Links 8/19/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

Golden eagle rescued after colliding with powerline in the Heights Billings Gazette. Sent by proud relative. Paywalled but the gist:

Josh Thometz found big hawk on ground which got electrocuted on power line, got him to the right people, bird rehydrated and survived. He put bird in shade of a chair. Sprayed him with water mister, kept it alive until Fish and Wildlife people rehydrated it with IVs and kept it alive.

Bees Increasingly Stressed by Climate Change Over the Past 100 Years – Study Bloomberg

Botanist fights to save cycads, the ‘dinosaur’ plants threatened by land clearing and zealous collectors ABC Australia (Kevin W)

Peak social media: Mount Kilimanjaro gets high-speed internet so climbers can Instagram ascent Guardian (resilc)

In Pictures: Before Virtual Reality, There Was M.C. Escher—See Mind-Bending Drawings From a Major New Survey of This ‘One-Man Art Movement’ ArtNews (David L)

Artist Celebrates the Perfection of Nature Through Meticulous Geometric Drawings My Modern Met (David L)



Host anti-viral factors and pathways regulating SARS-CoV-2 infection (Kevin W)

Covid can cause brain disorders two years after infection, study shows Financial Times

Most People Infected With COVID-19 Omicron Variant Didn’t Know It SciTechDaily


Sick days double the normal winter rate in July, ABS data shows Guardian (resilc)



Europe is seriously considering a major investment in space-based solar power ars technica (David L)

Experts warn California of a disaster ‘larger than any in world history.’ It’s not an earthquake. USA Today (Chuck L)

Farm pesticides and medicines are ‘silent killer’ wiping out life in rivers, study says Independent (David L)

Children Living Close to Fracking Sites Have Two to Three Times Higher Risk of Leukemia DeSmogBlog

PFAS: Possible breakthrough to destroy harmful ‘forever chemicals’ BBC


Climate change creates ‘serious, long-term problem’ for China’s energy security, carbon neutral goal South China Morning Post.

No easy middle way for Japan on Taiwan Asia Times

China’s heatwave closes factories that supply parts to Tesla, Intel, and Toyota The Verge (Kevin W)

China Sentences Tycoon Xiao Jianhua, Fines Group $8 Billion Bloomberg

Old Blighty

Liz Truss’ Global Britain Agenda Tries to Reverse Time Matthew Ehret (Chuck L)

U.K. consumer confidence falls to record low in August MarketWatch

Mali accuses France of arming jihadists Politico

New Not So Cold War

Ukraine could be put on ‘ammo diet’ – US military expert RT (Kevin W)

By the numbers: Keeping track of the single largest arms transfer in US history Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

‘They’ve Bankrupted Themselves’: Europe Gutted Own Security to Funnel Kiev Weapons, Expert Says Sputnik

* * *

U.S. approves of Ukraine striking Russian-occupied Crimea Politico. From Wed., still germane.

Col. MacGregor – Ukraine & Russia Latest Judge Napolitano, YouTube. This seems to be where MacGregor is a guest most often. Napolitano is a right winger but not extreme. Useful on Crimea.

* * *

Dozens of foreign fighters eliminated in strike on Ukrainian base – Russia RT

More Boogaloo Bois Are Heading to Ukraine to Fight Vice. Resilc flags and adds “Good luck”:

“Some right-wing extremists have viewed the war in Ukraine as an opportunity to gain critical combat experience which would otherwise be unavailable to them,” said Fisher-Birch, pointing out that war experience can also help boost their cachet within the movement at home. “Combat experience not only serves the purpose of increasing their own capabilities but passing those skill sets along to others in their movement.”

Ukraine scatters ‘butterfly’ mines in Russia – governor RT

* * *

Address to participants and guests of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security Kremlin. Important. Defense Minister Shoigu also apparently made a formidable speech.

Anger letter to Scholz: “Do you really want to sacrifice your country for Ukraine?” Focus Online. Original: Wut-Brief an Scholz: „Wollen Sie wirklich für die Ukraine Ihr Land opfern?”

Second European smelter to halt production as energy costs bite Financial Times. From mid-week, still germane.

* * *

Europe can’t decide if it wants to punish ordinary Russians for Putin’s war CNN (Kevin W)


NATO-backed network of Syria dirty war propagandists identified The Grayzone. Resilc: “US troops in Syria still never an issue…… USA USA.”

Saudi Arabia’s Enablers Condemned as Woman Sentenced to 34 Years for Tweets Resilc: “If Israel can openly kill UScits, why can’t the Saudis kill/prison their own? USA USA.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Family That Mined the Pentagon’s Data for Profit Wired

Imperial Collapse Watch

Indonesia’s Jokowi confirms Xi, Putin to attend G20 summit in Bali South China Morning Post. This will be fun! US wants Putin out when China now regularly says Ukraine was America’s fault.

Military’s search for tech zen goes transnational Responsible Statecraft. Resilc: “Endless fucking waste that never workzzzzzzzz and is always over budget.”

A Eurasian jigsaw: BRI and INSTC interconnectivity will complete the puzzle Pepe Escobar, The Cradle (Chuck L)

Trump Raid

Judge says he’s inclined to unseal parts of Mar-a-Lago search affidavit, orders government to submit redactions NBC

FBI Unit Leading Mar-a-Lago Probe Earlier Ran Discredited Trump-Russia Investigation RealClearInvestigations (fresno dan)

FBI Sought Documents Trump Hoarded for Years, Including about Russiagate Newsweek (Tom H). If this is correct, Trump has a case. The problem for him is getting decent lawyers to argue it. From an Obama executive order still in effect, via Larry Johnson:

Sec. 1.7. Classification Prohibitions and Limitations. (a) In no case shall
information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail
to be declassified in order to:

(1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
(2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;
(3) restrain competition; or
(4) prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

Other Trump

The Senate Can Stop Trump’s Plan to Gut the Civil Service Washington Monthly (resilc)


Biden’s Climate Law Is Ending 40 Years of Hands-off Government Atlantic (David L)

Can Biden Wake Up the Youth Vote? New Republic. Resilc: “Shit lite vs shit = shit….It is not youth inspiring.”

GOP Clown Car

Democrats switched party registration in Wyoming. It couldn’t save Cheney. Politico. Kevin W: “Here is who she is” IM Doc reports that at least some Democrats changed party to vote against her.

Steve Bannon Ridiculed After Suggesting John Fetterman Is ‘Satanic’ Newsweek

Chuck Grassley tells constituents he supports $35 insulin cap, days after voting against it Independent (resilc)


My Abortion at 11 Wasn’t a Choice. It Was My Life. New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Big Ten Gets More Than $1 Billion a Year in Record TV Deal New York Times (resilc)

Layoffs Are in the Works at Half of Companies, PwC Survey Shows Bloomberg

The CHIPS Act won’t end US reliance on foreign foundries The Register

Class Warfare

Strippers bid to unionize in Los Angeles Agence France-Presse (resilc)

And a bonus (CV):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    Sittin’ on the Dock at Lake Mead
    (melody borrowed from Otis Redding)

    Sittin’ by the river side
    Where it used to be so deep and so wide
    Upstream of the Hoover Dam
    Solid work by Uncle Sam yeah

    I’m sittin’ on the dock at Lake Mead
    Watchin’ the waterline recede oooh
    Not enough water arrives
    To keep our lives

    In seven states people of means
    Are out golfing on those manicured greens
    Don’t we all plan to water our lawn
    Until the morning when the water is gone

    I’m just gonna sit on the dock at Lake Mead
    Watchin’ the waterline recede oooh
    Not enough water arrives
    To keep our lives

    Looks like nothing’s gonna change
    We each think we can skip the pain
    We can’t do what seven states still aim to do
    So it’s all going down the drain

    Sittin’ in the desert heat
    Adding up the acre-feet
    For the megawatts, farms, and yards
    Oh, we’re living in a house of cards

    So I’m just sittin’ on the dock at Lake Mead
    Watchin’ the waterline recede oooh
    Not enough water arrives
    To keep our lives

    (ends with carefree whistling)

    1. Sardonia

      The carefree whistling is the perfect touch. I love updated lyrics to great old songs! Nicely done!

      They found the 5th submerged corpse yesterday. Gotta figure that the Important Victims got weighted down properly, and tumbled all the way down to the lowest point, and will only appear if/when Lake Mead really drains down to a puddle. Will we finally find Jimmy Hoffa?

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        People in the know know that Jimmy Hoffa is entombed under the home goalpost at Giants Stadium in the Jersey Meadowlands.

  2. digi_owl

    That bear video is quite something, as you can clearly see the bear testing the strength of the wire before letting go of the tree.

    1. Lexx

      That a human hung the feeder on a high strength wire that could support the weight of a black bear is interesting. The feeder full of seed couldn’t weigh more than a few pounds. It seems likely to me that the bear was testing what the wire would do to his/her paws. They’re bears, not ninjas. Ouch!

      I suppose a smart bear could just climb the tree and and use one paw to violently jostle the wire until the feeder dumped all the seed on the ground.

    2. Wukchumni

      Our neighbors have 6 or 8x 1 gallon hummingbird feeders around the periphery of their home and bears raided it twice already in the past fortnight…

      Imagine the sugar high with that much?

  3. griffen

    California and it’s residents need to be on high alert. Watch out for the MegaFlood scenarios. Forthwith, take thyself into the past and build for thyself a large boat to take 2 of every living creature.
    Pick and choose the creatures you don’t like. Just don’t call it the Ark, Hollywood sequels deserve a more impressive and super hyped title. Super Ark? The Nomadic Not Yacht?

    Or just keep moving to Boise, or to Austin instead.

    1. Sardonia

      Silly humans think that only one Major Catastrophe can happen at once. We must prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

      The worst would be the MegaFlood hitting right as the great Caldera volcano erupts, as an 8.5 earthquake shakes Cali – and an asteroid strikes Sacramento the next day.

      Who says God doesn’t play dice?

    2. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      Everyday feels like a chapter from The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hey, that is important what you said. The land has subsided tens of meters in California since that flood back in 1862 due to the collapse of underground pockets as the water has been sucked out of it for farming. Has anybody checked to see if a repeat of that flood would be much, much deeper because of this? Check out what the difference would have been in 1977 alone-

    3. wilroncanada

      Just watch it rain 40 days and forty nights, and wait for the sewers to back up, (Stolen from Bill Cosby, no quid pro quo involved).

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      How many superfund sites and smaller pollution sites and chemical storages at ongoing business ( and sewage and so forth of course) would be stirred and churned up, mixed throughout the floodwater, and deposited everywhere within reach of the flood if such a megaflood happened?

  4. SocalJimObjects

    I still think there’s a possibility of a Red Wedding in Bali come November. US Navy Seals and the SAS coming in under the darkness to “take care” of both Putin and Xi. Will the Island of the Gods be another altar of sacrifice to Neoliberalism? Stay tuned to your gadgets come November!!!

    1. Jams Blonde

      Navy seals/SAS only works against 3rd World peasants. Good luck fcking around with an actual military such as Russia.

      1. LawnDart

        SEALS vs Water Dragons, an interesting match-up. I doubt that SEALS have succumbed to the rot that much of the USA military suffers, at least at the tactical level, and I have no doubt that the Chinese are excellent at their tradecraft too.

        I would think that any attempted “hit” would utilize a SAM or even air-to-air, over the ocean, when it would take time to trace the strike and it could give an aggressor a chance to blend in with a fishing-fleet or something.

        But any such assassination(s) would only have symbolic value– the perps would quickly find themselves facing a man like Shoigu, or worse. Probably worse, much worse. I don’t see a “win” in that, especially as Xi and Putin have more value to Western propaganda as having been cast as Hitler and the devil incarnate.

        Of course, the neocons haven’t exactly established a record of being rational actors.

        1. Wukchumni

          The various ex-Navy seals who have ventured into politics have shown that the vaunted military apparatus is no different than the rest of the MIC when it comes to rot.

        2. nippersdad

          If they were to buy a Kinzhal on the black market they could blame it on the Russians. The Russians prolly have a better process for inventorying their stuff than we do, but, that detail aside, do you think that Biden and Blinken would be willing to take one for the team?

          1. jsn

            I don’t know, the pictures we saw last week of ammo piled on the tarmac at that air base in Crimea show Russia has its incompetencies also!

            Though, for the really fancy stuff like Kinzhals, I expect you’re right.

            I think the Kagans would be happy to sell HIMARS directly on the black market if they could figure out how, then again, maybe that’s really what the whole war in Ukraine is about.

            1. nippersdad

              Yeah, that was really bad.

              I was watching something stupid on the internets the other day, as usual, and came across where the US navy had semi-buried an arsenal on one of the Aleutian islands. I wish I could say that we have been better about that, but there just seems to be dangerous stuff laying around everywhere.

              When some roach paleontologist comes to dig up our layers, he is going to be really angry. And he should be. I am already being non-existent roach paleontologist shamed sixty million years early.

            2. Darvon

              “U.S. approves of Ukraine striking Russian-occupied Crimea” Why repeat propagandistic misinformation?

              The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine Jacques Baud, The Postil

              “On 20 January 1991, before the independence of Ukraine, the Crimeans were invited to choose by referendum between two options: to remain with Kiev or to return to the pre-1954 situation and be administered by Moscow…. 93.6% of Crimeans agreed to be attached to Moscow….”

              “On February 26, 1992, the Crimean parliament proclaimed the “Republic of Crimea” with the agreement of the Ukrainian government, which granted it the status of a self-governing republic. On 5 May 1992, Crimea declared its independence and adopted a Constitution….”

              “On 17 March 1995, Ukraine forcibly abolished the Crimean Constitution. It sent its special forces to overthrow Yuri Mechkov, President of Crimea, and de facto annexed the Republic of Crimea, thus triggering popular demonstrations for the attachment of Crimea to Russia. An event hardly reported by the Western media.”


              Like saying “China approves of Mexico striking American-occupied California”

        3. Anthony G Stegman

          You need to bone up on the latest doings with regards to Navy SEALs. Things are pretty rotten, with heavy drug use rampant. Entire squads have been sent home.

          1. LawnDart

            Admitedly, my experience is dated (pre 9/11). At the time, they were a sharp bunch and a pleasure to work with. Now the Secret Service… …the bullet-catchers had quite a number of ass-clowns in their ranks– few of exceptional intelligence were noted.

      2. SocalJimObjects

        Bali is not in Russia. Xi and Putin are both untouchable in their home countries, so really the only way to take them out is when they can’t rely on home field advantage.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Probably Moscow will give the US a message before Putin goes. Something happens to Putin, then the same happens to one of your aircraft carriers. Make the neocons stop and think about it.

          1. anon in so cal

            I always experience consternation whenever Putin travels outside Russia.

            As horrific as it would be for those on the aircraft carrier, that is not enough of a threat. Given who the neocons are, they might be perfectly willing to accept that tradeoff

  5. SocalJimObjects

    “For 14 of the past 15 weeks, England and Wales have averaged around 1,000 extra deaths each week, none of which are due to Covid.

    If the current trajectory continues, the number of non-Covid excess deaths will soon outstrip deaths from the virus this year – and be even more deadly than the omicron wave.

    So what is going on? Experts believe decisions taken by the Government in the earliest stages of the pandemic may now be coming back to bite.

    Policies that kept people indoors, scared them away from hospitals and deprived them of treatment and primary care are finally taking their toll.”

    1. Lexx

      Is this tactic going on in your neck of the woods? I’ve got Banner calling me and leaving messages to say that my primary has recommended a test with one of their specialists and they’ve scheduled me for x. Then they call to leave messages to remind me of the appointment I didn’t make, and when I don’t show up, they reschedule me. A letter shows up and says they couldn’t contact me by phone… ‘here’s the date of your new appointment’.

      Two years ago specialists around here were scheduled out as much as a year in advance. There were long waiting lists. Now they have unused blocks of time and corporate is telling their primaries to drum up some business.

      My husband’s primary at U.C. Health did the same thing. With time on his hands, he went back through his patient files, then called to say he was recommending a bunch of tests he hadn’t discussed with his patient. Husband declined.

      We’d be touched by their thoroughness were it not for the obvious survival/profit motive.

      1. Questa Nota

        Above all First off, do no harm, to the income statement.

        Some cleverclogs will recommend metrics to encourage mandate full utilization of resources at all levels.

        There shalt be no exception for Specialists, Primaries or RNs.

        Dr. Cutter, our system shows that you didn’t meet your quota of reimbursable tests.
        Nurse Ratched, do you have an explanation why you needed extra saline?

        Will double-secret probation be involved?

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          As I recall, Kaiser was called on to the carpet for upcoding its Medicare patients in order to generate higher bill rates. Kaiser apparently ripped off Uncle Sam for many tens of millions in overbillings. Business as usual these days.

        1. .human

          I don’t understand how the hoi-polloi expect to pay their share of all these needless tests, something indicated aside. The medical-industrial complex has got a singularly deep hold of the willing masses.

    2. Ignacio

      When i read that “excess deaths have nothing to do with COVID” while there are a few thousands of COVID deaths each month in the UK I think there is something weird about this article. Then I read a few paragraphs later some MD stating that COVID “is no longer an issue” I can safely conclude that the article is bullshit even if there is some truth on it.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The big question of course is how many people are dying of covid related causes which are not being formally attributed to covid. My cousin in Texas (mid-40’s) died suddenly in January from blood clotting 2 weeks after being released from hospital with an encounter with omicron. Her cause of death was not attributed to covid, but according to my doctor relatives, it was almost certainly due to her infection. One doctor in my family told me he has several formerly health patients that he expects may not live long due to heart damage from their covid experiences.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            GM in an e-mail today stresses that Covid wreaks havoc with internal organs, particularly the heart. IM Doc has cases of extremely athletic men having bad outcomes.

            1. Lexx

              It might be helpful in our discussions here if we define what ‘perfect health’ is and question whether it exists at all. Can an overweight person be healthy, while someone who appears to be physically fit have underlying disease? If we remove the profit motive is there any agency interested in preventing disease, and/or curing it? ‘Perfectly fit’ is more of an ideal than a reality.

              To both parts of the first question I say ‘yes’, and to the second ‘no’. But we make assumptions based on appearances, and as for what’s beneath the skin, allow a profit-driven industry to tell us (even frame the question of) who is healthy and who is not, in black and white terms. The world we live in is gray. I think we Americans live in the Land of Sub-clinical, and that is not ‘perfectly healthy’.

              It isn’t just the media that has been willfully blind, but the entirety of the for-profit medical industry with every doctor’s visit and battery of tests, in defining for patients their state of health, and to be honest, our complicity in accepting that definition. Doctors then are more like priests interpreting our state of grace, administering to the unlucky and interceding for the most egregious sinners.

              It took me a lifetime to see the flaws in the liberal worldview and it’s notions of ‘earthly perfection’, but Margaret Atwood brought it home in her piece on Monday.


        1. Terry Flynn

          Exactly. Skin biopsy – results delayed and new blood tests ordered as part of my annual review.

          Cardiac review – will go ahead but I’ll be making VERY clear the symptoms that should raise eyebrows. Mum said today “you shouldn’t be like this at your age”…… Well duh.

      2. CanCyn

        PK & Ignacio! This X 1000!! How can anyone read about these excess deaths or about perfectly healthy people (pre-COVID infection) dying shortly after recovering and not think “hmm, what is going on here?” Let me answer my own question – Unfortunately the folks who are ready for this thing to be over are more than willing to believe the BS being spread by TPTB. I can only imagine it helps them sleep at night.

  6. griffen

    I think we’re just being goaded into a comment rabbit hole with the strippers’ unionization effort at the one club in Los Angeles. I can neither condemn or condone such union efforts to organize, as I have only received second hand knowledge of the entertainer’s responsibilities.

    Will there be barriers to entry for the newer entertainers, once a union at the club is established? The mind wobbles.

    1. fresno dan

      FROM the article: “We like what we do,” said Velveeta, a Star Garden dancer. “We would like our jobs even more if we had basic worker protections.”
      so I went to the website to see contact Velveeta…uh, so as I could send a message of supporting the proletariat. Alas, after carefully gazing at hundreds of photos, I did not actually come…across Velveeta’s picture contact information. I may have missed it, so I think I’ll revisit the entertainers and look longer and harder…

      1. griffen

        I would wish you success in your efforts, but sadly I feel there is a particular TMI element to all the above thoughts and actions.

        In other somewhat related news, Deshaun Watson gets an 11-game suspension. His time in Cleveland is set to begin on such a high note(!) Sorry to tell ya, but you are in Cleveland and surely they will not permit the QB to travel unaccompanied. Billionaire and team owner does reflect a certain idiocy to award that contract guarantee. Even idiots can succeed in business.

    2. marym

      There’s a long history of activism and union organizing of sex workers. There’s a chapter about it in Fight Like Hell by Kim Kelly.
      (“Certified as a B Corp, puts our mission and the public good above financial interests, giving over 80% of our profit margin to independent bookstores. It is written in our governance documents that we will never sell the company to Amazon or any major U.S. retailer.”)

        1. ambrit

          “A commercial entity must be at least 18 years of age; ie. not a “minor,” to be admitted to this ‘economic performance.’ In some instances, a “minor” commercial entity can be admitted if accompanied by an “adult” affiliated commercial entity.”

        2. marym

          I don’t know the answer to that. In the meantime they have a good selection and customer service, and do some good in the world, so I like shopping there.

  7. bwilli123

    Ukraine appears to have some probity issues. Probably minor and won’t affect their military capabilities in the slightest. /s

    Ukraine war veterans on how Kiev plundered US aid, wasted soldiers, endangered civilians, and lost the war.
    …”In the two months she spent in Ukraine, (Dr.) Morris says she encountered theft and corruption more times than she could count. “The lead doctor at the military base in Sumy has ordered medical supplies from and for the military at different points in time, and he has had 15 trucks of supplies completely disappear,” she said. The military first aid kits she had intended to give to soldiers once they graduated her training program were stolen. She saw the same kits for sale at a local market days later.

    and from the locals…

    Suicide missions, abuse, physical threats: International Legion fighters speak out against leadership’s misconduct

    Top findings:
    The leadership of the intelligence-run wing of the International Legion is allegedly implicated in various violations, including abuse, theft, and sending soldiers unprepared on reckless missions.
    One of the unit’s commanders and a frequent subject of the soldiers’ complaints is an alleged former member of a criminal organization from Poland, wanted at home for fraud. In the Legion’s unit, he is involved in coordinating military operations and logistics.
    The legion’s fighters accuse him of abusing power by ordering soldiers to loot shops, threatening soldiers with a gun, and sexually harassing the legion’s female medics

    1. LawnDart

      The Ministry of Defense announced the shooting by soldiers “Kraken” soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who escaped from the battlefield: Society: Russia: › news › 2022/08/19 › kraken
      1 hour ago

      The beatings weren’t working well-enough, this will surely improve morale!

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Kraken soldiers also murdered Russian prisoners as well earlier in the war so you can bet that now that they are close to the contact line that the Russians are noting their presence and are planning accordingly. Not the first time either that a far right-wing Ukrainian unit has murdered ordinary soldiers trying to surrender or retreat. The Kraken are a new unit only formed at the beginning of the war and aren’t part of the Ukrainian military but answers to the Defense Ministry – whoever that really is. They are reputedly recruited from gym rats, football hooligans and bouncers-

    2. Carolinian

      I saw that Grayzone link yesterday and a must read for anyone who thinks the Ukrainians are the “good guys” as opposed to “country 404.” Of course most ordinary Ukrainians are as trapped as we are under the thumb of a ruling class that is steeped in hatred and corruption and led by–what else?–an actor.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Experts warn California of a disaster ‘larger than any in world history.’ It’s not an earthquake.”

    If you were living in a low-lying area in California and were prudent, it might be wise to buy a cheap “tinnie” which is a nickname here in Oz for a small, open aluminium boat and put it somewhere safe. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles and just oars maybe instead of an outboard motor. If things go south and it looks like there will be major floods, you won’t be able to get one for love or money. And emergency services would likely be stretched which means that you would be on your own.

    1. Charger01

      Kayaks are a good value as well. Not much storage, but they do well in whitewater conditions.
      Remember Katrina and Rita.

    2. Wukchumni

      A month ago I was sitting in the Silver City Resort in Mineral King drinking tea when such a downpour occurred and being Johnny on the spot, I inquired as to what they had in ark rentals despite not looking at the NOAA forecast, and luckily I got the last one-a 45 foot model, and then braved the rain looking to pair up animals although all I could find was a couple of mismatched dogs-one of them spayed.

      My thinking was when it came time to launch i’d pick up a couple of buoyant Marmots en route down the mountain, when out of nowhere-blues skies prevailed once again.

    1. jsn

      Lloyd was the last Treasury Secretary who understood New Deal monetary policy and JK Gaibraiths’ Institutional Economics, so correctly understood the meaning of “the Deficit” and that the Federal Government could afford what it chose.

      He did represent Big Oil and specifically at the moment they were rolling out their FUD and denial campaign about Climate Change and certainly has a lot to answer for on that count, including what you just brought to my attention.

      Thank you for the interesting link!

      1. GramSci

        I wish I could share your fonder memories of Bentsen. I remember him as Wikipedia does: He helped author NAFTA and engineer the 1993 Omnibus Reconciliation Act. The latter worshipped at the altar of the National Debt and neither shows me much evidence of sympathetic understanding of New Deal monetary policy. I can least forgive him for primarying Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough in 1970.

        1. jsn

          Not so much fond as unexamined childhood memories.

          My introduction to Bentsen corresponded to my intro to James Galbraith at the LBJ School in the 80s.

          Your link is helping me to differentiate some things I hadn’t really revisited since!

    1. Questa Nota

      Pharma Industrial Complex
      Military Industrial Complex

      Both use legislative mandates, that their teams write, to extract maximum funding from an unwilling public. One gets you hooked and in debt, as cures aren’t good for business. The other just kills foreigners over the horizon.

      Embed this! they both dare. Then your Solons (do they still acknowledge the history?) and Representatives go back to being hollow, craven, slithering, well, you get the shaft drift.

      Needs something catchy, snappy.

      Self-licking ice cream cone is too long.

    2. IMOR

      Like he remembers.
      More broadly and kindly: Sincerely and honestly expressing directly contradictory views of various matters days apart is just as much a part of the unraveling with extreme age as forgdtfulness, if somewat less frequent.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Re Chuck Grassley

      ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time’ – Maya Angelou

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Peak social media: Mount Kilimanjaro gets high-speed internet so climbers can Instagram ascent”

    Should we keep a watch for when the first party on Mount Kilimanjaro gets themselves killed by trying to follow Google Maps to get up that mountain?

    1. Geo

      *Hiker plummeting from a cliff*

      Google Maps: “Rerouting…”

      *Hiker splatters on the rocks*

      Google Maps: “Make a legal U-turn.”

    2. Eclair

      Gosh, one more instance of the Western competitive mentality that views the natural world as a separate entity to struggle against and subjugate. I did a lot of hiking with the Sierra Club groups when we lived near Los Angeles in the ’80s and ’90’s. ‘Peak-bagging’ was a big thing. Keen hikers bragged about how many named peaks they had climbed; I think there were official levels of progress, but I may be making this up.

      Now, wintering in Seattle, we are very aware of the manner in which Tahoma (or Tacoma,) arrogantly renamed in 1792, by the colonizing English to honor Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, R.N., dominates the skyline. We can view it from the balcony of our tiny condo. The rare sunrises or sunsets in which ‘the Mountain is out,’ are awe-inspiring. Beauty, power, an eternal force that renders minuscule the life-spans of us humans, all make the notion of ‘bagging’ this peak into a profoundly profane action.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Down in La La Land there is the SPS (Sierra Peak Section) of the Sierra Club that maintains a list of approximately 260 peaks (known as The Peak List). Cascade range peaks are excluded from the list, so climbing Mount Shasta doesn’t count. The ambitious types labor for a number of years climbing peaks and crossing them off the list. They usually save an easy one for last so that they can hump some wine and spirits to the summit to celebrate their accomplishment. There is a legendary climber who has completed the list seven times. In his later years he hired packers to haul himself to the peak approaches. Many of the peaks have summit registers hidden among the rocks. The library at Berkeley is a repository for some of the registers since they are considered to have historical significance. Climbing all those peaks is a great way to fully experience the mountain range. There is no better way.

        1. Anonymous 2

          Lovely story in Scotland recently. 80 year old man no longer able to look after his dementia affected wife decided to climb all the Monroes (peaks over 3000 ft in Scotland) of which there are about 300. He did this to raise money for Alzheimer Charities. A few days back he climbed the last of these, being met by a large guard of honour who applauded him and created a long triumphal arch of climbing sticks for him to walk under at the end of his climb aged 82..

          Sometimes the news can be delightful.

    3. Wukchumni

      I think one of the driving forces in the younging (the average age of backpackers is in the low to mid 20’s for the most part) of the wilderness visitor in the High Sierra backcountry is just the opposite, in that there is no connectivity-save a SPOT device or satellite phone, and in a world where places as far away from it all as Mount Kilimanjaro have high speed internet, it only increases the value of those wi-fi-d-holes where it will never be widespread such as Sequoia NP in the Giant Forest where 99% of the visitors try to co-exist in 1% of the National Park and there’s wi-fi, but the other 99% of SNP where 1% of visitors go has none.

      We’ve all turned into information sponges, and when you have no artificial means to do it, you automatically transfer that thirst to what’s in front of your nose.

      When you emerge from a weeklong news embargo, you always wonder what happened in your absence.

      My longtime backpacking partner had the Soviet Union go bust when he was in the backcountry, and I was in the French backcountry after having started our walk in Pralognan-la-Vanoise when 9/11 happened and didn’t know about it until a few days later.

      1. GC54

        Agreed. We emerged from a month of wandering to and up Mt. Waddington in BC. In the van after, scanning until we got a station literally the first thing we heard was “in the last war it took 3 months to position tanks …” and we looked at each other as WTF is this??? It took another quarter hr to learn that Kuwait had been invaded and that the US etc were going to kick the Iraqis out.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg intend to cover the planet with WiFi, so the remotest places on earth will have coverage. There will be no place to hide. It’s only a matter of time before the glow of cellphones and laptops will be seen at the most remote of campsites. Heck, climbers on Mount Everest livestream routinely.

      3. Offtrail

        Total isolation is, traditionally, just one of the great things about the outdoors.

        This phenomenon has extended to the shrine room. It can be very hard to get new meditators to turn off their phones.

  10. GramSci

    re The Family that mined the Pentagon’s data

    “It was only in 1966 that press and public pressure sent the Freedom of Information bill to the desk of President Lyndon Johnson (with unlikely support from the commie-hunting senator Joseph McCarthy).”

    Sorry, but Joe was my Congressman and I’m reasonably sure he died in 1957…

  11. LawnDart

    Important. Defense Minister Shoigu also apparently made a formidable speech. Update: Since it is blocked from the US in English and even in Russian, we are making this Links very cluttered by embedding it at the end (hat tip Sibiryak for sending it on).

    Free only to see what they want us to see, and man, does Shoigu ever dispute the narrative. For those who adhere to the idea that “perception is reality,” his words are dangerous.

    I am reminded of the joke:

    A Russian is travelling to USA. His USA seatmate asks, “Why are you traveling to America?”

    “I am going in order to study American propaganda techniques.”

    The American scoffs, “We have no propaganda here!”

    “Exactly!” replies the Russian.

    1. Eclair

      “Clearly, Britain’s colonial experience …. has come in very handy for London in dealing with the current leadership in Kiev.” Ouch!

      All those centuries spent subjugating the less-than-human brown/black/’yellow’ inhabitants of exotic continents make the Brits masters at handling a ‘sort-of-white’, borderline Slav, Ukranian.

      I have been wondering why the outcry over Russia, taking over the world, is so fierce. It’s ok for White, English-speaking (ok, maybe throw in a few Spanish and French-speaking nations as well) to forcibly conquer, subjugate, rule and extract riches from, lands that are thousands of miles from their borders? Even commit genocide on Indigenous populations? The Brits (and other white europeans) have done some really Bad Things and, sure, their Empire has been disbanding in the post WW2 era. But the White Supremacist USA has followed in their footsteps and even blazed new paths.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        I can from Uruguay. Thanks, I was hoping to get a link, because I was having a hard time reading the embedded stuff. I spent a couple hours today looking for a transcript of these remarks from Shoigu, and I was not able to find them. (But I did have trouble with links being blocked in uruguay, and I had to set my nordvpm to identify me as being in Brazil to get to some of those links) I could find Putin’s remarks quickly. I specifically wanted to see what he had said to Latin America. Excellent work naked capitalism!!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Can Biden Wake Up the Youth Vote?”

    I ask you. What can old Joe possibly have in common with any young people. Any of them that have half a brain know that old Joe was responsible for making student debt become inextinguishable in bankruptcy. And I am sure that a lot of them remember that he said that he has no sympathy for them whatsoever. This is how they probably see him-

    How many of them before the election said to themselves that Biden is really going to be in their corner?

    1. Lex

      I have a college age niece (goes to my local uni) and I’m doing my best to make sure she and her friends know who the real Joe Biden is. It’s the least I can do.

      1. Pat

        I would spend some time pointing out the belligerence of his Secretary of State and foreign policy, and that his administration is actively antagonizing two major nuclear powers. I would then note that no Biden, or the relatives of any major political representative, along with those of bankers, Silicon Valley elite, etc will not be the ones who are conscripted to fight this two front war. Making sure they understand that the need for cannon fodder Along with the military’s difficulties recruiting volunteers even when we aren’t fighting an unnecessary war make conscription inevitable.

        They need to know that a Joe and his friends are absolutely going to send them to war if they are allowed to continue as they are.

  13. Solarjay

    Space solar.
    This is an bad idea that has been going around and around for decades.
    Solar is collected then converted to microwaves, beamed to an earth based receiver, and converted back to electricity.
    Just a few minor really issues.
    I’m sure all that burned rocket fuel is good for our atmosphere and actually helps with stopping climate change
    I’m also sure that the microwave beam will never move off it’s land target.

    Can’t believe i actually agree with musk

    1. Charger01

      Sim City 2000 was a great game that introduced this fantastical ideas. Personally I like tidal turbine generation, but to each their own green generation.

      1. digi_owl

        Recently i saw a most curious new take on tidal generation out of Australia.

        Rather than run the generator off the tides directly, it used it as a kind of bellows, pushing air in a single direction over a generator much like with wind power.

        And the main material in contact with seawater as concrete, thus likely avoiding much of the issue of corrosion etc.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Interesting concept that. And if they used Roman-style concrete, erosion of that concrete would be a non factor too.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Tidal and wave energy certainly has a role – the Rance station has been pumping out significant amounts of power for half a century. But the big problem with nearly all tidal/wave power proposals is that very heavy engineering is required to survive the power of the sea, and this puts an effective floor on cost – in comparison to solar and wind where we’ve seen steady long term dropping cost curves.

        But there are parts of the world where potentially huge amounts of power could be generated without too much environmental damage – such as the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland. But it will take a lot more investment before its viable.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I wonder how much of New York City could be powered by the current flows through Hell Gate, which sometimes exceed 10 nights if I remember correctly. Bit of a consistency problem, with four or so slack periods a day and a sine-wave curve to available energy over time, but MIT and RPI are close at hand, and Woods Hole too.

          Git ‘er done!

        2. Rod

          I learned about Rance in an Energy Technology class I had in 1982.
          Say What?

          Also about EVs—Kent had 3. The coolest was the 45mph version powered by a 12v lead battery bank charged by the 5hp Briggs and Stratton spinning a Cat generator that started automatically when the battery bank fell to 50%.

          But to tidal potential:
          Enough to surf the St Lawrence in Montreal:

          With little imagination, solutions start appearing everywhere…
          A “Turn out the lights when you leave the room” attitude in everyone would demand it.

      3. nippersdad

        I distinctly remember this being discussed in the Eighties. What made it memorable was how all of the small asteroids that usually burn up in the atmosphere would fill the solar panels with holes right before a larger one knocked the microwave transmission part off kilter and fried a few hundred miles in a straight line off target. I’m pretty sure that is where they got the idea on Star Trek Enterprise for the Xindi attack from central Florida down to Cuba.

        But, yeah, tidal electricity generation sounds a lot more within the realm of possibility. My favorite part of that idea is the creation of reef environments that would, of necessity, be off limits to fishing trawlers. Windmills and tidal generators may mess up the view, but an enforced mechanism for saving the coastal wildlife would be the best part for me.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      When Elon Musk is the voice of reason……

      But yeah, I remember when the much missed Omni Magazine had lots of articles on the subject of space solar going back to the 1980’s. But even very simple back of the envelope calculations should confirm that with present space lift capacity and conventional panels it can’t be an option for several decades, especially for Europe which has fallen behind on heavy lift technology (Ariane lifters are very good, but also expensive).

    3. YuShan

      Nobody can seriously think this is going to work. Any money spent on this stupidity is designed to fill somebody’s pockets.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Mylar. We already use microwave transmission to cool satellites. Nowhere near as difficult or expensive as y’all seem to think.

    1. Pablo polyansky

      DSHRG Rusich (ДШРГ Русич) – the shame of our military. Right-wing radicals, most of them are in prison under articles on extremism. They were expelled from the Donbass in 2016, they fought as private soldiers in Syria and Libya as part of the RSB groups. With the start of the military operation, they are fighting again in the Donbass. their leader Milchakov

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Hungarian PM Viktor Orban in interview with German magazine Tichys Einblick: ‘EU will be weaker than before after the end of the war in Ukraine; damage to Europe is immense while other countries & regions stand to gain; West has failed to win the war militarily;’

    An RT article says more-

    ‘The Hungarian leader argued that the West is incapable of winning the conflict militarily, and that the sanctions it has imposed on Moscow have failed to destabilize Russia. To make matters worse, the punitive measures have spectacularly backfired on the EU, he said.

    Orban also noted that a “large part of the world” is clearly not getting behind the US when it comes to Ukraine. He pointed to “the Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, South Africa, the Arab world, Africa” as regions not supporting the Western line on the conflict.

    “It is quite possible that it will be this war that will demonstratively put an end to Western supremacy,” Orban said.’

    And if we are going to be truthful, how many non-western nations will be sorry to see this happen?

  15. Ignacio

    RE: Liz Truss’ Global Britain Agenda Tries to Reverse Time Matthew Ehret (Chuck L)

    We have already seen the niceties of Trump’s MAGA and now poised to witness those of Truss’ MUKGA. What could go wrong?

    Yesterday a read in full an article linked by CS (David the author) that did not leave very much of hope on our reckless leaders. My guess is that Truss is going to make David’s ideas truer.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      On all available evidence, Truss is an appalling human being with little talent for anything but self promotion.

      You can dismiss Johnson as an anomaly, but when you get two such dangerous people in a row ‘elected’ to high office, you have to conclude the problems are systemic. In theory, democracies are self stabilizing – but it seems that increasingly we are seeing negative forces reinforcing each other. Johnson and Trump are leading to even worse leaders with no relief in sight.

      And yes, another shout out here for David’s brilliant essays, all of them are must-reads.

      1. jsn

        With centrally, digitally administered propaganda, I mean a “free press”, the concept of democracy lose some punch.

      2. Ignacio

        Systemic indeed, I was trying to recollect some of the ideas left by David on how current leaders are selected. If I recall correctly 1) their ability to navigate their corresponding parties 2) self-promotion skills 3) ability to run impacting narratives or transform problems into credible narratives but not solutions. 4) Have good appareance in media.

        Something like that. Strict PR types.

      3. Nikkikat

        I had been saying for a long time about the people goin crazy about the horrible orange man that they should be careful what they wish for, as the next one could be a whole lot worse and they almost always are much worse.

    2. divadab

      As a citizen of a Commonwealth country, I say take a hike, Liz. Grow your own food, find your own energy, fight your own wars – we’re not part of your fantasy world and why would we want to be? Liz Truss – and her co-conspirators Johnny Jockstrap, Billy Backbrace, and Betty Bomboclot – can be imperial lapdogs til the cows come home but leave us out of your stupidity.

  16. Jams Blonde


    Sorry to continue a conversation from yesterday but I feel it is important, especially as other readers may have been victims of verbal, emotional and psychological violence. The Cambridge dictionary defines violence as

    actions or words that are intended to hurt people

    The WHO defines violence as

    the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened[3] or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.

    1. jsn

      And the elision of these two meanings is used by a lethal state, one literally killing lots of people around the world, as a justification for silencing anyone criticizing it.

      Silencing ideas cannot be limited to bad ideas because the only way to arrive at consensus on the quality of ideas is open debate.

      Bad thoughts must be heard or evil actors WILL use the power to suppress them to suppress anything inconvenient to themselves.

      1. ambrit

        Yes. I remember the outcry of “wokeness” when the ACLU supported the right of American NAZI Party head John Lincoln Rockwell to speak and publish his views.
        “Speech,” at least political speech, truly is an either or situation. Either we allow any and all political speech, or we allow none. There is no viable middle course. [If you doubt me, just ask the moderators at any reasonably honourable blog site that allows comments.]
        The one generally accepted speech ‘trip wire’ that activates “moderation” is of the so called “shouting fire in a theatre” sort. Speech directly inciting violence is ‘moderated’ simply because of the immediacy of the harms reasonably expected to result from such.
        It reminds me of the differences between “debate” and “invective.”

        1. chris

          I don’t agree with much of what Mr. Berenson has published during the pandemic but this is outrageous! How could anyone in the government or Twitter be stupid enough to do this? Now they’ve created a martyr with a voice and a loyal audience.

          I think it is things like this that will destroy the Democrat party. There have to be hundreds of similar cases floating around. If the Trump team or others get a hold of them then all those “low information” voters will be activated when they find out what has been happening during the Biden administration response to COVID.

          1. anon in so cal

            Twitter has suspended many thousands of accounts—accounts that support Julian Assange, accounts that post the truth about the US war against Russia in Ukraine, accounts that mentioned the Hunter Biden laptop, accounts that complained about Twitter’s pre-election censorship of any facts or articles that mentioned the FBI’s year-long investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged money laundering and influence peddling.

            “Glenn Greenwald

            “Glenn Greenwald
            Apr 27
            The brute censorship by Twitter/FB of authentic reporting on Biden, 2 weeks before the 2020 election, based on the CIA “Russian disinformation” lie, was grotesque: extremist election manipulation for Biden.

            So of course liberal journalists revere the Twitter lawyer who did it.
            Quote Tweet
            Jerry Dunleavy
            · Apr 27
            Tech reporters at major outlets are simping for the top level Twitter lawyers involved in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 and/or involved in facilitating Trump-Russia collusion bullshit peddled by Clinton operatives being injected into the FBI in 2016. Says a lot.
            Apr 12

            The widely reported pervasive fear among the Twitter workforce that Elon Musk may endanger or even end their systemic censorship regime illustrates how central of a tactic internet censorship has become for US liberalism. Information control is vital to their worldview.””

    2. Patricia

      I think one has to develop a solid thick skin to do the work of Yves and Lambert, and I often marvel at their ability to keep clear heads and hearts while slogging through the cr*p day after day. I think that it likely colors how one views violence. Another thing that colors it is domestic abuse and PTSD, particularly when done to children.

      Violence as a term gets abused a lot by peeps who want to own victim status for social power. We see it in the persecution complex of the Evangelicals as well as in the hurt feefees of various journalists who haven’t been outside their bubbles and “suffer” criticism. We see it in academics who jump on whatever wagon is wafting through their fading echoing halls.

      Physical violence is simple and clear. But how about that Calvinist pastor who frequently tells his very young daughter that he is “so sorry that God made her for suffering”? Such a communication repels one inside, makes one crawl into a ball, or strike out in helpless rage. These are signs of violence-done, truly.

      So, call it what you will: damage can come to the body and to the mind. Even to o the heart, if one believes in such a thing.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      This is thread-jacking, a violation of house rules.

      It is a separate violation to try to re-litigate an argument you lost on a new thread.

      If you want to hold forth on this topic, get your own fucking blog.

    4. ewmayer

      Cherry-picking references which support your claim – nice try. I just quick-checked the built-in dictionary on my Mac (vintage 2010) which I believe is based of the OED of America English, it defines violence as:

      “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.”

      There are already perfectly good words for what you are trying to mis-label in order to stifle discourse of which you disapprove, e.g. abuse, invective, etc. Many alleged incidents of “verbal violence” I’ve seen from the safe-space-to-not-be-disagreed-with-in snowflakes boil down to mere “tartness” or “bluntness”. See Glenn Greenwald’s several Substack posts this year about a particularly egregious example of such performative disagreement-victimhood weaponization, in form of WaPo “investigative reporter / disinformation expert” Taylor Lorenz.

  17. Jams Blonde

    Re: Violence

    Sorry to continue a conversation from yesterday but I feel it is important, especially as other readers may have been victims of verbal, emotional and psychological violence. The Cambridge dictionary defines violence as “actions or words that are intended to hurt people”. The WHO defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        He’s too full of himself and humorless to get your reference, which is priceless.

        Otherwise I would have ripped his comment out.

  18. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    Street frighting is to be avoided at all costs as the price paid is seldom worth the effort, and especially so in a market that has taken a turn for the worse with inventory piling up and even staging efforts are for naught. Sure you might be a able to sell a used abode at this point where one can clearly see the high water mark when viewed from below, but it better have 22k gold plumbing fixtures if you know what I mean and I think you do.

  19. nippersdad

    Re: Bees increasingly stressed by Climate change….”

    I know this is anecdata, but I have been shocked the past two years by the declining numbers of pollinators out here in the sticks. There has just seemed to be no rational reason for why we would go from uncountable numbers to being excited yesterday to see a blueberry bumble bee (out three months after it should have found a burrow). Yesterday was the official Georgia pollinator census, and I am in hopes that our place is an anomaly.

    From the article, though, it sounds like a mix of increases in humidity and heat may be at fault, and we no longer have the Mediterranean climate we used to have; some days it feels like a Louisiana bayou out there. Having more rain in the summer has been really nice for us, but it looks like the bees just don’t like it. The more we plant for them the less we have, and it has been very frustrating.

    1. Rod

      Garden is not giving up any Zucchini for the past 4 years—no joke —Zucchini—loads of flowers but never a buzzy pollinator seen.
      I have seen, in my Piedmont’s red clay, the transition from bees to bumble bees to nada over the last decade.
      In desperation I loaded the garden w Zinnia and let the Passion Flower
      rip this year. Though barren, the whole squash patch is colorful to look at.

      1. Vandemonian

        You could always try a bit of DIY, Rod. When the flowers emerge, pick a male flower (long stem) and poke it into the female flowers to spread the pollen. Not a solution to bee colony collapse, but you will get some zucchinis.

    2. Medbh

      Not just the bees, but the dragonflies and butterflies too. I planted a garden when we moved into our house about a decade ago. People would walk by and comment on the insect activity; it was a swarm you could literally see. My milkweed used to be covered in caterpillars, and I’d see multiple species of butterflies. This year, I’ve seen maybe 2 monarchs total and a dragonfly per week. It’s eerie. A garden full of beautiful flowers that no one visits.

      Every year it gets a little worse. It’s horrifying to people who have a sense of place and history, but if you’re not a gardener or a hiker, the loss is invisible.

      We’ve “mucked” around and now are going to find out. A whole bunch of people have no idea what’s coming because they can’t see the change that has already happened.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Address to participants and guests of the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security”

    Damn right it is important and Alexander Mercouris was talking about this speech recently. In the past Putin has referred to countries like the US as ‘partners’ but here he is really laying out how the Russians now see the world and comes out and says it. He talks about Western globalist elites that are the source of the problem and how they are trying to maintain a Hegemony. And Putin is right. The situation in the world is changing dynamically. And the future is uncertain but what is certain is that it won’t be going back to what it was a year ago. And he does not hold back. He comes right out and says the west uses force and violence to try to maintain their position and Russia will not back down. Not that it is working anymore. I think in importance that this may go down with his 2007 Munich speech. It’s not a war speech but what I think that he is saying is that the time of the western hegemony is over and done with. Stick a fork in it. Interesting times that we live in.

    1. nippersdad

      I saw that Mercouris piece as well. The fact that they had two such speeches at a military convention spoke worlds.

    2. Martin Oline

      I have become very depressed about the world situation with Ukraine heating up. It is obvious that the western hegemony will not give up even after they have lost the last Ukrainian. It seems that running out of weapons is not a problem. The largest nuclear power plant is now a target of opportunity for shelling and drone warfare. I suspect this is the backup plan. If you cannot win a war with weapons you can create a humanitarian disaster by blowing up barrels of the spent radioactive waste that is stored there. This would cause great pressure for a cease fire which in turn would solve the weapon inventory problem. Rational people would consider this an obvious case of reckless terrorism.
      I cannot see this as a strategy developed by Kiev even if they are doing the shelling. They have no desire to destroy the country. This seems to be more a plan hatched in Whitehall. The British Empire’s history has never been one of considering the problems of the natives. India and China know first hand about that.

      1. GramSci

        And whenever the brave NATO freedom fighters succeed in blowing up the Zaporozhye reactor, they can blame Russia! Win, win! USA! USA!

        1. Wukchumni

          Zaporozhye could be a game changer if deployed on a triple point score tile when playing proper name Scrabble.

    3. Bazarov

      Russia is not unlike the West in regard to using “force and violence to try to maintain their position”–this is precisely what the Russians are doing in Ukraine. The difference is that the Russians can maintain their position via military means, and the West cannot.

      The West is irrationally contending natural Russian hegemony in its borderlands. The use of “force and violence” is neither here nor there, as a strong country will resort to “force and violence” to protect their interests if they believe they can get away with it.

      The problem, therefore, with US or “Western” diplomacy is its refusal to recognize its limits. The Western sphere of influence has shrunk irrevocably. A rational power would not contest that which they cannot win. In an alternate universe where America recognizes its own relative decline, our political leadership would encourage implementation of the Minsk Agreements, would negotiate peaceful integration of Taiwan into the Chinese sphere, and would greatly reduce the size of its military to fit its actual position as the pre-eminent North American power.

      Instead of such managed decline here in the West, we’re going to get chaos.

      1. Lex

        This, this, this. If we rewind to 1991, the best way that the US could have contained Russia would have been to advise all the former Warsaw Pact members to become neutral. Instead we find ourselves at the most likely and logical conclusion of 30 years worth of US foreign policy and an unwillingness to recognize and accept the limits of US power.

      2. Vandemonian

        …our political leadership would encourage implementation of the Minsk Agreements, would negotiate peaceful integration of Taiwan into the Chinese sphere, and would greatly reduce the size of its military to fit its actual position as the pre-eminent North American power.

        But where’s the profit in that, Baz?

  21. jefemt

    Boogaloo Bois to Ukraine.

    I think it may be a twofer… enhance their cachet, but also their cache… who is to say that some well-funded entrepreneurs with motivation might not start steering some of the hydrant spigot of armaments back toward Michigan, Montidaho, and other Redoubt zones back here in the good old ‘there is no we in US’?

    1. Carolinian

      Just to add that going by the Hollywood Reporter review the show sounds like a bore. One hopes it’s not like all those Dark Knight Batman movies where we are supposed to take the guy in the rubber suit seriously. For some of us the original G of T hit just the right note in translating George R R’s bravura story telling. Fantasy fic is supposed to be fun.

    1. Nikkikat

      Oh yes, this is the first signs of Zelensky being thrown under the bus by the West. If only he had listened to us! The nice man from the CIA had warned him but he wouldn’t listen! Lol

      1. Carolinian

        Zelensky going to war in defiance of his US supporters does sound like a fairy tale. Still the article may signal the quest for a fall guy and an exit strategy. Will sleepy Joe insist on Nixon’s “peace with honor” or bug out?

        1. Ignacio

          I am copypasting here from the article:

          … How can a person who has Mariupol, Bucha and Kherson on his conscience say that an evacuation would have overwhelmed the country?” wrote journalist Bohdan Butkevich on his Facebook page, referring to places where Russia has been accused of committing atrocities.

          I don’t know how to interpret this exactly. This is not literal but WP translation from Ukrainian. It would be interesting to read the whole article without WP interpretations

    2. Karl

      The WAPO article cites Blinken’s “diplomacy” with Russia just before the war. This “diplomacy” consisted of U.S. “stern warnings” that a Russian invasion would be opposed by U.S. sanctions etc. etc. My impression it was yet another failed effort at U.S. intimidation, similar to U.S. “stern warnings” to China about Taiwan.

      Blinken, Sullivan and Biden need a crash course in “Diplomacy 101”. Too bad they don’t realize they need one.

      Much of the rest of the world must increasingly be looking on in wonder at the incompetence of the U.S. on the world stage. It is certainly the kind of stumbling to be expected at the end of one era–U.S. as unipolar hegemon–and the beginning of another. Multipolarity is a big theme in Putin’s and Shoigu’s speeches.

  22. orlbucfan

    So, Steve Bannon calls John Fetterman, “satanic.” Really? Let’s see if Bannon actually ends up in a genuine prison. Then the yahoo will learn what satanic means.

  23. anon in so cal

    Another catastrophic California wildfire may have been caused by faulty equipment. Some of the most devastating California wildfires in the past several years were apparently triggered by poorly maintained equipment. Funds approved by voters for maintenance were instead used for CEO bonuses, at least in the case of PG&E (Newsom and Harris are implicated). Climate change absolutely plays a huge role in the fires and is a huge threat. But I think it also serves as a handy way to avoid addressing corruption.

    “Residents in Northern California allege that sparks from PacifiCorp’s high-voltage transmission lines and other equipment are what ignited the deadly McKinney fire last month near the California-Oregon border in Siskiyou County, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this week.

    The McKinney fire has burned more than 60,000 acres in rural Siskiyou County since it began on July 29. Four people died as the fire swept through the area, and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, according to authorities. The official cause of the fire, which is 95% contained, remains under investigation.”

  24. antidlc

    Yesterday’s data (8/18/2022)
    New Cases: 138,089
    Deaths: 1,093

    The first case of COVID-19 in US was reported 938 days ago on 1/21/2020. Yesterday, the country reported 138,089 new confirmed cases and 1,093 deaths.

    DATA FOR AUGUST 18TH, 2022
    Cases: New (on Aug 18): +113,880
    Deaths: New (on Aug 18): +734

    Johns Hopkins reports 1,093 US Covid deaths yesterday.
    Medriva reports 734 US Covid deaths yesterday.

    Even if 734 is correct, that’s awfully high.

  25. TimH

    On PFAS: the article concludes (my emphasis)

    In contrast to other proposed PFAS degradation strategies, the conditions described here are specific to fluorocarbons, destroy concentrated PFCAs, give high fluoride ion recovery and low fluorinated by-product formation, and operate under relatively mild conditions with inexpensive reagents.

    So, nothing to help the ubiquitous low concentation contamination issue.

    This will simply be used as an excuse to avoid banning the stuff.

    1. Lex

      It’s really only possible to destroy environmental contaminants like that at high concentrations. Their method is to use a pH basic chemical to break apart a portion of the chain. We wouldn’t want to start applying the chemical outside of controlled environments because it would cause as many problems as it solves (pure sodium hydroxide is a hazardous material based on pH).

      PFAS compounds can be filtered from water; this would be the next step. It would work to dispose of things like firefighting foam (that liquid could then be treated to bring the pH back to a normal range) and certainly used to decontaminate the manufacturing waste stream. This idea is not a silver bullet, but the standard for destroying really nasty environmental contaminants like PCBs is incineration. When attempts to incinerate PFAS materials have been implemented we found out that not only does it not destroy them but it creates novel PFAS compounds.

  26. Jason Boxman

    Can Tesla Data Help Us Understand Car Crashes?

    After the collision, Ms. Forth told police officers that Autopilot — a Tesla driver-assistance system that can steer, brake and accelerate cars — had suddenly activated her brakes for no apparent reason. She was unable to regain control, according to the police report, before the Acura crashed into the back of her car.

    Backed by data from her Tesla, Ms. Forth ultimately decided to sue the driver and the owner of the car that hit her, claiming that the car tried to pass hers at an unsafe speed. (A lawyer representing the other car’s owner declined to comment.) But Mr. Nelson says such data has more important uses.

    This is particularly pernicious, because it shows that the Tesla crapped itself, and the owner is suing the driver of the car that unsurprisingly collided with the Tesla from behind, as it rapidly and unexpected slowed down by 20 mph on a highway!

    America; What a great place to live!

  27. Wukchumni

    Ukraine could be put on ‘ammo diet’ – US military expert RT
    ‘What is Russian Roulette, Alex’

  28. antidlc

    ‘Unsafe’: Public health professors and grad students want professor canceled for COVID views

    More than 400 public health professionals and “allies” wrote a statement calling for the cancellation of Leana Wen as keynote speaker for the 2022 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, accusing the doctor, columnist, and health policy scholar of promoting harmful health policies.

    “Through her platform on news outlets and social media, Dr. Wen (pictured) has promoted unscientific, unsafe, ableist, fatphobic, and unethical practices during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the statement.

    Public health professors Dabney Evans at Emory University and Caryn Bell at Tulane were among the many academics who signed their names to the letter. Other signatories included University of Washington nursing professor Nora Kenworthy and Boston College global health professor Tara Casebolt.

    Leana Wen as keynote speaker for the 2022 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.

  29. Wukchumni

    In a Tijuana-adjacent neighborhood lousy with ho hum homes worth a million & a half per, the local McDonalds is offering $16 an hour for crew, $17 for maintenance and $19 for shift leaders.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      How much are the cartels paying to smuggle heroin across the border? Better than McDonalds, I’m sure.

  30. spud

    bill clintons people are still running things.

    if you want to know whats taking biden so long to suspend student debt, all one needs to do is watch what bill clintons economist lawrence summers says, and he is not even in government.

    Summers: postponing student debt payments will make inflation worse
    April 6, 2022

    “Larry Summers is slamming the Biden Administration’s decision to further postpone student debt payments, saying, “The Administration’s postponement yet again of student debt payments is very hard to understand on policy terms. Wherever one stands on student debt relief this approach is regressive, uncertainty creating, untargeted and inappropriate at a time when the economy is overheated. This is not a small macroeconomic thing. At a time when the economy is overheating the Administration s student debt action will be injecting money into the economy at a 100 billion a year annual rate. This is a macroeconomic step in the wrong direction.”

    “How can we get back what we have lost without confronting those who took it?”

    We Forget What It Was Really Like Under the Clintons

  31. griffen

    Big Ten gets a new deal for their soon-expanding conference. There’s will be the first in the modern era of college sports, their collegiate footprint will begin from Rutgers, Penn State and Maryland on the East coast all the way across to southern California, where USC and UCLA are located. Does not make any sense for logistics or travel for the smaller non revenue sports, whether men’s sports or women’s sports. Once the expansion is fully locked in, there is no guarantee they will stop at the 16 teams to be housed in this super-duper conference. I don’t think this is the end of it, necessarily.

    Someone showed them the money, to borrow a phrase from fiction and film. Shockingly, in this instance they will soon no longer adhere to any ESPN network tie in.

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    Hmmm . . . . about the article titled . . . “China’s heatwave closes factories that supply parts to Tesla, Intel, and Toyota” . . .

    If this ends up happening long enough, bad enough and often enough, the whole Chinaconomy could end up being all hat, no CATL.

  33. Dave in Austin

    A late note for those who read all the comments. I saw the M. C. Escher show in Houston mentioned in the links. Phenominal. I saw what was previously the largest show in Connecticut a few years ago. This is larger, has the original process drawings, includes many of the early works which formed him- and has most of the woodcuts next to the prints. See it if you can.

  34. Jason Boxman

    The CHIPS Act won’t end US reliance on foreign foundries

    The fact remains that Americans aren’t just addicted to chips, they’re addicted to cheap chips, and for that, we’re still going to need TSMC, Samsung, SK Hynix, and others. The good news is all of these companies are investing in the US to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. So while the bill may have been sold on the promise of semiconductor independence, we may have to make do with “Made in America.”

    That’s garbage. I really doubt most Americans want a wireless coffee maker or refrigerator. My 20 year old toaster still works just fine, isn’t on the Internet, and toasts bagels as bad as today’s toasters do.

  35. AlbaIT

    German security official warns about ‘enemies of the state’

    It’s about to get very dangerous and ugly in Europe. Protesters are not going to be considered as legitimate protesters but “conspiracy theorists.”

    The current energy crisis and inflation could lead to protests in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia, the region’s interior minister has warned. Herbert Reul added that these issues are being exploited by conspiracy theorists, whom he described as a threat to the German state.

    Appearing on n-tv’s Fruhstart program on Monday, Reul said that “we’re now no longer talking about protesters, but rather almost something like new enemies of the state, who are establishing themselves there.”

    “We have additional tanks, 40 tanks with 40,000 liters’ capacity, that we are distributing among the police across the region, so that we are fit for action if worst comes to worst,” the interior minister explained.

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