Links 4/2/2022

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

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


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

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

P.P.S. Our mod Jules is back from a repeatedly-Covid-postponed holiday in Norway. Had a great time and is sending aurora borealis vids.

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Flamingo Spotted off Texas Coast, 17 Years After its Escape from a Zoo Sputnik (Kevin W)

The Crooked Forest: A Mystery Worth Exploring TheTravel (David L)

Brawn Before Brains: Mammals Bulked Up To Survive Post-Dinosaur World SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

Betty Reid Soskin, America’s oldest active ranger, retires at the age of 100 Guardian (resilc)

Canada’s Supreme Court upholds C$9m fine on maple syrup thief BBC (resilc)

AI-Directed Algae Blooms Boost Biofuel Prospects IEEE Spectrum (David L)

Timnit Gebru Is Building a Slow AI Movement IEEE Spectrum (David L)



Groundbreaking collaborative work defines the risk of SARS-CoV-2 variants on immune protection (Kevin W)

Highlighting COVID-19 racial disparities can reduce support for safety precautions among White U.S. residents Social Science & Medicine

Russian Health Ministry registers world’s first nasal spray coronavirus vaccine TASS. Mind you, this is first to deploy, not first to develop. Scientist GM adds: “I would not be surprised if the troops were all given it before the invasion was launched, though it would have had to be an updated strain to be really effective against infection.”


China reports 2,129 new COVID cases for April 1 vs 1,827 a day earlier Reuters

Robot dog with loudspeaker barks COVID instructions in China New York Post. Kill me now.



California Snowpack Melts, Leaving State Desperate for Water Bloomberg

Chemical pollution: Surfing in toxic waters France24 (furzy)


Nearly 1 in 3 food companies forced to reduce or shutdown production Brussels Times. From IM Doc, independent of above story, by e-mail:

2 interesting patient conversations this week…The other was the retired CEO of one of our big Ag corps. He told me in no uncertain terms to begin to do everything I could to prepare. All kinds of problems are brewing with the nation’s food supplies and supply chains and the real pain will not start until later this summer or fall – but it is going to be really ugly. He rates the likelihood to be somewhere between “epic and biblical”

IM Doc is in deep flyover, and so his area by being at the end of supply chains is probably early to be hit (recall Jared Diamond on Montana). Still….

Powerless: Sri Lanka plunges into darkness amid fuel crisis FirstPost


President Xi Jinping Holds a Virtual Summit with Leaders of France and Germany Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. Contrast that with the article below:

China-EU Summit Highlights Diverging Paths The Diplomat (RobertC). Hoo boy, presumptuous. The West, here the EU, keeps trying to pressure China to muscle Russia, which China has repeatedly made abundantly clear they will not do that. And to be crass, what leverage does the EU have over China? A buyers’ strike is not a credible threat. Yes, it would hurt China but China’s countersanctions would hurt more. This part is par for the obstinacy: “The overall impression was that China was desperately trying to turn back the clock, to a simpler time in China-EU relations.” No, China is not desperate. This is likely the Chinese being polite because they regard the EU as hostage to the US (the readoout shows Xi made remarks to that effect, which of course EU officials denied).

Xi calls on EU to form independent China policy, encourages bloc to take primary role for Ukraine resolution Global Times. Global Times, a house organ, is a good register of the official reaction. A key bit comes late in the piece:

Hours before the China-EU leaders’ meetings on Friday, Chinese analysts warned that China-EU relations cannot be kidnapped by the Ukraine crisis, and Europe should no longer be abducted by the US in foreign policy, as it will greatly undermine the EU’s own interests, making it difficult to ensure economic recovery and people’s livelihood, and runs counter to Europe’s aim of pursuing strategic independence.

More evidence that pushing China is counterproductive: China Calls U.S. ‘Leading Instigator’ of Russia, Ukraine Conflict Newsweek (furzy). I assume this was after the summit….

China sanctions US officials who ‘concocted lies’ on human rights Hong Kong Free Press. The US wants China’s help with Russia and then imposed new sanctions after the war stated. Does anyone in the State Department have an operating brain cell?

G20 Summit a diplomatic minefield for host Indonesia Asia Times (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Oil Is Too Cheap To Resist For China And India OilPrice (reslic)

Russia’s Gazprom exits German business amid crisis in energy ties Reuters (Kevin W). Follows a raid on Gazprom offices in Germany.

UK sanctions Alfa, Gazprombank and Lavrov’s step daughter Reuters. Note this was as of March 24, the same day Putin made his announcement of his gas for roubles plan. The UK gets only 3% of its gas from Russia. Russian officials must have noticed this sanction and still chose to stipulate only Gazprombank and not something on the order of “a bank headquartered and licensed in Russia ” as the recipient of the regular in by implication unsanctioned in the buyer’s country. The former Royal Dutch Shell, now Shell, which once in the Hague but a registered office in London, is now a London-based company and eliminated its dual shares in January 2022. However, Shell seemed to be much more of a Russian oil than gas buyer (gas buyers are typically utilities). It was called out in a March 4 Wall Street Journal story for buying discounted Russian crude and announced March 8 that it was going to discontinue buying Russian oil and gas. So it’s not clear the UK Gazprom sanction has much practical impact.

Russian firms will be able to pay for planes to foreign creditors in rubles RIA. Original: Российские фирмы смогут платить за самолеты иностранным кредиторам в рублях

Putin ally warns agriculture supplies could be limited to ‘friends’ Cyprus Mail (Kevin W)

Meet the New, Resource-Based Global Reserve Currency Pepe Escobar, The Saker. Way too triumphalist. Remember Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

Thousands of Russia-linked shipping containers are causing a ‘nightmare’ situation in the Port of Rotterdam Business Insider (Kevin W)

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Don’t back down, Britain urges Ukraine The Times (Li)

Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: War Crimes Scott Ritter, Consortium News

Kyiv told London that it does not intend to comply with the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war TASS. Only available on Russian sites. Wonder if/when this will make it to the English version of TASS. From a translation:

The Kiev leadership informed the British Foreign Office that it did not intend to comply with the Geneva Convention in the treatment of Russian prisoners of war. This is stated in a message released on Friday by the press bureau of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of the Russian Federation.

* * *

Sweden ‘needs the security of NATO membership’: Leading Swedish MEP France24 (furzy)

NASA says Russia is still ‘moving toward’ extending the space station through 2030
The Verge (resilc)

University of Florida renames Karl Marx study room following Russian invasion of Ukraine Orlando Weekly (resilc)

UN: Violence in Colombia Registers a 621% Increase This Year Telesur (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Fake Emergency Search Warrants Draw Scrutiny from Capitol Hill – Krebs on Security Brian Krebs (BC)

Apple rushes out patches for two zero-days threatening iOS and macOS users ars technica (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why 40 African armies met at a Fort Benning summit — and why some didn’t Military Times

The military isn’t tracking US-trained officers in Africa Responsible Statecraft. Kevin W flags the subhead: t with sub-title ‘AFRICOM says it promotes human rights and rule of law but doesn’t know why trainees are overthrowing their own governments.’


If Biden Continues Massive Oil Release, How Long Would Reserves Last? Newsweek. Not the right question. The US uses about 20 million barrels a day, v. the one million n a day the Administration will release for six months. This is a bit more than the amount imported from Russia. So on paper, all good. However, the sanctions and self-sanctioning are keeping global oil markets tight, and therefore prices high. Plus Russian fuel was medium-heavy, very well suited to making diesel and home heating fuel. We’ve not been willing/able to get heavy sour grades from Iran or Venezuela to mix with the light sweet crude we make and we buy from the Saudis and is presumably what we have stored. Oil mavens speak up. I understand diesel can be made from lighter grades, but diesel is more energy dense, so it takes more lighter-grade oil to make a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas.

Biden Mulls Lifting Ethanol Caps In A Bid To Lower Gasoline Prices OilPrice

“Jettison the Animals!” James Howard Kunstler. On that laptop

Missouri Democrats’ New Senate Candidate Was Queen of Whites-Only Ball Intercept

Judicial Watch Victory: Court Declares Unconstitutional California’s Racial, Ethnic, LGBT Quota for Corporate Boards Judicial Watch. Note that Judicial Watch is conservative but not cray cray. They won in a motion for summary judgment. Ouch. I did a bit of poking around, but so far, the media seems to be ignoring this ruling.

Judge Tosses N.Y. District Lines, Citing Democrats’ ‘Bias’ New York Times (resilc)

Our Famously Free Press

“Disappeared”: Chris Hedges Responds to YouTube Deleting His 6-Year Archive of RT America Shows DemocracyNow!

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

US judge denies Ghislaine Maxwell request for new trial Agence France-Presse

Supply Chain

Overflowing Inventories and the Supply Chain Crisis Dean Baker, Counterpunch

Young women earn more than young men in several U.S. cities Pew (resilc)

Class Warfare

Positive Drug Tests Among U.S. Workers Hit Two-Decade High Wall Street Journal

Antidote du jour (CV). I miss having a cat.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. JohnA

    Re Sweden ‘needs the security of NATO membership’: Leading Swedish MEP.

    The MEP calling for this is from right wing party Moderaterna, that have been shilling for NATO membership for many years. The erstwhile party leader, Carl Bildt, was famously unveiled as a CIA informer of Swedish state secrets and in recent years, trying his hardest to ‘wet his beak’ in Ukraine.

    The MEP claims in the article that 6 in 10 Swedes support Nato membership, but that is incorrect, according to a recent poll published in Svenska Dagbladet 30 March, a right of centre daily, that says 46% support an application, 30% against, and 24% don’t know.

    Incidentally, the mainstream Swedish media are very much toeing the US/UK line of poor little Ukraine vs big bad bully Putin who invaded for expansionist reasons, and never mention the 2014-2022 period.

    1. digi_owl

      To this day i wonder what fearmongering UK and USA delivered to get Norway and Denmark to sign up to NATO back in the day. For Norway in particular, USSR had every opportunity to take the nation and instead withdrew to the pre-war border. And the only time there have been any sabre rattling from Moscow since, has been in relation to NATO exercises in Norway.

      People may well call me whatever is the go to slur these days, but i hold the opinion that Russia can be trusted to behave fairly as long as we behave fairly in return. Their beef is more often than not with DC and Langley that use the world as some kind of play pen for bored rich kids dreaming themselves James Bond.

      And yeah, Norwegian media is also painfully lopsided in their coverage of these events. Even going as far as dismissing Azov battalion etc as overstated.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Apparently the Norwegian government in exile was under strong influence of British Russophobia after the war. Many Norwegians though Soviet Union as the liberator of Norway from the Nazi occupation, but the returning government was certain that Soviet Union would eventually, for some unknown reason, invade.
        There were some half-hearted attempts at Scandinavian defense union with Denmark and Sweden, but Norwegians deemed it too weak. When Norway turned to NATO, Denmark followed, although I think they were still more afraid of Germany than Soviet Union.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah you are probably right. Likely fed by the pre-war fear of communism among the monied that lead them to support fascist ideas until it all keeled over. Makes one ponder the present state of things…

      2. berit

        The Norwegian Kommunistpartiet fought the Nazi occupiers admirably during the war and won 11 seats in Parliament in the first free election. Attempts were made for a Scandinavian defense union. Events in Europe, however, the communist coup in Tsjekkoslovakia in 1948, cold war warriors among conservatives, social democrats (and Winston Churchill) paved the way to NATO membership. The Labour Party feared competition from a strong Kommunistparti and contributed to smearing them and the valiant contribution to the home front struggle went unappreciated until recent years. The conservatives still try to forget that the Red Army retreated as promised after liberating Finnmark in 1944, at great cost. Soviet soldiers and war prisoners’ graves were moved south to Tjøtta in Operation Asfalt after 1951, ostensibly for fear of spies, but probably more fear of Soviet-Russia and Stalin. History is repeated – sadly, tragically. Thousands of Ukrainian refugees are coming here, 6000 by yesterday, perhaps as many as 100.000 shortly.

      3. Petter

        Painfully lopsided: I read NRK’s (national broadcaster) article on the Azov Brigade. It was painful reading. I thought, this is journalism? Ever thought of doing a little digging? It wouldn’t take much.
        Oh, they also had an article on Ivermectin with the headline “Vaccine Skeptics Take Horse Medicine Against Corona,” referencing that Customs is intercepting more imports. Not a mention of river blindness, parasites or that the discoverers got the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
        I’m starting to understand Brits disdain for the BBC, if its coverage of important and controversial subjects is anything like NRK’s.

        1. Anonymous 2

          Be careful regarding Britons and the BBC. Its most vocal critics in the UK have long been on the Right. IMO this has been to put pressure on it to move to the Right. They have had quite a lot of success IMO.

          Murdoch, who is important here, clearly wants to destroy it in order to tighten his grip on British politics. So, of course,
          do his allies. If they can destroy the BBC then the possibility of any MSM which is not Right Wing slanted is much reduced.

    2. Brian Beijer

      I can say at my workplace (here in Sweden), which is a very left of center workplace, in other words no Moderates, probably mostly Social Democrats with a few of the Vänster (Left), EVERYONE but me and one other “tin-foil hatter” completely believes the Swedish mainstream media version of events in Ukraine. I don’t dare open my mouth about the situation in Ukraine for fear of being labeled a “Putin sympathizer”. If Svenska Dagbladet had taken a poll at my office; 95% would be in favor of joining NATO.
      One cannot emphasize enough that the vast majority of Swedes COMPLETELY trust their government. Jesus, just look at how the Swedish government dealt with the pandemic. Any other population would have been rioting in the streets, but there’s hardly a word of dessinsion expressed by the average citizen here… even after the majority of the Corona Commission resigned due to the refusal of the government to release any of their meeting minutes. Still, not a peep of protest. I used to wince when some right-wing nutter in the US would refer to people as “sheep”, but now I totally understand what they meant. Swedes are the very definition of humans as “sheep”.
      I apologize if I come across as angry and bitter. I’ve just spent two years watching as the Swedish government allowed 18,000 people to die, mostly needlessly. And I’ve watched as the overwhelming majority of Swedes truly didn’t give a damn… because their government told them it was ok.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > even after the majority of the Corona Commission resigned due to the refusal of the government to release any of their meeting minutes.

        I had still thought of Sweden as a haven for good government. Oh well.

        1. Michaelmas

          Good governments don’t have a Lars Tegnell — the original, most vociferous promoter of the ‘herd immunity’ lie — as the state’s ‘chief epidemiologist, ignoring what anyone can learn in twenty seconds from a Virology 101 textbook, which is that there is no reliable immunity from most coronaviruses.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I’m increasingly of the view that individuals really do matter when it comes to an emergency situation (although of course a virus like covid should never have been a surprise).

          In Ireland, the response was relatively fast and effective. Several tuned in people I know expressed relief that the lead guy in the Irish public health organisation had been in place for 6 months. The previous incumbent was (so I was told) a ‘don’t make a decision until you’ve had 20 meetings and 10 reports commissioned’ type of manager, while the new guy was experienced and decisive and was willing to be seen to take the lead even when little was known about the virus. Unfortunately, he is also an ‘airborne is just miasma theory’ guy and this led to a failure to take the necessary second steps.

          Eventually, after taking some brave and generally good decisions (apart from a mysterious refusal to take antigen testing seriously), they then fell in line with the general imperative to ‘get back to normal’. Their decision making since the arrival of Omicron has been disastrously bad, something I attribute to a combination of groupthink and a failure of nerve. They’ve bought into the ‘back to normal’ imperative even more enthusiastically than most countries. Ireland now has no measures of significance, and the hospitals are paying the price.

  2. Louis Fyne

    via DuneQuoteBot at Twitter, Frank Herbert on power politics…

    No matter how exotic human civilization becomes, no matter the developments of life and society nor the complexity of the machine/human interface, there come interludes of lonely power when the course of humankind depends upon the relatively simple actions of single individuals

    from The Tleilaxu Godbuk in “Dune Messiah”

    1. Soredemos

      I love Herbert, but he was fundamentally on the right (though a very idiosyncratic right). His vision of history was dominated by Great Men.

      A big plot hole in Dune is that the dune men, the guys who actually go out into the deep desert and do the dangerous work of harvesting spice, never feature beyond the scene where they get rescued. They have zero agency in the story, despite the fact that the entire known universe rests on their shoulders. If those guys ever got together to strike, everything stops.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘My boss told me I was fired as soon as I got to work…’

    It took that boss 3 hours to work out that Z’s client list had been deleted and that there was no backup for it? He’s toast.

    1. griffen

      The idea just sounded so funny, surely this smart employee would know it is April 1. Cue up the HR effort to an 11. Fortunately in life I’ve not had a total dipstick as a manager. Heck, even the retail department job in high school had some competence at the store manager level.

    2. B1WHOIS

      The guy spent two hours packing up his cubicle, surely someone must have told the boss. He must have been laughing his ass off, the boss, in his office. What’s that fancy word you guys use around here? schadenfreude?

      1. Boomheist

        Surely during those two hours packing the the cubicle – cubicle not office with a door? – this worker’s associates would have asked what the heck they were doing, and, when told, said, it’s April 1, right? Unless this worker had only enemies around him or her, people perfectly fine with this person packing and leaving…..

        1. flora

          Nope. They’re jusk keeping their heads down to avoid further distressing the fired guy and also avoid becoming the next target of the jackass boss.
          This wasn’t an April Fools joke level “prank”. The boss’s call back was on the order of some guy doing or saying something really terrible and then trying to excuse themselves with the classic, “What’s the matter? Can’t ya take a joke?!”

    3. JP

      I don’t know what state he was working in but in CA you are not fired unless the boss brings you your final pay check.

  4. Robert Hahl

    Is it too soon to start asking who lost Russia?

    I vote for the 2007-8 financial crisis, but I don’t know who caused that. Probably Allen Greenspan.

    1. GramSci

      It’s all Purim’s fault. Until he came along Yeltsin’s oligarchs were lined up to become charter members of the Clinton Foundation.

      1. Robert Hahl

        But so was Putin. There are pictures of him and Bush the Younger in happier times, grinning like a couple of thrives dividing the loot. Something changed.

          1. Ricardo

            They should have given him a Big Hug a very long time ago, when he was more probably amenable, and worthy of it.

            Too late now.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          What changed?

          -will you buy F35s or S400s? If you aren’t interested in conquering, why not focus on air defense instead of a plane that doesn’t work? The changing face of trade in the world is an issue too.

          -resources for export being under state owned enterprises not the Clinton foundation

          – a reasonable Russia in Europe negates the need for the US in Europe.

          -Russia is a potential autarky. It’s relationship with China provides an outlet to deal with China. Trade relations aren’t a zero sum game. Going with a Russian outfit doesn’t mean cutting off ties with Beijing versus DC in light of Obama’s pivot to Asia. Russia isn’t a post colonial master, riding on the US coattails.

          -I do think many DC types realized sending our factories to China wasn’t a good idea. They think humiliating Russia will force Beijing to keep Moscow at bay.

          -Shrub and later Obama’s position that the US won’t merely engage in preemptive wars but won’t tolerate competitors. Americans may not have heard this, but Moscow and Beijing read the transcripts of Bush’s West Point speech and Obama’s AIPAC speech. Libya confirmed doubts. Shrub wasn’t an aberration but represented a deeply aggressive American foreign policy outlook.

          Putin is largely inconsequential. Yeltsin was the outsized personality who delayed the emergence of a major regional power and ran a huge country into the ground longer than it should have been.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            ” Americans may not have heard this, but Moscow and Beijing read the transcripts of Bush’s West Point speech and Obama’s AIPAC speech. Libya confirmed doubts. Shrub wasn’t an aberration but represented a deeply aggressive American foreign policy outlook.”

            this is spot on, Tim.
            i don’t know anyone in real life(aside from wife and boys who get perfessor amfortas at the slightest provocation) who knows anything at all about even our recent history, beyond rah-rah great googly moogly we tha best cuntrie evah!!!
            it’s exhausting.
            since i was 16 and getting alternative views from books, books and mags from headshops, and those wet-ink rags the Larouchites would hand out on streetcorners in the Montrose(Houston), i’ve known that all is not as it seems, that leaders lie at every level and that we are the evil empire…confirmed more and more with the advent of the web and every passing year.
            many of those folks IRL know in their bones that something’s off, at the very least…but strive mightily to avoid knowing that they know that.
            performative bullshit and workplace drama plaster it over.

            1. Swamp Yankee

              Very much this, amfortas. The factual command of recent American foreign policy, and by “recent,” I mean, post WWII, but especially post Cold War, is next to nothing, even among the professional classes with their so-called advanced degrees (yes, I have a Phd — grew up working class, though, so don’t view myself as the class traitor to the PMC that Lambert talks about, esp. since as a comm. college professor I don’t really deal with the PMC all that much; I think the phenomenon of what some anthropologists have called “culture-brokers,” people who would move between two worlds, may be more appropriate in my case).

              This is true whatever their “narrative” (God, I hate postmodernism). US-basically-good Romney GOPer turned Rockefeller Dem with an MBA? Little knowledge. Crunchy, Oberlin undergrad gender studies major, excited about condescending to her uncles’ buddies on community Facebook pages about queerness? Equally little knowledge. MAGA Visigoths? Forget it.

              Both are absolutely confident in the justice of their proposed course of action, nevetheless.

              Workplace drama does play an outsized role, too. You’re reading my mind here in the wetlands of Southeastern Massachusetts!

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                workplace drama…”Chisme”, more generally…is the frelling purpose of life, apparently.

                everybody’s bidness is a lot, after all(small town, small county)
                they don’t have room for history or geostrategic considerations.

          2. lance ringquist

            in one recent link the chinese kept saying to either blinken or sullivan repeatedly, yugoslavia.

            if you did not pay attention to nafta billy clinton, then you ended up like libya.

            russia and china were paying attention.

            “for free trade to work, bill clinton came right out and said we need to invade others countries to force them into free trade, and be ready to invade anyone who dares say no

            ” Bill Clinton elaborated:
            “If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.”

            “Tribalism” was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening any nation which might have ideas of independence.”

            “a bill clinton mouth piece,

            In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote:
            “For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

            As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo’s new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia’s break-up. And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem, we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain:

            “It’s not a single person that’s at issue, there’s a regime in place in Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the World Bank… has to insist on…”

            The Canadian government professes great interest in human rights. Globalization undermines both democracy and national sovereignty, the only guarantors of human rights. Unfortunately for Messrs. Clinton, Chretien et al, that message was not lost on millions around the world watching NATO bombs pulverize Yugoslavia.”

            “bill clinton did this,

            NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days following accusations that Milošević was ethnically cleansing Albanians in Kosovo.
            The late Milošević was quietly and de facto cleared of all charges by the Hague Tribunal in 2016, but by the time the truth came out, Yugoslavia was long gone, broken into seven, more manageable and exploitable, countries.

            One of those profiteers, Albright’s financial management company, was involved in the privatization of Kosovo’s telecommunications company. From Wikipedia, one can learn that she too likely profits well from her war mongering, along with other untouchables”

        2. Lex

          The whole of Putin’s early political career was oriented west. He tried to build a relationship that was mutually beneficial and based on respect. What changed is that he finally realized that the US is not agreement capable and that the 90’s weren’t a terrible mistake but policy. And from about 2007, his pivot to Asia began. I believe that until a few weeks ago he held out hope that someone in DC would behave rationally. My guess is that he’s been fully disabused of that notion.

          Trust Putin and Lavrov when they say that they’re done with the US until the US makes amends. I dislike appeals to ethnic/national “character” but I’m Slavic and could run down a long list of anecdotes about “red lines”, forgetting and forgiving. Sometimes a Slav will tell you where the line is, but not always. And when you cross it, going back is almost impossible. I’ve seen the demeanor of Putin and Lavrov before. They’re not bluffing. We may not be dead to them quite yet, but it’s close. Like when my great, great aunt died and my great grandmother’s reply to the news (they hadn’t spoken in 40 years) was simply, “good”.

          1. John

            They are not bluffing. I think the die was cast in March 2021 when Blinken lectured Wang Yi at the Anchorage meeting followed by the Wang Yi-Lavrov meeting in Guilin. I saw it as the last straw. I am not suggesting policy coordination or plotting simply a realization that the US was never going to change, was never going to surrender its perceived position; the majority of the world outside the “Empire” was going to have to chart its own course and it is doing so one step at a time. Has it or is it sinking in with the politicals and the ideologues inside the DC Bubble? Apparently not beyond cautionary leaks from the defense establishment. I keep imagining a legion of small boys rushing to stick fingers in one leak in the dike after another. May they awake to confront reality without panic.

          2. Midget

            Regarding appeals to ‘national character’:

            I agree that it is distasteful, but it increasingly seems that the only way a group (or nation) might stand a chance of surviving the cultural (and thence political) alkahest of modernity is by obsessively tending to their ‘national character’ and consciously striving to build asabiyyah; just compare Israel and Japan to just about any other Western nation.

            This same point is made in an entirely different context:


            Edit: It also occurs to me that (in my case, at least) this distaste might come as a result of social conditioning from living my entire life in the West.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              re: living in the west, and all.

              i’m half irish(with scots irish in there), 1/4 czech and 1/4 choctaw. only the middle one has a fully fleshed out history…the first has a tentative line drawn back to davy crocket’s brother mixed in with all the red hair and fiesty drunkenness.
              all of my czech relatives…left the farm after the War, but it never left them…that small c conservatism…like wendell berry.
              but with thick accents.
              the indian side was well mixed with many other things…all of them dirt floor class until after WW2.

              history matters…including one’s own, personal and family history.
              such history has echoes in the present…from habits of mind to habits of behaviour..and .like with generational traits, one’s convoluted admixture of ethnicities and cultures and “old countries” echoes right along with history, to form each of us.
              just try to avoid essentialism.

              1. Swamp Yankee

                Very much yes to this, as well. I’m 1/4 Scottish Highlander/Islander, 1/4 West of Ireland, 1/4 English, likely East Anglia.

                The Highlanders spent significant time in Nova Scotian rural poverty before migrating to Boston c. 1900. The English ended up on the New Brunswick side of the border, but may also have been, leaning to probably were, Tories with Pilgrim/Swamp Yankee roots, hard to say on that one. The Irish start in the Potato Famine, and keep coming through the latter 19th century.

                Each of these have differences and singularities.

                My Mother still pronounces certain words like she’s from the Canadian Maritimes, and my Father sounds Irish to inhabitants of rural, southern New England. Both were born and grew up in Boston.

                History is indeed something.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          Putin was considered to be “our guy” during his first few years in office. Obviously that view changed. But then we were busy in the Middle East and not focused on doing much about that.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Moscow was still content to be a junior partner. The Kremlin, the street, and Lavrov, closest to the permanent Russian state, all felt this way. I suspect many in the West are upset they can’t steal anymore, but Russia wasn’t lost then.

      2. lance ringquist

        there was a good reason. under free trade whats mine is mine, whats yours is mine. get in my way, you end up like yugoslavia.

        every country must open up or else, its that simple. the russians were just being softened up for the new world order.

    2. Glen

      I think you nailed one of the three “heros” that lost Russia with their “greatness”, but you were off time-wise by a couple of decades. Russia went through it’s own version of 2008 after the collapse of the USSR except it was much, much worse:

      Time – Rubin, Greenspan & Summers | Feb. 15, 1999,16641,19990215,00.html

      These guys quite literally took six years off the average lifespan of a Russian male, and caused Russia to “lose” perhaps twenty million people.

      The 2007-8 financial crisis was when those same hero’s greatness added into our own slow motion collapse. I put the key points of our collapse at when the financial “reforms” of the 90’s combined with the 00’s war on terror foreign policy catastrophe then boiled over into the complete failure of our regulatory system, Dept of Justice, and ultimately, capitalism itself. After all, what we really saw in 2008 is that certain criminal enterprises were “too big to fail”, and really big crooks do not go to jail.

      1. Screwball

        Those 3 could be choices for our very own Mt. Rushmore of financial criminals. It’s a long list.

  5. Louis Fyne

    — terms to begin to do everything I could to prepare. All kinds of problems are brewing with the nation’s food supplies and supply chains and the real pain will not start until later this summer or fall—

    With fertilizer, energy costs so high, the federal government ought to float 0% working capital loans solely secured by the harvests.

    Would be a drop in the bucket compared to PPP or Defence-CIA budget.

    otherwise we’re going to see weird distortions where we have a glut of soy (needs less fertilizer) in the fall and shortage of everything else.

  6. Sardonia

    Robot dog with loudspeaker barks COVID instructions in China New York Post.

    Yves – “Kill me now.”

    Be careful, Yves. That might be an actual command programmed into the robot dog.

  7. CoryP

    The Karl Marx article brings up a blank page from Orlando Weekly, with a seemingly valid URL. I think it might have been an April Fools joke, at least I really hope so with the multiple layers of stupid…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Nope. It’s the real deal. Here is another link-

      I can see it now. The Uni admin announces the change to the riled students.

      Uni: ‘Well, we had to do it because he was Russian and won’t anybody think of the Ukrainians?’

      Student: ‘Actually he was born in Trier in Germany.’

      Uni: ‘Well he died in Russia so that is good enough..’

      Student: ‘Actually he died in London and is buried in Highgate Cemetery there.’

      Uni: ‘Well he did all that work in Russia then.’

      Student: ‘Actually he never set foot in Russia.’

      Uni: ‘Dammit, he was a Commie.’

      Student: ‘Actually the man said once that “I am not a Marxist!” so he probably wasn’t a Communist.’

      Uni: ‘Well Russia is a Commie country which we have to fight in any way that we can.’

      Student: ‘Actually Russia has been a capitalist country for over thirty years now.’


      1. Sardonia

        Kev, you’re dreaming. There’s probably not one student there who knows anything about Marx – and besides, their strongest protest will come because the UNI simply assumed that Marx identified as a “he”.

        1. Wukchumni

          The largest tree in the world was originally named the Karl Marx tree by the utopian socialist group here in the mid 1880’s, as their role models were Engels & Marx, although the former never got a tree named after him, unlucky bastard.

          A story was concocted that a Civil War veteran who was in Sherman’s army named it after his commander in 1879, but recent research has shown that the soldier in question was a deserter-and not in Sherman’s army and didn’t show up until the early 1890’s in Sequoia NP-not 1879 which was claimed. Socialists were as despised 130 years ago as now in the USA.

          But imagine if the name had stuck, and Americans flocking to see the largest living thing during the white heat of the Cold War, were all part of a Marxist movement…

          1. GramSci

            Back in the early 60’s my public high school orchestra conductor’s name was Karl Marx Miller. He let it be widely known that he was a Goldwater supporter.

            1. LifelongLib

              Back in the 70s there was a Karl Marks Pizza near the Washington State University campus in Pullman WA. Don’t think it’s there anymore but haven’t been to the area since I graduated.

      2. JohnA

        Years ago when it was allowed on certain Sunday afternoons, I roamed around the old part of Highgate Cemetery. There were a couple of elderly women in front of me. One turned to the other and said “I wonder where Karl Marx is buried”. The other woman replied “I have no idea, but probably in the Russian section”. I made the huge mistake of politely telling them that Marx was in the new cemetery across the road, but then fatally added, ‘Marx was German, not Russian’. The two women glared at me with utter contempt, before one of them hissed ‘But he was a communist”.
        I beat a hasty retreat.

        1. Synoia

          My Brother in Law , a staunch Tory, is buried in Highgate – Somewhat to the Right of Marx as you face North.

      3. Stick'em

        In related news, Florida bans WWF wrasslin’ “Russian Nightmare” tag team Uncle Ivan Koloff and nephew Nikita Koloff from performing in their state even though the two were born in Chicago.

        When asked for comment, the Koloffs stated they were character actors and couldn’t find Russia on a map between the two of ’em. Officials at the University of Florida responded, “Neither can we. But we know it is shaped like a bear. So there!”

    2. CoryP

      Ugh, Jesus Christ… This jingoism and hypocrisy is so hard for me to understand yet it seems so common and contagious.

      Even in Canada where we’ve I believe canceled some musicians. We aren’t raised here with nearly the same sense of (frankly weird) patriotism as America… Or at least I thought not. Huge Ukrainian diaspora though, of which I am one. Would be interesting if my grandfather were alive and I could ask him about WW2…

        1. The Rev Kev

          And now there is a new one. A lot of Ukrainians will refuse to return home after the war is over and will settle instead in a wealthier and safer country.

          1. CoryP

            New Banderastan.
            Rev, you should check out the Bottlemen’s podcast, the episodes about the Canadian Victims of Communism memorial. April/May 2021. If you like Dore or Chapo or TrueAnon it might be up your alley.

          2. RobertC

            TRK — A lot of Ukrainians will refuse to return home after the war is over

            You nailed it. Ukraine was emigrating about 1.5% of its population yearly before the war due to, as I believe you said, Ukraine is a bit of a dump.

            West => Europe (and East => Russia) population flows are very much an intentional aspect of this war. The South => Europe will intensify in a few months; Morocco => Spain was an early instance.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I suspect especially among PMC it’s the first time they get to be the “good guys” in decades now. In Canada, what is going on? Ongoing revelations for relatively recent abuses perpetuated by the Catholic Church with the tacit support of the state.

        Canada meets to be investigating fortunes and heirs to past governments. That investigating hard work. The kind of guy who gave money to a children’s hospital might be the problem. His lackey might be the problem. To borrow from the Pelosi spawn, favorites could be implicated. Putin! Russia! is a relief for these people as there is no cost for these people.

      2. Mildred Montana


        I take your point about all the jingoism, hypocrisy, patriotism, and cancelling going on at the moment. I too am dismayed by it.

        As far as WWII goes: From my reading of its history, where jingoism and patriotism ran amok, there was a well-defined pecking order at that time among the various nationalities and ethnicities.

        At the top were the “Aryan” Germans, who despised the Slavs (pretty well all of Eastern Europe) and classified them as ????????????? (sub-humans). Below the Slavs were the Romani and then at the very bottom were the Jews; they were considered less than sub-human and were reviled and treated with great cruelty by nearly all nations and ethnicities, including a surprising number in Western Europe.

        The Slavic Ukrainians played both sides, supporting both the Germans and the Slavic Russians at various stages of the war—all the while hating and being hated by them—but often taking out their powerless frustration on the Jews.

        The Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) hated both the Russians and the Germans and, once again, the lowly Jews.

        In short, WWII seems to have been a time when everybody hated everybody.

      1. wilroncanada

        And even more important, no Marx Brothers movies, or regurgitated TV shows for the next 40 years, “you bet your life” on that.

  8. griffen

    Yale admin embezzlement. Clicked around for a few related articles. There is an astounding list of vehicles she was ordered to forfeit, and for the record I don’t mean a 2018 Dodge Charger.

    She best get comfortable with a long sentence; maybe 15 to 20 I am guessing, at minimum. IRS does not like tax cheats (okay the criminal variety here is an in your face cheat).

    1. Sardonia

      If she just set the entire $40 million on fire, just to enjoy watching it burn, Joker-style, it would the best use of $40 million made at Yale in the last 50 years.

      1. griffen

        Since it’s the competitive cycle for spring sports in college athletics (baseball, softball), why don’t we bring out the best effort to do so from the Harvard endowment fund?

        They didn’t set a mere $40 million on fire. Good old Larry Summers was president of Harvard, from 2001 to 2006; either during or shortly after his tenure was over the endowment fund lost $1.8 billion on a horrible and no good plan betting on higher interest rates. This story gets a repeat every so often around here, with good reason.

        1. mistah charley, ph.d.

          Since we’re talking Harvard and Yale, here’s a joke I heard as an undergraduate in Cambridge, MA –

          Two fellows are using the facilities at the Harvard-Yale game. One stops at the sink to wash his hands, and the other just strolls toward the exit. The Harvard boy says, “At Harvard they teach us to wash our hands after urination.” The Yale man nonchalantly replies, “At Yale we learn not to pee on our hands.”

          My time in Cambridge was spent at the university at one end of the bridge that connects Massachusetts Avenue to Boston. For historical reasons, that bridge is called the Harvard Bridge.

    2. DanB

      If you want to understand -in a vulgar Marxist sense- why so many in med schools and public health schools go along with the bipartisan )Trump and Biden) “let ‘er rip” approach to Covid, you need to appreciate that federal grant money is sloshing around these schools and, most important, these schools are dependent upon this funding for their existence. I hasten to add that there are a very few real professionals in these schools who speak out about the insanity typified by Facui, Walensky et al. And some in these schools actually believe in herd immunity because they are PMC members first, health professionals second.

    3. divadab

      It’s an auditor’s nightmare – any competent Accounts payable clerk can get away with small-dollar thefts on a regular basis with virtually no chance, other than accidental, to get caught.

      But this one really takes the cake – it shows an absence of any effective internal controls over spending, which is probably due to the sheer amount of funds floating through the organization. Notably Yale offers an MBA but based on a quick peruse of their program offerings, does not include any courses in accounting or internal controls. They do offer a concentration in “Risk Management” but I suspect this is of the kind eager hedge fund recruits study.

      Late stage imperial decline everywhere? JFC…..

      1. Jason Boxman

        Couldn’t you catch this with a random statistical sampling, like you might use in 6 sigma so as to avoid validating the entire population of transactions/widgets?

      2. Alex Cox

        I used to work for a large media company in the UK called the BBC. Since I was an independent contractor, I had to invoice them in order to be paid. On every occasion, I was told that they had lost the invoice, and could I please submit another one. The last time this happened, I mentioned to the series producer that I was regularly asked to double-invoice for my work, and that possibly someone might be pocketing the money from the first invoice.

        His reply: “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

  9. Milton

    For people like me who had no idea what was being covered in the ars technical article, here’s a helpful definition:

    A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability in a system or device that has been disclosed but is not yet patched. An exploit that attacks a zero-day vulnerability is called a zero-day exploit.

    Because they were discovered before security researchers and software developers became aware of them—and before they can issue a patch—zero-day vulnerabilities pose a higher risk to users.

    1. Bart Hansen

      Here is a definition from Naked Security:

      “A zero-day, of course, is a security hole that the Bad Guys not only found first, but also figured out how to exploit before any patches were available. (In other words, there were zero days on which you could have patched ahead of the exploit, even if you were the world’s most proactive patcher.)”

  10. Terry Flynn

    Re British COVID-19. Sigh. I have it. Clinically confirmed. Been incapable of work since Tuesday (and because I’m on some nice sounding NHS flexible work scheme which is actually “zero hours” I get no sick pay). Needless to say not allowed into the hospital but luckily have the PC box with me at home so can do bits and pieces.

    This is my first “official” infection (but my third or fourth suspected one given symptom profiles and exposure conditions). It’s just as dreadful as before. Not quite as awful as flu but way worse than a cold. Two clinician colleagues were off work for A FORTNIGHT. Head of oncology and his deputy were both off with it…. Now back. We are still majorly backed up. Given LEGAL rules on cancer treatments following diagnosis we are very very close to the line.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks. Sleeping about 18 hours a day helps.
        But the effects on my already compromised heart worry me.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thank you. I got really angry at how quickly locals quit masking etc… Then saw oncology patients plus carers getting away with wearing them as “chin diapers” as South Park so memorably noted and realised the battle was already lost.

        Now I’m just incredibly weary and just don’t care. How did we degenerate this far this fast?

        1. TimH

          I simply wear a mask in stores and ignore the fact that others don’t. No attitude, because mask-less do not want to be persuaded.

      2. GramSci

        Hang in there, Terry!

        For USA readers adding best wishes, I just discovered yesterday that you can scroll/drill down the biobot site Lambert has been featuring to get a daily wastewater leading indicator from a participating county near you.

    1. Pat

      More good thoughts being sent your way. Take care of yourself.

      And there are no words for the stupidity…

    2. The Historian

      I’m so sorry. Here’s hoping that everything works out all right for you! I love reading your comments!

    3. The Rev Kev

      There is an old traditional cure that might help. You slowly sip half a bottle of single-malt whiskey. By the time that you finish it you will still be sick but will no longer care.

      1. Terry Flynn

        I’m on gin…… The MAOI antidepressant I’m on means “coloured” drinks can raise my BP too much. So although I love whiskey, gin/vodka are my “goto” drinks when I just want to knock myself out and try to sleep through it all.

        At the moment just a small shot and I’m nodding off. I’m so sick (in every way) of this virus. I’m meant to care for mum….. Etc….. I’m TIRED.

    4. Wukchumni

      Get better soon and don’t think ‘positive’ thoughts, easy for me to say though as I was asymptomatic when Omicron came calling in January.

    5. Skippy

      My youngest daughter that works ED front desk at a big old private hospital, here in Brisbane, has avoided covid so far and that is with 4 girls in a share house to boot …. but … now has chicken pox of all things …

      Anywho the un-vaccinated but strict protocols marsupial has avoided any nasties and would like to recommend Tottori whisky for your enjoyment whilst recovering.

  11. timbers

    About epic, biblical food shortages

    I purchase 2 brands of organic wheat bread. Here’s a summary of their recent pricing.

    First brand: Used to be able to always stock up to purchase at 2.50 on sale and dodge the 3.29 regular price. Now sales almost never happen so am having to pay a new higher regular price 3.99

    Am paying 4.00 for what I used to pay 2.50 for.

    Second Brand: Regular price – 5.99 but always got the 3.99 sale priced and stocked up. Price raised to 6.49 at start of war and not a single sale so far and my supplies are almost gone.

    Am paying 6.49 for what I used to pay 3.99 for.

    With home prices now reported to have climbed about 20% for 2 years in a row and car prices maybe double what I paid 6 years ago, I don’t need no government reports to know that inflation is well above 10%. I’d say it closer to 20%.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have been buying a lot of steel cut oatmeal. Fortunately I prefer that to bread.

      You probably don’t have time, but perhaps you could try baking? My father took it up in retirement and got pretty good at it. Only thing was he liked pretty dense loaves. Dunno how hard it is to make the fluffier, more bakery-type ones.

        1. Pat

          In case it gets too much you might consider no knead bread. Most of the time involved can be spent sleeping or working on other things. It will not produce a traditional sandwich loaf, but….

          Lynne Curry’s multigrain no knead bread

          One big issue would be the expense of gathering the ingredients, but ultimately the cost per loaves produced should be less than the six dollars plus.

          1. Larry Carlson

            The no-knead recipes derived from Lahey’s original recipe can produce some of the best bread you’ll ever get without a steam injection oven. One thing I would suggest is to experiment a bit with the timing. The first step of the baking (with the lid on) allows the loaf to expand, and the second step (with the lid off) develops the crust. Depending on the dough you use and how airtight the Dutch oven is, you may need to shift time between the two steps, while keeping the same total cook time.

            Also, a useful time-saver is to make extra batches of dough at the same time and put them in plastic containers in your refrigerator so they can rise more slowly. This way, you can have fresh bread throughout the week.

            1. Kouros

              So true. My wife has perfected a recipe for several years and she makes four loaves at a sitting, which last for a week or more, at a cost of 40 Canadian cents per loaf. It is great bread that I have not seen in any store. I am a lucky bastard (I do love bread and I get the heel of the first cooled off loaf with butter as a prize)…

              1. Randy

                Here I figure about $1.25US/loaf. It takes about 4 hours per batch (2-4 loaves) but about 2.5 hours consists of watching it rise and 30-40 minutes baking.

                Heel with butter? Could be better than sex depending on how old you are. Bread makes the house smell so good.

        2. petal

          Someone gave me a bread machine for Christmas one year. I love it. You throw everything in at once and it does everything including baking. Takes like 2 minutes, then you walk away, and then magically have a loaf of bread a few hours later. I think mine can be programmed to run overnight.

          Two of my go-to recipe sources are and KAF has a ton of bread recipes from dense to fluffier, and Cup of Sugar has quite a few. She bakes a loaf of bread weekly and has a bunch of different variations. After gardening gets going, will probably swing by KAF and buy a large bag of flour in preparation for the bad times. Thank you again to IM Doc.

            1. petal

              Yes it does. My apologies, I’m old school. They just changed the name to King Arthur Baking and I refuse to comply lol. They’ve yuppified in recent years but the recipe section is still pretty super. Cup of Sugar leans more hand-made, denser breads. Also a great range of recipes for everything there.

              Was just at our in-town grocery store and all of the shelf price tags for the bread section are missing. Prices must be going up again. I wanted to check the Dave’s Killer Bread prices for timbers but no dice.

              1. Lunker Walleye

                King Arthur Flour (Baking) is one of my faves for desserts. Will have to try Cup of Sugar. Dave’s Killer Bread used to be a go-to.

          1. Wukchumni

            Bread machines are the bomb!

            The learning curve takes a few minutes, equal to the amount of prep needed.

            You’ll need butter, and canned Red Feather butter from NZ is the bomb, albeit spendy. It lasts an awful long time (shelf life around 10 years) and I find it tastier than most fresh butter.

            A good thing to have a few of in your pantry. Once you open it, just refrigerate it as you would any butter.

          2. marieann

            Just adding another happy bread machine owner here. I make a whole grain loaf recipe that came with the machine. We also do dinner rolls and pizza dough.
            My husband does the shopping and he is always picking up flour etc. on sale so I’d say our bread stuffs are pretty cheap.

            The only downside is the machine itself, which only lasts about 8 years, we are on out 3rd one. I look for them at thrift stores….sometimes you can find brand new ones. I think people buy them and they never get used!!……good news for me, I have 2 spares in the supply closet

          3. newcatty

            Neat. Petal can you, or any other commenter, recommend a good brand of bread machine that is also not a lot of dough ( sorry couldn’t resist)?

            1. petal

              Try looking around for a 2nd hand one like marieann above, or keep an eye out for a sale. There’s a lot of them on ebay, and an ad just came up on Overstock. I figure a lot of people buy them or get them as gifts and never use them. Another thing to do is ask around to friends and acquaintances if anyone has one they don’t use. I have a Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme. It’s a bit OTT, but it’s a nice machine and easy to use. I hope some others will chime in with what they have.

              1. johnnyme

                Zojirushi’s rice cookers are absolutely phenomenal. If their bread makers are half as good as their rice cookers, I’m sold!

        3. Eureka Springs

          Good Seed was my favorite for years. Stopped buying it about three years ago because the recipe seemed to change, less dense, less flavor and the bread went bad (mold) much faster, imo. When I can I enjoy the similar Trader Joe’s bread. Orowheat started making a thin slice organic I think to compete with Dave’s but it’s rarely in stock and lasts about 3 hours on the store shelf here when it is in stock.

      1. jr

        Here is a very basic bread recipe that I use all the time. You can use any kind of glutenous flour, cake flour wouldn’t be the best but if it’s what you got you can use it. This will make one medium small roll:

        Turn your oven on the lowest setting, like 200F. Don’t use a proofing setting, they are generally around 100F or so.

        3/4 cup of flour
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/2 tsp instant yeast
        1/4 tsp sugar

        Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Then in a separate mixing cup:

        1/4 cup tap-warm water
        1 tsp oil/fat

        If you have active yeast, combine the yeast, sugar, water and oil and let it stand until small bubbles start to form from underneath the mixture. About five to seven minutes near your warm oven should be good. Not the foam on top from mixing, but bubbles from underneath. Then proceed in the same manner.

        Depending on the flour you are using, you may find you have to +/- small amounts of water. Whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture etc. In a mixing bowl, pile the dry ingredients into a mound and make a little cup on top, like a volcano shape. Slowly add the liquids to the cup and let them soak in for a few seconds before adding more. (This isn’t necessary, just more efficient than dumping the liquids in.) Mix in the liquids and you will start to get a rough ball of dough forming. You have to knead it for about 10 minutes, check out Youtube for kneadingballing videos.

        When you have cinched up the doughball, TURN OFF YOUR OVEN, oil the ball and place it into a container with some kind of cover and pop it into the oven. The warm oven THAT YOU HAVE TURNED OFF will cause it to rise significantly faster than room temperature etc. It should take about a half an hour to get a good rise. Did I mention turning off the oven? You will par-bake it and it will be hard to work if you don’t.

        Remove the ball and crank oven up to 450F. Give the oven a minimum of 12 minutes to get hot, longer is better. Now if you have a silicone baking pad or parchment paper, place that on a sheet tray. Non-stick pans are fine too. If you don’t, DO NOT put the dough directly onto the metal of a sheet tray. It will cook into the surface and you will tear the bread when you go to take it off. What you can do is lightly oil the sheet tray and then lay a millimeter or two thick coat of flour onto it. Place the dough on the floured part, make sure it’s not touching the metal cause even a little exposed metal will make it stick. Bake for around 15 to 20 minutes, you are looking for a golden brown crust on top and a darker brown crust on the bottom.

        You can make flatbreads by taking out the yeast and sugar, these will be dense and the heavier the flour the denser. Whole flours are pretty dense but edible. Always let the dough rest after kneading it, like a half an hour, so the gluten relaxes or it will be quite tough. Bake as usual.

        For fun, you can add a crushed finger full of dried herb, pinch of garlic powder, tsp of diced onion, tablespoon of shredded cheese, etc. to the dry ingredients before mixing. Sometimes I get the water extra warm and melt bacon fat/chicken fat in instead of oil, not too hot or you will kill the yeast. You can also substitute a whole egg for the water but this will make the dough a little trickier to work with. If you add cheese to that, say some bacon crumbles, you have breakfast in hand….

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i use a sprinkling of cornmeal on the pan under the dough.
          i’m really pretty terrible at bread, through lack of practice…but when i had my cafe, i’d make sourdough loaves every morning….with a wild sourdough sponge made over 2 spring months on the back porch of the cafe.
          experimented with mesquite flour…but the pancakes and cornbread recipes work better with that very nonglutinous flour(ground from beans from my trees)
          for me, i need a breadmaking area that ain’t used for anything else…i loathe having to clean and clear for 30 minutes before i actually get to work.
          that part of the plan is still in gleam-in-eye mode, currently.

          1. jr

            You should be able to do everything in a mixing bowl. I do the kneading and balling up at the same time for ten minutes so I don’t have to dirty the countertop. Just do it over the bowl and the mess is no problem. Imagine you are kneading against a flat surface but it’s your other palm. Also, I have a big plastic cafeteria tray I set the bowl on and it catches the loose bits that miss the bowl.

            I stocked up on instant yeast. I had a wild yeast culture but it was always crapping out on me, not sure why. Probably temperature and failing to feed it properly.

      2. Cheryl Adelman


        I think you previously indicated you were adding to your supplies. Wondering what types of food items you are stocking up on.
        Thank you

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have a really weird diet and I barely cook so I am probably the last person to ask. I don’t do much at all in the grain or fats category because I find it very hard to keep my weight. If I eat more than 1100 calories a day, I gain weight. This was true even when I was exercising hard daily. The NIH should be paying me for running a long term calorie deprivation diet.

          Problem is I am big on fresh veggies.

          1. Canned fish. I eat 2 cans a week most week (over 3 days for my daily protein) and have a source of low mercury supposedly sustainable tuna and decent canned sockeye. I have also been freezing smoked trout, teeny sustainable shrimp from Alaska, and scallops (I buy big ones on sale)

          2. Some chicken breasts and ground turkey. The ground turkey is for turkey chili. I would like to stockpile more but I don’t have a deep freezer so I can’t go more than six months. I might buy some grassfed ground other meat like bison for chili if ever on sale but it isn’t much (it’s supposedly a good to have red meat once a month, just one portion or two, but I don’t do that very often). I don’t eat a lot of fish or animal protein, just ~4 oz a day but I do like it.

          3. Canned beans for black bean soup and canned tomatoes for chili above

          4. Sweet potatoes but not sure how to store, they don’t seem to store happily at room temp or in a fridge for more than a few months.

          5. Frozen spinach. I could easily eat that 4-5 days a week

          6. Pickled veg: have red peppers, gonna add beets and green beans.

          7. Dried hijiki. Nutrient dense even though does not have a lot of calories.

          8. Coffee since that is gonna get pricey. I load up every time I see a sale

          9. Frozen berries but hard to buy enough to actually constitute stockpiling. I buy the ones sold frozen and also freeze some fresh when on sale.

          10. Cocoanut oil

          11. A particular dressing I like

          12. I would buy tofu if it kept better but only seems to last a few months. Ditto yogurt. I forward buy a bit.

          13. Wine. I started drinking a glass a day when I moved here. I have a cheapie but goodie.

          14. Will probably buy some krauts. Want to see if I can find a good prepared red cabbage (Hungarian style), that can be good for variety.

          15. Oatmeal as mentioned. If I were a normal person it might be rice or pasta or if into Middle Eastern cooking, bulgur. Buckhwheat posta (Japanese soba) is supposed to be very healthy.

          16. Dietary supplements. Have been forward buying them too in a big way when there are sales.

          If I were a normal person, I would buy nuts or seeds as a great stockpiling item but I really can’t eat them. Too fattening.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “4. Sweet potatoes but not sure how to store, they don’t seem to store happily at room temp or in a fridge for more than a few months.”

            once you figger out their quirks, sweet taters(and yams) make decent houseplants.
            there’s plans galore, in fact, to use them for long term space living.
            (and yes, i haven’t even set foot in an “apartment” in 20 years…but even a smallish house will accommodate lots of sweet taters in hanging baskets and pots.
            spinach also does well in pots.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              barring all that, you could store them more effectively:
              grandad called it a slat-box…as in thin pieces of wood, made into a rather breezy box.
              pack the taters in with really, really dry grass or even leaves(pine straw works, too,in my experience…pine shavings for quality control)…really, really dry is the thing….and put the box near the A/C intake.
              in the dark.
              and eat them sooner rather than later.

              i’m still experimenting with the houseplant thing…a side experiment, if you will.
              grew a bunch of stuff in the kitchen, this last winter(2×12″ window sills for this purpose, even over the door…hooks for baskets throughout…large wall of SE facing windows…15′ ceiling on that side).
              leeks(from root end of store bought) celery(same) green onions(same), radishes, beets, lettuce, spinach,large pot of rainbow chard, etc.
              light, sufficient heat, and water…and places to put the pots(i built the place for this,lol)

          2. edwin

            We grow sweet potatoes. (out of zone). We are growing a northern “adapted” variety. Sweet potatoes are not yams. Sweet potatoes are tropical plants. They seem to survive almost anything but cold. Do not refrigerate. Like the early settlers, we store ours in the hottest place in the house – above the stove on top of the cabinets. We are not explicitly curing our sweet potatoes so they are kinda sorta curing above the stove. We get about 8 months before we toss. Sprouts show up about 2 months for us. There are some, especially smaller ones, that rot over the winter. We may be pushing the harvest envelope a little too hard and getting some cold damage. Commercial sweet potatoes should have been cured. Storage above 55F is needed. If they at any point have been refrigerated, they have been damaged or killed and will not store well. There seems to be a problem with shippers not knowing how to store sweet potatoes, and refrigerating them.

            From Sweet Potatoes for the Home Garden by Ken Allan p 92

            …the tubers should go into storage at 55 to 65 F (13 to 18 C). If this is not possible, then store in a place which is warmer, rather than colder. If this means keeping them at room temperature, don’t worry about it…

            again, this is for a northern “adapted” variety but I’m pretty sure that all sweet potatoes should be stored similarly.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Oh, I’ve been doing it all wrong! I used to leave them out and they’d sprout but otherwise seem OK. Then and aide put them in the fridge and I thought she knew better.

          3. jr

            Yves, you can dry the sweet potatoes in your oven. Slice them thinly and put the oven on like 200F and let them go until they are crunchy. They are delicious that way and can be rehydrated. Dogs love them too. I wouldn’t store them in my pantry as I don’t know enough about dry preserving foods but they will keep in the fridge for an urban minute*.

            * An “urban minute” means a long time, as in “Oh, it’s going to be a minute.”

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              They seem to be OK in the fridge for 3-4 months, then they start getting nasty spots. I cut one open like that and it was still mainly fine even though it seemed worse poking the skin.

          4. molon labe

            Wheat (plus a grinder), oat groats (plus a flaker), dried beans, white rice, salt, sugar, egg laying hens, vitamins (C, folate, B12, D3).

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              “…vitamins (C…”
              rose bushes that make rosehips.
              little apple like fruits.
              i make sure those proliferate…much to mom’s consternation(as the hip producing varieties are usually the messy growers)

        2. jr

          I’m a bit more prepperish than some, I have about a month or so of canned beans and corn, two months of dried beans, lentils, and soon popcorn. You can cook the popcorn with the beans or lentils. I have several pounds of flour to make bread, pasta, or if in a pinch to simply add to the beans and corn directly and cook the carbs in that way.

          The canned goods are in case fresh water becomes an issue. Also, they can be eaten cold if necessary. I have two big cans of olive oil for fat. I’ve got jugs of water and I’m going to get more. Multi vitamins too, getting a bucket of those.

          Also, a flamethrower and a semi-automatic crossbow. :)

      3. Pelham

        Try sorghum or millet for a filling breakfast cereal. Much better for gut health. I’m stocking up on both as well as pea protein.

      4. playon

        I make a no-knead rye/spelt combo loaf about every two weeks. I expanded the original recipe by 50% because I wanted to bake it in a regular larger loaf pan instead of a dutch oven, the latter results in a round loaf which doesn’t work so well for sandwiches. It makes a big loaf and I generally slice and freeze most of it which works great.

        It took some experimentation to get it right with the increased volume, but I’ve gotten it working with a longer baking time and slightly lower oven temperature. I’m sensitive to wheat so the rye + spelt is great, and delicious. Here’s the original recipe for anyone interested:

    2. Wukchumni

      The owner of a Mexican restaurant in a town of 8,000 told me a few days ago that on 2 occasions last week, she received no eggs whatsoever in her Sysco deliveries.

      You get the feeling this avian flu thing is a bigger story that got lost in chicken Kyiv.

      1. Louis Fyne

        The area MegaLo Marts have zero eggs except one organic brand

        Local-regional grocers have plenty of eggs, but 100% more expensive tham a year ago

      2. Robert Hahl

        A month ago, I wandered all around a Giant supermarket outside DC twice, looking for eggs. There wasn’t even an empty place where eggs used to be. However they reappeared the next week and are still extant.

      3. griffen

        Last year it was a shortage of chicken, particularly the kind fast food serves as chicken strips or chicken tenders. Life is starting too look a lot fiction from a movie, just not in a comedic or good way.

        Dumb and Dumber:
        Harry, we got to get out of this town. We got no money, no food and our pets heads are falling off!!

  12. Tom Stone

    Omicron1 went through the populace like shit through a goose with mask mandates in place, how much harder and faster will BA2 hit?
    Guesses are welcome since data won’t be available.

    1. Amused_in_SF

      If restaurants and bars are serving indoors, there is no mask mandate that deserves to be recognized. The number of people who can avoid exposure to people who have been in those establishments is too small to affect the numbers.

      I think the lack of holiday parties and family reunions, and an increase in outdoor time as the weather warms up, bode well for the BA2 wave to be flatter. Is that a good thing, though? I’m unlikely to need hospital care, so a shorter window of isolation from a higher spike is preferable to me. Others will obviously disagree.

    2. Jason Boxman

      True, our data is worse than it has ever been. We really don’t know what might happen. Most might have forgotten Alpha, which overran Michigan (and Biden administration helpfully said pound sand in response to a plea for a larger share of the then-new vaccines… Biden has your murder right here!) but otherwise didn’t have much of an appearance elsewhere. Maybe we get lucky, and BA2 does not overrun the entire country.

      Although there’s always waning immunity and mutations to consider. I’m worried more about the summer and fall and winter, and next year, then I am about BA2.

      We’ll see. Stay safe!

  13. griffen

    University of Florida and removing the Karl Marx name. I would suppose among the faculty and staff, there is bound to a few old heads who know the Marx life and career arc pretty well. It would be a stretch to say no one on the campus understands or acknowledges the teachings of Karl Marx.

    North of Florida but still below the Mason Dixon, the flagship campus for UNC in Chapel Hill has been reckoning with a perhaps darker and historical naming convention for older buildings. That has nothing to do with Russia mind you, but more sinister history of actual events like Wilmington, NC.

    1. Merimgoat

      I graduated from Florida in ’95 and had a great professor named Marvin Entner, an avowed Troyskyite. I had. O idea what that meant at the time. I can’t believe the jackals running the state department also are heirs of Trotsky. He taught a course on Russia 1801- to WW2 that was an in depth review of their revolutionaries. From the Decemberist to the Black Repartition to the comparison of Stalin’s and Nazi org structures. I’m not sure what he’s doing now, but is probably not happy, to say the least with this and other events of the past month.
      But here is to remembering that we didnt always censor this way.

  14. Wukchumni

    California Snowpack Melts, Leaving State Desperate for Water Bloomberg
    We’re looking @ potentially 3 straight record setting days in the low 90’s next week in the foothills, which ought to exacerbate meltoff of not much left in the higher climes.

    Kind of similar to soybeans which aren’t meant for domestic eating, the 250 million or so almond trees in Cali will all be receiving the translucent liquid they crave from deep wells, prompting more subsidence and transferring the water in a most compact form to Asia for $3 for the equivalent of about 300 gallons in a pound worth of shelled almonds-madness!

    1. RobertC

      Wukchumni — I’ve argued we should give CA farmers and ranchers all the water they can use with the caveat none of the unprocessed products can be shipped out of the US (not even over the border for processing) but processed products can.

      For example:

      grapes — nope raisins — nope wine — yep

      beef sides — nope hamburger — nope Hungry Man meatloaf dinner — yep

      My friends making circling motions around their heads when I put this forward but maybe maybe they’re coming around.

    2. playon

      We are in good shape here in WA state… the snow pack is 30% above the 30 year average this year, which is a good thing since so much of our agriculture depends on irrigation. Last year was good too. Hoping this trend continues but it’s doubtful.

      1. playon

        Looks like my above post was premature, apparently now the worry is about early melting of the snow pack (one recent year temps hit 100 degrees in June for a week) and how best to store that water:

        One of the things they are talking about is plastic lined irrigation ditches, which I think is a stupid idea that will put more plastic into the environment. It would make a lot more sense to cover irrigation ditches, as the open ditches lose a lot of water to evaporation. A local retired geography prof has been a proponent of this but he is being ignored in favor of more expensive solutions, which will allow certain people to make a lot of money.

    3. Darva

      Meanwhile the state legislature is whoring for the developers in the face of shrinking population, emigration and the loss of two house seats:

      “The Regional Housing Needs Allocation process:The state uses a formula to calculate housing needs, and then sends its assessment to each county or regional government. The state believes it needs 2.5 million more units of housing by 2030 and many of its assumptions have been questioned, such as continued population growth. Six Southern California counties would be expected to produce half those units. The Biden Administration estimates that the entire country needs 3.9 million units of housing, throwing California’s number into question.

      In 2020, the state allocated 24,856 housing units to Santa Barbara County to be built by 2031. The state’s formula is as follows:

      Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) then allocates RHNA to our local jurisdictions:…”

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Missouri Democrats’ New Senate Candidate Was Crowned Queen of Whites-Only Ball”

    Yeah, pretty stupid that and maybe it was because she had the trifecta – young, dumb & entitled. Not a good combination that. But let’s get real now. That was 45 years ago. I am prepared to say that the America of 1977 bears little resemblance to that of 2022 and she would have grown up in a time when in some ways such things were, kinda, accepted. But even then you had protestors outside that event. I won’t give her a pass but context is important and this sounds like something dug up to kill her Senate campaign. So what I want to know is why do people like Justin Trudeau get a free pass for doing actual black face a helluva lot more recent than that when by then such things were really on the nose. And he isn’t the only one.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Context, and she would have been 17. As a adult, her promise of a new politics, declining interviews, and a run to the middle while being an heiress of Anheiser-Busch means she’s another Republican who wants to keep her hairdresser.

      She’s like Trudeau in many ways except her father was awful.

    2. antidlc

      I grew up in St. Louis and remember how the Veiled Prophet Ball was featured in the newspaper.

      I always thought it kind of creepy.

    3. Michael Ismoe

      I have another theory. The Dems are tired of losing the bigotry vote and have gone all in on “bigotry lite”. First Missouri, now Arizona. I am beginning to think this is just another attempt to Out-Republican the Republicans. After all, what’s a “little bigotry” between friends? “You know we don’t mean it, we’re Democrats.” After all, Sister Soulja was African-American, wasn’t she?

      1. newcatty

        When we saw Hobbs on CNN being interviewed a way back, as a hot flavor of the day Dem ( weird because we almost never watch CNN, but drove by and there she was) and she performed her 10 minutes of fame to promote herself, she reminded me of sister Dem, Kristen Sinema. Katie had her make-over, so looked great. Didn’t see if she had a cheerleading outfit on, as only a head shot.

  16. Pat

    Propaganda report, while channel surfing ended up on CBS because they teased a report from Cafe du Monde as I landed there. Before I got to see beignets being made I got treated to a report of how Russia had banned all news about the invasion of Ukraine besides the government version on pain of prison. This was followed by the feature about brave internet warriors getting the “truth” that Russia is attacking and killing women and children to the people of Russia. I particularly liked the zoom interview with the guy disguised as a nineties version black hat hacker including mechanical voice disguise because he had so many hits on his site that he feared he would be killed.

    Yeah their information and that presentation was that simplistic. The undisguised truth warrior did tell how one woman he communicated with was bothered by the death of women and children but was being told that this was about the neo nazis as he shook his head like she was the one buying the propaganda.

    1. Wukchumni

      Back in the USSR, Pravda was kind of ridiculous in that they would report that a candidate for ‘public office’ won with 98% of the popular vote, or other obvious tomfoolery that looked so amateurish, compared to our brand of mark to malarkey.

      I’ve been largely sitting out the war on the sidelines of the signal if you will, but the few snippets i’ve caught on NPR and the other news suspects are suave persuaders, full of themselves-bullshit attracts eyes.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i was disappointed in the shitnose of our MSM 20 years ago.
        then i was aghast, a little later, with Russiagate.
        now, i’m just disgusted.
        i peruse all of them, at random.
        just so i know what it is i’m supposed to believe that day, and compare and contrast that utter bs with what i’ve learned about the world in 50 or so years.
        as a palliative for waking up at 3am to mess with sprinklers(more efficient to do big, aerial watering at night, when wind is low and humidity is high…youngest has the 10 pm switch), i’m jamming to black crowes, small faces, humble pie, allman brothers and early live dave matthews…stoned as hell, and well into a 12 of redneck beer….first such day out at the Wilderness Bar in quite some time.
        (working like a mule, too…at least the first half of the day..then i got the boys to work like mules for a time, to do some heavy stuff i couldn’t do by myself(trellises))

        prolly high 80’s and only a light breeze(been hella windy out here for a month)
        birds, bugs, lizards…and the mesquites are leafing out, along with everything else.
        got my eye out for the first scissortail, and then i’ll know that winter is finally over.
        jess wish it’d rain.

  17. SocalJimObjects

    How to influence China’s foreign policy? How about taking Xi’s daughter hostage? Apparently she is enrolled as a graduate student at Harvard University.

    That’s a stupid move? Well I think a lot of readers here are long on the government being stupid. When all else fails …. or perhaps just threaten to give her a failing grade in her studies. I am pretty sure Chinese people take losing face pretty seriously.

  18. timbers

    Saker has a detailed dive into Russian troop positions in Ukraine and probable movement east into Donbass. Most interesting part…he seems to suggest the likely number of Russian troops deployed was 60,000 which is very much lower than previous guestimates. Implication is Russia has considerable reserves available if needed.

    I for am happy she is focusing on Donbass as IMO it was always the core reason – to protect every single Russian/brother/sister/family member. No need for territory gain. But am still up in the air regarding securing the Black Sea coast – will she or won’t she? Benefits and risks either way. And it does stray from the more humanitarian primary goal of keeping her immediate family members in Donbass safe.

    1. Soredemos

      It that’s true, that so far Russia has only deployed 60k troops, that makes an absolute mockery of the entire Ukrainian war effort. Scott Ritter was assuming around 200k Russian troops, and even that was a third of the Ukrainian military. It it’s only 60k, that’s, what, a tenth? And Ukraine still can’t managed anything more than local gains? If it’s true, Russia has been absolutely toying with Ukraine and treating them with kid-gloves.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Scott Ritter has clarified the 600,000 figure. There are apparently about 260,000 troops and maybe another 30,000 ish various police sorts like border guards that could also be thrown into the mix, and then over 300,000 reservists. I gather Ritter was criticized for adding in the reservists. But it’s been widely reported that Ukraine was also conscripting all adult males, and that’s contributed to the refugee situation. Gonzalo Lira has said he knows many more men who’ve fled Kharkiv to escape being drafted than other adults who’ve left out of safety fears. Admittedly, the reasons for leaving Ukraine likely vary a lot by region.

        1. David

          I pointed out in comments a few days ago that Ritter’s 600,000 figure was misleading, so I’m glad he’s clarified it. It seems to include basically everybody capable of walking and holding a gun, whether or not there are enough guns. Reservists aren’t necessarily intended for front-line combat units anyway, and in any case they need refresher training, equipping, deploying etc. It’s not clear that the Ukrainians are actually capable of doing this. The numbers would only really have any significance if there were a protracted guerrilla war with lots of small-scale skirmishes, and the Russians are determined to avoid that. People have become so fixated on Afghanistan that they’ve forgotten what high-intensity warfare is actually like.

          IANA military expert, but my impression is that what the Russians did, was to freeze the UA in position, using the threat to Kiev and control of the air, and then go round picking off the elements one by one, ideally with a local numerical superiority. You can have the largest Army in the world but it’s not effective unless the bits can operate together.

          1. .human

            “People” have become so focussed on images of “warriors” bearing weapons that they do not consider that a large percentage of any military operation depends on non-combatants in supply, logistics, communications, and intelligence efforts.

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              Yes, they can all be described as “force multipliers”. Russia, apparently, has few force multipliers which explains their struggles in Ukraine.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Their main problem is that they are not following regular doctrine that they trained for and are doing stuff on the fly to protect civilian life. That is why the electricity, water, sewerage, internet, phone lines are still working when normally that would have been hit. For the Russians, this is what the Germans call a Bruderkrieg – a brother war – but when it is over, the split between the Russians an the Ukrainians will be final so I guess that this will count as a solid win for Washington as that was the plan all along. Same happened in Iraq where generations of Sunnis and Shia living together in relative peace were divided against each other after the US invasion.

  19. Keith in Modesto

    Re: “Highlighting COVID-19 racial disparities can reduce support for safety precautions among White U.S. residents”, Social Science & Medicine.

    I can’t judge the accuracy of this study, but it sounds entirely plausible that having learned that COVID19 poses a greater risk for certain minorities, many white people in the US would mentally downgrade their own risk from COVID and then feel less need for collective measures to mitigate the pandemic. Because we are the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH!!!! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

    1. Alex Cox

      Whereas if the narrative was that poor people, rather than “people of color” are at risk the response might have been quite different.

  20. Louis Fyne

    The potential ethanol rule change (allow summer E15 sales) reeks of desperation.

    Double check your car’s manual to make sure that your engine can handle E15

    Ironically year round E15 was a Trump policy.

    1. edwin

      Doesn’t ethanol link food to gas prices? So we are going to make food shortages worse by converting our food into gas that will also destroy our cars.

      We are so screwed.

        1. Eclair

          And to think that the ‘primitive’ Indigenous peoples in the regions now known as New York state and environs, had this all figured out. They relied on the ‘Three Sisters:’ corn, beans, squash.

          Corn, planted in hoed-up hills (maybe with some fish-heads to provide instant nitrogen), then climbing beans tucked in amongst the young corn seedlings. The corn stalks provided support for the twining bean vines; the beans provided long-term nitrogen for the corn. Sprawling squash vines, planted in the spaces among the corn hills, kept the soil shaded to prevent water evaporation. And kept the weed growth to a minimum.

          I have been using this technique for a couple of years. Takes some refining and I do use some young saplings as additional poles to support the beans. Follow the Three Sisters the next season with a heavy feeder such as tomatoes. No fertilizer needed for a bountiful tomato crop, other than the addition of some compost when transplanting the tomato seedlings.

          1. Randy

            Years ago I tried the fish thing under my corn. At the end of summer I had a stinky half rotten fish buried under my corn hills. Fish for fertilizer is a myth that won’t die. If the fish thing worked everybody would do it. I never heard of anybody even trying it but me.

            I don’t grow squash anymore. It takes up too much garden space. Around here in fall zucchini is free, everybody that grows it are up to their eyeballs in the stuff. The rest of the squash varieties are just plain dirt cheap in fall. YMMV.

        2. Creedmore

          The situation is so bad that the U.S. has quietly lifted the ban on sanctioning Russian Potash and fertilizers.

          “The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury published a new general license dated March 24, which effectively removed Russian mineral fertilizers from possible sanctions. They were included in the list of vital products along with agricultural products, medicines and medical products.

          In the US, the share of Russian supplies in total imports is 6% for potash, 20% for diammonium phosphate and 13% for urea. In FY 2021, Russia alone accounted for over 17 % of complete MOP (muriate of potash) imports and practically 60 % of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) imports.”

          Guess Con-Agra, Cargill, ADM and Bayer pulled some strings of their political puppets so as to keep proving food-stamp HFC junk food to the muppets and to Mexico via NAFTA.

          “No more meat, no pets, get used to bare shelves, ride a bike, ride the bus, do it for the Ukrainian poster girl, [courtesy Getty images], rent for the rest of your life, welcome your new low income equitable neighbors, gotten your new booster yet?,

          And we’re supposed to re-elect these ***holes?

          1. wilroncanada

            One might assume that Russia would insist that those companies would duly do their deposits into a non-sanctioned Russian bank, to be converted to rubles for transfer to Russia. More alkaline indigestion for great-grand-daddy Joe.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        I can’t wait for Mayo Pete’s news conference where he announces the “new National 55 mph Speed Limit.” He could single-handedly resuscitate Kamala’s presidential campaign. She would probably get two or three times as many delegates a she got in 2020.

        1. cnchal

          It goes hand in hand with the $15 billion set aside for speeding and red light running ticket issuing cameras, stuck wherever they are most profitable.

          Driving is going to suck in the future.

        2. Jim

          2×0 delegates = 0

          The elite have long wanted to get the poor and middle class out of their way on the roads.

          Seeing more and more paper money with
          “F Biden/Harris/Pelosi” or “Bidenflation’s killing us” etc. written on it. Is that illegal?

      2. jen

        I mostly stick to the side roads but you know it’s getting real when people start driving below the speed limit on the interstate, and I am starting to see that.

    2. Screwball

      Double check your car’s manual to make sure that your engine can handle E15

      ^^^^This. If your engine is not designed for ethanol, don’t use E15 fuel. It can harm some of the engine parts which can cost a significant amount to get fixed.

      As an example, and you can thank me later; yard toys (mowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, and snow removal machines) are not all good for use with E15 gas. Again, check the owners manual. But here is the tip; some gas stations sell “non-ethanol” gas that is 90 octane – which is better than the normal pump gas. Better yet, if you can, go to your local airport and by aviation fuel. No ethanol, might have lead, but it is a higher octane than the 90.

      I had trouble starting my yard toys while using pump gas. The ethanol in the fuel tends to gum up and will clog up the fuel line, or the bowl in the carburetor if it is the bowl type.

      Switching to aviation gas made a huge difference. They start easier, run better, and you don’t even have to worry about running the fuel out over the winter – they recommend leaving in. You can tell by the spark plug it is running more efficient and they last longer as well. Win-win. You’re welcome.

      The downside? Av gas is more expensive. For example, I bought some a couple of months ago and it was a little over $7 a gallon when pump gas was maybe $3. Worth every penny IMNSHO.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Oh, I don’t know, I’d say having lead in it might be a significant downside.

        People around here love them some blowers though. Get a rake, says I!

      2. Carolinian

        Oh avgas definitely has lead. Here at our local Colonial Pipeline terminal they add lead to the car gas that comes up from Texas. This is not to be confused with jet fuel which is kerosene.

        Cars on the other hand now have computers controlling the engine and these algorthmically compensate for low octane. Perhaps a more environmental solution for your lawn appliances would be to switch to electric. Also less noisy.

        I dumped my gas mower for the old push kind with the rotating blades. But my lawn is small.

        1. Leroy R

          Can you (or anyone who knows) enlighten me about how similar jet fuel (also used in turbines — turboprops, helicopters) and diesel fuel are, and what kinds of petroleum are the best precursors for jet fuel (*not* avgas)? I seem to find confusing results when searching. And of course the problem is can you rob Peter to pay Paul… cannibalizing 3-15% percent anywhere in the oil chain would seem to be asking for trouble.

          1. Carolinian

            The fuel used in small Cessnas and the like is a super octane version of car gasoline. Jets and Turboprops use kerosene, as anyone who has smelled their exhaust can testify. No oil expert here, but I believe kerosene is much closer to heavy diesel.

            1. c_heale

              I used to teach in an oil company. I was told by one of my students that without oil there wss no cost effective substitute fior aviation fuel (kerosene) due to the the length of the carbon chains in the hydrocarbon that make up the fuel. No petroleum – no kerosene – the end of the mass aviation industry.

        2. boomheist

          When I moved from Seattle to Tacoma in 2018 I bought a hand mower. We have a largish lawn mayne 8000 square feet and I have been hand mowing since we moved in. It is exercise for sure but doable takes an hour and sometimes I need to rake first if the wind has blown stuff from trees. Doesnt do a perfect job but good enpigh and it is nearly sileny….tickticltickti k…

    3. pablo

      No way in hell I am putting E85 in any gasoline engine we own. The stuff is evil especially to small 2 stroke engines.

      1. Jimmy


        Ethanol dissolves the rubber compounds in fuel lines and gaskets. One reason to replace with metal lines and soft malleable metal gaskets whenever possible.

        Only costs thousands in labor to install ’em after pulling engines apart and reassembling.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Russian Oil Is Too Cheap To Resist For China And India”

    Well as we all know, money talks and bs walks. So here in Oz, Scotty from Marketing has been criticizing India because they refuse to sign up for the Let’s-Get-Russia pact and I think that he has been criticizing them too for buying that cheap Russian oil as well. And he has been shipping yet more weaponry to the Ukraine. And yet today he just signed Australia up to a free trade deal with India so I guess that he is still cool with them now or something?

    1. Maya

      Stateside, it’s just a higher profit pact with the devil:

      “MF: And just this week at the NATO meetings, President Biden basically said food prices are going to go up in the United States and Europe as a result of what’s happening. And that’s just the price we have to pay.

      MH: Well, what he should have said, this is the price they have to pay us. That’s how the stock market took it. When he said this is the price we have to pay, this is the price consumers have to pay to the American oil companies, to the American Agricultural food distribution companies. It’s the price other countries have to pay to the United States.”

      IOW “You suckers in the U.S. are just collateral damage in the economic war on a competing economic system.”

      That’s from

  22. Keith in Modesto

    Where I work (approx. 50 people in a warehouse-like environment for a few hours in the morning; fewer for the rest of the day as many head out to make deliveries) in California, management has recently removed our own mask mandate and almost everyone has ditched their (largely insufficient cloth and surgical) masks. According to the best (as far as I can tell) info that I’ve gleaned, we’re likely to have a new wave from the BA.2 variant starting soon, maybe by Easter. I am not confident that people here will mask up again, even if a mandate were reimposed. I’m still wearing my N95.

  23. B1WHOIS

    Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: War Crimes Scott Ritter, Consortium News

    Scott Ritter is going to be interviewed on the Duran on Monday.

  24. Basil Pesto

    the Meshkin tweet is notable for the attempts in replies to cast aspersions on his observations, most notably by sentient streak of piss Francois Balloux, and his confreres who have been stressing natural/herd immunity and, what in their addled minds ought to be the attendant near-impossibility of re-infection. They are wrong, will be shown to be wrong (if they haven’t already), but will never back down or concede their wrongness. Absolute ghouls.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Between acquired immunity waning from the recent highs and boosters waning and a “Covid free” Easter when everyone goes, churches are points for spreading, Easter has the recipe for a perfect storm.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry but that link is trash. It said Russia created ‘fakes about allegedly thousands of Ukrainians who want asylum in Russia’ but the Red Cross has been helping these people & getting their story and when they did, the Ukrainians accused them of ‘working for the enemy’

      Even before the war there were about a million Ukrainians who had gone to live in Russia to work there made easier because they were mostly Russian speakers. And faked videos of – ‘inhumane treatment of Russian prisoners of war?’ The videos are out there and they are not fakes so this is just Uke propaganda. The Saker has an article out called ‘The Ukrainian rabbit hole of radicalism’ and it is well worth the read. And here in the west we are no longer being allowed to use the N word about the Ukraine as in Nazi as that is being white (supremacist) washed.

    2. B1WHOIS

      Perhaps there was a translation problem, but large parts of your article make no sense at all. And there can be no denying that it is full of Russia hate. I certainly don’t know whether the videos of Russian prisoners of war being shot in the kneecaps are real or not, but I do believe there are Nazis, the old-fashioned kind, en significant numbers within the ukrainian armed forces

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Have not read article but headline clearly straw mans Russian report. Russia said Ukraine admitted to the UK it is going to, as in is, ignore Geneva Convention with respect to POWs. That is not even remotely a formal withdrawal.

      Our treatment of “enemy combatants” (and combatants = soldiers, “international law” distinguishes between combatant and non-combatants, since a civilian who shoots at soldiers from the other side loses the right to be not targeted) per Abu Graib has also violated the Geneva Conventino.

    1. Rod

      Thanks griffen–I entered the article thinking the frost heaved northern “Drunken Forests” but what a treat the article was. And your comment prompted a stroll down my memory lane, which lead to some searching–which lead to this:

      In the early 1960’s, as a chap and returning from California, Mom and I stayed on Alexander Rd in the Walton Hills area outside Bedford outside Cleveland Oh. Our neighbors, the Schulls had been in the area for generations, and my ‘Aunt Mary’ (Janda) b. 1904, had been born and grown up on a Family homestead on Tinkers Creek.
      She was quite the Naturalist (a much later realization to me) and took the young me under her arm to mentor in the ways of the outdoor world.
      We hiked, and collected and dug and identified all over that familiar to her Landscape.
      What I lacked in ability or understanding, I made up in enthusiasm and she kept me as her partner.
      Turning over her garden in the Spring always yielded treasures spotted only by her–many of which are now in a local museum.
      She created magic and wonder of the natural world in my life that has lasted all my Life.
      She took me up and down Tinkers Creek and to several of what she called Indian Marker Trees that were her favorites and told me stories of her family who carved out that Homestead.
      That was in the Cuyahoga Drainage.
      We too soon moved further into the Appalachians, Portage County–a high point separating the Mahoning Valley Drainage(into the Ohio R to the Gulf of Mexico) from the Cuyahoga Drainage(into the Lake Erie into the Atlantic Ocean).
      She said I’d find Marker Trees there too, and I did in the surrounding Farms Homesteaded woodlots.
      My longtime home is now in the South, along the long drainage of the Catawba River (most of which I have paddled and explored) near “The Nations Ford”. Just to the west is the Broad River drainage–the distinct Boundry of the Eastern Cherokee Nation. And I have seen several distinctive Marker Trees–both on the Broad and Catawba here, and on various rivers I’ve also explored.
      Old and older and rare now and getting rarer even moreso.

      1. Thistlebreath

        There were several ‘marker trees’ along the middle reaches of the Red Cedar river in Okemos, MI. upstream from Michigan State U. Arches, as I recall. About 18″-24″ in diameter by the time I saw them.

      2. griffen

        That is a wonderful retelling, vivid depictions. I will have to look out for these possible marker trees on the next bit of hiking around the region ( western NC and Pisgah national forest, for example).

      3. mrsyk

        Thanks for posting this. Fascinating to consider 9000 years a prime and well used hunting site.

  25. Tom Stone

    How long will it take for the leaders of the NATO countries and the EU to admit that the President of the United States is looney tunes and that he isn’t singing a happy song?
    I’m quite serious,no one in their right mind would have said or done what Joe Biden has said and done over the last Month and change.
    Breaking away from the US will be tricky, failing to do so will be disastrous.

    1. B1WHOIS

      On the Duran last night there was a theory that the Biden laptop being validated by the New York times is part of new narrative to prepare US citizens to accept Biden’s removal from power…

      1. voteforno6

        Why would that be grounds for removal? They barely blinked at Trump’s blatant corruption, so what’s so much worse about this?

        1. tegnost

          Sure thing. Had Don jr. had a 50 grand a month sinecure and biolabs in the ukraine it would have just been seen as biz as usual…hookers and blow…I mean everybody does that, don’t they? Sounds a lot like whataboutism to me.

        2. MrKim

          Trump didn’t start any wars.

          Your children and everything you know could become dust in the wind because of Biden’s dementia and verbal incontinence.

          Unless, of course, you live far away from nuclear targets, then your all die slowly as your cells leach fluids from radiation poisoning. Perhaps your last comforting thought will be “At least you voted against Trump”

          1. Screwball

            I agree, but I want to highlight something else in your post. Biden’s dementia; this accusation is highly triggering to the PMC. Try it sometime. Just mention old Joe’s elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top and watch them go nuts. Then count how many words the say before they bring up Trump – you know – cause he was worse (cause he really had dementia).

            It’s all so crazy. What a world we live in.

      1. CarlH

        What is “goofy” about the name Ivar? Perhaps you don’t know the history of this ancient name? You’re one of my favorite commenters, but I found that to be a gratuitous smear.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Musk got a 0% loan from the pre-pays. back at a time when Tesla was short on cash. Actually probably a -15% loan net inflation.

      It’s good to be a billionaire

      1. tegnost

        If you don’t give money to billionaires you’re not a patriot.
        Also, everyone knows supply side economics leads to trickle down, which according to tverberg is the responsible way to reduce consumption.

    2. Jason V

      The last sentence of the article is “A Tesla source later admitted that this entire article is utter nonsense.” Seems like an april fool’s joke.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Yeah but Congress just passed the Elon Musk Trillionaire Act (sorry, bipartisan infrastructure bill) so it’s not only good to be Elon but even better to be a CIA asset. (Aren’t his satellites jamming Russian communications “for the freedom-loving people of Ukraine?”) Apparently private people can have their own foreign policy if it agrees with The Blob.

  26. Dalepues

    Re: The found flamingo. Perhaps the Sedgwick County Zoo
    can provide Pink Floyd with a Pink Fanny so he won’t be so

  27. Fred

    Regarding the DN interview with Chris Hedges.
    I’ll tell you the same thing I wrote to them:
    I’ve been listening to DN since KXCI began airing it a few decades ago. I admire DN and Hedges.
    Any publisher has a right to discard or ignore content they consider offensive. I don’t think I’d have to look too far to see similar stories about those whom DN has refused to interview. Such disposal of editorial content reduces the Memory Hole to practice, and that is quite dangerous. When Hedges correctly (!) refers to Julian Assange as a publisher, he implicitly makes this argument. That DN didn’t confront Hesdges with this unfortunate truth, that under the 1st amendment and Section 240, publishers have a right to control what’s available on their websites.
    This site’s comment policy, Mike Masnick and Techdirt, Ken White and Popehat, or PGN and RISKS make this point far more cogently than I.

  28. Roger Blakely

    RE: Young women earn more than young men in several U.S. cities Pew (resilc)

    Yves Smith is the only woman that I know of who can look at that article and say, “Yup, that’s right.” Every other woman will say, “Yeah, but…” With college campuses in the US (and throughout the industrialized world) at 60% women to 40% men, eventually women will lose the pay gap as an effective talking point in their victim narrative. What then? There ends up being a pay gap because women have children.

    This week we saw what happens to men in a gynocentric, female-primary social order. Will Smith isn’t the villain. Jada Pinkett-Smith is the villain. And the biggest villain, Will Smith’s mom, wasn’t in the room.

    Last month Australian newspapers published an article written by Bettina Arndt, Australia’s advocate for men, that pretty much said, “Ladies, watch Kevin Samuels on YouTube or die alone.”

    1. flora

      Looking at the map, I see the results of deindustrialization in the Midwest and the loss of well paying manufacturing jobs, often unionized jobs mostly held by men. Those small dots in the Midwest are college towns or larger, office work areas. I’m glad women’s pay is reaching parity; it would be better if it was parity with the older, better paid work. My 2 cents.

      An aside about the Oscars: from A Midwestern Doctor substack:

      There is a lot to learn from Will Smith’s recent Oscar performance for Pfizer

    2. jr

      This is why I love NC, you get news from alternate realities along with the scoop from Earth Prime. Delightfully deranged!

    1. Sutter Cane

      But just a couple of days ago right here in the NC comment section, I was being told that the “covid simulation” was a conspiracy by the elites to get people to acquiesce to a “locked-down society” ! I didn’t get an answer about where the lockdowns were, as I am certainly not seeing any in my neck of the woods.

      I could see thinking that covid was a conspiracy of the elites to kill us off, but I don’t see how people can think non-existent public health measures are evidence of the government trying to control, well, anything at this point

  29. David

    “The US wants China’s help with Russia and then imposed new sanctions after the war stated. Does anyone in the State Department have an operating brain cell?”

    Well, you have to wonder, don’t you? But the actual problem, and the dark unspoken truth about the way that Washington works, is that there are lots of clever people in the State Department, and elsewhere, but nobody is in charge. Policy-making is a balkanised nightmare: there are probably twenty very senior people in Washington at the moment who each believe they are in charge of policy towards China, and they spend nearly all their time fighting each other. This means that it’s very hard to actually get anything done, but it’s quite easy to obstruct something you don’t like. Even when a policy has been laboriously worked out and announced, it very often isn’t implemented, because somebody, down the line, just decides to be un-cooperative. The system is so big, so unwieldy, so politicised, so personality-driven and so divided that in many cases it barely functions as a whole at all.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “Kyiv told London that it does not intend to comply with the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war”

    I hope that this is not true, I really do. The truth of the matter is that the Geneva Convention is not to protect enemy soldiers that you have taken prisoner. They are to protect your soldiers that have been taken prisoner by the enemy. When that cauldron of Mariupol is cleared out the next one to be mopped up is the one in the east where scores of thousands of the best units of the Ukrainian forces are boxed in. So the Ukrainians will want them properly treated.

    Let me give a sample of what happens when this is not so. Guantanamo Bay. When Muslim fighters learned how fellow Muslims were tortured and being mistreated at this legal black hole, they took it out on the US soldiers that they were fighting whether it be Iraq or Afghanistan. It was a great recruiter that as well. So who knows how many American soldiers were killed as payback to what was done to those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Great work neocons.

    1. North Star

      The Ukrainian troops are being encouraged to fight to the last man so they won’t need to worry about how they will be treated as prisoners. What motivates the Ukrainian soldiers and leaders surrounded in the east to continue to fight and not surrender, when their demise is clear?

      The Russians gave the Ukrainian forces in Mariupol a chance to surrender and the Mayor (of all people, why not the forces commander) said no. So as indicated in footage by Patrick Lawrence, large parts of the city are destroyed, with Ukrainian (Azov?) soldiers now holed up in a steel factory; my guess is that they would rather die than be taken prisoner. I have not seen any reports from Russia on numbers of prisoners they have taken to date.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Wasn’t the mayor of Mariupol among the first to skidaddle to Zaporizzja, from where he has been commenting on what goes on in Mariupol. Easy to refuse to surrender, when you’re 120 miles away.

        A few days ago I did see a comment that the huge number of dead Ukrainian soldiers in the buildings are becoming a problem, because nobody has time to clear them out and people can’t return to their apartments. Probably propaganda, but still within the limits of plausible.

        On the other hand, I’ve seen videos of lots of thrown away Ukrainian uniforms. Which is why the checkpoints around Mariupol are checking all male refugees for ID (DNR intelligence has captured lists of members), tattoos and gunpowder residue.

    2. David

      Among other things, the Geneva Conventions set certain standards for the treatment of prisoners of war, who are regarded as non-combatants and therefore protected. The Third Convention (text here) sets out minimum requirements for general welfare and medical care. So far as I can see from the linked story, the Ukrainians are saying that they can’t guarantee those because their own people will have to come first. You could, just about, make the case that that’s a technical violation of the GCs, but obviously this is TASS stirring it up for political reasons.

      1. digi_owl

        Lets not forget that there have been various attempts at sidestepping this by labeling the enemy anything other than soldiers.

        1. David

          The criteria for being treated as a prisoner of war within the meaning of the GC are actually quite demanding. In practice, they’ve been considerably eased, so that, for example, the Taliban have been accorded that status, when strictly speaking they shouldn’t be.

        2. The Rev Kev

          The Ukrainians labeled the Donbass operations as a terrorist operation several years ago so that they could treat the soldiers there as terrorists.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        The question here is if that is cover for more kneecapping-type incidents. I can tell you if any Azov Battalion or Right Sector types got their hands on a Russian soldier, they’d be lucky if they were merely starved.

        1. David

          I don’t think this is a real issue. Denunciation, as it’s formally called, has clearly not happened, because Art 63 makes it clear that the denunciation has to be in writing, to the Swiss Federal Council, that it does not take effect for a year after notification, and that in any event it cannot take effect “until peace has been concluded, and until after operations connected with the release and repatriation of the persons protected by the present Convention have been terminated.” So whatever the Ukrainians may have said, and it’s not very clear what that is, they are still bound by the Convention. In any event, such activities would be a crime under any code of national military law, even if the Convention didn’t apply. I suspect we’re dealing with (1) confusion in several languages and (2) the Russians getting their propaganda act together finally.

  31. SET

    The IM Doc quote: “The other was the retired CEO of one of our big Ag corps. He told me in no uncertain terms to begin to do everything I could to prepare. All kinds of problems are brewing with the nation’s food supplies and supply chains and the real pain will not start until later this summer or fall – but it is going to be really ugly. He rates the likelihood to be somewhere between “epic and biblical” ”

    This will be really bad for Team Dem!

    1. Michael Ismoe

      It’s all Putin’s fault.

      Besides, Bette Midler is willing to have you eat a few less meals every week so that pudgy Ukrainian kid can say “Sieg Heil” in her own language.

  32. antidlc

    Thanks for the video of the Amazon workers’ victory.

    I needed that.

    GIves me hope. Here’s hoping for many more victories.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Roger Milliken famously didn’t just close a factory whose workers voted union. He bulldozed it down. There used to be a picture of the plant’s ruins hanging in Milliken & Company’s HR office.

  33. Michael Ismoe

    What is wrong with these people? It’s common knowledge that you get at least $10 billion in aid just for knowing the words to The Ukrainian National Anthem. Wear gold and blue, start a Congressional Homeless Caucus and watch the dollars roll in.

  34. digi_owl

    For some reason it took me until today to get why Putin et al wanted that convoluted banking scheme for future payments.

    It is so that the money is held on the Russian side of the fence, so that it can’t be sanctioned into a black hole over night.

    It also means that the rubles do not leave the Russian market, and thus there can’t be a Weimar/Zimbabwe situation set up where each future round of payments leave ever more rubles on the foreign market to mess with the exchange rate.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah sorry, sometimes the minutae of it all just becomes too much for this layman brain of mine. Sometimes things only click into place, kinda, once it get the right kind of angle on it or having slept on it. I dunno. Never mind that the medical profession claims i don’t think like most people in the first place.

        Maybe it is that the longer articles have multiple simultaneous threads going, being both about what one party says vs another as well as the international law and accounting mechanics at play.

  35. Jason Boxman

    On drug tests.

    “We employ people in safety-sensitive jobs, and I think your employers that operate workplaces with high safety concerns—it may still be part of what they view as a hazard in the workplace, for people to be under the influence of anything,” Ms. Bearden said.

    But this isn’t a reliable test to determine if someone is actually high on HTC at work, just in the past month or whatever. So how has that ever been useful, except to screen out people that smoke recreationally outside of work? It seems like you’d have more success being blasted on alcohol at work, but I’ve never heard of any employer walking around with a breathalizer.

    1. ambrit

      I don’t know about your ‘neck of the woods,’ but around here, at least before the Pandemic, we were told by someone we knew who was in middle management at one of the Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos that, due to the severe shortage of “clean” applicants for open positions at the facility, the company stopped requiring drug tests for anything other than jobs where the employee handled money. For legal reasons, the company never ‘officially’ admitted to the practice.
      Looking at all the bleary eyed passers by “on the street” around here, I don’t think that the situation has improved.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Many jobs, I wouldn’t want to do sober if I had the choice. We’ve collecting built such a ridiculous society so a few can profit.

  36. enoughisenough

    lol Putin is more of an adherent to JK Rowling than to Marx. What nonsense this country is.

  37. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    An interesting twitter thread on the public’s attitude in Russia. I can’t vouch for it’s accuracy, but it felt legitimate to me. Here’s the first tweet and the link:

    Greg Yudin@YudinGreg·Mar 31
    I am constantly asked about atmosphere in Russia. I am making a THREAD?to give an impression of how it feels in Moscow but also to explain how what I call “A few months theory” reigns supreme 1/19

    The author’s bio: Head of Political Philosophy, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (Shaninka)

    1. Randy

      It was bad in 2015 but I still got my chicks to raise for meat birds. Hopefully it will not be worse this year. Bird flu in Michigan and Wisconsin too.

      If I have to eat commercially raised chicken……………… that isn’t going to happen.

  38. Peter Nightigale

    This Monday, April 4, 2022, the Poor People’s Campaign will present a report at the National Press Club. The report shows deadliest COVID waves 4.5 times higher in poorest counties.

    Congress was warned about pandemics but kept expanding the war economy.

    CDC and other federal agencies never collected data to allow them to track the association of poverty and COVID mortality. There’s no money in it, obviously.

    Vaccination rates do not explain the results in the report. There will be interactive maps that show county level results.

    There was a very emotional strategy meeting of the Poor People’s Campaign to discuss these results. Presenters were crying or fighting back tears. These were all people who thought they knew but they discovered that the situation was far worse than they had thought psossible.

    1. newcatty

      One of the things most admirable about the Poor People’s Campaign is that they emphasized that the stereotype of poor people was once relegated to people of color. Along with the deplorables and Appalachians living in the hills. The reality is that poor people are of every ethnicity and geographical location. Families are poor. Single people are poor. Elderly, of every gender, are poor. Kids and young adults are poor.

      These war people who thought they knew but they discovered that the situation was far worse than they had thought possible.

      They wept.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Congress was warned about pandemics but kept expanding the war economy.

      Congress was warned about pandemics but and therefore kept expanding the war economy.

      Fixed it for ya.

  39. Melanie


    It’s not just the big mainstream social media portals vulnerable to this. Lots of scams addressed to people’s dedicated emails used only for Nextdoor access, as well as postal mail box or robocalls that often have their foreshortened name, codename, or even first name and last name initial only Nextdoor handles.
    While not as bad as Facebook photo albums, people’s willingness to post picture as part of their Nextdoor identity has led to localized and long distance stalking.

  40. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    David Goldman is a long-time writer for AsiaTimes among other activities. He occasionally assumes the persona of Oswald Spengler which often leads to fever dream but entertaining and informative dialogs with Cardinal Richelieu which I always enjoy and I think you will too.

    His latest is a bit more brutal than usual Cardinal Richelieu explains Vladimir Putin The cardinal’s ghost cites his own ‘grey eminence’ to show that time is the deadliest of weapons

    Most foolish of all, the West imagines that the stolid, brutal war of attrition that Russia is fighting denotes a failure to achieve its objectives, when the war itself is Putin’s objective, just as it was Father Joseph’s objective at Regensburg in 1630.

  41. Trogg

    Good job to US workers for getting HIGH!

    “Positive drug tests among US workers hit two-decade high”

    1. Pat

      So the need for profits is now constricting gold or employer plans, who could have imagined.
      It might not be my smallest violin, but the one I am pulling out for this is pretty damn small.

      1. ambrit

        Is that the one that is so small that the gravitational field from a passing molecule makes the “string” vibrate?

  42. Maritimer

    Canada’s Supreme Court upholds C$9m fine on maple syrup thief BBC (resilc)
    So, two days ago, the CDN Supreme Court has lots of time to decide a pressing, critical Maple Syrup Case while it ignores numerous challenges to the violations of the CDN Charter by the WEF Penetrated CDN Government of Prime Injector Trudeau.

    Trudeau has expressed not only his admiration of the Chinese Communist Dictatorship but his attack on fundamental Charter rights in Canada:

    In that 25 seconds the Prime Injector states: “Regardless of the fact that we are attacking your fundamental rights…or limiting your fundamental rights, and the Charter says that is wrong, we are still gonna go ahead and do it.”

    For the past two years, while Trudeau builds his apartheid, oppressive society, the Judiciary and Legal Community have in the main remained silent and complacent. In fact there is not one Judge, either retired or presently sitting, in the entire country that has expressed any reservations about this assault on the CDN Charter. More WEF Penetration!

  43. Fastball

    On the AI Link:

    One thing I’ve often thought of but have never seen is something I call The Revolution Model. It would be similar to climate models for climate change but instead would attempt to predict the optimum set of actions and behaviors to bring down the current warmongering governments and replace them with human centric governments.

    Very much like Harry Seldon’s fictional psychohistorical models in Azimov’s Foundation Series.

    It would be a continuously updated model like climate change models, adding data feeds and inputs for improved accuracy constantly.

    1. caucus99percenter

      The Prime Radicalizer instead of the Prime Radiant?

      Preem Polpot — First Speaker.

  44. JB

    I’ve kept this story open the last month or so, to check for updates – I would not take it at face value, but it seems a potential major story on mistreatment of migrants entering the EU through Greece:

    I don’t know how verifiable the worst of the details of that story are, but there is a very well documented campaign of illegal ‘pushbacks’ against migrants , from Greece:

    Worthy of attention – and possibly a low-simmering story, which has not yet fully gotten major widespread attention that it may warrant.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      A superpower’s navy is supposed to project force around the world and demonstrate fearsome combat capabilities. Russia’s navy, during the last few years, has been showcasing something else: cracks in Russia’s military that stem from an unproductive economy, widespread corruption and the obstinacy of autocracy under President Vladimir Putin.

      I guess the US is in a good place?

      I mean forget the homeless or people who have been bankrupted by sky high medical costs. It’s more important that we can “project force around the world and demonstrate fearsome combat capabilities.”

  45. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that crooked forest, it almost looks as though someone carefully bent them all on purpose when they were young, and spent years tending them until the bend was permanently formed and in place, and then left them alone to keep growing.

    A silvicultural art project for the ages? Trolling future onlookers? Some other reason?

  46. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” University of Florida renames Karl Marx study room after Russian invasion of Ukraine”. Is the University of Florida this dumm stupid ignorant . . . . to think that Karl Marx has any symbolic connection to the Eastern Orthodox SlavoNationalist Russia of today? Or is the University of Florida deliberately practicing Agnatology in order to spread the New Endarkenment?

  47. jr

    Of Roaches, Restaurant Vents, and Reality

    So I was recently told to try out a new pita joint here in Brooklyn by a good friend. I love me some falafel etc. so I hiked across town to pick up the order I called in. I was gargled and N95ed up, nose rinse in my pocket, but apparently everyone but me was under the impression that COVID was over. So I hung out outside, the place was busy and I knew it would be a wait.

    The line inside shortened and I took my chance. The food looked good, people were chowing down with gusto, and the phone was falling off the hook. Seamless orders everywhere. They even had my favorite soda. I was excited to find a new “place”.

    That’s when, in the full view of everyone in line, a plump cockroach decided to take the stage, ambling leisurely across the countertop. I froze and waited to see the reactions of the people around me. I was already turning to the door.

    No one blinked an eye. They couldn’t have missed the fu(king thing if they were blind. Everyone went into “I’m not seeing that.” mode, I could tell because everyone kind of locked up but kept staring straight ahead or turned away or whatever. Only I actually watched the thing makes it’s way down behind the counter. The owner of the store was leaning right over it and didn’t even flinch. A suspension of belief.

    Walking home, empty handed and grossed out, a memory came back to me. Before I left Manhattan, my partner and I had moved into a small apartment from our even smaller one for just a few months. This was two winters back. My partner had gone to her mother’s house out of state for a solid three month stretch to care for her after a serious surgery. I was alone in the place. Some of you may remember my comments were fairly wild around that time, something about Steve Pinker and voodoo fetishes made from human hair. I was lonely and stressed out.

    Which was nothing compared to my mental state when the noise started. As the weather grew colder, an exhaust vent on the roof belonging to a restaurant downstairs began to squeal. The colder it got, the worse it got. I called the landlords, who pretended not to know that they were the landlords of the restaurant downstairs. I called the city, who pretended to send out inspectors who then wrote reports about how they found nothing during their pretend inspections. I put an app on my phone that registers decibel levels, it told me I had the equivalent of a Shop-Vac running outside my window 24/7. I stuffed a yoga mat, comforters, foam padding, etc. into the windows and it STILL was mind numbing. I really started to lose my $hit, as in manic episodes and talking to myself.

    So I decided to get the other tenants on my side. The noise out in the hallway was even worse than inside my apartment, it literally rang in your ears. It had to be driving everyone else nuts, right?

    Wrong. Everyone claimed they couldn’t hear a thing. One neighbor looked surprised when I mentioned it. Another said she had never noticed it until I brought it up, even as we stood in the hallway with the air vibrating around us from the force of it. Someone else said something to the effect of they don’t spend a lot of time at home anyway. No one was even vaguely interested in doing anything about it, I mentioned calling the city in a non-pushy way and got lots of non-committal looks and nods.

    Only one little old lady on the first floor knew, or admitted she knew, what I was talking about. She said it had been going on for years, that it would never get fixed because it would cost the landlords tens of thousands of dollars to tear out the ancient vent system etc. and replace it. She was pretty safe from it on the first floor but she didn’t know how anyone else lived with it. She had used to live on a higher floor but it, and some other problems, had driven her down to the first floor.

    I consider myself fairly jaded and cynical and I was blown away by this behavior. I couldn’t process it. When my partner got home, the noise was beginning to subside and she didn’t think much of it until I removed the stuffing in the windows and then she was like “D@mn.” The bottom line is that people can ignore almost anything, can justify almost anything, can believe almost anything, if it will allow them to maintain their illusions of stability. Their sense of normalcy. Their prime location digs.

    Which bodes ill for the troubles ahead. No one will do a thing to help themselves or others if it means breaking through the illusions they pay so much to inhabit. Did I mention all of my neighbors, minus the little old lady, were firmly in the PMC? Someone above mentioned how they can ignore the fact that Biden is a shambling corpse who blurts out nuclear war initiating non sequiturs. I think they are going to ignore a lot more than that until it really hurts, then they will lash out at the nearest target. When they get hungry or thirsty and UberEats stops answering the phone.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I couldn’t ignore that. I left Raleigh soon as I could, rented a top floor unit where I learned I could hear every word spoken downstairs. That couple fought constantly. Never renting a place without a buy out clause again. And I can’t say the city has any amenities worth suffering over.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > bodes ill for the troubles ahead

      Mutualism does not seem to be adaptive in the current political economy, though of course one can compensate through various forms of exile, internal and otherwise, into less sociopathic niches.

      OTOH, the human capabilities that enable mutualism — starting, I would guess, with empathy — were most definitely adaptive at some point, or else they would have become vestigial. I’ve made the argument that for the great mass of humanity, the collapse of the Roman Empire was not such a bad thing, because the Roman Empire was a slave society and hence at its heart, evil. Perhaps the end of wage labour could produce the same result. (I know the instance response here will be “What about climate?!” but I wonder about the impact a slave society, what with latifundia, had on climate as well.

    3. Lex

      I call them the ‘Masks of Forced Civility’ that have replaced the actual masks we’ve worn for the last two years. An over politeness, apologies for offenses where none was given or taken, the absence of laughter or the presence that’s too hard and loud, excessive gushing gratitude. We’re unsure how or who to be with each other, and lacking confidence retreat to default modes where it’s safe. We’re the “survivors”.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Right. When his popularity ratings are the highest of his time as president. This is all to flog the notion that Russia is losing when they are wining, albeit by a grinding process, which is slow.

  48. ambrit

    Late to the Party as usual.
    Is it just me, but I was out and about today and experienced the wierdest “vibe” in a long time. It was almost as if everyone I passed was depressed. (It could be projection. I tried to compensate for that possibility.) I saw almost no smiles. The exception was a stocker at the Bigg Boxx store. I was entering a blind T intersection in the aisles. As usual, I did a pathetic imitation of an approaching cartoon Road Runner; “Beep! Beep!” The stocker was around the corner. She immediately replied; “Welcome to ACME Mart!” I needed the laugh. Other than this delightful person, almost everyone else was glum and dour.
    I did notice that masking was very rare. This being Saturday, there were several backyard cookouts and parties in evidence as I walked my goods home. People are indulging in massive ‘magical thinking.’ I fear for the mental health of the nation is another, stronger Coronavirus wave hits and puts the collective insanity in stark relief.
    Related, the Highly Religeous subculture that Phyllis is tangentally associated with has become full on Prepper and Millennialist. Mystic ‘warnings’ of persecution and famine are propagating as we speak.
    Stay safe all!

    1. chris

      I think you’re on to something. Mutiple polls are saying people think the US is headed in that mystical “wrong direction.” No one seems to be buying the insistence that this is The Best Economy EVAR!(TM). If what we know is coming hits at the start of the summer season, we’ll see a triple hit of higher gas prices, a new COVID wave, and food shortages. I have no idea if that will cause any members of the proletariat to rise up and do something. I’d have figured we’d have seen mass strikes and a gillet jaunes like movement here last year given how bad things were then. But I do think that if the current mood meets those challenges things will be very grim in the USA. The war with Ukraine won’t be able to cover that up.

  49. Wukchumni

    Go hike a grove, dept:

    There are around 75 different groves of Giant Sequoias all on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, and i’d never been to the closest one to me, how’d that not happen?

    I enlisted the usual suspects, my French ex-pat friends living la vida CVBB, and they’re always game for a hike and not afraid of off-trail adventures… which this one included, with the added bonus of walking through where the KNP Fire really didn’t miss anything with not one living thing in our purview to a point, and obstruction-free hiking as everything was burned and with nearly every step i’d sink 4 inches into the ash, as close to a elevated lunar landscape as i’ll ever be in. You occasionally brush up against some charred standing carcass and i’ve seldom got as sooty as this Saturday.

    Finally we got to the Oriole Grove and most of the Sequoias survived-the larger ones 10-12 feet wide-a quite respectable size, albeit with 20 to 40 foot high scorch marks, a testament to how hot it was once upon a time in October, mucho calor!

    This is what it used to look like in 2020 before conflagration-above the fray from a drone. Giant Sequoias have mushroom tops when they’re aged, not pointy tops.

    Oriole Grove – Giant Sequoias of California

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those Sequoias certainly look mighty impressive. In that drone footage my eye was drawn to what looked like dead trees scattered through that forest. Are they actually dead or is there a story attached to them?

      1. Wukchumni

        Those were some of the 130 million trees that died in the 2012-16 drought in the Sierra, many expiring from bark beetles on tour which were able to get into the baum bays because they couldn’t produce sap on account of the drought, to ward off the beasties.

        When they’re newlydeads, they’re called ‘Red trees’ as the needles give it that look, but after the needles drop they become ‘Grey trees’ in search of a lightning bolt to put them out of their misery, and omission accomplished.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > they’re called ‘Red trees’ as the needles give it that look, but after the needles drop they become ‘Grey trees’

          Great information!

          Green -> Grey -> Read and ultimately back to Green? Or am I missing a color?

  50. Soredemos

    >Meet the New, Resource-Based Global Reserve Currency Pepe Escobar, The Saker

    Saker and his community simply do not understand why the dollar is the global reserve currency. They honestly believe it’s based on some thing called the ‘petrodollar’, when it’s actually based on permanent trade deficits.

    This non-comprehension really leaks through when he interviews Michael Hudson. On some basic level there’s a misunderstanding that causes Saker to not fully understand what Hudson is actually saying.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > 15 vaxxed tennis players forced to retire from Miami Open Tennis Tournament

      I read the story twice. and it doesn’t mention Covid (though it does mention blisters) and it doesn’t mention the vaccination status of the players. In fact, several were not vaccinated, as a cursory search shows (not that this would eliminate transmission).

      Deceiving the readers and wasting my time. That’s not a good look. At the very least, find a link that supports your claim.

  51. LawnDart

    Omicron BA.1.1 and Omicron XE are in cue and ready to go on worldwide tour, debuting in the UK and now in Asia– confirmed in China and Thailand:

    Omicron XE is 10% more transmissible than BA.2 and 43% more transmissible than the original Omicron (B.1.1.529).

    It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.
    Leon C. Megginson

  52. sbarrkum

    None of the MSM on Sri Lanka’s power and oil shortages mention that US sanctions are a factor.

    The only Refinery in Sri Lanka was built by Iran in 1969. It has shut down because of sanction prevents getting Iranian oil and the Russian crude.

    India does not abide by the sanctions and is importing Russian oil at a discount. So they have diesel and selling Lanka diesel with a markup.

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