Links 5/20/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

How a Trash-Talking Crypto Founder Caused a $40 Billion Crash NYT. The deck: “Do Kwon, a South Korean entrepreneur, hyped the Luna and TerraUSD cryptocurrencies. Their failures have devastated some traders, though not the investment firms that cashed out early.” I was worried for the insiders. I’m glad they made it out OK.

So what’s the answer?

A bear market reading list Abnormal Returns

Politics and the Price Level Phenomenal World


Is California giving its methane digesters too much credit? Grist

Vast swath of U.S. at risk of summer blackouts, regulator warns Bloomberg

First on CNN: DOE announces multibillion-dollar project to kickstart a carbon dioxide removal industry in US CNN

The Plastics Recycling Lie The Lever

Brightness falls from the ayre Times Literary Supplement


“Case Numbers Don’t Matter”—and Other Fatal Covid Fallacies Gregg Gonsalvez, The Nation

‘This isn’t just gonna go away’: Long COVID is crashing the retirement hopes of many Americans MarketWatch (AM).

* * *

A live attenuated vaccine confers superior mucosal and systemic immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants (preprint) bioRxiv. Hamster study. From the Abstract: “Here, we compare immune responses to and preclinical efficacy of the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 [Pfizer], an adenovirus-vectored spike vaccine, and the live-attenuated-virus vaccine candidate sCPD9 after single and double vaccination in Syrian hamsters…. Our results demonstrate that use of live-attenuated vaccines may offer advantages over available COVID-19 vaccines, specifically when applied as booster, and may provide a solution for containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CDC recommends Pfizer COVID boosters for kids ages 5 to 11 Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

* * *

Blocking effect of desktop air curtain on aerosols in exhaled breath featured AIP Advances (NL).

Fit-tested N95 masks combined with portable HEPA filtration can protect against high aerosolized viral loads over prolonged periods at close range (accepted manuscript) Journal of Infectious Diseases. Hospital setting.

So, Have You Heard About Monkeypox? Ed Yong, The Atlantic. The deck: “A new viral outbreak is testing whether the world has learned anything from COVID.” Oh, my sweet summer child. We learned that you can kill a million Americans without causing riots. A peaceful land, a quiet people!

U.S. government places $119 million order for 13 million freeze-dried Monkeypox vaccines Fortune

Mozambique confirms first wild poliovirus case in 30 years Guardian (Re Silc).


China Covid Cases Trending Down But Lockdown Threat Remains Bloomberg. Report from Beijiing:

China Insists Party Elites Shed Overseas Assets, Eyeing Western Sanctions on Russia WSJ

The Koreas

North Korea sends cargo planes to China as country fights pandemic CNN

Sri Lanka defaults on debt for first time in its history BBC

Is Bangladesh heading toward a Sri Lanka-like crisis? Deutsche Welle (Re Silc).


Buddha and the neighbourhood: How Modi’s Lumbini visit aims to curb Dragon’s growing shadow over Nepal FirstPost

Australians face their starkest choice at the ballot box in 50 years. Here’s why The Conversation. Scotty from Marketing:

New Not-So-Cold War

The Azov Steel Plant surrendered to the Russian army and caught the “big fish”. The good show has just been staged What China Reads. I read “Ascent Battalion” as an auto-translation glitch for “Azov Battalion.”

Nazis en regalia:

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Wolverines’ of Ukraine step out of shadows Global News. More LARPing. As is customary, the fascist shoulder patches make their appearance deep in the article: paragraph nineteen.

* * *

Can Ukraine Win? Five Scenarios for the War’s Next Phase WSJ

US announces $215 million in new food aid to Ukraine The Hill and US to send Ukraine more howitzers with new $100 million military aid package Stars and Stripes. Why didn’t we just round up the $40 billion to fifty?

Biden Administration

Biden’s China strategy cannot work with weapons alone FT

5 challenges awaiting Biden on his Asia tour Politico

US Risks Sinking Americas’ Summit Consortium News

SEC in-house judges violate right to jury trial, appeals court rules Reuters (opinion). Hmm….


Baby Formula Industry Was Primed for Disaster Long Before Key Factory Closed Down

Supply Chain

Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement The Register

Romania’s Constanta port becomes hub for Ukraine’s grain Deutsche Welle (Re Silc).

France’s crop yields will be ‘very poor’ due to unprecedented drought France24 (Re Silc).

Palm Oil’s Slump Set to Deepen After Indonesia Lifts Export Ban Bloomberg

Health Care

One in Four Medicare Patients Harmed in Hospitals, Nearly Half Preventable MedPage Today

Big Brother Is Watching You

We Need to Take Back Our Privacy Zeynep Tufecki, NYT

Our Famously Free Press

“The Typhoid Mary of Disinformation”: Nicolle Wallace. Nobody Spreads it More Relentlessly. Glenn Greenwald

Zeitgeist Watch

How we quietly ditched the idea of progress FT

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Babies The Tyee

Class Warfare

Eugene Starbucks workers go on strike Northwest Labor Press

Amazon Threatened Workers Over Union Vote, Labor Officials Find Bloomberg

Is Anyone Surprised Grubhub’s ‘Free’ Lunch Program Was a Disaster for Restaurant Workers? GrubHub

Rob Reiner on ‘This is Spinal Tap’ Sequel’s ‘Last Waltz’ Inspiration Variety

Sun’s mysterious pole and a ‘solar hedgehog’ revealed in closest-ever images of the sun Looks like a Whistler painting:

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Something to practice in the back yard over the weekend, for Monday in the office.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Louis Fyne

    That Bloomberg blackout article is important.

    even if the blackout are avoided, electricity rates will shoot up pnce your local regulators get around to it.

    Even with a relatively modest unseasonal mid-May heat spell, the spot electricity market prices went nuts. high natural gas prices + unseasonably slack wind (need to ask a meteorologist if it was a fluke or another extreme weather event—historical wind patterns becoming unreliable)

    And if one is/knows someone who stocks an extra freezer with $$$$ worth of frozen meat/food, I would not trust the power supply at all!

    1. BillS

      And I noticed that the threw in the line about Russian cyberattacks, so when the lights go out and the AC shuts down, the Russians can be conveniently blamed! /sarc

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Sure sounds like a great system to plug two or three all electric Escalades or monster trucks per household into.

      Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

  2. griffen

    I went searching for a good news story to begin today and at long last found it. The Spinal Tap sequel sounds like that should be a good bit of fun. Sad to report I have only caught various pieces of the original.

    They should mock up the Kiss farewell tours. Which to this point I can’t recall just which tour was supposedly the farewell.

    1. Stick'em

      Speaking of farewell tours, one can buy an “officially licensed KISS Kasket” for when one does one’s own last stop on the farewell tour:

      The answer is Gene Simmons will never retire until the KISS kommodification of every single form of merchandise imaginable to celebrate the hubris of the hustler is finally complete.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        McKean has too much musical talent. Parodying KISS would be a waste of his comedic talents as a result.

        Spinal Tap has more and better songs than the drone noise made by KISS.

        1. marku52

          ” BIg Bottoms, BIg Bottoms,
          Talking bout mud flaps, my gal’s gottem”

          Some of those songs are priceless. Politically incorrect, but that was often the point.

      2. Dave in Austin

        But KISS and Spinal Tap were parodies of each other.

        If Rob Reiner wasn’t stuck in the past he would have a target-rich environment in both rap and religious music.

        But I guess his real problem is that we can only truly parody something we truly love.

      3. griffen

        Wouldn’t it be much cheaper to just get a Simmons-autographed t shirt for the dear departed?
        That coffin sounds like a farewell to a couple grand, hard to argue if another chooses that but just throw my bones in a box.

    2. Nikkikat

      Spinal tap sequel, the original is the best take on the rockumentary ever! Several parts of the original have stuck with me for years. The interview where they talk about guitar amps.
      All of the volume controls on amplifiers go to 10. Their’s however go to 11. And the story they tell about spontaneous combustion happening to their drummer. Great stuff. It was probably the last time Rob Reiner was funny so we will see.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m ecstatic to be able to offer BitumenCoin, whose value goes up with every mile you drive on a Macadam road. Only 21 million miles are up for offer, a strictly limited edition.

      1. Dave in Austin

        I personally am investing in Fungable Non-Coins (FNCs). Easy to use to create much larger non-coins because they are fungable; impossible to ever trace because they aren’t coins. What more can I ask for?

  3. begob

    On that video tour of the HQ – What do Azovists have against modern football – namby pamby head protection in the American type, or soccer’s preference for penalty shoot-outs instead of hand-to-hand combat? And is that an Irish tricolor at the very end, with a shamrock?

    1. The Rev Kev

      That certainly was an Irish tricolour. Gotta remember too with modern football that to an extent, the Azov people got their start as the football hooligans that you hear about that have a predilection for violence. The ones that you see fighting during and after games. That violence has served them well.

      One thing that I did note. When there were women with the Azov fighters that surrendered, I wondered just exactly who they were and certainly did not believe that they were all nurses. But in that video when they scan over all those Azov ID cards, you will see several female faces amongst them. True believers I would say but to me, just damaged goods.

      1. divadab

        I’ve seen video of women snipers. Requires patience, focus, and physical precision but upper body strength less of an issue than in other gunnery.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read that a coupla female Polish snipers went down to the Ukraine to fight the Donbass forces back about 2015. One was taken out when they baited her into revealing that she was on a hillside so they then dropped an artillery barrage on top of her a**.

          1. divadab

            Yes – this is one reason so much of MAriopol was destroyed – Azov snipers would set up in apartment buildings, snipe away, and then try to move before Russian artillery got their bearings and shelled where they had been sniping from. Whack a Mole. Pretty dangerous work…..

            1. Polar Socialist

              In Mariupol the DNR mostly used tanks to fight snipers. In a newspaper article a tanker flatly stated that .338 Lapua Magnum is no match for 125 mm HE-Frag.

              While it’s more surgical than a battery of D-30s, the building will nevertheless suffer a lot of damage.

              Oh, and tanks in an urban warfare are still a thing.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Racism in Ukrainian football, particularly among minorities of so-called ‘ultras’ (hardcore fans organised as gangs, similar to hooligans, also prominently seen in Italy) has been a longstanding issue, swiftly forgotten as of about 6 months ago.

        See: (note the author!!)

        (priceless money quote in this one:

        The charge of racist behaviour could refer to a banner that had a symbol used by the Azov Battalion, a fighting unit involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and with links to far-right groups.


        Of course, lest anyone be a bit too quick to “aha!” this history, Russia has had the exact same problems:

        Much of this was concern before the 2018 world cup in Russia but by all accounts they did a good job hosting as I recall.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Think it was the European Championship in 2016 if memory serves. Happened in Marseille? That was really pretty wild. I don’t think it was connected to racism per se, though (my 2nd to last link discusses it but I haven’t read that article in full).

      3. Dave in Austin

        Two of the girls had “Border Guard” armbands so I think they were border guards at the port who sought shelter in Azovstal. I”l bet the’ll have interesting stories to tell their grandchildren.

    2. krptid

      My best guess on the ‘modern football’ thing was that it might have something to do with mixing races.

      Look at the French, German, or English national teams, for example.

      1. Larry

        I’d say you hit the nail on the head krptid. In America there is a strong right wing reaction against “sports ball”, claiming it’s a distraction from their fight against [insert hysterical topic of the day]. While that’s true, sports are truly integrated at the playing level and the players themselves have tremendous opportunity to sway public opinion and influence. A lot of people lost their minds over Colin Kaepernick’s protests and even more went bananas over the NBA allowing players to openly join the BLM movements that swelled during the pandemic. White power adherents can’t stand that the leagues are integrated and that many of these stars have sway on a global scale. How can you teach the youth of tomorrow to be hateful if their favorite celebrity is Lebron James or Mohamed Salah?

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The only time I’ve seen a tricolour with a shamrock in the middle is in association with Boston Irish groups, which include some ‘Irish only/whites only’ groupsicles. Its behind a paywall, but a while back the Irish Times did a thing on Boston Irish racist groups and they had a flag something like that one (but not identical) To my knowledge, the shamrock has never been used on any official or unofficial variation on the Irish flag in Ireland. I’ve only seen it in the US.

      The tricolour is hated by neo-nazis elsewhere because of its association with the IRA (avowedly left wing and anti-nazi), plus its association with Glasgow Celtic which has always attracted left wing supporters). Neo-nazi’s in northern Ireland, Scotland and England (usually associated with football clubs) frequently burn the tricolour for that reason – apart from the usual nazi regalia they favour variations on union jacks and even occasionally Israeli flags.

      I assume the modern football thing is a reference to restrictions on right wing Ultras and the things they can chant at black players.

      1. begob

        Plastic Paddy was the first thing that occurred to me, so thanks for the added detail. I recall a photo from a couple of months ago of about a half-dozen Irish volunteers in fatigues headed off to the borderlands in the east – Frodo and chums – where are they now?

        + my local marines base in the UK has had exceptional helicopter activity this past week. Last time it was this busy, an Iranian oil tanker got hijacked a couple of days after it went quiet. I wonder if Boris has a daring raid planned.

    4. Jacob Hatch

      For the first 15 minutes, I felt as if it was not a HQ office, but the local watering hole of a motorcycle gang, one of those places where if you walked into by mistake, even if you were lily white, you’d lose teeth and some part of your body before they threw you out the window. They have barely evolved from the soccer hooligans that Kolomoskyi had rounded up as his private enforcement army.

      Makes me wonder who was training who. Maybe the Canadian Ukrainians soldiers that DPM Chrystia Freeland sent to “train” Azov spent more of their time learning how to rape and disappear untermensch women. It certainly would explain the huge leap in 1st Nation women disappearing in the last 7 years, without a single case being solved. After all, PM Justin(a) Trudeau said his father’s white paper on a neo-liberal final solution to the “1st nation problem” was an excellent work of policy, which shamefully never got executed. They make a great team, Black face Justin(a) and Nazi loving Chrystia.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>1st Nation women disappearing in the last 7 years

        Hasn’t that been going on forever? In the United States, the reservations have the highest murder, rape, missing, and alcoholism rates in the entire country. Many of the perpetrators are from off the reservation. With law enforcement being what it is, they almost always get away with it. Funny how the new media has been ignoring this as well for decades and decades.

        1. Jacob Hatch

          notice I said huge leap, as in from a few dozen per year to half a dozen per month.

          1. JBird4049

            Wait? Half dozen a month for seven years? That is so much more than a huge leap; it describes the same grotesque numbers as Juárez, México.

            1. JBird4049

              And I think that what is happening in Canada requires the same violent corruption in the drug gangs, police and government that has happened in Mexico to also happen in Canada; the details might be different, but the picture would be the same. That frightens me.

              1. Jacob Hatch

                White supremist are in the government (see Chrystia Freeland, Justin Trudeau, Ford family, etc) , and Ukrainian Nazi decedents make up significant recruitment in military, CRMP, and local law. 2 or may 3 years ago there was a tiki-torch parade in Alberta that ended in front of the 1st Nations Council offices in Alberta, Covid redirected that movement but it will be back soon. Kind of surprised we didn’t get a repeat of the Odessa union building massacre.

                30 years after being condemned by the UN, Canada still can’t deliver clean water to most 1st Nation treaty areas, even though they are practically swimming in fresh water. Now, repeat after me, who controls the press?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “So, Have You Heard About Monkeypox?”

    This has not quite the January 2020 feel about it but it is showing up on more and more countries. There are two suspected cases here in Oz alone. So, are we supposed to learn to live with the Monkey Pox too in order to protect the economy? I hope that the Biden regime does not try to ignore it on the grounds that they do not want the distraction before the midterms are done with.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Media went nuts over original SARS. This monkeypox outbreak is more widespread and moving faster than SARS, but much less coverage. Ukraine #1, abortion #2. that is all one must think about.

    2. Stick'em

      When will nature invent a useful disease, something like Money Pox?

      So named because the more money someone grabs, the more likely they are to catch the plague…

      We’d see an officially tremendous concern for “public health” then, now wouldn’t we!

    3. Sutter Cane

      Monkeypox has been around but hasn’t spread like this before, so either it’s a new type of monkeypox, or something has changed with humans to make them more susceptible to it.

      Hmm, what could possibly have changed recently with a large number of people’s immune systems that would make them more susceptible to illness?

      1. heresy101

        RT just reported on monkeypox and potential biowar scenarios.

        “In a simulated exercise held last year, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Munich Security Conference modeled the spread of “a deadly, global pandemic involving an unusual strain of monkeypox virus” that resulted in “more than three billion cases and 270 million fatalities worldwide.””

      2. Old Sovietologist

        The current rate of spread is worrying.

        If you haven’t been wearing a mask lately, it might be smart to get comfortable with doing it again.

        I’m concerned, of course, but I think there are realistic reasons to not panic. I’m not ready to head into quarantine mode just yet.

    4. Martin Oline

      I recently had free access to Showtime where I watched the movie The Lighthouse. There is a scene about 2/3’s or more of the way through where they both get gloriously drunk just before a hurricane strikes. They are sitting on the floor and yelling something in unison and my ‘recovered memory’ thinks it was “Monkeypox, Monkeypox” This is just before the window blows in and the room floods to a depth of six inches. My free access is no longer available but if this is what they were yelling it would make a wonderfully timely clip. If any reader with access could check I would like to know.

      1. Elim Garak

        I just took a peek, it turns out they’re yelling “monkey pump”

        close though!

        1. Martin Oline

          Thank you very much. I wasn’t really sure at the time as it made no sense with the rest of the picture. I loved it when the ship in the bottle went floating by in the flood waters . . .

    5. digi_owl

      Likely they won’t care much as apparently the age old smallpox vaccine is reasonably effective against it.

      1. CloverBee

        Most born after 1975 or so in the US don’t have the Smallpox vaccine, as enforcement ended in 1971. So the question now is… should we go ahead and get a smallpox vaccine? Literature says not for those under 16 years, so what about kids?

  5. Mikerw0

    Re: Plastic Recycling

    I find it ironic that the soda/water industry is running “greenwashing” TV ads about recycling their plastic bottles. It is complete hogwash. I don’t remember if it was the Frontline episode cited in the article, but on either Frontline or Nova there was an episode on plastics, all the different types and the challenges of recycling them. That is why recycling rates are so low; putting aside economics.

    1. Louis Fyne

      if i recall correctly, (dont hold me to it), milk jugs, #2 plastic, are the category worth the effort

      non-milk beverage bottles are #1 or#5

      1. hunkerdown

        #1 PET(E) is highly recyclable. #2 HDPE recycling is worth it, but milk proteins are a particularly undesired and hard-to-remove contaminant, which degrades the uniformity and quality of the polymer chains. Gallon water jugs, orange juice jugs, etc. don’t absorb milk proteins and are very recyclable.

        1. JTMcPhee

          “recycle(able)” does not equate to “recycl(ed).”

          Thank Fod my local county has an incinerator to “recycle” all the plastics and metals and cardboard that many of us self-righteously separate out into the blue bins! /s

    2. Dan

      The fact that there have been far too many types of plastics to make realistic recycling not viable has been obvious for so long. One would think even doing just the plaster water bottles would be straightforward, but when some large percentage of bottles enter the recycling stream with the caps still on (of a different plastic grade). Standardizing plastics would help, but ‘freedom’…

      1. jefemt

        That’s Freedumb to you, bub

        Don’t Tread on Me!

        Money is Speech!

        Corporations are people!!

      2. hunkerdown

        Maybe managers should be forbidden by law from even proposing engineering choices, to fix that problem (and so many others) upstream of the point of production. By and large, nobody in industry wants extra degrees of freedumb to deal with except for the managers.

    1. Chas

      I wonder what would have happened if Bernie (the “amendment king”) had thought to try to attach a Medicare For All amendment to the $40 billion bill to aid to Ukraine?

      1. Big River Bandido

        Every piece of legislation must first go to the Rules Committee which determines how the bill can proceed, including whether the bill can be amended.

        Did the Rules Committee allow amendments to that bill? My hunch is they wouldn’t dare, to prevent your scenario from ever happening.

  6. Jen

    COVID update from NH. Cases in the town to my south (a very wealth PMC enclave) continue to climb. The rumor mill on the listserv has the count north of 50. The NH official stats now show 17. In addition to closing the elementary school for the week, the church is closed to in person gatherings for 4 weeks, the used book sale at the library was postponed and a couple of other events have been moved outdoors and/or are requiring masks.

    The chatter on the local listserv has included a number of “what is this “illness?” is it COVID?” type questions. Seems some of the locals are starting to grok that assessing one’s own risk is rather difficult when the data is sh*t.

    The school is in a real bind. The state won’t let them mandate masks or go remote, so all they can do is close. Statement from the superintendent:

    And an article on the closing in our local paper – the first time COVID has made the front page in a while.

    Numbers are apparently high in the local high schools as well but fewer staff getting sick. A friend of mine teaches math at one of the high schools. She’s kept her classroom windows open year round and worn a mask; hasn’t gotten sick yet. She said not having to really get close to the kids is a big factor.

    Stay safe out there.

    1. Stillfeelinthebern

      Thanks for the local update in your region. Hospitalizations are rising in my area. We’re at about 1/3 of what we had at the peak. Had been down to 1 or none. It’s really difficult without much data (school data was completely eliminated). Now all we get is rumors. I’m seeing more people put their masks back on.

      1. Kevin Smith MD

        Now that fewer people are wearing masks, my wife and I have compensated by trading up from KN94’s to 3M-N95’s …

    2. Randall Flagg

      Plus across the Connecticut River from you in Vermont, entire State is becoming a “hot” spot. But spring is here, holiday weekend soon, who cares? Sarcasm off
      Jen, you could not be more accurate in your description of “ wealthy PMC” enclave.
      Stay safe.
      Reflecting upon those words, “ Stay safe”, those are the words used an when parting one another before Purge night in the Purge movies.
      Guess that’s the real plan now, disguised as let it rip…

    3. JAC

      I know very few people and I seem to be hearing more of those few people talk about people they know with COVID, more than any other wave. Would have been bad for the midterms if the Administration was actually counting anything, but I suppose it will leave people ion a sour mood regardless.

      Finally back down to my weirdly low 96.8 degree temperature and starting to cough up all the viral debris, another good sign. Hard way to get a booster that’s for sure.

  7. Bart Hansen

    The Saker has the text of a briefing given by Maria Zakharova on 18 May. It contains the following accusation that Ukraine is sending grains and other foodstuffs to Europe in exchange for weapons.

    “At the same time, we are seeing a striving of the Western curators to take out of Ukraine everything that may be of some value. This is also a repetition of history of 80 years ago. Hundreds of grain carriers are crossing the Ukrainian border on the way to Europe. The Kiev regime has organised massive daily exports of agricultural products to Europe in exchange for weapons by road and rail, as well as by river on the Danube to Romania via the port of Ismail.”

    Is it true that the West has added food to its list of plunder?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Before the war, I believed that 5 million tons of grain went out the Ukrainian ports but as they are mined, it all has to go by rail and truck – at the rate of about 1 million tons a month (but don’t quote me on those figures). Thing is, the Ukrainians always held back several million tons for their own use which is reasonable but I worry that the west will demand that the Ukrainians export all their grain to bring down food prices in the west. I detect an almost franticness about getting that grain out here in the west.

      Would you believe that the US is thinking about offering Belarus a generous deal? If they let their ports be used to ship Ukrainian grain out through their country (which the west absolutely needs) they will be magnanimous and let the Belarus sell the world their potash (also vitally needed by the west). But then six months later the sanctions get slapped back on them again-

      1. BlueMoose

        I don’t believe that Belarus has any ports. The article mentioned asking Belarus to allow the stuff to be shipped by rail through their country to Lithuanian ports.

          1. Dave in Austin


            Interesting link. It appears that there is a “free port” duty-free link to trans-ship Belarus goods out through one of the Baltic states. In the US this is called a “dutyfree zone; an inland site is designated as part of a port before the customs barrier. So anything in that zone can be shipped to-and-from the port in sealed trucks or rail cars without being inspected or paying a duty. This is a fairly routine agreement often signed by countries without sea outlets. It benefits both that country and the port, which gets greated volume.

            If there is such an agreement it may serve as a convenient “out”; no Belarus goods are actually being shiped to, for instance, Latvia in violation of the trade ban. The goods are just being trans-shipped per the treaty. So rail cars full of Ukrainian grain might go to Belarus and then the Baltic without being inspected. Ain’t commerce wonderful?

    2. jo6pac

      Yes Amerika has added food to their list. In Syria they emptied the grain solos and also steal the oil. It’s just part the whole show.

    3. Alyosha

      We’ve evolved beyond oil for food towards food for weapons. Though I don’t think it’s an open or direct trade. I think it’s desperation from realizing that the sanctions regime has consequences (along with less than rosy predictions for US and European harvests this year). I do agree with the RFM that the grain will go to European warehouses rather than be distributed to the global south, and the increased likelihood that Ukraine will experience severe food insecurity because of this shows the desperation in that it’s another short term “solution” with significant medium and long term costs.

      Pair this with the offer to Belarus that if it helps ship Ukrainian grain to Baltic ports, then sanctions on potash exports will be lifted (temporarily) and the UN floating sanctions relief to Russia and Belarus on agricultural inputs. It does seem like the west is realizing – very slowly – that we’re in pretty deep trouble. In that case, plundering food hardly seems beneath us.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Belarus? Really?

        Our elites must be desperate. I’m convinced the Western elites really believe power emanates from oligarchs (billionaires innthe West) and didn’t have a strategy beyond expecting Russian oligarchs to step in to get their yachts back.

      2. CzechAgain

        This commentary about how Europe is somehow massively interested in storing away vast quantities of grain seems to me uninformed by the reality that Europe overall produces a lot of grain.
        Sure, the top 5 wheat exporters are ex-EU, but in 2021, France was the sixth-largest – with 8.2% of the global market against Ukraine’s … 8.5%. Lower in the list but still top 15 are Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and Hungary – and collectively those exporting countries were a larger exporter at over 20% than 2021’s top exporting country, Russia tied with USA (although of course this conceptually doesn’t mean much, I’m just noting it for scale). In the top 15 world importers, there’s only European country, Italy. I know from some experience that Italy’s a bit unique in that it has a preference for importing the durum wheat for high quality pasta – its wheat imports aren’t representative of a shortage but a specific requirement.

        Now a quick check against other years, it seems the EU-28 are sometimes a net exporter, sometimes a net importer, so let’s call that roughly in balance – sure, imports will be needed if it’s a bad year, but not chronically dependent on wheat imports like other countries. And of course, the EU-28 are quite wealthy by global standards – so food as % of household budgets lower, and almost certainly far more capacity to switch preferences to other staples, unlike places like Egypt that rely on bread from wheat for sheer calories.

        So the likelihood of a need for the West to ‘plunder’ food seems massively overstated. The problem is bad worldwide but food security in Europe a completely different matter.

        1. Polar Socialist

          France is warning about a possibility of a poor harvest this year, I believe.
          Other EU countries may experience similar issues this and next year due to lack/high price of diesel and fertilizers.

          Anyway, if we’re heading for a world with less to eat, those who control the grain, control the world. Or at least can make money like never before.

        2. Alyosha

          Predictions of poor harvests due to weather but also because modern commodity agriculture like grains is heavily dependent on inputs. Europe was a producer of inputs, but they used Russian gas to create them. It’s a worldwide problem, my Father in Law is a retired dairy and crop farmer; he confirms that in the US, nitrogen fertilizers are 4X+ normal levels, same goes for potassium (potash), while phosphorus fertilizers aren’t even widely available. The same goes for a lot of the inputs like fungicides and herbicides because those too are petroleum product derived.

          And in modern agriculture, yield is highly dependent on applied nutrition in both quantity and timing. Phosphorus is important for fruiting/flowering/seed, but potassium is usually the limiting factor which makes potash/potassium shortages and higher prices super problematic.

          1. CzechAgain

            Sure – potential poor yields due to weather and cost of inputs going up is an issue. But this is not the first year that there’s been weather. And (again from some experience) increased cost of inputs like fertilizer hits poorer countries, poorer farmers and those with weak financial systems the hardest. Put another way: European farmers have access to the finance, they have better technical means than in poor countries to compensate (where possible), and their governments far more able to act as crop insurers etc.
            So sure: it will be hard on Europe. It will be hard just about everywhere. To go from there to “Europe will be stealing large amounts of food from Ukraine” is a huge, unjustified leap.
            You want a country nearby that’s very sensitive to the price of household commodities, to the extent that periodically suspends exports of some when it becomes a domestic issue? Hmmm, look around.

            1. hunkerdown

              > European farmers have access to the finance

              i.e., asserting more right to fertilizer which is causally upstream of food through numbers conjured by fiat? That’s nice.

  8. kriptid

    RE: New Not-so-Cold War

    Based on the chatter on Telegram and the latest updates from Defense Politics Asia and War in Ukraine, it looks like the first major Russian breakthrough of the entrenched Ukrainian lines in the Donbass could be developing around Popasna.

    Russian troops struck out in three directions from the high ground at Popasna and look to have bypassed some of the Ukrainian fortified positions to the North and West.

    They’re now in striking distance of Bakhmut which would likely cut off Ukrainian supplies for the large number of heavily entrenched positions north of Horlivka that have essentially been static since the war started. It also eliminates a potential route for strategic retreat from Lysychans’k/Severodonestk.

    There have been no major Western reports about what’s going on in Popasna these last few days, as far as I can tell, but it certainly looks pretty bad for Ukraine:

    ~2:30 min video with the latest updates from around Popasna, with maps:

    Watch from 12:00-24:00 for the detailed Popasna breakdown:

    1. Polar Socialist

      Since yesterday I’ve seen many a commentator calling this development as “collapse” of Ukrainian defenses in the area.

      Following pockets either already exists or are about to be formed due to the development in Popasna area:
      – Severodonetsk (2000 Ukrainians)
      – Gorske & Zolote (3000)
      – Lysitsansk (up to 10k)
      – Svetlodarsk (2000)
      – Avdeevka & Vasilevka (4000)

      Most troops operating in Popasna area are Luhanskians – LNR militia and Wagner group – helped by Russian paratroopers. I assume Wagner group is operating there pro bono, since it was founded in Popasna in 2014 by Luhanskians fighting under Dimitri “Wagner” Utkin.

      The question is if the “allies” have enough troops to contain all these pockets and whether Ukrainians are finally allowed to withdraw when the situation clearly warrants it.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its obviously very hard to tell, but the Russians appear to be advancing with greater speed all along this front especially at the new salients. To me this indicates either that they have seen an opportunity and are deliberately picking up the pace, or Ukrainian resistance is crumbling and increasing numbers of units are only putting up a token fight.

        For me, the biggest ‘tell’ is that many of the usual suspect military ‘experts’ giving their opinion on twitter have gone very quiet this week. I guess they are trying to work out a coherent narrative. Something to do with orderly withdrawal to a stronger defensive position before the inevitable counterattack.

        1. Dave in Austin

          This has been coming for the past week.

          My heart is with the Ukrainian defenders but my head is with the Russians. It is all very sad, like watching a children’s’ sand castle on the beach slowly being dissolved as the tide rolls in. To quote from Stalin when asked about the qualitatively inferiority of Soviet units in WWII: “But quantity has a quality all its own.”

          Above all, my heart is with all the bit players from both sides who are acting out this tragedy which seems to have been written by people in Washington, DC. I remember Sadat’s visit to the wounded of the 1973 war and how it changed him. I wish we could just drop a dozen of the less presentable bit actors some lunch hour at the front gate of the White House and on front steps of the Smithsonian so both White House staffers and American tourists could see what “a living history exhibit” really looks like.

          1. Dave in Austin

            I decided to update this with the reports from the most reliable analysts so people can look at the situation directly, not just get my opinion:

  , (see photo and link:

  , Russians in Zelote refers to:
            (see: (the side roads seem to have dried out a bit)

   (US reporter on the Ukrainian side reporting from the last supply road open to the east (Why doesn’t one of the US networks he used to work for hire this guy?)

   This is a serious military analyst who has criticized Russia tactics in the past. Now the Russians are using the tactics which won WWII and using the most modern equipment to do it. Definitely read him.

            Conversely, the usually accurate pro-Ukrainian analysts like and have gone silent. I will not bother to cite the pro-Russian Twitters with the videos.

            It appears that the Russians are now bypassing small, heavily-defended villages, providing no static targets for the Ukrainian artillery to hit and for the first time using drones effectively. On the drones it is the old “Simple, numerous and cheap” approach. Look up the Orlan-10 drone on Wikipedia. Note the low price, number of drones produced, ease of manufacture and almost unbelievable range. Cheap drones are a real revolution.

            If you want much more detail on the tactics the Russian have reverted to see: and “Soviet Deep Battle”.

            The only think working in favor of the Ukrainains is the weather for the weekend (rain):

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Thanks, those are very useful.

              I find the deluge of contradictory information overwhelming (especially when I try to find wider sources to avoid groupthink/confirmation bias), so I tried to just dip in and out to get a sense of what is happening rather than go in for full information overload. I’m glad there are people like you trying to make sense of it all.

            2. kriptid

              Thanks for gathering these.

              Certainly seems like the pro-Ukrainian analysts are more despondent about these developments than any that I’ve seen previously.

              Next few days are going to be very interesting. Bakhmut does not appear to have a major entrenchment network protecting it from the north, so it will be interesting to see if/how the Ukrainians have tried to protect their position there. If the speed of the Russian advance from Popasna is any indicator, the Ukrainians may be stretched too thin elsewhere to mount a significant defense at Bakhmut if they don’t have one prepared already.

              If Russia manages to get significant forces across the Syverskyi Donets and threaten the railway hub at Siversk, a major collapse of the NE front in Donbass is likely imminent from Horlivka all the way up to Severodonetsk.

              Here are a couple of maps to illustrate all of this for folks:

              Topographical map that gives a sense of the superior position the Russians hold by using Popasna as a staging area for assaults behind the main Ukrainian lines:


              Map of Ukrainian entrenchments identified via satellite (little blue castle icons). Map credit to Defense Politics Asia. Note that these satellite pictures are old so there may be new entrenchments we don’t know about:


            3. Yves Smith

              I don’t understand your enthusiasm for Cooper. He attributes the UAF bunkering in Donbass to as a response Russian tactics. Huh? That’s the worst sort of ignorance. The separatists militias beat the UAF in 2014 and 2015, in 2014 with no Russian equipment support per Jacques Baud’s work then at NATO, not sure re 2015. That bunkering has been years in the making.

              He also accuses “Russia” of going hamlet by hamlet which is a further complete misrepresentation of their objectives. It is not about taking terrain for its own sake, which is what Cooper clearly believes. I have seen no one else claiming that “Russia” has been trying to take small “heavily fortified” villages. Donbass is basically one big suburb, with towns separated by 2-3km.

              It’s about the destruction of Ukraine’s fighting force. They have a big cauldron in Lugansk and they are cutting it into smaller pieces. The militias and Russian forces are generally not attached to holding territory; they’ve repeatedly made tactical retreats. Popsna is a bit of an exception because it’s comparatively elevated and thus allows Russian artillery to dominate a large area.

              I thus see no evidence for Cooper’s big claim that “Russia” has changed tactics.

              I can’t take him seriously in light of the errors of history and framing in just the half dozen paragraphs I read.

              1. Skippy

                Its all BS YS …. decades of pure ideological driven agendas by a cornucopia of actors all playing musical chairs for a big payday vs having ones lunch eaten e.g. has nothing to do with establishing a functional militarily force to defend or project/invade an agenda into another nation.

                The entire conundrum is the equivalent of how Russia and China approaches economic matters which don’t square with the agenda of the Atlantic nations preferences. Largely based on the notion that they are not beholden to the same past narrative frameworks in beguiling their populations. This is a huge affront to the west narrative which is based on some magical notion of superiority by dint of saying so and so be it.

                Per se how does post anti communism MIC et al reposition after the threat is gone, but sally need money to go to the right school thingy.

          2. Digital Echo

            What are the Ukrainian defenders actually defending? Before Feb 24 was Ukraine a robust sovereign and independent state that was blindsided by an unprovoked act of aggression? Beginning in 2014, if not earlier, the US and NATO have been grooming and preparing Ukraine to serve as the battlefield in an eventual proxy war against Russia and have been doing everything in their power to make that war a reality.

            Nobody who has the Ukrainian people’s interests at heart would orchestrate a coup and support an anti-Russian putsch regime that’s propped by a feckless oligarch class and influential neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalist fanatics that preach a fascist ideology and deny Ukraine’s Russian speaking minority (~30% of the population) their basic democratic rights.

            They certainly would not have made Ukraine a de facto NATO member, thereby ignoring Russia’s legitimate and oft stated security concerns about NATO expansionism and its encirclement of Russian territory. Nor would they be using the people of Ukraine as pawns and cannon fodder now that their wished for proxy war has erupted and actively and deliberately prolonging the bloodshed by pouring in $40 billion++ in weapons, loans and warfighting aid while kiboshing even the idea of peace negotiations.

            There is a world of difference between the Ukraine proxy war and countries like Iraq and Afghanistan fighting to expel foreign invaders from the other side of the planet who built their unprovoked wars and occupations on a foundation of lies and imperial hubris. You don’t even have to be “pro-Russian” to understand this.

            When the Soviet “empire”, as it were, collapsed Russia peacefully gave up its client states in eastern Europe and granted full independence to most of the former Soviet republics that wanted it and even agreed to let German reunification go ahead. Its one condition was no NATO expansion east of Germany. These gestures were rewarded by US and European governments and business interests that, in conjunction with home grown oligarchs, applied the “shock doctrine” school of market reform by plundering and privatizing Russia’s assets and resources and immiserating its people on an unprecedented scale.

            Reneging on the no NATO expansion promise in 1996 was the icing on that very poisonous cake. Given the goodwill shown by post-Soviet Russia in giving up its buffer states in Europe the goto excuse wheeled out by the NATO west to justify the alliance’s expansion, namely that Eastern European countries fear being invaded by Russia again like they were in the past and therefore need NATO to protect them, is pure hokum. Russia even wanted to join NATO at one point. European countries prior to 1945 invaded, annexed and fought wars against each other all the time so singling out Russia is disingenuous. If it’s invasion and genocide they fear, a reunited Germany given its not-so-ancient history, should strike absolute terror into eastern Europe’s heart. Funny how that never happened.

            So basically Russia was cheated, lied to and taken advantage of after the Soviet Union’s demise and continued to be treated like the west’s primary existential foe. When Russia began finally pushing back against this indirect aggression by kicking out foreign asset strippers, calling out the west’s hypocritical and duplicitous behavior and rearming and modernizing its military in response to NATO creeping on its borders, the west said “see, we told you Russia is aggressive and can’t be trusted.”

            The SMO/invasion of Ukraine is a direct result of the west’s aggressiveness toward Russia in the post-Soviet era and its obsession with game theory and a unipolar world order. One can debate whether Russia’s decision was a wise one and only time will tell if it produces a strategic victory. But it’s simply not true that Russia’s role and position in this war is the same as the US/NATO in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and Syria and Yemen and wherever else it does empire. Soviet missiles stationed 90 miles away from its shores in Cuba were enough for America to risk nuclear war. Imagine Mexico and all of Central America signing on to a Chinese or Russian version of NATO with nuclear capable missile batteries set up along the southern border. Exactly.

            The zero sum-ers, war hawks and Russophobes say that Russia is an imperial wannabe that was pulling a massive, very convincing bluff with its desire to coexist peacefully with its neighbors and the west and its many diplomatic overtures and goodwill gestures were part of an elaborate feint designed to bamboozle the US and its European friends into letting their guard down until Russia was strong enough to pounce. This very uncharitable position, and dare I say projection, is all the more tragic because diplomacy was never genuinely tried. The west can’t say “well we gave the Russians an honest chance and they betrayed our trust” because the west was never an agreement capable partner to begin with. It was never prepared to respect Russia as an equal partner and was only “friendly” when Russia was on its knees and subservient to western interests. After Yeltsin was turfed and they found out Putin was not a pushover, Russia was the enemy again…and 23 years later here we are. All of it, including Russia’s nationalistic turn and running out of patience with NATO’s bs was predicted by smart and knowledgeable people and their warnings were duly ignored by the unipolar imperialists.

            Of course it sucks to be an ordinary Ukrainian who didn’t ask for or want any of this and my position is that ending the war ASAP and working out a negotiated peace settlement that lets both sides save face is the least worst option. The fighting continuing until Ukraine is a smoking, possibly radioactive, pit and one or both sides declare victory is not in any sane person’s interest.

            I can’t take the framing of this war as a fight for Ukraine’s “self-determination” seriously because wasn’t Zelensky elected in 2019 on a ticket to make peace with the Russian speaking east? Didn’t the US effectively block the Minsk agreements which would have addressed the DPR/LNR issue and Russia’s main security concerns? Didn’t the USG help overthrow a more-or-less democratically elected government (by Ukrainian standards) in 2014? Funny how “self-detrmination” is a thing, and “freedom fighters” get invoked, only when NATO membership or US foreign policy goals are involved and never when worker’s rights, national sovereignty or anything else that involves improving material conditions are concerned.

            1. kriptid

              There’s a lot you’ve said here, but I’d say you’re more or less preaching to the choir here, friend.

              The Soviet Union collapsing without a shot fired is absolutely a credit to Russia that they will never fully get, especially for a nation so steeped in and used to bloodshed historically. They easily could have thrown a tantrum that ended with the world being turned into glass. We (the West) certainly haven’t done them any favors in return for that show of restraint.

          3. Skippy

            Ugh … “My heart is with the Ukrainian defenders but my head is with the Russians.”

            Its like someone anguishing about the demise of a libertarian camp in the jungle of South America,

          4. Susan the other

            So it was a quote from Stalin (“Quantity has a quality of its own.”) – Thanks for that tidbit.

    2. Val

      My new band Popasna Breakdown. Everything is in a minor key and double time. Looking for an accordion player who’s not afraid to shred.

      1. hunkerdown

        Alexander Hrustevich delivers a mean accordion Tchaiokvsky with a side of frisson. I suspect he might decline, shall we say, sensitive bookings. Um, try North Korea, maybe, but soloing isn’t a very communist thing.

  9. super extra

    re: Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement The Register

    After the requisite trash talking against the commie chips – can you BELIEVE they would settle for something 9x slower than an Intel from last year??!? – they got to the really fun part:

    As for other efforts that will help Russia replace Intel and AMD CPUs in PCs, a state-backed company called Rostec was working on laptop chips using the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture, according to a report from last year.

    RISC-V is an open source chipset architecture that has been the theoretical holy grail of open source hardware people like me since the project started a little over a decade ago. I have been hoping they would pick up RISCy projects in the face of the chip sanctions just because it is the best and most obvious route to a thriving local chip/hardware ecosystem if they’re cut off of western chips. Here are a couple more links on the topic:

    Tech war: China bets on open-source RISC-V for chip design to minimise potential damage from ‘being cut off’ by US sanctions South China Morning Post

    China’s Government, State-Backed Firms to Scrap Foreign PCs Within Two Years Tom’s Hardware They’re moving to have this done by mid 2024, so before the next administration is in.

    1. jsn

      Ahh…, the horror of stepping off the Moore’s Law treadmill!

      Those damn commie (and Ruskie, commie sympathizers) are going to start making durable chips that might still be manufactured in 20 years to make durable things with chips in them can be repaired by actual, meat based walking humans rather than the robots or web based life forms our masters here have planned for us!

      Can you imagine? The terrors of a world that doesn’t throw everything away and replace it with something crappier every few years could risk achieving ecological sustainability at an appalling cost to profits!

    2. hunkerdown

      I too have waited with bated breath for RISC-V MCUs to become available in the USA in hobbyist quantities, and not just to be rid of the ARM IP tax. Gigadevice released an STM32 MCU alternative/”clone” with an RV core about 3-4 years ago, IIRC. It was significantly faster than the ARM core, but they didn’t seem to have much supply available to experimenters before the pandemic and chip shortage came, and I’ve heard not much since.

      For background, the STM32F103 is a mediocre, slightly buggy 32-bit ARM microcontroller of 2007 vintage, which has nonetheless become an open-source community favorite. From LCSC, a Chinese component distributor and contract manufacturer that caters to the low-volume Western purchaser, a genuine STM32F103C8T6 MCU costs $10+ (all prices for single quantities) with 12000 in stock. The Gigadevice RISC-V equivalent costs $4.95, no stock. The Gigadevice ARM equivalent, which is almost 100% drop-in compatible with the ST, costs $3.05, about 8000 stock. In 2018, the ST chip cost $2 each for 1. That doesn’t strike me as a very confident bet, but then again the hobbyist has only a mouse hole view on the market square.

    3. schmoe

      Will an x86 have the computing power for a broadband internet connection? Odd that quick internet searches were not answering that.

      1. super extra

        yeah totally. x86 is the instruction set for the CPU that used to be called “PC computers” – 386/486 through to today’s laptops with the ‘Intel Inside’ sticker. They are not being busted back to the 80s by this switch. More like ~3 years behind average use case. The big thing this means is that they really will be developing their own homebrew software IP for stuff like CAD and missile systems (or whatever that is sanctioned from the west) that doesn’t run on anything other than Windows. France should be quaking, they make most of the mighty systems software eg Solidworks for 3d modeling. Lack of lots of that kind of software is how western software monopolies are retained (along with the IP protection racket enforced by the various free trade deals)

        1. Polar Socialist

          Their military and space industry/research complex has used Elbrus-90 (SPARC) computers for years. Lately Elbrus seems to have gone all VLIW, maybe that was the sweet spot for Russians – they may be better at writing compilers than producing complicated chip logic.

          But it’s pretty certain they already have RISC-ish 3D design sofware for their space and military designers.

          1. super extra

            Thanks! I forgot about SPARC. There may already be RISCy hypervisors then? very exciting times for the nerds

    4. Polar Socialist

      The company working on the RISC-V chips is called Yadro, in Moscow. Rostec only promised to buy 60,000 systems per year, if Yadro can provide.

      Yadro likely can provide, since they are in the RISC-V business only because they bought another Russian company, Syntacore, in 2019. Syntacore is a founding member of RISC-V International. Yadro is a key member in the OpenPOWER Foundation.

      Tablet/phone/laptop 8-core chip EL Yadro Contsruct is supposed to go into full production in 2023. Also next year they are supposed to have first version of 64-core server chips – these are the ones Rostec is interested in.

      The question remains where the chips will be made? Malyasia (fast) or Russia (slow) seem to be the options for now. Or maybe just Malaysia, if they really aim for 6/7 nm chips. I don’t think Russia at the moment has a company capable of that.

      1. super extra

        I can see Malaysia picking it up, especially in response to the 1MDB scandal. The ex-Goldman boss was found guilty last month but has yet to be sentenced. I can see this becoming another mine the Biden admin fails to avoid and the Malaysians taking the opportunity to assist their national champions.

      2. super extra

        > Also next year they are supposed to have first version of 64-core server chips – these are the ones Rostec is interested in.

        Very exciting – probably means virtualization and hypervisors finally coming to RISC-V. Wonder if there’s a clever pun по-русски for ‘Russian Clouds’ ;)

    5. RobertC

      Let’s pull some threads together:

      First what processors will power the Big Data Centers?

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

      Second where will the STEM talent come from?

      And Yes the Western world’s software and hardware suppliers are very anxious about these developments while their politicians are oblivious. “Very exciting” is too tame an assessment.

    6. Revenant

      China had taken a more Western approach last time I looked and – plausible deniability – has not lifted a finger against the local ARM subsidiary who has gone rogue and does not take orders from HQ. And I believe ARM China has some actual engineering going on….

    7. digi_owl

      Well if nothing else this VIA based setup can drop into an existing ATX case and be happily used that way. Most RISCV offerings i have seen come as dev boards that are meant to be product samples for engineers and programmers to poke at while sitting naked on a desk.

      On a different note, i seem to recall reading recently about a Chinese made GPU. Only hitch was that the CEO was a former Nvidia employee.

      You got to love how history rhymes, given that a similar thing was done when the US garment industry was being bootstrapped after the revolution.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Biden’s China strategy cannot work with weapons alone”

    ‘An effective policy in the Indo-Pacific would balance Beijing’s influence by raising US trade and investment’

    Yeah, but we all know how it will play out. Washington will want to recruit a country to be the Ukraine of Asia with the same promises of help if things go south with China. In other words, a missile sponge. Not sure but it looks like Japan may be looking to fill that job. I would imagine that the red line for China would be the same for Russia and the Ukraine that was crossed – the announcing of the desire to develop and deploy nuclear missiles. I can’t imagine that the rest of Asia would be happy at that development either if Japan announced that it was developing nukes and I wonder if that subject came up with the ASEAN special summit behind closed doors this week.

  11. Alyosha

    Thanks for the air curtain and N95 + filtration articles. No surprises in either for me.

    The former is an interesting solution that’s used to similar effect in some industries for contaminants, though usually at doorways rather than personal space. I was inspired by doing airflow visualization work in operating theaters, developing cannabis grow cabinets designed to minimize/eliminate mold/bacteria contamination from the cultivation space. I can see application for the study’s findings at hospitals and clinics, perhaps public facing institutions like bank counters or government offices. But it will have some complications that affect realistic implementation. That type of air system is always going to be loud and it can cause second order issues with HVAC system operations.

    The latter is a proving the specifics of something we already know. For any contaminant the first thing I’d do to protect people from exposure is establish engineering controls (the HEPA air filtration), and the goal is always for that to be all that’s necessary. If it wasn’t, the respiratory protection (masks) would be implemented. Partly it’s because even a fit tested N95 is going to have a PF of about 10, so if we start with a virus concentration of X per cubic meter of air the mask will reduce our personal exposure to X/10. If the ventilation is even just as efficient as the mask, the two combined get us an exposure concentration of X/100. Risk is always a gamble, gotta stack the odds in your favor as you can.

    1. jsn

      Loud, high energy to operate and expensive to install.

      We’ve been using air curtains in HVAC systems architecturally for several decades to allow heavy pedestrian traffic flow through the perimeter of conditioned spaces, but as you say, they are loud and produce perceptible airflows in addition to being costly and using lots of energy.

  12. special_procedures

    I’ve been back in the UK for the first time in two years recently. It’s incredible the change when it comes to cash/card. I’ve been refused cash purchases twice in the last few weeks, usually by smaller businesses.

    Last night I had a chat with lady running a bar that demanded card. Apparently it costs her GBP 3K a year in insurance fees to keep cash on the premises. I wasn’t clear if these rates have gone up considerably lately, or whether covid/changing attitudes have made it easier for smaller shops to ditch the expense.

  13. LawnDart

    For today’s target practice, what passes for “informed commentary” within the MSM, I would like to submit the following (this article is ducks-in-a-barrel for NC readers):

    The Russian language ‘problem’ inside Ukraine

    Great examples of gaslighting, historical revision, distorted context and omission to be found in the above– have fun.

    1. JohnA

      LOL, all the stats about the majority support EU membership, the west, anti-Russia etc., conveniently exclude the whole of eastern Ukraine where the population has been disenfranchised. I did not read more than about the first 2-3 paras, utter propaganda.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Wow, I think that may actually be fact-free. And I can’t quite figure out the point of the article either. Is it “Russian thinks it’s all that!”?

  14. flora

    Thanks for the Clark and Dawe comedy bit on utube. It’s funny ’cause it’s true. A good laugh is appreciated. / ;)

      1. Skippy

        Yet they are just groomed face time advocates for the agency behind them Lambert and since our Keating – Bill Clinton doppelganger, ALP – Labour has more than facilitated in advancing the neoliberal project, albeit at a more slower pace and with a more easy to swallow happy meal deal.

        Some forget or are unaware of the travesty of Rudd’s experience post the rule of Howard’s years, besmirched as a totalitarian for questioning the wisdom of Hayek in a MSM opinion piece that was not fundamentally pro free globalist markets proponent. Only to get the Machiavellian treatment from the right wing of the ALP via Corporatist Gillard and look at where she is today.

        Yet things are afoot and not from the usual sources …

        Liberal vs Labor

      2. Basil Pesto

        yes, but the Labor faction of the National Cabinet was ultimately fully on board with it, even if they did not front the decision. I hope he loses too because if we’re going to be led by terminal second raters we could at least shuffle the deck now and then, but it seems we’re very much in “nothing will fundamentally change” territory.

  15. Stick'em

    re: Cats and COVID-19

    Given COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease, which likely crossed the species barrier into humans from bats and/or pangolins at a weird live food market, it wasn’t all that surprising when we learned big cats in captivity get it from zookeepers:

    What about domestic felines? Hadn’t thought much about it until recently…

    Here’s our anecdata: My wife got COVID as a Mother’s Day present. After two years of a mostly hermetic existence, religious masking in public with N95s, diligent vaccination and over-enthusiastic hand sanitizing, she went to the library to work with some autistic kids, as she routinely does, as the kids do storytime outside.

    This time, however, nobody was wearing a mask but her and the story was moved indoors. The local library had been something of a sanctuary because, well, librarians are pretty uptight by nature and the public buildings had pretty strict rules here. Thanks to the CDC nonsensical messaging, even the librarians bought the “COVID is over” propaganda. Bottom line, an individual indoors being the only one masked amongst a horde of kids apparently doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    So now we all got it. Including our black cat, Bagheera. This morning, he smacked one of the other neighborhood cats on the head at the food bowl, then came inside and laid himself down in a chair to sleep. And his cough sounds just like my wife’s…

    tl;dr is if you haven’t thought about it, yes, your dogs and cats can get COVID too:

      1. Stick'em

        No ivermectin. To be fair, we haven’t tried to swab the cat’s nose and do a COVID antibody test to give a definitive diagnosis. Still, if this is what everyone in the house has, then the likelihood Baggy has it too seems really high.

          1. Stick'em

            From the Cornell site: “It is important to point out the test used for animals is different from that used for people.”

            We had an extra antibody test in the drawer but decided against trying it on the cat because not sure how homologous the feline antibodies are to human ones and so on. Basically it comes down to a management decision. We aren’t going to do anything differently than we usually do: give the cat food, water, and make sure he’s got a stress-free place to sleep.

            I used to run an animal shelter a few years back. It’s really important to give folks consistent messaging on the “No evidence pets can infect people” part. Otherwise, hysterical people bring cats/dogs to shelters to “get rid of ’em” over things like COVID. Easy for some folks to use black cats as scapegoats for all the world’s problems…

  16. Lexx

    ‘This isn’t just gonna go away’: Long COVID is crashing the retirement hopes of many Americans.

    (Pretty much what our bloggers said would happen. They’re prophets.)

    We don’t know how to rebuild an immune system once it has been KO’d. We don’t know what healthy looks like, now or if we ever did. That baseline isn’t what the field of medicine was built on. The bias is in the word – ‘medicine’. Medical caregivers are extensively trained to look for disease, preferably that low-hanging fruit confirmed with lots of lab work, and ‘managed’ with pharmaceuticals. And in even that level of pursuit, they are seriously short staffed. The return to ‘normal’ is simply beyond them. There are no such tools in their tool boxes.

    1. hunkerdown

      Amerindian definitions of “medicine” were much more congenial, and I think we would do well to get them back into broader usage. The disease in allopathy is “management”, and I think that stands as a general critique of the West.

    2. Maritimer

      I checked in that story and some others on “long covid” and they never mention whether the long coviders were injected. Just another obvious question for some reason ignored by the Scientists.

      Here is what I see as an armchair Scientist:
      All Long Covid is not equal:
      Long Covid with:
      No injection,
      1 injection,
      2 injections,
      booster 1
      booster 2….

      Then, of course, which injections, PFI, JJ, AZ, etc…. Then was there prophylaxis, was there early treatment, etc.? Haven’t seen any discussion of these different classes and variations of Long Covid. Just it’s all Long Covid.

      IMO, it is all one huge contaminated Crime Scene, never be unravelled. Cui bono?

      1. Basil Pesto

        Many of the sufferers interviewed in the MarketWatch article were infected in 2020: before the vaccination campaign. Moreover sequelae of SARS viral disease were documented thoroughly after SARS1

        There was also research last year reporting that LC was less prevalent in infected vaccinees, but it was never hugely convincing. If there was a benefit for vaccinees with respect to LC it seems like it was merely temporary given waning antibodies and continuing viral evolution.

        It’s not clear what you’re trying to claim, though: that Long Covid is being made worse by the vaccines? That what is being called long covid isn’t covid at all but actually just a coverup of vaccine adverse reactions? (preposterous).

        You then talk about “classes and variations” of Long Covid like you have some idea what you’re talking about. As far as I know there are no such “classes and variations”. Long Covid is a rather loose categorisation covering all the long term consequences of SARS2 infection. It is a deliberately big tent encompassing all kinds of sequelae of infection, and I am unaware of vaccination status moderating the “class” or leading to a new “variation” of Long Covid (again, your post is very imprecise), mainly because these are descriptors you’ve just come up with, which doesn’t really cut it as far as science goes, armchair or otherwise. I suspect that quite a few non-armchair scientists have actually thought about this a lot harder and more carefully than you have. I also imagine that there is probably a non-zero number of cases where disentangling between covid infection sequelae and vaccine adverse reactions is genuinely difficult but I suspect it’s a lot smaller than you imagine. You offer no evidence or papers as a starting point to analyse this issue, though, just JAQing off.

        Bono is the lead singer of rock band U2.

          1. Skippy

            Wipes tear from eye when his flock were shocked at his davos man moment … so long ago ….

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Pretty much what our bloggers said would happen. They’re prophets

      Just realists. Of course, in the current media environment, being a realist can make you look like a prophet.

  17. Questa Nota

    Deficits in truth don’t matter.

    Attributed to anyone connected to the Cheney family.
    Where is Damnatio memoriae when you need it?

  18. The Rev Kev

    “US Risks Sinking Americas’ Summit”

    I think that that Summit is toast. There are too many vested interest in US politics that will stop old Joe compromise by inviting all those delegates and so more than a few nations will not attend as a result – starting with Mexico. As the article mentions, Obama met Cuba at a summit and afterwards US-Cuban relations started improving. That cannot be allowed to happen again. Of course China could do a bit of s***-stirring by announcing that they will fly to South America to have an alternate Summit – and with trade deals on offer. And to be truthful, what can old Joe offer? Another poison-pill loan from the International Monetary Fund?

    1. digi_owl

      USA really do seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place, as so many recent immigrants sport dual loyalties like a badge of honor.

    2. Boomheist

      So I see a direct link between this potential fiasco in our own backyard and the failed efforts to keep European governments from buying Russian oil and gas with rubles – a vast tectonic move by much of the world to cast off the current unipolar system. It is happening all over the place. And all this is occurring after the United States became the world leader in a botched covid response and obviously the covid and disease story is far from over (monkeypox)…..

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > a botched covid response

        Well, we decided to become a reservoir of infection for Covid and lost a million people. But it China loses control to Omicron, they might lose five million or even ten. So I’d say that’s a pretty good ratio of exchange.

  19. jr

    Here is a show called “The Basement Office” produced by the NY Post. It’s host covers UFO’s and suchlike. This is a revealing expose of the Luis Elizondo hustle, digging into the relationship between Robert Bigelow and Harry Reid. Tom DeLong is there with his plans for a homemade UFO:

    1. Susan the other

      Well, that was interesting. I think… Way back in the early 70s, long before the Pentagon was forced to admit that Area 51 really existed, there was spooky stuff going on in Duschene County (Land of the Skinwalkers). When they finally did admit that yes, Area 51 is really there, they floated a rumor that all the top secret stuff had been moved to a secret location in Utah. Well, duh. Where better to conceal utter nonsense? In fact (from Frank Salisbury’s book on strange lights around Vernal – the county seat -) peculiar stuff had been reported from rural residents there for years. He (Salisbury) went to investigate and confirmed that small balls of light sort of harassed people in cars by flying alongside them but never causing harm. (Foo, anyone?) Frank had no explanation. He just verified the lights. This was 50 years ago. That 50 years factoid seems like we are looking at something close to zero progress on “advanced weaponry.” I think the word “Skinwalker” has only been recently concocted as just another disinformation-distraction layer in a big cake of Pentagon BS. The “truth” is that we are being told fairy tales to distract us. And the only conceivable truth is that we are indeed studying advanced weaponry. What else could it possibly be? It’s always about weapons. But MK-Ultra lives. And the nonsense that is being spun about UFOs and intergalactic confederations and other nonsense is relentless. Some of the imbedded suggestions lately are that all the “Royals” have been designated to lead us into this wonderful new cosmic future with the Aliens. I mean, who writes this shit?

  20. Carolinian

    Wow Greenwald really doesn’t like Nicolle Wallace

    She has an unsurpassed ability to broadcast to audiences outright lies whispered to her by Deep State operatives — one after the next — without flinching or betraying the slightest sense of a conscience or moral compass. She lies like only a sociopath can: exuding charm and warmth yet utterly vacant on the inside, except for a soul festering in rot. Over the last twenty years — from her perches at the White House, on The View, and now at MSNBC — nobody has made liberals eat up Pentagon and neocon war propaganda more eagerly and uncritically than Nicolle Wallace.

    I barely know who she is while at the same time feeling vindicated in my decision not to subscribe to cable TV.

    We are a long way from Cronkite’s statement that news organizations are selling “credibility.” In Cronkite’s day the network news was a loss leader and he complained about only having a half hour every night. Now the news is simply another variant of inexpensive, unscripted reality television that fills the maw of hundreds of channels and 24/7 airtime. Easier to lie than spend money gathering the facts.

    1. Stick'em

      Greenwald went off on Rachel Maddow in a similar manner a couple years ago:

      The gist of it seems to be most of us learned not to talk about politics with our friends/family who watch FoxNews long ago. They just live in a different reality. So then Russiagate made it abundantly clear our friends/family who watch MSNBC are every bit as lost as the FoxNews people, just in a different fantasy narrative.

      I think it was hurtful to Glenn when he did the Snowden PRISM journalism at the Guardian, won a Pulizer for it, then his fellow “liberal” journalists like Maddow became character actors, turning on Snowden and Assange. Greenwald was trying to do Seymore Hersh, while Maddow/Wallace are doing the female version of Alex Jones/Rush Limbaugh. It’s more hurtful because we expect the FoxNews people to treat issues like it’s WWF wrasslin’, but we expected our “liberal” college people to be rational.

      We cut off the cable over a decade ago. Haven’t watched any of these infotainment people, be it Rachel Maddow or Joe Rogan Tucker Carlson or Nicolle Wallace – intentionally in that long. Last political show we watched was Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. The comedian was better at delivering the real news than the “real” newscasters.

      1. Carolinian

        The MSM used to be quite snooty about Fox News but turns out they just wanted to be on their own version. Roger Ailes’ mantra was “you’re nothing if you’re not on television.” Perhaps it started with Meet the Press and Washington Week in Review which featured the sober sided Jack Nelson (one of my faves). But they were real reporters rather than “news personalities.” In truth the Republicans did get this going with Fox and as well as the Gingrich burn down the house style of politics which the Dems have also adopted. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        But I was also disgusted with the endless commercials on CNN and decided I was tired of being brainwashed during the program and then during the breaks.

      2. digi_owl

        What is more worrying, as a foreigner, is how uncritically the European media seems to copy paste the liberal side of USA uncritically. To the point of claiming that the Russian attack on Ukraine was unprovoked, no less.

        It almost seems like we are reenacting the worst of the cold war, as if nothing was learned.

  21. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking about ALL the Dems voting for the $40 “Aid” package to Ukraine and killing any Covid relief at the same time.
    Finland and Sweden Jumped aboard the sinking ship quite readily too…
    Perhaps the Gelato princess is the most effective Majority Whip since Sam Rayburn (With smaller boobs) or perhaps the five eyes agencies have lent a hand.
    As they did to BoJo the clown or in the US 2016 and 2020 elections ( Remember the Whitmer case?).
    The Assange and Murray persecutions sent a very clear message to all of the media that there is a very big stick to balance the carrot.
    And the revelations about the five eyes surveillance capabilities (Snowden,vault 7…) make it quite plausible to believe they have the ability to coerce pretty much anyone,one way or the other.
    The US and the West ( The “Hegemon”) have been pursuing what can best be described as a
    “Martingale” strategy over the last three decades.
    Double down every time you fail because there have never been any negative personal consequences for failure for you or for your peers.
    Everyone is losing from this situation, and we’re closer to Nuclear Armageddon than we have ever been due to what is no less than murderous insanity on the part of Western Elites.

  22. jr

    Here is Jimmy Dore discussing MSNBC’s China v. US wargaming session with NeoCon thinktanks:

    Todd urges watchers to “tune in” to see who wins.

    This is beyond propaganda. It’s sheer fantasizing. These people really are fu(king insane.

    1. Jacob Hatch

      China is above Russia in import trade to Turkey. What amazes me is all these idiot-savants can come up with such complex plans, but no one can think to phone Erdoğan and check Turkey’s price before extending a rush invitation to join NATO to Finland and Sweden. The absolute incompetency beggars belief.

      1. jr

        I would argue that incompetency vies with utter delusion in the minds of these cretins. They really are in a bubble, drunk on power and the gravitas of their incestuously credentialed circle-jerk. That nauseating mealy-mouthed invertebrate Todd is the willing toady, the satisfied hanger-on to such dignities, awed by the letters that follow their names and their sterling resumes. Degenerates.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Australians face their starkest choice at the ballot box in 50 years. Here’s why”

    Well it is voting time for the Federal election tomorrow and the only good thing about it is that it will mean no more political ads. I really hope that Scotty from Marketing will be toast because if not, in the next three years he is liable to do even more stupid stuff – like invading the Solomon Islands with US help “to restore order.” I wouldn’t put it past him. Unfortunately the Labour guy is not that great either. He had three years to get ready for this election but got lazy and did not bother studying up on basic info that he should have known on tap. So he got himself humiliated a coupla times by showing his ignorance. And thus it is like a choice between Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. Will things change here? Not much. Hopefully there will not be this bellicose tone in foreign relations that Scotty had but if the Labour guy is accused of being weak, he will fold and be compelled to do Scotty-like stuff. So tomorrow we will rock up to the polling station, do our civic duty, and pretend that it will make a difference. At least we get to choose to vote tactically so there is that.

    1. ChristopherJ

      Thank you, Rev. Today is IMO probably the most important in the last 20 years. The Liberal National Part has to be the most corrupt, business-loving, party I have seen in the 40 years I have been voting.

      Sure, Anthony Albanese may have not done all his homework, but he has faced down a Murdoch dominated press (75% of print media, Foxtel, et al), a television network which mostly supports the government, including our ABC. The LNP has mostly sniped at AA, saying he is a loose unit, unprepared for the office of PM. AA has stood his ground and actually proposed policies.

      I hope my fellow Australians will vote this government out and today we can move forward and recover.

  24. Raymond Sim

    This is my understanding of what ‘monkeypox’ means. I would welcome corrections and other input from those with greater knowledge:

    ‘Monkeypox’ refers to disease caused by orthopox viruses of a population (formerly?) endemic to Africa, designated ‘monkeypox virus’ ‘MPV’ or ‘MPXV’. MPXV is one of the viral populations which in the past caused some cases of what was termed ‘smallpox’. The smallpox vaccine is strongly protective against MPXV. If there was any circulation of MPXV within human populations the campaign to eradicate smallpox would presumably have put an end to it. And ongoing vaccination against smallpox would have limited subsequent zoonosis from the large animal reservoir.

    After universal vaccination against smallpox ended, cases of monkeypox in humans began to rise, and researchers documented indications that human-adapted forms of MPXV were evolving:

    1. Skunk


      “All the comparisons showed that camelpox and smallpox are genetically closer to each other than to any other virus. The authors speculate that the two viruses evolved from a common ancestor, possibly a rodent virus, probably after the advent of intensive agriculture about 7,000 years ago.

      Gubser and Smith say the growth in the percentage of people who are “immunologically naïve” for orthopoxviruses increases the danger that these viruses will emerge or re-emerge as a threat to human health. In addition, the growth in the number of people whose immunity is suppressed by HIV infection poses a risk that the orthopoxviruses such as camelpox will jump species and adapt to humans.”

  25. TimH

    We Need to Take Back Our Privacy Zeynep Tufecki, NYT

    …and how many trackers does the NYT site have?

  26. TheRev Kev

    “The Azov Steel Plant surrendered to the Russian army and caught the “big fish”. The good show has just been staged”

    Those Nazis may only be good at beating up and shooting people that can’t shoot back but let it not be said that they don’t know how to do propaganda. Here is Svyatoslav “Kalina” Palamar who is the deputy commander of the “Azov” regiment and I’ll be damned if he dos not look like Matt Damon with a scraggly beard-

    Had a thought earlier. Those Azov guys still could use the internet to communicate with Kiev. What if the Russians let them so that they could hack into their computers and copy all their files out?

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I’ve been wondering how those Azov fighters have been communicating while deep underground. My cellphone loses connection when a train goes through a tunnel. Have all the bunkers in the steel plant been wired for cellphone? That’s a lot of retro-fitting. So much of the Ukraine-Russia war is surreal to me. When does Season 2 show on Netflix or HBO Max?

      1. digi_owl

        Starlink on the roof plugging into the ethernet already in place to run the PLCs controlling the production processes?

  27. JAC

    “Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Babies”

    This paragraph punched me in the gut:

    The problem is that we live in an individualist, often aloof culture that isn’t practiced in extending kindness to the people we encounter on an everyday basis.

    Because of neoliberalism, all of my closest friends live nowhere near me. I have a few people close enough to me in town who after I said I had COVID did not even ask if I needed anything or followed up on how I was doing.

    But I know, as long as I am compassionate, there will be compassion in the world. Praise Buddha!

    1. Joe Renter

      Hang in there. I try to follow the precepts as well. No close friends where I live, but my community is still with me as the Noble ones are with you when you practice. Merit is yours for your efforts.

    2. Raymond Sim

      “Take one step upon the true path, and buddhas and bodhisattvas will spring up to assist you.”

      I forget where or when I first heard or read that, but I find it to be profoundly true. I’m not always terribly astute about recognizing them though.

    3. djrichard

      Well we still have the nuclear family; that hasn’t been atomized yet. But pretty much everty other relationship outside of that has. And it’s worked very well for capitalism; it thrives on us exploiting us (and us exploiting ourselves and each other) as individuals. Save our famililes; we try not to exploit our families.

      Not too long back, NC had some links to artcles by Cory Doctorow on imagining a future without capitalism. I can’t think of an evolution. Can we have a devolution? Back to clan-based societies (in particular, gift-exchange societies), where the first instinct upon coming across an other isn’t how to exploit but rather to determine where in the chain of clan relationships that other falls and how to re-inforce that relationship?

  28. antidlc

    RE: U.S. government places $119 million order for 13 million freeze-dried Monkeypox vaccines

    Where is the $119 million coming from?

    The government can spend $119 million on Monkeypox vaccines, but can’t get funding for more COVID vaccines.


  29. LawnDart

    Mr. Market (how’s that 401k looking?):

    High for the DJIA Feb 12, 2020 (before pandemic panic): 29,568.57

    Peak post-panic, Jan 05, 2022: 36,952.65

    Low today (so far): 30,951.83, down 16% this year.

    1384 points away from another dem PR catastrophe. Next week, maybe? Joe’s in Asia, so what are the odds that he’ll say something that pisses-off China?

  30. LawnDart

    McDonalds Leaves Russia—Russians Gain Four Years of Life Expectancy

    Sources close to Vladimir Putin say that Russia will not only send McDonalds back to the US, but also covertly fund its operations there. By spending a fraction of the vast wealth Russia is earning due to higher energy prices to open even more McDonalds franchises in America, sources say, Putin will further feminize American men, render them obese and unable to fight, and ultimate kill millions of Americans at a fraction of the cost of a single 9M730 Burevestnik radioactive-tidal-wave-causing cruise missile.

  31. Jacob Hatch

    “A new viral outbreak is testing whether the world has learned anything from COVID.” Oh, my sweet summer child. We learned that you can kill a million Americans, (steal immense wealth from the treasury, rapidly drain the poor, middle class, and small enterprises of their savings and transfer it lock stock and barrel to the top 1%, all) without causing riots. A peaceful land, a quiet people!

    Knowing that America was built and continues to build on genocide, I’m not surprised about the lack of anger over the deaths, but the theft… then I thought about it some more and remembered they stole not only much of an entire continent, but have stolen near as much from the third world. Easy come, easy go.

  32. kareninca

    Covid really illuminates differences in what people care about doing, and what they want to risk for themselves, and what risk they want to expose others to.

    My (double vaccinated, once boosted) mom, who lives in small town New England, a real hot spot right now, has had omicron symptoms for a month – diarrhea and a headache. She has been tested up and down for causes by the local ER and regular doctors. – but they have not tested her for covid; not once, not at all. She lives her life as if there were no covid in the world.

    I live in CA. I figured that I’d better see her before things go to hell this summer. I am not vaccinated but I use loads of prophylactics and test at least weekly (always negative). So here I am in New England now. I just got a phone call from my husband in CA – he has learned that he spent 3 hours indoors, unmasked (lecture setting) on Tuesday with someone who has now tested positive.

    So I won’t visit with my few remaining relatives here. I know an outside visit would be okay, but they are surely going to catch it soon, and I don’t want to be blamed. Never mind that they eat out nearly every night – it would have to be the visitor who was the cause. Never mind that they hang out with my symptomatic mom, and are probably symptomatic themselves without bothering to test, since they’re all over it.

    I’m not sociable, so being careful for myself and others is not a burden to me. It would be torture for most of the people around here.

    1. jr

      “ it would have to be the visitor who was the cause.”

      I think this is a really important point. If/when CV19 takes an even harsher turn, the witch hunts will begin in earnest. Anyone who questions the official narrative, vaxxed or not, masked or not, will become a target. People prefer their fantasies, and their nightmares, to hard thinking and brutal truth. They cannot walk the Middle Path, they must find a polarity to orient to. Good times ahead.

      1. kareninca

        Those of us who are not vaccinated – no matter how careful we are – feel as if the witch hunts have already happened. But you are right, it can and will get worse.

        The only person I know in my church (other than me) who is not vaccinated is an Anthroposophist. I guess we are toast.

        1. Maritimer

          The uninjected are the persecuted now but who will be next?
          The lesson of Covid Dictat is that any group, any person who does not swallow the Government/MSM Propaganda on any subject may become a target. This is one reason many folk have opposed all unjustified, unexplained, unscientific, draconian measures from the git go.

          First they came for the unmasked,
          Then they came for the uninjected,
          Then they came for the unboostered….

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Anyone who questions the official narrative, vaxxed or not, masked or not, will become a target

        That’s what I’ve been thinking; rather like Phase 5 of a big project (“punishment of the innocent”). I think, however, that in the political world, as opposed to the the corporate world from which this paradigm comes, Phase 6 is not “promotion for the uninvolved” but “promotion of the guilty.” Just as those responsible for the Iraq War are now respected liberal Democrat icons, so Fauci, Walensky, every minimizer and sociopath will get more airtime, make more money than ever before, and drive policy too.

        The one I’m waiting for is: “The maskers prevented us from reaching herd immunity!” Or perhaps this has already been spotted in the wild?

  33. Mikel

    “How we quietly ditched the idea of progress” FT

    “Progress” as a buzzword was replaced by “disruption”. Made people think the words were synonyms and they are not.

    1. digi_owl

      In the end it is all about Wall Street ROI.

      While that could come from entering new markets, like consumer electronics, it was “progress”.

      Now it is all about extracting rent via liberal application of broken window fallacies on public services, and therefore it is “disruption”. With the ultimate example being to area bomb industrial areas everywhere but USA.

  34. flora

    For our own good?

    “Sri Lanka faces ‘man-made’ food crisis as farmers stop planting

    “Once self-sufficient nation reels from fall-out of ill-conceived shift to organic agriculture, compounded by fuel shortages”

    I’ve never been a fan of simplistic, tech focused, binary planning.

    (Now ask me – no, don’t, I’d bore you to tears – about the long changeover from sailing wind-powered vessels to mechanical, engine powered vessels.)

    1. lance ringquist

      that is a article that’s typical, its most likely a free trade sympathizer wrote it. sri lanka could no longer afford imports. imports were swamping the country, and it drove out local production.

      they lowered tariffs so no tariff income, instead of food self sufficiency, they raised cash crops for foreign exchange, to buy the food on world markets they used to grow, complete economic nonsense.

      they simply ran out of money to but fertilizer, and were forced into taking a chance on organics.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > ill-conceived shift to organic agriculture

      Takes training, commitment, effort, and literally every social relation on the farm must change (and that includes no longer buying fertilizer from Uncle, who won’t be able to afford the payments on his nice house because his fertilizer business went under…

      If the elites though “we’ll just swap in organic farming,” that’s a lot like Mao’s backyard steel furnaces.

  35. Katniss Everdeen

    While I have tended to avoid Saagar and Krystal / Breaking Points lately, I check in every once in awhile just to see what they’re considering worthy of comment.

    Both of their “Radars” from yesterday were very interesting and worth a few minutes of your time.

    Krystal’s “Radar” was something I haven’t heard much about–democrat on democrat house races in new york state due to redistricting, which are pitting some big incumbent names like sean patrick maloney and mondaire jones against each other, and the implications for dem’s signature identity politics issue. Enlightening.

    Saagar’s “Radar” is about Sweden and Finland joining nato so, in his words, “we” can go to nuclear war to defend them, while they spend their money providing social benefits like “healthcare,” education and childcare to their citizens that americans can only dream of.

    Both are, somewhat uncharacteristically, worth your while.

  36. RobertC


    As the EU dithers and postures Exclusive: China quietly increases purchases of low-priced Russian oil which increases its economic security and industrial competitiveness.

    SINGAPORE, May 20 (Reuters) – China is quietly ramping up purchases of oil from Russia at bargain prices, according to shipping data and oil traders who spoke to Reuters, filling the vacuum left by Western buyers backing away from business with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in February.

    Which might squeeze Iran towards a JCPOA Breakthrough?

    While India watches from the sidelines.

  37. Dave in Austin

    One final note before I go out and do something useful like swim.

    The US stock market and the Ukrainian eastern front seem to be collapsing at roughly the same rate. When will the foot soldiers of the stock market begin to surrender?

    Yesterday eleven Republican Senators opposed the $40 billion dollar Ukraine package. Rand Paul of Kentucky said (paraphrase) “If this is so important why don’t we simply raise raise taxes $500 on each American to pay for it?” The map of the one quarter of the Republican Senators who voted “no” is very interesting. Starting from the west: Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee (both Senators), Kentucky and Alabama. It is not only in the Ukraine that apparently “The center cannot hold.”

  38. RobertC

    Supply Chain

    For leading edge semiconductors, it’s Taiwan and South Korea. Per TSMC’s founder Morris Chang (two posts), the US isn’t in the running even with TSMC’s help.

    And they all depend on Computer chip giant ASML places big bets on a tiny future

    …The fortunes of the project are also important for ASML’s customers, chipmakers racing to expand production amid a global shortage. They include U.S. player Intel, South Korea’s Samsung and Taiwan’s TSMC, the biggest, which makes chips for the likes of Apple, AMD and Nvidia.

    …”If they (ASML) don’t succeed it will become difficult to continue with Moore’s Law,” said Jos Versteeg, an analyst at Dutch-based bank InsingerGilissen, though he noted engineers had defied similar doubts in the past.

    ASML’s relationship to Biden’s Asian visit (two posts).

  39. Susan the other

    Thanks for the post above on the DOE funding Climeworks research on taking CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering it in the ground. New technology from Iceland. And also, apparently, the DOE is funding research into clean hydrogen as well. All things which the EU decided to do a few years ago. Where have we been? Just waiting until we could buy the technology?

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