Links 6/10/2022

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

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


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

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

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Two workers rescued from chocolate vat at Pennsylvania Mars Wrigley plant NBC

Styrofoam-munching superworms could hold key to plastic upcycling France24

Timing a Recession vs. Timing the Stock Market A Wealth of Common Sense


Finance and climate change risk: managing expectations Bank of International Settlements

Fundamentally, financial instability arises when the financial and real sectors are out of sync, as exemplified by the financial boom-bust phenomenon. Financial expansions, on the back of aggressive risk-taking, fuel economic activity and overstretch balance sheets. In the process, asset prices and the volume of credit become increasingly disconnected from the capacity of the real economy to generate the corresponding cash flows. Since this disconnect is inherently unsustainable, the process goes into reverse at some point, generally abruptly and violently.

Seen in this light, the risks to financial stability linked to the transition are two-sided. One side is what has attracted attention so far – exposures to overvalued “brown” assets, which should lose their value (become “stranded”) as the transition proceeds. The concern here is that investors either sleepwalk into “brown vortices” or act rashly, generating disorderly “brown runs” (eg Delis et al, 2018). But there is also another side, which has received far less attention and is more similar to the familiar boom-bust pattern. This relates to exposures to either overvalued “green” assets or to assets that purport to be green; a “green bubble”, for short (Carstens, 2021, Aramonte and Zabai, 2021, Cochrane, 2021 and Tett and Mundy, 2022),The first side reflects an underestimation of the scope and speed of the transition; the second an overestimation.

The risk of a green bubble is material.

Crowning fury Searchlight New Mexico

You have a second body High Country News


Aerosol particle emission increases exponentially above moderate exercise intensity resulting in superemission during maximal exercise PNAS. Descriptive study, n = 8. From the Abtract: “Aerosol particle emission increases moderately up to an exercise intensity of ≈2 W[atts]/kg and exponentially at higher exercise intensities. These data not only explain SARS-CoV-2 transmissions during indoor group exercise but also can be used to design better targeted mitigation measures for physical activity indoors such as physical education in school, dance events during weddings, or high-intensity gym classes such as spinning.”

Neurodevelopmental Outcomes at 1 Year in Infants of Mothers Who Tested Positive for SARS-CoV-2 During Pregnancy JAMA. retrospective cohort study, n = 7772. Commentary:


Shanghai reimposes lockdowns after detecting 11 Covid cases FT. Again, if this is happening in Shenzen (or other of the many ginormous cities in China) it’s not being reported in the West. So what’s special about Shanghai, besides the local administration?

Virus testing the new normal as China sticks to ‘zero-COVID’ AP. The real story here, besides local administration screw-ups and conservative aghastitude, is China’s belief in transmission either by fecal plumes or fomites:

* * *

Beijing should seize Apple’s iPhone chipmaker in Taiwan if US sanctions China, top Chinese economist says Business Insider

China Ties at ‘Lowest Moment’ Since 1972, US Ambassador Says Bloomberg

In the eyes of others, the US is not the benign power it thinks it is Dani Rodrik, South China Morning Post

China, Cambodia break ground on port, dismiss US concerns AP

Bangkok’s refusal to be automatized by delivery apps The Urban Activist

Health Minister & Hanoi Leader Both Arrested Vietnam Weekly. “Millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes for a test kit that the WHO never approved for international use.”


Myanmar raising bloodthirsty death squads Asia Times

Indonesia to allow more palm oil exports with extra charges: Minister Channel News Asia


‘We won’t roll over and surrender’: Boris Johnson vows not to let rail unions take Britain back to the 1970s with strike set to paralyse the country THREE times this month as he digs in for battle over pay and job security Daily Mail

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia, Turkey back plan to export grains; Ukraine doubtful AP. Via Tass (paraphrased by AP), Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vasily Bodnar: “Effective security guarantees are required for maritime shipments to resume. These guarantees must be provided through the supply of appropriate weapons to Ukraine to protect its coasts from maritime threats and the involvement of the navies of third countries in protecting the relevant part of the Black Sea.” So, give us more weapons or we don’t sell you grain.

Double standards haunt US and Europe in NATO dispute with Turkey The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

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Ukraine forces outgunned up to 40 to one by Russian forces, intelligence report reveals Independent (MA).

U.S. Lacks a Clear Picture of Ukraine’s War Strategy, Officials Say NYT. Blame cannons gradually being relaid….

When the war in Ukraine recalls the Spanish Civil War of 1936 French Daily News

Peru communities to allow Las Bambas copper mine restart after 51-day shutdown Reuters

Biden Administration

Torpedoes In the Water Matt Stoller, BIG

Biden Urges Congress to ‘Crack Down’ on Shipping Maritime Logistics Professional

U.S. proposes standards for fast electric vehicle charging projects Reuters

Semiconductor Subsidy Doom Loop Boondoggle


Sriracha hot sauce maker warns of shortage SFGATE

Capitol Seizure

Read the full text of chair Bennie Thompson’s remarks in first Jan. 6 hearing CBS. Presumably Thompson’s timeline and Cheney’s timeline are co-ordinated. If so, this is commentary:

Capitol riot panel blames Trump for 1/6 ‘attempted coup’ AP. A fine example of liberal Democrat aghastitude from a staff writer at Condé Nast’s Vanity Fair:

The only death that day on the Capitol grounds was a rioter the cops whacked. The other deaths were, IIRC, from heart attacks, and off the grounds. There were only two (2) indictments for violence during the riot, as AP’s chart in yesterday’s Water Cooler shows.

Why many Republicans believe the Big Lie Politico. Original. Both are interesting and well worth a read.

The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It David Brooks, NYT. “This is a movement, not a conspiracy. We don’t need a criminal-type investigation looking for planners or masterminds as much as we need historians and scholars and journalists to help us understand why the American Republican Party, like the Polish Law and Justice party, or the Turkish Justice and Development Party, has become a predatory semi-democratic faction.” Makes sense that Brooks would know the right to his right.

Democrats’ Jan. 6 fundraising spree Axios. Ka-ching. Readers, if any of you get a fund-raising email with a clip from the Committee’s “captivating multimedia presentation,” please forward it along to me. Thanks!


Waiting for keys, unable to break down doors: Uvalde schools police chief defends delay in confronting gunman Texas Tribune

The Bezzle

People didn’t know they were investing all their money in Terra. When the cryptocurrency collapsed, they lost everything — and say a Y Combinator-backed startup is to blame. Business Insider

SEC Investigating UST Stablecoin Blowup in Fresh Threat to Terra Bloomberg

Zeitgeist Watch

The rise of youth cage-fighting Washington Post (Re Silc).

Everyone is sick – illness in 2022 has medieval vibes The Guardian

The Outlaw Nuns Who Traded Their Convent for Cars, Cash and Castles Mel Magazine (Furzy Mouse).

Book Nook

Bloom or bust: what James Joyce can teach us about economics FT

Reflections of the elusive Jean Rhys New Statesman (AL).


Julian Assange spying case: Judge suggests CIA may have received illicitly recorded conversations El Pais

Police State Watch

Axon halts plans for Taser drone as 9 on ethics board resign AP

Class Warfare

Wizz Air boss sparks backlash over fatigue request BBC.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said staff should go “the extra mile” when tired so that the airline could avoid cancelling flights.

Pilot unions said flying when fatigued is dangerous and his comments showed a “deficient safety culture”.

But Wizz Air said Mr Varadi was addressing all workers not just pilots.

So that’s alright, then.

James Webb Space Telescope hit by micrometeoroid just months into flight

NASA launches UFO study despite ‘reputational risk’ Al Jazeera

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Redlife2017

    Re: ‘We won’t roll over and surrender’: Boris Johnson vows (article on the upcoming tube and train strikes)

    1) This man so often rolls over and surrenders and vows not to (eg Northern Irish Agreement with EU, every single Covid lockdown, etc.) that I feel comfortable that he very well WILL roll over and show his belly at some point. But it will have to get VERY bad for him to do so. Which this situation has the ability to do so.

    2) These people haven’t had a raise since 2018. Inflation on an annual basis (which underplays) is almost 10% at this point. I don’t think the unions can back down even if they wanted to. Add in the “we won’t give any guarantees on not firing people” and you have a recipe for a very long, hot and discontented summer.

    3) Whilst work from home will help in the short run, the longer this goes on, the more employers (and city-centre businesses) are going to get pissed. They’ve been desperate to get people back and to stay back in the office. This doesn’t help. If this goes well into August, the economic affect on the city centres will be like Covid all over again.

    4) Commonwealth Games in late July. That is going to be a sh**show if this keeps going (and it will).

    I wish my comrades in the unions all the best on this. It has to be done.

  2. griffen

    Fatigued pilots encouraged to just keep on by the genius leader at Wizz Air. I’d swear that headline will also work as satire from the Onion.

    Good evening passengers, the crew is hella tired but we’re gonna down Red Bull and power onward! Thank you for choosing to fly with us.

    1. Lexx

      I thought the article on the two employees found in the vat of dry chocolate was also written by The Onion.

      Dry?! They didn’t drown in a vat of warm melted semi-sweet*? Were they being “evaluated” for stupidity and lousy taste in chocolate?

      Serious news or Lambert on a Friday?

      *choose your own fantasy to drown in

      1. griffen

        Instead of Soylent Green* bars they instead become high protein sources covered and smothered. With or without almonds!

        The sci fi movie of the future and the use of recently deceased.

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        As W.C. Fields was told of a man who died after falling into a vat of whiskey, he said; “Death, where is thy sting?

      3. JCC

        It may be “Lambert on a Friday” but I imagine that it was pretty serious for those two. I was immediately reminded of the suffocation deaths of those that had fallen into grain silos.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Lambert on a Friday

        Consciously, I am systematic about treating each day like every other day (which is why I often forget holidays). It’s like having only one color of T-shirt; fewer decisions!

        So — and this is a serious question — do I have a posting pattern of which I am not aware? (It could be the newsflow, of course, which drives me.)

    2. Lexx

      ‘It’s true that Trump had some unique things going for him in advancing his fraud. His portrayal of himself as a victim of the news media helped feed the idea that “actors on the left would go to extreme and illegal lengths to see that he was out of office,” according to the researchers.’

      There are so many sociopathic elements to narcissism it takes an expert to distinguish them separately. The absence of a conscience altogether or one so compromised as to be effectively non-existent? With the Trump family it’s really hard for me to tell but the outcome is same either way. Aspects of Trump’s drama dynamics are going on everywhere; recruitment just isn’t that hard for him or the Republican party and if the tactic is working, why change?

      Sociopaths and narcissists will always play the victim. Take whatever other role you like, that one belongs to them. They are incapable of empathy for others. As far as they’re concerned, sympathy is in short supply at all times and what’s available belongs to them. They can’t feel sorry for themselves and you at the same time. If they offer you words that sound sympathetic, they are playing role to gain your trust. The usual dynamics of human bonding are power tools for them. What they want is supply and control.

      The video below is worth the 15 minutes. She’ll describe The Donald, the Republican Party, and the cult that is using The Big Lie.

      8 common patterns in trauma-bonded relationships

      Believing the future faking
      Mystical/magical thinking
      Fear of leaving
      Becoming a one-stop shop
      Hiding your feelings and needs
      Rationalizing the relationship

        1. griffen

          No problem, that’s bound to happen on occasion. Might even be appropriate, given my recurring thought that even the best satirists we have ever known could not invent such things as satire that we are currently living with in real time.

          I frequently land with the Mel Brooks version of satire. Others mileage may vary.

      1. begob

        I believe one of the critical qualities of a sociopath is a high capacity for empathy – it’s the sympathy they’re short on.

        1. Lexx

          ‘Sympathy involves understanding from your own perspective. Empathy involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and understanding WHY they may have these particular feelings.’

          They lack both, but typing ‘sympathy and empathy’ repeatedly get tedious so I tend to use them interchangeably on this subject. A sociopath can’t imagine what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes, to feel another’s feelings unless it’s exactly as the sociopath would respond under the same circumstances. Empaths don’t really exist except on a spectrum… on the other end you’ll find the sociopath. They would never stay their hand out of a sense of mercy.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Empathy involves putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and understanding WHY they may have these particular feelings

            I’m not sure I agree Trump lacks empathy, according to this definition. Most agree that Trump has a genuine talent for sensing weakness, and I don’t see how he could do that without in some way “putting [himself] in the other person’s shoes.”

            So perhaps Trump has empathy, just in a very twisted way (“‘You know, when you think what [Feyd-Rautha] could’ve been with some other upbringing—with the Atreides code to guide him, for example.’ ‘It’s sad,’ she said.” –Frank Herbert, Dune. Which makes Fred Trump the Baron, a pleasing outcome.

            1. Lexx

              The subject is Trump but by association really, his followers and that of the Republican party (and as its been pointed out, the Democratic party as well). What attracts voters to these parties? What is it they think they know about the candidates?

              My old therapist would have used the metaphor of ‘trolling’ or fishing, and talked about the bait. Trump is using trauma bonding as bait. He’s a patient fisherman with his line in the water, moving slowly upstream waiting to see who bites. When a trauma hook is set, it’s difficult to escape and those kinds of followers are fiercely loyal. They’re not defending Trump or his party, they’re defending themselves, their own sense of vulnerability as ‘victims’, made publicly virtuous via ‘patriotism’. Weakness then becomes a strength.

              A hunter may stalk his prey, fishing is generally passive. It was repeatedly pointed out while he was in office, Trump is a lazy man. His wealth has brought a lot of people into his social orbit. If they stay and seek his company, then he can probably see the pattern to why and he’s used it to his advantage, crafted his public image to set the hook in a little deeper. January 6 looked like deeper to me. ‘Well, my minions, I’m about to lose some serious face here. What will you do for our image?’ The puppet strings attached to those folks were of their own making, all he had to do was energize them with a few trigger words. Narcissists find that gratifying. Sociopaths find it amusing.

              1. Yves Smith

                With all due respect, you’ve got an enormous blind spot to attribute this dynamic to Trump and not also Hillary and her followers. We were subjected to over two years of “trauma bonding” over the threat to the PMC’s place in the world that Trump posed, and Russia!Russia! as their excuse for why they was robbed. How is their pathology of insisting that Russia stole the election for Trump emotionally any different than the Trump loyalists now insisting their pick was cheated?

                1. Lexx

                  ‘(and as its been pointed out, the Democratic party as well)’ I was commenting on Trump’s use of the victim role and why I thought it was successful in gaining him followers. It’s a projection on their part via political trauma-bonding.

                  I have the same jaundiced view of both parties… and the odds of third parties trying to gain some traction… it’s just that I still have some hope and no place to put it*, and sometimes sentimental bias makes it on to the page**. Raised a Democrat when that may have once meant something that aspired to nobility… sniff!

                  *it’s morning, the air is cool and the sun it shining and I’m on my second cup of excellent coffee, dark roast with a splash of half-and-half… optimism in a cup. Hope and coffee.

                  I do actually have blindspots though; it’s why I read NC. I have some threads I’m studying. The community brings the rest and whole cloth forms as we talk together… for that I’m grateful.

                  **by not tarring and feathering the Democrats with the same brush in the same comment. I loath the neoliberals; I just loath the Republican Party more. If I read here long enough the loathing will probably equalize… needs more time and reading.

            2. Stick'em

              Lambert ~ The best take I have read on Trump’s psychological state is this one by Robert Jay Lifton. He makes a convincing case Trump is a solipsist:

              “An important way to understand Trump and Trumpism is as an assault on reality. At issue is the attempt to control, to own, immediate truth along with any part of history that feeds such truth.

              Since this behavior stems from Trump’s own mind, it is generally attributed to his narcissism (and he has plenty of that). But I suggest the more appropriate term is solipsistic reality.

              Narcissism suggests self-love and even, in quaint early psychoanalytic language, libido directed at the self. Solipsism has more to do with a cognitive process of interpreting the world exclusively through the experience and needs of the self.”


              1. Yves Smith

                This is unhelpful. How does it differ from propaganda, which the US doles out in bulk?

                And Fox, which is loved and trusted by a dedicated minority, was putting out shows regularly for decades that the establishment types viewed as significantly/entirely fabricated, for decades before Trump ran for office.

        2. John Zelnicker

          “one of the critical qualities of a sociopath is a high capacity for sounding empathetic

          Fixed it for ya’. They’re just role playing.

          1. Lexx

            Very good, John. Empathy for them is a disguise, emotional camouflage. Safety in the appearance of fitting in, of so-called normalcy.

            We go to the polls and vote for our reflections.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Worked and works so very well for William Jefferson Clinton, Demon of the Demotic, progenitor of democide…

        3. ChiGal

          that’s a psychopath. calculating, controlled, and able to use their ability to ‘read’ others to manipulate them effectively. Empathy as a tool. Sociopaths have less control over themselves, more likely to melt down and flagrantly violate norms.

      2. Wukchumni

        Trump was an abominable showman and yet I don’t think we’ve seen the end of him, because admitting a mistake was anathema to him, so all of his devoted voters really remember is a soaring stock & housing market. The few things that there were a shortage of (toilet paper and 1-ply FRN’s) were taken care of toot suite.

        How does he not win in a romp in 2024, not only does the GOP not have anybody else waiting in the wings, but the Donkey Show is bereft of anybody-the shelves are bare.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > all of his devoted voters really remember

          Along with axing TPP, the CARES Act, OWS, and no war with Russia. Is Biden’s record really that much better?

      3. Tara

        All those apply to the Democratic Party as well.

        Justification—Not Trump
        Believing the future faking–Inflation doesn’t matter
        Repetition—“Racism!” “Homophobia”
        Mystical/magical thinking—“Diversity” “Equity”
        Fear of leaving—-‘A woman’s right to choose!’
        Becoming a one-stop shop—Not Trump!
        Hiding your feelings and needs—Next Year, Tenure
        Rationalizing the relationship—Voters have no other choice.

      4. darren price

        A few months ago I listened to a podcast featuring Robert D. Hare, the Canadian criminal psychologist who ran the psychopathy research lab at UBC, and if I understood him correctly a sociopath is basically a psychopath with poor impulse control. If that is the case that would mean many of our elites lean towards psychopathy rather than sociopathy. How a Donald Trump type character who seems to exhibit poor impulse control in some areas but not in others would be classified I don’t know.

      5. Lambert Strether Post author

        > incapable of empathy for others

        I reject psychologizing as a political tool; I write “sociopathic elites” because that’s the outcome of their collective behavior and I haven’t been able to develop better language, not because I’ve made an armchair diagnosis of each individual. We do, however, have evidence that wealth reduces empathy. So, as usual, class enters no matter how diligently we try to avoid it….

        1. Lexx

          I had a violent alcoholic father and narcissistic mother.* They looked perfectly normal publicly, they were financially and socially successful, but privately as parents, they were looney tunes. I emerged as an oldest child with an overly developed conscience that has a kill switch… sometimes intentionally.

          Trump’s older brother, the heir apparent, committed suicide slowly by drinking himself to death at age 42. Little wonder his daughter became a psychologist.

          I think these underlying psychological dynamics matter in politics**. I have some empathy for the rich and powerful. They pay a terrible price for their pathology. It goes beyond class, they’re only humans after all. When they die they know they can’t take their wealth with them. They’re nuts, not stupid. All the rich people I’ve met are suffering just like everyone else. It’s how their pathology affects the rest of the world that interests me. All that power and all that deeply intimate dysfunction just under the surface. If we’re living in crazier times, it’s their disorder and our codependence. Healing ourselves will take a 12-step program we no longer have time to complete.

          * a common codependent combo
          ** see: Hunter Biden

    3. Old Sarum

      “Wizz Air”

      As a fan of nominative determinism, my mind latched onto those aspects of airliner design that could be changed to create additional (permanent)l seating, reduce ‘materials’ handling, and cut down on expensive cleaning contracts

      Damp seating all ’round!

      Pip Pip

  3. Ignacio

    RE: When the war in Ukraine recalls the Spanish Civil War of 1936 French Daily News

    Whoh! If anything, I would say, the Ukraine somehow recalls the antiparallel of the Spanish civil war. For instance Equating Communist brigades to Azov battalion elements is… absurd? To start with the militias were anti fascist (two kinds, peasant militias and working-class militias), while The Azov battalion is well… fascist.

      1. Tara

        Wonder how the MSM and ADL would respond to the formation of some Azov Battalions in the United States?

        1. JCC

          As a reminder, the AZOVs started as a hard core right wing Football Club (FC Metalist Kharkiv ultras) that over time morphed into what they are today. With that in mind, I think they are already forming here, the Proud Boys among others being classic examples.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Didn’t bother to read that one, but the thought in response to the title was “the nationalists (with external — Nazi — help) won in the ’30s war; doesn’t seem to be happening this time.”

    2. Carolinian

      George Orwell might not agree. His disillusionment with the Communist side fueled Homage to Catalonia.

      And the article is drawing parallels re tactics, not saying the two conflicts are exactly the same.

      1. darren price

        George Orwell is a bit overrated IMO. He compiled the names writers and others he suspected of having communist sympathies and ratted them out to the British state. This became known as Orwell’s List. Per Wikipedia: “In 1949, shortly before he died, the English author George Orwell prepared a list of notable writers and other people he considered to be unsuitable as possible writers for the anti-communist propaganda activities of the Information Research Department, a secret propaganda organisation of the British state under the Foreign Office.” This is Integrity Initiative and Paul Mason making a chart of “Russian and Chinese assets” territory.

        He wrote some good stuff, his Politics and the English Language is required reading in this era of mass media delivered propaganda and semantic trickery, but Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a far closer parallel to how western countries keep their citizens under control than 1984, which described a Stalinist type dictatorship.

    3. Tommy S.

      I agree with Ignacio, except I would like to point out 90% of the good side were not ‘communist’ as far as Spain goes. Most were socialist and anarchist (CNT was huge then, POUM marxist aligned with them) To say ‘communist’ in that civil/revolutionary implies Lincoln Brigades (heroes yes, but horrible CPUSA party run) and Stalin’s thugs represented a majority of ideology there. Nope. Hence when Orwell attacks the communists (he was with marxist POUM) he is attacking Stalin destroying the revolution, and mass killings etc behind the lines of the real Spanish libertarian left. If anyone wants to just see a fact based movie on this, Loach’s Land and Freedom is a must watch!!! And Yes, no comparison to Ukraine. The resistance is not socialist bottom up in any way shape or form..

      1. Alice X

        Granada TV did a good six part series on the Spanish Civil War in ca 1982. Part 1

        I recall part 4 or maybe 5 dealt mostly with the CNT.

        Anthony Beevor’s The Battle for Spain is excellent, it comes in two editions. I don’t recall that the second is that different.

      2. Ignacio

        Indeed. Peasantry was mostly anarchist, i didn’t want to expand. Not liked by Moscow internationalists.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Lacks a Clear Picture of Ukraine’s War Strategy, Officials Say”

    This is not even remotely believable. The US has been bedded down in the Ukraine for the past eight years. They have been training their military, assessing and vetting their officers, analyzing the forces that they have been building up, bringing in Ukrainian formations to NATO maneuvers in other countries and now they want to play a game of let’s pretend? They know exactly what is going on in the Ukraine. So maybe this is a trial balloon to see of they can use this as an excuse when the Ukraine loses. That they had no idea what was going on and it had nothing to do with them. When the war is over, expect these same officials to blame Ukrainian troops for being so inferior that they couldn’t use western weapons or else US weapons sales might suffer.

    1. David

      It’s entirely believable, I’m afraid. The “embedded trainers” are often there for less than a year, don’t speak the language and are reliant on English-speaking Ukrainians to tell them what’s going on. There are few people in the military or the intelligence services in Washington who speak Russian/Ukrainian to have an outside view, and for the most part the US is relying on their Ukrainian contacts to tell them the truth. Silly that. This has been the pattern all over the world: the US relies a lot on Israel and the Saudis for intelligence on the Arab world, almost exclusively on S Korea for N Korea and relied almost entirely on the NDS in Afghanistan. Then they find out that these people have been lying to them. Obviously this is an attempt to shift blame, but it’s also likely to be essentially true.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The trainers from the US, UK, Canada may have been there on a rotational basis but you can bet your bottom dollar that each officer and soldier of the five battalions that were being trained annually to NATO standards had extensive files being built about them. As well, the US usually seeks to build up friendships with foreign officers – especially in the special forces formations – who will also be internal contacts. That is one of the reasons that you have organizations like the School of the Americas. And pretty sure the Vindman twins could have come up with a list of Ukrainian-speaking soldiers. :)

        1. David

          It’s not a question of knowing individuals but of having access to systems. They way it works, as I have observed it, is that nearly everything is done in English, and the US (and some others, to be fair) adopt those individuals who speak English well and look and sound like them. All countries try to cultivate contacts with foreign officers, but again that’s not the same point here. In the end, the US has been pretty much dependent on what the Ukrainians have told them, and, because their interlocutors speak good English and may have done courses in the US, they are assumed to speak the truth. The language skills of the US military are recognised to be awful, and it simply isn’t worth the investment of time and money needed to get many people to a level of fluency. Even then, of course, systems like that tell you only what they want you to know. This has been the case since Vietnam, and was notoriously so in the Balkans and Afghanistan. I see no reason why it should be any better in Ukraine.

          1. orlbucfan

            Plus, Americans have been taught only one language from birth: American English. The rest of the world is at least, bilingual. This has been politicized, sadly, like just about everything else here. When Obama ran in 2008, one of his policies was allowing kids in grade school to learn other languages. I mentioned this to a conservative friend, and she went ballistic with rage. Shocked the (family blog) out of me. I always wanted to be multi-lingual.

      2. Don Cafferty

        A broader and more precise view of intelligence and intel is given by Larry Johnson. “First, there are four basic types of raw intelligence collected–human source, intercepted communications, imagery and electronic signals … Second, Everything is done according to a collection plan. Collection plans are put together a year or two in advance of the plan being implemented and the plans are assembled under the guidance of staff who work for the Director of National Intelligence.” In response to the NYT, he says ” As a former intel analyst I would be tasking the collectors to answer questions like these:” [10 questions]. His conclusion is “Frankly, I find it hard to believe that there are not solid analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency who know the answers to all these questions. The real problem may not be a lack of intelligence. Nope. It is the fear of telling the politicians hard truths they do not want to hear.

        Given the billions of dollars the United States is spending on “intelligence” collection systems, it is time for the Congress and the American public to demand that the intelligence services do their damn job.”

        1. jsn

          I expect those solid analysts have taken all the beatings they intend to take and are thumb licking their calendars to retirement, still tracking reality to the best of their ability and happy to share with anyone in policy who’s generally interested.

          It won’t be long until they’re all retired and the bureaucracy entirely the fief of social media addicts and cubicle warriors.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          My godfather was a CIA type who left many decades ago when he realized real reporting did the same job unless a particular country was of interest to the President. He might beat the reporters, but the Washington Post would legitimately print a story before news vips should know could get there. Information sharing wasn’t the issue, just the scope.

          The other side is recruitment standards. Does US intelligence have anyone other than true believers brought in over the last 20 years? All those CIA Dems are nut jobs. It’s a closed system not open to public examination.

          1. Turtle

            Seems unfair to call only CIA Dems nut jobs. Wouldn’t you say all CIA types are nut jobs?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Team Blue has made a conscious effort to recruit these national security types. You get folks like Spannberger.

              As for the GOP which one isn’t a dangerous individual?

          2. JTMcPhee

            One might note the several novels of Le Carre and Nick Herron that document the closed-shop rot in the British imperial secret services. Interesting views of a mortal kind of centripetality.

      3. Carolinian

        This sounds true. We are the provincials who aspire to run the world. Result = “empire of chaos” (ht Pedro Escobar).

    2. Eric Anderson

      I’ve become a bit of a Viet Nam war history buff over the years in an effort to understand my father’s involvement there. The communications coming from the highest levels in the Ukraine have a similar feel to the Brass Sucking Toadyism that was rife in Viet Nam under Gen. Westmorland et al.

      Read “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in the Viet Nam War” by Neil Sheehan.
      The parallels are too significant to ignore.

      1. Tom Stone

        I would also add “Why Vietnam” by Archimedes Patti and “The Politics of Heroin in SE Asia” by McCoy and the reports of the Pike and Church Committees.

        1. Eric Anderson

          I’ve read “Why Vietnam” and agree there is no better book for understanding the political/policy context of the war. The value of A Bright Shining Lie; however, lies in Vann’s proximity to the power brokers, and the real time revelations of how Toadie culture becomes established and maintained.

        2. JCC

          I’ve read a lot of books on Vietnam over the years and for me there is no better understanding tthan the following:

          Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy by Max Hastings

          And the following 3 by Chalmers Johnson for a little background of the US Foreign Policies that got us into that mess (and many more) ever since Vietnam:

          The Sorrows of Empire

      2. ambrit

        I would add “The Betrayal” by William Corson, 1968. I had a First Edition, but it was eaten by Katrina.
        Corson was “connected” in both the formal military, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, and the CIA. He was one of the few voices of reason daring to speak the truth aloud back then. He duly suffered for this.
        Pair this with “A Bright Shining Lie,” to get a feel for how organizations can mismanage situations and harm themselves, and feel no remorse.
        The same groupthink that led to utter disaster in Vietnam is on display here “at home” today. If history does indeed rhyme, America is in for a “world of hurt” in the next decade.

      3. Old Sarum

        …Shining Lie,

        I am reading that at the moment. Page 513 in my paperback edition goes into the depths of corruption in the local regime that Westmoreland et al preferred not address, is a good spot to dip in.

        The singular in the title in the title in a way is a little disappointing; more like a sagging concatenation of obvious lies.


      4. Eric Blair Kagwa

        David Haberstam “The Best and the Brightest” is one of my best books on Vietnam. For intelligence, or lack of it, Timothy Weiner “Legacy of Ashes”.

    3. Lex

      I think I’m with Don on this. I don’t doubt that the US knows more than its letting on right now, because the political directive is to shift the blame for the failure onto Ukraine. But intelligence is really about analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. I’m sure we have lots and lots of data, many files and all the rest of the metrics that secure budgets. What we’re really bad at is making sense of all of it. Asking questions which can be answered with actionable answers. And understanding our friends, enemies and all in between.

      I assume that there are people in the military and intelligence agencies capable of this, but they’re never going to get promoted by speaking difficult truths or suggesting exploration of nuance. So the ones who would provide good intelligence don’t get promoted and without promotion nobody listens to them. The ones who get promoted learned early on to provide the answers the bosses want to hear. So I can believe that at the decision making level the US doesn’t really know what Ukraine’s doing and would prefer clips from video games depicting Ukrainian victories anyhow. Unless the president starts demanding serious analysis, nobody’s going to bother.

    4. Skip Intro

      The key word is strategy. I think they are commenting on the lack of a war strategy on the part of the AFU and leadership of the country. This is quite believable, as the war seems to have been waged to prolong the appearance of survival long enough for the weapons contract checks to clear.

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    Beijing should seize Apple’s iPhone chipmaker in Taiwan if US sanctions China, top Chinese economist says

    You know – In the long run that may not be a a bad idea

      1. JBird4049

        I know that these are jokes, but if the Chinese go crazy because of such sanctions… It would be like to United States were to seize factories in Mexico or Canada because of sanctions. Just as militarily those countries are not a threat to the United States, invading either of them for such unserious reasons would so how insane the American government had become, get all sorts of blowback, and the United States might not necessarily win or more likely it would be more expensive than planned.

        If one takes the suggestion seriously, that would mean having a war with Taiwan and its allies as well as guaranteeing that every single country anywhere near China’s borders would upgrade its military as quickly and as high a level as possible and to form a military alliance. After all Taiwan is not a threat to China. There is also the unpredictability of war itself; Taiwan would almost certainly lose, but maybe not. Then there is the unpredictable length and damage of such a war.

  6. flora

    So what’s so special about Shangai ,…?

    Don’t know, except it’s the world’s largest shipping port and a lockdown there could have the … uh… unintended effect of an undeclared/soft sanction against the US.

    From April:
    The World’s Largest Shipping Port in Shanghai Remains Closed

    The World’s busiest shipping port located in Shanghai went under a full lockdown at the end of March under China’s zero COVID tolerance…

    1. Ignacio

      PK has said it repeatedly. Shanghai is indeed special. A different China within China, and wanting to be different..

      1. flora

        Thanks for the reminder. Speculating freely then, a major port constructed in Cambodia, at the southern end of China’s belt and road project, could bypass or reduce traffic for Shanghai’s port. Imagine what that would do to Shanghai’s fortunes. Just a speculation.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > A different China within China, and wanting to be different

        Since the price of being different may be a million dead Chinese elders, I don’t see Shanghai’s self-regard as dispositive. I am also 100% certain that reporters in Shanghai talk only to people like themselves — no doubt in the nearest Starbucks. Gives credence to my theory that the most important transmission route for Covid is a*sholes (in this case, in Shanghai). Shorter: Do what Shenzen does and STFU.

  7. Tom Stone

    An odd sighting yesterday.
    I stopped at a light and noticed a gleaming black Dodge muscle car with a push bumper ( Like some cop cars have) coming upon my right, there were some white letters and numbers on the bumper like fleet cars frequently have and when it pulled along side I noticed some white cursive writing on the side.
    It read “To Punish and Enslave”.

    1. Stick'em

      A clerk magistrate dropped a case against a 23-year-old Braintree man charged last month with impersonating a police officer due to the cop-like decals he used to turn his 2010 Maserati GranTurismo into a tribute to the Decepticons character “Barricade” from the popular Transformers movies.

      Attorney Russell Matson, the lawyer representing the driver, said police were “pretty vehement” about finding his client guilty of doing something wrong.

      Jury says… No self awareness evident in cops trolled by kids’ film… because authority doesn’t roll like that.

      1. hunkerdown

        The class angle is more interesting, and it doesn’t celebrate vapid capitalist consumption.

        1. ambrit

          I noticed that too. This could just be an example of America being the regime where you can get the best “justice” money can buy.
          ‘Round here, the local coppers still rely on the Civil Forfeiture laws to get some neat looking “muscle cars” for their personal and professional use. For a few years, it ran to Chargers in Metallic Candy Colours. Now it has shifted to SUVs.
          Last week I saw a line of shiny new white SUVs silently cruising into the hood after dark. Looking closer, I noticed that the drivers were young white women, unfashionably dressed. The front passengers were grotty looking young black men with dreadlocks. A uniform look. The upshot was that I realized that I couldn’t tell the “Good Guys” apart from the “Bad Guys.” Considering how the coppers ‘work’ now, perhaps it doesn’t really matter anymore.

    2. jr

      My guess it’s some kind of BDSM reference. The toy of a broken toy. There is some idiot in my neighborhood with a tricked up Hummer Lite bearing a windshield banner that reads “Made You Look!” It’s true, he blasts his music so loudly that you are compelled to look as he rolls by. All kinds of aggressive messaging via stickers pasted on it. He is easily in his late 40’s and must be losing his hearing at lightning speed. A pathetic man-child.

    3. griffen

      Curious if they had a punisher type emblem or logo as well. I don’t see such Dodge sedans or other sedan models with such lettering or similar, but do see a lot of high clearance 4×4 trucks, the proverbial rolling coal….

      1. petal

        There used to be a Blues Brothers Bluesmobile replica rolling around here, but I haven’t seen it in a while.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “China, Cambodia break ground on port, dismiss US concerns”

    Gee, the headline almost rewrites itself-

    “US, which has over a thousand bases scattered around the planet, concerned that China is setting up a second overseas base.”

  9. Mikerw0

    I’m sort of tired of ongoing UFO nonsense. Can’t these people do any math? The next nearest star to ours is 4.35 light years away. The fastest object we have built for space travel went just under 350,000 mph. That means that even from the closest star it would take about 27,000 earth years to travel here. Even if there is a propulsion system we haven’t yet figured out and it can move ten times faster that is still over 2,000 years of travel. So an ET would have to have left for earth well before we started emitting any manmade electromagnetic radiation to indicate our presence. And, then once getting here they keep themselves hidden.

    So unless we have the physics of the universe completely wrong, it is all silly stuff.

    1. Objective Ace

      So unless we have the physics of the universe completely wrong, it is all silly stuff.

      Wouldnt surprise me. It wasnt so long ago we were absolutely sure the Earth was flat and the Sun and planets revolved around the earth

      1. jsn

        And everyone still believes in the dollar, though there are some heretics on “rational expectations”.

        Science bounds the limits of what we know, pride suggests that’s all there is.

        The result, it seems to me, is we’re wrong about big things more than we’re wrong about small ones.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      But UFOs visit the US at a rate far exceeding the rest of the world. It plays to our vanity among other issues.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Here is my theory: This second round of UFO tomfoolery is for suggesting to us that unrestrained industrial society does not necessarily lead to human extinction. Since the Aliens apparently made it through their own global warming event somehow, until they met Sigourney Weaver. Either that or it really is just to stimulate interest in making more movies about aliens.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          We’re a nation of idiots. That’s my theory.

          As to Mikerw0’s excellent post, the only way interstellar travel occurs is if we completely misunderstand time, as time is distance. But then, why travel if we are already there (here). It would be … pointless.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          UFO encounter/abduction stories are emotionally similar to angel and demon stories from an earlier era when towns were growing in Europe. I tend to think it’s a by product of uprooting from a simpler and more community based life. Since we now know how or at least know airplanes work, the story has changed. We have highways that separate communities instead of trains bringing places together.

          The advancement of modernity is part of this, but the US doesn’t have community based organizations that keep us level. Instead we look to the stars and not in a Star Trek exploration way but for mystical answers.

          Dante wrote his whole journey to hell and heaven because he can’t talk to girls.

          1. Wukchumni

            I watched a UFO* for about 75 minutes, it was motionless and just sat there doing nothing, no abductions or anything.

            * Uvalde First Observers

          2. hunkerdown

            It could just as well be that the narrative of supernatural abduction is necessary to Western culture, if nothing else to support allegations that “higher” powers are real. The props at hand vary, of course.

    3. jr

      1. Using our technology as a standard is incorrect. If the claim is that we are being visited by an advanced civilization, we have no idea what sort of modes of travel they have available to them. Which invalidates the claim that it would take forever to travel here. We just don’t know that.

      2. Assuming they are from another planet is incorrect. We don’t know where they are from or what they are. We just know that multiple witnesses of good reputation, multiple sensor systems, and multiple imagery systems tell us something is there. And it isn’t ours.

      3. Assuming our physics is exhaustive is incorrect. There was recently an article about the “W” boson:

      that claims that the fact it’s heavier than it’s supposed to be may require a re-thinking of the Standard Model. There was another article posted here a few weeks back about some other tectonic shift in physics, which I cannot recall.

      Appeals to mathematics are often an attempt to hide from other forms of argumentation and evidence. They offer a false certainty in a profoundly uncertain world. UFO’s are real, what they are exactly has not been determined. But we may learn someday.

      1. Robert Hahl

        But if we did learn then they wouldn’t be UFO’s anymore. Don’t worry though, we will never run out. We’ll just keep finding more “mysteries” to wow the marks.

        1. jr

          “ But if we did learn then they wouldn’t be UFO’s anymore.”

          Which is exactly the entire point of NASA’s project. Funny how often the supposedly science-y types balk when someone proposes studying these phenomena scientifically. What’s less surprising is the faux skeptic’s inability to respond to the points made in an argument. Nothing fills a gap like faith.

          1. Robert Hahl

            You don’t sound like a troll so I will tell you why: because it is a con job, and because the topic is dull.

      2. Pelham

        My response to the skeptics would go thusly: We have multiple real-time simultaneous visual, infrared and radar confirmation of what appear to be solid objects that move through the atmosphere at several multiples of the speed of sound with no visible means of propulsion and no sonic boom and which change direction in what appear to be impossible ways. Setting aside many other UFO reports that have far less evidence and focusing on these alone, what would be your response? If you had unlimited authority, what would you do, if anything?

        The skeptics tend to do one of two things: They either ignore the most compelling UFO evidence (hence my very specific framing above) or they immediately leap to the little green men narrative that no one has mentioned.

        1. jr

          Another tactic, here I’m pointing at Mick West, is to come up with a way to generate images similar to what the sensors and cameras are returning and say “See, it’s this.” because it’s the most likely answer. This is of course fallacious. All it means is that it is possibly mere camera artifacts etc.

          West then ignores the context, that there are numerous witnesses, numerous data streams, and that these events have been going on for some time now. We are expected to believe that the Air Force and Navy are time and time again fooled by their expert observer’s eyes and their equipment. None of them ever go “Oh, hey, it’s just that funny thing again.” The recent images of three bright lights moving across the sensor field of an Apache helicopter in Arizona were dismissed as “birds” by West. It’s not impossible but what the ‘bunkers (I refuse to grace them with the term skeptics.) don’t tell you is that there are so many of these sightings that the DHS empowered a now retired officer to investigate them. He has collected numerous accounts from National Guard and DHS pilots.

          The big picture is always ignored. There are no other imagery experts other than Mick West, apparently. No one at the DHS has ever figured out that it could just be birds on their sensors.

        2. CheckyChubber

          “We have multiple real-time simultaneous visual, infrared and radar confirmation of what appear to be solid objects that move through the atmosphere at several multiples of the speed of sound with no visible means of propulsion and no sonic boom and which change direction in what appear to be impossible ways.”

          Do we really though? I think you’re really overselling the publicly available evidence.

          1. Late Introvert

            We don’t. We have “reports” from military people. That’s um, not at all a source I trust.

    4. rhodium

      Perhaps they are panpsychists who believe it is possible to hack physics via the mind. A lot of those UFO videos show these ethereal fuzzy looking things instead of something that looks like a solid spacecraft anyway. They don’t need the physical constraints of physics if they’re actually ghosts ;). Humans are bored. What else are they going to fuss about?

    5. JAC

      > So unless we have the physics of the universe completely wrong, it is all silly stuff.

      Pardon me, but I feel it is hubris to think we know that we know everything about the universe.

      1) You assume that for other life forms 2000 years is a long time to live.
      2) You assume time is linear. (See: The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics Reprint Edition
      by Julian Barbour)
      3) You assume the UFOs are coming from another planet, they could be living in space or they could be from the earth.
      4) You assume the UFOs come from our universe. A big enough black hole would mean you could cross the even horizon without noticing.

      The truth is there are things they are seeing they cannot explain. And to tell you the truth, as I look around my surroundings, I really cannot explain anything I see. I live in a place of a lightly held reality.

      1. pstuartb

        “And to tell you the truth, as I look around my surroundings, I really cannot explain anything I see. I live in a place of a lightly held reality.”

        Well said. Thank you.

    6. curlydan

      Here’s another thing about UFOs besides the physics part: why don’t we see, and especially video, any UFOs up close and personal?

      All the UFO coverage that I’ve seen is tracking some fuzzy little gray dot in the distance. I sit there squinting at the image and basically say, “Uh, I don’t know.” At some point, why can’t we get an up close and personal view of this on camera? Especially since everyone now carries around their own video camera.

        1. LifelongLib

          Well, there are stratospheric balloons. A few weeks ago a couple of them were in the sky over Honolulu. My understanding is that type of balloon can be navigated by moving it to an altitude where the wind is blowing in the appropriate direction. That said, while they did stay in the same position for a while, they didn’t look like that picture.

          1. jr

            A point that has been brought up by a number of the fighter pilots who have encountered odd objects in their training areas is that they themselves are simultaneously fighting intense winds that they have to account for in terms of fuel and maneuvering. No balloon is going to hold it’s position in an environment like that, at least according to Chris Lehto, a retired Air Force fighter pilot and UFO investigator.

            Contra that, I did find this article from 2018 about balloons that can hold their position:


            I’m assuming the work has progressed since then. But the pilots are getting readings of 0.0 knots per hour from these objects. I would imagine that even an autonomous and self-correcting balloon would have to move to some degree to try and maintain it’s position in such a situation. But that’s just my conjecture.

            And this leads to another set of questions. Whose balloons are they? If they are ours, according to the fighter pilots who witnessed them, they are risking collisions with friendly aircraft. One story told of a “cube in a sphere” that split the difference between two jets only about a hundred feet apart. If they are enemy SIGINT assets, as I believe a WIRED article detailed a while back, why aren’t they being dealt with? If they are as common as is being reported, someone has to be doing something about them, I would think. Where is the Pentagon screaming for more money to fight the balloon wars?

            1. LifelongLib

              Maybe U.S. black op(s) so secret the Navy and Air Force don’t know about it? I’m surprised we’d hear about it either in that case, but maybe it’s better for whoever to just let them be put down as “UFOs” than to have it inferred we might be testing something like that. And if they’re not “ours” then how did somebody else get so far ahead of us?

    7. Mildred Montana

      >Mikerw0: “So unless we have the physics of the universe completely wrong, it is all silly stuff.”

      You are aware that our oh-so-knowledgeable theoretical physicists don’t understand ~90% of the universe, that is, dark energy and dark matter?

      I can only wonder what else they don’t understand.

    8. Grebo

      UFOs are aliens. There can’t be any aliens. Therefore there can’t be any UFOs.

      Since there clearly are UFOs you might want to reexamine your assumptions.

    9. Jeff W

      “…unless we have the physics of the universe completely wrong…”

      Well, by the terms of some observations of UAPs on their face, that’s not exactly ruled out.

      All the reports consist of reliable eyewitness testimony and, more importantly, corroborating radar data. In the Nimitz case, objects were tracked on radar several times, descending from 28,000 feet, which is about five miles up, down to sea level in about .7 seconds. How fast is that? [Kevin] Knuth [associate professor of physics at the University in Albany] did the math.

      “So those accelerations we estimated were on the order of about 5000 G’s, which is 5,000 times the acceleration of gravity, which is really crazy. Our fighter jets can really only handle about 13 G’s before the wings get ripped off,” he said.

      At midpoint on the way down, the craft would have been traveling at approximately 35,000 miles per hour through the air and without a sonic boom. Knuth says he’s disappointed there has not been more serious study done by scientists.

      “One is the accelerations are really anomalous to the point where it’s really not clear how the physics would work in that case. So whoever has been making these things would have had to do not just have one technological leapfrog, but it would be multiple technological leapfrogs. And that would be quite surprising.”

      (That’s not an argument for or against intergalactic travel. It’s just an argument for figuring out what exactly is going on.)

    10. Joe Renter

      We only are cognitive of how many dimensions? My info is that ufo’s sited are from this solar system. They exist in a higher dimension and lower there physicality when they want to be seen. Take it as a working hypothesis, if you dare.

    11. Keith Newman

      Re Mikerw0.
      Omigod!! Stop!! Don’t burst my bubble!
      I’m a science fiction fan, and especially like stories/movies with space aliens…

    12. Alex Morfesis

      It is difficult for many but this is it…the useful livable section of the planet is about 3 miles thick…15 thousand feet of atmosphere in a tight band of a planet near enough and far away enough from a single sun system…Adding deep ocean and high flying birds, the livable earth for all species is about 75 thousand feet…when comets come near our world the atmosphere of the sun rips the outer edge of the comet and we see a tail…we got lucky and we are alone in this ice cold universe… anything moving fast enough to get here from the vast nothingness would break down from the magnetic field holding atoms together collapsing or from being poked at by space dust particles…and we don’t have anything “they” might want or need if “they” have the technology and capacity to get here…
      It’s just us…there is no planet b…

  10. Chris Smith

    Re: Why Republicans Believe the Big Lie

    Here’s my experience with news coverage of the Big Lie. I don’t believe the election was stolen. I listen to NPR “Morning Addition” most of the time when I drive to work. It seems like every time they discuss the Big Lie, they have to throw in a line like “there is no evidence that the election was stolen.” Every time they say that I think, “why do they have to keep repeating that there is no evidence, that seems suspicious. Who are they trying to convince.” I swear, it feels like NPR is trying too hard and THAT makes me almost willing to question.

    1. BeliTsari

      Make the lie BIG, keep it SIMPLE, then just repeat it until “brain-fog,” specious gullibility or sneering obsequiousness kicks in? I’m guessing die große Lüge is simply fun to misattribute to retired yuppies “funding” NPR? The insurrectionists were inside the building (and soon, will work there, armed?)

    2. Stick'em

      One of the things you prolly won’t hear on NPR is an admission the Red/Blue parties tend to ape each other in the heel vs. face scam borrowed from professional wrasslin’. The turnabout in roles simply depends on which team is in office. To wit…

      We had 4 years of HillBillary and the Blue Team whining about losing the election to Trump. 4 years of blaming it on Russia!Russia!Russia. 4 years of incessantly calling Trump a cheater who didn’t really win, he just got the job because “Putin’s Puppet.”

      Therefore, when Biden won the next round, Republicans spun the narrative the other way. Now Biden is the cheater who didn’t really win, because 1/6 Bum Rush the Capitol. We’re going to get 4 years of this storyline.

      I dunno how many Red Team members actually believe this narrative and how many are just joining in the performance. They trolled Obama with not being a “legit” president for 8 years because “Kenyan Muslim” prior, right? The roles just keep on flippin’…

      WWF wrasslin’ invites audience participation. This doesn’t necessarily mean people don’t know it’s fake. Many have caught on politics is kabuki theater and are in it for the entertainment value. Some Red/Blue team members suspend disbelief, forget it’s fake, and get lost in the storyline. Some get gleeful enough over the resentment spectacle to live it on the radio and interweb… and even LARP it.

      Sometimes people who claim to believe X conspiracy just say they do when the poll people call on the phone because that’s what you do to “own the libs.”

      Here’s Matt Taibbi with more observations on how it works:

        1. Stick'em

          Indeed. American politics is kayfabe:

          Telling the average fan wrestling is “fake” (and politicians are actors performing partyline scripts) will just make you sound stupid. You’re not the first person to say it, and (almost) everyone’s well-aware by now. But no matter what you say, the fan still likes it. They’re participating in the fiction because they want to enjoy it or believe in it.

          Russiagate and Weapons of Mass Destruction and Kenyan Muslim and Capitol Bum Rush 1/6 (etc.) are all examples of this trope.

          Sadly, contemporary American political stories are every bit as kayfabe as a Wagner soap opera fabled Aryan race establishing some kind of glorious Third Reich many Germans willingly fell for a century ago. These are all group-narcissism-fuled fantasy experiences with sensory/somatic stimuli to reward the believers for their participation in the collective delusion.

          And we like it that way.

    3. Bruno

      But of course an important part of the election (the Demoncrudic nomination) *was* stolen in plain sight. So why should anyone be so sure that other important parts weren’t???

    4. Turtle

      I had gone completely off NPR for several months (years?) I think mainly because of the Trump/Russia derangement syndrome, but just started listening a little bit again a few days ago. I think the reason they keep repeating it is that, as they mentioned this morning, 1/3 of Americans and 2/3 of Republicans still believe the election was stolen. Now, granted, there’s probably no point in doing this since the people who still believe that will never be convinced, but it seems that it would be journalistic malpractice not to mention it.

    1. flora

      I’m unconvinced by all the “reasons” the Uvalde PD is giving so far. But, I wasn’t there, etc.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There was so much hand-waving in that article that it was like watching a mime act.

        1. t

          Bizarre idea that that opening the door with a key was the only answer. Anytime everything depends on the one thing you can, after the fact, argue was not available, I’m very skeptical.

          Financial scammers and MLM scammers do this all the time – cite one thing that they weren’t told as an excuse for being out of radio contact and everything else. And then the same song and dance about how hard they tried and what it all meant to avoid further questioning.

              1. NL

                Yes! That is it, thanks. And it was my door, in the middle of the night, because the electrical fire in another apartment on the floor might have spread and they need to check, with a special device, for possible spread. I had returned
                after a red eye flight therefore slept thru the hollering at my door, so… Halligan bar.

                Also, I believe you reported on Admiral Rickover’s stance on education. Decades ago I was acquainted with the son. The father was ‘betrayed’ thrice: Physics abandoned for economics (I assume the Yale to MIT was okay), then no PhD, followed by Robert becoming a teacher of the Alexander Technique after having trained in London. Robert’s mother might have been the first woman to receive a PhD from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia. I was told that she wrote many of his speeches.

              2. Yves Smith

                People who view mass market TV have seen them deployed on Chicago Fire. Guess the guys who write op eds are too upmarket to watch crime and crime-adjacent shows.

      2. Mildred Montana

        Flora: The reason you’re unconvinced is, I assume, the same one I am. Arredondo doesn’t talk for two weeks and then makes a lawyer-vetted statement? Smells to me like “Getting your story straight”. Wait ’til all the evidence is in, talk to other cops so they don’t contradict you, and then fit your “plausible” story to the evidence. Happens all the time in court cases.

        Two questions I have about the incident:
        1. Apparently there were shots fired before the gunman entered the school. If that is true, why were those “impregnable” doors not locked immediately?
        2. It was school hours. Where the hell was the School Resource Officer?

    2. Robert Hahl

      I heard that some parents, including at least one who happened to be a police, went in and got their own children out. So what is the basis for this “locked door” story?

      1. Stick'em

        re: So what is the basis for this “locked door” story?

        It’s Texas. You don’t even need a licence to openly carry firearms. People have rifles clearly visible in the back window of their truck.

        So to spin this tragedy to the Texas fanbase, simply play into the white hat, knight errant, good guy fantasy portrayed in Western movies.

        BAM! The magic happens, as surely sherriff John Wayne would have come down from his steed and saved the day with his shiny badge and mighty six gun, kids… if only the door wasn’t locked. He’s a shootist, not a locksmith – duh!

        So the answer is always escalation. It’s always buy more gunz’n’shit. Always the answer is make more $ for the arms dealers. Imagine, if only Clint Eastwood had a tank, why he coulda rolled right in there and blew a big ole hole in that rascally varmit with the mental illness. That’ll teach’em to bring an AR-15 to a tank fight!

        All that’s needed is a semi-plausible mental image to back the cops’ framing as the good guys – no matter how unlikely – and many of the people where I live can do the psychological contortionism to make it fly for themselves, as they buy a ticket to see Top Gun 2 – Return of the Cruise Missle.

      2. Paul Jurczak

        A dead or severely wounded teacher can’t open the door from inside. My question is why not use the windows?

        1. flora

          Somehow, an off duty Border Patrol agent managed to enter the classroom and kill the gunman. Still waiting on an explanation for how that happened.

          1. Turtle

            Exactly! Besides, the idea that a SWAT team can’t get through a locked door should have been met with the most extreme ridicule when it was uttered. Also, like Paul mentioned, how about the windows?

  11. Hank Linderman

    Of the 7 who died related to January 6th, 2 were suicides.

    “WASHINGTON — As a pro-Trump protest turned into a violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, four people in the crowd died.

    Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer as rioters tried to breach the House chamber.

    Kevin D. Greeson died of a heart attack, collapsing on the sidewalk west of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    Rosanne Boyland appeared to have been crushed in a stampede of fellow rioters as they surged against the police.

    Benjamin Philips, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, died of a stroke.

    Mr. Greeson and Mr. Philips died of natural causes, the Washington medical examiner said in April. He added that Ms. Boyland’s death was caused by an accidental overdose.

    In the days and weeks after the riot, five police officers who had served at the Capitol on Jan. 6 died.

    Officer Brian D. Sicknick of the Capitol Police, who was attacked by the mob, died on Jan. 7.

    Officer Jeffrey Smith of the Metropolitan Police Department killed himself after the attack.

    Officer Howard S. Liebengood of the Capitol Police also died by suicide four days afterward.

    The Capitol Police had previously said that Officer Sicknick died from injuries sustained “while physically engaging with protesters.” The Washington medical examiner later ruled that he had died of natural causes: multiple strokes that occurred hours after Officer Sicknick’s confrontation with the mob. The medical examiner added, however, that “all that transpired played a role in his condition.”

    A bipartisan Senate report, released in June, found that the seven deaths were connected to the Capitol attack. But the report was issued a month before two Metropolitan Police officers — Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag — died by suicide in July.”

    Impossible to say what factors cause an individual suicide of course.


    1. Futility

      The facts are completely clear. However, here in Germany, everytime 1/6 is a topic, the framing is “5 people died during the violent demonstration, including one police officer” implying that violence was the cause of death, which strictly only applied to Babbitt and, possibly, Boyland (more an accident). Pointing this out, invariably elicits the ad hominem of being a Trump troll, which could not be further from the truth. The same happens when one points out holes in the ‘Putin is Hitler”, “NATO is benign ” or “Zero-covid is delusional ” stories with which the MSM is being flooded. It’s like people actually want to be lied to. It is bizarre.

  12. Robert Hahl

    re: Reflections of the elusive Jean Rhys – New Statesman (AL)

    It sounds like the book really worth reading there is Wide Sargasso Sea; a prequel about the mad woman living upstairs in Jane Eyre, which I just finished last week.

    1. marym

      It’s a great book. I strongly recommend it. I’m usually skeptical of novels based on another author’s novels, especially when I really value the original, but Wide Sargosso Sea is great on its own and enriches the Jane Eyre re-reading which you may find you want to do!

      1. Robert Hahl

        I have stacks of books waiting, so rereading anything is rare but lately I’ve been thinking about rereading Nora Webster, by Colm Toibin. Much better than his made-to-be-a-movie Brooklyn.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The Outlaw Nuns Who Traded Their Convent for Cars, Cash and Castles”

    There has gotta be a great film to be made about this and it would be hilarious. But it is still tame. I read about one nunnery in the middle ages France that was actually more like a brothel.

    1. BillS

      Willy Shakespeare made reference to it in Hamlet, Act III, Scene I. Hamlet viciously repudiates poor Ophelia..
      “If thou dost marry, I’ll give thee this plague for thy dowry. Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too. Farewell.”

      “Nunnery” was Elizabethan slang for brothel.

    1. hemeantwell

      Lawrence has a 13 minute vid going out with a 2 gun battery of towed 122mm howitzers that surprised me. It wasn’t quite like learning that the Nazi Wehrmacht was very reliant on horses, but watching them bounce along rural roads and then have to tediously mallet in stakes to get off a 20 round barrage made the effort seem very fragmented.

  14. haywood

    Re: “Everyone is sick – illness in 2022 has medieval vibes”

    Absolutely bonkers article, bouncing back and forth between “ woooow so THIS is what it’s like to be sick, me and the gals had TOTALLY forgotten, tee hee” and “this is clearly long covid, it’s awful and none of us are sure when it will end”

    1. Revenant

      At the end, it turned out she thought she had flu. I wasted living time, on a page of her mental effluvium. Terrible article.

  15. Carolinian

    Re Searchlight New Mexico and the NM fires–Some links offered up back during the Lake Tahoe fires suggested that we are in a new globally warmed era when when forest management by locals (how much firewood can they even cut or use?) and even the thinning process itself is not necessarily going to control the burning. Which is to say it’s the dryness along with the high winds that fuel the crown fires that defy ameliorating thinning.

    New Mexico is the only state I’ve been where they have wind socks on the bridges not to mention numerous signs warning motorists about the high winds and dust storms. The Forest Service isn’t given much of a say in the article but the claims of these traditionalists are up against a climate change that is anything but traditional.

    1. flora

      Thanks for this. Something almost never mentioned in these stories is the rapid reduction in groundwater levels in so many parts of the US west due to groundwater pumping for irrigation and public uses like city water systems.. The soil above groundwater levels becomes drier and drier, leaving vegetation drier, so fires burn fiercer than they normally would. Noting this groundwater (aquifer) over mining isn’t to discount climate change as a force.

      For example:
      An Aquifer From the Ice Age Becomes a Battleground in New Mexico

      1. Carolinian

        The next to last time I was in New Mexico i was caught in a massive dust storm with nothing for it but to pull off the freeway. You literally couldn’t see beyond ten feet in front of the car.

        And in years past I don’t remember it being nearly this bad although all Western states are windy. That humans, as well as climate, are drying out the soil seems quite plausible.

  16. Lex

    Re Capitol seizure. Apparently it is verboten to discuss how we tried to color revolution ourselves. Lost in the minutiae of party politics and media “analysis” is the shape of the forest. Every hallmark of an NED color revolution from the pre-preparation casting doubt on the validity of an election to the mass protest led by a core of prepared protest leaders is there. Have we so normalized this method of destabilizing countries that we don’t even recognize it anymore?

    Like that old anti-drug commercial where the dad yells at his son and asks where he learned to do drugs. “I learned it from you, dad.”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think the tactics are so well-known, thanks especially to YouTube, that you can’t reason backward from their use to a source. (For example, IIRC the Azov types used catapults in Maidan — my recollection is of enormous, medieval-style wooden constructs, although this may be too highly colored — and shortly thereafter, catapults, but lightweight and portable, showed up in Hong Kong.).

      Also, a color revolution has a color. What was the color?

  17. flora

    Jan 6 Hearings. I missed the first show. Did Geraldo reveal what’s in Al Capone’s vault, or will that be in the final show? / ;)

    (My tax dollars at work….)

  18. Jason Boxman

    The Centers for Disease continues to be functionally stupid:

    That policy will expire Sunday at 12:01 a.m., the official said, after officials at the C.D.C. determined that the widespread adoption of vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 no longer make it a requirement.

    But the official said that the C.D.C. will re-evaluate the decision in 90 days, and said that the requirement for pre-departure testing could be reinstated if there are new concerns about another variant.

    (bold mine)

    Definitely wait until it’s already arrived, then we can close the barn door!

  19. curlydan

    And there’s goes the COVID testing requirement for traveling to the U.S. from overseas:

    Here’s a great quote:
    The official said, “If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement — including due to a new, concerning variant — CDC will not hesitate to act.”

    Uh, no. The CDC will most certainly hesitate to act. They’ll drag their feet. They’ll wring their hands. They’ll ask the industry what to do. Once some nasty variant has already entered the country and start spreading widely, then they’ll re-instate the testing requirement after it’s far too late. That’s what we do, people.

  20. Mikel

    “Everyone is sick – illness in 2022 has medieval vibes” The Guardian

    “People are getting Covid twice, or recovering from Covid and then getting something else pretty much straight away, or they are not recovering; their sickness is lingering into days of double digits.’

    Yes. That’s called catching a virus that makes you immunocompromised – not immune.

    “let ‘er rip” idiots…

  21. Mikel

    “U.S. Lacks a Clear Picture of Ukraine’s War Strategy, Officials Say” NYT. Blame cannons gradually being relaid….

    Blame cannons are being relaid everywhere:
    “..The World Health Organization has reversed its stance on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and is now recommending a deeper probe into whether it was caused by an accident in a laboratory in China.

    Coming more than two years after the virus was first detected in Wuhan, and after at least 6.3 million deaths worldwide, the move may surprise critics who accused the agency of being too quick to dismiss or downplay the lab-leak theory that put Chinese officials on the defensive, as the Associated Press reported…”

    “…The WHO development comes as COVID cases are spreading fastest in three key warm-weather tourist destinations in the U.S., Miami-Dade County in Florida, Honolulu County in Hawaii and San Juan in Puerto Rico are current averaging at least 85 new cases a day per 100,000 residents, and positivity rates exceed 20%, the New York Times reported, citing data from its own database. That compares with 34 new cases on average for the entire U.S. per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 13% and is another sign that the pandemic is not yet over.

    “Lambert here: I am but a humble tape-watcher, but if some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are up, transmission is up, test positivity is up, wastewater detection is up, and hospitalization is elevated in many states. And this is all from data designed to support the narrative that “Covid is over,” and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like…”

  22. Wukchumni

    Saw marms in Banff, but frankly they were content just giving photo ops to tourists @ the top of the gondola with the fabulous view, and a different kind, more grey looking.

    The Marmot Cong has been seen a few hundred feet lower than usual, waddling along on the Hồ Chí Minheral King trail in search of radiator hose possibilities and other car disabling tricks up their sleeves… they’re not really winning hearts & minds, but anti-freeze apparently gets them a little drunk, and oh so many mobile liquor stores to choose from!

  23. RockHard

    Regarding “youth cage fighting” – “Cage fighting” gets the clicks, but it’s just MMA, which really got its opening because boxing got to be insanely corrupt, crooked enough to make pro wrestling look like reality.

    Sounds like the main protagonist of the story has a family background (dad was a boxer) and the dad is doing some risk assessment. Overly passionate coaches and parents chewing out refs? Just like baseball or soccer. Although the crowd at these events is definitely more blue collar. My ex girlfriend went to a judo tournament with me and her reaction was “this is a lot rougher crowd than my kids’ soccer games”.

    Starting training BJJ at 2 1/2… that’s awfully young. There’s a reason we don’t put kids in school until age 5 or 6.

  24. Stephanie

    Some interesting anecdotes on the state of child-care for the PMC in the U.S., including a few comments from providers:

    Tl;Dr – it’s a nanny’s market, at least in high-income urban areas, and while most employers seem to be following the CDC guidelines of return-to-work in 5 days, many day-care centers are still demanding 2 weeks or a negative test.

  25. Milton

    File under: something I always meant to look up but never got around to it…

    Chronostasis – the illusion where the second hand of an analog clock appears to stay still for longer than normal when looking at it for the first time.

  26. John Beech

    Why do I believe in fraud on the part of Democrats? Simple, ballots mailed to people who didn’t ask for them returned by mail. Me? I risked COVID to vote in person, and even with picture ID (my DL), I had to sign three times to satisfy a clerk I was who I said I was. So this is very simple, show me the safeguards for the mail in ballots that swung the election.

    Oh, you can’t? OK, but why is it they don’t even talk about this when it’s ‘the’ fundamental reason for my belief? Go back and look at love-fest at Politico . . . they totally failed to even mention the mail-in ballots. They claim they spoke to Republican voters and nobody brought this up?

    I call BS because I don’t know of anybody (a small circle, admittedly) who doesn’t brings up the question of the mail-in ballots FIRST. So you believe I’m a conspiracy theorist? Whatever, it’s fine by me.

    However, has everybody conveniently forgotten the video-footage of poll counting where media was run out because they were done for the night and then they pulled suitcases of ballots out from under a freaking table? It’s on camera and I sure haven’t forgotten! So until this is addressed, I’ll hold the opinion the election was stolen.

    And I’ll close with this, I for one am glad Republicans who to a man felt they’d been caught out with their pants down in GA, MI, and elsewhere are mobilizing an army of poll watchers for the next one. The more the merrier!

      1. John Beech

        The same ID requirements are in place to purchase a gun, and more, compared to voting . . . and I totally approve. Please take note in FL I have to pass a background check each time I go to a store and purchase a handgun to have in the house (stashed in many places because who knows where I’ll be if someone breaks down the door). The whole rigamarole mechanism is in place . . . and it’s the very same, which the young man in Uvalde had to pass.

        Anyway, sorry to disappoint but I’m glad they don’t order me to do this for a private sale for the same reason a John and his hooker won’t advise anybody they’re hooking up for money. First, because it’s nobody”s business, and second, because we’ve had that experiment already (18th amendment). Make an unreasonable law and reasonable people will become law breakers.

        Did you know pot has been legalized in FL for medical purposes and people, even ones with medical cards, still purchase their pot from their dealer? If asked why, it’s because they don’t want the government’s nose up their hind ends. So FL has effectively made law breakers out of many.

        Similarly, the world’s oldest profession is illegal in Florida as well. Think this law has any effect whatsoever on deterring people paying for sex acts? So no offense, but if you think a law prohibiting sales of arms between private sellers would deter anybody, then I have some prime FL waterfront land which may interest you.

        So here’s what I fail to understand . . . why is it we have a butt load of laws on the books already, and more laws doesn’t cure the ill? I mean, if you don’t like the 2nd amendment (and it’s fine by me if you have that opinion), then just make the case. Put it to the people (meaning put overturning the 2nd to the vote). After all, it can be struck just like the 18th was.

        Thing is, nobody ever proposes that. Meanwhile, why is it without fail whenever more restrictive gun-laws are proposed, gun owners point to Chicago and their very, very restrictive laws . . . and anti-gun forces shrug? Honestly, if laws will solve this, then I’m all for it but seriously, have you seen the gun crime stats for Chicago? Good grief! So please, propose a law that works to keep law breakers from doing whatever they please, and I’ll give it fair consideration.

        And that’s the point gun owners keep making; to wit . . . laws to restrict the law-abiding don’t adversely affect those predisposed to break the law! So what’s the point? Is it to display your outrage? Honestly, I am outraged right alongside you! Anybody not outraged by Uvalde, and all the school shootings before it and to come, are the very sort of people we need to protect ourselves against. Thing is . . . how do we suss them out?

        Let’s pretend Facebook becomes all seeing and can act with sufficient alacrity to raise the alarm. Let’s also pretend those who heard that young man say he wanted to shoot up a school had acted by telling someone. Would we have decided this young man warranted a red-flag? I’d certainly hope so. Thing is, those laws are ALREADY on the books – but – nobody acted. Not Facebook (who realistically, with a gazzillion daily posts can’t possibly monitor everything), nor those who heard him say it during a shoot ’em up video game (because they thought he was joking). There are laws against what he did, they didn’t work!

        So riddle me this; what is it you’d have Congress do? They cannot overturn the Constitution. Nor can the President. The only avenue to overturn the 2nd is the ballot.

        My point? Make the case. Why hasn’t anybody made the slightest effort to make the case to the American people that the 2nd amendment should be overturned? The 18th was tossed out, which means the 2nd can be, also.

        So make the case. Persuade me . . . but please don’t try to force me. Please don’t try an end around by packing the Supreme Court. Do it the right way, via the cherished ballot. Or is it anti-gun forces only cherish the democratic vote when it’s convenient?

        And by the way, please, show me a reasonable way for me, who is 8-minutes from help if someone breaks down my door in the middle of the night, will find it reasonable to turn in my guns. I’m willing to be persuaded. At least try!

        I will note, however, in light of the fact someone may very well tail me home to ascertain where I live simply because I often take a Mercedes G-wagon or a Ferrari to run errands (which also means I’m reasonably considered rich by many), that it’s going to be a tough sell. Why? Simple, because I cannot fathom any way possible way to ensure I’m not who has to become John-law during those 8 minutes. Can you?

        Share your ideas, persuade me. Tick-tock, my 5 and 8 year old grandsons are waiting. Tick-tock, my 37 y/o daughter is waiting. Tick-tock, my wife of +44 years is waiting. Tick-tock, my life is also on the line.

        Respectfully, you have 8 minutes . . . make the case. Tick-tock.

    1. marym

      In 2020 9 states and DC sent ballots to registered voters. 5 of those states were already doing so before 2020. Trump contested the election in only 1 of those states, NV.
      2020 Legal cases in NV

      As far as the events and the full tape from which a 90-second excerpt fueled the “ballots under the table” allegation here are links to further statements by public officials and sworn statement by the Chief Investigator in the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State.

      1. John Beech

        It’s a shame this isn’t a forum where comments can be responded to and you, marym, will see that I am responding to you. Anyway, I did go back and look at tape of GA election board guy speaking with CBS guy on camera disproving the GA ballots under the table issue – mark this as resolved.

        However, as Lambert notes, IA where Bernie got screwed remains an issue even if general population Trump-voters don’t care. This, because I’m not a normal Trump voter because while I voted for Trump both times, for the 2nd time it was under protest. By this I mean it’s I changed voter registration to Democrat in 2019 and in time for the FL Primaries in order to vote for Bernie, which I duly did but by then the die was cast in SC and Biden was the man. Do come the general in Nov 2020, I couldn’t vote for Biden, a party hack once drummed out of a presidential primary run for plagiarism, and who is in the pocket of the banks in DE. In short, better a charlatan like Trump in my view, e.g. the Devil you know.

        Anyway, how I wish we could have a civil discussion because I am open for persuasion if you are of like mind but this venue is not given to the give and take required. In fact, I rather doubt you ever hear me say, you’re right about GA. And everybody loves hearing ‘you’re right’, right?

        1. marym

          You’re right! as are Lambert and others who point out evils of the Democrats on voting and most other issues.

          If we still think elections can be part of a path to change for the better, we need to identify and remediate the points at which the process is vulnerable to fraud or malice. Some of these would be problems even if we had hand marked paper ballots hand counted in public*.

          So if there’s an accusation of fake ballots introduced into the process or fake voters at the polling place that has to include an analysis of how that can happen and the compensating controls to prevent it. Are there cameras? chain of custody procedures for boxes of ballots? tracking number of ballots requested, sent, and returned? number who signed in at the polling place compared to number of votes counted? what’s the process for signature adjudication for mail or in-person voting? criteria and process for voter roll purges?

          I’d also like to see discussion of vulnerabilities, remediation proposals, and compensating controls for electronic voting that combined technical analysis with a degree of explanation that a non-expert would understand.

          * I’m biased in thinking we can’t get to fully hand counted, so I’m also biased as to stages of the process where I tend to put the focus.

          1. rowlf

            Hand counting is possible. Georgia just had primary elections and one county found out some big errors in the ballot marking devices’ programming. Luckily the mistakes were very apparent, but what if the undercounting was just slightly low?

            Local TV story:
            Several Metro Atlanta counties recertify, hand count, and audit May Primary elections results

            A candidate in Georgia who appeared to get few Election Day votes was actually in first place. The discrepancy in a race for a county-level board of commissioners seat was blamed on a series of technical errors.

            1. marym

              Thanks. I read a little about this – in part a discrepancy between updates made to ballot marking software, but not tabulating software. I agree a small discrepancy possibly wouldn’t be noticed in real time or caught on a selective (x% of votes) routine audit.

              I’m interested in the challenges of hand counting for high volumes, complex ballots (multiple races, ballot initiatives), and many differences in ballots across jurisdictions. Those challenges also exist for electronic tabulation. I’ve not seen many studies of error rates or estimates of resources needed. As I said, I’m biased about this, so I try not to argue for or against hand counting.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Why do I believe in fraud on the part of Democrats? Simple

      Even simpler: The 2020 Iowa primary (not to mention all those “lost” votes in Brooklyn in 2016).

      1. John Beech

        Stand by the for the refrain, ‘Bernie is too old!’, in 3, 2, 1 . . . (ear cupped).

  27. Elizzabeth

    My e-mail today has been inundated with democrat sites begging for money based on last night’s hearings on the riot. E-mails from DLCC, Democratic Training in D.C. (never heard of that) and a warm, fuzzy one from Adam Schiff about how his heritage allows him to be such an effective member of Congress. I didn’t get any video of the riots – only photos. Dems are going to milk this thing for all they can get – not a penny from me. The only reason I don’t hit the unsubscribe button is because I would miss the laughs I get from them.

  28. LawnDart

    Does this mean that USA will quit targeting journalists and publishers via extra-judicial and quasi-legal processes? If so, I may be convinced that the democrats aren’t all bad:

    Biden’s message to Middle East journalists: You are on your own

    Biden’s visit will prove the crown prince right. You can do literally anything and get away with it if you have something Washington needs. All you have to do is to survive and the wheel of fortune turns in your favour.

    Nah, Hunter just ran-off with my crack-pipe…

  29. LawnDart

    Biden tosses Zelinsky under the bus:

    Zelensky didn’t want to hear US intel info on Russia preparing to invade: Biden

    US president Joe Biden on Friday made a starting revelation at a Democratic fundraiser in Washington amid the Ukraine war. The conflict-torn country’s president – ahead of the Russia assault – did not want to hear that Moscow was preparing to invade after inputs were collected by the by the US intelligence, he said.

    Z’s done– so says the Big Guy. Now do they let him scamper-off to one of his second homes, or does he get a bayonet up the wazoo after they coup him? I’d kinda think that the dems don’t want him to throw-off their messaging by opening his yap, but then, once he’s out he’s irrelevant and hardly worth the bother, easily discredited.

  30. robert lowrey

    It’s illustrative of the dysfunctional nature of the American psyche that as Texas swelters under a methane-induced heat wave, and wildfires rage in New Mexico and Arizona, with blazes already having been fought in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California, all thanks to the unparalleled concentration of methane and NO2, resulting in a UV index of 11(!), that “the big Lie” refers to election results. But the truly BIG Lie, the biggest lie ever told, that “Climate Change is a Hoax”, still remains unchallenged, and is therefore still believed by close to half of the country’s electorate. As though the ongoing harm resulting from the belief in that big fat lie has halted now that it isn’t being repeated on a daily basis, as though the number of “Freedom Molecules” released into the environment hasn’t continued to grow on a daily basis as the USA’s most fervent advocates of “Drill Baby, Drill!, are scorched to death as a result of fracturing the earth as far as the eye can see to release an unending stream of methane molecules from deep fractures that will never heal … all in order to provide natural gas in the form of LNG to Europe. Even as the new normal of facing the advent of summer (It hasn’t started yet, remember) with a sense of dread instead of joy, sinks into the collective unconscious, the rate of fracturing, on as scale that dwarfs any windfarm or solar installation, keeps expanding (More than half of the US … 26 States!). The only larger emitter of methane than the four corners region of the bone-dry West is bone-Sawdi Arabia.

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