Links 4/22/2022

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

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


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

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

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Pennsylvania school board votes down parent’s request to launch After School Satan Club The Roys Report

King Dollar is in no danger of losing its world financial crown FT

Elon Musk Enters His Rupert Murdoch Phase New York Magazine


Earth Day “corporate hijacking” under the spotlight Vogue Business

Weather could be controlled by making tiny changes to chaotic system Physics World. Big if true, and certainly better than shooting giant mirrors into space.

How Illinois’ ‘fragmented system’ of monitoring pesticide exposure ‘allows individuals to get poisoned over and over without any brakes’ Midwest Center for Investigative Journalism

Colorado River ranked as “most endangered” in the nation Axios


It Makes Total Sense if You Still Don’t Want to Get COVID Slate

The Lifting of the Mask Mandate Is a Gift to Democrats Matt Yglesias, Bloomberg. “So-called NPIs”? What is wrong with these people?

Airlines want to bring back passengers banned over masks AP

Vaccine Medical Exemptions Are Rare. Thousands of Nursing Home Workers Have Them. Pro Publica

More Than 100 Million People Worldwide Have or Had Long COVID: Study WebMD. A preprint.

We Might Be Looking At COVID “Seasons” For Years To Come Buzzfeed. Ka-ching.


Shanghai deaths rise as city vows to enforce strict Covid-19 rules Straits Times

Surprisingly low Shanghai COVID death count spurs questions AP

Shanghai’s Covid Lockdown Leads to Logistics Disarray, With Quarantined Truckers, Piled-Up Containers WSJ

Sceptics of China’s TCM Covid-19 remedy Lianhua Qingwen face online attacks South China Morning Post


Rewards for jets, helicopters will test loyalty of Myanmar military: former soldiers Radio Free Asia. Normally I wouldn’t link to RFA, but I haven’t seen this anywhere else.


How U.S.-Saudi Relations Reached the Breaking Point Wall Street Journal. I don’t know what we are practicing, but it’s not diplomacy:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wearing shorts at his seaside palace, sought a relaxed tone for his first meeting with President Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, last September. The 36-year-old crown prince ended up shouting at Mr. Sullivan after he raised the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The prince told Mr. Sullivan he never wanted to discuss the matter again, said people familiar with the exchange. And the U.S. could forget about its request to boost oil production, he told Mr. Sullivan…. The political fissures have deepened since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, senior Saudi and U.S. officials said. The White House wanted the Saudis to pump more crude, both to tame oil prices and undercut Moscow’s war finances. The kingdom hasn’t budged, keeping in line with Russian interests.

The Taliban Were Afghanistan’s Real Modernizers Palladium. Well worth a read.

Israel’s Ukraine conundrum may have implications for Gulf states The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Fresh Clashes At Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound: AFP Journalist Agence France Presse

A thread of mosque ceilings:

Since the video is from Pakistan’s Khan, I assume it’s real:


‘Betting against the NHS’: £1bn private hospital to open in central London Guardian (MV).

How London became the dirty money capital of the world (video) FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Bundesbank warns Russian gas embargo would cost Germany €180bn FT

* * *

“They must be out of their minds”: how the Collective West is stumbling towards nuclear Armageddon Gilbert Doctorow

“You Wanna F*** With Me? Say Hello To My Little Friend!” The Dreizen Report. Two interesting videos that could use translation, one of Zelensky.

* * *

The Civil War/Proxy War in Ukraine and the Russian Offensive MR Online

Historical Notes on the War in Ukraine (PDF) Lobster Magazine

* * *

WSJ normalizes fascists:

Those “Ukrainian Troops” are the Azovs.

How the West enabled genocide in Mariupol with its misguided Azov obsession Euromaidan Press

* * *

Mystery drone: How the Air Force fast-tracked a new weapon for Ukraine Politico

Fallout: Ukraine Crisis Upends Russia’s Role in the South China Sea Center for Strategic and International Studies

Stop Pretending This Is A Normal Election. BrasilWire

Protests sweeping Peru strand tourists and close copper mines FT

Biden Administration

Excluding Puerto Rico from safety-net benefits doesn’t violate Constitution, court says SCOTUSblog

Biden DOT unveils plan to reduce carbon, with no way to show if those efforts work Politico

The Marble Palace Blog: Book Banning Trend Reaches SCOTUS Gift Shop

Supply Chain

Forget Gas Prices. The Billionaire Club’s Run on Cobalt Says Everything about Our Battery-Powered Future Vanity Fair. Remember when Trump wanted to buy Greenland?

Long-term container rates plummet on key US to Far East routes Hellenic Shipping News

Health Care

The CDC is warning of a mysterious and dangerous rash of liver-injuring hepatitis cases in kids Business Insider. “The culprit behind the cases of liver inflammation seems to be a pathogen called adenovirus 41, a virus that spreads (like COVID does) through close contact.” Covid does not spread through “close contact,” which is a term without meaning. Covid is airborne and spreads through aerosols. The CDC page on adenovirus transmission has “coughing or sneezing” (and not breathing, talking, or singing). Maybe this time the droplet goons are right! But it would be nice to be sure.

Leave your shoes outside, these scientists say CNN. The next assault on personal freedom.

Our Famously Free Press

Open Letter from Former Defense, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Cyber Officials Calling for National Security Review of Congressional Tech Legislation (PDF) James R. Clapper, Jane Harman, Jeh C. Johnson, Michael J. Morell, Leon E. Panetta, Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Frances F. Townsend (DD).

Obama points finger at tech companies for disinformation in major speech The Hill. Maybe somebody could just write up the Official Narrative and post it somewhere? So we could be sure whatever we were saying was safe?

CNN+ Is Shutting Down One Month After Launch (EXCLUSIVE) Variety. Oopsie.


Assange Extradition Order Sent to Priti Patel Consortium News

Australia says will not challenge Assange extradition Channel News Asia

Class Warfare

America Gave Up on Overtime—and It’s Costing Workers $35,451 a Year Time

Money Maze: Retirees Turn Detective to Find ‘Lost’ Pensions Real Clear Investigations

The Political Isn’t Personal Jacobin

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Roger Blakely

    Re: Gonzalo Lira.
    It is great news that the Ukrainian secret police could not be bothered to kill Gonzalo Lira. He just surfaced on the YouTube channel The Duran. They took away his devices, locked him out of his accounts, told him to shut up, and put him under house arrest, but they didn’t kill him.

    1. Louis Fyne

      when one is livestreaming, one stills out like a sore thumb on a network. Especially if all those bits head to a VPN from a war zone.

      just saying. A VPN is not a magic invisibility cloak.

      GL got a big lucky break. As the past few days show, he could have been physically memory holed and there would have been no accountability on the perps.

    2. The Rev Kev

      If Gonzalo Lira was actually an American like Patrick Lancaster or a Brit like Graham Phillips, would either country have made a fuss and demanded their release? Would the US or the UK threaten to hold back money and weapons if their citizen was not released? If you believe so, I have two words for you – Julian Assange.

      1. JohnA

        The media in England, and Telegraph and Sun in particular, are calling Phillips a treasonous traitor who should be deprived of his citizenship and worse. No dissenting voices are allowed!

        1. Jack Parsons

          Wait a minute! My brothers were born in Chile when my parents lived there in the 1950s. When they turned 20, they were asked to choose either the US or Chile, and if they chose Chile they had to serve in the Chilean military. The Chilean consul found them in sunny Sacramento, both times.

          Did GL do his military service?

  2. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the Bundesbank’s warning, the heads of Deutsche Bank, BASF, Bosch and the trade union movement and PM of Bavaria, Markus Soder, have warned similarly, but are now reticent after the possible false flag at Bucha and do not want to be “named and shamed” like Merkel, Sarkozy, Renault, Le Roy Merlin and Auchan by Zelensky. My former employer’s CEO is also associated with the CDU, so that makes it more difficult.

    Two former colleagues, one at DB and the other at the ECB, say it’s the younger, more Americanised and less associated with traditional, corporate Germany Greens and Liberals, especially Baerbock and Lindner, pushing the SPD into taking measures that put Germany at risk of recession and much worse.

        1. caucus99percenter

          The Greens in Baden-Württemberg are also embroiled in an attempt to expel from their ranks one of their most popular politicians, mayor of Tübingen Boris Palmer.

          Voters like his frankness but young corporate Greens, in keeping with their woke, Americanized culture of identity politics, say Palmer is racist and want him out, even though the next mayoral election is only months away, in October.

          Palmer is popular enough that if forced out, it is conceivabke that he would win re-election as an independent. For the Green party, it’s a big mess.


  3. kriptid

    Sergey Lavrov did a 55-minute interview in English with the India Times, released a couple of days ago. Covers some of the historical facts leading up to the conflict and comments on the “atrocities” (i.e. Bucha).

    Side note: I’ve generally found the coverage of Ukraine from the Indian press to be quite even-handed relative to most other sources that offer in depth coverage in English. Wish we could get some of that in the West…

  4. Steve H.

    > Weather could be controlled by making tiny changes to chaotic system

    Gah. So f’ing not big. From what I see by this overview, it assumes climate has a single stable attractor, and what we have to worry about is a bimodal shift, tho it’s noted keeping events confined to a single wing is no guarantee of blah blah…

    The whole problem of chaos is that you can’t deterministically backtrack the attractors from chaotic data. Maybe you can find the mean of a single attractor, but the world has multiple drivers. It is a complex system.

    Hubris, to think your model is the world. You can seed for rain locally, but that’s within a narrow, temporary range of parameters affecting weather. The authors are framing it as controlling Climate.

    I need to stop writing now. Wankers.

    1. caucus99percenter

      Will we get a new branch of the military (the “Weather Girls”?) alongside land, sea, air, outer space, and cyberspace, plus Marines?

      Or would weaponized weather be better off folded into one or more of the existing services (a “Joint Atmospheric Command”?)

      Maybe they could share supercomputers, quantum computers, and Utah-sized data repositories with the NSA?

      1. ambrit

        A number of science fiction writers from the previous century had Weather Wars between the then Soviet Union and America sa minor plot devices. One I remember ended with a semi-commentary about the “new,” stronger hurricanes hitting the Gulf Coast conveniently dovetailing with the cyclones in the Black Sea.
        Controlling the weather is a ‘Quant’s Dream.’
        Shifting the climate is a long term process. Given the ‘recent’ propensity for short term thinking now dominant in our “decision making cadres,” the ignorance about the disconnect between ‘climate’ and ‘weather’ is no surprise.
        Conflation is not a branch of fluid dynamics.

    2. Raymond Sim

      What he said, gah.

      I mean, ffs, how far afield must you have perturbators deployed to reliabliy moderate averages for any given region? What decision making process governs their utilization?

      I’d bet we’ll have dilithium crystals before we’ve got our act together well enough to deploy something like this.

  5. Wukchumni

    Colorado River ranked as “most endangered” in the nation Axios

    I linked this yesterday, and in the 10 minute interview with the head of water resources in Arizona, he said something startling, in that last year the upper Colorado River basin was at 90% of average, but Lake Powell & Lake Mead only received about 30% of it due to the dry ground lapping up moisture, and what wasn’t said, but obviously upstream users are taking the largess before it heads south…

    What’s the value of a bitchin’ pad in Scottsdale when you turn on the faucet and nothing comes out?

    1. The Rev Kev

      After reading your comment, I was thinking about what life will be like in the coming decades in the American south-west as the water goes away when I suddenly thought about an old British scifi film I saw decades ago called “The Day the Earth Caught Fire.” As a film it was mostly forgettable but how it was visualized was not. In short, US & USSR nukes accidentally tilt the axes of the earth further leading to places like the UK have a climate like Arizona on a hot day. Looking at those old scenes makes me now wonder if in the coming decades we may not see this happening in real life- (2:51mins)

    2. Carolinian

      Phoenix including Scottsdale mostly get their water from the Salt river system (Roosevelt lake etc) and the eastern AZ mountains. Your link says tiny Page and other northern AZ communities are the ones at immediate threat. I am told that the SRS just raised their water rates which is earlier in the year than usual.

      As in CA the water shortage may be more of a short term threat to agriculture than to cities. The fire danger also tends to be greater in higher elevation northern AZ where trees are to be found.

      1. Wukchumni

        Death by a thousand cuts in water allotment has to start somewhere, and the H20 majordomo stated that the entire state will be in deep kimchi if the drought lasts a few more years, and it seems to be baked in, as the water rapture upriver continues.

      2. JP

        CA State Water Resources has sent out warning notice to (upstream) appropriators that restrictions are coming. Metering was instituted a few years back to facilitate this. Gots to save those valley floor big ag. Lots of cotton at risk.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          California always seems to dodge drought bullets. Just when everyone thinks the end is near copious amounts of rain and snow fall. It has always been thus in the “Golden State”. How else to explain 40 million people, along with 4 million irrigated acres in what is often described as an arid state. As I write this additional snow is falling in the Sierra. Right on time. As usual.

    3. Lexx

      I was outside yesterday applying hose-end Revive to the lawn, then watered it in. Noticed the deep cracks from the dryness in the corners where the grass is thinnest and the clay is closest to the surface. The spring has been very dry so far. There’s nothing in the forecast to begin to fill our rain barrel.

      Filling the community tank up here begins with Horsetooth Reservoir, then we notice the large ponds (or what the locals call “lakes” – heheheh! – that just never gets old!) have topped up and the irrigation ditch system begins to flow again.

      This is all delivered via the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and the Cache La Poudre River. The city put a water park on the river a few years ago. Easy to be glib now…we may look back fondly on when we called ponds lakes, even in the Upper Basin. I hope to be dead before then; I grew up in a watery world.

      1. jr

        A quick anecdote: Years ago my mother worked as a real estate agent in Florida. Her office was filled with con artists and hustlers of the lowest rank. One property on offer was billed as “lakefront”. The lake was actually a large retention pond.

        Another story was of a property down wind from a celery farm. Apparently it couldn’t be sold because celery requires raw manure and it stank to heck and back. One of the vampires in the office had a solution. She sold it to her sister.

    4. You're soaking in it!

      The farmers do have a saying up here, “You better use it, or it will get to California”

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve mentioned before that it seems as if older Americans watch the usual suspects: CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al, while younger Americans want nothing to do with them, and are probably watching a local kid from here in tiny town who made good by being an excellent video gamer (he just got suspended indefinitely on Twitch) and has 5.8 million followers, how does Tucker Carlson’s numbers compare?

      1. The Historian

        Apparently not even older Americans were watching CNN+ if they only had 150,000 subscriptions.

        This is just another example of how the ‘elite’ are out of touch with America. Gloria Vanderbuilt’s son doing a show on Parenting? Really?

        1. Carolinian

          The stories I’ve seen say it may have as much to do with streaming fatigue and families cutting back on expenses. Why would you pay $5 per month for news when news is ubiquitous?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Adam Johnson NYC surmised it’s simply not recognizing the brand. CNN is background noise and what people turn to when there is live misery porn. He noted Anthony Bourdain was the only exciting person on the app and he’s been dead for over three years. Packaging a different media platform under the CNN brand was simply an epic mistake.

            Then it’s 2022, I mean how old is Slashdot. They’ve been doing links since 1997. The oxygen isn’t there. Smart phones have been around for a while.

            Then of course, CNN plus seemed lIke a line up for Karens who learned about politics in November 2016. Chris Wallace? He left bashing Fox after only near two decades on the job. He has eff you money. He didn’t need the work, but he stayed at Fox for years.

          2. amechania

            From the people at Discovery+? I can’t wait until they find sasquatch. Maybe make him fight a megalodon wearing a crystal skull.

    2. griffen

      Quickest flame out of a new product since the disaster of New Coke ? A quick search also includes the Newton PDA from Apple. There was also “clippy”, someone’s really bad idea for MS Office.

  6. QuarterBack

    Re “Obama points the finger” article, this is epic chutzpah from the man that reversed the Smith Mundt Act that had (since 1948) prohibited the Goverment from conducting information warfare operations within the United States. Further, his actions were almost immediately followed by the top Directors and SES leaders in Obama’s IC community taking prominent roles within MSM. Don’t be fooled!

      1. Nikkikat

        Britzklieg, reading your comment resulted in peals of laughter from husband and myself! Very funny and we maybe should use Hey, Obama pull my finger, like let’s go Brandon.

    1. Screwball

      FTA: “It’s up to each of us to decide what we value and then use the tools we’ve been given to advance those values. And I believe we should use every tool at our disposal to secure our greatest gift —a government of, by and for the people, for generations to come,” he said.

      By and for the people. When does that start?

      Epic chutzpah is right. It was hard to read this article knowing who was spewing the BS. I’m in the camp that St. Barry O (along with Hills) can simply go the away. I’m not taking advise from a world class bullshitter.

    2. jo6pac

      obomber is just looking for more hand out for lie-berry. This attack will stop as soon as you techies send me more money;-)

    3. Oh

      Who’s Obamba tried to kid? Once a grifter, always a grifter. Go away Mr. Narcissist and don’t show your beak anywhere here.

  7. SocalJimObjects


    “Starting in September, the Sarmat will be installed in silos till now housing the world’s most powerful ICBM, the Voevoda, which will be gradually retired and redeployed as launchers for commercial satellites.”

    Believers of American superiority won’t ever believe that statement. So yeah, seems like we are heading towards nuclear armageddon. I am done with my diet. From now on, I’ll eat whatever I want.

    1. David

      I’m not sure what “powerful” means when you talk about ICBMs. Most of what I can find on the Internet about the missile is just speculation or citation of other speculation. The Russians don’t seem to be providing any details for the moment. This tweet suggests it can carry 10×750 kiloton warheads and reach pretty much anywhere in the world. It also claims the rocket is liquid-fuelled, which I have great difficulty in believing, because such missiles have to be fuelled-up in an emergency, and were generally abandoned decades ago in favour of safer and more flexible solid-fuel systems. But perhaps there’s a reason. I haven’t seen any other collateral.

      Because the explosive power of nuclear warheads falls off rapidly with distance from the point of detonation, it’s better to have a large number of (relatively) small warheads than one very large one. Ten warheads of that size may be the most powerful payload in the world if that’s true. As regards range, Russian submarines can already hit anywhere in the US with SLBMs, though it’s fair to say that getting them to sea is more difficult because of the country’s geography.

      Doctorow gets a couple of things wrong. The current US missile tracking system has 360 degree coverage (he’s probably thinking of the old BMEWS system deactivated decades ago, which did only look towards the North, the only route Soviet missiles could take at the time). Likewise, the US has no operational capability against Russian ICBMs at the moment: there are no ABM systems to evade. The only operational ABM system in the world is around Moscow, regularly updated since the 1960s, and the US, after twenty-five years of development, has a handful of kinetic kill missiles that might, with a bit of luck, knock down one missile from North Korea or Iran. Apart from that, nothing, though it’s fair to say that the Russians have always been very fearful of US technological advances in this area: as in other cases, they are probably trying to hedge against the future.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, I looked up that ICBM and I was mystified to see that it is liquid fueled, which would be a step backwards. Unless perhaps they have developed some form of hypergolic fuel that can be safely stored long term within the missile. The Soviets had a lot of problems in the past with large solid fuel boosters, I suppose its possible they still can’t work out how to make them bigger than the existing rockets, but that doesn’t seem very likely.

        I would guess that the advantage of polar attack is less that it could evade detection, but that the potential for attacking a target from any direction or angle massively complicates interception. Its hard enough to intercept a missile from a known destination on a ballistic course, if you mix Mirvs with their new glide weapons in the one missile, and it can come at literally any direction, t would be pretty much impossible to stop every one.

        But in either event, this looks more like a standard upgrade rather than some sort of new megaweapon. But all is fair in propaganda.

        1. Paradan

          Liquid engines allow to throttle back and coast once your clear of the atmosphere, then once you’ve gone far enough around the globe, power back up throw a bunch of fast balls. It’s also got the capability for fractional orbital bombardment, which knocks 15 min(?) off of the flight time. I can’t find where I read it but I do believe it uses one of those ultra-carcinogenic rocket fuels, plus an oxidizer, didn’t look cryogenic, so long term storage probably not too bad. Wiki(CIA) says they’re installing 20 of them, so for first strike purposes they would need 20 warheads a piece, which doesn’t seem to be they case. A commercial wargame database has them listed as being able to carry 24 Avengards with 2 Mt warhead, but I have never seen that stated anywhere else, seems like the Russains would want to advertise that if true, since that’s the kinda thing you need to hit all 400 silos before they finish their launch sequence.

          Puppy-dogs and butterflies.
          Happy thoughts and sunshine.

        2. NN Cassandra

          Besides the mentioned ability to throttle, liquid propellant has higher specific impulse than solid one. In other words it is more efficient, which is what you need in case of such big rocket launched from silos. Russia has recent solid fuel ICMBs designs too like Topol-M and Bulava.

  8. super extra

    re: MSM normalizing Azov

    Last night on NBC Nightly News (my daily current affairs homework courtesy of family who watch it) they had a segment on Mariupol and showed a video (they spoke over the audio) of a guy in body armor in front of a brick wall with the black and yellow Azov patch on his chest. He was described as a Ukranian defender of Mariupol and nothing more. I normally keep quiet during the broadcast because of family but I couldn’t help from swearing and walking off. Completely disgusting what they are doing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Not too long ago they were normalizing head-chopping, liver-eating, atrocity-committing Jihadists but because they were on our side, we gave them a pass. In fact, a high US official came out and said that the biggest concentration of Al Qaeda in the world was Idlib province but the west threatened to go to war if Syria and Russia invaded it. The very same group that killed thousands on 9/11 and yet we were protecting them. US Navy pilots at the time referred to themselves as the Al Qaeda Air Force so protecting and white (supremacist) washing actual Nazis is not that much a stretch.

      1. digi_owl

        Enemy of my enemy is my friend has been modus operandi ever since WW2, sadly.

        the list of unsavory types that DC has collaborated with (and then turned on) is long. The one thing the west has had in our favor since WW2 was material quality of life, and much of that thanks to the commies being a credible threat if the monied didn’t toe the line.

        these days we are back to playing the great game, with the board expanded to covering most of the world.

  9. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Yesterday and a fortnight ago, NC readers Chris Sheldon and RobertC mentioned the dehumanisation of Russians. It’s easy to do that, so one does not have to address the underlying issues. It’s the same with name calling POOT’N. is typical of what passes for so called experts in Europe. This scoundrel has held official positions at NATO HQ and in the Middle East. There’s a lot of them around. I wonder if some are not stupid, but very cynical as, for example, the Atlantic Council pays a lot for such propagandists.

    1. EricT

      Seems like the only requirement for Russia advisor is a proficiency in 3rd grade playground politics.

  10. Vasall Actions

    Saudi Arabia and the USA “The kingdom hasn’t budged, keeping in line with Russian interests.”
    – maybe there are some Saudiarabian interests as well in play? I am really tired of these fools writing about every action being a part of implementing Russian interests. Maybe interests coincide? Could that be an option? Just because they coincide, doesn’t mean that you are doing something just to satisfy another party.
    I guess it is also the view of the Americans: everybody is just a vasall and does only what the master is telling them (like the politicans in EU) and they are unable to act in their own interests, because they should not have any own interests.

    1. digi_owl

      Of late i get the impression that the SA petroleum reserves are getting low, and their antics in Syrian and Yemen are probably not helping.

      Thus the prices going through the roof is a dream come true for them, as they can fill their coffers without lifting a finger.

  11. JohnA

    I read on twitter, but without verification, that Zelensky has passed a law that only UKr military certified dead by a doctor, will be eligible for death benefits etc. to their families. If this is true, this must be an even bigger incentive to surrender, go AWOL, avoid the draft etc when Zelensky is ordering troops to fight to the death and not surrender. And at a time when Zelensky is demanding 7 bn a month to keep UKr afloat, and according to the Panama Papers had 30 bn dollars in offshore accounts and luxury properties around the world.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If true, that is big. There must be thousands of Ukrainians tagged and buried in Russian-occupied territory and I read that the Ukrainians were not interested in taking them back. This could be why and that would mean that after the war, the Ukraine would not want to retrieve their dead from the Donbass Republics or other areas but would leave them there and perhaps forbid family members from traveling there to bring back those bodies

      1. Yves Smith

        One of the Russian friendly blogs, if I find it I will link, said the DPR is taking DNA samples from every body it buries and geolocating it so relatives can retrieve it and bury it privately if they want to when hostilities are over. If DPR is doing it, it might be standard for all Russian allied forces.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That might possibly have been a video that I linked to about a week or two ago. They were showing Ukrainian bodies being retrieved and processed for identification. The whole thing was in spoken Russian but a reader was good enough to give a quick translation of what they were saying they were doing. Still going to be tough on the families of those dead Ukrainian soldiers.

  12. Wukchumni

    King Dollar is in no danger of losing its world financial crown FT
    As always with the Berlin Wall of internet portals, i’ll have to guess what sort of royalties we’re talking about here, human flesh or a little bit of that? {rubs inverted open palm with the thumb careening over fingertips from left to right repeatedly}

    Its funny that we globalized damn near everything except money, where its always 1944.

    1. Michaelmas

      Wukchumini: As always with the Berlin Wall of internet portals, i’ll have to guess what …

      You’re missing nothing. I was once under the impression the pink paper’s subscribers paid for it because as upper-level business and financial types they needed actual intelligence. But the last few years I’ve had a paywall penetrator and — granting that the FT has presumably gotten crapified, like everything else — I’ve been struck by how reliably and conventionally stupid its content is, with the science/tech reporting being outright incompetent.

      Overall, if you’ve seen THE ECONOMIST, it’s exactly the same kind of stuff. Though I’d give the edge to THE ECONOMIST. Heck, within the boundaries of the DAILY MAIL’s priors, I’d give the DAILY MAIL credit for more probing journalism.

      As for the article in question, here’s the first graf ….

      “Like the swallows of Capistrano, the dollar doomsayers have returned. The sanctions against Russia for its war on Ukraine are built around denying Russia access to foreign currencies, particularly the dollar, which dominates global trade and investment. It therefore must follow that countries wanting to avoid a similar fate would seek to diversify away from the US currency. There is a certain logic to that, but the reality is the dollar can’t be avoided and it will remain the dominant currency in trading and transactions….’

      Blah, blah, blah, etcetera.

      1. Wukchumni

        I subscribed to the Economist for about 5 years in the 90’s, the fun part was in the back where the adverts were, and might the Uganda National Bank need an economist, or what not?

        In retrospect, I think it got me put on the Nigerian Letter list, as I started getting them regularly once or twice a year after subscribing, with their curious looking block letters in English persuading me to allow them to have adventures with my money.

        1. JohnA

          Not sure if this term has crossed the Atlantic, but “Engaged in Ugandan negotiations” is slang in British English for sex. Supposedly coined during the early 1970s by satirical British magazine “Private Eye”.

          1. Wukchumni

            I cut my teeth on Mad magazine, National Lampoon & Cracked, but nothing prepared me for Private Eye, which took funny to a completely different level, in such a sneaky pulp format (this would’ve been the 80’s) and unlike humor in the states, that dog would hunt.

      2. albrt

        Alphaville sure was something though, for a brief moment. I was inspired by your comment to go looking for Izabella Kaminska, and apparently she started a new platform this year called The Blind Spot. She says her goal is to “reconfigure how journalistic information is organised on the internet.”

        I won’t post a link because I don’t know how to do it without triggering the auto-mod, but searching either her name or the blog name seems to work.

        Based on a quick look it appears she is trying to do an awful lot herself, but she is one of the smartest people around so I will start following her again.

    2. Oh

      The stockbrokers (in this case the banksters) usually recommend buying to pump the stock (in this case the USD) before they dump it.

  13. super extra

    re: MBS yells at Jake Sullivan during casual shorts meeting

    Thanks for this link, the visual of MBS trying to be ‘cool’ by wearing shorts instead of the princely getup and then yelling at Jake Sullivan made my morning. Sullivan, unelected, along with Nuland, also unelected, deserve much much much worse for what their machinations have and are inflicting on the world.

    1. pjay

      Yes. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurdity of those who hold our collective fate in their ridiculous hands. I just wish their ignorance and arrogance did not lead to such deadly consequences.

  14. Wukchumni

    Happy Earth Day, orb.

    I know we haven’t been the best stewards and there really isn’t any incentive to stop abusing you by leaving fossil fuels in the ground and not in our gas tanks, power plants and plastics, but that is how we roll.

    I heard you like it hot, are you getting Venus envy?

  15. Cheryl

    Any thoughts from NC’s brain trust on whether these recent cases of hepatitis in children could follow infection with Covid which weakened their immune system?

    1. Yves Smith

      They don’t have any specific ideas yet. But recently factoids have come out that the infection level among kids pre Omicron was high but ignored because asymptomatic.

  16. Rod

    Happy Earth Day to all on a beautiful Spring Day in my neighborhood.

    From Earth Day “corporate hijacking” under the spotlight Vogue Business
    I see this as being a truthful (my emphasis) irony underlining the articles premise:
    “If brands want to be part of Earth Day, they should be celebrating the sustainability efforts being implemented in their businesses year-round, because we can’t purchase our way to making the world better,”

    1. Questa Nota

      Many of us school kids really enjoyed the first Earth Day. We went out to enjoy a fine spring day helping clean up around the neighborhood and when back in science class learned more about ourselves and our environment. On the heels of the Clean Air and Water Acts we were encouraged to be good stewards, and got to see results from initial efforts at the local and state levels.
      Reduce, reuse, recycle.

  17. Vikas Saini

    Re: Historical Notes: Good to review the background in detail, but:

    “Clearly, Russia’s attempt to settle these issues by an act of aggression against a state which presented no threat to its existence cannot be accepted as a legitimate way of resolving international disputes”

    needs a lot of unpacking, since the author’s Westphalian assumptions are clearly not shared by the imperial foreign policy elites. And the Russians are not confronting intellectuals writing history, but people who seem to feel their writ should run over the entire planet.

    1. orlbucfan

      Both of them are two pieces of FRightwingnut garbage to me. Unfortunately, they’ve got plenty of (powerful) company.

      1. pjay

        You equate Liz Cheney and Tulsi Gabbard??

        In my opinion, in terms of the contribution to human suffering, Dick Cheney is probably the most despicable human being still alive on the planet. As far as I can tell, his daughter is a clone in policy terms. Gabbard has taken many courageous stands against the warmongering bipartisan establishment regarding Syria, Russia, and a number of other issues that has brought the wrath of the Establishment against her. I don’t agree with all of her positions, but I can’t see how you could possibly equate these two individuals.

    2. Mildred Montana

      In the USA, “You Gotta Fight for the Right to Be a Party”. (Apologies to The Beastie Boys)

    3. jrkrideau

      Tulsi Gabbard – who disagreed with her party – is a “traitor”?

      I think she actually mentioned (IN PUBLIC!!) that Zelenski was not a good little liberal democrat.

  18. fresno dan
    Since the beginning of this year, it has been against District of Columbia law to use gas-powered leaf blowers within DC borders, or to sell them in stores here.
    Hooray! What I have never understood about leaf blowing: where do all the leaves go???
    I have a big pile of leaves, decomposing away, although considerably smaller than it was as I have been using the leaves to amend my soil, as my soil is extremely lacking in organic matter.

      1. Wukchumni

        We have 3 trash bins, brown, blue & green.

        Early on in the Pandemic, I saw the trash truck pick up all of them on one day, but that doesn’t happen anymore. It’s the trash & compost bins that both get picked up on the same day now, and all go to the same place.

        I’m not complaining, it gives me a place to get rid of the remnants of weed whacking too close to structures and other like matter, but cognizant of the big lie.

      2. ambrit

        You have a “mulch plant?” Please send us some seeds. We dearly need one here. I don’t see how the local Department of Agriculture could object to it’s importation.

        1. Carolinian

          It’s a midszed building. Gosh knows what goes on in there. Sometimes there are piles of mulch outside. I’m channeling my inner Sherlock Holmes.

    1. Bart Hansen

      In the District the leaves go in the gutter to await pickup. Can’t say how efficient that service is.

  19. Patricia Winter

    About the hepatitis: Could it be the children had had covid previously and the liver sickness is a rare omicron complication, like PIMS and MISC were of former variants?

    1. Medbh

      That’s my vote. It’s happening all over the world. What else do all those places have in common?

      I’ve seen no explanation for why they’re blaming some new, unidentified adenovirus for the issue rather than covid. We know covid damages other organs, why not the liver too?

      Some people are blaming the covid vaccine, but this article states that none of the affected kids had been vaccinated. I bet this is another long term effect of infection, just like we see with many other viruses.

      1. Silent Bob

        I’m extremely leery of discounting vaccine as cause. “They” also said the vaccine prevented infection and willfully obscured any data saying otherwise, as well as nay-saying any and all reports (thousands upon thousands) of vaccine injuries. Seems “they” cannot be trusted. In other news, heroic FDA investigating Lucky Charms as a hundred cases (and rising!!) of injury reported.

    2. K.k

      The article I came across but don’t have on hand mentioned the children had previous covid infections. The only other reference was to the pandemic restrictions and prolonged isolation causing children’s immune system to be not as robust or primed for all the pathogens out there. Im skeptical about this hypothesis. In my city kids were out of school for a while. But my neighboring state Indiana had schools and such open for much of the time. Kids were going to camps,sports activities, etc. The cluster being reported is in Alabama. Im curious to know if Alabama actually had prolonged shutdowns leading to the children’s immune system evolving in a manner leaving them more susceptible to different pathogens. I doubt it.
      Maybe it is just a novel adenovirus? Or many children’s immune system are compromised due to repeated covid infections? Or both?

  20. Wukchumni

    Audio of my Kevin (since ’07) urging Trump to resign surfaced and McCarthy has gone undercover, apparently sorting out different colors of Starburst candy and sending a preposterously huge care package of only reds & pinks to Mar-A-Lago.

    1. TimH

      Mr. McCarthy said he would tell Mr. Trump of the impeachment resolution: “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” he said, according to the recording of the call, which runs just over an hour. The Times has reviewed the full recording of the conversation.

      So either one of the two senators recorded it (neither, I’m sure), or one or t’other phone was bugged, or one or t’other phone company passed on the call recording.

      It is rather important which.

  21. fresno dan
    Obama points finger at tech companies for disinformation in major speech The Hill. Maybe somebody could just write up the Official Narrative and post it somewhere? So we could be sure whatever we were saying was safe?

    “These companies need to have some other North star other than just making money and increasing market share. Fix the problem that in part they helped create, but also to stand for something bigger,” he said.
    Right above this post is the letter from mostly (if not all) of the national intelligence types who served in Obama’s admin saying that we sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough tech firms are prepared to censor us and invade our privacy…all while making a tidy sum…very tidy.
    Maybe…now hear me out, just maybe Obama should have done something about this when he had some…Oh I don’t know, some influence, some sway, somethin’ to make actual laws, fire real people, etcetera. What is that word…adjustment, modification??? revision? maybe it starts with c

    1. anon in so cal

      Obama is apparently one of those leading the propaganda war against Russia. Obama Foundation fellows are “involved in the Ukraine information war.”

      “During his Stanford “disinformation” speech, Obama says he and
      @McFaul were interfering in Russian politics by organizing with opposition figures when “Putin receded from the foreground,” and boasts that his @ObamaFoundation
      fellows are now involved in the Ukraine information war.”

      Obama was apparently to the right of Romney.

      “How the Democratic Party prepared the war in Ukraine
      Part One: From the dissolution of the USSR to the “Maidan Revolution””

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”…maybe Obama should have done something about this when he had some…maybe it starts with c”

      Okay, I’ll take a shot. “Conscience”? But then again, I’m thinking it can’t be that because he has never had any.

        1. ambrit

          In English they would be ‘dangling participles.’ We all know that Obama has no ‘participles.’

    1. Thistlebreath

      Spot on. Today’s nature photo of a foal, apparently in a wild space, is a poignant metaphor.

      The relentless pogrom against America’s allegedly federally protected free roaming horses and burros–thanks Richard M. Nixon–is cruelly being prosecuted as a hideous extermination.

      We humans should take heed. We’re next.

      What’s going on is just like the Luftwafffe’s practice run in Spain in the 1930’s.

      The only outfit that’s courageously standing up to the killers is ‘Wild Horse Education’ out of Nevada. Predictably, it’s a woman who founded and runs it. She’s typically the only person on the ground to bear witness and then file lawsuits when the hapless creatures are driven by helicopters into traps.

      She is brave beyond all measure.

    2. flora

      Glenn Greenwald isn’t wrong about F, at the moment. If, however, the US signs the WHO Pandemic Treaty then the US laws and Constitution no longer apply to pandemic response, which will be dictated from a global non-democratic entity, the WHO. (Which changed the definition of pandemic about 10 years ago from its earlier long accepted meaning.) If you think the TPP was anti-democratic and bad, the WHO pandemic treaty is 100x worse. Anyway, to Glenn:

      This is either very ignorant or very deceitful from Fauci. Of course it’s CDC’s job, not a judge’s, to make public health policy.

      That wasn’t what the judge was doing. She was ruling on the legal limits and scope of CDC’s power.

      And that’s the job of a judge to do, not the CDC.

      This overreach ties in with Brand’s point about oligarchic control of One World-ism.

  22. Tom Stone

    A book ( And author) recommendation: “The Control of Nature” by John McPhee.
    Let’s hope it hasn’t been translated into Russian.
    McPhee is a delight to read.
    I have a bit of Garden and a place to cook.
    Life is a bit spartan,but good

    1. Thistlebreath

      When McPhee left the New Porker, so did I. IMHO, the best non fiction writer around. His book on the craft of writing is well worth a read. And left to his own devices, he only uses one “s” in ‘focused.’ Like the rest of the world.

  23. Gumnut

    Regarding 100m long covid cases & ‘mystery hepatitis in kids’:

    My family and myself will be forever grateful to this blog for creating enough skepticism to remain in the EUA-products control group.

    I am well aware of the sources/authors that are covid-taboo in the NC comments, so I won’t refer to them here. But I recall the 40% excess mortality post a few months ago here on NC. Plus the ‘do the opposite the CDC/FDA says to stay safe’ mentioned regularly (“are they really trying to kill us?” was a title just a few months ago).

    So that said, raising the question whether the Pfizer+Moderna products could be related or the even the cause of the apparent long covid numbers & hepatitis in kids is due. This is not to say long covid or that adenovirus are not real, but any medical condition curve that inflects in early-mid 2021 has the burden of proof that it is not those products.

    I’ll finish here with a Danish sitrep: (graph centre top, tab ‘nyindlagte 7 dage’ = hospitalisation last 7 days.

    – 595 hospitalised with covid the last 7 days
    – 46 unvaxxed, 549 vaxxed (8:92%)
    – Danish vaccination rate in population 17% unvaxxed:83% vaxxed.

    As has been the case for the entirety of the last 4 months with Omikron, a vaxxed Dane is thereby >2x more likely to be hopsitalised (all causes) than an unvaxxed Dane. Age-skew in vaccination (minor, given how trusty Danes are to let their kids join the experimental treatment group) can only explain so much.

    Any question around this in the media or politics? Course not. Maddening.

  24. jr

    Health Note: I took a third CV19 test today. All clear! Thanks for the kind thoughts from yesterday!

  25. Wukchumni

    Airlines want to bring back passengers banned over masks AP

    Taking my first flight in 7 years next month up to the Gulag Hockeypelago (R.I.P. Guy Lafleur-you terrorized my LA Kings on a regular basis in the 70’s with that booming slapshot of yours…) and i’m a little weirded out by the new no mask edict, but does it count on flights to & from Canada?

  26. Questa Nota

    The Palladium article would make a good assignment for Congress.
    Make each elected person there read through and write up a book report to be published immediately for constituents to see.
    No staff help.
    No cell phones.
    No bathroom breaks.
    Timed event.
    Once pencils down, many reputations down, too.

  27. juno mas

    RE: Historical Notes on Conflict in Ukraine

    I read ALL of this yesterday in a link provided by an NC commenter. It is both incredibly detailed and shallow at the same time. It discusses events that occurred centuries ago as well as current events (decades). After finishing, I realized that it ignores ALL the military adventurism of US/NATO since its inception. You would think Russia’s incursion into Ukraine hadn’t been preceded by their recent observations of US/NATO military action in Iraq (twice), Yugoslavia, Libya, and sanctions on Iran. And the billions in military aid/weapons/training that turned Ukraine into a powder-keg.

    It appears to me that the author misses the forest for the trees.

    1. hemeantwell

      Glad you posted on the article’s shortcomings. You’re very right about his failing to adequately consider event sequences in the immediate runup to the 2014 coup and afterwards.

      In general, that reflects an inability to come to grips with the main question in all of this: what has Russia been facing from NATO and what have been its options? The author opens with another version of the obligatory “Russia has engaged in an illegal, heinous act,” which implies that we’re living under a system of laws that regulate crucial aspects of relations between states. It is only at the very end that he gets to the idea that NATO has in some way been adopting a threatening posture towards Russia. If Russia was in fact genuine in its wish to implement a broad, European-wide security arrangement (the author does a fine job of going into that during the Gorby years) then it seems we are obliged to look at why NATO blew them off, particularly with regard to NATO’s intentions towards Russia. That the author elides because, I think, if he were to take the question seriously the opening pieties might end up being directed at another target. That is because if the Russians were sincere, and I think there is evidence suggesting they were, then it means they were interested in setting up a framework that would give substance to the legalistic pieties, while NATO was not. If there’s an elephant in the Atlanticist room these days, that’s it.

  28. jr

    A request:

    I’ve been trying to dig into the sex/gender conflict and I was wondering if anyone could recommend some literature. Something non-partisan if possible. I did find this blog post which seems valid:

    It seems there is more diversity in sex than I had thought. It also seems non XX and XY expressions are quite rare; the author notes there are tens of millions of them but that’s out of billions of humans. What discussions I’ve found on the internet are pretty polarized.

    All this being said, I still believe the “trans-woman” phenomenon is by and large a colonization of the sphere of women by men. Pro trans sites seem to apply the science, if this is accurate science, with abandon. Being identitarians, they lack any rigorous philosophical foundation so their thinking is profoundly flawed from the jump.

    Anyway, any recommendations would be appreciated. For fun, here is Tucker Carlson discussing the “trans-woman” prisoner who impregnated two women while assigned to an all female prison:

    His guest makes the point that women cannot impregnate women. The fact this has to be spelled out speaks volumes about the thinking behind all this. And for the record, Lia Thomas is a cheating pile of $hit.

    1. flora

      I’m too old and too cynical to think that the recent rise in this topic, particularly when it comes to elementary and middle school education, is completely unrelated to very expensive medical treatments and lifetime drugs/hormones treatments now on the market for transitioning for even children. ( Sort of like I don’t think the Oscars slap and screaming about hair was unrelated to pfizers new drug for hair loss.) I mean, why would Taylor Lorenz go after a twitter-er called Libs of Tic-Tok in order to silence that voice unless there’s a lot of money or potential money involved somewhere? I’m not saying pharma would act unethically to hook people into a lifetime of drug taking – hooking people as young as possible for as long as possible. I would never say that. I’m not saying pharma would backdoor financially sponsor “influencers” and organizations that are good for drug sales. I would never say that. / ;)

        1. jr

          There is a lot of talk about following the money behind this crap. Pharma, the CIA, and who else? I will continue to investigate.

      1. jr

        That argument is out there in the mix and I would not be at all surprised if that were the case. I also think identity politics writ large is a diversionary tactic on the part of authorities. Target the norms of the masses with outrageous words and actions then clamp down when they react. Weaponized PMC passive aggressiveness.

        Take for example the two videos I watched yesterday. One was an elementary school in Quebec that removed the doors from the girl’s restrooms. The other was an elementary school in Chicago that allows boys to use the girls restrooms. These are actions intended to trigger concerned parents, who are then preached to and sidelined. CNN solemnly warns us of “violence” against school boards. The girls wishes, just as the collegiate women swimmers in the news lately, are routinely ignored. They are told they are bigoted and to seek counseling. They apparently don’t merit “safe spaces”. This is about social control.

        I’ve also noted that there is almost zero discussion of the needs of trans-men. They don’t provoke the same reactions and are therefore useless to the authorities. Also, they aren’t joining men’s football teams. Nor is there an established history of girls sexually harassing or assaulting boys on the regular.

        Also ignored are the real issues facing the handful of actual trans persons out there. This lunacy is already provoking political reactions and there are more to come. Those who sexuality truly blurs the lines will be swept away and their attempts to be heard will be disappeared.

        I suspect all of this has deeper roots. I have been following Caleb Mauphin and his discussions of the “Synthetic Left”:

        and it fits like a glove. A hatred of the working class, a focus on nebulous cultural issues over class, and the appropriation of left political language. A CIA operation from the jump. I’d really like someone to dig into arch-moron Judith Butler’s background, she reeks of this.

        1. Paleobotanist

          I have also wondered if a large part of this is to break the women’s movement. The women’s movement finally seemed to be looking at class and poor women’s needs: the minimum wage, how badly treated poorer women workers are treated, violence against women, etc., which was long overdue. If the women’s movement would start embracing fighting for unionization and raising minimum wages and improving workplace safety, then that will really start costing our masters money (and incidentally benefit all workers, not just women). If the women’s movement just concerns itself with the rights of upper class women (as it often has), it’s not much of a threat to our masters. Poor women’s rights is another matter and is an expensive threat.

          The trans rights movement has always seemed suspiciously well funded, speaking as someone who has done a fair amount of social justice advocacy in the trenches over my life. I have never quite seen the amount of money and time that the trans movement has. Hasn’t one of the Chicago oligarchs been heavily funding the trans movement? What do you think of my idea, Jr?

          1. jr

            Thanks for your insights, PB. They ring true to me. This stuff is decidedly anti-woman and it punches waaay above it’s weight class. There is a lot of talk of billionaire backers hiding in the shadows.

            Whether it’s invading women’s spaces, draining monies from women’s resources, or stealing the very definition of what it means to be a woman, it’s clearly an attack. In some instances, it’s literal violence in protests and prisons. It’s not just men in dresses either. I read of an account where a concerned parent was told by a woman at the ACLU they they would never support cis-women over “women”. That’s the literal language. “Women” over women. There is a real animus there.

            Another angle is the reenforcement of degrading stereotypes of women. There was a great discussion of this on YouTube that I cannot find. It examined a slew of “trans-women” who expressed a view of womanhood that stressed, and explicitly enjoyed, being sexually exploited by men. The “sissy-slut” trope. Cause that’s what being a woman means, making oneself sexually available to men. Sound familiar?

            1. Medbh

              There are male and female bodies, and human feelings, interests, hobbies, characteristics, etc. “Gender” is stereotypes, and harms both men and women.

            2. fringe element

              Everything you and PB are saying here has been on my mind for a while too. Let me be the one to remind everyone that we seem to be losing Roe any day now. Yeah, absolutely a renewed attack on women.

  29. Jason Boxman

    From BuzzFeed:

    One thing that isn’t going to happen, Fauci said, is the development of broad “herd immunity” in the US, once a long-sought-after goal in the beginning of the pandemic. The virus is too mutable — and natural immunity to the virus wanes too quickly — for herd immunity to offer the long-term protection that vaccines have against more stable viruses like polio and measles, he and his NIH colleagues wrote in a recent Journal of Infectious Diseases paper. There’s also the still-surprising fact that a significant portion of the population, just over 1 in 5 people, has not gotten a free vaccination against a deadly disease.

    The common cold–causing coronaviruses should have offered some clues that herd immunity was likely impossible, he added. These bugs regularly reinfect people within a year or two.

    (bold mine)

    So Fauci is either a liar or incompetent, or both. Because this was known or certainly should have been known to someone with Fauci’s background. As IM Doc has said on several occasions, to paraphrase, this is in the 101 textbook for viruses.

    Fauci needs to resign, too, immediately, before he manages to likely maim or kill anyone else in this country. Enough damage has been caused by this false narrative of “immunity”.

  30. LawnDart

    Well this is fun:

    Claims of an unfriendly State

    In response to the latest Japanese territorial claims related to statements that the Southern Kuril Islands are “illegally occupied” by Russia, the Kremlin said that all 4 islands claimed by Japan are an integral part of the Russian Federation.
    Japan was also called an unfriendly state.
    In the light of current realities, it is time to denounce the 1956 declaration of the year, which provided for the possibility of transferring two islands to Japan at the conclusion of a peace treaty.

    The bear pokes back?

    [via Yandex, translate app]

    1. Bob Kavanagh

      Everybody is picking on the Russians. The Japanese somehow think Southern Kuril Islands are theirs. That is pretty silly when Moscow is only around 7000 km or 7 time zones away while Tokyo is a full 1560 km away.

      1. LawnDart

        Yeah, it’s kinda like they think they’re Americans and think that Kabul or Bagdad are threats to their homeland… …imagine that.

      2. The Rev Kev

        The Kuril Islands are also the gateway for the Russian Pacific Fleet, including its subs. The Russians know that if they gave back the southern islands to the Japanese, two days later it would be announced that the Japanese had leased all the Southern Kuril Islands to the US Pacific Fleet who would then proceed to build a massive base and monitoring station on them – while kicking off any Japanese citizens.

        1. Acacia

          Yes, this is an important point. It’s safe to say the Japanese government would handle the local citizens with just as much contempt as they have the Okinawans in the south of the archipelago, who have been pushed off their land to make way for U.S. military installations.

          During the Cold War, the US had no compunction about placing nuclear missiles in Okinawa, some pointed at Russia, so why not the Kurils?

    2. Acacia

      The history of the islands is contested, but under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, Japan agreed to give up “all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands”. It sounds like Japan is trying to go back to the terms of the 1855 Treaty of Shimoda.

      Meanwhile, the value of the yen is cratering against the dollar, the BoJ has approached the Fed about a “coordinated currency intervention”, though some analysts are saying that’s not gonna happen.

      If the economic situation gets tight, with LNG and commodity prices going up, the ruling LDP will almost certainly take a page from the winning Biden playbook (the Russians have a playbook, we’re told, so “Biden” must have one too, amiright?), and blame Putin. The question is: how will Japanese voters respond? Will they follow, or will they blame the LDP?

      I asked a Japanese friend about this, who replied: “As usual, citizens will blame only Russia. For the majority, Japanese politics are a ‘natural disaster’, and politicians are not responsible for anything.”

    3. RobertC

      Japan was also called an unfriendly state.

      Unfriendly state? You pay for your LNG and crude oil in roubles. Europe can explain how.

  31. Ignacio

    RE: We Might Be Looking At COVID “Seasons” For Years To Come Buzzfeed. Ka-ching.
    This, being not scientific, has indeed a reasonably good analysis and discussion on what to expect in the US in next months which is kind of unpredictable though one can try best guesses. I recommend to complement if one is very much interested this short recent review on the seasonality of respiratory viruses and what (little) is known about the different factors that drive such seasonality.
    Every season comes with different factors (weather, behaviour, state of immunity) that interact with characteristics of each virus in different ways. All every season these factors change, some of them dramatically during the pandemic. We have seen some patterns: in temperate climates winter waves tend to be the worst in cases and hospitalizations followed by relatively calm springs. But then we see things like double dips with omicron in some countries while others had a larger winter wave in which BA1 and BA 2 compound, a BA2 wavelet, a mini wavelet or a mini short spike that cannot be considered wave substituting BA1. This indicating that all those conditions mentioned vary between countries and between regions within countries. I now would expect a mini-spike in the US.

    One of the new factors playing in behavioural: the removal of mask mandates. Not being followed equally everywhere and by everybody it introduces unknowns but my guess is that it can cause more or less local nasty surprises here and there during next spring.

  32. whatitis

    would someone be so good at to let the writers at Propublica know that the vaccine does NOT PREVENT workers from getting or transmitting Covid19?

  33. RobertC

    Supply Chain

    Local food security trumps global as Indonesia bans palm oil exports as global food inflation spikes

    JAKARTA, April 22 (Reuters) – Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, announced plans to ban exports of the most widely used vegetable oil on Friday, in a shock move that could further inflame surging global food inflation.

    …Indonesia counts for more than half of global palm oil supply.

    …The announcement will hurt consumers in top buyer India and globally, said, Atul Chaturvedi, president of trade body the Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA).

    “This move is rather unfortunate and totally unexpected,” he said.

    1. LawnDart

      So eating local is no longer going to be a feel-good, crunchy, hipster thing?

      Locally, we have a lot of deer and rabbit– for now. And then when things get mean, really mean, I suppose there’s… …alternatives.

      But without going to extremes and believing that zombie flicks are meant as allegories of our future, with the undead being the unfed, between climate change and unnecessary political turmoil a lot of tables are at risk of going bare.

      As more and more countries close their doors to food-exports, so it would seem that we’re entering an “interesting” transitional period, or reverting to the mean.

      It looks like we’ll need to dust off Sally Struthers and put her back to work.

  34. LawnDart

    This story is pretty amazing, and it highlights some significant differences between East and West:

    Serve the People: The Eradication of Extreme Poverty in China

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said, ‘Every time I visit China, I am stunned by the speed of change and progress. You have created one of the most dynamic economies in the world, while helping more than 800 million people to lift themselves out of poverty – the greatest anti-poverty achievement in history’.

    During my travels in USA, I’ve come across many without hope of a better life, and across those who are just trying to hang onto what they can, not losing what they have, and not slipping into deep poverty– there’s nothing noble to be found in poverty, despite what might be said by poverty tourists: it’s a mean existence ever-haunted by fear. It doesn’t “build character” so much as it crushes and cripples people.

    In USA much is made about “freedom” and “justice,” but these are luxuries out of reach to the many of those who cannot afford them, as well as bought-and-sold so-called democrasy and ($)elected representation. I get how there are worse places in the world to be, but that doesn’t make this place good.

    If we can learn gunpowder from the Chinese and maths from Persians, perhaps we can learn communism too, and why not? Is what we have really working for us? The USA is a death-cult, but stories like this give me hope that another life is possible.

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