Links 6/8/2022

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

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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.

* * *
Bear spotted casually walking around Arlington today ARLnow (resilc)

Photos of Christian the Lion Who Lived in London in the Swinging 60s PetaPixel (David L)

Bay Area residents are reporting an influx in crow ‘attacks,’ but experts say it’s not what you think SFGate (Alex C)

Before Chickens Were Nuggets, They Were Revered New York Times (furzy)

‘Needle spiking’ reports grow in France, Belgium and Britain Washington Post (resilc)

Singapore’s dengue ’emergency’ is a climate change omen for the world CNN. Resilc; “On to Florida.”



How to Social Distance in a University Residence Hall McGill University (resilc)



Testing bottleneck’ for monkeypox puts control at risk, experts warn STAT (Dr. Kevin)

CDC’s travel advisory on monkeypox: ‘Practice enhanced precautions’ CNN


Short-term fix to gas crisis is to bring coal plants online, Resources Minister Madeleine King says ABC Australia

Lights Out!: Engineering Group Issues Warning on Green Goals The Burkean (guurst)

As the Great Salt Lake Dries Up, Utah Faces An ‘Environmental Nuclear Bomb’ New York Times (furzy)

Boris Johnson Has Only Delayed the Inevitable Atlantic (resilc)

Platinum Jubilee 2022: Harry and Meghan accused of hypocrisy for flying back in private jet Daily Mail Iresilc). For what that flight cost, they could have bought all the seats in first class in a commercial plane.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon Has Shown How to Build a Radical, Broad Coalition Jacobin (resilc). Wake me up when they exercise power.

German industrial orders fall more than expected in April Reuters

Violence in Rural Mexico Ensnares Doctors, Causing Worker Shortages New York Times (furzy)

New Not So Cold War

NATO comments on nuclear guarantees for Russia RT (Kevin W). Wellie, that put the shiv in any peace talks.

Not that there was any hope of negotiations, even putting aside Russia’s well warranted distrust for the Zelensky regime and the US: Biden Works to Prolong Ukraine War Craig Murray (hat tip Moon of Alabama). I see a shift in Murray’s posture. He was pretty hostile to Russia before. He’s now encountered the Ukraine propaganda machine.

Lavrov slams some NATO members’ decision not to let his plane into Serbia as unprecedented TASS (guurst). Russia likes its revenge served cold. Expect at least a tit for tat at some point.

* * *
Lured by discounts, India in talks to double oil imports from Russia’s Rosneft The Print

Iran is helping Russia circumvent sanctions by using its ‘ghost armada’ to transport the Kremlin’s oil, researchers claim Daily Mail

* * *
Sviatogorsk, last major milestone towards Russian southward advance on Slaviansk, abandoned by Ukrainian forces; **HUGE** sea change in last 24 hours in Ukrainian war outlook & propaganda—mood turns negative, resigned to more bad news, no more “rah-rah”; quasi-neocon Edward Luttwak throws in the towel, says Russia will win and Donbass should have a say in its own fate (…..sorry, it’s too late to “hand over” ONLY the Donbass.) Jacob Dreizin. The ultimate Daily Mail headline….but it looks like he failed to upload the usual accompanying video.

US General Stephen Twitty: “AFU casualties could reach 200,000 troops” Google Translate.
Original US-General Stephen Twitty: „Die Verluste der AFU könnten 200.000 Soldaten erreichen“ Linke Zeitung. From the machine translation:

He [Twitty] estimates that 200,000 soldiers have mysteriously disappeared from the AFU. “Who knows where they are today?” – The General asked. This vast number of military personnel is simply not on the US authorities’ radar. Either there was a fraudulent mobilization, or worse, they were defeated. That being said, the Z Command Yankees hear a lot about “Russian casualties,” but the US wants to know the true picture, not the propaganda of those arrested….

In Kyiv, however, one begins to suspect that the White House is frustrated with the talentless blue and yellow “resistance”. Hence the difficult questions: “Where are the 200,000 soldiers?” No, the Americans have no sympathy for the Thunderbirds, but the same Steven Twitty wants to know what’s going to happen next, so he asks: “What will the endgame be like then? ”

According to Kyiv, the priority now is to regain “trust” in the United States. So what we need is a well-publicized victory on the front lines. The fact is that Washington has announced Ramstein 3. On June 15, a meeting of defense ministers from 40 NATO countries will take place in Brussels, which, as before, will be organized by Pentagon boss Lloyd Austin. There, the heads of the alliance’s defense agencies will deliberate on what to do next: whether to reduce support for the AFU or continue the fight to the last Ukrainian.

* * *
Germany Issues Dire Warning As Russian Banks Announce Scheme to Release Frozen Assets iEarlGrey, YouTube. Forgive me for not hat-tipping the reader who sent this on; I did look a bit to try to retrace my steps. At 5:04, it discusses a “bad bank” scheme, presumably for loans made to companies from “unfriendly countries” who are no longer paying. Think if nothing else loans to all those Western operations in Russia for working capital, operating leases, and commercial mortgages. They also have to transfer any related liabilities, which I assume means deposits. The article says it’s at “least $17 billion” but that’s the gross, not net exposure and if this is the right order of magnitude, not hugely consequential.

* * *
Russia today at ground level: further observations Gilbert Doctorow

An update of sorts on the Italian Putin list scandal, courtesy DLG, Reality Czar:

On Ukraine, ‘progressive’ proxy warriors spell disaster Aaron Maté (anon in SoCal)



Romney, Ossoff call for probe into Shireen Abu Akleh death in West Bank Washington Post (resilc)

FBI seizes retired general’s data related to Qatar lobbying Associated Press (dk). Head of Brookings may be indicted. Secretary of State Tillerson may also be implicated.

US Blames Iran’s Demand for Sanctions Relief for Nuclear Talks Failing (Kevin W)

Arrival of Israeli gas installation reignites Lebanon maritime border dispute France24 (resilc)

Why does the world allow Israel to continue its oppression of Palestinians? Middle East Monitor (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Europol and CIA operate data mining in the SWIFT system FM4 (guurst). Original: Europol und CIA betreiben Data-Mining im SWIFT-System. Subhead:

European data from the SWIFT financial transaction system has been supplied in bulk by Europol to the US Treasury Department for data mining for years. This data ended up with the CIA.

Imperial Collapse Watch

At least 12 military bases contaminating water supply with toxic PFAS Guardian (resilc)

Australian traveller strip-searched, held in US prison and deported over little-known entry requirement Guardian (Basil Pesto)


Documentarian who filmed Proud Boys to testify at first Jan. 6 committee hearing NBC (furzy). This is pathetic. Oh, and if this is meant to have any pretext of operating to a legal standard, this would be impermissible as hearsay.

Five questions that hang over the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings The Hill


U.S. VP touts $3.2 billion investment aimed at stemming Central American migration Reuters (resilc)

Tuesday’s primaries will measure voter unease over crime and inflation CNN (Kevin W)

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin Recalled by Voters Wall Street Journal. Over 61% according to preliminary tallies.

A former Dianne Feinstein staffer insisted that keeping the ‘diminished’ 88-year-old in office is ‘better than a junior California senator’ Business Insider (Kevin W). “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

How the statement ‘F all politicians’ ended up in California’s voter guide KTLA (resilc)


The Blood-Soaked Lie About the Second Amendment Harvey Wasserman, RSN (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

How Martha Mitchell helped Woodward and Bernstein investigate John Mitchell Washington Post

Raytheon relocating headquarters from Waltham to just outside DC Boston Globe (Kevin W)

Yellen: inflation to ‘remain high;’ hopes it’s ‘coming down’ Associated Press

Corporations aren’t greedy enough Unherd (fk). Important.

Class Warfare

New study shows welfare prevents crime, quite dramatically Oxford University Press (Robert M)

Don’t Call It Belly Dancing Evergreen (Micael T)

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (dk):

And a second bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    That bear in the field is just channeling Burt Reynolds in his role on the film Deliverance. In the movie he is guiding the ill fated tour of the river.

    “I’ve never been lost in my life.”

    1. Stick'em

      re: Lostest bear ever to be lost

      Black bears tend to wander and can migrate hundreds of miles. One showed up in our yard one morning out of the blue. Mom got a picture of it eating berries, which still hangs on her wall. The story made the Durham Morning Herald as other folks saw it foraging in their yards too. Often these bears are in search of food, so they’ll migrate to somewhere the acorns are plentiful before hibernating. Of course, it’s too early for acorns now and there are no oak trees in a wheat field…

      1. Wukchumni

        Had a nice drive to Cedar Grove yesterday and saw a brown yearling Black Bear* here in tiny town darting from the vicinity of an overturned pick-a-nick basket in the guise of a AirBnB trash bin… just another reason to dislike the short-term vacation rentals, and to be fair Bob & Betty Bitchin’ from Burbank and their fetching progeny Trevor and Truly probably had no idea that they were a leading factor in switching a bruin’s diet to free-range dumpster diving, which will lead to more brazen attacks on refuse as in bin there-done that.

        * 4th of the year and the score stands @ Canada: 2, Sierra Nevada: 2

    2. BeliTsari

      Daniel Boone’s ghostwriter kept changing it from “I’ve never been lost, but I was mighty turned around for three days once.” to “I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.” When he returned from getting duped in a Florida Panhandle land swindle, after two years, to discover his shiny new daughter, Jemima? Leading up to what The Two Towers’ & Last of the Mohicans both came from.

  2. Safety First

    Re: Ukraine casualties.

    I’ve seen multiple Russian (pro-government) newspapers and (equally pro-government) Telegram channels in the past few days – marking the 100th day of the war – estimate Ukraine “permanent losses” to date at around 80-90 thousand. This includes something like close to 10 thousand prisoners, leaving 70+ thousand dead (either KIA or died from wounds). Since we’ve only had one significant pocket to date, at Mariupol’, the estimate is typically justified by some “daily deaths” figure times 100 days, which is not a great way of doing it but there you are.

    Now – this is the important bit. Neither this range nor the “Twitty estimate” differentiate between regular army units and territorial battalions (not to mention any “international volunteers”). Given that reports in Russian, Ukrainian and even Western press suggest that the “territorials” (plus foreign volunteers, not to be confused with official advisors sent over by the Pentagon) are barely trained or equipped and are just being thrown forward to absorb Russian shells, it is perfectly possible that, say, 10-20-30 thousand of the 70 thousand are actually not professional soldiers. It is the latter that matters in terms of estimating Ukraine’s capacity to continue fighting, and, in all likelihood, it is the latter that Ukraine itself is reporting as casualties. So take Ukraine’s official recent admissions – 100-200 deaths per day was it? – double that, and you get some overall estimate that is not very far apart from the “70 thousand minus territorial battalions” figure, and I suspect this is the general area where “the truth” might be found.

    I recognise that the maths here are wonky and wobbly, but that’s sort of where we are. As for retired (as of 2018, mind) general Twitty’s 200 thousand comment – one, are we to believe that he, notwithstanding his retirement, is somehow privy to current operational intelligence and thus can accurately tell us just how many Ukrainian troops US HQs are “seeing” or “not seeing”? And, two, how many of the 200 thousand are territorial battalion recruits who are “melting away” in any way they can either before they get sent to the frontline (corruption) or after their first encounter with live fire (desertion), in a manner not dissimilar to all those foreign volunteers being interviewed in Western press seem to have left after the first few days or weeks of service?

    P.S. Russian losses are both simpler and more complex, because you have several different groups you have to track separately.

    Russian Armed Forces proper – this is what the Defence Ministry reports, err, reported exactly twice, both times in March. But after the war is over there will be some official figure released as per previous conflicts, I am sure.

    LDNR forces – LNR and DNR each report their casualties separately, at varying intervals – one does a weekly report, the other I see a tad more frequently. They also include civilian deaths (on the LDNR side) since February 24, which at this point are pushing towards triple-digits, which I find significant as well. Anyway, at least through March the rule of thumb was LNR + DNR casualties are roughly the same as Russian Defence Ministry casualties, not sure how it works now, however.

    Wagner Group and other “Blackwater” style mercenaries – just as with the original Blackwater, the point is that these casualties are off the books. Though I am sure at some point private researchers will try to come up with some general estimate.

    Chechen troops, e.g. as employed in Mariupol’ – nominally these are within the Russian Armed Forces command structure, however I am personally unsure whether these casualties are included in the Defence Ministry’s figures. That is, I have not seen a confirmation either way, so again I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of the conflict to see what happens.

    So good luck with figuring all this out, whoever’s job it is at the Pentagon…

    1. Polar Socialist

      The Chechen are from the 141st Special Motorized Regiment of the Southern National Guard District being part of Rosgvardiya, a.k.a. National Guard. The rest of the Rosgvardiya in Ukraine are tasked mainly to keep up order and deliver humanitarian help in conquered areas or support border guards against Ukrainians. Chechens, being indeed involved in combat operations are likely to operate under the Armed Forces command, but I’d guess the casualties are not listed in as Armed Forces.

      As for the Wagner Group, I’d venture a guess that all of them currently in Ukraine are from Luhansk (the group was founded in Popasna) and are fighting under the LNR flag. Naturally we can’t know, but given the tendency of LNR to “sanctify” her fallen heroes, it’s likely the “Orchestra” members would not prefer their possible sacrifice to just fade away.

    2. tegnost

      the “territorials” (plus foreign volunteers, not to be confused with official advisors sent over by the Pentagon) are barely trained or equipped and are just being thrown forward to absorb Russian shells,

      Larry Summers is green with envy

    3. midget

      The Russian OSINT channel Rybar had a source inside the Ukrainian MoD leaking internal casualty numbers (Rybar says that all such estimates are lower-bound estimates due to fog-of-war) until the source went dark after May 10. For what it’s worth, Rybar has a reputation for reliable information (except for Moskva incident). Here is a link to the last update:

      Note: the “national guard” ARE the territorial defense forces, and the 50k casualties are AFU alone; the attrition rate has increased since May 10; a ratio of almost 2:1 dead to wounded is unlikely, to say the least. Therefore, it is entirely possible that AFU casualties are 60k-80k as of today without counting the territorial defense force losses.

  3. thoughtfulperson

    Variant page at US CDC updated, and backward revised for last 5 weeks to – finally – include BA4 and BA5 data. TX region already at 25% of cases for those 2 combined. I believe this is the first time we have 2 new variants both growing at the same time. Just 6 weeks or so since BA2.12 appeared in upstate NY.

    Well, to be expected when we give up on prevention and our one mitigation does not stop infections. The covi19 virus is very rapid at development – how much longer will current vaccines be able to keep up? If long covid is likely in 10 to 20%, how much will multiple infections increase chances of debilitating long lasting illness – if not worse?

    Now throw monkey pox into the mix, which the USA anyway, is following the same flawed path as was done with covid19 (no tests available etc)

  4. Kristiina

    Maté: “To date, no member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – with the sole exception of Cori Bush – has publicly explained why they chose to hand over billions of dollars to the weapons industry and intensify a proxy war against nuclear-armed Russia.”

    May I suggest an excellent reason for this choice? A Reuters header from last December says: “U.S. weapons exports decreased 21% to $138.2 billion in fiscal 2021” No link to avoid purgatory, but the header is all one needs to know. War abroad means jobs in us.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Very good point. 21% comes to about $37 billion, so in the end “nothing fundamentally changed”.

      Business as usual.

    2. Stick'em

      A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

      ~ Smedley Butler War is a Racket

  5. Seth Miller


    The filmmaker’s personal observations are not hearsay, and neither is his footage, if authenticated by someone present for the filming.

    1. GramSci

      You’re right. This is going to be a Judge Judy show trial. Made for TV. Lots of documentary film clips. Proud Boy Porn. Yawn.

        1. ambrit

          Wow. A specific ‘steal’ from the film “Wag the Dog.”
          Since MSM apparatchiks are specialists in mendacity, expect “lies, lies, and bloody lies” from start to finish.

        2. Mildred Montana

          Produce the hearings? Fer gawd’s sake. I thought they just turned on the cameras and mikes and started the play.

          Are they worried that some congressperson might go “native”, so to speak, start to ruin the script, and be in need of editing or censorship?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Any video footage would meet the standard of best evidence, provided the defendants/subjects could examine the full raw recording to make sure it wasn’t cherry picked or otherwise selectively edited. His commentary would fall short of that. Pray tell, how can he give expert witness testimony? Did he suddenly do a crash course in psychology so he can comment on cultish behaviors?

      In addition, his independence is questionable. He would have a business motive to capture and even attempt to provoke or stage the most salacious behavior.

      1. Chromex

        “In addition, his independence is questionable. He would have a business motive to capture and even attempt to provoke or stage the most salacious behavior.”

        Well,yes. However, that would go to weight, not admissibility. Not that I disagree that the upcoming “hearings” will be anything other than sound and fury.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      From Glenn Greenwald, an actual lawyer:

      But the most serious constitutional problem is not the specific investigative acts of the committee but the very existence of the committee itself. There is ample reason to doubt the constitutionality of this committee’s existence.

      When crimes are committed in the United States, there are two branches of government — and only two — vested by the Constitution with the power to investigate criminal suspects and adjudicate guilt: the executive branch (through the FBI and DOJ) and the judiciary. Congress has no role to play in any of that, and for good and important reasons. The Constitution places limits on what the executive branch and judiciary can do when investigating suspects . . . . .

      But who needs to worry about the constitution when you’ve got a Mississippi political giant like bennie thompson makin’ the rules.

      1. flora

        Thanks for the link. If the House Dems are making a spectacle of their “hearings” on a grand stage I wonder what they’re doing back stage — trying to pass something horrible like Schiff’s Domestic Errorism bill, (which they’ve never given up on), while we’re distracted by the stage show? Enquiring minds….

        1. Wukchumni

          The Donkey Show, er Rights Supremacists knows it has a date with the abattoir in November and must make an example of the Proud Goys to prove to their constituency that they can do something other than renaming post offices.

      2. Darthbobber

        And yet…Congress has demonstrably used its investigative powers to joyfully embark on a wide variety of both witchhunts and arguably legit exposures of serious problems for almost the entire history of the nation. So pretending that this is a recent phenomena is not terribly convincing.

        And when somebody argues that practices that have been in existence for nearly as long as the constitution are literally unconstitutional, they need to come up with some explanation of why it has never been ruled to be so.

        1. flora

          I think there’s a difference between regulatory hearings (of utilities, monopolies, financial practices, banking –see the Pecora Commission, for example) and criminal hearings. Congess does legislative hearings, the courts do criminal hearings. The one possible exception is impeachment, and even that is not a crimial hearing, but only a question about whether to expel an office holder from office for reasons. (ianl)

          1. Katniss Everdeen


            Separation of powers is Greenwald’s point, along with the contention that, if enough hysteria can be ginned up, the constitution and its defenders become the “criminals.”

            But since defending the constitution or lawfully exercising one’s constitutional rights is not a crime, you need a division of government with no law “enforcement” or judicial power whatsoever to pretend to “prosecute” the “perpetrators” in the “court” of public opinion.

            1. flora

              Yep. I was going to make a lame joke about Nancy’s winery replacing the Pinot Noir grapes with Pinot Chay grapes, but that would be in bad taste. / ;)

            2. marym

              Greenwald’s statement in his 10/2021 post that no one has been charged with “conspiracy to overthrow the government, incite insurrection, conspiracy to commit murder or kidnapping of public officials, or any of the other fantastical claims that rained down on them from media narratives. No one has been charged with treason or sedition” is out of date.

              Congress didn’t do that, a grand jury did.

              Whether or not Trump and his elite cronies will also be charged with anything along with their followers remains to be seen. However, not just the riot but a multi-front attempt by elites and rank-and-file to nullify the votes of tens of millions of people because they didn’t like the outcome is – in non-lawyerly terms – painting “exercising their Constitutional rights” with kind of a broad brush.

          2. Darthbobber

            Yes, and indeed Congress cannot, through these hearings, impose any punishments other than contempt for not testifying. (which will themselves end up being adjudicated in the courts). I haven’t seen anything from those running this show to indicate that they claim to be able to “convict” anybody, or impose criminal sentences. At worst, on one interpretation, its a replication of the sort of reputation-smearing antics that bodies like HUAC (and several others) were notorious for over the course of decades.

            And there’s always been a dual aspect to some of those investigations. The war profiteering hearings in the Truman administration, or various “investigations” of union practices were in one sense fact-finding, but in another sense a vehicle for making claims of criminal activity, in hope of pushing others to undertake prosecutions.

            Yes, if they were to actually claim the right to try people in a literal sense this would contravene the separation of powers. But so far they seem to be staying in the realm of using this as an agitprop exercise.

          3. Procopius

            Remember the Kefauver Commission? Or was that before your time? There was another after the Appalachian Meeting. Supposed purpose was to decide whether specific legislation was needed to fight the families. Earlier than Kefauver I do not know.

  6. Lexx

    ‘A former Dianne Feinstein staffer insisted that keeping the ‘diminished’ 88-year-old in office is ‘better than a junior California senator’ Business Insider (Kevin W). “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.”

    I’m trying to imagine just how much information Ms. Feinstein has crammed into her noggin at 88, or really any 88 year old. There are limits to anyone’s filing system.

    However, it is past time for her stand down and go do something else. She’s become a place holder; it’s just about power now.

    1. philonius

      It may be a Republican that replaces Feinstein, not a junior senator. That’s what those staffers should be concerned with, but it doesn’t even register. It’s truly refreshing to recognize the insipid arrogance of our political class.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I heard that she is leaving her Senator-ship and Office to a deserving Democrat in her will.

        1. Wukchumni

          While its easy just to utter F!einstein, we native sons of the golden west and assorted capetbaggers from outside Cali are well and truly stuck with her until the grim reaper comes for harvest.

        2. Jorge

          Feinstein is California’s Very Senior Senator.

          Alex Padilla, who as Secretary of State in 2018 was responsible for disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of Decline To State and Likely to vote for Bernie voters with his provisional ballots, is now the preferred Democratic

          Drive through Hispanic neighborhoods and his election signs have “Latino” added to them allegedly as though by a graffiti artist. Spanish language radio constantly playing election ads in his favor pushing the cultural angle.

          Some genius inserted a “N” into his name on a billboard, changing PADILLA to PAnDILLA, meaning “Gang.”

          1. Wukchumni

            Some local wag waged war on McCain-Palin signs in 2008 by taking a blue sharpie and making the white letter ‘L’ invisible against a blue outcrop.

    2. Darthbobber

      Are these people aware that humans are mortal, thus making her replacement by a junior senator an inevitability providing there’s still a senate?

      1. Gawr Gura

        Zombie apocalypse origin story: the virus is actually developed in a US lab in order to keep senators animated past their sell by date.

      2. hunkerdown

        They would rather have a Republican, because their own bench is too far left for the system to keep working.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      Just one thing to note re: Feinstein’s age: Chuck Grassley just won his Republican primary to run for re-election to the Senate. He’s 88 also.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Another six years of corn ethanol to pollute our gasoline and screw the Mexican farmers.

    4. Anthony G Stegman

      Leave it to the brilliant voters in San Francisco to once again reelect Nancy Pelosi. Her vote percentages are off the charts and akin to a tin pot dictator’s electoral results. What’s wrong in San Francisco? Pelosi’s mental state is also diminished; perhaps not as bad as Feinstein’s but still diminished.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “As the Great Salt Lake Dries Up, Utah Faces An ‘Environmental Nuclear Bomb’”

    There might be another factor to consider as the Great Salt lake dries up. In the second half of the 20th century the US conducted hundreds of atom bomb tests which resulted in a lot of wind-borne dust being spread both near and far, especially to States like Utah. It stands to reason that a lot of this radioactive material must have fallen into those lakes where they sank to the bottom. So as the lakes dry up, could it be that this radioactive material might be exposed and blown away by the winds?

      1. LawnDart

        Thanks for that, curlydan. I indeed got stopped by the paywall, something couldn’t crawl over.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Thank you, Colonel

      The Tories have many problems, one of which is their membership who are well to the right of their voters. The members get the final say in choosing the party leader and will choose whichever of the candidates offered is furthest to the right. Who that will be, I have no idea.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said.

        In addition to being to the right, the membership is ageing.

        The youthful Cameron was just the sort the Tory blue rinse would like their daughters to bring home. There’s none like him around at the moment.

  8. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Ukraine links, there is something puzzling about the UK MSM’s coverage, especially the BBC’s. Former service personnel are rarely on, but if they are, it’s usually a former US officer. David Petraeus, Carlyle’s James Stavridis and, yesterday evening, Ben Hodges are the usual talking heads. British officers are rarely, if ever, on and, if they are, it’s general Richard Dannatt or the neo con Colonel Richard Kemp. My RAF veteran father says the community asks why. One reason is that, until the 1990s, the British officer corps was not that right wing and is often realist and less than impressed with neo cons and chicken hawks and whores for Wall Street.

    IMO, the best British experts are Michael Rose, John Waters and Julian Thompson, far more impressive and easier to understand than these American pundits.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Iran is helping Russia circumvent sanctions by using its ‘ghost armada’ to transport the Kremlin’s oil, researchers claim”

    I would be willing to bet that a lot of that oil is being shipped on Greek ships and maybe the Iranians themselves use Greek ships as well. The Greek government won’t try to stop them as the Greek shipping owners own the government from what I hear. And as far as that dodgy United Against Nuclear Iran NGO is concerned how they want to stop it all, it’s not going to happen. The EU is using the same ships to get their Russian, errrr, “International” oil and is not going to stop it as they would be cutting their own throats. I got curious about this United Against Nuclear Iran group and did a bit of digging and wouldn’t you know it, it was the usual suspects-

    1. Ignacio

      I am getting the impression that none of the premises held by US intelligence will hold. Instead of weakening the Russian economy the proxy war might end strengthening it as well as her war capabilities while debilitating the West in all senses. It all depends on the ability of the General Managers and, to cry it out loud, so far it looks that Western leaders are immersed in cretinism and committing all kinds of mistakes while Russian leadership looks much better focused not only in the war front but in the realm of the economy.

  10. Wukchumni

    I’ve never seen the Sierra so bereft of snow so early, if I squinted enough I could make out patches of frozen white in the far distance on 13k peaks, there being hardly any there-there.

    Here in the land of little rain and nothing of any substance expected until the late fall, to call the surroundings bone dry, might be an understatement.

    In theory we don’t get lightning strikes and the potential of wildfires until around August if the old normal holds true, but the new normal might have something to say about that.

      1. Reaville

        The SW drought is the Big Story, but one so frightening in its implications that coverage is thin. We face the loss of most agriculture, the continued and nearly perpetual “fire season” during which to breathe is to lower one’s lifespan, and the subsequent massive devaluation of property.

        What do you do when the SW becomes unlivable? Leave. Think this is an exaggeration? If the water supply goes to “much smaller”, what is the other option?

        What is being done? Biden is securing more fossil fuel supply.

        See where that leads?

        1. Wukchumni

          What do you do when the SW becomes unlivable? Leave. Think this is an exaggeration? If the water supply goes to “much smaller”, what is the other option?

          As you noted, the stories are more along the lines of ‘Dead bodies found in Lake Mead’ not dead pools.

          Because everybody in the SW typically lives so far from their water source, most are blissfully unaware of how tenuous their leash on life is.

          And seeing how everybody’s wealth is tied up in real estate and you can’t take it with you, those fleeing to the east will be largely ‘pauperazzi’, not like my brother’s brother who sold in Torrance and moved to Tennessee for the same house for 1/3rd the money.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          A story linked here says that Salt Lake City’s population continues to boom despite the lack of water. Water always follows money, so those areas in the Southwest that have money will also have water.

  11. LawnDart

    This may be more suited to Yves piece from earlier today, but I haven’t had the chance yet to dive-in:

    No, you’re not imagining it — package sizes are shrinking

    It’s the inflation you’re not supposed to see.

    From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly shrinking package sizes without lowering prices. It’s dubbed “shrinkflation,” and it’s accelerating worldwide.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Oh, I have an even more flagrant example I may post about!!! Without spoiling the case study, selling less at the same price while NOT shrinking packaging! As in keeping 12 oz on the package but selling only 10. How would you feel if you bought your usual I dunno, 1 lb package of Oreos and found one of the rows had 1/3 of the cookies missing?

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m a long time sunflower seed in the shell addict, and I tried to quit by joining Seeds Anonymous and it’s 1,200 step program of indulging in a large bag full in what some claim is mouth aerobics, but I digress.

        Frito-Lay is my old school favorite (David is too salty for me-the ne plus ultra currently is Trader Joes 8 ounce bag for 99 Cents-the perfect taste) and i’ve watched the content shrink repeatedly the past few years, and the 2 for 99 Cent bags finally went up to $1.09 for 2, while keeping the innards intact, for now.

        1. voteforno6

          Former chomper myself, though I wouldn’t say I was addicted. I agree on David – way too salty. I was rather fond of Dakota Kid seeds, though those are only a regional variety.

        2. North Star

          Sids was my favorite. In the 1970’s spent hundreds of hours running tractors on a grain farm with these as my great source of entertainment. Came in a foil package.

      2. LawnDart

        Have you noticed toilet-paper since covid?

        At the rate it’s going, I may as well floss.

          1. marieann

            I bought a bidet for this very reason…turns out one still has to use toilet paper.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just wait till those toilet-paper rolls shrink so thin, that you find yourself using having to use both sides of each sheet.

          1. Balakirev

            From the Samizdat era in the Soviet:

            A woman stands in a very long line to purchase a roll of toilet paper. A friend sees her; stops and crows: “I’ve already got 5 rolls of toilet paper!”

            “Big deal–you cheated,” says the grumpy one in the line. “You went to the dry cleaners.”

            1. rowlf

              With fossilized leaders and empty store shelves, soon people in the US will be telling anekdoty.

      3. .human

        Heinz 57 received an Ad Council award decades ago when they switched to plastic and short-changed the contents of the new ketchup packaging. They were required to hold the pricing for two years IIRC.

      4. Laura in So Cal

        Just opened a Keebler Vienna Fingers Cookies package. Cookies are slightly shorter and there are 8 less cookies in the package. It looks like the packaging hadn’t changed yet so the cookies were rattling around with open space inside.

    2. Darthbobber

      Years ago, like 25 or more years, Dannon reduced the contents of its standard 1-serving container by a couple of ounces. The verbiage on the outside of the container at the time was comedy gold. They advertised all that empty space at the top as a positive good, giving you room to add and mix in your own extras.

    3. Remny

      Example: Strauss organic yogurt, 32 ounces.

      $4.19 in January 2021.

      $5.49 last week.

      New 16 ounce tub replaces the old size:


    4. elissa3

      HaagenDaz: their


      has been 14 oz. for a few years. Go with Ben and Jerry’s–still a real pint.

  12. Tom Stone

    Dianne Feinstein is a truly despicable human being, it has been decades since her role in the “Headwater’s Forest” sparked the “Anderson Valley Advertiser” into an in depth investigation into her and her husband’s business affairs and conflicts of interest.
    It’s a devastating report and you can find it in the archives of the AVA.
    Oddly no other news outlet (Including the SF Chronicle) picked up the story…
    Having that staffer bluntly state that too many rice bowls would be broken if DiFi leaves was refreshing.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      When one compares Feinstein to Pelosi in my view Pelosi is much worse. At least Feinstein gave us the Mojave National Preserve, even though she has literally been carrying water for Linda and Stewart Resnick for decades. What has Pelosi done except feather her own and husband’s nests? Pelosi is far more a fraud than is Feinstein.

  13. Carolinian

    Aaron Mate puzzles over Matt Duss

    While apologia for US hegemonic projects is normal in DC foreign policy circles, Duss’ contribution is particularly noteworthy given his painstaking attempt to cast himself as an outsider. “Our political class,” Duss states, “advocates military violence with a regularity and ease that is psychopathic.” Duss’ comment is both accurate and wildly ironic, given his choice to advocate our political class’s military violence in Ukraine — with the remarkable ease that he identifies in others as psychopathic.

    When it comes to how the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine crisis, Duss cannot identify a single fault. “The Biden team clearly did not seek this war,” Duss claims, and “in fact… made a strenuous, and very public, diplomatic effort to avert it.”

    Duss does not explain what the administration’s “strenuous” diplomacy entailed, perhaps because even its top officials now openly admit that none existed.

    Or in other words the liberal interventionist mindset, as usual, can only be defended via a great deal of dissembling. So if Bernie had become president would we have had Matt Duss for Sec State rather than Blinken? Or perhaps, given Blinken’s obvious incapacity, we’ll have Duss anyway. He certainly seems to be buttering up the prez, attacking his critics.

    1. nippersdad

      Shades of Symone Sanders going over to Kamala Harris. A lot of Bernie’s campaign staff seem to have remarkably supple principles.

  14. flora

    re: Corporations Aren’t Greedy Enough – UnHerd

    Thanks for that link. Important. I keep thinking about increasing the taxes on the profits taken instead of reinvested in productive capacity, except both parties are in thrall to Wall Street (and maybe to their personal stock portfolios).

    1. Hank Linderman

      “Rumours that the administration is considering a cancellation of some student debt — with no accompanying reforms to higher education policy — suggest progressives still remain trapped in old welfarist paradigms.”

      Wouldn’t debt relief (or elimination) apply pressure to eliminate the type of student loans that are at least partially responsible for the problem?

      Another view (I must have found it here…) – “The alternative to cancelling student debt is to wait 20 years and then cancel it after you’ve ruined someone’s life. The government’s not going to be repaid either way.
      — Marshall Steinbaum, Jain Family Institute”


      1. hunkerdown

        Large college debt serves a disciplinary, class-forming purpose, keeping freshly entitled bachelors closely aligned with the interests that empowered them. I expect that partial relief would be narrated as a moral redemption of the “human capital improvement” frame of college debt, in the same sort of way that Jubilee years redeem debt slavery.

        1. tegnost

          I still contend that partial relief is yet another giveaway to the banksters and bondholders and is similar to the practice of embalming

          1. Milton

            Exactly! Just make 100% of student dept–Hell, all personal debt–dischargeable in bankruptcy. Of course, the way the courts have been packed with the most business-friendly judges, obtaining relief would be a high hurdle for all but the most badly indebted individuals.

          2. hunkerdown

            Materially, you are absolutely right. Ideally, it’s my prediction of the narrative that best lines up with NWFC (Nothing Will Fundamentally Change) and can be massively oversold as a win.

            1. orlbucfan

              Corporations aren’t greedy enough? Which ones? Enquiring minds would like to know.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘I keep thinking about increasing the taxes on the profits taken instead of reinvested in productive capacity.’ I think that that was illegal once upon a time but that rule got trashed decades ago. Maybe under Reagan or Clinton. Can you imagine what it would have been like if that rule was still in play? And the hundreds of billions were not spent on making rich shareholders even richer but were spent on research, capital investment, employee training, etc?

      1. flora

        That used to be part of corporate tax law back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, before the Milton Friedman bunch took power in the “Reagan Revolution (against the New Deal)”. Profits reinvested in plant capacity was taxed at a much much lower rate than profits taken as profits, and stock buybacks were illegal, as you say, seen as a form of stock price manipulation. Now? “Because Markets!” is the answer to everything, it seems; as if markets exist outside of govt tax and regulatory rules.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Short-term fix to gas crisis is to bring coal plants online, Resources Minister Madeleine King says”

    This was a big disappointment when I heard that first on the TV news. A major issue in the recent election was the environment and the Coalition bled a lot of supporters because they wanted to do nothing about environmental issues as in at all. It is part of their DNA. So to have the newly minted Labour Resources Minister pipe up and say ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea to get all those coal plants fired up again?’ beggars belief a bit.

    1. Polar Socialist

      That’s basically what all the green-coalition governments in Europe seem to be doing – switching from LNG to coal. At least they’re not calling it combating climate change, but giving up Russian energy dependency.

      With the coming War With China one would think that Australia should be important enough partner to US to get a waiver for cheap Russian gas anyway. Just ask.

  16. kriptid

    RE: New Not-so-Cold War

    To put the ebullient and confusing post by Dreizin in context, the Ukrainian forces have pulled back across the last bridge they controlled over the Siversky Donets River in Sviatohirsk/Sviatigorsk. So essentially Russia has now secured all territory North or East of the river from Kharkiv Oblast all the way to Severodonetsk.

    All the bridges have been blown by Ukraine at this point so it may take a while for Russia to start massing forces on the other side of the river. They’ll probably be careful to avoid PontoonBridgeGate 2.

    With Bakhmut already under threat and now Slovyansk soon following, there will be nowhere left for Ukraine’s forces in the field throughout Donbass to turn for supplies or reinforcements. They may be forced to give up their entrenched positions and retreat into the urban centers. This thing might really start snowballing very quickly and we may see some Mariupol-style urban warfare horror shows unless Ukraine/Zelensky/the Collective West start talking concessions.

    We’ve all started to notice the narrative turning, but I think it could be accelerating over the next 3-4 weeks as it looks like Russia is in position to start tightening the screws significantly.

    1. Lex

      Some reports that Russian forces crossed the river just east of Severodonetsk and that was what precipitated the disorderly retreat of Ukrainian forces. Apparently the river is quite low and in places may not need bridging.

    2. Polar Socialist

      The narrative I saw was that Ukranians blew the bridge in Sviatogorsk before all their troops has crossed Donets, so the remains had to swim over to the safety. Which is why the whole retreated a long way towards Sidorove 3.5 miles south-east allowing the Russians to quickly follow and take control of the monastery, the burned skete and village of Tetyanivka on the south side of the river.

      Meanwhile the Izyum grouping suddenly pushed to Bogorodychne, 3 miles south-west of Sviatogorsk and also on the southern bank of Donets. So crossing the river seems not to be an issue for the Russianss anymore.

      1. Louis Fyne

        If this is the same bridge that I am thinking of….the bridge only suffered cosmetic damage and Russian armored vehicles were able to cross with minimal hassles.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I heard about those soldiers. I believe that there were about 30-40 of them and when they had to swim across the river, they had to dump all their gear to do so. The Russians saw them swim for it but let them go.

      3. kriptid

        Yes, I heard the same about the bridge, but it seems a little odd which is why I didnt mention it above. The drone footage shows the bridge blown at the south side which would hint it was blown up after a retreat. Russian MoD claiming the “nationalist extremists” blew it up to keep the regular army from retreating but that seems hard to beleive; imagine some Azov types rigging the bridge to explode from the south while Ukrainian regs are screaming at them to let them across from the north? Stranger things have happened but that seems borderline beyond the pale.

        The banks of the river are very high and steep around the monastery so it seems it would be very hard to get armor across nearby. So it was a little confusing for me seeing that there was fighting on the other side at Tetyanivka.

        But perhaps the river is easier to cross at some point to the east that isnt obvious on the map. If that’s true then you may be right and my timeline might be a bit long.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Dunno the particular places but now that it is summer, the water level is lower so it’s apparently possible to wade across and drive most armored vehicles across w/o pontoon bridges.

  17. Chromex

    “In addition, his independence is questionable. He would have a business motive to capture and even attempt to provoke or stage the most salacious behavior.”

    Well,yes. However, that would go to weight, not admissibility. Not that I disagree that the upcoming “hearings” will be anything other than sound and fury.

  18. OIFVet

    I said a while ago that the first government casualty of the war in Ukraine will be the Bulgarian government. It’s now happening: one of the coalition parties pulled out of the coalition today. The pretext is a fight over funding for road construction, a notorious source of theft and corruption and a sector that is controlled by oligarchs that are close to political actors friendly to Russia. I doubt that it is a coincidence that this move happens two days after Bulgaria denied Lavrov air corridor into Serbia. The largest of the remaining coalition parties is pledging, as I type this, to rule as a minority government, but it is beyond naive that this will be allowed to happen. Bottom line, everything points to a Russian proxy operation happening in Bulgaria. I am not a fan of the current government, but it is infuriating nevertheless for a number of reasons that have to do with my own priorities regarding fighting corruption and environmental destruction.

    Frankly, it sucks to be a toy in the no man’s land between two empires.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I thought that it would be a little too soon for a Russian op. This could have been an indirect result of how Bulgaria told the Ukraine where to get off and that ‘Bulgaria will continue to send humanitarian aid and repair Ukraine’s military hardware but will not send heavy weaponry.’ Some NATO countries would be unhappy about that. But if it was a Russian op, well, it would suck to be North Macedonia and Montenegro right now-

      1. OIFVet

        No way it was anything Western-related. Knowing the players involved, it’s either hubris or Russkie related. It’s a coin toss right now, will know more in the next few days.

  19. The Rev Kev

    This is too good not to share about Boris Johnson. So-

    ‘Meanwhile in Ukraine he was given a new name and Boris Chuprina and granted honorary Cossask status by the Chernihiv Cossack community of the Catherine the Great Church.
    “A certificate confirming this will be sent to London,” said a statement.’

    Make sure to scroll down to see the painting that was commissioned and the elements in it.

    1. Pat

      Even though it has Nothing to do with the “honor”, you shouldn’t forget the croissant with the meringue topping to mimic his adorable hairstyle.

      Not sure about the choice to have him playing an instrument, but I have decided that it should be a Bandura and not a kobza, just because.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Chernihiv Cossack community of the Catherine the Great Church

      Wait, wasn’t Catherine the Great an empress of Russia? And precisely the one to subject the Cossack colonize Ukraine…

      In Odessa the attempts to de-russify the city have bumped into small inconveniences like the Russians (Catherine and her beau Grigory) actually founding the city. Odessa and many others.

  20. Jason Boxman

    How Safe Are Systems Like Tesla’s Autopilot? No One Knows.

    LOL, oops.

    But the numbers are misleading. Autopilot is used mainly for highway driving, which is generally twice as safe as driving on city streets, according to the Department of Transportation. Fewer crashes may occur with Autopilot merely because it is typically used in safer situations.

    Tesla has not provided data that would allow a comparison of Autopilot’s safety on the same kinds of roads. Neither have other carmakers that offer similar systems.

    But many experts worry that these systems, because they enable drivers to relinquish active control of the car, may lull them into thinking that their cars are driving themselves. Then, when the technology malfunctions or cannot handle a situation on its own, drivers may be unprepared to take control as quickly as needed.

    False advertising. Product defect. When will these theories make an appearance in a wrongful death suit?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      But many experts worry that…. drivers may be unprepared to take control as quickly as needed.


      Doesn’t take much to be considered an “expert” these days apparently.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      When I drive I do so because I enjoy driving. For this reason I drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. If I want “auto pilot” I will take the bus or the train. What is the big attraction for these so-called autopilot systems?

  21. jr

    re: needle sticking

    Yet another reason to avoid the subway. Years ago, there was a story going around Philly that someone was taping dirty hypodermics to the underside of the hand rails at the train stations. I cannot confirm the truth of it but to this day I never grasp hand rails fully unless necessary.

  22. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Five questions that hang over the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings The Hill

    Clicked the link expecting to see a question like, “Who is Ray Epps and why is biden’s fbi and doj protecting him?”

    Got this instead as one of the five: “Can the Democrats put on a show?”

    “Let’s put on a show” was/is a plot line in every sitcom ever invented when the writers run out of ideas. I have no link to this “data,” but I think the “puttin’ on a show” episode usually precedes the “jump the shark” episode by 4 or 5 months. In this case, that would be this coming November.

  23. nippersdad

    Re: Aaron Mate’ vs. Matt Duss article.

    “None of this is to suggest that Russia was justified in launching an invasion of Ukraine. To defend the use of force, which has been so catastrophic, Russia has to meet a high burden of evidence that, in my view, it has not.”

    This has been Mate’s get out of jail free card for some time now, but I have seen him cite OSCE figures for how the shelling of Donbass had increased dramatically just prior to Russia’s declaration of the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk/offer of aid, and subsequent incursion on their behalf. I have also seen him cite the history of previous such actions that ultimately led to the Normandy process which produced the Minsk and Minsk II Accords, not to mention the refusal of the US and Ukraine to entertain Russian treaty proposals just prior to their SMO.

    I find myself wondering at what point he will just give up the pretense that Russia had no need for recourse to military options to protect ethnic Russians in Donbass. In Mate’s view, what does it take for a war to become necessary? If you are going to be labelled a Russian asset anyway, why not go whole hog and point out that the US deliberately started this war; that nyet really did mean nyet per William Burns in his previous incarnation as a realist. Then at least you can get to analysis of the motivations for our overall state of permanent war much more easily. That is harder to do when you refuse to acknowledge that anyone ever has a right to defend themselves.

    It was nice to see, however, the argument that ceding the anti-war movement to such as Marjorie Taylor Greene will have electoral consequences getting out there. Duss, of all people, should have known that going in.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      It would be preferable if he and other journalists would stop playing that card, but I can also see why they feel the need to throw it out there, since their livelihood depends on their articles being read and not being censored.

      Personally I feel that Russia could have gone to the UN with their complaints prior to invading, but it’s pretty clear how that would have turned out given which permanent UN security council members have veto power. It’s also unclear what evidence Russia may have of a planned large scale Ukrainian invasion of the Donbas region and they may have felt time was of the essence.

      Based on everything I’ve seen since February, Russia’s legal justification of the invasion using article 51 is probably better the US justification for invading Iraq, given that zero “weapons of mass destruction” were ever produced. Eight years of shelling the Donbas along with a significant uptick in February is real evidence, not just some baby powder in a bottle like Colin Powell produced. Would be nice if more journalists would just unapologetically point that out.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      It really is tremendously disappointing that he refuses to go that extra mile, even as he makes the case for it every time he opens his mouth.

    3. anon in so cal

      I suspect Aaron Mate’ knows full well that Russia’s operation was entirely justified. Starting out with that
      CIA phrasing is craven. The article was a good expose of Duss but like so many articles of this nature, anti-Russia memes get smuggled in.

    4. KD

      Its a war crime to launch a war of aggression (like Iraq). The Russians aren’t stupid, they recognized the Donbas Republics and they claimed to be fighting a preemptive war of self-defense in protection of the Donbas Republics (which was the rationale for NATO in Bosnia), but the reality is that the Russians and their allies are the only ones who really believe that story. Further, whether preemptive wars of self-defense are permitted under international law is contended, and the UN has not recognized Donbas, so it is unclear even if preemptive war flies if it flies here.

      I don’t know how you can criticize operations like Iraq or NATO involvement in Bosnia from the standpoint of international law and NOT condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, without being basically a partisan hack, and I do not think Mate views himself as a hack. If you accept that Russia is acting in accordance with international law, it is hard to argue that Iraq or Bosnia were war crimes. If Russia is not acting in accordance with international law, then it is committing war crimes in fighting an illegal war of aggression.

      Now you can make a political realist case for why the Ukraine operation was necessary and inevitable as a result of US/NATO provocations, but realpolitik expressly disavows moral considerations and only likes international law when it lines up with national interest. Mate has never taken a realpolitik perspective, and it is unlikely to help very much in issues he cares about like the Palestinians if you do. On the other hand, it appears that the realist perspective is dominant in the Kremlin.

      1. nippersdad

        It is very convenient how international law almost invariably supports the Western position, and when it doesn’t it is promptly ignored and changed as happened with Kosovo. It is also convenient that the UN overlooks such situations when it suits them. The UN had a duty to oversee the implementation of the Minsk accords that they mandated Germany and France to guarantee, just as they had a duty to investigate and punish the 2014 Maidan coup leaders and the NGO’s/people behind the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine. If they do not want to do their mandated jobs then they are irrelevant. I am quite sure that was the rationale Russia took for the past eight years, and explains why they were so well prepared for their SMO when it became necessary. I see no reason why either they or their allies should show any pretense toward different motivations than they have espoused thus far. Under Article 51 it is their option to come to the aid of anyone they like, and they elected to take advantage of that.

        Russia has played its’ hand beautifully. They have followed the rule of law as it presently exists, and they have put themselves in a position to dare anyone to question their actions. I am quite sure that they have all of the requisite paperwork down pat for when it comes time to bring all of it to trial in both the court room and the court of public opinion. It strikes me that they have all the receipts ready to hand and are fully prepared to show how rigged the system has been for years now; something that Mate’s career has been spent exploring in places like Palestine.

        I don’t care about laws of convenience; if laws are not impartially applied then they are not valid. Mate’ should be the first to agree with such a sentiment. There is no reason why realpolitik cannot have moral considerations just because those who have made it famous are nearly all sociopaths. In this situation the interests align if you are fundamentally anti-war and anti-imperialist, and you will find few partisan hacks that would take that point of view these days. There is no reason to believe that he is not both, and that is why his overreliance upon hackish tropes are so disappointing in him.

        1. kriptid

          I agree with essentially everything you’ve said here, but I come to the opposite conclusion in regards to what Mate should do in the situation.

          In order to be consistent with his anti-war and anti-imperialist views on the US, he must also take an anti-war and anti-imperialist view of Russia.

          There’s a ton of room for nuance beyond that, which Mate explores as well as probably anyone in media. I think he does an outstanding job of making the points which show how Russia was largely responding to provocations, but at the same time, one could make arguments that the US was responding to provocations when invading an occupying Afghanistan. Justification based on provocations is squishy.

          I see this as a hat-tip by Mate to acknowledge that there are no innocents here. Is Russia conducting the SMO because they care about the fate of everyday citizens in the Donbass? Or is it because annexing the resource-rich Donbass at the expense of an unruly neighbor is like turning a pawn into a queen on the Grand Chessboard? I think we can’t be too naive about the situation even if a piece of our hearts want to see the giant Soviet bureaucratic mistake that is modern Ukraine corrected to a way that makes more sense, especially given how obviously untenable the current situation is for everyone involved.

          But one can reasonably object to doing this at the barrel of a gun, and I think for someone who has historically taken a certain position vis a vis US imperialism, Mate’s integrity demands he do the same in this situation vis a vis Russian imperialism, even if his heart were to feel differently.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            East Ukraine is still an economic drain. Ukraine is the poorest country in Europe and much less well off than Russia, even its supposedly better bits.

            Russia as #1 wheat exporter with 25% global market share did not need #5 Ukraine with 8% market share.

            1. kriptid

              I read somewhere, can’t remember where and am failing to summon the link, that the Donbass provinces and surrounding region accounted for something like 80% of the non-Kyiv GDP of Ukraine in the pre-Maidan days. Basically because it contains a lot of the leftovers from the imperial Russian/Soviet efforts to colonize and build up those areas as industrial hubs and seaports for goods leaving the Russian heartland into the Black Sea.

              I found this figure, also kind of speaks to this idea:


          2. nippersdad

            “In order to be consistent with his anti-war and anti-imperialist views on the US, he must also take an anti-war and anti-imperialist view of Russia.”

            While it is conventional wisdom to say that Russia is being imperialist in its’ Ukraine efforts, don’t you think that their solution, the Minsk Accords, renders that judgment problematic? They refused both Lugansk and Donetsk’s applications to rejoin Russia after their referenda in 2014; they could have had them already.

            Also, to Yves point, don’t you think they are aware of the problems that Germany had in integrating East Germany? Whatever else one might say about Russia, they have been a weak nation since the collapse of their economy in the late Nineties. Were it not for the sanctions regime imposed upon them since 2014 they would not be in the position of autarchy that has allowed them to weather the most recent attacks upon their economy now. The Donbass may have many resources, but it is going to require a lot of investment to take advantage of them, just as it has in former East Germany. It would not be surprising to find that they are a little worried about that, and that may be the reason why Donetsk and Lugansk were not granted their petitions in 2014.

            “at the same time, one could make arguments that the US was responding to provocations when invading an occupying Afghanistan.”

            I remember the invasion of Afghanistan quite well; I wrote op-eds against it at the time. I do NOT think that the invasion was the result of provocations. The invasion was because GWB wanted a war against someone he didn’t think could fight back. Afghanistan was a self-admitted failed state, and anyone who is being honest will have to admit that it was largely due to our interventions in their country. They explicitly said at the time that they lacked the ability to turn over Al Qaeda, and even invited the US to come in and get them, themselves. I do not think there is any parallel there unless you consider the amount of effort we put into meddling in Ukraine and then deliberately turning it into a battleground for fun and profit.

            “But one can reasonably object to doing this at the barrel of a gun,”

            Which ignores that the separatist territories have been at the barrel of a gun for eight years now. The OSCE has documented activity at the contact line, and their figures show that it was Ukraine who was the aggressor; it was Ukraine who killed fourteen thousand of their own citizens and it was Ukraine who sent Nazis into a Russian area who have committed atrocities of which the UN is well aware. This is not a war that Russia started, but it is one that it means to end.

            No, I have a great deal of respect for Mate’, but on this he is wrong. You do not win hearts and minds by adopting the propaganda of those you are arguing against.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Quite. And it’s kinda surreal that people want to gang up on Maté, lifelong anti-war dude, to have him say “yes!!! the war is justified!! Putin is Right & Just & Merciful!!” just for a gratifying transient dopamine hit of being in opinion concordance with a writer you otherwise like and respect. I mean, what?

        An aside: I would also point out that ‘Special Military Operation’ is a sprechregelung so shameless and cheugy, that I suspect the Americans are intensely jealous that they didn’t come up with it themselves. Its pitch is perfectly harmonious with 2000-2015 neocon english.

        More interestingly, to me anyway, if you accept the premise that Putes had to invade as a matter of liberation for the Donetsk and Luhansk massive, then you must surely be quite close to the Christopher Hitchens argument that, irrespective of the actual machinations of the GOP leadership of the time, the war in Iraq was justified as a matter of liberation for those under Hussein’s thumb, kurds and beyond. Now, Hitchens was hopelessly naive about the actual competence and conduct of the coalition at the time, his self-imposed waterboarding notwithstanding, but the moral argument about the justification, in Hitchens’ mind, for the 2003 Special Military Invasion, remained. And I suspect the depredations visited upon his people by Hussein outweigh those visited upon DPR/LPR. Russia’s invasion does seem a bit cuddlier than Shock & Awe, so maybe it would have been better if they took point in 2003.

        Of course, the counterargument to this is “yeah but DPR/LPR are ethnic Russian and near neighbours” but hey, ain’t no race but the human race, baby.

        More seriously, submitting the “Putin just cares too much about ethnic Russians, dammit” moral argument strikes me as a rather fraught thing to do in the middle of a pandemic of a disease that is as dangerous as it is preventable. Putin’s response to said pandemic has been, let’s say, more broke than woke. And protecting the people from it a la China would have been a relatively easy thing for Russia to do, given a) Russia is already isolated to a large extent from the US and much of the west anyway, and so not susceptible to those geopolitical/trade/commerce pressures like much of the rest of the world, and b) had reams of technical expertise and experience to draw upon as a result of the USSR’s superb epidemiological record and ability to contain outbreaks.

        They didn’t bother, and Putin didn’t & doesn’t care. So instead, it’s 350,000 Russians citizens dead (that’ll be a lower bound estimate, too, and setting aside the morbidity cost), equivalent to roughly 23 Intra-Ukrainian Micro-Tyrannies. Presumably there were some ethnic Russians among the bunch.

        1. Polar Socialist

          ‘Special Military Operation’ is a sprechregelung

          It’s also a legal thing, since Russian law has all kinds of requirements if a war is declared.

          Bringing Russia’s Covid response into this is a bit weird – why stretch the argument, if it’s so clear cut that this is not a good war – especially so since the government did try vaccine development, isolating whole cities, mask mandates etc. but your average Russian is (and always has been) a kind of liberal soul who doesn’t like to follow authorities.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Ukrainians and the rest of us don’t live under the strictures of Russian law, so aren’t otherwise compromised in the ability to call a spade a spade.

            I don’t see why, my point was straightforward I think, and following on from KD’s post. I’m not so much stretching an argument as repudiating a gooey one: the argument, often uncritically advanced in comments, that the invasion of Ukraine was inevitable and just because Russia had to come to the rescue of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine with Putin as white knight is thin gruel indeed, because Russia’s avoidable pandemic outcomes are proof positive that in fact Russian leadership doesn’t especially care about the welfare of common-or-garden ethnic Russians (this, of course, is not a fault exclusive to the Russian government).

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Don’t Make Shit Up. Putin very clearly described NATO buildup in Ukraine as an existential threat to Russia in his February 21 speech. Please read it before trying to ascribe goals again.

            2. nippersdad

              If you don’t like the argument that they came to the rescue of people who asked them for help, maybe the argument that Russia has made about its’ red lines since the late Nineties will be more persuasive.

              They do not want NATO on their borders, and in light of what NATO has been up to for the past twenty years who is going to argue with the logic of that? If the idea that they are there to help ethnic Russians is a no-go, certainly nukes on their borders should be.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Your 350,000 Russians dead estimate is sheer lunacy.

          Russia has lost 6,000 tops so far. Maybe double that in casualties. Remember that the heaviest Russian losses were early in the fighting and the LNR and DNR militias are doing a lot of the fighting.

          And per a May poll by Levada (pro-West bias) 83% of Russians report no or little effect from the sanctions.

          1. Polar Socialist

            I believe Basil was referring to Russian Covid deaths with that number, not casualties in special military operation.

    5. David

      I honestly think it’s pointless to argue about whether the Russian invasion was “justified” or not. There are no objective grounds for making such a judgement, and it’s hard to see how there ever could be. The Russians think they are justified; others clearly don’t. In reality, no war in history has ever been launched by a nation saying “this war is of course unjustified, but we’re doing it anyway.”

      Aggressive wars not approved by the Security Council are theoretically a violation of the UN Charter, and so a violation of international law. (Not a criminal offence or a “war crime” by individuals, therefore.) I say “theoretically” because practice is different: the 1979 Tanzanian invasion of Uganda and the 1996 Rwandan/Ugandan invasion of the DRC were met with general indifference, and of course were followed by Kosovo, Iraq etc. That particular horse is out of the stable and over the horizon.

      It’s true that, after years of acrimonious debate, the crime of Aggression was added to the ICC Statute in 2010, but neither Ukraine nor Russia are parties to the Statute.

      1. nippersdad

        I think one can objectively look at the positions of all the parties and come to a conclusion as to who has been provocative, here. Russia has been saying it has red lines since the late Nineties, and the West has ignored them. We have not merely ignored them, we have been obnoxious about it.

        There is a lot to be said about not poking the bear for thirty years. There is a long history of people messing with Russia and finding out that they are not the push-overs they had hoped. History should inform the argument.

      2. AGR

        It seems that a distinction between “justification” and “judgment” can be made, and “context always matters”. Judgment infers a posteriori reasoning, i.e., from effects backwards through the causal chain…e.g., Nuremburg, Eichmann in Jerusalem. Justification, OTOH, in a context of a decision-making process, can be viewed as a priori reasoning, e.g., a decision to neutralize a perceived existential threat may be viewed in a context of “self-defense”.

        However, I would certainly concede that it may be pointless to argue the “legality”, if there is no structured system with the power to process and enforce any “international” laws “we” may agree to. As J. Mearsheimer has consistently argued, in “international” conflicts there may be institutions but there is no hierarchical authority, only relative power.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “German industrial orders fall more than expected in April”

    It may not make that much difference when you think about it. Already the price of energy is climbing in Germany and not only are some companies scaling back operations, some are even talking about re-locating to another country. Big ones too. Probably not re-locating to another country in the EU.

  25. aninnymouse

    Re: How to Social Distance in a University Residence Hall
    Not to criticize the author or the Office for Science and Society, but Mcgill has an excellent independent student paper that has covered the University’s Covid policies in depth, including:
    (Full, or actually partial, disclosure: I am very proud of the author of these articles!)

  26. CaliDan

    Platinum Jubilee 2022: Harry and Meghan accused of hypocrisy for flying back in private jet Daily Mail

    For those who didn’t bother clicking, which I now regret, the actual title reads: “Eco-preachers Harry and Meghan are accused of ‘enormous hypocrisy’ for taking £160K flight back from Jubilee to LA in ‘Russian Oligarch-style’ private jet for people ‘who don’t care’ about the planet”

    Perfect 10 for Daily Mail headline virtuosity! 1) Russian oligarchs hate the environment more so than non-Russian oligarchs and 2) dunking on tone-deaf environmentalists (+2 pts for being royals).

  27. Mildred Montana

    >Yellen: inflation to ‘remain high;’ hopes it’s ‘coming down’ Associated Press

    ‘Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged Tuesday that she and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell “could have used a better word” than “transitory” when describing the expected run of inflation in the U.S. economy.’

    Such as…? I read the entire article and Yellen left me guessing. So I consulted the thesaurus for her and came up with “persistent”. That word would have been more accurate.

    You’re welcome, Janet and Jerome.

    1. Wukchumni

      Go see the Jay bird who began it (Janet)
      When we met out of control inflation and can’t can-it (Janet)
      Made me give you the eye and then panic (Janet)
      Now I’ve one thing to say and that’s
      Dammit, Janet, I love you

      1. Milton

        Must you constantly implant earworms in me that take a hurculean effort to remove them only to encounter another… Clever but oh so, nostalgic.

  28. JAC

    “‘Needle spiking’ fears rise in Europe, but crime ‘really difficult’ to trace”

    Sounds like an easy way to spread Monkeypox…

  29. Tom Stone

    I dropped by “Judicial Watch” the other day to see if there were any interesting FOIA releases and ran across a throw away line stating that the Covid 19 pandemic had been determined to be an accidental lab release from the Wuhan Virology Institute “With a high degree of certainty”.
    It’s Judicial Watch, I give FOIA releases a high degree of credibility editorial comments not so much.
    Has their been any confirmation of this claim from other sources?

  30. David

    Jacobin has always been dewy-eyed about Mélenchon, because he represents to them the success of a certain model of “The Left” that they would like to see in the US. The problem is that LFI doesn’t have a mass base, as the old parties of the Left used to. It’s harshly, but fairly, described as a party for the enlightened provincial petits-bourgeois. The popular caricature of an LFI militant (only slightly exaggerated) is a youngish schoolteacher, a junior civil servant or someone deeply invested in organisational identity politics. The Left’s old working-class support base has largely decamped in the direction of Le Pen.

    In theory, at least, this puts an upper limit on the level of support that the so-called New Popular Economic and Social Union around Mélenchon can expect, even if its wildly disparate elements manage to stick together. To add to the fun, a court has ruled today that the Socialist Party leadership acted outside its powers by joining the coalition without organising a national convention first. True, Hidalgo, the PS candidate scored less than 2% in the Presidential, but French politics is quite local, and the PS (like the main traditional party of the Right, currently called the Republicans) has centres of power in towns and cities.

    But there’s another way of looking at things. Remember that French elections consist of two rounds (the first, in this case, is next Sunday). What happens between the two rounds often decides the outcome, as weaker candidates generally drop out, and their supporters move to other candidates. (A candidate with less than 12,5% of the vote is obliged to drop out anyway). The latest opinion polls give Mélenchon’s coalition and Macron’s effectively the same first-round score, in the high twenties, somewhat ahead of Le Pen and well in front of the others. So all depends on how that relative strength plays out at local level, and how votes move between the two rounds. Another important statistic is that over 60% of French voters actively want “cohabitation”, which is to say a National Assembly which is not controlled by Macron, as the last one was. Logically, that could mean that in the second round a large number of electors would vote for whoever the best-placed anti-Macron candidate is, but this is unlikely in practice for several reasons. The middle-class right-wing voters of the Republicans (badly mauled but still strong in certain areas) will vote for Macron, because they are terrified of Mélenchon. The working-class vote for Le Pen’s party (the RN) will therefore probably decide the outcome. As previously, the other parties will gang up to try to keep the RN from getting any seats, even if they do well in the first round, but the arithmetic has become much more complex now. Disappointed RN voters may simply abstain, but they might also move to Mélenchon’s coalition as a way of clipping Macron’s wings. In that case, though, Mélenchon’s close identification with certain Islamist currents will count against him.

    I’ve seen some very imaginative attempts to predict the result, and I don’t believe any of them. For what it’s worth, I think the likely result is that Macron will not have an overall majority, and that Mélenchon’s coalition will be the largest single grouping in the Assembly: able to block, in other words, but not to rule. The political consequences of all that are interesting, if hard to foresee.

  31. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) in a romp @ 57.1% versus his nearest rival @ 25.8% in the primary.

    The truth is, i’d miss him were I to end up with some ho hum Congressman in his stead, but would relish a loss-with him being on the very cusp of grabbing the brass handle with all his might in becoming Speaker of the House.

  32. Dave in Austin

    The Jacob Dreizen “The Ukraine military position is collapsing” piece based on the Russian capture of Sviatogorsk is absurd.

    The Ukrainians and everyone else including the Russians have figured out that in the era of drones river crossing bridges are tough to defend. So the Ukrainians all along the northern side of the Donersk salient have retreated under pressure but in good order to the south side of the Donets river and told the Russians “Want to try to build a bridge again?” It was over two months ago that I said: “If you haven’t hear of the Seversky Donets river yet you will.”

    The big town they are fighting over right now, Severodontsk, is on the north side of the river. The Ukrainians will soon retreat to the south side of the river and the town of Lysychansk, which has a very high ridge looking down on the river; a very tough place for the Russians to advance. Unfortunately the Ukrainian delaying action north of the river in Severodontsk will trash the town. It is probably no accident that both Mariupol and Severodontsk were ethnically Ukrainian Russian-speaking/Russian friendly towns that will end up on the Russian side of the border when the cease fire finally happens in 2027.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Err, the “Russians” (mostly LNR + Chechens) have already crossed the Donets south of Lysitshansk. They already control Nyzhnye and Toshkivka 10 miles south east of Lysitshansk and are fighting over Ustynivka 8 miles from the city.

      From the south they’re already at Vrubivka, about 12 miles from Lysitshansk and are fighting over Mykolaivka 10 miles from the city. They don’t need to cross the Donets at Severodonetsk at all until they’ve encircled the Lysitshansk from the west and worn down the garrison.

      I’d expect the next big battle to be about Slavyansk, due to the Ukrainian line in Sviatogorsk actually collapsing and withdrawal apparently being nothing like an ordered retreat. Besides that, from the fighting in 2014 we know that one doesn’t need to take Slavyansk but the dominating hills on both sides of it, which Russians probably would prefer to urban warfare.

      Should the Russians take Slavyansk, the Ukrainian forces in Lysitshansk area would be in a narrow 30 mile sack with one or two country roads for supply, evacuation or enforcement. After that they’d be on a borrowed time.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You’ve Made Shit Up again.

      In the first two minutes of the latest Military Summary update, it describes how to protect the Russian Orthodox monastery, among other reasons, the Russians HAVE crossed the Siversky Donets river and established a bridgehead at Sviatogorsk , concretely disproving your contention that the Russians can’t cross it from north to south.

      He also adds that whoever controls this brigdehead controls the entire area further south and outlined several ways Ukraine could and would need to move quickly to prevent Russia from exploiting this capture.

      This is further north than Severodontsk and Lysychansk but still debunks the sweeping claim you made about crossing the river.

      This is summer, the water level is lower, and the Siversky Donets River now can be crossed at various points without a pontoon bridge. Multiple military experts have commented on this issue. It’s now often wading depth, which both soldiers and most vehicles can handle.

      Further, the older UAF claim was that Russia would be unable to take Severodontsk because their control of Lysychansk, because as you noted on higher ground, would prevent that. That has been proven false.

      In addition, Russia controls 80% of Severodontsk. In the update on Severodontsk (see starting at 7:25), there are two main areas the Ukrainians control, one is an old industrial area which the narrator regards as a possible trap and implies the Russian would be better off maneuvering around rather than contesting much.

      And I don’t know what you are talking about regarding the river in this battle. The map at 15:40 shows that the Siversky Donets river is “behind” all of the possible local attack routes from current and possible future Russian front lines to important parts of Lysychansk, such as its refinery. So the simple picture you get from BBC type maps of where the city is and what its limits are are also misleading.

      Ironically, Military Summary agrees that it’s going to be tricky to take Lysychansk but not due to crossing the river or its elevation.

      As I said, I am not willing to have to waste time debunking the inaccurate information you’ve been providing on Ukraine. You are going into moderation.

  33. antidlc

    CBS Evening News
    Hospital studying long-term effects of COVID-19 in kids

    By Jericka Duncan

    Updated on: June 8, 2022 / 8:06 AM / CBS News

    Adriana Vaughan tested positive for COVID-19 in October 2021. Eight months later, the 12-year-old has a string of new medical issues: fatigue, headaches, stomach problems and more.

    Vaughan can’t even walk for six minutes without losing her breath. She says swimming, which she did before getting COVID, is also hard.

    Does it seem like there is more coverage on long covid in the media lately?

    I really have to wonder what we are doing to our kids.

    1. MichaelC

      She toppled Joe Crowley and prevented
      Him from becoming the next Speaker.

      In my book that alone trumps quibbles re her inconsistencies, so far.

      1. jr

        Yeah, we really landed on our feet on that one. “Mama Bear” and her Refrigerator of the Gods is looking out for us now, with AOC firmly at her side. Ice cream for everyone!

  34. Tom Stone

    I tried to visit the “View from the Porch” blog written by Tamara Keel and got a notice from”Sonic Wall” stating that the site had been blocked “By your Network Administrator”.

    “Block Policy is CFS default policy”
    Reason? “Weapons”.
    Ms Keel is a lesbian blogger who writes about Cars,Photography and Firearms.
    Her gun stuff on the Blog concentrates on pistols., particularly Savage and S&W.
    She also writes for concealed carry Mag and shooting illustrated and does so quite well.
    Any suggestions on how to rid myself of this idiot censor?
    I have no problem reaching other sites that deal with old,prototype or experimental firearms so why this?

    1. CNu

      You’ll need to contact your network security administrator and request an exception to your employer’s subscription-based default firewall policy.

  35. Wukchumni

    Went to the Hume Lake Christian Camps for lunch yesterday, and its a funny place full of almost all white folks and biblical propaganda all over the place (my favorite being a sign that proclaimed: ‘GOD IS’) and it had kind of a Stepford Wives feel to it, that is if teenagers were the protagonists, as they greatly outnumbered older visitors.

    It felt a little creepy I must admit looking at the docket of ministers of the faith making appearances every week, this was the mile high meeting ground of really fervid evangs. We’re talking My Kevin country, all of those old enough voted for Trump twice.

    Gas was mysteriously only $6.09 there, with diesel @ $6.49, how do they do that, as the man-made lake is quite a drive for a fuel truck to get to, and here in tiny town it’s $6.79 a gallon for the same 87 octane.

      1. Wukchumni

        I expressed an interest to pay in thoughts & prayers, but the gas pump stated that those were only payable after a mass murder, where unfortunately it was free with fill-up of bodies.

  36. jr

    Psychiatric disorders more likely following COVID diagnosis, OSU study shows

    “A new study out of OSU has found people who had COVID-19 may be 25% more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder four months after the infection.”

    Great news for those of us who already have conditions. Imagine having long COVID, and therefore depression, and then getting……depression. And then imagine you had congenital depression to begin with. The suicide rate will be going up even higher, that I can assure you of. Along with homelessness, unemployment, domestic violence….

  37. LawnDart

    Are our “leaders” reall sure that they want Putin to go away?

    Medvedev promised that all the enemies of Russia will disappear

    Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed his “hatred” for the “degenerates” who want” death ” of Russia in his Telegram.

    “People often ask me why my posts on Telegram are so harsh. The answer is that I hate them. They are bastards and degenerates, ” Dmitry Medvedev said.

    “They want us to die, we, Russia. But as long as I am alive, I will do everything to make them disappear, ” he added.

    Medvedev? Really? So soon after losing the pro-West integrationists… …a shame.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Well, he probably feels personally betrayed by the West’s behavior and his shame for trusting them has turned to a hatred.

      Or he might just be making sure that that the “siloviki” will be thinking of him when Putin’s successor is being selected. In the current situation they could be the strongest group in Russian government, the state corporationists are busy building new supply chains and producing substitution products while the oligarchs are more dependent on the state than ever before.

      Likely both.

    2. LawnDart

      Putin Ally Suggests Attacking Germany Next After Official’s ‘F**k You’ Comment

      Vladimir Solovyov, a top propagandist and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has suggested that the Kremlin should invade Germany after one of its officials made an off-color comment during a meeting with a Ukrainian official.

      Earlier this week, he warned that there would be a “massive nuclear strike” that only “mutants” could survive if the West and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued to help Ukraine amid the war.

      Keep poking the bear…

  38. RobertC


    As Biden hosts the Summit of Americas Exclusive: Under Biden, China has widened trade lead in much of Latin America

    BUENOS AIRES/LIMA/LOS ANGELES, June 8 (Reuters) – China has widened the gap on the United States in trade terms in large swathes of Latin America since U.S. President Joe Biden came into office early last year, data show, underscoring how Washington is being pushed onto the back foot in the region.

    An exclusive Reuters analysis of U.N. trade data from 2015-2021 shows that outside of Mexico, the top U.S. trade partner, China has overtaken the United States in Latin America and widened the gap last year.

    The trend, driven by countries in resource-rich South America, hammers home how the United States has lost ground in a region long seen as its backyard, even as Biden aims to reset ties at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week.

    …In an apparent effort to present a specific alternative to China, senior U.S. officials said Biden would announce an “Americas Partnership” plan at the Los Angeles summit focusing on promoting pandemic recovery by building on existing trade agreements.

  39. Pelham

    Re The Blood-Soaked Lie About the Second Amendment: Very old argument. If the amendment had been intended to confine the right to own arms to militia members, it would have read: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of MILITIA MEMBERS to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

    What if the 2nd Amendment were about the study of the sciences? What if it read: “Institutions devoted to Scientific Inquiry, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of THE PEOPLE to study and experiment in the sciences shall not be infringed.” No one would maintain that, well, clearly the founders intended to restrict that privilege to Ph.D’s in the sciences.

    As it stands, the amendment specifies “the right of THE PEOPLE …” Why is it not reasonable to believe — given the history at that time of Minutemen bearing their own arms against the British — that the founders wanted a broad population of arms owners familiar with their weapons to be available for callup as needed to serve in militias? Even muzzle-loaders of the time were fairly complex bits of machinery that required knowledge and practice to use effectively.

    That said, and to address another rapidly aging argument, the founders may well not have imagined more efficient weapons. True. But that’s immaterial to the wording and meaning of the 2nd Amendment. We should drop this endless debate over the amendment’s intention and meaning — and the meaning really isn’t really debatable — and focus instead on whether the amendment should be repealed. Then maybe we’d get somewhere useful rather than continuing to entertain ourselves with this endless round-and-round.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Or maybe rather than repealed, replaced with something more relevant for the modern age. I do believe that the words “a well regulated militia” are important more for what is left unsaid – the lack of a permanent standing military at the time which for better or worse (I’d argue worse) we now have.

  40. JBird4049

    >>>The Blood-Soaked Lie About the Second Amendment

    I do not get this article. Rather than some reasoned arguments about the Second Amendment, gun control, and violence, it read as a Jeremiad against guns.

    Personally, I see that our various governments, federal, state, and municipal are all increasingly corrupt, incompetent, and violent. They are defended by an increasingly corrupt, incompetent, violent, and often murderous police at home and militarily abroad. The resources needed for a good and functional society is either disrupted or stolen; an abused, atomized, impoverished, and broken society is very likely to be a violent society. It is why so many people are buying guns. It is also why some people don’t want us to be armed.

    Our nation has always been a well armed, violent one, but not an insane one. Something started to change forty years ago that has transformed it into one where mass murder is normal unlike other heavily armed countries, often at war, that do not shoot up schools.

    Maybe when they arrest the gang members and serial killers that in some of California’s police departments or when there are no longer 40% of America’s children food insecure. As it is, I am thinking that I am in more danger from the police, or from living in my car, or going hungry. Really, I can say the same for tens of millions of people.

    I get that some people are focused differently than I am, but honestly, I see gun violence as less of a problem than things like suicides, drug addiction, and disease. Most of it is in the poorest areas with the most corrupt police.

    If nothing else, there is the +30% increase in suicides (forty-three thousand yearly, now) or the more than one hundred thousand deaths from overdoses, then there is the real increase in homicides in the past few years. Still roughly sixty percent of gun deaths are suicides and very roughly there should be forty-five thousand deaths by guns.

    However, most of the dying is done out of sight in ones and twos, unreported unlike the horrible mass shootings splashed across the screen.

    1. KD

      My guess is “defund the police,” “mostly peaceful” protests, the spike in homicides and the Soros D.A.’s non-prosecution of public disorder offenses have convinced the proletariat that they are on their own. The idea that “law and order” should only apply to law-abiding citizens seeking to protect themselves from sociopaths and not all the victims of society is not likely to sell very well these days outside of Chilmark, MA and the halls of CNN.

      Look at Uvalde: the cops did nothing to protect the children, while the mom goes in unarmed to protect her own children, after the police tried to prevent her from going in. We find out the only hero was an off-duty border patrol agent, while the cops on the clock sit around eating donuts while some cretin pops rounds into little children. Give up your guns and leave it to the mall cops to protect you?

      Another elite/prole gap which will not be filled by “education”.

  41. Tommy S.

    I know you all know this. But gawd is the press so bad. I was in SC and one little TV clip said, “due to skyrocketing crime in SF, left wing DA got recalled”. First of all, even as the Examiner and conservative Chronicle said, crime is lower then it was 10,15 years ago, and his conviction rate was not lower either. Then you get headlines like, ” from NBC news. “San Francisco voters overwhelmingly recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin”….How many votes: 74,000. What was the turnout of 2020 pres. election? Total 450.000. So yeah. “overwhelmingly voters”….indeed….without one note of turnout per population. I really was naive enough that the internet access to at least 60% of the population would make mainstream media a bit more hesitant on out right lying over and over. But we saw that with Russia gate and the 2016 pres. primary too, I know.

    1. JBird4049

      Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda… say half truths and lies often enough and it becomes the truth.

Comments are closed.