Link 5/28/2022

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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.

* * *

Artist Transforms Scrap Metal Parts Into Amazing Animal Sculptures MyModernMet (David L)

It’s 10 PM. Do You Know Where Your Cat Is? Hakai Magazine (resilc)

Mexican judge suspends bullfights in world’s largest ring Bangkok Post (furzy)

Paraglider Captures First-Ever Legal Flight Off the Top of Mount Everest PetaPixel (David L). Not keen about stunts on Everest when the climb is recklessly dangerous and puts sherpas and other climbing support personnel at risk with the overlarge number of climbers.

Physicists Rewrite the Fundamental Law That Leads to Disorder QuantaMagazine (David L)

Researchers Discover 11 Historic Hidden Settlements Under the Amazon Rainforest by Using Laser Technology MyModernMet (David L)

Scientists Map Yellowstone’s Underground ‘Plumbing’ Smithsonian (David L)

World Builders Put Happy Face On Superintelligent AI Spectrum IEEE (David L)

Computer scientists suggest research integrity could be at risk due to AI generated imagery TechXplore

Ticks are spreading across the US. Here’s how to protect yourself against disease. Vox (resilc)


Yes, we can reverse gray hair. No, we don’t know why it works. Just chill. Mashable. n=14. Are you kidding?? My maternal grandmother went totally grey in her 20s and she didn’t have any noteworthy stressors then. Eating a totally raw food diet also apparently gets rid of grey hair but who can live that way?

Old frozen vax to be tested on monkeypox Bangkok Post (furzy)




Coastal Cities are Sinking as Sea Levels Rise Discover Magazine (David L)

New data reveals climate change might be more rapid than predicted PhysOrg (David L)

The European Union Was Designed to Stifle Democracy Jacobin (Micael T)

New Not-So-Cold War

Can’t find an English version, so see translation: The LPR declared control over the entire territory of the republic Russian sources said earlier in the day (Friday) that Russia had taken the last roads that would allow an exit out of Lysychansk and Syevyerodonetsk were taken today. If this and/or the Aftershock account is correct, the cauldron in Lysychansk and Syevyerodonetsk was closed and the 12,000 to 20,000 troops there are done.

Western press only sort of getting there: Russia Gains Ground in Bid to Encircle Troops Defending Ukraine’s East Wall Street Journal, KLG: “he truth like the fog creeps in on little cat feet.”

Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned Washington Post. Be sure to read about the potatoes.

Russian Wins in Eastern Ukraine Spark Debate Over Course of War Bloomberg

Russia’s ‘cauldron’ tactic may be tipping Donbas battle in its favour Guardian. Lambert notes the epic effort at face saving in the first sentence.

* * *

Ukraine War Day #93: Water Crisis In The Donbass Awful Avalanche (guurst). Important.

Ukraine demands Germany cut or halt Nord Stream 1 gas flows Reuters

Canadian imperialism’s fascist friends—Part 1: Ottawa’s decades-long alliance with the Ukrainian far-right and the NATO war on Russia WSWS (Micael T)

* * *

Putin Signs Decree For Fulfilling Obligations To Foreign Copyright Holders In Rubles RepublicWorld. Haven’t gone searching for the decree proper, and no reference to it yet on the English version of the Kremlin site.

Telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi Kremlin. Ouch:

Vladimir Putin…described in detail the measures taken to ensure safe navigation, including the daily opening of humanitarian corridors for the exit of civilian vessels from the ports of the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

The leaders thoroughly discussed the status of global food security…

Vladimir Putin stressed that the Russian Federation is willing to make a substantial contribution to overcoming the food crisis by exporting grain and fertiliser on the condition that the West removes its politically-motivated restrictions.

Russia declares Mariupol port mine-free Lloyd’s List

The first ship since the start of the special operation arrived in Mariupol BB/CNTV

Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer Kremlin. Also at the instigation of the EU leader.

* * *

Russian reserves frozen by EU much smaller than expected – Reuters RT. FWIW, Alex Christaforu checked and he says Russia never confirmed the $300 billion or even mentioned a specific figure. The government apparently made statements only of the sort that a significant amount had been seized.


Iran seizes Greek tankers after US ‘piracy’ RT (Kevin W)

In Final Slap to Bush-Era Neoconservatives, Iraq Criminalizes Contacts with Israel Juan Cole (resilc)

Resilc explains the tweet:

All center pivot irrigation old and new… when I was PC [Peace Corps] Bahrain 76-78 there was still fresh water bubbling up in the sea off of Bahrain (two seas). We’d go out in dhows and swim in the “fresh” water in the sea. On Bahrain there was a big pond, Adhari, which was natural fed from the aquifer from Saudi. Adhari is dry now except for the fake amusement park now. Saudi subsidized ag sucked it all dry there before it gets to Bahrain<

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Twitter pays $150M fine for using two-factor login details to target ads ars technica (Kevin W)

DuckDuckGo faces widespread backlash over tracking deal with Microsoft TheNextWeb (David L). Note we reported on the underlying deal in 5/26.

Your Phone Could Be Used to Prosecute for Getting an Abortion: Here’s How Scientific American (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Critical resources, imperialism and the war against Russia WSWS (Michel T)


Trump: US should fund safe schools before Ukraine BBC (J-LS)

Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit against New York Attorney General James CNBC (furzy)

Shouldn’t Hillary Clinton Be Banned From Twitter Now? Matt Taibbi. Important. Finally a piece that unpacks the Sussman-Clinton-Steele dossier affair and why it matters.


Jimmy Carter, at 97, Steps Into a Big Fight Over a Small Road in Alaska New York Times (David L)


Reader Dave in Santa Cruz, who has seen more than a few crime scenes in his life, said if someone had taken a video cam into Sandy Hook before the bodies were moved, this would have been all over. He says that in Uvalde, which is apparently not uncommon, they are having to identify what he called “meat bits” via DNA testing to see which goes back to which family.

The Evidence for Antidepressants Causing Mass Shootings A Midwestern Doctor (IM Doc)

How many school shootings have happened in America since Columbine? Washington Post (resilc)

Personally, I don’t think anything short of a general strike will change anything and even that has good odds of failing:

Uvalde Police Didn’t Move to Save Lives Because That’s Not What Police Do Intercept

Federal agents DEFIED Uvalde police chief’s order not to storm school classroom and shot dead gunman when he jumped out of closet: 19 local cops stood in corridor as terrified kids phoned 911 Daily Mail

NRA Concert Canceled: Jacob Bryant Says The Show’s Over Amid Protest Deadline (furzy)

How many school shootings have happened in America since Columbine? Washington Post (resilc)

The housing market just slid into a full-blown correction, says top economist Mark Zandi Fortune (furzy). Zandi’s views skew bullish… FWIW, Zestimate says housing here is at its highest level evah.

The war on ‘woke capitalism’ Financial Times (David L). Wokeness is a great distraction from the long-term deterioration of worker bargaining power.

A Mango Shortage May Be Coming. Here’s Why Tasting Table (resilc)

Los Angeles to ban most gas appliances in new homes Los Angeles Times (furzy)

Phoenix cops find 1,200 catalytic converters as thefts soar Associated Press (resilc)

BP to review North Sea investments following windfall tax announcement Guardian

Scammers Use Elon Musk Deepfake to Steal Crypto Vice (furzy)

A New Prediction Market Lets Investors Bet Big on Almost Anything Bloomberg (furzy)

Why the Dow finally bounced — and what it will take to convince investors it’s for real MarketWatch

Class Warfare

Corporate America’s Favorite Legal Trick Is Backfiring Jacobin (Micael T). Hah!

Antidote du jour. CV: “What a mean nasty thing he is”:

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    The Yellow Cops of Texas

    Oh, the Yellow Cops of Texas won’t go inside a school
    If someone’s in there shooting — it’s their Golden Yellow Rule
    They even brought their SWAT team to stand around outside
    The cops got all their own kids out but yours has sadly died

    The sweetest little children you’d ever want to meet
    Met with an assault gun and clips of .223
    What happened shouldn’t happen but the police let it be
    Now the Yellow Cops of Texas will go down in history

    The Rio Grande has dried up while Texas is in tears
    I never thought I’d see such in all my living years
    Cops who won’t save children have picked the wrong career
    If only we had known they won’t our kids would still be here

    The sweetest little children you’d ever want to meet
    Met with an assault gun and clips of .223
    What happened shouldn’t happen but the police let it be
    Now the Yellow Cops of Texas will go down in history

    I gaze out at the prairie Sam Houston fought to win
    Some day I’ll understand this and hold my child again
    What happened here in Texas wouldn’t happen down in Hell
    Now the Yellow Cops of Texas is the tale that I must tell

    The sweetest little children you’d ever want to meet
    Met with an assault gun and clips of .223
    What happened shouldn’t happen but the police let it be
    Now the Yellow Cops of Texas will go down in history

    1. fresno dan

      I keep saying – there is a constant, incessant, all encompassing media environment that paints the police as heroic, when they are often anything but. Will there be ANY acknowledgement of all the instances of less than heroic police behaviors in the myriad of TV shows? I am sure there will be ONE example, an exception that proves the rule, but soon enough the drum beat of courageous police will fill the airwaves. Because someone has to protect rich people’s stuff, and the people protecting the stuff have to be protected…

      1. Wukchumni

        A neighbors son in law was the sheriff here for about 5 years, our tiny town version of Barney Fife if you will.

        I used to tell people that there was no crime, no gangs, no graffiti and no way to make an income here, but stupid AirBnB put paid to the latter part of that statement, although the rest still applies-a nice place to live where hardly anybody locks their doors, and the one murder in close to a century was between Mexican gangs-Norteños & Sureños, nobody had any idea who the 2 dead gangbangers were who came to high velocity fisticuffs by the lake, why would we?

        Said sheriff told me as the pandemic got into high gear a couple years ago, that he would disappear into the woodwork if things got out of hand in terms of society going berserk, and he related that wasn’t just his view, but that of all the coppers he knew.

          1. ambrit

            What is even better, some of them stole high end autos from dealership showroom floors to do so in.
            For a year or so after Katrina, one of the more persistent rumours was that a Mercenary Company was hired to protect the property of a major hotel Downtown during and after the hurricane.
            Then there was the Superdome “Shelter.”

        1. Randall Flagg

          Written on sides of so many Police vehicles across this nation “ To Serve and Protect”
          Themselves apparently.
          Isn’t this what police officers signed up for? Obviously as an outsider I may not, and likely do not, know what I’m talking about but Jesus, is it possible for the police there to have put themselves in a more horrible light? Kids being murdered and the 911 calls from the kids coming in from the classrooms, no one there had balls enough to say the hell with orders, I’m going in? The only possibly way it could be worse is if they were standing there with donuts in their hands, fulfilling all caricatures of themselves.
          (With apologies if this has been said before.)

          As to comments by “Glen” yesterday, I can attest to the good work by the Compassionate Friends organization. Please never hesitate to use them, for yourself or a loved one suffering

          1. Mildred Montana

            >To Serve and Protect. Isn’t this what police officers signed up for?”

            Well, to be truthful, in most cases, probably not I believe many of them sign up for twenty years of hopefully uneventful service followed by retirement at a young age with a generous pension. To this end, they wisely spend most of their time harassing law-abiding citizens with traffic stops, bullying panhandlers, vagrants, and the homeless, or busting low-level drug dealers. No sense in confronting a truly dangerous criminal, getting one’s a** shot off, and missing out on that jackpot only a few years away.

            And active duty has its generous benefits too. Here in my safe Canadian city of 350,000, with a police force of about 250, 20%(!) of them are on paid leave of one sort or another: sick leave, stress leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, etc. City hall’s solution? Hire more cops! Presumably so they can go on paid leave too.

      2. griffen

        They stood around with their *** in their hands, whilst children and unarmed teachers perished. Yeah I do not see that working into an episode on TV or on a film anytime soon. Fiction writers would get excoriated for trying to put this into a movie. The anti-hero who should be there to aid, to help and if necessary accept life altering consequences to save another but instead stands down waiting for an order.

        But seriously in this incident, they waited for the dude with the keys to open the classroom door? Good lord that is atrocious.

        1. fresno dan

          So, when I first saw the articles about the mother being handcuffed to prevent her from going into the school before the police, I was skeptical. Believe it or not, as cynical as I am, I actually FOOLISHLY gave the benefit of the doubt to the police that the police would not be so reprehensible.

          So, the police aided and abetted the murder of children. The police ACTIVELY prevented action that would have saved children’s lives… Maybe they didn’t intend to, but the FACT is that they did. Any of them prosecuted for that, or maybe dereliction of duty or malingering. Anyone get demoted? Or fired? If someone resigns, I doubt that their pensions or benfits will take any hit whatsoever

          1. JBird4049

            If people could rescue their children, just how does a locked door stop anyone else? There must have been another, unlocked, door that the police did not try very hard to find.

      3. fresno dan

        People, I did think I was being facetious when I said and the people protecting the stuff have to be protected UH, turns out it was truer than I thought…
        Amid the growing outrage over the botched police response, authorities in Uvalde have reportedly called in reinforcements from around the state to protect the local officers from potential threats.
        The additional cops, from various agencies in other jurisdictions, will supplement Uvalde’s ranks for an unspecified period, and will also provide security for the mayor, officials with the Texas Police Chiefs Association told CBS DFW.

    2. Tom Stone

      And the focus is on GUNZ!
      Instead of a populace that has been under an unbearable and increasing amount of stress for decades.
      People are breaking, what happened in Uvalde is just one example.
      And the craven behavior of the Uvalde Cops is an example of the corruption in our society that is leading to that despair.
      I don’t doubt that adverse reactions to anti depressants are often a factor when people run amok, or that they are of immense benefit to many.
      It’s not a risk that big pharma wants being mentioned which makes studies of this subject very risky for anyone who depends on grants.

      1. Wukchumni

        Somebody on here a year ago made the somewhat breathless claim that murder by knifing was out of control in the UK, and I went and looked at the statistics and shockingly, the USA had almost exactly the same amount of deaths by pointy objects on a percentage basis as Blighty, funny that.

        But they had virtually no hand cannon deaths, and Brits are getting pretty batty-just like us, lotsa mental issues.

        Is it just possible that its the guns, loathe as you might be to admit it?

        1. Tom Stone

          So what’s the plan?
          There are at best estimate more than 500 Million guns floating around the USA, as a practical matter how do you confiscate and destroy all of them?
          How do you disarm violent criminal gangs like the Black Gangster Disciples, MS 13, the LA County Sherriff’s Department?
          What’s it going to cost,and not just in terms of money?
          Are you going bring in the Military or just increase the Military gear provided by the 1033 program and use federal money to increase the number of SWAT teams ten fold?
          The virtue signalling is sweet, but I’d actually like to see a proposal that took reality into account and that also considered the consequences that are likely to arise due to the nature of American Society (Such as it is).

          1. Wukchumni

            Do it the American way, by paying gun owners too much for their gats, so as to make them bend over backwards to sell them now that the Feds conjuring up money is no big deal, our country runs on a profit basis-right?

          2. Aumua

            Guns suck, but we got them. The cat’s out of the bag, so what can we do? Can we really control the guns without turning into some totalitarian thing? I don’t know the answer to that, I just know that it’s a multi-faceted issue.

            If we could take them from the cops and from the organized criminals, then I would be all for taking them from everyone.

            1. JBird4049

              The more stressed out (and corrupt and violent just like the police) and drugged out our society becomes, the more murderous it becomes. It is not by chance that the murders increase with the amount of stress and the cry of gunz, while honest and important, is almost like shouting “Look, Squirrels!” by now. For that matter, explosives were the weapons of choice by mass murderers over a century a go.

              Schools, courthouses, government buildings are all increasingly fortified with schools themselves turning into jails or prisons. All locking out the increasingly poor, hungry, desperate, and often homeless people on the outside.

              And then there is the local police turned gendarmerie and now proven cowards.

        2. Mikel

          The USA has had loads of guns (pun intended) per capita for hundreds of years.
          A major diference is the increase in certain prescription drugs.

          Can’t be loathe to consider the glaring correlation. Both are issues worth looking at.

      2. dcblogger

        people in the UK, Italy, Greece, etc have been under unbearable pressure of economic oppression, but they do not have massacres. It is the guns.

        1. Polar Socialist

          There’s also capital punishment, which tells in huge letters that it’s actually correct to kill people for revenge. Which is not the case in UK, Italy, Greece etc. Not even in countries with a lot of guns (not USA lot, but still a lot).

          It’s easy access to guns, combined with little respect for human life, especially of someone who has wronged you.

      3. ArvidMartensen

        Yes, also questioning the narrative of Guns here.
        Because “European societies that come close to US rates of gun ownership (but with hunting rifles and shotguns rather than handguns), such as Finland and Norway, are among the safest societies internationally with regards gun violence.
        Add to that the corrupt Pharma industry that plies young minds with drugs that cause suicides and homicides, just for profit.
        Heady cocktail of self-destruction fuelled by the titans of industry.

        Researchers talk about “civilised” and “de-civilising” gun cultures, cultures where gun ownership is associated with traditional values of respect and responsibility, and others where gun availability largely empowers the criminally minded and unstable, adding to the violence and chaos. High levels of social cohesion, low crime rates and internationally high levels of trust and confidence in police and social institutions do appear to reduce levels of gun homicide.
        Something is badly wrong in the US. My theory is that the US cultural warriors (Dem and GOP) live in an echo chamber where distorted thinking has run rampant with none of the checks and balances to be gained if they gave cred to any other opinion but their own.
        Add to that the corrupt Pharma Bros that profit from plying young minds with drugs that cause suicides and homicides.
        Heady path to self-destruction, brought to you by industry titans and tech billionaires.

      1. flora

        jfc. we are on our own. were those cops worried about damaging that nice house’s front door? would they have been so careful of the dogs’ welfare in a poorer neighborhood? were they thinking about all the darn paperwork they’d have to fill out if they fired their guns?

        i don’t expect this article will be welcomed at the moment, but i think he has a point.

        The liberal case for gun ownership

        1. Arizona Slim

          Not only do I welcome that article, I strongly agree with this passage:

          “I should probably explain here that, although I believe that liberals are right about the unacceptable cost of our second amendment rights, conservatives are closer to correct, as I see it, about the governing of our cities — a fact that becomes glaringly obvious if you visit Los Angeles, Seattle or San Francisco and compare it to any major city in conservative Texas. American liberals don’t seem to understand that their values cannot simply be implemented locally.”

          Earlier this year, I had to take over the duties of our neighborhood association president. He was having health problems, and, in this neighborhood, you don’t sit back and let the association stop doing things.

          While I was acting president, I realized that the city council ward office was of the sort that Bret Weinstein alludes to in this article. They’d probably want us to set up a dialog with the criminals who’ve been breaking into vacant houses because, well, they’re down and out and need a place to stay.

          Why do I call them criminals? Because they are. One of them has a lengthy record and has served time. He also has threatened numerous neighbors and vandalized a vehicle belonging to one of them.

          So, how to deal with these people? Well, I got in touch with any city entity that has enforcement in its job description. Code enforcement. Law enforcement. Parking enforcement. Suffice it so say that they got to know me real well.

          Over time, our vacant house break-in problems subsided. Not saying that they’re gone, but we’re working on that.

          Some of my neighbors are very well armed and that’s their right. Arizona is a very gun-friendly state. Others wouldn’t touch a weapon. That’s their right too.

          And there you have it from my little patch of dirt in central Tucson.

          1. JBird4049

            The police in general and SWAT in particular seem to enjoy killing dogs. Yes, that is a likely exaggeration and it varies from quite a bit from department to department and among officers. However, ten thousand or more per a year are killed. Often, it seems to be for the love of evil (I wish that I was joking.) with it being SOP to kill even fleeing, or even crated or caged, dogs during a search or raid. As with the thousand plus people shot to death by the police, likely many more are merely injured, not killed.

    3. CanCyn

      It is absolutely cops’ first priority to protect themselves. We have a friend who was a cop, now retired. They are trained first in defensive fighting and worry more about being disarmed than absolutely anything else. Remember the desk sergeant’s admonition on Hill Street Blues as the cops we’re heading out on shift? “Stay safe out there” not “Protect people out there and save lives”.
      I have never understood why the cops aren’t being lambasted for the cowardly way they act. Shooting first, shooting unarmed people, shooting people in the back… If you search Sammy Yetim you will find an story of extreme police cowardice in Toronto, not that it is ever spun that way in the media … one mentally ill kid on a streetcar with a knife, 6 cops with two entrances to go in and surround, restrain and disarm him. But no, he was shot multiple times and killed by a trigger happy coward while his fellow cops did nothing to stop it.
      We have some problems here in Canada but agree with all above, it ain’t a mental health issue, it is access to guns that sets the US apart.

    4. lambert strether

      I love the song but I’m really not sure about the take.

      The real failure was that the cops weren’t 100% militarized, i.e. did not act as soldiers would have in a similat situation.

      Is a 100% militarized police force what we want?

      1. Kurtismayfield

        If our police forces cannot respond to an imminent threat of one man with an assault rifle after 20+ years of anti terrorism training, then we truly don’t need this style of policing at all.

      2. CanCyn

        “Is a 100% militarized police force what we want?” Definitely not! I’d prefer cop and social worker duos out on the beat but a SWAT team (or whatever you want to call it) should exist to deal with gunman/hostage/mass shooting situations. I can’t get over the fact that they couldn’t (wouldn’t?) even break down the classroom door.
        I worked in a high school in the library when Columbine happened. We had those outsider kids in long black trench coats, troubled souls often just looking for someone to talk to. In the library to avoid the bullying of the jocks and cool kids but never willing to make an official complaint. Claiming to understand the Columbine killers’ feelings but not feeling any urges to copy. But mostly what I remember is all of the kids wondering why no one fought back, or tried to rush them or jump them from behind. They all had ideas about they would have tried to stop them.

      3. The Historian

        Thank you for this!
        I don’t think those cops were cowards but I do think those cops were partially militarized – so that they were trying to stick to their training and procedure and waiting for orders. And most cops aren’t taught to work in a team – most of their work is done individually.

        In the nuke industry, we used to often drill as teams on things that had very little probability of ever happening – overtraining – so that if it ever did happen, we would revert to our training and respond appropriately. It is why airline pilots have to go through hours of simulator training on various types of airplane failures, even though most pilots will never see one in their lifetimes. It is very difficult to come up with a workable plan in the middle of a crisis. For those very few that manage it like Sully, we make heroes out of them, but we ignore all the times the ‘on the spot’ planning failed – or we armchair quarterback them.

        But overtraining for these kinds of incidences takes time and money, something in short supply for small town police departments. Yes, these cops made horrible mistakes and children died but I don’t think it was the result of cowardice but of the fact that they weren’t trained and just didn’t know how to respond – it’s like they were trying to make it up as they went. And it sounds like they were trying to follow ‘normal’ procedures because that is what they were trained to do, at a time that was not normal. And sad though it is, this is going to keep happening again and again because we as a nation want to think ‘it can’t happen here’ so we are not willing to pony up the money to prepare for it.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Yes, these cops made horrible mistakes and children died but I don’t think it was the result of cowardice but of the fact that they weren’t trained and just didn’t know how to respond – it’s like they were trying to make it up as they went.

          If we want police to act like a combat unit, then we have to accept that the police are combat units, and train, arm, and fund them accordingly, which is clearly not being done. (Obviously whatever training consultants they’re bringing in aren’t doing the job, which makes sense when you think that to produce a military, you need a West Point or equivalent.)

          I don’t think we want police to be trained in combat, and I think everything that suggests they are should be should be taken away, starting with the armored vehicles and moving down toward those enormous bullet-firing fetish objects they were lugging around.

          1. The Historian

            I agree. I have often lamented the way our police have become so military, even to having their training academies turned into boot camps, when they should be about training police to deal with people in crises and learning how to de-escalate situations instead of always resorting to lethal force.

            But I also don’t want this form of Hunger Games to be the price we pay for our society either. So I ask rhetorically: What is the solution?

          2. Ignacio

            My guess is that police corps mirror society in the sense that if it is supposed anyone is in possession of a gun, accordingly their first goal is self protection. Survival.

            Once, in 1997 while living in El Cerrito, Bay Area and one Sunday I got outside the rented apartment with the door closed and keys inside. I was desperate, couldn’t contact the owner and had this stupid idea to ask for help to some police car passing by…

      4. GF

        I was wondering about the copy cat wanna-be slaughterers. If they see how cops react in these situations, it may embolden some fence sitters?? Apologies if this has been raised before.

      5. ArvidMartensen

        How many of these “neo”cops are surplus army vets?
        If they went to the Middle East, then they are used to calling up air support to bomb the s**t out of the supposed enemy, and their job is to go in to mop up –
        Oh, and also killing unarmed civilians and reporting they had weapons later.
        Whatever happened to bravery and honour? Maybe that is a question that has to be asked.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Hiring former military types to become cops was an extremely bad idea.

          Here again, we see the elite concept of fungibility — apparently, to our policy makers, one uniformed person with a gun is interchangeable with any other person with a gun (the gun, or more precisely, the “license to kill”) being what makes them so. Obviously insane, starting with understanding that unit cohesion is key to the military, but not to cops (or possibly unit cohesion among cops takes the form of corruption, notching kills, etc.).

          1. LawnDart

            Hiring former military types to become cops was an extremely bad idea.

            Yes, and no.

            For most, but not all public and civilian interactions, you’d want a cool-headed social-worker type of person to “keep the peace.”

            But there are times you need cool-headed individuals to step into actual harm’s way in high-risk situations– and those situations are exceptions, even though departments and agencies like to emphasis “what could happen” and approach just about everything with a hammer in hand.

            A lot of people can’t flip a switch and change from social worker to enforcer instantly, but our over-emphasis on enforcement unnecessarily escalates situations all the time and certainly contributes to a lot of societal tension, hostility and distrust– it’s a bad message to send.

          2. ArvidMartensen

            A bit late to the party but tangible evidence of what a bad idea it is:
            Zachary Rolfe? – ex-military, son of philanthropist lawyer mother
            and seller of high priced cars father,
            and friend of Ben Roberts-Smith,

            Verdict, of course, in redkneckistan, where one of the jurors was a sister of a serving police officer

            Aftermath so far…….

          3. JBird4049

            >>>but not to cops (or possibly unit cohesion among cops takes the form of corruption, notching kills, etc.).

            People in such occupations need to be able to trust each other and so the very occasional covering for each other’s foibles would not bother me much if it didn’t seem like a modern version of the Mafia and omertà.

            And the elites’ lack of understanding of the differences between occupations comes from ignorance (of course, if you believe that “they” are all idiots and servants, why would you bother to learn the differences?).

            It reminds me of how being on the wrong side of a store’s counter or wearing a uniform reduces a person to serf like status whose only value came doing whatever services their bovine minds could do. (Not that I am bitter or anything!) Seeing as how the Professional Managerial Class often treats sales clerks, I have no problem believing that the police and the military are thought of in the same way.

    5. none

      The sweetest little children you’d ever want to meet

      The sweetest little children you’d ever want to see

  2. Steve H.

    > SHAKESPEARE’S LATIN AND GREEK Antigone (Anthony L). Hah!

    ‘Though’ seems like ‘If’:
    : All these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel, but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as, ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ and they shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is the only peacemaker; much virtue in If.

    (Digging into Falstaff now. For years, Shakespeare’s use of verse to provide stage directions has amazed me. Now, I’m thinking he was the first great author of prose.)

  3. Sardonia

    I had just finished reading Matt Taibbi’s piece on Hillary Clinton before I wandered over here and saw it linked.

    History is being made in the moment, so we can’t know how it will turn out, but looking back, it’s stunning to realize that the primary cause of WW3 (currently underway – only kinetic in Ukraine, but economic everywhere else) can be pinned on Hillary’s massive fraud to paint Russia and Putin as “the villainous enemy who installed !Trump! as his puppet President here”.

    Using the national intelligence agencies and the FBI, and a compliant media, to act in concert with this fraud ingrained in half of America’s brains that Putin is a modern day Worse-Than-Hitler monster who MUST be destroyed.

    If the world incinerates and glows for a thousand years from nuclear exchanges, it will all be a monument to Hillary’s galactic ego.

      1. IMOR

        She has no self-sacrificing, heroic herald like Norrin Radd, only already ruinef creatures like Neera Terrax and Cosmic Ghost Blinken for heralds.

        1. ambrit

          Excelsior Friends of Hillz! I see your citation of the Mighty Bullpen! Even the Imaginative Steve Ditko couldn’t do as well as you did!
          Nor Rad? Nee Terr? The Cosmic Ghost? What a lineup of villains!
          We are ‘really’ being ruled by Harkonnens.

    1. fresno dan

      From the article: There are two reasons the Clinton story isn’t a bigger one in the public consciousness. One is admitting the enormity of what took place would require system-wide admissions by the FBI, the CIA, and, as Matt Orfalea’s damning video above shows, virtually every major news media organization in America.
      More importantly, there’s no term for the offense Democrats committed in 2016, though it was similar to Watergate. Instead of a “third-rate burglary” and a bug, Democrats sent schlock research to the FBI, who in turn lied to the secret FISA court and obtained “legal” surveillance authority over former Trump aide Carter Page (which opened doors to searches of everyone connected to Page). Worse, instead of petty “ratfucking” like Donald Segretti’s “Canuck letter,” the Clinton campaign created and fueled a successful, years-long campaign of official harassment and media fraud. They innovated an extraordinary trick, using government connections and press to generate real criminal and counterintelligence investigations of political enemies, mostly all based on what we now know to be self-generated nonsense.
      I think what it shows is that the phrase “a nation of laws and not men” is all nonsense. And it also shows that despite high sounding talk about the US legal system, it is rife with dishonesty.
      And the simply unspeakable thought – when and who in the White House knew this was all a frame up? And I don’t know which is worse – if the FBI, CIA and FISA court actually believed the nonsense put before them, what does that say about the entire credulousness of the Federal government?

      1. hunkerdown

        If we wanted honesty, why did we make competition for an audience an important social relation? Without all that moral vainglory, what someone believes is irrelevant and none of our business.

              1. Skip Intro

                “Owned” was incorrect. I should have said founded by, as I was referring to Dmitri Alperovitch. He has apparently left the company. I wonder when they went public.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  @ Skip Intro – Wasn’t he the one that became a billionaire not that long after? His Wikipedia entry states that ‘He was a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank’ so why am I not surprised? He sounds like a ‘made man’ of some sort.

                  1. Skip Intro

                    Exactly. His major trick was finding evidence of Russian hacking… whether it was there or not. Even Ukraine asked him to retract his claim that Russia hacked their artillery. It is hard to find CrowdStrike pieces from a not-obviously partisan source, but:
                    CrowdStrike, Ukraine, and the DNC server: Timeline and facts

                    seems restrained. I thought he had a fellow-Ukie bond with Alexandra Chalupa. In any case, they are not just a neutral DNC vendor motivated by simple corruption, they also have ideology.

      2. Questa Nota

        So many in official DC, and their stenographers, pretended not to notice. That took some work.
        When will there be any recriminations in the press?

        1. Stick'em

          There will be no meaningful accounting for the perpetrators of the Russiagate fraud. The people on the Red Team saw one game and the people on the Blue Team saw a different game. Neither team has members who are aware of anything remotely resembling an objective reality.

          Hence, there is no one to make a good call when there is a dispute about whether either team followed the rules of the game.

          No matter how many articles and books Taibbi publishes, “Team Blue” members will never be able to see their personal Great Referee in the Sky blew the call on Russiagate because they are so emotionally invested in “winning.”

          Politics isn’t just politics; politics is a team sport with a fanbase. The identity of the fanbase is determined by this membership in a way that necessarily obscures the truth. Winning enhances group narcissism, and this shared group experience is much more important than any silly considerations about true and false.

          This paper from the ’50s about a football game between Dartmouth and Princeton shows us exactly why this is so:

          In brief, the data here indicate there is no such “thing” as a “game” existing “out there” in its own right which people merely “observe.”

          The “game” “exists” for a person and is experienced by him only in so far as certain happenings have significances in terms of his purpose. Out of all the occurrences going on in the environment, a person selects those that have some significance for him from his own egocentric position in the total matrix.

          Obviously in the case of a football game, the value of the experience of watching the game is enhanced if the purpose of “your” team is accomplished, that is, if the happening of the desired consequence is experienced—i.e., if your team wins.

          They Saw a Game

        2. hunkerdown

          Russiagate was a party-building exercise. The ruling class are merely doing their cosmic job of reifying values. This manufacture of subordination is what elites mean when they say they’re “doing God’s work”, in every society and every culture in every era. If you don’t like it, the only choice is to create and keep your gods small enough to drown in a rainstorm, which has quite a few implications to work through.

          1. Stick'em

            I don’t think Democratic party members can see their blindspot for Russiagate no matter how much evidence you or I or Taibbi rubs their noses in. The reification takes the form of “Too Big Too Fail,” which is an extention of the unassailable “WINNING!” belief.

            Hillary has to be virtuous and she had to win to vanquish the evil Trump, so when she lost the election, the only possible explanation is the other team cheated, be it the Russians or James Comey or whatever the made up excuses. Where’s the referee?

            Their mind simply won’t accept the reality, which is Hillary lost because she’s not virtuous and neither is the Democratic Party. Belief in the party, and by extension Hillary, is too big to fail.

            The flip side is true also. The pretense Trump won the election vs. Biden, thus necessitating the storming of the Congress by Oathkeeper team members… it’s the same delusional “WINNING!” behavior on the Red Team.

          2. OIFVet

            More than just simply being a “party- building exercise,” it primed much of the population to swallow the current Ukraine hysteria hook, line and sinker. I am not saying it was intentional and planned, nevertheless we can all see just how much liberals are the most vocal cheerleaders for escalation with Russia. Gotta avenge Hillz, you know.

      3. albrt

        I don’t know how much of an innovation it was. Maybe the level of complexity. But politicians have always sicced law enforcement on their enemies. Nixon used to use the IRS as well, if I recall correctly.

      4. BondsOfSteel

        There’s also the history of people making way too much ado about Clinton’s misdeeds. People hate her so much, they are willing to rip apart everything into such mind boring detail to find any smoke.

        Benghazi… years of investigation which leads to… heck… I don’t know. A bad press release?

        Taibbi asked should she be kicked off twitter for that tweet? Then answers his own question with the link:

        No. She should have had the tweet deleted, marked as misleading, or her account temporally locked.

        1. Skip Intro

          Benghazi revealed poor tradecraft in the supply of weapons from Libya to terrorists in Syria.

        2. Pat

          No Clinton has a long history of having her misdeeds excused by people who decided they were bad press releases. She has been protected from the consequences by the culture of corruption in DC. That she is so brazen that the public cannot miss it only highlights her arrogance and incompetence. This is a woman who is so tone deaf that she had to rewrite one of her memoirs while running for President to eliminate her signature accomplishment as Secretary of State because she finally figured out it wasn’t a success.

      5. jax

        Sardonia, the fact that I watched this particular Big Lie unspool in front of me during the Clinton – Trump debates, then got beaten about the head when I mentioned the debacle to Democrat friends (vote blue, no matter who) has me out in the political wilderness. Beyond her war hawking though, one thing is clear. I now hate Clinton with a burning passion for putting this country through her RussiaGate theater. I hope there’s a hell.

    2. LawnDart

      Sardonia, begs the question “who made Russia the enemy and why?”

      Rhetorical. Hopefully she soon joins Albright’s knitting-circle on a nice, warm rock in the sea of hellfire and pitch after she’s stewed a bit longer on her thwarted ambitions. Be nice if the snipers didn’t miss this time.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Too late for 20,000+ innocent Ukrainian conscripts and civilians.

        Clinton body count…

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          That’s a sobering reminder to us in the U. S. that when you live in a country run by warmongers or the tools of warmongers, you too will pay a price eventually. It may not be fair, but it is the way it works.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        Who made Putin the enemy and why?
        Clinton used the fact that Putin had been demonized for years. Then the question becomes why the demonization. What was the reason for making Putin the enemy?
        A 2003 speech from Sen John McCain might suggest a reason.
        An excerpt:

        On October 25, masked Russian security agents from the FSB, the successor to the KGB, stormed Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s private plane during a stop in Siberia. He now sits in prison awaiting trial, accused of tax evasion, fraud, forgery, and embezzlement. Russia’s richest man, founder and chief executive of its most successful private company, a leader in incorporating Western principles of accounting and transparency into business practice, and a generous donor to charity, Khodorkovsky had committed what in the Kremlin’s eyes is the worst crime of all: supporting the political opposition to President Putin. Such an alternative center of power could threaten the Kremlin’s supreme political control.

        Upon assuming power in 2000, President Putin announced a now-famous ultimatum to Russia’s top business leaders, whose fortunes were made by acquiring control of Russian assets privatized at fire-sale prices in the 1990s. President Putin said to them: stay out of political life and keep your fortune, or risk it by engaging in political activity.

        Basically Putin’s actions in 2003 were the equivalent of Biden throwing Bezos in jail for 25 years for corruption and exiling Gates and Musk. Confiscating all their wealth.
        Is it possible that Putin made our oligarchs, the Western Masters of the Universe, very uneasy?
        A short history on the Putin Oligarch war.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This comparison is not apt. Bezos built his own company, albeit with a large amount of startup money from his parents. The Russian billionaires had looted from the country. Each and every one of them.

          The country was falling apart. This piece also omits that Putin got most of them to agree to what amounted to a one time wealth tax as well as staying out of politics in return for being left alone. The ones that didn’t got the Khodorkovsky treatment.

          The other part this extract does not mention is that Putin turned the country around. Business leaders can barely turn around companies, and even then they usually have to shutter operations and fire lots of people. Putin and his team turned around an entire country, one that had undergone an financial crisis in 1998 and had what at the time was the biggest outstanding IMF loan, a much more difficult task.

          Here’s another section from that article:

          Using methods that would be illegal in most Western countries, Russia’s oligarchs ripped off their own shareholders and stiffed foreign investors to the tune of billions of dollars. As the Los Angeles Times reported:

          “Khodorkovsky excluded minority shareholders by moving shareholder meetings at the last minute to remote locations. He ordered the issuance of shares to dilute the power of other stockholders. After the financial collapse of 1998, he shuffled his remaining assets through subsidiaries to hide them from creditors. Once, at a time regulators were asking tough questions about operations by his bank, Menatep, a truck carrying Menatep documents happened to fall into the Moscow River.”

          1. Pookah Harvey

            I was not trying to vilify Putin. I was just pointing out that Putin’s actions seemed to have made some powerful elements in American society very nervous, as McCain’s speech shows. The Russian oligarchs were more blatant than American oligarchs in looting their respective countries but the methods are similar. Bezos looting involves monopoly power, influencing law makers, media manipulation, and union breaking which is apparently legal but I’m not positive is more moral.

            Justin Raimondo, contributing editor at The American Conservative, in the above linked article wrote:

            The charges against Putin and the new, post-Soviet Russia are, in short, malarkey – so what’s the real deal behind this concert of “concern” by Western governments and their media amen corner?
            The philosopher-kings of the movement for global “democracy” have been gunning for Vlad the Bad ever since he broke up the media monopoly of the Russian oligarchs. But they really went ballistic went he began to arrest some of these oligarchs for stealing, lying, and trying to buy off the Duma from looking too closely into the highly dubious means by which they acquired their great wealth.

            Is this the answer to the original question of why has the West made Putin the enemy?

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I think the real issue, expressed as tender concern for the oligarchs, was that the West would have had great freedom to exploit Russia’s natural and maybe even human resources (it has a lot of good engineers, scientists, and mathematicians) and clearly not much under Putin.

            2. anon in so cal

              Putin is an obstacle to the West’s goal of dominating and asset-stripping Russia and regime changing Syria and other targets. For that, he is vilified.

              I mean, politicians and the nat sec state will not come out and say, truthfully, “we want to pillage Russia, steal its resources, and immiserate its population, yet again, and Putin won’t let us, and we hate him for that.”

              In the matter before us – the question of the many billions in capital that fled Russia to Western shores via the Bank of New York and other Western banks – we have had a window thrown open on what the financial affairs of a country without property rights, without banks, without the certainty of contract, without an accountable government or a leadership decent enough to be concerned with the national interest or its own citizens’ well-being looks like. It’s not a pretty picture, is it? But let there be no mistake, in Russia the West has truly been the author of its own misery. And there is no mistake as to who the victims are, i.e. Western, principally U.S., taxpayers and Russian citizens’ whose national legacy was stolen only to be squandered and/or invested in Western real estate and equities markets…..

              …What U.S. policy has wrought across much of the post-cold war landscape is a moral, political and financial abomination based on fraud, theft and deceit. In Russia the results of the Clinton Administration’s policies are the perpetuation of the longest depression of the 20th century in what is increasingly an unpoliced deadly weapons dump, the biggest swindle of national property since Vladimir Lenin muscled the country early in the century and the discrediting of the ideas of free markets and democracy.

              —Anne Williamson in, “How America Built the New Russian Oligarchy.”

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              Oh, and it’s not about vilification of Putin per se.

              It’s fabrications about him as opposed to actual bad stuff he did.

    3. griffen

      I almost always enjoy reading Matt’s articles. And since I’m currently catching up on weekend news and weather on my local ABC network channel. Just spent a good 5, FIVE, minutes breaking down the near conclusion of an epic legal battle.

      Depp v Heard, in a legal contest amounting to he said / she said. We are not a serious minded country, as is often quoted. Not to downplay the situation of his former wife, but I could care less what Jack Sparrow was like in real life.

      Hillary still teaching resilience in those master classes. I am not kidding here…”overcome setbacks and build a life of purpose and principle.” That’s in the minimal searching I just did.

    4. Screwball

      I haven’t followed this saga very close as I always figured they would all get away with everything they have done. It seems to me, in a sane world where good is rewarded, and bad is punished – there should be a whole bunch of perp walks. Starting with Hillary all they way down to whoever and all the way back up to St. Barack.

      And of course if lying on a national news shows actually mattered, and there were actual consequences – half our talking heads would be fired and some 3 letter propaganda outfits would be bankrupt.

      But this is America – liberty and justice for all. /s

      1. JTMcPhee

        Don’t forget Bill “I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman” Clinton, who has another long list of crimes and sins on his un-rap sheet.

        Maybe he will get Epsteined, knowing what he knows. I wonder what his Secret Service detail thinks of their duty? Though we can be sure he has picked only True Believers to guard his sorry butt.

        Amazing how a couple of low-level grifters from Arkansas of all places can cause the kind of havoc they have done.

        I’m hoping the Russians and the other 88% of the world will take pity on the mopes who have been forked over by the 0.1% that rule the 12% that are now waking up to the fact that we in the “Combined West,” what used to be the “Free World,” remember? really had no say and no way of stopping the looting and destruction… The Russians are knocking off a lot of the more arrogant and defiant of the Ukrainian military, but being generous and wise toward the general population, and the sad soldiers dragooned with no training, no leadership and no weapons to speak of, and no food and water now, as they “roll up” Ukraine laid on the chopping block by those Clintonistas and the skulch of the WEF…

      2. Lambert Strether

        > in a sane world where good is rewarded, and bad is punished –

        MISS PRISM. Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days.

        CECILY. Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily? I don’t like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.

        MISS PRISM. The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

        –Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

    5. Charles Misfeldt

      Hillary Clinton is not the villain, Trump is. Trump solicited, received and used Russia’s money and help to get elected. The Durham investigation is bogus and is being used to try and flip the script from Trumps Russian collusion to pinning the blame on Hillary.

      1. Hepativore

        Did you come from Balloon Juice?

        The whole Russiagate fiasco is similar to the massive psyop by the W Bush administration to use the pretext of bogus WMDs to invade Iraq. To make a long story short, our political elite can lie as much as they want or break any laws they feel like breaking, and they will never be charged with any crime or face any serious pushback from the aristocracy that runs the country.

        The laws are for the common folk like us, not them.

      2. griffen

        Yeah, what about the kid wonder Robby Mook. He must also be lying through his teeth.

        The Clinton’s have been doing this for years going back to their time in Arkansas. They became quite good at being an opportunistic power couple. Trump is no leader filled with goodness or light himself.

      3. Pat

        Trump didn’t. Clinton and her brain trust underestimated his salesmanship and the antipathy over half the public has for her. They thought they had set up a straw candidate and she was going to win in a landslide. After the Access Hollywood tape fizzled they used their plan B, Trump is a Russian tool. Something that wasn’t just going to kill his campaign but was going to help fuel their actions in Syria and Ukraine to start war with Russia. Not that that story was logical or their plans all that brilliant.
        And then the inevitable winner lost, rather than acknowledge she and her team were incompetent they doubled down. And a whole lot of bureaucratic tools who watched saw their supplemental retirement plans end with her loss helped.

        Trump is no prize. He is a garden level narcissist and snake oil salesman. he didn’t need Russia’s help to get elected. Clinton is a sociopath. She needed every dirty trick she could find and was still too lazy to actually win. She lost because she couldn’t bring herself to actually lower herself to ask despicables in the rust belt to vote for her. Better to run up the meaningless vote total in California than go to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan, states where her husband’s, and her, policies had devastated the economy.

    6. lance ringquist

      it actually goes back to nafta billy clinton and his shock therapy on russia to soften them up for the free trade pillage and plunder, for nafta billy clintons illegal, immoral war on yugoslavia for free trade, and nafta billy clintons breaking the promise not to expand NATO.

      trumps election interrupted those goals that hillary shares, and nafta joe biden resurrected those goals.

    7. anon in so cal

      This, exactly.

      Russiagate conditioned the public for war with Russia. HRC was Russia-bashing even before the election–anticipating victory and planning to start out with a hot war in Syria with her NFZs.

      The most disgusting this about Russiagate is that even some of the many GOP types who debunked it nonetheless smuggled in anti-Russia memes. CIA Democrats took the lead in starting the war in Ukraine but the war party is bipartisan.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hollywood is still pushing the war against Russia. The new Top Gun 2 film, for example, is about an American strike against a nuclear facility in a rogue nation. They are not saying that it is Russia….but it is Russia (eye roll). Just read yesterday how there are mini tensions on the International Space Station related to these films. The Russians and the Americans get turns to show their favourite films onboard and during one recent American film, the eyes of one cosmonaut’s met that of another when it was realized that all the bad guys in the film were Russian. No wonder that people like Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman got themselves on Russia’s recent banned Americans list.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          The irony is I think in the future it’s more likely someone from Russia, perhaps their equivalent of agent Ethan Hunt will have to come to the States to prevent some guy from stealing a couple of America’s nuclear warheads.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > The most disgusting this about Russiagate is that even some of the many GOP types who debunked it nonetheless smuggled in anti-Russia memes. CIA Democrats took the lead in starting the war in Ukraine but the war party is bipartisan.

        It’s too bad Trump nailed his colors to the mast on election theft in 2020. He should have claimed “the Deep State” sabotaged his Presidency. Which would have had the merit of being true (for a definition of Deep State that includes the Democrat Party, the press, the intelligence community, Atlanticist factions, and Ukrainian irredentists, supposing these to be separable entities).

        1. kriptid

          He should have claimed “the Deep State” sabotaged his Presidency.

          I think that’s the formula for 2024. Unless you were following Russiagate hardcore, you may not have noticed any of the key debunking until after Trump left office. Especially if you’re non-partisan.

          My feeling is that a lot of the swing in the polls for independents away from Biden is due to the steady trickle of malfeasance that keeps revealing itself a la Russiagate, a la Laptopgate.

  4. fresno dan

    Former President Donald Trump has called on US lawmakers to prioritise funding for school security over sending military aid to Ukraine.
    Speaking at a pro-gun conference, Mr Trump questioned how the US “has $40 billion to send to Ukraine” but cannot ensure security in schools.
    “Before we nation-build the rest of the world, we should be building safe schools for our own children in our own nation,” Mr Trump said in Friday’s speech, drawing loud applause.
    Mr Trump rejected calls for tightened gun controls, saying decent Americans should be allowed firearms to defend themselves against “evil”.
    He instead proposed a “top-to-bottom overhaul” of school safety, with fortified single points of entry including metal detectors and at least one armed police officer on every campus. He accused Democrats of stonewalling such security measures.
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who had been slated to speak in person at the event, instead told the crowd via videolink that gun laws are ineffective at preventing mass shootings.
    “There are thousands of laws on the books across the country that limit the owning or using of firearms – laws that have not stopped madmen from carrying out evil acts on innocent people and peaceful communities,” Mr Abbott said.*
    Before Mr Trump spoke, Texas Senator Ted Cruz blamed mass shootings mainly on absent fathers, declining church attendance, social media and video games.
    American politicians….
    * There are ineffective laws, and there are effective laws. It’s funny how the laws that prevent concealed and open carry at republican conventions (to be fair, all political conventions) have been 100% effective at preventing shootings….and it’s funny how this terrible abridgement of right to bear arms is never dealt with by republican politicians….

    1. John

      Not to get into parsing the second amendment, I can understand “varmint” rifles, and hunting rifles and shotguns. Grew up with them. Have a rarely used .22. Do not understand the perceived need for handguns or assault rifles or automatic weapons. Were the country not awash in such weapons, those laws that Governor Abbott complains are ineffective might appear to be more effective. Is perfect safety from the deranged or angry or simply wicked person possible? No; but having only a sword or a baseball bat most likely reduces the carnage.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        A pistol is useful when trapping and bird hunting. If you’ve shot a bird but when you get to it, you find it’s wounded, not dead, better to finish the poor thing off with a pistol. But yes, otherwise agree completely.

    2. griffen

      One of the more troubling aspects of an incredible and troubling moment, is how the shooter acquired the arms and the ammunition. Yes I realize he lived in Texas. No one should have a need to acquire such a large count of ammunition in such a short period of time. I’ve seen one interview with a Houston gun store owner, who did reflect on camera some remorse for the Uvalde shooting; but she also said no change should happen for how sales take place currently.

      Bells and whistles went off at an 11. Hell, didn’t his sister refuse to assist in these efforts? As a teen, I was sorta smart but lacked in real life, common sense awareness. No one should be permitted to sell a dimwit teen such equipment.

      1. Nikkikat

        No where have I seen an explanation of where he got his funding for this deadly escapade. He apparently once worked at Wendy’s. I read he was currently unemployed. There was a fight over his phone bill or WiFi. These guns are expensive and he bought a lot of ammunition. Where did he get thousands of dollars and why wasn’t he paying his own bills if this was the case. Did I miss something?

        1. griffen

          I am sure that with enough time, an intrepid reporter will somehow reveal more the backstory surrounding his early and formative years. One would assume that if he bought the equipment using a debit card from one article I read earlier, maybe it was really his card or possibly* stole from the grandparents.

          *Nothing in evidence suggests it. He must’ve been accumulating a lot of hours wherever it was (Wendy’s, etc…) but who knows if that is true either.

    3. Wukchumni

      I had this weird dream, the gun control protesters forced their way into the NRA convention and since nobody inside was armed & dangerous, were cut down in a hail of epithets.

      Assault rifle sales went up, as a result.

    4. marym

      Turning schools into armed fortresses is a major talking point by right wing politicians and pundits this week*, but they haven’t said anything about all the other places mass shootings have occurred, some of them this month.

      * The Federalist prefers to eliminate schools

      1. fresno dan

        that is a very good point! Obviously, the solution is …. personal ARMOUR. Protect yourself ANYwhere you go!
        I wear this to the mailbox
        Of course, the mall is too far away to walk to, but there are many conversion kits to change your car into a personal tank…or you could just buy a ’74 Lincoln Continental. If the reference to Europe (i.e., continental offends your patriotic juices, you can substitute an Imperial LeBaron)

  5. fresno dan

    Corporate America’s Favorite Legal Trick Is Backfiring Jacobin (Micael T). H
    When a company breaks the law at the expense of its customers or employees, the injured parties have a right to sue for damages.
    Or at least they did, until 1991.
    That year, a 7-2 Supreme Court decision found that companies can force their employees or customers to give up their right to sue and require them to use arbitration instead. The resolutions reached through the arbitration process are backed by the force of law.
    Isn’t it obvious that the Supreme Court is an evil institution?

    1. John

      Evil? Not sure; could be. Poorly connected to the world in which the vast majority of us live, absolutely.

    2. JAC

      > Isn’t it obvious that the Supreme Court is an evil institution?

      Logic is no substitute for compassion.

    3. heresy101

      The Supreme Court is nothing more than nine lackeys of the one percent in black robes!!!
      Original intent – give me a break – the Constitution writers definition of people certainly didn’t include corporations. That definition was made up the nine lackeys of the 1880’s one percent oil barons and other parasites.

      1. Susan the other

        “Liberty and Justice for All” does, in fact, equal the oxymoron “Freedom and Equality for All.” I’m pretty sure original intent was amazingly fatuous.

  6. flora

    re: The Evidence for Antidepressants Causing Mass Shootings – A Midwestern Doctor

    Thanks for that link.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Correlate school and mass shootings (very rare until the mid-80s) and anti-depressent usage.

      Correlation, not causation…but the hypothesis is just begging to be explored.

      but of course won’t because too many powerful interests have a stake in quashing the question

        1. lance ringquist

          when nafta billy clinton deregulated pharma, he was warned that they will spend far more money on advertising and bribes than on R&D, nafta billy did it anyways.

    2. John

      But if you use antidepressants and do not have a firearm, how might you perpetrate a mass shooting?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        There are other ways to kill lots of people in one place (start with arson) but it takes planning. So yes, there would still be some deaths but certainly a lot fewer.

      2. Louis Fyne

        with respect to random mass shootings, it is a reasonable hypothesis that antidepressents are adding napalm to an existing fire.

        any form of incremental progress is better than nothing

        1. Wukchumni

          Lots of people have been on anti-depressants for decades, imagine a supply shortage of said Rx all of the sudden, creating some very manic behavior by those going cold turkey?

          1. The Rev Kev

            You mean like if Washington picks a fight with China and China bans all exports to the US?

            1. Wukchumni

              Well, whatever you do, don’t call it the China syndrome, people would have a meltdown.

                1. Glen

                  I expect to see something very close to that when the wheels fall off in Ukraine, and all indications are it could be in a couple of weeks.

                  Be prepared to download the Utube clips, and have your popcorn handy.

                  I have prepared my stock answer for participation in the new Cold War: ” As soon as you throw every American CEO or retired CEO in jail for sending our technology, factories, and jobs to China, we can talk about my support, until then, GFY! (and that is NOT Good For You!)”

                  1. lance ringquist

                    you have to drag out the politicians that allowed this and make the same example of them like any other CORPORATE STOOGE. they refused to govern and said let the markets govern.

                    when nafta hillary clinton said to trump snidely, you make your stuff in china, trump responded but you let us.

                    trump just explained to the nafta democrat what governing entails. nafta hillary was fuming.

          2. LawnDart

            45 million americans going batshit crazy if China and India cut off our happy-pills? I think we saw something like that in November, 2016, when reality hit, and it was freakin great!

      3. dcblogger

        they have antidepressants in Canada, Australia, UK, etc. You know what they don’t have? mass shootings. We are the only country where this happens. It is the guns.

        1. Mary F

          Exactly so.
          People are turning themselves into pretzels to say it’s anything and everything but guns.
          It IS the guns – not doors, not unarmed teachers, not coward racist cops, not drugs of any kind.
          It is the guns…

          1. flora

            Well, except the physical environment, as in the case of lead in the air from burning leaded gasoline or lead in paint chips and flakes consumed by toddlers, did have a dramatic effect on the rise in violent crime (and later fall in violent crime when lead stopped being used in house paint and gasoline).


            So, is it too far a stretch to think a medical/chemical inner environment change could also cause increases in violent crime in people susceptible to that side effect?

            This is a complex dynamic, imo.

            1. Susan the other

              It’s very complex. It’s actually socially chaotic. Other countries provide better and more equal welfare than we do. If we removed the hyper-anxiety of simply surviving (which seriously afflicts young adults) by providing housing, decent food, better and more education and a jobs guarantee program it would probably solve homicidal depression better than gun laws. Not that guns should continue to go unregulated. They should be harder to own, requiring proof of your ongoing responsibility socially. Etc. Guns are practically a straw man – the big distraction. Nothing to see here.

        2. IM Doc

          I think we need to make a clarification here.

          You are correct – they do have anti-depressants in many other countries. The issue that very rarely gets discussed when this talking point is made is HOW THEY ARE BEING USED HERE vs THE OTHER COUNTRIES. I have been in two conferences in my life where expert child and adolescent psych leaders from other countries are part of the program – and they are clearly absolutely horrified by what we do with these meds in kids in America.

          Accordingly, I do not think your point is correct at all. This is a talking point that is bantered around all the time but does not hold up to scrutiny.

          I have been on the front lines of primary care for decades. I started right around the time that the SSRIs were introduced. And then in the subsequent decades we saw introduced into kids psych therapy the stimulant amphetamines like ritalin, benzodiazepenes to help the agitation and insomnia that are worsened by the speed, and then the anti-psychotics like seroquel, and now the even more potent antipsychotics like Abilify – which are given to those who have begun to fail to respond to SSRIs, stimulants, and the anti-psychotics. I saw 2 patients under 20 this week alone – who are on cocktails of all these things. One was on 3, the other on 4.

          It must be noted that of these 5 drug classes, the only ones that have been appropriately studied in kids brains are the stimulants. All the others are basically being used off-label.

          It must also be noted that during the childhood and teenage years is the time when axons and dendrites all over the cortical gray matter are forming and putting connections together in the forming brain. Cognitive function, executive function and what I call the “soul” are all coming together. And we in the medical profession are filling these kids’ brains full of all kinds of chemicals that alter how this process occurs.

          So what I have seen over the years ( this was NOT being done at all when I was young) is a straight upward increase in kids and teens who are very different than the kids were when I was a brand new doctor. This is mainly happening in young men, I believe because they are most likely to be placed on these drugs because unwanted behaviors are most likely to occur in boys.

          So, what do I see? I see teen-age boys who cannot even begin to make social contact. They look at the floor the whole time. They fidget (the akisthisia described in this article is very real), they cannot focus on anything for more than a few seconds. They have no ability to make any kind of social interactions. They cannot date or attract partners. They have constant outbursts of inappropriate emotions. They are unreachable. I often feel as if I am peering into the “Heart of Darkness”. Invariably, these young men have been on a rotating cocktail of meds their whole lives. Those youngsters who have escaped the med brigade seem to be much more likely to develop normal brains.

          And fortunately for me, I have not had any of my patients go off in a mass event. Although I at times get the very disturbing feeling that someone is right in front of me who could. I have however had suicides, just as recently as about a month ago. No one will ever know the anguish that this kind of thing causes in docs like myself.

          I get very depressed and angry. I get depressed that ignorant talking points like the one you made just now get propagated by our imbecile media figures all the time. I feel like I am witnessing a holocaust of our own doing and everyone just throws around Twitter memes to feel better.

          As I wrote to the brain trust colleagues last night when I sent this article to them.

          This class of drugs (SSRIs) has a remarkable success rate in about 20% who take them. In about half the patients, they do nothing. Nothing improves nor do they have side effects. In about 29.8%, they do nothing positive, but they do cause quite a bit of side effects. In the other 0.2%% or less, they make things infinitely worse and often lead to catastrophic outcomes.

          In previous eras, when Big Pharma was not in control, drugs that had that kind of profile would not be on offer. It is good that 20% get relief – but at what expense? Similar things can be said about other mass-used drugs like statins and opioids. Unfortunately, Pharma has become so adept at propaganda, that rational discussion of these type of things is completely impossible.

          With regard to guns. I worked for years in an urban hospital. I saw repeatedly with my own eyes what guns did to people’s bodies. Especially assault rifles. I worked hard to get Obama elected – because he promised during his campaign constantly that he would get them banned. HE HAD AN UNASSAILABLE FILIBUSTER PROOF MAJORITY FOR TWO YEARS – and did squat. The same for all the other Dems. At that point in my life, I realized you could not take a single one of them seriously. Liars and charlatans all. And you get resigned to the fact that we are just going to have to put up with these weapons and figure out ways to mitigate the damage. When the politicians who said they cared clearly do not give a shit – why does a rational person think anything will change? They do not want to do a thing about it – they just want to drag it out in times like now to garner votes, and then it is all forgotten. The Dems are very good at this – another reason they have lost me until there is a massive change.

          One of those mitigating issues would be the complete reassessment of how we deal with young kids in our society who are disadvantaged and help them in other ways than pumping their forming brains full of the most dangerous chemicals on earth……..

          It is an indictment of our culture. I ask a simple question. ADD is supposedly less than 1% prevalent in kids……If that is the case, why are between 15 and 20% of them on speed?

          1. Bugs

            Tons of people on SSRIs in France. The difference? A real national health system where you can actually reach a doctor 24/7 if you feel like something’s gone wrong with the meds and get a solution.

            1. IM Doc

              How many 7 year olds are on SSRIs in France? At the same time they are on Ritalin and Seroquel?

              That was the combo on a 13 year old I saw this week……dating back to when he was 7. In my office because he is gaining weight like there is no tomorrow and stays up all night most of the time. This is what one would expect when taking an upper and downer at the same time.

              Or the second patient who was started on adult dose Zoloft at age 8, then in rapid succession started on Adderall followed by Klonopin at bedtime at age 11 and just recently begun on Abilify because the antidepressants were no longer “working”. This after cycling through Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta and finally Lexapro when he was 12 to 13? I am not certain this child’s brain will ever be able to experience a single emotion…….His crime? Being born to a single mom working three jobs just to make it and having sppropriate behavior problems in response.

              Is that the standard of care in European countries? It may not be the standard of care here, but it is not uncommon in child psych.

              When I talk to these providers, I often feel like I am talking with the bartender at the Gold Star Saloon.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                To your point:

                Total Number Of People Taking Psychiatric Drugs In The United States

                From the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International:

                The following information is the most accurate and documented data available on psychiatric drug usage. The information is from IQVia (formerly IMS Health), a company that provides information, services and technology for the healthcare industry. It is the largest vendor of U.S. physician prescribing data. The following data was taken from the IQVia Total Patient Tracker Database for 2020, extracted January 2021.

                According to this data compilation, there were 418,425 children age 0 – 5 taking psychiatric drugs in 2020 in this great country, including 60,068 children age 0 – 1 taking anti-anxiety drugs.

                No ban on guns can “save” a society that treats its infants in such a profoundly sick and twisted manner and calls it “healthcare.”


                1. Lexx

                  Why would anyone deem it necessary to put a Little on anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety meds, or mood stabilizers? How do you do an accurate assessment on someone pre-verbal and still in diapers? Are the drugs for the babies or the parents?

                  The kids are fine; it’s the ‘responsible adults’ that worry me.

                  1. IM Doc

                    Unfortunately, you also have to factor in the number of infants born in the USA hooked on meth, coke, heroin, or whatever because mom is an addict. Those babies are born addicted and will need help. That is the extreme rarity in what I have seen in my life.

                    I would love to say that kids are not being medicated to keep them quiet. However, I cannot.

              2. Skippy

                @IM Doc

                There was a big debate here on NC back when the U.S. DSM-5 was cobbled together with concerns about non medical ideological biases being incorporated[tm], because it would serve the dual propose of increasing revenue for big pharma et al whilst simultaneously underpinning a preferred social narrative through bastardizing Science in its name e.g. same same for economics filled with bad maths and physics.

                “Robert Spitzer, the head of the DSM-III task force, publicly criticized the APA for mandating that DSM-5 task force members sign a nondisclosure agreement, effectively conducting the whole process in secret: “When I first heard about this agreement, I just went bonkers. Transparency is necessary if the document is to have credibility, and, in time, you’re going to have people complaining all over the place that they didn’t have the opportunity to challenge anything.”[42] Allen Frances, chair of the DSM-IV task force, expressed a similar concern.[43]

                Although the APA has since instituted a disclosure policy for DSM-5 task force members, many still believe the association has not gone far enough in its efforts to be transparent and to protect against industry influence.[44] In a 2009 Point/Counterpoint article, Lisa Cosgrove, PhD and Harold J. Bursztajn, MD noted that “the fact that 70% of the task force members have reported direct industry ties—an increase of almost 14% over the percentage of DSM-IV task force members who had industry ties—shows that disclosure policies alone, especially those that rely on an honor system, are not enough and that more specific safeguards are needed”.[45]” – snip


                Anywho … many other developed nations don’t use the DSM-5 as you would know but there does seem a push to advance it as the international standard via the ICD/WHO.

                1. Skippy

                  So just to unpack that a bit further … if the diagnostic criteria which then is codified in major medical journals/books is open/subject to self serving industry industry agendas, then distributed to educational facilities where minds are shaped, throughout the clinical medical establishment, and then lastly used/promoted by international agencies a dominance of perspective becomes de facto.

                  Never mind the fingers in the process at onset or anything … dissenting voices can be brushed aside easily through funding, attacks by willing fexians for a upgrade, or more vulgar means.

              3. Jason Boxman

                Wow. I wouldn’t wish Klonopin on anyone. Just by itself. Can’t imagine all that other stuff simultaneously. Klonopin is a mind job all its own. Very hard to get off of as well.

              4. Juneau

                Years ago I worked in adolescent psych ( many years ago) and addictions. We debated this issue on a regular basis. This is my opinion based on limited experience. We got kids who were violent, self destructive, psychotic and “acting out”. What was evident was that most were dealing with massive social, familial (and sometimes neurologic) issues that could never be helped. Working with children, the external factors are very hard to control and often the biggest problem. So there is collusion between providers (not just psych but also peds and primary care) and parent/caregivers to “fix” the child when bigger fixes are needed. Another tangential issue is that drugs and alcohol definitely cause violent behavior (impulsivity goes up and judgment goes down with intoxication). While perhaps not related to mass shooting it should be included in the discussion. I no longer treat teenagers, and wish my field would face this issue. It must be researched and discussed.

          2. Pstuartb

            You trash “Dems” because they did nothing when they had the chance. Fair enough.

            The medical profession pumps unnecessary drugs into the minds of our children. Also fair.

            But what about the conservatives who insist on protecting the “right” to let these drug addled children assemble arsenals of military grade assault weapons? Are they better than the “Dems” you distrust?

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Obama had a filibuster proof majority and did nothing. The conservatives were irrelevant.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  Don’t condescend and misrepresent your remark. Lambert and I have moderated 2 million comments between us. We’ve seen this cheap rhetorical trick before (it’s pervasive in print), the feigned agreement followed by the supposed knockout, which in your case was the Dem’s default excuse: “Oh, those meanie conservatives! What do you expect us to do?!?!”

            2. albrt

              My theory of politics is that there is always a reactionary party that uses fear and prejudice to get the working class to act against their own interest. That is the Republicans.

              Whether anything good can be accomplished depends on whether the reactionary party has any legitimate opposition. There is no legitimate opposition to the reactionary party in this country, and that is entirely the Democrats’ fault because they are the ones preventing any legitimate opposition from forming.

          3. Tom Stone

            We do have to learn to mitigate the damage caused by the evil and insane using guns.
            One of the problems with banning or further restricting firearms ownership is the people and organizations who will be enforcing those laws…
            organizations like the Ferguson County Sherriffs Department, the Uvalde PD, The LA County Sherriff’s department with its 30 identified gangs,
            ATF, DHS and FBI, ICE…
            Allof them with numerous serious scandals.
            And of course GOOD Citizens, REAL Citizens,Citizens that know Right from Wrong will know which campaign to donate to in order to become a “special Deputy”.
            And carry a gun.
            ARES research tracks illicit and “Gray” firearms and small weapons system proliferation, IMROV Guns tracks craft made firearms across the World (India is making great strides in quality) and there is informed discussion on 3D printed guns ( The FGC9 Mk2 is an impressive achievement).
            The widespread availability of CNC machine tools and 3D printers means that a covert arms industry is not possible to prevent in the USA.
            And of course there is a sizable percentage of people who won’t give up their guns voluntarily and who are not, at present, criminals.
            Let’s call it .5% of 330,000,000.00.
            1,650,000 frightened and angry people who are convinced to the bone that they are morally in the right.
            And who are now felons.
            Gonna seize their assets?
            After all they are clearly dangerous and the budget can always use a boost.

            Please take the time to think about the consequences before advocating such an extreme action.
            Especially since the real problem is societal and cultural.

        3. paddlingwithoutboats

          Not true, Canada here and there was a mass killing in Nova Scotia earlier this year

          Some sad similarities, here’s a quick search term results;
          “nova scotia shooting 2022”

          1. marym

            How about: Other countries, with many of the same economic and social problems as the US, and where gun ownership is neither easy nor celebrated as it is in the US, don’t have mass shootings on a regular basis.

            A responsible society would address these economic and social problems whether or not they’re a factor in some number of mass shootings; and would acknowledge that the accessibility and celebration – of guns is a problem that needs to be addressed.

          2. mistah charley, ph.d.

            There’s a lot of news this year about the Nova Scotia mass shooting because the public inquiry is happening now.

            The actual mass shooting event was two years ago.

          3. lance ringquist

            you have to remember, canada like the u.s.a. has free traded away their factories also.

            factories were more than production, in many cases the were social institutions, bowling leagues, softball leagues, company picnics, many times they were unionized giving workers a feeling of empowerment and togetherness in their working lives, in 1993 your equivalent of nafta billy clinton, signed onto nafta, brian mulroney, now you have your own empty suit hollowman true dough.

            so people get anxious when they lose their civil society. think of it like a dog, once they lose their homes they go into whats called survival mode.

            in humans we get radicalized.

    3. JAC

      It is not just antidepressants that ate the problem. My nephew hung himself one week after being given a prescription for ADHD. Even though there was a no one in my family who was ever diagnosed with ADHD, but were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder where ADHD meds would have been contraindicated. And yes, ADHD meds are linked to suicides.

      My family did nothing about this. It left me estranged from them since I insisted they go after his doctor. I refuse to say to people he died by suicide. I tell them at best it was involuntary manslaughter, and at worst homicide.

      Three month after his death I stopped taking all my medications after a long withdrawal process. I have never looked back and have only been making progress since.

      1. Carla

        @JAC — I am so sorry this happened to you, your nephew and your family. But kudos to you for getting off medication. I know it is not easy.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Meds-free for twenty years now. No regrets.

        Strangely, going off meds escalated my estrangement from the Democratic party.

      3. antidlc

        So glad you got off the meds, JAC.

        I’ve been trying to get a relative off of them for years.

      4. B24S

        Fifty years ago, at the age of twelve, and the start of her menses, my younger sister had her first Grand Mal seizure. In retrospect, we believe she’d been having Petit Mals and hallucinations since she was little/born, but it wasn’t until then that it was evident.

        So at twelve years old she was put on Phenobarbital to control the seizures, and Dexedrine to keep her awake in school. Though my parents tried to do the best they could for her, but she was damaged greatly by her meds, and her schooling and socialization suffered. Over the years, the doctors changed what they gave her, but nothing ever was completely successful; at best they “controlled” the amount and severity. They did, though, leave her in a fog, angry and resentful at the world that had failed her.

        I have to admit that, despite being a pot smoking, acid dropping, freak of a youth, I’d never even been interested in uppers or downers, and had no real understanding of what she was experiencing.

        However, as many medicated people do, she eventually got tired of the fog, and decided, with consultation from her doctor, to reduce the count and amount of meds, accomplished over several years. She now has more seizures, but when free, she is more engaged than before. She’d said that the Tegritol made her more aggressive, and that she didn’t need that. As well, her moods have been, to a degree, ameliorated. To a degree, I said; she’s still angry and suspicious, just a bit less so.

  7. Sibiryak

    Russia’s ‘cauldron’ tactic may be tipping Donbas battle in its favour Guardian. Lambert notes the epic effort at face saving in the first sentence.

    Gotta love this sentence as well:

    Nick Reynolds, a land warfare expert at the Royal United Services Institute thinktank, said the Russians had engaged in “progressive reorientation of their operations towards increasingly modest objectives” allowing them to take villages such as Popasna and Rubizhne, although he argued “their ground forces are still performing badly” as demonstrated by the reliance on artillery.

    And there’s this gem from the Bloomberg article:

    The recent Russian gains appear at least in part to be the products of past Ukrainian success. By mounting so effective a defense that Russian commanders had to withdraw from around the country’s two largest cities – Kyiv and Kharkiv – Ukraine also drove them to abandon a wildly over-ambitious battle plan that had left their troops thinly spread and too far from logistical lifelines.

    1. Sardonia

      As I was reading those lines, my gas light started flickering.

      Funny – there’s no wind here at all….

    2. Louis Fyne

      all these western think tanks have been peddling garbage analysis for months.

      Genuine ignorance-incompetence or info-war spin? Latter is tolerably understandable.

      Former will set the world on the path to WW3 as the West needs a healthy dose of respect for Ma Russia (and China) and end its chickenhawk hubris

      1. Tom Stone

        My daughter mentioned to me the other day that those Countries that have gone to war with Russia over the last Century haven’t had a lot of success…
        Wasn’t Afghanistan stupid enough?

    3. David

      As I’ve said on several occasions before, this is clearly how the West is going to reconcile itself to defeat. If you establish criteria for “success” that are essentially fantasy-based, then any actual success, no matter how complete, can be presented as “failure.”

  8. timbers

    Ukraine War Day #93: Water Crisis In The Donbass Awful Avalanche (guurst). Important.

    This seems to settle the issue – at least in my mind – regarding how much of Ukraine Russia ought to take. IMO she should advance to the Dnieper for obvious reasons, out of necessity. The “West” can not be trusted in anyway.

    With Ukraine’s back broken in Donbass, things could interesting quickly.

    This Russian victory against the the West both military and economic could snowball into a massive political defeat for America. I wonder how the corporate media will spin this to soften it from being seen as such.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Came to the same conclusion that you did. The Russian and allied forces will now ensure that they take enough of the Ukraine to guarantee water security in the Donbass as the Ukrainian leadership appears now to be in a Samson mode. And this may explain why Russia sent their forces into the Ukraine so early in the year. They figured that the Ukrainians would do this and so did not want water shortages during the heat of the summer sun. And you had better believe that the Russians are watching those hydro-hubs like a hawk. Any funny business and they are likely to rain fire on them to stop them-

    2. Louis Fyne

      response will be to turn up the news volume to 11 during summer 2022 about abortion and guns.

      8%-10% inflation will make (the bottom 85%) people forget about Ukraine. Hierarchy of needs

    3. JTMcPhee

      I would guess that since there are so many “nationalists” in western Ukraine, since Poland and Romania and the “Combined West” will be building up large forces in western Ukraine if the Russians stop at the river, and since lots of Ukrainian tough guy thugs have run to Poland and other places where they are showing their nature by abusing the natives and if RUS stops they will crawl back in, Russia may be compelled to keep on keeping on quite a way further toward the west.

      You don’t leave Nazis behind you if you don’t want them to grow power again by the usual methods.

      And the stated goals of the SMO are to “denazify,” and having suffered greatly in the past and recently from Nazis including sympathizers in power in the West, I don’t see Russia calling a halt any time soon, though maybe troop losses might eventually start creating a backlash at home. You know the CIA and friends will be playing on this in the Russian media and via friendly politicians there and other public figures.

      And now we have our fearless leaders in the 12% Empire calling up Shoigu and asking “Pretty please, can you stop beating the sh!t out of us for a while so we can regroup and figure out other ways to f%ck you up?” And, “Please, Mr. Putin, can we have some more oil and wheat and gas again, for free? We promise we’ll be good…”

    4. Tom Stone

      It was a defeat the moment Joe Biden unilaterally imposed the sanctions.
      The cruelty and stupidity are breathtaking.

    5. Old Sovietologist

      It would be easy to spin to brain dead western electorates.

      Ukraine may have lost the Crimea and most of the South East part of the country for ever but

      “We stood firm and stopped Putin from taking Kiev”.

      You know how it goes.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The LPR declared control over the entire territory of the republic”

    I put that article through my own kitchen-brew semantic analyzer rather than another language translator and this is what came out the other end-

    ‘What is ours, is ours again.’

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “That which is ours is ours again.”

      Cloud William, Chief of the Yangs, on the occasion of the Yang victory over the Kohms in “The Omega Glory” of Star Trek’s second season

      Afterward, Kirk explains “Free-Dom” to William and the Yangs. (video)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Got it. I always thought it an eloquent way to give that sentiment. Those Donbass fighters are taking back what was taken from them and are freeing their own people.

  10. griffen

    World Builders article linked today, to put a happy face on the future of intelligent AI. Well the Future of Life Institute could take the lead and revise that awful name of your institute.

    I really should finish reading PK Dick’s novel “Ubik”, but between the themes of his writing and others plus what we know from film over the years. How can the future be any different than that depicted in the original “Alien”? Weyland corporation is the evil organization exploring space and they don’t care about your human life.

    1. Maritimer

      It would be interesting to know how they screened the contestants for socio/psychopathy. Also to see a copy of the Ethics Oath all these AI developers sign.

      1. Susan the other

        Not to even mention the hubris of “Physicists rewriting the fundamental law that leads to disorder” aka the Second Law of Thermodynamics, or commonly known as entropy or sometimes chaos. This is gonna be interesting. Now instead of discussing the dissipation of energy or heat we are turning our attention to defining (mathematically) information in terms of Qubits. Are they nuts? Because David Deutsch has complained (based on what?) that “Probability and randomness are absent from physical processes.” Really David? How exactly do you know that? Is it simply, as Schrodinger well knew, that quantum particles are so tiny and fast that we do not perceive them? The best we can do is estimate the “collapse of the wave function” and then call it “probability.” Even if we create new equations to better define entropy as the dissipation of “information” (because we are now headed headlong into quantum computing so we need to define our terms, right?) we won’t be able to do any better than probability. Maybe 11-dimensional probability – but still probability. We will probably discover that probability = entanglement = entropy = gravity = matter = energy = the arrow of time. And sociopathy is certainly a probability.

        1. Susan the other

          Plus all the tricks we use to hide randomness, like velocity, aka energy – go faster. Or makeup and a cute haircut. I mean, isn’t aging the classic example of randomness?

  11. Wukchumni

    Paraglider Captures First-Ever Legal Flight Off the Top of Mount Everest PetaPixel
    Prevailing winds almost always go west to east across the High Sierra, but one day about a decade ago, Dave Turner had winds heading west and he did the first and only crossing of the High Sierra by a paraglider.

    En route he flew over Moro Rock, which set off NPS law enforcement in a tizzy, as it is illegal to take off or land in a National Park in such conveyances, and before you knew it, 4 NPS law enforcement SUV’s were on what must have been the ultimate slow speed chase, and when Turner landed on just the other side of the Terminus Dam here in Three Rivers, shortly thereafter the long arm of the law done showed up, and were about ready to arrest the rascal, but relented when Dave showed them footage of his epic flight and how he started from outside of Sequoia NP and landed outside of it’s boundaries, totally legal.

    It’d be tantamount to Parisian police arresting Lindbergh upon landing @ Le Bourget, ha ha

    First Complete Crossing of California’s High Sierra

  12. LawnDart

    Putin Signs Decree For Fulfilling Obligations To Foreign Copyright Holders In Rubles RepublicWorld. Haven’t gone searching for the decree proper, and no reference to it yet on the English version of the Kremlin site.

    Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 322 of 27.05.2022 “On the temporary procedure for Fulfilling Obligations to Certain Copyright Holders”
    Published date: 27.05.2022
    Publication number: 0001202205270016

    1. hunkerdown

      The PDF isn’t text. I can’t upload the document to a translator, nor copy and paste text from it. An intellectual property decree restricted to those who can read it is the real Saturday morning cartoon drama.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, it drives me nuts that they like images. They must be choosing to eyepoke the West (not that we haven’t asked for it!). Putin’s and Lavrov’s offices provide very nice English translations, but only of the most important stuff.

        The President’s office even has a “Write to us with complaints/suggestions” portal IN ENGLISH ( Surreal. They added a lot of intimidating boilerplate after the war stated that as far as I can tell amounts to, “Make sure it’s actionable, otherwise it will be ignored.”

        For the last big Putin decree, a legal site did put up a PDF that could be copy-pasted (they presumably OCR’d it to facilitate search) so maybe a doc like that will surface.

        I prefer machine translations even if they are rough because legalese. And our Russian expert readers are always very helpful about clearing up fine points.

      2. LawnDart

        I cut-and-paste “Putin Signs Decree For Fulfilling Obligations To Foreign Copyright Holders In Rubles” to Yandex Translate, English to Russian.

        Once translated, used Yandex search to locate said document.

        Used “translate page” plus “translate images” (bonus: the come-ons from lonely Russian single women get translated too)– “translate images” will make the document readable in English, however, you may need to click on “show original” and translate again as you go through the doc’s 8-pages.

        I’ve been doing this with quite a bit of USA news– translate and search via Yandex– and it most definately offers many more perspectives on issues than MSM– Russia has a ton of news sites.

      3. bwilli123

        I downloaded the PDF and opened in Word. Microsoft auto-offered an online conversion as part of the process.
        I can subsequently copy and past.

        1. LawnDart

          bwilli123, pages 2&3 are fun– some good quoteworthy stuff. If I was on my laptop and not phone I’d post a few, but perhaps you could do the honors?

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine War Day #93: Water Crisis In The Donbass”

    Hey, what the hell? Is the censorship so gross now? That article mentioned the Great Man-Made River and said ‘… since those Western (colonial) powers, such as the U.S. and France, are the very same ones who deliberately targeted and destroyed Libya’s main water project, the Great Man-Made River.’ I had not heard about this previously and so clicked the link which took me to a Wikipedia article on that project – with not a single mention that it had been attacked by NATO. Now why would that be? Here is another link that discusses that attack-

  14. Ralph Reed

    The sudden acknowledgement of Ukraine war’s real losses and low morale is surely cover for sudden extremely escalatory policy change of the authorizing the shipment of rocket launchers and anti-ship missiles to Kharkov and Odessa.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Wellie, except at least as far as Kherson is concerned, the banks started to convert to roubles a couple of weeks ago. That strongly suggests the military presence there is weak, otherwise no one there would dare do that out of fear of reprisals. Odessa is a completely different kettle of fish, well defended with a nest of hard core Azovites and Right Sector types.

    2. Louis Fyne

      The UA losses have been bad for weeks. Now so bad that Kyiv can’t hide it

      The rocket deliveries are essentially irrelevant. The US will be sending the oldest, 90s-era systems that are in storage with the oldest ammo that have been in storage since pre-9/11.

      All for a weapon that is inferior to the Russian equivalent and won’t replace UA losses.

      Even the anti-ship missiles won’t be a game changer. Limited in number, will be vulnerable to Russian attack before even firing a shot

      1. Wukchumni

        Imagine a new car lot consisting of Edsels, Corvairs, Pintos, Vegas, Cadillac V 8-6-4’s & Azteks, where the owner can get rid of everything @ full sticker?

        $40 billion gets rid of the military dregs that you otherwise couldn’t pawn off on anybody, but nobody’s looking or cares.

        1. Susan the other

          But that also tells us something kinda interesting. We want to keep little insurrections alive and well, we want the remnants of the Bandarites to continue to have the means to harass Russia. But we clearly do not want to give them effective weapons. It looks like the same tactic they used to drag Russia into this war in the Donbass – just enough genocide and destruction to cause a bigger conflict. But no way to end it. It does look familiar.

  15. super extra

    re: repigmenting grey hair

    I mentioned this in the monkeypox thread, but just to add on to the linked piece today: I developed a white spot in my hair after I had covid. I also had the thing where hair fell out during covid itself, but the spot showed up about a month later, during the convalescent phase, when I had a terrible multi-day headache. I went to a doctor about it because I thought I had something called VKH, which can cause poliosis/vitiligo and a headache of the type I was having, but the doctors did not think the uveitis was serious enough to merit VKH so I’ve been on wait and see since.

    At the doctor’s office, I went into great and nauseating detail about the link between the stress caused by covid, the likely t-cell derangement and how VKH is common in post-viral immunosuppression, and how this was impacting my hair color. I shared papers etc. For my efforts I got a weary shrug and asked if I wanted corticosteriods or something for the headaches. The piece linked today has a lot of bubbly hopium about how you can point to your grey hair at the doctor and they’ll magically know what type of stress you’re under to reverse it. I am not so sure about that. Maybe in future high-end dermatology medispas, for those who can afford it.

    1. Carolinian

      More studies are needed to find out if this re-coloring effect ever happens over the age of 40

      No hope for geezers then. I still have lots of non gray hair but this seems to run in the family. Clearly the stress effect stronger in some than others.

    2. Roger Blakely

      This stupid virus (SARS-CoV-2) cruises around and attacks everything. I blame every freak misery on SARS-CoV-2. Most people have freak symptoms, but they don’t blame it on SARS-CoV-2 because they don’t realize that they are inhaling SARS-CoV-2 in all indoor public spaces. My brain is so fogged up that I can barely get through Naked Capitalism every day. At lunchtime all I can do is scroll through the Water Cooler and look at the Tweets that Lambert included. Most comments are TL;DR.

  16. deedee

    I suppose it depends on your definition of “victory” and we may not all know what the long game plan is but what have the necons done that could be considered a victory?

    1. Wukchumni

      I heard a rumor that Boris is going to dye his pompadour in a hue of victory ginger for the war effort.

    2. Ranger Rick

      A while back a book was recommended here called The Modern Mercenary, and in it, the author observed that failed states are an international problem. If a place on earth is beyond the reach of law and treaty, it constitutes a refutation of governance anywhere and encourages an upending of certain especially dearly-held powers of states; namely the monopoly on violence. As nature abhors a vacuum, so too do states abhor lack of control, goes the argument. This was, for example, why (at least a part of why) the US invaded Afghanistan.

      I can only imagine that the West grew increasingly impatient with Ukraine as the government vacillated between different states of incompetency, and ultimately decided to invite Russia to invade since they couldn’t do it themselves. Under that condition, victory is the complete destruction of Ukraine as a state (as long as Russia asserts control over it afterwards). If the only thing Russia ends up doing is forcibly re-aligning the government of Ukraine to its interests while allowing the state to remain incompetent, the plan, for lack of a better term, will have failed.

  17. Noone from Nowheresville

    Metalworks: Here is a 5 minute interview with the founder of Jurustic Park near Marshfield, Wisconsin. The metalworks creator is 87. The guy has a dry sense of humor and is very quick. I suspect meeting him in person is just as wonderous as seeing his sculpture garden and the pieces he has for sale.

    Sorry, I could only find last year’s interview on the news channel’s public facebook page. (no login required)

    Here’s the website. His wife is a glass and fabric artist.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Graham Hancock (among others) were deemed nutter pseudo-science fringes by academia for decades for their hypotheses about pre-Columbian settled Amazon societies.

      looking like they were onto something after all.

      See Hancock on the Joe Rogan show, free on youtube

      1. Wukchumni

        In his before & after Columbus tomes, Charles Mann wrote of such things decades ago in 1491 & 1493.

        Highly recommended!

        1. super extra

          Yes, I’ve read both – agreed, highly recommended.

          I have a bit of contact with new world archeologist types – my fam’s place is in a mound area in NE OK, they periodically come through to excavate a new area, people we know work with the crews on the digs, people talk. I recently found out there is a big drama split between (united states) american archeologists who specialize in the new world societies and central and south american specialists in the same. This may have even been touched on in the Mann books now that I think about it – the Americans simply cannot believe/accept that the area now called the united states was a thinly-settled backwater for the entirety of its settled history. There has been tons of effort and funding put into proving places like Poverty Point to be the earliest evidence of civilization. Meanwhile not 3 hours to the south of the border is, uh, the Valley of Mexico. Lots of cognitive dissonance in play to ignore that…

          My native american family thinks most of what they understood to be caddo/choctaw/cherokee culture came from trade relations south with the Valley of Mexico tribes in the millenia before the conquest. Lots of similarities in art and ritual style. If you travel further south, culturally, you’ll pick up echoes of other native civilizations further south, for example the likely Colombian effect on western Mexico (where those tribes had metalsmithing skills and even weapons prior to the conquest, using skills similar to those used by the metalworkers of Columbia).

            1. super extra

              Here’s our local mound. It was outright looted.

              I worked in Europe for a while and visited some prehistoric sites in Brittany. I found the language used by sites over there to describe the people and their doings very different from that used for native sites in the US. There is just an immense othering necessary to accept what was done, I think. So most white americans see historic europe as their ruins and their culture. But here (Oklahoma) some crazy percentage of the population not enrolled in a tribe still has probably has family with some percentage, or knows people who are enrolled. The othering is more difficult.

              There is currently a big push underway by the traditional good ol’ boy/gas and oil power faction (not native, for the most part) to paint the recent McGirt ruling as gross federal overreach because it has empowered the tribes to take over a lot of legal and judiciary functions from the state. The current governer is aligned with that faction and has said stuff like ‘he’s taking on the corrupt casino bosses’ in his commercials. He’s also dealing with a number of scandals around nepotism and funds. This is the same guy who signs all abortion-related legislation that comes across his desk. That fire-breathing is directly related to the ongoing local struggles the power faction he represents has been having these past few years.

              1. Wukchumni

                I always found the mounds to be very interesting indeed…

                Thanks for your comments.

                Here, the only remnant for the most part is just the opposite in the guise of mortars and bathtubs sunk into granite.

                Their efforts will outlast probably everything we accomplished in California from say as far back as Drake in 1579, after he first made claim of New Albion… when the new colony from Planet X-263f repopulates this orb in 3254, on a Wednesday and they check out their new digs.

              2. emcm

                @Super Extra, hello from a fellow Oklahoman!
                I highly recommend Spiro Mounds; you can explore the 10 or so mounds and they have a small museum, in addition to artifacts held by the museum at OU. Though some of the most important mounds were looted, there’s still a lot that was recovered and can be viewed. I learned from the museum there that trade goods were found at the site that indicate a trading area that covered 2/3 of the continental US.

                For anyone in the DFW area, Hoffman Gallery is doing an exhibit of artifacts from Spiro until 8/7/22.

                My understanding is that at least for my tribes, the Muscogee were descended from the Mississippian mound builder culture in Georgia, and the Cherokee migrated to the SE. I would not be surprised if there was cultural and trade exchange with other groups in the Americas (mythical twins, serpent god, as an example) but I’m not sure what the evidence is that N American mound builders somehow received their culture from what is now Latin America. If you have any links you could share on that topic I would be interested in checking them out.

                1. super extra

                  hello emcm!

                  I’m sorry for being cavalier with my statement about the trade links south leading to the mound culture. Indeed I do not believe there is any evidence for that. Instead I think my Caddo relatives believed there was trade and cultural exchange south but this was independent of the actual cultural (eg I do not believe the northern tribes did tribute south or received such prior to their own cultures being established). They cited the similarities between the hero twins and the underwater panther as well.

                  Thank you for the links and correction!

          1. jr

            This reminds me of an article I read in Harpers Magazine a million years ago about the rivalry between China and the US regarding dinosaurs. If I recall correctly, each side wanted to be able to claim the biggest, baddest, and oldest fossils. This led to all kinds of spurious claims and one-upmanship, science be darned.

          2. Tom Stone

            There have likely been people in the SF Bay Area for quite a while, there’s an old stone wall in the Oakland hills that’s intriguing.
            The Bay itself is quite young, the coastline used to be where the big drop off is near the Farrallon Islands until 6-8,000 years ago when the last Ice Age ended.
            The remains,if any, in what would have been an immensely fecund river valley are to a large extent buried under mountains of sediment dating from the gold mining years.
            Literally Mountains, they washed them away with high powered hoses and the resulting sediment ended up in the Bay, well over 100 feet deep in places.
            Wuk probably knows more about the “Big Ditch” than I do but it was an impressive feat of engineering made possible by Chinese slave labor (Which is what it was).

          3. LifelongLib

            As a white American, it would be more convenient for me to believe that what became the U.S. WAS a “thinly-settled backwater”. That would make what happened to the native population somewhat less awful than I suspect the reality was, even if you think (as I do) that it was mostly diseases, rather than the militarily inept settlers, that destroyed native cultures. But the area was so rich in natural resources that (convenient for me or not) it’s hard for me to believe it was sparsely populated.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for those links as they are amazing. Those Lidar scanners are powerful magic and have really re-written the history of the south American landscape. I saw one doco where Lidar had revealed a new, unknown pyramid so the doco team went in to identify what it was. They were right next to the thing and still could not see it and had to check their geo-location to make sure that they were in the right place. Then they did see it but without Lidar, it would have never been found at all.

  18. Root Cause Analysis

    It’s one thing, and one thing only.
    It’s not mental illness.
    It’s not the internet, 4chan, 8chan, Nchan, darknet.
    It’s not 19-year old males.
    It’s not lack of police or policing.
    It’s not lack of training or resources.
    It’s not bad parenting or bad teachers or bad school administrators.
    It’s not unarmed victims.
    It’s not the parents or families of unarmed victims.
    It’s not “thoughts and prayers”.
    It’s not AR-15s, AK-47s, Glocks, Sig-Sauers, monster magazines, exotic ammunition or lasers.
    It’s not gun owners.
    It’s not the constitution or sacred masculine rights.
    It’s not the NRA.
    It’s not the filibuster.
    It’s not self-defense.
    Those are all distractions from the one thing and only thing.
    It’s guns.

    It’s not 1722, 1822, or even 1922.
    It’s 2022 and time to get rid of the guns.
    All the guns; all of them.

    The one thing.

    1. hunkerdown

      Including those used to protect elites? If so, I think you might have my partial agreement.

      The root cause is private property, and I defy you to disagree.

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      From one of my favorite records from the early 80s- XTC’s English Settlement: The song is Melt the Guns with the fantastic lyric, as if invoking a prayer:

      “Our father we’ve managed to contain the epidemic in one place, now
      Let’s hope they shoot themselves instead of others, help to civilize the race now
      We’ve trapped the cause of the plague in the land of the free and the home of the brave
      If we listen quietly you can hear them shooting from grave to grave”

  19. jr

    The article on World Builder AI’s verges on pornography. Seriously, efforts like this really only serve as propaganda for technology corporations. That’s who will be developing the AI and we all know what their interests are. Being tied into such a network will only be for monitoring and compliance. The computation powers of the AI will be directed towards that and wealth extraction. You can give them names and sexes and what-not but in the final analysis they are just another form of the bosses’ timeclock.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi”

    This was humiliating for Draghi but he absolutely deserved it. Russia normally has excellent relations with Italy and readers may remember during the first year of the Pandemic when the Russian military sent down medical teams to help out. And then came Mario Draghi who wasn’t elected but was appointed as Prime Minister. And in what the Financial Times described as ‘one of the biggest foreign policy shifts in years’ he turned totally against Russia and has been continuously trying to put the boot in. He tried to float a peace proposal a few days ago that was as bizarre as it was unrealistic but apparently never gave it to the Russians. Well now there is the devil to pay and in that phone call, Putin ripped him a new one and laid down the law. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. I was listening to YouTuber Alex Christoforou talking about this and he was saying that it is interesting how the Russians are calling nobody but it is western leaders who are already asking to talk to Russia. Why? Winter is Coming.

  21. jr

    re: The Second Suggestion of Thermodynamics

    “They may have woven the second law out of the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics — which, some suspect, have directionality and irreversibility built into them at the deepest level. According to this view, the second law comes about not because of classical probabilities but because of quantum effects such as entanglement. It arises from the ways in which quantum systems share information, and from cornerstone quantum principles that decree what is allowed to happen and what is not.”

    Curiouser and curiouser. The “cornerstone” principles of quantum mechanics are being used to rewrite the formerly cornerstone law of thermodynamics. Recently, a recalcitrant “W” boson threatened to overturn the cornerstone understanding of particle physics. Perhaps it’s time to dispense with the notion of cornerstone claims?

    1. Mildred Montana

      I’ve often wondered why “UAPs”, which seem so advanced, can’t help us stumbling humans out a bit and drop a couple of physics equations during their fly-bys. ;)

      P.S. I belatedly replied in more detail to your comment in links May 23/2022, if you’re still interested and haven’t read it yet.

      1. jr

        I did, madam, thank you and understand I am irredeemably jealous of you. I worked with a fellow a few years ago, a serious and straight shooting type, who watched a disk hover over the Hudson along with about three other people one afternoon.

        Perhaps the UAP’s know that we would probably annihilate ourselves if we had access to their physics. We are well along doing it with our own. I hope they step in.

        1. jr

          Here are some of the UAP’s physics:

          This is Chris Lehto, former F-16 pilot and UAP researcher. He is discussing an incident at a nuke site in North Dakota where personnel witnessed a glowing red orb outside the gate of the facility. Soon afterwards, 10 nukes went offline, despite being buried underground behind meters of steel and concrete. Additionally, they were shielded from EMP’s by enormous Faraday cages and loads of insulation.

    2. begob

      Indeed. I believe Lord Kelvin in his day declared Newton the last word on gravity, and then Einstein came crashing through the roof. Now Kelvin’s last word on thermodynamics is subject to a new rule.

      1. jr

        Here is a choice bit:

        “ “We like laws of physics to be exact,” said the physicist Chiara Marletto of the University of Oxford.”

        Spoken as they discuss an effort to overturn a law of physics. I suspect she would respond that they are just refining things but as we have seen at a certain point refinement becomes replacement. They are in dire need of a philosophical perspective of science as a process, one that will never end, as complete knowledge of the universe is impossible when you are merely a part of it.

        1. jsn

          As I recall, Einstein said something like, “as far as laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

  22. Wukchumni


    Why did the rooster cross the road in Kiev?

    …he wanted to get closer to the cock-up

  23. antidlc

    RE: “The Evidence for Antidepressants Causing Mass Shootings ”

    I found the documentary “Generation RX” to be a real eye-opener.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      Yeah – pretty sure he’s never coming back to Oregon. Good redience.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Despite the ballot-counting snafu

      Gee…this keeps happening.

      McLeod-Skinner on track to receive nearly 56% of votes cast.

      So if we did handmarked ballots in public, would 70% be the real number?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Some of us live under the tender jackboot of von der Leyen and thus can’t access “misinformation”. Any good quotes in there?

      1. Alyosha

        “We know that our Western friends have many phobias, many complexes. They have a superiority complex, the infallibility complex, and I believe they also have some paranoia,”

        “Any process that does not include the West, which the West does not control, they perceive as opposition, a challenge to their dominance,” he explained, referring to various regional economic integration groups and organizations that Russia participates in. “It’s high time for them to kick this habit.”

        “The insolence of the Anglo-Saxon alliance has no bounds, and we find confirmation of that every day,” he said. “The West sends its envoys and emissaries every day to every capital without exception… to deliver ultimatums and to blackmail.”

        “Sure, there were authoritarian regimes in both Iraq and Libya, but there were no terrorists there. There was no constant fighting and military provocations,” he pointed out.

        “That’s the mentality of the Western states. They believe their security depends on the entire world and that thus they should rule the world,”

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks for that Alyosha. Went to bed and so never saw Polar Socialist question till a few minutes ago.

        2. Susan the other

          Thanks Alyosha. What’s not to love about Lavrov? I’d like to read his commentary every day.

  24. Robert Hahl

    Re: Ticks are spreading across the US. Here’s how to protect yourself against disease.

    I don’t know how much time you have to get an embedded tick off with the meat allergy disease, but you have hours to get one off before it is likely to transmit Lyme; provided that you don’t try to extract the tick with tweezers, which often leaves the head behind. The state-of-art method is called De-Ticker 2, which clamps on the body and then turns counterclockwise. The critter comes out just like a screw every time. The next best method is a tick spoon. The article gives a false sense or security by showing relatively large ticks, not the nymphs, which are about the size of a pencil dot.

    1. griffen

      No matter the size it can be real easy to miss the blood thirsty parasites. I picked one up while hiking 3 years ago. Managed to pry the thing off, no real symptoms developed. Was not a deer tick.

      Contracting Lyme’s would be a hellish experience.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Not really, Lyme responds well to doxycycline. Whenever I find a tick embedded for more than an hour, I start a round of doxycycline and don’t wait for the rash to develop, which might never come. When there is a rash I take two rounds. The problems come if you never saw the tick, there was no rash, and symptoms went undiagnosed for months. But even then doxy often does the job.

    2. Lemmy Caution

      I’ve lived in the boonies of Michigan for 30 years. For the first 28 years or so, we’d find a tick on one of our dogs, or ourselves, maybe once every 5-10 years. So far this spring we’ve probably found about 10-15 on us. Whatever is fueling their spread is no joke.

  25. fresno dan
    Law enforcement officers are investigating whether a retired federal agent had about 30 minutes advance notice of a white supremacist’s plans to murder Black people at a Buffalo supermarket, two law enforcement officials told The Buffalo News.
    Authorities believe the former agent – believed to be from Texas – was one of at least six individuals who regularly communicated with accused gunman Payton Gendron in an online chat room where racist hatred was discussed, the two officials said.

    The two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation stated these individuals were invited by Gendron to read about his mass shooting plans and the target location about 30 minutes before Gendron killed 10 people at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue on May 14.
    Its an investigation. But the FACT that a retired Federal agent was an unalloyed racist can only make one wonder about his law enforcement career. But the more you know about law enforcement, the more you realize how divorced from reality most people’s conception of how the police actually are…

  26. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    The hamburger is an American staple: Climate change threatens it in profound and subtle ways

    Today — May 28 — is National Hamburger Day, and it’s well justified. Most of us savor a burger off the grill, the kitchen skillet, or from one of the 80,000 burger restaurants in the U.S. with a market over $100 billion. The burger is ranked third among America’s popular dishes, right after mashed potatoes and French fries. Why? Because it’s tasty, convenient, relatively inexpensive, comes in dozens of variations — meat to meatless, and with a range of condiments and sides. And when barbecued, the burger brings us together.

    It’s hard to imagine America without the hamburger, but change is in the wind. Yes, a changing climate is changing the burger.

    1. jr

      Well, golly, that coincides with National Barbecue Month! Another fetishized consumption “holiday”! It’s about freedom!

      Today I listened to Jimmy Dore about the most recent school shooting. The cops were explaining how one of them might have been hurt if they had charged the shooter. Ted Cruz spoke in support of first responders. Apparently a parent trying to get into the school was Tazed.

      What a stupid fu(king country this is.

  27. antidlc

    Last night I happened by chance to watch a PBS profile of Molly Ivins.

    She really had a way with words.

    She wrote a piece that originally appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and later appeared in a 1993 collection of essays.

    Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of Guns

    But no sane society would allow this to continue.

    Ban the damn things. Ban them all.

    That was written years ago. And we still allow it to continue.

    1. antidlc

      To be clear, I don’t think banning all guns is the answer. (I’m not sure even Molly believed that.)

      But she couldn’t understand this unhealthy obsession with guns.

      I think that SSRI antidepressants really need to be looked at.

      BBC article on the Aurora killings:
      The Batman Killer –
      a prescription for murder?
      James Holmes, a young man with no record of violence, murdered 12 people watching Batman in a Colorado cinema in 2012.

      Did an SSRI antidepressant, prescribed by a doctor, play a part in the killings?

  28. Mikel

    “The European Union Was Designed to Stifle Democracy”

    For me, that has been crystal clear for the longest.
    Ah, remember, Brexit discussions?

    “…But this critical consensus could obscure more serious failings in the approach of the British and European left to transnational institutions. By 2016, it was already apparent that existential questions about the class nature of the EU, its relationship to the British state, and the place of those structures in the world order were of little interest to many activists and left-wing thinkers.

    After the referendum, a stress on electoral calculations for a left-led Labour Party — which turned out to be badly misjudged — and dark warnings about the danger of economic collapse and reactionary violence in the event of Britain’s departure from the EU quickly supplanted reasoned debate. What remains is the strange feeling that, for all the years of rancor, we never really got around to talking about the EU….”

  29. chris

    Huma is here to tell you that Hillary is infectiously positive. And all the other things that a person in her position should say in public. Including that she’s interested in exploring sex more!

    I wonder who else we’re going to see come out of hiding to support Team Clinton?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > we live in a VERY VIOLENT SOCIETY

      We live in a society that has been constructed to be violent. These are relatively recent phenomena of the last forty years or so. And what is constructed can be deconstructed.

  30. Savita

    Rev Kev, and other Australians interested in domestic politics.
    The allegedly 2nd most despised individual in politics is now sharing equal place with number 1, which remains ‘ScoMo’. At pole position, P. Dutton is said to become the new leader of the outgoing Liberal party which suffered a decimation at the recent Federal election. The problem being, Dutton is hard core extreme in his views and many are concerned the Liberal party – already extreme – won’t handle it.
    Well here is my prognostication. Dutton will be what Dutton has always been. I have been concerned about his taking that cherished position as Leader of the opposition. But I am worried no longer. I believe it will cause the self-immolation of the party.
    I think they are lacking the kind of tactical thinking necessary to bring them the recovery and rehabilitation they require The sort of tactical and bigger picture persective, the, lets say, Chinese Government, might be known and celebrated for being skilled at applying.

    . Presently they are engaged in short sightedness.

    ‘Hey, we suffered so much in the election. Lost everyones support. They think we’re just a bunch of uptight rednecks stuck 100 years ago. What can we possibly do? I know! Let put our tough, stoic, resistant to everything and everyone, barking, extreme right wing member in the lead! We will seem keen and willing, but strong. That will bring us a fresh perspective, a pleasant change of scenery, and the population will view us in a better light. A fresh breeze. Like the seaside after a hard winter.’

    1. The Rev Kev

      I said before in a comment that the Coalition has decided that the solution to their problems is to move to the extreme right because, wait for it, they lost so many supporters in the elections. Personally I found it hilarious that they treated women like trash in the party – and then proceeded to lose a bunch of safe seats to Independent women. Comedy Gold. Not sure if you remember Savita that Dutton once tried to scheme his way into the job of Prime Minister but lost out to Scotty. I suspect that a person like Dutton will lead the Coalition off into political oblivion and when you look at him, it is easy to see what some people have nicknamed him Lord Voldemort. Gunna be interesting what the 2025 election will be like. Personally I will be satisfied with a government that is not threatening to go to war with China every other week as that did not work out well for the Ukraine and China. Did you ever see this Gonzales Lira video? (9:58 mins)

    2. Basil Pesto

      I’m not sure it matters who’s head of LNP to be honest. If life under the labor government gets worse, then LNP will be in with a shot. You’d have to be pretty brave to predict that life generally isn’t going to get, shall we say, tougher in the next few years, even in the lucky country. And keeping in mind that ALP are austerian neoliberal morons like the LNP, it’s hard to imagine the country will be travelling in a broadly positive direction. But I don’t follow Australian politics too closely so ymmv

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