Links 7/5/2022

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Yves here. Thanks SO MUCH for your very generous and prompt responses to our GoFundMe appeal for Betty-Jo, who was my mother’s best aide and I’ve continued to employ off and on, although I can’t give her as steady work as she once had. The short version is Betty-Jo is widowed and has been on the edge financially for a long time, made worse by brain cancer 11 years ago, with successful radiation treatment leaving her with liver damage and big (and continuing) medical bills. I am sure she’ll be bowled over by the amount raised, but GoFundMe has a terrible interface and security overkill (more than any financial institution I deal with online). This is Betty-Jo’s status as of July 4 evening (I had called her the 3rd and 4th as well as e-mailing and was worried):

I’m sorry my heads killing me so I’m in the dark with no noise at all, all day n evening I’ve been in bed 2 days straight. I’m not taking that medication anymore, doctor said toss out what was left n don’t take it anymore. He now has me on pain meds to c if that will help me with my bad headaches. Sorry for not hearing the phone ring but I have the ringer off so nothing will bother me cuz I never went to sleep day before yesterday n also last night no sleep at all. I just jumped in shower n going back to lay down again

I’ll try n call u tomorrow after I think u will b awake. Thanks again. I’ll need your help with that go fund me account cuz I tried to sign in n it won’t work at all. Hopefully u will kw how to do it correctly. Ty again

IM Doc points out she should be on migraine meds, not pain meds. Any suggestions for her to mention to her doctor? Sadly doctors are often more attentive to knowledgeable patients.

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

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


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

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

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24 stunning astronomy photographs that will take you to infinity and beyond Mashable (David L)

Quantum Computing for Dummies Spectrum IEEE (David L)

Physicists Are Startled by This Magnetic Material That ‘Freezes’ When Heated ScienceAlert (Kevin W)

3-D Printing Grows Beyond Its Novelty Roots New York Times (David L)

Explosion of life on Earth linked to heavy metal act at planet’s centre Guardian (Kevin W)

Nietzsche: your conscience is no saint Christopher Janaway, IAI (Anthony L)



Exacerbation of COVID-19 mortality by the fragmented United States healthcare system: A retrospective observational study Lancet (Kevin C)

IM Doc comments:

look at slide 21……..we’re just now figuring that out Bob? This has literally been known for months. I knew this more than a year ago. How? Well, I actually take care of patients unlike you.

Maybe you should talk to your ID doc in your department, Dr. Monica Gandhi who as little as two months ago was repeatedly asserting on Twitter that Calif was golden – the vaxxes have made it where there will be no more hospital surges. How is that working out for you? What will the excuse be this time? Just how much tighter will the pretzel have to become to fir the narrative?

They just cannot help themselves. Medical leaders always talking about red and blue states. Do they not understand the severe damage they are doing to their message and reputation?

Universal healthcare as pandemic preparedness: The lives and costs that could have been saved during the COVID-19 pandemic PNAS (Kevin C)

Get Ready for the Forever Plague The Tyee (guurst)


UK health chiefs brace for ‘bumpy ride’ amid fears over Covid wave Guardian. Kevin W: “Those ‘bumps’ will be the bodies of Covid victims.”

EU’s von der Leyen can’t find texts with Pfizer chief on vaccine deal -letter Reuters (Li)


US Summer 2017-2021 Barry Ritholtz (reslic). I’m in one of the few places where the summer temp has not increased. It is still steamy!


Australian foreign minister continues US-instigated anti-China campaign in Southeast Asia WSWS


India Will Not Lift Windfall Tax On Oil Firms Until Crude Drops By $40 OilPrice (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

The non-drama that could become a real crisis Chris Grey (guurst)

‘Not right’: UK Government dips into Welsh and Scottish budgets for £1bn Ukraine military aid Nation Cymru

Germany Posts First Monthly Trade Deficit in 30 Years New York Times

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine lays out $750bn ‘recovery plan’ for postwar future Guardian. Resilc: “We have jack shit for most people and small towns here in USA USA. Fuck off. I hope Putin levels the whole place.”

Liz Truss mulls seizure of Russian assets in UK to give to Ukraine Guardian (Kevin W)

* * *

Russian television celebrates full ‘liberation’ of the Lugansk oblast (LNR) Gilbert Doctorow

Ukraine war: What is Putin’s plan now Luhansk has fallen? BBC (Kevin W)

* * *

Zircon and CBO Andrei Martyanov, YouTube. On the lack of US defenses v. conventional Russian missiles.

* * *

Gas shortage emergency would push Hamburg to ration hot water, says senator Euronews

Shell may have to abandon £3bn stake in Russian gas plant Guardian. Recall just Germany stole, um. “seized,” 3 Gazprom LNG tankers, so this action looks related. Note also that the “special retaliatory economic measures” allow Russia to go after customers and business partners of miscreants, so Germany behaving badly gives Russia a huge list of possible targets. Alexander Mercouris mentioned at the end of his show on Sunday that the Japanese, now the main customers for this LNG operation, are worried about being cut off since the operations are important to the Japanese economy. That’s not how I read the intent of this Russian action. Aside from the retaliation angle, the excuse may be that operations like this require ongoing investment and maintenance and Russia is not going to tolerate Shell neglecting the asset. But for all the investors, Shell, Mitsubishi, and Mitsui, are now put in the position of having to sign a deal which among other things requires them to make investments as required in a Russian company. I can see the Japanese not taking that up out of concern about pissing off the US. And that would leave the company free to cut other LNG deals once its contracts for delivery to Japan roll off. Have readers seen any informed reports or analysis? So far I have found only this, consistent with the musings above: Japan’s LNG contracts to remain intact despite Russia seizing control of Sakhalin 2 Upstream Online

* * *

India, BRICS in cold war conditions India Punchline (J-LS)

Dissecting the New Cold War’s rival blocs Asia Times (Kevin W)

Russian investigators seeking information related to OSCE’s work in Ukraine’s interests TASS

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions at a meeting with students in the Republic of Belarus, Minsk, July 1, 2022 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (guurst). Includes backstory on Maidan, for those who may not know the fine points.


Shireen Abu Aqla: US releases result of test on bullet that killed reporter BBC. Resilc: “Now this IS bullshit.”

On Iran, the Biden Presidency Has Been Trump’s Second Term Jacobin

Iran Slashes Cost of Its Oil to Compete With Russia in China Bloomberg

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

AMERICAN DRAGNET: DATA-DRIVEN DEPORTATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY Center on Privacy & Technology, Georgetown Law (guurst). From end of May, still important. For instance:

By reaching into the digital records of state and local governments and buying databases with billions of data points from private companies, ICE has created a surveillance infrastructure that enables it to pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time. In its efforts to arrest and deport, ICE has – without any judicial, legislative or public oversight – reached into datasets containing personal information about the vast majority of people living in the U.S.

Imperial Collapse Watch


Mitt Romney: America Is In Denial Atlantic. Resilc: “Mitt did so much to help. Remember him ‘interviewing‘ for SecState with Trump?”

Why are nuclear power construction costs so high? Part III – the nuclear navy Construction Physics (reslic). This story is the exception that helps explain the rule of imperial collapse. The Navy made sure to keep the production base for nuclear subs in good shape.

The Pentagon is finally acknowledging the damage nuclear testing did to the Armed Forces Task & Purpose (Kevin W)

Army Service in the All-Volunteer Era Oxford (resilc)


Jan. 6 committee could make multiple criminal referrals of Donald Trump to Justice Dept., Rep. Liz Cheney says Washington Post (furzy). I’m tired of all these threats about criminal action v. Trump, which have been dangled as imminent since Russigate. Deliver rather than more crying wolf.


The tweet below is not just a cheap shot. Gas prices are high even relative to oil prices because refiner margins are way up (because reasons like underinvestment due to climate change seen as meaning fossil fuels’ days are numbered). And refiners own <5% of gas stations in the US.


The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Have Asserted Their Power New Yorker (furzy)

How the Founders Intended to Check the Supreme Court’s Power Politico (furzy)


Abortion Bans Will Affect Americans Rich and Poor New York Times (furzy)

Democrats en déshabillé

Now more than ever, Democrats need Hillary Clinton The Hill. Resilc: “I totally agree, this could end the DNC forever.”

Fox and friends confront billion-dollar US lawsuits over election fraud claims Guardian (furzy)

North Carolina Is a Warning Atlantic (resilc)


The American Public Has Around 20 Million AR-15 Style Rifles Business Insider (resilc)

Reminiscent of Kurt Weill, but more schmaltz and less bite, save the context:

Supply Chain/Inflation

Industrial producer prices up by 0.7% in the euro areaand by 0.8% in the EU: Up by 36.3% in the euro area and by 36.4% in the EU compared with May 2021 Eurostat

Total recoverable oil worldwide is now 9% lower than last year, threatening global energy security Rystad Energy. From last week, still germane.

Inflation soars to nearly 80% in Turkey as food prices double CNN

Banana Ships And The Hidden Fees Of Ship Cargo qCaptain. Even bananas having supply chain problems. (guurst)

The Bezzle

Crypto collapse reverberates widely among black American investors Financial Times

76 Fake Charities Shared a Mailbox. The I.R.S. Approved Them All. New York Times (resilc)

Class Warfare

Is taxation theft? aeon (Anthony L)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (Chuck L). Note this whale already has his own Wikipedia entry.

A second bonus (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    Let’s Get Tactical by Victoria Nuland

    (melody borrowed from Let’s Get Physical by Olivia Newton-John)

    I’t’s time for us to turn Ukraine around
    Hiroshima in Europe, baby!
    We’ve got a thousand tactical nukes —
    Let’s use ’em tactically!

    The Russians won’t dare launch back at us
    My interns did the calculation
    When bits of Ukraine glow in the dark
    That ends this altercation!

    So let’s get tactical, tactical!
    I wanna get tactical!
    Let’s blow up Sevastopol!
    Lemme take it tactical! Tactical!
    I know when I’m on a roll!

    Let’s go nukular, nukular!
    It’s time to go nukular!
    Now’s the time to push it through!
    Let’s drop one on Kramatorsk! Kramatorsk!
    Listen to the Kagan crew!

    I’ve been patient, I’ve been good,
    Just drooling on my new strait jacket
    There’s money to be made if you go my way
    War is such a racket!

    I can talk the EU into this
    I’ll do it diplomatically
    I’ll make an offer that they can’t refuse
    They will obey ME!

    Let’s get tactical, tactical!
    I wanna get tactical!
    Mariupol’s gotta go!
    Take out all their power plants! Take a chance!
    NATO’s moving way too slow!

    Let’s go nukular, nukular!
    I wanna go nukular!
    Let’s turn Kharkiv into ash!
    Let’s go after Konotop! Konotop!
    Let’s reduce it in a flash!

    Oh, let’s get tactical, tactical!
    We gotta get tactical!
    My interns have criteria!
    Let’s take out Kaliningrad! Kaliningrad!
    Targets in Siberia!

    Let’s go nukular, nukular!
    I wanna go nukular!
    Irradiate Galicia!
    Lemme use those baby nukes, baby nukes!
    Lemme use those baby nukes!

    Lemme use those baby nukes!
    Lemme use those baby nukes!

      1. Mac

        As to the Doctorow description of Russian TV, which is impossible to get here on cable, the fallback online is which has long videos, news stories, all ad free, beautifully produced.

        Not just Europe, their coverage of Latin America, and the United States is better than anything on NPR. And, everything is available in English, Spanish, French etc.

    1. Oh

      Well done!

      I wonder if Victoria and Zelensky rap this and dance together on the way to nukular hell?

  2. Jon Cloke

    When I began migraines a long time ago, the GP suggested Dixarit, which has Clonidine in it…

    I seem to remember they worked quite well, although the migraines carried on.

    1. ambrit

      Both my Mom and the older sister have migraines. I have had them for years, but reduced the number and severity after I began taking anti-hypertensive blood pressure medications. Thus, I may not have been having true migraines, but very intense stress headaches. The human body is an endless source of mystery and wonder.
      Does the lady have the migraine associated phenomenon of auras? My Mom does. I don’t know about Sister.
      I remember Mom lying silent in a darkened room for much of a day. That’s scary to a young child.

      1. adrena

        Following an Ayurvedic diet helped me get rid of severe migraine headaches. I haven’t had a migraine headache in 20 years.

      1. Dermotmoconnor

        I use sumatriptan. Very fast relief.
        Another doc said magnesium supplements stop his. Taken Daily.

    2. Wukchumni

      My sister gets wicked migraines, and has found that over the counter aspirin with codeine sold in Canada with 1/3rd the prescription strength of codeine laced pills in the USA really helps out.

      They used to call them ‘222’s’

      1. hemeantwell

        AC and Cs was how we knew them. Discovered on a camping trip that pain relief —> a nice campfire buzz.

        1. Wukchumni

          When i’m holding on a backpack trip, a common refrain from fellow weight lifters @ the end of the day is:

          ‘Got any of those Canadians?’

      2. Lexx

        Drove that terrible road from hell (Havre to Medicine Hat) to find a drugstore where we could purchase A, C, and C’s. Blessings on Canada for making these available with little hassle.

        1. Wukchumni

          They’ve really cut down on sales over the counter though, in that my sister had to hit up 4 pharmacies in Calgary to procure 100 tablets, and I got one bottle of 100 from a pharmacy where I got my Covid test done before flying back to the states, and emboldened by my example, my sister went to that pharmacy and tried to get some, but was turned down, so it’s entirely arbitrary who gets em’ I think a couple of $35 Covid tests greased the skids for yours truly.

        2. Joe Renter

          My mother has bad migraines as well getting TIA’s.
          Her medication: Oxcarbazepine 50 mg three times a day. When the pain is intense she takes Ubrelvy. She says the first med is not that expensive the other is $60 a pill but she gets free samples. There are grants available for ubrelvy.
          I took her to the neurologist last week where she gets Botox shot in her head they stick over 30 needles in the time frame of 5 minutes. This treatment is done 4 times a year at the cost of $4500 per session covered by Medicare.
          Hope this info helps. And I wish the best for Betty-Jo.
          And thank you Yves. I am moved at your compassion.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Not a migraine sufferer myself, but thanks to the bonanza of pharmaceutical knowledge provided by direct-to-consumer marketing, I believe botox is claimed to be a migraine treatment.

      1. Joe Renter

        Yes, this why my mother receives Botox. We both question the effectiveness of the treatment. Someone (or the whole food chain of pharma/medical providers) is making good money on it.

      2. fjallstrom

        Botox can be used to treat migraine. I haven’t tried it myself but my impression from those that have is that it is an art, and the art is performed by the nurse giving the injections. So with the right nurse and the right patient it works.

        Though so does for examples acupuncture. And if a muscle problem is a trigger, so does massage. Please notice that I am not making a general claim that the majority would get enough relief for it to be noticable in a study, I am talking about individuals.

        I think it comes down to what I wrote in another comment, that it is a feedback loop, and if you manage to break it the headache can be prevented. But it is a complex feedback loop (neurological systems are complex) and finding out what helps in the individual is hard. If you find what triggers in your case, and you can avoid it, or if you find what helps in your case and you can increase it, great!

        And given the nature of our societies, marketable drugs is pushed. So if you are helped by drugs you are more likely to find that out. One can easily see how in another society where massage and/or acupuncture was first line help, and you would be very likely to find out if that helped in your case.

        Speaking of triggers that is hard to control, I am hearing thunder in the distance which explains why my head is starting to act up.

    4. linda amick

      Years ago when discussing migraines my Doc asked if I was wearing polarized sun glasses in bright sun especially when driving. I was not.
      I bought an expensive pair and it reduced the headaches to almost zero. I spend a great deal of time outdoors.

    5. aletheia33

      maybe obvious, but it was not to me–i used to have bad ones, then not so much, no idea why, but for CFS alternative treatment i was using a lot of natural remedies, and very restricted diet. later, migraines returned one summer when i was actively working out at a gym. a colleague told me she got them regularly from dehydration and sometimes they put her in hospital on IV fluids.

      i made sure then to drink plenty of water around times of exertion especially. the headaches changed to simply auras (called ocular migraine) followed by the same kind of exhaustion and light sensitivity a migraine brings. when an aura arrived, i would drink a quart of water immediately and lie down with an ice pack on my head, usually for the rest of the day, staying hydrated, and wake up next day feeling fine. loss of electrolytes perhaps involved in triggering it. i have not had even an ocular (or any) migraine for at least a couple of years now. btw i have never fully “recovered” from CFS but manage it, sometimes better than other times.

      before i learned of the dehydration, i had started taking a migraine prescription (one of the drugs already mentioned here, i forget which). it did work to alleviate the pain but did not relieve the exhaustion.

      it’s interesting to recall that the very first migraine i had, when i was first coming down with CFS/adrenal exhaustion, was after sitting for an hour or so in heavy traffic on a major 4-line city “street” in intense summer heat in a car with little air conditioning, in boston. it could have been the traffic fumes as well as the heat, but i’m sure i did not have much water on board.

      a provider told me recently that with age, hydration becomes much much more important for various health reasons, and i’ve seen this with my 90yo partner.

    6. fjallstrom

      Having way to much experiences with migraines, I would say start with over the counter meds (in most jurisdictions) like acetylic acid based pharmaceuticals and NSAIDs. Test combining with caffeine. If these don’t work, then it is triptans in various forms.

      Taken at levels sufficient to break migraine attacks triptans often have side effects combarable to being hung over (not nice, but better then the migraine). If that doesn’t work you should really have it checked that it is migraine and not cluster headache of or other headaches. There are more meds for migraine, but it is good to check that you are not trying to treat the wrong thing.

      My laymans understanding of migraines and other neurological headaches, is that they are similar to a feedback loop. If you can break the loop or prevent it from starting, you can stop the headache. Unfortunately, what triggers and what helps is highly individual. What helps for one can worsen for another. So while tips about avoiding A or using B can be helpful in finding your own, it is more common with getting an epiphany, suddenly seeing a pattern. A diary can help with getting to that epiphany.

  3. Polar Socialist

    Regarding Sakhalin 2 and Japan, in the Russian media today both Medvedev and Patrushev slammed Japan. It seems to be due to Japan announcing new sanctions yesterday and also flirting with the G7 price gap idea.

    Medvedev bluntly said that Japan will be paying $300-400/barrel soon, and still won’t get any Russian gas or oil. Patrushev merely boomed about Japanese revanchism and it’s new anti-Russian military blocks.

    I wonder if the Sino-Russian game plan dictates it’s time to start cracking in the Pacific direction now that Europe has already fired all it’s shots and is busy papering over the cracks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Funny about that $300-400/barrel figure that you mentioned. JP Morgan finally unpacked Yellen’s idea of a cap of prices for Russian oil and said that the result could be ‘A 3 million-barrel cut to daily supplies would push benchmark London crude prices to $190, while the worst-case scenario of 5 million could mean “stratospheric” $380 crude.’ At this point, Russia could not sell any oil to unfriendly countries for a month or more and they would be OK. We in the west, however, would be done like a dinner-

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Interesting timing.

      The Sakhalin 2 re-organization decree, which had the Japanese companies have the option of keeping their current positions (but they would have to reapply and I suspect would be subject to strict capital calls in the event more investment $ were required, but no one can have terms worse than private equity, which requires $ be wired in 5 or at most 10 days, depending on the agreement, otherwise your interest can be distributed to the other investors) was signed in Russia June 30. Admittedly given time zone differences, it could have happened after the close of business in Japan.

      Japan was pretty sure to go along with the US on the G7 price cap silliness. Japan totally depends on the US for defense. And when I was in Japan (remember this was peak Japan) during the 1987 crash, the Fed called the Bank of Japan and instructed it to buy Treasuries. The BoJ turned around and ordered the city banks (equivalent of our money center banks) to do so.

      So I see the G7 business as entirely predictable. And Russia will quit selling oil to those countries and oil will go to over $200 a barrel and Russia will make out more or less the same or even better.

      The G7 was acting as if they wouldn’t go ahead w/o China and India backing, and China just slammed it in Global Times, giving India cover to follow China.

      The other sanctions, however, look a lot more elective and were clearly after the Sakhalin 2 decree and look intended to be retaliatory.

      I don’t see how Japan can think it can fight with someone it depends on, but that’s been the West’s position from the get go. Medvedev is a hot head but I think you can take his response as a warning that Russia won’t play nice. Putin is big on honoring existing contracts unless the other side reneges, so I would assume Japan will still get LNG for the full term…however long that is. But if they keep being stupid on oil, they could do tons of self harm just there.

      And as Mercouris did point out, Japan having its economy short of energy has serious supply chain implications for the West.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to Russian, quoting Japanese Nikkei, the timing of the decree right after NATO summit means the purpose is to break G7 unity by forcing Japan to choose between it’s own energy security (while already having issues with electricity production) or “standing unified” while making it’s own and probably a lot of other economies chaotic.

        Meanwhile, Gazprom is making a lot of noises that LNG should be paid in rubles too. There’s no presidential degree allowing that yet, so I guess they say it just to increase the pressure.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          I said this before perhaps a month ago, Japan will be restarting her nuclear reactors later this year.

          Don’t stand too close people, it might all blow up to kingdom come.

        2. Polar Socialist

          Just adding to the possibility of Russia intentionally trying to make the Japanese sweat (a mild pun intended), I just learned that a Russian frigate did a freedom of navigation thing together with a Chinese frigate in Senkaku Islands yesterday.

          I believe that is know as sending a message in western diplomatic lingo.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The Chinese frigate supposedly chased that Russian frigate out of the area as it was in the waters of the Senkaku Islands but to me, that sounded like performative theater. As in China showing Japan that they won’t even allow a ship of an Allied nation into what they call their waters.

            1. Polar Socialist

              Well, is quoting the Global Times (reflecting the position of CCP) saying the Russian frigate had every right to be where it was, and that Russian activity in the area is indeed a warning to Tokyo.

              To me it sounds as if China is trying stay at some distance, while giving a silent nod to the Russians and making clear they still claim the islands.

              1. The Rev Kev

                I think that in the coming years that there will be even more reasons for China and Russia to cooperate in this region. Remember those nuke subs that Oz is supposed to getting in the next twenty years? It did not escape the notice of the Russians that they could also be used to try to bottle up the Russian Pacific Fleet, especially their subs. Nuke subs are not for defense but are for offense after all.

              2. digi_owl

                China have been hedging their bets during recent events.

                Supposedly Xi got Putin to wait with Ukraine until after China was done hosting the Olympics.

                1. Procopius

                  Possible, but more likely Putin was waiting for the maximum number of Azov Battalion troops to be in Mariupol. The Ukrainians were planning to attack early in March (sorry, I don’t have a link), so they would bring their troops up to the line of departure a couple of weeks before that.

          2. RobertC

            Things have been busy the last few days — USNI article details Chinese Navy, Air Force Active Near Senkaku Islands, Says Japanese MoD

            Chinese operations near the Senkaku Islands are becoming more frequent as overall Chinese and Russian forces have been more active in the Western Pacific, Japanese officials said on Tuesday.

            And China has been working (training) far from home

            In other developments, the PLAN 40th Chinese Naval Escort Taskforce consisting of destroyer CNS Hohhot (161), frigate CNS Yueyang (575) and replenishment ship CNS Luomahu (907) returned to its homeport of Zhanjiang, Guangdong on Tuesday morning stated a China Ministry of National Defense news post. The deployment lasted 172 days, with a cumulative voyage of nearly 90,000 nautical miles, according to the release.

            1. GF

              If you look at the Senkaku Islands using Google Earth they are mostly digitally altered to not be visible. And you can see a military ship approaching from the east toward the eastern islands. The image is from 2009 however.

      2. RobertC

        I’ll repeat the three points I made here:

        (1) This is payback for the rapacious Production Sharing Agreements forced upon a weakened Russia by the West’s economic experts.

        (2) This is a preemptive move against future US/EU stupidity such as price caps.

        (3) “foreign expertise and parts” including software licenses cross borders with little difficulty until they are replaced by Russia and Chinese expertise, parts and software.

        Japan’s new PM Fumio Hagiuda has been acting up but South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has been cautiously low profile. I think South Korea understands geography and history better than Japan.

        PS I’m not disagreeing with anything Yves said.

  4. britzklieg

    Not that the FDA’s imprimatur matters anymore but I believe it has approved a capsaicin nasal spray specific to migraines, the theory being it numbs the trigeminal nerve and stops the pain. I use an OTC version (Sinus Plumber) which is horseradish, cayenne, wintergreen and caffeine. It’s quite a jolt at first but if one can tolerate it… seems to work for me.

    Magnesium and vitamin B’s are also suggested for migraine.

    NSAID’s are not as they encourage rebound headaches.

    Many pharmaceuticals have been repurposed for migraine, including SSRI’s but a good doctor should know which have been most successful.

    Wishing Betty Jo great relief from both the pain and the conundrum and bravo Yves for the concern and advocacy.

  5. Juneau

    My favorite treatment for my severe migraines is rizatriptan (Maxalt brand name) 10mg sublingual (no swallowing of pill means less nausea). Otherwise, over the counter, one tylenol half, an aspirin,and a cup of coffee (basic ingredients in OTC migraine meds). They all have side effects (artery constriction with rizatriptan, bleeding with aspirin) but since you asked these are my favorites. I am sorry she is so ill and hope she can get help with these headaches, there are definitely good treatments available.

    1. Kate Sims

      I had severe, crippling, every other day all-day migraines that were ended for good by the simple expedient of going cold turkey off coffee. I heard about this from two different friends in different parts of the country, later found out Dr. Andrew Weil recommends it.
      If you say (as many do to me) oh I could NEVER give up coffee, then your migraines aren’t as bad as mine. This solution was fast-acting (2-3 days), permanent, and FREE.

  6. Lexx

    There’s a whole hilarious Emily Litella rant available in Prof. Whitchurch’s post, if you’ve never seen a Covid test and it looks like she’s just announced she’s pregnant… ‘Oh, that’s a Covid test… nevermind.’

  7. Louis Fyne

    “Ukraine is forever in the past for the Kherson region. Russia is here forever,” the Moscow-installed authorities said on Telegram.”

    IMO, trolling like that above only hardens the West’s no land for peace stance. Prolonging the war only benefits Russia.

    IMO, Russia likely will start an offenseive against Odessa right before the US elections (september/october)—-DC won’t let Ukraine surrender and give Biden another embarassing political defeat.

    Enough time for Russia to shape the battlefield to their post-war advantage.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t see why Russia needs to wait if it were ready to go sooner. The West will totally lose its mind whenever it happens. Earlier gives the Rs more time to hammer their message: Biden lost Afghanistan and now Ukraine.

      IMHO, they should move on Odessa when the Ukraine army has clearly collapsed in the east. It’s well on its way now. They might be able to start as early as the start of August. Then then can return, and take the East up to the Dnieper (they might have to contest Kharkiv a bit, there might be holdout troops there) and put a tank parking lot around Kiev. They already repaired the tracks along the Black Sea coast in the occupied areas, so the logistics of moving on Odessa might not be as bad as they seem given the distance.

      1. Louis Fyne

        IMO, because Russia’s problem is that Ukraine may unconditionally surrender too soon before Russia is near Odessa.

        Should Ukraine unconditionally surrender, it will look bad to the non-aligned nations if Russia insists on continuing the war until Odessa is occupied.

        Just a thought

        1. nippersdad

          What is the likelihood of an unconditional surrender when Russia has the ability to dictate terms? What are they going to say when Russia drags out the peace conference talking about parking lot allocations in Lvov?

          I’m pretty sure the war will be over when Russia has decided to end the war, and they are going to make it as humiliating as they possibly can. My guess is that NATO will have to cosign it, be its’ guarantors, which will bring up the treaty proposals that were ignored in the run-up to the war. Redesign of European security structures could take some time.

        2. Michael Ismoe

          What you don’t pick up on the battlefield is still gettable at the peace table … and it costs a lot less.

        3. Kilgore Trout

          It seems Ukraine needs US permission to surrender. As long as the weapons continue to flow–as a face-saving exercise to maintain the pretense that the outcome is still undecided–the empire will resist reality. The “we make our own reality” mindset is still strong in the neocon-infested WH. I’m worried that, given there is ultimately no face-saving option at present to extricate the US and NATO from the sh** they’ve stepped into, the west could ultimately resort to tactical nukes. And we know where that goes. I’d like to think there is someone in the admin who’s not insanely sociopathic (CIA director Wm Burns?), but I see no evidence of that so far in this cock-up.

          1. digi_owl

            And even if Kiev/Kyiv was to formally surrender, it is likely that CIA will keep Azov et al going for years to come…

            1. Polar Socialist

              They already did that in the late 40’s, but eventually lost that battle, too. Apparently people prefer peace and prosperity more than terror and destruction.

              It’s good to remember it was mostly the “liberal democratic” west that kept the flame of banderism alive all these years.

      2. Fran

        This Youtube video featuring Professor Mearsheimer, has the best maps, background on demographics, language about Ukriane plus a chronology of the U.S. led coup. If you knew nothing about what’s happening there, this one video would fully inform and educate.

        It puts everything into perspective.

        The University of Chicago
        UnCommon Core: The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis

    2. The Rev Kev

      Funny thing about this whole scenario is that blind Freddy can see that the Ukraine will lose whole chunks of the south and east – aka the Russian-speaking regions – forever and that is just the reality. And yet when any western figure or country mentions it, Zelensky and his regime flips out and makes them back down. Kissinger suggested that the Ukraine may have to acknowledge the Donbass and Crimea as lost the other day but when Zelensky flew off the handle at him, even Kissinger was seen back-peddling furiously which is impressive for a man 99 years old. So tell me, when did they make Zelensky President of the World?

      1. voteforno6

        I once saw Kissinger waddling through an airport, many years ago. I’d be curious to see what him backpeddling would look like. I suspect it might look something like a Weeble Wobble.

      2. JohnA

        Well Johnson seemed to think Ukraine was one of the G7 last week when he said Zelensky would have been with them in person but for the war.

      3. Michael Ismoe

        “… Kissinger was seen back-peddling furiously which is impressive for a man 99 years old. “

        Only the good die young. (Is there any chance he can carry a message to Madeline Albright because they belong in the same place?)

    3. Lex

      I think the offensive for Odessa starts as soon as the LPR and DPR are liberated, because those are the strategic goals of Phase II (IMO). So I’m with Yves on timing and won’t be surprised if the DPR is liberated by early August with the way things are going. Odessa has to be the goal of Phase III because it denies the US/UK a Black Sea port. The US will abandon Ukraine once Odessa is gone. If the Russians care at all about how things play for the midterms, I think they’d want to force Biden to have to admit defeat/abandon Ukraine before elections season.

      IMO, the liberation of Donbas is part and parcel with the effective destruction of the Ukrainian military that will make Odessa an easier target. I think Russia wants Kharkov, but it will be willing to slow play Kharkov, while the space between Donbas and the Dnieper can/should probably wait until after the harvest (though that’s tricky since winter wheat is a fall planting schedule).

      1. Polar Socialist

        A point I haven’t seen before was made today by Evgeny Krutikov, a war expert writing for Vzglyad newspaper: Donbass is very, very build-up area – it’s basically one huge urban crawl – which gives the defender great possibilities to build interlinked positions the attacker then has to deal house-by-house.

        But once the Ukranians lose Slavyansk, Artemivsk or both, there actually nothing between the Russians and Dniepr but the vastness of rural Ukraine where every capable man has already been drafted and sent to Mariupol or Severodonetsk.

        His argument is, basically, that in two weeks either one or the other city will be captured, and a likely development will be a fast Russian advance towards Dniepr simultaneously making Kharkov a done deal (that is: useless [and impossible] for Ukraine to hold on to) and encircling the remaining Ukrainians forces in DNR into a huge cauldron.

        He also points out that on the Russian side the only really active grouping has been “O” for a few months now. He assumes “V” and “Z” have been resting and recuperating and will be soon taking a more active role in the new phase of the operation.

        1. Lex

          I saw a single, random telegram post claiming that Russian participation is down to 80K, with the bulk of the 70K from the initial 150K deployed being withdrawn for rest and resupply. (I wish I could remember the breakdown, which included KIA and wounded but it had 40K+ as available to return.) That’s probably Z and V groups, though it’s hard to tell anymore since everyone has adopted “Z” as the “allied force” marking.

          Yes, it’s a long way from the edge of the Donbas to the Dnieper and there is no cover or significant defensible positions. I have no information, but I suspect that liberation of the Donbas is being done mostly by the militias so that they liberated their own territory, even if that slows down the operation. Once the situation switches back to Russia achieving its strategic objectives the balance of forces will change to being heavily Russian and we’ll see a return to maneuver warfare both because of the forces engaged and the terrain.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            FWIW, the head of the DRP forces said they will participate in the subsequent phases, although one assumes in less demanding capacity.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Universal healthcare as pandemic preparedness: The lives and costs that could have been saved during the COVID-19 pandemic”

    You have to admire the ability of the Washington establishment to get things done, in spite of appearing to be unable to agree on anything. At the beginning of the Pandemic I thought that this was the best time for universal healthcare to be finally be brought into America if for no other reason than it made financial sense. And this was even more possible with a looming Federal election that could realistically gone either which way. And yet the entire Washington establishment – Republicans, Democrats and Progressives – all came together as one and successfully took this whole idea completely off the table to the point that you hardly ever hear about it anymore. Just think of all the coordination of effort going on in the background to achieve this result. And here we are two and a half years later and America is even further from universal healthcare than ever with over a million dead and counting.

    1. Chas

      Once again you hit the nail squarely on the head. We now know it will require a much larger mass death scenario than Covid to force the American public to demand, seriously demand, universal health care.

      1. digi_owl

        Because the US public by now has been so massively atomized into a “screw you, got mine!” attitude, it will take something like a combined Chinese and Russian force marching across the Rio Grande for anything to change.

        1. jsn

          The attitudes you describe exist only amongst the politically active/activated.

          A small minority of the population.

          The majority have been self aware of being disenfranchised for years, although the catastrophes occurring with increasing regularity have brought more to the polls when a real potential “change” inadvertently slips onto the ballot: Obama cemented the D position as the Uvalde Police, lethal betrayers of trust with his counter-suggestible policy choices while Trump cemented the Rs as the Mass Shooters with his SC picks (which D Party of Betrayal dutifully ratified). While Citizen’s United codified the US Political Market where policy is competitively purchased, it didn’t abolish the vote. Sooner or later enough voters will align to force real alternatives onto the ballot and then we’ll get real change. At a population somewhere between 150M and 200M somewhere in the next 16-20 years. It’ll be a nice surprise if I live to see it.

        2. Andrew

          “Dead Dawn”- Cuban Airborne Doctors parachute into Americas Heartland only to be shot to pieces by White Working Class Deplorables wielding Assault Rifles.

            1. Andrew

              And then Tom Cruise lands Top Gun on the highway and tells the boys that the Hillary Legion of LGBQ Commandos are coming to the rescue.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I would have thought that now would have been the perfect time to push for universal “healthcare,” what with all the love and “respect” for precious “life” positively gushing from some quarters previously resistant to the idea that those who can’t afford it get sick too, in the wake of the abortion decision.

      Of course that would necessitate first establishing that actual patients are more than a necessary evil in conducting the business of “healthcare.”

      On second thought, I guess your idea is better.

    3. Pelham

      Not only that, but wouldn’t spending 9% of GDP on healthcare with a universal system — as opposed to 18% now — do more than anything else to bring down inflation?

      1. anon y'mouse

        whose inflation?

        you’re talking about their profits, now.

        and we know where convo like that goes.

        one man’s profit margin is another man’s inflation.

  9. julia

    Rizatriptan works for me as well, but the first triptan I was Rxed (maybe sumatriptan?) only made my migraines worse. Crazy as it seems, if one triptan doesn’t work, try another (I know it’s not easy. That’s why Indian mailorder pharmacies have a market.). I also take magnesium supplements and D3.

  10. Mikel

    “Ukraine lays out $750bn ‘recovery plan’ for postwar future” Guardian

    That’s going to be yet another kick-back filled scheme.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Couldn’t they have written a better headline like “Make Ukraine Great Again, paid for by American Taxpayers”?

      1. super extra

        I am waiting for one of the more feral GOP factions to use it as a cudgel when the midterms ads resume in full force in a few weeks. In the recent primary round of ads, only a single candidate mentioned they had worked to “ban Russian gas and oil” (to protect the state producers) and he lost. “Officially” when these ads start up they’ll be against the Dem “opponents” but this is a reliably GOP state and the Dems rarely field winning candidates here. So any message on this topic may be aimed at the other groups in the GOP rather than the Dems explicitly. “Washington insiders voted to send $[however many] BILLION abroad JUST LAST YEAR. How much did your community receive?”

        I live in a community that received a lot of money for covid relief that was never spent because the entrenched GOP faction wants to use it to fund a new city jail that keeps getting voted down. If someone ran on a message of improving my part of deplorastan instead of giving it all away to either entrenched local or foreign powers I’d probably walk over coals to get my vote in.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          “Who lost Ukraine” will be a theme of the GOP in the 2024 presidential campaign. Assuming we manage to avoid going nukular in the interim.

      2. Louis Fyne

        Ironically to Make Ukraine Great Again, one needs to rewind to Soviet times, 50’s to 1975—arguably Ukraine’s “golden age”

        it’s been downhill since 1989 for Ukraine—deindustrialization + oligarch looting.

          1. Samuel Conner

            After the end of the first Cold War, Western elites were able to turn their attentions to their true enemy — workers.

      3. Cristobal

        And I asume that the reconstrucción will be administered by the Russian government? It is really great for the EU and US to make such a génerous offer!

    2. Lex

      I love that they gave a presentation wherein they told European countries which areas of Ukraine each nation would be responsible for rebuilding. I don’t know if it’s a Ukrainian thing or the result of being told how important Ukraine is by the US/UK, but what a sense of entitlement!

    3. Aaron

      I hardly ever wish for someone to become deceased, but the world would be a better place without Zelensky in it.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        He’d probably rather be deceased than tried as a war criminal in Russia, which is in his future if the Russians get to him.

    4. The Rev Kev

      That $750bn ‘recovery plan’ is off a bit. As Russia will own a big chunk of the former Ukraine, they will be on the hook for rebuilding those regions which they have already started. And with less Ukraine, less money will be needed by them.

    5. wilroncanada

      That includes the rubles already spent by Russia “recovering” the Eastern part and Crimea, already well in process Zelensky is only waiting for the US, his sugar daddy, to drop a couple of tactical nukes on Donetsk to frighten those Russkies and their allies scampering home. If sugar daddy doesn’t, he’ll spend four dollars and ninety cents in Ukraine to pay for his exit, taking the rest with him to his new “free” home in Florida./s

  11. Samuel Conner

    I’m waiting for a Helmer retrospective on Maidan 2014-202?

    Perhaps the title will something along the lines of:

    Nuland, Victorious and Defeated


    Victoria Nuland, Defeated at Last

  12. Toshiro_Mifune

    The American Public Has Around 20 Million AR-15 Style Rifles

    It would be a lot to expect Business Insider to ask more difficult questions with a headline like that. That just isn’t what they do*. So I’ll step in and at least provide those questions;

    1 – Why have so many Americans purchased AR pattern rifles in the past 30 years? IDK, maybe you could ask some of them.
    2 – Is it really a wide adoption or is it a smaller number gun owners with just a lot of guns skewing the numbers here? Honest question, we’ve seen a number of pics of people with sizeable arsenals/collections.
    3 – Huh, you know, AR sales kind of track along with de-industrialization…. wonder if there’s something to that….
    4 – Follow up on number 3; Even in areas that haven’t been hit hard by de-industrialization rifles with AR and AK** actions are pretty popular. Like…. it’s almost as if people are arming themselves for something, consciously or not. Boy, that would be an interesting line to follow up on.

    * – Their YouTube series “Why is XX so Expensive” is generally pretty good though.
    ** – Let’s not leave out the other big player here and have everything fall on Eugene Stoner’s work.

    1. GramSci

      “Why have so many Americans purchased AR pattern rifles in the past 30 years?” That is easy. All you have to do is tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any fascist country.

        1. ambrit

          I like Goering’s other famous quote from after the war: “Kiss my a–.”
          Continuing along in this vein, I am sure we can agree that Zelensky is the Gauleiter of Galicia.

      1. Wukchumni

        Statistically around 1/3rd of New Zealanders own guns, which is about as high of a rate you’ll find among developed countries aside from the elephant in the estados unidos.

        Last time I was in EnZed, I made a few forays into sporting good stores where rifles & shotguns were on display ensconced in locked wood cases which allowed you to finger them, but no further.

        In one such establishment in Lake Wanaka I asked the proprietor what it would take in order to take one of these long-legged beauties home with me were I a Kiwi?

        He told me i’d have to have a background check, take a training course and have co-workers and neighbors vouch that I didn’t seem to be a nutter, and i’d need to lock them up when not in use.

        It would take about 10 weeks for me to get my gat…

        I then asked if I could buy a handgun, and he told me i’d pretty much have to be on the NZ Olympic shooting team to be able to procure one, and then he hit me with a question…

        What would I ever need a handgun for, anyhow?

        NZ had allowed assault rifles until the massacre in ChCh, and then immediately banned them toot suite.

        The difference being that guns aren’t tied to the hip with politics there.

        1. hk

          Also, afaik, NZ does not suffer from widespread fears about public safety and (often justified) distrust of public authorities’ ability to do anything about it. As other commenters noted, recent events (including some of the shooting incidents) actually reinforced the distrust.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was last there in 2011 and remember following a couple of cops on the beat on the mean streets of Nelson, both unarmed and helpless pretty much.

            1. Charger01

              Police in NZ do have OC/taser and designated pistols per team. I do remember a video of a pair of hapless fuzz attempting to shoot a dairy cow that impeded traffic and caused property damage to a local downtown shopping area.

              The punch line? The cow survived.

      2. Brian (another one they call)

        Americans know they are being attacked. Long ago we were hooked to an IV and instead of some helpful electrolytic infusion we realized the goal was to drain our life blood. We soon reach a critical mass because we can see that government does nothing “for the people”. It morphed into “do it to the people”
        Who are these peacemakers you suggest exist? Are they the ones that advocate endless war against others for reasons so cockamamie that no one believes them any longer?
        If you look closely, only the people care about peace.

        1. John Wright

          Obama had an explanation for guns in the USA, one that was quickly derided by Hillary Clinton to score political points.

          From 2008

          “Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.””

          “The comments were seized on by his rival for the Democratic party candidacy, Hillary Clinton, who saw in them the hope of reviving her flagging campaign by turning voters in the important Pennsylvania primary on April 22 against what she classed as Obama’s revealed “elitism”. “

          1. flora

            The problem for her using that tactic is her name is forever linked to the administration that passed NAFTA, leading to the millions of NAFTA displaced industrial workers.

            The Dem party still cannot look the NAFTA displaced workers and decaying old industrial towns in the eye and honestly admit the fallout from that continuing policy of outsourcing (great tax breaks for companies that can outsource). “Learn to code” is a joke.

            1. anon y'mouse

              it hasn’t been a joke for their kids. they just got higher advanced degrees, more pay and bennies and job security and vacations and a second home and private school for their kids and better health policies and….

              if it didn’t work for you (general “thou” you, not you personally) well, you just didn’t do the right thing at the right time**.

              **for the right people, but they’ll leave this part unstated.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Anybody know how long it takes to train a person on an AR-15 style rifle to the point of being both safe and competent with handling it? And yes, that includes knowing how to break it down, clean it thoroughly, and put it back together again with no left over pieces? This for civilians and not soldiers due to different training and a lack of shouting drill-sergeants.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Duh, that’s why there’s around 20 million of these things lying around. Use one, dump it, and then pick up a new one. It’s Murica, you go big or you go home. Sounds to me however you need a different class of license to handle rifles, just like you can’t utilize a regular driver’s license to drive trucks.

      2. Tom Stone

        The AR is an easy rifle to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning and maintenance.
        Safe gun handling can be taught quickly to those capable of handling firearms safely.
        Some cannot due to stupidity or having movies playing loudly in their head.
        At what aspect of the shooting sports?
        Competition shooting encompasses every thing from bullseye and long range to SASS and Cowboy to 3 gun.
        Some of those Women 3 gun champions are impressive athletes and beautiful…
        Self defense is a whole different category that includes threat recognition and avoidance and legal ramifications of the use of force for a start.
        The US Marines turn out a lot of riflemen in not too much time…

        1. Wukchumni

          This is my assault rifle
          This is my gun
          You hardly hear of mass murders
          Without them, how come?

    3. Tom Stone

      AR style rifles AKA the “Modern Sporting Rifle” are popular for a number of reasons.
      1) Modularity: Calibers range from.17 Rimfire to.50 Beowulf and you if you have a good quality lower reciever (Mil-Spec) with a good trigger you can start with a.556 upper for home defense and hunting,a .17 for pests and small game, a .300 blackout for deer sized animals, a .50 Beowulf for the biggest critters in N America and a .224 Valkyrie for 1,000 yard shooting.
      You can buy or build one upper at a time and there’s no “getting used to” a different rifle.
      2) A “Rack Grade AR will put 5 shots into an inch center to center, Les Baer and others have been selling AR rifles guaranteed to put 5 shots into .5 inch at 100 yards.
      They are accurate.
      The AR15 is close kin to the M4/M16 family of weapons which have gone through more than 50 years of product improvement.
      So has the AR15.
      And since everyone and their uncle is buying or making AR15’s in a dizzying number of variations the prices are good.

    1. griffen

      Well, the $600 you are owed by our fearsome leader will be better spent elsewhere by humans who aren’t in America. You know, I’ve read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Duck. \sarc.

      Joe Biden, fumbling and mumbling since January 2021.

      1. Wukchumni

        {Sally Struthers appealing to our better angels…}

        ‘Just $49.99 a month for a 1 year pledge will keep an American in ramen-but not necessarily off the streets… please give now, it won’t take much, you can become a Save the American sponsor, operators are standing by.’

        1. skippy

          See South Park episode Starving Marvin cameo appearance with Struthers if you dare ….

  13. Verifyfirst

    NC readers will remember the article about two years ago about America’s last TB hospital in Texas, which has avoided any transmission in their facility since 1996, using elastomeric masks, which are much cheaper, easier to use and more comfortable (staff there love them). Below is in the NYT, so progress?

    A Clunky Mask May be the Answer to Airborne Disease and N95 Waste

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      This NYTimes article has made the comment section a couple times, but I wish it would be “hoisted from comments” into the main posting.

    2. Jason Boxman

      It’s comical that the headline writer thought the most noteworthy aspect of these is that they’re “clunky”, which is to say, undesirable and inconvenient. Not, for example, life saving, or easy to breathe in (they are!), or more likely to fit properly.

      How about:

      A reusable, easy to breathe in mask may be the answer to airborne disease

      Not hard, NY Times?

      1. ambrit

        Alas, the New York Times replaced their copy editors with “Fact Checkers” a few years ago.

  14. Cheryl

    Do you know any retired health care professionals who might be willing to go with Betty-Jo to see the doctor? You are correct in your assessment that some physicians are more attentive when a person they perceive as knowledgeable is present. My husband will often accompany our friends when they have appointments.

    1. Thistlebreath

      Excellent suggestion. Around here, people who lend agency to patients are called “Patient Advocates” and basically are polite, persistent and professional in finessing various procedural chutes and ladders.

  15. Wukchumni

    There once was a man from Nantucket
    Who tested positive but said oh (family blog) it
    He infected Nan & her man
    Who have since kicked the bucket

      1. Wukchumni

        just wondering: do you do double dactyls too?

        I’m more of a McWhirtle worder…

        We’re truly in awe of
        Jay of the Powell Doctrine
        who needed no net
        for the interest rate flying trapeze

        Alas, what a shame
        it’s surprisingly difficult
        catching the bar
        in the midst of an inflation squeeze

  16. dougie

    Now more than ever, Democrats need Hillary Clinton The Hill

    Sure. Run her again. Make it even easier for me to not vote for President for the third straight election cycle. And wish I hadn’t since those halcyon days of 1972.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It doesn’t excuse most things, but some of the more “unfortunate” behaviors out of the White House in recent days have convinced Mother devotees in the White House are actively sabotaging Biden. They see a lane for Mother: Third time’s a charm.

      1. Pat

        Considering how much of the Biden administration is made up of Clinton and Obama retreads, read incompetent at governance but top notch at bureaucratic grift, it could be intentional or just a side perk. And since much of this is from the brain trust that also went “let’s run her against Trump”, and they have yet to recognize how deeply disliked HRC is even among Democrats, I can see this being thought of as a good thing.
        The delusion I do have a hard time believing hasn’t crumbled is the idea that Democrats have a brand left. Everything I am seeing tells me that we have a whole lot of unhappy people who have watched any semblance of the notion that Democrats were competent get smashed to rubble. I know the Clintonites would love to kid themselves that it is just Biden, but I guess they missed where every Democrat with any power in the last 50 years just got shredded in the aftermath of Dobbs. I’m guessing that they were too busy enjoying Obama and RBG take huge hits that they missed how both Clintons got caught in the wave especially HRC. And that their fecklessness over everything their voters consider important is also no longer being ignored.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I think young people, including young families, will think of the Democrat Party and Biden the way my grandmother felt about the Republicans and Hoover. To make it clear, she had a picture of FDR on the wall right below Jesus.

          The problem is that, unlike in ’32, there is very unlikely to be a better alternative on the ballot in ’24.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          and Obama retreads

          Mother can only be failed. All those bad things were the fault of others. Not that I have high expectations for the Obama retreads, but can you imagine Neera fuming over Biden not getting her OMB? Klain has the job she was supposed to have.

 (Sorry, it came up with my search terms)

          Carville at least did it before. Now, seeing the Clinton campaign in action, yes, gross incompetence is the simple solution.

          1. chuck roast

            I can only hope that this woman fades away if only because this “mother” moniker thingy simply does not work for me. The olde timers in my family would have called her “herself.”

    2. Darthbobber

      “Now, more than ever” was one of the main campaign themes of the 1972 Nixon re-election juggernaut. Featured in both signage and a jingle accompanying tv ads.

    3. pjay

      I was a registered Democrat for nearly 45 years – complaining about the Dems nearly the whole time. Events of 2016 finally drove me to change to Independent. I cast a feeble “protest” vote for the Green Party candidate in both 2016 and 2020. I told family and friends that despite my disgust for the Democrats, I could never bring myself to vote for a Republican — except under one condition. If Hillary was the Democratic candidate again, I would vote Republican no matter what. To the Douglas Schoens of the world: I am a symptom.

      In truth, there are a few Republicans that I consider too evil to vote for: say, a Mike Pompeo. But I would vote for Trump in a second if it were a Trump/Hillary contest. It’s hard for me to take electoral politics seriously these days, and that would drive the Powers that Be insane. So bring it on Doug!

        1. The Rev Kev

          So maybe standing her as a Presidential candidate back in 2016 may not have been the wisest of ideas? Her unpopularity led her to losing to a carnival barker after all.

        2. pjay

          I actually spent several years studying and writing about the economic policies of the Clinton administration in the 1990s. I was a critic from the left at that time, but I thought most of the charges floating around about the Clintons were part of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Know what? I was wrong. Maybe they didn’t bump off Vince Foster, but much of the rest was true. Mena? Whitewater? Bill’s “bimbo erruptions”? But worse for me, the Clinton administration led the way in destroying the Democratic party (and the country) by instituting neoliberalism, creating the “humanitarian interventionist” cover that would be used as we destroyed one country after another, and much more. They did it by playing “good cop/bad cop” with the Republicans. After Bill was finished he cashed in. The “Clinton Foundation” was a legal shake-down racket. Hillary was set up in New York for the next phase. But most discouraging, and disgusting, was the absolute obliviousness of so-called “progressives” to the tremendous damage the Clintons had done to the Democratic Party, our country, and the world. And to support Hillary as some sort of a progressive feminist is the worst cut of all. You imply my reaction is “pathological.” I assert it is imminently rational based on my progressive values. I assure you I could go on for hours, with extensive documentation, in any debate on this subject. But I’d better end my rant here.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          You imply she has not fully earned it.

          I hated her from 1992 when her late 1970 commodities trading “profits” came to light. As a finance professional it was as obvious as day that this was a bribe. The odds of someone other than a professional trader taking $1000 and turning it into $100,000 verges on the odds of my being able to jump off a cliff and fly.

          And adding to the impossibility of the story was that she STOPPED. Anyone who’d had a run like that would have kept trading….and almost certainly have given a lot back. 70% of retail commodities trades lose money.

          Later I was friendly with a top trader. Three Congressmen got her trading records and had him review them. He basically said they were wildly implausible. Every time she traded, it was at the best price of the day, meaning the broker had allocated trades to her.

          The Congresscritters said they had had two other professional traders review them. They had the same reaction.

          1. YouLie

            I was then in charge of commodity futures compliance for a major firm and happened to be in Chicago when these trades went down. They immediately were the talk of the town. Everyone in the industry knew the reality of what had happened. The regulator in this case, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, ran and hid.

          2. Mike

            It’s wonderful there are so many well informed posts on this site. Rarely do I read comments on websites but I find so many here are really worth reading.

            Recently I came across the Moon of Alabama website. More of the comments there are silly but if the Ukraine conflict is in your area of curiosity you’ll find a nugget or two there making a visit worthwhile.

          3. Mike

            I’ll never forget the story of how that trade worked. Essentially the broker was paid by a donor working through a lawyer (I believe a Tyson lawyer but I could be wrong) to make sure Hillary won her “bets” by placing another bet on the opposite side. Sort of like covering red and black and saying, “oh gee, who had that winning black bet? I think it was Hillary, but silly me I forgot to write things down again.”

            It was one of those 3 or 4 political stories that helped me understand the media is really part of the political team. There are honest individuals but the MSM never works for the public good. They are all about money, spin, and illusion. Completely corrupt.

      1. Mike

        My wife was a straight ticket democrat for 40+ years until 2016 because she couldn’t stomach Hillary. Voted Trump in 2016 & 2020 as a protest vote. I voted for Nixon in 1972 (regret not voting McGovern) Obama in 2008, Trump in 2016 and then Nader, Perot, Anderson and other 3rd party candidates. I see presidential votes as sort of rooting for a football team. For the most part it doesn’t matter. That said, I think maybe this time it will matter. The Biden people have opened the border to the 3rd world, essentially gone to war with Russia, and will have destroyed the dollar as the world’s reserve currency due to the seizure of Russian assets after this plays out. A thief can only rip you off once. These sanctions will force China and other creditors to protect themselves from the future U.S. thefts. A short sighted policy in the extreme. High inflation will become permanent and most Americans will look at Biden in coming years the way our ancestors looked at Hoover.

    4. spud

      comic relief


      from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

      noun A humorous or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy, intended to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast.

      from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

      noun narratology The inclusion of a humorous character or scene or witty dialogue in an otherwise serious work, often to relieve tension.

  17. Mikel

    This clip might be the most dystopian video of American life in the 2020s I’ve ever seen.

    Somebody running with a baby stroller is a sign that you should stop what you are doing and get out of the area.
    Ask questions later…

      1. digi_owl

        I find it curious (though in this instance more understandable than most) how much descendants of immigrants to USA venerate pre-immigration customs.

  18. Mikel

    “The Pentagon is finally acknowledging the damage nuclear testing did to the Armed” Forces Task & Purpose

    Now will they admit the damages from other types of medical testing?
    Prisoners are about the only group rivaling military as test subjects.

    Note: even as a little a kid, the pics of sailors and soldiers in view of and moving toward nuke explosions. I wondered what they had been told.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I have been convinced for a very long time now that they used those solders because as test subjects, they could follow up on them not only in the military health system but for decades after in the veteran’s hospitals. Free lab rats. But it wasn’t just those soldiers at risk. There were all the excess deaths of people downwind of those sites in the years after- (1.17MB)

      1. hk

        There is the story about the Curse of Genghis Khan (the John Wayne movie, not the real thing). Besides being a terrible movie, it was also filmed downwind from an atomic weapon test site. While the linkage was never conclusively proven, the cast and crew of the film suffered from abnormally high cancer rates afterwards (including Wayne himself, obviously)

        1. Cristobal

          To this day you can Google the site and see the cráters from the explosions (at least as of a couple of years ago).

        2. Skippy

          Punch line was the use of huge fans to create dust storm visuals, sadly this kicked up particulate in the soil so all could breath it which without might have been inconsequential considering the site.

    2. chuck roast

      They can do that now because they are all dead. My first wife’s husband was at Eniwitok or some such place and burned up from leukemia at 30.

  19. digi_owl

    Well if it isn’t Hvaldimir…

    And on different matters:

    3-D Printing Grows Beyond Its Novelty Roots New York Times (David L)

    (i didn’t read the article as it was paywalled btw)

    My understanding is that the main delay there have been patents.

    NASA for example have long been printing rocket nozzles and like, as it allows them to more rapidly test out permutations in order to look for more performance etc.

    Usually this involves using lasers to melt a metal power, similar to how UV can be used to cure a liquid in order to produce a solid.

    As i understand it, from casually reading the tech press over the years, is that some company held a patent on the basic process, and thus everyone else have been waiting for that patent to run out (20 years is a long time in tech these days).

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Germany Posts First Monthly Trade Deficit in 30 Years”

    It is only the beginning of July. Autumn doesn’t even begin for another two and a half months so the weather is still warm. And Russia hasn’t done much in the way of counter-sanctions like they did back in 2015. Not even close. So at what point does the government work out that by Christmas that their bodies will be swinging from the Brandenburg Gate unless they change course radically? Are they seriously thinking of ordering the police and the Bundeswehr to crack down on those protestors? The families of those police and soldiers will be sure to be part of the protestors after freezing in their apartments. But I do admire the reporting of the New York Times here. They report the facts OK but without the grace to say ‘Gee, how did this ever happen?’

    1. caucus99percenter

      Farmers in the Netherlands have been blockading roads and supermarket distribution centers, protesting an environmental decree that over the next few years is meant to put 30% of them out of business in order to reduce the number of livestock and curb nitrogen emissions in the country.

      At one point Rutte’s government was threatening to call out the army against them.

      I’m not sure if enough Germans have the gumption to pull off something similar. People are trained to be afraid their elites will call them names and link them to the 1933-1945 period in history.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A few hours ago Gonzalo Lira put out a video online about the farmers in the Netherlands. He reports that the entire country is being shut down by protestors but it is receiving the silence treatment in that main stream media abroad. How come that? As the Netherlands also exports a lot of food into the EU, a 30% reduction in farm livestock will have serious knock-on effects there as well as we head towards food shortages. This is insanity cubed- (7:52 mins)

        1. Tom Bradford

          And I hear workers in Norway’s oil and gas fields are striking for wage increases to keep up with inflation. Norway is the second largest supplier of gas to the EU – after Russia!

          I also heard – on Defence Politics Asia, I think – that when introducing emergency measures re gas – or, rather, the lack of it – Germany’s Chancellor accused Russia of declaring economic war on Germany. Gotta ask – yeah, but who started it?

        2. caucus99percenter

          This morning I looked for stories about the Netherlands protests in the German, the Danish, and the French, all ostensibly left-progressive newspapers, and came up empty.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Makes you wonder just how left they actually are and where they will stand in the coming fights.

  21. Mikel

    Mitt Romney:

    “When entire countries fail to confront serious challenges, it doesn’t end well. During the past half century, we Americans have lived in a very forgiving time, and seeing the world through rose-colored glasses had limited consequences. The climate was stable, our economy dwarfed the competition, democracy was on the rise, and our military strength made the U.S. the sole global hyperpower. Today, every one of those things has changed. If we continue to ignore the real threats we face, America will inevitably suffer serious consequences.”

    I wouldn’t make the claims about the stability of the climate after WWI or about “democracy”.

    But I’ll give ole Mitt a nod for at least raising the hard questions.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      And one of those threats, and it’s a big one, are the destructive effects private equity scumbags such as himself have on the country.

      1. Mikel

        Yep…Mitt will probably have to be retired before he can get in a head space to even attempt that leap of self-reflection.

      2. Screwball


        Bain Capital decimated our towns largest employer. The horror stories of the employees they screwed over is off the charts ugly. The money they lost, their jobs, some ended up losing their homes.

        He didn’t campaign in this town when he ran for office. Good thing, they would have strung him up.

        Let’s go Mitt! One of the biggest POS on the planet.

        1. Bart Hansen

          Don’t forget that my Gov. Younkin comes from the same kind of plunder group: Carlyle.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Yeah, that was one of helluva an election: the Carlyle chair and a major investor during Youngkin’s tenure.

      3. nippersdad

        I have been wondering what the dinner table conversation at family get-togethers has sounded like since Romney’s kid lost his no-show job on the board of the Ukrainian bio-labs.

        The potential for having your kid tried in absentia for crimes against humanity by Russians must be clarifying.

    2. Mildred Montana

      Mitt Romney: “During the past half century…democracy was on the rise…”

      In the case of the USA his assertion is false and demonstrably so.

      The fact of the matter is that fifty years ago was 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘭𝘺 when American democracy began to 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦, with the adoption of the primary system of selection of presidential candidates.*

      After the chaos of the 1968 Democratic convention (which had eight nominees and actual voting for each of them), both parties decided to control selection of candidates by handing it to small, unrepresentative samples of voters in a limited number of states.

      Undemocratic mission accomplished. Henceforth, only pre-approved candidates would be nominated. No others need apply. Conventions became tidy affairs without the presence of unruly protesters or the possibility of an unwelcome result. The one and only nominee was quietly and ceremonially crowned.

      Democracy in the USA has never recovered and has, arguably, become worse.

      *Joan Didion wrote an informative essay about this insidious transition many years ago. Unfortunately, the title of it seems to have disappeared down my memory-hole.

      1. JBird4049

        Although I have not read the book, it sounds like her book Political Fictions, which is yet another book on my to read mountain. Seems like I might have a fatal case of tsundoku.

  22. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: US Oil & Gas Association Tweet

    The talking heads on cnbc this morning seem more interested in jeff bezos’ response to biden:

    “Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this,” posted Bezos, owner of the Washington Post.

    “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

    The tones of voice being used by the anchors in discussing bezos’ comments do not suggest a particular respect for the…uh…economic acumen of the biden “administration.” In fact, jim cramer just referred to the bezos / biden sparring as being between, “one guy who’s the leader of the free world–bezos–and the other guy who’s trapped in the terrible gridlock in washington…”

    I know cramer’s a clown, but double ouch nonetheless.

  23. remmer

    “IM Doc points out she should be on migraine meds, not pain meds. Any suggestions for her to mention to her doctor?”

    The only thing that got rid of my migraines was Relpax (Pfizer, 40 mg eletripan hydrobromide). It’s a prescription med, so its benefits come with another financial burden on Betty-Jo. But migraines are crippling, and I found the release Relpax provided to be worth the cost.

    1. CheckyChubber

      If you search, “The Health Risks of Getting Covid-19 a Second (or Third) Time”, there is an amazingly diverse spectrum of contradictory ‘information’ on the matter, that has been published since 2020.

      One recent article has Peter Hotez, TVs favorite vaccine evangelist, wondering whether the growing risk might be due to “immune enhancement” [thinking-emoji], and (surprise, surprise) suggests everyone get vaccinated.

  24. Mikel

    “Universal healthcare as pandemic preparedness: The lives and costs that could have been saved during the COVID-19 pandemic” PNAS

    I have a new caveat about universal healthcare: it should be all about providing benefit – not used as form of behavioral control or as a way to force mass experimentation of drugs for big pharma.
    In order to work, it has to be a system that can be trusted.

  25. Carolinian

    Re Politico thumbsucker on the limits of Supreme Court power: isn’t that what the SC decision itself said?–that it’s up to Congress to decide about the legality of abortion? After all they were striking down a previous SC decision, not a Congressional law. Like so much left thinking these days, the attacks on the court are a bit cockeyed insofar as they celebrate the court’s power when it does what they want and denounce it when it doesn’t. Relying on the court to settle the country’s social issues merely fuels the right wing which once denounced Roe itself as defying the “will of the people” (in individual states). Arguably Roe played a big role in the resurgence of the right and the rise of Reaganism and all the damage that has followed.

    If the left wants to do something about this latest decision they need to win some elections and that means running against the Reagan revolution, and all that it has brought, rather than making the SC the proxy for all our disputes. For that we will need an authentic left, not an MSNBC left..

      1. Carolinian

        So then where is our party of “the left”? Guess what I’m saying is that if the Dems are going to pretend to be it then perhaps the left, wherever they are, should speak up.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          There really isn’t one. There are a few tiny little vanity parties and vanity movements which present themself as such.

          As long as the remaining few tens of millions of loyal DemParty voters continue to feel that the DemParty has some residual loyalty to the fading light of the New Deal, when it no longer does, they will not vote for a genuine New Deal Party should it arise. They would not even know it when they see it.

          And the Clintonites will work very hard to keep that brain-contamination alive and in force.
          They are ready to infest any Newish Dealish party which tries to arise , and penetrate it and subvert it from within.

          Any Newish Dealish party would have to have a very powerful Intelligence/CounterIntelligence Bureau right from the start and they might have to be prepared to actually physically injure Clintonite infiltrators ( while successfullly avoiding any traceback leading to arrest or legal responsibility) to the point where Clintonites are physically afraid to fake-join it or even attend its meetings and rallies.

    1. Darthbobber

      To my knowledge, all political tendencies from the beginning of the nation have applauded the court’s power when they approve the decisions and denounced it as dictatorial when they don’t. It all depends on whose ox is being gored.

  26. Mikel

    “If you’re not following this, you should be: word on the social media street is that China’s police force (MPS – Shanghai) database was hacked, with the personal information and case records of 1 billion citizens, and the records are for sale on Telegram – 23TB of data. 1/7

    Case records of a billion people. Population of China about 1.5 billion people.
    That’s a large percentage of a population to have a police record of any kind.

    I have to wrap my brain around that before I can move to woondering about a “hack”.

    Time to look at these problems another way:
    Like in the USA and elsewhere, the “hack” happened when all of this information was collected without transparency. Not when it was relased for sale or to the public.

  27. Wukchumni

    Lotsa weird space weather in this era of solar maximum taking out satellites @ 10x the rate of the past, with a large enough CME being the Sun of all our fears, a Carrington Event (no, not you Blake & Krystle) would put paid to this planet, and not to instill fear in the SoCalist movement, but every last drop of precious translucent liquid we so crave is delivered thanks to electric pumps bringing the largess from afar, the nearest local sources being the Sespe river and Fort Tejon where a powerful spring gushes like a geiser unbeknownst to most as they drive by on the 5.

    Were the power to be cut for say a fortnight, 10 million would be dead & nobody would have the strength and ability to bury them all, exacerbating things as Cholera & Typhus came calling in a banquet of consequences of building metropolises so far from water.

    It’d be oddly reminiscent of the 1830-33 Malaria epidemic which took out Native Americans in the west in a pretty much clean sweep with bodies everywhere.

    Philip L. Edwards (1837, p. 27): “The intermittent fever sometimes fearfully prevails.” Referring to 1833 he says: “This disease seems to have prevailed with like fatality from the Bay of San Francisco to the Columbia River in these fatal times. Previous to 1829 it was unknown in the Columbia. Its greatest mortality seems to have been from about 50 to about 100 miles interior.”

    Dr. John K. Townsend (1905, pp. 332-334), an entirely reputable witness, presents an account which is as conservative as most and more circumstantial than many. The following are excerpts: “The Indians of the Columbia were once a numerous and powerful people; the shore of the river, for scores of miles, was lined with their villages…. The spot where once stood the thickly peopled village … is now only indicated by a heap of indistinguishable ruins. The depopula- tion here has been truly fearful [i.e., near Fort Vancouver]. A gentleman told me, that only four years ago [that is, in 1830], as he wandered near what had formerly been a thickly populated village, he counted no less than sixteen dead, men and women, lying unburied and festering in the sun in front of their habitations. Within the houses all were sick; not one escaped the contagion; upwards of a hundred individuals, men, women, and children, were writhing in agony on the floors of the houses, with no one to render them any assistance. Some were in the dying struggle, and clenching with the convulsive grasp of death.”

  28. Mikel

    “Crypto collapse reverberates widely among black American investors”

    “Black Americans] do not want to be left behind again,” Noel said. “As far as I can tell, the black community sees crypto as a way to even the playing field and get in the game before the gatekeepers prevent others from participating.”

    Which makes zero sense as a line of reasoning.
    That line would only make sense to someone already into various types of “the chosen ones” thinking.
    That’s my clunky way of saying I’ve heard the religious overtones in the hyping of crypto.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > Which makes zero sense as a line of reasoning

      Indeed. And as always, we can look no further than branding and AA devotion to brand ambassadors, of whom there are two of the biggest working crypto:

      LeBron James
      LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation Announce Multi-Year Partnership with (via
      Steph Curry
      Steph Curry Reveals Crypto Commercial (via

      Sadly, their voices will carry more weight in the AA community that someone like Darrick Hamilton (via

    2. anon y'mouse

      they were heavily marketing (at least what i saw on reddit) to any “alternative” demo distrustful of the system. so black people, goldbugs, glibertarians, preppers, and anyone to whom the Normal Path of wealth accumulation had been barred or bypassed. and i think a definite part of the appeal was the idea that it would be unreachable by the Tax Man or other garnishments (i know—NOthing is out of reach of the tax man).

      it was rather like the move of the previously middle class to 401ks, but with a lot more snake oil advertising.

      a lot of “it’s your turn to cash in too!” it went very big after the Gamestop/wallstreetbets crap was fizzling.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I saw a TV ad for IIRC H&R Block at around tax time with a supposed crypto investor saying, “I’m a millionaire.” Background change, same actor, “I’m not a millionaire.” Repeat a few times.

      Narrator intones: Crypto can be confusing. We’re here to help.

      The actor was black. I though this was PC but now it looks like they had the measure of a target audience.

  29. Patricia Winter

    Regarding the “Forever Plague”: Newspapers here in Germany are overflowing with warnings about a new variant, BA.2.75, while the BA.5 reinfection wave is still on the upswing, and, guess what? BA.2.75 is more infectious still. Nobody cares. For over a month now, the evening news have been showing crowds of tens of thousands of revellers at festivals, soccer games and so on, emphasizing how those poor people couldn’t party for more than two years and thus insinuating that now they can. A side dish of crocodile tears for the event industry should compel the rest of us to go out and party. Strangely though, the German commentariat mostly heaps scorn on warnings about new variants and recommendations to mask up, not the awful policy decisions. Testing is no longer free, unless you do it to prepare for helping a disabled, immunocompromised, elderly person or two. For the rest of us, it costs between 3 and 14 Euros, depending on… even the testing centers don’t seem to know. They really are trying to kill us. No amount of incompetence could explain this disaster. On the other hand, a few (!) towns control the level of Covid in the wastwater now, though it beats me if they scan for variants. Day in, day out, I despair.

    1. Lou Anton

      “Nobody cares.” It’s everywhere it seems…hospitalizations in England are on their way back towards previous peaks. Going for peak #3 in 2022 :(.


      1. Gawr Gura

        In my experience it’s mostly that no one knows they should care, precisely because of the “see no covid, hear no covid, speak no covid” nopeaganda that’s been going on. People really seem to think it’s over, until they get visited by la rona.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “Russian investigators seeking information related to OSCE’s work in Ukraine’s interests”

    There has been stories of OSCE officers helping the Ukrainians for years and acting as spotters for Ukrainian artillery. One story I heard at the beginning of the war was that the Russian seized video cameras set up by the OSCE that were being linked to by the Ukrainians for targeting info. If true, then those hard-drives may become future evidence and will allow them to reject the presence of any future OSCE officers.

    1. Skip Intro

      IANAL, but If OSCE officers helped Ukraine shell civilian targets, they may be war criminals!

    2. Polar Socialist

      I remember DNR making some fuzz about a big pile of Italian 120mm mortar rounds they found stored in OSCE offices in Mariupol, with the transport date stamp after the start of Special Military Operation. Of course, by then anything with an “E” in it was not neutral anymore.

      I mean, there’s probably something about delivering weapons and whatnot in OSCE rules book, but OSCE is part of the “rule based world”, so most members of it won’t follow the rules.

  31. Steve H.

    AMSTERDAM, July 4 (Reuters) – Dutch farmers angered by government plans that may require them to use less fertilizer and reduce livestock began a day of protests in the Netherlands on Monday by blocking supermarket distribution hubs in several cities.

    (Skynet issues with the link, search will work.)

  32. jr

    Thanks for the article on Nietzsche but I would advise exploring further to get a better understanding of his ideas. The reason is that the author of the article, Janaway, really dropped the ball in his discussion of Schopenhauer. In his book Decoding Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics, Bernardo Kastrup tears apart Janaway’s book on Schopenhauer’s Will and Representation. I came away with the distinct impression that Janaway had no real grasp of it.

      1. Petter

        And I recommend that one read Nietzsche backwards, or at least start with Ecce Homo.

  33. The Rev Kev

    “Get Ready for the Forever Plague”

    Earlier today I was thinking about the past coupla years of the Pandemic. In a way, after researching the history of the great Flu pandemic of 1919-1920 about a decade ago, I was half-expecting a Pandemic to come along. But I was half right and half wrong. Yes, we got a pandemic but I was wrong thinking it would be a flu pandemic. A Coronavirus I never thought about. Surprise!

    Back in early 2020 I thought that it might be with us for about three years or so but that was based on the idea of a flu pandemic. IM Doc shot down that idea when he talked about the Coronavirus coming out of Russia in the late 19th century that stuck around for the next 12 years. So then my time horizon got pushed from about 2023 to about 2032 – or later. Well after most of the nations went for pushing for herd immunity in spite of the fact that the medicos – at least the honest ones – said that it doesn’t work that way, we are now at a point where we are playing Russian roulette with this virus on a near permanent basis. Did not see that coming.

    We talk about the jackpot and think of sudden shocks but John Michael Greer says that it will be more of a process. And so I think that this Pandemic will be the case. So we may end up in a world where you have people that take their precautions and mostly get by and the rest who pretend it is all over – only to fall sick again and again and getting worse with each hit. Eventually they will get carried off. By the end of the decade being fully healthy may come to be seen as an outer though I don’t know if it will make you look better on your Tinder profile. Remember, people want to partner up with other people as a couple. They do not want to do so to become someone’s nurse.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>– only to fall sick again and again and getting worse with each hit. Eventually they will get carried off. By the end of the decade being fully healthy may come to be seen as an outer though I don’t know if it will make you look better on your Tinder profile.

      Before the 20th century, epidemics (I guess a perpetual pandemic of epidemics?) might be considered normal with most people dying in one. Just look at the causes of death even of the wealthy with their resources. I think seeing people sick or crippled from illness was normal although not wanted. It not that we, today, live longer, which is somewhat true, it is that we do not die in such horrible numbers from infectious diseases even now.

      What is different is that even before modern medicine epidemics were gradual less of a problem using quarantines. Even in infected areas just giving basic nursing deaths could be greatly reduced. But we ain’t doing either of those things because we’re different. More knowledgeable, more capable, more stupid. Eventually, our society will get back dealing with the epidemics instead of performative job acting.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Only if our society can round up and exterminate all the people who have engineered this pro-disease response to the pandemic to begin with. They have to be gotten out of power and out of the way and out of existence so they can’t get back into the way and back into power. Till then, they will never allow society to return to sensible counter-epidemic actions.

        Till then, reality-based covid-cautious people can only try helping themselves and eachother do various things to lower their rate of getting covid from the carefully engineered re-infection propogation field deliberately engineered and maintained all around them.

  34. Darthbobber

    “Now, more than ever” was one of the main campaign themes of the 1972 Nixon re-election juggernaut. Featured in both signage and a jingle accompanying tv ads.

    1. Wukchumni

      From the mind of the fellow with a drag star nom doubloon…

      In 1968, Tuck utilized Republican nominee Nixon’s own campaign slogan against him; he hired a heavily pregnant black woman to wander around a Nixon rally in a predominantly white area, wearing a T-shirt that read, “Nixon’s the One!”

    2. flora

      That’s right. I remember the jingle. Wonder who her Donald Segretti is. There was a reason the Dems didn’t nominate a stronger candidate in the 1972 race. / ;)

      From wiki:
      Segretti served four and a half months in prison after investigations related to the Watergate scandal revealed his leading role in extensive political sabotage efforts (“ratf*cking”) against the Democrats

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The problem in ’72 was not the candidate. It was that the pro-war Democrat Party bosses (like Daley) and the pro-war union bosses (UAW excepted) went over to Nixon. Once Bob Strauss had successfully completed his anti-democratic “reforms,” then those same regulars and bosses returned to their previous roles of running the party, eventually into the ground.

        And their institutions’ credibility suffered big cracks that only got bigger.

        1. Carolinian

          McGovern himself said it was “a thousand dollars and a thousand percent.” I think it’s striking how much that time reminds one of this time. Or maybe our time is the road company version of that time. Biden is a piker compared to LBJ.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>Biden is a piker compared to LBJ.

            True, LBJ was just as corrupt, but both competent and more caring of the little people than Biden has ever been.

            Competence and human decency are both in short supply nowadays.

    3. Steven A

      The slogan was, “Re-elect the President, Now More Than Ever.” Within a year after that election I started to see bumper stickers that read, “Impeach the President, Now More Than Ever.”

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember a satirical joke-slogan from that election . . .

        ” Don’t change dicks in the middle of a screw, Nixon and Agnew in ’72! “

  35. Wukchumni

    Saw my first Bison on Catalina Island when my parents got rid of me for a week every summer much to their pleasure & mine for only around $100 (I think it’s $600 for a week now) circa early 70’s @ YMCA camp on the shores of what must be paradise, was my thought.

    I learned how to shoot a 22, got proficient with a bow and arrow and was pretty much ready to go out and hunt one, was the feeling I got.

  36. Mike


    As a cancer patient I can say that your observation is correct that doctors are more attentive to knowledgeable patients. I’m not a Facebook fan but a few years ago I found a Facebook group that was dedicated to my specific illness and it’s been EXTREMELY useful in providing direction regarding my treatment. The group is also moderated and closed to the general public. It has thousands of members and a post from someone with a medical concern always gets a response. It has been far more useful than Googling. My suggestion is that your friend do a Facebook search for her illness and see if there are any FB groups that might prove useful in joining. She can post her history and symptoms and then hopefully get some useful responses.

  37. C.O.

    Regarding migraines, as a long term sufferer I have found that magnesium citrate, 1000 mg at the first sign of one heads one off, and helps remarkably even after the migraine has got established, plus extra strength ibuprofen. When my migraines were not manageable by this means alone, I used one of the newer triptan medications, which for me were almost magically effective, but those vary a good deal for different individuals and can be expensive, though not near so much now with generics available and of course need a prescription. When I was in difficult economic straits, and there were not generic versions of the triptan medications yet, my doctor used to provide the sample packs first to figure out which one worked for me, and then after we figured out which one worked. (I hope that doctors are able to do that in the U.S. still.) Neither ibuprofen nor magnesium citrate clash with triptans, which was always a blessing if the looming migraine evaded them. I don’t know if triptan medications are hard on the liver though.

    1. C.O.

      Adding as other commenters have pointed out the difficulty of rebound headache with NSAIDs… the way I have and continue handling that risk is to go to bed after taking the ibuprofen if I need to take it, and I reserve ibuprofen for migraine management. I never max out how much ibuprofen I take in a day during a migraine to mitigate that risk as well. Other headaches in my case tend to be tension or hydration related, so those often resolve quickly by drinking a glass of water and keeping away from caffeinated drinks until the major stressor is out of the way. (It so happens that in my case cutting sugar way down really helped too.)

      Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to add: a cold pack (a wet towel chilled in the fridge or freezer will do) on the back of the neck for fifteen minutes at a time also helps amazingly. The reason this works is contested — some argue it releases pressure on the trigeminal nerve somehow. All I know is it does help.

  38. LawnDart

    And on the 5th of July…

    GT investigates: Millions of prison laborers in US produce billions in annual profits while working in harsh conditions, risking their lives for pennies

    The Global Times is publishing a series of stories that will uncover the four “crimes” of the US, a real “contemporary slavery empire.” The following is the first installment of the series: Prisons, the darkest corner of the US, where countless inmates suffer from exploitation.

    China is sure getting her digs in. Unfortunately, we give her lots of material to work with– our politicians will be working themselves breathless trying to fog the mirror. I expect this series of articles by GT to be brutal.

    1. Tom Stone

      It’s nice to see someone call the Prison Industrial Complex what it is, slavery.
      Always profitable and a “Legitimate” exercise of State power.
      Apply the minimum wage to these workers and forbid the prisons from garnisheeing more than 50% of their gross pay and you get an idea about the size of this corporate subsidy.
      And of course there’s the less legitimate form of slavery, a business that was recently estimated at $150 Billion per year.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It might be good to start a movement to ammend the anti-Slavery ammendment to the constitution, to delete the language allowing involuntary servitude for ” duly convicted convicts.”

        When people say that Slavery is still Constitutional within the US, they are referring to that Convict Slavery loophole.

        The Radical Republicans of the day who wrote that ammendment always thought that exception was about punishment of convicts. They didn’t expect it to be re-engineered into the mass supply of slave labor by clever shyster lawyers in authority.

        Such an ” ammend the Ammendment” movement might also try finding out every company which buys anything from prison labor, and organise torturecotts against those companies till they terminate their contact with prison labor of any kind.

  39. upstater

    Recalling Railroads, Logistics, and War, US Versus Russian Style Posted on June 16, 2022 by Yves Smith

    Here is a video report about the railway battalions
    From scratch: how the military of the Western Military District quickly built a railway bridge across the river instead of the destroyed Armed Forces of Ukraine

    Railway workers of the RF Armed Forces built a pontoon crossing in the special operation zone in six days.

    Impressive… but a 90m bridge is relatively short over a smaller river.

  40. Jason Boxman

    Oops, in reply to Patricia Winter on this.

    For those of us who do care, there’s this:

    (Looks like I can’t embed tweets, but was worth a play.)

    And: Omicron’s sub-variant BA.2.75 has limited circulation in India, but critical to monitor spread​​: Sources

    BA.2.75 – the second generation of the BA.2 variants – has high transmissibility and is being said to be behind the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

    I start to wonder to what extent it might even be possible to stay safe? At a certain level of transmissibility, we’re probably all screwed, no matter what, if governments refuse to return to live saving and transmission reducing NPIs.

    China might be the only country left standing.

  41. anon in so cal

    “American Grand Strategy: Disguising Decline”

    —Michael Lind

    The United States is in retreat, defeat, or stalemate everywhere, whether in the military arena or in the realm of trade and industrial production.”

    Wherever we look, then, we see the United States in retreat or in defeat or in stalemate, whether in the military arena or in the realm of trade and industrial production. Since the fall of Saigon, with the exception of military victories in Iraq and Libya that led to chaos, the only lasting military and geopolitical victories of America and its allies have been in Europe. One was the bloodless liberation of Eastern Europe from the Red Army and the incorporation of much of it into NATO. Another was the defeat of Serbia in the war of the Yugoslav succession. Unable to resist Chinese salami tactics in the South China Sea, and unable to convert short-term military victories into lasting diplomatic victories in the Middle East and North Africa, U.S. foreign policy has only had successes in Europe.

    I have been told that Germans have a proverb about working in an office hierarchy: “Bow in front, kick behind.” This is a good description of America’s actual global strategy for disguising its accelerating decline. While appeasing a powerful, rising China in practice, the United States picks fights with weak countries—Serbia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now a much-diminished Rump Russia. The United States is a declining force in global commerce and global diplomacy, but in its remaining North American and European spheres of influence, it can still play the hegemon and relive the glories of the past.

    1. Mikel

      Re: Disguising decline

      My clue to look for something terrible that may be happening in the geopolitical arena that affects the larger populations negatively is sudden increases in the stock market indexes.

  42. none

    Now more than ever, Democrats need Hillary Clinton

    She’s ready for her close-up, Mr. de Mille.

  43. John k

    I’m stoked that Hillary vs the Donald 2 might be on deck. Godzilla vs… wait, what was that other guys name?
    Thing is, ‘we gotta confront Russia’ gonna seem a little passé in 2024.

  44. Wukchumni

    Fighting solders from AI
    Fearless machines who can’t die
    Machines who do just what you say
    The brave machines of the MIC array

    Set a command within their chest
    These are machines, America’s best
    One hundred men meet a machine’s abilities today
    But would die when pitted against an MIC array

    Trained to live off man’s grid
    Trained in combat, won’t flip it’s lid
    Machines who fight by night and day
    Courage is a given with the MIC array

    Set a command within their chest
    These are machines, America’s best
    One hundred men meet a machine’s abilities today
    But would die when pitted against an MIC array

    Back at home, a mother waits
    Another one has met his fate
    He has died for those AI possessed
    Who didn’t honor his last request

  45. RobertC


    India has too many lightly-educated people needing work. And I’ve asserted several times Russia’s infrastructure will need them for reconstruction after permafrost loss Arctic warming: another obstacle to resource extraction.

    Arctic warming and mines

    A warming planet not only affects human and animal populations, and their cities and habitats, but minerals extraction and processing.

    Two-thirds of Russia is encased in permafrost, but warmer temperatures are thawing it. A large share of Russia’s oil, gas and metals are produced in cities that sit on permafrost. Thousands of kilometers of roads, rails and pipelines could sink into the mud, and hundreds of buildings and processing plants will fall over if the ground thaws. Russia has 24 regions that are permanently frozen and while only nine of those contain extensive infrastructure and cities, they are key to Russia’s economy, producing raw materials that account for nearly half of Russia’s GDP. (‘Russia’s permafrost is melting’)

    Modi has people resources. Putin has mineral resources. Xi has capital resources. Time to make a deal.

  46. ChrisRUEcon


    Loved the transcript – we’ve come to expect the “bringing of receipts”, and he did not disappoint.

    Unlike his western counterparts, he is a student-of, and one who has learned from history. His answer equating US/NATO/EU arm-twisting over sanctions to a gross violation of the UN Charter will largely fall on deaf ears in the US, but will resonate loudly in the third world.

  47. Brunches with Cats

    Niacin for migraines? Coming in late but wanted to add my two cents. I suffered from terrible migraines from early 20s to late 30s, after which they started tapering off. Somewhere along the line, I read that niacin could help and began taking it regularly with good results, until suddenly there was none to be found — apparently because of new studies showing it reduces cholesterol.

    Fast-forward to fall 2021, when new PCP at the VA was pushing statins to lower my cholesterol. Didn’t want them and really didn’t need them, but thought it might be worth trying niacin. Well, a little digging turned up the interesting fact that the “niacin” in vitamin supplements these days isn’t niacin, but niacinamide — ostensibly, because the latter doesn’t cause the “niacin flush,” which can be very severe for some people. But it also has no effect on cholesterol whatsoever. I guess that means it doesn’t do squat for migraines, either, and wonder how many others, like me, have been taking mega-dose B vitamins, unaware that they’re getting no niacin.

    I should add that my research included reports from subsequent studies showing that niacin tends to lower HDL more than LDL. However, I didn’t dig into how those studies were conducted or funded, so take it with half a grain of salt.

    I still get severe headaches, but rarely migraines anymore. Nonetheless, I can empathize with Betty Jo. During my peak migraine years, I was a reporter for The Associated Press, with the stress of deadlines always “5 minutes ago.” Often alone in a small bureau, I got through by getting cold cans from the soda machine and holding them to my head, going to the bathroom and puking my guts out, and repeating as necessary until my shift was over. The medications available at the time either did nothing or aggravating the nausea. Sometimes the only thing that worked was standing outside the shower and alternating blasts of scalding hot and ice-cold water to my head. Eventually I found a doctor who recommended biofeedback, then in its infancy. Very interesting experience and, and what I hear, nothing like the current technology …

    1. IntoTheAbyss

      Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) is what you are looking for regarding lower cholesterol, as opposed to niacinamide or no-flush niacin (Inositol hexanicotinate).

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Thanks for adding the technical info. Just did a quick search for the niacin-cholesterol connection. Top hits included a study of whether taking niacin with statin drugs lowered cholesterol faster or more effectively than the drug alone. Funded by Merck, maker of the drug used in the study. If you strain your brain real hard, you might be able to guess the conclusion. Also in the top hits was an NIH data sheet for providers (with a link to the dumbed-down version for lay readers) that starts out by explaining that niacin is the “generic name for nicotinic acid (pyridine-3-carboxylic acid), nicotinamide (niacinamide or pyridine-3-carboxamide), and related derivatives, such as nicotinamide riboside.” And it’s all downhill from there ..

      2. Imaginary solution

        According to my doctor (dermatologist), niacinamide does potentially lower cholesterol. He advises patients at a high risk of melanoma to take it, but only if they aren’t already on cholesterol-lowering medication. If a patient is already taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, he doesn’t advise taking niacinamide.

  48. Matthew G. Saroff

    No offense intended, but 3-D printing did not originate with novelty/hobbyist roots.

    It had heavy duty industrial applications from the beginning.

    In the 1990s, I was involved in the design of an electronic enclosure about the size of a shoe box, and moving from dip braising to a casting, because using stereolithography, the tooling cost went from over 1/2 million dollars to less than 20 thousand dollars. (The SLA object was used to create a lost wax tool)

  49. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    A sad story, which I couldn’t finish New details emerge about the 2020 Bonhomme Richard fire, ahead of censure of three star

    I did read this to the end…several times It’s Not Just the Forward Deployed By Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    I had the privilege of serving with some of the most talented and dedicated sailors and civilians in our Navy, culminating in what I believe is the best job in the world—Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet (C7F). I had the opportunity to work with our forward-deployed forces in the Western Pacific. Tragically, during the summer of 2017, we experienced the horrific collisions of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56). I am concerned that, in some quarters, these collisions are viewed and characterized as a “local”—Japan only—problem. There certainly were pressures on the fleet in Japan, but there are also indications of problems elsewhere. While the investigations in the aftermath of the loss of 17 sailors addressed many of the issues that may have led to the collisions, there were other factors. I offer some additional thoughts on what we were dealing with, because without a full understanding of what happened, we will be limited in our ability to address the root causes and ensure this does not happen again.

    And then there’s Fat Leonard Paying the Price: The Hidden Cost of the ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

    Last year, a senior U.S. Pacific Command staffer told a room of Australians, when asked about the ongoing case, “China could never have dreamt up a way to do this much damage to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific leadership.”

  50. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    Indian diplomat (retired) M. K. BHADRAKUMAR isn’t known for humor but then there’s this EU economies are down on their knees

    …The only part of the US agenda that is going well seems to be the unspoken part of it: the very same Anglo-American objectives that Lord Ismay once predicted as the rationale behind the NATO’s existence —”to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

  51. RobertC


    Is it apparent to everyone that Russia has started using its strategic bomber force to deliver weapons that can be equipped with nuclear (the original purpose) as well as conventional warheads?

    This was kinda a concern when the USN converted four Ohio-class SSBNs to SSGNs. Hard to read the label when the missile is in the air.

  52. JCC

    I just wanted to say thanks for yesterday’s link to the FT article on Michael Lewis’s book, The Premonition. I wasn’t aware he had written this and thanks to Naked Capitalism I took it out of the Library last night.

    I started reading it at around 7:00 AM this morning and finished it today. I couldn’t put it down :-) One of the most eye-opening books I’ve read this year, some of the revelations were astounding! It really puts together all the various aspects mentioned here over the years into one neat package.

  53. RobertC

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    There are three “geostrategic theorists” of note: Halford John Mackinder, Rudolf Kjellén, and Nicholas John Spykman. Here’s a friendly mini-bio for Spykman The little-known thinker who holds the key to Cold War II

    …To read Spykman today is to find that rarest of things: a foreign policy theory bolstered and derived from real events of the past, even as they make sense of the present and light the way into the future. In our age of hyperbole, plaudits are thrown around with abandon; but it is not too much to say that Spykman is a genius who should be read far and wide if we are to make sense of our world.

  54. RobertC

    Biden Administration

    Maybe Biden should visit his Delaware basement instead:

    Saudi Arabia: US court puts pressure on Biden over immunity for MBS in civil case Judge’s call to clarify Mohammed bin Salman’s status comes as Biden faces criticism for ditching promise to turn Saudi Arabia into ‘pariah’ state

    Saudis Unwilling To Upset Putin As Biden Begs For More Crude The world’s largest crude oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, continues to keep close ties with Russia while the top oil consumer, the United States, pleads with major producers—including the Kingdom—to boost supply to the market and help ease consumers’ pain at the pump.

  55. The Rev Kev

    Looks like Latvia is going to bring back conscription again and double the size of its military. That shouldn’t be a problem so long as they have a lot of spare money laying around. But if things go south, it will be a good way to round up young, unemployed men off the streets and put them in uniform before they can cause any trouble-

  56. Paul P

    “Is taxation theft”

    The Universe began 3.7 billion years ago.
    Earth began 4.5 billion years ago, or 6,000 years ago, if you’re
    a Christian. Nature preserved this property all this time.

    So, A is thinking of buying property from B. A asks B, whose been
    maintaining the property? How long have they been maintaining the property ….

    Can you steal what’s not theirs … or yours?

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