Links 7/14/2022

Happy Bastille Day, citoyens!


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

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


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

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

Edits to a cholesterol gene could stop the biggest killer on earth MIT Technology Review

Why Write? The Paris Review

The World as a Game Liberties

How to Read English in India Los Angeles Review of Books

The Rise of Bad Art and the Decline of Political Candor The Nation

How Do Mathematicians Know Their Proofs Are Correct? Quanta Magazine (David L)


Webb’s First Images GALLERY (guurst) I know we’ve featured Webb images more than once over the last few days, not to mention Lambert’s cool post of yesterday, but I cannot get enough of them – and I suspect at least some readers feel the same way I do. With the world in such a parlous state, I take my pleasures where I find them.They make my jaw drop in awe and amazement. At the wonder of the universe. As well as the tremendous technical achievement getting the images represents. Imagine if we financed more similar projects, instead of shoveling money into the maw of the MIC.

ADVENTURES IN WRITING TIME TRAVEL Crime Reads. Forgive the doubling up of links from  Crime Reads. I just finished reading an excellent time travel mystery: Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, the first novel in his Tuesday Next series.  Find yourself a copy, particularly if you’re an aficionado of classic English literature. A fun and unique read.

Princess Mononoke: The masterpiece that flummoxed the US BBC


FDA authorizes Novavax Covid vaccine, in hopes the traditional shot will convince holdouts Stat


Monkeypox vaccine appointment website crashes in New York City The Hill

New Not-So-Cold-War

Ukraine, Russia near deal on grain exports, says UN Deutsche Welle. Good news if true.

Russia-Ukraine live news: Explosions rock Mykolaiv Al Jazeera

Germany Criminalises Journalist for Reporting Ukrainian War Crimes Grayzone

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Imaginary War Consortium News

The Energy Crisis Will Deepen Project Syndicate. Daniel Yergin.

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Gmail users “hard pass” on plan to let political emails bypass spam filters Ars Technica

Police State Watch

The Latest Uvalde Revelations Show Exactly What’s Wrong With US Policing Jacobin

Old Blighty

Two male candidates eliminated, the next British PM will be in their 40s Sydney Morning Herald (The Rev Kev)

Rishi Sunak wins first round of Tory leadership vote BBC

Amazing scenes of pandemonium in the Commons yesterday:

Climate Change

Sporadic Monitoring of Emissions in California Oil Country Adds to Air Pollution Concerns Capital & Main

How Climate Change is Making Flooding Worse Counterpunch

More than 100 homes are WASHED AWAY and at least 40 people are missing after torrential flooding in Virginia: Governor calls state of emergency Daily Mail

Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow Drink Piss In The Latest ‘South Park’ Special Decider

Imperial Collapse Watch

US struggles to curb Turkey’s TB2 killer drone exports Asia Times

Harpers Declares It’s Over – The ‘American Century’ Is Gone Moon of Alabama

The Empire Is Showing More And More Of Its True Face Caitlin Johnstone

Supply Chain/Shortages

Can Permaculture Alleviate Poverty & Ensure Food Security? Madras Courier

The Bezzle

Pentagon diverted small business fund to defense industry giants Responsible Statecraft

Class Warfare

“Eat the Rich” ice cream truck sells $10 popsicles shaped like Bezos, Musk, others CBS News

Dodger Stadium Workers Threaten Strike – Another Chipotle Union Drive Launched – Starbucks Workers Vote Down Union Payday Report


New York Passed a Law Defining No-Guns Zones. Where Exactly? That’s Complicated. The City

Florida sheriff says man will ‘absolutely not’ face charges for defending home with ‘AK-47-style’ gun NY Post


Doctors Fearing Legal Blowback Are Denying Life-Saving Abortions Bloomberg

Unitarian and Buddhist ministers are joining a rabbi’s legal fight against Florida’s new abortion law NBC

The Supremes

How Justice Amy Coney Barrett is wielding enormous influence on the Supreme Court USA Today

Trump Transition

Trump discussing 2024 plans at secret donor dinners Politico

Donald Trump slams Elon Musk’s Twitter ‘mess’ The National

Trump Fires Back at Elon Musk, Says He’d Be ‘Worthless’ Without Government Subsidies, Bashes Tesla Cars Mediaite

Biden Administration

The Biden administration’s weasel words on press freedom Columbia Journalism Review

Ioe Biden is deeply unpopular. But can Democrats find an alternative for 2024?Guardian. re Šilc: “dnc has been totally uninterested in state and local elections, which is the minor league to develop their future bench playerzzzzzz………”

Bad Will Hunting American Conservative

The road to Iran’s ‘Resistance Economy’ passes through a revived JCPOA Responsible Statecraft



How the U.S. Keeps Getting Played By Its Bad Clients Eunomia. Daniel Larison. re Šilc: “blinken continues the secstate stinkin trend”

THE ANGRY ARAB: Biden in Arabia Consortium News

House to vote on constraining US arms sales to Saudis on eve of Biden trip The Hill

Israeli court rules in favor of sweeping impunity The Electronic Intifada (guurst)

Sri Lanka

‘Rajapaksas Lacked Vision, Worked for Themselves’: Erik Solheim, Peace Mediator in Sri Lanka War The Wire

Explained: Why Sri Lanka’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa picked Maldives as a getaway Firstpost

Maldives gov’t faces backlash for accepting Sri Lankan president Al Jazeera

Sports Desk

VINGEGAARD TURNS THE RACE UPSIDE DOWN Tour de France official site. Watch the video, distilling the stage down to a video of under 9 minutes. An amazing performance, and they haven’t even reached the Alps d’Huez stage yet – which is next. My husband is a serious cyclist and keenly watches hours of TV coverage of each day’s stage. (I usually show up for the last couple of minutes and the race’s highlights.) Stephen’s not alone in thinking the stage they just finished is the more difficult.

Dan Martin’s Tour de France analysis: So was this the knockout blow? Velo News

Woke Watch

Study Shows U.S. 4th Graders Now Gay At A 12th-Grade Level The Babylon Bee


How traffic engineering could make India’s roads safer – for pedestrians and vehicles Scroll

NEP Position Paper to Schools: Meat and Eggs Are Bad for Health and Nation The Wire

Vegetable trade on the Dal: in troubled waters People’s Archive of Rural India. From April, still germane.

Centre may widen roles of cooperatives to boost jobs Hindustan Times

US Consulate Tells Mumbai Port To Block Russian Ships; India Gives Scathing Response Republic World. They are desperate, aren’t they?


China’s Henan bank scandal not just a financial crisis, it may be a lasting political calamity: analysts South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour (via):

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    The Deal With Joe Biden

    (melody borrowed from Kermit and Jim Henson)

    What in the world is the deal with Joe Biden
    He talks of his ’24 race
    The foregone conclusion is that’s an illusion
    He won’t even get to first base
    Perish the thought of a voter boycott
    To spare themselves more misery

    Age slows you down, Joe surrender the crown, go
    Spend time with your family

    Amendment Two Five while the man’s still alive
    He’ll thank us all later on
    This roaring inflation will ruin our nation
    We’ll end up like Ceylon
    We’re out here wishing that he’d just go fishing
    He has other places to be

    Age slows you down, Joe surrender the crown, go
    Spend time with your family

    He’s been so long in DC
    At this point it’s turning to tragic

    Joe needs to rest he needs help to get dressed
    The voices say time to retire
    Is this the sweet sound that calls elder statesmen
    He can go home to the Shire
    Back where it’s urbane all blue crabs and champagne
    And mornings out on the settee

    Age slows you down, Joe surrender the crown, go
    Spend time with your family

  2. Sardonia

    “Eat the Rich” ice cream truck sells $10 popsicles shaped like Bezos, Musk, others CBS News

    Children everywhere, upon hearing the chimes approaching:
    “Oh, boy! Here comes the Lame Humor Man!”

    1. hunkerdown

      They keep creating mythical contests (to reinforce capitalist culture) and wonder why people keep wanting to eat. When is the Nika revolt?

    2. jefemt

      Missed the low-hanging fruit of Pelosi. I know, I know, she’s just wealthy, and not rich…

      But the Ice Cream play is just such a no-brainer!

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Princess Mononoke: The masterpiece that flummoxed the US BBC

    Thanks for this link, a great article on one of my all time favorite films. I don’t think we realize how simplistically binary so many western popular films are until you watch more Japanese (or other Asian) films, including children’s films. The notion that the world is transitory and complex is deeply embedded in Miyazaki’s films, and those of many other Japanese film makers. I’m not altogether sure its an east/west thing – plenty of old western fairytales were similarly ambiguous and complex when you delve deeper into their original forms. Of course when you dive back into pre-Christian times, to the Iliad or Odyssey or the Tain bo Cuilgne, you can have a very hard time working out who is supposed to be good or bad despite the best attempts of later translators.

    But for anyone who hasn’t seen it – you are in for a treat, its a genuinely mesmerizing film, even for non-animation fans.

    1. super extra

      I love Princess Mononoke! I showed it to a niece a while back (age 7) and told her nothing other than ‘it has a lot of good girl characters’ (she had been complaining about girls being ‘too wimpy and whiny’ in some other shows she was watching) and after she watched it and gave it the multiple rewatch treatment I asked her who her favorite character was she immediately said ‘Big Wolf’. Which was a surprise, honestly, I thought she’d attach to San or Lady Eboshi. Just a great film for kids of all ages!

      1. digi_owl

        I keep wondering if Japan is able to produce all these movies and shows thanks to Shinto being deep down a shamanic/animist religion. Meaning that a core belief is that anything can develop a spirit/soul or some such. And to some extent that is a very playful, perhaps even childish when seen from a western viewpoint, notion.

        Consider after all that if they were to repair broken pottery, they would do so in ways that show of the damage and thus give the item a history.

        By contrast, the western world, through Abrahamic religions, are warned against threading into the realm of god via stories like the golem. As in god decreed this to be animate, that to be inanimate, and that is how it should be.

        And what got me thinking of this was some years back when i was binging on fansubbed shows, and i was watching one about a young man with a spirit-possessed cat statue at the same time as a scifi show about AIs and androids. And it struck me that if you were dropped into either without any background info, they were pretty much the same. So perhaps to the Japanese mind, an AI and a spirit was the same thanks to Shinto influences.

        1. hk

          More important, Shintoism was never really a “state religion,” unlike Confucianism in China, Korea, and Vietnam, or Buddhism in Thailand and Burma/Myanmar. No “official” theology for Shintoism, just whatever people practiced at all levels of society, and the practitioners of Shintoism also adhered to other religions at the same time, like Japanese variety of Buddhism and other old faiths, all of which are reflected in modern Shintoism. There is something similar about Chinese Taoism–not the Taoism of Laozi or Chuangzi that Westerners imagine, but a collection of old folk beliefs in China that can’t be easily described that’s generally called “Taoism.”

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I think the notion that the spirits are everywhere is so deeply ingrained in Japanese thought (as many dubious Judeo-Christian ideas are ingrained in westerners) such that most Japanese aren’t even particularly conscious about it. Its something that pops up all the time in anime. In my current obsession, Demon Slayer, the notion that there are multiple parallel worlds all operating is so natural it is never really explained, it just seems organic to the characters and situation in the manner that a similar story in the west would never adapt.

          1. Soredemos

            Demon Slayer doesn’t explore stuff like that because it is incredibly lazy and sloppy at world building. Its strengths are characters and fight scenes. It’s pretty massively deficient when it comes to the larger lore side of things.

          2. Skippy

            Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ series is basically a Japanese story about the Judeo-Christian world view where the ‘Human Instrumentality Project’ is SEELE’s* secret goal: the forced evolution of humanity through bringing about Third Impact under their own control.

            *SEELE (German for soul) is a secret and mysterious organization with influence over world governments and organizations in the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise.

            Sadly though … I have to say the popularity of Japanese anime might be its down fall as its increasing commercialized to supply more product[tm] and marketing driven to gain viewers. Not that the slave galley apt crammed with workers grinding out anime for upwards of 10 years eating ramen on the hope the work is successful for a big pay day is a good thing or not …

            1. Soredemos

              Evangelion was Hideaki Anno; Sadamoto was merely the character designer.

              It also has exactly nothing to do with any kind of Jewish or Christian worldview. The Christian aesthetics and naming conventions are literally just rule of cool exotic (to the intended Japanese audience) window dressing. What Evangelion actually boils down to is a smattering of Freudian 101 concepts and a moral that ‘human interaction can be hard but you should try and go out and do it anyway’.

              And the anime industry has always been heavily commercialized and filled with overworked, miserable people.

              1. Skippy

                Disagree Soredemos …

                The evolution in question is the human state and all the terminology is classic western theological dogma. Yes Sadamoto was the character designer and why he is pivotal in the narrative he crafted over Anno.

                Everything about it is grounded in classical Judeo-Christian world view theology e.g. a cabal of those pushing a secret agenda whilst the unwashed walk in their manufactured supplied narrative sleep, a completely detached perspective from any reality – but theirs, the imperative that this deductive view from antiquity has to dominate all human agendas regardless of outcomes, in the near or far term – too satisfy – the will of a supposed deity, in dragging all of humanity to conform so some notion of evolution can be achieved – so utopia can be ushered in.

                BTW the aforementioned theological construct is just the rewarmed mythos of much older constructs re-bottled/rewarmed time and time again to grant powers of a few over the many … hay its just history …

                1. Soredemos

                  I think you’re reading way too much into what is actually a fairly straightforward story. Evangelion is at its core basically Anno working out his own personal issues with human interaction longform, as well as his readings in (very shallow, as well as frequently stupid and wrong) Freudian psychology. Once you get past some of the obscure imagery what’s actually being said isn’t that complicated (a lot of the song titles on the soundtrack are literally Freudian concepts; ‘Mother Is The First Other’ and similar).

                  Also, I was raised Christian, and literally nothing you say about the ‘Judeo-Christian worldview’ bears any resemblance to anything I was raised with. That human beings are worthless was actually basically the underlying message I am always took away from Christianity. And while I’m not Jewish by any definition, whether religious or ethnic, nothing you’re saying seems to have anything to do with my readings of Judaism.

                  1. Skippy

                    Its the concise summery of the story line and if you perceive any Freudian psychology its on your part. My eldest son is a long time fan of Japanese anime, spent lots of time with other fans delving in to the show as well industry people. I also enjoyed the entire series and the latter movies where the son and I could discuss these outside views on western concepts.

                    I don’t know what you were raised with, where and when, but I have studied major religions for decades, including natural history, and anthropology. Just in the Judaic case its rewarmed Sumerian mythology post its collapse and some of its peoples moving into small settlements to the what is known now as Israel. Clay sacrificial alters tell a completely different story to what is presented in modern canons. For myself I prefer the more honest Puritan concise summary on what the bible said in historical context and not the revisions used today.

                    Then again the domestication of the horse allowing people to move to the West and with them their ideas has more to do with what we know call Judeo-Christian world view than any other factor.

                    1. Soredemos

                      I really don’t want to belabor this topic, but the instrumentality stuff as it’s portrayed in Evangelion doesn’t even come from either Anno or Sadamoto. It’s recycled from earlier anime, specifically Space Runaway Ideon with elements from Devilman. A lot of Eva is actually a kind of remix of things that went before it, specifically Ideon, Devilman, and Ultraman (Anno is a massive Ultraman fan; the very first thing he ever directed was a fanmade Ultraman short, and he wrote the script for the new Shin Ultraman movie. Somewhat related, Anno also wrote and directed Shin Godzilla, the best, in fact kind of the only truly good, Godzilla movie). And in none of those does it have anything to do with some sort of ‘Judeo-Christian worldview of total domination’ or whatever it is you’re on about.

                      You’re just kind of talking nonsense on this topic.

              2. Skippy

                Punch line –

                A whiff …

                “Here’s the latest from Yves at Naked Capitalism. Keep in mind, that threat to have me executed in my backyard came after me posting a link at Ian Welsh’s blog to the Misinformation post about Naked Capitalism. I have no doubt Yves and Lambert and IM Doc and the majority of those who comprise the readership and commentary at that hypocritical venue would like nothing more than to see me and my family perish from this virus.”

        3. Soredemos

          I’m extremely leary of this kind of vague idealized stereotyping of other cultures.

          In my experience, no, the Japanese are not more ‘spiritual’ than anyone else. No, few of them literally believe everything, or even anything, has a soul/kami. The country is largely effectively atheist; the temples and traditions exist but few people pay much attention to them beyond ceremonies like ringing the bell at a shrine in the hopes of good luck on your exams, which are basically thoughtless social conventions that everyone does because that’s just the thing you do. The small minority of people who do actually believe any of this stuff are the weirdos who join the high school ‘occult studies’ clubs. Most people know about chi, kami, etc, but don’t literally believe in any of them. They’re just traditions to pull interesting fiction from for most people.

          Also, everything having a kami is not really a Shinto belief. Lots of things can have kami, but not literally everything has them. The idea that an artificial object can have one (tsukumogami) is a fun idea, but that seems to be entirely how it was treated in most of Japanese folklore: a plot device for a weird story about a haunted futon or whatever.

          I will say though that the idea tsukumogami *probably* plays some part in the Ghost in the Shell franchise. But that’s also a franchise that is deeply (including its very name) in dialogue with western philosophical ideas. And the idea of robots becoming people is far, far from any kind of uniquely Japanese idea.

          1. Skippy

            Ghost in the Shell was about technology being applied [for profit – power – control] over humanity and a side of losing ones humanity in the process in a very anti democratic agenda e.g. very Corporatist in the mindset.

    2. Janie

      Toward the end of the linked article is a comment about Americans being Manichaeist, wanting the characters to be good or evil, period. That took me straight to Ukraine – Putin evil, Zelenskyy good. This was first pointed out to me during the Vietnam war – Ho Chi Minh evil, Johnson good – as the difference between Buddhism and Christianity. Clarified many things.

      1. Skippy

        See above comment where the Judeo-Christian world view is more about – control – over everything rather than an understanding of everything … e.g. the quip “***WE*** create[tm] our own reality[tm] … thingy …

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Le Tour:

    I’ll miss Jerri-lynns sports diversions when she takes her leave! I was busy yesterday and missed the stage, but its fantastic that the race has suddenly opened up, it had looked like a procession for Pog. I thought it would be Roglic who might challenge, but its such a difficult course this year almost anything can happen. With luck, this race will go down to the last day or so.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Seek out at least the highlight reel – which I’ve included in my separate TdF post today. An amazing stage! Stephen watched the whole race and thought Pog may have taken ill b/c he looked strong earlier in the stage. But he seemed to have nothing left when attacked on that last climb.

      That being said, it was a particularly brutal stage – the climbs on average being much steeper than today’s Alp d’Huez stage.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I just can’t watch those mountain stages without being in awe of those riders. The camera never really shows clearly just how incredibly steep those alpine mountains can be – many are well over 10% gradients. Just riding down them is terrifying enough.

      2. Terry Flynn

        Tugendhat LOST 5(?) supporters. Though Braverman was the lowest candidate and is eliminated, Tugendhat will likely withdraw. So there will probably be 4 candidates in next round (Monday), 3 on Tuesday and the Wednesday round won’t happen as the two winners will then go forward to vote by Tory members…… Who do NOT like Sunak.

        Those of us old enough to remember what happened to the last person who “wielded the dagger” (1990) know Sunak has uphill task in inheriting the crown.

        “I feel like butter spread over too much bread” – paraphrasing Tolkein but very relevant given Mordor jokes and where the right wing have overplayed their hand. But it would be ironic if we end up with a leader who is probably the only one Sir Keir Starmer actually fears in a General Election?

    2. the suck of sorrow

      One unspoken factor: BA5. My understanding is if the pcr cycle count is high enough then the rider is considered unable to infect others. Ok. But Pogacar’s UAE team has already lost two riders to Covid, Majka looks wobbly and the Tornado seems even more sensitive to heat. I fear the Pyrenees will clean UAE’s clock.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thats a good point, I think someone would have to look carefully at the output figures to see if the problem is that Pog is a little slower than last year.

        When I had my brush with Omi in January, the main symptoms went in a few days, but for 6 weeks after I had a slight shortness of breath. I was wondering at the time if this could impact top level athletes.

    3. Wukchumni

      I’ve been in training for Le Tour de Burning Man, and you really only need a conveyance with 1 speed as it’s dead flat and you’re riding on the goods for future dust storms sure to happen as its all about alkali dust underfoot.

      You ride mostly @ night and really don’t want to go too fast as there will be as many as 43,000 competitors (and 32,000 that wished they brought a bicycle) all lit up figuratively and otherwise, and collisions even at 5 mph can put the hurt on you in the standings.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “The road to Iran’s ‘Resistance Economy’ passes through a revived JCPOA”

    Maybe, but not for long. I think that Iran has realized that you cannot negotiate with western powers as they are not serious. So Iran is turning their attention elsewhere and they are set to become a member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization this year and they are also applying to join the BRICS group. They have read the writing on the wall and so will align themselves with countries that still conduct good faith negotiations and actually honour any agreement & contracts made. Who knew that such things still counted in the modern world?

    1. digi_owl

      With apparently China being interested in a NG pipeline from Iran, via Pakistan no less, the future is very “interesting” indeed.

      Frankly at this point all USA has left to throw around is its navy, and i sure do not hope it comes to gunboat diplomacy in the pacific any time soon.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Desperate people resort to desperate measures. Let’s all remember the US, like Israel at smaller scale, has a whole lot of nuclear weapons of various types, and the people in charge In DC and Tel Aviv have made it clear they do not really fear to use them. And the proof of the pudding is what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        If the corrupt scum of Kiev really start to take a drubbing, given the US inserting long range strategic/tactical missiles into the mix where the “strategy” is to ‘fight the Bear to the last Ukrainian,’ it’s only a small step to using just a couple of tiny dial-a-nukes to “take out” major Russian concentrations and command-and-control centers. And if China makes a move on Taiwan? All bets are off, in my estimation.

        God help me, I hope “my country,” at least the current leadership, if they can’t stop the madness they have embarked on, gets “taken out” early enough in the festivities to keep the MADness from running full course. “My country, right or wrong,” and corollaries like “Vote Blue No Matter Who,” are idiocy writ large. Time for species loyalty.

        1. digi_owl

          DC may not fear to use them against nations that can’t retaliate.

          but i suspect that the reason that Ukraine has gone the way it has is that someone deep inside DC still understand what MAD really means and is trying to hold back.

          After all Pentagon went out early and strongly against a no-fly zone, reminding politicians that it would mean US jets, and pilots, directly engaging Russian counterparts. The idea came to a screeching halt after that, beyond some haphazard bleating on social media.

          1. Michaelmas

            After all Pentagon went out early and strongly against a no-fly zone, reminding politicians that it would mean US jets, and pilots, directly engaging Russian counterparts.

            Nah. Actually, it wouldn’t.

            It’s worse than that. In 2022, “no-fly zones” are becoming as militarily plausible as cavalry charges. Which is to say not at all plausible, especially when the USAF would have to execute them against someone other than brown people with no defensive air-power.

            That’s because war has changed and in 2022 in Ukraine, the manned aircraft — even the tank on the battlefield, increasingly — is not a fearsome offensive asset, but a vastly expensive target (along with the highly-trained crew necessary to man such a platform) for the profusion of missiles that can now target pretty much anything in the air and on the ground, at pretty much any range.

            This is one reason the Russians have been sparing in their use of conventional air power, given Ukrainian-NATO-US missile capability. But the Russians were the first to use rockets on the battlefield with the Katyushas deployed against the Nazis in WWII; they were the first to put a satellite and a man in orbit on top of rocket launchers; Russian rockets carried US astronauts to the ISS in the years when the US launcher industry died with the shuttle; and Russians rockets have overwhelming operational preponderance now —


            Frankly, in this context, Americans — with their bleating about ‘imposing no-fly zones,’ and their idolatry of Tom Cruise’s Maverick: Top Gun as some kind of vaguely realistic representation of US power, and their big platform systems like their aircraft carriers — are like the French awaiting Agincourt.


        2. Tom Stone

          It will take luck to avoid a Nuclear exchange the next two or three years.
          Western and especially US leadership has demonstrated that they are not only agreement incapable and incompetent, they are deranged.
          No sane or rational person would risk Nuclear War and the end of life on Earth,maybe if someone reminds these nuts that if they turn the earth into a radioactive cinder there’s going to be a shortage of donors,hookers and blow….

          1. ambrit

            Because there will be no Russia, United States, China or Taiwan to fight over.
            Every wargame played honestly over the last decades has shown that any resort to nuclear weapons by any side will quickly escalate into a general strategic exchange. Boom! Game Over.

      2. Tom Stone

        The US Navy is a bad joke, Ford class Carriers armed with F35’s and the Littoral Combat ships are all symptoms of the deep corruption that pervades the USA.

        1. RobertC

          USN new frigate is undergoing major modifications from its proven “off-the-shelf” design with construction at our worst shipyard which has never built a ship this large or complex before. Here’s its latest christening.

          Those aren’t tears of laughter you’re seeing.

  6. Bart Hansen

    On candidate Penny Mordaunt for PM: Are the wags over there calling her ‘Penny Dreadful’?

    1. Terry Flynn

      Not heard that. In fact the fractured right-wing are in danger of repeating the mistakes the “Grandees” made in February 1975 unless they’ve done a LOT of work, arm-twisting and promising since yesterday afternoon. We shall learn if they’ve really understood Tory history in a couple of hours…..

      1. Terry Flynn

        Predictions largely correct.
        Mordaunt likely to win the leadership – 83.
        Sunak only just above 100 – 101. Right wingers are killing each other.
        Truss really underperformed – 64?

        1. Terry Flynn

          Tugendhat LOST 5(?) supporters. Though Braverman was the lowest candidate and is eliminated, Tugendhat will likely withdraw. So there will probably be 4 candidates in next round (Monday), 3 on Tuesday and the Wednesday round won’t happen as the two winners will then go forward to vote by Tory members…… Who do NOT like Sunak.

          Those of us old enough to remember what happened to the last person who “wielded the dagger” (1990) know Sunak has uphill task in inheriting the crown.

          “I feel like butter spread over too much bread” – paraphrasing Tolkein but very relevant given Mordor jokes and where the right wing have overplayed their hand. But it would be ironic if we end up with a leader who is probably the only one Sir Keir Starmer actually fears in a General Election?

    2. hunkerdown

      How mordant!

      (Hoping to raise a dry smile on a Thursday, knowing that those of you in that area of operations have probably heard that ten too many times already.)

      1. Terry Flynn

        Satire sites have gone in different direction. If The Sun encourages its readers to support her you can bet this is the real reason.

          1. Terry Flynn

            No but she’d be the perfect candidate for those who bought the “newspaper” for that reason.

            The other jokes all pertain to Mordor…. Either too niche or too obvious unfortunately…..

            But pushing a Mordor angle may not be bad….. After all, and returning to my original point of where the “Tory mainstream messed up massively over the leader last time” they never thought that someone the public only knew as “the Milk Snatcher” would win.

          1. ambrit

            You don’t mean that she’s “really” a blonde??? (I will definitely have to see your sources on that assertion.)
            [Even I hesitate to throw out the “witticism” concerning the Tory Party “Peeing a Penny in Delight.”]
            There are limits you know, though I must aver that they are very hard to find and pin down. What with our Moderne propensity for “fluid” gender roles and “pronoun preferrences.”
            As usual, for ‘pronoun problems,’ Chuck Jones is on the case. See:

            1. Terry Flynn

              It’s a joke based on traditional chemical definition of mordant.

              Sorry to use this old trope but r/whoosh as redditors would say.

              1. ambrit

                Oh blast! There goes an excellent argument in favour of a “Classical Education.”
                I grovel and abase myself, (along with a vigourous tugging of the forelock.)

  7. PlutoniumKun

    How the U.S. Keeps Getting Played By Its Bad Clients Eunomia. Daniel Larison.

    I think this is something so often overlooked – America’s ‘clients’ are not passive actors. For millennia, smart smaller countries have manipulated more powerful nations to achieve their own strategic objectives. Smarter imperial powers were always alive to this and were very careful not to give their clients too much leash (see, for example, how Russia aided Syria, but refused to be pulled into a wider or deeper conflict with Israel by Assad or Hezbollah). But the US hegemon is nothing if not a little dimwitted. There is absolutely no strategic reason for the US to favour the Gulf States over Iran, but it has allowed itself to be dragged into a potentially disastrous conflict there, all because of the Sunni (and Israeli) hatred for the Shia.

    1. digi_owl

      USA seems to have two problem. Institutional hubris, and of being a nation of immigrants.

      The first is what leads to the issue of Iran, but also seen with the handling of Cuba to and extent. Iran embarrassed USA when they ousted the Shah, and then took the embassy staff hostage. This similar to how Cuba ousted Batista.

      And if you look into the family history of many that are pulling the strings right now, they lead back to Ukraine. In particular the nazi-sympathizing group that was ousted or suppressed by the USSR. This again similar to how exile-Cubans, many of them from previously wealthy families, will tilt any election in Florida, and thus USA as a whole.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yeah, its striking how much the Washington foreign policy blob is dominated by the children and grandchildren of people who lost civil wars and seem to have dedicated their lives to making the US taxpayer pay for revenge. The various diasporas who are so influential in the US seen to have an almost universally malign influence both on the foreign policy establishment and the public as a whole (given how much they can get their distorted views across on the media). As an outsider, I find it astonishing sometimes the way blatant propagandists can be interviewed as if they were ‘experts’ on their ancestors country. Even Joe Rogan has fallen for it a few times.

    2. Will

      Also, for the Christian millennialists like Pence and Pompeo, I believe Iran plays a key role in the prophesied invasion of Israel that will cause God to intervene and Jesus to return. Or something along those lines. Some disagreement among the faithful about how best to set the conditions for the Rapture, but a friendly Iran doesn’t seem to be part of the equation.

      I welcome any corrections from others since I am far from being knowledgeable about these things.

      1. digi_owl

        My sideliner impression of the whole rapture gospel seems to revolve around ouster or genocide of the Palestinians, allowing for the complete restoration of the promised land in Jewish hands, opening the way for Jesus to return and collect his flock while condemning the rest to hell.

        The thing now is that rather than quietly wait for this to happen, some has taken upon them to force events. I think largely the shift happened somewhere around the election of Reagan.

        1. Barry

          There should be a special place in hell for people who try to force armageddon on their own timetable.

    3. Karl

      In the comments section of that piece, Daniel Larison announced he was “fired” by the American Conservative today. He was a voice of reason on foreign policy. Lots of sympathy from readers, many saying that Larison was the only reason they regularly checked in on that site. I wonder what the story is behind that action?

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Oops – fixed it! Thanks. And somehow, I’d failed to include the South Park url where I’d intended to do so. I’ve now inserted it, filed under Climate Change (although it also fits under Class Warfare).

  8. russell1200

    I don’t understand why the guy with the AK-47 -like (obviously a semi- versus full auto) firearm would face charges. He is in his house. He pulled a pistol and dropped it by accident. At this point if there is a misunderstanding, the perps have time to run. Instead they go for the gun he dropped, while he runs of to get what is in effect a semi-auto carbine. He starts shooting, seems to have injured one, and they go run off.

    They run off. He doesn’t shoot them in the back as they ran away.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe if he had used a good old American AR-15, there would have been no problem at all. :)

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s worth considering how particular social injunctions not to do harm to others are designed to leave us vulnerable to repeated, systematic harm. Arguendo, if we started shooting trepassers in the back when they choose to retreat instead of standing to answer, capitalism couldn’t so casually make pseudo-competitive contests out of everything. The system then incurs the risk of losing not only contests but its best, most loyal players and coaches.

      However, it should be understood that it is not necessary to rise to unlawful violence against them to deny them the ability to speak to and be heard by an audience.

      1. ambrit

        In many parts of America’s ‘Wild West,’ if you were armed, you could legally be shot in the back. Many “famous” sheriffs made their reputations in just such a fashion. “Shot while trying to escape” has a long and storied history.

        1. Wukchumni

          Supposedly a little girl upon hearing her family was moving there, uttered:

          “Goodbye God, i’m going to Bodie.”

          Bodie, Ca. had a reputation for being the most lawless town in the old west, full of gunfighters who would shoot you if you looked at them askance, except none of it was true for the most part.

          UCLA professor Roger McGrath’s book: Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier, lays bare the mythmaking that had no semblance in reality, as he had a 10 year run of Bodie newspapers from the 1870’s-1880’s which showed it was nothing like that.

          1. LifelongLib

            My mom and grandmother grew up in rural Montana, there are family stories going back to the late 1800s. My understanding is that ranchers carried guns to protect cattle from predators. Most other people went unarmed unless they were hunting. My great-grandmother’s first husband was killed in a gun accident, suggesting that he was not too familiar with the vagaries of firearms.

          2. Janie

            Goodbye, God. I’m going to Bodie. It’s said that the mayor of said town claimed the girl was misquoted, that she actually said, “Good. By God, I’m going to Bodie”.

            1. John Anthony La Pietra

              Hal Holbrook’s “Mark Twain Tonight” has a similar story — but says the referenced location was Missouri!

      2. Tom Stone

        The usual standard is “An imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury”.
        If the details are correct, well, it’s an election year…
        And ethnicity also matters.
        Prosecutors are ambitious as a class, when I lived in Oakland ( I’m White) I was told more than once that I’d be less likely to be prosecuted if I shot a White Criminal rather than a Black one.
        In parts of the US that would flip, I’d be less likely to be prosecuted for shooting a Black criminal than a White one.
        And that the odds of a bullshit prosecution went up significantly during an election year.
        Who to prosecute and on what charges is always a political decision.

        1. ambrit

          This was explained to us on the County Grand Jury last year. On occasion, the Assistant District Attorney would preface the presentation of a case for approval for prosecution, (we had to vote on all prosecution requests, and there were a lot of them,) with something along the lines of, “This is a grudge match between two big time political players in the community.” The inference was that the District Attorney would rather not get involved. Curiously, the majority of such cases involved some variety of “Family Drama.”

    3. marym

      One possible reason for publicity about not facing charges (as opposed to simply the reason why he shouldn’t face charges) is that for pro-gun absolutists it’s an opportunity to make the argument that there should never be any restrictions on gun ownership for anyone anywhere.

      (For the record: I agree with many anti-gun proposals. I realize there are arguments that some restrictions can be unfair to “responsible gun owners” and try to adjust for that. I don’t think this case provides any argument against gun ownership for home protection (unless the particular weapon is more suited to mass murder – I don’t claim to know that one way or another).

      1. hk

        Speaking from experience, handguns are extremely difficult to use properly if you want to hit something (some people seem to be able to learn to shoot fairly accurately with handguns, at least at practice ranges. But, for a lot of people, handguns are just forever unnatural, even with practice.). Long guns, in this sense, are far easier to use, if you want to hit something. But it then becomes a fairly quick step to semi autos since loading the gun becomes a nuisance for the people without much practice.

      2. Tom Stone

        I find discussions about Firearms Policy more rewarding when the people I am talking to have some familiarity with current US and State laws.
        And how they have been historically enforced ( Or not).
        The National Firearms Acts of 1934 and 1986 are a good place to start, along with New York’s “Sullivan Act”.
        There’s a “How to own a gun and Stay out of Jail” for California and I believe most restrictive states.
        And a few minutes glancing at a glossary of firearms terms would be time well spent.
        The newspapers of the day, particularly in NYC, were adamant about the need for strict gun control “To protect innocent American Womanhood from Swarthy Southern Europeans”.
        “Sensible Gun Laws” are and always have been about class and keeping the rabble in line.

      3. MT_Wild

        This particular case does present a useful study in what would be considered a reasonable firearm for self-defense in the home. Three intruders, at least one armed. Not sure how common that scenario is normally.

        If he only had a hunting shotgun, and it was either a double barrel, or a pump or semi-auto plugged to only hold three rounds as required for hunting under most circumstances, then he was in a bad spot defensively. A standard revolver (6 rounds) isn’t great given what we see with police or military data on number of shots fired in order to incapacitate the target. Same holds true for more modern semi-auto handguns if magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds.

        But where the bullets that missed the target are going is a question of concern. Standard construction these days won’t stop most hunting shotgun loads, nevermind pistol or rifle bullets. Could easily see a situation where a home-owner could shoot/kill an intruder without charges due to self-defense but face reckless endangerment for the rounds that miss and exit the residence if that happens.

    4. timbers

      “He doesn’t shoot them in the back as they ran away.” Well obviously he is not a policeman then, is he? So you can’t blame him for not shooting in the back.

    5. Oh

      In Florida you can chase and shoot the person if he’s black and they’ll award you a medal. You don’t even have to be a cop.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine, Russia near deal on grain exports, says UN”

    Gee. So less than 1% of the world’s annual wheat production trapped behind a Ukrainian belt of sea-mines can now get out to the world just as the next harvest is about due to come in. Does this mean that world hunger has now been averted? /sarc

      1. Polar Socialist

        Maybe, but likely not due to exporting wheat. Ukraine usually exports slightly less than half of the wheat it produces, and now they have 25-30% less mouths to feed – refugees and the population in the areas not controlled by Ukraine since February is approximately 8 to 9 million people.

        Lack of fuel may be much more problematic for the harvest and general food delivery. That and if they really have conscripted a million men and women, mostly young adults, to the army, that’s another 9-10% of the remaining workforce not harvesting, storing, processing or delivering stuff.

        1. Lex

          But the bulk of the wheat is in Russian controlled territory now. The west of Ukraine is more heavily planted in feed corn. I was being a little flippant because it’s impossible to know what’s going on with Ukrainian crops at this point. I’m sure you’ve also seen the smallish protests against road export of grain. I’m also a little afraid that the people in charge of Ukraine aren’t really in charge of anything and don’t really know what’s going on.

      1. Polar Socialist

        For what it’s worth, as a part of the pact Turkey has guaranteed an inspection of every ship for war material that is passing Bosporus Strait to Black Sea.

        I assume Russians will track them on the Black Sea and will know if these vessels then take a detour to Romanian or Bulgarian harbors to load extra hardware.

      2. The Rev Kev

        The Turks are being tasked with inspecting those ships going in from what I hear but I would not be surprised if there were not a few Russian ‘observers’ aboard.

    1. RobertC

      As I said yesterday, there are three parts to the agreement:

      ++ “Ukrainian vessels to guide grain ships in and out through mined port waters”

      ++ “Russia agreeing to a truce while shipments move”

      ++ “Turkey – supported by the United Nations – inspecting ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling”

      The critical part is the truce.

      What are the boundaries of the truce? Land? Sea? Sky?

      What military force movements are allowed within those boundaries? Across those boundaries? Replenishments? Extraction of casualties? Civilian movements? Transport allowed — road, railroad, ship, aircraft, etc?

      And of course the same questions outside those boundaries.

      And if a truce can be achieved for grain shipments why can’t it be expanded a little bit for fertilizer, seed, etc shipments? And then a little more for …?

      If the US-side had a Sergey Lavrov we’d segue into peace negotiations.

      1. RobertC

        Yellen does the right thing As Ukraine grain deal emerges, U.S. aims to ease concerns over Russia sanctions

        WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – The United States [Treasury Department] on Thursday sought to facilitate Russian food and fertilizer exports by reassuring banks, shipping and insurance companies that such transactions would not breach Washington’s sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

        …Eduard Zernin, head of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, described the U.S. move as “an act of goodwill” and a “real step in the fight against world hunger.”

        “We sincerely hope that other countries involved will follow this example and issue the necessary clarifications and licenses in order to remove hidden sanctions that hinder the supply of grain to countries in need,” he told Reuters.

        …The U.S. Treasury made clear that the sale and transport of agricultural commodities, as well as medicine and medical devices, was allowed and would not be breaching a raft of sanctions that Washington has imposed on Russia.

        Washington also stressed that there were no sanctions on Russia’s production, manufacturing, sale, or transport of agricultural commodities, including fertilizer, and that providing insurance or reinsurance for the transportation or shipping of those products was not prohibited.

        Let’s keep the Big Mo going.

  10. DJG

    David Bromwich, The Nation. I haven’t read anything by Bromwich in a while, and this essay is refreshing.

    To quote: “The successful artist shares with the politician a recurrent temptation to indulge in emotional claptrap.”

    The other day, esteemed commenters here were discussing when they gave up on The New Yorker. It’s been fifteen or more years for me. The artistic canary-in-the-coalmine was poetry, which is an realm of the arts I happen to know something about. Yikes, New Yorker. The poems simply got worse and worse.

    Those horrible arbitrary
    line breaks
    like e.e.
    cummings after too many Negronis &
    [then an in-joke about cocktails] &
    the cunning use of ampersands
    & the grand summing up in prosaic lines that read like fact sheets that accompany my eyedrops
    laying on us the postmodern realization
    that life is
    as dull as graduate school

    [Amanda Gorman of Inaugural and SuperBowlian fame is a mere dyspepsia-inducing after-dinner mint of bad art compared to the claptrappy unpoetic stylings at The New Yorker.]

    [Likewise, in theater, there’s the snarky earnestness of Hamilton, with its paralyzed staging, blind adoration for Alexander, and lightweight characterizations of Jefferson and Madison–two personages one might easily do some research on (I have my playwright cap on now…). But then the cast intones: That Sondheimian-style, dirge-like classic-of-it-kind, “The Room Where It Happens.” It’s all self-absorbedly snoozalicious.]

    1. jr

      I came across some literary journals of poetry in my lobby recently. It was uniformly terrible. No musicality, no compelling imagery, no choice words resonating with their own innate power. No transcendence. Just dry, mundane descriptions of everyday tableaus. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but this was the absence of beauty, seemingly intentional.

      It has me wondering if this is not an artifact of the influence of the literary critical theorists mentioned in yesterday’s link on the decline of history as a major. Eschewing overarching narratives and sublime truth leaves you with only a skeletal framework upon which to hang your words. Like a mouthful of dead leaves that parches one’s throat, this poetry must be choked down.

    2. Basil Pesto

      Swell piece. One suspects he might have had some discussions with Bloom about the ‘School of Resentment’, assuming they were contemporaries.

      Articles like this bring to mind Nabokov’s expansive poshlost definition (which was an ongoing project in his attempt to explain the Russian concept to American audiences):

      “poshlost is not only the obviously trashy but also the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive.”

      There’s yet more to it, but although I’ve not seen it I can readily imagine Hamilton falling into that category.

    3. Mildred Montana

      DJG, you are probably familiar with the writings of Joseph Epstein, but thought I’d mention that he is an eloquent, vehement, and steadfast critic of modern poetry. If you aren’t, check out his essay on it in 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘦𝘳𝘴. A wonderful takedown.

  11. ilpalazzo

    Re Princess Mononoke – I saw it in theater when it came out. I was so moved that I actually went right back, bought another ticket and watched it a second time. I consider it Miyazaki’s best film.

    1. Tim

      In yet another previous life, my wife and I had a chance to watch the undubbed version in a theatre at the Disney studio. A curtesy, I guess, to the animation staff to see what our Japanese contemporaries had just produced.
      There were apx. 300 artists and production staff watching a 2 hour film in Japanese and I don’t recall anyone getting out of their seats. After the credit roll and the lights were brought up their was a kinda stunned silence that wax finally broke with someone yelling ‘I don’t know what the hell I just watched but that was the most beautiful thing I ever saw!!’.
      We all erupted in laughter and applause and, some of us anyways, now had to face going back to work on the current Disney production with less enthusiasm than we had before seeing Mononoke. We had just experienced sincere filmmaking.

    2. Soredemos

      It may be Miyazaki’s best film, but it isn’t Ghibli’s best film. That’s reserved for Whisper of the Heart, directed by a guy who was probably going to become Miyazaki’s successor until he died of some sort of heart attack.

    3. Pstuartb

      When my daughters were little, they fell in love with Miyazaki movies. It started with Kiki’s Delivery Service, then Porco Rosso, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, and all the rest. I think we have a complete set of Miyazaki movies all on VHS, but no VHS player anymore. We had a tradition on New Year’s Eve for a while of having a Miyazaki marathon starting after dinner and lasting until midnight. I loved those movies as much as they did.

  12. Judith

    The whole Patrick Lawrence article is worth a read. This excerpt is particularly interesting:

    As Consortium News’s properly suspecting readers will recall, Vladimir Putin was clear when he told the world Russia’s intentions as it began its intervention. These were two: Russian forces went into Ukraine to “demilitarize and de–Nazify” it, a pair of limited, defined objectives.

    An astute reader of these commentaries pointed out in a recent comment thread that the Russian president had once again proven, whatever else one may think of him, a focused statesman with an excellent grasp of history. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Allied Control Council declared its postwar purpose in Germany as “the four D’s.” These were de–Nazification, demilitarization, democratization and decentralization.

    Let’s give David Thompson, who brought this historical reference to my attention, a deserved byline here:

    “Putin’s reiteration of the de–Nazification and demilitarization principles established from the Potsdam Conference is not just some quaint tip of the hat to history. He was laying down a marker to the United States and the United Kingdom that the agreement reached at Potsdam in 1945 is still relevant and valid ….”

    The Russian president, whose entire argument with the West is that a just and stable order in Europe must serve the security interests of all sides, was simply restating objectives the trans–Atlantic alliance had once signed on to accomplish. In other words, he was pointing out said alliance’s gross hypocrisy as it arms the ideological descendants of German Nazis.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Hoping the Russian president stays on stated task, unlike the “Operation Paperclip” and “Gladio” Americans. Who pretty much disdained every one of the 4 Ds since.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Glenn Greenwald
    Whether one agrees or not with this position, it is clearly well within the realm of reasoned discourse and analysis. Yet after every last Dem – from AOC to Bernie – voted for Biden’s $40b war package, you have to go to the GOP caucus to hear this in Congress. Why?’

    Apart from the never ending demands for more and more weapons, the Ukrainians are now saying that $5 billion a month is no longer enough to keep the country going and that they will be needing $9 billion a month now. That is probably more a month than the US gives to Israel for a whole year. So can we expect the Progressives – including AOC and Bernie – to demand that for every dollar that goes to the Ukraine, that an equal dollar should go getting homeless people off the street in America? Three months payments and that problem is essentially solved.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      The swiss bank accounts where some of this money will be funneled to will be so gloriously fat. Zelensky will be able to purchase an island in the Bahamas after this.

      1. Screwball

        Zelensky will be able to purchase an island in the Bahamas after this.

        And how many members of congress?

        Ok, dumb question. Is there any oversight (committee?) of where the money and weapons actually go? I doubt it.

        All that matters is giving Ukraine money/weapons and the Jan 6th dog & pony show. While Rome burns. Great job!

        1. The Rev Kev

          A coupla days ago, US Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Ind) made a call to “establish proper oversight” over weapons and aid deliveries to Ukraine and the Ukrainians flipped out. A guy from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said ‘The Congresswoman should stop undermining the existing mechanisms of US military assistance to Ukraine. The Ukrainian side is interacting with American partners with maximum openness, providing them full information about the use of technology’ so I guess that since Afghanistan wound up, nobody in power wants the see that happen to the Ukrainian gravy train-

    2. MP

      Yes, it is absolutely true that progressives have been disappointing on this. But the idea that the GOP caucus is somehow anti-war or anti-interventionist, when in fact the argument is that the focus on Ukraine should instead be on China, is incredibly insane.

    3. Oh

      I noticed that the two amendments that the Democrats managed to include into the bill were lame, toothless and weak. Thanks AOC and Bernie and Democrat liars!

  14. Carolinian

    re James Webb–PBS Nova had a good show on this last night. Those who missed can see on the PBS website or a weekend rebroadcast is likely in most markets.

    1. Lee

      Yes, truly awesome stuff. My sense of fleeting impermanence, the knowledge that each of our respective destinies is to be forever lost in the vastness of time and space was greatly amplified. I feel even tinier and more insignificant than I already did. And yet I still worry about paying the bills and am considering the pros and cons of a home improvement project. Go figure.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Take consolation in the fact that the atoms you are composed of—and those of your home improvement project—will carry on. Until the end of the universe itself at the very least.

      2. LifelongLib

        “And yet I still worry…”

        I remember trying a version of the-vastness-of-the-cosmos argument on my mom when I was about 10:

        “With all the rooms in the world, what does it matter if mine’s clean or not?”

        “Because it’s your room. Clean it!”

        Each of us is responsible for our little corner of the universe…

  15. Mikel

    Monkeypox: with no way to claim it’s fake (the result of the sickness is seen) and the quarantine time…it’s going to get weird in the USA.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Things have been weird in the US for a very long time.
      And as a further thought, I notice that the health authorities have been saying monkeypox is a disease spread by men who have sex with other men. What has happened to the new language?
      By now I would have expected that the relevant community would have cancelled health authorities for insensitivity. Instead health authorities should be saying “people who have sex with other people” or maybe “people with penises who have sex with other people with penises” so that nobody is offended.
      Or is this sort of biological identity erasing language only applied to women eg chest-feeding, pregnant people, people with vaginas etc.
      Why do I see the resurgence of the alpha male in this sort of language, and not to mention the banning of abortion.
      All aboard! the train to the 19th century. No infection control. Minimal health services. Home remedies for deadly diseases because nothing else is available. In short, survival of the fittest. Women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen etc

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I bet hundreds of thousands of words have already been written about monkeypox. Somewhere among all those words I remember having seen a few words about how it is clearly spreadable through the air though not known how easily or how far.

        But when any health authorities say it only spreads between gay men during gay sex, I am confident those authorities are maliciously lying. I am confident their agenda is to keep society’s guard lowered and down about monkeypox until those same authorities have managed to turn it into a world wide pandemic through deliberately fostered blind-eye neglect, a pandemic which, they hope, cannot ever be contained. I am not sure what their motive would be beyond more Jackpot, but I am confident that is their agenda.

  16. JTMcPhee

    Re that Tom Gara tweet on the Del court not wanting to issue an order where it was unlikely that the subject would obey:

    Why do any of us go along with the orders of the ?US Supreme Court? Including, if there were really separate and equal branches of the federal government, the US Congress? IF, very big IF, Congress and the Executive decided that say for example the Dowd and Citizens United were such aberrations from the notion of “democracy” that they should be ignored< what are nine old men and middle-aged women going to do to enforce their obviously political preferences? FDR (genuflects slightly left) challenged the “power” of the court pretty directly.

    And yes, post Powell Memorandum a huge amount of corporate money has gone into creating a subservient government at all levels that still has “police powers” to restrain the rabble and has not been afraid to use them (Obama’s Fusion Centers, Homan Square e.g.). But hey, folks, lookie lookie at Sri Lanka and Myanmar and the Netherlands and how aboot them Canadian truck drivers, eh?

    And of course Superpersons like corporations and billionaires routinely blow off court orders and even enforcement actions where the executive extends itself to try to mandate compliance with rules and statutes. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the squab…

    There’s truth to the notion that rulers rule with the consent, or at least the terror, of the governed. Interesting how quick that tolerance of abuse and looting can evaporate.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘Here is an English translation of Rybar’s report vis-a-vis the purchased HIMARS system + ammo.
    Price: $800k for the system; $330k for an unspecified number of rockets.’

    Did it happen? Maybe. We might have to wait until the war is over to see if it actually happened. Still, a million bucks plus and a coupla Russian passports would be an awful temptation. But this story adds to something that I read earlier. It seems that American instructors are also being “unofficially” sent with those HIMARS system to help the Ukrainians to shoot them. But perhaps a secondary mission for those instructors is to make sure that those Ukrainian crews don’t get any funny ideas-

    1. MT_Wild

      For that to work the instructors would have to outnumber or outgun the Ukrainian crew. Would be interesting to know what the training cadres look like in numbers and background.

      My guess is that each of those HIMARS systems is getting round the clock U.S. surveillance and intelligence to keep them operational and identify targets. We’ll see if the Russians can successfully counter.

    2. ambrit

      It’s a war zone. All sorts of “unfortunate accidents” can happen to those “trainers.” It would be of interest to see just how large a ‘technical train’ those HIMARS have. Perhaps the odd platoon of Seals or Rangers per unit for ‘defense in depth?’

      1. hk

        If by that, you mean “shoot the uppity Ukrainians” if they start acting “funny,” we know what happened to the Swiss Guards in France when they started shooting the uppity French. Not a good combination.

        1. ambrit

          Well, they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.
          Your analogy is very apt. The Swiss Guards also worked for an absolutely corrupt gang of sociopathic narcissists. The King and Queen tried to do a runner and were caught shy of the border. Will Zelensky and Company suffer a similar fate?
          History shows that many stooges of the American Empire end up ‘compromised.’ Saddam Hussein was our boy till he was not. Ditto Manuel Noriega. Closer to home, Jimmy Carter was sabotaged from within. How Ronnie Reagan escaped hanging as a traitor I will never understand.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Will Zelensky and Company suffer a similar fate?

            You mean like Viktor Yanukovych was driving around Kharkov and Donetsk to avoid right-wing armed groups hunting him until he was extracted by Russian special forces?

            I believe it’s customary for Ukrainian ex-presidents to leave the country and be prosecuted, although the order of these may vary.

      2. JTMcPhee

        My guess is that the US contingent is fully operating the HIMARS systems, including inputting the targeting coordinates chosen from among whatever the US/NATO ELINT and HUMINT sources decide are the best targets. FukUSA really knows its stuff…

        1. ambrit

          I wonder how the Pentagon will classify casualties resulting from Russian counter-battery fire?

          1. JTMcPhee

            My question exactly. Casus belli instituted by warlords happy to have the excuse to nuke some Rooskies.

            “You people have no right to blow up our covert advisers who have been launching US-provided missiles into Russian territory. No FAIR! I call NO FAIR!”

  18. flora

    New French government suffers first defeat as lawmakers vote down part of Covid bill

    France’s government has suffered its first defeat in parliament after President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling party lost its majority in elections last month. After an late night debate, opposition lawmakers rejected a proposal to give the government powers to reinstate a Covid health pass at the borders.

  19. Carolinian

    Consortium’s Patrick Lawrence is always good

    The Russian president, whose entire argument with the West is that a just and stable order in Europe must serve the security interests of all sides, was simply restating objectives the trans–Atlantic alliance had once signed on to accomplish. In other words, he was pointing out said alliance’s gross hypocrisy as it arms the ideological descendants of German Nazis.

    Meanwhile Biden is in Israel swearing fealty–and fealty is the right word–to an Israel whose apartheid government, he claims, is joined irrevocably to that of America. One could take his equal devotion to Ukraine and its Nazis as a deeds not words slap in the face to such devotion. But perhaps the real takeaway is that our current US political landscape is full of empty vessels who tell their audience what they want to hear. And in this case that audience is the Democratic donor base who Biden hopes will support his finger tip grip on power.

    If Biden’s advisers had any savvy they would tell him to just shut up already. A Rose Garden strategy is best for the next two years.

  20. marym

    Re: “6 or 7 dozen populists on the right”

    In the US the populace is all of us. I never understand the use of this term about a faction in this country that serves the rich, is funded by the rich, and is eliminationist toward most demographics in its domestic policies.

    For example, today’s links refer to: women denied life-saving healthcare, bashing gay children, one of the SCOTUS christianists, and Trump’s “secret donor dinners”

    It’s like calling the other faction small d-democrats.

    Also, if AOC or Bernie voted No on something that was going to pass anyway, it would be called “performative.”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      aoc and bernie were given the benefit of every doubt by their committed believers. It wasn’t until the repeated betrayals became too numerous and blatant to deny that the word “performative” was, correctly, applied.

      Betrayals have consequences.

      1. nippersdad

        I was about to make the same point. Following the money…..

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Representative (D – NY)
        Financial Services Oversight and Government Reform

        Top Contributors, 2021 – 2022
        Contributor Total Individuals PACs
        Alphabet Inc $26,359 $26,359 $0
        University of California $17,474 $17,474 $0
        City of New York, NY $16,604 $16,604 $0 $12,521 $12,521 $0
        Microsoft Corp $11,552 $11,552 $0

        …..answers a lot of questions.

        1. marym

          I wasn’t saying her votes were or weren’t performative. I’d just apply the same standards to the so-called “populists on the right.”

          The contributions are from individuals who work in those companies. The PAC column is zeroes. I’d apply the same standards for individuals and PAC’s for the “populists on the right” as well.

          1. nippersdad

            I am afraid that I have become very cynical about such things. Straw donors are a thing and that Met Gala performance has stuck with me.

            As Katniss says, they are no longer getting the benefit of the doubt, from me, anyway.

            1. marym

              I was arguing that the “populists on the right” aren’t of or for the people; and that voting against a guaranteed majority isn’t necessarily significant, beyond messaging which may or may not be backed up by other effort or accomplishment, no matter who does it. Turned into another AOC bashing.

        2. Darthbobber

          Doesn’t answer any of mine. Numbers I’d expect for a politician who’s popular with techies and the university crowd. And it would be shocking if a NYC democratic politician backed by most of the city’s public employee unions failed to have a lot of donors whose employer was the city of New York

        3. chuck roast

          University of California? That seems odd…do they still run the nuclear weapons labs?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The ” all her years” locution makes it sound like a lot of years. How many years has she been in Congress? How many bills does the average Congressmanwoman introduce by that same number of years?

  21. mikel

    “FDA authorizes Novavax Covid vaccine, in hopes the traditional shot will convince holdouts” Stat

    “Authorizing an additional Covid-19 vaccine expands the available vaccine options for the prevention of Covid-19, including the most severe outcomes that can occur such as hospitalization and death,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf in a prepared statement.

    How can they still tell the lie about the shots PREVENTING Covid? Why are they getting away with it? And does anybody believe that stupidity in the face of ALL evidence now? Stop The Lie!!!

    Focus needs to be on the claim about preventing “the most severe outcomes that can occur such as hospitalization and death” – because event that must be getting shaky.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Is Novavax closer to being a classical vaccine? If so, would it actually be able to prevent infection, or not?

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Germany Criminalises Journalist for Reporting Ukrainian War Crimes ”

    If Alina Lipp knows what is good for her, she should avoid traveling to the UK lest she end up in Bronzefield prison. Come to think of it, maybe avoid any EU country at all as some of those countries are reverting to fascism in their fight for Ukrainian liberty. So much for EU “values.”

  23. Anna

    Re monkeypox in UK school, copied from Alex Meskin’s Twitter feed:. “This is inaccurate. There was not a monkeypox outbreak in a school. One child was exposed to someone with the virus, so they closed their school as a precaution.”

  24. Charlie Sheldon

    Time Travel books: One of the best, and most believable, time travel books I have ever read came out 50 years ago – “Time and Again” by Jack Finney. It’s about New York City in the 1880s, more or less, but the premise is brilliant and quite captivating. If you can grab a copy, well worth it.

      1. ambrit

        Finney was one of those writers who excelled at “off kilter” works. He also did “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
        Another primo time travel work is Fritz Leiber’s “The Big Time.”

    1. Terry Flynn

      Thanks for the recommend. In terms of movies, there are only two time travel movies that I thought were both “good” subjectively and perfectly internally consistent in their model of time travel: Primer (very low budget) and Predestination (which I watched because Ethan Hawke and Heinlein though by the end I had elevated Sarah Snook to one of the best actresses I’d ever seen on film). She is magnificent in “Succession” despite a good but not brilliant premise and I’d watch her read the phone book.

      Perfection….. And when it comes to “hard sci fi” I’m a tough critic…… I loved Hawke in Gattaca and its themes overall.

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        I enjoyed Primer as well. You can do good stuff with a low budget. Even time travel!

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Primer was an unexpected treat!

          And I just watched Ethans latest horror movie, The Black Phone…NOT BAD!!!! I very much enjoyed it!

          Not to switch the subject, Gattaca is amazeballz, but Ethan in First Reformed was my favorite Hawke performance!

    2. Ranger Rick

      Mark Twain’s ur-example A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is still excellent satire two centuries later. I read it in a pocket edition when I was young, and while the sendup of Arthurian myth was almost completely lost on me at the time, the consequences of industrialization were heady stuff compared to the other classics in my collection.

  25. Mikel

    “Trump Fires Back at Elon Musk, Says He’d Be ‘Worthless’ Without Government Subsidies, Bashes Tesla Cars” Mediaite

    (Jumbo size popcorn popping in the background)

    Trump delivers a jab and an upper cut.
    Hey, Elon, throw the right hook. Slam Trump’s years of receiving subsidies of some kind for real estate deals.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Trump is a scumbag, but he can drop a truth bomb every now and then. (And this is what the powers that be really resent about him.)

    2. Jak Siemasz

      By not paying income taxes, Trump proves his whole life is being subsidized by the US guvmint.

  26. Jour De Lenteur

    If there was any doubt the HIMARS is complicating Russia’s offensive, see the above reports discouraging their deployment.

    Russia’s offensive occupies a space roughly the size of Vermont. By eliminating forward waypoints for trucks offloading shells without the aid of pallets, Ukraine is forcing Russians to truck things further than they operationally prepared to do. This will cause fuel shortages, breakdowns, spare part shortages, and larger shares of loads dedicated to heavy shells displacing food, medicine and even the troops themselves.

    Russia’s infantry is exclusively mechanized, as opposed to foot-mobile light infantry or airborne cavalry, riding in the same trucks and APC’s now preoccupied with ammo convoys or stalled for lack of parts and fuel. Convoys will get bigger, less frequent, operations are delayed, troops concentrate, movements become dependent on the supply timetable, routes become more direct. This is Clausewitz’s culmination.

    It is unclear, the exact reason why Russia is not able to operate at night to counter these batteries. However, HIMARS has been in-theatre for three weeks without evidence of any units suffering casualties.

    1. CheckyChubber

      Yes, that’s the fantasy “new york times” version. I wonder what’s really going on? All I’m seeing is, in city after city, Ukraine’s troops are getting routed.

    2. hunkerdown

      Yeah, it’s a pretty common problem these days, drive-by posters with one-off names and middle-class smarm posting their Putin BDSM slashfic and never coming back to reply.

      1. ambrit

        Agreed. Welcome to the “Cyber War Theatre” comrade. NC must be causing disruption in the ‘Official Narrative’ somehow to warrant this escalation in “drive by” trolling.
        Slava NCaini!

    3. Kouros

      “Russia’s offensive occupies a space roughly the size of Vermont.”

      Are you trying to gaslight the readership and commentariat here with your assertion?? You think we cannot look at a map?

      1. ambrit

        Yes. I’d have guessed that Russia’s “offensive” is about the size of New Hampshire. /s
        Actually, Luhansk and Donetsk are slightly larger than the combined areas of Vermont and New Hampshire. Throw in the Southern Oblasts and we’ed have to add Maine into the ‘comparison’s’ mix.

        1. Jour de Lenteur

          Don’t mistake the map for the territory. I said “offensive” which is the distance the troop lines pushed west in the last 30 days or so. I stand by my Vermont comparison, the area of hostile territory where convoys are vulnerable. The DPR and LPR don’t count. The Southern campaign is on hold outside of the fall of Mariupol. The offensive is concentrated around Lysychansk as of July 3rd. A convoy would have to traverse 100 mi from the rear in three directions to reach the vanguard. So, Vermont. Which is a massive offensive but the breakout remains elusive.

          Also, I’m pretty sure no outfits, anywhere, would try to influence this crowd. What would be the point? Cynicism is self-negating. Mission accomplished.

          1. ambrit

            Many of us consider the entire campaign as being an “offensive.”
            The DPR and the LPR most assuredly do count. They have supplied a large part of the ground forces. Considering how the Ukraine was constantly bombarding those two territories with artillery over the last eight years, anything that stops that lethal process is a legitimate part of the ‘campaign,’ and thus of interest to the LPR DPR troops.
            As for “this crowd,” well pardner, don’t assume a unified hive mind here. Indeed, look for the opposite, a fractous, squabbling, argumentative crowd scene. In short, what’s best about the Terran human character.
            If you want true cynicism, try meeting and greeting the core management cadres working for the Oligarchs. An utter and all encompassing disregard for Terran human life is the definition of institutionalized cynicism. Their motto: “I’m allright Jack.”
            In case you haven’t had to deal with the dysfunction that is Moderne America, consider that ‘cynicism’ has become a survival strategy. Expect the worst, and you’ll only be a little dismayed at what shows up.
            And what fun, a ‘nom de net’ based on a painting by Tanguy.
            The claims and counter claims about Russian ammo dumps being hit by HIMARS and HIMARS units being blown up by Russiam missiles are fully into “he said, she said” territory. If the HIMARS really are that hard to target, then expect the transit points within any part of the Ukraine where the missiles for those units are moved through to be ‘degraded’ soon by Russian rocket forces.
            I’ll believe that the HIMARS systems are a game changer in the Ukraine War when I see Russian units begin to retreat along multiple fronts.

            1. Polar Socialist

              If one compares HIMARS to Russian 9A52-4 Tornado the latter seems to (on paper) have more mobility (faster, bigger engine), it has smaller crew (3 vs. 2), more rockets (6 vs. 15), longer range (84 vs. 90 km), faster salvo (22 vs. 20 sec.) and faster reload (10 vs. 8 minutes).

              If both sides have a game changer, but the other has 12 and the other +120, how will the game change?

      2. Polar Socialist

        For those who actually can’t or won’t look at a map, Ukraine has lost a piece about the size of Indiana, actually. Without counting Crimea. Ukraine itself is about 4/5 the East North Central Region, if anyone wants to compare.

        Proportionally, Ukraine has lost control of about 20% of it’s land area. That’s about three times as much as Germany conquered in 1940 before France sued for peace. Which, besides giving us a totally useless comparison, does actually emphasize that occupying area doesn’t count nearly as much as destroying enemy’s capability to fight.

    4. OnceWereVirologist

      At least, wait until there’s evidence of a sustained reduction in the Russian’s 50,000 shells a day before you declare HIMARS hitting logistics a game changer. This could easily be another Javelin or Bayraktar – tactical successes exaggerated far beyond their true scale or strategic significance for propaganda purposes.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “US struggles to curb Turkey’s TB2 killer drone exports”

    ‘Turkey’s cutting-edge armed drone is changing the nature of modern warfare and proliferating at alarming speed’

    That particular genie is long ago out of its bottle. US battle doctrine going forward will have to deal with the fact that even poorer countries will be able to attack US forces with a variety of drones which can include dedicated military drones to the sort of ones that ISIS used. When Yemen attacked Saudi oil infrastructure using drones and missiles, that actually brought a measure of peace to this region as it was realized that any attack on Iran by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States would lead their oil industries being turned into ash. So drones can act as a deterrent to being attacked and invaded. I’m sure that the Pentagon is keenly watching events unfold on the Ukrainian battlefields to see what they can learn about dealing with the drone threat.

  28. Colonel Smithers

    Merci, Jerri.

    Joyeuse fete nationale a la communaute NC.

    Further to Labour imposing a straitjacket on itself, one should not be at all surprised. Hopefully, they will be wrongfooted by a Tory opportunist.

    The idea for Brown came from the guy who did Brown’s thinking, Ed Balls. It was the same with the sale of Britain’s gold and its notification to the market. Smart, eh?! Balls’ brother Andrew is and was at PIMCO. All are groupies of Larry Summers, even making a show of holidaying with Epstein’s mate in New England and telling EU counterparts about whose company they kept and preferred. Clucking weird, all of ’em!

    Rachel Reeves is a former Bank of England and IMF official. She buys into this stuff. Her sister Ellie is an MP, too. They are children of south London teachers, but have no empathy with people struggling. A dozen years ago, Rachel Reeves said she wanted Labour to be and be known as the party of the aspiring classes, not the poor, unemployed and even disabled. Methinks that Angela Rayner should have called Reeves, not the Tories, scum.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Thanks Colonel. BTW I went to school with Balls brothers. I have no personal insights into them since one was older one was younger but I DO know the “institutional atmosphere” of our (minor public school by reputation but at the time 9th best school in the UK in terms of A level outcomes and entrance to Oxbridge).

      The headmaster, in a general studies class at A level (just about the only class he taught), once demanded an answer to a question he posed about the Arab-Israeli conflict – his Oxford PhD was in history. When none of us 15 students ventured an opinion he lost it, virtually shouting “you will be running the country one day…. How can you not know this stuff?”

      Sticks in my mind to this day and I wonder what the Balls boys said or didn’t in such classes…… I was there on scholarship due to parental poverty….. Most were not.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Terry.

        I am aware of your school. Ken Clarke was also a pupil.

        The family comes from Norfolk and is somewhat blairite avant la lettre. The father led the fight to abolish Norfolk’s grammar schools, but sent his sons to a fee paying school.

        I was invited by a friend in the legal team at PIMCO in the noughties. The office is near Selfridge’s, so a hamper was ordered for lunch. Both brothers were there. They speak posher in real life than they let on on the airwaves.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Thanks – a lot more makes sense now. I really wish I’d managed to get Ken Clarke to speak to politics society when I was Chairman. But he was canny and always had an excuse to say no.

          Interestingly though school is now co-ed. The “official” reason is “sex equality”. The real reason is that things have deteriorated that ALL boys taking the entrance exam had to be accepted if they could pay. Solution to climb back up the academic ladder? Cannibalise clever girls from the Girls’ school across the road to make it competitive again. NHS will survive at the expense of NGHS. My old House master (RIP) told me this.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Terry.

            Mine had 6th form girls when I was there as it needed the money and as a first step to becoming fully co-ed, as it did a decade later, according to the girls’ house mistress and head of modern languages

    1. Old Sovietologist

      Thanks for that Col.

      Another anti-Russian column from Cohen will sort out all his problems.

  29. Mikel

    “China’s Henan bank scandal not just a financial crisis, it may be a lasting political calamity: analysts” South China Morning Post

    And to break it down another way:
    Bloomberg News
    More Chinese Homebuyers Refuse to Pay Mortgage Loans Amid Contagion Fears

    (Bloomberg) — A rapidly increasing number of disgruntled Chinese homebuyers are refusing to pay mortgages for unfinished construction projects, exacerbating the country’s real estate woes and stoking fears that the crisis will spread to the wider financial system.

    Homebuyers have stopped mortgage payments on at least 100 projects in more than 50 cities as of Wednesday, according to researcher China Real Estate Information Corp. That’s up from 58 projects on Tuesday and only 28 on Monday, according to Jefferies Financial Group Inc. analysts including Shujin Chen.

    “The names on the list doubled every day in the past three days,” Chen wrote in a note published Thursday. “The incident would dampen buyer sentiment, especially for presold products offered by private developers given the higher risk on delivery, and weigh on the gradual sales recovery….”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yup. Its always been apparent that an ever rising property market was hiding a myriad of bad bets and bad loans that have built up over decades. Buffets retreating tide and swimsuit analogy applies. Once Evergrande did a swan dive the inevitable could only be delayed. The only question is how much there is and how Beijing tackles it. Unless they really screw up there won’t be a crash but the possibility of freezing everything into a Japanese style deflation is very real.

      The key problem may not necessarily be the overall quantity of bad debt – Beijing has the tools to deal with it – its the complexity of the problem, everyone is playing musical chairs and nobody wants to be the one holding the parcel when the music stops. There is a huge incentive for local governments and banks and loanees to keep things as opaque as possible. In the past, its been regular deposit holders who have been left holding the can (by way of virtually no interest on their savings). And its hitting at a bad time, when Chinese domestic demand is stubbornly low. They can’t rely on exports to keep everything balanced up. Interesting times.

  30. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Tom Gara tweet

    Incredible quote on why the court may not order Elon to go through with the deal: “it’s unclear whether the order of the court will be obeyed, and courts in Delaware are very concerned about issuing a decision that that then is ignored, flouted. It reflects poorly on the court”

    “Too big to jail” has been around for a long time now. It usually takes the form of “refusal to prosecute” because the case is too “complicated” or expensive or the government “prosecutors” are afraid they’ll hurt their future employment prospects by exposing actual corporate wrongdoing or just plain losing the case. The issue is usually skirted with plea “deals” in which a few pennies are paid to somebody and no “wrongdoing” is ever admitted.

    It never mattered much because the only “losers” were the american people whom nobody gives a shit about anywayzzzzz….

    But now it’s Godzilla vs. Mothra, and the specter of “who’s gonna make me” or “you and what other army” or just plain “eff off” looms large. Boo hoo. Poor little delaware court. Oligarch vs. oligarch is quite a pickle.

    1. Carolinian

      From what I read Musk can pay a 1 billion cancellation fee which is pocket change for him.

  31. Lex

    Can permaculture alleviate poverty & ensure food security?

    Yes, but the focus in this article and many like it is incorrect because they almost always put the onus of action on individuals. We can make choices about what products we buy and what materials we use/don’t use, but individual decisions have to be aggregated to make any difference and in a great many cases individuals don’t really have a decision to make because they have no good options. These types of articles always tell us to grow a garden, advice I heartily agree with but the reality is that few individual gardens will make much difference even in a household’s food requirements.

    The concepts of permaculture could have a significant impact on our world, but they’d need to be adopted from the “top” down. They need to be included in corporate product planning and government decisions. Corporations need to be responsible for the waste stream of their product and its packaging rather than the responsibility being on individuals to “recycle” the plastic packaging.

    1. super extra

      I’ve had reason to research the local situation in France regarding permaculture (long story, short answer is ‘for work’) and one thing I have been pleasantly surprised by so far is that the concept is entrenched at both the top-down level (university programs in agriculture include it as part of the row cropping agronomy, livestock ag, and sustainable ag designs) and bottom-up (rural partially-developed homes specifically marketed to individuals to finish for large permaculture gardens with their attendant greywater reed beds already developed but the inside of the domicile to be finished). I’m not sure how much of it is forced vs natural, I got the impression natural as the housing examples were not in nicer tourist areas.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      It would take a movement of millions of people to torture and terrorise the government into torturing and terrorising corporate planners into instituting such things.

      Perhaps millions of people doing all the gardening and yard-and-neighborhood scale permacuturing can become a community able to support a movement capable of inflicting the torture and terror against government needed to get government to move on the issue?

      Or perhaps a movement of millions of highly-educated-in-the-concepts people could actually ” purge”, “burn”, and “exterminate” enough people from enough levels of government to where that movement could actually take over parts of government and make it theirs? And use it to force corporate entities to do that sort of planning?

  32. Wukchumni

    Kevin McCarthy said Trump ‘goes up and down with his anger’ toward others, comparing it to walking ‘the tightest tightrope’: book

    I’m up on the Trump tight wire
    One side’s nice and one is ire
    It’s a circus game with him and me
    I’m up on the tight rope
    One side’s hate and one is my speaker of the house hope
    Being the head honcho is all I seek

    And the wire seems to be
    The only place for me
    A comedy of errors and I’m falling
    Like a rubber-neck giraffe
    You look into my past
    Well maybe you’re just too blind to see

    I’m up in the spotlight
    Oh does it feel right
    Oh his altitude seems to get to me
    I’m up on the tight wire
    Flanked by an odious liar
    Putting on a show for you to see

    Like a rubber-neck giraffe
    You look into my past
    Well maybe you’re just too blind to see

    I’m up in the spotlight
    Oh does it feel right
    Oh his altitude really gets to get to me
    I’m up on the tight wire
    Flanked by an odious liar
    Putting on a show for you to see

    Tight Rope / Leon Russell

  33. Milton

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed the fact that Googlemaps has removed the option to filter photos by “latest” (videos too) in Ukraine and the border cities of Russia Poland etc. They did this shortly after the Russian SMO. I frequently use this capability when there are natural disasters as I can see the latest images and clips. Another example of quashing any sort of info that potentially can run counter the West’s official narrative.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Are there other earth-from-space photo-takers besides Google? I dimly remember names like Spot and Landsat from the past. And there was also a French one. Do any such things exist today?

  34. Lexx

    ‘Adventures In Writing Time Travel’

    Among this genre of writers… who do they think is in the greater danger: the time traveler from the populace, or people of that time from the traveler?

  35. JAC


    My mother was pen pal’s with Norman Mailer since the late 90’s until her death. She was a devout born again Christian and had written him after she read or saw him in an interview of him speaking about Christianity. They exchanged a few more letters and then he sent her his manuscript for “The Gospel According to the Son” for her to to read an give him insights. Which she did and he had changed a bit of the book because of her insights. I had an opportunity to meet his similarly aged son Micheal in NYC but I unfortunately could not make the trip from NC at the time.

    I had the few letters she had left until I could not take care of them anymore and gave them to my idiot brother. And I can tell you, this article was great to read because what I remember from the letters he wrote, that was certainly the spirit he voiced in his letters.

  36. CaliDan

    => Can Permaculture Alleviate Poverty & Ensure Food Security? Madras Courier

    Mkay… One need not read past the subtitle to find the answer [which, to me, reads like a message from the fossil fuels industry]: “Permaculture could help alleviate poverty & hunger. However, everyone has to be invovled and progress can not be hasty.”

  37. Darthbobber

    “Biden’s weasel words on press freedom”_CJR
    Subpar for CJR. They deal with the weaseling about press freedom in other people’s countries, but get through the whole thing without mentioning Assange and other criminalizations of journalism, or the heavy-handed control of information flow viz all things Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, usw, usw, Maybe this is because Biden doesn’t even have to weasel about domestic press freedom because our jingoistic press doesn’t bother to press him on the matter. (to put it mildly, much of it is supportive of the ever-increasing control measures)

    1. Terry Flynn

      The mathematical proof article is an Onion style joke, right? Yes there is truth in number theory regarding prime numbers but to segueway into the central limit stuff which is akin to flat earth territory shows that the mathematician really can’t do satire or, if really believing that stuff, makes me think we’ve already entered “Idiocracy” (2006 movie). Either way, they need to get out more.

      It’s not my place nor am I inclined to explain jokes….. But applying the CLT to ratios (used in health economics and statistics used in finance) is outright dangerous. Making math accessible is one thing but simplifying to such an extent that EXPLICITLY says economy crashing events like LTCM and 2008 (fat tails and black swans) is impossible….. Words fail me.

      Please tell me this is one of the NC articles deliberately referenced to show balance and teach people how to think critically about stuff that is patently wrong? Just look up ratio statistics and their second moments for proof. It’s just one reason why Black-Scholes etc was garbage. It’s becoming harder to spot the spoof articles on the internet as it is.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Not sure why this didn’t appear as independent comment and not a reply to another as intended…. Skynet burped…

  38. Lunker Walleye

    Why Write?

    Great essay. Thanks for sharing it Jerri-Lynn! So many good links and comments today.

  39. Glen

    Apparently AMLO tried to explain FDR and the New Deal to Biden during his visit:

    Biden gets an earful in the Oval from Mexican President López Obrador

    Mexico is subsidizing gas to keep it affordable to it’s people. (And even encouraging Americans to come and tank up as part of being a good neighbor to America.)

    Good Neighbor Policy

  40. RobertC


    ASPI’s Michael Shoebridge agrees with my China analysis but offers same old same old response China in the South Pacific: splintering regionalism and strategic gains through economics

    Beijing is moving at high speed to co-opt South Pacific states [Oceania] economically and then use that leverage to achieve broader goals, including the ability to project military power across the Indo-Pacific.

    …Australia and like-minded partners are moving to enhance their cooperation with Pacific states. However, it seems likely that China’s economic and cash-based engagement will continue exploiting a large seam that our engagement is leaving largely unaddressed.

    That’s because we continue to prioritise decades-long approaches focused on aid, capacity-building and defence cooperation, now with the additional, welcome, priority of cooperation on climate change action. These priorities respond to stated needs of Pacific states, but they will probably do little to change the region’s status as the most aid-dependent area on the planet.

    [Okay Michael you understand the problem. Whatcha gonna do about it?]

    Australia, the US, New Zealand, Japan and Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) members and dialogue partners seek to support the forum’s vision of regionalism because of the values inherent in ‘a common sense of identity and purpose, leading progressively to the sharing of institutions, resources, and markets’.

    But there’s an important other aspect to effective regional cooperation, which is for the PIF to act as a shield for the region to resist Chinese co-option that will undercut the security of Pacific states—and of Australia and New Zealand.

    [Yep — AU and NZ security — we knew that was coming and off we go.]

    …The good news is that the real advantage Australia and New Zealand have is economic. The working model for what a prosperous and stable region looks like can be found in the wildly successful Australia – New Zealand Closer Economic Relations framework and visa-free travel for work. This opens economies and employment markets between Australia and New Zealand and, if extended to small Pacific states, would turn aid-dependent places into joint contributors to successful economic regionalism, addressing the needs of South Pacific workers for meaningful employment while simultaneously filling growing workforce gaps in Australia’s economy.

    Another advantage Australia and its partners have in the South Pacific is the fact that we’re democracies and so can engage not just with counterpart governments, but with democratic opposition figures and voices and non-government institutions, and at people-to-people levels. This will also require a shift in government thinking in Canberra to make meetings with opposition figures—like Matthew Wale in Solomon Islands and Tessie Lambourne in Kiribati—a normal part of relations.

    Gee, offering its citizens the opportunity to provide cheap labor in Australia and directly engaging with its opposition, what government wouldn’t leap at the opportunity? The Solomon Islands and Kiribati have already chosen — more will follow them as the Foreign Minister of the world’s largest economy makes the rounds to promote a common development vision.

Comments are closed.