Links 7/29/2022

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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Engineer Attempts to Understand How His Cat Can Sleep Through Anything Except the Opening of a Can Laughing Squid (resilc). One of my cats, Blake, stayed with a friend while I was on a foreign trip. She said he though his name was the sound of the refrigerator door opening.

Giddyup! Beer-drinking pony elected ‘mayor’ New York Post. Kevin W: “Maybe he got elected because the previous mayor was an ass.”

Vermont Woman Accused of Using Bear Spray on Hunters Seven Days (resilc). Lordie. They don’t shoot bears but chase them around with dogs to keep them leery of people. Given that bears that get too habituated to breaking into cars and kitchens to eat often get killed, this is helpful, not harmful to bears.

Bumblebees appear to feel pain PhysOrg

New Giant Dinosaur Discovery Reveals Why Many Prehistoric Carnivores Had Such Tiny Arms ScienceTech (furzy)

Nitrogen crisis from jam-packed livestock operations has ‘paralyzed’ Dutch economy Science (David L)

CDC warns deadly bacteria detected in U.S. for 1st time Axios (resilc). Eeek!

Most high blood pressure in children and teenagers is linked with unhealthy lifestyle European Society of Cardiology



Mystery over spike in Covid deaths on hottest day of the year: Virus fatalities doubled in 40C heat Daily Mail

How omicron BA.5 became a master of disguise Asia Times



Sewage reveals spread of monkeypox virus E&E News (Dr. Kevin)


Taps Run Dry: Heat and Drought Ravage Monterrey, Mexico Bloomberg (ma)

Wildfire Smoke Is Terrible for You. But What Does It Do to Cows? Wired

Two of the Largest Freshwater Fish in the World Declared Extinct Field & Stream (Dr. Kevin) :-(

Why Fungi Might Really Be Magic (When It Comes to Climate Change) New York Times (resilc)


China Is Issuing The Same “Red Line” Warnings About Taiwan That Russia Issued About Ukraine Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

“Free Trade” Has Put America & Democracy At the Mercy of China Hartman Report (resilc)

In Xinjiang, China, surveillance technology is used to help the state control its citizens CBC (ma)

Old Blighty

British exporters report stagnating trade as post-Brexit delays blamed Guardian. Resilc: “They got Bojo’d.”

New Not-So-Cold War

They were set for war crimes trials:

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Siemens failed to fulfill obligations: Gazprom on Nord Stream repair Business Standard. That Montreal-visiting part is STILL not back. It does not look like Gazprom is Making Shit Up in complaining about its turbines going kerfluie.

EU gas solidarity complicated by lack of fuel sharing deals ekathermerini

Latvia admits it has resumed purchases of Russian gas Generico

Russia, Saudi Arabia firmly committed to stability of oil market, restoring supply/demand balance Interfax

* * *

German consumer sentiment plunges to new record low – GfK Reuters

Polish July Inflation Stays Unchanged at Quarter-Century High Bloomberg. 15.5%

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Syrian ship carrying ‘stolen Ukrainian barley, flour’ docks in Lebanon, Ukrainian embassy says Reuters (Kevin W). After having documentation and the cargo checked by Turkey and released only then…

Ukrainian MPs approve ‘special status’ for Poles RT (Kevin W)

* * *

US Should Not Fund Ukrainian ‘Blacklist’ Scott Ritter, ConsortiumNews

Russia will grant US call request ‘when time allows’ RT (Kevin W). The US might have considered that there would be consequences for the juvenile snubbing of Lavrov at the G20.

Lavrov is on Blinken’s list of people to call Indian Punchline (Kevin W). ZOMG, the headline. But Blinken overstates Lavrov’s recent remarks.


Biden Aide: ‘Highly Unlikely’ Iran Nuclear Deal Will Be Revived Soon Antiwar. Resilc: “Israelis say no, so USA USA won’t go.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

21st Century wire tap? Spies could use fibre-optic broadband cables to EAVESDROP on people from over half a mile away, study shows Daily Mail (BC). One advantage of not yet having fiber optic. Wonder if it can be defeated by white noise.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Emperor unclothed? Why we can’t expect ‘big change’ from the president Andrew Bacevich, Responsible Statecraft. Putin commented on this in his interviews with Oliver Stone. He meet with presidents who made commitments that then fizzled away (the commitments, not the presidents). Putin attributed it to them being hostage to bigger interests.

British Official Says Nuclear War Threat Higher Than During the Cold War AntiWar


Jan. 6 texts missing for Trump Homeland Security secretary and deputy Washington Post (furzy)


Trump’s America First Speech Was a Soft Launch for 2024 Atlantic

The Department of Justice Is Circling Donald Trump Very Slowly Charles Pierce, Esquire (reslic). How long has the press talked up indictments? Wake me up when they finally happen.


“I’ve Delivered”: New Disclosures Demolish President Biden’s Denials on Hunter Dealings Jonathan Turley

GOP Clown Car

‘Total bulls***’: Anger boils over after Republicans block bill to help vets exposed to burn pits Yahoo! News (Kevin W)

Democrats en déshabillé

After Clash, Manchin and Schumer Rushed to Reset Climate and Tax Deal New York Times (Kevin W)

House Dems rally behind Manchin deal The Hill


The Right Is Freaking Out About Jane’s Revenge. But What Is It? Vice (resilc)

Gavin Newsom’s plan to save the Constitution by trolling the Supreme Court with a new gun law Vox

Crooked Crook Ltd: company registration scandals on the Tax Justice Network podcast, the Taxcast Tax Justice Network

China’s BYD was written off by Elon Musk. Now it’s beating Tesla Al Jazeera (resilc)

Battery Recycling: The Next Big Challenge For The EV Boom OilPrice

Brembo’s Sensify brakes are nothing short of a small revolution Autoblog. Having mastered the skills of braking on ice and steering out of a skid, I hate these new brakes, because reflexes I learned will put a car in a spin.

‘Here we go’: FTC’s Meta case puts Lina Khan’s antitrust vision to the test Financial Times. Heavy-handed pro-tech-incumbent spin. Not uncommon for regulators and prosecutors to lose initial cases in evolving areas. But the effort here is to force Kahn and he FTC to back off if this first attempt fails.

Powell pushing Asia into a new financial crisis Asia Times (Kevin W)

Supply Chain/Inflation

How bad will the global food crisis get? Financial Times

Here’s Where Private Equity Is Most Involved in Medicine MedPage (Carla R)

Class Warfare

Critical minerals, rare earths industry faces talent shortage Quartz. Resilc: “We are uninvested in skills from plumbers to EEs”

Corporate Landlords ‘Aggressively’ Evicted Tenants During Pandemic, House Report Says Bloomberg (ma)

Trader Joe’s store in Massachusetts becomes first to unionize Guardian (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (Ignacio). I feel sorry for that cat. My cat Blake was very clever in how he trained me to run a thin stream for water for him, by licking at a just-turned-off faucet to get any drops. Of course an attentive human would understand what was wanted and provide it).

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. IM Doc

    Burkholderia in the USA? Never thought I would hear those words.

    Melioidosis is a fascinating medical problem. We had experience with it when I was an intern because it caused chest and cardiac issues in Vietnam War vets some years after their return.

    Many believe with good reason that it was the cause of the Plague of Athens described by Thucydides.

    Very strange that something never seen in North America would show up in dirt in Mississippi and infect patients here. There is so much we do not know.

    1. LawnDart

      “In Southeast Asia … the in-hospital mortality exceeds 40%,” but in Australia’s tropical north “early recognition and access to high-quality intensive care unit (ICU) support in the country’s well-resourced health system have reduced the disease’s case fatality rate to approximately 10%,” the study notes.

      Anyone dare hazard a guess as to our chances here in USA, given the state of our medical system?

    2. griffen

      I foresee the Rapture Ready index gets notched a little higher with this news.

      Combining “never before” with “uncommon bacteria” is so very 2022 when it comes to headlines.

    3. Norm de plume

      Very strange, yes. Not being as measured and knowledgeable as you, I would only observe that something that causes ‘chest and cardiac issues’ would come in very handy in some quarters right now. And I would add that a certain very prominent pharma concern makes two of the three major drugs used to fight it.

      I smell rats everywhere nowadays I’m afraid.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Is it just me or is the tempo of exotic diseases being introduced into the developed world seem to be increasing over the years?

      1. Eric Anderson

        “Is it just me or is the tempo of exotic diseases being introduced into the [new 3rd world] world seem to be increasing over the years?”

        Fixed it for ya Rev.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Is it just me, or has the u.s. been experiencing massive, uncontrolled migration from numerous underdeveloped countries at the same time it has been subjected to a mass “vaccination” program with an experimental drug that reportedly impairs the immune system?

        1. LY

          Most of these emerging diseases (West Nile, Zika, Heartland virus, etc. – I can’t even keep track of all the new tickborne diseases popping up) predate the COVID and COVID vaccines – though who knows what toll those are taking on our immune systems. Melioidosis was suspected to be endemic (cases are cited in 2018 and 2020), and scientists were only recently able to cultivate it from the environment.

          As an outdoors guy, melioidosis pushes the same fear buttons as valley fever and those brain eating amoebas.

      3. Tom Stone

        I don’t see stress mentioned often in regard to susceptability to emerging diseases such as Monkeypox.
        The US population has been under increasing and in many cases unbearable stress since the 2016 Election campaign began.
        Increasing financial precarity, an out of control pandemic,war with Ruusia, a well deserved collapse of trust in many institutions including the public health system…
        Even setting aside any damage done by the vaccines the stress of the last few years has damaged the immune systems of Americans across the board.

        1. CarlH

          Not to mention the massive propaganda campaigns we have been subjected to since 2016. I feel as if we have collectively fallen through the looking glass.

    5. DorothyT

      Important response to IM Doc: The CDC is incorrect. This finding in the Gulf is NOT the first in the US. For five years our household has experienced antibiotic resistant bacterial infections after visiting family who live on the bank of the Rainbow River in Florida (part of the Floridan Aquifer System, the groundwater serving the Rainbow Springs/River in Marion County).

      The two “dreaded bacteria” discussed in these articles that appeared throughout the media yesterday are from the family Burkholderiaceae and Pseudomonadaceae. Both are found in the Florida Springs as published by University of South Florida scientists. Especially see Figure 3 for a long list of bacteria found therein.

      Must read: “The next fatality in Florida’s springs pandemic” by Bob Knight of the Florida Springs Institute.

      Check out how close Rainbow (and other springs) are to the Gulf where this supposed first finding of deadly bacteria occurred. Pseudomonas infection has touched our household (lung and other sites, bladder cancer, etc.) after spending time there. If you want a contrary view as to how ‘safe’ the Florida springs are for recreation/tourists, look no further than Governor DeSantis’s ‘political’ reassurance.

      That the damning research that is being published about Florida’s aquifer, including municipal and bottled water, is only now starting to emerge is thanks to courageous scientists in Florida and elsewhere.

      The next research to be clarified for the public is how having contracted an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection limits our ability to be treated with antibiotics for subsequent illnesses without serious consequences including mortality. For example, look at the death rates at institutions (hospitals, nursing homes) that piled on the antibiotics during the onset of the Covid-19 epidemic — before it was determined whether a bacterial infection was present.

      From personal experience — at a prestigious NYC teaching/research institution — I can say that trying to identify the bacteria through a proper culture is near impossible. Finally I showed some of the Florida research to a doctor who exclaimed, “OMG, it’s the tropics!”

      1. DorothyT

        Re: Info about CDC and deadly bacteria
        Source re: Floridan Aquifer System

        It covers approximately 100,000 square miles of the southeastern United States including all of Florida and parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina; however, the FAS in Mississippi is not used due to its high salinity and depth. Topography within the study area is relatively flat; altitudes range from sea level along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coastlines to approximately 500 feet in central Georgia. Water-supply wells were first drilled in the late 1880s and currently the FAS is the primary source of drinking water for almost 10 million people. Water from the FAS is also used for industrial purposes and agricultural irrigation which accounts for nearly 50 percent of all withdrawals from the FAS.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            Aquifers are very cool indeed, Flora. That Floridan aquifer is giant!

            I’m engaged in helping defend the Plymouth-Carver sole source aquifer, at 199 sq. miles, the largest in SE Mass., from despoliation by local cranberry latifundists/land barons who are engaged in massive, illegal sand mining under the guise of cranberry agriculture and “green” [sic] solar “farms” [sic], which via poorly worded and thought out state incentives, allow globally rare pine barrens and carbon sinks to be clear-cut and strip-mined by local extractive oligarchs.

            See here:

      2. IM Doc

        I wonder if these organisms are being introduced into Florida via exotic animals, ie pythons, etc.

        This is going to be the top of my list to discuss when I have some time with an ID colleague of mine today at my old place.

        This is absolutely fascinating.

        1. DorothyT

          Response to IM: About animals and Florida’s antibiotic resistant bacteria

          Scientists are examining agricultural/cattle run-off, exposure to waterways, wells, municipal water plants, even water that is bottled in the region! Even food (plants, meats). Also, in my first comment I didn’t mean to imply that if one is ill and possibly exposed to antibiotic resistant bacterial infection(s), that one can’t get a correct diagnosis through a culture. What I found is that it’s hard to be taken seriously so that the appropriate test/culture is ordered! Also, an understanding is needed as to how bacteria can form biofilms. The latter is critical in deciding the use of antibiotics going forward after suffering such infection. A year ago I would have said that if I had an infection, it must be identified and then cultured for sensitivity with potential antibiotics. I think that antibiotic resistance in bacteria has closed that treatment gap.

      3. Lexx

        Any relation to Rob Knight at UCSD, as in Knight Laboratories? There a couple of other Knights in California… the other two study waste water (?).. a ‘Rosemary’, and I’ve forgotten the other guy’s name.

        I couldn’t beat last fall’s MRSA with antibiotics; I needed prednisone. But it’s the first thing any physician in urgent care or the emergency room is going to reach for, unless given some pretty compelling reasons not to, like ‘This is MRSA infection #3. Bactrim and Keflex did nothing for me before. Yes, I gave it enough time. Please prescribe three days worth of prednisone.’ These will be the words coming out of my mouth, if heaven forbid, I once again find myself back in urgent care.

          1. Lexx

            Yeah, thanks Dorothy, I read that first. I’m not asking if Bob Knight is aka ‘Rob Knight’. I’m asking if he named his kid after himself, or is he related to those other ‘Knights’ in California who are also in environmental sciences and have their own labs. It’s a big country, but in some niches of interest, a small world.

    6. Earthling

      I suspect it arrived in a container to the port of Gulfport, which moves a lot of bananas and containers.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Or the Port of Mobile, which has the dubious distinction of being the entry point for fire ants.

        For those unfamiliar, they are a scourge that is very hard to kill and whose bite burns like fire.

        1. ambrit

          We have the little buggers here in South Central Mississippi. They are aggressive as H— too! Stand in a mound for a minute and spend ten minutes picking them off. They leave a red bite mound that often raises a pus ‘head’ later.
          Don’t feel too bad about Mobile’s “introduction” of the fire ants. Gulfport, to your West is considered a primary introduction port for Asian Tiger Mosquitos. They are also aggressive and carry all sorts of nasty diseases. We up here “in the hill country” worry most about Dengue Fever being introduced.
          Mother Nature always bats last.
          Stay safe by the bay!

        2. The Rev Kev

          We have had fire ants since they came into Queensland, Oz back in about February of 2001. They are spreading though there is a relentless campaign to eradicate every fire ant nest found. Every now and then we have a dozen or so people from a fire ant team come onto our place to check for any fire ant nest that they can find-

    7. c_heale

      I have a question. In the article it says Burkholderia is highly endemic in Thailand. Surely something is either endemic or not endemic? Is “highly endemic” correct?

  2. LawnDart

    Re; New Not-So-Cold War

    All over the Russian press, and not a peep in Western media– check this out via your own sources, but I’ll start you off here:

    The Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked the prison with captured soldiers of the Azov battalion. The fire was fired from HIMARS. More than 50 Ukrainians were killed
    Alevtina Zapolskaya
    July 29, 2022

    The attack on the pre-trial detention center in Yelenovka in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) occurred on the night of July 28-29. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the strike was carried out by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) with the help of American multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) HIMARS. The shell hit the room where Ukrainian prisoners of war were being held.

    The strike killed at least 53 prisoners.
    Initially, the DPR authorities reported 40 dead. Soon, according to the DPR Territorial Defense Headquarters, their number increased to 53. As reported by Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, as a result of the strike, 75 prisoners and 8 employees of the pre-trial detention center were injured. The military continues to clear the rubble, and the number of dead and injured may increase.

    Captured soldiers of the Azov battalion were kept in the pre-trial detention center in Yelenovka
    The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that the prison where the attack was carried out contained Ukrainian prisoners of war, including soldiers of the Azov battalion, who had left the territory of the Azovstal enterprise in Mariupol. “This blatant provocation was committed with the aim of intimidating Ukrainian servicemen and preventing their surrender,” the defense ministry said.

    The DPR leadership also believes that the hit of Ukrainian missiles into the SIZO building was not accidental. According to the head of the DPR Denis Pushilin, the strike was carried out with the sole purpose of ” destroying those prisoners of war, in particular from the “Azov”, who began to give evidence.”

    The Ukrainian side did not report on the shelling of Yelenovka and did not comment on the incident.

    Source: Lenta (dot) ru [can’t link, because AreYou triggers Skynet]

    Pictures and video are easily found through Yandex, as well as Telegram channels– the images are as horrific as they come.

    1. Ignacio

      This strongly suggests that, as Russia did during WW2, Ukraine will kill any desperate defector wanting to abandon the army to avoid mass defections that might occur when Ukrainian soldiers realise they will be killed one way or another.

      1. OnceWereVirologist

        Doesn’t make much sense to me. These guys fought until they were confined to underground bunkers and ran out of supplies. You don’t want to make an example of soldiers who were until recently lionized as heroes unless you think that anything less than charging out of Azovstal with bayonets fixed is a betrayal worthy of death.

        1. nippersdad

          These Ukraine people are all about PR. I suspect that, now that it has become clear that the war is lost, they want to limit the damage that the war crimes trials will inflict. The Azov types were the tip of the spear and were prolly conversant with the strategy since ’14 to terrify the populace of the Donbass into submission. It kind of puts Ukraine leaderships’ tendency to put them on indefensible front lines into perspective.

          The more of them you kill off the less you will ultimately have to deny.

        2. midget

          There’s an offensive coming up on Kherson.

          As such, it is critically important that the populace and soldiers (1) hate Russians and (2) understand that surrender is contraindicated.

          Hence the video alleging that Buryats castrated a Ukrainian pedophile, and the attack on POWs.

      2. Skip Intro

        But we have good reason to believe that US ‘advisors’ are in control of these systems, and if HIMARS hit that target, it was probably a US decision.

        1. ambrit

          The method used to ‘target’ the missiles used is the determining factor. The HIMARS, as far as I have read, can be targeted very closely to a predetermined point.
          Americans “advising” the crews firing the missiles and Americans running the ‘targeting’ systems, including perhaps Starlink, means the Russians now know that they have a Propaganda Gold Mine in their proxy custody. Watch those DPR/LPR ‘trials’ get moved, pronto, far inside the borders of “friendly neighbor” Russia for security reasons.

    2. LawnDart

      [Now there are peeps: the Guardian has picked up the story. Let the blame-game commence.]

      1. LawnDart

        Headline: Ukraine denies attack on Donbas prison that Russia claims killed 40
        Military says Russia trying to hide fact that Ukrainian prisoners of war were ‘tortured and murdered’

        Let’s see what the Ukrainian survivors have to say about this attack and these allegations– there are at least 75 potential witnesses, still alive. Bring in the ICC investigators and Red Cross pronto.

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          Yeah, that makes sense /sarc/. Instead of dropping the tortured and murdered prisoners into one of those famous mobile crematoriums, never to be seen again, they decided to draw the whole world’s attention by blowing up their own prison.

      2. Jeff V

        It’s a masterful piece of reporting by the Guardian, making the story out of the Ukrainian denial rather than the Russian allegation, including reporting that the Russians probably blew up their own prison in order to disguise the “fact” they had been torturing the inmates. (At least we can be confident the Russians aren’t carrying out torture anywhere else in their vast country, as presumably they would have to blow up those places as well.)

        Which gives them the excuse to raise some more allegations of Russian torture, plus killing five people at a bus stop. (I was not aware that people – note it doesn’t say “civilians” – at bus stops have some sort of protected status under the rules of war …)

        However, I’m going to deduct points for them also suggesting the Russians are at fault for not moving the prisoners to a safer location. Either the Russians did do it, in which case nowhere would have been safe (assuming they are not suggesting they should have moved the prisoners to Switzerland or something) or the Russians didn’t do it, in which case it’s the most egregious example of victim-blaming I’ve seen in a long time.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Defense Politics Asia put out a brief video on this attack a few hours ago- (9:25 mins)

      He mentions that the dead are pretty badly charred and that it was HIMARS rockets that hit them because apparently the Ukrainians were unable to find any Russian targets to hit. If it was not obvious before then it is now to those Azov POWS what fate awaits them if they are ever exchanged back to the Ukraine. Yeah, it really sucks to be a Nazi. Who knew?

      1. Samuel Conner

        > what fate awaits them if they are ever exchanged back to the Ukraine

        IIRC, Solzhenitsyn wrote, in The Gulag Archipelago, that large numbers of Soviet soldiers, captured by the Germans and liberated by the Western Allies from camps in the parts of Germany they occupied, were summarily executed on repatriation after the war. IIRC, his explanation was that they were regarded to be ideologically contaminated on account of their contact with the West.

        It seems plausible that the U government might not want reports of humane R treatment of prisoners to filter back into the awareness of U people, and particularly of U soldiers facing the choice between surrender and dismemberment-by-artillery.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Solzhenitsyn is a poor source for these kind of facts – after all, he was detained before the end of the war for conspiracy against the state and yet was not executed.

          Most of the Soviet POWs died in the hands of the Germans – Jews and communists were executed on the spot, rest were left to die on hunger, thirst and diseases. Those who survived, were used as slave labor in the Reich.

          Of the 2,5 million that returned to Soviet Union, all went to NKVD filtering camps and about 16% (250,000) were sentenced to gulag for collaboration with the enemy (like Vlasov’s army) or derelict of duty (surrendering without permission).

          This was a main cause for the fallout between Zhukov and Stalin, since the Zhukov detested this treatment and made it publicly know. Since he was immensely popular already, as a war hero, Stalin suspected Zhukov was planning to build a loyal support base from the veterans and former POWs alike. So Stalin tasked Beria with building a case against Zhukov and so he was stripped of his position.

          But, being a war hero, they couldn’t execute him, or even detain him, so he was send to command Urals military district – a kind of internal deportation – until Korean war broke out.

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            The rest of the story: Zhukov got his revenge in 1953 (after Stalin’s death) when he played a key role in Beria’s arrest. And while Beria was executed shortly thereafter, Zhukov lived till the age of 77. He is buried in the Kremlin Wall. Tough cookie.

          2. Roger

            Female Russian soldiers also tended to be executed on the spot, the Germans considered them an abomination against their beliefs on women’s roles.

          3. Paul Jurczak

            they couldn’t execute him, or even detain him

            If you believe the Russian TV series “Zhukov”, there was an attempt to arrest him when he was at his post as commander of the Urals Military District. Dozens of NKVD goons arrived at the front gate of the headquarters only to be met by an infantry battalion at full alert with sandbags in the windows and heavy machine guns in position, ready to fire. The goons turned around with tails between their legs to report the incident to Beria. Allegedly, Stalin was impressed as this was the language he well understood.

            Zhukov had many skeletons in his closet. To your point, he wasn’t a good father to his soldiers, as the legends claim. He was ruthless before and during the war. This was the Soviet way.

    4. sinbad66

      Saw this as breaking news on Al Jazeera. The Ukrainians are denying they did it, saying it was the Russians. Let the responsibility tennis match begin…..

      1. The Rev Kev

        I see that the Russians have taken reporters from the BBC and Reuters to that prison to show them what was done which means that they have nothing to hide and plenty to show. One wag in a video title said that this was the Ukrainian’s way of de-nazifying that prison of Azov members.

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      I have two tweets up. Please refresh your browser.

      No way would Russia kill them. They want these Azov guys for the war crimes trials. If tried and found guilty in the DPR or LPR, they could be executed, or in Russia, sent to a gulag.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Luckily the worse of them have been sent to Moscow weeks ago, including the Mariupol commanders.

        1. LawnDart

          There are many serious money-quotes from the ru skis and republic officials on the web site called news (cold —–, —– lines, —–of-the-line) dot info rmation–I can’t even copy/paste w/o being blasted into ether, and no mod message appears when attempting to post, which I do often get (I tend to be immoderate at times, admittedly). It’s a “other side’s” website so I did not include a link in text, as I’ve learned from previous attempts that those comments will be gone-gone and not even show up hours later.

          I attempted to post around 8:30 Eastern, so who knows? Maybe it’ll still show in a few hours.

          Anyway, unless that comment appears, you’ll likely need to find that site yourself and use an online translator unless you speak that language– the article that I’d like to reference is one of the top stories on that site, and those who have a deeper interest in the subject of the explosion might find it well worth the time to take a look.

      2. Lex

        Yesterday Russian sources published an interview with an Azov press guy in that camp. He said that Kiev ordered video of torturing and executing Russian POWs *before* hostilities started and then rescinded the order after the first few videos did come out and didn’t have the intended effect in Russia. Now always a grain of salt with POW statements but it didn’t look coerced and it’s been months. Plus they periodically release video from that camp of the POWs tending gardens and such.

        This is historically shocking, and given the HIMARS use we have to assume that the US was in on it (maybe not, but they seem pretty tightly controlled). Ukraine shelled the camp once before and the POWs put out a video asking Kiev to stop, obviously their captors were only to happy to record that plea. Also funny that Kiev is putting out statements in response that it “never” shells anything but purely military targets … like bus stops in Donetsk or scattering banned anti-personnel mines as it retreats.

    6. Samuel Conner

      I wonder if alternatives to the “frighten still-fighting soldiers into ‘stand to the death’ mentality” interpretation might be possible.

      There was a report some months ago, when the isolated Mariupol garrison had not yet been compressed into the environs of the port and Azovstal plant, of a missile strike on the Azov regiment’s headquarters in Mariupol, that was reported to have been authorized at a high level as “punishment” for some defiance of orders by the regiment’s command:

      (this was the closet to a “mainstream” outlet that I could find in a quick Google search; evidently this was not considered interesting in MSM outlets. The others were outlets I don’t recognize and was reluctant to click through to)

      The thought occurs that there might be factions within the U military and political hierarchy that would like to see the nationalist battalions die to the last man, regardless of their impact on the development of the military situation in Donbas.

      One would think that news of this kind would tend to cool the ardor of any Banderist-minded people who haven’t yet enlisted.

      1. Skip Intro

        Military Summary regularly shows the ‘nationalist’ battalions acting as ‘anti-retreat’ forces backing up the front line forces, and helping them fight the temptation to retreat or surrender, by shooting them if they try. An incident of ‘friendly fire’ hitting retreating troops was also reported just yesterday. I can definitely imagine a certain animosity in the AFU to these extremist groups with outsized influence due to their willingness to be more violent than their opponents, and piles of cash and guns from the US. They were merged into the military and police after the 2014 putsch, and have forced soldiers to shell their cousins.
        And Zelensky was elected to stop the war, but like other western ‘leaders’, he can’t change policy.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Several times over the past few years Donbass militia forces in their trenches have noted & reported firefights breaking out between regular Ukrainian army units and nationalist forces. No big surprise as during WW2 Wehrmacht soldiers often got into punch-ups with SS units.

          1. GC54

            30 years ago a former Wehrmacht grunt who served on the Eastern front reluctantly told me that during the retreat, as his company was rotated exhausted at a rail station after days without food, saw through window SS officers feasting. The company promptly killed all, ate, then boarded the train to the west.

    7. Henry Moon Pie

      I guess those HIMARS are pretty good. My guess is that Vicky called this one in herself. She could shut those trials of Azovers out of the American and European press but not the rest of the world. While I can understand why the allies kept those prisoners near the locus of their crimes, the ones still alive better be stashed away in Russia.

    8. David

      So far as I can see, this is all at the level of allegations at the moment. There’s no actual evidence that the weapon was launched from a HIMARS vehicle (though of course it’s a politically useful allegation to make) and I’m not sure if anyone on the ground there would recognise the distinctive features of such an attack, or even if there are any, compared to other missiles or even artillery shells.

      I agree that such an attack by the Russians would be pointless, unless one of their own systems went catastrophically out of control, which is always possible. But those who argue that the attack was a deliberate attempt to kill UA prisoners need to be clear which version the story they believe. If it was intended to kill potential witnesses, this implies startlingly good intelligence on the UA side, given that most of the prisoners were not from the Azov unit, that the amount that ordinary fighters from the unit would have known about atrocities is very limited, and that in any case the senior figures are almost certainly in Russia. If it was designed as a warning against surrender, then that message has to be explicitly passed, or it’s useless. The Ukrainians have, after all, denied it was them. It’s asking a lot of a UA squaddie to deduce from this that they shouldn’t surrender because if they do the UA will target them with missiles and blame it on the Russians.

      In the present state of knowledge I don’t find either explanation convincing, the more so, because the idea that the Russians would have fired a missile against one of their own detention centres, killing some of their own people, is too silly even for the Grauniad to accept. As a result, it’s going to be very hard indeed for Kiev to lay this one on Moscow. It’s more likely that the Ukrainians thought they were firing at a different target..

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that the balance of probabilities says that it was HIMARS rockets. I linked above to a Defense Politics Asia video which shows where this prison was in relation to the front lines. HIMARS rockets are precision weapons but to believe that it was not one would require believing that that weapon shot at that prison went clear across that territory and not only did it manage to hit that prison but it also had the sheer luck to hit the barracks where those prisoners were living. Some of those prisoners have been appearing in videos and talking about the crimes that they committed against civilians lately of which I have seen a couple and which does not make the regime look good. So I suspect that this strike was a way of shutting them up.

        1. Polar Socialist

          RIA Novosti has already published a video of HIMARS rocket fragments found at Elenovka.

          Even without that evidence I’d like to point out that the officials in Donetsk – that has been bombarded for 8 years with everything Ukraine armed forces have – are probably the best experts in the world right now to tell which weapon system was used in each strike. After all, they do have specialist that go to each site and look for and record the evidence.

        2. David

          The problem with this kind of argument is that it is effectively circular: if you believe the prison was directly targeted because this reason or that reason, then it must have been by a weapon that had the range and accuracy to do that, which leads you in the direction of HIMARS. But the idea that the prison was directly targeted, as opposed to being adjacent to something that was, is only supposition at this stage. (I can’t find any evidence that the Russians themselves have yet claimed that the attack was intended to kill Ukrainian prisoners.)

          If, as PS says, the Russians claim to have missile fragments, then that obviously helps to establish the how, though it tells us nothing about the why. But even then, conspiracy theorists, noting all the stories about the UA selling western arms to the Russians, will no doubt claim the Russians did it.

          I’m reserving judgement until we know more.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Not that I’m arguing with you – I absolutely believe we should reserve judgement until we know more (and we may never know enough to pass a judgement) – but the Correctional Colony (a.k.a. prison) number 120 in Elenovka seems to be just that; a prison in the middle of nowhere.

            Here it is on Google Maps. It’s the thing inside double walls in the middle of the fields. It seems that on the area they have both a prison and a pre-trial detention center.

            1. David

              Thanks. Yes, it’s pretty isolated. It’s also relatively large, and I’d be interested to know the blast radius of one of these weapons. There are a number of separate buildings, with large areas of open ground between them, and you’d have to have a very high level of certainty about where the prisoners you were trying to hit were located to avoid wasting weapons. I see by the way that a spokesman for the DPR has now said that the attack was intended to kill some of the prisoners. I wonder, on the other hand, if it was some kind of botched attempt to help them break out – the isolation and the relative proximity to the line of contact make that a less bizarre idea than it may seem at first.

              1. nippersdad

                A break-out scenario would assume that there were no machine gun wielding guards on the ramparts, though. One of the points of putting the prison in the middle of a field would be to give the widest range of fire possible.

                Inducing prisoner suicide seems like a thin reed to hang one’s hopes on when you can just bomb them and get it over with.

          2. LawnDart

            David, you will find the R claims on nooze-frunt (sorry, Skynet considers this site a mortal enemy so you’ll have to correct the spelling) dot info

            R’s are saying that it already was shelled several times, believe it’s because of prisoner’s recent testimony that implicates higher-ups, and are not happy because they now need to take extra-measures to protect “those bastards” (A.z prisoners). It is also intended to prevent others from surrendering.

            That’s the take– look at the article for greater detail.

          3. PlutoniumKun

            It seems to defy logic. I don’t buy the idea that the Ukies are trying to silence the prisoners or use their deaths as motivation for soldiers not to surrender – it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this could be entirely counterproductive. Any surviving prisoners are going to be far more likely to co-operate with the Russians now they know that being held in a Donetsk prison is a death sentence. All the Russians have to do is promise them a transfer to Russia and a relatively short prison sentence followed by a ticket to whatever country they choose, and they are far more likely to say whatever is needed in front of the cameras.

            And again, with soldiers in the field, knowing they could be targeted, they are much more likely to try to do a deal with captors to get themselves out of rocket range.

            And its worth pointing out that the Russians have benefited in one way – it has helped knock those videos of a Ukie prisoner being tortured off the headlines. That video, if genuine, would be a thousand times better at persuading soldiers not to surrender than any missile strike.

            By the same token, it makes little sense for the Russians to have set it up as some sort of false flag.

            One possibility is that it was an attempt to aid a breakout that went badly wrong. Maybe they thought that in the chaos of a strike some prisoners could get out, they were just a little bit too accurate.

            1. aletheia33

              defiance of logic is standard at cia doncha know.

              if stupidity is adequate explanation . . . what else is more likely in war and proxy war?

            2. Stephen

              The Allies did use aircraft to bomb various Nazi prisons to enable resistance prisoner break outs in WW2.

              Eg Operation Jericho against Amiens Prison with British Mosquito bombers and rocket firing Typhoons; and Operation Carthage against Gestapo HQ in Copenhagen with Mosquitos and Mustangs.

              Perhaps a RAF officer with a sense of history is involved in the HIMARS targeting!

              Of course, the Nazis were going to kill their prisoners anyway. No evidence that the Russians planned that, or at least there would be a war crimes trial first and given they do not have the death penalty I guess it would have to be under DPR or LPR auspices to do so.

      2. Lex

        It’s the second time the camp has been shelled by Ukraine. Not all Azov are gone from it. One just had a damning interview posted yesterday (caveats for POW interviews). And most of the corpses are crispy, not ripped apart. It may have been a Ukrainian MLRS used but it was a MLRS attack.

      3. lou strong

        AFAIK the detention camp , through International Red Cross mediation , had been inspected by Ukrainian counterparts in May and June. On 17 May there was another missile arrival without serious consequences.

      4. hk

        From all accounts, Ukrainians would have known exactly where the camp was and who were houses there, as 1) POW camps, especially, as I assume, holding relatively low ranked prisoners would not be top secret (the important ones were probably sent to more secure installations in Russia); 2) Ukrainians would have been given information about the staus of their prisoners via Red Cross (I think I’s read that their delegation even visited the place.). The motive for shooting their own prisoners (who almost certainly are not the top honchos) still escapes me, but means and opportunity were definitely there.

  3. GramSci

    re Thom Hartman: [sorry, his boldface]

    Progressive populism is today on the verge of replacing neoliberalism in its several forms. Long the province of progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown, it’s now gone mainstream with the tacit endorsement of President Biden. The Congressional Progressive Caucus — which openly opposes “free trade” — is now one of the largest and most consequential in Washington, DC.

    It’s a big club, and Thom thinks he’s in it.

    1. nippersdad

      We must be nearing an election season; do I hear a reveille call for the disaffected?

    2. jr

      “Progressive populism is today on the verge of replacing neoliberalism in its several forms”

      I defer to my betters here on questions of the vagaries of Congressional politics but this claim seems daft on it’s face. He surely cannot be referring to the office of the President, whose only progressive element is dementia. And the Pwogwessive Caucus is calling the shots now? Hartman is obviously a devotee of the “multiverse” theory of alternate realties.

    3. haywood

      Yeah this is some pretty pathetic stuff. If anything the right is taking hold of anti-elite rhetoric at the moment. I see no appetite from the DNC to so much as revert back to the 1990s Dick Gephardt style quasi-populism. Let alone something that comes close to matching the tenor of the moment.

      My guess is that America will get a muddled populist movement in the next few years, something along the lines of the Yellow Vest people in France with an Occupy Wall Street element mixed in. It lasts for a year and then get alienated into irrelevance or absorbed into the machinery of the two large parties, also to the point of irrelevance, as has been the fate of most heterodox political movements in America this century.

      1. nippersdad

        I was just watching Christoforou, and if his tendency to whitewash any Republican responsibility for our present plight is general then they are well on their way toward becoming the populist party in the US. It is like he has never heard of the PNAC or Reaganomics, and anyone who might support them on the right is a RINO. Democrats merely exist to take away their gas cans and usher in a new era of Green utopia; as if they haven’t been fighting against any kind of change since ’88, when the first Congressional hearings on climate change were held, with Biden leading the charge.

        The right has clearly taken up the anti-war/anti-neoliberal mantle, but their ahistorical rhetoric makes them nearly unwatchable.

    4. Jeff W

      “…progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders…”

      [bold omitted]

      Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat.

      1. hunkerdown

        Self-confession is hearsay. His actual relations and alignment of action with the Party are more evidentiary.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          And to that end, I’d argue he isn’t progressive, at least not by action.

    5. GramSci

      Carla doesnt seem to be here today. I did time with her in Ohio in the Ohio Single Payer Action Network, but then I was extradited to Florida. Anyway, as Carla could tell any newcomers here in more disgusting detail, Sherrod Bown is the very antithesis of a progressive.

  4. fresno dan

    China Is Issuing The Same “Red Line” Warnings About Taiwan That Russia Issued About Ukraine Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)
    And that’s exactly what’s happening here. China’s “red line” warnings make it clear that Pelosi landing in Taiwan will at best kick up brinkmanship between the two nations another notch, while Republicans are aggressively pushing the narrative that if the trip doesn’t happen it will mean that “Communist China is winning.” The political pressure is on the side of escalation, with even progressive Democrats supporting Pelosi’s move and calls for de-escalation and detente becoming increasingly relegated to the sidelines.
    So many posts today that show that the US is getting ever less pragmatic and more divorced from reality. Our 20 years of war failures, i.e., Iraq and Afghanistan, bizarrely seem to embolden us when they should, to a rational entity, make the US reevaluate its premises and objectives. We couldn’t defeat a country where the most advanced technology was a Toyota pick up, so obviously, we need to engage with nuclear armed foes…. It seems this hubris continues until there is a catastrophic defeat.

    1. Eureka Springs

      U.S. customers, no matter the demand, can’t even get Toyota to sell us that great model truck. Models which have remained in high demand on the used market since the late 90’s (some say as late as 2001) when Toyota quit making them for our market. I don’t even want a gun turret in the bed model. And we might as well admit and accurately repeat – our 72 years of war failure, i.e., beginning in 1950 Korea through Syria and Ukraine today.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Sorry for going off at a tangent here but your comment reminded me of a video that I stumbled across yesterday. There is an American YouTuber in Oz right now and his surprise to the cars available here tell me that the American car scene must be very different indeed- (5:02 mins)

        We now return to our regularly scheduled news articles.

        1. Lex

          LOL, he’s an idiot. The car scene is much different and constant complaints about the US not getting the coolest stuff from Europe and Australia but his surprise is laughable.

          I have a Ranger, which is an Australian truck. They were so lazy in adapting it to the US market that they left the entry grab handle on the right side of the vehicle, so my passenger has one but not me. The Tacoma started diverging from the Hilux in the early 90’s when they started building them in the US. The US never got the Hilux, the last shared pickup with the world market was when it didn’t have a model name. My ‘87 pickup was technically a Hilux but not called that. Dude’s never heard of Skoda and doesn’t know where they’re made. We are an ignorant people.

          1. Alex Cox

            I bought a HiLux pickup in Los Angeles in 1983. It was several years old.
            Toyota then called their small pickup the T100, got sued by Ford, and named it the Tacoma.
            I now have a 2nd gen Tacoma with 140k miles. It is more solid than the HiLux.
            Some HiLuxes still exist as Dolphin RVs.

            1. Lex

              It was the Hilux but not named such after 1976 in the US. It was just “pickup”. I had an ‘87. The T100 was a “full sized” pickup and a different model. The Tacoma replaced the pickup/Hilux when production for and in the N. American market began. The T100 was N. American only too. The Taco is a fine truck and probably every bit as good as the Hilux of world markets. Car guys always want what they can’t have. Like how they wanted the Aussie ranger raptor, which has less hp and torque than the US ranger with only a single engine option. They’re not a rational subculture.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Should it be mentioned that Nancy Pelosi is supposed to visit Taiwan on the same day as the anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army of China? If so, just a coincidence I am sure.

    3. Redacted

      With Pyhrric moral victories like these? I’m tired of my own American moral righteousness.

      “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” Eccls. 7:16

      This whole adventure is impossibly stupid.

    4. CaliDan

      This is both a general question as well as a confession that I haven’t been following this impending Pelosi visit. Do we know the reason Pelosi is visiting Taiwan? All I’m getting is “a ratcheting up of tensions” here or “provocative military exercises” there or “Xi calls Biden” elsewhere; but nowhere have I seen an explanation for the visit.

      1. square coats

        I think that actually about sums it up, just add in a healthy dose of destructive ego trip..

        (I’d been curious as well about this so just tried-not-to-barf-read through a miserable politico article on this matter, from which I got that she really is intending to go to be provocative)

  5. RookieEMT

    Finally did some traveling and my ticket for Covid came up. Scattered antibody tests always said negative and all previous Covid tests were negative so this might be Covid virginity. Not fun.

    Two days into symptoms. 100.8 F, not that bad but I haven’t been sick like this in years. Entire household caught it.

    Was taking some Betadine Iodine nasal spray before and sadly that is not a magical way to prevent Covid. Also did some blood work a month ago and had about 80 ng/ml for vitamin D so I felt pretty prepared.

    Family arsenal of meds deployed. Zinc, Melatonin, more D, Vitamins A and C, Black Seed Oil, gargling.

    Covid must die.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Everyone I know of and their traveling companions who used air travel this spring and summer has caught covid. 99 percent of whom declared – I was multi vaxed!

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve been on 4 round trips this year (for medical! No fun!). No Covid. You need to wear an N95 as soon as you get in the airport and either not eat and drink or do everything possible not breathe ambient air if you must.

        1. orlbucfan

          I second Yves. I had to fly out of state earlier this month and was N95 masked from the time I entered the airport. Wore it on the plane, and removed it when I met my family outside upon arrival. Plus, followed all protocols on my visit. Repeated same procedures returning home. No Covid.

        2. Keith Newman

          I have been on three airplane round trips this year (Montreal-Rome, Montreal-Cuba, Ottawa-Winnipeg). No Covid. I always wear an N95 mask. It was unpleasant on the overnight flight to Rome but I did manage it.
          Nonetheless my wife and I did catch Covid for the first time in late May of this year at a restaurant in Winnipeg. We had to eat inside because outdoor seating could only manage tables for 4 and there were 6 of us. Big garage type windows were open all the time. Everyone at our table got Covid. It was the first time my wife and I had eaten indoors at a restaurant since Covid began.
          Intensity of illness varied. I was very sick the first day of symptoms, somewhat sick the 2nd day, feeling fine the next 5 days although a little tired. Had a persistent cough for 6 weeks. That’s something I get from a regular cold also. My wife had similar symptoms although she was quite sick for 2 days and then it tapered off over the next 7-10 days.
          The other people at our table were about like my wife or I except for one person who was very sick (extreme fatigue mostly) for 4 weeks and had to miss work for several weeks. He’s fine now two months later.

          1. Keith Newman

            Forgot to mention: my wife took Paxlovid for two days then stopped because the side- effects were very unpleasant.
            We were both double-vaxxed and single boosted with Moderna for all three shots. So were the people at our table I referred to above (they may not have had Moderna though).

    2. Norm de plume

      Sounds like us. We were ingesting all of that plus Quercetin, Cucurmin and Vit K and still got it pretty bad in Feb. Nothing since. Not vaccinated so hoping natural defences sufficiently strong to ward off serious reinfection of the type many of my vaxxed friends and family have suffered.

      Hope you get well soon…

      1. Tom Stone

        Here in Sonoma County I’m seeing a little more mask wearing ( 10-15%) and business going on as usual for the most part.
        Mary’s pizza shack closed its Sebastopol location after 37 years as have several small businesses downtown that had been around for several decades.
        And lots of Covid anecdotes from people I talk to from the unvaxxed to the multiply boosted, it won’t be a boring summer.

    3. jonboinAR

      I’ve avoided contracting the Corona, so far. I don’t quite know how I’ve been so blessed, maybe just lucky. My wife had it early on. I stayed in the same house. Since then, I believe I’ve been exposed to some varying extent, a number of times. I’m a pest control man, or exterminator, so go in many houses and apartments. I’ve met a number of people at their door who, while coughing, told me they had Covid. People have come into my office with it.

      We don’t mask, hardly, any more down here in Arkansas, Who masked worth a flip, anyhow? If it wasn’t an N95, really, that one wore, has it ever mattered? I’ve hardly seen anyone the whole pandemic with, if I can recognize one, an N95 on. Just the surgical ones and cloth ones which, I believe, are neither worth a lot as protection. And everywhere, at the height of masking, folks were walking around with their noses exposed, just pretending to wear a mask. So screw it with masking. The way we do it, at least in the US, seems to be mostly farcical. There’s not enough discipline or system applied to make masking work (Get everyone N95’s or just forget it!). With the mild, cold-like variant going around now, folks around here just behave as though there’s a cold going around. I know a bunch who’ve had it, recently. No one’s died. Everyone has gone back to work after about a week.

      Anyhow, whenever it has come back around, I take large doses of zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Whenever it has receded I cut back on the zinc and D. I also take quercitin. I don’t know if my regimen has really made the diffference, just that I haven’t had the ‘Rona, yet. I’m also double vaxxed and boosted with Moderna, FWIW. So’s the wife, who has not re-contracted Covid. She’s on a somewhat similar supplement regimen.

      1. Pelham

        Good points about ineffective masking, something I see constantly, though few people I see wear any mask. A powerful public campaign to get everyone to wear N95s or better with sound instructions on a achieving a good fit would seem to be in order. Just do that and we’d make some progress. So of course nothing of the sort will ever materialize.

      2. CanCyn

        It is possible that you’ve had an asymptomatic case right? I have flown once during the pandemic and like Yves, stayed masked all the time, airport door to airport door. Have eaten out in a restaurant maybe 3 times since March 2020, during very low case number times. IOW, I stay out of high risk situations as much as possible. Still masking when shopping, etc. definitely in the minority in my neck of the woods. Am double vaxxed, 1 booster. I always say “I have been COVID free as far as I know.” Because without testing or blood work, how do we know for sure? Am part of a long term aging study here in Canada and they did a COVID survey throughout 2020-21. I participated and did have blood work done in 2021 and it came back negative. But that was pre-OMICRON. I know more people who have caught COVID since OMICRON than I did for all of 2020-21. Wastewater indicators in my area are on the rise and have been since early June. I assume there are a lot more cases around than our once weekly updates indicate and am acting accordingly.
        I worry very much about Long COVID, without that threat I’m sure I would not be taking as much care as I still do.

    4. LawnDart

      I am not flying, except for maybe one time on a one-way ticket, until this is done– no way. As a “field service tech/engineer,” this self-imposed restriction kinda reduces a lot of potential opportunities and options, and I may need to find another professional role altogether. A lot of people out there face the same dilemma.

  6. The Rev Kev

    I don’t know what Tracie H’s cat did but it must be pretty serious for it to end up behind iron bars.

  7. Lexx

    ‘Emperor unclothed?’

    ‘The U.S. president is as much a captive of circumstance as he is an agent of Big Change.’

    Slow news day for Andrew? It had been awhile (yes?) since a former vice-president had run for the top spot and won. Biden would have known what he was walking into. Hostages or captives are usually unwilling; he was willing and his eyes were wide open, no blindfold. Otherwise, we’d be consistently laying the blame on the victim, and Biden’s no victim. Not even Stockholm syndrome.

    So WTH is Andrew talking about?

    1. Watt4Bob

      Joe is a splendid example of someone who’s a prisoner of his own device.

      Joe’s been a life-long hatchet-man for the folks who’ve bought our government. When they started buying politicians, he was first in line.

      1. Lexx

        ‘Prisoner’ won’t do, Bob. We need a better word. There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. and not one of them can quit their jobs whenever they like, walk out the gate and go do something else. ‘You can take this job and shove it. I ain’t workin’ here no more’… said no President ever… Nixon doesn’t count.

      2. The Rev Kev

        There is actually a video that I saw once of old Joe making a speech to his friends. Going by memory here – he said that when he went into politics he went to the big-hitters and said that he was here to sell out but they bemusedly said that he was too young in the job and to come back in ten years – which he most assuredly did.

          1. The Rev Kev

            That’s the one. Thanks nippersdad. Only saw it once a coupla years ago but I never forgot it. But you won’t find CNN or MSNBC replying that clip any time soon.

      3. Tom Stone

        I picked up a copy of “The Laptop from Hell” at my local library, read up a bit on the Ashley Biden Diary revelations and thought about the mash up of “Creepy Joe” Biden clips of JRB on youtube.
        To summarize: The entire Family is corrupt to the bone.
        Those clips of Joe being “Handsy” when he knew he was being recorded lent credence to Ms Reade’s allegations and the Diary entries by his Daughter Ashley about showering with Daddy…

        Joe Biden was the best the Democratic Party could come up with and Kamala Harris is #2.
        This is the best the Democrats can do..
        At least life isn’t boring!

  8. Milton

    CDC warns deadly bacteria detected in U.S. for 1st time
    Sigh. I recall the only worries this California teenage needed to be on alert for were The Big One, Killer Bees, and SHC (Spontaneous Human Combustion).

  9. paul

    RE: Blighty

    I think the government’s focus should be on graveyards and crematoria.

    Seems to be the only way out these days.

    Part of the net zero promise.

  10. Tom Stone

    I picked up a copy of Miranda Devine’s book “The laptop from hell” from the Library a couple of days ago.
    Two takeaways,Joe Biden is a lousy liar and the entire Biden Family has acted as though they were untouchable for decades.
    Which they were.
    There’s no shame and no attempt to hide the the “in your face” corruption.
    It’s also crystal clear that the FBI put their thumb on the scales and leaned in to make sure none of this came out before the election.
    Again,no pretense.
    That’s concerns me.

    1. bassmule

      Miranda’s quite a piece of work. from Mr Wiki:
      Devine is a strong supporter of former US President Donald Trump. In February 2020 Devine gained attention in the Australian media and was reported to be “over the moon” after being retweeted[26] by Trump.[27] In October 2020, The Guardian described her as “one of Trump’s favourite writers”[28] after the President again retweeted one of her articles.[29] Devine drew criticism for a “fantastically fawning love letter”[30] to Trump in which she described him as an “invincible hero” after his recovery from COVID-19[31] and called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus”.[32] Devine has since repeated the Donald Trump’s discredited and debunked attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election with unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was driven by large-scale electoral fraud.[33] In January 2021, Devine blamed past Black Lives Matter demonstrations for the actions of rioters during the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol.[34]
      Miranda Devine

      1. Tom Stone

        Bassmule,Ms Devine makes it very clear that she despises Joe Biden throughout the text.
        There is no doubt that the laptop and its contents are genuine and the contents are damning,
        I suggest you take a look at what has come out so far about the Biden Family before dismissing all of Ms Devine’s assertions out of hand.
        The nasty stuff about Dem’s is often brought to light by ‘Thugs and vice versa political games are non stop in the beltway and the truth sometimes serves the interest of a powerful faction.
        What seems evident is that JRB was never very bright and is suffering from obvious cognitive decline.
        JRB and family are and have been blatantly corrupt since his first day in office.
        JRB’s behavior in the presence of young girls including his own daughter have been seriously inappropriate if not aberrant, Joe has shitty boundaries when it comes to prepubescent girls.
        Yes,Devine despises the Biden’s they are despicable human beings.
        The she is also despicable to some degree says nothing about the Biden’s

        1. jr

          This is part of a bigger pattern of the Right speaking truth…while freighted with all the usual malarkey they propose. What’s that saying about if you want to know someone, listen to what their enemies say about them? Fortunately, NC and the commentariat help the reader to develop critical thinking skills that can pick the wheat from the chaff. I believe it’s the fundamental point of the site, in fact. It’s why when someone posts a link to Tucker, I don’t despair that suddenly they are becoming a slavering fan of everything he says.

          1. Norm de plume

            You take your truths from wherever you can get them. As truth is now as rare as rocking-horse shit in the centre, many of us are finding nuggets on the fringes. Eg Mark Steyn, who was an Iraq warhawk bete noire 20 years ago, now airs important dissent wholly absent in the mainstream. Tucker too was never part of my diet until I found myself starved of useful and accurate information, and indeed actively misled, at my usual haunts.

            Miranda Devine is another Iraq War chickenhawk keyboard warrior, not the brightest bulb but persistent and born lucky enough to be the daughter of one of Murdoch’s longtime lieutenants, Frank Devine. She often exhibits ‘daddy issue’ type behaviour of the kind bassmule describes re Trump.

            But she is, to paraphrase a certain banker, ‘doing God’s work’ in publicising the laptop’s quite awesome contents.

            As I said to someone the other day, if this story about a sitting President and his family had gotten out when I was young, back when the press, fed by classified advertising’s ‘rivers of gold’, was genuinely independent, it would have been front page news all over the world and the President would have been impeached. Now? It is, like the slow murder of Julian Assange, a non-story, a nothingburger.

    2. Ron

      Me too. As a former Obama, Bernie, Gabbard supporter, I took the big step and registered Republican, as a means of spitting in the face of the national, state and local Democrats.

      No way I will support the likes of war mongering assholes like Kinzinger, McConnell or Lindsey Graham however. Every.Single.Democrat in Congress has voted for the decca billions handed to Ukraine. What good are those people to Americans?

      The local GOP is the best hope for the country. To hell with Biden, Harris, Newsom, Mike McGuire and Levin. All part of the same rotting system.

  11. antidlc

    RE: Monkeypox

    Eric Feigl-Ding has been tweeting this:


    After zoonotic transmission, monkeypox spread from person to person is principally respiratory; contact with infectious skin lesions or scabs is another, albeit less common, means of person-to-person spread. African rodents and primates may harbor the virus and infect humans, but the reservoir host is unknown.

    The CDC should be sounding the alarm and urging everyone to mask up.

    But they won’t.

    Still waiting for someone to wake me up.

    1. GramSci

      My first reactionwas that monkeypox was actually primarily spread like smallpox by contact with bed linens, etc., and that the CDC was playing another joke on us. But per Wikipedia:

      “Once inhaled, the variola virus [smallpox] invaded the mucus membranes of the mouth, throat, and respiratory tract.”

      I think they’re still playing a joke on us, but the “respiratory” part seems real …

      1. nippersdad

        Being pretty much the definition of a “useless eater,” I have been awaiting a blanket in the mail that I didn’t remember ordering for some time now.

        Little do they know, I am a useless eater with a washing machine.

  12. Carolinian

    Re the NYT on fungi–David Attenborough talked about this in the ongoing BBC/PBS Green Planet series. Old growth forests are underlaid by huge fungi networks that attach to the tree roots and even act as a means of plant communication. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies that emerge periodically. The show focuses on lesser known nature stories and this one is important because of the carbon sink angle. When old growth is replaced by tree plantations then the loss of fungi networks make the new trees much less efficient at sequestering carbon.

    A few feet away in my front yard I get mushrooms all the time in damp conditions. Must be the decades old trees and the fungi beavering away underneath them.

    1. Foy

      Look up Suzanne Simard and The Mother Tree if you want to learn more about how trees communicate via roots and fungi, she has a Ted talk as well, she was the original Canadian researcher to discover all this. Also the book The Hidden Life of Trees. It’s fascinating stuff

  13. Lexx

    ‘After clash, Manchin and Schumer rushed to reset climate and tax deal’

    I was reminded while watching ‘Gentleman Jack’ this week that water is ever a problem to solve for coal mining. Then saw the flooding in Kentucky and wondered how the nearby states (say, West Virginia?) were faring with flooding. If the coal mines are state of the art for water removal, how ’bout the miners themselves, their families, and homes? Those companies do still need live human beings to get the coal out of the ground and on to market?

  14. Solarjay

    Interesting how even Al jezera gets it wrong about Tesla. They are not a battery manufacturer, they sub contract with Panasonic.
    BYD on the other hand is an actual battery OEM.
    It’s still crazy that there are no US lithium battery manufacturers.

    As to battery recycling, that is also complicated by the fact there are different chemistries as well as packaging. Metal cases cylindrical vs plastic prismatic cells being the two most common.
    A common recycling process hasn’t been developed yet. Which confirms
    That it is a complex issue.
    I think they will get there but how much is recoverable is still not clear. And that is a big butt.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “I’ve Delivered”: New Disclosures Demolish President Biden’s Denials on Hunter Dealings Jonathan Turley

    Dang, that barack obama ran a tight foreign “policy” ship.

    Between his vp with the no-grift-is-too-sleazy family and his “charitable”-foundation-wielding secretary of state, was there anybody they didn’t shake down?

    In all fairness, though, it’s hard to pay attention to everything when you’ve only got eight years to lockdown your own post-presidential rock star career.

    1. Questa Nota

      Sadly, the little ego experiment by His O-ness, or swap in a few from His W-ness or B-ness, demonstrate yet another short-term, simplistic approach to longer-term thorny problems. That was exacerbated by the West Whinge theoreticians acting while displaying a shocking lack of real world experience and common sense. Said problems seem to be endemic to the money-raising hacks of both parties in DC and their lobbyist, attorney, media and fellow scumbag grifters.

    2. Watt4Bob

      …and don’t forget his desecration of Jackson Park in Chicago.

      I’m deeply saddened that my hometown hasn’t stopped that.

      New York would never let Trump cut down a single tree in Central Park to build a monument to himself.

  16. flora

    re: Nitrogen crisis from jam-packed livestock operations has ‘paralyzed’ Dutch economy

    I call BS on that story (pun intended). Rutte is warming up to forcibly dispossessing Dutch farmers of their land. Needs a good cover story I guess.

    Rutte’s gov talks about nature preserves in certain areas (near cities) to improve the environment, and in the next breath talk about building new housing and urbanizing the newly ‘available’ land. I see this as “urban renewal” on steroids. My 2 cents.

    Also, helps Rutte’s WEF buddies Gates and Bezos fake meat factories gain market share by destroying some of the real competition.

    1. flora

      and… right on queue from the billionaire fluffing NYTimes comes this:

      Why Fungi Might Really Be Magic (When It Comes to Climate Change) New York Times

  17. Dugless

    I am somewhat agnostic on hunting but I know several people who hunt bear and the typical person who uses dogs to hunt them uses the dogs to track and tree the bear and then shoot it. When they don’t plan to actually shoot the bear (not in season, already bagged one), they are only training the dogs. Getting the bears afraid of people may be a secondary gain but not the primary purpose.

    1. GramSci

      I suspect it is the ostensible legislative purpose for “bear season” (the primary legislative goal is likely NRA contributions).

    2. Chas

      As it happens, the bear hunter in the story lives in my town and I know him. He’s in it for the dogs — not the bears. Usually he just trees the bears and then goes home. He shoots them only occasionally.

      Here’s an update on the story. Butch Spears has been reported missing after going out hunting yesterday with his dogs. He didn’t come home. The Vermont State Police have organized a search party.

  18. Mildred Montana

    Re: Cats drinking from faucets

    If their owners are neglectful, some cats become habituated to drinking out of the toilet.

    Here’s the comedian Emo Phillips on that:

    “My cat drinks out of the toilet. It tickles when I’m sitting down.”

  19. Will

    re Children with high blood pressure

    From the Guardian a few days ago, Diabetes and high blood pressure: why are ‘urban’ diseases affecting refugees?

    I’ll include 3 quotes.

    “Here, communicable diseases [such as malaria and diarrhoea] are no longer a problem,” says Dr Philbert Munyemana, clinical lead for Mahama 2 health centre. “We’ve got a good water supply and prevention and management is going well. Now, we are seeing more non-communicable diseases [NCDs]; they are a priority.”

    “The conditions where refugees are living can accelerate the onset of, and aggravate, NCDs.” Diabetes can lead to eye problems, and hypertension can bring on various complications, including stroke. “Now, it’s very common [in the east and Horn of Africa region] to see people as young as 10 or 15 [having a] stroke,” adds Yiweza. “[NCDs are] affecting everyone.”

    Yiweza admits that NCDs are often overlooked in refugee settings. “We don’t have people trained to manage NCDs with limited resources,” he says. It was this gap in care that prompted him to set up a programme to tackle the diseases in refugee camps across east Africa.

    Emphasis mine in the middle quote.

    Brings to mind the UN report from a few years ago on extreme poverty in the US.

    (Apologies for 2 links to the Guardian in a single post, but I’m lazy and Qwant gave me the Guardian when looking for the UN report.)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yup, while everyone looks at the property markets in China and the US, ROK has been quietly brewing an epic sized bubble.

      The irony is that it was almost certainly attempts to prick the bubble that lost the election for Moon, but Yoon Suk-Yeol has inherited it, so its his baby now. His popularity is already rock bottom, and this could drag him and his nasty bunch of colleagues down.

      So maybe in the long run it might be politically a good thing if it finishes off the conservatives for a while, but in the meanwhile, a lot of regular Korean people are going to face a lot of pain. Many middle income Koreans have a huge proportion of their savings/pensions tied up in personal property.

  20. The Rev Kev

    ‘Gonzalo Lira
    Video about burning wheat silos in Ukraine. According to eyewitnesses, they were deliberately destroyed by Zelensky regime forces.’

    Not actually the first time that I saw something like this. I read an article several weeks ago showing burned wheat from a silo but this one was at one of the captured ports. I guess that the idea is that if the Ukraine cannot benefit from that wheat, then nobody will. But that young woman is quite correct in how that this story will never be published in western media.

    1. Lex

      I’ve seen video of Ukr helicopters circling in a field at extremely low altitude and launching all their heat traps at the ground. (Actually saved that video)

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Predictably, Ukraine says the Russians did it. It happened during the battle for Sievierodonetsk, 13 miles to the SW, when there was heavy shelling by both sides, so absent a objective forensic report — nonexistent — how can we know who did it?

      I found reports in both Russian and Ukrainian media, and something peculiar jumped out at me: None of the articles give a specific date for when the silo was bombed. I suppose it’s to be expected, given the chaos on the ground at the time. As best as I can tell, it happened nearly three months ago. The Ukrinform story is dated July 30, giving no date for the event but linking to a May 3 Telegram post by the Luhansk governor (Ukrainian). The Luhansk guv also is quoted in a Yahoo! video post via Storyful, dated May 3. The dates match, but the video quality is so poor as to be virtually useless.

      The dates on Sputnik’s and Ria’s reports are June 23 and 24 (links to follow). Both of those stories have a lot of detail, which Ukrainian “fact-checkers” of course say is fake, while offering no remotely conclusive proof that the Russians did it. And then there’s GL’s retweet of the Spanish-speaking hottie, with today’s date.

      Welcome to the (dis-)Info War.

      (Apologies for coming in so late; it took me more than five hours to find these sources while also trying to track down some info for a comment on Michael Hudson’s superb post. Hopefully I’ll get to it this evening, but right now I need a double G&T.)

        1. square coats

          I remember hearing months ago by now that the ukies were mining their grain fields so the farmers were not going to be going out to farm this year. (The comment was made casually so I don’t think it was meant to actually suggest 100% of farmers would not be farming)

          Just adding this as an anecdote that would support Ukraine destroying it’s own grain. However, rather uselessly I can’t remember where on earth I heard this being stated :\

          1. Brunches with Cats

            Does it have to be mutually exclusive? That Ukrainian forces mined the fields sounds very plausible, likely even. But the Russians have done a lot of shelling, too, which they freely admit. They say they at least take steps to ensure that an area is cleared of civilians before they fire away — not always possible, but in any case, it seems to me that wheat and corn fields as far as the eye can see would be fair game. And shelling can start fires.

            Patrick Lancaster had a great interview recently with a wheat farmer near Kherson who talked at length about the challenges of farming during a war. Like many of the people Patrick talks to, the guy was reluctant to share his political opinions. He did reveal that he voted for Zelensky (he bought the hopey-changey thing), and he had some other views that didn’t necessary fit the pro-Russian narrative. Overall, he was thoughtful, articulate, and knowledgeable, and having opinions that didn’t fit the either/or model made him more credible and trustworthy, IMO.

            Among other things, he said the Russians never tried to steal or damage his crops or equipment, nor could he imagine them doing so. I need to go back and listen more carefully, but I think he said something about some farmers burning fields intentionally, because they weren’t going to plant, given the uncertainty — some of them left the area, and he wasn’t sure they were ever coming back — and that if you abandon a wheat field, the weeds take over and are a bear to get rid of. Burning the field apparently helps suppress the weeds, if I understood correctly. Like many other farmers and agribusinesses, he has a lot of wheat in storage from last year and is running out of storage space.

            My point is that there can be alternative explanations for actions — on either side — but Western media paint everything in black and white. Finding the varied and nuanced shades can take time and energy most can’t afford (part of what makes NC so valuable). Plus, there’s always the risk of having one’s belief system shaken up, which for some people can be a deterrent to nosing around in unfamiliar places.

            And boy, do I ever understand “read something somewhere, can’t remember where.” It would make a good macro key.

  21. JTMcPhee

    About those Ukies dropping a HIMARS missile on the POW camp where a lot of the Azov “heroes” were housed, apparently awaiting trial for war crimes: very little in the press about what the Chechens and Russians searching the Azovstal caverns found. Looked like the Azovs carefully incinerated lots of bodies, so thoroughly after removal of teeth that hardly anything remained to try to identify them — though a partially burned US passport card was found there. The bodies apparently were laid on steel frames and lots of liquid fuel used to finish the job. Contrast that to the reports that the “loyal Azov” casualties were stored in refrigerated spaces.

    Hitting the Azov prisoners with a missile from the HIMARS inventory might be a good investment against future liability in any war crimes investigations.

    Got to remember that Ukraine has been declared an outpost of democracy…

    The German Nazis, late in WW II, also went to some length to clean up evidence of their atrocities.

    I wonder if the rumored higher ranking NATO and US and British officers said to be with the Azovstal holdouts were among those reduced to ash and bone fragments. And whether any of the bodies would have yielded forensic evidence of bullet holes to the backs of the skulls and stuff like that.

    1. Skip Intro

      That ‘late in WWII’ bit is fascinating, as it may suggest that the wheels are coming off this fascist regime as well. This cleaning of evidence may not go over well with the remaining ‘nationalists’, and it seems a reflection of either their diminished influence, or high-level desperation great enough to alienate your fiercest, most psychopathic supporters.
      I was already thinking that the cessation to Poland of much civic governance in Ukraine was a stunning step. From the beginning I thought Poland would grab a chunk of territory, I had no idea Zelensky would just hand it over.
      Apparently the Grauniad let a writer suggest sanctions were backfiring massively. WTF? If you’ve lost them…
      So it may be that the big August offensive in the south that so much of the needed PR for the next infusion of western wealth is relying on is within a few weeks of fizzling or backfiring, and we are at the cusp of the ‘then a lot’ phase of collapse, those who know are putting affairs in order.

      1. Tom Stone

        Zelensky’s “Gift” to Poland is interesting on a lot of levels.
        It might provide a refuge for the most extreme elements of the UA Paramilitaries and Military as the rest of Ukraine falls to Russia.
        And it screws with NATO big time by upping the ante ( Potential for the nukes to fly) and changing the stakes each NATO member has in the game.

        1. Skip Intro

          Poland has their own ascendant far right, but apparently part of their nationalism is hating on Ukrainians, so it may be that the various neighboring right wing regimes will not form a peaceful alliance…
          And the offer of Polish passports seems to mirror Russia’s offer. Is this the final stage of a neoliberal state outsourcing itself into nothingness?

    2. square coats

      Thanks for that explanation. (I’m pretty sure) I saw a video on Kadyrov’s telegram of Chechens showing some of that evidence found (the passport etc) but was just watching it muted with no translated subtitles and feeling lazy at the time so didn’t end up trying to figure out what the context was and just filed it away as sort of “oh, evidence of someone from u.s. fighting somewhere in ukraine then”. Glad now to learn the possible specific context, which I should now be not lazy and actually look into!

    1. flora

      Yea, but is the guy with the bag of money a Rep or a Dem? / ;)

      adding: imo, the only thing the GOP has to do right now is run Reagan’s 1980s economic shtick “are you better off now than you were four years ago.” / oy

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Latvia admits it has resumed purchases of Russian gas”

    I notice in that article that Latvia is very coy about how they are paying the Russians for that gas. It sounds like they are paying a company who pays the money into a Russian account where it gets payed into another account in Rubles. So if Latvia goes along with cutting their energy usage by 15%, they could always buy 15% less gas from the Russians and tell Brussels to go chase that saved gas in Moscow.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Friend’s 25 yo daughter died suddenly while walking her dog. Turns out she and her young husband, who’s in the Navy, had Covid at least 5x. She was an organ donor but her organs were so damaged no organs were donated. Vaccinated and boosted. Family devastated.’

    This is awful this. I wonder how often this sort of story is going to be happening. And we haven’t even reached Year Three of the Pandemic yet.

    1. Jason Boxman

      It is, although this kind of result is going to increasingly provide ample evidence over the decades that elimination is the only sane COVID policy, but by then it will be much too late to save what’s left of western civilization, I think.

    2. Roger Blakely

      I don’t think that no COVID is possible. It’s no one’s fault. I think that SARS-CoV-2 was too transmissible to allow for a no COVID policy.

      I know of people who seem to be immune to COVID. I hate them. I catch everything, and it knocks me down. For the rest of my life I will be wearing a respirator in all indoor public spaces. I will be avoiding restaurants, air travel, and in-person church for the rest of my life.

      1. OIFVet

        I am beginning to believe that some of us do have some sort of natural immunity to it. I have been in contact with infected people at least 5 times that I know of, most recently last week at work, and nothing. It’s nerve-wracking every time I get the call to test myself, I could do without it, but so far I seem to be immune. Or lucky.

    3. Tom Stone

      Don’t worry,Rev!
      If it plays out like OC43 we’re almost a third of the way through the Covid pandemic.
      And think of all the positives for Pension funds and Social Security, the forty and fifty year olds that will finally be able to pay their student loans because their parents died a decade or two early…it’s all good
      Don’t worry,be HAPPY!

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Yes, imagine all of the early inheritances. A big boost to the economy, which we all well know is of paramount importance.

  24. fresno dan
    Trump on hosting Saudi golf event: “Nobody has gotten to the bottom of 9/11”
    Even with the unfortunate number of redactions, the report contains a host of bombshell new revelations, implicating numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar. The range of contacts at critical moments among these Saudi government officials, al-Qaeda and the hijackers is stunning.
    As for Trump, before he became president he seemed to have little doubt about who was responsible for 9/11. “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” he told Fox News in early 2016, during the primaries.
    Fast-forward six years and that same Saudi government, now led by a psycho known for murdering dissidents, is leveraging Trump’s hospitality to launch its new golf tour in the U.S. The tour is itself an attempt to whitewash the reputation of Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royals after the Khashoggi assassination briefly made them too unsavory for some western powers to deal with. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, recently got a $2 billion check from the Saudis to help jumpstart his new hedge fund, a show of fraternity from Riyadh that would have made even the Bushes blush.
    Some 9/11 families are accusing Trump of accepting blood money. “It is incomprehensible to us that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain,” the group 9/11 Justice wrote in a letter to him (Trump) recently.
    “It is incomprehensible to us that a former president of the United States would cast our loved ones aside for personal financial gain, Well, if not personal financial gain, then political gain. The system is carefully designed to preclude participation by the altruistic. EVERY nominee is a grifter.

      1. JBird4049

        The Saudis might not be the instigators, but just about all the bombers were Saudis. It is possible that the Saudi government was not directly involved or that they were used as cut-outs, but Saudi Arabians were major supporters and members of al-Qaeda which was the organization that did the attacks.

      2. fresno dan

        I said nothing about whether the Saudis were involved. The post is about what Trump said
        and apparently, what he used to believe has been rendered inoperative by the money the Saudis pay him for golf events.

  25. LawnDart

    Coming wave of opioid overdoses ‘will be worse than it’s ever been before’

    by Northwestern University

    “I’m sounding the alarm because, for the first time, there is a convergence and escalation of acceleration rates for every type of rural and urban county,” said corresponding author Lori Post, director of the Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Not only is the death rate from an opioid at an all-time high, but the acceleration of that death rate signals explosive exponential growth that is even larger than an already historic high.”

    1. hunkerdown

      Do you suppose that, if we chalked Oxycontin advertisements on the sidewalks of the ruling class, they might experience a little uptick of their own?

      1. LawnDart

        Nah, we need to follow the classic, tried-and-true method of providing a few free samples, at first… If brought to scale, they’d quickly run out of beds at the Betty Ford, and might be forced to mingle with the hoi polloi, the greater unwashed.

    2. nippersdad

      Where are people finding it all? Is it sold on Amazon or something?

      I had to go to the emergency room a few years ago for a back problem, a problem for which they prescribed the most minimally possible dose of Diazapam; it was like five thousand dollars (charged to the insurance company) to obtain a one cent pill. That stuff, you had to take about five of them with a gin and tonic to get the slightest buzz out of it, and that had more to do with the gin than anything else. I read an article about a guy who ate five hundred of them and got a good nights’ sleep out of it.

      After two years of minutely scrutinized prescriptions my doctor handed me a sheaf of paperwork, the purpose of which was essentially to turn me in to the FBI. I have known crack addicts that couldn’t find that stuff.

      I am beginning to feel hopelessly bourgeois and utterly disassociated from my surroundings. Reading about the opioid epidemic is a lot like wondering if Idaho really exists; has anyone ever actually been there? But, then, living in one’s own private Idaho would tend to have that effect, wouldn’t it?

      1. JBird4049

        It is done by word of mouth. When I was much younger and had a life, I could have gotten anything I wanted because I always had someone to ask about it. Classmates, friends, co-workers. Someone could have hooked me up with their supplier. A drive to certain “bad” neighborhood would fill any of your chemical needs. Nixon’s War on (some) Drugs has driven cost up and quality down, but all it has done is made the carceral state vast and very profitable.

        Since I am a hermit, I no longer know, but just talking during breaks, or at a meal, or a party would do. Today, it might be harder for many as we become increasingly socially atomized.

  26. The Heretic

    I like Bumblee Bees (at least the ones in Canada). They are beautiful and beautiful to watch. I never hurt them, as I know they are very important pollinators, they are beautiful, and I have discovered that they are no threat to humans. In fact they are remarkably calm towards people; you can come real close to one and not fear being attacked. I have handled dozens, using newspaper as a plate and some paper to gently push them from behind onto the newspaper then to take them outside. I have never put one in my hand… they are wild insects, so I do not want to push my luck.

    Beautiful little creatures. God’s art (via evolution).

    1. barefoot charley

      Bumble bees love my mulberry tree, as do I. I once went out after sunset to pluck some mulberries to put on a bowl of ice cream. When I settled in, I was surprised to see many of my berries wiggling. I put the wiggly ones back in the tree, and that’s how mellow bumbles are. I love them too.

  27. Ghost in the Machine

    regarding the 25-year-old who died walking her dog: I wonder how bad the increase in mortality and morbidity statistics has to get for young age groups before we do anything. Given the response to the opioid epidemic, teen suicides, gun violence, the pandemic so far, I imagine pretty high. My circle of acquaintances is starting to get a higher percentage of people who know someone with long Covid. Still, when I talk about the need to take things much more seriously and to be much more upset with our leader ship, I still get strange looks. Getting the type of information that is regularly presented here on naked capitalism on things like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and our provocation of China, really separates me from those around me. There is a whole massive context to all these things that most people are not getting due to the propaganda we are subject to. I am pretty circumspect and delicate about how I try to broaden peoples perspective about the pandemic, climate change, the war in Ukraine, our dependency on energy, ecosystems, and imports from China and other places etc. but I get the impression they mostly dismiss me as an irrational doomer. And I am only scratching the surface and am hiding my real level of concern. It is pretty lonely.

    1. Skip Intro

      “our provocation of China” hold on to that, soon the talking point will be “China’s unprovoked attack”.

  28. tegnost

    Re Schumer/Manchin…
    I can only speculate that the BBB had some necessary sops to the controllers/corporate socialists that needed to get pushed through, so throw in a few later to be aborted pregnant possibilities in order to claim some kind of social good from people who have no intention of ever being or doing anything good. Shorter, the sticks needed some carrots, which will be left on the counter to rot while the sticks and stones break our collective bones.

  29. Grant

    That climate deal is absolutely horrible. The coverage by the media is infuriating, because the corrupt sociopaths in power will point to the “historic” climate deal that they passed and will do nothing on the issue for years.

    If renewable energy is to be used on federal lands, it will require up to 2 million acres be leased on land annually for ten years (between 2009 and now the average has been 1 million annually, so double that). It will also require that at least 60 million offshore acres be leased annually. It reverses a recent court decision that struck down an 80 million acre Gulf of Mexico lease because the applicant couldn’t prove it wouldn’t have a significant negative environmental impact. It also includes a bunch of money for “carbon capture”, which coal companies lobbied for. That will extend the life of coal. A good portion of the rest is peanuts, tax credits and some grants for things like EV and EV charging stations, seems to be some money for planting trees/reforestation and some other okay things. I don’t see why we should assume that this will result in a net reduction in CO2e at all.

  30. DJG, Reality Czar

    JULY 28, 2022 BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
    Lavrov is on Blinken’s list of people to call

    It isn’t just the brilliant headline, which is like something out of a novel. Would that we were only talking about some grim entertainment by John Le Carré.

    You should read the article because Blinken comes across as someone who thinks that playing office politics is diplomacy. Yet Blinken’s list of people to call brings to mind Adolf Eichmann, who was only trying to do a good job transporting people to their deaths.

    Likewise, Jake Sullivan has a war to prosecute. Victoria Nuland has a list of coups d’état to effect.

    Recently, commenters here have described the behavior of such warmongers as crazy or stupid. Instead, it clarifies one’s mind to think of these people as war criminals. These are the new versions of Adolf Eichmann.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum

  31. SD

    Re: New Brembo brake technology. As soon as I got to “utilizing a large array of sensors” I got nervous. The new Sensify system sounds very clever–and when it works as described, it’s probably a legitimate improvement over what we’ve got now. But it doesn’t seem at all Jackpot-ready.

    I’m increasingly convinced that there’s a sweet spot of model years out there in the used car market (would vary by manufacturer, of course) that provide a reasonable compromise between new technology and tried-and-tested engineering, where you’d largely have the benefits of both with minimal drawbacks. Most late model year infotainment systems are utter garbage and make the car more dangerous to drive by placing unnecessary demands on the driver’s attention, for instance.

    I drive a 2015 Volvo that has a positively stone-age infotainment system by today’s standards, but it can connect via bluetooth to my smartphone if I need navigation or want to listen to Spotify or something. I am wondering if other readers more knowledgable than I about automotive engineering and technology have a view on this. Like if you were going to buy a used car today, what would you get?

    1. GF

      “Like if you were going to buy a used car today, what would you get?” My preference would be a 1972 Porsche 911 S 2.4 liter.

      My 2003 Subaru Forester’s sound system has, beside the AM/FM radio, a six disk CD player and a cassette player – all in great working order.

    2. Time was

      Seriously? Do people buy a car nowadays based on its infotainment system?!? (Old fogey shakes his head in bemusement at this brave new world.) Anyway, I — old fogey — am reminded of a comedy routine from the ’70s (Firesign Theatre? Cheech and Chong?) where somebody is bragging on his car and he says ‘Hey, it’s even got AM!’

  32. jr

    Minor Vonnegut Event:

    Chick-fil-A location sparks intense backlash after offering to pay ‘volunteers’ with food instead of money

    “ The North Carolina restaurant eventually addressed the backlash in a since-deleted comment, in which it said that it had had multiple people sign up for the volunteer opportunity.”

    On the macro and micro levels, elites and their lackeys evidence their utter disdain for the average person. That they thought this was even a viable plan is telling. So is the fact that people degraded themselves by applying.

  33. digi_owl

    That fiber optic thing will be incredibly noisy in real life.

    Consumer fiber ends up in the weirdest of places because they are put into place cheaply. And if they can pick up enough voice vibrations for it to be reproducible at the other end, then it will also pick up any kind of engine noise, construction noises, and who knows what else along the length of the run.

    Nice lab trick. But if they want to bug a particular address they can just as well point a laser at a window for much the same effect.

  34. Lex

    Late but rather hilarious update on the POW camp. The Ukrainian MoD put out a social media post saying that it wasn’t Russian troops but the Wagner group that did the shelling. Given that it does look like a HIMARS strike, this leaves us with a Ukrainian story of Wagner stealing/buying a HIMARS, moving it around behind Ukrainian lines and using it to fire on a Russian position. Talk about superwarriors. Also, the pentagon says that if Ukraine did it, it was surely a mistake. So yeah, Ukraine / US totally did it. I’m guessing if the Russians did it they wouldn’t have sent the wounded Azov survivors to hospitals, from where interviews of them have already been conducted.

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