Links 4/28/2022

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.

* * *

Archegos founder Bill Hwang arrested on US fraud charges FT. On the Archegos family office, see NC here.

Archegos’s Word Was Good Enough for Wall Street’s Top Banks WSJ

Reputed federal informant, whistleblower found dead in L.A. after he’s reported missing NBC. “[H]e was reported to have turned over a trove of secret files about Deutsche Bank.”

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway needs to be broken up Francine McKenna, FT


About 6M Californians ordered to cut water use amid drought AP

The Rio Grande is dying and only a new compact will save her Denver Post (dk)

About that death in front of the Supreme Court Will Bunch, Inquirer


As COVID cases ‘swell’ in the Bay Area, this time it’s on you to weigh the risks San Francisco Chronicle. Let ‘er rip!

COVID Cases Rise in Coachella Valley After Music Festival Teen Vogue

COVID-19 outbreak hits another Bay Area cruise ship voyage Mercury News.

“It was quite clear that there were a large percentage of passengers that were sick, but unless you self-reported, you were free to keep going and infect other passengers,” said Ted Vomacka of Antioch, who said he was among the passengers who tested positive on the ship and was forced to quarantine in separate quarters from from his wife, Larisa, who eventually tested positive after they returned home.

Vomacka and other passengers said they weren’t told about the outbreak as it was spreading on board, and there were no screening tests for the virus to identify other potentially infected passengers without symptoms.

“It was obvious from observing all the coughing and hacking that some form of infection was going around,” he said.

Live your life!

* * *

Fact Check: Are Child Hepatitis Cases Linked to COVID-19 Vaccines? Newsweek. Case report; case report.

* * *

Population-level implications of the Israeli booster campaign to curtail COVID-19 resurgence Science. From the Abstract: “We used the calibrated model to explore counterfactual scenarios in which the booster vaccination campaign is altered by changing the eligibility criteria or the start time of the campaign and to assess the direct and indirect effects in the different scenarios. The results point to the vast benefits of vaccinating younger age groups that are not at a high risk of developing severe disease but play an important role in transmission. We further show that when the epidemic is exponentially growing the success of the booster campaign is highly sensitive to the timing of its initiation. Hence a rapid response is an important factor in reducing disease burden using booster vaccination.”

European studies shed light on long COVID risk and recovery Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Understanding Vaccine Safety and the Roles of the FDA and the CDC NEJM


China policymakers clash over how to counter property slump FT. Commentary:

Coronavirus: China urged to be ‘more precise and scientific’ with controls as economic toll mounts South China Morning Post. Yes, obviously one should err on the side of workers dying.

Western-Led Globalization Might End, but the New Globalization Might Have an Eastern Face E. Ahmet Tonak and Vijay Prashad, Prezzenza


Myanmar court sentences Suu Kyi to 5 years for corruption AP. NGOs will care. The situation on the ground has moved far past Suu Kyi.

Indonesia’s palm oil export ban beginning Apr 28 to include crude and refined products: Minister Channel News Asia and Indonesia navy seizes 2 tankers carrying palm oil Reuters

How a powerful dynasty bankrupted Sri Lanka in 30 months Al Jazeera


Erdogan Plans Meeting With Saudi Crown Prince to Revive Ties Bloomberg


UK-EU trade relationships tumble after Brexit FT

Denmark SUSPENDS its Covid vaccination programme with health chiefs saying virus has been brought under control Daily Mail

Europe’s Inner Demons Aurelien’s Newsletter

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

A Recap Of The War In Ukraine – by Gonzalo Lira (via Moon of Alabama). Consolidated Twitter thread.

What if Russia Wins Its War Against Ukraine Doug Bandow,

“Everything You Know About Ukraine Is WRONG” (video) Boy Boy, YouTube. Skippy remarks: “My well read and media savvy 26 year old popped it on for me…”

* * *

EU nations accuse Russia of using natural gas as ‘blackmail’ AP but and so EU energy groups prepare to meet Vladimir Putin’s terms for Russian gas FT. The deck: “Germany’s Uniper and Austria’s OMV plan to use rouble accounts for payments while Eni of Italy weighs options.”

Germany would go into recession with Russian energy embargo – minister Reuters

* * *

The horrible dangers of pushing a US proxy war in Ukraine Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

U.S. intel helped Ukraine protect air defenses, shoot down Russian plane carrying hundreds of troops NBC

Britain says Russia’s Black Sea fleet retains ability to strike Ukraine Reuters

* * *

The Little-Known International Charter At The Center of Ukraine War and China’s Future Defense Black Agenda Report

Peru police evict indigenous protesters from China-owned MMG mine Reuters

Biden Administration

Will Biden’s New COVID Czar Protect The World Or Big Pharma? The Lever

Biden administration unveils ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ RT (Rev Kev). Hilarity ensues.

Supply Chain

Global Supply Chain Crisis Flares Up Again Where It All Began Bloomberg

China-exposed commodities take a COVID-control tumble Hellenic Shipping News

The Bezzle

Crypto Mortgages Let Homebuyers Keep Bitcoin, Put Down Nothing Bloomberg (ER). What could go wrong?

Working for both opioid maker and FDA wasn’t conflict, McKinsey tells committee Reuters

Musk Buys Twitter

Elon Musk, China, and the Biden Collapse Matt Stoller, BIG

How Twitter Gamifies Communication (forthcoming) Applied Epistemology. “Twitter’s gamification bears some resemblance with the phenomena of echo chambers and moral outrage porn. In all these phenomena, we are instrumentalizing our ends for hedonistic reasons. We have shifted our aims in an activity, not because the new aims are more valuable, but in exchange for extra pleasure.”

On Twitter, Briefly The Convivial Society

Health Care

The doctor who is trying to bring back surprise billing STAT

Are Academic Collaborators Just Useful Pawns to Industry? MedPage Today


Boeing delays 777X another year and writes off $1.2B as future costs pile up Seattle Times

Boeing says it lost $660M in Air Force One deal with Trump The Hill. “[P]roduction of the soon-to-be presidential aircraft has been mired in several scandals, including two empty mini tequila bottles that were found on one of the planes set to be used by the White House. A probe separately found that two workers had either failed a drug test or were not credentialed properly to work on the planes.”

Class Warfare

Is rent a useful concept? Capital as Power

Antidote du Jour (via)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

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. Henry Moon Pie

    Covid on the rise–

    I know that statistics is among the many areas of knowledge well-covered by our hosts and the commentariat and am hoping for some analysis of what I observed on television this morning. First, our White House Press Secretary/MSNBC commentator Jen Psaki affirmed that President Biden has made his “personal decision” about whether to attend the Correspondents’ Dinner and whether he will wear a mask. So despite this rise in cases, we’re still apparently YOYO when it comes to potential super spreader events and masking.

    So, stats experts, can you give me the odds on this: in the seemingly endless coverage of the funeral of that great humanitarian, Madeline Albright, it appeared to me that every single person seated in the nave of the National Cathedral, amounting to hundreds of people, was wearing a mask. Some seemed to be well-prepared with appropriately black, funeral-friendly masks while a minority were wearing the blue-out, multi-layered versions, perhaps like those “house jackets” available at restaurants requiring coat and tie. While I am painfully aware of how group think dominates our elites, it still seemed rather remarkable to me that everyone made the same “personal decision” and was wearing some kind of mask in that gathering. Surely there was no requirement to be masked to attend. After all, the pandemic is behind us and FREEDOM!

    Maybe everyone who caught Covid at the Gridiron Dinner didn’t have such an easy time with the disease even with multiple boosters and Paxlovid.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I wonder though if many people were wearing masks at Albrights funeral so nobody could see them laugh.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Apparently many people there regarded Albright as some kind of saint. Mika Brzezinski spoke at the funeral and recounted how dear Madeline had not only found Albright’s boss at the time, Mika’s daddy Zbig, a nice horse farm in McLean but also even a horse to go with it.

        War mongering pays very well in our country.

      1. Louis Fyne

        That is the funny thing about Christianity….literally commit genocide and one can still feasibly go to heaven.

        Dunno how it works in Judaism

        1. John Zelnicker

          Louis – There is no heaven or hell in Judaism.

          We die, we’re buried, we live on in the memories of those who loved us.

          1. Geoffrey Dewan

            They also live on in the memories of those who don’t.

            Not ready to forgive or forget….

            1. ambrit

              The “real” Jesus, if there was one, was described as a radical reformer Jew. He was non doctrinal on some issues. What we ‘know’ about his actual teachings come from Greek language reports of the early oral tradition. That time was a period of intense religious ferment.
              Some First Century christain churches were organized as Theocratic communes.
              And then there are the books thrown out of the Bible by the early Church Fathers. There was a Gnostic Tradition concerning Jesus which has been almost erased from history.
              What finally emerged as “Orthodox” Christianity is really a syncretic faith.
              The real “Holy Grail” for Biblical scholars would be the “Q” Document, a compendium of the teachings of the Rabbi Jesus, possibly compiled during his life. Two of the Four gospels are considered to have drawn heavily from this “Q” Document.
              As the Firesign Theatre says: Everything You Know is Wrong.

              1. John Zelnicker

                Thank you for that information, ambrit.

                Hope you and Phyl are staying healthy and safe (as possible).

              2. Skippy

                It should be noted that Judaism is just post Sumerian collapse mythology. After that the people that moved west set up as, already stated, small collectives. This fracturing of the past state and its mythology gave way to an evolution of this mythology on a local level evidenced by such things as decorations of clay sacrifice alters.

                The big shift was a population explosion about 10k after that and the advent of the first city nation states in that region, very similar to the dynamic that occurred in Egypt’s foundation.

                Regardless of what some theologians bang on about the big issue is economic trade agreements for the wealth of a few.

      2. mistah charley, ph.d.

        @Carla – What their website says is

        As of March 14, 2022, face masks are no longer required when visiting the Cathedral or attending worship. Individuals are, of course, still welcome to wear a mask if they choose.

        Whatever decision you make about face masks, please respect the decisions that other people make. Whether a person chooses to wear a mask, or not, is entirely up to them. Whatever decision each person makes, and whenever they choose to make it, is entirely their own and should be respected.

    2. Louis Fyne

      N95 respirators are around $1 at the local MegaLo Hardware store.

      KF94 (Korea) KN95 (China) masks are <$1 at the local Asian grocery store.

      those blue masks are "something is better than nothing" but do not offer serious protection.

      Year 3 and among mask wearers, I'd guess no more than 10% are N95 KN95 KF 94 masks.

      compare contrast with slice of life video from JP KR TW PRC

      1. Basil Pesto

        it’s weird though, there’s a genuinely startling amount of mere surgical mask wearing in China, including Shanghai. KN95 supply (though those respirators are highly variable in quality) shouldn’t be an issue

    3. The Rev Kev

      I understand that Madeline Albright’s coffin is the only one ever to go through the National Cathedral that was bolted shut.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      The increase in the monthly payment should squash this irrational exuberance in the housing market. The money quote:

      “The mortgage on a home purchased a year ago at the median price (per National Association of Realtors) of $326,300, and financed with 20% down over 30 years, at the average rate at the time of 3.17%, came with a payment of 1,320 per month.

      The mortgage on a home purchased today at the median price of $375,300, and financed with 20% down, at 5.37% comes with a payment of $1,990.”

      $670 a month more. Good luck housing market!

      1. Glossolalia

        We’ll see I guess. I imagine they’ll just start loosening credit standards and reducing down payments before long to keep the gravy train going.

      2. Oh

        I feel sooo sorry (NOT) for the mortgage companies, the real estate agents and their food chain that helped them have the feeding frenzy in the past several years; Oh, and the private equity boys who bought homes to rent out. The effers minted money while most retired folks and people of lesser means were biting and scratching to make a living.

    2. johnherbiehancock

      For us the mortgage rates haven’t been the factor keeping us out (although they make what we can afford lower by a bit)… the skyrocketing prices and bidding wars over the last couple months have been the problem.

      Around here (suburban Houston) prices started to REALLY spike 4-5 months ago. And now, anything decent in the “affordable for most people” range ends up going for $50K (or more) over the asking price, often to cash offers.

      Like… 1) WHAT is happening? are these prices sustainable, or are they going to crash?

      I don’t know if we just wait this out, or we’re risking being permanently priced out of homeownership in the area

      2) How the heck are there so many people with cash to burn buying these homes? In a couple cases we’ve seen them re-listed for rent after they slap a coat of paint on the walls.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        How the heck are there so many people with cash to burn buying these homes? In a couple cases we’ve seen them re-listed for rent after they slap a coat of paint on the walls.

        Financialisation of everything. Houses are now investments and the investors are flush with cash after the past bull market.

        Also, there are companies that will loan people the cash and then the buyers pay it back like a mortgage.

        1. TimH

          For the SF Bay Area, if you are an s/w engineer who’s been at G, FB, or Big Fruit for 5…10 years and have vested RSUs (with much more to vest), it is a sensible diversification to cash out enough to buy a house to live in, even at inflated prices, because the alternative is spiralling rent and excessive risk money in the stock market.

        2. johnherbiehancock

          I figured that, in many cases it’s investor money (either banks or smaller local LLCs some wannabe mogul is creating). From looking at the rentals available in the same neighborhoods we’re looking to buy, it seems like a mix of individuals who owned the home, paid off the mortgage, and are now renting it out OR LLCs that have bought up a few dozen homes and are renting them out. Maybe some of the latter are fronting for big banks. Not sure.

          It’s going to be interesting when the city jacks RE taxes based on the skyrocketing valuations… supposedly according to local lore, the last time this happened (early 2010’s) it drove a lot of owner-renters to sell to owner-occupiers.

          Regardless, it’s miserable for me personally, dealing with the domestic pressure to buy a house, and having NO IDEA whether to keep fishing or cut bait.

          1. Laughingsong

            During the last go-around before the GFC we waited – like 9 years – while everyone pressured us to “just get on the property ladder”, and “it’s a new era, it’ll keep going up.” The pressure was everywhere and probably is still at this point. But we waited anyway because we read Dean Baker, Calculated Risk, then Naked Capitalism, and what these writers were saying made more sense. In the end we were able to buy our little 855 sq ft home in Oregon in 2011 for $154000. Supposedly it’s worth $380000 now. We don’t care. We bought for shelter not investment.

        3. tegnost

          I think the reits et. al. are flush with cash from zero interest rates and have huge piles in reserve. As interest rates rise regular people (not the software people troubled by too much money, bless their hearts and all, as that describes a fair number of my friends) the cash buyers will start holding back on bids knowing that a rise in interest rates for working stiffs who need mortgages effectively decreases the nominal price a buyer can pay, your million dollar loan buys less house. I’m feeling a sell in may and go away vibe from the MoU, Pick up the pieces in the fall…

      2. Robin Kash

        ” In a couple cases we’ve seen them re-listed for rent after they slap a coat of paint on the walls.”
        Blackrock, et al?

      3. Beech Hill Garden

        I can provide my perspective. I have owned a small number of rentals for several years in the midwest ( this allows me to be self-employed.) In short, increased rents and low interest rates have made single family properties more attractive as an investment.

        Around 2007, when my spouse was on sabbatical. We rented out our primary residence. At that time, the rent did not cover our expenses ( mortgage and property tax ). In contrast, when interest rates were very low last fall, projected rents for a single family were higher than projected expenses.

        Who are the cash investors? Not me. In my market the cash investors are often local landlords who have been in the business for several decades. They make cash offers to win the competition for the building.

      4. Laputan

        Had a similar situation occur in Austin. My and my longtime partner’s combined income was over 2X the household median income for the area, I had (what I thought) was a down payment in the 10% range, and enough to cover closing costs. We were outbid every time. I hit my breaking point after we looked at a place that was in serious disrepair in a not-so-good part of town. I was willing to pay 100k more than I thought it was worth and It went for over 100K what we offered. All due to the noveau riche chasing the next San Francisco and institutional investors looking to gouge the late-comers. They can have it. We opted to relocate to San Antonio and I couldn’t be happier with the decision.

        1. John Beech

          Lot of family experience with rental income. Lots. What goes up, comes down. Rents are too high, at some point folks can’t pay and the when the real sits unoccupied a while, the agent will make market adjustment to fill it. Unlike NYC where there’s rent control and other shenanigans, few local markets contend with that so the landlord who wants $1400/mo (just picking a number out of the air) and can’t get it, they will soon enough be plenty happy to get the unit filled for $1200 (versus letting it sit for 6 months unoccupied – do the math). Doesn’t take long for an unoccupied unit to eat you a new one. So the money men from NYC are the new landlords, eh? OK, let’s see how long it takes the bloom to fall from the rose when the economy turns. I predict that’s when we’ll see housing plunge in a new way, one totally different from 2007/2009.

  2. Wukchumni

    COVID-19 outbreak hits another Bay Area cruise ship voyage Mercury News.
    I check out cruise deals as my Baedeker to how bad Covid is, and whereas they used to just about give them away @ say $250 for a week cruise back in the day-say 6 months ago, now they want around $500, but look at at all the freebies included- free open bar, free specialty dining, free wi-fi (usually quite a gouge) and 3rd & 4th guests can cruise for $99 each. On the latter offer, how many places in the country could you have accommodations & meals for $15 a day?

    These death ship merchants know their business model doesn’t work in the midst of a pandemic, but no pesky virus is going to get in their way!

    1. The Rev Kev

      But this wasn’t just any cruise liner but was the infamous “Ruby Princess.” She achieved infamy here in Oz when authorities screwed up and let passengers off this ship, even though there were people reported sick on this ship to the point that some had to come off on stretchers. It also caused an outbreak in New Zealand before arriving here. That one ship spread infection across most of the continent and 900 came down sick with about thirty dead before they managed to eliminate that outbreak. In comments at the time I think that I referred to this ship as the “Pandemic Princess”-

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      The rest of my family leave for a cruise in a few days. I’ve been the black sheep of the family with regard to Covid precautions, so I didn’t even try to talk them out of it beyond a token attempt. Nothing I can say would have mattered. They were supposed to go in 2020 and I remember telling them then that one was going to be canceled and they didn’t believe me, until it was, though they’d probably still have gone if they had the chance.

      All I can do is hope for the best. But I’m not going to be in any hurry to see them when they return.

      1. The Rev Kev

        They may need you to do food and medical deliveries to them when they get back and if they have to go onto isolation so there is that. Any ‘I Told You So’ messages would be up to you.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Heh, I’ve already had a massive “I told you so” moment with my mother over another health issue, so I know exactly how that would go down. I’m more concerned about her respiratory issues. I don’t think she’d survive Covid, frankly. But there’s nothing I can say about that.

      2. Avalon Sparks

        Gees, I understand about the cruise. For the last several weeks I have been dealing with major tension with my family. My brother and his wife and kids live with my 85 year old immunocompromised mother in her house. He decided to take his family, wife, 3 kids (one doesn’t live there) on a 7 day cruise in July. He called to ask me to come stay with my Mom while they are gone. I told him I would if when they came back they isolated for 2-3 days in a nearby hotel to mitigate the risk of brining covid back home. He was very mad and called me ridiculous and refused. I even offered to pay for two hotel rooms. He told me they aren’t going to live in fear and all that entails. They found someone else to stay with my Mom, and now they are all super upset with me and my overreaction. I’m upset to also find they are frequently going to movies and out to eat and no longer mask. I’m actually extremely pissed they are not taking any precautions with regard to my Mom. My Mom is a Fox News watcher and thinks covid is completely over. I really hate this. Is there any advise from you smart people?? I can’t believe how anxious I feel about all this everyday – it’s so depressing.

        1. anon y'mouse

          i can’t give any advice because the family members that are directly taking care of the elderly person seem to coincide with the elderly person’s own views.

          all i can do is say i’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty. if you continue to push your views, you’ll be ostracized. some of us weren’t even invited to the private family memorials that happened because we didn’t want to countenance the poor caretaking that was going on by the only people Grandma trusted to do the job.

          i’m sorry you’re going through that. it’s what other friends have also told me about their experiences coming in and noticing things around caretaking of their elderly parents when they lived further afield. essentially you become an untrusted outsider in your own family and can’t press any issues as it just causes more divide.


      1. PlutoniumKun

        One of my all time favourite routines, at his best, he’s genius.

        Mind you, I’m planning a cycling break to France in June, going by an overnight ferry, and I’ve been trying in vain to find out what sort of ventilation system the ships use. I’ve been wondering if its safer to rent a cabin or sleep out in the (cheaper) reclining chairs out in the open shared areas. The ferry out is a nice modern one, the return is on the elderly side.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Definitely go for the outside of it is an overnight ferry. You won’t get sunburned as it is nighttime, it will still not be so cold because it is June and as it is a chair, you should get a reasonable sleep. You don’t want to fall sick in a foreign country in your first few days there because of dodgy ventilation.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            This isn’t an Australian ferry! You’d get blown off the deck on an Atlantic/Irish sea ferry, even in summer. The seating area would be in a lounge, probably pretty well ventilated. The question for me is whether its safer to snooze in a seat in a large lounge with a mask, or alone in a cabin. My guess is the former.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Actually I was thinking of a Greek ferry that I was on once. I take it then that you are talking about those bigger ferries that go from Ireland straight to the Continent which are actually ocean going ships. Hmm. Maybe you can go on social media somewhere to ask about the ventilation systems for those ferries.

              1. Old Jake

                HEPA filtration is pretty standard on CPAPs these days. I don’t know if they are prescription items there, around here (US) you have to go through qualification and titration to get the supply house to sell you one. But the used market is open.

        2. Basil Pesto

          Been wondering the same thing about the ferry to Tasmania, which in winter is an overnight sailing. Sounds like a similar kind of ferry with cabins and then a lounge with recliners but I can’t figure out the lounge ventilation situation. I guess I could just nap overnight with a respirator on. Deck’s open in the summer though I think.

        3. Skippy

          Since when are comedians that talk like Austrian economists geniuses. Did you even get Geo’s inference about killing people – as the final solution – too an economic drama is to just forgo any ethical or factual based options other than sink ships with huge numbers on mindless consumers on them, and then build more to facilitate that agenda.

          Better yet he then cracks a fat about not having the water to run his Prime L.A. house steam shower due to water constrictions.

          Then wax about personal air quality in transit for a holiday bike ride.

          You know maybe a better option would be to off people like him that direct mental traffic as a comedian, so they can hive off the risk of others diminishing their personal financial success, and enjoy that earned steam shower in the prime L.A. RE that buffs their person let alone the perks the address affords.

    3. Mikel

      Thank the weasle CDC. From their site.

      “Current vaccines protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated can occur.”

      Note the first sentence does not say.”protect from infection.” It was the only criteria that had to be met for emegency FDA approval. Preventing transmissiin was not a standard the drug companies had to meet for emergency approval.

      The second sentence ‘ “However, breakthrough infections in people who are vaccinated can occur”.
      They aren’t breakthrough infections because prevention of transmission was not a standard that had to be met for emergency FDA approval.

      Again, I see “breakthrough infection” and I think about the “breakthrough pain” campaign by Purdue pharma that turned a major issue with their opiod drug into a way to sell more of it.

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Boeing delays 777X another year and writes off $1.2B as future costs pile up Seattle Times

    Boeing really is in deep trouble. Even Ukraine related military contracts are probably off-set by losses in sales to Russia.

    The 777X is in very big trouble. It was delayed originally because Boeing thought it would be cheaper to focus on the 737MAX for longer haul medium capacity flights. But now the A330 and A350 are eating Boeings lunch in what seems to be a shrinking market and its hard to see why anyone would buy it when there is the proven A350 available.

    There also has to be a suspicion that Boeing is covering up short term problems by signing contracts on very unfavourable terms (Trump, typically, was the first to do this). The T7 trainer looks like it might be a loss maker for them as they bid so low to get the USAF contract, and its hardly a secret that they are selling 737’s on big discounts. No doubt the big Gulf airlines are driving a very hard bargain for any aircraft they need.

    1. jonboinAR

      And speaking of: Boeing says it lost $660M in Air Force One deal with Trump The Hill: When I was much younger I used to party with an airline mechanic. I’ve had a fear of flying ever since. “Did he remember to check that row of bolts on the wing, or had he hit his pipe 5 minutes before.”

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Reputed federal informant, whistleblower found dead in L.A. after he’s reported missing”

    So, should it be said that he died with Deutsche Bank secrets, or of Deutsche Bank secrets.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I’m more interested in whether any of those secrets managed to leak over to Wikileaks or other more open sources. Not that WL has ever let the whole cat out of the bags they are holding on the Snowden or other bundles of badness on the part of our Rulers.

      Looks like maybe not even a modified limited hangout for the guy “found dead.” Best way to erase a potentially embarrassing “wetware hard drive” is still a bullet, suffocation, poison, or ejection from a high window.

      1. Michael McK

        I don’t think WL ever got the Snowden trove. It was the Guardian, The Intercept and a couple other major titles. They have all buried most of it and at least The Guardian even destroyed their copy.

        1. digi_owl

          Assange and Snowden have different agendas.

          Snowden was primarily out to stop NSA et al from spying on Americans. Before that he was a happy MIC worker drone after all.

          Assange wants to expose, and thus dismantle, it all.

    2. Geo

      “No foul play suspected”

      Gonna be interesting to see what the story is for this one. Wonder if it’ll be more convincing than the Epstein story or the Jonathan Luna case where he was found stabbed 36 times and drown in a river, and the FBI closed the case saying it was a suicide.

      Hard not to be cynical with a story like this one.

  5. Stick'em

    RE: About that death in front of the Supreme Court

    “Bruce Wynn was my friend. He meditated with our sangha (Buddhist community). This act is not a suicide. This is a deeply fearless act of compassion to bring attention to climate crisis. We are piecing together info but he had been planning it for at least one year.”

    This article has images of Wynn on fire (so don’t look if you don’t want to see):

    1. Gawr Gura

      I knew that inquirer piece was trash from the beginning. “What to think about that climate activist.” Yeah, they don’t want to encourage anyone to follow his example, right.

      He’s not the one that should have burned.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Say, isn’t the “Daily Beast” the publication that Lira accused of trying to get him killed by them going to the Ukrainians and telling them where to find him?

      If the “Daily Beast” was being published back in the 40s, I have no doubt that they would be contacting authorities in Europe to let them know where to find Anne Frank and her family.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It comes down to thinking out what you are reading. For example, Lira said that the Russians had 30,000 troops near Kiev which were used to pin down 100,000 Uke troops. The west on the other hand claims that Russia suffered a terrible defeat because they could not take this city. Which is true? OK – now Kiev has a population of about 2.9 million which is roughly the size of Chicago. Can you see 30,000 soldiers seizing the city of Chicago when defended by about 100,000 soldiers? Or could you see 30,000 troops keeping 100,000 troops in Chicago to defend it and unable to go anywhere else? So I would side with Lira over what western media and authorities are saying here.

          1. mrsyk

            “It comes down to thinking out what you are reading.” And there it is, what I often remind my kids: Don’t be a lazy thinker. Do the reading. Be a good listener. Recognize your own priors, don’t automatically dismiss others’ takes. Try to separate facts from narrative. If you want an informed opinion, well, it’s gonna take some effort.

            1. Bart Hansen

              And try to discern what has been omitted from something by media employees. One example is that the Ukies had been shelling the Donbas for eight years causing the deaths of about 14,000 souls. You very rarely were given that last figure.

              Earlier we were told repeatedly that the Russians were massing over 150K troops along the Ukraine border. Omitted was that the Ukies were doing the same on the other side, and for a much longer time period and with violence.

          2. Michael Fiorillo

            Weeks ago, Scott Ritter was making the point about Russia freezing the Ukrainian forces in place around Kiev, to facilitate the encirclement of the UAF in the east, so Lira is not really adding anything new here.

            There’s useful information and outlooks to be distilled from Lira’s reports, but I think it was Yves who said that his signal-to-noise ratio is low, and I’ve also read that, despite living in Ukraine for years, he doesn’t speak the language. If true, that is an objective, material limitation on his reporting, especially given his acknowledged lack of mobility, even before his abduction.

            And about his abduction: while I’m relieved Lira wasn’t tortured and murdered, shouldn’t it also be acknowledged that his seemingly healthy return undermines his “The Nazis are going to kill me” narrative (or dramaturgy, if you’re going to be cynical)? I’m happy to be informed/corrected here, but do we even have independent confirmation that he was abducted, especially if the Azov/Ukrainian security forces are as murderous as claimed? Yes, there was kind of an outcry, after a few days, and efforts to get the Chilean government to pursue his release, but the overriding assumption (which Lira himself cultivated, was assumed in public by Ritter, and which I generally shared) was that he’d met an immediate and terrible fate at the hands of the worst people in the world. Instead, he shows up, seemingly untouched, with an ambiguous story he’s not allowed to tell, even though he’s still present online.

            Odd that, no?

            I come at this as a long-time NC reader and commenter, and follower of the situation in Ukraine. I know the war didn’t start in February, and I’ve been following The Saker for years, despite the pretty nasty anti-Semitism (US as “Uncle Schmuel”) sometimes on display there. I know, or at least don’t doubt, that Ukrainian fascists have disproportionate influence over the military and state in Ukraine, and have abducted and murdered their opponents. I generally sympathize with, and certainly understand, Russia’s geo-strategic concerns in the region.

            I can maintain all those things, while still reserving judgement about Gonzalo Lira.

            As the prologue to every morning’s Links here at NC correctly states, the media/information coverage of this war is the worst ever. That remains true even when, especially when, we’re reading material that may coincide with our views.

            Like the man says, be careful out there…

            1. Grebo

              I don’t like or trust Lira either. However, his (uncharacteristically concise) summary given on MoA seems to be broadly in line with my view of the situation gleaned from many other sources.

              In fact there are no original claims in it at all. Perhaps that’s a condition of his parole, or perhaps he’s holed up under house arrest and knows no more than anyone else with an internet connection.

              1. ArvidMartensen

                If you were going to turn into a propagandist for the Ukrainians, you would do it gradually so as to take the audience along with you.
                I cannot believe that Lira is now free to comment against the Ukrainian narrative after being arrested by the SBU. In no scenario is that a plausible outcome.
                So as commentators here say, he either was never captured and did it for publicity, or he is now compromised and will gradually start including things that get him to question the information that Ukrainians are nazis etc.

                1. Yves Smith

                  He was on the Duran today but they have a Q&A which is super inefficient, low signal to noise. On the teeny bit I saw, Lira said nothing about Ukraine, stuck to EU-Russia gas jockeying.

                  1. K.k

                    He was on Medhurst 5 days ago. He speaks more freely than I would have expected. Calls Zelensky Igor Kolomoysky’s cokehead puppet running a repressive regime.

          3. Andrew Watts

            Those 30,000 troops could’ve easily taken Kiev with help if there was a military coup. They’d be used to deal with a few irregulars, or disorganized forces, who chose to resist, Outside of that they’d just be acting to maintain public order. Putin was calling on the Ukrainian military to take power from the government in the first week of the war.

            The problem with the idea that the Russians were only using their forces to pin the Ukrainians down is that they made a concerted effort to seize the airport outside Kiev. I think they were even occupying it for a time. Those actions aren’t consistent with that narrative because you take airports to immediately bring fresh troops in. The US did exactly that during the invasion of Iraq if I remember correctly. Keep in mind I’m not ruling out they were a distraction. Just that Moscow was probably keeping it’s options open based upon how events transpired.

            The main thrust of the opening stage of the war was always going to be to secure Crimea and link up with the forces in the separatists areas.

        2. Darthbobber

          No, but none were originally raised. Daily Beast expects people to “reason” their way from “this guy’s opinions on these things over here seem objectionable”, to “therefore whatever he says about these totally other things must be factually wrong.” But there is in fact no connection at all.

    2. Nikkikat

      The daily beast is a DNC/Democrat smear rag. Would never believe any thing from that scum sucker group. Seems fairly obvious.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Made me look and I am so sorry I did.

          Being locked out of Twitter I can still use a private window to check out lists I’d created in 2009 (and abandoned by 2010). Helpful for sports news but my political follows in 2009 (largely folks I followed because they were also against the Iraq War) are now unbelievably toxic.

          After some thought, I think that currently the only real difference between us is that those accounts still support the Democratic party. I do not think I’ve changed, but they have and they have done so because it was the only way they could stay with the party.

          If a national pollster asked Americans who really runs the Democratic party, it would be interesting if only for all the wrong answers.

    3. judy2shoes

      The issue, of course, isn’t Lira’s credibility; it’s the accuracy (or not) of what he says. Can you refute any of his arguments?

      As jr says below: “No one has carte blanche credibility these days. That’s why we are here, at the risk of speaking for others, to weigh and compare information.”

      1. Irrational

        Agree with J2S and JR. For me GL is not the perfect source, but it is a great antidote to the nonsense on the US and European MSM. Maybe we take both in and ponder who is right and wrong – a little bit of thinking never hurt me, but sure seems in short supply except on NC and some of the site that links and links of links have led me to (short out to JLS’ Raisina post).

      2. anon y'mouse

        being correct is all that truly counts in the end, but if i were to try to tell you that you need to suddenly listen to Dr. Oz’s take on geopolitical affairs, you might look at me askance and ask quite a number of questions about why you should do so, considering in his own subject area he’s a repeated charlatan.

        also, i am not going to go around reading everyone that agrees with my own views and giving them more credibility than they deserve just because they do so. i mean, tRUMP was correct on a number of things he said as well. it doesn’t mean i have all the time in life to sift truth from idiocy in his case. like a street corner preacher, i might listen to what you say while i’m waiting for the crosswalk light but i’m probably not going to sit there all day just because you managed to spew out a few truthhoods during that short time.

        and that too would be the correct way to go about reasoning one’s way to any possible truth.

  6. t groan

    Maybe also explain the journalism credentials for Boy Boy. What gives this guy credibility?

      1. super extra

        seriously! T Groan clearly didn’t read the note at the top of this post, or the site rules, since this is an ad hom and doesn’t engage with the content at all.

      2. jonboinAR

        The only thing I had against Boy Boy’s monologue was it was everything we’ve been reading and hearing about for weeks in a condensed version, Reader’s Digest style. For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention and wants to catch up, I would recommend it. (Although I admit I didn’t listen closely enough to find out if there were parts that sounded false).

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Listened to the whole thing and there was one glaring omission – he didn’t mention the Minsk agreements once, and this invasion would never have happened if the agreement was kept. In fact there would have been peace years ago. Leaving that out makes Russia look worse than necessary.

          A lesser omission was the referendum held in Crimea. He says Russia grabbed Crimea in 2014 or something to that effect, but most here are aware, it was more nuanced than that.

          Other than that though, this random youtube person does a far better job of explaining the situation than anyone in the mainstream western media.

          1. Skippy

            The whole point about this video, I suggested, was not about being a dissertation on the topic and rigorously peer reviewed, but, a short and sweet layout of some basic facts, which a younger and less informed age group could use to cut through all the propaganda they are being kettled with in picking some predetermined pigeonhole constructed for them by the providers of fine Bernays products.

            I did state and Lambert provided the underpinnings of why I submitted it to NC, due to my sons suggestion to me.

            “Skippy remarks: “My well read and media savvy 26 year old popped it on for me…”

            To this effect I supplied him since his early teens all the core classical reading, including economics, and classic Scifi, and thought provoking novels. This is exceeded by his passion for history [wanted to do a degree] and his passion for films, including all aspects of production and acting.

            Its in this backdrop that I recommended it as a means to inform other age cohorts which might not respond to what some of the older NC commonteriat might find mentally palatable. Lets not forget the Koch et al agenda of getting into kids minds before they have any life experience or knowledge which might impede their agendas.

            IMO you can not approach these younger age cohorts by getting in their faces whilst cinching up ones belt line and going I know stuff … more experienced … bla bla bla … their minds have switched off.

            Sad as it might be, but you have to understand the way they grew up, its environment, and how to connect with them through those devices. In this regard I thought the video was great, ticks all the boxes, yet ultimately passes on reasonably factual information that enables them to make a choice about the corporatist MSM line.

            BTW lyman alpha blob don’t complain about an omission that the presenter made out of ignorance or less than academic rigor, tell them, contact them and show them the error and why its important to include it. I’ve done the same with others, including the friendlyjordies YT kid here in Australia. Teach them how to think and forgive them their ignorance’s, lack of nuances, in a very complicated world, not of their own making, or suffer the consequences.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I don’t disagree with a thing you said and while I spent more page space mentioning a couple omissions, overall it was a great video, especially for the purposes you described. My kid’s humanities teacher has been assigning current events projects, and to the teacher’s credit she recommends sources like Al Jazeera, which although it isn’t that radical these days, it at least gives a slightly different perspective than the usual CNN bushwa that the school pumps in on a daily basis. If she gives out any more Ukraine-related assignments, I will be sure to show this video to my kid.

              I wish this new generation of cyborgs liked to read more than intertubes sound bites and could be disconnected from their devices – if you come up with any tips be sure to let us all know. My own kid doesn’t seem to believe anything I say until it’s been verified by tiktok, and she seems to be the norm in that regard.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Because these days if you are a credentialed journalist with organizations like CNN, WaPO, NYT or MSNBC, then you are basically a government/corporate stenographer. :)

      And you know that what I wrote is the truth.

        1. Jen

          “Politico reported the new board will focus specifically on misinformation and disinformation about “irregular migration and Russia.”

          What, pray tell, is “irregular migration” and how are we being mis or disinformed about it?

        2. orlbucfan

          Let’s see “wonder boy” Musk clean up the stupidity and illiteracy on Twitter. I’m not on it and never will be.

        3. deplorado

          Canada recently introduced media credentialing, happily embraced by MSM, that’s probably a pilot project that will spread across the “civilized” world.

        1. Synoia

          Pope’s do not have a good track record on infallibility. If the did it would not have taken about 1,000 years to impose celeciby on priests.

          Or not cannonizating Joan of Arc until 1928, over five hundred years after Henry XVIII,s split with the church.

    2. jr

      No one has carte blanche credibility these days. That’s why we are here, at the risk of speaking for others, to weigh and compare information. To develop an analysis of power, a critical framework, within which to examine the issues of the day. Credentials are of secondary importance at best, it is the information we seek. Credentialism is the bolt-hole of the ideologue and the smooth brained.

    3. Chris

      Credentials? If you have doubts about credibility, then do your own backup research. Fact-checking isn’t so hard — checking what facts are posited and what facts are left out. I think if you consistently find that a given blog/source is reliable, then you can view it as credible overall.

    4. Yves Smith

      You were instructed to read our site Policies at the top of this post. You didn’t.

      Commenting here is a privilege, not a right, and you just lost yours.

      You have engaged in four violation in a mere two comments: two assignments and two ad hominem attacks. Two leads to blacklisting.

    5. Skippy

      @T groan …

      Credentials have never been a substitute for facts or their closest approximation. I mean are you suggesting the dominate winners in Nobel Economic [in the name of/banking award] prizes from the neoclassical orthodoxy, through being credentialed by institutions that were set up to advance an ideological agenda, and call it science, grants them factual credibility. Especially in light that most of what they promoted had been previously refuted and now the economic vista is just littered with the corpses of its failures.

      To this end, I ask you, why you have framed the question around the video presenters veracity as an individual, just as you do Lira, without any attempt at refuting what they have presented. One would think, anyone that found fault in what they say would substantiate their argument with informing others of their inaccuracies or falsehoods, rather than pejoratively questioning their rubber stamped authority granted by some credentials of dubious origin.

      BTW hate to break it too you … but the idea of the intrepid journalist objectively and dispassionately observing and then reporting on anything died a long time ago with the advent of media consolidation via oligarch ownership or corporate consolidation. You have news readers these day that are handed a script from MBA management after a bunch of meetings about how many eye balls from the media multiverse are trending and how that will effect share holders and the bottom line … truth or facts be damned.

  7. GramSci

    Matt Stoller:

    “Moreover, Tesla is increasingly not an American company, using Shanghai as an export platform.”

    Please, Matt, name me one major American company that is an American company. Raytheon??

    1. Nikkikat

      GramSci, Stoller has very selective memory doesn’t he, walks a fine line, doesn’t want that Govt panel or maybe the Daily Beast putting him on the smear list. He needs the libs to still like him.

      1. Carolinian

        Stoller is a former political operative, no? Perhaps it’s his former fellow Dems that he is handling with kid gloves. His somewhat circular reasoning admits that it was America’s “liberal democracy” that made China as powerful as it is but then says the problem is that China isn’t a liberal democracy like us.

        Whereas to others it seems obvious that America is neither very liberal or much of a democracy, and this is the real problem. When Xi acts as though he is facing an “existential threat” from us is he wrong?

        Perhaps it’s only fair, or at least more democratic, that a country of 1.4 billion should become the center of the action by displacing a country of a mere 330 million. Plus the side benefit for ordinary Americans could be that at least our Teslas from China won’t have their bumpers fall off.

    2. mrsyk

      A good observation and I don’t think Stoller would argue. I don’t think he’s trying to say that it’s a unique situation, but more of a commentary (on the macro level) of how global capitalists create political risk by abiding to sovereign rules only when it suits them, and, in this case, leveraging a firm grip on on production resources into the acquisition of a shiny new toy.

  8. Mikel

    “Population-level implications of the Israeli booster campaign to curtail COVID-19” resurgence Science.

    How do you calibrate a model for a non-sterilizing vaccine that turns it into a sterilizing vaccine?

    1. ambrit

      Well, if the ‘vaccine’ in question is designed to “sterilize” the population itself you only need to ‘spin’ it’s results as beneficial in any manner posible.
      This is all beginning to look like a massive campaign of misdirection.

    2. playon

      I was gobsmacked to read this since my understanding is that vaccines can’t stop transmission? I formerly had a favorable view of Israeli public health, but now…

    3. Maritimer

      “Hence a rapid response is an important factor….”
      So, we Scientists will completely ignore the possible use of prophylaxis or early treatment. Ignore the obvious, cash the check.

  9. Judith

    Gilbert Doctorow has a response today to the FT article in the links (EU energy groups prepare to meet Vladimir Putin’s terms for Russian gas FT).

    However, in the The Financial Times reporting today on the unraveling of Europe’s supposed unified stand against payment for Russian gas in rubles we see that censorship is destroying not the Russia media but the Western media which, in the absence of competition and challenge, is printing and disseminating every ignorant and self-contradictory utterance that comes out of the mouths of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and Co. without exercising the slightest logic check.

    Let me be specific. The article in question is entitled “EU energy groups prepare to meet Vladimir Putin’s terms for Russian gas. Germany’s Uniper and Austria’s OMV plan rouble accounts while Eni of Italy weighs options”. This piece has been slapped together by Sam Jones in Vienna, Andy Bounds in Brussels, Guy Chazan in Berlin and Marton Dunai in Budapest. Going through the text and encountering the whoppers I will discuss below, you have to wonder where is the editorial staff of the FT to keep their feature articles at a level worthy of the world’s business elites who are their subscribers.

  10. Xquacy

    The UK appears to be actively goading Russians to attack Poland.

    After Johnson bragged about British army training Ukrainian soldiers to use British weapons in Poland, a former head of the Polish army Waldemar Skrzypczak minced no words, rebuking Boris of speaking without thinking and sharply criticized him for revealing military secrets:

    One might imagine a curt statement like that from an ally would make others a bit circumspect, but no! Today the UK ministry of defense went ahead and posted some pictures of the training missions in Poland:

    1. Gawr Gura

      Ukraine isn’t turning into the quagmire they’d hoped, and now they’re hanging Poland out to dry.

      1. Louis Fyne

        The UK is willing to fight Russians to the last American (after all the Eastern Europeans).

        Allegedly the UK Army can only field something like 10,000 combat-deployable troops right now. The Germany army is even worse—but they’re not the ones running their mouths

  11. square coats

    Skippy, does your 26 yo have any other video recommendations? Thought this one was excellent! (despite some small quibbles here and there, which I think are probably inevitable)

    1. truly

      S C,
      I am curious as to what your quibbles were?
      Mine were:
      It is my understanding that Russia did NOT provide arms to the separatists. An article recently posted here written by a Swiss (IIRC) military and intelligence man who went on to work for UN or NATO suggested that in fact RU did not provide any arms or actual traceable support. And this man had worked as a small arms monitor as part of a peacekeeping mission/project. So I thought the suggestion that Putin rushed into supporting the separatists was not very accurate.
      I have also read that Putin really did drag his feet on this issue, at least compared to what his citizens wanted him to be doing. Apparently many Russians wanted him to go in sooner and protect the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
      So I had two quibbles, but otherwise thought it matched with what I think I know about the issue.

      1. Alyosha

        My understanding is that the Donbas militias were mostly crowd funded from inside Russia. This is according to some Russians. I’m sure there were large donors. Not sure where the militias acquired armor and such, but it’s Ukraine, there may have been a fair amount laying around or taken with defections.

        Also my understanding in terms of public opinion about Putin’s response and even the overall Russian opinion of Minsk. It’s why there’s a lot of angst that Putin/Lavrov will settle now and almost certainly why so many in Donbas are still circumspect about open support for Russia.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Also I mentioned above that he didn’t mention the Minsk agreements, and he could have gotten a little more in depth about what happened in Crimea on 2014. But not bad for an amateur broadcasting from his living room.

        One great thing that he highlighted was Yeltsin’s attack on his own parliament in the early 90s. I’d forgotten the details surrounding that incident, but being reminded of them makes one wonder how the Russians put up with all of this for so long.

      3. square coats

        Yes I definitely share your quibbles. And I agree with what Alyosha & lyman alpha blob said as well. I would add that I felt like his portrayal of zelensky being sort of haplessly caught between more powerful actors isn’t entirely accurate as I feel like that’s going on to some extent but that zelensky also has his own corrupt intentions (I think I could phrase this much better, apologies).

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts and helping me to clarify mine a bit better!

      4. Soredemos

        “It is my understanding that Russia did NOT provide arms to the separatists.”

        Now that I don’t believe for a minute. I recall years ago near the start of all of hits, 2014 or 2015, seeing a picture of some Donbass militia riding a tank that was very clearly of a variant only ever made in Russia.

        Perhaps the argument could be made that this wasn’t officially sanctioned and the tank was in the back of some national guard warehouse somewhere before some Russian volunteer (or perhaps ‘volunteer’, in the same way that the Flying Tigers were ‘volunteers’) drove off with, but in a case like that that’s very clearly the government knowing what’s going on and choosing to look the other way, which is a kind of sanctioning of the action.

        1. Yves Smith

          Jacques Baud, who was at NATO and tasked to seeing if Russia was arming Donbass, said Russia was not. As to your photo…the perils of digital evidence….maybe cooked up by Ukraine? Or per below, Poland?

          From Jacques Baud:

          In 2014, when I was at NATO, I was responsible for the fight against the proliferation of small arms, and we were trying to detect Russian arms deliveries to the rebels, to see if Moscow was involved. The information we received then came almost entirely from Polish intelligence services and did not “fit” with the information coming from the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] — and despite rather crude allegations, there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia.

          The rebels were armed thanks to the defection of Russian-speaking Ukrainian units that went over to the rebel side. As Ukrainian failures continued, tank, artillery and anti-aircraft battalions swelled the ranks of the autonomists. This is what pushed the Ukrainians to commit to the Minsk Agreements.

          Oh, and surely you know that all of Ukraine’s tanks came from Russia? That’s why it’s been so easy for Ukraine to pass off its own dead tanks as Russia kills. Dunno as of 2014, but as of now, the only way to tell them apart is via grill detail, which is an added part. That’s not even visible in most images.

          Other directionally supportive pieces:

          1. Soredemos

            Oh, and surely you know that all of Ukraine’s tanks came from Russia?

            This simply isn’t true. Ukraine was a major hub of Soviet armor design and production. No Soviet tank was entirely built in any one region because Moscow didn’t want any SSR to be independent in terms of weapons, but post-1991 the Ukrainian Malyshev Factory has managed to entirely locally design and build vehicles.

            Most of their vehicle pool is (or should I say was; most of it is scrap now) still upgraded Soviet gear, but for tanks ‘Soviet’ never meant ‘made in Russia’, it actually really meant Soviet.

    1. Fritzi

      Both, or even a combination, of course very much possible.

      Arguably the later has a more consistent history of being true though.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not that intelligence hasn’t always been political, but I suspect the switch to meta data collection has created such an environment the only thing that gets heard is the cranks like Curveball, obviously the Ukrainian equivalent. Zelensky has to know the US won’t do anything to big without expectations of an easy win, so tada, the Russians must be on their last legs.

      I suspect an element of the Russian phase 1 was to determine how quickly they could replenish ammunition.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        The same Straussian/neoconservative clique that gave us “Curveball” during the Shrub era now also infests the Democratic Party foreign affairs ecosystem. Thanks again, Obama.

    3. Polar Socialist

      There’s even a chance that his assumptions are wrong. It’s very unlikely a modern “fire mission” is 80 rounds. Already in the 1930’s 40 rounds of 152mm was considered enough to destroy everything on a 100m by 100m square. More likely is anything between 4 and 12 rounds. Also most used artillery piece is still good old D-30 howitzer, which has much lighter ammunition.

      In other words, his calculations for required ammunition consumption could be off by a factor of 14 to 40, so we might actually be looking at anything between 10 to 30 trucks hauling artillery ammunition every 12 hours.

      It’s probably more than that, but Armchair Warlord’s calculations are kinda the absolute maximum assuming every gun is 152mm, every target is 5 acres and that the Russians are trying to totally obliterate every living thing in the target.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If the Russians wanted to obliterate everything in a given area, they might use their TOS-1 Heavy Flamethrower system. That thing is brutal and there are reports that the Russians are bringing them into the Ukraine. You do not want to be anywhere near that thing when it is being used- (1:01 mins)

        1. Safety First

          They have been using the TOS-1A (not to be confused with TOS-1) for some time. E.g. Boris Rozhin’s Telegram channel ( has been regularly reposting clips for since at least last week, most of them taken from Ministry of Defence-related sources as far as I can tell.

          The problem with the TOS systems (both 1 – developed in the 1970s, 30 tubes; and 1A – circa 2001, 24 tubes) is twofold. One – you don’t have a lot of them, especially when compared with MRLS and towed/SP artillery. To be sure, the Defence Ministry has been cagey on how many they have, exactly, but based on their volume of overseas sales (52 confirmed to five customers, unknown number to two more), we are probably talking dozens, not hundreds. By contrast, the Russians have >800 MSTA-S M1 and M2 SP guns alone, never mind other artillery types.

          Two – range. The thing was originally (in the 1970s) designed to hit out to 2-3 kilometres (3600m absolute max), which is great until the enemy gets a competent ATGM team hiding in some bushes, and you realise that the rockets can detonate while still inside the launcher. Reportedly the new rockets can go a lot longer, which really helps with survivability, but your basic 152mm and 122mm guns can still outrange them by a factor of three and two times, respectively.

          So at this point it’s kind of like a specialty siege weapon, the equivalent of 203mm guns the Soviets had during WW2. Have it sit in your strategic reserve, and when you need something specific cracked, bring a battery over, do your thing. Now, a specialty siege weapon is a great thing to have for when you need it (see Soviet operations against German Festungs in 1945), but >95% of your artillery work is still being done by conventional systems, which is where get back to Armchair Whatsit’s computations, and here the very first thing that popped into my head is – out of whose voluminous backside are we pulling out the 80-rounds per fire mission figure?

      2. Louis Fyne

        thank you for the perspective. (ArmcharW self-admittedly isn’t an artilleryman, he was a paratrooper IIRC)

        Hat tip to everyone out there on the internet who shows their math versus relying on “some people say…..”.

    4. Michael Ismoe

      Remember the old story about how Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did “except backwards and in high heels”?

      If this is what the Russians do every day to re-stock used supplies, imagine how easy it is for Ukraine to do the same thing “except with no roads nor any diesel fuel.”

    5. Mister Entirely

      The gold standard Rus arty system is the 2s7 203mm firing 110 kg shells roughly 2 shells per minute from an integrated magazine capacity of 7. A fire mission is one round per gun coordinated time on target with however many shells / guns are needed for effect because the unit must move before the shells reach their destination 40km away over the horizon. Once the shells are in the air they are picked up by counter-battery radar; a firing solution is calculated before the shells even begin to return to earth. I would be shocked if each gun fires more than once per day because every target needs to be de-conflicted with whichever Russian units are near the bullseye. You also have to have a new location to go to without being ambushed. Some of those systems have counter-battery missions waiting for UA 2s7 to shoot before they scoot.

  12. hemeantwell

    Re the Capital as Power article on rent, my crude working definition of sophistry regards it as a mode of argument that aims to eliminate differences, a kind of Blendomatic enterprise that Hegel saw as bringing on a night in which all cows are black. And so the author cites Nitzan and Bichler, “all income is based on exclusionary control because in a capitalist context all income is predicated on private property” and then blends on to how both corporations and labor are capable of exercising exclusionary control, “all labourers are in some way in possession of their bodies and so have the capacity to withdraw their labor.”

    So are workers rentiers? Since we’re talking about capital, what immediately comes to mind are the persona of Marx’s work, the mill owner in his or her stately home and the industrial worker in his or her packed hovel. Any time a line of reasoning brings us to the point of declaring these two circumstances crucially similar, something has gone wrong with our reason. An investigation of “Capital as Power” that accepts such ideas only demonstrates the ideological power of capitalism instead of critiquing it.

    1. hunkerdown

      Something has gone wrong with our reason when a theory doesn’t generate moral passion? The problem with the description of the world is a messaging problem?

      Liberal idealism needs to be made more unspeakable. Nobody is entitled to be a Main Character. In fact, it might be better if Main Characters did not exist. No more desacralized Christian narratives.

    2. Kris

      Yes, this struck me too. And more than that, the way in which individual versus collective power is allowed/stymied/used, as in corporations being able to use their power of exclusion in far different ways than individual workers can, due to the legal and organizational environment, and not only because corporations are already a collective/behemoth.

    3. Bazarov

      I also found this reasoning odd.

      There’s a hard limit to the extent a laborer can withhold their labor power, as the demands of the body–the ultimate source of labor power–eventually supersede market stratagems. To feed oneself, one is compelled to labor for a wage. As any labor history will show, strikes were broken by this vulnerability, one that the capitalist class understood and continues to understand very well: “We’ll patiently wait until the serfs become hungry enough to return to the fields.”

      The analogy does not hold for private property, especially of the classic “rentier” type–land. The land does not become “hungry” and of its own accord go into production. The owner of the land can withdraw it from production as long as they want. Perhaps they’d do so strategically to raise the price of land they own or merely because they prefer to hunt on that land or whatever.

      The land has no independent *need* to sell itself on the market, while the wage earner’s body does. The body in this respect is not really owned by itself. Capitalist relations have made the body dependent on the market, which exploits the body’s natural limits militating again enlightenment “free will” assumptions that undergird proprietary logic.

      In essence, the workers do not own themselves in the same way that the rentier owns land.

      1. Robin Kash

        The article on rent as a useful concept resembles nothing so much as sophistry. A workers’ ownership of their bodies is incidental to rent sans organization and concentration in sufficient numbers to exercise countervailing control. Nevermind that capital is able to move faster and further than labor, i.e., out-maneuver workers’ efforts to control.
        Span of control and effective control differentiate rentiérs from workers. Workers surrender effective control of their bodies as a condition of employment and do so for a stated wage. Rentiérs exercise effective control over employees as a condition of employing them. Wage slavery prevails because retire learned that it’s cheaper to rent workers rather than own slaves.
        Rentiérs’ span of control includes both workers arranged in a hierarchy in a single or aggregated enterprise,, e.g., a factory or collection of rental properties, as well as control of an array of distributed enterprises,, unrelated except by their ownership by a single or collective owner, e.g., Warren Buffet’s aggregation of holdings. Buffet is rentiér-par-excellance.
        Government is the ultimate controller of relations between rentiérs and the rented.

  13. Stick'em

    re: How do you calibrate a model for a non-sterilizing vaccine that turns it into a sterilizing vaccine?

    Apparently when the epidemiology folks made computer models to back up the gubment’s decision to go with no measures other than vaccines, they used “Microsoft Excel, version 16, with the Crystal Ball add-in.”

    “This study found the vaccine has to have an efficacy of at least 70% to prevent an epidemic and of at least 80% to largely extinguish an epidemic without any other measures (e.g., social distancing).

    The “extinguish an epidemic” part means something like flattening the curve. Keeping hospital admissions down to a manageable level. So this was never assumed to be a sterilizing vaccine by these epidemiologists. This sterilizing vaccine thing was an assumption made by the public/politicians/media, and it wasn’t real from the beginning. Wishful thinking.

    The problem of course, is everybody has to get vaccinated around the same time and the efficacy has to be real. The US proved we cannot get on the same page with public health, so hardly anybod got vaccinated at the same time, mutations in the virus changed the vaccines efficacy, immunity effects wore off, and so on…

    Hard to tell whether the polticians are simply shills for the pharmaceutical companies and are paid to sell on the vaccine solution like car salesmen or whether they really don’t get the more subtle medical aspects of this. I try not to assume malice when incompetence can be the explanation but it isn’t THAT subtle.

    It’s been a fustercluk of bad messaging and many have lost faith in the CDC and FDA for not sending a consistent message about all of this that wasn’t all that difficult to figure out 2 years ago.

    Keep in mind, throughout the past couple of years, I wore a K- or N-95 mask whenever indoors in a public place (and often outside if more than a handful of people were present), practiced social distancing, and got 3 shots. We’ve been fortunate not to get COVID at my house but we’ve also done work to prevent it.

  14. Matthew G. Saroff

    Betteridge’s Law on the Newsweek article.

    Many of the cases are for under 5-year olds, who cannot get the vaccine.

  15. Michael Ismoe

    So all those empty shelves have consequences? Inflation and a recession by November? Nancy might be the only Democrat left in Congress after January.

    U.S. economic activity unexpectedly contracted for the first time since the second quarter of 2020 in the first three months of 2022, with lingering supply chain constraints, inflation, and disruptions amid Russia’s war in Ukraine weighing on growth.

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its initial estimate of first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the report, compared to consensus data compiled by Bloomberg:

    GDP annualized, quarter-over-quarter: -1.4% vs. 1.0% expected, 6.9% in Q4

    Personal Consumption: 2.7% vs. 3.5% expected, 2.5% in Q4

  16. Wukchumni

    I was @ PetSmart yesterday, and the selection of Fancy Feast wet food in cans that the clan crave was rather on the skimpy side, 10-20 cans of most varieties, a few full boxes of 24 for a few flavors.

    I asked the cashier about supply chain issues and she rolled her eyes and exclaimed ‘Friskies & Fancy Feast!, there’s a can factory in China that got shut down’ was her expert analysis.

    Oh, last month’s purchase was 76 ¢, now 78 ¢ per can when the overlords sent out their slave to acquire vittles.

    1. mrsyk

      I have to confess that I’ve been stocking up on the wet food for our three little hooligans. They will not starve before I do.

    2. Pat

      I’m currently between owners, but did urge a friend to start ordering cases from Chewy and give up their spare bedroom to them. I would be adding them as a table in the studio apartment if I did have an owner.

    3. CGKen

      The price of our dog’s food didn’t go up but the 15 kg bag is now a 30 lb bag. There were a few weeks when both were on the shelf and it paid to search through for the 15 kg.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Germany would go into recession with Russian energy embargo – minister”

    I think that Germany would be lucky if they only suffered a recession if they banned Russian gas. Germany may depend on Russia for 35% of its gas but that does not mean that only 35% of Germany’s businesses would be affected. It would be more like a Jenga tower when too many pieces have been removed. Come this winter (assuming there is not a very cold autumn first) how are homes supposed to be heated? Or businesses for that matter. And apparently most of that gas is used in the industrial sector so how many firms would be forced to cut back production or even close their doors? At the very minimum you would be talking about hundreds of thousands of unemployed who would be also cold and miserable with maybe food shortages to contend with. Not a good combination but in any case, saying it would be a recession would be like describing a person with cholera as having a bit of a fever.

    1. Patricia Winter

      As a German, I agree completely. Forever, people have been told, on and off, to stock up on non-perishable food, buy camping gas stoves, basically prepare for ten days without electricity or gas, which is not easy if you live in an apartment, like most of us do. Those recommendations have become more urgent. Gardening tips on TV lean more towards the vegetable-planting kind than the usual bee-friendly flowering plants. Those are desperate tips for planting potatoes on the balcony. Flower beds in many public parks sport flowers in Ukrainian colors, public buildings have those beds, too. Inflation is at 7 per cent, more and more people need food banks, which in turn depend on grocery stores’ generosity. The rising prices have the same effect as shortages, which are, for now, confined to sunflower oil, toilet paper, and wheat flour. During the first wave of the pandemic, people were up in arms, figuratively, over such inconveniences, now many in the commentariat beg for the government to send weapons to Ukraine and stop gas imports from Russia altogether. Some are basically frothing at the mouth.

    2. Irrational

      Agree, but nowhere is there a serious discussion of industrial uses and impact on chemicals, pharma… that use gas as raw material.

  18. NYG

    Responsible Statecraft: “A war against American attempts to harm and subjugate Russia has much stronger public appeal” among Russians than its war against Ukraine.

    I read somewhere that the push back in Russia against Putin is that he is too reluctant to initiate all out war against Russia’s enemies. That doesn’t sound like the nuclear risk here is as limited as that Russia might only use a suitcase or other tactical nuclear bomb.

    Combine that with Russia’s demonstration of its Satan 2 ICBM with up to 17 nuclear warheads capable of wiping out an entire nation, e.g. UK.

    The risk of Armageddon is very much higher than we are being told. In the event the war hawks trigger a nuclear war they have early warning and their deep bunkers to provide for their and their families’ survival, the rest of us will have to take iodine pills, hide in basements and under furniture and …

    We should have taken Eisenhower’s admonition to beware of the military industrial complex much more seriously. How did we ever get to the point where we have overconfident hustlers risking so many lives other than their own?

    1. tegnost

      How long before we see an article on how nuclear winter will solve the global warming problem?

      1. Synoia

        A long time because the PMC know that are the target for the first exchange. (DC and it’s suburbs ).

        And the US arsenal of ballistic weapons might be a lot more corroded and unusable than reported.

  19. Paleobotanist

    Fancy feast with extra sauce has been extremely hard to score for the past 2 years in my corner of Montreal. I managed to find 2 boxes last week and pounced on them, but that’s the exception. Madame la princesse accepted the efforts of her slave. Our old vet used to call Fancy feast “Kitty crack”. She was on to something…

    About 1/4 of the prescription cat food is on back order according to the prescription cat food website. I hope that Sir doesn’t get too attached to a single flavour.

    That washing machine part that I ordered last September never did come. I bought a new one over Xmas. Definite supply chain issues here.

  20. Nikkikat

    There’s a cat riot here at home everyday AM and PM. I can no more forget their meals than my name or address. They push me, play with my shoe laces, give my ankles, some gentle bites, grab my ankles with their paws and block my path out of the room. Once it escalates to meowing continuously and drilling their foreheads into mine. I let them win. So a shortage may lead to my demise. My sense is that they are only warning me now, let this can shortage or chicken shortage become a problem and all bets are off. Cats don’t mess around and they won’t care who’s fault it is. Lol

    1. jr

      Since we are on the topic of pets, I thought I would post some ideas I’ve had for feeding our pupper in case her dry food goes away. I’ve got a stock of dried black beans, lentils, flour, and cornmeal as well as canned versions of the same. This is for the humans. I know it would be better to diversify this but I don’t have the space.

      So my idea is to make a kind of bread combining the legumes with flour and cornmeal as well as olive oil for fats. If necessary, that’s what the pupper will have to eat as well. She has a very developed palate and I don’t think she would have a problem with it. I’ve found this supplement:

      but I’d really appreciate any additional information or ideas. Thanks in advance!

      1. Paleobotanist

        Dogs can survive on a veggie diet, cats can’t – they are obligate carnivores. I knew veggie dogs in India (pets of Brahmins). I’d read up on whatever extra nutrients dogs need so that you can store some form of those too to add to your furball’s food. I seem to remember that people were careful to feed their veggie dogs in India a complete diet some how.

      2. kareninca

        The dog can eat your poop, if it comes to that. In some indigenous societies dogs get a high percentage of their calories from human poop. Cleans up the area, the little kids don’t need diapers (which they don’t have anyway), and the dog gut kills some of the parasites. Win-win-win.

  21. Basil Pesto

    lol at the lengths Newsweek goes to to not raise the possibility that the cause of the juvenile hepatitis outbreak might be, in whole or in part… the out of control SARS pandemic. Plenty of literature connecting both SARS1 and SARS2 with causation of hepatitis. The jury’s still out and as a layman I really shouldn’t be getting out over my skis but again, note the lengths Newsweek goes to to not implicate SARS2 – they try to blame adenoviruses, the evidence for which with regards to this particular hepatitis outbreak appears to be very weak. Of course, trying to pin it even on the vaccines (most of the kids are unvaccinated) isn’t as lmao-licious as the apparently straight-faced attempt to blame it on the American mockdowns.

    The anti-vax bores are the perfect foils in a way – irrelevant piñatas to be whacked by the idiot goodthinkers of the world while the demons in charge who are actually responsible for this insufferable situation face no reckoning, because after all who could have predicted this, and what could we have done? we can’t stay locked down forever, don’t you know. A gaggle of kids with severe hepatitis is a small price to pay for freedom anyway, relatively speaking.

    1. judy2shoes

      I ran across something yesterday, Basil, that indicated that an adenovirus was not the problem and that the kids with hepatitis, in this particular case, had all had C-19 within the last 3.5 weeks. I cannot remember if it was a link on this site yesterday or something I found on Twitter, perhaps on Anthony J. Leonardi’s feed. Don’t have time to look for it now but will post when I find it.

    2. newcatty

      One of the demons, who was in a position to be in charge, was just buried at the National Cathedral. She who stated that it was worth it when Iraqui children died in great numbers. Yes, as we all know our freedoms, way of life and values were worth it. She must be in a special place that she warned about being in waiting for any woman who didn’t vote for Hills. Talk about projection.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. intel helped Ukraine protect air defenses, shoot down Russian plane carrying hundreds of troops ”

    Of course if the US/NATO is providing real-time intelligence to the Ukrainians, then that means that the US/NATO is also teaching the Russians how to deal with a war against NATO itself. It is a truism that when you fight an enemy for long, that you teach them how you fight. Just like, for example, with the Taliban in Afghanistan who had twenty years to learn what worked in fighting Americans an American-trained forces.

    1. Louis Fyne

      There has been no independent confirmation of those transport shoot-downs. Surely remnants of wreckage would have been found after the RU withdrawal from the outskirts of Kyiv?

      Maybe there was independent confirmation and I missed it? Dunno who to believe.

      1. OnceWereVirologist

        Also all the previous reports that I’ve seen from “anonymous US intel sources” were at pains to say that they weren’t providing real-time targeting info. Now apparently they’re claiming to have been doing so from the very beginning of the war as, if I recall correctly, the transport plane shoot-downs were claimed by the Ukrainians in the first couple of days. It sounds like this is pure fabrication, maybe a trial balloon testing the waters for future escalation into openly helping the Ukrainians to target Russians forces ?

        1. NYG

          Or maybe Ukraine’s initial successes really were due to the surreptitious intervention of US intelligence and Moscow’s erroneous reliance on US’s false assurances of acting in a manner to always avoid US/Russia war provocation. rather than the superiority of the Ukrainians as we have been told since March.

      2. Ricardo R

        This is too big news and until now, no pro-russian Telegram channel reported this, not even RT. Quite strange.

  23. Carolinian

    Re the NY doctor suing to keep filling his greedy paws with lots of money–oh sorry I meant “protect his right to make a living.”

    However, research has long shown doctors’ billed prices, also known as “usual and customary charges,” are astronomical. Out-of-network charges for ER care are 637% of what Medicare pays for the same services on average, according to the Yale study.

    “Anyone who has spent time looking at health care bills knows that usual and customary charges are completely made-up amounts and outlandishly higher than what any reasonable human would pay,” said Karan Chhabra, a resident surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who has studied out-of-network billing.

    The doctor refused to talk to the reporters, but it’s unlikely that was out of any sense of shame.

  24. Jason Boxman

    So NBC claims that Russian intends to kill Zelenskyy:

    The CIA is also devoting significant resources, current and former officials say, to gathering intelligence with the aim of protecting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whom the Russians want to kill. The agency is consulting with the Ukrainians on “how best to move him around, making sure that he’s not co-located with his entire chain of command, things like that,” a U.S. official said.

    Given what I’ve read here, I’m not sure that makes sense? Particularly since occupying the Ukraine is not the goal. Why would you whack the leader and leave a listless country on your border?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Yeah. I mean, we don’t have to trust the Russian when they say they’re not after Zelensky, but since there’s no documented attempt at his life so far, and strikes on any building he might have his headquarters, it kinda gives them some credence.

      I don’t think Russia has anything against Zelensky. They were probably hoping he would at least try to accommodate peace, but were expecting him to follow Nuland’s orders.

      The irony here is that a quick peace right now would likely save some of the Ukrainian nationalism for later cultivation while simultaneously lead to regime change in Russia. That could be a great long game for Blinken and Nuland, and maybe, barely, save the elections for Democrats, but I doubt they can actually play the game – it would require thinking beyond dictating the rules of Calvinball.

    2. vao

      In essence, the CIA and its Ukrainian contacts are making sure that Zelensky cannot abscond, get personally in touch with the Russians (or anybody else), discuss matters with people of his choice (e.g. members of the Ukrainian general staff or of the diplomatic corps) privately, or inspect the realm (whether visiting city neighbourhoods or touring military emplacements) according to his own schedule.

      Russia’s alleged assassination plans are a justification to disguise the fact that they want to keep Zelensky at all times under their control.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      In an epic podcast, PushBack with Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate, Scott Ritter addressed this issue. He began his remarks by asking, tongue-in-cheek, why zelensky wasn’t already dead.

      His contention was that zel was actually being kept alive by Russian security forces who had / have infiltrated ukie security.

      His contention was that Russia ultimately wants a negotiated peace with some level of independence for the Donbass and the remaining ukrainian territory a neutral, buffer state. His feeling was that the only person who could sign such an agreement with any legitimacy was zel, what with the lionization and praise the west has lavished on him as the ultimate ukrainian patriot. Should zel be eliminated and someone else installed, any agreement reached with Russia would not have the gravitas that zel brings to the table and Russia needs.

      Ritter also notes that the ukrainian neo-nazis are viciously opposed to any agreement with Russia, and would eliminate zel before they’d let him sign one.

      I can only imagine what false flag hay the americans would make if zel was assassinated “by Russia.”

      If Ritter is right, it would seem that those most interested in zel’s safety are actually the Russians, and both his own countrymen and nato (u.s.a.) could have some “compelling” reasons for his no longer being above ground.

      Link to the podcast. Long but tremendously interesting. Ritter rendered Blumenthal and Mate speechless more than once.

  25. Chauncey Gardiner

    IMO Archegos is a case study in the culture of levered speculation and deception that permeates Wall Street, from the primary dealer mega-banks and large shadow banks and hedge funds through “Family Offices” like Archegos. Will be interesting to see who has been “swimming naked” in derivatives before or after the worm finally turns on the euro, yen, Swiss franc et al carry trades.

    Begs the question of why We the People should be underwriting this behavior; whether through high credit card rates, negative real rates on our savings, taxes, inflation, currency depreciation, and/or impairment of the real economy?…

    Seems to me that arguments for capitalism in funding innovation and increasing productivity have been rendered doubtful. Perhaps it’s time to restore the Glass-Steagall Act to enable these people to speculate with their own capital rather than ours.

  26. Mikel

    “On Twitter, Briefly” The Convivial Society

    “During the fidget spinner craze a few years back, a thought came to mind: “Social media are the fidget spinners of the soul.”

    I had to look up the definition of fidget spinner and I’m not on twitter. Which made me wonder if there is a correlation between someone who knows what a fidget spinner is and having a twitter account.

    1. jr

      I don’t fall into that correlation but I do know what fidget spinners are. In fact, there is an entire line of toys called “Fidgets” that some of my friend’s kids received a few Xmas’s back. I cannot find a link about them but I’m sure you get the idea. My critique of toys that are literally designed to waste a kid’s time was not welcomed ’round the Xmas tree for sure…

  27. howseth

    $33 billion more for the Ukraine. That report gave me the chills… Maybe I am a just a cold bastard – but no, hold on now, this seems like a bad idea – and for suspicious reasons (arms sales) and will just prolong a bad situation.

    On another note: talking of chills, I tested positive for Covid last evening – I checked with one of those free government test kits – Yay! the government actually got something done for us all here in the USA!
    I don’t feel too bad (slight headache/ slight body aches, my temperature is already dropping – I still have my sense of smell and appetite) – perhaps less painful than my reaction to the two Covid vax’s and booster I had last year.

    I live in Santa Cruz, CA – a lot less people wearing masks now. I don’t know where I got the infection.

  28. Deltron

    Mounting evidence Canada trained Ukrainian extremists, gov’t needs to be held to account: experts

    “The Canadian military said they were alarmed by the report and denied any knowledge that extremists had taken part in training, adding that it does not have the mandate to screen the soldiers they train from other countries.”

    Just an honest mistake, I’m sure…one that couldn’t have been prevented, naturally. This is the first I’ve heard of this training referred to as Operation Unifier (which Canada has spent $890m+ conducting).

    The last section of the article gets interesting…
    “As Canada and its allies continue to funnel weapons and aid to Ukraine, the question of liability hangs in the air. If a member of the Ukrainian military who has extremist views or is part of a group like Centuria or the Azov Regiment – commits a crime with training or weapons provided by Canada, where does the blame lie?”

  29. Kouros

    Some Ukraine war consequences:

    I have been permanently banned from r/europe and temporarily banned from all subreddits for posting the following on a megathread on the present war:

    1. Defense Politics Asia has quite a good youtube channel with updates on the war:

    “The choice that we faced in Ukraine — and I’m using the past tense there intentionally — was whether Russia exercised a veto over NATO involvement in Ukraine on the negotiating table or on the battlefield,” said George Beebe, a former director of Russia analysis at the CIA and special adviser on Russia to former Vice President Dick Cheney. “And we elected to make sure that the veto was exercised on the battlefield, hoping that either Putin would stay his hand or that the military operation would fail.”

    3. After the attacks in Transnistria, Alexey Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that Ukraine was capable of “capturing” Transnistria should Chisinau formally request Kiev’s help in conquering the breakaway region.

    Moldova has turned down the “offer” to capture its breakaway region of Transnistria by force floated by Kiev, stating that it seeks to reintegrate the self-proclaimed republic only through political means.

    “The settlement of the Transnistrian issue can be achieved by political means and only on the basis of a peaceful solution, excluding military and other forcible actions, as well as on the basis of the principles of democratization and demilitarization of the region, [and] respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova,” Which is something that Ukraine is not likely to understand, since it had no intention to have any dialogue and it had no dialogue for 8 years with the rebel regions and it only envisioned attacking and eliminating any resistance, despite the UN mandated settlement.

    1. Foy

      I use that quote from the retired CIA spook “The choice we faced in Ukraine…was whether Russia exercised a veto over NATO involvement in Ukraine…” to friends when discussing Russia and Ukraine all the time. It’s brilliant. It shows the reality of dealing with superpowers and the fact the the US/West/NATO knew exactly what the were doing and their poking the bear actions were intentional.

      I’ve had a few friends say it’s Ukraine’s right to choose who they partner with, I’ve now been asking them whether Scotty from Marketing can complain about the Solomon Islands partnering with China. The cognitive dissonance…”but but but”

  30. Maritimer

    About 6M Californians ordered to cut water use amid drought AP
    Move over BP Racket and Dr. Fauci, Metropolitan Water District Chief Executive Officer Faucet wants a piece of the Emergency action. Human, welcome to micro regulatory Hell. Coming to a Digital ID processing center near you.

    1. juno mas

      …I believe that order is for outdoor water use. Californians are used to washing down the driveway to keep the car clean.

  31. ChrisPacific

    Re: What if Russia wins its war against Ukraine

    Putin is a bad dude, but he is not suicidal. However, Ukraine matters far more to Russia – for reasons of security, history, culture, and credibility – than to the US. He will risk and spend much more to achieve his ends. Possessing the weaker conventional force, Moscow also has a lower threshold for using nuclear weapons. And to give in to the West here would leave him vulnerable to a succession of new demands from Washington and Brussels. In short, Moscow can ill afford to yield. And it is likely to escalate force if threatened.

    This is a very nice articulation of an issue that’s been bothering me for some time now, but that I’ve had trouble putting into words. I suppose it’s theoretically possible that NATO treating Ukraine as a proxy war might lead to a happy ending of some kind for the West, with Russia put in its place. For all the factors discussed above, though, I have trouble imagining how it might come about. It seems far more likely that it would lead to a massive escalation.

    Insisting on the total subjugation of one side or another as an ending condition for this war is a recipe for perpetual conflict at best, and a nuclear holocaust at worst. Absolutist rhetoric that denies even the possibility of other solutions is leading us down this road. If there is any hope for a better outcome, it will have to involve peace of some kind. The sooner the West can give up on this fantasy of total victory, the better it will be for everybody concerned.

    1. Yves Smith

      It is false that Russia has “the weaker conventional force”. Russia is showing despite our spending boatloads more on defense than we do, that Russia’s focus on rugged, reliable weaponry versus our love of “gee whiz” tech has resulted in Russia outperforming in the field. The only area in which Russia is inferior to the US is in its airforce. But it instead uses missiles for long distance strikes and it is showing that it can target with great accuracy. It has hypersonic weapons that can deliver 4x the strike force of our most deadly bunker busters. Its electronic warfare capabilities exceed ours. It has used that to jam our weaponry, such as Switchblade and those supposed magic Turkish drones (have not bonded with their name). Recall when the US fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase (I will have to search my archives, it looks as if the official record on this has been scrubbed). Barely half arrived. That either meant we were very bad at aiming or the Russians were pretty good at jamming. It now looks like the latter.

      Our Javelins have proven useless. Russia’s comparatively small tanks can withstand 4+ hits from them before they need repairs, plus it’s hard to operate a Javelin and they are impractically heavy. And they can go over pontoon bridges….

      Russia is not a sea power but it does not need to be much of one (so I suppose you could prove out the claim by including that but Russia isn’t running an empire nor does it aspire to do so). And I suspect its nuclear sub fleet is more than adequate.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, the Russians don’t intend to project their troops around the world in 800+ bases like the US. And their navy just needs to protect their coastal lands (Black Sea), Baltic Ocean, and North pacific. They also maintain enough sea power to have influence in the Mediterranean Sea. Their ground troops, as we’re seeing, are powerful and relentless and designed to protect their borders. (In Ukraine—reclaiming their border.)

      2. Paradan

        Javelins have a Tandem warhead, there’s a little one up front that fires a tungsten(?) liner to set off the reactive armor, and then the main HEAT fires a copper liner punch through the armor. I’ve read that we sent a lot of old Javelins to them, and it sounds like there’s some kind of fusing issue where only the tungsten one is getting fired, or the timing of the charges is off and they’re interfering with one another. There’s no way congress approved putting them into production without seeing multiple slow-mo films of test rounds blowing apart M60’s.

        1. Yves Smith

          I just saw Scott Ritter on this. He said some have degraded with age to the degree that they aren’t exploding properly. He also said the electronics that guide the ailerons have often degraded so they miss the tank.

          This article indicates that Russian tanks have been better than the M60 for quite some time, including in their ability to withstand fire:

          1. PlutoniumKun

            A key issue with all small missiles is that they require very careful storage and handling – both due to the electronics and the cocktail of chemicals in the propellent and explosives.. In the first Gulf War the US lost mountains of TOW missiles due to degradation from sitting out in the Saudi sunshine and heat. This is why you see in video clips that now they are transported in very expensive and elaborate packaging materials. Russian missiles get much rougher treatment (they have visibly cheaper packaging), but are probably much simpler and more robust, as proven in any number of grim little wars around Africa.

            Ukraine is a relatively benign environment compared to the Saudi desert or frozen tundra, but its still cold (apparently the battery on the NLAW needs constant boosting in the cold, which is odd as its a joint Swedish design). But they are still being manhandled and stored in all sorts of inappropriate ways. Even the most robust outdoor laptop will only take so much mishandling before it breaks, and missiles are far more complicated than a laptop.

            There is also the problem that there is no ‘fallback’ for a small missile. If a tank loses a track, it can still move slowly into a defensive position and use its gun. If any one part of a missile fails… its just junk. And you don’t really know if its working properly until you fire it. The operator may not even know if the warhead goes off correctly, as there will be a flash on contact, especially if the tank has reactive armor. The operators may genuinely think they are achieving kills while they are only firing duds.

            This, among other reasons, is why the tank and long range artillery is still, as the Russians put it, the God of the battlefield.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Oh, there’s probably a suitable washing machine cycle that can be adapted to control a missile…

                1. The Rev Kev

                  All the repeated Ukrainian stories of thousands of Russian tanks destroyed seem to indicate that their propaganda is stuck on rinse-and-repeat.

          2. Polar Socialist

            Other things to ponder:
            – the Russian Relikt ERA is effective even against tandem warheads (it’s basically two ERA blocks stacked) and Russians have it installed even on the roof of the tanks.
            – a tank like T-72 has actually rather small vulnerable area from above relative to the size of the tank so it’s much more likely to achieve mobility (tracks, engine) or firepower (weapons, sensors) kill than destroy the tank.
            – smoke can hide the target, and there tends to be a lot of smoke in the battlefield pretty fast. I’m probably wrong, but to me it appears that one would confuse a Javelin even by driving behind a bush, a house or a bunch of trees which limits it’s usability and requires the operator to plan the attack.

    2. Grebo

      The US thought it had to act now, before it was too late. I think it is already too late. It had to go all-in or fold, and Washington never folds until long after its beaten. Does it have an actual plan? I don’t see one, it just expected Russia to cave to the sanctions and/or collapse in the face of the NATO trained Ukies. It’s an Underpants Gnomes war.

      That writer (from Cato) says “Moscow also has a lower threshold for using nuclear weapons” but I believe only the US has a first use policy. As Yves says, the West has underestimated Russian capabilities, and she doesn’t even mention this: Nuclear subs with 900 mile Mach 7 missiles. Once these are deployed (soon) Russia will be able to sink every US carrier group anywhere in the world. Escalation doesn’t have to be nuclear.

      1. MarqueJaune

        Ever since 1945 the US has retained the “right” to use nuclear weapons as it sees fit, i.e., it has a de facto doctrine of first use… all the other nuclear powers (apart nk and israel), if I’m not mistaken, have a clearly publicly stated no first use policy/doctrine

        That first use policy/doctrine has also been an integral (prime?) part of the US nuclear diplomacy…

        In the 50’s and 60’s the US had plans for an all out first strike at the soviet union, the idea being that they should wipe the soviet union while they had the upper nuclear hand
        Daniel Ellsberg talks about this and much more in his doomsday machine
        Another entertaining read, specially the part about the dead hand :D

    3. MarqueJaune

      That piece in is full of dubious assumptions, like that one about russia’s weaker conventional forces…
      About russian resolve and capabilities, past and present, and the whole current mess in ukraine, this piece by Larry Johnson and this other by Jacques Baud (which i believe has already been linked here at nc before).
      Quite entertaining reads…

  32. Soredemos

    >Britain says Russia’s Black Sea fleet retains ability to strike Ukraine Reuters

    Of course it does. The Moskva was designed as an anti-carrier ship-killer, and in practice was basically just being an AA and radar platform for the rest of the fleet. It wasn’t taking part in any of the cruise missile strikes. It was the flagship, so maybe it was coordinating fleet activities, but maybe not even that, since it was forty years out of date and hadn’t been significantly upgraded (I’m not sure why it was made into a flagship. Maybe just because it was bigger and more impressive looking? Or being physically bigger makes it easier to cram command gear into?). It sucks for Russia that it was sunk, but its loss doesn’t meaningfully impact the fleet’s ability to hit land targets in Ukraine.

    (also long-term the Russian navy may come out better for its loss, since there was a bunch of internal debate about whether to expensively upgrade the ship or just use the money to build multiple newer, smaller ships. Now that issue has been forcibly resolved).

      1. Skippy

        Amends my lady … an American admiral today is the equivalent of a L.A. Cholo driving his low rider downtown L.A. boulevard for style points. They are all projecting the MIC superior product and await the big pay day of a consultancy or boardroom appointment to ascend above the unwashed masses.

  33. digi_owl

    That Chinese growth target situation makes me think of UK right before stagflation. Do wonder if Beijing is as proud of the yuan as Westminster was of sterling.

  34. CoryP

    Paypal apparently just cut off Caleb Maupin, Mintpressnews and Alan MacLeod who works for them. accounts permanently suspended. They’ll hold the funds for up to 180 days and then tell you how you can retrieve them.

    This is f-ing scary. I assume Patreon and Substack will be next. I don’t understand the laws that govern such payment processors as opposed to entities like VISA/MC … But this is really not good.

    1. Yves Smith

      Substack is independently funded. They’ll be the last to go.

      One way to get them (and I can’t propagate this) is to have every person who gave to these sites via credit card dispute the charge. Get the money back and send it directly to the recipient. Credit cards hate PayPal and this should fall within the rules. You did not authorize a charge to have payment delayed by 180 days.

      1. CoryP

        In their letter PayPal cites the “risk” that the offending accounts present. Didn’t the credit card companies cut off Wikileaks at some point? I don’t remember he legal justification. But if it involved vague words like “risk” or “harm” I am fearful for what might come.

        I do agree with you about Substack, but I wonder if the pressure could be applied externally by the people processing Substack’s payments.

        The whole temporary kerfuffle about OnlyFans was kind of like that. Creators are still now restricted from some forms of content that they previously were not. Not sure the specifics—-it’s not stuff I’m into. (I’ll defer to JHB. Just teasing. :) )

Comments are closed.