Links 4/19/2022

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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Jerusalem PR Firm, 33 AD ScheerPost (Bob H)

Secrets of the cat walk: why some pet owners are taking their feline friends out on a leash Guardian (David L). Hah, I was doing this in 1994 in Manhattan. My first cat, Winston, walked very well for a cat. We had a deal that walking was directional and he didn’t go into doorways or lobbies or bushes or the street, but he got to go at his own pace. But due to a change in law (which was better for kittens and puppies), the earliest you could sell a kitten was 12 weeks. That was enough older that it was difficult to get my later cats comfortable with street noise (even with first carrying them inside my coat).

This Adorable Giant Rabbit Comforts Anxious Travelers at the San Francisco Airport MyModernMet (David L)

‘He is a monster’: Mississippi man catches mega catfish Guardian (resilc)

How a Lost Apollo Rocket Returned to Earth Discover Magazine (Chuck L)

Bacterial soundtracks revealed by graphene membrane PhysOrg (David L)

Quantum experiments add weight to a fringe theory of consciousness New Scientist (David L)

“Algorithmic Destruction” Policy Defangs Dodgy AI New regulatory tactic of deleting ill-gotten algorithms could have bite SpectrumIEEE (David L)

Microplastics permeate seafood across southern Australia PhysOrg (Robert M)

UCSC researcher completes human genome sequencing Santa Cruz Sentinel (David L)

Solitude is not loneliness. Here’s the key philosophical difference. Big Think (David L)



She went to one doctor, then another and another Washington Post (Kevin W)

Coronavirus found in human feces up to 7 months after infection MedicalXpress (Robert M). n=110. But note possible long Covid clue.

U.Va. Health joins national study analyzing mild-to-moderate COVID-19 treatments Cavalier Daily (Li)

Randomised Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccines: Do Adenovirus-Vector Vaccines Have Beneficial Non-Specific Effects? SSRN. Preprint.


Jacob Rees-Mogg says civil servants must return to the office Guardian (Kevin W)


Shanghai lockdown: iPhone maker halts operations at China sites BBC (resilc)


Mask Mandate Ruling Scribd. IMHO, this outcome epitomizes the sloppiness and unseriousness of the Biden Administration. First, a rule without a proper rulemaking process, independent of the statutory reading as to the CDC jurisdiction, was clearly procedurally improper. Surprised it took this long to get here, but maybe the airline industry had trouble finding a cutout. The Biden Administration could have used an executive order as a placeholder during the rulemaking process. Rulemaking would also have flushed out all the contrary arguments and allowed the CDC to figure out how to deal with them. Second, if the Administration had been serious, the better way to go might have been an OSHA rule, to protect airplane, TSA, and other airport employees. Third, if the Dems were serious, they’d appeal, gin up an OSHA rule, and get either blue states or blue cities (airports are under municipal control) to impose a mask rule on inbound and outbound planes, as in plane doesn’t land if there are unmasked passengers. A municipality could require an airport to suspend some of the gates if an airline violated the mask rule more than a certain # of times. You need the airlines to have skin in the game.

Trump-Appointed Judge Deemed ‘Not Qualified’ by Bar Association Voids Mask Mandate on Planes, Other Travel Rolling Stone (J-LS)

TSA not enforcing travel mask mandate after judge strikes it down The Hill


CO2 pipelines are coming. A pipeline safety expert says we’re not ready. Grist (furzy)


China’s J-20 fighters begin South China Sea patrols Asia Times. Resilc: “If they can fly they are then way ahead of the F35.”


Muslims Offer Water to Hindus, Hug Them During Ram Navami Procession The Wire (J-LS)

Extreme poverty in India declined by 12.3% points during 2011-19, says World Bank paper FirstPost (resilc)

How Privatisation Is Leading to Growing Inequality in India The Wire (J-LS)

Northern Ireland’s dangerous future UnHerd (David)

Spain may cut electricity to France – media RT (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Unasked, unanswered questions Gilbert Doctorow. Important, particularly re Russia loosening up on FX controls.

German unions and companies team up to oppose EU ban on Russian gas Business Insider (Kevin W)

The Ukraine Is Still Losing So What Is Its Plan? Moon of Alabama

Mr. Zelensky Goes to Washington Dennis Broe

It’s Counterproductive For The EU To Comply With The US’ Demands To “Do More” In Ukraine One World (Micael T)

Blinken Tells European Allies He Believes Ukraine War Will Last Through 2022 Antiwar (Li). Delusion. Weapons are barely getting in.

Telegram fun. Action in the euro on the Moscow Stock Exchange (recall Russian companies getting gas payments according to the new “gas for roubles” mechanism are required to do the FX on the Moscow Stock Exchange) suggests some European buyers are complying despite noises otherwise:

“It requires a non-standard approach”: Elvira Nabiullina told how Russia will resist sanctions ePrimeFeed. Apologies for the far too cheery headline but this link seems to have the most complete detail on what Nabiullina said (the inability to get Russian transcripts and run them through a translator annoys me to no end). Short version is Nabiullina says Russia weathered the financial shock of the sanctions well but the real economy shocks are starting. She expects the worst period to be over the next six months.

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British mercenaries urge PM Boris Johnson to exchange them for Putin’s ally Medvedchuk Republic (J-LS). Russia has said Medvedchuk is not a Russian citizen and they are not exchanging anyone for him. Look like more effort to hammer in Medvedchuk as “Putin buddy” as opposed to “head of one of the biggest opposition parties”.

Can’t verify but for background: Russia MoD said over the weekend there had been about 8,100 Ukraine soldiers in Mariupol, way lower than previous independent guesstimates but in line with the # that defended Mosul, which took months to clear. MoD estimated remaining forces in the Azovstal factory at 2,100 tops. They were told to surrender by Sunday afternoon and if they left unarmed, they would not be killed. Ukraine did not comment. Russian side claims they intercepted many radio communications from inside asking to be allowed to surrender. Kiev allegedly said no and ordered Azov leaders to kill anyone who attempted to escape or even mentioned surrender. The started hitting the factory last evening with bombs, some of which observers thought might have included bunker busters.

INTERVISTA DAL FRONTE_A CURA DI MAX BONELLI. l’Italia e il Mondo (lou strong). Translation: Interview from the front_ by Max Bonelli. Interesting detail on the identification of soldiers trying to flee as civilians.

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Can’t verify (hat tip integer) but not promising:

Alex Christoforu, who knows Lira, suggested contacting your local Chilean embassy or consulate and saying Chilean journalist Gonzala Lira was last seen in Kharkiv, Ukraine and has gone missing, can they make inquiries.

Scum. I’ve put a curse on her that all the evil she has done and is doing comes back on her tenfold in this lifetime, and some friends with way more mojo than me will be doing the same:

Old Blighty

The Churchill Cult, by Jingo, Tariq Ali New York Review of Books (J-LS)


Captagon: Jordan’s undeclared war against Syria drug traffickers Saudi Gazette (resilc)

Pakistan, Afghanistan teeter toward a border war Asia Times


Ousted Pakistani Leader, Imran Khan, Was Challenging Investment Treaties That Give Corporations Excessive Power CounterPunch (J-LS)

How the Pakistani economy unravelled under Imran Khan Hindustan Times (J-LS)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Class-Action Lawsuit Targets Company that Harvests Location Data from 50 Million Cars Vice. From last week, still germane.

Scraping public data from the web still OK – US appeals court The Register (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Where’s the Truth? How the CIA Shapes the Minds of Americans Antiwar (resilc)

First Air Force general to face court-martial won’t stand before a jury Task and Purpose (BC)

The Navy Is Deputizing Doctors to Enforce Drug Rules Even for Those Seeking Mental Health Help (Kevin W)

Kamala Harris to announce US will no longer conduct anti-satellite tests The Verge (David L)

Democrats en déshabillé

Elizabeth Warren: Democrats Can Avoid Disaster in November New York Times (David L). Wowsers…..

Durham: Five Witnesses Connected to the Clinton Campaign’s False Russian Claims Have Refused to Cooperate Under the Fifth Amendment Jonathan Turley (Chuck L). Clinton is running. She has a new haircut and a major facelift.

A Democrat in gym shorts tries to rally blue votes in Trump country MSN (resilc)

If Netflix is stumbling will Wall Street renew or cancel? Guardian (furzy)

Crypto Is Poised to Reshape Taxes – and Cities Wired (Robert M). The state of California tried issuing its own scrip after the financial crisis. Even with it being short term and paying interest, it still barely traded and then at a >20% discount.

How Bitcoin mining devastated this New York town MIT Technology Review (David L)

Sell-off in tech stocks spreads to private start-ups Financial Times (David L)

Class Warfare

Four More Starbucks Stores in New York to Hold Union Elections Eater NY (J-LS)

The Middle-Class Leviathan: Corona, the “Fascism” Blackmail, and the Defeat of the Working Class Crisis Critique (Micael T). Overwrought but correct to point out indifference to effects of lockdowns on the poor and the precariat.

Antidote du jour. A very oldie I missed in my inbox, from crh: “Detroit, aka, Troy and Mister Boots posing for the camera.”

And a bonus (Kevin W)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. petal

    Yves, the adenovirus link didn’t work when I clicked on it(404), the iphone article link below it is not highlighted, and the Business Insider German unions ban link beneath the Doctorow link isn’t closed or something?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, the workplace vaccine mandate and an airplane mask mandate are utterly different matters from a regulatory and legal perspective. OSHA had in fact come up with an entire scheme of Covid workplace protections and the Biden administration instead imposed the vax mandate on them. The totally arbitrary 100 employee cutoff, the failure to allow for exemptions for people who worked at home or other differences in workplace conditions (like people who worked in labs where everyone was well masked) and the failure to establish that not being vaccinated actually constituted a health risk to others post wild type were among the defects.

      Admittedly, the CDC sort of shot itself by denying the importance of aerosols; the judge made the droplet theory a finding of fact. But OSHA establishes masking and other workplace safety standards all the time and would have been vastly better able to develop a defensible airplane masking standard. And that almost assuredly would have required KN or N95s.

  2. Vandemonian

    About those two British mercenaries:

    A commenter on MoA floated the idea that Russia should offer to exchange them for Julian Assange.

    That might make a few NATO heads explode…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hate to tell you the reverse.

      First, the US will never release Assange.

      Second, a Russia ask would validate the bogus claim that Assange’s activities were supported by Russia to hurt the US. There’s already lots of nonsense to that effect:

      Ecuador Concluded That Assange Has Ties to Russian Intelligence

      The WikiLeaks-Russia connection started way before the 2016 election

      How did WikiLeaks become associated with Russia?

      Tons more where that came from.

    2. David

      On those “mercenaries”, it’s worth looking at the legal definition of the term (it has one) as part of AP1 to the Geneva Conventions. You can find the text and the ICRC commentary here . The definition is very restrictive, and is unlikely to cover any westerner fighting in Ukraine at the moment. In particular, a mercenary is someone essentially fighting for money, having been promised a level of remuneration greater than that of the local military. The reason for this slightly odd formulation is that the pressure came originally from African states, very angry at the presence of western mercenaries in their conflicts in the 60s and 70s. Its not clear whether there are any “mercenaries” in Ukraine at the moment at all. On the other hand, they are not combatants unless they have been formally recruited into and are part of the Ukrainian forces, in which case their nationality is irrelevant. The Ukrainians have introduced a law to permit the mass recruitment of foreigners into their military, and anyone who was recruited that way could expect and demand to be treated as a combatant. Indeed, they would have the same status as Ukrainian PoWs, and so could not be put on trial, for example. So it’s a pretty grey area. That said, not being able to claim combatant status doesn’t mean you can be shot out of hand, it just means you don’t get the special treatment reserved for combatants, such as the right to receive mail. The basic protections still apply.

      Nonetheless, just being a mercenary is not a personal crime under international law, though some states have criminalised it. A number of countries (Russia is one) have their own mercenary legislation, though I don’t know what it says. Given that (1) these people are not mercenaries in the accepted sense and (2) they were not fighting within Russian jurisdiction, it would require some creative lawyering to actually put them on trial. I suspect that their real use will be as political pawns in some larger game.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I wonder how that would play out with any NATO officers captured? Though technically not at war with NATO, NATO’s actions against Russia have been provably shown them to be at war with Russia. I doubt that Russia would give them the legal benefit of a doubt but as you have pointed out, they may be traded eventually – but only after the Russians put them on trial to prove to the world that they were there. Still, I do think of all those German POWs that the Russians captured and put on trial during WW2. Just from memory, I think that they did ten years hard time in Russian prisons and only a fraction of them ever lived and returned to Germany in the 50s.

        1. caucus99percenter

          According to one such Soviet prisoner and ’50s returnee I knew personally and who reported having been shuttled between various Siberian forced labor camps, only around 1 in 10 survived the hardship and ill treatment.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I have to differ. In light of how Ukraine has been operating, your discussion of combatants, while technically correct, is substantively misleading.

        Ukraine has been distributing weapons to citizens and urging them to attack Russians. They have also encouraged making Molotov cocktails. I’ve even seen Twitter vids of Ukrainian women being given some minimal arms training.

        Using the definition provided by Doctors Without Borders, they are combatants:

        Combatants are persons who are authorized to use force in situations of armed conflict by international humanitarian law.

        So even though they might be depicted as civilians, they would be fair game for being shot if they attacked Russian troops first.

        As for mercenaries, you are incorrect as to how extensively they are integrated into Ukraine operations. Jacques Baud, who worked with NATO, including in Ukraine, and who reads Russian, said that Ukraine was having great difficultly manning a competent army (this I assume would have been in the post Maidan period). It resorted to hiring mercenaries, which he estimated at 40% of total active combat troops. He also said they were recruited from violently right wing groups outside Ukraine.

        Now I assume that the ones who are basically special status Ukie military are entitled to POW treatment. If you are on the payroll, even if the money goes to a weirdo account in a tax haven, you are still in the employ of Ukraine.

        There are also apparently other people showing up, some just naive volunteers, others actual mercs, Lord knows who is paying them. Russia claimed to have killed a group of as many as 30 Polish mercenaries near IIRC Kharkiv or else Izyum.

        Russia’s basis for war crimes claims is the targeting of civilians and use of civilians as human shields and more specifically, ethnic Russian citizens. The independent republics that Russia recognized would presumably join in the war crimes trials and would effectively give Russia standing, as in Russia would provide counsel and venue but the Donbass entities would be the ones that would have standing.

        Khershon is interested in having a referendum and Russia would be keen about that. If that proceeds, using the Kosovo precedent, Russia could extend the geographic scope of its war crimes prosecutions to acts in Khershon.

        The question is how they get to include Bucha…they very much want to counter the Western account.

        1. David

          Several different things here, I think.
          As we’ve discussed already, Ukrainian citizens with weapons are taking an active part in military operations, so they can be engaged as military targets. They may not technically be “combatants”, since they aren’t members of the armed forces, but that’s a technical distinction only: they are not protected and may be engaged under the usual laws of war. As I’ve pointed out before, “civilian” is not a status here, and only confuses the issue. Broadly, if someone is carrying a gun in a conflict area, they are a lawful target. I don’t think we disagree on that, and indeed I didn’t mention that point in my comment.

          I don’t think I said anything about the extent of their integration. This article, though sympathetic to Ukraine, gives some interesting detail. Over 30 volunteer battalions have been established, and Ukrainian law has been amended to directly recruit foreigners at the same rates of pay as nationals. So clearly the mercenary point was thought of in advance. That’s not to say, of course, that there are not a whole lot of other individuals sloshing around as well.

          Finally, there’s a difference between the crime of being a mercenary (which is itself a crime under some jurisdictions) and crimes committed during conflict (“serious violations of international humanitarian law” or some similar formulation. I was talking about the former only. In the latter case, the Russians could certainly organise and hold trials, though as you say it would probably have to be in the Donbass for technical reasons. But that’s an entirely different issue, and there would be no practical difference for such trials whether the accused was a member of the UA, a militia or Azov thug, or, indeed, a granny with an AK-47. It depends what they are supposed to have done.
          I don’t think we actually disagree.

        2. Dave in Austin

          All modern wars attract a fair share of the adventurous, the bored, the idealistic, the restless and the unbalanced. Aiden, the Brit who was captured, is this war’s poster child. I’ve actually got a fair amount of sympathy for these guys as long as they don’t instigate or lead atrocities.

          What about being “involved” in atrocities? Give me some scared young men led by other sacred men, put them in the mud for a week with little food watching while surgery is being preformed on their friends by artillery rounds and you don’t exactly get excellent behavior. We’ve seen this on both sides in the Ukraine.

          During Vietnam we had a bunch of young Americans a few months away from normal civilian lives participate in Mai Lai. I’ve interviewed a few. I’ve seen the black-and-white photos taken by Ron Haberly that have never surfaced. The guys I interviewed were in their 40s, married, usually with kids. What they saw- and did- has stayed with them and will until the day they die.

          And now we are about to see more bad news from the Ukraine. The Russian campaign to occupy the southeast has not, contrary to what Zelinskyy said, begun. What has happened is that a minor push to the south has fixed the Ukrainian units in place. See for the Russian moves which yesterday occupied two small cities (one apparently in a night attack) a bit south of Izium and forced the Ukrainians to commit local reserves.

          Next week, after Russian Easter, I’m fairly sure the main attack will take place a bit further north in relatively open country and aim due west toward the Dneiper river near Dnipro. Given the balance of forces, with all due respect for the courage of the Ukrainian army units in the path of the attack, I expect the attack to succeed and cut off most of the Ukrainian army fighting in the south. A lot of young men and unlucky civilians will die or remember what they have seen and done for the rest of their lives.

          Maybe I’m just too much of an ex-Catholic, but if we can forgive teenage Somali “child soldiers” involved in atrocities and give them green cards we should be able to forgive the Aidens of this world.

          May he and the others make it home safely.

        3. Skip Intro

          I was under the impression that war crimes prosecutions weren’t particularly limited by jurisdiction, in which case prosecutors might charge defendants for crimes committed in other areas in Ukraine, or even Syria.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Thanks for that. It would make sense, since at the very outset of the war, Russia made clear it had a list of people already that it wanted to try, which included those involved in the Odessa fire and the Maidan sniping. Both well outside Donbass. So they’d have to have a legal theory as to why they could act.

          2. David

            No, the principle is that such prosecutions should be carried out by the country where the alleged crimes took place unless it is “unable or unwilling to do so”, in which case, under certain circumstances, the case can be handed over to an international court. In general, you only have jurisdiction within your in territory. (Think of Saudi Arabia putting on trial Saudis who’ve gone over the causeway into Bahrein to have a beer.)

            There are two exception I’m aware of. One is extraterritoriality, where states claim jurisdiction over crimes committed by, or against, their nationals overseas. That Russians might be able to invoke that if the victims are Russian. The other is the much more controversial idea of universal jurisdiction, where some states claim the right to prosecute nationals of other countries for crimes committed anywhere in the world. There have been a number of prosecutions of Rwandans in Europe, for example, under this doctrine. But the crimes involved have to be serious – crimes against humanity and so forth. Interestingly, a number of western states have decided to invoke this doctrine against Russia, and are preparing universal jurisdiction investigations into alleged Russian crimes in Ukraine. So the Russians (who’ve never shown any interest in universal jurisdiction that I know of) might decide to reciprocate.

            1. Skip Intro

              I was assuming that Ukraine and Syria were not in a position to prosecute those war crimes.

              IIRC, this doctrine was used by EU (Italian?) prosecutors attempting to charge US ‘intelligence’ officers for some of the ‘renditions’ of their citizens.

      3. OIFVet

        It will be a mess and a subject of many different legal interpretations. For me, I hope that they keep it simple and humane. Those with nazi tattoos and patches, well, hope they like Siberia and hard labor. For the run of the mill adventurers, a bit of magnanimity might go a long way.

        I saw a Graham Phillips video with that Aiden what’s-his-family-name. Aiden claims genuine remorse and that he tried to desert. I tend to be skeptical of videos taken under the duress of captivity. Perhaps the dude saw the light after witnessing some Azov atrocities but who knows. I know that some of the high ranking officers of the Paulus army captured at Stalingrad genuinely turned on Hitler and later had high positions in East Germany but it was a process. Seems a bit too soon for that process to have taken place for this dude. Will see.

      4. Boomheist

        It has been normal and traditional during the cold war (since WW2) for one power or another to provide “advisors” to other nations for training and assistance. For example, the US had advisors in Vietnam for years before the Tonkin incident. I had a roomate in graduate school in UMass who had been such an advisor in the Mekong delta area in 1962-1963. I think, also, the Russians provided advisors to the North Vietnamese. Back then it seems there was a general agreement among the powers that “advisors”, even if on foreign territory directly aiding enemy soldiers, were not considered across the red line of direct conflict. So, in this view, US or NATO advisors in Ukraine to train their army would be the same. Now a difference though is that in the case say of Vietnam the opposing army was the North Vietnamese army, fighting the South Vietnamese army and then the US army. The parallel in Ukraine might be NATO advisors helping Ukraine troops against the Donbass breakaway militia. Maybe though when those advisors are directly aiding and directing combat against the Russian army itself the line has been crossed.

        All of which to say you can define things however you want to reach whatever goal you desire. Surely, right now, Russia could strike a NATO base in Germany and claim the right to do so based on NATO training Ukrainian soldiers on Ukraine territory, or even back in the USA. But that, of course, makes the direct war obvious and clear. It seems, for the moment, the Russians (and maybe the Americans too) are trying not to disclose this fact.

        1. David

          I have a comment in moderation, but, just on this point, yes, advisors are ubiquitous and have been for a while. For example, western military officers have been seconded at different times to Ministries and HQs in Ukraine. It’s also normal for nations to exchange liaison officers, to facilitate exchanges and to see what the other is doing. In this case, it would be surprising if western nations hadn’t sent their people down to the Donbas for some time, to find out what was going on on the ground: it’s unlikely that they would accept what Kiev said at face value. And it’s quite possible that some of them were there when the fighting started, and didn’t make it out in time. Beyond that … I think we have to suspend judgement for the moment. If there are actually retired (let alone serving) NATO officers involved in fighting the war, then you’re in a very tricky, very dangerous area.

          It’s not really a case of the Russians having the “right” to strike a NATO base in Germany, since they can do that any time they like. It’s really that, if they wanted to claim a legal justification in support, it would be that Germany was a party to the conflict. (NATO isn’t a party in that sense). So far, I don’t think there’s enough evidence of German (or other NATO) direct involvement, but as often in these cases, we don’t know what we don’t know.

  3. christofay

    My first attempt to read my senator’s, Warren’s, piece in the NYTimes I gave up when encountered two lies leading off the first two paragraphs. “Democrats are the party of working people.” No, the Democrat party is for the PMC. “Republican senators and broken institutions have blocked much of that promised progress.” Wrong, leading the resistance to Biden’s legislation the leader of the Manchin family, Sinema, and the parliamentarian. I would throw in the Squad’s obeisance to not mentioning M4A. Anyways, no meaningful change created.

    1. hunkerdown

      Try conceiving of the two parties as churches of neoliberalism, fighting over the right to create and grant new property to glorify their lord, and, perhaps even more importantly, holding sacred all that which they have accumulated previously. The function of PMC archbishops like Warren as doctrine managers, excuse me, “keepers of the faith” shows clearly in that light.

      1. Aumua

        Oh I remember her repeatedly stabbing Bernie in the back. Calling his health care plan unrealistic, calling him a sexist and then a liar. But honestly she was already dead to me from 2016 when she failed to declare her support for him at the critical moment.

        Since Biden won the nomination it’s been somewhat gratifying to watch her fade into irrelevance.

    2. Wukchumni

      Lizzy Warren took an axe
      And figured out we’d lose 40 Congress hacks
      When she saw what the Donkey Show had done
      An op-ed piece by her was run

    3. ambrit

      Just as we used to refer to Biden as “The Senator From duPont,” we should start referring to Warren as “The Senator From the PMC.”

  4. bassmule

    Most popular comments by readers of Elizabeth Warren’s call to action oppose canceling student debt. “I paid mine so you should have to pay yours,” seems to be the overall reaction.

    “Little Joe never once gave it away
    Everybody had to pay and pay…”

    1. timbers

      And yet no but NO ONE raises the “but how are we going to pay for this” line as The Whole World promises billions of gunz for Ukraine on an almost daily basis. Not to mention you can go to twitter and watch all those gunz paid for by you and me being blown up in smoke by Russian missiles shortly after crossing the Polish border.

      Paging Joe Manchin and fiscal conservatives.

      If the folks in Washington spent as much time rushing resources to people who can’t afford housing/healthcare/food as they do organizing gun rushes to Ukraine, they’d be in danger of becoming a majority party with widespread popular not corporate support.

      1. Louis Fyne

        The trophy photos of western weapons seized by Donbass/RU fighters are fascinating. Hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of unused weapons in many photos.

        And as it seems that social media has fewer photos of UA soldiers posing with their trophies, a clear sign of which way the war is turning.

          1. Skippy

            Hope the UA soldiers are checking for the pink dot on those arms, saving western sorts from decommissioning.

        1. timbers

          Yes and Donbas isn’t the Azov steel factory with 8 levels underground beneath her with civilians intermixed amongst the Azov Battalion. With phase 2 beginning now, the defeat of the UAF could – could – be rather swift and trigger mass surrender elsewhere and rattle the establishment in DC who predict this will go on for years and Ukraine defeated the Russian at the gates of Kiev, and if it is not swift, only because Russia makes it so, as she is taking back what could become part of her or at least her brother nation states so only her gentleness might slow her down.

          1. Gc54

            In his Grayzone interview Col. Macgregor is very worried about the DC elites’ unhinged response to reality when Ukraine’s army folds suddenly. Me too.

            1. Louis Fyne

              The No Fly Zone slippery slope.

              No-fly zone “sounds” simple. And DC types think that the Russkie Air Force are pushover oafs.

              Then the US losses from Day 1 of a no-fly zone = point of no return because DC will have painted themselves into an embarrassing corner with no way to save face.

              1. Wukchumni

                I’ve been disappointed so far in the performance of the NFT of a NFZ I acquired online, it has gone over like a lead balloon.

              2. Oh

                They’re used to implementing a NFZ where there are no other aircraft, such as in Iraq.

                The NFZ won’t fly in Ukraine or Iran or anywhere there’s significant opposition air force, air defenses and the like.

                1. gepay

                  What’s the fuss about a nofly zone? I have been having one in my house for decades. It did fail fail for a few years when my free range chickens began laying eggs under the house. When I closed it off, there were still many eggs that later exploded with accompanying rotten egg smell.

          2. playon

            Eight levels underground, I didn’t know that. Not suprising then that Russians are allegedly using “bunker buster” bombs on the factory.

            1. Sardonia

              Once they get down to the 8th level they might find the indignant pair of Gus Fring and Walter White.

      2. Carla

        @timbers — Clearly, that prospect scares them to death, because they’ll go to any lengths to avoid becoming “a majority party with widespread popular not corporate support.”

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Captagon: Jordan’s undeclared war against Syria drug traffickers”

    Chalk this one up to the Law of Predictable Outcomes. If Syria had a solid administration, they themselves would be able to crack down on these drug dealers in cooperation with Jordanian law enforcement. Unfortunately, the Jordanians during the war did everything that they could to wreck the Syrian state, including hosting bases in their country which would train Jihadists who would then go over the border to raise havoc in Syria. And so now Jordan has to live next door to a wrecked Syrian state that has difficulty still with law enforcement. And if these drugs are headed to Saudi Arabia, I would doubt that the Syrians themselves would care as it was that country that was financing the Jihadists. The most ironic part of the story is how they are talking about Captagon pills being the main problem. During the war it was Capatgon pills that were heading into Syria for the Jihadists to use in battle to the point that it came to be know as the “drug of the Jihad.” And I bet that a lot of those polls were going into Syria via the Jordanian border. So maybe Jordan should not have backed the Jihadists a few years ago?

      1. digi_owl

        Then again, the number of people claiming to be part of the royal family is just nuts. Didn’t someone get cut of some years back because their lavish lifestyle was cutting into the national finances? Or was that some other nation in the region?

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read a coupla years ago that there were 8,000 members of the Saudi family on the public payroll. This is helped by the fact that Saudi Arabia does not have a Treasury as a country as it actually belongs to the royal family themselves.

  6. Wukchumni

    Solitude is not loneliness. Here’s the key philosophical difference. Big Think
    When I started backpacking in the 1980’s I went solo for the first dozen years or so and it was interesting, especially on longer walks of a week or more, alone with your thoughts and a good book which you don’t want to devour too quickly, savor every word.

    All the experts will explain how foolhardy that was, what if you get hurt or lost or some other malady befalls you, never hike alone!

    I remember my first backpack across the Sierra Nevada on the High Sierra Trail solo 30 years ago, and getting to the Kern River-the mid point and lowest altitude, you’ve walked 35 miles and need to walk 35 more in gaining 7,000 feet on your way to Mt Whitney. It was a profound experience being by yourself while taking on more miles and more weight on my back than i’d ever had before, which made the accomplishment all the sweeter.

    I dayhike solo sometimes now-but prefer to have company & walk at talking speed-without a net (er internet that is, by all means bring a head net-it weighs nothing, what if mossies or pesky face flies hound you for hours?), and the solitude I seek is more along the lines of hiking to places where I know we’ll encounter not another soul more than likely.

    Four of us were on the trail from 9 am to 5 pm the other day in our traipse to the New Oriole Grove of Giant Sequoias and saw nobody, meanwhile over in the main part of Sequoia NP it was near bedlam with free admission to the NP’s, spring break & Easter all rolled into one.

    A friend told me it was really hard to find a parking spot in the Giant Forest, and cars were cruising the parking lot of the Sherman Tree, waiting for their chance to finally be able to get out and stretch their legs.

    1. Carla

      My then 26-year old nephew was on a solo dayhike when he apparently injured his leg. He died of exposure and was only found by a rescue team the following night. It was Christmas night, and they stayed on the mountain with him all night so as not to leave his body alone, before making the descent the next day.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Back when I would spend weeks away in fairly remote places, I had a SPOT device which uses satellites to relay one’s GPS coordinates along with a short message (“I’m okay” or “Help!”). As they say, if you need it, you REALLY need it.

        Available at REI and other places. There are competitors now (Garmin for one).

        1. Parker Dooley

          Not very useful in deep woods or bottom of a canyon. I have one & it is easy to get into areas where it can’t hit a satellite.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            True. Need a view of the sky. But, far better than nothing.

            I kept mine mounted on my motorcycle’s handlebars where I could send an “okay” message to my wife every hour or so. Although I never needed it, knowing where I had been, exactly, was a comfort. Lunatic husband and all. Not too much north of Manic-5…

      2. katiebird

        My cousin was about that age one Christmas Eve when he packed his car to drive to his parents house for Christmas. He apparently decided to stop for a run in the hills before leaving. They don’t know for sure because he never arrived. They found his car in the hills though so that’s where they centered the search. They found his body in April. With the snow and weather, it took that long to find him. My other cousins told me that hundreds joined the search. It’s that easy to get lost in the hills and mountains.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        I’m very sorry to hear about your nephew. I love solo bike packing and hiking, but I’ve often found myself in remote areas wondering what would happen if I went over on an ankle or similar, especially when the evening is coming down. Even in the relatively tame Irish hills, hikers have died of exposure after getting stranded overnight after relatively minor falls or accidents.

        I know a keen mountain biker who had to walk her bike back to civilisation with her snapped collar bone sticking out of her shirt after a fall. She said the look on peoples faces she passed when she got to a busy walkers trail was almost worth the agony.

      4. Wukchumni

        Sorry for your loss…

        I’ve carried about 5 pounds of stuff for many decades that hardly ever gets used in my daypack and a smaller amount in a backpack, with A#1 being a competent emergency blanket (think of the $25 version versus the flimsy $4 ones you usually see) a beanie, gloves and light jacket and pants.

        The one time I ever needed the emergency blanket wasn’t for me, we ran into a dayhiker on one of our backpack trips who was 5 miles from the trailhead with an hour of daylight left. We gently quizzed him as to what he had in the way of illumination and survival gear, and he plops out a smartphone as his ‘lamp’, ye gads, and then we found out he had nothing aside from the clothes on his back, and a gift of a $25 emergency blanket was bestowed on him. We had friends coming in that night and they mentioned seeing him sprawled on the ground in said blanket.

        1. juno mas

          …and you are an experienced traveler of the Sierra with a big heart. Too many go into the back-country without your experience. Few take time to read the tome “Complete Walker” by Colin Fletcher before challenging the unforgiving Sierra peaks.

    2. Stick'em

      “You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. Imagine there are two people sitting in the same busy café. One can feel quite contended, listening to music, tapping out an email, and people-watching between sips of coffee. The other can feel crushingly lonely, aware of how much they lack someone to share the moment with. This person watches the world not as some spectacle, but with a pining, longing ache.”

      The take home message seems to be we should watch the word as some sort of spectacle. As if that is healthy solitude. Umm… spectacle addiction is what bought us a casa in CrazyTown, yes?

      Here’s an idea: Forget this article. It’s useless. Turn off everything. No earbuds no internet no stimulation. Don’t do anything. We’re not fishing or riding the lawnmower. Don’t move around. Just sit or stand still. Helps if you are out in the woods somewhere.

      Notice the contents of your own mind for 20-30 minutes. If you can’t do this, it means you aren’t comfortable in your own skin, just being who/what you are, noticing your thoughts.

      Only once I tried meditation like this – I mean really making a comittment – was I able to see how crazy my thoughts were and to realize just how bonkers everyone else must be too. Crazy is our normal operational state of mind in America. My guess is most people’s behavior comes out sideways because we need the constant distraction of entertainment stimuli, so we manufacture drama and stories.

      The first step in the solution is to become aware of the problem.Good luck! Your mileage may vary…

      1. Chris

        I take regular long walks around my neighborhood, silently noticing the subtle and not-so-subtle changes in yards, trees, sidewalks, parked cars, as well as all the surrounding wildlife. I feel inner quietude but not loneliness. Observation is my companion.

        1. Wukchumni

          The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

          Aldous Huxley

        2. playon

          Humans evolved to walk, and in my experience walking can almost always help quiet the mind.

      2. eg

        I’ll cop to it — I’ve assiduously avoided any undistracted headspace since the mid-70s apart from riding my motorcycle (no radio). I’ve ALWAYS carried a book with me for this purpose.

    3. The Rev Kev

      That article starts off by saying ‘Arthur Schopenhauer believed that solitude was an opportunity for introspection, imagination, and contemplation with yourself’ and goes on from there. Maybe I am simply being contrary here but the line of this article is to indulging in some high-order navel gazing but that is not the only possibility. How about looking out instead. For example, looking up on a moonless night at the blaze of stars overhead and trying to understand the vastness of it. Visiting a landscape that has geological eons on display like Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park which Wuk gave a link too. Watching waves crash onto a cliff and understand the power behind those waves. In other words, understanding our place in this world that we live on.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The United States is a nation of hustlers. There is no time for introspection, imagination, and contemplation. Instead, there are people to see, and things to do. Get moving!!

        1. Stick'em

          Stegman ~ Sounds like my father, never questioning the Protestant work ethic ideology.

          When I told him I started meditating, he responded, “Why would you sit around and do nothing. You could be doing something, like mowing the yard or reading a book.” I tried to explain to him the feeling is similar to taking out the trash. He seemed to understand that much at least.

          Like many Americans, he’s not really capabable of actively listening to his own mind for very long. It takes practice. Besides most people figure why bother, since there’s “nothing” wrong with me, it’s just that everybody else is crazy, right?

          So the ego doesn’t allow us to open Pandora’s box to see what’s really in there. Typically that’s the purpose of all the distractions (work being just one of the flavors), to hide from us our own neurotic thoughts and behaviors.

          Being alone with one’s self is worse than electric shock for many folks, no?

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Just a point on that bus fire – its not in China, its in Italy – apparently a methane powered bus according to reporting, although it does look similar to some types of lithium fire.

    1. Eureka Springs

      My first thought was one of those could take out half of California. Though not a battery fire I wonder what battery cars will do to neighborhood home and commercial fire insurance rates?

  8. Noone from Nowheresville

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out long-term. How long will employees work hybrid vs. will there be peer and other tacit pressures to return downtown even though the public policy says you can work remotely?

    Target Corp., the biggest employer in downtown Minneapolis with 8,500 staff members, won’t require them to come back to its headquarters full-time.

    The company is permanently embracing a hybrid style that lets teams and individuals decide when to work at home and when to be in the office. Target modified its downtown buildings and offices in Brooklyn Park and Eagan with “flex floors,” which feature desks workers can occupy temporarily and a range of meeting spaces.

    re: airport and public transportation In the Twin Cities: No mask for you. Unless you want to wear one.

    “Effective immediately, wearing masks will be optional after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued guidance that it will no longer enforce mask-related regulations and will be withdrawing security directives that required face masks at airports, on aircraft and other forms of public transportation,” Lea wrote in a statement.

    Metro Transit is also no longer requiring riders to wear face masks since the federal order “is no longer in effect,” according to a statement on its website. Agency officials cautioned riders to not use public transit if they are ill.

  9. ex-PFC Chuck

    Brief comments on several of the links.
    Battery “fires” are not combustion in in the usual sense of oxidation. They are catastrophically accelerated discharge events of the battery’s energy in the form of heat.
    The link on Co2 pipelines brings to mind the catastrophe in Cameroon in 1986 when the water in Lake Nyos, which was supersaturated with the gas, suddenly burped it up killing thousands of people and livestock in the surrounding area. People in low lying areas on the pipeline routes should be especially watchful regarding this issue.
    Regarding Gozalo Lira, yesterday I saw a brief Twitter thread saying the management of the hotel he’d been in kn Kharkov had evicted him after learning he was wanted. According to the Tweet he’d somehow made his way to Kyiv and was in another hotel room there and been back on the internet. I’ve seen nothing else about him. I hope what I read was true and that he’s still at large.


    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hope you are right. The Alex Christofou suggestion to call the Chilean embassy was posted just before I put up Links. You’d think if Lira had any Internet access he’d put up a quick vid or e-mail one of his contacts with a web presence to let them know he’s OK.

      Flip side is with UkoNazis claiming they have him, he might figure he’s better off playing dead until he gets in a spot he deems to be fairly secure, which may not be where he is now. He’s worse off in a lot of ways being further West unless he’s decided he has to leave Ukraine entirely and Kiev is just a transit spot.

  10. Stephen V.

    Comment under the MoA piece::
    What you quote is from 300, which is fiction. What has been preserved though sounds something like this:

    “Oh stranger, tell the Lacedaemonians that here we lie, obedient to their laws”

    What is happening with Ukrainians at Azovstal is more akin to this:

    After his son died during World War I, poet Rudyard Kipling was inspired to write:

    “If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

    Perhaps the most infamous person to appropriate the epitaph was Hermann Göring. In the waning days of Stalingrad in 1942, he attempted to encourage his troops with thoughts of Leonidas at Thermopylae,

    “If you come to Germany, tell them you have seen us fighting in Stalingrad, obedient to the law of honor and warfare.”

    Another modern appropriation comes from Australian poet A. D. Hope (d. 2000) whose 1971 poem “Inscription for War” came at the height of Vietnam. It strips the glory out of the epitaph entirely.

    “Linger not, stranger; shed no tear;
    Go back to those who sent us here.
    We are the young they drafted out
    To wars their folly brought about.
    Go tell those old men, safe in bed,
    We took their orders and are dead.”

    Posted by: Kouros | Apr 18 2022 17:55 utc | 8

    1. Wukchumni

      Down the hall their voices ring, their feet are on the run
      Phantoms on the winter sky, together they do come
      Faded lips and eyes of blue, they’re carried in the wind
      Their laughter filled the countryside but they’ll not laugh again

      All the games are ended now, their voices have been stilled
      Their fathers built the tools of war by which they all were killed
      Their mothers made the uniforms, showing which side they were on
      And the young boys were the middle men for the guns to prey upon

      You’ve seen the fires in the night, watched the Devil as he smiles
      You’ve heard a mother’s mournful cry as she searches for her child
      You’ve seen the lines of refugees, the faces of despair
      And wondered at the wise men who never seem to care

      Goodbye, you lost children, God speed you on your way
      Your little beds are empty now, your toys are put away
      Your mother sings a lullaby as she gazes at the floor
      Your father builds more weapons and marches out once more

      Down the hall their voices ring, their feet are on the run
      Phantoms on the winter sky, together they do come
      Faded lips and eyes of blue, they’re carried in the wind
      Their laughter filled the countryside but they’ll not laugh again

      The Lost Children, by Gordon Lightfoot

    2. Parker Dooley

      c. 1918 | Flanders
      Dulce Et Decorum Est
      Wilfred Owen exposes the old lie.

      Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
      Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
      Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
      And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
      Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
      But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
      Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
      Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

      Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling,
      Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
      But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
      And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
      Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
      As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

      In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
      He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

      If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
      Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
      And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
      His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
      If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
      Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
      Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
      Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues—
      My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
      To children ardent for some desperate glory,
      The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
      Pro patria mori.

    3. eg

      From Ezra Pound’s “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly”


      These fought in any case,
      and some believing,
      pro domo, in any case . . .

      Some quick to arm,
      some for adventure,
      some from fear of weakness,
      some from fear of censure,
      some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
      learning later . . .
      some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
      Died some, pro patria,
      non “dulce” non “et decor” . . .
      walked eye-deep in hell
      believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving
      came home, home to a lie,
      home to many deceits,
      home to old lies and new infamy;
      usury age-old and age-thick
      and liars in public places.

      Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
      Young blood and high blood,
      fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

      fortitude as never before

      frankness as never before,
      disillusions as never told in the old days,
      hysterias, trench confessions,
      laughter out of dead bellies.


      There died a myriad,
      And of the best, among them,
      For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
      For a botched civilization,

      Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
      Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

      For two gross of broken statues,
      For a few thousand battered books.

  11. Solarjay

    Bus fire:
    Pretty sure that is a CNG bus not electric.
    Looking at designs for CNG many have the tanks on top of the bus in a raised area.
    EV busses have them under the floor because the batteries are so heavy.
    And that looks to be very high pressure gas not NMC batteries.
    But could be wrong.

  12. super extra

    ‘He is a monster’: Mississippi man catches mega catfish

    Thank you for this link, it made my morning. Not a fisherwoman but the entire thing is just delightful:

    “I’ve been catfishing all my life and I never dreamed of something like this,” Cronley told the Clarion Ledger.

    He said he used a rod and reel with skipjack herring as bait and that it took him 40 minutes to catch the fish.

    According to Cronley, the struggle with the fish began five minutes after his bait entered the water.

    My family has some lake property on a ‘trash lake’ – not really a catfish lake, but there are alligator gar and other large ‘creature-like’ fish. I grew up with horror stories from the older kids in the family about water moccasin breeding balls and river otter attacks. It is so refreshing to be periodically reminded of the ‘monstrousness’ of the natural world.

    1. Martin Oline

      Yes, I loved it too. I spent quite some time this morning looking for a fishing story to share that was told by Allan W. Eckert in his book That Dark And Bloody River but was unable to find it. Perhaps it was in a different book. . .

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Jerusalem PR Firm, 33 AD”

    Good. Very good – with a zinger in the tail. You know, it could be worse. It could be a Hollywood PR Firm instead with a bunch of woke marketing droids. I can see it now-

    ‘Gentlemen. Are we agreed that this crucifixion image will never get us the PG rating that we have to have to sell it? OK, then. First step is to get rid of all that gratuitous semi-nudity. The whole thing reeks of toxic masculinity, especially with those heavy nails.’

    ‘Can we lower that cross to ground level? I don’t like the implication that he is higher than everybody else. In fact, I would take that as him showing off his elitism.’

    ‘Can we also digitally edit out all that blood? Movies don’t like having a lot of blood in them. And too much violence will bump us up to an R rating’

    ‘What about that sign over his head. Could we show something different? Something more empowering? Maybe even more inclusive?’

    ‘Could we have a gold crown instead of all those thorns? So people will understand the message. But have a disclaimer underneath that show that we are not endorsing monarchy as a form of constitutional government.’

    ‘These are all very good idea. Time now to go to brunch and form a committee afterwards to make some decisons.’

  14. Safety First

    Re: Nabiullina.

    So this was basically her confirmation hearing – she is getting renominated as head of the Central Bank, the vote is either tomorrow or on the 21st – and, unfortunately, there does not appear to be a transcript. There is, of course, a video of the hearing – – but not in English, I am afraid. There is also a slightly better summary from MK – – with some analyst commentaries.

    Without having listened to the whole hearing, because that’s two hours of my life I’d rather spend rewatching “Are You Being Served”, it seems the salient points are:

    – Interest rates will be gradually lowered, from their current level of 17% to about 4% in 2024.
    – The government’s new “favourable credit” scheme is functioning, but not quite as well as it could have, especially for consumers (approval rate at 40% vs. 90% for businesses).
    – The Central Bank WILL NOT “go to any lengths” to fight inflation, in part as higher price levels will assist in the restructuring of the economy (see next bullet).
    – Restructuring of the economy MUST begin in the 2nd-3rd quarter. Essentially, at present businesses are still subsisting off their pre-sanction stocks of inputs, spare parts, machinery, et cetera. This will start to run out as early as May (e.g. lack of shipping containers was mentioned), at which point stuff will need to start happening, e.g. creation of new supply chains. Prices will jump, but this is ok, as this will cause a sort of a demand-driven restructuring on the business side.

    I’d have to listen to the hearing to get more details, but it seems re: economic restructuring she was basically declaring that water is wet, the biggest news here is the time frame for when the impact really starts to hit. I suspect this was a shot across the bow to all the private and public people who’d thought that they can ride the sanctions out for three months and then things will go back to normal, somehow. Separately the Duma has been making noises about multi-year restructuring programs, e.g. of the electronics sector (where a lot of the inputs have now been limited or cut off entirely) – 2030 was mentioned as a time horizon.

    My personal take is that this is well and good, but I’ve been hearing similar noises from all government levels since 2014, and almost nothing practical had been done. In part as the major section of the Russian elite is still making its living by exporting resources and raw materials, which means they could give shag all about domestic investments into anything. Meanwhile, a lot of “import replacement” programmes had turned out to be pushing imports down along the supply chain, i.e. instead of importing the whole engine, we’ll import all the components and assemble the engine here – see, import replacement!

    So the point is, we should see what this all REALLY means maybe towards the back end of the year. Including how the sanctions regime is really working or not, for example I am still gobsmacked at the fact that South Korea (read: Samsung) got a US exemption from the whole scheme, for reasons, I suppose.

    1. chuck roast

      Nabiullina strikes me as your standard central banker. She would fit in nicely as chairwoman of the Plutocrat Boutique Bank…um, the Fed. These guys all have one tool to use; interest rates. Any kid getting a passing grade in Macro 101 could do this job. Interesting that Glazyev, who has the order of magnitude more difficult job of actually attempting to make things work, seems to have no use for her.

  15. Solarjay

    Yet another anti climate change hit piece this one about CO2 pipelines and that they are too dangerous. So we’ll just keep it up in the atmosphere where it’s nice and safe.
    Meanwhile nobody has actually built a working large scale carbon capture machine to make use of said pipeline. I hope they do.
    “It’s odorless” Yeah so is methane/NG and they put a scent in it. Humm seems pretty easy and cheap thing to do.
    Or, more sensors along the actual pipeline to catch leaks in real time. More shut off valves to limit the amount that leak out. I can list a dozen things that will all but eliminate the danger.

    With articles like this I’m left wondering if they put out by oil trolls, or just people looking for clicks. However they rarely include fixes, solutions or answers, instead just be very afraid because in this case we don’t know how to build a safe pipeline.

    1. anon y'mouse

      i know! we could just keep building pipelines and since we don’t know what to do with the contents, keep piping it around and around in circles and keep building longer and longer pipelines.

      kind of a self-licking ice cream cone, highway to Nowhere kinda thing. pipeline builders will pay many mortgages and buy many pickup trucks off this scheme. win-win ftw!

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, of all things not to worry about in a pipeline, CO2 is one of the least harmful. Given that most people in cities live pretty much on top of all sorts of high pressure pipes, from natural gas to raw sewage (yes, it is often pressurised), its amazing how people can get upset by this. I’ve actually known of local community groups who have protested water pipelines on the grounds that they could be a hazard.

      It always amazes me how people can get upset about the wrong things. I was asked recently to sign a petition against a cycle path for families, because it displaced some parking spaces and apparently this would be a hazard to old folks because they’d have to walk another 50 yards to the shop. I’ve known people who live next to motorways complain about wind farms a mile away, because of the noise. Or for that matter, obsessing on the dangers of lithium batteries, as if conventional fuel wasn’t inflammable or explosive.

      There are a million things we should be very worried about. CO2 pipelines are well down the list.

      1. digi_owl

        Perhaps an effect of the social media algos, that in turn are an automated form of “lying by omission”.

        Because social media more and more push certain topics to the top because they are more “engaging” amongst one’s “friends”. And that in turn creates a self-reinforcing cycle.

      2. Lynne

        Until you’ve actually dealt with pipeline companies, and their games, arrogance, lies, and contempt for public safety. Given the lies they’ve been caught telling, nobody should have reason to believe any of their safety claims, especially when they build shoddy pipelines in expansive soils.

        But hey, the median household income in Satartia, Mississippi was under $45,000, and the Midwest proposals are in the despised flyover country, so who cares about them, right? Let’s get those investors some tax breaks and carbon credits — they’re the ones with the money and connections!!

  16. Pat

    Bloomberg is baaaackkk!

    NYC can’t manage to shake the billionaire, not that the current mayor wants to do so. Adams was back after a brief time quarantining to faux shake hands with the former Mayor. Bloomberg was announcing a 50 million dollar grant for a summer program for charter schools so that they would no longer have to have anything to do with the icky public school summer session.

    And now that a major impediment to charter schools is gone, Bloomberg is also putting money trying to open NY up for more of them.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yeah, a flunkie of his had an article about the “border crisis” without mentioning kids in cages once, so it’s safe to say he’s running. Whether he will try an independent “no labels” ticket or not is questionable.

      1. anon y'mouse

        didn’t a recent piece in links here show his total taxes paid to be under 5% of all of his various income?

        unless that’s a badge of courage for NYC voters, i think i’d use that heavily. also show off some of his property interiors with antiques where one chest of drawers costs more than a doctor makes in a year.

    1. Carolinian

      I had read that and sympathize with his anger over being “canceled.” On the other hand “if your business is a platform”….

      A few decades ago there was nothing like Youtube or Twitter to allow non establishment journalists to broadcast their work. Depending on giant capitalist corporations for this was always a bit of a Faustian bargain. And a student of history like Hedges should hardly be surprised that the supposed libertarian idealism of the early web should turn out to be fake once serious money was at stake. Those private Google airliners don’t pay for themselves.

      Arguably what we need is less a free speech loving Facebook and Twitter but rather no Facebook and Twitter at all. By tossing their fake pretense of virtue those and other web companies may be hastening the day.

      1. Late Introvert

        Believe them when they tell you who they are: censoring, spying tools of the 3 letter crowd.

  17. Jon Cloke

    The ‘battery bus’ is plainly not a battery bus and the flaring is from escaping gas…

    The @batteryfires account looks quite fraudy, really.

  18. CoryP

    They better not go after Lancaster. This is upsetting.
    Sorry for low value comment.

    (I’m watching the POW video with that Aiden guy and I’m sorry, like, even if the guy is sincere, he easily could be a lying psychopath. Or someone being forced to tow the Russian lime, all the “you are not being coerced” preamble notwithstanding. It’s an interesting video to watch, but at the same time I have no idea what the hell I’m watching. Graham Phillips is the journalist doing it and you can find it on his YouTube channel. He’s more aggressive and intent on hitting certain talking points than i would like. Interesting watch, anyway)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I only watched the start of that Aiden interview. He was so clearly saying things that were expedient, like he originally believed in the separatists’ cause but was brainwashed by Ukies in the Middle East, that I could not believe anything that came out of his mouth. He also claims to be a medic, which I doubt. Someone should present him with civilian or soldier who is in pretty bad shape, like missing a body part, and test him by asking him to treat them with a backup medic or MD in case he’s incapable (likely).

      1. CoryP

        Yeah it’s hard to relate to him as a fellow human and take him seriously. Like how many people go volunteer to fight in random wars? (I guess Brace Belden also volunteered with the Kurds but… Uh.. Not a point in his favor :/)

        In this video he’s not claiming to be a medic but a would-be deserter who couldn’t find a ride west. He says he didn’t think about Azov or their ideology much since at that point before he got to Mariupol he hadn’t yet met them. Okay..

    2. Andy

      Is it just me or does Lancaster come across like a guy with a loose screw or two? The way he gets all excited and trips over his words when he’s talking about potential atrocities and rattles off his “don’t forget to subscribe…” line with corpses strewn around him is…bizarre to say the least. He also asks a lot of leading questions. His saving grace is he lets his subjects talk freely long enough so that it’s possible to read between the lines and get a sense of how they really feel and what they think of the situation they’re in.

      But not everyone he talks to is happy to have this weird, excitable dude shoving a microphone in their face. When the missile landed in Donetsk at the beginning of the war he kept asking a first responder “what happened here? what happened here?” and he looked at him like “who the family blog are you?” and turned away and went back to doing his job. There was another guy who visibly shrank away from Lancaster when he tried to get all buddy buddy and clap him on the shoulder.

      1. anahuna

        I suspect that if I were living and working under the same conditions – – and Patrick Lancaster has been there since 2014– I would have so many screws loose that they would emit an audible rattle. Lancaster shows true courage in continuing to remain, report, and do whatever he can to bring aid and food to desperate people.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      My read on this interview is that Aiden has been given a plea bargain sort of deal by his captors.
      If he acknowledges that there are Azov Nazis, that they did commit atrocities on Russian soldiers ( ie counters the MSM bs in his interview), then he gets to minimise his actions and a reduced sentence in “Siberia”.
      Singing like a canary is how I put his performance. And luckily, his skinhead hairdo has grown out to a lovely set of curls.
      If he has any family in Ukraine, I imagine they might have left/been helped to leave in the past week. Azov might be keen to have a word with them otherwise.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, it’s way too early in the process for anyone to be offered a deal. And there aren’t representatives of the prosecutors in Ukraine, so it’s operationally impossible.

        Aiden is just showing his belly.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘Same US “journalist” who claims to be mainly responsible for instigating the kidnapping of Gonzalo Lira, is publicly targeting Patrick Lancaster.’

    Yeah, that Sarah Ashton-Cirillo is a real piece. A quick look on the net showed that she was a real estate property analyst by profession and describes her politics as “leftist libertarian” which means that she has a lot of Republican friends (her words). Last year she decided to run for Las Vegas City Council but eventually pulled out but now she calls herself a journalist and has been in the Ukraine the past few weeks. Her Twitter account tells you all you need to know-

    She’s got nothing on Patrick Lancaster who was actually a U.S. Navy intelligence vet and who is putting his life on the line to show people what is going on in places like Mariupol by talking to people effected by this war.

      1. jr

        He’s got the whole liberal schtick laid out, doesn’t he? He plays to the Gen Z demographic in a sundress and sandals in one photo I found, the Blue Check sheep with his on the ground reporting on that paradigm of democracy Ukraine where he declares there must be press freedom because they are letting him say pro-Ukie things, and to the bloodthirsty authoritarians in the Democratic armchair warrior set by trying and perhaps succeeding to get contrary journalists murdered. He will go far!

    1. digi_owl

      Again and again i find myself thinking about the fall of the Chinese empire.

      Because more and more of these people seems to be claiming the label as a back door to power.

      I just can’t shake the thought that this is the long tail effect of the ramp up of “warrior/uniform worship” after 9/11. And that those that wanted to partake, but could not hack it for whatever reason, found a way to game the system.

      Because as best i can tell, anthropology find these things crop up time and time again in warrior cultures.

      And then there is the question of what happened to a certain soldier while in military prison for revealing war crimes to the world.

  20. britzklieg


    Britain’s imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia.

    1. David

      Oh dear. If you didn’t know better, you might actually assume that Britain was the only state in the world to develop and use chemical weapons in war, and that Churchill was somehow responsible for that. In fact, of course, the Germans were the first to make and use them, and the other combatants in the Great War quickly followed. All countries retained CW programmes up to and including the Second World War, and the British kept stocks of their own, in case the Germans used them. It was universally assumed that the next war would start with a poison-gas attack from the air, and my mother remembered travelling to work in London as a teenager clutching her gas-mask in 1939. Historians still debate why the Germans, with their extensive chemical industry, didn’t actually use CW on the battlefield, as opposed to just murdering people. Meanwhile Sarin, the alleged weapon in Syria, is a nerve-agent, not a gas, and was developed in, guess where, Germany.

      And there was a little thing called the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1994, which obliged states parties to destroy all their CW. The Soviet Union had enough to destroy the entire planet, although at least they appear to have destroyed theirs, unlike the US which is still struggling to do so.

      And the point of this article is …..?

      1. JTMcPhee

        So Churchill and the British Empire get a pass, am I reading this right?

        Good old Blighty!

        1. David

          What on earth does the story have to do with the British Empire? Nobody gets a pass, including the author of the article who seems to believe that we shouldn’t criticise possible Syrian use of CW a few years ago because a hundred years earlier, Churchill, who was a member of the government (not PM) argued in favour of using a weapon which was then accepted as legal in an intervention in the Russian Civil War which the government had already decided to make. I have no idea what the article is trying to argue since it’s comparing something that probably never happened with something that certainly didn’t. It’s just another excuse to write something about Churchill.
          There are two approaches to BS. Either you’re against it on principle or you allow it for your “side” but not for the “other side.” I don’t think we should do the second. There’s too much BS circulating at the moment (Covid, Ukraine … need I go on) to tolerate any more.

          1. Oisin

            I think you are forgetting Germany killed millions in WW2 using chemical weapons. They also used some against the Russian in…… Ukraine!.

          2. integer

            “There are two approaches to BS. Either you’re against it on principle or you allow it for your “side” but not for the “other side.” I don’t think we should do the second.”

            Lol must’ve been tough working for the UK government with that mindset.

      2. britzklieg

        If you were to go back and read some of my former posts you will have seen that weeks ago, in another thread regarding chemical weapons, I responded w “Mustard gas used by Germany in WWI” I believe the thread was relating to assertions by Michael McFaul/McFail/McFoul and other current warpigs that “at least” Hitler didn’t kill fellow Germans and didn’t use chemical weapons – an effort to support their assertion that Putin is worse than Hitler.

        I am well aware of the history you eloquently articulate. I linked the article in support of Tariq Ali’s essay on Churchill hagiography. History, to be credible, needs to be absent of hagiography, imho.

        I do not, btw, dismiss the important part Churchill played in WWII. And I am an actual fan of Winston’s many reported bon mots and verbal ripostes, my favorite being when someone accused him of being drunk: “Yes, I am and tomorrow I will be sober but you will still be ugly.”

        Indeed I am more of a Churchill fan than a “Guardian” fan even though I received 2 rave reviews from T.G. in the 90’s, before it went full neo-con/neo-lib.

        As for the point of “this article” I suggest you ask the author as I had nothing to do with it being written and/or published.

        1. David

          I remember your posts on the subject and in general agreed with them. I was reacting to the article itself, and I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I was being critical of you. I had read the Tariq Ali article some time ago and was unimpressed.

      3. The Rev Kev

        If Germany did not go big time into chemical weapons in WW2, it may be because the Leader of that country despised them as he himself at the end of WW1 was in hospital after a chemical warfare attack-

        ‘On 15 October 1918, he was temporarily blinded in a mustard gas attack and was hospitalised in Pasewalk. While there, Hitler learned of Germany’s defeat, and – by his own account – upon receiving this news, he suffered a second bout of blindness’

        It may be that those weeks blinded gave him an intense aversion to chemical warfare weapons.

  21. marcyincny

    The skunk video never gets old, I’ve watched it umpteen times, but as a bike rider I can’t help thinking how I would have peed my pants if I’d been that rider!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The skunks are SO CUTE! I’ve been told skunks have lovely personalities (they have little to fear in their normal lives) but as rodents they don’t live very long and I hate to have a pet that is sure to die on me pretty soon.

      Did you see how the momma skunk advanced on him with her tail up? She could have quickly spun around and sprayed.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Skunks are not rodents but a kind of carnivore.

        I remember reading that they were related to weasels, but as with everything taxonomic, when I actually looked it up, it turned out that genome research (DNA sequencing, etc.) has shown that classification to be false / obsolete.

        Every time that happens, I imagine a frustrated-sounding George H.W. Bush as amateur biologist saying, “Read my lips: no new taxa.”

        1. John

          All I could think about looking at the skunk video was how still and non threatening that bike rider had to remain during the whole episode. In a field near where I lived one time, a skunk family would come out and play many evenings around sunset. A delight of living in the country.

          1. caucus99percenter

            So effective is their spray defense, it seems the only really halfway successful predator is the great horned owl. So unlike most wild animals their size, they can afford to be playful and curious, even during daylight hours.

      2. playon

        The life-span is of the average skunk is from 5-14 years depending on the species and whether or not they are pets. I do know that they are hit by cars all the time around here… notice how they were wandering along the road in that video.

      3. HotFlash

        Oh, skunks! I was so fortunate as to have a family born under my back shed several years back. Mama would go out and the little ones would squeak under the shed, emitting mild mercaptan fumes, until she came home. I am one of those people who like the smell of skunks (also coffee and MJ). I even saw them a few times, felt really privileged. Mama was quite protective and, to my sorrow, moved them elsewhere before they went walking on their own, as, I understand, is their wont. Skunks are real sweeties as pets, says everyone I have ever known who has had one, but me, I’m fine with them being their own skunks. They eat grubs, which is totally OK with me-the-gardener. BTW, they LOVE cheese, should one (or more) come calling.

    2. Wukchumni

      I’d left some dry cat food in a bowl outside a few years ago, and the cutest skunk was chowing it down on just the other side of the sliding glass door and we watched it for 5-10 minutes just a few feet away, and safe from potential blowback.

      Don’t some people de-odor them and keep them as pets?

      1. rowlf

        My mom had a pet skunk when she was in high school. She liked it a lot. The skunk’s claws were great at opening cabinets.

      2. ambrit

        A high school friend of mine had one. After graduation, I had gone off to whatever, and he went somewhere else and asked my Mom to look after his pet skunk for a few months, please. She agreed and, according to my sisters, when he eventually came back, she didn’t want to give Skunk back. Skunk evidently got along well with the family dog too. The main drawback, I was told, was Skunk’s penchant for digging.
        I was told you could always know Skunk was in the house by the clicking of it’s claws on the floor tiles.

    3. voteforno6

      It’s a good thing that person didn’t have a dog along…that could’ve been messy.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “How a Lost Apollo Rocket Returned to Earth ”

    I love a story like this. A mystery with the twist of this not being an asteroid but part of our history onstead. Trying to identify it through deductive reasoning – after the spectroscopic analysis showed it to be covered in Apollo era paint – and narrowing it down to a booster stage from Apollo 12. The hope is that maybe one day when it swings our way again that it could be retrieved. Or maybe it should just be left in space as a momentum to the Apollo program itself.

    1. ambrit

      There were plans to use those orbiting second stage booster tanks as space habitats for space stations. String a few together and shoot up the internals for installation.
      There were lots of Big Idea plans back then…..
      Donald Fagan (of Steely Dan,) IGY (International Geophysical Year):

  23. Carolinian

    Re Clinton is running–well we already have her foreign policy. They simply found a seemingly less controversial politician to run it.

    Here’s suggesting that she may want to run but all the makeovers in the world aren’t going to make it happen. Here’s also suggesting that if 2024 turns into Clinton v Trump 2 it might really be time to flee the country.

    1. digi_owl

      Sadly you options are likely limited if you want to avoid some fallout from that matchup.

    2. Geo

      Clinton was advocating a “no fly zone” in Syria and was actively looking for ways to provoke a war with Russia. Biden has few redeeming qualities but he’s not Clinton-level psychotic. She seems like someone who wants to watch the world burn. Still believe not having her elected in ‘16 saved us from a hot war with Russia.

      1. jonboinAR

        When Clinton publicly advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria without acknowledging, or otherwise appearing to understand, that this would put us in direct military conflict with the other nation capable of ending civilization inside of 2 hours should they so choose, no exaggeration, I thought she had had some part of her brain consumed by a uniquely discriminating zombie whom Hannibal Lecter would have admired. More recently, statements by others of our power wielding “betters” such as Lindsey Graham (I think?) have me quite alarmed. This very particular, but frightening zombie appears to be making the rounds of DC, potentially to unimaginably disastrous effect.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Mr. Zelensky Goes to Washington”

    So I was reading this article when the penny dropped. A semi-unknown comes from out of almost nowhere to wipe the field of all the candidates who are seen as hopefully corrupt. But once in power, shows his true colours by siding with the corrupt oppressors and in spite of promising peace, delivers yet more wars? And cracks down on any real opponents and reformers. Who does this sound like? Did they use the same 2008 playbook? Did Zelensky in Ukrainian promise hope and change as well?

    1. jo6pac

      Yes he did promise hope and change. He was going work with Russia so there would no war. That lasted about 2 days when met the Nazi who told they were in power not him and of course they had Amerikan and British backing. That’s how we got here

      1. digi_owl

        Given that he seems to have passports from Ukraine, Israel and Cyprus, take your pick.

        I swear, if you had written a character like that into a novel you would be lambasted for being unrealistic (if not anti-semitic).

        A Ukrainian-Jewish oligarch funding neo-nazis to go after Russians.

        And thanks to certain other events involving high flying billionaires and US politicians, one may well wonder if one should entertain some conspiracy theories.

    2. Acacia

      Yeah, the readout on Zelensky just keeps getting more and more strange. Especially after watching that interview with his military advisor, Alexey Arestovich, in the links yesterday. If he proves to be Ukraine’s Obama, the painful part is that means many liberal goodthinkers will remain hoodwinked for years to come.

      Perhaps the comparison with the actor in Mephisto playing Faust under the Third Reich comes closest… Du bist was Du bist!

      1. ambrit

        That was a spot on analogy. We can apply that film to America today. The “entertainment” class is serving evil here at home.
        The worrying thing about all this is that every empire falls, and those enmeshed in it either do not recognize that fact or try their best to deny that reality. The “Entertainment” Class, of the servants of the State, are the experts at obscuring and denying reality. They thus serve the interests of Evil. Alas, everyone around that Evil Elite suffers along with the perpetrators of evil. (With apologies to Geo. He treads the much harder road in the “entertainment sphere,” Independant.)
        Some days, I feel that the early American Divines were correct when they classified Actors as the equivalent of Criminals and Degenerates, because they ‘twisted’ reality as their craft. (Admittedly, the Divines had their own ‘issues’ to deal with.)
        Stay safe! Stay focused!

      2. jonboinAR

        This whole Ukraine business keeps getting more strange and, just beneath the surface, terrifying, mainly because the 2 deadliest nuclear powers are this close to facing off and the idiots in charge don’t seem to me to be taking that fact seriously enough, to me.

      1. Mel

        The two are flagship products of Trudobamacron Corp. The world’s leading producer of electoral appliances.

  25. antidlc

    Out Of The ER, Into The Street
    Enraged by Wall Street’s takeover of their profession, emergency physicians are rising up and speaking out.

    But Chien’s fear turned out to be correct. On January 14, US Acute Care Solutions, the private equity-backed physician staffing monolith that had taken over the hospital’s ER contract last June, sacked everyone’s favorite boss — with a cruel twist. The Ohio-based contract management group, which emergency doctors refer to by the acronym USACS, fired Chien as medical director, but kept him on the schedule as a doctor. So Chien continued to show up to work because, as someone who had basically been fired for no apparent reason, he seemed scared not to.

    Chien declined to comment for this story. But Kamara says the physician’s treatment was just one of many ways USACS has wreaked havoc on the facility. “You need to understand, these are young doctors who are full of energy and dedication,” he said. “But the day after the first meeting with USACS… you have never seen such young, energetic doctors so disillusioned and demoralized.”

    It’s why Kamara, who leads the Registered Nurses Professional Association, the labor union for county-employed nurses, helped VMC’s ER doctors do something no other physicians like them had ever attempted to do: organize.

  26. FredsGotSlacks

    Anyone see Stoller’s Twitter thread from this morning? Aren’t the things he’s talking about actually wildly popular cross the country, particularly for the exact group(s) he’s mentioning? I really like his takes on monopolies and corporate power but his takes on most other topics just leave me scratching my head, particularly foreign policy but now I guess I need to add domestic policy as well.

    1. judy2shoes

      I saw it and agree with you. Matt seems to be looking at Biden’s flagging in the polls from a PMC point of view.

      Matt Stoller
      I don’t think student debt relief or the failure to pass Build Back Better or really any of the leftist complaints are why Biden is flailing. He was elected to deal with COVID and he screwed it up. We got half ass theater and whininess from Fauci.”


      1. Questa Nota

        Their other slogan, Bill Buck Better, didn’t test well among donors.

        Seems that collecting from Ed’s prison account could prove difficult. /s

      2. Lois

        I follow Stoller on monopoly, his area of expertise where he’s quite good. He’s been TERRIBLE on COVID for a long time. He even called the vaccines silver bullets at one point!

      3. Basil Pesto

        I’m not sure what he’s complaining about. He was arguing months ago that the administration should declare victory over SARS2 like it’s over and return to normal. This is more or less exactly what the admin has done, or has been trying to do (and there’s reporting of a public relations firm advising them to do exactly that and make it their strategy). Surprise, surprise, physical reality has different ideas.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “CO2 pipelines are coming. A pipeline safety expert says we’re not ready.”

    So I am imagining a leak from one of these pipes. And it is in a wide hollow with maybe a highway passing through it. And maybe the local firefighters and ambulance people were never equipped with CO2 detectors for budgetary reasons. This has the makings of a very bad scenario this. That 2020 CO2 pipeline rupture in Missouri was just a taste of what is possible-

  28. RobertC


    The substance of this article was prepared for the WA Governor’s Strategic Foresight Dialogue: Possibilities for Western Australian Economic and Industrial Resilience in the Event of Regional Conflict, 23 February 2022

    Authors Rod Tyers is Winthrop Professor of Economics, The University of Western Australia and Yixiao Zhou is Senior Lecturer in Economics, Australian National University.

    Australia would be among the biggest economic losers from a new cold war

    …We modeled the short-term effects of an end to trade and investment flows across a curtain which leaves the Western economies on one side and China and the rest of the world on the other.

    Charts and data but no details on the model.

  29. Matthew G. Saroff

    There is a report on Twitter, cannot find the link, that the Russians have rolled fire trucks into Azovstal, and using them to pump water into the ventilation shafts to the underground tunnels, which is one way to deal with tunnel fighting.

    Take with a grain of sand, it’s one vaguely recalled tweet.

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        You are referencing the Jim Brown/Lee Marvin Movie, “The Dirty Dozen,” aren’t you?

        1. ambrit

          Wow! I forgot that film. Quite fun in a blow ’em up way. It caused quite a stir on release.

          1. Matthew G. Saroff

            If just because it led the greatest Football player ever, and greatest Lacrosse player ever, Jim Brown, to retire.

      2. Dave in Austin

        See late 1941 Odessa operation for how tunnels can be cleared the old-fashioned way.

      3. caucus99percenter

        A 1987 tanker truck accident in Germany spilled fuel into the sewer lines, which then blew up, destroying an entire row of buildings on a small town’s main street.

        Interestingly enough, the above accounts of the accident are at odds with the corresponding German Wikipedia article in significant details (to begin with, is the correct death toll 30 or 6?).ßbrand_von_Herborn

    1. Acacia

      That was mentioned by Nightvision on the Saker’s blog on 04/12, and described as an unconfirmed rumor.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, they declared another ceasefire, four hours in the PM Moscow time, since the Azov types claimed at this very late hour that there were civilians in the factory. So an admission if true that they are detaining them. MoD said everybody needs to put down weapons and leave.

      They may still use water but I suspect it would be in combination with other methods.

  30. flora

    New book is out.

    Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World

    “Davos Man (n)// A member of the global billionaire class that controls the majority of the world’s wealth. A rare and dangerous predator who attacks without restraint- expanding his territory and seizing the nourishment of others- while he deftly assumes the guise of empathy and generosity, lulling his prey into submission. // ORIGIN The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where the species is known to gather annually to cleanse it’s reputation.” Peter S Goodman, global economics correspondent, New York Times

  31. Gloria

    On data scraping from cars:

    Is there a list that shows car makes, models and years which have this technology built in?

    Also, would wrapping aluminum foil around the shark fin antennae temporarily block transmission of location data? Any techies that can answer that?

    As to Kamaclown Harris, announcing a no satellite kill policy, by assigning her the teleprompter reading duties,

    A. Either they are trying to sneak it under the press radar, because hardly anyone pays attention to her,

    B. U.S. wants a global treaty because the Russians can kick the our ass in space.

  32. CaliDan

    >Gonzalo Lira

    Let’s please not forgive the DailyBeast author, Mark Hay, for his well-researched, totally nuanced, and considerate-of-the-consequences contribution to the ongoing story. That’s right, Mark Hay, the colmnist who usually covers, “sex, desire, and the businesses built around them—from porn economics to sex toy cybersecurity to prophylactic innovations, and beyond… [though, he is] always willing to delve into stories further afield as well.”

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Conflicted about Lira. On the one hand, he was providing insight into what was really happening in Ukraine. Otoh, he was seedy in some of his ideas and language, and liked to talk about himself too much.
      Those 1 and 2 hour monologues could have probably been done and dusted within 10 – 15 min. And that would have been a whole lot safer for him.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        He was self indulgent but unclear as to how much was due to being stressed and having too much time on his hands.

        One huge mistake he made was revealing he was going to grocery stores. He described how an app would show they were open and he mentioned what goods could be bought, like lots of terrific bread. He should not have indicated that he was going out and where he was going.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Yep you are right and I missed that he was doing that. Pity.
          His analysis of fake videos looked good to me. That must have really fired them up to find him.

        2. ArvidMartensen

          And I fear for Patrick Lancaster, but at least he has a military background.
          I hope he doesn’t carry a cell phone around while he’s reporting from battlegrounds. He is a very brave dude.

          1. Sibiryak

            Patrick Lancaster is embedded in the Russian military operation in Russian-controlled Mariupol. There’s danger from snipers etc,, but its a totally different situation compared to Lira’s.

            1. Sibiryak

              Correction: I shouldn’t have said “Russian-controlled Mariupol” without qualification since fighting is still going there,

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              I have to differ with your characterization of Lancaster as “embedded”. US/Western embedded journalists are attached to particular units, although they may and probably do get to change units. Lancaster, by contrast, is operating in Russian controlled areas but is not under the aegis of the army; he’s even walked into areas he thought were cleared, encountered fighting, and beat a fast retreat. He probably does have regular contact to figure out where to go.

  33. Wukchumni

    I was hiking with an NPS archaeologist the other day and she related that Sequoia NP has about 10 archaeologists on hand now from other NP’s, as the KNP Fire laid bare fertile research areas formerly forbidden by thick understory-you couldn’t get there from here. We searched in vain for a set of 5 basins sunk into a granite boulder, but in the process came across a human made wall of stones that was probably constructed by Native Americans, how cool is that?

    She was elated when we found the Lovelace trail that hadn’t been walked on in over a century we reckoned, and was the only way in to Mineral King for about a decade in the 1870’s until the current road was built in 1879. It was quite distinct, dirt work doesn’t vary all that much. Now, we’re wondering how far we could go on it, the fire scar of the KNP covering nearly the entire trail to where the only part i’d seen previously being close to the Diamond Tree in the Redwood Grove in Mineral King.

    There is probably a few year window to wander before Mother Nature is exposed doing a cover up.

    In the 1860s, John Lovelace and Pleasant Works extended the stock trail along the forested ridge to higher grazing grounds. A Surveyor General map of 1883, shows the trail dipping down from the ridge to Oriole Lake. From there it continued over the ridge to Redwood Creek and on to the area of Atwell Mill. This was the trail the first adventurers and miners took to get into the Mineral King Valley.

  34. Stick'em

    “When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead. Making decisions about risk and uncertainty is hard. For instance, trying to think through the probability of catching a potentially deadly virus while going to an indoor movie theater is difficult. So people tend to think in terms of binaries – this is safe or this is unsafe – because it’s easier.

    The problem is answering easier questions instead of trickier ones leaves you vulnerable to cognitive biases. One of the most prevalent of these biases is the availability heuristic. That’s what psychologists call the tendency to judge the likelihood of an event based on how easily it comes to mind. How much a certain event is covered in the media, or whether you’ve seen instances of it recently in your life, sway your estimate.”

    And that’s the story of how they’re going to get us, boys’n’girls. They’re going to keep repeating “It’s your choice as an individual to decide what you want to do about your COVID risk” until we give up trying to make cogent decions about our behavior.

    translation: Just go ahead and pretend Biden fixed COVID like he said he would already. Because we told you Joe’s better than what Agent Orange Bad Man did!

    The herd is as the herd does…

  35. ywhaz

    On one hand, we have a growing body of research suggesting the problem of long COVID is real and can affect anyone regardless of the seriousness of their COVID infection. Yet, on the other hand, we see our elites continue to ignore COVID wholeheartedly and even catch COVID themselves (recall the Gridiron).

    When the elites say one thing and do otherwise, you can easily tell they are lying. For example, at the beginning of COVID, they denied it while dumping their stocks. But this time, they seem to have been doing as they said. Truly amazing.

    Some possible explanations:
    1. The research is wrong, and the elites know it, which is unlikely given that such research has been done in multiple institutions around the world.
    2. They have some secret medications to prevent long COVID, which would be very cool if it is true.
    3. Most likely, they are true idiots who would continue to do idiot things even after being presented with the research.

    1. Maritimer

      Looking at it another way: at what point moving up the Wealth Curve, do people stop swallowing the Koolaid generated for the Hoi Polloi? How do they distinguish true fact from propaganda fiction? Separate, secret news channel perhaps? Or advisers separated from the hype and propaganda?

      A very germane subject. Right now, for instance, we have the remnants of the Kovid Koolaid and the Ukraine Koolaid beating in our brains. In either case, you may lose your shirt, your health or your life. Personally, I think the smartest of the Elite don’t drink the Koolaids.

    2. Late Introvert

      You left one out, it’s close to #2 but not quite.

      4. Health care for the rich and connected, and the proles can just go pound sand, then die.

  36. ryan

    re UCSC researcher completes human genome sequencing
    Seems like this report is referring to the following Science Article
    The complete sequence of a human genome

    of which Miga is one of 91 authors. From the paper.. “To finish the last remaining regions of the genome, we leveraged the complementary aspects of PacBio HiFi and Oxford Nanopore ultralong-read sequencing…” which is some of the important new technology that has been used for difficult to sequence (highly repetitive/high GC) regions. Not exactly my area of expertise.. but Oxford Nanopore sequencing has some cool videos on youtube on how their technology works.

    re Lira.. what a shame. this Ukraine situation has really shed light on some of the worst ghouls that feed on our foreign policy system.

  37. playon

    I’ve been training our little cat to walk on a leash. She was 6 months old when we adopted her and I began a few weeks after we got her, have been working with her for about a month now and she’s doing great with the leash and harness. We live in a smaller town and our neighborhood isn’t too noisy most of the time which helps. So far she doesn’t like going off the property too much but she’s done it a few times, I’m hoping to get her to the point someday where we can travel with her and go for walks and short hikes. Cat walking is definitely not for the impatient!

  38. Geoffrey Dewan

    “this outcome epitomizes the sloppiness and unseriousness of the Biden Administration”

    Nope. I suspect it’s worse than “unseriousness”. The “pragmatic” centrists see mask mandate as politically unpopular and this allows them to get rid of it while blaming some idiot Republican judge. They get the policy decision they actually want and not only pay no political price for it but get to blame the other guy. In fact, they’re probably already fundraising off of it.

    Think of it in terms of what arch villain Joe Manchin and the other Republican Senators have “prevented”: minimum wage, debt relief, Medicare for all, child tax credits etc. Stuff that Joe Biden had no real interest in and, in fact, big corporate Dem donors were outright opposed to.

    No wonder people hate politics and politicians. Even “low information” voters can feel how fucked up this game is- the lying, hypocrisy and self dealing bullshit- yeah- how about all those Congresscritters and their inside trading for example. And the list goes on and on and on.

  39. The Rev Kev

    Thought that I would drop this bit which I just came across on the Guardian which shows how through statistics, you can lie your face off. The article, about Australia, started off by saying the following-

    “Australia’s Covid death toll in 2022 more than double that of previous two years”

    ‘Federal health data shows 4,547 people have died of Covid-19 this year to date, compared with 2,239 over 2020 and 2021’

    You read that and you think wow, that does not sound good. Now for the use of my favourite word ‘context.’ For a very long time, Australia’s death toll was stuck at about 912 and most of that was a result of a huge waves of deaths the previous year in Victoria. But I see that today’s death toll is at 6,842 so that means that about 5,930 people have died since they decided to go with Let ‘er Rip a coupla months ago. So the real story is not what the Guardian put out ‘Federal health data shows 4,547 people have died of Covid-19 this year to date, compared with 2,239 over 2020 and 2021’ but ‘Worldometers show that nearly 6,000 people have died of Covid-19 on the nine months since the Federal government abandoned Zero Covid’

    Just to finish, I heard on the news a few minutes ago that our biggest States – NSW & Victoria – are abandoning major restrictions so that people can go back to work because the economy. Also, today 35 deaths were reported nationwide.

  40. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Negotiations unlikely while Scholz says Russia can’t be allowed to win in Ukraine

    The “P+11”

    > Joe Biden of the US
    > Emmanuel Macron of France
    > Olaf Scholz of Germany
    > Andrzej Duda of Poland
    > Klaus Iohannis of Romania
    > Boris Johnson of UK
    > Mario Draghi of Italy
    > Fumio Kishida Japan
    > Charles Michel of European Council
    > Ursula von der Leyen of European Commission
    > NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

  41. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    I don’t want his job but I’m glad he’s come to the understanding that I articulated two months ago:

    United Nations World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley recently issued a stark warning: ‘If you think we’ve got hell on earth now, you just get ready. If we neglect northern Africa, northern Africa’s coming to Europe. If we neglect the Middle East, [the] Middle East is coming to Europe.’

    An IMF/WB-oriented perspective is Developing countries face triple threat that could tip the world into recession

    Two core elements are crucial to managing today’s developing-country crisis. Powerful countries must refrain from beggar-thy-neighbour trade, fiscal and monetary policies that wreak havoc on developing economies. And they must use their combined resources in the IMF and the World Bank to act quickly and unconditionally to avert disaster.

    1. LawnDart

      “If paying a cashier a living wage will make prices go up, why doesn’t replacing cashiers with self-checkouts make prices go down?”

      Because the Automation Techs charge $150hr, $250hr ot?

  42. RobertC


    In addition to China intruding onto their turf, I wondered about the urgency of US officials heading to Solomons over China pact worries. Then I read an intriguing paragraph in China in the Pacific: from ‘friendship’ to strategically placed ports and airfields

    China is rolling out the Digital Silk Road in the Pacific, using its Pacific embassies to set up ground stations for its Beidou satellite navigation system. Meanwhile, China makes use of commercial operations for Beidou-equipped reference stations in the Pacific. Ground stations and reference stations work together to provide centimetre-level accuracy for satellites. Beidou is China’s GPS equivalent, and it is now on a par with, if not better than, GPS. Like GPS, it’s a military technology, crucial for missile targeting and timing.

    And one of those missiles would be the “carrier-killer” DF-21. More reference stations means more accuracy and more redundancy.

  43. lou strong

    About Russian trials. According to the blogger who translates from Russian sources the war crimes allegedly committed by Ukrainians will be prosecuted mainly by the Donbass Republics public prosecutors. For instance, the responsible of the launch of the missile of the Kramatorsk massacre has been identified by them as the chief of the 19th brigade of the UAF, so Donetsk attorney issued a warrant against him. The same way will likely be followed for the Azov troops crimes against civilians who are allegedly emerging in Mariupol,for instance in the psychiatric hospital.

  44. R

    How does the Citycoin work? You buy it using the Stacks STX and the city gets 30% and then pays you interest?

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