Links 6/29/2022

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.

* * *

Basil foal-ty! British zoo celebrates birth of a rare endangered Przewalski’s horse that went extinct in the wild for almost 40 years Daily Mail (Li)

Experts Estimate Shark That Attacked Swimmer in Monterey County Was 20 Feet Long Inertia (David L)

A huge solar eruption may be headed toward the Earth Interesting Engineering. If this hits us, it would make electrical grids “collapse” and mess up other things we depend on. Due date June 28 (safely passed) or June 29. As dk kindly said, “In case this is the big one, just want to say how great it’s been to have had NC!! Yves/Susan💜, Lambert💜, Jerri-Lynn💜.”

Mesmerizing half-wheel bike shows two halves make a whole — and this applies to physics too ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

Early human ancestors one million years older than earlier thought Guardian (Kevin W)



On my last flight, I wore a P100 (Darth Vader mask!) until I got to 10,000 feet. Your humble blogger just ordered a fancy CO2 monitor, so I can now check when it is safe to switch to an N95. But I am frustrated that the ones I have (3M 9205, Niosh L-288) aren’t on the list so I’m not sure how good they are. The P-100 I have pinches my face hard and is uncomfortable to wear (not to breathe through). So I guess I’ll use the ones I have now for not too scary local use (shopping at off hours, I can use the monitor to check C02 levels to be sure) and get some 3M 1870+ for higher-risk settings.

What causes long COVID? Canadian researchers think they’ve found a key clue (dk). Small sample but may be on to something.

Oxaloacetate Treatment For Mental And Physical Fatigue In Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and Long-COVID fatigue patients: a non-randomized controlled clinical trial Journal of Translational Medicine


NYC COVID Data: BA.5 Fueling 6th Wave, Top Doc Suggests NBC New York (resilc)


U.S. Expands Plan for Monkeypox Vaccines in Effort to Curb Outbreak Wall Street Journal


Deal is close on recycling California’s plastic trash CalMatters (David L)

Natural Gas Samples Taken from Boston-Area Homes Contained Numerous Toxic Compounds, a New Harvard Study Finds Inside Climate News (GlennF)

The race is on to build the world’s biggest plant that sucks carbon straight from the sky—with tiny Iceland emerging as an unlikely superpower Fortune (David L) v. World’s largest direct air carbon capture facility will reduce CO2 by .0001% Electrek (Kevin W)


NATO to Label China ‘Systemic Challenge’ in Strategic Plan Bloomberg. NATO has to have enemies. It appears Russia is not sufficient for its ambitions.

Exclusive: US plants Trojan horse programs in hundreds of important Chinese information systems; new cyber weapon targets China, Russia Global Times

G7: Food security crisis could push poorer nations into China′s arms DW (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Turkey drops objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, removing major hurdle to two nations joining the alliance CNN. My guess is Erdogan is punishing Russia for not sitting on the sidelines as Turkey tried eating more of Syria.

NATO’S Meaningless Military Gestures Larry Johnson

* * *

Europe’s plans to replace Russian gas are deemed ‘wildly optimistic’ — and could hammer its economy CNBC

Russia gas halt could deal 12.7% hit to German H2 performance Reuters. I recall that Olaf Scholz was told (and doubted) that the worst downside Germany would face from the Russia sanctions was a 3% GDP contraction. 1/2 of 12.7% is bigger than that.

Poles look to their forests to ease energy price pain Reuters. Lordie, how hard did Reuters have to work to come up with such an anodyne headline for such a bad development? Poles are cutting down trees (much more so than normal) in anticipation of not being able to afford other sources of fuel, worsening climate change via the high CO2 emissions and loss of forest.

UK plans to cut pipelines to EU if Russia gas crisis intensifies Financial Times. BoJo is the most hawkish Western leader, but he’s more than willing to let the EU take his bullets.

* * *

They Ran From Lysichansk… Andrei Martyanov

* * *

Russia Advances on Lysychansk, G7 Dreams of Russian Oil Price Cap, Lithuania Vetoes EU Kaliningrad Alexander Mercouris. The G7 meeting was (deservedly) so poorly covered (and yours truly had major production issues yesterday) that because it wasn’t one of the formal decisions taken, the stories I checked didn’t cover the additional discussions, and I mistakenly assumed the idea had died. But Mercouris reviewed more detailed coverage, and the hare-brained oil price cap scheme is not dead. But it won’t go anywhere, for reasons we and here Mercouris lays out. This level of delusion indicated that G7 leaders know they have a problem and have no way out, save the exit they refuse to consider, rolling back the Russia sanctions.

See also: G7 to consider comprehensive prohibition of services enabling Russian oil transportation globally until price agreed upon – communique and G7 intention to set maximum prices for Russian gas is subject for talks – Peskov Interfax. Russia is treating this attempt at a diktat as subject to negotiation…when the West is prepared to give nothing in return for this big waiver. And in the event of a contract breach, were things to go that far, Russia would be under no obligation to provide oil.

* * *

Ukraine’s new (and probably fake) war hero is a goddamn goat Task and Purpose (Kevin W). Zelensky’s propaganda machine is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Another Zelensky Lie Debunked – White House Says Ukraine Must Give Up Territory Moon of Alabama. Not only does MoA do a fine job of debunking the claim that the one-time shopping mall was still in use, see the further proof via the first comment by IronForge. As Lambert says, where is the press?

Just half a functioning brain will suffice to see through propaganda Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

* * *

UK citizen Pinner’s defense requests to replace his death penalty with life imprisonment TASS

Note we’ve linked to articles discussing this piece but were remiss in failing to flag the underlying story: Commando Network Coordinates Flow of Weapons in Ukraine, Officials Say New York Times. Turns out it isn’t paywalled. This leak is either from a faction that is unhappy about this, perhaps the Pentagon, which is regularly engaged in turf wars with the CIA, or else the officialdom is having to admit to this because too many CIA guys are coming home from Ukraine in body bags to hide. A key bit comes almost at the end of this long piece:

The Ukrainian military’s most acute training problem right now is that it is losing its most battle-hardened and well-trained forces, according to former American officials who have worked with the Ukrainians.

* * *

Boost for luxury London property prices as Russians locked in Reuters (resilc)


Russia’s Middle East Footprint Expands With New Iran-Iraq Plan OilPrice (resilc)

US, Israel and Gulf States discuss anti-Iran alliance as nuclear talks set to restart in Qatar WSWS

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

When Security Locks You Out of Everything Bruce Schneier (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Belgium busts drug lab on air base housing US nukes Agence France-Presse

The well-traveled road from member of Congress to foreign agent Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Catalytic converter thefts shut down a county’s buses Associated Press


Six takeaways on Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive testimony The Hill

The roots of Trumpism Robert Reich (resilc)

‘Magnetometer’ Spikes from Jan. 6th Testimony Merriam-Webster (David L)


The Political Survival Plan That Biden Needs Atlantic. Resilc: “DeSantis vs Youngkin will be the election.” Moi: I’ve been predicting for some time that Youngkin will be the pick of the non-Trump Rs.

Immigration Activists Blame Biden for 51 Migrants Dying in Tractor-Trailer Mike Elk

Democrats en déshabillé

The whispers of Hillary Clinton 2024 have started CNN. Resilc: “If Hitler runs for the GOP I will vote for him.” Moi: It’s clear she’s making a bid. She just had a major facelift and has a new hairstyle too.

The Supremes

Supreme Court allows Louisiana to use congressional map that lower court said likely violates Voting Rights Act CNN (Kevin W)


Overturning Roe v. Wade will hurt the US economy Quartz (Dr. Kevin)

Tech companies may surrender abortion-related data Vox (resilc)

Facebook removed posts on abortion pills even when they didn’t break any rules ars technica (Paul R)

Dems’ Rocky Mountain MAGA bet Axios (resilc)

Indictments in Flint Water Crisis Are Invalid, Michigan Supreme Court Finds New York Times (Kevin W)

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years for aiding Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse Financial Times (Kevin W)

Supply Chain/Inflation

Spanish Inflation Soars to Record 10% as ECB Hikes Near Bloomberg

Class Warfare

When Private Equity Becomes Your Landlord ProPublica (dk)

Alexander Zevin, Gradualism’s Prophet, NLR 135, May–June 2022 New Left Review. Anthony L:”JS Mill, Socialist.”

Ready or not, here they come: Tiny homes in SJ’s future, but lawmakers can’t agree where Local Matters (David L)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus. This horse knows it belongs in a shampoo commercial:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    Run, Hillary, by all means please do so. Americans just can’t help ourselves when it comes to sequels and another showdown in the electoral college for the ultimate champion. \sarc

    Next on the to do list. A round of speeches for all the Wall St finest donors.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      As bad as Biden is, I would not be shocked if Mother devotees like Neera we’re actively sabotaging the White House to prepare for the return of Mother. Biden has been going down hill since he brought Neera on board.

        1. Pat

          One of the few things I will be interested in if HRC runs will be how much the media buries her record, it isn’t just abortion where her previous positions could bury her. In 2000, most of the media were very collaborative with her. The record on Russia!Russia!Russia!, the all in of the media on Ukraine indicates it could be even more of a whitewash.

    2. Lexx

      A little clarification… she isn’t disqualified from running again by the 22nd Amendment, because while she has run twice already, she was only the Democratic party’s national nominee once? (And that’s why Ralph Nader could run four times, but only twice as the Green Party candidate?)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The 22nd Amendment doesn’t enshrine parties and only forbids a person from being elected more than twice and a person serving a full term and most of a second term through presidential succession more than once.

        1. Lexx

          She could run and lose indefinitely, only winning precludes her from running again?! Sorry, I’m trying to wrap my head around why she’d want to run again after losing twice.. I shouldn’t ask questions before that second cup kicks in.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            People who run for political office aren’t normal by and large. Hillary is an extreme narcissist. She’s the country’s most prominent cuckold and seems fine with it because she sees it as a path to power.

            Besides it’s everyone else’s fault. She didn’t lose. Ungrateful children challenged her in 2008 for a celebrity, and that Jew in 2016 betrayed her. They later cooked up Russia. Mother devotees are more irritated by Sanders in recent days.

            Since she has no policy ambitions, she can’t conceive her failures are related to any kind of expectations she would be a poor president. It’s all kind of a divine mandate thing. Now is her time of enjoy the trappings of office, just like Biden.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Biden’s own narcissism is both responsible for his runs and his failures. He fancies himself as a representative of a natural end state of a great American nonsense idea. Crises and the idea he should respond simply baffle him. He and Mitch should be golfing while arguing how much to cut from the department of education and holding rallies where they are praised for 3% cuts in 0stead of 5% or 1%. People statehood hold feel good Biden is having a good time. After all, they did for Obama. Remember that nut, “blackwaterdog” at dailykos. All she did was post goofy photos of the Obama administration and claimed they represented change. This is how Biden and Hillary see the office of president. It’s one of those “oh, you are actually royalty, here is your castle and staff that you don’t do anything to earn” stories.

              1. jefemt

                My epiphany this morning was that ANYONE who runs for elected office should be immediately disqualified.
                “Representatives” should be selected randomly from the voter registration roles, for limited terms, no benefits.
                Penance of servitude to the Republic akin to jury Duty.

                Obviously, no second cup, and a depth of last-straw desperation that I never anticipated…

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Since there are bureaucracies and staff, government by lottery makes more sense than the US political system, even with sensible changes like if we stopped pretending the filibuster was more than a gentlemen’s agreement (we don’t even need to abolish it; the Senate can’t restrict it’s constitutional power but simply choose not to wield it). I’ve long felt this. We aren’t losing institutional memory. Half the time the staffs make all the decisions anyway.

                  1. YankeeFrank

                    Only problem with a lottery is the bureaucracy and the inevitable “expert” class that would grow to “advise” the lottery winners would likely wind up running things. We’re doomed.

                2. Kouros

                  I have been considering the issue for long time. The political arm can and should be elected via sortition. The problem rests with the government and any executive branch where you also need professionals as well as good administrators… I have not squared the circle on this one yet and find a systemic solution for the Iron Law of Bureaucracy…

                3. redleg

                  “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
                  To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
                  To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
                  – Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

                  1. Kouros

                    In 1541 Friar Toribio de Benavente—called Motolinía (the “afflicted one”) by locals—completed an account of Tlaxcala’s constitution that explains some of its underlying ideology. The city, he wrote, was indeed a republic, governed by a council of elected officials (teuctli), answerable to the common citizenry. How many sat on the high council of Tlaxcala is not clear; sources indicate from fifty to two hundred. Nor does Motolinía explain how they were selected or who was eligible (other Pueblan cities rotated official duties among representatives of urban wards, or calpulli). On the topic of Tlaxcalteca modes of political training and instruction, however, his account comes alive.

                    Far from being expected to demonstrate personal charisma or the ability to outdo rivals, those who aspired to a role on the Council of Tlaxcala did so in a spirit of self-deprecation—even shame—and were required to subordinate themselves to the people of the city. To ensure this was no mere show, each was subject to trials, starting with mandatory exposure to public abuse, regarded as the proper reward of ambition, and then—with one’s ego in tatters—a long period of seclusion, where the incumbent politician suffered ordeals of fasting, sleep deprivation, bloodletting, and a strict regime of moral instruction. The initiation ended with a “coming out” of the newly constituted public servant amid feasting and celebration. Clearly, taking up office in this indigenous democracy required personality traits very different from those we take for granted in modern electoral politics.


            2. jr

              Remember a while back when she was in Ireland at some prestigious university? She was involved in the graduation ceremony in some capacity. Anyway, there was video of her being heckled by people shouting “War criminal!” who she literally waved off.

              The thing that stuck with me was the look on her face as she approached the building. She had a huge, rapacious smile. I knew she was a hungry void of a creature before. But the image hammered it home: any bit of prestige, any honor, anything that buttressed her self perception of power was the sweetest sugar to her.

              We are ruled by monstrosities. I know this isn’t news around here but it cannot be said enough. These things are the living dead. Never satiated, never content.

        1. hunkerdown

          She’s been acting like she’s the President for more than eight years. Therefore, barred. :)

        2. flora

          Harold Stassen.
          Stasson ran for the the Republican nomination for president in 1948, 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992. / ;)

          1. griffen

            Not to detract from the politics, but in football terms the famed Buffalo Bills reached a whopping 4 consecutive Super Bowls and did not achieve victory either. Here I thought such futility exists just on the gridiron or the arena.

            1. Wukchumni

              I met my wife from the Queen City halfway through the Bills losing those 4 Super Bowls and suffered with her, but it was nothing compared to being in the NFL wilderness with so many stiff QB’s along the way that i’ve thankfully forgotten over the past 30 years.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              Arguably Buffalo ran into 4 superior opponents. Giants, the team from Washington, and the Cowboys. New York and Dallas were better teams. Hillary is more like a premier League team getting the regulation treatment.

              Except for Hillary herself and her campaign’s choices, her campaigns had every advantage campaigns dream about. Going back to 1992, Bill did things like direct the campaign to Mew Jersey because he thought it looked like it could flip to his column. Hillary had more resources than republican campaigns, and they did things like organize celebrity galas.

            3. griffen

              I was not, for the record, merely punching down on those Bills teams. I have seen the well done documentary on ESPN, and appreciate how they went about their business of winning their conference. The comeback led by Frank Reich against the then-Oilers is the stuff of legends.

              I mean heck, Tony Romo never sniffed an NFC championship game and he commands a generous paycheck from CBS.

    3. WhoaMolly

      There’s a way to tell if Hillary is running. Check to see if she is breathing. — Dick Morris (paraphrased)

      The photo of Mrs. Clinton on CNN is pretty clear evidence to me that she is running. It’s a stunning presentation. She looks downright presidential and trustworthy. Got to hand it to the people who groomed, packaged, and dressed her. This is world class messaging.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I really can’t get over the idea Hillary, who lost to Donald Trump, is the person to expose GOP radicalism. Okay, I can understand lying, but I mean have these people ever considered plausible lies.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well Hillary got nearly the whole country to believe that Russia stole the 2016 elections and that she should have been the President instead on zero proof. So Trump was simply repeating her own canard of a stolen election in 2020 but he is much worse.

          1. ambrit

            First, your phrase, “..the whole country…” is doing some very heavy lifting.
            Secondly, to give Trump credit, (yes, I know,) Trump didn’t have the entire Status Quo Establishment and the “Fourth Estate” shilling for him the entire time. So, the locution “…he is much worse…” is simply an artifact of a sophisticated opposition propaganda campaign. (Imagine how Warren G Harding would have made out if he had had Hillary’s political “messaging” machine to use.)
            Third, the above mention of Warren G Harding is almost depressingly appropriate. I can see no President since perhaps Carter who is less venal and corrupt than the hapless Harding.
            What is somewhat amazing is that Hillary couldn’t engineer an actual ‘coup’ against Trump over those four years. That fact alone ‘proves’ that she is not up to the task.
            I have always viewed Hillary as a Country Club Republican disguised as a Third Way Democrat. [Feel free to make ‘Three Way’ jokes, however you swing.] (One can make the case that the two classes are functionally identical; socially “moderate,” and fiscally reactionary.)
            Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

            1. flora

              An elephant in donkey clothes… which is some trick given the tailoring needed to make dem donkey clothes fit an elephant. / ;)

            2. Bruno

              Why the denegation of Harding? If only by the liberation of Debs and the other victims of Wilsonite proto-fascism, he ranks above any other US president I can think of. And hasn’t every US administration, without exception (remember Washington’s bloody repression of the Pennsylvania farmers or Jefferson’s theft of millions from the treasury to “buy” Louisiana and his unconstitutional “treason” prosecution of his vice-president?) been thoroughly corrupt? And what invasions and wars were Harding resposible for?
              Compared to his predecessors (especially the previous five-Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson) Harding was a virtual saint.

              1. Adam Eran

                You’ve left out Jefferson was a child molester who had a 14-year-old black mistress (fathered by his white father-in-law).

                I’m guessing Harding gets a bad rap the same way populist William Jennings Bryan was portrayed as an idiot in “Inherit the Wind” … suppressing those populist leanings trumps genuine historical analysis

            3. LifelongLib

              Yes, 50 years ago many of today’s Democrats would have been Rockefeller Republicans. And the New Dealers (except for Sanders) are gone.

        2. tawal

          If Hillary runs against Trump, again, I will still vote Green, again. Trump is still the lesser of evils in my book, of the two. They’re both corrupt as hell, but in my book she is much more of a warmonger.
          Libya was on the verge of being the breadbasket of Africa, but it is on her resume that she convinced Obama to not intervene in a positive way.
          Anyway, What happened to Libya’s $500 Billion in seized assets?

      2. Louis Fyne

        I haven’t seen the stunning CNN photo…Hillary gave a TV interview the other day and wowsers, she looked like she didn’t sleep and spent the whole night drinking absinthe.

    4. Judith

      A twitter thread for your amusement:

      Revolutionary Blackout Network🥋
      Replying to
      I want to see Hillary’s dream of being president snatched from her just one more time. Please it will be glorious 😂

      1. nycTerrierist

        ha! glorious – my thought too re: Hill’s third loss —

        big risk/fear: the Dem(entia)crats have gotten better at stealing —- and covering the evidence —

        1. ambrit

          More frigntening yet; the Dems have evinced a tendency to “steal” things and dare anyone to complain. We are in the “Outright Crooks” phase of politics now.

    5. Leroy R

      Will Republicans have the Jeffrey Epstein/Ghislaine Maxwell clients list available in time for the election?

      1. ambrit

        I have the feeling that the ‘Epstein List’ is a danger to Republicans and Democrats alike. Remember that both wings of the Property Party, (hat tip to Gore Vidal,) are funded by the same class of Oligarchs. The same class of persons which imagines itself as being “above the Law,” and thus prime clients of Epstein’s “services.”
        Just as the Snowden Papers were deep sixed by Omidyar, so will the ‘Epstein Papers’ suffer a similar fate. No one mentioned the library of “exposes” in the dungeon next door to the infamous “Dry Powder Room.”

        1. Leroy R

          “I have the feeling that the ‘Epstein List’ is a danger to Republicans and Democrats alike.”

          Very true. I think the potential for serious damage to the Clinton faction is very great if an accurate bill of goods is submitted for the former president and he gets totally trashed, which he has avoided so far. Interesting to see if another suicide is planned. It never seems to end; they stop at nothing.

          1. Oh

            I have the feeling that the ‘Epstein List’ is a danger to Republicans and Democrats alike
            And Bill Gates!

      2. Bruno

        not gonna happen. Even with all his obsequious services, the Mossad gave nothing to Trump!

    6. LawnDart

      859-days to go: who will be the next President of USA (assuming there still is a USA in 2024)?

      Donald Trump Sr. +250
      Ron DeSantis +300
      Joe Biden +460
      Kamala Harris +1100
      Mike Pence +1600
      Jared Polis +2000
      Nikki Haley +2000
      Pete Buttigieg +2500
      Michelle Obama +2800
      Elizabeth Warren +3300
      Hillary Clinton +4500
      Candace Owens +5000
      Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson +5000

      Source: vegaselectionodds[dot]com

      1. John

        What a line up. The fact that some of these people are even on the list is an indicator of how low the USA has sunk.

        1. Pat

          The fact that an ex wrestler now action star is possibly the least vomit inducing is even more disheartening.

          Not one should be anywhere near the White House especially the ones who have lived there or were one heartbeat away from living there.

          1. ambrit

            What is strange to contemplate is that Dwayne Johnson’s career is perfect training for him to assume the mantle of Imperator and Pontifex Maximus.
            He has come up the hard way through the ranks of American Professional Wrestling. Thus, he has learned to act, handle difficult physical feats, and deal with the general public. Having taken the natural next step from ‘Rasslin’ to screen acting, (see the late lamented “Rowdy” Roddy Piper for precedent,) he has also shown adaptability. Whether true or not, he has shown a “natural” “down home, folksy” character to the outside world.
            If Johnson begins talking policy, then I will take him much more seriously.
            Ronald Reagan showed the way for later ‘entertainers’ to thrive in American politics. Even when certifiably brain dead, Reagan performed the role of President for four years, (his second term.) Now we have Biden, attempting to pull off the same trick.

            1. ambrit

              Indeed, I just thought of the perfect malefic description of biden; he’s a “One Trick Donkey.”

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Pretty sure the Rock is disqualified from running for political office as an action star since he wasn’t in the cast of the Predator movie. But maybe they’re making a sequel?

      2. Screwball

        They missed Howard Stern, who was talking about running yesterday. Why not, ever other POS seems to be.

        My PMC friends seem to be truly in love with Mayo Pete.

      3. orlbucfan

        Looks like a list of troglodytes to me. But since this country is already in the Dark Ages, I guess it’s appropriate.

      4. Aumua

        Notably missing: Bernie Sanders, AOC or any (ostensibly) leftist candidate, even to the slightest degree. And that’s the real power of the big media kind control apparatus at work right there.

          1. ambrit

            You have a point.
            Please report to your local FEMA Reeducation facility by noon tomorrow.
            Thank you consumer. /s

    7. LawnDart

      When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.


      1. Screwball

        This one truly scares me. She might get elected since so many love her. I don’t know why. If she would get in there we would be just as screwed as anyone else, maybe more with St. Obama pulling the strings behind the scenes. I see the Obama’s a nothing buy slimy gifted grifters and their base would cheer as they gave us the big red white and blue shaft Carlin talked about.

        1. John k

          I dunno. Big o is an awful neolib, but who isn’t? He did do the deal with Iran against Israel wishes, and don’t remember him wanting to confront Russia more than anybody else. Granted he let Hillary destroy Libya… and the Ukraine 2014 coup happened on his watch… but imo he’s sane enough that he doesn’t want to test the premise ‘we can win a nuclear exchange with Russia’.
          Problem is the dems will not nominate a sane socialist, so have to sift thru neolib dregs of humanity to find the least dreadful dem while also scrutinizing the rep dregs. It’s all relative, except the worst warmongers should be sifted out first if we want our flawed species to continue.
          Imo trump doesn’t want to test that premise either, but maybe he’s not gonna make it? Hopefully rep isolationists rise to the top.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Likewise, I hate the guy, but he does seem to have an inkling of the limits to imperial power, which sets him apart from most of the other clowns.

            Now please excuse me while I wash my hands after writing that.

            1. ambrit

              Wash your mind too consumer.
              Report to your local FEMA Reeducation centre by noon tomorrow. Prepare for an extended stay. /s

  2. The Rev Kev

    “When Security Locks You Out of Everything”

    ‘I want to remind readers that this isn’t a true story. It didn’t actually happen. It’s a thought experiment.’

    Doesn’t need to be at thought experiment as something like this has happened before. NC had a link a few short years ago where this guy had his online account hacked if I remember. He had all Apple gear as it turned out and all his gear was daisy-chained together. So when his account was hacked it gave access to another set of gear and so in until he was shut out of his computers, mobiles and iPads. So when the guy woke up he was locked out of not only his online accounts but all gear that had microchips in it. The best part of the story was that the guy earned his living writing about computer tech and had to beg the hacker for access back again.

    1. digi_owl

      With Google and MS heading down the same path (windows 11 by default edge damned close to ransomware in the name of “security”), going all in on Linux or BSD becomes ever more tempting.

      1. Carla

        We made the switch to Linux a couple of years ago. It turned out to be pretty seamless for this Luddite. That said, I do live with my tech support, which is a tremendous benefit!

        1. Carolinian

          Computers: you control them or they control you? I have computers of all stripes–my brother keeps giving them to me–including ancient XP but keep circling back to Linux based on trust. But not everyone has the time to invest in learning the quirks of Linux and an open source system lacks the profit potential to inspire more work on UI. The big tech companies of course use this to their advantage. Still, ordinary users should at least be aware of where the trust boundaries are and act accordingly. As Jimmy Carter said, if you want secure communication write a letter.

          1. ambrit

            “..if you want secure communication, write a letter.” Plus send multiple copies and write it in a one time code.

      2. super extra

        Something that made me awesome with Linux in specific and better with computers in general was going through the entire Linux From Scratch website on a beater computer over the course of year or so. After that, doing stuff like meticulously configuring a window and desktop manager to make it look unlike any other existing computer was no big deal. Needless to say by that point I also had a real understanding of what I wanted to use the computer for, and what security/threat surfaces that exposed, and how to guard against them. They don’t actually teach that stuff in computer science school btw, so even real computer people miss the fundamentals.

    2. WhoaMolly

      When Security Locks You Out of Everything Bruce Schneier (David L)

      We are watching a neighbor go through this. Tech expert husband went from grumpy tech guru on Monday to post-surgery vegetable on Wednesday. His partner is stunned, confused, and grieving. Terrified of unknown creditors appearing.

      He was heavily sedated after open heart surgery, unable to give passwords, or even location of bank accounts. He was in narcotized stupor for next six weeks until his death. Only came out of it long enough for a brief goodbye, but still no passwords or account information exchanged.

      Not sure how to protect ourselves. We use paper (would burn with house), safety deposit box, and a cloud password manager. Even with all that I’m sure there’s one or two key passwords that are not copied to all three.

      1. The Rev Kev

        How about having some important notes like passwords, etc. buried in a water-proof, durable container somewhere in your backyard. Maybe under a birdbath or something. Worse case scenario is that your house might burn down but that container with all that vital info would be safe buried underground ready for retrieval.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Rev – That may work for passwords that don’t need to be changed.

          A couple of my business applications require new passwords every 90 days, so I would have to dig up the container every few weeks (the apps are not on the same schedule).

          I don’t think there is an optimal solution that protects one from all possible catastrophes. A personal risk assessment is required. :-\

          1. The Rev Kev

            The only workaround is on an annual basis to work out twelve new passwords – one for each application – with one set for each month. One copy goes on your computer and a copy in that container. If your house goes up in November, you dig up that container and see what your listed passwords are for that month.

        2. WhoaMolly

          The burying is a good idea.

          Wildfires around here tend to leave nothing but ashes and cement.

          Bank boxes can be seized relatively easily by too many people.

          Maybe a non metallic Pelican case far from the casa with a small paper notebook inside.

      2. RockHard

        Unwinding a digital life is hard enough with good records. A friend passed away a little over 2 years ago and his widow is still finding things. She’ll send a group message to his friends with a message like “What’s the Open Source Initiative? They’ve been getting $25 a month…” He had a number of subscriptions and ongoing charitable donations that she’s still finding. He kept good records, but still, it takes a lot of work to get through all that.

        The comments on Schneier’s piece are typical tech stuff, heavily relying on the off-site backup idea. A safe deposit box costs money, and you have to keep it in sync, and if you stop paying, the company will cut off access anyway. And that’s assuming they stay in business. I can certainly imagine a situation where a company goes bankrupt and you simply can’t get into the building.

        All these ideas rely on being incredibly disciplined, and are usually proposed by people who have never had their discipline tested.

      3. Louis Fyne

        1. Pick a phrase, place, thing, etc. memorable and unique to you. Where you met your spouse = (camp).

        2. Put that phrase into a SHA256 generator (using duckduckgo, type: sha256 camp)

        3. take the first 12 to 16 characters: ccefcd91405c728f

        4. but you likely will have to add special characters (capital letters, * ! etc) for many websites.

        so you can write on a piece of paper and if your spouse, kid, lawyer knows the algorithm, they can access your password.

        I just write mine on paper along with 12 other fake ones. Odds of a burglar getting that piece of paper and spending all day rummaging through the bank websites are nil. Doesn’t help w/fire or tornado though.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          I made certain to obtain all of wifes passwords during the intial panic phase of cancer journey, and periodiically updated the 3×5 card since.
          Also helped that she was persuedable that such things need not be complicated, and that our security needs are anomalously simple.
          No underscores or weird alphanumeric strings.
          If a pkace insists on such, we do bidness with someone else

          1. ambrit

            We try to hold to a similar standard. If a business or organization demands “sensitive” information, we move on. We used to tell them so, but soon enough learned that the average avaricious association doesn’t even understand the concept of ethics or morality. Money rules them all. Of necessity, one begins to adopt an anchorite’s world view.
            Hope you and the boys are doing as good as you can.
            ambrit and Phyllis.

          2. hunkerdown

            There’s two kinds of passwords: there’s the kind that you use to protect what’s yours, and there’s the kind other people make you use to protect what’s theirs. Password strength can vary accordingly.

  3. JohnA

    According to the Daily Telegraph account of the hero Goat of Kiev, the soviet soldiers (yes the Telegraph called them soviet not Russian) were laying grenades (!) round a hospital (!). A propaganda twofer, especially as this confirms western media reports that the Russians specifically target schools, hospitals and shopping centres.

    1. digi_owl

      More and more it seems like the upper classes think we are still in the 60s or something…

        1. jr

          Bill Gates put out a video a few months back talking about why pandemics are like fires. Around him were the tools of the fire fighter, if I recall correctly there was an extinguisher, a helmet, and the like. Plus a cute Dalmation puppy. The childishness and the presumption of the gullibility of the viewer were at level 10.

          1. digi_owl

            I do wonder how much that was his decision, and how much it was some marketing guru’s insistence.

            Adam Curtis’ Century of Self keep gnawing at me. Sure, he may have put undue focus on the Freud family. But there is still the bother of treating fellow humans like emotion machines one can manipulate for personal gain. If anything, that would suggest sociopathic tendencies.

  4. Roger Blakely

    The N95 filter is working just fine. The issue is never the filter. P100s are for asbestos fibers, which are tiny compared to the virus-containing aerosols. There is no need for anything better than an N95 filter when we are talking about virus-containing aerosols.

    The more understandable problem is quantity of virus that is being inhaled in the air getting through the gaps at the nose and cheeks. The less understandable problem is SARS-CoV-2 landing on the eyeballs and washing down into the eyelids.That’s all it takes. SARS-CoV-2 is different. We aren’t used to a virus that is so contagious that virus passively landing on eyeballs is enough to cause infection. That’s why grocery store workers need to be in respirators and goggles.

    Then comes all of the hate directed at vendors of Mexican food. “I ate bad Mexican food,” they say. No, the Mexican food was fine. You inhaled virus. Your lungs cleared it out and dumped it into your gastrointestinal tract. Then SARS-CoV-2 attacked the lining of your GI tract all the way down. It made your stomach upset and gave you diarrhea.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      First, your information is incorrect. Even assuming equally good fit, a P100 restricts more particles:

      The number in a rating tells you the minimum amount of airborne challenge particles the mask protects against: an N95 mask keeps out at least 95% of particles but isn’t oil resistant, and a P100 mask is oil proof while protecting the wearer from at least 99.8% of particles….

      Can N95 Masks Protect Me from a Virus?

      The emergence of COVID-19 (and SARS before that) has a lot of people concerned and stocking up on N95 masks. Viruses and bacteria are generally too small for a mask to protect against, though they are almost always in a droplet from a sneeze or cough. The mask will stop the droplets.

      This study found (in test conditions, meaning presupposing mask fit) that both types performed better than rated…which still meant 2% leakage for the N95:

      The filtration efficiency of selected NIOSH-approved particulate N95 and P100 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) and filter cartridges was investigated against the viable MS2 virus, a non-pathogenic bacteriophage, aerosolized from a liquid suspension. Tests were performed under two cyclic flow conditions (minute volumes of 85 and 135 L/min) and two constant flow rates (85 and 270 L/min). The mean penetrations of viable MS2 through the N95 and P100 FFRs/cartridges were typically less than 2 and 0.03%, respectively, under all flow conditions. All N95 and P100 FFR and cartridge models assessed in this study, therefore, met or exceeded their respective efficiency ratings of 95 and 99.97% against the viable MS2 test aerosol, even under the very high flow conditions.

      Second, as an owner/user of a P100, because they are for use in much more hazardous environments than an N95, they are designed so that when they are properly strapped on, the soft plastic pushes so hard into your face that nada is getting in around the edges. And that chart in the tweet above shows that when you don’t have a fitted N95 (and how many of us are in settings where we can have them fitted and fit tested?) the leakage can be significant.

      1. none

        N95 filtering media usually filter way above 99% but it is important to fit test them, by spraying a saccharin mist in the air and seeing if you can taste it while inhaling through the mask with your mouth (you should not be able to taste it). Info on how to do that is here:

        You can get 4-packs of those nebulizers for around $20 from amazon (I avoid them when possible but sometimes the cost savings are too large):

        Bottles of powdered saccharin are available on ebay.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          I recall the candle test. If you can blow out a lit candle while wearing the mask the mask is no good. if you can’t blow out the candle it is good to use for Covid. This was in 2020 and well before Omicron appeared.

      2. Turtle

        Yves, one interesting piece of information from that chart was that the 3M 1870+, which is the “Aura” named N95 mask one can purchase at Home Depot, for instance (actually, upon further check it seems that it’s the healthcare version of the 9205+ available at Home Depot), also had a 100% fitting success rate. Although it was a small sample of 5, it was still encouraging. I find those relatively comfortable and am able to wear one all day at work.

        But regarding getting infected even while wearing an N95, absolutely! The charts that have been in previous posts showing infection times estimated an N95 only conferring 2 hours of protection against infection if others around you are not wearing masks. Most flights are longer than that.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Oh, thanks for checking! So my 9205s are good for everything save getting on a plane until the CO2 readings improve, and then when they get crappy at the end of the flight when they turn off filtration before landing. Not taking more chances than I need to.

          I did order a box of the 1870s but won’t hurt to have a functional equivalent in the house.

          1. Turtle

            You’re welcome! Sounds like a good plan. I need to get an elastomeric respirator too, now that I understand the improvement a bit better. As for flights, I’m lucky I don’t have to take them for work and family and friend visits can wait until the situation improves.

    2. Skippy

      Before even getting into the filtration aspects the first and most important aspect of a mask is its – seal to the face. P100 and above, say like my industrial masks, because they are designed around both particulate and gases. So if a mask seal is good enough for gases, if fitted and worn correctly, it has manifold the protection of all other lessor masks.

      It should also be noted that due to being a work mask its designed to keep a seal as you are moving all over the place and not just sitting or walking around.

      In addition the P100 and above filters are designed to handle a significant amount of particulate vs the N95 types of masks and much further away from ones mouth or nose.

      The thing is I’ve seen what happens when people even with good masks don’t follow SOP, walk in the morning chatty and spry and by the end of the day walk to the parking lot like a Zombie movie.

  5. Alex V

    Burning wood for heat is climate neutral if the trees are cut down at an equal or slower rate than they are replaced. Improper combustion methods for wood can create excessive particulate and other toxic emissions, but coal is little better in this regard, and never climate neutral.

    Poland has been increasing its forest cover, although with lower quality tree plantations, while also cutting down natural and old-growth forests.

    Global Forest Watch – Poland

    The increase in wood purchasing mentioned in the article (373,000 m3) represents less than 1% of the total wood harvest in Poland in 2020 (40.6 million m3)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      As I read your comment, you seem to be assuming facts not in evidence. The declaration that burning wood is carbon neutral is based on using wood pellets. This Smithsonian article explains why that’s a dodgy conclusion even with wood pellets:

      And wood burning fireplaces are far less efficient than a wood burning stove:

      A fireplace can emit up to 8 times as much global warming CO₂ per unit of heat as an efficient wood stove.

      The energy needs in Poland will be massive. You can be sure Poles will be harvesting wood, whether legally or not, well over historical levels.

      1. Polar Socialist

        And wood burning fireplaces are far less efficient than a wood burning stove

        Indeed! From Low-Tech Magazine:

        The energetic output of an oven stove is 80 to 90 percent, compared to 40 to 50 percent for metal stoves or central heating appliances, and only 10 to 15 percent for a fireplace – where most heat escapes via the chimney. One of the most striking features of a (wood fuelled) oven stove is the stokehold, which looks ridiculously small compared to the stove itself.

        Thanks to the high output, a modest masonry heater or tile stove (heating a room of 60 square meters) only needs 6 cubic meters of wood per year: one tree.

        There’s more about how masonry stove burns at a much higher temperature thus achieving much higher combustion and less pollution than a fireplace or even a metal stove.

        As a bonus, you can also get electricity from stoves!

      2. Alex V

        Your own citation supports my assertion (with which I deliberately included clarification of what is required to make wood burning climate neutral – lower consumption than production, and also made zero mention of wood pellets, as did the article):

        “The idea that forest biomass is carbon neutral is not wrong. Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. So if a tree is burned for fuel, the thinking goes, another can be planted to replace it. And then that replacement tree should eventually re-absorb the carbon.

        But while burning wood immediately releases carbon, it takes decades or even a century for a replacement tree to absorb the same amount of carbon.”

        I made no claims regarding efficiency, and efficiency is irrelevant from a net emissions standpoint when discussing the combustion of biomass – the amount of carbon emitted is equal to the amount the tree captured. And I made no claims regarding wood pellets vs plain wood. Wood pellets, strictly speaking, must create more net emissions than plain wood, because they require additional energy for production. You are however correct that how the biomass is burned (fireplace vs stove, plain wood, pellets, etc.) determines how much energy can be efficiently used.

        Regarding the use of wood stoves vs fireplaces in Poland (from the original article):

        “Trochimiak’s household is equipped with a special type of stove which keeps the fire running for half a day.”

        “An average household can use around three tonnes of coal over the course of the winter, and so some are switching to burning wood in their stoves.”

        Greenpeace is somewhat incorrect in their assertion that more CO2 is emitted per unit of heat – more CO2 is emitted per unit of useable heat. I acknowledge that is certainly the most interesting metric. How the fuel is burned also determines how much of the available energy is released – wood pellets generally burn more completely and cleanly, releasing more energy, while leaving less residual waste.

        We don’t know if Poland is cutting down more forests to meet this demand since there may be reallocations between end uses. Some statistics on the total industry, to give perspective on the scales involved.

        2021 Polish State Forest Report

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I saw a translated article urging Poles only to pick up branches, which to me is a tell that the authorities are already worried about unauthorized tree cutting. Branches burn up too quickly to provide much heat.

          While Poland does have a lot of coal stoves which can be used with wood, the Poles appear to burn just about anything in them. And the older coal stoves are apparently not very efficient:

          Puffs of yellowish grey-and-black smoke billowing out of household chimneys create a blanket of smog choking the southern Polish mining town of Rybnik, one of the most polluted places in the European Union.

          Although it’s early spring, the weather is wintry and Ewa Kempny is still shovelling coal into an antiquated stove to heat her home.

          “What do you want us to use for heat here? Coal is the cheapest fuel,” says the forty-something mother to the two unexpected visitors in her cellar….

          Municipal police charged with sniffing out residents illegally burning highly-polluting rubbish like plastic, rubber or wood-plastic composites have turned up on her doorstep following an anonymous tip-off about the odd colour of smoke emerging from her chimney.

          “Whether rich or poor, people burn MDF boards, Tetra packs or plastic bottles,” explains Katarzyna Klosok, as she checks the ashes in Kempny’s stove and the bills for the coal she has bought.

          “The day we have wages like in western EU countries, we’ll heat with natural gas,” says Jan Kilian, a retired miner at another Rybnik home where the patrol showed up after receiving a complaint.

          The patrol also tells homeowners their antiquated coal stoves will have to be replaced with modern, cleaner-burning models by 2021….

          A ban on sales of the most polluting stoves was only imposed last year but the low-quality coal which is the main source of smog is still being sold….

          Seventy percent of Polish households burn heavily-polluting low-quality coal or rubbish in old stoves for heating.

          1. Alex V

            “Branches burn up too quickly to provide much heat.”

            The same amount of heat is released no matter how quickly the wood is burned, for a given mass of wood.

            Regarding the efficiency of stoves, there are two types of “efficiency” to consider:

            How well/completely is the fuel combusted? This determines how much pollution is produced and how much energy is extracted.

            How well does the stove capture the heat and transfer it to the space to be heated? This determines how much fuel is needed per unit of usable energy.

            The most important thing in stove design is generally to get the combustion temperature as high as possible, this helps with both aspects of efficiency.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              How many fires have you made? Branches are lower mass than a log and consist of more bark relative to wood. They are generally used for kindling because they combust quickly, to ignite the fire in the logs.

              Admittedly, I failed to make clear that the article I saw was instructing citizens to gather only fallen branches, which are going to be mainly kindling-type, not the more substantial ones that come down only in bad storms or when you are cutting down a tree.

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  Kindling has a high power density due to its surface to mass ratio. That is not the same as energy density.

                  This article is based on one type of wood, willow, and the energy finding was based on a model, not actual measurement of energy output.

                  1. Alex V

                    From the article, a citation to another paper (which I should perhaps have linked to directly instead):

                    “Higher heating values have been demonstrated for short-rotation cultivation biomass of eucalyptus, alder, and radiate pine, with energy contents of 19.6–20.5 MJ/kg for woody biomass, 17.4–20.6 MJ/kg for bark, and 19.5–24.1 MJ/kg for leaves, respectively”

                    Yes, you are correct kindling has a higher power density, in that it can deliver more power for a given mass in a given amount of time. In a well-designed stove that may not matter, since the heat will be captured in thermal mass for later release, even though the kindling burned faster. This, however, doesn’t change the fact that the energy density is effectively the same for kindling or larger pieces, and for wood, bark, and leaves.

                    Pellet stoves exploit the surface area to mass ratio to increase power density on purpose, since it raises combustion temperature and therefore how clean things burn, and the thermal efficiency.

                    If I were to do an LCA on kindling vs larger pieces and how that relates to heating a home the main thing I would look at is the energy required for gathering/producing each. Kindling is lighter per “object” gathered, possibly requiring more interactions/trips, while large pieces are heavier, and require splitting, etc… Not sure which is better on a net level. And as I said before, the design of the stove matters, it needs to capture the released energy properly.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    The “unit mass” notion is misleading since due to the high surface to volume ratio of kindling, and the irregular shape of small branches, you are unlikely to get as much mass in a coal stove as you could with larger logs.

                    1. Alex V

                      One can break/cut branches to increase practical density.

                      It is common practice to split logs to increase surface area for faster combustion.

                      Both are valuable fuel sources with nearly identical energy density, and can be optimized for the specific requirements of the situation they are used in.

            2. Skippy

              Whilst were talking about wood fires in stoves using logs it should be noted that once you have a good fire working you mix in green logs that still have a bit of moisture in them, tend to bank the fire, still give off good heat, but are not consumed at such a rapid rate.

              My grandfathers farm house had a wood burning central furnace and the trick was to always know when to throw in a green log with the cured logs. All timber for the furnace was sourced from the farm, hence the time, energy, cost, and condition of the tree stock on the property dictated you conserve. Trees were picked in advance then felled/striped and allowed to lay to start the curing process. This would also allow new growth to start or for other trees to grow into this now vacant space. Only after a year or two were they collected and then sawed into size to be split by the home made log splitter.

              Anywho …. I guess I’m saying in a round about way that a bunch of people without knowledge passed down running off into the woods to collect fuel and keep the pipes bursting, more like raging fire, is so absurd I just don’t know what to say.

              Then again:

              “The most important thing in stove design is generally to get the combustion temperature as high as possible, this helps with both aspects of efficiency.”

              Reminds me of the old saw … white man build big fire and stand far away …. native American build small fire and get close to it …

              1. Alex V

                This is not the scenario under discussion – heating houses in Poland with an enclosed fire, and therefore irrelevant:

                “Reminds me of the old saw … white man build big fire and stand far away …. native American build small fire and get close to it …”

                1. Skippy

                  The discussion is multivariate and you seem to have issues grounded in how much heat is exchanged for some unit cost.

                2. Skippy


                  “If I were to do an LCA on kindling vs larger pieces and how that relates to heating a home the main thing I would look at is the energy required for gathering/producing each. Kindling is lighter per “object” gathered, possibly requiring more interactions/trips, while large pieces are heavier, and require splitting, etc… Not sure which is better on a net level. And as I said before, the design of the stove matters, it needs to capture the released energy properly.”

                  As I stated above … before we even ponder such abstract MBA/Orthodox economic pondering there are externalities which must be considered as noted in above comment e.g. removal of something out of a natural environment and the consequences. Imagining the knowledge of the people, not only removing it, but then its use to gain the most potential of it – does everyone know how to get the most out of a timber fueled fire.

                  I cut my teeth on this stuff as a kid informed by a man that was born in the early 1900s and him by his olds and now I’m being entertained by bad maths and physics to burnish and ideological preference – ???? – Ugh …

                  1. Alex V

                    The purpose of a life cycle assessment (LCA) as commonly defined is in the vast majority of cases to assess the total environmental impact of a product or process, independent of economic metrics (economic in the financial/liberal meaning of the word). Your concerns regarding other environmental impacts would be addressed as a part of that.

                    The current conversation had been focused on the energy aspects, which is why I chose to expand on my thoughts in that area.

                    Historical knowledge can certainly be valuable, but it is also frequently wrong, and is not above examination and discussion. In any case, nothing I have said goes against what you have said, the knowledge you have shared is tangential.

                    Please refrain from assuming what my ideology or background are.

                    1. Skippy

                      “Seventy percent of Polish households burn heavily-polluting low-quality coal or rubbish in old stoves for heating.” – natch

                      The Ideology I allude to is founded on the use of LCAs, so its not an assumption, I’ am aware of ISOs et al and how this all rolls. Which I find curious when you state authoritatively that they are.

                      “the total environmental impact of a product or process, independent of economic metrics (economic in the financial/liberal meaning of the word).”

                      Firstly there is no such thing as independent of economic metrics or financial, the liberal bolt on is just ideological/political attempt to pin the tail on the donkey. All being made even more absurd when your corner stone of LCAs is a form of econometrics in of itself.

                      Best bit is susceptibility of LCAs to practitioner bias with regard to the decisions that they seek to inform, not to mention an LCA completed by 10 different parties could yield 10 different results e.g. yeah this is not Science anymore than all the bad maths and physics used by orthodox economics over the past decades.

                      Hence the use of LCAs to ascribe some notion of authority to its proponent by dint of uttering it is false. Yet you have made it a cornerstone of your argument in the authoritative proposition. Sorry, but, I can smell the dialectal through my comp screen.

                      I’m just pointing this stuff out for the NC readership, your personal thoughts/emotions about it aside.

          2. jax

            Yves, I saw the same article. It emphasized that Poles are only to pick up fallen branches and sticks (what we’d call kindling) and NOT to cut down any trees. This cannot end well.

          3. Bugs

            For what it’s worth, here in my tiny slice of Normandy, over the past two years during various permutations of Covid restrictions, the locals who have forest land went totally nuts when they were granted a dispensation from the usual rules. Entire swaths of beautiful 100+ year old oaks, beech and poplars cut down for firewood and to satisfy the construction market.

            Any excuse to cut, they’ll go do it.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, Bugs.

              I noticed when I was around Deauville, especially the forests near St Gatien.

            2. Skippy

              Old timber is like land … they don’t make it anymore …

              That said if the timber is being used locally its not the worst outcome, worst is if its shipped over seas for a high price just so a few in the nation can make packet.

              In reality all timber should be sourced close to where its going to be used in construction because its acclimatized to it vs non regional timber, even then in the old days board feet of timber would be shipped to site an allowed to season a bit.

              Good grief you can’t make any thing plumb anymore because the timber framing is moving all the time due to atmospheric conditions.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Would you believe that there was a massive importation of timber from Canada to the UK in the 19th century? Canada was a powerhouse in shipbuilding back then because of all those forests. So they would build a ship and stoke it full of timber and sail it to the UK. The timber would be sold and the ship registered for commercial services. Would you believe that they even built disposable ships of timber too? Timber was sent everywhere around the word, even then-


                1. skippy

                  A great deal of social housing post WWII in Oz was built in Canada and shipped over here to be reassembled. Think of Zillmere in northern Brisbane.

        2. Objective Ace

          >But while burning wood immediately releases carbon, it takes decades or even a century for a replacement tree to absorb the same amount of carbon.

          That’s assuming the planted tree takes and isnt itself cut down or otherwise destroyed over those decades or a century. Those are the kind of assumptions politicans love but really mean it’s de facto not true. You probably need to plant many trees for each one you destroy to be carbon neutral, and that’s kind of a weird way to look at it anyway–you can plant those trees regardless. No one thinks “If I take a plane flight, but plant a couple trees I’m being carbon neutral”.

      3. Kouros

        That is doable only in places and for houses that have stoves. Apartment buildings are not built as such and while in the darkest and coldest last years of Ceausescu, some were installing stoves in their apartments, the vast majority though (99.9%) had to endure the cold.

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Another thing to consider is the increasing risks of forest fires. In the climate doom loop as the atmosphere heats up the risk of fire grows. As Poland harvests mature trees to burn for heat the released carbon further heats the atmosphere increasing the chances of fires which will consume more of the trees Poland is relying on for heat. When they run out of trees to burn what next will they do?

    2. The Historian

      Common sense should tell you that burning wood will never be carbon neutral.

      An average tree will get you about 1/2 cords of wood. A wood stove, depending on how it is used and how efficient it is, will burn through that in less than a month in the winter. Can you grow a tree in a month?,a%20half%2Dcord%20of%20firewood.,%2C%20you%20may%20need%20less.%E2%80%9D&text=Firewood%20is%20measured%20in%20cords.

      1. Wukchumni

        I can’t recommend A Forest Journey: The Story of Wood and Civilization by John Perlin enough, it’s a tour de forest through history and there’s one commonality until coal came along, in that civilizations that raced through their wood resources weren’t long for the world.

        The book is a sweep of time through the last 4,000 years of empires sabotaging themselves by wasting forests to create iron, ships of the line and more, and then there was none.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I saw an example about his happening in a doco about Greece. There was this port that was very successful but they needed timber to expand. So they cut down not only the trees on the hills above them but the flat lands atop those hills and planted them with wheat. Of course with no trees to keep that dirt in place, with each rain dirt slowly migrated down the hillside. It did not help when they put herds of goats on that hillside which cut up the ground even more. Eventually the dirt filled the port making it useless. That port is now a coupla kilometers inland now and, looking at it now, you would never know that it was once a port by the sea.

          1. Steve H.

            Funny, that’s what I remember from reading ‘Forest Journey’ a couple decades ago. The way the mouth of the river had migrated miles, and the port had to follow along.

            A fine tome.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          Yes…Wasn’t Easter Island heavily forested at one point? When the trees were all gone, so were the islanders. They left behind those interesting stone figures though.

      2. Alex V

        No one has said wood should be the only source of energy for heating everywhere, so this is a non-sequitur.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        My family heated our house for years with wood from our own 80 acres or so of forested property. Your calculations above are pretty much accurate – my father would cut several trees each year that would yield the 4-5 cords we’d need to heat the house all winter. While maybe 8, 10 or 12 trees would be cut down, there would still be thousands of them standing and still growing.

        So when you ask if you can grow a tree in a month, the answer is “yes” if you consider all the growth spread across hundreds or thousands of trees.

        So burning wood can be carbon neutral or even carbon positive as long as you aren’t cutting down old biomass faster than the remaining trees can grow new biomass. The problem is that we as a whole do not harvest trees that way and clearly there isn’t 80 acres of forested land available for every family on the planet.

        Once again, the problem is caused by too many people doing something that wouldn’t be a problem if only done by a few. We could reduce our population voluntarily in short order if there was a will to do so. If every couple had one child, we’d halve the population of the planet in 50 years or so. But since that will never happen, I expect nature will eventually reduce the human population drastically whether we humans like it or not.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Humans aren’t capable of long term thinking. They take as much as they want as quickly as they can with nary a thought of the long term consequences. And so here we are.

            1. Kouros

              They are very capable of long term thinking. Maintaining the approach on the other hand, across several generations, that is much harder…

  6. The Rev Kev

    “They Ran From Lysichansk…”

    I saw that video a day or so ago but did not know that those guys were actually the command group from a brigade. And this whole thing about officers abandoning their men is happening again and again. Still, there is a little voice in me that whispers perhaps that there may be more to that strike than at first glance. So imagine the following mobile conversation between two Ukrainian soldiers-

    ‘Hey, Oleksiy – got a minute?’
    ‘Hey Petro, why are you calling on a mobile in the clear? You know that those damn Russkies are listening to everything that we say.’
    ‘Not a problem, Oleksiy. Would you believe that all the officers from our brigade have run away? They are all gone.’
    ‘Yes, they are in a column of cars retreating along the backroad to the east of here. The one that runs through those woods.’
    ‘Ahhhh. I understand.’
    ‘Yeah. Sure would be shame if a Russian artillery unit were waiting for them. It would be a damn shame that. Gotta go now. Slava Ukraini!’

    1. Polar Socialist

      The DNR/LNR Telegram channels claim that the militias have noticed a new pattern in Ukrainian fighting: when an encirclement is apparent, the regular army (ethno-nationalist) units are the first to leave, followed quickly by the leaders of the regional troops which are then left on their own to delay the advancing enemy – basically by triggering a Russian barrage and then the survivors surrendering, all which takes time. They claim this is verified by Ukrainian POWs.

      Seems that Ukrainian tactics are now based on sacrificial lambs and cunning goats. Slava kaprini!

      1. The Rev Kev

        That is vile that. So it looks like from a Russian viewpoint, tactically they should nail the first to flee those encirclements as they are likely to be the real trouble-makers that they are really trying to eliminate aka de-nazification. With those officers gone, the remaining soldiers may be inclined more to surrender than to die needlessly.

        1. Polar Socialist

          It seems that with the Ukrainian internet still up, this tactic works only for a certain time. The territorial battalions are not, shall we say, too keen to rotate into a “functional encirclement” anymore.

        2. Tom Stone

          The officer class in a corrupt puppet State like Ukraine is drawn from a pool of the connected, almost entirely.
          They get those sweet training gigs which they are sure to pass because no one wants to look bad when promotion is all about politics, for the trainers as well as the trainee’s.
          You will get a very few good officers because there are always a few, but the over all leadership quality will be piss poor.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          I have no idea of the command and control of Russian units, but the point of the cauldron is to get people to run to raise doubts about the fight in the guy next to you, leading to surrender. If you can hit the fleeing, you hit them, but not enough to make the guys think running isn’t viable. You want the bulk to be destroyed or surrender, ideally surrender.

          If you hit the fleeing to much, you run the risk of the targets of the cauldon finding their courage and staying to fight or even fight out. Those who don’t flee need a reasonable expectation walking into the cauldron lines with a white flag is a good idea.

          1. hemeantwell

            Surrendering will have become a better idea if the Nazis have fled since, from the reports I’ve seen, they’re shooting deserters. It’s something of a conundrum when those who shoot deserters desert. Maybe that’s what the swastika tattoos are really for, getting past your thugs when you’re fleeing.

      2. David

        I saw this on Martyanov’s site yesterday, and my first thought was to wonder whether there was any independent evidence of what he asserted: after all, the allegation is a very precise one. There’s no date/time or geolocation information information in the video, which just shows some vehicles being destroyed somewhere. Are there separate reports confirming that this incident did happen as described? In the video it looks as though stationary vehicles are being abandoned.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The Russians are not giving out operation details of their actions though the Chechens have a good presence on the net. This being the case, it will only be when this war is over that some of the real history of it will be slowly released. Having said that, whenever the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation come out with a statement, they only do so when what they say can be proven and which be taken to the bank. But you know as well as I do that what is appearing on western media is only garbage and recycled propaganda points from the Ukrainians. I am really disgusted by the bs that passes for news on TV here in Oz. Before I forget, there is a longer version of that video that I have seen and they stopped to confer. When the first vehicle was hit, they abandoned those vehicles and fled into the trees.

  7. Kevin Smith MD

    For a couple of years now, as detailed previously, my wife and I have been swabbing out our noses deeply [>half the length of a Q-tip] with either 1% ivermectin cream [Rosivir in Canada, Soolantra in USA] or 0.5% Betadine solution [Betadine Throat Spray … do NOT use Betadine Nasal Spray — it contains NO povidone iodine]. We also spray our throats twice a day with Betadine Throat Spray.

    The reason for the above is that Covid typically starts in the nasopharynx and oropharynx, then after a few days moves down into the lungs and other areas. By stopping or delaying upper respiratory Covid infection, we may prevent or mitigate systemic Covid. We of course wear N-95 masks when we are out shopping, the theatre, etc., and certainly when we are at the airport or in public aircraft. Masking is NOT a problem for us, as an example we wore N95’s from entering the Kona airport until leaving the Toronto airport, about 16 hours, a while ago. Didn’t even notice the masks after a while.

    We think that all of this is even more important, to compensate for the facts that:
    1. Fewer members of the public are wearing masks, even here in Canada, and
    2. Covid [notably BA2] is much more transmissible than it used to be.

      1. kareninca

        You can buy iota carrageenan nasal spray online in the U.S. from a company named Epothex. It’s kind of expensive.

      1. mary jensen

        Use the gargle. Do not spray that stuff up your sinuses.

        Ivermectin cream up your nose? You must be joking.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please do not mislead readers. Dr. Kevin is an MD. You are not.

          And if a product is sold OTC. recommending it does not even rise to the level of giving medical advice.

          ePothex sells a 0.6% strength povidone iodine solution as a nose spray. It could not be sold OTC if it were deemed unsafe by the FDA.

          And the NIH site has a study finding povidone nasal sprays to be effective v. Covid-19. It recommends the 0.6% solution. I’ve been using 1% 2x a day for nearly 2 years with no problem.

    1. mary jensen

      Can you still smell or taste anything? Just asking.

      Betadine up the nose? I suffer from posterior sphenopalatine epistaxis – no thanks.

      Ivermectin cream? From a veterinarian?

      Crickey. Red foxes with Sarcoptic mange: Ivermectin.

      I do love the local foxes but prefer the hedgehogs even with their ticks, fleas and snorts.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I use an even stronger concentration of iodine in my home brew solution (1%, based on studies saying usage of as high as 2.5% for gargles had no ill effect over a 6 month study period) and use it as nose drops and gargle for pushing two years. Everything is fine.

        The counterindication for using iodine is if you have high thyroid.

        All it does is kill microbes, not your taste buds.

  8. flora

    re: the Supremes
    From David Sirota:

    Roberts Is The Man Behind The Curtain
    The Chief Justice’s rulings legalizing corruption built the foundation of this era’s extremist laws and court precedents.

    “Amid all the high-profile rulings dominating the headlines, a more obscure but far-reaching decision slipped through the Supreme Court, even if it was barely part of the news cycle. It is the case that culminates Chief Justice John Roberts’ crusade to fully legalize corruption — and construct a political system that permanently produces all the extremist rulings now repealing the 20th century.

    That Roberts’ doctrine has given oligarchs, corporations, and their front groups a First Amendment right to bankroll political campaigns and now — thanks to the Cruz case — directly funnel cash to politicians’ personal bank accounts. The return on such investments has been all the right-wing laws, obstructions, and judicial edicts that have spewed forth from Washington over the last decade.

    And there’s this link from yesterday’s threads.

    1. GramSci

      … which is why Nancy P will not impeach Gorsuch and Kavanaugh: their votes in favor of oligarchy are more important to her than their vote against abortion.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Now wait a minute. That abortion vote was extremely important to Pelosi, probably the most important one!

        …if they hadn’t voted that way, the Dems wouldn’t have their “main plank” of future fundraising.

        1. Karl

          Is your view that abortion is “extremely important” to her based on her public statements? You can’t rely on those.

          Pelosi is from an Oligarchic family and is married to an Oligarch (wealthy investment banker). She has resisted reforming ethics rules on Congressmen doing insider trading. So, she does seem corruption tolerant if not outright oligarch-friendly.

          Pelosi is also Catholic. True, not all Catholics are anti-choice. But, behind closed doors, it’s not at all obvious how high abortion ranks to her as a priority vs. other issues, like money.

          Finally, Pelosi has always bragged that she is good with donors. I take that as meaning the big money donors. Pro-choice folks may donate a lot in total, but these are probably lots of individual small money donations. The big money speaks. And when big money conflicts with small money, and you can keep the conflict under the rug, how do you think the balance tips?

          Finally, look at the record. The anti abortion justices do get confirmed after a lot of public theatre and hand-wringing. But they get confirmed.

          Occam’s razor, to me, says this line of thinking (that justices get confirmed because they are Oligarch-friendly and therefore corruption-tolerant) explains a lot.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          Not only that. Both Pelosi and Biden are devout Catholics. Both oppose abortion, though they speak in public differently.

    2. Lexx

      Interesting piece. The question I have is when were politicians not corruptible, not at least implicitly for sale?* I can accept that the supreme court has just made it easier and more obvious, taken the public’s blinders off. But when was it not so? Were our elected officials ever ours, representatives of the majority of the people?

      In Atwood’s piece in ‘The Atlantic’ she reminds the readers that the constitution as it was written doesn’t mention women, that was added later. It was written by wealthy men, for wealthy men. I’m not too surprised to see the Robert’s court (via the Republican party) try to take this country back to it’s original intent. A republic that benefits the wealthy, mostly men… who see Labor as a parasite to be tolerated, like crows picking off bothersome engorged ticks. Useful for now, until they can figure out how to get rid of human workers altogether. The attitude and automation seem to be simultaneous, if still in the not quite fully realized future.

      And I’d like to think there’s going to be a public showdown over it, but probably not. The political class is well aware of how little they’re trusted by the public, and they don’t care. If money alone can buy you into office, they don’t need to care anymore. Trump was voted into office precisely because his followers knew just how corruptible he was/is. Every other stated reason was virtue signaling. If only the Democrats would drop the mask and do the same, then we could have open and honest dishonest elections.

      *Maybe there was such a President and Congress, I just don’t know enough about this country’s history to point it out. Anyone?

      1. flora

        That was the entire reason to regulate campaign finance. When has human weakness to corruption – see the big banks and the subprime implosion – ever not been the case. That’s the reason behind New Deal financial regulations, Brooksley Born’s efforts to regulate the derivatives market, the reason the Pure Food and Drug regulations (FDA) were created. The Robert’s court is reversing many of these restrictions on open corruption. I don’t think we’re quite back to 1800, we’re maybe back to the 1890’s level of money corruption in government.

        The state Populist parties helped pull us mostly out of those big money corruptions in government and manufacturing. It took a long time to achieve, nearly 40 years, piece by piece. The country can pull us out of this era of giant money corruption too, but it will take a long time to achieve, imo. Anti-monopoly rulings from still not wholly corrupted regulatory agencies are only the start.

        1. flora

          Shorter, roughly speaking it took 40 years for the populist to achieve most of their aims to regulate big business and finance – from about 1895 to 1935. From 1935 to 1975-85 things worked pretty well. At the same time from roughly 1975-2005, a Chamber of Commerce backed “anti-New Deal” counter revolution was gaining strength and seeding the Court. So 40 and 50 years swings. (Modern advertising teaches me to think short term, what to I want now? If I can’t have it now then give up and look for the next thing to buy that I want now. ) I think we’re about half way into the new anti-New Deal court era. That means we’re half way out, something new is building. It will take work to rein in the gigantic money power…again. My 2 cents.

          1. digi_owl

            Looks like Plancks quip about science advancing one funeral at a time can be applied wider, though perhaps by replacing “advancing” with “changes” (and not always for the better).

            After all, 40-50 between political swings suggests something generational.

        2. Lexx

          The Gilded Age provokes the Progressive Era (1895 – 1920) and social reforms finally begin to take root? … but not without the coerced consent of the upper classes, I think. ‘Progressive’ became the new beard, same ol’ corruption behind the new-age disguise and every age since. We’re fighting human nature here… and a small percentage of the population with an enormous will to gain and hold power, preferably dynasticly (dynastically? does ‘scrota’ apply here?) I don’t think we can regulate that, or not for long. Democracy is a beard for those who really want to be royalty but without the pesky warmongering monarchs, titles, and in the guise of Goodness and Light.

          I watched the popular phenomena that was ‘Hamilton’ with open-mouthed wonder. Had I confused him with some other politician? Poor baby, maybe he’d just been misunderstood.

          1. hunkerdown

            Progressivism is the ideology of scientific management. It’s not a human interest, necessarily, though human interests are often used to demonstrate its value proposition.

            1. flora

              Understand the context of progressives wrt govt appointments and cronyism and nepotism in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The good government movement, aka the goo-goos, were bent on stamping out incompetent, corrupt, highly paid seat warmers in favor of people who had proven competence to perform a government job’s requirements. They were intent on separating job hires for government jobs from politics and place seekers. That was the context of progressive ‘scientific management’ 100 years ago wtr openly corrupt city machines and national place seekers. This idea was behind the creation of the national, state, and local civil services. (Campaign donations and other soft bribery have today got ’round much of these good government reforms but not all, not yet.)

              1. Lexx

                Alright, I like your argument; I’ve ordered ‘Grafters and Goo Goos: Corruption and Reform in Chicago’. Care to add anything?

                1. flora

                  Nothing to add. ‘Grafters and Goo Goos: Corruption and Reform in Chicago’ sounds like a good read about the reform fights in that corrupt era. I need to read it. Thanks.

              2. hunkerdown

                Thanks for the detail, flora. That adds some color to Ehrenreich’s contention that the PMC arose out of the need to hold the capitalist cosmos together despite itself.

      2. Kouros

        “On the morning of May 29, 1787, in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, opened the meeting that would become known as the Constitutional Convention by identifying the underlying cause of various problems that the delegates of thirteen states had assembled to solve. “Our chief danger,” Randolph declared, “arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions.” None of the separate states’ constitutions, he said, had established “sufficient checks against the democracy.””

        1. GramSci

          Great link, thanks!

          When, before covid, we were wintering in Spain, I dropped Harper’s and Lapham’s because print subscriptions were a nuisance. I don’t think we’ll be traveling much again. Time to re-subscribe.

    3. jsn

      So, lots of really dicey things happened with the OSS during WW2, but once Truman signed the CIA into law, granting legal impunity to the people who were acting at very real personal risk of treason prosecution while in the OSS, dicey things really got rolling on a global, industrial scale.

      Corruption is always and everywhere with us. Like the CIA creating legal impunity, the Roberts court has now offered legal impunity to all the sleazyist characters in the fiat fueled era of QE graft as a business/governing policy.

      This is why nothing can be fixed: every problem our system has represents a profit center for a graft participant who will pay most of that profit stream to preserve the problem.

  9. Solarjay

    The articles are always the same: to small, too expensive, doesn’t work and by default will never work, supports big oil, coal, gas, no place to put the carbon, the carbon is too dangerous and you can add your own.

    You have to start somewhere. Just another thing that we are sooo behind on.

    Ignoring the last 3 IPCC reports that say we have to have active carbon capture if we have any hope of slowing let alone reversing climate disaster. The same IPCC which is comprised of 100% line by line approved text.

    Here in the real world, fossil fuels are going nowhere for decades. CO2 levels and methane are going up faster than ever. We are past 420 PPM. But the “environmentalists” still somehow think renewables can save the day. We are currently about 6% here in the US.

    Until people truly grasp the severity of the problem and take real action we will continue down the path of climate disaster.

    1. BillS

      “Carbon capture” being posed as a solution to the climate emergency is a dangerous distraction. Most projects up to now are energy intensive scams used by petroleum producers to permit more extraction and attract govt. financial support.

      And then, there is of course, this great informative video from “Honest Government Ads of the Australien Govt.”

      1. digi_owl

        But it is a tempting scam, as most people do not want to go though a reduction in living standard in order to save the planet. So instead people will grasp for straws, like “environmental engineering”.

        1. BillS

          Two immediate thoughts:
          1) A reduction in living standard is not necessary, if we define living standard by having our basic needs met and a little bit extra. If we define “living standard” by being able to drive a monster truck to pick up the kids from school, then yes – a reduction is in order. I seem to remember a statistic that your average Italian, for example, has 30% the carbon footprint of a USAian, and an African, 2-5%. There is lots of room for rich countries to become much more energy efficient.
          2) Certain aspects of Western affluence will need to change, e.g. drastic reduction of private automobiles, unnecessary air travel. No one wants to say this, but cars/trucks are a major CO2 source. As has been said here many times, electric cars are no solution if their energy comes from fossil sources.

          I would like to see the revival of the old 1970’s “Negawatts” campaign. A reduction of energy use does not have to mean a reduction of quality of life. We need to think carefully about it, though. Hidden fossil fuel energy sinks (like fertilizers, industrial drying and processing) need to be carefully transitioned if we are to avoid food shocks and economic crises. (Altho’ we can see how this “transition” is going now.. *sigh*)

          1. JTMcPhee

            Good luck getting entitled and consumptive Americans, particularly in the upper reaches of the polity, to voluntarily reduce their consumptive behaviors. Look at water crisis in California — state declares a crisis, orders reduction in use, yet the demand still increases. Got to keep those lawns green, the pools filled, the water features bubbling, the spa showers and baths flowing free…

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              The messaging has always been poor. In California governors and legislatures have never come across as being serious about the periodic droughts. People can see through the BS which is why they ignore these requests to cut water use by 15%. Real estate developers continue to build massive office projects and massive housing developments (Tejon Ranch has approvals for tens of thousands of new housing units) because they have been assured they will get water. Big growers aren’t being required to reduce water usage on a permanent basis. Water continues to be indirectly exported in vast amounts. If there was a true water emergency new water hookups would be suspended, and there would be strict limits on how many almond trees can be irrigated across the state (just an example). Lake Mead may be approaching “dead” pool” status, but few people in Las Vegas are panicking because they have been told not to panic. The water will come from somewhere, as it always seems to. It’s all a big game. Or so it seems to most people. The climate emergency is viewed the same way by the masses as they have been conditioned to do so.

          2. Karl

            Why do you say “no one wants to say this, but cars/trucks are a major CO2 source.” Maybe no one needs to say this because it’s common knowledge.

            Solarjay (further up the thread) says “But the ‘environmentalists. still somehow think renewables can save the day. We are currently about 6% here in the US.”

            Assuming we can’t deny Americans their automobiles, we will have to get to 100% zero CO2 emissions in the electric sector (or otherwise net zero). This is readily achievable with adequate policies, laws and incentives (California is well on the way there). This probably means 100% solar, wind, and storage (utility scale batteries where there isn’t enough hydro). But could include nuclear. My favorite is molten-salt thorium reactors. Only the Chinese seem to be taking this technology seriously.

            Electric cars are the way to deal with the complaint of the right wing who scream that enviros, “want to take away our cars!” We do need to investigate the wider impacts of the life-cycle environmental impacts of rapid universal adoption of these technologies, however.

            The most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to “capture” carbon is via photosynthesis. Plant trees.

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              Planting trees is easy to say, and clearly very hard to do. Urban forests throughout the US have been shrinking when they need to greatly expand. Nuclear energy on a large scale is a no-go for obvious reasons – cost, security, and radioactive waste disposal. Electric vehicles are not zero emissions vehicles when you consider the entire product lifecycle. Not by a long shot. Let’s not forget that all motor vehicles require pavement which relies heavily on fossil fuels. The simple fact about homo sapien is that the specie is incompatible with a healthy planet. There is no getting around this. If homo sapien did evolve on this planet it did so in a mutant fashion.

              1. solarjay

                Engineering is hard.

                But the science is easy: the best climate scientists ( who are both in and help collate the IPCC reports) in the world say we need to actively remove carbon from the atmosphere, and a lot of it: as well as reducing/eliminating adding more carbon to it.

                “environmentalists” keep pointing to “but FF companies will use this to keep producing oil, coal,NG”. News flash, they are already pumping 4.2 billion gallons per day after day after day. Coal mining/burning is going up, CO2 is increasing at the fastest rates ever.


                In fact until Venezuela and Iran get their infrastructure together the world is about at max production. Nobody is going to pump more because of CCS.

                Again, CCS/DAC are just 2 of a number of active carbon removal technologies.
                Improved carbon/soil retention/farming techniques
                tree planting
                iron seeding the oceans

                I for one agree with the hard scientists about active carbon removal. We need it.
                That is not a substitute for carbon reduction, or all non carbon energy sources.

          3. Acacia

            One word: trains.

            Many countries have extensive train systems. Proven tech. None of this self-driving AI pie in the sky techno-hopium.

            And yes, I know that many places in the US (e.g. HSR in California) are hopeless in this regard. Sigh.

            About 25 years ago, I was stuck in car traffic, slowly creeping onto the S.F. Bay Bridge. On the roadside, I saw a handmade sign:

            You think this is bad? Imagine your commute, five years from now.

            Within a year or two, I moved out of CA. Left my car and all attached worries behind. No more auto maintenance. No more insurance rip offs. No more DMV. No more hours wasted in traffic. No more worry over gas prices. No more car windows getting smashed by drug addicts looking for stuff to steal. No more time wasted on parking. No more meter maids or traffic cops. No more towing companies stealing my car and then lying to me that they stole it.

            Life got greener and better.

  10. Stephen V.

    …race to build the world’s biggest plant: I thought, a fern? A tree?
    No such luck.

    1. Solarjay

      Numerous studies have shown we can’t plant enough trees to take care of CCS.

      Soil carbon capture through better agricultural practices and land rehabilitation also works to some degree.

      people want the 1 thing it fix it all but it doesn’t exist. It’s lots and lots of small and a few big things that will help.

  11. David

    In spite of the subtly misleading headline and opening paragraph, it’s clear from the NYT story that there are no US military personnel in Ukraine, or at least if there are, the NYT doesn’t know about it. The US personnel are at Ramstein AFB in Germany, which is the HQ of the US European Command. The CIA officers are largely, it says, in Kiev, and they are coordinating intelligence sharing, which is what you would expect, but they are nowhere near the front line, for obvious reasons. (Imagine a CIA officer taken prisoner by the Russians!). The “commandos” (odd choice of term) are from European countries, and the NYT clearly hasn’t been told what they are doing. Their most likely role is intelligence gathering on the ground, given that the Ukrainians are probably telling the Europeans even less than they are telling the US.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Why wouldn’t there be US personnel in the Ukraine? They certainly were during the Syrian war – along with British and French special forces. They were not only teaching the Jihadists how to fight but they also got involved in the fighting itself on their side. Remember reports how they were based together at some concrete plant in the north? And the CIA was doing the same with their operations. And look at the hundreds of American that went to fight in the Ukraine. How many were mercs and how many were actually spooks aiding and abetting?

      1. digi_owl

        Not just Syria. Lets not forget that NATO was only authorized to bomb Libya in order to support the “rebel” side. But it didn’t take long for oddly well prepared white “civilians” to appear among their ranks.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Despite the CIA not being part of the Pentagon, most people consider the CIA, when it is sent into places like Vietnam or Syria, to be engaged in military activities. A big part of the “intelligence” in Kiev is likely the identification of targets.

      And although it is not in this piece, there have been independent reports of the US being very involved in the military operations. Recall the reporter with Le Monde Diplomatique who went to Ukraine with 2 French volunteers. They were all stunned to find Americans in charge of the operations.

      1. JohnA

        There was a report with footage on Twitter from the Azov steelworks stronghold that claimed the Azov brigade had cremated the bodies of alleged US/foreign personnel and showed some US id cards as proof. Whether they died in combat or were killed by the Azov brigade is unknown, and of course, the veracity of the reporting can also be questioned. But both the US and the aborted French helicopter rescue attempts were clearly keen to evacuate certain key personnel, whether regular troops or mercenaries, from there.

      2. Tom Stone

        The Stupidity of American/Nato policy is all too believable, so is the existence of 27 Biowarfare research labs.
        If anyone needed further evidence that Human Stupidity is infinite they need look no farther.

      3. David

        If most people think that, they’ve been watching too many Hollywood films. CIA personnel are not military, and would not thank you for assuming they were, even though the cowboy side of that organisation has grown exponentially in recent years. Military personnel, on the other hand, have a very particular legal status. The function of the CIA personnel, I would imagine, is largely liaison. For obvious reasons, (and as you can see from books by people like Snowden) intelligence information is extremely closely protected, and in this case would probably be handled exclusively by US nationals. Given that we can assume the Ukrainian system is thoroughly penetrated by the SVR, and that the US wouldn’t want to let the Russians know what they know and how, the only solution is to have quite a few Americans in the chain, passing on information in a way that doesn’t give away the famous “sources and methods.”

        But in any case, my point was that the NYT story, for all the publicity it has received, doesn’t actually suggest that US soldiers are deployed there, let alone attempt to support such suggestions. But a careless reading might suggest otherwise, which is probably what the newspaper wanted.

        As to the reality, nobody knows. For what it’s worth, the US military is one of the largest in the world, and has a very large number of senior officers, so it’s quite possible that if retired Colonels, let’s say, go to Ukraine they’ll be put in charge of groups of foreigners, because they have the experience, and are native speakers of English, which will be the only common language. But like everything else here, that’s speculation.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘CIA personnel are not military, and would not thank you for assuming they were, even though the cowboy side of that organisation has grown exponentially in recent years.’

          What makes you think that those CIA spooks aren’t from the Special Activities Center? Sure, the CIA has had their own building in Kiev for years now. You could find it by looking for the building with a big American flag hanging outside the front. But that place is where the technical specialists are located. It is the SAC guys that are running around the countryside and I am pretty sure their paychecks come from Langley as well. You are talking about two sides of the same coin-

          1. John

            There are Americans and other denizens of NATO-stan military and spook organizations in Ukraine doing the sort of things they do it places beset as is Ukraine. Does that cover it?

        2. Hickory

          Culturally and legally the CIA may not be military, but if they’re passing targeting info to Ukrainian weapons that’s military activity, just like a military spotter. If it quacks like a duck, etc.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      The article also blithely links to several past agitprop NYTimes explainers including one on the “hundreds” of treaty banned weapons used by Russian troops which includes the following non-Martynov approved analysis:

      Russia has relied heavily in Ukraine on long-range attacks with unguided weapons, like howitzers and artillery rockets. By comparison, Western military forces have almost entirely converted their arsenals to use guided rockets, missiles and bombs, and they have even developed kits that can turn regular artillery shells into precision weapons. Russia may be limited by sanctions and export controls affecting its ability to restock modern weapons, and much of its precision-guided arsenal may now have been exhausted.

      I’m sure this is an important NYTimes article but for the life of me it still reads like a CIA press release.

      1. John

        If that is true why are howitzers being sent to Ukraine? And that last sentence. It is akin to the still repeated mantra that the Russians cost Hillary her 2016 coronation.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Russia has all kinds of precision guided weapons,, and they have discovered for example that their aircraft can put “dumb bombs” right on target because of their precision navigation and well-engineered stuff like bomb releases.

        And how about those guided artillery shells that Russia doesn’t have?

        So much agitprop…

  12. Samuel Conner

    A signature D leadership thing from the late ’40s: The Berlin airlift.

    In the early ’20s: The Hillary facelift.

    But at least the antagonism toward the Rs hasn’t changed.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “US, Israel and Gulf States discuss anti-Iran alliance as nuclear talks set to restart in Qatar”

    They may discuss it but will anything happen about it? Scott Ritter was saying in a video that things are going fine with the Kingdom with the high oil prices that they are fetching so why should they go to war and blow up their economies for? To help old Joe in the midterms? The Iranians will destroy the Saudi oil infrastructure if they are attacked so better to let sleeping dogs bury their own dead. And Israel? Ritter was saying too that they just had a month long-war game against Hezbollah and although they are not talking about it, the result of it was that once again that Hezbollah would hand Israel their collective a****. So they won’t be keen on a war either, especially since their political leadership is so unstable that who can say who the Israeli leader will be in a few months time? Oddly enough this region is much better off when there are no wars there. Who knew?

    1. John

      There seems a great deal of scurrying around, bloviating, and hand waving to obscure the fact that the entire policy, if that is not an insult to the definition of policy, is a colossal failure. The discussions mentioned above are simply the latest. Reality would be “a bridge too far.”

    2. orlbucfan

      Life and the world in general are always better off when there’s no war. Sigh…one can wish.

  14. Camelotkidd

    It’s pretty rich that the CIA and commando teams that are training Ukrainians are referring to themselves as Jedburgh teams. In WWII the Jedburgh teams parachuted into occupied Europe to train partisans, usually communists, who were fighting the Nazis. Now the Jedburgh teams are training Nazis to battle former communists. Of course, in the United States of amnesia there’s zero knowledge of any of this.
    Maybe there can be a new Marvel superhero–the Jedburgh

    1. jefemt

      Jedburgh: I thought it was a small town in upstate New York, settled by a reverse migration from the southern Appalachians as industrialization in New England took off?

      1. ambrit

        I thought that Jedburgh was an enclave of those displaced Appalachians situated in the Hills above Los Angeles. CBS did a popular and long running documentary about it back in the 1960s.

  15. Questa Nota

    For more about space weather forecasts and conditions like Coronal Mass Ejections, see the NOAA site, among others. The example shows the dashboard for electric power, with many cool graphics.

  16. Wukchumni

    A huge solar eruption may be headed toward the Earth Interesting Engineering. If this hits us, it would make electrical grids “collapse” and mess up other things we depend on. Due date June 28 (safely passed) or June 29. As dk kindly said, “In case this is the big one, just want to say how great it’s been to have had NC!!

    I’ve oft wondered what a replay of the 1859 Carrington Event would be like were it to hit when I was up in the purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain, where there is no electricity aside from the scant amount that pulses through landlines in our cabins, and it sounds as if I just missed out luckily…

    I’d be unaffected largely, but only for a short while as the food ran out on account of the many hundreds of tourists stranded with me, who would be just as bewildered as if they’d been in a large city where most of them hail from. They would all be turned into involuntary hikers as their cars were dead, but their last weeks on the good orb wouldn’t be as batshit crazy as it would be in the rest of the country-in particular our big cities, where bedlam would reign and all of those Americans who decided that guns were the only thing they needed to ‘prep’ would soon find out that they happened to be about the only thing that still functioned perfectly, there being no hand cannons powered by electricity, but with no game to shoot aside from their pets & assorted bipeds.

    The key for me would be getting away from the maddened crowd which would be easy enough as I know the backcountry like the back of my hand, and then wait out the great dying enveloping elsewhere, where sedentary masses weren’t going anywhere soon. The idea that i’d prepositioned bear canisters full of freeze dried food would definitely be in my favor as it would give me weeks if not a month of nourishment.

    I’ve read many contemporary accounts of the Carrington Event and it was more of a shock and awe kinda gig, as telegraphs were the only electricity at the time pretty much, and the sky was pregnant with odd sights such as things similar to the northern lights, albeit in the Caribbean. Dark skies would reign over us once again similar to events of 160+ years ago, giving us a celestial farewell tour of sorts.

    1. Objective Ace

      Did the Carrington event knock out electricity throughout the entire world or was it regional? If its just regional things might not be as doomsday as your prediction.

      1. Wukchumni

        It knocked out the entire world, as sunspots aren’t regional.

        Regional would be something like the atmospheric nuclear test that took down Hawaii in 1962…

        On July 9, 1962, Hawaii was hit by a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, which took down the state’s communications systems and traffic lights in a matter of minutes — virtually everything that ran on electricity.

        The EMP wasn’t an attack by a foreign government; rather, the U.S. government had set off a 1.4-megaton nuclear warhead at a height of 248 miles above Johnston Atoll in an operation the military named “Starfish Prime.” The test caused radio disruptions in Hawaii, California, and Alaska, and knocked out six satellites above the Pacific.

    2. Mike

      That’s my problem with 2A. It seems to me in a severe crisis we will more likely turn into a Libya or Somalia then the picturesque wild west with law bringers struggling to maintain order. My only consolation is that most people I know don’t have squat for an ammo stock pile. All of our police and federal bureaucrats however… they are well stocked, they could be a threat.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “A huge solar eruption may be headed toward the Earth”

    In case this happens which wipes all our computers, networks and the grid that our civilization depends on dropping us back to the stone age, just remember this. To get on the long road back to civilization again, the trick is to keep banging those rocks together, guys.

    1. Mike

      I figured I better do the math, my 38-mile commute means it would likely take 3 days to walk home, 2 if I am very motivated to avoid the pain that would be caused by my dress shoes. Hmmm….

  18. super extra

    > Poland cutting down their forests instead of buying Russian gas

    There is a short story in one of the common first year Russian language study books – The Cave by Yevgeniy Zamyatin – that completely rocked my world the first time I read it in Russian. It is about normal people living through a blockade/siege during a winter of the early 1900s in St Petersburg (I think). The awareness of what has happened sort of unfolds slowly through the pages, but it’s basically about neighbors hoarding and people freezing to death because the human tendencies under siege reverted to animalism.

  19. JTMcPhee

    Re Sitzkrieg:

    At what point do the crazies that set war policy in the “Combined West” recognize totally the futility of trying to fight Russia “conventionally,” and “release the Kraken” of nuclear weapons?

    You know there are nodes of nuts in the “warfighting” cadre that are daily and more stridently asking that question that the raucous old harpy, Madeline Albright asked:

    “ What’s the point of having this superb military if you can’t use it?”

    And bang, there goes Libya, there goes Iraq…

    All those tactical and strategic nuclear weapons just lying around, getting older and less robust, expensive to maintain — what will be the moment when the forking insane Fokkers who unilaterally “set policy” say to themselves, the Rooskies are massing forces over here — one little dial-a-yield nuke can take them all out? These Fokkers are totally unaccountable, to us mopes who will be incinerated and irradiated in the event, for such decisions, and it looks like the whole political/military structure is slowly getting to that point of collective insanity that will resort to Armageddon rather than continue to be embarrassed by their own failures.

    There’s a reason the Atomic Scientists (who, by the way, are all in on the Combined West narrative and idiocy) have set their Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to “midnight…”

    1. John

      You have to be a “Fokker” to believe that you are going to survive that “one little dial-a-yield nuke.” I clearly remember the “oh S—” feeling I had at age 13 when the first Soviet nuclear test was announced. By later standards that trepidation was minor league. Apparently there are fools who doubt using one little nuke would not have terminal consequences.

    2. caucus99percenter

      > Atomic Scientists (who, by the way, are all in on the Combined West narrative and idiocy)

      I see that indeed they are. Disappointing.

      Yet another iconic activist in-group of my youth reveals themselves to be no wiser — and probably a good sight less intellectually honest — than the average mope.

      Even German right-wingers can see that the whole anti-Russian establishment line is a crock. (Of course, too many of them advocate as an alternative that all white nations including Russia band together to make war on China.)

  20. Tom Stone

    I looked at the drought map for California yesterday, Sonoma County is experiencing severe drought conditions as is most of the California Coast.
    The Sierras are experiencing extreme drought conditions in the North and Central portions and exceptional drought conditions in the South.
    Given the right wind and weather conditions the Sierra’s could burn from end to end in one fire season,there are in excess of 100,000,000 dead trees waiting for a spark.
    It’s goingto be an interesting next few months,barring a Nuclear exchange….

  21. marym

    Re: Supreme Court allows Louisiana to use congressional map that lower court said likely violates Voting Rights Act

    They didn’t hear or decide on the case itself. They just stayed a district court injunction.

    From the CNN link:

    In a separate dispute back in February, a 5-4 the Supreme Court allowed a congressional map drawn by Alabama Republicans to remain in place, putting a hold on a lower court ruling that blocked the map. The court will hear arguments in that case on October 4.

    On the LA ruling:

    A year of work proving Louisiana’s congressional map discriminates against Black voters. A 152-page district court opinion finding discrimination, upheld in a 33-page opinion by the most conservative federal court in the nation. Taken away by 6 justices in an act of raw power. – Director of Litigation, LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

  22. flora

    The modern Supreme’s ruling against settled law, particularly against the less powerful and the poorer? That’s a feature not a bug.

    Citizens United was the start.

  23. Alecto M Tisiphone

    Moon / AL is illuminating; so much so, that I broke out a map. The two missile strikes bracket the plant, one north and one south, 500m apart. Video clearly shows at least one older KH-15 missile, which entered production in 1980. For the circular error to be 250m is not unreasonable for an older generation under conditions.

    Then it hit me: precision and accuracy are two separate measurements. Precision measures the ability to replicate a process with the same result each time. Accuracy measures how close a given result is to the intended target. Something can be precise and wildly inaccurate, if the error is consistent. And vice versa. It is plausible that Russian precision munitions are excellent; Russia is having issues with the accuracy of targeting solutions given to the missiles, data which takes into account an airframe’s speed, altitude, wind, air pressure, and earth rotation. GLONASS or inertial guidance? Human or instrument? Who can say? But truth has an architecture, a failure is a failure.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Later reports show your inference to be incorrect about the missile being a sort of miss The missiles hit the targets, which were not the mall. The explosions started a fire and that’s what caused the deaths in the (pretty much deserted) mall.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Six takeaways on Cassidy Hutchinson’s explosive testimony”

    To my mind, one of the biggest takeaways was how Trump wanted to go to the Capitol and see that crowd but the SS drivers said no. In fact, Trump tried to fight him for the steering wheel but lost. Who knew that in the US Presidential line of succession, that an SS driver is above the President? If Trump was at that crowd, I am sure that he would not have gotten them to attack but building but would have had them corralled instead.

    But then the thought occurred to me. If one day there was a coup, this is how it could be done. The President would get inside the ‘Beast’ to go to the Hill for a speech but instead would be driven off to Camp David or some other place to keep him incommunicado. Not quite seven days in May but hey, I would never have thought that an SS driver could over rule a sitting US President.

    1. jefemt

      … and Pence said, “I am NOT getting into that car”

      America’s new math- little adds up, and its nearly always a negative number.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Until that Secret Service agent testifies too, I’m skeptical. The testimony sounds too much like anti-Trump fan-fic.

      just saying.

      1. Lex

        You mean like how Trump would have been able to maneuver himself into a position where he was physically capable of taking the wheel? Did he call “shotgun” when they got in?

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Let’s assume this woman’s testimony is accurate: Trump throwing plates against a wall and trying to grab the steering wheel
        Of his vehicle suggest Tantrum-Throwing far more than Coup Plotting, especially since there were no efforts whatsoever to control transportation and communication chokepoints, no martial music playing simultaneously on all radio stations, MAGA- heads directing traffic, or anything to suggest something other than a White Riot.

        In other words, all the Sound and Fury, and this is all they’ve got?

        1. marym

          Yesterday’s testimony included reports from the cops that they confiscated guns at the rally area close to the stage and others in the crowd didn’t want to go into the area because they didn’t want to give up their guns. There was then testimony that Trump wanted them to be let into the area with their guns, and then walk to the Capitol.

          No one wanted to overthrow the government and replace it with a new one. They all just wanted Trump to continue being president even though he lost the election. With varying degrees of coherence that was the goal, from elite efforts (court cases, fake electors, etc.) to the goofier among the rioters (the militia types may have wanted to do some violence too, but I doubt any of them expected to be the next WHCOS).

          As far as media, they already had the right wing media world. Why would they think they needed to do any work for that?

    3. Pat

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around how Trump was in position to wrestle for the steering wheel. Was he actually riding shotgun as in not in a traditionally armored limousine where he would be riding in the back seat. Not something I see Trump doing. Or did he leap over the seat to get to the wheel,

      Seriously, I have real problems with this.

      1. marym

        Apparently he was in an SUV, not a stretch limo. Here’s a link where headline and text don’t match – limo/SUV and grabbed/tried to grab, plus SUV photo.

        1. Pat

          Well Secret Service agents just called It BS and are willing to deny he did it ,
          under oath.

          And video of that day indicates he was in the back of the SUV.

          Not for nothing, but I think the committee just got owned This is going to cast serious doubt on the rest of her testimony. And since this part was hearsay, they won’t be able to do much about it.

          1. orlbucfan

            Who cares? The whole thing is a farce. The last place troglodyte tRump is going is where he and a whole bunch of other “elite” belong: the great stripey hole aka prison.

      2. John

        She was reporting what she had been told as she was not there. I would add that the job of a protection detail is to protect and that can mean to protect their principal from his or her worst instincts. Lastly, I would never under any circumstances predict what DJT might do except to say that he would act in his perceived interest and not that of any other.

        1. nippersmom

          She was reporting what she had been told as she was not there.

          Why are they even listening to hearsay?

          1. caucus99percenter

            Because this isn’t a criminal trial but rather a PR media circus, by design?

          2. marym

            Per the college of legal twitter if a witness says “X told me the sky was blue:” It’s hearsay if the issue is what color is the sky. It’s not hearsay if the issue is what did X say to you. There are other exceptions to hearsay but the c of l.t. seems to focus on that one in this instance.

          3. Questa Nota

            Hey, that hearsay was effective for impeachments, so why not for J6, the worst thing since Watergate, or was it 9/11, or Hiroshima or?

            If the Congress doesn’t require standards, what else don’t they require?

    4. Wukchumni

      A business partner was the brother-in-law of Alan Park, the limo driver who picked OJ Simpson up on that night he flew to Chicago and I had interesting inside knowledge about it that I think was never revealed…

      Alan knocked on OJ’s door that night and heard a voice that told him to wait and he dutifully did and about 20 minutes later on a cool LA night OJ came out sweating like a pig, and was ensconced in the back of the limo and he did something really bizarre in that OJ opened all of the limo windows in the back en route to LAX on the 405, which was really unusual in that i’ve never seen a stretch limo in such a fashion, but that nervous sweat had to be defeated, and Alan delivered him to the airport and that was that.

      Alan sold his story to one of the weekly tabloids and make a small pile, and it wouldn’t have mattered if he had testified to this in court as any lawyer worth his salt would have torn him up as far as his testimony was concerned, for you see it was his very first day as a limo driver, how would he know whether this was normal practice or what?

    5. Tom Stone

      Rev, have you forgotten that when Trump ordered the US military out of Syria they disobeyed?

      “We played a shell game with the President” was the boast in December 2020.
      That horse left the barn some time ago.

  25. Carolinian

    Re BASF–they have a plant in my county and of course we have a giant BMW assembly plant. Will Germany’s new distress spread to Upstate SC? Since Biden is so worried about the midterms and his approval rating then perhaps he should tell Zelensky to end this war stat. If the Ukraine govt was enough of a puppet to provoke and invasion on our behalf then they should be enough of a puppet to call the whole thing off, particularly when so many of their citizens are the victims.

    1. HotFlash

      Carolinian, you are just not thinking like a capitalist. SC has gas, therefore BASF and BMW should move *more* of their production to your county. See? War is good for business!

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Turkey drops objections to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, removing major hurdle to two nations joining the alliance”

    I have been reading the wish list that Turkey is getting though if he actually trusts the US and the EU to follow through once Sweden and Finland are in NATO, I have news for him and it is all bad. I don’t think that Turkey can be persuaded to turn against Russia as that is where they get their wheat from and Erdogan does not need food riots. Point is, it is not that impressive a list so I think that there might be secret annexes that have been agreed on. Perhaps NATO told him that he can take chunks of Syria and Iraq and that the collective west will look the other way. This list dos not just sound enough for what he is doing.

    1. Karl

      This kind of concession from Turkey comes with a price. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t seem interested in pursuing this question: what is Biden/NATO promising to Turkey in return?

      The same question applies to the July meeting of Biden to Saudi Arabia in the hopes that they will increase output to lower oil prices. What will Biden have to give MBS in return?

      These secret deals accumulate over time to the point that U.S. loses its freedom of maneuver in crises like this one. Probably one reason we are so involved in this war is that the Biden made all kinds of secret promises to Ukraine over the years, since 2014. We are paying much higher prices at the pump for the sake of keeping promises that should probably have not been made in the first place.

      The American people still don’t know why Ukraine is so important that a global recession should be the price the world should pay to keep it in the NATO camp.

      1. Karl

        By the way, this news seems to be the most dangerous development to date. Russia has said further NATO expansion on its borders will not be tolerated, and this action by NATO is just a big middle finger to Russia. It could pre-sage much further escalation of the conflict.

        For all kinds of good reasons (laid out very well by Scott Ritter and others) membership of Finland and Sweden in Ukraine is crazy stupid for these countries. Finland will now be on the front line of any further expansion of this conflict, unless Russia precludes its entry by invading it before the papers are signed. A country can’t join NATO if it’s already in a conflict.

        If I were Putin, that’s what I’d do. Finland’s army is pitifully small.

        1. RobertC

          Putin understands Finland better than Stoltenberg. And the conflict isn’t expanding because Russia’s future is East and South. And Europe (Germany, Italy, France plus Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria) is recognizing that. You’re watching posturing nothing more.

        2. Polar Socialist

          Finland actually has a bigger (wartime) army than Germany or UK. Also very artillery heavy, as the current trend seems to be, and not totally compromised yet by NATO training.

          Air defenses suck, though. And air force, while half of that of Ukraine’s, wouldn’t have much of a depth to hide in.

          1. RobertC

            PS — super insight not totally compromised yet by NATO training.

            But it will be as Finland orders 64 Lockheed F-35 fighter jets for $9.4 bln whose low mission readiness and high logistics costs will distort Finland’s military budget.

            NATO Article 5 border intrusions? Why would they occur? Finland’s engagements with Russia will continue to be the usual air and sea encounters generating news headlines. Ho-hum.

            With Biden’s zero-sum deployment of a shrinking Navy, China is the beneficiary of Finland’s NATO ascension as Biden sends more ships, fighter jets and troops to Europe.

    2. RobertC

      Nah this is the usual give-me-weapons Congress has F-16 problems and Biden is one

      The Biden administration just put itself on a collision course with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over an F-16 modernization sale to Turkey — a deal the top two panel members oppose.

      …the Pentagon “fully supports Turkey’s modernization plans for its F-16 fleet,” which would amount to a $6 billion purchase of 40 Block 70 F-16 warplanes and about 80 Lockheed Martin modernization kits. [Turkey’s foreign exchange accounts are empty]

      …But a senior administration official strongly denied any linkages:

      …Others NatSec Daily spoke to back the official’s account, saying there was never an explicit quid pro quo. Instead, there seemed to be a quiet understanding that if Turkey voted to let Sweden and Finland into the NATO club, then the relationship with the U.S. would improve, thus increasing the chances of a completed F-16 agreement. Nothing was said directly — it didn’t have to be, we’re told.

      Yes, it was Turkey’s F-16s that ambushed the Russian Su-24 in 2015.

  27. Lex

    A note on masks and their effectiveness. A true p100 respirator (1/2 face) has a Protection Factor of 10. I’ve been through fit testing with mine where it was more than 10, but that can only be determined by quantitative fit testing. It’s easy to have that P100 1/2 mask be a lot less than 10, if it doesn’t fit snugly, if you have some facial hair, if you adjust it during use for comfort, etc. Theoretically, an N95 has a PF of 10 as well but fit is much harder to achieve.

    Anyhow, PF 10 means that the concentration of the contaminant is 10 times lower inside the mask than outside. Respirators aren’t perfect. At least not this style of negative pressure respirator. So of course you can get covid while wearing any of the commonly available respiratory protection measures. They’re not designed to stop everything because it’s unrealistic. It’s why respirators are the last means of contaminant exposure control. It’s why when someone is exposed to something above the permissible exposure limit and they’re wearing a respirator, regulations still require the employer to take all feasible measures to reduce the exposure concentration outside the respirator. Because we all know that respiratory protection is imperfect in the best case and may be worse than no respiratory protection in some cases where improper fit or use will lead to real concentrations inside the mask being much higher than outside the mask.

    Everyone wearing a mask of any sort is a means to reduce the total concentration in any given space. If there are 100 people in the space, every one not wearing a mask increases the concentration and reduces the effectiveness of every other mask since they’re only capable of reducing concentrations (unless you go to at least PAPR of some sort). The hierarchy of controls is clear that masking is not viable for controlling covid unless combined with other control measures.

    1. Carolinian

      Thank you. It seems obvious that the truly vulnerable should be kept isolated as much as possible. I don’t consider myself among that group but would think long and hard before taking a plane and have never stopped routinely wearing a mask in public. Lately that’s a N95 mask but only because I got some for free during the recent giveaway. I think we all should be allowed to make our own assessments of vulnerability and maintain a healthy skepticism about govt requirements which have often proven to be wrong. If this is an “antisocial” attitude then so be it.

      But being so cautious that society fails to function is also a health threat and there are downsides to mask wearing that should be considered–particularly when it comes to children. FWIW mask wearing did almost disappear here but is making a little bit of a comeback.

  28. Jabura Basaidai

    Regarding mask safety on flights – if I can avoid flying I do but recently had no choice going to Cali from Michigan – used a GVS SPR643 ELIPSE P100 Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator for the flight and found it comfortable and felt safe – still avoid indoor crowds and N95 for grocery shopping – it ain’t over folks – mask up and damn the fools that laugh at us –

    1. hemeantwell

      You reminded me that a couple of friends had also rec’d that respirator. I’m in, thanks!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      That’s the one I wear. It is very very comfortable for breathing but even the large style is small on my face and pinches.

      But I do like the Darth Vader look.

  29. Dave in Austin

    Two days ago we got the video of the Russian missile that “obviously targeted” a mall killing a dozen people. Last night I saw the footage of the incident from triangulated Ukrainian surveillance cameras and video from news photographers on Twitter. Two (or three) missiles hit a factory next to the mall and one apparently hit the railroad track behind the mall, setting-off fires that destroyed the mall. (definitely not pro-Russian) referenced @RALee85 who says (with pictures) “Geolocation of the place. The pond is next to the factory, which is next to the shopping center. It seems Russia aimed for the factory and hit the shopping mall as well”.

    But RALee85 at has the full photo set which indicates that the mall was apparently not hit. The Bellingcat satellite picture 6/28 he has of the mall from above appears to show total destruction of the railroad track behind the mall. Other pics in the thread (@ilopX3) show the mall from a drone with most of the fire damage in the front half, away from the track, and what appears to be heavy explosion damage in the right-rear of the mall. This suggests to me that the missile strike on the rail track behind that spot did the damage and the blast or the debris set off a fire. Also, the factory video shows the big impact-explosion crater from the first missile. I can find no footage of an impact crater at the mall, which supports the “secondary fire” theory.

    The thread has much more, including a reasonable argument, based on a surveillance footage from the far side of the lake and a puff of smoke in the factory, that there were three missile strikes. It also has a very detailed video of the factory with what appears to be the 10-15 foot-deep impact crater. The factory was not a munitions plant; it mixed and stored road asphalt, but it had large sheds and the rail siding on the main railroad to the front nearby that were hit, so the factory may have contained weapons.

    There are at least another half-dozen Twitter sites with even more geolocation data and triangulated surveillance footage out there that seem to support the “hit the factory” story. The mall appears to be small so I doubt the “1,000 people there”. The injured and dead numbers are also suspect- no “covered dead” pictures and only one “remove an injured” scene, although I have no doubt that there were civilian casualties in the mall.

    One further comment. Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson), a reliable but almost always pro-Ukrainian reporter tweeted yesterday the “mall attacked” story then last night published an “apparently aimed at the factory” correction based on the above. This morning when I looked at his Twitter, not only was the correction gone but there was no “tweet removed by the author” note. So the memory hole at Twitter is now fully operative.

    1. Foy

      “Nolan Peterson (@nolanwpeterson), a reliable but almost always pro-Ukrainian reporter tweeted yesterday the “mall attacked” story”

      I have been following Nolan Peterson since the start of the invasion and never thought him reliable and what you said in the rest of the paragraph demonstrates that completely. I have used his comments and compared them to Moon of A, Martynov, Ritter, Col McGregor, and his comments have generally been the opposite of what they have said throughout the war. He is very unreliable I would say. But it has been interesting to see him put forward the Ukrainian view from on the ground the whole time.

      I always wonder if people like Peterson ever get embarrassed when they are proven wrong or have the bought in so much to the narrative that they are able to deny reality? Or do they know the narrative is complete BS and that is their job?

  30. Pat

    Clinton running. Well duh. Most people here have been on this for awhile, a couple for a long while.

    I’m not so sure about the face lift, the photo in the CNN link is over two years old. Whatever work she had done has dropped, looking at the video from her CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King this week. She had drooping jowls, bags like suitcases under her eyes and her neck showed her age. It was humorous to listen to the world’s biggest victim say Clarence Thomas was a person of grievance since they were in law school.

    Once she officially announces I would hope some journalist would ask if she now understands how the votes are counted and that she can’t be president if she only represents California and NY, she needs the deplorables to get elected. Won’t happen, but I would probably empty my bank account to make it occur.

    1. Idland

      Great antidote today! I just thought of a caption. “Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives at work tomorrow morning.”

  31. tegnost

    Sitting by the mt vernon coop waiting for some businesses to open I’m watching trains from canada full to the brim with oil lumber and grains heading south into the US, and completely empty as they head north back to canada, I’m thinking the US makes debt and patents, then I read larry johnson and see this…

    Ultimately, a country’s ability to wage war is base on its industrial and manufacturing prowess. News flash–the United States no longer is the industrial powerhouse that produced air craft carriers, fighter planes, tanks and trucks that defeated Japan and helped Russia whip the Nazis. Ironically, Russia is the only country in this conflict that has that capability. That is a fact that the west refuse to accept or acknowledge.

    We’re running on fumes

    1. RobertC

      You’ll find confirmation with Cdr Salamander’s mad-and-sad The War Gods of the Copybook Headings Return

      …Action 1: have hard follow-on questions for anyone who is promising a short war or is selling a “Win in 72-hr Posture.” It briefs well, but it almost never works out.

      …Action 2: Tell the Cult of Efficiency to Get Bent; You Have a War to Prepare For.

      …From small arms to nuclear submarine repair, our industrial base is exquisitely designed and Tiffany-tough.

      Be sure to enjoy the Comments too.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      What Larry Johnson says is not entirely true. The United States builds its own naval vessels, as well as aircraft, tanks, artillery, missiles, bombs, and the like. The vast weapons factories have not been relocated offshore, even if some components are now sourced offshore. It is foolish to underestimate the resources available to the US. The empire may have some cracks, but it is still quite formidable.

      1. Skippy

        You must have missed the whole Bradly Fighting Vehicle debacle:

        “The mismatched jalopy known as the Bradley “Fighting” Vehicle is one of the most infamous in a long series of duds produced by the US Defense Welfare State — and this video series is the most complete list of problems with it that has so far been compiled.”

        Gezz they even made movies about it …

    1. flora

      Thanks for this link. Interested analysis about consistency of terms (or not) in legal arguments.

  32. Lee

    Some things to think about for those who enjoy thinking about such things:

    Do we need a new theory of evolution? The Guardian

    Discussion of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES). One divergence from traditional Darwinist view that evolution only occurs incrementally over long periods of time is that EES incorporates Lamarckian theory. An example:

    “Emily Standen is a scientist at the University of Ottawa, who studies Polypterus senegalus, AKA the Senegal bichir, a fish that not only has gills but also primitive lungs. Regular polypterus can breathe air at the surface, but they are “much more content” living underwater, she says. But when Standen took Polypterus that had spent their first few weeks of life in water, and subsequently raised them on land, their bodies began to change immediately. The bones in their fins elongated and became sharper, able to pull them along dry land with the help of wider joint sockets and larger muscles. Their necks softened. Their primordial lungs expanded and their other organs shifted to accommodate them. Their entire appearance transformed. “They resembled the transition species you see in the fossil record, partway between sea and land,” Standen told me. According to the traditional theory of evolution, this kind of change takes millions of years. But, says Armin Moczek, an extended synthesis proponent, the Senegal bichir “is adapting to land in a single generation”. He sounded almost proud of the fish.”

    1. LifelongLib

      Without knowing anything about it, I wonder if at some point in its evolutionary history the fish was a land dweller and acquired its abilities then. Hard to imagine a mechanism that could drive such adaptations over so short a period of time.

  33. Wukchumni

    Bitcoin is again approaching the all important $20k barrier in a test of its mettle…

    ‘Bitcoin Jesus’?

    Digital asset exchange CoinFlex is locked in a public battle with long-time cryptocurrency investor Roger Ver over a $47 million debt, reflecting the latest saga to unfold amid the market crash.

    On Tuesday, CoinFlex CEO Mark Lamb named Roger Ver, who earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” for his evangelical views early on in the industry, as the investor who failed to pay $47 million of stablecoin USDC as part of a margin call.

    USDC is a stablecoin pegged one-to-one with the U.S. dollar. A margin call is a situation in which an investor has to commit more funds to avoid losses on a trade made with borrowed cash.

    CoinFlex paused withdrawals for customers last week. Lamb revealed on Monday that an individual investor’s account went into “negative equity.” The company would typically automatically liquidate that investor’s positions. But this particular investor had an agreement with CoinFlex that did not allow this to happen.

    For the benefit of money hiding
    There will be a bubbly time on financial trampoline

    The Winklevoss will both be there
    Late of being an olympic rowing pair-what a scene!

    Over reason and value, hype and doubters
    Lastly through in lieu of real F.I.R.E.!
    In this way cryptocurrency will challenge the world!

    The celebrated money charade
    Performs the feat online at this date

    The investors will dance and sing
    As 0’s & 1’s fly through the cloud-don’t be late

    Cryptocaves assure the public
    Their mining production is second to none
    And of course Satoshi Nakomoto dances the waltz!

    The price began at a few bucks-5 or 6
    When Mr. Nakomoto performed his tricks without a sound

    And then the market will demonstrate
    Ten martingales it’ll undertake to confound & astound!

    Having been some years in preparation
    A bubble time is guaranteed for all
    And for now Bitcoin is an invisible thrill

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      This should not be surprising. It was reported months ago that Paxlovid may actually make symptoms worse for some people. One theory as to why this is so is that Paxlovid crushes the virus so quickly that the body’s own immune system doesn’t get stimulated to produce antibodies. Since the virus never entirely leaves the body it regroups and begins causing havoc due to the lesser immune response.

    2. Acacia

      Adding: I haven’t rewound to look at his comment again, but this sounds consistent with what IM Doc was saying just the other day about Paxlovid.

  34. Jason Boxman

    So the undercount, at least in NYC, might be 20x:

    “The decline of reported #COVID19 cases in NYC has stopped. Reported cases are at a high plateau, which means actual transmission is very high when you account for the >20x under-counting. This is likely the beginning of a BA.5 wave,” Varma tweeted.

    Not encouraging, at all.

    1. Pat

      Yeah that was also in that WNBC article in the links. Terrifying as it is, my first thought was that sounds more like it as I was sure 5X was low.

    2. C.O.

      I’m on the Canadian westcoast, and after a long decrease, masking is sky rocketing back up, way more N95s relative to surgical masks too in my city. Anecdata I know, but a really noticeable shift only in the past week and a half.

  35. Olivier

    Some relieving stuff for all you lovers of symbol politics. At NATO summit people could buy a salad called la ensaladilla rusa = the little Russian salad. After much ado it was renamed to Salad Kiev.

    Whoa!!!! It is not anymore a ensaladilla = diminutive for salad but a real, full-size salad and from Kiev at that. A war is won with a thousand cuts. Here are some sharp salad leaves slicing the veins wide open on that Salat Olivier.

    1. super extra

      ooh that is really going to turn the tide! /s

      also that guy (the chef, Jose Andres) seems to have made a career by following tragedy and spectacle and ‘providing free food to victims’; I am sure there is some form of NGO-style tax avoidance scam but is there a story there? I notice the name again and again..

    1. caucus99percenter

      I would bet it’s one of the pricey Aranet models, which in spite of their higher cost appear to have the reputation of being worth it.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        I’ve seen reviews of the Aranet CO2 monitors that are less than flattering. Apparently, they are fragile and don’t last long when subject to the rigors of travel. If you purchase one be careful to protect it when carrying it places.

  36. Adam Eran

    You’ve left out Jefferson was a child molester who had a 14-year-old black mistress (fathered by his white father-in-law).

    I’m guessing Harding gets a bad rap the same way populist William Jennings Bryan was portrayed as an idiot in “Inherit the Wind” … suppressing those populist leanings trumps genuine historical analysis

  37. RobertC


    At RobertC June 22, 2022 at 5:37 pm I discussed the first of a two-part ASPI article on Australia’s future submarine efforts.

    Today ASPI proposed an innovative, and I think achievable, approach in the second part Building overseas may be the best approach for Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines

    In our previous post, we considered the likelihood of the US providing Australia with Virginia-class submarines this decade. Doing so would require the US Navy to give up two of its nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a time it is facing a capability crunch of its own. While anything is possible, it seems unlikely, particularly when we also consider that Australia will also need to demonstrate that it can exercise responsible stewardship of the nuclear capability.

    …When we open the aperture even further, another approach comes into view, which we termed ‘a joint submarine enterprise’. This approach starts by accepting that Australia’s SSN enterprise will never be separate from the parent nation’s. Consequently, rather than inefficiently seeking to duplicate the entire enterprise, it pursues a division of labour that benefits both nations.

    …That doesn’t mean Australian industry misses out. First, we could adopt a joint strike fighter approach of supplying components, subassemblies or even modules into overseas production lines. That involves Australian industry in the construction of a fleet of more than 60 boats (if we go with the US), rather than eight. This approach also benefits the US by expanding its own effective production capabilities.

    …Another element of the JSF approach is that Australia has become a regional maintenance hub for the international F-35 fleet. By taking this approach with SSNs, we can provide significant value to our AUKUS partners. The USN is facing a huge maintenance [GAO] backlog [CBO] for its nuclear submarine force. By focusing Australia’s industrial efforts on sustainment, we not only avoid adding to that problem, but can potentially help to reduce it. Again, there are significant, unprecedented issues here around the USN’s willingness to have maintenance done at an overseas yard, but if it means that its boats spend less time out of service then it would be a win for all partners.

    From an acquisition and life cycle perspective this could work. However there is this aspect for a nation of 26M that is having difficulty manning four of its six Collins submarines

    In the early years, novel approaches to command and crewing will be needed. The first boat may even need to remain a USN boat until Australia’s navy meets the high bar of nuclear stewardship. There will no doubt be challenging legal, political and cultural issues to tackle. But an extended transition period working with a small number of co-crewed SSNs will help mitigate the shock of the new. Can the Australian navy really move straight from an ageing Collins capability with a relatively small workforce to a conveyor belt of SSNs being delivered on a two- or three-year drumbeat? Such a rapid transition will likely break the submarine force.

    Where will these co-crewed SSNs train? In the surveilled, hostile and dangerous South China Sea or the safer waters between the first-island and second-island chains? The limited number of SSNs needing US-only crew training doesn’t provide much margin for co-crew training. Australia must provide strategic ROI.

    From a crewing perspective, I believe permanent co-crewing on US SSNs is the only affordable approach for Australia. It provides immediate capabilities without the burden (and prestige) of sovereign ownership. The US will benefit from a crew who already knows the territory. And Australia will have some headroom to fix its flawed Hunter frigate program.

  38. Savita

    Australian here. Some of you might remember an article posted possibly more than once here by Yves. Observations about things in US culture foreigners find really wierd. by Benny Lewis who is an Irish, all- languages teacher. ( Claims to be a polyglot, this has been contested, but at any rate he’s a public figure helping people acquire foreign languages)
    I just found this article which reminded me of that one. 10 Things Americans Don’t Know About America by Mark Manson who is an author you may have come across.

  39. RobertC

    Biden Administration

    The 24 June LINKS had this Intel withholds Ohio fab ceremony over US chip subsidies inaction $20b factory construction start date unchanged – but the x86 giant is not happy

    Today there is THIS Samsung Elec starts 3-nanometre chip production to lure new foundry customers

    SEOUL, June 30 (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) said on Thursday it has begun mass producing chips with advanced 3-nanometre technology, the first to do so globally, as it seeks new clients to catch far bigger rival TSMC (2330.TW) in contract chip manufacturing.

    Compared with conventional 5-nanometre chips, the newly developed first-gen 3-nanometre process can reduce power consumption by up to 45%, improve performance by 23%, and reduce area by 16%, Samsung said in a statement.

    The South Korean firm did not name clients for its latest foundry technology, which supplies made-to-order chips like mobile processors and high-performance computing chips, and analysts said Samsung itself and Chinese companies are expected to be among the initial customers.

    …Samsung, a distant second with a 16.3% market share, according to data provider TrendForce, announced a 171 trillion won ($132 billion) investment plan last year to overtake TSMC as the world’s top logic chipmaker by 2030.

    …While Samsung is the first to production with 3-nanometre chip production, TSMC is planning 2-nanometre volume production in 2025.

    These guys are beating each other up at the bleeding edge of magic and Intel is having a $20B sad because America’s taxpayers are spending their money on Ukraine rather than semiconductor subsidies?

    I cite TSMC founder Morris Chang here and here on difficulties with production in America.

  40. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    The US/NATO faction has been trying to break into Central Asia since the Taliban kicked them out of Afghanistan. Along with the EU, they’ve focused on Kazakhstan and its polyglot President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as their entry point.

    Today the Caspian Five countries published a draft agreement having among other principles “the absence of armed forces in the Caspian Sea that do not belong to the littoral states, and the non-provision by any littoral state of its territory to other countries for aggression and other military actions against any of the littoral states.”

    In short, non-littoral states are welcome for business but leave your military at home. Another door slammed on the US/NATO eastwards expansion. Keep your Sweden and Finland. The future is Mackinder’s Heartland.

  41. The Rev Kev

    Hmmmm. ‘The European Commission has said it is unable to locate text messages sent between its president, Ursula von der Leyen, and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during talks for a massive vaccine deal last year….It argued that due to the “short-lived and ephemeral nature” of texts, they typically “do not contain important information” and are therefore rarely stored.’ I’m shocked! Shocked!

    1. Polar Socialist

      I wonder if they did check the phones? I’m somewhat tech savvy and I have noticed my phone stores text messages automatically, and I have to actively delete them…

  42. Jom

    Human Rights Watch seem to provide a quite thorough account, including witness interviews, of the shopping center attacks, and call it a war crime as due protection of civilians wasn’t in place. They seem to debunk the “it just caught fire and was closed anyway” theory that Doctorow seems to support. They do also keep the casualty numbers in double digits not thousands.

    1. JohnA

      Human Rights Watch is an American propaganda organisation. No surprise they reach that conclusion. The shopping mall has been confirmed closed for months, the empty car park confirms that. The missile strikes were on an adjacent military repair and maintenance facility and railway system. As usual the Ukrainian army puts these close to civilian areas. Doctorow’s account is far more compelling and likely accurate.

  43. LawnDart

    Re; Snake Island

    MoD: Russian Military Withdraws Forces From Zmeiniy Island as Gesture of Good Will

    “On June 30, as a goodwill gesture, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation completed their assigned tasks on Zmeiniy Island and withdrew the garrison stationed there. Thus, it has been demonstrated to the world community that the Russian Federation does not interfere with the efforts of the UN to organize a humanitarian corridor for the export of agricultural products from the territory of Ukraine,” the ministry said.

    Via sputniknews[dot]com

  44. LawnDart

    At this oil price, I come up with $7.14 per gallon of regular gasoline, before taxes.

    Oil is likely to hit $200 a barrel under the disastrous G7 plan to cap Russian prices, an SEB analyst says

    Oil prices are likely to surge to above $200 if the G7 implements plans to cap the price of Russian crude and products, according to an analyst at Swedish bank SEB.

    Bjarne Schieldrop said Wednesday that the plans were a “recipe for disaster”, given the high levels of stress in the oil market, where prices have more than doubled to around $120 a barrel this year.

    Schieldrop said the plans could cause Russian production to fall by as much as 2 million barrels per day, which would ratchet up the pressure on an already-stressed oil market.

    “G7 countries are today praying that Russian oil exports will not go down,” Schieldrop said in a note on Wednesday. “Because if they do, then the oil price will spike from the current $117 a barrel to above $200 a barrel.”

    He added: “Ultimately, if the price cap regime is implemented and buyers try to adhere to it, then naturally Russia will say ‘pay the price or no oil’.”

    1. LawnDart

      The formula:

      How to Calculate Gasoline Price From Crude Oil Price

      Break down the per-gallon price of gasoline. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the price of crude oil accounts for about 67 percent of the per-gallon gas price. Another 7 percent is based on the price to refine crude. Distribution and marketing account for 11 percent, and the remaining 15 percent comes from taxes. Keep in mind these percentages can change, particularly because each state has a different gas tax.

      Divide the day’s crude oil price by 42. One barrel of crude contains 42 gallons. This will tell you the dollar amount per gallon of refined gasoline attributed to crude. For example, if crude oil is $100 per barrel, then about $2.38 of the price of a gallon of gas comes from the crude price.

      Divide the dollar amount per gallon of refined gas attributed to crude in half. This will give you a dollar amount that accounts for about one-third of the total price per gallon. By multiplying this amount by three, you can get an estimated price per gallon. For example: using $2.38, divide by two to get $1.19. Multiply $1.19 by three to get $3.57, an average cost per gallon of gasoline.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Could Mr. Schieldrop explain why Russian production would fall if Urals crude is selling for 20-30% cheaper than Brent now and likely would became relatively cheaper than that when the Brent hits $200/barrell?

      Especially so if there’s a finite amount of crude available on the market, as OPEC apparently can’t/won’t increase production. Wouldn’t that only mean that the G7 would spent much more on energy than the G188?

      1. LawnDart

        It would seem that G7 would need to figure out the effective blockade part– yes, don’t see a scenario where Russia says “FTW, ya’all are on your own!” Not their style.

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