Links 7/23/2022

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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* * *

Stunning Photos Capture Great White Sharks Leaping High in the Air MyModernMet (David L)

Shark expert: Chill out. “If sharks wanted to eat us, they would” Grid (resilc)

This Company Has Developed Vegan Oysters — With Biodegradable ‘Shells’ to Come EcoWatch (furzy). Again showing my Luddite tendencies….but what is this about trying to make veggies taste like animal/seafood protein? Lentils and beans and tofu and all sorts of grains and starches are nice. Most of these meat/seafood fakery projects result in the product being highly processed and highly processed food is bad for you!

The unbelievable truth behind the Notre-Dame fire Telegraph

Foot mats mandatory for all travellers from Indonesia amid foot-and-mouth disease outbreak ABC Australia (Kevin W)



Covid-19 Linked To Increased Risk Of Developing Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease, Study Finds Forbes


Xi’s Strict Covid Zero Policy in China Pushes Wealthy to Leave Country Bloomberg (resilc)

China considers further easing quarantine rules as it seeks to reduce economic damage from Covid curbs South China Morning Post


Dr. Deborah Birx says she ‘knew’ COVID vaccines would not ‘protect against infection’ Fox. IM Doc:

She is a psychopath.

Just remember – wink,wink- she knew along the vaccine was not effective for transmission and we overrelied on them. She is now stating she knew this all along.

It makes one wonder what is going on. The whole thing is about to unspool before our eyes.

And now she is worried about the South. Seriously, I and many others are increasingly worried about the highly vaxxed areas.

‘I’m over it.’ Many in L.A. shrug off COVID-19 wave despite super-infectious subvariants Los Angeles Times


Two Children Diagnosed With Monkeypox in US, Officials Say Associated Press


WHO says heatwave caused 1,700 deaths in Spain, Portugal RTE

The Influence of Heat on Daily Police, Medical, and Fire Dispatches in Boston, Massachusetts: Relative Risk and Time-Series Analyses AJPH

Corporate Carbon Offset Company Accidentally Starts Devastating Wildfire Vice (resilc)

The audacious PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change BBC (David L)


Pelosi muddies the waters of the Taiwan Strait Asia Times (Kevin W)

Some are concerned that the current Chinese debt crisis could be The Big One (for instance, see this paywalled Nikkei story: China’s debt bomb looks ready to explode). But economists have predicted 20 of the last 0 big China debt crises. However….if Xi has reason to think The Big One finally is nigh, going after Taiwan would be a useful distraction. And here the US helpfully ginned it up!


Bollywood caught between hits and flops as moviegoers rate ‘experience’, story higher than stars Economic Times

Old Blighty

Suffocating unreality Chris Grey

Truss vows to scrap remaining EU laws by end of 2023 risking ‘bonfire of rights’ Guardian (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Servant of the Corrupt Consortium News. Important, but I am concerned when I see errors. In 2013, the EU offered an association deal to Ukraine. I believed Russia offered some sweeteners to its existing deal too. There likely were also private sticks and carrots applied to then Ukraine president Yanukovich. Yanukovich said he intended to sign the EU deal. However, Ukraine had an existing tariff-free deal with Russia. Having an EU association deal with the EU would mean EU goods could enter Russia tariff-free via Ukraine but Russian goods would not be able to go into the EU tariff-free. Putin told Yanukovich, “You are free to do whatever you want, but Russia isn’t paying for it,” as in he could kiss his existing trade deal with Russia good-bye because Russia. The existing trade between Russia and Ukraine was large, and tariff barriers between Russia and Ukraine would do more harm to Ukraine than the benefit of EU access, at least for quite a few years. Putin offered to have three way talks with the EU to try to find a solution but the EU refused. Yanukovich paused, not exited, the EU deal while he looked for a remedy.

The Consortium News piece incorrectly states: “But Yanukovych changed course and accepted a counteroffer from Moscow, a moment that became the flashpoint for a color revolution.” As you can see, Putin made no “counteroffer” and Yanukovich did not “change course” but stopped in his tracks.

* * *

White House confirms plans to send US-NATO jets to fight Russia WSWS

White House announces new $270m military package for Ukraine Al Jazeera. Resilc: “Did this tiny sum fall off the table onto the floor?”

* * *

Blinken expects Ukrainian grain deal to be implemented smoothly TASS. Alexander Mercouris speculates that Ukraine was pressured, likely due to the US not liking the unhappiness of the Global South and Russia currying favor via deliveries of wheat and fertilizer. Ukraine had to at least partly de-mine the Odessa port.

Lithuanian railroads resume Kaliningrad-bound cargo transit on Friday Interfax

Germany hands $15 bln bailout to Uniper after Russian gas hit Reuters

Russia says peace in Ukraine will be ‘on our terms’ – but what can the West accept and at what cost? Conversation (Kevin W). Gah. Russia is not and has never threatened EU gas supplies. Ukraine shut down one of the two trunks of Yamal Europe that ran through Lugansk. Poland then imposed sanctions on Russian gas and shut down the rest of the deliveries through Yamal Europe (although they get Russian gas bought by Germany backflowed on that pipeline). The world-traveling compressor part is still not back in St. Petersburg with the requested documentation. Russia says they need to test it given it was serviced in a hostile nation (not crazy given Stuxnet and other ways of causing trouble). Putin said Siemens has confirmed the lining is coming off another compressor and Gazprom has no replacement. So that needs to be repaired too. If you read what Putin said, he provides a fair bit of detail. Seems that if/when the Montreal-visiting part returns and is back in service, it still sounds like the volume will go back to the old normal on NS1 (it sounds like Putin whinging about the other sick part is to establish lack of backups). Putin also pointed out that he’d offered to Scholz 6-8 weeks to supply Europe via Nord Stream 2 and Scholz said he had bigger fish to fry. Putin said Russia could wait only so long, Russia would use the capacity domestically. So now only half of NS2 capacity is available for EU use….and they still have yet to ask.

Kremlin rejects report Nord Stream turbine is stuck in transit Reuters. A guess as to the out of character Putin whinging per above. Germany is now trying to claim (only now, which seems sus) that the globe-trotting part was supposed to be in service only as of Sept. If I have this right, Putin is saying there is another bum part (and where was Siemens who had the maintenance contract? Busy doing nothing because sanctions?) and that’s why they needed the part that vacationed in Canada back pronto. If anyone has a better idea as to what is going on, please pipe up. The Western reporting is hopelessly muddied.

Russia slashes key interest rate by 150 basis points in shock move CNBC (Kevin W)

* * *

ASI forum Strong Ideas for a New Time Kremlin. A striking statement.


Steve Bannon found guilty of contempt of Congress for defying House January 6 committee Business Insider

Steve Bannon plans to appeal contempt of Congress conviction Yahoo


16 GOP lawmakers helped Trump try to overturn the 2020 election Grid (resilc)


Versus Vigorous but coughing, COVID-postive Biden appears virtually at White House meeting Reuters (GM). Um, so “awake” now = “vigorous”?

After STAT report, GOP lawmakers seek answers about defunct NIH oversight committee STAT

Two Senators Propose Ban On Data Caps, Blasting ISPs For ‘Predatory’ Limits ars technica.


After Roe, Sex Ed Is Even More Vital New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

U.S. has world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households Pew Research Center (resilc)

Attacker on US congressman released without bail RT (Kevin W). In New York, the standard for bail v. remand is solely based on whether the accused is a flight risk. From the New Times:

In New York, bail is imposed solely to ensure that people return to court; judges are not supposed to set high bail for defendants who they think might be a public safety risk. New York is the only state without a so-called dangerousness standard.

And then the decision on whether to charge bail is based on whether the offense was violent. The article concedes that this “attempted assault” was non-violent under the law. So the judge was not discriminating against Republicans.

Police Departments Spend Vast Sums of Money Creating “Copaganda” Jacobin

Tesla Gets Its Own Crossing Lane at the Texas-Mexico Border Gizmodo (Dr. Kevin)

Tesla’s Bitcoin Dump Leaves Accounting Mystery in Its Wake MSN (resilc)

What to do about the present inflation Lars P. Syll

Trickle down. Remember that. The evidence base continue to reject the notion as a scam Bill Mitchell

Guillotine Watch

Las Vegas Restricts Pool Sizes, Targeting the Super-Rich Gizomdo (Dr. Kevin)

Dr. Fauci’s Retirement Pension ($414,667) Will Exceed President Joe Biden’s Salary ($400,000) OpentheBooks (resilc)

Class Warfare

Beware the rise of corporate rituals designed to manipulate employees New Scientist

Exclusive: Hyundai subsidiary has used child labor at Alabama factory Reuters (resilc)

PhD students told to consider selling Avon products to make ends meet Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour. Chet G:

The middle of July is the time when hummingbird (or clearwing) moths appear during summer in central PA. From a sequence of five photos of a snowberry (the smaller of the two such moths) who is hovering about and nectaring on my butterfly bushes.

And a bonus (Chuck L)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. doug

    vegan oysters – yet another example of mal investment due to stupid low interest rates?
    Oysters can be grown easily in cages floating. They clean the water, make a profit for the farmer, and feed people.
    We don’t need no stinkin’ vegan oysters.

    1. Skippy

      Compared to the malinvestment its a capital idea … at least you can eat it … then again the dotcom bubble, grew out of a combination of the presence of speculative or fad-based investing, the abundance of venture capital funding for startups, e.g. investor driven which pumped up equities across the board aka the tide that lifts all boats …

      Other than that don’t eat any sea food that does not grow/live in clean waters, especially salt-water bivalve molluscs

    2. PlutoniumKun

      One of the most important things about oysters is that they create a major economic reason for keeping bays and estuaries clean. 20 years ago I had a bad case of food poisoning from an oyster – the beds they originated from were shortly after were quietly closed down due to consistent contamination from septic tanks around the bay (locals insisted it was the fault of municipal treatment plants, but it was almost certainly not the case). It took years of investment and better regulations on discharges, but they recently opened up again. I doubt this would have happened if people hadn’t been falling ill.

      Having said that, there is nothing new in fake shellfish. Using various fungi and seaweed to replicate fish food has long been part of the tradition of buddhist cooking in many parts of Asia. I’ve had incredibly convincing vegetarian ‘seafood’ soups in China and Taiwan.

      1. JohnA

        Where I live half the year, on the Etang de Thau in south of France, where oyster farming is a big part of the local economy, oyster sales can be suspended at times for health and safety reasons due to algae bloom in the water or if some boat has discharged diesel or other contaminants into the water – the canal du Midi ends at the étang and there are loads of rental canal boat holiday companies whose clientele may not be that careful about water pollution, sadly.

      2. Joe Well

        So, as a consumer of shellfish, you are volunteering to be the food taster for coastal waters of potential sewage? How noble. They should print that on the menus at raw bars.

        1. JohnA

          If there is any risk of water problems, the oyster beds are closed. Plus once the oysters are harvested, they go through various purification processes before being available for sale. I am talking farmed oysters, not pick your own wild oysters on rocky shorelines.

      3. Jack Pine

        ‘Lion’s Mane’ aka ‘Bear’s Head’ mushrooms (Hericium genus) have flesh that is remarkably similar to lobster or crab. Chicken Of The Woods (Laetiporous) is a dead ringer for overcooked chicken.

      4. KLG

        At one time the oysters of the Chesapeake Bay filtered the entire bay over the course of a few days IIRC. Where I grew up on the southeastern coast of the US, local oysters were a common delicacy up through the 1960s. Now, not so much in either place, though “oyster farming” is in development.

    3. JohnA

      The article also says that, until an artifical shell is developed, they will be served in oyster shells. So they will still have to kill/eat/otherwise dispose of living things anyway.

      Plus, oysters are a product of where they grew. French atlantic oysters are different to south coast Bouziques oysters, for example. And how many different types of oyster are served at NY Grand Central Station?

      By all means make some kind of mushroom and seaweed dish, but why pretend they are oysters? Sheer lunacy. I adore oysters, but I also know that many of my omnivore friends either don’t like them, or have never wanted to try them.

      1. JP

        A vegetarian I know once told me she drew the line between vegetable and animal at whether or not it had an eye. So I said that means you won’t eat snails but are fine eating oysters? She said absolutely not. I guess she actually drew the line at texture.

        1. HotFlash

          I heard that too, from a Baha’i friend. She was OK with shellfish, so I couldn’t help but tell her that scallops had eyes, pretty blue ones. And I won’t even tell you about the time I explained to a vegetarian co-worker (whom I did not like, sanctimonious family blogger) that not only was yogurt full of little living things, but they were alive when he ate them.

          I may burn in hell for that one. Now me, I am uncomfortable eating things that have eyelashes. Unless they are really tasty.

          1. Joe Well

            Bacteria are not animals, they’re a different kingdom of life entirely, as different from animals as plants (which vegetarians do eat, hence the “veg” as in vegetable).

            Your coworker probably had a good chuckle at that once you’d quieted down and gone away.

        1. HotFlash

          A haiku I read 50 years ago in an alternative newspaper produced by highschoolers:

          One day
          while peeling a carrot
          I thought I heard a small organce scream.

          1. witters

            You should hear the peas ripped from their mother’s womb, and the cries of potatoes as their eyes are cut out before they are skinned and thrown into boiling water!

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              These are the Green Screams which the insensitive vegan louts and clods will never hear.

        2. LifelongLib

          There are “no-kill diets” that consist of only eating things that weren’t alive — e.g. eggs and milk; fruits, nuts and other plant parts that can be harvested without killing. I even saw one in which roadkill was ok since the animal was already dead. No idea how seriously people take any of this…

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Moral superiority stuff-strutters will take it very seriously as a stage upon which to strut their moral-superiority stuff.

    4. griffen

      It’s not surprising to see the company is located in the Research Triangle Park of North Carolina. The coast is not far away, and the “RTP” is home to many biotech research companies. My affinity for that area aside, I have no plans on trying their oyster-like offerings.

      What’s the term for this offering…frankenfood comes to mind.

  2. JohnnyGL

    Lex Fridman interviews Steve Keen. Buckle up, it’s 3.5hrs. It’s a really enjoyable, wide-ranging conversation though. I know he’s a long time favorite critic of economists around here. He splits plenty of venom at their profession, and he’s happy to supply the supporting detail to justify it.

    This outline is in the description of the video in case you want to skip around to particular topics.

    0:00 – Introduction
    1:51 – Defining economics
    8:50 – Schools of economics
    33:10 – Karl Marx
    51:24 – Labor theory of value
    1:11:10 – Socialism
    1:26:12 – Soviet Union
    1:39:33 – China
    1:59:24 – Climate change
    2:21:27 – Economics vs Politics
    2:29:30 – Minsky’s model
    2:44:14 – Financial crisis
    2:49:31 – Inflation
    3:02:46 – Marxism
    3:10:06 – Space and AI
    3:16:11 – Advice for young people
    3:20:02 – Depression
    3:24:35 – Love
    3:28:35 – Mortality

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Second the motion! It was a superbly informative conversation. And thanks, JohnnyGL for the “table of contents.”

      1. Petter

        I’ll third it. The conversation was, among other things, a course in economic history. I’m considering listening to it again, it was that informative. (I’m an economics ignoramus, relatively.)

        1. montanamaven

          I’m fourthing it. I’m on my second listening and taking notes like a good student. Lex is becoming my favorite podcaster as he is good at slowing down the person he is interviewing and also summarizing in simple terms. The “soul” of economics is concerned with how we build a civilization using the energy sources of the earth in a responsible way. And Keen feels modern economics is ruining the earth and nobody should study economics in its present form. Do take engineering courses. And philosophy.

          1. jonboinAR

            He asks really good questions, too, as though he’s done background study of the subject that his interviewee is expert on. I listen to quite a few podcasts. I walk around a lot with the job I have and can get away with it. Lex is one of my favorite podcasters. I haven’t listened to this one yet, but plan to soon.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            It sounds like this lecture is worth recording onto some kind of analog preservation medium, for when the internet is shut down and everything that was on it is erased once and for all.

    2. Questa Nota

      Thanks, and To the NC readership:
      Is there some type of transcription app or other software tool that could extract a text of YT videos?

      1. LawnDart

        Maybe– haven’t tried it yet:

        All-in-One Video Converter

        Wondershare UniConverter

        •All-in-one video converter to convert videos in any format.
        •Support 1,000+ video format including MP4/AVI/MKV/MOV/WMV, etc.
        •Download videos from YouTube directly by pasting URLs.
        •Edit videos before converting with Crop/Trim/Rotate/Effects.
        •Versatile toolbox combines DVD Burner, GIF Maker, Fixing Media Metadata, etc.

        Could be a useful tool if it does what it says it does.

        Good luck

        1. Alice X

          I have Wondershare Video Converter, I use it to download Youtube videos. It allows you to take them down in various resolutions, it works fine. I’m not sure about the text aspect though if it is embedded it should come along in the download. Or changing formats though on the Mac Quicktime Pro can do that..

      2. Beijinger

        Search “how to find Youtube transcripts.” You can select all and copy paste from there. Toggle the time-stamps off first.

        No punctuation or capitalization, which is a pain, and occasional typos/mis-translations, but it’s nonetheless useful.

      3. Craig H.

        On the youtube video toolbar–on my brower it starts with thumbs up thumbs down share download … on the right edge there are three dots:

        . . .

        Click on the three dots. Transcript pops up. It’s computer generated but for an experienced speaker like Fridman it’s only got a tiny number of errors in it. Some youtubers will go through the transcript and edit so that you even get correctly spelled obscured names.

        The default font is terrible so if your eyes are old you will have to magnify it 2 or even 3 times. There is a lag in the workflow and sometimes it might take 8 or 10 hours for the transcript to show up.

      4. Phil

        Copy Youtube URL, drop into downsub window, get text of auto generated subtitles:

        I do text. It comes out messy and with literal copying of “uhs” and other stray sounds. Copy the text into a work processing program like Libre Office, the free version of Microsoft Office.

    3. Raymond Sim

      I’ve only watched part of a clip of the interview, curious to see how Fridman (an intelligent guy) coped with MMT.

      Tentative conclusion: Once again MMT seemingly messing with an intelligent and mathematically inclined person’s head.

      As I say, I only watched a brief bit of the interview, so I’m not saying this characterizes the whole thing. But I’m moved to ask, why do people who possess all the requisites for understanding MMT seem to find it so hard? It’s like the quantum mechanics of social science.

      1. digi_owl

        Because traditional economic theory thinks in terms of commodity currency, pieces of gold and silver basically.

        MMT on the other hand embrace money as an accounting mechanic.

        The weird thing is that economists are not taught accounting, as i understand it.

        Steve Keen himself admitted to having to learn it while working on Minsky, in order to get the banking part (Godley tables i think he calls it) to work correctly.

        1. jonboinAR

          The part I disagree with in my admittedly simplistic understanding of MMT is the cavalier manner in which many (it seems like) of its proponents approach the idea of inflation. One of their main points is that a currency issuer can issue all the currency it needs to only depending on whom it wishes to employ or what it wishes to build. Well, what about whatever those in charge wish to skim off oh-so-indirectly for their friends and family? Slosh, slosh, slosh! And, again, what about an eventual inflation problem? When you press, you finally get them to admit that, yes, issuing currency constantly with no built in brake can at some point cause inflation to rise. Their answer, though, always seems to be: “Ah, you just stop issuing so much money and raise taxes to siphon off the excess (shrug).”

          What, do you think it will be that easy?! When was the last time you saw an attempt to raise taxes in any kind of large scale manner without huge political fallout? Raising taxes on the rich, those who have the largest vampire spigot attached to the money hose, that’s proven to be just about impossible these past 50 years or so. Also, try cutting the defense budget when we finally find it necessary to cut the money supply. How’s that worked out whenever someone’s tried it?

          I understand that there’s a good chance they make an accurate description of how money is actually created and stuff. I’m not sure (with my very limited understanding) that I’m completely confident in all their (MMT’s proponents) prescriptions.

          1. Louis Fyne

            Y, they do think it is that easy. As they use the W Bush and Obama era of deficit spending as a template of MMT.

            ignoring that W Bush and Obama years (ex. 08) had muted inflafion because PRC was plowing their excess USD into treasury bonds.

            The age of PRC’s USD surplus recyling into US treasury bonds is over.

            MMT could work on a limited scope, but being nonchalant about inflation is playing with fire

            1. HotFlash

              “MMT could work…” Hello, hello, Louis, MMT is how it DOES work. Sovereign currency issuers can just issue $$$ as they please, “full faith and credit” and all that. That is why They always have enough $$$ for what They want to do (eg, planes that don’t fly, ships that don’t float, tanks that trip over Legos). You may have also noticed that somehow there are never any $$$ for what We want to do, oh, say universal healthcare, or fully funded schools through university, or bias-free medical research — but those are political decisions. Whether or not MMT ‘works’ for society is in the hands of politicians. Who are owned by the billionaires. Which is why you see the system we now have.

              1. LifelongLib

                It’s the idea of the “sovereign currency issuer” that is hardest to grasp. All of us in everyday life are currency users, having to make do with what we get through wages, dividends, borrowing, whatever. The notion that there is an entity that can create money out of thin air without taking it from somewhere else (for the dollar, the U.S. government) seems bizarre. Yet once you do grasp it the basics of MMT are obvious.

                1. CheckyChubber

                  One you figure out which bank account is debited when you cash a check from the US Treasury, all becomes clear.

            2. Skippy

              @jonboinAR/Louis Fyne

              Firstly the MMT group has never been cavalier or promoted anything with some emotional zeal, more like dry stale 3 day old toast. In reality its been monetarist quasi or otherwise followed by a long list of ideological groups that heads spontaneously ignite when confronted with what MMT puts under their noses.

              Too the point … its been demanded that MMT provide some competing ideological world view/master plan since it started getting eyeballs post GFC. MMT clearly states this is not its mission, its mission is simply to point out operational realities vs myths which then creates a framework for policy debate. Its is contra the decades during neoliberalism where myths have been used to roll back all the FDR style programs and soften everyone else up for a looting spree under the auspices of free markets = you earned it or not.

              At the end of the day the notion is fiat is just a delayed signal to other more critical/core features of the economy e.g. natural capital inputs i.e. vs classic monetarist notions of hyper inflation post trade shocks et al.

              Basically at the end of the day its ad hoc [quasi-monetarist] and administrated for political reasons – see Michal Kalecki.

              Its very strange to consider the idea/ideology that would defend its moralistic world view whilst society and the environment collapses around. I mean the whole Russia sanctions is like self induced inflation in the face of everything covid related [long lines of information goes poof – just like YS said it would years ago] yet some are still banging on about defending against inflation – rolls eyes …

              Which then leads us into the notion that inflation is a social organization tool and we all know who gets stuck with that bill … Hayek/Calvin say get into the sack …

          2. korual

            Taxes and spending get adjusted every year in the national budget. It is easy. In the US they just made appear $40bn for more MIC. In the UK Sunak raised taxes in the last budget and he still is first in the Thatcherite leadership election.

          3. eg

            A distinction needs to be made between “lay proponents” and actual MMT scholars where any “cavalier” attitude towards inflation is concerned — the latter are arguably the only economic school with any coherent understanding of inflation at all.

        2. korual

          Economists are taught that money is 3 incompatible things: unit of account, commodity store of value and a medium of exchange. It is impossible for one concept to refer to a material object, a medium and a measurement.

          Money is a measurement, as you say “an accounting mechanic”.

          I think the best definition is money is a measurement of debt.

          1. jsn

            Money doesn’t exist in nature.

            It is a social relationship.

            Everything else follows. MMT explains how the social relationship is set up and looks at pro-social uses. The antisocial uses are increasingly self evident and counterproductive..

            1. korual

              Debt is a social relationship.

              Money is a quantification of that social relationship – how much we owe to one another. It’s just numbers. Dollars are like inches, a unit of measurement.

              MMT explains how the monetary system works.

              1. jsn

                So, money is fungible debt.

                This forces the social relationship into the strictures of the abstract unit of measure.

                It is this Procrustean process of dicing up the real to conform to the abstract that is behind all the social abuses that allow money to be used as power. It begins when taxes are structured for the desires of the powerful rather than the needs of the public, which these days is always.

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  Perhaps if we respelled ‘money’ as ‘munny’, it would lose the mystical power of its hold upon our minds.

                  If taxes can only be paid in munny, then a lot of activity is forced out of the bartersphere or mutual gift-giving cross-giving sphere into the munny sphere. Things get valued at their price expressed in munny and our work per unit time gets bought and sold for munny so we can use the munny we were given for our work per unit time to buy things which people spent units of time making . . for munny.

                  If someone could grow and eat some of their own food without having to pay themselves munny along the way, would that person be committing an anti-social act?

                2. Korual

                  Yes, and it seems to me that without an understanding of MMT no-one can see how to restructure taxes for the benefit of the public. Debt and power can be used in a productive way.

        3. jonhoops

          Was surprised Fridman didn’t even know what double entry book-keeping was. I’m pretty sure we had to learn this in high school in Home-Ec or some such class.

          1. Raymond Sim

            Omg! I hated that. And every time I’ve needed to relearn some of it I’ve had an embarassingly hard time. What’s more, when I undertook to learn about MMT I chose sources that didn’t emphasize the ‘double entry’ point of view as much, precisely because of that antipathy.

            It’s notorious that ‘serious’ mathematicians are often terrible at the sorts of arithmetic-based clerical tasks people tend to assume they’d be good at. In high school I got the lowest score in our class on the “Clerical Speed and Accuracy” portion of a battery of aptitude tests we were given. The girl I sat next to got the highest score. Her smugness rankles me even now.

    4. Mikel

      Of course, it ends with a discussion of mortality. Wasn’t a lot of the discussion ultimately about the competing belief systems and the tensions about which one will lead to some type of immortality, for some system and/or species?
      But there hasn’t ever been a forever species. And the larger question is: Why should there be?

    5. digi_owl

      I really want to see this edited so that Keen get to deliver the full talk on Marx without the Fridman interjecting frankly moronic questions.

      An yeah, Marx not coping with the idea that machines can be a source of surplus is a pretty big deal. That said, capitalists squeezing workers still happens. Anyways, i sometimes toy with the idea of machines being amplifiers of human labor. So that you take the human labor, amplify it with the machine, and from there get a even larger surplus for the capitalist than with just the human laborer.

      Also, for more on Marx and Capital i recommend checking out the courses by David Harvey:

      Well, back to listening…

      1. LifelongLib

        I have problems with the labor theory of value. In my work life I put labor into a number of projects that turned out to be completely useless. Had I been dependent on the ultimate result I would have got nothing. As it was I was paid a salary so I actually did ok. Granted that I’m probably misunderstanding the entire concept, it seems to me that trying to base the value of something on the amount of labor put into it is offbase.

        1. digi_owl

          It is about your employer, aka the capitalist, getting more out of your work than he is paying you to do so.

          And Marx only really talks about it in terms of factory work, not office work. So it is about producing something that the capitalist can turn around to sell, after substracting labor costs etc, for a profit.

          What you may be describing is what Graeber referred to as Bullshit Jobs.

          1. Will

            Office work is when the employer pays the employee X for an hours work and charges the client X + profit for the same hour. What gets “sold” is different, but otherwise no real difference.

        2. pellgrantkid

          Value is a dialectical relation between use value and exchange value – the projects which collapsed were useless and therefore their exchange value was also non-existent, while you were paid for your labor which was useful to your employer to the extent that it represented a potential avenue for accruing profit. Value also isn’t determined by the amount of labor which is invested into a commodity but rather by the amount of socially determined necessary labor-time, which is an abstraction from concrete labor. This is why a commodity incompetently produced doesn’t have a higher value than an efficiently produced one, and this particular point also clarifies many of the most vulgar misconceptions regarding the LTV. The theory is laid out, along with a clear, materialist analysis of the nature of money, in the first few chapters of the first volume of Capital, and should be essential reading to avoid getting mired in superficial changes in the capitalist economy which conceal all of its essential structural tendencies.

      2. digi_owl

        going to add to my own comment here that i think perhaps we use the wrong terms when we talk about government.

        when we say “small” and “large” sometimes we instead mean lean and fat.

        Meaning that we want a large, in terms of the people and resources that can be called upon to perform a task, but we want a lean on in terms of decision making so that it does not get bogged down in endless debates over minutiae.

        But right now what neoliberalism has produced is a small, but fat, government. Endlessly stuck in frivolous debates while having to turn to the corporations to get anything done.

        1. digi_owl

          Ugh, stream of thought vs edit timers etc.

          Again and again i can’t shake this idea that what Gorbachev hoped to pull of with the USSR, is what China has pulled off.

          And it is interesting that Keen referred to it as big brother, with neither of them catching the double meaning, when a core tenet of Confucianism is respecting ones elders.

          And honestly, the difference between USSR and China may come down to two elements.

          First is that USSR tried to be more dogmatically Marx, and thus you got things like the 5 year plans (something Marx barely mused about as a way to organize industry after the takeover) and the abolishment of religion (opium of the people as he called it).

          China never seemed to get deep into either.

          And then USA reached out and was willing to deal with China, while USSR was some ultimate demon to destroy utterly.

          This perhaps because USA seems to have an oversized amount of disgraced and exiled “elites” (or their descendants) from eastern Europe, in particular ones that packed up and left after USSR came to be, in its administration.

    1. Joe Renter

      My former roommate works there off and on. He says the street food in excellent. A great place to visit according to him. You might consider going soon before the fireworks commence.

      1. The Rev Kev

        What happens if he becomes the 2024 Republican Presidential nominee? Can you imagine him as President? As reckless as the Democrats were to try to crush Russia, Pompeo is the sort to try to pick a fight with China. And if he could not do that, try to start a fight with Iran to help bring along the Third Temple or something. Biden may be senile but Pompeo is definitely unhinged.

        1. HotFlash

          I suggest we bring back the old custom of single combat to settle differences — no substitutes allowed. Not only would there be huge $avings by not killing large numbers of troops, civilians, and destroying infrastructure, just think of the $$$$ from pay-per-view! Pres Pompeo vs Pres Putin, it is to laugh. If Pres Pompeo wants to take on China too, perhaps he needs a tag-team partner; I offer Prime Minister Trudeau fils.

          I sure would pay to see that.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          What happens? A lot of Disgruntled Former Democrats will vote for the Democratic nominee for Pres in order to save themselves from Rapturanian Armageddonite governance. I know if I am given a choice between Pompeo and Harris, I will vote for Harris.

          And I know the too-cool-for-school “no more LOTE” kibbitzers will mock me for it. I have already factored that in.

          A Harris Presidency will give non-Christian non-Fascists 4 more years to begin accumulating their own millions of AR-15s and their own billions of rounds of ammunition and their own knowledge of how to use them to be prepared for the next round of Christianazi Satanofascist Ascendancy under the next pro-Christianazi pro-Satanofascist President to come.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Steve Bannon found guilty of contempt of Congress for defying House January 6 committee”

    Maybe Bannon can claim that he was not showing a contempt for Congress. That he was in fact showing a contempt for the January 6th committee. That article said that Bannon declined to testify in his own defense but could he not have declined to answer on the fifth amendment? Maybe he wants this to go to trial so he can argue the Committee was biased on the basis of its partisan make-up which should be easy. Don’t know if he can claim the process of discovery and ask for documents how the committee members were chosen. Doesn’t need to be said that the January 6th Committee and Steve Bannon deserve each other.

    1. Questa Nota

      Bannon can use the Holder Defense in his DC Chess Match. The one where Congress looked sternly at Eric Holder and said with as much gravitas as they could muster, given the circumstances, You’re Guilty, then shrugged, patted themselves on the back and watched him walk away.

    2. Tom Stone

      I am among the vast majority of Americans who hold Congress in contempt for very good reason.

    3. Dave in Austin

      This appears to be the usual press story triumphantly announcing “We got the evil bastard.” when all that has happened is that a trial judge ruled Bannon’s defenses could not be raised. “Objection your honor” This will be settled via the usual layers of appeal and be heard about the time we get the results of the 2024 Presidential ellection announced.

    4. Clark

      Declining to testify is “taking the Fifth” in the context of a jury trial. In other words, you can’t take the witness stand and selectively invoke the right not to be a witness against yourself. It’s all or nothing.

    5. orlbucfan

      I’ll believe it when Bannon actually serves time in a genuine prison. Any American with a few living brain cells knows that won’t happen!

  4. Dftbs

    As the West commits more resources to Ukraine, and in the most schizophrenic manner possible, a thought develops with respect to Russian patience. Ukraine is obviously a large country and with the limited resources of the SMO the Russians can’t cover the whole country and Western weapons still reach the front. Yet the multiple acronym wonder weapons we’ve shipped over the last few months haven’t shifted the strategic balance in the battlefield, and the Russians seem to have climbed the steep learning curve in countering their limited use. It seems most analysis agrees with the Russian MOD that the casualty ratio has dramatically shifted their way. Could it be that the Russians, feeling no strategic threat from the entry of Western weapon systems are simply allowing them to enter? There may be some Ivans salivating at the prospect of seeing some Ukrainian decals on F16s.

    While the appearance of Western weapons, advisors and training, hasn’t changed the strategic balance in the battlefield, this commitment from the West has changed the global balance of power in Russia’s favor.

    It’s exposed the doctrinal deficiencies in Western militaries, the Ukrainians can knock down a door and bag a civilians head as good as anyone from Parris island, but that was a different movie.

    It’s exposed the limited industrial capacity of the West, particularly with respect to making war. I’ve read multiple analysis this week that says the Russians have used more precision weapons in the last few months than the US did in the past three decades. And at that, the Russians have more of these armaments now than they did at the start of the SMO. Meanwhile the West has largely depleted its reserves of basic artillery shells and the replacement horizon is years long.

    To anyone not suffering from Marvel movie brain, it’s clear the Russians have demolished the facade of Western military and economic supremacy. And the SMO seems to be doing a good job of not just demilitarizing Ukraine, but NATO as well.

    Massive inflation, lowered life expectancies, internal strife. The West is suffering the maladies that afflict the losers of wars. I don’t think sending fighter jets will reverse this, it’ll likely accelerate the process.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think there is plenty of evidence that whatever the original strategy of the Russians, they are at least considering the potential benefits of keeping the war going precisely so they can grind down Nato’s weapons stocks. Its classic Clauswitzian doctrine to focus on destroying your enemies ability to make war over and above making territorial gains. IMO, this is one reason they’ve been very slow in the Donbass and Lugansk and have not made any attempt to destroy crossing points over the Dnieper. Why go to the trouble of attacking your enemies main material stocks when you can sit back and let them come within range of your artillery?

      It should be said that the drip drip of weaponry to Ukraine is also an ideal learning environment for the Russian military. You could hardly design a better, safer way of learning about your enemies technical abilities than to have them gradually introduce them to you on your home ground one by one, helpfully sending them over in small amounts so that you can work out safely how to nullify them without suffering heavy casualties yourself.

      And of course this is being watched by military customers the world over. The obvious superiority of Russian artillery, rocketry, and in particular, anti-aircraft, anti-missile and anti-drone tech will create an export boom time for Russian defence industries. Its not just the west that will lose out – some countries (not least Ukraine) had carved out a niche for themselves by selling cheap versions of Soviet/Russian tech. It’s now clear that the real thing is significantly better. Even if its true that the reputation of the T-72 has taken a blow, its pretty clear that the most up to date Russian versions are better than the multiple cheaper knock-offs available.

      Russia really owes a debt of gratitude to western leaders, in particular the military strategists of Washington and Brussels. They’ve been enormously helpful in strengthening Russia’s economic and military industries and capabilities.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I differ a bit.

        Doctrinally, Russia does prefer wars of attrition.

        However, too many commentators ignore how heavily bunkered Donbass is. It’s like the Ruhr, full of large towns and small cities with plants with 2-3 km breaks between each inhabited area. Ukraine spent 8 years constructing layered defenses, even in forested areas. See here at 3:08 for some ariels:

        You can’t take those out quickly without a lot of unnecessary deaths (unless you do it American style, pound everything back to the Stone Age and kill tons of civilians and destroy pretty much all infrastructure). The only way to do the job efficiently on your side is to deploy ammo liberally until the positions are very much softened. first shelling at a distance, then shelling from closer in, and only then do you move in tanks and infantry. Andrei Martyanov cited a Russian report that during the SMO, Russia has produced more ammo and missiles than it has used.

        Plenty of reports from Russian sources that Russia is massing materiel and men for a big push.

        Once they clear the last bunkered line in Donbass, there are no fortified defenses till the Dnieper. There are some (many?) bunkers near Odessa. There may be some (my sense is not terribly many if any) near Mykolayiv, Zaporizhzhia and Dniepropetrovsk.

        1. Lex

          Agree and with Louis above. Russia can do maneuver warfare and the beginning of phase I was mostly soviet “deep operations”. I expect that they will do it again and likely sooner rather than later; there is a lot of gear heading to southern Ukraine these days and units we haven’t heard from in a while (Somali Battaion for example).

          The terrain and Ukrainian defense in the Donbas are problematic. Add to that most of the ground fighting is being done by militias. But maybe more importantly, Ukrainian administrations in Donbas are currently complaining that the local residents refuse to evacuate west. These are friendly civilians, many likely family members of militia troops. Ukraine will never let them evacuate east. It presents a particular problem for Russian offensives. They simply can’t flatten everything and really pound Ukrainian forces.

          1. timbers

            If as you say Russian gear is headed south, and maneuver warfare is on the menu, it’s possible we’ve already seen the latest Russian maneuver warfare we are just overlooking it: looking at a map of Ukraine, a very much larger near cauldron exists such that with additional Russian forces placed in the south, they could push north and east to encircle all of Donbas and trap the bulk of AUF. The dug in AUF in Donbas would then face Russians from their rear and become isolated. There is speculation Russia is planning an enhanced attack with more troops, so maybe this is possible.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Doctrinally, Russia does prefer wars of attrition.

          I don’t know if they prefer them, but they certainly plan for them, and for an excellent reason – those tend to be the wars you actually get, whatever your intentions may have been.

          If you take “The enemy always gets a vote.” to heart, you’re probably going to plan for attrition.

          That said, maneuver versus attrition is often a false dichotomy. Grant and Sherman’s complimentary operations being a classic example of doing one so you can do the other.

          To my eyes Russia’s operations in Ukraine look like the sort of extremely aggressive maneuver warfare one would expect from them. They’re able to keep the areas of extreme violence small enough to be manageable (and thus unimpressive to many people) because they were able to greatly degrade the Ukrainians’ ability to maneuver and resupply. Something they accomplished via a massive raid, which included that Scenes from NATO Nightmares heliborne assault on Hostomel. If that’s not maneuver I don’t know what is.

        3. Dave in Austin

          The 2014 fortified village system created by the Ukrainians in the Donbass is both a classic local defense-in-depth position with interlocking fields-of-fire and a set of forward positions, hard to identify from the air, which they used to shell the breakaway regions to the south with relative impunity.

          It worked. But now that the war is more general, it suffers from the defect of the Maginot Line; when outflanked it is useless. The line is 3-5 miles deep and faces south only. It was not designed to protect against a general Russian attack. It was intended as a way to confront the breakaway regions cheaply and put them at a disadvantage.

          The Russian advances from the east (Kramatorsk) and the north (Izyum) attack the back of the line. There were no belts of fortified villages facing these advances.

          In Kramatorsk the Ukrainians defended a large industrial city using apartment blocks, basements and industrial facilities. This was like Azovstel in Mariopol. When the Ukrainians were about to be surrounded they withdrew in relatively good order.

          On the Izyum front the battle revolved around the crossings of the Donets River. Once the Russians established themselves on the south side of the river, the defense of Kramatorsk was doomed. There were no fortified villages on either axis.

          I note that both sides are now mounting offensives in the areas where they have the most useful networks of rail lines with few major rivers. The Russians are attacking in the old industrial Donbass. The Ukrainians are attacking toward Kherson in the south, which is the shortest distance from the NATO replenishment points in Poland and Romania (Hungary seems to have checked-out). This NATO replenishment railroad system is also the reason that the Russians have regularly attacked the rail lines and bridges in the south and near Odessa. Both sides are in the attrition and Economy of Force phases of the war.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Huh? The DPR forces do not control Kramatorsk. Taking that and Slaviansk are seen as the final battle for Donbass. I assume you are referring to either Sievierodonetsk or Lysychansk. The Azot factory in Sievierodonetsk was hoped to be a Azovstal-type long siege but it fell in about 10 days.

        4. Stephen

          I agree. Many mainstream commentators are a bit conditioned by Blitzkrieg notions and stories of rapid advances such as the break out from Normandy or Operation Barbarossa. Western militaries are also keen to reinforce those ideas.

          But advancing against fortifications has always been slow. One comment I saw likened the current operation to Grant’s Petersburg battles and the Allied grinding of the German armies in 1918. Not to mention Russia’s own much bigger scale victories in 1944-5 and the horrible attritional warfare with very heavy casualties in combat battalions that was needed first to enable the Normandy break out. Modern 21st century weapons have changed some of this but not fundamentally altered the equation.

          The biggest difference seems to be that in these previous wars the attacker was prepared to lose far more of their own lives than the Russians sensibly are prepared to suffer today.

          The Russians will only pivot to rapid maneuver warfare if the conditions for it exist at low risk to them. Which means destruction of the fortifications and destruction / degradation of the Ukrainian field army. Otherwise, this munition intensive approach seems to work fine for them.

          If WW2 is still a useful guide than one could then expect a rapid advance at some point until the Russians come up against a new line of Ukrainian resistance much further west. Then I guess we will either see a new period of attrition or they will call it a day. All assuming that there is at that point still a Ukrainian army that can organize a line of resistance. Also needs a west / Ukrainian regime that is able and willing to negotiate. Otherwise, we could end up with some form of frozen line on the Cyprus model. Not a pleasant outcome.

      2. The Rev Kev

        A specialty of Russian doctrine is to surround your enemies into cauldrons but I just realized today that what is happening is that what the Russians are doing is creating open cauldrons.The Ukrainians keep on feeding in men and material where they get crunched. So this is as good as a cauldron and if the Ukrainians try to flee, then they get hammered by artillery, drones and helicopters.

        There is something else that has happened during this war. The Russian army is now probababl the most battle-ready force in the world. They are operating as a combined arms force and unknown numbers of their men are already battle-hardened. NATO/US troops who went in as mercs were shocked at what they encountered as usually they were on the other end dishing out the punishment.

        And more to the point, the Russian army appears to be a learning force. In Syria they reckon that they took away some 600 major lessons in equipment/combat operations which they applied to the rest of the Russian military. And now? Who knows what lessons that they are taking away from combined-arms operations which will effect their future force design. Any plans that NATO might have had about fighting the Russian army are now probably headed to the shredder.

        1. Lex

          The biggest and scariest lesson for the west is that Russia is no longer confined by the classic ratio of 3:1 and the entirety of NATO doctrine is built on it. The rapid reaction forces aren’t designed to produce parity in the field but predictions of Russian offensive force numbers and insertion of NATO troops to get to 3:1. Russia attack everywhere (thinning its forces) while doing so at 1:1 must be terrifying to western military planners. That’s probably the real reason for the announcement of mythical increases in rapid reaction forces. If russia sent 100K into a Baltic state, how in the world does NATO get 100K or more there in a useful timeframe? If you’re a realistic NATO planner, you might think that 30K Russians would actually need close to 100K NATO troops to defend based on what we’ve seen.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Assumes parity of weapons systems, logistics, tactical and operational skill and doctrine, and of course parity of martial spirit and combat skills of Russian and “rapid reaction force.” I’d say any NATO RRF is just cheap cuts of meat being shoved into a Russian meat grinder.

            Always keep in mind that the sh!ts who rule us and have shaped the “Battlespace ™” full of worthless dross like Petraeus and Milley and clown-car weapons, may have enough of a death wish to unlimber nuclear weapons to “level the playing field” in a “turn it all to glass” sense… “If we go, you all go with us,” the ultimate meaning and promise of MAD.

            There’s been to my mind a slow progression of perceived increased lethality of the weapons the AUKUS has been willing to deliver to the dematerializing Ukrainian military, I guess in hopes of “stemming the tide of Slavic hordes.” Now it’s going to be wunderwaffen US “combat jets,” which are really just platforms to launch missiles and “smart bombs” the Russians already do not fear, and will just be target practice for thw Russians, it would seem. All be it as with nice profitable turnover “requiring” replenishment by the corrupt US war industries.

            Anyone else noticed the videos in Telegraph of desperate “far right” Ukie secret service squads driving around and grabbing all males able to walk to be conscripted into the “million man army?”

            Shoigu must feel some pity for these schmucks, trapped by corruption and NATO/EU geopolitics and their own vulnerability to Ukraine propaganda and not being able to join the diaspora of wealthier Ukies. A couple of weeks’ “training” and off to the Western Front.

            “Death comes to Oleg…”

          2. David

            It’s worth pointing out once again that the 3:1 ratio has nothing magic about it. It was just the rule of thumb operated by the Prussian Staff College to evaluate the results of likely attacks during war-games. An attacker who could assemble that ratio (and the assembly was really the skill that was being practiced) was deemed to have won. However, this only applied to tactical level engagements, and indeed a lot of the training was designed to teach officers how to create local superiority from forces which were not necessarily larger than those of the opposition, and might even be smaller. This is essentially what the Russians have been doing. Whilst it never hurts to have larger forces, the key is how much combat power you can apply in a particular situation.

            1. Lex

              According to NATO and US DoD documents, the ratio is important. It’s literally how they’ve calculated the size of the rapid reaction forces prior to 2022. It would be mitigated by other sources of power (as it is with Russia leveraging a relatively small number of troops to launch a very large amount of rocket and artillery ordinance), but that doesn’t solve the issue since the west’s reliance is on air power which will be effective but at a high cost.

            2. Tom Bradford

              Certainly anyone today seriously applying the 3:1 ‘rule’ is fighting yesterday’s battles. It was probably fair enough when all you could do was to march your men in ranks towards the enemy’s ranks and expect to lose 33-50% before you got to the hand-to-hand stuff but today, as the Ukrainians are finding out, your defences just get pounded by artillery from behind the horizon until what’s left is in no condition to put up a fight.

              To the extent a 3:1 rule applies today, you want three times the enemy’s artillery.

              1. Polar Socialist

                I think the modern (20th century) use of 3:1 rule is specific to a defense in well prepared positions, where the defender is assumed to have so much advantage, that the attacker has to create a local superiority of 3 to 1 to achieve parity.

                Between the wars Soviets (mainly Triandafillov) studied past wars and came up with something similar but different, that had to do with the density of fire each side was capable of creating in terms of shots per minute per meter of front line. Thus the development of semi-automatic rifles and reliance on machine guns.

                I think the tendency of turning military problem into mathematical ones was born already in military academies of Russian Empire.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Your cauldron point is important. I noticed very early on the had constructed a big open cauldron but it was sorta closed because the open side, to the east, had retreat across open fields and Russia presumably could and would strike any meaningful fleeing numbers of men and materiel. So I don’t know if this is a happy accident they’ve formalized or they already had that sorted out.

          1. Greg

            One of the better mil bloggers – martyanov maybe, or bazaar of war – wrote a good history of the cauldron. An opening is part of the design to get the enemy good and trapped, you don’t close all exits until you absolutely have to or they start pulling back too soon. It also means you have fire control as a fall back (shoot everyone on the exit path) if you can’t achieve a full closure.

            If i can remember who wrote it a couple months ago, I’ll drop a link in.

      3. David

        I see it as a question of timescales and different levels. There are at least three games going on here at once, and the West, obsessed with looking good on the evening news, is incapable of doing more than partly grasping the simplest.

        The first game is the destruction of Ukraine as a threat, and that means the destruction first of their armed forces and military capacity, as well as promoting a government in Kiev which is too frightened to misbehave. That’s a tactical/operational objective, but it’s not a longer-term solution.

        The second game is the longer-term establishment of Russia as the major military power in Europe, and the end of US military influence on the continent. To the extent compatible with the first objective that means bleeding and weakening US/NATO forces such that, not simply can they not intervene, their governments have to recognise they are militarily inferior. Part of this involves creating and maintaining an infrastructure and technological capability to retain this dominance in the long terms, and have it respected. That’s an operational/strategic level objective.

        The third is a major reconfiguring of strategic relationships in the world, to marginalise the West and promote Russia as the centre of a group of states with economic, industrial, resource and military advantages between them that effectively relegate the West to the Second Division. To the extent compatible with the second objective but over a much longer timescale, this means creating new partnerships, investing in long-term technological capabilities, finding new friends and partners etc. That’s a grand-strategic objective.

        To some extent, we are seeing all of these games taking place automatically, at different stages of development, and it’s important to keep them separate, whilst acknowledging that they form part of a coherent plan. So the Russians are happy to use up NATO equipment thrown at them, but that’s not an objective in itself, nor will it be pursued if it makes the war go on longer than it has to.

        In all this, it should be said, the Russians have a freer hand than perhaps they could have expected, because the West has itself has no plan that goes beyond the next press conference. As has been pointed out, the West can never, for practical reasons, rebuild the defence infrastructure it had in the Cold War. and the West will have to get used to a position of strategic inferiority. Indeed, it’s arguable that this strategic inferiority exists now, at all these three levels, but it’s only just now becoming clear.

        1. Watt4Bob

          What’s going on in Ukraine is going on, primarily at the insistence of the USA.

          The Russians had an expectation, that after the dissolution of the Soviet Block, they might join the West, Europe in particular, a logical and geographically obvious possibility that could, and most likely would have been of immense mutual benefit.

          Russia’s overtures in that direction were rebuffed by the EU, largely in the interest of the neocon consensus that infects the American State Department, and by extension, NATO.

          Putin, having shown the door to the Wall Street gangsters who intended to rob Russia blind, could never be forgiven, and thus started the American’s push to take over Ukraine and show him who is boss.

          The ‘West‘ is the party that had a plan, it was a bad plan, and it has failed miserably.

        2. Tom Stone

          That strategic inferiority does exist now,and it has for a few years IMO.
          The big danger arises from the incompetence (In every sense) of Western leadership, which is arguing with Geography and Geology.
          Please,no Nukes.

      4. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, PK.

        My only quibble is that the MIC and think tank BSers should also be grateful to DC and Bwussels (TM Boris Stanleyevich Johnson). The quality of western weaponry is not all it’s cracked up to be, but the money is very real and most welcome. School and university fees and holiday homes don’t pay for themselves. Please excuse my bankster cynicism.

        1. Stephen

          Thinking of Johnson: did you notice the video that has appeared of him playing soldiers with Ukrainians being trained to fight as light infantry by the British Army.

          I do wonder if he passed a medical or fitness test first but he is shown throwing grenades and pointing a rifle.

          Perhaps he plans to do a WW1 Churchill and join them in the fight; or maybe he is trying to audition for a rumoured next role as Secretary General of NATO.

          When I was a child we had politicians such as Lord Carrington (who whatever one thinks of his policies) had been a combat officer in the Guards Armoured Division in 1944, very bravely by all accounts, and knew the reality and horror of war. Even politicians who had not served were of an age where they had experienced the horror of bombing.

          Now we have buffoons who think war is about wearing khaki and posing for the cameras. I think it is an enabler (agree not the root cause) for all this bellicosity we are seeing.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Stephen.

            I noticed.

            You are right to wonder what Johnson’s next act will be.

            You are also right to point out what the old Tories were like. We may be of similar age as I recall Carrington, whose family are landowners near where I live. Another Tory of that ilk was Ian Gilmour, MP for nearby Amersham, and whose children are now landowners nearby. They are still paternalist / wet Tories.

            My father served with the RAF from the mid 1960s to the early 1990s. He said that the officer corps, especially when he joined and WW2 veterans were still around, was not particularly right wing. It became so under Thatcher.

          2. JohnA

            Johnson was cosplaying as Tom Cruise in Maverick last week, releasing footage of himself in a british fighter jet. The pilot outfit was equally ill-fitting

            1. orlbucfan

              Appreciate the warning. An image like that makes this American reach for the barf bag–ASAP!

    2. Michaelmas

      Dftbs: The West is suffering the maladies that afflict the losers of wars. I don’t think sending fighter jets will reverse this, it’ll likely accelerate the process.

      Absolutely. Sending fighter jets to provide target practice for superior Russian missile systems will be what this amounts to. In turn, this will mean that …..

      Plutonium Kun: The obvious superiority of Russian artillery, rocketry, and in particular, anti-aircraft, anti-missile and anti-drone tech will create an export boom time for Russian defence industries.

      Indeed. As its arms industry is one of the two big remaining tangible export industries the US still maintains, demonstrating the superiority of Russian weapon systems by sending in modern US fighters is going to be — like the sanctions — another own goal .

      1. Louis Fyne

        The West’s Hollywood-addled concept of warfare—all you need are airplanes and SEAL teams. Then victory is yours, with minor casualties.

      2. Tom Stone

        I have one big worry, Nuclear Armageddon.
        The West is not just agreement incapable many its leaders are suffering from dementia and /or delusional thinking.
        Add in a bit ( And sometimes more than a bit) of Psychopathy, Sociopathy,Narcissism, Greed and Depravity and you have the USA Today.
        Nuclear war is quite possible because Someone is that Stupid, always.
        Maybe we’ll get lucky…

        1. jonboinAR

          Yes, the prospect of nuclear armageddon makes all other considerations immaterial. We have no earthly business confronting Russia in this manner. The fact that our leaders don’t seem to understand this is, frankly, horrifying.

      3. fringe element

        Sounds like U.S. production of weapons is running into problems.

        “The latest report to Congress on the progress of the US’s shipbuilding efforts show the submarines “experienced cost growth” in the early part of the program, and now there’s a shortage of spare parts, maintenance delays for existing boats, and concerns about the shipyards’ capacity.”

        1. Glen

          It’s hard to avoid the fact that American industries including the MIC are all being managed to maximize C suite bonuses, not to improve production or develop better products or invest in capital equipment or innovate with R&D.

          Greed, greed is good. Even if it leaves your country a third rate power with a smoking hole in the ground where there once was an industrial base. But if that’s what was required to beat down the working class, and maximize profits (and by your own greed, create the multipolar world) – go team!

          1. CheckyChubber

            When you figure out how there are so many Ferarris with veteran’s plates driving around the most luxurious US zipcodes, it all becomes clear.

    3. Charlie Sheldon

      As I have been saying for weeks now, every day that passes demonstrates ever more clearly that Russia stands to become the Great Power of this century, not China and not the US/EU. Russia has resources, minerals, oil and gas, an industrial base and high scientific infrastructure, and a population carrying a clear and ancestral memory of earlier privation (the 1990s and prew-WW2) and losses caused by invasions and war. Their response, I believe, has been to establish self sufficiency to the extent possible, autarky, whenever and wherever they can. See for example today’s Links tale about how Russia, blocked from European cheese, built and industry of their own. Right now Russia is making deals with other nations for materials and cooperation, based not on military reach but economic mutual benefit. The experience in the SMO in Ukraine shows the rest of the world every single day the strength of Russia’s might, as well as the patience and restraint. I imagine the Europeans, seeing what is happening, and knowing their stocks of ammo have been expended in Ukraine, realizing they are absolute sitting ducks if Russia decides to move further west, are feverishly trying to figure out how to somehow free themselves from this sanctions disaster they and the US are now trapped in. Russia has oil, and Russia has gas, lots of it, and Europe desperately needs that fuel.
      And China? Over a billion people and mouths to feed. An economic system built to serve the market demands of the West, hence vulnerable if there is a depression in the West. A debt bubble and real estate crisis looming over all. Annual floods destroying crops, cities, and lives. Most of all, little oil and gas.
      Now of course the US and Canada also can become autarkic (is that a word?) too, as they have energy, other resources, plenty of farmland, an educated and skilled population, but to become so their standard of living and consumption would have to decline a lot. A lot, and I don’t think the voters will like that very much. And, these voters, mostly, do not have a real memory of really, really hard times as occurred in Russia in the 1990s, nor does the population in the West retain the ancestral memory of invasions or nearly every family having grandparents and great grandparents who died in the last big war.
      This is a huge shift happening before our very eyes, huge, and I don;t think, even now, the media or many of the PMC commentariat have realized what is happening.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That is false and US uni-polar order projection.

        Russia has been a Great Power since the 18th century. Putin has been consistently on message since at least 2007 about the new multi-polar order. He’s added to that by upping his criticism of the US “rules based” order, which = “We make the rule and we can even make them up as we go along” with a law-based order.

        Russia has no desire to dominate other countries. Russia will create defense and trade alliances to advance and protect its interests. It’s not going to put bases up all over the world as the US has.

        The US is still acting as if it can depose Putin (which is a really dumb idea, all of his potential successors are way more hawkish) and break up Russia into smaller states that the West can loot. Russia’s actions now are to protect itself from continued US opposition.

        1. Charlie Sheldon

          Not sure what you are calling false and US uni-polar projection, I did not intend such, as otherwise would say your comments are exactly aligned with mine. I was and am arguing that as the world seemingly shifts to a bloc-based structure from the last 40 years of globalization, those blocs with the necessary elements for survival will prosper, and of these, I think Russia stands tallest. I do think however the US/Canada can last as an autarkic bloc as well, but only after a great shift in living standard, whereas Russia, having more essential energy and mineral resources, and a population still living much “closer to the land” than here in the US, will be in a stronger position. I did not say Russia would become a Great Power in the 21st century, I said Russia would become THE Great Power of this century. And I continue to think most of the commentariat either does not see this or is choosing to ignore it. Or, of course, I could be totally wrong….

            1. Charlie Sheldon

              I know it seems illogical but…..China has over a billion mouths to feed, suffers annual great floods, has built an industrial base nearly entirely dependent on US and European markets, and more than anything else lacks sufficient sources of oil and gas. China by itself as a self-sustaining bloc will face problems feeding its population, providing work, and providing energy. IF China is really smart and IF globalism and global trade for consumer goods continues, then China will have the money to buy energy, and be the Great Power everyone assumes seems inevitable. BUT I think personally those billion mouths and the lack of energy are hard limits on China’s future. Everyone (it seems) is tagging China as the next Great Power, and Great Power they surely will be, being large, nuclear, and educated, but I still think Russia has more potential to become the dominant 21st Century Great Power, even beyond China.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                If the world is even going to be orderly enough to even be dominated by any one power or another.

    4. HotFlash

      Re: Russian patience. I recently read a comment on a blog that described the Russians’ careful and gradualistic treatment of Ukraine as that of one dealing with “a mentally ill relative”. Yeah, looks like a fit.

  5. timbers

    The Turbine for Germany

    It’s nice Putin is providing such excellent Customer Service to the juvenile delinquent leaders of The West, but I don’t share his patience and it’s not as if his efforts will be appreciated or rewarded in anyway. I’d just shut down Nord1 and tell the Germans if they want Russian gas, it’s Nord2 under long term contracts at current market rates and maybe too full return of all Russian assets, or not at all. Next time Germany comes calling for updates on the Turbine, I’d transfer him to a “customer service” type as played by Rosanne Barr in a SNL skit regarding credit card denials/problems or the late night stranded motorist calling triple A (AAA) customer service. Unfortunately the skit is behind a paywall owned by NBC and can not be viewed w/out paying $.

    1. Kouros

      I don’t think Putin is doing all this effort to ingratiate Russia and himself to the West, but to show the rest of the world the reasonableness and trustworthiness of Russia.

      1. Pat

        If I were a nation paying attention I know which country was agreement cable and which considered them not worth the paper they were written on. Yet another way the US comes up short.

      2. HotFlash

        If I were an individual looking for a safe place to spend my remaining score and ten, I would start learning Russian. Oh wait, I just signed up, thank you YouTube!

  6. Lexx

    Eric Deigl-Ding — ‘EVERYONE STOP AND WATCH’ – This is what is looks like to live with #long COVID

    Uh-huh… um, Eric, I think if you’re going to collect video recordings of (mostly) women talking about how miserable they are living with the symptoms of long COVID, they should look miserable and not at all like Disney princesses. Only the two men looked like they weren’t ‘ready for their close-ups, Mr. DeMille’.

    My gawd, the eyebrows and cheekbones for miles… it’s way too early for this BS.

    1. HotFlash

      So sorry that the ladies look too presentable. Back when I worked in offices, I would occasionally wake up feeling like homemade sh*t and still have to go to work. SO, apply a little rouge, some eye makeup, yada, stuff which I normally didn’t wear. My co-workers would (very) often say, “You look great today!” Sigh. These ladies not only have to cope with feeling terrible (as a long Covid person myself, I would say “half-dead”), but to keep their jobs they have to look and act “perky”! I would suggest that you might want to give’em a break.

      1. Lexx

        The message is ‘this is what it looks like to live with #long Covid’.

        The tall skinny guy looked kinda miserable.

        The young woman with her hair falling out and acne still managed to make the consequences of the virus seem small potatoes, trivial in the grand spectrum of lifespan shortening symptoms. If that’s what long Covid looks like, please pass the virus, it’s the fountain of youth. Her cosmetic symptoms will abate.

        One is in uniform and at work making a video in the break room (?), complaining about drinking Ensure, and how long Covid shouldn’t be happening to her. Because she’s pretty? Young? Smart? Feels like a victim? What merit should exempt her? And if not her, who should long Covid be happening to? What demographic is okay for long term suffering? The old, the weak, the ugly? ‘Sure Covid, go Darwin on ’em. They’re just dragging down the gene pool.’

        A better title might have been ‘This is what living with #long Covid sounds like.’ I believed they all had long Covid and were miserable with it. I just had a hard time listening to them complain, alone in rooms in full make-up with their cameras on… sharing. No 68 year old with middle-aged spread, an overbite, and beauty school perm available to give her video account of living with the virus?

        Well, we know the answer to that, don’t we?… and Eric had no use for it. So yeah, Hotflash, I had a problem with the video. As of this morning – officially – there are 3,860,083 people on the U.S. Active list. And of those, what percentage have long Covid? And of those with long Covid, how many look like ‘influencers’ trying to sell eye shadow and mascara on Amazon? Are they what living with long Covid looks like? If yes, then I disagree. Feel free to prove me wrong.

    2. Raymond Sim

      This reads like some sort of passive-aggressive attack on the idea that people are suffering due to Long Covid. If that’s not your intent I wonder what you’re critiquing? Are you taking Feigl-Ding to task for not presenting the reality starkly enough?

      Personally I’ve known plenty of women would get their warpaint on before being seen in public, no matter how miserable they were. I think that was mostly based in a sound understanding of our culture. There are so damned many things women get faulted for, like being too appearance conscious, or too submissive, without any mention being made of the practical consequences likely from a different approach to life.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        In fact I would suggest that a woman would be more likely to put on makeup when she feels like crap. if we feel great then we may not care what anybody thinks but if we are feeling bad we may want a pick-me-up in the mirror to get through the day, and to avoid any possible awkward questions

      2. Lexx

        Long Covid is largely hidden even when people are in the public eye. Stark or starkly enough isn’t possible. Probably Eric’s point, if only it hadn’t gotten lost in all those ‘narcissist’s eyebrows’.

        Some might prefer to just call them ‘well-groomed’… okay, let’s say that’s 50% of the women in the video. How do you feel now about the other 50% telling you this is what long Covid looks like?

        Ramini is considered an expert in the diagnosis of narcissism. But if you reject this video – search on ‘narcissists eyebrows – there are plenty more on youtube. Are they all wrong and unfair to women?

        The women in the video chose those eyebrows. They have to be shaped and maintained at some expense. That’s the look they went for, knowing perfectly well how they come across. Getting and maintaining attention is the point. They are not the humans I want telling me (or anyone else) what long Covid looks like.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I watched some of this video with the sound off, here in the public library computers.

          Since I am not jealous or envious of ordinary young people trying to look good in public, I did not notice the “narcissist eyebrows” so I could take pleasure in getting “offended” by them. It looks to me like this video was trying to reach “aspirational normals” to show them that “they too” can get Long Covid.

          Someone who wants their Long Covid patients to look like terminal cancer ward patients can try finding Long Covid patients who look like that and make a scary video with them.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Good grief. As it happens I watched that video a couple weeks ago, as I recall Dr. Ramini goes out of her way to emphasize that eyebrows do not a narcissist make.

          The women in the video chose those eyebrows. They have to be shaped and maintained at some expense. That’s the look they went for, knowing perfectly well how they come across. Getting and maintaining attention is the point. They are not the humans I want telling me (or anyone else) what long Covid looks like.

          Okay, leaving aside the question of whether the suffering of attention-seeking people matters, and your own reasons for not wanting them to tell you what Long Covid looks like, why don’t you want them telling the rest of us?

          You’ve gone from apparently mocking Long Covid sufferers to seemingly wanting control of the Long Covid narrative, which, while potentially less mean-spirited, is just baffling.

  7. Terry Flynn

    Re Long Covid. Am now back under the care of a cardiologist, prescribed a drug for early stage heart failure (my SVT 2 months ago *should* have been impossible given my 2005 ablation to cure those but ED consultant warned me back then that my heart would be in trouble at some stage due to strain on it from birth).

    Also seeing dermatologists for alopecia etc. Rheumatoid issues galore too….

    Textbook Long Covid constellation of symptoms *sigh*.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m really sorry to hear that Terry, I hope they can get to the bottom of the problems.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks. Plus to answer suggestions from others here like JAC – I was already taking various B vitamin supplements ASAP after first infection (Feb 2020) which quickly initiated the dermatological/rheumatoid issues; currently taking various B, C+Zinc and alternating between standard and high dose D (turns out I have chronically low D often even in summer – only became apparent after I returned to UK from Oz and my “winter sun holidays in the Canary Islands” from pre-Sydney days don’t happen now).

        Liver tests OK at last test. Another way in which this site’s observations about the crapification of the NHS are very on point came my way. Dermatology consultant sending me round in circles with topical steroids…. When her Registrar saw me yesterday and realised she was getting REALLY out of her depth she called the consultant in. Not a lot of progress….. Until I dropped into conversation that next week I’m paying for a private consultation with a certain consultant who happens to (in his NHS role) be head of dept. Mum had her 3rd skin cancer removed by him on NHS and then saw him privately for a “cosmetic” (but disfiguring) removal of a benign thing on her face. This guy absolutely knows his stuff, is great with patients and ABSOLUTELY does not suffer fools gladly among fellow clinicians.

        Watching your NHS physicians suddenly internally have an “oh family blog” moment was a small plus point in an otherwise very stressful day. 1 hour consultation (15 min scheduled) resulted. But I shouldn’t have to raid my small savings to get proper care. Oh and when the Registrar was considering therapy involving scalp injections and anaesthesia I said “of course you will be checking the anaesthetic won’t kill me due to my MAOI?” she responded “what’s an MAOI?”.

        Just when I think medical education in the UK can’t get any worse…… It does. I gave HER a 15 minute tutorial on something in anaesthesia that CANNOT be excused for being “irrelevant these days” since so many skin cancer removals will be BCCs affecting an age group who will contain non trivial numbers on MAOIs. Plus when going to chat to the consultant she left me in the office without locking her PC (KNOWING I know ALL NHS Clinical databases via recent job). I could’ve looked up all my “patients-aren’t-meant-to-read-this” stuff in 60 seconds and be back in my chair with 3 mins to spare before she returned. Tut tut. Plus the coup de grace. The docs were NOT overworked that day. I did what I always do and listened to the nurses’ conversations by sitting near their station before consultation – they were bored and one explicitly remarked on how few patients there were.

        1. JAC

          Terry, I hate what you are going through and I sympathize greatly here from the U.S. having been put through the same “put steroids on it” blanket treatment from dermatologists.

          I do not wish to be combative about your health but I must comment on some common misconceptions you brought up.

          > Liver tests OK at last test.

          Many people with low ALT and AST will be flagged as “OK” since they are not high. High AST and ALT are a marker for liver disease. But I am not looking for liver disease. Low AST and ALT are markers for other diseases and is also a clinical sign of B6 deficiency.

          I implore you to go back and check of your labs are in range:
          ALT. 7 to 55 units per liter (U/L)
          AST. 8 to 48 U/L

          (I want to put the links that show that low ALT and AST are linked to B6 deficiency but I wanted this to go through.)

          > currently taking various B, C+Zinc

          Supplements do not work in a vacuum. This shotgun method of taking high dose supplements for which you have no deficiency can in fact lead to deficiency. A good example is zinc blocking the absorption of copper leading to a deficiency.

          And the link between B6 deficiency and low Vitamin D is clear, since B6 is needed to make Heme and heme is a cofactor for Vitamin D enzymes like CYP2R1 and CYP3A4.

          I do not care how much B6 you have taken in the past, because it still might not be enough to correct a deficiency.

          But best of luck and wishing you better health.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Many thanks – I’ll go back to my records tmw and check. One issue to bring up though is that “actionable reference ranges” can vary to a surprising extent – I’ve lived in three countries and don’t think reference ranges for practically anything agree! I KNOW certain white blood counts would raise red flags in Australia but don’t in UK.

            Wrt vit B. I did have B1/2/6 deficiencies “rectified” by GP prescribed supplements…… But in parallel to points you make, no holistic approach was taken since they just know nothing about what other (necessary) meds I am taking might be doing….. I myself started B12 when the other levels returned to reference range, when I knew from close relative’s experience that B12 could be low.

            Here’s the bottom line. Primary care in North Nottingham is atrocious. I’m a whistle blower. I made complaints that contributed to a very very senior member of my field get the whole “HR raid” thing that you see in movies. I became toxic in my field. Returned to Nottm. Local hospital complained of serious professional misconduct by a junior GP in my treatment, drawing me in to “tell the story”. GP was fired (struck off? Dunno). I actually didn’t want that because my advice to ANYONE thinking of being a whistle blower is DON’T. JUST RUN.

            I’m done fighting these people. I don’t get too down about it. I just sigh and concentrate my fire on the most egregious flaws when I can demonstrably show clinical messups. One of my oldest friends who is a GP himself told me “80% of them are just people who were good at cramming for exams and want an easy life. They most certainly don’t do continued professional development.” indeed. That’s partly why NC had to report so many pre-press papers re COVID etc.

            I’ve worked with clinicians who genuinely changed medicine (blew the whistle on COX2 stuff etc) and had lots of care from total incompetents. Bad money drives out good. What a shame it is true in treatment in medicine too.

            1. Tom Stone

              Terry, thank you for your recent dialog regarding Gabapentin, it was prescribed for me to help with nerve pain and experience has taught me to be careful with any pain killer.
              They all come at a cost whether it is your liver as with Tylenol or in cognitive function as with most opiods so it was nice to learn more about the risk profile of Gabapentin.
              Having an intelligent and persistent approach to recovery tends to improve outcomes, I wish you good luck on top of that.

              1. JAC

                The enzymes that convert GABA (as in GABApetin) to Gluatmate and back again are called GAD1 and GAD2 and they use B6 as a cofactor. Just sayin’…

              2. Terry Flynn

                I’m hoping Gabapentin works – anecdotes and the public prescribing data you can get in UK cities suggest that IF there is a problem similar to pregabalin it is much less prevalent or severe so fingers crossed for you (though as JAC says there is definite risk). Wishing you all the best….. Neuropathic pain is nasty…I know……

            2. JAC

              I play stupid at the doctor and make them think they are doing all the heavy mental lifting. Being a whistle blower in the U.S. on Medicare? I would never. People who say you have to fight for your healthcare do not understand the repercussions.

              Here in the U.S. you can have red flags all over your labs and the doctors will wait until you bring it up with them. A friend had anemia fro two years before I looked at her labs and pointed out the issue.

              Thanks for being open minded. Please keep me updated on the labs, really curious.

              1. Terry Flynn

                Playing stupid with British docs is (unfortunately) fast track to death. I’m obnoxious. But I might not be alive if I hadn’t been.

                Had quick look at test results – liver results are in range but towards top so definitely not “artificially low”…… Though my meds are “hard on the liver”… not gonna discount your theories….. I need to talk to a clinician who “gets” this stuff rather than the vast number of morons I’ve been seeing….. Trouble is I’m med stats PhD so seen as troublemaker……

                If I’d been evil and looked at my private medical record I’m 100% sure I’d have seen modern codes to indicate “trouble”. Awful codes used in recent past – “NFN” (Normal for Norfolk) – for our friends in North America think “typical Alababaman/West Virginian” as equivalent – was in notes as recently as 1996.

                1. kareninca

                  Do you take COQ10? This is not medical advice; it is just that everyone I know who has congestive heart failure takes it (with doctor’s permission). Maybe you might want to ask about it?

                  My brother’s liver bloodwork was absolutely fine, nonetheless it turned out that he had advanced cirrhosis (due to obesity). And his liver bloodwork results continued to be fine up to his death from cirrhosis. It turns out that bloodwork doesn’t show it. A special ultrasound would show it. You didn’t say that you were looking for cirrhosis, but just in case you are, that is important to know.

                  I think that sleep apnea had a lot to do with my dad’s death from congestive heart failure. I take it you have been tested for that (this is not medical advices; ask a doctor).

                  I’m sorry about the medical things you are dealing with.

                  1. Terry Flynn

                    Thanks for the very constructive advice – I did drink a lot around the time I was whistle blower because GAD is practically untreatable. So I pushed for LOTS of tests to check I hadn’t messed myself up. Ultrasound of liver etc unchanged from one done many years previously…… Mildly fatty liver but predates anything I’ve done and nothing else.

                    I’ll check out your suggestion in conjunction with cardiologist advice…… Interestingly the heart drug I’ve been put on is now an experimental treatment for certain symptoms of long COVID! Ivabradine.

                    1. kareninca

                      Hawthorne (aka hawthorn) extract has also been studied as an add-on therapy:

                      “Randomized, controlled trials in patients with heart failure have demonstrated that the herbal medicinal product increases functional capacity, alleviates disabling symptoms, and improves health-related quality of life, all of which have become important targets of heart failure therapy according to current disease management guidelines. Clinical trials (including a 2-year mortality study with polypharmacy and > 1300 patients exposed) and post-marketing surveillance studies have shown that WS 1442 has a very favorable safety profile both as monotherapy and as add-on therapy, where no drug interactions have been observed. No specific adverse reactions to WS 1442 are known to date. WS 1442 may thus help to close the therapeutic gap between systolic and diastolic heart failure for which evidence of efficacy for other cardioactive drugs is sparse. Scientific evidence shows that WS 1442 is safe and has a beneficial effect in patients with heart failure corresponding to New York Heart Association classes II or III. The benefit-risk assessment for WS 1442 is therefore positive. (

                      You might ask your doctor about that, too.

                      That is good about your liver.

    2. BeliTsari

      Lots of the PASC groups on Twitter have been trying Nattokinase, Serrapeptase, NAC & Nicotinamide riboside hippy-dippy snake-oil for persistent micro-clotting & sporadic inflammatory circulatory/ low blood oxygen issues. It certainly feels healthier than NO precursors we’d tried several variants ago? Cardiologist @ Presby in NYC, had no issue & despite slight VITT: BP, pulse-oximeter & cognition seem consistently improved? But other supplementation & activity confuse the issue?

    3. JAC

      Terry, I advise you to get you B6 levels tested. No harm in doing that, right? Maybe Homocysteine which would confirm a functional deficiency. Also, if you have ALT and AST levels (which you probably have had tested) this would confirm a B6 deficiency as well if those levels are low.

      (Rheumatoid issues make me think B6 deficiency)

      I feel the reason people are suffering after SASR2 infection, that is because the pressure on the immune system deplete nutrients. It is as good as any non-explainatin I have heard from anyone else. So zinc, B6, selenium, etc…

  8. John Beech

    So the cat stops the performance. Cats and grandchildren are forces of nature that lead everything to stop. I don’t mind in either case. After all, life is for living. Nice antidote.

      1. GF

        I was thinking the cat was trying to get the musicians to hurry up and start playing music instead of paying attention to the cat. Seeing the cat at the end of the video leisurely lounging on the carpeted step listening was the tell.

    1. Nikkikat

      Both of my cats seem to know that’s there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do to get them to do what I want them to do. I also cannot do much to stop them from doing what ever they feel like doing. I am helpless. They have endless methods by which to keep me in line.
      Cats rule the world.

  9. LadyXoc

    Re Worlds highest rate of Children living in Single-parent homes: this is a product of government design. If one needs to get welfare, housing benefits, EBT, in order to survive with small children, one must prove that there is no other adult in the home capable of providing support. This policy is enforced through home checks. The government subsidizes home purchases through the mortgage deduction program, thus engaging in social engineering. This is the flip side, where poverty is promoted.

    1. anon y'mouse

      in the ghetto where i grew up surrounded by these kinds of individuals, it was very much that the relationship was over and the man walked away refusing to help (and in many cases, unable due to job loss or whatever) support the child.

      so no, in my experience it isn’t “caused by” welfare. relationships when you are poor are unstable to begin with. add a child and they become more unstable, not less. if two of you can’t hardly afford rent, one of you is not going to afford it either.

      usually the woman falls back on her clan (family) as much as possible and he goes wherever he goes. in many cases not even really visiting the child because he’s shrugged off all responsibility, including emotional. although i’ve read that among African Americans this is not the case. then the woman signs up for welfare because she needs something to help her even while enjoying the “charity” of family because they can barely afford to feed themselves as it is.

      but keep believing that “traditional family” story put out by culturally-right think tanks. that hasn’t been the case except for middle class people post war or union job types, which was all over and done with 40 years ago.

      1. digi_owl

        No need to be poor either. Over in Norway it may well be the highly educated that are single parents, because between their job and the welfare system they have no need for a partner in the house. In some situation a single man may end up being the father to the children of a loose group of girlfriends.

      2. Objective Ace

        >it was very much that the relationship was over and the man walked away refusing to help

        It’s amazing to me that you seem so confident about the intimate details of thousands of relationships. How are you so sure why the man walked away and didn’t help? There’s a number of reasons this could be, and the mother being better off if he didn’t certainly fits the bill

        Ps. It actually is a lot easier for two ppl to pay rent then a single person.. Unless of course the government helps out

    2. Yoghurt

      The mortgage deduction isn’t what it used to be.

      For a married couple, the standard deduction is like 25k. SALT cap is 10k total for the couple. Consider a 500k mortgage at 3%. That is 15k interest per year. If you have no other deductions, there is NO mortgage deduction benefit at all.

      Curiously, a single person has a lower standard deduction of roughly 13k but their SALT cap is 10k. Much easier to have significantly more than 3k in interest. The mortgage deduction is also encouraging singles.

      Head of household standard deduction is 19k. For single people with kids, mortgage deduction is also difficult to reach.

  10. Cheryl

    Why is IM doc so concerned about highly vaxed areas? Apologize if I missed a prior explanation.

    1. Don Cafferty

      Perhaps I misunderstood IM doc and am confused. There may be/is concern for vaccinated people because there is some study(ies) that indicate the mRNA vaccines are leaving people with less immunity than unvaccinated people. If true, vaccinated people are particularly vulnerable especially if another variant were to become deadlier. We are boosting our current vaccine with futility.

      1. Pelham

        I’ve heard this notion about vaxxed people being more vulnerable than the unvaxxed, but from an unreliable source. So I don’t know what to think. Meanwhile, a sister-in-law and her daughter, both vaxxed and boosted, are suffering their second bouts of Covid.

        1. flora

          Here’s a recent article in Virology Journal. The opening of the Abstract states:


          Recently, The Lancet published a study on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the waning of immunity with time. The study showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals 8 months after the administration of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was lower than that among the unvaccinated individuals.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        There is also some data. From a link at The Automatic Earth titled UK Government confirms the Triple / Quadruple Vaccinated account for 91% of all COVID Deaths since the beginning of 2022

        In January, the vaccinated accounted for 85% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the unvaccinated accounted for 15%. By March, the vaccinated accounted for 93% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the vaccinated accounted for just 7%. And by May, the vaccinated accounted for 94% of Covid-19 deaths, whilst the vaccinated accounted for just 6%.

        Many people may believe that this is simply because, according to data published by the UK Health Security Agency, 50% of the population of England refused the third jab, and those vaccinated deaths are among the double vaccinated and partly vaccinated. But unfortunately, those people are wrong.

        Overall, there were 15,113 Covid-19 deaths by 31st May 2022, and a shocking 13,666 of those deaths were among the vaccinated population. But what’s even more shocking than this is that 12,442 of those deaths were among the triple/quadruple vaccinated population.

        This means the triple/quadruple vaccinated population have accounted for a frightening 91% of all Covid-19 deaths among the vaccinated since the beginning of 2022.

        1. Milton

          Yup, and I’m sitting outside a hospital right now-unable to visit-because I haven’t been boosted. The insanity of it all. Covid shots do nothing to prevent spread! The person behind the plexiglass mentioned that I could drive 3 miles (downtown LA) to get a Covid test. Seems to me, everyone entering the premises should be required to take a test, because, you know, of what Birx has stated.

        2. Milton

          I reread the article and couldn’t find the percentage of the population w/o any Covid shots. If the ratio is say, 75:25 (jabbed vs. virgin) than the figures contained are indeed, very concerning.

        3. curlydan

          Here is a link to the stats that AE article refers to:

          I can use the first Excel spreadsheet in that link to match to some (i.e. the 15,113 and 13,666 numbers). Can’t get it to match the 12,442 #. I see 11,160 triple vaccinated deaths, but don’t see a spot in the ‘Table 1’ tab for the quadruple vaccinated. But I’ve only given the spreadsheet a cursory glance.

          It should be noted that in England, “As of 17th July 2022, 9 in 10 individuals aged 12 and over have been vaccinated with at least one dose (43,987,177, 90.9%).” England is a much more vaccinated area than the U.S.

        4. Mikel

          “Dr. Deborah Birx says she ‘knew’ COVID vaccines would not ‘protect against infection’

          Now when are the lies using the word “immunity’ in any form of association with these shots going to stop??

        5. Raymond Sim

          This doesn’t tell us all that much without some demographic data on who the triple-quadruple vaccinated population of the UK are.

          I didn’t discern any such analysis in the article, but I found the screen very hard to read. Did I miss something?

        6. bwill123

          If you are amongst those with pre-existing conditions or the aged, and thus likely to suffer the worst from Covid, then you are much more likely to seek to be vaccinated to the maximum available against that probability.
          If you do then actually die (which was always more likely, versus those not in your cohort) you have skewed the accuracy of the stats (as above) for the greater population.

      1. Tom Stone

        Our betters are simply letting Nature take its course, with a little encouragement.
        There’s a problem with Human overpopulation, why not let it self correct when there’s so much money to be made and power to be had doing so?
        Look who it’s killing (So far), the old and the weak.
        Eliminating the useless and unfit, putting social Security on a sound financial basis…
        Real benefits for Society!
        As long as the virus doesn’t mutate into something really nasty and as long as the bug doesn’t inconvenience too many people that matter everything will be just fine.
        Don’t look up.

        1. c_heale

          They forgot to read The Masque of the Red Death. If we go down, they go down with us.

    2. .human

      As Don notes above, and IM Doc has written extensive anecdata of, he is seeing a multitude of problems that should not be due to our vax, vax, vax only regime.

      1. Terry Flynn

        I’ve been loathe to comment on vaccination. Mainly because, and as NC has tried to point out with help from Key members of the commentariat, we are in terra incognita in so many ways. I hear so many anecdotes. Yet the population data suggests benefit in terms of deaths. The devil is in the detail of course. No vaccine here is sterilising. We totally messed up on other aspects like masking.

        I have had COVID twice and believe me I FEEL IT. I MIGHT have had a 3rd infection somehow induced by the 3rd vaccination (Pfizer booster after AZ doses 1 & 2 definitely induced “odd” reaction). Did I report it? No. Quite simply I wasn’t convinced AT THAT POINT that the Pfizer booster was bad. Now virtually every single clinician I talk to when I goto the hospital in a patient or professional capacity is violently against a 4th Pfizer booster. This is weird. But like I say elsewhere, numbers of people are not sufficient.

        So I have no answers….. Merely that I applaud NC’s attemots to shine a light on the more general attempts to vaccinate against coronaviruses per se. Will I accept 4th Jab when I’m called up (will be early due to heart condition)? Will have flu jab, but will I take covid? Dunno. I’ll look at evidence then.

        PS on bus coming home from hospital yesterday I was the ONLY masked person. But guess who was the ONLY person not to have someone choose to sit next to them? Great. I got to press my face to open window and have no annoying family blogger sit next to me! Next time if anyone DOES sit next to me I’ll cough and wheeze just to make sure they family blog off.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Hippos have really bad breath too.

      That hippo propangda also shows, you’re a random developing worlder who dies in an animal attack, media shrugs and it’s the “circle of life”

      You’re a first worlder on holiday and get killed by a shark, media deems it an existential crisis

      1. HotFlash

        Totally! Tourist hunters, killing bears, no problem. But let ONE bear kill ONE tourist, all hell breaks loose.

        My BiL, in a bear-tourist-killy state, was in favour of an long bear-knife season.

    2. griffen

      That hippo was channeling his inner Gandalf. You shall not pass. Provides an unusual view for the lion to become prey instead of predator!

      1. Socal Rhino

        Swedish heterodox economist. Critical of the inherent logical/philosophical flaws in mainstream economics. Worthwhile blog IMO. Original posts plus those of others.

  11. GramSci

    re the present inflation

    I don’t know who Lars B. Syll is, but the article is by Joseph Stiglitz. A windfall profits tax on oil corporations. Good luck with that.

  12. griffen

    Tesla has it’s own lane at important crossing, might be a tad misleading headline based on the concluding paragraphs. Sounds to be just for suppliers to the Tesla plant in Austin heading north, out of Nuevo Leon, and there is an established border crossing and protocol for what is called FAST participants.

    Later it reveals that the blinding genius of Musk has no bounds, as he will build or seek permits to build an underground tunnel beneath his factory. Sounds like a Dr Evil plot if you ask me.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Hello? 911? I don’t want to give my name but I heard that there is a big shipment of drugs coming over the border from Mexico through the Colombia Solidarity Border Crossing. What? No, I don’t really know which car is carrying it but I know for a fact that it will be brand new Tesla. Good bye.’

      1. hunkerdown

        Lithium carbonate is a mood stabilizer and also the interesting constituent of lithium brines. So, yes.

  13. Larry

    Re: Corporate culture indoctrination

    The cultivation of a family or collegial type environment definitely works on people with little experience in the corporate sector. I worked for a high flying Silicon Valley company in my last position. I was remote, but coming to SF HQ was mandatory and expected several times a year (pre-COVID anyway). The company retreat was in Hawaii. They were willing to fly all employees to SF for a lavish Halloween party. Gifts were constantly given out, often branded with the companies logos. The founder and president was at the time the final interviewer for all new hires and during onboarding all new employees got the founders chat. And people real dove into the work is the social life. If you were at HQ the company paid for all meals, including an all hands on deck fully catered lunch everyday. I did well but was definitely overworked and not interested in the company as life culture. But for my younger and greener colleagues? A big part of their identity became the company. They loyally toiled away endless hours for the mission. None of them ever stopped to think that the mission was to make founders and investors a ton of money.

    I now work for a much bigger and longer running public company. I work less hours and though my big company wants to cultivate a similar culture to what my prior did, it’s far too stingy to spend what it really takes to make it happen. And I like that just fine. No emails on the weekends and a respect for work life balance is worth far more than a sweatshirt with a logo.

    1. griffen

      I think with age comes wisdom, or it is supposedly the case. Combine the younger, admittedly green hires fresh from college who have boundless energy and unchecked enthusiasm with a corporate free for all as long you’re available practically 24 / 7. The pace I maintained from my middle 20s into my early 30s, well I look back fondly on the relationships and yes, even my managers but not exactly a work life balance to return to. The intermittent years since 2009 have brought ups and downs and sideways, to the point where my loyalty basically ends on Fridays and starts anew on Mondays.

      Which is a privilege for me, to be sure, in that position. I make coffee / most meals at home and honestly live a fairly content life. But I’ve concluded I want to unplug from work, I have to unplug it, and if an employer makes that practically not doable they don’t really give a crap about you as a person. You’re a replaceable cog.

  14. ChetG

    The article “Dr. Fauci’s Retirement Pension ($414,667) Will Exceed President Joe Biden’s Salary ($400,000)” doesn’t mention whether Fauci will receive any Social Security benefits in addition (to help make ends meet). I suppose it all depends on whether he had any other forms of employment apart from his federal jobs.

    1. griffen

      Per the interwebs, he joined the NIH after completing his medical residency. And since he has worked into his 80s, there are definite implications for planning and taxes if he has other retirement income sources outside of his pension. Other sources might include IRA accounts, by example.

      This begs the question when it comes to our remuneration for the POTUS. Should that be inflation adjusted every four years? I won’t argue higher pay for Biden, or even Trump, but $400,00 just ain’t what it used to be.

      1. Pat

        Personally I am for the government matching their 401k deposits unless and until the government not only encourages but requires pensions for the rest of America’s employees.

        But now not only do they get a guaranteed retirement ($400,000/yr is damn nice) they have the option of monetizing their time in government in order to establish post service employment or consultation opportunities with little or no work involved. Meanwhile most Americans can expect to retire in poverty.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Re Fauci’s pension racket (to be augmented by Dr. Oz-style carpetbagging):

      We are supposed to hate this, in this instance, but there’s a reason there is virtually no means testing for Social Security benefits. Now if the effing fully owned Congress would just remove the cap on wages subject to FICA withholding, that might strangle the SOBs who keep whining that “the SS Trust Fund (sic) is bankrupt!!!!” As they attempt every way they can to privatize SS, loot the Fund, impose all kinds of fees and scams, and shrink SS benefits that we pay for via the FICA tax which is a pension arrangement that reduces take-home pay in favor of a retirement support system.

    3. CitizenSissy

      The bigger issue that bubbles underneath is how few people will have that long-term tenure to accrue those retirement benefits. Organizations are looking to offload older workers, particularly those with better pensions/401Ks.

    4. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Spouse works for government – a fairly recent hire – Social Security is deducted and credited to her lifetime earnings so I don’t doubt that Fauci will also get that. She has no defined benefit pension plan but Fauci might since he started decades ago. Civil service equivalent of an IRA – a defined contribution plan – which spouse participates in and is no doubt available also to Fauci:

      The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a defined contribution plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. As of December 31, 2020, TSP has approximately 6.2 million participants (of which approximately 3.8 million are actively participating through payroll deductions), and more than $735.2 billion in assets under management;[1] it is the largest defined contribution plan in the world. The TSP is administered by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, an independent agency.

      from Wikipedia

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      I think fauci has a bunch of patents, for which he receives royalties, for biological “inventions” he “invented” on the taxpayer’s dime.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Rich Chinese Worth $48 Billion Want to Leave — But Will Xi Let Them?”

    The reason that this is a story for Bloomberg is that billionaires are under the thumb in China and can’t easily spirit all their wealth away like in most countries. Compare this to “democratic” South American nations where the IMF and the World Bank demand that those countries change their laws to make capital flight easy. What that means in practice is that the wealthy elite will, at the first sign of trouble, flee their country to a place like Florida and take all their wealth with them. Not only does that help impoverish their own country but that wealthy elite can use their wealth to fund activities against the people running their country and push local politicians to support their cause.

    In any case, those Chinese billionaire’s desire to flee to the west may abate with time. As time goes by, they will see the effects of long-covid and how it is ravishing those countries which will end up deterring them to go there for their own health and survival.

    1. jsn

      It’s a Bloomberg story because Mikes worried about what will support NY, Miami, SF, Seattle,Toronto & Vancouver real estate if those Chinese billions don’t expatriate.

      If you get out of your REITs now, where do you put all that dough?

    2. digi_owl

      That is the irony of the Russia sanctions. Cutting Russia off from SWIFT made it damned hard for the monied to pack up and abscond, Biden basically handed Putin a win with a ribbon on top.

    3. jrkrideau

      After watching the débâcle with overseas Russian oligarchs being plundered down to their last, remaining, yacht, many Chinese billionaires may decide that there is no place like home.

      I am expecting Vancouver condos to be more reasonably priced soon. :)

    4. Glen

      “Poor Americans Worth Much Less Wants No More Billionaires, Please China, Take Our Billionaires!”

  16. flora

    Key change: The emergency-response office, @ASPRgov, is being elevated to be on par with CDC, FDA and others.

    So, now that the public trust in the CDC and FDA is pretty much gone they have to “elevate” another agency to be “on par” with the CDC and FDA? All righty then. / ;)

    1. anon y'mouse

      churn and burn!

      and a decade from now, another will rise to take its place.

      it’s like that storefront that keeps going bankrupt and is now under “new management” yet has the same old merchandise and the same faces behind the counter.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Over a hundred deaths today here in Oz – and the US is about 13 times our population.

      ‘Mistakes were made’ is what we are hearing now from our medical authorities.

    2. JTMcPhee

      There’s a groundswell of sorts: “World Imervectin Day,” For those who are interested.

      Seems to me it’s getting harder and harder to obtain IVM. My PCP almost violently made it clear that no how, no way would he be any part of treatment involving IVM, “The CDC has closed this subject.” Not within what he perceives as the “standard of care,” nor are other non-jab therapies whether prophylactic or curative to even be considered, he does give grudging consent to increased Vit D3, Vit C, zinc, probiotics.

      Per the FLCCC site there are FL docs who will prescribe via telehealth for IVM and a few places I have found that dispense it. At $10 per pill. Horse paste? Horse sh!t.

      1. Jason Boxman

        It’s OTC in TN now. I have family member that ordered it online into NC, in fact. And much cheaper than the 200 I paid a few months ago for two packs plus finding a person online to prescribe it.

    3. .human

      Thank you for helping to keep this message alive (pun unintended.) I sometimes forget to check.

      The US is so a third world country.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Trickle down. Remember that. The evidence base continue to reject the notion as a scam”

    Didn’t take long to realize that trickle-down was really trickle-out in that money did not flow down but stayed at the top or went out overseas. These days if you believe in trickle-down theory, there is only one place for you- (2:47 mins)

    1. flora

      The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. [President] Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.
      – Will Rogers

  18. Lex

    An emergency department is unnecessary because all government agencies already have emergency response procedures. An emergency response only requires declaring one and establishing the ER team and selecting the incident commander. At that point all necessary resources for the ER are put under the control of the incident commander. It works and I’ve personally seen multi-billion dollar international corporations not only do it, but do whatever the IC says no matter the cost. We in the private sector adopted the system from the USG. The USG offers training and certifications in the high level ER positions. This is just an attempt to shift responsibility. Moreover, a permanent ER bureaucracy is counter productive. It means someone from that group will always be IC and likely the immediate advisors will be from the agency too. ICs need to be chosen for the emergency at hand and the qualities they need will not be found by climbing the ladder of a government agency.

  19. CanCyn

    WRT Bannon’s guilt and the ongoing attempt to charge Trump with anything criminal. What don’t the Dems understand about any media attention being good? Why can’t they just let Trump et al fade into the woodwork? I always though that if Trump had been laughed at and ignored the circus tents would have never been needed. Stupid question I suppose – the answer is simple -because that might allow us mopes to ponder more important issues like COVID, the environment and inflation. Sigh. And without Trump we’d have been saddled with Ms. Clinton and things might actually be worse.
    Apologies for the less than helpful/ Captain Obvious comment. Feeling more than a little despondent over the state of the world these days.

    1. Tom Stone

      A lot of people made serious bank on trump,Maddow alone was being paid @ 1MM per Month and her entire schtick was “The Awfulness of the Traitor Trump, RUSSIA!!!”.
      The Dems never had a better fundraiser the “The Donald”.
      Why would they let that go?

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Dr. Deborah Birx says she ‘knew’ COVID vaccines would not ‘protect against infection’ ”

    This sounds like yet another ‘noble lie’ like Fauci did with masks saying that they did not work – and thereby helped condemn unknown numbers of people to illness and even death. So did Birx also take part in the decision last year to have old Joe declare ‘mission accomplished’ and the Pandemic was as good as over? That is the trouble with political expediency. You think that you are smart doing stuff like this to make your job easier but end up destroying trust which is the glue that holds a society together. And now we are seeing the results like that recent survey which showed Americans had lost trust in most of their institutions.

    1. flora

      As for “noble lie”…. I now think there was nothing noble about it. I think Fauci and Redfield knew what Birx says she knew. How many people lost their job, quit or were fired because they were hesitant to take a new, rushed, experiment product which hadn’t completed the trials at rollout time. (Trials were supposed to last until 2023.) How many service men and women, fire fighters, police officers, nurses, teachers, delivery drivers, office workers lost their jobs; lost their jobs because they didn’t take a rushed injection which the promoters knew, did not work as advertise. How many people who did take it just to keep their job or play sports or go to college had very bad adverse events.

      If I sound peeved, I’m not. I’m not peeved. I don’t think there’s word in the English language to express the level of my disgust with her and the whole lot of them.

      1. Tom Stone

        No big deal.
        No pretense, no shame.
        “I deliberately lied”.
        Condemning hundreds of thousands to death or long term disability.
        Dr Birx,Dr Fauci and Wolensky all straight up lied and two have been quite casual about admitting having done so.
        It’s no big deal.

        Which is one hell of a big deal.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Great interview. I especially appreciated cavuto’s pushback over birx’s “vaccine” inadequacy admission. Oh, wait. There was none.

      I guess we’ll have to wait for her next book tour for her to walk back the ringing endorsement of paxlovid. Presumably after the government’s check for millions of doses has cleared.

      PS. Real Trumpers detest neil cavuto.

  21. Raymond Sim

    The Consortium News piece incorrectly states: “But Yanukovych changed course and accepted a counteroffer from Moscow, a moment that became the flashpoint for a color revolution.” As you can see, Putin made no “counteroffer” and Yanukovich did not “change course” but stopped in his tracks.

    Thank you for highlighting this. Ever since Maidan various versions of “Yanukovich chose Russia.” have circulated and been repeated, seemingly becoming conventional wisdom. Yanukovich’s government was thuggish and loathsome, and there was much cause for concern as to where he was taking the country, but blame for political sentiments in Ukraine shifting in a pro-Russian direction probably had more to do with the EU offering debt-slavery and austerity like it was a privilige, even as Russia offered to pay off Ukraine’s debts.

    Under the circumstance Yanukovich might very well have leapt at the Russian offer, if it weren’t unconstitutional for him to do so. As far as I’m aware the closest he came to ‘choosing Russia’ was to observe that joining the Russian trade bloc would require changing the Ukrainian constitution, and that while it might be worth doing so, this couldn’t be contemplated in the short term.

    1. Brunches with Cats

      > Ever since Maidan … seemingly becoming conventional wisdom.

      Adding thanks to Yves for correcting the writer’s error and expressing her concern — which, while she doesn’t say so directly, I presume is misgivings about the thoroughness and accuracy of the rest of article. I might excuse the error as a mischaracterization or slip, perhaps due to buying into the constantly repeated “conventional wisdom,” as you put it; or maybe time constraints made it faster and easier just to go with the conventional wisdom as a sort of shorthand, especially since many, if not most, readers weren’t even likely to notice (Bob Parry would have!). However, based on the multitude of sources I’ve read since well before Maidan, I see enough sloppy reporting here to more than justify Yves’s concern. This is unfortunate, as the writer does make some critically important points.

      I’ve started writing a comment, which I’ll post below as soon as I can. It’ll be a while, as I anticipate that it will be long and thus likely to be held pending review, but I’ll do my best, given the convoluted nature of the topic and my inability to write fast (how I envy those who can).

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Again, there was NO RUSSIAN OFFER! Please stop repeating a falsehood.

      Ukraine already had a no tariff deal with Russia.

      Putin said that if Yanukovich went ahead with the EU deal, it would lead to a flood of EU goods into Russia on advantaged terms w/o Russia being able to send Russian goods into the EU via Ukraine on similar preferential terms. So Putin effectively said the Russia/Ukraine deal would be off if they went ahead with the EU. Putin offered to negotiate with the EU to find a solution but the EU refused.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Aggggh! I can’t believe I called it an offer! The power of conventional framing of an issue on display.

        I therefore redouble my thanks to you for highlighting this. There was no offer. However I very distinctly recall typical Russian semi-officially official public discussions of the day featuring the idea of paying off Ukraine’s debts to the EU as a sweetener for a resolution acceptable to Russia, as well as Yanukovich’s remarks about the Ukrainian constitution. I’m pretty sure Putin even addressed the idea, though only at a time when it was no longer even a faint possibility.

        At the time I was reading as much Russian-language coverage as my dictionary-dependent reading ability permitted, I’m not sure what kind of coverage this got in Western media. The Russian concern over Ukrainian debt-bondage to the West was the first inkling I had of the now all too clear gravity of the situation.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You again have this wrong. Ukraine had not borrowed from the EU. It had borrowed from the IMF and there was a proposal to provide a token amount of EU funding if Ukraine signed the deal since Ukraine had not complied with certain IMF conditions:

          As well as the potential IMF standby facility, the EU has set aside 610 million euros ($840 million) that it could lend to Ukraine. It has so far linked the disbursement to Ukraine meeting conditions for help from the IMF.

          While the contingency planning by the EU and IMF may go some way to calming international concerns about the fragility of Ukraine’s economy, some investors are not convinced a standby IMF loan deal will be feasible.

          “Even if the IMF is not that strict with Ukraine in terms of conditionality, their positions are still miles apart,” said Viktor Szabo, a portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management.

          Szabo indicated that Ukraine’s unwillingness to let the hryvnia currency depreciate in a free float, and its reluctance ahead of elections in 2015 to end subsidies for household gas, ruled out a meeting of minds with the IMF.

          Russia had agreed to what amounted to a loan (Ukraine would issue bonds at below-market terms, Russia would buy them) and had done the first round of funding before the government was overthrown. So this was not a vague idea, a deal had been consummated.

          Russia had been clever about how it structured the deal. The IMF funding that came in triggered a default on the bonds sold to Russia, so Russia was to be paid back immediately:

          1. Raymond Sim

            Debt-bondage to the EU was how the Russians seemed to view the situation, or at least that’s how it came off to me. Events of the day could have colored the lens I read through. On the other hand those same events made excellent fodder for Russian propaganda, and anything I found to read would have been widely read in Ukraine. I remember thinking that the IMF seemed to have come down in the world, more sidekick than supervillain.

            In my recollection, given the nature of the debate I had been reading, when the bond deal emerged it struck me as either Russian havering, or window dressing on a decision that conflict could not be avoided. But by that point I was already getting the idea that Putin likes to look as if he’s havering.

  22. Keith

    “I and many others are increasingly worried about the highly vaxxed areas”

    I seem to be behind the ball here. What’s driving the concern?

    1. tegnost

      coud it be that th highly vaxxed are also highly careless? Seems so in my neck of the woods

      1. neo-realist

        I’ve been wondering if the higher infection rate among the vaxxed is part of a wider guard letdown by Americans–more going out to public spaces without a mask, less distancing. Vaxxed people thinking they’ll be fine, but got another thing coming due to irresponsible behavior.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          They are letting their guard down because goverganda outlets encourages them to believe the vaxxes slow or stop spread of covid and so they don’t have to keep their guard up.

          So it isn’t due to “irresponsible behavior” of citizens. It is due to deceitful encouragement of “guard down” behavior by the spread-covid-on-purpose forces of government advancing the Jackpot Agenda.

      2. Raymond Sim

        Here in Northern California the higher income/more vaccinated communities have tended to be home to more early adopters of new variants. It’s been a rather striking pattern.

      3. HotFlash

        It seems (anecdotal evid, but who is going to tabulate it?) that the vaxxed are more susceptible to Delta and Omicron, but hey, more vax is better, no? (Full disclosure, I just pulled this up on a search, haven’t looked at it, the guy’s face put me off. Recommend that you do your own searches…) There are lots of more anecdata, I just picked one that seemed quite vanilla. You would have to look for yourself, and I would recommend a VPN or a relatively neutral search engine such as SwissCows.

        A thing/fact (I do not judge) is that the spike protein is itself cytotoxic. Can’t find any clean current data on that, just going by what I read 2-3 years ago. Do your own digging.

    2. Raymond Sim

      IM Doc reports a pattern of illness in the vaccinated which I think needs to be taken very seriously, not least because at this point I’m 100% confident that if it’s widespread, then discussion of it will be heavily suppressed.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Arnaud Bertrand
    It’s a common pattern. E.g. Russia used to be a large customer for the European cheese industry. After Europe sanctioned them in 2014 the import of European dairy products was blocked in Russia. The result? Russia now has a large cheese industry of its own.’

    I remember back in 2015 when the EU put a whole raft of sanctions on Russia and wealthier Russians started to stress that they would no longer be able to buy their favourite cheeses. The horror. Much to the shock of the EU the Russians put back their own raft of sanctions but I do remember at the time reading about people who wanted to make their own commercial cheeses. The big thing was that they knew that no longer was there the worry that a western consortium would seek to undercut and crush them like before. That door was sealed – and still is.

    To tell you the truth, I think that autarky has a lot going for it. So a country would produce what they need as best they could and then sell surpluses for what they do not have. But that is not the model that we have these days. So the IMF will move into a country and have their government stop their people growing their own food but grow export crops instead. And with the money that they make, they then have to buy their food from a western nation like the US or the EU. But it is the later system that is falling apart and will lead to mass hunger because of the NATO/Russian war.

    1. montanamaven

      Maybe that’s the silver lining in the Russia/Ukraine SMO. Russia’s example of autarky will catch on. Or the US will have no choice but to become self sufficient again when sanctioned by the rest of the world. Now if we can just figure out how to turn those swords into plowshares i.e. still have the greedy MICs get their money but have them make high speed rail instead of battleships and space ships instead of fighter jets.

      1. ambrit

        Alas, we will have to pry those swords from the MIC’s cold dead fingers.
        The cynic in me thinks that the Ruling Elite’s “plan” is to reacquire limited ‘autarky’ by culling the population down to a point where present day production levels suffice.

        1. montanamaven

          Alas, I too think what I hope for is maybe pie in the sky. We don’t have a Putin to have a sit-down with our oligarchs after he puts one of them in jail. Maybe we will get somebody like that. After all, Putin appeared out of nowhere to be a reformer. But a more realistic idea is that the Russian army may be able to stop Gates and friends from buying up Ukraine’s fertile farms. And that is a big deal. Food production is bigger than oil and gas. Go Dutch. Go Sri Lanka. Go India. Sorry to ramble, but it’s Saturday night and the vino bianca calls.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      It’s classic “import substitution” as a means to avoid costly (from an FX perspective) implications of acquiring foreign goods. This makes me realize how much the technocrats in the west really do look down on Russia and China (to a lesser degree). Once again, the hubris is astounding. Good on Russia!

    3. bwill123

      The problem with autarchy as such is that producing your own food etc is not enough. You need to both reserve a % for the local population, and at locally reasonable prices.
      Australia is one of the world largest gas producers, for example but exports almost all of it, and charges Australians world prices-which are far in excess of production costs, for that which it consumes itself.
      Western Australia (which houses the largest offshore fields) wisely insisted on gas reservation (against Federal Government & Corporate opposition) and now reaps the benefit.
      The same process occurs across all Australian produce; meat, fish wine etc. Nothing is cheaper here even though we are an efficient and low producer.

  24. griffen

    Hyundai subsidiary offers internships to the immigrant young people seeking entry to the labor pool…welcome to capitalism young people born elsewhere. \sarc

    Not sarcasm, this is surprising but not that shocking to read. Have seen similar horror stories about factories and metal working in the midwest, and you see comparable stories from the rural towns in the south who still have huge meatpacking plants. Plant management is likely toothless or undermined of they attempt to push back against the corporate behemoth signing their checks.

    1. curlydan

      I’m in favor of the emergency, too, but… “Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration, prompting Tedros himself to break the deadlock, he told reporters.”

      I guess you could stretch the definition of “split” to be 9 to 6, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not a “deadlock”.

  25. Bart Hansen

    On the antidote, here in VA we call them humming moths. Right now they are all over the buddleia out front.

    On a related critter issue, we have seen zero robins on the property this year, a first in our 20 years here in central VA.

  26. Carolinian

    Re Pelosi wants to visit Taiwan despite Pentagon and White House opposition

    But, as I was recently reminded by a venerable Washington China hand, Pelosi is a China hawk of long standing. Recall the incident some thirty years ago, in September 1991, when Pelosi, a then up-and-coming Democratic backbencher, made a highly publicized visit to Tiananmen Square, site of the 1989 pro-democracy protests that took the lives of hundreds of protestors.

    So maybe it has something to do with her San Francisco constituency (and donors)? Or is it that our octogenarian Speaker seeks a final attention gathering hurrah before being kicked to the curb in November? Back in Civil War times SC was described as “too big to be an insane asylum.” DC on the other hand may be just the right size.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Pelosi may be a morally repugnant centrist, but villains are the heroes of their own story. Not that long ago, she staked her legacy on BBB becoming law. When you look at her “accomplishments”, what can you say? She’s known for believing “taking impeachment off the table” helped in 2008.

      I figure she’s trying to burnish her legacy and probably suffering from brain fog. So like failed Presidents, she’s going adventuring.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        She took impeachment off the table because she supported Bush/Cheney and believed in the good work they were doing. ” Political exigencies” was merely her public excuse.

        She was pro-torture at the time. As a high baron of the Intelligence Committee, she would have been “read into” the most secret aspects of all the torture programs. She took impeachment “off the table” to keep those programs protected. Because she supports torture and believes in it.

        What’s that say about the scum which votes for her by such huge margins in her district?

        1. Carolinian

          She seems like such a ditz. I wonder how calculating she really is other than the by the numbers political calculation of pleasing her backers (some of whom are ethnic Chinese?) and feathering her nest. Perhaps Pelosi is “worse than a crime, a mistake.”

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            They say fish is brain food. Maybe she just needs to eat all the white albacore pacific tuna she can eat at every meal.

            ( That is a subtle dig at Pelosi’s support of Free Trade, the Free Trade which helped China industrialize based on vast and massive coal burning which puts lots of mercury fallout into the blue pacific. Such that pacific tuna has more mercury in it every year than it did the year before. So Nancy needs to eat as much pacific tuna as possible).

    2. orlbucfan

      She’s senile, rich, and more and more an embarrassment to intelligent American females. And yes, we do exist.

  27. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    @ readers: Please note that Thomas Frank was on the Smerconish show on CNN this afternoon, 14:00 British Summer Time. If you are able to still watch, please do. It’s good.

    Greetings from Ascot races.

      1. Glen

        Wow, Thomas Frank on CNN? He’s been persona non grata on American MSM for years now for the extremely dangerous crime of telling the truth. Wonder what happen?

      2. ChrisRUEcon

        LOL … the chyron identifying Thomas Frank’s works lists “The People, No” and “What’s The Matter With Kansas?” … not “Listen, Liberal …”

        A bridge too far … for CNN

  28. Carolinian

    That’s a very interesting story on the new Notre-Dame movie. Annaud has made some good films including Enemy at the Gates (about Stalingrad) and The Lover (about colonial Vietnam). He is eclectic to say the least.

    I’m looking forward to this one.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I really can’t evaluate the cinematic quality of Enemy at the Gates, since it’s so horrible wrong in almost any aspect of the battle and Soviet experience of it. After all, even Anthony Beevor said the movie is bad depiction of the battle, and yet his book on the topic was almost banned in Russia and was banned in Ukraine for being pro-Nazi and anti-Ukraine. Which is telling.

      I’ve read his book, and kinda think that Beevor is merely guilty of not letting actual history prevent him telling a good story or an anecdote. And he tends to take the German memoirs at face value, even after they were shown to be complete fabrications.

      As for Annaud, I did like the Name of the Rose a lot, even if the book is still better.

      1. Carolinian

        Historical inaccuracy–so rare in the movie world. /s

        But fair enough if that’s how you choose to look at it. However I’m not sure movie makers should be held to that kind of standard and the usual preliminary boiler plate such as “inspired by real events” is also fair enough. Perhaps much MSM reporting these days should carry the same disclaimer.

        1. Raymond Sim

          Historical inaccuracy–so rare in the movie world.

          I enjoyed the movie, but I wouldn’t call it historically inaccurate, I’d call it historical fantasy, whose fantastical elements happen to largely be raging anticommunist propaganda that mostly just detracts from the naturally thrilling storyline. It’s like a rightwing version of the femming of Marvel superheroes that folks get so worked up about these days.

  29. IsabelPS

    Am I the only one to think that, at most, it must have been nice for some Russian “Parmesan” makers no to to have to compete with the smugled real McCoy?

  30. Jason Boxman

    This is so true, from commenter Hepativore, that it bears repeating if you didn’t read the If the Democratic Party Tried to Change, Would its Ecosystem Prevent It? post. I’m of the same opinion; At least Republicans are honest about their intentions. Although I’d say liberal Democrats actually knife citizens in the back, first, rather than waiting for the Republican to do so.

    So meanwhile, as Manchin frustrates Biden’s supposed agenda, the 6 Jan crowd are busy with a smokescreen about Orange Man Bad, instead of, you know, governing, because liberal Democrats lack the capacity to do so. They are ever hopeful you won’t notice that you’ve been knifed in the back. (And increasing share of minorities voting Republican seems to belie that hope.)

    July 22, 2022 at 2:57 pm
    I would characterize the dynamic between the two parties as a case of two thugs representing various gangs.

    One thug (Republicans) is openly sadistic but his motivations are simple and easy to understand. He is going to stab you right in the belly with his knife while laughing the entire time as you writhe on the ground in pain while bleeding out. He never denied that he was going to stab you, so he is honest about his malice.

    The second thug (Democrats) is always telling the people in the area that he is going to protect you from the other guy and that he and his organization have your back if you would just keep on paying your protection money like good little marks. Then when the first thug comes around the guy who swore up and down that he would save you from him is nowhere to be found and then when you get stabbed in the gut and are lying in the gutter he shanks you right in the back to finish the job.

    As you lay bleeding out, you see a car pull up and both of them get in to the same vehicle. Then you realize they had the same mobster boss all along.

    1. montanamaven

      If you read Christopher Lasch’s book like “The Revolt of the Elite”, real conservatives are usually the lifeblood of their communities. They are the car dealers and the small bankers and the real estate people. They feel obligations to their place. They do charitable events. They serve on local boards. They are moderates. Like their Democrat neighbors who plant trees in my small town and work on dog parks and community gardens. The thugs are in the minority on both sides. Tim Pool is a young “moderate”. He has a great discussion about this on his Timcast pod cast with Konstantin Kisin of Trigernometry Tim Pool and Konstantin Kisin

  31. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the Hindi film industy’s woes, I wonder if the situation is comparable in the South? The popularity of RRR here in America is just the latest event in what looks like the eclipsing of Bollywood by South Cinema (Not everybody likes that term, but it’s a convenient shorthand.) Personally, I think I’ve watched two Bollywood movies during the pandemic but something like a dozen in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. Plus one Mahrati film, and one from Andhra Pradesh.

    I imagine plenty of people could see that Bollywood’s dominance was unlikely to last, there being so much undeveloped natural competition, but is a phenomenon like Telugu Cinema even predictable?

    I won’t even try to describe it. Followng are links to three examples of Allu Arjun numbers, he being arguably India’s outstanding male dancer, which is saying something, and three from Samantha, who in my opinion, is a Real Movie Star. The musical numbers in these movies are by no means the only thing they’ve got going for them, but they are what we in the West most associate with Indian movies, and the ones in Telugu and Tamil films aren’t always what Westerners might expect.

    Cinema Choopistha Mava:

    Top Lechipoddi:


    Oh Baby:

    Rangamma Mangamma:

    Karma Theme (U-Turn):

    1. Raymond Sim

      Oh, and the hanging loom theme of the set for ‘The Karma Theme’ always makes me think of Jerri-Lynn.

  32. jr

    Forgive me for back-tracking a bit but I wanted to address the discussion of Critical Theory etc. from yesterday. I didn’t see the responses until earlier today.

    @ Acacia and hunkerdown: Thanks for the comments. As acacia points out, my mistake was in thinking that CT came out of the postmodernist school. I was confused. I have no beef at all with CT as a method; there seems nothing inherently wrong with relentless criticism of social conditions with an eye towards reordering society in a more humane and just form. I cannot disagree with this from the link you provided, acacia:

    “ a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of” human beings (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 246]).”

    but I suspect some of my confusion may have arisen due to language usage such as this:

    “Because such theories aim to explain and transform all the circumstances that enslave human beings, many “critical theories” in the broader sense have been developed. They have emerged in connection with the many social movements that identify varied dimensions of the domination of human beings in modern societies. In both the broad and the narrow senses, however, a critical theory provides the descriptive and normative bases for social inquiry aimed at decreasing domination and increasing freedom in all their forms.”

    In this broader sense, CRT, for example, is a critical theory, but it’s not Critical Theory. I appreciate this clarifying discussion.


    I am a realist in the sense that I think that qualia are real. Idealism does not propose that there is no such thing as an external world, that would be solipsistic and if not logically disprovable it is most certainly anecdotally false. I’ve come across the notion of a world external to ourselves in my reading of Kant who speaks of empirical intuitions of representations of objects external to us as opposed to pure intuitions of our internal states, I’m pretty sure Schopenhauer felt the same way, and I know for certain Bernardo Kastrup argues for an objective reality.

    It is a reality constituted of qualia however, of experiential states, not matter. The Kastrupian idea is that the universe consists of experiential states experienced by a mind-at-large, or big “C” consciousness. Kastrup describes sentient life as being “transceivers” of Consciousness’s experiential states with our individuated consciousnesses like discrete frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum:

    This configuration is driven by evolutionary processes for the perpetuation of the species to limit our experiences of qualia to those that don’t kill us. In a more humorous take, a caveman who has expanded his consciousness say by taking magic mushrooms would be quick pickings for a pack of dire wolves.

    Here is an interesting discussion from Quantum Physics Lady about the difference between the realism and idealism. The famous story of Samuel Johnson kicking the rock illustrates the point I’m relaying well. The rock is real, it’s just fundamentally composed of the experiential states of Consciousness, a manifold in which Johnson himself is a (to use Kant’s language) “synthetic” arrangement of experiential states:


    Taking from my comments above, this is why Idealism is not some dubious escape from “material” reality. The need for food is based on something real and external to us, the set of objects humans find edible to be precise, but their ontological substance are experiential states of Consciousness. That’s why I have said before that when it comes to social struggle I’m a hardcore materialist, I’m joking a bit but it illustrates that these experiential states are not illusory.

    1. witters

      I’m sorry to continue by categorising, but you seem to me to be a Berkeleian Idealist, viz: “reality [is] constituted of qualia however, of experiential states, not matter.”

      But also a naturalist, viz: “This configuration is driven by evolutionary processes for the perpetuation of the species to limit our experiences of qualia to those that don’t kill us.”

      I’m still puzzled how those things can go together.

      Maybe, as in Berkeley, God (in the Quad) is to do the trick, as perhaps here: “The … idea is that the universe consists of experiential states experienced by a mind-at-large, or big “C” consciousness. Kastrup describes sentient life as being “transceivers” of Consciousness’s experiential states with our individuated consciousnesses like discrete frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum:”

      So we have “experiential states ” (all there is) driven by evolutionary selection “to limit our experiences of qualia to those that don’t kill us”

      Why do these qualia want to kill us?

  33. Michael McK

    Re. 2 Senators want ban on data caps.
    I am all for attacking “predatory ISPs”, heck, let’s make a publicly owned alternative.
    However, I have no problem with people who choose to use a lot of a service such as data downloads being charged more for that decision. Nobody needs to download video all day let alone be in the metaverse. I posit that at some point more downloading causes personal and social harm. High use should be taxed. Those few people with an occupation that requires oodles of capacity (perhaps a remote x-ray diagnostic service) can reflect that expense in the price they sell their service for.
    Providing more (toxic) infrastructure to meet high demand should be paid for by those who demand it, not subsidized by those who use very little.
    The only subsidy should be to ensure that everybody has enough free bandwidth (and hardware) available to them to function in our world and be engaged citizens, which is not very much.
    Download fees could even be partially steered towards rewarding the content providers you visit though many details would need to be worked out to avoid rewarding business models that profit from addictive behavior.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What if its downloading Gabe Brown videos to learn some best agriculture practices . . . should that be taxed or charged for too? To make sure that poor or poorish people can’t have any?

      1. Louis Fyne

        a family of four can each be streaming a 1080p video for 24x7x365 and that house would not be in top 1% of broadband consumption.

        the top 1% of residential broadband users are likely engaged in commercial activities or file hosting or serving.

        of course, there is fhe whole slippery slope argument…first they came for those who used 2TB/month….

        just saying.

      2. notabanker

        Only if they live in ‘blue’ states. The idjits in the Christian Sharia Law states won’t be able to use the interwebs at all.

      3. Michael McK

        I doubt you could hit any reasonable limit on a diet of Gabe Brown, which is the sort of thing the free minimums “to function in our world and be engaged citizens” concept is for. If a tiny slice of your monthly fee ended up going to him for his efforts (on top of what I assume you donate to him already) then he would be able to educate even more people about best ag practices.
        Seems kind of strawman-ish to me.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, I am enough of a digi-techno ignoramus that I don’t know the relative amounts of data-bandwidth needed for different digi-product consumption. So I thought this “tax the megadata use” was aimed against things like Gabe Brown videos, to stop us from being able to get them or see them.

          ( I have never donated any money to him. But I did buy his book and I paid to attend a Gabe Brown special session once. But those are not donations. Those are exchanges of value-for-value).

    2. Eureka Springs

      If and whenever I get both high speed and unlimited I have 25 years of throttled overpriced internet not much better than could be delivered using orange juice cans and kite string to catch up on. When bandwidth is fat enough to teleport a wild rhinoceros into Cheney’s kitchen and still get nowhere near a cap…

      That no cap bill is probably a distraction from what’s really going on with the latest “privacy protection” bill. Further weakening oversight powers of the FCC. FCC wouldn’t be able to enforce no cap if passed.

  34. notabanker

    Thanks for the hummingbird moth antidote. We have a big patch of oregano that is flowering that attracts tons of bees, butterfly and other critters. We had a hummingbird moth in it the other day and had no idea what it was.

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Dr. Birx, among others . . . ” It makes one wonder what is going on. The whole thing is about to unspool before our eyes.”

    Wonder what is going on? Wonder no more! What is going on is careful and deliberate and ongoing Jackpot Design Engineering and Disease-of-opportunity Accelerationism. Deliberately and on purpose.

    Remember what Trevor the Sheep said? ” I tell you, the man and the dog are definitely working together.”

    Well . . . the coronavid virus and the health authorities are definitely working together. Deliberately and on purpose.

    Except for the health authorities in China. They resolutely oppose unleashing the Coronavid Jackpot Kraken within the borders of China. Their relatively successful efforts threaten the Western Authorities with giving their game away to the onlooking Western Victim Populations. The Western authorities are afraid that eventually the Western publics will no longer be able to ” just can’t believe” what they will see unspooling before their eyes when the spinning spools jump right up in their face.

    If various Western publics really do have a collective Pearl Harbor Moment, where a billion Westerners all realize at once that their governments have accelerationized the spread of covid on purpose, they really might all rise up and try to mass-slaughter several million Western Leadership and Head Butler Minions and mass-bury them in long trenches and deep pits. And the longer China continues to keep the disease under control by comparison to the West, the greater the chances rise of a billion Westerners having a collective Pearl Harbor Moment.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I don’t subscribe to this, because the elite seek infection for their own selves with reckless abandon. Unless they have access to some magic drug we haven’t heard of, COVID will get them just as good. Instead I subscribe to the lack of capability and concern theory.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        You may be right. Then again, the elite may think that they are naturally exempt because of their eliteness. Then again again, the Hidden Inner Elite, the super duperest tippy topperest Overclass, may understand this very well , and are keeping themselves very hidden and very safe in their undisclosed secure locations. And the people who look like the elite to us are merely the Overclass’s Head Butlers. And the Overclass is willing to sacrifice all its Head Butlers in order to kill off the rest of us if it can.

        Klaus Schwab and his WEF attendees are merely the highest visible class of sweaty strivers, new money arrivistes, and very highest Head Butlers. You won’t find any of the Secret Highest Topsiders at a WEF conference.

        So I remain convinced that I am correct about what is going on here. People who agree will have to do their best to keep themselves and eachother safe in this matrix of Deliberate Jackpot Design Engineered Disease.

        If I am wrong, then I have been living a more shut-in life than I have to be living. And that will be my loss.

  36. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . Xi’s strict covid containment policies push China’s wealthy to leave China, eh?

    Will they move to some of the worst Covid Cesspools of the earth? Bravo for life’s little ironies.

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . WHO is spending its time and energy on finding a new name for monkeypox?

    I have an idea. Let’s all start calling it WHOpox. That’s what I am going to start calling it, in honor of Gebreyesus’s evil plan to delay calling it a pandemic long enough to give it the head start it needs to become a pandemic.

    WHOpox. Works for me.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I was thinking of ‘Omnipox’, since it’s likely to indeed be a pox on all of our houses.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I think this is way overreading into Sullivan’s remark. It’s been clear for weeks (even your humble blogger has said so and we are not alone) that Zelensky is vulnerable to a coup by the military, since among other things, its leadership has opposed Zelensky’s stand and fight orders. And Russia would much prefer negotiating with anyone other than Zelensky. But they would never actively support a coup but they would talk to coup-meisters if they reached out and assure they they would not try to topple a new governments.

      What Sullivan is saying is the US can’t/won’t protect Zelensky from his fate.

      And the Russians would be accused!

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > What Sullivan is saying is the US can’t/won’t protect Zelensky from his fate. And the Russians would be accused!

        Almost posted this exact sentiment on #Twitter. All the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) defections, firings and accusations of treason are ominous harbingers that the call will indeed come from inside the house. But yes, the West would invariably blame nth-level-chess-master-über-villain Putin for it.

      2. Greg

        Russians would never perform a coup or directly support one, of course. They might however leave the makings of a coup in a shed near the front so the coup-meisters happen to find one while out on a routine sweep.

        I’m a bit puzzled by how hard-line, almost crazed Zelensky has become in the last month. I would have picked him for willing to take any offer that allowed him to continue being famous, so long as he could lie enough to turn it into a “victory”. Instead he’s now scorched earth or nothing, no negotiating ever. New puppet master perhaps.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Perhaps he has been terrorised by various Ukranazi groups into believing that they will assassinate him and his whole family if he is not as Ukranaziform in his war-aims as they are.
          And he is weighing whose assassination threat to his life is more credible and actionable and immediate.

          Oh well . . . he knew the job was dangerous when he took it. And if he didn’t know, he knows now.

  38. chris

    Following up on a topic that was discussed the other day. I picked up a journal and saw an author’s note that the International Residential Code (IRC) committee officially accepted a number of proposed changes to consider for the 2024 edition. These changes include a lot of topics related to the housing crisis, including more approval for building denser housing, standards for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), tiny houses, and revised provisions to permit separation of areas in duplexes to allow for multigenerational housing units. The new edition will probably have a detailed section in car charging ports for EVs too. The IRC is important because it supports changes to different zoning regulations in various jurisdictions. Like I’ve said before, change is slow but it is coming. Hopefully these revisions will help with many of the issues we’ve been discussing on NC.

  39. ChrisRUEcon


    American Vlogger heads to Xinjiang, and interviews a few colourful locals. Hilarity ensues (via Twitter).

    (Be sure to check two Tweets down for the actual VLog video)

    Fave outtake: “Biden … how is he not dead yet?”


  40. Brunches witih Cats

    Russia accused of firing on port of Odessa less than 24 hours after signing grain export deal.

    According to a report in “European Pravda,” the missiles didn’t damage grain loading equipment. Machine translation and link to original:

    Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar expressed his concern over the shelling of the Odesa port the day after the signing of the agreement, which was supposed to unblock the export of grain through Ukrainian ports.

    His comment is quoted by the Turkish agency Anadolu, writes “European Truth”.

    Akar said that after the information about the missile attack on Odesa appeared, he had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov and the Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov, and that he was told that the systems for loading grain trucks were not damaged.

    He noted that he also spoke with the Russian side and there they told him that they were allegedly not involved in the missile strike and were “investigating the issue.”

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Russia was falsely accused of Bucha, shelling the Kramatorsk train stations, shelling humanitarian corridors in Mariupol, the false rape accusations (a Zelensky official had to resign when humanitarian orgs couldn’t find victims).

      Ukraine was the one who wanted to keep blaming Russia for the grain when Russia had humanitarian corridors in the Black Sea, every day, but it was the getting out of the mined Odessa port that was the problem.

      Alexander Mercouris said it was clear Ukraine was muscled into this deal, likely because Russia was gaining so much ground with the Global South with providing Russian grain and fertilizer that the US felt it had to Do Something. Note the deal required Ukraine to at least partly demine the port.

      And as Russia REPEATEDLY pointed out, the grain could have gone out on several rail routes…including through Poland….The Odessa port is not necessary to get the grain to market.

      Ukraine has been using the grain as hostage and they want to keep it that way

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How much slower would it be to load grain in facilities designed for loading ships to load it into many little-by-comparison train cars instead? And how much slower to than re-load it from many little-by-comparision train cars back into ships at the Polish Baltic seaports? And how much longer for grain to get from Poland to the target by sea than to get from Odessa to the target by sea?

        Depending on how much slower it would be by rail to Poland and then by ship from the Baltic to the target, the Russian advice to ship it to Poland may be more performative-for-onlookers than useful-for-Ukraine.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        I read yesterday that they were bragging about using HIMARs to take out a bridge over the Dnipro that Russians use to resupply. Several paragraphs in, there was a quote by some Ukrainian bureaucrat that the bridge still had one land open to traffic. Just for yucks, I went to Google maps to see where it was. HERE is the bridge they couldn’t take out with HIMARs*:,32.7202637,3a,75y,206.83h,61.9t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipPuUlWpdfaQXuI1pjlun682z_Yv0ixncxkkZHU5!2e10!3e11!7i6912!8i3456

        * Started listening to long Scott Ritter interview a couple of days ago, he says HIMARs can do serious damage to Russian troops and equipment, but that proper training takes time. So maybe this was just target practice? LOL.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Oddly, according to the numbers given at Moon of Alabama -site, Ukraine has this year exported grain already 5% more than last year.

      It seems that the actual amount “stuck” in the ports is less than what the global market has lost annually due to the Ukrainian civil war preventing harvests in the Luhansk and Donetsk “line of contact”.

    3. Sibiryak

      RT News:

      The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed striking targets in the major Ukrainian port of Odessa on Saturday, revealing that its missiles hit military infrastructure and arms stockpiles.

      “In the seaport of Odessa, on the territory of a shipyard, a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse of Harpoon anti-ship missiles, supplied by the US to the Kiev regime, have been destroyed by sea-based high-precision long-range missiles,” the ministry said on Sunday.

      The attack also crippled a repair facility where vessels of the Ukrainian navy have been fixed, it added.

    4. Greg

      Video purportedly of those strikes shows clearly that they hit vessels at quayside in the port, not the grain silos. OSINT geolocation similarly located the hits just offshore.
      The vessel visibly hit has a big gray superstructure forward of the rising smoke that looks not unlike a military vessel.

      1. Greg

        Link to video of the odessa post-grai -treaty strikes and geolocation

        Only question i had was “how does Ukraine still have any military ships?” But then i remembered seeing this line in a June US aid package –
        “The United States will send 18 patrol boats to Ukraine as part of continued aid to the country as the Russian invasion stretches into the 119th day”

        So i guess there’s a few more to sink still.

  41. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Servant of the Corrupt

    As promised in an earlier comment, here’s my analysis of the Consortium News article. Apologies for the late hour; I’ve been sitting at the computer for nearly 8 hours, mostly reading a vast trove of new links and re-reading bookmarked articles. I found enough for a book, will try to distill it down into three major points, summarized below. I’ll expand on them in separate comments, with links to sources.

    My first issue with this article is its entire premise, as reflected in the title, that Zelensky is beholden to Kolomoisky. While many readers might share that assumption, I’ve questioned it for some time, based on comments here and there, including some on NC, that they’d had a falling out. In fact, there was a split. I’d already deduced the reason, but needed some hard evidence, which I found this afternoon. Now, maybe they’ve kissed and made up behind the scenes — nothing’s impossible in this den of iniquity. But failing to mention the split at all is an egregious oversight — worse IMO than misrepresenting Yanukovich’s “pivot to Russia” — especially considering the nature of the precipitating event.

    Second, the writer is stretching pretty hard to find ties between U.S. officials and Kolomoisky, while failing to explore the U.S. government’s direct involvement in shaping Zelensky’s policies. While we don’t know for sure how the U.S. is advising him in military matters, we can guess. With economic policy, there’s no need to guess, as there’s a lot in writing, some of it with a U.S. government agency logo.

    Third, the writer spends so much time rehashing Maidan, Kolomoisky’s thuggish past, and Zelensky’s dubious rise to global hero status, that he shortchanges the far more important story — the “critically important points” I cited above. He finally touches on it toward the end: “Before the war the U.S. was sending $300 million per year to Ukraine … Now, we’re providing $100 million a day to what was until recently considered ‘the most corrupt nation in Europe.’ What is the likelihood that those billions in international aid will vanish into well-connected pockets? No one is asking these or any other important questions.”

    Unless I misunderstand, he’s concluding from the Kolomoisky-Zelensky saga that the billions in international aid to Ukraine will end up in the offshore accounts of corrupt politicians and oligarchs. No doubt, a lot of it will. However, the greater danger is the feeding frenzy that will make postwar Iraq look like afternoon tea with the Queen Mum. The stage is set. The sharks — excuse me, the hippos — are in position. We know who many of them are, and we can guess about some of the others.

    More in a bit …

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Part II. Zelensky and Kolomoisky have a serious falling out.

      As I surmised, the split was over Zelensky’s submission to IMF conditions on loans Ukraine needed to avoid a default, ostensibly due to strains on the economy during the pandemic shutdown. The first demand was that Ukraine lift the moratorium on buying and selling farmland, which had been in effect since the country’s independence following the breakup of the Soviet Union. The second demand was a law prohibiting former owners of banks declared insolvent from regaining their assets. Pretty much everyone knew who the target was; Gonzalez describes how Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank embezzled the equivalent of $5.5 billion in IMF aid money following the 2014 coup (making it all the more curious that he omits the fight over the banking bill).

      Below is a link to a Ukraine Pravda article that describes the split at length. It’s in Ukrainian, but the machine translation is mostly comprehensible. I have no idea what their editorial bias is — i.e., whether this reporting is trustworthy. However, there’s a dizzying level of detail, with background on the election that provides context and might even help explain why Zelensky seems to make up his mind about a course of action, only to abandon it the next day.

      I knew about this bill from several others sources and suspected that a thug like Kolomoisky wasn’t going to take it lying down, but this is the first time I’ve read reports that members of Zelensky’s faction in parliament actually received threats about what would happen to them if they voted for the “anti-Kolomoisky bill.

      OK, it’s going on 3 a.m., and I’m falling asleep, so I’ll leave the link to the article (first link goes directly to the Google translation), plus a bare-bones Reuters report.

      To be continued…

  42. VietnamVet

    If US politics is a horseshoe (left, center and right); Tulsi Gabbard is where the left and right Americans are joining back together. The center was purchased and removed to serve corporate interests.

    Clearly the Ukraine-Russia war is currently a replay of WWI that risks a nuclear war. It is dragging on because it is a profit center for military contractors and a means to provoke a regime change in the Kremlin.

    Likewise, too, the 20th century public health practices and tactics were forgotten to increase pharmaceutical profits. There is a reported boom in the purchase of mansions around Pfizer’s headquarters in the Boston area. As a result, the last two US Presidents have caught COVID, over a million Americans died with the disease, thousands more are catching variants every week, and 23 million Americans are potentially afflicted with Long-COVID.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Still is? As against “used to be, if she even really was at the time?”

        I begin to think this is all Establishment DisInfo, along with accusations of Gabbard being an agent for Russia, friend of tyrants, etc.

        I wonder how much of this comes from the Inner Establishment, and how much comes from the Pink Pussy Hat Clintanons?

      2. Raymond Sim

        And …?

        Why should Americans give a damn about Hindutva tendencies? Concern about China policy maybe? While Nancy Pelsoi staggers zombie-like towards Taiwan? I’m willing to give a Hindu fundie who opposes foreign wars my ear.

        Frankly I’m more concerned about Fetterman dissing Wawa.

  43. LawnDart

    Pretty damning article from Covert Action– you’ll love the Hunter Biden appearance too.

    How Corrupt is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?

    Before the Russian invasion, CIA reports linked him to an oligarch so dirty and so mired in “significant corruption” that the State Department banned him from entering the U.S.
    But now CIA propaganda portrays Zelensky as nobler than Winston Churchill and saintlier than Mother Theresa.
    Will the Real Volodymyr Zelensky Please Stand Up

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