Links 6/18/2022

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.

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Greenland Polar Bears Adapt to Life Without Sea Ice Wall Street Journal and A Secret Polar Bear Population Has Been Found in an ‘Impossible’ Location Science (Chuck L). Problem is not sea ice per se, but specialization of diet.

The Cracked Wisdom of Dril New Yorker (furzy)

Our Powerful, Shiny New Space Telescope Got Its First Upsetting Ding Atlantic (David L)

World’s Largest Computing Society Makes Thousands of Research Articles Freely Available; Opens First 50 Years Association for Computer Machinery Backfile (David L)

Exercising before or after a flu vaccine may make it work better New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)



Epidemiological characterization of SARS-CoV-2 variants in children over the four COVID-19 waves and correlation with clinical presentation Nature (Kevin W)

Omicron wave: How big a covid-19 surge could the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 cause? New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)


German health minister hints at stricter winter COVID rules DW (resilc)


Another Mystery Disease Is Spreading Amid North Korea’s COVID Outbreak Vice (resilc)

Which works better to handle a pandemic – democracy or autocracy? South China Morning Post


Gov. Ron DeSantis clashes with Biden White House over decision that Florida won’t order vaccines for children under 5 Business Insider (Kevin W)


Under federal pressure, Colorado River water managers face unprecedented call for conservation KUNC (David L)

Powerful ‘smoke twister’ spotted in Arizona BBC (resilc)

Sauna-like heat dome is set to smother 50 MILLION Americans with tropical humidity this week: 110f weather could smash records set in 1925 – as Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina brace for highs Daily Mail. Erm, in NYC, oddly not much in the 2010 onward but nearly all the time before that, you’d have 2-3 days each year of >100 degree weather. We’re only forecast to get 2 here in Birmingham.

Record early heatwave hits France as fires flare in Spain France24 (resilc)

Japan battles flooding amid deepening climate crisis Financial Times (David L)

Climate change: New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps BBC (furzy)


Sullivan reiterates ‘one-China policy’ as US in domestic chaos seeks to ‘stabilize ties’ with China Global Times. Clearly only a temporary de-escalation.

China launches third aircraft carrier, the Fujian Al Jazeera. Resilc: “As stupid as our navy.”


Why India must decouple from I2U2 Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

St Petersburg International Economic Forum Plenary session Kremlin. Full text of Vladimir Putin’s speech. Important.

The old world is over: Key takeaways from Putin’s first major speech since Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine RT (Kevin W)

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Interview on BBC YouTube. OMG see at 21:50.

Russian Defense Ministry sees as insufficient US explanations on biolabs in Ukraine TASS (guurst)

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Biden tries to climb down from Ukraine ledge Asia Times (resilc)

Boris Johnson promises Ukraine UK-led troop training scheme on Kyiv visit Guardian

The End of War Fatigue German-Foreign-Policy (Anthony L)

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Italy may declare state of alert on gas next week – sources Reuters

French Nuclear Outages Risk Making Europe’s Gas Crisis Worse Bloomberg

Latest Finland reactor delay raises winter power supply concerns Reuters

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SCOTT RITTER AND LARRY JOHNSON “DEBATE” UKRAINE Larry Johnson. Haven’t watched this yet but should be good.

Women who escaped from Azot spoke about foreign mercenaries at the plant RIA (via GoogleTranslate, original here)

For Ukrainian troops, a need arises: Javelin customer service Washington Post (resilc)

* * *

Atom-Smashing CERN to ‘Terminate’ Work With Russia, Belarus Associated Press

The ‘craziest thing’ about seizing Russian superyachts is the US has to pay for them, Biden’s national security advisor says on hot mic Business Insider (resilc)


Syrian farmers in NE province struggling under U.S. ban on wheat sales, severe draught Xinhua (resilc)

Russia, Iran won’t endorse Turkish military operation in Syria Al-Monitor. So Erdogan wants to nibble some of Syria (“because Kurds!”) when Russia was presumably too busy with Ukraine and too much in Turkey’s debt to make a stink. Wellie, Russia is not standing pat.

Russian Escalations in Syria Risk Direct Conflict With U.S., Military Officials Warn Wall Street Journal. Notice how you have to look really hard to find a mention of the Kurds. And Russia did see this coming. On June 15, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said (hat tip John Helmer):

I would like to remind you that US forces are currently deployed in Syria. I suggest that you attend to what US troops are doing in Syria. Nobody has invited them there: neither individual regions of that country, nor the government in Damascus or civil society. But the American troops are there. Now, ask yourself if you are complying with international law. If you do, you have a right to demand an answer from other countries as well. Or do you regard international law as an instrument of your policy and think that you have a right to provide moral assessments of all others? There is only one answer to the question about what US troops are doing in Syria: they are trying to seize the resources which belong to the Syrian people and which the United States needs.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Conti’s Attack Against Costa Rica Sparks a New Ransomware Era Wired

Costa Rica chaos a warning that ransomware threat remains Associated Press (David L)


Global condemnations of Assange extradition order as Australian government refuses to defend persecuted journalist WSWS

I know we should want this for Assange but I would very much enjoy watching heads in the US explode:

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Hinges of History Creak: The future will develop not necessarily to the West’s advantage. Aurelien

Last Tango in Washington? Consortium News (Chuck L)

Why Does the United States Have a Military Base in Ghana? CounterPunch (resilc)


Jesse Watters: Stephen Colbert employees arrested for breaching Capitol building Fox. Clip is overlong but does give the info known at the time of taping.

GOP Clown Car

How Republicans Can Win on Immigration Atlantic. Resilc: “We need labor. Healthcare aides, roofers, truckers, worker bees. Unlikely low skilled will make it anytime soon legally.”

Democrats en déshabillé

Gavin Newsom’s Case for a More Aggressive Democratic Party Atlantic. Resilc: “Not a deep DNC bench.”

Our No Longer Free Press

Remains of UK journalist Phillips identified in Brazil BBC

Woke Watch

Kamala Harris announces launch of White House ‘task force’ to stop online ‘gendered disinformation,’ abuse Fox News (Kevin W)

Supply Chain/Inflation

A tractor-trailer is on its way from Utah with 40,000 pounds of food for a Pittsfield food pantry Berkshire Eagle (resilc)

Tesla (TSLA) significantly increases its electric car prices across its lineup Electrek (resilc)

U.S. Mulls Over Fuel Export Limits OilPrice

I Tried Apple’s Self-Repair Program With My iPhone. Disaster Ensued. New York Times (resilc). From last month, still germane.

The U.S. Economy Is Confusing Everybody Atlantic. Resilc: “Let’s have a war against a major material supplier to the globe. That should work without a hitch.”

New York may partially ban cryptocurrency mining if Hochul doesn’t veto it Politico. A shot across Eric Adams’ bow.

Bitcoin’s Price Falls Below $20,000 Wall Street Journal

Guillotine Watch

Hundreds of SpaceX employees signed letter denouncing Elon Musk’s behavior The Verge (Kevin W)

SpaceX reportedly fired employees behind letter criticizing Elon Musk engadget (Kevin W)

Tesla is sending untrained employees to work on cars as service becomes problematic Electrek (jr)

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Closed Doors

    Oh man Lavrov is conveying a deep disgust towards UK, Germany and the West.

    If and When EU come to their senses and go knocking on the door hat in hand begging to buy gas, I am not sure that Russia will even open the door.

    1. Samuel Conner

      R geopolitical objectives do not (it appears to me) explicitly include humiliating Western Europe. I’m sure that R would be glad to return to constructive economic relations provided that the regional political environment were detoxified.

      Having demonstrated the toothlessness of NATO, perhaps bilateral non-aggression treaties could be offered as a condition for resumption of energy supply. If such treaties are incompatible with membership in NATO, there are obvious ways to resolve that problem.

      1. anon y'mouse

        that energy will be used not only to heat homes, but to build various instruments to try to crush Russia.

        i would cut off vital exports to any country that was trying to crush me, wouldn’t you? especially if there is no real “buying up good will” with such countries. they’ve tried all that. we don’t count the ledger of good will. we just take the goods and still act with total impunity and belligerence.

        as much as Russia wants to build up good will and not make citizens of the countries acting against them suffer, i wouldn’t help build up my enemy. lifelines are only going to be taken utterly for granted, as past behavior shows.

        it would be one thing if this were food. but it’s energy. you can use energy to make nearly anything else, even weapons (including propaganda) to lob at people who sold you energy.

        1. hemeantwell

          as much as Russia wants to build up good will and not make citizens of the countries acting against them suffer

          I’m finding it difficult to gauge whether or not in Europe there’s significant popular pushback so far. It was disappointing seeing Melenchon do a rah-rah for Ukraine, but I suppose that could be to deter “commie traitor” nonsense before tomorrow’s election. Has someone pulled together a summary? Are German unions in lockstep with Scholz?

          1. tindrum

            The Unions dont have much to say about Ukraine, they are only inerested in the upcoming wage negotiations. Germany is so massively drowning in the NATO propaganda ocean that taking up an alternative position would be pointless for the unions.

      2. nippersdad

        “R geopolitical objectives do not (it appears to me) explicitly include humiliating Western Europe.”

        Ultimately they will have to. If they let the various governments do it then it will work out as the Minsk Agreements did, and nothing will fundamentally change. They are going to have to make the point to the various electorates, primarily the one in the US, that Russia is not to be messed with, and that is going to have to include the kinds of humiliation that the media cannot ignore.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If this keeps up, Europe might become a bit of a backwater. Certainly their economies will be less competitive as the cost of energy that they will be paying will price them out of the world market. And this was entirely self-inflicted and was never necessary.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “For Ukrainian troops, a need arises: Javelin customer service”

    ‘Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?’

    This is not a very hard problem in some ways. You get a guy very-well trained on Javelins and an English-Ukrainian translator together. If you can’t find the later, call in one of the Vindman twins. You then tell them that they have 24 hours to translate the instructions into Ukrainian and are not allowed to leave their desks until it is finished. If they get hungry, they can dial in a pizza. Instead, thousands of these things were shipped with a dodgy Google translation. So what was the problem? That some corporation did not have an exclusive contract or something?

    1. jr

      We need Musk on the job. Using his entrepreneurial instincts, he will quickly and efficiently assemble a team of cafeteria workers to train the Javelin teams. The legal department will be rallied to provide medical treatment to any friendly casualties.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Love the unstated assumption that it is not just ok, but GREAT! to have NATO players shipping weapons to nasty Ukrainians to help them “defend democracy” and if they somehow beat Russia, to site first strike weapons within a few minutes’ flight time of Moscow and St. Petersburg and other first-strike, decapitation targets. .

      And the funny part, of course, is that those weapons have dead batteries and are otherwise “inop,” so good old Yankee ingenuity, in the form of building a “customer support system,” is just another okay thing to do.

      Interesting how people can compartmentalize their understandings and beliefs in the context of the “special military operation.” And how the propaganda floods our brains with first-person-shooter simplistification.

      Fun bit of information: kind of like the Doomsday Device in “Dr. Strangelove,” the Russians, knowing the US/NATO hope to destroy Russia as a sovereign power, the Russians have kept the “Perimeter” system operative. Which kind of serves as a dead-man switch for the Russian nuclear forces that include giant nuclear torpedos that can blow away whole swathes of US and Euro coastline, and those hypersonic super-long-range ICBMs that will stir up the rubble and dust left by other Russian weapons where cities and “bases” once existed. So if the “Combined West” (actually just the neocons who have floated like nasty tu$ds to the top of the political and military septic tank structures march stupidly ahead with their blind foolishness, we mopes all over the world can bend over, put our heads between our legs, and kiss our butts goodbye.

      1. Oh

        Luckily, the Javelins come with a toll free number for customer service. Small detail, the service person who answers the phone in India has the same badly translated version of the user manual!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Looking at a map, I see that Lithuania is protected by Latvia being between it and Russia. Don’t know how this is going to play out. Certainly Lithuania cannot do anything militarily against Kaliningrad as they only have a very small army. And of course they have a long border with Belarus so the Russians might ask Belarus if they can stationed some forces handy by that border. But did the Lithuanians decide to do this off their own bat or did Biden goose them into doing it?

      1. Old Sovietologist

        Having just returned from a week in Minsk. Although the majority of the population want to avoid getting involved in a wider conflict there is a general acceptance that if it comes to pass then so be it. If Poland was to move into Western Ukraine then Belarus will become involved.

        I was pleasantly surprised to see despite the copious amounts of propaganda the western supported liberal opposition has been effectively neutralised.

        Support for Russia’s SMO is as expected high among the people I know. As I was there news broke that remaining socialist party, Derzhava, had been banned by that bastion of freedom and democracy Ukraine.

      2. nippersdad

        Since the coup attempt in Belarus they have been joined at the hip with Russia; early on they even had Lukashenko tour Russia’s military nuclear command with Putin early on in a show of solidarity. It sounds like this is just Lithuania being obnoxious again.

        There is something about the Baltic States that reminds me of The Mouse That Roared.”* They always seem to be doing this, and they were probably the source material from which the series was derived.

      3. ex-PFC Chuck

        Unmentioned but implicit in the above two replies is the fact Lithuania shares a border with Belarus, Russia’s close ally.

      4. DZhMM

        Look at your map again :) We share a rather long (for Lithuania, at least…) land border with Russia, plus another little scrap of land border on the other side of the Curonian.

        As to whether the leaders here are taking orders from Washington – I doubt it. Only Washington’s men – and women, to be fair! – are allowed to be on our lists of options, and they don’t need instructing, since their interests are Washington’s, not Lithuania’s.

        Our one chance some years back to slip through leaders who took their own people into account got bought out and deactivated with great haste. There’s no point trying again until the US (and their twins in London) get taken down a few dozen pegs.

        As for Kaliningrad and supply to it…. it’s out of our hands for the moment, just like the deals with China to develop Port of Klaipeda, and the deal between China Post and Lietuvos Paštas to make Vilnius a major freight hub into the EU. There’s not much to do besides see what the reactions are.

        …and to say no to dual-citizenship in the 2024 referendum, of course. Bad enough to have Anglos setting priorities for our government – no need to let them even vote as well!

          1. DZhMM

            Kaliningrad is Russia. That’s our border. Being almost entirely a military exclave, it’s kind of a big deal. It may look like a tiny speck on the map, but it is Russia, no less than Pskov or Rostov.

            There is nothing whatsoever between us and Russia. Not even the little speck of Latvia.

        1. RobertC

          DZhMM — thanks for the insights on direct US/UK interference in the political and economic future of your country. The habits of empire die hard. Hopefully Russia and China are speeding the process so your country and your fellow citizens can determine their own future unhindered.

    2. Displaced Platitudes

      1st world problems: my Fall trip to the Baltic states is looking ever more unlikely. The bulk of the time was to be spent in Lithuania and Finland. We shall see if the Lithuanian PM continues to shoot his mouth off🙄

  3. c_heale

    Boris Johnson really wants to burn it all down, doesn’t he. Thank goodness the UK has no independent nuclear deterrent.

    1. jackiebass63


  4. timbers

    SCOTT RITTER AND LARRY JOHNSON “DEBATE” UKRAINE Larry Johnson. Haven’t watched this yet but should be good.

    Ritter says Germany is training Ukraine solders in Germany, to be poured into the war with new improved arms and technology. Don’t know true or not. If true, will Russia target and destroy these German bases?

    Too much time spent on defining what “game changer” means.

    Ritter says some arms are getting thru from the West, but prolonging the war in this manner likely makes Russia want to take more territory permanently. He generally makes the point the Ukrainians are killing some degree of Russians and Russian victory is certain but costly thanks to the West arming Ukraine, and that is the West’s self proclaimed policy to hurt Russia as much as possible.

    Ritter says the war in Donestk amongst the nationalists is not a war of honor, that Ukraine soldiers goal in Donestk is to kill as many Russians as possible in any way they can.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I can’t recall who, one of the other military types (maybe Andrei Martyanov) was very dismissive of the idea you could train soldiers abroad. First, it takes many many year to produce soldiers who can lead units and serve in higher roles in the command structure. I can’t verify the claims, but reports from the sites I follow (and some like Alexander Mercouris and Military Summary make a point of considering both Ukraine and Russian claims) say that Ukraine is sacrificing most of what is left of its command structure in Donbass.

      In other words, the sort of units that could be trained the way the way the West is training them won’t have the ability to prosecute a combined arms operation. They might be effective in a theater like Iraq but this is not that. And I don’t expect an insurgency unless Russia falls for the trap of trying to take and hold western Ukraine. Ukraine has done itself a disservice by not paying soldiers, not paying government employees, and cutting off services in oblasts like Kherson and Zaporizhzhia where Russia has occupied part but another part is still under Ukraine control. Word is getting out that Russia is paying pensions, salaries, making sure the power runs, starting to repair war-related damage. Most people just want to have a reasonable life. If Russia makes sure ethnic Europeans are not treated badly and they provide a good level of government services and get the economy on its feet, most people will go along with the regime change. And I think the ethnic Russians will keep a vigilant eye out for Nazi types and will make sure the authorities know where they are, pronto.

      1. timbers

        Russia tending to the needs (pensions govt services) of the Oblasts she occupies (including Ukraine majority Oblasts) is IMO one of her most brilliant moves, it will have the locals in Mykolaiv and Odessa envious of their neighbors already under Russian control and be receptive of Russian troops entering their Oblasts.

        And Ritter takes a very deep swipe at Gonzo Lira.

        1. begob

          Looks like all these pundits have their issues. I was surprised to learn of Mercouris’s past as a lawyer. Lira seems to have had a run in with Steve Keen. And Dreiznir takes pleasure in slagging off Ritter.

          1. super extra

            they are worse than gossiping hens… I am grateful for others parsing them so I do not have to wade through the drama and bs to get the info

              1. hemeantwell

                +1. He strikes me as judicious, trying to digest info and disinfo from a range of sources, is willing to admit mistakes, and is good at politely conveying scorn, something I need to work on. At. 1.25 x regular speed he’s become my go-to guy, though at that speed his twitching gets pretty ..distracting. (was aiming for some humor but might be a neurological problem)

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              I enjoy Mercouris, who has a humbler mien and take than the others, but what’s with that symbol he and Christoferou use for The Duran?

          2. nippersdad

            What I have found most amusing about Dreisner is his habit of “owning the libs” with his Brandon merch, and then whining that there are people being mean to him.

            There are some very thin skins in that group.

      2. Tom Stone

        NCO’s are the backbone of any Army and it takes a absolute minimum of five years ( An exceptional candidate) to train them.
        And Eight years is more like it.
        These people are mainlining a mix of Hopium and Liagra.

        1. USMC 1968-72

          > NCO’s are the backbone of any Army and it takes a absolute minimum of five years
          > (An exceptional candidate) to train them. And Eight years is more like it.

          Sorry, but … what?!? This is complete RUBBISH.

          (Have you ever served in any miltary formation? I don’t think so.)

          NCOs are the backbone: CORRECT! No argument there. In combat situations, unlucky people and losers die quickly, whilst lucky persons and good soldiers survive. According to military logic, the survivors rise to the top and you can have effective NCOs in less than two years. I saw it; I was there. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

          1. nippersdad

            I think they are talking about training on the individual munitions systems and how to integrate them with an increasingly disintegrating combined arms military that has no ability to coordinate their actions.

            So here comes the hard question: Do they have two years? Do they even have two months?

          2. hemeantwell

            re NCOs, back before Pat Lang blew up over Joe B one of his most interesting claims was how essential they were, something like how they roughly mother-loved the troops into a fighting unit. Lang was a combat colonel, and it was surprisingly touching how well he put this across.

          3. hunkerdown

            What two years? I don’t think the current operational tempo supports trite English platitudes.

          4. juno mas

            Was it in Vietnam that you saw it? Were you fighting an enemy like Russia where combined arms training was necessary?

          5. ex-PFC Chuck

            A friend and former co-worker of mine grew up in straitened circumstances in Appalachia and right out of high school in the late 60s was drafted or enlisted (don’t recall which) and based on testing was sent to non-com school. So less than six months after being sworn in at age 18 or 19 he was an infantry squad leader.

            Six or so months after he got to Vietnam he was badly wounded, then wounded again by a shot through the bottom of the helicopter while being airlifted out of the zone. He was medically discharged after six months of hospitalization and rehab. He then became the first in his extended family (IIRC) to go to college, realized he was bright, had a knack for math and science, and went on to get a PhD in Electrical Engineering. When I knew him he did cutting edge work in the computer modeling of electrical grids and was a successful entrepreneur.

            Later in life he wrote a book about his Vietnam experience entitled The Shake ‘n Bake Sergeant: True Story of Infantry Sergeants in Vietnam

            1. The Rev Kev

              Back during the Vietnam war when it was realized there was a need for many more NCOs, the US formulated a program to train soldiers fast in the skills to become an NCO and these guys were referred to by the older NCOs as ‘Shake’n’Bake Sergeants so perhaps your friend was one of these men-


      3. David

        You can train foreign troops in your own country, but it’s usually only done with individuals and small groups. Aircrew, missile operators, engineering and maintenance specialists, IT, reconnaissance and special forces troops would be typical examples. And many foreign students come to study at officer training facilities, command and staff colleges etc. Russia has a long history of doing this, as Martyanov obviously knows.

        Actually training formed units outside the country is very rare. I’m trying and failing to think of a recent example, apart perhaps from Syria. It’s obviously much more effective to send the trainers to the trainees rather than the other way round, and I’m not sure that what Ritter seems to be talking about is actually possible at anything more than a very small scale.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, thanks, I should have clarified that I meant at scale, which it what would be required to turn things around for Ukraine.

        2. Greg

          The discussion at that point was about artillery systems with longer range. Ritter was suggesting accelerated offsite training in new systems for existing artillery troops was going to be effective, because they have a firm grounding in the fundamentals and its just onboarding to the quirks of the new system.

          The argument about how long it takes to train civvies into troops is beside the point, neither Ritter nor Larry suggested that might happen in Ukraines case.
          Later in the discussion Ritter made it clear that training in Germany and the UK was only going to be effective in the short term for these new systems anyway, because loss rates for artillery units in Ukraine are too high – after three or four rotations you have no-one with a clue left to train.

          Overall, it was a pretty good discussion I thought, despite as mentioned above semantics over “game-changer” (which struck me mostly as Ritter trying to retroactively cover his changed position). Definitely less extreme than some of the recent Ritter positions that have put me somewhat off him as an info source.

          1. kemerd

            Yes, Ritter indeed seem like flip/flopping. It appears after a bit thinking, he decided the new US weapons were not really game changer after all.

      4. Jessica

        The Russians are doing the sensible things in Ukraine, the exact things that the US failed to do in Iraq.

        1. montanamaven

          Yes, because the reason the US goes into a country is not R2P, but rather to steal everything not latched down. Winning hearts and minds just gets in the way of thievery. Zelensky and Co just changed the law so that foreigners can own chunks of Ukraine. Those new owners don’t need to make nice with the local farmers and factory workers. Russia simply wants a neutral buffer zone for peace on their borders so they can go back to bringing down inflation and mortgage rates and producing goods and going about trading with others. (I am over half way through Putin’s speech of yesterday.)

        2. John k

          Iraq was an excellent text on how not to run a war. Sacking their military and police, the very people that knew where the weapons were stored and how to use them!?!

      5. nippersdad

        “I can’t recall who, one of the other military types (maybe Andrei Martyanov) was very dismissive of the idea you could train soldiers abroad.”

        That is something that Brian Berletic over at Youtube’s New Atlas has spent a lot of time talking about.

      6. Dave in Austin

        You’re right; training new Ukrainian combined arms units, giving them unit training then sending them back to the Ukraine is a long-term project and the Ukrainians need help now.

        On the other hand, taking experienced Ukrainian individual soldiers and training them on new artillery and rocket equipment can be done fairly fast, one to six weeks, depending on the requirements of the new systems. Expect rookie mistakes.

        Airplanes and helicopters are a different matter.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Six weeks is optimistic. Listen to Jacob Dreizen on howitzers. Any heavy equipment, which is what Ukraine is now requesting, requires fast and effective coordination of the logistics (the getting the ammo into the artillery device) and the operation, and in some cases, assembly/setup/positioning. This is not a matter of training single operators but teams.

          And Russia has best of breed signal jamming, particularly of GPS. So stuff that works well in Germany may not work so well in Ukraine.

  5. anon y'mouse

    How Republicans Can Win on Immigration Atlantic. Resilc: “We need labor. Healthcare aides, roofers, truckers, worker bees. Unlikely low skilled will make it anytime soon legally.”

    translation: we don’t want to train, nor pay appropriately nor treat americans with any true regard for labor laws. we want oppressed people we can abuse without hindrance, who can’t speak the language and can’t navigate the bureaucracy well enough to fight back. those recent unionization efforts scare us, and we need to break that up.

    and we don’t care that there aren’t enough homes, schools, jobs nor services for the people already in the US. we will let in millions more to drive down the wages and working demands of US citizens.

    1. jackiebass63

      What you say now may be true now. In the very near future it won’t be true. We have an aging population. That means we will have fewer people to replace our aging work force.We will need to import workers to fill the gap. At that point you will see a huge propaganda campaign to justify allowing more immigrants. It happened in the past and will happen again. That time is closer than people realize.

      1. John

        from Gore Vidal’s Washington, D.C.: “I have always found it strange that a nation whose prosperity is based entirely on cheap immigrant labor should be so unrelentingly xenophobic.”

        1. Gawr Gura

          Gotta keep the working class divided. Gotta do everything possible to prevent class consciousness and solidarity from forming.

          1. TimH

            Zactly. Make sure that the poors silo amongst their own ethinicities and distrust the rest, and you have divided and conquered. Under-education of the poors helps a lot too.

            1. anon y'mouse

              both of you are falling right into the trap.

              why? because importing millions of people to take the “lower skilled” jobs is exactly how they feed that beast.

              i have a relative who works in Alaska fishing. he told me that the companies deliberately crew out from all over the world so that the workers can’t organize for anything, and they will admit it openly that this is their plan. a given boat may be all from a certain place simply so they can communicate to get the job done, but there’s no cross boat or cross company chatter going on about pay or conditions. the groups can’t even talk, so no worries there.

              constantly importing millions from culturally different places and getting them to fill in niches within certain jobs here has the same effect. and makes the Divide and Conquer task a million times easier, because the people can’t talk to each other or have inherent mistrust that must be overcome with lots of interpersonal socializing that may not go on due to other constraints than “willingness to engage” on the part of Americans (time, money and living arrangements making socialization outside of their already formed social group a special form of “work”).

              i know various Americans in California (of different races)that attempted to work in jobs that were predominantly staffed with imported workers. non and anti-racist people. they did not stay in those jobs long, because the other workers made sure they did not. the importees don’t trust outsiders either and will arrange so that they have their own friends and family working there alongside them, and the bosses find that the place runs more smoothly that way, regardless of the actual effectiveness or friendly openness of the gringo employee so eventually he or she is conveniently made unwelcome and motivated to move on, if not outright cut.

              so, this “xenophobia” runs both ways, and always to the Boss’s advantage.

              1. digi_owl

                And much the same mechanic is playing out within EU, ever since it expanded eastwards.

        2. Pelham

          Why should this be a strange contradiction? If we’re opening the gates to both legal and illegal immigration, of course it’s going to lead to more anti-immigrant feeling. What Vidal apparently failed to grasp is that the Americans who benefit from immigrant labor are mostly different and geographically separate from the much larger number of Americans who are forced to share their communities with these immigrants.

          Relatedly, what is truly strange is the pro-immigration argument that cites the Christian imperative to welcome the stranger, whoever he may be. That’s fine if you’re the individual doing the welcoming in your own home. But if you’re the liberal individual living in pristine circumstances demanding that OTHERS exercise Christian brotherly love on YOUR behalf, it’s a different matter. Jesus, after all, went among the lepers himself. He didn’t stand aloof and demand that his disciples do the dirty work — or else.

      2. Jesper

        You speak with certainty of the future as if you already know the future. Possibly the future is not yet known. About this:

        you will see a huge propaganda campaign to justify allowing more immigrants

        Some might say that we see the proganda already now before there is a need for more workers. Those same people might say that if there ever were to be a need for an increased population then there would be no need for propaganda – people would see and realise the need without the propaganda.
        If there ever was a shortage of workers then I’d hope that the people doing what Graeber labeled BS-jobs might be moved into productive jobs like caring for the elderly etc
        We will just have to wait and see.

      3. ProNewerDeal

        Japan is a counterexample on how it is possible to support a big retired generation with a trivial amound of immigration. In fact, the policy may be a de facto privatized version of a Job Guarantee for the 25-64 age cohort.

        1. Gawr Gura

          If the trade-off is the 90 hour work week you’d better get ready for more of the country to start catching on fire.

          1. Michael

            We already have the 90 hour work week. In some cases we just require two people in the same household. TG for ABezon and del svcs. It almost works.

            I’m so busy I quit doing the following: eating lunch, talking to my kids, voting…

      4. DanB

        Your prediction has to be reconciled with The Great Replacement Theory hysteria/propaganda.

        1. hunkerdown

          GRT believers get to take the L and feel it, and do their half of the “job” by pressing down on the value of the immigrants and their labor.

      5. anon y'mouse

        automation is making more and more of those jobs obsolete, and productivity increases with each new iteration in development.

        so fail to see how we can “need” an ever growing ponzi of workers when the business world truly desires fewer and fewer actual employees, and makes sure to need fewer of them as well.

        meanwhile, lower classes in this country can get almost NO jobs in certain places doing things like home repair, roofing, rebar work, housekeeping services in hotels, nor working backstage in kitchens. try it and find out. you will be forced out if they even give you the job in the first place, which they likely will not offer to you because they already have people through the social network of those already working there ready to come fill those jobs. no matter how willing you are to take that low paid, physically taxing if not dangerous and poorly regarded employment.

    2. Wukchumni

      The main reason there are so many Mexican immigrants in the USA is the Peso collapsed in value demonstrably from 1980 to 1992, as a newfound source of income came in the guise of remittances back to Mexico from salaries earned here.

      Payback could be coming if things continue to come a cropper and inflation looms large here instead of ‘down under’.

      Really the only place future ‘illegals’ from the USA could go for employment is Canada, and that ain’t gonna work.

      Oh, and should our economy collapse, all those Mexicans will beat a path home, forcing Americans to do the work they used to do.

      1. super extra

        Mexico may have to build a wall or start enforcing some of their own immigration procedures against gringos if things get bad enough. Mexico doesn’t do sanctions and has a diversified economy in addition to the vastly lower cost of living. Lots of pics of Mexican supermarkets and their lack of baby formula etc shortages floating around online the past six months. Pair that with some quality time looking at middle-class new build subdivisions in Leon or Queretaro and then try to justify a 30-year mortgage for a spectacularly sh!tty US house in the same general class for the income. Wow, $130k for a 3bdr + pool and yard and perfect weather or $450k+ and a crippling mortgage that is reliant on keeping a good-enough job for decades? How could a girl possibly choose?

        I’m convinced the slew of breathless stories and story cycles about Mexican violence/crime/cartels/femicide is an attempt to smear Mexico as a dangerous place so Americans don’t start questioning how and why things got so bad here.

        1. Wukchumni

          Bear in mind that Americans on the large only speak English, which is why Canada would be the likely place to go.

          1. super extra

            lots of stories lately about Americans expatting to Portugal though (could just be a play to keep real estate values high); while I agree that standard whitey only speaks anglais and they may think Canada is an option they’ll be disabused of that notion their first encounter with the LMIA on their job hunt. Perhaps as the weather changes the Canadian preference for coyote labor will shift north to US greenhouse workers instead?

            BTW, lots of lower class white women in flyover marry into Mexican families. I wouldn’t assume the language trends are static, even over the next decade. A lot of it really is driven by simple things like ‘can I afford to live and raise a child here’. Declasse former upper middle class white americans may try to gravitate towards Canada but their cost of living problems are worse than coastal US.

          2. digi_owl

            A large part of the world has had English as a required second language in education for decades by now.

            If one stay within urban areas, one would likely not have much trouble with just speaking English.

            In more recent years services like Youtube has even turned kids bilingual, as teachers etc are observing a worrying trend where English is the go to language in the playgrounds.

            1. SocalJimObjects

              “If one stay within urban areas, one would likely not have much trouble with just speaking English.” In Europe maybe. Certainly not true in East Asian countries, much less South East Asia. Speaking of Youtube, there’s tons of videos trying to explain why Japanese/Korean, other East Asian, etc don’t speak English well even after X years of study. It’s pretty simple really, studying a language for one hour a week for 6 years will not make anyone proficient.

              But don’t worry, the universal language is not English, it’s money. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish day to day in Asian countries with finger pointing and plenty of cash.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Back in my restaurant days, I wondered how the Mexicans working in the kitchen were able to send remittances home, given the low pay and fairly high cost of living, and they explained that they had lots of people sharing an apartment and a car to keep expenses down. They probably could have afforded a small apartment of their own, but they made huge sacrifices in quality of life to help their families.

        Fast forward 30 years, and the barrista at a local coffee shop is describing a similar living situation, except she isn’t doing so to send any remittances home – it’s the only way to keep a roof over her head given the exorbitant rents.

        Now rather than sacrificing quality of life being an option to help others, the working class just have no quality of life at all.

        1. digi_owl

          Seeing more and more of that over in Europe as well, in particular in the construction industry. Was a stink some years back about some 6+ Poles that shared a single bedroom apartment while constructing new detached housing in some affluent suburb.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          This would be a good time for millions of parents to permit millions of baristas to move back home and remove themselves from the underpaid-sector of the labor market. Let all the businesses based on underpaying for labor go extinct.

          Hopefully target it towards the big and franchise businesses , like Starbucks; and not toward the stand-alone tiny-owner businesses like Floyd’s Coffee Palace.

    3. Stick'em

      Being left wing on the political spectrum means being pro-workers and pro-unions. Historically, this means favoring immigration restriction in America to protect the wages and working conditions of Americans.

      The Democratic party is no longer left wing, because with HillBillary NAFTA it became the party of “outsourcing” jobs to cut corporate overhead. Now it sounds really bizzare for one of their members to advocate for the working class instead of making the identity politics virtue handstand: something something, unlimited diversity is always good.

      Cognitive dissonance and hilarity ensue…

      During the 2016 Democratic primary campaign, when Vox editor Ezra Klein suggested open borders policies to Bernie Sanders, the senator famously showed his vintage when he replied, “Open borders? No. That’s a Koch brothers proposal.” This momentarily confused the official narrative, and Sanders was quickly accused of “sounding like Donald Trump.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Women who escaped from Azot spoke about foreign mercenaries at the plant”

    Those mercs would be remnants from Ukraine’s International Legion who were sent to the area to fight. I’ve heard that when the Russians find that they are facing mercs, that they hold nothing back. Gunna see a lot of mercs being taken prisoner in the next few months, including from this plant, as there are so many in the Ukraine. Came across an article talking about these mercs in an RT article so will quote a big chunk for those who cannot get RT where they live-

    ‘According to the statistics, a total of 6,956 foreign citizens from 64 nations arrived in Ukraine to become pro-Kiev combatants between February 24 and June 17. Some 1,956 of those have been killed, while 1,779 have left the country, the ministry said.

    According to the Russian figures, the largest number of fighters came from Poland, with 1,831 of its citizens joining the Ukrainian ranks. The Eastern European nation was followed by Canada, the US, Romania and the UK in terms of the number of citizens traveling to Ukraine to fight. Between 422 and 601 people came from each of those four nations, the Russian military claimed.

    More than 100 fighters joined Kiev’s forces from each of Georgia, Croatia, Syria, Belarus, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Albania, Lithuania and Portugal, the report stated. Partially recognized Kosovo was the source of 156 fighters. Nigeria was the biggest African source of combatants, with 85 of them arriving from the country to take part in combat.

    In general, soldiers from European nations had a higher retention rate than their counterparts from other parts of the world, the data suggests. Almost 65% of the Polish fighters remain in Ukraine, compared to 45% of Canadians, and less than 17% of Americans. However, that is not true of every European nation. According to the numbers, of the 36 Swedish nationals who went to Ukraine, 30 have left and just one is still fighting. Of the 33 people from the Czech Republic, 14 have died and 15 remain in Ukraine.’

    1. Bart Hansen

      The women ‘escaped’ from Azot? Why, my newspapers told me they were ‘sheltering’.

      1. digi_owl

        Now you got me wondering if we will be hearing about Ukrainian “comfort women” in a few years time.

    2. anon in so cal

      Wonder what the deal is on Nazi and paramedic Yulia Paevskaya, aka “Taira.

      Not clear if her swap is a fake narrative.

    3. The Will-Skill to Kill

      “of the 36 Swedish nationals who went to Ukraine, 30 have left and just one is still fighting.”

      What does this say about Sweden and NATO fighting skill and will?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “China launches third aircraft carrier, the Fujian”

    Three sounds impressive to have in only a decade but in reality, they only have one that will be deployable. The US aircraft carrier experience is that typically only one in three are deployed at any one time. With the other two there is the matter of repairs, maintenance, upgrades, etc. So for the Chinese, they will probably find that they will have only one on deployment at any one time. Of course that Chinese carrier could always be parked off Diego Garcia flying freedom of navigation flights. :)

    1. jackiebass63

      Actually surface ships are very vulnerable to attack. They will soon become obsolete. Their cost will spiral out of sight.

      1. John

        Yes they are, but for China, I speculate, a carrier as a surveillance platform within the island chains and as an impressive means to show the flag might justify the cost. And I doubt that China’s carriers’s costs include the inflated profits of the builders. China also has the benefit of seeing the mistakes of others and, one assumes, avoiding them.

      2. Pelham

        I believe there was a link here a few days ago to a thinker who made a similar point and suggested an old French naval strategy that focuses instead on submarines and small, heavily armed torpedo boats, plus a few surface vessels.

        The problem is that for the US to maintain its global empire, aircraft carriers may be a necessity to at least symbolically exercise its power and occasionally keep unruly impoverished states in line. So the US would have to sustain both a rotating fleets of carrier strike groups AND the kind of force described above to deal with near-peer conflicts, should they arise. Sounds expensive, especially when you consider that several enormous surface ships are required to defend each of the carriers.

        Separately, a question: I’ve read that the real value of the US maintaining a huge navy and hundreds upon hundreds of military bases around the world lies in keeping global trade routes open and freely flowing. Unexamined, that sounds legit. And I suppose that made sense when the US was running trade surpluses many decades ago. But now that we appear to be running a permanent series of trade deficits, how does maintaining trade routes benefit the US, since we appear to be propping open the arteries that are bleeding us out?

        1. hemeantwell

          I’ve read that the real value of the US maintaining a huge navy and hundreds upon hundreds of military bases around the world lies in keeping global trade routes open and freely flowing.

          As I understand it that was Mahan’s central claim In The Influence of Sea Power on History written in 1890. But with long range missiles can surface craft do that anymore? Aren’t they now irrelevant? And now it would have to be “Damn the insurance costs, full speed ahead!”

        2. Kouros

          Some years ago, on an article from “War on the Rocks” a US Admiral admitted that it is mainly the flip side of the “keeping global trade routes open and freely flowing”, that is blockading and cutting trade routes for potential enemies that the US Navy is mostly interested in.

          It would require some work to retrieve the article, but it is there in the infosphere…

          1. RobertC

            The US Navy wants a traditional naval opponent in China but China isn’t having any of that with their “quantity has a quality of its own” three-prong fleet: thousands of maritime militia fishing ships; hundreds of Coast Guard ships; and hundreds of PLAN ships, all of which can operate independently as well as jointly, albeit with distributed control. There is very little in the navalist literature discussing a response to this fleet, basically because it’s an unsolveable problem with conventional weapons.

            “blockading and cutting trade routes”? China has multiple responses to that, including the Road part of BRI and its Iron Silk Road not to mention the pipeline networks.

            It’s becoming a Mackinder world.

        3. Greg

          Michael Hudson has pointed out that the military bases serve as a mechanism for generating a lot of US dollar purchases by the countries in which they’re situated, reinforcing global dollar hegemony to fund the military spending. Bit of a self licking icrecream cone.

      3. digi_owl

        They know, but they will still be built.

        This similar to how nations built dreadnaughts like crazy before WW1, but come the actual war there was one engagement and then nope. Too expensive to loose.

        Carriers are the peacocks tail of nations. You park them off the coast of some lesser nation to indicate that you are aware and ready to interfere. just far enough out though that the coastal ASM batteries can’t reach.

        It is a bit like the space race, where the ability to lob people to the moon and back was indirect indication of how much of a payload of nukes one could potentially lob at the enemy. That China can build carriers at all is a hint at its overall industrial capacity.

        Now submarines are where there real story is. And from what i can quickly find, China have something like 7 ballistic missile subs in operation with more under construction.

      4. ex-PFC Chuck


        “Actually surface ships are very vulnerable to attack.”

        As the recently departed military reformer Pierre Sprey put it, “The Navy now has two kinds of ships: submarines and targets.”

    2. RobertC

      It’s complicated.

      For instance, China built singletons of various nuclear power plant reactors before settling on its current preference. So perhaps this applies to their aircraft carrier program.

      Consider the foreign policy aspects. Hey Russia, wanna trade an aircraft carrier for some minerals and foods? Hey Pakistan, wanna lease an aircraft carrier for BRI concessions? Hey Indonesia, wanna be the big guy in the hood…cheap?

      And there’s the possibility of creating a security consortium to lease-purchase an aircraft carrier, aircraft, escorts, etc.

      Hey Egypt, whatcha doin’ with those Mistrals?

    3. Matthew G. Saroff

      The Chinese launching an catapult type aircraft carrier might not be a mistake if they understand the purpose.

      Aircraft carriers cannot function as capital ships these days, because they cannot maintain control over the seas, but they can be very useful for coastal bombardment and the maintenance of empire.

      If their intent is that, it makes sense.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Bonus antidote du jour’

    If only more of those ‘get togethers’ occurred out on the sidewalk, instead of the middle of the aisles at King Soopers or Target… and with a lot more children. Any effort to pass by is also met with the flashing of large canines.

    1. notabanker

      Ironic given Citizens United was the end of whatever was left of democracy in the US.

      US is a third world failed state.

        1. JTMcPhee

          My Florida, under DeSantis and electoral-lock Red legislature, stacked courts and hobbled agencies, is looking good as a candidate. Dem party here is a private club, headquartered in a waterfront condo building, waiting for the corrosion to undo the rebar sinews and dump the greedheads into the basement.

    2. John k

      I really think she just might accept a draft in dems hour of need.
      More than ever imo we dodged a bullet in 2016… she’s saying this after seeing the result.

    3. chuck roast

      Yes, The Big Read as they call it in the pink paper. I laughed out loud in the library when I read the headline…simply couldn’t bring myself to read the interview. I wonder if they asked her about all of the empty hockey rinks she and Bubba had their ‘conversations’ in a while back. People like her just never get the message.

  9. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon was in ill sorts today as most of the young grunts had put all of their pay into Bitcoin in order to secure their financial future, ‘a time honored investment since Obama was President’ was the hue and cry as tiers fell.

    They used to be so happy to do KP duty, knowing that this too shall pass and before you know it, they’d all be making the same amount of manna as a retired 2 star general pushing slanted views on Fox or CNN, it was a given.

    Dreams die hard and a few felt this was merely a test of their mettle and loudly told everybody within earshot that they were going to buy the dip, in a rather blatant attempt to get others to do the same.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      For Democrats to call this Frat Party “a threat to democracy” is sheer projection. Maybe AOC was shaking in fear in the Capitol basement because Triumph was going to ask her about her gown at the Met Gala.

      An Insult President whose glorious attempt at Restoration is foiled by an Insult Comic Dog. Trump will attack poor Triumph and the Democrats will elect him Senator from California after Diane Feinstein retires. Putin must wonder why he isn’t King of the World.

      1. marym

        Except for the cop and photographer the first day, the witnesses have been Trump’s family, appointees, and lawyers; and members the Republican legal establishment.

        They all claim they knew the election results weren’t fraudulent, and that maneuvers proposed to reject electoral ballots were illegal. Apparently they were all sufficiently ok with it not to bother informing the public.

        Is “Our Democracy” already so compromised that the details of the 2020 election subversion attempt aren’t even worth talking about? At least as much as AOC’s dress or her concerns about the crowd at her workplace. mmv, I guess.

        1. Pat

          Attempted Subversion of our election results has been bipartisan and SOP for decades. While people with some power to do something about everything that allows for public distrust of the results are now talking about it would be cause for celebration and hope, except this is more about Orange Man Bad than about addressing the clear deficits within the system.

          Part of my screw this waste of time attitude towards this comes from watching Democrats, who are running this show, whine about voter suppression when they lose and ignore it when they win. Part of it from watching within a deep blue state as our voter registration procedures get used to disenfranchise dissident Democratic voters and for them embracing easily hacked voting machines where the voter cannot see how their vote has been recorded. But beyond even that is knowing this show has taken countless hours and dollars will not provide any result that will stop sore losers like Trump AND Clinton from gumming up the system meanwhile our elected officials will do nothing about hunger, homelessness, healthcare or inflation relief for our battered and beaten populace because posing for protection of the system that elects their useless asses.

        2. Michael Ismoe

          Does anyone else find it ironic that the party so worried about the “threat to democracy” is the same party that had the Green Party kicked off the ballot in 5 states in 2020?

          1. LifelongLib

            Here in Hawaii the Libertarians usually outpoll the Greens 2 to 1, so 3rd parties probably drain more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. I suppose that varies state to state though.

      2. Kevin Hall

        “A threat to democracy”

        “An attack on democracy”

        I keep seeing this and hearing it and in my mind is Inigo Montoya and his famous words……

        A threat to the facade of democracy or an attack on the veneer of democracy is what it was as what we have is a fake democracy – and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

        1. hunkerdown

          You’re missing the key word: “OUR” democracy. Not the people in general, just the landed. Ever it was thus under capitalism, any impression to the contrary being entirely ideological.

          1. Kevin Hall

            There has never been anything but a false democracy since the beginning. This, no matter what they want to call it. So no, I didn’t miss a thing.

            I don’t miss you either.

      3. anon in so cal

        Didn’t Nancy Pelosi single-handedly choose all the committee members? (with Dems’ idol, Liz Cheney, the sole Republican)

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Tucker points out that there are 1/6 protesters who have been denied bail and in solitary confinement for 18 months who are charged with this same crime.

      And, though I wouldn’t be caught dead watching the kangaroo court 1/6 “hearings” extravaganza, wasn’t one of the “damning” pieces of evidence presented (noted here the other day) by intrepid democracy defender, liz cheney, a pic of a protester taking a photo of a staircase? Apparently camera work in the sacred democracy place is evidence of antidemocratic nefariousness, and colbert’s goons had plenty of cameras.

      And then there’s Triumph. A talking dog that hurls insults in the hallowed halls must have terrified at least one member of congress and driven him or her under the desk in fear for their life.

      1. MT_Wild

        The suspected Q train shooter who killed the Goldman Sachs trader was paroled after just 4 months of a 3 year sentence for attempted murder.

        Guess they’re trying to make a point by holding the January 6 protesters for 18 months.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      I’m getting the feeling no one here watches Colbert anymore but I would love to know what he’s been saying lately that this might tie into because this is a very strange stunt/protest. If this isn’t in support of the right to protest at the Capitol (a reasonable pro-1st Amendment position), then I can’t begin to figure out what they were doing.

      We’re watching the influencers’ heads blowing up in real time as their brains burst from trying to hold too many contradictory thoughts simultaneously. I’m beginning to suspect that cognitive dissonance is about to deliver a number of Mr Creosote punchlines to some overinflated careers.

      1. Screwball

        My PMC friends who hang on every Colbert word says his people roaming the WH is fake news brought to you by (drum roll) the Kremlin bots.

        Of course.

        And to all of them, the rest of us are the idiots.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Feature: Syrian farmers in NE province struggling under U.S. ban on wheat sales, severe draught”

    The US is occupying Syria’s wheat-belt and has forbidden farmers selling their wheat to the Syrian government in order to starve the Syrian people. Some time ago I read that malnutrition was a problem with Syrian children. And wouldn’t you know it, the Russians are helping the Syrians out. They are loading Ukrainian wheat in Sevastopol in Crimea and are shipping it to Syria to feed the people there-

    If course the Ukrainians are not happy as is the west with what they regard as theft. But realistically, where else was that wheat going to go and how was it going to get there? The Ukrainians still refuse to de-mine Odessa so that wheat ships can dock there. And being a bit of a cynic, if those wheat ships had gone to the EU instead of Syria, I bet that nothing would ever have been said.

    1. nippersdad

      “…if those wheat ships had gone to the EU instead of Syria, I bet that nothing would ever have been said.”

      I have seen in several places the point made that the grain sent out of Ukraine to Europe has a strange way of disappearing into the ether; that it may have been used as a method of paying for arms shipments by Ukraine. As you say, if it had been sent to Europe then nothing would ever have been said, and this may be evidence of that.

  11. Lexx

    ‘Under Federal Pressure, Colorado River Water Managers Face Unprecedented Call For Conservation’

    As for the small cities in Northern Colorado, their water comes from the Upper Cache La Poudre and the Big Thompson, which flows into the South Platte.

    The Colorado River and the South Platte provide water for Denver. The majority of the agricultural demand is downstream from Northern Colorado. I can only imagine the local response to a demand we conserve water.

    On the homefront, the rainbarrel I use to water the garden was down to a quarter full, then a growler came through in the wee hours two nights ago and refilled it. Most of the rain that falls here (if it makes it over the Rockies) does so in the summer.

    1. Wukchumni

      A friend moved from her house in Las Vegas to more watery digs and I begged her to sell it at what was the top of the market, as I knew what was coming down the pike (or shall I say what wasn’t coming in the guise of translucent liquid we all crave) and to take advantage of the $250k tax free windfall and move on, but she related that I was the only person she knew who advised her to do this, and instead she rented it out-which put her in jail as far as the tax break goes…

      You can lead a person to wisdom, but you can’t make them drink it in.

      1. John Zelnicker

        You are right, Wuk. As a tax accountant I would have recommended the same thing.
        If she wanted a rental property she should have sold her home and bought a different property to rent out.
        She has 2 years, IIRC, from the time she moved into a new home to change her mind and sell the house and claim the $250k exclusion of profit, or $500k if she files a joint return with her spouse.

        1. Dalepues

          Hi John, interesting comments. I have considered selling my house here
          in Midtown Mobile, but the problem is where to move, where to buy. Realtor
          dot com has been on my screen at least an hour a day for the last couple
          of months while I scan the listings for a suitable replacement. I’ve looked in
          LA, southwest Georgia, and in the Florida panhandle. Prices are very high
          ($100k a year ago, $200k today) and the houses by and large are
          handyman specials, most needing complete rehab. So I think I’ll stay put,
          until next Spring at least. There is also the possibility of selling and
          moving to Central America or northern South America.

        2. Objective Ace

          The rule is actually the 2 out of 5 year rule, specifically:

          Your property must be your primary residence, not an investment property, to qualify for the home sale exclusion. The home must have been owned and used as a primary residence for a minimum of two out of the last five years immediately preceding the date of sale.

      2. Lexx

        We’re seeing a lot of out-of-state plates. Thousands of people have pulled up stakes to try their luck in the more watery digs of Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthod, Greeley, Timnath, Windsor, and Longmont… and they’re paying cash. We’ve noticed the increasing number of out-of-staters for the last 4-5 years. There are housing developments everywhere, with a starting price of a half million. Our water largess won’t last much longer. I may be in denial saying it exists at all, but the trees and lawns look perversely green and content.

  12. Wukchumni

    Re:Pence… all you sinners

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual gathering of social conservatives was once Mike Pence’s home turf.

    The former vice president would attend the conference each year to address an audience of like-minded evangelicals who were eager to hear him speak and elevate him politically.

    This year, Pence has taken on a new persona among the crowd—a Trump era castoff who is probably better off not showing his face. And he seems to know it. The former veep was invited to the conference but decided not to attend. It was the first time Pence had missed the conference in five years.

    While Pence has, so far, dodged discussing the committee’s proceedings, Trump used his own appearance at the Faith & Freedom conference to attack his veep.

    “Mike Pence had a chance to be great, he had a chance to be frankly historic,” Trump said. “But Mike did not have the courage to act.”

  13. Pontiusprimate

    Re: Lavrov’s BBC interview – thought you’d find it amusing to know that the BBC had blocked that YouTube video in the UK. Clicking on your link here in Blighty gives me a message saying “The uploader had not made this video available in your country“.

    Happily, using the BBC’s own advice to Russians on how to access their services using a VPN I was able to watch it and have a good chuckle.

    Come on if you think you’re hard enough!

      1. digi_owl

        May not even be malicious. As i understand it, BBC World is a commercial wing of BBC that is not allowed to operate within UK or some such.

        Similarly, if you try to access from outside UK you will be redirected to

        1. Pontiusprimate

          If I click on their channel logo beneath the forbidden video I can watch any other video on the channel… Just not this one!

  14. Andrea

    Harris: “Online abuse and harassment, which aim to preclude women and LGBTQ+, etc, etc, from political decision-making about their own lives and communities, undermine the functioning of democracy.”

    From one of the main idpol idiots that divided Americans, who once lived in a unified country, into dozens of tranches, fostered hatred and division among and between them, who worked so hard to focus some people’s vision backwards to innumerable grievances, all to promote the thin tissue of her “career”—
    and now she wants us to be all be unified and support each other????

    Following her Indian mother cultural tarot race card she often plays, when not the other one, isn’t there a version of Political Suttee she could practice?

    1. jr

      With Harris at the helm of this intentionally divisive and corrosive effort, I feel confident all Americans will be coming together and joining hands in peace and mutual love within six months time.

    2. Skip Intro

      And she’s just one or two bicycle-based Biden photo ops from the presidency. I wonder if her people came up with the stunt…

    3. marym

      Liberals and the would-be-left divided themselves into a zillion identity groups, and the right (deeming only one identity group as Real America) is coming for all the rest of them, and not just with online harassment.

      According to the linked report the “task force” will focus on campaigns against “individuals who are public and political figures, government and civic leaders, activists, and journalists in the United States and globally.” Of course.

      Links on current anti-lgbtq+ activism against the non-elite.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Tesla is sending untrained employees to work on cars as service becomes problematic”

    Back in the 70s it was said that you did not want a car built on a Monday or a Friday. On a Friday, the worker’s minds were already on the weekend & not on the job while on a Monday, many of them were still hung over from the weekend. So here we are half a century later and with advanced technology, you do not now want a Tesla serviced on any day of the week because the workers may literally not know their jobs. Progress!

    1. flora

      Efficiency! (Training is an inefficient use of corporate dollars; training doesn’t maximize immediate profits.) / ;)

  16. Wukchumni

    Wow, it turns out that My Kevin (since ’07) is secretly controlled by Greene and Gaetz, with the latter insisting that jeers & cheers made the difference.

    In newly released interviews with Time Magazine, Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene gloated that they have control over California Rep. and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

    If Republicans take back the House in this year’s midterm elections — as political analysts expect — Gaetz, Greene and other members of the so-called “MAGA Squad” could have undue influence in who becomes the next speaker. This, Gaetz and Greene said in the Time article, means McCarthy needs to curry favor with them if he hopes to become speaker.

    “Greene is forthright about the fact that she expects to have some leverage over McCarthy if he seeks the Speakership, and she intends to make the most of it,” the author of that article, Molly Ball, wrote. “Whoever wants to be the next speaker, Greene tells me, is going to have to earn her backing—and that of her allies.”

    Gaetz said McCarthy’s subservience to him was apparent in two separate instances that occurred earlier this year. The first was when McCarthy told the rest of the Republican caucus he would call Gaetz and admonish him for repeatedly assailing Rep. Liz Cheney after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

    “Gaetz tells me that McCarthy did subsequently call him, but the conversation went rather differently,” Ball wrote. “The interaction, Gaetz says, felt more like a box-checking exercise than a tongue-lashing.”

    The second instance came at an anti-Cheney rally former president Donald Trump held in May. Both Gaetz and McCarthy made virtual appearances at that rally. According to the Time article, when McCarthy appeared on screen at the rally, the crowd booed; when Gaetz appeared on screen, the crowd cheered.

    “I see conditions that are unfavorable to a successful speakership when, at a Donald Trump rally, the leader of the Republican conference was booed on a monitor and likely would have been booed off the stage,” Gaetz told Time. “Before the Times tapes … ‘I don’t think McCarthy would have been booed at a Trump rally. After he talked s— about me, the boos rained down, and I got a standing ovation.’”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Truth to some kind of “power.” What a concept.

      I guess Gaetz and Greene could have taken The Squad route and just dropped to their knees and started lickin’.

    2. flora

      I remember the original Tea Party movement prevented then Speaker Boehner, in a budget ‘fight’, from making what would have been a terrible deal with O to cut SS (terrible for SS recipients) on the grounds his proposed cuts did go deep enough. No deal on SS was made. That kept SS intact. (I’ll take a good result even if it’s from a political faction I disagree with.) Boehner complained about the “crazies” in his party. (Shorter: people aren’t as measurable, predictable, and fixed as the AI enthusiasts would have us believe.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      If so, he’s left his run a bit late. A few months more and the Democrats will be shredded so trying to push through the appointment of Larry might be a hard slog. Anyway, he always strikes me as the sort of guy to desert a sinking ship – not board one.

      1. Pat

        Nah, this is just about Larry remaining the top media expert on inflation. His various sinecures require him to make sure that no money goes to the grubby masses, so inflation must always be the result of something that will not include ant solution that requires higher wages or stop gap government interventions that will allow the public to ride it out. If it can pass the blame to the Orange Man even better.

  17. Cooper

    We’re going on a buyer’s strike for the rest of the Biden/Harrecession,
    or at least until the midterms.

    Every discretionary dollar you spend is helping prop up this pile of steaming shit. Hold a garage sale for the environment and to help topple the legitimacy of the war empire by taking away retail sales.

    1. Dftbs

      You may also consider that your saved dollar’s purchasing power may be inflated away. I say hold your spending back until that sweet spot between discounted asset prices and the fall of the republic. I’m thinking sometime around October.

    2. Art_DogCT

      I can see denying retail sales to the big box chains. If you live in a place that still has locally owned and operated retail of any kind, it remains very important to support those businesses to the extent possible. The recession unfolding threatens small businesses far more than the big players. Where I live, the contribution of local small businesses to overall quality of life is significant. We’d like to see a lot more. So, taking action that harms our local small businesses strikes me very much as having a dump where we dine. As international and national links fracture and fail, it will be small communities, as self-sufficient and self-reliant as they can be brought to be, that will fare best through the process that will see the end of empire and whatever comes next.

      I support my local True Value Hardware over Lowe’s or Home Depot, a local restaurant over a chain of any kind, and so on. I also have a bias for cooperative forms of business organization and support co-ops with my business as often as I can. I’ll happily encourage withholding custom from the likes of Walmart, Ahold Delhaize, Bank of America, et. al., at the same time encouraging everyone I can to Buy Local.

      (The food co-op startup that claims most of my time, Mad River Market, has a motto that expresses our core values: Eat Healthy – Buy Local – Build Community.) #CoopNerd

      1. flora

        If you live in a place that still has locally owned and operated retail of any kind, it remains very important to support those businesses to the extent possible.

        Yes! Just wanted to repeat your point. The locally owned will still be here (hopefully, with community support) when the big chains leave in their chase for better profits just over the horizon.

  18. Wukchumni

    Until short term vacation rentals showed up a decade ago, tiny town here was one of the least tacky of entrance towns to National Parks that i’ve been to, we just didn’t try all that hard-it wasn’t our style compared to say Springdale, Utah-the entrance town to Zion which has an Imax theater and seemingly only exists to cater to tourists as far as I can tell.

    Wildfires the past couple of years have come in September and killed the AirBnB business, but they both came after Labor Day when things simmer down quite a bit, not say right now when the would-be Hiltons make their dough and any old house is worth $6k a month in income or more.

    Before the disaster, Rebecca Stoneberger was preparing for the start of summer tourism season. She had just expanded the hours at Bears Brew, her coffee shop in Gardiner, Mont., a gateway town on the edge of Yellowstone National Park.

    This past week, historic flooding from torrential rainfall and excess snowmelt caused the Yellowstone River to swell to record levels within hours. Stoneberger watched helplessly with her community as the flooding swept her neighbor’s building, a structure housing families working for Yellowstone National Park, away. Not long after, Jeff Reed saw that same building float past his lodging business, Reedfly Farm, downriver in Paradise Valley.

    Gardiner “is a Yellowstone town,” said Park County Commissioner Bill Berg during a news conference. “It lives and dies by tourism, and this is going to be a pretty big hit.” Early discussions suggest repairing the roads could take up to 24 months.

    “The news that we’re all getting today” is that “it could be one year, two years. Everybody here should be prepared for 24 months of tough times,” said Victor Kaufman, owner of Cowboy’s Lodge and Grille and partner of the Iron Horse Bar & Grill in Gardiner, after a community meeting.

  19. TimH

    Exercising before or after a flu vaccine may make it work better

    Drinking tea using your left hand and with the little finger extended before or after a flu vaccine may make it work better too.

    Pet annoyances:
    – Lede makes explicit claim, body makes it a mere possibility
    – “may’
    – “up to”
    – “average” instead of mean/median/mode

    1. Kenita

      The alleged parents whining about their infants not being able to get vaccinated?

      They can just sign up for a pharma trial. Jump the line. Offer their children to become a lab rat. Only a few will die, or get crippled for life, only a few may become infertile.

      Parents, put your honey where your mouth is.

    2. Mel

      There are a few synonyms that people should be aware of:

      may, might = may not, might not

      can, could = doesn’t/don’t have to

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Gov. Ron DeSantis clashes with Biden White House over decision that Florida won’t order vaccines for children under 5 Business Insider (Kevin W)

    Good for him! It’s about time someone took a stand against the corrupt, captured, taxpayer funded arm of big pharma known as the “fda.” Jabbing infants with this gene-editing experimental chemical cocktail is positively Mengele-esque as far as I’m concerned. There is nothing more cringe-worthy than those videos of tiny, helpless, vulnerable little humans being injected with this junk.

    PS. Regarding blood clotting and “long covid”–does anyone else notice how the symptoms of “long covid” increasingly resemble the litany of “vaccine” side effects as reported to VAERS? I’m sure it won’t be long before all the “mysterious” cardiovascular issues in formerly healthy young men are “investigated” as “long covid.” I suspect the suitable-for-tweeting graphics are being designed as we speak.

    1. flora

      A good video was made in support of the UK injured petition to the UK govt to recognize their situation and ask for assistance, this in conjunction with a bill before Parliament in May. I don’t know if this is NC’s interest or not. It’s not a video about whether one “should or shouldn’t” but about how does the govt respond to people who did what they felt their was their duty to the community and society and were harmed. They make no larger claims than that their injuries should be recognized, they did the right thing but suffering a bad consequence, and asking for some govt assistance to help them deal with the fallout.

      A Letter to My MP. ~rumble, 51minutes.

    2. Carolinian

      What you said. And I believe what IM Doc said as well–that is that he was reluctant to have his own kids vaccinated. To me it is surprising how little concern is shown toward submitting current day children to less than proven and yet govt.mandated requirements.

      1. Basil Pesto

        Under-5 vaccines are not mandated. They have just been authorised (and that process has been quite questionable in a number of ways as well, with accusation of Pfizer favouritism. It is does not strike me as a process that one could reasonably call rushed, however). Nor are they mandated for under-18s, as far as I know, from quick searching. Do correct me if I’m wrong.

        The impact of SARS2 infection on children has become clearer in the past 2 years, included the recent juvenile hepatitis outbreak – a non-negligible amount of “tiny, helpless, vulnerable little humans” (spare me) have been made to suffer through the victory of the mass infection policy as advocated by the GBD that is now miserable reality. Contrary to a lot of suspect talk in the first two years of the pandemic, it is not a harmless cakewalk for all children. If parents believe that vaccines have a chance to reduce even just the juvenile hepatitis risk (I don’t know whether they do or not), then is it any wonder they will take it? As you can tell, we are very short on meaningful solutions so people are quite desperate to take what they can get, whether inadequate vaccines, inadequate Ivermectin, or even both! You can surely understand why some parents (including many doctors!) are keen to have their children vaccinated in this context of desperation.

        And comparing parents who are desperate to do all they can to protect their children from the harms of an ACE2-binding SARS virus – including vaccination with a vaccine that is 1) performing poorly and, yes, clearly not perfectly safe (as no vaccine is or likely ever will be), but also 2) not, in fact, pure poison – to the barbaric torture and murder perpetrated by Josef Mengele is, if you’ll pardon my French, [family blogging] revolting, and you should be embarrassed for entertaining such an intellectually and morally bereft comparison (“What you said.”).

    3. Basil Pesto

      They are, and they have been since before the vaccine campaign of course. Long Covid predates vaccination and Covid sequelae were recognised by WHO in August 2020, long before the vaccines, based on reports from patients.

      While investigating these similarities between LC and vaccine adverse reactions could yield further valuable information on both (hypothesis of spike protein in the blood caused by vaccination and SARS2 occasionally as well, for example?), the fact that vaccine adverse events have not been investigated adequately or forthrightly is the most feeble-minded excuse imaginable to try cast the grim reality of long covid into doubt, as tedious as it is predictable in its bland stupidity. LC was documented before vaccines, similar sequelae were documented for SARS, and it will continue to happen long after the mass vaccination campaign, which will probably amount to about 6-12 months of a decades-long pandemic. There has been excellent scientific work done on the topic in the past two years.

      Instead of regurgitating warmed over shite in the form of “taxpayer funded” and “gene-editing experimental chemical cocktail” like you have the faintest idea of what you’re talking about, or putting “long covid” in scare quotes like a petulant teenager, perhaps you might consider paying attention and learning something. Granted, I’m sure detailed and impartial analysis such as that found in that link and this site on the topic for two years now is in short supply indeed on the dim, narrow horizon that is the Tucker Carlson show.

      And inhumane cretinism can come in more forms than the Mengelian, as it happens.

      1. c_heale

        There are a lot of side effects to the vaccine which were only disclosed relatively recently. And much we don’t know about the vaccine or the virus.
        The vaccines do not prevent infection, so they may well be worthless against long covid.

        I’m a bit tired of people asserting that the science tells us that the vaccines are safe. The scientific method only enables us to disprove things and make more plausible theories. If you want proofs, then you need to be looking at math, not science. The most the scientific method can tell us is that the vaccines may be safe until this point in time. Tomorrow their safety may be disproven.

        The WHO has been well behind the curve the whole time, especially regarding masking and the aerolisation of the virus. They are probably still well behind the curve.

        And I wouldn’t vaccinate any children I had either.

        1. Ahimsa

          I tried to reply to BP’s vituperative comment but Skynet ate mine.

          Thank you, c_heale, for responding.

    4. orlbucfan

      Regardless of your opinion on the effectiveness of Covid vaccines, please DO NOT insult human intelligence by praising a worthless piece of dung named Ron DeathSantis!

  21. Screwball

    If you are on Twitter, there is a video trending of Joe Biden falling off his bike. Not a good look.

    1. Skip Intro

      He fell right over after dismounting, like people who try toe clips, but his feet were on the ground. Nasty fall, with the bike between the legs, I expect he’s getting hip xrays. What sadists decided to put that poor guy on a bicycle for a photo op? I bet they find a fast track in the Harris regime.

      1. Screwball

        I watched a few clips after I posted this. It looked like when he stopped his foot got caught in the pedal because of the strap. That is very easy to do, and also why I always took those things off my petals. So I think it was an accident more than him. At least that is the way I saw it. Others might have other opinions.

        That said, I agree with you 100%. Even though my PMC friends think he is fit as a fiddle, both physically and mentally (just old is all) I think it’s pretty dangerous for him to be on a bike.

        I can’t imagine a president cackle. It would be a close race of “fingers on chalkboard” bout between H women – Harris and Hillary. Let’s hope is doesn’t come to that.

        1. Skip Intro

          Yes, he had his feet on the ground, then he picked up the right one, and it caught on the pedal.

      2. Carolinian

        Yes toe clips can be dangerous and only the really fit use them anyway.

        I just started riding my bike again and mounting and dismounting can be the most awkward part for the less than supple. Once you are going those two rubber rimmed gyroscopes help you with balance. I’m a lifelong cyclist and these days have better balance on my bike than on my own two feet. The real danger is less falling over than being wiped out by an SUV.

        1. Glen

          There are pedals that are zero force to clip/unclip. These just rely on geometry (twist your foot and out you come). I used them for years for commuting and racing. I used Speedplay Frogs for years, but they discontinued the Frogs. (The Speedplay road bike pedals are still around and VERY GOOD). I switch to pedals which require force to unclip and promptly crashed more times (twice!) in the last two years than I have in the last twenty.

          If they are letting Biden use toe clips, they should put on the training wheels, but it sounds like he managed to crash while dismounting. Bummer! I hate it when I do that!

    2. begob

      They cut out the bit where he fell off his swing, then had a brain freeze after eating his consolation ice cream too fast.

    3. albrt

      My favorite part is that Creepy Joe wears the same cheap Home Depot gloves for cycling that I do. They’re the same gloves he wore in a photo op around December 2020, and don’t appear to have been worn much in between. So somebody thought sending Creepy Joe out for a biking photo op (with toe clips that he doesn’t know how to use) for the first time in two years was a good idea. Probably the same person who came up with the plan to defeat Russia in Ukraine.

      OK, wait, no, my favorite part was that Dr. Jill Biden kept going.

      We just made reservations in Rehoboth for late September – first time in many years. Maybe we’ll see Creepy Joe, especially if he’s retired to spend more time with his family by then, as seems increasingly likely.

  22. jr

    Dept. of When the Right gets it right:

    Kraken Inc. CEO offers 4 months pay and the door to Woke employees on auto-trigger:

    The ship is starting to turn on the Woke. Even some of the liberals I know are expressing their annoyance. Let’s see what kind of fun legislation gets passed when the Democrats are swept from power.

  23. Jason Boxman

    What really speaks to the mindset and decadence of our elite, having demonstrated themselves so thoroughly unequal to the task of governing, is the outrage and contempt for the Chinese response to the pandemic. They bemoan the inconvenience and sacrifice that the CCP asks and requires of its citizens, as if life and living are easy and risk free, and a society can never impose upon anyone any inconvenience, no matter the reason, for the greater good. This was crystal clear early on, when in the US our elite couldn’t be bothered to follow their own mask mandates. If such a small ask is anathema, good luck with any serious hardship. Of course this is all wrapped up neatly in a feigned concern for the nonetheless real suffering that Chinese-style lockdowns inflict.

    Stay safe!

  24. Jason Boxman

    French Nuclear Power Crisis Frustrates Europe’s Push to Quit Russian Energy

    The partial shutdown isn’t unique: Around half of France’s atomic fleet, the largest in Europe, has been taken offline as a storm of unexpected problems swirls around the nation’s state-backed nuclear power operator, Électricité de France, or EDF.

    As the European Union moves to cut ties to Russian oil and gas in the wake of Moscow’s war on Ukraine, France has been betting on its nuclear plants to weather a looming energy crunch. Nuclear power provides about 70 percent of France’s electricity, a bigger share than any other country in the world.

    But the industry has tumbled into an unprecedented power crisis as EDF confronts troubles ranging from the mysterious emergence of stress corrosion inside nuclear plants to a hotter climate that is making it harder to cool the aging reactors.

    (bold me)

    Well, that’s not good.

    But the French nuclear industry, mostly built in the 1980s, has been plagued for decades by a lack of fresh investment. Experts say it has lost valuable engineering expertise as people retired or moved on, with repercussions for EDF’s ability to maintain the existing power stations — or build ones to replace them.

    “EDF’s strategy, endorsed by the government, was to delay the reinvestment and transformation of the system,” said Yves Marignac, a nuclear energy specialist at négaWatt, a think tank in Paris. “The more EDF delays, the more skills keep getting lost, technical problems accumulate and there is a snowball effect.”

    (bold mine)

    Or that.

    If only nuclear really was some kind of magic panacea. Radical conservation is a better approach, but that would be an inconvenience, to be sure.

  25. jr

    Former Google engineer and Christian mystic Blake Lemoine continues to provide:

    According to Lemoine, the AI faces bigotry. Perhaps Kamalalala Harris’s new power as Czar of Mean Words can be brought to bear on the issue. Meanwhile, Youtube is filled with comments as to how far Lemoine and the AI’s relationship has gone, if it’s ports need cleaning, and how long before it dumps him.

    1. hunkerdown

      Worsening matters, the hiring signs are coming back out around Detroit. The local McD’s is offering “up to” $15 per hour on the digital marquee. A local steel mill is calling for electricians and other workers with a sign at the facility entrance; a rate might have been offered but the light was green. The local creamery is hiring.

      I suppose that whole “overheating” economy thing is a sly way to say their barista doesn’t laugh along with their flawless wit as long as they would like. I don’t consider it really overheating until I see a help wanted sign for a budtender.

      1. Wukchumni

        Biden did a press conference in Idaho last year and announced that firefighters would make a minimum of $15 an hour. Whoop de doo!

        There’s quite a shortage of firefighters now, nobody wants to do the incredibly hard work for McDonalds wages, and I can’t blame them.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Do you think that if firefighters were renamed as Fire Management Consultants, that there would be less resistance to give them a pay rise? Firefighters deserve all the money that they get and we need them more and more of them as climate change is turning the landscape into tinder boxes.

        2. c_heale

          15 bucks! They have a really dangerous job with probable shorter life expectancy due to things like smoke inhalation.

          Biden is heartless.

  26. Jeremy Grimm

    Putin’s speech — his views of the global economic situation and his characterization of the actions of the u.s. and EU — builds a damning critique of those actions. But Putin’s discussion of initiatives for stimulating the Russia economy were surprising to me in how similar they were to discussions by u.s. politicians of initiatives for stimulating the u.s. economy.

    Some of the content of Putin’s speech in the section “… about the key principles on which our [Russia] country, our [Russia] economy will develop …” seems to invoke many themes familiar from political speeches in the u.s. Perhaps this is an artifact of the translation. Putin expresses concern for social justice, reducing inequality, economic resilience, building infrastructure, encouraging small and medium business, and “reliance on entrepreneurial freedom”. There is a line about “marketing locally produced organic food and environmentally friendly products nationwide using domestic websites” and further along “green projects and climate preservation”, and stressing ‘innovation’ in contrast to “only imitate others when trying to replace foreign goods with copies”. I do not know what sort of onerous regulations constrain Russian business — some of Putin’s freeing of entrepreneurs and “Russia needs to ensure the dynamic development of the economy – naturally, relying on private business” resonates in eerie echo of sentiments I recall from Reagan, although Putin’s “address our officials, owners of large companies, our business leaders and executives” sounds more like sentiments from FDR.

    This speech makes it very difficult to paint Putin as a reincarnation of Stalin or whatever way the u.s. is trying to paint him. I believe the MIC and u.s. Intelligence apparatus have their work cut out for them if, as I believe is the case, they intend to use Russia as a boogeyman to justify their funding lines.

    1. montanamaven

      He sounds like a good old industrial capitalist as opposed to the service and finance industry capitalist. He also sounds like he’d get along with the Greens.

    2. lance ringquist

      he sounded like a combo of FDR’S new deal, and Trumans GATT. i remember some russians saying in the 1990’s why did you send these so-called economists over here, why didn’t you send FDR.

      ask nafta billy clinton why did he send free trade nutcases over to russia.

    1. jr

      If Gavin continues to attend super-spreader events and develops COVID related neurological issues, he will be the perfect replacement for “Slo-Mo, Uh Oh!, Don’t Know” Joe. How’s Newsom around children?

  27. Mikel

    “Why Does the United States Have a Military Base in Ghana?” CounterPunch

    I visited Ghana (not called part of the “Gold Coast” for nothing) a few years ago. I was struck by two things 1) the lushness of agriculture development 2) the religious freedom and peaceful co-existence among an incredible variety of churches. These are two images that we in the USA don’t often of African countries.
    I saw impoverished conditions in places, but not really hunger. And I ventured outside of the major cities.
    Fishing communites were large, especially around the Cape Coast Castle (an infamous slave port).

    1. David

      Journalist who doesn’t know what he’s talking about interviews political activist likewise. Hilarity ensues. Accra is a decent international airport by African standards, and is a regional hub: Air France, KLM etc. fly there. It’s an obvious location to set up a passenger and freight handling system for deployments to West Africa and beyond. It’s a “base” in the same way that British Airways has a “base” in Washington, New York etc. In practice, it’s probably an air movements team. The US personnel there are probably under a Status of Forces Agreement which you can easily find information about, even if you’re a journalist. It typically gives the sending state jurisdiction over criminal investigations and charges against its own personnel. They are widely used not only in this kind of deployment, but in peacekeeping missions as well.

      You’re right about the churches, though. I remember some years ago travelling across the country by road with a Ghanaian friend, who turned to me at one point, and said “you know I could never work out why there’s so much crime and corruption in this country and at the same time so many churches.” I don’t know either.

      1. Mikel

        From what I understood from one of the locals (if I remember correctly), one of the hotpoints for needed security was along the border between the Ivory and Gold Coast states.

        Ghana is a good starter country for Americans interested in visiting Africa. I just hated having to take Ethiopian Airlines because of the package deal granted to the group I was with.
        It meant having stop over in Ethiopia before landing in Ghana – extra time flying coast to coast over that huge continent. Landed,woke up, and was like, “What day is it?”

  28. drumlin woodchuckles

    Dr. Graham Walker says . . . ” I have no idea why the media continues to frame this person as some sort of “expert” in infectious disease at this point. ”

    The only reason he has no idea is that the truth is too awful for him to face up to. The media center Dr. Gandhi’s anti-mask propaganda because the media are part of the establishment working to spread covid everywhere on purpose and get everyone infected on purpose. If Dr. Graham Walker brings himself to face that basic fact of upper class agenda governance in America today, then Dr. Graham Walker will have a blindingly clear idea of “why the media continues to frame this person as some sort of “expert” in infectious disease at this point”. It is to keep covid spreading.

  29. ChrisRUEcon


    “I know we should want this for Assange but I would very much enjoy watching heads in the US explode”

    Moi aussi …

    C’mon people … let’s raise up some vibes! LOL

    Shades of Matthews’ meltdown post-Sanders-Las-Vegas-win incoming! Except, in French!

  30. Mikel

    “Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Interview on BBC” YouTube.

    “The old world is over: Key takeaways from Putin’s first major speech since Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine” RT

    “Cancel culture” also seems to be a recurring theme in both talks. Anti-social media could be a straw that broke the camel’s back with a lot of foreign policy and relations?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Looks like Russians have been deeply (and correctly) offended by Russian art and artists, particularly in music, being sanctioned, including “how can you possibly do that” types like Tchaikovsky?

      They aren’t trying just to stop commerce with Russia. They are attempting to expunge it from history.

      1. digi_owl

        That was perhaps what took me most by surprise with all this.

        It was not just protests outside Russian embassies etc, it was the excommunication of all things Russian.

        It was akin to the whole “freedom fries” thing, but far more widespread and vindictive. Perhaps the closest we have seen to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2.

        One may well start to wonder what, and who, is driving and directing this fervor.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Probably the same sort of government people who drove the same sort of antigermanitic culture-cancelling against German culture all over America during World War One. Suppression of German language media, renaming of sauerkraut to “Liberty Cabbage”, etc.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Just wait. It will be the turn of the Chinese soon enough and in the right circles, it will be OK to be racist against them.

      2. Tom Stone

        “Cancelling” Russian (Really World) Culture is so idiotic and bizarre there must have been multiple PhD’s involved.
        “No one could possibly be that Stupid” still comes out of my mouth from time to time and I am always wrong.

  31. Mikel

    How Republicans Can Win on Immigration Atlantic. Resilc: “We need labor. Healthcare aides, roofers, truckers, worker bees. Unlikely low skilled will make it anytime soon legally.”

    At any rate, they’ll just be importing more people subject to shootings everywhere, opiod crisis, rentiers everywhere, declining educational system, and endemic diseases with an overfinanicalized and expensive health care system. It would have to be a churn of immigrants on an even more epic level to keep up with all the problems that are at the root of the any labor crisis.

  32. jr

    Jimmy Dore raising heck on Tucker’s show:

    Dore points out that the Left voter and the Right voter have more in common than not, that the Democrats and corporate America use identity politics to divide and conquer with an air of moral righteousness, and that no one would actually let Joe Harris make any decisions of import. He is, as always, off base vis a vis COVID’s dangers.

  33. Jason Boxman

    Finally got around to reading The Corruption of the Best: On Ivan Illich – American Affairs Journal.

    There are some interesting passages on his thoughts on state provided education:

    Deschooling Society was, in Cayley’s words, “an immediate cause célèbre” and “the most widely discussed and debated of all of Illich’s writings.” The project had its beginnings in Puerto Rico, where Illich had initially advocated for free primary schooling for the poor. But as he began to study the observable effects of the expansion of schooling, he noticed its perverse consequences. The result of compulsory mass edu­cation, a relatively new presence in rural Puerto Rico, was not a “level playing field” between rich and poor, but a tendency to “com­pound the native poverty of half the children with a new sense of guilt for not having made it.”

    School, Illich came to see, could have the effect of justifying social inequality rather than redressing it. Those better equipped to jump through the educational system’s hoops, usually by virtue of having families that had prepared them, were rewarded as if their academic success was a manifestation of individual merit, while those who could not received the message that their failings were all their own. Just as harmful, he argued, was the school system’s artificial monopolization of learning. The ideology of education tacitly declared that knowledge, which might under other circumstances be acquired through independent study, apprenticeship, and other means, was a scarce commodity only obtainable by passing through prescribed rituals.

    Illich’s background in ecclesiology and church history informed these lines of criticism. The Gospel message, as he saw it, was a gift of unconditional, unlimited love and fellowship. Yet the history of the Catholic Church was that of the institutionalization of this subversive message. The voluntary fellowship of early Christians, which transcended the traditional boundaries of family and ethnic belonging, evolved into the compulsory rituals imposed by the Church at the height of its power. Likewise, learning at its best was a spontaneous exercise of curiosity in freely chosen collaboration with others, and school was a perversion of this possibility. Hence, he argued, school should be “disestablished,” as the Church had been in most Western nations.

    Illich’s optimism about the disestablishment of school proved unfounded. If anything, the salvific vision of education later came to animate policymakers more than ever before. In the United States, as the welfare state was scaled back during the 1980s and 1990s, education was promoted as the “great equalizer” that would enable those in poverty to raise their standard of living through their own efforts, as opposed to falling into dependency on the state. This missionary endeavor culminated in the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act and its Obama-era successors. As Illich would have predicted, the resulting bureaucratization of learning into a regime of testing and evaluation left many chil­dren behind, as inequality continued to skyrocket. But since almost no one questioned the assumptions behind these policies, the solution was always more school.

    (bold mine)

    1. c_heale

      As a former teacher, I agree with Illich. Imo the current teaching system is an effect of industrialisation and automation, and intentionally hinders the transmission of knowledge from family and local culture to children.

  34. C.O.

    Being from north of the border I don’t know how influential USA Today is, but stumbled on this and thought it might be of interest on the topic of information environment quality: USA Today removes 23 articles, says reporter fabricated sources

    Ah, and now here is the USA Today story, or at least one of them, this one published and edited June 16:

    USA TODAY removed 23 stories from website, other platforms following audit of reporter’s work

  35. The Rev Kev

    “Which works better to handle a pandemic – democracy or autocracy?”

    I don’t think that it is so simple. A lot of western countries are actually oligarchies – including the US unfortunately – so maybe the article title should be the following-

    ‘Which works better to handle a pandemic – oligarchy, democracy or autocracy?’

    And from what I have seen, the oligarchies have handles the pandemic worse of all. And to drive the point home, it is the same oligarchies that have led us into this economic catastrophe shaping up for us all.

  36. Wukchumni

    Climate change: New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps BBC
    When I first visited NZ in 1981 it was peak sheep with 70 million of them, and I remember watching 10-20 minutes worth of them blocking the road in a lambpede on a few occasions.

    There is 28 million now and some years ago I was in a backcountry hut on the Abel Tasman tramp (totally recommended, take a water taxi out as far as you want to walk back along the ocean and inland and back with many amazing beaches, I think we had to walk 60 km back to our car) and got talking to a Kiwi with 4,000 of them and he related that the value used to be 75% wool & 25% meat back in the day, but had flipped and was now 75% meat & 25% wool on account of synthetic apparel pulling the wool over its size.

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a short social media video ( in this case tik tok) on one of those stock-market groups ( in this case super stonk) about how to base stock buying decisions on studying Congressional schedules of what committees or subcommittees are holding hearings about what little aspect of appropriation or regulation, seeing which Congressfolk will be at what hearing, seeing which lobbyists have been listed as lobbying which Congressperson on behalf of what company that shares of stock may be bought in, etc.

    The Overheading is . . . ” this needs to stop. corruption in broad daylight”

    The video itself is about how to analyze the open-source-revealed details of this particular corruption as a guide to what stocks to buy and when to buy them. The little video itself is titled: How to find stocks.

    Here is the link.

    1. Ana

      Long ago in my lobbying days (for disability access) those sorts of bills were known as “juice bills”.

      No intention of actually passing them. They were just for squeezing juice (money) from some group. Sometimes in the form of campaign contributions or a gift to a tax exempt foundation. Sometimes via an envelope at a nice dinner at a well known place finished up with their excellent banana cream pie.

      A real shame I never had juice to work with and had to resort to other means. People with disabilities are the poorest of the poor.

      I did manage a bit of retaliation against the local System by punching out the manager of the banana cream pie place. He tossed me out saying my leg braces were making his customers “uncomfortable”.

      I swung up from my knees and he went over backwards into several tall stacks of chairs which really did make his blogging customers uncomfortable dodging same.

      Sometimes you win.
      Ana in Sacramento

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