Links 7/20/2022

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.

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Celebrating Rachel: Jackie Robinson’s widow and her impact beyond the game ESPN (Another Scott). 100 years old!!! An an activist and an accomplished professional when hardly any women, let alone black women, had serious careers.

‘Stray’ — the videogame where you play as a cat — is breaking the internet MarketWatch. Kevin W: “Also has tweeted videos of cat reactions to game.” Google the headline if you hit a paywall. The subject cat is derived from three real cats and came out looking a bit like an Aby, particularly the color.

The country where having a pet could soon land you in jail BBC

Hidden ancient Roman ‘Bridge of Nero’ emerges from the Tiber during severe drought Live Science (furzy)

The Webb Telescope’s Latest Science Images Show The ‘Phantom Galaxy’ And More In Breathtaking Depth And Detail Forbes

Should We Worry About Artificial Intelligence? Wall Street Journal (David L)

Retraction with honor Sociobiology (Dr. Kevin)

“Nap Box” for sleeping upright at the office Boing Boing (resilc). Coming soon to airlines…

Thailand introduces new ‘non-stinky’ variety of polarising durian fruit South China Morning Post Resilc: “Now this IS big news in SE Asia.”

The Schoolteacher Who Saved Her Students From the Nazis Smithsonian (Chuck L)



Settling in for the long haul Crooked Timber (ChiGal). On long Covid as a life-altering event.



Australians urged to work from home as COVID hospital cases surge Al Jazeera


DPS is adding air monitors in all of its schools Denverite (AM)


Global extinction threat may be much higher than previously thought UPI (David L)

Horrific heat descends upon Western Europe: 104°F in London Yale Climate Connections

Greenland Threatens Counterpunch

Brazil: Amazon deforestation up 20% last year — report DW (resilc)

Wildfires raging on over 40,000 hectares in Russia’s Yakutia Interfax


If Pelosi goes to Taiwan, it will be a huge historic mistake for Washington Global Times editorial. Recall Global Times is a state organ. The language here is even more acid than China has used in the past, which is a difficult feat. One consequences of her visit to Taiwan would be that she would go on the sanctions list and her husband’s assets in China would be frozen. After pointing out that the last three visits by US officials to Taiwan led to PLA crackdowns, the article concludes:

Unlike Washington’s opportunistic probing, all options are clearly on the table for the Chinese mainland. The noose around the neck of the “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces is tightening, and Pelosi has one foot on the stool of the gallows. If Pelosi, who has always been fond of playing tough on China, wants to insist on this way, we will definitely prepare sufficient “consequences” for her.

Kissinger Warns Biden Against Endless Confrontation With China MSN (resilc)

‘Fake news’: China denies that President Xi Jinping invited European leaders for meeting in Beijing WION. The report that Xi’s invite to EU leaders was ignored came from the normally reputable South China Morning Post: Exclusive | China asks European leaders to meet Xi in November. But will they accept?. The version now up looks to have been rewritten from the original, see the first Bloomberg headline per Google: Xi’s Beijing Invite Unanswered by Top Europe Leaders, SCMP Reports versus the one at that link now: China Disputes Report Xi Invited Europe Heads to Beijing Meeting

Old Blighty

UK inflation hits new 40-year high of 9.4% as cost-of-living crisis deepens CNBC

France to pay $10 billion to take full control of EDF Reuters (Brunches with Cats)

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia Indian Punchline (Kevin W). Today’s must read.

Right before meeting with Putin in Iran, Turkey’s Erdogan threatens to ‘freeze’ Sweden and Finland’s NATO membership Business Insider

Iran and Russia’s Gazprom sign primary deal for energy cooperation Reuters

* * *

Alfons Mais: “Russia has resources that are almost inexhaustible” Handelsblatt. Original here.

Zelensky Orders Troops to Hold Siversk Despite Heavy Losses, Purges More Officials; Putin in Tehran Alexander Mercouris. Note in particular starting at 10:10, Mercouris reports that DPR official Eduard Barsurin has stated that Ukraine has received the 300 km missiles for the HIMARS. Ukraine has made clear it intends to hit targets in Crimea, which Russia regards as Russian territory, particularly the Kerch bridge. Mercouris thinks it would take an awful lot of missiles to do that, as in more than Ukraine has now, but any strikes at Crimea would lead to very forceful retaliation by Russia. Ukraine is smoking something strong if it thinks that will lead the West to do meaningfully more for Ukraine than it is doing now.

This is a rumor but it follows credible reports on sites that watch daily action like Military Summary of a marked increase in the already-high levels of losses to Ukraine forces:

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EU might unfreeze some assets of seven Russian banks for food trade Interfax

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Putin warns of Nord Stream 1 gas capacity cuts over equipment repairs Reuters. Oddly this account does not mention, as others do, that Putin offered to open Nord Stream 2 to assure supply. Also S&P issued an odd note on the 18th which gives the strong impression that the status of the notorious part that was stuck in Canada is still up in the air.

Coordinated actions across Europe are essential to prevent a major gas crunch: Here are 5 immediate measures IEA (guurst). Help me. Given the urgency, the lead time for implementing the first idea, “Introduce auction platforms,” puts in in the category of “Assume a can opener.”

German energy rationing debate pits consumers against industry Financial Times (Kevin W)

Sinking Germany New Left Review. Anthony L: “Apart from vacuous first paragraph or two, interesting case for Germany as Loser.”

Sri Lanka

State of emergency imposed as parliament convenes to choose new Sri Lankan president WSWS


Biden’s Brief Middle East Pivot Won’t Last Foreign Policy

In The Multipolar World Iran Will No Longer Fear U.S. Sanctions Moon of Alabama

Imperial Collapse Watch

Military hypersonic missile scientist duped colleague into hiring prostitute at top Air Force lab Daily Mail (BC)


White House holds out hope for Manchin climate deal later this summer Axios

GOP Clown Car

Um, the belief that being allied with Trump is detrimental is at best premature: Dan Cox Wins GOP Primary for Governor in Maryland Wall Street Journal

Democrats en déshabillé

AOC Among Lawmakers Arrested at Supreme Court Rally Bloomberg

House passes bill codifying same-sex marriage right, with some Republicans joining Democrats ABC (Kevin W)


What Pregnancy and Childbirth Do to the Bodies of Young Girls New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Conservative Blocs Unleash Litigation to Curb Public Health Powers KHN

What really drives anti-abortion beliefs? Research suggests it’s a matter of sexual strategies PhysOrg (Dr. Kevin)

Texas woman speaks out after being forced to carry her dead fetus for 2 weeks


Cops Opened Fire Into a Crowd Because They Thought Someone Had a Gun Vice (resilc)

Bystander Killed Gunman 2 Minutes Into Indiana Mall Shooting New York Times. Resilc: “Fox News hero 24 7 365…….and future GOP candidate.”

The Cause of the Crime Wave Is Hiding in Plain Sight Atlantic (resilc)

WATCH: Massive Explosion Rocks Hoover Dam in Nevada Sputnik (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

Tesla may have to write down all that bitcoin Boing Boing (resilc)

Celsius lawyers claim users gave up legal rights to their crypto Cointelegraph (Kevin W)

San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California Home Sales Crater, Prices Begin to Drop. California Pending Sales Collapse 40% Wolf Richter

Intel Begs For A Bailout The Lever

Class Warfare

Good News: Economy Sucks, You’re Screwed, and It’s All Your Fault, Economists Say CNBC. Resilc: “CNBC, your plantation-centric news channel.”

Companies Challenge Ban on Mexicans Crossing Border to Sell Blood Undark

Antidote du jour. Stephen T:

Here’s a potential antidote, one a little off the cat-beaten path. I saw this critter on the window/wall of the convenience store behind my house. I had to do a double-take, because at first I thought it was just a leaf that was stuck to the surface. A closer look revealed that it was a moth, one with a very clever bit of camouflage that just made it look like an old leaf. Impressive stuff.

And a bonus (Mark T). Since you liked Emmanuel so much:

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    So, Gavin Newsom making moves towards a Presidential run in 2024. As a San Franciscan who’s seen him at work for 25 years, I’ve never been able to look at his slicked hair and not start hearing Frank Zappa’s classic Willie the Pimp. Lyrics need an update:

    I’m a Getty Boy with my hair gassed back
    Pair of khaki pants and my shoes shined black

    Got my girl Pelosi walkin’ K Street
    Tellin’ all the boys that I can’t be beat

    Give insider tips, she can set you straight
    Meet her on the corner, Boy, and don’t be late

    Man in a suit with a fat-flabbed neck
    Wanna buy a law with a third-party check

    Standin’ on the porch of the Eaton Hotel
    Donors in the lobby love the way I’ll sell

    Hot meat
    Hot rats
    Fat cats
    Fast graft
    Hot toot
    Hot boot
    Zoot suit
    More loot…

    1. super extra


      > I’ve never been able to look at his slicked hair

      I think my personal favorite mean nickname for him is “Eminence Grease” but I’m sure there are some other good ones

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        One of my favorite lines from one of the very first Law and Order shows in reference to Jerry Orbach, and what I always think of whenever I see monsieur gavin:

        Chris Pollit: (to Briscoe) Yo, Brylcreem, why don’t you and Captain America go blow it out your butt?


        Brylcream, a little dab’ll do ya
        Brycream, you’ll look so debonair,
        Brylcream, the gals’ll all pursue yaaaaaaaa,
        They’ll love to get their fingers in your hair.

        1. caucus99percenter

          Use Wildroot Cream-Oil, Charlie!
          It keeps your hair in trim
          Y’see it’s non-alcoholic, Charlie
          It’s made with soothing lanolin!
          You’d better get Wildroot Cream-Oil, Charlie!
          Start using it today
          You’ll find that you’ll have a tough time, Charlie
          Keeping all those gals away!

      2. CarlaMartin

        As a San Franciscan, I’ve never been able to look at Kamala Harris’ mouth without picturing Willie Brown’s wee willie.
        A loathsome woman who
        “pulled herself up by her kneepads.”

        1. Sardonia

          The odds are stacked against a Trump/Harris race, but if it ever happens, Trump’s trolling on this would be so entertaining. He’d bring it up in every live debate.

          She’d be rubble.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              It is not a matter of having a lot of sex, but using sex to get into positions (pun intended) that would be unachievable by any other means.

        2. ex-PFC Chuck

          I’d say thanks for that, but I’ll never be able to unsee the image that came to mind. :-)

    2. Lex

      Love it. Helps that the whole album is near the top of my Zappa list and high up my all time / all artist list too.

      1. Sardonia

        Yeah, it really helps to hear the music while reading the lyrics. Highly underrated lineup – Ian Underwood, Sugar Cane Harris and Jean-Luc Ponty on violins (works so well with the sleazy lyrics), Zappa’s solos – and Captain Beefheart growling out the vocals. You can just picture the seediest pimp ever.

        I’m guessing that near the top of your Zappa list is Live at teh Fillmore – 1971 IIRC. Hilarious performance – the extended song with Flo and Eddie from The Turtles as rock band groupies….

    3. anon in so cal

      Any time I hear Gavin Newsom’s name, it reminds me of PG&E. The LA Times has an article today about California’s disappearing forests due to forest fires. The article features the Dixie fire, which–like several of CA’s recent catastrophic fires–has been linked to badly-maintained PG&E equipment. At the time, its CEO got a $3 million signing bonus on top of an obscene salary. CA voters approved funds for the bankrupt PG&E and those funds were not used for the approved purpose.

      Kamala Harris was asked to bring charges against the utility when she was the attorney general of California (Willie Brown was on the board) but declined. Blatant hobnobbing among PG&E, lobbyists, and Sacramento.

      “SCRB Strategies, a political consultancy that helped run campaigns for Ms. Harris, Mr. Lee, Governor Newsom and Jerry Brown, the previous governor, received more than $1.1 million from PG&E last year for research and consulting.”

      “Newsom’s office crafted law protecting PG&E after company’s crimes killed 84 people.
      Documents reveal how California Gov. Gavin Newsom protected PG&E after the company caused deadly fires and pleaded guilty to the felony killing of 84 people.”

      1. Adam Eran

        A factoid of interest: PG&E is privately owned, but SMUD (the Sacramento Municipal Utility District) is publicly owned. SMUD electricity is 35% cheaper than PG&E, and its execs aren’t consulting criminal attorneys because of potential charges of negligent homicide, as PG&E is…

        Socialism! Public ownership of the means of production. It’s cheaper and it works better!

        1. Arman

          As a SMUD customer myself, I appreciate not having to worry as much about rolling blackouts compared with PG&E.

  2. upstater

    Supply chain, Union Pacific Railroad edition:

    Union Pacific engineer laments high level of misrouted freight cars

    Pressure to reduce terminal dwell figures has prompted some Union Pacific yards to routinely depart trains that include misrouted cars simply to get them moving, a UP engineer alleges in a letter sent to federal regulators.

    Michael Lindsey, a veteran engineer based in Pocatello, Idaho, used a train he ran to Nampa, Idaho, over the weekend as an example. Lindsey was at the throttle of North Platte, Neb.-Hinkle, Ore., merchandise train MNPHK15, which had 146 cars — 22 of which were apparently on the wrong train.

    Before departing Pocatello, westbounds typically pick up a distributed power unit or set out cars in order to tackle 2% grades and remain within the railroad’s guidelines for trailing tonnage limits.

    Lindsey’s MNPHK was over the limit by 334 tons, and was ordered to set out the train’s first five cars before departing Pocatello. But since those cars were bound for Portland, the crew asked they could instead set out the train’s last dozen cars, some of which should have stayed in Pocatello.

    “It would make the train compliant, save time since we would not have to recharge the air on our entire train, and many of these cars were destined for Pocatello anyway … Instead, the yard insisted that they had already entered it in the computer the other way around and that we just needed to get it out of town,” Lindsey wrote.

    He adds: “This bothers me immensely. I genuinely care about my industry as well as the customers. We as the train crew attempted to prevent this misrouting of customer cars by offering an easier and more efficient solution. Instead, local management cared more about their terminal dwell numbers than they did about delivering this freight to the customers.”

    It would likely take a week or more for the wayward cars to ultimately reach their destinations, Lindsey says, noting that hauling them out of route also would waste fuel and capacity.

    These are the games that PSR has introduced into the industry. No doubt the bonuses for management and stock options for executives get paid out. Recall the looting of containers in Los Angles last year, same railroad, same management, same problems. There are links to Lindsey’s 2 letters to the Surface Transportation Board.

    1. InThePines

      RRs are not the only place in transportation where management has perverse incentives, the fingers of the hand fight each other, and the smallfolk looking at the actual freight are ignored. What’s real is only what’s analyzed in the spreadsheets in morning meetings. Productivity is measured in atomised ways, metrics create hilarious inefficiencies, and the f— f— games never end. God, do I hate MBAs not of this parish.

    2. Paul Jurczak

      Thank you for adding a data point to a huge pile of counterexamples to the mythical corporate efficiency vs governmental ineptitude. Any large organization with sufficient number of management layers and efficiency consultants hired is susceptible to nonsense.

  3. Linda Elkins

    Greed is good!! Isn’t that the all American mantra? Thanks Ronny Reagan, you are still wrecking the American economy; even so many years after you death!! As long as big business and the already filthy rich stay on top of the world the rest of us will suffer and no body cares!!

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      I would quibble slightly by saying that the middle and upper classes depend greatly on the lower classes to be dependable consumers. In our system, everybody has to do their part, whether that’s purchasing luxury goods and assets, signing 10 year car loans on F-250s, or picking up cartons of Marlboros and half racks of Bud Light at the Walmart.

      1. LifelongLib

        I’ve occasionally tried pointing out to small business owner friends that the people they want coming in the door as customers with money to spend are approximately the same people that as employees they’re trying to pay as little as possible. Does not compute. The usual response is that they’ve got to make payroll every week and they pay what they can afford. An obvious solution would be labor unions that force employers to pay decent wages across the board, but they generally don’t like unions either…

    2. spud

      How the Democrats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Market

      Maia Silber

      In the 1990s, the New Democrats trusted corporations to do the right thing. The results were disastrous.

      ” One of Geismer’s most damning accounts of the Clinton administration’s failures comes in a chapter on its response to human rights campaigns to eradicate sweatshop labor conditions in the garment industry. The Clinton administration, she finds, left the regulation of the industry to the industry itself, allowing domestic manufacturers to evade federal lawsuits by conducting their own investigations of subcontractors’ labor conditions. Meanwhile, the administration’s Apparel Industry Partnership established an international code of conduct that was both voluntary and unenforceable. Unsurprisingly, garment manufacturing conditions remain abysmal in the United States and abroad. “

    1. Sardonia

      What’s Kammi’s price to step down?

      They can’t offer her anything higher than the VP she is now, so I’m guessing it’d have to be some kind of “offer she can’t refuse.”

      Who’s the Don who can make that offer?

      1. russell1200

        Lis Smith was being interviewed on a “The Ringer” podcast because she has her new book (Tuesday something or other) out. Talking about useless Corp Dem Speak! LOL She was even saying things about how strong your Kammi is!

        I am not going to fault Ms. Smith’s behind the scenes prowess, but she obviously isn’t going to say anything real in public, and presumably in her book.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”She was even saying things about how strong your Kammi is!”

          Wanna get Trump’s acolytes to spill the beans about 1/6? Forget subpoenas. Just lock them up in a cell on some pretext and pipe in Kammi speeches. Her nasal, twangy, grating voice which strains horridly at higher volumes is guaranteed to get them singing like nightingales. In a day or two, three at the most for the toughest of them.

          As a bonus, being forced to listen to Kammi’s “oratory” is not legally considered torture. Although it most assuredly is.

          1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

            LOL, the only beans that need spilling from 1/6 are from Nancy Pelosi, the FBI, the Capitol Police, and DHS. Completely absent from the show “trial”, I wonder why?

      2. HotFlash

        Last lady wannabe prez was mollified w SecState. What countries do you suppose Ms Veep could find on a map?

  4. Terry Flynn

    Re cats watching cats. Our moggy has (IMHO) some Siamese or suchlike “clever and needing interaction” genes. She has being getting bored very easily since Molly (our other very old cat) died.

    I beamed youtube cat videos to my TV in bedroom when the cat was on my bed. She tried to interact with the cats on screen, particularly the kittens (she had had one litter before being spayed at rescue centre). Her interactions were hilarious and I considered uploading them to suggest viewing on NC. I’m just not sure if she’s freaked out by them so haven’t and doubt I’ll “play that game” again. But I was well impressed with how she can watch TV.

    1. chris

      I can’t wait to play Stray. There’s also “Peace Island” that should be released to beta version soon. Hopefully I’ll have my steam deck in the fall and be able to hunker down in a pile of blankets by a fire on a cold day. Sipping cocoa and playing video games where you’re a cat seems like an excellent way to lose an afternoon.

      1. super extra

        I was only slightly disappointed when I saw Stray because for a couple of years now I’ve been joking that I’m going to quit my real job and make a game about the complex inner life of my cat. The joke had taken on a life of it’s own (proposed name, Psychonauts-style mode when the cat was dreaming, puzzles like scaring birds off outside by chittering enough) without really accounting for the fact that I am not much of a gamer, probably one out of every three programmers makes the same threat on bad days at work, and I have no real interest in grinding for years in a different and more competitive branch of programming that isn’t really my thing.

        Stray looks great though! I hope this becomes a new genre.

        1. chris

          Look for this game too – Peace Island. They’ve hit some development snags but it seems fantastic. You’re in the role of various cats on a Maine vacation island and you’re trying to solve the mystery of where your humans disappeared to.

    2. playon

      Our young female cat Suki at first was entranced when watching YT cat videos and would jump up to bat at the birds on the screen. But then she seemed to realize that it was fake (after peering around the back of the screen looking for the birds) and now it only entertains her for a limited amount of time. I’m not into video games but I would try Stray as it sounds interesting.

      1. playon

        There are previews of Stray on youtube such as this one:

        It’s getting less-than-favorable reviews from some gamer types because it’s perhaps more simplistic than some games as far as being challenging enough. I think for someone who is into cats more than video games (me) it’s probably fun. I’m planning to check it out.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia Indian Punchline

    Great article, and a solid reminder of the vital importance of geography, physical and economic. If you don’t read maps well, you will never understand why so many countries do what they do. Mind you, I’ve often thought that most of Washingtons intelligentsia missed their map reading courses.

    1. Watt4Bob

      IMO, the most agregious geographic misunderstanding on the part of our masters is that they miss the importance of the fact that you can walk from Beijing to Paris, but you can’t walk there from Washington or NYC.

      Bully all you want, but eventually the costs and vulnerabilities associated with transport is going to catch up with your fantasies.

      1. Polar Socialist

        You can blame Alfred T. Mahan, who’s focus on sea power became so popular it caused a “lost century” for the global land transportation, commerce and collaboration.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          That’s true, although I’ve often wondered idly if air travel did most of the damage.

          A lot of well travelled people seem surprised to discover that things like mountains, deserts, watercourses, oasis, etc., still matter when it comes to transporting goods, or moving armies. You can understand a lot about the differences in perspective of various peoples by looking at the physical geography of their core lands.

          Maybe because my hobby is bike touring I find myself acutely aware of things like distance, wind and road grades when travelling. A lot of things you read about in history only really make sense if you walk or cycle the routes. I’m sure sailors would say the same thing.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, Gentlemen.

        It’s also interesting to see this sort of thing being published / addressed in emerging powers. There’s little of this quality left in the western media.

        @PK: You have commented on this before: That intelligentsia is not aware of its limitations. Its MSM gatekeepers make sure people who do know their stuff are kept off air.

    2. Lex

      Agreed on the quality of the article and the import of its contents. Also agreed on western map reading, which is probably compounded by choosing the Mercator projection and then mistaking it for an accurate description of size. It’s the line of thought in that article that I use when considering Russia’s Phase III and why I think it will be Odessa-centric rather than Kharkov. The latter is more emotional while the former is strategic and geopolitical.

    3. Boomheist

      Great article, and another brick in the emerging structure, until now seemingly entirely unseen by the US PMC, that places Russia as the emerging Great Power of the 21st century: Resources, agricultural land, educated population, scientific expertise, and location, location, location. Those waterway routes provide the most efficient way to move cargo long distances at minimal fossil fuel use. Heck, if we run out of fossil fuel they will hook the barges to teams of oxen and horses, as was done in the brief US canal period of 1810-1840 before the railroads made canals obsolete. Why Russia and not China, which nearly everyone now thinks is the next Great Power? China does not have the energy resources, and must rely on Russia, the ‘stans, and elsewhere. China has over a billion mouths to feed. China has a major flooding problem every year which grows worse with increasing heat and atmospheric rivers. China’s major market for its industrial success are Europe and the United States, but as the EU and the US begin to suffer due to inflation, lack of buying power, so will China’s sources pf markets and sales. Everyone thinks it is China as the new “Leader” but I think actually it will be Russia. It will cwrtainly be one or the other…..

      1. Brunches with Cats

        The U.S. for decades has viewed Russia as the main enemy of its quest for global economic supremacy. Scroll all the way down for a long comment I posted earlier, with excerpts from an old Atlantic article critiquing SoS Clinton’s Eurasia policy. As for previous comments about Washington’s inability to read a map, while it’s true that Americans overall are ignorant of world geography (and world affairs in general), it’s a safe bet that the drivers of this insanity at the U.S. State Department know their geography exceedingly well. And by “driver,” I mean something more like “chauffeur.” While some may actually believe all this freedom and democracy stuff, the careerists know that their job is to clear the way for U.S. multinational overseas, by whatever means necessary.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Military hypersonic missile scientist duped colleague into hiring prostitute to co-chair scientific panel so he could sleep with her behind wife’s back”

    Well considering that he was working with missiles, I suppose that is one way to get more bang for your buck.

    1. Sardonia

      Gotta love how they would’ve gotten away with it all – except people noticed that she didn’t even know how to use a word processor.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        If she was a real prostitute, she’d be in Congress.

        (I’ll bet Pelosi can’t use a word processor either.)

        1. ambrit

          She should take lesons from the Italian porn ‘actress’ who got elected to Parliament.
          See ‘Cicciolina’:
          Also, and I have to throw this in there, I really must, if she was an amateur prostitute, she’d be Vice President.
          As Faulkner put it in one of his stories about Hollywood, there was an actress who “slept her way to the middle.” [I’ve linked to this before, and also in a thread concerning Kamala Harris.]

  7. Hank

    RE: AOC

    Pretty great for those in the peanut gallery, who’ve never worked in law enforcement, or been arrested, to not understand why cops ask people to walk with their hands behind their back, even when not in custody.
    At the very least, it’s to indicate compliance and to dial the temperature down, so there’s no sudden movements. Similar to asking someone to interlock their fingers on the back of their head.
    If someone is in custody, and not shackled, it’s more or less for the same reasons, but also helps to identify who is expected to hold still, and who is not. “Processing” inmates with the “handle” that their elbow makes it absolutely standard.

    When a perp doesn’t have their hands behind their back, it’s a pretty clear sign they are going to be trouble.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry but I can tell you that Occupy Wall Street protestors, including journalists who were not protesting but reporting, got the zip tie treatment for so long that some writers had nerve damage for weeks and were afraid they’d never be the same. See:

      So I do not buy for a second your claim that cops are nice to cooperating protestors. Tons of counter-evidence, including cops punching out old ladies on camera at OWS protests in NYC, merely for waving court rulings across wooden sawhorse barriers that they should be allowed into Zuccotti Park (mind you, that ruling was appealed successfully but it was valid at the time of the incident). I expect seasoned protestors to provide additional evidence.

      On top of that, it is embarrassing for AOC to be in the crowd protesting. She should be leading the protest, speaking, etc. Just showing up to march is half assed for someone with her bully pulpit.

      1. nycTerrierist

        “On top of that, it is embarrassing for AOC to be in the crowd protesting. She should be leading the protest, speaking, etc. Just showing up to march is half assed for someone with her bully pulpit.”

        This – x1000!

        but she’s a leading Democrat — their hands are always ‘tied’…

        1. chris

          The performative example of AOC keeping her hands behind her back in mute compliance is a wonderful metaphor, isn’t it?

          The poster above is correct that some security/police will request compliance like that in lieu of handcuffs or other restraints. However, Yves is certainly correct that it is rare for people at these protests to be given that level of deference. Personally I would want some one restrained with something more than a promise if I was going to be leading them through a crowd. The risks of them acting out, and hurting themselves, or going for my own weapons would too high.

          This arrangement smells like someone from AOC’s office communicated what was going to happen to the police in advance. Which is reasonable given that someone like AOC who is at risk of having crazies attack her should expect people on her team to do advance work if she’s in a crowd like that. The entrance and exits to that area should be known in advance. She should have friendly people in the crowd. They should all have agreed upon limits to what type of situation will require her leaving quickly. She should be trained on how to move with her protection through a crowd and how to position her self to not obstruct site lines and weapons from her protection. If she’s not doing all that she’s dumb.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            I’m wondering why these ridiculous people are acting like little girls playing pretend “protest” in front of the supreme court building, instead of twisting arms at the capitol building where, we’re led to believe, they actually have a paying job “representing” their constituencies’ concerns in the legislative branch of government.

            If you think about it, they are the ones protesters should be protesting against.

            1. ArvidMartensen

              I understand that she once appeared on Jimmy Dore before the MSM took a shine to her.
              And then as soon as she had made it, performatively speaking, she wouldn’t appear on his show anymore.
              And that says to me that she is representing a constituency of one. Herself. It should be clear by now to anyone taking any notice that she is completely self-centred and has been big plans to be the new Nancy for the next 100 years (med science permitting).

        2. Boomheist

          She, and the rest of the Squad, lost all credibility when they voted to send all those billions to Ukraine… is all performative bullshit…

        3. Mikel

          “…but she’s a leading Democrat — their hands are always ‘tied’…”


      2. Sardonia

        “On top of that, it is embarrassing for AOC to be in the crowd protesting. She should be leading the protest, speaking, etc.”

        Who has time to lead protests or write speeches when one has to get her makeup on just right for her photo op?

        1. JTMcPhee

          I wonder — is AOC now subject to the universal constant rule that 80+% of her and the rest of the “people’s legislature’s” time, day after day, must be spent fundraising and f#ll@ting donors bribers?

          She sure is a willing rubber-stamp for all the Dem perversity and fraud…

        2. Nikkikat

          Yes indeed AOC needs to look her best and of course the Capitol police were tipped off about her latest Dog and pony show. Why does anyone seriously talk about this woman. She is a complete farce. Just another grifter like all the rest.

      3. Hank

        >your claim that cops are nice to cooperating protestors.

        You might notice, that’s not what I said.
        I was specifically saying hands behind the back is standard, which you’ve reinforced.
        It would probably be equally easy to take potshots at AOC for merely “leading the protest” or merely “speaking” from her “bully pulpit”, and then not being in the crowd getting arrested with protestors.
        There’s no satisfying some people.

        1. IMOR

          With regard to both groups under discussion: Not after the last 20-35 years of documented, witnessed behavior, there sure isn’t. Nor should be.

        2. Big River Bandido

          After she voted to enlarge the sinkhole of Ukraine war money, she can go Dick Cheney herself.

        3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Someone on Twitter commented that there’s a video showing the cop holding AOC with one arm and another protestor with the other.

          AOC is the only one with her arms behind her back. Plus she goes for the performance fist salute a short time later.

      4. hk

        I would figure this is probably a two sided showmanship. It seems improbable to me that cops would be so foolish that they would actually rough up, so to speak, someone who is not just a member of Congress, but also has a cult following willingly. So the thing was more or less staged with both sides playing their part. Pretty cynical, I suppose…

    2. Wukchumni

      It doesn’t matter if she was doing as requested by the coppers, for Antoinette of cuffs came off as a 2-bit (a Twitter 2-bit, not a Quarter) phony by legions on the right who see her as the flag bearer for the Donkey Show…

      …let them eat take

      1. The Rev Kev

        Another one of the squad was doing the hands behind the back routine as well. I cannot be sure who it was as she was half turned away but I think that it was Ilhan Omar – another graduate of the AOC School of Performative Theatre.

    3. Mikel

      She did a horrible job of pretending to be handcuffed. She raised a fist to the cheering crowd.

  8. Solarjay

    Hoover dam.
    It was a transformer that blew up.
    Not a big problem as the dam has extra because it’s not running at anywhere near full capacity

    1. The Rev Kev

      If the waters get that much lower for Hoover dam, they won’t need those transformers anymore. :(

    2. Wukchumni

      When you are driving in a passenger vehicle across the Pat Tillman Bridge on the Colorado River (the only span i’m aware of honoring friendly fire) you can’t see the dam & river below as a security caution, but I noticed that if a high profile vehicle was crossing the bridge, it didn’t seem like it would be all that difficult to use something like a RPG to take out a bank of transformers on the Nevada side, were the assailant to be on top of an 18 wheeler or something like that.

    3. Dermotmoconnor

      They are not running at full capacity

      Haha that’s no kidding! They’re very close to dead pool at current decline rates. Plenty of YouTubers are covering this even if MSM finds it unimportant. 35% of Vegas power go bye-bye, not to mention the water.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its very odd for a transformer to blow when there is no external factor at work (accidental overloading or lightning or flooding or uncleared vegetation causing a short). Sometimes an isolated transformer can be overlooked when it comes to maintenance, or vandalised (people have been known to drain them so they could steal the copper). So I find it odd that a transformer would blow in a high profile location like that with no obvious external factor. Bad maintenance on ageing infrastructure perhaps? Cyber attack?

        1. chris

          Depends on the type of transformer. I have no idea how old those are on Hoover dam or even what kind they are. Given the age of the structure and other limits I’d hope they’re dry type transformers but I don’t know. The explosion thats shown suggests it was an oil filled transformer of some kind.

          It’s easy to imagine maintenance being deferred on either kind given the limits of supplies for years prior to the current craziness. You also need some highly trained and certified staff to do the maintenance work on transformers. Both supply and staff issues could have caused routine maintenance to be delayed.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Some decades ago, my uncle, a long, long time pilot boat captain, ran a cargo ship aground, I should know the proper word. Long story short, the guy from the Army Corp of Engineers was filing fake reports about the harbor depths. Supposedly reforms were made, but it wasn’t so much the guy skipped work as there wasn’t a second set of eyes to check on that guy.

        2. Louis Fyne

          premature guess: bad maintenance + aging infrastructure + the two old-timers holding the place together retired due Covid or a vax mandate.

            1. Wukchumni

              Planning a November kayak trip on the Colorado River and in our favor it doesn’t matter how low Lake Mead goes to in the meantime as we launch from about 1/2 a miles down from Hoover Dam, and its all flatwater in the formerly quite turbulent Black Canyon stretch we paddle on.

              Its a mecca of hot spring possibilities all within 4 miles of the dam downriver with 3 canyons that have hot creeks that flow into the river.

          1. MT_Wild

            No joke. Had an assignment removing birds from electrical substations in AZ once. Their nests were starting fires and lethal harassment encourages the others to leave. On top of just carefully shooting the birds without hitting anything important, I had to go in and recover the carcasses if possible so we could get west nile virus samples. A truly hair-raising experience with that much electricity buzzing.


    4. Chas

      USA corporate media hasn’t picked up this story, which I find surprising. Ordinarily a newspaper or tv station in a city near Hoover Dam would run the story because the dam is so important to living in that area. Then the AP would pick up the story and it would go nationwide. Or, corporate media would pick up the story from Sputnik or RT. So there must be a reason for the failure to report. Sabotage? If I recall correctly, Hoover Dam was the target of The Monkey Wrench Gang, as told by Edward Abbey.

      1. Chas

        Sorry. It was the Glen Canyon Dam the Monkey Wrench Gang was after, but still…maybe sabotage.

        1. Wukchumni

          Read an amazing page turner of a book called ‘Wet Desert’ by Gary Hansen about an eco terrorist who blows up Glen Canyon and the flooding that ensues…

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘The Intelligence Agency (AW) of the Republic of Poland has prepared a report analyzing the current situation in Ukraine’

    One of my favourite films happens to be the 1953 film “War of the Worlds.” A real classic. In one scene after the first disastrous battle with the Martian machines, the Major General Mann character was reporting to Washington over the phone that their effective losses were nearly sixty percent men and ninety percent materiel. So why do I mention this old film? Because in the past few days I have been hearing that the Russian are doing the same level of damage against Ukrainian brigades. No army can sustain losses like that no matter what the hopes of some pundits.

    1. hk

      Well, in Ukraine, as was in the movie, Washington seems to have been pinning hopes that microorganisms would do the work. (Partly sarcasm…but, seriously, what’s the story on alleged bioweapon labs now?)

    2. Skip Intro

      The report also claims that the m777 Howitzers are being used against cities instead of against artillery batteries, which suggests that perhaps stopping Russian advance is not their top priority.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I saw a video from a British news team following around one of these M777 Howitzers which I though risky as they are priority targets for the Russians. But when those Ukrainians bugged out, they did what I heard that the Ukrainians did which was to tow that M777 by the barrel. I do not know if it is true or not but I read doing so is hard on the barrels and degrades their performance.

        1. Skip Intro

          Did they forget to order the special trailer ‘option’? Ooops.

          I also found it interesting that they basically put US/UK advisers/intelligence relays embedded with the Ukrainian units with these weapons, but when there are reports of m77 or himars attacks on the damn upstream of Kherson, you have to wonder whether they really know what they’re targeting, and if so, whether they really want to hit Russian military facilities.

        1. Skip Intro

          Could be ethnic cleansing, depopulation, social and physical infrastructure destruction of already lost territories, revenge, spite, incompetence, or some mix of these I suppose..

        2. Polar Socialist

          Maybe the same motive that drives them to send kamikaze-UAVs to nuclear plants or pretend to be Russian troops in Seversk and try to find out which locals would fraternize with them (as per LNR reports)?

          For all practical purposes, the current war in Ukraine is (for now) an extension of the civil war that has raged on and off for almost a century. While it’s not necessarily the right way, one way to look at all that’s going on in Ukraine is yet another (third) fight between moderate and extremist Ukrainians about what Ukraine could/should/would have been.

          1. hk

            Probably goes back farther, even before “Ukrainian” identity clearly came into focus. The Union of Brest, after all, was about tribes of Eastern Slavs choosing Rome (provided that they were allowed to keep the appearance of their relligious practices) over Moscow after the fall of Constantinople. And, to this day, Uniate Catholicism is closely associated with hardcore Ukrainian nationalism.

  10. Milton

    “lifted up his hoody as though he was armed with a handgun.”
    News you can:
    If you are near police, do not, ever, pull a hoodie over your head, even on the coldest days lest you receive a volley of bullets.
    F’n Amazing!

    1. Eureka Springs

      What kind of person would even call the cops? Unless you want things to get much much worse. If you want things to get better call a florist, or for a pizza, or even for some dope, but never ever call the cops.

      1. Late Introvert

        I agree very much, but I did once call them, very reluctantly. I live in a smallish college town renowned for the downtown bar scene. Even though we are a good 12 blocks away from downtown, we had a young female visitor at 2 AM loudly knocking on our door insisting we had her keys. She would not leave, she would not stop pounding on our door, and I finally after about 20 minutes of that nonsense called the [pigs]. They deal with this all the time, and my front porch visitor was a white girl, so the [pigs] were professional, I guess. I still felt bad, and still do. The worst she got was a public intox (illegal in Iowa, yes you can get arrested for being drunk in public here!)

        My other encounter with the local [pigs] during a traffic stop was much less professional and quite rude and left me feeling afraid and enraged. So the advice to avoid the [pigs] at all times is sound.

  11. nippersdad

    Re: Coordinated actions across Europe are essential to prevent a major gas crunch: Here are 5 immediate measures

    “In September 2021 – five months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the IEA pointed out that Russia was preventing a significant amount of gas from reaching Europe.”

    IIRC, that was about the time that there was a controversy over long term contracts vs. spot prices for gas in the EU. Looking at the chart, there are corresponding dips in 2020 about the same time that may have had the same rationale behind them (I really don’t remember). And then, going over to Wikipedia* there is this (perhaps not so strange) gap between 2019 and 2021 to explain the dips in the articles’ chart.

    That, along with the absence in the Reuters article about Putin’s offer to open NS II, makes it look like a coordinated effort to whitewash The EU’s contribution to their own energy woes. If it looks like lying by omission here to the casual observer, I wonder how obvious it is to consumers who have had their eyes on it in the EU?

    I wasn’t able to read the Reuters article due to reaching my limit and I hadn’t heard about the offer to open up NS II by Putin, but it is good to hear that he is a bigger man than I. I feel like at some point those who have created this problem need to get what they ask for and let our much vaunted democratic processes in the West have their way, even if it is at the point of a pitchfork.


    1. Ignacio

      It is all about hysteria. Also I think the leadership is happy with high NG prices and they promote it. It is possible that one of the reasons is that it pushes investments on renewables but there may also be some other reasons not so kind behind. The happiest of all are, of course, operators and suppliers enjoying large bonuses and that might be one of those not so kind reasons. From a report I saw yesterday, so far the refilling of NG stocks in the EU, that peaks in October is going on line with recent historic trends and the supply is nearly guaranteed. Only if Russia stops supply to 0 would there be some scarcity next winter. If they just keep at June supply levels (reduced for maintenance) everything would be OK though 2023 would be harder to refill stocks. If Russia resumes deliveries as expected no problem indeed.

      IMO, part of the hysteria about NG supplies is fictional and intended to justify high costs that will mostly be passed to consumers according to plan. Must be our punishment or our solidarity with Ukraine. This is, i bet, the main reason: the leadership want us to pay for it and blame it to Russia because, if we are not seeing pain and damage we would be rapidly forgetting about Ukraine.

      1. nippersdad

        “From a report I saw yesterday, so far the refilling of NG stocks in the EU, that peaks in October is going on line with recent historic trends and the supply is nearly guaranteed.”

        Those price increases sound really massive, though. How will they justify them if the caverns are full? That doesn’t sound like something one could keep secret, and Russophobia will only go so far when you are cold and hungry. IIRC, it was Merkel who pushed to get NS II built over the reservations of the Russians, what has Russia done to cause such hysteria?

        It is not like we are not all hostage to other countries for all kinds of things, and we endure worse from others like Saudi Arabia; Wahabist terrorism wouldn’t even be a thing without them, and the EU has seen its share of refugees from hot spots in the “GWOT.”

        As with all of the Russiagate stuff, I am just finding it difficult to understand the apparent need to hate on Russia. Surely we have more pressing problems.

        1. Skip Intro

          Hating on Russia is just a stylistic theme, the real goal is to break the EU from Russia economically. High gas prices and EU dependence on US fracked (thanks Obama) LNG were the goals, the rest is just the means to the end.

    2. Lex

      He did say that the time for full NS2 capacity is passed because Russia is already using 50% of the planned capacity for domestic consumption. The rest of it is probably temporary; the announcement of connecting gas fields to the Power of Siberia and the new PS2 mean that gas which would fill European pipeline is being routed East. Europe has a timeline that must be faster than the construction of the PS1 interconnect and PS2. After that, there is no need for them as a customer. (That doesn’t meant Russia wouldn’t supply, just that Europe’s negotiating position will be severely undermined.)

  12. Micah

    The Dan Cox win is a bit complicated. The Democrats in Maryland wanted Dan Cox to win because they believe that he would be the easiest Republican to beat in the general election due to his links to Trump. To further that general aim, the Democrats literally blanketed the airwaves with ads that trumpeted Dan Cox’s Republican policy positions (pro-2nd amendment, anti-abortion, etc.) and Trump links ( proponent of the Big Lie, link to Janurary 6th, etc.). The more moderate Republican in the race was barely heard from at all.

    Essentially, a combination of name recognition via the Democratic ads and trumpeting of his actual Republican positions / link to Trump via those same ads likely pushed him over the top. Of course, those same ads also acted like attack ads as well because, while they helped Dan Cox in the primary, those same policy positions and Trump links are anathema to a general electorate dominated by Democratic voters (2/3 of the voters in Maryland are registered as Democrats).

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hang about, hang about. Are you saying that the Democrats do nothing but ask their supporters for financial donations all the time – and then they spend that hard-earned money on supporting hard-right Republicans and Donald Trump?

    2. chris

      Oh God. My choices for governor are between Dan Cox and Tom Perez? Can we get a do-over?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You may still get the less worse version of Obama, a low bar, but Moore seems to easily clear it. Obama must be fuming if his puppet loses.

    3. Duke of Prunes

      Dems/Pritzker did the same thing in IL. Successfully boosted the hardcore right R (pro-guns, anti-abortion, pro-Trump) candidate over the moderates in the primaries… especially the moderate that was initially polling much higher than Pritzker. I forget their names. Unless he really messes up (or his recently diagnosed COVID goes sideways), it looks like we’ll get another term from Pritzker before he goes for the golden ring of POTUS.

      Quite an achievement for this unfortunate child of a single working widowed mother – as one of his campaign ads paints it (conveniently leaves out the part where they’re one of the richest families in the US).

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “…. the golden ring of POTUS.”

        A Tucker Carlson guest opined the other day that pritzker would be entered into the dem potus primary to make gavin newsom look good by comparison.

        Can’t really argue the theory.

    4. Big River Bandido

      Eww. Tom Perez got the Democrat nomination? What a slimy scumbag.

      If I were in MD I’d hold my nose and vote for Cox.

      1. chris

        Yeah. He’s been bragging about living in Maryland and raising his family in Takoma Park. Takoma Park is less a part of Maryland than Elizabeth is a part of New Jersey. Takoma Park is about as close to DC as you can get with out living inside the boundary of DC.

        And his website… Cox is crazy but he seems like he’ll be able to hold it together long enough to pull a Youngkin. Perez is mentioning racial justice and a dozen other things besides cutting taxes and making things easier for business. All Cox has to do is ask Perez if he wants to support full adoption of the Kirwan commission results. If Perez says yes, then he’ll be on record advocating for most people in the state to receive a 20% tax increase with no promise that the tax increase will benefit their own kids. Perez made some noise about Republicans in the state and how they shouldn’t copy Glen Youngkin but come on, why wouldn’t they copy something that could easily work? Especially in an environment where Asian children aren’t considered minorities because including them as such skews the statistics away from the narrative democrats want to preach.

        Perez is exactly the kind of smug bastard I would love to see lose. He needs to be punched in the face and sent away from politics forever. It’s almost worth voting for Cox to see that happen.

  13. Lexx

    ‘The country where having a pet could soon land you in jail’

    I turned the monitor upside-down and shook it like an Etch-a-Sketch trying to make sense of that article, and it still looked like nonsense. Is Iranian leadership insane? I rarely walk outside this house without at least two dog biscuits in my pocket. Every dog in the neighborhood knows this. There’s a husky that lives up the street that will drag his 280 lb. hooman over to where I am and sit like the good boy he is, waiting for his treat. Biscuits are dog magnets and fortunately, their hoomans have a sense of humor. The meeting of neighbors begins with a laugh, almost always a good start to any conversation.

    Over the sound of crunching, the neighbors exchange pleasantries and gossip, a time-honored social lubricant. It’s what keeps the peace; our fuzzy-faced, cookie-munching canines have become ambassadors, public symbols that we’re still human and worthy of compassion from each other, if for no other reason than our dogs love and trust us.

    Iranians leaders (of the governmental type) should carry more biscuits in the pockets of those Western suits they’re photographed in for all the world to see. There has to be a dog somewhere in the country that will accept that extended hand of friendship.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      In much of Central Asia owning a pet dog is seen as very much a western affectation. There are lots of dogs around, but they are usually farm working dogs, guard dogs or semi-feral strays. They are a menace to anyone on a bike – a well known hazard for bike tourers from Turkey to Tibet and lots of places in between. Cycling in Han settlements in Tibet/western China can be quite a relief as the dogs can usually be only found hung upside down outside butchers shops.

      1. Carolinian

        Boo to the butcher shops but no question that dogs love to chase bikes. Add rural SC to Central Asia.

        Fortunately it’s much less of a problem in town with the advent of the Invisible Fence.

        I love dogs these days but as a kid I saw them as a menace.

      2. Lexx

        Five seasons of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and this is one of my favorite scenes, with one of my favorite lines, delivered by one of my favorite actors*. Pity the backdrop isn’t clearer.

        ‘These woods is for living… you understand me?’

        *Bill Camp. Another favorite also in the series is Stephen Root. Watching what those two veterans can do with dialog is pure pleasure.

    2. Nikkikat

      Lexx, I am also a biscuit carrier. All the neighborhood dogs know me. They also know where I live. Anytime one of them escapes, they can be found sitting politely on my porch barking at the front door. I give them a treat and take them home. I also gave some cat treats the the neighbors cat. He literally runs toward me if I go outside and meows for some temptation treats also known as cat crack.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Horrific heat descends upon Western Europe: 104°F in London”

    We use to have a joke in Oz about the sort of weather headline you could see in the UK’s newspapers and it went ‘Temperature reaches 75 Fahrenheit. No relief in sight’ but there is nothing funny about what they are experiencing right now. Will the fight for climate change finally get some real traction if this becomes the new norm? No idea. All I can say is that the UK Fire Brigades should ask for technical specialists from Aussie and Californian firefighters in how to deal with raging bushfires. They are going to need that help going forward.

    1. Wukchumni

      Righty-o that, 104 is just another day in Godzone, no biggie.

      But what if Aussie & the Central Valley were to be the recipient of a string of 126’s?

        1. Wukchumni

          My mom was paying and we took this chi-chi choo-choo from Vancouver to Banff with over a dozen family on board, and they really do a good job as you wind through what would make most any Californian green with envy in that there is water everywhere and oh so verdant, with the scenery leaving you behind after a brief glimpse, we saw well over 20 bald eagles, a like amount of bighorn sheep and a couple bears en route, along with a ‘2 minute warning’ in that’s about how long it took to pass by Lytton, burned to a crisp…

          Wouldn’t have ever thought it possible, hitting 122 there.

          The easiest answer is to build ‘heat fallout shelters’ ala the 1950-60’s version in that they need to be underground deep enough for heat not to be able to penetrate.

          With heavy equipment you could dig out a deep area and build a steel frame within in and then cover the top with enough dirt to allay rays and fill in the sides.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Absolutely agree. There was a town in Victoria which burned down back in 2009 and over fifty people died, some in their cars trying to get out. At the time I got a shock as when I used Google earth to zoom down and see where this town was, found that it was in the middle of a forest with only a narrow road leading in and out. When the fire hit it was game over. If they had had an underground shelter like you suggested, then those 500 homes would still have burned down but those people would have still been alive afterwards.

    2. c_heale

      What is disturbing, is that today a UK cabinet minister, said that these kind of extreme temperatures are something the UK would have to get used to. There is no way to get used to these temperatures. To adapt to these temperatures there would have to be major changes to? and retrofitting of buildings, transport, lifestyle, and probably agriculture. Thid will require massive investment, which the UK government is disinclined and unable (due to the UK’s declining economic prospects) to do.

    3. will

      Very hot with housing stock ill suited to the weather.

      The usual suspects for why this is so, but this detail made me chuckle:

      British domestic architecture has also been shaped by idiosyncratic rules that contribute to its poor environmental credentials. For instance, in many parts of the UK, homes that face each other at the rear are required to be built 21 metres apart…a bizarre hangover from 1902, originally intended to protect the modesty of Edwardian women. The urban designers Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker walked apart in a field until they could no longer see each other’s nipples through their shirts. The two men measured the distance between them to be 70ft (21 metres), and this became the distance that is still used today, 120 years later, to dictate how far apart many British homes should be built.

  15. Lexx

    ‘San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California Home Sales Crater, Prices Begin to Drop. California Pending Sales Collapse 40%’

    Had to check Zillow to see what’s happened to our house ‘worth’… sho ‘nuf it’s dropped $11k in fantasy money over the last 30 days… in Colorado. There are California transplants on this block that must be chuckling like Jabba the Hutt over their timing ahead of the market.

    1. super extra

      I’ve been keeping an eye on a handful of overseas locations that are currently big on tourism for Americans and watching their available real estate listings. I want to see if the dollar’s rise vs all these other currencies provokes a sanity attack among the leaders of the tourist locations regarding short-term vacation rentals.

      Similarly I’ve been watching a handful of states/cities where the real estate market is overpriced, mostly for the same thing, but I expect the dynamics to be different with an attempt for higher home value people to attempt to leverage it to get a better house for the equity in a cheaper state.

      When I lived in the PNW it was popular to try to scare the California transplants/refugees/real estate equity arbiters off by overemphasizing the subduction event and volcano stories. Maybe Colorado could try the same thing with those terrifying box canyon fires in winter or lack of water on the dry side of the mountains.

    2. TimH

      There are two other factors for low home sales in Bay Area: firstly, low inventory of ‘ouses and condos. Secondly, new construction is largely apartments for rent, not condos to buy… let alone SFHs. The same trend in SE Phoenix valley: Tempe, Gilbert etc.

  16. Louis Fyne

    —Ukraine has made clear it intends to hit targets in Crimea, which Russia regards as Russian territory, particularly the Kerch bridge—

    very dumb PR sabre-rattling given UA’s present state to get the West to deliver more weapons.

    It took the USAF and US Navy seven years, and many dead pilots and destroyed airplanes to disable the Thanh Hoa Bridge in north Vietnam. Bridge survived 300+ hits.

    bridge still in use today after being repaired in 1973

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t really see the military logic of the Ukrainians attacking the bridge, but even less do I see the logic of announcing beforehand that this is what they want to do.

      The only reason I can think of is that they are trying to provoke the Russians into going a step too far in their countermeasures. They may be calculating that they need a big high casualty event to try to pressure the west into getting more involved.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Second attack this week, 11 employees were injured on Monday.

          Waiting for the western media to condemn these “blood-curling” attacks, just like they did condemn those flares in March.

          Also media could ask Zelensky if the West will have to pay also for the infrastructure the Ukrainians destroy on purpose, and why is he actually attacking his own nuclear power plant and trying to force millions of Ukrainians to live without electricity and heat? Or maybe that’s just what “democracies” do today… /shrug

        2. nippersdad


          Nothing says “good PR” in the West more than attacking a nuclear power plant in the land of Chernobyl. Somehow I doubt that will be something we see in the NYT any time soon.

        3. The Rev Kev

          The Poles won’t be happy about this attack as the Ukrainians used Polish-made Warmate loitering munition and they have photographs as proof. As Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the largest nuclear plant in all of Europe and if there was a successful attack leading to who knows what consequences, the Poles would be also held responsible for this as it was their gear. Meanwhile, in relation to these two attacks, the west says – (crickets)

      1. Ignacio

        Next step would be to use the same against Moscow. I agree it is all a desire for escalation as they are being ground down.

      2. Polar Socialist

        It seems that according to Mr. Lavrov’s interview today, the Russian countermeasure is to not limit the area of Special Military Operation to Donbass, but to extent it to “a number of other territories” – because of the weapon deliveries from the West and because Ukraine still refuses to negotiate.

        I assume that’s enough justification Russia believes it can offer to the Global South in order to keep on keeping on grinding Ukraine military (and western prestige) to ground.

      3. Karl

        It’s the same reason for the announcement, ahead of time, of the “million man invasion” by Ukraine in the South. According to Mercouris, this was a ruse. It can only have the desired effect–sowing confusion, raising domestic morale, etc.– if you announce it loudly ahead of time. Western journalists seem to be helping with this game. It does seem to be a dangerous game. Eventually, someone will miscalculate and, oops, WWIII.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Australians urged to work from home as COVID hospital cases surge”

    I am beginning to despair for my country. I mean more than 300,000 cases reported in the last seven days. Seriously? You would think that our governments and medical authorities would say let’s go back to what worked – masks, social-distancing, self-quarantine, etc. Well, no. They are not going to do that at all. Seems that we got rid of Scotty from Marketing only to get Albo from Marketing instead. When asked about masks, he says that he recommends people wear them – and that is it. Isolating when sick? Well you have to sort that out with your bosses where you work so you are on your own. And our medical authorities still remain gutless as ever. Meanwhile the death toll clicks up constantly and is in fact accelerating. But going downtown today, I see few others wearing masks. And when I asked at the town chemist about N95 masks, got a very surprised look and was told to try the hardware store instead. This, after two and a half years of a world-wide pandemic. Sigh!

    1. Basil Pesto

      It’s a complete disaster to the point where the endless misleadership is almost comical, and the outrage I feel is exacerbated by our throwing away of one of the best possible pandemic response /outcomes for something approaching the worst. The very worst would have been no vaccines at all before we allowed the virus to spread à la US/UK 2020, but it’s clear by now that the slogans of 2021 that were propagated here (“these vaccines are the road out of the pandemic”, “pandemic of the unvaccinated”) were outrageous lies, and like the rest of the world we are now doubling down on our newfound and completely unnecessary failure. Our meagre and bereft journalistic class shows no inclination to address the concatenation of truly shithouse decisions of the last 14 months, and the public is not much better. Just tragic what we have thrown away for the sake of streamlined migration in/outflows.

      Incidentally, a good source for buying N95s (3M Auras) online here is CO2 Radical, which also sells the (rather expensive) Aranet4 CO2 monitor

    2. Foy

      I had to go to the Emergency Dept of one of the big hospitals in Melbourne last Monday after getting complications from a procedure done month ago. Had a 6 hour wait Monday afternoon to get seen. The place was packed, no room to social distance.

      Got discharged Tuesday evening but within 2 hours of getting home deteriorated again and had to go back. Got there at 10:30pm, and it was packed again. Had an 11 hour wait, didn’t get seen until 9:30am the next morning. The poor doctors and nursing staff are getting slammed. No ER beds available at all, had people on trolleys. I saw ambulance medics dropping people in the ER waiting room a number of times, after speaking to the triage nurses, normally they stay with the patient.

      I’m now booked in for an operation in the public system, same hospital, on Monday, will be interesting to see how that goes. It’s Category One so those haven’t been postponed as yet, I see they have postponed lots of Cat 2 and Cat 3 already. The joys living with Covid…

      One interesting thing. I spent 17 hours in total in the emergency room wearing my N95 mask surrounded by lots of sick coughing and spluttering people but haven’t got covid yet, touch wood. Sample size = 1, but the mask seems to have done a good job protecting for me.

    3. eg

      You might as well be in Ontario, though our situation is arguably worse since the Province has given up on testing. All we get are hospitalizations and ICU occupancy, which are trailing indicators useless for “assessing your own risk.”

      It’s neoliberalism all the way down …

    4. Skippy

      Its not hard to understand the ALP after Julia Gillard’s defense of the Corporatists after the coup against that anti free market totalitarian Rudd. Her first act after wiping the blood off the blade was to front an industry gathering of corporatist lobbyists and break bread. She was quoted as saying, much like Obama did, I’ve got your backs … and will not be swayed by any sort of voter populism. But hay what a performance on Idpol in parliament about misogynism whilst simultaneously handing the nation over to the investor posse.

      Which brings us to Scotty from Marketing post his loss fronting a sheila mates church in Perth and before the flock advising them “not to trust government”. You know unless his sorts are in power/control.

      Albo seems to have a drama with the the whole gas/energy cartel which was set up previously to export natural capital to other nations at lower cost than the one payed by national citizens or businesses. Mfg and jobs in Oz be damned unless your in some FIRE sector service job in the CBD. On that note eldest son will start his public service job, after working for the private sector contractor biz, at a APS6 level tomorrow. Dang he can nail those interviews but better yet do the job.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Iran and Russia’s Gazprom sign primary deal for energy cooperation”

    This is big this. So what is the US going to do? Sanction those countries? But this brings up an interesting development. I think that it was in that linked Alexander Mercouris video that he mentioned that North Korea had recognized the two Donbass Republics so Russia may import North Korean workers, who are supposed to be pretty good, to help rebuild the Donbass. Russia was reluctant before but now? The west has sanctioned just about everything they can about Russia so have essentially shot their wad. This being the case, Russia can now open up to countries without worried about being punished by sanctions. Here Russia is meshing in Iran to the block formed around Russia and China. But I was thinking of North Korea. Russia and North Korea share a 17.3 kilometers (10.7 miles) border which sounds like no big deal. Except. Except that North Korea is sitting on so many minerals that it has been called the Saudi Arabia of Minerals. So what if Russia now helps North Korea to develop that wealth and transport it through that joint border to all points of the compass? North Korea is poverty central but if that mineral wealth is developed, they could become an economic powerhouse. What will Washington do? Ask China to stop them?

    1. hk

      I don’t know where the (current) stories about NK having so much minerals come from, but it sounds strange to me. The only instance when I actually read something about this was the history of Japanese rule in Korea. While the Japanese made some effort to develop the alleged mineral wealth, not much came out of them. (The same sources claimed something about alleged “rice potential” of SK, which seems bizarre knowing the path of development SK agriculture has taken in the past half a century–better crops, improved techniques, and most important, declining import of rice in Korean diet have made SK mostly self-sufficient in rice, but Thailand or Vietnam it is not and it never will be, unless climate changes a good bit more.). SK has much the same geology as NK, but it’s not exactly full of minerals–the common description that I saw was that it’s a “mineral museum”: a lot of different minerals, but not a whole lot of anything that’s actually useful. Certainly, high quality coal and iron were always in short supply (Pohang Iron and Steel became practical only because of imported iron ore and coal.). Doubtful things would be too different for the North.

  19. Questa Nota

    Nap boxes, just think of the revenue possibilities.
    Stack ’em in like vertical cordwood.
    Product differentiation for extra padding, and for super Covid sanitizing.
    Pipe in fresh, or less stale air.
    Hooks on top allow quick handling for immobilized passengers, speeding turnaround time.
    Bar codes to minimize that Union Pacific mis-routing possibility like other, er, baggage.
    Classroom models in diverse designs.
    Office models with handy integrated toilet.
    Work-from-home models with all of the above, available with easy life-long financing.

    No, a doctor’s note about your claustrophobia will not be sufficient. The business model excludes. /s

    1. The Rev Kev

      And if you die in them through stress and overwork, that corporation will let that Nap Box be used for your coffin – for a discounted price.

  20. JohnM_inMN

    Should We Worry About Artificial Intelligence?

    An obvious Betteridge’s Law violation?

    1. Polar Socialist

      I don’t think it’s a violation when it’s about “sentient AI” (with some Turing caveats).

      But when it’s about wasting relatively big amounts of energy to train useless models (or even usable ones), or misunderstanding the results you get from AI* or even using AI to perform tasks that it will surely fail in** and still trust the results – then yes, we should worry about artificial intelligence.

      * because you didn’t understand the data you fed to it
      ** because you didn’t understand the problem and the AI is not answering the question you think it’s answering

    2. digi_owl

      I dear say we should worry more about “The AI did it” excuses.

      We already see people get blocked out of their Google account, with the only explanation that it was flagged by some algorithm, and the only way to get it reinstated is to have the social media clout to get some senior engineer to notice.

      Basically it seems like tech companies are hell bent on one upping Kafka no less. Where as at least his protagonists had to deal with humans implementing a broken system, now it will all be automated via “AI” and “algos”.

      1. Mikel

        It’s largely a way to avoid accountability.

        And should worry more about people projecting emotions onto machines and objects. It’s already known that people will do that. That’s what makes AI an insidious con.

  21. JTMcPhee

    Re the gay marriage bill vs codification of right to abortion: seems to me the reason gay marriage became a supported thing across the country, like with legalization of pot, is that a lot of conservatives (so-called) are gay and smoke dope, and want their “rights” covered.

    Hard to understand why Redneck Ladies have not gone all Lysistrata over the opening of the hounds’ cages on the return of prohibition of abortion. Maybe they have, and the Maddox’s and the PMC Pinkies just have not deigned to make common cause with the X-chrom “lesser breeds” in working the issue. But hey, fundraising and NGO perks grow out of “fighting ineffectually for” that right…

    1. hk

      The “redneck ladies” have always been the strongest opponents of abortion. Men don’t really care that strongly about the topic–it’s not their bodies after all–so their attitude, whether in support or opposition, has always been rather casual. The abortion debate, fwiw, has always been an intra-women issue (Which is, I suspect, why it’s not as resolvable as gay rights issues.).

      1. anon y'mouse

        their attitude is only “casual” until it’s the woman they are sleeping with that gets pregnant and has to make a choice.

        then they have an opinion which they expect will be obeyed, and will bash the woman and feminism if it isn’t.

        1. hk

          Or, if their wife, mother, or close friend is opposed to abortion, in which case they will expect their husband, son, or friend to obey. This, I’ve seen far more often than what you describe. In the cases that I came across, when men come across situations like what you describe, they casually expect abortion without thinking much about particulars–b/c abortion is not something they think about much. Doubtful, in actual life, you’d come across that many cases where it is the male who stops abortions from taking place.

        2. Anthony Noel

          I can just as easily point out that feminists and women will happily claim a necessity for the ability to sever parental responsibility and the complete bodily autonomy of a woman to make that choice. (Which is correct, they’re the ones who have to carry a growing human inside of them with permanent changes to their body being the result.)

          But they will happily deny a man the legal ability to terminate his parental responsibility and demand the removal of his bodily autonomy in order to earn wages to pay for child support.

          Let’s not pretend that both sides of the gender divide don’t have hypocritical positions they will take if it advances their interests or bias.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            If a man does not want to be at risk of child support and wants to be sexually active while not married, he can have a vasectomy. And they can be reversed if he changes his mind or finally meets “the right woman”:

            Although a vasectomy reversal is an outpatient procedure with minimal risk of complications, its success depends on the length of time between the vasectomy and its reversal.


            Now admittedly that costs money but I would assume less than 18 years of child support, if one is thinking in those terms.

            By contrast, tubal ligation reversal is a bigger deal procedure with serious risks for the operation itself and of side effects. But I suppose a woman of some means could harvest and freeze her eggs (the advantage being also she’d have young eggs) and then have tubal ligation to prevent an unintended pregnancy. But most women don’t like that much in planning, much the less a pretty serious surgery to assure no whoopsie pregnancies.

            So please don’t cry male victim to me.

            1. Anthony Noel

              Who claimed victim status? I was pointing out that plenty of women and or feminists will argue for the right of absolute bodily autonomy and the ability to terminate parental responsibility when it effects them or those they identify as worthy of said right.

              While the same people will argue against or ignore the refusal to grant those same right when it either does not, or adversely, effects them or those they identify with and feel are worthy of said right.

              I did this in response to a comment indicating that somehow men are the only ones involved in abortion and reproduction debates who somehow have opinions that will change if somehow they are impacted by an unwanted pregnancy. This is not true and is simply another form of my team good and your team bad.

              Nor did I state anywhere that men should have an ability to override the choice of a women in regards to abortion or carrying a child to term, I specifically said that it is, full stop, a choice for the woman carrying the child.

              I simply stated that if you wish to argue the “right”/ principle of abortion, then you have to wrestle with men being granted the same right, or come up with an actual argument why they should not have them, aside from, well men can get a vasectomy.

              Sure, and women can take the pill, and get fitted for an IUD, or wear a female condom, all of those are cheaper and less risky then either a tubal ligation or a vasectomy. And all can fail. And the woman can and should have the absolute ability to say I do not or I do want to carry this pregnancy to term. Why should she have the right to decide to terminate her parental responsibility either through abortion or adoption and the male does not have right to terminate his?

              Saying it’s easier and or cheaper for a man to get some preventative measures then it is for women to get similar measures, and if they fail he should be forced to accept parental responsibilities and a loss of bodily autonomy, isn’t an argument that I think any pro choice person should be making.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “EU might unfreeze some assets of seven Russian banks for food trade”

    So the EU is considering lifting some sanctions on seven Russian banks to support trade in food and fertilizers. But how they want to do it is to only do so for certain payments which means on a case by case basis. Thus the banks remains sanctioned but not where it benefits the EU. They might find that Russia might say forget it. Either they lift sanctions on those banks entirely or go whistle for any food or fertilizers for the EU.

    1. Glen

      This is just so strange to watch. It’s like watching the Fed and Wall St banks trying to manage a war like they mange Wall St corruption. (Hint: the Fed prints money and they all get a giant bonus. That’s how all Wall St problems are fixed.) I really suspect America’s brain trust is now down to a bunch of corrupt bankers that should have lost their jobs (if not be in jail) that Obama propped back up after 2008.

      That’s where the genius that came up with the sanctions came from – Wall St. Good luck Pentagon if that’s where your talent comes from now!

      Maybe the EU should just slap a giant L on it’s forehead and annouce they are losing because that’s all anybody with half a brain is going to see.

      But the reality is probably worse. They know they are going to wreck Ukraine, starve whole countries, and crush the EU economy. They don’t care until it personnelly impacts them.

    1. Lee

      Think natural resources, geographical connectivity on land, by means of navigable waterways and warm water ports as motivational determinants.

      The article caused me to recall Jared Diamond’s thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel as to the importance of geographic connectivity or lack thereof, and the environmental givens of particular areas in determining relative technological and social development of various human groupings.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah i noticed the map and saw how it connected the various seas, so i got the gist of it.

        But there was something about how it was written that made it borderline impossible for me to parse. Like my brain actively refused to process the words into proper sentences.

        1. Lee

          Perhaps it’s the author’s style, which he describes: “Writing must come in a spontaneous rush of thoughts.”

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Good luck!

      I tuned out after about 20 minutes I think. Animation was great though!

  23. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Ukraine’s great game

    Agree with comments above that this was a good article — if only as a reminder to We the Spectators of what’s at stake, since we’ve been so focused on Putin’s next chess move, who’s got the most cannons and cannon fodder, etc. However, I disagree with the author’s premise that Washington was caught “unawares.” It’s near certain that our good friends at the State Department have been hyper-aware, particularly one of the most influential/notorious, who at one point was assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs.

    From a 2011 article in The Atlantic (italics mine):

    “In the mid-oughts, there were a variety of programs by which the U.S. tried to unite South and Central Asia, including an effort to tie together the electrical grids of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with those of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Authority for the Central Asian countries were also moved under a new State Department bureau, taking them out of the Europen bureau with the rest of the post-Soviet republics and connecting them with South Asia. What these schemes all have in common is that they attempt to weaken the economic (and as a result, political) monopoly that Russia, by dint of the centralized Soviet infrastructure, has on these countries.
    Clinton’s Dubious Plan to Save Afghanistan With a ‘New Silk Road’ [The Atlantic, Nov. 2, 2011. By Joshua Kucera]

    “As Marlene Laruelle writes in a new book, Mapping Central Asia, which includes a great chapter on the revived metaphor of the New Silk Road: “The underlying geo-economic rationales of these Roads is to exclude Moscow from new geopolitical configurations.

    “The State Department doesn’t say this, of course, and it’s possible (even likely) that the people now implementing the strategy don’t think of it as such. Clinton even implied that there could be some sort of connection with the Russia-led Customs Union with Kazakhstan and Belarus, which is the basis for Vladimir Putin’s notorious Eurasian Union.

    “But this geopolitical vestige lives on in the current iteration of the New Silk Road. Look at a map of South and Central Asia — ideally, one where you can see topography and the quality of roads — and it’s apparent that the most sensible way to ship goods from India west is not the northern route over the massive mountain passes and crumbling roads of Central Asia. It’s the southern route, through Iran and Turkey. But, obviously, a U.S.-backed plan can’t include Iran.”

    I found the Atlantic article via Kucera’s website while looking for information on Blackwater patrolling the Caspian. Several years ago, I ran into a guy who had worked for Blackwater, based in Baku. When I asked if he thought it really was all about the oil, he called Baku the “armpit of the world” and quipped that if their major export was oranges, the U.S. wouldn’t be there. As I recall, former SoS James Baker had law offices in Baku. Pretty sure he wasn’t there for the OJ. The article of Kucera’s that came up in the search hits:
    US looks at strategy for stability operations [Jane’s Defense Weekly, Feb. 25, 2005]

  24. Wukchumni

    Bystander Killed Gunman 2 Minutes Into Indiana Mall Shooting New York Times. Resilc: “Fox News hero 24 7 365″
    Not sure I want Walter Mitty Sobchak to be the good guy with a gun version of Kyle Rittenhouse, but you go with the handiest hand cannon hero you have.

    1. Pelham

      If the New York Post’s reporting on this is correct, the bystander truly did a fine job. He hit the gunman at an unspecified but considerable distance using a handgun while waving other bystanders to get behind him.

      I suspect there will be a lot of snark about this incident from gun-control advocates. But I should think these advocates would do themselves considerable credit by humbly and genuinely acknowledging the real heroism here while also noting that such defensive uses of guns are rare.

      1. hk

        Yes. Doubling down on the narrative as if it’s the word of god is dangerous, because every narrative is only conditionally true anyways and there will always be some “facts” that don’t fit any narrative.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Going by what happened in Colorado, if he had been a cop he would have also hit several bystanders as well. /sarc

  25. CaliDan

    >Ukraine Propaganda. A buddy sent this piece to me by Allison Quinn at the Daily Beast from yesterday about how Russia is losing because of “mutant troops” from biolab experiments. Laughs were had. But does anyone believe this stuff or is this strictly for the clicks at this point?

    Musing aside, there is a grain of truth in there, but it implies quite the opposite, us usual. A hasty synopsis from what I am able to understand of the reference report, at Kommarsant (I speak a little but not enough to translate it in its entirety, so mostly machine translation): it’s about the ongoing investigations by the state Duma into the US funded biolabs in Ukraine. In it it explains that blood samples of POWs contain unusually high numbers of infectious diseases such a s Hepatitus A and West Nile Virus (though sub-tropic diseases are now found in Russia and Ukraine). Additionally, bank notes have been found to carry tuberculosis and a study of gas gangrene was found in veterinarian labs in Mariupol. It was suggested that not only were the Ukrainian servicemen used as test subjects, but that the monstrous crimes of some Ukrainian servicemen were due to high drug use. I’m pretty sure the report didn’t say anything about losing because of mutants. Or losing in general.

    On a related note, I found a very interesting interview of Aiden Aslin, the Brit mercenary facing a death sentence in the DPR, conducted by John Mark Dougan. The stories he tells, especially about Syria… (YT, ca. 60′)

  26. Matthew G. Saroff

    Zelensky Orders Troops to Hold Siversk Despite Heavy Losses, Purges More Officials,” Huh?

    Is he expecting Group Steiner to save the day?

    I gotta do me a Downfall Meme of this.

    1. ambrit

      Really, do the “My Fuhrer” bit with the hoped for saviors being the ‘Kampf Group Nuland.’

  27. Mikel

    “Sinking Germany” New Left Review

    So basically Germany had an economic plan and decent results to show for it and now they’re throwing it away for fealty to an extremist ideology?

    May not be repeating, but rhymes….

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was in Europe for a coupla years and kept on going back to Germany as I liked the place and the people so much. If I had to pock a country in Europe to love in, I would have picked Germany. To see the whole country being trashed and de-industrialized due to a small group of compromised politicians and ideologues is infuriating. And that a lot of this mania is coming from the Greens is just bizarre.

  28. nippersdad

    The White House has just declassified intelligence that says Russia is going to annex more than just the Donbass:

    I wonder what their first clue was? When they raised flags over the public buildings in Kherson? When they started paying salaries and pensions in Rubles? And the sham elections thing should have been debunked when President Guaido started getting beat up in restaurants by the four people who knew who he was.

    Better propaganda, please.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        As I pointed out……

        Russia can’t and won’t enforce Ukraine law debt.

        Oh and I bet nearly all those banks in Kherson are branches or subs of national or at least regional banks. I looked and the 6 biggest banks have HQs in Kiev or Kharkiv. So whacking those banks by denying them payment on loans in Kherson is a twofer.

    1. Lex

      Did they really believe Russia would leave Kherson and Zaporizhzhia? Really? Maybe they just listened to the Lavrov interview where he said, “the longer the range of the weapons you send, the more territory we take”. Or, we could all pat ourselves on the back for being ahead of the classified intelligence curve. I’m in favor of low bars because they make me look good!

      1. nippersdad

        I would very much like to know what is wrong with that press pool; there was no laughing at all! I wonder if the wunderkind at State told whatever potato is in charge in Zaporizhia that it would be a good idea to shell the nuclear plant there because they were never getting it back anyway.

        These people are not bright. I mean, really, it doesn’t look like any of them are paying attention at all.

        My only other laugh of the day was Fukuyama reciting all of the usual talking points with elan as the end of his history blows up in his face.

  29. Wukchumni

    Anybody else going to Comic-Econ which is held @ the Federal Reserve bldg in Humordor?

    I’m going dressed as William McChesney Martin Jr and will be recognizable in that i’ll be holding a punchbowl.

    1. ambrit

      If I can get there, I definitely don’t want to miss the German ApocoPunkEcon (GAPE) exhibit this year: “Winter is coming.” It should be a gas.

  30. Mikel

    “…With more infrastructure, the U.S. could theoretically more than triple exports from current levels, while still keeping prices low domestically by ramping up overall drilling, Rice argues. That would require much more pipeline capacity and LNG export plants to deliver gas to consumers. Controversial pipelines like the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline in Appalachia would have to be approved quickly, instead of sitting in legal or regulatory limbo for years, he argued.

    LNG export plants now take five years to build, but Rice thinks they could be completed in two if approvals were expedited. There’s more than enough gas to solve multiple problems at once, he said.

    “We have a 1.6-million acre leasehold position up here in Appalachia that has some of the highest quality, lowest cost, best environmentally responsibly-produced natural gas in the world,” he said. “And that acreage presents decades of drilling opportunities and decades of production that we can use to ramp up and support unleashed U.S. LNG exports.”

    They don’t care how many Ukranians die as long as they can get some “deregulation…”

    1. HotFlash

      When I read “environmentally responsibly-produced natural gas”, why do I think “unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” and “safe, effective vaccines”?

  31. Rainlover

    Class Warfare Anecdata

    Visited the small bakery near my building for the usual sugary treat only to discover a large sign on the window announcing that it will close this Saturday for good. The owner says she can no longer price her products high enough to compensate for the rising costs of flour, fruit, oil, etc. “We have plenty of customers,” she said, “but nobody wants to buy a maple long john that costs $5.”

    This bakery has been in business in this area for almost 40 years. Another mom and pop business bites the dust. I am so sad about this. Has anyone else experienced the closure of longtime small business because of inflation?

    1. Rainlover

      Here’s a link to some statistics about how small businesses are coping with inflation. Business owners are increasing their prices, reducing inventory, laying off employees or struggling to find employees, and struggling with supply chain shortages.

      In the case of my neighborhood bakery, the cost of materials simply exceeded the business’s ability to charge enough for the product. There are many small businesses in this neighborhood. I’ll be watching to see if any more of them follow the bakery’s example.

  32. Lex

    Greenland melting is a stomach churner. I’m no climate scientist and i may be overly influenced by Graham Hancock’s depiction of sea level rises after the last glacial maximum, but I think he was at least right in that such events are not gradual. We’re likely to find out that all the tame climate change predictions of a degree in a century or sea level rises spread out long enough that we can plan to be dead before they happen are unfortunately optimistic.

    And I’m reminded of the idea that a major Greenland melt off could interrupt the N. Atlantic conveyor. Europe’s going to need a lot more Russian gas if it has to experience a climate commensurate with its latitudes. Here at 46.5’N is significantly south of even London (51.5’N). Even my little nook on the Superior Riviera has winters that London is not at all ready to deal with. On the flip side, rising sea levels will likely mean that less water can get to the Atlantic and the Lake is really only about 3’ below my yard to begin with so I may well be family blogged in a different way. Or I get beachfront property in a climate refuge. Hard to say.

  33. Foy

    Russell Brand is now getting with the programme. He interviewed Aaron Mate and has learnt a lot more about the background to the war, NATO expansion, Minsk agreements, Nord Stream 2 being the cause etc. He has split up his interview into a number of 10 minute videos which he is posting each day.

    Aaron Mate is excellent in explaining the background, its very good that Russell Brand’s followers are now hearing this and Russell changing his perspective and opinion and the narrative. Although Mate still thinks the invasion is illegal, he then ran through the Minsk Agreement and all the other reasons legitimising the war, which it looks like Russell had never heard of. (11 mins)

    As an aside it is interesting seeing Russell with his serious face on when listening to Mate. Looks a completely different man than when doing his comedy stuff. He is also clearly a great listener

    1. nippersdad

      Thanks for the link!

      I think Mate’ must be getting some pushback on his interpretation of the invasion being illegal. I was watching him on Jimmy Dore and he sounded a little defensive: “I still like to think that there was something else Russia could have done…”

      The latest Scott Ritter interview is amazing, too. It is far too long at two hours and forty five minutes, but I just couldn’t quit it, it is all gold. He is very angry, and I don’t think I have ever seen him cover so many topics.

      1. Foy

        I saw that video of Mate with Jimmy Dore and thought exactly the same thing. It looked like there was a bit of cognitive dissonance going on in Mate’s mind, looked a bit tired and resigned about it.

        1. Procopius

          I suspect that Mate doesn’t accept the story that Ukraine was preparing an invasion of the Donbas in early March, so Russia had to forestall them. I think that removes the possibility that Russia had alternatives to force/invasion. Well, alternatives other than watching the Banderists committing genocide.

    2. Skippy

      A. Cough there are U.S. forces and equipment in the Ukraine.

      B. The idea that Russian is an imperialistic nation is nutty as its military stance for yonks has been defensive.

      C. Since the advent of the Atlantic Treaty the Western mission has been to shove free market democracy … cough … investor driven administration of humanity down everyone’s gob … any non compliance is met with having your currency get whacked, submissive political parties get funding and other beanies, and none of these sorts have a care about environment or the plight of the little people.

      D. the far right – everywhere – as a percentage of any population gets things done because it both seeks and thinks it has an authority to do so and has no dramas with force to achieve its goals. The modern so call left detests such ideas which is contra to is corner stones of abject force whilst being simultaneously being trapped by by its betters exposure to market income needs/wants. Do you think either of the people in the YT video would take a big hair cut to make a better world for everyone … chortle …

      1. Foy

        A. Agreed
        B. Agreed
        C. Agreed
        D. Agreed

        All I was doing was pointing out that more people are challenging the Ukraine narrative, and that it was interesting that people like Russell Brand were seeing the light, because he has a wide audience, many of whom I don’t think would have heard any of that content before.

        My litmus test question on Ukraine is “Have you heard of the Minsk Agreements?”. If someone hasn’t then its virtually guaranteed they will be woefully uninformed on Ukraine and causes of the war. It was clear Russell hadn’t heard of Minsk.

        1. Skippy

          Oh its not about you Foy …

          To think the YT video my son of 26 popped on for me from BoyBoy and was linked here on NC was more informative without all the nodding heads/deep pondering looks via heavy PR/marketing driven formulas about the Ukraine … ugh …

      2. Polar Socialist

        D. The far right achieves things usually because the moderate right always, always thinks it can control the far right and use it and thus lends it sufficient support until one morning they realize far right owns the security apparatus and is making every other line of political thinking illegal.

        1. Skippy

          I would not disagree in spirit, sadly both hard left and right have the same tenancies.

  34. The Rev Kev

    Pete Buttigieg had a bright observation about rising fuel prices. He says that they are good as ‘The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles.’ He also suggested ‘that people who are currently struggling to pay over $5 per gallon of gas could offset their “pain” by purchasing an EV instead, the average price of which is over $65,000 according to automotive research company Kelly Blue Book-

    1. Pat

      Clueless, utterly clueless.

      I don’t know what is worse that in this last Presidential primary, this idiot won the most delegates between himself and the VP or even Biden in his previous runs, or that he is still considered one of the best and brightest Democrats. What a bunch of useless twits on anything important to people but dangerous and effective on stealing money, opportunities and rights from those same people for their important donors.

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