Links 4/30/2022

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.

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Your humble blogger was a bit under the weather. Once in a while I get what I call stress hangovers. It’s like having a 75% strength migraine. Nothing serious but I really can’t work while one is on. So forgive me if these links wind up being short rations.

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Millions of bees used in pollination die in airline shipping ABC News. Kevin W: “To go from California to Alaska you have to go through frikkin’ Georgia?”

67 Wild Horses Die of Highly Contagious Illness in Federal Care Treehugger

Honeybees join humans as the only known animals that can tell the difference between odd and even numbers PhysOrg (Robert M)

The surprising afterlife of used hotel soap The Hustle

From seawater to drinking water, with the push of a button MIT News (David L)

Why does swearing make us stronger? Big Think (fk). Funny, I picked up the habit of the regular use of profanity when on Wall Street. The use of bad language outside contexts like that was less acceptable than now.

The Ever-Present Origin: Swiss Poet, Philosopher, and Linguist Jean Gebser’s Prescient 1949 Vision for the Evolution of Consciousness The Marginalian (David L)



Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections with the delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases using immunosuppressants: a substudy of two prospective cohort studies Lancet (Kevin W)

Omicron sub-lineages BA.4/BA.5 escape BA.1 infection elicited neutralizing immunity Sigil. Manuscript, not even a preprint but getting attention on Twitter due to high caliber of authors.

Study tracks COVID-19 infection dynamics in adults MedicalXpress (David L)

Ask Amy: Brother insists vaccinated relatives take COVID tests before visit. Is that reasonable? Michigan Live (verifyfirst)


Under Lockdown in China New York Times


Is America in the Middle of an Invisible COVID Wave? Atlantic. Resilc: “Not if you look and read NC.”


Country-Level Warming Projections Berkeley Earth (resilc)

Public ‘Duped’ About Plastics Recycling, CA Launches Investigation Patch (David L)


How China Will Dominate the Global Competition Over Data National Interest (RobertC)

Huawei defeats US chip ban to post record profits Asia Times (Kevin W)

China–Solomons deal ‘politically illiterate’ if Beijing wants better ties with Australia: Rudd Asia Strategist (RobertC)

China has a youth unemployment problem Asia Times (resilc)

Mild proposal for fortifying Japan, Taiwan air defenses Asia Times (Kevin W)

Europe’s Economy Slows to a Crawl as War and Inflation Take a Toll New York Times (Kevin W)

Paris suspends Bolloré electric buses after two catch fire France24 (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

EU prepares Russia oil embargo – media RT (Kevin W). I can’t even…

Ukrainians Suffer Gasoline Shortages After Russian Strikes on Fuel Infrastructure Wall Street Journal. Erm, we reported on this over two weeks ago, based on a report on a Ukrainian business site.

* * *

Ukraine and the Doomsday Machine Larry Wilkerson and Paul Jay (fk). Due to not feeling so hot, I have not tracked down what Scott Ritter said on this topic. It does not sound like Wilkerson read source material on Russian doctrine with respect to the use of nuclear weapons. Ritter as a UN former weapons inspector who reads Russian would have the correct take on this.

* * *

The New Turn in Ukraine: Putin’s War Becomes Biden’s War CounterPunch (resilc)

Biden Seeks to Rob Putin of His Top Scientists With Visa Lure Bloomberg. Um, I think a lot of Russians have worked out that they are now hated in the West. Even the Economist pointed it out in a recent story: There are many reports of hostility towards Russians in Germany. It added they were less badly treated in France and Italy…because the Russian diaspora was small.

$33B Request Will Help Ukraine Fight Russia In The ‘Longer Term,’ Biden Says Defense One (resilc). The dough only goes to the end of Sept.

Russian media today, 28 April 2022 Gilbert Doctorow. On US and Poland schemes for western Ukraine.

Ukraine Latest: Russia Says It Plans to Quit Space Station Bloomberg

The Second Level Geopolitical War in Ukraine Takes Over CounterPunch. Note that commentators who recognize that Ukraine is losing the war (as reflected in the subdued and even selectively downbeat comments from UK officials and in the British press, a big shift from their former boosterism) depict the shift in narrative to “the goal is to weaken Russia” as an effort to divert attention. However the US is so propaganda-driven that we will now try to act on that. Resilc quotes:

What has been apparent to critics for some time is that Western diplomacy has become primarily committed to second level Geopolitical War even at the cost of greatly prolonging and aggravating the Ukrainian war on the ground and producing growing risks of a wider war. Only in the past few days has this priority been more or less acknowledged by high officials in the U.S. Government, most dramatically in the visit of Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, and Austin, Secretary of Defense to Ukraine and later to meeting in Europe with their NATO counterparts. What was revealed was that the number one policy goal of the U.S. was ‘the weakening of Russia’ made a viable undertaking by the unexpected resistance capabilities of Ukrainian armed forces bolstered by a show unified patriotic resolve.

Why Europe cannot understand Russia Pepe Escobar, The Cradle


Iran’s Guards commander says Israel creating conditions for destruction Jerusalem Post

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

FBI Conducted Potentially Millions of Warrantless Searches of Americans’ Data Wall Street Journal

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Ukraine War Is Ballooning America’s Military Industrial Complex New Republic. Resilc: “Never ending love for a losing military.”

U.S. Army To Test Networked Drone Swarms Flying Magazine (David L). Um, how are networked drones any more resistant to Russia’s signal/GPS jamming? Seem like this might be fighting the last war.

FIRST ON CNN: US left behind $7 billion of military equipment in Afghanistan after 2021 withdrawal, Pentagon report says CNN. Resilc: “It’ allllll good, jobs for merikin workers.”


Trump loses bid to lift contempt charge despite swearing he can’t find subpoenaed documents CNBC


Joe Manchin’s Approach to Biden’s Presidency Is Paying Off in West Virginia Morning Consult (resilc)

Sanders: Democrats’ strategy for handling Manchin, Sinema an ‘absolute political failure’ The Hill

Bernie Sanders Wants Democrats to Make Unions Their Biggest Message Vanity Fair (furzy). Over the party’s dead body.

Our No Longer Free Press

The Sweet Sound of Censorship: The Biden Administration Seeks the Perfect Pitch for Disinformation Governance Jonathan Turley

“This is This” James Howard Kunstler. Not sure about the Maoist reference unless he means the Cultural Revolution.

Musk told banks he will rein in Twitter pay, make money from tweets Reuters. Furzy correctly says this would represent the end of Twitter. Musk proposes charging for embedding tweets. They are now as you know used in a significant way even in mainstream media. I can’t imagine anyone will go along with this. This will reduce the interest of journalists in Twitter.

The problems with Elon Musk’s plan to open-source the Twitter algorithm MIT Technology Review (David L)

Judge Rejects Elon Musk’s Quest To Scrap Deal Over 2018 Tweets HuffPost (furzy)

Illinois’ Education Chief Urges Schools to Stop Working With Police to Ticket Students for Misbehavior ProPublica (resilc)

Air France plane ‘went nuts’ as pilots pulled controls in opposite directions Telegraph (Kevin W)

EIA Monthly Data Shows A Dip In U.S. Oil Production OilPrice

Nasdaq index marks worst monthly drop since 2008 financial crisis Financial Times

Class Warfare

College-Educated Workers Help Unionize Places Like Starbucks New York Times. Go class traitors! Or perhaps more accurately, people who were betrayed by their class and are not taking it sitting down.

Wages Went Up During the Covid Pandemic. Now We’re Back to the Crap-Job Economy. New Republic (resilc)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Are We in the Middle of an Invisible COVID Wave?”

    At this point, is it possible to tell? I mean that you would need a real-time nation-wide testing and reporting regime in place but this was never done, even during the worse of the Pandemic. Since countries like America are pulling back all support except for vaccinations (at the moment) the message is everywhere the same. It’s over. Time to move on and get back to work in the economy. In this, they are actually in full agreement with what Trump once said and have made it public health policy

    ‘One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear’

        1. Glen

          We need to start a Jackpot meter to let people know how it’s heading today.

          One of the shops I worked in had a Rage-O-Meter up for a while. It was a bit of a joke, but if they had moved the meter to point at Postal Worker Rage (and that should date how long ago this was, and sorry for any unintentional slams on the USPS because They are great!), one at least knew to make your business in the area quick, and then call someone and find out what the [family blog] was going on. Generally it was something really stupid their boss had done which to be honest, since it was back in the day, looks pretty dumb now. By those quaint standards, the whole county’s Rage-O-Meter is stuck on 11 all day, every day.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If we were to be seriously satirical about it, or maybe satirically serious, we could draw more attention to such a Jackpot-O-Meter by modeling it after the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ” Minutes to Midnight” meter.

            It would be misleading in the sense that “midnight” is a one-time big event of all out atomic war all over the earth. Whereas Jackpot is a slow-rolling stealth-moving process.
            But that could be explained once people were attracted to the meter.

            So maybe have a minimalist clock just like the Bulletin of the A S, and call it ” X Minutes to Jackpot”.

    1. Aleric

      It feels like it here in MN, a close friend and father-in-law both tested positive yesterday. At home tests, so not in the stats. Both vaxxed and boosted. Both take mask requirements seriously. I think its a mix of mask fatigue, and trust in Let ‘er Rip Brandon.

        1. ambrit

          Not to put too fine a point on it, it’s definitely a Party line. I’ll draw my own conclusions. No in-between shades here. Either you’re “with the program,” or you’re a “dirty, unpatriotic deplorable.” In fact, I remember when in grade school we were exhorted to “colour inside the lines.” This is the same thing. “Only think inside the Party Line.” With the advent of Jackpot Engineering, now it’s no longer, “Be bad and Mommy spank!” It’s now, “Mommy spank whether you are good or bad. Mommy don’t care anymore. Assume the position.”
          Since she is “from California,” will Kamala be our new Joan Crawford? H—. At least Joan Crawford had some talent. Kamala?

      1. Guild Navigator

        Add me and my family +4. My wife and I are vaxed and our kids were also vaccinated.

        1. Medbh

          Our oldest is a senior in high school and tested positive for covid last week. He wore a N95 at school and ate lunch outside. He got the #3 booster shot in December.

          On a positive note, no one else in our family has tested positive (6 in family, plus 2 visiting family members). He spent 5 days in his room and we taped plastic around the hallway to his room and bathroom, he had a HEPA filter in his room (with the door closed) and another HEPA in the hallway. He also kept his bedroom window open with a fan pulling air out.

          I realize not all families have a spare bathroom or separate bedrooms, or can afford HEPA filters and covid tests. But if you have resources to take precautions, the infection of one does not mean that the whole family has to get it. We’re 10 days out and no one else has turned positive. I’ve talked with a number of people that just assume infection is inevitable and don’t even attempt to separate. Maybe we just got lucky, but it doesn’t hurt to try and separate the infected.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Right, exactly! Liberal Democrats completely adopted the GBD in spirit, even if they’re less brazen about it. But the end result is still go die for capitalism. And we keep seeing the Biden administration through the inept CDC hiding more and more information or simply not collecting it in the first place.

      At least Trump did OWS. Biden is credibly worse on the pandemic.

      So you gotta assume every day is more dangerous than the day before, go out as infrequently as possible, and take whatever other precautions you deem necessary as an individual, because public health isn’t a thing in the US.

      1. lance ringquist

        back in march of 2020 my wife and i were watching a trump press conference, when he said we will pay americans bills and medical care. the legacy media was in uproar, and the nafta democrats said flat out no, unemployment and other programs, of course to complicated and structured, on purpose of course.

        so trump tried, but i am not carrying his water. he should have kept driving for that.

      2. neo-realist

        A President who did not tell the public about the virus for months after he knew about it (Trump)? Who denied the existence of Covid (Trump)? Who recommended Bleach for covid (Trump)? Add that to a bunch of Cracka red staters who didn’t play ball, wouldn’t mask up, wouldn’t vax up (to reduce the likelihood of serious illness. Biden could have been better on pushing better filtration for offices, but Trump was a very low bar for even Biden’s flawed approach.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The “bleach for Covid” is another example of taking what Trump said out of context and distorting. It’s less bad than that cleaning argument by the Federal judge on the anti-mask ruling, when that was a formal legal opinion, and not Trump riffing.

          It was not months but a month that Trump lost:

          And you may recall that the Dems OPPOSED even the Covid containment measures that Trump implements, like barring flights from China? That was the single most important early measure he could have taken and he should have done that sooner. But Team Dem was ripshit. Remember Pelosi calling him racist and saying she was going to Chinatown?

          Point is there is zero reason to think Team Dem would have performed better.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Don’t forget that video of clips the GOP put out of Dem politicians (including high-rankers) expressing their grave misgivings about taking a “Trump vaccine”. Then they won the election. No more misgivings. It’s bullshit all the way down.

    3. petal

      Had to go out to the box stores to get a couple non-skid rugs this morning and swung by large supermarket whilst out that way. Watched a pregnant UMC woman and husband walk into a packed supermarket without masks. Hardly anyone was wearing them whichever store I went into. I believe this little area is the covid capital of NH right now(that we know of). At the College, student cases have gone down some this week, but faculty/staff cases are maybe the highest they’ve been-and this is with easily accessible, free PCR testing. Heaven knows how many at-home positives there are right now. It’s mind-blowing-seeing it all out “in the wild” makes my brain hurt.

      Yves, I hope you feel better soon. I get those episodes sometimes, too.

    4. eg

      Data about community spread here in Ontario is completely lacking. It makes a mockery of “calculate your own risk.”

  2. KD

    It looks like the EU studied 4th dimensional chess from the Trump Administration. Everyone knows that OPEC+ is a cartel used to increase oil prices because high oil prices absolutely destroy and impoverish oil producers. Everyone knows OPEC+ does what it does out of the kindness of its heart to help oil consumers. The EU, seeking to destroy Russia, has concluded that OPEC+ is not doing a good enough job of raising oil prices, and seeks to raise oil prices even higher by embargoing Russian oil.

    This might seem counter-intuitive, but if oil prices go high enough, it will drive prices of goods through the roof (to the extent they require petro or energy inputs), consumers won’t be able to keep up, and you will have severe recession in the developed world and starvation, food riots and revolution in the developing world. As economies among the world oil consumers goes into severe stagflation/recession (including those places that become failed state dumpster fires as well), oil demand will eventually go down, hurting the economies of oil producers. It is incomprehensible why the US Fed would have told the EU that this plan is bad idea, and thank god the EU doesn’t believe the Putin puppets at the Fed who don’t know the first thing about economics. The adults are truly in charge again as Joe Biden assured us. Now if the West could only become truly democratic like Ukraine and ban opposition parties and imprison journalists and dissidents, and embed Neo-Nazis at all levels of the national security architecture, freedom could finally triumph over disinformation.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Actually, Janet Yellen, I believe at the G20, told European ministers that embargoing Russian oil would be a bad idea because it would make prices go higher and Russia could make at least as much on lower volumes. But her staging that walk-out with other Western officials seems to be the message they took home.

      1. ambrit

        I was under the impression that Yellen was ‘valued’ as a Technocrat. Yet now we see her acting like a Politica. That “walkout” was pure “performance art.” Real Technocrats do not reject dialogue out of hand. To appear ‘scientific,’ one needs data. Walkouts stop the flow of ‘official’ data. So, how does America learn the baseline issues that are important to the Russians if America won’t even listen? This comes across as bullying behaviour. The Third World will be paying attention. Indeed, I anticipate a thriving trade in Russian oil, to the Third World. It might go through Iran, or China, or even Cuba.
        The real test will be if and when America tries to physically stop the flow of “unapproved” oil.

        1. John Zelnicker

          ambrit – “how does America learn the baseline issues that are important to the Russians if America won’t even listen?”

          The neocons don’t give a damn about Russia’s baseline interests, and they don’t want to negotiate, or allow Ukraine to do so.

          Their single-minded dedication to weakening Russia (and regime change, if possible) is blinding them to the reality on the ground.

          1. ambrit

            Yes to the observation that our “Glorious Leaders” have lost touch with reality. I wouldn’t mind them learning the error of their ways the hard way, but, not at the cost of the rest of the world’s population.
            You know ‘things’ are bad when you wish for the appearance of someone like Dick Nixon to bang some heads in Washington together. Sort of like the Zen slap.
            Stay safe down by the Bay.

        2. Jason Boxman

          Indeed, it seemed petulant. This kind of childishness seems pervasive in American elite these days. Or you get ridiculous performative art like Pelosi kneeing when briefly BLM was a thing liberal Democrats cared about. There’s no seriousness to any of it. The statesmanship, so to speak, is gone. And any introspection, if there ever was any?

          1. ambrit

            At least the Old Guard Parasite Class knew not to kill it’s host organism. Famines tend to bring on robust power struggles.
            The Pelosi kneeling performance is inadvertantly hilarious. She managed it by herself? I’m a bit surprised that she didn’t have a stunt double do the deed, in soft focus of course, or maybe in the shadows.

            1. Dr. John Carpenter

              There was a photo I saw after the photo op of all the assistants rushing over to help almost all of them stand back up. That one always gave me a chuckle. Too bad the wires didn’t run that one. It felt much more authentic.

        3. The Rev Kev

          ‘The real test will be if and when America tries to physically stop the flow of “unapproved” oil.’

          That is what I am waiting for next. For the US Navy to hijack a coupla Russian oil tankers like they did to Iranian oil tankers. Just say that those tankers were sanction busting or something, bring them into port and then sell that Russian oil onto the market. What could possibly go wrong?

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Won’t be possible. You cut Russia oil 49-51 with non Russian and repeat. You are up to pretty much 75% Russian oil but you can swear at each juncture that it’s not (really). And everyone in the chain is highly motivated to pretend they don’t know what’s happpening.

            Russian gas sold into storage outside Russia and then sold is considered non-Russian. Not making that up. Expect a lot of traders to do that. Problem is oil storage capacity is not all that large (51-55 days).

      2. KD

        Given the disruptions to wheat supplies, and petro rises affecting fertilizer as well as food production costs, do we have any estimates on how many millions of people in the Developing World are going to die of malnutrition or related causes as a result of the Biden/EU sanctions-induced “Holodomor”?

  3. Valiant Johnson

    My Mother, MD and Masters in English Literature, swore like a longshoreman.
    She always said that “polite” language is a tool of class suppression and that we should speak the way that people speak. Joke em if They can’t take a fuck.

    1. jackiebass63

      I disagree with you mother. If your vocabulary is limited to the 4 letter word it is time for you to expand your vocabulary.

      1. jr

        You can have your cake and fu(k it too! I blend obscenity with five dollar words pretty seamlessly in my speech. It’s a potent combination and somehow people seem more forgiving of the swear words when they are woven into deft language. One tempers the other, so to speak.

        1. Terry Flynn

          I feel that swearing is something that is fine when it helps display strength of opinion and vehemence of view. I dislike both those people who use the f-bomb as punctuation in speech and those who self-censor with ridiculous Victorian era words.

          Our family swears quite a lot but it’s understood that you do it when emphasis is required, particularly if used “out of the blue” (excuse the pun). I maintain that the finest f-bomb ever is in Monty Python when Brian is forced into a corner when stuck in that hole saying he is the Messiah. You just can’t see it coming and John Cleese’s response just made it even funnier.

        2. Tom Bradford

          Isn’t the nonuse of 4 letter words limiting one’s vocabulary?

          Yes, in the sense that it might reduce your vocabulary from the 5,000 in everyday use to 4,999. However I view the use obscenities and profanities as laziness and prefer (not always successfully) to elucidate the reasons why I believe someone to be a Dick when his name is not Richard.

          Too, it has been suggested (Whorfianism) that language shapes its users perceptions of the world – the famous, although debunked, proposal that Eskimos have 50 words for snow giving them a much fine and more intense ‘experience’ of the phenomenon than English speakers. Just ‘the poetic’ use of language can turn the mundane into the novel, a ‘new’ way of looking at something, ‘swearing’ reduces the unique situation into a banality and devalues the users perception of ‘heavenly’ experience the f-word refers to.

      2. The Historian

        I don’t think he said his mother’s vocabulary was ‘limited to the 4 letter word”, and he is right that language, including ‘polite language’ as always been used as class suppression. George Bernard Shaw even created a play around that theme back in the early 1900’s. You might recognize it as the musical “My Fair Lady”.

        I too believe that well placed 4 letter words are very useful to get a point across!

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Then again, four letter words are often thrown around by deceitful politicos seeking to fake the appearance of being sincere and concerned and ” down with the people, man” and so forth.

          Like that semi-recent-times DemParty apparatchik with the Portuguese last name which I forget. His face looked like skin stretched over the skull beneath. I believe Obama put him in charge of some DemParty power organs.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                No, I mean yet a third person whose name I cannot remember. When Sanders did well-ish the first time, this Mr. Skullface was the person Obama put in charge of purging Sanderistas out of the DemParty central Nomenklatura.

                But right when Mr. Skullface was putting his purge into motion, he was also sprinkling expletive-flakes on his speeches to show that he was ” authentic ” and ” down with the people, man” .

      3. hunkerdown

        Strong words are vocabulary. Besides, manners movements come hand-in-glove with commercialization. When we swear more, we tell the value system of commerce to sit the familyblog down. This is an unalloyed good thing.

      4. skk

        Jack Wagner, the former “Voice Of Disneyland” disagrees with you. I won’t link to it but do check out his short audio called “Using Proper English – The Many Uses of the F word”. It starts – “Perhaps one of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word ‘F*$k’. Out of all the English words that begin with the letter F, F*$k’ is the only word referred to as ‘The F word.’

        I was shown this wayyyyyy back when in the early 2000s when the CEO played it for the entire company, in advance of announcing “NO bonuses this qtr”. I guess it did take the edge off the disappointment somewhat.

      5. Stick'em

        Perhaps the first time I’ve heard someone tell a person with a Masters in English to expand their vocabulary. Usually the problem is they’re dropping words nobody’s heard since the Victorian Era.

        Here’s Chris Tucker to clear it up for us:

    2. Sutter Cane

      I appreciated swearing a lot more before the reddit/Marvel movie/…RBG bobblehead? crowd (I don’t know how to accurately describe this demographic exactly, but some category of tech employed blue check PMC liberals) have taken a bit of the fun out of it. When there are children’s books called “Go The F*ck to Sleep” it starts to takes away any power that the profanity might have had.

      I also hate commercials that skirt around almost but not quite saying the bad word. Cursing in the right context is fine, corporations cursing at me in order to seem cheeky, I find off-putting. The commodification of profanity!

      1. CzechAgain

        To state the obvious: “Go the F* to Sleep” is NOT a children’s book. It is a satire of a children’s book. Perhaps that demographic you disdain actually got the point.

        1. Sutter Cane

          A satire, yes, an amusing one, no. To me it fits in with the same “funny” mugs you see with cutesy graphics and curse words. I feel like the humor of this sort of juxtaposition is played out.

          1. ArvidMartensen

            Soon they gotta find a new fucking word. Fuck is getting fucking done to death. As soon as there is a new word, I’ll be right on it. Profanity is one of the joys of life!
            Useful whenever someone tries to put you down, or do a power move, or cut across you in conversation. I use it to great effect in the workplace, no peers fucking mess with me when it’s important.
            And did I mention it is great for sending clear, concise messages.
            One time when I was telling the boss, in a nice professional way, the problems another team was having with doing what they should be doing for us, my exec, ex-military, boss just said to me “Tell ’em to do their fucking job”. Clear as daylight and no second guessing needed. Love clear communications.
            Hate bs, subtle, ‘what did he really mean’, communications at work.

          2. Fight Toddlers with Humour

            One of the funniest and also useful books I have read was Toddlers are %**holes, it’s not your fault.

            Useful because when our toddlers were peak annoying I had a humour back-up to read the situation, this way calibrating my own emotions towards calm instead of going crazy

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Toddlers are both really bad and committed to self destruction. A neighbor boy, at the age of three, climbed up the town water tower and the same year, pulled the emergency brake on the family car parked on a pretty steep hill. Fortunately it rolled all the way down and into a field at the bottom of the hill. I would insert keys in electrical outlets.

    3. Basil Pesto

      There’s no greater exemplar of artful swearing than The Thick Of It. There’s a lot of it, but it’s never gratuitous, and always serves a function at a basic rhythmic level at least.

    4. VK

      When I was in stroke rehab, I had a cohabitant, who learned to use swearing and ‘bad words’ to break his paralysis, especially when initialzing a new movement. Swearing is now an often used tool for me too. Gratefully it still works.

    5. WalterM

      It seemed really something that one of the researchers cited in the article was named “Nick Washmuth.”

  4. Solarjay

    I listened to Ryan Grim the other day on rising, he was at a concert/super spreader event and came down with Covid, so did almost all who he went with. Let alone the 1000’s of others. All just normal post pandemic infections.

    I listened to useful idiots podcast on Friday with Michael hudson, who has a really scary and researched take on the war as it relates to international economics and control. Really worth a listen.

    1. The Historian

      I thought the Useful Idiots podcast was excellent – but unfortunately one of the most important questions at the end went unanswered except for their paying subscribers.

      I know these podcasters have to make a buck too, but I am getting so frustrated with them. I can’t afford to subscribe to all their private channels so I’m not hearing a lot of what is important, like the rest of this Michael Hudson interview. I have to save my donation money for those sites I consider critical, like NC. NC doesn’t cut you off mid-interview simply because you don’t have the money.

      It seems to me that information is getting more and more siloed towards those that can pay, v. those that need to hear. Are we creating a new ‘information elite’? How are progressives expected to grow their numbers if only those who can afford to pay hear what progressives are saying? There has to be a better way of getting info out to ALL of us! Thank you NC for not going ‘private’!

      1. Donald

        I have the same issue with Patreon. I am thinking of subscribing to Robert Wright but it will be 72 dollars a year. I already subscribe to three people— Taibbi, Daniel Larison , and a religious writer and I can’t justify forking out 50-70 dollars a year for every person I find interesting.

        Dissidents ( and this can include antiwar rightwingers) need to get together and create a single outlet for all of them. Or realistically, get maybe five or ten people like that together.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It could be a newspaper. They could call it the Biased Radical Press. It could sell by subscription and on newstands and if the people who claim they want such a thing were to actually buy it, it might be able to make enough money to pay Biased Radical Journalists a good living to produce Biased Radical Journalism and Reporting.

          Almost like the newspapers of old. But it would have to have zero digital presence of any kind, so that no one would try evading the necessity of buying it so it could support its Biased Radical Employees.

          Are there enough people who would actually “pay” for a “newspaper” to make such a thing possible?

          1. Donald

            Yeah, that’s why I subscribe to his Patreon account. He is one of the most sensible commenters on foreign policy.

            1. vegasmike

              He works for the Quincy Institute. They have a publication Responsible State Craft, which he writes for. You can also find him on Daniel Larison for many years was just about the only person who discussed the Yemen war at all, besides a few Trotskyites. His work was more lucid than the old Trots.

        2. jonboinAR

          Here, here! I was wondering when the subject would come up so I could throw in my $0.02 (ha!). They all seem to charge $5/month and I’m sorry, that’s just too much for me. I think this year I’ve given to NC, between the main fundraiser and the Watercooler mini one, about $70. For that I get a ton of content and useful information, much more than a single writer could possibly offer. Am I being crassly materialistic or selfish here? Anyhow, as a person who watches his pennies fairly closely, I would be willing to pay another $75/year to one site if about 10 of them gathered up on it and split my payment. But $60 per year per writer? I’m sorry. I can’t afford it. What I wonder is whether such a venture would provide all of them contributing a decent income or if the whole idea of earning a living publishing one’s writing on the Internet is just uneconomical.

      2. Pelham

        I’ll second that. Clearly, the media environment is all a-jumble and we need something a good deal better so everyone can access thoughtful and — I’ll venture to add at considerable risk to reputation — curated information.

        To redeploy the terminology applied here to Covid strategy, I’m skeptical of the “let ‘er rip” philosophy that many believe Musk will implement at Twitter. It seems to me that the inescapable essence not just of social media but also the internet itself is enabling and amplifying absolutely everything and everyone, including the very worst malefactors whose unmediated content by its very nature will always rise to poisonous prominence.

        This raises the question of who would do the curation. Any solution imaginable is either impossible or worse than “let ‘er rip,” as I see it. The medium itself is the problem, which means that public access to the internet itself must either be eliminated or the online world must be marginalized in the public mind as a consistent source of even remotely trustworthy information. That’s all we need to do.

        There, fixed it.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Oh . . . . so , no more Gabe Brown videos on You Tube? And no more You Tube itself if that is the only way you can erase Gabe Brown videos from existence?

          I think I reject your solution to the problem.

          Let those who choose to swim in sewage lagoons get covered with the sewage of their own choosing.

        2. Paul Jurczak

          who would do the curation

          You will, just like you did so far. You will select the sources of information worth your attention. No need to do it for other people.

      3. Janie

        I listened yesterday and, yes, it was very good. The part about the war going on for years was the scary part. Agree on frustration about not hearing the end because it’s behind to paywall.

    2. Bart Hansen

      One scary bit was how those above us are pushing for a cull of the world’s population through, among other things, unaffordability of fertilizer.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I wouldn’t worry about that. If they have their way, there will be more than enough “fertilizer.”

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Farmers could do an end run around that by restoring the bio-microbial functioning of their soil so that it can grow its own fertilizer by fixing its own Nitrogen from the sky above itself. If they get started now.

      3. deedee

        Question: What basis does Prof. Hudson have for the assertion that high-ranking members of the U.S. government actively intend to starve to death up to 20% of the earth’s human population?

        1. Gc54

          Not enough! A 20% cull rolls the clock back only about 17 years. We are almost at 8 billion! We really need a sterilizing virus, first slowly then wham … I’m sure someone clever is at work on that.

  5. JohnA

    Re China–Solomons deal ‘politically illiterate’ if Beijing wants better ties with Australia:

    I expect China now considers Australia just as agreement incapable as its lord and master USA and therefore no point in seeing better ties.

    1. Darthbobber

      That would be my take as well. It’s not as if there was any chance of a hypothetical labor govt being at all accommodating to China before the China-Solomons pact was a thing. The Chinese have concluded that Australia is irretrievably, intransigently hostile and are proceeding accordingly

    2. The Rev Kev

      I live in the joint but have to agree. Scotty from Marketing and his team went full lunatic with Chinese relations and burnt the whole thing down to the ground. And like Darthbobber says above, the same would probably be true with a Labour government as both take their marching orders from Washington. The whole thing is insane. We are turning our back on Asia and going with the US/EU, even though we live in this art of the world. And you know what they say about payback.

        1. Greg

          It absolutely is. If China gets the pip and cuts coal/fruit/grain imports then Australia’s long rich golden years since 2000 will pop pretty violently. Along with the overheated real estate.

    3. Dftbs

      When Samuel Huntington was in high fashion at the start of the GWoT, I always thought his macro-cultural analytical lens for history was immaterial and hence flawed. But the “Anglo-sphere”, the UK and it’s settler colonial offspring, large son the US excluded, really do seem to operate under the rubric of “clash of civilizations”.

      There is no future where Australia turns its back on China and Asian commerce and is materially better off. And there is no incentive for them to do this unless they value their “Angloness” more than they value their prosperity, or see the former as intertwined with the latter.

      It’s once again en vogue in Moscow to see Russia as the vanguard of a distinct Slavic culture, one with a different morality than the East or West that Russia straddles. And in China they long gave up the universalist pretense of Marxism for the narrower “socialism with Chinese characteristics”. So maybe Huntington had something right. Even if his analysis neglected the material drivers of national interests, among other things. In the case of 26 million Australians, the ones in charge are also ignoring those material drivers of national interest.

      1. Louis Fyne

        The post-1066 Anglo-Norman=English elite couldn’t/can’t even get along with the French and Germans even though the French and (post-George I/Queen Victoria) German elites literally were their cousins. Perpetual clash of European civilizations from 1066 to 1918.

        There is something truly pathological about the English Establishment under the posh locution and America picked up the torch about Britain went broke.

      2. Kouros

        The two Norse colonies in Greenland come to mind. Their traditions were much stronger that their desire to live. They rather starved than eat like the local Innu (fish and seals). They did die in the end.

        The ecological threshold for Australia is about 7 million people. Now they have almost 30 million….

        1. CarlH

          Why those Norse colonies failed is still up to much debate, so your assuredness of the cause is unjustified.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Did you read Jared Diamond? He documents how a series of bad weather years led the colonists to eat their cows, which was a death sentence with no replacement food source. And the archeological evidence that they did eat them all is strong.

        2. The Rev Kev

          It was climate change which did Greenland in.The colonist had the misfortune to settle the place during a warm period and when the climate reverted back to normal, it pushed those settlers into extinction. And a few years ago I was reading how Australia was settled during a wet period which is one of the reason the climate is changing now. Even without climate change, it is going back to a dry normal.

          1. LifelongLib

            FWIW I’ve seen the same thing alleged about the American West. Last 200 years (i.e. period of European settlement) unusually wet, now reverting to historical norm.

    4. Kouros

      Rudd has started to have Chinese derangement syndrome.

      And he has not written anything on the line of:
      AUKUS deal “politically illiterate” if Canberra wants better ties with China…

      1. Roger

        So we have Trump Derangement Syndrome, Putin Derangement Syndrome and now China Derangement Syndrome. With continuing new additions that we cannot keep track of will we have to start calling it TPC+ syndrome?

  6. Art_DogCT

    Regarding Mr. Kunstler’s use of ‘Maoist’, I think Yves’ take is correct. He is casting the current, remarkably rigid ideological discipline of the collective PMC with the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guards. As he has evolved into ever more of a cultural reactionary he has absorbed the rightist / ultra-rightist critique of Marxism, communism, socialism, and liberation movements. Or maybe he’s where he’s always been – he and I both share a childhood marinated in the era of John Birch Society and HUAC fever dreams being broadly accepted as reality. Perhaps the stress of the last 10-15 years has simply resurfaced what he’s believed all along.

    I think very highly of The Long Emergency, and I think he remains interesting when he advances that work. His all too frequent forays into Geezer Shaking Cane At People territory are very sad.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Just read that Kunstler piece and thought it was spot on – with verve to spare.

      (and I consider myself ultra-left — if one must use labels)

      1. anon y'mouse

        just make sure you don’t read the comments section.

        he’s always allowed a heavy brigade of white supremacists to reign there and promote their “ideas”.

        different house, different rules.

      2. Art_DogCT

        I think the similarities are fairly shallow, the most important difference being the class character of the Cultural Revolution & Red Guards versus that of the PMC and its aims to dominate/manage the current phase of imperial decline. I think Lambert is correct that the PMC has risen to class consciousness in a sense that the classical Marxist petit bourgeoisie never did.

        One has to view the Cultural Revolution through the eyes of the ‘capitalist roaders’ who won out in that struggle, absorb the history as told by the victors, to go no deeper than accept it as deranged suppression of wrongthink. At the distance of decades what I think abides in the minds of Westerners is the spectacle presented by Western media of that period, never revised. There is no lack of spectacle in PMC politics, and they certainly seem committed to imposing a narrative discipline that the Red Guards could only dream about. So, given that theatrical resemblance is isn’t all that hard to draw an equivalence, if one is so inclined. I think that incorrect.

        Over the years I’ve often been considered ‘ultra-left’, not that I’ve ever accepted the descriptor. I’ve lost my confidence in and enthusiasm for the notion of building a ‘vanguard’ party – at least as far as donating my time and energy to that task – and it’s been a long time since I could validly think of myself as a party comrade. (Sam Marcy-era Workers World Party, as it happens; I have never gained any understanding of the splits that have happened since.) These days I think I’d be considered a ‘tankie’ and/or Trotskyist and/or anarchist and/or rightist, depending on the lens of the person assigning the label(s).

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        I gave up on reading him years ago (though I do like his melancholy, red-brick rich Upstate landscape paintings), mostly because he’s predictable and his screeds on immigration could be quite ugly.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Kunstler has been phoning it in for a while now. I stopped reading him regularly when it felt like he was writing with the Kunstler equivalent of a Friedman generator, which sadly now seems to be on hiatus (but up for sale!). For those not familiar, the Friedman generator was a gem of the interwebs and would at the push of a button spit out a Friedmanesque op-ed with the same nonsensical word salad Friedman is famous for.

          But I did enjoy the column linked to today – “…inverting and subverting language itself for the purpose of mind-raping the nation like Jeffrey Epstein on a 15-year-old” was a particularly nice turn of phrase.

      4. Carolinian

        So, you have a chief executive (“JB”) compromised mentally and legally, and installed via a janky primary and a dubious election, and, some young cookie fresh out of the Princeton fellowship bakeshop is going to defend him like Wonder Woman wielding her Magic Lasso of Aphrodite?

        Works for me–my flavor of abuse.

    2. skk

      Saying ‘Maoist’ is a convenient shorthand for the modern era – in Lenin’s time, it would be those groups in the UK, Germany critiqued in Lenin’s “Left Wing Communism – an Infantile Disorder”.

      The phrase “The revolution eats their own” summarizes the issue well. With the term “left” so thoroughly corrupted, I don’t use it for myself, but certainly I’d be very heavily on the side of the working class and have been for decades.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Kunstler marinated in the John Birch Society and HUAC era? Living in Manhattan NYC as he did all throughout his childhood and youth?

      1. Art_DogCT

        I don’t know enough of Kunstler’s particular biography to build a dispositive argument, but how could anyone – in or out of NYC – be insulated from the prevailing ideology of the 50s and a good chunk of the 60s? The anti-communism, the McCarthyite purges, the ceaseless militarism, the status of women, the status of people of color, the non-existence of anything outside of heterosexual ‘normality’. I could easily go on. Even if Kunstler was swaddled in the reddest diaper in the history of the universe, he must have macerated in that broth as all of us who were children in that period did. Perhaps, in his disappointed liberalism he’s retreated to the comforting mythologies of childhood – or he’s simply another instance of said liberalism being a gloss that conceals a reactionary ground state.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Latest: Russia Says It Plans to Quit Space Station”

    ‘Rogozin had threatened earlier this month to end Russia’s ISS mission unless the U.S., Europe and Canada lifted restrictions against enterprises involved in the Russian space industry.’

    I guess that the idea in DC is that people like Bezos, Branson & Musk can be entrusted with space while NASA is relegated to scientific research – if they can get the budget for it that is. This being the case and having no longer need of Russian rocketry to get them to the ISS, they can now sanction the Russian space program to try to cripple them. But for now the Russians remain to do their work as they look forward to winding up their work in the ISS. Still, two Russian Cosmonauts just did a spacewalk and unfurled the Banner Of Victory Of The Great Patriotic War as a defiant statement of their own- (1:24 mins)

    1. begob

      Interesting link – I wonder why and when they decided to bring that flag with them. And, for some reason, the photo of raising the flag over the Reichstag came to mind.

      + Ritter’s view on nuclear shenanigans was on mintpressnews youtube about a month ago. The takeaway is that the Russians don’t accept the concept of tactical nukes, and will respond absolutely.

      1. David

        Well, they have plenty of tactical (battlefield) nukes, so I do hope they have some sort of idea what they are going to do with them. I didn’t see that particular video, but Ritter may be reflecting the fact that traditional Soviet doctrine saw a war with NATO inevitably escalating to strategic nuclear exchanges, whereas NATO doctrine was that tactical nukes should be used as some kind of last-ditch warning. What is probably true is that the Russians have no doctrine of the use of tactical nuclear weapons in a situation such as the war in Ukraine. But neither does anyone else.

      2. cfraenkel

        As for the flag, one suggestion might be that the cosmonauts got offended by the Western media’s (false) hype that their yellow uniforms were a show of support for Ukraine, and the flag was their natural reaction.

        1. Paul Beard

          April 30 was the anniversary of first planting the soviet flag on the reichstag. The famous photograph was taken on May 2 after the flag had been removed and replaced.

    2. Nikkikat

      Rev, Bezo’s oddly shaped rocket ship certainly defines the kind of people that populate our government. It’s their brand so to speak.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Ask Amy: Brother insists vaccinated relatives take COVID tests before visit.’

    On the surface the issue seems simple enough…
    Should the sister and her family take a rapid test before visiting mom? Sure, but it’s hard not to be suspicious that these probably middle-aged siblings are using the subject as part of an old power struggle between them. I mean she went public and ‘asked Amy’?… really?!

    On the other hand, there’s this bit…
    ‘(according to our mom).
    I am disappointed that my brother has put our mom in the middle of this.’

    Did he put mom in the middle? Are the siblings actually talking to each other or is all communication going through mom? (and Amy?) (alarms going off!) Never underestimate the meddlesomeness of old people and their love of hanking their offspring’s emotional strings just for the power and attention. All my mother’s wrinkles would have smoothed out from the muscles used in grinning as she hung up the phone. She could live on that sip of narcissistic supply for weeks, reliving the sounds of distress she evoked from her children like a serial killer. She’s been dead two years and I’m still seriously pissed off… she’d just love that.

    But, you know, your tribal experience may vary…

    1. Joe Well

      All this angst over sticking a cotton swab in your family blogging nose…as with the antimaskers, narcissism manifests in pettiness.

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I am curious, do any of the tests that are sold or given to americans ever show negative for covid? It wouldn’t be good advertising if they did. I thought the tests were shown to be flawed to useless a year ago. They are quite good at causing animosity, fear and hatred. But much like the alleged vaccines, they don’t function in the real world. Much like the drugs being given out to alleged covid patients. Harmful to the human second, profits first. None of the drugs being prescribed have been tested under real circumstances, and it is only the statements of pharma companies that they work.
        doesn’t any of this bother people that believe what the television has told us to do?
        Just to confirm the science; There has never been an effective vaccine for a betacorona virus. They have always killed the subject being tested on. Try to understand that the cure being offered is worse than the disease. Please drop the education via propaganda and live a good life instead.

        1. Paul Jurczak

          do any of the tests that are sold or given to americans ever show negative for covid

          Yes, they do. Based on personal data point.

        2. Bazarov

          Yes, every test I’ve taken has been negative.

          This comment is bizarre (“alleged covid patients”).

    2. Larry Carlson

      What are the odds that this “Ask Amy” letter is genuine? After Bennett Madison’s hilarious letters to Slate (“My Husband Won’t Take His Mask Off–Even for Sex” and “Help! My Friend Thinks I Am Stealing Vaccines From African-American Grandmothers To Attend Sex Resorts”) tapped in to the COVID zeitgeist superbly, I’m thinking successful fake letters to columnists now have to be a bit more subtle. If this were my fake letter, I’d have had the dispute hinge on whether the family dog gets tested, too, but that might be a little over the top.

      1. Lexx

        I thought the odds on fakery were high, but more fun to take it seriously and throw myself on the mercy of the court. Pity the dog was left out.

    3. TimH

      Well, I insist that people take their shoes off as they come in my house. Occasional smart remark, but no-one yet has claimed that it is unecessary because their shoes are clean.

  9. flora

    Thanks for the Escobar link. It never occurred to me the hostility of western Europe to Russia, which goes back a very long way, is or could be in part a religious conflict.

    1. jsn

      You should read Williams “Operation Gladio” and Johnstone’s “Fools Crusade”.

      Sadly, the Pope’s up to his ears in this.

  10. Rod


    “For decades, the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries have promoted the myth that we can recycle our way out of the plastics pollution problem,” Bonta’s office said in a news release.

    Meanwhile, ALDI says it will stop the bags totally by next year–
    remove all plastic shopping bags from stores by the end of 2023, which, according to the company, equates to the elimination of 4,400 tons of plastic from the environment every year.
    That’s 8,800,000 lbs of shopping bags by the the 24th largest Grocer in America–what could WalWorld contribute to the cause??

    1. solarjay

      And what will replace those bags, and what is the environmental cost/savings from doing that?
      As a percentage that 8.8 million pounds per year is .0003% of a single day’s worth of oil production.
      100,000,000 barrels x 42 gallons per barrel x 7# gallon

      And as the larger picture, who’s at fault here? The oil companies or the regulators? To me as long as the focus is on the oil companies then we are missing that its the corrupt and complicit government regulators that are not doing their job.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . who corrupted and complicitized the government regulators? And furthermore after that, who staffed the agencies and bureaus with thousands of oil company moles, agents and embeds?

      2. Kevin Walsh

        It’s not going to solve the world’s problems, but cloth bags are fine for shopping, and they last years.

        1. wilroncanada

          The national chain grocery I shop at in lower Vancouver Island has not had plastic bags for about 2 years or more. Most other stores in this area no longer have plastic bags either. Some, if they have them, charge from 5 to 25 cents each.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Thanks for that link. I rely on Aldi’s for more than half of my groceries and was reusing my old Trader Joe’s bags even before the plastic bag ban took effect in New York state. I have repaired that bag and a Wegman’s bag repeatedly, and when they’re finally dead, I will use them as a pattern to make fabric bags.

      Aldi does use a lot of plastic packaging, however. Supposedly it’s all recyclable, but who knows?

      Before the ban went into effect, I did choose plastic bags at supermarkets and retailers, because they made great garbage bags. At one time, I even had a kitchen trash can with grooves spaced exactly for the handles on supermarket plastic bags. I also used them to clean the Feline Overlord’s toilet, and used and re-used them repeatedly as sweater bags, for storing shoes, fabric and craft supplies — you get the idea. When my stash finally ran out a couple of months ago, I had to buy my first box of kitchen trash bags in well over two decades. Pi$$ed me off. I realize that not everyone reuses plastic bags as obsessively as I was (although I’d bet that many among the NC commentariat do), but it would be interesting to know if it really is “environmental interests” getting plastic bags banned, or whether there are certain economic interests working behind the scenes. Hard to believe that cui bono is the International Brotherhood of Sea Turtles.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        During the pandemic I have become accustomed to grocery shopping and using no bags whatsoever. I have my groceries returned to the cart which I then unload into a large box I keep in my car. Over the past two years I have eliminated the need for approximately 200 bags (paper or plastic). Not everyone can do this, but plenty of people can do exactly the same as I do.

        1. chuck roast

          I like to get paper bags at the grocery store. I can then use them as trash bags. :-) I fill the trash bags with empty plastic hummus containers, empty plastic dish detergent containers, empty plastic peanut containers, empty plastic chicken salad containers, empty plastic yogurt containers, empty plastic vitamin containers and on and on like that. All of which I bought at the grocery store and which originally went into my paper bag. What goes around comes around.

    3. Maritimer

      Yes another Duping, imagine that! But you did not have to be duped if you had read in 1993 or thereafter:

      Giants of Garbage: The Rise of the Global Waste Industry and the Politics of Pollution

      But folks like to be duped, over and over….

      Meanwhile, in my humble jurisdiction, the $200000 diesel trucks roll, infrequently stopping to pick up some lemon peels, tea bags and other trash. Makes folks feel good, particularly the Garbage Corps cashing the taxpayer checks and, oh yes, the Garbage Inspectors.

  11. jackiebass63

    Young people have figured out Neoliberalism is killing their opportunities for a better life. In the past the next generation could expect in do better economically than their parents. It was called The American Dream. Better education was the driving factor.That is no longer the case. Neoliberalism killed it. Even with a college education you no longer can expect to do better than your parents. People with college educations are now forced to do low paying jobs once done by people with little education. I praise these young people for revolting. I hope they succeed because it is the path for our country to prosper. If they fail the US will continue to sprial downward.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      One hopes somebody can organized a whole infrastructure of Teach Ins and Rebel Libraries ( like the Zucotti Park Rebel Library) and so forth to help millions of young people learn about the New Deal and what its achievements were ( and what few legacy relict achievements still remain in existence) and about the Upper Class Conspiracy to destroy it all starting with the forcing of Henry Wallace from the ticket and methodically working its way forward and downward.

      Didn’t someone once suggest a whole network of Occupy Reading Rooms all over America just like the Christian Science Reading Rooms of today?

      1. lance ringquist

        you have to be careful about wallace. i think he was the one who advocated cutting the smoot-hawley tariffs in favor of most favored nation status. we see how well tariff reductions or elimination has worked. he may have been suckered into the W.T.O., which truman was not.

        we got GATT because of truman, and he out maneuvered the facists at the W.T.O.

        truman had faults, and was not the best. but he did do some really good stuff, and that saving us from the W.T.O. gave americans a 40 year run of the best equitable economy in the history of the world.

        also GATT was based off of smoot-hawly. i have read smoot-hawley is still on the books.

        one thing i have noticed about many on the so-called left, they have a HUUUGE blind spot on trade. they seem to think it does not matter, that all you have to do is provide a good safety net under free trade, and all will be well.

        also they seem to think free trade helps the poor in our country, and around the world. we see today that no matter how much money is poured into the economy, it heads off shore and creates massive economic messes all over the world, besides how ya gonna unload the stuff, and how much fossil fuel is burned shipping the stuff all over the world.

        1. jsn

          Truman was suckered into signing the CIA into existence with Alan Dulles running it.

          Dulles had made every effort to sign a separate peace with post Hitler Nazis to turn the war against Stalin and push out VE Day till Capitalism reigned supreme in Moscow.

          There were certainly other pitfalls a Wallace Administration could have fallen into, but Truman’s led directly to the Nazification of US Foreign policy immediately following the war. It’s only now with Ukraine that Nazism is again being normalized publicly, but it’s been a guiding ideology for the drug funded secret US Government since Col. Paul Helliwell got the idea from Chang Kai-Shek to fund a secret, off the books CIA army of ex Nazis with drug money in the immediate aftermath of the war.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t forget the post world war French Foreign Legion. A lot of ex-wehrmacht troopers who did not want to be repatriated back to the Soviet Zone of Occupation.

          2. lance ringquist

            truman was not perfect, nor was he always the best. but didn’t the dulles brothers get there start under FDR at the oss?

            and of course when truman saw what Macarthur and lemay were doing and planning in korea, he fired macarthur and restored civilian control over the military.

            truman understood what happened to the C.I.A., and warned america,



            1. jsn

              They served nominally under FDR, continued in actuality to serve IGFarben and a few other German conglomerates that were their Sullivan & Cromwell clients from before the war.

              A fascist fifth column embedded in the OSS. Treasonous in Truman’s view when, too late he found out.

  12. The Rev Kev

    I find furzy’s bonus image amazing. To think when they dug that T-Rex skeleton up that it still had the fossilized remains of the flamingo piranhas in & on it as they ate that poor T-Rex out. It never stood a chance.

    1. ambrit

      Obscure cultural reference.
      That photo of the T-rex fossil covered by pink flamingos is simply Divine!

    1. The Rev Kev

      It seems that Max Blumenthal and that Nina Jankowitz have a bit of a history as she was attacking the Greyzone about two years ago. Today he tweeted out-

      ‘Nina Jankowicz, the demented karaoke singer moonlighting as the new Minister of Truth, monitors @TheGrayzoneNews and has branded us as a source of “damaging disinformation” because we undermine US regime change ops.

      This fanatic now has state power to advance her vendetta.’

      Took a quick look at Nina Jankowicz’s Wikipedia entry and though it was thin, was very revealing-

      ‘Jankowicz attended Bryn Mawr College, double-majoring in Russian and political science. She attended a semester at Herzen State Pedagogical University in Russia in 2010, and graduated in 2011. In 2017, she was a Fulbright fellow in Kyiv, working with the foreign ministry of Ukraine. She has also served as a disinformation fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and as supervisor of the Russia and Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute. She is the author of two books How to Lose the Information War and How to be a Woman Online and has contributed to The Washington Post and The New York Times.’

      1. BeliTsari

        Pattern recognition is oftimes the very most worstest part of brain-fog addled, senile dementia. Watching how obvious the repetition is. Had to get FBI clearance for TWIC (authorization to work in a foreign trade zone). Among things that popped-up was subscription to Brill’s Comment, SWP, BAR & Consumer Party literature, 20-50 yrs back. I’d surreptitiously happily photographed Molly Rush’s trial for some hippie paper.

          1. BeliTsari

            Believe, I’ll refrain from commenting on that one? I’m pretty sure, NYT will deny it’s authenticity, at first; when THAT is posted by New York Post?

      2. Judith

        I was talking to my daughter (who is from the generation who stood in line for the Harry Potter books when they first came out) about the new Minister of Disinformation. My daughter thinks Jancowicz is just like Dolores Umbridge (who in many ways is more evil than Voldemort). I have seen the same impression on twitter.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Yeah, Dolores Umbridge. Maybe a little younger but I can see why that similarity has been noted. And now she has her own Ministry. Can’t wait for the rule boards to go up.

      3. Kouros

        Given that just a few weeks ago the US government has admitted that they were spreading toadsies about Russia, would this newly minted board consider such things and label them as “disinformation”?

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    Stress hangovers are a real thing. I used to get them all the time at my last job. I would be running on that jittery stress energy (hopefully) to the end of a project and then crash, sometimes almost like I caught the flu. I wasn’t good for much for a day or so and then pick it up and do it again.

    Glad I got out of there. My health has improved greatly since.

    1. Susan the other

      re migraines: I used to get them from hormones gone crazy; then after a hysterectomy with ovaries they dropped off a cliff. But I still get them from tree and grass pollen and some viruses. The last migraine I had was from the J&J jab. Lasted about 12 hours or so. Now, instead of migraine headaches, I sometimes still get “visual migraines” (rainbow zigzag lightning) but no headache. And the only overall difference in my lifestyle is I now get plenty of relaxation. I’m a professional napper. In a dark, cool room. Whenever possible.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        No, my stress hangovers are NOT migraines. I’m sorry you used to get them regularly. I am lucky to have had only two migraines. Stress hangovers are not the same. You don’t have the aversion to light, the pain level is not debilitating, and they usually clear with 4-6 hours in bed, whereas my migraines were 7+ hours.

    2. katiebird

      Maybe that’s what I had after a “scopy” thing I had on Wednesday. I thought my head would explode from the pain all day on Thursday. (might have been a reaction to the knock-out drug though) … I still feel draggy from the after effect of it.

    3. ambrit

      I occasionally get severe migranes, something I seem to have inherited from my Mother. The really bad ones have visual effects, usually a yellow aura surrounding objects in my field of vision.
      Early on in our migration to the New World, Mom would have the headaches where she could not stand any light or noise. I saw how bad it hit her one time when some of the neighborhood little terrors trooped around and around our rented house in Hialeah screaming and banging on the doors and windows. (Why this happened, I forget.) Mom was suffering one of her migranes and jumped up out of the bed, ran outside, cursing like a sailor and proceeded to chase some of the miscreants, in the family car, up the street and to their homes. She went up on the sidewalk several times to ‘encourage’ one or another of the punk kids along home. (I was young, and sitting in the passenger seat.) She then followed the ringleader of the bunch up and into his house and proceeded to read the kid’s mother the riot act. Times were different back then. No cops, no family welfare, no psych evaluations. The ‘terrorism’ stopped. I started to get beaten up more often. Mom kept having her “headaches,” until my sister was born.
      One of my sisters also has migranes. She keeps a pill bottle with some sort of “miracle drug” to counter the effects whenever she has an attack. Me, I prefer opiates. When you need them, you need them. When you don’t, leave them alone.
      Considering how lucky I have been in my life, I wonder why I have programmed myself to stress out at all.

  14. GlassHammer

    “EU prepares Russia oil embargo – media RT (Kevin W).”

    Buy food and buy fuel to heat your house because this oil embargo is going to price you out of both.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” Buy food” makes sense. But how much fuel can one pre-buy and pre-store in or around the average house? Maybe use the money to super-insulate the house and then install passive-aggressive solar heating and cooling technologies.

      Also, if one has a yard around that house, buy and build up personal food-growing capacity in a garden.

      Also, maybe set up a roofwater harvesting system complete with storage capacity for several thousand gallons of water, because if fuel prices go up, water prices will go up because it takes fuel to process water and move it around.

      1. GlassHammer

        Just top off your tanks. It’s not realistic to store heating oil.

        Insulating your house or replacing old insulation is an excellent and affordable idea.

        If you have a wood or pellet stove then buy wood and pellets now. Be sure to store them somewhere dry.

        Gardening is a skill that takes practice so don’t plan on that providing you with much in the beginning. (If you do garden and it doesn’t produce much then save the seeds instead of eating the vegetables. More seeds = more chances to learn and ultimately a bigger harvest down the road.)

    2. .human

      Heating oil is $6/gal (discounted) here in southwestern CT!

      I filled up in December at about $2.40/gal. Ouch. I should have topped off when it was $4/gal at the beginning of the month. Playing wait-and-see now.

      1. Amateur Socialist

        Just paid $4.99/gal 2 weeks ago in Southern VT. Last fill up in late Dec was $3.21/Gal, so this > 50% increase. I played pay now don’t risk it getting more expensive (had about 4-6 weeks left at spring temps). This should get us through until December so who knows what it will be then.

        1. CuriosityConcern

          December, gasoline? Does it keep that long?

          I just googled and they say 3-6 months…

          1. Buzz Meeks

            Ethanol gas is good for approximately two weeks and is prone to attract moisture. I use Stabil Marine Green fuel stabilizer for gasoline storage. It also neutralizes the corrosive effect of the ethanol.
            I bought five 5gal containers for gas storage at the beginning of covid and gas prices had dropped to under a buck a gal in WNY. Finally used the stored gas just before Operation Z started and vehicles ran fine. Gas was good for almost two years.

      1. Paul Jurczak

        There is a long road from a single demo on the beach to reliable, mass produced device…

  15. Tom67

    About that preprint “Omicron sub-lineages BA.4/BA.5 escape BA.1 infection elicited neutralizing immunity”:

    Denmark doesn´t recommend vaccination against Covid anymore and the rest of Europe will follow sooner or later. But what to do with all the vaccines that were already prepaid? Out of the goodness of their hearts Europe is trying to give them away to Africa. But there needs to be a need in Africa. Unfortunately, although Africa has about the lowest vaccination rate in the world, it also has one the lowest prevalences of Covid. So lo and behold there´s a paper out of Africa where one of the authors is “a member in the COVID advisory panel for Emerging Markets at Pfizer”
    On top the study was partly financed by the Gates foundation. Surely it is purely a coincidence that the Gates foundation is heavily invested in both Pfizer and Biontech

    1. JTMcPhee

      I wonder if there’s really a low incidence of Covid in Africa, that big impoverished place, or just no accurate data?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Africans spend way more time outside than USians. Yanks are like blue whales. We spend 30 minutes outside. Africans avoid many of the places where covid spreads. So being outside their face is most likely to be uncovered, vitamin d would be concentrated where it’s likely to be most effective.

        So reasonably you can have spreading with less incidents of symptoms.

      2. cfraenkel

        Why does it have to be a binary one or the other? Both can be true at the same time. (and ‘true’ has many shades of gray….)

      3. barefoot charley

        Europe only scrambled to colonize Africa in the 19th century because its environment had mowed them down before quinine etc. Africans evolved immunities in the worlds richest stewpot of germs and diseases on earth–which Europeans tested centuries ago by enslaving and transporting them to places where other races died wholesale. Jared Diamond writes about this genetic inheritance. But because it’s bad for Pfizer’s business, our ‘not-for-profits’ ignore it.

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t know if there is anything special about Africans. Europeans managed to have an inadvertent genocide of the native Americans because they were resistant to their own stew of diseases and the natives weren’t. Sub Saharan Africa is the ultimate birthplace of humans and therefore has the most diseases, parasites, and predators that love, love, love us having evolved right along humans. However, as people spread out we evolved for the new conditions including new diseases.

          There is nothing really special about Africans being more resistant to their local diseases. It would be like saying that Europeans being able to absorb/create vitamin D is special (this is why there is white skin. To take advantage of limited amount of sunlight.). Europeans lost any inherent resistant to African diseases at the same time and evolved or maybe acquired from the Neanderthals resistant to the local diseases.

          Possibly having more need to take anti parasitics (and in this I have no real knowledge, just guessing)? That would be a roundabout benefit.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        GM thinks the low Covid rate in Africa (save West Africa, like Ghana) is totally a data artifact. For instance, South Africa pre Omicron officially had only 5% of its population as having had Covid (as in confirmed cases), while seropositivity said >60%.

        1. Tom67

          No doubt that any figures out of Africa should be viewed with sceptisism. In a continent where people have to subsist for a month on the price of one PCR test that shouldn´t be surprising. One also shouldn´t forget that Africa is the youngest continent and also the poorest. The average age of dying from Covid was 84 in Germany in 2021. So the death rate of Covid would naturally be much smaller in Africa. And being poor there are also hardly any obese people. But obesity is the other great determinant for dying of Covid. Finally Africa has other more pressing and really terrible health problems. Not the least of which is malnutrition. So why should they bother with testing for Covid?

    2. Brian (another one they call)

      Africa has a Hobbesian advantage with Covid. Because of the parasites that are common they take a drug on a regular basis that keeps them at bay. They have been since the drug first came on the scene and won a Nobel prize due to its efficacy. It is in the drug class called Anthelmintic.
      Studies undertaken over the years show it has a beneficial effect on other parasites and diseases. It seems to interfere with the cellular replication of parasites and virus. There has been a considerable body of work now showing that this class of drug appears to work rather well at stopping cancer cells from replicating as well.
      But you can’t have any if you live in a 1st world slum. We know this because the TV told us it is dangerous and useless and will likely kill you because is is so untested for the task of managing parasites and virus and making huge pots of money.
      Are you sick about it yet? I have had two doctors tell me that they don’t know anything about it, never studied it, never considered it as treatment for any patient. So ignorance and fear is what our doctors have to deal with when acting to treat a patient. I don’t appreciate my doctor lying or being under the influence of a totalitarian system that they must abide by, even if it means killing their patients. How do you feel about that?
      Do you?

    3. haywood

      There is absolutely a need in Africa and demand for covid vaccines. There’s very little supply and difficulty connecting what supply there is to those in need.

      There’s no reason Africans would be biologically or environmentally less susceptible to severe covid than anyone else in the world. Plenty of poor and rural and young populations have fallen to covid over the years.

      The low case and death counts across the African continent are pretty clearly due to data collection problems.

  16. MT_Wild

    Antidote – is that an Iberian lynx? Combination of surrounding plant life and what looks like a GPS collar make me think it’s so.

  17. JTMcPhee

    Please, friends, check this scary video out. This woman, as newly minted Director of Homeland Security’s “Disinformation Governance Board,” will be deciding what’s “disinformation” and unlimbering the national police and “security forces” on US natural-person citizens:

    I’d like to highlight the kind of under-emphasized idiocy of this latest excrescence of the Washingtonians, and how little remains of the vaunted “freedomsandrights” in the US.

    NC will be heavily targeted by these creatures once the new Ministry of Truth hits its stride.

    Sorrows for what sort of used to be.

    I wonder, will Musk’s Minions be taking a active role in enforcing the Idiocracy’s Orthodoxy?

    1. Cat Burglar

      I can see it now, scrolling across our screens: “The Department Of Homeland Security threat level for this article is Mauve. If you if you find anything in the article suggesting real knowledge, please report it to the nearest Homeland Security Officer…”

      I hope they go back to the color threat levels, this time using designer colors like Asphalt, Mud, Timber, or Ink.

      1. ambrit

        Considering the abyssal level of “intelligence” on display in this cohort, I fully expect one of the “Disinformation Threat Level” colours to be Cammo. That ‘colour’ will be for “threats” that have no discernable existence, except in the minds of the censors. “It’s so dangerous because you cannot see it. Threat level Cammo.”
        “Persons found accessing sites placed under this Threat level will be placed in National Moderation for six weeks for the first offence, three months for a second offence, and permanent sanction for the third offence. Remember: Freedom of Speech isn’t free.”

      1. Donald

        I was just about to post this link—

        I know Kirby from seeing him on YouTube videos at his ( at the time) State Department press conferences under Obama. Nowadays he does the Pentagon ones. In those days he was defending the Saudi bombing in Yemen, claiming their problem was poor targeting, as opposed to the vile cruelty of the Russians, who were deliberately killing civilians.

        A few weeks later the Saudis hit a funeral in Sana’a and killed 150 people. And of course the blockade was already causing a famine. And the American bombing even under Obama was just as careless of civilian life as the Russian bombing, despite what we claimed.

        I don’t understand people like Kirby. I think the emotion is real, in some sense, but they are self deluded in a way that is hard to understand. Though in a way this is true of most PMC types. The emotion is real, in some sense, but hypocritical on a level so deep I doubt they are consciously aware of it..

        I am guessing the YouTube videos I used to watch are gone, since they were put up by Russia Today. But I found one which was also put up by the State Department that covered the same press conference ( early October or late Sept in 2016).. The RT one was better because it only contained the parts specifically about Yemen and Syria.

        1. Oh

          He’s been taking acting lessons from the award winning lier and famous grifter, Obama for whom he was the understudy.

      2. Pat

        The problem is he believes his own BS. Too bad there wasn’t a follow up question like
        “Secretary Kirby, could you please address how hard it is to look at what is happening in Yemen which has much more destruction than seen in Ukraine and explain what justification the US has in helping this? Please feel free to point out how shallow those justifications are and how devastated you are seeing this. And when that is done we can move on to Libya whose destruction is totally owned by the US.”

    2. truly

      I have wondered what NC’s approach will need to be. NC did not earn its high marks (and its place in the library of congress) by being a shrinking violet. But how long will a site be able to exist if it feels the need to link to a wide variety of sources that cover lots of different perspectives? Pepe, Patrick and the Alex’s are soon to be hidden from the world. Dr Campbell and Ivermectin are on a short short leash.
      I have noted several of my favorite online sources saying what Caitlin said several years ago.That is “subscribe to my email list so when I get silenced we can stay in touch”.
      A futuristic Neimiller (sp?) statement:
      First they came for Alex Jones. I didn’t;t like Alex, he wasn’t my guy so I Said nothing.
      Then they came for Jimmy, Pepe, and Caitlin. They weren’t my people so I said nothing.
      Then they came for NC, WSWS and The Gaurdian. I was satisfied with CNN and Fox so I said nothing.
      Then they came for Democracy Now, NPR and PBS. Again I said nothing.
      Then they came for ABC, NBC, and CBS. Again I said nothing, knowing I would be labeled unpatriotic for complaining.
      Then they came for everything else except MSNBC and Fox. And they did not bother to tell anyone so we didnt even know it.

      We are headed down a dark road.

    3. Maritimer

      Yes indeed truly over the Top. One wonders if there is something in the water or the injections. And that video on TIKTOK, tick tock indeed—Chinese Intelligence must be ROFLAO.

      The Best and the Brightest gave us Vietnam, now the Dumbest and the Dimmest will………..

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Russian media today, 28 April 2022”

    I find this idea of Poland occupying western Ukraine and taking it over to be a not serious one. Maybe in DC this would sound like a great idea as it would like opening a second front against the Russians. But seriously. The Ukrainian nationalists hate the Poles as much as they do the Russians and they have a history of massacring Polish people in the Ukraine. And considering the fact that this region has been absolutely flooded with weapons, would they not be turned against Polish troops? Maybe even having a battle-line of Molotov-cocktail wielding grannies charging Polish tanks? What happens when the Polish army has to shoot back? What happens when Ukrainian army ATGM teams fight from apartment blocks like they have against the Russians. Will the Polish Army shell those apartment blocks? If Poland does this occupation, it would be fabulously short-sighted and stupid so I hope that they don’t try. Just as a minimum in terms of blow-back, Poland could expect there to be Ukrainian terror attacks in Poland itself.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My guess is Warsaw wants to return the refugees. If soldiers get blown up, who cares? But with so many refugees, VIPs could be held responsible. The prospect of war profits is likely another consideration.

      “Fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here” is an article of faith. I mean Al Qaeda didn’t hit that many Western targets in the West after 9/11, so they likely see this as a viable strategy.

      Though, I imagine it will be less terror than mafia style crime.

      1. ambrit

        “Mafia style crime” is based on terror. So, we now have a ready source of “operatives” for our ‘internal pacification programs.’ Capiche?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’m thinking there won’t be suicide or mad bombers as much as store owners with broken legs and local politicians found floating in rivers.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t forget the “Disappearance Squads.” Show up to picket a ‘connected’ business and be heard from no more.
            I remember reading about the “death squads” working overtime down in Central and South America. Many of them were trained here in America by Americans. Now the tactic is being “brought home” with a, and with vengance.

    2. Darthbobber

      The women in Lvov, a few hundreds of them anyway, are presently busy holding demonstrations against having their conscripted family members packed off to the eastern front. Pity this isn’t the sort of thing CNN covers.

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      Thanks Rev; Since the Russians were asked by the people of the Donbass for help to stop the Ukrainians from using them to target artillery for 8 years with thousands of dead. Under the UN charter, the Russians acceded to their request days before the Ukrainians advertised they were about the start a new pogrom to eliminate the people of Donbass. The rules were followed by Russia, to the letter.
      Under the request for assistance, Russia cited the UN rules and guidelines for their operation.
      Now that the US, UK, France, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland (and others) have provided military hardware and advisers on the ground, they have jumped into the fire. These nations have voluntarily violated the rules of war and are now combatants. Russia has told them what it means even though they all seemed to have forgotten. The NATOites have already crossed the red line dozens of times.
      Russia does everything correctly, lawfully and tells everyone they are going to protect these people when no one else will.
      I wish everyone well and hope that we have a future. But Russia isn’t kidding around and using a nation to make money for the corrupt all the way to the top.
      Russia has to win and NATO is only in it for the money. The delusion might lead to the heads being removed with a bit of bright light then nothing.

      Peace and Love everyone.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      If it played out exactly this way, would Poland demand that NATO defend Poland against . . . Western Ukraine? To be known as Galiciakraine, Lvivistan, etc.?

    5. CzechAgain

      “I find this idea of Poland occupying western Ukraine and taking it over to be a not serious one. Maybe in DC this would sound like a great idea…”
      It’s clearly not a serious idea. The claim by Interfax is that this comes from Naryshkin / SVR.
      Has it occurred to you that it’s not an idea from Warsaw or DC, but just a fabrication from the source it’s attributed to?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve seen this idea quite a lot of places. It was even floating about at the start of the war. So it clearly did not originate with Naryshkin/SVR.

        1. CzechAgain

          Okay, fair enough, the idea has been around for as long as you want to dig – certainly since Poland “lost” the territories (which you could say about much of Belarus as well, etc.
          But the context of Doctorow’s article is about specific (presumably concrete) plans, which it is ‘coordinating with the USA.’ It then (attempts to) go into a bit of detail about those plans.
          Now, if one thinks those alleged plans are daft (in fact, even if one doesn’t), one should be skeptical about them – particularly given the source. It’s not as if the Russian government or its intelligence agencies (or press) are above such fabrications or lies, either.
          Particularly when it overlaps exactly with the specific narrative that the Russian gov and state-controlled media (and others by censorship) peddling and reinforcing.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            There are many reports of Poland moving troops to the border and an non-trivial # by military people further suggest that Poland intends to Do Something. I can’t judge either way. I doubt it because Poland is down to 200 tanks. It gave its other 200 to Ukraine already.

            However, I am sure whatever Poland is thinking of doing is being coordinated with the US. Recall that when Biden went to that series of Euro summits that was expected to lead to a whole salvo of new action v. Russia and turned into a damp squib because Putin derailed it with his gas for roubles directive, Biden went to Warsaw. It was widely rumored that Biden was to try to get the Poles to sign up for military action.

    1. Susan the other

      His final quote is so beautifully written. The whole time I was reading about his philosophy of the “ever-present origin” I was flashing back to Richard Alpert – Ram Das himself – striding out on stage in the biology auditorium with his long white robe flowing around him. The 1960s. “Be here now; remember” was his theme and also the title of his book iirc. He was probably reading Gebser, among others. He came right out to the edge of the stage and sat down, cross-legged, and began talking to all of us like we were his friends. Not even a hint of condescension. We were, in fact. He had an energy that felt so adjacent it translated directly into some wonderful new clarity. The whole audience hung on his every word. He was also advocating a “spiritual orientation of time” and the responsibility for logic and compassion that it requires as “an antidote to the diffusion of responsibility” in our society – as Maria Popova describes it here. And, I’m here to say that I do actually see progress. After all these years.

  19. Fritzi

    Some German media just claimed that the “Ghost of Kyiv” was shot down.

    Unfrikkinbelievable that they ever reported such harebrained nonsense as factual in the first place.

    The fictional martyrdom of a fictional hero?

    Seems the war is going so badly for the ukies that even fictional heroes are more useful dead.

    Perhaps a sign that Z will soon suffer the same fate by the hands of his nazi friends, ahem, by the hands of the Russians, of course.

    1. JohnA

      Meanwhile in the Swedish media, amidst all manner of drivel about how Russia is losing the war, there was a story that the Crimean navel port of Sevastopol is being protected by specially trained Russian dolphins.

      it mmust be true because The Guardian also reports the same story, though not by masterstory teller Harding

        1. ambrit

          I remember the University of Miami Oceanographic facility on Key Biscayne, Florida. There was a lot of study being done on dolphins and their trainability, back in the 1960s. Several Navy contracts, if the papers were to be believed.

  20. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” College-Educated Workers Help Unionize Places Like Starbucks ” . . .

    Go class traitors . . . . hmmm . . . not class traitors? Since there are a lot of them, and hundreds of thousands more to come, what would be a better name for them? A name they themselves might identify with and adopt?

    Class exiles? Class rejects or class rejecteds? Class betrayeds? Something else better than these suggestions?

    Something they can adopt and adapt for their own. Something they can weaponize and viralize.

    1. LifelongLib

      If you live off paychecks and can be fired with ease, you’re a “worker” whether or not you went to college. Yes, there are some cultural barriers to overcome, but a college degree doesn’t necessarily put you in a different economic category.

      1. JBird4049

        Plenty of teachers, including most of my own college professors, can be fired very easily. Tenure is now mostly fantasy.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If enough people decide to see themselves that way to where they could form a Lower Class Majority Party and make it a majority party by brute force membership numbers, then they might be able to use it as a tire iron to beat some favorable changes into the DC FedRegime governating system.

        1. JBird4049

          “If.” And that is the problem.

          Too people have been mindscrewed to where they cannot see this or if they can, cannot accept that they actually are much more like Clinton’s Deplorables or Disposables than the Elites who are destroying everyone and everything. That is also true of the ostensibly different class of workers. Feeling superior is a great drug.

          Maybe getting too hyperbolic here, but I think that emotionally at least the elites tend to feel that we are the maus and to be dealt with as such. Too many people are using their unacknowledged, therefore unfiltered emotions control instead of inform their beliefs and actions.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well, the people who “can” see it will just have to find eachother and become a culture-movement for learning and doing this and that about that and this.

            I suspect an awful lot of today’s young people today are perfectly ready to realize that the elite has designated them as the Disposables and Discardables . . . even if they don’t identify with Hillary’s designated Deplorables. Enough to matter? I don’t know. They are certainly already upsetting Bezos and Schultz and etc. by daring to attempt unionization at slaveplaces. And millions of them by the additive effect of their millions of individual decisions to ” not buy a car ” are upsetting thinker-planners in the car industry.

  21. Basil Pesto

    lol at the Times. They will never stop propagandising for failure.

    I dislike absolutes as a general rule but it really could not be simpler: follow China’s lead with an intensive TTIQ programme, including shutdown and mass PCR testing, with an end goal of elimination, or millions of people are going to die in the next few years. As indeed millions of people have died in the last few years.

    Of course, as GM has pointed out, if this is done and it’s successful (and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be), then the question will be asked: why wasn’t it done sooner, and who will be held accountable for the millions unnecessarily dead to date? So, it won’t be done (absent, probably, a literal revolution; such things have been fought for less).

    And if you missed GM’s tour de force long form post this week, I would recommend it.

    1. Basil Pesto

      and to his comment I would add this observation if I may:

      Also, keep in mind that the US was the only country that mattered here — if the US let it rip, everyone else who is subordinated to the US had to let it rip too, because there would be no world in which e.g. Germany, with 100+ US military bases on its territory, let alone smaller countries on the periphery, would have put the US on the red list for travel. That was never happening. This is why South Korea and Japan never even tried to eliminate even though they had the social cohesion and functional organization to do it (recall how it was precisely the US military that sparked the first large Omicron outbreak in Japan).

      So the internal social dysfunction in the US doomed the rest of the world.

      As a Rest-of-Worlder, it strikes me as especially foolhardy for USA to be the western world’s Public Health Hegemon when it has the most psychotic, demonic system of healthcare in the world.

      1. Kouros

        The 1918 pandemic was called The Spanish Flu because as a neutral country, not engaged in the war, the Spaniards were concerned about the devastation of the disease, whereas the US did its utmost to conceal what should have been named “The Kansas Flu”, because it wanted to ship as many soldiers (sick or not) to the western front.

      2. DorothyT

        @Basil Pesto
        I’m grateful that you referenced GM’s previous fine message. We’re beginning to see reporting on Private Equity’s takeover of the healthcare ‘system’ — takeovers of hospital emergency rooms, whole swaths of specialists in various fields, nursing homes, etc.

        As Basil Pesto writes:

        As a Rest-of-Worlder, it strikes me as especially foolhardy for USA to be the western world’s Public Health Hegemon when it has the most psychotic, demonic system of healthcare in the world.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks for linking to that, I’d missed it. A Tour de Force indeed.

      I note, btw, that there is a desperate news management operation underway to try to distract from what looks like a wave of liver failure among children.

  22. cfraenkel

    Here is the correct link to the MIT clean water press release:
    From seawater to drinking water, with the push of a button
    It’s interesting as they’re using an electric field to separate the clean water from a waste brine stream instead of using filters or passing the water through a membrane. So it’s low maintenance and low power. They’re getting ~3hrs to make 1 liter using 20W (~roughly a phone charger).

  23. DJG, Reality Czar

    Falk, Second Level Geopolitical War Takes Over.

    He is describing what has been reinforced recently by war criminals Blinken and Austin: “What was revealed was that the number one policy goal of the U.S. was ‘the weakening of Russia’ made a viable undertaking by the unexpected resistance capabilities of Ukrainian armed forces bolstered by a show of unified patriotic resolve. In keeping with this line of thinking, arms shipments to Ukraine were increased significantly, and more tellingly, overtly acknowledging the shipment of so-called heavy armaments with offensive capabilities.”

    The DC elites are talking about genocide (trying to pin it on the Russians, who happen to know a thing or two about genocide, having sustain immense losses in WWI), but their proxy war and use of armaments in a nation not easily defended sound awfully genocide-adjacent to me.

    Meanwhile, as the consensus breaks down in Europe, I note that Marco Travaglio of Fatto Quotidiano was interviewed a day or two ago by Lilli Gruber on Italian TV. He pointed to these very facts as evidence for why the U.S. couldn’t be trusted with Europe’s interests and why Italy cannot participate in the Ukraine war. And note that he didn’t say “let’s ship some weapons anyway”–he said Italy cannot participate at all.

    Admittedly, Travaglio is an important gadfly, not the minister of defense. Expect opinion among the PIIGS–you remember them–to start changing soon and quickly. They have everything to lose–and they have already witnessed the sheer witlessness of the German government, which seems to be determined to ruin Germany, its economy, and the postwar internal consensus that keeps German from imploding (once again).

    In any case, the article by Falk, which, unfortunately, is quite chilling, is worth your while.

  24. DJG, Reality Czar

    Honeybees and humans can tell even from odd. (The article asserts that these are the only two species to detect even and odd numbers, but I have a feeling that no one yet has consulted parrots, crows, octopodi, or dogs.)

    What struck me about the discussion of even and odd in the article was that the authors didn’t mention practical uses for knowing the distinction. There undoubtedly are plenty. But what’s in it for the bees?

    The authors, being earnest science-y types, also didn’t mention something that came to my mind immediately: Number symbolism and number mysticism.

    I recall reading Plutarch’s essays on Delphi. Plutarch was a priest there. His essay on the letter E (eta), which was inscribed at Delphi, includes much number symbolism and mysticism. Eta is the fifth letter, and in Greek notation, it also meant 5.

    So you have bees evidently able to distinguish one (unity) from two (a dyad). They are the basis of the idea of odd and even.

    In some systems, three is the first real number. Three also comes up in mysticism in the many trinities. I will refer to the “archaic” trinity in Roman religion and the other trinity–Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva–that is more commonly known.

    And 5 at Delphi was associated with Apollo.

    So just what are the bees up to here? Divinity?

  25. AndrewJ

    I’m curious how others in the commentariat feel about the terms “unjust” or “illegal” as used to describe Russia’s invasion. I have a hard time myself seeing their pertinence, though these adjectives are pretty much everywhere these days. Am I that twisted?

    What would a “just” basis for an invasion be? An invasion to demilitarize a hostile country growing ever closer to a global alliance that exists entirely to threaten the invading country seems like a starting point for a casus belli to me. Add in eight years of civilian deaths in rebel provinces on the border, that’s a humanitarian intervention. If Ukraine really was planning an offensive into the Donbass, as the Russians claimed to have found evidence for, that’s a pretty solid leg to stand on as well. (Not that I have hopes that anything convincing will ever show up here, on the American-accessible internet. It’ll be he-said she-said digital evidence, and with victim and aggressor having good reasons to fabricate…)
    Is “unjust” simply based on Ukraine’s claim to land and the right of the state to mete out violence to disobedient provinces, or the right of the Ukrainian state to host Western military bases on Russia’s border?

    As far as “illegal” goes… are there people who honestly believe there are laws that dictate when war can begin? Administered by who, the UN? If it was an actual body of global governance, maybe. But with the Security Council having veto power over any resolutions, any kind of fair hearing seems impossible. War begins when diplomacy and adherence to the idea of rules and fairness breaks down.
    I can’t find any reason that justifies Russia’s invasion that wasn’t used in the US’s abrogations of other country’s sovereignty. Frankly they seem to have a better casus belli than the US has had in it’s wars. By extension, then, the US’s military adventures have been unjust and illegal, yet calls for them to be labeled as such, much less press for the people who began them to defend their case in the Hague, are relegated to particularly cranky* corners of the public sphere.

    “Rules for thee, but not for me” fails a basic kindergarten-level justice check. But “we” call this operation unjust and illegal and give not one slightest whiff of a sh!t that we can’t possibly claim that without even trying to clean our own house first.

    Or is that the “whataboutism” claim? That, yes, America’s wars were unjust and illegal, but that doesn’t make Russia’s war not-unjust or not-illegal? Great, well maybe some space aliens can come down and zap Russia’s tanks back across the border, but until then the US, being a perpetrator of unjust and illegal wars in the very recent past, has zero claim to pick a side and get involved in it.

    It absolutely makes my head spin, and seriously question if the world is crazy or I am.

    *if I’m a crank, then, so be it! I’ll pick up my merit badge tomorrow.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t recall which book, but Noam Chomsky wrote about this in some detail, mostly in the context of liberal interventionism. He gave the example of the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea/Cambodia as an invasion that was justified. It both stopped a genocide and stopped Paul Pots incursions to kill Vietnamese peasants. It was not however ‘legal’. Arguably, the Indian intervention in what was east Pakistan in 1971 could be defended on that basis too.

      I think its hard to make any argument that an invasion of a neighbouring country can be justified by geopolitical considerations. If you can justify Russians invasion of Ukraine on the basis that it tried to join Nato you can justify the US invading Mexico if that country got too close to China.

      With Ukraine of course its complicated, as these things always are. My own view is that Russia has a strong case (maybe not legally, but morally) for intervening to protect ethnic Russians in the south-east. But its legal, moral and ethical justification for attacking Ukraine as a whole is much weaker, especially if, as seems likely, they decide to take chunks of the southern coast just because they can.

      But the reality is that in big continental geopolitics, it really does come down to power relations – law and morality has little to do with it. Many a nation has been extinguished because it made a fatal error in its dealings with more powerful neighbours. Ukraine played with fire and lost. It looks like it will be eaten up, not just by Russia, but by Poland and Hungary too if rumours are correct that they are eyeing up their historic lands and ethnic claims.

    2. truly

      I wish I could find the link right now. Maybe someone else with a better memory and a habit of bookmarking things will chime in. But a few days ago I came across an article written by IIRC a University of Pittsburgh professor. He teaches and works in the area of human rights and holds anti war positions. I have seen his work a few times over the last 20 years addressing issues like Iraq and Libya and Yemen. Anyhow, in this article he makes a pretty coherent argument that Russia is entirely within legal frameworks for this Special Military Operation. That they have “dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s” making sure they have legitimacy in their actions. Recognizing the sovereignty of the break away republics, the crimes committed against those people and the need to stop that. And then of course US policy bumbles into further justifications. Bidens comment that Putin must be removed, other US statements about this being a proxy war, and of course NATO openly sending in weapons makes it undeniable that RU has legit legal claims for its actions.

      Maybe I will get to meet you tomorrow? I will be in the same line getting my “crank merit badge”!

          1. britzklieg

            ty back. I missed that.
            Bruce Fein (yeah, I know – Reagan) has also asserted that Russia’s intervention is legal.

    3. Oh

      I can’t understand how these hypocrites can criticize Russia with a straight face when our own country has invaded and occupied other countries with impunity throughout history. I’m reading “The True Flag’ and it makes me sick to see how the US has been an imperialistic nation for such a long time and still continues to use the excuse that we’re doing it for their freedom.

      Money is everything in our country. We have zero conscience.

      1. GF

        And if you are of the English persuasion, have a read about English imperialism in Caroline Elkins new book “Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire”. It is the story of how the violence in the British Empire’s colonies mingle with liberal ideology to justify legalized lawlessness right up to the empire’s collapse after WWII.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Russia has spent since 2014 trying to negotiate some sort of resolution to Donbass. Putin opposed the breakaway republics voting for separatist status. In the Minsk accord, he got them to agree to less than what they wanted, which amounted to waivers in their oblasts from the anti-Russian laws at the national level. The US opposed it and kept Ukraine from implementing it because as we now know, the real aim is to force regime change in Russia and ideally break it up into 3-4 weak and tractable countries.

      Russia continued to try to negotiate. It made written proposals in late 2021 that the US refused to respond to. Russia’s key demand was for security guarantees. The US wouldn’t even deign to acknowledge that. That was tantamount to saying that Russia had no right to exist.

      Putin made clear in one of his two war speeches, I can’t remember if it was Feb 21 or Feb 24, that the continued advancement of NATO into Ukraine was an existential threat to Russia. The US was not willing to have a neutral Ukraine. The situation is no different than if China were arming Mexico to act against the US. Would we tolerate that?

      Anyway, Putin made clear that among the reasons for the invasion was that Russia could not wait until the West thought it was ready to be the aggressor.

      As for the legalities, that is more clear. Russia acted according to UN rules. It first recognized the separatist republics on Feb 22, all according to proper procedures in Russia. Russia then signed a mutual security agreement with them. The breakaway republics asked Russia to defend them under UN Article 51:

      Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security

      The breakaway republics had already been under armed attack from Ukraine since 2014.

      Putin argued that Russia had two options: it could just clear Ukraine troops out of the breakaway republics, or it could secure their safety. If it merely removed all Ukraine forces from the republics, Ukraine would simply keep attacking from a new line of contact at the western border of the republics. On top of that, Russia claimed it had intel as well as initial mobilization that Ukraine planned a really big offensive v. Donbass for mid-March.

      Most commentators who are not selling the Western party line note that Russia went in very light at the outset despite moving men around Kiev, Odessa, and other points outside Donbass. I don’t buy the argument that they thought they’d be welcomed.

      I think they thought if they showed willingness to engage in a large-scale operation, it would bring Ukraine to the negotiating table. Initially it did. Ukraine made important concessions in Istanbul in March, most importantly, agreeing it would not seek to join NATO. But then the US go them to walk that back.

  26. Joe Well

    “it would probably be impossible for people to inhabit NYC for hundreds of years after a nuclear war.”

    I am not exaggerating. My first instinctual thought was, “I wonder if that would bring rents down within reason. Could they maybe hit Boston, too?”

    The powers that be have made life in this country so impossible for the vast majority of people, especially adults below a certain age who were too young to get in when there was still any upward mobility left, that it is really hard to think of the big picture. Making it to the end of the month, not the end of the world.

    1. fresno dan

      I’m sure the rentiers would sell the warm green glow as a benefit and raise rents…

    1. Bart Hansen

      Ivan Krastev was among the hoard of op-ed replacements for a lone Putin hater Masha Gessen at the NYTimes when she moved on some years before the war. He may also have moved on, but there are so many eager replacements to sing the same song.

  27. Alex Cox

    Thank you for the Malcolm X link regarding liberals. His observations were spot on.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  28. Polly

    The Sweet Sound of Censorship: The Biden Administration Seeks the Perfect Bitch for Disinformation Governance

    “They hate us for our freedoms…” said George Bush Jr. as he launched America’s first of four failed trillion dollar wars.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >“They hate us for our freedoms…” said George Bush Jr.

      Bush Jr. was smarter than everyone gives him credit for. They hated us for our freedoms so in his wisdom he started taking away our freedoms with the Patriot Act. That way we would be less hated. Genius!

      “Hastily passed 45 days after 9/11 [bi-partisanship!] in the name of national security, the Patriot Act was the first of many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet. While most Americans think it was created to catch terrorists, the Patriot Act actually turns regular citizens into suspects.”

      Can’t say for sure if twenty years later we are any less hated but never “misunderestimate” the shrewdness of the Shrubster. /sarc

      1. fresno dan

        On June 2, 2015, Obama signed the Senate-approved USA FREEDOM (Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring) Act into law, which replaced the USA PATRIOT Act and curtailed the government’s authority to collect data.
        The Act, named in accord with the little known1984 Act, which codified how laws are actually named, of course does the opposite of what it says
        I said once that every modern era president is worse than the last, and every president diminishes freedom more…

      2. lance ringquist

        actually bill clinton helped to create the patriot act, proposed building a wall against mexico, used the pre patriot act to attack muslims: The harm that Obama has done to devastate some of the poorest, war-torn countries on earth: Libya was the richest in Africa, and relatively stable until Hillary Clinton decided otherwise.

        Clinton was Secretary of State during Obama’s first term in office. In 2011, she craved for war. A ‘New York Times’ report citing 50 top US officials, left no doubt that Clinton was the ‘catalyst’ in the decision to go to war.

        and when china was speaking to blinkin about russia, they repeatedly said yugoslavia back to blinkin.

  29. MarkT

    Get well soon, Yves. Thanks to you and everyone at NC for all the hard work during this crazy time.

    1. RobertC

      For me the money quote is

      To put it mildly, this promise was not fulfilled. People realized that they were duped once again — the reforms have been carried out in the interests of not Ukrainians but global capital.

      Whose interests look like this RobertC March 31, 2022 at 7:08 pm

      More than NATO, Putin rightfully feared those global capital interests crossing the border to the detriment of Russia and Russians.

      As discussed by NC’s many invited authors and commentators for the last several months this conflict is much larger than the UAF-RF daily war log.

      Recently analysts are claiming China is watching with great interest both the war conflict and the larger conflict.

      But it’s Taiwan that needs to carefully examine its situation and its future. Taiwan has most of the geese that lay the world’s semiconductor golden eggs and as TSMC’s founder Morris Chang bluntly stated, only South Korea is a distant competitor; America’s Intel, et al will never get closer than a generation, if that. Taiwan is safe unless (until) Biden moves to “protect” those eggs.

      Satire Alert

      If Zelensky phoned Taiwan’s leader Tsai Ing-wen …

  30. XXYY

    Re: Biden Seeks to Rob Putin of His Top Scientists With Visa Lure Bloomberg

    I know! Biden should do Operation Paperclip Part 2 and recruit Nazi scientists from the Ukraine! They are probably anxious to get out, and we can point to how well the previous wave of Nazi scientists was treated in the US in the late 1940s as evidence of how great they will have it.

    There’s already a pretty good base of far right-wingers in some parts of the US now, so we can make them feel right at home.

  31. Sibiryak

    The New Turn in Ukraine: Putin’s War Becomes Biden’s War, CounterPunch:

    True, U.S. arms had been pouring into Ukraine since the overthrow of the pro-Russian government there in 2014, and Ukraine was using them to kill pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. But Putin was still responsible for crossing the line into organized violence. It does matter who shoots first, and he shot first.

    Interesting that the author doesn’t consider the murderous eight-year Ukrainian assault on the Donbass to be an example of “organized violence”.

  32. Verifyfirst

    OMG. In an article about Biden attending the Correspondent’s Dinner tonight (and Fauci declining due to his own age), Ms. Psaki says Biden should be fine–he is not attending the dinner, just the program, and he might wear a mask when he is not speaking–she also says Biden will: “sit on the dais, away from the crowded dining room”.

    Right. Cuz the dias has it’s own, segregated air supply, I’m sure…probably an air supply just for him and Jill, in fact.

    And Fauci–didn’t he just travel to Geneva to pick up some award in Davos? You know, Switzerland? Their Covid is running rampant at the moment.

  33. RobertC

    Thank you for citing my Link How China Will Dominate the Global Competition Over Data

    Here’s the money quote for me

    China’s current “in-advance” policy of digital infrastructure construction (build the infrastructure first and the other key digital economy resources will follow) characterizes this thinking in concrete terms.

    Professor David Dorman was the briefer I cited in RobertC March 13, 2022 at 9:27 pm. Because my friend and I were acquisition bubbas much of what he explained was a look into another world we never imagined existed. Just like the article above, he was low-key and information-dense. We were awestruck. We thanked him afterwards. And thus began my exploration of the world beyond acquisition policy while my friend went off for a year to get an International Relations degree at the Naval War College. He changed our lives.

  34. Old Sarum

    On reading Pepe & Russia,

    An element which may be at play is the language card. The elephant in the room is Russian speakers left behind in outposts of empire. Then there is the ancient wound caused when the Russian elite conversed in french. I recall that in the UK there was a conference about that very topic a few years ago.

    The war dynamic distorts everything so it is no wonder Russians in Germany are feeling the heat. I’m racking my brain to remember the US Army Air Force general who whilst bombing the Japanese said something along the lines of ‘they are all guilty’?

    Pip Pip.

  35. XXYY

    Um, how are networked drones any more resistant to Russia’s signal/GPS jamming? Seem like this might be fighting the last war.

    Indeed, in view of recent advances in Russian weaponry, almost every current military acquisition program seems like it’s fighting the last war. Aircraft, ships, large fixed installations, small anti-tank weapons, anything relying on radio; even the ideas of “territory” and “front lines” seem somewhat dubious.

    Unfortunately, all these weapons have large, powerful business constituencies in countries where military equipment is primarily a for-profit endeavor. So they will continue to be built and bought until their uselessness can no longer be ignored.

  36. Jason Boxman

    What that means is that every piece of data, such as a user’s location, or religious orientation, can only be collected and used for a specific purpose, and not reused for another purpose. For example, in the past Facebook took the phone number that users’ provided to protect their accounts with two-factor authentication and fed it to its “people you may know” feature, as well as to advertisers. Gizmodo, with the help of academic researchers, caught Facebook doing this, and eventually the company had to stop the practice.

    (bold mine)

    This practice makes users less safe online overall; I have a family member that won’t setup two factor authentication, because the telephone number is believed to be abused in the way Facebook abused it. I that that can’t possibly be true, who would do that?, but I was wrong in this case.

    Facebook is a malevolent actor.

    (Days late to reading this as well.)

  37. RobertC


    China’s defence minister visits Oman as Beijing eyes foothold in Arabian Sea Wei Fenghe says China is Muscat’s ‘sole strategic partner’ after holding talks with Omani officials

    As you examine the map, the peninsula to the left of ‘Jebel’ is Qatar hosting the forward headquarters of the US Central Command among other military and intelligence facilities. The island to the left of Qatar is Bahrain hosting the US 5th Fleet. To the west across the Red Sea is Djioubti where China has built a commercial port that also serves its military along with a logistics facility. China’s “string of pearls” is filling out nicely.

      1. RobertC

        99 — Yes I remember the Sunni Saudis crushing Bahrain’s majority Shia democracy hopes to protect the minority Sunni royal family’s control. Followed a few years later by the Saudi’s attempted overthrow of the Qatar monarchy, largely blocked by the presence of the Al Udeid Air Base and astute maneuvers by the emir. And let’s not forget their ongoing Yemen tragedy.

        5th Fleet has been a focal point for testing littoral concepts such as expeditionary sea base self-defense weapons and offensive small boat operations. It isn’t a quiet neighborhood.

    1. Foy

      Thanks RobertC, very intriguing article especially with the details of the gas pipelines and gas usage.

      I’m surprised that he still thinks that this possible after all he wrote: “Alternatively, we [The Netherlands] could stop buying Russian gas right now and force ourselves to really get our act together over the course of the year. And yes this entails the risk of earthquakes and a possibly frosty winter. But we have 7 months to prepare.”

      The earthquakes are those that come from further depleting the Groningen gas field in The Netherlands, earthquakes that previously damaged housing and infrastructure which resulted in dramatically reducing gas production from the field. Also involves curtailing non essential industries such as flower production which burns through tons of gas. And restarting coal fired power plants which “of course have environmental consequences”

      Also it’s a Netherlands centric view, I’m not sure what he thinks about Netherlands giving up Russian gas when it is impossible for Germany to. Not sure if he thinks they should as well.

      And his language in relation to “every eurocent we send to Russia is an intolerable assault on the senses… because every cent contributes to murder on a ridiculous scale” is very instructive on his view of Russians, reading between the lines.

      So earthquakes? Freezing? And fully destroy local industries?

      Another example of a willingness to raze your own village in order to save it.

      I don’t know if he is suffering from cognitive dissonance or if I am.

      1. RobertC

        Foy — yep he’s a chauvinistic technologist who slips into anti-Russianism at the end. I stopped reading at that point because opinions ain’t data.

        Europe’s energy future will be found somewhere within the various viewpoints on offer. I believe (hope) Germany’s consumers and industrialists will drive its politicians to a fig-leaf solution that ensures Germany’s competitiveness. Keep your fingers crossed because the world needs German engineering.

      2. RobertC

        And the world runs on the semiconductors fabricated by Dutch ASML EUV machines. There is no other EUV supplier and ASML has a wait-list.

        1. Foy

          Thanks RobertC and for all your other recent comments, you are a great addition to the NC commentariat, didn’t know that about those semi conductors.

          It’s very interesting all the critical components and products coming to the surface that are made or only available from one or two places. I think Murphy’s Law is going to be winning a few arguments in the near future with these potential, not obvious supply issues.

          As you say surely consumers, industrialists and workers will bring Germany’s politicians to their sense. Long term shutdowns loss of profits and significant unemployment across the board for a losing war can’t be sustainable when the reality starts to bite and kick in can it? But the politicians are living in a different world to the rest of us atm.

          1. caucus99percenter

            I’m not optimistic about German voters changing anything, since the German mainstream media from which they get their information have been quite successfully gleichgeschaltet (forced into lockstep with, and within, a very narrow band of “acceptable” opinions).

            The only thing that would get the German elites’ attention (and get their goat!) at this point is a big shift to the AfD in the western German states, signalling anti-war sentiment and skepticism of the US-EU-NATO global empire.

            There’s no sign of any such shift in the polls as yet. Although, since the polling companies know what side their bread is buttered on, I suppose it’s conceivable the polls could be deliberately fudged to disadvantage the AfD — everything else is these days.


            1. RobertC

              99 — headline on FT hints at the fig leaf I was hoping for (the St Augustine prayer):

              Germany backs phased ban on Russian oil

              Scholz adviser speaks out as Brussels officials seek consensus on embargo as part of sanctions package

              WRT signalling anti-war sentiment and skepticism of the US-EU-NATO global empire currently the sanctions and shortages blowback has been manageable but consumer inflation and Ukraine refugee favoritism is testing the limits. And if (when) the expected MENA starvation refugee flood occurs this summer, your scenario will occur across Europe.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Mon Dieu! Seriously, I would like to see a break down between the major cities and the provinces to see if they match up.

  38. LawnDart

    Hello comrades,
    Let me be first to wish you joyous May Day!
    Anyway, our partners at The Guardian have special warning– Russian trolls are up to tricks again:

    ‘Troll factory’ spreading Russian pro-war lies online, says UK

    Russian internet trolls based in an old arms factory in St Petersburg are targeting word leaders online and spreading support for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the British government has said, citing research…

    …The Foreign Office was not identifying the researchers behind the work amid concerns over their safety for conducting work critical of the Russian president’s regime.

    Seems legit.

  39. Raymond Sim

    Once in a while I get what I call stress hangovers.

    I used to experience multi-day episodes of what I think was some sort of cluster headache prodrome, almost always right after exams or somesuch. I was pretty much useless for the duration, to the point where I almost welcomed the headaches when they finally came.

    Speaking of headaches though, may I threadjack a bit and inquire whether anyone else has noticed that reducing CO2 levels affects their headache patterns?

    In the years since my stroke I had come to regard afternoon and evening fatigue headaches as just part of my new lot in life, but when we got a CO2 monitor to try and work out household ventilation practices that would let us have our grandkids over during bad weather I realized that the headaches only came when the CO2 was over 600 ppm.

    With energy prices going up I’m thinking we could use a filtered heat exchanger this summer (smoke season) but I have no notion what that will entail. Suggestions for things to research would be very welcome.

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