Links 5/4/2022

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

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


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

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

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Darwin Was Right: Birds Really Are More Colorful In The Tropics Forbes (Robert H)

Pet-friendly offices are in high demand following pandemic boom Washington Post (furzy)

Canadian police fatally shoot polar bear that wandered into Quebec community Guardian (resilc)

See The Exquisite New 100 Megapixel Photo Of Two Galaxies Merging 40 Million Light-Years From Us Forbes (David L)

AI research is a dumpster fire and Google’s holding the matches The Next Web (David L)



Durability of BNT162b2 vaccine against hospital and emergency department admissions due to the omicron and delta variants in a large health system in the USA: a test-negative case–control study The Lancet.

Covid booster vaccine may not provide added protection against Omicron Express (furzy)

Mysterious hepatitis outbreak in children has now been spotted in 20 countries, WHO says Daily Mail (Kevin W). Under Covid because GM says odds are 99% that this is the result of Covid.

Cognitive Impairment From Severe COVID-19 Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging Neuroscience News (David L)

Molnupiravir’s authorisation should be re-evaluated after the Panoramic trial is reported BMJ (GM)


Jonathan Karl tests positive for Covid after sitting next to Kim Kardashian Politico

Covid deaths no longer overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated Washington Post (furzy)


Data centres now consuming more electricity than rural homes CSO. dk: “The word ‘tax’ doesn’t appear in the text.”

Forest trees also take up nanoplastics PhysOrg (Robert M)

The Dawn of the Pandemic Age New Republic (resilc)

In wildfire country, towns build permanent evacuation centres Globe and Mail (Dr. Kevin)


Why Europe will have to face the true cost of being in debt to China BBC (resilc)

North Korea fired ballistic missile, South Korean and Japanese officials say CNBC

BRICS+ 2.0: Toward a polycentric world order Asia Times (resilc)

El Salvador: Evidence of Serious Abuse in State of Emergency Human Rights Watch (furzy)

Brexit Made Boris Johnson. Now He Has to Face Its Costs Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 1 Institute for the Study of War. Resilc: “Meanwhile from the Kagan kastle…….’

* * *

EU proposes gradual ban on Russian oil in sixth round of sanctions against Moscow CNBC

Hungary Voices Objection to EU Sanctions Plan on Russian Oil Bloomberg

The EC called the decision of “Gazprom” to cut off Poland and Bulgaria from gas a violation of contracts Teller Report. Surprised I am not seeing this in the usual English language sources, at least based on a couple of searches. Maybe reported in French or German ones?

Russia avoids default at the last moment as a clearinghouse processes its dollar bond payments Business Insider

* * *

India, Germany cogitate on Ukraine Indian Punchline (Kevin W). Ooof, brutal take on Germany.

Ucraina, il Papa: ‘Non andrò a Kiev, ma ho chiesto incontro a Putin. La sua ira facilitata dall’abbaiare della Nato alle porte della Russia’ Il Fatto Quotidiano. DLG, Reality Czar:

Pope Francis has gone into the realm of “politically unreliable.” Or: Many unionists and leftists are now pointing out how much they agree with him:

Abbaiare della Nato, which means “Nato’s barking / baying” at the gates of Russia, as you can see in the link’s title.

Meanwhile, there are major tensions in Parliament over shipment of arms—and a group of dockworkers in Genova is being lionized for blocking shipments. It’s Italy’s second port by volume.

Further, the Italian constitution is a peace constitution, like Japan’s. It repudiates war. Verb: repudiare. The section is now being much quoted.

Lavrov’s ‘anti-Semitic’ remarks Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)


Israel Plans Zip Line for Ancient Jerusalem New York Times. Resilc: “Soon strip club with Ukie grrrls???”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Woman tried to drive her SUV down a flight of stairs because her GPS told her to BoingBoing (resilc). This famously happened too in NYC many years ago when GPS told a driver to go down stairs from Riverside Drive into Riverside Park. But there were no conflating factors there.

Imperial Collapse Watch

NASA chief says cost-plus contracts are a “plague” on the space agency ars technica (Kevin W)

Medicare at 60 would have harmful unintended consequences STAT (Dr. Kevin)

GOP Clown Car

Trump-backed Vance wins Ohio GOP Senate nod Politico

MAN WHO PAINTED TRUMP’S FACE ON LAWN COULD BE HEADED TO CONGRESS Intercept (resilc). He did win the primary.

Who Bankrolled Ginni Thomas as She Sought to Overthrow the 2020 Election? Common Dreams


The Supreme Court on abortion: The Supreme Court says the leaked draft is real; Chief Justice Roberts orders an investigation NPR (furzy)

The Irrational, Misguided Discourse Surrounding Supreme Court Controversies Such as Roe v. Wade (BC). Important.

The Senate Will Vote on a Bill Creating a Federal Right to an Abortion, Schumer Says NPR (furzy)

‘It will be chaos’: 26 states in US will ban abortion if supreme court ruling stands Guardian (Kevin W)

US states could ban people from traveling for abortions, experts warn Guardian. Resilc: “So we’ll have check points on state borders?”

Anarchist Collective Shares Instructions to Make DIY Abortion Pills Vice. Resilc: “What could go wrong? Better quality from Russian mafia and Mezzikin cartels.”

Our No Longer Free Press

PayPal’s IndyMedia Wipeout Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)

Elon Musk floated the idea of making Twitter available for commercial and government users at ‘a slight cost’ Business Insider

The Aerospace Industry Is Grappling With A Titanium Supply Shortage OilPrice

How the Fed lost the plot Edward Luce, Financial Times. Luce was Larry Summers’ speechwriter….

Class Warfare

Some Latinos are just as likely to be discriminated against by Latinos than people outside their ethnic group, survey finds CNN (resilc). Observations like this are why Dems are losing “Latino” support. “Hispanics” is probably more accurate since what they share is a language, and it ain’t Latin. Just like there are plenty of subtle and not so subtle prejudices among various whites (come to the Upper Peninsula, where the Scandinavians are seen as outclassing the Poles and French Canadians), it’s pretty rich to assume Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and Mexicans are just one big happy family. In addition, some Hispanics are not keen about undocumented workers.

Beyond GDP: Time to measure inclusive wealth and change economics ScienceBlog (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour. Kiyo T: “Sure sign of spring here in Maine. A happy snapper!”

And a bonus (furzy):

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour and Links here.

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  1. GM

    Under Covid because GM says odds are 99% that this is the result of Covid.

    Yeah, we’re sinking to newer and newer lows.

    And I already knew that propaganda can be very effective but the pandemic has served one example of after another of it successfully brainwashing the public into believing complete lies that one would never a priori think it should be possible to trick people into believing.

    I had highly educated people working in the sciences asking me about the hepatitis because they genuinely thought this was some new kind of virus that is going around and causing it.

    Even though this is an obvious post-COVID complication — an autoimmune MIS-C-like condition but most severely targeting the liver in this case. And also already a known one — they saw a lot of such cases in India after the Delta wave, it’s just that for some reason it looks like Omicron is causing more of it.

    The organized media campaign to never mention COVID when reporting on this subject has been that successful…

    1. Ignacio

      The extremely correct press corps in my country have the b%llAcks to say that this hepatitis thing is not different compared to previous years hepatitis cases. Not even new, mind you, they say supposedly citing medical sources. What a bunch of %$&/()%·$!!! fact chuckle chickens they are.

      1. Dean

        Even WHO designated it as “acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology” and ruled out the hepatitis virus family.

        Is there any epidemiology looking at previous Covid infections or transmission to siblings/local neighborhoods?

    2. Icecube12

      I recently got covid so may be a bit more thick than before, but wouldn’t it be a positive thing that the French are excluding kids testing positive for covid from the hepatitis cases? From my recent googling on Mis-c and the hepatitis cases as I worry about my kid, I have found studies saying hepatitis can indeed be part of Mis-c. So maybe it is the cases without covid that are causing doctors the confusion? Like if it was a kid with hepatitis post covid they would just say it is mis-c but if the kid did not seem to have covid they are less sure. Would that reasoning make sense?

      Of course I would just assume some of the kids test negative for antibodies even though they got covid, as my memory tells me that has always been happening.

      1. Bugs

        I was wondering about that too but I think from the French point of view, you want the correlations first to limit the amount of work you have to do on followup. They want to eliminate adenovirus, not blame it. This comes from me, someone who knows French research (Pasteur) and I understand the reflex to think it’s something else.

  2. NotTimothyGeithner

    Democrats: We’re angry and hurt, I know. But it’s not about filibuster, size of the court or what the Senate hasn’t passed. It’s about Republicans, not us. We can save our freedoms. But, it’s November, stupid.

    The head of the DCCC. It will be interesting as “but the Supreme Court” has been their only argument since 2009. Women are the largest Team Blue voting bloc. I doubt the highway developers are doing great is going to be a winning message in November.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team Blue is at a cross roads. They need to look like they are doing something, but they can’t actually demonstrate an ability to break Manchin or lobby individual Republicans, much less executive orders. Otherwise, they might be expected to do other things. Schumer has promised a vote….

        1. timbers

          Well give team blue credit where due…they got $33 billion for arms grifting errr Ukraine thru but quick. That’s doing something. And Nancy was just in Kiev. Find it hard to believe ice cream is all that good in Kiev so personal sacrifice in public speaks volumes and her people know that and will vote for team because of this as she leads by example.

          1. JohnA

            Russian ice cream is wonderful, so I would expect the ice cream in Kiev to be pretty good too, as the food tends to be similar. Although modern day Ukraine now claims in an attempt to distance themselves from their ethnic origins, that, for example, borsch is purely Ukrainian and not Russian, even though most east European countries, including Poland, have a similarish dish.

            1. Librarian Guy

              In Bleeding Edge (publ. 2013), Thomas Pynchon has the NYC main protagonist and her hubby linked to a special Russian ice cream importer and praises it as special, better than all other competing types.

              1. Late Introvert

                Oh ya! I forgot about that scene. He does food well, thinking of the mayonaisse factory in Belgium – was that Gravity’s Rainbow?

          2. jsn

            Seems tot me that was a blue and yellow stimulus package for 50 states worth of MIC contractors and sub contractors.

            Will be interesting to see if any of the money is actually spent in Ukraine.

            Also interesting to see if $30B in stimulus is even perceptible in the polls this fall.

    1. anon y'mouse

      what’s even more scary is that H.Clinton appears to be using the opportunity to say that this is what happens when you let Putin steal elections.

      in other words, the Dems are using the S.Court leak to claim that not voting for them is a crime and that it is allowing the Repubs to shoot the baby that they’ve had a gun pressed to all of these years.

      so, by my lights all of the worst people are getting the worst points across AGAIN instead of everyone asking why these laws haven’t been codified by legislatures high & low to deal with the issue in 50 years.

      you see, it’s our fault that we didn’t vote for Dems and Hillary that this is happening.

      1. Stick'em

        We don’t vote for Hillary and the rest of the New Democrats because they are an Inauthentic Opposition Party. Their patrons pay them to play a hemming and hawing, pearl-clutching role on the TeeVee, and also to quietly give up and agree with the Republican party when it comes time to actually pass preferred corporate power legislature and cockblock anything useful for the people.

        We know Hillary made up the Russia!Russia!Russia! narrative to deflect blame from herself because she lost:

        “Soon after Clinton’s defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. Within 24 hours of her concession speech, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

        But hey, “Putin’s puppet” plays to the party people in Peoria, amIrite?

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I wonder how that’s going to work for them. One of the biggest “vote blue no matter who” people I know have finally declared themselves done with the dems and I’m seeing a lot of similar sentiment in my corner of the world. Of course, social media isn’t the same as the ballot box. But I’m not seeing the usual “vote harder” cry and way less blaming the republicans and a pretty stunning amount of accurately calling out the problem with the dems. We’ll see what happens, but this on top of the inaction of the Biden admin and they might not be able to scold or scare their way out of this one.

    2. Glossolalia

      Democrats: We’ve been out-maneuvered at every turn on the state and national level and lost you the right to abortion but you need to vote for us to preserve the right to abortion!

      Also, can we thank RBG for clinging on way past her sell-by date for this?

      1. Louis Fyne

        Yes. Democrats are as uncritical about RBG as M. Albright

        Democrats have special interest ADHD. 2020-21 was about BLM, 2022 is about Ukraine, 2019 was about Kavanaugh. Every year some the focus shifts to some new interest

        Conservative special interests stick to a core set of issues.

        If Democrats focused as much on Medicare for All as the conservatives on pro-life, we’d have some semblance of universal healthcare better than what exists now.

        1. Utah

          The problem is that most of the Democrats in power and in the DNC don’t want m4a. So first we have to elect people to the DNC and Congress that do want m4a so that we can get it on the platform. (I don’t have any idea how this is done in non caucus states, but in my caucus state I go to a convention every year and vote on various things like committee woman/ man). And then maybe Congress will pay attention.

          Most people don’t have the energy or time or even knowledge of these processes, which means the center holds. And if it doesn’t then the Nevada Dem shenanigans happen elsewhere.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        VRA, climate, a host of domestic policies, not firing DeJoy at the post office, a competent attorney general…but, they won’t have to work on a highway bill next year….so more time for golf!

  3. Joe Well

    >>Observations like this are why Dems are losing “Latino” support. “Hispanics” is probably more accurate since what they share is a language, and it ain’t Latin.

    Latinos include Brazilians, who speak Portuguese.

    1. petal

      Could’ve told them this 20 years ago. Funny how it’s easy to see who hasn’t actually worked in the communities they are attempting to get support from. They just assume because they’re “x” that all of those people are going to vote for them. Pretty ignorant and lazy. I was coaching for a non-profit in a big city and had HS girls from different Hispanic “groups” on my team. They used to fight with each other from time to time and put each other down-all based on which one they belonged to. Sometimes it was blanket statements about a particular “group”. They’d be considered racist statements, I guess, as they were based on whichever ethnicity/nationality the kids were from. Say for example all the Puerto Rican kids would gang up on and put down/slur the Mexican kids or the Dominican kids or whatever and vice versa. It was an uneasy peace and some days it broke. It was always kind of simmering beneath the surface, and was one more thing we had to keep in mind and deal with. There were also gangs in one part of the city that were along ethnic/nationality lines as well that would tangle with each other.

      1. anon y'mouse

        inherent in the idea of culture is that “ours is better than theirs” from across the water, or the other side of the mountain. otherwise why would the children not do as the neighbors’ children do, no?

        i’m always mystified that people are mystified by this fight between the gold feathered hats and the silver feathered hats.

      2. AGR

        Even “a shared language” has variations among nationalities(and “regionalities” within), which at times can lead to misunderstandings. These “misunderstandings” are oftentimes used and amplified as wedges to dilute any efforts of organizing and identifying common issues affecting a common well-being, ie, lop-sided class warfare…

        The effort to recognize the wedges and being aware of the wedge drivers(whom are often class traitors) , was IMHO, hijacked and pigeonholed into “woke” and “cancel” anti-rhetoric…

        1. Ghost in the Machine

          And think about how white northerners (or anywhere else actually) think about those white southern accents. Not much “race solidarity” there. I imagine all ethnic groups have similar divisions.

          1. CanCyn

            Not just ethnic groups but all groups. Librarians (a group to which I belong) aren’t all the same, vegetarians aren’t all the same, gardeners and farmers are not all the same, people of the same age are not all the same. The list is endless.When it comes to trying to understand people by their ‘tribe’ (jeez how I hate that designation) it has never made any sense to lump them all together.

            1. Geo

              So true. And why all issues should ideally be addressed from a universal humanism instead of targeted toward groups.

              I’m actually old enough to remember when that was a thing. Now, every minor variation in a person is given an identity designation. If you want to drive yourself mad visit a discussion about representation in the abortion debate and how trans men are being excluded (prefer the term “pregnant person”) and then another person will chime in about their identity is still excluded. All the squabbling is about representation and has no bearing on the law since the law applies to abortion, not gender identity. In short, it’s a pointless self-centered issue they are being distracted by instead of staying focused on the real issue.

              Until we see all as one we will just continue to squabble and alienate others. The need for group designations only serves to divide and conquer.

              “Love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, just as love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.“ – Erich Fromm

      3. Joe Well

        The linked article was about racial/skin color discrimination, which is huge in Latin America. A big reason why there is not a stronger shared “Latino”/”Hispanic” identity.

        1. jr

          Anecdote: I worked with a dark skinned indigenous Guatemalan man years ago who despised the African American delivery drivers servicing our shop. He once told me that “white” people like us needed to be on our guard around them. When I pointed out that my partial Sicilian ancestry made me non-white in the eyes of some, he was literally speechless.

        2. Mark Gisleson

          The original comment got me to googling and I was shocked to discover there are 1,750,000 Americans of Brazilian origin.

          Which got me to doing more digging and that’s where I failed. I could not find a single link that would tell me the break down for national origins for Americans. Everyone wanted to tell me how many Hispanics there were, but I could find a list of how many Mexican Americans, Guatemalan Americans, Costa Rican Americans, etc.

          Just as I was going to post this comment, I remembered the CIA Factbook! Which turned out not to be helpful, but in a curiously helpful way:

          Ethnic groups

          White 72.4%, Black 12.6%, Asian 4.8%, Amerindian and Alaska Native 0.9%, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.2%, other 6.2%, two or more races 2.9% (2010 est.)

          note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (White, Black, Asian, etc.); an estimated 16.3% of the total US population is Hispanic as of 2010

          1. Joe Well

            Thank you for doing research instead of just yelling at me that Brazilians aren’t Latino which is a reply I’ve gotten before on this topic.

            Shocked that the number is so low? Brazil is the second largest country in the Americas, 212,559,417 people. But in many places in the US that crow about diversity, it is overwhelmingly from Mexico and Central America. Here in Boston it feels like there are people from every corner of the earth, but I’ve discovered this is not the case in most of the country.

            >>South American origin living in the US

            This is the key. If you really do include South Americans, than Brazilians are “Hispanic” for the purposes of this kind of survey, but it doesn’t seem like most people who come up with these things bother to consider that or perhaps are even aware that Brazilians speak Portuguese. And again, the second largest country in our hemisphere.

      4. playon

        Similarly, when I was in Asia I heard different groups talk smack about other Asian cultures – likewise in the Caribbean people talk about people from other islands. Humans…

    2. emcm

      I’ve also felt confusion at these designations. I get that Latino is more inclusive but, like “Hispanic,” it still references the European languages spoken in the region. What about all of the Indigenous languages? There are many!

      I like the term American though it is broad. Too bad US Americans have such a lock on the moniker.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Joe Well is correct, and the words have pretty clear-cut meanings.

        “Hispanic” is a linguistic designation, applicable to all Spanish-speaking peoples worldwide.

        “Latino” is not a linguistic but a geographic designation, loosely applied to people from Central or South American countries (“Latin America”).

        Thus, Brazilians are “Latino” but not “Hispanic”, while Spaniards are “Hispanic”, but not “Latino”.

        1. Joe Well

          There are also debates about whether “Latino” should include Haiti, Spain, Portugal and even Quebec.

          I agree with emcm that both Latino and Hispanic are exclusive terms that would never be used in the US except that the people themselves use them overwhelmingly. Latin Americans frequently call us “Anglo Saxons” which makes my skin crawl a little. On the other hand, they talk much more about economic inequality, and you could call me the King of England if you gave me affordable healthcare so I’m not going to worry about it.

    3. QuantumSoma

      Yeah, but there are barely any Brazilians living in the US, outside of a few enclaves. When we’re talking about major voting blocks, Spanish speaking ‘hispanics’ is a more useful category.

    4. Arizona Slim

      Not to mention the fact that much of Latin American has a substantial population of indigenous people. And, in many cases, their first language isn’t Spanish.

      BTW, I spent a summer in Valencia, Spain. The locals were very proud of their language, Valenciano, and they frequently told me that they were NOT Spanish.

    5. Dftbs

      “Latino” is the sort of term that allows the children of slave owners, the Helicopter throwers, and the death squanders to gin up minority sympathy points in the perverse arena of US idpol.

    6. Stick'em

      “Latinos” being people who speak a language derived from Latin such as Spanish and Portuguese. Thing is, Latin-derived languages necessarily also includes people who speak French and Italian:

      I get they’re trying to be more “inclusive,” but the truth is like all made up identity designations, “Latino” is a social construct. The Venn diagram for who is to be included and excluded as “Latino” vs “Hispanic” will make your head hurt if you actually think about what it means and try to apply some sort of meaningful rules.

      Remember, Elon Musk is an African-American because he’s an American citizen from South African, yet he’s also Caucasian.

    7. Yves Smith Post author

      Latino presumably = Latin American.

      There are more of Spanish descent (as foreign born or first gen Spaniards) than Brazilians in the US (just short of 1 million v. fewer than 700,000 Brazilians). So Latino is more incorrect than Hispanic.

      1. Joe Well

        I Googled those numbers because they were so astounding.

        The comparison between Spaniards and Brazilians is apples and oranges. There are far, far more Brazilians than Spaniards. Per the source you quoted before, the number for Brazilians is of Brazilians citizens and their children. Per this Pew report which had numbers about what you mentioned: “Spaniards in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics with origins from Spain.” By that definition, there would be many times more Irish people in the US than Ireland. I could not find the number of Spanish-born US residents, which leads me to believe there just aren’t many.

        Also, the number of Brazilians is almost certainly a severe undercount. “Brazilians ranked No. 6 among the nationalities detained there (US-Mexico border) in the 2021 fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data show.”

        And yes, Latino = Latin American or Latin American ancestry while Hispanic could include people from Spain, which is a small but not totally insignificant reason to use Latino instead of Hispanic, since in the idpol Opression Olympics, Spain and Europe generally are on the other team (ugly, but that is how it is).

  4. farmboy

    Lana Synkovska
    Russia “exported” about 400 thousand tons of grain from 4 temporarily occupied Ukrainian regions – that is, a third of all stocks in the regions

    1. The Rev Kev

      Since the alternative was to let all that grain rot in the solos and the countries awaiting that grain to starve, I am afraid that on pragmatic grounds that I am going to have to give the Russians a waiver here. But for ‘temporarily occupied Ukrainian regions’, that has yet to be settled. They may still remain in the Ukraine but I would think that they would be autonomous. Don’t forget that the wheat growing regions of the Ukraine are also where the ethnic Russians are living so would not be keen to be controlled by a Galician govrnment- (click map)

      1. Michael Ismoe

        From Sun Tzu: Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that the key point these days is to pay good money for what you forage. Even back during the Napoleonic wars, the British Army had strict orders to pay for all that they took which went a long way to keeping them onside with the locals. The French, on the other hand, just went in and took what they wanted. Guess which side had a much easier time operating in a foreign country?

          1. Oh

            The US (and their oil companies) meanwhile paid good money to the Iraqis for the oil they grabbed – $1 a barrel!

      2. Bart Hansen

        A country that plunders both oil and gold has no standing on wheat from Ukraine.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Does “temporarily occupied regions” include Crimea? Because Crimea alone produced 1.5 million tonnes last year. This year probably much more, now that the water has returned to the irrigation system.

      If so, Crimea consumes locally only 40% of the grain it produces, so 900k tonnes is available for “export”. That’s a bit less than 2/3 of the stock in one region.

  5. Samuel Conner

    Here’s hoping that the Four Thieves Collective, or some other public-spirited individual or group, figures out how to cheaply purify syrosingopine (an old anti-hypertension agent no longer in human use and no longer produced in pharma grade) to a level safe for human administration. In combination with metformin, it is lethal to many types of cancer cells.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Lavrov’s Anti-Semitic Remark. Doctorow.

    A few more details, because this dustup got a whole article in Fatto Quotidiano today. Melnyk, the Ukraine’s ambassador, has a degree from University of Lviv, and–come on, take a guess–a master’s from Harvard. He was highly placed in the Ukraine government that came in after the 2014 coup.

    He seeks to reconsider the “contradictory” figure of Stepan Bandera.

    He’s been pushing for NATO membership for Ukraine for some time. Think of him as Victoria Nuland in a trouser role.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Heard about this fracas after I came across what he said. Here is the passage from that interview-

      ‘…’there is nazification there: the captured militants as well as members of the Azov and Aidar battalions and other units wear swastikas or symbols of Nazi Waffen-SS battalions on their clothes or have them tattooed on their bodies; they openly read and promote Mein Kampf. His argument is: How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if he is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews. “Every family has its black sheep,” as we say.’

      Israel was outraged by this statement but I suspect it was the implied mixing of blood that caused the real offense. Look, my brother took a DNA test and it said in his results that he had less than 2% of European Jewish present, meaning me too. I bet that a lot of people might find the same, even in Austria. But you know what? Lavrov might be able to settle it. Guess which country still has some remains from you-know-who? He could ask Israel if they would like Russia to perform a DNA test to settle the matter while genealogists got through the records of that family. Think they’ll agree?

    2. Carolinian


      Though I have been praised by some readers for avoiding ‘speculation,’ I will permit myself just this once to speculate: it is not inconceivable that the Israelis were among the key advisers to Kiev on its program to build nuclear weapons. If that is so, we may expect Russian-Israeli relations to get a lot worse in the coming weeks and months.

      And that would be bad for Russia? Or Israel? Here’s suggesting the latter.

      Putin has been friendly to Israel and Israel in turn has been careful to cultivate that. The last thing they should want is for large country support for Israel to become “multipolar.”

      1. Midget

        On the other hand, Russia right now needs all the economic allies it can get in order to compensate for high-tech civilian product deficiencies / potential IT problems. Reading Russian telegram channels, I get the impression that the “real economy” portion of the sanctions will really start to bite in the next month or so, and that much of Russia’s import substitution was carried out on paper only.

        Also, if relations get really bad, Russian soldiers in Ukraine might find themselves facing Spike missiles and Harop suicide drones, which would provide the Ukrainian army with a cheap(ish) way to strike objects deep behind Russian lines. Since Russia is advancing at a snail pace despite all the destroyed Ukrainian troops and equipment, I don’t think Russia would welcome the additional headache of dealing with Israeli missiles and drones.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Israel is dependent on US arms, not the reverse. And it does not export anything in the potentially problematic categories for Russia, car and aerospace parts, and machine tools. See:

          Exports The top exports of Israel are Diamonds ($5.77B), Integrated Circuits ($3.38B), Packaged Medicaments ($1.97B), Medical Instruments ($1.86B), and Other Measuring Instruments ($1.6B), exporting mostly to United States ($14.1B), China ($4.64B), Palestine ($3.34B), Netherlands ($2.28B), and Germany ($2.01B).

    3. heresy101

      Today b goes into the background of Lavrov’s remark towards Israel.

      The immediate cause is a passage in an interview Lavrov had with the Italian TV network Mediaset:

      Question: This is how you see it, while Vladimir Zelensky puts it differently. He believes denazification doesn’t make any sense. He is a Jew. The Nazis, Azov – there are very few of them (several thousand). Vladimir Zelensky refutes your view of the situation. Do you believe Vladimir Zelensky is an obstacle to peace?

      Sergey Lavrov: It makes no difference to me what President Vladimir Zelensky refutes or does not refute. He is as fickle as the wind, as they say. He can change his position several times a day.

      I heard him say that they would not even discuss demilitarisation and denazification during peace talks. First, they are torpedoing the talks just as they did the Minsk agreements for eight years. Second, there is nazification there: the captured militants as well as members of the Azov and Aidar battalions and other units wear swastikas or symbols of Nazi Waffen-SS battalions on their clothes or have them tattooed on their bodies; they openly read and promote Mein Kampf. His argument is: How can there be Nazism in Ukraine if he is a Jew? I may be mistaken but Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood, too. This means absolutely nothing. The wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews. “Every family has its black sheep,” as we say.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Jonathan Karl tests positive for Covid after sitting next to Kim Kardashian”

    It was the only way that the virus could escape.

    1. Maritimer

      There you go, the Six Foot Rule bites the dust. This intrepid MSM Correspondent would have been at least six feet away if he was “sitting next to Kim Kardashian”.

  8. Stick'em

    re: Covid deaths no longer overwhelmingly among the unvaccinated Washington Post

    Never forget, Joe Biden called you “basic” if you questioned the narrative he peddled:

    “There’s a simple, basic proposition: If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in an ICU unit, and you’re not going to die.

    If you’re vaccinated, even if you do catch the virus, quote, unquote — like people talk about it in normal terms — you’re in overwhelm- — not many people do. If you do, you’re not likely to get sick. You’re probably going to be symptomless. You’re not going to be in a position where you — where your life is in danger.

    So, it’s really, kind of, basic.”

    1. Pat

      Is the office of disinformation going to go after him?

      Just checking when obvious lies are used to advance an agenda, if they aren’t called out regardless of political affiliation then this about affiliation and/or agenda.

    1. Martin Davis

      I think they were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first aerial bombing from an aircraft, by a certain Giulio Gavotti, on….Libya. Appropriate, what?

  9. Michael

    For those of you that appreciate Dave Chapelle, slide over to ZH and read the recap of his comments after being attacked on stage in LA at the Netflix is a Joke festival. Of course Chris Rock came back on stage to deliver a one liner! Was that______________?

  10. Gc54

    Here at la Guardia airport gate this am, there are continued PA announcements that face coverings are required in the terminal. Despite this less than 1/4 in this crowded space are wearing one and some of those have noses out. The unmasked couple behind me are mentioning that their friend got COVID.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      La Guardia at 6 am with a bunch of unmasked future covid patients sounds like a horror show but it’s still beats sitting next to Kim Kardashian for 3 hours.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Kim Kardashian deserves every bit of ridicule she gets. Why are you defending a trashy celebrity who never should have been invited to that dinner in the first place? She not a journalist or a political figure. She was there for her tits and ass. That’s is the totality of her brand.

  11. Scott D

    Imagine a city 30 years ago where a million people watched a football game. They all saw the same game at the same time because they were all tuned into a single transmitter using 100,000 watts (or so), and there were a few dozen cable TV transmitters using a few thousand watts.

    Now you have the same people watching the same game on their phones or on TVs with streaming services. This is an increase in the entropy of the information (as a million copies of the same information are made and sent along routers and cell phone towers). Now you have 10,000 servers each using 1000w (plus the air conditioning to keep them cool), and another thousand cell towers (assume 10 kW) each. Now it takes 20 MW of power for the same million people to watch the same game. The Second Law of Thermodynamics in action.

    1. bongbong

      An interesting comparison, but you left one thing out.

      CRT based TV sets (many older and thus, even worse, completely tube-based) use more energy than modern large screen sets; and vastly more energy versus an audience member watching on a pad or phone.

      If I had time I’d look up the numbers, but my ipad is about to die. ;-)

      1. Scott D

        a modern 25 inch CRT TV used about 300W, IIRC. A 42″ plasma used over 800W (it was like having a hair dryer in your room).

        The backlights on modern LCDs are pretty efficient, but the panels themselves don’t transmit very well. My 55″ LCD dumb TV uses 150W. A smart 60″ TV probably double that. Your Apple TV or Roku stick get pretty warm, so they are probably using 20W each or more.

        So yes display technology helps offset this.

      2. JohnnySacks

        There’s another missing element. The energy used in distribution and consumption of the original material vs. the energy used mining rare earth materials, manufacturing, and keeping the platters spinning on the hard drives storing that material for years. When does this data expire? Is archiving to tape even a thing anymore? Does the broadcaster maintain copies of every football game ever played on spinning platters in perpetuity?

        1. hunkerdown

          Nearline storage systems are designed to spin individual drives up and down automatically to load the requested data. Tape is still actively developed, and offers important features like physical access control, but disk is more economical than the latest LTO-9 systems up to a few hundred terabytes. One petabyte = 1000 terabytes = 40000-50000 hours at 4K60 = up to 5½ years of continuous 24/7 football.

    2. Ghost in the Machine

      This is a very good point about energy usage and information. Has this analysis been done? I want to use your point in future discussions.

      Just saw bongbong’s point as well. I think this is an important energy discussion. The internet and information handling is taking up a larger and larger proportion of total energy usage.

      1. JohnnySacks

        Distribution and consumption is not the only energy intensive action. Mining and refining rare earths, manufacturing, and keeping platters spinning on all the hard drives storing that data needs to be considered. Does the broadcaster maintain a copy of every football game ever played on failsafe redundant spinning disk platters in perpetuity? When is anything discarded? I assume tape archives are a thing of the past?

        I love YouTube – I still can find repair walk-throughs for our 14 year old vehicle, but one man’s garbage may not be another’s treasure in a decades old digital dumpster.

    3. hunkerdown

      I can’t imagine that streaming services encode or transcode every single user’s live stream, rather than shipping off packets with the hard GPU stuff already done. Assuming each of those 10k servers is a 32-core Intel-based machine, which would consume less than 1000W electrical input, each core could only serve 3 clients. Those numbers sound tendentious to me.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I would have thought that refusing to pay for delivered goods was also a violation of that contract but that might just be me. Of course a deal could be easily done where payment is taken from the $300 billion stolen from the Russian Federation but I think that the point is that the Russians never get their money back ever again in any shape or form.

      1. NYG

        In a rules based order we all live only by US rules not rules established by law. If we wanted an order based on rules established by law we would call it law based order not rules based order. Under our rules Russia must accept payment in euros deposited in a sanctioned euro zone bank where Russia cannot access the money and the money is frozen and subject to confiscation.

  12. Lexx

    ‘Cognitive Impairment from Severe COVID-19 Equivalent to 20 Years of Aging’ and ‘Mysterious Hepatitis Outbreak in Children Has Now Been Spotted in 20 Countries’

    Nice grouping… the ‘aging’ and young.

    ‘However, emerging evidence suggests that the most important mechanism may be damage caused by the body’s own inflammatory response and immune system.’

    Our immune system comes from our gut. By the time we get into our 50-70, most folks (Westerners in particular) are already in a deep state of microbiota imbalance. COVID isn’t causing the decline as much as pushing cognitive function over the edge, accelerating the process. I’ll just put this here:

    As for the Daily Mail’s report for the possible cause of the hepatitis cases… what’s the office pool up to? I’d like to place $20 on ‘all the above’. There is no one cause, but several and all of them lead back to the microbiota. What the children have in common is that they are children.

    The question I’m asking myself is ‘what do all aging immune systems and immature immune systems have in common?’

    1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

      Certainly things, as defined by scientific discovery, are moving along at a rapid pace beyond the mere beginnings of teasing out the complex interrelationships that exist in the “superorganism”. Where, “Recently, the human body together with its gut microbiota has been referred to as a “superorganism” where an extensive coordination of metabolic and physiological processes occurs.”

      And, “As recently reviewed, the balance among the gut microbiota and the human body is crucial for health maintenance, and perturbation of microbial composition has been supposed to be involved in a range of diseases.” Further noting, “The multidimensional linkages among human body, gut microbiota and parasites result in a complex ecosystem where alterations in one of the these components determine a counter response in the remaining ones.”—-“Interactions between parasites and microbial communities in the human gut”

      Which, unsurprisingly seems to agree with: “The theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to mental states, language, and ecology.”

      Even as a healthy dose of Humean skepticism seems to be a necessary component in untangling the operations of the relationships and interrelationships that seem to be occurring, that is, “I think everyone is right to be skeptical, and a lot of the links may just be that [microbes] are not necessarily the cause of [a disease], but they might be a secondary effect of it.”

      Even though, “Others say it isn’t surprising that our microbiome might be closely linked to our health. “All of human development and all the systems in the body have all evolved, or co-evolved, with our microbes,” said Cryan. “As humans we are very much human-focused and we feel that human cells and genes have primacy, but the microbes were there first.” “—-“The human microbiome: why our microbes could be key to our health”

      And, just maybe, “Keeping a delicate balance in the immune system by eliminating invading pathogens, while still maintaining self-tolerance to avoid autoimmunity, is critical for the body’s health. The gut microbiota that resides in the gastrointestinal tract provides essential health benefits to its host, particularly by regulating immune homeostasis. Moreover, it has recently become obvious that alterations of these gut microbial communities can cause immune dysregulation, leading to autoimmune disorders.”

      Because, “The mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to an enormous and complex community of commensal bacteria. This gut microbial community (microbiota) has co-evolved with its host over millennia and provides benefits to its host in many ways, including, but not limited to, digestion, production of nutrients, detoxification, protection against pathogens and regulation of immune system. The immune system plays a vital role in keeping the body healthy by providing a fine balance between the elimination of invading pathogens and the maintenance of tolerance to healthy self-tissue. However, in the case of patients with autoimmune disorders, the mechanism to maintain self-tolerance fails and the result is that the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy self-tissue.”—-“The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity”

      But, then again, “Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed”, because “That’s how it goes.” when “Everybody Knows”, according to Leonard Cohen.

      1. Lexx

        Thank you, TCMM, for your excellent illuminating reply.

        The abstract introduces new players I haven’t found so much as mentioned in my reading – protozoa and helminths. I might of known… Adam and Eve were banished from Garden, but of course they took a piece of the living garden with them in their naked bodies. The microbiota is a Garden; gardens need their own poopers with their own food and healthy environment. It’s an ecology.

        We put in a raised bed garden. The first year’s crop was okay. That fall we introduced pounds of mulched leaves in each bed and mixed in the remainder of our bagged mushroom compost. The following spring when I broke ground with my spade there were nightcrawlers where there had been none before. The year after that even more worms and fine white mycelium strands. I’ve been trying to explain to my neighbors, who also decided to convert their backyards into gardens, that soil is built then tended.

    2. Yeti

      Good point on gut biota, I just got over a blood infection, (had a sliver in my thumb) and ended up in emerge. Needle taped to my arm for 3 days and 3 doses of IV antibiotics then 7 days of further antibiotic treatment. By day 5 or 6 my bowel movements were totally screwed up. Now getting back to normal 3 weeks later, I’ve been taking probiotics as well. But your comment makes me wonder if I had covid during this time could it have been worse than when I had it in January.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Today, the #Estonian Parliament will consider a proposal to the government to withdraw its signature on the 2014 border treaties with #Russia. After the Soviet occupation, the county of #Petserimaa, as well as the Narva suburb were taken away from #Estonia.’

    The Riigikogu – the Estonian Parliament – had a vote about this and said yeah, nah! The vote was 53 against to 28 in favour-

    The dispute goes way back to after WW1 and a treaty was finally signed in 2014 but unfortunately, neither Russia or Estonia ratified it.

    Now here is where it gets sticky. Estonia joined NATO about twenty years ago and I can see why they did. But when you join NATO, you cannot be in a military action with a neighbour nor can you have a territorial dispute with a neighbouring country. So did Estonia lie on their application or were they given a secret waiver by NATO? Maybe it might be wise to suspend their NATO membership until they get this dispute settled. Otherwise if a future Estonian government tried to take back those areas by force and the Russians fought back, that might be grounds to call in all of NATO and would that be wise?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Maybe “rules based order” has to be understood in the way Jackson’s movies were based on The Lord of the Rings.

      Anyway, I heard that in the future the NATO forces will in the Pacific, so Estonians may have to wait for some time before poking the bear and invoking article 5.

    2. GM

      Watch that rule get directly tested if Russia invades Gotland and the Aland Islands once Sweden and Finland apply to NATO.

      Presumably that should block their membership, if the rules mean anything…

  14. Roger Smith

    A real great marker for the quality of a society when we are arguing over whether or not we can feel justified killing life. Why not ask the questions, “why are we so determined to do this in the first place? How did we get to this point?” Why is this a hill people are willing to die on? I first knew Planned Parenthood was a total farce when Trump was first elected and they wanted to risk their government funding for all of the services they provide to woman on a mere 3% of those services. The same loud screeching for the right to abort often overlaps with the loud screeching to relax border restrictions. How many of our own citizens have we aborted in the past 4-5 decades? Lots of very unhealthy societal practices.

    It is also infuriating that the right to aborts argument is shifted from “let us abort” to “hands off women”. It is an extremely shallow, misrepresented argument designed for marketing purposes (and it has worked). Woman (in general cases mind you) always have a choice, just as men do. But it takes both of them to create life. Just because the woman biologically carries the child doesn’t mean it is just her choice at that point. She had a choice before hand (again, I am not talking about rare occurrences of rape). If these people are truly sincere, they should be honest about what they want to do, kill life.

    Even if SCOTUS does rule this way, all that means is there is no federal law supporting or denying abortion. It will be determined by states. Go lobby if you are concerned. Create legislation. That is how it works. We don’t need the Federal government decreeing what is or is not allowed all the time. Alito is absolutely right when he says the Roe v. Wade decision was not in fact decisive and that it has only increased division in the union. Another thing I have heard mentioned, but cannot find concrete info of on my own, was that when Roe. v. Wade was decided we didn’t even have common place ultrasounds, let alone other medical advances. All in all, just a sick world we are living in.

    1. Eureka Springs

      And why oh why hasn’t the likes of planned parenthood offered free vasectomies? Perhaps free reversals as well.

      1. Questa Nota

        PP can’t profit from body part resales on the male side.
        Maybe there isn’t any happy ending to the PP saga.

    2. voteforno6

      The history of abortion in the U.S. is a lot murkier than you’re suggesting, and certainly more than Alito is. And if that draft opinion is a guide, he and the other conservatives on the court have a lot more than abortion in their sights.

      Of course, if you want to play that game of talking about “killing life” (even though the concept of when life begins is very much debated), then fine, you have to accept the consequences of your position as well. For example, do you believe that women should be forced to give birth to rape babies?

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Worse, should a woman have to prove to a third party interlocutor that their pregnancy was the result of rape?

        “again, I am not talking about rare occurrences of rape”

        Gak. Heartless bastards make that argument.

        One incident keeps coming to mind from my years as a clinic escort is that of a Hispanic family, husband, wife, two small kids, who were sent to the clinic from the emergency room of the local hospital. The young woman had suffered a second trimester miscarriage. The ER doc had determined she needed a D&C to clean out what was left. But, the family had no insurance and couldn’t afford the hospital’s charges. As she was determined to be stable (though not for long), the ER people suggested the clinic. A nurse called the clinic to alert that the family was on their way, walking, and the clinic staff quickly informed us (volunteer escorts).

        They had to walk the gauntlet of anti-abortion protesters screaming at the family that they were murderers. We raced across the street to the family and formed a shield around them, getting screamed at and shoved by the zealots. The woman was shaking and in tears during what may have been the worst day of her young life. The two kids were obviously scared out of their minds, clinging to their parent’s legs.

        The antis didn’t care. To them, she and her husband and we escorts were the personification of evil. And they let us know that, quite clearly.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “again, I am not talking about rare occurrences of rape”

          (Relieved to hear that rape is “rare.” Its “rarity” is probably cold comfort to its victims.)

          Genuine fertilized-egg-is-life purists are not permitted to qualify the circumstances of the fertilization. Doing so is “a real great marker” of lack of absolute commitment to the cause. Ditto for incest.

          It’s also one of those “extremely shallow, misrepresented argument[s] designed for marketing purposes” that Roger Smith identifies. Not to mention the passive-aggressive intimation that, unless the unwanted egg fertilization is the result of a violent crime, it’s the wantonly fornicating woman’s fault and she should accept the consequences.

      2. jrs

        should women be forced to give birth if they don’t want to raise children and if they did everything right and the birth control though they used it correctly still failed? Why?

    3. nippersdad

      “If these people are truly sincere, they should be honest about what they want to do, kill life.”

      I’ll worry about this when those who have problems with it aren’t killing wolves from helicopters for sport. We are a species that mindlessly kills everything to the point where the ecosystem we rely upon is now on the verge of collapse, so why scraping out some protoplasm suddenly gives them the heaves should be front and center in any convo about it.

      1. Glossolalia

        They’d probably cite the bible: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

      2. nycTerrierist

        thank you. the protoplasm is surely less capable of suffering than the wolves, the factory farmed (tortured) animals, those tortured in labs, etc, etc

        1. newcatty

          Agree. An awful example of cruelty for animals in this country is the callous rounding up of wild horses by helicopters. Would not be surprised if the same suspects that kill wolves from helicopters are involved with it.

      3. Oh

        How about all the killing our beloved (support our troops) do everyday in all corners of the world? In earlier days we described the people we killed as barbarians.

        Most Americans do not care about any killing because it have been a violent country. It started with the Natives, then the latin americans, the filipinos, cubans, chinese, vietnamese, iraqis and on and on. It was always for treasure.

    4. cgregory

      The entire nation misses the underlying fact about so-called “pro-lifers”: They will not address the needs of the child. Every child needs the equivalent of $360,000 worth of care to make it to a positive, functional adulthood. When they don’t get it, they are at risk for becoming the next Ted Bundy– who killed from three dozen to five dozen women– or a lesser version, imprisoned, a violently dysfunctional parent or partner, and so on.

      They cannot because they are so focused on abortion as to preclude care for actual human life. This argues that they do not have the internal resources to do so, but spend what little they have in dealing with their own fear of death. Read Ernst Becker’s Denial of Death to see why they have to be what they are.

      1. JBird4049

        Both sides, the pro-lifers and the pro-choicers, ignore the increasing difficulty of raising a child in this, the Mammon worshiping country of ours, where even the practical ideas, instead of fancy, flowering BS, is forbidden.

        The Republicans speak of “personal responsibility” and the Democrats speak of “learning to code and it takes a village,” but never, ever do anything to make it not only possible, but even easier to have a good life, raising children to be good adults, in a functioning community. More, the do this in a economically hollowed out country crippled by corruption with an increasingly poor and desperate population.

        I think it would go against the hidden Social Darwinian beliefs of both parties to do the walk of their talk. That would make their paymasters unhappy as well. So, we get the insulting values speech of the politicians to get them elected, but not the actual work to match.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      The presumptuousness of your underlying premise–that you and only you and those who think like you know what “life” is and when it begins, and anyone who does not agree must still live their lives according to your beliefs and dictates–is beyond arrogant.

      Having said that, you are correct in your contention that the way to establish the right to choice is at the ballot box. Many democrat voters have tried to do just that over the last 50 years and been repeatedly betrayed. Responsibility for this mess falls squarely on those who have allowed themselves to be suckered by democrat promises over the years. That democrats are “vowing” to finally “codify” this right NOW, in the wake of this leak, just adds insult to longstanding injury as far as I’m concerned.

      And, having said that, I am certain that, despite your gloating and state vs. federal equivocation, you would be no less righteously indignant if women were guaranteed their right to choose by state law than you have been over the existence of Roe v. Wade for the last 50 years.

      1. ACPAL

        Democracy’s Fatal Flaw:
        Majority vote sounds good and may be appropriate for deciding whether to paint a building white or brown but these days majority vote means that a large portion of the people are forced to do something they don’t agree with. Here’s an example. Less than 50% of the population rides horses and horseback riding is more dangerous than walking so if it’s put to a vote horseback riding could be outlawed. The same goes for bicycling, motorboating, motorcycling, skateboarding, hunting, and so on. Taking it further, since there are more white people than black people a democratic vote could make black people sit in the back of the bus (don’t depend on the Supreme Court, they’re no longer defenders of the minorities from the majorities). And since there are more Christians in the US than other religions why not vote to outlaw all other religions.

        To say that “all” life is sacrosanct is nonsense. What about cancer, warts, microbes, plants, and etc? Are they sacrosanct? Almost everyone would agree that once birthed it becomes life but the point between conception and birth does not have a natural distinction and there are a wide range of opinions, including between and within various religions. Since there are fewer than 50% of women seeking abortions this makes them a minority and therefore subject to the fatal flaw in democracy. Of course, it’s possible that a vote could go the other way and abortion be made legal. “Be careful what you wish for.”

        If the conservatives really wanted more “freedoms” then they should be “free” to reject abortions for themselves while leaving others the “freedom” to have an abortion if they so desire.

    6. Noone from Nowheresville

      Then more than adequate food, housing, medical care, sanitation, knowledge, etc. should be guaranteed life rights for all humans, regardless of which borders they live in.

      No human or environmental sacrifice zones should ever be tolerated regardless of the people involved. No judgment of worthiness should ever be imposed. Life should be sacred regardless of where it lives.

      The health of the commons should have a higher priority in our societal accounting system than creating wealthy individuals.

    7. hunkerdown

      The “shallow argument”, the assertion of bodily sovereignty, is the tip of an iceberg which C.B. MacPherson (1962) called “possessive individualism”. It was known to the Levellers:

      every man by nature being a King, Priest and Prophet in his own natural circuit and compass, whereof no second may partake, but by deputation, commission, and free consent from him whose natural right and freedom it is.

      Based on David’s comment on the other post, I suspect that the assertion is the actual thing being marketed here, and abortion is the argument in its favor.

    8. Glossolalia

      Even if SCOTUS does rule this way, all that means is there is no federal law supporting or denying abortion. It will be determined by states.

      Cuz they’re going to be content with abortion being legal in half of the country.

    9. Geo

      If you’ve ever wasted a sperm you have taken a life then because each sperm is a living being capable of becoming a fully formed human. Have you wasted a sperm? Then you may have killed the next Einstein or MLK. Don’t be a monster and make sure each sperm you expel makes it to personhood.

        1. pasha

          certainly one of python’s more memorable bits, but that one song supposedly ate up one-quarter of the budget, nearly bankrupted the movie before it could be released (look at the number of scenes and people involved!)

      1. Big River Bandido

        There are people who sincerely believe this. They’re nutjobs, but they believe it.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Genesis 38:9-10

          And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.

          And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

          Moral of the story: if you waste your seed, boom, you die.

          Corollary: God can’t see into shower drains.

          1. Darthbobber

            Nah. Onan got zapped because of WHY he was doing this. (to get out of getting a son by his late brother’s wife, who would then inherit his late brother’s property).

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Was responding with the specific verse the nutjobs Big River Bandido referred to base their theology on. I agree with your interpretation, hence my juvenile snark.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The Aerospace Industry Is Grappling With A Titanium Supply Shortage”

    I don’t remember who it was but about a month ago a commenter brought up this exact same point so I hope that he raises his hand to take credit for pointing this out. I wonder if you can take titanium from old aircraft and melt them down to recycle that titanium?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There is a titanium recycling plant in France. Recycled titanium is good quality and slightly cheaper than virgin metal.

      The problem with recycling titanium is similar to the problem with plastic. Its that it is rarely found in ‘pure’ uses in large enough quantities to justify collection. Nobody, for example, wants to cut titanium hips or pacemakers out of dead bodies. Its used in small quantities through a lot of high tech plant and materials, often as fasterners and nuts, but rarely in the sort of nice discreet chunks you can easily cut out and send off to a recycling plant. And you can’t separate it with a simple magnet like you can with steel. Even in aircraft, its often used in small quantities in specialised parts, like the leading edge of combat aircraft wings or the carpet fastening screws in 737’s. And titanium bikes are worth a fortune, unless they are broken, nobody would sell theirs for scrap. Some classic old titanium frames are, like classic cars, worth more after 20 years than when they were new.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that information PK. That picture that you paint is far worse than I thought it would be.

      2. MT_Wild

        It would seem easy enough to get the hips prior to cremation. And maybe they can just be salvaged and reused, like brake rotors.

        I see a business model here….

      3. Mikerw0

        As two of my bikes are Ti, you are correct. Go near them and die! Ask my wife.

        That said, and more seriously, the Ti bike frame industry really grew off aerospace tubing rejected for that use. This gave the frame builders much cheaper materials to work with. (I know some of the original Lightspeed, Merlin and Seven guys and got to watch one of my frames get welded at Seven. The world today is dominated by carbon frames from China, which is an effective monopoly — of course.)

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I once peeked into Kent Eriksons ti bike workshop in Steamboat Springs. He was the original founder of Moots. His bikes are lovely, although I think he made them more as a labour of love than a business (according to his website he is now retired).

          Most cheaper frames are now from Xi’an in China – I was interested in designing and ordering a touring bike from there, but it became really complicated (they don’t really ‘do’ customer service). Xi’an of course is also a major aerospace centre. Like a lot of Chinese high tech factories, they can do things really, really well, or really really badly, depending on their mood and who is paying. I decided not to take the chance.

          An American guy who owns a bike shop in Busan in South Korea orders custom ti bikes from someone in Russia (I’m not entirely sure where, but he said the guy was an ex aerospace worker who set up his own workshop). The frames were among the best welded I’ve ever seen, really beautiful.

          1. the suck of sorrow

            Bikes: I just love them!
            In 2006 I ordered a custom built Serotta Limited which was manufactured in Saratoga Springs, New York. This is a triple-butted titanium frame. The bike is comfortable with the 23mm tubeless tires I ride on. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see it welded. It still looks beautiful. When I go to my ultimate destiny, that bike will be there for someone to ride.
            But but but …
            For pop, my Trek OCLV carbon frame was way livelier until a car hit it with me on it. For ultra smoothness, my Cevelo R3, was unparalleled but it suffered (with me) the same fate as the Trek. Carbon just does not have the durability that titanium can provide for you.

  16. pebird

    From Medicare at 60 would have harmful unintended consequences:

    “Expanding coverage wouldn’t be cheap. We estimate that the federal deficit would rise by as much as $42.6 billion in the first year of the program and $452 billion over its first 10 years …”

    OMG, how would the government pay for war?

    And of course corporate savings from lower health insurance costs for high medical usage employees are not “scored” in this model.

    “Lawmakers are now admitting that the federal government faces a genuine budget constraint.”

    What a piece of junk.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And don’t forget this:

      In the absence of cost-cutting measures or large increases in utilizations, reductions in inpatient hospital service payments from Medicare at 60 would reduce annual profits by about 25% for the median hospital and by even larger amounts for hospitals with below-average margins. Physicians would be less affected in the short term, but face steeper growth in cuts in the long term.

      These cuts would have significant financial effects on hospitals and providers….

      When they say “for profit” healthcare, they mean it.

    2. allan

      Before reading an advertorial opinion piece at sites like STAT or The Hill,
      the wisest course is to go straight to the bottom to check out the authors’ affiliations.
      In this case:

      Tom Church and Daniel L. Heil are policy fellows at the Hoover Institution,
      a public policy think tank at Stanford University.

      These fellows are in the tank, so they don’t need to think,
      except to remember where their next paychecks are coming from.

    3. jhallc

      Also the study was partially funded by “Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF)” an alliance of American hospital, health insurance, and pharmaceutical lobbyists committed to preventing legislation that would lead to single payer healthcare, expanding Medicare, or creating Medicare for All in particular.[1][2] – Wikipedia
      Once I saw that I knew exactly where it was headed.

    4. JohnnySacks

      A quick scan was all I needed to see where the opinion was coming from, just all too typical PMC guilds trying to maintain their honey pots.

      We’re so screwed – stuck between the Harkonnens and the employed scared of losing whatever they may have to any perceived undeserving masses.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I thought that idea of PayPal just to take that ten thousand dollars belonging to Consortium News and keep it was pretty bad. That money was from donors! I wonder where they got that idea from?

      1. LawnDart

        It’s OK when our governments do it, but PayPay isn’t government, yet. This could change: instead of postal-banking we get…

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      If someone took ten thousand dollars from the cashbox at CN headquarters, they could call the cops and report a crime. It would be investigated.

      How is this not…well…stealing?

      1. JBird4049

        Aside from the old rules for thee, but not for me of American law? One could make the argument that sent PayPal is working for the government at least clandestinely, they can seize your money for any reason, much as in civil asset forfeiture. Plus the donors are supposedly, somehow participating in illegal activity, not that PayPal has to prove or even say what that activity is.

        1. Oh

          The agreement one signs with PayPal allows them to grab your money for whatever reason. I was the Treasurer for a proposition in my city and the committee wanted to use PayPal to receive donations. I did some research on PayPal’s treatment of others taking PayPal and recommended against it. The committee voted to use PaPal and I promptly resigned citing my need to spend more time with my family!

    1. Nikkikat

      We also enjoyed that mash up of dogs in the snow. Gave us a great laugh for the day. I think dogs delight in my us laugh.

  17. Jason Boxman

    So Greenwald argues from a Constitutional point of view on this; I think it’s at least worth recognizing that, Roe essentially pushed a big pause button on the democratic process, and once the resume button is pressed, we don’t start from where we were, but where we are. And that’s a train wreck for those that support, or claim to support, women’s rights, given one side completely disarmed and stood down, rather than continuing to pursue legislation at the state level, or the federal level.

    I think it’s a reasonable argument to say that, given the damage that pressing play will cause, it’s worth considering whether that is an unalloyed good, whether or not Roe was a good decision or simply tyranny of a minority and abdication of the Constitutional order.

    It’s a shame the burden of this won’t be borne by liberal Democrats and those claiming to support women’s rights, but by poor and working class women, mostly in states that liberal Democrats abhor. Great allies, I guess.

    1. Oh

      Why doesn’t the SC leave decisions alone? They always make thngs political instead of ruling on the law.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Aren’t laws nothing else but political? At least in principle laws are the whole focus of all politics for they are the rules society abides. That’s how states are ruled, even dictatorships.

        Many countries admit this fact and have Constitutional Committees as part of their parliaments to check the constitutionality of any law before it even goes to vote. The committees are political, of course, but they always listen to constitutional law experts and since nobody wants a constitutional crisis, if the experts say something in the law doesn’t pass the muster, the committee almost always recommends either amending the proposal, rewriting it or withdrawing it.

        This leaves the courts free to deal with the judicial matters only.

        1. JBird4049

          Aside from the corruption and the growing lack of understanding of, even the concern for, the Constitution and the rule of law? The deliberate elimination of the agencies and staff that existed to help Congress. There are no longer the experts readily available to advise and the personal staff to read and check legislation. Even when they want to do well, they do not have the same capabilities as the previous Congress.

          Like the whole country, Congress has become a Potemkin village. Its appearance of being the same one of decades ago is just a façade.

          If you are asking why they would do such foolishness, it is because not having that is politically expedient. Being forced to rely on the lobbyists to do the actual writing of the legislation and being unable to check the bills before voting means that the financial contributors get what they want and the legislators get political cover: I didn’t write the bill and nobody told me it was a bad one! I’m innocent!

          If you look at the local organizations of either party, it is much the same. Easier to control from above and less ability to resist, function, or even exist from below.

  18. LawnDart

    Also from CN: it would seem that Chris Hedges needs an intervention after apparently ODing on MSM. Perhaps an invitation could be extended, he could spend some time over here on NC while he recollects himself? He’s usually a pretty good writer…

    The disorganization, ineptitude, and low morale of the Russian army conscripts, along with the repeated intelligence failures by the Russian high command, apparently convinced Russia would roll over Ukraine in a few days, exposes the lie that Russia is a global menace.

    Russia’s 40-mile long convoy of stalled tanks and trucks, broken down and out of fuel, on the muddy road to Kiev was not an image of cutting-edge military prowess.

    Russia has been unable to overwhelm a poorly equipped and numerically inferior force in Ukraine, many of whose troops have little or no military training. Russia poses no threat to the NATO alliance or the United States, barring a nuclear attack.

    “The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself,” historian Andrew Bacevich writes.

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      It has been fascinating to watch the processes of self-delusion at work. As far as I can tell the meme that Russia has “disastrous logistics” arose from maybe half a dozen heavily promoted anecdotal vignettes. The story that Russian soldiers were starving seems, for example, to have sprung up from a single video of Russian soldiers breaking into a convenience store. The obvious interpretation is that it’s hardly surprising that guys surviving on military rations might be interested in grabbing some junk food. Instead that video and the idea that Russia couldn’t even feed its troops spread like wildfire and is still rock-solid conventional wisdom even though there’s plenty of videos by now of Russians delivering truckloads of humanitarian aid. Chris Hedges is normally a pretty smart guy so I think he might be trying to lie in pursuit of a greater good, i.e. the reponse you get when you try to tell the self-deluded Westerner that it’s actually pretty dangerous to fuel this war is something like, “Chamberlain, Munich, Hitler, appeasement, I know how to treat a schoolyard bully … and the Russian nukes probably don’t work anyway”. If you want people to listen, at least “The Russian bear has effectively defanged itself. It’s time to negotiate peace.” isn’t going to immediately get you called a Russian bot.

      1. LawnDart

        Chris Hedges is normally a pretty smart guy so I think he might be trying to lie in pursuit of a greater good…

        That could be a possibility, as I do know a few liberals who at least on occasion peruse his articles. In essence, you are suggesting that he is validating their feelings while trying to gently guide them in a non-harmful direction, as a mental health practitioner might when dealing with someone suffering from a psychotic break? The way it is written would seem to affirm their delusions, however, and could encourage more malevolent actors to continue or pursue their actions with greater enthusiasm.

        Look at where Russia!Russia!Russia! has taken us: the liberals have given us the Ministry of Truth(iness) and demand we drink the Kool-Aid as a sign of our feality, loyality, or supplication to their twisted version of reality– it’s a doomsday deathcult, the alternative to which is Apocalyptic Christianity.

        1. JBird4049

          I don’t know about Chris Hedges except to say his writing has always harsh towards the MSM, the PMC, neoliberalism, American political economy and its foreign policy; it has only gotten harsher recently, but I have noticed that the fault lines that everyone has seem to cracking apart on many people. It’s like wtf are you and just what you done with person X? It has made me more worried about what I might mutate into. I do put more effort into remaining sane (or as much as I usually am!) but that is another stressful energy sink, which is something I just do not need.

  19. JAC

    “Elon Musk floated the idea of making Twitter available for commercial and government users at ‘a slight cost’”

    This would be wonderful. I mean why do people not understand the only reason these companies are on Twitter is advertising? As so, why should’t they pay advertising fees? And this is the reason the PMCX does not want free speech on twitter, because not makes advertising difficult.

    1. hunkerdown

      Neoliberalism would like people to fetishize its favored messaging system and pretend that organic human relations don’t determine anything, wouldn’t it?

      In fact, human relations are more complicated. The PMC doesn’t want free speech on Twitter because they don’t want their “employees” (citizens writ large) coordinating against their class or systemic interests, or coordinating better than they do.

  20. Doug

    Greenwald fails to mention how much the legitimacy of democracies also depend on protecting the majority from despotic minorities

    The ideologues now reframing the US in their own image – a self image of 6 individuals – have celebrated the suppression of voting, used the undemocratic shadow docket to achieve their personal goals, and lied under oath (and each of those Greenwald ignores too)

    These 6 supported by the Republican iron law of rule will not respect any precedent on any thing

    Any thing

    This bullshit — and that is what it is — has nothing whatsoever to do with Madison Federalist 10

    Rather, it is just latest part of what Yves used to call the mopping up operations of the Republican and white (un)Christian take over of a nation

    1. Eureka Springs

      What’s the point of uttering “democracy” as if it exists when everything else you mention is anti-democracy. The court, the republic, the parties, federalist 10, the constitution, voting (on a federal level) which never allows for a democratic end. All of the above and so much more assures no democracy yet so many allow themselves to pretend otherwise. It’s more ridiculous than running around yelling Big Foot is under threat of extinction. Whether one wants democracy or not… we have an entirely anti-democratic system. A system which aggressively fights the world over to assure democracy never happens here or elsewhere.

    2. tegnost

      Greenwald fails to mention how much the legitimacy of democracies also depend on protecting the majority from despotic minorities

      I’m guessing the PMC is about ten percent of the population, and through censorship and control of the levers of power in the DNC/DCCC this group wields outsized power for legitimizing it’s globalist warmongering and monopoly/corporate protectionism (see CARES act, ACA, M4A, fracking, cages for immigrants, (of course not the blond hair blue eyed ones), anyone who wants to add to the list feel free. Whatabout the supremes has a hollow ring. Is it possible that tyranny from a different minority is what has your panties in a bunch?

    3. Carolinian

      Wha? That’s exactly what he does talk about–that overarching rules protecting minority views are what separate a “democracy” from a “republic” and we are a republic and always intended to be so by the founders. Greenwald btw is a constitutional lawyer.

      And the above is his explanation of why the Supreme Court is not obligated to respect majority opinion. Their job is to interpret those overarching rules.

      As for “lying under oath,” Turley takes down this specious claim today.

      He’s a lawyer too.

      1. chuck roast

        Way too many lawyers. Many years ago, when I was wizing-up in spite of myself, I had a GF named Joan. During a discussion of abortion Joan opined, “Well, shouldn’t a woman be able to control her own body!” To this day I haven’t recovered from that conversation. The sharpest of Occam’s Razors.

        Simply splitting of hairs from Greenwald. Republic/democracy, blah, blah, blah. The 4th amendment to the US constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures doesn’t it? And what is the US constitution if not a proscription for the protection of private property? What on earth could be more private than the protection and preservation of your own body? When I see these BS debates on abortion all I can think about is that abortion has nothing to do with it. Immediately turn the debate to property rights – the American obsession – and there really is no discussion.

        1. Carolinian

          As a purely rational matter I’d say the case for legal abortion is open and shut and Greenwald isn’t arguing against abortion either. What he is saying, or for that matter Alito, is that using the Constitution to make it so via “right to privacy” is invoking a right that was not included either literally or as part of the authors’ intent. Whereas the authors quite clearly did intend to create a universal right to free speech which many in the Dem camp would now like to throw overboard. Perhaps when they are appealing to “accepted” and “customary” they shouldn’t be so fickle.They want to use “lawfare” when it suits their purposes, not so much when it doesn’t.

          So lawyers are involved if it is the law we are debating.

    1. Screwball

      Thanks for this link Arizona.

      I live about 2 hours from Kent State. I’m 65, so I was around 14 when this happened. I know quite a few people then and still today who were there. I was just talking to a buddy last week about this. He was there as a student (frosh). I also have a buddy who was there as part of the National Guard. My neighbor, kind of a radical, and anti-war was there as well, and protested. Over the years I have had many conversations about this with these people. Always interesting.

      The Kennedy assignation in 63, MLK in 68, RFK in 68, the war in Nam, where some of my friends went and never came back, many who did, didn’t come back the same. Then this at Kent State, which was really close to home. WTF is going on???? It was a lot to digest for this young kid. I didn’t know what to think. I was confused, and scared.

      It’s hard to tell what really happened as all the stories are different, and people have different recollections, and of course it has been many years ago now. One thing I don’t buy, is the official story, but that is the case many times, especially about this kind of stuff.

      But I have never read about this from the angle that author is coming from – how this was part of what changed in the way we treat and fund college. Very interesting. I’ll watch for his upcoming book, and thanks for the heads up.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >”WTF is going on????”

        What’s going on is what happens when a republic decides that it wants to be an empire, and it’s been going on since shortly after WWII. (See: Gore Vidal)

        The imperial metastases invariably end up killing their republican progenitor.

        1. LifelongLib

          As the last man standing after WW2, the world got dumped in the U.S. lap whether we wanted it or not. But there’s a good argument that the U.S. bankrupted the British Empire by demanding gold or dollar payment for war material, and this may have been deliberate (some claim the U.S. didn’t know how wobbly the Empire was but it’s debatable). As an American I would have been happy to let Brittania rule the waves and just focus on inventing stuff and whatnot, which we used to be good at…

          1. Mildred Montana

            >”As an American I would have been happy to let Brittania rule the waves and just focus on inventing stuff and whatnot, which we used to be good at…”

            Yeah, there’s a lot to be said for minding your own business. Especially given that half the world had been destroyed in WWII and untouched America was left with an insuperable economic advantage.

            Instead the government and the MIC decided to start frittering away money and brains on foreign adventures such as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, ?? ???????. And here America stands today, with a $30 trillion national debt, most of its manufacturing off-shored, a happy defense industry, and a distinctly unhappy people with no Medicare for all or the other things that a prosperous society would have been able to provide.

            What a waste of an opportunity.

          2. Anonymous 2

            IIRC the Atlantic Charter demanded self determination for peoples. After that, empires like the British were on the way out.

      2. Smith, M.J.

        Grateful for this link. I was a college freshman in 1970, and to this day Neil Young’s “Ohio” brings back the same emotions—anger, grief, fear, outrage. Even worse is the realization that today’s college students would be cheering the US invasion of Cambodia instead of protesting. Ashamed to say it, but my generation has a lot to answer for.

    2. Smith, M.J.

      Grateful for this catch. I was a college freshman in 1970, and to this day Neil Young’s “Ohio” brings back the same emotions—anger, grief, fear, outrage—I felt then. Even worse when you realize that today’s college student would more likely be cheering the US invasion of Cambodia than protesting it. My generation certainly has much to answer for.

          1. Scewball

            Great observation on the opening, I never connected with that. Thank you, and you are spot on. The whole song is kind of like that. I has the smell of hopelessness and pissedoffness (new word) IMO. And here we are, what, 52 years later?

            I can’t believe what I see today. I’m guessing it doesn’t get a lot of play on our devices.

    1. JohnnySacks

      Sanders and her as independents burning down the Dem party no holds barred from the left flank. Well deserved.

      1. nippersdad

        How fun would it be to watch Hillary Clinton up against Nina Turner on a debate stage?

        That would be epic!

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Getting on the ballot in all 50 states is the most basic requirement of any serious burn-down the Democrat & Republican social clubs bid. So which politician is organizing to make that happen and under which political social club banner? What type of organizing are they doing for state and local elections?

        I suspect getting ballot access takes a lot of money. If that’s correct, where is the funding coming from? How is that impacting local politics?

        Maybe The Rock plans on running for president for reals some day.

        eta: you still gotta’ have a real political team and a plan to move the levers of power.

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        Sanders will never run as an independent (or endorse one) nor burn the Dems no matter how they burn him. Turner might.

      1. nippersdad

        That brings up the question of how one defines a win. I would be perfectly happy to see the Democratic party go down in flames, and she would not necessarily have to win the election to show that they are no longer relevant.

        Someone needs to tell Christine that she was warned as well, and that projection is not attractive. We don’t need two Republican parties, and I think Nina would be perfectly placed to make that case.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I admire Nina Turner. But I can’t think of a worse idea than a state senator, having lost two primaries for U.S. House, running for President.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Donald Trump managed to get elected POTUS without running for state office or Congress.

  21. Big River Bandido

    The two funniest posts today on NC:

    1) The bonus antidote.

    2) Chuck Schumer saying the Senate will vote on a bill creating a federal right to abortion.

  22. NYG

    Canadian General Trevor Kadier is apparently a very high value prisoner. He had to be at the steel plant before the war started notwithstanding that he wasn’t discharged from Canada’s military until April 5, 2022.
    “The Russian armed forces arrested Canadian General Trevor Kadier in Mariupol on the night of 2-3 May 2022. He is currently in Moscow awaiting to stand trial. General Trevor Kadier was apparently not on a mission for his government, but was in charge of biolaboratory No. 1, with 18 staff working under his command.
    The National Pulse reported that Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, and Christopher Heinz, John Kerry’s son-in-law, had arranged the subcontracting of Ukrainian research laboratories through their firm Rosemont Capital, on behalf of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), linked to the Pentagon.”

    1. LifelongLib

      I remember back in 1972 reading a paragraph on page 2 of our local newspaper, something about several men being arrested at the Democratic Party headquarters, and one of them being a member of the Committee to Re-elect the President, and thinking “Gee, this could be a big deal”.

      That’s what I’m thinking about this…

      1. Arizona Slim

        One of my friends was a newspaper reporter in southern Illinois. When the Watergate story broke, she was traveling across the country with one of her daughters. They were in a restaurant near the Kansas Turnpike and there it was, in the local paper.

        The Watergate story provoked howls of laughter from my friend and her daughter. They knew what was really up, and they were right.

        Although my friend never got to cover Watergate, you can blame her for that expression, you can tell the FBI agents by their black, shiny shoes. She coined that one after the FBI descended on southern Illinois in the wake of a supermax prison escape. Link:

  23. JBird4049

    Hey, I get that this is an extremely sensitive, contentious, even enraging issue, but threatening someone like Roger Smith for merely politely, honestly, and thoughtfully giving his opinion is uncalled for.

    I can get that at many places on the internet or IRL, but at NC not so much. Hell, much of the country seems to becoming not only more vitriolic, but in wanting violence.

    So, attack the comment, attack the ideas, attack the individual remarks in the comment, even the tone, but do not attack the individual. Please.

  24. Anthony K Wikrent

    In “The Irrational, Misguided Discourse Surrounding Supreme Court Controversies Such as Roe v. Wade” Glenn Greenwald begins down a path I started down years ago — determining the differences between a democracy and a republic, and why a a republic is to be preferred. This is an extremely useful exercise at a time when most citizens are floundering in their own ignorance of these issues, but I’m not very surprised that Greenwald perhaps does more damage than good by not fully understanding and / or explaining the issue. Just reading Greenwald, one can be forgiven to think that the entire USA scheme of government ought to be discarded, becuase ” The Founders wanted to establish a democracy that empowered majorities of citizens to choose their leaders, but also feared that majorities would be inclined to coalesce around unjust laws that would deprive basic rights, and thus sought to impose limits on the power of majorities as well.” And the discomfort becomes especially intense when Greenwald concludes that “If you want to rant about the supremacy and sanctity of democracy and the evils of “unelected judges,” then you will necessarily end up on the side of Justice Alito and the other four justices who appear ready to overrule Roe.”

    The palliative lies in the lead article of the 1988 Yale Law Journal issue devoted to republicanism (Volume 97, Number 8, July 1988, online at, Harvard Law Professor Frank Michelman very ably corrects this shortcoming. In his article, “Law’s Republic,” Michelman explained how a proper regard for civic republicanism would dictates an entirely different result in the US Supreme Court decision Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), in which a 5–4 majority upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia law prohibiting sodomy.

    Michelson shows republicanism is superior to democracy because republicanism demands a regard for inclusivity and pluralism. It is not guaranteed that democracy will have the same regard, because what democracy demands is only what the mobilized active majority — whether ruled by reason or panicked by passion — demands. Yet, ironically, it is exactly the workings of democracy that direct the development of Constitutional law to strive toward a “more perfect union” through what Michelman calls jurisgenerative politics. Michelman quotes another legal scholar to lay the interpretative corner stone: “It is the very purpose of our Constitution … to declare certain values transcendent, beyond the reach of temporary political majorities.” [p1499]

    Michelman uses the famous Brown v, Board of Education decision to illustrate his argument: “the Brown Court spoke in the accents of invention, not of convention; it spoke for the future, criticizing the past; it spoke for law, creating authority; it engaged in political argument. [p1525] ….the pursuit of political
    freedom through law depends on “our” constant reach for inclusion of the other, of the hitherto excluded-which in practice means bringing to legal-doctrinal presence the hitherto absent voices of emergently self-conscious social groups. [p1529]

    Michelman paints a compelling picture of how the republic renews itself, through the constant struggle “to form a more perfect union.” Regarding the fight for civil rights by African-Americans, Michelman writes, “Does anyone doubt that their impact on the rest of us has reflected their own oppositional understandings
    of their situation and its relation to our (and increasingly their) Constitution — developed, in part, through conflict within their own community, in a process that both challenged and utilized such partial
    citizenship as the Constitution granted and allowed them (and left its clear imprint on constitutional law both within and beyond the topical area of race)? Does anyone doubt that the judicial agents of the challengers’ accumulating citizenship drew on interpretive possibilities that the challengers’ own activity was helping to create? [p1530]

    This is why struggling to create a clearer understanding and stronger appreciation of civic republicanism is our best way to respond to the conservative / libertarian attempt misinterpret our Constitution, our law, our tradition, and our heritage as a republic, to create their desired exclusive theocracy. As Michelman conlcudes: “The Court helps protect the republican state — that is, the citizens politically engaged —
    from lapsing into a politics of self-denial. It challenges “the people’s” self-enclosing tendency to assume their own moral completion as they now are and thus to deny to themselves the plurality on which their
    capacity for transformative self-renewal depends.”

    1. Darthbobber

      I assume you’re referring to the democratic variant of a Republic. There are others.

    2. britzklieg

      You might be interested in this contrarian view written by my brother-in-law (sadly now deceased) Steven Gey: The Unfortunate Revival of Civic Republicanism

      This article examines several different aspects of the civic republican phenomenon. The first aspect involves the constitutional politics of civic republicanism. In particular, why are politically left-of-center constitutional scholars attracted to civic republicanism? Putting the matter differently, is civic republican theory truly congenial to the goals and aspirations of constitutional theorists who locate themselves on the left side of the political spectrum?…

      In sum, the civic republicans get it wrong because they agree with Plato that politics is the “art whose business it is to care for souls.” 333 The civic republican view of the world transforms
      politics into a potentially more sinister affair than it is in schemes that view politics as the more mundane business of ascertaining who gets what, when, and how.3 34 The republican view also increases the importance of politicians, which is just another term for the actively self-governing citizens who populate the corridors of power in the civic republican world. Unfortunately, centuries of experience tell us that politicians who seek to save souls are dangerous animals. They too often tend to find in their own souls a model for all humankind.

      1. hunkerdown

        Thank you for this. The argument looks interesting.

        Republics, in short, are made for people who want to rule others vicariously, or in perhaps better words I recently read but can’t find right now, “rule in denial”.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    I remember somewhat over a week ago commenting that CDC, WHO, etc. would do everything in their power to suppress and prevent research into any connection between bad hepatitis in these children and having-caught-covid-earlier in these same children.

    The reason they would want to prevent such a link from being studied, considered or anything else is because the public realization of such a link would create public pressure for the elites to reverse their secret policy of deliberately spreading covid everywhere in purpose, including to all possible children.

  26. RobertC

    This is the hurdle India must overcome, culturally as well as economically: India vs China GDP Per Capita*

    India diplomat (retired) M. K. BHADRAKUMAR sees India’s opportunity to Make hay while sun shines — Indian, Chinese ways slipping away.

    …Russia plans to use this interlude to develop new markets. India and China stand to gain the most out of Russia’s quest for new markets. Russia has offered discounted prices to them and payment systems in local currencies.

    However, India and China’s response present a study in contrast. India takes a defensive stance that its energy imports from Russia are minuscule. But coming under concerted Western pressure, Delhi hopes for some sort of quid pro quo from the West. India’s European diplomacy is in overdrive.

    Everything in the Indian calculus has a “China angle” to it, inevitably. India hopes to cash in on any erosion in EU-China ties as a fallout of the Ukraine crisis. Expectations are running high, but the Ukraine crisis has put big question marks on the future of Europe itself.

    …The elitist viewpoint blithely assumes that the US West has a strategic interest in building up India as a counterweight to China. The prevailing narrative in India is also that the “Free West” is winning the war against the Russia-China axis of autocracy.

    Enter China. Succinctly put, Chinese approach is firmly supportive of Russia while cautiously avoiding needless entanglement with the Western sanctions regime.

    …Therefore, the Western game is not really to reduce or nullify Russian exports so much as to reduce the Russian oil and gas revenues. The Chinese policymakers have grasped this important distinction.

    While Russia is looking East, India chooses to look West. India danced away from both RCEP and CPTPP and refused to join the BRI because…China.

    The cost of energy is a GDP factor especially when Make In India is national policy. The world’s manufacturing powerhouse understands this and is taking Russia’s deals while India, with one eye on the West, pretends it isn’t.

    The gap between India vs China GDP per Capita will widen.

    * from Demographics push China-India-Russia triple entente China at some point may dump its Pakistan investment and emphasize India ties, upending strategic calculations

    1. LawnDart

      China at some point may dump its Pakistan investment and emphasize India ties…

      It would seem to follow that India may become to China what China was to USA– a source of cheap labor and goods.

  27. LawnDart

    A Russian perspective on Ukraine, from Rossiyskaya Gazeta (excerpts):

    13 answers to questions about the reasons for the special operation in Ukraine

    Daily statements by the United States and Britain with the exact date of Russia’s attack on Ukraine prepared the world public opinion that Moscow was the aggressor. The US and NATO were not going to negotiate with us – they were preparing to attack first. It is possible that in parallel with the Ukrainian offensive of the 150-thousandth group on the Donbass and Crimea, plans were developed for preemptive missile strikes by NATO forces on the territory of Russia.

    According to the Russian Security Council, a significant grouping of the US armed forces has recently been formed in Europe, numbering 60 thousand military personnel, 200 tanks and 150 combat aircraft. In addition, over the past year, the intensity of flights of American strategic bombers near the Russian borders has increased by 40%. The intensity of air reconnaissance of NATO forces in the Kaliningrad region and Crimea has almost doubled. There were constant provocations involving NATO ships in the Black Sea. And if all this is not preparation for war, then what is?

    Ukraine is armed with tactical missiles “Tochka-U”, which have already been launched several times on the territory of Russia. These missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

    Former Soviet research institutes engaged in nuclear research, as well as a network of nuclear power plants, have also been preserved. All this makes it possible to create both a “dirty” atomic bomb and, with the help of Western partners, “conventional” nuclear warheads. As it turned out, the Kiev regime, in collaboration with the Pentagon, worked not only on nuclear issues, but also on the development of biological weapons

    Already on March 6, it became reliably known that the offensive operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbass and Crimea was to begin on March 8.

    An adviser to the head of the [Ukrainian] presidential office, Arestovich…
    ..threatened Moscow with missile strikes a year ago. Here is a quote from his speech on TV: “Putin will get to the point that Ukrainian missiles will be sent to Moscow in the near foreseeable future for one simple reason: we are working on a missile program. And our operational-tactical missiles will be able to reach Moscow.”

    From this and other articles, it should also be noted that Russia is on heightened alert for “false-flag” provocations. They seem to have little fear of Western arms support, believing that it is a scam intended to line the pockets of weapons manufacturers and politicians, and that most shipments of what is sent (at least 90%) will be destroyed shortly after arrival in Ukraine. The new “Lend/Lease” is seen as part of this scam, saddling Ukraine with generations of debt, as by example, with Russia only having completed payments for its Lend/Lease from WWII in 2006.

    1. LawnDart

      Oh hell, this link I posted opens in Russian language. If interested, copy-and-paste to Yandex and use the translate feature (Google Translate may work too but I haven’t tried that yet). Sorry about that.

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