Links 6/14/2022

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.

–Yves

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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Woman Captures Hilarious Moment a Turtle Climbs Log and Causes Other Turtles To Fall My Modern Met (David L)

Space telescope spots unexpected starquakes CNN (Kevin W)

Chicken farmers in Thailand swap antibiotics for cannabis, claim chickens have better meat Malay Mail (furzy)

Harvard Scientists Have Developed a Revolutionary New Treatment for Diabetes SciTech Daily (furzy)

#COVID-19

Science/Medicine

This Covid wave might be the start of our ‘new normal,’ experts say CNBC. People who write articles like this should be made to clean bedpans or break rocks as their punishment for being such hazards to health and welfare. BA.5, coming to you soon, looks to be as contagious as Omicron but much nastier to the lungs. Unlike Omicron, it looks to require TMPRSS2 receptors. If so, it will attack the lungs and you will again see hospitals with patients coughing up their lungs. As GM explained in January:

So the thing about Omicron is that it replicates better than previous variants in cells that have high ACE2.

Previously it needed ACE2+TMPRSS2.

Now it needs just ACE2.

A quirk of that is that it now replicates worse in cells that have low ACE2 and high TMPRSS2.

Which happen to be the alveoli.

So you don’t get as much really brutal ARDS (though you still get plenty of it).

UK/Europe

Sir Mick Jagger tests positive for Covid BBC

US

Biden’s vaccinated and boosted Health Secretary Xavier Becerra gets COVID for the second time in THREE WEEKS and is ‘having mild symptoms’ Daily Mail. Um, it’s pretty much always mild at the start (when not asymptomatic). Note naive computation of long Covid odds (charitably assuming you are not more likely to get it on a reinfection). Remember immunity wanes and we keep getting new variants. If 1 in 10 cases get long Covid, odds of getting it after 3 infections is 27%. If it’s 2 in 10, the odds after 3 infections are 49%. Wear your mask, and make it a good one!

Climate/Environment

What a Dying Lake Says About the Future New York Times (David L)

Shocking video shows Guatemala beach covered in plastic waste Flipboard (Kevin W)

Extreme weather, climate events may lead to increase in violence towards women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities PhysOrg (Dr. Kevin)

Superintendent: All of Yellowstone will be evacuated, Gardiner is ‘isolated’ Jackson Hole News & Guide. Amazing photos. From a reader who knows the area:

The bridge to Gardiner MT is wiped out – there is a video of that all over Twitter right now which is an amazing sight. That is in the NW part of the park – and near Bozeman MT. Gardiner is now apparently isolated from traffic in and out. There are no roads. That is where the vast majority of people fly into to visit the park. There is another way in – but it is a very long drive around to West Yellowstone. The Jackson Hole airport is currently closed to flights because they are redoing the runways. I am not sure how long it will take to repair that area. The road from Cody to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is currently impassable. But that appears to be not in horrible shape. The Beartooth Pass is open up to Red Lodge Montana – but the roads getting to the pass are currently impassable. The road from the Tetons into the Southern Entrance and Old Faithful is covered in mud – but I hear of no damage. So that should be open soon. Mainly affecting the northern part of the park and the main gateway by air – Bozeman – is severely restricted.

Total astonishment here. This is going to take a long time to fix – and may very well impact the entire rest of the summer here. I just do not see how they fix some of these roads in any kind of time. The damage looks pretty severe on the videos. There is about a 3-4 month season here when these roads can be built or maintained because of the snow – and currently work crews are in extreme demand and just not available.

India

Quad, BRICS and the battle to seduce India Asia Times (Kevin W)

Thousands of sheep drown as Sudan ship sinks France24. Resilc:

My most memorable Peace Corps Bahrain assignment was on a screw worm culling team for the arrival of a ship like this for an EID. I still have PTSD from the smell. Screw worms are just the worst.

Bolivia sentences ex-president to 10 years in prison after coup trial Washington Post. Micael T:

1) nice to see fascists in prison. More of this please
2) the really go out if their way to not call the coup a coup and the massacre-fomenting fascist a fascist.

Brexit

‘Bureaucratic simplifications’, Britain to defy EU with new N.Ireland law Reuters (resilc)

EU poised to take legal action against UK over Northern Ireland protocol bill Guardian (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

It’s a very dangerous situation. We are dealing with a super power” Douglas MacGregor YouTube. Today’s must listen. MacGregor strongly urges everyone to call their Congress critter and tell them in no uncertain terms to oppose the AUMF proposed by Representative Adam Kinzinger (more detail from Andrei Martyanov). MacGregor stresses that calls from ordinary voters worked in the Obama administration to stop a bombing campaign in Syria. Make the calls and urge friends and family to do so.

Next 100 Days of Ukraine War Indian Punchback (J-LS)

Sitrep Operation Z: The Great WalkBack The Saker (Chuck L)

Military briefing: which weapons has Ukraine received and how many more does it need? Financial Times

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Building a Lasting Settlement for Ukraine National Interest. Less unrealistic than most other proposals to date, but Ukraine not agreeing to neutrality is a non-starter. Ukraine was NATO-lite before the war started and look what that produced.

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Are Sanctions Hurting Russia? American Conservative (Kevin W). See at least the subhead: “Russian businessmen view sanctions as manageable and even a blessing in disguise.” But the US can’t manage reshoring.

The U.S. is still importing Russian oil despite the ban, report says Fast Company

Russia-Ukraine War LIVE: US Extends Sanctions Against Russia’s Top Ally Belarus RepublicWorld (J-LS)

* * *

Nato chief says he had ‘no reason to believe’ Turkey would block Nordic membership Financial Times. Lordie. This is not just an insult to intelligence but a big time insult to Erdogan, as in continuing to refuse to believe Turkey has interests and will act on them. Oh, and as we also keep saying, is the most important member of NATO by virtue of its location and having its second largest armed forces, yet keeps being treated as a second class citizen because not white and Christian.

THE POLISH ADDITIVE IN THE UKRAINE WAR — TAKE OUT WASHINGTON PORK & BRUSSELS SPICE, WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRACOW AND LVOV SAUSAGE? John Helmer

Why Are Democrats, Rinos and the FBI Hanging Out with Ukrainians? Larry Johnson (Chuck L)

Syraqistan

Intellectual Prostitutes Call Critics Foreign Agents, Useful Idiots Dissident Voice

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facial Recognition Is Out of Control in India Vice (Kevin W)

Boston transit agency to try urine sensors on elevators TechXplore (Dr. Kevin)

1/6

Trump slams Capitol riot probe as ‘Kangaroo Court’ BBC

The 14 most compelling lines from today’s January 6 committee hearing CNN (furzy)

Five takeaways: Trump aides describe chaotic post-election White House The Hill

Biden

The Junior President from the State of Delaware CounterPunch

WH press secretary LAUGHS as she shuts down a CNN question about Biden’s physical and mental stamina Daily Mail (J-LS)

It’s Not Easy Being President New York Times. Resilc: “It’s not for 70-80 year old men or women.”

GOP Clown Car

Dr. Oz vows to “end illegal immigration” while family biz faced historical fine for undocumented workers Boing Boing (resilc)

Bernie Sanders skewers Republican critic of ‘full-on socialism’ in Fox debate Guardian (resilc). Of course, you’ll never see Sanders debate a Dem opposed to “full-on socialism” on CNN.

Supremes

Supreme Court Tortures the Constitution Again Future of Freedom Foundation (guurst). Revealing, in not a good way, that it’s a hard core right wing site that makes a stink about the Supreme Court letting the CIA keep details of the torture of a Palestinian mistaken for an al Quaeda big fish secret.

If abortion is made a crime, will Microsoft, Amazon and other big data players cooperate with police? TechXplore (Dr. Kevin)

Supply Chain/Inflation

Fed To Plow Ahead On Half-Point Hikes Undeterred By Stock SlumpWall Street’s Favorite Recession Signal Is Back as Curves Invert Bloomberg

Biofuel Blending Mandates Are Inflationary and Aren’t Necessarily Cleaner Bloomberg (resilc)

One in Six Germans Forced to Skip Meals Thanks to Food Price Crunch: Survey Sputnik. From a few days ago, re-reporting a survey published in Bild.

Global YoY inflation Barry Ritholtz (resilc)

Calpers Is Betting That Private Markets Can Help It Navigate Market Volatility Wall Street Journal (Kevin W). The stoopid, it burns.

Bitcoin Slumps as Much as 10% in Deepening Crypto Sector Selloff Bloomberg

This Is One of the Worst Trading Days in the History of Cryptocurrency Observer (David L)

Class Warfare

To Fight Inflation, The Fed Declares War On Workers The Lever. A well-worn playbook.

Manufacturing’s Back Is to the Wall on the Skilled Labor Shortage Industry Week (fk)

Should we save capitalism? | Slavoj Žižek, Paul Krugman, Yanis Varoufakis, Shoshana Zuboff, and more iai video

From bob:

This RR bridge has been hit hundreds of times. No one wants to fix it. Lots of excuses.

https://www.syracuse.com/news/2010/09/at_least_two_dead_possibly_mor.html

Now, an Amazon truck got stuck under it after Amazon built a warehouse nearby.

Let’s see who gets action, 4 dead people on a bus or an amazon wearhouse. To be fair, the local government paid Amazon $71 million for the warehouse.

https://www.syracuse.com/crime/2022/06/another-truck-just-hit-onondaga-lake-parkway-railroad-bridge.html

Antidote du jour. mgl: “Kitty sleeping on Colmar, France window sill, 2012.”

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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134 comments

  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    The 14 most compelling lines from today’s January 6 committee hearing

    I had actually forgotten about this until I saw the link. Yesterday’s market meltdown consumed most of my attention. To be far though, if I go by the Reddit* main page not a lot of other people are paying attention either.

    * – Understood there’s a lot of caveats to this

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I tend to think anyone reliant on the Internet for news is interested in text based information. Why a I going to listen to a climate change denialist and Trump voter 97% of the time promise she has the goods on Republicans? Show it or gtfo.

      1. super extra

        A retired democrat relative True Believer in the house has flipped it on but doesn’t seem to last very long, maybe 15 minutes. He says it is ‘riveting’ but I hear him switching back to the college sports championship finals from the other room. What I have heard passing through/without my headphones on sounds very boring. Lynn Cheney has a bad presentation voice. I think it is probably serving its intended purpose for the people who’ve latched on to Trump as the “reason” for why everything is so bad, but they were already believers. Not sure there’s enough there there to prevent Trump from (legally) running again though.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        “Show it or gtfo.”

        This is what I was saying during Russiagate. This is what I’ve been saying during this whole 1/6 circus. Where was the plan? Who were the leaders? Were was the military backing?

        Shoes are about to drop. Walls are about to close in. Zzzzzzzz…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’m not against process, but it seems like Republican Congressmen seeking pardons should really be a bigger story than the greatness of a Tea Party Republican, miffed because her dad’s coup in 2000 didn’t result in her being President or something.

          I will always admire Dick Cheney’s conclusion when Shrub had him pick the best running mate and he just said, me.

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            I won’t argue with that.

            Every time I think the libs have run out of absolutely wretched people that pre-Trump they would have been solidly against to make heroes of, they find more. The Liz Cheney and Mike Pence (!!!) worship though out this ought to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt how empty the Dems are.

        2. marym

          I don’t think there was a plan. There were people – elites and non-elites – who wanted to obstruct the electoral process in different ways – local and DC protests, court cases, Congressional proceedings – and who shared a common objective – Trump, not Biden, being president.

          Paths they saw to achieving this objective were popular votes for president not being counted, state officials withholding certification, electoral ballots rejected by members of Congress, or the VP (or Grassley if Pence had gotten into the car) intervening turn the decision over to the states or Congress.

    2. Darius

      The Democrats are exploiting 1/6 for the imagined political benefit they supposedly will derive. It probably cuts both ways. The actual but ignored scandal is the response of the US Capitol Police. They gave a large proportion of the force the day off. During most of the event, the remainder of the force acted like, “It’s OK. These are our guys.” I remember Vietnam War protesters in DC being carried off by paddy wagon after paddy wagon. No such response here to people forcing their way into the Capitol and vandalizing the place. “Chuckle. Chuckle. Boys will be boys.” They were ushered out of the building and sent on their merry way with best wishes from the Capitol Police. If tourists or (horrors) black people did the same thing, being arrested probably would be the least of their worries.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        To be fair, they also likely expected Garland to do something but ignored he was Merrick Garland. If Team Blue was being clever, a big if, it’s possible the pimping of Cheney’s offspring is to reach Garland. Plenty of this is problematic, and Garland has had ample time to act. At this point, it’s clear he’s the sort who plays dress up everyday as opposed to working.

      2. anon in so cal

        Are Democrats fooling anyone? They and their MSM allies perpetrated a 4-year, slow-motion coup attempt. The trail goes all the way to the top. Remember Susan Rice’s email to herself? Will any of them get indicted or convicted?

        Glenn Greenwald summed it up:

        From the start, Russiagate — which drowned US politics and dangerously ratcheted up tensions with a major nuclear-armed power — was concocted from whole cloth by serial liars paid for by the Clinton campaign and spread by their media servants: David Corn, Isikoff, Frank Foer.

        Russiagate was about domestic politics: concocting an idiotic conspiracy theory (for which Mueller found no proof) to allow the US security state to sabotage Trump.

        But it was also a geopolitical project: convince millions of Americans to hate Russia, view it as a grave threat.

        Put the heroic and iconic Liz Cheney on the TV more to talk about a 3-hour riot that happened 18 months ago — which resulted in the deaths of 4 Trump supporters and nobody else — and everyone will forget about the misery this is causing in their lives.

        So, also, the late, great Prof Stephen F. Cohen:

        We have also learned that the heads of America’s intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency

        1. JohnnySacks

          Losing their ever loving collective minds over something AIPAC’s been doing every presidential and midterm election for decades. Meanwhile, AWOL on any issue overwhelmingly supported by their own constituency and even GOP constituents. What a waste dump of utter uselessness.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        A recent guest on Tucker Carlson suggested that current republican house leadership should immediately declare that if (when?) republicans retake the house in November, the 1/6 “commission” will be CONTINUED with an emphasis on what actually happened–capitol police “response,” fbi involvement. ray epps–instead of preventing a Trump candidacy.

        Of course the chairmanship and membership will be quite different. As usual, the shortsighted democrats who started this thing may wish they never had. Hoist by their own petard

        1. Peter VE

          I look forward to the leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, testifying about his long time service as an FBI informant, and how he was conveniently arrested on Jan 4th for burning a BLM banner.

      4. Aumua

        Three things that the events of 1.6 highlight which are genuinely concerning are systemic failure, proto-fascist groups organizing and alignment/complicity of the police with these far right groups. The democrats are helping to obscure these things by making it all about Trump and whether or not it was a ‘coup’, and trying to capitalize on it for political ends.

        1. Sean

          Rank & file police & military love trump.

          I can understand Dems not wanting to antagonize them anymore than necessary.

            1. LawnDart

              Old, old news. But worth repeating– the higher-ups don’t want the rank-and-file outsmarting them.

              In effect, it causes agencies to become dumber and more brazenly corrupt over time, until things become too noticible, and then there’s a reset.

      5. Cat Burglar

        Yes, the Capitol police response has not been investigated. An NPR report right after 1/6 quoted a former member of the force saying the lack of preparation had to have been a decision that came from the top. The police commander appointed to head the force, after the resignation of the head of the force on 1/6 resigned, appears to have been the one that had access to intelligence warnings about the demonstration, but did not share them with other police decision-makers — her promotion sure looks like payoff for a job well done. Another case of the dog that did not bark.

      6. Synoia

        It is very good theatre, and fills the time when something substantive could be done (Student Debt perhaps?).

  2. Watt4Bob

    Re Tesla and liability.

    How many have considered that one of the big un-stated purposes of self-driving cars is to allow PMC drunks to dodge DUI charges?

    That and the eventual elimination of pesky truck drivers who expect to be paid.

    Our rulers envision an employee-free future where personal responsibility no longer extends to impaired driving.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Wait, PMC drunks get DUI charges? How about Mr. Nancy Pelosi? Is he getting charged with anything? Did I miss that?

      1. Wukchumni

        If you have a DUI on your record in the USA and are trying to cross the border into Canada in a vehicle, they’ll turn you around.

        I think that’s pretty savvy on their part…

  3. Mr. Magoo

    Re: “To Fight Inflation, The Fed Declares War On Workers”

    It would seem that keeping rates artificially low for extended periods of time, has done more harm to ‘workers’ than anything. What happened during that period? ‘Investment’ continued to shift offshore, lots of funded share buybacks, mergers and acquisitions decreasing competition (and setting the stage for unfettered price hikes), private equity buying single family homes in bulk pushing up the marginal prices, pushing home ownership further and further out of reach. Ad nauseum. I don’t recall any numbers showing huge amounts of commercial loans.

    I wonder if all the rhetoric in the media about rising interest rate hikes solely hurting the job market is about keeping people occupied with ‘subsistence wages and survival’ other than plotting the demise of so-called elites…

    1. Mikel

      “To Fight Inflation, The Fed Double Downs on War on Workers”

      A much more accurate title. And part of their mission since 1913.

    2. Pelham

      Isn’t the Fed’s rationale for slamming workers based on the assumption that inflation is caused by rising wages? That was at least sort of true in the 1970s. But it isn’t true at all now, is it?

      I know there are all sorts of prognostications about how the Fed’s rate boosts will play out. However, I doubt them all as — if what I suggest above is true — we’re entering uncharted territory (not that the Volcker-charted territory of the 1980s was anything other than horrid for most of us).

  4. The Rev Kev

    ” Superintendent: All of Yellowstone will be evacuated, Gardiner is ‘isolated’ ”

    This made the news here in Oz. At one point you saw an entire metal bridge being washed down with the floodwaters though I cannot find a video clip showing it. I noticed in that aerial coverage that when the floodwaters hit a bend, they took that section of road with it and you see this again and again. Too late to do anything about it now but perhaps they should have originally built that road much higher up the hillsides so that flood waters would have a harder time getting to that road.

    1. The Historian

      This is incredibly rare flooding. I can’t ever remember this type of flooding around Yellowstone in my lifetime (70+ years) before and I lived in Montana for over 40 years before I moved away. It isn’t just happening in Yellowstone. A friend of mine sent me a Facebook message saying the levee in Livingston had just been breached. Hebgen Dam is full and is having to release water in SW Montana. And Red Lodge is under water. And the US’s only platinum mine in the Absarokees is now cut off.

      https://www.miningweekly.com/article/unprecedented-flooding-erodes-road-to-sibanyes-stillwater-mine-2022-06-14

      https://newstalk955.com/massive-flooding-southern-montana/

      Laurel and Billings are now on alert for possible flooding.
      https://www.ktvq.com/news/local-news/laurel-bracing-for-flooding-at-riverside-park-as-yellowstone-river-rises

      Climate change strikes again!

    2. Lexx

      My first thought is that rivers wander. The park was established on March 1, 1872, so it it should be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Might be interesting to see two maps to compare where roads were initially laid at a time when the weather was more predictable, and where they are now.

      Second thought was that when we were last there, we left two tablespoon of our dogs’ ashes in that river*, thinking how much we wished we could have brought them with us and how much we missed them. It’s as close as we’ll get to spreading the ashes of loved ones.

      Couldn’t find the bridge footage either but this is useful. There’s something about seeing overhead shots as the drone or helicopter cruises over the roofs with solar panels…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x2ApiWKmJs

      *Three dog’s ashes mixed together… and don’t do this, ya’ll. It’s illegal.

    3. juno mas

      The roads in Yellowstone follow close to the river, because the canyons the rivers cut through are quite steep. The higher up the slope you build the more cut/fill (and stabilisation) needed. The banks of western rivers are formed by the “two-year flood” event and building near (lower slope) seems reasonable. Until a major flood event like we see in Jellystone NP.

      This flooding was precipitated (no pun) by a rain-on-snow event. Highly unusual, but becoming more common (climate change). The force of a flooding river has two ways to dissipate energy: fill and adjacent plain, or erode side slopes (which is what you see in Jellystone). Sediment from erosion attempts to slow river force/energy by making the water more viscous.

      See: “A view of the River” (2006) by Luna B. Leopold

  5. Stick'em

    re: Should we save capitalism? | Slavoj Žižek, Paul Krugman, Yanis Varoufakis, Shoshana Zuboff, and more

    Slavoj Žižek. Admittedly the guy has Tourette syndrome and his vocal tics with the sniffing can make him sound like Tony Montana getting high on his own supply in Scarface. That said, the Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is one of the best films I’ve seen as a meta-commentary on how things work. They Live, Sound of Music, the hits just keep on coming. Cracks me up and he’s not wrong…

    The powers that be censored it for your protection in ‘Merica, so it’s a difficult film to find. This link works:

    https://archive.org/details/the-perverts-guide-to-ideology-2012-hd

    Enjoy!

    1. Basil Pesto

      The powers that be censored it for your protection in ‘Merica

      They did? How so? It had a US release, and a quick look at Justwatch US suggests it’s available on Apple TV and a couple of other platforms (I just checked and I can watch it now on Mubi in Australia, though maybe the Mubi library is different in the US.

    2. GramSci

      Thanks for the link, but archive.org is very slow. I had missed “They Live”.

      As to “Should we save capitalism?” itself, Guy Standing gave a kind of Michael Hudson-lite analysis. Varoufakis offered his standard worker-management-by-soviet prescription.

      IMO the other “thinkers” didn’t get close to the nub of the issue. Deirdre McCloskey comes closest observing that “there has always been capitalism…there were silk factories in ancient China”. But then she rambled on to concur in the majority’s muddled approval of Krugman’s lead-off, which defined “capitalism” as personal enrichment, a kind of Calvinistic salvation of the elect.

      Žižek’s cameo was muffled by his accent and terrible acoustics. I’m not sure what he was trying to say.

    3. Lexx

      I’ve been working on this doc all day and still haven’t finished. Any idea why it’s called ‘the pervert’s guide’, and other docs on this website? He’s brilliant, tics and all. Reminds me vaguely of John Berger.

      The only movie I haven’t seen is ‘Taxi Driver’. Netflix reminded me that I’ve seen the rest of them (except Nazi propaganda) and I have no recollection of what they were about except ‘Jaws’.

      1. Stick'em

        I think he’d answer something like cinema is the ultimate perverted art because it does not show you what you desire but rather tells you how to desire it. In other words, cinema turns us into tools of desire itself. He’s into Hegel and Lacan, dialectics and psychoanalysis.

        If you enjoy Žižek, here’s his Pervert’s Guide to Cinema as well:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYuI4SFw4g0

  6. nap

    https://t.co/VmYrks4XyG In Abu Dhabi, Israel secretly received 21 IDF soldiers taken prisoner at Azovstal

    The report continues (machine translation from the Russian):

    “In addition, we should also expect an accelerated transfer to the Russian Federation of the right to unlimited and unconditional use of the Alexander Compound in Jerusalem (belonged to the Russian Empire until 1917).

    Officers and ensigns of the IDF could be engaged in training in Mariupol in aerial reconnaissance, the use of Starlink satellite systems, as well as sabotage activities in the city, but they themselves did not take part in the battles (according to the Israeli side).”

    (The “Alexander compound” refers to an old Russian Orthodox church which former prime minister Netanyahu agreed to return to Russian ownership but the present government has been dragging its feet).

    This report was published on June 11 by a Russian-language account on Telegram called (in translation) “Image of the Future”. It doesn’t seem to have been picked up by the mainstream media anywhere (including Israel).

    1. jr

      Thanks for the link. The phrase “entertaining ourselves to death” brought something to mind. It’s the constant exhortation to “binge watch” television. It’s actually used as a selling point, one streaming service had a motto to the effect of “Sign up, sit down, binge!” Another explains how you can “binge all your favorite shows”. A constant stream of consumption, might as well jam a cable into your brain and an IV nutrient drip into your arm.

        1. Stephen V.

          Postman’s description of the Lincoln / Douglas debates is used to illustrate the literacy of those 19thC folks…it is downright humilifying.

    2. Lexx

      ‘The choreographed hearings, like the two impeachment trials of Trump, will have no effect on Trump voters, other than to make them feel persecuted, especially with more than 860 people already charged (including 306 guilty pleas) for their role in storming the Capitol.’

      Most if not all will claim to be Christians. Evokes Christians being fed to the lions, they’re martyrs for the cause. Probably go to jail with pious smiles on their victimized shining virtuous faces. When they’re released they’ll brag about why they ‘did time’ and their grievance will deepen.

      And that’s why I refuse to watch any of these hearings. It’s just entertainment from the nosebleed seats.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I have trouble with Chris Hedges seeming to suggest some equivalence between the January 6 ‘show’ and the Beer Hall Putch. After the u.s government’s handling of the Vietnam era protests and their like I thought it was more than a little fishy how little opposition the relatively small January 6 ensemble met. The event does indeed appear to have been played out as a spectacle consistent with Hedges view. Considering how little distance separates the two parties in the u.s. I cannot help but wonder what sort of complicity might have been involved in constructing a spectacle I believe serves to benefit both parties with a kirkus to entertain their true believers: “Spectacle versus spectacle” in Hedges’ words. Much as they entertain and distract, these spectacles hide and obscure.

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘In Abu Dhabi, Israel secretly received 21 IDF soldiers taken prisoner at Azovstal. Investigation showed their non-involvement in killings of the Russian military or DPR. In return, PM Bennett will reduce military-technical cooperation with Ukraine.’

    When the Russians had that force trapped at Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, they said that they were picking up different languages on the radio net and Hebrew was one of those languages mentioned. You wonder if those guys went to Ukraine to go on ‘safari’ or whether they were there in an operation that was off the books. Interesting that they were handed over in Abu Dhabi as that means that the Israelis had the cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. But here is the thing. The Russians made a deal with the Israelis as they knew that it would be honoured. Think about that. You know that the Russians could never trust the US or the UK or Poland to keep their word with captured mercs. They know that those countries are not serious ones. But Israel knows that they will have lots of dealings with the Russians and know that it is better to keep your word. How about that.

    Just on a minor note. The Ukraine took an opposition leader prisoner and so the UK had the Ukrainians offer to swap him for those two British mercs (but not the Moroccan one) that have just received the death sentence in the DPR. The Russians told the that that guy was nothing to them being a local affair but it does show the power of the UK in the Ukraine.

    1. Craig H.

      A source other than Russian language telegram would be handy.

      Not saying this is false but I sure don’t feel free to cite the sucker.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That is the problem. What western media is going to tell you what is really going on? Remember when the Russians said that the UK had SAS teams running around the Ukraine? Was that the truth or a lie? Would the Pentagon give a briefing saying how they have special forces teams on the ground in the Ukraine? Just a few minuted ago I was reading how-

        ‘Mamuka Mamulashvili, who leads the so-called Georgian Legion, told journalists that a total of nearly 20,000 foreign fighters are currently serving in volunteer units in Ukraine. According to Mamulashvili’s estimates, almost a seventh of them are UK citizens, or almost 3,000.’

        So is this anti-Russian guy trying to polish the turd or was he giving real, rough estimates? I think that in a case like this, you read and see what you can and make a judgement call based on the balance of probabilities.

        https://www.rt.com/news/557129-3000-uk-nationals-fighting-ukraine/

  8. russell1200

    Israel, based on publicly available information, is a quasi-ally of Russia. To some extent, they have the type of relationship the US should have with Russia; if the US had any sense.

    I am presuming that the Israeli troops were helping with drones or some other type of weapon system.

    Is it just about the cash?

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think this is kinda the key to their relationship at the moment. Israel can keep bombing “Iranian” assets in Syria only as long as Russia allows it, so Israel has to decide if their security is served better by bombing Syria or helping Ukraine. And since they do have skin in the game, the choice is rather obvious.

        Personally, though, I don’t think either serves their security interests well, since neither is bringing a just peace any closer. But then, eternal war has been the path of Israel since 1948.

  9. Wukchumni

    What a Dying Lake Says About the Future New York Times
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I read that one of the options for Las Vegas being considered is to pipe desalinated water from the Salton Sea east to sin city, and when you consider that the Salton Sea is artificial and only there because of the diverted Colorado River slipping its bounds in the early 1900’s, it gives you an idea of the urgency of getting H20 somehow to keep on keeping on, but good luck with that.

    Its pretty obvious the entire southwest will need to shrink in terms of population, as in ‘go east old man’.

    The likely place for tens of millions of westerners is the midwest, any tips on how to better fit in for us, should we invest in casserole dishes?

    Oh, and because most everybody’s savings is tied up in real estate and you can’t take it with you, the new pioneers will be just as broke as those still clinging to Akron.

    1. super extra

      > The likely place for tens of millions of westerners is the midwest, any tips on how to better fit in for us

      Learn how to deal with humidity (sorry). Currently where I’m at we’re in a 10-14 day stretch 95-105 degrees F with 70-75% humidity. It’s miserable.

      1. Wukchumni

        Oh dude, that’s never gonna fly, just the mere mention of humidity gives me the vapors, quite frankly.

        1. Wukchumni

          I went to Hong Kong in September for a coin show many years in the 1980’s and it was Houston or Humordor humid (both locales tried to do me in on several occasions) and never the twain shall meet in sordid wet heat for Californians living within the golden state, so oh I suffered with the only option to deke into a camera store or clothier or whatnot with air conditioning and act as if I was interested in something, or my favorite way to beat the humidity after walking awhile, was to hail a red Toyota taxi (an icebox on wheels with the perfect a/c) where the cabbie opens the back door for you, and he’d say where to?

          …and i’d say: ‘just drive around for $25HK ($4) and bring me back here

      2. ambrit

        Our half horse town is prone to having generally 90% humidity during parts of the day, as in hours on end, and lows of 50% humidity overnight. Couple that with highs in the mid to upper nineties F during the day and lows in the low seventies during the early morning hours and you see why we have been such a backwater historically.
        Stay safe. Stay hydrated. Wear loose cotton clothes as much as possible. Do as I do on trips to the shops etc., carry an umbrella to use against the sun’s decidedly demonic dermal depradations.

    2. TimmyB

      In California, 80% of the water we use is used for agriculture. I suspect California will require its rice paddies to go fallow before people need to move due to the lack of drinking water.

      1. Wukchumni

        That 80% ag canard is in flush times, not now.

        And as far as Cali rice paddies go, many of them are selling their water allotments already, as they can make more money than having to go to the bother of actually planting anything.

        1. Socal Rhino

          Based on just a quick look, 80% of water used by homes and business used in agriculture is the current stat. Agricultural use as a percentage of all use, including water left in place to preserve environments, actually grows in dry periods.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          I recall when reading Cadillac Desert that Marc Reisner felt that the rice paddies near Sacramento were a beneficial use of water since they provided habitat for migrating birds. The cotton fields down near Lemoore don’t provide the same benefit.

          1. Wukchumni

            One of the cabin owners in our community was a big wheel for JG Boswell (read The King Of California to get an idea of what an ag empire is) and I asked him how much effort it would be to switch over from cotton to wheat-as per dry farming in the 19th century in the Central Valley, and essentially all they would need is harvesters and they could do the switcheroo.

    3. AndrewJ

      What’s going to stop them from moving north, to Oregon and Washington? Pray to Gods they don’t, it’s crowded enough here, and our current wettest spring in 80+ years will not be the norm. Maybe the tales of choking wildfire smoke will keep the hordes at bay?

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re talking about pauperazzi, as in those leaving have no assets, and the PNW is spendy, but the midwest isn’t and has been nicely depopulated already, how nice of them… because markets.

    4. montanamaven

      If you must go to the Midwest, go to the “Tip of the Mitt” around Petoskey. It’s near where the bridge to the UP of Michigan is. Still humid but cooler and lots and lots of water. It’s where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. Lots of cherry trees up there. Very rural and lots of trees but no mountains. Lots and lots of water. But I am going to brave it in the West as I can’t take any humidity anymore. And did I mention the bugs?
      But Midwesterners are good people. They have to be optimistic because every day is pretty cloudy.

  10. Carolinian

    Re that dangerous railroad bridge–they are building a new walking trail in our town and in order to pass beneath a long standing trestle an elaborate and rather expensive covered trail bridge was required to be built on the off chance that a falling rock from the tracks above might fall and hit somebody. So it seems the railroads are very concerned about safety (or rather liability) as long as somebody else is paying for it. Good luck to Syracuse.

  11. Wukchumni

    I got Covid knockin’ at my door
    I’ve had 3 shots, should I have some more?
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done

    I hit the news and listened to Biden’s lack of plan
    I watched the needle take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done

    I sing the song because I loathe the man
    I know that some of you don’t understand
    Political blood to keep from running out

    I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every precedent is like a settin’ sun

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn5l_QcnJ28

  12. jo6pac

    Jellystone won’t be repaired any time soon. The $$$$$$$ is best used for weapons and ukraine. joe b. will once again tell us we just have live with the problems in Amerika.

    I’m sure this will be blamed on Russia & China;-)

    1. Wukchumni

      In the aftermath of the KNP Fire and along with sped up dying on account of the bark beetles being back on tour, there are oh so many dead trees within striking distance of passing vehicles on the roads in Sequoia NP that need to be cut down.

      The standard policy here is to mark them with what I term ‘The blue line of death’ with a can of Krylon and please use a border below when spraying, we don’t want it to look sloppy.

      Th main problem is there are only so many NPS Class-C fallers (the highest rating for those wielding a chainsaw) combined with the idea that when you’re falling a tree near a road, you have to stop traffic both ways for 15 minutes and that is never gonna fly during tourist season when its the easiest time to take them down, so as a consequence only a small amount gets done.

      A nation that was proud of it’s crown jewels wouldn’t treat such baubles this way, and would hire a hundred tree fallers from across the country and close down the NP for a period of say 3 days and get it done, but there isn’t any money or impetus to do this, so widowmakers lie in wait for four wheels…

    2. flora

      Waiting for the public/Private partnership, where Wall St. investors make a bundle and the locals are left paying road tolls or higher taxes forever. See Chicago parking meters. Disaster Capitalism at work.

    3. JAC

      I am telling ya, I am having some of the worst luck with Mother Nature. I am in Bozeman right now, stalled on my trip/vacation to Fargo because of the heat or there but was thinking about going to Yellowstone to wait out the rain.

      =^/

      So many more RVs in the Walmart parking lot since they closed the park. And you have to get these reservations many month in advance. No idea where they are all gonna go. But no doubt they will have to drive more and that is going to cost big gas money.

    4. JCC

      One of the main roads in and out of Death Valley (going by Scotty’s Castle) was wiped out 3 or 4 years ago due to a freak rain cell that hovered over the area for hours.

      It’s still closed.

      I always figured that it would only take about 10+ rocket costs (around $250K apiece) to finally repair it, but instead we cut the NPS Budget in order to finance more War.

  13. ANTIDLC

    RE: Biden’s vaccinated and boosted Health Secretary Xavier Becerra gets COVID for the second time in THREE WEEKS and is ‘having mild symptoms’

    Trudeau also tested positive again.
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trudeau-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-days-after-meeting-with-biden-in-la/ar-AAYrd6z

    Trudeau tests positive for coronavirus days after meeting with Biden in L.A.

    Becerra, Biden, and Trudeau attended the Summit of the Americas Jun 7-9. You can see the list of speakers here:
    https://www.uschamber.com/summit-of-the-americas/agenda

    A host of world leaders attended.

    Was the Summit of the Americas a super spreader event?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      But none from Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela. They must be laughing.

      Next time the Biden Admin tries to call some of its vassals together to give them a good talking to, the RSVPs may come back, “I have no interest in attending your nasty Cootie Party.”

      1. Basil Pesto

        He certainly seems to have dodged on awful lot of bullets. On the other hand, I’m not sure why such a case would be kept under wraps?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          My sense is Biden’s age is often a default position for his gross unfitness for office instead of just looking at his time in the Senate. Clarence Thomas alone should have disqualified him. Biden has dropped with everyone under the age of 60 where he’s stayed strongest. That may change with the stonks! markets, but I feel Biden is sensitive to the age issue. This isn’t like my dad’s plan to work until he died where he would be more of an institutional resource who popped into an office 2 or 3 mornings a week and waited for younger lawyers to call him. He would have replaced a guy doing the same thing well into his 80’s. The Presidency is an every day job. Even if you only work mornings, every day is exhausting for working age people.

          I personally think Biden’s the trash he always seemed like, having Biden get Covid could be clarifying for people with concerns about his age. Now, you see a failed President who can’t even hit the whiffle ball off the tee type questions from Jimmy Kimmel.

          1. Nikkikat

            That Jimmy Kimmel interview of Biden was shown on Jimmy Dore Show. Oh my God, it was bad. I don’t believe Biden was ever able to finish a sentence. He was nearly incoherent and Kimmel was helping him finish sentences. Who ever thought it a good idea to let him do an interview, even a softball interview has probably been fired.

        2. Arizona Slim

          Trump’s case sure wasn’t. And, based what we know about his treatment, it was early in the course of the illness and the military doctors threw everything but the kitchen sink at Trump’s case of the coof.

  14. jr

    The new White House spokespersonx decrying anyone daring to even question the president’s mental faculties brought to mind an interview I watched with Biden’s sister. She too was asked about the president’s ability handle his duties, due to senility. She affected a shocked, then dismissive, look and stated flatly that any such concerns are patently “ridiculous”.

    It’s everywhere, evidence that we are drowning in illusions and delusions, official disinformation and willing blindness. There must be some ancient historian who lived through similar times, who watched the world collapse into itself, devour itself. Some late period Roman perhaps.

    1. Michael King

      I recommend The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. The successive biographies begin with Julius Caesar at the start of Imperial Rome. It’s tough going as some of the graphically described behaviour is absolutely bent. Trump has nothing on these degenerates. Enjoy!

      1. The Rev Kev

        It is a good book and still got my copy so here is a thought. If you put together a book called “The Twelve Presidents”, including Biden that would take you all the way back to JFK. Now wouldn’t that be a history of change.

  15. Wukchumni

    I’m going through Topo Chico withdrawals, it has been a week since we ran out, and yeah I know… first world problems-but an addict can’t transition to yeah whatever San Pelegrino or Perrier and act as if it doesn’t matter.

    It comes from Monterrey Mexico, where the water issues have come to a boil~

    The heat is stifling in Jaime Noyola’s modest house in the Mexican industrial hub of Monterrey, but he can’t quench his thirst with a glass of water from the kitchen tap – the supply to his neighbourhood has been cut for 12 hours a day.

    Monterrey has been hard hit by a drought affecting nearly 60 per cent of Mexico, where restrictions on domestic water use are fueling anger about water concessions that critics say grant businesses – including drinks firms – almost unlimited supplies.

    “I’d always drunk water from the tap. Now I’ve no choice but to play into the companies’ hands and buy water from them,” said Noyola, 57, an activist who filed a complaint with Nuevo Leon’s human rights commission in April accusing state authorities of failing to provide water to residents.

    https://www.sightmagazine.com.au/features/25425-water-inequality-as-taps-run-dry-mexican-drought-fuels-anger-over-access

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Nato chief says he had ‘no reason to believe’ Turkey would block Nordic membership”

    At present, NATO has 30 members. Would have hurt the NATO chief to have picked up the horn and rang those thirty members first? Just call each one up and say for example-

    ‘Hey Macron. We wanna get both Sweden and Finland into NATO on the fast-track. You got any problem with that?’

    Of course the real problem would have been discovered when he rang Erdogan.

    1. Lex

      What kind of NATO chief would even need to call everyone to have a pretty good idea of where they’d stand on that, especially Turkey? Was the NATO chief unaware that Turkey is periodically in active hostilities against the Kurds or was he unaware that Sweden and Finland are strong supporters of the Kurds the Turks consider terrorists? Clearly NATO is well positioned to wipe the map with the Russians in a hot war … Geniuses in Brussels. The best educations and the most illustrious career trajectories.

  17. Jason Boxman

    Here are some specific recommendations.:

    – To change the view of manufacturing as an unstable industry is going to require corporations to publicly address the problem of outsourcing and job security.
    – Manufacturers also need to publicly commit to long-term job training and paid internships to replace the highly skilled workers leaving the industry.
    – The industry will also have to match the starting wages of Amazon and FedEx to get their fair share of entry workers

    Or we need significant public investment in this area, including an ELR program that pays people to learn these skills. We need to pay retiring workers in these fields, a premium, to stay on and teach new people how to competently perform this kind of work.

    Certainly can’t rely on the foresight of industry to tackle this. It hasn’t worked so far.

    Tax and trade policy must incentivize production in America.

    1. JCC

      I found the “Manufacturer’s Back Is To The Wall…” very interesting and passed it on to a few friends. The reason being that my former employment was as a Field Service Engineer (installation, maintenance, repair, and training) for a major Machine Tool Manufacturer here in the US. During the 80’s and early 90’s I watched, first hand, the destruction of this line of work up to the point that I actually was forced to take a pay cut by the Company. I finally smartened up and bailed out completely.

      When Trump was on his campaign and constantly promising re-shoring of manufacturing, I repeatedly told friends that it was a nearly impossible task within a Presidential lifetime (8 years) to do so. When you gut an entire generation of skills and experience (not to go into how many of these companies just disappeared) there is no way to quickly restore it.

      I finally retired in my very late 60’s and still get email job offer solicitations based on resumes I haven’t put out since the mid 90’s (all clearly showing my age). They’re good offers, $120K+ with more than adequate paid vacation time included. This pay is much better than the equivalent lousy pay of what I was making back then.

      So, when I hear stories from MSM or people I know about the “Great Resignation” or stories about “kids that just don’t want to work”, I don’t know whether to laugh, or worse, watch eyes glaze over as I go into lecture mode.

      And, unfortunately, articles like this never seem to make it in our mainstream media outlets.

      1. Jeff Hails

        You’re not alone in dealing with persistent job offers as a retiree. I quit working in 2002 at the tender age of 49. A friend convinced me to sign up on Linkedin and I still get multiple recommendations a week.
        With respect to the technical skills required to restore our on-shore manufacturing base I don’t see any possibility to do anything meaningful in less than a generation. The best hope would be resurrecting us retirees with the resources and authority to rebuild a meaningful vocational training regimen.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Military briefing: which weapons has Ukraine received and how many more does it need?”

    What the Ukraine wants is a complete re-set of their inventory at the beginning of the war. Well, maybe without all those trained crews. The only problem would be that to do so, NATO in Europe would have to basically demilitarize itself by sending all their gear to the Ukraine. I don’t think that they really want to do that. The cupboards are getting stripped bare already.

    1. Wukchumni

      Sure, the head accounts receivable guy is nervously pacing back and forth in the Pentagon basement wondering how in the hell they are ever going to get paid for all of those armaments we fronted to the Ukrainians and are going to get pencil whipped on, but little does he know it allowed us to make replacements, which Congress will front the money to make that possible.

    2. nippersdad

      Even if one recognized the constant refrain of how impregnable US and NATO forces were as bluster, it has been eye opening to see how such a relatively small war has exhausted our militaries so quickly. Turns out that spending more than the next ten countries combined for decades really doesn’t buy you much anymore.

      I mean, seriously, our missiles batteries are dead? One just has to laugh at the stupidity of it all and wonder what the lost opportunity costs were.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Certainly, we’ve been roughing up small countries, but one of the reasons NATO expansion until recently wasn’t a crisis was the limits of these tools to be deployed in the shadow of major Russian bases. The ranges of the planes haven’t changed that much, but we used 2500 planes to create a no-fly zone in Iraq in 1991 and months of prep time. The USAF has 2500 planes total, but the combat zone and Russia are well beyond the combat range of the bases we have for these planes. Comparatively the forward bases in 1991 were 1/3 the distance from the interior of Iraq from the forward bases.

        Both sides have missiles which can cause mayhem. How good the Russian electronic warfare is open for questioning because all we have is rumors around the time “Trump became the President” because he ordered bombings.

  19. Screwball

    Manufacturing’s Back Is to the Wall on the Skilled Labor Shortage

    Good read and I agree with most of it. I spent 25 years in multinational manufacturing companies and watched them ship everything possible out of the country. First it was the blue collar jobs, then the white.

    What that article didn’t mention, and I wonder, do we have a white collar shortage as well? I tend to think so. I retired early 3 years ago because I ran out of places to work. I thought I was going to retire from a large multinational appliance manufacturer, but they decided I was too old (along with over 100 others at the time) and we got laid off.

    At the time I was 59 (all of us were late 50s early 60s). I had trouble finding work because of my age, even though they won’t say that. I would get the interview because I was obviously qualified, then the rejection letter. Worked a couple of places, got laid off again, so finally retired at 62.

    In the last few months I have received more job opportunities (through various channels) than I have over the last 3 years. It has been truly amazing. Of course none of them will hire me because I’m too old. I might get a phone interview, and then the rejection letter. Funny, they tell me how urgent this is, how they can’t find people. Yet they won’t hire an old man who spent 35 years in the business.

    I’m at the point I can make all the money I want and not be penalized by Social Security – so why not? I’m sure I have a shorter learning curve, I could provide another set of eyes and “maybe” help them solve some problems, while taking the younger people and train them for the future (something that doesn’t seem to happen near as much today). In a few years I could ride off into the sunset and everyone would be for the better.

    Bottom line; these places who can’t find people, or are unwilling to invest in their own workforce – it’s nobody’s fault but their own – so tough $hit. You made your own bed so sleep in it.

    1. Mikel

      What you just wrote is EXACTLY what I thought was happening.

      And then the article even says:
      “Entry-level workers: Even though most manufacturers have raised their minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, they are not being inundated with applications. The big question is, “Why would a worker commit to an industry that laid-off millions of manufacturing workers and was primarily responsible for devastating families and economies in towns like Dayton, Ohio; Danville, Virginia; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and Newton, Iowa….”

      What you have described and this are related.
      Why does every industry think their workers are only deserving of the career span of a ballerina???

      1. Screwball

        Why does every industry think their workers are only deserving of the career span of a ballerina???

        Bean counters.

        As that article stated, we don’t have enough people who do things with their hands. IMO, this not only includes the blue collar, but the white collar. You need machine repair people, machinists, welders, designers, CAD people, IT people – all skilled jobs that should pay well – and need a fair amount of training. The bottom line, according to the bean counter, the company cannot absorb the cost of training and investment in their workforce. So the only game they have is buy cheap labor and deal with the turnover.

        When the only thing that matters is the bottom line – and in my experience – that’s all that matters, cheap labor and lack of investment is the ticket. That becomes the companies business plan. They don’t even consider another way to operate.

        Human resource people are outsourced because the hiring process becomes a large burden on the company due to turnover, and outsourcing the hiring saves money. Contract employees are another way to do it, and using contract services to hire these people as well. Our entire IT department was outsourced, and this was the largest manufacturing plant in America for the product we made.

        It’s all about the bottom line. Does outsourcing and cheap labor save them money? Many times I think not, and I have fought that fight, and lost, even when I proved it with numbers.

        We had a saying; penny smart and dollar stupid. But hey, we beat the next earning report expectations. That’s all that matters.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Private equity and hedge funds are destroying a good chunk of manufacturing industries. They buy companies (private equity) or buy shares of a company (hedge funds), take management fees off the top, load up the acquired businesses with debt, periodically refinance that debt to take special dividends, reduce R&D expenditures, suppress wages, outsource and automate jobs, and give management extra perqs and bennies, along with financial incentives to do the dirty work. The end result are businesses with weak balance sheets and reduced prospects. However, the acquirers (and management) make out like bandits.

          1. Screwball

            Like Bain Capital? They decimated the largest employer in my hometown.

            Funny, Mittens wouldn’t make a stop here. Good thing, they might have strung him up. They screwed over so many people in so many ways. Truly awful.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Those private equity and hedge funds are kinda like chop-shops. They take a good working company, strip everything of value out of it to sell off, then walk away leaving only stuff fit for the scrap yard. And every time they do this, America loses good companies, the taxes those companies paid, the former employees who also paid taxes, the accumulated skills and knowledge that that former workforce had and as a consequence the country is poorer than before.

        2. outside observer

          The bottom line, according to the bean counter, the company cannot absorb the cost of training and investment in their workforce.

          It seems that an alternative route would have been for companies to band together to lobby the government to provide free health care for all, and free vocational education paths – shift the burden away from the company and reduce their overhead. Maybe we’ll get there in a roundabout way.

      2. hunkerdown

        Because the production of precarity where none really need exist is the point of Western capitalist civilization.

    2. Socal Rhino

      I was in multiple rounds of talks that could have lured me back post retirement, explicitly to train young managers in my core area of expertise. My boss from a previous job had reached out to ask me to entertain the idea. Never had to decide, as their executive management laid down a prohibition on hiring in North America.

      It’s not just age.

        1. Socal Rhino

          Cost. And perhaps lack of trust in lower echelons to make good cost/benefit decisions.

          1. Screwball

            Cost.

            Of course – bangs head with open hand. I didn’t think of that which is really stupid of me. I always said the reason they don’t want old people are for various reasons.

            1) Too expensive (cost)
            2) End of life insurance and health costs/absents
            3) We are too set in our ways to be formed into a corporate ass kissing stooge
            4) They can get 2 or 3 of “them” for one of “me” – which goes to cost but outsourcing labor to foreign countries is even cheaper than hiring entry level for same position if they can do it.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        In Silicon Valley it is very common for startups receiving venture capital funding to be required to offshore most of their jobs (India is the preferred destination). As far as I am concerned I would rather the jobs be located in India than have thousands of H1B workers imported from India. Many of the big name tech companies in the Valley have tens of thousands of imported workers. The Valley gets the worst – fewer jobs for locals, but lots of traffic congestion and competition for housing and recreation due to all of the imported workers. Real estate interests love it. And of course the workers eager to be hired on H1B visas. For most everyone else it’s a net loss.

  20. smashsc

    re: Polish additive:

    Duda’s call to race war against the Russians was also an attempt to secure Poland against its more recent enemy Germany, and neutralize the US government’s attempt to topple the government in Warsaw.

    Are they EVER going to stop? Failed in Belarus, failed in Kazakhstan…

  21. Lex

    Cannabis fodder. This makes sense. And it was one of the earliest human uses of the plant, which has a native range where it is the primary or only fiber plant. We know that central Asian pastoral cultures used it heavily, including as an animal feed (seed, small stalks and especially leaves). All the active compounds are present in leaf tissue, though in very small quantities. And consumed raw would be a source for the acid forms of THC and CBD. These don’t get you high but have, so far, the most medicinal potential based on current research.

    I harvest new growth and very young flowers (they’re not actually, technically flowers because the weed we smoke is a seedless fruit but whatever) to make tea. I process it like white tea. Weed smoothies and even as a salad green work, but people usually use big fat fan leaves and those are tough and bitter. Though they can be treated like kale.

    1. super extra

      It is also criminal that it was not allowed for fiber production for almost a century; it is a bast fiber, like flax linen but more durable. Also great for paper and probably growing big tracts of it for soil remediation for various pollutants – don’t use that stuff for fodder of course. It has so many great uses!

      I always wonder what we’d find if we devoted the same attention to the botany, breeding and entheogenic characteristics of other common plants.

      1. Lex

        Cannabis is such an interesting and special case. I can’t prove this, but I wouldn’t be surprised to lean that it was cannabis that taught us how to domesticate plants. It has multiple uses: fiber, food, even fuel (seed oil) and fodder, without considering medicinal/intoxicant uses. It was very clearly spread far and wide as a cultivated plant before significant agriculture developed. And I don’t know of another plant with the age of human contact and usefulness that’s dioecious. And it is strikingly so. The male and female plants start looking different to the naked eye even before the reproductive life stage is reached. It would be the perfect candidate to learn plant breeding from. IMO, cannabis is the dog of plants in terms of our relationship.

        The fiber is also relatively water resistant/rot resistant. Not so much the very fine fibers that can be made but the rougher ones. Hence it’s great value in ship rigging and sails. You can peel the outer bark fibers off with your hands. It’s quite rough but is also easy enough to braid/twist into simple cordage without any real processing.

  22. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    The crypto ‘extraordinary popular delusion and the madness of the crowd’ speculative asset bubble has been repeated multiple times throughout history and the siren song remains the same; where, the FOMO, YOLO suckers are constantly reminded that their ‘paper losses’ are not actual, or realized losses, as long as the suckers continue to be the good bag holders that they have been taught to be.

    Because, in the speculative asset market somebody has to buy and hold losing assets, as every trade needs both a buyer and a seller. The relationship between a decades long loose central bank monetary policy and speculative asset frenzies appears to be more than mere correlation, as a fairly large subset of the population has decided that they have excess discretionary capital that they both gamble with and afford to lose in the various wealth transfer schemes that are constantly being promoted, marketed, and given intensive publicity. Or so it seems.

    So, the time has come for another rain man ‘uh oh’ moment [It is assumed many more such moments are waiting to be unveiled.]:

    “As crypto markets tumbled, the governor of the Bank of England doubled down on warning people they should brace for big losses if they decide to invest in digital assets. “If you want to invest in these assets, OK. But be prepared to lose all your money,” Andrew Bailey told lawmakers Monday. “People may still want to buy them because they have extrinsic value … people value things for personal reasons. But they don’t have intrinsic value.”

    “Bank of England boss Bailey says ‘be prepared to lose all your money’ in crypto after lender Celsius freezes accounts”

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/crypto-investors-lose-money-bank-of-england-boe-bailey-warns-2022-6

  23. Wukchumni

    Go take a hike dept: Arm Tree

    My favorite Giant Sequoia was spared from the KNP Fire last fall by only a hundred feet, another close call in its over 3,000 years of existence on a steep slope in the Atwell Grove. It could be the oldest Sequoia of all with the evidence being visible on the backside where probably a rolling down fully engulfed log came up against it’s back and caught fire eons ago, and the brobdignagians are good about self extinguishing fires after awhile, and the tree rings tell a tale of just how aged this unusual tree with 4 trunks and the largest diameter branch of all, is.

    I’ll be hiking with another cabin owner and her friend from Belgium who has never seen a Sequoia, she’s in for a treat.

    Along the way all off-trail are 10 foot wide stumps where the usually about worthless (the trees shattered internally upon impact when felled and typically the wood was only good for grape stakes and fence posts) wood had found a perfect purpose circa 1900 in one of the first hydroelectric projects in the state in being the boarding for a long flume that brings water to the electric power plant in tiny town.

    Sequoia wood doesn’t rot, and it isn’t uncommon to see dead trees that have been on the ground for hundreds if not a thousand years.

    Everything in a 360 degree arc burned around my version of Excalibur, probably ensuring it of an even longer lease on life, viva!

  24. Jeff W

    Of course, you’ll never see Sanders debate a Dem opposed to “full-on socialism” on CNN.

    Why even “full-on socialism”? How about Sen. Sanders just debating some Democrat who feels compelled to address voters “worried about socialism” (e.g., as in President Biden’s “I am not a socialist” comment)? (Do many Democrats today feel compelled to address voters who are “worried about ‘gay marriage’”?) We’ll never see that, either.

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