Links 4/5/2022

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

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


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

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

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Top Economics Blogs in The United States


I Can’t Stop Watching This Teensy Dachshund Carry Around Extremely Large Sticks Daily Paws (David L)

The hidden world of octopus cities and culture shows why it’s wrong to farm them The Conversation

Ted Polumbaum’s photos of MLK, Jackie O and more shine off the page in new book NPR (David L)

Alzheimer’s Study Finds 42 More Genes Linked To Higher Risk of Disease Guardian

Almost all the world’s population breathes harmful air, says WHO Financial Times

Why virtue signalling is not just a vice, but an evolved tool Aeon Essays (David L)



Projecting COVID-19 Mortality as States Relax Nonpharmacologic Interventions JAMA

Glasses and risk of COVID-19 transmission – analysis of the Virus Watch Community Cohort study. MedRxIv

High rate of BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2 in triple vaccinated MedRxIv. n=375, monitored closely.

New study shows COVID-19 can cause brain inflammation and small bleeds NewAtlas (David L)

Please see thread, not pretty:


Shanghai completes city-wide COVID sampling for 25 million residents in toughest Omicron battle Global Times. An impressive demonstration of operational capacity.

Hyderabad-based manufacturer to get mRNA technology from WHO to produce COVID-19 vaccines FirstPost (J-LS)


Google’s former HR chief says your boss wants to boil you slowly like a frog to get you back in the office, and it will be terrible for morale and productivity Yahoo! News (Kevin W)


UC Berkeley study encourages revised forest composition to combat climate change Daily Californian (David L)

Protected tropical forest sees major bird declines over 40 years PhyOrg

Ozone may be heating the planet more than we realize Science Daily (Kevin W)

I’m a Scientist in California. Here’s What Worries Me Most About Drought. New York Times (David L)

In the Ocean, It’s Snowing Microplastics (David L)

A Utah town is running dry. Its solution stoked an age-old water war Guardian


China plans to remove hurdle to Sino-U.S. audit cooperation Reuters (resilc)

GT Voice: Canberra’s new plan against Chinese firm’s leasing of Darwin port self-destructive Global Times


How India showcased its diplomatic maturity while handling Russian and Chinese foreign ministers FirstPost. Ouch, no mention of pushy US and UK emissaries in the headline! But interesting discussion of protocols.

Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak asks Royal Mint to create NFT Guardian (Kevin W)

Macron’s far-right rival, Le Pen, reaches all-time high in presidential second-round vote poll Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

No Bodies! Touring Bucha With the Ukrainian Police, After Russians Left, Before the Massacre (vital/damning) Veterans Today

Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre Consortium News (furzy). Paging Aaron Mate…

The world is flat: Alleged atrocities in the city of Bucha as latest US-UK-Ukrainian “false flag” operation Gilbert Doctorow

Global lies over Bucha: How people’s minds are manipulated War on Fakes (Chuck L)

Satellite images show bodies in Bucha for weeks, rebutting Moscow claim IBTimes. Furzy: “But no such images in the link!” She finds one that did but noted, “Here’s the Maxar photo said to show the bodies in Bucha on March 19….I enlarged it….can see a few dark spots that might be bodies…..? . Note also that the infamous video shows by very very very fresh bodies. Now we are told there were dead bodies out for weeks, with no one burying them or taking shots and putting them on social media contemporaneously or sending them to the press, which knows how to protect sources…and no contemporaneous local photos from “weeks ago” surfacing now? Seriously? Plus Sibiryak in comments:

Lambert: 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.”

Bucha mourns at mass graves in wreck of Russian retreat AFP (furzy). The notion that some died in shelling is more plausible but civilians as collateral damage in a military operation is not a war crime. And why would the Russians disrespect the dead by leaving them out and remind locals of civilian casualties, when the directives from Moscow were to spare civilians so as to minimize ill will?

Russia to insist on UN Security Council meeting on Bucha situation on April 4 — envoy TASS. The headline is crappy but basically Russia demanded a meeting on the 4th, to which was entitled, procedurally, and the UK as the current chair scuttled it. And earlier story: Russia to demand convening UN SC session over Bucha provocation again TASS

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LIVE — Ukraine warns of full-scale Russian attack in east DW. Those of you who have been following this story will not be surprised.

Russian Flag Raised In Center Mariupol (Exclusive Special Report) Patrick Lancaster, YouTube. Alexander Mercouris reports (wish he’d cite his sources) that there are still Ukrainian soldiers in the steelworks and at the port. Also worth watching: Asking Mariupol Residents About Russian Attacks On Civilian areas

HOW TO READ THE WAR IN REVERSE WITHOUT OUTSMARTING YOURSELF John Helmer. This idea is key: “The Ukrainian plan of land attack was the feint; the sanctions war was the main thrust at Moscow.” While not provable, it is consistent with the failure of the West to shore up Ukraine operationally, which they ought to have been prepared to do once the fighting started, and with the report that Victoria Nuland last October threatened Sergei Lavrov to his fact in the Kremlin that unless the Russians let the Ukrainians take Donbass, she would destroy their economy.

The first casualty of War is Truth (Live w/Scott Ritter, YouTube. Particularly see starting at 1:01:55. But think he has missed some fine points. Apparently at least two mayors did agree to let Russian tanks and troops transit through their towns, but they were quickly murdered.

Pundits Who Advocate Hot War With Russia Are Enemies Of Humanity Caitlin Johnstone

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U.S. stops Russian bond payments in bid to raise pressure on Moscow Reuters (Kevin W)

Germany is under pressure to ban Russian natural gas, but Deutsche Bank’s CEO says cutting supply would send the country into a ‘virtually unavoidable’ recession Business Insider

Germany takes control of Gazprom unit to ensure energy supply Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Marine Fuel Suppliers Stop Serving Russian Ships in the Med -Sources Reuters. From last week, still germane.

Why Renewables Can’t Solve Europe’s Energy Crisis OilPrice. Resilc: “Loads of little cars with diesels.”

Climate Collaborations in the Arctic Are Frozen Amid War Undark


Israel charges Palestinian journalists with incitement — for doing their jobs +972 (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Wyze Camera Vulnerability Bruce Schneier

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Army’s suicide rate in 2021 was the worst it’s been since before WWII Task & Purpose (BC)


Trump’s Truth Social App Branded a Disaster BBC


Biden doing more harm to renewables than Trump, says solar boss Financial Times

Hunter Biden grand jury witness was asked about deal with Chinese firm – and ‘the big guy’ New York Post. I know Twitter is not the real world, but when I put in “Biden” to see if there was anything new I might have missed, there were >5X as many tweets on matters Hunter as on Ukraine. And no, I follow Covid and finance and some bona fide lefty types.

Efforts To Ban Books Jumped an ‘Unprecedented’ Four-Fold In 2021 NPR

A Spot of Bother for Bitcoin Doomsberg. Important if you are interested in crypto.

Mercedes-Benz Puts 5,600 Workers On Vacation In Brazil Due To Chips Shortage Reuters

New Vehicle Sales Plunge as Chip Shortages, Production Cuts, Low Inventories Drag On. Back Where They’d Been in 1979 Wolf Richter

Class Warfare

These are the words Amazon’s planned employee chat app reportedly won’t let you say The Verge (Kevin W)

With Sweeps of Homeless Encampments, Liberal Cities Wage War on Poorest Residents Intercept

Bernie Sanders to hold hearing on how “corporate greed and profiteering” are fueling inflation Salon

A Union Has A Pivotal Decision To Make In This New Play HuffPo (ma)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

I’m not sure what gender this little squirrel is, but I believe s/he’s a Belding’s Ground Squirrel. S/he lives near the Kern river along Hwy 178 (California). When it first spotted me it jumped off its rock into these brambles, but when I didn’t go away, it came out for a better look.

Later, after about 5 minutes of following it from perch to perch, it finally decided I was harmless and came all the way up to me. I felt bad that I had nothing to offer as reward for its bravery, so went to the car and brought back the only thing I had to offer, a strawberry. S/he ran up to me, grabbed it from my hand, and darted away.

And a bonus (furzy). I think we’ve run this clip before, but still fun:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. JohnA

    Re Helmer piece:
    the report that Victoria Nuland last October threatened Sergei Lavrov to his fact in the Kremlin that if the Russians let the Ukrainians take Donbass, she would destroy their economy.

    I take it this means to Lavrov’s face. But the second half is also confusing re Ukrainians. Is Nuland talking about the separatist Ukrainians taking Donbass, she would destroy the [Russian] economy? Surely not if the Kiev Ukrainians took back Donbass? Or is Nuland so off the chart crazy she wants to destroy Russia come what may? Though I suspect that is the desired neocon outcome anyway.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, no, Nuland clearly meant having Russia withdraw support/not assist defensive operations when the Ukrainian forces came in. The separatist republics do not consider themselves to be part of Ukraine. Recall Russia recognized them on February 21.

      1. JohnA

        Yes, but the alleged Nuland-Lavrov conversation was last October. The separatists still classed themselves as Ukrainians then.
        As Kiev forces had already killed 14000 residents of the Donbass, Russia withdrawing support would have very definitely resulted in genocide. What Nuland demanded was impossible for Lavrov to agree to.

        1. jsn

          That is our preferred methodology for starting wars.

          Has been for a while.

          As much as I like most of what FDR did, that’s how he got Japan to attack, freeing him to enter WW2.

          1. John Beech

            Painting Japan into a corner was finally accomplished in 1940 with the embargo of French Indochina from supplying crude and other war materiel for their continued occupation of China. We went so far as to help the Kuomintang which later saw us suckered into what’s continued as a sore point with China today (Taiwan). So FDR was freed to enter the war through unceasing US effort. We’ve similarly painted Russia into a corner. While they have not left the UN the way they did the League of Nations in 1931, it won’t surprise me if it comes to pass. Me? I don’t know why we poke the bear but we do.

          2. ex-PFC Chuck

            “As much as I like most of what FDR did, that’s how he got Japan to attack, freeing him to enter WW2.”

            It’s now pretty clear that FDR was following a well thought out plan. See Robert Stinnett’s Day of Deceit:The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor.
            In October of 1940 Lieutenant Commander Arthur McCollum, the Head of the Far East desk of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), wrote a memo to the ONI Director that summarized the world situation, identified dangers to the United States of passively reacting to events initiated by adversaries, and proposed an eight step action plan intended to entice Japan into attacking United States’ military and/or possessions. The memo reached President Roosevelt who, after consulting with McCollum and other officers, implemented the plan. From the book:

            “McCollum had a unique background for formulating American tatics and strategy against Japan. Born to Baptist missionary parents in Nagasaki in 1898, McCollum spent his youth in various Japanese cities. He understood the Japanese culture, and spoke the language before learning English. After the death of his father in Japan, the McCollum family returned to Alabama. At eighteen McCollum was appointed to the Naval Academy. After graduation the twenty-two year old ensign was posted to the US Embassy in Tokyo as a naval attaché and took a refresher course in Japanese there. . .
            “Few people in America’s government or military knew as much about Japan’s activities and intentions as . . McCollum. He felt that war with Japan was inevitable and that the United States should provoke it at a time which suited US interests. In his October 1940 memorandum McCollum advocated eight actions that he predicted would lead to a Japanese attack on the United States:
            A) Make an arrangement with Britain for the use of British bases in the Pacific, particularly Singapore.
            B) Make an arrangement with Holland for the use of base facilities and acquisition of supplies in the Dutch East Indies [now Indonesia].
            C) Give all possible aid to the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek.
            D) Send a division of long-range heavy cruisers to the Orient, Philippines, or Singapore.
            E) Send two divisions of submarines to the Orient.
            F) Keep the main strength of the US Fleet, now in the Pacific, in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.
            G) Insist that the Dutch refuse to grant Japanese demands for undue economic concessions, particularly oil.
            H) Completely embargo all trade with Japan, in collaboration with a similar embargo imposed by the British Empire.” P 8

            While “manipulating the truth” to get popular support for a war is dangerous territory, given the grim outlook of late fall 1940 a case can be made that fascism posed a possibly existential threat to the USA. France had fallen like a house of cards and Barbarossa was half a year in the future. And the Hitler model in Germany was looking mighty good to the tin pot dictators we’d been supporting in Latin America. If with some local help he were able to seize the Canal Zone it would have been a huge strategic blow to the USA.

          3. Eclair

            About 10 or 15 years ago, I read Niall Ferguson’s The War of the World. I have no background in history, so much of what he writes was a revelation to me. Especially his coverage of WW2’s eastern flank, Russia, China and Japan.

            It seems the US and UK took umbrage over Japan’s actions to invade, conquer and colonize China. It occurred to me that the Japanese were simply following in the successful footsteps of another small island nation; England. Bet they (the Japanese) were surprised they came up against the reality that what is ok for white people to perpetrate on black or brown people, is deemed a ‘massacre’ or ‘rape’ if it’s brown on brown, and is cause for war.

    2. caucus99percenter

      Perhaps what was intended was:

      > that if unless the Russians let the Ukrainians take Donbass, she would destroy their [the former’s, that is, the Russians’] economy

    3. Oh

      I don’t understand how Victoria Nuland has persisted in that post in Ukraine through Obama, Trump and Biden. She must just work for the State Dept. but for the 3 alphabet agencies. Similarly Fauci has been there thru three administrations. What gives???

        1. Guild Navigator

          What boggles my mind is how these war criminals persist year after year after bloody year … UniParty is right. To paraphrase Gore Vidal, we don’t need a third party so much as a second!

  2. marcel

    Re: “Germany takes control of Gazprom unit to ensure energy supply Al Jazeera (Kevin W)”.
    Alexei Martyanov says

    Russia de facto introduced the gas Ruble, oil Ruble is coming because both Gazprom and Rosneft exited their EU subsidiaries and now have nothing to do with them–let Germany “nationalize” them … and now EU doesn’t have contracts for gas and oil, since, before the latest events, contracts were signed with… and you have guessed it, EU subsidiaries of Gazprom and Rosneft which now have no relation to either Gazprom or Rosneft. Good luck, EU, negotiating new contracts with Gazprom and Rosneft.

    Can’t tell the consequences, but this looks “interesting”.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Ooof, yes, if Germany forced Gazprom to give up the legal entities with which the contracts were made, they’ve torn up the agreements. But if Gazprom can be construed to have folded them, then it can be argued to have cancelled the agreements.

      I’m not sure this is so clear cut since as I recall it, Gazprom decided to fold its operations after the German authorities raided its offices. So I think it can be argued that Gazprom left of its own accord even if Gazprom can argue it left before it was booted.

      1. jo6pac

        German got all of that nice plumbing but without Russian gas they only have something they could recycle I guess. I don’t remember who just lately said Amerika defeats Germany for the third time in the century. Things will be tough in Amerika but the EU might be done for.

      2. jsn

        Outward appearances are Russia wrote off the West when it crossed the Ukrainian border.

        Russia’s been cautious about facts on the ground, I believe, to wage a war of public opinion in the non-aligned world. Which, thus far remaining non-aligned, suggests Russia is winning.

        Each step the West takes to cut Russia durably off, what I believe to be a False Flag in Bucha, contract/payment disputes re gas, expropriated funds etc., just ensures shortages, disruption and inflation across the global economy and further complicates any possible Détente. If China stays on board with Russian trade and India stays neutral, we’ll have parallel systems with dynamic imbalances where the West has strengths and weakness completely asymmetrical to Eastern strengths and weaknesses.

      3. vao

        The situation is legally complicated.

        Gazprom attempted last Friday to sell “Gazprom Germania” — involved in the storage and delivery of gas in Germany — to either “JSC Palmary” or “Gazprom Export Business Services LLC”, with the view to disinvest from Germany because of sanctions.

        However, the infrastructure of Gazprom Germania is officially deemed critical for Germany, and therefore, according to German law (Aussenwirtschaftsgesetz), the owner can only be changed with the explicit approval of the ministry of economy (Bundeswirtschaftsministerium) — which Gazprom failed to secure.

        The result is that the German government mandated the Bundesnetzagentur (the administration in charge of regulating networks — electricity, telecommunications, etc) as fiduciary manager or trust manager (treuhänderischer Verwalter) of Gazprom Germania.

        So it seems that Gazprom Germania still belongs to Gazprom, but Gazprom can no longer manage it — while the German government gets to look into all the details of its accounting and technical operations.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This is very helpful. But I don’t see how Germany will get any more accounting information if Gazrprom is not managing it.

          1. Greg

            This is indeed very interesting detail, but it strikes me as somewhat pointless in a classic PMC/technocrat fashion.
            Getting the accounting details and siezing the local shops is cute, but the gas doesn’t originate in the books. In other words, you can understand the accounting all you want, and completely replicate the technical details, but a cargo-cult version of a gas supplier delivers no gas.

            The german government is still catching up to the pivot from finance back to commodities, it seems. Real stuff is important again.

  3. cj

    It appears the ‘War on Fakes’ website is itself fake.

    According to Deutsche Welle the website appears to be nothing more than Russian propaganda. The website has a contact address in Moscow, a provided phone number is one that has been used in financial scams, and in addition there is no information on the site itself, nor does research reveal who these “journalists” and “fact-checkers” are who are publishing articles on the site and its corresponding Telegram accounts.

    An analysis of the website using Scamadviser also shows that the website should be treated with caution. In a ranking up to 100 trust points, “War on Fakes” scores a single point.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is ad hominem fallacy. This is no different than attacking the Hunter Biden laptop story because it ran on the New York Post, and obviously the New York Post is no good/right wing. Any story trashing drug addict Hunter Biden for having a wildly overpaid gig in Ukraine was obviously Russian propaganda. Except that it turned out to be true.

      The reality is that any Russian view has absolutely no following in Western media, even after the Ukrainians have repeatedly been caught out peddling propaganda or flat out lying, and the Western media uncritically running it. Look at the run: Snake Island. The ghost ship. Russia is losing because it hasn’t taken Kiev when it clearly had no immediate intent of taking Kiev (it sent way way way way too few troops to do that, it was only a pinning operation). Ukraine repeatedly shutting down the humanitarian corridors that Russia wanted opened blamed on Russia (because those corridors would also facilitate defections of Ukraine soldiers). The theater bombing story (the Patrick Lancaster video, among other things, debunks it, Mariupol citizens unsolicited describe the shells as clearly coming from a Ukraine-controlled area). Russia agreed to Ukraine’s demands (the FT ran that obvious pile of horse-puckey at the start of the negotiations; Ukraine tried that stunt again over the weekend and Russia cleared its throat).

      So anything Ukraine claims needs to be taken with a fistful of salt, particularly when the West via the UK is blocking Russia bringing this up at the Security Council, which would = a demand for a true independent investigation. Why would the West not want that? If the Russians are guilty, the West should be delighted to prove it out with a credible, non-captured investigation so they could go straight to the Hague.

      What Russia says on TASS every day is utterly ignored, making a joke of the supposed media convention of telling both sides of a story. China defending Russian arguments and even calling out the US as the root cause of the war is not covered in Western outlets. I am now forced to read Global Times and TASS every day, and when I can find time, check into Indian media to get out of the Western echo chamber. Gah.

      So even if Russia can only get its story out on captured outlets, you still need to deal with their evidence, and not attack the source. Ad hominem is a logical fallacy as you ought to know. Prosecutors often have to rely on flawed witnesses to make their cases.

      So please tell me what is wrong with the evidence and argument there? Veterans Today also had what they saw as dispositive evidence of fakery. And as we said before, the lack of any contemporaneous photos or social media reports/rumors whatsoever when people in Bucha all had use of cellphones and the Internet all the time when the Russians were there is wildly implausible.

      And while you are at it, why don’t you go look at some of the Ukrainian snuff videos of them blinding and castrating Russian soldiers and get back to me? Please try convincing yourself and me and readers that those are fake. I suggest not viewing them after a meal or too close to bedtime.

      1. David

        Well, it’s useful to keep several issues in mind in such cases.

        – Whether the allegations are honestly made.
        – Whether there’s evidence the allegations are true.
        – Whether the rebuttals are honestly made.
        – Whether the rebuttals are convincing.

        Anyone who has been involved in this kind of thing will know that various unexpected combinations of these cases can arise. For example, a propaganda site can claim something without evidence which, in the end, turns out to be true. An apparently impressive rebuttal of a claim can turn out to be based on bad information. A normally trustworthy site can honestly report something that in the end turns out to be propaganda, and so on. The key is motive. As George Orwell said, all propaganda is false, even when it’s true, because the originator doesn’t care whether it’s true or not. That is ultimately the test that we need to apply in this chaotic and confusing period. Irrespective of our personal views, irrespective of what we would like to be true, what can we discover about the site, does the site have a reputation for honesty, and insofar as we can judge is the story credible? Otherwise, we fall into whataboutism and my-team-right-or-wrong.

        We’re currently dealing with a situation where the Ukrainian government is pushing out all sorts of stuff. Some of it may be true, but they don’t care whether it’s true or not. Likewise, much of the western media is uncritically printing Ukrainian propaganda without caring if it’s true or not. The same is true on the other side as well, as far as I can see, and the site in question is almost certainly a Russian propaganda outlet. That doesn’t mean everything in it is false, any more than everything in the Washington Post is false (presumably most people accept that their story about the Biden laptop is true). But it does mean that what appears on the site appears entirely in pursuit of a political agenda, without reference to whether it is true or not. So, as with all similar sites and publications, whatever their orientation, it’s as well to treat what they say with some circumspection.

        1. The Rev Kev

          You want to know what the best sort of propaganda is? When an organization transmits stories that are absolutely true and verified. Just saw a video today where Russian prisoners were murdered, one live on camera and the Ukrainian soldiers thought it a blast. You and I may debate whether if it is true or not but I bet that Russian soldiers who see this video know whether it is true or not by their training and experiences and will act accordingly. And apparently all these Ukrainian videos have fired up the Russian army something wicked.

          1. Oisin

            The situation in Ukraine is a bit chaotic and the truth will emerge slowly. I’ve seen many of the sites stating that they believe that the bodies are which loses all their credibility. The number of the dead left on the streets is likely to be miniscule (10s) to the deaths caused by invasion of these towns (1000s). Its brutal and requires detailed work by the likes of the UN. Amnestys report will be interesting reading which is due out soon.

            I don’t know why people think Russian or Ukrainians are incapable of commiting war crimes at given opportunity. The withdrawal from Irpin and bucha provides the scenario where either of these events will occur.
            I can’t see how this motivates the Russian army given the losses they have endured and no clear victory in sight. Russia is on the retreat from kyiv, sumy and cherniniv. The battle for Izyum and Sloveniv will be litmus test of Ukraine /Russia resolve.

            But to me it reminds me of the Vietnam War in terms of motivation. But with a Korean style outcome.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              You haven’t been listening to military experts. Russia is winning. Russia never intended to take Kiev or major cities. They are following Clausewitz, which is NOT take cities but to capture and destroy armies. The big exception is Mariupol, because it was the bastion of the Azov Battalion types, and they had to take the city to take them out.

              They’ve pulled back from the West because they’ve destroyed enough of Ukraine’s tanks and transport that Scott Ritter reported yesterday that they are reduced to using passenger vehicles. Russia has also destroyed most of the fuel depots and weapons caches.

              They are repositioning to go after the 60,000 to 100,000 Ukraine troops encircled in the east. Ritter says taking them will be an epochal military victory. And those were the best units, so that will also devastate the Ukraine army even more than the raw figures suggest.

              And I have no idea where you get your claims about Russian losses.

              1. Oisin

                I was merely stating Russia has suffered losses of soldiers in Ukraine.

                I was focusing on the motivation of Russian soldiers. They are in retreat from Kyiv, Sumy and Chernihiv. Seeing your comrades die for a head fake doesn’t motivate soldiers. The withdrawal from around Kyiv also negated the stated reasons for being there in the first place, to pin down Ukrainian troops.

                Russian aims as I see it is to take the Donetsk and Luhansk areas entirely and to hobble Ukraine and its army. While Russia may ultimately achieve this, there is no winning for either side in this war. And no obvious conclusion in sight.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Yup, its almost impossible with to really know at this vantage point what the truth is about those killings. My own heuristic is to work out if the primary source has a motivation for lying (we can assume that most of the western media is just plain lazy and so won’t bother questioning anything that looks juicy and is in line with the narrative). Clearly, the Ukrainians have a motivation to generate stories of massacres and civilian deaths, and the Russians have a motivation to deny or obfuscate stories like this. Both have the technical capacity to carry out fakery. Only time will really tell – it was decades before anything close to the truth behind the Katyn massacre (just to give one example) became clear. Serious historians still argue about some of the key atrocities of WWII and the Korean and Vietnamese wars.

          I suspect that if there is a thorough and fair minded media investigation into this, it won’t come from US or European or Russian sources. It would be interesting if one of the better funded news outlets from Asia would put some real investigation chops into it. Even Chinese government controlled media can do excellent work sometimes if the topic doesn’t potentially embarrass anyone powerful in China. When I was last spending time in Asia in 2019 I was really surprised at the reporting from some outlets on Brexit – some of the dodgier news channels (State and Corporate controlled) had some excellent reporting. I guess the journalists felt liberated at reporting on a topic where there was no pressure one way or another to distort the message.

          1. Soredemos

            Yup, its almost impossible with to really know at this vantage point what the truth is about those killings.

            It’s really not though. Ukraine itself admitted the town was empty of Russian troops at least three days before the ‘massacre’:

            I get that the Havana Syndrome™ machine is mysterious, but surely it can’t make people drop dead from a hundred miles away in Belarus.

        3. britzklieg

          the western media is uncritically printing Ukrainian propaganda without caring if it’s true or not. The same is true on the other side as well, as far as I can see

          Can you provide links for the “other side” not caring “if it’s true or not” because what I can see is the other side taking down the western propaganda precisely because it cares about what’s “true or not.” Can you provide any examples of propaganda from “the other side” (and from sources as powerful as the NYTimes, the BBC and ALL of the MSM) that come anywhere near the onslaught of the seriously dangerous propaganda emitting from mainstream western sources (provoking such nightmares as no-fly zone bloodlust and the deathwish that lurks behind nuclear war mongering) to support your thesis? Do you consider efforts to expose propaganda as just more propaganda? I don’t.

          What we are witnessing from the West is nothing short of cultural genocide, the desire to erase, entirely, Russia and its important history from existence.

          1. David

            You’re indulging in whataboutism, I think. I’m making a general point, which is that we should be cautious in accepting stories about atrocities at face value, wherever they come from. It’s not a question of which side has the biggest liars or the most unscrupulous writers.
            I think we can distinguish three things here. One is attempts to honestly portray what’s going on. Another is writing to a thesis and selecting your facts and arguments to fit your conclusions. A third is just making stuff up. A lot of all of this is going on at the moment, and of course in the West we are more conscious of what our own media is doing (badly), because few of us can read Russian (or Chinese) media. But you’d have to be very naive to believe that in the Russian language media there isn’t as much special pleading and even fabrication as in the West, because that’s how things are. A lot of stuff in the Saker, for example, is standard issue Russian-point-of-view. It is of course probably true that many writers in or sympathetic to Russia are not deliberately trying to mislead (as a number of western writers aren’t) but this doesn’t mean that they have to be believed implicitly. And if the Russian government isn’t doing everything it can to promote supportive media stories, including making them up, then various people in Moscow are not doing their job.

            In the end, as I said, you either have to adopt an attitude of wary scepticism towards all such reports, and ask to see the evidence, or you simply choose one side and accept everything they say. But in my view, the answer to one intellectual and moral error is not the opposite intellectual and moral error.

            1. Polar Socialist

              In the Russian media I checked (Argumenti I Fakti – Arguments and Facts), they do list all the inconsistencies in the events as presented by Ukrainians, and say that UK is delaying the UNSC meeting to convince Zelensky not to push this too strongly, because the story has so many holes it will eventually benefit only Russia.

              They also quote Scott Ritter: “Anyone who makes knee-jerk judgments based on unverified videos from a party known for wild propaganda claims without waiting for any verification should probably stop calling themselves a journalist”.

              And, of course, Maria Zakharova about war crimes trial demanded by Biden: “Great idea – let’s start with the bombing of Yugoslavia and the occupation of Iraq”.

              1. David

                If the British are doing that, then it’s a sensible strategy, because the allegations clearly have nothing supporting them, and the West is unprepared for the kind of debate which the Russians could provoke in the Security Council. In addition, the Russians can use the SC format to present their own accounts of Ukrainian atrocities. All in all, I rather think Zelensky has got the West into something of a hole here, and I don’t think they anticipated the Russian response at all.

                1. Greg

                  Are Russian/Chinese UN reps as undermatched by their western equivalents as we’ve seen in Lavrov vs Blinken/Truss?
                  Or is it just the same people with different hats on?

                  I’m not sure what to expect if we do get down to it in the SC

            2. britzklieg

              Whataboutism is an intellectual dodge and has nothing to do with my comment. Indeed, you’re the one indulging it by suggesting, as fact, that Russia and Chinese media are doing the same. Yes? Didn’t you write, essentially, “But what about their media?”

              I didn’t write that. I have no need to “suggest” anything about Russian or Chinese media. I am flat out accusing “our” media, no “whataboutism” required.

              The word “whataboutism” is used to silence and insult opponents of U.S. imperialism. It should be embraced as a means of revealing what is too often kept hidden.


              Your response assumes that conclusive evidence exists somewhere when all that ever exists is one narrative against another. So, as you admit, we are left with choosing which narrative to believe. Does “wary scepticism” mean one believes nothing in the absence of conclusive evidence? Do common sense and intellectual instinct play a role?

              “You can’t stay neutral on a moving train” – Howard Zinn

              1. jsn

                This is a very post modern argument: “Your response assumes that conclusive evidence exists somewhere when all that ever exists is one narrative against another.”

                I believe, and suspect from the language he uses that David does as well, that an independently testable reality exists even if I’m limited by the senses of my body and my mind to access it. Society at scale can only exist on the basis of such assumptions. When those assumptions break down, society does with it.

                When bodily involved in a calamity, heuristic common sense is likely a good policy. In a wildly manipulated media environment, it’s probably been gamed already into the better propaganda.

                1. Tom Doak

                  There may be an independently testable reality, but in this case, one side is refusing to have it tested at the UN, while pumping the story to the moon as proof of war crimes. What might that say about the situation, short of the independent testing we aren’t getting?

            3. britzklieg

              re-reading both my comment and your reply I realize you’re specifically referencing the “other” side as Russian and Chinese media, (although you only mention the saker). And yes, I am sure such propaganda, playing to its captive choir, is both very effective and yet inconsequential to ferreting out the “truth.”

              I did not directly respond to your comment and went off on a tangent.
              I should have been clear that my focus is on the demeaned criticisms of the US/NATO/UK narrative (dismissed as Russian propaganda) coming from western oriented journalists and sources.

              More importantly I should have clarified my concern – the use of such racist narratives by Big Media to completely destroy the very fact of Russia and its continuing history. A cancel culture genocide. I won’t argue that specific incidents, like Bucha, should demand a “side” be taken as opposed to contemplative consideration of existing situational knowns. I argue there is a larger focus that, if left unconsidered, poses far greater danger than whatever already did or didn’t happen at Bucha. Not seeing the forest for the trees is not a good position to be in, imho.

              1. David

                I basically agree with that. I used the Saker as an example simply because it reprints translated articles by Russians, some of which seem to have appeared in the Russian media. I also have quite a lot of experience of looking at conflict related media from other parts of the world (the Balkans for example), which the average westerner doesn’t see, and which is often shamelessly partisan. I agree with you about the appalling state of much western media coverage here, and its possible long-term consequences. When you consider that the average, well-meaning journalist writing up a mundane uncontroversial story will usually get some of it wrong, and then you look at the other end of the spectrum with highly controversial, very complex issues involving manipulation and strong feeling, well, I think a useful heuristic is to regard any allegations put forward as provisional until they have been confirmed, and open to question even then.

            4. The Rev Kev

              I have read your comment twice and all I can say is that to a large extent, we have to depend on our BS detectors and this has been true for years. Sooner or later you have to make a call and so you look for facts that do not fit the narrative. Let me give you a few examples-

              -The Skripals are poisoned and the first person to find them in a town of 45,000 people is the chief nurse of the British Army – BS!

              -Jihadists claim a shell hole was done by a chemical weapon and you see a guy standing in it with nearly bare feet – BS!

              -MH17 is shot down and the next day the Russians releases all sorts of data like radar tracks, etc. while the US to this day refuses to release the satellite data that would settle the matter – BS!

              -Thousands of bombing missions are launched in the Balkans on the 90s and the one that hits the Chinese Embassy “accidentally” was the only one mounted by the CIA – BS!

              -A town has claims of a massacre which are never mentioned in the three days after the Russian evacuate it and a filmed Ukrainian patrol never sees them – BS!

              -A CNN reporter sniffs a school bag for chemical weapon traces, who happens to be the grand-daughter of a deposed Syrian official, and can smell them instead of dying – BS!

              -People are dying by the thousands and tens of thousands are falling sick daily with a virus and vaccines are unable to stop its spread but our authorities tell us the pandemic is over and so we can throw our masks away now – BS!

              A finely tuned BS detector is the greatest asset that we can have at the moment.

        4. ChiGal

          thank you, David, for the lesson in critical thinking. I realize that NC is providing counterbalance to one-sided MSM and members of the commentariat know that. But suppose the recent top ten listing (kudos Yves and all!) sends new people this way. Will they think the selection of links one-sided?

          1. juno mas

            New readers to NC will likely become confused reading the Links. They often contain a slant that is intended to generate discussion; not necessarily massage a theme.

            As the website “About” tab says: It’s a place for critical thinking and not for the fainthearted. It takes a few years for that to sink in—it’s worth the effort.

            1. Greg

              We can only hope that the (already stretched) moderators don’t suffer too badly at the hands of potential new visitors.

        5. vao

          It is even more convincing when it is a third-party, totally uninvolved in the conflict, that uncovers evidence.

          The best example is the Al Jazeera reporting team filming, in a completely unscripted way, Ukrainian soldiers committing the war crime of perfidy, i.e. using the emblem of the red cross to hide or shelter combatants in an armed conflict.

      2. Avalon Sparks

        Thanks for this Yves, very clarifying and astute. I cannot even express how much I appreciate it.

      3. Kyle Elsbernd

        Hear! Hear! Thank you Yves for this honest indictment of the dishonest MSM. My respect.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Dude. Deutsche Welle is as trustworthy as the Washington Post or the New York Times. And I don’t care if that War on Fakes is so crooked, that they sell BitCoin. Did you watch that 8 minute video of the patrol going through Bucha as released by the National Guard of Ukraine? No bodies except that guy in the crushed car. In fact, no Russians or else those troops wouldn’t be walking down the middle of a road either and chatting to locals along the way. And I checked on Bucha. It only has a population of about 37,000 people so is more a large town than an actual city. Bodies piled in the street might tend to get noticed and get people talking. In fact, that patrol seems to have orders to clear the streets which is why they used a heavy vehicle to push civilian vehicles out of the way after checking for booby traps. If there were bodies, you would have teams called in to photo them and move them to a morgue or another building if too many. And why the hell has not the ICC sent a team of investigators in? The evidence is right in front of your face of a scam if you look.

      1. TimH

        Gonzalo Lira did another youtube video on 2022-04-03 called “Bucha – More Lies” which debunks the video partly because of the points above, but also from his experience as a film director that very high end camera equipment was used for the shoot, which is inappropriate unless staged.

    3. caucus99percenter

      Deutsche Welle itself, however, strikes me as little more than German-government approved propaganda these days. (I’ve lived in Germany since the mid-1970s.)

      The limits of how impartial and fair state-funded media can actually be in Germany were already reached and shown to be quite narrow years ago.

      As other commenters have said, Deutsche Welle can no more be trusted than the New York Times or the Washington Post.

      1. Mark

        Deutsche Welle is the official external (domestic: ARD/ZDF) propaganda station of the German goverment similar to Radio Free Europe etc., financed mostly via the federal budget supported with advertisment and sponsoring income. Basicly it is a federal agency with some measures in place to prevent direct orders from the government. It has the mission to give a positive impression of Germany and “spread the German point view” around the world. More information can easily be read on wikipedia.

        Therefore it is a trustworthy source if one wants to know what the “official” German view is on the other hand original reporting or fact checking is hardly a core competence.

        1. Mark

          No. TASS is a news agency while Deutsche Welle is a TV and Radio station. The best Russian equivalent is Sputnik. The closest German comparison to TASS is dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur). However TASS is a state enterprise while dpa has a mixed public/private ownership and control structure made up of German media organisations.

    4. Charlie Sheldon

      I often experience the same thing from people – if real evidence is offered through a paper or website that is right wing, then of course that evidence cannot be considered. I find myself these days watching Indian and Middle Eastern news feeds to get other points of view. It is just amazing what is being said and thought once you get outside the US English-speaking NATO bubble.

      The use of satellite photos in real time and video feeds has remarkably changed how battles are seen and thought of. It seems the propaganda artists have become adept at salting evidence for whatever story they want with the expectation their “evidence” will be immediately seen as truth (this has been the case with the Bucha situation since Monday) but then they seem not to understand there are equally or more adept people with evidence of their own who can call out the lies in real and fast time. So, for example, the first video of the Bucha “massacre” showed one victims rising to sit in the rear view mirror, but by then the whole west was in full throated Genocide roar. Now, two or three days on, videos are appearing telling a very different tale, even showing that a mopping up operation took place after the Russians left, and even more recently pointing out the “mass grave” behind that church might be the opening of a grave for shelling victims from earlier. Point being, this seems to be a race between the populace driven to blood lust before real evidence appears that might contradict the narrative. The fact that the UN refused to hear Russia’s demand to discuss this issue tells all we need to know….

      1. Avalon Sparks

        Yves/Charlie – do you have a few links to India news sites that you frequent, if so can you post a few?

        1. LawnDart

          do you have a few links to India news sites that you frequent, if so can you post a few?

          It’s about the last thing anyone should do in this current media environment, making explicit endorsments or recommendations: pay attention to the media sources cited and use your non-Google search engines. And learn to read between the lines and to understand what is not being said.

          This talk has made me hungry: is “Indian Express” a decent fast-food chain?

      2. begob

        I came across a claim that, in trying to establish one of the Bucha killings as Russian, Bellingcat just broadcast evidence that the fire came from Ukrainian vehicles. Like a waiter serving drinks while slipping on ice. I have no opinion, since I learned a while back never to view gruesome images that, once seen, can never be unseen. And, in any case, anything digital or measured in milligrams needs forensic examination.

        1. John

          “never to view gruesome images that, once seen, can never be unseen”
          Which is why after viewing such a gruesome photo on Huffington Post this past weekend, I will never willingly click on that highly degraded site again. Pure warporn.

  4. .human

    Re: Amazon chat app

    “Our teams are always thinking about new ways to help employees engage with each other”

    What is the situation regarding convenient break rooms, lounges, meeting rooms, and such, and time available to do so face to face, without being surveilled.

    1. super extra

      “look Finance has determined that a chat app made from in-house web services and software teams over the fence at AWS is far, far cheaper, faster, AND easier to implement than that stuff. Plus then we might have to put in lots of bathroom facilities at every single warehouse. Not cheap!!”

    2. playon

      I’d guess that the only place for Amazon workers to speak privately without surveillance is off of company property.

    3. ambrit

      When I worked for a medium sized Bigg Boxx Store, we all, even back ten or more years ago, assumed that no place on the company premisis was “safe” to express one’s ‘real’ opinions.
      I worked with a twenty-something who ‘engaged’ on the company website with some others about a subject which was obviously ethically questionable. He voiced the logical arguments against the company policy. I remarked at the beginning that I anticipated his comments being ‘disappeared’ in the near future. He scoffed at my cynicism, (he used that term.) A week later, all of the young man’s comments concerning that subject were deleted from the internal company website files. The day after that, the young man told me that he had decided to actively search for other employment within his field. He left two or three months later and, the last I heard, was doing well.
      Always assume one is being surveilled. I go so far as to hard wire all our electronic devices in the house. No wifi allowed.
      Stay safe. Stay anonymous.

  5. Samuel Conner

    Decades ago, a sibling would sit under a large tree with a bag of roasted peanuts, handing them one at a time to the squirrels that approached. Over time, a friendly relationship formed and they would wait for her to show up.

    I have a different relationship — my squirrels like to search for treasure in the trays and pots of my plants starts. I’ve been live-capturing them (started this in 2020 after an insolent creature dug up one of only two [notionally] Purple Milkweeds that germinated after a mostly failed cold treatment experiment) and relocating them to a wooded lot a few miles distant; the tenth yesterday. I wonder if they are migrating back; 10 seems like a lot given the size of my yard.

    1. Mel

      It’s like electron flow through a conductor. The squirrel you transplant pushes squirrels in the woodlot away 50′ in all directions. If you visualize a line between the woodlot and your place, squirrels are displaced along that line, until the next-closest squirrel to you shows up chez vous and starts digging in the flower beds.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Back in 2020, after removing just 3 animals, I had zero problems with them, and indeed no sightings at all, for more than a year. In late 2021 I started to see them again. For more than a year, I heard no squirrel barks from the trees nearby, just crow calls; I imagined that perhaps the crows had observed what I was doing and were spreading the word to avoid that bad person.

        1. Lex

          Oh, Sam, if only it worked that way here. In theory then squirrels wouldn’t come within 50 miles of this house, like a squirrel skull and crossbones had been posted at our property lines. Grackles, not known for their ability to take a hint, would fly reconnaissance in the migration toward the state border. You’d see wild rabbits picking up the rear of the exodus and field mice squeaking out a warning – ‘Run! He’s a killer!’

          Instead two more squirrels immediately take the place of the last. Last week Husband announced he was out of room and he was thinking about putting out a notice: ‘Freezer full. Come back next week.’

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I’m with you and don’t find the annual ransackers of my garden to be any kind of antidote. Living in a suburban area, I had to pay a couple hundred bucks to remove and relocate a hungry woodchuck that lived under my garage, which I’m sure brought a good laugh to my rural relatives who generally dispatch them with a $.50 piece of lead. Got a good tip though from the guy who took the gopher away – spread used cat litter in the old hole and the smell will keep any others in the area from moving in. So far that’s worked well.

      At this point I’m much more sympathetic with Carl the Greenskeeper’s feelings towards gophers and squirrels –

  6. ilpalazzo

    Found a link in replies to the covid tweet posted:

    Olfactory transmucosal SARS-CoV-2 invasion as a port of central nervous system entry in individuals with COVID-19

    In light of previous reports of infection by SARS-CoV and other CoVs in the nervous system and our observations of SARS-CoV-2 in the brainstem, which comprises the primary respiratory and cardiovascular control center, it is possible that SARS-CoV-2 infection, at least in some instances, might aggravate respiratory or cardiac insufficiency—or even cause failure—in a CNS-mediated manner.

    This aligns with my experience with long covid. (BTW I started to feel significant improvement 10 months after my infection).

    I had this shortness of breath feeling but it was significantly amplified next day after I had a few drinks and/or a smoke. Also when on a bicycle it manifested strongly in first few minutes but then kind of evened out the longer I rode which made me think the symptom is at least partially neurological in nature. If covid damages respiratory and cardiovascular control center in the brain that would seem to support my impression.

  7. Carla

    Let’s break out the virtual champagne to toast Yves, Lambert and the whole wonderful crew at Naked Capitalism for being named one of the Top Ten Economics Blogs in the United States! Cheers!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’ll raise a glass to Naked Capitalism getting yet more accolades as well as another gong. Cheers!

      1. Wukchumni

        Hip, hip flask, hooray!

        Kudos to NC~

        When I occasionally go to the dark side for a dollop of what the main stream media is serving that day, they do such a disservice compared to how we’re informed, which is reminiscent of old timey newspapers with an AM & PM edition and occasional special editions, how quaint!

        1. Eclair

          Ah, do you, as do I, keep a check list of propaganda points to be used in an invasion?

          Throwing babies out of incubators; bombing maternity hospitals.

          Using (insert innocent non-combantant of choice) as human shields.

          Mass killings of innocents/prisoners of war.


          The Enemy lying to their own people and keeping them in total ignorance of ‘The Truth.’

          Examples of ‘the enemy’ having no regard for human life, including their own. They are not ‘like us.’

          I could write a manual. On …. maybe there already is one ….

          1. Oh

            A right winger told me during the Iraq war: ‘SADAAM HAS TO GO. HE GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE’

    2. Questa Nota


      It takes extra effort to produce quality, honest work that dares to ask the tough questions and then to question the answers.

    3. Polar Socialist

      Sláinte! (as the nature of my wee dram requires) to the good work and well deserved accolade!

    4. JTMcPhee

      Suggest NC is the very top POLITICAL economics resource, and not just in the US. Daily amazed at the scope and quality of reporting and curation. Thanks to all of you, and I hope you plan to be around forever.

    5. hemeantwell

      More grist for accusations of Putinophilia: nya zdrovye! The snow leopards should be perched on a lighthouse. Well deserved!

      1. Charlie Sheldon

        Best blog site for comprehensive news and balanced reporting there is, hands down.

    6. PlutoniumKun

      Indeed, its one of the very last refuges anywhere of sane reporting and level headed analysis. Long may it continue.

    7. David

      I don’t know how I would keep sane without NC. Congratulations to all and greetings to the commentariat.

    8. T T T

      Just adding my endorsement of the therapeutic effects of reading NC. Thanks to all involved.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Recommending Joe Lauria’s article about the sequence of events in Bucha and how they bear further investigation. We are getting similar disinformation from Mariupol.

    Today, LaStampa tried to pin the massacre in Bucha on a commander from Siberia — and, rather astoundingly, went into “invading barbaric Asiatic hordes” mode.

    Astounding only in the sense that the leap into racism was so obvious even the addled senior editors at LaStampa should have noticed.

    Notice Laura’s summing up, with the Pentagon neither confirming nor denying.

    And yet I am reminded of an observation at this site (and congrats on the listing as an essential econ site) that the Ukraine government thinks that winning on Twitter is winning the war.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Reminds me of the Afghan general Sami Sadat, who went to Joint Services Command and Staff College on a course for foreigners and diplomats that amounted to creating narratives in social media. IIRC.

      Or, as the France24 channel put it: “Young Afghan general takes fight against Taliban to social media”. That did end up in tears, though.

      I would hate to think that “NATO training” lately means merely how to pose and be performative.

    2. hunkerdown

      In addition to facilitating continuous communication between Super PACs and the rest of the MICIMATT complex, providing free mass testing for political messaging, and other pro-systemic functions, Twitter helps make unbossed left and left-adjacent media discoverable and allows them to dissent against the boss class’ interests without the bosses’ cooperation. To hold power, the boss class crucially needs to own that entry point into alternative, anti-totalitarian ideas and divert it into DSA or other bossed traps that don’t punch up too hard.

      On and off Twitter, it’s too dark to read the ruling class are “debating” what people will be allowed to say to one another online. The ability to police interactions on a major social media property has clear implications in that “debate”, and the future capability of independent actors to formulate and organize any direct (unbossed) action at scale. So, in light of the yet circumstantial evidence that the Ukraine effects operation was powered by #resistance consultants trolling on their down time, Twitter might be more strategic than one would ordinarily think.

    3. lou strong

      Just to say, approximately ten days ago La Stampa was caught publishing on its front page the photo of an alleged Russian bombing on civilians of an ukrainian town, but the photo was about an Ukrainian bombing on Donetsk. Nowadays MSM in Italy remind me the tales of my grandmas about the times of the Istituto Luce
      which was a propaganda tool of the fascist regime.
      My grandpa was an antifascist during the regime .It was difficult for him to make a living because for his job you had to get the Fascist party card, and he never wanted to. Then he was sent to the Army first in North Yugoslavia and then exactly in the Donbass area,miraculously survived the retreat in the Russian winter and after ’43 he became a partizan.
      I try to use my rationality to understand all the aspects of a matter ,and that every historical period has its own features, nevertheless I feel emotionally outraged when I think that we are giving weapons to people like the Azov battallon.

    4. David

      As a matter of principle, it’s impossible to know what happened in Bucha, let alone if a crime was committed. Anyone who says they know what happened is lying. At a minimum; you need legal-standard-of-proof evidence that (1) people died (2) they died violently (3) they died as a direct result of the conflict (4) they were not taking part in military operations (5) they were not combatants whose bodies had been changed into civilian clothes (6) they were deliberately killed as opposed to being casualties of war and (7) that they were deliberately killed by a specified individual or individuals, and, as necessary, this was on the orders of other individuals. After that you might get somewhere. I leave you to judge how far we are from such a situation.

        1. David

          No, you can’t prove a negative like that. I personally think you are right, but all you can really say at this stage is that there is no evidence that they did. And actually, that’s the point. It’s much better, both logically and morally, to say to somebody, OK, where’s your evidence? than to say, I’m convinced I’m right and I won’t consider any evidence you say you do have.

          1. Greg

            I’d water it down slightly and say there is evidence that the Russian strategy involved minimalising civilian casualties, and as always in war it remains to be seen how the behaviour of soldiers on the ground lined up with those orders.

            I would also say that there are several groups within the Russian military forces that could be used for deniable atrocities – the Chechens, the DPR and LHR troops for example. And the fighting in the separatist regions looks absolutely feral. If we find atrocities anywhere, it’s likely to be there (for either side to blame).

            1. Soredemos

              None of those troops are anywhere near Kiev though, so even if that were true it doesn’t apply here.

      1. upstater

        David, any thoughts about Russia’s request to the UN security council to investigate and the UK chairing the UNSC refusing the request?

        1. David

          I’ve just been reading an account of the Russian Ambassador’s Press Conference, in which she said that the Russians originally wanted the meeting today, and the British (as current chair) put them off until tomorrow. Given the timezone difference, the European members of the Council would have had little or no time to prepare or get instructions for a meeting on a Monday, and we can assume the Russians were quite aware of this, and were hoping to exploit it tactically. But actually, the delay will also give the Chinese time to get organised as well. I also see the Indians and the UAE are on the Council.

          It’s an interesting question whether the West was expecting this: I’m not sure they were. Given that the UK is the current chair, and the US in May, we may expect some fireworks.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Considering the fact that the British refused the Russian request twice (and I think that the the head of the UN asked for it too), I am going with another explanation. When it is held, the Russians will be able to demonstrate that this whole thing was staged and that the dead bodies used are those who are likely Russian sympathizers as seen when some of those bodies were reported to be wearing white arm bands indicating them as such. So before this Ukrainians black op can be debunked, the British want this story going far and wide to convince people that Russia did it while emotions are still running hot and get as much mileage as they can out of it. And that is why they wanted several days delay.

      2. Rory

        There is very little in the physical world that we can know “for sure” if we don’t witness it with our own senses. But we all try to reach conclusions, very carefully when a war is going on. I fall back in this instance on cui bono. The Ukraine forces, who seem to be on the losing side of this war, know that the West has been lapping up Russian atrocity stories. The Russians, who seem to be prevailing in the field, but not in the Western media, and who seem to be complying largely with their announced policy of trying to avoid noncombatant casualties as much as possible,would have no reason that I can see to engage in such a large scale massacre of civilians whose town they are leaving. I don’t know what happened, but I know what I suspect.

      3. Chops

        “Anyone who says they know what happened is lying.” This makes the assumption that people who know by virtue of actually being there experiencing it will say nothing, which is quite the assumption and kind of seems like bullshit.

        1. David

          I think the context was quite clear: anyone who claims that they already know for certain (as opposed to strongly believe) what happened is lying, because that’s simply not possible at the moment. None of the reports we have seen were written by people who were there: most aren’t even in the country. Quite soon, the Ukrainians will put up alleged eye-witnesses to the massacres, and there we will be faced with the problem of whether to believe them or not.

    5. OIFVet

      the Ukraine government thinks that winning on Twitter is winning the war.

      Not Ukraine, but surely the US and its Euro poodles. The sanctions regime and arms sales is what the US dreamt about, and nothing like racist propaganda to ensure that the populations are duly busy in forever hate rather than asking why they should bear the economic burden of the elites’ incompetence and greed. I saw a cartoon here the other day: the EU and Russian dogs fighting over a Ukie flag, while the US dog copulates the EU dog without the latter even noticing. It was rather apt as a metaphor. The EU is the big loser of all this.

      1. Chops

        “The EU is the big loser of all this.” Ukraine seems like it’s having a much worse time than the EU, and Russia similarly seems to be suffering a lot more from this than the EU is.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, all Russia has lost is access to some EU consumer goods. Rouble has recovered, the EU and US embargoes means it needs way less in the way of foreign goods. Pharma companies still sending supplies and even French companies have not pulled out (save the famed Nazi collaborator Chanel).

          It may suffer in a few months if it can’t work out third market access to car parts. The sugar shortages were short-lived and due to stockpiling.

          Europeans are going to suffer far more, and soon, from higher energy and food prices.

          1. Acacia

            Adding: it seems that the Russians have also figured out how to source spare parts for the hundreds of Boeing and AirBus jets that were stuck in RF territory when the tsunami of sanctions and SWIFT disconnect hit. They’re mum on how it’s being done, but they’re saying it won’t be a problem. Apparently, they’ve also sorted the matter of insurance.

            So, that’s another tooth that’s fallen out of the sanctions, so to speak.

          2. Polar Socialist

            I recall checking that “only” 1/5 of the cars sold in Russia are from countries currently sanctioning Russia. I also recall (sadly can’t find it right now) a Russian public figure saying that he’ll just switch his Mercedes to Hyundai.

            The situation is a bit murkier regarding the French cars made in Russia, I understood the assembly lines have been paused for now. Depending on how many parts are subcontracted from Russia and how many from the West and just assembled in Russia, they may still have plenty of spares.

          3. Passing Apparition

            “Pharma companies still sending supplies.” Just a data point, Yves: my Russian friend in Novosibirsk, like many Russian women, needs Thyroxine for hypothyroidism. She can’t get it, and it’s affecting her health. I asked her about your statement and she replied “I don’t know if it’s wrong or not. I know only that there’s no medicine. I was in the pharmacy yesterday and many other important kinds of medicine have disappeared”.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Russian Flag Raised In Center Mariupol (Exclusive Special Report)”

    Well, it wasn’t the raising of the flag of Iwo Jima but it is still a win. Also, organized resistance is collapsing in Mariupol as 267 Ukrainian Marines stationed with the Azov units have now surrendered en masse, having lost half their strength in dead and wounded. Saw a video of them marching out with their arms raised. Its just a mopping up operation now as that city is cleared section by section and de-mined. About next Thursday they will announce that there were unfortunately no Azov unit survivors.

    1. Polar Socialist

      There’s recent news of a new batch of +30 surrendering in a kindergarten right next to Azovstal.

      1. playon

        In one of the videos linked above, outraged citizens of Mariupol talked about how Azov took over the kindergarten. They also mention how much less destruction was caused by Russian forces as opposed to the Ukrainian military.

    2. Mori Calliope

      >About next Thursday they will announce that there were unfortunately no Azov unit survivors.


  10. Louis Fyne

    –Why Renewables Can’t Solve Europe’s Energy Crisis —

    People need to read up on neodymium (atomic number 60) and which countries mine it. Spoiler: the tightness of the neodymium market is worse than oil.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Neodymium is very useful in high power magnets, but its not necessarily a chokepoint in wind turbine manufacturing – its mostly used in low wind turbines where weight is critical in achieving steady power outputs. Different designs use radically different quantities or mixes of rare earths and neodymium. At least one company (Greenspur) claims to have designed and tested a ferrous only magnet for large offshore wind turbines.

      A key problem though with neodymium seem to be not raw material supply, but that the processing is largely confined to China. I believe that even US and Canadian ore goes to China for processing.

  11. Questa Nota

    Hunter Biden Laptop is the biggest scandal since Watergate.
    The walls are closing in.
    The real crime is the coverup.
    Did I forget to mention that the walls are closing in?

    Don’t you miss Carl Bernstein? /s

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is slow and grinding too. Apparently what is on it is super bad, and now we also have the press willing to take up his China connections too, which also appear to have some lucre attached.

      Gossip from IM Doc, from an admitted R source:

      2 interesting patient conversations this week. One was a different retired US SEN than before. GOP. Informed me he expects Biden to be impeached before the end of the year or at a minimum to suffer grave political consequences. “The Dems will have to – once the contents of that hard drive start coming out….I am an old cynical burned out guy – but what I am hearing is even making me want to vomit.”

      1. Louis Fyne

        The contents are that hard drive were floating around the tin foil sites last fall. So salacious are the alleged images that there is no point even spreading them with disclaimers.

        If the contents are verified to be true, they are indeed vomit-inducing. And capable of literally crippling the DC Dems for the rest of the decade.

        1. Mr. House

          Last fall? They were out in the fall of 2020. Oh that’s right, you probably never even heard about it except as Russian fake news from the actual fake news. Remember when Joe Biden dropped out of a presidential race in the 80’s because he’s a plagiarist? Ah those were the days, how far we’ve fallen.

      2. LawnDart

        Biden to be impeached before the end of the year

        Not until after a new Congress, I would think, unless the impeachment is just for show, and not a serious attempt to remove him from office? Maybe some payback for Trump?

        1. Jen

          All throughout the Trump impeachments I kept reminding my liberal friends that if you remove Trump, you get Pence. It did, at least temporarily dampen their enthusiasm.

          So, to update for the current administration: remove Biden, you get Harris.

          In my more cynical moments I sometimes think nominating Harris was a genius move to fend off any possibility of impeachment. Then I remind myself that these clowns are incapable of thinking even one step ahead, much less playing multidimensional chess.

          1. digi_owl

            Or that they picked her thinking if Biden goes down for any reason (ill health, impeachment, “crazy” with a gun) they get their first female president, that the public snubbed them of with Trump (completely ignoring that the the timing, candidate and platform was as tone deaf as it could be at the time).

          2. Donald

            Republicans might want to face Harris in 2024.

            Personally, I have given up trying to understand what Americans find appealing in a politician. Other than Bernie, who I liked, it is a complete mystery to me.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The Team Sports fanatics want easy answers. The 3rd way’s promise is to make politics easy. Give up an issue, then Republicans or corporations will be nice. Then we had:
              -“Obama’s got this”
              -“Hillary is the most qualified evah!”
              -With Biden, he’s not so much a Senator as was once the VP, and he didn’t draw any anger.

              You see it with the drop in support for a no-fly zone when people learn it requires troops. Americans hate hard work. The Democrats instead of say trying to run Democrats in Florida keep running that doofus Republican Charlie Christ because they perceive he will be an easy win.

              For the Team Red side, he’s a businessman. He’ll run it like a business. Derp, derp, dee, derp. Its the same disease.

              Then they blame absurdities for losses. Its really no different than Red Sox fans blaming a curse.

              1. playon

                Americans hate hard work.”

                I don’t think that is a fair comment. Americans do hate seeing their sons killed in faraway battles for no discernable reason.

            2. Oh

              Americans don’t read much or investigate anything. They just watch the boob tube and just before the elections, they fall prey to mud slinging by eac side and pick the ones that appeal to them from facial features, mannerisms and ability to put out one liners. Whether this is because they’re too busy trying to make a living or they’re stupid, I’m unable to tell.

              Bernie did have some appeal, especially from younger people but he quit earlier to please the Democrat party and disapponted his supporters.

        2. Pat

          Yes and no. Revenge may fuel some of it. But I don’t think it will get to impeachment.
          If half of what has been floating around about Hunter’s activities, both personal and corrupt public one, are true Biden is going to have to go down or the resulting trial is going to take down a whole lot of DC. The Bidens didn’t operate in a vacuum. Right now I think the odds are 3 to 1 that we can expect a resignation for health reasons before the second quarter of next year. Only unlike Cuomo there will be no attempted comeback.

          1. Mr. House

            Just my personal opinion but Cuomo was only taken down to avoid the nursing home investigation. Which also would have pulled down Whitmer and Wolf who did the same thing, except Wolfs health secretary who pulled her own mother out of the nursing home.

            1. Pat

              Oh, the resignation was absolutely to avoid the nursing home issue. There was enough chicanery in the NYS handling of covid that it would have upset a whole lot of rice bowls, as Lambert would put it. I have to admit that I never thought it might affect any Dems outside of the state, but that could have meant an added sweetener to help convince him (you’re already on the ropes so help us and we’ll see you get exonerated after a suitable time.)

        1. Louis Fyne

          it goes beyond mere political pay for play. at least that is what i am assuming when the anon. source said ‘vomit inducing’

          1. hunkerdown

            Statecraft could be described as the crimes against humanity we happen to like (however reluctantly).

      3. Susan the other

        Tucker last nite, a clip from some gathering at the White House wherein Obama and Kamala were chatting and laughing aggressively with a circle of people while Biden, looking vacant and lost tried to join, putting his hand on Obama’s shoulder but Obama was having none of it; instead he leaned that shoulder inside the circle and Biden just kind of stood there. It was a very sad sight. And I don’t even like Biden. The Bachevich post (channelling JFK) was prescient. No one wants to be associated with old Joe. The democrats probably all want him gone. But I do remember when he became a candidate for president – it was Obama who said to him, “Joe, you don’t have to do this.” Not much compassion left there.

      1. Wukchumni

        You almost get the idea that Joe brings up Beau all the time, because he knows Hunter is going to take him down-the good for nothing son.

        Waiting in the wings is the emptiest of pantsuits…{cackle

        1. The Rev Kev

          It may be that Kamala goes before old Joe through some of the stuff in her own background being used against her. Sort of like how VP Spiro Agnew went before Nixon himself which gave America (drum-roll) Gerald Ford. And compared to the field of candidates on offer from the Dems and the Repubs today, Ford stands out as a high-powered peacemaker these days.

          1. Wukchumni

            Ford stands out as a high-powered peacemaker these days.

            Ford was also the only skier President, but his chances went all downhill after asserting that there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

            He was 13 years early with his assertion. unlucky that.

            1. Kouros

              The level of involvement of Soviets in the rest of the socialist countries was minimal. Those countries were all on autopilot. The Soviets, as Russians now were mostly preoccupied by security issues. And didn’t fret as much when one or two countries, like Romania, decided to be just observers to the Warsaw Pact, and not participating in exercises, etc.

          2. Robert Gray

            The procedural wrangling therewith would be interesting. Kamala resigns and Brandon nominates her replacement, subject to confirmation by the Senate. But the Senate is split 50-50, and with Harris gone there is no presiding officer to break the tie. Or does Chuckles Schumer become the presiding officer? If so, he can’t vote except in case of a tie — but at that point McConnell might could orchestrate a 50-49 rejection of … anybody Joe (i.e., the DLC) wanted, really.

            1. Mack

              That might have to do with inflation roaring ahead and destroying what’s left of the middle class. Besides Biden’s naming inflation causer Powell to to the Fed, there’s Shelton NOT being named to the Fed:

              Harris sank Shelton’s nomination.

              The vote was 48-48, which Mike Pence could have broken in her favor. Then Harris hurried back to the Senate in between campaign events to vote against Shelton, making it 48-49.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              One Senator one vote and a quorum which is 50+1 to hold votes. This is the constitutional authority. The VP is the President of the Senate, which based on John Adams’ experience means they can sit in on meetings, and can pass tie breaking votes. The rest of the garbage is what is called a “gentlemen’s agreement.” The Senate can not restrict it’s constitutional power. Individual senators can choose not to act, but no Senate can restrict the powers of any other Senate or their own.

              The Supremes have already ruled on Senate legislation when the “norms” aren’t adhered to.

          1. Carolinian

            Don’t think Trump’s kids hold a candle to Hunter in the black sheep department.

            As some have pointed out the prob with the Hunter scandal is that the press themselves are exposed for covering it up til now. This may dampen their enthusiasm versus all those supposed Trump scandals.

            1. Mr. House

              Does anyone have opinions of the fact that the 2016 Clinton grift has decided to pay something like 110 grand because it paid for the Steele dossier? I mean god forbid they go to court and have discovery. Its like every wrong doing corporations ever do, settle out of court and get to claim you didn’t commit any crimes. The one little dossier led to four years of the worst nonsense i’d seen until 2020, which almost felt like a continuation, until 2022 with Ukraine, which almost feels like a continuation………

              1. Screwball

                Did you notice all the retractions and follow up apologies from the MSM about this issue?

                No, me neither.

                If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around does it make noise?

                I still think Russiaphopia will be around a lot longer, and Hunters laptop will be a David Copperfield illusion that disappears. Orwell would be proud.

              2. Procopius

                There are a lot of people who still believe every word of Russia, Russia, Russia. See Balloon Juice blog.

  12. Wukchumni

    I’m a Scientist in California. Here’s What Worries Me Most About Drought. New York Times
    Using the forest for the trees as my Baedeker to bauming attacks in just the last decade of drought (with 2 amazingly bountiful winters in the snow skein) I watched 130 million pines in the mid-altitude climes die in real time when the bark beetles were on tour, and closer to home, oak trees on the many splendored acres never watered by the hand of man, dying after a few hundred years and on my watch!

    Giant Sequoias that were saplings when Seneca was in diapers and managed to live long and prosper living with fire all through the years, suddenly succumb to the flames, 1/5th of all Monarch trees 4 feet wide or larger, gone in a relative heartbeat.

    The majority of the snowpack in the Sierra will be adios in a fortnight, another issue of climate change driven drought not beneficial to us, in that nobody really wants the water (scant that it is) now for Ag, you need it for the hundred days of hundred degrees in the torrid summer.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When I read articles like that “California’s Drought Is Worse Than We Thought” and your own local reports, I always get an ominous feeling about the future of the west coast. If a time traveler from the end of this century came back to here and now and said that the whole region was now nothing more than a desert, I would not be surprised. Imagine a near future where there is no longer any snow to be found in California at any time of the year. But I suspect that Sacramento will still allow corporations to spend water on crops for export nonetheless.

      1. Wukchumni

        They once termed the Owens Valley where Hwy 395 runs the length of, ‘America’s Switzerland’ before LA made off with the Sierra runoff a couple of turns of centuries ago, and you can see it in your minds eye with a little imagination how it was back in the day, even if it looks like a desert now. I drove by the Manzanar relocation camp site for Japanese-Americans last month, and the word manzanar is Spanish for apple orchard, there were many thousands of trees there pre-Mulholland.

        All of the myriad of H20 sources SoCal sequestered aren’t doing well, the Colorado River is as anemic as the Sierra, but at least with the Sierra sources it isn’t as if you are battling 4 other states for the goods.

        And maybe the weirdest thing of all in the midst of really the worst string of 3 years of drought in quite a long time in Cali, is the idea that every last nut & fruit tree on the floor of the Central Valley looks like a million bucks compared to the obvious drying out going on of everything else in the underground movement.

        Hwy 99 is dotted with far right signs all with the same message pretty much-the proles get hit with it every few miles on some stretches, with the newest one exclaiming something along the lines of:

        ‘Stop Governor Newsom from sending water to the sea!’

        It we don’t continually flush out the California Delta with freshwater, saltwater will intrude and game so over, but do you really think some Kev y Dev voter is gonna know that?

        1. Carolinian

          Seems obvious that civic minded CA should tell those nut growers to pound sand. We’re waiting..,..

          Could be the nut growers have more pull than the sign placers.

          1. Wukchumni

            If you own the land in Cali, you own all the water rights underneath, and in some ways it’s akin to drilling for oil, in that it isn’t as if you are ever going to replace ancient fossil water 1,200 feet down-thus a non-renewable, might as well take it all!

            That said, if things got downright drastic (think of another couple dreadful snowfall winters) all of those wells could be commandeered and the almond growers compensated for loss of income, it’d be an odd lifeline, but there it is, many thousands of little straws sucking hard, with the precious water being trucked away to the cities, or I daresay, essential crops.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          A number of years ago I recall reading an article in the LA Times concerning Owens Valley. The writer said we should all look at the bright side. if Los Angeles hadn’t taken the water from Owens Valley the east side of the Sierra would be heavily developed and filled with condos, strip malls, hotels, etc…There was also an interesting tidbit regarding Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Los Angeles pushed for this national forest so as to forestall development that would have kept much of the water local and prevented it from being diverted south. Strategic planning they call it!

  13. LawnDart

    Our poor, aching brains… inflamation and bleeds, huh? Well…

    This is a study done pre-covid, and something very bad was already happening prior to the widespread, long-term effects of the virus being manifested:

    Cases of cognitive decline in older people more than double in ten years

    The study showed that while memory concern rates had remained stable, incidence of cognitive decline, a step beyond memory concern, had more than doubled between 2009 and 2018.

    I’ve recently had to address care and support issues associated with Alzheimers (step-mother) and possible alcohol-induced dementia (father) who retired to the sticks, hours away from major medical services, and I’ll tell you, it’s been a real clown-show. Although their county has excellent senior services available, a lot still falls upon family members, and it can create a great deal of disruption as well as a heavy-burden.

    My folks are 70s-80s, so these issues are not uncommon, but happens when covid-damaged brains create widespread dementia issues amongst people in their 50s-60s? Maybe we’ll be so busy caring for these people, that we won’t have the time or energy for war.

    Maybe covid will “go away” at some point, but not before the damage has accelerated an already alarming trend.

    1. Louis Fyne

      seniors stare at screens just as much as the whipper-snappers. i wonder if passive screen time, versus something like a crossword puzzle, literally rots the brain?

      1. Icecube12

        Surely it wouldn’t be the passive aspect alone though? People have been staring at tv screens for decades. Maybe it’s decreasing social interaction.

        1. LifelongLib

          TV watching can be a much more social activity than reading or web surfing. Ever watch a football game with friends? Lots of interaction.

          Reminds me of a comment here a while ago complaining that people were no longer gathering in the streets of a small town to talk. Turned out it was a quote from a newspaper c. 1900, about the opening of the town’s first movie theater.

        2. caucus99percenter

          > People have been staring at TV screens for decades

          Randy Newman’s song “My Country” from his 1999 album Bad Love:

          Let’s go back to yesterday, when a phone call cost a dime. In New Orleans, just a nickel. Turn back the hands of time.

          Picture a room with a window, a sofa and some chairs, a television turned on for the night. Picture a woman, two children seated, a man lying there, their faces softly glowing in the light.

          This is my country, these are my people. This is the world I understand. This is my country, these are my people. And I know ’em like the back of my own hand.

          If we had something to say, we’d bounce it off the screen. We were watching and we couldn’t look away. We all know what we look like, you know what I mean? We wouldn’t have had it any other way.

          We got comedy, tragedy, ev’rything from A to B, watching other people living, seeing other people play, having other people’s voices fill our minds — “thank you, Jesus” —

          Feelings might go unexpressed. I think that’s prob’ly for the best. Dig too deep, who knows what you will find …

      2. Maritimer

        See Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, one of many books sounding the alarms about TV which has of course morphed into much more dangerous interactive cellphone screens and Intertubes. Postman wrote the book in 1985, yes, thirty-five years ago. The Behavioural Scientists and Techies have vastly improved the manipulative techniques since then. Your mind is battling billions of investment.

        Having read that book and many others on the subject, I stopped glazing at the TUBE decades ago. Some aware Humans I know relate stories of relatives just sitting and watching the TUBE and believing whatever it says. See Peter Sellers Being There.

        1. eg

          There’s a touching film, “Avalon” which traces the decay of a community over about three generations using the rise of television as a central trope.

      3. LawnDart

        seniors stare at screens just as much as the whipper-snappers

        TV vs. Internet? Two totally different mediums, with TV-watching the most-passive and non-critical thoughtless-engaging activity: it’s by design a one-way street.

    2. playon

      There are likely many reasons for the increase in cognitive decline – air pollution has been found to be a biggie, not to mention unhealthy lifestyles in general, crummy food, increasing obesity, diabetes, etc. Then there is the recent evidence of microplastics in human blood, the effects of which have not yet been studied.

      1. Rod

        the effects of which have not yet been studied. has opened my eyes…

        Small particulates from fossil fuels are linked…. Now, there is mounting evidence that these small, PM 2.5 particulates may also be harming the mental health of children and teens by worsening depression, anxiety, suicidality and more. Brian Bienkowski, the editor of Environmental Health News joins Host Steve Curwood to talk about the correlation. (06:12)
        and my personal stunner:

        Medical Plastic Linked to Breast Cancer Relapse – Living on Earth

  14. Solarjay

    Here is a working non paywalled link to the “Biden worse than trump,solar”.

    If implemented it would retroactively put tariffs on solar panels from april 2022. That’s going to really make importers, end users and wholesales really comfortable. From 50-250% $ increase.

    Biden is a disaster for solar.

    The company that is listed, Auxin, is super tiny, so small I can’t even find out how much they make. Based in Silicon Valley. Yep that’s where I would put a huge solar panel manufacturing plant, most expensive rents, labor cost and electricity. Almost like it’s a front company to implement new tariffs against solar?

    If you want to build large quantities of solar panels in the US: give large multi billion$ low interest loans to create vertically integrated companies.
    That’s what China did very successfully.
    But in the US we give tax breaks for the installation of systems which benefits business much more as they have more deductions than private individuals.

    If anything it should be giving incentives for electrical production not installation.

    Finally Biden wants to do the wars power act or something for batteries. We don’t have much of the basic components in the us, mostly imports.
    We do have the basic materials for solar panels, but not on the table.

    Sad to watch this train wreck continue.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Someone really needs to send a few people to South Korea or Japan to find out how its done. If you want to develop a strategic industry, or revive an existing one, you need to look at the entire process from mineral ore to final product and critically assess how you develop the design and manufacturing skillsets and the plant capacity while keeping as many of the vital steps in-house as possible. Someone should pay close attention to how those two countries (France too) are developing their newest high tech weaponry – they have realized that they are functionally useless as weapons if even one element requires a third party countries input (they’ve been stung in the past by the US refusing export licenses). Increasingly, I think some far-sighted countries are taking the same approach to critical manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.

      Between the horrible duo of neoliberal economists and the army of MBA ‘managers’, even the most high tech industries seem to have been deskilled over the decades.

  15. diptherio

    Re microplastics: Mastodon user “Robin Hood” posted this poem yesterday

    I have eaten
    the microplastics
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so scratchy
    and so smol

  16. Tom Stone

    I take a look at the online SF Chronicle once or twice a week,last week it was
    The little known Butcher of Mariupol,this week it’s the bodies left on the streets of Bucha for weeks.
    Ukraine “news” gets bright red banner headlines at the top of the site.
    It’s non stop propaganda and it works.

  17. Dr. John Carpenter

    Anyone using the Amazon employee chat app to discuss Unions or labor issues with other employees is a narc.

    1. playon

      Yeah I don’t really understand that — are people not allowed to text each other at AMZ?

  18. The Rev Kev

    I have just discovered that the people that I feel most sorry for at the moment happen to be – security personal. Why? Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrell have just announced that they are going to Kiev next week for a visit. Of course the Russians would never dream of hurting either of them as they are causing so much damage to the EU themselves which they could never do. But can you imagine the temptation that the ultra-nationalists must be feeling? The political points to be gained by killing them in a false-flag event? Those security personal must be going frantic with the thought of trying to protect them, hence my feeling sorry for them-

    1. Polar Socialist

      Aren’t all these high-level visits to Kiev silently admitting that for civilians Ukraine is actually relatively safe place? Almost as if they were not targeted, after all.

      Still, I don’t think they would care to visit Donetsk, even if I hear it’s only receiving mortar fire anymore.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        No, you remember when Obama and Hillary we think to the market in Libya, right? Oh, I’m sure Obama only missed the 10 year anniversary due to Covid. I wouldn’t put it past Hillary to send a personal shopper.

        Cheney and Biden will almost certainly be visiting mosques in Bagdhad anytime now. After all, every bombing run was followed by leaflets explaining it wasn’t a war against Islam.

  19. Carolinian

    This is a bit above my pay grade but perhaps of interest here at this finance blog

    Pozsar’s argument is more subtle: A crisis is unfolding. A crisis of commodities. Commodities are collateral, and collateral is money, and this crisis is about the rising allure of ‘commodity-linked currency’ over fiat money. In periods of banking crises, banks are reluctant to play the inside game because they don’t trust fiat currency as a real collateral. They then refuse to lend money to their banking peers. Every time this occurs, the Central Banks have to print more money to “lubricate” the system enough so that it functions. This in turn, further devalues the fiat money, on which the system is predicated.

    But if currency issued by Governments and printed by Central Banks is backed by hard assets, this problem is avoided. In this system, the counter-party to trade or financing transactions would have the option of demanding payment in the hard asset or assets backing the currency – most likely gold or possibly a pre-agreed upon commodity asset. Recall, fiat currency is nothing more than an unsecured debt instrument of the issuing entity – one which we have seen can be ‘cancelled’ at whim by the issuer – the U.S. Treasury.

    Crooke suggests a new Bretton Woods based on commodities is at hand. Too much?

    1. Grebo

      An interesting article but it suffers from a common confusion between money for foreign trade and money for domestic use. These do not have to be linked and generally should not be.

      What is needed is an international money issued by a UN bank or the like. To get such a thing agreed would require breaking both the Dollar’s power and the mercantilist mindset of several powerful countries. A commodity based money may help with the first but not the second.

  20. Wukchumni

    Trump’s Truth Social App Branded a Disaster BBC
    Seeing as this is Nunes’s baby and the Devin is in the details of dirty deeds done dirt cheap for the chief, how could the Donald ever afford to let him go?

    1. fresno dan

      Finding the right developers would be tricky and expensive but getting Trump to post daily on the site would be child’s play — or at least, that’s what the platform’s backers must have assumed. Why, Trump’s probably feeling so pent-up from not being able to vent on Twitter that he might post dozens of times per day once liberated by Truth Social!

      The million-dollar question: Why isn’t Trump participating, knowing that his participation is 99 percent of the reason to care about Truth Social? It’s as if he launched a Trump TV network, announced that he’d be hosting a show every night in primetime, then never showed up.

      My theory was that his ego won’t allow him to be associated with a venture that appears lame and unpopular even when that venture is “his own vanity project.” As I wrote last week, “It wouldn’t surprise me to learn there’s a chicken-and-egg argument happening between him and the site’s investors behind the scenes: ‘We can’t build an audience unless you’re posting!’ ‘Sorry, I’m not posting until we’ve built an audience.’”
      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Trump isn’t a leader, he is a follower. And Trump’s ego is such that he just couldn’t bear proof that people are ignoring him.

  21. Stick'em

    re: Why virtue signalling is not just a vice, but an evolved tool

    This is such an important concept to understand because it has so much explanatory power for the human behavior which otherwise baffles us. Finding out about it made my head hurt so much less. It doesn’t apply only to tired SJW clichés, but rather to most group behavior, especially social media, because the increased broacast range amplifies its power (and liability).

    For example, the first time I can remember experiencing “virtue signalling” was when I was a kid, though of course I didn’t know this is what it is called at the time. Raised in a fundamentalist Christian church, there was this big split of the congregation when I was in elementary school. The split revolved around the issue of whether or not we could sing up in front of the congregation. As in have a choir. Everybody sung in their seats from the hymnal, that’s it. That’s the way you do it.

    My mom had a good voice, so we went with the group who splintered off from the main group. She liked to sing. But you would have thought the issue itself was apocalyptic importance when people discussed it, as if God himself really had a specific point of view about whether choirs are “good” or “bad.”

    Your loyalty to God was tested thus, so you better pick the right choice or you’ll end up in hell y’all! Sounds corny now, but lemme tell ya, there is no more important thing to think about if one is a true believer.

    “Some folks resent other folks who can sing good” is the too long; didn’t read version.

    Taking a stand to signal “choirs = real God” or “choirs = not real God” explains how people also get such bizarre opinions on evolution, birth control, abortion, and so on. Once you believe your community beliefs are the “right” ones and everybody else’s are the “wrong” ones, why you just gotta tell the world!

    Apply this to politics and you get and understanding for otherwise noncomprehensible beliefs like “Obama is a Kenyan Muslim.” Real Republicans believe this -duh! Only RINOs and libitards don’t. It’s a litumus test.

    Pay no attention to the man (or woman) behind the curtain because it makes no difference Hillary Clinton started the whole thing:

    with an obvious plant during election time in the NYTimes of Obama wearing a Somali turban!

    The social cost of stating this kind of ridiculous stuff out loud is the glue that binds religious denominations and political parties together. Go figure.

    You wouldn’t possibly say you believe magic is real unless testifying to this foolishness somehow raises you up in the eyes of your peers. Take one for the team. It’s why my Catholic sister-in-law says excorcisms are real even though somewhere in her unconscious mind she knows better. It’s why people claim to believe nonsense like since God makes the weather, humans can’t be responsible for climate change. Virtue signalling is at the root of a HUGE amount of our collective problems, commonly labeled as partisan or divisive or wedge issues, from all involved, not just “libs” or SJWs as we are often lead to believe.

    1. Pat

      Amazing how often Hilary and crew’s dirty tricks live on and on and on leaving damage in there wake…not.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, it was a nicely argued take.

      Sometimes the wokists remind me a little of visiting the Tuol Sleng torture centre in Cambodia. It has a moving list of all the people who were incarcerated and then tortured to death for various ‘crimes’. The last of the victims were the original torturers, who apparently didn’t show enough zeal and so were guilty of being potential counter-revolutionaries. I suppose they can consider themselves fortunate that death by twitter mob isn’t as permanent as death by piano wire.

      Fortunately, history suggests that most such movements pretty much burn themselves out, although they can do a lot of damage before they get to that stage.

    1. Stick'em

      It is far easier for you as civilized men to behave like monkeys than it is for them to behave like civilized men.

        1. Stick'em

          Fresno Dan
          I suppose the only civilized way to really settle the score is to have a proper poo flinging contest betwixt man and monkey. You know, old school duel rules, back-to-back, begin firing at 20 paces. Much honor and valor and fecal matter awarded to the victor, and even more to the spectators!

    2. Screwball

      It has, without a doubt.

      I just came back from the grocery store. I finished checking out (I use the self checkouts due to long lines going through the registers) and the attendant lady was right by me, so I said to her, I have to ask you a question. Sure. How many people come though here and complain to you about the prices?

      She chucked and said “I have been yelled at more in the last two years than I have my entire career here, and it’s not getting any better.” I get the same thing from the other grocery I visit. The lady there said “the country has went to hell in a hand basket and getting worse.”

      The girls at the gas station tell me the same thing. They get screamed at for rising gas prices. These price hikes are not the fault of these people, and they are truly on the front lines keeping us fed and our tanks filled – yet they are treated like that. Disgusting.

      I was already crazy so I can’t go there. In today’s world, it’s not bad to be crazy, but it helps. :-) I have a hunch, we haven’t seen anything yet…

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s gonna get weird in a combination of actual inflation such as no living American has ever seen since the south nabbed the silver medal in the inter state games almost 160 years ago, along with the anticipation of inflation by the retailers, making sure they aren’t selling it for less than current replacement cost.

        This would have been incredibly hands on time consuming before the turn of the century as most everything either had a price on it, or a sticker with a price, but that was then and this is now. There is only a price on the shelf-none on the items themselves, and raising prices is easy peasy on a QWERTY, along with keeping current on replacement cost.

        Heretofore, really the only things Americans ever bargained on, were when buying the 2 most expensive items of their lives… cars & houses, and you’d never go to Home Depot and ask a clerk if they’ll take $15 cash for a hammer marked $19.95, it’d just look silly.

        We’re all used to slow, almost glacial moves in pricing (I remember when candy bars went from a Nickel to a Dime, circa 1970, en route to $1.25 now) but when it comes all in one relatively fell swoop, that’s terra incognita.

  22. Joseph

    ~The Army’s suicide rate is the worst it’s been in nearly a century~

    That’s no wonder, with the commander in chief, who never served, having continually voted for the losing pointless Syraquistan wars then the hasty and disastrous withdrawals; The unelected second in command’s only service doing Willie Brown, a soldier ponders his dead brothers who died for What?

    When Biden is replaced and Pelosi is second in command, things are going to get really ugly.

    1. Pat

      I don’t think you can put the entire blame on Biden, just some. There is a whole lot of Washington at fault. For one Try a military leadership that has exhibited little or no concern for the troops while lining up their future sinecures not to mention the unhealthy relationships between the leadership and the contractors. For instance, it wasn’t retreating from Afghanistan that was the problem, it was the military failure to set up and follow through on procedures to do it. They slow walked it. And were shocked when Biden didn’t delay it, yet again. It was the reaction to Obama’s entering into an agreement in Syria and ordering a ceasefire, you know when they started shelling a Russian Syrian installation and kept it up even after being to stopped, only on steroids.
      Looking at the list of top officers and ex officers lobbying against it whenever pay and benefits for the regular troops come up is like looking at a who’s who of the armed services.

      IOW you must not have you noticed that other than meaningless “thank you for your service” words real respect for and support of troops has been nonexistent in Washington and the Foggy Bottom for decades.

    2. Chops

      Do you have any evidence linking Joe Biden being President to an increase in suicides in the US military? You say “no wonder” like the link is obvious. It’s not. Why would people start committing suicide because Biden is now President? How does that suddenly make their life not worth living?

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Climate Collaborations in the Arctic Are Frozen Amid War”

    ‘And yet, just when the climate scientists and governments across the eight Arctic states should be working together to understand and address the climate crisis, Russia’s war on Ukraine has forced the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental group of Arctic states and Arctic Indigenous peoples, to suspend their joint activities in protest of Russia’s unprovoked aggression.’

    So the Arctic Council and Arctic Indigenous peoples were “forced” to trash all scientific cooperation because their colleagues were Russian. And the same is happening with space programs where one probe looks like it will never leave the earth because they can’t use Russian boosters. We are not expected to believe in science here I guess.

    Had a thought today that concerns me. During WW1 in America the same sort of crazy was being directed at anything German but when the war finished, this sort of crazy was then re-directed at left-wing movements in America. So could it be that all this craziness about Russia sooner or later will then be re-directed at the progressive movement in America? It would suit both political parties to encourage this to happen after all.

    1. Mori Calliope

      >So could it be that all this craziness about Russia sooner or later will then be re-directed at the progressive movement in America?

      Without a doubt.

      1. JBird4049

        Reading about the Creel Committee, then McCarthyism and HUAC, would be a good start on what the United States’ federal government has, is, and would do to actual leftists. You could say that FBI Director Hoover made his career not only on his very large blackmail file, but also on being an anticommunist.

    2. britzklieg

      It has already happened. Russiagate was about the Dems taking out the “left” more than taking out Trump. “Putin-apologist” is now worse than being a nazi sympathizer.

    3. hunkerdown

      “Will then be”! Arguably, it was launched against them first and never really operated against Russia until the field had been primed.

  24. digi_owl

    I do ponder if those supposed bodies found on the sat images are dead soldiers left behind when the Russians advanced into the city.

    After all, picking them up and carting them away would be a distraction and risk if fighting was still ongoing.

    Also, the blobs shown on what image i have been able to see was all brown-ish. Potentially field uniforms.

    Thus yes, bodies were on the ground 3 weeks ago. But that does not make them the same bodies as seen on images and videos more recently.

    Anyways, i wonder what we are seeing happening all over media these days is “priming”. As i understand it, there is a psychological phenomena where if you show or say something to a person before giving them a questionnaire or similar, their responses changes depending on what was said or shown.

    Thus i wonder if when media makes claims about X fear Y may do Z, they are priming us for assuming it was Y that did it when reports of Z happening comes in. This even though it may well that it was X that did the deed.

    Frankly international politics far too often reminds me of a schoolyard, with various political “cliques” going round spreading rumors and making claims. It was not amusing to witness this back on school, and it is even less amusing seeing adults partaking in such childish behavior as if it was the height of diplomacy today.

    1. Darthbobber

      Not real well-versed on the details of satellite coverage in the area, but off the top of my head it seems likely that if we had satellite surveillance showing maybe bodies on the 19th we would also have satellite imagery for dates more directly relevant. So why the 19th, rather than, say, the 30th?

      Seems highly unlikely that bodies would be just left strewn about for that long, since basic field sanitation dictates making provision for the removal of corpses to avoid disease among one’s own troops.

      1. digi_owl

        Best i can tell, the images were from commercial sats rather than military. At least those that was used for whatever article i was able to glance without a paywall.

        Meaning that they were the same kind of imagery that Google etc use for their map services.

        1. David

          I think that’s probably true. Someone who knows more might like to pipe up, but I think that most commercial satellite resolution per pixel is at least one metre, with only very expensive and specialised satellites offering more: perhaps down to 50 or even 25cm in certain cases. At that level of resolution you’d be hard put to identify something even as a body.

          Don’t forget also that these satellites are not geostationary: they orbit the earth relatively quickly, so to some extent what they see is a matter of chance. And of course the lower the orbit, the greater the resolution but the narrower the swath width.

        2. Darthbobber

          Well, “commercial” sats operating under a lucrative contract with the Dept. of Defense.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      If I recall correctly, john brennan had a book published several years ago.

      In it he recounted his experience as a cia “analyst” during the “debate” about whether Saddam Hussein had WMDs or not. If memory serves, he wrote that he looked at satellite images for “evidence” of WMD and “found” it. He then admitted in the book that he had “seen what he wanted to see” or some such lame crap.

      I don’t remember if that admission was accompanied by an “apology.”

      1. digi_owl

        That is an issue as old as surveillance, and indeed a good point.

        As i recall, there were similar issues during the cold war where spy plane and sat photos were scrutinized in the hopes of assessing the USSRs arsenal. Down to things like trying to tell church spires from missiles via their shadows or some such.

        Never mind that Pentagon etc would then take the analyst numbers, delivered with massive caveats already, and multiply then with maybe 10 or 100 in order to convince congress to up the budget so they could buy more “toys”.

        1. Polar Socialist

          In Dilip Hiro’s book Desert Shield To Desert Storm he tells how Bush administration showed Saudi ambassador satellite images with massed Iraqi troops ready to invade Saudi Arabia in order to get the king to allow US troops in Saudi Arabia.
          The ambassador alerted the king, who then sent scouts to check the situation. Scout reported seeing no Iraqi troops whatsoever coming fro Saudi Arabia.

          So Cheney had to go personally to show the king new images of Iraqis loading chemical bombs on their planes and having surface missiles aimed at Saudi Arabia to scare the king enough to accept US troops “to protect” Saudi Arabia.

          1. digi_owl

            And in the process pissing off Bin Laden, as best i recall. Who had offered to send mujahedeen to bolster Saudi defenses, but was passed over for infidels.

            Also a good reminder of how long that jackal Cheney has been around.

            And when speaking of Desert Storm and the related propaganda shit fest, lets not forget the “testimony” of a certain ambassadors daughter. Not that anyone was told that she was at the time.

            1. caucus99percenter

              Ha ha, on Radio Russia a day or two ago they were playing the girl’s voice giving that testimony during the hourly news.

              Except for a few words and phrases, I don’t understand Russian, but I can well imagine the point they were making re Bucha and the “truthiness” of Western pols and media.


    3. Kouros

      Pentagon cannot independently confirm nor deny any of these allegations. And we know they have the satellites to provide that type of information…

  25. Tom Stone

    Militaries do not leave bodies laying around for weeks for health reasons.
    Even in winter.
    If temperatures stay well below zero you don’t get rapid decomposition but you still get rats, vultures and feral or semi feral dogs feeding on the meat.
    And when it warms up the bloating is very rapid and the flies show up by the millions.
    It does not improve the ambiance of a town and it’s not something you can ignore.

    1. Pat

      Yes, but logic has long since been abandoned by our propaganda campaigns. It was bad in the run up to Iraq, but the clear unthinking presentation, and I am sorry to say acceptance, of blatant horse manure regarding the sit in Ukraine has been gob smacking.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama ended the ban on propaganda in 2014. Certainly politicians lied, but the current stream has the reek of the garbage put out by VoA.

  26. FredsGotSlacks

    For whatever reason, the advertisements on NC, are increasingly of a right wing bent. Wondering if the algorithm is mistaking my (assuming the ads are somewhat customized towards me by my browser history, etc.) disdain for the corporate dems (I’m a leftist/socialist) as meaning I could only possibly be a right-winger.

    1. fresno dan

      I’ve noticied all the ads telling me that Russian babes are anxious to meet me have stopped. I have no idea what I did to stop appealing to all these alluring young hotties. I still live in my mom’s basement and broadcast directly to Putin via my commie pinko colored bunny eared (antenna) eared radio slippers, so I truly have no idea of what it could be…

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      It’s even worse on YouTube.

      I used to watch cat videos, classic movie clips, Dimash and once in a great while (*embarrassed confession*) those Got Talent segments.

      Then I would have other talent show vids suggested, presumably because that is where the ad $ is.

      Now I am watching Republic TV, MintTV, CN! Live, and Alexander Mercouris. Once in a great while (like 1-2x a month) Tucker Carlson when a right wing friend sends a segment deemed noteworthy. Usually but not always with Glenn Greenwald.

      You would think it would show me other news shows. Or worse right wing TV because not CNN or NBC. Nope. It’s showing me relaxation music clips (“chill out music: must be real $ in this, they even advertise on actual TV), boxing and metalworking. Lotta fix it stuff when I have never never never looked at a clip. So they assume I must be a guy to like news this much, particularly news from India. Help me.

  27. Anthony G Stegman

    A number of years ago I recall reading an article in the LA Times concerning Owens Valley. The writer said we should all look at the bright side. if Los Angeles hadn’t taken the water from Owens Valley the east side of the Sierra would be heavily developed and filled with condos, strip malls, hotels, etc…There was also an interesting tidbit regarding Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Los Angeles pushed for the creation of this national forest so as to forestall development that would have kept much of the water local and prevented it from being diverted south. Strategic planning they call it!

  28. antidlc

    Posted in The Guardian.

    The CDC is beholden to corporations and lost our trust. We need to start our own
    The People’s CDC

    We’re epidemiologists, nurses and physicians, artists and biologists. We have come together with a common anger at the US government’s handling of Covid

    We need a CDC that prioritizes the health of the people, not the health of big business. We need a People’s CDC. And so we formed one.

    We’re epidemiologists and physicians, artists and biologists. We’re children, parents, and grandparents. We’re living with Long Covid and losses of loved ones. We’ve come together with a common anger at our government’s disregard for social and public health responsibilities. Though many of us have just met, we inherit hundreds of years of resistance traditions.

    1. Maritimer

      “We need to start our own The People’s CDC”
      That has already started. In the US, you have the
      Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.
      And even in Canada, there is the
      Canadian Covid Care Alliance

      As Main Stream Healthcare continues to discredit itself, alternative healthcare will pick up steam and clientele. Unfortunately, in Canada there are way fewer options than in the US. The CDN Monopoly Health system, in thrall to the WEF, WHO, CDC, BP will not tolerate competition.

      Patient beware!

  29. Anthony G Stegman

    I very recently finished watching a 4 part documentary on Netflix covering the SS-Einsatzgruppen mobile killing units. There is some interesting information in Part 4. Only a small handful of SS officers were prosecuted for war crimes – 200 out of 3000. Of those prosecuted a relatively small number were given death sentences. Most were given life sentences that were then reduced to 5 years. The United States decided that a stable West Germany was more important , so many of the SS officers returned to civilian life as police officers, and to other professions. They were left alone and lived out their lives as ordinary people. Also, and more relevant to the Russia-Ukraine conflict today is what happened to those who actually fired the guns that killed 1.5 million Jews. They were mostly Latvian, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian. They were completely left alone at wars end. When the Soviet Union collapsed strong nationalist movements in these nations developed. They all held a deep seated hatred towards Russia which continues to this day. Russia surely has committed war crimes in Ukraine. It is nearly impossible to prosecute a war without doing so. However, the so-called massacres in Bucha are not likely to have been perpetrated by Russia. The pits I saw in videos broadcast on TV look eerily similar to the killing pits built by SS-Einsatzgruppen units in Eastern Europe 80+ years ago.

    1. RockHard

      If a US Major General actually was in a war zone in a position where he was in danger of being captured, this would be a first since Vietnam.

      1. Bart Hansen

        As an example, fetch up the Wiki entry for Petraeus and look at his medals. Almost all ‘flair’.

    2. vao

      In that 2 hours long interview, Scott Ritter told about another interesting rumour: that reckless operation by Ukrainians flying in 5 helicopters to Mariupol to evacuate big brass from the Azov battalion was actually intended to exfiltrate some important French intelligence officers. 2 helicopters were shot down, one crashed in the Black Sea.

      Strange rumours abound, and strange things were being cooked by Ukrainians and NATO on the shores of the Black Sea.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        I saw something about this on #Twitter as well. It tied the incident to the recent resignation of a French military official as well … but I couldn’t find a trustworthy source for the crash, so I didn’t share forward. But yes, very interesting if that did happen …

  30. Sibiryak

    “…Seriously? Plus Sibiryak in comments:…”

    That is awkward. I have posted several times on this site using this name and I don’t want myself to be confused with another user (the above is not my comment).

    I am not sure how to best distinguish between multiple users using the same internet handle.

    1. playon

      It may have been mistakenly attributed to you, but if not, the easiest thing to do is change your user name.

      1. The original Sibiryak

        I did some Googling and can see that we have both posted under that handle. He has been the one posting recently. I rarely post and only just spotted the identical handle.

        Edit: no, I am not a newbie.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The other Sibiryak is in Russia and actually in Siberia. Your handle implies you are when you are actually in California. And the American in Russia Sibiryak has been sending useful material to me. You by contrast have never even sent a link. And as you admit you had not been active.

  31. juno mas

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

    Especially when they are of such incredibly low resolution. Maxar can produce satellite photos at much higher reolution that remove all doubt. But they won’t.

    1. Milton

      Maxar has 15cm derived capability imagery. I don’t know if they are able to position its satellites at a moments notice, however. No matter, I’m positive the US’s defence cameras, having a higher resolution, has already scanned the area completely and could definitely show bodies at what time and day. Maybe that’s why the Pentagon has still not confirmed the Russian massacre story.

      1. Darthbobber

        Maybe not “at a moments notice” but certainly closer to April 3rd than March 19.

  32. Tomislav Ladika

    It saddens me to write this, because I greatly appreciated this site’s highly informative coverage of Brexit and COVID. However, much of the site’s recent coverage of the war in Ukraine references sources that are not credible in my view. (I offer two examples below, and could provide many others if I had more time.) I am greatly distressed by declining standards of mainstream journalism, but on Ukraine at least this site is not providing me with better information. Regretfully, I will probably have to cut back on the amount of time I spend reading your coverage.


    This post links to and John Helmer. Below are two examples of seriously flawed analysis, that in my view affect the overall credibility of the sources.

    1. This site linked to a post by John Helmer on March 17 claiming that President Zelensky met with eastern European government officials in Poland, and has since been hiding there. The only strong piece of evidence was a photograph of a train station which Helmer claimed was in Kiev, but whose tiles appear to match those of a Polish train station. However, the original soruce of the image was Mateusz Morawiecki’s Instagram feed, which states that it was taken upon arriving back in Poland (not Kiev as claimed).

    2. On March 24, posted a purported fact check claiming that Russia did not bomb the theater in Mariupol ( As support, the page quoted a statement by Russia’s Ministry of Defense that they did not bomb the theater. That is a claim to be investigated, not evidence. (You may argue that Ukraine and the west engage in propoganda. Ok, but why would Russia not do it as well?) Further the post mentions that Serhiy Taruta claimed all people inside were alive, while President Zelensky said the victims had not yet been counted. That again is not strong evidence; it could reflect miscommunication or uncertainty over a still-evolving situation. Moreover, the Mariupol City Council later stated that numerous people had indeed died. The article claims that Azov bombed the theater after letting all people leave. The only evidence is vague references to eyewitnesses; moreover, this claim is directly refuted by a video that appears to be from inside the theater (

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      I’ve never seen you comment here previously, perhaps an oversight on my part. NC’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict runs circles around anyone else’s, and I say that as someone who follows the daily news in three languages (Russian and Italian being the others, including La Stampa much to my daily irritation). If you can suggest another more reliable news source, please do so. Until then, I’ll stick with NC. Or as Talleyrand allegedly said, “Tonight, for lack of a better alternative, I shall go to bed with my wife.”

      And kudos to NC for being recognized as a top economics site.

    2. Lex

      And which sources would you deem credible? Surely not the Guardian? There are no “credible” in terms of absolutely truthful sources when it comes to conflict because it’s rare that anyone can get a complete picture, while the ones who might have complete information are unlikely to share it.

      Helmer said (and I don’t take him as gospel on anything) that the meeting didn’t take place in Kiev. But it’s been widely assumed that Zelensky hasn’t been in Kiev in a long time. The Rada still meets and central Kiev is pretty peaceful but Zelensky only shows up on green screens. At least until he traveled to Bucha the other day and his security detail includes a guy who hung his Ukrainian flag patch on his shoulder upside down.

      May we ask where you got the statement from the Mariupol city council? Where are they meeting these days? Nobody’s going to know for sure what happened at the drama theater for a while, if ever. And while nobody’s trustworthy in this situation, we might refer to patterns of behavior. For example, have you seen that the young woman shown in Western media from the bombed maternity hospital first showed up receiving humanitarian aid from the Russians and now has given an interview and posted a selfie video demolishing the Ukrainian and western media narratives. No doubt the Russian MoD is not a fully trustworthy source of information, but most of their released information has proven true. The same cannot be said for Ukrainian government sources or media.

    3. c_heale

      Of course some links are going to be dubious, it’s the nature of the internet. Having said that, Naked Capitalism has long been my go to for news, due to it’s overall reliability. And the info here on the Ukraine war has been better than anywhere else in the Western media at least.

      Helmer has already been criticised about the the Zelensky claim, if I recall correctly, although maybe not on this site.

      I haven’t seen many links here about the Maripol theatre bombing. I wouldn’t believe anyone on this, including the city council.

      So out of all the articles on this site about Ukraine, 2 are dubious. Well given the amount of propaganda, that is good going imo.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      Wow, straw man much? Your #2 is bogus because we never posted that link.

      Yet your takedown of it is off base!

      First, the only WaronFakes link we ever posted was the one on Bucha above. It which include an eight minute video posted by Ukrainian officials driving around after they went into Bucha . There was absolutely nothing about bodies on one of the main streets in a suburb of 37,000 people. That seems pretty persuasive.

      Second, as Lambert has pointed out, “video evidence” is dodgy unless you know its provenance. We do have a provenance on an official video posted about Bucha above. We do not have a provenance for the Guardian video, and you have to concede that it “appears” to be from within the theater, as is not dispositive.

      Third, as we pointed out, Patrick Lancaster, in a segment we linked to above, interviews people in Mariupol as he encounters them. He asked some about the theater. One said she was just outside when a shell came from an area controlled by Ukraine and hit the theater. She drew the path with her hand and arm.

      Oh, and everyone Lancaster interviews in Mariupol hates Ukraine and blames the destruction of the residential neighborhoods on Ukraine.

    5. clem

      this also arguing about videos of clearing other streets and claiming there are no deaths on this streets what is this: Moscow press?

  33. Daryl

    > Macron’s far-right rival, Le Pen, reaches all-time high in presidential second-round vote poll Reuters

    Huh, polling by Harris Interactive. How did they fare on the “Clinton/Biden will handily win” polling?

  34. KommieKat

    Re: Google frog-boiling workers back to the office.

    There two main reasons that bosses want workers back in the office.

    For one, it’s a control issue. Let’s face it, there is a war on workers that has been going on for years, and not just union-busting/blocking. There is a war to control your time. If the boss controls your time, then he or she controls you — end of discussion. Working remotely makes this sort of micromanagement more difficult and frustrates the control freak in every boss to no end.

    Second, at least some of the antipathy of bosses for remote work is pure projection, in the most Freudian sense. The sociopaths who inhabit the upper levels of management know that, if left to their own devices, they’d be surfing the web and golfing when they are supposed to be coding. So they assume that is just what remote workers will do if the boss can’t watch them constantly.

    The article’s mention of those poor workers work-life boundaries being stretched is just an HR hack crying crocodile tears in an effort to get you back to the world of micromanagement and gratis overtime.

  35. RobertC


    The White House and Congress discover the obvious ‘We see the storm coming’: U.S. struggles to contain a deepening global food crisis Biden officials are scrambling to limit the damage from fast-spreading food shortages sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine, but they face complex political and logistical challenges.

    If the U.S. fails to respond to the food crisis abroad, some lawmakers worry China or other rival countries could use their grain reserves to gain additional political influence across Africa and Asia.

  36. Dave in Austin

    I make no comment on the “WarOnFakes site” validity. But the comparison of “moved and missing bodies” photos that the site used to prove some sort of deception is not convincing.

    The picture pairs show one body was dragged out of the street and put near a fence. Looking at the downed electric wire near the gutter you can see the body was dragged over it and that pulled the wire close to the gutter. The “two versus three bodies” picture simply shows that a body was removed and the “debit card on the ground” being moved is typical of people walking around a scene.

    But the Al Jezeera version of the “two body” picture at: was taken after one body was removed so all three pictures were taken yesterday, April 4 (the “War on Fakes” 3 bodies then 2 bodies” pictures were taken by reputable photographers who came in with the Ukrainians yesterday).

    The Al Jazeera April 4th body with the tied hands is definitely a recent kill, not a 30-day-old body. Note the recent sticky blood on the ground near the head which would have been dry or washed away if it were an old kill. And the blood under the fingernails where it has recently pooled but no bloat or corruption on the hand. And the clean, white hand tie, not something from 25 days ago. Finally, the head-shot that killed him was instant- the body fell forward, hit the ground and all the blood came out after it hit the ground.

    Since the Russians left 4 days ago this looks like a Ukrainian kill to me. Collaborator? Russian artillery spotter left behind in civilian clothing? Somebody settling a score? Hard to know. But the Ukrainian Police site shows the police taking pictures of the faces of bodies when they put them in the bags: (4/5 video 3:31 EST). These are just cops doing their job. The killer of the dead man is unknown.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      YouTube removed Gonzalo Lira’s assessment. If the blood looks like blood, it isn’t. Only fake movie blood stays red. Real blood starts oxidizing to brown, then even black-ish, pronto.

      Lira also pointed out that anything fresh-looking was fake (the ties were pristine white). They get dirty fast.

      To me, what was dispositive was the official video taken by Ukrainians and posted (!!!) showing everything looking otherwise hunky-dory as they were checking cars.

  37. MarkT

    I propose a new metric: (the number of civilians killed in war) multiplied by (the distance from the aggressors capital)

    All war is evil.

  38. LawnDart

    How my dog made me a better man

    Dog-walking should be required training for civil service diplomats. This is not to insult diplomats. It’s just that nothing tests a person’s people skills to the limit more than full immersion in the art of being pulled along a pavement by a mutt intent on publicly licking the arse of a stranger’s pet without being properly introduced.

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