Links 5/22/2022

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

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


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

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

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2-year-old orders 31 cheeseburgers after mom leaves phone unlocked CNN (Furzy Mouse).

What the World’s Largest Organism Reveals About Fires and Forests Wired

Invasive jumping worms have made their way into California, and scientists are worried SFGate

Crypto Might Have an Insider Trading Problem WSJ

The eternal dream of automatic money FT. O Plato! Plato! you have paved the way…


Texas’ Insane Heat Wave Shows Our Grid Isn’t Ready for Climate Change Texas Observer

Florida lawmakers scramble to fix a property insurance crisis before hurricane season NBC (Furzy Mouse).


“They Don’t Want the Backlash”: Top Doctors Balk as Team Biden Tries to Turn the Page on COVID Vanity Fair

CDC butchers even its own bogus “community levels” metric. A thread:

No U.S. Covid Memorial Planned Despite One Million Dead NYT. The best memorial would be trials at The Hague, or failing that, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (See also the British Medical Association’s Covid-19 Review. Seems like something NEJM or JAMA could be doing.)

Health officials in parts of the U.S. see signals in wastewater data hinting at a worsening virus wave NYT. As NC readers have known for quite some time, and from the data directly, not through “officials.”



Beijing orders millions more to work from home in targeted Covid containment drive South China Morning Post

Shanghai reopens some public transport, still on high COVID alert Reuters

Chinese firms ‘told to stop work on Russian Arctic LNG 2 project’ due to EU sanctions South China Morning Post

‘Quad’ security group plans system to track illegal fishing by China FT

Climate Change and Conflict Resolution in South Asia’s Highlands Stimson Center


IMNSHO, if the Tatmadaw couldn’t destroy the NUG during the campaigning season just past, it’s unlikely they will ever be able to (absent great power intervention on their behalf, and possibly not even then):

Anthony Albanese elected Australia’s leader in complex poll result Tribune India

Climate Won Australia’s Election. Wielding Power Will Be Harder Bloomberg


‘The PM has until the end of July’: The inside story of how Boris Johnson survived PartyGate iNews

Parliament could burn down any day, says Andrea Leadsom BBC

A Look at the Worst Mistakes Germany Made in the Coronavirus Pandemic Der Spiegel (Re Silc).

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 21 Institute for the Study of War

That’s quite some salient at Popasna. Makes you wonder what the Russians could do if they weren’t losing.

The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready Editorial Board, NYT. Seems like some of the adults are unhappy with the vicious toddlers at State?

Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.

Hmm. What was that crunching sound?

* * *

Normalizing fascism:

Opinion The world must not forget Mariupol’s defenders Editorial Board, WaPo. Commentary:

The Defenders of Mariupol The Tablet

* * *

Joining the West New Left Review. On Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

Erdogan blackmail over F-16s and F-35s Ekathimerini

* * *

How Does the Davos Elite Deal With War in Ukraine? Bloomberg

* * *

Zelensky: Only diplomacy can end Ukraine war BBC (Re Silc). If only somebody was agreement-capable!

U.S., others walk out of APEC talks over Russia’s Ukraine invasion Reuters. Preening all the way, no doubt.

Ukraine’s new labour law could ‘open Pandora’s box’ for workers OpenDemocracy

WHY Sanctions have FAILED against RUSSIA – Inside Russia Report (video) The Saker

Biden Administration

The Memo: Judge hands Biden a legal defeat but a political reprieve The Hill.Title 42.

Supply Chain

Supply chains are never returning to ‘normal’ Freight Waves


Baby formula, internationally, a thread:


Patients keep getting charged for crying Sick Notes


I’m an abortion doula in the Deep South. This is what I want you to know. Scalawag

Sports Desk

Early Voting wins 147th running of Preakness Stakes AP

Imperial Collapse Watch

Global Banks Privately Prepare for ‘Dangerous Levels’ of Imminent Civil Unrest in Western Homelands Byline Times. Single-sourced, however. Which banks and how?

The Buffalo Shooter Shopped at their Gun Stores The New Yorker. No aghastitude, amazingly; interviews with gun store owners. Interestingly:

Two years ago, Farzad saw a run on guns like nothing he’d ever seen before. He sold more guns that year than in his previous eight years in business combined. “Everybody was concerned that we’re going to have a riot, we’re going to have a civil war,” he said. “Ammo’d up, or firearmed up, to the teeth.” This was part of a nationwide trend. In 2020, firearm sales went up an estimated sixty-five per cent. Demand was so intense that Farzad had trouble keeping guns stocked in his store.

Clyburn says ‘the country is in danger of imploding’ The Hill

A $5 Trillion ‘Wealth Shock’ Is Cracking Americans’ Nest Eggs Bloomberg

Amazon Aims to Sublet, End Warehouse Leases as Online Sales Cool Bloomberg

Class Warfare

What TikTok’s obsession with nepotism babies says about class The Face

What Happens To A Rock Climbing Community When Venture Capital Comes Calling? Defector

Is the Middle Class Musician Disappearing? The Honest Broker. Betteridge’s Law violation.

Caught in the Study Web Cybernaut

Want to Smell Like Cleopatra? Researchers Are Combining Ancient and Ultra-Modern Techniques to Recreate Historical Scents Artnet News

Antidote du jour (via):

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. The Rev Kev

        Yep. He is no longer Prime Minister and so the scramble starts to see who should replace him as head of the Coalition as he is stepping down. It has been an interesting election night. Sure, climate change policies played a part but only a part. There are about 1.2 million Chinese-Australians and it was obvious that if the Coalition had stuck around, that they would be a designated enemy because China. The Coalition did the same to Muslim-Australians about twenty years ago and encouraged fear of them to keep political power. The Coalition also has a woman problem – they don’t want them in government and want to keep it a boys club. There was an actual rape in Parliament House and when it came out, Scott tried to fob it off. So how did that play out in the elections? There are Coalition seats that are considered their heartlands, especially in Sydney. They lost a bunch of them to people who call themselves the Teal Independents and the same in Western Australia where they also have a bunch of safe seats. And guess what? They were all women. My own guess is that when women saw that they were not welcomed in the party, they turned to these independents. Up in my State, we don’t have them but the Greens picked up at least three seats. But these Teal Independents also pocketed a few seats in the lower house as well so they cannot now be ignored. Labour will get in on their own right but it was not a tidal wave. Needles to say, both major parties will have to indulge into some deep navel-gazing over the next few months.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Legacy Party examines navel, declares “It’s just pocket lint.” Fundamentally, nothing will change, because of the tenacity and wealth of the ruling elite. And generations of propaganda,

        2. Deak

          I also feel like based on my anecdotal experience and media reporting corruption was also a significant issue. Scotty from marketing’s government was wildly, openly corrupt with sums of money that by Australian standards seemed staggering – at one point they spent $80m to buy water rights over seemingly non-existent water from a company set up by a government minister for example ( ). Scotty and his cohorts refused to consider a federal anti corruption agency and this was an issue the teal independents, green party and to a lesser extent winning Labor party campaigned hard on.

          With that said the non-major parties also ran outstanding seat-specific campaigns, which is something of a novelty in Australia. I live in one of the seats that was won by the green party from a major and they ran a really strong locally focussed campaign, with well thought out policies addressing seat specific issues that we all know and agree on as well as national level issues. Their door knocking campaign was also excellent with friendly, lovely people who wanted to listen and have a chat, seemed genuinely interested in what we thought were issues and didnt come across as pushy or judgy at all. By comparison the majors didn’t seem to do seat specific advertising or policies and their in person and telephone campaigning seemed like they were selling insurance or something. Our votes seemed very much taken for granted as our seat wasn’t seen as being in play.

          Definitely one of the most exciting election nights of my life and it does feel like a major shift for Australian politics with the rise of genuine alternative options across the country. Our compulsory voting system means it might mark the beginning of a permanent shift in the political fortunes of the legacy major parties (fingers crossed)

          1. JTMcPhee

            Have not made a study, but doesn’t the corruption in Oz’s gov’t go back to how the place was set up by the other Empire? Some territorial military officers given carte blanche to loot and divvy up the spoils, and use the “transported” convicts generated by the British carceral state, and of course the indigenous population, as industrial and agricultural slave stock?

            Not that much different from how the US Empire was born, as in “Birth of a Nation?”

            1. Deak

              Corruption has definitely been a long standing feature within Australia, and indeed our only military coup was conducted to protect a corrupt liquor racket in the early colonial days (, but modern coruption this century doesnt seem to reflect the bones of the nation to the same degree. After some pretty ridiculous corruption in the states through the 20th century I believe all (and definitely all the largest) states now have anti corruption agencies with varying degrees of bite that have an established track record of ending careers and even sending corrupt politicians to jail. Unfortunately no such body exists at a national level, and despite promising to bring one in last term Scotty’s government since walked back that promise. It was a feature of all other parties and independents campaigns and seem to appeal to the well heeled voters who swept the teal independents into power.

              With luck the body that ends up being introduced will have retrospective powers and can sweep some of these crooks into jail.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        It looks a lot like the Clinton campaign’s ad that showed Putin voting for Trump.

  1. GramSci

    “… the Houses of Parliament could see a fire similar to the one that damaged the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.” Or, conveniently, the Reichstag.

  2. bassmule

    re: The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready.

    The comments are shockingly bellicose. Sample:

    “At the end of the day, this editorial is a sad attempt to try and maintain a facade of support for Ukraine while backseat driving the Biden Administration and signaling that “this stuff over there is making us nervous, let’s start looking for an exit.” At the end of the day, if Putin comes away thinking he has succeeded in this endeavor, there is a very real chance he attacks an Eastern European NATO ally next, precipitating a far more serious crisis than the one facing us currently. It’s as simple as that.”

    1. digi_owl

      Yeah, 4+ years of painting Putin as some savage beast and then having him, once more, outplay DC and Brussels at their own game is really coming back to bite.

      It feels almost like watching a sped up cold war, or maybe the days running up to WW1.

    2. Polar Socialist

      So the logic is “we need to escalate now to avoid a possible escalation later”? That probably makes sense in the circles where diplomacy, negotiations and compromises are either a sign of weakness or not in the vocabulary at all.

      1. Samuel Conner

        it’s sort of a ‘first mover’ advantage.

        One hopes that the Rs don’t rely on that, given their unstoppable hypersonic delivery vehicles.

        1. Objective Ace

          I dont understand how there’s no introspection: the US spends 10x more on its military then Russia and yet they have more advanced missile technology. Why does nobody raise this issue.. instead its just throw more and and more money around without results or accountability

          1. digi_owl

            Because the last 20 years of US military focus have been about hunting little brown men in desert-like environments, not fighting a enemy that can match you blow for blow.

            Frankly the “war on terror” looks in hindsight worryingly similar to the interwar years of the British empire. Complete with colony policing by bomber.

            1. jsn

              Because the last 20 years has been about finding any excuse possible to shovel money into the insatiable maw of the MIC which can no longer see the world over its own belly.

              It’s minting millionaires faster than ever.

                1. fringe element

                  Yep. It is a money laundering operation. Period. Understand that and all the rest of it makes sense.

          2. John

            I read about advanced missile technology all the time, but not in the US et al media. There one finds dreams and delusions.

            1. digi_owl

              Makes me think of how Russian jets have electronics to support the pilot in pulling of a cobra maneuver, while US jets are betting the farm on getting the jump on them via stealth and missiles.

              Shades of Vietnam war, where the F-4 initially didn’t have a machine gun and thus got chewed up by North Vietnamese MIGs.

              1. JTMcPhee

                Interesting that Top Gun is about getting into position to stick an exploding phallic-shaped apparatus up the tailpipe of “the enemy.”

                Another evidence of the noxious effects of testosterone poisoning.

                And we should be so liberally happy that women now have the opportunity to take part in the activity… “Woke is Wonderful!” Equal Opportunity Rocks!

            2. JohnA

              And yet The Guardian reports that Syria has sent barrel bomb experts to Russia to help them employ this ‘technology’. The Guardian helpfully adds that Syria used barrel bombs to launch chemical weapon attacks that, hint hint, Russia is planning to use in Ukraine. How stupid do they think readers are?

              1. Pat

                Not for nothing, but from what I can see at least 50% and probably more are buying the stupid.

          3. Art_DogCT

            “throw more and and more money around without results”

            From a certain point of view, the delivered results of all that spending was and is exactly as intended – making a handful of parasites fabulously wealthy/wealthier.

          4. bobLich

            “the US spends 10x more on its military then Russia and yet they have more advanced missile technology. Why does nobody raise this issue”

            my guess: The war propaganda in the US works. Americans believe the corporate news to the point it leaves them no mental reasoning to question what’s going on.

            1. Felix_47

              We have better salaries, better communications, better air defense and better targeting. The Russians still don’t have control of the airspace. Stingers and javelins are being used effectively. If these hypersonic missiles are so good why have they not been used on high value targets like the border highways in Western Ukraine? The US is pulling no punches…it is WW3.

      2. Louis Fyne

        According to the media and Establishment, everyUS antagonist is the next 1933 Austrian H-man…Bin Laden, Saddam, Iran, Rocket Man, now Putin.

        Godwin’s Law on steroid.

          1. Robert Hahl

            I thought you were going to say Gaddafi. He was Hitler-of-the-day more than once. .

          2. Digital Echo

            Carlson is a US antagonist? I thought he hosted a very popular “news” show on Fox, but what do I know.

      1. Dandelion

        Time to start campaigning for a universal draft, no exemptions, both sexes. That will add some interesting flavor to the dog food.

        1. Randall Flagg

          Exactly what I held my tongue on when in a “discussion” about Russia and the Ukraine and how Putin had to be stopped.
          My next question was going to be, “ So when is your son ( my nephew), going to be signing up for the Army if you feel that strongly about it?”. But I didn’t. Enough energy wasted already.

          1. tegnost

            I tend to implore the T/P/RDS crowd to make sure their kids don’t talk to any army recruiters…it accomplishes the same goal without inadvertantly causing some youngster to sign up, which they should not do.

            1. Randall Flagg

              Talking with an Armed Forces recruiter? it’ll
              never happen. Graduated from an Ivy League Institution and grad school. I know where the answer to my question was going to be.
              EXACTLY why we would need a universal draft!
              ! Skin in the game ( and lives ( might possibly change a few peoples way of thinking.

              1. Felix_47

                It says a lot about our American multi kulti that we have no draft. If we really wanted to control Washington progressives would push for it as well as universal taxation. Instead they want student loans excused. And I am an Ivy grad who served more than once.

            2. Robert Hahl

              Years ago when army recruiters called for my sons, I would say they were gay, but to call back later. That seemed to cool their jets.

        2. Digital Echo

          I would love it if all the media people, politicians, pundits and assorted keyboard death cultists calling for escalating the proxy war against Russia would sign up to go fight big bad Putin in Ukraine and leave the rest of us out of their delusional fantasies. Live the change you want to see in the world, put your money where your mouth is etc. Sick of these trolls and madmen/women assuming normal people think games of chicken with nuclear powers are a good idea.

      1. TiPs

        It’s the CNN/MSNBC demographic that was told (weekly) Trump would be impeached…due to collusion with Russia.

        1. TimH

          But it is acceptable for those of the Jewish faith to be loyal to Israel, perhaps to the detriment of USA, even if Israel didn’t exist when their ancesters emigrated to USA.

          1. digi_owl

            Oh i think there are far more than those of Jewish faith that have dual loyalties there.

      2. Michaelmas

        Easy to poke the Russian bear from the comfort of one’s Westchester home office .

        Plus ça change ….

        ‘All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.’
        – George Orwell

        ‘Every war, when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.’
        – George Orwell

        ‘War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.’
        – George Orwell

    3. Donald

      NYT liberals and maybe liberals in general have been super hawks about Russia ever since 2016. The attitude is burned into their brain.

      In some ideal world liberals are supposed to be nuanced, compassionate and thoughtful. The reality is drastically different.

      1. GramSci

        For much longer than that. The Communist regicide of the October Revolution was not only an unforgivable sin to the monarchies of Europe, but more importantly, it threatened to limit their easy access to and ultimate control over the fossil fuels of northern Asia and the Middle East.

        Western troops remained in Russia for a full year after the WWI armistice was concluded, poised to reverse the 1918 Revolution. Wilson may have appeared indifferent, needing not to unduly inflame the populist, often socialist, German-American population, but Herbert Hoover, his Commissioner for Relief in Belgium was especially vehement in his anti-Communism. This attitude, much appreciated by crowned heads and lesser oligarchs, propelled him to the presidency. They were only momentarily side-tracked by their collective failure-by-avarice, which brought on the Great Depression.

        FDR may have been more sympathetic to the Soviets, but after he died, the Truman Doctrine, announced at Hiroshima, was all about overthrowing Russia and seizing the assets of the Soviet Union.

        Fundamentally, nothing has changed.

      1. pjay

        I don’t think it was this article, but “leftist Westsplaining” has been discussed here before. Of course we in the “West” have a tremendously limited and ethnocentric view of the world – and that especially applies to those of us in the US. But it is an absolute fallacy to pretend that being an “insider” – of *any* kind – makes one less biased. Though we might have more information of a certain kind, being an “insider” often makes us *more* biased.

        The fanatical right-wing Cubans I met and talked to years ago from Florida had direct experience of Cuba. I did not. So I guess I should just shut up and believe what they say. Chrystia Freeland is of Ukrainian descent. I am not. So I guess I should just shut up and believe what she says as well. For that matter, John Brennan was CIA director, so he has *way* more “insider” information about the world than me. So I should just shut up and believe what he says, too. Wouldn’t want to be guilty of “laysplaining” foreign policy to a professional!

        Yes, most of us Americans are ignorant about Ukraine. But being Ukrainian does not make you unbiased on Ukrainian issues; probably just the opposite. Here is another Ukrainian view, for example:

        We gather information from a variety of sources, use logic, judgment, and our own experience in sorting the facts to the best of our ability, and go from there. The fact that I’m not Ukrainian limits my starting point in this process, but it should not automatically exclude me from the discussion. *All* perspectives are biased. It takes a lot of work and discipline to wade through it while being conscious of our own.

        1. Robert Hahl

          Speaking of Cuba, I heard an interesting theory about why it is so difficult for the US to put an effective puppet government in there: when the going gets tough they just evacuate, either to Miami, or their second home in LA, or their third home in Aspen. Reminds me of how lots of Ukrainian officials have just received British citizenship. Including Zalenski. How’s that going to convince the masses to keep up the fight?

        2. Bazarov

          Never trust exiles:

          “It behoves us, therefore, to remember how empty are the promises [of exiles], and how doubtful the faith, of men in banishment from their native land. For as to their faith, it may be assumed that whenever they can effect their return by other means than yours, notwithstanding any covenants they may have made with you, they will throw you over, and take part with their countrymen. And as for the empty promises and delusive hopes which they set before you, so extreme is their desire to return home that they naturally believe many things which are untrue, and designedly misrepresent many others; so that between their beliefs and what they say they believe, they fill you with false impressions, on which if you build, your labour is in vain, and you are led to engage in enterprises from which nothing but ruin can result.” – Machiavelli

      2. hunkerdown

        DJG, Reality Czar March 21, 2022 at 8:57 am and OIFVet April 6, 2022 at 3:09 pm have dealt with “Westsplaining” ably, as has Caitlin Johnstone:

        Imperial narrative managers have even been working overtime to make the word “westsplaining” happen, which is their progressive-sounding term for when one makes the self-evident observation that western powers influence world events. Mainstream westerners are actively trained to regurgitate lines like “Stop westsplaining to Ukrainians about coups and proxy conflicts! You’re denying their agency!”

        All of that hits different now, with reports of US/NATO/FR on the ground.

    4. The Rev Kev

      They are actually encouraged by people like SecState Blinken here. So Blinken was giving a commencement address at Georgetown University on Saturday and, making a Taylor Swift reference. said: ‘Now, my staff didn’t let me bring my guitar up here to dedicate a performance of ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ to President Putin.’ Having this come out of the mouth of America’s top diplomat was pretty bad. The worse thing was the reaction of those Georgetown students – America’s future elite – to what he said-

      1. griffen

        We are ruled by unserious people who pose themselves as operating adults in a modern world. Heaven help us as they lead us down a trajectory to ruin instead of progress.

        1. Vandemonian

          We are ruled by unserious people who pose themselves as operating adults in a modern world.

          We in Oz used to be, but Little Scotty lost Saturday’s election…

        2. anon in so cal

          psychopath seems more accurate


          Blinken has ignored the fundamental point of the Russian proposals in the draft pacts for the US and NATO. He has dismissed Sherman’s talks with Ryabkov on reducing the threats of nuclear war in Europe and between Russia and the US.

          Instead, the words Blinken has chosen mean more war on the Ukraine front. The only “terms” (x8) he referred to are not those he is ready to “negotiate” (x1) with Russia, but the “terms of the assistance we’re providing to Ukraine for its defense, in terms of the work we’re doing at NATO to prepare as necessary to further reinforce the Alliance, and continuing to define and refine massive consequences for Russia with our allies and partners when it comes to financial, economic and other sanctions.”

          Tested in two hot wars, and during the Cold War, the RAND method for gauging the intention of the adversary predicts this about Blinken – he wants war with Russia; he has no mind for any alternative.

          1. RobertC

            Does Russia need to negotiate with the US (or Europe) to complete Putin’s stated objectives?

            Russia and Russians are turning eastwards.

            In addition to sending home ‘Western’ diplomats, Russia is withdrawing from a number of ‘Western’ organizations.

            And is establishing a ‘Western’ economic relationship of ‘If you want to buy it on our terms maybe we will sell it.’

            This isn’t autarky but rather severing of withered relationships.

            So what is there to negotiate with the ‘West’?

            Or for that matter with Ukraine?

            1. JTMcPhee

              On the other hand, Russia has for years been rendering itself more and more autarkic, for good reason — so as not to be subject any longer to the idiot flailing of the Imperial Arrogants. So it seems to be able to transact with the Chinese on a fairly even platform, though of course there are likely Boltons and Blinkens and Nulands in among the Chinese ruling elites so “Trust, But Verify” and the Russian version of “Speak softly, but carry a big stickski” seems equally apparent in Russian policies…

              One hopes for some magical transformation to a fair and honorable multi-polar world, but can that happen in this time of riotous scarcities and elite-induced collapse of so many systems of systems?

              1. juno mas

                Yes, there will be a transformation to a fair and honorable multi-polar world. But only with the US denying the facts on the ground, the petro-dollar declining, and the proletariat in the streets of suburban America.

                A likely non-magical transformation.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Blinken’s behavior of late is an excellent demonstration that his real job title is “Executive Vice President of War Marketing.”

      3. rob

        tony blinken is a member of the council on foreign relations

        the group formed 100 years ago as “a circle of helpers”…
        and has brought about this neoliberal world order… never meeting a bad person they couldn’t support, and make a dictator. somewhere.
        Never letting a crime against humanity be perpetrated without them, and always making a buck on it.

    5. Bart Hansen

      Before I read the piece I did a search on ‘unprovoked’ to find ‘Russia’s unprovoked aggression’ and sure enough it was in there.

      Media employees must have replaced ‘Russian aggression’ with ‘Russian unprovoked aggression’ on their computer screen stickies.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The only known provocations allowed for aggression are those of:
        – unverified or made up threat of a communist government (a.k.a. domino theory)
        – unverified or made up threat of weapons of mass destruction
        – unverified or made up threat of ethnic violence… oh, wait, never mind

        Seriously though, I though according to the Western MSM Russia has waged war in Ukraine since 2014? Are we now supposed to think differently?

    6. pjay

      I remember when Chris Mooney’s book, The Republican Brain, came out in 2012. The subtitle was: The Science of Why They Deny Science – and Reality. I had been a fan of Mooney’s environmental work for years. But by 2012 the trajectory of “liberal” ideological development was clear. Those who denied “Reality” as defined by the privileged intelligensia show themselves to be incapable of objectivity and rational thought. And “Science” can tell us why! While there were some useful points in the book, its danger was projecting this universal tendency to one side only. The Bryan Caplan article on Misinformation in yesterday’s Links reflects the same mindset.

      There is a strata of people in the US who actually see the world this way. Many of them have considerable power and influence. Most of the rest read the NY Times. *They* know what is real. *They* could never be subject to “authoritarian” manipulation. That only applies to us irrational deplorables. And if we don’t agree, we just don’t understand Science.

      It’s a nice closed loop. Makes life easier for any future Minister of Truth.

      1. jr

        This brings to mind an encounter with a $hit-lib PMC neighbor I had a few years back. A dyed in the alpaca wool NYC Democrat, daughter worked for DeBlasio’s campaign don’t you know. His haircut had more crenellations than his brain. This was right before “Sleepy” Joe assumed the throne and the tension was palpable.

        This worthy, let’s call him Bruce, burst from the elevator one afternoon as I walked into the building. I said hello and without provocation he began to rant about Trump. But not just Trump, see, but also the Russians were meddling in our elections. And the Chinese were probably up to something as well! I mean, the man was spluttering.

        He was the picture of the American liberal mass media consumer, the goal of that complex, in fact: totally self assured of his grasp of the big picture via the NYT etc. and simultaneously completely hysterical, weaving a dark fantasy of bigotry and subterfuge and conspiracy from atop his tower of privilege and comfort. It further confirmed for me that liberals really are the nuttiest of nuts in the Wonka sized nut-bar of American politics.

      2. hunkerdown

        It seems at least equally likely that they all have a public position and a private position, and their private position is that people must be made to continue elite society, and that depends on the broad acceptance of a cosmos that requires elites, and in turn the priests to reproduce that cosmos, and that’s where they come in. Any public position whose effects are directionally as desired is good enough for the secular priesthood.

        I recommend radical cynicism: assume that all such public positions are acts of ontological violence, and treat them as only so true as general interests allow. I’m sure Twitter’s CEO would consider that “unhealthy” public discourse.

    7. Mark Gisleson

      My sincere hope is that Americans finally wake up (the sooner the better), and when they do, that they transfer their anti-Russian rage to the candidate who invented all the Russiagate! lies simply to distract from personal problems of her own making.

    8. Jacob Hatch

      Based on the MIC adverts, and the number of writers at NYT on payroll of MIC-IMATT(S)*, then one would expect the readership plus the paid trolls to all have stock and retirement funds invested in the war. So greed and corruption, Occam’s Razor strikes again.

      MIC-IMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank)© Ray McGovern and I add (S)upreme Court, as I know at least Scalia, Alito, Ginsburg all invested and made rulings supporting same.

    9. playon

      “Putin will invade another NATO state if he wins in Ukraine because his goal is to recreate the USSR”

      I have heard this type of talking point from liberal types so many times I can’t count them.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Nevertheless it’s probably true. If Finland or Sweden seem to be getting F-35s, which the recently compromised Scott Ritter pointed out a few weeks ago are really about stealthily delivering nuclear missiles, then Russia will invade . It is a sure thing.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Finland has 9 or 10 runways long enough for F-35 to operate (Ukraine had something like 28 military airfields, most knocked out).

          Finland’s deal for F-35s states that spare parts are bought from Pentagon, which currently doesn’t have enough to keep it’s own fleet in air.

          And with their VHF and UHF radars Russians can see F-35 from hundreds of kilometers away.

          F-35 doesn’t have range to hit anything and there’s currently no nuclear missile that can fit inside it’s weapons bay. Weapons on outside the plane kinda negate the stealth it has.

          1. Robert Hahl

            Not so stealthily then, but the prospect of nuclear weapons on an F-35 seems like a real problem to me.

    10. Mikel

      The headline should tell them they are reading a paper that doesn’t know what they are talking about.
      War is complicated. Who knew?

      That didn’t cross their minds when they pumped their readers full of anti-Russia this and anti-Putin that.
      They might just be testing the waters to see how far they can continue to go. Seeing how much they’ve riled up readers.

  3. polar donkey

    Nothing makes people want to sharpen the Guillotine than nepotism during hard times. And times are getting a lot harder.

    1. griffen

      I am finding the commentary from reddit pretty interesting. It’s a marketing campaign for the next generation of know-nothing Kardashian wanna bes. Famous for bringing nothing of value to the world.

      I have not utilized the services of the Tik Tok and do not plan on doing so. It’s early yet but time to go stand outside to yell at the clouds. Not sarcasm.

      1. griffen

        well it’s a McDonald’s cheeseburger, so the cattle are safe.

        Not completely off topic, last week there was a related discussion about rat burgers from the ’90s action film “Demolition Man”. So we’re closing the loop! Pass the cerveza.

    1. Robert Hahl

      One of my toddlers liked to play with the landline telephone. He called 911 a few times. They were were always smart enough to know what was happening and just called back to let us know, after someone hung up the phone.

      1. Tom Stone

        When I was about 9 years old I called the SPCA and asked them to to let mek now if they ever needed a home for a Gorilla or a Komodo Dragon.About a year later they called back and my Mother answered the phone and was surprised to hear “We have your Gorilla”..

  4. griffen

    Article on crypto on the potential for insider trading, worth it doing a brief scan for the column as it’s not overlong. I read it twice, the original and a poorly translated / AI language interpretative result ( which actually was a more fun read).

    I stand with my jaw dropped at the hint of scandal! How much longer it takes chairman Gensler to take action will make for an interesting show.

    1. paul

      As I am not a subscriber, all I could see was this:

      Public data suggests that several anonymous crypto investors profited from inside knowledge of when tokens would be listed on exchanges.

      This story is obviously dynamite, and will be a cautionary tale for everyone who sees an opportunity that is plainly too good to be true.

      1. griffen

        I suggest patiently but quickly searching for the exact headline which is my go to if I really want to read an article. Usually works and if it doesn’t I move on.

        Meant as a helpful suggestion. And speaking personally paywalls and subscribers only content usually gets an immediate “no hell no” reaction.

  5. Samuel Conner

    In economic news, Mook implicates “she who must not be named” in the genesis of the DJT/Alfa Bank fabrication.

    This is economic news?

    Yes. Popcorn futures are down.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Did It.
      “Most of the press will ignore this news, but the Russia-Trump narrative that Mrs. Clinton sanctioned did enormous harm to the country. It disgraced the FBI, humiliated the press, and sent the country on a three-year investigation to nowhere. Vladimir Putin never came close to doing as much disinformation damage.”

      1. Steve H.

        Perhaps competitive intraelites are seeing some negative outcomes of escalating with Russia, and global dedollarization. If they pull this off, it will be a great reversal. Here are some others:

        : Man Muss Immer Umkehren.

        : Back Door Escape from Mount

        : Boyd was famous for a maneuver he called “flat-plating the bird.” He would be in the defensive position with a challenger tight on his tail, both pulling heavy Gs, when he would suddenly pull the stick full aft, brace his elbows on either side of the cockpit, so the stick would not move laterally, and stomp the rudder. It was as if a manhole cover were sailing through the air and then suddenly flipped 90 degrees. The underside of the fuselage, wings, and horizontal stabilizer became a speed brake that slowed the Hun from 400 knots to 150 knots in seconds. The pursuing pilot was thrown forward and now Boyd was on his tail radioing “Guns. Guns. Guns.”

        : (speculative) Jewish oligarch bribes racist soccer hooligans to become goon squad, elevates them into a military command structure, and then orders them to fight to the death in an abattoir.

        1. Robert Hahl

          Is it too soon to start asking: “Who lost the dollar?” This is staring to get interesting.

      2. Carolinian

        Most of the press will ignore this news

        They were eager Russiagate partners so to do otherwise would be to investigate themselves. It’s the same “I didn’t know it was loaded” mentality of that NYT editorial. They stir people up into a frenzy and then decry the frenzy.

      3. Screwball

        And how many millions of dollars spent on this charade?

        Another example of crimes that go unpunished (the big fish anyway) and things the media won’t cover, just like Hunters laptop. It is truly amazing to watch how people are herded into believing what TPTB want them to believe, and how the media helps shape those beliefs.

        Which sets up the blame game; Trumps fault, Putin’s fault, GOP’s fault, Russian bots fault, etc.

        Example; talking to a bunch of PMC people about the rising COVID numbers, and eventually got into the “horse de-wormer” and the drug that cannot be named. It was stated the drug that cannot be named was only prescribed by quacks and conspiracy theorists, which was illegal, because it’s only use is to de-worm horses. The only people who believed in the horse de-wormer is because they have *drum roll* Russian Bots in their ears.

        They way I understand it, Russian Bots are their equivalent of fake news. Any non PMC approved news outlet are controlled by Putin (and therefore Trump as well since they are in this together) and Russian Bots. These people actually believe this, yet they can’t really explain how it works. But it does – somehow – and I’m the crazy one.

        1. Samuel Conner

          > Russian Bots

          This is wonderful double-entendre, or perhaps double-un-entendre.

          Bots being a horse parasite. Treatable with the anti-helminthic medication that must not be named.

        2. neo-realist

          If Hunter Biden’s laptop poses a great danger to the security of the nation, then by all means investigate. Probably not nearly as much as the Dogpatch USA gang that invaded and instigated the invasion of the capitol, but sure, go for it.

      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Acknowledging Hillary’s weakness as a candidate and her own team’s incompetence (they didn’t understand delegate allocation in 2008) is a big step for people who simultaneously shouted “Supreme Court” and most important election ever! If they thought those two reasons were true, they wouldn’t even have let HRC into the DNC as a super delegate. Anything is preferrable to acknowledging they failed as citizens when every lesson about citizenship they’ve been exposed to says being informed is the first step.

        She may have been the best of the neoliberals, but when the bench is Harris, it’s not a high bar.

        1. flora

          An aside: I think the Dem base has been voting against the 3rd Way, DLC, Clintonist, corporate Dem estab since 2000.

          Gore – lost (it shouldn’t have come down to one state’s vote if the Dem base wasn’t trying to get rid of the NAFTA Clinton-ites, imo.)
          Hillary 2008 primary – lost to a fresh young Senator who talked New Deal. His later move to embrace TPP and TPIP and DLC couldn’t seen in advance by the base in 2008, imo.
          Hillary 2016 – lost (after talking up TPP and TPIP (aka NAFTA on steroids) and all the other DLC and Clinton-ist stuff.) She lost to a political beginner and a blowhard who campaigned on stopping the TPP and TPIP.
          Biden – won (after some serious shoehorning by the Dem estab.) The base wasn’t excited about him, another Clintonist, neoliberal.
          My 2 cents.

          1. flora

            adding from Taibbi’s latest article, public excerpt:

            Bush is Biden is Bush
            George W. Bush returns to the news with a tad too much honesty, lifting a veil on Washington’s dirtiest open secret: the Biden Democrats have become the Bush Republicans


            (imo, Bush Republicans include both Bush presidencies: Bush 1 (predecessor to B. Clinton) and Bush 2 (aka ‘W’). )

            1. jsn

              Obama was is part of the extended Bush, CIA family too, he was just plausibly articulate and black, so no one noticed the overwhelming continuity between Administrations during his watch.

          2. lance ringquist

            Flora, yep, i have been saying that since gore lost. gore could have won by simply stating bill clintons polices went to far, i will work to reverse them. he did not, the rest is history.

            he even could have been polite about it and not called them crimes against the american people. he could have soft peddled it, and done what he could to alleviate what nafta billy did.

            gore is a fraud.

      5. Boomheist

        It is way way too easy to blame HRC for the fix we are now it, because since at least 1992 she has been blamed for all things evil again and again, and it is therefore no surprise to hear people somehow linking the Russiagate hysteria after 2016 as somehow being the cause of the Russiaphobia today. I am sure that HRC and her campaign handlers do believe Russia stole the election from her by spending, what, a half million of digital ads? But it’s a lot easier for the chattering class to blame Russiagate issues on this current Russiaphobia than what in fact is in my opinion the real basis, and that is not Russiagate but instead is the natural outcome of generations of anti-Russian (and anti communist and anti socialist) fear mongering, which started at the turn at the 20th Century and has been going on ever since except for a 12 year break when the big enemy was the Nazis 1933-1945. Anti-Russian memes are in our genetics, at least four or five generations old, truly baked in. How many NC readers know that the US sent US army troops to Russia 1918-1921 to fight alongside the White Russian troops against the Bolsheviks? Ever since WW2, until the Soviet Union fell in 1990, the Enemy was Russia.

        In my opinion the anti-Russian attitude lies deep within our memory, and has been triggered, and we all fall into a line of thinking blind to any context or shade. Unprovoked invasion. Monster. Rebuilding the Soviet Union. And somehow we are now in a place where we are erasing the Nazi shadow from the Azov “defenders” and building a national, maybe even EU-US-wide, sense that distasteful as some Azov aspects are, they are not as bad as the Russians, and hence, given a choice, we will side with the Azovs. As we are. This, too, is a long term, genetic memory thing – don;’ forget that before WW2 there was a large group in the US supportive of Hitler and believing it was the Russians who were the enemy.

        And now we are at the place where NOT ONE DEMOCRAT voted against intensifying this war, sending nearly as much money to Ukraine in three months as Russia spends on its military in one year. Not one Democrat, not Bernie, not the Squad, none of them. And any of the few Republicans who voted against this aid are called Putin defenders, apologists. And not a single member of Congress is calling for this thing to end, fighting for a ceasefire.

        All you need to know.

        1. Fritzi

          In Europe the hate and fear mongering about Russia goes even further back by centuries.

          Systems of government are almost incidental.

          Certainly the demonizing rhetoric about the Russian Empire in the 19th century was almost a mirror image of today’s Russia hysteria.

          1. Carolinian

            Wasn’t Britain behind all that, insecurity about their Jewel in the Crown?

            For that matter they still seem to be behind much of it and of course the CT crowd think Rhodes scholars run the world (although come to think about it Bill C was a Rhodes scholar….hmmm….)

            I think the elites, like Hollywood, just need a convenient villain and Russia is far away enough to serve. Who knows what goes on underneath all those onion domes?

        2. Jacob Hatch

          That anti-Russia feeling goes back further than we can imagine.

          Southerners (former) slave owners fairly quickly re-established their ascendency in the foreign service after the American Civil War (Ambassadors were expect to spend their own wealth on entertainment). No European/Asian nation has done more than Russia before the end of the 19th century to be on good terms with USA, and nor been more betrayed and backstabbed for that effort.


        3. MILLER

          2003 German documentary Hitlers amerikanische Geschäftsfreunde (Hitler’s American business friends):
          In German, but you can get the gist. The Ford Corporation, which ran the Opel works throughout the war, was actually compensated by Congress for the damage done by Allied bombing to its German facilities.

        4. GramSci

          There are lots of causes, but Hillary is one significant proximate cause. She and Bill deeply resented the way Putin ended the sale of Russian infrastructure to them and their friends, a resentment that justified any lies and deception of the American People.

        5. Oh

          The Repugs who voted against the additional $$$$$ for Ukraine may have their own political reasons but the Squad (Squid?) and Bernie and CBC have no reason to vote for it. These people don’t want to resist the self licking ice cream. We know who the viillains are.

          1. Aumua

            I think the reason is that in the current environment, it would be political suicide for them to vote against the aid. Not that that is a good reason, but it is a reason.

    2. Jacob Hatch

      Great, she’s possibly in trouble for political skullduggery, but not for slave markets in Libya, cholera in Haiti, murder after murder that exposed her corruption in Honduras. Says more about America than Clinton.

      1. Donald

        No American politician is ever held accountable for the deaths they cause ( including outright war crimes) in other countries. Even Trump mostly got away with his support for the Yemen War, in part because it started under Obama, but mostly because in our culture it just doesn’t matter.

  6. timotheus

    Re “community levels” for Covid whatever that means: Here in NYC we’re on orange alert (second highest level) with cases rising; yet, easily 50% of subway riders ignore the (still operative) mask mandate. Restaurants packed, inside and out. Why wouldn’t people be carefree given the messages we’re hearing? Captain oops I mean Mayor Adams won’t interrupt commerce.

    1. jr

      Just came back from a stroll through Williamsburg, indoor masking was scarce. Lots of packed bars and cafes. One clerk was masked, around his chin. Fools.

  7. alfia

    Re: Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment by Institute for the Study of War –
    Russian sources say the info on the map above is incorrect: the bridge connecting Lysychansk and Severodonetsk was blown up by the Ukrainians on the orders of Kiev (both towns at the time remained under the control of Ukrainian armed forces). The governor of Luhansk oblast under Ukrainian control, Mr Haidai, admitted that they have started blowing up bridges and that they (Ukrainians) were also responsible for blowing up the bridge between Rubezhnoe and Severodonetsk

      1. timbers

        Salient indeed.

        In the latest MOD daily briefing Russia claims Viktorivka, Typillya, Volodymyrivka, Nova Kamyanka, Stryapivka, Vyskryva villages (amongst others) now under DPR/Luhansk/RUF control. These villages are along a route almost directly towards the Big Kahuna, Kramatorsk.

        Russia switching tactics after her failed river crossings, to instead take Papasna and use it as a gateway to encircle AUF in Kramatorsk seems to be bearing fruit.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Not just Kagan city but all the usual suspects as well. You go to their ‘Who We Are’ page and you see names like General Jack Keane, Dr. Kimberly Kagan, William Kristol and General David H. Petraeus. Talk about your wretched hive of scum and villainy.

        1. Skippy

          Had somebody pop a link to them on an Oz economic blog a few days ago and yes KKR Petraeus just screams non profit – non partisan like on their home about page … lmmao ….

      3. Brian (another one they call)

        Kagantruth and Brownose, a new comedy coming to you from the Azov channel. Watch as the pair of instigators screw everything up. Again! After being tracked by Iskanders fro Bali to Malibu, they find themselves on the run from the new nastie party and getting paid very well for their frequent travelogues to the most recent sites of destruction and mayhem that they have special permission to interfere with.
        I don’t like writing for TV. But someone will steal the idea.

      4. amechania

        The map posted above was ‘zoomed in’ by the ISW today to exclude the city of Izyum, which seemed (from thousands of miles away on a computer screen) to be well in Russian territory according to their reporting.

        Last week it was Sumy that ‘fell off the map’ Last Month or so it was the big push towards the capital.

        Alot of hay was made last week that Ukranian troops had reached the Russian border. (note, not the Ukranian border in their lingo.) The official maps says Ukraine has recovered half of it’s border with Russia and has stopped its army right there.

        I likely completely misunderstand the situation, because this might be the kind of diplomacy or communication I’m about to criticize the lack of. But. You can fight Russia or defend Ukraine, but if you can’t do both it’s high time to start talking concessions. I get there is legitimate need to make an agressor pay a high cost or next time they will get it for free. Appeasement is a known diplomatic failure state as well.

        I don’t know what the Russian retreats in the north mean, or the apparent dead-lock in the south. I do hope it is over soon.

        1. Samuel Conner

          > I get there is legitimate need to make an agressor pay a high cost or next time they will get it for free.

          This would seem to be the logic of the R SMO, granting their statements that it was launched in response (a long delayed response) to the expansion of NATO to the R western border.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Or the week long bombardment of Donetsk civilians by the Ukrainians. And the alleged attempt to conquer the same in March.

            In any case, the logic would dictate that if the aggressor (as in Russia) can not be stopped by other means than diplomacy, then diplomacy should be used. If you don’t have the means to make the aggressor pay a high cost (sanctions and dead Russians not withstanding), then you need to seriously consider other means to a) stop the aggression b) come up with a security arrangement to prevent further aggression.

            If only anyone would have brought that up before all this crap going on…

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              My gut is the problem was the White House green lit a Donbass final solution to announce a NATO accession this year or expected a reactionary Russian hordes marching into the maw with a NATO enforced no fly zone imposed based on ramblings of State or for Russia to fold in light of sanctions. Either the sanctions go through killing Nord2 or Putin looks weak. It was supposed to be a win win.

              The speed Russian essentially locked down half the Ukrainian army in the Donbass and destroyed the army in the west’s operational capacity was and shock, and the Pentagon likely tried to explain NATO airbases are meant for defense. Knocking over a few guys in tents is not the same as a no fly zone against Russia on its border.

              Then they moved to get the oligarchs expecting that would destroy Putin, falling for the West’s own propaganda. Then more sanctions actions from hell. For the most part, there was no diplomacy because the US never intended for a diplomatic resolution. It was NATO Ukraine so Biden could go “is that right, comrade?” in a debate against a GOP candidate or “Russian hordes” on a reactionary basis being mowed down trying to attack entrenched positions without air support.

              1. playon

                Diplomacy is far less profitable than war, which is explains the USA being in so many conflicts in the last few decades.

                1. LifelongLib

                  No matter how badly the diplomacy or war goes, the U.S. itself is never in serious danger, so nobody really cares.

              2. Michaelmas

                Knocking over a few guys in tents is not the same as a no fly zone against Russia on its border.

                Both sides have advanced missile technology — the Russians more so than the US, in many respects — and any aircraft put up over Ukraine by either side is vulnerable to being knocked down rapidly.

                So it’s a modern war with no air supremacy because of those missiles, and no no-fly zone for one side but not the other. The Russians have been conducting themselves accordingly, after seeing too many helicopters knocked down in the early days.

                And yet the American obsession with imagining it can have air supremacy and implement no-fly zones — ignoring the potentials for triggering WWIII because it’s the Russians, not Iraq this time — persists. It goes beyond ‘fighting the last war’ syndrome into the same realm of donkey-like stupidity that was inhabited by those WWI generals who imagined that cavalry charges were still feasible on battlefields.

        2. Joe Renter

          I suggest the utube channel Defense Politics Asia for an in-depth analysis on the war. He updates daily.
          A former military (officer?) in Singapore.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Besides that, they call “Russian controlled” what clearly is Luhansk National Republic. We don’t really know the extent of Russian influence in the government there well enough to make that call yet.

      And they left out the Soledar- Lysitshansk main road, which kinda is the grand price of the advance in the area and passes pretty much where the big red arrow ends. As far as we know, Russian air assault troops and Wagner group were within 2 miles of that road yesterday so it’s effectively closed already.

      Any supplies to Ukrainians in Lysitshansk-Sjeverodonetsk area can only be delivered trough a few, narrow, winding country roads.

      The salient to Troitske is actually from Popasna, too. There’s a few thousand Ukrainians blocked to the south of Troitske with only a narrow gap out. And same for the salient towards Hirske (Gorske) – it’s actually coming from north, and cutting the strong Ukrainian positions in Hirske-Zolote area off from the Lysitshanks grouping.

      LNR/Russians can now take their time to reduce any of these at their own time, or if they have the strength, keep pushing forward and keep slicing the salami.

      1. The Rev Kev

        From what you say, what is really need is topographical maps to show the lay of the land. Most maps I have seen will not show those “few, narrow, winding country roads” that you mentioned.

        1. kriptid

          Check this out. Posted this in the links a couple of days ago. A topographical map is extremely helpful for understanding the importance of the breakthrough in Popasna.

          T1302 and T0753 are the main roads in the area, probably only the ones suitable for large logistics shipments.

          Bakhmut is the main re-supply hub for Lysychansk. Supplies can come from the west along MO3 and then travel north on T1302. The Russian advance towards Soledar has seen that route effectively cut off.

          So now the Ukrainian forces will be reduced to resupplying Lysychansk via rail through Siversk, or as Polar Socialist says, through long winding, often unpaved roads that traverse those ridges straddling the space between Siversk and Lysychansk. Many are likely unsuitable for large logistics transports.

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Covid backlash–

    The article had a lot of very, very precise word choice, especially when it comes to adjectives. If truth had been a factor (silly, I know), however, this line should have been revised:

    If you can target [these tools] to the right people, virtually no one should be dying,” a senior administration official told Vanity Fair.

    Revised to:

    “If you can target [these tools] to the “right” people, then only the “no ones” will be dying,” a senior administration official told Vanity Fair.

    As for Clyburn’s laments, you must be f’in’ kiddin’ me. On New Year’s Eve, 2019, we happened to have dinner with a group of PMCs. Abbout half were Trump-open country clubbers and the other half were libs who would soon have BLM signs in their front yards, located in nearly all-white suburbs. I said to one of the libs that Bernie was the last exit off the Highway to Hell, which she found quite objectionable since she was trying on Buttigieg for size.

    So here comes Clyburn, who is second only to Obama in responsibility for the Biden fiasco, whining about the country falling apart.

    As Arlo sang, “It takes a lot of…(two beats)..damn gall.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My hunch is even Biden knows what a creep Clyburn is and keeps him far away, irritating Clyburn. Not that Biden has any one on the Hill, but Clyburn certainly didn’t become a White House go to person.

    2. hunkerdown

      If society consists of those people whose opinions you care about, yes, their world is falling apart, and we should welcome and accelerate it.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I’ll have to admit I’ve become an accelerationist, but not in the classic sense of accelerating capital development to hasten a proletarian revolution, nor even in the sense of propaganda of the deed. It’s more like what I think yo mean. I’m ready to let our idiotic, always doubling-down rulers immolate their world short of nuclear disaster. I just wish they’d get on with it, because the longer they take, the less chance there will be for some remnant to preserve some level of civilization–and by that term, I definitely do not mean anything having to do with convenience, comfort or menus of tools.

  9. LawnDart

    Jews for Genocide:

    UK Home Secretary declares BDS campaign as ‘racist’, “anti-Semitic”

    British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to end Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories was “racist” and “anti-Semitic”.

    “Holding the Jewish community collectively responsible for what happens in the Middle East by my definition is racist,” Patel said in a speech at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s annual parliamentary reception on Monday.

    The apartheid state of Israel IS the global “jewish community?” That’ll come as news to some… at least with US you can pay to divest yourself of citizenship, but if you’re born a jew (not a black one) anywhere in the world you’re beholden to the Israeli state for life… …is that how it works? Oh, wait, you won’t get this from news since journalism is subject to extra-judicial measures in “the free world.”

    Israel is one of the last great bastions for fascism and official racism left in our world, but to stand against these principles makes you “racist” and “anti-semetic.” Unbelievable. Who do these politicians represent?

    More important, I suppose, is what they represent.

  10. Nikkikat

    I still can’t get over the story yesterday, with Pfizer CEO talking at Davos about the tiny chip inserted in tablets. His explanation that INSURANCE companies would know that patients are complying with taking their medication. This guy doesn’t seem to know that insurance companies wouldn’t care about compliance. Perhaps your doctor or the government might be interested. And then repeating that it would assure compliance. He is a scary guy.

    1. IM Doc

      Actually, I find this whole idea something the insurance companies would salivate over.

      They have been looking for various ways to do this for years. Previously, they have been using secondary markers like gym attendance and others.

      This would be the answer to their wildest dreams.

      For example, diabetes is a huge spend for them. And whether or not a patient is compliant, meds don’t make a huge difference.

      I can see it now…..Mr. Smith, we can tell from the Pfizer AI that you have not been taking your meds. You fat slob. Because it is obvious you could care less, we also could care less. You are therefore going to have a huge premium increase or better yet, add on a provision not to cover your hospital bills.

      Oh, and don’t forget the forced placement of AI refrigerators and appliances in your house…..Mr. Smith you are eating too much jam…..and the circle will be complete.

      And it is not just diabetes. Think what they could do with AIDS, heart disease, TB and all the rheum disorders.

      It would be a bad sci if novel if I was not already attending conferences where this is being openly discussed.

        1. flora

          The circular, financial ratcheting effect from increasing pharma costs to increasing insurance costs to increasing hospital costs is a wonder to behold. / ;)

      1. digi_owl

        And if it was a national health service that pulled something similar, it would be decried as communism…

      2. GramSci

        Our betters get a little light-headed with their heads in the Davis clouds.

        As one wag on Bitchute put it: “Don’t take Bourla’s pill; just dissolve it in a cup of hydrochloric acid”.

        What they’ll likely do is dope the
        pills so compliance/noncompliance shows up in routine bloodwork.

      3. Mikel

        They have to be able to manufacture and ship all this medicine to people in the first place.

        Let’s see how long that first step can be sustained.

      4. griffen

        Paging professor Sunstein to the courtesy phone, professor are you there?

        Cass Sunstein co-authored a book called Nudge, and used to pen editorials for Bloomberg online. Can’t stand to read his crap but it’s all there in this thread.

    2. upstater

      Think about antipsychotics dispensed in a hospital situation or through a court order. No cheeking of pills… this could be a good thing for short periods in limited circumstances and very limited numbers of people. But that isn’t what it is about; a patented smart Zyprexa ™ versus a generic Olanzapine… now we’re talking real money.

        1. hunkerdown

          DRM on opioids would not necessarily be a completely unjustifiable power grab, in the context of a miserable individualist-authoritarian society that creates the need for them.

  11. dcblogger

    Amazon Aims to Sublet, End Warehouse Leases as Online Sales Cool

    I can’t be the only one who made a conscious decision to start seeking out alternatives to Amazon. I don’t have a car, and live far from shopping, so I need to have my goods delivered. But it turns out there are plenty of places that will ship your goods to you that are not Amazon. I think that Amazon is losing business because Bezos is a union busting ogre.

    1. Randall Flagg

      dcblogger, you’re not the only one. And honestly, I’ve lost track of the times that I found items cheaper than those listed on Amazon. Usually directly from the companies themselves. It’s just that Amazon makes it so damn easy to order with literally one click. But no more, it’s worth making the effort to skip Amazon for the little shops, the underdogs of the world.

    2. marym

      I quit Amazon, try to buy only made in US so it took a while to build up a list of vendors. There’s grocery and small item shopping nearby, but I don’t drive, so for anything else I shop on-line. Many vendors have shipping alternatives (sometimes including free). I think for someone with flexible requirements (I have simple tastes, and I’m not providing for a family) and a little time to shop around, avoiding Amazon is feasible. It’s also probably worth considering alternatives now in case the workers ever need to call for a general boycott.

      1. Carla

        Good for you for quitting Amazon! I did the same back around 2009 or 2010.

        marym, I hope you find a neighbor with whom you can trade favors, who might take you to the nearest town to shop — especially if the town has any independent merchants — just because I think you might enjoy it.

        1. marym

          I live in the “downtown” of a Chicago suburb, so there’s nice shops and restaurants within a few blocks, and (until the pandemic) a longer walk or quick taxi for more shopping. The combination of avoiding amazon, and buying US means more choices on-line, but I’ve found vendors that have nice products and good customer service, so it kind of compensates in feel-good for not buying local.

    3. cnchal

      Bloomberg’s paywall wasn’t worth scaling but the first part – Amazon Aims to Sublet – speaks volumes, marking the high point of the warehouse building boom as several months ago.

      With just staying alive expenses exploding, pouring money into warehouses, to hold stuff that won’t be bought and may not even be shipped across the ocean or made anymore, is the height of folly.

    4. Glen

      Amazon is a great aggregator web site for FINDING products. Then I go to the company web site and order direct, or if close, I go to the local store/vendor and buy direct. I’m not a member, never bought from them.

      If we do not support local, we will not have local, if we do not support Made in USA, we will not have Made in the USA.

      And I do support Amazon – in my way:

      Ware house jobs use to be GOOD UNION JOBS with average wages of over $20/hr and benefits. That’s what Amazon MUST DO before I even consider buying from them.

  12. cnchal

    > Amazon Aims to Sublet, End Warehouse Leases as Online Sales Cool

    News flash: whip cracking sadists have sore wrists and slowed the whipping.

    How soon before Amazon goes to local governments and demands payment to keep their satanic mill open?

    1. digi_owl

      More like the PMCs will do the demanding when their phone inform them that same day delivery is no longer available.

  13. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the Ukraine links and Mariupol, yesterday evening, France 24 (French) called the city “la ville martyre”, equating it with Oradour sur Glane. France 24 was on a roll and followed the report with a feature extolling the virtues of trickle down economics and low taxes on and barriers to the rich.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Indeed, Colonel Smithers. Here in Italy, the questionable Anna Zafesova has a piece in today’s La Stampa in which she interviews a blogger and then engages in pinkwashing. But Mariupol had LGBT events (see Israeli pinkwashing for comparison). But but but!

      The Russians With Attitude thread is worthwhile for its understanding of the continuous human-rights violations in Eastern Ukraine:

      “That’s when, under the patronage of Avakov, the “Volunteer Battalions” were created. Azov, Aidar, Donbas, Tornado, Dnipro — these & many other Ministry of the Interior formations are infamous for their horrifying reign of terror in Eastern Ukraine.”

      Reign of Terror. How inconvenient for Hunter Biden. (And let’s not forget Hunter Biden, who broke down barriers for the rich and may end up being a bigger problem than Joe imagined.)

      As Yves Smith and Lambert Strether have pointed out repeatedly, one cannot understand the impetus for the Russian invasion if one doesn’t try to come to terms with the horrible behavior of the Ukrainian government from 2014 on.

      Which hss been documented by the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) in more than one disturbing report.

      Meanwhile, in Tablet, which should know better, but like so many these days, knows only enough to do damage, Davidzon rhapsodizes about Odinists that he drinks with, He seems to do a lot of drinking with Avov types. He’s kinduva a bro-nazi-beer-aficionado, I guess. Maybe he can come up with a blonde and label the bottles La Ville Martyre.

      And he glosses over facts that the OSCE was not willing to gloss over.

      Oh, and Odinists? An observation published a Live Journal, that is an opening to understanding Davidzon’s cluelessness: “Timothy G. Baysinger, in the Journal of Homeland Security Affairs, further describes the distinction, and classifies those who are more right-wing and white-supremacist as “Odinist” while allowing the title of “Asatru” to those who take a nonracist approach. Unlike most other scholars, Baysinger does not seem to make much of a distinction between “ethnic Odinists” and “racist Odinists” seemingly because the only real feature that distinguishes one group from the other is the level of action.”

      Martyrs, I tell ye, martyrs.

    2. EGrise

      Oradour sur Glane

      Good grief Colonel, have they no shame?! I can only hope that French citizens can see through such drivel.

      1. David

        What’s really sick is that the Oradour massacre was conducted by the SS Armoured Division “Das Reich”, which, like much of the SS, had foreign volunteers serving in its ranks. In this case, a number of them were French, from German-speaking areas in Alsace, an issue which remains delicate even today. And guess what: the badge of the Division, the Wolfsangel, is basically the same as the symbol used by the Azov. A picture is worth quite few words ….

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, all. I was stunned, too, as to how that got through editorial control.

          @ David: That’s interesting about the “malgre nous” and sensitivities to this day. It’s similar to the South Tyrol, later crossed by rat lines via the Vatican to Latin America.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “U.S., others walk out of APEC talks over Russia’s Ukraine invasion”

    I can see it now. So when Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov waited until the delegations from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia had left the room, he probably turned around and said ‘Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen. Now that the amateurs are gone, how about we professionals start talking some serious trade deals here. And the Russian Federation is ready to help out with cheap energy to power these developments. Anybody interested?’

    1. digi_owl

      I can’t help wonder about Australia in all this, given that they seem heavily dependent on China as the buyer of Australian mining outputs.

      1. Vandemonian

        I wonder about Australia as well. Anthony Albanese, our new Prime Minister, is off to the meeting of the Quad today, together with his Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

        Australia’s attitude to China has been an example of Little Scotty’s incompetence, and that may be about to change, it remains to be seen by how much…

      2. jrkrideau

        Scotty from Marketing’s instructions probably. He seem even more clueless about international affairs than our PM Trudeau though Canada walked out also.

        1. jsn

          It will be difficult t this point to reestablish Australian sovereignty.

          It’s equally hard to see where Five Eyes thinks it’s taking it’s satraps, including the US.

          TINA until there is, and it’s suddenly a big and tiny world at the same time as reality shrinks to fit expanding delusions..

    2. RobertC

      Another damp squib Taiwan won’t be a part of Biden’s initial Asian economic talks

      ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, May 22 (Reuters) – The United States is looking to deepen its economic partnership with Taiwan even if though it is excluded from President Joe Biden’s new Asian economic initiative, a top official said.

      “Taiwan won’t be part of the launch,” of Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Sunday, en route to Japan with President Joe Biden.

      1. super extra

        Jake Sullivan said

        Another L for Sullivan. Perhaps someone should sack him for poor performance?

      2. RobertC

        Why IPEF is damp squib Biden in Japan to launch regional economic plan to counter Beijing

        TOKYO: President Joe Biden arrived in Japan on Sunday (May 22) to launch a plan for greater US economic engagement with the Indo-Pacific, facing criticism even before the programme is announced that it will offer scant benefit to countries in the region.

        …But the IPEF is unlikely to include binding commitments, and Asian countries and trade experts have given a decidedly lukewarm response to a programme limited by Biden’s reluctance to risk American jobs by offering the increased market access the region craves.

        …The White House had wanted it the IPEF announcement to represent a formal start of negotiations with a core group of like-minded countries, but Japan wanted to ensure broader participation to include as many Southeast Asian countries as possible, trade and diplomatic sources said.

        Given this, Monday’s ceremony will likely signal an agreement to start discussions on IPEF rather than actual negotiations, the sources said.

        This follows U.S. pledges $150M to ASEAN countries to kick off summit which is embarrassing (insulting?) compared to the $40B pledged to Ukraine the same week. The $150M includes $60M to deploy a Coast Guard cutter; China has 164 Coast Guard cutters including the world’s largest cutters at 12,000 tons (3,000 more than Arleigh Burke destroyers).

  15. jr

    WaPo in full whirling skirts spin mode:

    “There are reports that some might be subjected to interrogations and accused of war crimes.”

    Gee, do you think? Even assuming the Boy Scouts were holed up in Mariupol, does anyone but the most compliant media consumer-drone think there wouldn’t be charges of war crimes and the interrogations of prisoners? Gosh, were there any casualties? But then, WaPo knows their target audience, hungry for confirmation bias confirmations like a child seeking ice cream.

  16. antidlc

    RE: They don’t want the backlash

    The administration is also hearing complaints—both in private and in Twitter screeds—from a formidable contingent of doctors and public health officials who have called foul on both the new approach and the administration’s new shift in tone.

    Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, thinks the messaging shift has more to do with a “new political era” than with any new scientific or medical reality. He calls it a “rhetorical move in the middle of mass death…. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, with all the uncertainty.”

    So glad to see doctors and public health officials speaking out. I hope they are giving the administration an earful.

    And I hope people like Gonsalves keep up their twitter “screeds”.

    1. DanB

      I was an administrator at a center for public health practice at a major university in the 2000s. I did a small survey of public health centers in six states after the 2008 crash to gauge how austerity was affecting them. Results: “We’re so broke we’re literally rationing ball point pens and toilet paper.” “We’re going to have to merge with another public health center; our catchment area will be over two hundred miles wide.” “We’re cutting almost all services.” Meanwhile, when I talked to government officials in these states they said things like, “We’re not cutting essential services, just streamlining and making public health more efficient.” My conclusion: Public health’s response to decline is loyalty to the 1%. Although I’m deeply despondent about public health’s response to Covid, I’m not the the least surprised; the worldview of government is neoliberalism, and neoliberalism does not recognize the scientific efficacy or moral validity of public health.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky: Only diplomacy can end Ukraine war”

    This is the BBC lying their faces off again by using omission. Check this out-

    ‘Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO council summit, Zelensky mentioned three top goals: to halt Russia’s advance, reclaim territory and restore Ukraine’s entire territory through diplomacy, reported Ukrainian media – the Kyiv Independent.’

    And when he says that the Ukraine’s entire territory be restored, he is not only talking about the Donbass Republics but the Crimea as well. Not gunna happen. Like never. That boat has already sailed. Until last year there was still a chance of the Ukraine losing Crimea but having the Donbass Republics in a Federation but not anymore. And where did I find this quote by the way? Was it the NYT, WaPo, the Times or on CNN? Why no, it was in the Hindustan Times-

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

      India continues to try to steer a mid-course in its policy on Ukraine etc. and its press largely supports that policy. So I’ve been seeing stuff reported in the Indian press that never quite makes it into the traditional Anglosphere MSM.

    2. paul

      Seeing how he masterfully orchestrated the victory of eurovision, these ambitions are now,not only real, but very real © t blair

      I think it will be constructive for NC to devote its selves to commentary and information that is certifiably ‘very real’ .

      ‘real’ is no longer relevant.

      Harsh, possibly, unjustified, certainly, but we are a convenience based society these days.

    3. RobertC

      And a half-hour ago Pounded by Russian offensive in the east, Ukraine rules out concessions

      KYIV, May 22 (Reuters) – Ukraine ruled out a ceasefire or any territorial concessions to Moscow as Russia stepped up its attack in country’s the east and south, pounding the Donbas and Mykolaiv regions with air strikes and artillery fire.

      Kyiv’s stance has become increasingly uncompromising in recent weeks as Russia experienced military setbacks while Ukrainian officials grew worried they might be pressured to sacrifice land for a peace deal.

      “The war must end with the complete restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

    4. Carolinian

      To quote a line from Gladiator, “some people don’t know when they’re conquered.”

  18. SOMK

    Re: ‘What TikTok’s obsession with nepotism babies says about class’

    Article focuses on the class element in terms of “you’re told the narrative is to work hard and you will make it” though it focuses on a trend in TikTok videos.

    This paragraph in particular struck a chord

    “It might not seem like it matters what celebs and artists are up to while we potter about trying to make ends meet, but as one TikToker puts it, ​“It’s important to have raw people, who were brought up in working class families, [creating] art. Imagine what TV will be with only sheltered rich people creating [it].”

    Reminded me of the line from Franz Liebowitz in (Scorsese doc) Public Speaking “you can say a lot about rich people, but one thing you can’t say about them is that they’re interesting”.

    Recently tried watching the latest Star Trek thing ‘Strange New World’s’ and had to give up, Greenberg argued in the Avante Garde vs. Kitsch that kitsch was essentially thin culture that reproduced the status quo/class, all visage no substance, and it feels like exactly that, pure kitsch, you could argue the original series was kitsch in its own sense, but this complete aberration of any pretence of doing anything other than a pastiche of the original (sweetened with sufficient cultural updates so the distinction isn’t jarring), the point at which I gave up on it was when that once the main plot had been resolved that last quarter of the episode was given over to a series of feel good/resolvng plot points scenes “I resign because X” “I reject your resignation because you’re the best” type stuff. It’s almost surreal how bad culture has gotten (certainly at the mass level, good stuff still gets made of course, but I’d consider something like Star Trek as a bell weather), as if there is some kind of existential rot, you wonder if the problems of nu-trek are a manifestation of the same existential problem in news media and even politics. What’s being filtered for and what is being filtered against?

    I read a piece years ago that pointed out that in the UK top ten singles chart from the 90’s through to now there’d been a precipitous decline in non-private school educated bands and acts featuring, in the 90’s it was around 30-40%, it’s became close to zero by the 10’s (unfortunately thanks to google crapification can’t find the piece itself), think Oasis vs. Mumford and Sons* (not that a working class background stopped Noel Gallagher going Tory). There has been a fairly notable gentrification of culture over the past three decades.

    Whilst certain systemic and distribution factors have eaten into the bottom line of culture providers, there’s a lot going on. On a systemic level, you have the shift in distribution caused by the internet and associated technologies, it’s eaten to the scope for investigative journalism and talent scouting creating different frames of emphasis (maintaining smaller interpersonal/nepotistic networks is much cheaper plus it has intergenerational benefits in retaining and concentrating wealth and power). Neoliberalisms has enforced an effective reclamation of the urban commons in terms of financialisation and cost. At the same time Blair was inviting the leading lights of British popular culture to downing street he was instigating reforms of social welfare systems that let the likes of Noel Gallagher mess about with his guitar in the first place. You have the tendency of technologies ranging from computer software to phone app that reduce the original creative impulse by making a great deal of the ‘creative’ choices for you, so there base-line skill level is flattened (digital photography has made it much easier for anyone to take a ‘good’ photograph), it’s something that Jaron Lanier has pointed to in the creative class being a kind of canary in the existential coal mine when it comes to how technology is impacting the economic baseline.

    To get back to Nu-trek things like script writing are taught in an increasingly systemic fashion, three acts structures, conflict and hero journeys etc. (and who knows what kind of damage granular watching habit data and hashtag tracking is doing to the commisioning process!). The exact opposite of what Chris Anderson anticipated in ‘The long tail’ has transpired, in which he assumed because niche interest was infinite and obsessive that the internet would become determined by niche ie. that the head end of the graph (representing the mass) is finite whilst the tail (or niche interests) is potentially infinite, instead you had the sure fire blue chip creative acts getting more proportional investment, whilst most of the profit from niche interests is hoovered up by platforms directing people there (though the likes of patreon does offer a kind of floor).

    There’s a quote from Frederick Taylor that goes “The full possibility of my system will not have been realised until almost all of the machines in the shop are run by men who are of smaller calibre and attainment, and who are therefore cheaper than those required under the old system.”

    Years ago I came to the conclusion that the reason that Duchamp’s Urinal is fetishied as much as it is is nothing to do with the work itself (which was a photograph not an actual urinal), but that as a symbolic gesture nothing could better fulfil the Taylorism impulse in the realm of art than the artist metaphorically surrendering their skill. What Duchamp (who had a practicing occultist’s understanding of the power of symbol) was trying to do with that gesture was to assert the right of the artist to determine what is art, but it was the selecting panel where the power lay which was ironically protecting the standard of art by refusing such a thing as art in the first place, by resigning from the panel (Duchamp was on the selecting panel and the photograph was submitted anonymously) and forcing the issue the selecting panel included the image which opened the flood gates (at least symbolically) for anything to be art. That is why this fairly silly/throwaway art work became a locus of symbolic importance, by surrendering skill he surrendered everything, critics, institutions, et al became the ones that took up the mantle of determining of is or isn’t art and fulfilled the Taylorist fever dream the art field has inadvertently become (this is a big reason why despite often the forms being variant you essentially have generation after generation rehashing the same ideas since art college education became the norm in the 60-70’s such that you couldn’t really distinguish the average 90’s art exhibition from one from the 20’s bar the presence of fewer TVs and flatter screens).

    Which is a rather long-winded way of saying that there is more going on perhaps than even class here, which is to say class factors are operant in terms of taking advantage of it and accelerating the decline, but the downside for the powers that be that exploit it is a functioning and healthy culture does is act as a stabilising factor for society as a whole, it reminds us of the complexity of the human spirit (as opposed to how modern culture leans on dictating morals and ethic) and opens up the possibility for transcendent empathy. In other words I think cultural nepotism is both causal and symptomatic and may have an inadvertent sharpening the guillotine effect (seeing as class consciousness doesn’t really rise so much as get sufficiently angry to do something), rich complicated culture has a regularising effect, it’s the equivalent of maintaining clean hands relative to mass delusion (the recent spate of violent stage and pitch invasions springs to mind) it is making things worse in a way that isn’t fully accounted for because culture is being undermined and under valued. You have a systemic flatlining of skill (making it easier for the “less interesting” children of the rich and connected) that makes nepotism more possible as well as systemic factors like declining ad revenue, music piracy etc. the addictive nature of social media (an so-called influencer) culture, that are combining to accelerate the decline so to speak. Christopher Alexander (who in ‘the Nature of Order’ posits that life is a quality of space not organic) would say that any whole is a collection of centres and the life of any given whole is the degree to which the centres in any given whole are talking to each other, so a deadened culture of which nepotism is a phenomena/factor is a fundamental existential crisis that goes beyond the concerns of culture or the culture class itself.

    It’s ironic that it’s through a medium like Tik Tok that such concerns are being expressed and raising a kind of class consciousness. Media theorist Vilem Flusser argued that the solution to the existential problem posed by the photograph -that reduced the act of creation to the push of a button- was to ultimately bind ourselves ever closer to the veil of Maya and strive to make reality from the veil itself.

    Then again if stagnation didn’t invite invention we wouldn’t be here.

    *for those unfamiliar both are examples of consistent top ten acts (at least in the UK) from their respective eras, Oasis being formed by two brothers and their working class friends from Manchester in the early 90’s, Mumford and Sons being a chart staple from the 10’s and being borderline aristocracy. Both are a kind of poppy rehash of guitar music from previous generations and fairly emblematic of the kind of bands you see from their respite eras.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Thanks for a very thought-provoking explication of the relationship between Taylorism and cultural decline. One comment: this statement–

      I think cultural nepotism is both causal and symptomatic

      says to me reinforcing loop. And reinforcing loops, unimpeded by strong balancing loops, lead to an increasing rate of decline.

      For some strange reason, I rewatched “The Smartest Guys in the Room” about Enron. There’s a good deal of footage in there of Skilling before Senate and House Committees, with the former chaired by Levin. Now these were not great statesmen, but I was struck at how these politicians of twenty years ago did a better job of at least pretending to be about serious business than today’s versions. Maybe the billionaires are applying Taylorism to politics as well. Make them as interchangeable as possible. Cheaper that way.

  19. Dr. John Carpenter

    As of this morning, 5 people around me (and their partners) have tested positive for COVID this weekend. I know more people who have caught COVID since it’s been “over” than did in 2020 and 2021. A really good friend of mine who is in great health ended up in the hospital on a respirator last month.

    I have to return to my office tomorrow and I am really not looking forward to it. This is insanity.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s like being one of those tin ducks in a shooting gallery. Our daughter was really sick with this virus and I mean really sick last week but my wife and I were lucky to dodge this particular slug – this time.

    2. Stick'em

      My mind keeps going back to this guy I know who says, “Just power through it” whenever illness is discussed, as if this handful of magic beans can solve anything.

      The placebo effect is a thing precisely because people’s attitudes can have an effect on illness outcomes. However, the placebo effect doesn’t do a damn thing to prevent viral transmission, so as a society we keep getting sick and having to summon the “Power of Greyskull” to get through it.

    3. curlydan

      The COVID county map is interesting to me at the moment. Many of the most “liberal” and presumably 3x to 4x vaccinated counties are leading leading the nation in cases per capita. Santa Fe county, San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, Washtenaw (Ann Arbor), Dane County (Madison, WI).

      The other interesting aspect is I don’t see really a distinct peak in many of these counties. Washtenaw and Dane Counties have been “going strong” on COVID for weeks.

      My parents just flew to see my family for a week. They left yesterday but had to spend hours in the airport between flights. A successful visit is if they got home without COVID!

      1. flora

        I agree. Also, let’s see if the Dem estab “helps” them lose to their GOP opponents in the general election this November. (There’s a track record of the Dem estab undermining primary winners they don’t want in Congress or in Governor’s seats. )

      2. CitizenSissy

        I think we’re at a point, with Roe likely being overturned and an increasingly authoritarian Republican party, where tribalism cuts both ways. I live in suburban Philly, previously ground zero for now extinct moderate Republicans, and the Democratic committees ran as if their endorsement was the golden ticket for a Lamb victory. And who the heck ran that campaign? In a vote-rich, heavily populated part of a swing state, he was largely MIA. Retail politics do matter, which Fetterman understood early and often. People are done with the political hierarchy, and want a candidate who calls out the BS and fights back.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Defenders of Mariupol”

    Those Azov guys were really pinning their hopes on being flown to Turkey to save themselves so an idea popped into my head earlier about why. What if they wanted to go to Turkey because they had ideological brethren that might have welcomed them there? I mean Turkey’s Grey Wolves. They are both ultra-nationalist organizations after all-

      1. RobertC

        Author Vladislav Davidzon is Tablet’s European culture correspondent and a Russian-American writer, translator, and critic. He is the Chief Editor of The Odessa Review and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council. He was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and lives in Paris.

        And his conclusion uses dilution and distraction to hide the truth in plain sight:

        Understanding the actual trajectory of Azov over the last eight years is important, because ignoring it plays into decades-old tropes of Ukrainians as inherently antisemitic fascist collaborators. That does not excuse the canonization in some quarters of Nazi collaborators or interwar Ukrainian ultranationalists like Roman Shukhevych or Stepan Bandera. But nor is it helpful, just, or sane to hold these brave, patriotic fighters—who for months were fighting in Mariupol and who for weeks now have been trapped in the Azovstal iron and steel works—responsible for the legacy of some of their country’s ancestors from the 1940s. Perhaps it is too much, or too strange, to call Mariupol the new Masada, and thus Azov the new Israelites. But it is certainly not too much to chant the glory of every Ukrainian hero who continues to resist Russian imperialism and barbarism.

        1. paul

          My read:

          Is it not understandable that nutters killing with impunity for many years went off the idea when faced with armed forces?

        2. Soredemos

          The zealots of Masada were hateful terrorists who in retrospect never stood a chance at winning and whose elimination was a very routine, bog-standard affair for the Romans, so perhaps comparing them to the Nazis of Mariupol is appropriate.

        3. bwilli123

          So we’re back to that fine distinction between “good” Nazis and “bad” Nazis again, are we?
          “A new documentary explores how Albert Speer, one of Hitler’s right-hand men, portrayed himself as the “good Nazi” and spread this myth to a mass media level.

          “I found a man who embodied evil and for whom human life had no intrinsic value,” said Israeli director Vanessa Lapa of Albert Speer, who was one of Hitler’s close allies.

          Albert Speer, the highest-ranking Nazi in Nuremberg to be spared the death sentence, continues to be met with great interest in Germany and the rest of the world.”

  21. antidlc

    WHO news item dated 5/21/2022:
    Multi-country monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries

    Suspected case:

    A person of any age presenting in a monkeypox non-endemic country[2] with an unexplained acute rash


    One or more of the following signs or symptoms, since 15 March 2022:

    Acute onset of fever (>38.5oC),
    Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes)
    Myalgia (muscle and body aches)
    Back pain
    Asthenia (profound weakness)


    for which the following common causes of acute rash do not explain the clinical picture: varicella zoster, herpes zoster, measles, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, herpes simplex, bacterial skin infections, disseminated gonococcus infection, primary or secondary syphilis, chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, granuloma inguinale, molluscum contagiosum, allergic reaction (e.g., to plants); and any other locally relevant common causes of papular or vesicular rash.

    Anything significant about March 15? Why March 15?

    1. Eureka Springs

      Also according to WHO:

      Why is this disease called ‘monkeypox’?

      The disease is called monkeypox because it was first identified in colonies of monkeys kept for research in 1958. It was only later detected in humans in 1970.

    2. Juneau

      WHO identified the first 3 cases (from one household in the UK) on March 13, 2022.

      The usual incubation period is 5 to 21 days at most.

      So it looks like they are considering these 3 cases as index cases marking the start of the outbreak with the first expected rashes in contacts to occur days after exposure, although that is not stated directly.

    3. flora

      They put March 15,2022 arrival of monkeypox on their pandemic calendar last year. It was scheduled to arrive on March 15…. Amazing foresight. / ;)

      You can skip down to chart ‘Figure 1: Scenario Design Summary’ on page 10 of the paper ( page 12 (?) in the pdf).

      Look at the gamed out date of the initial theoretical attack. Spoiler alert: the November 2021 paper designates May 15, 2022 as the initial appearance of the disease.

      1. flora

        Also, this week, the week following March 15th’s week, is the week the WHO member countries will votes on changes to the WHO’s pandemic treaty, which if passed will give over all nations’ decision making in public health to the unaccountable WHO bureaucracy if WHO declares a pandemic. (Not something I want to pass.) So the stage is set for the vote, imo.

        1. tegnost

          The “davos plan”, such as it is, intends to create supra national entities that enforce what national entities are allowed to do. That is why russia needs to be split up, the TPP and etc… need to be implemented. The health of wall st. is paramount.

        2. Mel

          Seems it would turn the WHO into something like the World Bank, except the WHO would be saying “because Health” in situations where the World Bank would have said “because Debt.”

          1. The Rev Kev

            I thought I read a few days ago that the Russians are thinking of leaving the WHO. This may be why.

      2. antidlc

        Thanks for the info, but as mentioned above, There were two cases documented in the US last year.

        1. flora

          There’s good info (imo) in this article about transmission, infection rate (R value), public health measures, etc.

          It’s a real disease. There are small outbreaks. It needs to be treated in the infected. Public Health measures are important. However, I think it’s currently being used for political purposes by the WHO and others. My 2 cents.

          1. Basil Pesto

            I have no idea how this Monkeypox thing will play out, I feel pretty confident it will be less serious than SARS2 (which is not exactly going out on a limb!), but “there are small outbreaks” is really quite the handwave, in light of what has happened this week which seems to me to be axiomatically extraordinary, in the literal sense of that word.

        2. flora

          As you point out, there were a few cases in the US and the EU last year, so why set the release date of information to “March 15, 2022 and after”?

          1. Basil Pesto

            I think Juneau’s explanation speaks to this: because they are treating those as the index cases for the present outbreak (rightly or wrongly). They can’t make the same case for treating the 2021 cases as index cases for the present outbreak.

          1. flora

            “Typos, thy name are legion.” ha. Still, May 15th is right before the important vote, is it not?

            1. Basil Pesto

              I must confess I have not looked at this bill, but I do question how important this vote is, as the only people I’ve seen writing/talking/expounding/shrieking at length about it are morons and assholes, and internet information grifters (with threadbare understanding of int’l law to boot). Not you, I stress, but those who have been linked to BTL in recent weeks. In fact last week I received a text before the election by uber-rich reactionary Clive Palmer’s UAP party, from sender ‘URGENT’:

              Australia transferring all AU hospital & health to World Health Org immediately

              Stop them

              Vote 1 United Australia Party

              Click for more

              and they are both morons and assholes, which checks out because the content of the message is manifestly ludicrous. Fearmongering: not just for people a bit concerned about an accelerating monkeypox outbreak, I guess.

              (An aside: I’ve been worried for
              months now that official public health bullshitting would be a boon for UAP’s pandemic pseudo-iconoclasm, combined with their large ad spend, but thankfully it seems to have fallen completely flat)

  22. Mikel

    “How Does the Davos Elite Deal With War in Ukraine?” Bloomberg

    Read the article and get no info on how they are actually going to deal with war and threat of wider war.

    Scroll down a few articles:
    “Ukraine’s new labour law could ‘open Pandora’s box’ for workers” OpenDemocracy
    “…In March, the Ukrainian parliament passed wartime legislation that severely curtailed the ability of trade unions to represent their members, introduced ‘suspension of employment’ (meaning employees are not fired, but their work and wages are suspended) and gave employers the right to unilaterally suspend collective agreements….”

    The Davos agenda.

  23. Mikel

    “Is the Middle Class Musician Disappearing?” The Honest Broker. Betteridge’s Law violation.

    Long gone….

    1. hunkerdown

      Gioia thinks we need full-time artists as an occupational category. Maybe the regime does, but I don’t think the people do.

      1. LifelongLib

        It wasn’t so long ago that Shakespeare’s plays and Italian operas were considered mass entertainment. It’s less that “art” is for the “elite” than that the “elite” arrogated “art” for itself. The system impoverishes the majority not only economically but also intellectually.

      2. Basil Pesto

        tradcons and wannabe revolutionists united at last over “get a real job”, you love to see it

    2. jr

      Walking around today I came across a small street fair. Not of the street fairs of my youth, though. 350$ bracelets, 45$ t-shirts, 100$ shoes. The artists sure as heck didn’t look starving; they were well coiffed and tan from vacay. PMC and adjacent types, generally uninspired art. No one trying to make a living as far as I could tell. Nothing inherently evil but all the street fairs seem to be this way around here. No bargains, no really original work, all aimed at moneyed types.

  24. Permanent Sceptic

    I don’t know if there has been a link to this before, but I thought this debate held this month between Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Mike McFaul, and Radek Sikorski would interest the NC community.

    I think one of the best parts of the discussion starts at around 1:09:00 where Walt discusses the issue of Ukrainian membership in NATO and McFaul laughs and admits to Walt that US diplomats lie all the time, and they were lying about wanting to admit Ukraine into NATO. Sikorski, sitting next to McFaul, laughs along and looks incredibly smug.

    Throughout the debate, McFaul strikes me as almost childish and bullying at times, while Sikorski seems positively frightening.

    1. Alyosha

      intelligence assets lie. Diplomats tell difficult truths carefully. DoS is just the public face of CIA anymore and our “diplomats” act like it.

  25. Jacob Hatch

    Erdogăn & F16 / F35. Propaganda for F35. Someone yesterday or the day before pointed out his greater concern is probably moves by Greece on the militarisation of the Dodecanese islands with NATO/USA support. This (probably) is about giving USA/NATO leverage over Cyprus. It also would make Russian fleet movement and even commercial shipping into/out of Dardanelles no longer secure.

    1. Carolinian

      Think they should give Emma Roberts a break though cause I like her. The article mentions her aunt Julia but not her father Eric who is apparently chopped liver. Julia grew up in Smyrna, GA but vowed never to go back so it was rags to riches to dumping on the rags (her mother was an acting teacher so not exactly rags). We here in Dixie are taking it in stride.

  26. Lee


    TWiV 902: Autoantibodies drive severe COVID-19

    May 22, 2022 Tagged as: autoantibodies, coronavirus, COVID-19, feces, interferon, monkeypox, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, Smallpox, viral, virology, virus, viruses

    Articles linked and discussed in this episode:

    Monkeypox in MA (ProMed Mail)

    Possible monkeypox in NYC (NY Times)

    Occupational monkeypox, Wisconsin (Emerg Inf Dis)

    SARS-CoV-2 in feces (Nature)

    IFN autoantibodies and severe COVID-19 (PNAS)

    1. Lee

      Of particular interest, from the paper “IFN autoantibodies and severe COVID-19” (PNAS), there appears to be a particular immune system deficiency, likely to be genetically determined, that leads to increased susceptibility to severe Covid that is second only to advanced age as a risk factor.

      “There is growing evidence that preexisting autoantibodies neutralizing type I interferons (IFNs) are strong determinants of life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia. It is important to estimate their quantitative impact on COVID-19 mortality upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, by age and sex, as both the prevalence of these autoantibodies and the risk of COVID-19 death increase with age and are higher in men. Using an unvaccinated sample of 1,261 deceased patients and 34,159 individuals from the general population, we found that autoantibodies against type I IFNs strongly increased the SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality rate at all ages, in both men and women. Autoantibodies against type I IFNs are strong and common predictors of life-threatening COVID-19. Testing for these autoantibodies should be considered in the general population.”

  27. Screwball

    Link below to a FDA page which is about a peanut butter recall from JIF peanut butter (Smuckers).

    The J. M. Smucker Co. Issues Voluntary Recall of Select Jif® Products Sold in the U.S. for Potential Salmonella Contamination

    The important part FTA; The recalled peanut butter was distributed nationwide in retail stores and other outlets. Recalled products include the products below with lot codes 1274425 – 2140425. Lot codes are included alongside best-if-used-by date.

    There is a large list of Jif products in the article. The lot codes IMO, should read 1274425 THRU 2140425 to be more clear.

    I have a 28oz jar of contaminated peanut butter. I have been checking around with friends and family and I know of two people who got very ill – one went to the emergency room (the other should have) who ate these products and today found out their batch was in that range.

    I got mine from the local Kroger in NW Ohio. Another was from a Sam’s Club around Toledo, Ohio. I also know of two confirmations from Columbus, and Hilliard, Ohio. My Columbus contact was at the store today and said there were no JIF products on the shelf.

    1. Basil Pesto

      this nanny-state nonsense has to stop, and I’m sick of our consumer freedoms being impinged: it’s high time we learned to live with salmonella. We need an off-ramp from these overbearing product recall restrictions, which are the scarlet letter of food poisoning.

      (jokes aside, hope your friends/family are okay!)

  28. Mikel

    “Supply chains are never returning to ‘normal’ ” Freight Waves

    “..Since the end of the Cold War, global supply chains have benefited from peaceful trade between developed and developing countries. Many poorer and less developed countries that were previously ruled by Communist or autocratic regimes took advantage of new markets in the developed world and used global trade to move beyond subsistence economies to prosperous ones. Some of these countries developed into capitalistic and democratic countries, while other governments exploited the free market system to solely benefit those already in power, and became wealthy and powerful enough to threaten the very system that enabled their ascension.

    Those “other” governments. Blind denial.

    The BS they want people to believe gets more disgusting.

    1. Sue inSoCal

      Mm hmm. I believe there was also a statement in that article that we have had “peace” in the last 30 years, but as far as I can tell, it’s been hellzapoppin in the war biz. I don’t know where Mr FreightWave’s been. I looked him up: his father owns a sizable trucking company and Junior gets to run a live TV show after inventing a card system he sold for the trucking biz. He’s a self made man. Cheers!

  29. Mikel

    “The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready” Editorial Board, NYT

    A headline that suggests they had no idea war was complicated. So now they have an opinion about what’s going on and people are supposed assume – NOW they know what they are talking about?

  30. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Over at Cdr Salamander a riverine topic turned into an interesting Ukraine discussion beginning here

    Dave • 6 days ago

    I am continually amazed at the posts by supposedly learned individuals here. Commander Salamander posts about the strategic importance in the Pacific and everyone is drawn off course to the Ukraine — a place that the majority of Americans couldn’t place on a map until this year.

    America just got out of two decades of conflict in the sandbox and within a year, folks are ready to believe anything and start another shooting match.

    What is the strategic national interest in Ukraine? Posters here shoot invective instead of actual logic. Does anyone have a specific reason that the US is pushing for shooting instead of diplomacy?

    And the comments continue from there with a minimum of flames.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>America just got out of two decades of conflict in the sandbox and within a year, folks are ready to believe anything and start another shooting match.

      I’m reminded of those people who cannot form anymore long term memories do to brain damage much like the United States. The difference is that the individual’s brain damage is either by accident or desperate surgery whereas for the country it is self surgery by the elites. Amnesia (or national brain damage) for profit.

  31. Mikel
    With coronavirus cases on the rise, California finds itself in a familiar, if frustrating, position — with the threat of another wave looming as summer fast approaches.

    Coronavirus cases are increasing, in many areas at an accelerating pace. Authorities have not yet expressed alarm about the state of California’s hospitals or imposed far-reaching new rules to blunt the virus’ spread.

    But officials say it is possible healthcare systems could once again come under strain unless the transmission rate is restrained — underscoring how vital it is for residents and businesses to make use of the protective tools at their disposal….

    L.A. County on Friday extended its order requiring mask use on public transit, including in rail and bus stations; in indoor areas of airports and seaports; and in ride-sharing vehicles….

  32. Mikel

    “I still can’t believe it’s #Monkeypox holiday season already. I still have my Covid-19 tree up…”

    It’s child hepatitis season too.

  33. LawnDart

    Israel Killed Reporter Abu Akleh—but US Media Disguised the Facts

    That the state of Israel can continue to be labeled a “true democracy” after years of human rights violations, the repression of press freedoms and the extreme of killing journalists outright—not to mention that approximately 30% of the population under its control not allowed to participate in national elections—attests to the strength of the dominant narratives that have long guided US news coverage of Israel…

  34. Mikel

    Reading the Baby Food formula thread – about international supply and came across this tweet:

    Dr. Simone Gold
    BREAKING: A study in the leading medical journal ‘Vaccines’ has found that mRNA vaccines are significantly associated with deadly blood clots.

    The research team analyzed 1,154,023 adverse event reports from more than 130 countries.

    Every news outlet should be covering this.”

    This reminds me of back in the early days of release of the vaccines. Wasn’t there an article about J&J suggesting all the companies come together on working on the research regarding blood clot issues and the other two rejected that idea?
    It’s hazy, but it was something along those lines.

      1. Mikel

        I’m talking about an article around the time blood cots were first coming out. J&J wanted the other two companies to participate in studies together – with them – and the other two declined.

  35. Jason Boxman

    Nonetheless, she [Walensky] emphasized that it would be up to individual Americans to choose to protect themselves: “We encourage everyone to use the menu of tools we have today to prevent further infection and severe disease, including wearing a mask, getting tested, accessing treatments early if infected, and getting vaccinated or boosted.”

    Right. Because public health is a buffet. So the Biden administration is pursing an approach where it is suggested that each of us not defecate in the water, and not drink such water, but it’s totally up to us whether or not to do so. And what information is available about said water is neither timely nor accurate, so you get to roll the dice. Grand.

    These people are insane.

    1. Daryl

      Wondering how long I can continue choosing to protect myself by wearing a mask e.g. on planes and at what point those of us holdouts will be deemed a “security risk” and disallowed from flying.

    2. chris

      No. I don’t think they’re mad. I do believe the others who have framed the response we’ve had as a way of sheltering businesses and other interests from lawsuits have it right. We are doing what we’re doing explicitly to protect donors and corporations that could have been liable for damages if this had been more controlled. Or if standards had been tighter. And we’re moving in a way that supports what Democrat centrists want. They’ve also made conscious hiring decisions and spokes person decisions to support that approach. You’ll notice Osterholm has been sidelined. Even the people from TWIV aren’t being talked up as much anymore. So I’m forced to conclude that none of this is arbitrary madness or cruelty. They mean to do exactly what they’re doing. That’s why Dr. Leana Wen is a perfect person for this horrible time.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      These people are certainly evil. They want to spread covid to everyone everywhere on purpose and try hiding that real agenda of theirs.

      If we had Covid Nuremberg trials, Walensky would certainly be among the deliberate spread-facilitators who would be convicted and sentenced to death.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>If we had Covid Nuremberg trials,

        Which is probably why the United States has been subverting the various institutions and treaties that have been set up since Nuremberg. You could, perhaps, maybe, if you squint realllly hard, make a case for most American politicians (aside from the true monsters like the Dulles Brothers or Hilary’s guru Henry Kissinger) from before the end of the Cold War as not guilty of true war crimes or crimes against humanity. Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a complete collapse of any lawful activity or diplomacy. It is all about plundering the whole planet.

        I won’t get into the multiple coups, assassinations, illegal wars, and much else, since just the end of the Cold War, but they exist. When you add the various crimes of the Europeans and the Chinese, well, the powers that be really do not want an effective international legal system even for the American and Kissinger or Chinese level génocidaires. Being sent to the Hague would be embarrassing and you might even spend a few years in prison.

        The sad bit is that the people who set up the post World War II system were hoping to use it to tamp down on the various horrors that they had just experienced. Much like the Bretton Woods Agreements or system, it has been turned into just a façade with rules for me, but not for me, as that is good for the mafia style business (first internationally and now internally) of the Americans and Europeans. This has made stopping people like the Tibetans and Uighurs from being cultural and perhaps physically genocided impossible and allowed the American ruling class pillage whole countries like Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria without fear.

  36. Alyosha

    I highly recommend the RWA podcast. They’re definitely on the right wing spectrum for Russia but provide an interesting perspective. One is a trained historian so they generally do a good job with history (their personal opinions only cloud their history as much as anyone else’s).

    But more than that, they provide a window onto post-soviet Russia and especially the 90’s you won’t get anywhere else. Unless your Russian is excellent and you were there (or deep in the live journal scene). They prompted me to watch Brat again. The first is still a fantastic film and the second still as genre corny with a few glimpses of deep thought. But what really struck me watching them more than 20 years after their release is an almost prescriptive foreshadowing of the Russian attitude to the west.

    Whether that’s because the films revealed some aspect of the eternal Russian soul or because the films were so influential to at least a full generation is an interesting question.

    1. rowlf

      Brat = Brother

      Brother (1997 film)
      Brother 2_ (2000_ film)

      Brother 2 is Russians traveling to the US. (Not quite Leningrad Cowboys Go America)

      When I saw Brother 2 about five years ago I asked a friend who was trained by the USAF to be a Russian translator for signals analysis about the Chicago airport scene where one Russian brother asks a local Ukrainian gangster if the gangster was a Nazi collaborator. My friend replied that has been a simmering issue for decades.

      1. rowlf

        Add: my friend listed himself to the hub airline station we worked at as a Russian translator. His complaint was many travelers he was asked to work with carried their home-country grudges with them when he was brought in to help while they were transiting the airport (Customs, Immigration and airline). He had a hard time convincing people he was just a Michigan WASP who was taught to translate Russian.

        He had a better time with the transiting Volga-Dnepr crews as he was an airplane person.

  37. Wukchumni

    Startling outbreaks of moneypox all over the world, symptoms include jibbering, jabbering and a propensity towards poverty.

  38. Gavin

    I used to climb at least weekly at the Brooklyn Boulders in Boston. Daily passes used to be under $15 when it was just a climbing gym – under 8, I think under 5 yrs ago.
    Then the money came in and they added ping pong, a “work space” so you could theoretically professionally work from there rather than your home, a fully-stocked gym with 3 squat racks when at no point even at max capacity are 3 people pulling over 300#.. and of course the daily rate is now $30.
    And in all that time, the climbing part was not changed – it was always good because the dedication of the staff defines the climbing quality, not the money. I didn’t ask if they pay the staff more but I think we can guess on that

    The PE tripled the cost and added nothing to the climbing experience.

  39. RobertC

    Supply Chain

    Canadian Pacific freight train carrying potash derails in Alberta, no injuries reported

    May 22 (Reuters) – A Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO) freight train carrying potash derailed east of Fort Macleod in southern Alberta on Sunday morning, the company said.

    …Canada is the world’s biggest producer of potash, a key ingredient for producing nitrogen-containing fertilizers, followed by Russia and Belarus.

    No relation to Suspicious fire breaks out at Russian aerospace institute that develops fighter jets and rockets in latest blaze to hit the country amid fears of Ukrainian saboteur campaign of course.

  40. drumlin woodchuckles

    About great power support for the Tatmadaw . . . the RussiaGov will support the Tatmadaw Coup Regime as hard as it can as long as there are any Tatmadaws still fighting and still able to receive support. The ChinaGov will try assessing the situation from day to day or even minute to minute to try deciding which side has a better chance of dominating the situation and making conditions good for business again. The ChinaGov just wants things good for business and will back whichever side can make things good for business . . . . if it can decide which side that is.

  41. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Texas . . . a psychographic map of culture-issue clusters in the state would be interesting. There are a lot of reality-based Texans, including those who write for the Texas Observer and those who read it. There are also a lot of global-warming-denialist Texanon Trumpanons.

    How closely does “accepting reality on global warming” overlap with “wanting to keep abortion legal”?
    Perhaps the Texas Progressives ( if there are enough of them to be a coherent movement) have an opportunity to create a new political party in Texas. They could call it the Legal Abortion and Global Re-Cooling Party.

    1. chris

      I think that maybe I posted the wrong link, try this instead.

      I do hate Twitter. But all my friends post links to there and from there.

  42. Wukchumni

    Two years ago, Farzad saw a run on guns like nothing he’d ever seen before. He sold more guns that year than in his previous eight years in business combined. “Everybody was concerned that we’re going to have a riot, we’re going to have a civil war,” he said. “Ammo’d up, or firearmed up, to the teeth.” This was part of a nationwide trend. In 2020, firearm sales went up an estimated sixty-five per cent. Demand was so intense that Farzad had trouble keeping guns stocked in his store.

    Russia used to supply about 10% of the 10 billion rounds of ammo that Americans buy every year (that’s 30 rounds for every American!) and the way I see it, the proles that bought their hand cannons out of fear, will eventually want to use them in anger, it’s how we role.

    There has been a ban on imported Russian ammunition since Sept 2021, but if i’m Putin, I somehow keep it coming, in lieu of rope for Americans to hang themselves.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>There has been a ban on imported Russian ammunition since Sept 2021, but if i’m Putin, I somehow keep it coming, in lieu of rope for Americans to hang themselves.

      Nice to see the American arms industry making bank as the ban will just keep driving up the cost of ammo.

      Just think of the cost of gasoline or of housing. Someone is always making money.

    2. ambrit

      Uncle Vlad Vladimirovitch can ‘smuggle’ all those spam cans of 7.62X39 rounds up from Mexico. We did it in the other direction and called if “Operation Fast and Furious.” The Russians can call their scheme “Operation Slow and Calculating.” Vlad can also start sending some of those captured RPGs and shoulder fired anti armour and air missiles our way too. Oh what fun we’ll have!
      Vlad can probably get the Russian Mob to hook him up with the Cartels to speed the ‘goods’ north.
      The “War On Drugs” created large areas of ungovernable territory in Mexico. It’s only fair for the Mexicans to return the favour.

  43. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . Clyburn says the country is in danger of imploding? I hope that Clyburn and Obama both get crushed under rockfalls from the cave-in/implode which Clyburn and Obama both engineered during the DemPrimary Season.

    And I notice that Clyburn has zero to say or even back-handedly think about the mass shooting the very next day in Los Angeles, I think it was . . . where a Mainland China supporter shot as many Taiwan supporters at a Taiwanese ethnic majority church as the China supporter could shoot. But that doesn’t bother Clyburn any.

  44. Wukchumni

    Cave-in @ Bitcoin mines in Niagara Falls, thousands of investors trapped…

    NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — An explosion and subsequent fire rocked a Blockfusion crypto mining facility in upstate New York last week, resulting in thousands of mining rigs going offline.

    About three miles away, another bitcoin mine owned by U.S. Bitcoin Corp. had previously drawn the ire of some residents for being too noisy.

    The result: The city of Niagara Falls has imposed a moratorium on new bitcoin mining operations while it works on ordinances to control impact of mining on the local community.

    The new laws will likely include zoning requirements to ensure crypto mines aren’t too close to residential areas, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino told CoinDesk in a phone interview on Thursday. “We have what we think is the final draft of the proposed change,” the mayor said. As for next steps, he said the draft will go to the city planning board before it goes to the city council for a final vote.

  45. Greg

    I dont know if the full breakdown of the Ukraine 40bn bill has been shared here. I found it from the house appropriations committee.

    It breaks down like this – i’ve grouped it by country likely benefiting. There’s usd17b in there for actual weapons for Ukraine, before you get to the various ways that number will be reduced in effect. 11bn are drawdown from existing stocks, likely more old busted/useless stuff.
    No comment in the brief on how that 11bn drawdown is priced, whether they add up to 11bn in original purchase cost, inflation adjusted cost, replacement cost, or replacement cost + kickbacks, etc.

    I’ve been very generous and assumed the total of the value of weapons sent to Ukraine benefits Ukraine, which means about 27b of the total 40b ends up there. This is probably not realistic.

    600m defense production
    550m us munitions stocks
    900m for refugees
    54m CDC for refugees
    350m State Dept refugees
    190m kyiv embassy ops
    10m kyiv embassy tech
    110m kyiv embassy security
    100m state dept nonproliferation
    67m DOJ for seizing ru assets
    52m dept of treasury seizing ru assets
    20m bill emerson humanitarian trust
    17m USAID ops
    total ~3bn

    eu + elsewhere
    4350m international disaster assistance
    4000m foreign military financing program – incl ua
    3900m euro command ops incl patriot battery
    150m global ag and food for price increases
    total ~12bn

    6000m ua security assistance initiative = weapons + training
    11000m drawdown authority for sending us weaps to ua
    8766m economic support in ua
    500m to ua via eu for economy & energy
    400m law enforcement
    2m support ua nuclear agency

    total ~27bn
    weapons ~17bn, at least 2/3 from existing stocks

Comments are closed.