Links 4/4/2022

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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* * *
The nation finding peace underwater BBC

The Hunt for a Lost Bat New Yorker

Feral pigs are biological time bombs. Can California stem their ‘exponential’ damage? LA Times

An icy mystery deep in Arctic Canada BBC

Chinese villager with no engineering expertise stopped from ‘test-flying’ home-made helicopter by alarmed police South China Morning Post

The Download: Chatbots could one day replace search engines. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea. MIT Technology Review

Killing Wolves to Own the Libs? New Yorker


New Omicron Recombinant Seems To Be More Transmissible: WHO  The Wire

WHO suspends Covaxin supply through United Nations agencies citing manufacturing deficiencies Scroll

In Setback for India, WHO Disagrees With Govt Data on COVID Deaths The Wire


Pressure builds to lift transportation mask mandates KTLA

U.S. global Covid work will ‘grind to a halt’ without more cash Politico

FDA Shuts Out Its Own Experts in Authorizing Another Vaccine Booster WSJ


Overcoming COVID-19 the Bhutanese Way The Diplomat

As Omicron lurks, China plans to stay home for the Ching Ming holiday South China Morning Post

New Not-So-Cold War

LIVE Zelensky accuses Russia of committing genocide BBC

Envoy points to Ukrainian shelling of Bucha following Russian troop withdrawal TASS

Bucha: More Lies Gonzalo Lira debunks Bucha video.

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

Ukraine: Apparent War Crimes in Russia-Controlled Areas Human Rights Watch


14 Years Ahead of the Game Craig Murray.



The Investor Who’s Sticking With Russia WSJ

UK Mars rover is casualty of war as science severs its links with Russia Guardian


Russia threatens to cut off European gas supply Deutsche Welle

Kremlin warns West: rouble-for-gas scheme is the ‘prototype’ Reuters

What countries have nuclear weapons, and where are they? The Conversation

Health Care

Barack Obama will return to the White House Tuesday for the first time since leaving office to celebrate his ‘Obamacare’ Affordable Health Care with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they flounder in the polls Daily Mail

Doctor fired from ER warns about effect of for-profit firms on U.S. health care NBC (antidlc). Koisted from comments.

Climate Change

EV leaders want Biden to be more aggressive with Defense Production Act The Hill

Wallabies to damselflies: Scotland’s newest animals get Gaelic names Guardian

Birds Are Laying Eggs Earlier Likely Due to Climate Change Treehugger

‘This was our forever home’: floods, climate change and the end of one Alberta community The Narwhal

How Joe Manchin Aided Coal, and Earned Millions NYT

Class Warfare

40 Years of the Reagan Revolution’s Libertarian Experiment Have Brought Us Crisis & Chaos The Hartmann Report

The Military Feeds on the Student Debt Crisis With False Promises to Recruits Jacobin

Guaranteed Income Programs Are Triggering Health Benefits Across the Country Capital & Main


Egg prices skyrocket 52% in TWO MONTHS as bird flu decimates commercial flocks: As many as 11 million chickens and two million turkeys have died this year Daily Mail

Ukraine war: German auto industry alarmed over lack of raw materials Deutsche Welle

Biden Administration

GOP cries ‘we told you so’ on Hunter Biden The Hill

Joe Biden ‘confident’ Hunter didn’t break law in dealings with Ukraine, China: Klain NY Post. Good to have that clarified.

Biden faces rising pressure on student loans with deadline looming The Hill

The Supremes

The Supreme Court Has Never Been Apolitical Politico

The Supreme Court’s Abuses of the Shadow Docket Must Be Stopped Jacobin


Hungary’s pro-Putin PM Orban claims victory in national vote AP

Hungary election: PM Viktor Orban criticises Ukraine’s Zelensky as he wins vote BBC


Pakistan: No-confidence motion against Imran Khan rejected, president dissolves National Assembly Scroll

Imran Khan Has Outsmarted Pakistan’s Opposition. For Now Bloomberg

Imran Khan’s fate as Pakistani PM hangs in the balance Responsible Statecraft

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s cabinet ministers resign amid protests, social media ban Agence France-Presse


Air pollution is worsening reproductive health outcomes for women in India – and around the world Scroll

India sought probe into ex-RBI gov Rajan for helping ‘white man’ Al Jazeera


Hong Kong’s reputation as a financial centre hit as UK judges quit top court FT

Wang Huning and the Power of Chinese Culture U.S.-China Perception Monitor

Chinese government reveals its most significant archaeological breakthroughs of 2021 South China Morning Post

Can the World Afford Russia-Style Sanctions on China? Project Syndicate. Kenneth Rogoff. The deck: “Many academic studies suggest that sanctions on China or a break in Sino-American economic ties probably would have a smaller quantitative impact than one might think, at least over the medium to long term. But that is a theory better left untested.” Moi: I’ll say.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Ali A.

    For years, the EU funded detention centers for migrants and refugees in Ukraine. SPIEGEL (paywall)

      1. Glen

        I remember being bombarded with “Would you ‘do something stupid’ if your friends ‘did something stupid’ ?” when I was a kid by my parents.

        Apparently, the EU is quite a bit dumber than I was as a kid. Especially with regard to sanctions. (Yes, I’m going there – I had better foreign policy chops as a twelve year old than a whole multinational economic block, but in the EU’s defense, I think America’s kooties rubbed off on them, and I was VERY CAREFUL to avoid kooties as a kid.)

        1. Anna Belcher

          The best part of Global Solution Hacker(globalsolutionhacker ).( gm(ail (.( c(om)’s credit repair hack service is that you do not have to do anything but watch him work it! People want what’s real and that’s what he gives. My husband and i have been able to qualify for a home loan with his help. A job well done!

    1. Maritimer

      An icy mystery deep in Arctic Canada BBC
      BBC, of course, are Climate Change Pushers extraordinaire. Yet, here, we have the TRAVEL section encouraging TRAVEL to Arctic Canada not an easily accessible place. Perhaps, a CCWorrier could take a luxury cruise ship there.

      Yes, folks, let’s all travel about the endangered Planet and check off our Bucket Lists while someone else, aka peasants, cut back on consumption. Cutting back on hypocrisy is not on the CC list.

  2. Ignacio

    RE: Feral pigs are biological time bombs. Can California stem their ‘exponential’ damage? LA Times

    Seeing now biological risks everywhere. Little bit paranoid we are becoming. Not to say there aren’t but come on, the headline is awful.

    1. jackiebass63

      You don’t seem to understand feral hogs. They are very intelligent,reproduce easily and almost impossible to eliminate once established.

      1. GramSci

        But I think Ignacio *does* understand biological hazards; it’s the headline he specifically criticized.

        1. juno mas

          Did you read the article? Or just the headline?

          The term “biological time bomb” is accurate: feral pigs can have four litters per year. And new young females are productive in less than a year. That is exponential growth.

          Feral pigs are not native to California. They are quite destructive of oak woodlands, a prevalent ecological community in the state. There are currently no potential predators (other than hunters) as a male boar can weigh 400 lbs., and they move in small packs. There aren’t enough recreational hunters to have an impact on pig numbers. (They seem to be more wily and resilient than the hunting population.)

          I’ve encountered a pack of boar on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of CA many years ago. They are nasty bastards. Today Santa Cruz has no wild boar (they were exterminated over a 2.5 year period—~5000 were killed). The island now has a growing population of native fox and other land critters compatible with the native island vegetation. The island is owned mostly by the Nature Conservancy with the eastern quarter donated to the National Park Service (now Channel Islands NP).

          1. Wukchumni

            We had feral pigs here, but a local put in a hunting blind and feeder and I haven’t seen any puerco rican gangs around here in a few years.

            You’d see them half a dozen times a year crossing the road single file with around 10 of them ranging from 100 to 400 pounds, quite a sight!

            They like to rip up lawns in what locals call getting ‘pigged’, as in ‘Did you hear Steve’s lawn got pigged again?’

            There was a fellow with 1,000 hogs up in Hockett Meadow in the 1870’s, I sometimes wonder if we’re dealing with their progeny?

            1. cobo

              and if they ever run out we can up the meals venison delivered – or just reintroduce more wolves – I say feed the nation from nature’s bounty

      2. Louis Fyne

        supposedly feral hogs are very tasty.

        but supposesly uou literally need a helicopter to make it easy to hunt them.

        that is how smart they are

          1. caucus99percenter

            In the cafeteria of the big multinational I worked for in Germany in the 1970s and ’80s, in the proper hunting season wild boar à la Obelix would sometimes grace the menu, yum.

        1. Xihuitl

          Wild boar (feral hog) is served in top restaurants in Houston: chops and bolognese. You can buy it in supermarkets and farmer’s markets. It’s delicious. Much better than industrial pork. Cooked up a chop the other night. Got more in the freezer. In Texas wild boar are trapped, processed, and shipped to Europe.

      3. Ignacio

        Feral hogs or boars are very common all around Spain. And there is this ‘little problem’ with diseases passing from boars to pigs which in large swathes of land are produced in extensive exploits, rather than industrial farms producing best cured ham on earth (sorry Italians, this is an indisputable truth). Biggest problem has always been swine fever classical and African. They became some kind of a ‘plague’ in many places when their only natural predators here, wolves became nearly extinct (somehow recovering a bit now). During the pandemic lockdown it was possible to see them by night hovering around in the streets of Madrid by night. Amazing videos there are. A few miles away from where I live there is a natural reserve were they thrive and the only control there are hunting and disease plus they contribute to maintain vulture populations in the mountains. In the village where Franco resided (El Pardo) lots of restaurants offer boar dishes from boar hunting in the reserve.

          1. Ignacio

            This is deep in the middle of nowhere between Málaga and Granada! Nice village anyway. From Málaga was my dad.

        1. Oh

          How about several in Congress when in session – put them in the chambers and close the door.

    2. Synoia

      I believe this misses the point. The feral pigs, the denzimes of Beverly Hills, are neither asty, nor easily captured.

  3. Louis Fyne

    —Many academic studies suggest that sanctions on China or a break in Sino-American economic ties probably would have a smaller quantitative impact than one might think, at least over the medium to long term. —

    Walk into any hypermart and discreetly stare into people’s carts. Most of that stuff is made in China.

    In the short-term, the inflation-shortage pain would be so great that which party is in office will be booted from power from Congress and the presidency. Of course if you live in Westchester or Potomac MD, you can easily ride out the waves until the medium term arrives.

    And this is before we talk about all those little, unsophisticated industrial-commerical goods like capacitors, wire harnesses, catalytic converters, electrical parts, electrical motors…..without which even a 75% made in USA widget cannot function. Mostly made in China, if you’re lucky in Mexico too.

      1. Pat

        I believe China produces even more now, including blood pressure and heart medicines. The fallout will be relatively fast and deadly for our overlords

        The gewgaws will fuel a lot of anger, but mom and dad dying because the medicines we depend on are limited to the wealthy and powerful will bring out the torches and ropes for them and their political puppets. Because there won’t be enough Valium and Xanax to level out or dull that anger. (Seriously if you think things in America are unstable now, imagine it without mood altering medications.)

        If I were in a position of power I might be pointing out that neither Westchester or Georgetown is a defensible position, and the police and lower level military they need as buffers won’t necessarily be there depending on what they have lost…

        1. playon

          “…mom and dad dying because the medicines we depend on are limited to the wealthy and powerful…”

          Isn’t this already the case for many medications? Insulin for one…

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Bifurcation of benefits and Medicare despite its problems make a big difference. Our electeds’ contemporaries haven’t been under the same pressure as much of US society. A shortage is effectively that group facing the same problem. They won’t put on any bs about “paying their way through school” in California in the 60’s.

            It’s kind of like Tim Kaine worried about long covid. He has it and is concerned. As for a hostop other issues, those people have ACA.

          2. Pat

            Supposedly only about 8 million Americans are on insulin. And a fair number of them still have it covered by insurance vs 55% of Americans being on blood thinners once again.largely covered by insurance.

            Insurance is important in this discussion because insulin is unavailable due to cost not shortages. If we go to sanctions war with China the scarcity will be due to both cost and the amount of drugs available. Insurance will be useless
            Those who can pay hundreds or thousands per a pill that today costs a penny because they have to get black market drugs will be few and far between.

            1. Stick'em

              55% of Americans are on blood thinners!?!”

              From where in the gluteus maximus was this number pulled?

              I could buy the statistic 55% of adult Americans are on meds to calm them down – meds running the spectrum from Prozac to Oxycontin – but unless drinking whiskey and taking asprin count as being on an anticoagulant, I don’t get it.

              1. Pat

                Unfortunately I have to claim mine. I have no idea where I got that from or what thought spawned it. It is apparently somewhere between 7 to 9 million from different sources. I did go down a bit of a rabbit hole trying to get numbers of various drug types, especially blood thinners since the estimates there included 2 million over 65. (That seemed low to me since most of my acquaintances in that category appear to be on on one or another.)
                I do not enjoy being corrected, but I do appreciate it. Thank you.

        2. jonboinAR

          …mom and dad dying because the medicines we depend on are limited to the wealthy and powerful will bring out the torches and ropes for them and their political puppets.

          I’m thinking probably not. I think that “Playon’s” remark above mine agrees. Reports of the wealthy and powerful’s demise oft prove to be exaggerated wishful thinking, it seems to me. They employ a small army and pay them well to propagandize that it’s someone’s fault besides theirs. It nearly always seems to work.

        3. ArvidMartensen

          One way to thin the herd then is to call an economic war on China. I’m sure the people in charge would stock up on their medicines before they made the call.
          And after having a family member on the so-called calming meds, I think the whole of the US would be better off without them. But withdrawal would have to be gradual, as they are every bit as addictive as heroin. The perfect Pharma product, addictive and useless.

    1. digi_owl

      There is some real sense of irony seeing USA getting hoisted in the same way itself hoisted UK back in the day.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      It took several decades to dismantle American thing-making capacity and ship it to Mexico/Chna//Etceterastan and rebuild it there. It would take several decades of rigid protectionism behind which to rebuild a pale ghost of it here again. It would be worth doing, because the alternative is to become China’s overseas Tibet on the way to becoming China’s overseas abandonded strip mine.

      But we would have to endure poverty on the way back to lower-level recovery. it would take an overwhelming-majority political party-movement to cram that down its opponents’ throats.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Can the World Afford Russia-Style Sanctions on China? | by Kenneth Rogoff – Project Syndicate”

    FFS. Why is anybody listening to what Kenneth Rogoff has to say? He is in the same class as Larry Summers. Russia-style sanctions on China is literally 60 year-old crates of sweating dynamite inside a stockpile of drums of napalm on a raft in the middle of a lake of gasoline. Anybody here want to risk have NO meds being delivered from China for example? Look at the present sanctions of Russia and the blowback that is happening. Anybody here knows what happens in Germany on Monday? The German Retail Association has said to prepare for price rises of 20% to 50% for everyday goods and groceries then. Can you imagine the same happening where you live? What will you say to people, if that happens, who say to think of the suffering of the Ukraine. If Russia-style sanctions were put on China, the blowback would be worse like you would not believe by several orders-

    1. Screwball

      Well said Rev. I laughed at the headline but could bring myself to read it, especially since it was by Rogoff.

      I can only speak to some products, as I have spent the last 35 years in engineering/manufacturing helping send anything and everything we could (3 large multi-national corps) to foreign countries. Mexico, China, India, you name it. Both manufacturing of parts and our jobs. First blue collar jobs, then white collar jobs.

      I watch the destruction of a manufacturing plant in Ohio go from 5000 people to an empty warehouse thanks the NAFTA in the mid 90s. The manufacturing and blue collar jobs went first, then the white collar jobs after. The manufacturing went to Mexico, and many of the white collar jobs went to India or China.

      I watched millions of dollars worth of tooling sent from another plant in Ohio (tire maker) go to China (cheaper than we could do it). This cost thousands of jobs locally. Only to watch the Chinese screw the company over by throwing our tooling in a field because they got a better deal with a competitor. What did we do? Make it all again only to ship it right back over there to another place in hopes they would manufacture our product. At the very same time, they hired an Indian firm to do our engineering work so they could lay off more of us white collar people – but the best part – we got to train them before losing our job.

      Then I watched a large appliance manufacturer send every single part they could overseas to be made, while replacing our entire IT department by IBM India allowing them to lay off 3/4 of the local staff. But that wasn’t near enough. We were invaded by H1B workers by the hundreds. Once in place and trained, our “older” workers like myself were given our pink slips. We have to downsize they said.

      113 of us got whacked across all divisions. That was the first wave. They gave us a separation agreement. A small severance, health insurance for a few months, and a pat on the ass. They listed all the jobs and classifications on who got whacked and their ages. All 113 were 55 or above (I was 59). The separation agreement, in big bold letters stated “you cannot sue X company for age discrimination.” Of course. That was in 2017. None of the people I worked with are there now. They got younger and more foreign.

      I’m sure other industries had the same business model, and it should be a surprise to anyone we are now in the position we are in. All these great minds spent billions to create this fantastic spider web of “just in time” delivery and 13 second cycle time manufacturing process in the pursuit of profit to the bottom line – that’s all that matters.

      Until it doesn’t work. Then you have what William Edwards Deming called “state of chaos.” We might be there.

      1. orlbucfan

        Plenty of stories about Chinese theft of high tech down here in Right to Serf Florida. They didn’t mess around. If they couldn’t buy it; they would just murder for it. Your story is all too familiar. I’m glad I’m retired and old.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Are there articles about specific cases of that? Are there links to those articles? Or is that oral history which no one ever dared to write down?

        2. jrkrideau

          Plenty of stories about Chinese theft of high tech down here in Right to Serf Florida.

          The same the USA did to Great Britain in the 1800’s? Oh dear.

      2. lance ringquist

        you mean it did not work? thats not what nafta billy clinton said.

        President Clinton claims that the recently signed trade agreement with China “creates a win-win result for both countries” (Clinton 2000, 9). He argues that exports to China “now support hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” and that “these figures can grow substantially with the new access to the Chinese market the WTO agreement creates” (Clinton 2000, 10).

        the E.P.I. was correct, 2008 proves it.

        “In reality, the deficit path shown in Figure 1 is unsustainable, and would lead to a financial crisis long before the deficit with China reached anything approaching $600 billion. But this analysis, the Administration’s best case, illustrates the danger that a rapid growth of the bilateral trade deficit would pose for U.S. employment in the future.”

    2. RobertC

      From the George Koo AT article I linked to earlier:

      China counters US sanctions on Xinjiang

      But sure enough, the Biden administration has tried, by banning the import of cotton from Xinjiang. In response, China has mandated that all face masks for export must be made with cotton from Xinjiang.

      Biden has also forbidden the import of any products made in Xinjiang. In response, China has consolidated all its rare-earth mining companies into one holding company and registered it in Xinjiang.

      The US can probably get along without masks from China but will find it a real challenge without rare-earth metals and minerals. There’s a Chinese saying: “For every ploy, there is (always) a counter.”

        1. Screwball

          He just called Putin a war criminal again. He’s collecting data for a war crimes trail and says there will be more sanctions coming.

          He’s trying to start WWIII while at the same time trying to make us go broke. I’m not sure which will happen first.

          Let’s go Brandon

          1. Lex

            The Russian foreign ministry has responded that they think these sorts of trials are a fine idea, so long as there are trials for Yugoslavia and Iraq first. Do you think that Joe knows Russia isn’t a party to the ICC? Do you think he knows that the US isn’t either?

            He already started WWIII, it’s just not kinetic everywhere yet. Hopefully it remains economic or that DoD explains to him clearly that at this point Russia can put a Kinzhal through the front door of the WH and we won’t even see it coming.

          2. Questa Nota

            Brandon is throwing everything out there faster now to deflect attention from his looming Hunter laptop revelation problem. That supplements his other corruption, senility, grift and related problems.

            Brandon may open the borders, drive up prices, debase the currency, ruin more lives and then die just to spite us with Hells Up, er, Heels Up.

            All the devils from Delaware are here, again. Moron the way.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        There is also another Chinese saying: “He who flung dung first washes his face with it”

  5. Louis Fyne

    Re. Hungary.

    The polling organizations supposedly were predicting a tight race, not a supermajority blowout.

    Make Hungary Great Again. DC Democrats should be very worried and much of the themes over there apply to the US: focus on domestic issues before Ukraine, dissatisfied middle class, urban-neoliberal-transAtlantic elite totally out of touch with the rural populace

    1. Bruno

      Orban’s landslide is the start of pan-european populist political backlash to the NATOist Ukraine demagogy. This is directly relevant to next Sunday’s presidential first-round in France, where the pathetic social-atlanticist candidates (Jadot, Hidalgo, Poutou) are futilely raising the accusation “pro-Russian” against the left candidate, Mélenchon, while the “populist”-right candidate Marine Le Pen is Trumpianly Orange-baited by the entire Establishment as a tool of Putin. A very ominous portent for the self-styled “Jupiter” Macron!

        1. Bruno

          “it is apparent today’s election of the Hungarian president is more important than the election of any French president”. apparent, that is, to anyone who thinks that Hungary is; culturally-historically-economically-politically-demographically; remotely as important as France.

          1. RobertC

            — Cultural importance — doesn’t put food on the table or fuel in the tank
            — Historical importance — ditto above
            — Economic importance — with the ongoing failure of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, Hungary is China’s trade path into Eastern Europe and westward from there
            — Political importance — France is hobbled by the European Commission (aka “European Government”)
            — Demographic importance — its evolving demographics are a detriment not a benefit for France, as its entertaining politics repeatedly demonstrate.

            “New” Europe sees Russia’s Eastward turn more clearly than “Old” Europe.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Perhaps all the European elections should be held in the middle of winter. That might cause a few landslides that NATO/US wouldn’t like.

    2. OISIN

      Orban has been in charge for 12 yrs already. If there is dissatisfaction, they are not showing it. While painted as an outlier he is the template and inspiration for many national conservatives in Eastern Europe. Plus the economy is doing well. If there is a comparison to the US, the other party is headed by a (economically) neoliberal Catholic.

  6. Wukchumni

    Noticed the latest hand cannon mass murder episode in Sacramento barely rated in terms of news. If the death count isn’t in the double figures, did it really happen?

    1. Louis Fyne

      It isn’t news unless an editor in NYC or DC says so. been that way since William Hearst, probably even for him too

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Two of the victims are African-American. If the rest of them turn out to also be “Shot-while-Black”, I doubt you’ll hear much more about this unless one of the victims was adopting a Ukrainian child.

    2. ambrit

      Notice too that the dead list is half men and half women.
      Shooting at random into a crowd. Sounds a lot like what we do in foreign climes during one of our “Incitement of Democratic Ideals” campaigns.
      Someone has taught an entire generation that killing is the preferred method of solving disputes.
      Blowback is a b—-!

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Had a little shoot-em-up in Dallas too
        1 dead, 11 injured
        Sorry can’t get link to post

    3. Robert Gray

      There’s a place that keeps track of these things:

      Their definition of a mass shooting is a single event in which four or more people are shot (killed or wounded). Yesterday was the 93rd day of 2022. So far this year, there have been 121 mass shootings in the US. I’d say that’s a sign of a sick society.

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      The fact that it appears that none of the victims are blue eyed blondes probably plays into it also.

  7. Verifyfirst

    Good for the Amazon workers–they seem to understand the game. Hopefully they can pull off a walkout to force Amazon quickly to recognition of the union and bargaining. Unlikely, given Amazon’s resources and the turnover in warehouses.

    Amazon Union Slams Any Attempt to ‘Delay Our Hard-Won Right to Bargain Collectively’

    Ye old same day juxtaposition:

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s total compensation package topped $212 million

    Heck, Bezos gets $1.7 mill a year pay just for being Bezos, not that he would notice.

  8. Dr. Phips

    Re Hungary: I am still amazed, really flabbergasted about the MSM here in the US. There is absolutely no mention in the NY Times today about Orban’s victory in Hungary. I checked twice, just in case. I must assume that this is now going to be the way to deal with any news that the (neo-liberal) powers to be don’t like? Simply…. suppressing it? Not reporting it? I guess.

    1. Darthbobber

      I see mention of it all over the place. Interestingly, it was an utter blowout. I suspect the opposition was doing better before they mistakenly tried to make it all about Ukraine.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Barack Obama will return to the White House Tuesday for the first time since leaving office to celebrate his ‘Obamacare’ Affordable Health Care with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as they flounder in the polls”

    I know that in the White House that this is seen as a brilliant idea to the brunch-munchers but from what I have read, the Obamacare’ Affordable Health Care was just a giveaway to the healthcare industry while loading up more people with medical debt. How many people will feel like celebrating this? How detached must you be from the rest of the country to think this way?

    1. nycTerrierist

      I did a double-take on that headline, a bit late for April Fool’s…

      is there no end to their bs?
      rhetorical question

      1. Dan

        Yes, it ends when the Obamacare account holder,
        often involuntarily enrolled, dies, and the government claws back every single monthly fee, cost of service and uncovered bill from their often meager estate.

        “Medi-Cal, and many other state Medicaid programs include a ‘claw-back’ provision for recovery of costs incurred by the state to provide medical care. While there is much variation in particulars from one state to another, the bottom line is these costs include a monthly ‘administrative fee.’ The ‘claw-back’ mechanism functions via the state placing ‘liens’ on individual assets at the point the Medicaid recipient reaches age 55, then recovers the money at the point the Medicaid recipient dies by ‘seizing’ the money from the estate.”

      2. CuriosityConcern

        Tuesday 4/5/2022 – “Jill Biden Slaps Michelle On Press Podium After Ill Considered Joke On Age”

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Not only that, but enough time has passed that anyone who temporarly benefited from Obamacare, and I know at least one, have long passed that point and have returned to being behind the 8 ball. However, it’s all they have. The Democrats are the Al Bundy party; still celebrating that one touchdown in high school football that didn’t really mean anything anyway (and no one else cares).

    3. Bart Hansen

      The White House staff have been issued anti-sulfur sprays for use after he leaves.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      I wonder if anyone told Joe what happened in the 2010 midterms which is arguably the worst loss by a party since 1932 when they had Obama.

    5. Michael Ismoe

      Will Axelrod be there to complain to his boss about his pharmacy bill? Maybe we should start a Kickstarter for the poor guy.

      You gotta love the Democrats. Get the second most hated Democrat ever and stand next to him. I guess they are saving Hillary for the night before the election.

      1. Questa Nota

        She may have trouble standing there, what with the increasing price of cabbage and spare shoes. Oh, wait, there is a new round of that Foundation thingy to hoover up more dosh.

    6. Mildred Montana

      >”…the Obamacare’ Affordable Health Care was just a giveaway to the healthcare industry…”

      So true, yet it seems not commonly known. I remember back in 2009-2010, in the run-up to its passage, following the stock prices of the health-insurance companies. They were all going up—substantially. For instance the largest company, United Health, saw its stock price rise from $20 in late 2008 to $33 at the time of Obama’s signing of the ACA (March 2010). Since then it’s been no looking back for UNH, with its stock currently in the $500 range. Trees can indeed grow to the sky—if Obama nurtures them.

      A further tell that the PTB love Obamacare is that, despite many threats by Trump and Republicans during his presidency to repeal it, no serious attempts were made to do so. Those that were were just theater. Because, after all, one of the onerous duties of a plutocracy is to convince the plebes that it really has their interests at heart.

      I found this website interesting and informative:

    7. Oh

      It’s a huge giveaway to the insurance industry too and it uses medicaid funds to subsidize the premiums. If the uninsured had been directly on Medicaid and Medicare (with lower rates to the healthcare crooks) it might have been so much better but what do I know? Obama wouldn’t have got his house Hawaii,

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Off the top of my head, as I haven’t had the chance to study your link, I’ll mention that there’s been lots of chatter in the Indian press about the decline of the Congress (Party), and the rise of the AAP. Good English-language sources include Scroll, The Wire, Firstpost. I’m therefore interested to look at what RT has to say.

      I don’t know much about state elections, except for those in West Bengal (which I posted about in May 2021).

      FYI, I just posted on last week’s disastrous U.S. attempt to bully India into supporting its anti-Russia sanctions program. The U.S. hasn’t covered itself in diplomatic glory here.

    2. sudhir

      There seems to be an inflection point in Indian politics. The BJP and AAP are the only two political parties that do not overtly appeal to caste based votes. Their pitches are largely based on social and economic betterment (with some appeals to national pride as well on the part of the BJP). This is quite a change from the past.

  10. ex-PFC Chuck

    “Wang Huning and the Power of Chinese Culture” is a must read:

    “In his phrase, China’s political culture needed to be `re-engineered.’ His main achievement was to come up with the analytic tools to diagnose the problem, and then a means to try to address it – a redefinition of, and then commitment to, of China’s political values and a reconnection to the repository of traditional Chinese culture. Wang believed that these would differentiate Chinese political culture from that of the threatening and overconfident West. China, in essence, after decades of fighting against its pre-modern, feudal past, needed to make some kind of peace with it.”

    Where is America’s Wang Huning?

    1. Bruno

      “Where is America’s Wang Huning?” more to the point, where is America’s political culture?

      1. Steve H.

        John Robb:

        Not mentioned directly in Wang’s analysis but implied, the loss of traditional
        values makes the US vulnerable to those who radically redefine US values. This
        revisionist process has only recently become viable with advances in social
        networking (the network tribalism covered in earlier reports). We now see
        (amplified by the power of social networks) an aggressive effort to radically recast
        US history and redefine US values. This effort removes the social stability that
        protected the US from the disruptions caused by rapid technological and material
        innovations. In short, the formula that made the US able to withstand the
        disruptions caused by rapid technological change has evaporated.

        1. HotFlash

          Ah yes, America’s traditional values. Mom and apple pie? Extermination of indigenous peoples? Salem witch trials? Slavery? Joe McCarthy? And so much more, so much to chose from!

    2. a fax machine

      America doesn’t need one, because America didn’t have a major cultural reset halfway through the last century. America’s current political system is an evolution of something that started in the 1600s, it’s not something that was forcibly stopped and constructed in the 1940s. At least now China admits that hard cultural shocks never work out, as has been evidenced by China adopting many aspects of American culture over the past three decades.

    3. hunkerdown

      At one of the flagship think-tanks like Brookings or AEI, same as Wang. Do you really want someone like Neera Tanden creating reality for you? I don’t.

  11. Wukchumni

    Ah, out of touch Feds lamenting ‘greens fees’…

    How do we know that it isn’t code for pumping ever yet more money out of a QWERTY, and has nothing to do with grown men whacking off repeatedly on a manicured surface attempting to squeeze the object of their desire into a narrow fitted hole?

    1. Mildred Montana

      How can they not be out of touch? None of them rubs shoulders with the so-called hoi polloi.

      I read a (perhaps apocryphal) account of the French Revolution, In it, the writer contended that Marie Antoinette never said, “Let them eat cake”, but that some out-of-touch aristocrat had indeed said, “Let them eat grass.” As supporting evidence for this heartless comment, the writer mentioned the severed heads of aristocrats, their mouths often stuffed with grass.

      That seems sound advice for those entitled Federal Reserve functionaries. If they can’t afford to play on the grass, they can eat it.

    2. griffen

      The bankers are punching down, those greedy clubs increasing their fees. Probably for good reason, if they have to pay up to hire actual golf and green landscape professionals to maintain the appearances. Golf membership fees also seem like a poor input to any FED research model, though.

      He could have just moaned about the pricing of food stuffs instead. Have you seen the pricing for a petite filet recently? Me neither.

  12. anon y'mouse

    you know things must be looking bleak when they pull Titanium Bullet-B. Obama out of the drawer.

    so, we have him to thank for the ACA and the fracking. and saving the banks, HAMP scams. and Libya. and droning policies.

    nice record there. this doesn’t trouble him as much as his Hawaiian retaining walls do, and it doesn’t prevent him from crowing about these achievements in public, when he should be in a partial exile like Nixon or even Bush the Younger was for a time (pre candy).

    1. Screwball

      I can think of a more appropriate place than exile. It’s all good though, maybe they can give a speech to be shown on Twitter via the “Barack Obama fan club” to his adoring fans. And yes, there is such a thing on Twitter.

    2. MRLost

      Don’t forget Obama’s wink and wave to torture. Promised not to do it again until next time.

  13. timbers

    They’re watching us watch

    Recently got a new 5G phone because AT&T turned off my 3G phone. At least they gave new phone free (but at higher monthly rate because “more” services).

    I noticed I was flying thru data usage at maybe 4x normal. This is what I saw as went thru and turned off all the hundred or so apps (most of which I never use) and deleted ones I didn’t want, from tracking me in the background:

    Google sucked up 1/3 of data usage and Chrome 1/6, or a total of 1/2 data usage for those 2 alone and I don’t even use Google or Chrome browsers. They just tracked me anyways.

    Almost every single app defaults to tracking. When your “Wallpaper” app (the background on your screen) is tracking you, something is not quite right.

    I use 2 browsers – Brave on PC and DuckDuckGo on phone. When I installed DuckDuckGo, it told me Google was tracking should I allow this to continue or not?

    1. nothing but the truth

      switch off data and switch it on only when needed.

      I would say there should be a phone only mode for the old school folks, and switch to full smartphone when user wishes.

      1. Jason Boxman

        They’re available. I had a plumber come over recently, and he had a military grade flip phone. Said it was like a tank, had run over it before, dropped it, won’t break. Just number keys and texting. Uses his smartphone for navigation.

        1. jrs

          Yes those phones are like $300 though. So you are paying smart phone prices for those rugged dumb flip phones. So if you can get over the sticker shock … And if you still end up buying a smart phone as well it’s even more $.

      2. HotFlash

        Check out Pinephone. Not easy-peasy, just plug it in to use, but you da boss of it. It has dip switches for mic, camera, etc. so ‘off’ is OFF. $200 US.

    2. RockHard

      DuckDuckGo is not a browser, it’s a website. I’d take its advice and turn off tracking. You should have a “do not track” option in settings to turn it off globally and make each app ask for permission individually. Is this an Android or Apple phone?

      Many apps will use Chrome as the rendering engine, so you may see “Chrome” being reported even though it’s just being driven by other apps. One approach to writing an app is to make a mobile website and then wrap it in a little app that simply launches an embedded web browser.

      1. HotFlash

        Another good, no-track browser is SwissCows. I get good results on searches thru them, too. Which is the point.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Bucha: More Lies”

    Was watching this video earlier today and he made a lot of solid points though I have only seen one of the Bucha videos so far. He made the point that the blood that you could see in the videos was red when it should have been brown or black and can confirm this. Today we had a vet out that did a minor procedure on a horse here and about a liter or so of blood was on the ground. Within a few short hours it had turned brown and a few hours later it was nearly black.

    He mentioned too that MoA said that the Russians left on March 30th which the Mayor stated. Next day the Mayor announced that the town was liberated but not one mention of any bodies laying around the streets. Did no one notice or trip over one? Azov enters Bucha on the 1st April and then a day or so later discover that there are bodies laying in the streets. Yeah, right.

    Seen this movie before when a false flag chemical attack was used to derail an offensive to mop up the Al Qaeda forces in Idlib in Syria. The US, UK & France said that they would attack Syria if they went after Idlib then. The Russians are about to mop up that cauldron of the Ukrainian invasion force in the east so my guess is that NATO wants to stop this happening and will try to use Bucha as an excuse.

    1. petal

      CBS News (on the radio) was laying it on thick this morning. Was in car driving to work and it came on at the top of the hour. It was all Bucha massacre and genocide, a crying Ukrainian mother with someone explaining in English how the Russians had killed her 27 year old only son, then they cut to Zelensky’s appearance at the Grammys last night, etc. I turned the radio off.

      1. Bruno

        I was instantly impressed by the photo of a “dead body” in the street, its hands tied behind its back with a *perfectly clean* white cloth!

      2. Michael Ismoe

        Zelensky might have shown up for a cameo at the Grammys but he wasn’t even invited to the Oscars. He’s B list at best.

        1. orlbucfan

          As lousy and canned sounding most of 2022 popular musack is, Zelensky fit right in.

      3. Nikkikat

        Who knew? Zenlensky has the Grammy planners on speed dial, he probably consults them all the time.

        1. Wukchumni

          It wasn’t entirely a wasted effort by Zelensky, he managed to set up a no lip sync zone in Kiev.

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        That was the Holly Williams report that I saw on TV this morning. Holly Williams is either the most gullible foreign correspondent or she is willfully spreading Ukrainian propaganda. Needless to say, the CBS Mornings anchor team lapped it all up.

      5. newcatty

        I turned the radio off.

        That succinctly states the informed and rational response to the shameless and lying propaganda that is actually masquerading as news in MSM. Uh, it’s turning us off.

    2. Darthbobber

      Interestingly, it is the UN Secretary General and the Russians seeking a security council meeting on the Bucha allegations,(and the secretary general wanting a UN investigation), and thus far the UK blocking the idea. One suspects an actual investigation is by no means desired.

    3. jo6pac

      If you go to Veteran Today web site they have vid of one of the so-called bodies waving the passing trucks and also points out if they been dead for a day why’s their skin still pink. The site is very graphic.

      They have really pick up the game of fake news since the white helmets and wonder when gorge clooneny will make award winning film?

      1. WJ

        The alleged “wave” has been accounted for by the curved shape of the rear-view mirror under the highest resolution version of the videos.

        The bodies are very real, unfortunately.

        The first video of the bodies dates (on Twitter) from April 1. Russia left Bucha on March 30. Mayor of Bucha celebrates liberation of Bucha on March 31, doesn’t mention any fatalities.

        Ukrainian police/troopers arrive over course of April 1-2, and are documented as conducting clean up operations over April 2 and 3. A video posted by somebody involved in this operation contains a quote which, translated, is apparently taken to imply that any people in Bucha without a blue armband could be shot. I can’t confirm translation.

        The MSM narrative has it that Russia decided, upon abandoning Bachu, to kill a bunch of civilians and leave them strewn upon the road causing an enormous uproar, which might lead to the intervention of NATO into the conflict.

        It’s amazing to me that people buy this narrative at all.

        1. tindrum

          In the online “Der Spiegel” (link below) is a German laguage piece that says that the reason that the internet in the Ukraine has managed to survive the merciless Russian bombardment is that a band of dedicated hackers are running around the Ukraine building ad-hoc networks and maybe Musk’s Starlink. No mention of the fact that the telephones are also all still working, the electricity is sill connected etc etc.
          I can not believe that anyone can fall for this outrageous nonsense, but right now in Germany the propaganda is astonishing and the hatred in the comments sections is quite scary.

    4. playon

      I did a search just now for “war crimes committed by Ukraine forces” along with a few other variations of this query, and the search engine will only return recent news about Russian war crimes. I used the Qwant search engine rather than google or duckduckgo and I didn’t look past the first page of results. Some people are apparently experts at gaming search engines, perhaps by simply flooding the internet with so many of the official “news” stories that anything contradicting them is buried.


      1. lyman alpha blob

        Qwant is a European search engine and my understanding is that they have blocked a lot of Russian sites completely. That was the case a few weeks ago when I tried looking some things up using qwant, but I haven’t tried since.

    5. Nikkikat

      Rev, maybe they call in the CNN reporter who smells things like poison on backpacks. I’m sure she will know how to smell some blood. Lol
      I agree, regarding propaganda mission. They will use this on every main stream news program. Forever.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > Analysis of satellite images shows (some) bodies lay in Bucha for at least 3 weeks:

        We know, if our high school history class covered the Civil War and Matthew Brady, what dead bodies look like after days in the field. As Yves puts it, they bloat:

        The bodies in the video look nothing like this. So, on current evidence, either the videos are fake (as Lira gives good reason to believe) or the satellite photos are wrong. Or both!

        NOTE Satellite photos are digital evidence. Therefore I view them as having little authority.

        1. Sibiryak

          Satellite photos are digital evidence. Therefore I view them as having little authority.

          But don’t these photos come from Maxar Technologies, a highly-reputed US company with close ties to the US DoD and, allegedly, the CIA?

          “As a Maxar customer, the Department of Defense isn’t just a passive consumer of Maxar images; it is, in a way, a co-producer of those images.”

  15. a fax machine

    Thoughts on the conflagration in Europe (“conflagration” used meaningfully, see below): Putin now faces either total defeat as Ukraine rolls back his ground military back into Russia’s 1993 borders, or he must use a US-style air bombardment strategy that will lead to outright embargoes. Either way, if there is a Ukrainian government left standing it will most certainly join NATO as will Finland and Sweden. Broadly, the use of hypersonic missiles within the conflict will force Biden to reconsider START and Star Wars. One recalls Bush’s cancellation of the ABMT (archives check?), which was a stepping stone although not an instigator to this situation. Putin has now created the perfect target (his low flying hypersonic missiles) for America’s otherwise failed YAL-1 and XN-1 laser systems. This portends bad things and trillions more in triad spending.

    “Conflagration” – as NPR noted Ukranian refugees are given wide priority over African and Arab ones, and there is a growing formalization of this within the EU. In my view this was inevitable, either the EU adopted some sort of nationalism (racist or not) or it’d be picked apart by nationalist movements. Which speaks to Russia’s diplomatic failure: prior to this both NATO and the EU were the sick men of Europe, destined to slowly erode and collapse as member states had no reason for such projects besides diplomatic and financial control from the US and Germany. Not so anymore thanks to Russia. And within the US, Putin’s actions have sealed the book on Trump and will single handedly destroy the Republican Party if he or any other Russian sympathetic candidate runs in 2024.

    Biden will probably get a second term, even as the college system collapses and wipes out millions of Americans into permanent, unfixable destitution and poverty. The Democratic party will shift towards the center (notably on BLM – see Biden’s cancellation of it last month) and win a lot of “not crazy Republican” votes. As a reminder, the college debt problem is only getting worse as is the car debt problem. One wonders how long this can stay afloat and what the plan is when liberal cities are filled with impoverished white people as red staters can’t drive to work.

    1. Yves Smith

      Russia is not losing. You are falling for the US projection of how it would conduct the war onto Russia. Russia has no interest in capturing territory and no desire to take major cities. You need to read these articles. The last two are from a Swiss intelligence office connected to NATO who worked on Ukraine matters during his career. They are in French, so you’ll need to run them through a translator.

      And you are misreading both the press taking up the Hunter laptop and Biden’s physical condition. He’s getting weaker and more addle-brained by the day. He will be incapable of campaigning by 2024. And that’s assuming the Dems don’t suffer an epic wipeout this fall, which also would make the party desperate to jettison him.

      1. Paleobotanist

        I read them in French. The articles are very interesting and informative. I had missed that the Donbass War began on Feb. 16 with the heavy shelling of the Donbass civilians by the Ukrainian Army, and not by the entry of the Russians into the Donbass around the 23rd or 24th. I had not connected the dots as this is so buried in the western press. Highly recommended. Also very well referenced.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Russia has no interest in capturing territory and no desire to take major cities.

        McClellan’s objective was Richmond.

        Grant’s objective was the Army of Northern Virginia.

        Which’d you rather?

  16. MT_Wild

    They’ve been in CA for 200 hundred years or so, “time-bomb” might be hyperbolic. But maybe not if we get a new pathogen that is spread or facilitated by feral pigs.

    They have forever altered other ecosystems. The role of pigs in the avian malaria cycle in Hawaii will soon lead to the extinction of almost every remaining native forest bird. Just a matter of time before climate change allows malaria to occupy the last remaining high elevation forests. And that will be all there is to it, because this seems to be happening more rapidly than the evolution of malaria resistance.

    Maybe time for a Hawaiian bird week?

    1. Wukchumni

      The wild pigs in NZ originate from one of Captain Cook’s voyages where a number of mating pairs were released on the bird world country, which couldn’t have been good for the winged ones which had gone 20 million years with hardly any mammals to pal around with.

      If you go hunting in NZ, a prized kill would be a ‘Captain Cooker’.

  17. Glossolalia

    “Imagine the state capacity and level of public cooperation needed to” test all 26 million Shanghai residents in a single day. An all seeing surveillance state with social credit scores that can exclude you from society can do wonders like that.

      1. Glossolalia

        In this particular case it’s probably something like the state surveillance ensures they can find you and detain you promptly if you don’t show up for you covid test. As for the “state capacity”, it probably also requires vast numbers of “security personnel” to enforce the state’s edicts. Sounds dreamy to some, apparently.

        1. Late Introvert

          Keep reading up, you’ll find that they do the same here and then some.

          Without even trying to help people. I don’t like either option, frankly, but the one our leaders are pursuing seems more likely to fail in the long/short run.

          So good luck with feeling like our leaders are better, somehow. Not sure in what way though.

    1. jsn

      While making average life expectancy go up.

      In distinction to our all seeing surveillance corporations with financial credit scores who are profiting handsomely from our accelerating deaths.

      Technology is a two edged sword and when the powerful choose to wield it against the week, regardless of the nominal political system they’re using it’s particularly deadly.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Technology is a two edged sword and when the powerful choose to wield it against the week, regardless of the nominal political system they’re using it’s particularly deadly.

        Not just modern technology like those racist algorithms or intelligence tests, which come out of eugenics, but pseudo science like eugenics was, maybe I should say still is, a weapon on the weak. Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race is a book on the subject. The title is hyperbolic, but unfortunately it’s accurate. Some of the older foundations listed on many PBS show funded eugenics.

        Whatever is the latest new thing seems to be become another new thing to be twisted into a way to destroy those deemed unfit for whatever reason. People convince themselves of their own moral rectitude and general superiority often decide that they are the ones who should be making the decisions. To play god with the lives of others. That they often profit in doing so is ignored by them.

        1. jsn

          I think I picked the idea up here at NC that one has to live with a political system as complex as the technological systems one chooses to live with in order to keep this from happening.

          Our current mess is a result, among other things, of letting our technologies get well out past our institutional ability to address the moral consequences of the tech.

          What Uber and Amazon are doing with logistics, for instance, could be a giant step toward sustainability if administered as public goods. As for profit businesses they are no less part of killing the working class than the for profit death and disease industry.

  18. Wukchumni

    We’re looking at 2, maybe 3 days of record setting temps later this week in the CVBB, it’ll be around 90 degrees in the foothills, and up in the higher climes where the remaining snow is, the melt-freeze cycle goes away and turns into a melt-melt cycle, the river will be @ it’s maximum and roaring somewhat, although i’d imagine I could walk across it-as I could yesterday.

    The key reservoirs up north are about 1/3 full now, with the snowpack being also about 1/3rd full, but the 30 million people in Cali divorced from their water sources won’t notice, thankfully.

    25% of Sequoia NP has burned up in the past 2 years, leaving only 75% to burn, and there’s nothing above treeline to catch fire, so maybe only 50% more National Park to go up in flames?

    A very informative article on fire history in Yosemite NP:

    1. Reaville

      Flew into Sacramento from the north last Thursday. There is virtually no snowpack in the Northern Sierra. Shasta Lake is not going to get much inflow so it’s starting the water year at a very low level. Nor will any reservoir North of Sacramento. Drove up Hwy 50 to Lake Tahoe yesterday. Had a humble timeshare up here for 39 years. The damage from last year’s fire has rendered the Hwy 50 forest unrecognizable. Sobering. Frightening. Beyond sad.

      Climate change is here and it is the single biggest issue shaping our lives. So many of the costs are denied, hidden, avoided, transferred or not discussed. How do farmers in the Central Valley farm long term with no irrigation water and dropping water table as acquifiers are exhausted? How do…never mind.

      Things are breaking down. Visibly. California is dying.

      1. cobo

        CA is going full bore – demanding X,000 new homes be built in each jurisdiction – paper water all around. This isn’t stupidity, where the rules get made – this is mass murder. Not everyone misses this point

  19. bassmule

    If EV makers want stimulus, this would be the time to demand a universal standard for chargers.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Work to Come: Russia, Ukraine, and the West at the Negotiating Table – War on the Rocks”

    I don’t even know where to start with this piece. And his mention of negotiations. What negotiations are western countries doing? All I see is them shipping in more weapons to get Russians and Ukrainians killed. But for a start, I won’t even mention his idea that the Ukrainians are winning. I know that this article is an attempt to chart some of the hypothetical options but there is no point including options that are dead on arrival, especially his ideas on Crimea. No, a ‘lease arrangement’ like Hong Kong won’t work as it is already gone back to Russia. How would the US feel of they got to lease back Alaska from Russia which meant that they actually owned it? The answer to another Referendum is know which is why the west will never allow one to be held by the international community. And an overlapping claim of sovereignty like in Northern Island? How well is that working out for the Irish? For the Russians, the issue is closed. Crimea is back home and they are not going to kick the can down the road to fester while they pretend that it might go back to the Ukraine. That is like asking the Ukraine to let Galicia to go back to Poland as it was only several years before the Crimea transfer that the Ukraine got Galicia off the Poles.

    He mentions too a DMZ with a “hard” U.N. peacekeeping force but the only countries that I have heard suggested for this force are all NATO countries. How about somebody neutral? How about asking the Chinese? I am sure that they would love to set up several military bases in the Ukraine? And the Donbass. After 8 years of being treated like a Ukrainian artillery practice range and losing about 14,000 people killed, they will never, ever go back. Would we? Again, he suggests a peacekeeping force in the Donbass but would they be from NATO countries? And this guy then goes on to say that the only way to guarantee peace is for the Ukrainians to have a powerful military. How has that worked out so far the past few years? But a clear offer of sanctions relief in return for a settlement won’t cut it for the Russians as they no longer care. Especially for sanctions relief that could be re-imposed at a minute’s notice like happened with Iran. That boat has sailed. I am looking at his qualifications at the bottom of the article but jeez, what he has to say is at best deluded as it is risible.

    1. dftbs

      It is, as you say, risible. The complain from the yellow-blue profile picture crew that the West has no stomach for conflict is wrong, we are a bloodthirsty lot. It’s not that Biden and his NATO muppets don’t want to fight Russia, it’s that they can’t. Lost in the Western melodrama with regards to Ukraine is the cold hard truth, the West doesn’t have either the soft or hard power to affect the situation on the ground. Tom Hill may think he’s sober minded, as opposed to the crazies who bray about “no-fly zones”, but he’s just another type of looney.

    2. Kouros

      War on the Rocks is a douser. All the academics and their language, trying to support the best way they can the MIC. But pearls can be found from time to time. I remember two:
      – The UNCLOS in fact gives sovereignty to Russia for the Arctic Sea that is free, between land and the ocean iceshelf.
      – US Navy admiral admitted that the US Navy role is not necessarily to protect shipping lanes, but to hinder enemies when the time and necessity arises…

    3. Darthbobber

      For any of the possibilities the author discusses to be at all relevant the next month or two would need to proceed militarily in accordance with the most optimistic scenarios conceivable for the Ukrainians. I don’t really foresee that happening.

    4. Procopius

      I’ve been wondering, how, exactly, are those weapons shipments getting to Ukraine? Do they all go to Poland, where they’re transferred to trucks and forwarded into Ukraine? Are the rail cars from the French ports just continued on from Poland into Ukraine? Do the Poles use the same railway gauge as the Russians? Are the NATO nations flying them in to Ukraine? Seems like that would need A LOT of planes. Really, I’d like to know.

  21. Tom Stone

    I read the laptop story at “The Hill” and noticed a headline that brought a smile “What Joe Biden meant to say”.
    it’s official now,Joe Biden does not speak for the President of the United States.

  22. Lex

    The WotR link is super interesting given the author’s perspective on peace negotiations. None of the possibilities described are likely though. The West thinks that Putin will face domestic opposition for the war and isolation from Europe, but its wrong. The domestic opposition to Putin at this point will come from him “capitulating” to the West. Crimea’s gone, no matter what Zelensky or anyone else thinks or hopes. At this point the only realistic negotiating position for Ukraine is to save the eastern half of the country, because the public sentiment in Russia seems to be to finish the job.

    IMO, we should look to Putin statements from before the conflict. At one point he said that if Ukraine wants to “decommunize”, then Russia would be glad to show Ukraine exactly what that means. It means that the pre-1939 east-west border is logical and the restitution of Malorussia and Novorossiya. I assume that’s the final disposition of territory, though whether Russia wants Kiev is both debatable and potentially problematic (unless it is surrendered).

    Also IMO, some of the possibilities at the link were realistic for the first two weeks but are not realistic anymore. Russian social media is beside itself over some of these negotiations, like how an alcoholic from the ministry of culture is in charge of the negotiations. That’s just a signal from the Kremlin that if the Ukrainian side isn’t going to be serious about it, neither is the Russian side. Russia still speaks diplomaticese. Translation: Russia is always willing to talk and would greatly prefer it. It will never say no to negotiations, but negotiations with these clowns are pointless.

    1. David

      I lost patience with it quite quickly, because the author has the wrong model in his head. The model in the article is that of an inconclusive conflict, where each side has to make concessions and some kind of international guarantor presence is required. But that’s not the case here: the only issue is what, if any, concessions the Ukrainians might ultimately be able to persuade the Russians to give them. The Russians have no interest in accepting an international presence or any kind of mediation or facilitation, and no need to do so.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Tricon Douchecanoe: “You can RENT the American Dream.”

      Tar and Feather can’t come soon enough for these smug, rich traitors.

  23. Wukchumni

    Egg prices skyrocket 52% in TWO MONTHS as bird flu decimates commercial flocks: As many as 11 million chickens and two million turkeys have died this year Daily Mail
    Eggs are by far the cheapest food source which is why you often see restaurants that only do breakfast & lunch with more of an emphasis on the former.

    Imagine making it through the pandemic, only to shut down because you can’t get eggs?

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Chatbots could one day replace search engines. Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.”

    I can see the attraction of using a verbal interface with a computer for a lot of things. As it stands, if you use Google you sometimes have to go through contortions trying to shape a question that Google can deal with. And sometimes, especially if it is political, it will refuse to throw up any results at all (‘I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.’). But I always remember how Star Trek would show what was possible and you will see it used in the following clip with the LCARS computer- (3:37 mins)

    But because of Silicon Valley, they will force on us solutions that suit them, not us. And you know what we will end up with? We will end up with the Computer Zero system as seen in the original “Rollerball” film- (6:45 mins)

    1. Jeff W

      How one is supposed to use Google’s so-called Advanced Search Operators—some of which like OR or “[search term]” or site: really aren’t all that advanced—easily with a chatbot (especially in combination) seems pretty much a mystery to me. It’s way easier (and far more accurate) just to type them.

      1. Polar Socialist

        A co-worker of mine joked years ago that Google’s search input box is a great example of the power of command line interface. Unfortunately not many of them understand this.

  25. RobertC

    Another outstanding wide-ranging survey by George Koo at AT Blowbacks from Ukraine war will be deadly serious Rampant inflation, a damaged dollar, and the threat of wider conflict are among the perils awaiting the world Topics include

    — Most not buying the American sanctions
    — Trust in the dollar eroding
    — China works on negotiation to peace
    — Kinzhal the dagger
    — China counters US sanctions on Xinjiang
    — Is Taiwan China’s Ukraine?

    We stand at a dangerous junction in history. Let us hope the world will live to see a brighter tomorrow.

  26. Wukchumni

    I’d been sentenced to 30 days in Fresno with my term due to begin today, but when I called my probation officer last night, a recorded message told me to try again on Friday.

    There’s some juicy cases @ Federal Court there, and how they’ll ever come to a conclusion without my help, is beyond me.

    1. Maritimer

      “There’s some juicy cases @ Federal Court….”
      Free theater, well not free since money printing and your taxes pay the bills. The Fed Court in Boston is just a half block away from homeless folk living under a bridge. Absolutely hideous architecture. Have lunch there too and watch the ambulchasers do their deals. Take the kids along for a civics lesson. If lucky you might also see the dregs marched in for jury selection. However, no popcorn. Make a day of it!

  27. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Doctor fired from ER warns about effect of for-profit firms on U.S. health care NBC (antidlc).

    There’s a reason private equity firms have invested in companies staffing hospital emergency departments, said Richard M. Scheffler, a professor of health economics and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

    “The money in the hospital is in the ER,” he said. “It is the biggest net generator and a huge profit center for almost all hospitals.” The problem, he said, is that “ER doctors are being told how to practice medicine” by financial managers.

    Keep that in mind the next time you’re told by the keepers of the for profit american “healthcare” flame how verklempt they are that so many americans use emergency rooms as their primary “healthcare providers.”

    1. antidlc

      “It is the biggest net generator and a huge profit center for almost all hospitals.”

      In a humane society, hospitals wouldn’t have profit centers.

    2. Maritimer

      Same in Canada, any Doc that does not toe the BigPharma/WHO/CDC line gets whacked. Decertified of even incarcerated. Nurses too. Tens of thousands of Canadians have no primary doctor and use Emergency. Thus:

      “Keep that in mind the next time you’re told by the keepers of the public canadian “healthcare” flame how verklempt they are that so many canadians use emergency rooms as their primary “healthcare providers.””

      CDN Public Health Covid advice: If you get Covid, stay home until you get sick and then come to the hospital. Modern medicine.

  28. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    RE: 40 Years of the Reagan Revolution’s Libertarian Experiment Have Brought Us Crisis & Chaos from The Hartmann Report.

    The only issue I have with this, and it’s a pretty big issue, is that lots of Democrats are also guilty…

    1. Stacey Brown

      Bingo. Totally agree. Hartmann is very smart, but I stopped listening to him when I realized he was never going to criticize the Dems. Both parties are corrupted and engage in equal measures that impoverish our Union and citizens.

    2. lance ringquist

      yep, i quite listening to him also. was it reaganism, or carters libertarian assault on the working class, or nafta billy clintons almost complete reversal of the new deal, and obama preventing one, bailing out nafta billy clintons disastrous polices, then doubling down on them.

      reagan was no good, but a piker compared to nafta billy, brad delong was nafta billys economic advisor, a good cato inst. type.

      1. Late Introvert

        re: Brad DeLong, I knew there was something very smelly about that guy. He’s one of the reasons I’m here at NC. I was in despair that everyone was a shill with no soul. I kept finding blogs and deleting them in disgust. Thanks Yves. And from here I’ve found others.

  29. antidlc

    Airport chaos – live: Hundreds of flights cancelled due to staff shortages ahead of Easter holidays

    The UK’s airports have been mired in chaos after staff shortages led to hundreds of cancelled flights and hours-long delays over the weekend.

    EasyJet was one of the worst hit airlines, forced to axe 222 flights due to staff shortages.

    An easyJet spokesperson said: “As a result of the current high rates of Covid infections across Europe, like all businesses easyJet is experiencing higher than usual levels of employee sickness.”

    BA also cancelled hundreds of flights on Saturday and Sunday, with another 90 cancellations so far today.

    What the *&$# did they expect with a “let it rip” policy? GEEZ!!!

  30. Nikkikat

    Just saw AP story on yahoo. Joe Biden wants Putin brought up on war crimes charges. I hope Joe Biden, Obama, GW Bush, Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton HW Bush are willing to go and stand trial too.

    1. judy2shoes

      “HW Bush are willing to go and stand trial too.”

      Maybe they could hold a seance trial at his graveside?

    2. timbers

      MSM headlines are so toxic and wrong that alone makes wish Russia could hurry wrapping things up.

  31. fresno dan
    On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is using similar tactics to go after another rival TikTok. Meta, the Post reported, hired a Republican consulting firm called Targeted Victory to “orchestrate a nationwide campaign” against TikTok.

    Targeted Victory, according to the Post, contracted with dozens of public relations firms across the U.S. to help “sway public opinion against TikTok” by planting local news stories and helping place op-eds targeting TikTok around the country, the story says.
    Meta confirmed that it has hired Targeted Victory.
    “We believe all platforms, including TikTok, should face a level of scrutiny consistent with their growing success,” spokesman Andy Stone said in a statement.
    Zac Moffatt, the CEO of Targeted Victory, said the company “manages bipartisan teams on behalf of our clients.”
    I’m not much concerned about TikToc. But who else is Facebook trying (and succeeding) at smearing? When freedom of the press or freedom of speech is discussed, I don’t know if they should apply to Facebook. There is no longer My Space so the amount of competition of this corporation is essentially nil – so much for the marketplace of ideas (Indeed, look at all the information that is ONLY provided on NC – defacto, we are living in a tyranny of ideas, e.g., the marketplace is best. What was the last time you saw that idea challenged in the MSM???) And despite the Supremes foolish idea that corporations are people too, what Facebook wants isn’t good for this country, or this world. It only wants what is good for Facebook.

  32. Wukchumni

    The Devin is in the details, but why get rid of the guy in charge of your failed new social network when you can get rid of other underlings?

    (And is Billy Boozer a real name?)

    Two key executives who were hired to launch former President Donald Trump’s social media startup Truth Social have resigned — the latest sign of turmoil at the nascent venture that has struggled to get off the ground.

    Josh Adams, the chief of technology, and Billy Boozer, the head of product development, stepped down from their posts, Reuters reported on Monday.

    p.s. Poor Devin Nunes, just had another one of his dumb defamation lawsuits go away, he was suing the WaPo for $250 million.

    1. fresno dan

      Maybe Boozer left for higher pastures, e.g., Johnny Walker, or maybe Jack Daniels…
      sad thing is, maybe truth social would have had more truth in it than all the MSM and social media outlets combined…let that sink in. (its not that truth social it truthful, it is just less lying and less omitting of incovenient facts…. maybe)

      1. Wukchumni

        I remember when the only socials were ice cream socials, and a hacker was an inept golfer, those were the days… my friend

  33. Jason Boxman

    One of the most common reported adverse events is tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, developed a severe case while driving home after his second vaccine dose. He told MedPage Today he believes tens of thousands of people may be affected in the U.S. and he thinks more research is needed.

    (bold me)

    I hadn’t realized. Tinnitus is no joke. So this is a significant issue. It’s sort of like listening to nails on a chalk board, in perpetuity, forever.

    1. newcatty

      Indeed, tinnitus is no joke. This revelation by a director of the esteemed Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group is beyond frightening. Menieres Disease, or also called Menieres Syndrome , is a devastating disease for many people, not often discussed in this country, unless you or someone you know suffers from it. Tinnitus is a common symptom, as well as vertigo, nausea or vomiting. The sufferer has what some call “spells”. A common effect is hearing loss from major loss to actual deafness in one or both ears. We know two people, not related, who have Menieres . One case was precipitated by a botched inner ear operation. It can be caused by a blow to the head. The other case is a mystery. Just sudden onset while flying. One with deafness in one ear has worn hearing aides and can get along to communicate. The severe vertigo ended and the tinnitus lessened. The other hasn’t, afaik, started wearing hearing aides, yet. Will there be more revelations of vaccine adverse events now that an elite medical professional has spilled some of the spoiled beans? More research?

      1. Questa Nota

        Some days the tinnitus is like that cosmic background radiation, ever present pesky white noise.

        On a good day, you only have two different tones going, one for each ear. The real fun is when that louder third one joins the party.

        Somehow the symptoms just seem to fade a little outdoors! Maybe wishful thinking, but anyway time for another walk.

        1. newcatty

          Best to you, Questa Nota. Not wishful thinking, nature is healing and a great sensory entrainment. Even if on a street, instead of in the forest, ocean beaches or open desert. There is still sky above and life around you.

          1. Late Introvert

            Yes, same here QN. I’ve been to a Clash show that made me physically ill from the volume, and jammed in many basements with drums and loud amps, so I count my blessings and send my best.

    2. Basil Pesto

      there’s a funny (?) irony to the fact that Covid itself can also cause tinnitus: I and my music nerd friends in the before times went to clubs frequently. My nightclub days are now over for the foreseeable of course, devastatingly, but my friends and many less nerdy youngs are all back packing the clubs. In particularly nerdy circles, we all wear ear plugs when we go out. I wear off the shelf ones that are pretty good but some friends have custom fit earplugs that cost several hundred AUD. This is to prevent irreversible hearing damage and, of course, tinnitus. Yet they are now back in the clubs virtually begging to be bathed in the demon virus that can cause… tinnitus. Such an anecdote of irrationality is a demonstration of the power of the ‘we have to learn to live with the virus’ propaganda.

      I had severe drug-induced tinnitus once and it was frightening. Fortunately I was able to discontinue. Not sure how that works with the unfortunate vaccinnees who get it. I guess you just have to hope it goes away eventually.

  34. Anthony G Stegman

    Just curious about something: Why does Hunter Biden receive Secret Service protection? Isn’t such protection limited to minor children of presidents? Apparently, the Secret Service is renting a $30K per month place in Malibu in order to protect Hunter Biden. Does Chelsea Clinton still receive Secret Service protection? Our tax money at work…

    1. Wukchumni

      About 5 years ago Laura Bush and friends rented out a mansion in Mineral King, and I was told there were 15 or so secret service agents in tow.

      The Presidency is truly our royalty, even after you get turfed out.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        I know that presidents and their spouses get lifetime security, but Hunter Biden is a grown son of the president. He should not be receiving any Secret Service protection. Perhaps his laptop is what is really being protected.

      2. JBird4049

        If they are publicly visible at all, some angry person might want some payback for self perceived slight, so I don’t mind them the protection, but fifteen members of the Praetorian Guard does seem a bit much.

    2. pasha

      Trump signed an executive order extending secret service protection to all presidential children, not just minors. I guess that order is still in effect

  35. Brick

    Shortages – Cheap gas across the border in Mexico is now off the menu.

    Biden Administration – Dragging of feet on title 42.

    Shortages –

    Biden Administration – How is that Biden comprehensive gun crime reduction strategy working out.

    Climate change – The immediate affect of climate change on Americans.

    Cold war – Upgraded modem malware cyclops blink target home and business routers (Written in C and professionally modular). Previous versions looked for Modbus protocol traffic used in critical infrastructure like power plants, Satellites and water treatment facilities.

    Cold war – Eye witness diary that deviates somewhat from official propaganda.

  36. Wukchumni

    His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister of the Lebanese Government, His Excellency Al-Shami, announced “the bankruptcy of the state and the Central Bank of Lebanon,” and said that the losses would be distributed to the state, the Banque du Liban, banks and depositors.

    He said, “The losses will be distributed to the state, the Banque du Liban, banks and depositors, and there is no specific percentage. Unfortunately, the state is bankrupt, as is the Bank of Lebanon, and we want to come out with a result, and the loss occurred due to policies for decades, and if we did nothing, the loss would be much greater.”

    1. Polar Socialist

      “The Governor of the Lebanese Central Bank, Riad Salameh, would like to clarify that circulated rumors about the bankruptcy of the Central Bank are incorrect. Despite the losses that afflicted the financial sector in Lebanon, which will be dealt with in the recovery plan that is currently being prepared by the Lebanese government in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, the Central Bank still exercises the role entrusted to it under Article 70 of the Code of Money and Credit, and will continue to do so.”

      Confusing, eh? According to most news sources the main reason for the crisis is Lebanon refusing the reforms IMF demands…

  37. Darthbobber

    Human Rights Watch hasn’t exactly been covering itself with glory in this war. Their report in the links is “documented” by interviewing all of 10 people, “in person or by telephone”.

    They had an earlier one about the Russians using mines, which they are. So are the Ukrainians, and making no secret of it, but apparently only the Russian usage is a problem? I think they did mention in passing that the Russians aren’t signatory to any of the treaties that would prohibit the use of mines. Nor (which they don’t mention) are the United States or China.

    Amnesty did some credible investigation of crimes against civilians post-2014 by the Ukrainian govt, Ukrainian nationalist paramilitaries, and elements of the DPR/LPR supporters. But HRW only seems to notice such things if they are perpetrated by a quasi-official enemy of the US alliance or in a place that nobody hes a rooting interest in.

    1. lambert strether

      > Human Rights Watch hasn’t exactly been covering itself with glory in this war. Their report in the links is “documented” by interviewing all of 10 people, “in person or by telephone

      Even stupider than I thought it would be, even for an NGO. These people make me so tired.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Human Rights Watch, ACLU, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund are all examples of groups that rely on the same donor base and so serve that donor base. Their names are very misleading.

  38. tindrum

    these institutions are all western run, no one outside the West-bubble has any interest whatsoever in what they say. Their pronouncements are as irrelevant as their judgements as they can not be enforced. Just monumentally pointless.

  39. RobertC


    For those excited about returning jobs to America via competition and sanctions, consider Justin Yifu Lin’s article China must lead the new industrial revolution The necessity for China to lead the new industrial revolution

    Using plain technocratic language he makes China’s Wolf Warriors look like lambs.

  40. AnArchitect

    Re: Bucha, Gonzalo Lira, etc

    I know it’s dangerous for one’s reputation here to post anything from the “Paper of Record”, but I found this satellite analysis to be informative. If we are to take the time stamps as correct from Maxar (provider of satellite imagery) then these bodies have been laying around this town for weeks during Russia occupation. It’s common here to put the Azov Battalion as the boogie-man answer to all thing Ukraine War (they were on-site during the retaking of Bucha), but in this case, it seems like Russia has some explaining to do, no?

    Linking to a guy giving a selfie interview who claims intimate knowledge of events is, perhaps, not the best method of engendering meaningful commentary and discussion.

    1. Yves Smith

      Oh, come on. If the bodies had been lying around for weeks:

      1. They’d be full of maggots and flies by now and maybe even bloated. On the video, which Lira has in full on his related Telegram account, they look picture perfect. No wounds, no dislocated joints (which you’d expect if they had been tossed from a van). He didn’t mention, no signs of spasms, skin burns or other distress/death agony, which is what you’d see if a chemical or nerve agent.

      Oh, and bright red blood, which you see only in movies. Real blood oxidizes very quickly. The woman with her wrists bound has clean white binding. You are telling me that could stay pristine, having been outdoors for weeks?

      2. The big shot is from a major street. Bucha was open to the Internet the entire time. No photos from the locals of such horrors on social media, or e-mailed to an MSM outlet which would have protected their confidentiality?

      3. The Russians left March 30. The mayor of Bucha confirmed the Russians were all gone on March 31. But no one says anything about bodies until April 3?

      4. Russia demanded a UN Security Council meeting over this, which they call a “provocation”. You’d think the West would want that but the UK nixed the session.

      1. Late Introvert

        Gawd, that was super weak. Started right off with the NYT link and the knowing wink that they are pure bs, then goes on to quote them. The interns are working late? 9:50 EDT

  41. RobertC


    David Goldman offers a note of optimism with How America Can Lose the Fourth Industrial Revolution

    … If China creates the dominant firms with AI/big data applications, trillions of dollars of wealth will migrate to China from the United States. The capacity of American firms to maintain high levels of R&D and preserve America’s technological edge will erode rapidly.

    … Americans no doubt will find remunerative things to do in a new Chinese Empire. The Chinese do not conquer and destroy. They assimilate. They are incurious about how barbarians manage their internal affairs, contemptuous of democracies who do not elevate their cleverest exam-scorers to Mandarin positions. America will persist even if it doesn’t prevail. We will still write smartphone apps. We will be the geeks in a new Roman Empire.

    … The United States can still lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But we do not have a lot of time to lose. China is close to attaining a critical mass of talent, skills, technological capacity, and logistical depth with a population nearly five times that of the United States. At some point in the foreseeable future, the United States will not be able to catch up.

  42. lance ringquist

    i think the naming of names to the disastrous policies is catching on. once it becomes mainstream, we get to see the finger pointing, which will expose more parasites.

    “The betrayal of the working class by the Democratic Party, especially during the Clinton administration, the anti-labor legislation, including trade deals that allowed exploited workers in Mexico or China to take the place of unionized workers at home, was passed by bought-and-paid for politicians in the two ruling parties on behalf of big business. The deindustrialization and job insecurity morphed into the gig economy, where workers are reduced to living on subsistence wages with no benefits, job security and few rights.”

  43. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

    Bucha war crimes:
    According the NY Times, the bodiies in Bucha have been there for weeks, based on satellite images.

    One question which comes to mind: why has nobody through Telegram reported about this earlier? AFAIK Telegram/Internet is still functional in Ukraine, so now there is sincere confusion about the timeline of these murders. It may be that this is propaganda, fake, but I find it strange that this hasn’t been reported on through “citizen reports” before now, when the negotiations seem to go fairly well…

    1. Acacia

      What’s strange about lies?

      People lie all the time.

      Reading the NYT, you pays your money and you takes your choice.

      1. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

        Actually, I don’t read the NYT, it was quoted in Dutch media…

        My point is that there is no way journalists can know what happened without being there, but they all copy Ukrainian news. It is impossible to know what really happens out there. AFAIK this doesn’t really fit with Russia’s own stated goals – unless those killed were in fact neonazis. But we don’t know who the victims are. I find it excruciating to see Ukraine really wanting Western intervention – maybe by all means necessary.

  44. Robert Gray

    A bit surprised that no one at all picked up on the Craig Murray piece linked above. In fact, the essay he posted after today’s link (titled ‘Striving to Make Sense of the Ukraine War’) is much longer and reflects deep thought. I have tremendous respect for Craig Murray and appreciate his continuing efforts to fight the good fight. Unfortunately, he appears to have succumbed to a severe case of Putin Derangement Syndrome. It’s not quite Hamlet (‘O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown’) but it’s nevertheless distressing when one sees a stalwart (e.g., Chomsky too) go off the rails.

    From the essay:

    “This [Russian] diplomatic disaster has been matched by military humiliation. … To claim now post facto that the attack on Kiev was purely a massive diversion never intended to succeed, is a nonsense.” etc., etc.

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