Links 6/2/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

Wayward alligator hiding out in Texas RV park was ‘lost in the desert,’ sheriff says Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Crypto Gets Its Very First Insider-Trading Indictment New York Magazine

Letter in Support of Responsible Fintech Policy Concerned Tech. Many illustrious signatories. “If you’re a concerned computer scientist, technologist or developer and think that the status quo on crypto assets is not sustainable,” you can sign too (log-in required).

Bond Yields Are Signaling an Infeasible Compromise Bloomberg

JPMorgan chief says ‘hurricane’ is bearing down on economy FT


None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See Steve Keen

Global heating in the Arctic threatens Siberian tundra Deutsche Welle. Original. Trees taking over.


NTAGI may soon review efficacy data of India’s first intranasal Covid vaccine Economic Times of India. Bharat’s BBV154. About time.

* * *

Pandemic Refuges: Lessons from Two Years of COVID-19 (PDF) Risk Analysis. Press release. From the Abstract: “Through the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, several political jurisdictions have achieved low spread of COVID-19 via isolation from the rest of the world and can therefore classify as pandemic refuges. Their suppression and elimination of COVID-19 demonstrates the viability of pandemic refuges as a risk management measure. Whereas prior research emphasizes island nations as pandemic refuges, this paper uses case studies of China and Western Australia to show that other types of jurisdictions can also successfully function as pandemic refuges.”

Association between Self-reported Masking Behavior and SARS-CoV-2 Infection Wanes from Pre-Delta to Omicron-Predominant Periods — North Carolina COVID-19 Community Research Partnership (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Odds of infection for those who did not always compared to those who always wore a mask was 66% higher during pre-Delta, 53% higher during Delta, declining to 16% higher during Omicron.”

Reactivation of Tuberculosis in the Setting of COVID-19 Infection (case report) Cureus. From the Abstract: “About one-third of the world’s population is thought to be infected with latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Both previous and newly developed tuberculosis (TB) infection are risk factors for COVID-19 and are associated with poor outcomes. T lymphocytes play a pivotal role in defense against MTB and with evidence suggesting depletion of T lymphocytes in COVID-19, it can be postulated that COVID-19 can increase the risk of reactivation of latent TB…. Herein, we present a 76-year-old Brazilian male recently treated for COVID-19 pneumonia, presenting with new-onset cough and weakness diagnosed with latent MTB reactivation.”

When Science Becomes Embroiled in Conflict: Recognizing the Public’s Need for Debate while Combating Conspiracies and Misinformation The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science


Monkeypox tracker BNO News. UK leads the league tables; doubling behavior. Thread:

Monkeypox in a Traveler Returning from Nigeria — Dallas, Texas, July 2021 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC. From the Abstract:

The public health investigation included identifying and monitoring exposed persons and disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces. No secondary cases occurred.

From the text:

Because of the extensive pustular rash on his face, hospital staff members immediately placed the patient in an airborne isolation room, where he was managed with airborne and contact precautions plus eye protection.


Fortuitously, mask use during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ensured that contacts, including fellow airline passengers and crew members, community contacts, and health care providers, were at reduced risk for being infected with Monkeypox virus from this patient.

Oddly, only “disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces” makes it into the Abstract….


Covid-19 controls eased after protest in commuter town near Beijing South China Morning Post. You’d think that a Communist state could decouple wages and the provision of subsistence, but no.

Electric vehicles accelerate China’s looming dominance as a car exporter FT

In 2021, the number of overseas students returning to China for innovation and entrepreneurship exceeds one million for the first time What China Reads

Photos: Sri Lanka female rickshaw driver’s long wait for fuel Al Jazeera (Re Silc).


Is Myanmar’s military starting to lose the war? Asia Times

Shadowy pro-military militias target Myanmar’s anti-coup movement Al Jazeera. No respite during the rainy season.

One Year On: The Momentum of Myanmar’s Armed Rebellion The Wilson Center


India’s Last Best Chance Foreign Affairs

Wary of foreign ‘bad manners’, Japan cautiously eases borders to aid tourism Reuters. “Bad manners” = not masking (as one would expect).

A Bridge Too Far: Where Japan’s National Private Railways Is Failing S(ubstack)-Bahn


‘The City of London is a major drain on productive economic activity in Britain’ LBC. Under financialization, it’s facehuggers all the way down.

Public Pools for Everyone Tribune

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine Bits: Casualty Numbers, Kampfgruppen, Territorial Defense Forces Moon of Alabama

Russian Artillery Can Lob Shells At Ukrainian Troops With 10 Seconds’ Notice Forbes. From February 2. Can artillery mavens in the readership comment?

EXCLUSIVE U.S. plans to sell armed drones to Ukraine in coming days -sources Reuters. Sell them? With what does Ukraine propose to pay?

* * *

Why India is the big winner as EU’s Russia oil ban redraws energy trade map MarketWatch

Gazprom cuts gas supply to Orsted and Shell Energy Reuters

Of Sanctions and Strategic Bombers The Scholars Stage

* * *

What America Will and Will Not Do in Ukraine Joe Biden, NYT. Biden: “America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.” Make up your minds.

Ukraine’s Best Chance for Peace Foreign Affairs. Neutrality.

What The West (Still) Gets Wrong About Putin Foreign Policy. Putin-hatred is an enormous and carefully engineered asset; it’s hardly fair to call it “wrong.”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Race to Hide Your Voice Wired

Biden Administration

EXCLUSIVE: Hunter’s search history reveals his obsession with porn and sex fantasies including ’18yrs old,’ ‘lonely widow’ and ‘MILF crack cocaine porn,’ he uploaded his OWN amateur videos and texted Pornhub link to phone listed in his contacts as ‘Dad’ Daily Mail


And what, you ask, is a “mass shooting”:

Trial Diary: A Journalist Sits on a Baltimore Jury ProPublica

Police State Watch

Texas police union says misinformation is coming from ‘the very highest levels’ of law enforcement as authorities change story around the Uvalde school shooting Business Insider

Zeitgeist Watch

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Each Defamed Each Other, Jury Rules Variety

No more Elvis-themed weddings for Las Vegas chapels, a licensing company says NPR. Truly, we live in the end times.

How John Deere leverages repair-blocking into gag orders Cory Doctorow, Medium

World’s first ammonia-powered zero-emissions tractor starts testing Ars Technica (Re Silc).

Class Warfare

How America Sold Out Little League Baseball America Magazine

Amundi warns that parts of private equity market resemble ‘Ponzi schemes’ FT

4 hostile alien civilizations may lurk in the Milky Way, a new study suggests Live Science (Furzy Mouse).

Space Is a Fragile Ecosystem Slate

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote (DCBlogger):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. griffen

    Elvis theme weddings to become a relic of the past? Say it can’t be so. I do sense a marketing entry for a new themed wedding, below is my humble list of suggestions of mostly popular bands from the late 70s or early 80s.

    Billy Idol – White Wedding ( He has done this for a Sirius XM promo in recent years. I heard it!)
    Gene Simmons, Kiss – because opportunity is what he finds where none exist
    David Coverdale, Whitesnake – go for the premium edition with the Jaguar. Plus the dude yells at bears in his kitchen.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Since it’s Vegas, why not do a Johnny Depp-Amber heard wedding? After the wedding ceremony, the bride takes a dump in the bed, then cuts off her husband’s finger after he throws her down the staircase. Extra bonus: the divorce proceedings are all included in the wedding fee.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Gazprom cuts gas supply to Orsted and Shell Energy”

    Russia is starting to play hard ball. You don’t pay, you get nothing. I think that they call that capitalism. And I see that they are extending this into other fields now. So, ‘In April, the EU banned exports of semiconductors, machinery and other equipment worth €10 billion to Russia as part of the fifth package of sanctions.’ Russia has now said that they will be restricting the export of noble and other gases which will be subject to government approval, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. As a reminder-

    ‘Noble or inert gases, such as neon, argon, xenon, and others, are crucial to the semiconductor manufacturing process. Semiconductors are used to make the microchips needed to make gadgets, cars, and household appliances.’

    So expect the chip shortage to get much worse.

    1. .Tom

      A few weeks ago, a neighbor who is a technical specialist in an industry that uses inert gases as a primary input, prices already went through the roof making his and many other business unprofitable. I gathered this was because a major source is in or near Mariupol. So the move you mention is likely intended to compound this problem.

  3. anon y'mouse

    EROEI for ammonia production? given the below:

    “Modern ammonia-producing plants-
    A typical modern ammonia-producing plant first converts natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, or petroleum naphtha into gaseous hydrogen. The method for producing hydrogen from hydrocarbons is known as steam reforming.[4] The hydrogen is then combined with nitrogen to produce ammonia via the Haber-Bosch process.”

    the article goes on to list potential sustainable production methods, but it sounds like a lot of these are still in the theoretical stage.

    1. Louis Fyne

      from a utilitarian POV, burning natural gas for electricity is dumb when fission is an option (IMO) as natural gas has so many better uses…fertilizer, transport fuel, off-the-grid uses, cooking fuel, heating

      ymmv re fission

      1. Art_DogCT

        Until the issue of the disposal of nuclear waste is solved, the world becomes much like Qin Shi Huang, consuming arsenic in the pursuit of longevity. In the context of global depletion of key inputs, construction and maintenance of nuclear power plants to acceptable safety standards will become more difficult and much more expensive. The precautionary principle suggests that we should plan on less and less competence and capacity among the management and operational personnel, less quality control at every stage of building a plant, supplying a plant, and running a plant. The lifetime carbon footprint of a nuclear power plant imposes a non-trivial discount on the claims of environmental sustainability.

        In my opinion, the only path that offers the best chance at preserving the diversity of life on the planet, including our own, lies in planned de-growth. It’s like we’re all on a bus, riding along, and we all know the bus has serious problems. We know we need to pull over, inspect the damage, and fix what we can. The bus driver is a hydra of often conflicting powers and interests that seem incapable or unwilling to slow down, much less stop. But of course we all know that sooner than later the wheels are going to come off, the bus will suffer catastrophic damage, and many of us will die in the process.

        The planet will deindustrialize. This is inescapable, entirely baked in at this point. The question is whether it does so in an considered, thoughtful way that seeks to preserve what is most vital to human life and culture. The more we leave this process to chance, to be imposed by forces we can’t control or meaningfully influence, the greater the poverty, material and intellectual, of what human populations survive will be. I have the cold (dis)comfort of knowing I won’t live to see what happens.

        1. Micah

          Given the political situation and the unwillingness of the vast majority of the citizenry to knowingly reduce their standard of living, my money is on the involuntary deindustrialization of the planet. The real questions that I have are (1) how much of humanity makes it through this process and (2) if humanity makes it through this process, how long will it spend in a new version of the “Dark Ages”?

          Fortunately, I will probably not be alive long enough to find out the answers to these questions (unless we end up nuking each other in the near future).

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If the citizenry could be offered a way to reduce their standard of living in a way which would really truly hurt the upper class worse than it hurts themselves, would they do it?

        2. Oh

          Agree with you totally. If we don’t do the de-growth it will be done for us. The first step is conservation.

    2. Solarjay

      These articles further the delay in going towards a non carbon waste future by literally lying to people about the carbon costs of said fuel.

      I believe the term is greenwashing

    3. Henry Moon Pie


      First, I’d second everything that Art_DogCT says, especially about degrowth. Kate Raworth, in Doughnut Economics uses the analogy of landing a plane rather than a bus.

      As for nukes, aside from the waste disposal issues which are very scary already, there is the issue of running nuke plants in unstable situations. We should all be on pins and needles over the nuke plants in Ukraine. It’s a miracle something terrible hasn’t happened with them already, and it should remind us that nuke plants are terror targets wherever they’re located. In a country like the U. S., with aging infrastructure, social and political instability and increasing levels of climate disruption with more and stronger hurricanes, derechos and tornadoes, it seems more prudent to me to plan shutting existing plants down rather than adding more. If one of them goes China Syndrome, it will be a lot worse and more permanent damage than having to cut power consumption.

      1. Art_DogCT

        Ah! I’d forgotten the non-trivial aspect of the deliberate targeting of a nuclear plant to act as a weapon of mass destruction. While other energy infrastructure can be targeted as well, I can think of no other energy-generating technology that carries so much generations-long mortal risk. The closest competitor I think would be major hydropower dams. If a large volume reservoir located upstream of large population center were released through it’s dam’s destruction, as large as the damages of all kinds would be, recovery in a decade or three is conceivable, maybe even likely. The destruction of a nuclear plant won’t be remediated for orders of magnitude longer. We have already condemned our children, grandchildren, and great-to-the-nth-degree grandchildren, to hundreds if not thousands of years of coping with problems we have already created. It seems pure savage disregard for the future to shovel resources into anything but the safe operation of existing plant with decommissioning on the shortest possible timeline.

  4. Louis Fyne

    Ukraine has become the world’s first sharecropper-mercenary nation-state.

    after the end of the war, when Ukraine becomes a landlocked rump state, it will never be able to repay all this war debt as the most productive regions are in the south and east.

    Belarus will look like Switzerland compared to the future Ukraine

    1. Polar Socialist

      I’ve been reading that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is still making rounds outside Belarus trying to convince her compatriots that “Ukraine’s way is Belarus’ way, too”. I wonder if the enthusiasm is withering?

    2. upstater

      We met a 30-something Russian guy on a Moscow-Smolensk-Vilnius train in 2018. He ran clinical trials for a Swiss based company that had centers in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. As a teen he lived in Cleveland and attended US high school, but returned to St. Petersburg for university. His descriptions comparing the 3 made me think Belarus already was a “Switzerland” compared to Ukraine. He spoke of a collapsed health care system and the desperation of Ukrainians to enter clinical trials to get some, any treatments. Of the 3 countries he said Belarus had plenty of jobs and good social benefits. It was an interesting evening.

      Our lack of a Belarusian transit visa is another story… got pulled off the train at the Belarus-Lithuania border and had to sign a 3 page statement promising “never do that again” in Cyrillic. I don’t expect to be allowed to take Russian trains again. They were quite good.

    1. Yves Smith

      I can’t believe this “safe passage” claim. The Russians have been pretty consistent, if you surrender, you’ll be treated properly as a POW, and low level non-Nazi soldiers, once that’s verified (Russia seems to do pretty serious checks), you get sent home if you surrender your weapons. They may be holding some even of them for the purpose of prisoner exchanges but with Russia having more and more Ukraine POWs, and having to feed and house them, I suspect that they don’t have any reason to keep grunts once they have established that they are grunts.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Two or three days ago I heard that the Russians and their Allies had about 8,000 POWs but you would expect that number to climb daily.

      2. Polar Socialist

        This was the battle of Ilovaisk in 2014. The Donetsk militia promised to let the Ukrainians go, provided they leave the heavy weapons and armored vehicles behind. Ukrainians refused and started the withdrawal in full battle readiness.

        Ukraine insist Russian troops were involved in the battle, Donetsk Republic denies (I think).

        Official number of Ukrainians killed in the battle (not just the withdrawal) is 366. Over 500 surrendered of the 1,100 -1,200 involved.

        Also, about the POWs: +100 are being prosecuted for war crimes, some are waiting to be exchanged (if Ukraine has anything to offer), many have volunteered to handle the Ukrainian dead and some are made to fix what they have broken – that is, are working in reconstruction in Donbass.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I wonder how many of the later may ask to stay and live in the Donbass Republics when they see the future that the Ukraine has? Not so outlandish as in the early days of the fighting several years ago whole Ukrainian units went over to the rebels.

      3. Mr. Magoo

        This is an economics website. It would be good to see an analysis of the economic implications of the takeover of the eastern and southern regions of what used to be Ukraine (supposed guaranteed by both the west and Russia in exchange for giving up nuclear weapons). The south and eastern regions of Ukraine are resource rich (gas fields multiples of those in Norway), and it seems to be as much an economic grab in order to remove a potential competitor as ‘Nazi hunting’.

        1. Safety First

          To be fair, it is a little early. At this point, we can make assumptions about where the Russians will ultimately come to a stop.

          On the other hand, yes, you are right, there certainly is an economic component to the conflict. Though again, in some areas we just have no idea how exactly things will proceed – what will happen to Ukraine’s state-owned assets that end up in Russian-controlled areas, for example. As well, the “balance of power” in dividing up the spoils between private-sector oligarchs and state-owned corporations, which are a sort of a “shadow oligarchy” in themselves, remains unclear at this time.

          I would, however, on a preliminary basis, offer a few bullet points:

          – Crimea, after 2014, underwent – and is still undergoing – fairly significant infrastructure upgrades, necessitated by massive under-investment during its time as part of Ukraine. One would expect that whatever reconstruction programme is put into place for the newly-acquired territories would entail this as well, raising both the cost and duration of the effort. [Plus enriching select oligarchs via fat construction contracts.]

          – In Chechnya, they rebuilt the cities and towns (some, at least), but Rosneft deliberately dismantled or let wither away local refineries because these took business away from its extant facilities in Russia proper. Both Ukraine and Russia are big in things like steel production and related sectors; it is possible that Russian businesses would want to see Ukraine’s captured capacity similarly dismantled or eroded, at least to some extent. So both the “export” and local employment profiles post-war would likely change significantly. And I have no clue how the Russian defence industry will treat captured Ukraine plants, e.g. the tank production facilities in Kharkov, since you could make a case for at least two or three very different outcomes (including for the attached workforce).

          – On the raw materials side, Russia will end up as the world’s big gorilla when it comes to certain kinds of agricultural exports, e.g. wheat. Again. Not without wrinkles – the Russians had been importing things like seed stock and finished chemical fertilisers from the EU, so they’ll have to adjust their production chain quite a bit – but still. And with one country having such a large global role in food and energy production…I mean, the oligarchs must be absolutely salivating, but I wonder whether this will not mean an overall escalation of the conflict viz. US, whether military or otherwise. Even less chances of a detente, in other words.

          – Russian export routes overall could very well shift down to the Black Sea ports (and out through the Mediterranean to Africa, LatAm, etc.), since the EU is no longer much of a trading counterparty (and is going into NATO wholesale in any case), and since Ukraine has such lovely high-capacity port facilities (especially after a few years of infrastructure upgrades). Not sure what this will mean in terms of economics yet, but Turkey’s “neutrality” viz. Russian shipping would become a paramount security objective for the Russians in this scenario. Also, Greek shippers would be absolutely salivating as they could play middlemen in this scenario…

          – I am not sure that Ukraine’s natgas reserves would be heavily exploited, at least in the short term. Russia has its own, and its volumes going to the West are or will be decreasing in any case, so unless they plan to build some LNG terminals in Odessa and ship the stuff out via the Mediterranean they’d be better off keeping Ukraine coal-focussed and leaving the gas in the ground.

          There are probably other items I’ve missed, but that’s a sort of a first stab at the problem. To belabour the point, I would argue that at this juncture we do not know quite a bit about how things will look postwar, so any analysis would be highly speculative.

          1. Mr. Magoo

            Thanks for your reply.

            I was aware of the natgas leverage – whether it is extracted to actually exploit, or left in the ground to reduce competitive price pressures (the later I would think). However, the control over agriculture could have a bigger impact over what actually happens and how the rest of the world reacts, or can react. So your point here is probably the most concern.

            There are injustices all over the world, handed down on governments towards their citizens. Myanmar to their citizens, the CCP towards the Uyghurs, the list goes on.
            This one seems to be the only one in which an accused government seems to be subject to the equivalent of asset forfeiture by a neighboring country.

            1. Foy

              “an accused government seems to be subject to the equivalent of asset forfeiture by a neighboring country.”

              Mr Magoo, I do have an issue with calling Ukraine an accused govt as if its all Russia’s fault. Ukraine are much more guilty than that.

              The Ukrainian cabal in charge wanted this war. Hard to believe but don’t take my word for it, take the word of Zelensky’s senior advisor and current spokesperson Oleksiy Arestovych, when he said in an interview in 2019 that Ukraine had to have a war with Russia in order to join NATO and that the probability of this war was 99%. And that it would result in destruction of the country but that was what was needed.


              That video should give anyone chills and question the sanity of the Ukrainian leaders. Almost everything he said has come true. In my view the Ukrainians did everything they could do to ensure this war happened.

              All they had to do was stay neutral. Stay neutral. Was that really so hard and onerous? But no and now their country is flattened, they have a Lend-Lease war debt they and their children will never pay off, and the entire world is going to pot…

              1. Foy

                He also says in that video that the reason for not ending the war in the Donbass (at the very start of the video when asked “what are the deadlines for ending the war”) is to entice the bigger war with Russia.

                The things that make you go hmmmm.

        2. Kouros

          When Ukraine agreed to give up the nukes (the control was in Moscow anyways) in exchange for guarantees, it was also neutral and constitutionally mandated to not be inimical to Russia. That flew off the window in 2014 informally and in 2019 formally. Thus the Budapest accord was referring to a different entity altogether, one inimical to Russia.

          1. Mr. Magoo

            Doesn’t matter if the control of the nuclear weapons were in Moscow.

            Seems the only thing you describe is that one party to an agreement can dictate terms of that agreement based on their own perception. Not exactly how most international agreements are structure.

            1. Polar Socialist

              Same guarantees in the same document were also given to Belarus, and USA later argumented that it was not a binding document – because it prevented sanctions on Belarus.

      4. russell1200

        Maybe, but it looks like a pretty typical coordination issue.

        If your a local commander and you want a piece of territory, getting people to voluntarily relinquish it, makes you look pretty good. But the Russians do have higher level artillery support and they either didn’t get word, or weren’t willing to go along with the change of policy done on the fly. Friendly fire casualties are always a big issue: it’s not at all hard to see when the friendlies aren’t friendly.

        The Forbes article is dated. The Russians use, roughly, the same hierarchy the German’s did in WW2. Not surprising as the so-called Blitzkrieg and Soviet Deep-Battle were developed somewhat in coordination during their time of cooperating during the late Weimar Republic (See Mary R. Habeck “Storm of Steel”). The American-British system was both faster and more deadly at the time. The Germans called Anzio “Artillery Hell” and it only got worse from there. However, since we (the US) have most lately been doing things like using are artillery/air force/drones to blast things like train stations and wedding parties, there is now a built in (ineffective?) check on the use of mass destruction. The Ukrainians are going to use the same system as the Russians. The big advantage that the Ukrainians have is that they leapfrogged the Russians in drone technology by buying very good Turkish drones, and now getting freebies (or loaned) drones from others. The big Russian advantage is weight of numbers and a lot of Army level type weapons platforms that the Ukrainians aren’t going to have much of.

        As one minor note, the Russians do place a lot of importance on artillery. But it isn’t the arm that everything else supports. The Russians took horrific casualties breaking into and through German defenses. Just as the Western allies did, they used their greater resources to blast the Germans to pieces. But the idea is to have a greater mobility that can make deep disruptive penetrations into the enemies territories: something which they did in Operation Bagration.

        Since they don’t seem to be able to blast through (and didn’t seem to want to in 2014), they are using a version of the bite and hold strategy that was used late in WW1 and occasionally in WW2 (see Kursk). So it is easy to see where the idea that everything is about the artillery would come from.

      5. Tom Stone

        There is very good reason to treat POW’s well, during WW2 Germans would fight the Russians to the death in many cases because they knew very well that they would be treated the way Russian POW’s were treated by the Germans.
        In contrast Germans were much more likely to surrender to US and UK troops because they knew they would be treated reasonably well.
        Ukraine ( or what’s left of it) will still be on Russia’s border, it is very much to Russia’s benefit to have the surviving elements of Ukraine’s regular army ( Much of it now conscript) know that Russia plays it very tough and very straight ( By the rules).
        You are a lot better off messing with Texas than you are with Russia.

      6. TimmyB

        I think the reason to keep grunts is to prevent them from once more joining in the fighting after they have been released.

        I too don’t believe the “safe passage” claim. Such tactics would only encourage troops to fight to the death in the future.

  5. GramSci

    “In 2021, the number of overseas students returning to China for innovation and entrepreneurship exceeds one million for the first time”

    Bad news for China.

  6. Mikel

    Why for the last few decades have we treated #monkeypox as airborne?

    — #MasksInSchools Dr Noor Bari (@NjbBari3) May 24, 2022

    For crying out loud…say “we don’t know” at this point.

    And in the thread it said “it needs time to adapt to us”.

    It’s already been said that the transmission clusters of current outbreaks mark a significant departure from the way it’s been previously known to spread.
    That indicates adjusting happening.

    FFS…say you don’t know and are still learning about strains.

      1. ambrit

        Yeah, and then the ‘Russjies,’ or whoever we piss off, will set up troops of “Cossak Moose.”

  7. Wukchumni

    How America Sold Out Little League Baseball America Magazine

    When I was in Little League it came with an entrepreneurial bent in that we had to go knocking on doors, hawking ‘World’s Finest Chocolate’ bars in order to pay for balls & bats for the season. We wore 10 year old hand me down uniforms, and the most pressing information aside from what was transpiring on the diamond was the 40 watt light bulb on top of the snack shack, and when it went on, it was game over no matter the score as it had gotten too dark to play.

    If you were ahead all eyes were on it, and if you were behind in the game it was the same gig, but with more of a sense of urgency.

    It is common now for kids to be ranked in terms of ability almost as if they were pro athletes as far as picking sports teams go, but nobody cared circa 1971, if you weren’t very good you’d end up playing right field-a safe place as few right handed kids could hit to the opposite field, play ball!

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i’ve never liked sports of any kind…but my boys do, and my brother did before them.
      so i’ve had to bite my tongue and endure little league for a long while.
      and from an outsider’s perspective, it has changed dramatically in the last 40 years.
      the parents’ behaviour and apparent motivations, especially.
      many more angry yelling dads, and angry shrieking moms.
      its even noticeably worse from 10-12 years ago when my boys experimented with baseball.
      a friend of mine’s 2 eldest sons are baseball stars, and i hear all sorts of things from him and his wife…confirmed by my boys and their friends.
      the competition has gone way over the top.
      its not a game, it’s a family business and status seeking exercise…i chalk it up to the neoliberalisation of everything… a refined and concentrated version of the Self as Product.

      1. Questa Nota

        In my little league days, I don’t recall any parent acting up. They would’ve been too embarrassed and didn’t want their kid(s) to be known as the offspring of such people. The community wasn’t that large and people saw one another at the grocery store as well as at school, the gas station, etc.

        The kids liked the game and each other, even across teams, and developed a healthy respect for a well-hit or -thrown ball or play. Of course, that was in those idyllic 1960s.

        Fast-forward to the 1990s when my kids were playing organized sports. Some parents were too vocal and that tended to turn off the kids. Few were interested in playing past 10 or 11 years old. Visualize a soccer mom with blood vessels bulging while yelling at a 5-year old goalie, or a dad demonstrating unsportsmanlike ends-justify-means behavior for all to see!

        1. Robert Gray

          > Visualize a soccer mom with blood vessels bulging while yelling at a 5-year old goalie …

          I used to run at an indoor track on campus in the morning before going to teach. One day — it was not long after the Los Angeles Olympics — there was a guy with a young boy, maybe four or five years of age. Dad was just getting ready to start, or maybe had just finished. Meanwhile, Junior was amusing himself by racing up and down the outside lane. Now, here comes the wee fella, flopping and flailing at top speed, his tiny lungs doing their pitiful best, whilst Dad cajoles mercilessly: ‘Go for the Gold, Pete!’ Almost 38 years ago and I can still see it, in my mind’s eye. :-)

        2. Duke of Prunes

          When I played Little League, it was really just the kids and the coach. Rarely did parents come to the games because most games were played in the late afternoon (no lights on the field) before dad got home from work, and mom was too busy with housework, other kids, etc. Mid 70s, small town Midwest. Again, because of the timing (I assume, I was 10 years old so what did I know), many coaches were college kids, with a few dedicated parents. We rode our bikes or walked to the diamond.

          From this experience, I never understood the trope of the disturbed kid in anguish because his parents never came to his games. In my world, a parent at the game was the exception vs the rule, except the championship game that was played on the high school diamond at night with lights. We played because we wanted to, or because all our friends were playing.

          Now, it’s all about raising the next hall of famer. My son was a late bloomer. By the time he found his coordination, it was too late for most sports. The kids had already been playing for 10 years and there was no room for a neophyte unless you didn’t mind riding the bench. They took all the fun out of it anyway…

        3. North Star

          At a game In 1965 in my rural Little League we witnessed the opponents’ coach, a grizzled farmer, kick the ass of the home plate umpire and call him a family blog jew. He was irate because a runner’s shirt was un-tucked and the umpire called him out for that. The game was called and the incident went into the annals of the now defunct league. That year we went on to the Ontario finals and our best pitcher was an American whose USAF dad was posted up here.

      2. hunkerdown

        All that neoliberal talk about “human capital” wasn’t completely tosh, but it wasn’t completely honest either. Intangibles such as contest wins can also inflate the value of a person. According to David Graeber, “while joking bodies are necessarily apiece with the world (one is almost tempted to say “nature”) and made up from the same sort of materials, the body in avoidance is constructed out of something completely different. It is constructed of property.” The “unlanded” poor sell their bodies. The “landed” middle class puts theirs out for rent. I might borrow a note from IT and start to call it Self-as-a-Service.

    2. Eureka Springs

      The Bad News Bears Like you, my time preceded the movie. My first year we came in 2nd place city wide (Omaha). Second year my team came in last or second last. It was much much more fun being on the BNB team. Team one I never had a chance to pitch. Team two I pitched one game. No hits for 7 innings. Never pitched again.

      1. Bugs

        Excellent movie that would never be made today (like a lot of them). One of my Little League teams wasn’t far from this. Our sponsor was a “waste management” company and we were perennial losers. Sometimes my mom would forget to take me to a game and I’d get there late and the coach wouldn’t bat an eye about it. Somehow, against all odds, we started winning games near the end of the summer and got 2nd place. I still have that trophy. All of it cost us something like $12 for the uniform and fees.

    3. CaliDan

      This is one of the best and most heartbreakeing baseball pieces I’ve ever read. (Thanks LS for the link) The dad is in so many ways right; the team is often a family’s sole contact with their community. Alas, it seems that shelling out mad cash for a whiff of the commons is as American as apple pie and Chevrolet these days.

      And that Cal Ripkin Jr. is an enthusiastic player in little league privatization makes it all the worse––imagine Jackie Robinson protesting the presence of a Mexican teammate, Curt Flood becoming libertarian, or Curt Schilling waxing poetic about Michel Foucault.

    4. KLG

      I coached Little League for one year. This was before the advent of “Travel Baseball.” The players were great. The parents not so much. When I played little league, the local Recreation Department was not affiliated with Little League, as in Little League World Series. But we followed the same rules, while having more fun. We were coached by as many local lawyers and engineers as electricians and plumbers. I never remember a parent acting out, except for one time, and he was told to stop or never return. And one other thing I have noticed, we had just as many players advancing in college and professional baseball as the current travel ball teams have… a handful played in college and rookie league somewhere. One of my teammates made it to AAA in the Cubs organization and another older friend played a handful of games in Fenway after becoming a perennial it Pawtucket. No different from where I live now, surrounded by baseball-crazy kids and parents. OK, one other other thing. No one in my day ever needed Tommy John surgery, because we played football in the fall and basketball in the winter. Soccer was not yet a thing. I know of three travel ball players who needed the surgery by the time they got to high school.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Recommending reading the Foreign Affairs (Ukraine’s Best Chance) and Foreign Policy (What the West Keeps Getting Wrong) in tandem.

    The Istanbul proposal described by Charap merits further study. I have read calls for a new Helsinki Conference. Charap mentions Belgium and the Concert of Europe. It is time to think big, but as we know from Sunset Boulevard, it’s the politicians who have gotten small. (When I think back on Frank Church, I realize that he couldn’t be elected today, and certainly not from Idaho.) The Istanbul proposal seems like Minsk II but with more partners or guarantors. Others can comment on its merits.

    The Foreign Policy article by Stanovaya is solid, although she lapses into a certain amount of psychologizing, giving into the temptation to look into Putin’s soul.

    (As an earthling, I want a ceasefire and security conference with a negotiated peace, rather than soul gazing–and, no, even if this is the War of Hillary’s Virtue, I don’t want the LindaBlairesque opportunity to look into the soul of Madame Clinton, either.)

    Here is the kernel, from Stanovaya, when she gets to it:
    “Putin will continue escalating the war until the West changes its approach to the so-called Russian problem and admits that—as Putin sees it—the roots of Russian aggression are the result of Washington ignoring Russian geopolitical concerns for 30 years. This has been Putin’s real objective for a long time, and it remains unchanged.”

    Let’s start there…

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. i thought the FB thing was pretty good, especially given the source…the knee jerk requirement to pathologise russia and putin himself was at a minmum compared to other such fare.(see:kagan, et alia, or cnn on any given day)
      but handwaving towards “walking a mile in putins shoes” is not itself walking that mile…so good on her, but the nonsense is so huge and enveloping that it’ll take a lot more of that soul searching on the West’s part.
      we don’t do reality in this country…and it’ll take time and lots of false starts to learn how.
      i’m at least encouraged that a few mouths of sauron seem to be at least meandering in that direction.

        1. tegnost

          I’m pretty sure wall street et al’s plan has been to take over the world one patent at a time

    2. Raymond Sim

      “Putin will continue escalating the war until the West changes its approach to the so-called Russian problem and admits that—as Putin sees it—the roots of Russian aggression are the result of Washington ignoring Russian geopolitical concerns for 30 years. This has been Putin’s real objective for a long time, and it remains unchanged.”

      To paraphrase Yves, “The dimwittery, the illusion of control, they burn.”

      The Russians are demonstrating that our ‘approach’ is irrelevant.

      Also, you can’t both win a war and continually escalate it.

      1. ChrisPacific

        I think it would be a cold day in hell before US leadership would make such an admission. This is true even if their position on Ukraine becomes self-evidently nonsensical. As we saw with Brexit, if politicians commit often enough and firmly enough to a position then they can end up with too much invested to quit. Either they were incompetent idiots all along who should never be trusted with public office, or there’s some version of reality in which their position still makes sense. Politicians in this situation will look for that version of reality at all costs, even to the extent of abandoning reason and ignoring (or even fabricating) evidence.

        I also think that Putin’s ‘regime’ is nowhere near as weak as the West would like to think, so if we accept the analysis in the article then we’re probably looking at decades of war. I think that’s the real conclusion, although it’s soft pedaled and alluded to mainly in the final sentence.

    3. Ignacio

      I unfortunately see a irreversible geopolitical shift, pivot, whatever that no international agreement will change. Only thing on the table might be an unstable ceasefire for humanitarian reasons. Stubbornness is king.

      1. hk

        I don’t know if anything “humanitarian” can be trusted these days. Modern “humanitarianism” seems to involve dehumanizing the alleged “bad guys” for sake of “justice” or whatever, “humanitarianism for people we like, untermenschen for people we hate” type stuff, very little attempt to see the “human” on all sides. We’d be lucky if any such thing were merely “unstable.” It might “seem to work” if one side were strong enough to dictate the aftermath. That won’t happen now, notwithstanding western delusions that (presumed) right gives them the might.

    4. Boomheist

      Ah, the contortions our chattering class are now going through to somehow state that the solution to this entire debacle is exactly what Putin declared as his intention when he began this thing – Donbass, neutrality, security, no NATO memberhsip – without saying the solution is Putin’s aim….we see the start of the Blob reframing things to declare their victory in such a way as to fool the masses it is a total defeat of Putin and Russia….

      Even Biden’s op ed about what he will do in Ukraine is paving the way to declare victory when a ceasefire is called after Putin has met his SMO goals….

    5. DataHog

      Is a negotiated peace or settlement even possible?

      The Russians are entirely convinced the US is “agreement incapable.” The US would have to be party to an agreement. Why would Russia believe anything the US agrees to? The US stops honoring its agreements whenever it believes it’s no longer in its interest to do so.

      The US political power structure is fragmented. Who is in charge?
      State Department? Pentagon? CIA/security state? Treasury/Fed? White House? Who is writing the stuff Biden is reading off of teleprompters? Who?

      When one of those power centers agrees to something, it’s no surprise to see one of the others sabotage such agreements.
      Agreement incapable indeed.

  9. Mikel

    “The Race to Hide Your Voice” Wired

    I laughed and shook my head first time I hears using voice prints for “security.”

    And none of it has to do with providing security for you.
    The ultimate security would be to get alot off personal info OFFLINE.
    That would be revolutionary in providing people with security.

  10. Wukchumni

    News from up over:

    That province on the left coast will be renamed British Colombia in honor of an 8 ball being legal as of January 1st…

    I was lucky in that a numismatist who was about 10 years older than me and had made bank on the Hunt Bros silver bubble, was instrumental in yours truly never partaking in cocaine…

    Circa 1982 he had a thriving business, a quarter million in the bank, a Ferrari like the one Magnum PI drove and a beautiful wife.

    18 months later, no business-no money in the bank-no wife and his ride was a Pinto with mag wheels…

    …a Cinderella story of sorts

    1. ambrit

      Just to piss off “certain quarters,” I would love to sell one such product line under the name of “Air America.”

    2. jr

      Cocaine offers many life lessons to those who listen. I have a cousin, a mean SOB who relishes beating up guys, he had done a few years in the clink and had a reputation amongst the black prisoners as one of the white dudes NOT to mess with. He has literally been in dozens and dozens of fights in his life. He estimated once that he had won all of them but maybe five. He wasn’t lying, he is a “natural”. Snake-quick, tall, wiry, and with long arms that can reach out further than some pro boxers. This was according to a boxing coach he trained with briefly.

      He shared two stories with me from his many years as “muscle” for a cocaine kingpin in his area. One was of a client, a high level manager at AOL when that meant something. Guy was making like half a million a year or something with the attendant houses, cars, and ladies. He loved a party and he loved the blow.

      Except it loved him too and he started doing it at work. Lost clients, missed meetings, ticked off bosses. Long story short: the last time cuz saw him was when he stopped at a Denny’s late one evening and saw the AOL guy was now the night manager.

      Another time, cuz and I went out to a local bar. As we walked in, a schlubby bald dude approached us and greeting cuz nervously with a wide smile. Cuz grunted at him and moved on. As we sat down, cuz nudged me and said “See that guy’s smile? It’s all porcelain.”

      Apparently the schlub was some local business leader’s scion and a big party boy too. He ran up a 50G$ tab with the coke-lord and when he was told to pay up said something to the effect of “Do you know who my dad is?” Then cuz was tasked to perform some street level dentistry on the fool. Dad paid the tab real quick.

  11. Mikel

    “U.S. plans to sell armed drones to Ukraine in coming days -sources Reuters. Sell them? With what does Ukraine propose to pay..”

    Like Russia and the USA with their oligarchs..I’m sure there are a few Ukrainians living in style. You know neolibs take care of the few, so there is probably some oligarch they are dealing with.
    Oligarchs have been running “Ukraine” and I don’t see that changing.

  12. Mikel

    “4 hostile alien civilizations may lurk in the Milky Way, a new study suggests” Live Science

    “Space Force.” is that you looking for a big black hole of a budget?

    And…”4″…haha…nice touch.

    This is up there with the blood test for suicidal tendencies…

    They are just going to whatever to people now because they’ve already sold so much BS that’s been accepted.

    1. Mildred Montana

      “And…”4″…haha…nice touch.”

      Well, from the article, actually 4.42. Gotta love that academic precision where none is possible, giving the illusion of scientific truth, yet based on nothing more than assumptions and presumptions the author admits.

      The entire piece is laughable and not worth reading unless one is interested in how a doctoral student might attempt to get in line for a possible Pentagon grant, “hostile” alien civilizations being a big thing with it these days.

      1. flora

        “4”. Sounds like it’s written for a women’s magazine. You know, the cover articles’ headlines: “4 ways to great shoulders”, “29 Secrets for xxxx used by the experts”, “6 ways to lose the weight”, “10 things your xxxx never told you”, etc. Next time you’re in the grocery store checkout line, where lots of magazines are on display, check out the headlines. / ;)

      2. Mikel

        You know what I’ve noticed? The longer the big issues go on unsolved, the wilder the claims about knowledge and know-how that come out of the neoliberal order.
        Like the story with the neuroscientist shocked about a working of the brain that they didn’t know about or understand. Actually shocked that they didn’t know something about how the human mind works. That tells you all you need to know about the arrogance.
        It’s “pay no attention to all the problems left festering, this next BS will change everything”

      3. Dave in Austin

        So does this mean the US liberation of Kosovo has statistically increased the number of hostile alien civilizations ready to eat our lunch? I had no idea.

        This study belongs in the Journal of Irreproducable Results and might even be worth an Ignoble Prize.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “EXCLUSIVE: Hunter’s search history reveals his obsession with porn and sex fantasies including ’18yrs old,’ ‘lonely widow’ and ‘MILF crack cocaine porn,’ he uploaded his OWN amateur videos and texted Pornhub link to phone listed in his contacts as ‘Dad’”

    ‘lonely widow’? He must have been thinking about when he had an affair with Hallie Biden, widow of his brother Beau.

    1. Wukchumni

      Please, only glorious leader is allowed to bring up Beau, have a little respect!

    2. super extra

      whoever is drip-drip-dripping this stuff on cue is doing a great job at finding the really gross shit, getting out into the news cycle on regular and recurring waves so that it never really disappears, and over time the increase in loathing of the big man and his family just keeps getting bigger. gonna have a slice of the population absolutely braying for their public destruction here soon if any real efforts are made over the next months to link up the economic disasters with something planned or intentional by the Biden administration. I’m thinking Ukraine-Russia wraps up sooner than anticipated, well before the midterms, and then the “iron curtain 2.0” strategy breaks down, also before the midterms, and enough stuff about Kolomoisky/Zelensky/Biden makes it into the US media, and the Russian war crimes tribunals include stuff about the biolabs. Then enough people in the blob suddenly turn and say, you know, it WAS Biden all along, he told us to do this, he is in charge after all! The entire affair can be blamed on him and his gross, corrupt family and everyone else who was involved can keep their sinecures for the next administration.

      1. Mikel

        If anything they would try to propagate it as “everything went wrong because of that corrupt family, we just need someone who can “win” the war…”
        The business plans are for years of weapons sales, not months.

        1. super extra

          they can try of course, but they’re losing? very badly? at least some of the congresscritters are aware of that, and aware that selling out fed funds to the arms dealers comes at the expense of stuff that would actually help their consituents, as was demonstrated so acutely with the failure of BBB but the passage of the ukraine funds. there may be a portion of congress that will quietly make sure their arms dealers in their own districts get some pork, but it is a lot harder to defend the big spend if the administration keeps lurching from disaster to disaster with nothing but whiny “You’re supposed to say more nice things about me!” op-eds to defends its decisions. americans despise losers especially when they’ve been forced to take a side.

      2. TomDority

        “There are twice as many governmental public-relations men in Washington as there are journalists.”
        – William J. Lederer, A Nation of Sheep pub 1961

        Particularly now and, in relation to Ukraine.
        Boils down much of what passes today as competence is just a screen to hide the enormous and dangerous ignorance of our elected, press and appendages of the nation -Homeland security, state dept et al. –
        Nothing has changed except the talents of incompetence and public manipulation and sheeping.
        Worth a read – short and to the point

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I have to say, I’m afraid Hunter may be setting the bar for fail sons too high. I’m not sure how anyone is going to top his antics. When Brandon gets so far gone not even the most dedicated can deny his brain is pudding, they should tag Hunter in. At least he’d be entertaining.

  14. SocalJimObjects

    “Wary of foreign ‘bad manners’, Japan cautiously eases borders to aid tourism”. Tourism isn’t the main issue here. In fact, two days ago, one of the participants of one of the trial groups caught Covid in Japan and that particular tour was immediately cancelled. That alone should discourage foreign tourists from coming to Japan anytime soon.

    On the other hand, foreign students, etc are now allowed to enter Japan in increasing numbers.

    Now I know the plural of anecdotes isn’t data, but judging from the comments section of JapanToday, I think a lot of foreign residents of Japan, especially ones from Western countries are anti maskers. So it’s a little bit late worrying about “bad manners”.

    1. LinearPerk

      Data consists of symbols that represent the properties of objects and events. ;)

  15. Ignacio

    RE: Monkeypox tracker BNO News. UK leads the league tables; doubling behavior. Thread:

    Looks very much like a biological weapon against NATO countries. Particularly given that the lab responsible for the leak hasn’t yet been identified.
    (Just in case this is intended to be sarcastic)

    1. Samuel Conner

      Maybe this is what Victoria Nuland was referring to in her Senate testimony about concerns what the Rs might do with materials they obtained from the U biolabs.


      a pox on them all!

      1. Ignacio

        Wait and see when it recombines with SARS CoV2 and obtains a RRAR furin cleavage motif… endgame!/s

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          boys dont believe me, but this…this right here…is an example of why being smart can be a frelling curse.

          a while back, there was talk around here of a guy with a 4 way taxonomy of the future of civilisation…and the worst of the four had something to do with “exterminism”.
          everyone thought then that it was referring to trump/maga, et.
          more and more, i think depopulation/extreme herd management is an identifiable goal of those who presume to rule/serve mankind.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              that’s the one.
              the graph is part of the ever rotating background among the hotties in rivers and historical figures i admire, so i’ve been able to hold forth on it at the bar…but couldn’t remember the guy’s name.
              its a much clearer visual aid for exegesis than our standard d/r,l/r, etc
              (socratic corruption of youth…something we all should be doing)

  16. Wukchumni

    Sure, you’ve got Matt Damon and other celebrities pushing cryptocurrencies, but isn’t the key teenager market being left out?

    I’m proud to announce the launch of Zitcoin, whose value goes up based on how many blackheads & pimples one has on their countenance.

    The pressure has always been huge for said teenagers to attempt to pop said tiny bubbles, but not anymore!

  17. Ignacio

    RE: 4 hostile alien civilizations may lurk in the Milky Way, a new study suggests Live Science (Furzy Mouse)

    This might be considered fresh paranoia highs. Anti-paranoia pills sorely needed. Problem is, as you can see, when your history studies focus exclusively on aggressions.

    1. Tom Stone

      I suspect life in many forms is common throughout the Universe, some of them extremely unusual.

      1. ambrit

        My favourite exploration of this theme is William Tenn’s 1950’s story; “The Flat Eyed Monster.”

      2. Mikel

        Who would really know an alien life form if it stepped on their foot even?

        Everyone always humanizes their perception of aliens from thinking they would have eyes to other human traits like “curiosity.”

        The biggest assumption is that a life form is intelligent only if they are interested in space travel.

      3. Mildred Montana

        I suspect that if that asteroid hadn’t hit 65 million years ago, wiping out the dinosaurs, Earth would be ruled today by super-smart lizards. And Homo Sapiens would still be living in holes in the form of mice. Such is the process of evolution.

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s the seasonal election ceremony. The ruling class put on their katcina masks and do scary dances to make us believe we need rulers to “fight for” us. The word “hostile” probably wouldn’t have been included were it published in June 2021 or June 2023.

    3. Lee

      Given the cosmic speed limit, the vastness of interstellar space, the rapidity with which our species during its very brief earthly tenure has set the stage for its own demise, it seems unlikely that we will ever face a threat greater than that posited by the great philosopher, Pogo: “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

      1. Mildred Montana

        “…the rapidity with which our species during its very brief earthly tenure has set the stage for its own demise…”

        The critical variable in this equation, which purports to estimate the number N of advanced civilizations in the Milky Way, is L for longevity: How long does a civilization survive after achieving radio astronomy (a marker of technological advancement)? If L is small then N is small.

        It certainly looks like Homo Sapiens will be a victim of L, long before it goes adventuring in deep space.

    4. jr

      Why would they invade at all? Deferring to your expertise, I suspect we could come up with some bug, call it “tailless monkey pox”, and wipe ourselves out. Why would they bother with boots on the ground? Fumigation, not invasion, is the reality.

    5. Maritimer

      I’m more concerned about biohackers using CRISPR or the socio/psychopaths developing AI/GI/SI. Then if you are searching for hostile Aliens among Humans, visit Davos where they are holding their AGM.

      1. tegnost

        quoting our esteemed President
        “We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table ,”

        …a little late for that I think.
        maybe this is more of that structural ambiguity or whatever it was he alluded to last week

        1. Young

          Don’t worry. The training was held at a posh Polish resort, conducted by McKinsey consultants using Raytheon powerpoint deck, while Ukrainian hostesses serving danish and coke.

  18. Questa Nota

    There is a marketing opportunity waiting to be fulfilled.
    Now that Janet Yellen has joined Alan Greenspan in the economist confessionals, can more Fed governors be far behind?
    The marketing comes in with autographed copies of Econned!
    I wonder how many might be secret NC readers.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: EXCLUSIVE U.S. plans to sell armed drones to Ukraine in coming days -sources Reuters. Sell them? With what does Ukraine propose to pay?

    They will pay with the money we are giving them:

    Money from the recently passed $40 billion Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative has been set aside to fund both the possible sale and the training needed for the drones, the U.S. official and one of the people familiar said.

    And once they get a crash course in how to use what they’ve “bought,” we will “sell” them more stuff that we will give them the money to pay for:

    Training on the UAV system made by General Atomics usually takes months, Gettinger said, but a notional plan to train experienced Ukrainian maintainers and operators in a handful of weeks has been proposed in recent weeks, the sources said.

    Arming the drones with Hellfire missiles will be done via a future Presidential Drawdown Authority once training on the drones has been completed, the U.S. official and one of the sources said.

    You really can’t expect a country to obliterate itself on “our” behalf and pay “us” for the privilege, now can you.

    1. mookie

      It seems that all US military aid to foreign countries should be read first and foremost as a a direct payout to the US military-industrial complex.

    2. Skip Intro

      I’m sure the Ukrainian command has buyers already lined up those drones. They should be able to turn them over for cash, with a tidy margin, within the 90 days stipulated in the terms.

  20. Steve D

    Oddly, only “disinfecting potentially contaminated surfaces” makes it into the Abstract….
    Yes, very odd that.

  21. Ignacio

    I’ve been watching a Netflix series that is based on a Novel from Michael Connelly which is one of the authors I read in English to keep my English fresh (or rotten?): The Lincoln Lawyer in L.A. In the novel, the bad guys are the mafia from Las Vegas but in the series the bad guys have mutated into a Russian oligarch. Must be coincidence. Even if Connelly’s inspectors do not believe in coincidences.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is a good idea. Connelly may be beach reading, but I feel his use of LA as a real setting brings a wider vocabulary than most beach reads. Then you don’t have to work too hard, compared to a denser tome.

      As for the Netflix series, I just can’t past the second ex wife and the investigator….really? C’mon man. She’s way out of his league. It’s crazy, even by Hollywood standards.

    2. super extra

      I have been living with some elderly relatives for a while to help them out while they’re getting older since I work remotely, and my office where I work is just off the room where they watch tv. They watch a lot of tv and streaming stuff, mostly on the ‘procedural drama with action characteristics’ axis. You would not BELIEVE how many of these shows shoehorn in Russian villains. They’re always the same stereotypes, brutish ex-commie generals or brutal oligarch gangs. They’ve even had time to pull in Ukraine “my country yearns for freedom” type bs storylines on some of these. My family eat it up. It is depressing.

      (I stopped watching tv like that sometime in mid-2006 or something when it was clear 24 was taking storyline cues from intelligence agencies.)

      1. flora

        If media wants to trash talk Putin and the RU govt, that’s fine with me, it’s politics. But implying all peoples of a country are bad bad bad? No. A small counter to the stereotyping, from 2013. utube, 5+minutes.

        Positive compilation of Russian dash cams(Video by ArkadiYM93- Author )
        May 3, 2013

      2. Mikel

        Top Gun from the 80s is back at the box office. If I remember the first film, that was some Russia hysteria in the plot too. I’ll never get the time back from going to see that. I was bored to tears.

      3. Basil Pesto

        the strangely unremarked upon shift from the War On Terror to the Red Scare circa 2016 as the big baddie in the western consciousness is really pretty amazing. It just kind of… happened? I guess it was under cover of the Trump hysteria that things moved in that direction. Muslim actors complained, justifiably, about being typecast as terrorists from 2001 to the mid 2010s but I dunno, be careful what you wish for; they might struggle to be cast in anything now.

        1. Basil Pesto

          reflecting on things like this reminds me of that inadvertently wonderful phrase: “co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour”

    3. HotFlash

      Yup, rewriting history. One of my clients years and years ago was an outfit that did closed captioning of TV shows, movies, and commercials. They would constantly be instructed to write the captions to reflect the bad guys de jour, so the captions read “ISIS” while the lips were clearly saying “Colombians”.

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      I greatly enjoyed The Lincoln Lawyer. Very entertaining. I’ve always wanted to have “Wife Number One” and “Wife Number Two” in my cellphone directory. :)

  22. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    “Russian Artillery Can Lob Shells At Ukrainian Troops With 10 Seconds’ Notice”

    Yeah- Most armies could do that back in WW2 as well. In those days, the US and Germany had the most flexible and efficient artillery coordination. But yeah- they could do it.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I think a key difference between US/Ger in WWII and the Rs today is that the ratio of artillery battalions to maneuver battalions was 1:3 in the Western armies in WWII and today, but about 1:1 in the R army today. I’ve read that US relies more on air power than on artillery for support of maneuver units, which is a problem when facing an adversary with excellent air defenses. The Rs have never assumed they would have air supremacy and organized their forces to ensure excellent fire support via tube artillery and rocket launchers.

      I wonder whether the Rs are using “time on target” methods, which deliver more “at target” effect for the same number of rounds expended (any troops in more exposed locations are taken by surprise and have no time to seek cover from subsequent rounds, since all rounds of a bombardment arrive simultaneously), but perhaps they have so much artillery and sufficient ammunition supplies that they don’t need to employ such methods. That would require coordination and cooperation of artillery units assigned to different formations, which was not the focus of this article.

      1. hk

        That’s something that I’d been really curious about. A lot of stereotypes of the Russian artillery (ponderous, inefficient, inflexible, etc) comes from mid WW2 when Russians were short on trained personnel and equipment, especially radios. Even at the end of WW2, some Soviet artillerist we’re critical of the way Zhukov set up the artillery for the Berlin campaign (esp Seelow Heights) since they could already operate more efficiently than what Zhukov, having been away from the battlefield for a while in his capacity at STAVKA, was not aware. Now, Russian army has focused a lot of effort at professionalizing and modernizing, while retaining its emphasis on artillery for last few decades. I don’t think they would, in any way, behind the capabilities of any other military in the world.

        1. Polar Socialist

          In principle both German and Soviet artillery used the same field manuals in the 30’s (no, not the collaboration thing, this was about down right copying parts of each others “secret” manuals).

          After the war the Germans evaluated the Red Army artillery the absolutely best in the world, with exceptional skills in hiding, communications and surprising barrages out of nowhere.

          The last war games the Southern Military District held before the current Special Military Operation was all about ground forces using recon patrols and UAVs to locate targets for the attached artillery units to pound on.

          Time on target being the opposite of simple and flexible, I don’t think either Soviets or Russians have bothered with it.

          1. marku52

            In the book “Tigers in the Mud”, the German author was always impressed by the Russian arty, and noted that “I’ve heard their large tubes are served by women, maybe that’s why they are so accurate”

      2. redleg

        Former Field Artillery Officer here:
        Time on target takes longer to impact, as the coordination and calculation of flight times/arrivals takes time. This is what you want to surprise moving targets or to support an assault.

        Artillery has the greatest effect when the targets are unprepared. Firing ASAP (immediate) has the advantage of stopping the infantry with the first round, as they will take cover, with the follow on rounds doing what they do to a lesser effect per round. But often the goal is to stop what’s going on or make the opponent take shelter (so your forces can do stuff without getting shot at or observed).
        Immobile targets can have the fire adjusted to pinpoint accuracy. As a low-tech Artillery Observer, I’ve routinely dropped 4.2″ mortar rounds onto a fence post (directing low-angle artillery is more complicated than high-angle mortars). If the observers are at least competent and know where they are (w/ GPS this is effectively fool-proof), as a target you are dead if you are stationary and visible.

        Regarding 10 seconds: that’s how long it takes an observer to request fire. If the guns, mortars, howitzers, rockets, etc. are loaded, laid, and ready to fire at that pre-arranged target, then *boom*. But it will take another 10 seconds, and often much more, for the rounds to travel to the target.
        If the weapons are NOT loaded, laid, and ready to fire, then it takes additional time for the fire direction control people/robot to calculate the deflection, elevation, and charge necessary for the weapon to hit the target and communicate that to the gun bunnies, who then have to get their weapon to the called-for elevation and deflection, select the round and charge, set the fuse, do a safety check to ensure the blast won’t damage anything vital (I’ve seen vehicles damaged this way), and fire. The smaller the weapon, the faster the response time and rate of fire.

        As I understand it, the Russians generally do not use “smart” munitions like the US does. Instead, they fire conventional “dumb” munitions but with the target and firing point located x,y,z to mm accuracy. This makes every round incredibly accurate given the conditions. Bear in mind that a 45kg 152mm or 155mm HE round has a kill radius (for unprotected targets) of something like 100m. Getting a round within a few meters is truly deadly.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Back in the 70’s my stepfather, who worked for Burroughs Large Systems Division, was assigned to a group looking into bidding on a contract for a prototype fire control system to be used by field artillery.

      As I recall, the goal for counterbattery fire was 60 seconds to round out from initial radar warning, which was doable, but target computation via the radar data wasn’t so hot.

      I always supposed the MLRS system was introduced to address that.

      1. redleg

        In the 90s, radar information had to be converted by hand for it to be translated by the FDC into angles and charge for the gun bunnies. I still have my notes. My ability (as a PFC) to do this and then teach it to the NCOs and officers in my brigade led to my advance into the officer corps. I can only imagine how automation/GIS now makes counterbattery fire essentially instantaneous. The battery fires once and has ~40 seconds to move at least 100m. Towed howitzers and mortars are toast in that combat environment.

        1. Raymond Sim

          In the 90’s! I can’t help but grin. My stepfather said at the time that a much more pragmatic approach would be automation, as feasible, of various steps involved in generating firing solutions from various kinds of data (Ideally their prototype was to be capable of a variety of tasks, for instance, targeting moving vehicles using info from fao’s was on the wish list.) But he worked for Large Systems.

          I’ve seen videos of Russkie heavy artillery, the kind that’s too big for turrets, running their autoloaders. The thought of the counterbattery potential of the lighter equivalents, all tricked out with telcoms and computing power is pretty chilling. And every BTG is built around that? Dropping a mortar round down the tube knowing what I was summoning is not something I think I’d be able to repeat many times, even if I kept surviving.

  23. Tom Stone

    I had trouble falling asleep last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about the prediction of 100,000,000 US Covid 19 cases during this fall.
    One in five cases resulting in Long Covid.
    20,000,000 cases of Long Covid in the USA by the end of Fall.
    How many deaths?
    .25%?, 1%?,5%?
    Call it .25% or 250,000 US Covid deaths by the end of Fall.
    And nothing is being done to prepare for this.
    And then I came to NC and learned that I won’t have to worry about it because the idiots in DC are intent on provoking a nuclear exchange with Russia well before this Fall.
    What a relief!

    1. Samuel Conner

      Working in my garden, which is screened by natural and man-made obstacles, I can hear but not see what is happening in nearby properties. Dogs, which I think can catch and transmit the CV, are barking on the other side of a fence. Someone has a hacking cough next door, coughing away while others are cheerfully conversing. Another neighbor in a different direction has been coughing recently.

      I’m beginning to think that it might be prudent to wear N95s at all times out of doors, even when I am not in the immediate presence of other people.

      The people in charge of our government seem to be OK with the coming crisis. As Amfortas has suggested, perhaps we really are in the .

    2. michaelC

      And am I reading the mask efficacy study in links correctly that the masked only get a 16% protective advantage vs the unmasked to omicron?

      1. MichaelC

        This does seem important if true.
        You had a higher risk in the earlier rounds while unmasked per this study.

        So , why mask in Omicron? Or postO this study seems to say.

        I’m not an anti masker. On the contrary I was hoping masking would be normalized pending a better prophylactic.

        This paper reinforces the let r rip narrative, since the vaccine narrative has been completely debunked for this wave.

        Who sponsored this study?


  24. Daryl

    > NTAGI may soon review efficacy data of India’s first intranasal Covid vaccine

    Anyone know what the word is on efficiency w.r.t the new variants, as well as how much India’s regulator can be trusted for a rigorous evaluation?

  25. Paradan

    A 2 minute response time for artillery is really good, and requires a pre-refrerenced target point, or a GPS/other guided weapon. 5-10 minutes is more of a normal response. Should probably state that I’m just one of those annoying armchair type and have no actual experience.

  26. Mikel

    Notes from the Deathcare world:

    A relative was telling me how she just found out medicare would no longer cover podiatrist visits by diabetic patients. The nurse said it’s the insurance companies making the decisions. Not even the alleged “medicare supplement” is covering that procedure.

    1. flora

      Is that traditional Medicare with medigap or is it Medicare Advantage (MA) that’s stopped covering? Medicare Advantage is not traditional Medicare. ( MA insurance companies go to long lengths to hide the fact their plans aren’t traditional Medicare or Medigap plans. surprise.)

    2. IM Doc

      Your nurse relative has informed you correctly.

      I just found this out last week when I had to admit an elderly patient for osteomyelitis of the toe. I was horrified to learn they had not had a podiatry appointment for some time. It is not that they are not covered – it has to do with how many they have in a year, etc. I just cannot keep up with the regulations anymore. Standard Medicare has one approach and then the infinite numbers of Medicare advantage plans have all their own. I often joke that they each get together and change the plan coverage every Tuesday afternoon. There is no primary care physician or office staff on this planet that can keep up with all of this. It is absolutely overwhelming.

      To add on to the nightmare, there are dozens of my patients every day now playing “dial for drugs” because there are so many shortages everywhere. The above patient could not secure antibiotics prescribed by an urgent care and did not want to “bother” my office during COVID. Yes, we are now officially sending our elders out with prescriptions that may or may not be able to be filled.

      If you have elders or infirm in your sphere of influence, I urge every one of you to keep an eagle eye on them. Things are already screwed up – and getting more screwy by the week. Many of them just do not have the mental acumen or the stamina to keep up with it.

      I cannot stress enough – I have never seen this level of chaos in medicine in my life. Not even close.

      It is not just baby formula, folks.

      1. ambrit

        Oh boy. I had better start seriously investigating “natural” substitutes for my hypertension meds.
        Anecdotally, I still cannot find a medico around here who will write a prescription for “The ‘I’ Drug.” If anything, the local low socio-economic status clinic is visibly cutting back on procedures and scrips. My medica recently had a claim to Medicare for blood work related to my cholesterol level denied because it was “…too soon after the last claim.” (Her words.)

      2. IM Doc

        FYI –

        This is a report from 60 Minutes from just the past few weeks about the issues related to drug shortages –

        This report mainly deals with all the trouble that hospitals are having procuring simple basic drugs – like GLUCOSE – you read that right – GLUCOSE. We can make sugar galore for Froot Loops, Snickers, Dr Pepper and Hostess Twinkies – but making sugar for preemies? TOO HARD AND NOT ENOUGH PROFIT IN IT. What is happening to this country?

        But the problems in the outpatient world are just as bad. Just now in the office a patient’s daughter reported the grandson had to drive 80 miles to get her mother’s potassium prescription. We had similar issues with magnesium this morning. Thyroid replacement is a very precise dosing – yet we often have to get by with higher or lower because many of the myriad doses are not available that week.
        Getting things like Ensure and Boost for the malnourished is becoming an ongoing daily problem. Simple old antibiotics are often unavailable forcing us to use others that may not work as well or have unwarranted toxicity issues. Various types of birth control pills are up and down on availability and changing them out is not a great idea. And the shortages are rotating and unpredictable. What may be available today is impossible to find 2 weeks from now and then widely available again 2 weeks later.

        It really is all getting to be too much. I go into work every day telling myself – “I am not going to let anyone die today.” Simple things that we used to be able to do like personal call backs on labs and tests are just no longer able to be done. We have far too many critical issues that must be dealt with immediately. And there is the constant spectre of something falling through the cracks. That is not a sustainable morale. My staff, what we are able to keep employed, is just bug-eyed by the end of the day. I know from colleagues that this is more widespread than we would like to imagine.

        I am not griping. It is an untold privilege to do what I do. But every day is a gut punch. And patients rightfully are getting more frustrated and angry by the day. I pray that what happened in Tulsa yesterday will not become the norm.

      3. Basil Pesto

        To add on to the nightmare, there are dozens of my patients every day now playing “dial for drugs” because there are so many shortages everywhere.

        I spoke to a young woman recently who had a similar issue getting Paxlovid; though I’m not sure if there are shortages of other drugs in Australia, there definitely are of Paxlovid. She had to call around extensively and was getting apparently aggressive pushback from pharmacists on the phone such that the experience brought her to tears (I assume this was because she was sounded young on the phone and they might have thought she didn’t need it; she told me she was immunocompromised). She’d been on it for a few days when I spoke to her and was doing ok (and thought she was on the mend before she started taking it) so I didn’t have the heart to bring up Paxlovid ‘rebound’. Hopefully she’s doing okay.

        But certainly since we let er rip, reports of ongoing, acute stress in the medical/hospital system reported by doctors, nurses etc. such as you describe below have been regular and really quite disconcerting, especially in the two biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne.

      4. LaRuse

        Can confirm this problem and it’s not just our elders facing trouble. Husband (49 y/o) needs gabapentin and blood pressure meds refilled by Sunday. He called the pharmacy today to get that process started since refills are now a multi-day effort and we will be out of the region on Saturday. Pharmacist said he couldn’t even place refill order because they are so far backlogged. I was unclear if the issue is pill shortages (that’s my assumption) or Staff shortages (has been a primary driver in the slow refill times). Either way, both of those meds are critical to his daily functionality…and I think there are potentially severe consequences if he abruptly goes off the BP meds.
        It’s CVS, too, not a small or independent pharmacy.

      5. Maritimer

        “I just cannot keep up with the regulations anymore.”
        Numerous authors have written about the complexity of modern life and how it will do us in. For example:
        “The trouble is that as systems get more complex, the more likely they are to fail, sooner or later. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the world financial system, a NASA space ship or a German oven. The failure often starts with something no one could foresee.

        Somebody defaults on a loan, or an O-ring gives out, and then it all goes kablooey. The complexity itself creates the risks. As one engineer said, “We cannot know the exact path of failure, but we can make one solid prediction for the future: The system will fail.””

        My mantra is: Limit your transactions. Unfortunately, most of my transactions with the Beast are mandated by Government, mostly on behalf of their Corrupters.

    3. Lexx

      Hmmm. Diabetic patients are a podiatrist’s bread and butter. Every other patient is there to have someone else cut their toenails and carefully work down the calluses to avoid injury. Put a further squeeze on that income stream and those docs will be hurtin’ to keep their practices open.

      There’s Youtube, of course… some podiatrists are making good money filming (with the patient’s permission and probably for free or discounted) the procedures that go on in the exam rooms. Here’s one of my favorites docs:

      Any reasons given for denial?

  27. Wukchumni

    How come when we’re kids we long for recess, but when we’re all grown up fear recessions?

    1. ambrit

      Because when we are kids, we can find a quiet corner of the playground and avoid scrutiny by the psychopaths. Today, we know that we will always get beaten up in the Agora by the sociopathic members of the “Vampire Squids” Wall Street gang. Plus, now, the playground monitors all work for the gangsters.

    2. griffen

      When we’re kids we aren’t usually obsessed about meeting all the monthly bills and payments required for survival. At least in most instances, that is, not all. We just wanted to go outside and run around like little denim wearing demons.

      I recall the recession that was said to end in May 2009, according to NBER. Except in my experience, my personal recession had only just begun and would last from June 2009 into fall of 2010.

  28. Raymond Sim

    We’re now two weeks out from the date monkeypox cases began to be reported in large numbers outside of Africa. The numbers of new cases continue consistent with exponential growth:

    With each day that passes now, the liklihood that this is an artifact from test-and-trace on a newly discovered outbreak falls drastically.

    In Africa the household attack rate is around 50%. Transmission without physical contact to people like a taxi driver and a ferryman has been documented. But national and international public health institutions continue to treat the outbreak as being primarily associated with gay men. The US and UK seem to be making strenuous efforts not to test cases they can’t insinuate are due to, you know, wrong-hole type activities. Check out CDC’s epidemiologic and exclusion criteria:,-Within%2021%20days&text=Is%20a%20man%20who%20regularly,of%20the%20above%20criteria%20OR

    If you have symptoms and want a PCR you should probably tell them you rubbed yourself all over a gay African while he butchered rodents.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I know GM consistently warned about how the disastrous public health misconduct at the start of the SARS2 pandemic would set the stage for how we deal with future outbreaks (ie by not dealing with them at all), but it’s really on the nose how inept we’re being with this.

      1. Raymond Sim

        He’s been dispiritingly prescient. Gloomier than me, and right when I’ve been wrong. Actually I shouldn’t say ‘dispiriting’. Voices like his are what have kept me heartened enough to stay intellectually engaged. And me knowing what the hell’s going on has benefited a few people.

        You sure inept isn’t too kind?

        1. Basil Pesto

          I think bland nefariousness can be part of ineptitude to some extent, but it’s possible you caught me in a charitable moment.

          Actually I shouldn’t say ‘dispiriting’. Voices like his are what have kept me heartened enough to stay intellectually engaged.

          yes, agreed

  29. flora

    Glenn Greenwald thread:

    “Leading the 2022 presidential polling, Brazil’s Lula da Silva harshly criticizes Biden for fueling the war in Ukraine with $40b more, while Americans can’t get baby’s milk and ignores starving people — a basic left-wing message, as the Squad unanimously and quietly votes YES.

  30. Glen

    Some thoughts for your consideration.

    Remember how there was much discussion about how WW3 could be an economic war?

    It was, and America, and the EU lost. What we’re dealing with now is reality striking America and the EU in the face.

    The war started shortly after the USSR collapsed, but really didn’t get rolling until China got into the WTO. At that point, Russia was in almost total collapse, and in many ways fighting to survive. China was starting to receive massive aid from America and other countries when American and EU CEOs decided to spend billions and billions to give China and other countries the best and latest technology, all in an attempt to stab their own working and middle class in the back (which largely succeeded.)

    While this was occurring, America along with it’s NATO allies made several foolish invasions which made America the most feared country in the world, but the real deciding action during this interlude was America’s reaction to the 2008 economic implosion. At that point Obama made in clear to Americans and the world that nobody was going to go to jail for financial crimes, that finance, and the ability to manipulate numbers on a ledger was the ultimate power in America’s Arsenal of Democracy. All while it’s industries were shipped overseas, and it’s world class schools were turned into one more way to bleed Americans dry.

    Also during this time, Russia was able to recover, and become self sufficient. Mostly by realizing that neoliberalism would destroy the country if left unchecked.

    So here we are today, and we may still have a nuclear war, and without a doubt, that will be called WW3, but the economic WW3, that’s in the books for now, and we lost. Now somebody just needs to convince our elites that this is the new reality. Hopefully, they will figure it out before they get us all killed, or starved, or broke and destitute.

    1. Questa Nota

      Thanks, Neo-Cons, Obama, Hillary, Nuland and all the little people in media who really make things work.

    2. LawnDart

      Glen, our elites and the oligarchs they serve really don’t give a whit one way or another about this country and it’s deplorables, as long as they get to keep what’s theirs. War is just another tool to squeeze oil out of the rind and skin off the hide. But I kinda like your take on things.

      I doubt they care as things here fall apart if there’s still money to be made, but they won’t burn it down unless there’s bucks (or Yuan) in it for them.

  31. LawnDart

    Re; Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Each Defamed Each Other, Jury Rules

    What ugliness, but I’m glad Mr. Depp chose to fight the allegations and that there were no children involved– can you imagine a custody case between them? I have little doubt that Ms. Heard would have “gone nuclear” with a first-strike.

    And this is how the verdict is being spun:

    Depp-Heard trial verdict condemned as a ‘toxic catastrophe’ for women

    Heard’s lawyer says verdict sends ‘a horrible message’ while sexual violence experts say it’s a symptom of a culture that oppresses women

    In USA, as far as men go, there are definately pigs out there, but for most, simply being a man seems to carry with it a presumption of guilt and a vulnerability to gross accusations of the “how often do you beat your wife”- nature.

    The “toxic catastrophe” is the culture wraught and forged by The Empire of Lies, its public figures the super-spreaders of this disease.

    1. JohnA

      I did not follow this case closely, if at all. One article about it I read a week or so ago in The Guardian discussed the testimony of Kate Moss, the supermodel and one time girlfriend of Depp. The article focused on her choice of outfit, which included a ‘pussybow blouse’, that, according to the Guardian reporter, sent a certain signal about her seriousness. Sadly, that went totally over my head. Good luck to the jurors trying to decipher everything. I would have been totally at sea.

  32. Amfortas the hippie

    looking at one thing, i came across another…an innerestin take:

    “What is occurring on the right, then, is a partial realization of the program that the hard-right writer Sam Francis championed in his 1994 essay “Religious Wrong.” He argued that cultural, ethnic and social identities “are the principal lines of conflict” between Middle Americans and progressive elites and that the “religious orientation of the Christian right serves to create what Marxists like to call a ‘false consciousness’ for Middle Americans.” In other words, political Christianity prevented the right-wing base from fully understanding the culture war as a class war — a power struggle between Middle America and a hostile federal regime. He saw Christianity’s universalist ideals as at odds with the defense of the American nation, which was being dispossessed by mass immigration and multiculturalism. “Organized Christianity today,” he wrote in 2001, “is the enemy of the West and the race that created it.””

    i’ve read a lot of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments in the last several years by righties and rightleaners about the state of “American Conservatism”, post-trump.
    a class analysis was never even contemplated, save for Douthat and Dreher…who both went there, somewhat.
    plugged in with Lambert’s thing about the discovery of class consciousness by the PMC, i think it’s a fascinating lens.
    a lot of what this guy is on about…especially the non-white conservative bent…are things i’ve seen in the field for a long while….like the Barstool Conservatism, although he doesn’t mention that specifically.
    so in spite of the shibboleth i grew up swimming in…that we are a classless society…i knew that this wasn’t the case…but the actual shape of the american people has always been occluded and obscured by the powers that be….on top of the wholesale confusion inherent in the subjects of study, themselves.

  33. Maxwell Johnston

    “Of Sanctions and Strategic Bombers”

    A good and thought-provoking article, but the authors never mention the concept of counter-sanctions. This is the first time the USA has imposed sanctions on a country big enough to hit back (perhaps not directly at the USA, but certainly indirectly, especially via the EU). Much pain will be felt all around, but at the end of the day the Russians sell things that humans need (as opposed to merely want) and methinks this will make all the difference. Maybe Gail Tverberg was right.

    1. David

      Interesting, but it gets some key historical details wrong. It’s odd that the author thinks of Britain as a country that “had no firsthand experience as a target of enemy bombing”, because it’s precisely the Zeppelin and Gotha raids on London in 1917 that convinced the British (and others) that the route to victory lay in strategic bombing. And far from being fragile, short-distance things, aircraft evolved enormously in WW1: in 1919, a converted Vickers Vimy bomber crossed the Atlantic for the first time. The author needs to read Richard Overy’s 2013 book The Bombing War.

      The main reason that the British went for this technology is that it promised to be cheap in terms of money, and above all in terms of lives. It was judged that never again would the British people be prepared to go through something like the Western Front again, whatever the justifications offered. It is true, though, that the effects of bombing were expected to be rapid and apocalyptic, essentially at the level we now associate with nuclear weapons. But because the war was expected to be short, advocates argued that many lives would be saved in the longer. Anything to avoid a repetition of the nightmare of the trenches.

      1. JBird4049

        IIRC, poison gas was also expected, but never used; first high explosives to break everything. Than firebombs to get all the broken gas lines and shattered buildings afire. Finally, poison gas to kill everyone especially the firefighters, police, and medical that had arrived after the first two waves.

        Charts, diagrams, and procedures were all typed up prewar and the Americans improved on it with their testing, charts, diagrams, and procedures including the building of small towns built in the Japanese way for the testing. London, Guernica, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, and Nagasaki. All gradual improvements in mass murder.

        1. David

          Yes, the Gas Bomber was a regular feature of the war literature of the 1930s (Olaf Stapledon, for example), and everybody expected everyone else would use it. My mother, who was a teenager at the time, recalled having to carry a gas mask to work in London during the Blitz in 1940/41.

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        Everything evolved enormously during 1914-18, even the trenches. By the time of the Allied offensive against Germany in 1918, the much heralded Hindenburg Line was already outmoded and posed little obstacle to the Allied attack (what was in effect the first-ever combined arms offensive, using infantry and primitive tanks and artillery and airplanes all together). Ironic of course that the losers in WW1 (the Germans) learned their lesson better than the victors and revamped their army accordingly. The blitzkrieg followed. I wonder what lessons China and Russia have learned by watching the USA over the past few decades.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        One thing they never took account of in planning strategic bombing was that damage would be far less in a prepared city. Despite dropping little more than large grenades, the death rates from Zeppelin and Gotha raids were very high, mostly because people came out of their homes and gawped at the sight of the huge airships overhead. When people took cover, death rates were much lower. Much the same happened in the first USAF raids on Tokyo, where for reasons best known to the Japanese high command, there were few protections for civilians in place. the later raids killed far fewer people. Of course, one reason the death rates for the atom bombs was so high was that it hit at precisely the time lots of school children were out building firebreaks – they were expecting bombings only at night or from multiple bombers, so they didn’t think to take cover.

  34. PlutoniumKun

    Re: The article on Shikoku’s railways

    It never stops amazing me at how the Japanese manage to get their railway operations so right, and their financing so horribly wrong (to be fair, the Chinese are doing their best to outdo the Japanese on both counts).

    I had one experience of Shikoku railways. I was cycling in the mountains south of Matsuyama when I was faced with a conundrum. All the main roads went under long mountain tunnels with no room for a bike, but on three separate tries various mapping tools sent me into dead ends right at the top of mountain passes. It was exhausting and frustrating as the evening was setting in and there was no chance of finding somewhere to stay the night in such a remote area.

    I had no idea how to get from my location by bike into the city. So I dropped down to the nearest valley where a small string of houses and shops occupied what little flat land was not occupied by a thunderous highway. And of course, being Japanese, it had a dinky little railway station. But there was nobody there, and very little in the way of information. One small sign indicated (so far as I could work out with my wonky Japanese) that the tickets could be bought at the adjacent market. The market had just a few ladies selling some local… something and no customers. My Japanese hit a blank wall with the Shikoku dialect. But eventually i got a ticket. When the cheery train arrived (for some reason, all local Japanese trains look very cheerful to me) – perfectly on time of course – I saw a scene i think you could only see in Japan. A schoolgirl of about 12 rode frantically through the station car park, right onto the platform, and with a practised flick of her heel simultaneously put her bike on its stand while dashing in through the train doors just as they closed. She was entirely calm as she sat down, leaving her bike right in the middle of the platform unlocked. She was so skilled at this it must have been her daily post school habit to do this.

    Anyway, the train got me to Matsuyama without any fuss, but i think it was only me, that girl, and two or three old folks on the train, so its hardly surprising it doesn’t make much money.

    1. Oh

      All the while I was reading the article I couldn’t help thinking that mass trasportation should not make a profit. I know that the author was criticising privatization (it took me way deep into the article to infer that) but he delved too much into profitability and not enough into the marvelous way the Japanese were able to provide train transportation – something the “replacement” ca never achieve.

      My experience with Japanese trains has been superb – JR East, West and Tokyo/Osaka suburban line, all of them.

  35. Tom Bradford

    An observation from outside the US.

    I’ve been working my way through a download of all the ‘Elementary’ TV episodes, based on a modern Sherlock Holmes doing his thing in New York.

    Last night I watched Episode 9, Series 4, first broadcast on 21 January 2016. In it a Russian oligarch is shot Mafia-style outside a New York strip club. One thread of the investigation involved the supply of weapons to ‘freedom fighters’ fighting an oppressive Ukrainian Government while the solution of the crime was that the murder was at the behest of a American businessman who wanted the Ukrainian versus breakaway provinces war to continue in order to ensure the continuation of sanctions against Russia which benefited his business.

    Although the gun-running was a ‘false lead’ and only touched on, it immediately struck me that the writers seemed confident that US viewers in January 2016 would be sufficiently aware of a ‘war’ in Ukraine between the government and ‘freedom fighters’ not to need an explanation, to accept without question that it was the Ukrainian government side who were the bad guys, that corruption in Ukraine was endemic and that anyone supplying weapons to said freedom-fighters was on the side of right.

    How the public mind seems to have been changed.

    1. Paradan

      Armageddon brought to by the sore losers of the 2016 Presidential Campaign, makers of Trump Derangement Syndrome available across media outlets everywhere.

Comments are closed.