners in war; but it appears the US lifestyle will fall the furthest.

        2. redleg

          I’m getting physically sick of reminding people that WW3 will be over in a day or two, because both sides will use nukes. As in launching all of them. There is no incentive for keeping any in reserve once the first one is detonated.
          If anyone wins, they will rule the world and even be able to amass all of the world’s wealth but so what? The world will be mostly uninhabitable for decades.

          Y’all need to understand that thinking WW3 is survivable is insane. Direct combat between US /NATO and Russia is a 72 hour war resulting in billions of deaths. It’s complete madness.

    4. Nels Nelson

      Doctorow’s article reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from “Breaking Bad”. It is between Mike Ehrmantraut played by Jonathan Banks and Walter White played by Bryan Cranston. To quote Mike: “I took a half measure when I should have gone all the way”.

    5. curlydan

      On that Doctorow article, why does he even bother going here with this statement?
      “Add to that the ignorant but voluble speculations of simple Western journalists, especially ladies, who have never held firearms of any kind let alone drawn up battle plans.”

      I’ve seen a lot of speculations by simple Western journalists, but have yet to see a noticeable male/female split in their amount of ignorance.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        IdPOL rearing it’s ugly head. Stick to Economics.

        Reminds me of the Russian Propaganda Video the other day calling the UkraNAZIS femboys for letting a woman do their dirty work (in that fake Scythe Beheading Video).

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I took this as a dig at Anne Applebaum. I don’t know why he doesn’t call her out by name, except perhaps by identifying one armchair general, he’d have to list more, and that would eat up the entire piece.

    6. RobertC

      I believe Russia’s ‘softly, softly’ approach applies to Japan as well as Ukraine. Similarly China’s patient expectation for the return of the “wandering” province. I believe Russia-China are worried (frightened) that Biden and the Blob lack the self-control and confidence (and ability) to find the off-ramp to deescalation even when they keep pointing to it. But of Biden’s three policies articulated shortly after inauguration — cooperation, competition and confrontation — he keeps choosing the third giving us this:

      And, in the end, when prices spike and costs rage, it will be the Russians and Chinese who will be able to suffer it out far better than the Americans or Europeans. Charlie Sheldon March 31, 2022 at 12:00 pm

  13. Ctesisas

    Re: Special recognition to Cuban anti-COVID-19 vaccine developers

    It’s an impressive example of what a small society with extremely limited resources can achieve when education and healthcare are its true priorities.

  14. Lexx

    The three articles on severe hepatitis in children…

    What’s reported in these articles is less interesting to me than what isn’t… the answers to the kinds of questions I’d be asking if presented with cases of very young children suffering severe hepatitis in Covid times combined with inflation. Like what income class do those kids come from? Were they born vaginally or cesarean? Breast fed or formula? Store bought or homemade? And as for the last two questions, especially children in the southern U.S..

    (Were they tested for Covid? Which variation?)

    What’s on my radar of late is the early indoctrination and training of the human immune system, 80% of which lives in our bowels. I jumped down the internet rabbit hole to look at what’s actually in baby formula in 2022, compared to homemade ‘formula’ for babies that ‘failed to thrive’ in 1958. What had changed/improved in the last 64 years?

    Formula was not available on the grocery store shelves then; it was usually made at home: a combination of whole cow’s milk, sweetener, and maybe an added fat source. If you lived in the south, the sweetener was likely Karo syrup. My family came from Texas and Tennessee. Cheap, infinitely shelf stable, non-crystalizing, widely used in baking and candy-making – modified corn syrup. If a baby was diagnosed with chronic constipation (moms then and now have expectations for how often their baby’s bowels should move), then properties of Karo also acted as a humectant and therefore, stool softener. Later as babies transitioned off this enhanced milk to solids, the stool softening of Karo was also withdrawn, and thus may children be set up for a lifetime of ‘gut problems’ because of which microbial colonies dominated the bowel henceforth.

    I’ll skip past the consequences of overly prescribed antibiotics since the 1960’s.

    I’ve read that baby formula has become very expensive and globally in short supply. What are parents to do? What might they do?

    The Ombre Lab report I received last month revealed high levels of Clostridium difficile. Usually the obvious symptom of high levels of C. diff in adults is diarrhea, but not in 20% (or less) of small children. Instead it may manifest as constipation. The immaturity of the immune systems of small children, their bodies’ more malleable nature, allows for the occupation of competing microbial interests without war breaking out.

    I welcome any holes you may want to poke in this line of reasoning. I have to present this case in two weeks to a skeptical audience… my nurse practitioner.

    1. Pat

      I would add another. My mother used to joke I was a jello baby. I never knew why breast feeding was not an option, but I also couldn’t handle the only commercial formula at that time (I am also positive that because of the expense, my family would have been supplementing it even if I could handle it.) Apparently at the time the homemade version was made using Jello as a base, after it was dissolved but before it set.

      I don’t know if it had humectant properties.

  15. digi_owl

    1. Ukraine Neptunes missiles could not have done it because reasons. But possible Norwegian NSMs sent in by UK. Note Pentagon refused to confirm Ukraine did it.

    Can make sense, if UK has gotten it there already (suggesting it may have been on its way before BJ went on a social call to Kiev).

    It is compact and self contained enough that potentially the launcher could just drive up to the coast line and start searching for targets.

    Sadly it seems to be Norway’s most successful export besides hydrocarbons and farmed salmon.

  16. jax

    One Ticket to Rwanda

    Sorry if I missed this earlier but Boris Johnson has settled on a fantastic way to rid Merry Olde of all those brown faces. From here on in, unaccompanied males arriving illegally In the United Kingdom will go directly to a holding center in London. Close to the wharfs, because they’re leaving for Rwanda.

    “Rwanda will have the “capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead”, including those who have arrived “illegally” since the start of the year, Johnson said, with a straight face. /s off

    Britain has said it will take 200,000 Ukrainian refugees. That’s fungible because today it added “100,000” relatives. My question is when it reaches 350,000 Ukrainian refugees are they going to Rwanda too?

    Look, it’s beautiful geographically. But IMO Truth & Reconciliation Tribunals only go so far. What a friggn’ hornets nest.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They pinched that idea from Australia with our off-shore detention where we take our problems and make it some other country’s problems in exchange for a big dollop of cash. I’m pretty sure that the Brits sent out a team to study what and how we were doing it.

    2. c_heale

      How are they going to get them to Rwanda? I doubt the UK will have enough aviation fuel or planes to fly them there.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “NATO soldiers captured during special operation in Ukraine – Klimov”

    Rumour has it that the worry is that any captured NATO officers could be ‘persuaded’ to spill the dirt on any other NATO operation. And if NATO does not know who has been captured and who has been killed, that makes it worse. So perhaps that is why that British merc – Aiden Eslin who was captured in Mariupol – was sporting a few bruises. I had thought that this was caused by him having to help the Chechens with their inquiries but maybe the real message was that if they capture any NATO officers, they will do the same and worse to them and find out everything that they know.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Do they believe that torture will help them find out? Will the Russia side say that since torture worked so well for America, the Russia side will use it to equally good effect here?

      1. voteforno6

        What kind of information could they give up? Unless there’s something that is imminent that the captured people would know about, it’s extremely doubtful that the Russians would get anything operationally useful.

      2. LifelongLib

        The “torture doesn’t work” meme is an evasion. The ugly truth is that torture works often enough that people keep on trying it. If evil wasn’t tempting nobody would bother with it.

        1. barefoot charley

          Torture works pretty well for getting some mope to say anything you want him to, so your lie is factualized. It’s also good for revenge, and terror. I seem to recall the Russkies doing more of it in their last years in Afghanistan. Seems inappropriate (at least premature) in Ukraine.

          1. Polar Socialist

            A few POW torture videos were also exceptionally good at getting the whole Russia to support the Special Military Operation to the extent that if Putin doesn’t go trough with the de-nazification, he will be replaced with someone who does.

            At least for now.

      3. The Rev Kev

        I should have clarified my comment. You don’t need to go full Abu Ghraib with prisoners as that is just being evil for the purpose for being evil. So you might rough them up, keep them short of sleep, keep the lights on in their cell like happens in the US prison system (think Chelsea Manning) but what really works is establishing eventually a rapport with prisoners to get them to talk. The FBI was getting truly great results at Guantanamo Bay getting those prisoners to tell them everything that they knew. But then the CIA pushed them aside and did the full torture routine because reasons which meant that you never knew if a prisoners was giving real information or just bs to stop the pain and torture.

      4. HotFlash

        I think the Russians believe, and not without reason, that it will, um, encourage others to surrender. I know I would think twice if I saw a comrade-in-arms being paraded with bruises but still quite alive. I would note that the hapless merc was not beheaded, which spectacle would, I suspect, strengthen resolve. A mercenary has to think about how much is death is worth to him, and in what coin.

    2. digi_owl

      Funny thing is that you would think such a claim would get some headline coverage.

      But so far nothing, not even a notionally “independent” outlet like Al Jazeera seems to have anything about it. But there is a whole lot of talk about the recent sinking and helicopter strikes.

      This conflict is looking dirtier and dirtier each day…

    3. redleg

      Keep in mind that mercenaries have no rights when taken prisoner. The Geneva Conventions do not apply, assuming the Russians and Ukrainians are complying with the Conventions in the first place.

  18. scarnoc

    Gonzalo Lira has been quiet for 24 hours as of this timestamp. It is possible that the internet is not functioning in Kharkiv. Let us hope the bad guys have not bagged the man.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Patrick Lawrence has been killing it lately.

      It’s funny in a Hells Humor kinda way when he’s literally running from Ukrainian Sniper Fire yelling, “PLEASE LIKE THIS VIDEO AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL!!!!” huffing and puffing.

      Apparently, his YT subscribers have rocketed 600% from 60,000 to 350,000 in like 6 weeks.

      1. Revenant

        I think you mean Patrick Lancaster, JHB.:-)

        Good to see you so alive today – and back in N.O. apparently.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Whoops, thx.

          Yeah, working for Intel in Oregon was great and all, but it was time to come home. Spent a few months in jail in Colorado for some stuff back in 2014. Now looking for a decent job.

          I Normally don’t post so much but I’m out of my recent depressive phase which lasted about 4 months and I drank a whole cup of coffee. Lol.

          Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, Revenant.

    2. chuck roast

      I loved his Great Barrington rap. I was in the neighborhood a few months ago with my sister and her old buddy. Sis is totally on the ropes from ovarian cancer, so I am completely at her disposal. Her bud suggested that we go to the Norman Rockwell Museum which is up the road a bit. I bit my tongue, and off we went. Yep, Great Barrington is the perfect spot for the Norman Rockwell Museum

      1. djrichard

        Giving that some more thought, this is where Bernie blinked. HIs reflexes were to genuflect to the virtuous when they pulled out the Russia card. He was afraid to be off the reservation. Still is.
        Tulsi Gabbard isn’t afraid to be off the reservation though. Trump was and if course is always game just to be provocative. Even so, I think Trump will blink when it comes to Russia too, and genuflect to virtue – Trump won’t trust his instincts.

    1. chuck roast

      A few days ago he took a walk along the Sea of Azov with the intent of interviewing the locals in Mariupol and viewing the Azovstal where the hard-core rightist are holding out. At the end of the walk he climbed a hill overlooking the port and filmed the steel works smoking in the distance. Best piece of reportage I have seen on the war.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Out here in western NC 40 minutes west of Asheville, I see Tesla’s almost every day I drive to the grocery store; And it’s a short <15 minute drive. (And plenty of luxury cars, people be richin' out here apparently.) Downtown Waynesville has had a couple of charging stations in the (very small) city parking lot for quite a few (5?) years now. Not really what I expected out here, but people with money apparently like this area. Why escapes me.

    1. Tater

      I’ll bet many of those fancy cars have Florida or Louisiana plates. Have an aunt who inherited an old hunting cabin outside of Franklin. She said western NC is a summer escape from more humid climes. The locals aren’t keen about the gentrification including in Cashiers and Highlands. I saw lots of fancy imports but no Tesla when I visited summer before last.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        I see a lot of Teslas driving around New Orleans/Metairie area in Louisiana. At least one every time I make the drive from the suburb to the city.

    1. salty dawg

      Thanks flora, I found Bad Cattitude’s explanation of trojan framing to be excellent.
      It’s a trick we’ve all seen used, and are at least somewhat aware of, but seeing it laid out and explained is helpful for recognizing when it’s being used.

  20. drumlin woodchuckles

    From one of the articles about sudden hepatitis outbreak in young children . . . ” Nine children — all under six years old — have come down with severe cases of the inflammatory liver condition since October. At least one suffered acute liver failure.

    In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched an investigation into the potential cause. ”

    I personally wonder if those children had contracted covid first. I wonder if seemingly mild-symptom covid could have attrited and degraded those childrens’ immune systems just enough to make them infectable by these hepatitis viruses or by “adenoviruses” acting in a hepatitis-o-genic manner as suggested in the article. I believe that question deserves to be asked in a rigorously scientific way.

    My general theory of the CDC is that it has long had the secret mission of deliberately encouraging covid to spread on purpose. Is my general theory predictive? I will run a prediction experiment. Based on my general theory of the CDC lihoping covid on purpose, I hypothesise that the CDC will rigidly refuse to ask this question and will suppress every effort by anyone else to ask this question where anyone can hear it being asked. If that is what the CDC does, then my general theory of the CDC is just that much more supported. If the CDC actually researches that question, then my general theory of the CDC is just that much undermined.

    Let us now see what CDC asks in its research on this problem.

  21. ChrisRUEcon


    #Sigh … it’s the same everywhere … plutocracy+kleptocracy = oligarchy = We’re-Familyblogged

    This snippet from the Sharif article is probably glossed over by many, but it’s the neutron that starts fission as it were:

    “PTI senator and steel magnate Nauman Wazir …”

    We are governed by the wealthy and governments the world over will do the bidding of the capital class. Q.E.D.

    • Former president and real estate magnate, Donald Trump …
    • Speaker of the House, Pelosi whose net worth is $120M …
    • Former hedge fund manager and current Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak whose net worth is estimated to be £200M …

    Sharif will last as long as he is useful to the capital class unless there is outright revolution. I am wondering if there is not even a modicum of national pride in the military leadership of Pakistan – being seen as a lapdog of the US must not be too painful so long as its leaders can live lives of relative luxury and comfort.

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Count her out at your peril. This is the $-snippet to my reckoning (from the WaPo article):

      … she trailed Macron by only 4.7 percentage points, and defeated him among every age category except voters over 65.

      I think at this point, people are looking at centrists and realizing that they are in fact no bloody better than right-populists from a moral perspective, and are actually worse than right populists from an economic perspective. Centrist good cops are losing out to right-wing bad cops, essentially. Still wishing it were JLM instead of her, or maybe even Le Pen v Melenchon, but to grab a lyric from Genesis’ “Land of Confusion”: “This is the world we live in … And these are the hands we’re given”

      … and now we wait.

      1. Skippy

        One of my French connections around here Etienne, small businessman, hard working, still owns 300 year old family farm in France/holiday rental now, and very keen political observer/still votes, is quite aware sorts Emmanuel Macron hangs out with disdain and yet sees Jean-Luc Mélenchon as a maniac.

        Still awaiting to catch up with my across the road electrical engineer for a civic/industrial lighting mob French neighbor due to the holidays. Both are in their 50s with Oz wives and kids just out of high school and both probably skew egalitarian mix bagged conservative.

        So from the petite bourgeoisie perspective of this sorta of demographic I would say Macron is vulnerable, more so if Le Pen can dial in her policies/rhetoric to target Macrons wobbly voters whilst JLM is labeled a fringe dweller hangover from the past ….

        Happy long weekend …

  22. NorD94

    on the NY state covid19, I’ve seen this “variant du jour” reported in a few articles:

    NY Issues COVID Warning as New Omicron Subvariants Fuel ‘Significant Community Spread’ – Over the last few weeks, state health officials say they’ve been focusing on higher than average infection rates in Central New York, and they believe the highly contagious BA.2 subvariants are responsible

    Two omicron subvariants of the highly transmissible BA.2 strain are fueling “significant community spread” in parts of New York, state health officials say, calling their data the first charting such subvariant transmission rates in the U.S.

    The emergence of subvariants BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 both sublineages of the BA.2, strain that some have described as the most contagious version of COVID yet, comes as that parent subvariant intensifies its already-dominant grip on America and New York, where data shows it’s circulating at a faster rate than nationally.

    New York state data puts BA.2’s prevalence at 80.6% of COVID infections, though recently updated reports from the CDC suggest its share could be even higher. And early findings indicate the subvariants could be up to 27% higher than BA.2, which was said to be up to 60% more contagious than the original omicron strain that overtook the globe, leading to unprecedented case rates earlier this year.

    For the month of March, BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 rose to collectively comprise more than 70% prevalence in Central New York and more than 20% prevalence in the neighboring Finger Lakes region, the state said in an advisory issued Wednesday.

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    About videos being a time-inefficient way to get information . . . if it is just a talking-head video without any valuable visual-dependent information which can’t be transcripted, then I can share the frustration. Since many talking-head videos are not transcripted, and yet they may contain valuable information, is there a way to speed up their rate of play to where the voices sound high and funny ( remember doing this with those old fashioned grade school record players?) but yet can still be understood?

    If a talking head video could be played 3 times faster, it would be 3 times less time inefficient. Is there a way to do that on a computer?

    1. flora

      If it’s a youtube video, the answer is ‘yes’.

      On the bottom of the video window, where the progress bar and sound bar are, on the right side is a “settings” icon – looks like a gear wheel or a daisy flower. Click on the settings icon. Several options appear including “Playback speed”. Click Playback speed and click the playback speed you want to try. Playback at 1.25 or 1.5 works pretty well for talking voices.

      1. Brian L

        Many players have this option. For instance, there is a 30 min. talk with Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter on Ray McGovern’s site. No transcript, but at the left of the audio player is three vertical dots (supposed to resemble a menu, I guess) and you can change the speed there. BTW, (Spoiler alert) Scott Ritter thinks Le Pen is Europe’s potential savior and his argument isn’t horrible. Ritter is assuming that she would walk her talk. It is good to see Ritter really getting around, and getting support from many outlets.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      I’ve been watching(listening too actually) Alan Watts youtube while doing dishes or driving. Wouldn’t dream of altering his cadence but multi tasking still works..

    3. LawnDart

      Not a fan of video except for entertainment.

      When reading, I often tend to skim until something catches my eye, and then I’ll stop, back up, and re-read somewhat slowly until I’ve caught the point or have given myself a chance to ponder upon and digest things.

      I also find that people often put more thought and care into their written words than what is spoken– what is written may carry more weight and value. And when’s the last time you came across a fast-writing bullshitter who could actually pull it off? They usually get called-out fairly quickly on this blog.

      For anything other than “lite” subjects, video or podcasts just aren’t worth my time.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And Arnold Schwarzenegger can be his Vice President. That way, we can have President Schwarzenegger after we get done with President Musk.

  24. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” How Tesla and EV charging networks threaten the future of gas stations ” . . .

    Gas station owner/operators will naturally obstruct the rollout of EV charging networks as hard as they can.

    What if we had laws designed to torture the Oil Companies into letting independent and franchisee gas station owner-operators add EV charging stations right there in the gas stations? Then they could become gas and EV-charging stations at the same time.

    I know, I know . . . . with the Petro-Butler government we have, such legislation is a silly dream at the National-Federal level. But could such laws be forced into existence in some states at the state-by-state level?

  25. Wukchumni

    My brother in law played on the Beach Boys for about a decade (only 1 member is from the original group-it’s essentially a ghost band) and lives in tiny town here and his daughter was going to be married in theory later today, but most everybody in the wedding party came down with Covid in the past couple days, meaning that the 130 guests aren’t coming as the wedding has been postponed…

    Thank goodness the pandemic is over!

    Shut Down, by the Beach Boys

  26. jr

    Zeitgeist watch:

    I was just up in the Bronx and saw a fabulous billboard. On the right was a close up of the Madonna, on the left a nuclear mushroom cloud. I forget the wording on top but the bottom said “Pray, my children!” in gigantic letters. No indication who was paying for it.

    1. ambrit

      This message is all over the “hard core” religious internet at present.
      The worrying element in this is the still persistent anti-Russia focus of the Roman Catholic Church. It is gussied up as Post Soviet Angst, but I imagine that it could be yet another reiteration of anti-Eastern Roman Empire sentiment from back in the day, say circa 1054.

      1. The Rev Kev

        In fairness, the Pope tried to organize some Easter celebration that would have Russian and Ukrainian women come together in a peaceful procession for this weekend. But then the Ukrainians screamed blue murder about this happening so he had to abandon that idea.

  27. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    A thought:

    If only the NC Commentariat knew about Peace Processes in granular detail as much as we know about the War Machine.


    1. .human

      I was involved in “peace processes” decades ago. They were often stymied by minutae such as who would get to talk and for how long!

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Sounds like the Socialist Network we tried to start. Took us weeks to just agree on our mission statement. Identity Politics run amok.

  28. antidlc

    Is herd immunity for Covid-19 still possible?

    As a country, we had reached this point against some formidable viruses, such as rubella and measles. We thought we could get there with Covid-19. We were probably wrong.

    “The concept of classical herd immunity may not apply to Covid-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with CNN.
    And that “means we’re not going to be without SARS-CoV-2 in the population for a considerable period of time,” said Fauci, who recently co-authored a paper on herd immunity for the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

    So why now? First, he co-authors the paper for the Journal of Infectious Diseases and now does an interview with CNN.

    1. DanB

      Why now? Erving Goffman on Cooling Out the Mark: “The con man who wants the mark to go home quietly and absorb a loss, the restaurant hostess who wants a customer to eat quietly and go away without causing trouble, and, if this is not possible, quietly to take his patronage elsewhere–these are the persons and these are the relationships which set the tone of some of our social life.” The realization is spreading in the public that herd immunity is not possible, so the public has to be cooled out -that is, Covid normalized as “endemic”- gradually.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, this is Tony “herd immunity” Fauci here. The guy that kept moving the goal posts over vaccination targets for 6 months; And then mysteriously we stopped even hearing about targets. I can’t remember the last time I read about some target number. This must have happened during the shuffle about “boosters”!

      These people are shameless. A quote from The Operative comes to mind, as it often does with our elite:

      The Operative: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves on their swords.

  29. timbers

    Looks like Russia’s Phase II has begun or at least its prep with rather high losses for Ukraine if this is accurate:

    Briefing by the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Igor Konashenkov as of 19.00 on April 16, 2022 on the progress of the special operation in Ukraine

    ▪️During the day, 15 enemy targets were hit by high-precision air-launched missiles.
    Among them: in the areas of the settlements of BARVENKOVO, RUBEZHNOYE, POPASNAYA, NOVOZVANIVKA, KRASNOARMEYSK, SELIDOVO, NOVOBAKHMUTOVKA, six concentration sites of Ukrainian military equipment and seven strongholds of Ukrainian troops were destroyed.
    As a result of the strikes, more than 320 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and wounded, 23 armored vehicles and seven vehicles for various purposes were destroyed.

    Operational and tactical aviation destroyed 67 areas of concentration of personnel and Ukrainian military equipment during the day.

    Missile forces hit 317 military facilities, including: 274 strong points and areas of concentration of enemy manpower, 24 control points and two field fuel storage facilities of Ukrainian troops.

    A Ukrainian military transport plane carrying a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries was shot down in the air by Russian air defense means near Odessa.

    ▪️Two Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down over the localities of LOZOVAYA and Veselaya.

    Since the beginning of the special military operation, 134 aircraft, 460 unmanned aerial vehicles, 246 anti-aircraft missile systems, 2,269 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 252 multiple rocket launchers, 987 field artillery and mortars, as well as 2,158 units of special military vehicles have been destroyed.

    The entire city territory of Mariupol has been completely cleared of militants of the Nazi formation “Azov”, foreign mercenaries and Ukrainian troops.

    The remnants of the Ukrainian group are currently completely blocked on the territory of the Azovstal Metallurgical Plant. Their only chance to save their lives is to voluntarily lay down their arms and surrender.

    Let me remind you that in Mariupol at the time of its encirclement on March 11 there were: the 36th separate Marine Brigade, the 109th Territorial Defense Brigade, the 503rd separate marine battalion, a company of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade, units of the 17th anti-tank brigade, Nazi formations “Azov”, “Aidar”, “Right Sector”, police and state border service units, as well as foreign mercenaries.

    The total number of this group was about 8 thousand 100 people.

    During the liberation of Mariupol, 1,464 Ukrainian servicemen have already surrendered. The number of surrenders is increasing daily. Including those who escaped from the territory of “Azovstal”. According to their testimonies, the total number of Ukrainian servicemen, Nazis and foreign mercenaries who took refuge on Azovstal does not exceed 2.5 thousand people.

    Thus, on April 16, in Mariupol alone, the losses of the Ukrainian group amounted to more than 4,000 people.

    Therefore, Zelensky’s recent statements to the Western media that the irretrievable losses of the Ukrainian military during the operation allegedly amount to 2.5-3 thousand are a common lie for him.

    The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has reliable data on the true losses of the Ukrainian army, National Guard and foreign mercenaries who arrived, which Zelensky is afraid to tell the people of Ukraine.

    As of today, the irretrievable losses amount to 23,367 people.

    We will soon publish some data from Ukrainian documents about our losses, revealing the place of death and the burial places of the dead.

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          Any kind of systematic methodology for assessing enemy losses is going to produce an exact figure. It’s going to be wrong, because the information used to calculate it is likely to be limited in many ways. But when you think about it, it’s nice round figures that are more suspicious insofar as they are much more likely to have been pulled straight out of thin air.

    1. LawnDart

      A Ukrainian military transport plane carrying a large batch of weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western countries was shot down in the air by Russian air defense means near Odessa.

      In the old days, given the terrain, hugging the ground at <300' would give you half a chance to get lost in radar clutter while moving too quickly for accurate ground fire. But against today's tech, a cargo aircraft is pretty much a sitting duck.

      Flying into Odessa? Are they freakin kidding?

      1. OnceWereVirologist

        Makes me wonder what they were carrying. Doesn’t seem worth risking the plane and pilot for a few crates of ammo so probably something high value. Perhaps it was the British Harpoon missiles. They’re 4.5 m long. Hard to hide on a road trip all the way from the Polish border.

  30. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    AIER article references the book Manufacturing Militarism to explain The War That Never Ends

    …More specifically, Coyne and Hall use economics to explain the role of government propaganda in the war on terror. They quote philosopher Jason Stanley’s definition of propaganda as having “three key characteristics:”

    First, propaganda is purposefully biased or false. Its purpose is to deter people from having access to truthful information. Second, propaganda is used to promote a political cause. Third, propaganda is bad from the perspective of those targeted by the propagandist’s message because it limits their ability to make an informed judgment.

  31. judy2shoes

    Interesting and informative interview with Max Blumenthal, Alastair Crooke, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, and Scott Ritter, entitled “The War in Ukraine and the Collapsing World Order.” It covers some old ground like Bucha, but I think it was worth the listen at just under 2 hours. YMMV.

  32. Wukchumni

    Lightning-sparked forest fires set to increase in North America Guardian
    4 lightning strikes all from the same storm started the KNP Fire here last September. They were able to put out one of the fires, but the other 3 got away and 88,000 charred acres later it was finally extinguished.

    25% of Sequoia NP has burnt in the past years, leaving only 50% left to go up in flames, and luckily there isn’t really anything to burn in the other 25% unless granite catching on fire becomes the new normal.

    The really worrying one would be something more akin to the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fires where there’s just too many ignition zones that simply overwhelm any efforts to combat them.

    1. Wukchumni


      Headed off with the usual posse tomorrow hiking to the New Oriole Grove of Giant Sequoias which only endured a couple days of the KNP Fire compared to the 10 day stanza @ the Oriole Grove and environs which we visited a fortnight ago.

      It was apparently heavily impacted by the fire despite the shorter duration, we’ll see.

      When we were driving out last time, we ran into a local and I got to talking about the boulder to the left of Oriole Lake with 7 bathtubs each 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep and 7 mortars (grinding holes) on it, and he told me of another one with 5 basins on it, and i’d like to add that to my collection of bathtub sites seen. It’s really the perfect artifact, who’s gonna make off with them?
      Origin of Meter-Sized Granite Basins in the Southern Sierra Nevada, California

  33. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    Just Security “is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of national security, foreign policy, and rights.”

    And it just happens to have an icon of the US capital on its masthead to ensure you know who it’s promoting.

    Guest author Ambassador Daniel Fried‘s career includes

    As Special Assistant and NSC Senior Director for Presidents Clinton and Bush, Ambassador to Poland, and Assistant Secretary of State for Europe (2005-09), Ambassador Fried helped craft the policy of NATO enlargement to Central European nations and, in parallel, NATO-Russia relations, thus advancing the goal of Europe whole, free, and at peace. During those years, the West’s community of democracy and security grew in Europe. Ambassador Fried helped lead the West’s response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine starting in 2014: as State Department Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, he crafted U.S. sanctions against Russia, the largest U.S. sanctions program to date, and negotiated the imposition of similar sanctions by Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia.

    With that background he triumphantly proposes Putin’s Next Play in Ukraine – And How the US and Allies Can Prepare

    …First, the United States and its allies should ramp up delivery of weapons to Ukraine, without dithering over “offensive” vs. “defensive” weapons, “destabilizing” weapons, supposed Russian “escalation dominance,” or patronizing characterizations of the impracticality of training Ukrainian soldiers to use complex U.S. weapons systems. … This needs to be a security-assistance logistics operation on the scale of wartime and warfighting, not peacetime.

    …Second, the United States and its allies need to take sanctions and other economic pressure to the next level. … Going for the strongest sanctions option means going after Russian energy exports, by far Russia’s greatest export earner.

    …If the deal at hand were serious, a phased and conditioned lifting of sanction, based on Russian fulfillment of its terms, could make sense. Releasing the frozen Russian reserves would probably require an enforceable arrangement for Russia to contribute, voluntarily or not, to Ukrainian reconstruction.

    Fried’s US-centric perspective blindly ignores the direct and indirect impacts of the sanctions on not only the Europeans but also the billions who look to Ukraine and Russia for their daily meals. And that Putin hasn’t asked for removal of the sanctions in the “dead end” negotiations.

    It’s very sad especially when he appears to be a central actor for this fiasco

    …The rapid G7 move on Feb. 26 to freeze more than $300 billion of Russian Central Bank reserves was bold, swift, and prepared with laudable secrecy on a compressed timeline.

    When you combine this statement with his boasting of expanding NATO, it appears he was part of the seizure process.

    And therefore his essay articulates current policy in Washington DC.

  34. MichaelSF

    Referring to the “Nuland Regime” in Ukraine seems to me to be accurate, but does it deny the Ukrainians agency?

    1. skippy

      How much agency did Americans have in the largest transfer of wealth upwards in modrinity have post GFC whilst simultaneously getting kicked down and then tossed over the bridge like a sack of unwanted puppies/kittens during Covid.

      Oh yeah … they had the FU vote for Trump ….

  35. Mikel

    Remember the Ed Buck story:
    A federal judge has sentenced a wealthy California Democratic donor to 30 years in prison for injecting two men with lethal doses of drugs.

    “Buck used his money and privilege to exploit the wealth and power imbalances between himself and his victims, who were unhoused, destitute, and/or struggling with addiction,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Norell said in a court filing. “He spent thousands of dollars on drugs and party and play sessions that destroyed lives and bred insidious addictions.”

    Norell objected to the 30-year sentence, saying anything below 40 years in prison did not account for the severity of Buck’s crimes.

    Defense lawyers asked the judge to be more lenient because Buck was sexually abused as a child and developed his drug addiction as the result of a medical condition.

    1. Skippy

      Its a common thing to burnish your personal image by jumping on whatever popular band wagon is on offer, without having to done any due diligence on the matter. Then one has to ponder all the media and image consultants in the wings crunching numbers for the most bang in a marketing driven social reality.

      I mean just look at our own Katherine Deves chosen as the Liberal candidate for Warringah and Morrison’s position all over a trans idpol issue. I guess it beats talking about all the past failures and lack of any change from that moving forward for the whole of Australia vs these head on fire wedge issues.

      Happy long weekend and if the smell of my smoked lamb shoulder on the Weber drifts your way you’re welcome.

    2. Judith

      The video seems no longer to be available and it was disturbing. If you read through the comments you can find her name: Florence Gaub.

  36. fresno dan
    Special Counsel John Durham asserted in a court filing Friday that the CIA concluded data from Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann alleging coordination between Donald Trump and Russia was “not technically plausible” and was “user created.”
    So…when does a delegation of senoir democratic bigwigs to to Hillary and tell her it’s over, and that she must resign from the presidency alla Nixon? …Oh yeah, despite every poll, Hillary was never elected president….

  37. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats Are Stacking the Deck Against Vets”

    Maybe that is why recruitment is dropping off. Those families and communities that send their young to join the military are seeing what is in store for them when they are finished with their military service and are saying ‘Include me out.’

    1. Skippy

      Fear not Kev many or most will all end up in Texas as it has the best social safety net for Vets, must offset all the IT geeks being imported/pooched from Calif et al … thingy …

      Never know they might have to unleash the Vets on the Geeks like Hells Angels on anti Vietnam protestors back in the day ….

      Something to look forward too …

    2. rowlf

      I’ve always liked the movie Father Goose (as well as Hopscotch). Below is a extended version of the opening song on the topic of avoiding being involved in a war.

      As for me, my father is a decorated Vietnam veteran and he steered me away for fighting from the empire. Something about poor leadership…

      Pass Me By by Frank Sinatra

      I’ve got me ten fine toes to wiggle in the sand,
      Lots of idle fingers snap to my command,
      A loverly pair of heels that kick to beat the band,
      Contemplating nature can be fascinating,
      Add to these a nose that I can thumb, and a mouth by gum have I
      So tell the whole wide world, if you don’t happen to like it,
      Deal me out, thank you kindly, pass me by.

      Behold me two great shoes that never saw a shine,
      Houses I could hold up with a laundry line.
      A loverly patch that hide an awful lot of spine.
      Shirtails flying, I’m a blooming dandelion.
      Add to these, a grin from ear to ear, all the proper gear have I,
      So tell the whole wide world, if you don’t like the thought of it,
      Bail me out, thank you kindly, pass me by.

  38. RobertC


    Ever irrepressible David Stockman at LewRockwell An Inflationary Black Swan Is Haunting the Fed

    …That is to say, the overall index was goosed heavily by food, energy, commodities and durables. All of these components are now soaring toward double-digit territory, yet these are the very items – as opposed to domestically produced services – that the Fed has the least influence over.

    Consequently, the Fed’s impending interval of inflation-fighting will be arduous, prolonged and unrelieved. That’s because reduction in measured inflation rates will depend upon a sustained easing in global commodity markets and supply chains – stubborn sources of inflation during the next few years over which the Fed has precious little leverage.

    …This gets us to the insanity of Washington’s meddling in the Russia/Ukraine dispute and its unhinged Sanctions War against the former.

    What this is doing is prolonging a destructive war that Ukraine cannot win; recklessly pursuing Washington’s purported right to determine what happens on Russia’s doorstep; and destroying the dollarized global trading and payments system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity actually rests.

    …Did the Fed see all of this coming?

    Of course not.

    But in taking their balance sheet from $900 billion to $9 trillion in less than 14 years did they consider the possibility of a Black Swan in global commodity markets and supply chains?

    Evidently, they did not.

    1. RobertC

      I enjoy Stockman’s essays but not being a Stockman’s Corner member I read them where I find them.

  39. VietnamVet

    Joe Biden’s empty handshake and his being the ignored outsider at Barrack Obama’s White House return party are all omens that he is no longer an Insider. All this is no doubt blowback from the fall of Kabul. This treatment is just like Dick Nixon’s ostracization after withdrawing combat troops from Vietnam.

    It is amazing how Afghanistan and the Coronavirus Pandemic disappeared on corporate media with the start of the first stages of WWIII. Absolutely no one is pointing out that the Western Empire is without an Emperor. With escalation ratcheting up for 51 straight days towards a nuclear war and peace talks halted, this is not a good time for the West to be leaderless and having subordinates winging it.

    1. LawnDart

      They need to keep him around til after November– someone’s got to be holding the bag. Keeping him at the wheel makes for an easy insurance claim: the kids don’t like him, and don’t give a F about you or I or anyone else on the road (not gonna ride with him, sit in the passenger seat either– you kidding?) so nobody that could is looking to take the keys away from that senile, has-been scumbag.

      I almost feel bad for him– even he’s gotta see what’s coming… …but he has it coming, and it’s well-deserved. Albright and McCain are keeping a seat warm…

Comments are closed.