Links 7/17/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

G-20 Finance Meet Ends Without a Communique But Progress on Food Bloomberg

Scientists Have Found a Way to Save Energy And Boil Water More Efficiently Science Alert (KW). Now comes the scaling up part.

Long lines are back at US food banks as inflation hits high AP

Car repossessions are surging — a troubling sign for the used car market CBS

The Slow Erosion of Amazon’s Power Matt Stoller, BIG

Nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google, according to Google’s own data Business Insider


We need to draw down carbon—not just stop emitting it MIT Technology Review

Climate change a far greater threat to global economy than Covid-19 pandemic amid rising intensity of heatwaves and floods, Swiss Re says South China Morning Post

United Kingdom issues first Red Extreme heat warning The Watchers

Ice melt:


Most of U.S. Population Now in Areas With High Covid-19 Levels as BA.5 Subvariant Spreads WSJ. The story is based on CDC’s infamous “Community Levels” metric, which means that masking is even being considered at least two weeks too late. Of course, Los Angeles is considering imposing mask protection on July 29, so make that two weeks a month.

The BA.5 Wave Is What COVID Normal Looks Like The Atlantic (DL). Joe, Tony, Rochelle, good job.

Novavax’s Traditional Vaccine for COVID-19 Could Hit the U.S. Soon. Most Unvaccinated Adults Wouldn’t Be Swayed Morning Consult

Vaccines for shingles, measles may protect against severe COVID-19, new research suggests Big if true.

Future of intranasal vaccine: What should we know? Times of India. Authors believe nasal vaccines may not be sterilizing; BBV154 still in trials.


‘Too easy to borrow’: debt plagues young people despite China’s scrutiny of fintech microloans South China Morning Post

China growth hopes rest on troubled local government financing vehicles FT. On the Henan bank riots:

China Maritime Report No. 22: Logistics Support for a Cross-Strait Invasion: The View from Beijing (PDF) China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College

Guangdong launches the world’s first wearable air conditioner What China Reads


Myanmar orders companies, banks to suspend foreign loan repayments – media Reuters

China-Backed Illegal Rare Earth Mining Surging in Northern Myanmar The Irrawaddy

Malaysian assets at risk globally as heirs of sultan, who are Philippine nationals, claim US$15 billion award South China Morming Post


RBI sets up system to settle trade in rupees The Hindu


Astonishing letter:

Gut the system and then charge the staff with managing the “risk” your own actions created.

Is Paul Mason’s parliamentary run a Trojan Horse for British intelligence? The Grayzone. As opposed to Parliamentary Labor and the press?

Ripping BoJo another new one:

And yet BoJo, with awesone tenacity, remains at the top of the greasy pole.

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine: can Russia still win the war? FT

Russia Shows Shoigu Awarding Troops For Ukraine Fighting Radio Free Europe

Ukraine peace talks in the cards? Indian Punchline. Straws in the wind.

“There Is No Good Historical Example” for War in Ukraine Der Spiegel. On territory: Kissinger: “At no point did I say that Ukraine should give up any territory. I said the logical dividing line for a ceasefire is the status quo ante.” What Kissinger said at Davos: “Ideally, the dividing line should be a return to the status quo ante.” “Ideally” is doing rather a lot of work there, which most coverage seemed to recognize.

Russia’s Gazprom says no sign of Nord Steam 1 turbine Deutsche Welle. Maybe President Manchin could give Trudeau a call?

Speaking of Harpoons Andrei Martyanov, Reminiscences of the Future

Biden Administration

Tucker Carlson claims that witness from 2020 campaign says Biden took ‘pills’ under wife Jill’s supervision before every public appearance and was ‘like a child’ without the medication Daily Mail. Big if true; it would also seem that Hunter comes by his tendency to self-medicate honestly….

Biden fails to secure major security, oil commitments at Arab summit Reuters

IRS refuses to fix controversial ‘math error’ notices that have baffled millions of taxpayers Fast Company

Democrats en Déshabillé

Promises, promises:

Game On Eschaton.


Op/Ed: Dr. Caitlin Bernard right to protect privacy of 10-year-old rape victim Indianapolis Star


We should worry about price of food more than petrol, warns BlackRock’s Fink FT

The Bezzle

Musk said not one self-driving Tesla had ever crashed. By then, regulators already knew of 8 LA Times

A wide range of routers are under attack by new, unusually sophisticated malware Ars Technica

Capitol Seizure

Justice Department Steps Up Jan. 6 Probe of Those in Trump’s Orbit WSJ

DOJ seeks longer sentence for Capitol rioter they labeled as a domestic terrorist NBC

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Here Are the Orwellian Details of the U.S. Patent JPMorgan Got Approved for Its Sprawling System of Spying on Employees Wall Street on Parade

Realignment and Legitimacy

Episode 257: Not Yet A Statistic (podcast) Trillbilly Worker’s Party. Former NGO staffers share their woes…..

Growing support for political violence raises alarms The Hill

Poll: Many red-state Trump voters say they’d be ‘better off’ if their state seceded from U.S. Yahoo News. Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The West is Experiencing a Contraction of its Power Internationalist 360°

Class Warfare

The Hidden Fees Making Your Bananas, and Everything Else, Cost More Pro Publica (Re Silc).

How Uber won access to world leaders, deceived investigators and exploited violence against its drivers in battle for global dominance The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

On Joe Burn’s “Class Struggle Unionism” Industrial Worker

Games People Play: The Revolutionary 1964 Model of Human Relationships That Changed How We (Mis)Understand Ourselves and Each Other The Marginalian. Note that there are good games: Happy to Help, Busman’s Holiday, They’ll Be Glad They Knew Me, Homely Sage

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Samuel Conner

    > I won’t waste any time getting this virus under control.

    Setting aside the preliminaries that are mentioned — talk is cheap — and judging intentions though the evidence of actions, it might be arguable that what the speaker meant, during the moment of clarity he was experiencing when he spoke, was

    I consider ‘getting this virus under control’ to be ‘a waste of time’

    1. griffen

      The satirical update to that tweet might include the following:

      1. The US economy will recover all the jobs lost. This is actually true, I think.
      2. Inflation will set a record not seen since 1981. History will be made!
      3. Putin. Putin. It’s his fault on a few fronts. We can’t name all of them yet.
      4. I promised to end reliance on fossil fuels, in my campaign and debates. Thank me later.

    2. jsn


      It’s crystal clear no that you’ve pointed it out.

      And he’s stuck to that commitment.

    3. Laughingsong

      > I won’t waste any time getting this virus under control.

      — Rather, I’ll waste time trying to get Manchin to see reason about, well. . . Everything else.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Quite remarkable that. Simon Tisdall may be over 60 years old but emotionally he is a child. You guys have probably seen or experienced it. A child demands something like a sparkly pony and when told no, launches into a temper tantrum. They yell, they scream, hold their breath and throw themselves onto the ground and will keep on doing so until they get their way. It’s hard to say how much of this drivel he actually believes and how much he is writing it for the Guardian but his idea of launching the entirety of NATO at Russia in the east is just insanity. At this point it is obvious that NATO would have its collective a** handed to it and if Somon Tisdall is not aware of this basic fact, then his views are to be dismissed.

      1. The Historian

        I’m not sure that NATO would have its a** handed to it – wars are funny things. But what I do know is that Putin is not using his full force against Ukraine and he is willing to play the long game in order not to use his full force.

        And I know that if NATO gets involved then the Russian people will see this war as a war for survival, as they should, and no weapons will be off the table. It will be a war where each side feels it has to win unconditionally. World War III will not be like WW II – something so many commentators seem to ignore – both sides have weapons that can destroy the world – and they will use them if they are faced with loss of survival. And the war will not be contained just to Ukraine – all of ‘the allies’ will suffer just as they have from all those sanctions.

        I also have listened to Stoltenberg’s speeches and I know he would love to get involved – he just appears to be waiting for Putin to make a mistake, which to Putin’s credit, Putin has not.

        The Simon Tisdall’s of this world, and their early 20th Century thinking, are dangerous – I’m hoping saner minds prevail.

        1. Lex

          If we all managed to avoid nuclear escalation, NATO would get clobbered simply because it is no longer designed for maintain high intensity for more than a few weeks. But Russia would experience serious and significant damage. I don’t see how it could be confined to Eastern Europe, which means the possibility of nuclear escalation by neither Russia nor the US rises considerably.

          And therein lies the problem for western escalation: it’s lighting the fuse on completely unpredictable chains of events. If those events remain non-nuclear the US likely losses its empire rapidly, which raise the chances of it becoming nuclear. There simply is no substantial predictive capability which means there are no means (even if we had the statesmen to pull it off) to contain things in this scenario. Insanity.

          1. digi_owl

            The basic thing to keep in mind is that NATO does not control the nukes. USA controls them, UK controls them, France controls them.

            And USA in particular seems itchy to use them.

            1. HotFlash

              As a person approaching the time when, well, as I often say, my next major life event will be my death, maybe these Old Cold Warriors just have a bucket list? And of course, IBG, even if Y may not be.

        2. digi_owl

          I am frankly not sure exactly how much say Stoltenberg has in all this.

          After all, the general in charge of NATO is American. Always has been, always will be.

          And both EU and USA implement sanctions etc without conferring with Stoltenberg as best i can tell. Just look at the back and forth between Poland and USA about jets, with each side trying to hot potato the other for final delivery before basically giving up on the idea.

          1. The Historian

            Oh, but it isn’t always the most industrially powerful that win wars. Might I remind you of Viet Nam – a country with very little manufacturing compared to the US back in the 60’s and 70’s?

            Or perhaps you remember World War II. Hitler could have won that war except that he made two fatal mistakes early on: First, he should have held to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact until he had all of Western Europe, including Great Britain, beaten. But instead he opened a war on two fronts which split his forces. And then, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, he declared war on the US and brought us into Europe when he could have left the US alone and allowed it to spend its energies on Japan instead of fighting in Europe.

            Wars are funny things. History is full of examples of wars where the side that, on paper, should have lost, actually won. There is only one guarantee in war – that the people of all countries concerned will go through a great deal of suffering.

            At this point, I wouldn’t bet on either NATO or Russia winning – I would bet on human loss and economic and environmental destruction, though!

            1. Yves Smith

              This comment is in bad faith. You clearly haven’t read the RUSI article. It shows that Russia has a level of dominance that the West won’t be able to MATCH, much the less beat, in less than a decade of investment. From the report:

              The winner in a prolonged war between two near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base. A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production. Unfortunately, the West no longer seems to have either….

              In short, US annual artillery production would at best only last for 10 days to two weeks of combat in Ukraine. If the initial estimate of Russian shells fired is over by 50%, it would only extend the artillery supplied for three weeks.

              The US is not the only country facing this challenge. In a recent war game involving US, UK and French forces, UK forces exhausted national stockpiles of critical ammunition after eight days.

              Unfortunately, this is not only the case with artillery. Anti-tank Javelins and air-defence Stingers are in the same boat. The US shipped 7,000 Javelin missiles to Ukraine – roughly one-third of its stockpile – with more shipments to come. Lockheed Martin produces about 2,100 missiles a year, though this number might ramp up to 4,000 in a few years. Ukraine claims to use 500 Javelin missiles every day.

              The expenditure of cruise missiles and theatre ballistic missiles is just as massive. The Russians have fired between 1,100 and 2,100 missiles. The US currently purchases 110 PRISM, 500 JASSM and 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles annually, meaning that in three months of combat, Russia has burned through four times the US annual missile production. The Russian rate of production can only be estimated. Russia started missile production in 2015 in limited initial runs, and even in 2016 the production runs were estimated at 47 missiles. This means that it had only five to six years of full-scale production.


              This is before getting to the fact that:

              1. Russia is acknowledged as having superior missile and missile defense capabilities.

              2. Russia has superior signal-jamming systems, including GPS jamming.

              3. Russia has 27 weapons systems, for which the West has nothing comparable. 7 of those are hypersonic missiles in production. The US has yet to test a hypersonic missile successfully. The US does have better submarines.

              4. Russia is seen as better at HUMIT (human intelligence, as in old fashioned spying) than the West, which has under-invested in that and is gaga over SIGNIT.

              1. The Historian

                I didn’t mean to post in bad faith but I think I didn’t make myself clear.

                I read the RUSI report and I am sure NATO/US has read it too. And I don’t think the people in NATO are idiots (although they very well might be!) so I wonder if they think they can fight Russia because they think they are smarter strategically? Let’s hope that never comes to test!

                But my point is that the most technologically advanced country doesn’t always win. I go back to Germany in WWII because it is the best example I know people are familiar with. Russia didn’t beat back Germany because it had the best weapons, but rather it used what it had more efficiently. For instance, the T-34 was a piece of crap compared to the Panzer but it was cheap and easy to build and maintain and Russia could afford to lose more of them than Germany could the Panzers. And Britain won the Battle of Britain not because their airplanes were better than Germany’s, but because Germany made serious strategic mistakes. And it is those mistakes that win or lose wars.

                I am IN NO WAY discounting the fact that Russia has more and technologically better weapons systems. And I am in NO WAY discounting the fact that Russia has maintained its manufacturing capacity and can produce weapons faster than the US/NATO can. Those are facts! But I don’t think we should underestimate NATO either. And I don’t think NATO would have a problem going to ‘strategic nukes’ if they felt they could not keep up with Russia’s conventional weaponry. But then I guess it wouldn’t matter who won.

                1. Yves Smith

                  You are vastly overestimating NATO. NATO politically cannot admit it is a paper tiger.

                  Russia’s logistical accomplishment in prosecuting the war so far has been remarkable, particularly given that they also are coordinating and supplying multiple forces: the LPR and DPR militias, the Chechens, the Wagner group, and their military. And the Russians aren’t even using their best troops!

                  There is no way the West can match that, even before you get to the inconvenient fact that Russia also has the advantage of proximity.

                    1. Yves Smith

                      I don’t mean to seem to come down hard on you. But the degree of sheer propaganda (as in the contrary to fact sort) in Western reporting on the war in Ukraine is breathtaking.

                2. monosynapsis

                  regarding panzers vs T34: you should take a look at reports from Wehrmacht officers facing T3s in 42/43 . Pure terror.

      2. jonboinAR

        Any talk of war with Russia as any kind of option is just absolute batshit insanity. Public figures of any stripe who make comments like that need to be called out harshly. It needs to be made clear that nothing they say will ever be taken seriously again. Like, _-you, shut the _ up from now on! I don’t know how to get that done, but it really, seriously, needs to be. *&^%$, we’re talking about the end of human civilization here, actually, literally! I don’t remember comments like that being made even at the very height of the cold war. It’s one of the cues I notice that western (at least) society is on the verge of real breakdown. Then what?!

        1. jonboinAR

          I mean, the Soviet invasion of Czhechoslovakia (sp) was made quietly relative to this conflict, was it not? IIRC, there was no talk that NATO was going to see to it that the Soviets were going to be driven back ONE WAY OR ANOTHER! It’s hard to imagine that Nixon and Kissinger, et al, were wise men compared to this bunch of fools. This is so frightening!

          1. digi_owl

            Because it was still behind the iron curtain.

            For NATO to have intervened, they would have had to push their way past the Warsaw pact formations on the border with West Germany.

            And most of that border is mountainous.

            Never mind that the infamous Fulda Gap was just north of that border…

            1. Polar Socialist

              Czechoslovakia shared a border with West-Germany, NATO member since 1955 and neutral Austria. West Germany joining NATO and rearming was one of the main drivers in crushing Hungary 1956. Korean war had just ended, so Soviet leaders suspected the West looking for a new war “to weaken” the Socialist Block.

              So, in 1968 there was Vietnam as hot as a war can be, another proxy war betwween the West and the Socialist Block. Brezhnev was old school and took no chances – since the was no common security arrangement in Europe even if Soviet Union had pursued one ever since the war. There was only NATO, and it’s total refusal to become a security arrangement.

      1. Tom Stone

        Luke Harding… thank you for the laugh.
        If you want someone to endorse insanity you can’t do better.
        Authoritative, that’s Luke.
        And Tisdall is the very model of a “Modern British Statesman”
        On a happier note I have seen a second (Larger) King Snake and a Rubber Boa in the last few days, both passed within feet of me without taking overt notice.
        I intend to enjoy the beauty today brings me.

        1. jr

          Years ago on a school trip to the woods in Florida, my group came into a clearing. There was a tree that had fallen across the clearing. On top of it was an Indigo snake that had to be close to 6’ long. Stunning!

    2. Louis Fyne

      reminder to the chicken hawks.

      The West is losing in Ukraine to a the Russian B-team (not saying that as an insult). An army that is largely Russia’s internal military (imagine the FBI had its own army) and Donbas militias with support from artillery, missiles, special forces units, Russian mercenaries, cossacks, Chechans.

      This is Russian/Russian-allied war-making at the medium setting.

      Maybe the Russian A-team is over-hyped marketing….but I wouldn’t risk my life, or the lives of anyone else, on it.

      I imagine that eventually the A-team will get rotated in before winter. Grab your popcorn. The war is an opportunity for the entire Russian military to have real-world experience against their enemy’s weapons, doctrine, intelligence gathering.

      The West has the Midas touch, but in the wrong direction….everything it touches is only making Russia (and China) stronger.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I have heard that Russia is in fact bringing in their A-Team – which includes their latest tank the T-90 – and they will be in the area of Donetsk. This is the city suffering constant shelling and civilian deaths because apparently the Ukrainians are unable to find any Russian military targets to shoot at. Wouldn’t want to be those guys.

        1. Greg

          Totally, looks like Russia is sending in some A-team now.

          The T-90’s you mentioned*, but personally I feel the “Terminator” is the much more interesting vehicle to keep an eye on. It’s a variant on the tracked APC base (BMP-2 etc) with reduced crew, much more hardened crew compartment (against ATGMs), and fully roboticised turret.

          It’s designed based on learning from the horrific Chechen wars, as opposed to the more traditional armour we’ve seen so far which is not as comfortable in urban fighting.

          *second latest tank – the T90 is the latest in the T72-based line, but they have a T14 “Armata” that looks more like a western modern tank. T14 is plagued with production problems (Russia is not immune).

          1. No it was not, apparently

            T-90A seems to have been deployed for months (perhaps from the start of operations); neither it nor the newest T-90M “Breakthrough”, or BMPT-72 “Terminator” is any indication of a presence of elite “A-Team” RU troops.

            Also, the baseline vehicle for the Terminator is a T-72 tank, it is not based on a BMP-type APC, and it does not have a “reduced” crew — it’s crew is apparently increased from 3, on a T-72, to 5, so it has three personnel handling the weapons systems on board as opposed to just one.

            Further it’s not equipped with a “robotized” turret, it has a weapon station, and it’s operated manually, as can be seen by the very large crew, Terminator-2, on the other hand, has a what appears to be a very-low-profile turret and seems to be a more of an “in-place” upgrade for existing T-72, with the idea being that foreign customers can easily convert their existing tanks into heavy IFVs and buy extra T-90’s to go along.

            And finally, the Armata series heavy platform family is still in development, there are no issues with production, these systems aren’t finished yet, which is also plainly visible (missing weapons, unclear or missing armor arrangement, etc.).

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      This is the first MSM editorial I’ve seen openly calling for military intervention (also known as WW3) against Russia. I would have expected to see this first in a USA outlet (the Washington Times perhaps), not in a UK publication (let alone the Guardian), but apparently times have changed. Perhaps Mr. Tisdall forgot to take his meds that day. Or perhaps he’s just nuts. Either way, it’s a very disturbing article.

      1. ambrit

        Pet poodles yap the loudest. Ankle biters can be an almighty pain, but those wolfhounds now; watch out!

      2. Jess K

        Tisdall has actually been a broken record of warmongering lunacy since the war started. Every single one of his whiney op-eds is a plea for NATO immediately go to war with Russia. Every single one simply takes for granted that Western military power is omnipotent and will swiftly put the Russians in their place. To the extent that the obvious danger of this conflict escalating to a nuclear exchange (as it almost certainly would) is acknowledged, it’s cast as a risk worth taking.

          1. Greg

            Guardian is a very tame outlet these days; changed to a much more UK deep-state aligned narrative after they went in with hammers for the wikileaks hard drives, and I’ve also read that the new funding arrangement involves ownership by a handful of very conservative organisations.

      3. KD

        If it didn’t work the first time, just double down. NATO would kick Russia’s ass on Twitter, anyways. The Russians would just get scared and beg for mercy immediately, so America wouldn’t even have to exhaust its 3 week supply of artillery ammunition.

    1. Carla

      @Jason Boxman: Have you read Kim Stanley Robinson’s “The Institute for the Future” ? What a harrowing beginning to a novel!

      1. Petter

        The Ministry for the Future. I read it and yes that first chapter is horrifying – a nightmare scenario.

      2. Jason Boxman

        I haven’t. Now isn’t the best time to start. Just lately I accidentally damaged my hearing and I’m literally losing my mind. Fear does wonders at focusing the mind in the wrong places at times. Apparently running the fan to keep cool makes it more rather than less haunting.

        1. Milton

          Just purchased an e-version, though recommendations by Obama and Ezra Klein almost dissuaded me from clicking the Buy Now button.

      3. Wukchumni

        I just finished MFTF and really a good read that was in theory fiction, but maybe not.

    2. super extra

      We’re also in the midst of the ?3rd or 4th? heatwave of the year so far. Usually they don’t start until later in the summer but the last few years have been sort of mild summer-wise so I guess we’re making up for it now. The weather report is triple digit temps for another 10 days probably, as far as they can reliably see. It is awful, miserable. Of course everyone here is stoic about it and puts it in terms like ‘this is almost as bad as 2011!’ or ‘not as bad as 1980 but close’, stuff like that. OK is better run (grid-wise) than TX but we have had a couple brown-outs and blinks because of load.

      1. griffen

        I remember 2011 in my North Texas apartment very well, vividly even, and the unending heat every day throughout July and August.

        OK likely benefits from the available nature of excess capacity on the broader regional electricity grid. Texas went that route alone, many years ago. And the powers in Texas and ERCOT appear to be capable, except when these power surges come about from never ending heat and little rain.

      2. playon

        Last summer we had three weeks with temps over 100 degrees here in central WA. (Three separate weeks, to be clear – one in June, and two in July that were not contigent.) We have no air conditioning in the old house and when there is smoke from wildfires, (an annual occurrence nowadays) we are forced to close up the house to maintain air quality and suffer through it. If it gets really bad we can retreat to the basement which is not at all comfy but at least we won’t die from the heat. This summer the pacific northwest seems to be getting a break – a cold and rainy spring and so far, summer temperatures that are bearable. Power is not a concern here since we are very close to hydroelectric dams on the Columbia.

    3. Tom Stone

      I watched, heard and smelled two people burn to death in a car in 1964.
      It was decades before I could stomach pork BBQ and I still don’t like it.
      Not the last violent injury or death I witnessed but definitely the ugliest.
      Like Ebola or Radiation poisoning there are a LOT of preferable ways to die.

    4. flora

      It’s mid-July. In my state July-August summer temps reaching 100 or 105 or even 110 (not for more that a few days at a time) isn’t unusual. The “highest summer temperatures to date” is stating the obvious. Mid-July, and all that. (Every year, I wonder how roofers and road workers manage working in that heat.)

    5. Leroy R

      The amusing (perhaps amusing is the wrong word) thing about all the news of the heatwaves and drought affecting the once paradisiacal planet we inhabit, to me anyway, is the studious avoidance of mentioning that next year will be worse, and then the next year, and then the year after that… as if all this is “one off.”
      “Well, we’re Texans and we’re used to heat…”

    6. Pelham

      An extended period over 100 degrees in those states may be unusual, or even record setting. But not in my ancient experience. In the 1950s when I was a mere infant in Kansas there was a day when the temp reached 117, and my dad had our first air conditioner installed. Years later in the late ’60s, I was called out on my cable TV job to help repair a cable that had been damaged by a garage fire on an afternoon when the temp hovered around 113.

      Short runs of temps just over 100 in Kansas have been the norm for a number of decades. And friends in Texas for years tell us they routinely carry an oven mitt around with them on car trips so they can open the car door after it has sat in the sun for a while. Of course, CO2 has been building up in the atmosphere for many more decades, so what’s really normal or desirable is harder to say.

      In any event, I’m no fan of this stuff and believe our only immediate and politically plausible salvation may require putting some kind of vast sun shade in space. MIT recently announced a new proposal along these lines.

      1. Leroy R

        Many who cannot see what is happening to the Earth may be persuaded when some regions become uninhabitable. Maybe Texas and Arizona will lead the way.

        1. HotFlash

          Oh, great. Texas climate refugees, just what we need. Well, amfortas, you’d be welcome chez HotFlash, and of course Ms Slim; we’ve got room for you-all here and a really big lake just down the road. Pls bring your mead recipes and your Russian lang skills :).

  2. Dftbs

    Maybe adherents of Western dominance would find its decline more palatable if they understood how brief Western ascendancy actually was. The Internationalist article talks about the West as a coherent notion going back to the 16th century. I think this is wildly off the mark.

    The the conquest of the large indigenous American empires by the Spanish was certainly driven by a dramatic gap in military superiority, but this was an exception of European interactions with non-European nations. The Portuguese “empire” in the East, while large by Papal decree, was in reality just toe holds scattered on the weak flanks of African Kingdoms and the true powers of the age, the land empires of Asia: Ottoman, Persian, Mughal and Chinese.

    European dominance would really only begin with the political capture of the Mughal empire by the British and the opening of China. In the scope of history this dominance was rather short (albeit unimaginably grizzly, probably eclipsing even the mongols), closing with the decolonization of the post-ww2 period.

    Even those Iberian progenitors of “Western” conquest would’ve laughed at the notion of “Western” which made them historical partners with the heretics to their north. And of course the placement of Russia as western or not shows how flimsy and contemporary this “historical” category is. Reminds me a bit of the use of “judeo-Christian” values, a phrase that lost its popularity as contemporary political trends shifted.

    1. anahuna

      Thanks for that useful reminder.
      Maybe Autocorrect, which plagues us all, turned “grisly” into grizzly?
      With thanks to the contributor who offered the joke beginning A priest, a minister and a rabbit walk into a bar.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Thanks for the joke! I had not heard that one before. It reminds me of a standup routine by the comedian Gabriel Iglesias — “Fluffy” about how his phone autocorrected a text message.

    2. Michaelmas

      Dftbs: this dominance (British empire in India) was rather short (albeit unimaginably grizzly, probably eclipsing even the mongols.

      Really? Where were the many heaps of many thousands of male human heads piled high, which were standard operating procedure under the Mongol invaders. See forex —

      Before the battle for Delhi, Timur executed 100,000 captives. The capture of the Delhi Sultanate was one of Timur’s greatest victories, as at that time, Delhi was one of the richest cities in the world. After Delhi fell to Timur’s army, uprisings by its citizens against the Turkic-Mongols began … After three days of citizens uprising within Delhi, it was said the city reeked of the decomposing bodies of its citizens with their heads being erected like structures and the bodies left as food for the birds by Timur’s soldiers. Timur’s invasion and destruction of Delhi continued the chaos that was still consuming India, and the city would not be able to recover from the great loss it suffered for almost a century.”

      “…after Isfahan revolted against Timur’s taxes by killing the tax collectors and some of Timur’s soldiers, he ordered the massacre of the city’s citizens; the death toll is reckoned at between 100,000 and 200,000.[63] An eye-witness counted more than 28 towers constructed of about 1,500 heads each.”

      I repeat, this was SOP in Mongol invasions, not just under Timur. Even the Romans, who were much sterner and crueller than we can easily understand now — forex, the Roman code was that captured Roman women and children should execute themselves rather than become slaves, and if they didn’t and then became slaves they were de facto not Romans — were lightweights next to the Mongols, forex, only crucifying 6,000 slaves along 125 miles of the Appian Way.

      The Mongol Muslim invasions are the gold standard in the genocide game. The West had technology — “Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun/And they have not” — but otherwise were rank beginners, with only Hitler’s Nazis getting anywhere in range.

      Note that both China and India did suffer Mongol Muslim invasions. So while the attitudes that both those countries have towards their Muslim minorities today may certainly be unfortunate and retrograde in the eyes of Western nations, those Western nations — with the exception of Spain — never experienced such Muslim invasions.

      1. Martin Oline

        I believe that Dftbs’ use of the word short was a reference to time and not the height of a human without their head. Perhaps I am mistaken, but he also uses the word brief and toe-holds, which is an entirely different end of he body.

      2. Dftbs

        Yes, just as you’d add Tamarlane to the Mongol tally due to some distant ancestry and self-proclamations, I would say that proponents of the “West” should own the crimes of that self-defined “West”. From the crusades to the conquest of the Americas, to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Leopold’s fiefdom in Congo, Barbarossa and the millions killed in Korea and Vietnam, right onto the more recent blood sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan and the countless other aggressions in between, we’ve got the Khans beat.

        Now imagine the tally if as some Western fetishists do, the West began with the Romans and we added Carthage and Gaul to the lists.

        1. dftbs

          Michaelmas, I realized that I left something important unsaid, I don’t think there is a thing as the “West”. I think there is an American empire that uses terminology such as the West, democracy, free markets and human rights, to justify its quest for dominance.

          But if you believed in that idea of the West, then you would own the violence of it. And yes, I think that violence would be greater than that of the Mongols. For example a modern believer in the notion of the West wouldn’t consider Russia or its Soviet predecessor to have belonged to it, so wouldn’t all the Soviet civilians dead at German hands not be victims of the West? As to how the German SOP of conquest on the Eurasian plain compares to the Mongols, I’ll leave it up to you to determine who was worse.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the firebombing of many cities, the mutual slaughter of males in WW I, a long list. And now the ruling elites have 13,000 nuclear weapons to “deploy and detonate” to really put some scored up on the board…

            What possible combination of behaviors by the mopery could lead to a peaceable realm? Asking for a friend… and bearing in mind that circumstances can turn mopes into mass murderers in a heartbeat… [“60 Minutes” interviewer talking to young USAF captain, member of launch team of flight of ICBMs in Montana: “So your like your job, then —? “ “Oh yes — I could never have this level of responsibility in civilian life!” (As in over 100 MIRV’d nuclear warheads 500 kilotons each, able to “take out” over 100 million Russians).]

          2. jsn

            I find Michael Hudson’s definition of the West as heirs to Rome’s creditor bias useful.

            The only useful insight I got from Harriri’s “Sapiens” was that while we tell ourselves all kinds of stories about why we do what we do, the more absolute milieu of symbolic reason, mathematics, has had a much more consistent and measurable effect. Hudson’s “Forgive Us Out Debts” lays out the ancient near eastern mechanisms rulers adhered to for a thousand years to prevent the deleterious and systemically predictable effects of compound interest from consuming all benefits of civilization and with it, civilization itself.

            The West has now more purely embodied this Ouroboros like circle, with Anthropogenic Climate Change drawing the entirety of earths ecosystem into the self consuming circle of debt deification. So defined, the West is largely to blame for this.

      3. Vikramaditya

        The West as rank beginners in the genocide game, I mean, really? Perhaps a little reading would not be amiss before so adroitly jumping to the defence of the Raj? How about the gentlemanly Brits strapping so-called “mutineers” to cannons before blowing them to pieces in their hundreds in Lucknow, Delhi and across North India in 1857? Or the cycles of criminal British mismanagement that resulted in millions of avoidable famine deaths in the sub-continent in the late 19th and mid-twentieth centuries? Millions. Register that number for a moment before so casually rounding on “genocidal Mongol Muslims”. Ever taken a dekko at photographs of corpses of famine victims stacked like firewood in Bengal & Bihar and compared them to your fabled mounds of Timurid heads? Or pondered the morality of the ghastly Churchill, deliberately starving Bengal (another 4 million deaths) in the 1940s to secure grain for the imperial war effort? Then reflect as well upon the fact that there were NO famines in India in the millennia that preceded the 200 years of British plunder that constituted the Raj. So here’s a quiet piece of advice: read a genuine history book that rather than citing Wikipedia as your source. Your contribution says so much more about you than you might realise.

        1. Paul Jurczak

          Don’t forget the invention of concentration camps during the Boer Wars, which was perfected later by another western nation.

          1. HotFlash

            I did a little SwissCows search, and it appears that the first concentration camps, at least so named, were in Cuba, 1895 and ff. Although, I would have to point to the American “Indian reserves” of when, the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell which set boundaries to ‘”Indian territory” were already around back there/then. I can only find Cdn law dating to 1867), but the British govt had previously made treaties etc but they are harder to trace in a quick search. The French missionaries in Canada had decreed sedentary lifestyles for nomadic Iroquois and Innu as far back as 1637. I would consider this restriction of mobility a ‘concentration camp’, and of course the Spanish missionaries in California had local natives who were “attached to the mission” in the euphemism of the recipe for pozole (“the noonday meal of Indians attached to the mission”) from a placard at old San Juan Capistrano, at least when I visited there in the early ’80’s, but that happened betw 1769 to 1823. So, the French Jesuits seem to have them beat.

            But I also gotta say, remember “Trojan Women”, the 1971 film by Michael Cacoyannis? Kate Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, Irene Pappas, and even Geneviève Bujold (although they put putty on her nose since her own little upturned one was thought ‘too cute’ for a prophetess of doom. But I digress.) At least in Cacoyannis design (trailer here), the pen that Hecuba and the other Trojan women were kept in looked like a concentration camp.

            So, to echo Tom Lehrer, if anybody’s gonna write the play, make the movie, The Ukrainian/Russian War, they’d better start now.

        2. Oh

          You’re quite right about the British Raj that plundered India, massacred the people and kept India out of the Industrial revolution. And Wikipedia is a joke.

        3. Michaelmas

          The West as rank beginners in the genocide game, I mean, really?

          Yes, really. Truly, seriously, really — by historical standards.

          A little reading would not be amiss before so adroitly jumping to the defence of the Raj?

          Where did I say anything to ‘defend the Raj’ or the ‘West.’ Go back and look. I’d say a little improvement on your own reading and critical thinking skills wouldn’t go amiss, either.

          Regarding the history you cite, I’m well aware of it. I note, too, your very selective — or outright ignorant — reading of your own country’s history in the centuries prior to the psychopathic Clive of India’s appearance there, and the systematic pillaging carried out by the British empire, which, yes, has now rightly gone into the dustbin of history.

          Again, I said nothing — I repeat, nothing — about ‘defending the Raj’ or the ‘West,’ or about ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys.’ Human history is essentially one long nightmare of mass psychopathic performances on all sides by most so-called civilizations, the West not least of all.

          But not most of all, either. Besides being immensely frightening, butchering someone or avoiding being killed that way — the old-fashioned way, by hacking them up with blade or axe — is more work than most people imagine. If you’ve no idea, the nearest reliable modern accounts are the Hutu-Tutsi genocide (fairly direct historical product of Belgian colonialism, not incidentally, if that makes you feel better) in Rwanda, where nearly one million Hutus and Tutsi mostly hacked each other apart with only machetes, knives, and axes. To get a better idea of how much sheer physical work hacking, disemboweling and killing that number of human beings by hand can be, start here for accounts —

          Decapitating a human being is especially a lot of work, though with appropriately-sized blades and axes it goes faster. (I presume.) Now imagine the physical work involved in butchering millions by hand and decapitating a sizable fraction of that number.

          Because that’s what the Mongol-Muslim invasions of Asia and what we now call the Middle East did, and I know of no other exercise in sheer human butchery by hand that equals it in history.

          And that’s what I said. If I’m wrong, cite me that equivalent exercise in butchery. Can you?

          So here’s a quiet piece of advice: read a genuine history book that rather than citing Wikipedia as your source. Your contribution says so much more about you than you might realise.

          Seriously? The fact that I link to an easily accessible, readable source on the internet necessarily condemns me as some imperialist knuckle-dragger who’s never cracked a history book? That’s the level of your analysis? Well, I’ll give you this: you’re funny.

          1. Vikramaditya

            Got your back up much? Survived the Mongol invasions, did you, good Sir Michaelmas, and here you are hundreds of years later bearing the scars and eager to tell the tale. Good grief. So nothing compares to those dastardly Mongols (yellow, Muslim) or Hutu-Tutsis (Black) in all of human history when it comes to genocide? And this on the authoritative basis of your “easily accessible, readable source on the internet” which also happens perchance to be a source of outright propaganda. You’re already in a hole, mate, you started ten feet deep, stop digging deeper. But then again, who am I to compare the “butchery” of the Mongol Muslim invasions to actual first-hand accounts of Muslim historians who witnessed the arrival of the Christian crusaders in 1096 and the tender acts of mercy visited on the inhabitants of the Holy Land: read the contemporaneous account of the historian Ibn Al-Athir regarding the acts of cannibalism perpetrated by the Franj. And this after the Christian Holy Warriors had pillaged and slaughtered their way through Byzantium. You ask me to cite equivalent acts of butchery? Are you serious? We live in the long shadow of the Holocaust, the fire bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, and Hiroshima-Nagasaki. We’re faced with the very real possibility of a nuclear war. If you’re so doggedly hung up on hand-made, bespoke butchery (what are you, some kind of fetishist?) try Attila and his Huns, or the Viking berserkers. But then again, who am I to contend against the sheer “physical work involved in butchering millions by hand?” You were there, after all, you kept count. Millions? Gullible much?

            Objective Ace, herewith some books for a lazy afternoon: Amin Malouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes; Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts; Exterminate All the Brutes and A History of Bombing by Sven Lindqvist; Madhusree Mukherjee, Churchill’s Secret War; Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning, The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya; Catherine Hall, et al, Legacies of British Slave Ownership. The list is long; it goes on and on. And on.

          2. HotFlash

            Human history is essentially one long nightmare of mass psychopathic performances on all sides by most so-called civilizations, the West not least of all.

            That is something I should stitch on a sampoler, or write on a wall.

            1. amechania

              Ghettoes and the forced conversions of pagans spring to mind, but it’s not the ‘west’

              Human, all too human. We would need to discover something more to ever hope to escape.

              1. amechania

                “And in fact, I myself do not believe that anybody ever looked into the world with a distrust as deep as mine, seeming, as I do, not simply the timely advocate of the devil, but, to employ theological terms, an enemy and challenger of God; and whosoever has experienced any of the consequences of such deep distrust, anything of the chills and the agonies of isolation to which such an unqualified difference of standpoint condemns him endowed with it, will also understand how often I must have sought relief and self-forgetfulness from any source—through any object of veneration or enmity, of scientific seriousness or wanton lightness; also why I, when I could not find what I was in need of, had to fashion it for myself, counterfeiting it or imagining it (and what poet or writer has ever done anything else, and what other purpose can all the art in the world possibly have?)

                That which I always stood most in need of in order to effect my cure and self-recovery was faith, faith enough not to be thus isolated, not to look at life from so singular a point of view—a magic apprehension (in eye and mind) of relationship and equality, a calm confidence in friendship, a blindness, free from suspicion and questioning, to two sidedness; a pleasure in externals, superficialities, the near, the accessible, in all things possessed of color, skin and seeming.

                Perhaps I could be fairly reproached with much ‘art’ in this regard, many fine counterfeitings…

                Granted, however, that all this were true, and with justice urged against me, what does it signify, what can it signify in regard to how much of the self-sustaining capacity, how much of reason and higher protection are embraced in such self-deception?—and how much more falsity is still necessary to me that I may therewith always reassure myself regarding the luxury of my truth.”

                – Human, All too Human

          1. Michaelmas

            Objective Ace: Any history books you’d care to recommend?

            Sure. An immensely underrated — and short — book is THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN, 1975, written by John Ellis, who was (and is, as far as I know) a British historian of Leftist inclinations and the better for it.


            I’m mentioning it because so many commentators here assume the ‘West’ was uniquely genocidal or savage. Not exactly, however fashionable it is for the unthinking — that’s all youse guys outraged by my claim that West were genocidal pikers in some ways — to assume so.

            What the ‘West’s’ very temporary supremacy came down to was technologies of greater firepower and, starting in the 19th century’s latter half, the industrialization of slaughter — much as factory machines and engines had industrialized manufacturing in Europe — via the machine gun. But the ‘West’ paid a great price for this: the lesson of Ellis’s THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN is that the imperial weapons systems ultimately come home to be deployed in the imperial homeland(s).

            The story Ellis tells, to vastly simplify it, runs like this: –

            [1] Various efforts to create and deploy reliable machine guns start around 1840, till the Maxim gun’s appearance in 1884 pretty much renders all the others as mere prototypes.

            One metric of the Maxim gun’s lethal efficiency is the telling fact that in 1850 most of interior Africa remained unmapped by the Europeans; by 1900-1910, every ‘country’ in Africa was not only mapped but conquered by European empires, with only Ethiopia’s exception. Thus, Hillaire-Belloc’s “We have got the Maxim/And they have not.”

            [2] For a rude analogy, one can think of Cecil Rhodes and his ilk as the go-getter equivalents of the ambitious young people who go to Silicon Valley today to make their fortunes. Similarly, Rhodes and his ilk went out into the empire to make their fortunes and the machine gun facilitated their imperial exploits (and exploitation).

            The battle of Omdurman in 1898 in the Sudan is arguably the high-water mark of all this. The British intended elimination of the then-Mahdi as a force in the Sudan and payback for Gordon’s death at Khartoum in 1885. They planned for ten years and even built railways to bring up Maxim guns and artillery to the specific battle site to which they intended to lure the Mahdi’s forces, as there were also rivers on both sides where they could bring their gunboats to shell the Mahdists.

            Long story short: 8,200 British, and 17,600 Sudanese and Egyptian soldiers versus 52,000 Mahdist warriors. Result: 47–48 dead Anglo-Egyptian soldiers, 382 wounded; 12,000 dead Mahdists, 13,000 wounded, 5,000 captured

            The young Churchill was there. His first book, THE RIVER WAR, includes an account which is great writing, but not (trigger warning) for the squeamish. A sample:

            ‘…by 6.45 more than 12,000 infantry were engaged in that mechanical scattering of death which the polite nations of the earth have brought to such monstrous perfection.

            ‘They fired steadily and stolidly, without hurry or excitement, for the enemy were far away and the officers careful. Besides, the soldiers were interested in the work and took great pains. But presently the mere physical act became tedious. The tiny figures seen over the slide of the back-sight seemed a little larger, but also fewer at each successive volley. The rifles grew hot—so hot that they had to be changed for those of the reserve companies. The Maxim guns exhausted all the water in their jackets, and several had to be refreshed from the water-bottles of the Cameron Highlanders … All the time out on the plain on the other side bullets were shearing through flesh, smashing and splintering bone; blood spouted from terrible wounds; valiant men were struggling on through a hell of whistling metal, exploding shells, and spurting dust—-suffering, despairing, dying. Such was the first phase of the battle of Omdurman.


            [3] BUT simultaneously back in Europe, Ellis shows, the social class structures there meant that the second and third sons of the nobility, who didn’t inherit their father’s estates, entered the military and became generals, colonels, and majors. This deeply conservative European officer heirarchy maintained belief in the primacy of cavalry charges and the bravery and initiative of the individual soldier, even as the colonial empires of their nations carried out industrialized slaughter by machine gun. The thinking seems to have been not much sophisticated more than that sophisticated white European militaries weren’t going to be mown down like ‘fuzzy wuzzies.’

            There were individuals who understood what industrial warfare between Europe’s industrial nations would be like, that it would inevitably bog down into a continent-wide war of massive attrition with the opposed sides digging in with long lines of fortifications and trenches. Notably, a French-Polish banker, Jean de Bloch, who’d made his money financing railroads in Europe, wrote a book called IS WAR NOW IMPOSSIBLE? which, via careful tables and calculations, predicted every aspect of the horror of WWI except the appearance of fixed-wing aircraft. Bloch knew all the royalty of Europe and Russia, and many of the major statesman, and gave them all copies of his book.

            Nobody effing listened. Just as thousands of native peoples had been mown down by machine guns overseas, now the European industrial nations turned their machine guns on each other and millions of young European men were mown down by machine guns and artillery at battlefields like the Somme, for instance, where Germans suffered 630,000 casualties, and the British and French 485,000.

            [4] If that’s not enough for you as a moral for the story — that the machine guns with which the Europeans slaughtered thousands of non-Europeans, they then turned on each other to slaughter millions of their own — Ellis has more. He examines how after WWI, the weapons systems first used on the imperial periphery come home to the streets of Western nations, so by the late 1920s and 1930s the likes of Al Capone, John Dillinger, and Machine Gun Kelly are blazing away with Thomson guns in American cities and towns.

            Ellis stops there. Of course, history doesn’t: the Armistice essentially amounted to a break while the European nations rebuilt, then went at it again in WWII, so much of the world’s industrial capability became given over to the manufacture of weapons and weapons systems (military planes) and the industrialization of slaughter climaxes in the Manhattan Project, and atomic and thermonuclear weapons.

            You can’t get bigger than that. So from there the trend reversed and weapon systems began getting smaller again and eventually miniaturizing, so that today we have the concentration on, forex, drones.

            To bring this full circle, just as Ellis’s SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN traces how machine guns came home from the imperial periphery to, ultimately, the streets of American cities, in the 21st century the drone technology first used in places like Afghanistan will come home to America. I don’t know exactly how; ,aybe people will start strapping IEDs on drones and flying them at, for instance, Washington politicians and CEOs’ homes. One way or another, though, the drones and the other imperial weapon systems are coming home.

      4. Lex

        All true, except that ancient sources are unreliable in terms of numbers. These are the same sorts of sources that have battles with hundreds of thousands of forces arrayed and that’s almost impossible. Many of those sources weren’t writing history so much as propaganda. There’s no question the Horde in any of its incarnations was brutal, but our sources on that brutality need to be taken with a grain of salt.

        1. hk

          Also, Mongols themselves exaggerated stories of their own brutality. They (and for that matter, Romans) didn’t massacre for the sake of killing. They wanted to frighten their enemies to submit to them without fighting. Making brutal examples of those who dated to resist them by razing their cities and massacring their inhabitants then spreading the exaggerated tales of the woes that befell them did wonders for others.

          1. Michaelmas

            Making brutal examples of those who dated to resist them by razing their cities and massacring their inhabitants then spreading the exaggerated tales of the woes that befell them did wonders for others.

            Given that this was the motive of the Nazis and the Romans — as you cite — and indeed every other mass military performance of psychopathy in human history, including the British empire or whomever, I fail to see why you imagine this uniquely exonerates the Mongols?

            To the contrary.

            Again, I repeat: there is no equivalent historical record as far as I — we, for that matter — know in terms of mass butchering and decapitations by hand of other human beings comparable to that of the Mongols across Asia and the Middle East.

            1. hk

              I don’t think anyone is “uniquely” exonerated–I have very low opinion of humans generally. But I do think the likes of the Albigengian crusades are a step worse (not so much because it was Western, but because of the fanaticism–massacre for the sake of massacring, all for “god” or “truth,” “freedom” or whatever. But then, all humans everywhere have perpetrated some version of this. Note that Nazi genocides cone closer to the latter than former–massacre for the sake of massacring, in the name of some allegedly higher cause.

              1. Michaelmas

                I do think the likes of the Albigengian crusades are a step worse

                Ah. I didn’t know anything about the Albigensian crusades. The numbers slaughtered weren’t that high, but they appear to have been — as you say — a horror story. Thanks. (I guess).

                Note that Nazi genocides cone closer to the latter than former–massacre for the sake of massacring, in the name of some allegedly higher cause

                The Wehrmacht on the Eastern front were out of their minds on ‘pervitin’ aka methamphetamines, which German industrial chemists had developed earlier in the century, as you may know. So higher in more than one sense, maybe.

                Or maybe lower. I know of no other drug that can so bring out the lizard brain in humans. In the internet’s early days, when it was less regulated, I saw a video a meth freak couple had put up where they’d sawed off the head of the female tweaker’s former boyfriend (I seem to have decapitation on my mind today) and were running crazily around a rathole apartment gleefully waving that head at the video camera.

                1. Vikramaditya

                  “Ah. I didn’t know anything about the Albigensian crusades.”

                  Nor, I fear, do you know much about the Romans, based on the evidence of this priceless statement: “Even the Romans, who were much sterner and crueller than we can easily understand now — forex, the Roman code was that captured Roman women and children should execute themselves rather than become slaves, and if they didn’t and then became slaves they were de facto not Romans — were lightweights next to the Mongols.” I’m sure the Carthaginians would politely disagree. Rome still stands, whereas Carthage, the erstwhile granary of the Mediterranean, was, literally, erased, following the Punic Wars.

        2. Michaelmas

          Lex: Many of those sources weren’t writing history so much as propaganda. There’s no question the Horde in any of its incarnations was brutal, but our sources on that brutality need to be taken with a grain of salt.

          No question.

          But, firstly, all history is arguably propaganda; and, secondly, the victors write history and the Mongols were the victors in most of their encounters — in which case, why should history so emphasize the Mongols’ brutality. Because the Mongols wanted terrifying propaganda about themselves? Because the Mongols were illiterates who didn’t care about the historical record? I can think of other explanations, but hard to prove any way.

          Still, one way into it might be that today we have a tool that wasn’t available just a few decades ago, which is archaeogenetics —

          Slaughter on that scale might well have left an imprint in the genetic record. On the other hand, absence of evidence would not be conclusive evidence of absence of slaughter on that scale.

      5. Kouros

        Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius…

        Mongols did apply a rational approach to their conquests. Machiavelli would have whole heartedly approved. The pyramids of heads where only here and there, where there was actual resistance…

    3. David

      Yes, long-term western domination of the world is a myth. Take Africa, for example: before about 1880, European powers only had tiny trading presences on the coast, and the interior, as was commonly said at the time, was as unknown as the far side of the Moon. The real power, all down the east coast of Africa, was the Ottoman Empire and the Arab traders. Indeed, the Ottoman Empire a couple of hundred years ago was the dominant regional power, controlling the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention parts of Europe itself.
      Oh, I see the author is:
      “the emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. His most recent book is Decolonizing the University: The Challenge of Deep Cognitive Justice.”

      Why am I not surprised? If all you have is a lance, then you need to find some windmills to tilt at.

      1. Tom Stone

        Modern hygiene and medical advancements made large parts of Asia and Africa habitable for much larger populations, as did cheap and easy fossil fuels.
        Those days are gone,the mass migrations and the inevitable die off have begun.
        Change is not linear and we are going through ( I hope it’s through) the greatest period of change in Human history.
        It is going to be a VERY different World in five years let alone 20.
        Be lucky and enjoy the show.

      2. Carolinian

        How about short term western domination of the world? Not a myth?

        At any rate thanks for the history lessons all. Perhaps the takeaway is that violence is baked in the cake and D.H. Lawrence sneering at “soul of a killer” America, or Churchill with his contempt for the natives needed more mirrors. Philosophy wise “know thyself” is pretty good advice.

        1. Michaelmas

          violence is baked in the cake and D.H. Lawrence sneering at “soul of a killer” America, or Churchill with his contempt for the natives needed more mirrors


  3. Robert Hahl

    re: Global warming started 150 years ago.

    That was before the first oil well was drilled in the US (1892), and world population was about 1.5 billion people. I think we have got a problem.

      1. jefemt

        Correct on timing of first producing well.

        We are at convenient Oil age overshoot— 8th generation.
        Will it take 8 generations of hardship and Sufferin’ Succotash(tm) to unwind it, or will the arc of that parabola be asymmetrical?

      2. Mark Gisleson

        And then in 1965 the beverage companies started using Ermal Fraze’s 1959 invention of the “pull tab.” Bottles went to twist off caps and suddenly the bottle and can openers in our collective junk drawers started getting rusty.

        But I seem to remember that oil cans were the last to switch over and those opener-spout-thingies were still common through the ’70s.

      3. LifelongLib

        Yes, have an ancestor who was involved in the Pennsylvania oil trade during the Civil War, so it was already a thing by then. Used to wish he’d stayed with it, but turns out that Rockefeller crushed all the independents later on, so my ancestor was lucky to get out of it.

      4. Steven A

        Each quart of Pennzoil included the slogan “100% Pure Pennsylvania” in the logo. It was gone by the mid-70s. (I am that old, too!)

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Angus himself points out (to a denier of man made global warming on that thread) that the problem has accelerated in the last 75 years.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Coal was important for industry for quite a while before it was partly eclipsed by petroleum.

    3. Mel

      As Samuel Conner says, Big Coal, along with Big Steam, started in the early 1700s — maybe 1698 through 1712 or thereabouts. So there’s 160 years to start increasing atmospheric CO2 and start the Greenland sea ice melting.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      The first clear signals of anthropogenic warming date back to the early 19th Century.

      In reality, we’ve probably been impacting on the climate for thousands of years. Before we started burning coal, Europeans stripped vast areas of peat (most modern heaths were originally peatland), and of course large scale deforestation goes back to at least the neolithic. There is some evidence that at least regional climate changes in neolithic times were the result of deforestation and soil acidification – it may not have changed the climate by itself, but it may have reinforced natural cycles. If you ever visit the Ceide Fields in the west of Ireland there is a vivid display of the impact of this on the early neolithic settlers – a mixture of human influence and natural cycles turned a forest landscape into grassland, then acidic heath, and finally, blanket bog. Its also possible that the widespread adoption of wet rice cultivation had a significant measurable impact on global climate.

      But we’ve also had the opposite effect. I don’t think its universally accepted, but there is a theory that the cooling period in the 18th century may well have been the result of natural regeneration of forest in North America thanks to Eurasian diseases being introduced and wiping out the native American civilisations of the continent.

      1. ambrit

        To your last point, there is also the reforestation of the Amazon after the Spanish introduced small pox and the rest to the native populations of South America. The extent of the cultivation and exploitation of the Amazon is just now becoming apparent.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Saw that earlier this evening. The key line is where it say ‘Paroev added that factories in both “friendly” and “unfriendly” nations are owned by five or six major fries producers registered in unfriendly nations, which have therefore refused to supply to Russia.’ So based on events of the past eight years, the Russians will start growing their own for processing into French fries without any worry by being undercut by foreign competition. Yet one more market that the west can kiss goodbye for good.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Given that Russia is the second biggest potato grower in the world, I can’t see them exactly suffering. They may have to just use real chips instead of those fake fry things McD’s sell.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I gather in this case about 85% of the fries are processed in Russia, but for the next year they’ll can grow only around 60% of the need of the specific variety needed for fries. Russia has imported a lot of the seed potatoes in the recent decades.

          Of course, Russia mainly imports those from Egypt, Belarus, Israel and Azerbaijan so sanctions should not hinder that too much.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, the issue of seed potatoes (or indeed the seed for any crop) shows just how complex and interlinked these things are. Sanctions or any break in supply chains can turn up all sorts of unexpected problems. My sister has recently been complaining that she can’t get her new German Miele kitchen because, according to the stockist, some cast iron part of the cookers are made in Ukraine….

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          I recall in the film Supersize Me that McDonald’s french fries would not decompose even after months left in a bell jar. Franken food to be sure.

          1. HotFlash

            Oh, but Stegman-san, I doubt that even I would decompose much in a bell jar, providing it was sufficiently evacuated. But potatoes, yes indeed, a staple of Russian, and much eastern European, cuisine.

            From Chip’s grandma Lois, when Chip asked, “On what occasions do we eat potato pancakes?” “You don’t need an occasion. Coz you’re hungry, and potatoes are cheap.” What do you put on them? “Sugar. Lots of sugar.” Ketchup? “You can put ketchup on ’em if you want, but you’ll have to eat them on the porch.”

            I also have Nela Rubenstein’s potato pancake recipe — that’s Mrs. Arthur/Artur, the pianist, so very authentic Polish, and probably musical, too.

          2. Altandmain

            That’s because they’ve been dehydrated.

            Under some situations any food can dry out so that it can’t decompose. There isn’t moisture for bacteria or fungi (mold) to grow and also for this to happen, their air has to not be humid enough.

            The same is true if you were to cook french fries or a burger at home and it was dehydrated.

            Source: Have had colleagues work in the food industry, where some of my colleagues specialized in food safety.

            A bit of a read if you are interested in this:


            It’s not that McDonald’s should be defended for their business practices, but the food not decomposing is not proof of “Frankenfood”.

    1. chuck roast

      Lifted from Links Comments on the 14th.

      Notice today that the Max Seddon byline was absent on their Big Read on the “limited” time the Ukies have to get it together before they crash and burn. Two months were the authors talking about? Max has been pretty shrill in his support for the democratic defenders and his disdain for the satan Putin and all his shenanigans. Of course as soon as Max’s supple fingers touch the keyboard everybody knows he is lying. So, the pink paper has relegated he and his demagoguery to the sidelines for…shall we say…a more realistic approach. The kleptocrats appear to getting nervous and shaky.

    2. Karl

      I noticed today that neither the NY Times nor WAPO are updating their maps of the Ukraine front. The last updates were over a week ago. Surely, if the Ukrainians had realistic prospects of regaining lost territory, this story would still be the front pages. Persistent Ukrainian losses are no longer “fit to print.” In any case I go to Military Summary on Youtube for the latest. Every day sees further Ukrainian retreat, and Putin says “they haven’t seen anything yet.” And where is Biden? Fist bumping with MBS and getting little in return.

      Interesting tidbit: Military Summary (yesterday) says there are persistent rumors that Russia bought a HIMARS system from some Ukrainian soldiers for $800K. Alex Mercouris doesn’t think it’s true. But maybe just rumor of this possibility will make the U.S. a little less eager to send too many of these (and other) advanced systems. With no Special Inspector General (as Rand Paul wanted), or other rigorous checks, some will dribble over to the Russian side with enough cash changing hands.

      This war will probably be a much bigger boon to Russian intelligence (learning about NATO training, tactics, weaponry) than vice versa.

  4. Robert Hahl

    I suppose his purpose in saying this was to help us remain unaware of that fact, through a kind of roleplaying activity. “Eisenhower at War” mentioned that years before the end of WW2, allied Foreign Ministers met in Moscow and issued a map showing how Germany was going to be divided, just like that map issued recently by the US Congress showing how Russia is going to be divided. It’s the kind of thing that winners do, and only prudent after all.

      1. Tom Stone

        Someone is that Stupid, always.
        ” Honey, as soon as we’re done with WW3 we really should visit Michelle and Barry at their Hawaiian place, the beach there is great”.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “United Kingdom issues first Red Extreme heat warning”

    No worries. Boris is all over this. In fact, when he gave his resignation speech he said ‘I want you to know that from now until the new Prime Minister is in place, your interests will be served and the government of the country will be carried on’ so of course he would be on top of this extreme situation, wouldn’t he?

  6. GramSci

    re: Router virus

    The Ars Technical article recommends rebooting your router as the first line of defense.

    1. digi_owl

      Suggesting that the virus has no way to permanently modify the firmware.

      It seems like them old boot virus tricks are coming back…

    2. Glen

      Thanks! Following the rebooting, I was browsing around Ars Technical, and found this:

      Hackers are targeting industrial systems with malware

      Bummer!I can see both of the major manufacturers used where I work. Typically, one would have to get past the company firewalls to exercise the exploit discussed above, but still not good!

      Now, if you start seeing this part of the industrial control infrastructure attacked, well, we will be in much deeper dodo:

      OPC Unified Architecture

      This is the basis of the protocols used outside company (and inside) firewalls for large distributed SCADA systems.

      What is OPC?

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      That Ars Technica article drew some odd conclusions and made some strange suggestions — such as performing a router reboot to clear the attack. As one of the commenters [ikjadoon Jun 28, 2022 11:24 PM] noted:
      “But in between reboots? Even if consumers reboot each evening, seems like consumers can get re-infected the next morning.
      If people are genuinely concerned (and we should have healthy concern about the poor state of router updates), we should discuss which router manufacturers will share whether they are vulnerable to this exploit (which uses attacks described in CVEs from 2020 — based on the two attacks described in the source article).”

      The article fussed about the supposedly nation-state level sophistication of the ZuoRAT attack because it used DNS hijacking and other already very well known methods of attack. It even went so far as to make a vague allusion of sorts to suggest an attribution:
      “The discovery of this ongoing campaign is the most important one affecting SOHO routers since VPNFilter, the router malware created and deployed by the Russian government that was discovered in 2018.”

      Making an accurate attribution for the source of a malware attack is extremely difficult or impossible. The article even showed that the attack apparently spoofed originating from a Middle Eastern source. Router hardware made — guess where, and router software was notorious for being poorly patched way back when I did a little red-teaming. I suspect the telephone company’s switching software and cell sites are probably unusually vulnerable to attack as well. They have either been ignored, or any attacks have found a place in a deep six or seven somewhere, much like banking system attacks below a certain $$ threshold — last at $10,000,000 as of a few decades ago, before I retired.

      Sorry if this comment becomes a repeat … I did wait many hours before this retry.

  7. super extra

    > IRS math errors

    I received one of these, it reduced my refund by almost $1800. Due to an ongoing financial divorce the refund was not to be kept by me but by the IRS anyway, so on one hand I didn’t care much, but when I saw the letter I certainly squawked. They also allocated it to the wrong year of back tax debt, which is an entirely different matter but something I’ve come to expect after dealing with them directly over the divorce for so many years. I have an accounting and legal team dealing with mine – they said they’d seen a number of them so far – I’ll share if it turns up anything exciting eventually. The impression I’ve gotten from the past several years of this is that the IRS is effed by underfunding, by design. I assume that is to assist the much wealthier and their much savvier accounting and legal teams to preserve more of their assets.

    1. GramSci

      The IRS is also underfunded to destroy their competence and thereby make us mopes hate the IRS as much as the billionaires do.

      1. jefemt

        Sounds like the deJoyful approach to the Postal Service…..

        The Rascals are playing hard, for keeps…

    2. griffen

      The rich and very elite need all the help they can muster. As Warren Buffet always reminds us, it is a class war and his class is winning. Wish to heaven it was not sarcasm.

      The agency formerly known as the IRS has been starved for funding for a good while. Even if they go after the legitimate tax cheats (as in, funds being run through Caymans by the Tony Montana’s of this world) it takes a long time to nail them down. Part of the appeal to watching Ozark (at least the first 3 seasons of that series).

    3. John Zelnicker

      super extra – you and the commentators above are exactly right. Congress has defunded the IRS in real (inflation-adjusted) terms for the past 15 years, at least.

      A main reason is to hobble their ability to audit the wealthy. To audit someone in the 1% the IRS has to hire a team of lawyers and accountants with skills commensurate to the teams that the wealthy retain. Those folks are expensive and the IRS cannot afford to make them permanent employees. Besides, they wouldn’t work for government-level salaries.

  8. griffen

    Everyone get in line, everyone turn and cough (that is a song by Barenaked Ladies). Okay not the same as more Americans are getting in line for waiting at the food bank for common grocery items. One food bank leader was quoted to say that inflation in 2022 was surprising. Might need to check those budget and forecast inputs for 2023!

    Last thought, are these the hungry people that Nancy wanted to feed? I don’t precisely recall.\sarc

  9. GM

    Future of intranasal vaccine: What should we know? Times of India. Authors believe nasal vaccines may not be sterilizing; BBV154 still in trials.

    Unfortunately all these delays will end up dooming the IN vaccines.

    They probably haven’t updated the spike yet, which means that of course they won’t work given what is circulating now.

    And then it will be declared that “intranasal vaccines don’t work, back to injections into muscles” when the real problem is strain mismatch.

    Of course, even if they were strain matched, with how poorly immunogenic Omicron is, it would be only a short-lasting protection.

    But it could in principle be very useful for an elimination program — everyone takes it in a very short period of time and we drive transmission to zero.

    In principle…

    That’s for an alternative reality we do not inhabit…

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Do you happen to have any thoughts on Sanotize NONS (Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray)?

      1. Li’l D

        It’s expensive
        It is plausible as a defense. Layer antivirals on the mucosal areas, probably can’t hurt.

        I use it, take a snort before going somewhere that might be riskier ventilation than expected

        So far, all COVID tests have been negative…

    2. JTMcPhee

      Hope against hope — is it not possible to craft a sterilizing vaccine? And/or a vaccine that’s based on enough of the virion structure to “evade evasion” by these apparently sentient viruses?

      Not that will gracefully allow non-serial-demand products to “enter the marketplace.”

      1. skk

        Is the lack of such a vaccine an example of the current fad for only subscription revenues and products by financial capitalism?

  10. LawnDart


    How long might the current pandemic last?

    Origins of the Black Death identified

    In 1347, plague first entered the Mediterranean via trade ships transporting goods from the territories of the Golden Horde in the Black Sea. The disease then disseminated across Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa claiming up to 60 percent of the population in a large-scale outbreak known as the Black Death. This first wave further extended into a 500-year-long pandemic, the so-called Second Plague Pandemic, which lasted until the early 19th century.

    So it could indeed be over by Summer… …of 2520.

    1. Lex

      Never fear, there are old plague cemeteries outside Odessa. Maybe Covid will be the least of our worries!

    2. PlutoniumKun

      It only took about a two millennium for us to develop herd immunity to smallpox, so we don’t have to worry really.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “There Is No Good Historical Example” for War in Ukraine”

    Kissinger here is even worse than I thought. Definitely past his use-by date. Him talking about what Putin ‘cannot bear is that the entire territory between Berlin and the Russian border fell to NATO’ but that is just ridiculous. If in an alternate timeline China had established a proxy state on the American border, militarized it and constantly bombarded & killed Americans in towns near the border, would Kissinger suggest that any American President was just worried by their own obsessions?

    But what settled the matter for me is when Kissinger suggested that the Ukraine would have to make territorial concessions and when Zelensky went ballistic, backpeddled furiously and lied his face off about saying so. Kissinger wasn’t worried by that midget Zelensky. He probably got the word that if he continued that line of talk, all those Presidents and other important people would no longer beat a path to his door and no more interviews and invitations either. So at 99 he is still obsessed with being a VIP, and so he holds back on giving his real views – which makes him worse than useless.

    In addition he fudges what to call this war when it is obvious that it is a proxy war. He describes it later in this article but refuses to use the word proxy. They had them in his day you know. And he needn’t worry about Russia trying to get a coherent relationship with Europe. From what I have heard, Russia is now totally turning their backs on Europe and want little to do with them, such is the disgust over the sanctions and the Russophobia. They are done. Kissinger may say that he prefers democracy but it is true today that most democracies are actually oligarchs, even in the third world. There is more but as far as I am concerned, Kissinger should have remained in the 20th century.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Rev Kev: Here’s my take.

      Kissinger. I don’t think often of Kissinger. I suspect that the best way of dealing with him in our brains is to invoke the lines from Petronius’ Satyricon and used by T.S. Eliot as the epigraph of The Wasteland. (And Kissinger surely knows wastelands.)

      “I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a cage, and when the boys said to her: “Sibyl, what do you want?” she answered: ‘I want to die.’ “

      As to these strange discussions within the article on territory and adjusting borders and land-for-peace, let’s take this line from Henry the K:
      Kissinger: “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy does not say that. On the contrary, within two weeks of my statement, he said in an interview with the Financial Times that regaining the status quo would be a great victory and that they will continue to fight diplomatically for the rest of their territory. That’s in line with my position.”

      There is nothing unusual in European history about exchanges of land for peace. This “no good historical example” stuff is claptrap.

      I happened to be at a large museum here in {undisclosed city} in {undisclosed region}. There is a show there about Garibaldi.

      Now why would Garibaldi factor in? (No, Garibaldi didn’t tweet even more then Zelenskyy.)

      To ensure his ambitions to reunite Italy, the not-so-bright Victor Emanuel II ceded Nice to Napoleon III in the Plombières agreement – after some six hundred years as part of the Duchy of Savoy and Kingdom of Sardinia. (And dare I mention that the Savoys traded Sicilia for Sardegna…)

      And who was especially annoyed? Garibaldi, who was born in Nice.

      Yet what mattered was getting the French not to interfere in the Savoy plan to reunite the whole peninsula—including Rome and Venice.

      Zelenskyy has other “issues.” This claptrap about unchangeable borders of Ukraine is likely something his U.S. pals are insisting on–that great statesman Jake Sullivan.

      To save Ukraine, Z’s going to have to come up with tactics more imaginative than shaking down the West for weapons and wearing tight t-shirts. (Fashion tip: Garibaldi and his highly effective people (I just saw a portrait of an amazing garibaldina!) wore red shirts–and conquered Italy.)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Oh, of course Garibaldi and his Red Shirts. I really should read up on his campaigns as he did a helluva job re-uniting Italy. An amazing achievement that. Speaking of Zelensky, I saw him on the news tonight where he was making yet another demand but as it was a close up, you can see that he now has lots of grey hair in his beard. That job is starting to age him.

      2. hk

        Ceding Nice got for Piedmont a lot more than just French non interference: it brought a French army into Italy to fight the Austrians, which helped the Italian cause immensely (since, if it were just up to the Piedmontese, Austrians would have been too much to handle.). Z may we’ll be imagining himself Victor Emmanuel III, if he thinks ceding Lwow to Poland might get a NATO army to fight the Russians.

        Delusional of course. But the far better example than I can think of, Finland in 1944, probably doesn’t make too many people happy. On one hand, Mannerheim was a real statesman, who knew that Finland stood no chance and the Nazis were full of only bluster and were of little or no actual help (I don’t see NATO arms in Ukraine helping them any more than shipments of panzers and Messerschmitts did the Finns in 1944). The only way out was to give up territory and a degree of political autonomy, but Finns could still gain somewhat favorable terms if they fought well enough, and do they did. But given the way Finns seem to look back on decades of forced neutrality today, maybe the choice back then may not be politically correct today (ironically, Finns today don’t seem to mind territorial losses as much as Finlandization, although that’s based only on very casual observation.)

        1. hk

          Perhaps the Netherlands/”Belgium”/France in 1830s would be an even better analogue (, with the Netherlands in place of the Ukraine, the former Habsburg Netherlands (now known as Belgium) in place of Eastern Ukraine (to be known as Novorossiya presumably), and France in place of Russia?

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Rev Kev: And I’d like to add that this final wrap in the article is pure kitsch:

      “DER SPIEGEL: Your preference is obvious. In your book, you name Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kemal Atatürk and Jawaharlal Nehru as “statesmen,” while you identify Akhenaten, Joan of Arc, Robespierre and Lenin as “visionaries.” Do you think that maintaining the balance of power is still the most advisable path to take in international relations?”

      Kitschy claptrap. Akhenaten and Robespierre were puritanical lunatics. Scratch an admirer of Robespierre, find an authoritarian. Joan of Arc is a rather interesting saint, but not stellar. I’ve met Saint Francis of Assisi, and she’s no Saint Francis of Assisi.

      Lenin: A very good tactician–which also means statesman.

      FDR: The emphasis on equality and on the Four Freedom, among his other efforts, makes me think that FDR was a visionary. Afterwards, the beancounters of both parties had to destroy the New Deal.

      Well, at least, Kissinger didn’t try to tell us that Victoria Nuland is the Joan of Arc of Odessa.

      1. The Rev Kev

        DJG, Reality Czar: I see that you feel the same way about Kissinger. If he had just gone off somewhere never to be heard from again until he turned his toes up, then that would be OK. Instead, they keep on bringing him into interviews and have him giving talks like it was all the word of god stuff. People say we should listen to him because he was a statesman but I only want to know what people like that say right here and right now. And having read that interview, it only reinforces my belief that his time has well and truly come and gone.

  12. TroyIA

    Vaccines for shingles, measles may protect against severe COVID-19, new research suggests

    I thought this was already known. This was why I got a TDAP booster instead of a Covid-19 booster. Anyway this article is just re-reporting on a study that was shared by NC in August of 2021.

    Protective heterologous T cell immunity in COVID-19 induced by the trivalent Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis vaccine antigens (abstract only)

    1. Skip K in DC

      Before Covid was on the radar, during a return flight on Halloween from a 2019 trip to China’s far flung, at one point not far from Wuhan, I became quite ill with respiratory issues, for a long time coughing my lungs up every morning trying to clear them. Three courses of different antibiotics, nothing touched it. I heard Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper do a fascinating interview with Dr. Robert Gallo on a July, 2020 Useful Idiots program, long before vaccines were available. Gallo said grab vaccines for other diseases, including for what sounded like his favorite, polio (he mentioned the oral version for kids), to goose the T-cells. I caught a flu shot. The day after, even though I’d already had both my pneumonia and shingles two-shot series years prior, I had both once again at the same time. I don’t recommend doubling down on shots that close to each other. Rough, sleepless night – chills, shivers, etc…. But the next day it was like flipping a switch. I felt great and my lungs cleared out.

      That’s not medical advice, just my experience. Later I also caught a polio shot and, another favorite of Gallo, MMR, (even though I’d had measles and mumps as a child). Do I worry about over-priming the pump and my now 70 year-old body possibly over-reacting, arthritis or some such? Sure. But it’s a gamble weighed against Long-Covid, which I hope my system is better alert to. So far so good. When Covid vaccines were available, I also caught them, (Moderna), including boosters.

      By the way, I wasn’t the only one on that trip who suddenly fell quite ill upon return. One, very healthy, was extremely ill for over a month. Another had other long-term complications, including gastrointestinal. Another, very athletic, eventually passed from Covid, though I’m not sure when or where she contracted it. Tests weren’t available back then, and when they were they couldn’t accurately go back that far, so who knows?

      Gallo also predicted the diminishing effectiveness and short life-spans of vaccine immunity and other challenges ahead, including problems with the medical establishment. He sounded damn wise, prescient now, on that and on other issues. As you roll the dice on strategies, that interview is worth a listen.

      1. C.O.

        There is a whole segment of us of a certain age who had to have our measles shots redone in 2019 because we had a MMR shot as children that was found to have stopped working, contributing to scattered outbreaks. If anyone had checked the results of that re-vaccination campaign they would have learned a lot.

    1. griffen

      Neville Chamberlain, possiby, circa 1938 ?

      Or for US professional football fans, the Arthur Blank walk of premature triumph from his suite to be on the field, during the third quarter, in the Super Bowl leading 28-3. Atlanta did not win that Super Bowl.

    2. Glen

      FDR was busy laying the groundwork for the unipolar world. Biden is busy wrecking it.

      Not commenting on whether a unipolar world is good or bad, just saying FDR delivered the goods. Biden would be hard pressed to pour piss out of his boots even with the instructions on the soles.

      The competency of American elites has got to be close to an all time low. Even Obama, that paradigm of the smooth, smart President made decisions that have crippled the country (but he did get rich so maybe he was just selling America out.)

      1. Altandmain

        Well, it is possible that Biden might set the ground for a China dominated uni-polar world. That’s not what he intended, but that is the most likely outcome right now.

        I agree though that the competency of the US elites is very bad. I think it’s because they never had to do the hard work of building the US up – they just inherited a nation and then didn’t learn how to properly govern or conduct diplomacy.

  13. dcblogger

    We should worry about price of food more than petrol, warns BlackRock’s Fink

    as if the price of food and everything else is not driven by the price of petrol.

    1. JTMcPhee

      And what is Fink telling us? That BlackRock will now be bestirring itself to loot further in the “food sector?”

      “I warned you what we were about to do. That we got away with it is on you — we just do who we are.”

    2. Adam Eran

      Michael Pollan says the U.S. burns ten calories of petroleum to create one calorie of food. Not even our agriculture is solar

  14. antidlc

    “Get ready for the forever plague [—Or Take Action]”

    “Public health officials’ COVID complacency has opened the door to new illnesses and devastating long-term damage.

    “While Omicron’s subvariants find new ways to evade vaccines and destabilize immune systems, another pandemic has overwhelmed officials who are supposed to be in charge of public health.

    “Let’s call it a plague of willful incompetence or an outbreak of epidemiological stupidity. Or maybe José Saramago’s novel has come to life and targeted public officials with a scourge of blindness.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘BREAKING: All hospitals in England told to take “immediate steps” to find extra space for patients so that no ambulance waits longer than 30mins. This must be done despite the extra burden on hospital staff, say NHS chiefs.’

    Next on News at Nine. Viral videos have emerged of patents laid down in the hallways of major hospitals due to no rooms, no beds, no gurneys, no doctors and no staff. Signs outside the front doors now say BYOO as in Bring Your Own Oxygen.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Not to worry; there’s nothing wrong with the NHS that can’t be further screwed by the implementation of neoliberal ‘cures’ for the things that are currently screwed up.

  16. Carolinian

    That’s a damning LAT article on Tesla and perhaps the only reason Tesla stays in business is that there aren’t more articles like it.Tesla defends itself by claiming people are injured or killed because they ignore the legal disclaimer that says they must keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. But here are examples of the car fighting the driver’s attempts to regain control from the “full self driving.” Where is the government?

  17. Mark J. Lovas

    One line from the interesting article in the “Atlantic” (“The BA.5 Wave is What Covid Normal Looks Like”) jumped out at me: The global situation has, to be fair, immensely improved.”.
    “Immensely?” What, exactly, are the parameters here? Something is better than nothing. We haven’t done absolutely nothing, so we shouldn’t complain? To be fair? Yes, but to WHOM? What about being fair to all the unnecessary, preventable deaths and illness? Fairness means not neglecting unnecessary deaths, unnecessary illnesses–predictable and preventable consequences of social policies. (Not policies adopted through a broad social consensus, but through a top-down decison making process and the corrupt public form of corporate media). Being fair means considering everybody, not bowing down to the powerful forces which got rich off the pandemic.
    This article is sweeping under the carpet the fact that individuals allegedly committed to “public health” have been undermined and (in how many cases?) have willingly gone along with the undermining of policies reflecting basic scientific knowledge. Not for nothing did an editorial in the British Medical Journal speak of “social murder.”
    Moreover, the closing of the article is deeply complacent. “Science” cannot tell us how much we want our freedom restricted–that’s what the ending says. That is a cowardly and convenient conclusion. It cannot be said often enough that the social forces which prevented a better approach to this pandemic are exactly those which prevent serious steps toward dealing with global warming.

    1. John Steinbach

      Toward the end, the article veered into vaccine, vaccine, vaccine territory. I overcame the paywall by “saving as pdf” on Safari.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “The West is Experiencing a Contraction of its Power”

    Is suppose that an equivalent headline for ‘The Times’ in 1945 would have been

    ‘The British Empire is Experiencing a Contraction of its Power’

  19. DJG, Reality Czar

    As I was wandering over to the Garibaldi show, I was contemplating metaphor. I will turn over some ideas for discussion, because the metaphors related to Roe v. Wade are out of joint. Not that my proposed new metaphor will be more productive of results.

    There is talk of the fugitive slave laws (I even heard this on Friday in a call with some upper-middle-class friends). Yet the comparison to fugitive slave laws is wrong–a result of what we might call the Margaret Atwood Addiction Syndrome.

    Fugitive slave laws were resolved tactically by the Civil War. Then the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments resolve the legal issues.

    One might argue that after the Republicans abandoned Reconstruction, the model or metaphor is the Jim Crow laws and the fate of Plessy. Yet the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments are what did in Plessy.

    The better metaphor is the “right to work” laws. This is another area of U.S. life — all-important wage&hours laws, equity in the workplace, addressing maldistribution of wealth, and plain old fairness — abandoned by the Democrats.

    Take a look. Around the time of Taft-Hartley, late 1940s, which eliminated the closed shop, you see a spate of “right to work” laws:

    Then there is another spate around 2015, around the time of Janus, which eliminated the agency shop for public employees.

    So you are witnessing a seventy-year campaign to destroy the rights of workers to organize and to maintain the organizations that they create. You have 27 states oppressing unions.

    The Democrats have since used the unions as ATMs, but when have the Democrats tried to reform labor law? Obama’s card-check bill? The Biden ProAct? These bills have a habit of getting lost. Bill & Hill never found out about a union meeting that they couldn’t some how avoid going to.

    Reproductive rights for women are in the same space, legally, metaphorically, as “right to work” laws are.

    Don’t expect any change to what the Supreme Court just did in overturning Roe. Those days are gone. See: Unions and what the Democrats did to them.

    1. JTMcPhee

      There’s at least the glimmer of reviewed labor strength in Unions.

      As for slavery, first, there are still a lot of (illegally held) slaves in the US, in domestic service and produce picking and stuff.

      And let us not forget the huge and growing blight of convict labor, where people forced into the for-profit carceral state are sold out to corporate interests . The Wiki article does not mention current practices of convict leasing, and the separate Wiki article on the subject comfortably concludes that while it was a big part of the grown of US corporate wealth, it just doesn’t happen here any more…

      And some here have applauded the use of convicts as wildfire fighters, “it gets them out of those awful jails and into the fresh (sic) air and exercise and stuff.” Comforting themselves that the convicts who “volunteer” for this critical worker activity are “paid” a pittance toward their cigarettes and candy bars from the “canteen” in the Joint.

      1. Will

        An article in the Guardian from a few days ago regarding prison labor.

        How US Prison Work Breaks Bodies and Minds for Pennies

        Seems to be mostly a summary of a June 2022 UCLA study.

        Citing the UCLA study, the article notes:

        prison labor generates more than $11bn annually, with more than $2bn generated from the production of goods, and more than $9bn generated through prison maintenance services. Wages range on average from 13 cents to 52 cents per hour, but many prisoners are paid nothing at all, and their low wages are subject to various deductions.

        The article also has some infuriating interviews with former inmates for those with the emotional energy left for outrage.

    2. CitizenSissy

      Gotta disagree with you about abortion; this, IMHO, will hit closer to home. The tragic case (and appalling response by the antichoice contingent) of the 10-year old Ohio isi just the beginning. The 2012 death of Irish dentist Savita Halappanavar from a septic miscarriage is a tragedy that likely will happen here in the not-too distant future.

      Sorry, but a US with a nationwide, no-exception abortion ban, criminal investigations of miscarriages, and surveillance of women/girls of childbearing age isn’t in any way acceptable, and is not going to happen without a fight.

      Is the current incarnation of the Democrats feckless? 100% But I will vote for feckless and woke over the fascist theocrats in the current incarnation of the Republican party any day.

      1. hk

        Not clear if “a US with a nationwide, no-exception abortion ban, criminal investigations of miscarriages, and surveillance of women/girls of childbearing age” is anything like a realistic possibility, yet. A lot of nonsense/undue-for-now-extrapolations involve an interpretation of the end of Roe is that, soon, abortion will be banned everywhere. At least for now, all it achieves is that the can has been kicked back to the states and that has relatively small chance of things worsening dramatically. The real danger is that things don’t stay at the state level: interconnected nature of both institutions and technology poses the threat that the issues might be renationalized. It would be absolutely foolish for abortion goes to push things that far, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try….

      2. marym

        Not only criminal investigations of miscarriages but refusal of care for incomplete miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancies. There’s been some reporting of this, and, as with the 10-year old, authoritarian theocrats have been making excuses: that it’s not what they really meant, maybe it’s not really an abortion, it’s covered by some exception in the law if doctors and lawyers can just figure out if the woman’s health is sufficiently endangered before she bleeds to death.


        Moira Donegan @MoiraDonegan
        For those claiming that anti-choicers make a distinction between emergency and “elective” abortions: a proposal to exempt fatal ectopic pregnancies from Idaho’s abortion ban was just brought up at a state Republican Party convention. It failed.

    3. voteforno6

      You missed the point of the comparison. It wasn’t “fugitive slave laws,” it was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. It was a national law, which mandated the cooperation of everyone to catch fugitive slaves, even in states where slavery was either banned or a dead letter. For all intents and purposes, this law came very close to nationalizing slavery. It was met with a lot of resistance, and in my opinion did quite a bit to radicalize opinion in the North, starting the pushback against the Slave Power that culminated in the Civil War.

      That attempt of a radical, undemocratic minority to force their retrograde views on the whole country is certainly a much more apt comparison than “right to work” laws, as the reaction to the Fugitive Slave Act was a lot more heated than the reaction to the “right to work” laws. It may also prove instructive as to what we can expect to see both from the radical Republicans, as well as to those opposing them.

      1. JBird4049

        For all intents and purposes, this law came very close to nationalizing slavery.

        Then there was the corruption and violence that came after the act. The act created lawlessness especially as plata o plomo or silver or lead, money or death, became a reality. Having armed gangs of “slave-catchers” who could and did kidnap individuals from outside the South, and then transport and sell those people in the South radicalized a lot of Americans. Having those heavily armed gangs threaten anyone, including random passerby and the law, with violence or death, if the bribes offered the judges or the police did not work, radicalized them even more. Having the accused being unable to defend themselves in a court of law because it only took an accusation by a slave trader, from which they effectively not allowed to defend themselves did as well.

        The law is becoming increasingly a politicized joke today. We can see examples such as Uvalde, where a group larger and more heavily armed than the average infantry company that fought on both sides at Omaha Beach on D-Day, hid in fear; the Supreme Court has effectively given the law immunity from prosecution; the use of civil asset forfeitures, fees, and fines instead of taxes are normal; if you have money, you are protected, but if you are poor, you are prey.

        Let us add the subject of bounty hunters. Heavily armed Americans who, unlike the average police officer, can cross state lines and legally ignore the Bill of Rights. Then add the current efforts to control people across state lines. Today abortion, maybe tomorrow guns (See Governor Gavin Newsom’s rantings), and after that, who knows? I do not like having fanatics, true believers, opportunists, con artists, and grifters reaching across the country to destroy lives because God told them, the (local) voters want them to, or the money is just too good.

        Of course, much of this could be calmed just by getting single payer healthcare, descent jobs, and affordable housing, but that’s communism or something. People are far less likely to get abortions, or go crazy, or build arsenals, or start killing people and start working with others for both the common and individual good But noooo, it’s so much better to have millions of fearful, desperate, hungry, and often homeless Americans running around. Let’s just add armed gangs. That’ll do the trick.

  20. Mikel

    ‘Nearly half of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google, according to Google’s own data” Business Insider.

    Search for products and services seem to be the concern.
    Basically, Google won’t be improving their search as it relates to knowledge/information any time soon.

  21. RobertC

    LINK: China Maritime Report No. 22: Logistics Support for a Cross-Strait Invasion: The View from Beijing (PDF) China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College

    This report describes the war the US wants to fight, which is the worst case for China since it’s an attack on their citizens in the “wandering” province of Taiwan. If there is a conflict, China will do its upmost to keep it outside the first-island chain.

    Also of note the author doesn’t address the logistics of the US response. Other studies have and they are quite … difficult.

    My recommendation is don’t waste your time reading this report.

  22. LawnDart

    Lambert’s turf– and it’s a hot Summer day in these parts, so this is a perfect piece to get the fire started in preparation for a BBQ.

    What is a Liberal?
    What is Liberalism?

    Dan Klein: The Liberal Christening

    At a meeting of the European Resource Bank in Stockholm in June 2022, there was a session “What Is Liberalism?,” organized by Anders Ydstedt and featuring Hannes Gissurarson, Dan Klein, Catarina Kärkkäinen, and Kristina Bogdanova. A video of the session is here. Here below, Klein conveys his presentation.

    1. JohnA

      I cannot be bothered reading that article, but I would just say that it is a very right wing conservative publication.

      1. LawnDart

        Sun Tzu says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

        1. Martin Oline

          Joe Tzu says, “If you don’t know what you are doing then neither will your enemy,”

          1. super extra

            the spontaneous book of Joe Tzu sayngs that has erupted in the MoA comment threads has been one of the unexpected highlights of the summer

  23. Mark J. Lovas

    <blockquote“How much do we want to restrict our own freedoms in exchange for the injury that may be caused?”-Katherine J. Wu quoting Hodroft, Univ. Bern.— In Atlantic Monthly, The BA.5 Wave Is What COVID Normal Looks Like

    But what does “freedom” mean here? The unspeakable truth is that for the vast majority of people, work is unsatisfying, an alienating experience in which human relationships are cramped and unnatural and unpleasant. The prospect of no “free time” is horrifying when your work is a deprivation of your freedom and creativity. So, the real problem is ignored. The real problem is the terrible nature of what is called “work”. A life which consisted only of work would be hell for most people. And therein is the deep, unsayable source of much of the resistance to “restrictions”. People seek more nurturing relationships to other people outside of work, and so, to have that taken away from them would be, itself, a sort of death. The problem is not Covid-19 or restrictions; it is the organization of society. The problem is not threats to our freedom, but the fact that work itself is a source of unhappiness and unfreedom.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Car repossessions are surging — a troubling sign for the used car market CBS

    Americans had “temporary pockets of income” during the pandemic, thanks to stimulus checks, extra unemployment aid and Child Tax Credit payments, allowing them to pay up for pricier cars, she added.

    That’s caused concerns among experts that the used car market is in a “bubble,” Beilfuss Popeo noted.

    But those government supports have ended, and many families are now facing budget shortfalls given the highest inflation in 40 years. As a result, more consumers are defaulting on their auto loans, with subprime repossessions up 11% since 2020, according to the auto-news site Jalopnik.

    I’m beginning to get the impression that quite a few of the people participating in this lending / borrowing “industry” are unclear on the concept.

    Didn’t this same thing happen not so long ago with houses?

    Good thing covid happened, otherwise people might be more skeptical of the whole “obvious” supply chain chip shortage explanation, and start thinking that there’s an insidious method to this madness.

    1. ambrit

      This is just the appetizer. The just beginning housing market collapse will drag everything down in it’s wake.
      This Car Crash is our moderne “Vanguard of the Reproleteriat.”

  25. South Bank Bon Vivant

    Training, supplies, and support for F-15 and F-16 aircraft to Ukraine are now inevitably incoming if the war grinds on for long. Probably the main advantages of the F-15/16 are twofold: potential quantity and resupply, the US can supply them and a supply train in numbers far exceeding the RF fleet if we desire to do so and the Ukrainian air force can thus use them aggressively as in anti-AA missions because they know any lost can quickly be replaced. This should annoy the Russians no end.

    Secondly, I’m sure avionics and weapon systems options are virtually unlimited compared to their old MIG airframess, and there are giant warehouses full of highly advanced munitions to feed them that the Russians can’t touch. The message being sent is that the longer this goes on, the stronger, bigger, and better the air force Russia will be facing will become. Russia is stuck with its aging and already depleted fleet. Russia is going to eventually have their ass kicked and there is nothing they can do about it–except to pack up and f*** off back to Russia, which–and only which– will quickly solve their most immediate problems. Then we can talk peace, sanctions, and reparations.

    1. Yves Smith

      You really don’t understand much of anything.

      First go read the RUSI paper on industrial warfare:

      The short version is Russian artillery and missile supplies and Russian production capacity greatly exceed that of anything the West has and it would easily take a decade to catch up. So one of your core assumptions is dead wrong as shown with data by a premier UK authority.

      The second is the Russians primarily use missiles not planes for long distance strikes. Why use a pilot and a vehicle that has to return and be serviced to deliver bombs? Oh, and depend on landing strips that can be taken out? And the more advanced Russian missiles change path rapidly and frequently en route so they cannot be intercepted. On top of that, their hypersonic missiles (which also change path) fly at lower than normal radar detection levels, so they are additionally “seen” only intermittently en route.

      And that’s before getting to Russia having best in breed signal jamming capabilities. I am not going to go find links, but a few years back, the US did a missile strike on a Syrian airbase. They courteously told the Russians (even though at the Russian Foreign Ministry points out, the US is not a legitimate combatant, since no state has invited them in, unlike Russia), since they didn’t want to kill Russians for the obvious reasons.

      The US sent a big salvo of Tomahawk missiles. When I went to track this down again in the last couple of months, the record seems to have been considerably scrubbed as to the number deployed. But regardless, it was widely reported at the time that barely over half arrived. Much speculation: were the Tomahawks really that bad, or was this high failure rate proof of Russian signal jamming capabilities (which includes GPS signal jamming)? And that was years ago, so Russian capabilities have only gotten better.

      In other words, if you think the US air force will save the day, you are smoking something very strong.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Talk about clueless.

      F-16’s and F-15’s are half a century old technology which will not survive a missile rich conflict environment for more than a handful of missions each. Even if the Ukrainians can be trained up to use the latest versions (this would take years), they would not be able to operate unless Russian air defence was suppressed. They cannot achieve this without a huge direct input from Nato which means a declaration of war on Russia (which of course means nuclear war). The Russians have almost complete domination over Ukrainian airspace, and its clear from Nato’s reaction that they know that its impossible to take it from them without a declaration of total war.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        But didn’t you guys see what Tom Cruise was able to do with a beat up F-15 in the Top Gun:Maverick documentary? /sacasm

    3. hk

      You don’t train pilots, supporting crew, etc on the fly like that. If undertrained Ukrainian pilots get into the cockpit of Western jets, they might as well jump into fire with a can of nitroglycerin. If they are serviced by poorly trained service personnel, they are junk. And these things are themselves 1970s/80s vintage: the last generation of Soviet aircraft were designed specifically to defeat them. And, all these are assuming that the West actually has the planes or parts to spare, which they really don’t.

  26. Dave in Austin

    About the article: “Poll: Many red-state Trump voters say they’d be ‘better off’ if their state seceded from U.S. Yahoo News. Yahoo News/YouGov poll.” This Yahoo news article (which is in many ways the typical Yahoo click-bait) had more then 10,000 comments by 12:30 pm CST.

    I’ve been watching the slow slide in this direction for 35 years. People are moving to regions and zip codes that represent their views. Conservatives, two-parent families and people fleeing crime, bad schools or immigrant neighborhoods go to small towns and rural areas. Liberals, gays, LGTBs, DINKs (dual income no kids) and political feminists (note “political”) go to big, liberal urban centers like Austin, San Francisco and Brooklyn. Looking at the 2010 vs 2020 census/voting numbers, it appears that during the ten years between 2010 and 2020, 3% of the public moved to places where their politics and culture predominated. That’s a slow-moving avalanche.

    The Red State/Blue State metaphor is an incorrect description of the difference. Red states have blue cities (for example, Austin in Texas) and blue states have red rural area and outer suburbs (Los Angeles/SF versus small town northern California). A more accurate description is “Red counties versus Blue counties”. Just Google: “map of red counties versus blue counties” and you get maps like this:

    This is a pro-blue website which takes the position that “Square miles shouldn’t count. Votes count.”, an understandable point-of-view in a democracy. But the red county answer is “We don’t care how many cheap servants and illegal immigrants you stuffs in the big cities to inflate the voting rolls. You can have the cities and we’ll keep the countryside. You can all go to hell and live on the resources of your overcrowded cities.”

    This divide between newly polyglot centers and more ethnically nationalist peripheries has happened before. The best recent examples are the end of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires in 1918 and the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1990. Hitler was from the small, German-speaking Austrian town of Linz. When he moved to Vienna he was outraged by the change from a small German city of 500,000 in 1850 to a crowded, polyglot, eastern European immigrant city of 1,700,000 in 1900. We know where that led. I could give many more examples such as the Cambodia disaster (rural Kymers vs half-Chinese city dwellers), but I think you can see the pattern.

    The anger in the US during the 1900-1920 period about immigration meant that in 1920 the US Senate refused to do the Constitutionally mandated reapportion based on population shifts. No state gained or lost seats in the House that decade. Mass legal immigration was essentially ended in 1922-24 and the issue slowly faded. The fact that this extraordinary Constitutional crisis is never mentioned in the press or in our history books indicates how sensitive the subject is.

    If mass immigration continues, the Red/Blue county crisis will deepen with unforeseeable consequences.

  27. Aumua

    Anyone else click on the Amazon article because they thought it was BIG, as in big news… only to find out it wasn’t all that big?

  28. digi_owl

    “Scientists Have Found a Way to Save Energy And Boil Water More Efficiently Science Alert (KW). Now comes the scaling up part.”

    So they apply this to power plants, gets way more electricity pr unit fuel, and then watch Jevon’s old paradox rise once more.

    “Guangdong launches the world’s first wearable air conditioner What China Reads”

    While the linked to article didn’t have any images, it linked to the Chinese language source. And apparently the setup involves a vest and a large fanny/bum pack with a fan.

  29. spud

    the Pro Publica article on shipping banana’s is the inevitable outcome from Bill Clintons free trade. free trade is simply the escape from democratic control that always happens, and ends up in monopolization.

    great statement here, i have always said efficient for whom?

    “As U.S. regulators spar with the global behemoths who control the shipping trade, the inefficiencies of a supply chain that once seemed blazingly efficient are becoming clear.”

  30. spud

    the Pro Publica article on shipping banana’s is the inevitable outcome from Bill Clintons free trade. free trade is simply the escape from democratic control that always happens, and ends up in monopolization.

    great statement here, i have always said efficient for whom?

    “As U.S. regulators spar with the global behemoths who control the shipping trade, the inefficiencies of a supply chain that once seemed blazingly efficient are becoming clear.”

    1. fresno dan


      There was a series of phone calls with a student inside Room 112, initiated by the student calling 911 at 12:03 p.m.. Radio traffic communicated to those officers who could hear it the fact that a student had called from within the classroom. Several witnesses indicated that they were aware of this, but not Chief Arredondo. The Committee has received no evidence that any officer who did learn about phone calls coming from inside Rooms 111 and 112 acted on it to advocate shifting to an active shooter-style response or otherwise acting more urgently to breach the classrooms.
      It is going to take me a while to read the whole thing – superficially, it appears it is taking too much of the testimony of the police at face value and not pointing out the contradictions, as well as the stuff the police should have known, and acted upon

  31. Karl

    RE: MIT article that says “We need to start drawing down CO2, not just stop emitting it.”

    I thought this quote from the article pretty much puts the kibosh on that dream:

    Even if we succeed in reducing the cost of permanent carbon removal to $100 a ton, which would be a major technical achievement, it would cost around $22 trillion to reverse warming by one-tenth of one degree Celsius.

    Sadly, the MIT article suggests no technologies on the horizon for even doing this at $100/ton. The notion of a tech solution (other than planting more trees, which also seems inadequate at this point) seems to conflict with the 2nd law of thermodynamics: breaking the bond between C and O2 will require more energy (if only due to efficiency losses) than the energy released in fusing them in the first place (from combustion).

    Sadly, MIT should know better. It apologizes for creating “moral hazard” by even suggesting this can be done benignly on a large scale (thereby creating incentives to keep burning CO2) and then publishes this delusion–creating the moral hazard anyway.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Because this is a planetary-wide emergency, we really should be looking at it from the perspective of total available resources to tackle the problem. The notional cost is irrelevant, because failure means societal collapse and possible extinction. What are the maximum resources available that can be brought to bear while still providing a minimum standard of living?

      Of course this would require a complete reorientation of existing social relations, so it ain’t gonna happen. Maybe we’ll bumble through or technology!! will actually save us after all. I just hope some groups are recording knowledge in some kind of format that will be accessible without, say, electricity, that is durable. I don’t know if paper cuts it? In Dune they etch stuff into crystal storage devices, but those might’ve required an energy source to use.

  32. Lee

    Ukraine’s president fires spy chief and top state prosecutor Reuters

    “KYIV, July 17 (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday abruptly fired the head of Ukraine’s powerful domestic security agency, the SBU, and the state prosecutor general, citing dozens of cases of collaboration with Russia by officials in their agencies…

    He said 651 cases of alleged treason and collaboration had been opened against prosecutorial and law enforcement officials, and that more than 60 officials from Bakanov and Venediktova’s agencies were now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied territories…”

    1. Polar Socialist

      Sometimes when you feel that everyone else is working for the enemy, you may be the actual enemy – to rephrase an old say.

  33. jr

    A sad story: I was talking to my sister and she was telling about my youngest niece-in-law, the darling baby of our family. She just turned 14 and has her first job and a proto-boyfriend. My sister said they were talking and the girl said she was feeling a lot of anxiety about the unfolding climate disaster. She said “I’m too young to be worrying about these things!” :(

    1. flora

      I understand she might feel it unfair she’s asked to think about such things at a young age. On the other hand…

      Is it sad or is it life doing what life does? I can imagine the young girl’s response as a statement that no matter how bleak things are she will still love, mate, and maybe have children. Methinks that’s ‘life’ talking. Anyway, I’m sorta grateful for that, if that’s what it is. My 2 cents. ( Heck, I remember being taught that nuclear disaster would destroy the human race any day now. Duck and cover. Hide under your school desk. Give up right now any of your ideas about your future prospects… back in the 1950s-60s.)

    2. Will

      I’m sorry to hear that. However, it did remind me of a podcast episode from the CBC’s Ideas series with scientist and author Britt Wray talking about her book “Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis” and work with young people dealing with the stress of climate change. It was both sad and hopeful.

      In looking up the link, I also found Wray’s website and newsletter that your family may find helpful.

  34. spud

    “Federal agencies such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) were reduced to near non-existence. Welfare was eradicated all together in 1996 and tens of thousands of public housing units were demolished or privatized under the Bill Clinton administration. CAP agencies either shut their doors permanently or offered only the services that were supported by a mixture of private philanthropy and meagre government subsidy. ”

    ” Barack Obama and now Joe Biden are teaching us that the Democratic Party is no such vehicle.”

    1. Eduardo

      From Dr. Jill Biden B.S. headlines—she is a doctor of Education, not medicine. Her Thesis was full of math errors and probably got approved because she was a senator’s wife in his home state.

      Here’s the link to the Tucker Carlson interviews which nobody bothered to post.

      Our friends watch Tucker and there is a Spanish language translation of his program making the rounds.

      Signed, Not a breakfast taco, Eduardo

  35. The Rev Kev

    “Guangdong launches the world’s first wearable air conditioner”

    I have been working on my own solution at home and it is a wearable suit. It’s basically a micro-sandwich — a high-efficiency filter and heat-exchange system. The skin-contact layer’s porous. Perspiration passes through it, having cooled the body in near-normal evaporation process. The next two layers include heat exchange filaments and salt precipitators. Salt’s reclaimed. Motions of the body, especially breathing and some osmotic action provide the pumping force. Reclaimed water circulates to catchpockets from which you draw it through this tube in the clip at your neck. Urine and feces are processed in the thigh pads. In the open desert, you wear this filter across your face, this tube in the nostrils with plugs to ensure a tight fit. You breathe in through the mouth filter, out through the nose tube. With a suit in good working order, you won’t lose more than a thimbleful of moisture a day.

    But if that does not work I might do what I see very, very old people do in my – sometimes – hot region and just use an umbrella in the daytime when out and about.

    1. super extra

      re: personal air conditioners, I have wondered about the feasibility of a loose suit that could be worn with an air conditioner inside of it (kind of like the inflatable sumo costumes but much smaller, sort of like a cooling cape or parka). a stillsuit tho… maybe the people are ready

    1. Eduardo

      Carlson is against Ukraine aid, against a no fly zone, against nuclear war and fiscal irresponsibility.

      If that makes him Putin’s puppet, then I guesswe and the ten million or so people who watch his show are ‘rootin for Putin.

      Sick of the geriatric husks that voted for every losing war in the last twenty years, as they insider trade their war stocks. Warmongers like Kinzinger, McConnel, EVERY SINGLE DEMOCRAT in congress and the globalist scum that are bankrupting our nation need to be stripped of power.

      As to that NYC nuclear bomb PSA, here’s what a pocket bomb would do. Few survivors. A real warhead hydrogen bomb, no survivors. Period. People out as far as Kingston burned to death after blast. As far as Boston dead from radiation.

      Is “defending the Liberal World Order worth that? The LNG exporters, oil companies raping America now, the grain corporations are all for bigger profits, no matter what the consequences. p.s. The rest of Fox TV is mostly garbage.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      There’s a story out there about a meeting Tucker had with George Bush … I think post 2020 election? Will try to dig it up, but just wanted to comment that in the “veil lifted” timeline, a Tucker presidency is not as far fetched as one might think.

  36. ChrisRUEcon


    Scotch To The Rescue … ?

    I certainly did not have this on my #COVID19TwentyTwentyTwo Bingo card, but thanks to going down some rabbit holes from links posted here, I first found:

    Nasal disinfection for the prevention and control of COVID-19: A scoping review on potential chemo-preventive agents (via NIH)

    In section 3.7, there a reference to this article:
    Possibility of Disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in Human Respiratory Tract by Controlled Ethanol Vapor Inhalation (via

    Here’s the bit I find interesting:

    The author suggests that it may be possible to use alcoholic beverages of 16~20 v/v% concentration for this disinfection process, such as Whisky (1:1 hot water dilution) or Japanese Sake, because they are readily available and safe (non-toxic). By inhaling the alcohol vapor at 50~60∘C (122~140∘F) through the nose for one or two minutes, it will condense on surfaces inside the respiratory tract; mainly in the nasal cavity. The alcohol concentration will be intensified to ~36 v/v% by this process, which is enough to disinfect the corona virus on the mucous membrane.

    But here’s what I’m wondering – could you put the type of solution described into a nebulizer (via WenMD) and inhale it for two to five minutes to achieve the same or better effect? I gathered from the arxiv article that the intent is to inhale the vapor, and have it condense along the respiratory tract. Is that then better than having the alcohol solution delivered in mist form the begin with?

    I’m really curious to try this … ;-) #HaveScotchAndANebulizer

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